War Shadow: Chapter 5: B-Class

The waffles were used to having pets, who would wander around their home.  There was a cat that would hide most of the day, only to come out late at night to eat.  The dog would run around outside all day long, and then sleep by the kitchen door at night.  It was a different thing all together by having a hedgehog, specifically Pudgy.  The little hedgehog was being good, as he was a guest within their home. 

As Mrs. Waffles was making breakfast the next day, Pudgy was helping.  The woman smiled the entire time and chatted with her new friend.  True to her name, she was using an old waffle iron from the 40’s, cooking them on a white stove.  Pudgy could smell the natural gas burning, and the blue flames dancing underneath the iron.  She made one for her husband and one for herself.  As she placed them on white ceramic plates, with deer dancing along the edges on the plate, she smiled at the critter. 

There was enough batter left, to make a small hedgehog sized waffle.  She patted his head gently and began cooking.  It was about this time, her husband walked into the kitchen, and placed his hand on her rear end.  “Good Morning, Mrs. Waffles.”  He leaned in and kissed her cheek.  His wife giggled, and the man took their plates over to the kitchen table.  As Pudgy’s waffle was placed onto a small plate, she turned off the stove.  Setting the still hot iron on a back burner to cool, she picked up the plate and hedgehog and carried them over to the table. 

Sitting down, she placed Pudgy across from her husband.  Mr. Waffles was already eating and smiled at the critter. “Did you sleep well last night Pudgy?”  The hedgehog nodded and was nibbling the quarter waffle.   The woman pulled her long brown hair back behind her head into a ponytail, and then started to eat.  After a few bites, “Pope, can you tell him what we talked about last night?”  The man nodded, as he was finished with his breakfast and had started to sip coffee.  “Pudgy, local rumors and legends say that there is a road that leads into Boone beside the lake.   I know from my job, there is a derelict utility building along the lake, that was from the original military base that was there back in the early part of the 1900’s.”

Mrs. Waffles nodded, “It’s about an hour from here, if we walk.  After Pope leaves for work, and I clean up the house, we will walk over there.  Perhaps the building has a clue as to where we can find what you are looking for.”  Pope looked at Pudgy, “What exactly are we looking for?”  The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy promised ghost solider not to say, but Waffles helping Pudgy, so have to let you know.  Pudgy looking for a submarine.”   The two humans blinked and stared at the hedgehog.  The wife spoke first, “Pudgy, why would a submarine be here?”

The critter explained what Cobalt had been able to find out about the Tarantula. The Navy had taken the vessel to be scrapped here after World War One ended.  Pope nodded, “Hmm, one of the old timers at work might know more.  I will buy him a pack of cigarettes and see if I can get him talking.  Ok, I need to get going.  Pudgy, you be good, and listen to my wife.”   Pudgy nodded, and watched as the man stood up, and walked over to kiss his wife on the lips.  Pudgy covered his eyes with his paws, as he was not allowed to watch the kissing scenes.

In a short time, Mr. Waffles had gone to work, and his wife was washing the dishes in the sink.  Leaving Pudgy alone on the kitchen table.   His belly was full of yummy food, and he was all set to leave. He was dressed in his backpack, and mining helmet, and watched the woman expectantly.  She giggled and headed to the back of the house to get ready.  Hours and hours later, or so it seemed to the hedgehog, the woman emerged looking about the same with a different top on.  Pudgy bounced happily and wiggled when she scooped him up.  Quickly exiting the house, the door was locked behind them. 

It was still morning, so the heat of a Texas summer was not yet upon the area.  She explained they were going to walk over to where Pope said the utility building should be.  The lake was silent, save for the soft sounds of the water lapping onto the shoreline.  Generally, the water did not move, but there was all manner of boats on the lake that sailed or raced by.  Pudgy watched as one boat had a woman standing on the prow, dressed in a vibrant red swimsuit.  The hedgehog could not see clearly, but she looked familiar. 

Pudgy was glad he was being carried, as the trip to the building would have taken him all day to reach.  In about half an hour, they had reached a crumbling stone road.  There was a small cinder block building that stood beside the road, covered in vines and foliage.  “This must be it Pudgy,” The woman said, and watched as her critter friend wiggled in her hands.  He bounced up and used her leg like a fireman’s pole to slide down to the ground.  The woman laughed, “I’m glad I shaved yesterday.”   She watched the hedgehog start to scamper along the ground searching.  “Do not wander too far,” Mrs. Waffles said, while beginning to circle the building. 

The building for the most part was intact.  The windows were glass block and stained heavily from decades of weather.  A rusty sign could just barely be seen, “do not enter, War Department.” She read out loud, “Pudgy, we’re on the right track.”  The building itself was not excessively big, about 5 feet by 5 feet by 8 foot.  Its metal roof had a slight triangular pitch, and it was rusted heavily.   The woman was able to circle the building quick, though when she completed her investigation, there was a problem.  The hedgehog was now missing, “Pudgy?  Where did you go?”

Mrs. Waffles was concerned and cupped her hands over her mouth.  “Pudgy!  Where are you?”  There was no response and save for an errant bird chirping in a nearby tree, the area was silent.  She decided to circle the building once more but keep her eyes on the ground this time.  Again, the building was circled, and no critter was to be found.  She grumbled under her breath, “Oh sure, Pope sends me out here to explore, and now I lost the hedgehog.”  As she knelt, she could see an exceedingly small hole in the cinder block wall.  Moving closer, she could just barely see inside.    The woman saw that there was a little backpack sitting beside the entrance, “Pudgy, are you in there?”

Pudgy had found an entrance into the building, and had left his pack outside, as he could not pull it through the tight opening.  He had just barely squeezed through himself, but now that he was inside, what he had found was quite a sight to be seen.  Cobwebs were everywhere, but there was a calendar hanging inside from Esso Oil, April 1921.  While there was air inside, it was stale, with scents from another time.   A metal work bench sat along the one wall, with dials and gauges along the opposite wall.  This was an electrical station and looks like there was a pressurized line of some sort.  The huge pipe came up out of the cracked cement floor and connected to a green junction with a huge valve.   The pressure gauges all read zero psi, so Pudgy knew there was no danger there.

He could hear a muffled noise, most likely from Mrs. Waffles, so he scampered back over to the opening.  He could see her worried face, so he waved until she could see him.  He could not hear here too well, so he scooted off back to explore.  The muffled noises stopped, and as he turned, he could see a huge map along the one wall.  It had been stained from a water leak in the roof.  The map had the whole area and appeared to have been a valley with rolling hills.  There were notes of several farms in the area, as well as Boone Naval Storage. 

Just as Cobalt had surmised, Pudgy could see the road that led into town.  The Naval depot was in the center of the lake, most likely at the deepest part.   Hurriedly, the hedgehog scampered out to the hole in the cinder block and pulled his pack through.  The worried expression of the woman met his, and Pudgy got back inside.    Once he was inside again, the critter opened his pack, and got out a piece of paper with a tiny scribe.  He started to make notes and draw a copy of the map.  There was no way the Waffles could get inside, so it was up to him to be as detailed as possible. 

Meanwhile outside, the worried woman was sitting on the ground, peeking through the hole trying to find the critter.  When he waved at her, she was relieved, but still was concerned when he got the pack and took it inside.  She waited and looked at her cell phone occasionally.  Her Husband was posting dumb things on twitter again, but it was not mean spirited, and had his usual sarcastic wit.  She replied occasionally and got in on the fun.    It came to her as a small shock when she felt something touch her leg.  The hedgehog was sitting there looking at her.    Looking back at the phone, thirty minutes had passed, and she did not notice it. 

Pudgy bounced happily at her knee, with the woman smiling and patted his head. “I was worried about you, so please don’t run off again.”  The hedgehog wiggled under her hand and looked up at her through her fingers.  “Pudgy found a big map inside, and made a copy of it.  The town is in the center of the lake, but there is a navy base there.”    Mrs. Waffles nodded and looked at the building. “Pope was right, so I guess I have to bake him brownies now.”  She laughed and started to stand up.  Scooping up the hedgehog, she looked down at him with happy light brown eyes.  Pudgy checked his pack and helmet and waved, “Pudgy have everything.”  The woman smiled and started the short hike back to her home.  The hedgehog was talking about all the near things inside the building, which made the time pass quickly by. 

Reaching the house, the Texas summer had returned, with the sun baking the area once more with heat.  “I don’t know about you Pudgy, but I could go for a swim in the pool.”   Beside the house was a round blue inflatable pool, with a white ladder to get inside of it.   Unlocking the door, she carried the hedgehog back inside the home, and let the door swing shut behind her. “I need to change, so you be good Pudgy.”  Sitting the hedgehog down on the couch, she patted his head and headed off into the back part of the home. The hedgehog nodded and wiggled into the couch.  The fabric was a red plaid, and so soft.   He took off his pack and helmet, and was settling in, when he could hear footsteps behind him. 

The woman returned, wearing a two-piece pink swimsuit. Pudgy covered his eyes when he noticed certain regions of her wiggling.  That drew a huge laugh out of her and felt him being scooped up.  The woman peeked at him, “Pudgy, it’s all right, let us go swimming.”  In a matter of minutes, they were outside, and quickly in the pool.  As the woman started to submerge, she watched Pudgy curl into a ball, and begin to float on the water’s surface.  The water was cool, just the thing on a hot summer day.   The only noise was the dog barking in the distance at something, and the next-door neighbor cutting his lawn with a mower that kept stalling out.    Eventually the neighbor gave up, and the mower noises stopped.  Pudgy could hear upset Dr. Who fan language come out, with a southern drawl.  

As the hedgehog floated by Mrs. Waffles, she looked up to see her husband walking towards the pool, in a green pair of swim trunks.  He waved and was almost purple from being overheated.  “They had us working outside today, but the job is done.”  He looked over the edge of the pool and saw Pudgy float by waving.  “Wow, I didn’t know hedgehogs could float like that?”  The overheated man climbed the ladder and slipped into the water.  Once he changed back to a normal coloration, his wife began to fill him in with what they had found at the utility building.  Pudgy also added details, to help explain parts of the story the woman was telling.   Pope nodded, “I see, I’m glad that turned out to be a good lead.  The old timer retired last week, so I could not ask him anything.  But I did talk to Cobalt earlier today, who will be sending something here for Pudgy.”

The husband and wife chatted about a variety of topics, and Pudgy continued to float along the water’s surface.  In a short period of time, everyone got out of the pool.  Pudgy was scooped up out of the water by Mr. Waffles, who carried him inside of their home.  The evening was pleasant, with a yummy dinner cooked by Mrs. Waffles, and a selection of questionable hedgehog safe movies on the television.  Pudgy again slept on the couch, while the two humans headed back to their shared bedroom.  Not realizing it, the hedgehog was more tired than he expected, and slept in the next day.  When he awoke, Pope had already left for work.   Looking around, he found a little plate of bacon crumbles and a bit of scrambled egg.  There was a note as well, which read “Pudgy be good, I will be back in a moment.” 

The hedgehog sat there munching on his breakfast, pondering what the next step would be.  Somehow, he needed to find the submarine, but that was at the bottom of the lake.  The doorbell rang, and someone knocked twice on the front door.  Pudgy peeked over the top of the couch, and watched the woman walk past, buttoning her pastel purple blouse. “Just a moment,” she said out loud, and then opened the door.  A man with a brown uniform was standing there, with a yellow logo on his lapel.  The hedgehog recognized the logo as a delivery company, and there was brown box about knee height on the ground.  “Hello Ma’am, I have a delivery for a Pudgy Hedgehog?  It also is for a Pope Waffles.”  The woman smiled, “Pope is my husband, and Pudgy is on the couch.” 

The delivery driver noticed a small brown hedgehog peeking at him from over the couch’s arm rest.  The critter waved and bounced happily, which drew a smile and a discreet wave.  The man handed Mrs. Waffles a device, which she had to press accept on, to acknowledge the delivery.    As the delivery man walked off, and presumably out to the truck, the box was brought inside.  “Oof, Pudgy…. This box has a bit of weight to it.”  She looked over and saw the hedgehog scampering across the dark hardwood floors towards the kitchen.  After setting the box beside the table, she went into a nearby drawer to get a cutting tool to open the box. 

As the woman ran the tool across the top of the box, she found a layer of bubble wrap inside.  Laughing, she tossed the bubble wrap onto the floor, and watched as Pudgy began to play with it.  But when she resumed her investigation into the box’s contents, her eyes went wide.  “Oh my God,” she remarked.  Reaching into the box, she carefully took out several silver air tanks, as well as a space suit.  There was also a bag of parts, and some weights.  The suit was hedgehog sized and was a mixture of black and white fabrics sewn together in a makeshift camouflage.  Looking down at the critter who was popping bubbles, she smiled but at the same time was starting to worry. 

Scooping up the hedgehog and the bubble wrap onto the table, Pudgy bounced happily.  “oh boy, it’s Pudgy’s backup space suit.  Cobalt had made 2 just in case,” the hedgehog said as he investigated the suit laying on the table.  As Mrs. Waffles sat down, her eyebrows furrowed.  “In case of what, Pudgy?” She asked with a concerned tone.  The critter nodded, “In case Pudgy had to go back to space.”  She blinked and had thought the story of going to the moon was just a story.  But with the assembled parts, she was starting to realize that the critter had maybe had more adventures than she surmised.  She took a picture with her cell phone and texted her husband.  Then she dialed the chat software and called Cobalt. 

Cobalt appeared on the chat software and waved. “Hello Mrs. Waffles.  Hello Pudgy.”  Pudgy bounced and scampered over.  Soon they were having a pleasant conversation, and after checking on Pudgy, they got down to business.  Cobalt confirmed the woman’s worst fears, that Pudgy really had gone into space.  This suit however was not the external suit for safe space travel, it was the interior suit.  The helmet was modified so it could no longer open and would seal shut.  There were loops tied onto the suit in several places, for weights to slide into, as well as several small hedgehog sized tools.  She was in amazement, as she started to open the bags, and lay out the variety of items.  The suit needed some assembly though, and Cobalt had even included the necessary tools. 

So as the hours passed, the very patient man walked through over speakerphone how to assemble. When the door opened to their home, and Pope walked in, he was quickly tagged in by the exasperated wife.  She had not made much progress, and after introductions and explanations, the assembly was completed in earnest.   Pope helped Pudgy into the suit and started to attach the various items to it.   When his wife returned, she gasped at the hedgehog suited up and ready to go.   “Pope, is he able to breathe?” She asked, and her husband nodded, “Seals are good, he is fine.”  After turning the air off, he helped the hedgehog take off the helmet.  His little nose twitched, and he bounced happily. 

Cobalt smiled, “Pudgy, did you find out where the submarine is?”  The hedgehog nodded, “Pudgy found big map inside utility building along lake.  Boone Township naval depot is in the center of the lake as we expected.  There is a road that curves up to the north.”  Pope nodded, “Cobalt, I rented a pontoon boat, as well as some scuba equipment.  I will go down with Pudgy to find the submarine.”  Pope heard a pan drop into the sink.  As he began to turn, his wife’s brown eyes were burning as she glared at him. “You are not going down with Pudgy!  This is madness, go find a submarine at the bottom of the lake?  Why, what could be the reason for this?”  The woman was starting to yell, which caused Pudgy to frown and shrink a bit to try to avoid her angry glare. 

Pope turned to his wife, “what should we do, just let him go down by himself?”  The woman grew silent and looked at Pudgy who was timidly looking back at her. “I don’t want to see either of you hurt.  I’m going with you.”  The man nodded, “Yes, someone needs to stay on the surface.”  The woman nodded, and turned to the phone, “Cobalt, is this what you do all the time?”  Cobalt laughed, “yes, I told Pudgy, we need a vacation.”  He started to laugh, which caused the married couple to ease their tension.  Pudgy waved, and as the call ended, he looked at the Waffles. 

The mood had changed, and the woman was no longer as carefree as she had been.  Pudgy could clearly tell the tension was still there, waiting to burst forth once more at one wrong word.  Pope realizing what the stakes were, kept the topic pleasant, and held his normally sarcastic wit in check.  The hedgehog kept the suit on, as he must get used to wearing it once more.   And even slept in it, through a night that was only interrupted by a brief thunderstorm.    The morning came, and the home was a flurry of activity.    There would be no breakfast, since getting sick underwater was a recipe for disaster. 

Pudgy gathered his belongings, and soon was scooped up by Pope and carried out to a white pickup truck that had a black cap on the bed.  His wife locked up the house and slid into the truck’s front passenger seat.  Pudgy was sitting on the console and watched as Pope got inside.  As he shut the door, he pushed the ignition button, and watched as the dials moved and could hear the truck engine start.  The trip to the marina was short, and in a couple of minutes, they had reached their destination.  Pudgy could see the tops of trees pas by the windows, and while Mrs. Waffles sitting there, she was looking forward and did not match his gaze.  The truck was parked into a parking spot beside the rental shack, with rows of pontoon boats docked in various slips along the shoreline.    The man patted Pudgy’s head, and then his wife’s leg, “I’ll be back.”   

When Pope exited the truck, and shut the door, his wife spoke. “I’m against this Pudgy, you should not go.  What is so important, you must risk your life doing this?”  Her eyes were burning, and she placed a hand on his head gently petting him.  Pudgy blinked, realizing he had to tell her.  “Pudgy disturbed a footlocker and upset a ghost solider.  Pudgy went to Branson, to put the dog tags back. Pudgy and Loki drove a tank to battle a dark ghost.  Ghost is gone now, but Pudgy still must put crucifix back into submarine. That is only way ghost will rest.”  The hedgehog omitted the part about the treasure, and its implications.  But the answer was enough for the woman, and she nodded while relaxing. “You listen to People, if he says for you to come back, you come back.  I do not want you running off again.”  Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy understand.”

Mrs. Waffles looked up, “Pope says to come now.”  She scooped up Pudgy, and his belongings, and got out of the truck.  She bumped the door shut with her rear end and walked up to her husband. He smiled, “Slip number 5 is out boat, the orange awning one.  I’ll get my equipment from the back of the truck, you head up.”  She smiled weakly, and started to walk down a brick path, and reached an aluminum deck plating structure, which connected to a ramp that led to the slips.  One by one she passed pontoon boats, with a variety of colors and configurations.  Reaching number 5, a young man was fueling the gas tanks up with a couple of red portable gasoline containers.  He smiled at her, “almost done Ma’am, but you can get on board if you want.  She nodded and stepped through a small gate on the deck of the boat and sat down on a weather-beaten vinyl bench. 

Pope had the heavy job, carrying the scuba equipment and a cooler from the truck to the boat.  Thankfully, it was not a far trip, and he reached the boat just as the tanks were filled.   Carefully putting the equipment onto the prow of the boat, he stepped on board.  There were little half door gates at each side of the boat, as well as the front.   The young man was giving the official safety check, and description, as well as the instructions on how to operate the boat.   Mrs. Waffles also listened, as she would need to know how to work the controls as well.   Pope waved, “Thank you.”  As the boy started up the engines and unmoored the boat.  He pushed it out of the slip, and as Pope engaged the engine, he started to motor out to the deeper water of the lake. 

Pontoon boats were a wonderful type of vessel, as their two long alumni runner’s underneath, could support a variety of platforms and configurations.   Texas state law said engines of now more than 10 horsepower could be used, and with the throttle open wide, the boat sailed through the calm lake waters, sending a little wake behind.    Pudgy watched as the lake shore sped by, at a rate much faster than his steam ship.  If he ever travelled by water again, he would use gasoline engines.  The critter looked up at Mrs. Waffles, who was dressed in a pair of blue jean shorts, and her pink swimsuit top.    Pope was wearing a set of ripped jean shorts, as well as a white tank top. 

The night before, Pudgy had helped Pope make a bigger map of the area.   Both Waffles had cross referenced with online maps, of the generate lay out of where the old town lie as well as the current lake position.  In about an hour, they had reached the destination, which was almost the center of the lake.  The normally muddy water had turned clear, and very dark below the boat.  “Boy, this deep water means good fishing.  Probably Muskie and Pike here,” He said while ramping the motor control to neutral, before turning the engine off.  Stranding up from the wheelhouse controls, he walked carefully up to his wife.  She looked at her husband, and then down to Pudgy. “Promise me, you two will come back.”  Pudgy bounced in her lap, and she watched her husband nod. “You are not rid of me yet, my lovely wife.”

Mr. Waffles had taken several classes on scuba and was certified to dive in lakes.  He needed more training on oceans, which was strange, and he suspected a money maker for the school.  It was like extended warranties, the television works fine without it, but you get insurance that runs out before the failure occurs.  As he assembled his tank, he spat into the diving mask, and put it on.  Pudgy was already rigged up, with his helmet on.  The crucifix was attached to one of his tool belts, along with diving weights.  He had a couple of glow sticks, along with a diving flare.  Just how Cobalt had been able to find those small enough for hedgehogs, neither Waffle could tell.  Pope also had brought flashlights, and a diving flare as well.  The woman attached a red flag with a white diagonal stripe to the boat’s awning bar. 

She knelt, and turned on the air tank controls for Pudgy, and watched the hedgehog scamper out and jump into the water.  The hedgehog started to slowly sink below the surface.   Mr. Waffles had a large tank on and walked to the small gate.  He could feel his hand getting tugged, so he turned to his wife.  “I mean you, you come back!”  Her eyes were burning with love and concern.  Her husband nodded, “I promise, I’ll be back with Pudgy.”  He leaned in and kissed her on her lips.  After several tense moments, he broke the embrace, and put his rebreather mouthpiece in.    He then hopped into the water, and immediately slipped below the surface.   The woman stood there on the boat deck, and silently prayed for her husband’s safe return. 

Pope watched as the surface quickly disappeared, with the light starting to fade.  He watched as Pudgy was quickly approaching, from below him.  As the man weighed more, he was descending quicker.   Reaching out, he gently grasped the hedgehog.  They continued their downward momentum, with scant light illuminating the area.  Based on Cobalt’s calculations, the air tank system that Pudgy was using should give him about an hour’s worth of air.  Pope’s tank was similar, so he pushed the button on his diving watch.  It glowed green, and the timer had started counting backwards, and currently read 52 minutes.  Breathing slowly, Pope looked around as the water continued to darken.  His scuba equipment also had had depth gauge on a flexible lead that had a supplementary air gauge on it.  The depth reading showed they had just passed 40 feet, and based on the lake information, the deepest part of the lake was 62 feet deep. 

Pudgy watched as the water passed by his helmet and could see long fish swim by occasionally.  They were narrow and had rows of teeth.  For the most part, they stayed away.  But as they continued to descend, it was becoming harder to move.  The pressure from the water was squeezing him from all sides.  Mr. Waffles had said the lake was 62 feet deep, and he could see the glowing depth gauge, which now read 55 feet.    He watched as the man took out a diving flashlight and turned it on.  The light beam shone out into the darkness around them.  In many ways, it was like space, though there was no light whatsoever.    As the light beam shone forth, Pope located something of interest.  It was a large decayed wooden sign. 

The sign was painted with an American flag, with 48 stars.  “Welcome to Boone Naval Base” Pope adjusted his weight belt and started to kick his feet.  He was wearing flippers, which helped him move around in the water.   And soon they were moving forward, following a path.  The buildings were tall, and the roofs had collapsed over time.  The man checked his gauges, and could see he had been down 20 minutes, and they were at 58 feet depth.  The bottom of the lake was approaching and had built up a tremendous amount of sediment over time.  Several trees were still standing silently and jutted up from the ground petrified. 

The signs were all rusted on the buildings, making them illegible.  However, a hallmark of prior century building, was the names of buildings marked in offset colored bricks.  So, while the white cement block was still standing, the red brick that survived would show which building was which.  Pope could barely read and stopped swimming when his line shone upon the motor pool building.    Moving forward a bit, he shone his light into an open window, and inside could just barely see something.  There was no way of talking to Pudgy but felt him slip out of his hands.    He tried to grasp him once more, but the water resistance slowed his reflexes.  Turning his gaze to where Pudgy was swimming to, he could see a ghostly solider dressed in olive drab.  He had a doughboy style metal helmet, and he was saluting. 

The man could not believe his eyes, as the ghost took Pudgy’s paw, and headed inside of the building.   Pope swam down and through an open doorway.  The metal doors had rusted, and since fallen.  Sediment had filed the hallway, though the stacked stone was still pristine, and radiated a white glare when the light shone upon it.   After swimming through a another set of doors, he reached a large open area.  Inside there was the submarine, and a tiny spec of green light.  Pudgy had lit the glow stick, which was helpful.  However, his flashlight conked out, and he could feel the pressure crush the battery compartment.  Cursing in his mind, the man, reached down into his belt, and lit the diving flare.    Swimming to where Pudgy was, he could see in white block letters painted “U.S.S. TARANTULA.”  The American flag was painted on the conning tower.  

The man watched as Pudgy swam past him, carrying the glow stick, and up to the conning tower.  He followed, and soon found the hatch that led inside.  The hedgehog pointed, and he nodded slowly.  Setting the flare beside the hatch, he started to turn the wheel to release the airlock.  To his surprise, bubbles started to come out, was the submarine still pressurized?  Why would that be?  As he struggled to get the hatch up to open it, he watched as the hedgehog swam inside.  He retrieved the flare, and then dropped it inside of the submarine.  As the flare descended, it illuminated the structure within, and soon he could see Pudgy once more.  The man nodded, it was time to go in, and started to maneuver himself into the hatch. 

As he entered the conning tower, he could see the dials and gauges, as well as the open hatch above him.  As the flare sparked and fizzled in the water, he watched as the ghost solider appeared once more, and pointed to another hatch that led deeper into the submarine.  Clang!  The whole submarine shook and as Pope looked up, the hatch had slammed shut once again.  They were trapped inside, and as he hurriedly looked at the gauges, the depth read 70 feet, 50% air reserve, and 20 minutes to go.  Pope knew it would be a close shave, but they did not have time to dawdle.   To the man’s amazement, he watched as Pudgy floated in the water filled submarine and held a glowing crucifix.  The light started to fill the area.   The man started to wonder, what did he get himself involved with?  And would he be able to keep his promise to his wife, far above on the surface? 

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

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