The band mates looked at each other in fear.
“I don’t think you’ll be going to the after-party after all,” said Burridge solemnly. He called in a mayday and then pressed some more buttons on the desk.
“There’s a plan for this kind of situation, right?” asked Daz.
Burridge stopped. He turned and looked at his guests. The sympathy in his eyes told them the bad news before he said it.
“There’s an escape vessel, but it only has room for one passenger.”
“I should very much like to speak with the designer of that escape vessel and give him a piece of my mind,” said Cam.
“I’m sorry guys,” said Burridge, donning a life jacket. “You’ll have to stay behind.”
He knelt and opened a small safe that was under the desk. He took out four pills, distributed them, and then went and looked out at the pirates, who were now within a few hundred metres of the cargo ship.
“If they make it onto the bridge—and it’s likely they will—take those pills. It won’t stop the pirates killing you, but it will stop the pain. You won’t feel a thing. I know it’s not much, but at least—”
He turned around to see Cam, Daz, Andy and Miles with their pants removed, each inserting a pill into his rectum.
“What the hell are you doing?” said Burridge.
“Taking the pills,” said Daz, with a grimace.
“Good grief! I said take them when the pirates come in here—and certainly don’t stick them up your arse—they’re not suppositories.”
“What’s done is done,” said Cam.
“Well why did you take your shirts off?”
The four naked rock stars answered only with defiant silence.
Gunshots cracked below as the pirates circled the ship.
“Damn it,” said Burridge, “I’ve gotta go.”
He opened an escape hatch at the back of the bridge and lowered himself in. Before disappearing to safety, he looked round once more at the naked hitchhikers.
“Good luck guys,” he said, as to men condemned, and then disappeared.
A few moments later, Cam, Andy and Miles witnessed a fan boat speed away from the starboard side of the ship. The unusual escape vessel was piloted by a bikini-clad supermodel, and on its deck sat Burridge on a beanbag, flanked on one side by a snow leopard on a leash, and on the other side by a regulation size pool table.
“What an impractical vehicle for open seas,” remarked Andy.
“Not as impractical as a tank,” said Daz from the port side of the bridge, as he watched the ship’s fear-stricken crew drive a Sherman Tank over the side of the boat.
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