Topic: Sub: Ep 8/10
Joined Tue 09/06/11
The sub had departed Durban a month earlier, and was happily heading in a northeast direction when the communications officer barked.
“Message from Pacific Command sir.”
“Let’s hear it then,” Vanderhofen said slowly.
“Proceed to Muscat and await orders.”
Vanderhofen screwed his eyes.
“That’s the State of Oman, not that far from Iranian territorial waters.”
He plodded over to the electronic map and mulled it over.
“What are they up to?” he murmured to himself.
He turned and said, “Helm steer north five degrees at thirty knots. Depth eight hundred.”
He watched the trim gauge tilt as the dive got underway. After a few moments, he reached a command decision. He hit the intercom and said, “All hands, this is the captain. Battle stations.”
This order resulted in controlled chaos. Within the torpedo room, the four tubes were loaded and sealed. After five minutes the communications officer happily reported.
“All stations report ready sir.”
The sub ploughed on until the location was reached. As it entered the area, a second message was received.
As Vanderhofen read it, he became just a little concerned.
‘Locate and pick up Allah Torbis and deliver to Midway.'
“I’ve heard of him,” Vanderhofen commented. “He’s a big shot Iranian scientist.”
“Maybe he is trying to defect sir,” the com said.
“In which case this may not be an easy operation. Bring us to periscope depth.”
As the periscope broke surface, the captain peered around at the sloshing waves.
“I can see a motorboat heading our way,” he muttered. “All hands prepare to surface.”
When the conning tower reared into view, he clambered out and was just in time to see the desperate man leap aboard. As the motorboat tore away, Vanderhofen greeted him.
“Welcome aboard sir. Please follow me.” Allah Torbis
After clambering down the ladder, the captain got a good look at him. Dressed in a smart suit and with a bushy beard, Allah Torbis looked rather nervous.
“Don’t worry sir,” Vanderhofen said. “You are quite safe here.”
After a pause he added, “Bow planes to forty, prepare to dive.”
The bow went under, followed soon after by the conning tower. A few moments later com picked up a signal.
“We have a torpedo boat sir heading straight for us.”
“Take us to six hundred and steer south by ten degrees. We should shake him off.”
The communications officer listened carefully.
“We have two charges in the drink sir.”
“I should have expected that,” Vanderhofen muttered.
“Six degrees to port.”
As the sub turned, the depth charges detonated. The vessel shook and rolled slightly, but no damage was inflicted upon the modern pressure hull.
“As I said professor, nothing to be alarmed about. Let me show you to my quarters.”
Upon the surface, an Iranian destroyer was busily hunting for the enemy vessel and its captain was determined to collect. After a ten minute fruitless search, he decided to deploy his country’s version of the Asroc system.
He watched it launch and take a ballistic trajectory before the parachute opened. As it reached the surface this was jettisoned, and the acoustic homing system began the lethal search.
Upon his bridge, the captain smiled with pleasure.
“We have Asroc in the drink sir and acquiring target.”
“Damn it! Four degrees starboard. Deploy countermeasures.”
Three boomerangs spun away as the sub ran for safety.
“It’s ignoring them sir.”
“Bow planes up forty and deploy countermeasures.”
Everyone held their collective breath as the torpedo homed in.
“It’s going to be close sir.”
A sudden crump was quickly followed by a violent shaking. Two jets of water shot from a damaged valve, showering the command area with seawater.
“Damage teams to the com. Sonar report.”
As he listened, the damage team arrived.
“She’s still there sir.”
As the spanners were used to shut the leak off, Vanderhofen studied the electronic map.
“I thought there was a sandbank here.”
Turning sharply he asked, “How far is she from the sandbank sonar?”
“One hundred yards sir.”
“Bring us about. Load tube one with a practice torpedo.”
Within the torpedo room, the four crewmen manhandled the live fish
out before replacing it.
“Tube one ready sir.”
“We are going to give that captain the fright of his life. Take us
to periscope depth.”
The sub rose quickly until Vanderhofen could see quite clearly.
“Left four degrees and fire one.”
He watched the distinctive streak head towards the waiting hull, as the enemy captain attempted to swing his ship out of harm’s way.
When it struck with a loud clang, he was rather relieved.
“Now get us out of here,” Vanderhofen barked.
As the sub turned for safer waters, the captain of the destroyer called in air support. Two fighter jets quickly appeared and launched two missiles at the fleeing underwater target.
Vanderhofen really thought that he had got away with it, until the sonar operator gave him some very bad news.
“I have two birds in the drink sir.”
“Ruddy missiles,” the captain muttered. “Twelve degrees to port and dive.”
The hull swung as the vessel gained some much-needed depth. The brainless missiles streaked on.
“It’s going to be close again sir.”
Everyone heard the loud whoosh as the missiles streaked by, before exploding upon the seabed. The sub rolled violently as the concussion wave hit.
“I need damage reports,” Vanderhofen ordered.
When these came through, he was rather relieved.
“We can’t keep taking this much punishment.”
His agile mind quickly came up with a desperate plan.
“Take us to launch depth. Com, transmit the following message on all frequencies. We are under attack and preparing bird one for flight.”
As the vessel rose to assume a bow down configuration, Vanderhofen knew the threat was an empty one. Without the codes, the missile was quite useless.
“Launch depth sir.”
Vanderhofen took a deep breath.
“Bring us up slowly and when clear open missile tube one.”
As they surfaced, he scrambled up the ladder as the ominous hatch slid back to its launch position.
He gazed at the visible warhead and spotted the two approached fighter planes.
“I hope you see the open tube.”
He waited as they came on in an attack posture before suddenly swinging away towards their own airspace. As Vanderhofen almost collapsed with relief he called down, “Close missile tube one and dive two hundred.”
The sub quickly vanished below the swirling sea and he popped in to see the injured captain.
“Had fun?” she asked glancing up from the book.
“Not much mam. We sustained slight damage though. I’ll set course for Midway and deliver our esteemed guest. Your hands will be ready by then.”
“They feel ready now,” Wilma said.
He shook his head.
“When the doc says a week he means just that. You have two days to go mam.”
“Who’s our guest?”
“An Iranian defector mam. Probably thought he was safer elsewhere. I’m just about to check on him.”
He left her to the book and stuck his head into his cabin. He had expected to see the guest sitting upon his bunk.
“Oh good grief.”
The scientist was lying upon the floor with a razor in his hand. Blood was still flowing freely from the fatal throat wound.
Vanderhofen shook his head.
“All that for ruddy nothing.”
Edited by tudoravenger on Sun 05/20/12 11:03 AM