This is part 3 of a Steven Adams-Nick Collison fanfiction series. The previous installment can be found here.
“Damnit, old man, I don’t care what time it is,” Steven barked into the phone. “I need three jet skis ready for me in twenty minutes. The country is depending on you, and I’m depending on you, so get your bum down there, ya ol’ geezer!”
Steven hung up and angrily threw his phone onto the king-sized bed. Nick and Cameron avoided eye contact, standing awkwardly at the other end of the room.
“I’m sorry those jewels got stolen, Steve. I don’t think there’s anything we could do, though,” Cam reluctantly offered.
“There is something we can do. Hand me that bag, mate” Steven commanded, pointing at a large black duffel bag stowed on a shelf in the tiny hotel closet. Cam did so without question. He struggled at first because the bag was far heavier than he’d anticipated, then swung it by the strap and launched it at Steven.
“What are you doing lugging around a bag of cement like that? Geez, that’s heavy!” Cam said.
Steven ignored the comment and zipped the bag open, pulling the contents out and laying them on top of the bed. There were several black garments, a metal toolbox, and a crossbow with a clutch of arrows.
“Put these on,” he directed, tossing sleek black wetsuits to Nick and Cam. They looked at each other, and before either one could protest, noticed Steven frantically changing into his. “We’re gonna get wet, boys.”
“You got some gall gettin’ me up at sparrow-fart, ya know,” the old man muttered. Nick immediately recognized him as the same man working the dock when they were out on their blissful boat excursion earlier. It was only twelve hours ago, but felt further removed. Dawn had not yet begun, but it was not long until the sun would break on this remote corner of the world.
“And I appreciate you, old man. You’re doing a favor for the country, and I’ll make sure you get recognized as a hero,” Steven said earnestly, placing a giant hand on the man’s shoulder that has been shrunken with age. They gazed into each other’s eyes for a moment, then Steven turned away and motioned for Nick and Cam to follow.
A dim street lamp illuminated just enough of the black water to show the three jet skis bobbing on the surface. “You KNOW I’m into this kinda fun,” Cam smiled, doing a small dance of excitement.
“This ain’t a piss-up, we’ve got business to do. You all are going to stick close to me, and follow my lead,” Steven spoke sternly. He adjusted the strap on his crossbow so it would stay tight on his back. Without another word, he jumped off the dock onto one of the jet skis, straddling it between his legs, and began to start the ignition. Nick followed, cautiously stepping off and mounting the ski.
“CANNONBALL!” A huge splash erupted in the water, and Cameron bobbed up, reaching for his jet ski. With an angry grunt, Steven throttled the engine and sped out of the dock, spraying cold ocean water onto Cam’s face.
“Hey, c’mon, wait for me man!” he shouted as Nick roared away in pursuit.
The moon was nearly full and vibrant, lighting up the black water of the sea. Only the lapping waves could be heard over the trio’s whirring jet ski motors. What could we be looking for, Nick wondered. The thief had gotten away on a helicopter, after all.
After traveling far enough from the land that it was no longer visible, there seemed to be nothing on the horizon but more water. The earliest red crease of morning was beginning to smudge through the darkness, glowing across the horizon like an opening eye. They had been moving for what felt like an hour, but time is fluid on the open sea.
A giant shadow began to rise in the distance. Cam squinted, trying to decipher what it was, and a deathly chill bloomed in his chest as he recognized it: the strange white boat he saw earlier. He had a bad feeling about it before, and now it seemed absolutely sinister.
Steven’s craft arced in front of the group and came to a sudden stop. Cam and Nick cautiously slowed down and shut off their engines.
“I should’ve listened to you earlier, mate. About the boat. You were right to be suss. It’s the Silver Cloud,” Steven shouted over the sound of the current, his voice loud yet apologetic.
“Wait, what’s the Silver Cloud?” Nick asked, saying the name as if it were the name of an old acquaintance, or a town he’d once seen on a map.
“That’s the Team USA boat. Ya know, the one they had all the basketball players staying on during the Olympics. But what’s it doing all the way here?” Steven turned away from his friends to face the boat, drifting further away from them. “And what would they want with the pounamu?”
He ripped the throttle forward and sped towards the Silver Cloud, into an opening skyline of grapefruit and blood orange hues that oozed and punctuated through the copper southern sky.
They sped after the great ocean liner. Although moving fast for a craft of such titanic proportions, compared to their quick skis the boat seemed to lurch along. It did not take much time for them to catch up, racing along the broad ivory hull.
Suddenly, a wide and bright floodlight shone from a post high upon the ship. It flooded a circle around the men’s skis, and a tinny megaphone shrieked feedback as if to announce its presence.
“Turn the vehicles off, and put your hands in the air,” a voice firmly ordered. “Turn the vehicles off NOW, and put your hands in the air,” it repeated. All three men listened, and soon were bobbing in place above the ocean, orange and red in the dawn’s burning light.
Guns cocked in the distance, and a line of armed and masked men flanked the side of the boat, pointing their long barrels at the men in the water. Someone holding a megaphone pushed from behind the armed figures, and shouted into it: “Keep those hands up. Just like that, like you’re trying to block me in the paint.”
“You’ll never get away with this, Klay!” Steven shouted back.
“We’ll see about that!” Klay Thompson put the megaphone down and shouted to his squad on the dock, “Send a boat down for them. See to it that our guests are made to be as uncomfortable as possible.”
He stood cackling as the masked men scattered to work. All seemed to be going right for this nefarious plan…
To be continued !