Author’s note: Welcome reader! This is a first part of Phoenix crew stories. Hopefully you have fun reading this one!
I find myself spending more and more time in the tugboat, doing absolutely nothing except listening to Phoenix’s sonar, awaiting a ping from the nearby gas deposits while the rest of the crew is doing all the maintenance that this old beast requires for whatever comes next. Its fucking freezing now and every day, the sea gets a bit more frozen, making manoeuvering Phoenix a lot trickier than we would like to. But, if our calculations are right, we are getting pretty close to the gas drilling sites, Enkanae corp has built around Namalsk in 2007.
Few weeks ago, we were just a regular rotation crew on one of many Hercules-type of derrick rigs, returning to our home port over at Sashikane, Alaska. Everyone was really eager to call the season off and return home. But then everything suddenly turned upside down. We have heard the reports from the HQ, we have seen the stuff some crews in our flotilla have witnessed. Here on the open sea, rules are very simple, either you are on board or you die. When the time has come for Phoenix, it was not pretty, but also very strange at the same time. Rob from the engineering started acting really weird and an hour later, he was just batshit crazy. We restrained the poor guy and left him isolated. No other cases were witnessed in our crew of 12. We still have no idea why, but a week later, we did not have anyone to ask about it anymore. The radio was just.. silent. Until one day.. We were still on the track to return to the home port, despite everyone just being scared shitless of what we may find in there. But this emergency call has changed everything. We caught a SOS ping and we were obliged to follow it up. We have managed to narrow it down pretty effectively, it was coming from the Enkanae drill sites around this god forsaken piece of land called Namalsk. That area has been locked off for a good reason – a tactical nuclear warhead has been used in there during something politicians like to call Namalsk crisis. Some top black ops shit was happening years prior over there. But if we can bring Phoenix there, those drilling sites (if working) are guaranteed to keep our rig functioning for months to come. Supplies were bit of a struggle, but hey, until everything around us freezes, we have got free food all around us. That is if you like the fish. But what the hell are you doing on the open sea if you hate fish?
It was early morning when I got woken up by Sasha. He was blooming with happiness and pointing me to the screen – Phoenix’s sonar has pinged Enkanae gas site. I have looked outside through the tiny circular window, morning sun was trying to pierce through what soon to be another blizzard, but we knew what to do next. We had all of our equipment and this was literally our job, except this time, we were not getting ready to fill up a tanker, we are to keep ourselves alive for months to come.
Story continues in part 2, frozen plains.