Snakes and Pills

095 - bar side

William grimaced as he grabbed the cold metal frame of the doorway. The wound in his stomach was the worst of it all. He knew that he was still bleeding out, and that it was only a matter of time until he wouldn't be able to maintain consciousness. But the hits he had taken to his left knee were also still quite troublesome. Especially since the pain flared up most noticeably whenever he tried to move, and right now his life depended on his ability to move.

The ship rocked unexpectedly back and forth. It did this every once in a while, but this occurrence was especially tumultuous. William braced himself as best he could, grasping onto the smooth frame even harder now. As he did so, his body tightened and all he could feel was pain rushing out of his wounds. He wanted to scream out, but he knew he had to avoid giving up his position at all costs.

A few moments later, the ship stabilized itself and he could relax his grip. He looked briefly at the two bloodstains his hands had left on the glossy surface. If they came by this way, his presence here would be noticeable in an instant. But then again, it was also a reminder of just how dire his situation was, and William knew he had to press on. It was now or never.

He briefly checked both directions in the corridor and saw that they were empty. He knew that most likely these decks would have been evacuated and abandoned by now, but there was no point in walking directly into one of them point blank if it could be avoided. Having no idea where to go, William randomly chose to head left. He limped down the hallway as best he could with his knee. However, the trail ended in a dead end after about a hundred meters or so.

The smoke was starting to get thicker, and it was getting harder and harder for William to even see clearly. He checked carefully to ensure that he indeed was at an impasse, then he peered down to the device strapped to his wrist. It still continued to indicate that he had no signal.

William wanted to shout out in frustration. There was no way the rest of his crew would find him down here. No rescue party would come and sweep through the area. His only hope was to be able to establish a connection with them and hopefully let someone know he was still alive.

He breathed in heavily, trying to get oxygen to his injured body, in preparation for further movement. He limped back, tracing his steps. This was a task that was made easier by the trail of blood that he was apparently leaving everywhere. It was again a stark reminder to how little time he had left.

As he passed the doorway and this time headed down the right side of the corridor, William's vision was starting to get blurry. He knew he couldn't keep at it for much longer. Fortunately, the right side of the hallway did not continue on for a great distance.

William reached the far wall and for a moment thought he was at another dead end. He soon realized that there was a hatch, which he opened with considerable effort. Behind the door, he found a metal service ladder. He peered into the shaft, which was so tall that it almost appeared never-ending.

It was not the most welcome sight in the world, but it was something. William took a deep breath in.


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