SEALs of Honor_ BrettBy: Dale Mayer
SEALs of Honor, Book 11
Brett Chapman broke through the surface of the water. He reached out a hand and touched the sleek side of the yacht. Moving silently through the dark night, the water lapping around his body, he made his way to the lower deck ladder of one of the world’s ultra-yachts. Unfortunately, the Million Dollar Baby was in trouble. Big trouble.
The yacht had been taken by pirates, the passengers and crew held as hostages. The captain had managed to send out a distress call before they were boarded. Brett’s unit had been called up soon after. He knew several of the guests. His mother had married into a wealthy and boisterous Greek family eighteen years ago. His life had never been the same. It had just been the two of them before, and now it seemed like there were hundreds of family members in his life. As they’d accepted his mom and him, she in turn had adopted all of them.
According to the intel several of his extended family were onboard.
With any luck his mother hadn’t heard the news yet. Or there would be hell to pay.
Brett had shipped out within hours of the distress call. The unknown at this point in time was who was behind the pirates – if anyone. This area of the ocean along the African coastline had seen much turmoil lately with similar attacks. It had calmed down somewhat in the last few months, but the captain had no business bringing the yacht into this area given the recent dangers.
He scaled the ladder onto the lower deck. This was one of the biggest models he’d ever seen. The deck offered a large park-like setting that opened to the ocean. He presumed there was some kind of security measure that closed off this area during a storm.
Security lights shone low on the walls of the deck. It was deserted too. Next on his list to search was the engine room. So far he hadn’t seen anyone – crew – or pirate. He took several minutes to reach his destination. There he quickly scoped out the gleaming room to realize it would take an engineer to handle this state of the art system, and none of the pirates were likely to be as technologically advanced as that – he hoped. With any luck the maintenance crew was still alive and capable of dealing with any issues in the yacht.
Using the blueprints he’d memorized, Brett moved quickly through the decks. As he cleared each floor he updated his team. He was set to meet Chase in four minutes, one deck up. As he arrived on the third floor he realized these smaller rooms were likely the crew’s living quarters. He did a quick sweep through the bedrooms. The first three were empty and as he approached the fourth he heard a sound that made his heart freeze.
A child’s cries of distress.
He went to open the door but found it locked from the inside. He tapped once and then tapped two more times. The door cracked opened and a terrified woman’s face peered out. He brushed her backwards and slipped into the room out of sight. And he choked back a shocked gasp.
Two little children were wrapped around the woman’s legs. He knew of them, but hadn’t met either yet. And he knew exactly how old they were. The boy, Jimmy, was four and the girl, Jennifer, was almost two.
Their mother, Ceci, was on the outside edge of that huge extended family his mother had married into. And the only woman he’d ever loved.
In his night gear he knew she couldn’t recognize him. And she had to be terrified of his weapons.
He held a finger up to his mouth and whispered, “It’s okay, Ceci. It’s me, Brett. You need to remain here with the children, and stay as quiet as you can be.”
She gasped in shock then her face lit up in relief and joy.
He squatted down to the boy and said in a low voice, “Jimmy, you have to be very, very quiet until I come back here and help you, and your mom, and sister off the boat, okay?”
The little boy sniffled, his eyes huge, lower lip trembling. But he straightened up and nodded. Good. At a single rap on the door, Brett moved quickly and without another word, he slipped into the hallway where Chase waited for him. As they moved away Chase said, “Twelve hostiles are on the top floor above us. All hostages are with then.”
“Machine guns and grenades, a few handguns. Nothing major.”
Brett snorted. It said much about the type of work they did that those weapons weren’t considered major.
Still, that was good news. He really didn’t like facing rocket launchers. All criminals appeared to have access to the latest and greatest. In close quarters like this, it was a recipe for disaster. Then again so were grenades.
In silence, he went to the main stairwell and slowly crept up one landing. When this went down it would happen fast. They needed to take out as many hostiles as they could to narrow the odds before the others found out they were onboard. Stealth was paramount.