MV Lady Jean Peterson
Martin Chambers sat at his desk staring at the door that Jerry O’Brian had just left by trying to work out in his head what the hell had happened to him. Exactly a week to the day he was a happy man, content with his life, great job, an expectant father, had a wonderful marriage and loved by his beautiful wife.
Now he looked down at the dvd and knew what was on it could destroy the whole lot unless he went through with O’Brian’s demands. His life now could not get worse.
On that dvd was a video of the sex he was involved in with O’Brian and Hammond filming. O’Brian had told him not to film his face, just Martin’s and all the physical stuff.
At this time Martin was not aware that Hammond was not involved in the blackmail, nor did he know David had left the O6 and now staying with his sister in Manchester. Of course It would never be proven he had in fact been “drug raped.” The only positive in this whole mess was he had been cleared of any STD’s.
“I have things to do before I contact you again, but in the meanwhile you are to get a full set of plans of the Jean Peterson the O6 and all ships sailing through those waters. I also want the Peterson’s and the O6’s sailing schedules as well as all ships hose seas as from now and current positions and course.” He handed Martin a mobile phone. “Keep this with you at all times and send that information daily. Don’t fuck me about Chambers, I have ten of these dvd’s and the first person to get one is….? You will find out soon enough if you don’t cooperate.”
Martine was shaking as he slipped the DVD into his computer and pressed “play.”
All he need to find out was a film taken or just being made to think one was.
For a whole minute the screen was blank and he began to wonder if indeed there was a film. Of course he was desperate, just hoping against hope and then he read;
I TOLD YOU THERE ARE 10 COPIES AND THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM, JUST A LOVELY PHOTO OF US HAVING SO MUCH FUN!
He stared at the photo with his face in full view laying on his right side with O’Brian behind and holding Martin’s left leg high enough to hide his own face. The physical state of both men was there for all to see.
As if in a trance Martin ejected the DVD and locked it in his safe, then just sat staring at nothing, his mind in total turmoil.
When O’Brian had taken leave and got to his hotel the first thing he did was look on line to find out where the Somalian communities lived and found a social site and began to chat on it and found that he was welcomed and eventually invited to meet with two in their club one afternoon. It was extremely risky but as he had only one thing on his mind he took it and it proved to be rewarding. However, he knew this was going to take much longer than a month to gain their trust and wrote a letter of resignation which gave him all the time he needed to develop his plans to take both the Jean and the O6 when his former ship began to sail through Somalian waters. He rented a flat and began to gain the trust of certain individuals from that community. On the outside O’Brian was an affable and charming individual and made every effort to learn and understand the problems of the region and sympathised with their situation. It would be sometime before he spoke about what was on his mind, he had to be sure he was fully excepted first. A month later two guys, a Dayib Umar and Fahmi Yassin were introduced to him and an unholy alliance was born
The video connection came through and Scott found himself looking at a very different Martin as he had “worry” written all over his face and by the time he had finished talking, Scott knew there could be massive problems on their way in the near future.
“So far then he has asked for the Jean’s and 06’s plans in particular but also sailing schedules and current positions and courses of all ships sailing in theses waters?”
“Yes and I’m guessing he will want more. Scott, he must be planning to take the Jean and other Ocean ships, why else ask for all that? But I have no idea how he will go about it. He must be getting help from somewhere.”
“I had already worked that out and I think he will be in touch with Somalis living in the UK. But more important what about you and Sandra? Martin you can’t live a lie, it will come out and that will bugger both of you up. I think you should tell her everything. She allows you to have your free time and I am sure if you explain to her as you have done with me, she will support you. Martin, I believe you because there is no point in you telling me about yourself and what happened that night. Tell her I will be following this up by coming home as soon as I can and my father will already know about this situation and we will meet with you and possibly Bob Taylor to work out the best way. O’Brian cannot be arrested on hearsay and I think if we allow him to think he is in control, that’s when we will get the bastard. My father will I’m sure agree to put a tail on this twat so we can follow his every move, he will love doing it.”
“Thanks Scott. It’s like a huge burden off my back and I can assure you when I speak to Sandra, my so called free time has ended. I will talk to her when I get home tonight. I just hope she understands, not that I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t.”
“I’m sure she will, just give her time to work through it all. Ok, as my PA I am telling you to take a month working from home so you can be with your pregnant wife. I will inform the CEO. Take O’Brian’s calls and just do as he asks, but report everything to my father. Good luck with Sandra and please let me know how things are going.”
“Thanks Scott, thanks for everything.”
Scott cut the call and announced a bridge meeting. Half hour later the crew knew as much as he did.
“I will drop off when we get to Port Said and fly from there. Paul you will take the Jean home. I will be having a long conversation with my father later and by the time I am back home I hope he would have organised a meeting with police and other people that will become involved. All I ask is, may I take Andrew with me?” The huge lovely man rubbed his chin as though considering his captains request.
“Or I will kidnap Thomas and take him with me!”
“ANDREW! Go and pack!” Silly of course but that’s how they liked it.
The Jean had five clear days off before they would meet the O1 and Scott ordered “relaxed sailing.” The Jean would of course carry on as normal and Paul organising the ever on going drills which he loved doing and everyone hating him because he did.
He planned out practise attacks with their RIB which meant everyone at “Alarm stations.” He had even more time now to lay the mats out and get all those off watch to try and give him a good workout. Scott, when he was free from his own work, joined in. He was by now almost up to Paul’s standard and indeed gave a good account of himself. Even Theo had improved and loved every session, so long as he was on the mat with Royston it has to be said! After all of two minuets “fighting” one of them shouted “I give in!” Then they would rush off to their cabin!
The connection came through and Scott bought William up to date with the situation with Martin, O’Brian and possibly Hammond and what Scott was sure was being planned.
“Dad I think we should let O’Brian think Martin is cooperating and if we get the evidence we can prove in court, have him charged but I actually think we should let it happen. If we could get the army involved and have half dozen or so with us when we are sure O’Brian will attack, we will have all the evidence we need to put him and others away for years.”
“Ok, I will first talk to our head of security and get her to find him then put a tail on him and Hammond, then get her and our legal people here for a meeting but wait for you to get home first. I will also contact Bob Taylor to find out more about these two. The O6 is not due to sail through your area for another two months, that will give us time to work things out, but in the meantime find out who they are in contact with. I’m really going to enjoy this! BUT my dear boy there is one more thing, the press. They are pulling their hair out trying to get to you for an interview. Have you watched that early morning programme UK/AM?”
“Yeah, it’s fronted by that self opinionated bloke who is up his own ass, what’s his name…..?”
“Peter Morton. Yes he loves himself and a few others. He likes to be called PM as in “Prime Minister” for God’s sake. Anyway he is screaming out to interview you and to be honest I don’t see the problem and I know you can give as good as you get.”
“Love the faith dad but your right, they wont stop until I agree. We are ahead of UK by five and a half hours and so I will say a day and will be available at 1pm Friday. Tell them to take it or leave it.” This was Wednesday.
“Why the hell did I say yes?” The whole crew were out on deck to watch Paul fire off a few grenade rounds, except two over excited boys who were in the RIB and waiting some distance away for a crate to be thrown over board and Theo and Royston who were on watch. “Because they have you wrapped round their little fingers Skip?” Scott looked at Paulina and grinned. “I guess your right…….and the rest of us.”
The ship was stopped and drifting slowly to starboard. It was a beautiful day, no wind, cloudless sky and a dead calm sea with temperatures in the mid 20’s. It was a shorts only day except for Reggie who had a top on and a large hat that everyone could get under to get out of the sun.
Jerry and George lifted the crate and chucked it over the side. It had a long rope attached which was picked up by the boys and with Marcel holding on, Jon took them slowly away to a distance of 350 yards then let go and sped away.
Paul had already loaded three grenades and as soon as the boys were at a safe distance he fired all three with a 5 second gap between each.
They all stood in amazement as each grenade went off 20 feet above the crate giving out a huge blinding flash and an ear splitting detonation, even at that distance everyone’s hearing was effected for a few minuets.
“Bloody hell! Welcome pirates!” Freddy said. “Glad I’m not one.”
That brief but very informative exercise was over and Paul took the launcher back down to the store and secured it, meanwhile the boys bought the crate back for Colin to hoist back up on deck. They were now free to have a half hours fun and took it in turns in throwing the RIB all over the ocean at full speed up to a mile away from the Jean.
“Jan I think they could do with a shower when they get close enough.”
“The pleasure will be all mine Skip.” She shot off to the bridge while the others waited for the RIB to get within range of the starboard midships cannon.
They were now coming back at full speed with Scott smiling as he looked through his binoculars. But then the smiles disappeared and replaced by anger. “You little buggers! Andrew go to the bridge and tell Jan play time is over. Paul go and meet those two and after the RIB is secure tell them to change then get to the bridge please.” By now the RIB was close enough for all to see that both of them had taken their life jackets off.
Scott asked Neil to come to the bridge with him then asked everyone to leave. He set his course at eight knots then selected computer steering then sat in his chair and waited. Neil busied himself checking the engine monitors just to give himself something to do. He nor any one else had seen the captain so angry, but could understand why.
The boys bought the RIB up the slip way and still excited about their half hour far from the ship. The fast ocean was no threat to them, even though it was rather deep. They got out still talking about their time and the fun they had. They turned the boat ready to be released when needed. They secured the RIB and refuelled while Paul secured and checked the hatch bolts.
“Paul that was the best fun ever! Can’t wait to do that again.” The boys beamed at Paul who looked at them with no expression on his face. “Don’t forget your life jackets need to be put back on their hooks. You are to go to your cabin and get into uniform and then to the bridge, the captain is waiting.” Both of them looked at Paul as he left and then at one another and in that instant knew they were in deep trouble. “Oh Jesus Jon, we took our life jackets off! Oh Christ we are in deep shit!”
Scott heard them come onto the bridge, he was looking out at nothing through his binoculars. It was quiet for a very long time until Scott turned to face them. He looked at both faces and saw two boys who knew big trouble was on it’s way.
“Did you have a good time out there?” Of course they did but there was no way either of them could say so, not now. Marcel spoke up.
“Skip it was my fault. It was me who said to take them off because we could take it in turns going for a swim.”
“Why didn’t you then?”
“Because Jon said you would be angry if we did as we had not agreed to do it before we went out, we just forgot to put them back on. Skip we are very sorry, it was my fault skip.”
“Anything to say Jon?”
“It was both of our faults skip and I am very sorry as well.” There was another long pause.
“Ok, I will spare you a lecture but this I will say and you just fucking listen. I never thought you two could ever be that bloody stupid to put yourselves at such risk.
If anything had happened to either of you or both, the Jean would be without full protection and therefore EVERYONE on this ship and the one we are escorting could be in big trouble and all because you chucked common sense overboard just because you wanted a fucking SWIM!!!?” Scott was looking at the saddest he had ever seen them and fought hard not to soften up but a lesson had to be learnt.
“But you two are not the only ones who have messed up, there is another and that’s me. I have allowed you two to become over confident and at the same time you thinking you are fire proof. So my anger and disappointment is directed at myself as much as you two. Until further notice you will address me as Captain and the first officer as Number One. You will now be on separate watches with me supervising you both as soon as Number One sorts out watch changes. After each watch I will be able to return to my own work, which can be seen as my own punishment for allowing you two to become so incredibly stupid and thoughtless. When I have finished this you will get into overalls and go to the hanger and give it and the helicopters a spring clean. The first engineer will supervise you and when he is satisfied he will call me to inspect your work.” Scott turned to Neil. “I am so sorry to burden you with all this Neil. When you call me please go off, I am sure you have more important things to do than be part of this stupidity.” He turned back to the boys but had to forced himself to remain in his chair, he just wanted to go to them and cuddle the pair of them! They were near to tears and looked dreadful. Scott had to bring this to an end. “Leave the bridge, change and report to the hangar, then wait for the First Engineer, leave my bridge now.”
“Yes captain.” They left in one hell of a state and ran to their cabin to get into overalls.
“Bloody hell! I feel like shit! Did I go over the top?”
“No skip, you should have heard my first mate, first engineer, captain whenever I buggered up. As soon as we saw them with life jackets off we were all disappointed and I know all of us were pissed off with them. No skip, they will survive and we all know this wont go on for too long, you couldn’t keep it up anyway!”
“Thanks Neil but it’s only me punishing them please tell the guys that, they need some friendly faces right now.”
“What about their watches Paul, how about two day and two night watches each then we can call it a day? Neil is right I can’t keep this up for long. Hey! Just had an idea make it one more watch with all three of us together and when it’s over, so is the punishment.”
“Your first watch will be with Marcel at 1400 then Jon at midnight, I will let you know the other three.”
“Thank you so much Paul but tell me how the hell do I stop giving them a fucking cuddle in all that time!” After a disappointing day, it was good to laugh.
Neil knocked on Scott’s and Andrew’s cabin door and went in. Scott had been asking Andrew if he had been too strict and Andrew in his own way was helping his man out no end. “I just think your are a lousy shit, those boys were just being boys and if I had known you were that heartless I would never have agreed to marry you. But I did so no point in breaking it off.” Andrew kiss Scott again and told him he loved him.
“I love it when you tell me off!” Neil came in laughing his head off.
“The boys have just cleaned an already clean hangar and serviced the choppers that were already serviced. They await their captain and are nearly shitting themselves.” Scott was booed out of the cabin by Andrew and made his way down to the hangar.
The sight that greeted him told Scott Andrew was right in calling him heartless even though it was said in fun, but it didn’t stop Scott feeling as guilty as hell! The boys stood together holding hands staring at Scott which took their captain every effort not to forget the whole episode, but he had laid the law down and had to follow it through. He made a big effort in looking into cupboards, opening drawers and inspecting equipment, then finally the helicopters, all of which he knew would be in first class order, this hangar was every bit as clean and organised as Neil and Andrews engine room and workshop.
“Good, now go and get changed then report to Number One who will give you your new watch times.”
“Yes Captain.” They both said and shot out of the hangar. Scott watched them go and, like everyone else, loved them all over again.
The watches Scott shared with the boys were the worst all three had experienced. It was all so formal and “correct” but worse for the boys was being separated because of the changes. During the whole punishment time they did not make love once and even showering together proved to be a non event. What they did not know the same was true with Scott and Andrew, and the lovely American getting a tad pissed off with the situation and had to make his feelings known. “Do you now Scott I feel as though I’m being punished as well for God’s sake. When the hell are you going to end this? The whole ship is suffering!”
“So, I’m being too strict?”
“NO of course not, but my love please finish it soon non of us like this atmosphere, it’s SO unladyjeanlike!” Scott loved that and cuddled his man tight. “When the three of us are on this watch the punishment will end when the watch ends. Just four hours left by then my dear then I am sending them off for a shag and I will be doing the same to you.”
“But you won’t forget the tv interview at 1pm will you.”
“Oh bollocks, I had.”
“We knew you would. Jan has already hooked up with the AM/PM Studios in London and all cameras will be live on the bridge for the transmission. It will be you and the boys but Jan will also be there to monitor the cameras, thousands will be glued to their TV’s watching you my boy and no doubt you will get a ton of gay men hoping for a blow job!”
“Lucky them. Ok, I have to go on watch with the convicts. See you after all the fun is over.” They wrapped up and kissed for the last five minutes together. What nobody would know then, this watch would be very different to the one they were expecting.
Five minutes before the watch all three went to the bridge for a handover from Reggie and Freddy. “The ship is as good as always, no reported problems, all monitors reading normal. There are 5 on radar between 10 and 20 miles skip. Course 125 degrees and 8 knots.”
“Thanks very much chaps, we now have the ship.” Scott could not help smile as the two lovely men went to leave and both giving the boys a pat on the back as they passed them.
At least there was something to talk about with this TV link coming up.
“I want you at the helm Marcel and you at the radars Jon but we will all check navigation and engine room monitors. When we go live to that TV station don’t call me captain.”
“Yes captain.” They both said! Jan came on the bridge just then which helped Scott not to crease up!
The minutes ticked by which allowed Scott time to think about the coming interview. Jan had made contact with the station making sure the connection was good, both video and audio. Scott and the two boys had head sets on so they could hear what was going on, there was just five minutes to go before the interview began. And then:
“Mayday, mayday! This is the SS Prince of the Seas. We have a man overboard and asking for assistance in trying to find him. We are a 40,000 ton ship and we are going about but it will take time to turn. We request all craft in our location to help in searching. He does have a life jacket and sea and weather conditions favourable but at great risk if not found soon.” By now Scott was at the chart and penned in the exact location, then realised they were ahead of the Prince by only 70 miles. He was about to call the Prince when the TV link was connected to the studio with that smug bloke who liked to be called PM on the screen. “Jan take over and switch them off from our head sets, you explain what’s going on.
“Prince of the Seas, this is the captain of the M/V Jean Peterson, we are 70 miles ahead of you and about to turn and come to your aid at full speed. We will be with you in two and a half hours. Are there any other vessels closer to you?””
“M/V Jean Peterson this is Captain Rodger Moorhead of the Prince of the Seas. We are an American merchant ship. Thank you sir for your assistance and no there are no other vessels in the immediate area. Sir, you must have a good turn of speed to be able to get to us so quickly.”
“Jean Peterson to Prince, yes we are a search, rescue and fire fighting vessel and have a very good speed. I see you are south of us and we are about to turn towards you. How long has this man been overboard?”
“He was seen to fall overboard at 12 55, just before my broadcast, but you need to know he did not have a helmet on.”
“Please inform me of any changes to the situation. Out.” He pick up the mike.
“All crew all crew. There is a man overboard some 70 behind us. I am about to turn on 165 and go to full speed. All crew to the bridge.”
“Marcel turn to 165 then full ahead.”
“Skip!” He looked at Scott and the look on his face told of the relief that this situation was at an end.
“Jon what’s on radar.”
“The same five Skip. The one nearest us is turning as well but she is huge and I doubt can match our speed.” Jon also looked at Scott with the same look on his face as Marcel had.
“Thank you, you will be going to the hangar later of course and I will come down with you to see you off.” The looks, the smiles and sheer relief were worth a fortune!
“Skip, can you talk to London?” Scott loved this next bit.
“Not in the middle of this situation but I will after I brief the crew.” They had all arrived and Scott, on full view of anyone watching this programme.
They were all bought up to date and Scott going through the search and hoping there would be a rescue.
“We are still linked to London and Jan will carry on doing her bit. It’s a flat sea so we will use the RIB with you driving Paul with Reggie and Royston please. Colin you had better check the winch just in case we need it and you Andrew check your strop. As we approach the search area the RIB crew and Andrew of course in survival gear.
Jon you will take off first when I say and carry out 360 degree search at one mile and 300 feet. You Marcel will take off when Jon needs to come back to refuel. When we get to the search area we will stop and throw a flare overboard to see what the drift is and speed. Right that’s me done. it’s going to be over two hours before we get to the area, I and the boys are still on watch, but you stay behind please Theo and Jerry. Ok Jan does London still want to talk?”
“Switching your head set over skip.”
“Good morning Captain Peterson or rather good afternoon, you seem very busy. Is this a real emergency or are you putting on a show for us?”
“Good afternoon, no we don’t play games, this is real, we would not be going at full speed if it wasn’t, fuel is expensive as you very well know.”
“Unfortunately we will not be able to stay with you on my programme because of timing but we will link you up with the Breaking News Channel after this interview.”
“Are you asking for my agreement about that or telling me?” A pause.
“Fine at least you will see something of what we are about.”
“And just what are you about Captain?”
“Primarily we are an escort ship protecting our company ships through pirate waters and as you should know we have already rescued six Icelandic seamen and hopefully the man overboard now. You will have to forgive me but my main concern is that gentleman and I will be a bit busy.”
“That’s fine and good luck in the search. Ok, there are those that are saying you are a waste of time and all you are doing is getting in the way of the various navy’s doing exactly what you are doing.”
“Who are they?”
“Many MP’s, military, even your marine organizations.”
“Well I certainly have not heard that nor my father who is in touch with all that you mention. We have already stopped an attack on one of our ships and beat off the two skiffs attacking, also two attempts on my ship. We have sunk 4 of their pirate boats after transferring pirates from one skiff to another. We have got rid of 32 AK 47’s and 6 RPG’s. That’s not exactly getting in the way and the pirates are without all that we have sunk or had thrown overboard before letting them go.”
“Your ship must have cost a fortune and still costing another one to stay at sea.”
“Yes it did and does, but what price do you put on a life? If we had a ship like this escorting the ship my mother and father were on when it was attacked, my mother could still be alive and my father physically able.”
“How on earth can you sustain the cost of running this ship and what did it cost anyway?”
“The conversion amounted to 2.5 million and we estimate another 5 million to keep her at sea for up to 5 years, maybe longer. However, the total cost is much less than the cost of a ransom demand if any of our ships were taken. We have had to sell up parts of the company assets to convert the ship and cover running costs. Fortunately we had the means and I make no apology for it.”
“Well it must be agreed that you cannot keep going, so what in your opinion is the answer to this huge problem?”
“Armed and trained ex servicemen on each of our ships. Put four good men on each ship sailing though these waters and no pirate will get anywhere near a vessel. Sorry I have to go, there is a call from the American cargo ship. Our communications officer will give you some idea how we protect ourselves. Theo start the generators and fire all cannons. Jerry, you video it please.” Scott wrote a note and gave it to Jan, she read it and smiled at her Skip. It read;
I will be going to the hangar with the boys when they go to start up. Please don’t turn the hangar cameras on until I get back. Love ya.
There was an update from the Prince telling Scott the ship was at full speed and extra lookouts on the fly bridge, but no sighting so far. Scott in fact already knew that as the ship was on radar and the Jean just 20 minutes from her.
They literally flashed by and blew their horns as they did. Scott estimated it would take another half hour before they had reached the search area. Meanwhile Jan was doing a brilliant job commentating on all that was going on.
“Marcel and Jon to the hangar please. Paul you have the ship.”
The boys were already there when Scott came in. Nothing was said as he went to them and embraced two of the most delightful young men he had ever met and was, in his own way, in love with both of them. They clung together for a very long time. They tried to look at one another but the tears made focusing a tad difficult for all three.
“Never, ever put me through this shit ever again do you hear!?”
“No Skip we wont and we are so sorry.”
“Shut up Marcel, you talk too much.”
“I’m sorry as well Skip!”
“And you too Jon.” The cuddles continued but the tears turned to smiles and that’s where Scott left them, two happy boyfriends who were back to being their beautiful selves, but as important back with their beautiful captain.
“Ok, are we still transmitting to London Jan?”
George was at the helm with the rest going about their business.
“Come to 5 knots. Theo take a flare forward.”
“Stop engines and engage static control. Jon start up and take off. Off you go Paul. Chuck the flare Theo.” All replied “Skip.”
Theo pulled the lighting ring and threw the now lit flare forward of the Jean. It settled onto the surface and began to drift off 10 degrees to their port at about 5 knots. It kept a steady course on 163 which told Scott his direction to follow.
“RIB launched Skip.”
“I’m up Skip.”
“Ok, this guy has been in the water at least two hours which means he must have drifted about 20 miles but even though it’s light wind my guess is he is further than that. We are now going to 15 knots on 163. Paul you stay with us. Jon you fly out to the maximum and begin your 360’s.”
“Skip.” Jon got to his station and took over manual control and flew out to his limit, they were still five miles from Scott’s estimate. He knew full well that currants change direction all the time and bought the Jean to a stop then sent Theo out to light another flare, it was a good move. They watched as the flare drifted off on a different course, now 159. He told Jon to line up on that and took the Jean on the same course. “I am hoping we have not passed him, we are now in guess mode. Marcel start up and take off.”
“Skip.” He came up and sat next to Jon.
“Fly out behind us at maximum and a mile off our port side then search at our speed.”
“Skip we are now at 20 miles.”
“Theo, another flare please.”
“Skip.” The ship came to a halt and watched as the flare once again drifted off on the same course.
“Ten knots. We will go another 10 miles. Jon, how long have you got now?”
“Fifteen minutes skip.”
“Come back and refuel. Marcel go to half speed and take Jon’s place.”
“Skip.” Scott was by now thinking of his next move. Did he carry on or turn back and search the same area again.
Jon landed and Andrew was there to help refuel. He took off again and went back to the bridge.
“Ok Jon stick with us but fly out to maximum again and carry out 360’s.”
“Paul we are in the guessing game. I want you to go out two miles to ahead of us and begin your own search.”
Another hour went by and both boys returned to refuel. Scott had Theo throw three more flairs over the bow and all three gave the same course. Scott was by now very worried. The man would have been in the water about four hours and he was beginning to think the worse. He wrote a note to Jerry;
If we spot him by helicopter change to on board cameras only. Jerry gave a thumbs up, he knew why he was told to do that.
Almost as soon as Jerry read the note, Jon yelled out.
“I see him skip. One mile ahead of you.” Jerry changed to on board cameras.
“Paul follow Jon at full speed, he has found him.”
“Full ahead five minuets. Marcel come back.”
They watched Jon’s screen as he flew towards the merchant seaman who’s back was to the camera.
“Very slow Jon.”
Scott watched intently and made his mind up.
“Break off Jon, break off and come back.”
“Break off, NOW!”
“Sorry everyone but I am sure we are too late.” Both helicopters were back and the boys on the bridge. Scott had stopped the Jean and everyone watching as the man was bought on board the RIB and after a few minutes Reggie confirmed that they had recovered a body and not a rescue.
“Jerry, cut the link. Thank you Reggie. Paul I will radio the Prince and arrange for you to meet up and transfer the body, wait please.”
An hour later they watched as the man was hoisted back on his ship. Paul returned and after everything was secured they all met on the bridge.
“He could have been dead before he hit the water, he had a massive head wound and no hope of recovery even if we had found him much sooner. Great shame.”
The Prince of the Seas captain called thanking the Jean for their work on behalf of the ship’s crew and the man’s family.
They were all in a dark mood and it was up to Scott to think something up.
“We are due to meet up with the O1 mid afternoon tomorrow, but I want to bring that forward by at least four hours. You Marcel and Jon, work out what distance she is from us and what speed we need to set to meet her by midday, off you go!”
“Your problem. GO!”
“Jerry open up the gym and your first two are Theo and Royston. After them Jan and Paulina. The rest are on the mats with us except Colin and George who will be cooking something decent for a change! There will be wine with this meal except the on watch and the two that follow. Okay crew off you go!”
Off they went not daring to complain leaving Reggie and Freddy on watch. Andrew went down with Paul to get the mats out and Scott stayed on the bridge for ten minutes.
“Bye you two have a good watch. The boys will give you the new speed very soon.” He went to the boys cabin and banged on the door, Jon opened it and smiled at Scott. “May I come in?” Jon stood aside and Scott could see they were back to worrying.
“So, do you know how to work this out?”
“No idea Skip.” Marcel said.
“Well, maybe this will help.” He handed them all they needed to know. “Skip, they will never believe we worked that out.”
“I don’t give a toss. Just write it out in your own hand and bring it to me in the saloon and after I have looked at it take it to the bridge, Reggie won’t have a clue it wasn’t you who did it.” The boys would not know Reggie had already worked it out anyway!
“There is a price though.”
“A cuddle?” They got together for a minute or so and Scott left two very happy boys who’s experiences of that day were beginning to be put at the back of their minds. Even their balls up in the RIB was forgotten, well nearly.
Down in the saloon the games had begun with Paul beating Scott’s boyfriend up followed by Paul beating his own up by cuddling him until he could take no more. Scott got on the mat and Paul got flattened for beating his boyfriend up then Thomas jumped on Scott’s back and was taken to a seat and sat on screaming his head off. It all stopped when Marcel and Jon came in and handed Scott a paper. Scott looked at it and was most impressed. “Well done lads, take it to the bridge, then come back here.” They duly returned and also got beaten up by both Paul and Scott and after they were well and truly knackered, Andrew took over. “You two had enough?” Scott asked.
“Too true skip!”
“Ok, off to the gym then, your taking Jan and Paulina’s turn!”
“We still love you Skip, just!” Off they went as Theo and Royston came out sweating buckets only to walk into Scott who took them both on and found himself with two Yanks sitting on him. Another one appeared and he now had three of the buggers on him. Paul eventually came to his rescue, sort of, and now he had a Brit on him as well!
“You are all sacked as soon as we get back home!”
“That’s fine my love. Perhaps you can get the boys to work out speed and time we will arrive?” They got off at last and Scott in stitches!
The saloon was returned to normal and after showers they went back and had a lovely meal together except Jan and Paulina who were on watch. The boys took their meals up and got two hugs as a thank you.
“So you two, are we on course to meet the O1 at noon tomorrow?” Reggie asked. The boys were, as usual, digging into the food and not paying that much attention. “Ask Skip Reggie, he might know!”
At exactly noon the following day the Jean settled down at the O1’s 8 knots and together they sailed for four clear days before they got into pirate waters. Scott was aware that this old girl only had a top speed of 14 knots and took an age to get there. He spoke to Paul and asked him if he was prepared to sail with the O1 during the time in pirate waters. “With you and the grenade launcher on board she will be better protected. What do you think?”
“Skip I don’t want to be rude but I think you should be telling me, not asking. Anyway, yes it’s a very good idea and even better if I can take Tommy with me?” Scott laughed his head off. “How about YOU telling me and not asking! Ok I will ask Barry Cox when I go over. He is as old as the O1. He is a bit odd and very unique but a lovely man, he and my dad are great friends. I have met him many times and like him a lot.”
Colin placed Scott on the main deck and both men met for the first time in five years.
“Welcome my boy. My word, no longer a boy I have to say. Well done in all you have been involved with but sailing for me has changed so much and I will be glad to live my memories and look after my roses.”
“You are packing in all in then Barry? Dad did say he thought you would soon.”
“Yep, this is my last trip and I MUST remember to let William know! So forgetful these days!” They spoke about the escort and Barry agreeing to have Paul and Tommy sailing with him until they got safely into the Red Sea.
“You are only in Mumbia for six hours, that right Barry?”
“Indeed, this old bucket can’t stand being moored up, she is only happy when at sea.” Scott knew very well it was Barry who need to be at sea!
“You will miss her.” Barry seemed miles away as he thought.
“Indeed I will but this old lady will be sailing long after I have gone and I will always be part of her make no mistake William.” Scott did not correct this old sailor.
“We will stay out at sea and wait for you Barry and transfer Paul and Tommy at five miles out.”
“Who? Oh yes that will be fine.”
“I will radio when we are going to send the boys over, that ok?”
“Course it is, just fine old lad.” Scott was sure he would forget.”
Back on the much younger Jean he told the crew about his time on board the O1 and that Barry had most probably forgotten his visit by now. I will just radio him you are on your way and go long side her and transfer you two and your gear over. If by any chance you get attacked Paul just do what you know you need too and do it. At least he has some good razor wire and I noticed all doors are now solid and closed permanently, still she could still be easy to take. I will ask Barry to take her to her maximum speed as soon as we transfer you and Tommy. If we do get an attack it will take her all day to get to her 14 knots. Marcel, I think it best you use the bullets and Jon his helicopter for this trip. You do as you suggested and take off and hold her 150 feet above us which as we all know will give us much better cover than even the main camera. Right, unless there is anything else lets enjoy a bit more free time. We can start training again tomorrow. Ok, Andrew there is something we need to discuss in the shower!” They were cheered off the bridge and every other couple thinking of things they also needed to discuss with a partner. Jerry and George would be the only two to miss out, until the watch changed that is.
At around the same time as the attempted rescue Martin was in a massive emotional state and could not help the tears simply falling out of his eyes. His wife was quite calm as she cradled her husband but furious at the same time. She kissed his head once more and squeezed him tight. “We will be fine love, that bastard doesn’t know who he is dealing with.” Martin looked up at her not understanding why she had said that. She smiled down at him. “You have forgotten my love. Dad was a marine and served in the Falklands and brother Trevor also served with them in Afganistan twice and Iraq. I will tell you now that shit and whoever he is with are in big trouble.
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