There is not simple way to start. No real place to even begin to tell y’all what’s happened since I last updated everyone. Well technically that’s not entirely true, there is a good place to start but every last nerve is raw at the moment so I’m finding it hard to focus.
Shortly after I posted the last communication, we came across a port town. Looking on the map the town wasn’t really a town at all, to be frank. More of a settlement along the coast of Northern Labrador called Hebron. The location was going to be desolate and if the infection had reached the remote location, there would be no place for Rosenberg to go. On the map there were no roads leading in or out of the settlement. No one knew what his plan was and all that he was allowed to take with him were a few food rations, a gun and some ammunition and the clothes on his back. And his ivory cane, of course. He never went anywhere without the ivory cane. It was like a talisman to him, a reminder of his wealth and power.
Captain Kanelstrand gave Rosenberg one last final chance to reconsider his decision to leave. Honestly, what was a little work, in the grander scheme of safety and security? In the end, Rosenberg had no interest in taking the captain up on his offer. His stubborn mind was set and there would be no changing it. If I had been the captain, I would have made him swim to shore. Not Captain Kanelstrand: he was the consummate gentleman and personally accompanied the pig-headed man along with a few of his other crew to the shore long Hebron. I’m sure that he thought that Rosenberg would see the state of Hebron or perhaps some of the Undead would come out to greet them and help to change his mind.
In the end, nothing came to greet them and the town looked more than deserted even though it was somewhat intact. A monument erected in the town stated that it was essentially deserted and had been since 1959 when the mission closed. According to one of the crew, Rosenberg’s final words to the captain included a few choice curse words but also a statement that this outpost would be a great place for him to start rebuilding his empire. Did he not realize that with no else around he’d have to do all of the work for himself? And it’s not like the captain didn’t give him plenty of opportunity to stay.
So with Rosenberg gone, I think we all thought that everything would just fall into place. That we’d start to happily co-exist, getting the work done that needed to be done. Working towards the greater good (knowing of course that you’d be bound to hit little snags in the road here and there that you’d have to do your best to take care of as they arose). We didn’t hit a little snag however. Someone ripped giant hole in the fabric of our community.
Not so soon after we dropped off Rosenberg, we lost all communications on the ship. It’s part of the reason that I haven’t been able to update y’all on any of this until now. That was 3 days ago. At first we all thought that Rosenberg had been involved in some way seeing as it had happened so soon after his departure. But when all of the Communications Officers swore that there was no way that he could have had access to the equipment that had been damaged, he was dismissed as a suspect.
The implications of what I just said shouldn’t be missed. We have a saboteur on board. Someone that doesn’t want us communicating with the outside world that has dwindling numbers of the living left in it. It was a sobering thought: were they trying to keep the ship a secret or prevent us from helping others in need?
And to make matters worse, Captain Kanelstrand now suspected one of his own crew because they were the only ones with access to the equipment. I’m not a cop but if one of them had done it and they didn’t want to get caught, why not lie and say that Rosenberg could have had access? He would have made the perfect scapegoat. Something just wasn’t adding up.
Everyone went back to their scheduled work duties while two of the more senior Communications Officers attempted to restore communications. Gossip was rampant around the ship by this point. Who would want to do something so sinister at a time like this? It made people really suspicious of each other and with tensions running as high as they were, fights were only inevitable.
The first one broke out over a simple misunderstanding in the chow line. A man named Mark thought that he was lining up at the end of the line but he inadvertently butt in front of Cathy and Earl just as they got there. Technically no one really butted at all but Earl took the slight too far and put Mark into the Infirmary with a seriously smashed face and a probable concussion. It was the first time that we’d been forced to use the brig on the ship. Earl was apologetic of course but Captain Kanelstrand felt that he deserved some sort of punishment. It also served as a warning to those people who were beginning to find it hard to hold their tempers. In the end, Earl understood and took the 2 days in the brig like a man. It would have been more but in the end, it turned out we needed his help to search.
Soon after the fight between Mark and Earl, the lights went out. And I mean completely. Pitch black. Not even the emergency lighting came on to help us find our way around. On a ship where spaces are very much enclosed it can be very frightening. Had it happened during the day, it might not have been so bad, but as it happened just after the sun had set it was quite terrifying. Most of the survivors had already retired to their cabins for the night so many of them just stayed there, knowing that they would get lost in the dark if they tried to navigate around. I can only imagine the panic that they must have been feeling because I was feeling the same way. Here we are sitting in the dark with no communications on board whatsoever. If the ship were to start sinking, how would any of us know where to go to get off?
Luckily I always keep a flashlight handy so I went in search of the captain. I wanted to know was going on. Was this a malfunction and could it be fixed? In the back of my mind, I hoped it wasn’t the work of the saboteur. The survivors were already on edge and we really didn’t need to be adding any more fuel to the fire.
I knew where the Electrical Room was located from my many shifts in the laundry room so I made my way there as quickly as I could. Along the way, I came across 2 other survivors, Beth and Marta, fumbling around in the dark. Not wanting to be left in the dark again, the ladies both opted to come with me.
At the Electrical Room we met Captain Kanelstrand and 2 of his crew members. Also in the room were a few other survivors who apparently had the same idea as myself. The scene that greeted us was grim. And obviously deliberate.
The lighting on the ship was powered by a series of fuses. Fuses that should be plugged into their receptacles. All of those fuses were missing. They could be anywhere. And we’re not talking about the small fuses like you would find in a house. These fuses are hefty and there are quite a few of them. So it begs the question: is this the work of one person or a group?
And where are the fuses? Did they get thrown overboard or are they just hidden somewhere for us to eventually find? What was the purpose of all of this mischief and sabotage?
One of the crew members knew where there were some spare fuses (not enough to light the entire ship but enough to give us some light at least) so I set off with him to search them out. Once we had retrieved them and returned to the Electrical Room, we decided on which lights were the most important. Knowing that the Emergency lights would light the hallways and stairwells, we opted for those. And the bridge and crew areas, of course. The dining hall was a must because the doctors would need lights to work by. That left one fuse. We decided to light the galley kitchen and mess hall so that people would still be able to eat. Laundry could wait until we could find the rest of the fuses. And technically the garbage could wait too though we’d have to check through it thoroughly to make sure that no one had hidden them there. It was going to be a huge undertaking to find those fuses but we really had no other choice.
Captain Kanelstrand posted two guards in the Electrical Room before leaving. These were the last fuses that we had. Without them, most of the ship would be plunged into inky blackness: rendering it unusable until we managed to get our hands on more fuses.
The events of the night were sadly not over yet. Once the lights had come partially back on, all of the survivors that could have gathered in the mess hall for a status report. They wanted to know what was going on and rightly so. Since the captain had gone back to the bridge, the survivors present in the Electrical Room deferred to me.
The synopsis of the situation was short and to the point. The fuses had been pulled and we needed volunteers to help look for them immediately. The longer that we waited, the more time the person responsible had to hide them or dispose of them (if they hadn’t done so already).
At that moment, Georgia (a mother of 3 who had managed to get herself along with her two teen-aged daughters and ten-year old autistic son from California to Waskaganish without a weapon) came bursting into the room looking for Jess and Kalla. They weren’t in their assigned cabin and their room was an utter mess. Georgia’s only hope was that the girls had been frightened in the dark and had left the room, leaving the outer door open in their panic. They weren’t in the mess hall. And the lights had been partially on for at least 20 minutes, if not more. The girls certainly would have been able to find their way back to their room by now if they had been able to.
Finding the fuses took a backseat to finding the girls. Keeping an eye open for both was optimal but the in-depth search for the fuses would have to begin after the girls were located.
Georgia was sent back to Tommy, her autistic son. No point in having 3 missing children at this point. The girls were likely okay, just scared and lost. At 14 and almost 16 they’d been through a lot and knew how to handle themselves in a few unconventional situations.
All night we searched for those girls and found nothing. At dawn, I went and woke the captain because I didn’t know what else to do. It was like the girls had vanished.
The captain and I approached Doug who had been a 16 year veteran with the New York Police Department before all of the business with the Undead. He’d been lucky enough to be on vacation in Miami when the dead began to rise again, otherwise he might not have been able to escape NYC. Knowing that what we wanted him to investigate was a long shot, we really needed to know for certain. What if the lights going out was a diversion to allow someone(s) to snatch Jess and Kalla? We hoped that Doug might be able to give us a clue or two based on the state of the girl’s room.
Doug was happy to help us out. If there was someone on board with malicious intent in their heads, he’d rather we catch them ASAP. As we approached the room, you could already feel the change in him. The detective had switched on. Before we had even gotten to the door, Doug looked at us and told us that things did not look good. The bloody scratches down both sides of the narrow hallway certainly did not appear to be good news at all.
Inside the girl’s cabin, the turmoil was evident. Clothes and belongings were tossed and thrown around. The mattress from the lower bunk appeared as if it had been pitched at someone in an attempt to slow them down. And then there was the blood. Not a lot of it, but enough to let you know that someone had likely been struck in the face. It could have been from one of the girls or it could have been from their attacker(s). Good news was that we didn’t find a body or enough blood to believe that either girl was in serious peril from wounds sustained in the room. Bad news was that they were still missing and we needed to find them fast.
We organized more search teams and set off to thoroughly scour every last nook and cranny of the ship. That was this morning. We’ve still had no luck finding them or the fuses. They have to be somewhere though.
And the worst thing is that we now know we have a monster on board that we have to deal with.
The Next Day