A/N: Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I was originally planning to make this as an extra long chapter, but as of yesterday, I found out that my cousin deleted EVERYTHING! When I say delete I mean, permanently. So I had to write almost everything over again. So that I don't keep those who are reading waiting, I'm just going to rewrite the large chapter into smaller segments, if that is to everyone's liking. Thank you too all of you who are patient enough to continue reading this story, and too my awesome colleagues in Duyon Production©.

-Juson


"Group one, follow me down into the lower decks, Group two, stay put, and I any of you try to escape, ye be having a visit with me gun!" The captain said as he led Group one into the lower regions of the ship.

It's been one week since we were told that we were to leave for Australia, one week since my freedom was extinguished like a small flicker of life, one week since my hopes of a new better life lessened even more…one week since I made a friend.

We were currently being 'loaded' on the ship that would send us to the large prison establishments in Australia, and as you can probably tell, we were separated into groups, two groups to be specific.

We were in group two, which consisted of people who did small crimes, such as thieving fruits or not paying taxes. The other group, group one, was consisted of murderers.

You see, I just found out, that we were in fact making two stops. One to our (as in Grace and I) penal colony, and another to Port Arthur, where all the cold hearted murderers go. From what I heard while on the streets, Port Arthur is really like a last resort for criminals, some say that it's worse than a death sentence.

We stood there, me and Grace, chained to each other's wrist, which were also chained to different people who were (literally) floating the same boat we were. After waiting outside the loading board of the prison ship, the captain came back out. He took us all to the second lower decks, right above the First Group.

Attached to the floor of the room were chains and above on the ceiling were a few lanterns and rotting planks. The smell of sea salt lingered in the room. It made my stomach tie knots.

Within ten minutes, our ankles were chained to the floor and we were lying on the floor, side by side, with barely three inches separating the people next to us. I started getting nervous. I've never had to stay still for a long amount of time, and I started feeling nauseous. It got even worse when the ship left the harbor. We weren't even thirty minutes out to sea when it felt like I couldn't breathe. It was like the room was closing in on me, maybe from the foul smell already accumulating within the room.

I tried to calm myself down by letting my mind wander. I thought about my life, the orphanage, sweet treats, anything I can that would divert my attention away from my current situation. I let my mind wander further, further, and further. Soon I began to think about dark thoughts, about my dead parents, my failed life, and now being on the ship. It wandered even farther, with horrid thoughts like the ship sinking, great storms while out in sea and stories I heard on the streets about monsters that terrorized ships for fun.

Panicking, I tried to think positively.

'Get a grip Scarlet! Stop thinking negative thoughts like that. The captain will make sure we get there safely' the positive inner part of me said, calming me down a bit.

I mean most of the people on this ship are just criminals, why would the captain take precaution about steering the ship?' my negative part of my inner-self said.

I instantly felt tense again, and I desperately tried to find a reason why that would not happen.

'No, if the captain does that then not only will we die, but he and the crew will too.' The positive part of my inner consciousness said. My other half stayed quiet and I thought that I had won the argument.

'Though you are correct about that, there is little that the captain and crew can do about diseases. I heard that rats that sneak on aboard carry plenty of diseases, and that if one of the prisoners die, they simply let him rot there. If they are generous enough they may even throw the dead captives over board.' My negative other half said, as if it was trying to make me cry. I wasn't that far from doing just that.

I felt someone squeeze my hand, and I looked to my left and saw Grace smiling reassuringly, how can she be so calm in a situation like this?

As if she read my mind, she just smiled and shook her head, as if it was a gesture saying that she would tell me some other time. For some reason, that simple gesture seemed to calm me down, and the knots in my stomach loosened just a bit.

As I continued to get myself to calm down, I heard the crew above us yell,

"Departin' the Harbor!"

I felt the ship move beneath me and I felt my nervousness come back. Grace squeezed my hand again reassuringly and I relaxed a bit. I took a deep breath and steadied myself.

'I can make it, I can make it, I can make it!' I chanted to myself quietly. I continued to chant this in my head until my heart was beating softly again. I soon found myself falling asleep, the day's events taking its toll on me. I couldn't tell if it was still daylight outside because the windows were covered. Never the less, my eyes started to droop as I listened to the creaking of the ships floorboards. I looked to Grace and saw that she too was asleep. She was still holding my hand in a reassuring way, and for that I was thankful.

I looked back at the ceiling and allowed myself to think about how my life has taken quite some turn of events in a really short amount of time. I thought about meeting Grace, and how she was so nice to me even if we just met a week ago and I got her into this mess. She really was a great friend. I wonder if I'll ever be able to repay her.
As my mind continued to wander, I found my eyes drooping more and more, and before I knew it, they were too heavy to keep open. My last thought before falling asleep was,

'This is gonna be one great adventure…'

A/N: Thanks for reading! Please review and tell me what I should/shouldn't do, grammatical mistakes, things you liked/disliked, etc. If you have time, make sure to check up on my fellow associates writing on Duyon Production©

-Juson