Jeremy was awoken by a sudden burst of gunfire emanating from above deck. In a panic he rolled off the bed, hitting his head painfully on the desk. Dazed, scared and a little angry he sat up holding the back of his head. He checked the palm of his hand and breathed a sigh of relief when there was no blood.
He wasn't sure what he should do, whether he should stay and hide or head up to try and see what was going on. Suddenly the boat shuddered violently and he went deaf as the concussion wave of an explosion slammed into him, leaving him dizzy and his ears ringing. Half-concussed, he staggered out of his room and into the hall, then climbed the ladder up to the hatch.
"For the last time, I'm on Dockyards business!" The man's voice boomed through a megaphone. "Oh screw it and screw you too!"
The man chucked the megaphone down and hauled Jeremy out of the hatch.
"You, keep 'em busy." He said, slapping an Uzi into Jeremy's hands. "I'll be back in a sec."
Jeremy barely knew what was happening. He looked out over the water to another ship baring down on them, a harpoon gun mounted on the front. It took him more than a few seconds to notice it had been fired and it was them that had been harpooned. The angry wasp zips of bullets buzzed around him and he dropped prone, squeezing the trigger of the uzi. The uzi fired, the recoil sending his aim flailing wildly. He hadn't been shot though, so hopefully he'd managed to hold them off. The ringing in his ears was fading and he heard a thump behind him. Turning around he saw the man bracing himself behind a long green tube.
"I tried to tell ya." He muttered under his breath. "But now you can go fu-whhhhooooooossssh!"
His mutter was cutoff as a rocket shot from the tube and into the other boat, instantly turning it into a burning fireball.
The man offered Jeremy a hand and pulled him to his feet. "That'll learn 'em. Frickin' nubs, see a posh boat and go get a hard on for it, nevermind what the damn thing's doing way out here just off the Docks. You alright?"
Jeremy just nodded dumbly and the man patted him on the back and laughed. "The names Stuart. Can't keep a name from a guy I've seen action with. Almost there now, go pretty yourself up for the welcoming committee. Be there in twenty."
Jeremy nodded shakily and headed back down to his cabin.
What the hell have I gotten myself into?
He laid back on the bed and buried his head under a pillow, hoping the world would just go away.
Twenty minutes passed and he felt the boat dock. He swallowed his nerves, grabbed his suitcase and headed up to the deck.
"Heard you had a bit of trouble?"
"Nothing I couldn't handle."
"The cargo okay?"
"No problems, even helped out a bit. He'll be ship-shape soon enough. Speaking of my little problem, when the hell are we gonna go do something about these Somali pricks?"
The other voice laughed. "I wouldn't let Frog hear you say that."
"Screw Frog. These pricks got no brains and rockets are expensive."
Jeremy dumped the suitcase through the hatch and then followed to hear the two men laughing but he barely noticed them, all his attention was captured by the sight before him.
Sprawled out in front of him was a huge concrete and metal mass, ships lashed and welded together, bonded to concrete slabs. Gangways were setup between them and the large slab, which he couldn't even see the end of, was stacked high and far with colourful cargo containers. He could see cranes rising high in the distance and hear the hustle and bustle of all manners of people yelling and talking, bartering and arguing. It overwhelmed the senses, it was like a crazy jigsaw puzzle of boats, metal and concrete put together by a hyperactive child with no thought for the correct pattern.
He turned, awestruck, to Stuart and the stranger. "What the hell is this place?"
The stranger raised an eyebrow at Stuart and turned to smile at Jeremy.
"Welcome to the Dockyards."