The captain of the mother boat had done Scott a favour by coming close a few days ago and Jan had photographed her, Scott was now looking at the photo, "101." I BET she is one of those five, but are there any other fishing boats that are also mother boats?" Scott could not even be sure that "101" was in fact a mother boat, ok she had come close to them a few times and that's why she had been photographed. He was looking at all five through the Power Binoculars but too far away to make out a name or number as they were all at four miles and still ahead of them to port. Now at 18 knots he was waiting for any of the boats to increase speed to theirs but they sailed by. He had kept up a running commentary to the crew.
"They are staying as they are and will soon be to the stern of us. I am calling a full alert. Send to O9 to go to starboard 20 degrees and we follow. I know there is going to be an attack, Andrew start up and take off to 150 above us. We will use two bullets and when they are launched George and Colin start up the other helicopters. When I tell you boys to fly off go straight in and attack. Hawk?
"Got all five and nearing our five mile limit, no course changes."
"I'm still sure we will be attacked and it will be soon. Tell O9 to come back on course and take us directly behind her Freddy. Paul go up and take the tube covers off please, we may need the fireworks."
"Skip I am at 150 and apart from six ships I can’t see any fishing boats." Andrew reported. He had hardly got that out when Tommy called out from the Hawk.
"Four boats in pairs at 5 miles and... 50 knots coming from our stern!"
"Andrew go and meet them and pick your own target then get back here to reload. Marcel you will now use your helicopter. Jon when they come into range you will attack with a bullet."
"Another boat on Hawk at 5 miles, 20 knots! Bloody hell that's fast for a fishing boat! It’s got to be the mother boat." Indeed it was and she was catching up to put more men on board both the O9 and the Jean when they had been taken.
"Two boats have broken off to starboard, they must be going for the O9 Skip, the other two are coming straight at us." Scott had to think quick.
"Ok, plan B we are back to using the helicopters. You boys start up and take off and attack at maximum range, Andrew and Jon take the ones after the O9, after you have attacked Jon get back on board and use a bullet, Marcel you do the same as soon as you have dumped your load land and use a bullet then go out and attack the one after us, just hope the oil stops them or at least slows them down. Andrew after your attack go to the one left coming at us and fly over with your screamer on. Hawk?"
"Four miles at 50 knots."
Andrew could fly out to three miles and would be the first to attack as soon as the pirates got to him. He was well clear of them and waited until he could get behind the lead boat and go in. They all assumed the pirates would have no idea what they were heading into.
Andrew came in directly behind his boat and reduced his speed to just 10 mph over its speed and as he got to its stern opened up the first oil container followed a second later with the second one. The boat was covered and everyone in it and a lot of panic as the oil and sand covered them, the boat came to a stop.
Jon did as well as Andrew had and now the two boats after the O9 were now stopped as the pirates tried to get rid of the mix from their faces and wipe weapons clear.
"Radio we are under attack and tell O9 to go hard to starboard, follow her Freddy.
"Skip have attacked my boat, they are slowing." Marcel reported. That left one boat which was still coming at them even after Andrew had buzzed them twice. It was now up to Jon to come in first and land then change to a bullet. The free boat was almost in range of Jon, his bullet had been started up and he took it out waiting for the pirates.
As Jon flew out so Marcel landed and he too changed to a bullet and took off to attack the pair that had cleared enough of the mix and were again going for the O9. Scott had to get the Jean closer to the pirates to get Marcel in range of them, he only had 15 minutes flying time and had used five of them.
"Tell O9 to go hard to starboard. Freddy get us between the O9 and the pirates. Andrew come back and fit new containers. It was now up to Jon to destroy the one boat that had not been attacked.
"The three oiled up boats are attacking again Skip. The two attacking us are following us and now at 500 yards at 50 knots." Scott was getting lucky, the two attacking him would be in range of Jon's bullet in a few seconds and the closer he got to the ones attacking the O9 would also be in range of Marcel's. Andrew had by now landed and was being helped by Colin to change containers but it would take time as the engine had to be switched off first and the rotor blades stopped, his moment would come though. George started up another bullet for either Jon or Marcel to take off, it would be Jon.
"400 yards Jon!" Tommy called out. Scott watched the screen and saw the pirate boat as Jon lined up with the port engine, it got bigger and bigger as he flew at it and then went blank as he smashed into his target. One pirate boat would not be taking any further part in this attack and they would have no idea what had hit them. Seconds later Marcel flew into one of the boats attacking the O9 and it too was fucked.
"Tell the O9 to go to mid ships." Half a minute later Jon was on his way to the second boat attacking the Jean and made a perfect hit, that left one remaining boat which Marcel flew to and did as well as his boyfriend had done.
"Tell the O9 to go slow ahead, we haven't finished with this lot yet, I want you boys to fly into all the engines.
Half an hour later Scott told the O9 to go full ahead leaving four pirate boats stranded and not an engine between them. They watched as the mother boat reached the pirates and assumed they would be picked up, he didn't wait to find out.
Both ships were back on course at 18 knots with all the crew of the Jean on the bridge. The conversation was a bit muted as every one of them were thinking about this latest action and knowing it had been a close call. Ok, everyone had done well and the outcome had been brilliant but Scott was more than worried and for two reasons, one the lack of range of the bullets and two, five crew were out on deck and although they did not come under fire that was only down to the pirates and he would never understand why they didn't. Now, after it was all over Scott was very unsure. When they had defended themselves before the only time anyone was out was when the helicopters came back to turn round and that would have been done inside the hanger anyway. They were still quiet waiting for Scott.
"Right, first of all well done everyone, it was great result, but I know luck was on our side. I just cannot expect the guys that were out on deck to go through that again, it’s far too risky. From now on the bullets will be used as a last result and they will only be flown from the forward deck which will at least give much better cover. It also seems that the sand oil mix has its limitations even with both canisters being used, we have to come up with something else to dump on them that will stop the buggers."
"It’s not often I come up with many good ideas Skip but just MAY have one now. I will give it free of charge but I want full recognition of my brilliance." Jerry could not keep that lovely smile off of his lovely face. George took it off though.
"Shut the fuck up and tell us or I move cabins."
"Oh shit! Ok, dump aviation fuel on them at say 450/500 yards and as soon as the helicopters are clear fire off two or three fireworks, they won’t hit the boats but I fucking bet they stop or pull back. I'm not telling you what to do Skip, but if you went astern the pirates would be in range of the bullets for the boys to attack." There was a moments silence as they all absorbed what Jerry had come up with.
"Why the hell didn't I think of that? Can it be done?" Scott looked at Neil and Andrew.
"You bet your life it can." Neil said. "We will go back to the original way when we had CS gas and release the fuel in the same way. I recon two containers will cover one of their boats and we have three to do it. It’s a bloody great idea Jerry. The only problem is, do we have enough fuel?"
"Yes we have quite a lot left but we will need to fill up in Mumbai and possibly a couple of jerry cans full as well." Marcel waited for everyone to congratulate him as well but he had to settle for a peck on the cheek from Jon instead.
"Thanks Jerry, great idea. How long will it take to get this ready?"
"Two days if we start now and the boys help out and by that time we will have fitted two full containers to all three helicopters and have another six to fit when they fly back, the six empty ones will only take two minutes to refill."
"So, Andrew, Marcel and Jon will be working with you for a couple of days you say Neil?"
"Yes... Maybe three max."
"Fuck, what do I do in all that time? I had plans you know!" Scott, Andrew, Marcel and Jon were now "out" to the crew so why not stay "out?"
"Either take lots of cold showers Skip or come and join Paulina and me!"
"Cold showers it is then!"
"And a few extra sessions with me Skip." Paul said and quickly added. "But I do mean unarmed combat training!"
"Shit, this gets worse. Right fuck it I'm going to beat the shit out of you First Officer... If you let me that is!"
The story of the latest attack broke and once again the Jean Peterson found herself splashed all over the news and Scott spent some time on video calls, but it did give him the opportunity to tell the world that if his weapons had not been taken from him because of a lie, the Jean could have defended both his ship and the O9 much better and not rely on luck. "Once again it is my firm belief that if weapons were carried, NO pirate will take another ship. When WILL politicians listen to common sense and think about the human rights of crews to sail without fear of being taken hostage and used as a bargaining tools. ARM SHIPS AND PIRACY STOPS! Too simple for some people to grasp, meanwhile ships will continue to be taken and people will continue to suffer greatly and even die." Scott again referred all calls back to London and his father, but what he did not know at that time, "someone" WAS actually listening and coming up with a brilliant idea, but would it be too late for Lady Jean Peterson.
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