He caught Foster’s leg and swiped it away, catching him off balance. Foster crashed onto the mat, Lew Waterman on top of him before he could retaliate. Lew pinned him down and sprawled on the body, not giving him any possibility of moving.
“Do you surrender?” Waterman hissed through clenched jaws.
“Yes, yes, let me go,” Paul Foster gasped. Lew rolled aside before flipping himself back to his feet. He reached down to pull Paul up. Both men were sweating, breathing heavily after the workout.
“Finished, then?” Lew asked, hoping this energy-sapping fight with his combat trainer was over. Paul nodded and took off his head protection. After hours of judo throwing and sacrifice techniques even the well trained body of Foster craved for a rest. He adjusted his suit after Lew’s last grappling and fastened his belt. His forehead glistened with sweat. He grabbed his water bottle, drank a few sips and poured the rest over his head.
Lew sighed with relief and hauled himself to the bench where Craig Collins was still waiting after his own exercises. Collins shot a rueful glance at him, when Lew sat down beside his companion.
Foster ran his fingers through his ruffled hair and turned to the waiting men. He grabbed two bath towels from a rack and threw them to his comrades.
“Well, nothing more left to teach you, your reactions are great and your condition on top form after these two weeks. You both did a good job here.”
“Thanks, a rare compliment. What did we do to deserve this?” Waterman asked and opened the jacket of his judogi, trying to get some cool air to his skin. Lew was taller than Paul but of the same weight. His slender body was well built with rippling muscles on his belly and a broad, well-defined chest, which was now beaded with bright sweat. He took the training plan from the bench and used it to fan his glistening skin. He stretched his long legs and moaned.
A short smile lifted the corners of Foster’s mouth and he pointed to the door of the gym.
“Take a shower first. And then you get the answer from Colonel Freeman; he’ s waiting for us in the conference room.”
Fifteen minutes later the four SHADO-officers were gathered round the table. Colonel Freeman flipped through a folder in front of him, then he closed the file and leant back.
“Lew, Craig, your results are better than I had expected. I’ve got Dr. Shroeder’s reports on your physical condition and Paul just told me your technique has also improved during the last days. We’ll start the final part of your training tomorrow at six a. m.“
Collins shoved his still wet hair back and muttered. “Oh Alec, come on, why so early? Don’t you think you can give us a little rest after a fortnight’s hard training?”
Freeman cocked his eyebrows. “You want to take a rest, Craig? Then ask Commander Straker for a transfer to a desk job. You and Waterman are highly trained and ambitious pilots. And we want you to stay on that level, just for the record.”
He turned to Waterman whose interested face encouraged Freeman to continue.
“Now listen. Tomorrow I will fly you with the heli to a small island in the Atlantic. You have to prove your survival skills and orientation abilities. “ Alec looked at Foster and thrust the pile of papers over the table to him. Then he searched for his indispensable cigarettes and lit one up. He took a deep drag and closed his eyes for a moment. “Paul, go on.”
“You get survival equipment plus a list of tasks to complete within five days.” Foster handed them two maps. “The island is uninhabited, only volcanic rock, some coppice, a few trees and thousands of seabirds. The ornithologists have an observation station in the north which is not occupied this month. It has a radio device which you may use in an emergency.“
“And in case you finish earlier, of course,” Freeman added. “I will explain the rest of the task tomorrow during our flight. Any questions?”
Collins didn’t look happy. His mouth had tightened and he crossed his arms in front of his chest. “Wonderful,” he grumbled and leant back in his seat. “So you want us to play Cowboy and Indians, crawling on all fours through the wilderness and collecting glass beads you’ve hidden for us to find.”
His head turned to Waterman who couldn’t resist a light smirk. Lew took his map and stood up. “Better playing Indians than hunting aliens underwater. If my profession depends on it, I would even camp on an ice floe.”
He rested a hand on Foster’s shoulder. “Okay, Paul, thanks for the workout. When do you return to Moonbase?”
Foster looked at his watch. “If I hurry up I can take the next flight in two hours.” He emptied the rest of his glass in one gulp and collected his papers. “Good luck, gentlemen, and Lew, don’t forget your cereal bars, life might be rugged on a lonely island.”
He grinned and headed for the door, when Collins called him back. “Foster, if you meet Colonel Lake, tell her I’m looking forward to our next rendezvous. And be aware of whose girlfriend she is.”
Paul’s face straightened as he turned. “What does that mean?”
“Oh, nothing special, only what I said.” For a moment, Craig’s eyes stared with a stabbing gaze at Foster, a visible tension running through his muscular body.
Waterman took the chance to interrupt. He grabbed Craig’s sleeve and tore him up. “Go ahead, Craig, let’s collect our equipment for the next few days.” He pushed him through the door, passing Foster with a shrug. “Perhaps the test will knock the nonsense out of his head,” he murmured. “See you after that on duty.”
X X X
Lew folded his map and stuck it in the outside pocket of his rucksack. He squeezed his eyes, trying to protect them from the dazzling sun and looked back to Craig who was following him in some distance.
“Craig, what takes you so long? Come on mate, five kilometres left to the station.”
Collins lifted his army cap and scratched his head on which his blond hair was plastered to the skull, before he got into action again and finally reached his comrade.
“Jesus, why didn’t Freeman tell us about the heat? I thought February was a winter month and not one with 40° C in the shade.”
“At most 25° and perhaps you remember how cold the last two nights got. Without the camp fire we would now suffer from chilblains.” The quick flash of his smile belied Lew’s words, but Craig was occupied with his water bottle and didn’t notice it. Waterman opened his jacket, pulled it off and fastened it on top of his baggage. “Have you checked our position?”
Craig nodded. “Yes, some minutes ago.” He pointed to the coast line. “Let’s cross the lowlands behind the hill, follow the small path along the cliffs there and in three hours we’re sitting in the station, a jug of ice tea on the table.”
He grinned and set off again, now taking the lead. “And then we radio good old Colonel Freeman and tomorrow morning he will pick us up and …”
“… tell us our free days for the rest of the week are cancelled because of a massive attack of UFOs,” the taller man completed the sentence with his dry humour, following his comrade’s steps.
Until now the test had gone like clockwork. Nine of the ten announced tasks were done. Waterman chuckled as he remembered the last one, when Collins tried to pick up a rubber duck out of a tree 5 metres above the ground and half of the rotten wood had crashed down with him. Seconds later his ambitious colleague had emerged from the branches, swivelling the toy and clucking like a coot.
‘Crazy fellow,’ Waterman thought with amusement. On one hand his workmate could reduce everyone to laughter with his spontaneous ideas, but his hotheadedness often caused him to overreact. Lew had not forgotten the scene between Craig and Paul Foster on the day in the training centre and he doubted if Craig would ever come to grips with his quick temper.
Two hours later they had crossed the shallow volcanic crater. Lew, who sometimes missed the fresh air and colours of the nature when on a two-months-duty in Skydiver, enjoyed the march along the cliffs between the Atlantic and the volcanic rocks.
His eyes searched the landscape, inhaling the beauty of the pure scenery. Bizarre rock formations, built by the volcano thousands of years ago, reminded him at the surface of the moon. Dark ashes covered most of the ground. But this soil wasn’t as infertile as it looked; here and there small bushes had got a foothold between the stones and given birth to marvellous yellow and red blossoms.
Collins stopped and turned to him. “Isn’t that the bird station over there? Let’s rest for a minute and look where our colonel may have hidden his last surprise.”
He put his rucksack down and rummaged in it, searching for the instructions. Lew also dropped his heavy baggage and stretched his arms and shoulders, trying to slack off his aching muscles. He took a look around, examining the area by habit, when a short flash somewhere between the station and their own position attracted his attention.
”Perhaps we’re not alone,” he mumbled, trying to find the cause of the reflection.
“Of course we’re not,” answered Craig, while he began emptying the content of his rucksack on the ground. “What the hell happened to that list?” At last he dug the paper out. “You remember Freeman and his thousands of seagulls?”
“It was Foster and he didn’t say seagulls, he said seabirds. And the flash I just noticed was certainly not from any bird.”
“Perhaps a bird without feathers, maybe one of the bird watching girls?” Lew began to grin at Craig’s wisecrack and his face relaxed. He grabbed at the task paper.
“Whether feathers or not, let’s complete our course. What does number 10 say? ‘Find a rock at the shore looking like a touched down UFO and fetch the gypsum egg out of the nest below’. That’s easy, the special rock is over there above the high coast and …”
“… the rest is my turn. Remember, I am more experienced in climbing.”
Craig hurried to place his stuff back in his rucksack. Without any system he threw clothes, cutlery, toiletry and the rest of his equipment into the bag and could barely close the loops over the mess.
“Wait here, I’m back in ten minutes.”
“You’ve lost something. There.”
Craig bent down and lifted a small packet. “Thanks. I think we should finish our tasks soon, I’m beginning to get careless.” He grinned and stuffed the packet in his trouser pocket.
Then he turned and jogged to the rock a few hundred metres away. Lew took one of his cereal bars and began to eat, his gaze following his comrade up to their last task. Suddenly he caught another flash in his vision, this time much nearer than before. Lew’s suspicion was awoken and he began to walk into the direction of the strange spot. He had not taken more than two steps when he was brought to a halt A fierce blow to his head toppled him sideways and he lost consciousness before his body hit the ground with a hard impact.
Collins yanked his head up, alarmed by the sound of the shot. He saw his friend fall, to ly motionless on his belly, arms and legs spread like a dropped puppet. Craig had no time to realize what had happened to Waterman when a bullet whizzed just over his head. A man with a rifle in his hand was running at him, aiming and shooting again. A wave of tension surged through Collins’ mind, but his survival training kicked in and he acted instinctively.
He jumped over the edge of the cliffs and began a hazardous climb-down. He knew that without any weapon other than his knife he would have no chance against an armed man. So the only way to save his life was to flee downwards over the boulders, hoping his pursuer would not be able to follow him.
An overhanging rock stopped his frantic escape. In a split second he grasped that there was no possibility of climbing further down. Confused he stood still, his head turning back to the edge where he could already hear the gasps of his hunter. The man’s arms and shoulders appeared, the gun barrel was shoved over the scarp, pointed down at him and Craig jumped for his life. His fists clung desperately round the trunk of a young dragon tree which had grown in a crevice between the cliffs, though it was too thin to hold the weight of the hanging man. With a sharp crack the tree gave way and Craig fell, clawing at any hold he could get. But there was nothing he could find a grip on, nothing that could stop his slide over clean rock. After some metres of a fall that shattered him hard against the cliffs, his body hit onto the ground.
X X X
Lew was awoken by the bang of a shot. Something was wrong, so awfully wrong. He lay prone, his head aching like hell. He could not remember what had happened. He felt something wet trickling down his face and tried to raise his hands to wipe it away, but failed. More frightening than his missing memory was the fact that he could not move, neither arms or legs nor his head. He was completely numb. Except for his senses. Only too well he had recognized the gunshot and he was afraid that Collins had been the target.
“Hans, did you get him?” A male voice near to Lew startled him out of his thoughts. The owner of the voice pushed a foot under the immobile man and flipped him over. Lew felt the warmth of the sunbeams on his face and held his breath, as the man lowered beside him and shoved up one of Lew’s eyelids.
“Yes and no, he fell off the cliffs, you know,” a second voice answered, coming nearer. Lew noticed the mild German accent of the man. “Saw him between the rocks at the ground, half hidden by some stones.“
“He has broken his leg. It’s at a strange angle, bleeding through his trousers.”
“And?” The first man began to search Lew’s pockets. “Go on, man, what about the shot?”
“Oh, that… I thought even if the bloke is alive he should not have the chance to climb back, so I shot him through his other leg. He didn’t react so I hope he’s already dead. Broke his neck perhaps.” He kicked Waterman in his ribs. “What about this wretch here?”
“Dead. Head shot. Nasty hole above his temple, no exitwound, maybe a ricochet. He has an identity card in his purse, saying he is a captain in an organisation called SHADO. Never heard of it, but sounds official, military. I think we had better leave.”
Lew tried to keep his breathing as shallow as possible, and suppressed his need to cough so as to give no hint that he was alive.
“Yes, we should. Let’s finish our business and go before someone is missing our chaps here.” Hans tugged at Waterman’s sleeve. “Do you want to throw him over the cliffs to his comrade?”
“No, are you mad? Look at all the blood. Do you think I want to ruin my Armani suit? Leave him here. We’ll take their baggage to the station and burn it along with the building.”
The German dropped Lew’s arm and turned him on his belly. “Nothing more in his pockets? Money? Drugs? Verdammter Mist!”
The other smirked. “I thought drugs were our profession? Hey, listen, I can hear a rotor. Must be your helicopter. Forget the captain and come. Will you take Juan with you to Hamburg or will you fly first …”
Their voices faded and Lew was alone. After some minutes he dared to try opening his eyes. Dry blood had sealed one of his eyelids closed and he had to blink several times. The nausea hit him like a hammer blow and he vomited, feeling the pressure in his head getting worse with each retch. A lightning pain cut through his brain and he passed out, not knowing if the anguished cry was his or that of another.
X X X
Craig Collins pressed both hands around his right leg, just above the place where the tibia bone pierced the flesh. The incredible pain caught his breath and he lay on his back, writhing, hoping the unbearable ache would ease. But it didn’t.
He tried to curl up, get into a more comfortable position, but the agony in his leg made him fall back. He squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated on his breathing. How often had SHADO trained him and the other pilots for situations like this. Even during his last session with Foster the most important obligation had been to keep cool and analyse the situation.
Craig’s erratic gasps calmed down and he released his grip around his leg. He sat up shaking with effort and leant against the cold surface of a rock. His face was dripping with sweat. The pain was biting razor-sharp in his leg whenever he moved it. He gritted his teeth and tried to reach into his back pocket. He remembered the packet of painkillers, the only medicine the medical staff had added to their equipment in the event of serious injury.
Finally he found the packet. His hands trembled when he opened it. Craig pressed several of the pills out of the plastic cover and put them into his mouth. He tried to swallow, but his throat was too dry. He began to retch and spat them out, but eventually succeeded in gulping them one by one. Craig shut his eyes again, waiting for the moment the pain would cease. He had to find a way upwards, to see what had happened to Lew. He had to check if his comrade was still alive. He had to… The morphine began to lull him and his thoughts drifted away.
X X X
The first thing Lew was aware of after he had regained consciousness was the far-off noise of a helicopter. He felt ill. His headache had eased but now given way to another feeling. All his senses seemed to come to him through a thick layer of cotton wool. He could hear, but the screeching of the seagulls and the sea surf sounded far away; he could see, but not focus his vision. Lew kept still, letting the impressions roll by. And suddenly he smelled smoke, carried with the light breeze of the island wind to his place.
Startled he hiked himself up, using the nearby rock to lean on. He peered to the station. Thick smoke billowed out of the ruins of the former building and even from his position he could see flames shooting out of the wooden roof. Their only hope radioing SHADO and getting help soon had just shrunk to zero.
Lew turned and began to walk into the direction of the rocks where he had seen his friend last. With unsteady steps he stumbled over the bumpy ground, trying not to lose his balance and to move his head more than necessary. He stopped a few metres in front of the chasm and knelt down. The last few metres he crept, not knowing what he would find. His glance strayed over the grey boulders on the dark sand at the water line until it was stopped by the sight of blond hair between the cliffs. Lew tried to focus his gaze, ignoring the return of the pain above his temple. Yes, it was Craig he was looking at.
“Craig? Craig!” he yelled, but there was no response. Collins’ upper body leant against a rock, motionless, and even from his position Lew could notice the dark-red stain on his comrade’s trousers and the strange position the right lower leg lay in. A faint dread crept over Lew. What, if Craig had been mortally injured and it was only his lifeless body leaning there?
Lew stood up. He had to find a way down the cliffs, to see if his friend was alive, if he could help him. He needed a rope and certainly a first aid kit, but he knew too well that all their stuff had been burnt in the destroyed station.
Lew stopped at the edge of the cliffs. The sun stood already deep on the horizon and had lost its warmth. He guessed that in one hour dusk would be here and make his efforts to help impossible. He had to hurry.
The climbing down proved to be trickier than Lew had expected. The trail was precipitous and he had to choose a longer way round the bluff bank where Collins had skidded down. Even the path over the slippery volcanic rocks slowed him down and he was gasping for air when he finally got to Craig. He stood still. White stars were dancing through the centre of his vision and made him feel dizzy. He touched the wound at his head and felt fresh blood trickling along his temple. Lew grabbed at the water bottle on his lanyard and took a deep swig. But there was no time to take a rest now. He knew Craig needed him.
His comrade hadn’t moved, the head still resting against the rock, his eyes shut.
Lew bent down and shook Craig’s shoulder. “Craig? Do you hear me?”
“Yes… Lew… for heaven’s sake…” Craig moaned and shifted a bit. “Help me … please… the bone…” His blue eyes met for a moment Lew’s, then he pointed groaning to his broken leg. Lew nodded and knelt beside Craig. It didn’t look good. The lower part of the leg was twisted and Lew could see the bone sticking out of the filthy trousers a hand’s breath under his kneecap.
“My God,” Lew gasped and looked at his friend. “I’ll have to fix that if I want to get you to safety, but you wouldn`t stand the pain. And I haven’t got any painkillers.”
He caught a gaze of Craig’s glazed eyes and perked his eyebrows up. “You have,” Lew said.
“Yes, took some of them … some time ago. Morphine…” Craig whispered. “Couldn’t bear the pain … any longer…” His voice broke off, then his head rolled aside.
Deep concern crept through Lew’s mind and he reached out to touch Craig’s forehead. The heat hit his fingers. Fever. Oh no, not that as well …
“Come on, my friend,” Lew shook the limp body. “Stay with me. I can’t do all the work on my own. Stay awake.”
Lew took off his sweater and folded it under Craig’s head. “Listen. I’m going to search for something I can use to splint your leg. Wait here.”
While Lew began to sweep the beach at the water line for useful items, Craig’s hooded eyes followed him. “Where else should I go?” he whispered when Lew returned with his find. The taller man smiled at him and knelt down to arrange the sticks. Then he pulled off his shoes and opened the buttons of his trousers, drew them down. Craig threw a frightened gaze at him.
“What are you doing?” he gasped.
“We don’t have any dressing for your injuries and I’ll have to use these.”
Lew took off his denim slacks and grabbed his knife. He began to cut the fabric and tore it into small strips. Finally he put on the rest of his slacks.
“Give me your hands, I’ll tie a cord round your wrists.”
“What for?” Craig asked in confusion.
“I want to fix you at this rock to prevent you from twisting away when I reset the bone. You should stay absolutely still, I don’t want to harm you more than necessary.”
Craig shuddered. “It will hurt…” His voice sounded slurred.
“Of course it will. I’m sorry, but … “ Lew stood up and moments later returned with a short piece of wood. “This will help. Open your mouth.”
“What?” Craig’s gaze rested wondering on Lew’s eyes.
“Don’t you remember?” Lew answered with a wry grin. “Wasn’t it you who wanted to play Cowboys and Indians? So open your mouth and bite on it.”
Craig shut his eyes. “Okay, start your torment, big Shaman…”
X X X
Lew’s hands quivered with tension as he tied the last bandage round Craig’s splinted tibia. His comrade lay unconscious on the ground, having passed out with the pain Lew had caused when he pulled the bone back into its right position. Craig’s blood had soaked the piece of burlap on the sand underneath his leg. Lew sighed with relief when he noticed the bleeding had just been stopped by the tight strapping.
He touched Craig’s forehead. The skin was hot. Lew had seen the beginning of an infection in the wound, the surrounding skin red and glowing. He knew his comrade needed medical attention as soon as possible, but there was nothing else that he could do now. He twisted off the cap of the water bottle and moistened his colleague’s parched lips. Craig moaned but did not wake up.
Lew was worried about his friend’s condition, especially his broken leg. He hoped the damage would not be serious enough to cost Craig the pilot job at SHADO. But there was also another injury he still had to deal with. He ripped the trousers of Craig’s left leg open.
“Bastards,” he hissed. Fortunately the rifle bullet had only grazed Craig’s outer thigh. Lew began to clean the wound with some of their fresh water.
‘Quite lucky under these circumstances,’ Lew thought and finished with the patching. He sagged back and buried his face in his hands. His headache had increased and he squeezed his eyes. A firework of neon-coloured rockets burst in his mind and a high-pitched inner screech numbed his ears. He pressed his hands against his temples. Dizziness swept over him, but he refused to give in. He had to stay awake, to watch over his comrade, to get help for him. But all his efforts were useless, his senses faded and he slid into the world between reality and dreams.
His mind returned to the day two years ago when Craig and he had met first. He had already been captain of Skydiver and it was Craig’s first service as Sky-pilot. From the beginning Lew had felt sympathy for the newcomer aboard and soon he and Craig had become friends, playing chess or discussing sailing boats and motorbikes in their spare time. Then the dream changed; Lew saw himself floating in the sea, more dead than alive, having just escaped from a sinking submarine and Craig had grabbed him, wrapped his arms round Lew’s shoulders and lifted him up, saving him from drowning.
The dream faded and Lew awoke, breathing hard and not knowing at first, what had happened and where he was. The sun had half-set in that vague line between heaven and sea and an increasing dimness covered the coast. Lew cast a glance to Craig. His friend was shivering now as he drifted in and out of unconsciousness with frantic gasps and moans of pain.
Waterman rolled over to his friend and with gentle care touched Craig’s hot cheek. “I’m here. Are you thirsty?”
Craig shook his head. His eyes opened, glittering with fever, searching for Lew’s.
“No… I am cold … so cold.” The shivering started again and Lew wrapped his arms round his shaking comrade, pulling him close. He began to rub up and down the tensed back to return some warmth to it. Suddenly Craig’s muscles stiffened under the touch and his body froze.
“No… Lew… an alien … look out … he has a gun …”. With surprising strength he lashed out and smashed Lew back to the rocks. He tried to get onto his feet and yelled when his injured legs broke down under him. He plunged hard to the ground. Lew reached out to grasp him.
“Craig, please! No aliens here, it’s only me, Lew,” he tried to reassure his comrade and held him tight in his arms, propping Craig’s hot face against the cold skin of his bare chest. “Keep still or you will hurt yourself.”
Craig was thrashing around, twisting and struggling against Lew’s unyielding grip, then his fighting ceased. He raised his sweat covered face.
“I thought they had taken you… the aliens…”
“No aliens here, I promise you,” Lew answered and smiled at him. “And the only flying object I want to see is Freeman’s heli.” With a worried gaze at his friend he muttered to himself, “and as soon as possible.”
He felt the agonizing pain in his head return and he slumped to the ground.
X X X
A joggle at his shoulders brought him back. He fought to get out of his darkness and finally managed to open his eyes. A blinding light let him squint, but the shake stopped at once.
“Lew, wake up, … the light…they’re coming,” Craig’s anxious voice whispered and he pressed his comrade’s arm in a painful grip, trying to pull him out of the spotlight. Lew was awake in an instant. Between the sounds of the surf he caught the noise of a boat’s engines. What on earth was going on?
“Hold on, Captain, we’ll be with you in a minute,” a megaphone announced, while the spot beam from the Zodiac kept the two men in sight.
“No, don’t let them get us, they are aliens.” Craig’s hoarse cry and his efforts to crawl away reminded Lew at his friend’s injuries and his high fever. He tried to embrace his comrade in an effort to soothe him, telling him that he had recognized Colonel Freeman’s voice behind the megaphone, but it was so difficult to move.
The Zodiac landed and Dr. Jackson jumped out to run across to where Craig lay. He leant over Collins, checking Craig’s vital functions in his usual calm way. “What had happened to you, Lew?” he asked, opening his case, taking out a syringe and phial. Colonel Freeman joined him and squeezed Waterman’s shoulder.
“I think we disturbed a gang of drug dealers on the island. They chased us, shot at us and Craig fell off the cliffs. He has an open fracture at his right and a shot wound at his left leg, Doctor.”
“Oh, I see, I see,” Jackson murmured. He beckoned to the other staff members. “Get the stretcher and carry Colonel Collins into the boat. What about you, Captain? Do you need help?”
“I’ll help him. You take Collins,” Freeman ordered. He reached out his hands and supported Lew on his way to the waiting rubber boat, while the others brought the stretcher, accompanied by Dr. Jackson who was holding up an infusion bag.
While the boat picked up pace, Colonel Freeman turned to Lew. “Hold on a bit, the helicopter is waiting further down at the beach,” Freeman explained in a smooth tone.
“You came just in time,” Waterman answered. “Alec, tell me, who told you that we needed help?”
Freeman grinned. “You owe that to Colonel Foster’s nosiness. He used the camera in one of the geostationary weather satellites to check how you were managing. Then he saw the burning station and called me. We took the heli and when we reached the island we scanned for your transmitters and …”
“What transmitters?” Lew interrupted astonished.
“Those in your trekking boots. Dr. Jackson’s idea.”
The doctor looked up for a moment and a short smile crept over his face. “Yes, that’s true. Transmitters in the heels of your boots. For emergencies.” He turned his attention back to Collins.
Waterman tightened the warm blankets around him and relaxed. “For emergencies,” he repeated smirking, “of course, for what else?”