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The thundering navy SeaHawk chopper had been scrambled under a covert operation status out of Thule Air Force Base in northern Greenland. It stayed low, out of radar range, as it shot through the gale winds across seventy miles of open sea. Then, executing the bizarre orders they had been given, the pilots fought the wind and brought the craft to a hover above a pre‑ordained set of coordinates on the empty ocean.

“Where’s the rendezvous?” the copilot yelled, confused. They had been told to bring a chopper with a rescue winch, so he anticipated a search‑and‑retrieve operation. “You sure these are the right coordinates?” He scanned the choppy seas with a searchlight, but there was nothing below them except‑

“Holy shit!” The pilot pulled back on the stick, jolting upward.

The black mountain of steel rose before them out of the waves without warning. A gargantuan unmarked submarine blew its ballast and rose on a cloud of bubbles.

The pilots exchanged uneasy laughs. “Guess that’s them.”

As ordered, the transaction proceeded under complete radio silence. The doublewide portal on the peak of the sail opened and a seaman flashed them signals with a strobe light. The chopper then moved over the sub and dropped a three‑man rescue harness, essentially three rubberized loops on a retractable cable. Within sixty seconds, the three unknown “danglers” were swinging beneath the chopper, ascending slowly against the downdraft of the rotors.

When the copilot hauled them aboard‑two men and a woman‑the pilot flashed the sub the “all clear.” Within seconds, the enormous vessel disappeared beneath the windswept sea, leaving no trace it had ever been there.

With the passengers safely aboard, the chopper pilot faced front, dipped the nose of the chopper, and accelerated south to complete his mission. The storm was closing fast, and these three strangers were to be brought safely back to Thule AFB for further jet transport. Where they were headed, the pilot had no idea. All he knew was that his orders had been from high up, and he was transporting very precious cargo.