Mega 4: Behemoth Island (10 page)

BOOK: Mega 4: Behemoth Island
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The shouts from the hatch that led below turned from angry surprise to terrified fear. A heavy-browed woman burst from the hatch, wearing nothing but a pair of tattered shorts, her hairy breasts bouncing up and down as she sprinted free of the opening and headed right for Darby and Max.

Max started to squeeze the trigger, but he hesitated as an even hairier form sprang from the hatch and grabbed the browy, hairy woman by the back of the neck. Max let the rifle dip slightly as he and Darby watched Ronald snap the woman’s neck and toss her right off the ship, her thick body flying end over end out into the water. Ronald turned on them, his teeth bared like fangs and started to growl then straightened up and smoothed down his bristled hair.

“Oh, hello,” he said. He smiled then frowned. “Shouldn’t you be on the island?”

“We were,” Darby said. “But things got weird.”

“What she said,” Max agreed.

“Yes, well, we seem to be having some weirdness of our own,” Ronald said. There was a shout from behind him and he smacked his forehead. “Dear me. How stupid.”

He disappeared back into the hatch while Darby and Max waited. There were a few shouts, more than a few growls, a couple of screams, and then silence. After a minute, a body came flying out of the hatch followed by a second one. Both bodies were similarly browed and hairy like the corpses that lay on the deck by the superstructure.

“There,” Ronald said, reappearing. He wiped his hands together. “That’s the last of them. I would have much preferred to talk it through with them, perhaps learn more about their nature. But they are brutish things and were apparently focused only on violence and killing.”

“Then why use the blowguns?” Max asked. Darby gave him a quick appraisal and he frowned at her. “What? I can ask smart questions too.”

“Yes, that is a puzzle,” Ronald said. “Why did they use blowguns that incapacitated their targets instead of just killing them? I may have been too rash in dispatching the intruders. We might have learned something if I had left one alive.”

“There are more coming,” Darby said, hooking a thumb over her shoulder at the island. “At least one went back for reinforcements.”

“Is that so?” Ronald asked, moving towards the railing, his eyes studying the bay and the island beyond. “Oh, yes, I see it now. Filled to capacity. I count a dozen, at least.”

“Man, you have to give credit to those Zodiacs,” Max said. “They are some workhorse rafts.”

Darby shook her head.

“Come on,” she said. “Let’s get to the armory. We’ll need more ammunition if we’re going to pick them off.”

“No need,” Max said, grinning. “We don’t have to pick them off. We just have to sink the raft. Workhorse or not, put some holes in the thing and it’ll be bye bye in seconds. Especially loaded down with the cast of Captain Caveman.”

“I have seen that cartoon,” Ronald said. “Not a very accurate portrayal of prehistoric man.”

“Nope, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch when stoned out of your fucking gourd,” Max said.

He walked to the railing and took aim with his rifle.

“Anytime now,” Darby said.

“Hold on, hold on,” Max said. “Don’t push me. This isn’t a sniper rifle. Doesn’t have anywhere near the range or punch to it.”

He sighted down the barrel and waited until the raft was in perfect range. Then he squeezed the trigger and sent one round flying at the raft, putting a good-sized hole in the heavy duty plastic.

There was a lot of shouting and yelling and waving of hairy arms, but the raft didn’t go down.

“Did you think Ballantine would have rafts that sink after one shot?” Darby asked.

“Yes?” Max replied. “Shit.”

Darby bumped Max out of the way with her hip and took aim with the Desert Eagle. It was a heavy duty pistol, shooting .50 caliber rounds, but it wasn’t meant for long-range targeting. Darby squared her shoulders, spread her legs and set her feet. With both eyes open she aimed out at the raft that was approaching at a steady clip despite the occupants not using the motor.

“Man, they sure can paddle with those beefy arms,” Max said.

“Hush,” Darby said.

She fired until the massive pistol clicked empty. There were several screams followed by a lot of splashing.

“Not so hard,” Darby said and ejected the magazine. “I’m going to go reload.”

“You do that,” Max said.

He watched as the Zodiac sank in the middle of the bay while some of its former occupants started to swim and others floated, their bodies ripped apart by the heavy caliber slugs. Max was about to join Darby when he noticed something happening.

“Oh, shit,” he said. “Are you seeing that?”

“I’m sorry?” Ronald asked, glancing over at Max. “I was studying the stars. Such a beautiful night.”

Max pointed out at the bay. “Check that shit out.”

Ronald refocused his attention on the sunk raft and the attackers that flailed about in the tropical bay. His eyes widened and he smiled, showing his large canines.

“I believe those are similar to the Clidastes of the late cretaceous period,” Ronald stated. “Although there are some obvious differences.”

“Obviously,” Max said as he watched the four-meter-long water creatures snap and grab the attackers, pulling them under the surface one by one until all that were left were the floating corpses of Darby’s casualties.

Then the corpses began to disappear as well and the island’s bay became a peaceful picture of nocturnal tranquility. Until the waters started to turn black with blood.

“Way to ruin a view,” Max said and clapped his hands together. “I need a toke. My head is killing me.” He gingerly touched his stitched scalp. “Ow. You up for sharing a joint, Ronny my man?”

“Maxwell,” Ronald sighed. “I have expressed this to you before, but I would rather you did not refer to me as Ronny. I have a hard enough time being taken serious as the species I am. Your giving me the nickname of a twelve year old does not help.”

“Dude, who are you trying to impress?” Max laughed. “Everyone on this fucking ship is a twelve year old. We play with guns and shoot impossible monsters instead of getting real jobs and actually contributing to society.”

“One might argue that we protect society, which is part of the more heroic of professions,” Ronald said.

“For my uncle, yeah,” Max nodded. “But I have to be honest and say I do this because it’s a fucking blast and beats getting a regular job.”

Max walked to the hatch, stepping over the corpses of the broken intruders.

“Maybe we should toss these guys overboard?” Max asked.

“No, I would like to study them,” Ronald said. “Perhaps you could assist me in carrying the bodies down to Gunnar’s lab?”

“Nice try,” Max said as he walked through the hatch, giving Ronald a quick wave. “But that would be a regular job.”

“Maxwell!” Ronald called. “You are being very rude and inconsiderate!”

“Regular job, dude!” Max called back.

Ronald waited, but when Max did not return, he sighed and proceeded to gather up the bodies. Darby reappeared and frowned.

“Where’s Max? Why isn’t he helping?” she asked.

“He said this work would be too much like a regular job which is apparently something he has been avoiding most of his life,” Ronald replied, easily hefting three corpses into his arms at once.

“I’m going to smack the shit out of that lazy ass,” Darby said as she turned and stomped back through the hatch.

“Uh, hold on, please,” Ronald called, but there was no response. “Never mind. I can get these myself. Thank you for offering.”

“Ugh… Who are you talking to?” Mike asked as he pulled himself up by the railing next to the bridge. He looked down at Ronald and grimaced. “Damn… What the hell happened?”

“Hello, Michael,” Ronald greeted. “I was completely unaware that you were up there. Is anyone else with you?”

“No, I was relieving Lake when I heard something,” Mike replied. “Next thing I know, I’m down on the deck and hear you talking to someone.” He paused and stared at what Ronald held in his massive, hairy arms. “Are those cavemen?”

Ronald sighed. “For lack of a better term, yes,” Ronald said. “Although I plan on discovering a better term. Do you feel up to assisting me down to the lab with these?”

“Not a chance, man,” Mike said. “Sorry. I would like to, but I’m still seeing double.”

“Yes, you have been affected by some type of non-lethal neurotoxin,” Ronald said. “I do not know the duration of the after affects. I apologize for not having more information. If you would accompany me then I can take some blood samples and compare them to the others. That will give me a range of data to process and I might be able to tell us all more about our attackers and their motives.”

Mike stared at him for a second. “You just need me to come down to the lab so you can draw blood?” he asked.

“Yes,” Ronald answered.

“That I can do,” Mike said.

“Excellent,” Ronald said. He shifted his grip on the corpses, looked at the narrowness of the hatch to below decks, and shook his head. “This may take a bit. Would you mind going below and telling Maxwell, Ms. Darby, and perhaps Ballantine that I could use some help?”

“Sure,” Mike said. “But what about everyone else?”

“They were attacked the same as you,” Ronald said. “So they will not be of much use.”

“Gotcha,” Mike nodded. “I’ll send up anyone I find that can handle the job.”

“Thank you,” Ronald said as Mike ducked into the bridge.

The hairy hominid tilted his head and looked up at the stars once again.

“Things would be so much simpler without people,” he sighed. “It is a lovely night, though.”

 

***

 

Gunnar grumbled as Ballantine handed him a cup of coffee. The smell was both enticing and repulsive. His stomach grumbled as well, hungry for the liquid while his throat started to close at the idea of swallowing.

“Drink up, all of you,” Ballantine said as he set a large pot of coffee aside and took a seat at one of the lab tables. He smiled at the folks assembled around him. “Blood samples have been taken, so now you can get back to your normally alert and productive selves.”

“Fuck productive,” Max said as he and Darby carried in the last corpse. They set it on an empty table and Max stretched, pushing his hands into the small of his back. “And fuck work. Can I go grab my stash now? These bastards are a lot heavier than they look and I don’t want to cramp up.”

“Lift with your back,” Darby said as she walked by him and slapped his ass. Hard. “And the answer is no, you cannot go get your stash. We need to return to the beach and the base ASAP. We have teammates lost on that island.”

“Darby is correct,” Ballantine said. “Returning to the island as soon as possible is the best course of action.”

“What about those?” Dr. Morganton asked, her hands wrapped about her coffee mug as if it was all that was keeping her from falling off her stool. She nodded towards the corpses then shuddered and began to list to the left.

“Hold tight there, Dr. Morganton,” Boris said, putting a hand on her shoulder and keeping her in place. “Do not exert yourself.

Once she was steady, Boris stood from his stool and stretched. He smiled at everyone, but did not receive any smiles in return. Instead, he received a few glares.

“How the hell are you so chipper?” Gunnar asked.

“I am unsure,” Boris said. “No reason that I can think of.” He placed a finger to his chin. “It could be that I have spent years experimenting with several different psychoactive compounds.”

Ballantine frowned. “That wasn’t part of your research directive.”

“Research? Oh, no, no, no,” Boris said, grinning from ear to ear. “That was recreation. It does become monotonous while cooped up without any human companionship. The psychoactives helped pass the time.”

“Eh-hem,” Ronald said, looking from a microscope and over to Boris.

“Oh, oh, my apologies, my good friend!” Boris exclaimed. “I did not mean to belittle our relationship. Not that we had a relationship in the romantic sense. No, no, no. That would fall well outside normal parameters.”

He glanced at Gunnar and Mike.

“But then you two are gay and in a relationship which falls outside the normal parameters,” Boris said. “Or does it? Perhaps not. I’ll think upon that for a moment.”

He proceeded to think upon that for a moment then held up a finger.

“I have concluded that it doesn’t,” Boris said. “There is ample evidence of homosexual behavior amongst many species, and it is well documented in human history that being gay is a normal part of human civilization. I would almost conclude that the perception of it as an aberration is actually what falls outside the parameters.”

Everyone just stared at him.

“Yeah, you might want to quit while you’re way, way behind,” Max said, leaning close to Boris’s ear as he walked by towards the lab’s hatchway. “If you need me, I’ll be grabbing a joint from Lucy’s quarters. Back in two secs.”

“Max!” Darby called.

BOOK: Mega 4: Behemoth Island
12.72Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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