Through the binoculars, Max could see people on the shore.
Most were locals who lived in small villages that dotted the
bay. Among them, he could make out the JAG officers interviewing
and investigating. There was no media yet, the story was held
back for a proper investigation. Even with this activity, all
was strangely quiet.
Along parts of
the shore, signs of land slide could be seen. The water still
smoldered in spots as Haleakala silently issued it's black plume
of smoke and debris. But still, the gomped quiet... The very air
seemed heavy with it. Max took it all in. Murphy, for his
part, took it in stride. ( The usual for him. ) He went
over his checklist of things to do, and took readings from the
equipment he brought. Every now and then, he'd send Sue a sly
remark. Max took the hint, there was more than work between
Max stood on
the boat's bow...transfixed by this place and the overwelming silence...That's
when it hit him. A feeling of dread. A terrible, awful feeling
that made his hair stand up, sending a chill to his bones.
Even if he had not known about the Lexington, it was clear
something about this place was wrong. Something...Something bad. Tammy's
words hammered through his head. He had to shake it off,
it was time to work.
Sue were still going over the checklist when Max joined them.
"Has anyone checked the depth readings?" he questioned. The two
looked up from over the paper, Murphy's eyes spoke volumes. "O.k,
fine... you think we can get that sounder overboard, now?" Said
Max with odvious sarcasm. The three set off to work, dropping
the sonar wand over the side and letting it's line out.
Sue was actually there to pilot the boat, and was again at
the controls as the men watched the depth monitor.
The sonar wand
was actually a small sled... The same type of device used to
search for sunken ships in deep water. There were several different
sensors at work, aside of the depth sonar. All were active.
Murphy had his nose planted to the depth readings, as Max stood
watch over the thermal monitor...Sue slowly drove the boat as
directed by the two scientists.
feet now, still decending... Max, if this keeps up, we're going
to lose the bottom!" Max looked up from his screen, puzzled. "What's
the cable limit?" "500,.. It's the most this boat can handle.
What's the therm look like?" Inquired Murphy "It's been climbing since
we hit 400....We're up to 105, now." Max answered...Murphy went back
to his equipment, that's when he caught it. Out of the corner
of his eye, he noticed another active sensor. "...Shit, We've got
radiation!" With this, Max looked up from his monitor. "I'm reading
78, 79, now 80....It's getting pretty damn hot down there, Max!" Max
now looked to the counter himself as Murphy turned to Sue.
"You wanna give a shout to those Navy Boys? Ask 'em if
the ship was nuke?" "I'm on it" The woman replied as she
picked up the radio mic. After a short radio conversation, she
answered. "Yeah, The boat had a small core..." The two men
winced. " Wonderful." But Sue wasn't done. "There's more....She had some Tact.
Nukes on board." Silence...Aside from Max's mumbled response. "This
just get's better and better..." Murphy shifted into authority
mode. "Tell the brass, we found the boat...or at least parts
of it!" Sue picked up the mic. again...As Maxx added. "Tell
'em to get those people away from the water, too!" The girl
nodded as she contacted the Navy once again. "Just tell 'em to
seal off the entire bay, actually!" Murphy chimed.