MV Lady Jean Peterson
Dayib Umar, Fahmi Yassin and O’Brian had met every day for two weeks. The meetings were always in a small coffee house, a park or in a restaurant but this one was different, O’Brian had been invited to the Somalis flat. He sat somewhat nervously sipping the strong coffee and looking at the two well built men who were staring back at him. Umar opened up.
“Right Mr O’Brian you have met and spoken to us for some time now and apparently you are interested in the situation in our country, why?” He had to think hard but already knew he would have to explain one day so this was that day.
“With help I want to plan an attack on two ships when they sail off of the Somalian coast. The two ships belong to the Ocean Shipping Company one of which I served as first officer but because of my treatment by the company and in particular the two owners. I want to capture them with the help of people engaged in piracy and hold both ships for ransom and I can assure you the pay out will be huge.”
“And why do you think we would be interested? You don’t have any idea about us and could hand you over to police and see you in jail.”
“And what would be the charge? All I need to say is, “prove it” and it can’t be, just your word against mine. Yes, it’s a big risk but I THINK you could be interested because we have kept meeting and it’s you guys who have always suggested another one. No, I am sure you are more than interested in becoming multi millionaires just like me.”
“Ok, now you prove to us we can trust you and not some under cover police shit hoping to trap us, not that you have anything on us of course.” Suddenly without warning both men jumped on O’Brian and frisked him and not too gently. Satisfied he wasn’t wired up or carrying a weapon, they left him stripped to the waist and sat back down.
“I am blackmailing a guy at the Ocean Company’s offices here in London. I have something on him that I know he wont want me to make public. He will be giving me sailing details of all ships that sail off the coast of Somalia and through the Arabian Sea, but in particular the Ocean Six and the escort ship Lady Jean Peterson. He will be handing me plans of both ships which will help in any attack. As I said if both ships are taken the company and the insurers will pay out millions. The Peterson ship is captained by the son of the boss and he alone will bring us a fortune as well as the crew and ship.
Now, even though I don’t know what they hold there are two large strong rooms on the lowest deck of the 06 all I do know is they are loaded by security people at 3am before sailing. Whatever is in them, it must be another fortune. Through this man I will find out and when I do I will finish with him but not until after the attacks.”
“I will pay a hit man to do the job.”
“Ok, this could still be bullshit, so say the one thing that will convince us.”
“I am willing to become your prisoner here or wherever you want me. You can have a minder with me at all times. Look, I am not here to play games. All I want is to get rich and by doing so many people like you will also be more than wealthy.” Dayib and Fahmi looked at one another and nodded.
“Ok we will try you out. You will move in here tonight and take the spare room, Fahmi will become your minder and you have to find a reason why you two are best friends. Ok, just before you both go and pack up let me show you something which will make you think about if you have some other plan you haven’t told us about.” Dayib pressed a button on the dvd control and there in HD was O’Brian fucking Martin, followed by a number of stills showing everything but O’Brian’s face.
“We have been checking you out, including your flat since we first met and believe me we also have your parents address and your sisters.” He showed the man proof of what he was saying. “You are now committed and together we will plan the attacks, just don’t fuck us or anything else up Mr O’Brian, we have plenty of ammunition and guns to use it.”
Captain Barry Cox bought his O1 out of Mumbia for the last time and waved goodbye to that bustling city and the many memories when he was free to go on shore for a few hours and wondered over these 25 years just how many friends he had made in one of his favourite places to be. He smiled at some very special memories then handed over to his first officer James Black. “Don’t disturb me unless it’s important James. You have my ship.” He had said that every time he left the bridge. He opened his book and settled down to read, fifteen minutes later he was fast asleep. James and the whole crew knew it was suicide to disturb him unless his ship was about to sink and even then he would get yelled at for disturbing him!
There was a bit of a confused conversation between Scott and James until the O1’s first officer finally agreed that Paul and Thomas could transfer the next day until they got to the Red Sea. “But Captain I don’t want to go to full speed as you ask, it will wake our Captain and the whole crew will suffer believe me, the Captain has a very quick temper and doesn’t mince his words. To be honest if a pirate does get on board I will actually feel sorry for him because he will be in for one hell of a time and definitely unable to father anymore kids!”
“Must be tough for you all James.”
“Good lord no, we love him to bits and to be honest we will all be looking for another ship when the great man retires!”
Scott looked at the nosy sods who were listening in and knew what would be said, he just didn’t know who.
“Good heavens that’s rather unique! A ships captain who is actually LOVED by his crew!? Oh my word!” Scott looked at Reggie who was grinning his head off. “Just thought I would say that skip in case Andrew did!”
“And me.” So it went on. He looked at the boys.
“We love you skip, we know what your like when your mad!” Scott shrugged and grabbed Andrew and lead the way down to their cabin. He threw them both on the bunk.
“DONT wake me!”
“Okay.” An hour later they both got to sleep cuddled up together and completely naked! Meanwhile, Captain Barry Cox woke an hour later and settled down to continue his autobiography which he had called, “A TALE OF MANY CITIES.” He had reached his 16th birthday on board the old Queen Mary and his experiences of that day, then night changed him forever.
That gentleman went to his bridge and stared at Paul and Tommy.
“Who the hell are these people?” He asked James, James introduced them and explained why they were there. “It was agree when Captain Peterson visited you captain.”
“Of course, silly me. Ah, we do have cabins for our visitors?”
“Cabin captain and yes I have found one for them.”
“One? But…..Oh I see you two are….Um….”
“We are a couple captain. We are called gay.” Paul informed him.
“My word! Oh well you meet different types all the time. Anyway welcome to the Ocean One and enjoy your time with us. Ah, why are you here?” Paul reminded him of Scott’s visit and showed the somewhat confused captain the grenade launcher and also explained what it could do.”
“So, as soon as those buggers come at my ship you fire that thing?”
“When they get to between 350 and 400 yards I can captain.”
“Oh bloody marvellous! But if they stayed 401 yards that thing would be bloody useless. They happen to have those Russian 49 guns and could shoot at us all day and there wont be thing we could do about it.”
“Yes they do have AK47’s and RPG’s but we are not allowed to be armed as I am sure you know captain.”
“All I do know it’s bloody stupid. One good shooter with a decent rifle will stop any of those buggers. Why the hell don’t they just carry on fishing for a living and let us seamen do the same?”
“Well captain, their country is in a complete mess and their fish stocks have been taken by foreign trawlers, that’s why they turned to piracy.”
“I don’t give a damb Paul. The UK is also in a mess not being allowed to catch fish in our own waters but the French, Spanish and any other fucker can but our few fishermen left don’t go out in the channel and take ships for hostage! Mine you if it was French or Spanish, fair enough I suppose! Anyway, I hope you have a pleasant time on my ship.” He turned to James. “My ship is yours.” He left the bridge and returned to his cabin. He went to a cupboard and rummaged around at the back and found the Lee Enfield .303 rifle with it’s telescopic sight that his father “forgot” to hand in at the end of the second world war as well as ammunition. He laid it on his bunk then went back and rummaged some more under a pile of clothes and bought out a small box. He sat on the bunk and opened the box and counted the twenty, five round clips . “Now THIS Paul has a range of three miles and with the right man kill at 1000 yards and I am that right man.” He cleaned the weapon once again then checked the bolt action, it was as smooth at it could possibly be. He then loaded two clips into the magazine and pushed down on the top round, he could now close the bolt without feeding a round into the chamber, he pulled the trigger to release the firing pin spring then secured it by his cabin door with the safety on. To complete his preparations he put 10 clips into his jacket pocket then sat at his desk and began to write again.
Martin sat on the grass in St James Park dressed casually in blue shorts and a red top as told to do. He looked around him at the many also in the park either walking through or sitting enjoying the lovely weather. He most probably would have seen the two Somalis but they were a pair of many sitting about. He looked at his watch, five minutes to go before the arranged time of 11am.
Some distance away a couple were standing cuddled up, laughing and talking, just like many other couples in fact. The women’s name was Samantha Miller (Sam) and head of security for the Ocean Headquarters and also the Shipping Company. She was an extremely beautiful lady who after her work that day would be taken out to celebrate her 35th birthday. The man with her was Sam’s deputy, Jason Ford 39 and it would be he who was taking Sam out, they had been live in lovers for three years.
“Yep, I’m sure those two are our targets, the fucking idiots are looking nowhere except at Martin, they are not even talking.” He lent down and kissed Sam. “And now we have the biggest idiot of the three, O’Brian no less. Black shorts white top. They began to walk and as they went Jason slipped his hand into his “man bag” and turned the video camera on.
“You got every thing? You better.” O’Brian took his top off. “You do the same.” Martin did as he was told knowing this was to check he did not have a wire on. Without a word he gave O’Brian a large book.
“Oh cheers mate, glad you remembered to bring it!” Then in a whisper. “Everything in there?”
“Yes and another set of plans of the O5. She is the second most valuable ship, so is her cargo. You finished because I don’t want to be here.”
“No. Your next bit is to find out what is stored in those two secure containers on the lower deck of the O6, you have a week to find out. One week today we will meet in a pub called the Funky Inn just outside Aldershot station, be there by 3pm and have that info with you.”
“I didn’t even know they are there, how the hell do you think I can find out what’s goes in them!?”
“Well, lets put it this way, either find what’s in them or I start sending DVD’s out. Now you can go. Oh no wait, nearly forgot, I want your ass again so after the pub we will go to the Premier Inn. NOW you can go!”
Martin got up shaking, he had been told to agree with anything that this turd demanded, but nobody had thought of this one!
Martin knew that Sam and Jason would be there but he didn’t see them as all he wanted was to get away from this meeting. They slowly passed a few yards away and then even more slowly towards the other two and just strolled by laughing their heads off. The two Somalis didn’t even know they were there and being videoed.
A short distance away two more men were sitting eating a packed lunch but put it away as soon as the Somalis stood up and walked to join up with O’Brian, they would be followed all the way back to this trios address.
A new provision to make sailing through the Arabian sea safer was to form two safety corridors, one going to the Red Sea and one coming out. It didn’t have too much support by all ships captains at the time and so there would be many vessels sailing outside those designated navigations and because the O1’s top speed was much less than most others, she could be seen as a non cooperating ship as well. Barry Cox of course thought differently, but not a sole would know why. He never fired when at sea but he kept his shooting skills up every time he was back home and was a member of the Liverpool rifle club. Liverpool was the O1’s permanent port, and would shoot everyday he was there and in the Sydney club as well. Nobody was aware he had the weapon but were about to be relieved he did.
The attacks were on the increase and by this time there were 12 ships taken and reports of abuse being handed out. All of it by pirates forcing crews to hand over money, watches, cameras and anything else of value while at the same time being held hostage while they waited for a massive ransom to be paid. The marine community were having many sleepless nights but STILL refusing to allow weapons to be carried on civilian ships. But ship owners were getting somewhat pissed off with the worlds maritime authorities and already private companies were taking on ex military to train in anti pirate attacks and sail with any ship who could afford the massive fees.
William and Scott had discussed that very issue and William was already talking to their legal department in the complexities in forming their own security provision to have their own men on board the Jean who would transfer them to the ship they were escorting. “Two problems with that Scott, one you would most probably have to stay out at sea the whole time and two, it’s unlikely the blokes will be gay!”
“We stay as we are in that case dad.”
They were now two days out and no sighting of anything pirate until reports came through that a Russian ship had engaged two skiffs and ended any hope of further ambitions. Just how it ended would never be known.
An Indian naval ship stopped another skiff, disarmed it then sent it on it’s way having provided water and food. However most reports coming through telling ship’s captains there were quite a lot of other boats but deemed not to be a threat after most had been stopped and searched but no arms found. No, they would be in contact with mother boats way out of the area and when it was felt there were safe targets they would link up and take on fuel, food, water and weapons. Four were already sailing towards the 01.
A concerned Reggie and Freddy were staring intently at the radar screens. Ahead of them he counted 23 vessels, the nearest being ten miles and pulling further away at a speed of 12 knots, four more than the O1. “We are just like an injured animal waiting for the hunter pack to turn up, why the heck doesn’t the O1 captain increase speed and try to keep up with those ships. There will be naval ships ahead as well and that lot better protected.” They looked at the hawk radar, at least that was clear.
Directly below the bridge Scott was in his and Andrew’s cabin, he was also looking at his radar screens and was thinking like the two on watch. He picked up his hand radio and called Paul.
“Is there anyway you can get Captain Cox to go to full speed Paul.”
“No chance Skip. If the First Officer can’t get him to, he won’t listen to me.”
“Well at least the Hawk is clear but if anything comes on I will let you know and I don’t give a toss about correct behaviour as a visitor, you make sure the alarm is sounded and full speed.”
“No problem skip.”
Scott went to the bridge to talk to the lads.
“I have a feeling something will happen and soon, what do you think?”
“We both do skip, we think that gut feeling is something not to ignore.” Scott picked the mike up.
“All crew all crew, the watch and I think we will be busy very soon, the situation we are in makes it ideal for pirates. Boys to the bridge please.” They were already in the hangar taking Marcel’s pepper pods off. They kissed and told one another they loved one another and then one followed by the other, ran to the bridge.
They arrived and smiled as Scott gave a quick hug, he and the boys had done a lot more of that since their balls up. Bless.
“Stupid question I’m know, but are you ready to go?”
“Yes skip, we have just taken my pods off to save weight, she can hover for another 15 minutes with them off. We have put a bullet on the ramp ready to go and a box with 10 more. We have put fresh batteries in the starter pack and the cables are connected to the bullet. If we get a call out, and if it’s ok with you, I will start mine up and take it to 200 feet and leave it there as you told us. Jon will start his up and come to the bridge then when mine’s up I will fly Jon’s off so he can already be at his station.” They and Scott had lovely smiles on there faces which was wiped off immediately.
“Four contacts astern, 5 miles, 20 knots.” Freddy reached up and slapped the alarm, the boys went back down. and Scott called Paul. At the same time the main camera would come on and images sent live to the London offices legal department.
“Tell the Captain we have four boats coming at us from aft, go to full speed and secure his ship.”
“He is still in his cabin Scott and will only come out when he wants.”
“This is pissing me off. Every captain has received an order that if there is an emergency they are to follow my advice. Go to the bridge and MAKE them go to full ahead then go and bang on Captain Cox’s door and if he gets angry, so do you and if you need to, take the ship over. Something is very wrong and to be honest I don’t know why. For fucks sake the problems are supposed to be with bloody pirates NOT ships captains.”
Paul was loving it and ran the bridge. “Right we are about to come under attack by pirates, either go to full ahead or I will knock your teeth out!” The six foot six ex SBS giant stood over the officer who was not that keen to have his face altered and wisely did as he was told. Paul ran down to his and Tommy’s cabin and got the grenade launcher and picked up the pack with all the rounds in it then ran to the captains cabin only to see a furious Barry Cox coming out. “We are about to come under attack and you are now under Captain Peterson’s direction.”
“Oh absolutely fine, well done Paul, I am going to the bridge!” Paul shook his head and followed this rather unique Captain.
“What is our speed?” He asked.
“Ten knots captain and we have another four.”
“One less now I’m afraid, the old girl lost one about two sailing to Australia ago.” He turned to Paul. “Where will you be stationed if we are attacked Paul?”
“On the foredeck and will fire on the nearest boat and you of course will turn your water cannons on?” It had to asked because the captain may have for gotten he had two of them!
“Do you have someone who can operate the water hoses?”
“Not sure, do we James?”
“The new cadet Mikey Piper can but we need one more.”
“Oh good I could have a job on this ship.” Barry looked at Thomas.
“You do indeed young man I just hope the water pistols will stop well armed pirates from getting on board.” The water hoses would be operated from inside the bridge.
“Well well, the O1 is increasing speed! Lets try and keep up. Go to her stern 100 yards and zig zag. Andrew was at the helm.
“Speed now 30 knots. All four still together…., no wait…45 knots. Here they come Skip!” Scott handed the radio to Paulina. “Relay everything to Paul please.”
“Marcel start up and take off. Jon come to the bridge.”
“Colin go and take the caps off the firework launchers. We will certainly use them.” Every command was acknowledged with “skip.”
Jan had already tested the water cannons and now sat waiting for her turn, she would also switch on the LRAD when told and point it at the nearest skiff
“Theo bridge searchlights, George the other two.”
“What speed are we?”
“11 knot’s skip.”
“Bloody hell. I think I’ll give her a push!”
“I’m up skip and at 200 feet.”
“Start Jon up and take off then get ready to fly off a bullet. Jon if we see they have an RPG or ladder you will attack when they get in range.”
“Jon up skip.”
“Off you go Jon and lets see what they’ve got. Go wide round them and come in from side on at 100 feet.”
“Fifty knots at 2 miles. They’re breaking off port and starboard, two each side.”
On the port bridge wing Barry was looking through his binoculars at these boats coming at him. “Fuck you all.” He went back in the bridge. “Keep her dead ahead, I need to go to my cabin.”
“Aye aye Captain.” James watched him go.
Barry picked the rifle up, took the safety off and pulled the bolt back and then forward feeding a round into the chamber. He put the safety back on then stuffed the rest of the ammunition in his pocket and left his cabin. “Ah well, big trouble coming up and I don’t mean just pirates.” He returned to his bridge and smiled at James, then went back out onto the port wing. James seeing the rifle suddenly felt safe!
He would not wait to find out what these people were carrying, he knew very well they were going to try to take his ship and was more than prepared for what could come his way, either a bullet or the law makers who would charge him with possessing a fire arm even though that weapon could in fact help save the ship and all on board her.
One advantage was that the O1’s domestic provisions were contained in the aft tower. Cabin’s, recreation facilities, showers, heads, galley, dining room and lots more, gave the height the bridge commanded above the water line. Barry would have an excellent firing point. He had studied photographs of many of these skiffs and in everyone the pirates were positioned from mid boat to stern. From mid boat forward was stored green painted fuel barrels, water containers, food and other equipment. That forward area is where he would concentrate his fire.
“Jerry, fix your camera on the 01 then go and operate Marcel’s camera at his station.”
“Hope he wont mind Skip.”
“I won’t, skip will tell me off and I aint going there again!”
Jon positioned himself so he could fly over the skiffs broadside on and images coming back showed boarding ladders and weapons. He had just flown over the third skiff, the fourth was some distance away but already knowing what his camera would pick up. Jon opened up to full speed which would be his last action before he literally flew into a wall of bullets from 5 AK47’s. The helicopter was blown apart and only bits fell into the sea.
Scott found himself quite calm, he had wondered when this would happen and now it had he was even more pleased Marcel would attack with the “bullets.”
“Jerry go back to your camera. Jon take over Marcel’s helicopter, land, refuel and fix containers on, Reggie go down and give a hand please, you too please Royston. Marcel you can fly for 15 minutes, take off and make for the one who shot Jon down. He had hardly got that out when they all heard the first shot coming from the O1.
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