Episode 85 - The Last Stand

Some principles of modern science specify that all behavior conforms to the laws of nature, completely ruling out the possibility of a preternatural event to occur in the natural world. But Mulberry Ridge wasn’t exactly an ordinary place. The laws of science didn’t always apply to this radiation exposed land. A few yards away from the shore, Roy and I watched as reality turned into fantasy, thanks to an unbelievable turning point in the dying seconds of our mission. The creature had turned against its creator. Surfacing by the rocky shore, a monstrous Ben Kaplan emerged from the pond waters and lunged towards Dr. Johnson, grabbing the doctor by his life-jacket. One of Ivanov’s men tried to repel the attack, but the guard was quickly stopped by Ben’s supernatural strength and thrown into the water like a rag doll. Almost immediately, Ben yanked the missile off Dr. Johnson’s hands. Capt. MacAlister becoming conscious of the situation gave orders to his soldiers to open fire. Bullets were flying through the air in all directions. A few men had gone down already, and no wonder - the air was thick with bullets. In front of me Ben was hurrying along with the missile towards the forest and quickly disappeared into the thick foliage. Still in the pond, I felt the water move beneath me. It was something big. I was at the edge of a panic attack when the Giant Turtle emerged in front of me and attacked the guard who had fallen in the water. I could see fear in Dr. Johnson’s eyes. Meanwhile by the helicopter, Ivanov and his men, realizing that their strategy had been compromised, prepared for retreat. All movement in the attack had now ceased, but the rifle fire was pretty strong still. Roy and I found cover underwater to avoid getting hit by enemy bullets. In an unexpected maneuver, our phony helicopter pilot, Sgt. Nash, was forced to start the helicopters engine. - Oh, My God! He is not gonna fly that thing, is he? - I thought to myself while noticing Dr. Johnson carrying Ivanov inside the helicopter. I reached shallow waters but again, a bit too late. Within seconds, the helicopter hovered at low altitude, its tail swinging left and right, like a drunken bird. - I hope Sgt. Nash knows what he’s doing - I wished silently. The chopper’s nose then twitched down and the helicopter gained speed, flying low towards the pond. Using my flippers, I started to kick the water, lifting my body out of the pond as high as I could. As the landing skids rose above me, I clutched the round metal bars and propped myself up the helicopter side. I could see commotion inside the helicopter. Dr. Johnson had a gun pointed at Sgt. Nash’s head and I could see that the doctor was very upset. Suddenly, the chopper stopped advancing and hovered for a second or two above the pond. Through the cockpit windows I saw Sgt. Nash’s face. He winked at me, and with no other warning, he let go of the flight controls. The helicopter spun around and lost altitude rapidly, hitting the water almost immediately. Its blades sliced the water a few times before collapsing at the main rotor. As the aircraft sunk in the water, I could see its passengers panicking inside, kicking its windows and doors, in hopes to find a way out. The horrifying scene of water swallowing these evil souls extinguished my longing for revenge. I rushed to one of the side doors, hoping to get some of the men out alive. When I finally managed to prop the passenger door open, the guard sitting there was already dead. On the other side, Sgt. Nash had managed to open his door and was already swimming to the surface. Behind me, Dr. Johnson pushed Ivanov’s wheel chair out of the helicopter in hopes of finding a way out. All of a sudden, the sunlight was obscured momentarily by a terrifying vision: The Giant Turtle was heading for the crash scene. Roy finally appeared to help me free Ivanov out of his wheel chair. It was a nightmare that was turning to worse by the minute. Finally out of the helicopter, Dr. Johnson attempted to inflate his life-jacket. Then what I most feared happened: The Giant Turtle plunged downwards and furiously attacked the doctor by the arm before he could do a thing. Blood stained the pond’s water as the giant creature tore the Dr. Johnson in pieces. Ivanov, losing control of himself pushed Roy away causing his wheel chair to fall sideways. The Giant Turtle had lost interest in Dr. Johnson’s shredded body and was now heading our way. I grabbed Roy by the shoulder and signaled him that it was time to leave. Ivanov still stuck in his wheel chair pleaded for his life. We will never know if he drowned before the turtle got the best of him. Roy and I swam fast, trying to reach the command post on the East side of the pond as soon as possible. Fear can make you find inner strength you never knew you had. And soon, Roy and I arrived at the command post safe and sound. Sgt. Palmer and Dr. Susan Walker were the first at the shore. - Oh, My God! What happened there? Where are the others? - said the sarge anxiously. But before I could respond, one of MacAlister’s soldiers hurried through the command post shouting: - They found it! Yes! They found it! - Minutes after Roy and I got out of the water, I found myself inside of a Jeep heading to the hillside. There, surrounded by a few soldiers, the missile laid on the ground, its warhead taken apart making it as harmless as a piece of dead wood. We could finally breathe a sigh of relief. From inside the Jeep, I surveyed the mountain side. Up on a ledge the silhouette of a half-man creature could be seen. - It’s all over now my friend. Run wild and be free, Ben Kaplan - I thought out loud. It was the end of a long, emotional day. I grabbed the sarge by the neck; he hugged me and said in return: - Let’s go home Johnny, we’re done saving the world -

by Corporal John Harris, August 09, 2007