Part 2: Shipwreck Island
Ass, grass or gas - nobody rides for free. Personally I'm going with gas.
Stranded in the middle of nowhere. I had no map, no food, no water, and I was stuck in a ramshackle tub that shouldn't have flown in the first place.
What the hell was I thinking? Sentimentality had defeated reason, and, propelled by the momentum of Valembois' obsessive preparations, I was now halfway around the world.
"Come on, think. Just be logical. What resources do you have at hand?"
A ha! The control panel. I wasn't out of the woods yet, but I certainly wasn't completely fucked.
I had everything I needed except fuel... so what mode of travel doesn't need fuel?
Click to see what happens
The sight of a sperm whale so close made me catch my breath. I grew up on the prairies, and the sea had always seemed mysterious and far away.
No time for whale-watching, though. The rusted-out hulk of a shipwreck blocked my path. Time to see what other tricks the Hydrafloat has up its sleeve.
Click to view
My heart raced as the Hydrafloat sank beneath the waves. Was this thing even watertight?
Luckily I emerged safe and sound next to an old pier. I was surprised to see an old man, nonchalantly boozing it up and fishing.
I sidled up.
"Uh, hi. Are the fish biting today?"
Click to hear what this guy has to say
"That's a real shame," I said. "But listen, my plane... boat... erm, boatplane is out of gas. You wouldn't happen to have any fuel?"
"You again? I told you, no fish, no talkin'."
"Come on, man. What the hell do you want me to do about a whale? Damnit, fisherman, I'm a journalist, not a marine biologist. I never even owned a goldfish!"
He just sneered, took a long pull from his bottle, and spat into the lagoon.
It seemed I was about to become an expert diver.
Further up the beach I saw a shipwreck. I was a little light on inventory - maybe there'd be something I could use.
Turned out it was a bar. Who built this? And why?
I sat down on one of the barstools and retrieved Valembois' journal from my backpack.
A large number of sperm whales have settled here...
I fear that we might have hit one of them on approaching the channel that leads to the atoll.
No kidding. If I'd been moving any faster, that whale would have ended my journey as well.
This atoll bears its name well: it seems to be the meeting place of all those who pace and explore the planet... Unfortunately, for many of them, this is where the adventure stops for lack of transport...
This is a necessary stop: we need petrol for the hydrafloat!
So where did everyone go? Was the old fisherman the last remnant? Did everyone else die, or were they rescued? Shame the old man wasn't much of a talker.
The sperm whale we had hit has caused serious damage to our hydrafloat. I am afraid that, if Providence does not come to our succour, our adventure will end right here, on this wretched island...
I've lost all hope of repairing the hydrafloat.
Luckily, my hydrafloat wasn't damaged. I don't think many ships pass by Shipwreck Island anymore.
We are in very poor spirits... We are indeed prisoners on this ill-fated atoll. We spend our time listening to stories told by teh travellers passing through. Then, with a pang of anguish, we watch them set off again.
Praise be to God! A Peruvian whaler has agreed to take us to the Amerzone!!!
I couldn't wait to get off this island - I'd go nuts, if I didn't starve to death. Maybe the old man would teach me to fish?
No... I knew I could solve this. Time to get back to work. I packed away Valembois' journal and searched the bar for anything I could use.
I found an antique diving helmet just sitting on a table. If the seals held up, I could use this to solve the fisherman's whale problem.
The diving knife in the dart board still had a pretty good edge. Could come in handy.
There was a fuel pump outside an old hangar. Looked like there was still some gas in there. All I needed was a jerry can or something to transport it back to the Hydrafloat.
There was a seaplane in the hangar. I wondered if it still flew. I had no idea how to fly a plane - best to stick with the idiot-proof Hydrafloat for the time being.
What luck! A jerry can!
I also found a wrench on a work table in the back.
There were an awful lot of wrecked vehicles on the island - numerous shipwrecks and crashed planes dotted the beach. No bodies or bones, though. I found that encouraging.
On the other end of the beach, I found some steps chiseled into the rock face, leading through a narrow crossing.
There, on a secluded strip of beach, was a cabin. It looked much the worse for wear - I guess time and the sea wind each take their toll.
I found a weatherbeaten chest on the floor. It was locked, and no amount of prying with my brand new knife could open it. I gave up, deciding it would be best so save the edge.
Tacked to the wall was an old photograph.
On Shipwreck Isle...
Mackowski, Alvarez, and myself
They looked happy. Certainly happier than Valembois after 66 years of age and regret. I decided to leave the photo where it was.
I walked back along the beach and filled up the jerry can at the pump. I hoped it would be enough to get me to the Amerzone - what were the chances I'd find another gas pump in the middle of the ocean?
I couldn't reach the external fuel port. Luckily, Valembois had thought to include a port inside the Hydrafloat as well.
As I was reaching past the egg, I brushed it with my forearm. It was warm - really warm. How the hell could an egg survive for 60 years? If this thing was even still alive, and I wasn't just going mad with exhaustion.
The control panel said everything was okay. I felt bad leaving the fisherman and the trapped whale, but I had even odds of drowning in this antique diving helmet. And then what?
Unfortunately, the Hydrafloat saw things differently.
"What do you mean, 'Incoherent Data' you piece of shit boatplane? Heading 145, just like before!" I slammed the control panel. Buggy piece of crap.
Then it hit me.
Heading One-Four-Five was only valid starting from Valembois' lighthouse. I had no idea which way the Amerzone was now.
No matter what, I guess I was going under water. I had a helmet, but I'd need air.
I sat back for a second, staring at the rippling water. The cool sea air and warm sunlight cleared my mind. I opened my eyes and found myself looking at the windmill across from the bar.
"A windmill's a pump, right? Could that be pumping water from the lagoon? Yes!"
I clambered out of the Hydrafloat's hatch and ran down the pier, eliciting a dirty look from the fisherman. I didn't care.
A chain released the brake on the windmill and I crossed over to the front side.
Okay, we had a wheel that apparently engages the mechanism, which is attached to a lever and a pipe leading into the lagoon, which in turn routes the water through a hose.
I hooked the nozzle of the diving helmet to the end of the hose. So far so good.
Turned the wheel to engage power from the windmill to the pump.
I threw the switch and with a gurgle, seawater started dribbling out of the diving helmet. Whoops!
There we go. Disconnecting the pipe at this point meant it would be sucking in air, rather than water.
I took a couple of deep breaths, conscious that this might be my last taste of fresh air, and then slipped the helmet over my head.
I could hardly see through the thick glass, and my breath echoed back to me loud and metallic. It smelled like salt, corrosion, and hot rubber. I didn't want to spend any more time in this thing than necessary.
With trepidation, I lowered myself into the water. The positive pressure inside the helmet made my ears pop a little. I prayed the wind would keep up - if that windmill stopped, I was properly fucked.
The whale thrashed weakly. I wasn't sure how long it had been down there, but I knew it would need air soon. No time to waste!
Click to watch me Free Willy (Not porn, I swear)
I followed the net back to its origin. The knife cut the rope easily and the whale was free!
It was getting hard to breathe. I needed to get out of the water, so I returned to the fisherman to see if he'd be a little more forthcoming.
"Hi. So did you see that whale just now?"
"So will you answer my questions?"
"Three men came here about sixty years ago. Were you living here then? What do you remember?"
Click to see if he's going to stop being a crybaby about his stupid fish.
"What happened to their last plane?"
"Sank, I guess."
"In the lagoon?"
"Aye. Now go away. You're scaring the fish."
Back into the briny deep...
Let's try out the grapnel mode. I played Quest for Glory III, so I knew grapnel meant grappling hook. Stupid Europeans.
I'd never seen a fish like that before. Was it a sturgeon? I didn't feel like sticking around to figure it out.
Another crashed plane. No bones inside - I was already having uncomfortable flashbacks to that scene in Heavy Metal.
That's the one.
That must be the rope from the Hydrafloat's grapnel.
That was a lucky shot, come to think of it. Landed right next to the old Hydrafloat. I didn't think I'd be able to raise the whole thing, so I secured the hook to the door and made my way back to the surface.
Success! I pulled the lever to retract the hook, and it pulled the door clean off. I made my way back to the wreck.
Luckily, the old Hydrafloat's heading was still dialed into the computer. Amazing they made it this far with an analog autopilot.
I dried off in the sun a bit before heading to the cabin. I learned that no discomfort even approaches crystallized sea salt in your buttcrack.
There was another diskette in the chest. I guessed this was the navigation drive for the next leg of my journey.
I wondered who left it here - there was no disk drive in the old Hydrafloat, and to my knowledge none of the three explorers had been back here.
I chalked it up to yet more of Valembois' obsessive planning. This whole thing was starting to feel a little deterministic, and I wished that Valembois had been a little more forthcoming with the information.
I slotted the new disc into the navigation console. It needed a new heading, so I keyed in 227, the same as the old Hydrafloat, trusting that the old man knew what he was doing.
I set the Hydrafloat to airplane mode and hoped for the best.
Damn I hope this works.
Click to see what happens when you pull the throttle
Whoops. Let's try something else. Helicopter mode?
Click to see the ending cutscene
I was starting to see a theme here.