Shots Fired - Trouble in the South China Sea - Narrow Escape and Uncertain Future Ahead.
The naval unit had been trailing the Beer and Flies ship for hours now. The Captain sat, his eyes staring firmly out at the ocean, sipping a bottle of beer. The ship’s gunner, Brandon, was perched on the upper deck manning the 50 calibre machine gun keeping the sights trained on a drone that drifted through the clouds above.
Ziv, Master at Arms, made his way to the bridge, nonchalantly eyeing the destroyer on the horizon.
‘How far away is it Captain?’
‘About 3 miles, maybe less.’
‘So what next?’ asked Ziv, ‘where do we go from here?’
‘We’ve got a sold out gig and I don’t intend to miss it.’
The two looked out from the bridge, solemnly eyeing the destroyer. It’s hulking figure was ominous on the horizon. The Chinese navy had been trailing the pirate vessel with unknown intentions and was reasonable cause for alarm.
‘Do you think we can outgun them?’ asked Ziv.
‘Not a chance,’ said the Captain, ‘but we can outwit them…’
‘How? They’ve got radars, satellites, drones, everything staring directly at us.’
‘Before the band came together, before we joined forces to take on the world, years ago, shortly after I got my first ship I got completely lost in a horrific cyclonic tropical storm in the Pacific and was wrecked on the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea. Those reefs are like fortress walls that keep invaders out. I had to swim for 3 days just to get to a tiny island, where the locals took me in, fed me on coconut milk for several weeks and helped to get me back on my feet.’
‘Holy Moly Captain, how did you get back to civilization?’
‘I’m not sure I did.’ said the Captain pensively, ‘I’m not sure I ever did.’
The Chinese destroyer on the horizon suddenly sent up a series of flairs. The sun was still shining and so it was obviously intended as a threat.
‘Get down to the engine room, tell Bad Brad to get those engines revved up, power up to max, we’re only a few miles from the coral reefs.’
Ziv ran down to the bar, where Bad Brad was sipping a Martini.
‘Captain says we need to rev those engines, we’re taking fire from the Chinese, we need to make it to the coral reefs.’
‘Are you insane? Nobody can navigate those hell pits of death!’
‘If anyone can, the Captain can,’ said Ziv, ‘and if we don’t make it, we’re going to end up in a concentration camp with the Buddhists.’
‘Jesus!’ said Brad, ‘I’m not sure we’re Zen enough yet for a concentration camp experience…’
The engines revved, and the Beer and Flies pirate vessel tore through the waves heading directly for the chaos of the coral reefs. The military drone picked up its speed and dropped down to sea level, flying like a devil bat across the ocean, licking up the spray as it went.
‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’ shouted the Captain, ‘We’re nearly there!’
Brandon opened up with the 50 calibre, pumping bullets out like he hammered out drum beats. The drone wobbled, flailing in the air, but Brandon didn’t stop. Once he started, the Captain knew, he wouldn’t stop until there was nothing left.
The bullets speed through the air and the drone went down, crashing into the sea with a disappointing splash and yet still the machine gun rattled through bullets.
‘Hold it! Stop!’ the Captain screamed over the gun fire, ‘Stop! We need to save those rounds!’
The ship was going at maximum velocity, ripping through the waves, ‘It’s going to blow!’ shouted Bad Brad through the telecom, ‘We can’t keep it up Captain!’
‘Fire that engine up and don’t stop until I tell you,’ said the Captain as he grimaced at the oncoming reefs, ‘Only a few more minutes now…’
IMPACT – The Ship Takes To The Air.
The Chinese war ships had pulled back but the Beer and Flies were fast approaching the edge of the giant reefs, lingering like an insect on the ancient Leviathans of the deep.
‘God Damn it Captain, what now?’ cursed Ziv.
‘It’s the only way out,’ said the Captain, gripping the controls, revving the engine to the max.
Hurtling through the waters now, almost skimming the surface, the dark shadow of the reefs was visible under the waves, coming up under the ship. Suddenly, the Captain turned the ship flying across the water, and then, at the last moment, he turned it back into the waves, launching the ship high up into the air.
‘Holy sh..’ said Ziv,
The ship was in mid air flying over the shadows of the deadly reef below… falling now in an arc, it was going to be close.
The Beer and Flies ship crashed into the waters just beyond the reefs, half submerging itself while the engines still roared in the engine room below. The Captain clung onto the controls steadying the ship.
The Captain was too calm for Ziv’s liking after the bare knuckle escape, ‘Are you Okay Sir?’ he asked, as the Captain shut off the engine and let the vessel drift.
‘We made it Ziv, we jumped the reefs. We’re safe, for now.’ said the Captain, ‘now get down to the engine roof and check on the machinery, after that, we’ll catch some fish and then fire up the barbeque and have a drink.
The Captain sat back from the controls, glancing over his shoulder there was no sign of the naval units, while the choppy waters gently rocked the boat. The sun was setting in the West; while waiting for the Beer and Flies, somewhere just over the horizon, was the archipelago of islands that ringed the jungle island of Papua New Guinea.