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Clive Cussler's Hellburner by Mike Maden

Clive Cussler's Hellburner by Mike Maden

Author:Mike Maden [Maden, Mike]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Action & Adventure, Thrillers, Suspense, General
ISBN: 9780593540640
Google: 2UpTEAAAQBAJ
Amazon: B09N6PZ9TJ
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Published: 2022-09-06T05:00:00+00:00


* * *

* * *

Juan stood on the edge of the moon pool with Max Hanley by his side. Sparks were falling down from the scaffolding high up on the starboard bulkhead like dying fireflies. The work crews were repairing a couple damaged longitudinal stringers and welding steel sheet to the inner wall. A similar sheet was being attached on the outer bulkhead as some other minor repairs were being attended to.

The crude-looking patches would perfectly fit the Oregon’s “rust bucket” aesthetic. That was fine with Juan. She wasn’t some Silicon Valley billionaire’s pristine vanity yacht parked in a luxury port and visited by her owner only once a year for a family vacation and Instagram photos. The Oregon was a fighting ship and, like any fighter, she bore her hard-won battle scars with pride.

“How bad is it?” Juan asked.

“We got lucky,” Max said over the whine of industrial saws and pounding of sledgehammers. “That tank only got off one shot before Murph took it out.”

The Oregon’s chief engineer turned around and gestured toward the closed boat garage door. “That armor-piercing round came straight through that open door and slammed into the far starboard bulkhead. It punched a ragged hole yea big”—Hanley made a rough semicircle with his hands—“and shot through to the other side. It was on a flat trajectory, so it didn’t rise and penetrate higher up.”

Juan breathed a sigh of relief. The crew was stationed on the higher decks along with vital components like the ship’s brain, the Cray supercomputer.

“No serious structural damage?”

Hanley shook his nearly bald head. “Nothing that affects her safety.”

“Thank God for that.”

“I already have. And I’ll tell you what. If you had asked that tank gunner to hit the least damaging spot on the bulkhead, he couldn’t have picked a more perfect target.”

“How much longer to effect repairs?” Juan had ordered the Oregon out into international waters. Since they had no destination planned, he wanted to shut the ship down to maximize the safety of the repair crews.

“You know me, I like things neat and tidy. Everything that needs to be repaired or replaced will be completed by this time tomorrow, especially if Linda can keep things nice and quiet for a few hours.”

“Thanks, Max. Keep me posted.”

“Will do.”

Juan turned to leave, grateful for his old friend’s steady hand and engineering skill. They had gotten lucky all right, at least on this. But he knew that sometimes you made your own luck.



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