The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 16

Yes, this is brand new. I skipped Chapter 15 because it’s pretty much what was The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 12 (New).


The Alibi – Chapter 15

Master Chief Sonar Technician Boyd sat at the Henderson James‘ sonar station. Her right hand held a headphone snug against her ear, her left hand adjusted analog verniers on her board.

Chief of the Boat Jensen stood behind her on her right and leaned slightly forward to watch and, she hoped, get an idea of what Boyd did. “I thought all that stuff was digital now.”

Boyd kept her eyes on meters and gauges. Her fingers turned the vernier so minutely her movements wouldn’t have disturbed spider silk.

“Seaman Oyster’s been released from sickbay.”

Boyd continued her focus.

“Captain Hudon’s got a Neil Robinson with heavy duty restraints and a comm pipe where nobody will find you all picked out in case you cause trouble again.”

“It helps if you don’t talk right now. And don’t make fun of people’s names.”

Jensen folded her harms over her chest and leaned back against the station’s doorjamb. “You gave him that name.”

“I’m a bad person.”

Boyd’s eyes moved from one diagnostics screen to the next. Recumbrance? Check. Integration? Check. ABFAC Cones? Check. Towed Array? Check? Transform Analysis? Check. AI Separation? Check.

Boyd shook her head. One hand kept her headphones tight to her right ear, her other hand continued their ministrations over dials and switches.

Run another series check?


She turned to a second set of screens along a wall projecting from the sonar displays.

Jensen looked as well. “Anything on the ES-10?”

“Nothing. Unless somebody’s got something way beyond what we have, this is pure biologic.” Boyd ran diagnostics. “Or the most sophisticated ‘droppers DARPA can come up with suck.”

“What biologic out of Boston has a signature like that?”

Boyd turned back to her sonar panel. Two screens showed Sherlock’s progress analyzing the signals, one coming out of Boston harbor, the other out beyond the continental shelf.

It kept coming up blank and asking for help.

Boyd leaned back. Her eyes continued their dance over her screens. She flipped a switch and the signals came over her station speakers. “Ever hear of Tim Storms? He’s a singer and voice actor with the lowest voice on record. He can sing too low for humans to hear but elephants and whales hear him fine.”

“You think he’s singing in a shower somewhere in the Back Bay?”


Jensen came forward. Slightly bent at the waist, she supported herself by placing her hands on the control panel’s edge while she scanned Boyd’s screens. “Sounds like they’re having a conversation, doesn’t it?”

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