Daily archives: December 31, 2002

Heavensent- Chapter 8, Part 1

The Cachement sank into the mud, valves hissing and bubbling as redistributed air settled it onto an even keel. No wreck ever laid on the bottom so neatly as the carefully scuttled barge. The crew still patrolled the deck, using the handrails as they swam toward the open hold.

They had started sinking as soon as the lights of Stran Island had shown on the horizon, continuing on their way underwater until they reached the sandbank that lay offshore. Now they had to transfer to the vehicles that were the barge�s cargo on its last journey. The long tubes, rounded at one end and with a propeller and rudder at the other, were little more than slow sit-on torpedoes, transport for the warheads that were the front quarter of the craft. The tube slung under the body carried extra batteries and oxygen to prolong the range for this special mission. Two by two, the crew members swan down to their Pigs.

Six Pigs headed for the north channel around Stran and six for the south. Those that made it were to pick their targets from the docks on the eastern side of the island. They knew they were part of a far larger plan, but were certain they were to strike the hardest blow. Strung out over several thousand spans, the small craft set out. If all went to plan, they would arrive in the harbour just before dawn.

With its mission completed, the Cachement�s crew flooded the tanks, transferring the air to their control section. As the hull of the old barge settled snugly into the mud, the little metal bubble began rising slowly to, hopefully, a rescue craft from the invasion fleet.