Angela’s past is more than a little rocky, and that rocky path has led her to finish up her juvenile detention sentence on the Yemaya, an alien underwater ship devoted to observation and research. Part of its maintenance crew, at the bottom rung of the status ladder, Angela doesn’t see much excitement forthcoming.
But that was before encountering the fearsome Taijiku or meeting her crew mate Stella, leaving Angela with a completely different problem and unable to say which is the greater challenge: giant sea monsters or falling in love.
Jolted into wakefulness, Angela almost fell out of her bunk. Stella was already awake.
“What’s going on?” Stella asked.
Angela rubbed her head and blinked a few times.
“We’re moving,” she said. She jumped off her bunk and walked the few steps to the door. Another jolt knocked Stella, who had started to climb down from Angela’s bunk, to the floor. Angela helped her up, and they hastily pulled on some clothes.
“We’re not moving! I think we’re being pushed!” Angela said.
The girls moved unsteadily towards the door. Opening it, Angela looked up and down the corridor. As the Yemaya was jostled more, she heard shouting. Doors up and down the corridor were flung open. Other crew members either popped their heads just outside their doors or simply spilled into the hallway as the Yemaya began to pitch under the assault. We’re not being pushed, Angela thought. We’re being attacked.
“It’s here!” Angela said. She realized she may have sounded just a bit too gleeful at the prospect that Taijiku was truly knocking on the Yemaya’s door, after a fashion.
Most of the other crew members looked terrified. She saw one crew member on his knees vomiting. Another clutched her stomach.
Etienne came running towards them, but because of the Yemaya’s pitching and rolling, he sort of ping-ponged off the hallway walls.
“What the hell is going on?” he screamed. He looked scared, haggard. A bump had risen on his forehead.
“What happened?” Stella said, reaching up to his forehead.
He grabbed her hand to prevent her from touching the bump. “Fell out of my bunk when all this started. What the hell is going on?” he asked again.
“I think it’s that motherfucking Taijiku. Nothing else can do shit like this,” Angela said, slipping into YDC mode.
“That’s not possible! We’re not supposed to be anywhere near the kaiju. We’re research and observation!” Stella said.
Angela looked at Stella, then looked at Etienne, who shrugged. Angela rolled her eyes. She and Etienne began running through the corridor. Stella tried to keep up with them, begging them to go back to their rooms and wait it out, wait until they hear an announcement.
“Someone will tell us what to do,” she said.
But Angela and Etienne didn’t stop. They ran to Lionel’s room and knocked on his door. No answer.
“Ensign Castañeda,” Angela said.
“But she won’t be in her room,” Etienne said.
“We need to get to the bridge,” she said.
Etienne nodded, and off they ran again with Stella still trying to keep up with them. All along the corridors they passed other crew members scurrying seemingly with little purpose. Angela knew they wouldn’t be allowed onto the bridge. They were, after all, little more than janitors, but she thought that at least being near the bridge she would get to hear something, anything, about the kaiju.
Then an automated voice came from the PA system.
“Emergency protocol. Section Eight report to Equipment Area Sixteen staging. Emergency protocol. Section Ten report to Equipment Area B staging. Emergency protocol. Sections One through Four report to Equipment Area C staging…”
Angela didn’t hear any more. She and the others were supposed to go to Section Ten, and that’s all they needed to know. Without missing a step, they changed direction and headed toward Equipment Area B staging. Even Stella managed to keep up now. As they ran, Angela saw more of their Section Ten crew also running towards the equipment area. When they arrived, Lionel was already there.
“C’mon! C’mon!” he yelled. “We have to get ready to hand out suits now!”
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Elizabeth Andre hopes someday to make a living writing fiction full time. Short of that she may settle for world domination or impressing her neighbors with her skateboarding skills.