Jonathan Ford shot up off the bed, staring incredulously at the
Vid-screen. "You arrested who?!"
Paul Hansen looked at him curiously.
"Ben Krieg. We found his prints all over her apartment."
Jonathan shook his head trying to digest this information.
"Ben Krieg may be a lot of things but he's no murderer."
"That's not for me to decide."
Jonathan glanced back at the screen.
"Can I see him?"
"Its highly unusual..." Hansen trailed off at the look on Ford's
face. "I'll see what I can arrange. Call me back in the morning."
Ben Krieg scrambled to his feet as soon as the guard told him he
had a visitor. Ford looked the worst he had ever seen him.
"Jonathan, how is she?" Ford adverted his eyes.
"First I have one question to ask you."
Ben interrupted him before Ford could ask.
"I didn't do it, Jonathan."
Ford studied him for a long moment, then nodded.
"She's in what the doctor's call a deep coma."
Ben sank heavily down onto his cot.
"You have to believe me, Jonathan. Katie and I may not be civil to each other all the time, but I would never harm her."
Ford was beginning to feel the weariness and anger.
"So help me Krieg, if you're lying."
Ben glared at his former commander.
"Jonathan, this is me. Think this through. I haven't seen Katie
since Bridger blew up the first seaQuest. Why would I suddenly drive two hours to try to kill her? "He spread out his hands in exasperation.
"Hell, I didn't even know the Clinton was in port."
Jonathan folded his arms across his chest.
"So you're telling me that someone planted your fingerprints in her apartment?"
Jonathan sighed as he glanced at his watch.
"I'm going to head back to the hospital. "He looked back at Ben.
"I'll keep in touch."
Doctor Kristin Westphalen walked briskly up to the information
desk of Mercy hospital.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for Jonathan Ford. Has he come in to
visit Katie Hitchcock yet?"
The nurse had just ducked her head to check the records when
Jonathan Ford rounded the corner.
"Hello, Kristin. Thanks for coming."
Kristin drew him into a comforting hug.
"Of course. Any news?"
Jonathan smiled ruefully leading her to a nearby waiting room.
"Lots. You'll never guess who they arrested."
"What?!! "Kristin said in complete shock after Ford had filled her
in. "They arrested who?!"
Ford grinned warily.
"Apparently Krieg's prints are all over the apartment." Kristin
shook her head in amazement.
"Ben would never hurt her." Ford nodded.
"I know, but I still think this was more than a robbery."
Kristin stared at him.
"You mean someone deliberately attempted to kill her?" Ford nodded
South Australian Basin
UEO Maximum Security Prison
Doctor Rubin Zellar leaned back contentedly on his bunk as he
paged through the latest news reports on the small computer. The UEO thought banishing him to the ends of the Earth would keep him from his revenge they were sadly mistaken. If everything went according to plan,and he had no reason to think it wouldn't, Katie Hitchcock would never again see the light of day. Framing Ben Krieg was only the icing on the cake.
"How many times do I have to tell you people I didn't do it! "Ben
Krieg said in exasperation. It was five hours into his second
interrogation and he was getting real tired of this. Detective Paul
Hansen walked slowly around the room.
"Now Mr. Krieg, are you telling me that your ex-wife being engaged
has no effect on you?" Ben rolled his eyes.
"No! My marriage to Katie is not what you people make it out to
be. It wasn't this love of my life type thing."
Paul raised an eyebrow. It wasn't?"
Ben looked awkward.
"No, I mean we had our good times, but it was over in a month. If
she's happy with Ford I wish them the best."
Hansen leaned on the table
looking Ben in the eye.
"That still doesn't explain how your prints got all over her
"I've never seen her . I didn't even know she was in port."
Paul Hansen sighed, this was not going to be an easy case.
"Do you know if he has a lawyer?" Kristin asked. They had moved
the conversation to the hospital's cafeteria. Ford shook his head.
"I doubt it. I don't think he's had time to find one."
Kristin took out her cellular phone.
"I'll call my lawyer he should be able to get here by tomorrow."
Jonathan placed a hand on her wrist.
"Kristin, I don't think we should get involved."
Kristin slowly put down the phone.
"Jonathan, you don't really think he did it."
Ford shook his head.
"No, of course not. Ben Krieg may be a lot of things, but I know
he could never kill anyone."
"Then why won't you let me call my lawyer?"
"I have a feeling that whoever tried to kill Katie will make their
move in the next day or so."
Kristin sighed, replacing her phone. "I'll wait forty eight
A voice over the public address system broke the silence.
"Jonathan Ford, you have a phone call at the white curtsey phones.
Jonathan Ford you have a phone call at the white curtsey phones."
"Jonathan." Captain Nathan Hale Bridger's voice came back through
the static. "I did some checking." Ford's hand unconsciously gripped the receiver tighter.
"Rubin Zellar is still in South Australia. I'm having O'Neill
monitor their outgoing communications."
Ford sighed. "Thanks, Captain."
"Let me know if there's anything else we can do."
Ford hung up the receiver and walked back to the table.
"Bad news? "Kristin asked quickly seeing the look on his face.
Jonathan shook his head. "Depends on how you look at it."
"Well don't keep me in suspense."
"That was Nathan, I asked him to check on Zellar."
"He's still in South Australia. Bridger is having O'Neill monitor
"Well, at least we'll know if he tries anything."
Ford stared past her, out the window. "Maybe, maybe not."