Borealis by Mychael Black

Borealis by Mychael Black

Borealis

by Mychael Black

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 07137-02299

[ Paranormal SciFi Romance ]

Andrew and his lover and cameraman Chris head a team of ghost hunters. When the Borealis, a cruise ship lost at sea thirty years ago, shows up out of nowhere, Andrew leaps at the chance to be the first to explore it.

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Chapter One

“Well, there goes our salvation.”
Andrew gave his cameraman a cursory glance and slung one of the packs over his shoulder. They were finally here, on board the Borealis, and he was not about to let Chris’ bouts of paranoia get in the way. No way in hell.
Andrew started down the steps to Deck 8 of the cruise ship. It had been lost at sea for nearly thirty years, and after a freak storm only two days ago, it had reappeared. Knowing the potential for hauntings on a ship this size, Andrew jumped at the chance to check it out. The moment he received the go-ahead from the owners, he and Chris had snagged a flight on the next chopper out.
Now here they stood, on Deck 9, the uppermost deck, of the long-lost Borealis. Andrew was buzzing to get to work. He stopped halfway down the narrow staircase and looked back up at Chris. “You coming?”
Chris hesitated for a second, then let out a slow breath. “Yeah, yeah.” He started down the metal steps and Andrew turned back around to continue the descent. “Don’t you think it’s a bit odd that this boat has been floating for thirty years and there hasn’t been a single eyewitness in all that time?”
Andrew chuckled. “Why do you think we’re out here? No survivors whatsoever.” He heard Chris grumble behind him, but he paid it little mind. Down below on Deck 8, the others were hauling more equipment inside. “Looks like everyone else is getting ahead of us,” he said over his shoulder.
“I’m just glad we aren’t here by ourselves,” Chris groused.
Andrew stopped and turned around. “Dude, stop worrying, will you? I would never drag you out on something like this without backup.”
“You have before,” Chris said as he stood before Andrew.
“That was a house. We were fine then. Weren’t we?”
Chris sighed and tousled Andrew’s hair. “Yeah, we were. I’m sorry. I’m just nervous, I guess. Not used to being on a damn boat.”
Andrew leaned forward to press a quick kiss to Chris’ lips. A soft sound of protest escaped Chris as Andrew pulled back. “Later,” Andrew whispered. “For the time being, however, we’ve got work to do.”
Chris groaned. Andrew headed over to the others.
“Andrew! Chris! ‘Bout time you two got your butts here!”
Andrew smiled when he saw Kate Burchette. Not only was she a close friend, but she was also their link to the spirit world. Andrew had only to mention the ship’s disappearance to spark her interest into coming along. He hoped that her abilities would get some use on this trip. She had never been wrong before, but he had. He had the psychic abilities of a rock. He walked up to her and pulled her into a hug.
“Good to see you, love,” she said with a wide smile. She looked over Andrew’s shoulder and her grin widened even more. “Chris, you know you really should try harder to keep this man on a leash. He’s going to drag you all over the world if you aren’t careful.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed,” Chris said. He shifted his pack and stepped around Andrew to give Kate a hug. “How ya been, hun?”
“Oh, you know.” Kate shrugged. “Not too bad. Been trying to find work, seeing as how this stuff doesn’t exactly bring in the money.”
“You three ready?”
Andrew looked up and waved at the man standing in the doorway. “Be there in a second, Josh.” He picked up the last case left on the pallet the chopper had dropped off, and then looked at Kate and Chris. “Shall we?”
Leading the way, Andrew stepped through the doorway and into the welcome gallery. The others were setting up the observation equipment, and Andrew knew most of the people. They had all come with Kate, as part of her own team of investigators. Josh, her husband, essentially ran the show when Kate was not around. Then there were Nathan and Trixie, a brother-and-sister team. They both had their Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology, which Andrew still was not sure had much to do with this venture. But he trusted Kate, and she trusted them. Then there was Megan, the other psychic in the bunch, and the occasional “friend with benefits” to Kate. Overall, Andrew supposed they all made a good group.
Nathan began hooking up the monitors. “So what’s the scoop on this boat, anyway? Andrew?”
Andrew set the case down and let his pack slide off with it. He stretched and began giving the basics on the ship and its rather odd history. “Well, she set sail on her maiden voyage in 1972. By 1973, she gained a reputation as one of the world’s most elegant cruise ships. In the winter of 1973, she set sail with more than four hundred guests and about two hundred or so crew members. She left New York on November 25, bound for the Bahamas. She never returned, nor did she make it to her port of call.”
“No distress signal sent?” Trixie asked.
Andrew shook his head. “Nothing. She just vanished. Until now.” He looked over at Chris. He could tell Chris was not entirely happy about this whole trip, but Chris knew how important this was to him. He smiled and received a weak one in return. “I suppose there are a few introductions to be made.”
“Yeah.” Kate wiped a thin layer of dust on her navy blue slacks. “Everyone, you all know Andrew Spencer, author and journalist of the paranormal. The man keeping his distance, and acting like we all have cooties, is Chris Terry. He’s a dear friend and Andrew’s cameraman.”
Everyone laughed. Chris just shook his head, lifting a hand in a weak wave. Andrew went over to him and grabbed Chris’ hand, pulling him over to the small circle of people. Chris’ grip tightened, and Andrew smiled at him.
“And here we have Nathan and Trixie Hunter, brother and sister psychologists,” Kate continued around the circle. Nathan and Trixie nodded and waved. “Then there’s Megan, our other medium.” The young woman smiled, although Andrew noticed it was more to Kate than anyone else.
“And, of course, you all know me.” Josh strode across the room. He ran his hand over one of the decorative columns. “Wow, nice woodwork. Amazing that it’s still intact.”
Andrew joined him, marveling at the condition of the wood. “And there’s hardly any rust, broken glass, or any other sort of damage.”
“Wonder why.” Nathan switched on the equipment. A low electrical hum filled the room.
“That’s precisely what we’re here to find out,” Andrew said with a grin as he turned to face the others. “But first, there need to be a few ground rules. Most important of which: no one goes off by themselves. Use the buddy system. Second, be respectful. This is, essentially, a floating graveyard. And third, keep your walkie talkies on at all times. This ship is huge, and we don’t need anyone getting lost. Everyone cool with those rules?” Everybody nodded. “Good. Let’s get started.”
* * *
“Okay, we’re entering the first hallway on Deck 7. On either side of us are doors with gold numbers, each one opening into a passenger cabin.” Andrew stopped and turned to Kate. “You picking anything up?”
Kate closed her eyes. A few minutes later, she opened them and shook her head. “Nothing but a mild tingle,” she said. “Guess no one wants to talk. What about EMF?”
Andrew looked down at the small black box in his hand. A cord connected the box to a thin rod, which Andrew passed in front of each door. The numbers on the digital display rose slightly, then dropped. “Nothing significant,” he said with a sigh.
“Hey, Andy, you should come take a look at this.” Josh’s voice crackled over the walkie talkie.
Andrew pulled it off of his belt, pressing a button on the side. “What’s up?”
“Somethin’ weird. Looks like… Well, it looks like we aren’t alone here, and I don’t mean ghosts.”
Andrew looked up at Kate and then Chris. He pressed the button on the walkie talkie again. “We’re on our way. Call the others.”
“Wonder what’s going on,” Kate said as they started back down the hallway.
“Don’t know. We should be the only ones here.”
“Whoa!”
Andrew and Kate stopped abruptly and spun around. Chris had the camera pointed at one of the doors to their right. He stared for a moment at the small viewing screen, then tipped his head to the side, motioning for Andrew. Andrew went to him and peered at the screen.
“Holy shit.”
“What?” Kate hurried over to them, straining to see around Andrew’s shoulder. “What the hell is that?”
Andrew stared at the door for a moment, then back at the screen. “I don’t know.”
“But why is it not visible on the door?” Chris whispered.
Andrew shook his head and called Josh on the walkie talkie. “It’s Andrew. Look, we’ve found something.”
“What?”
“I don’t know.” Andrew glanced at Kate and Chris, both of whom looked as confused as he did. “We’re on our way up, but I want to investigate this more thoroughly, and soon.” He hooked the walkie talkie back on his belt. “Let’s go.”
Kate went on ahead of them while Andrew hung back with Chris. Chris was rewinding and playing back the footage of the door, brow creasing more with every viewing. Andrew slipped an arm around Chris’ waist and rested his chin on Chris’ shoulder as they walked.
“What do you think it is?”
Chris shrugged, temporarily dislodging Andrew’s chin from its resting place. “No idea.”
The large dark spot hadn’t been visible on the door. It only came into view on the camera. Andrew stared at it, his curiosity more than piqued. But first things first: to find out who the hell was on their ship.
When they entered the gallery, Josh motioned for them. “Hey, guys. Come take a look at this.”
“What?” Andrew peered over Josh’s shoulder, smiling when Chris’ arm slid around his waist.
“I was testing the new camera…” Josh reset the video to play. “… and caught this.”
A shadow flitted across a doorway leading out onto the deck. It was more tangible than a ghost might have been, definitely solid.
“What the fuck? You sure it wasn’t Nathan, Trixie, or Megan?” Andrew asked.
“Absolutely sure,” Josh said. He sat back and looked upside down at Andrew. “Megan was on the other side of the room, and Nathan and Trixie are on deck.”
Andrew grit his teeth and grumbled. He’d jumped through tons of hoops to get permission to be here — first people to set foot on the Borealis since its final voyage. Whoever was here with them didn’t have permission, or at least they’d better not.
“All right. Everyone keep a look out. If you see anyone besides one of our group, let me know immediately.”
“Gotcha, boss.” Josh set the camera back to record and aimed it at the same door they’d been watching in the video. “If this person shows themselves again, we’ll catch ‘em on here.”

Buy Now:
Changeling PressARe ‖ CTR ‖ KindleKobo ‖ Nook

[bctt tweet=”Read #excerpt of Borealis by @Mychael_Black #MMromance #PNR #Scifi”]