Dark Water

Cast: Captain Harker
Premise: The SS Betty is called to answer a mysterious distress call!

rating: 0+x

The Betty is is rusty and showing her age pretty severely. A mixture of steam and smoke tumbles from her stacks as she cuts through the warm waters. Beside her a pod of dolphins cavorts, skipping over the waves. The old steamer has a central cabin area with cargo holds fore and aft. She mounts a fifty cal on the forecastle, though it is shrouded under canvas. It would appear today is laundry day, for a line has been stretched across the aft deck, and clothes are out drying. Crew loiters back there as well, playing cards and socializing. Upon on the flying bridge the Captain is smoking a cigar and watching the water ahead.

Sunny day in the south Cuban Caribbean. Your clients were offloaded in to Cuba a few hours ago and you're not expected back for several days. And you're being -paid- for it! Its great. A few days of vacation you're being paid for.

Vic sips on her glass of whiskey, enjoying the luxury of the ice tinkling inside the tumbler as she does so. A puff on the cuban and she sighs, "Gotta love the Caribbean."

The man from the radio house comes out then… "Captain! There's a distress call on the wireless!"

Captain Harker steps into the cabin to set her drink down in a spot designed just for that purpose, then she heads to the radioman, "Yeah? What are the map coordinates?"

"ABout 40 miles away, we can be there in an hour. She says she's been holed by something, not sure what, and she's taking on water fast. They are talking spanish, but they keep mentioning 'dark water'."

Captain Harker turns to her second mate, who is manning the controls. "Full steam ahead Johnson. Bearing XX by XX." She quickly grabs up her charts, moving to the small work table for just this sort of thing while she checks her figures.

"Aye captain! Full stream!" He reaches out, pulling the lever back, a bell rings, then he pushes it forward all the way, three bells. After a moment, another bell (From down below rings) indicating that power is going to full speed… The boilers below rumble as flame comes up to speed.

Captain Harker checks her charts and double checks them, then she jots down a message for the radioman. "Send this to Havana Coast Guard." The message is the basic stuff, announcing their current position and that they are responding to a distress signal from unknown ship. Then she opens up the P.A. and tells the crew what is going on. "I want the deck guns unlimbered boys, just in case their's trouble, but most likely were are going to be fishing the poor bastards out of the drink from the sound of it."

ON the fo'castle, men rush to remove the pitch-treated canvas cover from the forward 2 incher in a coordinated move. The screws come to power as the ship starts its long, slow swing around to reorient on the new bearing. "Aye captain! Deck Gun unlimbered, wireless is contacting Cuban Coastal Patrols!"

Captain Harker puffs on her cigar as she watches her crew work the ship. She grins around the stubby remains of the cuban tobacco, savoring the excitement building within her. "Dark water huh?" The sound of it stirs something in the back of her head and she says, "Johnson, I'll be in my cabin if you need me." Then she heads out, puffing a trail of thick smoke as she makes her way down to her cabin to check out her books.

[OOC] Captain Harker activates "Been there, Done that" to have some inkling of what the dark water might be.

Dark Water. Dark water? Black water maybe? Negro Agua… NEGRO agua! You've heard sailors talk about it. Mostly from the Burmuda Triangle… it's said that dark water comes from under neath and swallows ships whole… It covers as far as the eye can see, a sea that just turns a darker shade of blue… almost black. Even in the sun.

Captain Harker: Great Occult + (+ - 0 0) [Final: 4]

[OOC] Captain Harker says, "should have done that earlier. lol"

Occult.. occult… you know, it's really much the same as the lore on Dark Water. theres nothing specific to the concept. There's a lot of talk of krakens and crap like that coming out of patches of dark water, and then an old mariners tale about how when the moon touches the horizon, it creates water with an evil disposition…

Captain Harker puffs at her cigar and sighs, putting the book away. She makes sure all her stuff is secure, then heads up to the bridge. "Okay boys, keep your eyes out, we could be dealing with some nasty mumbo jumbo like that last trip into Indonesia." Around the ship the sailors start mumbling to each other, pulling out lucky charms and holy symbols to ward off potential evil.

Captain Harker pulls out her binoculars and steps out onto the flying bridge, watching the horizon.

Captain Harker: Great Alertness + (- + + 0) [Final: 5]

As the ship steams at its fullest steam, a slight smudge on the horizon can be seen. As you get closer, the smudge gets fuller, darker. Deeper. Taller. Then… over the horizon you come… and you see a field of burning oil. A slick several miles across, burning atop the waves.

Captain Harker frowns and calls down to the bridge, "Radio to Havana that we've spotted a field of burning oil. I'm still trying to make out the size. Looks to be several miles across." She leans on the rail to keep watching, calling an acknowledgment to the lookout who reports much the same thing a few minutes later.

Havana radios back in a few minutes that they have lost contact with The White Cloud, a fuel carrier traveling from the refineries of Maracaibo to Cuba. It carried approximately 300,000 gallons of aviation fuel, 300,000 gallons of gasoline and 100,000 of crude oil in addition to its bunker load.

[OOC] Gaston says, "Awareness again."

Captain Harker: Great Alertness + (0 - + +) [Final: 5]

Maybe… Maybe it's the smoke blotting the sun. Maybe its a cloud. But no, you know somewhere in your gut that it's not. A shadow moves away from the fire, the sort of shadow that is under the water, a deep thing… it moves away now, twords your ship… slowly. Maybe 10-15 naughts of speed.. but it slows and turns directions, seeming to move off in to the the distance. Large. Very very large. Dark Water.

Captain Harker calls down to the bridge, "Be ready on the engines. We don't want to drift into nearly a million gallons of burning fuel…" Then her voice trails off and che lifts the glasses to the horizon once more. "Jesus Mary Joseph! Would you look at that."

The crew just sort of stops what it's doing, looking at what they see. One crosses himself, another backs away slowly…

"Engines three quarters. Steady as she goes." She then calls to her first mate, "I want Chang aloft. He's got the best eyes on the ship. Any signs of that blackness near my ship and I want to know about it." She corrects the course a few times, approaching the burning oil at an angled approach always so that she can turn the ship as quickly as possible if needed.

The Blackness recedes, disappearing in to the distance.. It's hard to see unless its close to you, almost impossible to spot at a distance and not visible on the horizon. In a few minutes, the flames start to die down as Cuban flying boats make their way through the air, circling… but none seem to be landing. They land when there are survivors…

Captain Harker sighs, "Looks like we are going to find nothing but floaters. I want a crew on the hoses. We're going to go in, take a peek. Probably wasting our time, but we can't let those flyboys do all the looking."

[OOC] Gaston nods. Give me a leadership check, since its as close to 'captancy' as we have for a skill
Captain Harker: Superb Leadership + (+ - - +) [Final: 5]

The ship is able to slowly make its way in to the flaming oil slick at 1/10th speed, men on the rails of the ship with hoses, pumping sea water to keep flames from the ship. AS you make your way further in, it's easy to see the capsized hull of the light freighter, propellers in the air, bow down. She's not long for the surface. Massive holes are ripped in the side of the vessel, like claws pulled out sections.

Captain Harker: Great Occult + (0 0 + 0) [Final: 5]

Vision clouds, the smoke moves in. The air ripples and then you stand in the jungle. A Black puma circles you, snarling. It growls, bearing teeth, in the way that felines do. Sleek and dark, it circles. Beyond it, beyond you, across a stream, stands a man, an iconic man. A man in an olive suit with a red arm band… His eyes are closed, his arms crossed over his chest, his skin palid.

Victoria clutches at the rail as the vision overtakes her. She watches it unfold before her, then when it snaps she gasps and takes a moment to hold on and get her equilibrium back. Once that's accomplished she looks over at her mate, "I think we've seen enough Mister. Let's get out of here."

"Aye Aye, Captain…" Says the first mate. THe rudder kicks, the propellers catch… and the ship starts to glide away from the area as the stricken fuel freighter slides beneath the waves….

Captain Harker makes sure to note the location and the time of the sinking. These are called in the authorities.

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