Oblivion

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Summary

A bombing crew becomes stranded on an island after being shot down during the pacific theater of World War II. The 6 survivors, now disconnected from battle, begin to question the purpose of it all. During the Pacific Theater of World War II, a bombing crew crashes onto a deserted island. The story follows the crew captain, Calvin Amuart, as he attempts to keep order and wait for rescue. However, things are not as they seem. When Calvin is told by his pilot that the rest of the crew sabotaged the plane to crash, he must decide between trusting in his crew or trusting his best friend. Regardless of his decision, someone must die if the other is to survive the island. A story that dissects the value of loyalty and the ultimate purpose for existence, Oblivion pulls the reader into a world of breathe taking imagery and heart-stopping suspense.

Genre:
Adventure / Action
Author:
B. J. Thomas
Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
2
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter 1

Tick, tick, tick,… silence. Tick, tick, tick,… silence. I rise from the floor frustrated and sleep deprived. Those rusty bolts never let me get any rest. I swear, one of these days the whole plane’s going to crumble beneath us and send us falling into oblivion. I see no point in fighting the bolts, so I begin making my way out of the cargo compartment. I maneuver myself through the many explosives that hoard the cabin. I squeeze past a pay load here, an ordinance there. This one is used to level cities, that one burns jungle. It boggles my mind that I’m aboard one of the biggest planes the air force has to offer, yet I can barely get anywhere without sliding my ass against a bomb. Would it kill head quarters to drop a few of these? I just want the luxury of stretching my legs.

Once I finally get through the arsenal, I walk to the cockpit. My eyes wander by the many buttons that make this bomber simply stay steady. Gauges, altimeters, the works—I bet that some of the buttons are there just for show. Pilots and mechanics probably have this secret pact where they design planes with all these complicated controls so when I, the captain, walk in, Steven can press a few of the fakes to prove to me that he’s hard at work. All I can see is the back of Steven’s head from this angle, but my 3 years of flying with the guy tells me what I’m missing in the front. He looks diligently at his controls, monitoring the slightest breath of the world. His eyes are glassy from blink deprivation. I have to admire him. If bad people didn’t keep thinking they could conquer the world, Steven could easily be the CEO of some huge company or cure polio for all I know. The guy can focus. However, in this case, his focus is a weakness. The best soldier at taking orders never asks to take the lead. So for now he takes orders from me, but I’ve already asked him to employ me once we get out of this mess.

After finishing my tour through the controls, I finally connect with the button I’m looking for: the coffee machine. I check to see if Steven left me any grounds, but the filter is clean.

“Sorry,” he says without turning away from the controls. “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

I laugh. “Well, try to give Lloyd the controls every once in a while. He’s here specifically so you can sleep.”

“No. He flew last night,” Steven reassures. “I just couldn’t get myself to doze off. I feel like I’m flying in a meat can when Lloyd takes over. I can feel every degree that guy tilts the plane from 180. I can’t sleep if we’re crashing.”

I look down at his mug. A herd of horses gallop through a picturesque desert on the side of the cup. Funny that when a man is given water as far as the eye can see, all he asks for is a little sand.

“Where’s the crew?” I ask.

“I sent them down to the trap door a couple of hours ago to oil the pistons, but, my best guess is that that was finished an hour and a half ago, so they’re probably hiding out in one of the gun stations.”

I smirk. “They’re waiting for you find some zeroes, yeah?”

“Oh, I’m sure,” Steven plays along.

I start walking towards the door. I stop just outside the cockpit.

“Hey, when we get back, can I buy you a drink? You payed for dinner last night, and I figure it’s the least I can do for you giving us a week of clear skies.”

Steven responds without the slightest consideration of taking my bait. “You know, I’m looking for them. It’s not my fault that the Japanese only fly when there’s something to crash into.”

“Well, in that case, let me buy you a drink for failing.”

The propellers of the bomber cuts up our silence. Steven turns around to face me.

He smiles “That sounds like a plan.”

He quickly turns back to the controls. I close the door to the cockpit, and saunter over to the ladder that leads to the bottom anti-aircraft guns. I open the breach and climb down to find not a soul in hiding. The crew must be still at the trap-door, but I figure, why waste an empty space. I climb into the gunner seat and look through the glass cage to the ocean below. From this distance, the ocean looks like the morning surface of a sleepy pond, but I know that if we were to be dropped to Earth, I would find roaring waves crashing and consuming each other. I wonder if this is how God sees us. From his kingdom in the sky, the world looks like a peaceful collaboration of towns and cities. If only he came down to our level, he would see families split by the call of duty and devils mechanizing the death of millions of souls. But I hear talk of a weapon being made that obliterates entire nations. That perhaps will be big enough to catch even God’s eye. Perhaps God will come then to the war front: to bring justice to those we won’t miss, and to bring peace to those we will.

Suddenly, the deafening bell of the seat belt light snaps me out of my thought. I take one last look at the seemingly dormant ocean below, then climb up the ladder to prepare for landing. As I get to the top of the ladder, I catch Rodney Wachter slowly floating to his seat. He’s old— for combat. Despite the silver peppering his buzzed head and hard lines wrapping around his forehead, I never question his ability. He joined the air force to pay for his daughter’s polio medication. His daughter, Nancy, means everything to him. He even asked when he enlisted if he could be payed per each soldier he killed to get money sent home more quickly. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rodney can shoot as fast as he can aim, and I figure that he will continue in his line of work until he faces an enemy that works for death in the same way he does.

Followed by Rodney is Lloyd Hamilton and Sydney Bridges. Both the men are enlists who joined us from the Royal Air Force. They’re the guys that keep the plane in the air.

Lloyd is our radio technician. He’s a shorter man, with the mannerisms of a taller man. He never really looks threatened as most shorter individuals do around taller folks. His hair curls down to his neck and facial hair litters his face. He carries a little extra weight with him, and looks like his skin’s never seen the light of day. He says he misses England for the fog. The tropical weather he was stationed in had clear skies every day. The crystal clear view as far as the horizon makes Lloyd feel small and insignificant. The fog allows him to presume that his world only stretches as far as the room in which he presides.

Sydney Bridges on the other hand is tall. I mean really tall. Tall like Her Majesty’s army saw Lloyd and felt bad for giving us half a soldier, so they gave us Bridges to fill the one and a half soldiers left to be transferred to our division. He’s a bear of a man, and, if there’s a day without clouds, his emerald eyes and fiery mustache are visible. I never seriously question the hobbies of my crew, but Syd really throws me for a loop. He satchels a bullet sling over his shoulder. Except the slots hold vials instead of bullets. He fills a vial with ocean water whenever we land at a new station. It’s unusual, but whatever keeps peace, I guess.

We all sit in silence—not out of animosity, but because there’s nothing more to learn about each other. Behind the cockpit door I can imagine Steven wrestling this lunchbox to the run way. I turn to Rodney on my right, then to the empty chair on my left. It’s weird to think that the next time we’re in the air, the seat will be filled. Then we’ll have something new to learn, experiences to admire and regrets to sympathize. Suddenly, the plane strikes asphalt and we’re back in the Solomon Islands.

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