A derelict vessel, a mysterious tale, an ancient horror...
Malevolent follows Arkham Investigator Arthur Lester as he unravels the mysterious circumstances that have befallen him.
In the Ninth part of our series Arthur and the entity have fallen out and are struggling to find a way forward. With the officers having taken them into custody, it is only a matter of time before something more sinister finds them... If you are enjoying this Podcast, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter to receive all Chapters as they are completed as well as the choices that you, the listener, get to make. Find out more here: https://www.patreon.com/TheINVICTUSStream
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PART NINE - THE BOAT
Original transcript by Eggsy39 and Jack! Reviewed by Puzzleglum.
(BEGIN Part 9.)
(The sound of waves in the background.)
COLLIN: Don’t look at him, Mitchell.
MITCHELL: Why’s he looking around like that?
COLLIN: I don’t know. Are you okay? You look… bothered.
MITCHELL: Yeah. Yeah, I’m just… yeah, I’m fine.
(Collin steps along the boat deck.)
COLLIN: Why are you looking around like that, Laurence? You’re making my partner uncomfortable.
ARTHUR: Like what?
COLLIN: You’re not staring at anything. You’re just… looking around.
ARTHUR (tired): I’m blind.
COLLIN: You’re blind? Bullshit. (Fabric rustles as he makes a gesture.) Hm, well, I’ll be. (He calls out.) He’s blind, Caldwell.
COLLIN (calling out): Yeah.
MITCHELL: How did he kill that –
ARTHUR: I told you I didn’t kill him.
COLLIN: You didn’t?
COLLIN: Well, I think you’ll spend a couple weeks in county and then we’ll see about exactly what you did or didn’t do, hm?
(Collin flicks a lighter and lights a cigarette.)
MITCHELL (calling over): Collin!
COLLIN: Yeah? (He inhales and exhales smoke.) Yeah? (He flicks the lighter again.)
MITCHELL: Come here for a second.
(Collin walks over.)
MITCHELL: I can barely see anything in the fog, but… what is that?
COLLIN: Uh… I don’t know. Are we back at the docks?
MITCHELL: Nah, it’s too soon.
COLLIN: Go slow.
MITCHELL: What is that?
COLLIN: I, uh – ah, damn, Caldwell! That’s a ship! Get the light. Kill the engine.
(The engine stops.)
COLLIN (calling out): Hello! Is anybody on board?
MITCHELL: Is it… it looks rusted through. (They both walk closer. There’s a vague sputtering noise in the background, like a motor.) She’s huge. Who would leave her here in the harbor? How wouldn’t we have…?
COLLIN (calling out again): Hello?
MITCHELL: What’s that noise?
COLLIN: I don’t know, a motor? I’m not sure.
(They walk closer.)
MITCHELL: What is it? A fishing boat?
COLLIN: Maybe, it’s big. It’s got rooms, for Christ’s sake. Maybe it came in from the ocean, got lost in the fog.
MITCHELL: What do we do?
COLLIN (sighing): Alright kid, do you want to stay here with him or head on board and take a look?
MITCHELL: Jesus Christ. I’ll take a look on the ship.
(Mitchell walks off, climbing onto the rusty boat.)
COLLIN (displeased): What?
ARTHUR: Where are we?
COLLIN: There’s a ship here. It looks abandoned but we’re making sure no one’s on board, that no one is in need of help.
ARTHUR: Officer, you’re making a grave mistake.
COLLIN: Well, that’s a laugh comin’ from you.
ARTHUR: Listen to me; this fog, this lake –
COLLIN: I think I’m just about done listening to you.
ARTHUR (fierce, annoyed): Except you have yet to try! I’m trying to tell you that I am not ‘Laurence Holder’, I bought that ID when I lost my own and as much as it looks very bad right now, I need you to understand that you and your partner are in danger. There is something wrong with this lake, this area, this… island that we’ve just come from.
(Ominous music rises.)
COLLIN: Why do you say that?
ARTHUR (frustrated): Because it’s true! I didn’t kill that man. I don’t know how he died, just – try to listen to me. Your partner, he’s in danger. He was already losing a bit of his mind and… this thing that has been following me, it –
COLLIN: Alright, that’s enough. (He walks off and calls out.) Caldwell! You okay?
ARTHUR: No, listen, this… being that has been tracking me, it weakens your mind until –
COLLIN (frustrated): I said that’s enough!
(Arthur gets punched and grunts in pain.)
COLLIN (calling out): Caldwell!
COLLIN (sighing): You’re gonna stay put, right here.
(He starts to walk off.)
COLLIN (calling out): Caldwell!
(He gets off the boat.)
JOHN (sarcastic): Well, this feels like it’s going to end well.
ARTHUR (quietly angry): You killed my partner.
JOHN: I did, yes.
ARTHUR: And now you want to work together again.
JOHN (with varying tones of sadism): I just want to bask for a moment in the realization that, should these police bring you to jail, the King in Yellow will have his pick of the litter. Your bunkmate, the guards watching you. All of them can be infected by him, driven mad until they do his bidding, just like Amanda said. Imagine, not only being trapped in a cell for the rest of your days, but trapped in a cell with a mad king able to enter your dreams.
ARTHUR: What is wrong with you?
JOHN (fiercely angry): You! You do nothing but piss and moan while I have to sit idly by, unable to act on anything! It’s like watching a film about a pathetic man who can’t stand the sight of his own shadow and yet I am unable to leave.
ARTHUR: Is that what you want? You want to leave, because…?
JOHN: Because what?
ARTHUR: Have you thought about what happens if I die? This… Dark World you seemed so ready to forget, it’s waiting for you, John, or whatever the fuck you want to be called. And why do you think that place waits for you? What do you think sent you there in the first place? Maybe being a right prick is on the list of requirements for admittance. In which case pack your bag, cause when we are done with this ride, I am sure you’ll be heading back having met the qualification ten times over at least.
(They sit in silence for a moment.)
ARTHUR: That’s right, you’re so comfortable being along for the ride that you forgot that I am steering and I can drive us right off a fucking cliff, if I want.
JOHN (hesitant): You wouldn’t.
ARTHUR: Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the only thing –
(Gunshots, from a distance.)
ARTHUR: What the fuck was that?
JOHN: Something is shooting on the boat.
ARTHUR: Shooting what?
JOHN: How the fuck should I know?
ARTHUR (frustrated): Listen, I don’t care if you and I don’t see eye to eye, if we don’t work together, we’re dead. We’re both gone.
(John sighs, sulking.)
ARTHUR (commanding): So tell me what you see.
JOHN: The boat is a large fishing vessel, spotted with rust. It hugs the mist, much like our own boat.
ARTHUR: The keys for this…?
JOHN: Taken. By the older officer, the one who hit us.
(Arthur sighs in disappointment.)
JOHN: The water is still. The younger officer tied the front of this boat to the drifting ship which… seems anchored.
ARTHUR: Anchored? Hm. And the sound?
JOHN: No idea. Nothing I can see is making that sound. There is a lot of fog surrounding us.
ARTHUR (sighing): Right. (A short pause.) Alright.
(He stands up with a grunt.)
JOHN: What are you doing?
ARTHUR: Well, we can’t row this boat back with our hands cuffed and it doesn’t sound like they’re coming back.
JOHN: So you’re going to go… what? Find them?
ARTHUR: I don’t know, but I’m handcuffed and… what other options are there?
JOHN: Just wait, or find a way to move this boat. Normally, I –
ARTHUR (disbelieving): You want me to wait?
JOHN: I want you to think.
ARTHUR: That sounds like the same thing. (He sighs.) If we wait here, we may not get a second chance.
JOHN: So you…
ARTHUR: So I’m going to follow.
JOHN (sighing): The ladder is to your right.
(Arthur walks towards the ladder, lightly groaning in pain.)
JOHN: Have you considered how you’re going to climb with your hands cuffed?
ARTHUR: I’ll make it work.
(He carefully climbs up the ladder, his cuffs clicking against the metal. He pants all the while.)
ARTHUR (satisfied, exhausted): There.
JOHN (unimpressed): Impressive.
(Thunder rolls. Arthur grunts as he walks onto the ship.)
ARTHUR: What – what is this ship?
JOHN: It looks like a seafaring vessel, large enough to house a number of people. I can’t tell if it’s fishing or what. The fog is thick, even on the deck. To the right of us is the main living area, I suppose. I can’t see a door to enter but it’s the main part of this vessel.
ARTHUR: Any sign of where the officers may have gone?
(He walks further.)
ARTHUR (referring to the engine): What is that sound? Can we find it?
JOHN: It sounds like it’s coming from the back of the boat.
ARTHUR: The stern.
ARTHUR: Well, let’s see about that first.
JOHN: The door, leading into the living quarters. It’s open.
ARTHUR: The officers?
JOHN: May have gone in there.
ARTHUR: Right, let’s be careful.
(He walks inside. The engine noise quiets into silence. More thunder rumbles.)
JOHN: There’s blood here in the hallway, running along the metallic walls of this room. It’s a short passageway forward into what looks to be the dining area for the crew.
ARTHUR: The blood, is it… old?
JOHN: Whatever happened here happened quite some time ago.
(Arthur moves forward. The buzzing of flies becomes audible.)
JOHN: The dining room looks empty, well used. There are things strewn about, though.
ARTHUR (in disgust): Oh. Oh, the smell is very foul. Something has been rotting away in here. Oh, fuck. Where are the crew?
JOHN: That’s the question, isn’t it?
ARTHUR: The blood?
JOHN: Leads up a small passageway, towards the bridge, maybe. Wait.
JOHN: There’s a cabin to your left that’s opened, head there.
(Arthur walks. Thunder rolls outside. The door creaks.)
JOHN: Looks like a crew cabin for two. One bed is well made, the other… the other looks like they had a tough time sleeping. The floor is stained…
JOHN: No, I don’t think so. It looks like mud or silt. The floor in general is in disarray. The sheets look well worn, maybe even slightly ripped.
ARTHUR: I wonder what they were out here for. Does anything speak to… maybe their purpose for being here?
JOHN: Nothing stands out. But the porthole window is broken and there’s a fair amount of grease on the cabinet doors.
ARTHUR: Engine work?
(Wind whistles through the cabin. As Arthur walks, the wind gets louder.)
JOHN: This window has a large stain beneath it.
ARTHUR: How so?
JOHN: As if something were leaking, mud-like.
JOHN: Maybe they were passing something through and spilled it.
ARTHUR: Were there any other cabins?
JOHN: There was another cabin down the hall, a bit.
ARTHUR: Let’s check it out.
ARTHUR: Because I want to understand what happened here.
JOHN: A little further. There, to your left.
(He opens a door.)
ARTHUR: Well? John?
JOHN (amidst horror-filled music): There are… images all over the walls here.
JOHN: Drawings, sketches, hundreds upon hundreds, all on top of each other.
ARTHUR: Of what?
ARTHUR: Human eyes, or...?
JOHN: All different types. (Arthur starts to rifle through papers.) Some drawn large and loose, some small and beady. The floor as well is littered with pages.
ARTHUR (in shock): What happened here?
JOHN: Clearly someone very unwell spent time in this room. This doesn’t speak to a person in a healthy frame of mind.
ARTHUR: Whose room was this? Is there a name on the door or…? (He flips a paper over.)
JOHN: ‘Captain’. It’s written on his trunk.
ARTHUR (sighing, rifling through papers): The captain of the ship was obsessed, specifically with these eyes. That must have been terrifying to follow such a madman. What were they doing out here?
JOHN: There’s no log of sorts. There are a few articles pinned to the wall next to his bunk.
(Arthur walks over.)
JOHN: This bunk is just as torn as the last one, as if they all had a tough time sleeping. The first article reads ‘A Whale of a Tale’.
(Thunder rumbles, louder. John pauses.)
JOHN: Seems to be about a large whale that capsized a fishing vessel.
ARTHUR: A whale? (Suspenseful music rises.)
JOHN: There’s another article here about a local legend. A demon of the seas.
JOHN: And another –
(The door hurriedly shuts. Arthur gasps.)
JOHN: I think something was watching us.
JOHN: We should not linger here. Whatever happened to this crew…
ARTHUR: Alright. Alright, yes. (He walks off, shutting the door behind him. The buzzing flies return again. Thunder rumbles.)
JOHN: The bridge is up a sharp set of stairs. (Arthur climbs metal stairs.) Go slow, I feel like something is close.
(The wind whistles faintly.)
JOHN: There’s blood here too, but it’s fresh.
JOHN: This is the bridge. The large windows look out in nearly every direction, but they’re broken.
ARTHUR: Broken? Removed, or-or just cracked?
JOHN: Large holes smashed into each one, as if done with a sledgehammer.
ARTHUR: What on Earth… the blood?
JOHN: It’s everywhere. The floor is covered in fresh blood. (ARTHUR: Fuck.) But there’s also old, dried blood on the helm. The fog outside is so thick, it looks as if we’re in another world.
ARTHUR: Where are we? You-you said the ship is anchored? Are there any documents here? A map, or…
JOHN: Yes, next to the helm.
(Arthur steps over and picks up a crinkly map.)
JOHN: Yes. They’re definitely meant to be here.
ARTHUR: They meant to be where?
JOHN: Where we’re anchored.
ARTHUR: But there’s nothing out here. The officers said we’re in the middle of nowhere.
ARTHUR: The blood, where does it lead?
JOHN: Right. (Arthur steps into something wet.) The back of… oh, fuck.
JOHN: The officer is here.
ARTHUR: Is he…?
JOHN: No. He’s been shot in the head.
ARTHUR: No. Oh, fuck.
JOHN: Three times.
ARTHUR: What!? Which one?
JOHN: The older one, the one who hit us… Burkhart, I believe.
ARTHUR: Then the other one…?
JOHN: Shot him? Maybe. Maybe there’s someone still alive on this boat.
ARTHUR: No –
JOHN (quickly, insistent): Arthur! We need to get off this fucking boat. Get the keys to the handcuffs.
JOHN: His belt, there.
(Arthur steps over and crouches. The keys clink together. He unlocks his handcuffs.)
ARTHUR: Ah, finally. I’m happy to never use these again.
JOHN: No, keep them.
ARTHUR (realization): Right. The boat keys?
JOHN: I don’t see them. Search him.
(Arthur searches the corpse, rustling his clothes.)
JOHN: I don’t see anything. The other officer might have them.
JOHN: His gun. It’s still in the holster, grab it. (Arthur grabs it, sighs.) Back on the table, I saw the layout of the ship.
ARTHUR: Okay. (He walks over with a grunt.)
JOHN: There! (Arthur rustles the map.) Wheelhouse, that’s where we are. We came through accommodations, out from the deck facing the stern. We’re tied up on the starboard side.
ARTHUR: Okay, okay.
JOHN (reading): There is the engine room, lower hold, upper hold, and factory deck. Fuck.
JOHN: There are many places the other officer could be.
ARTHUR: And how should we even approach them?
JOHN: Look. We can’t stay here regardless.
JOHN: We have to find him, that we are in agreement about. Let’s start by going back to the ship. For all we know he might be there.
ARTHUR: We are already here. Let’s search here before we head back. Honestly, there’s no sense in trying to navigate our way back to where we started, only just to come back here.
ARTHUR: Right. Well, you said that there was a wheelhouse, er, the engine room…?
JOHN: The lower hold, the upper hold, and the factory deck.
ARTHUR: The lower and upper hold, I-I just assume, is… storage of sorts?
ARTHUR: What is a factory deck?
JOHN: I’m not sure.
ARTHUR (sighing): Alright, well we’ve checked the crew cabins, was that all of them?
JOHN: I think so.
ARTHUR: The staircase here, does it head straight down to the hold?
JOHN: Yes, the one we took up here also heads down, though in a different direction.
ARTHUR: Right, let’s head for the hold first, and… you said there’s nothing out here in the water?
JOHN: No. They’ve circled coordinates on the map, but they seem to be in the middle of nowhere.
ARTHUR: Right. (Thunder booms.) Right.
JOHN: Are we heading to the hold?
ARTHUR: Yes, er, whichever we run into first, I suppose, upper or lower.
JOHN: Keep the gun in front. If I say fire, fire.
ARTHUR: Ah… alright. (He takes the gun and holds it in front of him.)
JOHN (amidst buzzing flies): You’re back in the kitchen, take a sharp turn, and continue. No, the – yes. Down.
(Arthur climbs on a metal staircase.)
JOHN: I would guess this is the upper hold.
ARTHUR: What is it used for? It smells like…
ARTHUR: Yes! Yes.
JOHN: Regardless, it’s now vacant. There is a door here connecting to what I would imagine is the lower hold.
ARTHUR: A door?
JOHN: Yes, it’s shut.
ARTHUR: Odd. I really cannot make sense of what they did here… what brought them out here, what caused them to abandon the ship? (Ominous music rises.)
JOHN: Who said they abandoned it?
ARTHUR: You said that upstairs, too.
JOHN: It’s a possibility. Someone killed the policeman upstairs.
ARTHUR: Yes, I… I know, but.
JOHN: But what?
ARTHUR: But I think maybe you’re right. I think it… I think it was the other officer. Part of me doesn’t want to believe the King in Yellow can influence someone so quickly and so potently, but… but being optimistic isn’t a risk we can afford to take anymore. We are being followed – hunted, even. (Thunder booms.) Why, I don’t know.
JOHN: Amanda knew something she shouldn’t have, and now…
ARTHUR: Now we know it too.
JOHN: Maybe it’s that simple.
ARTHUR: Maybe. Regardless, sorry, er… the boat, the keys, and then land.
JOHN: Then Leerie.
JOHN: The cult. We still need answers
JOHN: This isn’t going away. This is our life now.
ARTHUR (thoughtfully): Our life.
JOHN: The door waits for you, Arthur.
ARTHUR (straining): It’s a bit stuck.
JOHN: It looks like it might be slightly rusted.
ARTHUR (straining): I… I can’t – oh, wait. (The door squeaks.) Wait, there it goes.
JOHN: I doubt he’s behind… (In horror.) Wait. That’s not rust.
ARTHUR (recoiling): Oh – oh, my god. Oh, fuck, that stench.
ARTHUR (gasping): Oh, that stench is unbearable. Oh my god.
JOHN (intently): Arthur.
ARTHUR (sucking air through his teeth): What?
JOHN: We know what happened to the crew.
JOHN: There are two men in here. Their corpses are rotting, covered in dried blood.
ARTHUR (gagging): Oh. Jesus f – Jesus fucking Christ.
JOHN: It looks like both sets of their eyes have been gouged out. (A crackling noise. Arthur vomits.) Arthur, just breathe. Arthur.
ARTHUR (gasping): I can’t – I can’t breathe, I could feel it in my… I could taste it. Oh, god damn. I need to – I need to.
(He stumbles off, banging into the metal walls. Flies buzz. Suspenseful music rises.)
JOHN (calm): Arthur, breathe. You’re in the kitchen. No, not that way, that’s – no, those are the crew cabin – yes, the deck is… yes.
ARTHUR (breathing heavily): Oh, god.
(The music ends.)
JOHN: Well, you’re back outside.
ARTHUR (still out of breath): Oh god. (Stronger.) I couldn’t.
JOHN (understanding): I know.
(As waves splash against the boat, Arthur moves forward.)
ARTHUR: Oh. What has cursed this ship?
(The engine is more audible, now.)
ARTHUR: We need to leave this place. Where else can we…?
JOHN: The factory deck, but that’s –
ARTHUR: That fucking noise.
JOHN: Yes, so you’ve said.
ARTHUR: Where – I can hear it, it’s…?
(He walks forward.)
JOHN: Arthur, the fog is so thick. Move slowly.
ARTHUR: What on Earth?
ARTHUR: What is it?
JOHN: I-I’m not sure.
(Suspenseful music rises.)
ARTHUR: It smells like… like petrol.
JOHN: It’s definitely some sort of machine.
ARTHUR: Is there a…?
JOHN: Wait… wait, no that’s a…
(He flicks the engine off. The noise stops.)
ARTHUR: Oh, that’s better, it was doing my head in. What is a petrol engine doing here?
JOHN: It’s relatively small. It’s welded to the stern here and there’s a… there’s a line running off of it.
ARTHUR: What do you mean?
JOHN: There’s a large tube running off into the fog.
ARTHUR: Well, where does it lead?
JOHN: Arthur, this runs straight off the back and into the water.
ARTHUR: Into the water?
JOHN: Yes. There’s actually a line tied off as well, a thick rope, knotted around the railing. (Something splashes in the water.)
ARTHUR: What was that?
(He walks closer. Something splashes again.)
ARTHUR: That! That. Did you hear that?
ARTHUR: Is there… is there something down there?
JOHN: I think so.
ARTHUR: What on Earth… sh-should we… should we pull it up?
JOHN: It doesn’t matter what I say, Arthur. We both know that you’re going to pull it up.
ARTHUR: Why do you say that?
JOHN: Why? Because it’s true.
JOHN: You’ve always managed to put yourself in harm's way.
ARTHUR (affronted): That’s not true, that’s not a –
JOHN: You continually put yourself in a compromising position based on poor decisions. It’s not even a judgment, Arthur. It’s just a fact.
ARTHUR: A fact that you skew to suit your vitriolic vision of me.
JOHN: Is that what you think?
ARTHUR (confidently): Yes.
JOHN: Then why are you going to pull it up?
ARTHUR: What do you mean ‘why’?
JOHN: Just leave it. Just leave well enough alone. It has nothing to do with us or the problems we now face.
(Arthur steps forward and sighs.)
JOHN: We need the keys, and we need to leave.
ARTHUR: And yet.
JOHN: And yet?
(A sad piano rises.)
JOHN: You feel compelled to pull on yet another string.
ARTHUR (quiet): Yes.
JOHN: I may not be seeing your way of thinking, Arthur, but I do see you. I see the way your mind works.
ARTHUR: Yes, I suppose you do.
JOHN: What are we waiting for?
ARTHUR: Some… sort of comfort, I suppose.
JOHN: Comfort? (He cackles unkindly.) Arthur, comfort was left on the floor of your office back in Arkham. It’s stuffed in the closet with long forgotten cases, worn weathered coats, and the body of your partner.
ARTHUR: Why did you lie to me? Back then, you said… you let me believe that I killed him.
ARTHUR: And you did.
JOHN: Does the divide really seem that vast anymore? The line between you and I?
ARTHUR: You act like this stuff doesn’t bother you, but it does. Whatever crisp, alien exterior you force yourself to keep. I don’t buy it.
ARTHUR: No. You wanted to be called ‘John’. A month alone with no one but a nurse to visit, you felt something, a tug. (Thunder booms.) Perhaps from a former life, perhaps only a vision of what I once had, but it warmed something within you.
JOHN: You sound –
ARTHUR (passionate): And what’s more, I feel it. I feel that warmth within you, deep down. Yes, there is hate, but your anger, it’s… it is a human-like petulance, as if a soul first learning to walk. Your violent outbursts, your sulky demeanor… you melt away when caught up in our path. Why do you shy away from it?
JOHN (dismissive): Arthur, I don’t even…
ARTHUR: Right. Right, right. That’s like asking a scorpion why it stings the frog.
ARTHUR: The nature of the beast, it-it’s a fable. A scorpion asks for travel across a deep pond on a frog's back, it promises not to sting. It convinces the frog, for why would it kill both the frog and itself? And yet, halfway across the bite of the stinger kills the frog. ‘It is within my nature’ is all the scorpion says before the two drown.
JOHN: That is a flawed fable.
ARTHUR (scoffing): Why?
JOHN: Because the scorpion isn’t aware of what waits for him after death. Otherwise, nature or not… he wouldn’t kill the frog.
(Thunder booms. Rain starts to fall.)
JOHN: It looks like the rain has held off for as long as possible.
(Arthur pulls up the hose. Water splashes, Arthur grunts in exertion.)
JOHN: It’s deep, keep pulling.
ARTHUR (exhausted): It feels like… like it’s caught on something. Is the tube…?
JOHN: Yes, the two are most definitely connected.
(He continues to pull.)
JOHN: There, it’s almost –
(Arthur pulls it up.)
ARTHUR: What is it? Can you see it?
JOHN: I can’t quite tell, it looks like a machine, maybe.
ARTHUR: I can’t hold it for long!
JOHN (a shocked breath, wary): Arthur, it’s a man. A man in a diving suit. Pull him up onto the ship.
(Ominous music plays as Arthur pulls him onto the deck.)
ARTHUR (straining himself): Jesus, he’s so heavy. Let’s… let’s…
(The diver tumbles onto the deck. Arthur breathes heavily.)
JOHN: His body is… oh, Jesus fuck, Arthur. The entire lower half of his body has been ripped clean off.
ARTHUR (alarmed): What… what!?
JOHN: Arthur, this man has been torn in half below the waist.
ARTHUR (hoarse): Christ! How? Why?
JOHN: The tube is connected to his helmet, I guess – this is a breathing apparatus, a diving suit. He’s wearing a worn, deep gray suit that’s puckered with water. I cannot see the face behind the helmet.
ARTHUR: His – his legs?
JOHN: The entire lower half of him is missing, jagged and loose. His spine is broken and a few of his ribs have been pulled out through his stomach.
ARTHUR (shaky): Oh – oh, oh… oh my God, who… who is… who is it?
JOHN: I don’t know. We could… take off the helmet.
ARTHUR: No! No, no… I-I don’t…
JOHN: Then there’s no sense in guessing. A crewman, maybe.
(Arthur walks off.)
ARTHUR: Fine. Thank god I can’t see.
(Arthur steps forward and unbuckles the suit. Air hisses in as he removes the helmet.)
JOHN: His face, Arthur. You don’t want to...
ARTHUR: Just tell me.
JOHN: It looks like his eyes have broken open with the pressure, but… his mouth is agape, broken and torn into a ghastly scream of pain. There’s… there’s something moving in his mouth.
(Arthur moans in disgust.)
JOHN: There are white worms crawling out of his… oh, and his eyes as well. Arthur, we need to –
MITCHELL: Did you see it?
JOHN: Arthur! It’s the other officer. He’s holding a gun on us and –
ARTHUR: It’s okay.
MITCHELL (intent): Did you see it!?
ARTHUR: No - n…?
MITCHELL: The eyes. I saw them… I feel like they’ve plagued my dreams since I was a boy, but I’ve only just seen them, with newborn eyes today.
(His voice grows as he steps closer.)
ARTHUR: Officer, a-are you alright?
MITCHELL: Hm? Yeah. I heard the voice.
ARTHUR: Whose voice, I – ?
MITCHELL (unamused): You know who. His voice, I felt it.
JOHN (growling): Arthur!
MITCHELL: Black stars. Cloudy depths. He wants more but didn’t push, he simply… unlocked the door.
JOHN: Arthur, he's not wearing his uniform anymore.
(Ominous music rises.)
MITCHELL: But those eyes…
JOHN: He’s wearing a diving suit.
MITCHELL: They stare at me.
JOHN: He’s holding a second diver’s helmet in his free hand, the other –
ARTHUR: Officer Caldwell, right?
MITCHELL: Yes, sir.
ARTHUR (pacifying): Look, I know you’ve been through a lot, and I know that –
MITCHELL: Put on the helmet.
MITCHELL: That helmet, his helmet. Put it on.
ARTHUR: Wha – why?
MITCHELL: It’s down there.
ARTHUR: What is?
MITCHELL: The eyes. I want you to see them, too.
JOHN (whispering): Arthur, go for his gun. I can guide you there, just… move side to side, and – and maybe if you –
MITCHELL: Put the helmet on. Now.
JOHN: Arthur! Grab it!
ARTHUR: I… I, uh –
MITCHELL: Don’t come any closer.
JOHN: Maybe, maybe you can go around to the side of him.
(Arthur makes a break for it. He tussles with Mitchell. Two gunshots ring out.)
(Arthur gasps in pain and falls.)
JOHN: Arthur. You’ve been shot twice in the gut.
ARTHUR (breathing shakily): God damn, this hurts.
(Mitchell steps closer.)
JOHN: Arthur, don’t try to get up. He’s standing over us.
MITCHELL: I can help you. Let me stop the hurt.
(Rain falls. He cocks the gun.)
(The gun fires.)
JOHN (muffled): Arthur? You – Arthur…
(Arthur gasps for breath.)
ARTHUR (weak): John. I feel…
JOHN: Arthur… you’ve been shot in the chest.
ARTHUR: I can’t feel –
JOHN: Just – Arthur, I’m –
ARTHUR: I’m sorry.
JOHN: I… Arthur, you have nothing –
ARTHUR (soft): I’m scared.
(John gasps softly.)
ARTHUR: Th – the Dark World?
JOHN (intent): I’ll meet you there, friend.
(Something splashes in the water.)
JOHN: Arthur, turn your head. Can you move your – yes, there. The water. Arthur, there’s something coming out of the water. The gunfire must have… the officer is standing on the edge of the water, but… there are… Jesus Christ, Arthur! there are tentacles coming out of the water. They’re…
MITCHELL: You have some spirit, don’t you?
ARTHUR (pleading): Please.
MITCHELL: No need to say ‘please’, friend, I’ll make sure this one goes into your head.
ARTHUR (in defeat): Okay.
JOHN: Arthur, the tentacles are wrapping around his…
(Squelching noises. Water drips onto the deck.)
MITCHELL: What the...?
(His scream is cut off as he’s taken by the tentacle. Crunching, squishy noises. What remains of Mitchell falls onto the deck.)
JOHN (alarmed): Jesus Christ, Arthur! He’s just been torn in two! Arthur, there are tendrils coming out of the water on all sides. They’re moving about the deck, we need to move!
ARTHUR (shaky): John.
JOHN (urgent): Arthur, we need to…
(A quiet, sorrowful piano melody starts.)
JOHN (sighing softly): Just… let it come. You’re not alone.
ARTHUR (whispering): Faroe?
(Something continually squeaks. A whisper comes over static, growing louder. The wraith scream brings the noises to a close. Arthur gasps.)
JOHN (alarmed, barking): Arthur!
ARTHUR: John! John, what – ?
ARTHUR: What happened?
JOHN: The wraith!
JOHN: She appeared, Arthur, she… she whispered something to us, and –
ARTHUR: And repaid her debt.
JOHN: Your wounds.
ARTHUR: I can hardly feel them, I…
(A squelching noise.)
JOHN: Arthur! (ARTHUR: I feel…) One of the tentacles has wrapped around your leg –
(Arthur fights against the tentacle, in vain.)
JOHN: It’s pulling us towards the… hold your breath!
(Arthur takes a deep inhale. He’s brought under the water, bubbles rising all around him. He makes some muted noises of distress.)
JOHN: Arthur, you need to get out – Jesus Christ! There are hundreds of massive tentacles here, all writhing and pulling apart the… oh my god, Arthur. I see it. The eye. There is a creature of unfathomable size down here, it… (His voice gets gradually distorted.) it… it…!
(John gasps. Arthur struggles underwater.)
JOHN: Arthur, get back to the boat! No – no – yes!
(The sound of Arthur’s desperate swimming.)
JOHN: You’re almost there, just keep – !
(Arthur breaches the surface with a gasp.)
JOHN: Climb, Arthur!
(Arthur pants for breath as he starts to climb onto deck.)
JOHN: The lower half of the officer is still on the deck, get his keys!
(Tentacles whip through the air. He grabs the keys.)
JOHN: Quickly, to the other bo –
(Arthur is attacked by a tentacle. He grunts in pain.)
JOHN: Arthur, the tentacles are everywhere, waving and squeezing the –
(Metal wrenches ominously.)
JOHN (barking): They’re pulling this entire ship down! Move!
(Arthur moves quickly, dodging tentacle swings. He steps onto a metal walkway and onto the police boat.)
ARTHUR: Come on, come on – yes!
(The boat of the engine revs. The other boat creaks.)
ARTHUR (breathing dramatically): Jesus Christ. What’s happening to the ship?
JOHN: It’s pulling it down, but… the fog has obscured it from view.
ARTHUR (exhausted): What the fuck was that!?
JOHN: I have no idea… but its eye…
ARTHUR: Don’t start coming loose on me now.
JOHN: I won’t.
(Now quieter, the waves splash against the boat.)
ARTHUR (in realization): The wraith.
JOHN: She appeared as you drew your last breath, Arthur. It seems she had been watching us… waiting to repay the favor.
ARTHUR: Well, I hope she considers us even, because…
(Thunder booms distantly.)
ARTHUR: I… nevermind. Let’s just get somewhere far away from here.
JOHN: The fog is departing. The lake is… moonlit, and peaceful. It’s… (John sighs.) It feels like we came from a different world.
ARTHUR: Ah, even on my skin, the air is sweet and clean.
JOHN: I see the shore and a large town a ways away.
ARTHUR: I’m exhausted.
JOHN: Yes, I can imagine. You died.
ARTHUR: I know. I could… feel something on the other side.
JOHN: What do you mean?
ARTHUR: There was a moment where I heard… I felt.
JOHN: The Dark World.
ARTHUR: Yes, I think so, yes.
JOHN: That was too close a call.
ARTHUR: I know.
JOHN: For both of us.
JOHN: Slow down, we’re nearing the shore.
ARTHUR: I’m going to ditch the boat.
(The engine quiets. Arthur shuts it off completely.)
ARTHUR: Are there any supplies?
JOHN: This boat has a small cabin.
JOHN: Some supplies. I guess we lost our gun when you put it down on the deck to pull up the body.
ARTHUR (amused): We lose guns more than anything else.
JOHN: But it seems like you can be Arthur Lester again.
ARTHUR: What supplies are here?
JOHN: There are a few items, a lighter, a flashlight.
ARTHUR: I’ll take them all… in this?
JOHN: I heard… you said you heard something from the Dark World.
ARTHUR: Yes, it was a voice, i-it said my name.
JOHN: What did the voice sound like?
ARTHUR: It sounded like you.
(Arthur loads the supplies in his bag.)
ARTHUR: There, that’s all of it.
JOHN: Let’s send it back out to sea.
(Jingling the keys, Arthur starts the motor of the boat. He walks out and jumps into the water.)
ARTHUR: Looks like we’re back at one.
JOHN: With a little more experience.
ARTHUR: I’m going to start a fire, sleep on the beach. We’re far enough from the town?
JOHN: Yes. It is a nice night, after all.
(Arthur climbs out of the surf and onto the sand.)
JOHN: Arthur. I’m… I’m sorry.
ARTHUR: You’re saying that cause you’re afraid.
JOHN: I’m saying it because… I lost sight of what was important.
ARTHUR: Not returning to the Dark World.
JOHN: In part.
ARTHUR: Only part?
JOHN: I can’t remember who or what I am, but what I do know is that I have a choice in how I choose to act from here.
ARTHUR: I suppose we all do.
JOHN: Regardless, you and I are one, and I need to begin to see us as one. We may disagree, but I need you to know that I benefit from you and your existence greatly.
(Arthur snaps some sticks.)
ARTHUR (annoyed): Good. Great. Me too.
JOHN: Arthur –
ARTHUR: I’m just not in the mood right now, John. I haven’t slept since waking up from my coma, and my body… (He sighs.) I’ve just woken from the dead.
JOHN (gentle): Alright.
ARTHUR: I appreciate what you’re saying, I really do. Thank you.
(He flicks the lighter and starts the fire.)
ARTHUR (sighing): There, that should do. Good night, John.
(Arthur lays down on the sand and curls up.)
ARTHUR (sleepy): Mm?
JOHN: When you died, I heard you say something.
ARTHUR: Mm. What?
JOHN: A name.
ARTHUR: Did I?
JOHN: Who is Faroe?
ARTHUR (sighing): My daughter. Good night, John.
(He gets himself comfortable against the sand, as waves lap against the shore.)
(END Part 9.)