A John Gallant Action Mystery
By Stu Kinniburgh
Copyright 2011 Stu Kinniburgh
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The miniature submarine moved through the cold waters of the Potomac River as a full moon remained hidden beneath a dense cloud cover. The streets of the Nation’s Capitol were still shining with the remnants of the downpour from earlier in the evening. The few pedestrians still up at this hour did their best to avoid the splashing from automobile tires while others, homeless and cold, huddled over grates and vents in the sidewalk with feeble attempts to stay warm.
Deep in the basement of the Pentagon, the Emergency Action Team gathered around the situation map looking at the last known location for the radar signature that had caused so much commotion only three hours earlier. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Major General Steve Haddley, looked up from his luke-warm cup of coffee. He had just finished a brisk forty minute work out on a treadmill in the basement of his home in nearby Reston, Virginia, and was preparing to hit the sack in preparation for the 0430 buzz from his alarm when his beeper had gone off, requesting that he call the duty officer. After only a few words, he dressed and drove into the city. Fifty minutes later, he walked into the Emergency Action Center, picked up a briefing folder and the cup of coffee from a thermos that had been off the burner a bit too long. A briefing officer took his place behind the podium prepared to discuss the past several hours of tense concern.