The United Confederation of People With Too Much Time On Their Hands

Present:

The Plight of The Castaways

an Adventure with Science-Fiction Overtones

and Partial Orangutan Involvement

We present for your perusal, the account of what transpired during an ocean voyage of the S.S. Tipton, a luxury cruise liner. The principal characters in the epic are students attending the Seven Seas High School. The events described here occur directly after Season 3: Episode 6: "Bon Voyage".

There are several facts important to keep in mind: 1) two of the students, Bailey and Cody, are broken up. 2)two other students, Zack and Maya are not going out, much to Zack's chagrin. 3) It is currently August of 2010. 4) The ship was recently docked in Egypt, but is currently making its way through the Atlantic to a port in Florida. 5) Some things aren't any less real just because they can't be seen or aren't believed in. 6) Actions always have consequences, they don't necessarily come after the action, though. 7) There will be no twincest! Giving your brother a hand is one thing, but some of you are swimming into chilling waters.

We are legally obligated to inform you We have no creative rights to anything we are writing about.


Chapter 1: Death Comes to Dinner

"Seeing is not believing. Seeing is when belief stops because it isn't needed anymore."


Zack Martin was skull-shatteringly bored. The counter he was now leaning on was more entertained than he was. He was taking his shift at the Juice Bar on the Sky Deck of the S.S. Tipton. This prospect was uninteresting to begin with, but today was special. It was the most tortuously hot day the ship had ever encountered, and it had arrived on the same day that wind had gone on vacation.

Earlier this week Zack's twin, Cody, had explained that they were sailing through a unique area of the Atlantic Ocean called something and it had unique pressure systems and stuff so the weather was hot, stale, and uncomfortable. Cody had found the fix of asking Mr. Moseby, the ship manager, to assign him to sorting the matzo balls in the ship's fridge unit.

Everyone else on the ship had found the fix of staying in their air-conditioned cabins. The up-shot being that the Sky Deck was empty and Zack had nothing to do in the burning Sun. And he had to do it for another four hours.

"Hey Zack!" someone cried. Zack looked across the deck to see his twin coming toward him carrying a bowl.

"Cody, what are you doing here? And can you stay?" Zack asked, a begging tone just barely present.

"I finished sorting the matzo balls early. It was easy I just had to use the Bromley Extended Pattern for..."

"Don't care. Whazzat?" Zack asked, indicating the bowl.

"I brought you up one of the extra matzo balls." Cody said handing him kosher goodie. Zack gave it a stab with the fork and brought it up for a bite. He liked it but deemed it needed heating up to be truly savory. He put it in the microwave under the counter for a minute-thirty, not realizing he was also microwaving the fork.

"So, what's going on?" Zack asked as he resurfaced.

"Woody and I are working on a model of the Nile delta for school." Cody replied in an uninterested tone. Zack had noticed a lack of zeal in his brother since his break-up with Bailey. He remembered in third grade that Cody had once fainted from excitement while making a topographical map of the Chattahoochie river. Love could do terrible things to a person.

"I guess Woody isn't much of a help." Zack ventured.

"Actually he said he could get a lot of the supplies we need. I was worried about where we were going to get dirt in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean."

"That explains why I saw him stealing potted plants from the Salon." Zack chuckled. Cody let this sink in for a second and then ran off at top speed to his cabin. Zack was left alone again, wishing he had brought up Maya instead. Oh, Maya, Maya, Maya...

He was jarred out of his love-struck revelry when he noticed someone sitting at the bar. He was sure there was no one there a moment ago.

"Oh!...Sorry, what can I get you?" He asked.

YOU CAN SEE ME? The voice was unpleasant. The tone was neither rude nor abrasive, it wasn't even very loud, but had the same effect as hearing thin ice cracking underfoot. Moreover, Zack didn't think he heard, just simply knew what was being said. It was like the difference between seeing a fire and being burned.

"Um, yes?" He replied, very sure by now that there was something in that matzo ball.

THIS IS MOST IRREGULAR. WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?

"Huh?"

TO DRINK. The figure indicated the menu on the wall.

"Oh, right. Well, the Very Merry Berry Bonanza is always good." Zack suggested.

I'LL HAVE THE VERY MERRY BERRY BONANZA.

Zack got to work blending the raspberries and grapes, very determinedly looking at his work. He poured out the substance into a very festive glass, adding the festive mini-umbrella, putting on his festive smile and handing it to the depressing figure.

THANK YOU.

Zack stood back and gave the figure a perusal. It was wearing a long black cloak, but it looked less like clothing and more like a veil someone had put up to obscure something unpleasant. The fabric was whipping slightly in breeze that wasn't there, almost as if the air it was occupying didn't want to be touching it and was trying to shake it off.

The figure's physique was skin and bone. On closer inspection you noticed the lack of any skin, and the lack of anything that wasn't bone. This revelation made the fact that it was drinking a smoothie very discordant with everything Zack knew about health and diet.

And the crowning disturbance in the horror-fest was the weapon it was carrying. It looked distinctly like a scythe, but it was more than a scythe; the same as how a space shuttle vaguely resembles a paper air-plane. It was clearly made for a task mere mortals should know nothing about. Against all common sense, Zack tried to strike up a conversation.

"So...are you enjoying the cruise?"

I ONLY JUST ARRIVED.

"But, we're in the middle of the Ocean..."

I DIDN'T HAVE ANY TROUBLE.

"So...you're taking a vacation."

I'M HERE ON BUSINESS.

"Doing what?"

I'M SUPPOSED TO PICK SOMEONE UP, THEN MAKE A DELIVERY.

"Oh, you're the Ship's helicopter pilot."

NO, I RIDE A HORSE. MACHINES CAN'T GO WERE I'M GOING.

"...Who are you?"

I AM THE GRAVE OF HOPE. THE RUIN OF NATIONS. THE SWALLOWER OF OCEANS. THE ULTIMATE REALITY. THE DEVOURER OF...

Somewhere after THE RUIN OF NATIONS Zack had taken off at a dead sprint. He managed to clear the cabana when the microwave finally lost it's heated battle with the fork and exploded, sending shrapnel shooting all over the bar.

Zack looked over to the Juice Bar from his hiding place behind the towel rack. The region where his lower half had been moments before was now a smattering of charred twisted metal. If he hadn't run away not only would he have been dead, he would have lost the will to live.

AND THAT IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER BUY CHEAP APPLIANCES. Death said as it strolled off the deck, half-finished smoothie still in hand.

As Zack was still trying to get his mind around what happened, Mr. Moseby ran onto the sky deck.

"Zack!" Mr. Moseby shouted in wild indignation, "What did you do?"

Zack ran up to Mr. Moseby and grabbed him in a desperate embrace.

"I almost died!" Zack choked out.

"What do you mean 'almost'?" asked Mr. Moseby, and Zack felt the hug become uncomfortably tight.