Pinpoint Analysis - Part 16
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental
- Pinpoint Analysis - Part 15
Secretary Adams leaves Les with one question - "Are you ready for the storm?"
From Part 15
Adams ordered Colbo to sit. He looked directly into Les's eyes. "It's not just about those planes. It's about who was on those planes. My wife was on the first plane to go down. A replacement was needed on that morning. My wife volunteered. That's who she is. Now she's gone."
Les turned his head away. "So, you have a personal interest in this project. I should have known."
Adams was about to forget he was addressing a civilian. "All I know is we are going to bring her back. You have a personal interest, too - your daughter. But don't think about your daughter. Don't think about my wife. Think about the other fathers that went missing. What about the children whose daddy won't be coming? What about the mothers without sons returning? How about the brothers who won't be returning to their siblings.
"Think about it, Les. We've got to bring them home. It's my duty. It's my responsibility. It's yours, too. It's not going to be easy. As a matter of fact, this will no doubt be the hardest thing you've ever done. But it has to be done.
"Your daughter is out there somewhere crying for her daddy. Is she to suppose you don't care. Is she to realize she's too much trouble to bring back. Is she to think you never cared about her? She's your flesh and blood, for crying out loud!"
Adams grabbed Les by the collar and lifted him to eye-level. "Are you ready for the storm?"
Adams loosened his grip. Les straightened his collar and tie before he spoke. "I have an appointment. Meet me here at 4:00. I'll let you know then." He walked out of the room and headed for his car.
Susan was waiting for him as he approached the door. She knew he had to slow down. "Boss, can I talk to you, just for a minute?"
"Not right now, Susan. I'll talk to you tomorrow," Les shoved past her and ran to the parking lot. It was nearly 4:00 when he returned. Adams and Colbo were waiting patiently in the conference room when Les walked in with a huge smile of pride covering his face.
Adams and Colbo looked at each other. Les placed his hands on the table. Adams was the first to notice. "I guess that's my answer." as he stared at the new tattoo on Les's right hand - the tattoo of a storm cloud with the words, Ready for the Storm.
Colbo simply said, "We'll be in touch." She and Adams dismissed themselves leaving Les with new enthusiasm. The door almost hit Susan as Adams and Colbo exited. She had been listening through the keyhole.
"Boss, I really need to talk with you. It's important."
"Not right now, Susan. I have to organize my thoughts."
"Thoughts about what. Boss?"
"You know this is on a need-to-know basis, and this you don't need to know. Now, get back to work."
"You mean you're working for the US Navy again? I thought you were through with that. Boss, I just wanted to say, I think you look a little pale today. Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine, Susan, but thanks for your concern. Now, get lost. Or better yet, take the rest of the afternoon off. I'll see you tomorrow."
The phone was ringing at the Griffin residence. "Mrs. G.. it's Susan. I'm worried about your husband. I think he's working for the Navy again. He has to slow down. He has to deal with this. He seems a little pale today, too. I'm really worried about him."
"I've noticed his pale complexion, too, but that was before Trista's plane went missing. I don't think it has anything to do with what's happening now. I'll try to get him to see a doctor, but you know how that goes. Thanks for letting me know, Susan."
A trip to the lighthouse was in order. Les had unlimited access to the lighthouse because of his connection with marine biology. The night was falling, and Les settled in to watch the black waters of the Atlantic's Triangle from a distance. Lifting his binoculars to his eyes, he looked to the horizon and back again. In the dark, the scene blended together and became one. He waited.
And he waited. Nothing. Thinking it through, he knew he had to enlist Hoss and his chopper again. He would take care of that in the morning. For now, his day was over, and he made the trip home.
Deb was waiting for him. "Honey, what are you doing up? It's late. You should be in bed," Les asked.
Deb wrinkled her forehead as if to say, "and shouldn't you be in bed too?"
"Les, we need to talk. You need to let go of this and grieve the loss of your daughter. She's not coming back."
Les hung his head and took a moment to respond/ "I know that. I know she's gone."
"Do you, Les? Do you really know she's not coming back? Let me ask you. Where were you tonight? You were out looking for her, weren't you? Les, hope is good, but misplaced hope is dangerous. You have to let go. We have to let go. We have to face reality and deal with it. It will take time, but Les, we have to do it."
"I want to say you're right, but what if she's still out there? What if I can bring her back? I'm her dad. I have to try."
"Les, that's crazy talk! What if she's still out where? Bring her back from where? The dead? Please, Les. It hurts to talk like this. She's gone. She's not coming back - ever. Let's just leave it at that. Please!"
Les was in for a fitful night of sleep. He had already been up three times before the clock in the hall struck 2:00. He was sweating profusely and was more than agitated. Deb was reacting to the physical symptoms - the restlessness, the sweating, the agitation. Les was reacting to a strange sense of impending elation or doom. He couldn't tell which. He was encountering an intense nervousness. At last, Deb was able to persuade him to come back to bed.
Exhausted, he finally fell asleep. By 3:00 he was sitting on the edge of the bed twitching with anxiety. Then he collapsed on the bed and fell into a deep sleep. Deb felt relieved he was finally sleeping, but that would not last long. Les was rolling and moaning on the bed.
"Les, Les, wake up!" For a moment, Les didn't respond to Deb's wake-up call. Then he sat up - sweat dripping from his brow and a look of urgency on his face. Deb got a towel and patted Les's wet face. "Are you okay, Honey? What's going on? What's this about?" She began to rub his back.
Les's gaze was far off as if he saw something in the distance. He sat in the dark, staring at nothing. Then he spoke. "Trista came to me. She needs me to go to her, but . . .
"But what, Les?"
- Pinpoint Analysis - Part 17
Les is not the same man he was, and Deb doesn't know what to think - oh, and where is Trista?
© 2018 William Kovacic