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Pinpoint Analysis - Part 9


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.


From Part 8

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?"

Moving On

Les traveled down the hall and gave Trista a call. He wanted the details before confronting Adams with the discovery. Taking mental notes he headed back to the conference room.

"Something important, Les?" Adams inquired. "We can talk about this another time." Adams and Colbo seemed a little tense.

"No, no, no. It's fine. Now, tell me about your ship that drifted ashore down south."

A surprised Colbo and a confused Adams looked at Les. "What are you talking about? Did you make contact with our ship?" Adams blurted out.

"Come on, Mike. You know about this. How could you not?"

Colbo added, "No. Really, Les. We know nothing about it. What do you know?"

"Your missing ship has just drifted ashore at San Juan."

"Adams was quick to ask. "And the men - they're all safe?"

"That's the problem, Mike. The ship was abandoned. Not a soul anywhere. After a month of being lost at sea, the ship turns up with no one aboard. You really don't know about this, do you?"

"No, we haven't heard anything about it, but I'm sure as soon as the president gets word of this, he'll demand an investigation. And Les, it's going to have to be a scientific investigation. How are we going to explain the disappearance of 40 sailors - scientifically?"

"We aren't. You are! I'm going to get to the bottom of this, but I doubt it's going to be very scientific. We're dealing with a power far beyond human comprehension and ability. You can tell the president anything you want. I'm going after the facts.

"Now, one thing at a time. We have to find a way to get your Lieutenant back. I have a friend who works for WSVN TV. He operates the station's Skyforce 7 at the heliport. I'm going to have him take me up close to where Cartwright's voice was heard - just sort of an information-gathering mission. We have to start somewhere."

Les reached for his phone. "I'll give him a call right now."


"Hey Hoss, ol' Buddy! It's Les Griffin. I'm working on a project, and I need your help. I need the chopper to help with some research. Can you take me up?"

"It's good to hear from you, Les. It's been a while. What kind of research are you doing?"

"I'm not at liberty to say right now, but . . ."

"Say, you're not working on that secret Navy investigation, are you? I heard about that. It's kind of freaky."

Les gave a nervous laugh. "No. No, what's that about?"

"The station is getting ready to break a story on disappearances of Navy planes and ships in the Triangle. A Navy vessel just grounded itself near San Juan - and you know, the funny thing is, there was no one aboard. A huge Navy ship but not a single sailor anywhere. Can you imagine?"

Adams and Colbo stared at Les. "No. No, I can't imagine. So what does the news think is happening in the Triangle, Hoss?"

"Oh, Les. This is where it gets really creepy. I can't give you all the details, but the short story goes something like this. AUTEC has been exploring strange occurrences off the Bermuda point of the Triangle. They think they've uncovered an entrance that leads to hell."

Les returned Adams' and Colbo's gaze. "Okay. Well, thanks, Buddy. I'll check with you later about my project. I've run out of time for now."

Suspicions were growing on each side. Les continued to hold his gaze. Then he erupted.

"You two know about this. You already have your answers. You already know what's going on. What do you want from me? How are you playing me? And why?"


Les felt as if he was losing his mind. For sure, he was heading out of control.

Adams, in his calm, cool, collected way spoke. "Les, we've already talked about that. Commander, play the tape."

Les watched incredulously as Colbo set up the recorder. "Is that a cassette? Man, I haven't seen one of those for years. Why in the world are you still using cassettes?"

"Don't worry about our choice of storage. It's on a need to know basis . . ."

Les finished the line - "And I don't need to know. Okay. I get it. What am I about to hear?"

Adams spoke up. "You tell me. Listen to the tape. Then you tell me what you hear? I think the tape will also prove we aren't playing you.

Colbo started the tape. Beneath the usual static, a roar of voices screaming in pain and terror could be heard. The recording lasted a full two minutes. Les listened carefully hoping to detect a loop in the sound, but no such loop was heard. Although human screams of torment could be heard, there was enough variableness to prove nothing was repeated.

"So, Les. What did you hear?"

"Sounds like hell to me, but there has to be a logical explanation."

Colbo couldn't resist - "Look who wants to be logical. What happened, Doctor? I thought you were just going after the facts. I thought you said we're dealing with a power much stronger than we. Where's your belief in the supernatural now? . . . But you're right. We have to find a logical explanation. We can't take this back to our superior who just happens to be the President of the United States. Her tone turned sincere. "We need your help, Les."

Adams stood watching the sky from the conference room window. Airplanes crisscrossed the sky coming and going from Miami International. "No fog today," he thought. "I wonder how the devil chooses his victims."

Les interrupted his thoughts. "Mike, how does this prove you're not playing me?"

"Oh, come on, Les. If we were playing you we would have kept the tape from you. We let you listen to it in good faith asking your opinion based on the research you've already done.

"Now, I have a question for you? How does your friend seem to know so much? Who's leaking this information? The information is accurate. Maybe you're playing me. Maybe you're playing the entire Navy or even the nation. Maybe you know more then you're telling us. What about it, Les? Arre you talking to people?"

"I don't trust you. You don't trust me. I can't work on this project any longer. I'm done."

"I really don't like to be the one to remind you, but you're under government contract with the United States Navy. You just can't walk away."

"Watch me." Les walked over to his desk and opened the top drawer. He took out the contract and placed it in the shredder. In a matter of moments, it was gone.

"Les, it doesn't work that way. We have a signed copy of your contract. You're not released until we release you. As of now, you know too much to be released. We entered into this agreement in good faith, and you're expected to carry it through."

"And what if I don't?"

"I know men of your mentality that have been left to rot in jails for crimes they didn't commit. I've seen your type just disappear from the face of the earth. No explanation. No clues. Just gone. I've also seen men whose families go missing the same way - never to be heard of again."

"You can't threaten me like that."

Adams smirked. "I just did."

© 2018 William Kovacic

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