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.
Going back to Part 11
We last left Les contacting his helicopter pilot buddy Hoss. Les had been relieved of his duties by the U. S. Navy, but in no way has he let go of the job at hand.
Les wasted no time getting in touch Hoss. He knew it would be an expensive undertaking, but he needed the WSVN helicopter to do some sight-seeing from the sky.
"Hey, Hoss, ol' buddy! Are you still working on that story about planes disappearing over The Triangle."
"Hi, Les. This is wild. I was just thinking of you. I'm just the Skyforce7 pilot. I have nothing to do with the stories, but I do know it's not a done deal yet. Why do you ask?"
I can break the story for you, but I need a favor in return."
"Oh, and I hate to think what that might be, but go ahead. What's the favor?"
"The investigation is still ongoing, but I need the use of Skyforce7 to do some aerial investigation. I'll tell you everything your journalist needs to know in exchange for the chopper. Deal?"
"Boy, that's a hard one, Les."
"Your writer will have all the firsthand updates as soon as I get them. He'll be kept up to date in real time. He can watch the investigation unfold."
"Les, how is it you know so much?"
"Where are you right now. I'll drop by and explain everything."
"I'm over on SW 6th. Just passed the Shrine of Saint Philomena. I'll meet you there."
Les headed over to the shrine and met Hoss. The two had lost contact over the years, and Les was nervous about sharing what he knew about the Triangle mystery, but he needed the use of Skyforce7. He explained everything to Hoss and the details excited Him as much as it had affected Les. "So, ol' buddy, do I get the use of the chopper?"
"Oh, absolutely, but you know, Les, I'm only a pilot. I do hear the news as it comes in though. You need to remain an anonymous source. I will never reveal your name to anyone, and you need to never admit you know anything about this. I've heard other stories where people are eliminated for exposing a government coverup - know what I mean.
"Don't give any information to anyone else but me. I'll take care of passing it along through the proper channels to the right people."
"Okay, okay. Whatever! Just get me up as soon as possible."
Hoss checked his Day-Timer. "Looks good for tonight. Meet me at the heliport at 10:00."
“Sounds great! One more thing. Who is footing the bill for this?”
“Oh, don’t worry about a thing. This is on the station. You get them the story, they’ll take of the rest.”
Les started home. An accident on the busy freeway left him almost at a standstill. He inched his way to the exit and made a beeline for the backroads. Deb knew there was something going on when he walked through the front door.
"Les, what are you doing home so early? I haven't even started dinner yet."
"Yes, it is early. Isn't it? That's because I have to go back tonight for some night research. I'll be leaving at about 9:30. But since I don't have to be back until then and you haven't started dinner yet, what do you say we head on over to Cara Mia's for some Italian. Up for it?"
"Absolutely! Give me two minutes to change."
Les knew two minutes probably meant about 45 minutes. But that was okay. The bundle of stress he was used to carrying had been lifted when Adams and Colbo walked out.
The music was soft. The candlelight, romantic. The food, delicious. But Deb saw something else. "Les, are you feeling okay? You look a little pale."
"Oh, I'm fine. It's just been a very long couple of months."
"When do you think you'll be done with this Navy thing?"
Les debated with himself. Should he tell her he was dismissed and left to carry on the investigation alone, which would be far more dangerous? Or should he allow her to think the Navy was still involved, which would offer some degree of safety and protection?" He opted for choice number two.
"Oh, I don't know, Honey. Sometimes it seems like we're further from an answer than we began back in July. Here it is November, and we're scraping for answers. It just seems to drag on and on. That's why I enjoyed tonight being with you."
Les glanced at his watch. It read 9:18. He knew he had to hurry to make his 10:00 appointment. He looked one more time into Deb’s eyes. It’s getting late. I better get you home.”
The break in Les’s evening was over as he drove Deb home. He gave her a kiss as she got and watched longingly as she made her way up the driveway. Deb blushed as she walked to the door. She winked a Les before he drove off into the night. Hoss had the chopper whining as Les pulled into an otherwise empty parking lot and raced to the helicopter. Adrenaline was running high for both men. The doors went closed. The earphones went on. Ant the chopper went up.
The cold waters of the Atlantic began to disappear in the dark as they flew further from the lights of Miami.
The potential danger involved was known to both men, but it seemed to be a rather quiet and still night. Les spoke up. "Can you get us closer to the coordinates where we believe Lieutenant Cartwright is?"
"I'll do my best, but that's stretching the capabilities of this craft." They began to climb higher into the night sky when something caught Hoss's eye.
"Do you see that, Les. That's pretty wild. Got any ideas what it is?"
A mild glow covered the ocean's surface. Then hundreds, perhaps thousands of tiny pinpoints of light came into focus. Hoss continued to take Skyforce7 higher. Les continued to film.
"Nope, I have no idea, Buddy. But it will be fun looking at the film when we get back."
A loud boom and a searing flash of light brought the men back to sobriety. At once fog appeared in the distance. Both men looked at each other before Les spoke. "Get this thing turned around. We'll go back to the lab and piece together what we've seen. I'm not ready to get eaten by the fog."
By 3:30 a.m. both men had had enough. "Hey, Buddy," Les spoke up, "Let's call it a night - or a day. I'll call you in a couple days after I've had a chance to look at the film closer. We'll need to go up again soon."
7:00 a.m. and Les struggled to make it to the lab on time. He knew his day would be spent analyzing the pinpoints of light that appeared on the Atlantic the night before. Susan met him with a cup of coffee and a fresh bagel.
"Susan, I'm not to be disturbed today. You can leave my phone messages on the desk before you leave for the day."
The door to the film room was closed. Les had no intention of leaving until he could make some sense of last night's watery scene. He turned the lights off and began to study the video footage from the night before. He noticed the light from the many pinpoints was not moving with the waves but remained stationary. The light was not a reflection but was rising up from beneath the waves.
Les ran the film in slow motion. The many pinpoints of light swirled momentarily, then focused into one blinding beam as it shot skyward. What had taken place, Les wasn't sure, even though he watched the video at least 12 times. Considering that in each case, the missing Navy jets mentioned a bright light, Les thought it reasonable to conclude the flashing beam of light had something to do with their disappearance.
On a hunch, Les called the Miami weather service. "Could you please tell me if there had been any reports of strange lights in the skies over Miami lately?" He wanted to know. The answer surprised him, but yet it was exactly what he was hoping to hear.
- Pinpoint Analysis - Part 13
The abandoned Navy ship holds some secrets - secrets that Les must hold on to. And if he doesn't?
© 2018 William Kovacic