Scorpion's Reach, 'Showtime'
A special day on Wednesday
From the writer
You thought I'd forgotten to post, didn't you? Well, I haven't, I've just had a really busy weekend, and things don't seem to be getting any less busy, but tonight I've got enough time to put the next installment together, but before we get into that, I just want to take a moment to mention that this week is a really special week in New Zealand.
April 26th, 1915 was the day Australia and New Zealand 'grew up' in the eyes of the world, it was the day that the 'Anzacs' landed on the far shores in the Middle East, it was the day they landed at Gallipoli
Wednesday is Anzac Day.
If you want to know more about it, I'll put a link in so that you can go to my hub about the 'Anzacs' and what they achieved.
Anyway, back to the story
When we left off things were moving pretty quickly, Joey and Sandy had found where Sam and Hene were being held, they could also see the imminent danger, and Sandy gave the word Showtime in five"
Lets see where things go from there.
From the previous
“Let me have a look” Sandy held out her hand, Joey passed the jacket over, “you're right.” She said, “look here” she pointed to the Kevlar plate, “it's the wrong size for here, looks more like those the cops in the US use!”
There are different types of 'bullet proof vest’ on the market, from the basic one that'll protect you from a knife and some small arms, right through to the serious ones that'll stop just about anything (but still give you seriously cracked ribs)
A US police issue 'vest’ is in the middle, and pretty much means 'shoot for the torso’ (as most cops are trained for) is a waste of time as all but the most high powered rifles will just 'bounce off’ and they'll be up returning fire before you're aware of it.
“Scorpion team, this is four” Joey clicked his radio on, they were supposed to be on radio silence, but this was important, “be aware, bandits are wearing US police issue vests,”
“Roger that” Jacko replied for the rest of the team, “we're in position”
“Roger that” Sandy cut in, “Showtime in five”
"Two days with these idiots"
“What the hell’s going on?” Fish face asked angrily as he burst into the lounge that doubled as the control centre for the ship, he wasn’t happy at all, but he wasn’t normally one to show his emotions. “Emotions in my line of work” he often told his clients when they commented about his manner, “get you killed!”
“Sir” the young man in the room, Fish face figured him for an accountant type, someone used to being ‘behind a desk, crunching the numbers’ in some grey building in any city in the world, not here, on board a ship in the middle of only the almighty knows where. He looked nervous, unsure of either himself or the surroundings, either way, it was obvious, he was uncomfortable, and in a role, he didn’t relish, well tough ‘He’ll get used to it’ he thought.
“We’ve had strange things happening with the accounts, money disappearing, and I can’t find where it’s going!” he sounded almost apologetic, “and”
“You got me called back for THAT?” fish face cut him off, “Like I can do anything about that?” he turned and headed back for the door.
“No sir” the accountant replied, “Least it wasn’t me,” he stopped momentarily, it was obvious he was afraid where this was going, then again, changing an assassin's plans can shorten your life expectancy significantly, even if they weren't known for showing anger. “It was Mr Chen, he reported it, not me” he pointed to the door to the private suite at the back.
Drug smuggling is a lucrative but risky business. Every time a border is crossed, a search can be made, any suspicion and the authorities come down 'like a ton of bricks’ ripping everything apart, like Rottweilers on a scent, they work through until they find what they're looking for. Cruise ships, Merchant ships, even fishing trawlers get the treatment, only two kinds don't, Warships and Superyachts!
Warships and police don’t normally get searched, but the most you'll get through their procedures is a few hundred grams. A Superyacht is a different story, stop one of those and its owner might just be on their way to lunch with your boss's boss and you're suddenly 'unemployable’. That's what Chen and his people counted on!
Where they got the boat, you just didn't ask, one thing was certain, it wasn't by legal means, not that anyone was concerned, it did a job, and that’s all they needed.
At the back of the lounge was a big mahogany door, the dark brown of the wood blending in with the dark coloured carpets, he reached for the door and opened it.
The door swung open noiselessly. Chen was more 'slumped’ in the chair than sat, feet stretched out in the large Teak desk, a relic from the ship's previous owner. Fishface didn't know or care what happened to them.
“You no knock?” Chen blurted out as he moved forward, “it polite to knock you know!”
Fishface didn't care much for Chen, he wasn't the boss, just an average 'thug’ in a suit, probably slightly more of a brain than the others here, but in the end, just a 'thug in a suit’ working as a drug mule taking all the risks, for very little of the reward.
“Only when I need to!” Fishface replied, “your boss sent for me remember, and now I’ve got to come back again, and clean up your mess! Your boss isn’t happy at all.”
“It not matter” Chen replied.
There was a tumbler by his right hand, it was full almost to the brim with a yellow transparent liquid, 'probably Scotch’ Fishface thought, 'idiot’s drunk’ he continued the thought. “How come?”
“Email” Chen replied almost shouting and waving a piece of paper about, “you see” he slapped the paper down in front of them both, “we been robbed!”
He knew about the account hacking, “I'm an assassin” Fishface replied, “not a banker, what's it to do with me?” He took the paper and read it, it wasn't good.
“Cops know nothing!” Chen stated, “we kill them then leave, time for Australia delivery, boss say!”
“I was on my way to do that” Fishface replied, in a very low but threatening tone.“ after I'd questioned them!” He reminded the thug. “That is what your bosses wanted me to come back for, isn’t it?” Malice dripping from every word.
“I know” Chen screamed as he shot to his feet, “but all change now, we have new,” he stopped for a moment, struggling with the English, “how you say, instructions?” It was half question, half statement. He thrust the email towards Fishface, it said. “London advised you're compromised, get rid of cops and move on”
“I already gave order” Chen brought them back to reality, “My men, they do it, then helicopter pick them up, they feed bodies to sharks, then come back to boat and we outta here!”
“And I stay onboard until we get to Australia” Fishface sounded almost resigned to his fate, two days with these idiots.
Timetable just got 'upped'
“We go in five,” Joey said as he clicked the radio off, just then he heard a phone ring, “SHIT, what the F” was his first reaction, he spun around to look at Sandy, she was almost as shocked as him.
‘I’m not that stupid’ was her thought, just then they saw the guard reach for his phone, ‘That’s not good’ was the first reaction.
Joey threw himself against the wall, at the side of the door, she could see he was preparing himself mentally for the next task, running through all the possibilities in his head, all the angles and outcomes, everything from both of them killed to a clean ‘takedown’.
Joey reached down and took out what looked like a cardboard cylinder, she knew it immediately and got ready, this wasn’t going to be pleasant, but at least they knew what was coming.
How do you get the advantage when the enemy is holding hostages and are seconds away from killing them? Answer, you disorient them for a couple of seconds, and that’s what the ‘cardboard cylinder’ was designed for.
SAS refuse to use blank ammunition, even on exercise, actually they almost never use blanks as they believe that the only way to know what it’s like in a real situation is to use the ‘real deal’, but then again, I did say ‘almost’ as there’s one toy they love, the ‘thunderflash’ or ‘flashbang’ s they call it, but to them it’s not used as a ‘blank’ but a distraction.
The thunderflash or ‘flashbang’ is a ‘mock grenade’ in that it creates the same big bang as a grenade, and a bright light, just like a grenade, but none of the shrapnel, and when it goes off, it leaves you wondering which bloody way is up for about fifteen seconds.
The SAS first used them in Mogadishu in the late seventies when they helped the Germans take down a bunch of hijackers who’d got a planeload of hostages, all the hijackers died, and none of the hostages.
Got a room with a bunch of terrorists holding hostages, chuck in a couple of thunderflashes (or the bigger version that the SAS like to use, called the flashbang), wait for them to go off, then walk in and shoot the guy waving his gun in the air, it’s that simple.
SAS "Train hard, Fight easy!"
“Two flashbangs” Joey whispered as Sandy reached for hers, Joey peeked round the corner, the thugs were drawing their pistols and cocking them, Hene looked up, Joey wasn’t sure if he’d seen Joey, ‘just have to hope he realizes what to do’ he thought. “On three, one, two, three”.
Both of them struck the fuses, leaned in just far enough, threw the flashbangs in and got the hell out of the way. Both had their pistols drawn and cocked. Two almighty bangs nearly deafened them, then both were leaping round the corner, Hene had screamed just before the bangs went off, he’d thrown himself onto Sam who was kicking at anything, mostly Hene.
Three shots, each from the Browning and Makarov and both guards were down, the holes in their chests and foreheads quite neat and small, but the exit wounds as big as tennis balls. Joey advanced on both of them and checked the job. Next he was on the radio. “Scorpion team, this is four, two bandits down, hostages secured, GO GO GO!”
Jacko heard Joey’s first call, that was good, he and Mac were plotting the positions of each of the others, they had five of them worked out when all hell broke out to the south, followed almost instantly by his phone vibrating and Joey screaming, “Scorpion team this is four, two bandits down, hostages rescued. GO GO GO”
'Shit Joey,’ he thought, 'give us all a bloody heart attack will ya?’ as he cocked the HK, he didn't bother with the phone, it was obvious what the message was,”Mac, pick your targets” he didn't really need that, but needed the extra moment to think, “Smithy, two hundred yards north, bit of a fuel dump and generator”
“Got it boss, incendiary, watch your vision” Smithy sounded all business, ”go to starscope”
Both Jacko and Mac had been using infrared or 'thermal imaging’ as it was called, that works off heat output, everything produces a certain amount of heat, picking up variations in heat output can identify what you're looking at, only problem is if you start a fire, it'll only pick up the heat from the fire, even if you're not looking in that direction, all you'll see is the heat of the fire.
Starlight takes the light of the stars, heat doesn't affect it, as long as they weren't looking directly at the fire, they should be able to function, for the guys in the camp however it would be a different story!
“Roger, switching to starlight”
The explosion was impressive, Smithy's first shot, a tracer, took out a half-full barrel, passing clean through the top half, the heat from the bullet warming the vapour to combustion point, causing expansion and more vapour to ignite, the fireball was about five feet across, engulfing two more barrels that went off a few seconds later, their fireballs were just as impressive, one barrel was launched a couple of hundred feet into the air, then came crashing down onto the main camp setting the tents alight.
Two were killed instantly, they'd been unfortunate enough to be filling the generator up, a couple of others got sprayed with burning fuel, their screams were almost inhuman, the others were motionless, pinned to the spot by the horrible situation, that is until they started dropping as they were shot!
The firefight, if you can call it that, lasted less than a minute. In that minute six went down and stayed that way. Three others, not knowing where they were 'taking fire’ from, or how many there were, threw down their weapons, knelt down, placed their hands behind their heads and prayed their enemy would see their surrender.
“Ceasefire” Jacko called into the radio, “Smithy, you reckon it's for real?” He asked wanting to know what the sniper saw.
“Yeah boss,” Smithy replied, “I think a couple hoofed it out at the start, didn't get chance to take 'em all, but at least one's got a leg wound, these guys lost the will!”
“Roger” Jacko replied, “Mac, you're with me, Smithy, cover us” both Jacko and Mac checked their weapons, making sure there was one in the breach, safety off, finger on the trigger guard, not the trigger. “STAY DOWN” they screamed in unison as they moved forward weapons trained, waiting for the slightest twitch.
"We got you into this mess, we're getting you out of it!"
As soon as Joey clicked the radio off, he reached up and unclipped the backpack he was carrying, it wasn’t a ‘backpack’ proper, but two full sets of body armour, rolled up so that he could carry them, Hene and Sam were still on the ground, but Sam had almost kicked Hene off, he was still dazed and and groaning from the kicking she’d given him, still not sure which way was up, let alone what time of day or night it was.
“STAY DOWN” Joey shouted as he unfurled the two suits and threw them down on top of the two, they covered all the important parts, “Stay under these until I tell you, They’re Kevlar” and with that all wiggling stopped.
“Rooms clear” Sandy called in.
“Stay with them” Joey ordered as he headed for the west, “I’ll deal with the other two”
“What the hell, what’s going on?” Sandy recognized the voice, it was Sam, she wasn’t moving, but at least she was coherent.
“Sugar!” Hene was trying not to swear for some reason, probably some misguided sense of not wanting to swear in front of a female, “My head hurts, what the hell hit me?”
“Actually” Sandy was half smiling, “It’s more like what, or rather whom did you hit, I think you headbutted the ground as you went down!”
“Yeah, but what the hell’s happening?”
“We’re the good guys” Sandy replied, “Come to rescue you, now stay down while we finish the job!”
Just as she said that all hell broke out further up, it was Jacko and the rest of the team doing their thing, it lasted less than a minute, then they heard screaming.
About a minute later they heard two more shots, in quick succession, Joey’s voice came on the radio, “Boss, one more coming your way, he got away!”
“No worries, I got him,” Smithy came on the line, he’s raising his weapon, going to try his luck, the sniper rifle boomed. “Target down boss”
“He still alive?” Jacko asked.
“I know these guys are pretty brainless” Smithy quipped, “So maybe, but minus his brain as I blew it out!”
Joey headed back into the room, “It’s okay now” he said as he peeled the suits off the two cops, “Put these on though, there’s still a few of the gangsters out there!”
Hene looked at the suits, they were like none he’d ever seen before, a normal police one finishes at the waist and is held together by velcro, these you actually slid over your body and the fastened round the crotch, as in underneath! “What are these, some kind of secret armour?”
“Pretty close” Joey replied, “These are special tactical body armour suits, for when you’re going into a real shit fight and got no idea where the bad boys are coming from.” he turned and checked their armour as the donned it, “You know, just like now”
“And you’re supposed to be ‘just insurance people’?” it was more an insult than anything, like saying “Don’t insult my intelligence again” and it was from Sam.
“That part was sort of true” Sandy spoke up, “we were doing a favor for the insurance company, and checking something fishy out”
“Besides, we did ‘ensure’ you stayed alive didn’t we?” Joey added cheekily, neither of them got the humour.
“And who did the asking? Or maybe I shouldn’t be told”
“Hey” Joey chipped in, “we got you into this mess, we’re getting you out, but for your information, right at this moment we’re seconded to your SIS now get a move on, we’ve got work to do!”