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Somewhere in the Arctic
Nicholas’s eyes scanned the bleak ocean ahead of him. His eyes were as the sea after a storm, cold and in turmoil; as he spotted three large chunks of ice heading towards them. He called to the captain.
“Icebergs on the starboard bow” He called.
“Confirmed” the Captain grumbled
The captain, a man at the age of sixty or so; steered the ship away from the hazards. The captain was a largely built man with a bushy beard and a bad attitude. He wore a blue coat and tan trousers. His shirt was yellow from thirty wandering voyages at sea. Nicholas, on the other hand, had a slim feature with a gaunt face and handsome looks that could win any woman that he chose. As the captain grabbed the wheel with his gnarled hands, Paul walked in. Paul’s features were that of an athlete. He had a not so good looking face, but muscular features that could make any man cower in fear.
“Hello, Nicholas” Paul said.
Nicholas smiled and looked at Paul.
“Hello, how are you, Paul?” Nicholas asked.
“I’m well” Paul said, “How about you?”
“The same” Nicholas said.
The captain looked at Nicholas and Paul, with annoyance in his eyes. No one respects my privacy He thought.
“Hey, you” The captain said to Paul, “Why don’t you make yourself useful and go fix those ropes out there?”
Paul turned to leave, with Nicholas following behind him. Reaching his hand out, Paul snatched up a hatchet from the table. As soon as they were out of the bridge, the frigid air bit at their faces.
“Are you going to tell the pox tale?” Paul asked.
Nicholas nodded and led Paul to the large mast on the ship.
“Okay” Nicholas began, “About 400 years ago, many people from the Age of Exploration came over to the Americas. They interacted with the natives in the Americas and traded weapons, livestock, and food to them. In order to spread the news of the new people, many natives had messengers that traveled from tribe to tribe, giving the messages. One of the things that the white settlers traded, however, was the smallpox virus. As the legend goes, one messenger carrying the pox traveled from a tribe to give not only the message but, the smallpox. So, the messengers would get sick and pass the sickness on to other messengers.
“One messenger came up to Baffin Island to deliver the message but froze to death while sleeping in a cave. Therefore, he still has the smallpox in his body.”
Paul gaped at him for a second before speaking.
“But, wouldn’t the pox die with the human?”
“Yes, but, my father founded the body and the pox. Not only did he do tests on them, he also found that this strain of smallpox resists the now known strain. Ironically, my father died up here while ice fishing, now there are two frozen bodies up here.” Nicholas said.
Before Paul could say anything, the watcher from the crow’s nest shouted above the blizzard:
Nicholas looked at Paul.
“I’ll take you to the cave after we land.” Nicholas whispered.
Getting to the cave was easy for Nicholas and Paul. The captain, however, watched them from the docks.
“What are they doing?” The captain asked his first mate.
“I don’t know” the first mate said, “Probably just exploring.”
Paul looked around the cave. Every inch of the cave was covered in either ice of snow. In one corner, laid a body; the ice kept it perfectly preserved as Nicholas knelt down near it. Taking out a large knife he removed a finger, piece of skin, and a tooth. He placed them in three glass containers and stood up.
“Let’s go back” Nicholas said.
“You’re not going anywhere” A voice said, from the entrance of the cave.
There stood the captain; he held a 1911 colt in his. His angry eyes looked at the two thieves.
“Nicholas” The captain asked, “What are you doing?”
Paul stepped forward and looked at the captain straight in the eyes.
“Don’t take it too hard” Paul said, “It’s just good business.”
The captain reached back and pistol whipped Paul in the mouth.
“Shut up, maggot!” the captain shouted, “Now, what are you doing?”
Had he been paying attention, the captain would have realized that Paul have gotten up very slyly; and was approaching him.
“Nicholas what are you doing?” The captain asked, gently.
Paul drew the hatchet out of his pocket and held it up above his own head.
“Paul, don’t!” Nicholas yelled.
Paul brought the hatchet down onto the back of the captain’s head; the captain fell over onto the cold snow, dead.
“Let’s go” Paul said.
Close to the Eurasia Shore
Nicholas Watched as the first glimpse of shore appeared above the horizon. Paul looked at him from the steering wheel of the ship.
“How has the crew been?” Nicholas asked.
“I personally think that they’re okay but…” Paul started
“But, what” Nicholas asked.
“They’ve been planning a mutiny amongst themselves, I heard them talking about it.” Paul said.
“Hmmmm that is a problem” Nicholas said.
“What do you propose?” Paul asked.
“Let’s have a toast” Nicholas suggested.
“Gentlemen” Nicholas announced, “For being a great help on this voyage and for taking the accidental death of the captain so well, we’re going to a celebration!”
The crew members cheered as the chef’s brought out platters of food and barrels of beer and ale. Dropping the anchor from the ship, the men drank, ate, and were merry. Everyone celebrated, except Nicholas and Paul. Both of them watched the celebration from the bridge of the ship. It was well into the night before the men fell asleep. Paul looked at Nicholas who smiled, darkly.
“What did you put in the food and drinks?” Paul asked.
The last man awake fell down, suddenly as Nicholas looked at him, darkly.
“Arsenic” He whispered.
Paul and Nicholas grabbed all the oil on the ship. Whether it was from the lamps or from the barrels for the lamps, they spilled it all over the ship. Soon, the aroma of oil was in the air surrounding the ship. Casting off a lifeboat, Nicholas and Paul rode about 300 meters from the ship. Taking a signal flare gun, Nicholas fired a signal flare onto the ship, which caught fire immediately. The ship sank, as two killers rode with one suitcase containing the smallpox samples, towards the shore.
“Next stop, Billy Bob’s Freakshow” Paul said.
No one would stop them, for now.