In Part Four, Polly contacts her younger sister in modern day London. A satellite mapping application from the future discovers a German U–boat in the vicinity of the sea fort.
Fleming set the handset on the base. “The admiral has dispatched two destroyers to intercept the German submarine.”
“I hope it works out for you guys,” Polly shrugged.
“Can we get a close up look at the smaller object?”
“Okay.” Polly spoke into her cell phone: “Bridge, would you project a holo–pic of the other submerged object?” Polly asked, “you know, the smaller one,” she added.
“Coming in now,” Bridgette replied. The 3d image materialized as she spoke.
The image came into focus: a ten meter submersible. It was powered by a single, stern mounted propeller. Two swept wings, spanning ten meters, extended from the center of the main body. Four men, two on each wing, clung to extrusions welded to the metal skin of the wings.
The marine started to come to. He looked at the floating three dimensional image of the strange submarine and stood in the corner.
“It’s all right, corporal, you’re in no danger,” Fleming assured him.
“Yes, commander,” the bewildered marine answered.
“What are they wearing?” Fleming asked, pointing to the steel cylinders mounted on the backs of the figures clinging to the wings.
“That’s SCUBA gear,” Polly replied. She waved her hand through the bubbles rising from the two stage regulators. “It’s fairly advanced too,” she remarked.
“Oh.” Fleming said.
“Yes, the divers are carrying a supply of compressed air under high pressure in the tanks on their backs. The object mounted at the top of the tank reduces the high pressure to ambient pressure. Demand springs and valves allow the user to breathe normally.”
“How do you know all this?” Fleming questioned.
“I don’t,” Polly grinned. “Bridge uploaded the information and I read it.” Polly pointed to the cell phone’s screen.
Fleming touched the larger tanks that were attached to the wings “What are these?” He asked.
Polly waited a few moments then said, “According the upload from Bridge, those are engines encased in aluminum skins.”
“Hmm …” Fleming nodded.
“Kind of like a torpedo without an explosive warhead.”
“Polly, can you tell me more about this craft?”
“Sure,” Polly replied. She raised the cell phone. ” Bridge, I need a full breakdown and analysis of that little sub as soon as possible.”
“I’m on it,” Bridgette said. She typed a series of commands on the virtual keyboard projected on the face of the metal and glass desk in modern day London. After pressing the Return key, she said, “Give it some time to process.”
Eight minutes later, the holo–pic of the sub faded. It was replaced by a flat blueprint projected on the floor.
“What are we looking at here, Polly?”
“Bridge says the main power source is located at the rear, or stern, of the center section. It is equipped with a centrifuge type guidance system. There are four auxiliary, manually operated motors mounted on the wings. The divers are capable of steering the craft if the main unit fails.”
“Is that all?”
“No,” Polly hesitated.
“It’s armed with a explosive nuclear device.”
“Nuclear … What the hell does that mean?”
Polly read the specifications. There wasn’t enough time to explain basic nuclear fusion. Polly decided to tell Fleming something he could relate to. She said, “Do you remember the explosion detonated under the German occupied hill in France during the First World War?” She asked.
“I’m aware of that operation. It was launched against the Germans on the Messines Ridge on June 7, 1917. It took almost two years to dig: over 8,000 meters of tunnels and 21 mines.”
“The explosive device contained in that sub is equal to the amount used in that operation.”
“That was 600 tons. And you’re telling me that submarine is carrying the equivalent.” Fleming, jaw dropping, looked astounded.
“It must be stopped,” Fleming insisted. “If it gets through we’re all good as dead.”
“What’s your plan, Commander?”
“I have to think about, but, I’m sure I’ll need your help,” Fleming replied. He made some notations on a piece of paper. Once finished, Fleming made a call to the engineering department. “Well, Polly I’m sure you must be hungry by now,” he said.
“I could eat,” she replied. The hunger was building in the pit of her stomach.
“Think about what you’d like while I pay a visit to Smithers at engineering.”
Fleming left Polly alone with the marine.