The Night The Earth Moved – Chapter 4

So the crew of The Excelsior IV are facing a dire situation, the power draining from the ship and drifting in an uncharted area of space with something nasty in the hold….if you have no idea what I’m talking about then…why not??? Get yourself caught up on the story before we launch ourselves in Chapter 4 🙂

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CHAPTER FOUR

           “We’ve got to stop the power loss L.D.” Dorke said desperately “it’s got to be something to do with that signal – see if you can block it.”

L.D. tapped furiously at the computer console, trying desperately to find a way of blocking the strange signal. After a few tense minutes, he suddenly jumped up with excitement.

“Done it,” he gasped in relief, “I’ve blocked the signal.”

Instantly, the computer screens and lighting regained their normal brightness.

“Brilliant,” the Captain shouted, “now onto our next problem. We’ve got to find out where we are.”

Suddenly, the doors to the Command Deck glided apart. Jennings and Gatwin ran in and stood panting before the Captain.

“What on earth…..” Dorke started.

“Captain,” Gatwin gasped, “our men are under attack.”

 

          Stevenson and Lewis were amazed at the suddenness with which the whining noise had stopped and with it, the sound of tearing metal. The crates around them had stopped pulsating and the only sound they could now hear was a strange, heavy breathing.

“Whatever’s down here,” Lewis said, turning to his partner, “is coming our way.”

“We’d better make for the upper levels,” Stevenson replied, “set your staser to full power.”

Both men lifted and primed their weapons. Turning, they started to run towards the stairway leading to the upper level and safety.

Andrew’s eyes were still firmly glued to the crate before him. Backing slowly away, he suddenly felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end as he realised that something was behind him. Stopping in his tracks, he turned slowly – dreading what he would see. His eyes widened in amazement as he saw that the figure standing before him was none other than Dane.

Robertson and Hartley were getting very worried as the strange noises continued  around them.

“Hartley,” Robertson said suddenly, stopping them in their tracks, “listen.”

Robertson stood listening for a few moments but could hear nothing. He turned and looked questioningly at his partner.

“What?” he asked.

Hartley lifted his Shaft and pointed it at the junction that they had just turned from, waving his arm to indicate for silence.

“Something’s following us,” he whispered.

Both men froze as they heard whatever was tracking them approach laboriously along the passageway.

“Set your staser,” Hartley instructed.

Doing as he was told, Robertson crouched on one knee, ready to blast whatever was following them into oblivion.

“It’s almost on top of us,” Hartley shouted, his Shaft shaking in his hand.          Robertson aimed his staser at the junction, his finger tightening on the trigger. A bead of sweat trickle down his forehead and into his eyes as around the corner came….

“Rippon!” Hartley gasped.

Robertson lowered his gun in relief.

“You almost got yourself shot,” he said, wiping the sweat from his eyes. Rippon stood staring at them, a blank expression on his face, as if unaware of who they were.

“Robertson?…..Hartley?” he muttered, a vacant look on his face.

“That’s right,” Robertson answered. He turned and looked at Hartley before turning back to Rippon, “are you all right?”

Rippon shook his head and rubbed his hand across his eyes, as though coming out of a dream.

“Ye-yes,” he stuttered, “I’m sorry – I just felt a little strange.”

“Where’s Andrews?” Hartley asked, walking over to his crewmate.

Rippon looked strangely ahead of him.

“We got separated,” he replied, “I couldn’t find him……” His voice trailed away as he put his hand to his head, a look of pain once again passing over his face.

A concerned look passed between Robertson and Hartley.

“We’d better get him up to the sickbay,” Robertson said, walking over to Rippon and putting his arm around the man’s shoulders

“You help him,” Hartley instructed, “I’ll lead the way.”

With that, the three men started their trek back to the safety of the upper levels.

“What do you mean, ‘under attack’?” Captain Dorke demanded, looking from Jennings to Gatwin and then back again.

“Well Captain,” Jennings started, “it’s like this.” She turned to look at Gatwin. “Stevenson and Lewis reported in to say that something was breaking out of the ore crates.”

“That’s right,” Gatwin butted in eagerly.

Jennings threw him a withering look.

“And that something was tracking them,” she continued.

“And now there’s no reply from their com-links,” Gatwin said matter of factly.

“Thank you Gatwin,” Jennings snapped. “That’s right,” she continued, “all we get is heavy static – as if there’s a strong magnetic field down there.”

L.D. shook his head.

“They’re like a double act,” he muttered to himself.

Captain Dorke sat in his chair, staring at the pair in total disbelief – wondering what sort of crew he was employing.

“Well,” he started, “isn’t this great. Not only are we lost in the depths of space, but now the whole crew has turned into a load of nutters.” He threw Jennings and Gatwin a withering look.

Gatwin and Jennings looked embarrassingly at each other.

“Did you hear that L.D.” Dorke shouted, “these blokes are nutters.” He jabbed at the inter-com link to the hold.

“Oy, nutters,” he bellowed, “can you hear me?”

Jennings and Gatwin looked at each other open-mouthed as the inter-com crackled into life.

“Captain, it’s Andrews,” came the reply from the hold.

Dorke turned with a smug grin on his face.

“Ah, Andrews,” he said sweetly, “so nice to hear from you.” He swivelled in his chair. “Can I have your report please.”

“Yes Sir,” Andrews replied, “I’ve found Dane.”

Dorke sat bolt upright in his chair.

“Pardon?” he said in amazement.

          “I’ve found Dane, Sir,” Andrews repeated, “and there’s something else,” he continued.

“Which is?” Dorke prompted.

“I think the cargo’s alive,” Andrews replied.

The Captain reached forward and switched off the voice link before slumping back into his chair.

“I was right,” he said to the trio before him, “that bloke’s a nutter.” He turned the voicelink back on, “O.K. Andrews,” he said, “bring Dane back up, you can give us your report when you get here.”

Dorke turned the inter-com off. Looking first at Gatwin, then Jennings and then L.D., he tilted his head back and shut his eyes.

“Heaven help me,” he muttered.

Robertson, Hartley and Rippon had made their way to the staircase leading to the upper levels. As Robertson placed his foot on the first step, a voice shouted from the darkness.

“Over here.”

The three men turned to see Andrews and Dane running eagerly towards them.

“Rippon,” Andrews shouted, “I thought you were dead!”

“No,” Rippon replied bluntly, staring blankly at his crewmate “I..I..I got lost,” he said vaguely.

Andrews was taken aback by the abruptness of his friend but had little time to reflect as they heard the sound of footsteps approaching from the depths of the hold.

“Lewis, Stevenson,” Robertson shouted, “is that you?”

“Don’t shoot,” Stevenson’s familiar voice shouted back from the blackness.

A look of relief passed between the group standing at the base of the stairway as they saw their friends turn the corner of the junction.

“Look who we’ve found,” Stevenson continued.

Lewis and Stevenson turned back to the junction and the crowd gasped in amazement as around the corner walked ……McCarthy!

As the group exchanged relieved greetings, Andrews voice called them all back to duty.

“Right everyone,” he shouted, “we’ve got to get straight up to the Command Deck – Captain Dorke wants a full report.”

He turned and led the way up the stairway, closely followed by Stevenson, Lewis, Robertson and Hartley. Still standing at the bottom, Rippon, Dane and McCarthy turned and stared back into the dimness of the cargo hold. After a few moments they turned to each other, a knowing look passing between them, before they too turned and walked slowly up to the upper levels.

The Second Chance

I thought we’d kick the day off with some more poetry, but even better than that I dug out the cover to the book of poetry that I self published! Yes self published as no right minded publisher would spend the money doing it lol. So here it is in all it’s glory the front cover to ‘The Changing of Time’ by yours truly. The cover was designed by a friend of mine, Andrew Hodson so full credit to him. I sadly lost touch with him many years ago but if by a million to one chance you are reading this – get in touch 🙂

So without further ado, the front cover and another poem by me.

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The Second Chance

Minutes, seconds pass us by

Never stopping to ask why

The world keeps turning, life goes on

Never asking where your dreams have gone.

Never stopping for that second chance

To carry on throughout life’s dance.

You haven’t time to stop and care

About friends who one day won’t be there,

About hopes you dared to dream about

While trying to hide your own self doubt.

You’re on your own, I’m sad to say

Right up until your dying day.

Arms around you won’t bring a light

And words to say it’ll be all right

Are all you need to see you through

But are never there, it’s only you.

So fight the battle, dance the dance

Don’t think that there’s a second chance.

Poetry In Motion

Many, many years ago I thought I was a bit of a writer. Well I dabbled and people said ‘ooh that’s good’ so to me I was an international bestseller. Of course, as it turned out most people were just humouring me but more fool them as I just kept on going!

Some of my writing took the form of poetry about life, friends or just observations so I thought it would be nice to share some of them with you from time to time.

So here we go with a poem called ‘My Friend’.

My Friend

You gave me strength

To keep on going,

You gave me hope

When I had none.

You gave your friendship

Without asking

You chastised

When I’d done wrong.

You gave your time

When I asked for it

You gave advice

As best you could,

You gave me more

Than I could wish for

In return

I give my love.

Hope you enjoyed that – be warned there’s more where that came from!

The Night The Earth Moved Chapter 3

I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for the 3rd instalment of my major bestseller (haven’t you?) so here it is.

For those who are new to the adventures of Don Dorke and LD the bionic duck (yes you read that right) I suggest you go back and read the first two chapters as things are starting to hot up – oh yes they are!

Even more exciting – I’ve found the original cover and yes James York is me, it’s the pen name I used for this, well it seemed like a good idea at the time.

So anyway, enough waffle let’s crack on with ‘The Night The Earth Moved’.

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CHAPTER THREE

           Andrews and Rippon were making their way cautiously through the storage crates of Section Three, Andrews staring intently down at his Shaft waiting for a sign of life.

“What do you think’s happened to them?” he said turning to Rippon.

“Who knows,” Rippon replied, “this hold’s vast, they could be anywhere.”

The two men carried on along the walkway, listening intently for any signs of life. As they came to the end of the section, Rippon turned to Andrews.

“We’d better report in,” he said, “you contact Jennings and I’ll have a look down the end.” With that, he started to make his way towards the next section.

Taking out his com-link, Andrews reported their position to Lieutenant Jennings. Replacing the communicator, he walked to the junction which Rippon had taken. Looking around, he could see no sign of his partner.

“Rippon,” he shouted, wondering where he could be.

Rippon’s voice shouted back from the darkness.

“I’m over…..” his reply was cut abruptly short and replaced by a terrified scream.

“RIPPON!” Andrews shouted, running to where the scream had come from, “Where are you?”

Turning a corner, Andrews stopped dead in his tracks. Facing him was an ore container with a four foot hole ripped into the side. Stepping forward, he felt his foot squelch in something. Looking down, his eyes widened in horror as he saw the pool of blood that he was now standing in.

Suddenly, he heard a noise coming from within the crate.

“Rippon,” he shouted, “is that you?”

A wave of fear flooded over him. Raising his staser, he started to back away from the crate, failing to notice the large shape appearing from the darkness behind him.

Robertson and Hartley, also searching their sections, were having little luck.

“They must have got themselves into a bit of a jam,” Robertson said.

Hartley nodded in agreement.

Continuing their search, they were both wondering what could have happened to their crewmates and, what could have caused them to lose contact completely.

“Robertson,” Hartley suddenly said, “I know that this is going to sound strange, but,” he turned to look at his partner, “do you get the feeling that we’re being watched?”

Both men stopped in their tracks, Robertson swallowing hard.

“Don’t be silly,” he said in a strangulated whisper.

“You do then,” Hartley replied, his voice rising.

They looked at one another nervously before carrying on along the passageway.

“Check mate,” L.D. declared triumphantly, “that’s five nil.”

Captain Dorke pursed his lips and switched the 3-D console off.

“Yes, well,” he muttered, “I’ve rather a lot on my mind at the moment.”

Rising from his seat, the Captain crossed to the computer console and tapped in a flight information request.

“Typical,” he said sarcastically, “nothing available to Alpha Centauri for a month.”

L.D. turned to look at the Captain.

“Pardon?” the duck said.

Dorke sat glumly in his seat.

“Oh, nothing,” the Captain replied, “just checking holiday destinations.”

Suddenly, L.D. sat bolt upright in his chair, a serious look crossing his face.

“Captain,” he called, “I’m picking up a strange signal.”

Dorke swung his chair round to face the communications console.

“Where’s it coming from?” he demanded.

L.D. punched a data request into his terminal.

“I’m not sure,” he replied studying the information, “hang on,” he continued, “it seems to be coming from deep space.”

As L.D. finished, the lights and computer screens started to flicker and dim. Captain Dorke ran to the control console and punched in a request for a full systems report. Studying the information, his eyes widened in amazement.

“Something’s draining our power,” he gasped.

“Captain,” L.D. shouted, “the signal’s getting stronger.

Dorke punched at the controls and a small panel slid aside to reveal a large red button. Operating the inter-com, he spoke into it.

          “This is red alert,” he instructed, “I repeat, this is red alert. We have a power drain, all crew on standby.”

With that, he hit the red button and sirens began to wail all over the ship.

Down in the cargo hold, Stevenson and Lewis were having their ears assaulted by a loud whining and throbbing noise.

“What is it?” Lewis shouted, his hands clasped tightly over his ears.

Stevenson’s face was contorted in agony.

“I don’t know,” he shouted, “but I think we should get out of here – fast!”

As he finished speaking, he leant against the nearest storage crate but jumped back in surprise as he felt it pulse with energy.

“It’s the crates,” he shouted in horror, “there’s something in them.”

Almost immediately, the sound of tearing metal filled the hold. At first the noise seemed a long way off, but steadily the noise got nearer and nearer until they saw a crate less than ten feet away begin to bulge outwards….

Back on the Command Deck, L.D. was keeping a close eye on the availability of systems.

“The power drain is increasing,” he shouted to the Captain, “we must come out of hyper space or we’ll break up.”

“We can’t do that,” Dorke snapped fiercely, “if we do, we’ll be late back to Earth – and you know what that will mean.”

“Yes I know,” L.D. counter reacted, “we’ll blow our bonus. But I’d rather be a live duck without a bonus than a dead duck with one.”

The Captain sat thoughtfully for a moment.

“You’re right,” he finally conceded, “prepare to pull out.”

As he stabbed at the control deck, a steady whine filled the room as the ship pulled back into normal space. Looking intently at the viewing screen, Dorke studied the starfield before him, a concerned look suddenly crossing his face.

“What on Earth ……..,” he started.

He looked down at the control console and punched in a data request. Immediately, a page of information filled the screen before him.

L.D. looked across, wondering what was happening.

“What’s wrong? he asked.

Captain Dorke turned and looked at his companion, a look of total amazement on his face.

“We’re in the wrong part of space,” he replied, “we’ve been flying off course since we left the space station.”

L.D. was dumbfounded.

“Well where are we?” the duck asked.

“The computer doesn’t know,” the Captain replied with a look of growing horror on his face. “We’ve come out of hyper space in a totally uncharted sector – there’s no information at all.”

L.D. turned back to the communications console, a look of disbelief crossing his face as he realised the implications.

“That means,” he said, “if this power drain continues….”

The Captain finished his sentence for him.

“We’ll be drifting helplessly in the space void – forever……..”

The Night The Earth Moved – Chapter Two

I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for the next instalment of my blockbuster story – if you’re enjoying it make sure you tell everyone to have a look!

So here we go, sit back and enjoy.

CHAPTER TWO

          Captain Dorke was in a deep sleep, dreaming of inter-planetary positions when the loud bleeping of his com-link woke him with a start. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he grabbed the small mobile unit and jabbed a finger at the green receive button.

“What is it?” he grunted into the receiver.

“It’s L.D.” the voice at the other end said, “we may have a problem.”

“Oh, for pete’s sake,” the Captain snarled, swinging his white legs over the side of his bunk, “what now?”

“I think you’d better come up to the Command Deck,” L.D. replied.

“And why is that?” the Captain enquired.

There was a short pause before L.D. answered.

“Two of the crew have disappeared.”

The double doors of the Command Deck glided apart and Captain Dorke strode over to his chair. Dressed now in a silver shirt laced at the chest and tight fitting leather trousers with matching boots he made an imposing sight.

L.D., sitting in his usual position at the communications console now had a stocky uniformed man with short, brown hair standing to his right.

“Well, Sergeant Gatwin,” the Captain snapped, “what’s happened?”

Gatwin shuffled uncomfortably.

“It’s Dane and McCarthy, Sir,” he started, “they were supposed to have reported in over two hours ago but there’s no answer from either of their com-links.”

Dorke stared unnervingly at Gatwin through his blue tinted glasses.

“And where exactly were they supposed to be?” he asked.

“In the cargo hold,” the Sergeant answered nervously.

L.D. turned to look at Gatwin.

“Have you thought of looking for them?” he asked.

“Yes sir,” Gatwin replied, “we have a team down there now.”

Captain Dorke turned his chair back to face the data screens.

“Well, Sergeant,” he said dismissively, “kindly report back when you’ve

found them.”

Six heavy booted crewmen thundered down the metal steps leading to the cargo hold. Each was carrying a Specific Heat Atomic Fluctuation Tracer – Shaft for short – and heavy duty stasers. As they reached the bottom of the stairs, they formed a double line and stood waiting for instructions.

A small woman with shoulder length brown hair appeared at the top of the stairway clutching a clipboard.

“Right men,” she shouted, “your task is very simple.” She looked down at the men staring expectantly up at her. “Dane and McCarthy have lost themselves somewhere in the cargo hold,” she explained, “your task is to find them. Stevenson and Lewis,” she continued, looking down at her clipboard, “you take sections one and two, Andrews and Rippon, sections three and four and finally Robertson and Hartley five and six – any questions?”

Corporal Andrews stepped forward.

“Yes Lieutenant Jennings,” he shouted, “how often do we report in?”

Jennings looked down at her clipboard again.

“You will each report in every half hour until Dane and McCarthy are found,” she instructed. “Failure to do so will result in a loss of bonus payment.” A wry grin crossed her face. “Is that understood?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” the men chorused.

“Good,” Jennings replied, “now, if you would all care to make your way to the assigned areas you can begin your search.”

As she turned to leave, a final instruction crossed her mind.

“Gentlemen,” she shouted, turning back to them, “remember to keep your Shafts in your hands at all times.”

With that, she turned and strutted from the hold as the men disappeared into the dimness around them.

Back on the Command Deck, the Captain and L.D. were deep in discussion.

“Well, L.D.,” Dorke said.

          “Yes thanks,” the little duck replied.

A puzzled look crossed the Captain’s face.

“What?” he asked.

“You asked me if I was well,” L.D. said.

“No I didn’t,” snapped the leather clad Captain.

Thankfully, before the conversation could deteriorate into a full scale argument the Captain’s com-link started to bleep. Pulling it from it’s sheath, he held it to his ear and spoke into the transmitter.

“Dorke,” he snapped.

Pushing his glasses to the bridge of his nose, the Captain listened intently.        “O.K. Jennings,” he replied into his com-link, “keep me informed.”

Dorke re-sheathed the communicator and turned to his companion.

“Well, L.D.” he started.

The duck buried his head under his wing.

“Don’t start that again,” he squawked, “just tell me what’s happening.”

“That was Jennings,” the Captain said, “they’ve mounted a full search of the hold so they should have found those two pillocks shortly. Right,” he concluded.

“What Captain?” L.D. asked.

Dorke turned and threw him a grin.

“Fancy a game of 3-D chess?”

In a white, sterile looking room, the two men from the space station sat staring at an information monitor.

“One has activated early,” the first said.

“No matter,” replied the second, tapping at the keyboard before him.

“What should I do?” the first asked.

“Simple,” the second replied, “activate the rest…….”

The Night The Earth Moved – an (almost) original Science Fiction story!

I’d forgotten that years ago I had a go at a bit of writing. As a teenager it was angst ridden poetry that I think I shall consign to the back of the wardrobe (unless you’re really lucky!)

However, I also had a bash at a bit of an homage to the sci-fi genre and self published a book called ‘The Night The Earth Moved’. It’s a very tongue in cheek offering that leans more towards ‘Carry On’ than Frank Herbert but it was fun writing it and that’s what counts.

And of course, what sci-fi homage would be complete without a fair spattering of Doctor Who references – which of course ties in nicely with the programme’s 50th anniversary….but that’s for another day.

But, you’re not going to get it all in one go. Oh no, you lucky readers. You’re going to be drip-fed, chapter by chapter the exciting adventures of Captain Don Dorke and the valiant crew of the Excelsior IV.

So here we go, sit back and enjoy the first chapter of ‘The Night The Earth Moved’…….

CHAPTER ONE

           The space station revolved gently as it hung in the timeless void of space. Attached to Docking Bay Two was the Excelsior IV, a cargo ship that had been accompanying the station on it’s slow revolution for several hours. On top of the ship, a large scanner jerked spasmodically – as though the cargo ship itself was impatient to get away.

Inside the vessel, the doors to the Command Deck glided apart and a man wearing a silver space suit strode through. Crossing to the chair facing the main viewing screen, he stood breathing deeply before slumping heavily into it. Glaring through his tinted glasses at the screens before him, the silver suited figure stroked the short beard covering the lower half of his face before bringing his clenched fist down fiercely onto the arm of his chair.

“Idiots,” he shouted through clenched teeth, “don’t they realise that some of us have deadlines to meet.”

From the back of the Command Deck a strange voice answered him.

“What’s happened?”

The Captain turned to face the source of the question. Sitting in his usual position at the communications console was the Captain’s faithful assistant and fellow adventurer, L.D. the duck. Critically injured in a space battle, L.D. had been rebuilt through the wonders of bionic surgery and, supplied with an implanted voice box and bionic wings had quickly become an essential part of the Excelsior IV’s crew.

“Well,” L.D. repeated, “what’s happened?”

The Captain took his glasses off and squeezed the bridge of his nose.

“Earth’s on red alert,” he replied in disbelief, “getting security clearance has put us four hours behind schedule.”

L.D.  jabbed at the console before him and brought a list of data up on the screens facing him.

“Well,” he said, studying the information, “if we go at full whack, we should just about do it.”

“That is not the point,” the Captain hissed.

L.D. was exasperated.

“Well what is then?” he asked.

“This,” the Captain snarled, throwing his security pass across the room. “They’ve spelt my name wrong – they missed the E off. It’s spelt D-O-R-K-E. My name’s Dorke – Don Dorke.

Deep in the bowels of the Space Station, two men sat watching the Excelsior IV as it’s rear thrusters burst into life. As the ship detached itself from the Docking Bay, the first of the two men turned to his associate.

“Are they in place?” he asked.

“Everything is prepared,” the second replied.

They turned back to look at the screen and watched expressionless as the Excelsior IV glided away and became nothing more than a speck in the starfield.

Captain Dorke sat staring intently at the data which filled the screens before him. Jabbing at a button on the intercom, he leant forward.

“Crew,” he instructed, “prepare to go hyper.”

Flicking a switch to the right of the computer terminal, the starfield on the viewing screen became a blur of white as the ship entered hyper space and it’s long journey back to Earth.

Rising from his chair, Dorke flicked back his short brown hair and walked towards the doorway.

“Right, L.D. ” he said, “I’m going for a rest period. Everything’s locked on course so we should be home in three days – just in time for the hoverbike rally.”

“Aye, aye Captain,” L.D. replied.

Dorke turned from the doorway.

“If you need me,” he said, “I’ll be in my quarters watching some training vids.”

He winked knowingly at L.D. and, with a grin on his face, strolled from the deck.

In the lower cargo hold, two uniformed technicians were doing their rounds. Thousands of metal crates formed rows of interlocking corridors, which created a maze of passageways that you could lose yourself in for days.

The first of the technicians, Dane, turned to his associate.

“Quiet, isn’t it,” he whispered.

“Yeah, eerie,” his partner, McCarthy, answered. “Dane,” he continued.

“What?” Dane whispered back.

“Why are we whispering?” McCarthy shouted, startling his unsuspecting colleague.

Continuing to stroll along the walkways, the two men inspected the crates at intermittent intervals, ensuring that everything was in order. As Dane inspected another of the crates a questioning look crossed his face.

“What’s in these things?” he said to McCarthy.

“Dunno,” McCarthy answered helpfully, “some sort of metal ore I think.”

As Dane opened his mouth to ask another question, the hold reverberated with the sound of tearing metal.

The two men looked at each other in amazement.

“That was section four,” McCarthy shouted, “come on.”

Grabbing their stasers, both men ran along the passageways, expertly negotiating the maze of corridors. Turning the corner which lead to section four, both men stopped in amazement – the crate standing before them now had a three foot round hole ripped into it’s side.

“What on Earth could have done that?” Dane said, open mouthed. “Those crates are six inch thick steel.”

Tentatively, they approached the crate. As Dane studied it, he placed his hand and arm inside.

“Be careful,” McCarthy warned, “from the way that metal’s been bent, the hole was forced from inside the crate.”

“Don’t worry,” Dane said dismissively, “there’s nothing in…….” His voice stopped suddenly as his arm was grabbed by something from within the crate.

“Help me,” he screamed, “for God’s sake help me.”

McCarthy lifted his gun but stood helpless as his friend was dragged inside the container. A blood curdling scream filled the hold but was abruptly silenced. As McCarthy turned to run, he stopped in his tracks, the sight of what stood before him filling him with terror. His screams filled the hold until, like Dane’s before him, were cut abruptly short and the hold once again returned to an eerie silence….