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Awakenings Chapter 8: Redemption, Page 6

Jorge was strapped in so that he would not fall out the open door of the helicopter.  He could see the Honolulu ahead and a burning oil slick with the PCF boat close in.  He watched an RPG get fired and hit the water in front of the ship, resulting in a plume of water cascading onto the ship   He tapped on the shoulder of the copilot and motioned how he wanted to them to fly over the PCF boat. 

Nearing the PCF boat, the helicopter slowed down as Jorge prepared to drop an antitank grenade.  Suddenly a stream of tracer fire erupted from near amidships, causing the pilot to reflexibly jag randomly hard in different directions to evade the fire.  They were lucky that the pilot obviously had combat experience.  Tracer fire was one of the last things they expected to see out here on San Francisco Bay!  Studying the boat from afar, as calmly as he could with the tracer fire bursts coming their direction; Jorge could make out the central gun tub and see that there was a small mast assembly just aft that would interfere with fire directly aft.  He could also see another heavy machine gun mounted on the aft deck, but with no one manning it at the moment.  He keyed the mike on his helmet to explain his idea to the pilot.

They dropped low and fast over the water and approached from the left rear quarter of the boat, with Jorge leaning out on the safety strap and spraying the PKS machine gun in the direction of the boat.  As they neared the boat, he grabbed three of the antitank grenades and tossed them hard in the direction of the boat.  All three went into the water with splashes, followed seconds later by plumes of water as each exploded.  The helicopter then zig zagged away on the aft side of the boat avoiding fire.

Juan was momentarily disrupted from firing RPGs by the machine gun fire from the helicopter.  They all hit the deck while the twin 50’s roared return fire.  Juan realized that the gunner in the gun tub was very inexperienced with this weapon and with being in a combat situation.  The idiot couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn!  Not that he was doing much better with hitting the waterline of the Honolulu.

Robert screamed, “Get an SA7 SAM ready to fire!  I think he is coming back for another pass!”

Jorge saw what he did wrong on the first pass and keyed his mike to explain to the pilot the strategy for the next one.  Roaring in again from almost directly aft of the boat and only several feet above the water, he sprayed fire from the PKS again, causing everyone on deck to take cover.  As they neared the gun tub and being protected from direct fire from the twin 50s by the radio mast, they slowed suddenly and raised to clear the mast.  This time one of the three antitank grenades landed in the gun tub and the other two bounced off of the deck onto the water.  The gunner in the gun tub panicked and launched himself out onto the fore deck, hitting hard.  This was followed by a flash and explosion as the grenade detonated in the gun tub.  The helicopter continued off to prepare for yet another pass.

Juan pointed the launcher for the SA7 in the direction of the helicopter and turned on the heat seeker.   He found aiming the SA7 from the rocking boat even more difficult than aiming with the RPG’s.  The red light and buzzing of the seeker head kept going on and off as the heat signature from the helicopter moved due to the rocking boat.  Finally, the motion of the boat and his traverse lasted long enough that he pulled the trigger, just as the helicopter turned back to make another pass.

The pilot had only seconds to take evasive action when he saw the exhaust trail from the SAM, illuminated by the burning fuel floating on the water.  Fortunately, the main heat signature from the helicopter had gotten weak for the missile when the helicopter turned.  Unfortunately, the missile was still headed right for them.

Jorge only knew something was wrong when the helicopter did a sickening lurch as the missile hit a tail rotor blade, shearing off blades without detonating.  Flying the helicopter suddenly became unmanageable for the pilot.  Jorge just hung on while the helicopter spiraled into the water with a sickening splash.  His long ago helicopter water crash training came into play and he just hung on, holding his breath as he became submerged in the cold bay waters, waiting for the helicopter motor and blades to invert the entire craft before he attempted an escape.  Unfortunately, he had not donned an inflatable vest before taking off.

Robert let out a victory yell as soon the helicopter hit the water and reached over to pat Juan on the back.  “Good shooting Mate, now time to finish off this ship.”

Alex found himself in a state of a split personality.  His rational self was sickened and in fear as his resistance was compromised by the drugs passed to him through the hair of the woman now intertwined with him.  His animal self was like a wild thing. Paris continually whispered words that Alex only half heard, “You are ours.  We are your life and soul.”  She went on and on.  His rational self heard his phone ring but could do nothing.  His animal self was in control of his body at the moment, but he could feel his life force being drawn away from him.  Now she whispered words that he could not recognize, almost like another language.  He barely noticed Volo back out on the chair nonchalantly reviewing the information on the National Security Agency that he had brought, while smoking yet another cigarette, seemingly uninterested in what was going on just a few feet from where Volo sat.

Shindo watched the Fairchild Group helicopter splash into the water. The blood in his veins was running sub zero cold now. Grainger would pay! Standing on the flying bridge of the boat, he steered it directly at the PCF boat now silhouetted by the flames of the burning fuel. He then yelled down to one his crewmen, “Ready the RPGs!” Picking up his cell phone, he dialed a number. “Go ahead and implement Plan B. We will now most certainly need the terrorism cover.”