Chapter Seventeen

Surprisingly, the two made it to the docks without once meeting the military. Once they were there, Lorana looked quickly at the boats docked. The boat she was looking for was farther along down the docks, if it was there at all. Oh, how she hoped it was there, that he was there...

There it was! Only about twenty feet away was the small but loved steamship Venture, Engl- his ship.

Just as they were almost there, three planes flew over head in formation. Not a minute later, they would undoubtedly return in full force, ready to kill the 'monster.'

Seeming to know what had to occur, Kong set Lorana down at the gangplank of the ship. Here, she ran up it to the wheel house. A man was there, but not the one she was looking for. "Where is the captain?" she asked urgently.

The man took a puff from his cigar before asking, "Why do you need to know?"

"I've a proposition for him," she said.

"Clear off! Get back to work!" a youthful, familiar voice sounded from just outside.

And in walked Jimmy.

"Jimmy, where's the captain?" Lorana asked.

"Lorana!" he exclaimed, suddenly recognizing her. A second later, her question processed, "He's in his cabin. Why are you here, Lorana?"

"Come with me. I'll explain there," she said as she took off at a run for the captain's quarters.

They reached the right door fairly quickly. Here, she knocked firmly before striding into the room.

Inside, Captain Englehorn laid with his hands on his head, looking very much to be in despair. At the same time, he looked remarkably angry and exhausted. "I said I wasn't to be dist- What are you doing here?" His demeanour had changed remarkably fast. Now, he was guarded.

"Kong has escaped," Lorana said bluntly.

"So?" he asked.

"He's just outside on the docks. If he doesn't get out of New York quickly, he'll be killed," she said earnestly.

"And what do you expect me to do? Let him hide on my boat? Not again!" he spat, shooting up to a sitting position.

"Please, Gustav-" she began to plead.

"Don't call me that!" he interrupted sharply.

"Please..." she said desperately.

Of course, Englehorn could see her distress. He was also still very much so attached to her. No matter how furious he was with her, he still could not bear to see her so hurt.

The man sighed heavily and said, "If you can get him into the hold, I'll help you."

Lorana smiled hopefully and said sincerely, "Thank you."

An hour later, a large gorilla was safely asleep in the hold of the Venture whilst the ship sailed east, back to the island. Somehow, she had convinced him. There would be no crazy Denham to ruin everything. There would be no reliable Preston to covertly offer support. There would be no Anne with which to talk. There would be no Jack, no loyal, dependable, brotherly figure from which to gain support. This would be the first time they had been truly separate since they began working together.


Lorana and Englehorn sat in the wheelhouse in complete silence. Neither would acknowledge the other. Neither knew of what to speak, or even how to break this silence. It was oppressive, seeming to become nearly unbreakable as time wore on.

Finally working up the nerve, Lorana said quietly, "I forgive you."

"What?" he asked, looking at her, albeit reluctantly. She was as beautiful as ever. No...She was paler, thinner...What had happened?

"I forgive you. I should have right away, but I needed time to think," Lorana said, looking down as she said one of the hardest things for a human to say.

All she got in return was a sigh. She knew not what emotion accompanied it.

"Does this change anything?" Lorana asked, finally looking over at him.

"No. I am the captain, and you are a passenger. Nothing more, nothing less. Good evening, Miss," he said, standing and stalking out.

She slept in the wheelhouse that night.

She cried herself to sleep.

He could not sleep.