Author's Note: Challenge Fics are stories where you are given a set of perimeters that must be in the story.
Perimeters: Writer's Club – Renee S., Shane O., Miranda B., Skye H.
1. Koala's lost lover dies by bungee jump
2. Huge catastrophic event other than bungee jump death
4. Contains a dream
5. Breaks into random Broadway song
6. Random superhero saves the day
7. Cliche quote with rain
8. Annoying character dies
9. Purple unicorn protecting a mushroom
It was a dark and stormy night. Casey could tell because there was a heavy rolling sensation in her stomach that made her feel ill whenever it was storming. She would get little sleep tonight.
She groaned and rose out of her bunk with her bare feet on the cold metal floor of the submarine. She had to get a carpet or a rug the next time they went ashore, she decided. She brushed a hand through her shoulder-length blond hair and groaned again. She needed to sleep.
"Frag," she muttered and washed the sleep from her eyes. She downed some sleeping pills that she knew wouldn't work, but the medic had told her to take them, so she did. "Double frag," she muttered again as she saw how low she was on the pills. She hated seeing Dr. Prattle. He didn't have a clue how she couldn't sleep at night when it stormed and couldn't understand why she was never comfortable on the submarine.
"You awake Casey?" someone muttered and she turned to look at Koala.
Koala wasn't her real name, just a nickname she picked up because she was never in a hurry. She was lying on her own cot half-awake and watching Casey with calm gray eyes hidden behind a soft curtain of wavy brown hair. Koala braided her hair every morning but at night, she let it fall loose.
"Why are you awake, Koala?" Casey whispered. "It's not even three."
"I had that dream again."
"About the unicorn and the mushroom."
"Oh, that dream." Casey was silent for a moment. "Trouble's brewing huh?" Koala always dreamed about a purple unicorn guarding a mushroom whenever trouble was coming. Neither girl knew why or what it meant besides the fact that it was strange, but that was the way it was.
"Strange. I haven't had the dream since Walter..." She grew silent and Casey nodded.
Walter had been Koala's fiancé. They had agreed to get married soon after they got off the sub, but Fate had stepped in and thrown Koala that strange dream, and the next day Walter had disappeared, which was extremely hard on a submarine.
Everyone thought he had deserted, but Casey knew her brother and what he would and wouldn't do. She had seen the mess his room had been in and the blood on the floors and walls. She was the werewolf expert, and she was a werewolf herself – like her brother. She knew he wouldn't leave Koala like he did unless it was for a good reason.
Koala spent two weeks hiding in their room, avoiding the people and the rumors with Casey as her only companion.
Casey felt herself coming wide awake despite the sleeping pills and she pulled on jeans and a shirt.
"Bring it on," she told Koala. "We're ready this time."
"Oh ladies!" someone called outside their door and Casey grinned. "Casey, girl, I can hear you. I know you're up. Why don't you just let me in for a little bit, so we can have some fun."
Casey looked at Koala who rolled her eyes. James was easily the most annoying man alive. He thought he was a lady's man and practiced on them. He didn't mean anything by it with them, but it didn't mean they had to like it.
"Oh, buggin' you!
Is easy 'cause you're buggable
And buggin' you!
Is all I ever wanna do!"
"Oh, James shut up! You'll wake the whole sub if you keep up that racket!" Casey snapped, stalking toward the door with her fists clenched.
"La la la la la!
La la la la la!
La la la la la la la la la la!
Bugga bugga bug bug!
Ahhh – ahhh – ahhh – ah!"
Casey punched him square in the jaw as she opened the door.
"What was that for?" he asked as he came in rubbing his jaw.
"You're being a fraggin' idiot!" Casey snapped. "You know I love you, but you have to quit being such an idiot."
"So you love me, huh?" he teased and sidled up to her. "You know, most guys would take advantage of you after you say that." He wiggled his eyebrows at her, which made her laugh.
Koala sighed and rose, ignoring James as she pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a tank top and braided her hair with practiced ease.
Someone knocked on their door, and Casey opened it with a sigh.
The officer there looked at her and said, "Kim Harrison, Casey Waters, and James Benton to the morgue."
"Koala," Koala said. "No one calls me Kim or Harrison anymore."
"You'll want to see this."
She looked at Casey. "What is it?"
"A werewolf," the officer said.
"They are the werewolf experts. What do you need me for?" Koala asked.
The officer looked uncomfortable as he replied. "They found him with a picture of you in his wallet. His ID says his name is Walter Waters."
Casey saw Koala freeze and stare at him in shock, even as she took her by the arm and nodded to the officer. "Let's go," she said firmly and held Koala's hand in her own as they followed him to Dr. Matthews's land of the dead.
James began whistling that stupid song as they walked. Casey glared at him fiercely and vowed to punch him later when the officer wasn't around to witness it. It was James's seemingly careless attitude that made him the most annoying creature of the earthen world.
There was a heavy air of tension that wrapped around Casey and threatened to choke the life out of her. Uneasiness filled her to her core, and she gripped Koala's hand tighter in her own.
The medical examiner looked up at them as they walked in. Dr. Matthews had worked with Casey before when she and Walter had first come aboard. He hadn't known anything about werewolves, so he'd been naturally curious. For almost three weeks, he'd spent more time studying her anatomy and body functions than he had with the dead.
"Casey, he's extrordinary! Nothing like yourself, but magnificent all together."
She shot him a look and glanced at Koala. If this was indeed Walter Waters, Dr. Matthews would have to save his questions until after Koala left.
"What happened?" she asked.
"Well, from the looks of it, I'd say he was strangled, but you've told me werewolves can't be strangled easily."
She nodded. "How was he found?"
"Forty knots from here hanging underwater from a cliff in a tangle of bungee cords. I'm not even sure how the divers got him. He's a mess."
"Let me see." Casey waited for him to lift the sheet and allow her a glance before she motioned Koala forward. She took a quick step forward and burst into tears. It was Walter.
Casey motioned for James to take Koala back their room and turned back to the table.
James didn't have a chance to move though because at that moment, the sub lurched as if something large had knocked it aside like a rag doll.
They all fell to the ground and Casey glanced at Dr. Matthews who turned pale.
"Megalodon," he whispered, afraid.
Casey growled under her breath. A megalodon was the only thing in all the oceans big enough to sink this sub.
"Great!" she snarled. "Just great!"
She stood shakily even as the alarm above their heads blared bright red and buzzed more annoyingly than James's singing.
"Umm... doc? Could I get a little help? I feel like I'm going to faint."
Casey and Dr. Matthews turned and looked at James. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with him.
Then he fell to his knees and sprawled out on the floor.
"Oh no," Dr. Matthews muttered as he moved towards James and pulled the syringe from his back.
"What was in that?" It was apparent James had fallen on the small table of medical supplies when the sub lurched. As if to prove it, the sub tried to send them all sprawling again and a roar echoed outside.
"Sedative," Dr. Matthews replied, "for a werewolf."
Casey stared at him. It took four times the amount of sedative to take down a werewolf than it would take to kill a human.
"Frag!" Casey muttered.
"I swear, Casey, I didn't mean to. I was making sure. They didn't say whether he was alive or not, and I wasn't taking any chances."
She waved off his explanation. It wasn't something she could deal with at the moment. Kerri stared at them as if seeing them for the first time as the submarine jerked around a third time.
Suddenly, a loud blast shook the ship and sent Casey, Dr. Matthews and Koala crashing to the floor again.
"What the hell was that?"
"That would be S.A.N.D.," Dr. Matthews told her.
"What?" Casey snarled. "I didn't think it was operational yet!"
"Obviously they fixed it."
S.A.N.D. was a semi-automatic nuclear device meant to drive off megalodons. The last three subs to set off S.A.N.D. had been destroyed in the blast that followed.
"Great! We're going to die anyway," Casey said as a voice above the alarm told them to get to the nearest escape pod.
No one replied as they scrambled to the escape pod nearest them. Water rushed around their ankles as they climbed in the pod and shot out away from the submarine.
They drifted above the water for several hours. Dawn came in a brilliant shade of red and orange and made Casey's eyes hurt.
"I'm starving," Koala moaned. She wasn't used to not eating in the morning, and it made her cranky.
"Well, we're screwed." Casey was quickly getting irritable, and to make it worse, she knew the full moon was going to be on them within two days.
All of a sudden, a pod of whales showed up. Casey heard them before the others, and once she did, she smiled for the first time since the escape pod had shot away from the submarine.
"What's wrong?" Koala asked and looked out the portcullis.
"The whales have come," Casey replied softly. "We're almost home."