70 Found It!
Rickie had worked his way to the outer edge of the flotilla. Away from the raceway, the boats were larger and grander, stately reminders of the disparity between the classes. Rickie was about to power up when Raine called his cell phone.
When he answered, she immediately spoke.
"We've got a runner, a gray cigarette boat. The APMM are chasing it, but it's got some muscle in the engine compartment. I wanted to let you know."
Ricke felt excitement. "Where is it headed?"
"Northeast, towards Pulau Burung. They've launched the bird, but they don't have a visual by air yet. The rib boats are doing the best they can to keep up, though."
Rickie started looking around, trying to plot a way through the larger ships. He needed to reach the open water quickly, to see if he could assist in any way. He frowned when a familiar boat peeked between two large yachts, also heading out of the harbor. Something about it reminded him of something.
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"Rick? Rick? Hello? Are you still there?" Raine's voice brought him back to the conversation at hand.
"Yes, I'm still here."
"Good. The Kommander doesn't want you haring off as part of the chase. He requests you stay here until they have secured the other vessel and confirmed the identities of the persons aboard." Raine paused.
"And I don't think it was so much a request as a demand. Please sit tight for now."
By now the big black and white cruiser had reached the mouth of the harbor, and white froth erupted from behind as the powerful engines were engaged, and it began accelerating. Rickie's eyes went wide when he made the connection.
The black and white Bayliner, underneath his gas rig. The one Ani escaped in, disappearing into the night sea and leaving chaos behind.
"Raine, did they ever find the boat that was at the sabotage scene?"
"No," came the reply, and Rickie knew where Meaghan was.
"Raine, I think I found something. I'll call you later."
"Rickie? Rickie! Don't you…"
The rest of the call when unheeded when Rickie switched off his phone, tucked it in his back pocket near his gun holster, and threw the jetsprint into drive after the larger vessel.
~ ~ ~
Meaghan felt every bruise on her body as the boat bounced along. She had managed, with great effort, to slide the tarpaulin off, and sit up. Nothing could be seen through the narrow windows but white sprays of water as the boat struck another wave.
She looked around to see if there was anything useful to her, but all she saw were safety orange life jackets, rope, and other safety items. Nothing that could help her with the chains or use as a weapon.
She knew Rickie would never give up looking for her, and held that thought like a tiny flame to chase away the coldness of despair that threatened to overwhelm her.
~ ~ ~
The swells threatened to throw the little boat out of the water, but Rickie grimly hung on, fighting the steering as he incrementally closed the distance between him and the black and white Bayliner.
Suddenly a large wave struck the starboard side of the speedboat, causing it to slew around, and Rickie was nearly tossed over the side.
By the time he gained control, the other vessel was much farther away. He pounded the steering wheel in aggravation. He pulled his cell phone out, still keeping an eye on the direction of his prey.
He only had one bar of signal, so far from shore, but he managed to call Raine; it promptly dumped into voicemail, and he cursed his luck before leaving a message.
"Raine. Look, she's in a big black and white Bayliner, approximately 10 metres long, with a white airwing stabiliser. We're heading northwest out of Kuching Harbor. I'm almost out of sight of land now. Pass that info along. Hurry!"
With that, he tossed the phone to the floorboard, and aimed the little jetsprint for the retreating yacht.