Previously, on Seers...
Feeling the tang of the air as he breathes in, James snaps awake, peering about in confusion as he tries to orient himself and figure out what's going on.
As sensation returned with the memory of her brutal death still fresh in her mind, Sara let out a wrenching sob now that her breath had not been cruelly stolen from her.
With a few shallow coughs expelling what had been smoke and ash settled in her lungs, Rachel awoke. She hung quietly for a moment, not really processing what had happened. And then it came back to her. And she began to scream at the top of her lungs. "AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
Samantha's wits came back to her shortly after her senses did. Neither liked what they found. "Let me go, you sonnuva bitch! I'll kill you!" she cried hoarsely at nobody in particular.
"So, hello, I'm Daniel. Did any of you die before waking up here?" He looks around the lightless area, sniffing at the air and wrinkling his nose at the sharp scent of saltwater. Without waiting for an answer to his first question, he moves on. "...Are we in a shipping container?"
The doors opened fully, hauled apart by what registered at their very first glimpse as a slender man in a gray suit with receding white hair, a prominent aquiline nose and a cruelly thin mouth. ... An instant after they laid eyes upon him, blinding light unlike any four of these five had ever beheld exploded out of the cruel-lipped man's body, flooding the container with a blue-white brilliance that seemed to boil the world itself out of their vision.
It was the light all over again, forcing Sara to squeeze her eyes shut and avert her eyes from the divine figure before them. The sight before her was enough to give some semblance of comfort - enough to get her breathing under control if for no other reason than to fall back into the prayers she had recited with her mother every Sunday in Serbian.
He mused something aloud, but the one word he uttered came in a thousand thundering voices speaking a thousand tongues, a senseless cacophany that pounded into the ears of all the captives like a sledgehammer swung at their eardrums. Only one of them would understand. ... Daniel cringed and squinted his eyes, not that it helped stem that awful tide of light coming from their captor. ... "What is? What are you talking about?!" ... He regarded Daniel with the same kind of incredulous doubt any human might display towards a dog whose bark sounded eerily like a word.
Before the shining man could follow his first words into the radio with further instruction or warning, a heavy THWANK rang out. He dropped the walkie-talkie and staggered a few steps further into the container before collapsing with a groan at Daniel's feet and clutching at his head. ... A newcomer stood where the shining man had a moment ago, holding a fire extinguisher triumphantly overhead with shaking arms and a worried expression.
Virgil jabbed a finger at the man he'd knocked to the ground, who was already groggily stirring. "Someone needs to tell me: what do you see there?"
"A...a man, but...but he's....he's...Surrounded in a coruscating gleam that suffuses his flesh and shines from his eyes and mouth, seething out of the very pores of his skin in a luminous vapor that coalesces into a brilliant corona that seems to outline him from every angle..." With his speech done, James stares blankly at the possible savior; it's precisely right, he knows that, but he hasn't a clue how or why.
Daniel looked pleasantly relieved that his restraints were finally being tended to before the situation could get any worse, but that flash of optimism was quickly dashed when their rescuer suddenly pinned his arm back against the container wall and, his grip on the knife finally secure, slashed his blade across Daniel's bicep. ... With that, he grabbed the shoulder of the shining man's jacket and, despite a sudden burst of disoriented struggling and a many-voiced shout of protest that thundered in all the prisoner's ears, shanked an old man unceremoniously in the gut.
"They have to think they succeeded or they won't stop, I'll do what I can from here. My name is Virgil --" A series of tremendous thudding sounds from the roof of the container drowned out his next several words as the ship's crane latched onto the box. "--L.A.! I'll tell you all that I know, I promise you, but whatever you do: do not contact your families until we've spoken." Virgil looked around at them one last time, regret and apology etched deeply upon his face, then stepped out of the container and one after the other shoved the doors firmly shut.
The initial uneven upward lurch of the container smoothed out as it was raised higher and higher. ... In the darker end of the container, the wounded old man pushed up to his knees, spat something thick and wet onto the floor. An eerie blue light within strained against the confines of his skin, illuminating him from the inside like a liver-spotted paper lantern. ... Despite his injury, it seemed his breath had steadied. He began to laugh, most bitterly.
As Sara's fingers sought a grip on the screws of her shackles, a few sharp flecks of metal peppered her cheek. ... When she jerked at the shackles, however, not only did the loosened clamp open enough for her to pull that hand free, the tightly-screwed cuff around her other wrist snapped off of the chain entirely.
With a feat of strength that would make a reasonable person believe that the welding was of poor quality, Sam tears the restraint from its place with a pop and a clatter, and then dives for the knife.
"Why! Am I! Naked! You! Creepy! Old! Pervert!"
As she seized for breath against his throttling grip and the spasming in her midsection, Rachel suddenly felt a cold, hard obstruction filling her throat almost to tearing, and tasted metal on the back of her tongue. ... As the container hits the water, though, the sudden jerk is enough to dislodge whatever it is from her throat- A hand full of shiney silver coins in excellent condition, other than being covered in throat juice. Rachel blinks looking at the coins. Then she slips right out of her chains, not even wrenching them free- Just slipping right out. And immediately she's crouching, scooping up the coins quickly.
Samantha was a little too distracted by the fall to notice the position of her knife as she fell back to the steel floor. The realization flashed through her mind just as the point of the blade pierced her arm, and the hand gripping the knife clenched inexplicably shut around nothing as she tried to twist it away before it could do any real damage. She should have been far too late to avoid burying the knife in her forearm, but she must have lost her grip because she slammed into the floor without a knife, and only a dribble of blood from a minor puncture below her elbow to remember it by.
With a horribly shrill scream, Rachel scrambled to her feet, once again tackling the glowing man and using her lower center of gravity to her advantage, before continuing an adrenaline and rage fueled pummeling spree with one hand and, assuming she gets him down, holding him beneath the water with the other. ... Keeping hold of the cane, James leaps towards the man, using it to help Rachel hold him below the surface, almost snarling at this point. ... Daniel's calls for the knife go unheeded as Sara slogs through the water and throws herself down to lend her weight to Rachel and James' attempt to accomplish what she had attempted.
For one final glorious instant the light blazed out of him and slammed into each of the five in the container, and with it a shockwave that hurled the ones holding him down away from his corpse and into the walls. ... For one white-hot instant every inch of their skin was alive in a way they'd never before felt, the light clinging to them as if it had substance then seeping through their pores and almost electrifying their flesh. ... This was the unbridled power of Creation itself.
The door, now their relative ceiling, had been hurled fully open by the force of their captor's demise. Water rushed relentlessly into the dark.
The night swallowed the last wisps of twilight, leaving only the distant twinkle of thousands of stars in a moonless sky to light the still, black ocean from above. Several meters below the surface, however, there was a flash of blue light that illuminated the water for a great distance around a suddenly churning circle of water.
A moment later, Samantha's head broke through the surface and she gasped for air. Next to surface was Rachel, soon followed by her cohorts in desperate murder, Sara and James. Having been furthest to the back of the container that was nearly their tomb, Daniel was the last to make it to the surface. The five treaded water with various degrees of proficiency, exchanging bewildered and disbelieving looks as the surge of adrenaline that accompanied the explosion of energy they had absorbed dissipated. It left them all feeling rather human, and they all quickly realized that was not a very useful state of affairs for anyone adrift in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight and dawn twelve hours away.
Daniel was about to be the first to comment on this situation, but he was interrupted as his mouth opened by the dull thunk of plastic against the back of his head. He splashed away from the impact and turned, and in the faint light dappling the water around them the survivors of the shipping container could make out the dimensions of the object that had clipped Daniel, a cylinder a few feet long and half that length in diameter. For lack of anything else in sight, the five splashed their way to the bobbing object.
It didn't take long to find that there was a handle dangling from the center of the cylinder, attached to a pull cord that fed into the plastic shell. The cord unraveled for several feet before it seemed to hit a snag, but one good strong tug later the cylinder popped open and its contents began to rapidly inflate with the help of a motorized pump and unfold, forcing them to splash out of its way. The clam-shelled container regurgitated a self-inflating hexagonal emergency life raft large enough for all of them in minutes.
If it weren't for the fact that they'd all died and just narrowly escaped murder by a supernatural entity and were stranded in the middle of the Pacific, they'd probably consider themselves lucky.