Read 65 Below Online

Authors: Basil Sands

Tags: #Fiction, #Thrillers, #Espionage

65 Below (39 page)

BOOK: 65 Below
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“This woman, though ,” he paused and looked at her contemplatively, shaking his head slowly from side to side. “If there were such a thing as a woman of steel, I believe she is one.”

Marcus was on the edge of his seat, elbows resting on his knees as he listened. He looked up hopefully. “Is she out of the danger zone?”

“She still has some serious conditions. The brain concussion makes me hesitate to remove her from critical status just yet, but if these vitals continue to stabilize, I think I will degrade her to serious condition in a couple more hours.”

Dr. Patel held her wrist between the tips of his fingers and thumb and felt her pulse. He stood there quietly, holding her that way for nearly a minute, then gently put her hand down and turned to Marcus. “In addition to being a surgeon and trauma specialist, I am also trained in Oriental acupuncture and homeopathic medicine. Are you familiar with those sciences?”

“Yes, sir, I am.”

“Then you will understand when I say that she has incredibly strong ‘Qi’. She will hurt for a while, but she will recover, probably to 100% of what she was before, within a few months—perhaps even less time than that.”

“Thanks for all you’ve done for her, Doc.”

“Oh, not to worry. It is my job, but most of the work from here will be hers. Your wife has to want to recover. She needs to have a reason to recover.”

“We’re not married,” Marcus repelied.

Doctor Patel stared at him for a moment, then said, “You look as if you have been married to her for many years.”

Marcus gazed at Lonnie. “God willing.”

“I would save the wedding plans for at least six months, though,” said the doctor. “She will not be quite ready to enjoy a honeymoon until then. When you do get married, take her to a nice place. Someplace warm is recommended. Bora-Bora has some very nice villas on the ocean. I could put you in touch with the owner of one when you are ready.”

Someone knocked softly at the door. Marcus opened it to see the little girl with the long braids of hair reaching down to the middle of her back.

“Hi,” he said.

“Hi.” She looked timidly up at him, then leaned in and wrapped her arms around his middle in a big hug. “Thanks for saving me and my daddy,” she said, choking back tears as she clung to him.

He hugged her in return. A warm tear formed in the corner of his eye, then overflowed his eyelid, streamed down his brown cheek, and dripped into her hair.

Her father was in the surgery recovery ward. According to Doctor Patel, he would be fine, although he lost half of one lung and had to get pins put into his shattered shoulder.

The girl came out unharmed, at least physically. It would take a long time for the emotional hurt to heal.

An adult woman in her mid-forties then entered the room. She was a thin, mildly attractive woman, with a look of comfortable strength.

“I am Tracey’s mother, Sadie McGill.” She put a hand on Marcus’s shoulder and continued in her strong, soft voice, “Thank you for saving my husband and my daughter. I hope your wife is going to be all right.”

“Thank you, ma’am. I’m just sorry you folks had to be involved at all.”

Sadie took Tracey by the hand, turned, and walked out of the room.

Just then, the doctor called out. “Mr. Johnson, she is coming to.”

Marcus quickly returned to the bedside. The doctor backed up and nudged Marcus forward. He would be the only person she first saw upon waking up.

Lonnie’s eyes fluttered open. They stopped halfway, groggily lolling as she struggled to focus through the fog. They closed. Marcus thought that she had gone out of consciousness again. He let out a sigh, and then drew his breath back in as her eyes popped open and rolled to look at his face.

Their gaze locked on to each other for some immeasurable amount of time. It felt like an eternity, a happy eternity swimming in one another’s eyes.

“So,” she finally said in a feeble voice, “I heard people calling me your wife. Is that what you told them?”

He smiled softly down at her. “No, ma’am. They just looked at us and assumed.”

“I like the idea,” She said.

“Well, then, we’ll have to see if the troopers can get you a new name tag once you are out of here. Mrs. Johnson.”

  1. Epilogue

The other accomplices involved in the attempted WMD attack on the Alaskan water supply were rounded up in a fast operation that was significantly aided by the assistance of Choi Ki Pyun. In reward for his assistance, Mr. Choi was given a new name, a safe place to live, and a full scholarship to MIT on the condition that he keep himself available to the service of the US government as deemed necessary.

The McGill farmhouse and their entire homestead, was purchased for a rather generous sum by the US government with the official justification of performing riverbed soils research. With the money, the McGills bought a new farm in the area of Willow, and were able to save enough to pay for their daughter’s college education at a prestigious Ivy League university. The girl would later go on to a graduate degree in the study of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and counseling of accident victims.

Marcus and Lonnie married eight months later on a beautiful summer day. The ceremony was held on the lawn of Lonnie’s house with the Chena River running in the background. They spent a two-week honeymoon in a chalet on the island nation of Bora Bora in the South Pacific, after which they returned to settle in Fairbanks, where Lonnie was promoted to trooper lieutenant. Marcus became a highly sought-after wilderness guide. He used his cabin in Salt Jacket as the staging area for numerous successful hunting and photography expeditions with visiting executives and dignitaries.

Kim Cho Pil was convicted of espionage and terrorist activity with the intent to use weapons of mass destruction. He was to be sent to Guantanamo Bay to await trial, but while in jail on the Fort Wainwright Army Post, he died of a heart attack. His death was reported by the evening janitor who found his body while cleaning up a mess left by a drunk in the cellblock in which Mr. Kim had been staying under Army guard. The janitor, Joseph Chun, a middle-aged Korean immigrant, had attempted CPR with the assistance of the military policeman on duty, the son of another Korean immigrant, a church elder who owned a small cobbler shop in the city of Fairbanks.

Charlie Bannock finally met a nice woman with whom he was able to talk without losing his mind. They got married, and had five kids before he was fifty.

Wasner and his men continued to do what SEALs do, and that is still classified.

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