Tuesday, February 7, 2012

War Games II

05 December 2011

It is a quiet morning on the Gulf of Absolution; Arctic is underway on her nefarious mission, transporting a cargo of death and destruction to the civil war-torn country of Orangia.  One more “delivery” and we can head for our home port for a well-earned celebration.  The life of an arms smuggler is good, non?
Suddenly, a hail from the lookout…a massive grey ship is surging over the horizon astern of us, and launching small boats as it closes in!  Even as all eyes turn toward these interlopers a sound from above shocks us—the whine of jet engines, the throbbing roar of rotor blades.  Enormous helicopters appear from above—how could we not have heard them earlier?!—and within seconds heavily armed men are sliding down thick ropes onto our fantail and bows.  Eight, sixteen, twenty-four—thirty-six troops are unshipping weapons, checking their spacing, and advancing upon the deckhouse.  The United States Marines are here…
No time!  No time to react to this overwhelming attack, to the disciplined barbarity of the onslaught.  We try to resist.   The sound of small-arms fire, the stutter of  automatic weapons, the crash of a grenade, the smell of cordite and the ozone of tasers rises up the companionway to our bridge.  Clutching our weapons, we try to hide in the suddenly all-too-open wheelhouse; we will spring our ambush when they reach the top of the ladder coming from the deck below…
Nothing prepares us for the assault when it comes.

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