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Awakenings Chapter 8: Redemption, Page 4

Joe’s eyes were glazed.  “Ed is now at the docks, let’s get moving before this train runs past. We don’t want whoever was following us to catch us.”  Joe got a faraway look for a moment.  “There are two people in that car.  They narrowly avoided running into the train and have headed south to get around the train to continue to try to find us.”

DeMario and Pauline just looked at Joe like he was on drugs.  DeMario keyed his radio.  “Any info Derek? We are in a time crunch here.”

“Where is ‘here’ DeMario?  Yes, we have video of Shindo driving out the Fairchild Group dock area just about 5 minutes ago.  We had a clear shot through his windshield.  So far as we can tell he was alone.”

“Thanks Derek, I am with some of my contacts, I will explain later.  I am heading for the dock area now.”

“DeMario, be careful.  With the fires appearing suddenly, and some other activity that is suddenly appearing on the monitors, I think everything is going to come to a head in the next half-hour or so.  The Honolulu is just now rounding Yerba Buena Island to come into the port.”

“I will be careful.”  DeMario suddenly felt somewhat unprepared, at the moment being only equipped with a 10mm caliber semi-automatic pistol and some minimal body armor.

Chief O’Malley sat across the table from Sandra, his eyes constantly wandering back to the impressive bank of monitors providing images of the Fairchild Group dock area.  Sandra watched the red faced Chief O’Malley’s reactions and body language very carefully.  She could smell the sweat soaked armpits of his shirt.

“So you have to understand, that is why we didn’t contact you earlier.”

The Chief was very angry.  “There are mercenaries armed with heavy weapons at the port and you didn’t contact us!  There is no excuse for this.  I will have to take this up to our congressman.”

Sandra was exasperated.  “What is done is done.  Right now we have to contain this disaster.  I am telling you; we had assets on the way, but the unofficial threat level red resulted in every one of these assets being pulled at the last minute.  That’s why we are now talking to you.”

“What about the fires?  I now have a bunch of my men evacuating innocent citizens from several areas of fires that were clearly set.  Those must be connected to what’s happening at the docks.  The timing would be too much of coincidence.  If you had called us sooner, we might have prevented these fires.   Innocent people could die.”

“The bottom line is that we think there is going to be fire fight at the Fairchild Group dock tonight and we need your help.”

Chief O’Malley was still red faced.  “We’ll give you what we can.  I’ll call a tactical alert.  We are pretty badly strapped dealing with evacuations from the fires.  With these weather conditions we are expecting potentially serious firestorms.  We are now mobilizing dozers to clear blocks of buildings if we need to.”

 Jorge put away his cell phone, grabbed the bag with the RKG anti-tank grenades, the hand grenades and a PKS machine gun and headed out to the Bell 430 helicopter where the pilots were already waiting.  He then climbed into the back through the custom modified door, sliding it back into an open locked position. Jorge spoke to the pilot.  “Take us out to just west of Yerba Buena Island.  We are looking for the container ship Honolulu.  I need to make sure that the ship gets in safely.”

The pilots had just completed the pre-flight checklist and started up the Rolls Royce turbines.  The smell of jet fuel permeated the air.  The open door made the whine of the turbines even louder.  Within a few minutes they were airborne and heading down the Oakland Estuary to the harbor.

The PCF boat continued to motor along at a speed matching that of the Honolulu.  They were now about 100 yards away.  The evening twilight was getting darker.  The lights of San Francisco were now clearly visible.  Robert called out to Juan, who was kneeling with a loaded RPG launcher on his shoulder, “Go ahead, and start firing.”

Juan sighted on the waterline of the Honolulu as best he could, the rocking of the boat making aiming very difficult.  He pulled the trigger and the RPG sprang from the launcher, leaving a tail of fire as it raced across to the ship.  This first shot hit high, nowhere near the waterline.  The flash was followed a second later by the sound of the explosion.  Juan started reloading immediately and was ready to launch again within several seconds.  Meanwhile someone on the PCF boat directed a spotlight on the area of the hull of the Honolulu that they were trying to hit.  They could all see some dark liquid streaming out of the hull where the first RPG hit.

Juan pulled the trigger again.  The second RPG hit only a little lower than the first one, but now they knew what the dark liquid was as it caught fire.  They had ruptured a fuel tank.  Juan reloaded yet another RPG.  The sound of a siren reached across the water from the stricken ship.  Acrid smoke blew towards the PCF boat, partially blocking the view of the Honolulu.