“Red Leader to Red Five, do you copy?” Tomo called through the cell.
No one responded. The only sound was the lapping of water against the boat’s hull.
“Did you really establish that as your call sign?” Jenny asked.
“Is that what I think it is?” Georgie asked.
“Yes, no,” Tomo replied.
“Which is which?” Jenny asked.
“I told them before we hit the lake that I would check in at regular intervals, but didn’t establish a call signal because no one else is supposed to be on this set. And yes, it is what you think it is.”
“So why do they get to be Luke?” Charlie asked.
“Red Five was Luke. Red Leader was someone who got killed over the Death Star.”
“No, Luke was Red Leader. Wasn’t he?”
“I think he’s right,” said Dutch.
“No, I think Luke was Red Leader.”
“Luke was Red Five. I could swear.”
“Maybe someone over there can tell you,” Georgie offered. “Call ‘em and ask.”
“What,” said Tomo, “you think they’d seen it? I mean, between Bible breaks?”
“Hey, no, no,” said Georgie. “None of that. You got a problem with faith?”
“Just saying, that’s all.”
“We could use a little of that right now,” said Charlie.
“What, are you getting religious on my ass now?”
“Stow it,” said Jenny. “We got enough going on right now without letting this get in the way. You want to debate if there’s a God or whatever, do it ashore. Not here.”
There was an uneasy silence aboard as everyone caught their breath.
“How’d we get on religion anyway?” Dutch asked. “We never thought about that before thi-”
“And we don’t need the distraction now,” Jenny shut him down.
“I just wanted to know who Red Leader was,” Tomo offered.
“That’s easy,” said Jenny, as she flicked her hair. “Me.”
Georgie and Tia gave a slight laugh.
“It’d be a better joke,” said Tomo, “if you applied some highlights before we went out.”
“It’s been a tough couple of days,” said Jenny as she rubbed a lock between her thumb and index finger, listening. “We get a good haul, I’ll take care of this later.”
Before the silence could return in force, the cell went off.
“Ask them who Luke was,” Georgie said as Tomo answered.
She listened for a second before she turned up the volume with a finger flick and said into it, “Please repeat, over.”
“Again,” said the voice through the cell, “we have a sighting, bearing forty, and she looks heavy.”
“Forty, forty,” Jenny said aloud as she stood at the stern and used the binoculars to sight along the triangulation. “Got her!”
“Where?” Tia asked.
“That set of lights just before the horizon. Probably fifteen miles, and the way she’s lying low in the water, easy to get up alongside of. Tomo, tell them it’s a go!”
All content Copyright © 2012 James Ryan