more nervous than she was. This made her feel more comfortable for some
reason. She assessed how things were
going so far and had to admit that she felt fairly at ease in Jerry Rankins
company. He looked even more
handsome than she remembered him looki
loved. And if that wasn't enough to make a man feel good, last night his wife
rewarded his love with the
best news of all - there was a little Holt on the way. The two had been trying for
more than two years to
have a baby, and now after numerous m
operations manager of the southwestern sector, Washington Center. It was
determined that all aircraft in the
Texas sector were accounted for and on schedule. Back at Houston Control, air
traffic began to confirm JetRide's sighting.
"Houston control, t
search for peace. I am happy to report tonight that those concessions are
working to stabilize that country.
Both sides are at the negotiating table, working out diplomatic relationships that
will lead to a lasting
peace.Democracy is working. Militant Pal
"I don't think so; that's way out of fire range."
An inquiry came from directly behind the two pilots as the plane began to level
off. "Hey, did you see
"Please be seated and buckle up. We're on our final approach."
"Yeah, but did you see that?"
road and highway system was cast against the white surface of the board. His
face was dour as he moved
about his business with deliberate cause. Major Furtado's company was a small
group of subordinates
seated facing the projected computer grid.
however is in perfect focus because the lens of the camera was preset for infinity
or at least a distance of
fifteen feet or so.
Im confused, Sam, the chief said. What makes you so sure that Stanley
Jenkins was standing in front of
the camera when it went
be uncommon if they no longer make the camera that uses it. We can now
attempt to trace where he bought the
film for the camera by checking out any stores that carry that particular type of
film and show Stanleys picture
to the store employees
for a change. Shelley Hatcher and his desire to be with her had somehow
prevailed over Ann and everything that
went along with his former wife. For the first time since the divorce, he felt
contentnot so much because of
what hed done with Shelley Hatcher
Hmm. I wonder what he meant by putting this money to good use? Sam said.
Hell if I know. Maybe he planned on investing it in the stock marketor the drug
market, which wouldnt
surprise me. At any rate, were going to do some nosing around in Vegas and
Hi Samits me. I thought youd be home from work by now but it looks like
youre not. I just called to
thank you for a wonderful weekendI really had a great time! Hopefully, we can
do it again sometime soon. I
know you told me you needed some time to think t
that this is a very serious situation and I want to be informed by the minute. Ted,
we will use your office as
a temporary operations room until we can get a handle on what's happened. It's
expected of me to make
some kind of statement as soon as possible
love with his ex-wife, he still loved the both of them in a way that simply couldnt
be labeled. And he knew that
he would always love them in this special way.
Then he had begun thinking of how empty and meaningless his life would be if
something bad ever
What about the state hospital? Couldnt you get some help from the doctors
there? Maybe get an idea of
what was on Stanleys mind while he was receiving treatment? Sam asked his
Roger shook his head slowly from side to side. Already tried that route
There now, thats the spirit! he said. His expression suddenly turned grave.
Ann, I am very concerned
about all of this. Have you spoken to the police about the prowler and the phone
Yes, Ann nodded. They suggested that I get an unpublished phone nu
"We have the results of the fly-by, sir. Your people should be receiving them
"Ok, good. What's your preliminary evaluation, John?" "At first glance the data is
very disturbing. Have
there been any air space infringements, General?"
"Not to my
"I'll be here until we get some concrete answers, Stuart."
"Thank you, Martha. Martha Rinek at the Pentagon."
A very concerned Stuart Jenkins directed his undivided attention to the viewing
audience. "This is what
we know at this time; a disaster of signi
"Airplane down, maybe," added the clerk.
Both men stood motionless, eyes fixed on the cloud just above the Texas horizon.
"Holy moly, that thing
is getting bigger!" The clerk blurted, jarring Holt out of his transfixed gaze. He
nodded in agreement.
communication from downtown was cut off." His voice wavered slightly. "There is
dust and debris above
the city that can be seen for miles."
The president braced a pencil eraser against the desktop and ran his fingers
down the side of the pencil.
reading flight photos, but the destruction was unmistakable. Colonel Porter
straightened himself to face the
"Was there anything else you observed that might be of help in determining what
has happened?" the
The ranking F-16
people over the site as soon as possible. That's your discretion, Bill."
"Do we have any idea what has happened?" Eric asked, taking a sip of hot coffee.
"All I know at the
moment is that there was a big explosion and the city is in gridlock. We're
A call was placed to General Robert Hamilton at CONR headquarters Panama
City. Colonel Porter was
smiling but the Lieutenant saw through the smile and recognized the gravity of
the moment. She had been
with him long enough to know when it was business as
in turn contacted the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol.
Houston Police, Substation 44
At 7:10 A.M., the Houston Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) went
silent. The OEC replaced
the old dispatch office at the Houst
Information and directions were flooding into Jenkins' ear in rapid-fire succession.
"We are going to go to George Bush Intercontinental Airport now, and Russell
A panorama of the Texas landscape flooded the screen. In the distance, a bluegray sm
me a trip to Cincinnati, thank Godand leaned on her big time before she could
start trying to snow job me
again like she had during our last conversation. I promptly informed her that
withholding information in a
murder investigation could get her
I can feel the heat, and the." His voice began to falter and fade.
"Sir, how far are you from the explosion?"
"I don't know. my God, six or seven miles, maybe. I've got to go. I've got to get
"Sir, sir." The dispatcher tried desperately to ge
He glanced at the wall clock then looked over at Detective Roger Hagstrom. Ive
got to go out and brief
those men now. Why dont you go over the press release with Sam, quickly I
might add, so we can get cracking
on this thing.
Thompson shook S
Chief Thompson held up a transparent plastic bag with a label marked
Evidence stuck to it. Then
perhaps you could tell me what you make of this.
He handed the plastic bag over to Sam. Inside the bag he saw a blank Polaroid
David Bradleys housekeepe
the processing chemicals evenly throughout the exposed latent image on the
print. The result was a virtually
white and/or unevenly developed print with traces of the grayish colored
developer fluid appearing near the
bottom under the transparent Mylar cov
Damn you, Sam!
It was around 5:30 Monday afternoon when the telephone rang in Sam
Middletons office. Praying it
wasnt McNary again, he picked up the phone.
Im glad I caught you before you split, Roger Hagstom said. How soon can y
Sam, this almost seems out of character for him.
Ive always thought he was different, too. But now hes shown his true colors
hes just another typical
man like all the rest. Except for Jerry, that is. He genuinely seems to be different;
hes a real ge
already determined that. So Stanley decides he wants a shot or two of himself in
the act. So what he does is force
Marsha to wait helplessly near the kitchen counter while he rigs up his Polaroid
camera on a tripod and aims it at
her. Then after everyt
Yes, I understand and that makes good sense. So how did Jerry react when you
told him? Karen asked.
Well, he wasnt very thrilled, to tell you the truth. He didnt act like he was
disappointed but I could tell
he was. I think he was hurt, too, which is all
Wow, its still hard to believe . . .
Thompson declared, You wont think its so unbelievable when youve heard
what weve got on this guy
so far, Sam. Ill let Hagstrom fill you in on that when we get through here. But
first of all, I want you to tell me
Go on in, Mark OBrien said, obviously expecting him.
Roger Hagstrom and the chief were standing outside Thompsons office as Roger
spotted him and gestured
Hi Rog, Chief.
Hello Sam, Thompson said, extending his hand. Im glad you could make it.