Chapter View

What Has Gone Before

The Great Escape

Quo Vadis?

This Is A Plan?

A Disaster Beyond Your Imagination

A Contemplative Hostage

Rescue Attempt

It's A Wrestling Show, Right?

It’s No Live Sex Show – Thankfully

Dude, Where’s My Lifeboat?

Midget Fight!

Women and Children First – Midgets Last

Dude, Where’s My Lifeboat?

(The “diversion” has become a full-out melee, as the Hacker’s security guards charge Hornet and Teri, only to be met by some of the CSWA faithful, as well as their faithful fans. Wrestlers like Shane Southern save many a fan from getting hit by a taser or stun gun, but they can’t stop them all. CSWA security chief Gregg Gethard jumps on the back of one of the largest of the Hacker’s contingent, only to find himself hit by a stun gun for the second time in a few days. Other fans are trying to back away – only to find themselves dangerous close to the bow of the ship. Hornet tries to use the microphone to direct traffic and play battle general, but the sound system is cut off almost immediately.

Hornet pulls Teri out of the way of a guard coming up behind her, only to have her pull out of his grasp and hit the guy in the neck with her own pilfered stun gun. She shoots him a look that says volumes, although she has only two words.)

TERI: What now?

HORNET: We’ve got to hope that this bought Ivy and Marvin enough time. Now we’ve got to see if we can get to the bridge.

(The two use the crowd as a way to get lost from the guards trying to get to them. They finally escape the masses and use their new-found freedom to make a beeline for the stairs leading to the bridge. As they approach…)

HORNET: There’s someone coming around from the other side.

TERI: (brandishing her stun gun) Good. Gives me another chance to use this!

(Teri lunges forward with the stun gun, only to find herself spun around, disarmed and held against JA. The current Greensboro Champion holds the CSWA staffer against him as Hornet picks up the stun gun.)

JA: Why Teri, I never knew you cared.

TERI: If you don’t let go of me… there’s going to be a little less of you to care about, you idiot.

(Thomas and Hortense appear behind JA as he releases Teri. She reaches for the stun gun, but Hornet simply shakes his head.)

THOMAS: Give me a status report.

HORNET: A status report? You always have had a hard time saying “thank you,” haven’t you, Steve? I blame in on having to deal with Chad all those years.

THOMAS: I wasn’t talking to you… I was talking to her. And it was Ivy and JA here who got me out of that room. (He shudders.)

HORNET: Then you ought to be thanking her too. Along with Marvin and Adrian, since all of us risked our asses to get you off yours.

(Thomas intentionally ignores Hornet, turning back to Teri and waiting for an answer to his original question.)

TERI: You heard the man.


TERI: And you heard me.

THOMAS: What the hell has gotten into you people?

TERI: The same thing that’s “gotten into” you, Steve. We’ve all been held hostage by that idiot midget and his “boss.” And we didn’t all get to lounge around in the Presidential Cabin.

THOMAS: You have no idea what he…. Anyway, we need to…

TERI: We’re not doing anything for you right now.

THOMAS: Look, I’m sorry. Thank you, alright. THANK YOU!

HORNET: Was it good enough for you?

TERI: It’s as good as we’re going to get from him.

JA: I found it very sincere.

(Thomas looks as if he’s about to cry.)

HORTENSE: It’s alright, Shug. Now y’all, what we gonna do to take care of this sit-i-a-tion?

TERI: I’m going to keep my mouth shut. For once. Just because if I don’t, I’m going to get in trouble.

HORNET: Ivy’s trying to trace down where our “friends” our broadcasting from. It’s up to us to try and figure out if we can get actual control of the ship from up here.

THOMAS: You know how to drive a cruise liner? I knew you had a degree or two, but I didn’t know a captain’s license was in there too.

HORNET: We don’t need to drive it. We just need to make sure that our host can’t. And get control of the radio. I’m sure even you can work that.

THOMAS: So what’s the plan?

HORNET: We tried a plan before. I think now we just go for brute force. Which means you stay at the back of the pack.

HORTENSE: You listen to him, Shug. You let those big muscular boys do the fighting, and you just stay back here and let me protect you.

HORNET: Think you can handle this now without accidentally zapping any of us?

(Teri gives Hornet an evil look. He laughs and tosses the stun gun back to Teri.)

HORNET: Ready?

JA: Born.

TERI: Yes.

(The three make their way up the final staircase to the bridge, where two guards immediately attack. JA uses the railing to launch himself into one, slamming both of them against the door to the bridge. Hornet catches the other with a forearm followed by a left. Two additional guards come around from the other side – Teri immediately catches one with the stun gun, but the other goes straight for Thomas. Hortense grabs a nearby fire extinguisher and nails him in the back of the head as he puts a hand on her husband. Teri quickly follows up, zapping the guards that Hornet and JA have down on the deck.)

TERI: Well that was easier than I thought.

HORTENSE: Are you alright, Shug? He didn’t hurt you, did he?

THOMAS: No, I’m fine. I just can’t believe….

(Hortense grabs Thomas and holds him to her ample bosom.)

HORTENSE: I wouldn’t know what to do if anything happened to my baby!

HORNET: Well…. That’s disturbing. Shall we?

(JA kicks open the door to the bridge, revealing…. An empty bridge. No captain or crew held hostage, no additional guards. Just several consoles that none of them know how to operate.)

TERI: That’s not quite what I expected. So we’re looking for the radio, then?

HORNET: Looks that way. Unless you’d like to set us on a course for nowhere.

TERI: I thought that’s what our Hacker friend had already done. Can we even tell where we are?

HORNET: Assuming I can read a map, it looks like we’re just been going around in a tight circle just south of the Caymans, never getting close enough to any one island to be within communications range.

JA: This looks like the radio over here. Should I turn on some oldies?

THOMAS: Idiot. Give me that. (flipping a switch and speaking into the radio) Hello? Can anyone hear me? This is the Parsons Cruise Liner II in need of emergency assistance from the Coast Guard. I repeat, this is….

(The lights on the radio go dead. The ship shudders slightly and there is an absence of sound as the throttle moves to “Full Stop.”)

THOMAS: Hello? (flipping switches) Can anybody hear me?

(A modulated voice comes through speakers all over the ship, including the bridge.)

HACKER: Don’t say I didn’t try to warn you. But it never fails… Thomas and his overweening pride. Hornet, ever the Boy Scout, trying to save something that doesn’t need saving. Ivy, needing to buck authority. And their ever-loving band of misfit tagalongs. All you had to do was sit back for another couple of days and you would have been dropped off safe and sound back in Miami with nothing injured but your pride.

THOMAS: Hey! Show yourself you coward! At least…

(Hornet cuts him off. The Hacker isn’t even pausing – either he can’t (or chooses not) hear Thomas, or this is some sort of prerecording.)

HACKER: Instead, you decided to turn this into a fight. To make this some sort of battle when you don’t even know what the stakes are, or even what moves to make. So… it’s seems our mutual interest ends here, at least for a while. I’ll go my way, and you’ll go yours. So you’ll all need to leave now.

THOMAS: What’s he mean, leave? We can’t just leave.

HACKER: You have about an hour. There are plenty of lifeboats and jackets. I’d suggest you don’t pack too much, though.

THOMAS: He can’t be serious! This is ridiculous. HEY! HEY!

HORNET: I don’t think he can hear you.

THOMAS: He’s had cameras everywhere else! Why wouldn’t he be able to hear me here?

HORNET: Just look…

(Hornet points to one of several monitors that show camera feeds from around the ship. One shows the helipad, where the ship’s lone helicopter is in the midst of pulling up…up… and away. There is no way to tell who is on board.)

THOMAS: What do we do now? We can’t just leave the ship. Surely we can find a way to radio for help. Or they’ll come looking for us…

(As Thomas is speaking, smoke begins to flood the bridge. The cameras briefly show the same thing happening at different points on the ship.)

THOMAS: This can’t be happening. IT CAN’T! I WON’T LET IT!

TERI: It’s too late for that! We’ve got to get down there and get all these people on those boats.

(Thomas just stares at her.)

TERI: It’s an insurance nightmare waiting to happen, Steve! If just one person doesn’t make it off this boat, that could be it for your company!

THOMAS: What are you waiting for? Don’t just stand around! Let’s go!