This one is either the start of a new masterwork for me or an excellent case study of someone losing the plot. Which is to say, if this one doesn't suck, let me know.
Michael, clearly flustered: I've always loved ocean life... ever since I first heard "Come Sail Away..."
He scratched thoughtfully at where his beard would be if he had one.
Michael: And... lake life is the next best thing to ocean life, so...
He looks over his shoulder as though expecting the door behind him to swing open at any second.
Michael: ...That's why I took my people out here again.
The Decline of Scottish Sea Power
Adventure No. 14:
"Our Team Included..."
"This side, quick!" Dwight cried frantically, arms flailing wildly towards the black lake they were floating on.
"You mean 'port?'" Stanley asked laconically.
"Der Gelbe Hai!" Dwight shouted, undeterred. "I see it!" he insisted.
As was to be predicted, absolutely no one moved.
"Get the harpoons ready!" Dwight stomped like a petulant child. It was rare that he coworkers got to see him this excited about anything and they weren't at all enjoying it.
Why had Michael dragged them all out to sea?
Jim: Some time ago I had a desire to see the watery parts of the world and...
A bit of a pause as he bails on his own bit.
Jim: About a year and half ago, Michael took us all on a booze cruise around Lake Wallenpaupack... You remember.
Pause, sort of a long one, really.
Jim: A few days ago, Michael bought the exact same boat at a police auction... I know, and Captain Jack seemed like such a nice, honest guy.
Jim: Now, we aren't quite sure how Michael managed to pay for this boat, but I think when Jan finds out about it, he's going to wish he could sail it out to sea.
"Has he given us any idea how long were going to be out here?" Karen asked, staring across the sea.
"Karen, think about who we're talking about," Jim replied. "It took him three hours to figure out how to get out of dock."
Karen nodded, right now Michael was attempting to steer the ship by force of will. "Even if he doesn't capsize the ship, this is going to turn out really bad, isn't it?"
Jim nodded blankly. "I predict a riot."
"Of course," Jim continued, "he almost certainly will capsize the ship."
"Or hit an iceberg," Karen offered.
"In any case," Jim reflected, "I think we can all agree we are in classic disaster movie territory now."
"Maybe the boat can catch on fire," Karen joked, raising a eyebrow.
Suddenly Jim's face dropped. "I think I need to talk to Dwight."
Jim ran off to find Dwight as Karen shook her head, giggling slightly.
As she watched them depart from the other side of the boat, Pam decided it was time to look at the Moon.
Her stomach was definitely bothering her.
Pam, chipper: My name is Pam Beesly and I am the ship's cartographer.
She doesn't bow or curtsy here, but you can tell the temptation is there.
Pam: Really, the Lake isn't that big and it's pretty well charted, but... I like to draw, so Michael told me I should make some maps.
She holds up a finished colored pencil drawing. It's actually quite good.
Pam, smiling: So I made this map of the ship.
Back inside, Oscar helped himself too a generous drink. While this was technically a work cruise (although Michael had been characteristically vague as to how), there was no shortage of alcohol and Creed been subtly offering more to anyone interested.
"I bet this brings back memories, huh?" Michael said as he wedged himself into the seat next to Oscar. Anyone who came inside immediately became the object of Michael's hyperactivity, which had reached new levels even for him. This was probably we there were so many people wandering around outside.
"How do you mean?" Oscar asked with the usual tone of preemptive offense he used with Michael.
"Fleet Week," Michael snickered.
"Why would Fleet Week matter to me, Michael?" Oscar asked him seriously. "Scranton isn't even a port."
"Yeah, but you guys..." he continued, as though this were obvious.
Oscar sighed, at least Michael wasn't making racist comments.
"Hey, did you sneak into this country on a boat?" Michael asked earnestly.
Oscar, understandably angry: Michael asked me if I wanted to steer the boat.
Oscar: Evidently he thinks all gay men are required to join the Navy.
Pam turned away from the open door of the ladies' room and pumped directly into Karen.
"Oh, sorry," she muttered awkwardly.
"It's okay, I was just..." Karen gestured towards the bathroom door.
"Of course," Pam stammered, "I had to, too, but Angela's in there." It didn't seem at all like Angela to leave the door open. "She's really sick," Pam explained.
Karen could now recognize Angela as the pile of clothes huddled on the floor. "Do you think I should get someone?" she asked, concerned.
Pam thought for a second. "Dwight."
Karen nodded and walked off.
This is where Dwight wanted to be, more than anywhere else. More than at his desk at work, where he proudly gave the best years of his life to the company he loved more than his own mother (especially after the incident in the closet all those years ago), more than the desk at home, where he had spent tireless hours crafting his many perfect YouTube music videos (including the latest work in progress, a brilliant Giles-Willow tribute using the Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)")... this was his place.
"I'm going to find that Shark," he told the night.
The night said nothing in response, but Dwight felt it seemed to have its doubts.
"I'm going to find that Shark and I'm going to be the one to kill it," he repeated. "Because I am a hero and because I fear nothing."
"Hey, Dwight," Karen said softly approaching him from behind, "Angela's asking to see you."
Dwight tensed up to near-pretzel levels. "Why would see want to see me? We hardly know each other," he insisted far too quickly.
Karen shrugged. "I don't know, but she's really sick," she said sympathetically, "you should go to her."
Try as he might, Dwight couldn't conceal the real concern in his eyes. He almost seemed human for a second. "She never does well with slow-moving objects."
Karen nodded, she had pegged Dwight and Angela the day she got to Scranton.
But then, she prided herself on noticing things like that.
Karen, proudly: Yeah, I know my way around a boat. We used to have a boat to have a boat back in Stamford before my parents split up.
She takes a moment to reminisce.
Karen: When I told Michael, that he made me ship's "Bosun."
Karen: I don't think he knows what that means.
"Hey, Big Tuna," Andy whispered as he sidled up to Jim, "I just want you to know I have my banjo and I am ready to go."
Jim nodded, this settled his earlier question as to what the eventual tragedy would be.
"I thinking when things start to chill down a little bit here, I'll break out the old Rush medley," Andy casually informed him, in the process making the world a less beautiful place for everyone in it.
"You should tell Michael about that," Jim said, "he loves Rush."
Andy's eyes lit up. "Really?"
Jim actually had no idea how Michael felt about Rush, it had never been issue before. "Absolutely," he smiled.
Andy gave Jim a friendly punch on the shoulder. "Thanks, Tuna."
"No problem, Andy," Jim replied, wondering if Michael had brought his ukulele on board and knowing that he would know the answer soon enough.
Andy went off in search of his boss, singing "Tom Sawyer" in as loud a falsetto as possible.
Andy, smugly: Andy Bernard, Cabin Boy.
He gives the old snarling nod.
Andy: Some people might not understand how much power the Cabin Boy actually has in emergency situations, but...
He looks at the camera as though he were the Shark.
Andy: ...It's a pretty cherry post.
"I don't understand," Dwight asked, keeping his voice low enough that anyone walking by would assume he was talking to himself, "you were fine last time."
Why he would be talking to himself in the ladies' washroom was a another problem, but he hadn't thought that far ahead.
"Last time the boat had a real captain," Angela rasped, clutching her sides.
"Michael is a fine captain," Dwight insisted.
Still, Dwight couldn't deny that the ship was experiencing significantly more turbulence than it had under Captain Jack. Next time he would have to remind Michael to buy a dirigible of some kind.
The boat suddenly lurched and Angela pitched and heaved. "Yuugh!"
Dwight wanted nothing more than to rush to her and comfort her, but of course that simply was not feasible. "Is there anything I can do?"
She shook her head with grim determination. "I will not accept weakness. Not from anyone else and certainly not from myself."
Dwight smiled, it was times like these that he remembered what attracted him to Angela in the first place.
Dwight: I have yet to be given an official position on this ship. Am I offended?
The old half-smirk rises into place.
He attempts to gave majestically into the distance.
Dwight: I have been given a far greater mission.
"My grandfather used to tell me about Der Gelbe Hai..." Dwight said softly, as though they were all sitting in front of a campfire. He probably would have started one on the boat if Jim hadn't stopped him. "...How it used roam the Lake, feeding on Papists and enemies of the State."
"Enemies of the Commonwealth," Jim corrected. It was either stay out here and listen to Dwight or go back inside where Michael and Andy were still deep into their jam version of "In A Big Country."
Dwight was too moved by his own narrative to stop now. "He said Der Gelbe Hai used to hide in the deepest part of the Ocean before it came here."
"To this is completely land-locked lake," Jim pointed out.
"That was in prehistoric times," Dwight spat back. He instinctively looked to Angela for a sign of her tacit support, but then remembered she was crumpled in a shivering ball on the floor of the woman's restroom. One could never rely on a female in a crunch, he reflected.
"So, all waters were connected then," Jim expanded.
"Right..." Dwight agreed, slightly less sure.
Jim could only jim in response.
Karen picked up the standard. "Wait, if the Shark's been here since prehistoric times, how could it still be alive?"
"Maybe it got frozen in a block of ice," Ryan suggested.
"No, that wouldn't..." Dwight tried to get a word in, but was quickly interrupted again.
"Maybe there's more than one Shark," Pam suggested.
"There is only one Shark," Dwight insisted.
"Maybe it was trapped in suspended animation at the bottom of the Lake," Jim postulated, "and it only awoke after Three Mile Island." Dwight seemed to hate this explanation most of all, so Jim decided to chase it. "And now it surfaces, destroying small towns across Pennsylvania with its magical fire breath."
Dwight said nothing, but wrinkled his face into a twisted raisin of hate.
Dwight: When Der Gelbe Hai shows up, I hope it mauls Jim first.
Ryan couldn't help but wonder when they were going to crash into the island where he got turned into a pig.
He had bordered the ship (tastefully re-christened "Suck Our Wake" by Michael) with his coworkers several lifetimes ago and had since given up any hope of getting back to shore. He had asked Michael exactly where they were and Michael had claimed that they kept getting blown off-course. Ryan had explained that this was impossible given the type of boat they were in and the total lack of strong winds, which Michael shouted down by claiming the Ryan was lucky to have been born pretty. Michael had been even more distracted than usual, and Ryan would have wondered about it if Michael hadn't already been Michael.
All he knew was that his life, which he had previously defined as "'No Exit' with bad jokes" was now "No Exit" with bad jokes on a boat.
Suddenly, Kelly was on him like a ramora, sucking the very soul out of him. "OhmygodRyan, it's so romantic! All alone on a boat! It's just like that scene in that movie... you know the one I'm talking about?"
"'Monkey Business?'" Ryan offered. By this time his lungs were aching for air, but Kelly just kept squeezing him harder.
"No, that one was in black and white," she retorted irritated, "you know I won't watch anything in black and white. I mean, what's the point, if it was any good, someone would have remade it recently, right?"
"Of course," Ryan agreed, wondering how far he could swim.
Ryan: I just want to go home.
"This is the life, Jim," Michael reflected as he breathed in the brackish night sea air. "This is how real men lived, back in simpler times... out on the open sea."
Jim didn't bother to point out that they weren't on the open sea now, but there was one matter he simply could not stay quiet about. "How do you think Jan's going to feel when she finds out you have this boat?"
Michael skipped his track like a backwards record. "Whuh... why would she find out?"
"She has to find out eventually," Jim pointed out, "we can't stay out here forever."
The look of stark white terror on Michael's face told Jim that Michael had clearly had thoughts to the contrary.
This immediately brought Jim's thoughts back to what they were doing out here in the first place. He had assumed Michael had been keeping them out there accidentally, but now he was starting to have his doubts.----
Michael, trying to conceal how rattled he is behind false bravado: I am Captain Michael Scott, Master and Commander...
Michael: ...And a good friend. I recently acquired this noble vessel and I can only see it as being an advantage to this company. Why?
Michael: Do the other paper companies have their own boat?
Self-congratulatory pause as he shakes his head.
Michael: I don't think so.
Safe once again behind the wheel of his boat, Michael reflected on what Jim had said. Obviously he couldn't let everyone find out why he had really taken them onto his boat, but... he really couldn't keep out here forever... could he?