“Santa Barbara Secrets”

Law enforcement agencies have traced American currency to the Caribbean and back to Southern California. Traces of Colombian cocaine are detected on bills confiscated during drug raids.

The Caribbean currency.

The currency is being transported from California to the Caribbean then back to America where it is distributed to the Christians for a Better America for their rightwing political ambitions.

It was CFBA which were responsible for the destruction of the Mahalo Airline at LAX using radio-active material stolen from a Manitoba mine.

The Secret Service sends Jessica Fukishura undercover with Katrina Barbados’ Santa Barbara, California law firm to discover the leader of the multi-million-dollar cocaine empire, how the drugs are entering the country and track the currency movement from California to the Caribbean.

Fukishura engages agents Jason Spencer, Elisabeth Peltowski and Jackson Pennington who are concluding their investigation of the destruction of the Marina del Rey convention center by an operative for the Christians for a Better America.

Retired agent Rebecca Simpson and her partner Dr. Penelope Barker are hired to assist and collaborate with Detective Elise Pelfini of the Santa Barbara Police Department and the LAPD Drug Squad.

The officers enlist the use of CHAP, a sophisticated data sharing software developed by Commander Cheryl Chapman a U.S. Navy SEAL working directly for the president.

CHAP reveals a connection between the California drug smuggling and an Edmonton, Alberta resident.

Fashion and cuisine are weaved into the plot in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Vancouver, British Columbia highlighting the latest in men’s and women’s styles. Suspect behavior and violent homophobes trigger officers’ combat martial arts skills and a philosophy shared by the women which can be of assistance to every reader.

Prologue

It was a murky, moonless night, 150 nautical miles off the Costa Rican coast, with waves churning to three meters, as an easterly storm gained velocity to batter the Central American coast. Fishing and tourist vessels had sought protection hours ago when the weather warning systems sounded alarms.

But not all boats wanted shelter or wished to navigate the tropical eastern Pacific before the storm hit, some were maneuvering with total disregard of the surface turmoil.

Lurking 300 meters below the choppy surface was a two-person, Germanischer Lloyd Mini Submarine, identical to those seen on various television documentaries, with fixed pontoon tanks on each side and a raised glass bubble conning tower, currently unlighted, save for the few control switches and buttons, providing an eerie perspective of the stealth, low-profile vessel.

The unnamed device was undetectable from the surface by the naked eye, or by sonar from coast guard cutters, neither of which were currently relevant given the current weather conditions.

The use of sonar was disallowed by International Marine Law within 200 nautical miles from any coastline to protect marine life, primarily dolphins and whales. With the protection of the raging surface storm and the absence of visual or sonar contact from law enforcement, the Mini maintained a steady, undetected, northerly course between Cocos Island and the mainland, at thirty nautical miles an hour, with its multi-million-dollar cargo connected by a tow line, 300 meters to the rear.

Cocos Island National Park, owned by the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, a marine conservation network, is known locally as Isla del Coco as well as, Isla del Tesoro or Treasure Island. It is a world-class diving destination, home to numerous endangered species such as the Scalloped Hammerhead shark, Silky Shark and the Galapagos Shark, drawing enthusiasts to a unique marine ecosystem.

The mini-sub’s captain had to ensure his course didn’t vary from the coastal protection or veer into the Isla del Coco’s coral reefs as he maintained a northerly route.

Behind the mini was a Colombian drug cartel’s latest transportation vehicle, carrying an impressive pay load of five-thousand kilograms of cocaine, street value of approximately four-hundred and twenty million dollars US, in Los Angeles. Uncut.

The twenty-meter/sixty-five-foot submarine was the proud development of Adrian Achterberg, the son of a WW Two German Boatwright who gained fame within the Nazi regime for his U Boat designs. Adrian had learned the trade quickly under his father’s tutelage, acquiring his own notoriety within the boat industry for his steel fabrication brilliance.

Never considering himself a Colombian, regardless of his Medellin birthplace, Achterberg harbored considerable resentment against western powers for what he felt was an unfair treatment of his father, who fled Nazi Germany on the tail of the Nuremberg Trials, fearing reprisal for his role in the development of the deadly submarines which killed hundreds of allied sailors, destroyed millions in cargo and a wealth in lost vessels.

When the cartel approached Achterberg at his shipyard with the request to design and build a twenty-meter submarine capable of carrying a thirty-metric-ton payload and four crew members, capable of thirty-knots submerged and an air supply for ten days, he asked few questions, taking delight in the opportunity to retaliate against the Canadians and Americans whom he blamed for his father’s decades of anguish, while reaping several million dollars for his efforts.

His creation was pure marine brilliance and so eclectic in appearance few would have made a connection between the sub and its use in any nefarious activities. It didn’t have a coning tower of a traditional submarine, nor did it have any of the outer fittings usually associated with subs. The surface was smooth, almost glass-like to the eye and touch. The exterior was coated with phononic crystal, an acoustically tuned material off which sonar waves bounce, or more accurately, bend off the hull to loop back around to the vessel’s surface again and again, never returning to the source of the sonic pulse, thereby creating the impression the ping did not meet a solid object, such as contacting a submarine. The cargo space was generously spread throughout to provide adequate balance, particularly during submersion and surfacing. Propulsion was created with lithium batteries, designed by a British Columbia firm, which were less than half the size of conventional power supplies and rechargeable from a diesel engine, so quiet that it was undetectable with coast guard hydrophones. The hybrid system was designed jointly by Ontario and Nova Scotia firms destined for commercial, law-abiding vessels.

Achterberg borrowed NASA and International Space Station technology to design a system to recycle crew urine, sweat and breath to create a water source and the electrolysis of water to generate oxygen, the power for the process provided by the lithium batteries. In the case of an air supply failure, the sub would rise just below the surface and extend a tubular air intake, just long enough to absorb a twelve-hour air supply. Back-up emergency air supply with autonomous breathing devices was available for each crew member, along with a vessel escape hatch from which they could surface while scuttling the vessel and cargo in case of a total system failure. The sub lacked radar to detect patrolling ships and planes, so their reconnaissance was strictly visual, necessitating as short a surface time as possible.

The cargo sub relied completely on the Germanischer Lloyd for protection from Canadian and American Navy interdiction. The cartel lost millions from a recent joint operation involving the Canadian HMCS Saskatoon and the US Coast Guard Hamilton off the coast of Central America. The drug financiers were committed to eliminating the catastrophic losses.

Finding competent seamen willing to stay submerged for ten days wasn’t as complicated as the cartel had anticipated. As politician Michael Myers of the Philadelphia House of Representatives was noted as saying in 1943, “Money talks and bullshit walks,” and the drug kings had little difficulty finding unscrupulous, retired U.S. Navy submariners willing to take the job for a few million each, half deposited in a Caribbean bank before they sailed and the other half when they dropped their cargo. Considering one shipment from this vessel would bring a street value of five-hundred million, a few million crew costs was irrelevant.

Loading and launching the Chica de Oro, Golden Girl, was as unobtrusive as one could imagine amidst the turmoil surrounding the Colombia peace accord, which ended one of the world’s longest running armed conflicts.

The half-century war which killed 220,000 people, disrupted six million lives and consumed ten billion dollars of American involvement, saw ten thousand guerrillas demobilize, come in from the jungle and transition to civilian life.

The massive social change created a party atmosphere throughout the country with friends and family of the freedom fighters jubilant with celebration, creating a cloak under which Achterberg supervised the loading and launching of the Chica de Oro.

Night and day were obscured as the mini-sub led the way north with its multi-million-dollar cargo trailing behind, destined to capture the souls and minds of substance abusers in North America. If this operation was as successful as the cartel anticipated, the next run would enter the Canadian market, utilizing the west coast’s many fjords and uninhabited coast lines.