The Piper Chronicles: Terror-Tide in Molokai – Chapter 8

Chapter Eight:

Anguished Cry

Piper finally came in view, trudging in her wet clothes. The whole village was there, holding each other, silently praising the gods for salvation. The Doctor turned around and spotted Piper. He ran up to her and they embraced. They chuckled and sighed in relief.

“Mission accomplished, captain!” said Piper, breathlessly.

The chief approached them.

“I…apologize for my behavior” he said, “We were frightened.”

The Doctor nodded. “Apology accepted. Humans often don’t think straight when they’re scared. It’s an unfortunate gene.”

Piper nudged him with his elbow and gave him a half amused-half disapproving glare.

“You look like us,” the chief observed, “you sound like us, but you don’t act like us. You say you’re not from the gods, but you are from somewhere, another world perhaps. Your flying hut proves it.” He took a step forward. “Who are you, Doctor?”

The Doctor didn’t answer. He refused to. He already revealed too much about themselves letting Piper fly the Tardis over the beach. But he had to say something

Then, Piper spoke.

“Maybe we’re not directly from the gods. But maybe…Maybe we were sent here by someone, something. Or maybe we were sent here by the gods, but they didn’t tell us.

“We didn’t lie to you when we said that we travel, but we also like to help people if it is needed. We saved you from that tidal wave. Isn’t that proof enough that we’re trustworthy?”

The chief bit his lip and he and his tribesmen looked at each other.

.

Piper remembered something.

“Uncle Doctor, while I was up on the ridge, I heard something.”

The Doctor glanced back at her.

“What?”

“I can’t quite explain it. It sounded like…like a groaning whale, but also as if a…a giant tree was moving.”

The Doctor was quiet for a moment as he contemplated Piper’s description.

“Maybe that has something to do with the weird tremors.”

“Perhaps…” The Doctor mumbled. Then he added, “The Tardis can find the source-“ he grabbed Piper’s hand, “Come on, let’s check it out!”

“I’m coming with you!”

Keonu suddenly appeared, suddenly sprinting to the travelers.

“Ah, no! No no no!” The Doctor objected, “You need to stay with your village!”

“The village is just fine. I want to see your hut!” Keonu insisted.

“No, nope! Final answer, you’re not going!”

Keonu frowned and looked to Piper for help, but Piper only shrugged.

“Sorry Keonu. Uncle Doctor’s right. It would be a very bad idea.”

Keonu didn’t respond. Then, he stepped back into the crowd and eventually disappeared from sight.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Piper watched the Doctor in silence for a few minutes as he fiddled around with the computer on the control board. She had left the bridge temporarily to change, now that she had properly washed her bathing suit and cover, and it was still warm for Hawaii weather. Finally, the Doctor began to punch in coordinates.

“You know where the source of the tremors are coming from?” Piper asked.

“Yes, I have…” the Doctor mumbled, a bit lost in thought.

“You’re puzzled.”

“I think I know what was causing the tremors, but it’s a very unusual situation…”

Just then, the Doctor flipped a giant switch, and the Tardis suddenly rumbled. Piper held onto the railings for safety as the time box warped to their destination.

.

Once they stopped, with one look from the Doctor, Piper sprinted to the entrance and opened the Tardis’ doors. Piper was startled for a moment to what she saw. The scenery in front of her was not the beach, or thick jungle: it was water. The water rippled at the border between the Tardis door and the open ocean as if glass was between them; except Piper could actually touch it! She submerged her hand in it and pulled it out hastily. Drops of water sprinkled on the floor. Piper gazed out at the darkened sea, the rocky ledges jutting out ominously in the black.

“She continues to surprise me” she sighed.

“It is incredible, isn’t it?” replied the Doctor, his focused expression remaining on his face, “Water controls very similarly to space: no gravity, nothing holding it down, everything in it just floats…The only difference is the Tardis has wildlife, rocks, and large plants to bump into.”

.

“So what’re we here for?” Piper asked.

It was straight after she spoke that the Doctor flipped a switch. Atop the Tardis was a lantern that suddenly brightened to reveal the answer: a very large crater, which raised from the sea bed, about halfway towards the surface. Bubbles were spurting out of its hole in a hasty rage. The key aspect was it had a faint, hard-to-see series of cracks that appeared to form squinted eyes and a mouth. The Doctor walked up beside her and pointed at it. “That…is our culprit.”

“That’s just a submarine volcano! Or an underwater vent…!” Piper announced, then added perplexed, “But it’s so high up from the water…”

She paused. Then, it clicked.

“That’s no ordinary submarine volcano, is it?”

The Doctor nodded.

“This is called a Vragmen. They’re common on several planets in the universe, but on Earth they were a highly endangered species. By the tenth century, they all went extinct.”

“Well, that explains why it has a face!” Piper exclaimed, then added, “I suppose that would explain why no one’s ever heard of them?”

The Doctor nodded.

“Even the Hawaiians have little knowledge about them; and Vragmen occupied secluded tropical islands, which this archipelago, in this period of time, is.”

“It looks troubled” Piper observed, as upon further inspection, the Vragmen’s mouth was curved downwards like it was frowning, and it’s eyes squeezed shut as if it was distressed.

“Yes, and that’s what I can’t quite figure out,” said the Doctor, “The reason why Molokai is experiencing so many unusual tremors, is because this Vragmen is trying to pull itself out of the water at a five times faster rate than its supposed to!”

“So how do we get him to stop?”

“Simple: we tell him to stop!”

Piper raised an eyebrow. “Do you think he’ll listen, or even be able to understand?”

The Doctor shrugged. “The Tardis can translate a message into any language imaginable! She’ll have one he will understand!”

“So you don’t know what language he even speaks in?”

“She’ll have one.”

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