CHAPTER V: "A FORESHADOWING AND AN ARRIVAL"
After Edward and I had escaped the cargo hold, we met with Ward and Crawford and told them of our experience. Ward stated that he had heard those words before, but could not remember where. We decided to not continue to follow the professor any longer as the strange and horrific implications were simply to abhorrent to consider. We all knew that we were only a few days away from Ujelang and there was very little we could do.
After discussing all of our information and our suppositions regarding both the professor and the mysterious Phillips, we all agreed that something must be done to uncover whatever truth lies hidden in these events. We all felt the underlying feeling that something evil had hold of the professor and we agreed that the evil was Phillips. Whatever Phillips was, man or other, we must find out. Our plan would never come to fruition, as the Professor was ahead of us and held another fate in store.
Ward and Crawford suggested that we steal some small side arms from the servicemen right before we left the Etolin. All agreed that this was necessary, considering what Edward and I had witnessed. We discussed the possibility that Phillips was in the crate in some sort of vampyrish suspended animation and the Professor was providing him sustenance. God! How could this be in our modern age of science and reason?
Before we retired that night, the servicemen were unusually active in conversation. Our group listened intently to news that the Allied troops were beginning to amass a large force near Hawaii for some sort of offensive in or near the Marshall Islands.
I was quite keen to listen discreetly amoung the servicemen to gain information regarding the latest news from the areas where we were going. The most interesting news, which would become more horrifically pertinent later into our doomed mission, was that on July 19th an American submarine- The USS Porpoise- had battled and sank a Japanese sub, the "Mikage Maru", somewhere near the vicinity of Ujelang Island.(15)
The next few days were met with the usual interaction between ourselves and the servicemen, without sign of the Professor.
We stayed as a group whenever possible and kept detailed notes and journals regarding our experience thus far. The closer we came to Ujelang, the greater the intensity of our feeling that something wicked was coming.
The evening of the 24th, we were told to proceed to the top deck to meet with the professor and prepare to be transferred to Ujelang Island. Upon arrival we saw the professor, pale and appearing weakened. He stated that the chartered ship had not yet arrived and the Etolin's captain had stated that they could not wait for it's arrival. He continued by stating that we were going to be unloaded ashore on the island, along with our equipment and some supplies for short-term survival in the
event that the chartered ship did not arrive. The Etolin was to loan us a skiff to reach shore and upon returning by Ujelang, would check our status by radio.
The Etolin's captain assured us that Ujelang Island was not occupied by any forces of the war and there was only one building on the island dating back to the 1880's- an old German factory, long abandoned.(16)
The Professor instructed us to go below immediately and gather our gear.
The four of us went below and began gathering our things. Three of us were able to steal side arms from our bunkmates without being discovered, but Ward was unable to. We quickly discussed these change in plans and stated that there was something amiss, we feared the professor was on to our suspicions. Hiding the firearms amoung our personal possessions, we went back to the top
To our surprise, the loading crane had already begun unloading the strange crate to the small craft from the Etolin. To further our confusion, standing in the craft alight and visible in the reflections of the sea, was the dark man.
At this point in time, I didn't care about the Japanese or the war going on near us....I feared the contents of that crate.
If Phillips was not being transported in that damned crate....then what was?
NEXT CHAPTER VI: "A SCREAM & GUNSHOTS AT MIDNIGHT"