The pirates were dead, all three of them. Matt Christopher had been hired to provide armed security for the ship’s wealthy charter guests, and he did the job. His rapid response had ended the lives of the marauders before they were able to lay a finger on the luxury yacht floating quietly in the Gulf of Thailand.
“They really screwed up. Picked a calm, moonlit night to try to come aboard,” he told the vessel’s captain, Billy Worsley, as the ship’s exterior lights went to full bright. Worsley had spent his life at sea, the years of salt water, high winds, and punishing sunlight had weathered him, but this was all new to him. “Kill those, please,” Matt added in the tone of command rather than as a request. “If there’s more out there, I need the moon to light them up. Your floods will only blind me and illuminate us as a target.”
Responding to the American’s request, the Captain of the 160’ pearl white motor yacht directed his number one to douse the spotlights and notify the authorities.
“Belay that notification, please, captain,” Matt said in a softer tone. “I’m not supposed to be here with the small arsenal we brought aboard. If the authorities get involved, we’ll both have more explaining and red tape to cut through than the chum in the water is worth.”
Both men stepped to the silver rail and looked down into the sea. The ship’s lights, glowing from their hull mountings a foot below the waterline, were meant to illuminate the tropical waters and reveal the wondrous creatures that swam through the night. Instead, they spot-lighted three men, floating face down as the sea around them turned red.
“We at least have to retrieve their remains,” Worsley insisted as he placed his hands on his hips in frustration. “It’s required by the law here.”
Matt let a dry laugh escape but then stepped around the captain on the deck to greet the primary charter guest, Nigel Anderson, a wealthy industrialist with holdings in Asia and the United Kingdom. Tall, fit and tanned, the man had come up on deck wearing boxers that resembled his countries own red, white, and blue flag – the Union Jack.
“Everything’s okay, Nigel,” Matt reassured his client. “I saw them from my spot up above the bridge.”
“What happened?” Nigel looked around the deck as if expecting to see bodies.
“They didn’t make it very far,” Matt explained. “I lit the laser site on my rifle and washed it across their boat, but they kept coming. The M4A1 assault weapon was his go-to, the same one used by the SEALS back when they had trained him, back before they had uncovered his Achilles and washed him out. When I waved it across their faces as a warning, they still didn’t stop. They sped up. I made my way down to the stern where they were headed. They were within five feet of the boat, and one of them threw that at me.” Matt turned and pointed to an assault-style knife, scalpel sharp edge on one side, serrated on the other, now lying on the deck after having missed its intended target. It had, however, left a mean mark on the ship’s beautiful teak trim.
“Thank God you weren’t hurt,” Nigel said. “I guess this wasn’t a negotiation?” He eyed the assault rifle with the night scope, laser pointer, and sound suppressed barrel hanging from Matt’s right shoulder.
“Yep. The second that knife left his hand, it was game over.” He led Anderson to the railing and pointed toward the water where the pirates’ Zodiac barely floated, unoccupied.
“Who would have thought that when I called you asking if you could recommend a security team that you’d be here, in Thailand, with some time to kill,” Anderson said as he patted Matt on the back. Both men slowly shook their heads at the comment.
“Your night crew is still on watch as I directed?” Matt asked the captain. “There could be more out there, although I doubt it. Better to be safe than tied up down below with your throat slit.” The captain appeared still shaken by the incident.
“Never thought this would ever happen to me, to my ship,” he said. “I was totally against your coming aboard, but I’m grateful you were here for this.”
He shook their hands, then went back to the rail and looked down. “We still need to retrieve the bodies. They need to be identified. Their families, if they have them, should know.” He paused. “What if they had children? They need to know.” Matt considered the captain’s concerns but shook his head slowly. “Life’s a bitch,” he said in a softened tone, saddened by the thought.
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