The MarineCommandos team (MARCOS) assembled for briefing. Director of RAW arrived. He seemed worried.
Director:-The schematics that you guys captured yesterday are highly-classified Bombay-High Oil-Rig blueprints. Bombay-High contributes three-fourth of India's oil production. Any attack on it can severy affect country's economy. Hence, we are deploying you to the Mumbai MARCOS branch.
Place:-INS-Rajput Destroyer, near Bombay-High
Operations-Control-Room was blaring with red danger light. Crew-members were busy making calls, studying navigation charts etc. A chopper's sound caught attention of Admiral and Captain. Both headed to upper-deck.
Admiral:-Welcome aboard Major-Rahul! I am Admiral Vikram-Rathor of Bombay-Rakshak fleet and this is Captain Manabendra-Majumder.
Captain-Manabendra:-Now please follow us.
Admiral-Vikram:-My fleet of INS-Rajput, INS-Godavari and INS-Mumbai was deployed exclusively for protection of Bombay-High. We have been patrolling these waters for past 4-months.
Captain-Manabendra:-An hour ago we received distress signal from Bombay-High.
Major-Rahul:-So why are we 2-miles away?
Admiral handed binoculars to Major-Rahul.
Captain-Manabendra:-That burning warship is...was INS-Godavari. We sent it to check the signal. But the 150-MM Rail-Guns, installed on Bombay-High, were hacked by hijackers and used against us. We cannot go anywhere near 2-miles of Bombay-High.
Admiral-Vikram:-That's your primary-objective. The weapon-control is in the second block of Bombay-High. Reach there and deactivate the weapons.
They reached Operation-Control-Room where MARCOS team were handed respective scuba-diving suits.
Major-Rahul:-Any word of Bombay-High workers?
Admiral-Vikram:-That's your second primary-objective. Rescue them, if they are alive.
By now the team had suited up. Wearing the backpack, they walked towards end of outer-deck.
Captain-Manabendra:-You will be in contact with us during mission.
Swimming several miles at stretch is piece of cake for MARCOS. It took 30-minutes for them to reach Bombay-High. There were two hijackers patrolling second-block perimeter. Second-in-Command Lieutenant-Mohit swam silently to other side. There was a brief moment during patrol when both hijacker couldn't see each other. On Major-Rahul's signal, both silently slit hijacker's throat. The team entered second-block. Checking the corners and silencing anyone coming their way, they reached weapons-control-room.
Major-Rahul:-(earpiece)Captain-Manabendra! We have a problem. Control-Panel is destroyed!
The communication was also routed to Admiral-Vikram. Captain-Manabendra was in front of computer-terminal through which he was able to coordinate all activities of warship.
Admiral-Vikram:-The weapon-system has separate power-grid. It is situated just below the control-room.
Captain-Manabendra:-Cutting off the power can do the trick.
Major-Rahul reached below control-room and turned off the power.
Major-Rahul:-(earpiece)Weapons are down! We'll now search for survivors.
Place:-INS-Rajput, near Bombay-High
Admiral-Vikram:-The weapons are down. Fire the engines!
The message was conveyed to INS-Mumbai also. Within minutes both reached Bombay-High. But they were unaware of danger lurking beneath them. A group of 3-scuba-divers silently approaced INS-Mumbai. They planted timed-charges at bilge of ship. INS-Mumbai burst into flames. Nobody could've survived the blast.
Admiral-Vikram, being the experienced officer knew exactly what had happened.
Admiral-Vikram:-Somali-Pirates! They are beneath us! Release Depth-Charges NOW!
Chief-Officer followed the orders without hesitation. The depth-charges didn't bode well for pirate scuba-divers. But this was only beginning. Pointing towards far horizon, Captain-Manabendra passed binoculars to Admiral-Vikram. An armada of pirate-frigates were headed their way! Without any warning, pirate-warships launched missiles in unison.
Admiral-Vikram:-(ordering)Arm the anti-missiles. Activate the 60xRocket-Launchers. Ready the torpedos.
The crew-members got to work. Anti-missiles activated destroying most of the incoming missiles. Few of them still managed to hit the INS-Rajput. But damage was minimum.
Captain-Manabendra:-Lets show them what we have got!
One-by-one 60-60 rockets vacated their homes. Even after getting destroyed by pirate-ship's anti-missiles, their sheer quantity turned many frigates to ashes.
MARCOS-team reached boiler-room which was shut from inside.Sudden attack surprised hijackers and they couldn't do anything except for dying. They untied the workers. Major-Rahul informed Captain-Manabendra who sent lifeboats to north-west side. One survivor informed them about a bomb in east-wing underwater-basement. Major-Rahul ordered two team-members to safely escort survivors to lifeboats. He and Lieutenant-Mohit proceeded towards underwater-basement.
Major-Rahul:-(earpiece)Captain-Manabendra! We have found devices attached to support-structures.
Major-Rahul:-It'c cylindrical, made of glass. One side has perforations. Inner-chamber is divided into two parts. One part has water and other part has yellow powder.
Captain-Manabendra:-That is an acid-bomb. Yellow powder is chlorine. When timer hits 0, water will produce hydrogen reacting with chlorine producing concentrated HCl.
Admiral-Vikram:- See the bombs are attached to Oil-reserves. These reserves are basically carbonate-reserves. If these come in contact with strong acid, due to reaction, the reserves will become useless. We will never be able to mine oil from this oil-rig.
Captain-Manabendra:-The acid will also corrode these support-structure and whole Oil-Rig will collapse.
Major-Rahul:-So how do we stop it?
Captain-Manabendra:-The bunker-oil that is used in warships such as ours are very viscous and can be used to surround powdered chlorine completely, thereby cutting its contact with hydrogen.
Major-Rahul:-But can't we use the oil mined here?
Captain-Manabendra:-Those are not refined and hence not suitable.
Admiral-Vikram:-We have a spare tank in lower-deck. Luckily, we are not far from your location. Search for spare Standpipes.
Standpipes are long, flexible semi-metallic pipes used to drill oils. The underwater-basement was close to INS-Rajput location and Standpipe they found too was long enough. Upon connecting with spare-tank, bunker-oil started oozing out. They first filled the acid-bomb with lowest time left. Through the perforations, bunker-oil started covering each-n-every grain of chlorine. The timer ticked to zero. Nothing happened!
INS-Rajput was winning thanks to underwater torpedos against which pirate-frigates had no answer. Suddenly, remaining two pirate-frigates stopped firing and started moving in opposite direction.
Chief-Officer:- They are retreating..We won!
Admiral-Vikram:-No, They are going towards Mumbai coast. They are gonna bombard the coast. They have enough firepower to wipeout half of mumbai population. They must have had this fail-safe plan from beginning. Contact Major-Rahul.
Major-Rahul:-(earpiece)Only 2-bombs are left and with 10-minutes in each. We will find another way.
Captain-Manabendra:-We’ll be back!
Lieutenant-Mohit:-Why did you lie about time sir. We have only 3-minutes.
Major-Rahul:-Hadn't I lied, they would have spent precious time arguing.
Lieutenant-Mohit:-So now what we do.
Major-Rahul:-We find some way or die trying.
Place:-INS-Rajput, 6-miles from Mumbai-coast
The damaged INS-Rajput was desperately after two Pirates-Frigate. Upon reaching in suitable range Admiral-Vikram ordered to fire missiles. Chief-Officer pressed buttons to adjust missile-turrets to new coordinates. Nothing happened. Horrified, he looked at Captain-Manabendra.
Captain-Manabendra:-Sir, we have a problem. The repititive firing has jammed hydraulics. We can fire the missiles but cannot set coordinates.
This was the test of Admiral-Vikram's experience and leadership.
Admiral-Vikram:-We will manually adjust the turrets! Everybody, on to the top-deck, now!
All crew members, in groups of two, rushed to each of the missile-turrets. The damage to hydraulics meant that it can manually be shifted albeit with lots of effort.
Admiral-Vikram:-We're roughly 1.5-nautical miles..projectile-angle would be 53.4-degree
Collecting every ounce of strength, both groups adjusted turrets to new angle. Admiral-Vikram signalled Chief-Officer. With deafening sound, missile left the turret and headed straight to each frigate. But missiles missed!
Captain-Manabendra:-Sir, we didn't account for wind. With the wind factor..(paused)..the projectile angle will be 57.3-degree.
This time missiles hit! Frigates burst into flames. A wave of joy and victory spread among the crew.However, their joy was short-lived for they couldn't see Bombay-High anymore. Indian Navy won a battle, but lost other.
Excellent cover art by Manabendra, comics with such perfect covers....you can't resist buying them Its like I am reading a page break rough draft of a good Indianized 'Commando Comic'. There are couple of Indian publishers like Aan Comics, Aditya Horizons publishing 'Indian war comics series' you should contact them. It zings, from the good title start to the insightful breakdown into tactical, logical segments but there were many things happening simultaneously which look awesome in sequential art but sometimes create noise, confusion in text so you have to adapt according to the format.
Rating - 142/200 Points
Word Limit Penalty - Minus 9 Points
Final Rating - 133/200
Total Points after 2 Rounds - 245/400
Judge - Mohit Trendster