Prologue – From the Eagle Chronicles






        A sliver of autumn moonlight in a gauzy sky shone on the transom of the “Serendipity” as she lay at anchor. The boat rocked gently in Princess Bay, a cove on the north side of Hurricane Hole at the east end of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only sound was the lapping water against the stern of the boat as Falcon’s head lifted slowly out of the dark depths, the eagle’s eye tattoo on his neck glistened and seemed to wink it’s okay as he waited, listening for any sound from the boat.


            He had left the mini-sub through the airlock only a few minutes ago and swam straight up, holding his breath until he reached the surface where he now reviewed the 55' Wheeler in his mind.  With a little online research, he knew the cabin layout by heart.  Clad in a black wetsuit, he was nearly invisible. The wetsuit felt itchy on his skin. It wasn’t for warmth as the sea here was never cold enough to need one. The suit would serve another purpose soon enough. He wiped the salt water from his lips and smiled.


The young couple would be in the master stateroom forward of the wheelhouse and he wanted to be sure they were asleep before he climbed all the way aboard.  At two in the morning he presumed they would be asleep, but he wanted to be sure. Patience was key in his line of work.  That, and the element of surprise.  He and the others had been cruising the shoreline in Hurricane Hole from 1000 yards out when they had seen the young couple swimming alongside the boat and watched them for a full day to be sure they were alone on board.


After some time, Falcon crawled slowly over the stern, sat on the built-in transom seat, took the waterproof pouch from around his waist, opened it and removed the stun gun.  He left the pouch on the cushion before moving forward. He grabbed the salon door and turned it careful to not make any noise. Good thing it’s not locked. He could pick a lock of course, was very good at it in fact, but locks can take time and make noise. He went forward to the open stateroom door. He could make out two figures lying in bed.  He went to the left side where the larger figure lay and quickly shoved the stun gun to an exposed neck.  Zzzzzzzzzzzap.”  The body jerked and was still, but the gun caused a racket, no doubt.   The person on the other side of the bed screamed, jumped up, and ran into the salon. Falcon could see a flimsy night-gowned figure and rushed after her. Christ, this one’s fast.  “But”, he thought,  no one is faster than the Falcon.”  Falcon made a leap not unlike a ballet move and grabbed one slender ankle with his left hand while pressing the stun gun to her thigh as she fell. She was out for the count.


Better get to it. He jogged back to the stern and removed a knife, small tarp, and a battery operated Sawzall out of the pouch. He couldn’t help but grin.


He spread the tarp out by the woman, picked her up as if she weighed nothing and dropped her back down. She moaned as he bent down and quickly shoved the knife into her heart. Her body struggled a bit, but it didn’t take long. Before he began his wet work, Falcon returned to the salon and gave the unconscious man another jolt until it was his turn.  Now the fun begins, but where to start?  He took the Sawzall and thought for a moment before going to her lower extremities.  The saw was efficient for its size, but it took time. After the second leg was detached, he straightened up, threw the legs overboard, and went back to work.   He was careful to keep the tarp raised to prevent blood spatter on the boat itself, but it was messy work. He went to work on the arms, then severed the head and set it off to the side in the bait well of the boat.


“Might as well watch, sweet cheeks,’ he told her.  He threw the rest of her body overboard and went to the salon to get the man.


The guy was heavier of course, but not too heavy to bring aft to the tarp. Falcon wasn’t a large man but he was strong. “Brute strength. Fucking brute strength, that’s what I got,” he’d like to boast. As he carried his unconscious captive, the man’s head bumped the overhead. “Aw, did that hurt you?  Hey, not to worry, we’ll fix you up in a bit. No more pain ever. I promise,” he said and he patted the man on the back.  The Sawzall buzzed as Falcon severed the man’s limbs and then the head from the trunk of his body. He set the man’s head in the bait well facing the woman’s and threw the torso overboard as well. 


 “The sharks will be so happy to see you kids.” He expertly whistled “Taps” as he threw both heads to the sea in final farewell. 


Falcon rolled up the tarp and tied it with a small piece of rope, then threw it over the stern, knowing the sharks would smell the blood and tear it to shreds. He removed the walkie-talkie from the pouch and keyed the switch.  When he heard the answering click he said, “Falcon here, score is two zip,” and released the switch.  He leaned over the transom and pasted on the large self-stick plastic sheet that proclaimed the boat to be Hornby and disappearing Serendipity forever.


Humming to himself, he went straight to the head and turned on the hot water.  When steam indicated the correct temperature, he stepped in. He let the water rinse the wetsuit then rinsed it off and scrubbed himself from head to toe. “Have to be clean. Have to be clean. Be clean or else.”  The familiar chant rang in his head. Twenty minutes later, wearing a fresh towel like a kilt, he turned on the bilge fans, and after a few minutes started the engines and warmed up the sonar. The image of the mini-sub started to move southeast and he followed. He thought of the couple on their way to the depths.  What a waste of good meat.  I wish I had had time to eat.