Five in the morning on the edge of the English Channel in November, cold, dark gray, misty and foggy, and Beth took the next step onto the fishing vessel.
“E-yup” said the slightly raspy non-description mid-tone voice of the captain somewhere a few feet away in the fog. There was a smell of sweet tobacco smoke in the air.
A few calls later the boat was under way, Beth still standing in the same spot she had landed on once aboard, feeling a bit awkward and alone. No one approached to show Beth below, and the motor continued.
Beth thought, “What did I get myself into?”
The fishing vessel continued to slowly make its way further into the open sea, the bow rising slightly higher after each dip, like being in a rocking chair where each rock was proceeded by another slightly larger, and with the seconds Beth began to wonder if what to do in the next few seconds because the dips and rises were quickly becoming too extreme to be able to stand in one place.
Beth thought, “I don’t know anything about these guy’s, but this is just getting rude.”
And then she remembered the trip she and Max made to Skagway, and then she pictured Spencer, somewhere in Paris. She had to get to Spence. Beth forgot about the rocking of the ship as she remembered the spring day Spencer disappeared and H reappeared. After the loss of Max, Spencer was there, just there. Together they mourned the loss of Max, the third part of them. Spencer became the one thing Beth looked forward to each day, the smile, the one person who cared how she was feeling, who talked when all she wanted to do was listen, who listened when Beth had something to say. And now he needed her to save him. Maya couldn’t do this, her robotics would be too easily detected. This was all on Beth.
Beth knew she was in unfamiliar territory on that boat. There was no place to go, so she squatted down and wrapped her arms around her knees to lower her center of gravity, hoping for the fog to clear, and hoping even more for this rust bucket of a boat to get to the other side of the channel as soon as possible.
Hassan sat reading the intelligence reports. Hassan was keen on the Canadian reports. He read that Sachin and Mohit were reporting on the demeanor of one “H”.
Hassan remembered reading the reports from Sachin and Mohit a little over a year ago, before the CME, and the person they were tracking called herself “H”.
And here he was, again, after architecting the most geopolitical change in history, reading what seemed like the same report after two years. What was it about “H” that drew his attention, or curiosity. His training told him something was there. Hassan remembered a reports few years ago where H mention Inuvik after an absence from the bar for about a month. “What happened at Inuvik” wondered Hassan.
In March Hassan decided to send Sachin and Mohit to Inuvik for a week, and report on what they found there.
On their first morning in Inuvik they decided they would get breakfast not realizing that one decision would change their lives forever.
The fog thinned out a little. Beth could clearly see across both lengths of the boat. After about two hours Beth could make out what looked like a shoreline, and then a house, then more houses, and what looked like a village.
The fishing vessel headed toward an outreach of land. The other side of the outreach became visible as the shore got closer, a small harbor port with many small fishing vessels.
The boat slowed as it entered the harbor and headed for an opening in a dock. As they got closer the boat slowed, there was a scurry of about five men with ropes, and then the boat bumped the side of the dock and was then at a full stop. People on the dock were speaking French.
“I’m out’a here” thought Beth, who had been standing since the fog lifted enough to show the hint of land. Beth walked to the side of the boat, lifted her legs over edge of the boat and pushed herself off of the boat landing a few feet down on the dock. She looked straight ahead at the entrance from the docks to the village and started walking without looking back.
“Assholes,” Beth thought as she focused on each step, remembering just an hour earlier squatting on that fishing boat deck in the cold fog.
Who is Hank M. Greene?
“I am what I said I am, a storyteller. But, you may be asking, from whence did I come and to where do I go? ‘Ten’ (get the book on Amazon) holds the key to where I go, and it’s to be determined from whence I came.”