The 2008 Beijing Olympics started as a great international  event – the athletes, the spectators,  the dignitaries. Nobody could have guessed how it would end, with the scenario that nobody had admitted was possible: a bird flu outbreak.

Consider how it begins … a Chinese family becomes infected with a mutated form of the virus from the chickens that they raise at their house. The father is a volunteer at the National Aquatic Centre. 

How many people would he infect? Dozens? Hundreds?

Now, how many would they infect? Thousands? Tens of thousands?

There is no vaccine to resist the virus. There is no cure. After four days people begin to die. Lots of people. Thousands of people.

There are only a few remote places that are not affected. One is an idyllic island  in the South Pacific archipelago of the Cook Islands.

How will the islanders prevent their tiny paradise from being overrun by people fleeing the chaos?

One sailor is called upon to help.

That man is Jack Becker, United States Office of Naval Intelligence.

He’s on vacation. Maybe the last one of his life.

Two If By Sea - Prepare to shove off for the adventure of your life.