Flight 404 Chapter 53

Chapter 53

Frank was standing with his back to the crowd, which had been moved back some distance from the crash site.  But something about the crowd was making him uneasy.  The little hairs on the back of his neck were standing up.  He was in the middle of getting the latest update on the situation and his assignment.  The urge to turn around and scan the crowd was making it difficult to concentrate.  Someone in that crowd was boring a hole in his back.  He could feel it. 

Was the killer in the crowd?  Was that it?  Finally, he couldn’t take it any longer.  He turned and looked at the crowd but didn’t see anyone who looked out of the ordinary.  His eyes settled on a man of average eight, slim build, short dark hair, and what looked like dark eyes although he couldn’t tell their true color from where he stood.  The man was dressed as a maintenance mechanic.  Frank quickly checked the armband, RED.  He checked the information sheets for the ‘color of the day’, RED.  Not wanting to make the man suspicious, he casually walked over to Agent Schlade and struck up a conversation about nothing.  When he was out of sight of the crowd, he decided to ask one of the cops that were first on the scene if he knew who the guy was. 

From his new vantage point, he pointed the man out to the officer.  “He seems to be paying a lot more attention than the others.”  “Oh, him, he was one the three men who pulled Captain Wilson out of the Bay.”  “Oh, I see.”

He shook off his suspicions and went off to find Agent Schlade again, who by now, would have the passenger manifest.  He needed to know if he had cause to worry that the Nations Air 625 might have been sabotaged. 

He found Agent Schlade talking with the Rescue Squad’s Chief.  They were attempting to shield Captain Wilson from the crowd of relatives, on-lookers, and reporters.  The reporters were yelling questions at the poor man,  “What happened Wilson.  What went wrong?  Why didn’t you try and rescue anyone?”   Captain Wilson didn’t seem to notice any of it.  He was, Frank thought, preoccupied with the water.  His wife and two kids were aboard the plane, Agent Schlade told him.  They still haven’t been accounted for.”

“Poor bastard.”  “Did he say anything about the crash?”

“Only that he heard a loud thud, the controls locked, and then the engines when out.”  “He and his First Officer, who was acting as co-pilot tried unsuccessfully to pull the plane up but couldn’t.”

“Hmmm.”  “You got that passenger manifest yet?”

“What’s so damn important about who was on board the plane?  You never needed that information before, to conduct an investigation.”

“Well, I need it now.  Do you have it?”

“Yes, I’ve got it.”

“You can get a quick look at it, but I need it back.”

He took the clipboard with the list of passengers from Agent Schlade and did a quick scan of the list.  It was there in alphabetical order.

“Son of a bitch!” yelled Frank.

Saul Abramovitz’s name was on the passenger manifest.