Mega 4: Behemoth Island

BOOK: Mega 4: Behemoth Island
3.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

 

MEGA 4

BEHEMOTH ISLAND

 

 

JAKE BIBLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 2015 by Jake Bible

 

Chapter One- Prey

 

The young man was fit and very clean cut. Very clean cut. Blindingly clean cut.

Dressed in a white button-down shirt, black slacks, and shiny black shoes, the young man could have been any MBA from a Fortune 500 company. His grey eyes told the world he was all business; his fit form told the world he could back up that business physically, if needed.

All Popeye’s eyes and form said was that he couldn’t give a shit about this very clean cut asshole that sat before him.

Not young, not clean cut, and considering he was strapped to a hospital bed, not very fit, Trevor “Popeye” DeBruhl glared at the young man, one of his eyes squinted almost closed, giving him the look of that famous cartoon sailor.

Forearms wiry and muscled from years as a boatswain, Popeye strained against the restraints that held him in the bed. He would have kicked out, but he was missing his right leg from the thigh down, and it seemed lame for him to just kick with the one leg.

“Mr. DeBruhl, please calm yourself,” Jowarski said, his business eyes beaming from that clean-cut, good-looks face. “I only need to ask a couple questions and then you can rest.”

“Where’s the lady?” Popeye growled. “That woman that said she was Ballantine’s wife? Where’s she at? She know you’re in here? She didn’t like it the last time you questioned me.”

“Yes, we discussed that, she and I,” Jowarski replied. “All squared away now. She has more important things to deal with. I am the specialist when it comes to interrogation, so it makes more sense for me to be here while she is out there.”

“Out where? Where the hell is this place?” Popeye asked. He yanked at his restraints again and again then relaxed. “Why the hell am I all trussed up like this? You guys government? This some CIA black ops facility? What the hell do you think I know? I ain’t saying anything to a little piece of piss like you. I shit turds older than you, golden boy.”

“Golden boy?” Jowarski laughed. “My sister used to call me that. I hated it. She’d say it over and over, yelling it at me as I chased her through the apple orchard in our backyard. Boy could she run.”

Leaning forward in the generic padded chair that complimented the generic decor of the room, Jowarski set aside a clipboard and steepled his fingers.

“Don’t call me golden boy, Mr. DeBruhl,” Jowarski said. His voice was smooth and easy, but held an edge that could not be missed. “You are welcome to refer to me as Mr. Jowarski or as sir. But not golden boy.” Popeye started to respond, but Jowarski held up a finger. “Also, no more questions. I’m here to do that. Your job is to answer the questions I ask. Are we understood?”

Popeye lay there for a minute then grinned, his weathered face split in two as he laid his head back and laughed. Jowarski picked up the clipboard and settled back into the generic chair, his grey eyes watching, waiting, until Popeye was finished.

“Feel better?” Jowarski asked.

“Nope,” Popeye said. “Not by a long shot.”

“Ready to answer some of my questions?” Jowarski asked.

“Go ahead and ask,” Popeye said, shrugging. “But I can tell you right now I have no idea where Ballantine is. I was shot and fell overboard the B3. Last I saw that ship, and everyone on it, it was steaming deep into the South Pacific. That boat could be anywhere by now.”

“No, no, not anywhere, Mr. DeBruhl,” Jowarski replied. “It has arrived at a very specific place. I believe you when you say you don’t know where that place is.”

“Then why the hell ask me a bunch of questions?” Popeye asked. “Oops, sorry, that was a question. You gonna spank me now? Uh-oh, that’s another question.”

Jowarski frowned and took a deep breath. He seemed to be considering what Popeye said then shook his head.

Popeye rolled his eyes and continued speaking. “Seems like a waste of time. And from what I heard the other day, you ain’t got time to waste.”

“No, I suppose we don’t have time to waste,” Jowarski replied. “That is why I will need you to be completely honest. I will ask questions that don’t seem relevant, but they are. Just answer to the best of your knowledge and we’ll be fine.”

“What if I don’t feel like answering your questions?” Popeye asked. He watched Jowarski very carefully. He knew the man was dangerous. He could almost smell the predator in him.

“Not answering would be a very bad idea,” Jowarski said. “Just like when my sister finally couldn’t outrun me in the apple orchard and stopped between the drooping trees. That was not a good idea for her.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Popeye asked. “What’d you do to your sister?”

“I caught her, Mr. DeBruhl,” Jowarski said. “And I tend to not be nice to things I catch.”

 

***

 

The man’s chest heaved as he ran, his legs, fueled by fear and terror, drove him through the dense underbrush of the rainforest. He snapped twigs and small branches, pushing through the foliage, mad to get free of what chased him. The man could hear it coming, not the snapping of twigs and branches, but the crashing and falling of full grown trees. The destruction of trunks like shotgun blasts, the impacts of the fallen trees like concussion grenades.

The man slapped at his belt, hoping he still had the pistol there. His right hand found the familiar solidity of the grip and he felt a tiny bit of relief wash over him. He was pretty sure he had a full magazine which would give him nine .357 rounds to put more than a couple of holes in the thing if it caught up to him.

But he hoped, prayed, wished that it never came down to that. Even with the huge semi-automatic holstered to his hip, the man knew he didn’t have much chance against the behemoth behind him. His only real chance was to get out of the thing’s territory and make it back to the cave and get as deep inside as he could; tuck himself back into the darkness where the beast couldn’t reach him.

A large bird flew up in front of him, the bright red wings blinding him for a moment as it bolted from the massive fern to his left. The man stumbled and nearly fell, his bladder loosing at the surprise, and he let out a horrified squeak. On a normal day (Ha!) he would have been scared shitless about coming in such close contact to the prehistoric bird, but the owner of the massive wingspan with the serrated beak and sharp talons that flew by, lifting up to the canopy of trees overhead, was the least of his problems.

A roar that shook the man’s molars pushed through the rainforest and he swore he saw ferns ahead of him bend at the force of the noise. A second roar nearly lifted him off his feet and he knew that he only had one chance at living.

Instead of heading east as he should have, the man bolted west, a new destination in mind. It wasn’t the plan, wasn’t Logan’s protocol if you were caught out in the open, but fuck plans and protocols. Plans and protocols could kiss his shit-soiled ass.

He shoved aside a sapling, ancestor of the modern magnolia, that was already ten feet tall and getting thick around the trunk, and found a trace of the path he wasn’t supposed to take. West was never a good idea on the island. There was lots of fresh water that way which meant there were lots of creatures that wanted that fresh water. Good idea or not, it was the only idea the man had that he thought would even come close to keeping him alive.

Another roar and the man was more than sure his bladder had filled itself just to empty all over again.

 

***

 

“Comfortable?” Jowarski asked. “Need anything?”

“My left foot up your ass?” Popeye replied.

Jowarski wagged a finger and then looked down at the clipboard.

“You have duel citizenship, correct? The US and South Africa?” Jowarski flipped a page and read it for a second. “No immediate family to speak of. Maybe a cousin or two here and there, but no ties to anything other than a couple of documents that say you can rightfully sing two different national anthems.”

Jowarski frowned and rubbed at his clean-shaven chin.

“What is the national anthem of South Africa?”

“Hard to explain,” Popeye said. “It was one thing when I was young, now it’s two things. A mash-up, like the kids say.”

“Right, right, because of apartheid,” Jowarski said and nodded. “Where did you stand on that?”

“On what?” Popeye asked.

“Apartheid,” Jowarski explained. “Were you for or against? Be honest. It helps me to gauge your answers better if I know a couple things that aren’t in this.” He tapped the papers on the clipboard. “And your views on race aren’t in this. Which is lazy reporting, if you ask me. Whoever compiled this did not do a thorough job. I’ll fix that as much as I can.”

He waited as Popeye stared at him. The room was silent for several minutes.

“Mr. DeBruhl?” Jowarski asked. “Your views on apartheid?”

“It was shite,” Popeye said. “My parents didn’t like it, I didn’t like it, no one I knew liked it. It was for rich snobs that wanted to keep their land and gold. For the rest of us, it was just another thing to get drunk and fight about. Total shite.”

“Total shite,” Jowarski mumbled as he wrote on the clipboard. “Good to hear, good to hear. Now, what is it that got you interested in being a sailor? In making your life and living off the sea?”

“What does that have to do with Ballantine?” Popeye asked.

“Nothing,” Jowarski said. “But it has everything to do with you. And that’s what I want to know right now. All about Popeye DeBruhl. The more I know about you, the more I know what to ask that might, just might, trigger something deep inside you that could help us find Ballantine.”

“Why are you so scared of Ballantine?” Popeye asked. “You double cross him? Boy, I wouldn’t want to double cross that creepy son of a bitch. You think those giant sharks we were chasing were the scariest things in the sea? No way. Ballantine is.”

“Quite,” Jowarski nodded. “How about you answer my question, Mr. DeBruhl? Why did you decide to become a sailor?”

“I’m good at it,” Popeye replied.

“Yes, I’m sure you are, but how did you find that out? A person doesn’t just hop on a ship one day out of the blue,” Jowarski said. “What motivated you to choose that career path?”

“I hopped on a ship one day out of the blue,” Popeye replied. His squint became even more pronounced and he flexed his arms, pulling at the restraints again. “Hey, you want answers? Then let me out of these things. Until then, you can write whatever you want on your clipboard, but you’ll have to make it all up because I’m done talking to you.”

“Is that so?” Jowarski asked.

His tone made Popeye shiver.

“If you are done talking to me, Mr. DeBruhl, then you are of no use to me,” Jowarski continued. “People that are of no use to me are a drain on resources. We have limited resources at the moment and I cannot justify keeping you around.”

“So let me go,” Popeye smirked. “I wouldn’t want to be a drain.”

“Yes…let you go,” Jowarski sighed. “If only it were that easy.”

 

***

 

Vines clung to the man’s arms, wrapping themselves about his wrists as he pushed through the dense foliage. He ripped free, shouldering past the massive leaves that swooped down to consume him.

To consume hi
m
.

He almost laughed at the thought. To think only a few months previously he and his colleagues had been shaking their heads at why they weren’t making the right progress with the biospheres.

Not a problem for any of them anymore.

His scientist brain quickly ran through the many vectors needed to create the anomaly, but he came up empty like always. Like they all had. Something sparked the release of energy. The uncontrollable proliferation of life that swept the island almost overnight.

Logan had said that it was a total accident, but…

But the man did not trust Logan further than he could throw him. And he was pretty sure Logan wasn’t even reall
y
Loga
n
anymore. Not in the way the man wasn’t Dr. Moses Chen. They’d all gone through serious changes. But Logan just seeme
d
of
f
. Dr. Chen couldn’t put his finger on it.

The roar behind him snapped Dr. Chen from his thoughts. He screamed then clamped his hands over his mouth as he continued his struggle with the local flora. The leaves stopped their attack and the vines withdrew as Dr. Chen burst from the edge of the jungle and into an open meadow filled with eight-foot wildflowers and thick, swaying grasses.

He stopped and tried not to cry. The grasses hadn’t been there last week. Or if they had, Logan hadn’t put them in his report. Which means they hadn’t been there. Logan put everything in his reports. He was beyond OCD when it came to the details. Years of field research and a near miss with a Nobel made him that way.

Dr. Chen stared at the meadow. His eyes tried to find a path, find a way through without suffering too much damage. He couldn’t find that path.

He checked himself, so pissed he hadn’t thought to bring a machete with him. Who needs a machete when the plan is to only go a few yards from the cave? The guy chased from watching a simple sunrise, that’s who.

BOOK: Mega 4: Behemoth Island
3.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Dark Shadow of Spring by G. L. Breedon
The White Rose by Amy Ewing
His Frozen Heart by Nancy Straight
Haunt Me by Heather Long
The Infinity Tattoo by Eliza McCullen
Indulgence in Death by Robb, J.D.
Signing For Dummies by Penilla, Adan R., Taylor, Angela Lee
Murder of a Snob by Roy Vickers