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Awakenings Chapter 8: Redemption, Page 10

Suddenly, Joe grabbed her and then DeMario and started pulling them in the direction of the shipping containers.  “There is going to be a huge explosion in seconds!  We have to get behind cover NOW!”

Charlie was glad to finally be riding in the bow of the Response Boat, manning the M240 machine gun.  They too had been slowed down by the rough sea conditions.  This and four other boats were finally nearing the Oakland Harbor.  Keying his mike, “The helicopter crew indicated that they took SAM fire from a boat that seemed to be attacking a container ship just outside the harbor.  That must be it to our starboard.”  The burning fuel was still obscured by the mass of the ship.  All five boats turned towards the ship.  Suddenly, tracer fire erupted in their direction from the nearest docks.  One boat split off from the group in the direction of the tracer fire and returned fire with the bow M240 machine gun.

Suddenly, on the far end of the dock, there was a small explosion.  None of the boat crews could hear the explosion over the noise of the boat outboard engines.  They finally got to where they could see the burning fuel slick next to the container ship.  Suddenly there was a huge bright flash that extended out over the water past the docks.  This explosion they heard over the motor noise.  The shockwave of the explosion was visible racing across the water, kicking up a band of spray off of the tops of the swells, even in the near darkness that they were cruising through.  Charlie keyed his mike, “Oh my god, what the hell was that!”

Robert’s PCF boat was well past the Berkeley Marina on the way to San Joaquin Delta when they saw the flash of light at the Oakland Harbor.  Robert smiled and said to Juan, “Well mate, no more Fairchild Group dock.”

Juan fought down his seasickness.  “It should keep the coast guard too busy to look for us.  Those fires in the hills have sure gotten big.”

Joe and Elise managed to drag DeMario into the cover of the containers while Pauline returned covering fire with the AK.  Elise looked over at DeMario’s right side and then looked him in the eye.  He was conscious.   Blood was trickling down his side.  “It looks like you took a hit just below the arm pit.  The vest you are wearing doesn’t cover that area.

DeMario responded, “It doesn’t feel like my lung was hit.  I am not spitting up any blood.  I don’t think that I have any more broken bones.”  Pauline then joined them.

Just then, they heard a small explosion well up the docks from where they were huddling.  They all looked up to see a faint cloud blowing in the wind towards the water.  Several seconds later, they were blinded by a flash, making them all duck directly behind the container they had been sheltering behind.  They were then subjected to the pressure of the shock wave of the bigger explosion, making their ears hurt like being in a very quickly descending airplane.

When the explosion had passed, Pauline looked up.  “Oh no!  The shed was blown into the water!”  The whole area was lit by bright flames from the buildings near where the propane tank had been blown by the dual explosive charges.  Throwing caution to the wind, Pauline ran to the edge of the dock.  Looking down, she could see the wreckage of the shed in the water and…. Ed, who was obviously struggling.  When he turned in the water she could see that his hands were tied behind his back.  “Ed!  Hang on, I’m coming in.”

Pauline, giving up on modesty, pulled her dress off over her head, and dove the several feet into the dark debris strewn water, the impact with the water making her now bare skin sting.  She immediately broke the surface in a breaststroke and in less than 30 seconds, reached Ed.  Untying his hands she said, “Oh my god!  For a moment I thought you were dead.”

With his hands free Ed started treading water.  “I am so glad to see you.  For a moment, I thought I was dead.  Shindo showed up and….”

Pauline interrupted him, “You can tell me about it later.  Now lets find a way out of this water.”

Ed interjected.  “And I will tell you how you are the most wonderful woman in the word.  You saved my life!  I am so deeply in love with you.”   About that time, they found a submerged section of dock where they could at least partially stand.  Ed and Pauline’s eyes locked on each other.  Neither of them felt the coolness of the water as they tightly embraced and deeply kissed.

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