By DJ Cline
October 1, 2012 San Francisco California
When the Zong collided with the Berg, the first thing Shirley Loman had to decide was how to get off this boat.
She was dressed as a waiter delivering drinks to wealthy donors in the ballroom when the collision happened. Netrosonics used its employees this way to avoid leaks. She did not mind the tuxedo; in fact she reminded herself that this was practice for her future reassignment. It would prove to save her life.
After the collision, Netrosonics CEO Billy Thoreau tried to keep calm by auctioning off spaces in the lifeboats. The seats quickly went for more than a million dollars. Seeing market forces in action, she ducked out of the ballroom to the kitchen.
There she saw Marsha Colton and her date Ten Kay handing out what looked like little orange credit cards to the kitchen staff. She grabbed one as they went around. They were instructed to hold them over their hearts and tap them twice. She felt the card adhere to her shirt and then spread around her body like paint. A collar suddenly inflated around her neck. She looked down and was wearing what looked like inflated feety pajamas. Ten Kay instructed them to jump off the ship and the suits would protect them until they were picked up by the radio beacons built into each suit.
As she followed the kitchen staff outside, she heard a gunshot and thought she saw Anita Gromex in a wet suit with a gun on the front deck heading for the ballroom. Shirley went quickly over the railing and into the water. Other than the water that splashed on her face she remained dry. The crew from the Amistad cruised around in a zodiac boat picking up the kitchen staff and crew of the sinking ship. She was being lifted out of the water when there was a flash from the direction of the Zong. She looked back and saw the ship disappear. After about five minutes on deck, the orange suits turned back into little cards stuck to their chests. By morning they had turned to orange dust.
The next twenty-four hours were a haze as the Amistad brought the survivors back to San Francisco. The Coast Guard and government agents kept asking the same questions over and over. The Netrosonics lawyers showed up and freed them on the condition they never talk about to anyone about this.
Netrosonics Chief Legal Counselor Daniel Freid witnessed the signing of the confidentiality agreement and then handed back the phone she had surrendered before leaving on the Zong. There was a message from Anita Gromex that left her cold. It said:
“Saving you for last.”
What Gromex did not know was that Loman was planning the ultimate disguise.
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Next: High Tides Forever
Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.