By Dwayne MacInnes
The entire pirate crew ran to join Omar at the ship’s bow to look down towards where the death scream came from. However, the thick blanket of fog obstructed any view from what happened down below.
Some men were calling out to Nadif and Korfa, but neither one returned their calls. Others looked at each other with wild eyes. Fear was now running rampant aboard the German cargo vessel Kohl.
Omar knew he had to act quickly before he lost his crew. "Men, men," he called out to his pirates. "It was an accident. The ship must have over run the skiff. That is all."
"Haa!" Asad threw his support to Omar. "Sayid is right. Taban, you and two men get in another boat and see if you can help Nadif and Korfu."
"Maya," Taban refused fearfully. "I will not leave this boat. There is a laab out there."
"That is just nonsense," Asad retorted. "You are just letting your fears overcome your senses."
"I will go!" Abdi shouted. "I told you that this was naxis. Even Nadif tried to convince me it was sanac and look where he is now. I will gladly leave the ship even if no one else will."
Just as Omar feared Abdi’s dire superstitions ran through the crew. Many of the stout pirates began arguing amongst themselves. Omar tried to calm everyone down, but it was no use. Not even with the help of Asad did the crew quiet down.
About a dozen men led by Abdi ran for the lines securing the two remaining fishing boats. Before Omar could stop them the men were in the skiffs and were now speeding away. They were not even interested in seeing if they could help Nadif.
Once the malcontents left the boat the remaining pirates stood in silence. They could hear the boats’ engines recede in the distance. But just as suddenly as it did with Nadif and Korfa the men in the departing skiffs began to cry out in fear and pain. The automatic fire from a dozen AK47s ripped through the air only to fall silent one by one.
The fog felt like it was becoming thicker. The white mist was becoming a malignant yellow accompanied by the foul smell of sulfur. The remaining pirates looked towards Omar for guidance. The pirate leader did not know what to do.
"Sayid, what do we do?" Asad asked.
Omar looked at the man for a few seconds before replying. "If we leave the ship we are doomed. I will continue to run the ship west until we hit land. Even if we run her ashore, we certainly can find shelter on land."
It was not the best answer, but the men accepted it. Omar went to the bridge and ordered the engines run at full speed. The Kohl tore through the water at its top speed. The fog continued to cling to the cargo ship as it ran in the direction that Omar believed west to be.
The remaining crew went below decks to either find food in the galley or to be alone in one of the crew cabins. With the ship’s equipment out of commission Omar did his best with dead reckoning until the sun reached its zenith around noon.
Omar held the helm in a death grip not allowing his hand to budge one inch lest he stray from his course. His teeth were clenched tight in his jaw and beads of perspiration dotted his brow. He focused his entire being in looking ahead into the fog, hoping to see some outline indicating land or some structure.
Asad walked onto the bridge with some sandwiches that he tried to offer to the pirate leader. However, Omar could not be torn away from his duty. He had less than a dozen men left and he determined that he would not lose them.
"Sayid, you must eat," urged Asad.
"Maya," Omar said tersely, "No, I have to get us to land."
"What is this?" Asad asked to break the uncomfortable silence.
"I do not know. Maybe there is a laab, spirit, or this may be naxis, bad luck," Omar said woodenly. These same thoughts have been plaguing his mind as well. "I am no prophet."
Asad sat in the captain’s chair munching lightly on a sandwich. "I remember this Ethiopian mercenary I once met." Asad said to no one in particular. "He always carried that Bible those Christians follow."
"Haa," Omar said. He did not hold too much to religion, even though he was raised a devout Muslim. However, having Asad speaking was better than staring into the sickly yellow fog that obstructed his view of the horizon.
"There was this one passage I remember him saying. I think it was in the back of their holy book. I do not know much about it. However, I remember these words and they have been coming to my mind often today," Asad continued. "And the sea shall give up her dead."
These words did not comfort Omar at all. In fact, when Asad mentioned them, a chill ran down his spine. Then out on the bow near the rail Omar noticed movement. At first it was slight and barely noticeable. Then it became blatantly obvious. The fog was starting to enclose over the ship. Furthermore, within the thin yellow veil Omar could see figures, human-like figures.
Omar grabbed the intercom microphone. "Attention all men!" he yelled. "Prepare to repel boarders!"
Asad jumped up at the announcement and looked out the windows. He too saw the encroaching fog and the figures within. Asad grabbed his AK47 and ran to the platform outside the bridge. His automatic assault rifle opened up on the fog. The bullets tore into the fog with no effect.
By now Omar could see the pirates running upon the deck. Some fired their weapons and others tried to grapple with the figures. It was useless. Once the fog reached the pirates, the figures shrouded inside would tear into the men. Hideous cries split the noxious air.
The fog slowly advanced towards the bridge. Asad continued his relentless fire. Omar willed the ship to shore, but the sea continued to play beneath the German cargo ship. The yellow fog now crept up towards the platform and Omar noticed the stench of sulfur overpowering him.
Omar watched helplessly as Asad fired frantically at a figure approaching him. When the pirate was out of ammo Asad tried to wrestle with the figure. It was hopeless. Asad cried out in agony as the figure tore the pirate apart like a facial tissue.
Omar backed against the bullet-riddled wall opposite the door. The fog seeped through and coalesced inside the bridge. A figure approached Omar. Omar knowing the futility of resistance still fired his AK47 into the creeping figure until it was empty.
Omar grabbed his knife and prepared to meet the figure in hand-to-hand combat. Once Omar jumped into the fog he had to fight an urge to retch. His eyes burned, yet he could see inside the bank of fog. There inside grinning at him stood a skeletal figure with outstretched arms and behind it even more skeletal figures. What stopped Omar was that behind the skeletal figures, he could see the broken body of Nadif shambling towards him.
The figures grabbed Omar and began to pull, twist, and break his body. Omar heard a horrendous scream tear through the air. Shortly before he succumbed to darkness, he realized the scream was his own.
AP: Today the missing German cargo ship Kohl was found in the Gulf of Aden. From the bullet holes found riddling the ship investigators believe the ship may have been taken by pirates. However, the ship full of very valuable cargo appeared to have everything aboard except the crew. The owners have not divulged if any ransom demands have been made by pirates from the region. The U.S. has decided to step up its presence in the area in order...
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on March 25, 2009 6:01 PM.
"The Adventures of Gaius Cornelius Ferrarius" - The Extortionist Incident - Part I was the previous entry in this blog.
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