From the Continuing Adventures of Grant McSwain, Champion of the Daring, and Foiler of Dastardly Deeds
Accompanied as always by Teagan O'Daire, the Ginger of Galway
Teagan rammed her shoulder into the side of a large wooden crate of electronic parts and pushed it into place against the iron door of the radio room, sending a cloud of dust into the air. A thick beam of wood held the entrance closed. It shook as the German guards battered against the metal from the other side.
Then the whole cliffside base rumbled like an earthquake.
Teagan watched the ceiling, fearing a collapse. Then she turned to her partner, hands in tight fists on her hips. "Grant, what have you done?"
Grant McSwain sat in front of the large microphone, his hands fumbling across banks of controls for shortwave radio communications and the personnel address system within the base. His unapologetic eyes met Teagan's and he laughed.
She took a deep breath that did nothing to calm her wild anger. "You said you were going to call for assistance!"
"I thought you meant the local authorities," Teagan said, "or some government agency." She checked the weight of another box and decided it would do nothing to barricade the door.
"That was the original plan, sure. I improvised."
The base shuddered again, as if God punched the surface of the earth with His fist. Muffled shrieks and frantic voices filled the hallway outside the radio room.
Teagan considered throwing the box at Grant. "You summoned the Leviathan."
Grant shook his head. "No, no, you're not blaming this on me," he said, and thrust a thick finger her way. "You're the one who wrote out the incantation phonetically. You know I can't understand that Ixthacan gibberish."
"Then why did you read it over the base address system?"
"First, if Vilhelm wanted it," Grant said, "I didn't want him to have it. Second, it seemed like a good distraction when we had nowhere else to run."
In the nearby cavern that housed the massive German submarine, stone crumbled in a combination of bass like thunder and metal twisting with an ear-piercing shriek.
Teagan winced and gave Grant a withering glare.
Grant met her stare while tuning the radio. "Did you honestly believe there was a creature to summon?"
"Did you have reason to think there might not be?"
Grant tweaked some knobs. The radio hissed to life with soft static. "Any sheriff, any station," Grant called, "anybody hearing this: is there anyone in a position to provide aid?"
A heavy battering ram thudded against the iron door in a steady pace, the rhythm broken by another tremor that rattled the walls of the mountainside base. Otherwise, the room fell silent save the crackling quiet of the radio.
The voices outside screamed and cut off abruptly when something crashed into the door, shearing the steel framework supporting the radio room. The thick beam holding the door shut snapped with the impact. Teagan's makeshift barricade tipped to the left and dumped parts across the floor. Then everything lurched forward, and Teagan propped herself up against the wall.
Once the beam broke, gravity swung the battered door open. A scaly tentacle, thick as a full-grown oak, slid through the twisted wreckage of the metal stairs, withdrawing toward the water. In the tangle of steel supports, bloody limbs stretched into the air seeking aid that would never come.
Face white, Grant watched the tentacle slither away. He and Teagan both sat frozen, awaiting a devastating blow to the radio room, afraid any motion might draw the attention and wrath of the leviathan.
The mountainside shook again, but this time the impact seemed far away.
Grant sighed with relief then switched on the base address system. "Achtung! Gehen sie in die U-Boot," he repeated in rough German.
"What are you doing?"
"It's panic out there," Grant said. "No one's going to know what to do, so they'll listen to the first order they hear."
"And meanwhile, what will we be doing?"
Grant gestured toward the elevator to the small, nondescript outpost far above on the surface. "We're getting out of here."
He lowered Teagan through the slanted doorway and she hopped to the floor, landing in a crouch on an unstable metal platform. Across a gap of a few feet, another walkway stretched toward the waiting elevator.
Grant dropped through the door of the radio room and hit with a thud that shook the damaged structure. It wobbled but held together. He checked the distance, then made a running jump over the jagged wreckage. "Come on, Teag," he called.
But there it was. She couldn't look away.
Tentacles flailed dozens of feet above the water's surface, crashing into the walkways and structures surrounding the submarine's berth. A huge pointed head rose from the waves with giant black eyes on either side and a maw lined with rows of sharp teeth. One of the creature's manifold limbs batted aside a trio of German sailors running for the supposed safety of the submarine, and another tentacle lifted a screaming man high into the air before dropping him into the leviathan's mouth.
The horror shook Teagan's heart... but the mystery and majesty of the creature filled her with awe and wonder.
The submarine inched forward, moving toward the underwater tunnel leading to the ocean. Then a pair of tentacles wrapped around the vessel, lifting it out of the churning waters. Metal groaned and squealed. The vessel broke in half with a resounding snap.
"Teag!" Grant cupped his hands over his lips and screamed. "The elevator, before that thing takes it out of commission!"
Teagan leapt across the bloodied steel of the ruined walkway and chased Grant with all due haste.
The automated pulleys of the elevator strained and groaned, but raised the pair from the devastation of the underground base like souls set free from the pit of Hades.
YOU ARE READING
The Ginger of GalwayAdventure
"Prepare to be amazed and astonished, Gentle Reader, by the feats and exploits of the legendary world-traveler, Grant McSwain. Thrill with each terror confronted! Be mesmerized at every mind-blowing mystery resolved! Swoon with suspense at the succe...