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Contents Copyright by Bruce Durham unless noted otherwise
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*Klaangg!*

 

“What was that?” asked Petty Officer Alice D’Amico.

 

Lieutenant William Hamlyn sat slumped in the canvas seat beside her, fingering a Celtic cross attached to a thin silver chain draped around his neck. “It’s a Sea King, Petty Officer. They do that.”

 

D’Amico swallowed, her hands coming together into a nervous ball. “I hate strange noises. Strange noises equal crash.  I hate crashes.”

 

Hamlyn hid a smile. Across from them, Leading Seamen Fraser James and Brad Ferguson grinned and exchanged a look. They were veterans of episodes like this.

 

Hamlyn turned to face his second-in-command. The pretty young woman peered at him anxiously from under her green helmet.  A dusting of freckles flanked a pert, slightly upturned nose while downturned lips evoked a sense of perpetual sadness. Brown eyes paid homage to her Italian ancestry. Hamlyn saw the clenched hands and took pity. If there was one constant after countless missions with the PO, it was her abhorrence of flying, though Hamlyn suspected it was, in part, an act. Flashing a reassuring smile, he said, “I’ll go check, okay?”

 

Finding his balance in the mildly buffeting machine, Hamlyn approached the cockpit. The Sea King’s sensor operator, Master Corporal Brenda Tran, was already involved in an animated conference with both pilot and co-pilot. Wedging his body beside the specialist, he said, “My ears are burning. Talking about me?”

 

The woman shook her head. “Oh, no sir.”

 

“Good. So what’s up? We been ordered back to the NATO Response Group? Another search for that Yank submarine? What was it again, the Harpy?”

 

“No sir. We’re, ah, having mechanical problems. Nothing to worry about.”

 

Hamlyn’s lips twitched into a smile. “Words like mechanical and problem in a Sea King doesn’t instill confidence, especially in the middle of the Indian Ocean.”

 

“Really sir, it’s nothing to worry about.”

 

“Is that so? My PO is ready to pee herself. And it would be embarrassing if my Search and Rescue team become the subject of its own search and rescue. Catch my drift?”

Deathstalk
Excerpt
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“...the very, very end of this one - excellent! Bruce leaves you wondering about things just right so that the story sits with you long afterward.”
David J. West - Nephite Blood, Spartan Heart
“Another good one was... Deathstalk, ... a straight action story where the race is against bad guys and time, and the atmosphere is about as chilling as they come.”
Gustavo Bondoni - Author

“This one is pure adventure, the character development is good, and the monsters are pretty darn scary... this story really delivers.”

Michael D. Griffiths - SFReader.

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