THE GREAT WHITE RED ALERT
Rooster tails of water shot up as the go-fast boats picked up speed. Smugglers often used go-fast boats because they’re so low in the water that radar can’t see them, and so fast that no one can catch them. The controls are at the stern so the long forward section can be used to store whatever is being smuggled. There were three crewmen in the lead boat. They hadn’t spotted Arky. They had their backs to his camera, intent on catching the Nous Venous.
“Five hundred meters and closing. Arky. Lower,” ordered Alena.
“Catch up to it.”
The view of the cockpit grew larger in the video display. The man at the wheel was short and wide, with a long black ponytail blown back by the wind. Another crewman was bald and had a wide belt hung with two pistols. The third crewman was taller and was wearing some kind of uniform. At least Alena thought it was a uniform. There were symbols on the back, but she couldn’t make them out. Maybe Chinese.
“Two hundred meters.”
Alena saw the crewmen raise a weapon to his shoulder, aiming at the sub. “He’s got a rocket launcher!” Alena cried. “Dive! Dive!”
But there was no time.
There was a burst of smoke as the man fired.
Tyler jerked the wheel sharply, throwing them all against the port bulkhead. The rocket screamed past and exploded harmlessly, sending up a fountain of seawater.
The man was reloading when he became aware of Arky behind him. The man turned around and aimed.
Alena let out a gasp. Arky was almost on top of the go-fast boat. The man’s cruel face filled the screen.
“Arky!” Alena screamed.
“Hello. Alena Worthy.”
All the screens went dark. Looking back from the conning tower, Jakob saw a bright blossom of flame as Arky crashed into the stern of the go-fast boat. The sound of the explosion came a moment later.
“They’re sinking,” Jakob said. “Two...no, all three men made it overboard.”
“What about the other boats?” Tyler said.
Jakob scanned the scene. Smoke was rising from the ruined boat. “They’re stopping. Picking up the crew.”
Alena anxiously adjusted the dials on the video displays. “Arky?” she said in a soft whisper. “Arky...?”
But the screens remained dark.