the Huntington Beach Hospital, the phone in the Emergency Room went off.
The nurse went over to answer the call from the local library. The
estimated time of arrival for the ambulance was in ten minutes.
minutes later, the same chain of events was repeated when another
ambulance called in with a patient who had been fished from the ocean. Their estimated time of arrival would be in ten minutes.
the first ambulance arrived, the patient was sent into treatment room two.
Vitals were taken, x-rays, blood tests and a CAT Scan were ordered.
The slender built man was covered in bruises, both externally and
internally. He had a
concussion and both hands bore extensive abrasions to the fingers.
The man had not gained consciousness.
After his doctor perused the test results he gave orders to admit
the man as a John Doe and to send him up to ICU for observation for the
head injury and possible internal bleeding.
to the estimate, five minutes later the second ambulance drove up with the
second victim within. The
attendant jumped out and helped to move the gurney into the hospital's
treatment room three. The
nurse set about getting vitals while waiting for the doctor to finish with
another patient. She looked
up when he walked in and took a glance at the patient.
With a look of astonishment on his face, he blurted out, "But
I just sent him up to ICU. What
is he still doing here?"
you haven't seen this patient yet. He
was just brought in."
looks just like that other patient I saw ten minutes again.
Well, let's see what we have."
He busily worked at looking over the unconscious man on his
examination table. "His
pupils are not equal in reacting. From this gash on his head, something hit him hard."
Moving over the rest of the man's body, the doctor found no other
major injuries. He ordered x-rays, blood tests and a CAT Scan. The man's
blood pressure, heart rate and temperature were noted and the doctor
proceeded to treat the abrasions on the fingers and the still bleeding,
deep gash running down the left side from elbow to knee.
treatment and viewing the test results, the doctor turned to the nurse and
gave her instructions. "Let's
send him to ICU. I'm concern
about his head injury. Admit
him as John Doe II. We don't
want to get him mixed up with his look-alike that just went up to
ICU." The doctor turned
to leave to continue on his rounds and mused, "This is going to be
interesting; I'll need to stay in touch with the floor doctors to see how
this scenario plays out."
next morning, Betty Hazard, drove into the library parking lot intending
to go to her office. She was
the Library Director and needed to prepare for a meeting with Les Wayne,
her Assistant Director, and with Caroline Fury, Director of Finance.
They had received a federal grant and needed to map out strategies.
She parked beside a blue sedan and wondered who could be here before her.
Just as quick, she dismissed the thought from her mind.
9:30 am, she was getting angry. Les
had not shown up for work. Betty
hated to have these meetings without him.
He had a calming influence over her and all female participants.
This meeting had gone bad and the Finance Director lived up to her
name and stomped out of the office in a huff. Betty's secretary had called
his beach house and hung up after 15 rings.
His new pager was called. Les
never called back.
11:30 am, Betty began to be worried.
Friends, neighbors and family were now being quizzed about Les's
location. No one had heard
from him that day. Neighbors
had seen him running on the beach headed for the Huntington Beach cliffs
close to dusk the night before, but didn't recall him returning to his
home. They promised to be on the lookout for him.
thought for a moment, picked up her phone and dialed the police chief's
number. "Chief, this is
Betty at the library. I
wonder if you can do me a favor?"
do you need?"
Assistant Director, Les Wayne."
Betty, I haven't seen him over here this morning."
not here either. We have
called everyone we can think of and he hasn't been seen since last night
on the cliffs."
technically, you can't declare someone missing until they have been gone
for twenty four hours. But,
for you and those chocolate chip cookies of yours, I'll have an officer go
out and check around his place."
Dave. Keep me posted on what he finds."
Hanging up the phone, Betty frowned and winced.
She didn't have a good feeling over this.
Les was never late or inconsiderate.
is Captain Crane?" bellowed Admiral Harriman Nelson, as he slammed
open the office door of his tall blond XO, Chip Morton. "He's four
hours late reporting back from shore leave."
I don't know, but I will have a search begun immediately.
I'm sure he left contact info with security," said Morton.
that. Give him two more hours
before you put feelers out," replied the Admiral. "Maybe he got delayed in traffic. I'll be in my
hours passed and Chip began to worry.
He made phone calls to security, Lee Crane's secretary, his
friends, his home and his pager. No
one knew of Crane's whereabouts and Chip heard the pager chirping from
Lee. You are definitely in
trouble when the Admiral finds you. Pagers
are supposed to be worn whenever we are on land." Wiping his hand across his forehead, Morton stood up.
"Might as well give the Admiral the bad news," muttered Morton
as he opened the outer door and went in search of his boss.
Down the hall and behind the ornate wooden doors was the domain of
Admiral Nelson at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research.
Morton rapped on the door before quietly entering at the loud,
"Enter and take a seat."
said Chip. "I've called
all of Lee's friends, neighbors, and contact numbers.
No one has seen him."
did, Admiral. It went off in
his office. Could he have
taken on a special assignment for the Navy or ONI?" asked Chip.
find out," said the Admiral, as he reached for his intercom.
"Angie, get me Admiral Jiggs Starke, fast."
Moments later his executive secretary got the call through and
Starke's image appeared on the videophone.
for what do I owe this pleasure?" questioned the Admiral from
no pleasure, Jiggs," said Nelson. "I'm looking for my Captain.
Did you tap him for Navy assignment?"
What happened? Crane got lost
again? He always seems to
have the knack for getting into situations that need rescuing. Why don't
you put a bell around his neck?" asked Starke.
me, I'll be sorely tempted to bell him when I find him.
He's six hours late returning from shore leave and no one knows
where he is," said Admiral Nelson, as he ran his hand through his
thick sandy-red hair.
him," ordered Starke, knowing that Nelson had recently issued the new
pager devices to each of his command staff.
to the side of Admiral Nelson, Starke could hear Morton's reply.
"Tried that. It's merrily chirping in his office without Crane
he's not on a Navy or ONI mission. I
would have discussed it with you, Harry, as I promised," said Starke.
I'll get back with you when we locate Lee," said Nelson.
"Give my best to your family, Jiggs."
Harry. I'll be looking forward to hearing his explanation on why he
slipped his leash," said Admiral Starke.
back to Morton, after hanging up the videophone, the Admiral's expression
registered sadness, tiredness, and the beginning of a temper.
out the crew and start searching. Give
me an update on the hour," said the Admiral.
Sir," said Commander Morton, as he smartly stood up and strolled out
through the door of the office.
the early evening hours, Chief of Police Dave Stewart called Betty at her
home. "Betty, I think we
Is he ok?"
been injured and is unconscious in the hospital, but there is a
was listed as a John Doe at the hospital.
In fact, there are two John Doe's at the hospital and you can't
tell them apart."
me. I thought this was so
odd; I had to go see for myself. Even
I can't tell and I know Les well since I've been helping him on some of
his research. Do you want me to come get you and let you see also?"
the hour, Betty and Chief Dave were standing in ICU staring first at one
unconscious man and then at the other.
Nelson was standing at his window at the Nelson Institute of Marine
Research looking out at the moonlight reflecting and shining off of the
ocean waters when his desk phone rang loudly.
He went over to his desk, moved his half-filled cup of cold coffee
away from the edge, and reached for the phone. Picking it up, he listened
this is Morton. All the
search teams have reported in, but they didn't find Lee.
I think it's time to get the police and the FBI involved. With his
contacts and missions for ONI he's made quite a few enemies. This could be a kidnapping."
Chip. I'll call the police
now. You’ve checked all the
Admiral. However, I think we
need to spread out to other towns. I vaguely recall Lee saying Oceanside.
I think we need to search south along the Pacific Coast Highway.
If he went to Oceanside, that would be the route he would use to
return to Santa Barbara."
it. I know his sports car is in the shop.
You might want to check with the rental car agencies to see what
car he is driving."
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