Mac MacKinnon and the Race for El Dorado

Chapter 11: Escape

By Dwayne MacInnes


Hugo Strong was as good as his word. He soon had the zeppelin on the correct course towards El Dorado. Johann for his part was also as good as his word. Both the professor and Rebecca had full run of the gondola where they were residing. Unfortunately, a jail, no matter its size was still a jail.

Rebecca had fully explored every inch of the gondola. The crew slept in small cabins containing two sets of bunk beds. Dr. Strong and Rebecca had one to themselves, thanks to the recent passing of some of the crew at Mac and Dan's hand. Two tiny restrooms that contained a shower sat at the end of the hall with the crew cabins. The shower had a timer to limit the amount of water used. One restroom had been set aside for Rebecca's personal use. The poor crew now had to crowd into the remaining restroom.

The gondola also contained a small mess hall that adjoined a tiny galley. Nonetheless, the food prepared by the cook was first rate. Johann certainly enjoined the good things in life. Two large storage rooms stored crates and barrels of various supplies. The access panels to the airbag and the flight control gondola were constantly under guard to deter Hugo and Rebecca to leave. Finally, there was a small observation deck.

The view from the observation deck was stunning. As the zeppelin floated above the clouds, Rebecca could not help but feel as if she was an angel looking down upon the Earth. The land and sea that flowed below them looked surreal. Rebecca had never flown in her life and this experience astounded her.

However, after two days of watching the planet pass below her Rebecca began to get bored. There were no books in English for her to read, and she never learned any German. However, if she did, Rebecca doubted that the books available to her were nothing more than technical manuals.

Rebecca wandered the gondola looking for something new to occupy her time. As she walked past one of the storage compartments, Rebecca noticed a crewmember dumping some trash out an access panel to the ground. There was a coil of rope next to panel. The rope must have been for mooring the ship to the ground. An idea passed into Rebecca's mind.

Whenever the airship encountered too much turbulence, it decreased its altitude. If the airship lowered itself close enough to the ground, Rebecca and her father could possibly escape through the access panel. Granted, the plan was fraught with peril, but Rebecca reasoned that it was worth the risk.

That night Rebecca proposed her plan to her father. At first, Dr. Strong was against the idea. However, Rebecca was relentless and her reasoning was flawless. They both knew that there was no guarantee that Johann was not going to kill them after he got what he wanted. Thus, she was able to persuade her father attempt the escape.

The opportunity that Rebecca was hoping for presented itself far sooner than she expected. It was the morning of the morning after she presented her plan to her father that the zeppelin lowered itself down to treetop level. Rebecca quickly grabbed her father out of their cabin and led him to the storage room.

The room was deserted and the two captives quickly rushed into room. Rebecca lifted the door open on the access panel. She watched the trees slowly pass along below the airship. This was even better than she had hoped.

"Come, dad you go first," Rebecca motioned to her father as she began to uncoil the rope. Hugo started to approach Rebecca when suddenly the door opened behind them.

A German crewmember surprised the two prisoners. Both parties stared at each other for a minute. It took only a second for the German to find his voice and he started to yell at Rebecca and the professor in German.

"I'm sorry, this doesn't look..." Hugo began as the German roughly grabbed his arm.

The archaeologist began to struggle with the German. Both men started to toss each other about in the storage room. They would crash each other into boxes and barrels oblivious to Rebecca who just stood there shocked to see her father fighting. The older man was doing remarkable well against his younger opponent.

The German crewmember finally shoved the professor against some sacks of flour breaking their hold on each other. As the German approached to continue the fight against the older man, Hugo kicked out violently with his right leg. The German caught the blow to his stomach, which sent him staggering backwards toward the open access panel.

The German flailed his arms as he stepped onto the empty air. In a final desperate attempt, he grabbed onto Rebecca with his left arm pulling her along with him. Hugo lunged to grab his daughter as she fell through the access panel. Hugo's fingers narrowly missed Rebecca's outstretched hand. The last thing he saw was the look of fear as Rebecca plummeted towards the earth.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on August 16, 2006 8:02 PM.

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