Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 8 - Shadow in the Night.
page 51

      "No damn, the war has been on for years!" I shouted at Ross, and ran outside onto the balcony to watch the cruise missile fly by.
      "Hello, hello, can you hear me down there?" said Ross, almost shouting again. "I said the Russian trawler has just launched a cruise missile!" The shock must have worn off, he was getting angry again. "Did you hear what I said; they have launched a cruise. All right! Are you doing something? Condition Red.... Ok!"

      The missile flew by less then fifty feet from the house, a silent shadow passing through the night. Not a sound of it could be heard over the storm.

      "Sure, the Air Force will take care of it!" Ross yelled into the phone. "They better! They darn well better get this thing down!"
      Tony put a hand on Ross' shoulder. "If it is just a single missile, they will get it."
      Ross nodded and tried to aim his telescope at the boat again.
      "It's probably aimed at Norfolk," said Tony. "If this was a technical failure, and the Air Force is dealing with only one missile they can track it with AWACs and shoot it down."
      "But if this was a planned attack, God help us!" said Ross.
      He got the scope tracking the boat again. By then it had turned towards the open sea, possibly trying to get away from Captain Simons' cutter.
      "They won't outrun the Coast Guard," said Ross. "It's just a matter of time before Jack will catch up with them."
      The computer kept tracking the boat. We watched with bated breath. Ross took the phone again. "Let me speak to Captain Simons... What do you mean, you can't allow..."
      As he spoke the screen went white. I noticed a flash far out over the water. Then came the sound of an explosion. It must have been a huge explosion that the sound traveled that far over the wind. When the TV picture cleared, the boat was no longer visible. There was floating debris. The boat hadn't actually sunk, it had disintegrated as though it had been filled to the brim with dynamite.
      Ross relayed the event over the phone. "No, that couldn't have been Jack shooting at them, the Coast Guard doesn't carry large weapons," he said. "It was either suicide, or a kill by the submarine."
      While we watched, the sub surfaced again, probably looking for survivors.
      "I don't think they want any witnesses left behind," said Sylvia.
      "What a waste of fine sailors!" commented Ross. "Damn it all!!!"
      "I can't believe what I'm seeing," mumbled Tony. "It looks like the guys on the sub are shooting at something in the water. They are killing the survivors..."
      "... or maybe they are shooting to sink some equipment that is still afloat," commented Tony.
      The sub quickly submerged again.
      "Jack may be in great danger!" said Ross and picked up the telephone again. "Why can't you stop Captain Jack Simons? He must stay out of this area! The submarines mean business. They appear to have shot their own survivors or whatever else floated about... Radio silence! My God, break the radio silence! You can't let Captain Simons run into this trap... Sure you can come and see the whole thing on video tape, but you better have Jack with you!"
      Twenty minutes later, captain Jack Simons and his crew sat with us in the living room. The tape was rewinding. The phone to the Coast Guard was still open. The CIA was on its way with a chartered float plane to pick up the tapes. More people from the nearby Coast Guard and naval station were also coming up. But before any of them arrived we had a private celebration.

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada