Continuous Titanic Story Use Your Imaginations


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Jul 14, 2000
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Michael, I'm holding my breath, sitting on the edge of my seat, and wearing out the 'refresh' button on my browser's tool bar, all waiting for you to post the rest of the story.
....WELL!!??? Come on man, for the sake of humankind post the rest of it. PLEASE finish what you've started so I can peel my a_s off of this seat and go take a bath. (After waiting since Thursday night for the next episode of your story, either the bananas in the trash are spoiling, or I am getting a bit RIPE!!)

Yuri
 

Dave Hudson

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Michael,
Yuri has a point. I'm starting to miss too much school. It's getting harder to come up with reasons to go to the library to check the board!

POST! POST! POST!

David
 
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Michael that's great, I can't wait. ...um, can someone help me get out of this chair?
(maybe I can roll myself into the bathroom, turn on the shower, then tip myself over into the tub. The water should begin to dissolve this crust that has grown up ...well, nevermind.)

erk, squeak.
erk, squeak.
erk, squeak.

erk, squeak.
erk, squeak.

twist, twist, twist.
"Psssshhhhhh"
steam, steam, steam.

"Uh 1, uh 2, UH THREEE!"

"SPLASHCRASH!"

"Pssssshhhhhh"

"...Ahhhhhh heaven."


YS
 
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And poor Yuri goes over the side.

Lightoller:Toss him a life preserver!

E.J. Smith; Bloody hell! Toss him the anchor!
proud.gif


Seriously, it's been quite the weekend, but I've got a timetable to go by that I'll be using as the outline,(Thank you very much Eaton & Hass!), and tech stuff to flesh it out with. (Thank you very much David Brown, Roy Mengot, Parks Stephenson et al.)

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Terri and Mike spent several minutes strolling around in the vecinity of the bridge and even worked their way around to the other side to see if they could catch anybody else coming up. There was quite a bit of activity inside the bridge, but they didn't dare go inside. Nobody needed input from either of them. From the wind that was blowing in their face as they worked their way forward, they could tell that the ship had picked up a nice chunk of speed.

"Why the run north? I seem to recall some public discussion about it several years back." Teri commented.
"Parks thought that Smith was trying to get closer to the shipping lanes." Mike said "Recall that the ship went further south then she would have otherwise to try and avoid the ice, but most of the Atlantic shipping did not. Recall the Californian was between 10 to 20 miles further north, and if you check some of the charts, quite a few others were as well. Smith knows this"

The jumping around between past and present tense was giving both of them a headache.

"But driving a ship forward with a damaged bow...that would force water in at a faster rate!"
"Yeah...and likely aggravate any structural damage done."

Ahead, they saw a shadowy form poke his head outside from a door. The light which barely shone out told them it was Colonel Gracie who by now was poking around to see what was going on. He withdrew befor they had a chance to offer any kind of greeting.

"By now," Mike said,"Somebody is rousting Andrews out of his staterrom and my bet is that he's on the bridge already. Boxhall is probably back as well. What say we go below to see what they saw?"
"Hadn't we better get back to our cabin?"Teri said "You have that thermal suit you need to get on beneath those Edwardian duds of yours."
"We have some time." Mike shrugged
I wonder how much? Teri thought.The time situation was a bit uncertain even then

They stole their way forward and shot down the stairs that were abaft the bridge then down and into the enclosed "A" deck promanade. They eventually made their way down to the Post Office. If anybody saw them, they ignored the couple and small wonder. They could see the mail postal workers working frantically to try and bring up sacks of mail from the flooding mailroom.

Working their way back up to E deck, they worked their way to the cargo hatches and they could see the tarpaulines billowing up because of the displaced air. Eventually, they worked their way up to the forepeak where they could hear for themselves the air escaping from the vent.

"What are you two doing here?"
Surprised, Teri and Mike jerked up and around to see a firman staring at them.
"Taking a look for ourselves at what's going on." Mike said.
"Were taking on water." the fireman snapped "God only knows what, but I think we hit something. The two 'o you best get to your cabins and get your lifebelts on."
"We did hit something." Teri said. She wouldn't be revealing anything he hadn't likely figured out for himself. "Iceberg. We saw it happen ourselves. It didn't feel like much up there. We were wondering how serious the damage was."
"It's serious." The fireman said."Let me show you something."
The fireman led them up to D deck then to the enterance to the stair tower. They could hear the water coming in long befor they saw it. Mike shook his head, then turned to the fireman after watching the waters swirling below for a few moments.
"Allright, I'm convinced. Water is coming into the forepeak, both cargo holds, the mailroom..."
"Add boiler room 6 to that list. Now on your way. I 'ave work to do."
"Were out of here." Teri said agreeably. Several minutes later, they were entering their cabin. Modesty of any kind took a back seat as they both peeled out of their period costumes and pulled on the light but surprisingly effective exposure suits. Then the Edwardian clothes came back on. Finally, they grabbed their lifebelts and helped each other put the things on.
"So what's the game plan now?"Teri asked.
"We keep our eyes and ears open and our traps shut...if we can. You still go in Collapsible C and I ride the elevator into the drink."
"I wish you'd reconsider that." Teri shuddered."Besides, how do you know I ever made it into any boat."
"Photographic analysis." Mike explained. "We found a photo of you in that boat which was in a private collection. The trick is going to be avoiding giving your name to anyone on the Carpathia. Teri Lynn Milch is not on the survivor list you know. Neither am I."
"All I have to be is an administrative oversight!" Teri said "Dammit Mike, you could end up being a real casualty!"
"Not if I can help it." Mike already had his homing/recall beacon secreted in his clothing as well as an electronic confirmation that the operations center had a positive lock on him. If that device was damaged or destroyed, he still had an implant that would ensure is recovery at a specified moment in time. Teri had a similar device surgically implanted.

They had, in effect, been temporally Lojacked, but knowing it was there while seated comfortably in their homes was one thing,knowing that the crunch was on and that their lives depended on these things working as advertised was another.

"You better be right."
"We'll know soon enough, won't we?" Mike adjusted the last strap on her lifebelt while she did the same for them."Time to get out of here."
Befor leaving, they keyed the recall control for some of their equipment and baggage and watched as it sparkled out of existance. It reminded them both of the Star Trek transporter, and it was re-assuring to see that it worked as it was supposed to. When they left their cabins, it was with the certain knowladge that it would be for the last time.
"You have your weapon?" Mike asked. His heavy Colt .45 was in a shoulder holster beneath his suit jacket.
"Right here." Teri patted her skirts. There was an easily missed slit in one side that would allow her to get at her Browning automatic and the spare clips of ammunition if she needed it. She hoped she wouldn't, but she could think of one occasion when she'd been forced to use it."let's hope we don't have to drop the hammer on somebody."
"Yeah." Mike said, but he had a sick feeling that befor this night was done, he'd have to. Some accounts held that the panic near the end was pretty ugly.
 
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It was too quiet out in the passageways. Their instincts told them that all kinds of alarms by rights should have been sounding, but the historical fact was that none ever were. The math was dirt simple; too many people and not enough boats to stuff them all into coupled with the certain knowladge that this ship was going to seink equaled the worst panic imaginable. This was something that Captain Smith wisely wanted to avoid. Were it otherwise, it would be impossible to save what few could be gotten away.

This is not to say that the passageway was totally deserted. it wasn't. a fewstewards were up and about and passengers...more curious then anxuios...were poking their heads out of their cabins and asking questions.
"What is going on?"
"Have we stopped?"
"I thought I felt a shudder" one woman said to a steward who just shrugged.
Some either were not so confused or were loath to show it. As they made their way to the Grand Staircase, Mike and Teri saw people who weredressed in evening cloths who were looking for crew to question. They saw one couple who already had their lifebelts in hand.

Even befor they made it up to the boat deck, they could hear the thunder of excess steam being vented and the din was enough to drive them back inside.

"Damn!" Teri blurted. The expletive won her a few startled looks from some passers by, but they said nothing. Even if decorum prevented them from saying the same thing, they certainly thought the same thing
"Tell me about it." Mike said, his ears still ringing from the noise. That's where the soft earplugs came into play. They were flesh coloured to make them difficult to see. They might stil draw some notice, but neither Mike nor Teri were going to be bothered with answering questions. When they went back out onto the boatdeck, they could see crewmembers already engaged in uncovering and swinging out the boats.

Working their way forward, they looked down into the forward well deck where they could see some people laughing it up as they kicked around chunks of ice. They wouldn't be laughing for long.
"They're not taking this too seriously." Teri remarked.
"As far as they know, they have no reason to do so."
"That will change." This from an ashen faced Captain Smith. "You two have been seen below decks."
"We saw the collision." Teri said,"And we've been looking around. I doubt we could tell you anything your officers haven't told you already."
"No. You can't." Smith said."Can I trust you two to keep this to yourselves?"
"Oh yes." Mike assured."We don't have enough boats aboard, we're south of the shipping lanes and were sinking..." They could all feel the odd slant in the deck. It wasn't visible "That adds up to a panic in the making and we have no intention of being responsible for that. If anyone asks, we'll play stupid."
"It won't be very convincing."Smith chuckled humourlessly."There's more to the two of you then meets the eye. The passengers haven't paid it any mind, but my officers have noticed that neither of you are quite what you seem."
"So what's being done?" Teri wondered, as if she didn't already know.
"You see the boats being uncovered, and I've already been twice to the Marconi Room. Hopefully, somebody is close by."
Wishful thinking both Mike and Teri knew. The closest ship they knew of was the Californian and they already knew the realities of that story.
"I would encourage you both to get in a boat if you can."
"I'll take my chances with the rest of the men, but I'll see to it that Teri get's off."
Smith's eyebrows arched up curiously at the use of the first name rather then the more formal "Miss Milch" but he said nothing about it. He had a lot on his mind and troubling himself with more trivial protocols was not high on his list of priorities.

Captain Smith glanced back at the activity, and the two researchers could only guess at what a wrench it had to be for the man. Here he was, the Captain of the ship, and for all that some would think he should have done more, the fact was that there was nothing he could do now except call the shots and trust his crew to do as he said.

He wanted to do more, and he couldn't.
 
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Send them back to boiler room 5! They have to see what causes the bulkhead to collapse. And they need to get some pictures of the mystery ship that is seen nearby!
Don't forget to take a trip through the main 3rd class stairwell to discover once and for all if the steerage passengers were forced back by the crew.


This is so cool. Its like being there, but without having to get wet!

Yuri
 
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Neither Mike nor Teri had an especial interest in going back to Third Class and little need to do so. The tiny monitors they had set in place throughout the ship took care of that for them and there was little which escaped the notice of the collection of researchers at the Time Corps Operations center who watched the data stream as it came in.

The barricades, so far as they could see, were never opened. It wasn't really a concious and dedicated to keep them back so much as it was the sort of inertia that one finds on any large ship. In all the confusion, the gates were simply forgotten and the passengers were left largely to fend for themselves.

The fact that some found their way up is as clear as those people who were seen to make it to the boat deck. others lost in the confusing maze of passageways would never make it out befor the ship foundered. The wrench came in watching people drown in spaces where they were trapped and at least one young woman got up from the monitors and walked away from it so she wouldn't have to endure any more. Inger Sheil saw that and got up from her post to follow. She found the woman in the break room sobbing uncontrollably. All she could do was stand by and let her cry it out. Eventually, Ellan Keener managed to regain some sense of composure aided and abetted by a stiff shot of brandy which Inger pulled out of the refrigerator. This wasn't the first time a researcher had lost it when watching tragedy unfold.

"How do you do it?" Ellan asked.
"Do what?" Inger wondered
"Keep from losing it? I thought I could. I mean, it was all so long ago...these people are dead and gone and it shouldn't be a problem staying detatched..."
"Now who told you that?" Inger had shed her fair share of tears, particularly when children had come to a bad end. That Lusitania mission several months ago had been brutal and all the more so in so much as she now had a young son of her own and a daughter on the way. One young lad she had seen drown by way of the monitors had been an uncanny lookalike for her own boy. She'd downed two brandies that day. "Dear, the day you can look on horror and tragedy as it happens and remain detached is the day you resign from the human race."
"Have you ever made The Trip first hand?" Ellan was a candidate for a mission, what they all referred to as "The Trip." Inger shook her head slowly
"No, and I don't forsee it in the near future either." She didn't mention that she wanted to, but her unborn daughter was the prime concern. Funny things sometimes happened in temporal displacements. One slightly elderly member had gone back to the HMS bounty and when he came back, something had effectively rendered him ten years younger. Another had made The Trip, came back and dropped dead as soon as he emerged from the displacement module. He had only been 25, yet the autopsy had revealed the cause of death as extreme old age.

Inger just wasn't going to chance it with a non-consenting party. She'd consider it for herself when nobody else could be hurt if something went wrong.

"And what of Mike and Teri?"
"They'll have some other jobs. I have them both tapped to go back and watch the Principessa Jolanda fiasco. They ought to love that one! After this, they're going to need some comic relief."
" Maybe, but somehow..." Ellan said somberly"...I don't think they'll ever laugh at a sinking again."
Inger shrugged.
"I don't know. They're pretty resiliant, and Mike would find a way to lampoon the end of the world."
"I hope so. They still have a lot of work to do. Teri especially. She'll see the worst of it."
For Mike, the mission would end whe he went swimming, but for Teri, there would be the long trip on the Carpathia, the sad entry into New York, and the Senate Inquiry to deal with.
"You don't know the half of it." Inger remarked. She had a feeling that by the time this was over, Teri would find herself in envy of the dead.
"Think you can get back to work now?"
"I think so." Ellan said woodenly. They got up and headed back to the operations center. When they arrived, it was just in time to watch mike and Teri steal away from the boat deck and head down below.
"What the hell are those two up to now?" Inger demanded.
"They're going down to Boiler Room Five" One of the controllers said. "God protect them. That place is about to go to Hell!"
 
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What the hell does Mike think he's doing? Inger wondered silently. But even as she was thinking he was off on some foolhardy quest, she thought that he never took risks without a good reason. There had been something of a controversy over whether the bulkhead between Boiler Rooms Five and Six had collapsed or the just the door in the coal bunker.

The smart money was on the bunker door, and Mike was after the information. He was the sort of bloke who wanted to see for himself what was going on. Commendable perhaps, but she could think of two missions where that habit had almost gotten him killed.
"Get monitors thirty seven to forty five on line...now!" Inger snapped out. Ellan Keener, her composure recovered from some of what she'd seen worked some controls and the image came up on the display screens.

One monitor was focused on the door to the coal bunker. Water was spraying out the edges of the door with respectable force, and the deckplates were already covered with water. They could see some of the suction hoses that the firemen had rigged, even though they were nearly submerged. Alarmingly, that door had started to bulge.

Cal Haines was present, and he nodded somberly at what he saw. Years ago, he had argued that the watertight bulkheads themselves were too well built to just collapse, and it would seem that he was right.

"My god! It's going to go anytime now." one of the other operators said."If anybody is still in there...."
"There was." Inger said. The unfortunate Fireman Shepherd with the broken leg. He never got out of there."Don't come unglued on me now boys."
It was funny how people reacted to all of this. This wasn't 100 year old history in a book. It was real and it was now. Oddly enough, now that Ellen had gotten it out of her system, she was starting to hold up better then anybody.

On the Titanic, Teri Milch gave voice to what Inger was thinking when Mike tapped her on the shoulder, told her to "Stay put." and ran off. She went off after him.
"Mike, what the hell do you think you're doing?"
The un-ladylike expletive raised some eyebrows, but Teri was not inclined to defend her choice of words. If people didn't like it....well....she could offer them an uncomfortable place to stuff their opinions. Mike turned around briefly and held up his hand.
"Teri...stay put!"
"No joy, mate! Where you go, I go!" she said as she ran after him.
Mke just shook his head and moved on. He didn't have time to debate this.

Back inside the brightly lit ship, they worked their way past milling groups of confused passengers and down one deck after another, deeper into the hull. They could hear the ominous groaning of the metal, and they knew what it meant.

"Not to worry, the break-up is an hour and a half away." Mike said as quietly as possible.
"Still gives me the creeps." Teri growled.
"Yeah. Me too." He admitted.

They finally made it down to E deck and shot up Scotland Road until they found the ladder going down. They made it to the ladder going down to Boiler Room Five just in time to hear a loud screech, a bang and see the massive flow of water rushing inside. Several firemen rushed up out of the rapidly flooding space and nearly knocked them down on the way out. One of them paused to stare back at them. It was Fireman Barrett.
"What are you two doing down here?" he asked incredulously
"Trying to find a way out." Teri said lamely.
"Try going up!" he snapped.
Mike looked down at the roiling mass of water in the boiler room. Lights were already arcing a deep electric blue.
"What happened?"
"What do you think happend?" Barrett retorted."Something gave up the ghost and we lost the boiler room. Now why don'tcha two get out of here? While you can? We just lost a good man down there and if you hang about, you'll be joining him!"
The man didn't pause to see if they took the advice. he turned about and headed up. His next stop would be the boat deck.

Below them, the influx had slowed noticably, but the water was still rising rapidly and some residual steam was coming up out as well. It wouldn't be long befor it was welling up out of the hatch.
"You think they got it at the ops center?" Teri asked.
"You tell me." Mike said."You placed the monitors."
"Had a fine time of it too." Teri said. The trick had been to set them in place while several men were watching without having them take notice."Tried the flirting I'm-so-available" routine and they just looked the other way."
"Whatever works." Mike grunted "Let's get the hell out of here befor we end up as fish food."
"I'll vote for that!" Teri agreed, eagerly following him up the ladder.

They need not have worried about the collapse being caught for posterity. In the ops center, they crew watched horrified as the door to the bunker literally blew out, slammed against a boiler, and a solid stream of water rushed in. Another monitor caught Shepherd struggling vainly towards the ladder that would have taken him to safety. He was overwhelmed in seconds, but his end was mercifully quick. The violent deluge pushed him up against a valve that cracked his skull.
"Sweet Jesus!" that one operator said.
"Yeah." Ellan agreed.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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Lady Amelia Stewart (Amy Sheffield) paused at the railing of the Promenade Deck and stared up at the stars blanketing the sky. It would be midnight in an hour, and most ladies of her age and status were likely in bed to ward off the unseasonable cold chill in the air, but Amy counted on that cold air to clear her mind so she could think about her circumstances.
Her father, desparate to absolve himself of a great debt owed to the Duke of Lancashire, had weakly agreed to an arranged marriage between the Duke's prodigal son and herself. Had her brother, Andrew, not heard of the devious plot, she would have been trapped in a hopeless marriage to the scoundrel and sentenced to a life of scandal, intrigue and misery, perhaps even a dreadful plague brought upon her by his philandering ways. Andrew had whisked her away in the night, giving her passage to London and a safe retreat with a relative of trusted servants devoted to the young count and countess. But Amy had lost the address upon reaching London, and in a panic, answered a handbill posted at the train station advertising for young brides for American men in the Western territories. The marriage broker gave her the name of the man she had contracted to marry. Jordan Farrell. He was not much older than she, and the description in the letter indicated that he was a man of integrity and hard work, yet given to kindness as indicated by the colorful petals of a wildflower from Oregon Territory pressed into the page.
As she pondered whether or not to continue her trek across the American continent to fulfill this marriage contract, or disappear into the expanse and find her own way, she heard the clanging of a bell from the crow's nest and a rustle of energy above her. Leaning far out over the rail to see what all the fuss about, a dark mass appeared off the starboard side, growing larger with every minute. She couldn't tell what it was, but sensed imminent danger and dashed inside the waiting room to climb up the Grand Staircase. She hurried out onto the boat deck and watched as frantic officers took to the side to see if the object had been struck. She heard nothing. She felt nothing, but the pale expression on one of the officer's face revealed that something had happened. Peering between the lifeboats, she saw the object was an iceberg. Pieces of it fell to the deck below, so she knew they had made contact with it. But it was the officer's face she would never forget. In his eyes she saw the fate of the ship. Standing in shock for just a moment, she shook herself into action and quietly retreated to her cabin to retrieve what she could carry before returning to the boat deck.
 
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With the exception of the incident down in Boiler Room#5, the only way that Teri...or Mike for that matter...could describe the Titanic's sinking was anti-climactic. It was an observation that they would make several times during the post mission debriefings.

Making their way back up to the boat deck, they made notes on such things as the times that lifeboats were launched, who got in them, and how some of the people reacted to it. There were tears, anxiety and concern. Not unexpected really, but not much in the way of any real alarm.

There was an almost surreal quality to it all. Especially when they noticed people lounging in the smoking room, the 1st Class lounge, and the reading and writing room, as well as the Reading writing room. Out on the boat deck, they peeked into the gymnasium and saw some people trying out the equipment there.

Then there was Wallace Hartley's band playing cheerful ragtime tunes to calm the passengers. This was not the attitude held by some. They both noticed some of the steerage passengers who made it up who gladly took places in the boats when given the chance. Not much of a shock there. For them, there was no debating that the ship was sinking. With few exceptions, they knew the ship was doomed.

The two researchers were looking for other signs as well. The sort of things that none would think of looking for. (And those who would were busy with more important things, like getting the boats away.) One of the things they noticed was an unnatural flexing in the expansion joints. They were both back by the Officer's Mess when they saw this.
"I wonder what the stesses are on the hull girder now?" Teri commented.
"Not very high up here." Mike said. The expansion joint hadn't parted that much. "Most of it is on the keel with localized stresses on the expansion joints. At least that's how I remember it from the Gibbs and Cox models that I've seen."

By now, the steam had long since ceased venting and it was quiet enough that they could talk in near whispers.

"Where are the women?" Teri asked. As she looked around, there weren't that many to be seen. Not so many of the men either. That was what struck her as really odd.
"Probably decided to stay inside to stay warm." Mike opined "Think about it. The practically unsinkable thing wasn't that widely known, but in their gut, it was widely believed. Who in this day and age would think that such a large ship would ever go down? At least befor help arrived. We know it's bogus, but they could look to the Republic versus the Florida incident and the fact that reletively few people had lost their lives on the Trans-Atlantic liners over the years."
"Lovely formula for giving a false sense of security." Teri snorted derisively.
"Yeah, well..." Mike took her by the arm and urged Teri on forward "Remember thou art mortal yourself. You have a boat to catch."
"But..."
"Don't argue with me on this. The Ops Center identified you in Collapsible "C" in the photographic analysis. As they say, you have a destiny."
Matthew lips would have LOVED that observation. Teri thought. He was something of a believer in fate whereas Mike had been then and still was of the contrary opinion. At least they had let it go amicably.

They arrived at the davits where the Collapsible was being rigged into the tackle and Mike silently turned to in order to lend a hand. It was irritating going as the falls wanted to twist and turn as they were brought up with the risk of entanglement. Once the boat was hooked up and slung over the side, the loading began.

Teri was the forth person who was boarded after quartermaster Rowe took his place at the tiller. There were a lot of third class passengers who were loaded in, including some orientals, and she made a mental note to try and get their names when she could. Hopefully, befor they were disembarked on the Carpathia where they and anyone else would have an opportunity to get lost in the crowd.

What struck her as odd...and Mike would later back this up at debreif...was that Ismay was there and while he looked anxious, he displayed no interest in getting in the boat. Two things caught her attention though. One of them was a well dressed passenger. A middle age male with slavic features and sandy hair who looked a little too well dressed to be steerage. It wasn't Mr. Carter either. He sat down next to Teri and stared intensely at Ismay.

At just about that moment, an really puzzled expression came across Ismay's face, followed by a look like that of a trapped animal looking for a way out. The strange man continued to starer at him, and Teri had the oddest sense that the was speaking. "Get in the boat Mr. Ismay" was something she destinctly heard even though he never said a word. It was said repeatedly.

"Get in the boat. Get in the boat, get in the boat, get in the boat..."

Teri had a sense of time, space, and events that she had never really understood. Her perceptions of which had caused her no small amount of trouble over the years too, but which she could now see for what it was.

Get in the boat Mr. Ismay... the stranger thought over and over again.

Mother of God! she thought, That man is a telepath! ESP was a sort of 'fun' and trendy phenomenon to believe in where she had lived, but Teri had never thought that she would ever be confronted with the reality. Now that she had been, she found that it terrified her right down to her bones! IF this man could look into somebody elses mind and influance them, he could do the same to her.

Eventually, just as Murdoch was about to start lowering the boat, Ismay stole looks to the right and the left and abruptly just jumped on in. The seamen working the davit's falls gaped, but with the sort of look that said "That figures." The chairman of the line was saving his own skin. Murdoch stared inside the boat incredulously, then gave the signal to lower away.

As the boat started to creak it's way down to the blackness of the ocean below, Teri stole one last look at Mike who was standing there with a greater outward calm then he actually felt. He was staring back with a look that said "Watch out for that guy!"

He'ed seen what had happened as well.
"Be careful." she called out to him.
"I'll see you in New York." he called back befor the boat went down so far that he disappeared behind the edge of the ship. When the boat finally slapped down into the water, Teri looked at the man and tried a little experiment. She thought rather then spoke her question to him.

What did you just do?
The stranger looked at her, surprised that anyone had devined his true nature, then thought back candidly to her.
He wasn't going to get in the boat and he needed to. I just saved his life.
Saved him? Teri thought back furiously. Did this man really have any idea whatever what he had just done? Saved him? You just damned him!
 
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Michael,

Bravo Michael, Bravo.

Very well written and composed, captivating too.

I enjoyed every minute of it.

And yes you are right ~ JB damned himself when he stepped foot into that "C" boat...

Yours,

Teri
 
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"What did we just see?" Inger asked, and she had a sense that she knew the answer to that. Mike had caught the whole thing on one of his own monitors and the one on the bodice of Teri's dress had caught Ismays's reaction to it.
"A telepath doing a mind-screw on J.B. by the looks of it." This from Mark Chirnside who had been distracted from the avalanch of technical data that ws flowing in.

"Oh, wonderful!" Inger snorted. The actual scientifically confirmed existance of telepaths, like all such discoveries had come by way of an accident. A schizophrenia patient who was being examined had started voicing the toughts of a nurse who was attending him at Bellvue Hospital in New York...much to the embarrassment of the nurse due to their vividly erotic nature. Since then, the matter had been carefully studied at several instututions in the United States and Europe, and means were being researched to help these people out.

As it happened, most telepaths were more of a threat to themselves then to anyone around them. Since they never recognised their talent for what it was, they were unable to control the deluge of other peoples mental noise over their own. As far as they were concerned, they were hearing "voices", and the never ending trauma of being deluged constantly by the thoughts of countless others literally drove them mad.

The threat in this case was encountering one such in 1912 who could not only control his own thoughts, but was not reluctant to use his talant to control others.

Fortunately, Teri was on gaurd and had already moved away from the man to a spot right in front of Ismay himself. The glazed and shocked 'What-did-I-just-do' look in his eyes was lost on nobody.

Teri could see it as well, even without the enhancements of hight tech minicams or the light gathering spectecles she was wearing. Somehow, she found herself handed an oar and she was glad for something to do. She also found herself looking back at the ship. a few minutes later, Ismay took hold of the same oar she was working and went through the motions of helping her out. He didn't look back at his stricken ship even once.

He never would.

Teri, however, couldn't help but look at the Titanic. The last of the rockets had long ago been sent up,(Strange how she had utterly failed to notice their being used.) and now she could see people up on deck struggling to free the collapsibles on the top of the roof over the Officers Quarters. These people were in a race against time that she knew they would ultimately lose.

As her boat pulled away for the Titanic, she could see how far the ship had settled in the water. The foredeck was submerging slowly from the weight of the water pulling the ship down. Still, the lights blazed from stem to stern. From spaces not flooded, but which were now down below the waterline, the lights shining out from the portholes gave the surrounding water a greenish glow, almost like a halo.

A green halo from the icy version of Hell.

With nothing further to distract her, she could notice those things that she hadn't noticed befor. The scene on the deck was starting to get ugly as people on the verge of panic were looking for any way out. Somewhere in the darkness, she thought she heard shots boom out followed by screams. Yet she could also hear the band playing on, though the notes were getting more difficult to hear as Collapsible C widened the distance between themselves and the ship.

She tried scanning the deck to see if she could find Mike in any of that. She hoped he had moved towards the stern as he had planned on doing. He wasn't supposed to play the hero's role. He was supposed to get his data and return with it alive.

A minute later, much to her relief, she spotted him on the boat deck about even with the third funnel and moving aft.

Keep going Mike. You do NOT want to be anywhere NEAR that area when the ship breaks up.

She watched him hop a rail onto the crane and scramble down to A deck, then over another rail to lower himself down to B with another passenger following along. Even if she couldn't see any signs of the incredible stresses on the hull girder, she could hear it. The mournful and agonised goans of metal reaching the breaking point were unmistakable.

Mike, however, could see the signs of stress, starting with the widening of the gap between in the second expansion joint. One other passenger, a man from 3rd class was with him and saw the same thing.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph..." He started.
"If we don't get the hell away from here, you'll get to meet all three in person." Mike snapped.
"But the boats are in that direction!" The man protested when he saw Mike heading aft.
"Think you're going to get aboard them?" Mike retorted."Do the math for yourself You're competing with 1600 other people just as desperate to keep on breathing as you are, and there are only two boats left. Your call, chum. I don't have time to debate this."
"What does that mean?" The man demanded, pointing to the expansion joint.
"It means this ship is going to break up!"
"Now 'ow can thot be?" he tried to ask, but Mike was already on the move. He decided to follow.
 

Charmaine Sia

Member
Nov 25, 2001
135
3
183
Beautiful story, Michael, extremely well written and well connected. I loved it!

I'll be posting up my story next. It concerns Mr. Murdoch's death, and I hope that does not mess up anything that you have.
 

Charmaine Sia

Member
Nov 25, 2001
135
3
183
My name is Charmaine Sia, but that doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except human life when a ship is going down. Nothing matters *to me* except the knowledge that my death will be no worse than that of the man I admire…

~~~

I had never been interested in the grandness and elegance of the Titanic from the beginning, or the fame and fortune of the first class passengers. Instead, I had spent each day at the deck watching the officers at the bridge, looking down at them; the cool, composed way they carried out their orders. I felt as though the blood of the sea was in me, spurring me on to watch these men, forgotten by most of the passengers, doing their work with pride and responsibility. My parents did not mind me staying at the deck, because according to them, I was an adolescent, not a child nor an adult, who couldn’t be controlled and would just bother them anyway.

It was hard trying to get to know their names and their character when I stood, it seemed to me, so far away from them. Yet the shouting of orders made my task easier, and before the end of two days I knew the names of all the officers. Smith…Lightoller, Boxhall, Moody…and of course that man whom I came to admire so much, First Officer Murdoch. William Murdoch. I savored the name as it came to my lips.

I still do not know why I took a liking to him above all the other officers. Maybe it was the simple and composed way he went about his duties…or maybe that he was the first officer whom I saw on duty. I spent a lot of my time admiring him at the bridge, since there was nothing else which I felt sufficiently interested in to go about doing.

Yet I never summoned up the courage to go to the bridge and really get to know those officers. I remember seeing a man at the bridge wing looking out to sea. He was there for about half an hour, before Mr. Murdoch came out and took him in. I felt a pang of jealousy at that time, because I so wished that it had been me. I just stared and stared…and somehow my focus shifted to the calm ocean. Calm wasn’t the right word to use to describe it; it was far more than just calm. Eerie, actually. For a moment the strangest thought came to me that if I died, I wanted to be cremated and have my ashes spread out over this calm over.

Day after day, just watching the officers, watching the passengers at times, if I became bored. I remember seeing a woman hounded mercilessly by the ship's designer. I remember seeing as the designer was hounded and questioned mercilessly by this man with a beard and a ponytail. And a rather large rat which I thought looked totally ridiculous, but was too polite to comment about. I wondered how many of those passengers actually cared about anything or anyone else other than themselves. Maybe it was just seeing too many first-class passengers walking about as though the deck belonged to them…

Otherwise, my mind would be off on some calculations. 22.5 knots, I had heard that Captain Smith intended to move up to that speed. There would be quite a couple of changes to the course as iceberg warnings came in, I knew, but I calculated that perhaps, just perhaps, the Titanic might be able to reach New York sooner than expected. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad — that the Titanic would be able to move at such a quick speed, that my new life in America would be starting faster than I thought; or that I wouldn’t be looking out on a ship’s officers for a long time more.

And of course the lifeboats. Something about the lifeboats had bothered me from the instant I had seen them in number and size. But the fact never really sunk in until my calculations made me recoil in fear. There wouldn’t be enough lifeboats, not enough for at least a thousand passengers. Even rough estimates told me that there was space only for a thousand at most.

My days were like that — normally, by my own expectations, until the day Mr. Murdoch looked up and saw me for a moment and lighted up my life.

At that time, I did not know whether it was just an act that meant nothing to him, or whether he had done it specially for me. After his morning shift ended on the final day when the ship hit the iceberg, he looked up, saw me and gave me a wide smile that made me feel appreciated. And at that moment I knew that it was worth it not being inside with all the passengers.

He waved to me, and I fancied that I saw his mouth say, “Wait up there, all right?” He did not need to say that in the first place; I would have stayed at the deck the entire day anyway. A few moments later, Mr. Murdoch passed by me on the way to the crew’s quarters.

“You’ve been standing here everyday…you seem to like watching us at the bridge, huh?” he said.

For a moment I stood amazed, my mouth open, that he had actually noticed me! “Yes, you noticed?” I finally ventured softly.

“I notice little things,” he said, “I have to go now — help out with other duties.”

That was all of the conversation that I had with Mr. Murdoch, but it really touched me that he had noticed a girl standing on the deck when there were so many other famous passengers around…John Jacob Astor, Colonel Gracie etc.
 

Charmaine Sia

Member
Nov 25, 2001
135
3
183
It was a cold, bitter night, but I did not feel warm despite the thick blankets in my room. And then I realized exactly what had been bothering me the entire day. Mr. Murdoch had not been “on the way” to the crew’s quarters when he passed by me in the morning — he had specially come up to the deck to talk to me instead. All of a sudden, as I looked at the clock, it felt so important to be out there at the deck. 10 o’ clock — Mr. Murdoch’s shift, I remembered. And I had this feeling in the back of my mind that I might not be able to see Mr. Murdoch for one more night.

At that moment, I had not even entertained the thought of an iceberg hitting; all I had thought of was the great speed that the Titanic was moving at, and whether it might arrive early. When I rushed out to the deck, there was nothing in sight — and I mean *nothing*. The ocean was eerily calm, so still it resembled a piece of colored blue paper. I stood at the deck the whole time, watching the officers, especially Mr. Murdoch, as they guided the Titanic through the ocean.

Time passes quickly when you do not want it to. I had totally lost track of the time — I think that I would have well stayed at the deck until Mr. Murdoch’s shift ended, when I thought that I spied something at the horizon. As the ship continued forward at full speed, I knew that I had not seen wrongly. It was an iceberg. An iceberg. It seemed so small for a moment, keeping me in a trance as it gradually became bigger to my eyes.

Abruptly, I jerked my head up to see the lookouts. The ship was still on its course and had not changed direction at all. Before I could help myself, I was running, running to the bridge…

The iceberg was looming in front of me even before I had even stepped onto the staircase leading to the bridge. I heard Mr. Murdoch yell out commands, but it was too late to prevent the tear-jerking sound that emerged seconds later.

***

Confusion abounded among the Titanic in minutes, multiplying exponentially by the second. First there was utter disbelief and the word “unsinkable” being used over and over again…and then the crowds started thronging. Because I had been at the deck and not in my room at that time, I had somehow not been given a lifejacket by any of the crew.

It was heartbreaking watching as the lifeboats left without even being half-full. I remember the first lifeboat, Starboard boat 7 being launched half-empty; I remember seeing the pained expression on Mr. Murdoch’s face when no one else was willing to board the lifeboat. It tormented me even more because of the numbers I had worked out barely a few days ago.

The terror went on…I don’t want to describe it. There is a certain limit on the horror that a person can speak of after seeing scenes of fighting, pushing, death; that was exactly what I had seen. But I remember clearly the incident that broke my heart. If I had gone on a lifeboat I would never have seen it, but that was not the case.

Lifeboat 1 left with twelve people on board. No doubt it was a smaller lifeboat, but the lifeboat was barely a quarter full! There were so few people on board that I distinctly counted twelve!!! And there was a man coolly asking Mr. Murdoch, “May I get in?”

I felt like running to push that man into the lifeboat and make him keep quiet.

“Yes, I wish you would,” Mr. Murdoch said. I think he really was going to push that passenger in, but the passenger slipped and fell into the lifeboat by accident, causing Mr. Murdoch to laugh and say, “That’s the funniest sight I have seen today!”

That was not surprising. It was after all a new day, no longer the night of yesterday. And all that today had seen was the despair of the Titanic sinking.

I was running around the Titanic in despair looking for my parents. I didn’t know if they had already left without me, or whether they were trapped in some corner of the ship. I felt so hopeless being unable to help while the crew seemed to be going around helping the passengers, and in the sprawl of confusion I accidentally knocked into Mr. Murdoch while he was helping to load a lifeboat.

“It’s you! What…what are you doing here without a lifejacket?” he looked around desperately for a crew member holding lifejackets while muttering partly to himself. He took off his coat while I watched, puzzled, and…

…he took off his lifejacket and pushed it into my hands. I stood stiff, unable to comprehend this act, until I saw 2 gun bullets roll out of his coat pocket and slide madly down the deck, disappearing out of sight. The ship was sinking. Fast. And Mr. Murdoch had given me his lifejacket…

“God bless you, Mr. Murdoch,” I gushed out.

“And you. Goodbye, good luck!” he said, before turning back to work on the lifeboat.

I felt a hot tear dripping down my cheek uncontrollably. I hurriedly wore the lifejacket on while continuing to search for my parents. Just as I felt totally exhausted and about to give up for good, I saw them boarding the other lifeboat, but they had not seen me yet. I was running towards them, about to shout, “Mum! Dad!”, when I stopped abruptly. I looked back at Mr. Murdoch, looked down at the rising waters, looked at the two lifeboats left…and I could not, just could not do it.

I stayed on the ship while the lifeboat left.
 
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