The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery) – Chapter 23

Brand new. I swear.


The Alibi – Chapter 23

Master Chief Sonar Technician Boyd and COB Jensen stood like recalcitrant schoolgirls in Captain Hudon’s quarters, their faces bowed, their hands clasped behind them.

Hudon, elbows on her desk like two legs of unshakable tripod, rubbed her hands together in front of her face. “Let me get this straight. You want me to take this boat into North Harbor becuase somebody’s making a phone call and the two of you and Sherlock can’t eavesdrop from out here?”

Jensen perked up and smiled. “Well, when you put it like that, Captain, I – ”

Harod closed her eyes. “Perhaps you better let Sonar Chief Boyd handle this?”

Boyd spoke up. “Sherlock’s pulling a blank. I suspect the source is some kind of LRAD – ”

Jensen leaned forward. “Long Range Acoustic Device. A kind of high power loudspeaker that – ”

Hudon held up a hand and kept her eyes on Boyd.

Jensen leaned back. “Sorry, Ma’am.”

Hudon lowered her hand.

Boyd continued. “Along some kind of parametric array. They’ve got to be using a non-linear transduction system to reduce side-lobe – ”

Jensen leaned forward again. “They have tech at our level or better.”

Hudon’s hand went back up.

“Sorry, Ma’am.”

Boyd continued. “From out here the Harbor Tunnels are giving just enough interference to disrupt the pattern, but only because it’s highly directional so any off-axis signal is – ”

Jensen interrupted without leaning forward. “We have to be on top of it to figure out what it is.”

Hudon continued focusing on Boyd. “Did I assign Holmes and Watson to my boat? I don’t remember seeing their names on my manifest.”

“Sorry, Ma’am.”

Boyd opened her mouth and Hudon’s hand went back up. “You want me to sail this boat over the Boston Harbor Tunnels?”

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Previous entries in The Alibi (A John Chance Mystery)

“Those Wings Which Tire, They Have Upheld Me” now in Best of Penumbric Speculative Fiction Mag, vol vi

It’s amazingly gratifying when editors and publishers consider one’s work worthy of “Best Of” status, and I’m quite proud of The Wings Which Tire, They Have Upheld Me for many reasons:

  • The haunted house I mention existed (never learned if it was haunted) about half a mile from where I grew up.
  • I knew Lenny in grade school. He was a gifted scholar who didn’t fit in because of family issues, parental and societal neglect, and what we now recognize as “learning difficulties.” (I so wish people were more aware…hell, even partially aware…of such challenges when I was a child).
  • Most people know I was legally blind most of my life (which means “needed glasses so thick if he didn’t have them he needed a dog and a cane”), and yes, much of the main character’s experiences are based on my own.
  • Lenny and I were voracious readers of books and on topics of which our teachers were unaware.
  • Kevin also existed and tormented me through most of my grade school years. The “I can’t SEE” chant is directly his.
  • My childhood safety existed in my imagination, and not knowing what I was suppose to see and not see, I envisioned the most amazing things (still do!).