Chapter 1: Nightmare
Cody Martin sat straight up in the bed and gasped as he woke up from his latest nightmare. He was drenched in sweat and next to him, his girlfriend, Bailey, gave him a concerned look. "Cody... are you okay?"
It took Cody a few moments to gather himself before answering. "Y... yeah... I'm fine," he said, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
"Another nightmare?" Bailey asked as she put her arms around her boyfriend.
"Was it about..." he voice trailed off. She knew this was a sensitive subject for Cody.
"As always." he replied. Cody hadn't made it through a full night without waking up at least once from a nightmare in almost a year. It was a burden his friends knew he didn't like to talk about and the events that started the nightmares were equally off limits. His nightmares were almost always the same and, like now, they even followed him into naps. Cody and Bailey were in Cody's cabin studying for an upcoming test when Cody dozed off. "How long was I out?"
"I'm not really sure," Bailey said, rubbing his back through his shirt. "I honestly didn't notice at first and when I did, I decided to leave you alone and keep studying."
"What time is it?"
"It's a quarter past eight," the girl answered.
"Forty-five minutes until lock down. I need some fresh air. Will you walk with me down to the Sky Deck?"
Bailey could tell Cody was still a bit shaken by his dream. "Of course I will, babe," she said with a smile. He returned her smile and the two, seventeen-year-old lovers got up and headed toward the Sky Deck.
The sky was clear and the stars were as bright as ever. The SS Tipton was on its way to a port in Dubai where the students at Seven Seas High were scheduled to tour the world's tallest building and a chain of man-made islands shaped like a map of the world. The cool, salty air brushed across Cody and Bailey's faces as they walked across the deck toward the railing over looking the sea. The couple stood in silence at first, taking in the fresh air and the peace and quiet of the empty Sky Deck. During the day, this was the busiest part of the ship, but this late in the evening, most passengers had already made their way to their cabin for the night and it wasn't unusual for Cody and Bailey to find themselves alone other than Randy, the manager of the smoothie bar. After several minutes passed, Bailey finally spoke up.
"Do you want to talk about it?" she asked, referencing Cody's dream.
"There's not really anything to talk about that I haven't already told you," he said.
"I know, but... I just want to try and help you, that's all."
Cody could see the sadness in her beautiful eyes and hated to see her worry on his account. "Don't worry about it, honey. What happened happened. Nothing anyone can say or do can change that. I just have to accept it."
"Cody... you know... it wasn't your fault. There wasn't anything you could have done differently," she said trying to comfort him.
"I... I just don't believe that. I could have..." Cody didn't finish as another voice cut in from behind.
"Hey guys," Zack said as he approached his twin brother and his girlfriend.
"Hey, Zack," Bailey said.
"What's going on?" the older twin asked, noticing the somber looks their faces.
"Oh, we were just getting some fresh air. Nothing to worry about," Cody said.
Bailey leaned over and whispered to Zack while pointing at Cody, "Nightmare."
"Yeah, I know. I kinda had a feeling, that's why I came looking for you," Zack said, putting his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Everything okay?"
"I'll be fine. I always am," Cody said. "But... thanks for checking."
"No problem, little bro." Zack said. "Don't forget, I was there, too. I kinda know what you're going through."
"Yeah." Cody said. After that, the three teens stood looking out into the night in silence for several minutes before Cody spoke up again. "Hey... you guys hear that?"
"Hear what?" Bailey asked.
"Yeah, I think I hear something, too," Zack spoke up. The three listened carefully, but Bailey couldn't hear anything outside of the normal sounds the ship made while cutting through the ocean.
"I don't hear anything unusual," she said. Just then, though, the sound finally reached her. "Wait... now I think I do..."
The faint sounds of a motor was growing as something was getting closer to the ship. "Is it a helicopter?" Zack wondered out loud.
"No... not the right sound and too quiet for a helicopter," Cody said.
"Yeah," Bailey added. "Sounds more like an outboard motor on... like... a small fishing boat or a ski boat."
They listened as the sound got louder. Finally, something caught Zack's eye at the edge of the darkness out in the water. "Look," he said pointing.
"I see them, too," Cody said. A group of small speed boats were headed toward the ship, moving very quickly. They were far enough away that the teens could only see the small lights on the boats as the came, but were unable to make out the boats themselves or tell how many there were.
"I wonder what they're doing all the way out here," Bailey said, concerned.
"I don't know, but it doesn't look good," Cody said. "These waters are known for... well... we better find Moseby."
(Author's Note: Welcome to my new story. Please review. I've got some really good stuff planned for this and I think you will all agree as we get to it. There will be some surprises later on that I think everyone will like, including some surprise appearances by a few characters. So get ready and hold on. It's gonna be fun!)