Hey diddle! Another update so soon? Why, yes. I'm addicted to writing this story! Thanks for the reviews, I'm glad to see you liked the first chapter. Someone pointed out that it was a cliffy, I didn't notice that. Huh. No one got my Elf reference? Hm, okay…

BTW Verage is great. Really nice person, great writer, where I got the idea for this story from. Verage's story The Islanders, I read it last night, gave me the inspiration to write this story. Round of applause for Verage. *clapping!*

Stupid ship. Stupid storm. Stupid Vega. I hate this!

Tori, Cat, and I had been huddling together on the lowest accessible floor (right under the lobby, but above all the mechanical rooms of the ship) for about an hour now. Sure, we were pretty much under the water level, but the floating prison still rocked like my grandmother's chair. We were all starting to get fed up with it.

"Why are we down here?" I asked.

"Because the ship people told us to take shelter down here," Cat replied innocently, clutching Mr. Purples, the giraffe, to her chest.

I could tell she was scared. Poor thing. But I still wanted to get out of this place. I sighed and stood up, stumbling a little because my foot had fallen asleep half an hour ago. I looked up and down the hall. People were lined up against the narrow walls; the guys were across the hall, talking amongst themselves.

"Jade," Tori started.

"I'm just stretching my legs." And I sat down again, giving my signature glare to Tori. God, she could be irritating.

So we sat there for another minute or two. I amused myself by staring at Tori, mentally trying to make her as oddly hideous as possible. Until something mad everyone's heads lift. A familiar scent.

"Hey," I started, "do you guys smell…"

A shrill beeping cut me off, along with another ship horn and bell. But the beeping was much louder, coming from a round blinking device on the ceiling.

"Ow!" Tori shouted, her hands flying to her ears.

"The smoke alarms are going off?" Beck yelled from across the hall. He had his hands in his ears, and stared up at the detector on the ceiling.

A man, a short one with a stubbly beard, came urgently down the hallway. He wore a 'Paradise Seas' uniform. People all around were shouting and starting to panic. Including myself. We were trapped in the bottom of a smoking ship with a storm brewing just outside the window. Hey, Hollywood, Titanic 2, eh?

"People, people! Calm down! Please," the employee shouted over the noise. "We've received word from the captain that the front of the ship has been struck by lightning."

"Is there fire?" a woman called out. I looked toward the voice. A brown-haired woman, not too far down the hall, pulling a five year old boy closer to her.

"Yes," the employee answered. Terrified shouts rang out. The man managed to gain back attention. "Don't worry, employees are putting out the fire. We are instructed to neatly evacuate up to the main floor and shelter in the lobby." With a uniform look on his face, he motioned for people to follow, and continued down the hall.

Surprisingly, folks stayed somewhat calm. My heart ran at 300 miles per hour, and I could feel my hands trembling. But I stayed in line. Tori and Cat talked anxiously behind me. I felt and hand grab mine, and turned to see Beck.

"Scared?" he whispered.

Somehow I felt comforted. We weren't a couple anymore, but I held onto his hand. "A little," I admitted. Usually I'd deny it. But when you're on a burning ship with a miniature hurricane outside, I mean, who's going to be like "nah, man! This is great. They got this. We don't got to be afraid of anything!" Seriously. Who wouldn't be afraid right now?

I mean, even Beck seemed scared. Worried at least. His hand gripped mine firmly, and with his other hand he brought it down over his mouth and chin, shaking his head a little. He seems to do that when something unsettles him.

Everyone walked up a flight of stairs, some tripping, and filed into the lobby. The captain stood there with another serious-looking man. They nodded and led us outside. I walked with my friends as we passed along the deck.

Wind shook everything. I could barley see, due to my hair being constantly whipped into my face. Rain poured down, thundering as it hit the boat. Lightning lit the sky, casting an evil glow on the dark ocean waves.

The captain brought us up to an array of orange boats along the side of the ship. He pointed to them. "Lifeboats," he said.

"Are you crazy?" I shouted. "There's a monster storm right above us and you're telling us to hop into lifeboats so we can sail away to safety? What safety?"

"Jade, he didn't-" Beck began, tightening his grasp on my hand.

"Only choice," the captain replied. "The fire's spreading. It's strong. Even this rain can't kill it. Our best bet are these lifeboats." He turned to the shocked crowd. "Seven people at most to a boat. Huddle in the middle, low to the floor. Grab the tarp in the boat to shelter from the rain. The waves will take us to land."

I couldn't believe this guy! What- we get into lifeboats that can only hold seven people, batten down, and hope it's not suicide? "What?" I screeched. "What kind of captain are you?"

As people followed orders, the captain heard my shouting and prowled over to me. I didn't regret my words, though. The man had a mad glint in his eyes, he pointed a finger at me firmly.

"Watch how you address the captain, Missy," he hissed. "It's either you die here on this boat, or follow your friends and pray to your god that he spares you and your quick mouth."

Was he challenging me? Horrible 'captain' he was. I readied myself for a retort, but Beck pulled me away. He led us silently to where the rest of our friends were boarding a boat. Everyone was already huddled inside as Andre climbed in before us. The captain's footsteps got louder as he stalked up behind me, as if to be sure I wouldn't make another scene. Beck got onto the lifeboat, settling next to Sikowitz and Cat. I saw the lifeboat start to drop.

"Hurry!" Robbie yelled.

I quickly moved toward the boat, stumbling a little as I took a half-leap half-step. Tori reached out to help me. Whatever, Vega. That's when I felt a shove on my left shoulder. I slipped on the slick wooden boat and felt myself falling toward the black water. Tori shrieked as she was pulled down with me.

"No!" Beck shouted, peering over the edge of the raft.

I opened my mouth to scream something, but choked at the salty splash as I landed in the ocean. A hard splashing slap, head first. And almost instantly silent darkness slammed over me.


Hmmm, a little shorter chapter. Still long, compared to my usual chapter lengths. Anyway, please review!