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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The Rising - Chapter 97: The View From The Pier

Skinner stood at the end of the pier and watched the coastguard boat heading out into the sea. It was his job to guard the docking point on the coastline.

When they had arrived, a large truck had been waiting for them. Its container was empty, ready and waiting to take their new brothers and sisters away. Where they were being taken, Skinner didn’t know.

They have to survive the landing first, he thought and looked up at the sky to see a set of blinking lights appear overhead, then start to drop very quickly.

The coastguard boat changed direction to where the pilot thought the lights would hit the water ahead of them. Skinner could hear the faint sound of the plane’s engines struggling overhead. In a matter of seconds, the plane splashed down into the sea and the flashing lights were extinguished.

‘They’re down. The plane’s still in one piece. We’ve got to move fast,’ a voice said over Skinner’s crackling radio.

So far, everything’s going according to plan. I hope Tom’s okay.

Skinner’s radio crackled into life again.

‘The door’s open. Hey, where the hell’s he going?’ then in a different, distant voice, someone shouted, ‘Kill him!’ The sound of a short loud burst of gunfire was transmitted over the airwaves and the volume shocked Skinner into almost dropping his radio.

‘Skinner, this is Peter. Come in,’ the radio crackled.

‘This is Skinner.’

‘Tom’s coming towards you. You have to kill him.’

‘What? Why?’

‘He went crazy. He refused to treat any of the passengers and attacked me.’

‘But how can I kill him? I haven’t got any weapons.’

‘There should be something you can use in the front cab of the truck. Something we’ll need in case this lot get too rowdy.’

‘Okay,’ Skinner said, ‘Leave it to me.’

Skinner ran for the truck and flung the driver’s door open. He frantically searched around the seats and found nothing, but opening the glove box revealed a pistol and two silver-plated daggers. He took one of the daggers in his hand and went back onto the pier.

He didn’t know what to think about what he’d heard over the radio. The idea that Tom had refused to inject any of the passengers with vampire blood was heartening. Skinner hoped that he had stood up for the humans and did what he could to stop the vampires, as futile a stand as that may have been.

On the other hand, Skinner had seen him flip out at the outpost that morning and wondered if he might actually have to use the dagger on his new friend.

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