I looked south just then and saw him. He was flopping around like he’d just run a marathon, but he was still running, his chest out and his arms pumping. The bullets were all headed his way, but these animals couldn’t hit him at the range he was at. With that, Longshot and L2 ordered their men to fire on his pursuers. In the darkness their muzzle flashes gave them away so Baldy and Collins joined the fight meaning everyone but me and Swanson was firing on them. God only knows what Swanson was feeling right then, but just when it seemed like he would make it he tumbled to the ground.
“FUCK, HE’S HIT!!”
“Sir. Someone’s in the water.”
“Sir, they’re someone climbing up on the seawall!”
“Sir. It’s Glynn! That traitor fuck finally grew a soul, Sir!”
Just then the grenades that we had set aboard the boats back at the jetties went off. The explosions weren’t anything spectacular, but they crippled the lead vessels in each line of boats and trapped the others behind them. The noise and flashes distracted the clowns pursuing Swanson for just a moment as they took cover before realising that they weren’t under direct threat from the explosions on the boats. This gave Glynn just enough time to scramble down the walkway to Swanson. Grabbing him by the collar he heaved that man up onto of his shoulders like a ragdoll and started to run like he was under water. Glynn was a big guy, but the power it took to haul his brother like that must have been fuelled by pure adrenaline.
I know I felt good for Glynn, seeing him do some good. He’d started swimming as soon as he saw Swanson coming. He didn’t even think about it, he just reacted. Bullets cracked around both men as they made their way to the mouth of the harbour, my men laid down interdiction fire and suppressing the ragtags still half on land and half on the seawall. Then Glynn took a round in the shoulder and tumbled to the ground. He was straight back up again and just grabbed Swanson’s collar with his other hand and kept running.
As they moved up the harbour Collins, Baldy and I made our way across the water to the mouth of the port. I cut the engines half way there and we drifted to a painfully slow stop. After about a minute Glynn collapsed in a heap next to Tyk, Grubber, Bacon and Longshot, who were right up at the lip of the seawall, ready to jump on deck. As we got to them machinegun fire came down on us and a spray of bullets tore through them. Tyk, Bacon and Glynn all took fatal hits to the chest and face. Their blood sprayed all over me as I put one foot on the rail, extending my hands to pull Swanson aboard. Serik’s boys had brought up a fixed heavy automatic.
“EVERYBODY DOOOOWN!” screamed Pretty Boy from the far side of the port.
“CONTACT ONSHORE!! RETURN FIRE!!” I roared. And out went volley after volley of rifle fire from Tony, Pretty Boy, Grubber, Collins and Baldy. Even Swanson fired at our attackers. I glanced left at the landside of the port and saw another flash of light just before another burst of bullets hit low and clattered against the inner side of the seawall on the north side of the port. It was then that I took my chance and jumped onto the stone walkway to grab Bacon and drag him aboard. Seeing this, Tony stopped firing and grabbed Glynn. Collins grabbed Tyk. And Grubber dragger Swanson. Baldy kept firing from the end of the boat, slow and steady. It was a frenzy of commotion that didn’t last twenty seconds, but I was sure I was going to get hit.
Tumbling over the rail of the trawler I fell on top of Bacon’s body but couldn’t pause, I just rolled off of him and jumped into the wheelhouse. Glancing behind me as I moved, I saw Serik’s boys running flat out under lampposts in the dark on the walkway. They weren’t a hundred yards from us. As I hit the throttle a burst of bullets hit the seawall and the deck.
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey