Authors: Don Brown
OTHER BOOKS BY DON BROWN
THE NAVY JAG SERIES
THE PACIFIC RIM SERIES
Thunder in the Morning Calm
Fire of the Raging Dragon
Storming the Black Ice
THE NAVY JUSTICE SERIES
The Black Sea Affair
The Malacca Conspiracy
Copyright Â© 2016 by Don Brown
ePub Edition Â© February 2016: ISBN 978-0-3103-3809-3
Requests for information should be addressed to:
3900 Sparks Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Brown, Don, 1960- author.
Title: Code 13 / Don Brown.
Other titles: Code thirteen
Description: Nashville : Zondervan,  | Series: The Navy JAG series
Identifiers: LCCN 2015041908 | ISBN 9780310338079 (softcover)
Subjects: LCSH: United States. Army. Judge Advocate General's Corps--Fiction.
| Murder--Investigation--Fiction. | GSAFD: Suspense fiction. | Christian fiction.
Classification: LCC PS3602.R6947 C63 2016 | DDC 813/.6--dc23 LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2015041908
Scripture quotations are from the King James Version. Public domain. The New American Standard Bible
. Copyright Â© 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org). The Holy Bible, New International Version
. Copyright Â© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any otherâexcept for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.
Publisher's Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Any references to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locales are intended only to give the fiction a sense of reality and authenticity, and are used fictitiously. All other names, characters, and places, and all dialogue and incidents portrayed in this book are the product of the author's imagination.
16 17 18 19 20 RRD 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
This novel is dedicated to my mother, Alva Rose Hardison Brown
(December 9, 1937âDecember 12, 2015), who, like her mother,
Marina Roberson Hardison, became one of the sweetest ladies on the
planet, and who instilled within me my love of classical music.
32ND STREET NAVAL STATION
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
The Pacific breeze whipped off the bay, gusting in from her left. The wind, brushing against her ears, blended in with the glorious sounds of the great gray fleet in port.
Under warm sunshine and magnificent blue skies, bells chimed, seagulls squawked. Smiling sailors turned their heads as she passed by, some grunting catcalls her way as her light-blonde hair bounced off her tanned shoulders and blew in the breeze.
Sporting navy blue shorts and a light-blue T-shirt that matched the color of her eyes, she jogged past Pier 2 on the final leg of her sprint. Two quick gongs sounded from the loudspeaker on the ship moored at the pier.
These were the sights and sounds of late spring along the naval waterfront in San Diego, known as America's City. And on a day like today, who could argue with that description?
Cape St. George
Two more gongs meant the commanding officer of the cruiser USS
Cape St. George
had crossed over the catwalk and boarded his ship. The smells and sounds of the fleet produced within her an intoxicating high.
Lieutenant Commander Caroline McCormick, Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Navy, jogged onto Senn Street. Just two days ago, she had been on board the
Cape St. George
, along with a team of two JAG officers and three legalmen, hosted by the captain himself.
Her team of Navy lawyers and paralegals had worked into the evening to finish preparing wills and powers of attorney for every member of the crew, who were all preparing for next week's deployment across the Pacific, through the Malacca Straits, and from there to the Andaman Sea, the Indian Ocean, and finally, the Arabian Sea.
In grateful appreciation, Captain Paul M. Kriete had offered to buy her a drink at the officers' club.
She'd almost accepted.
Problem was, she was still hung up on another officer. Or was she?
Lieutenant Commander P.J. MacDonald had transferred to the Pentagon, to the Navy JAG's prestigious and mysterious Code 13, a selective billet offered only to a small handful of JAG officers.
Soon they would be shipping her out, too, for her orders were about to expire at the Regional Legal Service Office.
Japan? Guam? Afghanistan?
Last week the detailer had suggested ItalyâSigonella, to be precise. She longed for a change of scenery. Perhaps a foreign port might provide a nice change of pace.
Whenever the detailer mentioned a more exotic duty station like Sigonella, or Japan, or even London, he always weaved the conversation back to an aircraft carrier. And one aircraft carrier in particular kept coming up.
“You know, USS
needs a senior judge advocate,” he would say. “You would be the perfect match. There're five thousand sailors on board. You'd be the principal lawyer for them all. Plus, you'd be the senior legal advisor for the captain of the ship. If you do well there, punch your ticket on your sea tour, that billet will line you up for deep selection to commander. Perhaps even captain.”
After teasing her with exotic jobs at exciting ports of call, the
detailer kept pushing her to a two-year sea billet. Detailers, the officers in charge of assigning officers to their next duty station, were the used-car salesmen of the Navy. The detailer's job was to fill jobs. Period. The detailer could simply cut her orders to her next duty station, and that would be that. But jockeying for plum assignments was commonplace in the Navy, and it was better to make the officer receiving the orders believe he or she had “volunteered” for the billet.
In the give-and-take of the Navy detailer world, the fact was that some commands wanted to handpick certain officers to fill billets, and often the detailer's job was to serve as schmoozer-in-chief, keeping the commands happy while keeping the officers receiving orders happy, too, if possible. But that wasn't always possible.