It must be written down somewhere
in the rules and regs of NIMR that I can be as ornery as a bear when it’s too hot. So when we had an AC glitch at the
Admin. Building that made us want to rip our shirts off and dump ice cold water over our heads, Kowalski happened to mention
it wasn’t nearly as bad as when we investigated the freakish snowy weather affecting the Florida
and East Coast in the middle of the summer.
I’m embarrassed to say that
I almost bit his head off. He must have warned everyone to keep well away from my office that day, for the only other person
I saw later was Lee.
Crane came well prepared to face
the bear in his den, with a cooler full of ice and cans of cold beer and a couple of sandwiches. In tow was a hastily drafted
(and expensive, no doubt) AC repairman in spite of the fact that we had enough qualified technicians under contract that should
have been able to figure out the problem and fix it post haste.
As the repairman began to check things
out, Lee sat on the edge of my desk and handed me a cold brew, using his can to cool himself off. He’d stripped down
to his black Speedo’s swim trunks and apparently had taken a plunge in the aquarium, if the bits of especially grown
seaweed in his curly wet hair meant anything. Then he began to wish out loud he’d almost welcome Frederick Cruger’s deep freeze, as long as it was contained to our building.
Cruger was dead now, his illegal
weapons testing which had altered the normal Gulf Stream to drift, a thing of the past.
I’d drafted Dr. Melton, the
country’s top climatologist, to help me on an investigative expedition to discover the cause of the drift. Little did
I know that he’d been drugged, kidnapped, and programed to prevent me from finding the truth or Cruger’s island
In fact it turned out that Melton had even soaked some of his own notes in a chemical to blow up the plane I was going to be on.(Washington had thought my
theory of the Gulf Stream drift was crazy but wanted to approve or deny Seaview’s expedition.) Fat chance-Seaview’s
my boat and I could do this on my own) Still, they wanted a piece of the pie should I be correct and phoned their approval
prior to the flight. I made sure they’d remember the stipend owed (Got to make my accountants happy.) Especially since
they’d insisted this was actually a government expedition now.
Meanwhile I returned to Melton’s
and a little while later we boarded Seaview. Unfortunately he was still ‘under the influence’, and he tossed a
small incendiary device onto my bunk the attempt to burn me to death. (Lee saw the smoke from under the door and pulled me
out in time.)
As Crane surfaced the boat to scrub
the smoke, he found the surface littered with dead fish. It was only natural, now that I was conscious, that the scientist
in me wanted to investigate. So he ordered one dead fish brought aboard. Instead of some kind of natural contagion, it proved
high levels of radioactivity had killed it and his fish mates. Indeed we must be on the trail of some man made irregularity.
It wasn’t too long before we
found a marker buoy, and my boys traced its signal to an uncharted island (sure are a lot of those around). I sent Lee and
a small shore party off to investigate, and they were promptly captured. (They escaped later and there was one casualty) Yes,
indeed. Somebody was up to no good.
I figured if I made it appear that
Melton was bringing me to the island under guard, we could conn Cruger into ‘welcoming’ me and I might be able
to stop whatever it was he was up to.
Suffice it to say, we were and I
did. (The pretense worked, I saw his weaponry control room, and with a little help from Melton’s gun and Lee’s shore party, I reprogrammed his fire control
to overload. And hey presto. One big boom that destroyed his nuclear arsenal, which happened to revert the Gulf Stream back
All thanks to one dead fish.