Jerry and George looked at all the photos again and were sure the guy in four of them were one and the same. They looked at the three still photos Jerry had taken from the video of pirates attacking the Ocean Six when Scott's mother and been killed. They were somewhat grainy and showed a man with an AK47 in his hand staring at the O6, the next photo was of him taking aim and the third was the muzzle flash as he fired. They went back to the first photo and looked at it through the magnifying glass. After they had both looked at it George put the photo down and picked up one of the pirates on board the Jean after they were attacked when the Wanderer was taken.
"I'm positive that's the same bloke Jerry."
"Me too, let’s get Reggie to look at them, he of all people will know, he looks at x-rays all the time and sees things nobody else will." Jerry picked up his phone and rang the sick bay. Five minutes later Reggie knocked on their door.
"Reggie there are 11 photos we want you to look at in no particular order. Would you look at them please and tell us what you see?" Reggie flicked through them and joked;
"No Reggie, but something quite serious."
"Ok chaps, I will be serious then." Reggie took his time and studied all of them several times and as he went he put several aside. Finally he had two left.
"These are the same chap."
"That's what we think Reggie and the pirate we are looking at COULD be the shit who killed Skip's mother. Nobody will ever be able to prove it of course, but what the hell do we do with this now?"
"Scott has to know, it would not be right for us to keep this from him. It’s going to be painful of course, but I know Scott would rather know than us keeping it from him. He would be devastated if he found out we withheld this back. Now, who's going to tell him?" Reggie asked knowing it would be him.
"You Reggie, you must have a lot of experience talking to people about difficult situations. That's my opinion anyway. Jerry?"
"Your right, that ok with you Reggie?"
"Yes of course I will talk to him when he and Andrew are together as soon as I can and I will be telling the crew as well if Scott agrees. We have become a family and families support one another during times like this."
Scott, Paul and Jerry were in their safety gear in their "pirate boat" waiting for the stern door to open. They had just one ladder which Paul would attach to the stern rail and once secure Scott would lead the way. Jan had the engines running and at a nod from her the boat was released and it slid down the ramp and into the water where she opened it up and took the boat to the starboard of the Jean to keep in hidden from the O5.
The O5 was doing 18 knots and it only took a short time to break cover and drive away from her a mile and then turn directly behind and start to catch up. Jan was now in the wash of the ship and it is a rather disconcerting experience knowing a few tons of propeller was just feet away. When Jan had got them to mid ships Paul raised the ladder and it took just one attempt to hook it on. Jan then went right up against the ship and Scott scrambled up followed by the other two. Once on deck they hid and Scott and Paul got the shot guns out that they had stuffed down the back of their Life Jackets. They climbed all the way up the bridge tower and knocked on the door of the bridge startling the men on watch inside. Philip Boardman arrived and let them in.
"One nil to you then Scott."
"Too easy Phil. It’s a bloody worry, are all your hatches secure?"
"Yes but that door could be broken in with a decent fart. I will get the lads to board it up and the other door as well. We will just not use them while we are in these waters. I will think something up to block the outside gangways as well so the bastards will at least be delayed so I can get the crew into the safety cell. Give me a fucking gun and I will take a few out BEFORE they get on board. Still, with you escorting us we feel much more secure, so don't bugger off till we are free of these shits."
Ships were beginning to be fitted with a strong room called a safety cell where the crew could escape too and even have some control of the ship and be able to send distress calls and talk to other ships and, they hoped, Naval ships. The engineer and his crew would lock themselves in the engine room and operate the speed of the ship and even stop it as well as control lighting, electricity to all parts of the ship and could therefore plunge the whole ship into darkness as well as cut air conditioning to all parts of the ship but leave the cell and engine room going. But the big problem was they all had to get there first and if only one crew was taken the rest would be threatened with his life if they did not surrender.
They got back to the Jean where the whole crew were on the bridge and talked through and agreed, once again, the only way to fully protect any ship was to have armed men on board. A few American security companies were offering their services, but were hugely expensive and were not backed up by international authorities.
"Get the army to put four troops on British ships and no fucking pirate will ever get on board and it won’t cost anything like hiring private security firms. Too bloody simple for some politicians to work out of course and more ships will be taken, massive ransom demands made and paid as well as a few more lives lost and crew badly treated. My father is trying to get licenced to have our own armed men on board, but he is getting nowhere with it at the moment, too many objections from all over the world who will not allow armed men in their territorial waters."
Reggie phoned Scott's cabin and asked to go and see him and Andrew. They sat down and Reggie came straight to the point.
"Skip, this isn't going to be easy and it is distressing but you need to know. Jerry has been looking through the video of the attack on the old O6 and recognised a guy on one of the pirate boats was the same pirate we took on board from the Wanderer attack, he and George and now me are sure of it. It will never be proved it was him who killed your mother, but there is more than a fair chance it could be him. Sorry to bring you this, but we thought you should know." Scott took the photos and he and Andrew poured over them for some time.
"Yep that's him alright and just think we had him on board here. I will send it to the lawyers in London, but not to dad, it will be too upsetting for him. Thanks Reggie not a nice job for you. I will thank Jerry and George later."
"Scott I would like to tell the crew, I think they would want to know. What do you think?"
"I think Reggie is right, we would all like to know." Scott continued to look at the face of the man who could possibly have killed his mother.
"Yes of course, if this was any of us I would want to know. Let’s keep a good eye out for this turd, I hope I see him again one day and get to interview him."
They were just two days from Mumbai and Scott asked Theo and Royston how long it would be before the Rockall would return to the States.
"Another month Scott."
"I think I had better call them and see when they want you back, it’s been three weeks now and we will be meeting the O4 coming in from Australia and take her to the Red Sea. You are welcome to stay, but I'm sure the Navy will want you lads back."
"If you must Scott, but we are happy to stay if you will have us."
"Do I take it you two are getting on ok then?" Royston got in first.
"Still a long way to go, but at least we aren't killing one another, yet." Theo said nothing.
"Lady Jean Peterson to USS Rockall."
"USS Rockall to Lady Jean Peterson." Scott asked for Captain Andrew's to remind him there are two of his officers on the Jean "and when would you like them back?"
"Please stand by Lady Jean Peterson." Half hour later the Rockall got back to them.
"We notice we are not that far apart, could we come to you, the Admiral invites you on board Captain." That took Scott by surprise no end.
"I would like that, I will bring the two officers with me."
"No Captain, the Admiral would like a private meeting with you first." Another surprise.
"I will have them ready to return anyway after my visit." They made a rendezvous for the next day for 7am.
"Looks like it’s your last night with us. The Admiral has invited me for a meeting with him first and then assume you two will be leaving us after that. I never expected to say this, but we are all going to miss you."
"I will be leaving the Navy as soon as we get back to the States Skip as I said and can’t wait to get there." Theo said.
"It may surprise you to know I will be leaving as well. I have finished with the Navy as well." Royston looked at Theo. "We need to talk again." Theo smiled at Royston.
"You can take that off your face as well and don't get any ideas." Theo continued to smile.
Jan took the RIB to the Rockall's gang way and he climbed up to the quarter deck and removed his cap. Captain Andrew's also removed his and came forward with his hand held out. "Welcome to the USS Rockall Captain, you have met Commander Forrester of course." The two men shook hands and Scott looked around for the Admiral, he wasn't there. "Good to see you again Scott. I am to take you to the Admirals quarters, this way please." Donald took Scott through the ship and noted the stares he was getting from crew who were seeing the Captain of that Brit ship and wondered how the hell anyone that young could be a captain rank.
The Admiral's door opened and Scott was looking at an older version of Theo, a six foot plus slim and an incredibly handsome man with white hair, steel rimmed glasses and an air of authority about him that exuded power and control. Donald introduce them once inside the cabin and left.
"Take a seat Captain, coffee?"
"Thank you." Admiral Harding was not one for small talk and came straight to the point.
"Captain Peterson are your crew an all homosexual crew?"
"Could be Admiral, but I am not here to discuss my crews’ personal life or private matters or mine either. When did you last have sex and who with?" Despite himself Harding almost smiled.
"I am of the opinion you are from what I hear during the TV interviewers in Iceland after your rescue of those trawler men. A good job by the way, congratulations."
"Thank you, but you should not believe all you hear with respect Admiral, but you have obviously looked us up and are now judging all of us by what you think we are."
"Ok, let me get to the point, I am convinced you and all your crew are homosexual and its fair enough if you don't want to discuss and I now know my son is and so is Lieutenant Fortune otherwise Theo and presumably Fortune would not have been so keen to get time on your ship. So, having said all that and you not losing your temper at a false accusation, I will say I am right. I could not care less what any of you are, but I am with my son and he will have to leave the United States Navy, so will Fortune. I will be honest I don't care too much about my son being homosexual, but I do care about myself and want him out of the Navy before its known he is homosexual and the embarrassment it could cause me. Therefore I am asking you to keep them and when you get to Mumbai they will fly back home and resign."
"They are going to do that anyway when they return. Will they get honourable discharges?"
"Yes, I can’t have my son dishonourably discharged, it will look bad on me."
"Is it possible to get them discharge from here? They will be welcome to stay on my ship for as long as they want and I assume it will take less time to get them discharged from here than fly home from Mumbai and then go through discharge. I will offered to take them as crew on my ship and that's the reason they want to leave the US Navy." Harding thought about Scott's suggestion.
"Agreed. I will need to see them both before we go our separate ways though, there will be forms to sign."
"Is that all you wanted to see me about Admiral?"
"No, I spoke to Captain Andrew's and Commander Forrester and they think that your suggestion about an exercise with us attacking your ship is a good one and I would like to discuss it with all four of us before you go."
"That's fine by me, when do you want to see Theo and Royston?"
"As soon as we finish planning the exercise."
"I will call the Jean and have them bought over if that's alright and I will sail with you while you go through the paper work to discharge them and then wait for them to come back to my ship." Harding was happy with that. Scott made the call and there would be a lot of handshaking and hugs going on on the Jean. Little did they know?
The four men met and in no time agreed that Scott would call the Rockall when the Jean was free of escort duty to carry out the exercise with a few provisos. "You will only carry blank rounds and we will only use red dyed water from the helicopters and so your men will need goggles, they will also get very wet and may have to bail out a lot. How many boats do you have to attack us?"
"I will let you have our two boats and you can attack with six. I want to experience a multi attack and see how we get on and I mean both sides."
"And who deems who wins?" Asked Harding.
"Neither side wins anything, we will just determine ourselves how we get on. I know we are both going to learn a lot. However, IF any of your men manage to get on board I will consider it a failure from my point of view even if I could sweep they off again and of course I won’t do that, it will cause injuries."
"I have a feeling no one will get on board Scott with those water cannons of yours but you are very vulnerable to gunfire, they could stay out of your range and just blast away." Don said'
"You could be right, in fact you are, that's why we have the helicopters, but we are protected from small arms fire including windows and ports, only a 50 cal will penetrate and of course a lucky RPG hit."
Scott said goodbye and went back. Both ships carried on sailing together and the crew wondered why, they were all on the bridge when Scott got to them and all about the meeting and was genuinely pleased at the reaction. "I don't know how long it’s going to take, but I do know when the Admiral wants something, he gets it and in very quick time. Three hours later Jan and Tommy got into the RIB and went to the Rockall to pick up a couple of civilians.
Welcome back you two, it’s been a long time." Scott smiled at them.
"Do you mind if I go to my cabin Skip?"
"Of course Theo, take all the time you need." Scott knew he would need to get the final rejection from his father out of his system, or at least start the process. Royston stood on the aft deck and watched the Rockall sail away and had no misgivings, there was a man on the Jean who needed him just as much as he needed that man and it was the Jean who had given both of them the opportunity try again.
As soon as they were on board Scott called the Rockall and asked if he could give them a sail by at full speed.
"That would be great Captain, I will stay at 15 knots." Scott picked the mike up. "We are going back behind the Rockall two miles and come around and go to full speed and pass her on her port side. I want you boys to take off when we come about and after we have passed the Rockall I want you to fly at full speed past her with your screamers on. You fly together at the same height as her bridge, Marcel you lead and Jon directly behind at 50 yards. As soon as we are about to pass her I will call for hard astern and go to her speed so make sure you hang on. Just one more thing someone put the American flag up when we come about, we might as well now we have three of the fuckers on here." Jon came on the bridge. "And what's wrong with the Icelandic flag Skip may I ask?" Scott laughed his head off then cuddled Jon, he picked the mike up again. "And the Icelandic flag to avoid your Captain from being assaulted by Mr Universe." Jon hugged Scott again and went to tell Marcel he had!
"Skip hugged ME first after the rescue, just wish he would give us both more." Jon laughed, "Wish he could give us more than hugs Marcel, and Andrew!"
The crew of the Rockall were out to watch the Jean as she came at them and now at her full 25 knots and a very impressive sight it was and scored even more points when the Jean was at her stern and Scott ordered "full astern" by the time they had made mid ships she was sailing at 15 knots with the Rockall. The crew started to applaud, then ducked as this horrendous scream came at them as the two helicopters flew past at 100 mph. Both crews waved at one another as Scott bought them back to their original course and both ships waved to one another. That would not be the only time they would be impressed by this little Brit ship.
The following day Scott, Theo and Royston were in Scott's office.
"I am offering you both temporary positions on the Jean until we get back to South Africa. When we get there I was going to moor up and fly us all back to England for two weeks, but now I have decided to sail back, there are a few modifications I need done to the ship and so If you want you can come with us all the way. You will be paid by our company as from today, but I doubt it will match your Naval salaries. If you sail to England with us your contract will end when we get there and in any case I expect you will want to get home to find your new careers. Anyway let me know when to drop you off, South Africa or England? They looked at one another.
"England please Skip."
"Ok and may I welcome you to the crew of the Jean. I will take you to the clothing store and get you kitted out. Anything else before we go?"
"No thanks Skip." Theo said.
"Yes, just one thing Skip." Royston said.
"Do you mind if I move in with Theo?" Scott beamed at them, who wouldn't with those massive smiles on both faces.
"I think we will go to the clothing store first thing after breakfast tomorrow until then you are both off duty and only come out to eat or if the alarm sounds. Bugger off."
"Yes Skip" they both said and ran for the door.
Theo could not keep that huge smile off of his face.
"Does this mean we are back together Royston?"
"Does it fuck! ALL this means is I want sex, I'm as randy as all the guys on the Rockall and every other ship in the Navy put together and all I want is your cock." Theo looked at him with his head to one side and smiled.
"Ok, I want us to make love, that better?"
"Much, come here." For the first time in over a year Theo took Royston in his arms and kissed him which went on for rather a long time, but as they kissed sports shirts and shorts came off and then Royston was on his knees taking his man’s pants down and his 8.5 massively hard cock went down to the back of his throat. After some time like that Theo pulled him to his feet and he went to HIS knees and removed Royston's pants and took his 7.5 inch massively hard cock into HIS mouth which also ended up at the back of Theo's throat. So far so good and it got better as they fell onto the bunk and revisited each other’s bodies with lips tongues and hands. It all ended up in a 69 and after a short while both lovers exploded and were back where they had first been all those months ago..., sticky.
After a shower they went back to the bunk and got sticky again, but this time they just laid together kissing and saying nothing, just happy knowing this was going to be permanent.
The two new crew members came on the bridge together and got a huge cheer, they looked so different in their new uniforms and felt even more a part of the crew, full members and the ships newest couple.
"Good job we've got Freddy to interpret for us, I still can’t understand Andrew!" Jan giggled.
"Pardon Jan?" All three American's asked.
"Pardon Yanks?" Asked Jon.
"Pardon Jon?" The Brits asked. Silly we know, but they were about to have a respite from the tensions of the past few weeks and its human nature to be silly after the stress is over for a few hours.
They followed the O5 into Indira Docks and then onto their mooring some distance from her. After the last rope had been secured Scott ordered "finish with engines" and the whole ship fell silent apart from the generator far below giving power to the ships essential services. All they could hear now was the noise coming from the docks and the bustle of this busy harbour. Customs officers came on board and after a cursory glance around the bridge and being pleasant which is a custom in India, they checked passports and ships documentation they left and the crew would have that night and most the next day before sailing at 5 pm again to escort the O5 down the west coast into the Laccadive Sea where they would part company with her and make their way to Colombo in Sri Lanka and stay there for three days and nights waiting for the O4 coming from Australia and escort her all the way through the Arabian Sea, which was becoming a high risk area for pirate attacks, to the Red Sea. After they had seen the O4 to safety they would sail at 20 knots back to meet the O1 also coming from Australia and take her to South Africa and then, home.
For the first time since leaving Cyprus they all eat together in the saloon all looking so different in their own clothes.
"Right what are we doing tonight? We've only got the one and its Saturday. Something must be happening around here?" Scott looked at them and waited. Colin, who had already worked out it was Saturday and thought something would be going on banged the table to gain attention. Everyone looked at him.
"There's a club not far from here called Voodoo and on Saturdays is a gay night, it’s very popular and there is a beach to wander about on as well and a mix of locals and tourist. I think we should all go and give them a treat.
"No WAY! Freddy and I haven't been to one of those things since..., since?"
"I have put myself in charge of evening entertainment for this evening and we are all going, you lads can look after Reggie and Freddy." Colin said.
"And who's going to look after those two, look at them, kidnap bait!" Asked George.
"I fucking will, you two stay in my sight, all night."
"Yes Jan." And promptly forgot what she said.
It was a great evening and they all got a lot of attention from the many lovely young males and got countless offers of drinks and invitations to dance and a walk along the beach, all of which were politely refused except if one partner was asked to dance the other one went on the floor as well.
Marcel and Jon were particularly popular and were surrounded just about all night and the two gorgeous 19 year olds being the centre of attention and joined a group of the locals on the stage dancing with them to the Bollywood music blasting out and the young men teaching them the moves for just about the whole evening, Marcel was brilliant and danced beautifully with Jon laughing his head off as he tried to keep up.
There was also time for each couple to be by themselves and walk along the beach just enjoying this down time and not one thought about pirates or the threat from them. But even while they were enjoying the evening there was some activity on the Jean.
The Jean was being observed and the men observing her could not believe their luck as the crew left and now knowing that getting on board was going to be that much easier now, they got into their canoe and made their way under cover of the ships hulls they had to paddle past to get to the ship.
Half hour later they got to the Jean's stern and threw a rope over the rail and pulled it down and climbed up it. From the stern two of them made their way to the top of the bridge while the other one was looking out. The two worked for half an hour securing the 6x4x2 inch tracker directly behind the mast. They could not drill, but instead used a very strong adhesive to keep it in place. Two connections were made from the battery which would last for two months. A green LED light glowed for a few seconds telling them that the tracker was now functioning, they then fitted the cover over the unit making sure the short aerial poked through the opening. The cover was clipped onto the main body and as it was painted the same grey as the ship, it would be almost impossible to detect.
The trio returned to the canoe and made their way back to the disused boat shed were they had been hiding and pulled the canoe out. Two men came out of the shadows and paid them off. None of the three knew what the unit was or why they had been asked to fit it and so therefore would not know the Jean could now be tracked at a distance of four miles from a pirate mother boat. That mother boat was already four miles out at sea pretending to fish. That boat and another one took it in turns to shadow the Jean and that's why they knew where she was for at least two months.
Because the Jean had been in the news quite a few times now and the reason why she was in those seas had been reported quite a few times and certain individuals saw the ship as a target and rich pickings. Despite Scott's hope for anonymity he and his crew and ship was in even more danger. News of their dealings with pirates had been picked up by the press and the videos of them had gone viral. Scott realised he would need to talk to his legal team to try to improve his defences and that it why he would return to England in the hope he could. He would be spending hours talking to William and conference calls between his father, the legal team and the "men from the Ministry" who had agreed that he could carry CS gas. He needed agreement that they could fix tubes to the rear of the bridge and carry modified fireworks to fire on chasing pirate boats. Neil, Andrew and Theo had come up with a system that would seem to be exactly what they needed and fire off what is known as "flash bangs" which would disorientate any attackers and not kill anyone, just hard of hearing and blind for a few minutes.
They paid their taxis off and they went to the saloon for one last drink before turning in.
"Thanks Colin for a lovely time, good choice and I'm going to practise my break dancing every night know, once I get my back to work again that is." Reggie got up and wriggled his hips.
"Sit down you silly old bugger, you couldn't even do the Charleston when you were young."
"You looked as though you were having a good time Reggie, you both did. Do you know I think it was because of the local boys and some lovely guys as well, you two looked as though you were enjoying yourselves as well, despite Jan shadowing you all night."
Marcel and Jon smiled and produced about 20 bits of paper. "Anyone else got as many phone numbers as us?" He waved them above his head and dumped them into the bin. "I will get those out later." Jerry said and got sworn at by George.
They began to leave two at a time, it was now quite late and they would all have to be up for breakfast by 8am and not much time for certain activities that this lot got up too as often as they could during off watch time.
Scott and Paul did their usual deck checks and chatted while they toured the ship.
"I really enjoyed tonight Scott, Freddy and I have never done much of that and hope we get out like tonight when we get to Colombo. Did you two enjoy it? It certainly looked like you did."
"I think we enjoyed it even more because we have this break, but more to the point we were all together. People are so much different when they are not working. We loved the fact everyone was relaxed and just let a bit of hair down. Mind you the best bit for me was when Andrew and I went on the beach for a walk. Just him and me together, not saying much, just enjoying "us."
"Think we all did that Scott. Hello, where did this come from?" They both looked down at the flip flop.
"How the hell did that get there?" Scott picked it up, looked at it then threw it over the side and both men forgot it.
Above them the tracker continued sending out its signal and the mother boat continued to "fish" waiting for the Ocean Five and its main interest, the Lady Jean Peterson to appear and begin to track both of them while pirates checked their boats and weapons in preparation to attack.
Far down below the tracker Theo undressed Royston and once Royston had undressed Theo they cuddled in and kissed and like that managed to get into the shower and cleaned the sweat off from the nights dancing. These two had virtually spent the whole time on the dance floor and with every young man in the Voodoo joining them.
Now cuddled up in the bunk they carried on kissing knowing not much else would happen mainly because this was all they wanted to do anyway. They had had a great time and Royston was about to make the ending of it even better.
"Theo, be honest, how many guys asked you to go for a walk on the beach?"
"A few..., maybe half a dozen, why?"
"You didn't go, why?"
"Because I'm in love with you and now know I always have been. If this had been a year ago, you would not have seen me most of the night and afterwards we would get back and have sex. Now I'm different, I have stopped being my dad and all I'm doing, since I got some sense into my head, is try to prove myself to you, no matter how long it takes. I love you Royston, I fucking love you so much and only you will stop anything permanent happening between us." Royston climbed on top of Theo and kissed him for a long time. He then slid off and laid his head on Theo's shoulder, both still wide awake. Neither of them spoke for ages.
"I love you more than I can ever prove, but I know I want to, no matter how long it takes. You’re stuck with me Theodore Harding, permanently."
Theodore Harding had hardly ever cried in his life, it was a sign of weakness so his father had told him after yet another thrashing. He did now though and could not be more happy. Royston felt the tears and put his hand up to Theo's face and wiped them away. When the alarm clock went off at 6am they were still in the same position.
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