THE GREAT WHITE RED ALERT
“He’s late. That’s not like him,” said Tyler.
Alena checked the clock again. “It’s only been an hour. He’ll be here.”
The Sea Worthy was anchored in Gansbaai Harbor, rocking gently in the early morning swells. Around them, the small town was coming to life. Cage-diving boats and fishing boats were getting ready for a busy day. A few cars and delivery trucks were moving on the streets that fronted the harbor. The twins were finishing breakfast on deck. Brutus was suspiciously eyeing a gull that had landed on the railing nearby. The birds occasionally made the small dog a target for... well, you can use your imagination.
The team had returned shaken, but safe, from their encounter with the giant hovercraft and its deadly spawn of go-fast boats. Considering the threat on their lives, and Arky’s fate, Tyler had decided to move the Sea Worthy from the exposed area near Danger Point to the protection of the harbor. They all agreed to meet the next morning to talk and plan, and Jakob had left.
Now he was late.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” said Tyler. “I’m going to go look for him.”
Alena was uncomfortable with Tyler leaving, but was also worried about Jakob. She turned to her laptop computer. “I’ll finish my report for the Foundation. Take your satellite phone in case he shows up while you’re gone,” she told her brother.
Tyler helped Brutus into the dingy and putt-putted over to the dock, where he rented a car for the short trip to the Whalesong Lodge in nearby De Kelders where Jakob was staying.
As Tyler left the harbor, a long, low boat quietly pulled in, anchoring out of sight of the Sea Worthy.
Jakob was not in his room at the Whalesong Lodge, and the manager said he hadn’t seen him come in last night. “Though I think his car’s in the lot.”
Outside, Brutus was standing at alert near one of the cars. He was softly whining.
“What is it boy?” Tyler asked.
Brutus’s ears were flattened back and he was looking underneath the car. Tyler kneeled down to look. Something glinted by the front wheel. It was a pair of glasses. Tyler grabbed them and stood up. “Good boy,” he said to Brutus. He looked carefully at the glasses. He was sure they were Jakob’s. One of the lenses was cracked where the frame had been bent.
Just then his phone rang. He looked at the caller ID. “Alena?” he said into the phone.
He heard a man’s loud voice in the background, followed by Alena’s urgent voice. “Tyler!” she cried.
Then he heard a crack, as though the phone had been dropped. Or thrown.
Tyler drove as fast as the law allowed. Still, the trip back to Gansbaai seemed to take forever. He and Brutus jumped into the dingy. He started the motor and aimed for the Sea Worthy.
“Alena,” he said as they scrambled aboard. “Alena!” He rushed across the deck of the Sea Worthy and jumped down the stairs to the lounge. “Alena—” He stopped in his tracks.
The lounge was a mess. Furniture was overturned; equipment was scattered around. The box of Walker’s Stem Ginger Biscuits had tipped over and crumbs were strewn across the floor.
Tyler searched from bow to stern. There was nothing. No one. First Jakob, now Alena. Gone. Who had taken them? And where?
It wasn’t hard for him to guess.