Monday, 19 March 2012

DisneyQ - Part Six

DisneyQ is a Disney/Star Trek crossover novel that I wrote in 2008.

If you missed them, here's Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five. You are probably best starting at the beginning, or none of this is going to make sense.

Here's Part Six


Chapter Eleven

Philippe grabbed for his radio. “Control, this is Philippe Picard at Big Thunder Mountain, we’ve got a serious problem, the mountain has caved in. I repeat the mountain has caved in.”

Philippe didn’t believe the words he was saying himself, he questioned if those at the control station would believe them before looking at the security camera and seeing it for themselves. However his attention was taken when he saw and heard the train whiz past travelling on one of the lower parts of the track; the final high speed section before the end of the ride.

“Mon Dieu! Ca marche toujours!” He said aloud to no-one; reverting back to his native tongue. All around people were starting to scream and point as they registered the same thing he had. Those who had just passed him to enter the line came running back out again.

He brought his radio to his mouth again. “The train is still running!” he shouted.

“We can’t stop it!” came the reply, “It’s not responding to the emergency breaks, it came through here and made it over the first lift hill by momentum.”

“What do we do?” Philippe asked in a frantic voice

“There’s nothing we can do, the lift hills are deactivated; we just have to hope that gravity takes its toll and that the train will roll backwards and get stuck in the dip when it can’t make it up the second hill.”

“Did you see the speed the train is going, we can’t risk it making it over the second hill, if it does then it will crash on the third.”

“What can we do?”

Philippe didn’t have the time to answer, it would only be a matter of a couple of minutes until it was too late. He ran to the supply closet located close by and pulled out the ropes used when further crowd control line forming was required, they were made from a thick rope and had hooks on the ends; they would have to do. Slinging them over his shoulder he quickly made his way through the access tunnels that are unseen by the guests and as fast as he could ran up the stairway that led to the bottom of the second lift hill. The years in the vineyard were paying off now as Philippe was amazingly fit from working the fields and with sheer determination was able to run up the stairs at a good pace.

As soon as he was in the open he could see how close the train was, it was thirty seconds at most from starting to climb the hill and definitely travelling faster than the 36mph it was designed to. The hill itself was quite steep and with the winch turned off there was a chance that the train wouldn’t make the climb, but it was too much to risk. He thought himself lucky that it was this lift where he could make his stand, the first and third lifts were indoors and didn’t have step access either side of the track; this one, the only outdoor lift, did.

Philippe pulled the first rope from his shoulder and slung it over the railing on the far side of the track, he pulled it tight so the hook grasped around the hand railing alongside the stairs and then fastened the hook around the near side railing keeping the rope as tight as he could in a hurry. He then climbed a few steps and repeated the process, he only had five ropes and he knew he would need to intersperse them throughout the hill.

He had managed to get four ropes set up in such a manner before the train reached the hill; he knew he should get the fifth done, but he couldn’t take his eyes of the train that was heading straight for him.

***************************

"THREE"

"This is really gonna feel like a disappointment when we only creep up the hill." Casey called out; the girls all laughing at the comment.

"TWO"

"Here we go, two miles per hour!" Tiffani quipped.

"ONE"

The girls all jumped as far as their harnesses would let them as a huge booming noise coupled with intense heat come from the back of the rocket.

"Ignition sequence activated." came over the speaker; barely audible over the noise.

"What's going on?" Shayla cried out to the others but her voice was completely drowned out.

The rocket started to move only it didn't trundle up the lift hill as it had done for the last thirty two years; it stated to move, faster and faster, accelerating continuously. The girls were thrust back into their seats, the G-forces much higher than any previous ride; their hands gripping the arm rests out of fear.

Casey tried to scream but she couldn't open her mouth; the pressure on her face unbearable. She knew the props on hill like the back of her hand, the right hand turn into the first dip would be approaching; "just a little further," she thought.

Only the rocket didn't slow and turn; instead when the tracks banked right, it dislodged from them and kept its angle of accent. All six passengers were terrified, none could even move.

Like a bullet through paper, the rocket tore through the infamous white cone shaped roof of Space Mountain leaving Tomorrowland, the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida, North America, the planet Earth behind it. It danced through space, around asteroid belts, past nebulae and super novas. It travelled faster and father than any human built rocket ever had; speeding past distant worlds, through distant galaxies.

It would have been quite amazing for them had the passengers’ heads not exploded during takeoff.

***************************

The monster got closer and closer; Cameron leaned back as far as he could, trying to keep as much distance between it and himself as possible. He was about to scream when a laser beam ripped through the monster causing it to explode on contact; it shattered into pieces and into dust. He looked to his left where he saw two teenage boys in the vehicle behind him on the track, one of them still poised from firing; a look on his face that showed the same level of disbelief that Cameron himself was feeling.

A quick scan around the room confirmed a chilling thought; "it's all of them."

And indeed it was; what seemed like tens and tens of these wooden monsters were stating to attack the vehicles. To make matters worse the ride was made to be a 360 degree shooting galley; now it meant they were all being attacked from every angle, including above.

Cameron grabbed both the guns on the front of his vehicle and started shooting at anything that moved. There were crablike monsters, snakelike monsters, ones with 3 heads, some crawled, some flew; thankfully they all disintegrated with a direct hit from the laser blasters.

He returned the favour to the teenagers in the vehicle behind, a monster had latched onto the back of their vehicle without them knowing, it had been about to swipe at them when Cameron saw it; he fired.

Lights continued to flash all around the room as the battle raged on. The other guests in the vehicles around Cameron had realised the same as he had and were shooting at the oncoming creatures. Shooting at any of the static objects for points had become a moot point; most people were shooting purely for survival. Cameron never actually saw a monster make contact with any of the passengers, there had been some close ones but they were all picked off before managing to strike; he was glad for small mercies.

His vehicle went though the archway and into the next room. Cameron checked the sides and back of his vehicle; he didn't want any unexpected hitchhikers. In front of him was Zurg, manipulating the controls of his spaceship; but while Zurg himself was rather terrifying the passengers seemed in little danger from him and they rode past. Some tried to shoot him but it was of no affect, the lasers unable to pierce the hull of his ship.

Again, the vehicle went though an archway and into the Space Room tunnel that would lead to the final scenes of the ride. Cameron took a moment in the complete darkness to calm his nerves and try to rationalise what had just happened. Suddenly what was supposed to be a video projection of a space fight above him started, only there was no way that this was any ordinary video. It had depth and a natural look, and what’s more, Cameron could feel the heat every time there was an explosion; what they were witnessing seems as real as other cars on a road just in front of him. He saw the Hidden Mickey planet fly past him, he didn’t even care. With a final explosion and a sudden impact of heat on his face, Cameron watched as Zurg’s ship was hit and spiralled out of control just as the ride vehicle was about to exit the tunnel into the room ahead; he grabbed both guns ready for whatever was next.

***************************

Jonathan’s eyes widened as he watched Ray fall to the ground after Captain Barbossa had run him through with his sword and removed it. It had happened in seconds, nothing he could do. The sword dripped with blood as the Captain lifted the sword to Jonathan’s face.

“Put up yer white flag ye scurvy scum.”

Jonathan did the only thing he could think of; it had worked for Captain Jack Sparrow in the movies; it was worth a shot now with nothing else coming to mind.

“Look over there!” he shouted and pointed to nothing in particular behind where Barbossa stood.

It worked; all the pirates, not the brightest bunch, turned around to look. As soon as they did Jonathan ran as fast as he could away from the ride which formed a dead end and towards the main pathways that led to the rest of the park. A look behind alerted him to the fact he was being chased; a knife flying past his head and embedding itself into a tree only served to clarify that assumption.

Jonathan knew he couldn’t run into the main sections of the park, it would be too dangerous for the guests if these Pirates, whoever they are, kept throwing knives. They had probably killed Ray, the bastards, but it had been him they wanted; well, Captain Jack Sparrow anyway. “What is going on?” Jonathan thought as he ran, “the explosion we heard, and now this? It’s like they’re mimicking the story of the ride, plundering a settlement to get to Sparrow; or me".

“Where do I go?” Jonathan panicked, his determination for self preservation battling his need not to put others in danger by trying to get lost in a crowd.

Thankfully between the explosion and what had happened to Ray, most guests had either run away or taken shelter inside buildings, and those who hadn’t seen it themselves got the message pretty quickly and followed suit. Jonathan hoped no-one would try and get in the pirate’s way lest they suffer the same fate as his colleague. By the time Jonathan had escaped, even though it had only been maybe thirty seconds, the area of Adventureland had almost emptied out.

Then it came to him, the parade route starts from a gate between Adventureland and Frontierland. “The Ultildoors;” he said to himself, “they wont be able to follow me down there.”

Jonathan looked over his shoulder; he had a decent lead but not more than a few seconds. The entrance to the utilidors was not far away; his hand scrambled in the hidden pocket inside his elaborate costume for his staff identity card and as he approached the entrance he pulled it out, swiped it through the scanner on the wall and waited for the light to shine green to grant him access.

As he opened the door he glanced at the oncoming pirates, they were heading for him and were not far away, they would know exactly where he went. He ducked inside, pulled and held the door to until he was sure the magnetic locks had resealed. Not long after he felt the door lock into place, he heard the first bangs on the outside and the voices of the pirates as they tried to gain access but could not.

Jonathan allowed himself the shortest of seconds to regain his breath and composure; he was holding himself together but barely. It had been a risk using the entrance to the utilidor, if his pursuers were cast members, not that he believed they could be, they would be able to follow him and he would have lost his distance advantage. Satisfied that they wouldn’t be following him, he headed down the stairs to the ground level of the park as quickly as he could, his legs tired from the run, trembling in fear. At the bottom he was able to use one of the wall telecom units in order to call for help; just maybe Ray could be saved, Jonathan wasn’t able to clarify one way or the other before having to escape. He pressed the intercom button.

“This is Jonathan Rose to anyone who can hear me. I’ve heard an explosion coming from Frontierland and have been attacked by men dressed to appear like the characters from Pirates of the Caribbean. They have already attacked one cast member who I believe possibly to have been killed outside the attraction and are currently located at the entrance to the utilidors between Adventureland and Frontierland. Help me someone please.”

“This is control;” came a frantic reply, “we’ve got all hell breaking loose; we will get a medical team to Adventureland as soon as possible but we have incidents all over the park and shit happening that cannot be real. If you can help the cast member in any way, please do so.”

The connection went dead.

“What is happening?” Jonathan thought to himself, the utilidors were deserted, usually you would be able to see or hear at least one other person even in the most remote areas. “I need to get to Ray,” he said to himself, “if there’s to be any chance for him, I have to get to him.”

***************************

Recovering from the flash themselves, Jennifer and Graham both turned towards Samantha as soon as they heard her cry of distress. They immediately saw her pointing towards her pony toy which dangled off the front of the boat, only being held in place by its legs straddling the very tip of the d├ęcor. Jennifer made a move towards retrieving it but it was too late, as the boat jerked forward and around the corner the pony fell off and headed for the floor below.

“Great!” Jennifer thought to herself expecting to see the Pony bounce off the mermaid lagoon floor 5 feet below any second; “we’ll have to ask a cast member to retrieve it once we get out the ride.”

But it didn’t bounce, it kept dropping and dropping, getting smaller and smaller the further it fell. Both Jennifer and Graham watched in confusion as it continued to drop and then as if to enforce the impossible sight they were seeing, the mermaids on the rocks seeing the falling pony dived into the water and swam away just before the pony finally hit the water with a splash.

“Did you just see what I saw?” Graham said in disbelief.

“If you saw what I saw then we’ve spent too much time in the sun this morning.”

“Pony fell in the water!” Samantha screamed, confirming what both her parents had thought they’d seen but neither wanted to say.

The boat continued to fly around the mermaid lagoon and onto the Indian village, where again, the parents were left stunned. The Indians, Tiger Lilly included, were not just posed or making basic movements; instead they were dancing around the camp fire with full movement, their fire burning bright, sending smoke into the air, and singing.

The boat lurched around another corner and the family found themselves flying through Captain Hook’s boat, Wendy and the boys fighting the captors while on the mainsail Peter Pan and Captain Hook duelled in a sword fight. Pan and Hook were going at it tooth and nail, and as the Roberts’ vehicle sailed underneath there was a sudden jolt as extra weight landed on the back.

Peter Pan had jumped off the mainsail to avoid a swipe of Hook’s sword landing directly on the back of the vehicle. Hook followed him down plunging his sword as he dived at his nemesis; but Peter moved, deflecting the sword from his body using his own knife. The deflected sword pinged from the contact, only barely missing Graham, who had turned as the boat jolted from the weight hitting it from above. Samantha and Jennifer both screamed as they saw Hook’s sword plunge past Graham in the back of the boat and into the family’s travel bag situated next to him. The bag ripped open from the attack, spilling nappies and baby changing supplies everywhere. Hook swiped at Peter again, this time Peter ducking and letting the sword whiz over his head; and again only for Peter to jump the attack. As Peter landed the boat tipped backwards a little the weight becoming too much for it to carry; the girls screamed again, Jennifer holding Samantha tight.

Graham had an idea, he grabbed his camera from around his neck and turned it on giving it a second to power up. He waited for Peter to have his back to him so he would be able to get a direct look at Hook’s face.

“Hook!” Graham shouted as he lifted his camera. Hook redirected his glare from Peter to Graham just behind him.

Flash.

Hooked reeled backwards from the light bulb going off in his face, Peter saw his opportunity and sent Hook plunging from the boat falling into the sea below. Peter turned around and gave the family a smile as he jumped off the boat and onto Hook’s ship just before the family’s vehicles turned the last corner of the room and sailed into the next.

Graham turned to his family; Samantha had tears on her face but she wasn’t crying, she just seemed a little startled, Jennifer was more concerned for Samantha than herself who she still held tight; none of them had a clue what or how they had just witnessed what they were all sure they had just witnessed.

“Are you ok?” Graham asked. Jennifer just nodded as she kissed their daughter on the forehead and whispered words of encouragement to her.

The boat flew into the final room where they were greeted by the sight of Peter, Wendy and the boys standing on Captain Hook’s ship victorious; Peter even shouted his thanks to Graham for helping him to defeat Hook. The family were in too much shock for the gratitude to mean anything. As they turned around the corner of the ship Graham had the sudden thought of what was next.

“Jenny, cover Sammy’s eyes;” he said in a careful whisper. Jennifer didn’t question why, she gently turned Samantha’s head into her chest and held her tight effectively blocking her view in the cuddle.

Graham’s thoughts had been correct. The end of the ride was supposed to be a comical moment with Captain Hook saving himself from Tick-Tock the crocodile by having a foot on either jaw prying them open and calling for Smee to help him. The sight that greeted the boat as they passed overhead wasn’t so comical; some of Hook was left, an arm, some torso; but the crocodile had taken care of most of the body and enjoying every bite.

***************************
Alvin had killed the speed of the boat as soon as he realised it was off the track, the boat drifted a little, situated between the last scene and the next although out of sight of both. He had explained to the guests he was having a slight technical difficulty and they seemed to be ok; thankfully they were nicely shaded by the trees so the heat wasn’t too bad. Alvin gave the boat a little speed and tested the steering; amazingly it seemed to work, it shouldn’t but did.

As he looked up, past the end of his own boat he saw the next boat approaching; he decided it would be best to wait for it to approach and see if the other skipper had any advice; worst case scenario the other skipper may have an idea what to do, Alvin had tried to contact control on the walkie talkies and gotten no reply.

The other boat slowed as it neared, it didn’t take long for Alvin to notice it too wasn’t on the usual path; “two boats come off the track?” he thought to himself; surely that can’t be. The other boat came right up close to Alvin’s boat and the two skippers leaned close to communicate without everyone hearing. “I’m off the track and not getting any response from control.”

“Me too;” Skipper Bob replied, “I got a blinding reflection and then realised I was off the track but the boat seems to be steering for real so I thought it best to just continue and get back to the docks; haven’t been telling as many jokes though.”

“You got a blinding reflection too? So did I just before I realised the same thing.”

“Really? That’s a little freaky.”

“Did you try and contact control?”

“Yep, nada; something is definitely not right here. Are they upgrading the scenes at all?”

“Not that I know of; why?”

 “I just back from vacation and this is my first time around the river today. But I was about to use the sleeping zebra line when I noticed that lions were actually eating the zebra.”

“The lions are always eating the zebra.”

“No, Al, I mean they were eating the zebra; ripping, blood, the lot.”

“That can’t be, I’ve been around over a dozen times today and didn’t notice anything different.”

“So I don’t suppose the explorers up a pole were more animated and screaming with moving mouths either?”

The comment made Alvin laugh.

“Oh this has got to be a wind up; good job Bobby, you got me.”

“Al, seriously, this is not a wind up.”

“Seriously?”

“We gotta get back to dock”

“Agreed”

Both skippers returned to their boats controls to make announcement’s to their guests. If the boats were able to steer then getting to the docks shouldn’t be too difficult; they were already half way around the river course. Still, what Bob had said about the changes to the scenes both confused and worried Alvin; “he must be imagining things,” Alvin thought, “but with everything else that going on who knows.”

He took his microphone; “Ladies and Gentlemen; as I said before, we’re suffering some technical difficulties, it seems to be affecting the whole attraction and not just our boat. I’m afraid I’m going to have to take us straight back to the docks where hopefully we can get this sorted out as quickly as possible. To be on the safe side, I’m going to ask that everyone come sit in the middle seats of the boat and not use the outside edge seating.”

Alvin decided this would be best as passengers did have a habit of letting arms dangle over the side of the boat and he wasn’t too sure how good his steering would be. As soon as the guests had made the move to the other seats Alvin started to give the boat some power; he kept it very slow at first while he worked out the extremes of manoeuvring the vehicle.

With the other boat, the Senegal Sal, just behind Alvin steered his boat around the corner to where the hippopotamus pool would be. The track was laid out so that the boat would weave between the sunken models; the skippers would have to be very careful to match the same pattern or else they would be hitting one of them. He looked to the right where the first one should be; nothing. “This can’t be?” Alvin mattered under his breath. He looked to the left where the next ones should be bathing; this would be where he would normally say “Last week, they overturned six of our boats. Only five of them were mine though!” but again nothing.

Suddenly the boat jolted to the side, like it had been side swiped in a car accident and several of the female guests screamed. Alvin looked in that direction and there it was, a full size hippopotamus and it really was ramming the boat; and winning. The guests all scurried to the opposite side of the boat to get as much distance from the hippo as they could but this just made it easier for the boat to be tipped. The boat started to take on water, Alvin knew he had to do something but the only thing he could think of was to follow the normal storyline for this part of the attraction. “Real hippo; real gun?” he thought, “can’t hurt to try.”

He picked up his gun which was only a prop that would make a good but obviously fake sound effect; aimed; fired. He wasn’t expecting the recoil and he fell backwards into control panel. “What the hell is going on here?” he muttered; the guests all turning to look at him with a look of shock and terror on their faces. It had fired, the prop had actually fired live ammo; he didn’t know if he had hit or not, but the hippo retreated.

“We’ve got to get out of here.” Alvin announced to the guests. The Senegal Sal pulled up alongside and Bob motioned for the guests to cross from their boat to his which they started doing.

“Did you see that?” Alvin asked Bob; “the hippo attacked me, it really friggin attacked me!”

Bob didn’t have time to answer though because before he could both skippers heard something they both feared; the war drums of the native village.

***************************

The bride in the attic had always been a part of the Haunted Mansion ride, but always very vague in storyline. Different people would tell different stories of who she was and why she haunted that space; stories were told about how she was murdered on her wedding night by her new husband, how she jumped out the window on her wedding night in a fit of madness, or how her husband had found her and her lover in the attic and killed him; hence her glowing heart. A metal post, that had once been fixed in cement outside the attraction and later removed by being sawn at the point of protrusion, had left a visible metal ring in the ground. Folklore had it that it was the bride's ring tossed out of the attic window, in front of which it was situated, and that it had melted the ground on which it fell. Even cast members would claim it to be a part of the Mansion's story when giving tours; although it never officially was.

But now the bride did have a definitive back-story and she definitely wasn't the victim this time. Now she was Constance, the bloody bride who married six men for their money before beheading them with her axe. Surrounding her would be the portraits of her dead husbands and their wedding cakes as she would gloat about getting everything she wanted and always getting away with the murders.

Mike knew there were three main things to look out for while passing her. Firstly her wedding ring would sparkle, secondly the axe would appear in her hands and finally all the heads of her previous husbands would disappear in the portraits.

As he approached he could see the decoration around her and a side glance of her dress that shone in the simulated moonlight coming from the attic window. However, his attention was suddenly taken away from her when he realised his own wedding ring was sparkling much the way he had expected to see Constance’s react. Mike chuckled to himself, “must be something in the lighting that reacts with gold,” he thought when a sudden movement claimed his attention and he looked up.

Standing in front of his doom buggy, axe in hand, stood Constance. “no-one mentioned that she now moved;” Mike thought looking at the beauty of the bride in front of him, how real she now looked now her face was internally projected; but then her face turned from one of beauty to one of rage and her eyes burned with fury.

“Till death do us part…” she said as she lifted the axe.

“I do…I did…”

Mike’s last thoughts were of his wife Stacy as he watched the axe swing towards his head.
 

...........To Be Continued
 

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