Sunday, June 22, 2014

C.N. - chapter 77

Heathcliff scratched his head. Wolfgang had his arms crossed. Dennis stroked his chin. I looked down the walkway ahead of us, which was dim and silent. I spoke up first, to answer Theo's question.
'If we're on a plane, at an airport or in a high-rise building, then we could sneak around the place, eavesdrop on the bad guys, learn about their evil plan and then find a way to sabotage it, just like what John McClane did in the Die Hard movies, but I've never seen a movie where the good guy is trapped on a submarine and manages to sabotage the bad guys' plans, there's very limited room on a submarine for that kind of action, so I'm not sure whether copying the things John did in Die Hard will work in our situation.'
'Hey, wasn't there a sabotage subplot in The Hunt For Red October?' Dennis pointed out, 'The bad guy managed to avoid detection until the very end and nearly succeeded in killing Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. And all that took place on a submarine.'
'That's true, but it was a minor subplot in the movie, it doesn't show how the bad guy actually did his stuff without being found out, and also, I think the bad guy was a member of the sub crew, so he had it easy.' I replied.
'And why exactly are you guys comparing our situation to movies?' Theo crossed her arms and asked.
'Otherwise we won't know what to do in situations like these, I mean, how many people in their lifetime will have the opportunity to be trapped with the majority of their family on a terrorist mastermind's submarine which is heading to said mastermind's lair in an undisclosed location, while the terrorist mastermind attempts to sort out his marital problems with his estranged wife on the same submarine?' Dennis said. 
'Hey! You don't know anything about my family, stop making light of the matter!' Wolfgang snapped.
'Sorry, but it's true,' Dennis shrugged, 'we don't know what to do.'
'Yeah, there aren't any movies out there that parallel our situation, I've gone through all the movies I ever watched in my life.' I said. We all sighed dejectedly.
'Do you have any bright ideas?' Wolfgang looked to Theo.
'You boys are hopeless. This is what I think we should do: first we find out where we are on this thing, then we find the control room, where hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to make the sub surface, I still know a thing or two about them, we send out a distress signal, alert Laura's backup to our location, and hope this all happens before Dragon realizes we've escaped.'
'What about the guards?' Dennis said.
'With a bit of help, I think I can take care of the guards.' Theo said confidently, 'I'm prepared to do what it takes.'
'Yes! We shall fight our way through this, like gallant knights on horseback!' Heathcliff declared.
'That's not quite-' Theo began.
'That's a great analogy,' Dennis cuts in, 'Say Theo, I never knew you know a thing or two about submarines. When did you learn such things?'
'If you had spent more time with grandfather, you'd have learned a few things too.' Theo replied, her brow raised.
'I did learn a few things from him, I learned to appreciate great cinema.' Dennis said.
'Are we going to get going with our plan any time soon?' Wolfgang asked, annoyed.
'Onward, knights!' Heathcliff declared, and ran full speed into the dimness ahead of us. Moments later, we heard several sharp metallic crashes.
'I'm okay!' Heathcliff's voice echoed back towards us.

We moved forward in single-file, Theo at the front, me at the back, in the near-darkness. Except for the persistent drumming of the engines, we heard surprisingly little. It was very slow going, since we were trying to make as little noise as we could. This really was a huge submarine, so far we've come across at least three passageways that branched off to either side. We kept to this one, because it seemed to travel the length of the submarine, hopefully. If I remembered correctly from the German submarine classic Das Boot, the control room should be in the middle of any submarine, along with all the other important rooms.
'Charlie,' Wolfgang in front of me said, 'I still can't figure out how the plot of Kingdom of Heaven relates to me, even though you gave me a pretty good summary. Were you suggesting I am like the character portrayed by Orlando Bloom?'
'Exactly,' I replied, 'in Kingdom of Heaven, Orlando's dad Liam Neeson finally visits him after so many years away in the Crusades he probably never even knew the old man in the first place. It's perfectly understandable that Orlando wouldn't accept his dad at first, but soon he realizes his dad came back for him to lead him to a great destiny, and that's exactly what happened. It's like you and your mum. You might not trust her at first, but I'm sure she came back to lead you to a great destiny too.'
'That's...' Wolfgang began.
'Wait,'  I whispered, 'The engines have stopped.'
'What?' Wolfgang asked.
'I don't hear the humming anymore, the engines must have stopped.'
'Are we at the Dragon's lair already?' Heathcliff remarked.
'Close enough.' A voice replied.
'Who said that?' Theo said, alert.
'This is your captain speaking. I must say, I really enjoyed that discussion about cinema, and you're correct Charlie, a submarine really isn't a place for good guys to go sneaking around listening to the villains' evil plans.' I now recognized that the voice belonged to Mr. Dragon. His voice was all around us, I couldn't tell where it came from. Wow, his submarine must have a really state-of-the-art intercom system.
All of a sudden, the lights came on. The path ahead of us and behind us were blocked by men in standard grey submarine uniforms, and they were pointing what appeared to be pistols right at us.
'You shouldn't fire a gun in a submarine, what if it punctures the hull or something important?' I said.
'You're a bright lad, Charlie, yes, those are not real firearms, they're wired stun guns. It's still extremely painful to be struck with one, but they're no threat to any part of my boat whatsoever.' Mr. Dragon's omnipresent voice explained.
'Good thinking,' I remarked.
'Precisely, I suppose you also want to know how I knew you got out of your cells?'
'How did you know?' Dennis asked.
'Did you really think I left only one underpaid guard to keep watch on all you hostages?'
'Cameras.' Wolfgang whispered.
'Yes my dear son, I saw everything.'
Heathcliff was furious, 'How dare you, voyeuristic dog, admit to having watched my darling Theo in...erm...a state of undress!'
'No, no, I did not see a thing during all that, I promise.' There was a chuckle, 'As you see, my men are all prepared to escort you hostages back to your cells, unless you prefer to resist and be struck by 1000-volt stun guns.'
The men closed in on us.
'Not so fast Clark, I think you've forgotten one thing.' Another voice appeared on the intercom.
'Who said that?' Mr. Dragon's voice and Theo's voice exclaimed in unison. The men in the passageway stopped in their advance.
'Clark, you better come see who is in your control room. Meanwhile, I don't suppose you'll mind me turning off the lights for a moment, do you?' The second voice replied.
'Grandfather,' Dennis' voice called out, with a hint of recognition, 'is that you-'
Then all the lights went off.

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