This story is the final chapter regarding Janet and her parents. Chris B gave me the idea to explain why her parents were never around.
Separated and Desperate
Lee Crane was on an ONI
mission in the small country of Vadvostok.
All he needed to do was pick up the intel and bring it to back to
It was arranged that he would meet Starvos Meine at a downtown bar. Lee had no idea on how Starvos got the intel or what it was.
He waited inside the bar where he was to meet Starvos dressed in an open collared white shirt, black jacket and jeans he fit right in with the rest of the bar crowd. Starvos was over an hour late meeting him. When he finally showed up Lee gave him a look that would stop a crew member dead in his tracks but Starvos wasn’t fazed by it. He passed him the intel, bid him good bye and left as quickly as he came. Lee put the intel in the special compartment in his backpack. He wanted to leave this country as soon as he could as he heard rumblings of a civil uprising breaking out any day.
He was on his way to the
airport to catch his plane when all hell broke loose. He tried to radio the pilot in charge of his
extraction but the signal was jammed. Hearing explosions in the distance he
knew the airport had just been blown up.
There went his way out of the country. He knew if he got to the port he might be able
to jump on a ship. The country of Vadvostok was on the
Hailing a cab outside the bar, Lee jumped in before it came to a full stop.
“Take me to the
“Sir, that’s a long way away,” the cab driver told him. “It will cost you double my normal fee.”
“I don’t care what it costs just drive.”
The cab driver sped away down the road avoiding the active gun fire in the streets. They were ten miles into their journey when the cab was hit by sniper fire. As the cab crashed into a tree, Lee could tell the cab driver was dead. He was shot in the thigh and had a gash on his forehead from hitting the seat after the car crashed. Afraid the snipers would think he was still alive he stayed in the cab for a few minutes. He could hear them talking but they walked away and never checked in the cab.
His leg was bleeding pretty badly and he had a headache. He didn’t think he had a concussion but knew he had a bad gash on his forehead. He grabbed his extra shirt from his backpack and put it on the bullet wound using his belt to hold it in place hoping it would stop the bleeding. Ripping the sleeve off the shirt he tied it around his head to stop the gash from bleeding. Slowly opening the door of the cab he checked to see if anyone was around. Seeing no one he got out of the cab. He would have to walk to the rest of the way.
Admiral Johnson at ONI had just received word of the civil uprising in Vadvostok. He knew Lee was scheduled to leave today. He called the pilot in charge of Lee’s extraction.
“Henry, do you have him,” Johnson asked anxiously.
“No sorry sir. He was an hour late and I had to leave before they closed the airport,” Henry replied somberly. “And they just blew up the airport.”
“Damn. Can you get him out at all?”
“Not a chance. Everything is shut down in the country. Now there is no airport and all radio signals are being jammed. His only chance would be to get to the port on the coast.”
“Where are you now?”
“In the city of
“Can you keep monitoring the radio just in case this uprising ends quickly,” Johnson pleaded.
“I will do what I can sir.”
Johnson dreaded the next call he would need to make. He would have to call Admiral Nelson and tell him Lee was stuck in Vadvostok.
The phone rang in Admiral Nelson’s office.
“Admiral Nelson’s office can I help you,” Angie asked.
”This is Admiral Johnson; I need to talk to Nelson.”
“Just a minute, I’ll get him for you.”
Angie rang the admiral’s phone and told him Admiral Johnson was on the line. She could tell by his voice that the news wasn’t good.
“Gerald, you better have good news. I just heard about the uprising. Is Lee on his way home?”
“Sorry Harry. They couldn’t get him out before they blew up the airport. He was an hour late getting there and the pilot had to leave. I have the pilot monitoring the radio just in case he calls but right now all the radio signals are also being jammed. The pilot says his only chance out is to get to the port on the coast.”
“Damn, Gerald. I thought this was an easy in and out mission,” Nelson said angrily.
“Harry, I’m really sorry. I will let you know if I hear anything more.”
“I can have Seaview ready to leave by tomorrow morning. We can get him ourselves.”
“No the State Department doesn’t want any interference on our part right now. They are working to get things resolved so Harry please don’t jeopardize what they are trying to do. If they give me the okay I will let you know,” Johnson stressed.
“Thanks,” Nelson replied and
hung up. “Damn.”
Now the admiral had a problem. He would have to tell Chip and Lee’s wife Janet he wasn’t on his way home and didn’t know when he would be home.
Angie was standing by the door and heard his conversation with Johnson.
“Please don’t say anything to Chip or Janet just yet. I need to think about how I’m going to tell them what happened and why we can’t go and get him.”
“No problem sir, I won’t say anything. It doesn’t look good does it?”
“No Angie, right now it doesn’t look good.”
Lee started limping towards the coast. He stayed off the main road to avoid any soldiers. His leg had stopped bleeding but he had lost quite a bit of blood and it hurt like hell. He also had no water or food since early this morning. He was getting weaker and very tired. He figured he had walked about five miles when he spotted a house a little ways down the road. Maybe whoever lived there could help him. He managed to make it to the house and knocked on the front door.
The front door was cautiously opened.
“Please help me,” Lee asked the woman at the door before he passed out.
The woman looked at Lee and could tell he was seriously hurt. She dragged him in the house. Lee was a lot bigger than her so she had a hard time getting him into the bedroom and on the bed. She looked at his leg and could see the wound was already showing signs of infection. She looked at his head wound; it wasn’t too bad but would need a couple of stitches. She could also tell Lee had a high fever.
Lee woke up to the face of a woman with light blue eyes and black hair. She was very attractive.
“I’m sorry,” he said trying to get up.
She gently pushed him down. She could tell there was a very handsome man under the blood and dirt.
“You have a serious leg wound that is infected. You also have a fever and you need stitches in your forehead. Let me help you.”
“I need to get to the coast.”
“You’re in no condition to go any where.”
“Okay just fix my leg and I will leave,” Lee said as he passed out again.
He picked the right house to stop at as the woman was a doctor. She went to her office and got her bag. She took off Lee’s make shift bandage. She cut away the pant leg and saw a very bad bullet wound that was already turning red from an infection. She needed to remove the bullet from his thigh right away. She didn’t have anything to knock him out so she hoped he would stay unconscious until she got the bullet out. She managed to remove the bullet without to much trouble. There wasn’t too much muscle damage but it would be hard to walk and very sore for quite a while. Lee only yelled out once. She knew by his reactions that he could tolerate a lot of pain. She stitched up the wounds on his leg and head and put some antiseptic cream on them. She wished she had some antibiotics to give him. She would give him some acetaminophen for his fever and pain when he woke up. She also washed off the dirt and blood from his face and hands. She was very interested in him and why he needed to get to the coast.
She left him for an hour before checking on him. When she returned he was shivering terribly so she put some more blankets on the bed. She was worried he had not woken up. When she checked on him again he was still shivering so she climbed in bed with him hoping her body heat would warm him up. He wrapped his arms around her and mumbled the name of Janet.
Nelson called Angie into his office thirty minutes after the call from Johnson.
“Angie, where’s Chip right now?”
“I believe he’s on Seaview checking the upgrades to the sonar and radar systems. Do you want me to get him?”
“Yes, you better call down there. Is Janet in her office?”
“Yes sir, do you want me to get her too?”
“No I will get her,” he sighed heavily.
Angie made the call to Seaview as the Admiral went to Janet’s office.
“Chip, the admiral needs to see you right away.”
“Okay Angie I will be right there,” Chip answered promptly.
Standing at the door to Janet’s office the admiral asked, “Janet please come with me to my office.”
She got up from her desk and followed him. She knew something was wrong by the tone of his voice and the look on his face. She met Chip coming off the elevator. She knew he was on Seaview and in the middle of the upgrades so why was he here?
“Please sit down,” the admiral said as he sat on the corner of his desk.
They both sat down on the couch that faced his desk. They both were a little nervous.
“I heard from Admiral Johnson
a few minutes ago. Lee isn’t on his way
home. The country is in the middle of a
civil uprising. Lee didn’t make the
plane so it had to leave without him. We
have no way of contacting him as all the radio signals are being jammed. Johnson has asked the pilot to stay close in
case the uprising ends quickly so if Lee can get to the city of
“Do we know if he’s hurt?” Janet asked as tears ran down her cheeks.
“As of now we don’t know,” he told her as he got up and went over to her and put his arm around her shoulders.
“Can’t we go get him? I can have Seaview ready to sail by tomorrow morning,” Chip suggested.
“No, I already tried to tell Johnson that. The State Department is working on a peace agreement and they don’t want any interference from anyone. He will let us know if and when we can get him.”
“Admiral we can sneak in there and get him. Who knows by the time we get there this uprising could be over and we can get him out.”
“I thought of that too, but if we’re discovered it could cause more problems and then there will be hell to pay from the State Department and higher up.”
“So we just have to leave him there?” Janet asked tearfully.
“Sorry honey, for now yes we do.”
“Chip, why don’t you take Janet home and stay with her.”
“No please I would rather stay here. I have a lot of work to do and if I keep busy I won’t cry,” Janet told him wiping away her tears.
“Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”
Chip and Janet left the admiral’s office and walked into Janet’s.
“I’m going back to Seaview. If you need me, please call and I will come back. I want to make sure she’s ready to go to get Lee,” Chip told her as he gave her a hug. “He’s alright.”
“And don’t leave without me. I’ll take you home.”
“Thanks Chip but you don’t have to. I’m getting used to being by myself.”
Chip just gave her one of his looks and she knew he would take her home tonight. She watched Chip walk back down to Seaview in her sub pen. She could tell he was very worried about Lee too.
Melina woke up early and was still wrapped up in the Lee’s arms. He was still very warm but didn’t feel as warm as last night but knew he would still need some antibiotics. She wondered who Janet was as he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. As she carefully removed his arms from around her he woke up and was startled that she was in bed with him. He didn’t remember anything from last night.
“What the hell are you doing in bed with me...who are you...where am I?” Lee asked confused.
“I’m Dr. Melina Giutov. You knocked on my door last night. I took care of your bullet wound and gash on your forehead. I climbed in bed with you when you were shivering so badly I hoped my body heat would warm you up. Who are you?”
“Lee Crane. You’re a doctor?” he asked as he tried get out of the bed but collapsed in pain when he tried to stand up. She went over to him and helped in back into bed.
“Yes, I’m a doctor, but please don’t try to stand. I had to remove a bullet from your thigh. It’s going to be very sore for awhile. I’m going to give you some acetaminophen for your fever and pain. You have a few stitches in your forehead too. I don’t have any antibiotics to give you but when I come back from the hospital tonight I will have some.”
“Thank you. I can’t impose on you. I need to get to the coast.”
“You’re in no shape to go anywhere. Please stay in bed and rest. We will talk more when I get home. I’ll get you some coffee and toast before I leave. I need to get ready for work now or I will be late.”
She left him in the room while she got ready for work. She ate breakfast and brought him the coffee and toast.
“I have to leave now, please stay here until I get home so I can check your leg,” she implored.
“Okay, I will stay until you get home.”
He was still very tired but wanted a cup of coffee. He poured some from the carafe she left on the night table. It wasn’t as good as Cookie’s but it would do. He was hungry so he ate the toast. He lay back down and fell asleep.
At 1700 Chip was getting ready to leave NIMR for the day. Seaview was ready to sail the moment they got word to pick up Lee. Since most of the crew was still on shore leave, he had Chief Sharkey contact all of them and every one of them were available to leave on a moments notice. There were only five crew members that were out of town. They were non essential men but would still be missed.
He went to Janet’s office to take her to dinner and then home. She wasn’t there but her coat was. He went to the admiral’s office.
“Angie have you seen Janet? She’s not in her office I told her not to leave I would take her home.”
“No Chip I haven’t seen her since the admiral told you about Lee but I’ll help you find her.”
“That’s okay I’ll look in Lee’s office first, she likes to go there when he’s gone.”
Chip went to Lee’s office and found Janet sitting there in the dark holding his jacket. He went in but didn’t turn on the lights.
“You okay? I got worried when you weren’t in your office.”
“Yes, I’m fine. I feel close to him when I can come in here.”
“Let’s go get some dinner,” Chip told her as he grabbed her hand helping her up.
“Not hungry,” she muttered as she hung up Lee’s coat in the closet.
“I know but I am and since I’m taking you home you have to come with me so I can eat.”
“Okay, let’s go,” she said softly walking out the door to her office.
She grabbed her coat and went to Angie’s office to tell her good bye. As she was saying goodbye the admiral came out of his office.
“Good night Admiral. See you tomorrow.”
“Take care. If you need anything please call me,” he said giving her a kiss on the forehead.
Chip and Janet went to the diner for dinner. Carol was surprised when only the two of them showed up. She wondered where Lee was. They ordered her pot roast dinner special. Chip wolfed his down as Janet just pushed the food around her plate. Chip paid the bill, they said goodbye and left. Carol felt bad for Janet as she could see she was upset about something and it probably involved her husband.
Chip pulled into the Crane’s driveway after dinner.
“Do you want me to stay with you tonight?”
“No, I can stay by myself. I’ve been doing it for the last three days. I’ll be fine. Go home and get some rest. I can see you’re worried too.”
“Yes, I’m worried. I will pick you up tomorrow morning.”
Janet got out of the car and went inside. She turned the light on and off twice to let Chip know she was inside and everything was okay. It was a signal they worked out when Lee was gone. Chip left and went to his house down the hill from the Crane’s. He was worried about Janet as well as Lee. She loved him that much to put up with his ONI missions, it was something he would never understand. He could barely tolerate them. He’s going to have to remind Lee what a physical and emotional toll it takes on her and everyone else when he leaves.
Janet went upstairs to their bedroom. She got ready for bed and put on one of Lee’s shirts. The shirt still smelled like him. When she put on his shirt she could almost feel his arms wrapped around her. She laid there most of the night with tears running down her face. She finally fell asleep about 0300.
Lee woke up and his leg was throbbing. He found the acetaminophen on the night table so he took a couple of pills. He managed to get up and use the facilities. He needed a shower badly so hoping Dr. Giutov wouldn’t mind he took a shower using her shower cap to protect his wound. He was exhausted by the time he was finished, he went back to bed and fell asleep.
Melina was very busy at the hospital with a lot of wounded people hurt from the gun fire in the streets. She hoped the uprising would end soon as she hated seeing all these innocent people hurt.
She was still very curious about the man she left at her house. She would be leaving work in a couple of hours and hoped he was still there. She took some antibiotics to take back home with her.
When she arrived at home, Lee was still sleeping. She went into his room and put her hand on his forehead to see if he had a fever. Before she could remove her hand Lee grabbed it.
“Hey, let go of my hand,” she yelled.
“Sorry,” Lee apologized. “You caught me off guard.”
“I was just checking to see if you had a fever,” she replied shaking her hand.
“No but I would like to check your leg and forehead to see if they look infected. I brought some antibiotics home for you to take.”
She took the bandage off his forehead and looked at it. She then took the bandage off his leg. He had a few other scars on his leg and wondered how he got them. She put new bandages with antiseptic cream on his wounds. She could tell he was in good shape but a little on the thin side for his height. He was a mighty nice looking man. She knew he took a shower as he smelled like her soap. She couldn’t figure out how he managed to do that by himself. She was hoping she could help him take a shower later.
“Well how are my leg and forehead,” Lee asked her when she didn’t say anything after a few minutes.
“Sorry, your leg and forehead do look a little red and infected,” she told him honestly. “Here take these; they should help with the infection.”
“Thanks,” Lee said as he took the pills from her and swallow them with the water she brought him.
“Are you hungry? I’m going to make dinner. I hope you like chicken and noodles.”
“Yes, I’m a little hungry and whatever you make is fine. But I need to leave as soon as I’m finished. I need to get to the coast so I can go home.”
“I wouldn’t advise you leaving anytime soon. Your leg needs to heal a little longer before you can put any weight on it. I don’t know how you managed to take a shower by yourself.”
“I managed but it wasn’t easy. I was totally exhausted by the time I was finished.”
“Why don’t you come in the kitchen while I cook dinner and we can talk?”
She helped him up and he leaned on her while he hobbled to the kitchen. He sat down on a chair. His leg was aching so he asked her for some acetaminophen. She gave him a couple of tablets and water. He noticed she was very trim and had a nice shape.
As she prepared dinner she asked him some questions.
“Where are you from and why are you here in this country?”
“I live in
“How were you injured,” she asked while putting the chicken in the oven.
“I was taking a cab to the coast when the cab driver was shot and the cab crashed into a tree. I got shot at the same time.”
“Why go to the coast. There are no ships going to
“Right now it’s the only way out of the country. I’m a sailor by trade. So I figured I could hop on a freighter and work my way back home.”
“Well right now with your leg you couldn’t hop on anything let alone work on a freighter.”
“It’s that bad?”
“Yes, there was some muscle damage and you should stay off of it at least two weeks.”
“I can’t be gone that long.”
Lee knew the battery in his radio would run out in one week. He would have no way to contact the pilot or even Seaview to come and get him without that radio.
“What’s your hurry? Is there someone you need to get home to? You mumbled a name when I climbed in bed with you. I’m sorry if I crossed the line but you were shivering so badly and I put all the blankets I had on the bed.”
“Yes, my wife’s name is Janet. I sure hope that’s the name I mumbled or I could be in trouble if she finds out,” he said with a grin.
“That was the name, so you’re safe for now,’ she replied grinning back.
He felt very comfortable talking to her which was unusual for him. Being a spy makes you suspicious of everyone you come in contact with.
She finished cooking dinner, set the table and helped him to a seat. While they were eating dinner he had a few questions for her.
“Do you live her by yourself and is there a Mr. Giutov?”
“Yes, I’m here alone. And no there is no Mr. Giutov. I grew up in this house so when my parents died, I just stayed here. It’s close to work and shopping.”
“How long have you been a doctor?”
“About three years. I love taking care of people and getting them well.”
“Thank you taking care of me. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t opened the door.”
“You’re welcome and I’m glad I opened the door.”
They finished eating dinner which was very good. Lee tried to help with the dishes but could only stand for a few minutes. He was tired so Melina helped him back to bed and he promptly fell asleep. Even though he was married and his fever wasn’t as high as it had been Melina wouldn’t have minded climbing into bed with him again.
She got ready for bed and decided to read for awhile. She figured Lee was in a hurry to get home and wondered how long he would stay there. She was taking quite an interest in him and was surprised at how she felt about him so quickly. She had no family so she spent a lot of time alone. She turned off her light and fell asleep thinking about him.
Janet awoke the next morning after the alarm went off. When Lee was home she didn’t need an alarm, he would always wake up at 0500 every day even the weekends. She dragged herself out of bed and turned on the shower. It was no fun taking one alone. They would take a shower together every morning. Conserving water he told her. The shower on Seaview was a little small to shower together but once in a while they did. She really missed him. She got dressed, did her hair, put on her make up and went downstairs to make some coffee and breakfast. Even though she didn’t eat much dinner last night she wasn’t very hungry this morning. Chip would be there in a few minutes. She ate part of a bagel, drank her coffee and cleaned up before Chip knocked on the door.
“Get any sleep?”
”Some, how about you?”
“I think more than you did.”
She looked even more tired today than she did yesterday.
“Janet, if you don’t start sleeping I’m going to go the Jamie and have him give you something to make you sleep,” Chip said seriously. “You’re not looking very good and I’m worried about you.”
“I know but it’s so hard to sleep without him and not to worry about him.”
They got to the office and Jamie was already there talking to the admiral when Janet and Chip walked in. Janet went into her office while Chip stopped to talk to the admiral and Jamie.
“Chip is she sleeping at all?” Jamie asked unhappily seeing how tired she looked.
“She says yes, but I highly doubt it. I told her today I was going to get you to give her something to sleep.”
“Admiral, Chip, I’m going to get Janet to sleep but she’s not going to like it and in fact she will probably be pissed with me so just go along with me on this.”
Jamie went to Janet’s office and knocked on the door.
“Good morning. How are you today besides looking a little tired,” Jamie asked smiling.
“I’m fine and yes I’m not sleeping,” she snapped.
Jamie ignored her outburst.
“I need your help with a
“If it’s okay with them I can help you. What time do you want me there?”
“How about 1100? We’ll go to lunch and I will show you the project I need help with.”
“I’ll be there at 1100.”
Jamie winked at Chip and the admiral who were waiting by the door.
At 1100 Janet went to
“Since Seaview is in port, I gave Nurse Betty, Frank and the rest of the staff the week off so that’s why I need your help. John is on Seaview doing inventory there. What I would like you to do is inventory everything in each of the examination rooms. I haven’t done a complete inventory in a few months. Chip wants to see what I have in supplies before we order any more.”
“Okay how will I know what some of these items are?” Janet asked as she took a drink of her iced tea.
“Here is a list of what should be in the cabinets. Just put the number you count by the item number. Thanks a lot for your help. I have some other paperwork to take care of but when that’s done I will help you,” Jamie said smiling as he walked out the door.
Janet was working on the inventory and was very thirsty so she drank all her iced tea. All of a sudden she was very tired and could hardly keep her eyes open. She was sitting on the floor counting bandages in one of the cabinets when she fell asleep. Jamie was standing by the door smiling. He picked her up, put her in the bed and covered her.
He called Chip’s office.
“Hi Chip its Jamie. I got her to sleep. She should be out for about five hours. You can pick her up about 1700.”
“How’d you do it? Slip her a mickey?” Chip asked laughing.
“Yes, I put a sedative in her tea,” Jamie said proudly.
“You know she’s going to be pissed at you.”
“I know. I’ll take my chances.”
Chip came to get Janet at 1700 and she was just waking up. Jamie was there and she almost took his head off.
“What the hell did you give me,” she yelled at him.
“A sedative so you would sleep. Don’t worry you will be able to sleep tonight too,” Jamie said helping her off the bed.
“Thank you Jamie. I’m sorry I yelled at you. I know you were only trying to help.”
“No problem. Chip’s here to take you home. Go get some dinner and go to bed.”
She was still too tired to argue with him.
Chip and Janet left
What Janet didn’t know was there was a special delivery letter for her in her office.
When Chip and Janet got to
work the next morning Janet saw the letter on her desk. She looked at the address and saw it came
from a lawyer’s office in
“Read this. I can’t go now. I need Lee to come with me,” she fretted. “Maybe I can ask them to postpone it until Lee’s back.”
Chip read the letter and was
surprised at how soon she needed to be in
“That’s a good idea. If that doesn’t work, try calling Jason Campbell in the legal department. Lee has dealt with him before.”
Janet knew him from a previous meeting when Lee served her with fake divorce papers.*
Janet called the lawyer’s office while Chip waited.
”Could I please talk to Ivan Stein?”
“Who is calling?” the secretary asked pleasantly.
“Janet Crane. It’s regarding the estate of Nick and Nora Carter.”
“Mrs. Crane, this is Ivan Stein. How can I help you?”
“I just received your letter
telling me I need to be in
“No I’m very sorry the date cannot be changed,” he said seriously.
“Please I really need to have the date changed,” Janet pleaded.
“No, I can’t change it,” he replied and hung up on her.
“He can’t or won’t change the date.”
Chip phoned Jason Campbell and gave him the information Janet had and asked him to try and change the date. Maybe having a lawyer call would change Stein’s mind. He told Chip he would call him back. Janet and Chip waited in her office for him to call back. The phone rang ten minutes later.
“That guy’s a real ass. He said he wouldn’t change the date even if Admiral Nelson himself called. Tell Janet I’m sorry but she will have to go on that date. If she wants, I can go with her but it sounds like they are going to go over the conditions of the estate so there is nothing really to do but listen.”
“Thanks for your help. I will let you know if she wants you to go.”
“Sorry honey, you have to go on that date.”
“Do you think the admiral would let you or maybe he could come with me?”
“Let’s go ask him,” Chip said as he grabbed her hand.
After explaining to the admiral what had taken place it was decided that Chip would go with Janet on FS-1. The admiral had some important meetings scheduled regarding up coming missions and needed to be at NIMR or he would have gone with Janet. He was not very happy the way that lawyer treated Janet and would find out more about him.
Chip and Janet left on FS-1
early Friday morning for the 1100 meeting in
They landed in
They hailed a cab once they got out of the terminal and were at the lawyer’s office in twenty minutes.
“I’m here to meet with Mr. Stein. I’m Janet Crane and this is....” The secretary cut Janet off before she could finish.
“Please have a seat Mr. Stein will be with you shortly.”
“She sure was rude,” Janet said to Chip under her breath. Chip gave her hand a squeeze and she squeezed his back.
I’m so lucky to have a ‘brother’ like him, Janet thought.
“Mrs. Crane it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m terribly sorry that we couldn’t change the meeting but I see your husband made it back anyway,” Ivan Stein said sweetly.
“Mr. Stein this is not my husband. This is Lt. Commander Charles Morton. He came with me because my husband couldn’t.”
“I’m so sorry Commander, please for give me,” Mr. Stein said a little embarrassed as he shook Chip’s hand.
“Please call me Mr. Morton.”
“Please come into my office. Would you like something to drink?”
“No thank you,” they both replied as Mr. Stein showed them to chairs in front of his desk.
“Mrs. Crane this is very personal information, do you want Mr. Morton to stay and hear this?”
“Yes sir. He can see and hear whatever you need to show or tell me. I trust him completely.”
“Very good. Let’s get started. I’ve requested this meeting because I need to go over with you your parent’s will. I know you haven’t seen them in many years and that your husband met your father just recently under very difficult circumstances.”
“Mr. Stein, how do you know about my husband meeting my father?”
Lee was on an ONI mission which should have been classified information, Janet thought.
She looked at Chip and he could tell what she was thinking.
“Mrs. Crane, you may not have known what your parents did for a living but I did. I’ve known them for the last forty years. I needed to know how they died so I could process their will. Admiral Johnson gave me the information and circumstances. I’m the lawyer for quite a few of the people who work for ONI. Non-military personnel as well as navy personnel like your husband and I can assure you whatever information I received is privileged so you don’t have to worry about you or your husband being exposed. I realize it can be a life threatening issue.”
“Thank you I appreciate your help in protecting him.”
“There is a letter that your parents wrote to you after you married Commander Crane. I was instructed to give it to you before I give you the terms of their will. Here is the letter which I would like you to read now,” he told her as he handed her the letter.
Janet opened up the sealed letter.
If you are reading this letter it’s because your father and I have both passed. By now you know what we did for a living. We’re terribly sorry we were never there for you or your grandparents. What you didn’t know is that your grandmother would send us pictures and reports of how you were doing especially when you were little. She was instructed not to tell you what we did or where we were to keep you safe. I know that’s no excuse not to come home and see you even when we weren’t overseas. It was easier to stay away and not face you and your questions. We had some dear friends killed on a mission because their intel wasn’t delivered on time and they were caught before they could make their extraction point. We felt guilty as we were originally assigned to that mission but at the last moment were reassigned to a different one. We didn’t want our jobs to take over our lives but some how it did. After our friends were killed we knew we owed it to them to continue working for ONI so we could never say no to an assignment. Unfortunately we put our duty before you.
We were so proud when you
married Commander/Captain Lee Crane. We were in
We know you had to tackle many difficult situations we never knew about on your own. You must be a strong person to have handled it all.
We’re asking your forgiveness. Please accept our sincere apologies. We did love you and are very sorry we never told you that in person. Please take care of yourself and your husband.
Mom and Dad
Janet folded up the letter and put it back in the envelope with tears running down her cheeks. Chip wrapped his arms around her while she cried. Mr. Stein didn’t know what was in the letter but he knew the Carter’s well enough to know they regretted never contacting their daughter. He left Janet and Chip alone while he got her some water.
Drying her tears, Janet handed Chip the letter to read while they were alone. After reading it he felt bad for Janet. She needed Lee now more than ever and where was he on an ONI assignment because he can’t say no. He handed her the letter back and she put it in her purse.
“Chip that letter almost sounds like Lee and his reasons for taking on missions. Thankfully we don’t have any children so he won’t have to tell them why he needs to be a spy. If and when we do, I will not let him continue to work for ONI. They will not be without their father.”
“Does he know that?”
“No and please don’t tell him. Can we keep this between us?”
“Yes, it’s not for me to tell him. That’s between you and him.”
Mr. Stein returned to the office and gave Janet the water which she gladly accepted. He sat down at his desk and took some more papers out of the envelope.
“Your parents didn’t have
many possessions. I know you have
emptied their apartments in
“Mr. Stein, thank you very
much. I do have one request. Is there any way this money can be
transferred to this bank in
“That will be no problem. I will personally handle the transfer.” He gave her a receipt for the check and the rest of the papers.
“Thank you. Is there anything more I need to know about my parents and their will?”
“No that is all. You have my sympathies on the passing of your parents. Despite what you may think of them, they did love you. It was a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Crane and you also Mr. Morton. I hope your husband returns shortly. Please have safe trip home.”
“It was a pleasure meeting you also,” Janet said as she shook Mr. Stein’s hand. Chip also thanked him and shook his hand.
They left his office and Chip hailed a cab to take them to a restaurant not too far from the airport. It was close to 1300 and he was hungry.
Janet didn’t say anything during the cab ride to the restaurant. Chip was having a hard time realizing how much money she received but followed her lead and didn’t say anything either until they were seated at the restaurant.
“Janet, I know it’s none of my business but what are you going to do with all the money,” Chip asked with curiosity.
“Chip, you are like a brother to me, so you can ask me anything you want and I will tell you what you want to know. If Lee agrees it will all go to the charities that NIMR sponsors. I gave their last paycheck to the college scholarship fund. This time the admiral can decide where it is needed. I don’t want the money.”
“Are you sure? You could buy something for yourselves. Maybe a house on a lake or in the woods. That way you can go on ‘vacation’ in your own home.”
“Chip when do we have time to go on vacation? Whatever Lee wants to do with the money is fine with me.”
Chip finished his lunch and
ate part of Janet’s. She wasn’t hungry
but did manage to eat a little. He paid
the check and got a cab to take them to the airport. With luck they should be back in
After a week of fighting and the casualties mounting the country of Vadvostok and the rebels agreed to a five day cease fire.
A friend of Admiral Johnson’s at the State Department called and told him about it. He knew Johnson was waiting for word so he could get an agent out of there.
As soon as Johnson got word of the cease fire he called Admiral Nelson.
“Nelson there is a five day cease fire in Vadvostok. Can you get there to pick up Lee in five days?”
“What about the airport can the pilot get in there to get him?”
“No the airport is still closed, they destroyed the runway. The ports are open because the economy is suffering and since most of their goods are shipped through the port they are reopening it,” Johnson reported.
“Gerald if we leave now we should be there in three days but I will make sure we get there to get him. Do we even know he is still there? Where do we go?”
“Harry, I don’t have any information right now. I will call the pilot and find out what I can. I’m just giving you a head’s up so you can call your crew in and be ready to leave. I will call you as soon as I get some more definite information.”
“Thanks, Gerald. I appreciate it. We will be ready to leave as soon as I hear from you.”
Nelson called down to the sub pen and got Chief Sharkey.
“Chief, recall the crew. We’re leaving for Vadvostok tomorrow morning.”
“Aye aye sir,” Chief replied breathing a sigh of relief.
Admiral Johnson called the
pilot who was still waiting in the city of
Lee’s leg was healing very nicely thanks to Melina. He could stand and limp around for short periods of time. After work one day she went to the store and picked him up a pair of pants, a shirt and sweater. He was grateful for the clothing. He had only packed enough for one day and he only had one pair of pants and one shirt. She didn’t want to take the money for the clothing but he insisted she take it. He knew she was falling for him. He talked to her about his wife and that he missed her very much but that didn’t deter her from trying to get him to go to bed with her. He needed to leave soon before he gave in.
While Melina was at work, Lee would try his radio every day to see if he could get a signal but nothing would go through. He only had a couple of more days left before the battery went dead. He checked his backpack to make sure the intel was still there.
While they were eating dinner Melina had some news for Lee.
“It looks like the government has worked out a five day cease fire while peace talks are taking place.”
“That’s good news. You’ll have less wounded coming into the hospital.”
They finished up their dinner and talked for awhile about how the cease fire would affect the country. They went to bed a little while later in separate rooms much to Melina’s regret.
While Melina was at work the next day, Lee tried his radio again and was surprised he could get through.
“Jumper to parachute,” Lee called over the radio.
Surprised to hear a voice on his radio, Henry answered, “Parachute to jumper. Good to hear from you.”
“How soon can you get me out of here?” Lee asked urgently as his radio crackled.
“No go jumper, airport still closed. Go to port...Seaview...” Lee’s radio cut out.
“Parachute, repeat message,” Lee yelled into the radio. He got no response the radio battery had died.
“Damn,” Lee said out loud. From what he heard, hopefully Seaview was coming to get him. Looking around Melina’s house he found a book of maps. He figured it would take Seaview almost three days running at flank speed to get here. He would have to get to the port by Monday but how would he find them. They couldn’t bring Seaview into the port. FS-1 was too obvious. He knew the admiral would figure something out.
“Damn,” the pilot said. He knew Lee’s battery must have died. He hoped he heard enough of the message to get him to the port. He would have to take over from there. He called Admiral Johnson.
“Admiral I made contact with Lee but I only got part of the message out. His radio died in the middle of the transmission. I told him to go to the port and that Seaview would be there to get him. But I don’t think he got the entire message,” he explained to Johnson. “I’m leaving Atyom and coming back to the States. Sorry I couldn’t get him out for you.”
“Thanks for staying Henry. I appreciate all your help. At least I can tell Admiral Nelson that Lee is still in Vadvostok. He knows Seaview will be there to get him, somehow.”
Chip and Janet got to the airport and boarded FS-1. Chip took off his dress coat and put on his flight jacket. Before taking off Chip called the admiral on his phone while Janet put on her flight jacket and changed her shoes.
“Admiral this is Chip. We are leaving
“Did everything go okay?”
Chip handed Janet the phone so she could answer the admiral.
“Yes sir, everything went fine. I will tell you more when we get back.”
“I have news too. They have a five day cease fire and have reopened the port. We are leaving tomorrow morning to go get Lee.”
“Thank you for letting me know,” Janet said excitedly.
She handed the phone back to Chip so the admiral could tell him. Chip told the admiral that they would catch up with Seaview while she is on the way to Vadvostok. He signed off with him and started up the engines on FS-1. Before he took off, he checked in with the communications center at NIMR and told Trish they were taking off and gave them a flight plan so they could track him. He glided the little sub down the runaway and into the air. He’s almost as good at flying her as Lee.
They were about half way home when Chip noticed there was something wrong with FS-1.
“Chip, there’s smoke coming from the control panel,” Janet said anxiously.
“I see that. We’ve lost all power and were losing altitude very fast. Grab on to the control sticks and pull back on them to see if that will help me maintain altitude.”
Janet grabbed the control sticks and pulled back to no avail. They were still heading down at a fast rate of speed.
“Make sure you’re strapped in tight. We’re going to crash,” Chip yelled.
Keeping her as level as he could with minimal controls he somehow managed to keep her from crashing into the side of the mountain but the little sub crash landed somewhere on the east of side of the Rocky Mountains in western Colorado.
Trish at NIMR communication’s
center had been following the flight path of FS-1 since she took off from
“NIMR to FS-1, come in FS-1,” Trish called frantically. “Chip please respond,” she pleaded.
All she got was dead silence on the radio. She tried a different frequency and still got no response.
She dreaded making her next call. She had to call Admiral Nelson and tell him they had lost all communications with FS-1.
“Angie this is Trish. Is the admiral there,” she asked her voice shaking.
“Yes, he is here. What’s wrong?” Angie asked warily.
“Angie, please just get me the admiral.”
“Yes, Trish right away.”
Angie went to the admiral’s office and told him Trish was on the phone. He could tell by the look on her face that something was terribly wrong. She stayed in his office while he picked up the phone.
“Yes, Trish what is it,” he asked anxiously.
“Sir, we’ve lost all
communications with FS-1. We were
tracking them when it just disappeared off the screen. I’ve tried the two radio frequencies we use
and got no response on either of them.
I’m afraid it has crashed somewhere in western
“Damn,” the admiral yelled. “Trish, please keep trying. If Chip can he will start the locating beacon. Let me know right away if you get a signal from them.”
“Yes sir, I will.”
“NIMR to FS-1, please come in FS-1,” Trish pleaded with tears in her eyes.
The admiral told Angie what
Trish just told him. She started to
cry. He got up and put his hands on her
shoulders, “We’ll find them and they’re alright.”
“Yes sir. Shall I let Capt....” she started to say and realized he wasn’t around either. “Shit,” she said out loud. “Sorry sir. I just forgot myself.”
“It’s alright, you just said what I was thinking. But I do have a problem,” he said as he ran his hand through his hair, “We have to leave tomorrow to pick up Lee but how do I look for Chip and Janet at the same time.”
Trish at NIMR was still searching for a signal from FS-1 when she picked up the locating beacon.
“Angie get me the admiral,” Trish said excitedly.
“I’ve got a location on
them. They’re somewhere in the
“Thanks Trish. Keep tracking it.”
Angie was waiting in the admiral’s office listening to the admiral’s side of the conversation.
“Trish has a location on FS-1
“Do you want me to notify the
sheriff’s office in
Yes, we better call them and
alert them that FS-1 has gone down somewhere in the
“Yes sir,” she said sobbing as she left his office to get him the phone number for the Sheriff’s department.
The admiral sat down in his chair and stared out the window looking at Seaview in the sub pen. He had tears in his eyes as he waited for Angie to bring him the number. She brought him the number and took a deep breath as he dialed the phone.
“Grand Junction Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Tucker speaking how can I help you?”
“I’m Admiral Harriman Nelson
of the Nelson Institute of Marine Research. A small yellow aircraft from my
institute crashed somewhere in the
“Sorry about your aircraft Admiral. It’s too dark here to start looking for them but I will alert the ranger station in the park along with the FAA and the CAP and let them know so they can have personnel available for a search and rescue operation first thing in the morning. We will start searching at daybreak. I will send an officer to meet your people at the airport and take them to the ranger station where they can join the search.”
“Thank you for your help.”
“Admiral I sure hope they are able to stay in your aircraft for the night as it very cold here.”
“Me too,” he said solemnly.
The sergeant called the ranger station and told them about the crash and that they were looking for a small yellow aircraft. Terry Harris said they would assemble a team and starting looking for them. He would wait for the team from the institute and help them with the search.
He also alerted the FAA and CAP who told him they would have personnel in the park at day break tomorrow. He told them that the institute was also sending personnel to help and would join the search as soon as they arrived..
Chip and Janet were tossed about as FS-1 came to a halt in a small clearing in the middle of a forest. Everything was covered in snow. Chip and Janet were both unconscious but still strapped in their seats.
Chip regained consciousness first. He had a small cut on his forehead and a very bad headache. He probably had a concussion. He un-strapped himself and went over to Janet. She was still unconscious but he didn’t see any cuts or bruises on her. He went back to his seat and tried the radio.
“FS-1 to NIMR, come in NIMR,” Chip said breathlessly. “Trish can you hear me?” Damn, he thought.
He tried turning on the engines and they didn’t respond. He went over to the control panel, unlocked it to see if he could fix the problem. All the wiring was burnt up. He pressed the locating beacon and hoped that it still worked. If not they would be in trouble. From what he could see, they were in a forest in the middle of nowhere.
Janet started to come to as Chip was looking out the windows.
“Are you okay?”
“I think so. Right now every bone in my body is hurting,” she replied softly as she rubbed her side.
She got up a little shaky but regained her balance when Chip grabbed her hand.
“You have a cut on your forehead. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I think so. I have a headache so I might have a concussion but everything else seems to work.”
Janet went over to the locker under the bunk and got out the first aid kit. Jamie always kept FS-1 stocked with most of the medical supplies you would need in an emergency. Janet took out a bandage and some antiseptic cream and put it on the cut on Chip’s forehead.
“Sorry, I don’t think you should take anything for the headache in case you have a concussion.”
“Yes, I know. It’s not too bad right now.”
“Chip do you know where we are?”
“Somewhere in western
Janet pulled out her phone and sighed, “Chip it’s smashed too.”
“We do have two problems though. First it’s going to get very cold in here. Without the engines we have no heat. Secondly it’s going to get dark very soon and they will not be able to find us. Not knowing where we are I don’t think we should venture out until tomorrow when it is light.”
“I agree about not leaving but how are we going to keep warm. I’m already cold,” Janet said her teeth chattering.
Chip looked in the various lockers and found two insulated blankets. There was also food and water so they didn’t have to worry about that. He looked at Janet and could see she was already shivering. She put her suit coat on under her flight jacket. He took his dress coat and put it over her flight jacket and put his cover on her head.
“I bet I look pretty silly,” she told him with a slight grin trying to lighten the mood.
“Yes that you do but maybe it will keep you warmer,” he grinned back.
They wrapped themselves in the insulated blankets and sat in the seats. Chip opened up one of the MRE’s and a bottle of water and gave them to Janet. She wasn’t that hungry so she shared it with him. Janet was getting very sleepy.
“Chip I’m so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. I’m going lie down on the bunk for awhile. Sorry I won’t be much company.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
Chip tried the radio again but it still wasn’t working. He looked over at Janet and could see she was shivering. He grabbed his blanket and hopped in the bunk. He took her blanket and his blanket put them together. He lay down along side of her and wrapped his arms around her as he pulled the two blankets over them. She stopped shaking and fell asleep. He was more tired than he realized and fell asleep too.
“Angie get Chief Sharkey on the phone right away. Tell him and Kowalski I need to see them in my office right away.”
“Yes sir,” she replied as she dialed his number.
While she was calling the
Chief the admiral was calling
“Jamie, I need you to come to my office right now. It’s an emergency.”
“I’ll be there in two minutes.”
Chief Sharkey, Kowalski and Jamie all arrived at the admiral’s office at the same time. Angie was already waiting for them with the admiral.
“FS-1 went down somewhere in
“Sir, are they alright?”
Chief asked with concern but the faces on Jamie and Kowalski also showed
”We don’t know. We’ve lost all communication with them. The only signal we got was the locating beacon and we can’t pinpoint an exact location.”
“Kowalski, I want you to fly to Grand Junction Colorado Regional airport. Chief and Jamie you will go along as backup. This is a little more than we can handle so I’ve notified the sheriff’s department and they’re going to get search teams assembled to start searching at first light tomorrow.. They won’t be able to find them tonight. My worry is they are injured and will they be warm enough to survive the night. Take whatever parts you think you will need to repair FS-1. If it isn’t too badly damaged, Chief, I want you to fly it back to the institute if it is safe to fly. Jamie you’re going in case they need medical help. If they are not too badly hurt you and Kowalski will fly them home on the rental plane but if other arrangements need to be made, call me.”
With that remark Angie and the three men gasped at what the admiral was implying.
“Sir, you don’t think....” Kowalski couldn’t even get the words out.
“I hope not.”
“Sir, what about leaving to pick up the skipper tomorrow,” Sharkey asked.
“I’m going to take Seaview
“Yes sir,” they answered soberly.
Chief and Kowalski left to go get the parts they might need for repairing FS-1. Angie was on the phone making arrangements for the rental plane. Kowalski has a commercial pilot’s license so he could fly almost any size aircraft. She would also rent an SUV for them. Jamie gathered the medical supplies he would need to treat any kind of injuries including hypothermia.
The three men returned about an hour later. The admiral and Angie gave them the rest of the details.
“I’ve secured a jet for you
“Please leave by before daybreak tomorrow. The sooner you get there the sooner we can find them.”
“Once you have landed and have the SUV, there will be a sheriff’s officer there to meet you and they will escort you to the ranger station. Park rangers will take over from there with a search and rescue plan. Please make sure you let me know what is going on,” the admiral continued, “Thank you for taking this on. Good luck.”
“Good luck to you too,” Sharkey added as the rest of them shook their heads in agreement.
Seaview left port on high tide at 0500. The other men left on their journey at the
same time. They should arrive in
“Good luck finding your people,” Sergeant Tucker told the men.
“Thanks for your help,” Sharkey replied shaking his hand.
Melina returned home from work two days before Lee would need to be at the port and he was cooking dinner. She was surprised he was cooking but grateful that she didn’t have to do it. She was very tired tonight.
“Lee you are very quiet tonight. Is there something wrong?” she asked with concern as they sat down to dinner. “Are you feeling alright? Is your leg bothering you?”
“No my leg is fine thanks to
you. Melina, I need to tell you
something. I haven’t been totally honest with you. I told you I was a sailor by
trade but I’m actually the captain of the research submarine, Seaview. I work for Admiral Harriman Nelson at the
Nelson Institute of Marine Research. I don’t live in
“Thank you for trusting me and being honest with me. Yes, Lee I will take you.”
She was going to miss him. She still hoped he would stay with her.
“Thank you Melina,” Lee said gratefully. “Do you know anything about the port? Can small boats come in the port or only large freighters?”
“I’ve only been there a couple of times but the port is divided into two sections. One for the huge freighters and one for small pleasure crafts. I’ve been on a boat that left the smaller harbor. It’s very easy to get a small boat in and out of there.”
“How can I every repay you for everything you have done for me?”
“You could sleep with me,” she told him softly.
“Melina, you know I can’t do that. I love my wife and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her,” he replied looking her straight in her beautiful blue eyes.
“You can’t blame a girl for trying.”
He got up, cleared the table and did the dishes. She sat there watching him and knew his wife was one lucky lady.
Seaview was making excellent time on her way to
Vadvostok. With luck they would be there
early in the morning on Monday. The admiral
checked out the port and found it was divided in two sections. He could leave Seaview in the
Sharkey had checked in with him a couple of hours ago. They were on their way to the ranger station. He would check back later on after he had more information.
Chip and Janet woke up the next morning still holding on to each other for warmth. Chip was hungry so he got another MRE and ‘served’ them breakfast in the bunk. He climbed back on the bunk and under the blankets as soon as he had the food.
“Here’s your gourmet breakfast Mrs. Crane,” Chip said with a grin.
“Thanks Chip, but I’m not hungry. I just don’t feel good,” she told him as she rubbed her side.
“What’s wrong,” he asked alarmed, “you keep rubbing you side. Did you hurt it in the crash?”
“I might have bumped it against the arm of the seat...its okay don’t worry about it...Give me some of your breakfast.”
Chip handed her part of what he had and watched her eat it. He could see she really didn’t feel well.
“How is your headache,” she asked while she ate.
“I don’t have one right now.”
He would venture outside today to check out where they were and if they could get out of the forest. He was thinking of starting a fire but with everything covered in snow there was no dry wood. He hoped the beacon worked and help would be there soon.
Lee and Melina went shopping on Sunday and he told her about Seaview and the institute. He walked with a limp and couldn’t walk very fast but it felt good to get outside. His forehead had healed nicely too. Melina was very quiet.
“A penny for your thoughts,” Lee asked her as they walked back to the car.
“I’m going to miss you, Lee,” she told him sadly, “I’ve grown very fond of you.”
“Me too but Melina, I’ve been very honest with you about my marriage. Please don’t make this any harder. I will never forget what you’ve done for me. But I can’t stay.”
“I know Lee but if you get a...” she started to say but he stopped her.
“Melina I would never divorce or leave my wife.”
She started the car and drove them home in silence.
Sharkey, Kowalski and Jamie arrived at the ranger station and Terry Harris one of the rangers met them as they got out of the car. It was quite windy when they got to the ranger station. They were at the world’s largest flat topped mountain.
“Hi, I’m Terry Harris,” he said as he shook hands with them.
“I’m Chief Sharkey, Kowalski, and Dr. Jamieson,” the chief replied pointing to the others as he introduced them.
“Nice to meet all of you. You brought your own doctor.”
“Yes sir. The admiral is always prepared for anything,” Sharkey replied.
“Mr. Sharkey, do you have the coordinates your institute got from the vehicle’s beacon?”
“Please call me chief and yes here they are.” Sharkey said handing the information Trish gave them.
“They didn’t tell me too much about what we are looking for. All I know is it is a bright yellow.”
“Yes, it’s yellow and sort of oval. Mr. Harris the vehicle is a flying submarine. I know that is hard to believe but she is quite large.”
“A flying submarine?”
“When we find her you will see what I mean,” Sharkey chuckled.
“I understand there are two people on board.”
“Mr. Morton and Mrs. Crane.”
“It was quite cold here last night so I hope they were able to stay inside. Do they have food and water?”
“We hope they were able to stay inside too,” Jamie replied afraid of what he would find if they weren’t inside. “Yes it’s equipped with MRE’s and water. There are also medical supplies on board.”
“That’s good. Let’s go inside and look at a map of the park. It’s still quite chilly out here.”
Inside the ranger station were three more rangers along with teams from the FAA, CAP and sheriff’s department.
“The park covers five hundred and forty one square miles,” Terry told them, “I can plot the coordinates we got from the institute and the locating beacon on the aircraft on a grid so we know where to start looking but these coordinates cover a large area.”
“Since it’s too windy to use a helicopter we’ll have to search using jeeps and snowmobiles. If the winds die down we can take it out later but right now it’s too dangerous.”
“We understand,” Sharkey replied discouraged as they all walked over to a map of the park.
“It looks like they are somewhere just east of the mountain top. The terrain where the aircraft went down is very hilly. Not too many flat places to land. You will have to search on foot as well as motor vehicles. We can access the area with your SUV.” Terry told the men from the institute.
“We’ll divide up into teams with each team searching two sections consisting of twenty five square miles each.”
The rangers jumped on their snowmobiles while the other teams climbed into their jeeps. They would keep in contact with their radios.
Kowalski jumped in the driver’s seat while Sharkey and Jamie climbed in the back. Terry sat in the front giving Kowalski directions.
They drove down a road to a trail that wasn’t wide enough for the SUV. Terry was glad to see that the men had dressed for the weather and hiking. Once they got to the area, they would have to walk to find FS-1 as it was pretty hilly and there wasn’t always a trail to follow.
After looking for five hours and not finding anything, the men went back to the SUV to warm up and grab a bite to eat. Jamie bought sandwiches that Cookie made before they left.
“Damn,” Kowalski said when they got back in the vehicle.
“Don’t get too frustrated,” Terry told them we’ve covered a lot of ground. When we go out again, let’s try the other section.”
They went out again and didn’t find them in that section either after looking another four hours.
“We’re going to have to go back. There a storm coming in and we don’t want to get stuck out here. I’m really sorry we haven’t found them. Hopefully we can use the helicopter tomorrow.”
“Yes sir,” Kowalski said as he started up the car.
When they got back to the ranger station, the other teams were already back and had no luck too.
Sharkey called the admiral.
“Nelson, did you find them Chief?”
“No sir. We couldn’t use the helicopter today as it was too windy. It looks better for tomorrow.”
“Okay Chief, keep me informed,” Nelson said unhappily. “Damn,” he said as he threw the mic on the plotting table.
The control room could see how worried he was.
Melina made dinner for them when they got home. They ate in silence until Melina was the first to speak.
“I’m sorry Lee I should have never let my feelings get the best of me. You’ve been a gentleman the entire time you were here while I threw myself at you.”
“It’s okay Melina.”
They talked for a little while longer about the cease fire and if it would go longer than the five days. Melina heard the talks were going good. They went to bed early as Lee wanted to be at the dock early in the morning. He knew Seaview could possibly be there early in the morning if she ran into no problems. Time was also important as if the cease fire didn’t last he wanted to get Seaview out of the harbor in case they closed it again.
Chip ventured out of FS-1 the next morning. He hiked a mile in each direction and didn’t find a trail, path or road. It did warm up a little during the day but it was very windy. If anyone was looking for them they would need to use a helicopter and he knew it was too windy to fly one today. He could also see a storm was heading in. He climbed back into FS-1. Janet was sitting there wrapped up in both blankets. When he came back in she could see he was very cold.
“I have an idea we should suggest to the admiral,” Janet told him as she wrapped the blankets around him.
“What’s that,” he asked as his teeth chattered.
“Make cold weather gear a requirement on board when you fly anywhere its cold,” she said rubbing her arms.
“Consider it done.”
They climbed back in the bunk and huddled together for warmth. The little sub was very cold but not nearly as cold as it was outside.
Chip notice she was still rubbing her side.
“Janet you keep rubbing your
side let me look at it. I know it’s cold
but we need to see what’s wrong.”
“Okay it really does hurt,” she said as she lifted up her jackets and shirt to reveal a huge bruise that covers her whole side and it was black and blue.
“I’m going to feel it to see how bad it is,” he told her as he touched the bruise and could feel it was lumpy and spongy. He knew that was not a good sign.
“Ow, that hurt,” she yelped as she pulled her shirt and jackets down.
“Sorry,” Chip said looking worried. He’s had enough bruises to know this was not good.
“Well doc what’s your diagnosis?” she said lightly.
“It’s not good. It could be bleeding in there.”
“What can I do?”
“Nothing right now. We need to find help. If they don’t find us by tomorrow, we may have to start looking for our own help.”
Even though they hadn’t eaten in a while, neither one of them was hungry, so they lay down on the bunk hugging each other for warmth as Chip pulled the blankets over them. They both fell asleep.
Seaview had made good time and was entering the
After launching the raft the admiral was glad to see there weren’t many boats in the harbor probably due to the unrest in the country. Patterson steered the raft to the nearest dock and tied it to the pier. Even though there weren’t many boats in the small harbor or at the dock, there were many sailors milling around the dock area. The admiral could see the larger harbor had quite a few freighters and they needed to be unloaded. The admiral had no idea where to start looking for Lee.
Lee and Melina got to the dock at daybreak. They also noticed the harbor had many freighters and sailors roaming around.
After looking over the large harbor, Lee knew Seaview would surface only long enough to launch a raft and then submerge again. He figured the admiral would get to the smaller less crowded harbor.
“Melina, where’s the smaller harbor?”
“Just a little way down the dock and to the right.” She grabbed his hand and led him to the smaller harbor.
The sailors were staring and whistling at her as she walked by. Lee hoped none of his crew would ever treat a lady like that. There was freight and sailors everywhere at this harbor too. Lee was looking at the pier when he spotted Patterson and the admiral getting out of the raft.
“Admiral,” Lee yelled as he limped down the path to the pier.
“Lee,” the admiral replied noticing his limp and the very pretty woman accompanying him.
“Admiral, Patterson it’s so good to see you,” Lee said shaking their hands as the admiral patted him on the back.
“Great to see you too, Lee,” the admiral replied staring at Melina.
“Admiral Nelson, Patterson, this is Dr. Melina Giutov. She saved my life.”
“Nice to meet you Dr. Giutov.”
“The pleasure is mine,
Admiral. Lee has told me a lot about
you. Nice to meet you Patterson.”
“Same here ma’am,” he replied as he took Lee’s backpack from him.
“Lee we need to leave right away. According to Admiral Johnson the peace talks aren’t going very well. We need to get Seaview out of the harbor in case they close it again.”
“I understand.” Lee replied as he turned to Melina. “I can’t thank you enough for taking care of me. I will never be able to repay you.”
“You’re welcome Lee. I’m glad you knocked on my door. I will be here if you should ever come back,” she told him as she grabbed him, pulled him close and gave him a very passionate kiss.
The admiral noticed he didn’t push her away and went along with the kiss.
“Patterson will you please escort Dr. Giutov to her car,” Lee asked.
“Yes, sir,” he replied taking her arm.
Lee and the admiral watched until they were out of sight.
“Lee, you haven’t done anything you’re going to regret later?”
Lee sighed, “No sir, but it was getting very hard to tell her no. She’s a pretty and caring woman. I’ll tell you about it aboard Seaview. I will tell Janet about her and the kiss. Admiral I would never do anything to hurt her.”
“I know Lee,” the admiral also sighed thinking about what he was going to have to tell his captain about his wife and best friend.
They slowly made their way done the path to the pier and were getting into the raft when Patterson returned. He gave the backpack to Lee as he untied the raft from the pier and hopped in.
“How far is Seaview from here?”
“About three hundred yards,” he said as he radioed Seaview. “Mr. O’Brien, surface the boat.”
“Aye aye, sir,” O’Brien replied immediately.
“O’Brien sir. Where’s Chip?” Lee asked with concern.
“Lee I have a lot to tell you but it will have to wait until we’re aboard Seaview.”
Seaview surfaced three hundred years in front of the raft. The deck crew was waiting for the raft to get close enough so they could help them aboard. Patterson climbed out of the raft and onto the deck and helped Lee up on the deck. The admiral handed Patterson Lee’s backpack and boarded Seaview. They went to the sail hatch and down the ladder into the control room. Lee would normally jump off the ladder before getting to the bottom but he could barely climb down the ladder. O’Brien helped him once he got down. The admiral and Patterson came down the ladder behind Lee. Patterson took Lee’s backpack and put it on the plotting table.
“Mr. O’Brien, dive the boat,”
the admiral told him. “Go to two hundred
feet, standard speed to the course you’ve set through the
“Aye, aye, sir. Secure the deck detail.” O’Brien said on the mic
“Dive, dive, dive,” O’Brien said and pushed the klaxon.
Seaview sank slowly in the water and got underway.
Lee looked around the control room. He didn’t see Janet, Chip, Kowalski or the Chief. He knew he needed to talk to the admiral right away. He also knew something was wrong when the admiral didn’t force him to go to sick bay and have Jamie check him out.
“Admiral, what’s wrong? Where’s Janet, Chip and Kowalski?” he demanded.
“Lee, let’s go to the observation nose”
Lee limped to the observation nose while the admiral closed the doors that separated the control room and from the observation nose. Lee sat down at the table while the admiral sat down across from him.
“Lee, Janet and Chip had to
“Admiral are they...” Lee asked as he ran his hand through his hair.
“I don’t know. They haven’t found them yet. Sharkey should be reporting in shortly.”
“How long have they been missing?”
“Almost three days.”
“Why didn’t she wait until I came back?”
“She tried to postpone the meeting but they lawyer wouldn’t or couldn’t do it. I sent Chip with her because I had an important meeting regarding an upcoming mission.”
“Admiral what do we do now. I can’t stay here waiting to see if they find them. I have to go and help.”
“Put it here
“Chief do you have any news? Captain Crane is aboard.”
“Welcome back skipper. Sorry I don’t have good news. We still haven’t found them. We’re hoping to use the helicopter tomorrow. The weather should be better.”
“Chief, what is the weather like?”
“Skipper its very cold and windy.”
“Chief is Jamie there.”
Chief handed the radio to Jamie.
“How long can they last?”
“Depends if they are inside
or outside,” Jamie sighed knowing what answer he was searching for.
“Jamie, please don’t beat around the bush.”
“Outside only a day. Inside if they have blankets and coats, two or three possibly four.”
“Skipper we’ll find them,” Chief tried to reassure him.
“I know Chief. Hopefully I will see you soon.”
Chief signed off the radio. The admiral got up and went to his cabin to
figure out a way to get them to
Chip woke up the next morning and it was still very windy. Damn, he thought. Still can’t fly a helicopter in this wind.
Janet stirred next him. She was having a hard time waking up. He knew the signs of hypothermia and could see that Janet was starting to show some of the symptoms. He could feel it himself too. They needed to be rescued very soon or they would freeze to death. He got Janet awake by pulling her up and rubbing her arms. She opened her eyes and just stared at him.
“Time for breakfast,” he told her as he gave her some water and an MRE.
“Not hungry. Tired,” she said as she laid back down.
“No, you have to stay awake,” Chip told her as he jostled her around.
“Okay, Okay,” she replied as she sat up and took the water and food he gave her.
“We have to stay warm, let’s try walking around the sub. I know it isn’t much but if we don’t move we’re going to freeze to death,” he said as he grabbed her hand and made her walk in a circle in the little sub.
They did get a little warmer but after an hour they were also tired. They climbed back in the bunk and huddle next to each other for warmth.
“How am I going to tell Lee that I slept with his wife,” Chip mused.
”That could be a problem. Maybe he will let it pass since you’re keeping me warm,” she answered back as she snuggled up to him.
She started to shiver again so they lay down on the bunk and Chip wrapped his arms around her to keep her warm. After awhile they both fell asleep.
Chief, Kowalski and Jamie were up at 0500 the next morning and could hear the wind howling outside. It was blowing the snow all over. They knew the helicopter couldn’t be used again today.
“Damn,” Sharkey said. “It is always this windy here?”
“Come on Chief, let’s go get breakfast and check in at the ranger station,” Kowalski told him.
The three men bundled up and went outside to the SUV and headed for the diner they found not to far from the ranger station.
Terry and one of the other rangers were there eating breakfast when they came in. The Seaview men went over to their table and were invited to have breakfast with them.
“Too windy this morning to fly,” Terry told them.
“Yeah, we figured that,” Chief said dejectedly.
“It does look better for this afternoon. We can still try on foot again. There were a few more sections to look at near the coordinates we have.”
“Okay, it’s better than sitting here doing nothing,” Jamie answered.
They finished their breakfast, went to their cars and drove to the ranger station it was just starting to get light. When they got there the other two rangers were waiting along with the men from the other agencies involved in the search. They all were assigned two more different sections to search.
After searching for a few hours, Terry and the men from the institute went back to the ranger station.
“The only way were going to find them is by helicopter. They must be deeper in the forest than we realize or the coordinates are totally wrong,” Terry told the men. “The wind isn’t as bad as it has been and even though conditions are not ideal, I’m taking the helicopter up anyway. Time is running out.”
Terry and Sharkey were going to fly over the first set of coordinates and work their way around to the other sections. Jamie and Kowalski were going to stay at the ranger station with Tim in case they found them and could leave in the SUV to pick them up. The other teams would continue to search their sections and report in if they found them.
Jamie had brought his blankets with him. He had put them on the heater in the hotel room to get them warm and now had them on the heater in the ranger station. Jamie was very worried about hypothermia since they had been out there this long. They would have to be handled very gently and warmed up. Terry assured Jamie that the hospital was aware they would have two possible hypothermia patients and were ready to take care of them as soon as they got there.
In the back of all their minds was a lingering thought that no one wanted to bring up. What if they weren’t alive?
Terry did his pre-flight check and they left thirty minutes after they got back to the ranger station.
Lee sat there staring out the
windows as Seaview continued on into the
Lee opened the doors and went to the control room. He could see the concern on the faces of the crew.
“How long before we clear the Strait,” Lee asked O’Brien.
“Thirty minutes sir.”
“Once we are out of the strait, increase the speed to flank and hold it there until further orders.”
“Aye, aye, sir.”
Lee limped up the stairs on the spiral staircase. He went into their cabin and sat down on the bunk. He thought about how many times she must have sat here and waited to find out about him and his return. He went to the head to wash his face and saw his pajama top hanging on the hook. He took it off the hook and smiled, it still smelled like her. His eyes filled with tears. What would he do without her and Chip. It was something he didn’t even want to consider.
He changed into his uniform. His leg was aching. He had walked a lot more today than he had before. He was just about to leave his cabin for sick bay when the admiral called him on the intercom.
“Lee, please come to my cabin.”
“Yes, sir. I’ll be right there.”
He knocked on the door and limped in.
“Care to tell me how you were injured?”
Lee explained to him how the man he was meeting was a day late because he didn’t have the intel and then was an hour late for their meeting, by the time he was ready to leave the airport was blown up. He was in a cab that was hit by sniper fire and shot. He walked to a house and it turned out to be Melina’s.
“I was sure lucky she was a doctor.”
“For once, son, you did get lucky. She was very attractive.”
“Yes sir she was but also very caring person.”
He could tell Lee was hiding any feelings he had for her.
“I’m waiting for a call from
Admiral White on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. I’m trying to make arrangements for us to fly
“You don’t think you’re going alone. It’s a logistical nightmare since we are so far away. But I’m trying to get us to Janet and Chip as soon as I can.”
“Thank you, admiral,” Lee sighed deeply.
“We’ll find them alive, son” the admiral assured him as he got up and patted his shoulder.
“I sure hope so. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
He limped out of the admiral’s office and down the stairs to sick bay. The admiral watched him and was very worried about him. He was afraid of what would happen to Lee if he lost his wife and ‘brother’.
It was afternoon by the time Chip woke up again. Janet wasn’t shivering anymore and he could see her breathing was shallower than before. She was suffering from hypothermia. Chip knew if they weren’t found today they wouldn’t survive another night or day.
He was also having a hard time waking her up.
“Please wake up,” Chip pleaded with tears in his eyes. “You can’t die on me.”
“Chip...wrong...okay” Janet tried to talk but was having a hard time talking. She closed her eyes again.
Chip was having a hard time trying to talk too. He gave up and laid back down hugging her close and closed his eyes.
Sharkey and Terry flew over different sections than they had covered on foot the previous day and didn’t find FS-1. They had been searching these areas for about four hours. They went back to the station for refueling. Jamie and Kowalski ran out to meet the helicopter.
“Sharkey anything?” Kowalski asked urgently.
“Not a damn thing,” he replied.
“I assume the other teams are having no luck too,” Terry asked Tim as he refueled the helicopter.
“No, they’ve all checked in and haven’t found anything. They’re still continuing their searches and are worried as they have been missing for too long a time to possibly survive in this weather.”
After the helicopter was refueled Terry took off again.
“Let’s try a whole new area.” Terry told Sharkey as he steered the helicopter further east than they had before.
He was crisscrossing the area for three hours. It was going to be dark in a couple of hours. If they didn’t find it soon they would have to try again tomorrow when Sharkey spotted something.
“Terry, go back. I think I saw it.”
Terry turned the helicopter around and got a little lower. There was FS-1 sitting in a small clearing about two miles in the forest from an old service road no where near the coordinates they had.
“Mr. Morton did a good job of landing her she looks intact, not smashed at all.” Sharkey said relieved as he looked at the side of a mountain.
“HC1 to base,” Terry called to the ranger station.
“Go ahead HC1.”
“We found them. They’re off the old east service road about
two miles in off the road in a small clearing.
I’m going land near them. I will
let you know what I find,” Terry said somberly.
Jamie wanted to talk to them.
“Base to HC1,” Tim called. “The doc wants to talk to you before you go in.”
“Chief, be very careful touching them and don’t move them until I get there,” Jamie said urgently. “Do you have anything warm in the helicopter you can put on them?”
“There are a couple of blankets in here. They should be warmer than what they have now,” Chief replied.
Terry slowly set down the helicopter about one hundred yards from FS-1 and powered it down. Sharkey jumped out of it before the blades had stopped turning. Terry wasn’t too far behind.
Sharkey un-dogged the rear hatch and went into FS-1 afraid of what he may find. He found them with Chip’s arms wrapped around Janet. They both were barely breathing. Terry ran back to the helicopter and radioed the base while Sharkey covered them with the blankets from the helicopter.
“They’re alive. Get out here quick,” he yelled.
Kowalski, Jamie and Tim ran to the SUV with the warm blankets and headed for the road. Tim was driving as he knew where to go and would get there faster rather than giving Kowalski the directions. Allen, the other ranger, radioed the hospital and let them know they found the two people and they were alive. They should be there within thirty minutes.
“Crank up the heat and put these blankets by the heater. We’re going to get very warm in here,” Jamie said.
Allen radioed the rest of the teams and let them know they found the aircraft and could return to the station.
The other teams were very relieved when they got the news and headed back.
Lee went down to sick bay to get some acetaminophen. Before John would give him the tablets he needed to check out his leg. Jamie left him strict instructions to check Lee out before he could go on duty. He looked at Lee’s leg and was surprised at how well it was healing. He took a look at his forehead found that to be healing nicely too. John could tell it must still be sore because Lee was limping. Lee told him he would explain to Jamie who took care of him later. John gave him the tablets and cleared Lee for light duty.
The admiral was waiting for Lee when he came in the control room.
“Any word?” Lee asked rubbing his forehead.
Lee noticed the backpack on the plotting table
“Damn, I forgot about Johnson. I have to call him.
Lee and the admiral walked into the observation nose to wait for the call.
“Skipper I have Admiral Johnson on the phone.”
“Crane you better be on your way and bringing me that intel. I needed it yesterday,” Johnson said tersely.
“Sir, I just got back
aboard. The flying sub crashed on its
way back from
“Commander I will not tolerate that tone. I’m sorry about your wife and Morton but I have to have that intel as soon as Seaview gets into port. You haven’t completed your mission and I could demote you in rank for insubordination.”
“Sorry sir. Seaview is two and half days from port and I don’t know how I’m going to get it to you. Right now my only concern is my wife and Chip,” Lee replied angrily.
Admiral Johnson was in a meeting with Jason Weldon. Johnson told his secretary to put the Lee’s call through as soon as he called. Jason heard only Johnson’s part of the conversation and knew something was very wrong.
“Admiral, please let me talk to him,” Jason asked urgently taking the phone from him.
“Lee its Jason. What’s wrong?”
“FS-1 crashed in
“Lee, I’m really sorry. I will pick up the intel from you in
Knowing Lee as he did, he
knew he would not stay on Seaview until she got to port. He would be on his way to
“Jason, you don’t have to do that.”
“Yes, I want to. I know how much you love Janet and I know what Chip means to you too. Please let me help you. I will get a flight out today and meet you there. How soon will you be here?”
“Thanks Jason, I really appreciate it but I don’t know when I’m leaving Seaview. We’re working on it now.”
“Don’t worry. Do you have anyone out there now,” Jason asked relieved he would be able to help him.
“Sharkey, Kowalski and Dr.
Jamieson are out there searching along with the park rangers and other
government agencies. You can meet up
with them in
“I’ll find them. See you soon.”
Jason handed the phone back to Johnson.
“Admiral, will that work?” Lee said sarcastically.
“Yes,” he said and hung up the phone.
After Lee finished talking to Johnson, he sat down at the table and rested his chin on his fists. The control room could see how much pain their skipper was in and there was nothing they could do to help.
The admiral walked and sat down next to Lee at the table.
“They’ll find them,” he told Lee as he put his hand on his shoulder.
“But will they be alive,” Lee responded despondently
“Admiral I have a call from
“Please put it here.”
“Harry, the best I can do for
you is a mail plane going back to
“Peter, we’ll be there in thirty minutes. Thanks.”
“O’Brien set a heading for these coordinates at flank speed.”
“Aye, sir. We’re already at flank sir,” O’Brien answered after giving the new heading to maneuvering.
The admiral smiled and looked at Lee who gave him a slight grin back.
Seaview rendezvoused with the aircraft carrier in twenty five
minutes. Lee told O’Brien to reduce the
speed to standard for the rest of the trip to
“Sir, please let us know what’s happening,” O’Brien asked Lee softly. “We’re all very worried and concerned.”
“Thanks and I will let you know,” Lee replied patting him on the shoulder.
The admiral and Lee grabbed their gear and made their way out of the sail hatch unto the raft that was waiting to take them to the aircraft carrier. Lee made sure he had the intel Johnson wanted.
Once aboard the carrier, they watched as Seaview slowly submerge into the blue waters. Admiral White greeted the men and showed them to their ride, a Grumman C-2 Greyhound the Navy used as a COD**. As they boarded the plane Admiral White wished them good luck.
The C-2 took off and headed
Once aboard the C-2 the admiral asked he co-pilot to put a call through to COMSUBPAC and ask to talk to Admiral Jiggs Starke and tell them Admiral Nelson needs to talk to him immediately. The co-pilot motioned Nelson to pick up the head phones.
“Hi Harry what’s up?”
“Jiggs I desperately need
your help. FS-1 crashed somewhere in
“Boy Harry that’s hard to
take. Let me see what I can do to get
“I’m getting by for now. Just get us to
The admiral put down the head phones and signaled the co-pilot the call was over.
The plane was crowded with freight and mail. The crew had somehow managed to make room for the admiral and Lee. Lee’s leg was still bothering him so he was happy to see he had enough room to stretch it out.
“Thank you admiral for
arranging to get us to
“Son, you know I would do anything for you, Janet and Chip. I can see how worried you are. Hell, I’m even worried. They’ve been out there a long time.”
Lee didn’t get much sleep the night before so after about an hour on the plane, he fell asleep. The admiral watched him sleep and could see his leg was bothering him as he kept shifting it around trying to get comfortable.
Lee woke up just before they
landed on the
After they took off, neither
one of them had much to say. They both knew what the other was thinking and
didn’t want to say it out loud. What if
they were dead by the time they got to
Once inside FS-1, Chief went over to the bunk and notice they weren’t shivering. He knew they both were in trouble.
“Mr. Morton,” Sharkey said laying his hand on his arm. “Mrs. Crane,” he put his hand on her arm too.
Neither one responded to his touch.
”Damn,” he said out loud. “Terry, how long before Jamie gets here, they don’t look too good.”
“Give it another ten minutes at the most. I’m sure they left as soon as I called. Tim knows where to go.”
While they waited, Sharkey checked out FS-1 and thought he and Kowalski could repair her enough to get it out of there and back to the airport. The only other problem was how to get her out. The clearing was barely long enough for them to try and take off.
Five minutes later they heard the SUV pull up. Jamie darted out of the car leaving Kowalski and Tim to bring the warm blankets and the medical supplies. Jamie went over to the bunk and saw Chip hugging Janet.
“Chip, Chip, you can let her go. It’s Jamie. I’ll take her.”
“No...too cold...she’s cold...have to keep warm.” Chip said slurring his words.
Jamie wrapped the warm blankets around them. Chip was barely conscious. Jamie managed to unwrapped Chip’s arms from around Janet. Sharkey and Terry gently picked him up and brought him to the car and carefully laid him in the back. Kowalski carefully picked up Janet and carried her to the car and gently put her down next to Chip. Tim was waiting in the SUV for them ready to drive Jamie to the hospital as soon as Jamie told him to go. He had the heater running full blast both in the front and back. He was sweating bullets but knew they needed as much heat as they could get.
Jamie did a quick check on them. Janet was unconscious and Chip even though was conscious before was also now unconscious. He was amazed that they were still alive. Barely alive but at least alive.
“Tim, let’s get the hell out of here,” Jamie said quickly. “You better drive real fast.”
“You got it.” He stepped on the gas and was on the main road in no time. He called ahead to the sheriff’s department and requested an escort to the hospital. When he got to the main road they were waiting there for him. They were at the hospital in twenty minutes.
Sharkey, Kowalski and Terry stayed with FS-1. They brought the extra parts, tools and items they needed to repair her. Terry was very curious about the little sub and wanted to help. He also stayed in the event they couldn’t get it running, they would have a way back and it was getting late in the day.
“Chief, it’s getting late. We need to get out of here before dark. We can come back tomorrow and try to get her out of here. I know where to find her.”
“Okay Terry. I want to see how Mr. Morton and Mrs. Crane are doing anyway.”
Kowalski saw Janet’s purse and grabbed it. He didn’t know if she would need but didn’t want to leave it there. He would give it to her at the hospital.
They climbed back in the helicopter and took off for the ranger station. Terry had no problem driving them to the hospital.
Sharkey knew he better call the admiral and let them know they were alive and on their way to the hospital.
“Sharkey to Seaview,” chief called on the radio.
“Seaview, go ahead
“Get the admiral.
“He and the skipper left quite a few hours ago on their way to you. Let me track them down and get back to you.”
O’Brien heard the radio call and ran to the radio shack.
“Sharkey, its O’Brien. Did you find them...are they okay?”
“Yes, we found them and they’re just barely alive.”
“Thanks Sharkey. I just wanted to let the crew know.”
The whole control room heard Sharkey’s response and were cheering and yelling.
“Alright men back to your stations. We still need to get this boat home.”
They all went back to their stations a little less worried.
“That’s good news. I will get in contact with Nelson. Tell Sharkey to call me here if he needs to get in touch with the admiral again. I will make sure I get any calls he makes.”
“Thank you sir,”
“Seaview to Sharkey,”
“If you need to call the admiral; call Admiral Starke. He will get the messages to the admiral.”
The SUV arrived at the hospital where the emergency personnel were waiting for them. They quickly but gently removed them from the back of the SUV onto waiting gurneys. They hustled them into the emergency room where they would start IV’s with warm fluids, put warm blankets and oxygen masks with warm air on them.
The nurses checked their body temperatures and were amazed that they were still alive. They weren’t out of the woods yet.
“I’m Dr. Neal Coal. They are very lucky to be alive,” he told Jamie. “The gentlemen’s body temperature was 89.6 degrees. The woman’s a lot smaller and thinner than he is so her temperature was down to 89 degrees.”
“Dr. Jamieson, call me Jamie,” he said to the other doctor shaking his hand. “Yes they are.”
“How long were they out there?”
“A little more than three days. They were smart to stay inside their vehicle.”
“Once we get them warmed up I will examine them. I understand they were in a plane crash?”
“Yes, I didn’t examine them before I just wanted to get them here.”
“You know them?”
“Yes, Chip Morton is the executive officer on the submarine Seaview and the woman is Janet Crane, wife of the captain of Seaview. I’m the doctor on board and very familiar with their medical histories.”
“Good you can help me distinguish new injuries from old ones.”
Jamie looked in the cubicle at Chip and then Janet who was right next to Chip. They both were still unconscious.
By the time Terry, Sharkey and Kowalski got back to the ranger station, Jason Weldon was there waiting.
“Chief,” he yelled to him as he got out of the helicopter.
“What are you doing here?” Sharkey asked surprised to see him.
“I’m meeting Captain Crane
here to bring his information back to
“Yes, they’re barely alive,” Sharkey said somberly. “We’re leaving for the hospital. You can come with us.”
The four men jumped into Terry’s car and left for the hospital. The arrived there in a few minutes and went to look for Jamie.
They found him in Janet’s cubicle watching her breath. They could see how worried he was about her. She was barely breathing and was still unconscious. Kowalski gave Jamie Janet’s purse and he put on the cabinet next to the bed.
Terry and Tim checked in with Jamie to find out how they were doing. They were as worried as the rest of the men. Terry told Sharkey he would take them out to FS-1 tomorrow morning. He would wait for them at the ranger station until they got there. He and Tim left the four of them to sit with their friends.
“Jamie, where’s Mr. Morton,”
Sharkey asked softly.
“In the next cubicle Chief,” Jamie replied as Sharkey moved the curtain and saw Chip laying there. His breathing was a little better than Janet’s and he also was still unconscious.
Sharkey and Kowalski pulled up chairs and sat down along side his bed.
Jamie was surprised to see Jason but he explained to him what he was doing there so Jamie offered him a chair next to Janet’s bed as he sat down on the other side. He knew Lee would have no problems with Jason sitting next to her.
The admiral and Lee were on
the final leg of their long journey to
“Captain we just got word
from Admiral Starke at COMSUBPAC that they found Mr. Morton and your wife. They
are alive but just barely. We’ve also
been cleared to take you all the way to
“Thank you,” Lee said was relief as he took the headphones off.
“Admiral they found them. Their barely alive but alive none the less,” Lee said with tears rolling down his cheeks.
“They’ve also been cleared to
take us all the way to
“Its okay son let it go,” the admiral told Lee wiping away some tears of his own.
Lee let it go as tears of relief continued to roll down his cheeks.
After a few minutes he wiped away the tears. All he could think about was that they were alive.
Dr. Coal and Jamie were getting worried that Chip and Janet hadn’t regained consciousness. They have been out for a couple of hours. A nurse came in to check Chip’s vitals and told them they were improving. His temperature was up to 97 degrees.
Kowalski and Sharkey left to get some coffee when the nurse came in to take Chip’s vitals. They would wait in the waiting room until Jamie came and got them.
As they were talking the nurse working on Chip came out to let them know he was coming around. Both doctors went to the cubicle where he was.
“Where am I...Where’s Janet...oh no...she’s not,” Chip yelled as he tried to get up pulling off the oxygen mask.
“Chip relax no she’s okay,” he told him gently pushing him back down and taking off the oxygen mask.
“Where is she? I want to see her,” he demanded in his Morton voice.
Jamie went over to the curtain and pulled it back so he could see Janet in the next cubicle.
He relaxed a little but was worried about her. She was lying there so still.
“Is she conscious?”
“No not yet.” Jamie said quietly.
“I tried to keep her warm. It was so cold in there. I tried to find a road or path but I couldn’t so we stayed there. If something happens to her Lee will never forgive me,” Chip said frantically.
“Chip calm down. You probably saved your lives by staying in FS-1. Don’t worry she’ll come around soon,” Jamie said calmly. He’s never seen Chip so distraught.
“Chip, we need to examine you to see if you have any more injuries. This is Dr. Coal he’s the emergency room doctor.” Jamie told him.
“We both were unconscious for a few minutes after we crashed. I bumped my head on something and had a gash but Janet put a bandage on it. I did have a headache the first day but I didn’t know if I have a concussion so I didn’t take anything. The headache went away the next day.”
“Are you hurt anywhere else,” Dr. Coal asked as he examined the rest of his body after looking at his head.
“No sir. I don’t think so. A little sore from the crash but nothing more.”
He pointed out a couple of places on Chip’s body to Jamie but Jamie said they were old injuries.
“The gash on your forehead is healing. I don’t think you have a concussion. I’m going to move you to a room. You should stay here the next twenty four hours for observation,” Dr. Coal explained to him.
“No, please can I stay here. I don’t want to leave her alone,” Chip insisted.
“She’s not alone Jason Weldon is with her and I will be too,” Jamie told Chip gently.
“Why is Jason here?” Chip asked quickly. “Did they get Lee out?”
“Yes, he’s on his way
here. Jason is here to pick up something
from Lee so he doesn’t have to go to
“Please Jamie, let me stay here with her.”
Jamie looked at Dr. Coal who agreed to let him stay there for now. Once Janet woke up they would need to be moved to a room.
The C-2 Greyhound landed in
Admiral Starke called Sharkey on the radio.
“Chief Sharkey this is Admiral Starke.”
“Yes sir,” Sharkey replied immediately.
“Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane should be at the airport in an hour. Make sure there is someone there to pick them up,” he said sharply.
“Yes sir. We will be there,” Sharkey responded with a smile.
“Chief, how are they doing?’ Starke asked cautiously.
“Mr. Morton is conscious but Mrs. Crane is not. Maybe when the skipper gets here she will wake up,” Sharkey told the admiral.
“Have someone keep me informed.”
He hung up the phone before Sharkey could reply.
Sharkey went to find Jamie and tell him that the admiral and skipper were an hour away. He and Kowalski were leaving to pick them up.
“Any change on Mrs. Crane,” Sharkey asked. “You know the skipper’s going to ask.”
“No. Just tell him Janet is still unconscious and Mr. Morton is awake and doing better. Hopefully by the time he gets here she will be,” Jamie sighed deeply.
He and Kowalski left the hospital to go get them.
Dr. Coal and Jamie were very worried that Janet hadn’t regained consciousness. It had been over three hours. Her vitals were improving and her temperature was up to 97 degrees. They were still giving the warm IV fluids, the warm blanket and moist warm air. Her breathing wasn’t as shallow as before.
“I don’t know how much more we can do,” Dr. Coal told Jamie somberly.
“I know you’re doing you best. Why don’t we examine her and maybe the jostling will wake her up.”
Jason stepped out of the room. He was worried too. She hasn’t moved a muscle since he sat down.
Dr. Coal started to examine Janet notice the huge bruise on her side. When he touched it she flinched a little. It was very black and blue, spongy, rubbery and had a lumpy feel to it. She had a bad hematoma but there was nothing they could do but let it heal. They looked her over some more and found nothing else.
Dr. Coal left the cubicle to check on another patient that had come in the emergency room. He left Jamie alone with Janet.
After he left, Jason went back in the cubicle to sit with her again.
“Janet doesn’t know they picked up Lee does she?” Jason asked Jamie.
“No she doesn’t. They were on their way home when Seaview left to get him. Maybe we should tell her.”
“Janet, Seaview picked up Lee and he is on his way here. He should be here any minute,” Jamie whispered to her.
Sharkey and Kowalski were waiting at the airport when the C-2 Greyhound landed. They knew that was the plane the admiral and skipper were on without anyone telling them. They waited outside the terminal until the plane stopped and the doors opened before going to meet them.
The admiral was the first one down the stairs carrying his gear and some of Lee’s. He waited at the bottom while Lee slowly limped down. Kowalski ran over to help Lee while Sharkey grabbed the gear from the admiral.
“It’s sure great to see both of you,” Sharkey said.
“How’s Janet is she conscious?” Lee asked before he was at the bottom of the stairway. “Is Chip okay?”
“Sorry skipper when we left she wasn’t. Mr. Morton is doing better. He’s awake and ordering the doctor around.” Kowalski replied.
Lee got to the bottom of the stairway and walked to the SUV which was a distance away. By the time he got there his leg was throbbing. He climbed in the car while Sharkey and Kowalski loaded their gear in the back.
“Is Jason here,” Lee asked.
“Yes sir. He was sitting with Janet when we left,” Sharkey told Lee.
“I’m going to need the backpack when we get to the hospital,” he told Kowalski.
“Aye, sir. I will grab it when we get there.”
It was a short ride to the hospital from the airport. Kowalski pulled as close as he could to the entrance of the emergency room so Lee wouldn’t have to walk too far.
Lee limped into the emergency room where he was greeted by a nurse who wanted to take him to a cubicle for care. The admiral was following him in and had to smile that she thought he needed to be taken care off.
“No, I’m here to see my wife,” he smiled at her.
She returned the smile as she eyed him up and down. Even after being in the air for over sixteen hours he still looked pretty handsome.
Kowalski showed the admiral and Lee where Chip and Janet were. Jamie was coming out of the cubicle where Janet was and saw Lee limping toward him. All he could do was shake his head.
“What happened?” Jamie asked with concern.
“Can I tell you later? How’s Janet...is she awake...will she be okay?” Lee asked Jamie as he walked in her cubicle and saw her lying in the bed. Jason was sitting there and got up, shook Lee’s hand.
“I’ll talk to you later. Stay with her. Maybe you can wake her up,” Jason said as he walked out of the room.
Lee sat down next to Janet’s bed. He put grabbed her hand out from under the blanket and gave it a squeeze as he ran his hand over her forehead.
“Come on sweetie you need to wake up. I’m here. I won’t leave you again. Please wake up,” Lee pleaded.
She didn’t even stir. The admiral came in to see her after checking on Chip. He could tell Chip was still upset that Janet wasn’t awake yet. He told the admiral what they did to keep warm.
Lee sat there for an hour before he had to move his leg. He also needed some acetaminophen. He went over to Jamie who was with Chip.
“Can you get me some acetaminophen for my leg and I will tell you how it happened,” Lee bargained.
“Sure, I will get you some and you can tell me later.”
“How are you doing?” Lee asked Chip relieved to see he was okay. Chip frowned when he saw Lee limp in.
“I’ll tell you later about the limp,” Lee said when he saw the look Chip gave him.
“I’m fine,” he said softly, “Lee, I’m really sorry about what happened. I have no idea what went wrong with FS-1. I have to confess I slept with my arms wrapped around Janet. I had to keep her warm and that was the only way I could do it.”
“I’m glad you did to help keep her warm. We’ll find out what went wrong with FS-1, please don’t blame yourself. You’re both alive and that’s all the matters.”
“Did she wake up?”
“No not yet,” Lee answered running his hand through his hair. “I’m going back to her room. Thanks Chip for all you did. You’ll never know how much I appreciate it,” Lee said patting his ‘brother’ on the arm.
Lee went back to Janet’s room and sat down again and he was rubbing her hand. Jamie brought him is acetaminophen and some water. Jamie sat down on the other side.
“How did you get hurt this time?”
Lee told him how he was shot and that a doctor took care of his leg and head. Jamie would check him out once they got back to NIMR.
As they were talking Janet start to stir. Lee was rubbing her check when she opened her eyes.
“Hi sweetie, welcome back,” he said gently.
“Where’s Chip...is he okay?” she asked agitated. “Please tell me he’s okay?”
“Sweetie he’s fine. He’s right in the next cubicle,” he told her calmly. He wasn’t mad that she was worried more about him after all they’ve been through.
“I’m sorry honey I didn’t mean to ignore you. I’m so glad you here,” she said weakly as she started to cry. Lee wiped her tears away and gave her a kiss and a hug. She was never so happy to get a kiss.
Jamie went to get Dr. Coal so he could take a look at Janet.
“Hi I’m Dr. Coal. I’m happy you decided to join us. I noticed when examining you that you have a very bad bruise on your side. How did you get that?”
“I must have hit it on the arm of the seat,” she told Dr. Coal while looking at Lee.
“There’s nothing to do about it. It will heal on its own but it will be sore for a few days.”
“Hi Dr. Coal, I’m Lee Crane. Thanks for everything you’ve done for my wife,” Lee said as he stood up and shook the doctor’s hand.
Dr. Coal noticed he had a hard time getting up which didn’t get past Janet.
“I’m fine. It’s been taken care off. Just needs to heal,” Lee told him as Janet looked at Lee and could see he was hurt and in pain.
“As I told Mr. Morton, you
should be here for twenty fours hours for observation before I will release you
but if you and Mr. Morton continue to improve we might be able to reduce your
time here as long as I have Dr. Jamieson’s word he will put you both in the
hospital back in
“Dr. Coal, don’t worry about
that I can guarantee you they both will be in
Janet just looked at Jamie and Chip heard what was said and said, “I’m fine. I don’t need to go.”
The admiral was standing in the doorway listening to this and had to smile it looked like things would be back to normal fairly soon.
Chip and Janet were moved to rooms across the hall from each other. The admiral was sitting with Chip and Jamie was with Janet. Kowalski and Sharkey were going between their rooms.
Lee left Janet to talk to Jason about the intel.
“Here’s the intel Admiral Johnson is waiting for,” Lee said giving Jason the small disk. “I’m sure he wasn’t too happy with me.”
“At first he was really pissed but calmed down when I told you I would get the intel. I have to leave now. My flight is taking off in an hour. I’ve called a cab to take me to the airport.”
“Please tell him I will call
and debrief him on the mission once we are back in
“No problem. I’m glad Janet and Chip are going to be okay. Say good bye to them for me. I see my cab is here,” Jason said as he shook Lee’s hand.
“Thanks again, Jason. I owe you one.”
Jason got in the cab and Lee watched it drive away. He wasn’t looking forward to talking to Admiral Johnson and limped back to Janet’s room.
Jamie could see Janet was tired. She must have yawned three times in the few minutes Lee was gone. Lee limped back into the room and Janet saw how much pain he was in.
“Everybody out, they need to rest and so do we. No exceptions,” he told them, “that includes you Captain. You look like hell and need to rest your leg. You can come back tomorrow morning.”
Lee was about to protest when Jamie gave him a look.
“Even though we’re not at
Lee gave Janet a kiss good bye and a wink. She smiled at him and knew he was up to something. They all said good bye to Chip and Janet and left for the night.
Jamie insisted they stop for dinner at the diner down the street from the hotel. Kowalski dropped them off and went back to the hotel and reserved a room for the admiral and Lee. There was only one room available so they would have to share the space. He returned to the diner as the waitress was taking their order.
All the men were tired after the long day they had and discussing how to get FS-1 out of the clearing.
“I checked over the
wiring. I think we can fix it. We brought what we need to repair it,” Chief
told the admiral and Lee. “But I think
we should take it to the airport and do a more thorough check before flying her
“The only other problem is how to get her out of there. The clearing is small but I think I can get her out,” Kowalski reported.
“If you can get her out of there without endangering your lives, do it and definitely take her back to the airport,” the admiral told them. “Check her out and let me know.”
“Chip and Janet probably won’t be released until later in the morning,” Jamie added.
How are we going to get them home?” Lee asked not knowing at about the jet. “Not enough room on FS-1 for all of us.”
“We have jet at the airport
waiting to take you home,” the admiral told him. “If FS-1 is able to fly, Chief and I will
take her back to
They finished up dinner and left for the hotel. They all were very tired not that any of them would admit it.
The admiral and Lee checked into their room. Both of them couldn’t wait to take shower it had been a long day. Lee let the admiral go first. The admiral finished his shower and Lee took his. The hot water felt wonderful on his leg. It was still very sore so Jamie gave him some more acetaminophen after dinner. He didn’t want to give him anything stronger until he checked him out for himself.
The admiral went to bed and fell asleep. Lee also went to bed and dozed for about an hour then he got up.
He planned to sneak back to the hospital. He needed to talk to Janet privately before they left for home. He wanted to tell her about Melina.
He went into the bathroom and got dressed. He quietly opened the door and was walking out.
“Don’t get caught,” the admiral told him before he left the room.
“No sir, I won’t,” Lee replied smiling as he closed the door.
He went to the front desk where the clerk on duty got him a cab.
Lee got to the hospital and entered through the emergency room. The place was very busy so he managed to get by the desk without being noticed. He took the elevator to the floor Janet was on. Her room was right by the elevator so he didn’t have to go past the nurse’s station. The door to Chip’s and Janet’s room was closed.
He pushed the door open and the room was dark.
“I don’t need anything to sleep,” Janet said quietly.
“I’m not here to give you anything to sleep,” Lee replied softly.
“Lee what are you doing here,” Janet asked surprised to see him as she turned on the soft light over her bed.
He walked over to her and gave her a passionate kiss which she returned. She hugged him as hard as she could.
“You’re going to be in trouble,” Janet grinned.
“I don’t care. I missed you more than you will ever know,” Lee grinned back. “I need to talk to you before we leave. I need to tell you what happened in Vadvostok,” he told as he sat down on the edge of the bed.
“I have something to tell you too but you go first.”
“I didn’t get out of the country before the airport was blown up. I was shot in a cab on my way to the port. I stopped at a house where a woman took me in. She was a doctor, a very pretty doctor. I passed out as soon as she answered the door. She took the bullet out of my leg but it was infected and I had a fever. When I woke the next morning she was in bed with me. She told me I was shivering so badly she hoped her body heat would warm me up.” Lee explained.
“Don’t they have blankets there?” Janet replied jealously.
“Sweetie, I had on four blankets.”
“I’m sorry. I know how you get when you have a fever. Nothing will warm you up.”
“She also kissed me and I returned the kiss,” he told her guiltily. “I’m so sorry.”
“Did you sleep with her,” Janet whispered afraid of his answer.
“No sweetheart. I would never hurt you like that even if my life depended on it. Do you believe me?”
“Yes Lee I believe you and I trust you had a good reason to return her kiss but I don’t want to know what it is.”
She gave him a kiss and a hug. He was relieved she wasn’t mad at him. He also realized how lucky he was to have her in his life more now than ever.
“I heard Jason was here? Why was he here?”
“He came to take the intel back
to Admiral Johnson so I didn’t have to leave you. Johnson demanded I get it to him as soon as
possible. I told him I wasn’t going to
“I know how to solve that problem,” Janet said with a gleam in her eye.
“That’s not a solution right now,” Lee told her knowing what she was getting at.
He hoped no one would come in the room as he climbed on the bed lying next to her.
“What do you have to tell me?” he asked as he rubbed her arm.
“Did the admiral tell you why
Chip and I were on are way back from
“Yes, something about your parent’s will.”
“Please hand me my purse. It’s on the cabinet.”
Lee grabbed her purse and gave it to her. She opened it up and pulled out an envelope.
“I need you to read this.”
She handed him the letter from her parents. He read the letter and was surprised at what it contained.
“I’m sorry they chose ONI over you. I’m guilty of doing the same thing, aren’t I?”
“Yes but you haven’t deserted me yet. I couldn’t deal with it if you would ever go to ONI full time basis. Please don’t even consider it.”
“No I promise you I will never be a full time agent. I love you to much and Seaview to give it up.”
“Lee, I need something else from you,” she told him as he looked longingly at her. “No not that, your promise that you will quit ONI when we have children.”
“Are we?” he questioned with a smile.
“Sorry no,” she answered back softly.
“Yes, I promise I will quit ONI when we have children. I won’t leave them like your parents left you.”
“Thank you,” she said with relief rubbing her hand on his chest. “There is one other issue.”
She pulled out the receipt for the five hundred thousand dollar check and handed it to him.
“Whoa, is this for real? Sweetie that’s a lot of money, what are you going to do with it?” he said shocked at the amount.
“Yes, the lawyer is putting
the check in our account in
“Vacations? When do we get one of those?” Lee said laughing.
“That’s what I told him,” she laughed too. “Seriously Lee I really don’t the money. I would rather give it to the admiral to give to the charities NIMR sponsors. Anonymously of course.”
“Whatever you want to do is fine with me,” he said putting his arm around her, holding her close and kissed her forehead.
They both fell asleep until when he heard someone in the hall and scrambled out of the bed. He didn’t want to get caught in the bed with her.
A nurse came in to check on Janet and found Lee sitting in the chair.
“How long have you been here,” she asked surprised to see him.
“Just got here,” he lied and winked at Janet who could hardly contain a grin.
“Visiting hours don’t start until but as long as you’re here you can stay,” she told Lee with a smile as she looked him over.
The rest of the men from Seaview met in the lobby of the hotel and checked out. They were going to breakfast when Jamie noticed Lee was not there.
“Where’s Lee,” Jamie asked suspiciously.
“He left early this morning to check on Janet and Chip,” the admiral replied with a grin.
“I bet,” Jamie said shaking his head.
The admiral and Jamie would drop off Sharkey and Kowalski at the ranger station. Terry was going to drive them out to FS-1 so they could try and repair her. Terry was very curious about the little machine.
The admiral and Jamie would go to the hospital to see how Chip and Janet were doing and find out when they could be released.
Sharkey, Kowalski and Terry got to FS-1 and were working on getting it repaired. Terry was fascinated by the little sub and had some questions. Unfortunately Sharkey couldn’t answer most of his questions because the information was classified. He understood and was still impressed with her. They rewired the engine panel and radio. Kowalski sat down in the pilot’s seat and flipped the switches to turn on the engine which started with no problems. Now they had to figure out how to get it out of the forest. It was decided that Kowalski would fly her to the airport. Sharkey and Terry would meet him there. Terry made arrangements to have it land near where the helicopter was parked.
“I’m going to give her full power and try a short take-off,” Kowalski said. “I should be able to get high enough to clear the trees.”
“Okay Ski,” Sharkey said, “Be careful.”
Kowalski gave FS-1 full power and took off just clearing the trees.
“Whew that was close,” Terry said as he watched FS-1 take off.
“Yes, a little too close,” Sharkey said wiping the sweat off his brow.
Sharkey and Terry hopped into the truck and would meet him at the airport.
Kowalski found the airport, was cleared by the tower to land near the helicopter. They would finish checking her out before they flew her home.
Jamie and the admiral got to the hospital and went to Chip’s and Janet’s room. Chip was eating breakfast while Janet and Lee were waiting for hers to come.
“Could you please tell Dr. Coal to let us go later this morning?” Janet pleaded to Jamie.
“I’m sure I could talk him into letting you go as long as you promise me you will not hassle me about going to Med Bay until tomorrow morning,” Jamie replied seriously.
“I will,” Janet replied with a gleam in her eye.
They brought Janet’s breakfast which she and Lee picked at. Jamie went to Chip’s room and told him the plan. He also agreed.
The admiral stood there
watching Jamie bargain with the two of them.
He smiled to himself knowing they would try and back out of the deal
once they got back to
“I need a shower,” Janet told Lee when she was done with breakfast. “I might have a problem; I don’t know where my clothes are.”
“Sharkey took them to the cleaners, they’re in the closet,” the admiral told her.
She found her clothes and went to the bathroom.
“Need help,” Lee volunteered.
“I would love help but I don’t think the hospital would approve. Safety reasons.” she said grinning as she grabbed her clothes and shut the door.
Lee went to Chip’s room and sat down. His leg was still a little sore. Chip had already showered and was ready to go.
“Admiral did they get FS-1 repaired?” Chip asked.
“They are working on her now. Hopefully they will be able to repair her so we can get her home.”
“I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden she lost power, started to dive while smoke poured from the control panel.”
“I’m waiting for a report from the Chief.”
“How are we getting home?” Chip queried.
“Kowalski flew a jet
here. You, Janet, Lee, and Jamie are
Janet finished her shower and went to Chip’s room. She sat down and listened to them talk. She was so happy they were all back together.
Dr. Coal came to Chip’s room and shooed them all out except Jamie. He examined Chip and released him to leave. Next he and Jamie went to Janet’s room and let Lee stay there. Dr. Coal was concerned about her side. Lee hadn’t seen the bruise until now.
“Damn, where did you get that,” he asked shocked at how bad it was.
“I think I hit it on the arm of the seat,” she told him.
“It looks a lot better today. It will take awhile to heal but I’m sure Dr. Jamieson will keep an eye on it,” Dr. Coal said, “so I will release you too.”
“Thank you, Dr. Coal for everything you did for us,” Janet said sincerely. Chip added his thanks also.
They left the hospital in wheelchairs much to their displeasure but it was hospital rules. Lee hobbled along side Janet. He needed the wheelchair more than Janet did. They got in the SUV and headed for the airport. They were hoping to get a look at FS-1 before they took off. They wanted to see if she could be repaired and flown back to the institute.
The group found where FS-1 was parked and walked over to Sharkey, Kowalski and Terry.
“Is she okay to fly home?” the admiral asked Sharkey.
“Yes sir. We rewired everything the best we could. She will need a complete overhaul when we get back. Something caused the wiring to burn up that is why the engine cut out. We won’t be able to fly at Mach 1 but we will get her home. Mr. Morton you were lucky you could steer her as well as you did. That mountain was awful close.
“Too close,” Chip responded honestly.
“Chief, you and I will leave now and meet the rest of them at the institute.”
“Terry, thank you and please thank the other teams for all their help too. We never would have found them if you hadn’t risked taking the helicopter up in the wind,” the admiral said gratefully. “I will contact the FAA about the crash.”
“I’m glad we found them and they are alright,” Terry replied sincerely.
Chip went over and shook his hand and Janet gave him a kiss on the cheek as they also added their thanks.
The admiral and Sharkey climbed aboard FS-1, powered her up and took off with no problems. Before they left they called the institute and gave their flight plan to Trish so she could track them.
Kowalski went to the jet and did the pre-flight check so they could leave as soon as it was completed. He also filed a flight plan with Trish so she could track them too. Lee would have to be the co-pilot on the way back. The rest of them boarded the plane and it took off about fifteen minutes after the admiral and Sharkey. They would follow the same flight path as FS-1 in case they had a problem.
It was a two hour flight back
Janet couldn’t wait to get home. First she had to figure out a way to get out of staying at med bay until tomorrow morning. She knew Chip would go along with any plan she came up with.
Sharkey and the admiral landed at the institute where Angie and Wanda were waiting for them. They were glad they got back safely. Sharkey taxied the little sub over to the hanger for her overhaul. Luckily Seaview didn’t have any missions scheduled for a few weeks as it would take that long to repair her.
The admiral went to his
office to call Jiggs and let him know everyone was back safely and to thank him
for his help getting them to
Seaview had docked a few hours earlier. Most of the crew was hanging around the dock area waiting for word that Chip and Janet were back too. They wanted to make sure they were alright and cheered when they heard they landed safely at the airport.
The rest of the group finally
got to the institute about two hours after the admiral and Sharkey. Jamie made them go directly to
“Jamie do we really need to stay here overnight,” Janet said sweetly. “I feel fine and so does Chip. Can’t we go home and I promise we will check in early tomorrow morning so you can see how we’re doing.”
“Alright I will let you go home. I can see you both weren’t bothered by the flight home. Chip you can go home but I will see you here tomorrow morning at . Lee and Janet will have to stay for little while longer while I check out Lee’s leg.”
All of them were stunned that Jamie was going to let them go home without a fight. The three of them looked at each other and wondered what was wrong. Chip wasted no time getting out of there.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Jamie and thanks,” Chip said as he walked out the door. “Lee I’ll stop by in a couple of hours and we can talk. I’ll pick up a pizza and some beer. Jamie would you like to join us?”
“Hopefully we’ll be there,” Lee said with a smile.
“No thanks Chip. Lee, let’s see that leg so you can leave too.”
He checked out Lee’s leg and was very surprised to see how well it was healing. The doctor did a good job of taking care of it.
“You can go too. Janet I will see you tomorrow morning at .”
“Yes, I will be here,” she told him kissing him on the cheek, “thanks Jamie.”
Lee and Janet left for home. They walked in the door, put their gear down and plopped on the couch.
“I sure missed you,” Janet said as she snuggled up to Lee and ran her hand through his hair.
“I missed you too,” he replied kissing her tenderly. “We have a couple of hours before Chip comes over so why don’t we go upstairs and celebrate my return and your rescue?” Lee asked with a gleam in his eye.
“Let’s go,” Janet said as she grabbed his hand and they went upstairs to their bedroom.
Chip came over and Lee told him how he got shot and about Melina. He stayed for a couple of hours and went home. Even though none of them would admit it, they were tired.
Lee and Janet went upstairs to celebrate some more.
After checking in with Jamie at , Chip and Janet were released to go to work at the institute for a half day today. Tomorrow they could work the whole day but only at the office. There was a lot to catch up on after being gone almost a week. Janet felt bad for Angie and Wanda as they always got stuck doing her work while she was gone. She would take them out to dinner to repay them for helping her out.
Janet also had to take care of another problem so she went to Lee’s office.
“Honey, please come with me I need to talk to the admiral about this money. Unless you want to buy something with it I’m going to give it to him to give to charities NIMR sponsors.”
“Sweetheart, what ever you want to do with it is fine with me. There’s nothing I need or want except you,” he said lovingly.
Taking a deep breath, she grabbed her husband’s hand and went to the admiral’s office, “Admiral I have something to give you.” She handed him the receipt for the money. “Please give it to the charities NIMR sponsors or for anything else you need it for. Use it as a down payment on another submarine if you want to. I don’t want it.”
“Janet this is a lot of money. Are you sure you don’t want to keep it?” he asked her stunned at the amount on the receipt.
“No sir. I just can’t keep it.”
“Lee, are you okay with this?”
“Sir whatever Janet wants to do with the money is fine with me.”
“Did you say use it as a down payment another submarine,” the admiral chuckled.
“Yes but I know it will take a lot more money for another sub, but it’s a start,” Janet told him grinning.
The admiral wondered how she knew he was contemplating building another submarine. He didn’t even tell Lee about it.
* See story “Turbulent Waters”
** Grumman C-2 Greyhound is a COD (carrier onboard delivery) aircraft the Navy uses to transport high priority cargo, mail and passengers between carriers and shore bases. Source: en.wikipedia.org