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Pinpoint Analysis - Part 8

Disclaimer

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.

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  • Pinpoint Analysis - Part 7
    Does new evidence help, or does it hinder Les's investigation? We'll find out as we look into Part 7 of Pinpoint Analysis

Previously

As much as sleep was needed, it was also what Les couldn't find. He tossed and turned his way through the night. His talk with Trista was heavy on his mind. A sleepy Les drove to the lab for yet another day of research - and no answers.

On the back burner of his mind was the heavy loss of marine life. Radiation still seeped into the waters of the Atlantic. The Navy closed the beaches due to pollution issues. It was never announced what the pollution was or what was causing it. Radiation, the Navy knew. The cause, they didn't. Les had his work cut out for him.

He went back and forth between priorities. Should he focus on the destroyed marine life? What about Lieutenant Cartwright? Missing planes? The power of threes? His best option would have been to pick one and work it. Instead, he dabbled in each, and at the close of the day, he knew nothing.

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As the first colors of daylight began to cover Miami, Les was able to focus. A restful night's sleep brought with it a clear mind for Les. He knew what he needed to spend his day working on.

Yesterday's conversation with Trista was where Les would start. He went over and over in his mind her words, ". . . I could see a weird fog. Then we heard a voice like it was speaking from within the cloud. It wasn't just me. It was the whole plane that heard it."

Fighting the morning rush hour traffic, he finally arrived at the lab. His first order of business - call Trista.

"Hi, Honey. It's Dad. Hey, I need to talk to you about the voice you heard on the plane yesterday."

The conversation continued. Trista filled him in on the details. Next, he needed to contact Commander Colbo. He called Washington.

"Commander, I'm working on a theory. I need to discuss some things with you and the Secretary. How soon can you be here . . . ? Great I'll see you then!"

Later that afternoon, Susan ushered Secretary Adams and Commander Colbo to the conference room. The three sat down as Les poured coffee.

"Um, Susan. Nice try, but you may be excused. But here. Take this coffee with you."

An irritated Susan headed back to her work, stomping all the way.

Secretary, Commander, I believe I may know how to get your lieutenant back."

Adams spoke up. "Well, that's great news. Listen, before we go any further, there's no need for all this formality. I'm not your Secretary, and Commander Colbo is not your Commander. Mike and Lori work just fine. Now, Doctor, are you saying you've found our planes?"

"Okay, okay. I get it. Call me Les. No. I said your lieutenant, your man Cartwright."

"Is this more of this hocus-pocus stuff, Les? You know we can't have that."

"Look, you both know as well as I do that this hocus-pocus stuff is where we'll find the answer. You know it!"

"Well, maybe so, but I could never sell that to the President. You have to give us something scientific. We've been through this before."

Les was beginning to steam again. He pounded the table as the coffee in his styrofoam cup spilled on his carefully written hand-written notes. They were now stained brown and barely readable.

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A more-than-irritated Les forced himself to calm down. "Look, Secretary. Um, Mike. I can only give you what the evidence gives me. If you can't accept that, you'll need to find someone else."

"Look, Les. I believe in what you're doing. I believe you'll find the answers. I just can't take this supernatural stuff back to Washington."

"And if I give you something scientific, and it doesn't add up, then what? Will Washington accept that?"

Colbo cut in. "They probably will. We know there's something out of the ordinary happening, and truthfully, Washington is scared. There is bound to be a cover-up concerning the disappearances of our planes, and especially the radiation leaks. We're just asking that you help us with that."

Les paused to collect his thoughts. "So why have an investigation at all? I could just make up a believable story, and we'd be done, right?"

"Not exactly," Adams continued. "I'll level with you. It works like this. We need to find our planes whatever the cost. But the media and the public must be kept in the dark as to what's really happening. This could cause a public scare that would spiral out of control. That would put us in more danger than knowing the truth.

"If the investigation fails, if this supernatural truth gets out to the public, you'll be blamed for causing national hysteria. If and when the time comes to reveal the real reason behind these disappearances, the Navy will get the credit. "You're a pawn, Les - but a much-needed piece in the game. Remember, too, you can't back out. You signed a contract with the United States Government. Now, how can we get our man back?"

"If I tell you, are you willing to supply the manpower and the risk involved?"

"We'll do whatever it takes on our end if you take care of matters on your end."

"Okay." Les eyed Adams and Colbo carefully to determine their sincerity. He continued. "My daughter left for college in San Juan yesterday. Your plane got through just fine. The fog seemed to be targeting my daughter's plane but missed. Her plane flew dangerously close to a patch of electronic fog. She and everyone on the plane heard your Lieutenant's plea for help."

Adams needed to know. "How do we know your daughter didn't just imagine this? Other than being your daughter, how do we know she's credible? Does she know about this operation?"

Les smiled. "No, no, no. When I work, I do a thorough job. Besides, I knew you'd bring that up. I verified it all. I talked to the pilot and at least three other passengers and a flight attendant. The pilot gave me the exact words spoken by Cartwright. Oh, and don't worry. He has no idea this is part of a government investigation.

"The pilot gave me the exact coordinates where the voice was heard. We need to do some exploratory runs to that point in the sky when the fog is not present. Can we pick up any sounds, any voices? Hopefully, we can.

"Once that's been determined we should be able to do a fly-by and get Cartwright out of there. If not, we may have to risk flying into the fog to get him out. This is all too technical for me. Your men will have to work out the details, but I do believe it can be done."

Colbo spoke up. "Les, we really do want to help you, but if I'm not mistaken, there is no hint of the fog until it takes down the plane. That makes me a little nervous. We could lose more men in the process. The fog, it just appears from nothing. Am I right? "

"Yes - and no. It may not be visible as the rescue planes ascend, but there will be plenty of time to adjust once the planes are in the air."

Adams sat thinking, a strange look of wonderment in his eyes. "Les, you say Cartwright is trapped in time. In a sense, he experiences no past or future. He's locked into his present at the moment the plane was taken down. Is that right?"

"Yes. He's not moving through time. He's stopped in time. We travel through time just as we travel through space, but Cartwright isn't traveling. He's stuck at a particular point."

"Okay. Follow this, Les. If he can't move forward in life - if he's stuck right there, he'll never die. He'll live eternally. Why risk our men if he's not going to die?"

"You know, Mike, that's a heavy thought. I'll have to process that one a bit. But I still believe we need to rescue him. We'll just have to be careful and cautious about it.

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Susan picked up the ringing phone. "Oh hi, Mrs. G. How's everything going?"

"Just fine, Susan. I'm in a bit of a hurry. Can you put me through to Les?"

"He's in an important meeting right now. Can I have him call you back? Or can I take a message?"

"It's really important, Susan."

"Okay. I'll see what I can do. Hold on."

Susan walked down the hall to the conference room. She stopped for just a minute before knocking and placed her ear close to the door. Her silhouette through the opaque glass gave her away. Things grew quiet before Les spoke.

"Come in, Susan."

An embarrassed Susan quietly turned the knob and pushed the door forward. "It's your wife, Boss. She says it's important."

Les gave Susan his annoyed look. Then he looked at Adams and Colbo. Adams gave a nod. "Go ahead, Les. take the call."

Les stepped into the hall. "Les, I don't know what your secret mission is about, but I do know it has something to do with Russian subs. Now, listen. . . "

"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Slow down! It has nothing to do with Russian subs, and you know it. Is Susan talking again? Please. I'm in a meeting with the Secretary and the Commander. Don't be bringing Russian subs into this."

"Okay - whatever. Trista called a few minutes ago. She said an abandoned US Navy vessel had drifted ashore off the Puerto Rico coast. You're not as careful in this investigation as you think you are. I overheard you mentioning to someone on the phone a few weeks back about a missing naval ship. Maybe this is it."

"Wow! Okay. Look, don't tell anyone you heard me talking about it. I'll get in touch with Trista."

"Oh, and could you bring home a loaf of bread?"

  • Pinpoint Analysis - Part 9
    Does the US Navy know more than they are telling? Has AUTEC discovered hell? What happens when Les finds out? It's all here - or is it?

© 2018 William Kovacic

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