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make and model of the plane, as well as the fate of its occupants.
At present, the crash site has been roped off and placed under guard
by local Militiamen. Only authorized personnel will be allowed to
view the wreckage. Major Gilbert Donnoue, of the Air Force
Experimental Wing, refused to make a statement as to whether the
plane was of Air Force origin. "To my knowledge, we have lost no
test planes. However, an extensive check will undoubtedly be run to
Test plane? Nick stared in amazement at the words that leaped at him
from the printed page. Test plane? What the hell was going on in this
screwy world? No wings? No tail assembly? No Mayday calls? No record of
the plane? The whole damned thing sounded ridiculous. Coupled with the
fact that he had been out of touch for thirteen months, it all became
And to top it all off, Nolan Brice was one of the men who had been
placed on the investigating staff at the crash scene. Suppose he, Nick,
had left something at the scene ... a fraternity pin, a slip of paper
... anything that would link the crash to the fact that he was alive and
in Everett. The whole damned bunch would be on his tail, before you
could say, "Jack Robinson." He...
"Nick," Beth pouted. "Will you pay a little attention to me for a
"I'm sorry, honey, but it's the plane." While she listened he read the
account aloud and, when he'd finished, they exchanged glances. "That's
the plane I was in," he told her.
"But you don't know how to fly."
"I must know, unless someone else flew it. That's the plane I woke up
beside. I must have been in the damned thing. But I don't know if anyone
else was." He buried his face in his hands.
"Nick. Should we call the police?"
Alarmed at his violent outburst, she put her hand on his shoulder to
comfort him. "All right dear. I'm sorry."
"It'd been different, if those men weren't after me. I'd call the police
if they weren't dogging my tracks. I'd turn myself in just to find out
what the hell's going on."
"Me too," she said softly.
At first he didn't catch the meaning behind her words, then he blinked.
"What?" He asked.
"The car, the black one. It followed me to work this morning." She
paused, then added, "It didn't follow me home though."
Nick slammed the paper to the floor, his lean jaw muscles knotted in
anger. "That settles it," he snapped. "I can face whatever I'm mixed up
in, but there's no earthly reason why you should be subjected to it!
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