The time has come to put Johanna’s plan to work, but at the same time, her opponents zero in on her. How can she assemble her team if her pursuers won’t leave her alone anywhere? Worse, how can she protect innocents from being hurt as collateral damage?
“Velvet, do you see that?” Jasmine pointed at a dark spot on the northern horizon, one that could only be seen briefly before it disappeared behind the gentle central Pacific’s swell.
I waited until our yacht had climbed the next wave crest, then focused on the spot with the aid of my Analogy. It helped me stabilize the picture in my mind and magnify its contours.
“Looks like a destroyer or such. Probably Americans.”
“No problem, then.”
“But yes, it is.”
“Why? We’re no pirates, and as long as the destroyer is near, we won’t have trouble with pirates, or will we?”
“Correct. But we’ll have trouble with the Americans.” I gave her an encouraging smile. “The Americans would like to lay their hands on me. They’re not happy with me being out of their control.”
“Actually, they have no claim on me. I’m not an American citizen, and there’s no cause for arrest. But that’s never mattered for the Americans. If they really want someone, they just take him.”
“Oh. Well, that won’t be easy for them. You can count on us.”
“I do, Jasmine, but we can only lose in a battle with a warship. If everything else fails, I’ll leave you.”
“But we’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!”
“So what? I’ve already swum from Tokyo to Los Angeles. I don’t need a boat, but you do. So it’d be better if I’m not found aboard here. Then they’d have to let you go.” Hopefully. “But it needn’t come to that.”
“You mean, they haven’t spotted us yet?”
“Oh, sure they have. Directly, by satellite, or both. After all, the Kwajalein atoll is an American military base. It was inevitable that they’d be interested in us.”
“Legan Island, where we picked up Reginald, is a part of Kwajalein, and Kwajalein belongs to the Marshall Islands.”
“And those belong to the USA?”
“No. But the USA has bases here anyway. For radar, intercontinental missiles and weapons tests, earlier even for nuclear weapons tests.”
“Oh. Then I’m wondering why they didn’t stop us already.”
“I guess the Cartel paid them off for looking away with regard to Legan Island. That’s why I still hope they’ll leave us alone.”
“Could we run away?”
“No, probably not. Our captain surely wouldn’t want to take the Navy up. Well, we can still get lucky.”
Right now, our yacht was making its way south-east at twenty-six knots. At this speed, we should be able to reach Majuro in about twelve hours, briefly after sunrise.