Thomas Calabrese… Part II
When they got close enough to be seen, Catlin slumped over her board as Camille began waving at the yacht. It slowed down and pulled alongside, “What is wrong?” The deckhand called out with a heavy accent as he stared at the two beautiful women.
“My friend is sick, can you help us?” Camille responded with an inviting smile.
The deckhand talked to several other men then responded, “We will help you, come aboard.”
Catlin and Camille paddled over to the yacht and the men helped them aboard with their equipment. One of the men quickly grabbed their packs and searched them.
“What are you doing?” Camille asked.
The deckhand didn’t answer the question, but waited until an older gentleman with a gray beard walked up from below deck arrived, “What are you doing out here?”
“Training for an endurance race,” Camille smiled and repeated Miguel’s explanation, but added the specific distance to be more believable, “We started in Catalina and were headed to Carlsbad and almost made the entire 58 miles”
“We are not going to dock,” The man was abrupt.
“If you can just let my friend rest for a few minutes then get us as close to shore as possible, we’ll paddle in the rest of the way,” Camille suggested.
“Yes we will do that,” The man answered.
“Would it be alright to use the little girls’ room?” Camille asked.
The man hesitated for a moment then turned to two of the deckhands and spoke to them in Farsi, “Go with them and do not let them out of your sight then turned back to the women, “yes you can go.”
Catlin and Camille were proficient in the language and exchanged glances of acknowledgement. Camille pulled out two energy bars from her pack and handed one to Catlin as she helped her to her feet, “These are special energy bars; they will help us build up our strength before we get back in the water.”
One deckhand led the women below deck and opened the bathroom door while two guards followed closely behind. Camille broke the energy bar in half in the pretense of eating it and the three men quickly passed out. The two women dragged them into the bathroom and closed the door. They walked down the hallway and poured the specially treated liquid under each door to neutralize the occupants inside. When they heard men talking behind one of the doors, Camille slightly opened it and Catlin looked in and saw five men, including the infamous “Big Sandy” working on computers and whispered, “This is it.”
Both women entered the cabin, “Excuse me, we were looking for the bathroom, I’m sick,” Catlin said and collapsed on the floor and when one of the men walked over to help her, she injected him in the neck with the tranquilizer. Camille rushed forward and splashed the tranquilizing agent on the other four men and they passed out before they could initiate any commands to their computers. Just as they were leaving the cabin, they ran into the man in charge, who was suspicious and had come below deck to check on them. Camille kicked him in the groin and when he bent over, Catlin slammed her right knee into his face, then both women jumped back into the computer room and barricaded the door.
“The good news is we’ve secured the computers,” Camille commented.
“But the bad news is now we’re trapped,” Catlin added.
The man in charge screamed out in pain and called for assistance as blood flowed from his broken nose.
“Thus is the Ying and Yang of life, we got the computers, but lost our escape route,” Camille noticed a porthole, “Exit stage left,” then rushed over and climbed out while Catlin continued to stack furniture against the door.
Once outside Camille climbed topside and came up behind one terrorist and snapped his neck, grabbed his weapon and pushed him overboard. She slowly moved across the deck and shot two more men and grabbed another weapon in the process. When she looked down the stairwell she saw the man in charge screaming instructions to the armed guards who were trying to break through the door.
When one of the men prepared to shoot through the door, the man in charge slapped the automatic weapon out of his hand, “Idiot! We can’t damage the computers!”
It was not strategically feasible for Camille to get below deck using the stairwell so she went to the other side of the yacht and lowered herself through a porthole that placed her in the cabin across the hall from where Catlin was barricaded. Camille slightly opened the door just wide enough to stick the gun barrel out and shot the two men closest to her and then killed another man walking down the stairwell. She quickly stepped out and jammed the syringe into the neck of the man in charge and he fell to the floor.
Camille knocked on the door, “Avon calling.”
Five minutes later, Miguel saw the flag flying from the mast with a surveillance monitoring satellite and signaled that it was time to move in. The support team boarded the yacht and quickly placed wrist and ankle restraints on the sedated terrorists before off-loading them by winch and cargo net to another ship for enhanced interrogation. It took four men exerting all their strength to get the obese ‘Big Sandy” topside. The dead terrorists were weighted down and were in the process of being tossed overboard.
“How did it go?” Miguel sighed in relief.
“It was easier than we expected,” Catlin lied, “hardly any resistance at all.”
Miguel gestured to a dead terrorist hitting the water, “I guess he shot himself.”
“You probably didn’t know that one of the side effects of your tranquilizer agent was suicidal tendencies,” Camille added.
“It’s time for me to put on my big boy pants and get working on the computers,” Miguel headed below deck to the computer room while Catlin and Camille lounged on the deck and indulged in the high end snacks on board until Miguel returned topside thirty minute later.
“You want the good news or the really bad news first?”
“Surprise us,” Catlin added.
Miguel replied, “The good news is my special software helped me crack “Big Sandy’s” numerous firewalls. The really bad news is that there is an imminent attack going down somewhere in North County in the next few hours. The yacht was supposed to meet with the attackers after they completed their mission. I can’t determine if their target is somewhere on Pendleton or the decommissioned nuclear power plant at San Onofre where nuclear waste is still stored on site. I just don’t know… it could be something else too.”
“Wait a minute, it is 2017,” Catlin stated.
“So?” Miguel replied.
“It’s the seventy fifth anniversary of Camp Pendleton! There will be a lot of activities going on this year around the area, “Camille added, “Good call.”
“Get on your computer and see if there are any activities planned in the next few hours,” Catlin strongly suggested.
Miguel went on his laptop and found what he was looking for, “There is a major military appreciation event that is already in progress at the Oceanside Pier and adjoining areas. There will be a lot of politicians, military personnel and business leaders in attendance.”
“That’s their target then,” Camille said without any doubt in her mind.
“We’re burning daylight, pilgrims,” Catlin did an imitation of John Wayne.
“You’ve already done enough,” Miguel replied, “I’ll get another team to take it from here.”
“That’s a big negative,” Camille responded, “We’ll finish what we started.”
“I concur with my esteemed colleague, we’ve done enough when the mission is completed,” Catlin smiled.
Camille and Catlin changed into tactical gear, and when a helicopter landed on the helipad of the yacht; they boarded with Miguel and headed for the Oceanside Pier. Miguel continued to work on his laptop during the flight to extract pertinent information.
“I’m picking up radio chatter, it is definitely coming from the pier area,” Miguel detected, “I don’t think we’re going to make it in time.”
“Get us there, we’ll rappel down,” Camille suggested.
The Oceanside Pier was about eight hundred yards straight ahead, “I’m getting twenty three radio transmissions on a secured frequency from multiple locations,” Miguel pointed to his computer screen filled with moving red dots.
Catlin and Camille double checked their HK-416 assault rifles and inserted their communication earpieces. The helicopter hovered and the two women fast roped to the roof of the Ruby’s Diner then jumped down to the wood pier.
“Are you part of the entertainment?” A little boy asked Catlin.
“Yes we are, so just stand back and enjoy the show,” Catlin yelled out for all to hear then patted the boy on the head.
Camille and Catlin each took a different side of the pier with their weapons at the ready and began walking methodically east toward the beach. Miguel communicated with the two women as he accessed surveillance cameras located on the pier and a drone flying overhead and processed the video through his ultra-quick face recognition software.
“I got two on the right…one on the left…let me know when you have visual confirmation,” Miguel said.
Catlin and Camille were extremely proficient in the art of profiling so it wasn’t that difficult for them to distinguish the highly intense terrorists with pale complexions and sunken eyes from the average Southern California recreational beachgoer.
“Confirm two,” Catlin responded.
“Visual on one bogey,” Camille added a couple seconds later.
“Terminate,” Miguel ordered.
Catlin killed two terrorists and Camille neutralized another, all with accurate headshots. The noise suppressors on their weapons made it hard for anyone on the pier to hear anything over the din of the crowd. Miguel located up four more terrorists, fifteen meters closer to the beach, but this time three were on Camille’s side and one on Catlin’s. Camille came up behind the three men and shot two in the back of the head and the third one tried to escape and climbed on the railing, Camille shot him and he did a belly flop to the ocean below. Catlin neutralized her adversary and rushed over to Camille. While both women were looking over the railing at the dead body, they began taking incoming fire from two men on jet skis from the ocean below and shot them off their watercraft.
“I’m picking up eight more jet skis headed your way,” Miguel notified them.
“Shall we?” Catlin smiled.
“I thought you’d never ask,” Camille responded.
“I was wondering when we were going to get wet,” Catlin said and they immediately jumped off the pier and swam to the two jet skis that were bobbing in the surf. They climbed aboard and went straight at the approaching jet skis and when they got within a hundred feet Catlin and Camille dived underwater with their watercraft and when they came up, they were behind the terrorists. They whipped their jet skis around in a one eighty turn and began shooting the terrorists off their watercrafts. They went airborne when they launched themselves over an incoming wave and when two of the terrorists who were chasing them tried to emulate the maneuver, they lost control of their jet skis. Catlin and Camille raced over and shot the two men as they tried to swim back to their watercraft.
The entire crowd on the beach and pier watched the spectacle unfolding before them and assuming that it was a stunt show they applauded and voiced their approval at its stark realism. Catlin and Camille slowly circled through the floating carnage to make sure they had completely neutralized the threat then raced out to sea. The helicopter flew over Catlin and Camille with two ropes dangling beneath it and the two women grabbed hold and were lifted off their jet skis and disappeared into the horizon.
Two days later, Catlin, Camille, Brock and Steve were sitting on the spacious patio of a home in the hills of Fallbrook that overlooked the San Luis Rey Valley. Miguel was in the kitchen with his wife Julia preparing dinner.
“We went all the way to Santa Barbara and the feds had us sitting in a hotel the whole time. We didn’t fly once and then they tell us it was a false alarm and to go home,” Brock commented as he sipped his beer.
“We were staying in a suite with room service and a generous per diem so we can’t complain too much,” Steve added.
“That’s the government bureaucracy for you,” Camille quipped, “Nobody really knows what is going on.”
“Did you hear about the show at the Oceanside Pier? Two stunt performers fast roped out of a helicopter on to the pier, got into a gunfight then jumped over the railing and fought another battle on jet skis and to make it even more realistic they had real Navy Seals race in with their Zodiacs boats,” Steve said, “My friend said it was very entertaining.”
“I heard someone talking at Target that one of assistant directors from the Transformers movies choreographed the whole thing,” Catlin embellished the subterfuge.
“They’ve really been going all out on these military appreciation events lately,” Brock commented, “It’s always nice to see that kind of patriotic support.”
Miguel walked out from the kitchen and called out to his guests, “Be patient, I’m almost done?”
“It looks like you’re going through a lot of work in there,” Steve asked, “Need any help?”
“Miguel knows that we’re always available if he needs us,” Catlin winked.
“Absolutely not, this is all on me. I told your wives that if we were successful on our last work assignment that I would cook them a special meal,” Miguel smiled, “Considering how things turned out, this is one promise that I am more than happy to keep.”
No matter how many things would change in the world, one thing would remain constant; a pair of unique and patriotic women would be Diligent in their duties and Dangerous to America’s enemies.