Chapter 21:

Things Finally Go Right

Joseph and Anton along with the three soldiers ran down the corridors of Dread's ship. They had been running for a long while and had went up several cases of stairs.

"This way!" Anton said shouldering a door open. The room was dark and small, but a ladder in the center of the room led to a hatch. "This door leads to the topside of the submarine, from there, you can blow the guns up."

Joseph nodded and gave Anton a hardy pat on the shoulder. "Thanks, Anton," he said.

Anton turned to leave.

"Where are you going?" Joseph called.

"You're going to regret it if you let me go!" Anton called to him and ran off.

Joseph shook his head as one of his men opened the door. Up and above, an explosions from the Chargeur rattled the air. Joseph and his men climbed up through the hatch. They were basically standing on top of a hill. A hill of guns and steel. Whichever way they looked, were pairs of guns parallel to each. After every pair, the shape of the hull would decline a bit to the next pair and so on.

"Come on!" shouted a soldier to Joseph. They ran up to a base of one of the guns.

"C4"? asked Joseph.

One of the men nodded and handed him some C4. Joseph ran over to the base of a gun and primed the explosive. He signaled it was ready to go, and they proceeded to put more C4 on the other guns in the area.

/-\

I pressed a magnetic bomb against the engine of the submarine. It beeped signaling it was primed. "You ready over on your end?" I called to Erin.

She finished pushing one into place on the other side then gave me a thumbs up. We had found a set of remotely detonated bombs in the armory down the flight of stairs. I wasn't complaining but, who would have designed this ship so the armory was right next to the engine room? Like I said, I wasn't complaining.

I ran out of the door, through the metal hall lined with cables and pipes to the stairs where I jumped down them all. When I was far enough away and Erin was at my side, I held the remote up to Erin. "The honor is all yours," I said.

She nodded, took it and pressed the button. The ear splitting explosion tore the room into flames but that didn't last long. The flames immediately stopped. Puzzled, I ran up the stairs and into the room.

"Kenton!"

I turned around to see Erin at the bottom of the stairs, but then I was hit with the force of a semi. Water slammed head-on into me carrying me off my feet. I couldn't see anything, but my head banged against the ceiling. I trusted my arms out in front of me to protect myself, but the next thing I knew I was tumbling down the stairs!

Then in one instant, I was flung out onto my back. I groaned indignantly. "What happened?" I asked.

Erin pulled me up. "The explosion- it must have cracked the hull or something."

I nodded. "If so then we need to get out of here!"

Nodding in agreement, Erin and I ran up the stairs with water gushing down around our ankles. We had to use the railing for support so we wouldn't get knocked off our feet. I pulled myself up onto the final level, water still gushing under our ankles.

"I don't see where the explosions ruptured the hull!" Erin shouted over the sound of the water.

I gulped. Reliving the moments of the unfortunate aboard the Titanic was not what I had in mind. I ran over to the smoldering and sparking bits of the engine and looked up. "There!" I said pointing. Above us, a hole the size of an oven was in the ceiling and water was pouring in.

"How are we going to get out?" Erin asked fearfully.

"Run!" I shouted. I turned and ran over to the door we had come through, but a massive inch thick door had just finished closing in its place. "No!" I said banging against. I couldn't drown here! Drowning was what I feared most aside from heights.

"Maybe we could wait for the water to rise so it could carry us up to the top and we could then climb out?" Erin proposed.

"I don't think that would work," I said pacing back and forth. The water was now up to my knees.

/-\

"What do we do now?" asked Petraeus.

Defense did not know. He stood staring blankly at the enemy ship as the Chargeur returned fire. "We hold off as long as we can," he replied. The something caught his eye.

"Is that Denali?" Defense asked, very puzzled.

Petraeus leaned forward too, and looked across to the enemy submarine. Sure enough, they both saw Denali and three other soldiers. Defense clapped his hands together and laughed joyously. "We still have a chance!"

"That's my man!" Petraeus said pointing to Denali.

/-\

But Denali and his men weren't faring so well.

"Return fire!" Joseph shouted.

A lot was happening. The submarine and and the Chargeur were shooting at each other while Denali and his team were in a firefight against an armed squad of Dread's. He and his men were using one of the guns as cover from the attacking men. They were armed with AK47s- the Russian equivalent to the M16.

Joseph and two soldiers came out of cover and lay down fire. The third was setting one last bomb on one of the guns. Joseph shot one attacker in the shoulder. He stumbled and fell to the ocean below. The other four attacking men advanced laying down fire again.

"Run!" Joseph shouted standing up. He and his team took off tot he back end of the submarine as they were being pursued. "Davis, you got the remote?"

The soldier named Davis nodded and pressed the remote detonator for the explosives. Behind them, the four guns blew up into the sky. The metallic debris hit the attacking men killing them instantly.

A piece of the guns landed only inches from Joseph. "Take cover!" he shouted throwing himself down behind a metal box wielded into the sub. He glanced back. They were only 10 yards or so from the rudder of the submarine.

An explosion rocked through the air.

"Son of-" shouted one of the soldiers.

Joseph looked back to see a cloud of bubbles come rushing up from a part of the submarine that was still submerged. He ran over to it, boots splashing through the water.

"Watch out sir!"

Joseph stopped mid-step at the sound of Davis' voice. He looked down through the water and saw a hole int eh submerged part of the ship! "I don't get it," Joseph replied.

"Underwater explosion, sir," Davis replied. He took one looked up at how close it was to the set of rotors. "I'm guessing it came from the engine room."

Davis, Joseph and the other two looked down through the hole. They couldn't see anything. "Someone might be down there," one of the men said grimly.

"And survive that explosion?" Joseph asked raising an eyebrow. "I think not."

Davis pulled out a cable from his belt. "If anyone is there, then they'll give this a tug." Joseph nodded and Davis lowered it in.

/-\

Down below...

I was pacing worriedly as the room was filling up with water. It was now up to our waists and things weren't looking good. Erin was trying to calm me down and it wasn't working. I did not want to relive the Titanic in any way.

Then right through the cracked hole, a cable came tumbling in! I ran over to it and grasped it with both hands. "We're saved!" I shouted to Erin.

She laughed joyously and wadded over. "But how are we going to get out? It has not knots on it for us to climb out!"

"I did not think of that..." I said eying the hole that the water was coming in from. Then it got a lot more rigged and a tug came from above. I grabbed both my hands around it and held on tightly.

"I think someone is up there!" I said.

I let myself get hauled up through the water.

When I came up the other end, I saw four soldiers surrounding me. One I recognized as Joseph Denali.

"Joseph!" I said. "How did you get here?"

He helped me to my feet. "That!" he shouted over the explosions all around while pointing across the the submarine to the Chargeur. "It's a Canadian super warship."

The warship looked like a cross between a battle ship and a carrier. It looked like a carrier in the regard that it had a runway, and it looked like a battleship because of the cannons mounted under the runway. It was on fire and some of the guns were taken out. I also noticed that the ship was beginning to pull away from the submarine.

"Wow," I remarked.

Joseph and the soldiers helped Erin up and soon we were all standing together on the back of the submarine.

"You!" Erin shouted to Joseph.

"You know her?" shouted one of the soldiers, obviously impressed.

Joseph shrugged. "Yeah but she hates me."

A long silence ensued as the water sloshed up to our legs. The guns had stopped firing. I turned around and saw the massive warship that was the Chargeur pulling away from the submarine. It had craters all over it and smoke was billowing up from damaged sections. Dread's submarine was probably in worse shape. Quite a few of his guns had been replaced by smoking craters and his engines had been taken out. The sky was cloudy, very cloudy and the sun was obscured by the dark gray clouds.

I heard the piercing sound of a bullet striking metal. "Get down!" shouted Joseph stepping in front of me and raising his M16.

"Where?" I said looking around. He shoved me down and shot back off at whoever was attacking us.

"I can't see anything!" shouted a marine.

"Keep firing!" Joseph shouted over a burst of bullets.

It was no secret to anyone that Dread had sent more men to kill us. From where I was kneeling down in the water, I couldn't see where our attackers were! Erin looked over at me. She was crouched down next to me.

I heard a soldier grunt, then he fell over on his side into the water.

"No!" shouted Joseph.

"We need to advance!" said another soldier. He ran forward to a component on the submarine. One of the hostile soldiers pounced up and ran him through with a knife!

Then all the attacking men came out of hiding. There were dozens of them and they were standing behind guns and various components of the submarine. We were outnumbered, they had cover and we didn't.

"How are we going to get them all, Davis?"

Was that Panic I heard in Joseph's voice?

Bullets bounced and ricocheted everywhere. Just when I thought they would overrun us, I heard a loud whoosh and two missiles collided with the upper portion of the submarine! The explosion took out the dozen men that were attacking us, but my ear were ringing from the loudness of it all.

A massive shadow of a jet bomber was right over us. I looked up, but Joseph seemed the most surprised of us all. "That's the bomber from the hijacking," he said with awe. "What's it doing here?"

"And how's it just floating there if it's a jet?" I shouted over the roar of the jet engines of the aircraft.

"The jet engines can be re-angled for vertical landing and take off," Joseph replied. "Who's driving it though?"

Then as if an answer to his question, a hatch on the underside opened and a steel cable flung down. Standing in it was Anton.

"Anton!" I shouted.

"Grab onto the cable, I'll pull you up!" he shouted back down.

I turned around to Joseph and the other soldier known as Davis. "You two first," I said.

Joseph shrugged. He and Davis walked forward and grabbed the handle at the end of the cable. It began to pull them up. I couldn't believe Anton had found this jet. Where had he gotten it from anyways?

As soon as the two soldiers had been pulled up, the cable was thrown back down. Erin and I took the handle and Anton turned the winch on that pulled us up.