CHAPTER SEVEN

 

"He what?!" Cody exclaimed when Alex told him where Frank was located. Jake and Alex were waiting for a private plane to be readied for them, and the two were gathering their equipment.

 

Despite his bruises and stitches, Cody tried to gape. "A sandspit? Frank marooned himself and Milton on a sandspit in the middle of the Atlantic?" Cody tried to whistle but found the stitches in his cheek prevented him.

 

Jake now asked, "whatever possessed our gallant leader to maroon himself on a sandspit?" Jake and Alex stopped their activity long enough to look at the monitor in Cody's computer banks. Cody had tapped into the hospital video system and had located the video feed showing Monica lying in her bed. She was in the intensive care unit, still unconscious, and the nurses had a video feed from her bed to the nursing desk so someone could monitor her at all times.

 

"Anyone? Take a guess as to his motives?" Jake asked, glancing over at the computer screen. Monica lay there, a bloody bandage going down the middle of her chest but she was breathing regularly.

 

The three remaining team members then looked at each other.

 

"If I was Frank and I was being held on a small cay in the Bahamas about to have sodium amytal administered and I had a chance to escape, it might be better for me to get off the cay as quickly as possible," Alex said.

 

"But why a sandspit?" this came from Jake, who was sucking his cheek. He put a video camera in his pack.

 

"Because no one expects it," Cody replied. "Milton's crony bodyguards would have noticed him and Frank missing. They would assume that Frank would try to take the boat to somewhere else in the island chain. There's any number of fishermen who would do anything--like search for someone--for extra cash, preferably in American dollars," Cody explained.

 

"With the large number of fishermen, it would be easy to round up several and search the smaller cays. Milton would think Frank would lay low on a small cay," Alex continued.

 

"It would be easy to get a small hydroplane into the Bahamas unnoticed by Bahamian radar," Cody said.

 

"How so?" Jake asked.

 

"Head from eastern Florida northwest towards Bermuda, then swing around to the east. Then, swing south and west, and skim the surface of the water. You come in under the radar and with all the small islands in a fifty-four hundred square mile island chain, Bahamian radar would have a very difficult time tracking a hydroplane skimming the surface, even if the plane didn't use radar scrambling" Cody explained.

 

Jake whistled. "They could also run in supplies to the island to pay the fishermen. Household appliances would be more valued than money because of the high prices on the islands," he said, understanding dawning in his face.

 

"Almost everything is imported to the Bahamas and that drives up the price. Add on import taxes and home electronics become a luxury for a fisherman and his family. If you were a fisherman and you were offered, say, a complete home entertainment center to troll up and down the cays searching for someone, you'd take the job, and the entertainment center," Alex now said.

 

"So they got fishermen out looking for Frank in the Abaco cays," Jake said this as a statement.

 

"And Frank trumped them up and took off to the middle of the Atlantic ocean," Alex said she finished packing her bag with the supplies she knew they would need to keep in contact with Cody.

 

Cody opened a drawer and pulled out a small mirror that Monica used. "You might want to use this to signal him to let him know it's you and not some other plane," he said as he handed Alex the mirror. She smiled, nodded and put the mirror in the bag.

 

"Our Frank. How did he know about that sandspit?" Cody asked.

 

"Must have been there before," Jake said. "We'll ask him about it."

 

"Good luck getting information from Mister Acerbic," Cody said, as Alex and Jake walked out of his computer banks towards the exit.

 

"I'll keep on Eddie. Let our leader know that," Cody called after them. He heard the door shut. Reaching over and flipping a switch, Cody turned to another monitor and watched Jake and Alex walk towards Jake's car.

 

"Mister Acerbic? Frank is dry, not sour and bitter." Alex's voice came over the intercom. Cody smiled. He had a never ending list of nicknames for Frank, which he would continue to use until such time as Frank agreed to go out for a drink with them--even if his presence in the bar consisted of a mere half hour.

 

"Frank does tend to be rather dry and he did seem bitter about becoming our gallant leader," Jake's voice came back as the two reached Jake's car.

 

"Yeah, he's dry all right," Cody said to the monitor. "He's like a dry martini."

 

Cody sat back and thought about that statement. "Wonder if dry martini's is what Frank drinks," he said as he swung his chair around and watched the unconscious Monica. Cody noted her vital signs were steady.

 

"Come back to us soon, Monica," he said, as he watched her sleep.

 

*****