Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Episode 1 of "Terror in Manhattan"

Our trio of heroes received a new mission which brought them New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan. In a warehouse that sits upon the shore, they meet Ben Franklin. He explains that there was a warehouse in the city. Patriot operatives have reported a surge of activity and strange happenings. It is imperative for the cause of liberty to investigate the warehouse.

There is only one problem - the Wizard has given the British forces descriptions of the trio. Any attempt to enter New York via ferry would inevitably lead to their capture. However, Franklin has a plan.

He leads them deeper into the warehouse. They notice that the warehouse overhangs the shore. There is an enclosed dock with a large sliding door that gives access to the river. Alongside the dock is a strange craft. It looks  like a rowboat, but the top is enclosed with a glass bubble protruding from it. The craft sits low upon the water, as if it is nearly sinking.

"Do you know what this is?" Franklin asks.

Rufus looks puzzled, but the Doctor McCoy quickly answers: "A submersible."

"Indeed. You are correct, doctor. And this is how you are getting into the city."

After a brief lesson in submersible operations, the trio clambers into the craft. Dr. McCoy, the physician, takes the command position, with his head protruding from the craft into the glass bubble. From here, he can see what is going on and give commands to the helm. Snake, the dexterous female rogue, takes the helm. Finally, Rufus the soldier and scout, is the "engine." By cranking the screw propeller and pumps, he is able to propel the craft and cause it to dive and rise.

Franklin opens the sliding doors, and the submersible sets off in the dead of night.

At first, the heroes encounter no difficulties. Being night, there are few craft upon the waters. However, as they approach Manhattan island, traffic picks up. In particular, there are British patrol sloops ensuring that no unauthorized ships approach the city.

The lack of activity nearly lulls the doctor into carelessness. It is nearly too late when he spots a ship approaching from the left. "Dive! Dive! Dive!" he calls frantically. Rufus begins cranking away at the pumps, and slowly the submersible settles into the depths. As their craft sinks, the doctor looks up. The other ship passes inches from his bubble then sails away.

There are a couple other near misses before they come to the docks on the east side of the city. McCoy begins scanning the quayside for signs of their target. Then, he feels a strange sensation. Turning around suddenly, he sees a ship looming behind them on a collision course. "DIVE!" he screams and Rufus begins pumping. The little submersible starts to sink beneath the waves. Then there is a sickening crunch and the little boat lurches to one side. A stream of water begins pouring into the vessel. Hastily, the doctor patches the crack.

"Is everything all right?" the doctor asks.

Rufus tests the screw and pumps while Snake tests the helm. All is functional.

Unfortunately, the collision has discombobulated the doctor and he is unable to get his bearings. Finally, Snake pokes her head into the bubble. She is able to spot their target and they are off. With a display of deft handling, Snake slips the submersible easily into the dock.

But all is not well. From his bubble, McCoy can see the figures of two British sentries in front of the warehouse.

Will our heroes be able to make it past the sentries into the warehouse?

Find out next time!

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