Archangel Michael Jackson Island Part 3
On Pelican Bay, he would have gone to hide himself and the now-abandoned Aquadrive in a small cavern he had sighted in aerial photos. Here in Round Rock Bay there was no such hiding place. He stooped under the overhang. The wind-fired sand was stinging his soaked skin as he got out of his wetsuit, changing into the dry clothes he had brought in a hermetically sealed plastic bag.
The original plan was to wait out the storm in the Pelican Bay cavern and then walk into The Valley the next night under cover of darkness, hoping that in the confusion of repairing storm damage no one would have noticed him. That plan was long gone now, and O'Connor realized that there was only one chance now. He pulled his jacket’s hood up over his head in the driving rain.
As he left the overhang, he felt a sting on his back, probably due to some windblown debris. He headed up into the hills behind Gibbons Point on the western flank of Little Harbour, towards George Hill and then to The Valley. Hopefully the patrols would be kept in their stations due to the storm and he might make it there undetected. He’d been lucky so far. Very lucky. He hoped his luck would hold out for a few more hours.
The 80 mph wind-blown rain lashed and soaked him as he made his way up goat paths into the hills. He had left his PDA behind on St. Martin so he could not know when the most intense part of the storm with the 135 mph winds would hit Archangel Michael so he had to try to get to The Valley before then. By now the morning light had filled the landscape with eerie stormlight. He veered around hills trying to avoid the line of sight of rural houses, but he knew he was in serious danger of being spotted.
From Round Rock Bay to George Hill is barely three miles as the crow flies. But detouring around houses and fighting the high winds took its toll. He figured it was almost noon when he reached the top of George Hill. O'Connor expected Irene to blast the island with its full force, but the winds began to diminish. The steering currents had blown the hurricane north, away from Archangel Michael into open ocean. That was good news in that he didn’t have to continue to struggle through a hurricane, but bad news in that the locals would start to come out of their hurricane shelters.
He found a path through a heavily treed ravine and began to make his way down to The Valley, Archangel Michael’s main town. As the descent turned to the north, he caught his first glimpse of the town. He had seen it from aerial photos countless times, but at this range it looked different. Cleaner, more ordered, more well-kept and manicured than any Caribbean town he had ever seen.
Huge billboards were everywhere, with cryptic messages and images of The Mwinyi beside the oddly whitened and surgically altered face of Prince Michael I, the "deity’s" only known offspring as Prince Michael II had died as a child (also under mysterious circumstances) and Paris had disappeared shortly after her father’s death.
Continued In Archangel Michael Jackson Island Part 4