With the torpedoes baring down on us, we had no way to escape. So we just floated there. It couldn’t have been for much more than a second, but it felt like much longer. It felt like we floated there for ten minutes watching the torpedoes coming toward us, but in actuality it was little more than a few blinks of the eye. In barely the time it would have taken to sneeze, the torpedoes were upon us.
There was no time to move. They were already there. All I could do was close my eyes and hope it would be quick, but I couldn’t even do that. I couldn’t take my eyes off of our impending doom. I watched as the torpedoes came at us, watched them get closer and closer. I watched as one of them got inches from my face, waiting for it to explode.
And then I watched as the torpedoes, one after the other, sailed right by us.
They missed! I don’t know how it could have happened. We were so close and there were three of them and there were only two of us. The likelihood of them all missing both of us completely seemed pretty small, but there it was. They had.
Or so I thought.
Until I realized…they hadn’t been aiming at us.
As I stared at the receding torpedoes, I noticed that right behind us, directly in the torpedoes’ path, was the room where our friends were being held, AKA The torpedoes’ true target. My heart dropped as I realized what was about to happen and there was nothing I could do about it, nothing I could do to save anyone.
I watched as the torpedo impacted. I watched as the room exploded. I watched as so many of the trolls who had trusted me, who had gone out of their way to help me, had put their lives on the line, just for me, someone who they had just met. And I could do nothing to save them.
And then the impact wave struck us. The eels were unaffected. They were too big, too heavy. They had too much momentum going in the other direction. We, however, were much smaller and were thrown backwards with great force. And so the eels swam right by us into the impact zone.
Pem recovered quicker than I did. He was swimming toward me before I even knew which way was up. “Come on!” he yelled, reaching for me.
“But my friends…they…”
“We can’t help them now. It’s too late for them, but it’s not too late for us. We can still get out of here.”
He grabbed me and started swimming. I didn’t fight him and after a little while, I even helped trying to get away. I began trying to help a lot more when I saw that those giant eels had swung around and had begun coming for us. We swam away with all our might. I did the best I could to not think about what had just happened. If I couldn’t, for the time being, move on from the death of my friends, I was very likely going to be joining them and that helped nobody.
But I knew that just swimming by itself wasn’t going to save us. I wasn’t fast enough to keep up with Pem, as it was I was just slowing him down, and neither of us were faster than those robotic eels. That’d catch us soon enough and then we’d be dead or captured yet again.
And so I was keeping my eyes open for any means of escape, a weapon would be great, a vehicle even better, but at this point I was willing to settle on a nice safe hole in the ground, as long as it was thin and deep enough to keep us from being eaten by the mechanical eels. I saw no weapons we could use, or vehicles we could get into, or anyplace we could hide. Or at least the place to hide wasn’t what caught my attention. What I saw was a hand waving at us. A large green hand.
“This way!” I yelled at Pem, hoping my assumption was right and that I wasn’t about to lead us into another trap.
Pem, at first, didn’t want to follow me, but seeing that I had already gone off on my own, he did what he no doubt thought was the foolish thing and followed me. With as much speed as we could manage we swam down to the bottom of the ocean where there seemed to be little but debris left over from the destruction of the city.
I tried to stay on point, to keep heading toward where I had seen that hand waving toward us. As I neared the bottom, the hand appeared again. I could see now that the hand was attached to a body, specifically the body of the Sheriff. I was so happy to see that he was still alive.
Or I would have been, that was, if I hadn’t been so worried about the torpedo coming up behind us.
to be continued…