The Island Out of Nowhere
by Maryann Holloway
Captain David Wonder of the US Coast Guard brought his cutter alongside the other vessel and instructed a Lieutenant to take control. The captain along with Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Michaels boarded what appeared to be an abandoned commercial vessel.
“Permission to speak?” said Michaels.
“Permission granted,” authorized the Captain.
“There doesn’t appear to be anyone on board. As you noted earlier, this island is not on our maps. The crew must have gone ashore and oddly left no one on board,” said Michaels.
Captain Wonder leaned over the map station and looked for any information that may have been left. “I see no ship’s log. We’ll return to our cutter and organize a shore expedition.”
Back on the cutter, ten men were selected to join the shore expedition.
“Men this is an uncharted island, said Captain Wonder. I’ve radioed Command and they’ve begun research into whether there are any vessels that were expected in the area. Citizens may need our help, so we cannot wait for Command. Prepare your packs for the mission and assume you’ll need supplies for at least a week. I don’t have to remind you to include sufficient weapons and ammunition and to check your radio equipment.
After briefing the remainder of the crew, Captain Wonder and the shore expedition crew boarded a near shore lifeboat and approached the unknown island.
A few hours later, a helicopter arrived from Command. With no place to land, forensic specialists from the FBI were lowered onto the abandon commercial craft to investigate. The chief investigator boarded the United States Coast Guard cutter.
“Welcome aboard, Agent Smith. I was briefed on the FBI’s involvement,” said Lieutenant Markel.
“What can you tell me about the progress on the island?” asked Agent Smith.
“I get a report hourly and there has been nothing significant so far.”
Meanwhile, Captain Wonder and his crew were exploring the mysterious island. The men were amazed at its size and had been walking through the thick forest for hours. They found no evidence of life other than botanical. With the help of machetes, the crew made quick work of the thick vegetation. Suddenly they heard the noise of large machinery and Captain Wonder silenced the men.
“Stop! We need to approach in stealth mode. We do not know if it is friend or foe,” ordered Captain Wonder.
Using the trees for camouflage, the crew approached a clearing. The men gave a collective gasp as they couldn’t believe what they were witnessing. It was like watching those old newsreels from the 1940s.
“Permission to speak Captain,” whispered Seaman Potter.
“Go ahead, seaman.”
“It’s 2015, how could there be Nazis?”
“I don’t know Potter but we need to find out,” answered Captain Wonder. “Michaels, hand me those binoculars. I want to get a better look,” commanded the Captain.
Using the Steiner 10X50mm military issue binoculars, Captain panned the compound. He still couldn’t believe what he was seeing. A red flag with the Nazi swastika was flying high and there were at least one hundred men dressed in World War II German uniforms. The compound was full of ancient military equipment too.
“Wait a minute. Now I see something of interest. Very odd,” commented the Captain. “Michaels, take a look and tell me what you see on the far left behind that Panzer tank?” said the Captain handing the binoculars to Michaels.
The men thought it was all odd but waited as Michaels looked.
“It appears to be an old gate with a rusted chain and lock. I wonder what’s locked behind it.”
“I think our missing commercial boat passengers are now German POWs,” responded the Captain. “Let’s get back to our boat. I’ve received word that the FBI has arrived. The agents will need a briefing from me. We also need to find a place to hide our boat from detection. We don’t know the extent of what we are dealing with on this island.”
After the crew began their tract back, Potter heard a noise and looked up into the trees. While looking up he didn’t see something on the path in front of him so he tripped and landed in the brush.
“Captain, you better see this,” called Michaels looking at what caused Potter to trip.
Potter got to his feet and looked on as the Captain peered at Michaels holding a steel rod about the length of his forearm. Fastened to the end of the rod was a metal chain with a spiked metal ball on the end.
“If I am not mistaken, that is a knight’s mace. How did you trip Seaman?” asked the Captain.
“I heard a noise and was looking up,” answered Potter pointing at the trees.
Looking up and seeing nothing, Captain Wonder panned the woods around them. He noticed sunlight gleam off of something in the path to their right. When he reached the area, he looked down in amazement.
“I believe we are looking at a knight’s halberd,” said the Captain. Lying in the path was a long staff with an axe like blade on the end.
Along the path, the men found wooden arrows but no more large-scale medieval weapons. As the path widened, they saw a break in the trees.
“We’re going to approach hidden by the foliage,” commanded the Captain.
Loud cheering and clashing metal could be heard as the crew hid behind the last of the foliage. There was an open field, a thousand yards wide. Nearby, an old brick bridge spanned a brook of rapidly rushing water. Directly ahead stood an army with thousands of infantry and cavalry. The men were dressed in Scottish plaids and had war paint on their faces.
Captain Wonder climbed a tree and used the binoculars to look beyond. “Michaels, climb up and take a look.”
Across the field, Michaels saw another massive army. “There must be over fifteen thousand men including cavalry, Sir. They’re in armor and I can see what looks like a royal crest,” said Michaels.
“I believe we are hiding in Callendar Wood. That is the army of King Edward I Longshanks, House of Plantagenet of England.”
“So we are coming up behind William Wallace and Robert du Bruce?” asked Michaels.
“This is Falkirk! We need to get back to the boat immediately,” commanded the Captain.
“Captain I don’t think we can go back the way we came. Look!” said Potter. He was pointing at what appear to be a vast valley. There was smoke rising all around them.
“What is going on now?” said the Captain.
“Captain I don’t believe my eyes. Those people in the midst of all that smoke look like Confederate soldiers.”
“I agree and there are Union uniforms too. Men. I think this is Gettysburg.” Using the binoculars, the Captain looked for a way to go around the action. Just as he was about to give orders, a cannon ball whizzed passed nearly hitting them. Next, what looked like the entire Union Army was racing towards them.
“We need to get out of here before they spot us. Based on my knowledge of the Battle of Gettysburg, I think the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment is about to charge down Little Round Top with their bayonets and we are directly in their path.
“Captain it looks like there is a path around to the right. Maybe if we take it, we’ll find our way back to where the boat is docked,” said Michaels.
“Good work Michaels. Men this way. Keep alert for any Civil War soldiers. They won’t understand that we don’t belong and will use their bayonets on us.”
The Captain and his crew made it back safely. Later on board the cutter, Captain Wonder briefed Agent Smith. “A few hours march from the shore we came upon what appeared to be a Nazi POW camp.
“I had thought you were on your way back when I received your cryptic message about it not being just Nazis,” said Agent Smith.
“We found medieval weaponry and when we continued along a new path, we unbelievably walked into the Battle of Falkirk.”
Seeing the puzzled look on the agent’s face, the Captain briefly explained the battle between England and Scotland in 1298.
“I don’t know what to make of all this; however there are substantial reinforcements on the way,” said Agent Smith. “They’ll be bringing some state of the art robotic equipment in case it is needed.”
“Reinforcements is a good idea because after Falkirk, we came upon the Battle of Gettysburg.”
Agent Smith stared in shock.
“No matter what is going on, the plan needs to focus on getting the people out safely,” stated the Captain.
The next morning as the sun rose, the Captain’s radio sounded in his quarters. “Captain you are urgently needed on deck,” said the voice.
Fully dressed for the operation, Captain Wonder arrived on deck to see a cruise ship excursion tender unloading passengers.
“Halt in the name of the United States of America,” called the Captain but he could not be heard over all the noise. Disembarking, the Captain approached the person who appeared to be in charge. He was about to confront the uniformed officer when he overheard a passenger at the front of the line.
“Excuse me. Could my wife and I make a change? We no longer want to portray members of the French underground. My wife watched the film, Braveheart last week and she now wants to look for Mel Gibson in your Scotland scenario,” said a man in a wrinkled Hawaiian shirt.
“Sorry. There are no late changes. All props, costumes and accommodations are set months in advance. Enjoy your stay on the cruise line’s private island.”