Summer and Chas arrived at the marina with a small moving truck full of research equipment. The palm trees swayed in a slight breeze, and Summer could see that the bay was relatively calm. They pulled into the parking lot and over to the ramp that lead to the loading dock. She spotted the radio antenna of the Osprey and felt a little thrill of excitement or panic in her stomach. It’s not panic, she told herself.
There was a barrier in front of the ramp for some reason.
Summer put the truck in to park, they got out to investigate.
A uniformed man carrying a machine gun walked up the ramp toward them, waving.
“This dock is closed,” he said when he got close enough.
“But,” Summer started.
“That’s our ship, man,” Chas said at the same time.
The guard looked more interested suddenly. “Who are you?”
Summer introduced herself and Chas and told the man about their impending research trip.
The man talked into the radio at his shoulder while watching them intently.
“What the hell?” Chas murmured to her.
“I don’t know.”
“Pull over there,” the guard indicated a parking area to the left, “Detective Gundin will be with you in a moment.”
“What’s going on?” Summer asked.
“Pull over there.” The guard positioned himself behind the barrier, cradling his gun in one arm, his other hand on his hip.
They moved the truck to the parking lot and waited only a moment before a short man in a baggy suit walked over and gestured for them to get out of the truck.
He introduced himself, asked for their credentials and then told them, “The Osprey has been scuttled. Do you know why someone would want to sink this boat?”
“Scuttled? No. It’s a research vessel. It belongs to the University.”
“No way man, someone sunk our boat? What the hell?” Summer held out a hand to calm Chas down.
“Does Professor Katz know? He should have been here.”
“Who is Professor Katz?”
“He’s our mentor. He’s leading this research trip. Look, we’re supposed to leave on the tide.”
“I’d like to speak to your Professor Katz. Call him.”
She exchanged a worried glance with Chas and pulled out her cell phone.