Kerguelen Conflict

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The DTL oil company send in a crew of three Kiwis to clean up an oil spill on Kerguelen Island in a parallel world where the sea level is 3,000 metres lower. They are suddenly attacked by pirate when they approach the Macdonald Bay Port. But can the African Union army save them from the pirates?

Submitted: July 04, 2016

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Submitted: July 04, 2016

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David Fitzgerald and his two colleagues drove along the gravel road towards the Port of MacDonald in MacDonald Bay, Republic of Kerguelen, Kerguelen Island. Kerguelen was a large 2,000 kilometrelong island in the Southern Indian Ocean, quite close to Antarctica. It had temperate forests and grassland In the northern and central part while the southern part was covered by boreal forests with tundra along the southern shore. The Heard Peninsula stuck out from the underbelly of the island, surrounding the bay. 

 

In the front passenger seat was Barry Larson; a 36 year old with a medium build, brown hair and a beard. He wore a white shirt, shorts and gumboots. Sitting in the middle was Sarah Johnson with her long, wavy brown hair, brown eyes and medium build. She wore a pink, white and black floral shirt, jeans and boots. 

 

"It's a beautiful day," said Barry "What time does the oil tanker arrive to take the oil". 

 

Before the civil war an Australian company named DTL set up a mining operation on Kerguelen Island. They stored oil on the island for the trucks and machinery. The locals noticed the chemicals leached from the mine, destroying the environment around them. The locals got fed up and so launched a civil war. DTL had to abandon the mine and the Kerguelese finally won their independence. That was 30 years ago. 

 

Ever since then the oil started leaking from the tanks and the wetlands became smothered in oil. So the Kerguelese Government called in DTL to clean up the oil. DTL contracted David who brought his team in to help clean up the mess. Eventually he found a buyer in India to sell the oil to. 

 

"It should be arriving in the afternoon" replied David. He turned off the gravel road and turned left into the port with the dirt parking spot. 

 

"David," said Sarah "I think the ship has already arrived". 

 

"No," David slowed to a halt. "That's not ours". A group of Africans were pumping their oil onto the ship. "They're stealing our oil again". 

 

"What?" 

 

"Yes. They stole a third of our oil a few weeks ago. Took the oil from the top". 

 

One of the mercenaries spotted David's red jeep on the dirt parking spot. He shouted "Hey, we have intruders" in Arabic. 

 

The rest of the mercenaries ran to their gunposts and started firing at them. David and his crew ducked for cover as the bullets shattered the windscreen, glass flying everywhere. Their hearts racing as they could feel their pulse in their throats. Bullets firing all around them. 

 

After the pirates stopped firing at them, David popped his head up, started the engine and pulled out of the parking spot, doing a three point turn before taking off down the gravel drive. The pirates ran down the gangplank with machine guns in their hands, firing at the three clean up crew as David and his colleagues made their get away. 

 

The pirates climbed into their jeeps and chased after Peter and his crew, firing at them with their machine guns. 

 

*** 

 

Michael Mumbaga travelled in an African Union Black Hawke helicopter with his comrades from the Mozambique Army.  

 

"There it is," said his best friend, Solomon Junda. He and Mumbaga went to school together when they were children, growing up in the small village of Landagha. "The Mahajanga Isthmus". 

 

Madagascar was attached to the African mainland by the Mahajanga Isthmus. They flew overNatal Bay towards MahajangaNavy Base on the Madagascarside of the Isthmus. To the left were the African Highlands. Towards the right were the Madagascar Mountains. The sea below was a bright blue colour. 

 

They landed at the navy base. The pilotswitched off the engine asthey climbed out of the helicopter, taking their backpacks with them. A big strong African soldier with a wide chest walked up to them. He was in his late fifties with grey hair and an African Union Beret. 

 

"Hi, I'm Colonel Yorvinda Buna, welcome to Madagascar" he said, extending his hand to offer his handshake. Michael and Solomon shook his hand. 

 

"Thank you, sir" said Michael. Behind the Mahajanga base was Mount Europa towering to above 3,000 metres high. "A pleasure to meet you". He introduced himself and his comrade to the colonel. 

 

"Nice to meet you, sir" said Junda with a smile. 

 

"Come into the meeting room," said Buna "It's through that door over there. I'll be there in a second to giveinstructions". 

 

Michael and Solomon complied. Flying above the entrance of the base was the African Union flag, showing the African Continent, Kerguelen, Mascarene, Conrade Island, Shona Island and Walvis Islands surrounded by a ring of stars on a dark green background; and the Madagascar flag showing a red horizontal stripe over a green stripe on the right and a white verticalstripe in the hoist. 

 

They entered the building. Solomon greeted his comrades from other African countries while Michael walked up to the map of the world. Antarctica was the only continent that was cut off by the sea. There was a land bridge between Europe and Canada. Alaska was attached to Siberia. The Arctic Region contained fourseas: The Amundsen Sea was above the north pole and was the deepest and largest sea in the Arctic, most of it under Russian rule while the north western part and Green Seawere ruled by Greenland; Makarov Sea was between Amundsen Sea and Canada and was part of the Russian Federation: Canada Sea was divided between Alaska in the north and west and Canada in the east. The Norwegian Lakes were in Norway. 

 

The Mediterranean plains were between Europe and Africa, there were a series of lakes in the Caribbeanregion and the GalapagosPeninsula stuck out of the northwestern part of South America. Southeast Asia was attached to the Asian Mainland by the Indonesian Mountains and was covered by Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand Empire, Tonga, Fiji and Solomons. The Tasman Gulf was between New Zealand and Australia and there was a valley between Australia and New Guinea. Micronesia consisted of three large islands. Mariana covered a peninsula between Japan and Micronesia. 

 

Crozet consisted of the Crozet Peninsula which was attached to Madagascar by the Madagascar Ranges and a series of islands. Towards the south of Crozet was Conrad Island. Shona Island was towards the southwest of the Republic of South Africa, the Walvis Islands were close to the Namibian Peninsula, Mascarene Island was off the coast of Madagascar with Reunion Island and Mauritius Island to the south. 

 

"Right," said Colonel Buna "If I may have your attention". Everybody stopped talking and looked at the colonel. Michael turned around to face him and stepped out of the way so that Buna could get to the map. Buna turned around and said "The African Union had a call from the New Zealand Empire and Australia saying that a New Zealand crew had been trapped by pirates who appear to be African. They were cleaning up an oil spill on Kerguelen Island for an Australian company called DTL. When they arrived at Port MacDonald, they were attacked by pirates who were stealing their oil. As soon as they got away they made a mayday call to DTL". 

 

Buna paused for a minute as he looked around at his comrades. "We are to rendezvous with the South African Navy at Jejunga Port on the northern coast of Conrad Island. Once we arrive there, we will receive further instructions from General Van Der Merwe who will head the African Union Navy. He will direct us to rescue the three Kiwis from the pirates. Is that clear?" 

 

"Sir. Yes, sir!" chorused the AU soldiers. 

 

"We will head out by helicopter to Conrad Island Immediately. From there we go to Kerguelen by boat. Let's go". 

 

The AU soldiers marched out of the room, ran to the helicopters that had already been started and climbed aboard. As soon as they were aboard the helicopters, they took off towards the south, heading out into the Natal Sea between Madagascar and Mozambique. 

 

They flew alongside the western coast of the Madagascar Mountains, the sea splashing against the beach below with tropical rainforest along the coast and farms and alpine regions in the highlands. They went past Toliara Point across Agulhas Bay, the Crozet Isthmus towards the east. For a while, all they could see was the Agulhas Sea. Then they spotted the Crozet Peninsula ahead that was attached to Madagascar by the MadagascarRanges. They zoomed over Jalanga Point and over Crozet as the pitot banked the helicopter towards the south east. 

 

As they flew over the Peninsula, Michael saw the tropical savannahs on the hills. The farmers below herding their cattle across the land. The Crozetians spoke their own language which was related to the Malagasy language. 

 

"Madagascar and Crozet were once French colonies," said Buna "All those years ago". 

 

They zoomed over the rolling hills where cattle, sheep and springboks grazed. They went over themountains in the middle of Crozet. First they came across alpine vegetation. They weaved through the Prince Edward Mountains that were capped with snow andjagged rocks. 

 

"It's amazing," said Michael "The mountains are so beautiful". 

 

The snow gave way to alpine again which quickly turned to temperate forests. They flew over the steep cliffs along the southern shore of the peninsula, the waves splashing against the rocks below. They zoomed over the rough sea that was light green. They eventually came across Conrad Island which was covered with temperate grassland and conifers. Conrad was once a British colony but became independent in the 1960s. 

 

The pilot banked the helicopter along the northern shore. Rolling hills towards the south with sheep grazing on the grass. They eventually came across a navy base at the foot of the hills. The pilot landed the helicopter on the helipad. They hopped out and walked towards the main hall where the rest of the AU Navy were waiting for them. An Afrikaans General was talking to one of his commanders when he saw them entering the building. 

 

"Glad you can join us," said the General "I am General Patrick Van Der Merwe. Welcome to Conrad Island". Van Der Merwe turned around and said "May I have your attention please". Everybody stopped talking. "Right. The reason why we are here today is because the AU had a call from Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand saying that a Kiwi clean up crew have been trapped by pirates on Kerguelen Island". He walked over to the map of Kerguelen Island which resembled a rhinoceros sitting on the ground. "At the top of the island is a peninsula called Rhino Horn Peninsula. Surrounding MacDonald Bay is Heard Peninsula which sticks out from the middle facing west. 

 

"The clean up team had been hired by an Australian company named DTL to clean up the oil on Kerguelen Island that had leaked out from a storage tank at an abandoned mine". Van Der Merwe explained the history of the Kerguelese Civil War. "Now the pirates came in and started taking their oil. We don't know who they're selling it to. But we'll soon find out". Van Der Merwe sat on the table with his foot on the chair, leaninghis forearm on his right knee. "The Kiwis are now trapped on Kerguelen Island near the port of MacDonald Bay". 

 

He pointed at the small harbour on the map and showed the photosof the three Kiwis who were trapped by the pirates. He told them the names of the clean up crew. "This is David Fitzgerald, the head of the clean up team sent to clean up the mess. These are his two employers; Barry Larson and Sarah Johnson. Thisis what we do". 

 

He got up on his feet and walked towards the map with his pointer. "We will travel by boat towards the entrance ofMacDonald Bay. Once there, we will launch the rubber dinghies into the water and start heading towards the beach while our AU airforce provides fire cover. Our mission, men, are to storm across the beach, take out the pirates and rescue the three Kiwis to safety. 

 

"Mumbanga, Junda". Their ears pricked up when they heard their names. "Your mission is to storm onto the island, go deep inland and extract the Kiwis while the rest of the AU force keep the pirates busy. Once you find them, you are to escort them to the helicopter which will be waiting for them at the port. The helicopter will take them back to the New Zealand Empire where the Prime Minister will be waiting for them at the Whenuapai Airport. Is that clear?" 

 

"Sir, yes sir!" Chorused the soldiers. 

 

"I have given instructions to your commanding officers and you will be split up into teams. Now go. And make Africa proud. Go rescue those Kiwis!" 

 

Michael and Solomon filed out of the building with the rest of the AU soldiers and boarded the navy patrol boats with their machine guns, rocket launchers, hand grenades and machetes. Once everybody were aboard, the navy patrol boatsleft the port flying the AU flagsand headed out into the Indian Ocean. Outside the administrative building, the AU flag flew alongside the Conrad flag showing the sun above a sky blue band on a red background. 

 

*** 

 

A passenger cruise boat had just approached the MacDonald Bay Port when they saw the piratesoffloading oil onto the red oil tanker. All of a sudden the passengers screamed when they saw one of the pirates launch a rocket launcher at their cruise boat. The passengers ran out of the way, just before the rocket hit the boat, causing a ball of flames which went up towards the sky. The cruise boat took on water, flooding the lower compartments, causing the boat to sink. The pirates fired their machine guns at the passengers as they jumped into the water, blood splatting out of their bodies. 

 

The AU patrols arrived just outside MacDonald Bay at Kerguelen Island. 

 

"What was that?" asked Solomon in Swahili. 

 

"Sounds like gunfire to me," replied Michael "Near the port I suppose". 

 

There was the Heard Peninsula consisting of steep cliffs and a sharp rock sticking out into the ocean. As soon as the patrol boats entered the bay, their captains ordered theminto the rubber dinghies which were then lowered into the water. Michael and Solomon climbed down a rope ladder into one of the boats. Theyheaded inland with their machine guns ready. Buna was with them. 

 

"You know what to do?" asked Buna. Michael and Solomon nodded. "As soon as we hit the shore, you two run inland and extract the Kiwis out of the conflict zone. Here are the photos". Buna handed them the photos. They took a good look at them, reading their files. "You'll remember how they look? Who they are?" They both nodded. "As soon as you hit land, you go in and get them. Understand?" 

 

"Sir, yes sir!" 

 

They zoomed across the shore towards the beach. A squadron of army jets approached from the west and fired missiles at the oil tank, the pirates jumping into the water as the boat exploded into flames. One of the patrol boats came in and the navy crew pointed their guns at them, ordering them aboard the boat in Arabic. Michael saw the MacDonald Mountains with Mount Heard, being the highest, in the middle of the island. 

 

As soon as the rubber dinghy hit the sand, Colonel Buna shouted "Go, go, go!" 

 

Michael and Solomon complied, rushing onto the island, their guns blazing as they shot the pirates in the chest. The blood spurted out of their bodies as they collapsed on the ground. Michael and Solomon ran deeper into the forest, shooting more pirates inthe chest and stomachs. 

 

*** 

 

David, Barry and Sarah hid in the corrugated iron shed, behind the tractor with their helper, Jacinda Vandor, a local Kerguelese man with a tall thin build and dark skin, and Peter Donaldson, a contractor working on behalf of DTL. They were holed up in the shed, the pirates firing their machine guns at them, bullets flying all around them. There was the rat-tat-tat-tat of the machine gun as the bullets bounced off the dirt and stones. 

 "How are we going to get out of here?" asked Barry "We're trapped!" 

 

"I sure hope the AU arrive very shortly" replied Peter. Being the site supervisor of the old DTL mine, he was a 48 year old with blonde hair, thin build anda goatee. He wore a sky blue long sleeve buttoned shirt, jeans and black working boots. 

 

Sarah peered over the nose of the bulldozer, being very careful not to get spotted as they would kill her. The bullets bounced off the metal, making the ricochet sound. She spotted one of the pirates getting hit in the neck by a bullet. 

 

"Peter!" she yelled "Someone is shooting at the pirates". 

 

Peter stuck his head up beside Sarah, Barry watched from beneath the tractor, David stuck his head out from behind the wall and Jacinda watched from behind the tracks. The pirates got slaughtered by machine-gun fire. One got shot beneath the jaw, the blood splurting out. The second one was struck in the back, his body spasmed before he fell on his back. The third got struck in the chest. 

 

They shot the pirates hiding behind the tree, behind the house,under the bush. Once all the pirates had been all shot, David and his crew saw two African soldiers run out of the forest into the clearing. They wore army camouflage with army helmets and carried machine guns. One of them yelled "I am Lieutenant Michael Mumbanga of the African Union Army and this is my colleague, private Solomon Junda. We are hear to rescue you". 

 

"Thank god you're here," replied David, leading his three colleagues from the shed as Peter and Jacinda watched. "We've been held up here for days. I didn't think we'd ever get out of here. How do we get out of here?" 

 

"Here is what we do. When I wave my hand down like that, you lie down flat. If I put my hand up like this, you stop. And when I say run, you run! Got that?" David and his colleagues nodded. "Let's go, let's go, let's go". 

 

David and colleagues followed Michael down the dirt track as Solomon took up the rear. They ran down the hill. When they heard an army jeep coming, Michael waved his hand down and they all ducked for cover. The jeep contained pirates. Solomon threw his hand grenade into the jeep, causing the jeep to explode into a ball of flames. Bits of debris flying everywhere. A tire zoomed over their heads. 

 

"Go, go, go, go, go" yelled Michael. 

 

The three Kiwis followed the two AU soldiers down the dirt track, running as fast as they could, while the African soldiers fired on the pirates all around them. Michael led them across the grass field towards a helicopter that was waiting for them on the dirt parking spot. The pilot switched on the engine as Michael and Solomon escorted the Kiwi clean up crew towards the chopper. David climbed aboard the chopper, followed by Barry, then Sarah. The African soldiers helped them aboard. 

Once they were all on board, the army helicopter took off and theyheaded towards the mountains in the east as Michael and Solomon looked on. 

 

"That was a fine job you did, my boys," said General Van Der Merwe "You rescued the Kiwis from the pirates, just as we were sent out to do". The African Union soldiers had started rounding up the pirates andescorted them aboard the navy ships. "Come. We're going to interrogate the leader of the pirates". 

 

Michael and Solomon complied. They followed Van Der Merwe into the army tent where Colonel Yorvinda watched over a couple of African Muslims with his machine gun. Michael and Solomon pointed their guns at them. 

 

"Well, well, well," said Van Der Merwe "You got yourself into a tricky situation here, have we?" The pirates just glared at him. Van Der Merwe put his face up to him and demanded "What is you're name? Who sent you?" 

 

The pirate looked up at Van Der Merwe and said "I am Jejunga Amun and this is my comrade, Imrad Dali. We were hired by a Doctor Scot Kenzy who runs anorganization called Illicit Energy. That's in Singapore".  

"I see. Does he know that the oil is stolen, Mister Amun?" 

 

"No, he does not, boss man. We make a good profit from it though". 

 

Van Der Merwe turned to Yorvinda and said "Colonel, contact the New Zealand Imperial Government. Tell the prime minister what we've just learned from these two kaffas". 

 

"Yes, sir". Yorvinda saluted before picking up his mobile phone and looking up the number in the contacts list. 

 

*** 

 

The crowd cheered as David, Barry and Sarah finally returned to the New Zealand Empire in the AU helicopter. They arrived at the Whenuapai Air Baseon the Tasman coast of New Zealand. Once they had been rescued they had flown over Amsterdam Island and the Australian sub continent. The helicopter landed on the helipad as Prime Minister John Key waited for them on the tarmac. The three clean up crew climbed out of the helicopter and ran into the arms of their loved ones. 

 

David ran into the arms of his wife and three daughters. All of them so glad to see him again. Sarah jumped into the arms of her fiancé and kissed him on the lips. Barry hugged his parents who were happy he made it out alive. David hugged his familyfor a while. Then let go and walked up to John Key with his family in tow. 

 

"Thanks for helping us out," said David to John "I appreciate it". 

 

"That's ok," replied John "Glad to help a fellow Kiwi out". 

 

John smiled. The two men hugged and patted each other on the back as Barry and Sarah watched. 

 

*** 

 

Back in the Republic of Kerguelen Island, Peter and his Kerguelese workers cheered and danced in the streets of MacDonald Bay, happy to have gotten rid of the dreadful pirates. They welcomed Van Der Merwe, Michael, Solomon and Yorvinda as heroes as they rushed up to the AU soldiers and thanked them for saving their port. 

 

"I'm so grateful you came," said Peter to Van Der Merwe "Now that you've captured the pirates, we can bring them to justice". Peter smiled. 

 

"Yes, my boy. They'll be put away for a very long time. So you'll be taking Illicit to court?" 

 

"Yeah, mate. Can't let them get away with it". 

 

"That's right. Those capitalist kaffas need to be taught a lesson". Van der Merwe smiled. Michael and Solomon were drinking with Yorvinda. The locals singing their national anthem. "Let us celebrate, my boy". 

 

"Good idea".  

 

They walked up to the locals who chatted with them and thanked them for dealing with the pirate kaffas. They joined in the drinking, singing and dancing. 


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