Chapter XXXVII


Frank finally stepped closer to the Princess and put his arm around her.  They continued to stare at the former Sir Terrance Lutts and ignored the remaining swarm of drones about their heads.  Finally, a group of military robots and human soldiers came running. They were Israeli.  I noticed that the ship had started to lean to starboard. 

I think Frank recognized one of the soldiers as quickly as I did, which is a neat trick for a slow working human brain.  It was Col. Mann running with his pistol in his hand.  He came to a stop by the Princess and Frank and said pointing his gun towards the body, “Glad to see you two are safe.  Who was that bloke?”

“Lutts,” Frank said simply.

“Sir Terrance?” Col Mann said incredulously.

“Yes, he was going to take us away by helicopter,” the Princess volunteered.

“Impossible, we captured Lutts in his Control Room on Deck 4.  Come.  Follow me, we have to get off this tub – it’s sinking.”

Everyone followed the Colonel to the back of the ship where there were several rubber pontoon boats waiting at the bottom of some rope ladders.  The Princess almost fell off the ladder when another massive explosion went off inside the boat.  An officer gave us each a life preserver and the boats proceeded to take us in a southwest direction.  We had traveled no more than a mile when we saw a submarine surface.  The boats pulled over to the sub and several soldiers manhandled two bodybags from the second boat.  We got out with Col. Mann, but most of the soldiers stayed and went back to Lutts’s sinking ship.  My guess is they were after intelligence assets. 

While walking on the sub deck Frank turned to Col. Mann and asked, “I take it from the two body bags you only lost two men.”

“No sir” Col. Mann replied, “we did not lose anyone this time.  Those are Lutts and Larson.  We knocked them out.  In about thirty minutes they will be awake and we can ask these characters a few questions.”

“I’m telling you, Colonel, Lutts is dead,” Marianne said in a very high pitched voice to make herself heard over the din of ocean and machines.

“The lady is not lying, Colonel,” Frank said.

The Colonel yelled for Lutts’s body bag to be brought over to him.  He brusquely pulled down the zipper and reveals Dr. Tarrance Lutts sleeping like a babe.

“Colonel, do me a favor and bring back that body and do a DNA analysis on it.  This may be a look-a-like – a double.  Wouldn’t be the first time the rich and powerful used doubles,” Frank told the Colonel.

Col. Mann barked into his headset and then told Frank, “We will look into it.  Now come on down and tell me what you were doing on that boat.”

We followed Col. Mann down the hatch into the Israeli Class 6 nuclear sub.  We walked single file to the front of the boat and entered what looked like the officers mess.  It was the only room that was big enough for Colonel Mann, the sub Captain and the three of us to sit and be comfortable.  The Captain, whose name we found out was Rabein, served as host and handed out coffee to all the humans.

Finally, Col. Mann put down his cup after finishing at least half of it and said to Frank, ”So how did you get on that boat?”

Frank scowled and said, “Like Lutts always likes to do.  He drugged us and the next thing we knew we’re on his stinking boat having dinner.”

“With him?”

“Yes.  He tried to convince us that it was in humanity’s best interest to have religious tendencies removed.”

“How did that go?”

“Basically, a standstill.  I’m not sure what your feelings are on religion, Colonel, but I agree with Lutts that it is a pile of crap.  However, I firmly believe in free choice.  I would rather have a person become an atheist of their own free will and not brainwashed or mutated against their will.  Lutts did not have a good counter argument about free will other than he thought it was worthwhile to push the species forward.  He felt it was time humans evolved beyond the need for religion.”

“Okay so you had a free meal and the hidden cost was having to listen to his monologue.  I get it.  Did he say what his immediate plans were?” the Colonel asked.

“Not precisely, but we assumed he is close to setting his nano-vectors loose on the world.”

Suddenly, our coffee in our cups started to show vibration waves as we heard some muffled sounds.  Captain Rabein went over to the phone and called up the bridge.  He asked what caused the rumble and then listened to the answer.  After a short pause he asked if all the men were off Lutts’s ship.  Another pause and then he said, “Once the boats are secured bring us down to 500 feet and head for Devonport.”

Capt. Rabein turned towards Col. Mann and said, “Lutts’s ship is on its way down to Davy Jones locker.  All personnel are accounted for as well as the seven humans we found on the ship.”

“I’ll interrogate them later, Captain,” Colonel Mann responded and then he took another long sip of coffee.  He was quiet for about a minute and said, “I wish I had a place for you to clean up, but space is a premium right now.  I need to shift you to another area while I deal with the intelligence evaluation.”

Finally, the Monsignor spoke up, “Do you think, Colonel Mann, that you have stopped this mad man?”

“I don’t know.  He could have this whole thing set up like some doomsday machine.  I have the best intel people here on the ship so I should have some answers in a couple of hours.”

With that said, the Colonel had us moved to the Captain’s quarters which had a small meeting room where the humans could sit and drink more coffee.

Once they were all situated, Frank asked the Monsignor, “You know more about military intel than I do.  What do you think they will find?”

“Beats me, Mr. Huntington.  Sir Terrance has been pretty good at outguessing the Israelis.  They finally got him in their hands along with Dr. Larson.  I doubt they will get much out of her.  They had enough time to take out the computer storage and hopefully they have some friends at the CIA to help them break in.  What do you think about this double?”

“Lutts one and two?  Might just be a vanity thing.  I’m starting to wonder how many times I really met Lutts.”

“I wonder how many times I have fucked the real Lutts? Marianne quipped with a sour look on her face.  No doubt she was wondering if her marriage to Lutts was just a ploy for something Lutts wanted. 

“You don’t think the bastard is that cold a fish that he would let his double do his marital duties?  I mean the Lutts we spoke to was intelligent and seemed to know everything, but it is queer that the Lutts they apprehended was in the main control room.  You would think that is where the real Lutts would have been.”

The Monsignor only threw up his hands in confusion.  This brought on an even longer scowl from the Princess.  I felt that only time would sort this out.  The Israelis would certainly check out who the dead and living Luttses were.  Humans can be so impatient for an adventure to end.  Things quieted down and none of the humans was in a mood for simple conversation.  That is one thing my programming spent a great deal of code on – namely when to not talk to your human.  Several communication sub routines told me this was not a time for jibber-jabber to take their minds off of all the pressures they felt.






















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