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Deep Crossing


Chapter 1
I was surf fishing off the rocks at Port Canaveral when they arrived. You
are not allowed to fish off the rocks, so I was gambling I could bring
something in before the beach patrol showed up and brought me in.
It was the perfect time of day. The morning's peak tide was just
beginning to ease out, encouraging the pompano to gather beyond the
breakers where they waited to collect sand fleas before the beach line became
too shallow.
They don't like you out on the rocks because it's easy to fall and if you
do you will almost certainly be seriously hurt. Then the paramedics must do
their least favorite imitation of Laurel and Hardy trying to maneuver a body
board out onto the jagged breakwater to bring you in. My six-foot-two frame
would be an added disappointment to them if such an incident did occur, and I
already have enough scars here and there to commemorate the philosophy of
not obeying rules. But, there it is.
So, struggling to balance myself and at the same time set a frozen
shrimp on my hook, I was trying to keep an eye out for the shore patrol's ATV
when the shuttle suddenly came streaking in above the trees. It was a gaudy
entrance, really. They hovered over the parking lot for longer than needed,
then settled into the RV parking area having caused everyone on the beach
and in the picnic area to stop what they were doing and gawk. There were fifty
or sixty others enjoying the ocean so I figured there was a good chance this
wasn't about me. Still, the eagle and olive branch seals on the shuttle's
polished blue and white surface gave me pause to worry since I recently had
more attention from government agencies than any mortal man should have
to bear.
It was too good a day to waste. I cast out, teetered a bit, then slowly
brought in the slack until I could feel the pyramid sinker. Waiting to feel the
quick hard taps on the end of the line, I watched in the direction of the shuttle,
hoping its occupants had other business.
Three of them emerged. They were not wearing beachwear. The lead
man was short, balding, and wore a light blue Nehru-styled suit with matching
sunglasses. He was followed by two in standard black Alfani's with dark
sunglasses. I don't know why those guys don't just have the word security
embroidered in big letters on their suit backs.
The lead man took a confused path to the edge of the beach, chin up,
looking erratically for a particular individual. Too late, I thought to turn my
back. The delicate little man's gaze zeroed in and locked on me. He made an
obtuse gesture and began tromping through the sand in my direction,
dragging his black suits along with him. Beach-goers continued to stop and
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