Michonne is beginning to feel desperate, she’s pushes Graham for more information about the boat.
Who are they, what are they doing and why is Rick in danger?
They’ve been out there for at least six months, but weren’t there when Graham first arrived at the Port and no-one seems to acknowledge them all that often.
Every so often someone gets sick, the fishing boat returns once a week, packed with food and resources.
The sick disappear. Nobody seems to question it. At least in public.
Graham has only spoken to one or two others about it in the past, but their reaction tended to be coy and he quickly learned to stop asking questions.
No-one seemed to be taken against their will, only the sick disappeared.
Michonne struggles to tell Karl his dad is in danger, but its hard enough resisting the urge to hijack the nearest vessel and head after him herself, Karl wouldn’t even think twice about setting sail, it could already be too late.
She can’t keep it a secret from him long, and as predicted he loses it.
After much back and forth, calming Karl and coming to grips with the situation, they decide the best plan of action would be to try and get aboard the fishing boat the next time it returns.
If Rick survived, he might return on the next trip with news of the boat he was hunting for, if he’s missing then they need to find out what happened to him, even if he and Jesus might be dead.
Talking with Graham and bringing Eugene up to speed, the gang decide the best course of action would be to feign illness and try to have themselves placed on the vessel in secrecy.
No-one else who came with them need be involved, the four of them can handle this.
Graham thinks their best course of action would be to start faking an increasingly bad fever, visit the Port’s doctor and convince him that they’re contagious and infecting one another.
Over the course of the week, they do their best to fake it. Eugene rigs them up with the right mixtures to make a convincing looking illness and they wait for their ‘referral’ to quarantine.
Things start to move quite quickly, they find themselves bed ridden one by one. Michonne first, then after Graham had visited her a couple of times (to deliver knives and weapons), he too ‘fell sick’. Karl tended to them both, bringing them food, drink and gifts, Michonne’s Samurai Sword (which was easier to smuggle in than expected) and then succumb to illness himself.
Before long Eugene had joined them, and with the boat’s arrival back at the dock, they confined themselves to their beds.
It didn’t take long before the patients were wheeled off for ‘loading’ – the whole process was silent throughout save for a few moans and groans from the sick.
There wasn’t much room inside the hold of the boat, their sickbeds were each lined up in rows side by side without an inch to spare left or right, and just enough room for the boat people to walk up and down the ends of each bed carrying out inspections.
Michonne nervously held her breath, partially to remain silent, but mostly to avoid breathing in the disgusting smell of sickness around them.
Some of the people being sent away look to be at deaths door. None have been bitten or scratched, so the risk of anyone turning quickly was minimal, but it was clear from the get go that some were sicker than others, the really quiet ones were being tied to their beds, unable to move in case they pass during the journey.
She couldn’t tell how close her bed was to the other three, and didn’t dare check until she was certain the ship people were gone. As the men went from bed to bed she hoped that Karl, Eugene and Graham would be clever enough to know they needed to look ‘alive’ if they wanted to remain untied.
When it came to her turn she put on her best attempt at sounding sick, something she hadn’t had to do since she bunked work back before the society had crumbled. She asked where they’d be taking her, thanked them for their help, and made herself comfortable all without a word of acknowledgement from the men that she was talking to them.
Eventually she heard a clang as the boat seemed to grumble and clunk into action. The room became dark and silent, save for a few groans here and there. She called out for help, to see if anyone would respond, and nobody did. That confirmed for her that they were likely alone for at least a minute or so.
Michonne climbed out of her bed slowly, trying hard not to disturb the people either side of her. They were all in rows of four beds at a time, maybe five or six rows deep. She couldn’t see Eugene or Graham but Karl had sat up too. She was two rows away from him.
She made a sharp noise to get his attention, he gave a thumbs up before pointing to another bed where Eugene was laying. They both made their way to him to find him petrified in fear. Once he saw their faces he calmed a little and climbed out of bed. As they looked around for Graham they realised he hadn’t sat up because he was tied down.
The ropes used to tie him were pretty thick but no match for Michonne’s weapons. Though they were pulled rather tight, so slashing them apart wasn’t really an option. She started to cut through the rope on his left leg while Karl took the rope on the right. They hadn’t made much progress before Eugene alerted them that someone was unlocking the door.
Michonne heads for the door, motioning for Karl to take the other side.
A large man stepped through the door, looking around, before focusing on Eugene who was still trying to work through the ropes. He shouted to someone behind him, they couldn’t make out the words he used, but he sounded angry.
Before anyone could come to his aid, Karl leapt on him, while Michonne made her attack. The man didn’t go down easy and gave as good as he got, cracking Karl in the ribs and kicking Michonne to the wall. He started at Eugene, growling angrily as though he was cursing but with words none of them could understand.
As he neared Eugene there was a thwump as Karl threw one of his knives at the man, it didn’t strike as he’d hoped, it just thumped into his back, but the distraction gave Eugene time to act.
Without thinking he took his own knife and thrust it up into the belly of the man standing over him. He pushed him aside and ran for the door where Michonne was climbing to her feet.
“I didn’t intend to hurt him…” Eugene whimpered.
Michonne shrugged and shook her head, there wasn’t much more he could’ve done, and after the kick she’d taken she was prepared to do the same.
They could hear more people coming to see what the commotion was about, Karl pointed to another door on the other side of the room and they ran for it. Michonne called to Graham to hold tight, they’d be back for him as soon as possible.
Three men entered the room, scanning for where the commotion was coming from. Graham tried to watch them while staying still. If they didn’t notice his ties were frayed and cut then they wouldn’t think he was involved.
Two went straight for their ship mate to prop him up and see if he was ok. The other ran straight out the door that Michonne had used.
Graham could hear more fighting out there the moment the man went through the door, the two men stopped tending to their friend and went towards the fight. Graham couldn’t see whether they’d managed to do anything for the fella bleeding out on the floor, but he hoped any potential deaths could wait until he wasn’t tied down right above them.
Michonne, Karl and Eugene hadn’t got far when they went through the door, it wasn’t another exit after all, but an entrance to more storage areas. There were plenty of places to hide and ambush amongst the shelves and boxes piled up everywhere, and they’d already managed to take down the first man to chase them.
Two more had entered, but they still had the advantage.
“Nobody else has to die, leave us alone and we’ll let you leave without a mark on you” Michonne called out, taunting them to follow her voice.
Karl and Eugene braced themselves and as soon as the men were in position they pushed as hard as they could, forcing the piled up boxes to collapse around them. They all ran back for the door, to catch Graham before anymore men came.
After all three were through, Eugene pulled the door shut behind him, working to block it enough that the men were stuck in there away from him and the team for as long as possible.
Michonne and Karl were shouting and fighting at the foot of Graham’s bed. Eugene finished jamming the door and turned to see them struggling with another man. Graham was kicking him furiously from his bed, having got his legs free from the frayed ropes that they’d almost finished cutting previously.
Before Eugene really had a chance to process what was going on, Karl forced a blade through the side of the mans head. The situation snapped into place for him immediately. The man he stabbed in the belly had turned.
Michonne was in tears as she cut Graham’s arms free. He sat up and inspected himself, while trying to console her.
He’d done his best to hold the walker at bay while they were out of the room.
Unfortunately he’d sustained a mild scratch…