Disclaimer: jake 2.0 and all related elements, characters and indicia © Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc., 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations-save those created by the authors for use solely on this website-are copyright Roundtable Entertainment and Viacom Productions, Inc.
The Honeymoon Dreams Are Made Of
"Honey, come on wake up... Sweetheart, we've got to get going." Jake Foley waited a moment and when nothing happened he pulled back the covers off his sleeping wife. She groaned and tucked her legs up to her chest in a tight fetal.
"Oh, go away! We are on our honeymoon!" she grumbled turning over, grabbing the blanket and throwing it over her head. Jake watched the brown curls that peeked out from under the blanket quiver for a moment and then fall silken around the pillows again as their mistress fell back into a light slumber.
He was enthralled by everything about her. Her brown curls were so soft, he longed to bury his face in them and get lost for a time in her smell and her vitality. He felt a rising heat overtake him; he wanted her.
"Defiantly a cold shower morning," Jake chuckled to himself. "Honeymoon's over, sweetheart. Besides, what will the NSA and Deputy Director Louise Beckett do without us?" Jake gently shook her shoulder.
A muffled, "Screw Lou," came from the blanket.
Jake quickly wiggled under the blanket and stared into his wife's dark eyes, "Sorry, wife dear, but I'd much rather leave the 'screwing' to us." He watched as a pleasant rosy flush filled her cheeks.
"Well, if you insist, husband." She leaned toward him, kissing him a long time. He groaned pulling her closer to him. She sought his tongue with hers and deepened the kiss. Suddenly the loud obnoxious ring of Jake's cell phone interrupted them.
"Damn. I knew I shouldn't have charged the battery!" They looked at each other and giggled. Jake threw back the covers sprinting to the kitchen. He unplugged the cell from the charger and answered it as calmly as possible.
"Hey, this is Jake." The voice on the other end was Jake's partner and mentor Agent Kyle Duarte. He sounded a little worried,
"Uh, Jake, I'm sorry to... uh interrupt, but I need you in here right away."
Jake sensed the urgency in Kyle's voice. "Sure, we were just on our way out the door." Jake hesitated, "Kyle, is everything all right?"
Softly Kyle responded, "We think Lou is dead."
"Lou is... dead?"
Jake looked over at his wife Diane. They were in the car headed to the NSA, "Kyle didn't want to give me any details over the phone, but I guess while we were on our honeymoon holed up in the apartment watching the Game Show Network for the last week, Lou was on vacation as well. Only she went undercover. The cruise she was on disappeared somewhere around the Bermuda Triangle."
Diane paused. "So she's not dead, just missing, right?"
Jake just nodded; his mind was racing over the events of the last few days... He couldn't believe he'd been married for a week now! Diane was the perfect wife, she was funny and cute and smart! After dancing around the subject for nearly a year they finally decided the moment they could get a week away from their work at the NSA, they would go to the courthouse and make their love legal.
To find a week where they could both be gone was tough! Diane Foley used to be Dr. Diane Hughes resident nano-expert and Jake was her nano-enhanced project. Last year during an accident in the lab Jake was infused with microscopic machines capable of interfacing with computers and making him stronger, faster and tougher than any man alive.
The NSA frowned on their union, but Lou had somehow made them see reason and Jake and Diane were married last week with Kyle and Jake's old college buddy, Sarah Carter, as witnesses.
Jake smiled as he thought about Sarah's reaction to his new husband status, "Jake, I only wish... well, you're going to be a great husband." She smiled that dazzling, but empty smile of hers. "I wish you and Diane all the best." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek before leaving. As Jake watched her go, his new bride on his arm, he wondered how he could have possibly been in love with Sarah once when Diane was so perfect.
The really tough part was going to be telling their families. Diane's mother always wanted a huge wedding with hundreds of guests in a church and all the frills. Diane truly hated the idea of being the center of all that attention and was glad they married as they did.
Jake was quite certain, too that his parents would have liked to get to know Diane before they allowed them to marry. As if he couldn't make his own decisions! Jake sighed, well it was done now. They'd have that bridge to cross once they found Lou and that missing cruise ship.
"So... let me get this straight. You have the cruise ship that disappeared, but it was stripped clean and all of the 320 passengers are missing, including Lou?" Jake stared at Kyle astounded. "How is that possible?"
Diane looked at Jake with worried eyes, "Could someone or something have killed everyone on board?"
Kyle took a deep breath and motioned to the huge display screen in the center of sat ops. "Here is what our team found." He silently flipped through the pictures of a cruise ship that was bobbing on its side in choppy waters.
"No bodies, no personal effects; not even a floating toothbrush! If the crew and guests were murdered there would be something left behind. It's almost as if someone vaporized everything that wasn't tied down."
Diane looked at Kyle, "Where did they find the ship?" Kyle flipped a few more pictures ahead revealing a picture, taken from the beach, of a huge dark object rising from the ocean.
"They were on their way back from San Juan, Puerto Rico headed for the Miami port when the mainland coast guard lost contact with their communications officer. About 8 hours later the Princess Marian turned up a hundred miles off the Florida coast. Even now the ship is being transported to a coast guard base to be analyzed."
Jake smiled attempting a joke, "Well if someone was going to get lost in the Bermuda Triangle, it was a good thing it was our Lou. She can find her way out of any situation!"
Diane looked at Kyle with a strange expression, "Kyle, what was Lou, I mean, why was she... her mission!" Frustrated with her erratic thoughts Diane took a deep breath and tried again, "What was she doing on the ship anyway?"
"Lou was supposed to meet with an informant about the recent rash of tourist disappearances." Kyle motioned to the screen in front of him, "There have been fourteen people who have disappeared since May of 2003 and these weren't your typical middle class suburban tourists either."
The screen flipped through bios and photos of those missing. Kyle continued, "Most of them were well to do business people, wealthy land owners, or in one case royalty."
"Has there been any contact for ransom or blackmail to any of these families?" Jake pondered.
"That's the weird part. Each of the tourist's families and their respective governments has been baffled by the sheer lack of any information at all. There's been no ransom demanded, no terrorist groups claiming responsibility, no suicide notes, nothing. It as if they never even existed at all. Until now, we've never seen an entire cruise ship and all her passengers disappear though!"
Kyle had slowly been herding Jake and Diane to a meeting room just offset of sat ops. He flipped on the lights and closed the door.
"Kyle, is there something you haven't told us." Kyle could sense his friend holding out. Kyle gave Jake "the look." Jake set his nanites to the task of debugging the room. He nodded when they were clear.
"The 'suits' running this place, Skerrit and Warner, have decided that if Lou cannot be found soon they are going to have Lou's entire command staff replaced."
"What exactly does that mean?" Diane hesitantly asked.
"It means early retirement for me... " Kyle look pointedly at Jake, "And lab rat status for you, Jake."
When the NSA first learned that Jake had been the unsuspecting recipient of their million dollar nano research they tried to keep him in the lab to study the effects. Based on the research, lab animals that had been infused with these nanites didn't live long and they wanted to get as much info out of Jake before he too ended up dying.
It was through pure will power, wit and a little bit of blackmail that Lou, Kyle, Diane and Jake were able to convince them he'd be a powerful asset to the NSA out in the field. It had been over a year since then and even with a few close calls Jake was still alive, well and as he liked to put it, "Fighting the good fight!"
"We have to find Lou ourselves! Those bureaucrats upstairs aren't even taking this seriously, are they?" Jake walked away a little in frustration.
Kyle slowly shook his head, "I thought you'd feel that way."
"This is what they've wanted from the start!" Jake thrust his hands in his pockets for fear of taking his rage out on the expensive meeting table. He felt angry enough to split the table in two!
Kyle half smiled, "Well the reason I'm briefing you, besides the fact I thought you'd like to know, is that I have a mission for the two of you."
Diane looked from Kyle to Jake in wonderment, "A mission for us? Umm, uh me... us?" Diane gulped, "Uh... I am... uh just a scientist, II don't know anything about all this uh... spy stuff." She twisted her hair at the nape of her neck around her finger and tried to take a step or two backwards, but was held fast by Jake's strong grip on her arm.
Jake spoke softly, "I think I see where Kyle is going with this." He smiled, "It's about time we take a real honeymoon!"
"Does that mean no whammies?" Diane smiled up at Jake.
"Right! No Game Show Network for us this honeymoon." Jake nodded
"Oh, darling, I can't believe how blue and clear the water is! This is amazing!" Diane's eyes sparkled kissing Jake full on the mouth as they stood on one of the many white sandy beaches of San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital. Diane saw the look of boyish ecstasy on Jake's face.
In many ways Jake seemed so much younger than her; although she wasn't that much older, he still possessed a manner that was indicative to living more of a worldly life than her.
She wasn't saying she felt naïve, but Jake had been through so much more. He'd seen killing, torture and betrayal. She felt inexperienced in this spy world and that feeling tore at her gut.
What if I do something wrong? What if Jake gets hurt or worse I get us both killed? She wondered. He's always been so good to me. Treating me as a not just a lover, but a good friend too. I don't feel nervous when I talk to him anymoreit's like he understands me...
"Darling, is something wrong?" Jake interrupted her thoughts, looking at her with mild delight.
"Whwhy would you say that?" Diane looked down at her bikini top; she had been twisting the straps around her finger because she was nervous. The one strap had come loose and was exposing a good portion of her wares. Luckily Jake's body shielded her from the view of the general public as he re-tied the strap.
"Mmm, Diane! I didn't realize there was a kinky side to you, too!" Jake laughed.
"My dear husband, there has never been nor ever will be a ki" She didn't get to finish as Jake took her up in a sweet embrace kissing her so soundly it momentarily took her breath away.
"... well when you put it that way... " Diane smiled as she came up for a breath of the sea-salty air. The sun was just dipping below the horizon. Jake and Diane stood in awe watching the orange pink sky dance along the rolling waves of the deep blue.
"I never want to forget this moment." There was a long peaceful silence as they just stood on the beach in each others embrace.
"Me neither," Jake replied. "Do you think we could equip the nanites with digital photography? They could like take a picture every time I blink, or, or something."
"Oh, Jake!" Diane slugged him on the shoulder, "You sure know how to break the mood."
"What did I do?" Jake called after her, grabbing her hand and walking back up the beach to their hotel.
"Are you sure it was Lou's voice ID? It could be someone who has her stuff or is holding her against her will?" Kyle was listening to Agent Sampson on the phone. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.
A listening post in the Atlantic had just picked up a distress signal from the Princess Marian. It was made on Lou's cell phone, a totally secure line, with her voice print identification and proper channeling codes.
"Okay, okay, okay. It just doesn't make sense. I've seen the footage of the Princess Marian being towed to harbor. I've talked personally with agents who are investigating the ship itself and you are telling me just twenty minutes ago you received a distress call from Deputy Director Louise Beckett's secure line?"
Kyle waited patiently for the agent to take a deep breath and reply, "Yes, Sir. That is exactly what I am telling you."
"All right, thank you, agent Sampson. I want a team to back track that signal and find out where it came from!" Kyle hung up extremely frustrated.
He'd better contact Jake and Diane. He'd sent those two on this mission because they were two of the only people he could trust in this world. Lou had saved his life and his butt more times than he'd care to count and he would repay that favor no matter if it cost him his job!
Looking up at the catwalk where Skerrit and Warner were eagle-eyeing the place, Kyle knew that, of course, in this business, loosing your job could also mean loosing your life.
"Okay, gotcha." Jake was just toweling off his wet hair when Kyle called, "I had one hell of a time getting out of the country, Kyle. You said those x-rays and medical documentation would have me through customs in no time! I set off every alarm they've got. They finally found their resident fraud-de-bugging-doctor to verify that the x-rays were legit. We nearly missed our connecting flight, and that was just in Chicago."
"I understand your frustration, Jake, but it's the best we could do. You weren't hauled off to jail or anything."
"Yeah Kyle, not yet, but that was only half the journey! What about trying to get back into the States?"
Kyle laughed. "Okay, Jake down to business: the mission. We've got word that Lou sent a distress call from the Princess Marian moments before it lost contact with Miami. She used her cell phone and the call ended up at of our listening posts in the Atlantic."
"How come you didn't tell me this before we left the States?" Jake asked.
"We didn't know before you left." Kyle went on to explain the strange time delay and what the message said.
"She said that a storm had thrown them off course and she had met her contact. That's it? That is all she said?" Jake ran his hand through his hair and heard Diane sigh. She was sitting on the bed and mouthed "I love when you do that!" to him. He started to chuckle silently and almost lost it, until Kyle broke in.
"Jake? Jake, are you still there?"
"Uh, yeah. So you guys are back tracking the cell call right?" Jake asked.
"We've got our best people on it. We'll let you know what we find out. Until then have fun on your cruise! The cruise line you are sailing with is where ninety percent of the abductees were taken from. Bon voyage!"
"Gee ,thanks, wise guy!" Jake hung up and jumped on the bed with Diane upsetting her bottle of fingernail polish. She quickly grabbed the red bottle before it spilled all over the bedspread. Jake looked shocked, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean... "
Diane leaned over to kiss him. "You're so cute when you apologize."
"Is that so? Hmm... can I apologize to you for my shirt I'm not wearing," he said as he pulled himself up next to her feet. "Or maybe I could apologize for the airport. They would only allow us one carry on?" He started to kiss her toes, "Or maybe... " Jake stopped there because he'd made it to her stomach and her groan of passion made his breath suddenly run out.
He reached over and turned off the bedside lamp, then thought the better of it, "Maybe we shouldn't. I mean, we are on duty."
Diane giggled as she put aside the polish. "Like that's stopped you before! Besides, you said it yourself. We are on our honeymoon, Mr. Foley."
"Well, Mrs. Foley, when you put it like that..." Jake sighed and bent his head down for another kiss.
"Are you sure I look like an heiress?" Diane called to Jake. "I sure don't feel like one." Diane looked down at her getup through her red tinted sun glasses. She was wearing high heeled white sandals and tight white half pants. Her top was a cotton red and white striped tee with gold buttons lining the shoulders.
They had even thought to give her very realistic paste jewelry to complement the heiress façade. She chose to wear the gold set rubies for this outfit and they seemed to shimmer in the dull light of the hotel bathroom.
It wouldn't have been half bad, but the tee was very tight and v necked showing off her pushed up cleavage! When she put her hair up in a tight ponytail, she thought she looked like a reject from Gilligan's Island.
"Those guys in costume are going to hear about this! I hope that the rest of my wardrobe isn't this... ugh revealing! All I need now is a chichua dog and a wide brimmed bonnet!"
Jake snatched a white bonnet with a red ribbon off the dresser, oh yeah this was in the last load of luggage that came today! Can't help you with the dog though!"
"Oh, you!" Diane grabbed it and shoved it on her head, Jake stood smiling as he tied the ribbon by her cheek in a jaunty little bow.
"Ah now, Diane," he said as he stepped back to admire his handiwork, "you look every bit an heiress, but the real question is: Do I look like the newly married husband, who's wealthy in his own right, of said heiress?"
Diane circled around him a couple of times. His hair had been cut shorter so he looked a little less his boyish self and more like the part of the son of a rich oil mogul.
He was wearing perfectly tailored khaki pants with white tennis shoes and a green polo shirt, "Well, Kyle said you are the son of an oil exec, huh?"
Jake grimaced, "I guess so. I think I look like my rich mommy dressed me and I really hated having to cut my hair shorter!"
"It will grow back and no you don't look like your mommy dressed you, really, just you may want to brush up on your swing." Diane smiled, "You look like one of those rich golfers. You know those doctors and lawyers that say golfing is a real sport?"
"I do? Oh, I hate those guys!" Jake whined stomping his foot like a kid, "I had to caddy one summer and it was the worst!"
"Well my little caddy boy let's go do our thing, huh?" She drawled at him and with a kiss they made their way to the lobby to meet their tour director who would take them to the ship.
"... And last but certainly not least we have our newlyweds: Diana and Jacob Arbuckle." There was polite golf claps as the tour director, Mandi, continued, "There will be a few other passengers joining our group, but we won't pick them up till our next stop."
They had been standing on the lido deck for about ten minutes as their tour director introduced herself and the fellow vacationers in their group. There were close to 350 people on board the cruise ship Quinn Mallory, but each group of fifty or so had their very own tour director to see to their needs.
"Please take a few moments to shake hands and get to know each other while I go verify our rooms and meals." With a swish of her maroon skirt the tour director left giving her guests the chance to make more personal introductions.
"I hear tell ya'll are the heiress to Commodore Beckett's beef ranch?" A middle-aged balding man asked Diane as he kissed the back of her hand, "If that's true you must be the most beautiful rancher I've ever laid eyes on. My name is Arnold Regant."
"Why, yes I am, Sugar!" Diane said shyly with her southern drawl in place. "And this here's my husband, Jake." Diane said as she hugged Jake's arm.
"Why, boy, you are the luckiest man alive to have such a bee-u-tiful wife!"
"Why, thank you, Mr. Regant." Jake beamed as he shook the man's hand.
"No, can't have you calling me that, I'll think you're talking about my father. Call me Arnie."
"Well thank you Arnie." Jake smiled launching into their cover story with the rambling air of the haunt ton, "When I came down to Texas, from New York, I am a Yankee fan born and bred, to visit my father's oil operation, I never dreamed I'd meet my future wife and now look where we are!" He kissed Diane on the top of her head. "How do you say it darling?"
"As content as two cats in the cream, we are!" Diane answered gleefully.
"Well you sure look it," said another voice from behind them. Jake and Diane turned to see an older woman dressed in a pink short sleeved sweater with matching feathers around the collar. She wore expensive diamond jewelry and trailing along behind her on a bejeweled leash was a chichua; right out of the taco bell commercials Jake thought.
Jake started to laugh, but at the woman's odd stare he started choking instead. Diane pounded him on the back a bit giving the woman a shy smile.
"I don't believe we've been properly introduced Ms... ?" Diane said as she extended her hand.
"Mrs. Lucille Hundington." The woman grasped Diane's hand lightly as if it were a cold fish letting go almost immediately.
"Charmed Madam." Diane drawled, "Ahh here is Mandi, let's get our suite keys, Darling." Addressing Jake she abruptly pulled him toward their tour director who was passing out envelopes.
Mrs. Lucille Hudington, the wife of Baron Hudington's recently dead son, was shocked at Diane's rude departure and dismissal of her, but she made no comment to the onlookers except to narrow her eyes just so.
Much later, after talking to nearly every tour member, Diane and Jake still had no further leads to who or what was causing the disappearances. It was rumored that Lucille Huntington's husband had disappeared on this very cruise, but no one was overly generous with information concerning that woman.
"Oh, Jake, I am so tired of playing the air headed southern bell!" Diane threw off the ridiculous bonnet and plopped down on the bed in frustration. "Plus I don't know if I'm convincing or not, I may very well be putting us both in serious danger!"
"Diane, you are doing so well. I have been honored to have you at my side during this. You are smart and creative, the way you've been asking such subtle questions and at the same time deflecting any personal questions about us." Jake walked behind her to give her a relaxing back rub.
Jake continued as Diane moaned in pure delight, "If I didn't know otherwise I would have said you grew up in the Deep South! Were did you get all those colloquialisms? 'My sweetie-pie, sugar darling.' 'As funny as two greenhorns in a cow pasture?'"
He spoke with such a silly accent tying to imitate her, Diane couldn't help but laugh. "Promise you won't laugh when I tell you?"
"Just tell me you spent a summer in Georgia at a Bible camp or something?" At her 'No!' he smiled, "Okay, okay, I promised I won't laugh!"
"Do you remember a TV show from the early 80's called the Dukes of Hazzard?" Diane looked up at Jake shyly expecting him to laugh out loud.
"Do I remember? I loved that show! I always dreamed of owning a '69 Dodge Charger! My brother and I used to pretend we were being chased by Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrain on our bikes... " Jake suddenly realized what that implied, "You mean all this time you've been pretending you're Daisy Duke?"
Diane just nodding, then they both burst out laughing and laughed until tears poured down their cheeks. Jake couldn't resist the vulnerable look the tears gave his lovely wife. He kissed her cheek tracing with his lips the trail the tears made. She sighed and kissed his chin in response.
Jake looked at the clock, they didn't have to be at dinner for another three hours. That left them plenty of time. With a smile and a quick, "Yeehaw!" Jake pulled his wife down on top of him kissing her soundly.
"Okay I understand that strange 'phenomenon' happens around the Bermuda Triangle, but what I don't understand is how a message coded twelve hours before could have just gone missing for all that time!" Kyle shuffled papers on his desk trying to find a transcript of the message from Lou.
"She says in her message that the storm blew them off course. What I want to know is what storm? I've spoken with meteorologists from the national weather service and the Puerto Rican government. No one can seem to find this storm."
"We don't know, Sir. We are doing the best we can. It's up to your people on that ship, now." Kyle set down the receiver and sighed. This wasn't an easy mystery, but then again, most never were.
It was the mystery of espionage that got him into this work in the first place. He started out working for the FBI, but really didn't like the wrap-it-up field work he had to do. He felt like an overworked detective on the beat. Then he was selected for a "special mission" one that changed his life forever.
He laughed as he remembered his old partner, Agent Dana Scully. She was sure a spitfire! They were investigating a string of bizarre murders on the tough streets of San Diego. They had to go undercover as husband and wife staying at a dive of a motel right off the street where the bodies were found. Kyle shuddered at the memory of the twisted remains of the victims.
Turned out the manager of the motel had been using his victims for some strange cult ritual. Case solved, they arrested him, but later he turned up dead in his cell one night awaiting trial.
Kyle felt the case was over, but Scully never really believed that, with every case she used to say, "There's more going on there then we know." She'd gulp down the last of her beer, "The truth is out there, Kyle. The problem is we've got to go looking for it before it finds us."
Kyle'd just nod and drink his beer, never dreaming he'd end up working for the NSA a month later. The "suits" in the NSA liked his work on the case and within a matter of weeks he was in training to be a spy. "My name is Duarte, Kyle Duarte." He said out loud laughing at his own absurdity.
Those were the good old days, he sighed. Gone but not forgotten. Maybe he should call Scully and see what she could make out of the baffling details of this mission?
"Diane, did my cell phone ever ring when we were out playing shuffle board today?" Jake looked at his phone; it said there were three missed calls and just as many voice messages all from the number he knew was Kyle's private line. Actually it was listed to a pizza place in England that didn't exist, but that was the idea with secure lines.
"No. I was sunbathing the entire time with it in my satchel, I never heard it ring." Diane was changing from her bikini into a shimmering gown of blue and teal green sequins. She was wearing a delicate string of pearls around her neck and tiny ones hung from her ears. With her hair tumbling about her shoulders in a riot of curls, Jake thought she looked like a mermaid.
"Well, the calls were made almost four hours ago. I know I've looked at my phone since then. Why are they just showing up now?" Jake looked confused, "You know, you are the most lovely Siren of the Sea I've ever encountered. I am not sure I will be able to stop from ravishing you tonight at the dinner table if you wear that dress."
Diane blushed. "Aren't you mixing business with pleasure?"
"I don't know what I am doing. I think sometimes I am forgetting we're here to find Lou." Jake shook his head suddenly depressed. Diane came up from behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist leaning into his back.
"You haven't forgotten. We haven't forgotten. How could we? Tonight the new passengers that we picked up will be at dinner and we can talk to them about the disappearances. Someone is bound to know something! Either way, according to the reports we received, we are approaching the site where the Princess Marian first lost contact with Miami." They both shuddered a little.
"That means I probably won't get through to Kyle. We must be near the dead zone. The say even satellite phones can't send signals through the electromagnetic soup of the Bermuda Triangle. I only hope the ship doesn't completely loose contact again."
Jake tried, but as they suspected they couldn't even get a signal. Jake was a little frustrated at his bad luck and threw the phone across the room. Waiting for the satisfaction of seeing it shatter against the wall, but just then he remembered that it was his only link to Kyle and with lightening fast speed he crossed the room and caught it hit.
Diane, used to his tantrums, gave him a huge bear hug, "Don't worry, honey, let's go to dinner and enjoy ourselves while we can."
Jake tried a weak smile, hiked up his tie and kissed Diane on the cheek, "All right, let's get to it."
At dinner Diane was pleasantly surprised to find herself seated next to one of the new guests. Harrison Ford was quite as gorgeous in person as he was on screen. Diane was secretly wishing she was single again.
"Mrs. Arbuckle, tell me a little more about Commodore Beckett's Beef Ranch, will you?" Harrison Ford leaned to face her with an interested look.
Diane looked to where Jake was refilling her champagne from the bar. He was the only man for her even with the hottest movie star ever sitting next to her.
"Why, Mr. Ford, you don't want to hear little-ol'-me prattle on about cows and the like," Diane simpered.
Jake sauntered up to them. "If I were you, Mr. Ford, I would love to hear my pretty little wife talk about cows. She's a brilliant rancher. Her father, the Commodore, has placed the ranch almost completely in her very capable hands."
Harrison joined in their laughter, "You are a very capable actress too, you know." Jake and Diane stopped laughing and stared at the actor.
"Why whatwhatever do you mean, Mr. Ford?" Diane stuttered.
"Takes one to know one, Mrs. Arbuckle. I have the info you need about Lou. I'm her contact." Jake just kept staring. He opened his mouth to ask him what he knew about Lou, but without warning a great wave washed over the deck splashing the patrons.
Soon everyone was screaming and running for cover as yet another wave lashed the deck with its great wet tongue.
Jake looked at Diane and Diane looked at Jake. "A storm!" They both chorused, not sure if they should be happy or terrified, for it was a storm that blew the ship Lou was on off course.
"In the... event. . of a... trophy... plea... return to your... cabins!" The voice on the loud speaker attempted to shout over the crashing waves. Diane and Jake quickly attempted to make their way back to their cabin.
Diane clung to Jake on one side and the side rail on the other as rain and seawater poured over them. Jake used every nanite enhanced muscle he could to keep them from slipping overboard as the ship rocked and shook in the violent waves.
But even that wasn't enough and without warning he felt Diane slip from his grasp and he watched in horror as she was tossed into the churning sea.
Much later Diane opened her eyes. The sun was shining from high above her and the light stung her sleepy eyes. She was lying on her back on the warm sand of an island beach. Where am I? She wondered.
Suddenly her terrible ordeal came flooding back to her. She remembered being on the ship with Jake and Harrison Ford. They were trying to find Lou and the missing people from the cruise ship! Then there was an awesome storm and she was swept away in the water. She blacked out and now here she was seemingly alone on a beach.
"Hello! Hello?" Her voice cracked a little, she must be getting dehydrated. As soon as she could get her bearings she would have to find drinkable water. She turned toward the line of trees, there was something coming toward her from deep in the brush. She looked around for someplace to hide, but she was a regular old sitting duck out there on the empty beach.
"HelHello? Is anyone there?" She really wished Jake was with her now. He was her strength and besides he'd be able to fend off what ever was coming at her!
"Diane?" A hesitant familiar voice called from the trees. Either she was hallucinating or that really was Jake's voice!
"Jake? Jake is that you?" She began to run to the trees. Jake kept calling her name and soon she saw him break through the line of trees and step out onto the beach.
Behind him were Lou and a bunch of other people; many of whom she recognized as fellow passengers on the Quinn Mallory.
Were they all shipwrecked? What happened? Diane wondered.
Jake ran to her and scooped her up kissing her for a long, long time. When she finally caught her breath she begged him to tell her what was going on.
Lou caught up with Jake and was laughing at Diane's confusion. "It's going to take some explaining to do." Lou said as she grasped Diane's arm and pulled her toward the trees. "Come on, we can go sit in the pavilion and chat."
As she was being led away she looked back at Jake in desperate confusion. He just shrugged his shoulders and followed them.
They followed a well worn path through the trees to a large open clearing; obviously this was the "pavilion." There were tables and chairs set up covered by brightly colored umbrellas. Off to one side there was a bar and behind that in the distance several buildings marred the horizon. One even looked to be a fancy resort hotel.
"What is this place? What is going on here?" Diane sat down as Jake handed her a cocktail sitting next to her sipping his own.
Lou took a long drink from her blue ice slushy, "This is the set from a reality television show called Deserted Island. The show's cast is cruise patrons that are promised a large sum of money if they stay on the island.
Their families and friends are then secretly followed by camera crews and their phones are tapped to see how they react to the news that their family member has disappeared somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle."
Jake still noticed some confusion on Diane's face, "You see they picked people who were bored with the regular 'cruise' adventure, people who were rich and famous who couldn't just disappear on their own without someone knowing about it, people who wanted real adventure."
"Like Mrs. Hudington's husband!" Diane's eyes lit up.
"Exaclty, he was bored and decided to disappear for a while. His wife hired a private eye who discovered the plot. So Mrs. Hudington booked a cabin on this cruise in the hopes to find her husband and ring a peel over his head for having her followed by camera crews and taping her phone conversations and for leaving her behind."
Jake continued his explanation, "The film crew would help the participants jump ship or thanks to the show's fantastic special effects crew, some participants would get swept overboard during a 'storm' and end up here."
"Just like I did." Diane nodded to herself. She couldn't believe this whole thing had been an engineered hoax! "Isn't reality TV really going overboard this time?" They all groaned at her pun.
"Well, you know," Jake said smiling, "reality TV is a sign of the apocalypse!"
Diane almost spit up her drink as she joined in the laughter.
"What is going on here?" A tall plump woman with red hair walked up to them and flipped opened a badge. "Agent Dana Scully FBI, I have a few questions to ask all of you about these strange disappearances... "
Diane just stared at the woman unable to focus. Agent Scully repeated her question, "I have some questions to ask you." But it wasn't her voice, it was Jake's.
Jake? Diane looked around her, she was sitting at her desk in the lab at the NSA and Jake was standing there looking quite perplexed.
"Diane, are you alright? Hey I'm sorry. I just came down here to ask you a few questions. I think I woke you up, did you stay here last night?" Jake rambled.
"Where is Lou? Where's Agent Scully? Why are we in the lab?" Diane looked around her a little dazed. She was wearing her typical blouse with sweater thrown over, skirt and her long white lab coat. Her mouth tasted like she hadn't brushed in a while. "What time is it, darling?"
Jake just stared at her, "Darling? Are you okay? Lou's having a pow-wow with Kyle, don't know any Agent Scully and we are in the lab because it's time for my morning work-up. Did I forget anything?"
Diane remembered working late and getting sleepy. Was that only last night? She looked at Jake's confused lopsided smile. Did I dream the entire thing? The whole honeymoon? Lou's disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle?
Diane looked down at her desk. There was a half empty cup of now cold tea and the newspaper she'd been reading last night before she fell asleep. The headline jumped out at her: Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Cruise Ship Disappears!
"Jake, what happened last night?"
"Kyle and I were on a mission at the Chinese Embassy, don't you remember? Lou said you were scared to death for us."
Diane shook her head to get the cobwebs out. "That's right! I stayed late hoping you'd come back here once you got Kyle out of there." She walked over to him wanting to feel his arms around her like before, in her dream?
"I'm sorry, Diane. Really I am. Kyle and I stopped by the Lincoln Memorial and split a case of beer. We left around dawn. I slept a few hours and here I am. You don't have to wait up for me. I'm a big boy."
"Yeah," Diane sort of laughed, blushing as she thought about the nights she dreamed they spent as a married couple, "I know. I know."
She was suddenly sad at the thought that Jake wasn't hers anymore. Not that he ever was your, silly girl! Last night she was so worried that she might never see him again. Maybe those thoughts and her late night reading contributed to the vivid dream she'd had? Where Harrison Ford fit in she couldn't say...
Jake punched her in the shoulder, "Say, would you like to hang out tonight? I've got the Game Show Network on cable now. We could watch Press Your Luck?"
"Right," Diane nodded, "No whammies, no whammies, no whammies... " She smiled at Jake. Maybe she should press her luck with him?