Auction of Revenge

By JSRobertson


Every year the Nelson Institute of Marine Research held a charity auction where crewmen and officers would be auctioned off to the highest bidder for a date.  This year was no exception even though it was scheduled a little later this year due to Seaview’s many missions.  This year’s auction would benefit the women’s shelter and food bank in Santa Barbara.


Edith Nelson was always in charge of the auction.  She chose the theme and made sure everything was taken care of.  Anyone involved in the auction was told what to do and where to go.  She also picked who would be auctioned off. 


Lee and Chip always got the highest bids but since Lee being married was unavailable for the obvious reason, Edith needed another headliner.


She was in Angie’s office meeting with her, Wanda and Janet discussing the auction with them.


“This year’s theme is Las Vegas.  We’re going to get neon lights, palm trees, and fountains,” she told the girls.


This was Janet’s second auction. The year she started at NIMR they held the auction early that year and she missed it.  The poor girl who won Lee for a date had to wait a few months before he could take her out and by that time he was engaged to Janet.  Lee did show her a nice time but she was a little disappointed it wouldn’t go any further.  


Last year was her first year to attend and she didn’t realize how formal the event was. Everyone dressed to the nines. The people of Santa Barbara looked forward to this event every year.  She was also amazed at how many people attended this affair. It was getting so large that Edith considered holding it at a downtown hotel in Santa Barbara instead of the institute. 

She was also surprised at how upset the women were that Lee was no longer up for bidding.  She knew he was very relieved he didn’t have to be auctioned off.     


“Who’s going to be auctioned off this year?” Janet wondered as she sat on the corner of Angie’s desk while Wanda and Edith sat in the chairs facing the desk.


“Well,” Edith paused, “I think we’re going to have a few more men and new this year a few women.”


“Which women,” Janet questioned knowing there weren’t too many available.


“Angie, Wanda and Trish have graciously volunteered to be auctioned off.”


“Aren’t you afraid of whom you’ll have to go out with?  You don’t know who they are,” Janet asked cautiously.


“We won’t let them pick us up.  We meet them where we have set up the date. They also don’t get our phone numbers unless we give it to them,” Angie told her.  “Thanks for your concern,” she said giving Janet’s knee a pat.


“Who are the men besides Chip, Kowalski, Patterson and Riley,” Wanda asked curiously.  Since she had attended the auction in previous years she knew that they would always be up for bids.


“Chief Sharkey and Will Jamieson are going to do it.”


“Chief?” all three women asked at once laughing.


“Yes, I asked him and he agreed,” Edith laughed too.  “I was very surprised when he said he would.”


“It’s great that Jamie’s going to do it too,” Janet said happily.  “He’ll be a wonderful date for someone.”


“You’re still short one man.  O’Brien can’t do it this year as he’s now married,” Angie remarked.


“I have a surprise man left,” Edith said mysteriously.  “He will be the last one auctioned off and no one will know who it is but us for now.”


The three women sat there trying to figure out who was left when the admiral walked out of his office.  Three pair of eyes looked at him and then they looked at Edith.  The admiral had no idea what was happening and left his office just staring at the four of them.  Once he left the office they all burst out laughing.


“You actually got him to agree to be auctioned off,” Angie asked grinning.


“He wasn’t too thrilled; I kind of badgered him into doing it.  Since Lee’s no longer available I needed another officer.  He’s the surprise of the night.”


“This should be the best auction ever,” Wanda confirmed with a grin on her face.


The four of them continued to make plans. Edith as usual would take care of getting the decorations, advertising, food, drinks, and getting an emcee. She already had the tickets printed up and knew she would have no problem selling them as the event sold out every year.  She loved doing charity work here in Santa Barbara and in Boston.  She would be staying with the admiral for a few weeks getting everything together for the auction.  The ladies would help her when they could but since they had to work their time would be limited.   




In a hotel room in downtown Santa Barbara there was another meeting taking place.  Claudia Hall, Roy Bell and Curt Taylor were meeting with David Pepin.  They too were making plans for the charity auction at NIMR.  David Pepin had a vendetta against Admiral Nelson and three other men.  He had already taken care of the men with Nelson. Nelson was the last one and he would pay for all of his suffering. 


“It’s imperative you get tickets to that auction,” David stressed.  “You have to be there for my plan to work.”


“Tickets sell out very fast.  How do we get them?” Roy asked.


“Don’t worry about that,” Claudia told them smugly.  “They’re only sold through the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce and I have a friend that works there.  She has already reserved three tickets for me.  I’m going to pick them up and pay for them when we’re done here.”


“Good work,” David replied very pleased.  “Do we know who’s going to be auctioned off?”


“I will find out when I get the tickets.”


“We will meet here again tomorrow at 10:00,” he told them.  “Leave now I have another appointment.”


“Yes sir,” they replied leaving him alone.


He sat in the chair in the suite tapping his fingers together.  He was very happy with the way things were going.  There was a knock on the door.  He slowly walked over to the door and opened it knowing who it was.


“Hello. Were you busy at the institute today?”




It was two weeks before the auction and Edith planned a meeting in Janet’s office after work so she could discuss some details with the ladies. 


“All the tickets have been sold out,” Edith announced joyfully.  “We should have a full house.”


“Do you have everything arranged,” Janet asked not knowing what was expected of her.


“Yes, but your husband won’t do the emceeing,” Edith told them unhappily.  “He felt he wouldn’t to the job justice so I got the Dale Heart, the mayor to do it.”


“Sorry Edith.  He told me that you wanted him to be the emcee but he’s just not comfortable in that type of position.”


“I know he can be a little shy.  I’ve assigned him another job.  He’s going to escort the women on stage when it’s their turn to be auctioned off.”


“Does he know this?” Janet asked since Lee didn’t say anything to her.


“No, can you tell him?  He won’t tell you no.”


“Yes, I’ll tell him but Edith but you know he will do almost anything for you too,” Janet replied softly.  She knew Lee had a soft spot for Edith.


“Yes, I can get almost anything out of him just by batting my eyes at him,” she snickered.


Who’s going to escort the men out?” Angie wondered.


“That’s Janet’s job.”


“Yeah, lucky me.”


“Have you made a decision on what uniforms the men will be wearing?” Wanda asked.


“I think they will wear their dinner dress blue uniforms.”


“Have you told them?  I know Lee and Chip don’t mind wearing those uniforms,” Janet mentioned.


“All of them will do what I tell them or else,” Edith chuckled. “We’ll meet again next week to go over the final details. I’ve got to find Harry, we have dinner plans with some friends tonight and I don’t want to be late.”




Angie and Wanda got their coats and were waiting for the elevator when the admiral, Lee and Chip came up from the sub pen.  They said goodnight to the men and left for the day. Edith and Janet were waiting for the admiral and Lee to come back before they could leave.


“Oh good, I don’t have to go and get you,” Edith told Harry grabbing her coat as he went to his office to get his jacket and cover.


“I told you I would be here on time, Edith,” the admiral said from his office putting on his jacket and put his cover under his arm, locking the door to his office and Angie’s as he walked towards her.


“Yes, but how many times are you really on time?” she answered as Lee helped her with her coat. 


The four of them stood there looking at the admiral.  He knew she was right.  Most of the time he was late when they were going out.


“Good night, Janet, Lee, Chip.  Have a good evening,” Edith told them smiling as they walked to the elevator her arm linked in the admirals.


Lee, Chip and Janet stood there as the elevator doors closed.


“Well, what are we going to do for dinner?” Chip wondered as his stomach grumbled loudly.


“How about we try that new barbecue place? I have a taste for barbecued ribs,” Lee suggested.


Janet could see their mouths were already drooling for ribs. “Fine with me,” she replied laughing. 


Lee and Chip went to their offices to get their jackets and covers.  Lee gave Janet a kiss as they waited outside Janet’s office for Chip.  She returned his kiss just as Chip came out of his office.


“Geez,” Chip remarked.  “You act like you haven’t seen each other for a week.”


“Sorry Chip,” Janet replied sheepishly.  “Since you were on Seaview most of the day, I didn‘t get a chance to see him so I had to make up for it.”


Lee took Janet’s hand as they waited at the elevator.   When they got off the elevator they said goodnight to the security guard on duty.


“Have a good evening Mrs. Crane, Captain and Mr. Morton,” Howard told them.


Since it was raining, Lee and Janet waited in the lobby while Chip brought the car to the front door.  Lee held the back seat door for Janet while she climbed in.  He hopped in the front seat just getting the door closed before Chip took off.


They enjoyed their dinner at the barbecue place and the food was good.  Chip ate his whole meal and part of Janet’s.  She still couldn’t figure out where he put all the food he ate and didn’t gain any weight.


“See you tomorrow,” Chip said as they got out of the car quickly as it was still raining.  “I’ll drive again tomorrow.”


“Thanks Chip,” they replied and went into the house. 


After making sure everything was locked up they went upstairs to get ready for bed.


“Edith asked me to tell you what your job is going to be at the auction.  She wasn’t too happy you didn’t want to be the emcee,” Janet remarked as she brushed her hair.


“I know but I’m sure she has something real nice for me to do,” he said laughing.  He knew she was disappointed he wouldn’t be the emcee.


“Actually it’s not that bad.  You get to escort Angie, Wanda and Trish out for the bidding.”


“I can do that with no problem. They’re all very nice looking women so they should bring in a lot of money.”


He grabbed Janet by the waist and pulled her up against him and kissed her goodnight. They fell asleep with Lee’s arm wrapped around her.




Claudia went to the Chamber of Commerce the next morning to pay her friend, Renee, for the tickets.   Renee had also decided to go to the auction.  The tickets were expensive but the money went to worthy causes so she didn’t mind the cost.  They were reading the brochure on who would be auctioned off.  It not only listed their names but had pictures of them also.


“They sure have quite a few good looking men working there.  I wouldn’t mind going out with any of them,” Renee stated.  “Who do you like?”


“I’m looking for an older man because they treat you better.  You go to nice places for dinner and maybe they take you dancing,” Claudia replied as she leaned on the counter next to Renee.


“Well the only older man on here is Dr. Will Jamieson.  He’s not bad looking and a doctor.”


“It says there’s a surprise date.  Do you have any idea who the surprise man is?  Have you heard anything?” Claudia asked hopefully.


“Well the rumor I heard is its Admiral Nelson.  He’s never participated in the auction before but since his Captain got married and he was the biggest draw, he agreed to do it.”


“I’m going to bid on him.  He’ll probably cost me a year’s salary but I bet he knows how to treat a woman.”


“I’ll have to settle for a crewman.  I don’t have that much money for an officer,” Renee pouted.


“I’ve got to go.  I’ve got a meeting a 10:00.  I’ll look for you at the auction,” Claudia said as she grabbed the brochure, tucked it in her purse with the tickets and walked out the door with a huge smile on her face knowing David would be very happy.




Claudia went to David’s hotel room and knocked on the door.  Curt answered the door while David sat tapping his fingers on the table waiting for her to show up.   


“It’s about time,” Roy told her nastily as soon as she got into the room, “Did you get the tickets?”


“Of course I got them,” she replied crossly glaring at him.  She didn’t like Roy at all.


She handed David the brochure to look at.  He calmly looked at the people being auctioned off and didn’t see Nelson’s name but saw there was a blank place for a photograph and a question mark underneath it.


“Who’s the surprise date?”


“If the rumors are correct none other than Admiral Nelson himself.”


“Excellent.  You must win the bid.  It will make my plan so much easier.”


“Roy and Curt you must make sure you get the dates with Nelson’s secretary, Angie, and Trish the communications director.”


“Mr. Pepin, how are we going to pay for these dates?  I don’t have much money,” Roy asked cautiously.


“Don’t worry about it.  The brochure states you have a week to pay for your bid.  I’ll give you cash to put in your accounts.  You’ll get a bank check with your name on it so they won’t be able to trace it back to me.  You can make up any excuse as to where you got the money.  Tell them a relative died and it’s your inheritance.  I really don’t give a damn what you tell them,” he said impatiently.


Curt asked curiously, “How much money do we have to spend?”


“Just get those dates all of you.  Money is no object,” he replied tersely.


“Yes sir,” they replied.


“Go.  I will talk to you again after the auction,” David said dismissing them with a wave of his hand.


The three of them left David’s suite heading down to their cars.  He was still seated at the table with an evil grin on his face. He was very pleased with the way things were going, very pleased indeed. 




Seaview had been gone so much lately Janet didn’t have a chance to go out and buy a dress.  She along with Angie and Wanda were going out after work to find her one.  They would take her SUV as it’s easier to get into then Wanda’s and Angie’s compact cars. After they finished shopping they were going out for dinner to Giovanni’s.  Edith and Trish had other plans so they weren’t able to go with the three women.


“I better find a dress,” Janet lamented, “I only have the blue one from last year and I don’t want to wear that again.”


“We’ll find you one,” Angie reassured her as they got out of the car.


They went to the store where Angie and Wanda found their dresses.  There were a lot of black ones but Edith said no one could wear black but her.  Angie was wearing a dark blue gown; Trish had a red one and Wanda a dark green one.  As they perused the racks Janet was getting discouraged when she spotted a purple one.  She wasn’t sure she liked the fact that it was strapless but they insisted she try it on.  When she came out of the dressing room, they were amazed at how good the dress looked on her.


“You better take that one,” Wanda told her smiling.


“You look great in that color,” Angie nodded her approval.


“Okay, I’ll take it,” Janet said with relief.  She wasn’t too sure about it but it would do.  She would show it to Lee tonight and see what he thought.  If he didn’t like it, she could maybe leave work early tomorrow and look for another one


After paying for the dress, Janet laid it carefully in the back of the car while Angie and Wanda climbed in for the short drive to Giovanni’s for dinner.  Janet left the car with the valet to park.


“Good evening ladies.  No gentlemen tonight?” he asked welcoming them as they walked in the restaurant.


“Girl’s night out,” Angie said laughing.  “After working with them all day we needed a break.”


The ladies didn’t mind working with the admiral, Lee or Chip but for some reason they all were grumpy and short tempered today so they were glad they could relax, enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious dinner without them.


Unknown to the three women, David Pepin was also having dinner at the same time and recognized two of the women from the auction brochure.  He tried not to stare at them as they ate but he was curious as to who the third woman was.


When they were finished with dinner, Giovanni had the valet get Janet’s car and walked them out as David was leaving too. Giovanni opened the car door for Janet while the valet opened the doors for Angie and Wanda.


Mrs. Crane, please get back to the institute safely,” Giovanni told her as he closed her car door.


“Thank you, I will,” she replied softly.


While David waited for his car to be brought around, he had a big smile on this face when he found out who she was.


Janet dropped the ladies off at the office so they could get their cars.  She waited from them to leave the institute before she would drive home. She only had a short ride to her house on the NIMR grounds.




Lee was watching TV in the living room as he waited for Janet to get home. He heard the garage door open and met her at the door as she walked in and laid the dress on the chair.


“Did you find a dress?” Lee asked as he helped her off with her coat and gave her a hug and kiss.


Returning his kiss and hug, “Yes, would you like to see it?” she replied.


She took it out of the bag and showed it to him.  She didn’t know by the look on his face it he liked it or not.


“Why don’t you try it on,” he suggested, “it will look better on you than on the hanger.”


They went upstairs where she tried on the dress.  Looking in the mirror, she still wasn’t sure she liked the dress.


“Sweetie, you look fantastic,” he said eyeing her up and down.  He couldn’t wait for her to take it off.


“Thanks honey,” she said grinning, “but I could wear a gunny sack and you would say I looked good.  If you think it looks okay I will keep it.”


“It’s a keeper. Come on, let me help you take it off so you don’t wrinkle it,” he told her as he took the gown off, threw it in a heap on the chair and took his wife to bed.




The auction was three days away.  Edith has been at the lecture hall where the auction was to be held telling the decorators what she wanted done and where everything was to go. 


The ladies were going to meet her there after work today to go over the final details.  All the men involved would be there a little later so Edith could explain to them what they were to do.  Most of them had been to the auctions before but Edith wanted to make sure there were no slip ups.  Dale Heart would also be there to find out what to do and practice his lines since this was his first auction.


Wanda, Angie and Janet walked into the lecture hall and were blown away at how beautiful it looked. Edith had the decorators put white drapes up covering the brick walls and draped more from the ceiling.   Soft colored neon lights of pale red, yellow and pink were placed in strategic places around the room.  There were two black fountains in opposite corners of the room with water gently cascading down the sides.  Palm trees were clustered together around the backs of fountain.  The tables were placed in the center of the room covered in white tablecloths with black napkins and chair covers.  The centerpieces would be red, yellow and pink roses with assorted greens.  The stage at the front of the room wasn’t too high and had another fountain with bubbling water in the back surrounded with more palm trees.


“Edith the room is breath taking,” Janet told her taking in the beautiful room.  “This isn’t the Vegas I’ve seen though.”


“I wanted the softer, calmer and elegant side of Vegas not the glaring version.”


“You sure captured it,” Wanda remarked looking around the room.


“I’m glad you like it,” Edith said with pride and a fake wipe of her brow.


“Who wouldn’t like it?” Angie replied.  “It’s gorgeous.”


Trish couldn’t get away as soon as the other ladies and was in shock when she walked in the room.


“Oh Edith it’s beautiful.  I love the black fountains and palms trees.  It’s so calming.”


Dale Heart walked in followed by the admiral, Lee and Chip. Jamie, Chief and the rest of the crewmen came in right after them. They stood there looking around the room amazed at what Edith had done.


“Edith, my dear, you have done an exceptional job,” Harry commented, “Who’d believe this was a lecture hall with brick walls.” 


The other men agreed with him as they looked around the room. 


“Maybe we should keep the decorations; it might make the lectures more interesting,” Lee remarked grinning at the admiral.


“Enough compliments.  Let’s get started,” Edith stated in a no nonsense voice, “Dale, you will give an opening welcome before they eat dinner.  We will be doing the auction as they eat.  If we don’t we will be here until the next morning.  The first person out will be Riley, then Patterson, followed by Trish, Kowalski, Chief Sharkey, Wanda, Jamie, Angie, Chip and finally Harry.”


“Janet will escort the men out and stay with them until the winning number is announced.  The winning bidders will be brought over to my table where I will get their name, personal information and money if they have it now.”


“Lee you will do the same thing with the women.  Do we need to practice or can you handle it?  There will be marks on the stage where you should stand. Just one more thing, make sure you eat before you come. I don’t need any of you passing out from no food,” she told them looking specifically at Chip as he was always hungry.  “You’ll not get dinner until the auction is over.  The caterer will have food for us when we’re done.”


“I think we can handle this,” Lee answered. “We’ve all been here before.”


“Good. Gentlemen, one other detail, dinner dress blue uniforms.  Dismissed,” she said with a wave of her hand.


There were no groans from the group of men this time.  Last year they had to wear their dress whites which none of the liked.  The group left the hall and went home while Harry and Edith went to dinner with Dale and his wife.




Lee, Janet and Chip went to Chip’s house and ordered a pepperoni pizza.  It was his house so he got to choose the pizza.  Janet didn’t really care for pepperoni but would pick it off and give it to Chip.  While they waited Chip brought Janet a glass of wine and a beer for Lee and himself.


“Thank goodness we didn’t have to practice,” Chip sighed while they waited for the pizza to come.


“Sometimes she can be very demanding,” Lee answered back taking a swig of his beer.


“Guys, I know I’ve only been to one auction but she does have a good heart and only wants the best,” Janet replied defending Edith on being a perfectionist.  “I know a couple of men who are the same way when it comes to one submarine,” Janet smiled as she took a sip of wine.


“You’re right.  It will be a lot more fun again this year because I don’t have to go on a date,” Lee commented looking at Chip with a sly grin.


“Very funny,” Chip said sarcastically as the doorbell rang with their pizza.


As they ate the pizza, Janet had another glass of wine while Lee and Chip had another bottle of beer. After helping Chip clean up, Lee and Janet went home and went directly to bed as it had been a very long day and they had a little too much to drink.  They don’t usually drink on week nights when they have to work the next day.  But they made an exception for tonight as they would only have to work part of the day due to the auction later that night.




It was early afternoon the day of the auction and Edith was a nervous wreck.  The flowers were wrong and had to be redone but everything else was perfect. The fountains were bubbling away as the caterers were setting the tables and bringing in the food. 


The institute offices would close early so everyone could get ready and be there on time as Edith wanted everyone there at least two hours before it started so she could check them out and make sure they were ready to go.  Everyone had to meet with her approval.


Lee and Chip spent most of the day on Seaview in the missile room.  There was a big problem with torpedo tube number one.  As Chip was getting ready to leave, he saw Lee still standing by the torpedo tube.  He had been in the tube for most of the afternoon and was covered in grease and sweat.


“Lee you better get going or you’re going to be late.  Just leave the torpedo tube as it is.  I will help you finished it up tomorrow.”


“No, it shouldn’t take me too much longer,” Lee told him as he climbed back into the tube.




Janet had gone home early to get ready; she took a shower, put her on her make up and put her dress on in thirty minutes and was waiting for Lee to get home. After waiting another thirty minutes, she tried his cell phone but got no answer.  They needed to be at the auction in an hour.  She took his uniform out of the closet.  Thankfully he had everything ready to go.  She drove to the institute with his uniform hoping he was there showering in the locker room but when she got there the door was locked so she knew he wasn’t there. 


She went to his office and no sign of him there either. Damn, she thought as she left his uniform in the closet.  She would have to go down to the sub pen.  If he was still on Seaview he was in big trouble.  She went to the closet in her office to look for something to change into.  She had nothing but a pair of shoes; she grabbed them, putting them on before she went to Lee’s office to see if he had anything she could wear.  Finding a sweat suit in his closet, she carefully hung up her dress after she put on the sweats. The sweatshirt was down to her knees and the pants even tying the drawstring as tight as she could were still far too big but she needed to move quickly and a long dress and heels wasn’t going to work.  She ran to the sub pen past the guard on duty down the gangplank to the sail hatch holding up her pants as she ran. 


“Stephen do you know where Captain Crane is?” she asked the guard in the control room after climbing down the ladder out of breath.


“Yes Mrs. Crane, he’s in the missile room,” he replied smiling as she stood there still holding up her pants.


“Thanks.”  She ran to the missile room where she saw just his feet hanging out of the torpedo tube.


“Lee Benjamin Crane what the hell are you doing in the torpedo tube?  You’re supposed to be dressed and at the auction in forty five minutes.”


Startling him, he came out of the tube rubbing his head.


“Sweetie I’m sorry I can’t leave until I know it’s repaired.  I need another thirty minutes.  The auction isn’t starting for another hour.”


“Honey I’m sorry I startled you,” she said as she rubbed his head and gave it a kiss as the crewman helping Lee walked in saw what took place, turned around and high tailed it right back out the hatch.  Luckily there was no bump or blood.   “Please hurry Edith is going to have meltdown if you’re not there on time.  I brought your uniform to the office.  You’ll have to unlock the door to the locker room to shower.


“Okay, don’t panic.  Is that what you’re wearing to the auction?” he said playfully.


“Lee, be serious.  I changed so I could come and find you.  I would never be able to get down the ladder in that long dress without falling. I think the dress would have been a better option, these things are huge,” she laughed still holding up the pants, “and hurry up.”


“Yes, ma’am,” he replied giving her a two finger salute and climbed back in the torpedo tube.


Janet ran back to the institute and changed back into her dress and shoes.  She checked her makeup and hair and made it to the hall a few minutes early.  The rest of the group were already there waiting.


“Janet where’s Lee,” Edith fumed.


“He’ll be here soon.”   I hope. Janet thought.




Guests had been arriving for the last hour.  Security along with help from Seaview’s crew was parking the cars so no one would go any further than the lecture hall located in Building Four on Oceana Drive.


As the guests arrived, they were given paddles with numbers on them.  They would hold them up if they wanted to bid on the person being auctioned off.  The auction was starting and Lee hadn’t arrived yet.  Edith was fit to be tied, you could almost see smoke coming from her ears she was so mad.


“Janet, I’m going to kill him,” Edith stated very unhappily.


“I’m so sorry Edith,” Janet apologized profusely a little miffed at her husband too. “Can Chip escort the girls out until Lee gets here?”


“He’s going to have to,” she sniped.


“I’ll tell him.”  Janet walked over to Chip and whispered in his ear that he would have escort out the ladies.  He frowned but nodded his head.


Dale Heart walked on stage to a round of applause and made his opening remarks.


“Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Nelson Institute’s Annual Charity Auction.  This year all the money raised will go to the women’s shelter and food pantry of Santa Barbara.  Now let’s get this auction started.”


 Waiters and waitresses were serving the soup as Janet escorted Riley out on stage.   

“Here’s our first date for the night, Stu Riley, would someone please start the bidding.”


There were plenty of paddles going in the air for Riley.  He was having a great time looking at the women who were bidding on him.  Paddle Number 25 won the bid.  She was a petite dark haired girl, the total opposite of Riley who seemed pleased with his date.


Next Janet escorted out Patterson who was a little shier but still enjoyed the fun. Renee from the Chamber of Commerce won the bid for Patterson.


Chip escorted Trish out next. She was almost as tall as Chip in her heels and looked beautiful in her red dress with a low cut front and back.  She got many bids and paddle number 10 won.  He was a short stocky man with blond hair.  Janet noticed he was sweating profusely even though it was cool in the hall.


“Please enjoy your salad while we take a short break before we continue the auction,” Dale told the crowd.


“Janet, where the hell is Lee?”  Chip asked tersely.  “I don’t mind escorting the ladies out but that was his job.”


“Yes, where is Captain Crane?” the admiral asked very irritated as he came up behind Chip.


“He’s fixing the torpedo tube.  He told me he would be here on time,” Janet replied warily.


“Don’t I pay other people to do that job?” the admiral stated very unhappily.


“Yes sir but you know Lee, he was afraid they wouldn’t be able to fix it,” Janet sighed.


The admiral and Chip also sighed.  The admiral looked over at Edith and could tell Lee was going to be in big trouble when he did show up.  No one gets a free pass when she’s upset, even Lee.




Dale Heart went back on stage to resume the auction as they cleared the salad course.


“Let’s continue the auction with Paul Kowalski.  Kowalski was soaking up the attention as much as he could.  He was encouraging the women to bid on him.  Finally after a bidding war, paddle number 101 won.  She was tall, thin and had long blond hair just his type of woman.


“Being auctioned off for the first time is Chief Francis Sharkey so let’s give him a warm welcome as the next date up for bidding.”


Janet escorted him out and could tell he was very nervous. 


“What if I don’t get any bids?” he whispered to Janet.


“Chief don’t worry there are plenty of women who will bid on you.  Just wait and see,” Janet whispered back patting his hand as it was linked in her arm.


As they were bidding on Sharkey, Edith noticed Lee standing by the door with a sheepish grin on his face.  He stared at her with those amber colored eyes pleading for her forgiveness that he was late.  She could never stay mad at him, so she smiled and waved him in.  He went over to her, whispered he was sorry and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He went back stage to bring out Wanda who was next up for bidding.


“It’s about time Captain,” Nelson said under his breath when he saw him.  “We’ll talk later.”


“Yes sir,” he sighed knowing he was now in trouble with the admiral.


They were still bidding on Sharkey and sure enough he had almost as many bids as Kowalski.  His lucky date had paddle number 173. The woman was Sharkey’s height and had red hair.  He smiled at her as he left the stage.


As Janet led him off the stage she said, “See I told you someone would bid on you.  She’s cute.”


“That was kind of fun,” Sharkey replied grinning, “and yes, she’s real cute.”


Lee escorted Wanda out who was stunning in her dark green dress with a slit up the side all the way to the top of her leg.  She saw Aaron Thompson sitting at a table; they had been dating for awhile so she hoped he would win the bid for her which of course he did.


Lee smiled and gave him the thumbs up sign as he escorted Wanda off stage.


“We’re going to take one more break before we conclude the auction for tonight.  Is everyone enjoying themselves?” Dale asked the crowd and a raucous cheer went up.  The servers had come out the with main course, stuffed chicken breasts with saffron rice and green beans almandine.


Lee went over to Janet, gave her kiss and looked her over.  She looked gorgeous tonight and he couldn’t wait to take her home and carry out what he was thinking about.  She forgave him as soon as he gave her a kiss.  As they were standing there the admiral came over to him.


“I’m sorry sir.  Torpedo tube number one’s blow valve and equalizing valve weren’t working properly.  I wanted to finish it before I left. It took longer than I thought.  I’m sorry if I made Edith mad.”


“She’ll get over it,” the admiral told him smiling, “Lee, we have crewmen to do that job.  You shouldn’t have to do it so please let the crew handle it next time.  Did you get it fixed?”


“Yes sir to both questions,” he replied realizing the admiral was right.  The only problem was that he enjoyed doing repairs himself to the boat. He wanted and needed to know every inch of her.


While the bidding was stopped Edith came over to the people who had already been auctioned off and gave them the names of their dates. 


“Riley your date’s name is Nancy, Patterson yours is Renee, Trish’s is Curt, Kowalski’s is Barb, Chief’s is Roberta and Wanda’s is Aaron.  Wanda do you know him?” Edith asked inquisitively.


“Yes, we’ve been dating for awhile,” she replied with a huge smile on her face.


“I thought so.  He was very eager to pay for you.”


Edith smiled back at Wanda and sat back down at her table so they could auction off the last four dates.


“Are you ready for the rest of the dates?” Dale asked the crowd and they cheered loudly as Janet escorted out Jamie.


“Next we have Dr. Will Jamieson.  Who’s going to win the bid for a doctor tonight?”


There were many bids for Jamie.  Janet looked at him and could see he was surprised at the number of bids he was receiving.


“They know a good man when they see one,” Janet whispered to him her arm linked in his.


“Thank you for the vote of confidence,” he whispered back.  His winning paddle number was 41.  She was woman about his age with short dark hair.  He looked at her and winked.  He was surprised when she winked back.


“Now we have Angie Pearce up for bid,” Dale told the crowd as Lee escorted her to the stage.


Angie looked divine in her blue dress with spaghetti straps and thigh high split up the side.  She barely reached Lee’s shoulder even with her heels on.


As they were bidding on Angie, Janet noticed how different they looked are all dressed up. Trish, Wanda and Angie were knockouts in their dresses.  Even the men in their dinner dress blues were extremely handsome.


There was a bidding war going on for Angie.  Finally paddle number 118 won the bid.  He was a tall man with dark hair and eyes.  Janet thought he looked at little seedy.


“Ladies and gentlemen we are down to our last two dates for the night,” Dale said as Janet escorted Chip out on stage.


A gentleman from the crowd yelled, “What about the woman in the purple dress?  Isn’t she up for bid?”


Dale answered back, “No sir, I’m sorry.  She’s married and I don’t think her husband would let her go on a date.”  This got a huge laugh from the crowd.


“Damn, I was willing to bid $3,000.00 for a date with her.”


Janet and Chip stood there stunned along with the rest of the crowd.


Edith got up from her table and went over to Janet, “That’s a lot of money.  Would you be willing to go out on a date if Lee went with?  We’ll tell them that your husband will go too. They’ll get two for the price of one.”


“Let me check with Lee.  I have no problem with it but he might even if he goes with.”


Janet let go of Chip’s arm and went over to Lee who was backstage.


“Honey, Edith wants to know if you would let them bid on me but you would be able to go with.”


Sighing he replied, “I guess I owe her that after being late.  Okay as long as I go with.  You’re not going out alone with anyone,” he stated emphatically. 


Janet walked back to where Edith was standing, “It’s okay Edith.”


Edith went up on stage and took the microphone from Dale.


“Yes, the lady in purple is Janet Crane and is willing to be bid on.  There is only one restriction; her husband will go on the date too.  So ladies that means Lee Crane, the Captain of the Seaview, will be going on the date so maybe you would like to bid on him,” Edith told the crowd that brought loud shouts of approval.  Edith went backstage and escorted Lee out to the front where he stood next to his wife.  She took his hand and gave it a squeeze which he returned.


The bidding that took place was very hard to keep track off.  Finally the man who originally wanted to bid on Janet won the bid for $5,000.00.  There were several women who were bidding on Lee and were very disappointed when they lost.  They wanted to go on a date with him even if his wife went too.


Everyone was in shock at that bid.  Chip had gone back off stage while they were bidding on Janet and Lee. 


Janet escorted him back out.  “You’ll get more than that,” Janet told him confidently.


“Next we have Lt. Commander Chip Morton.  Come on ladies he’s very good looking, sexy and always draws a huge bid.”


Chip groaned under his breath and only Janet heard him.  She patted his hand and snickered.


There was very vigorous bidding for Chip.  Paddle number 169 won the bid for $7,500.00.  She was a little shorter than Chip but had long blonde hair and blue eyes just like him.  He was very interested in his date.


There was a lot of applause for that amount of money as Chip left the stage sighing with relief that is was over.


“Last but not least we have our surprise date for the night Admiral Harriman Nelson up for bid,” Dale announced.  “Now ladies this is his first time being auctioned off so let’s make it good.”


There was tremendous bidding going on for the admiral.  He was actually a little embarrassed. As Janet stood there watching the bidding between two women, there was something about the one women that bothered her but she couldn’t figure out was it was. Finally after a bidding battle, paddle number 178 won the bid for $10,000.00. The woman was younger than the admiral but very good looking with dark brown hair and green eyes. 


 The admiral and Janet just stood there shocked at what the bid was.  Janet looked at the admiral and gave him a wry smile and told him, “Sir, you’re going to have to come back every year.”


“Yes, I might have to with a bid like that,” he acknowledged.


“Ladies and gentlemen that concludes our auction for tonight.  Before you leave Miss Edith Nelson would like to say a few words.


Edith stepped on stage with tears in her eyes.


“Let’s give a round of applause to our emcee, Dale Heart for doing a wonderful job,” she said as everyone clapped for him.


“I can’t thank all of you enough for attending the auction and bidding for dates.  This has been the best auction to date.  The women’s shelter and food bank will be extremely happy to receive this money.  Thank you for being so generous.”


Edith left the stage to thunderous applause. 


Dale went back on stage, “One more announcement, those who have won the bids please don’t leave we need you to stay to have your pictures taken.   Everyone please have a safe trip home.”


While Edith was on stage, Janet told Jamie his date’s name was Rose, Angie’s was Roy, her and Lee’s date name was Teddy, Chip’s was Sarah and the admiral’s was Claudia.


The dates and bidders were introducing themselves while they waited for the photographer to set up his camera to take publicity shots as a couple and then as a group.  After they were finished the winning bidders were free to go after Edith explained to them what would take place next.


“After I receive your money, your phone number will be given to your date, they will call and set up the date with you.  I can’t thank you enough for attending the auction and donating to such worthy causes.  I know all of you will have a good time on your dates.”


Most of them had paid for their dates before they left.  This was the first year most of the dates and bidders seemed pleased with who they got.  They thanked Edith for a good time as their cars were brought to the front of the building so they could leave right away.


The caterers had re-set some of the tables so the group up for bids and the security men and crew parking the cars could eat.  Everyone was hungry and looking forward to eating dinner. After everyone was seated, Edith stood up with a glass of wine in her hand.


“Thank you to all of you who helped make this auction a success.  I think we’re going to out do last year.”


After Edith finished, the admiral stood up next to his sister with a glass in his hand and proposed a toast.


“Edith you’ve done another fantastic job.  It was worth every agonizing minute I’ve had to deal with you these last few weeks,” he laughed as he gave his sister a hug which brought laughs from everyone.


Everyone finished eating their dinner and left for home.  It had been a long day and they were all tired.


Before Chip left he went up to Lee, “Remember you telling me you didn’t have to go on a date and I did, well it looks like you got roped into going on one anyway,”  he smirked.


Laughing as he looked at Chip and Janet, “Looks like I got lassoed.”


Chip patted him on the shoulder, gave Janet a kiss good bye and left for home.


Security was short staffed since most of the men were parking cars, so Lee and Janet offered to stay until the caterers finished cleaning up before they left so they could lock up the building.  Tomorrow was Saturday, so Lee had asked a few crewmen to come back and oversee the dismantling of the decorations.  All of them were more than happy to return and help out.   As they sat on the stage and waited for the caterers to finish Lee gave Janet a long satisfying kiss and hug. 


“I thought I was going to get out of going on a date and now I have to go on one anyway,” he said winking at Janet.


“I’m sorry but what could I do.  That’s a lot of money for the shelter and food bank.  Please don’t be mad.  He looks like a nice guy,” Janet replied sheepishly resting her head on his shoulder.


“I’m only kidding,” he said kissing her temple.


Finally the caterers were done clearing out the hall, had everything loaded in their trucks and left the premises. Lee locked up the building and walked to their car eager to get home.  


As soon as they got home, off came their shoes and they went upstairs; when they got to their bedroom Lee wasted no time taking off her dress.




Edith stayed in town for another week. She had another charity event to work on and was anxious to get back to Boston.

All the money for the dates had been collected by Friday like she wanted including the money from Claudia, Ray and Curt.   She gave the dates the phone numbers of their bidders. Most of the dates would take their bidders out in the next two weeks in case Seaview had to leave on a mission.


Before leaving, she and the admiral went to the women’s shelter and food bank to give them their money.  Both groups were amazed and very appreciative at the amount they received. 


Lee and Janet were one of the last ones to go out with their date, Teddy. He was more interested in meeting Lee than Janet who was his date.  Before going to dinner, they took him aboard Seaview. He was so excited that he almost had a heart attack when Lee showed him the observation nose and control room.  Teddy asked many questions, but most of them were about classified information so Lee couldn’t answer them.  He decided his tour of Seaview was enough and didn’t want to go out to dinner.


“Honey, I’m sorry we didn’t go to dinner,” Janet told him when returned from their date as he hung up their coats.  “I know you didn’t want to go out on a date but he did bid a lot of money and it was for a worthy cause.” 


“Sweetie, it’s okay,” he replied as he grabbed a beer from the refrigerator, sat down on the couch and loosened his tie. 


Janet sat next to him for a few minutes before getting up to find something to make for dinner.  Lee didn’t want to go out after their ‘date’ with Teddy.  She found some frozen chili and made some noodles.  Not exactly the dinner they had planned on but Lee didn’t care, he would eat whatever she made.  He helped her clean up and they watched TV for awhile before going to bed.




When they got to the institute on Monday morning, Chip, Jamie, and Sharkey were comparing their dates since they had taken them out over the weekend. They did have a nice time with them but knew they would never go out with them again.  So far Wanda was the only one who would date her bidder again or so they thought until the admiral showed up with Claudia.  He was very anxious to take her out so he arranged their date a couple of days after the auction.


“Good morning,” the admiral said as he walked through the office.  “You remember Claudia from the auction.  I’m just giving some paperwork to Angie that needs to be taken care of and then I’m going on my boat for the day. I will see you tomorrow.” 


He went to his office got the paperwork, made a few changes, gave it to Angie and walked out the door with Claudia on his arm.


Chip and Lee stood there looking at each other.  The admiral has never taken off to go boating during the week.  The rest of them stood in the office with surprised looks on their faces were too.


“What just happened,” Lee asked running his head through his hair.


“I’m not sure,” Chip replied just staring at the door to the admiral’s office.


“Leave him alone,” Angie told them.  “It’s about time he took some time off to enjoy himself.”


“Yes ma’am,” they replied smiling and left to go down to the sub pen.  They were still shaking their heads as they headed for the elevator.


“Angie, what do you think of Claudia,” Janet asked cautiously.


“I’m not sure what to think I don’t know her that well.”


“Me either.  There’s something about her.  I sensed it at the auction but I can’t put my finger on what it is.”


Angie shrugged her shoulders and went to her office while Janet went to hers.


Lee and Chip came back from Seaview late in the afternoon and were ready to go home.  Angie and Wanda had just left for the day.  Janet was still there waiting for Lee to come back from the sub pen.


“What are you doing for dinner tonight Chip,” Lee asked as they exited the elevator.


“I’m going to get a hair cut so I’m just going to grab a burger,” he told him has he took his jacket and cover from his office.


“Okay, see you tomorrow,” Lee responded as Janet came out of her office.


He walked back to the elevator which hadn’t gone back down to the lobby and left for the day.


Lee went to his office, got his coat and cover while Janet leaned up against the door frame with her back to Lee’s office.  She was lost in thought when he came up from behind and gave her hug.


“A penny for your thoughts?” he asked as he nuzzled the back of her neck.


“Just thinking about the admiral and Claudia and what an interesting pair they are.  I never pictured him with a woman like her.”


“What kind is that?”


“I’m not sure but she seemed a little clingy and yet not one to be pushed around,” Janet said as they got on the elevator.


They went home and made some grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner which they ate on the deck.  They sat there watching the waves on the ocean for awhile before it got a little too cool so they went inside and upstairs to bed.




The admiral and Claudia went to the admiral’s house so he could change from his uniform into a shirt, jeans and deck shoes. She went out on the balcony to wait for him while he changed.  You could see Seaview in her sub pen from there.  He followed her out and put his arms around her waist.  She turned around and he gave her a very romantic kiss.  They never did make it to the boat that afternoon and she stayed the night.




Lee and Janet were up early the next morning.  Seaview was leaving on a restocking mission to several undersea laboratories and would be gone ten days.  Lee grabbed their duffle bags while Janet took the box she needed to take aboard along with Lee’s briefcase and they drove to the dock.  Chip was already there with his clipboard checking off the crew members as they arrived when Lee and Janet got there.  Jimmy took the duffle bags from Lee while Bob took the box and briefcase from Janet. She asked him to put the items in her office.


After saluting the colors, they walked down gangplank to the quarterdeck before going into the service hatch.


“Has the admiral arrived?” Lee asked Chip before entering the hatch.


“No he hasn’t.  I’m surprised because he’s usually here when I arrive,” Chip replied worriedly.


Just as they finished talking, a British racing green jaguar pulled onto the dock and the admiral got out along with Claudia. Janet noticed she had on the same clothes as yesterday.  Before the admiral saluted the colors he gave her a long kiss and hug before saying goodbye.


Chip, Lee and Janet stood on the quarterdeck and looked at each other.   They never thought the admiral would have hooked up with his date from the auction.  He watched her walk back to her car and drive away before he saluted the colors and walked down to the service hatch.


“Good morning sir,” they said warily.


“Good morning,” the admiral said cheerily.  “It’s a beautiful morning isn’t it?”


They waited for him to go into the hatch.  He descended down the ladder into the control room followed by Chip and then Lee who jumped down the last three rungs.  He waited for Janet to come down the ladder and grabbed her by the waist before she got to the bottom and gently put her on the deck.


Seaview left the harbor and sailed to the first laboratory.  The admiral was in a very good mood so far.  Normally he would spend most of the time on restocking missions in his laboratory or in his office working on new projects.  But this trip he was in the observation nose or the control room getting in Lee’s and Chip’s way.


One day while he was sitting in the observation nose staring out the windows Lee and Chip stood at the plotting table looking at him.  He was actually whistling.


“Lee what’s wrong with the admiral?”


“I’m not sure. I’ve never seen him like this.”


As Lee was talking Chief Sharkey came up to him to sign a manifest and heard what he said.


“Sir, I think he really likes Claudia.  He’s got the ‘look’.”


“Yes Chief I think you’re right and he’s got the ‘look’?  What’s the ‘look’?” Lee questioned.


“It’s the same ‘look’ you had when Mrs. Crane came on board for her pilot run before we hired her.”


“I had the ‘look’?  I looked like the admiral?” he asked perplexed.


“Yes sir, everyone knew right away Mrs. Crane was going to be hired and you would most likely get married.  You ‘looked’ happy and in love,” Chief continued, “Just like the admiral looks now.”


“Do I still have the ‘look’?” he asked as Janet came in the control room with some reports.


Both Chip and the Chief nodded their heads smiling.  So was Lee.


Seaview continued on her mission and the admiral was still smiling and whistling.




A few days after Seaview left, Claudia went to David Pepin’s hotel room to report on how her dates went with the admiral.  They had been on quite a few before he left.   Roy and Curt were also there to report on their dates.  David had shelled out a lot of money to make sure they won the bids and was anxious to hear what took place.


Roy was telling them about his date with Angie.  “I knew she was Nelson’s secretary but she was hard to get a date with.  She was always busy with the admiral and at the institute.  She’s a good looking woman but I don’t think she’ll go out with me again.”


“Who would,” Claudia said nastily.


“Now Claudia, please be nice,” David said with a sly grin.  He knew she didn’t like Roy.


“I might be able to get in the institute by mentioning her name.”


“Good that might be helpful.”


Curt’s date with Trish wasn’t much better.


“She’s a beautiful and nice woman too but if I hadn’t won the bid she would never give me the time of day.  I don’t think I could get into the communication center so I hope we won’t need too.  I couldn’t believe how tall she was.”


“No I don’t think we will but we will need to get past security at the front gate,” David replied not really caring about their dates.  He was more interested in Claudia’s.


“No problem, I have that covered.  Harry and I’ve had some wonderful dates. We were together before he left.   When I come to the main entrance, no one asked me any questions at all; they recognized my car and waved me in.  I should be able to get into the main office too.”


“Wonderful but I will take care of getting into the main office.  We will need some more help there.  When will Seaview be back?”


“If everything goes according to schedule, Harry told me they should be back by tomorrow.”


“Marvelous we will execute our plan on Friday so that gives us two days to get ready.  Please leave all of you I have another meeting scheduled.”


“Good bye, Uncle David,” Claudia said as she left closing the door.


A few minutes after she left there was another knock on David Pepin’s door.  A man by the name of Tim Weaver was standing at the door waiting for Mr. Pepin.


“Tim, good to see you.  I need some information from you.”


“Yes sir.  Whatever you want.”


“How do you get into the main office NIMR?  Isn’t there security at the front gate?” Pepin asked motioning to Tim to sit down at the table near the window that looked out over the ocean.


“Yes sir.  They have a list of the appointments for the day.  If someone doesn’t have an appointment, they call the office and talk to Wanda Carston, the receptionist, Janet Crane, she’s Lee Crane and Chip Morton’s administrative assistant or Angie Pearce who’s the admiral’s administrative assistant.  They will tell the guard to let them in or send them away.  Some of the time if the officers are available and depending on what they want, they will see who comes or let their secretary handle them.”


“At the institute main office building is there a security guard on duty...even if you have an appointment how do you get in to see them...where are the offices located?”


“There’s a security guard on duty at all times at the front desk in the lobby.  During the day the man’s name is Howard.  I’ve been there a couple of times filling in for him while he went to lunch. The offices are located on the first floor.  To see anyone upstairs you need to sign in and he will call to let them know who is there.  Once they know who’s coming you take the elevator to the first floor.  Wanda is right there when you get off the elevator and will show you to the waiting area located in the middle of all the offices.”


“Is the elevator the only way up?”


“No there is a stairway that goes upstairs too.  As far as I know those are the only two ways to get to the offices on the first and second floor.”


“What’s on the second floor?”


“I believe accounting, human resources and the legal department.  Right now there is no one on that floor.  They are remodeling all the offices and have relocated the personnel to another building.  They are waiting for carpeting so there will be no workers there either.”


“When are you filling in for Howard again?”


“Actually I’m going to be there the rest of the week.  They’re training me to take over for him when he goes on vacation in a couple of weeks.”


“Very good,” David said with a gleam in his eye.  His plans were coming together better than he thought.  “Here’s what you’re going to do. On Friday, check and make sure everyone is in the office.  Make an excuse to get some coffee.  I want you to put this sedative in Howard’s coffee.” David handed him a packet with some white powder.  David continued, “It will knock him out for quite a few hours.  Tie him up, gag him then put him in the stairwell. As soon as you’ve done that call me. When you call also let me know who isn’t in the offices.  We will then proceed to the front security gate at NIMR.  Hopefully we will have no problems getting in.  Once we are in, don’t call upstairs and let them know we are there.  I want to surprise Admiral Nelson.  When we arrive at the front desk, we’ll go up the elevator and leave it there.  Disable it so it stays on the first floor.  I will let you know when to release it.  Do you understand everything?”


“Yes sir.”


“Your money will be deposited in your account by tomorrow morning.”


“Thank you sir.” 


“You can leave now.  I will see you on Friday.  Don’t let me down or you will be sorry,” David threatened.


Tim quickly left David’s room.  David sat at the table with a very pleased expression on his face.  Everything was falling very nicely into place.  He ordered lunch from room service as he sat looking out the window at the ocean.




Seaview docked late Wednesday morning.  After the crew was dismissed, the admiral, Lee, Chip and Janet were getting ready to go topside when they heard a commotion at the top of the ladder in the control room.  They heard a man’s voice and a woman’s voice.


“Just go down the ladder, ma’am and someone will be there to help you,” the crewman said.


“This is very hard to go down.  Isn’t there any other way to get aboard this ship?” the woman sniped.


“No ma’am this is the only way,” the crewman said with exasperation.


Lee went to the ladder and saw a pair of legs with high heeled shoes and a skirt attempting to climb down.  Not wanting to look up her skirt he motioned to Janet to come over to the ladder and help whoever it was down the ladder.  The admiral already knew who it was by the voice and was very surprised to hear it.


“I’ll help her,” the admiral volunteered as he walked over to the ladder.  By this time Claudia was almost at the bottom.


“Harry,” she said as she saw him standing there.  “You need to have another way of getting on this ship.”


“It’s not a ship it’s a boat,” he said giving her a quick kiss.  Claudia wanted more so she grabbed him by the hands and pulled him close to her and gave him a very amorous kiss.


He was quite embarrassed as Lee, Janet and Chip watched what took place. 


“Why are you here?” he asked softly.  “I told you I would call and meet you later on.”


“Harry, I wanted you to show me around Seaview and so when I got here the ship was already here.  I waited with the rest of the wives and girlfriends but you never came up so I asked the men up top to show me how to get down.  Why does it take you so long to leave?”


“We’re always the last ones off the boat.  We need to make sure the crew is off, clear up paperwork and tell the deck crew what needs to be done.”


Lee, Chip and Janet could tell the admiral wasn’t quite ready to show her around Seaview but he didn’t know how to tell her.


Sensing the admiral was uncomfortable Janet spoke up, “Claudia, why don’t you have the admiral show around Seaview when you don’t have high heels and a skirt on.  Seaview has many levels and stairways along with hatches that are hard to walk over in high heels and a skirt.  I always wear pants and flat shoes when I’m on board.  It’s easier to get around.”


The admiral gave Janet a look of relief that Claudia didn’t see as her back was to him.  As Claudia turned around to look back at the admiral, Janet nodded and smiled.


“I see what you mean about the shoes and skirt.  I had a hard time getting down that ladder. Now how am I going to get back up?”

“Don’t worry just take one rung at a time.  I will follow you up,” Janet said with a grin.  She knew that Claudia was worried about someone looking up her skirt.  When she did wear a skirt or dress on board, Lee would always go down first or up right after Janet so no one could look up her skirt or dress.


Claudia slowly climbed up the ladder and finally made up to the top and out the sail hatch.  Janet followed right behind her.  They were followed by the rest of the men with their gear.  They all walked down the gangplank where the men saluted the colors.  The admiral took Claudia’s arm and they walked to the parking lot to her car.  He waved to Lee, Chip and Janet as they left.


“Well, that was very interesting,” Chip snorted.


“He wasn’t expecting her at all,” Lee said quietly with a frown. 


“Come on let’s go home,” Janet told them as she grabbed their arms and linked hers in theirs. 


“What are you going to do for dinner?”  Chip asked as they walked to the parking lot.


“Do you mind if we just go home?” Lee replied looking at Janet.  “I’m not that hungry and I have a lot of work to do.”


“Fine with me,” Janet stated seeing the frown on Lee’s face.


“Okay by me.  I need to drop off my cleaning anyway and run some errands.  Do you want me to take your cleaning too?”


“Thanks, Chip,” Lee said handing him the duffle bag with the cleaning.  Since most of the cleaning was his uniforms, he was in charge of getting them to the cleaners.  Since Chip dropped it off, he would pick it up.


They walked to their cars still talking about the admiral and Claudia.  Taking his keys out of his jacket, Chip hit the key fob and unlocked his door, put the duffle bags in the bag and drove out of NIMR. Lee unlocked the door on Janet’s SUV and helped her inside, went to the driver’s side, climbed in and drove home.




On the short ride home Janet looked at Lee and could tell something was on his mind.


“Honey, are you alright?  You seem a little worried.”


“I am worried and concerned about the admiral and Claudia.” 


“Concerned about what?” she asked as they got out of the car.  She grabbed Lee’s briefcase while he took the other duffle bag and brought it in the house. 


“Doesn’t she seem too young for him?  Not that he’s old but there is an age difference.”


“Honey, age isn’t everything.  He’s young at heart and has the strength and stamina of a much younger man.” Janet reminded him.


“I guess you’re right.”


“Lee, you have to admit he’s been very happy since they started dating.”


“I’m going to work in my office for awhile, if you need anything come and get me,” he told her ignoring her remark as he rolled up his sleeves, loosened his tie and undid the top button of his uniform shirt.


“I’m going to do laundry and some other chores so I will leave you alone,” she replied giving him a kiss.


She went upstairs, changed her clothes, started the laundry and did some other chores that needed to be done.  She didn’t mind doing chores but they were never home so how could anything get dirty.


Lee had been in his office about two hours when she peeked in on him and saw him staring out the window.  You couldn’t see Seaview from his office but you could see the institute offices.




“No but make yourself something if you are,” he told her never looking at her as he continued to stare out the window.


“I’m okay.” 


Janet left his office and decided to make some brownies.  Maybe they would help Lee’s mood.  She would make Cora’s special brownies with the amaretto.  She made two batches so Lee could take one to work tomorrow for the admiral and Chip to have during their meeting.


She finished the first batch of brownies and made some coffee the way Lee liked it.  He liked it much too strong for her so she would have a cup of tea.  She brought him three brownies and a carafe of coffee.   He looked up from his desk and smiled.


“Are these Cora’s brownies?” he asked as he poured some coffee and grabbed one of the brownies.


“Yes.  I made another batch for you to take to work too.”


“Sorry I’m not much fun tonight.”


“Don’t worry about it.  I have plenty to do,” she replied wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing the top of his head and left his office.


After she finished the laundry and chores she checked on Lee again.  He was still working on his reports.  It was 2300 hours and she was tired.


“Honey, I’m going to bed.”


“Okay sweetie I’ll be there shortly.”


Janet fell asleep and had no idea what time Lee came to bed. 


They took their usual shower together the next morning and got ready for work. They had coffee and toast for breakfast. Janet cleaned up while Lee got his briefcase. Since it was Thursday Lee and Chip would spend the day at the institute catching up on paperwork and meet with the admiral later in the morning to see what items he wanted to discuss with them.  They were walking out the door and Lee forgot to take the brownies.  Janet grabbed the plate of brownies and ran to the car.  Heaven forbid they get to work a couple of minutes late.


“You forgot these and I know you have a meeting with the admiral today.  You might need them to get through the morning.”


“I know Chip will enjoy them,” Lee said as they drove away.




Janet and Lee arrived at the institute and said good morning to Howard.  With Howard was another man that neither one of them recognized.


“Captain, Mrs. Crane this is Tim Weaver.  He’s going to be working here for a few days to learn the routine.”


“Howard, you aren’t leaving us are you?” Lee asked concerned as Howard has been there for many years and could be trusted to do anything that was asked of him.


“No sir, just going on vacation next week.  Jeff transferred out of security so we needed to train someone new.  I’ll still be here for quite a while.”


“That’s good.  Welcome Tim.  Let us know if you have any questions or need anything,” Lee replied.


“Yes, sir I will.”


Lee and Janet took the elevator upstairs and Janet could tell Lee wasn’t too happy that Howard wasn’t going to be around.  When Seaview was on a mission or the men were down in the sub pen, Lee knew Howard would keep an eye on Janet and the other ladies.  There was something about Tim that Lee felt uncomfortable about.  Maybe his spy persona was working overtime.


When they arrived at their offices Chip was there waiting for Lee.  He saw the brownies and made a grab for one of them.


“Those are for your meeting,” Janet told him slapping his hand away before he could grab one.


The admiral came out of his office and he saw the brownies. 


“Are theses Cora’s brownies,” he asked Janet as he took one. 


“Yes sir.  I didn’t have anything better to do last night so I made them.”


“Good let’s get this meeting over with.  I’m leaving as soon as we’re done.  I’m taking Claudia out for the day.”


“Looks like he’s going to have better things to do than make brownies,” Chip mumbled under his breath so that only Lee heard him.


Lee jabbed him in the ribs and he couldn’t help but let out a groan.


“You okay, Chip,” the admiral asked him as he grabbed another brownie.


“Yes sir,” he replied rubbing his side while he took a brownie and followed the admiral into his office.


Lee gave Janet a kiss on the forehead, “See you for lunch,” he said as he went into the admiral’s office shutting the door behind him.


Angie had just arrived and walked into her office just as Janet was leaving. 


“It’s going to be a very interesting day,” Janet told Angie.  “The admiral’s leaving as soon as the meeting is over.”


“He’s leaving again.  He can’t.  I have a lot of paperwork to review with him and all these proposals to look at,” she fretted holding a folder bulging with paper.  “I guess they will have to wait unless he wants Lee to look them over.”


“Let me know if I can help,” Janet told her.  “Angie, one more thing, did you meet Tim the man who’s going to take over for Howard while he’s on vacation?”


“Yes, I’ll miss Howard.  I’m afraid things might get a little messed up while he’s gone.  He seemed a little nervous.”


“I thought so too,” Janet replied as she walked to her office and sat down at her desk that was piled with work.




Before they started the meeting, they each grabbed a cup of coffee and a brownie.  Chip and Lee sat in the chairs in front of the admiral’s desk.


“I only have a couple of items to discuss.  One of them is the upgrades to Seaview’s computer system,” the admiral said munching on a brownie.  “Do we need to do them right now?”


“Yes sir.” Chip answered without hesitation, “We’re a little behind the times in technology right now.  If we upgrade we will be equipped with the latest and greatest.”


“Okay go ahead and get what you need to bring her up to date.  The next item is these proposals for new missions.  There are quite a few of them and I haven’t had a chance to look at them.  Lee, I would like you to look them over and let me know which ones we should take and which to avoid.”


“Yes sir.”


“Is there anything else we need to discuss?” the admiral asked as he shuffled the papers on his desk.


“Admiral, I know it’s none of my business but there’s something that bothers me about Claudia.  Let me do a background check on her,” Lee asked quietly.


“You’re right it is none of your business so I suggest you drop it,” the admiral said angrily as he stood up.


“Yes, sir.”


“Well if that’s all there is, I’m leaving for the day.  I’ll be back on Friday as Claudia has to go out of town that day.”


It was 1000 hours when the admiral opened the door to his office with his cover and jacket in hand.  Lee and Chip went to their offices to start working on the items the admiral wanted them to take care off.  Before he left, Angie cornered him with some paperwork


“Sir, these items need to be signed and I have quite a few proposals for you to look at,” she told him.


“I’ll sign what needs to be signed and give Lee the proposals to look over.  I promise I will stay here tomorrow and finish all my work,” he told Angie with a grin.


“Yes sir,” she replied handing him a few letters to sign but kept the folder of proposals. 


“Good bye and have a good day, Angie.”


“You too sir.”


He walked out the door without his briefcase and had a huge smile on his face as he waited for the elevator. 


Angie went into his office and saw there was one brownie left.  She picked up and ate it.  Damn these are good brownies, she thought.


She shut the door to the admiral’s office and went to Janet’s with the empty plate.


“Here’s your plate back.  Those brownies were good.”


“Thanks, I’ll make some more next week.”


She stopped at Lee’s office.


“Hi Lee.  The admiral asked me to give these proposals to you to look over and let him know what you think.  I believe he wants them by tomorrow.  Sorry I have to dump these on you.”


“I knew they were coming.  I’ll have them done by tomorrow even if I have to take them home.”


“Thanks Lee.” 


She left him sitting at his desk with about fifty proposals to look over.  It was going to be a long day and night but luckily for him he still had a couple of brownies at home.


The rest of the day went very fast.  Lee and Janet never did meet for lunch.  He spent all day in his office finishing up some reports which he gave to Janet and then started looking at the proposals.  He would never finish them at work so he would take them home.  Janet was also busy.  Chip gave her a few reports to type plus what Lee gave her so she wouldn’t have time for lunch.




The admiral returned home and changed his clothes.  Just as he finished getting ready, the doorbell rang and Claudia was at his door. Smiling he let her in and gave her a very passionate kiss. 


“I thought I was picking you up today,” he said kissing her neck.


“I was out anyway and figured I could come and get you.  What do you have planned for us today,” she asked as she unbuttoned his shirt.


“After a little ‘fun’ why don’t we go sailing.  It’s a beautiful day and we can go wherever our spirit takes us.”


“Well what are we waiting for,” she said as she took his hand leading him to the bedroom.


When they were finished, they walked to the admiral’s car and he drove them to the dock.  His crew was waiting for him on the boat.  He helped Claudia board the boat, at least this time she was dressed for sailing.  She had on deck shoes, shorts and a very low cut shirt which was tied at the bottom.  She caught him looking at her and smiled.  They sat on the deck as Thomas, the man in charge of the admiral’s boat, sailed out of the harbor to San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands off the coast near Santa Barbara.  He skillfully moored the sailboat in a secluded cove.  The admiral had Sally, his cook, pack up lunch for them. One of the crew carried the basket and a cooler with wine to a spot under the trees where the admiral put out a blanket. The crewman went back to the boat and would wait there until the admiral came back.  The admiral took two glasses out of the basket and grabbed a bottle of wine from the cooler.  They sat there enjoying the sunshine, drink and food.


“Please tell me about your family,” the admiral asked as they lay on the blanket Claudia nestled into the admiral’s arm.


“Not now Harry, let’s just enjoy the peace and quiet and each other,” she said as she rubbed her hand on his chest.


They stayed there for a little while longer having some afternoon delight before taking a walk on the beach holding hands.  It was getting late so they walked back the boat, and waited for the crewman to bring back the basket and cooler before sailing back to the dock at NIMR.  As Harry helped her off the boat, she fell into his arms.  He gave a kiss and long hug.  They drove back to the admiral’s house where Claudia stayed for a few more hours before going home.


“Please stay,” the admiral pleaded.  “You can leave from here tomorrow.”


“Sorry Harry.  I still have to pack.  I’ll see you soon,” she replied as she left his house with a smirk on her face.




After the admiral left, Lee went to Chip’s office to discuss the computer upgrades for Seaview.  He sat down in the chair in the front of his desk instead of sitting on the corner like he usually did.


“Chip now that the admiral has told you to go ahead with the upgrades for Seaview, how soon can we get them?”


“I figured the admiral would okay the upgrades so I went ahead and ordered them, they just need to be picked up.  I’ll do that on my way home tonight so we will be able to install them tomorrow.  It will probably take all day to do it so I’m going to need your help.”


“No problem.  We’ll plan on spending all day on Seaview.  Chip, what to do you think of Claudia?” Lee asked as he rubbed his fingertips together.


“I don’t really know her to offer my opinion.  I think the admiral might be moving a little too quickly but you did the same thing and it turned out fine,” Chip said with a smile, “Lee, you better let it go.  You saw how angry he got with you when you suggested a background check on her.  Maybe he’s right and there is nothing to be suspicious about.  Take off your spy cap and put on your friend cap for a change and let him have fun.”


“Maybe you’re right,” Lee replied rubbing his forehead.  He walked out of Chip’s office and into his where he spent the rest of the day.


It was 1900 hours by the time Lee, Chip and Janet left the institute for home and all of them were tired. 


“I’m actually too tired to go out and eat,” Chip told them.  “I’m putting a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”


“No problem.  I’ve got a lot of work to do anyway.  We’ll find something to eat at home too. Bye Chip.”




Lee and Janet got home and sat down on the couch debating on what they should have for dinner.


“How about a salad for dinner,” Lee suggested.


“No problem.  If you want to start working on the proposals, I’ll bring it to you.”


“Thanks Sweetie.  I appreciate it as I think it’s going to be a long night.”


She went to the kitchen, took the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chicken leftover from the other night and put it in two bowls. She put on the light vinaigrette he liked, brought him the salad and some iced tea to his office.  He gave her a kiss as she left him alone.  He was already deep into one of the proposals so she knew she would have to eat alone.  She grabbed her book and read it while she ate dinner.  She went to check on him an hour later with a carafe of strong coffee and the rest of the brownies. She saw that he had finished the salad.  


“Thanks, they’re just what I needed,” he told her pouring a cup of coffee and putting a brownie in his mouth.


“I’ll check in on you later,” she said as she left taking the empty bowl.  She could see he was tired but he still had a few more proposals to go over.


She went to the couch, sat down and continued reading her book.




She left him alone for another couple of hours by this time it was 2200 hours and she was tired.


“I’m going to bed.  Please don’t stay up too late,” she told him with a gleam in her eye.


“I’ll be there soon,” he answered still reading the proposal not looking at her.


Lee came to bed two hours later.  Janet was sleeping but when he got into bed she woke up. She tried to engage him in a little intimate exercise but he wasn’t interested.  Surprised and disappointed, she laid next to him and he wrapped his arm around her as he put his other arm above his head.


“There’s something about Claudia I don’t trust,” he said rubbing Janet’s arm.  “She’s not who or what she appears to be.”


“Honey, are you afraid he might love her and want to marry her,” Janet replied rubbing her hand on his chest.


“Maybe but something is just not right,” he said realizing that Janet had fallen back to sleep and didn’t hear what he said.  He kissed the side of her head and laid there until 0200 hours before finally falling asleep.




Lee woke up at 0430 hours on Friday morning.  Not wanting to wake up Janet he un-wrapped his arm from her and took her hand off his chest and carefully got out of bed.  He grabbed his uniform and went into the bathroom shutting the door behind him.  He turned on the shower and stood under the warm water letting it flow over his body.  He was still worried about the admiral.  Janet woke up and heard the water running in the shower.  Even though she was still tired, not wanting to miss their morning shower together she got up and jumped in the shower with him. 


“Good morning.  You’re up early,” she said wrapping her arms around him and putting her head on his back.  He turned around and gave her a kiss as he rubbed her back. He turned off the water; they quickly dried off and jumped back into bed.  They finished their shower a little while later.


“Are you feeling better this morning?” Janet asked as she dried off again.


“A little,” he replied smiling as he watched her dry off.  “I’ll be fine, don’t worry.  Maybe it’s my sixth sense that’s kicking in.”


“Honey, your sixth sense is always right.  Maybe you should check into her background.”


“I suggested that to the admiral yesterday but he got angry with me.  Chip thinks I should just leave it alone too. Maybe I’m a little paranoid but when I get to the office, I’m going to do a background check on her anyway,” he said watching her put on his favorite dress. “There’s something about her...”


They went downstairs, made some coffee and ate breakfast.  It was still too early to go to work so Lee went back to reading the last proposal while Janet cleaned up and finished getting ready for work.  She came downstairs with her sweater and put her shoes on as Lee stood by the door ready to leave after going to his office to get his briefcase with all the proposals.  He managed to look over all of them and found quite a few he thought the admiral would be interested in.


“You look very nice today.  Anything special happening at the office that I should know about?” he asked looking her over from head to toe.


“Nothing that I’m aware of is there something wrong?  You keep staring at me.”


“No.  Let’s go,” he said kissing her forehead before he opened the door to leave.  “Since it’s going to be a beautiful day, let’s take the cobra.”


“Fine with me,” she replied as they went to the garage where he opened the door for her.  He started the car and slowly backed out of the driveway. He put it in first gear and sped down the street using all four gears before slamming on the brakes so he could make the turn onto the road that led to the institute offices.  Janet could tell he was a little anxious to get to work today.




When Lee and Janet got to the office Tim and Howard were there to greet them.  Howard signed them in the log book showing they were in the office.  He would log all of them in when they came into work.  He would also log them out when they left for the day.


“Good morning Captain, Mrs. Crane,” they both said.


“Good morning Howard, Tim.”


They stepped into the elevator and pushed the button for the first floor.  Since they were the first ones there, Janet made the coffee, went to her office while the coffee brewed and stood there looking at all the work on her desk.


I’m going to be very busy today,” she thought.


Lee went directly to the closet where he hung up his jacket and put his cover on the shelf.   He sat down at his desk and called his friend, Anthony, at ONI.  While he waited for Anthony to the answer the phone he took the proposals out of his briefcase, put them on the desk and the briefcase under the desk.


“Hi Anthony its Lee Crane.  I need a favor.”


“Hey Lee nice to hear from you.  Enjoying your six month leave?  Johnson’s still not happy about it.  Keeps grumbling about when you’re coming back.  What can I do for you?”


“I need you to do a background check on a Claudia Hall.  Could you keep it under wraps?”


“Sure thing.  Anything specific you want to know?”


“Whatever you can find out. I just have a hunch she’s not who she says she is and I don’t want someone very close to me to get hurt.”


“I’ll send what I find out in your personal code to your computer as soon as I can.”


“Thanks Anthony I owe you one.”


“Just come back so Johnson will stop grumbling,” Anthony laughed.


“I’ll be back soon enough,” Lee laughed too.


Lee hung up the phone just as Chip came in his office.  He could tell Lee was up to something by the guilty look on his face.


“Who were you talking too?”


“I’m not going to tell you so you don’t have to cover for me later.”


“Have it your way.  I got the upgrades so whenever you’re ready to go we can start installing them.”


“Just give me a minute.  I need to talk to Janet about something and I forgot to tell her we’d be on Seaview most of the day.”


“No problem.  I’ll be in my office,” Chip replied as he walked out the door and grabbed a cup of coffee.


Lee called Janet on the phone and asked her to come into his office.  She was at his office door by the time he hung up the phone.  He could never figure out how she got there so fast.  It was like she knew he would be calling.


“Sweetie, please close the door.”


“What’s wrong,” she asked as she shut the door and stood in front of his desk.


“Nothing is wrong.  First, Chip and I will be on Seaview most of the day.  We’re going to upgrade the computer and who knows what problems we may run into.  Second, I’m expecting a file from ONI in my personal code.  Please check my computer as often as you to catch it when it comes in.  When it does, please call down to Seaview as I need to read it right away.”


“Yes Lee.  What....”


“Sweetie, don’t ask okay?” he said giving her a kiss before she could finish her sentence.


“Alright I will let you know,” she replied returning his kiss.


They walked out of the office together.  He went to get Chip and they left for the sub pen and Seaview.  Janet went to her office but she never got a chance to check Lee’s computer.




Claudia, Roy and Curt met David in his hotel room at 9:00 on Friday morning.  “Sit down,” he instructed them pointing to the table near the window and offered them some coffee.  He slowly sat down across from them, poured a cup of coffee and began outlining the plan for the day as Roy poured them each a cup of coffee.


“Claudia you’re going to drive us to the institute in your car.  They will recognize your car and let you in but you’re going to stop at the security gate and tell them that I’m your father and these are your brothers and we’re surprising the admiral with our visit.”


“David, they’re going to call the administrative office and tell the guard that we are here.  He will call and let Angie know,” Claudia told him taking a sip of her coffee.


“Don’t worry.  I have Tim Weaver stationed at the front desk to cover for us.  He will call me before we get to the institute and let me know he has taken care of the other guard.  When we get to the offices, he will not call them upstairs and let them we are there.”


“David, I didn’t know you had someone from the institute working for you,” Claudia said warily.  “How do we know he won’t turn on us?”


“Oh he won’t.  I’m paying him a lot of money which he needs to cover his gambling debts,” David assured her.


“Once we get in the institute, how are we going to get upstairs without being discovered?” Roy asked with a frown.


“According to Tim there are only two ways into the offices upstairs.  One is the elevator and the other is the stairway.  We are going to get on the elevator and go to the first floor reception area like they are expecting us.  Once we are upstairs, Tim is going to disable the elevator so it stays on that floor,” David explained to them.  “I’ll go up to the receptionist and tell her who I am.  What’s her name again?”


“Her name is Wanda Carston.  She’s at the desk as soon as you get off the elevator.  She usually shows the visitors to the waiting area and reports to either Janet Crane or Angie Pearce who has arrived.”


“What do they do after a visitor is shown to the waiting area?”


“When I was there the first time, Angie, the admiral’s secretary, came out to get me and brought me to Nelson’s office which is located along the back of the building.  Angie is in an outer office and there’s another door that leads directly into his office.  The rest of the offices are on the outer perimeter. After you get into the waiting area the first office you come to is Janet Crane’s.  The next one on that side is Chip Morton’s. On the other side of the waiting area is Lee Crane’s office along with one empty one.  There are chairs in the middle of the room, next to Crane’s there’s also a couch along the wall by the admiral’s office.”


“That’s good to know.  When we go in, we will put them in the waiting area. This way no one will see us from the outside.  Curt and Roy you’re to unplug their computers, take the phone lines out of the phones and cut the ends off. This way they will not be able to make or receive any calls or plug them back in.  Then you are to collect their cell phones, turn them off and smash them.  Claudia, you and I will hold them at gun point until Roy and Curt are finished.  Then you will take over.  Does everyone understand their jobs?  Do you have your guns and extra ammo?”


“Yes sir,” they replied.


“Let’s get moving.  Tim should be calling me in the next hour.”  They got up from the table and made their way down the elevator to Claudia’s car.  Roy and Curt helped David into the car.  They jumped in the back seat and Claudia drove to the outskirts of NIMR and waited for Tim to call giving them the all clear.




Tim and Howard were in the lobby of the institute offices.  Tim was happy to see that everyone had finally come in.  The admiral was a little late in arriving this morning as he was a little tired from his excursion yesterday.


“Good morning, Admiral,” Howard said logging him in. 


“Good morning Howard, Tim, I’m running a little late today.”


“Have a good day sir,” Howard told him.


“You too.”


He got in the elevator and went up to the first floor.  Tim breathed a sigh of relief.  Now all he had to do was get rid of Howard.


“Hey Howard how about I go and get us some coffee?  I forgot to bring my mine today.  As long as you’re here it should be okay.”


“Thanks I could use a cup.  You’re going to have to remember to bring some on Monday when you’re here alone; you can’t leave until lunch when your relief comes.”


“I’ll remember.  How do you take it?”


“Cream and two sugars.”


Tim left the office and went to the cafeteria.  While he was gone, Chip and Lee left the institute offices and went to the lobby.


“See you later Howard.  We’ll probably be gone most of the day,” Lee told him. “Call down to Seaview if there are any problems.  The admiral should be in the office all day today along with the ladies.”


“Yes sir.  Have a good day.”


Since it was a nice day Chip and Lee left the office and decided to walk down to Seaview.  By the time they got to Seaview, Tim had returned to the lobby.  On his way back he stopped at the corner of the building and put the sedative David gave him in Howard’s coffee.  He went back to the lobby and gave Howard the coffee. 


“You did say cream and two sugars?” Tim asked to kill time.


“You got it,” Howard replied as he took a sip of the coffee.  “I don’t know what you did but this is a very good cup of coffee.  Maybe Cookie changed the roast or something but man this is good,” Howard said as he drank the whole cup. 


Before long he was lying on the floor sound asleep.  Tim tied his hands and feet, duct taped his mouth and dragged him to the stairwell.  When he was finished he went back to the desk and took out his cell phone.


“Mr. Pepin, the guard has been taken care off.  Everyone is in the office today.”


Howard didn’t get a chance to tell Tim that Lee and Chip left the office for Seaview.  Since they were still on institute grounds they didn’t have to sign out that they left the office.


“Very good Tim.  We will be there shortly...alright let’s go....the guard has been taken care of.”


Claudia put the car in drive and headed for NIMR Drive and the main gate.




Chip and Lee had been on Seaview for an hour and it was now 0900.  Lee was wondering why Janet hadn’t called to tell him he had a message on his computer.  He called Anthony over two hours ago.


“Lee, pay attention.  What’s the computer telling me to do now?” Chip called on the radio from the electronics room.


“Sorry Chip put in the next disk.” Lee answered back.


This was going to take much longer than Chip realized to get this done if Lee didn’t pay attention to what’s going on.  He had something on his mind.  While the computer was installing the next disk, Chip went to the control room.


“Okay buddy what’s up.  We’re never going to get this done if you don’t tell me what’s happening on the computer.”


“I’m waiting for Janet to call me and tell me I have a message from ONI.  I called Anthony at ONI this morning and asked him to do a background check on Claudia.  I know the admiral told me to drop it but Chip something is not right and I’m worried.”


“Maybe there is nothing or Janet hasn’t had a chance to check your computer.  You know she’ll call when you get something.”


“Okay, go put the next disk in,” he told him frowning.  Before Chip left the control room, he looked back at Lee as he sat at the computer.  He knew Lee well enough to know something was really bothering him.




Claudia pulled up to the main gate at 10:00 and the security guard came over to her car.


“Good morning Miss Hill, how are you today?”


“Just fine Sal.” she answered recognizing him from her previous visits.  “This is my father and brothers.  Admiral Nelson wanted to meet my family so I brought them today.  Is it okay if I go to his office?” she asked softly batting her eyelashes at him.


“Sure Miss Hill, I will let them you know you are on you’re way.”


“Thank you Sal,” she replied as she drove to the main office building with a smile on her face.


“Hi Tim, Sal here, Miss Hill and her family are here to see Admiral Nelson.”


“I’ll let them know.  Thanks Sal,” Tim replied with a grin.


Claudia made the short drive to the main office building.  She got out of the car as Roy and Curt exited the car and helped David out and to the front door.  Tim was waiting for them and held the door for them as they went in.


“Good work Tim.  Stay here and don’t let anyone in this building.  If you need to stop them us this,” David said has he handed him a gun.  Tim went over to the door and locked it from the inside.  He also went over to the stairway door and locked it too.


“I’ll make sure no one gets in, Mr. Pepin,” he said taking the .45 caliber gun from him and chambering the round.




The four of them entered the elevator and Roy pushed the button for the first floor.  David Pepin had waited many years for this day to come.  Admiral Nelson would pay at any cost.  He got off the elevator with a smirk on his face and went over to Wanda.


“Good morning Miss Carston, I’m David Pepin and I’m here to see Admiral Nelson.” 


He stepped out of the way and Claudia was standing there holding a gun on her.


“Please don’t try anything and get up from your desk,” Claudia hissed.


Surprised that Claudia was holding a gun, Wanda got up from her desk while Roy went over to her phone, took the phone line out of the phone and cut the end off.  He also went to her computer and pulled out the plugs.


“Wanda, give Curt your cell phone,” Claudia instructed.


Wanda recognized the two men with Mr. Pepin as the men Angie and Trish had for dates from the auction.


“Miss Carston, I have no problem telling Curt to search you or your desk for it.  So I suggest you just give it to him,” Pepin said sharply.


Curt walked over to Wanda but before he could put a hand on her she took the cell phone out of her pocket and gave it to him.  He turned it off and smashed it.


“Very good.  Now take us to the waiting area,” Pepin told her harshly.


While Claudia held the gun to her back Wanda led them into the waiting area. 


“Now sit down on the chair over by Captain Crane’s office,” Claudia told Wanda shoving the gun in her back and pushing her to the chair.


David and Curt walked over to Janet’s office.  She was busy on the computer and didn’t notice them come in.


Startled she said, “Who are you? And what do you want?”


“I’m David Pepin, Mrs. Crane.  Please push yourself away from your computer and don’t try anything.  I have no problem telling Curt to shoot you.”


Janet also recognized him as the man from the auction.  Curt went over to the computer pulled the cords out and took the phone line out of the phone and cut the end off.


“Please give him your cell phone and don’t try anything.”


Janet took her cell phone out of her front desk drawer.  Curt grabbed the phone out of her hand before she had a chance to press the number three button which would have sent an alarm to Lee’s phone letting him know she was in trouble.  He turned it off and smashed it.


“Please follow me into the waiting area and sit here,” David told her to sit in the chair that looked right into Angie’s office.  Her door was closed but if the door to the admiral’s office was open she would be able to see him sitting at his desk.


The doors to Lee’s and Chip’s office were closed.  The lights were off in the offices but they didn’t notice it.


Roy, send Crane out here. If he gives you a hard time, tell him we’ll shoot Mrs. Crane if he doesn’t come out peacefully.  Also disable his phone, computer, and get his cell phone from him.”


“Yes Mr. Pepin.”


Roy went to Lee’s office and opened the door.


“Mr. Pepin there’s no one in here,” he said as he turned on the lights.  He went over to the phone and cut the line, pulled out the cords on the computer.


“Curt, check the other office,” David said impatiently.  Curt went to Chip’s office and found it empty too.


“Mr. Pepin there’s no one in here either.”  He went to the phone, cut the line and pulled out the cords on the computer.


“Damn, where are they?” David asked Janet sharply.


She refused to answer him so he slapped her across the face with the back of his hand leaving a large red mark. 


As she rubbed her face he told her, “That slap was only a warning.  Mrs. Crane let me make this perfectly clear I have no qualms about shooting any of you.  So I suggest you tell me what I need to know.”


“They’re down on Seaview.”


“Now that’s much better Mrs. Crane,” David said curtly.


“How long are they going to be there?”


She didn’t want to answer the question so she hesitated for a little while.  Curt stood along side of her with his gun pointed at her while they waited for an answer. 


“Mrs. Crane, don’t make me hit you again.  This time I will make sure I draw blood.”


“Most of the day.”


“Good answer,” he snarled.


Hearing a commotion outside her office Angie opened the door and came out to see what was going on.  She was surprised to see Claudia there holding a gun on Wanda and Curt standing next to Janet with a gun pointed at her.


“Welcome Miss Pearce,” David said arrogantly, “Claudia and I were just coming to get you and the admiral. Please have a seat,” he told her pointing to chair, three away from Janet and closer to Wanda.  Before you sit down, please give Roy your cell phone.”


She hesitated and Roy went over to her.  He was more than happy to search to search her since he didn’t get any where on their date. He finally found the phone in her pocket which he turned off and smashed. He then went to her office, cut the phone lines and removed the cords from her computer.


“Claudia, please go and get the admiral.  I’m sure he’s going to be surprised to see you,” David smirked.


She went to the door to the admiral’s office and opened it without knocking.  Janet could see the admiral sitting at his desk.  He was surprised to see her and went over to give her a kiss until she pulled out the gun and pointed it him.


“Harry, my dear, I’m so happy to see you,” she purred, “Please come out to the waiting area with the rest of your staff.”


She motioned him to move with the gun.  After he was out of the room, Roy went to the phone, cut the cord and removed the cords from his computer and fax machine.


“Harry, give me your cell phone,” Claudia demanded.


When he refused she went over to him and searched his pant pockets which she thoroughly enjoyed doing.  He didn’t have it on him. 


Roy, check Nelson’s desk for his cell phone,” she told him.


He found it on his desk.  He turned it off and smashed it too.


“Claudia what’s the meaning of this,” he asked sharply noticing that Angie, Wanda, and Janet had guns pointed at them.


“Admiral Nelson, from now on you will talk to only me.  My name is David Pepin and please sit down over here,” pointing to the couch next to the door by Angie’s office.


“Do I know you?” the admiral asked Pepin.


David sat down across from the Admiral next to Wanda, “No not directly but you did know my brother Oscar Pepin.  You met him on an ONI mission some twenty years ago in a warehouse.  Do recall that mission Admiral?  You and three other agents blew up the warehouse after you trapped my brother into selling you a cache of heroine while you posed as members of a drug cartel.”


The admiral sat there thinking back and recalled a mission where he did pose a part of a drug cartel.


“Your brother was selling drugs to soldiers at various US bases.  He needed to be stopped.  The building wasn’t supposed to be blown up.  Someone else did it, not me or the men I was with.  Maybe the people he was working for found out he was going to double cross them and destroyed it.  We only met with him and I’ve never met you before.”


“You see admiral I was in that building when it was blown up.  My brother dragged me out but not before a beam fell on me and paralyzed me. He went back to get the heroine and died in the fire that engulfed it.  So now it’s your turn to suffer.” 


“What does Claudia have to do with all of this?” the admiral asked puzzled.


“Oscar Pepin was her father.  She vowed revenge on the men who killed her father just like I did.”


“We never meant to hurt you or your brother.  We were to bring him in unharmed to face charges.  None of us knew that building was going to explode.”


“That’s a bunch of shit.  All you wanted to do was kill my brother.  Don’t worry admiral the other three men have already paid for their part in the sting.  I’ve killed all of them.  You’re the last one...I saved the best for last...Only this time I have people you care for to pay also.


“Please don’t hurt them.  They know nothing of what took place twenty years ago.  Let them go.”


“Always the gentlemen, I want you to witness someone you care about being hurt and no way to help them.”


He took aim at Wanda and fired hitting her in the shoulder.  She screamed in pain.  Janet and Angie got up to help her but Curt and Roy pushed them back down in their seats. 


“Ladies I strongly suggest you sit down now or one of you will be next.”


“Angie, Janet, do what he says,” the admiral ordered.


They sat down as ordered but very angry that they couldn’t help Wanda.  As the admiral moved to help Wanda, David wasted no time shooting him in the upper right side.  He fell to the floor as blood gushed from his side creating a large stain on his shirt.  Janet and Angie stood up to help the admiral horrified at what just happened.


“Sit down now,” David said loudly as he pointed the gun at Angie.  “Don’t move or I will shoot the both of you.”


“Please let us help them,” Janet pleaded as she and Angie watched them writhe in pain.


“No they need to suffer just the way my brother and I did.”


Roy and Curt stood in front of Angie and Janet with their guns pointed at them.  Wanda had passed out from the pain and her shoulder was bleeding pretty badly.  The admiral lay on the floor with his hands on his side trying to stop the bleeding.  Janet and Angie could tell he was going into shock and before long he too lost consciousness.


David and Claudia just sat there grinning at what just happened.  They had gotten their revenge.




It was 1000 hours and Lee was still waiting for Janet to call him.  They were almost done with the first phase of the upgrade when Chip came into the control room and saw Lee pacing in front of the computer.


“I still haven’t heard from Janet.  I’m going to call her and find out if Anthony has sent anything.”


Chip rolled his eyes and waited for Lee while he made the call.  The computer had just finished updating so the first phase was complete.  They needed a break so Lee went to Seaview’s radio and called the institute.  All the phone did was ring.  He let it ring about twenty times and no one answered.  He then took out his cell phone and pushed the number one button that connected him directly to Janet’s phone.  It went straight to voice mail.  He also tried the admiral’s number along with Angie and Wanda’s.  It too went to voice mail.


“Chip something’s wrong.  No one is answering any phones up there,” Lee said running his hand through his hair.


“Try calling Trish in the communication center.  Maybe there’s a problem with the phone system.”


Lee dialed the number and Trish picked up the phone on the first ring recognizing the number.


“Hi Lee.   What can I do for you?”


“Trish is there something wrong with the phones?  I’ve tried calling the institute main office and the phone just rings.  All the cell phones go directly to voice mail.”


Lee could hear her flipping some switches and pressing buttons. 


“Lee, I see no problems with the phone system.  Could they have left the building?  I don’t see any problems with the cell phones either.”


“No I don’t think so.  I was waiting for an important message from someone and Janet was going to call me when it came in.  Let me try sending an e-mail.  I’ll call IT if I don’t get any response.  Thanks for your help.”


“Let me know if you need anything else, Lee.”


“Chip can we use a computer to send an e-mail?”


“Sorry Lee everything is down while we do the upgrades.”


“Damn.  I’m going to call Anthony back and see if he sent anything.  Can you spare me for a few minutes?”


“Sure we are at a breaking pointing anyway,” Chip replied walking to the observation nose for a cup of coffee.


As Lee was talking to Chip, Riley came into the control room.


“Hi Skipper, Mr. Morton.”


“Riley what are you doing here?” Chip asked surprised to see him.


“Helping the Chief with an electrical problem on the torpedo panel.  He needs a spare part from the warehouse.”


“I need you to do something for me.” Lee told him, “I’ll clear it with the Chief.”


“Yes sir.  What do you want me to do?”


“I need you to go to the main office and find out if there is a problem there.  No one answers the phones. I don’t suppose you have your scooter here?”


“Sorry sir not today.  I’ll run there that way I won’t have to do it later.”


“Thanks Riley.”


Riley climbed up the ladder out of the control room and to the sail hatch and ran down the gangplank to the main offices.


While they were waiting for Riley to come back, Chief came into the control room muttering to himself.


If you want something done you have to do it yourself.  What’s taking Riley so long?”


“Oh hi Skipper, Mr. Morton did Riley come through here.  He was getting me a spare part and isn’t back yet.”


“Sorry Chief I sent him to check out something for me.  He’ll get your part when he gets back.”


“Okay skipper. I’ll just wait here if it’s okay with you.”


“No problem.” Lee replied as he paced up and down the control room. Chief looked at Chip as Lee continued to pace.  Sitting on the edge of the table, Chip shrugged his shoulders as he took a drink of his coffee.


Lee decided to call Anthony directly while they waited for Riley, he answered the phone on the first ring.


“Anthony, it’s Lee.  Did you find out any information on Claudia?”


“Yes Lee. I sent that to you over two hours ago, didn’t you get it?”


“No.”  Shit, he thought. 


“Lee she’s one bad lady.  Her real name is Claudia Pepin.  She’s wanted by various agencies in the US along with her uncle David Pepin and two men named,” Lee could hear him shuffling papers, “Roy Bell and Curt Taylor.  They’ve killed three men who were on a mission for ONI twenty years ago.  There was a fourth man involved it was Admiral Nelson.”


“Damn.”  Lee shouted, “What happened on the mission?”

“A warehouse was blown up while Oscar Pepin was inside.  He was wanted for selling drugs on US bases.

The four men were sent there as a drug cartel to flush him out.  Somehow the building exploded.  Our four men got out but David Pepin was dragged out of the building by his brother after a beam fell on him and paralyzed him.  Oscar went back in to get the drugs and died in the explosion.  All four of the men involved swore they never set the building to blow up.  We found out this information from one of the men before he died.  Even thought David Pepin was paralyzed he’s been rehabilitated enough to get around.  Lee, I don’t know who’s hooked up with her but you better tell him before its too late.”


“It might already be too late.  Thanks Anthony.”


Lee hung up the phone and slammed his fist on the plotting table.  Startled, Chip left his cup on the table and ran to the control room.  Chip could see he was pissed.


“Lee, what did Anthony find out?”


Lee relayed to Chip and Sharkey what Anthony told him about Claudia and the other two men along with David Pepin.


“Skipper, aren’t those other two men from the auction too?  I remember Trish telling me he was a little weird and very nervous,” Sharkey told Lee.


Just as Lee finished telling Chip and the Chief what Anthony told him, Riley came back down the ladder to the control room.


“Skipper,” he said trying to catch his breath.  “When I got to the offices I saw Tim Weaver sitting at the front desk with a gun. I didn’t want him to see me so I didn’t try the door.  Is there a problem up there and why would Tim have a gun? ”


“Damn,” Lee said as he rubbed his hand on his forehead.  “Yes Riley there is a problem.  You’re sure he didn’t see you?”


“Yes sir, I’m positive he didn’t see me.”


“Chief, get some side arms for Mr. Morton and myself.  Give Riley one and grab one too and meet us topside.”


“Aye, Aye sir,” Chief replied getting the key out of his pocket to the arms locker in the control room. He opened it up and took out four guns, handing one to Riley while he buckled one on himself.


When Lee and Chip scrambled up the ladder and out the hatch, they nearly ran over Kowalski and Patterson entering the sail hatch.


“Sorry sirs,” they said.


“Go tell Sharkey you both need side arms and meet us up here on the double,” Lee said as he paced up and down the quarterdeck waiting for Sharkey.


“Yes sir,” they replied running to the hatch.  They met Sharkey coming up with the side arms for Lee and Chip.  He handed them the two side arms to give them while he went down to get two more.  Kowalski handed Lee his while Patterson handed Chip the other one.


While Lee and Chip buckled on their guns, Chip said cautiously, “Lee, you better call the police department.  This might be a little more than we want to handle.”


“You’re right.  I’ll call Aaron and tell him to get some men over here now.  You call Hank in security and tell him what’s going on and to wait for the police department.  Tell Hank not to go to the front of the main building but go around the back way using Adriatic St. and wait for us in front of the lecture halls.”


Lee dialed the Santa Barbara police department and asked for Aaron Thompson while Chip called Hank at security and explained to him what was happening.


“Santa Barbara Police how may I help you?” a woman answered.


“Is Aaron Thompson there?  This is Lee Crane from the Nelson Institute.”


“Yes sir he’s here, just a moment.”


“Yes Lee what can I do for you?” Aaron said quickly.


“We have a bad situation here.  I believe there are three men and a woman at the main office holding our people hostage and the security guard is locked in the front lobby with a gun threatening to shoot anyone who tries to come in.”


“Lee, who’s being held hostage?”


Sighing Lee replied, “Admiral Nelson, Angie, Janet and Wanda.”


“I was afraid you would say that.  I’ll be right over.  Give me ten minutes.”


“Aaron you better bring some men and please don’t use your sirens or lights.  Hank will be at the security gate waiting to bring you in.  I don’t want anyone to see you coming.”


Lee hung up his phone just as Chip as disconnecting from security.


“Hank will have a couple of men with him and wait for Thompson,” Chip reported uneasily.


Lee then dialed Med Bay.


“Dr. Jamieson.”


“Jamie we’re going to need your help.  The admiral and the ladies are being held hostage at the main office.  Right now we think there are four people there plus the four of them.  You better bring everything you got.  Meet us in front of the lecture halls.  Please use the back way to get there.”


“Lee, do we know if any of them are hurt?”


“Jamie, right now I don’t even know if they’re alive.  Just hurry.”


“I’ll be right there.”


Jamie called his staff into his office.


“We have a hostage situation at the main institute offices.  Frank, John, I want you to come with me.  Please tell Mike to bring the ambulance to the front of Med Bay, once we’re on board we’ll go the back way to the lecture hall.  Betty, Hazel, I want you to have everything ready for any kind of injury or surgery.  Also please call all personnel back to work.”


“Yes sir.  One problem though, only Cary is available.  Emma and Jenna are on vacation,” Hazel replied as Betty left to get Med Bay on full alert ready to take on any injury.


“No problem, please call her and see if she can come in to help out.”


“Consider it done,” Hazel replied running to the front desk to call Cary.


Mike made sure the ambulance was equipped with any emergency supplies they would need and was waiting in the front of Med Bay.  Jamie, Frank and John got into the ambulance and were in front of the lecture hall twenty minutes after Lee called.




Sharkey and the rest of the men came out of the sail hatch and down the gangplank with their side arms.


“We’re going to meet Hank from security and the SBPD in the front of the lecture hall.  I don’t want Tim to see us and alert whoever is upstairs that we know they are there,” Lee told them as beads of sweat formed on his forehead.


Lee, Chip and the rest of them ran over to the front of the lecture hall and waited for Hank and Aaron to come.  Lee was pacing in front of the lecture hall and deep in thought.  Chip knew he was working out a plan.  Hank with three men from security and Aaron with two officers pulled in front of the lecture hall.  Lee explained to them who they were after and why.


“Lee, are we going to need a sharp shooter?” Aaron asked standing by the car ready to radio the station.


“No I don’t think so. I’m hoping he’s holding the hostages in the waiting area. This way he can keep an eye on them and not worry about being seen or getting shot from any of the office windows.  The only way into the building undetected is the fire escape ladder that leads into the admiral’s office.*   Chip, Aaron, Kowalski, Patterson and I are going to go up the ladder into the admiral’s office.  Hopefully they left the door open to his office and the one in Angie’s office.  Chief, Hank, Riley, the security men and police officers will go in the front door but stay out of sight.”


Lee continued outlining his plan,  “Hank, leave one of your men near the fire escape, when he sees the last man go in the building, give us five minutes to get into place.  We need the element of surprise and catch them off guard.   After waiting five minutes storm the front door.  Please be careful as we know Tim is armed. Those men that are going with me please turn off your phones and radios.  I don’t want any noise to alert them we are there.  Everyone understand their job?”


Everyone nodded their heads and broke up into their groups and headed for their positions.


Lee climbed up the ladder first and cautiously opened the door into the admiral’s office from the fire escape.  They were in luck as the door to that admiral’s office into Angie’s was open and so was Angie’s door to the waiting area.  Lee could see a man leaning against the door frame outside of Angie’s office.  He could also see Janet sitting across from the door.  He waved the other men to come up the ladder.  Silently the rest of the men climbed the ladder and went into the admiral’s office staying out of sight.


Lee stepped into the doorway between Angie’s and the admiral’s office.  Janet caught sight of him but didn’t let on that he was there.  She rubbed her nose using her forefinger and hiding her thumb so Lee could see her four fingers.  She was letting him know how many people there were holding them.  Smiling he understood her signal and winked at her.  Now if she could only read his mind.  They needed a diversion.  Just a small one so they could get into Angie’s office and then into the waiting area.


“David, I need to go to the bathroom please,” Janet asked.  “There are no windows in the bathroom so I won’t be able to escape.  Have Curt come with me if you don‘t trust me.”


“Alright but make it quick.  Curt, don’t take your eyes off of her and keep your gun on her.  Go into the bathroom with her and wait until she is finished.  If she tries anything, shoot her.”


“Into the bathroom with her?”


“You heard me.  I don’t trust her.”


“Okay let’s go,” he told Janet as he left the doorway pointing his gun at her.


Lee smiled at her as she stood up.  He motioned to Kowalski to take the man by the door frame. He jumped on Curt sending him to the floor.  Janet fell to the floor laying on top of the admiral to protect him while Angie pulled Wanda down to the floor and lay on top of her.  Lee went for Roy while Aaron went for David who was taking aim at Lee.  He fired and shot David in the chest.  He fell on the floor a few feet in front of Janet and the admiral.  Janet looked up and could tell he was dead as he eyes quickly glassed over as blood poured from the wound on his chest.  She felt something hit her arm but didn’t pay too much attention to it.  Chip had overpowered Claudia and had her pinned to the floor.   Patterson made sure everyone was alright before going to the elevator to release it.


Downstairs Sharkey, Hank and Riley and the rest of the men stormed the front door.  Tim saw them coming and was shooting at them through the door which shattered the glass.  Tim stopped shooting when he realized he was out numbered and surrendered.  A police officer grabbed his hand cuffs from his back and put them on Tim. He led him to a chair and pushed him into it.  Riley went to the stairway door and found Howard still sleeping and tied up.  He and Sharkey untied him, carried him into the lobby and laid him a one of the couches.




Aaron had brought zip tips with him and he tied up Roy, Curt and Claudia. 


Chip went over to Angie and helped her up off of Wanda who was conscious.  He also helped up Wanda and could see her shoulder was bleeding pretty badly.  He went to his office, found some towels and put it on her wound.  Both Angie and Wanda were trembling. 


Lee went over to Janet who was still laying on top of the admiral and helped her to a kneeling position so he could check out the admiral. Looking at him, he knew the admiral was in bad shape.  His face was very pale, he checked for a pulse and barely found one.  He could see he had lost a lot of blood looking at the carpet. 


Noticing all the blood on her and her dress he asked worriedly, “Sweetie, are you hurt?”


“No I don’t think so.  This is the admiral’s blood,” she told him even though her arm hurt.   “Where’s Jamie?  The admiral needs help right away.”


“He’ll be here shortly.  He’s on his way up now,” he told her after checking with Sharkey on his radio.


 “Lee, is David dead?” Janet asked softly her voice quivering as she looked at David lying on the carpet near the admiral.


“Yes, he is.  The police need to check everything out before we can move him.”


“Kowalski, there’s an old blanket in my closet. Could you please bring it here?” Chip asked quietly after hearing Janet and Lee talking.


“Yes sir.”


Kowalski brought back the blanket and Chip covered up David so they wouldn‘t have to look at him.


Claudia was sitting there watching them when she started to complain.


“These ties are hurting my wrists,” she whined.  “Please loosen them up.  My arms are hurting from being held behind my back.”


Angie had enough.  She stood up, walked over to where Claudia was and punched her in the face.  She hurt her hand by punching her but it was worth it. 


“Shut up.  How can you complain about your wrists and arms when two people have been shot and one killed,” Angie yelled as tears run down her face.


“Angie calm down,” Chip told her as he sat her back down but had a big smile on his face as did the rest of the men.  He sat next to her rubbing her hand as it was already starting to swell.


“I’m sorry.  I just couldn’t take anymore,” she said crying.


“It’s alright Angie,” Lee reassured her.


Aaron sitting next to Wanda was holding a towel on her shoulder hoping it would stop the bleeding.


“You doing okay?” he asked very concerned as she looked very pale.


“My shoulder really hurts a lot,” Wanda whispered as tears were running down her face.


“Help will be here shortly,” he said tenderly as he wiped away her tears.




Jamie rushed up the stairs with Frank and John as the elevator was still holding on the first floor.  He was afraid of what he might find when he got up there.  By the time they got to the offices the elevator had been released to the lobby.  Patterson and Mike took the stretcher Jamie left in the lobby and brought it to the first floor.


Jamie ran into the waiting area and saw the admiral lying on the floor in a pool of blood.  Janet and Lee were both leaning over him.  They had put some towels on his wound to try and stop the bleeding.  He was unconscious.


Pushing them away and making a quick examination of his wound, Jamie asked worriedly “Janet, how long has he been like this?”


“He was shot about an hour ago.  They wouldn’t let us help either one of them.  When we tried they threatened to shoot us.  The admiral ordered us to do what they said so we had to sit here and watch them bleed,” she said softly with tears running down her cheeks.


“Jamie will he be alright?” Lee asked urgently.


“I don’t know.  His pulse is weak.  He has a rapid heart rate and he’s lost a lot of blood.  I’ll have to do surgery to find out where the bullet went.  Lee, I got to go.” Jamie noticed the grave look on his face and patted him on the shoulder, “I’ll do my best.”


“I know you will. We’ll be there as soon as we can,” Lee told him running his hand through his hair.


Frank and John carefully put the admiral on the stretcher, wheeled it to the elevator where Patterson and Mike loaded him into the ambulance for the short ride to Med Bay. 


Before leaving as Jamie walked to the elevator he had some instructions, “Frank, stay here, take care of Wanda, Angie and Janet.  Bring them to Med Bay as soon as the ambulance returns.  Check them out and do what needs to be done once you get them there but don’t let them leave Med Bay without me looking at them.”


“Yes sir.”


The ambulance dropped the admiral off at Med Bay where Betty and Hazel were waiting for him.  Mike and Patterson brought the ambulance back to the office for the others.   When they arrive back at the institute and first floor, Frank and Mike made Wanda lay down on the stretcher as she got very dizzy when she stood up.  Angie walked along side the stretcher as they wheeled it to the ambulance.  They loaded Wanda in and Patterson helped Angie climb in the back.  She sat down next to Wanda holding her hand as Frank climbed in back.  Patterson shut the doors and went to the front to let Mike know it was okay to leave for Med Bay.  Janet wasn’t hurt so she stayed with Lee and Chip. 


Before Chip, Lee and Janet left for Med Bay they waited for the police to take away Curt, Roy, Claudia and Tim.  Aaron had gone downstairs to wait for the coroner to come and remove David’s body.


“Lee, can we go downstairs too?” Janet asked softly.  “I don’t want to be up here with him...when can we leave to check on the admiral?”


“Sure sweetie we can go downstairs,” he told her as he wrapped his arm around her and kissed her cheek. We can’t leave just yet.”


Lee could see she was very upset as she had never seen anyone shot and killed before.  They took the elevator down to the lobby just as they were loading the four people in the police cars.  Aaron made sure they were read their rights.  He wanted no screw ups when this went to trial.  He saw that Chip, Lee and Janet were the lobby and noticed that Janet was looking a little pale and holding very tightly on to Lee.


“Sorry it’s taking so long.  I know you want to check on the admiral.  Just go to Med Bay and wait for me there.  I do have to question all of you on what took place upstairs but I will wait until later or even tomorrow if necessary.  Is it okay if I go over and check on Wanda?  I might be while though.”


“Of course.  You know where it is.”  Lee answered patting him on the arm.


Just as they were leaving Aaron said to Lee, “Nice plan of attack.  I get the impression that you’ve done this before.  Maybe we should have a talk sometime?”


“Thanks.  Janet helped by signaling me how many people there were.  And she must have read my mind and created a diversion just when we needed it,” Lee replied with a wry grin giving Janet’s hand a squeeze.


Aaron started to go upstairs when he saw the coroner’s van pull up in front.  He waited for him and went up with him on the elevator.


Instead of leaving out the front door, Lee and Janet went out the side door by the stairs.  Lee knew his wife was really shaken at what had taken place upstairs and didn’t want to stress her out any more by going by the coroner’s van.  Lee helped Janet into the car and went around to his side and got in.  Once in the car, she started to cry. She looked at him with tears running down her cheeks.


“He’s got to be all right,” she sobbed.


“He’ll be okay,” he tried to reassure her as he took her hand on held on to it before they drove to Med Bay.  Please let him be okay, Lee thought trying to convince himself.


Chip was going to stay behind along with Sharkey and the rest of the men from the institute.  He wanted them to get started on the clean up and needed to tell them what he wanted done.  He would be at Med Bay in a little while. 


By the time most of the police had left, Howard finally woke up, shook his head to clear the cobwebs and wanted to know what happened.  Sharkey told him what had taken place. He was very upset that he fell victim to Tim’s actions.  Chip told him not to worry about it and to go home and sleep off the rest of the sedative.  One of the security men would make sure he got home safely. 




When Jamie got to Med Bay, nurses Betty and Hazel were waiting for him.  Jamie and John quickly took the admiral off the stretcher and onto an examination table.  Frank cut away the admiral’s uniform so Jamie could look at his wound.  He didn’t like what he saw and was worried that his blood pressure was very low and his pulse was rapid, weak and thready.


“Damn, he’s lost a lot of blood.  Hang a unit of whole blood typed and crossed matched to the admiral’s blood type and start an IV of plasma expanders and put him on oxygen,” Jamie ordered.  “During surgery, we will suction, filtrate and re-infuse the blood he is losing back into him, but he will probably still need more.


Betty started the IV’s and put the oxygen mask on him. She took his vitals again and his blood pressure was still very low. 


Jamie knew it could be risky with his blood pressure so low but he needed to find out where the bullet was and what damage it had done. John would assist Jamie in surgery and was preparing him while Jamie scrubbed up.  Betty and Hazel were already in the operating room when John wheeled the admiral in.


He operated on him and found the bullet has lacerated his liver.  They suctioned out quite a bit of blood which they did filtrate and auto-infuse back into him.  He checked to make sure there were no bleeders before closing him up.  They almost lost him on the table when he went into cardiac arrest.   They had to defibrillate him to restart his heart.


Luckily it was a small laceration and the operation took three hours but he had lost a lot of blood before he got help.  He was relieved to find an exit wound from the bullet and that no other organs were damaged.


Jamie watched John wheel him into the recovery room where Betty and Hazel would take over monitoring his vital signs.  If he would need more blood, he would not have a problem getting any as his blood type was AB+.  If Med Bay ran out of blood he knew about hundred men who would donor some of theirs.


Jamie removed his bloody gloves, gown and cap and threw them in the hamper before he left the operating room.  He no sooner left the operating room when Lee and Janet met him in the hall.


“How is he?” Lee asked worriedly.


“We almost lost him.  His liver was lacerated and he’s lost a lot of blood.” Jamie answered wearily.  “He’s not out of the woods yet.”


“Can we see him?” Janet pleaded tears forming in her eyes.


“Let him stay in recovery for at least an hour before you see him,” Jamie replied softly.  “I’ll let you know when he can have visitors.  Right now I need to check on Wanda and Angie see how they’re doing.”


He put his hand on Janet’s arm before he walked away and felt the stickiness of fresh blood on the sleeve of her dress.


“What happened to your arm?”


“Nothing. Why?” she answered not realizing there was tear in her sleeve.  She was covered in the admiral’s blood and didn’t realize that her arm was bleeding until Jamie saw it.


“Let me see your arm,” he asked apprehensively.


Janet let Jamie take her arm and he rolled up the sleeve on her dress to reveal a deep graze wound from a bullet.


“You’ve been shot and you didn’t even know it.  When did that happen?”  Jamie asked shaking his head.


“Jamie I honestly don’t know.  I felt something hit my arm when I laid on top of the admiral but with everything that was going on it didn’t dawn on me I might have been shot.  I was so worried about the admiral and Wanda I didn’t pay attention.”


“Come on,” Jamie sighed deeply, “I need to bandage it up and give you a shot of antibiotics.”


Jamie led Janet and Lee into an examination room, made her sit on the gurney where he cleaned up the wound and gave her a shot.


“You should be alright.  Just keep it covered for a day or two.  If it starts to get red and sore, please come back here immediately and let me look at it,” Jamie told her as he rolled down the sleeve of her dress.  “You’re getting to be as bad as Lee when it comes to getting hurt,” he remarked looking at the two of them.


Jamie left the two of them in the examination room while he went to check on Wanda and Angie.  Lee helped her wash the blood off her hands and face.


Rubbing his hand on his forehead Lee asked, “Is there anything else that hurts before we leave?”


“No sir,” she whispered.


They left the examination room and went to the waiting room to wait for Jamie to tell them it was okay to see the admiral. Janet sat on a chair tapping her foot while Lee paced back and forth.  By the time they got to the waiting room Chip was just getting there and didn’t see them at first. 


“Where were’s the admiral...did something happen to him,” he asked anxiously.


“Janet got shot and didn’t even know it.  Jamie had to bandage her arm. Right now the admiral’s hanging in there but Jamie won‘t let us see him for at least an hour.  He‘s in the recovery room.”


“Janet you’re as bad as Lee.  You get shot and don’t even know it,” he replied worriedly wondering how he could possibly watch over the two of them.


“He must be wearing off on me,” she smiled weakly looking at both of them.


“Since we have to wait to see the admiral and it’s going to be a long night, how about I get us some coffee,” Chip offered. “I could sure use a cup.”


“Thanks Chip but right now I could use a stiff drink,” Janet answered surprising her husband and Chip as she never drank.


“Sorry honey you’ll have to make do with coffee,” he replied with a wry smile as he left for the cafeteria.  He was worried about the admiral but needed to do something rather than just sit and wait.




As they were loading Wanda into the ambulance Aaron went over to her, “I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he told her rubbing her hand.


“Okay,” she replied softly not letting go of his hand.  He smiled at her and kissed her forehead. 


When they arrived at Med Bay, Frank helped her onto the examination table and took a look at her arm.  The bullet had gone right through and somehow missed hitting the muscles and bone.  She would need stitches to close up the wound and some antibiotics.  Angie stayed with her while Frank gathered the items he would need to put the stitches in Wanda’s arm and noticed Angie kept rubbing her hand.


“Angie, what’s wrong with your hand.  I notice you keep rubbing it.”


“It hurts because I punched someone in the face,” Angie replied softly.


Frank looked at Angie’s hand; it was badly swollen and gave her an ice pack to put on it.  He didn’t think it was broken but would send her for x-rays as soon as he was done with Wanda.  Cary walked in the examination room to see if Frank needed any help.


“Hi Cary.  Could you please take Angie for an x-ray of her hand?”


“Sure Frank,” she replied as she took Angie to the x-ray department while Frank stitched up Wanda’s shoulder.  Angie came back a few minutes later and sat down next to Wanda to wait for the results of the x-ray.  Cary brought them back about ten minutes later for Frank to look at.  He was right nothing was broken but it was severely sprained so Cary wrapped it up and gave her a new ice pack.


They wanted to find out how the admiral was but Frank wouldn’t let them leave the examination room.


“No go.  I have strict instructions from Dr. Jamieson you were not to leave until he checked both of you out personally.  Now you don’t want to get me in trouble with him do you,” he asked with small grin.


“No we don’t,” Wanda answered wearily.


Jamie walked into the Wanda’s room a few minutes later and looked at her wound.  After checking it out, he put it in a sling and then went over to Angie to look at her hand. 


“Nice work Frank” Jamie told him giving him a pat on the shoulder, “You did a nice job taking care of both of them.”


“Thanks Doc,” he replied smiling.


But before Jamie could say anything more Angie and Wanda wanted to know about the admiral.


“Jamie how is the admiral...will he be okay...can we see him?” Angie asked with tears in her eyes.


“He’s holding his own right now.  The bullet lacerated his liver and he’s lost a lot of blood.  We’re keeping a close watch on him.  As I told Lee and Janet let him stay in the recovery room for an hour or so.  I will let all of you know when you can see him.”


“Is Janet okay?  She sure had a lot of blood on her,” Wanda asked anxiously.


“She’s fine.  Just a graze wound that I bandaged.  Most of the blood on her was the admiral’s,” Jamie reassured them.


“Your wound looks good but I would really like you to stay here tonight just so we can keep an eye on both you.  You’ve both been through a terrible experience and I don’t want you to be alone with no one there to help you if something should go wrong.”


“I’ll stay with her,” Angie volunteered even though her hand was sore, she was still very shaky herself.


“No Angie, I would actually like you to stay here too.  Even though you’re not hurt, you look like hell.  You’re very pale and I can see your hands are shaking.  How about the two of you stay here together?”


“Do we have to?  We just want to check on the admiral, and go home,” Angie insisted but wasn‘t doing a good job of convincing Jamie.


“Ladies I could make it an order.”


“Yes sir,” they replied reluctantly. 


“I promise I will let you see the admiral before I give you both something to make you sleep.”


“Yes sir,” they answered knowing they wouldn’t win the argument as they walked to the waiting room where Lee, Janet and Chip were waiting. Janet and Lee were glad to see that neither one of them were hurt too badly. Chip saw the two of them there when he returned from the cafeteria and was relieved to see they were alright.  He brought enough coffee for all of them and gave a cup to Angie, Wanda and Janet which they gladly accepted.  Chip offered Lee a cup but he turned it down too wound up to sit and was pacing the floor waiting for Jamie to let them know when they could see the admiral.




As they were waiting to see the admiral, Aaron entered Med Bay and sat down next to Wanda.  He grabbed her good hand and kissed the back of it.  She told him that Jamie was making her stay overnight.  He was relieved that she wasn’t hurt too bad and that she would be staying there tonight, this way he wouldn’t worry about her being alone. He was also worried about the admiral and could see how stressed out the rest of them were so he decided to question Wanda, Angie and Janet tomorrow and the admiral as soon as he was well enough.  They all looked like they were at the end of their ropes.




Jamie went to the waiting room about an hour after the admiral went to the recovery room.  All of them were there waiting for some news and jumped up when he entered.  Lee already standing was the first one to get to him.


“He’s out of recovery, in his room but he’s still in critical condition.  I don’t want all of you going in there at once.  Lee, Janet and Chip you can go in for five minutes, then Wanda and Angie for five minutes.  No longer,” Jamie said sternly.


Lee, Janet and Chip quietly entered the room.  The heart monitor was beeping softly; there were two IV’s, one with blood the other with antibiotics and fluids.  His breathing was very shallow.  Janet sat down on the chair next to his bed and reached for his hand and gave it squeeze tears running down her face.  When their five minutes was up, Jamie came in and ushered them out so Angie and Wanda could see him.  Angie patted him on the arm and so did Wanda.  Jamie came in and told them they had to leave.  Both of them had tears in their eyes as they left.


“All right ladies, back to your room.”


“Jamie why are they staying overnight, I thought they were okay?” Janet asked anxiously.


“Just a precaution.  I just want to make sure they’re alright.  You should also stay but since you’re won’t be home alone, I’ll let you go home, but I want to check on you tomorrow morning too.”


“I’m staying here tonight anyway.  I want to stay with the admiral,” Janet insisted.


“No, he’s going to be out all night.  You need to rest.  You’re very pale too and your hands are still shaking just like Angie’s and Wanda‘s.  I bet none of you have eaten all day.  I’m going to get something from the cafeteria for Angie and Wanda.  You’ll go home, eat something and you can come back tomorrow morning and that’s an order,” Jamie told all of them. 

Lee was going to protest but Jamie gave him a look that would melt steel so he knew better than to fight him.


“Okay Jamie, you win this time,” Lee said defeated.


Jamie smiled and walked Angie and Wanda to their room three doors down from the admiral’s.  He would check on them later and make sure they ate.  Before going back to check on the admiral, he asked Cary to go to the cafeteria and get Angie and Wanda some soup and sandwiches. 


Chip, Lee and Janet were still in the waiting room when Jamie came back after seeing that Wanda and Angie were settled in their room.


“Lee, please go home.  We’ve all had a very long day.  I will stay here tonight and sleep in my office on the couch just in case he has a problem.  If there are any issues you know I will call you.  Janet needs to go home.  She’s about ready to collapse.”


“Jamie, I will....” Lee started to say but Jamie cut him off.


“Lee, she needs you tonight,” Jamie told him quietly.  “Look at her.”


Lee looked at his wife and could tell she was ready to break down.  Nodding his head he took her hand and walked out of Med Bay to their car.  Chip left reluctantly with them even though he wanted to stay too.  But he had to admit he was exhausted.




Janet was very quiet on the short ride home.  When they got home Lee wasn’t sure what to do first.  Feed her, help her clean up or just leave her alone. 


“Sweetheart are you hungry...let me make you something to eat,” Lee said concerned as he looked at her.  She was very pale and still a little shaky.


“No I’m not hungry.  I just want to take off this dress and take a long hot shower,” she replied with tears falling down her cheeks.


“Alright come on I’ll help you,” he said tenderly.


He took her hand and they went upstairs.  She took off her dress and handed it to him.


“Could you please throw this in the garbage?  I couldn’t wear it again even if I got all the blood out.  I’m sorry I know this was your favorite dress.”


“Sweetie, don’t worry about it.  I’ll find another one,” he told her as he turned on the shower for her and helped her take off the rest of her clothes.  He left her alone in the shower while he threw out the dress.


While she was in the shower she started sobbing and sat down on the floor of the shower with the water running over her.  Lee came back and found her sitting there.  He turned off the water, helped her up, dried her off and put her in bed where she snuggled under the blanket.  He lay next to her on top of the blanket where she laid in the crook of his arm.


“Lee, what if he dies.  It will be my fault I didn’t try to help him,” she sobbed.


“Sweetie you did what you could.  The admiral would never forgive himself if something happened to you, Wanda or Angie,” he told her as he rubbed her arm.


“Lee should we call Edith and tell her.  She might want to come out.”


“Let’s see how he is in the morning.  If Jamie thinks she needs to be here, I’ll have Kowalski and Chief take FS-1 and pick her up.”


“Okay,” was the last thing she said before she fell asleep.


Lee kissed her temple. He got up took a quick shower and went back to bed lying close to Janet.  He laid there for a long time thinking how horribly bad this day could have been.



Janet woke up the next morning to find Lee was not in bed.  She didn’t hear the water running in the shower.  She jumped out of bed and put on her robe.


“Lee, Lee where are you,” she yelled frantically as she ran down the stairs worried that something had happened to the admiral and he left to go to Med Bay.


“I’m right here,” he said from the kitchen as she ran into the living room.  “Just making some coffee and pancakes.”


“I was afraid something happened to the admiral and you left without me,” she replied in a panic.


“Sweetie I wouldn’t do that to you. Please calm down,” he told her gently.  “We’ll have some breakfast and then go to Med Bay.”


“Not hungry.” 


“I don’t care if you’re not hungry.  You’re going to eat these pancakes I made,” he said gently but firmly.


“Yes sir,” she replied reluctantly sitting down at the table.


Lee put three pancakes on her plate and three on his.  He ate his right away.  He watched her eat one pancake and half of another.  She just pushed the rest of it around her plate.


“Please eat some more,” Lee begged.


“No I can’t eat any more.  Here take the one I haven’t touched.  You can eat it.”


Lee took her pancake and ate it not too happy that she didn’t eat any more.  They both cleaned up the kitchen and went upstairs to get dressed.


They were ready to leave by 0800 and saw Chip leaving his house so they decided to ride together.  He could see Janet looked a little better this morning than she did last night but was still very worried.




Chip dropped them off at Med Bay but he needed to talk to Lee about cleaning up the offices. 


“Sweetie, I need to talk to Chip about something.  Go in and find out how the admiral is.  I will be in shortly,” he told her as he gave her a kiss.


“Please don’t be long,” she said worriedly.


“I promise I won’t,” he said with a frown she didn’t see.


“Lee, she seems a little on edge.  She okay?”


“No she blames herself for what happened to the admiral because she didn’t do anything to help him.”


“What could she have done?  They weren’t armed and you know as well I do that he would never forgive himself if something had happened to any of them.”


“I told her that.  Maybe once he’s better, she’ll feel better,” he replied running his hand through his hair. “What did you need to tell me?”


“I told Sharkey to have maintenance repair the front door yesterday so that should already be repaired. I also told maintenance to paint the whole waiting area.  They’re going to use the same color.  I’m going to have the carpet men rip out the carpeting in our waiting area today and replace it with the carpeting ordered for the second floor. That floor has the exact same layout as ours so there’s no problem putting it in. They’re going to order more carpeting for the second floor. Accounting, HR and Legal can stay where they are a little longer until the new carpet comes in.  The new chairs and couch for the second floor are in the warehouse so I’ve told them to put them in our offices.  They can recover our chairs and couch and use them upstairs.  This way we can get back in there on Monday with no trace of what took place there.”


“Sounds good.  Thanks Chip.  What about the phones and computers?  How much damage was done there?”


“Not too much.  The computers just needed to be plugged back in.  They didn’t damage them.  The phones lines were pulled from the phones and the ends cut off.  We just have to replace the lines and the phones will be working. Trish is sending over a technician to replace the phone lines.   Their cell phones were totally destroyed.  They smashed all four of them beyond repair.  I’ve got her working on getting them new phones.  They should be ready later today.  It takes awhile because she needs to reprogram all the speed dial numbers and put all the phone numbers in.”


“Looks like you’ve taken care of everything.  Let’s go in and see how the admiral is,” Lee told him thankful that Chip took over redoing the offices before Monday but he wouldn’t have expected anything less in his best friend.


They walked into Med Bay and found Janet, Angie and Wanda waiting outside the admiral’s room.  Jamie was examining him and didn’t want to have them in the way.  He left the admiral’s room with a look of concern on his face that didn‘t get past any of them.


“Jamie how is he,” Lee asked frowning after seeing the look on Jamie’s face.


“Not good.  He’s still unconscious and his heart rate is still too low.”


“I don’t want all of you to be in there at the same time.  Angie and Wanda you go first.  When you’re done, I want you to go home and stay there.  I know I gave you something to make you sleep but both of you were very restless when I checked on you.”


“But Jamie we want to stay,” Angie pleaded.


“Please go home until later this afternoon.  You can take the afternoon watch.”


“Afternoon watch?” Wanda questioned.


“I know the morning watch is already covered,” Jamie told her looking at Lee, Chip and Janet.


“Yes sir.” 


“I’ll take you home Wanda.  You can’t drive a car with one hand.  I can’t wait to take a shower, put on my pajamas and go to bed.  I’m still very tired. ”


“Me too,” Wanda replied agreeing with Angie.  “Thanks for taking me home.”


Before leaving they both gave Janet a hug.  Chip walked the two of them out of Med Bay and to Angie’s car.  Chip had Patterson bring her car over to Med Bay so they wouldn’t have to go back to the main office. 


“Can we go in now Jamie?” Janet asked nervously.


“Just for few minutes,” he stressed vehemently.


Before Lee went into the admiral’s room, he needed to talk to Jamie so he grabbed his arm and held him back before he went in.  Chip waited with Lee as he wanted to know what he was going to talk to Jamie about.


“Go on in,” Jamie told Janet.  “We’ll be in shortly.”


Janet quietly opened the door and stood there looking at the admiral and praying he would be alright.  She felt guilty that she didn’t help him.


“Jamie, should we call Edith?  I can have Sharkey and Kowalski take FS-1 and pick her up,” Lee asked rubbing his forehead.


“Lee, maybe you should.  I had hoped he would be conscious by now.”


Before going into the Admiral’s room, Jamie waited with Lee while he called down to Seaview.


“Chief, it’s the skipper.  Is Kowalski there with you? ”


“Yes sir.  How’s the admiral...Is he okay...What do you need?”


“Take it easy Chief, one question at a time.  Prepare FS-1 for take-off.  You and Kowalski are going to fly to Boston and pick up Miss Edith.”


“Yes sir.  We’ll be ready to leave in fifteen minutes.  Is he that bad sir?”


“Yes I’m afraid he is and thanks Chief.”


“No problem sir.  If something happens while in the air will you please let us know?”


“Yes Chief I will keep you informed.”


Kowalski was in the control room, heard Lee talking to Sharkey and was already doing the pre-flight check list for FS-1. 


Sharkey grabbed their flight jackets while Kowalski continued the pre-flight list. They launched the little sub ten minutes after Lee called down there.  It would take them about six hours to get there and back.  Lee dreaded calling Edith but knew she would want to be here.  Sighing he dialed the number to the house in Boston.


“Hello Nelson Residence,” Cora answered.


“Hi Cora, Lee Crane.  Is Edith around?”


“Yes sir, just a minute.”


“Hi Lee is something wrong?” Edith asked immediately.


“Yes, Harry’s been shot.  Jamie operated on him last night and he’s still unconscious.  We thought you should be here.”


“Oh Lee,” she cried softly.  “How was he he going to be alright...who did it?”


“He’s still critical.  I’ll tell you happened when you get here. FS-1 is on its way with Chief Sharkey and Kowalski.  They should be there in three hours.”


“I’ll be ready.  Please let me know if anything changes.”


“Don’t worry, I’ll let you know,” Lee told her quietly.


Edith hung up the phone and started to cry.  Harry was her only living relative.  What would she do if something happened to him?


Cora saw Edith crying, “What’s wrong Miss Edith?”


“Harry’s been shot…they’re coming to get me…he’s in critical condition,” she told Cora trying to wipe away the tears that just kept falling.


“Let’s get your bag packed.”


Edith and Cora went upstairs and packed her bag.  They sat outside near the dock so they could leave as soon as FS-1 docked.  Cora held Edith’s hand as the two of them had tears running down their cheeks.




Jamie, Lee and Chip went to the admiral’s room and saw Janet standing there.  Lee pulled over a chair for her; she sat down and reached for his hand.


“Come on admiral.  You need to wake up,” she pleaded.


Lee and Chip sat next to her.  They sat there for about two hours before Chip needed to leave.


“I’m going over to the office and to check to see how they’re doing,” he whispered so only Lee heard him.  “I’ll be back in a little while.  I’ll bring some lunch.”


“Thanks Chip.  I’ll let you know if anything changes.”


“Okay Lee,” he replied patting Janet’s shoulder. 


Lee took his wife’s hand while she held on to the admiral’s.  He never moved.




All of a sudden the alarm on the machine monitoring his blood pressure, pulse and heart rate started blaring.  Jamie, John and Betty came running in.  His blood pressure was dropping. 


After a quick examination, “Damn,” Jamie said loudly, “He must be bleeding internally.”


He was very upset knowing he would have to take him back into surgery to check for a bleeder.  John and Betty quickly prepared him for surgery as Jamie scrubbed up.   It took them an hour to repair a ruptured blood vessel.  Luckily Jamie found it very quickly not putting any more stress on the admiral’s already weakened system.


John wheeled the admiral back into the recovery room and put on the monitor.  His blood pressure was still low but it wasn’t any worse than before the surgery.


Lee and Janet were waiting outside the recovery room when Jamie came out to talk to them still wearing his surgical gear.

”That was close.” he told them as he took off his surgical cap and gown.  “Hopefully his blood pressure will start to go up and he will regain consciousness.”


Lee looked at Jamie and could see he was exhausted. 


“Jamie, why don’t you follow your own advice and take a nap.  John can monitor him.  He’ll wake you if anything changes.”


“For once Lee, I’m going to take you up on the nap. I didn’t get much sleep last night between checking on the admiral and the ladies I’m dead on my feet.  One more thing, please don’t go in the recovery room.  He’ll be there at least an hour.  Let him settle back in his room before you seen him.”


“Okay Jamie we’ll wait for John to tell us when we can go in,” Lee replied patting Jamie on the shoulder.


Jamie went over to John and left him instructions.  He went to his office where he laid down on the couch and fell asleep as soon as he head hit the pillow.




Aaron returned to the institute to pick up Wanda’s car, saw Chip’s car there and went upstairs where he found Chip in the office checking out the repairs.  He was impressed at how fast things were done here as the front door was already repaired. 


“Hi Chip. You didn’t waste any time getting rid of everything in here,” he said looking around the waiting room.


“Your team finished up pretty quickly and we hope to be able to work in here on Monday.  We don’t want the ladies to have to face the mess of what happened here.  We’re remodeling the whole second floor so we just used the items that were going to be installed there.  They’re in another building so they can wait a little longer to get back here.  Could you tell Wanda what’s been done when the time is right?”


“Sure no problem.  You think they may have a hard time coming back here?”


“I’m not sure.  We’ll see what happens on Monday.”


“How’s the admiral doing?”


“Still critical.  How are you this morning?  You look a little long in the tooth.”


“Tired.  I was up late booking the prisoners.  I don’t want any screw ups with this case.”


“Is there enough evidence to get them for the other murders?”


“Yes, there should be.  I also need to talk to Lee and find out how he knew about Claudia’s background?”


Good luck with that,” Chip thought.


“Where are Janet, Angie and Wanda?  I do need to take their statements. I will need one from the admiral too but it can wait until he‘s better.”


“Janet’s in Med Bay with the admiral.  Angie and Wanda were sent home but are coming back later this afternoon.”


“Good.  I’ll talk to Janet first.”


“I’m going back there so you can come with me, “Chip stated.  “But first I need to pick up some coffee and sandwiches.”


“I could use some coffee.”


“Cookie makes the best.  Hot and strong.”


Chip drove to the cafeteria and picked up some chicken salad and tuna salad sandwiches for himself, Lee and Janet along with a carafe of coffee.  Aaron followed Chip and got a sandwich and coffee too.




By the time they got back to Med Bay, the admiral was still in the recovery room.  His pulse was a little better but John wasn’t taking any chances so he wouldn’t let anyone in until they put him back in his room.


Chip found Lee and Janet standing outside the recovery room. Both of them were pacing.


“Come on and eat, John will let us know if something changes.  I got chicken salad sandwiches for you and Janet and a carafe of coffee.”


“Not hungry,” they replied.


“Mmm, I’ll tell Jamie on you,” Chip threatened.


“Okay, we’ll eat,” Lee said reluctantly as he took Janet’s hand and led her to an empty office where Chip had set up lunch.


Lee poured a cup of coffee from the carafe.  He needed a cup of Cookie’s coffee very badly.  He also took a sandwich and gave half to Janet.


“How’s it going Aaron,” Lee asked noticing him sitting there as he drank his coffee.


“Fine,” he replied, “Janet when you’re done with lunch I need to take your statement on what took place yesterday.”


“Okay, we can do it now, I’m really not that hungry” she said putting down her sandwich which got a frown from Lee.  “Can Lee and Chip stay or do they have to leave.”


“They can stay.  They weren’t there when it happened so they won’t influence your statement.  But please finish your lunch.  I can wait.  I need to talk to Angie and Wanda too and I know they won’t be here until later.”


Lee checked his watch.  Sharkey and Kowalski should have landed in Boston and picked up Edith by now.  If they didn’t have any problems, they should be landing in about two hours.




“I’m going to video tape your statement so just start at the beginning,” Aaron told her pressing he button on the video camera.  State your name and position at NIMR.


Taking a deep breath Janet started, “Janet Crane, administrative assistant to Captain Lee Crane and Lt. Commander Chip Morton.  I was sitting at my desk when Claudia, Roy, Curt and David walked in.  David told me to move away from my desk while Curt pulled the plugs out of the computer, took out the phone lines and cut off the ends.  He then asked me for my cell phone which I was reluctant to give him.”


“Did he threaten you?”


“David said he would have no problem telling Curt to shoot me if I didn’t give him my cell phone. When I did give it to him he turned it off and smashed it.  I couldn’t press the number three button to let Lee know I was in trouble. ”


“What do you mean?”


“Her phone is programmed so that if she has a problem or is in trouble she can press the number three key and it sends an alarm to my phone immediately,” Lee explained.  Aaron nodded his head understanding what Lee was telling him.  He was amazed at how up-to-date the institute was on technology.  


“What happen after that?”


“He told me sit in the chair across from the door to Angie’s office.  Curt and Roy went into Lee’s and Chip’s office and found they weren’t there.  David asked me where they were and I refused to tell them.”


“What did he do then?”


“He slapped me across the face and said he had no qualms about shooting any of us.”


“Sweetie, why didn’t you tell me he slapped you?  I was wondering where that bruise on your cheek came from.  I thought you hit it on the chair when you covered up the admiral.”


“Lee I forgot it happened.  I was so worried about the admiral I never even gave it a thought.”


“Janet let me get a close up picture just in case we need it at the trial.”


“Okay Aaron.” 


Aaron zoomed in the camera and got a shot of the bruise on her face.


“Please continue.”


“I told him they were down on Seaview and he wanted to know how long and threatened to hit me again if I didn’t tell him, so I told him they would be on there most of the day.”


Her mouth was dry from talking so she took a sip of coffee.  She really wanted some water.


“Can I get some water please Aaron,” she asked softly.  “I’ll be right back.”


“I’ll get it for you,” Lee said going out to the water cooler just down the hall.


He came back with a cup and gave it to her to drink.




“After he found out Lee and Chip weren’t there, what did he do next?”


“He wasn’t too happy about it but they disabled their equipment just like the rest of ours.  Angie came out of her office before they could go in and get her.  She heard a lot of people talking and wondered what was going on in the waiting area.  David told her to sit about three chairs down from me while either Roy or Curt took care of disabling her telephone and computer.  He searched her for her cell phone when she wouldn’t give it to him and smashed just like mine.”


“Did they go in the admiral’s office after that?”


“David sent Claudia in there to get him.  He thought she was there for a surprise meeting.  She pointed her gun at him and brought him out of the office.  I think Curt went into his office and took his computer apart along with the phones.  He wouldn’t tell them where his cell phone was so David made Claudia search him but the phone was in his office.  They destroyed it just like the other ones.”


“When did they shoot Wanda and the admiral?”


“The admiral asked who they were and what they wanted.  David explained that he blamed the admiral and three other men for causing the death of his brother, Oscar.” Janet continued to relay to Aaron what David had told them about the admiral and the mission. 

She took another sip of water and continued, “After he told us why he was there, he turned around and shot Wanda in the shoulder for no reason.  Angie and I started to get up to help her but were pushed back down by Curt and Roy who had their guns pointed at us.  We started to protest but the admiral ordered us to do what they said.  The admiral got up to help her and David shot him,” Janet told him as tears started to run down her cheeks.


Lee wanted to put his arms around his wife but couldn’t because of the video camera.


“I’m sorry to make you go through this but I need to have you tell me what happened,” Aaron apologized.


“They wouldn’t let us help him either so we had to sit there and watch them both bleed and suffer.  They just sat there with grins on their faces.  They said they had gotten their revenge,” she paused and took another drink of water before continuing.  “Then I saw Lee in the admiral’s office.  Kowalski knocked down Curt.  I didn’t see what else happened as I was lying on top of the admiral trying to protect him.  When I looked up I saw David’s body a few feet in front of me.”


“Janet, that was very brave of you to lie on top of him.  You could have been shot.”


“Aaron, she was shot and didn’t even know it,” Lee commented.  “She has a graze wound on her arm.”


“I’m sorry I didn’t know.  Thank you for your help.  I know that was very hard to do but I know it will help us.  Depending on what they decide to do, you will have to testify in court as to what happened.”


“Yes I realize that,” she said unhappily.


“Lee, when Angie and Wanda get in I’ll have to talk to them too.”


“No problem.  I will make sure they find you, they should be here shortly.”


Chip, Lee and Janet left the office to check and see if the admiral was out of the recovery room.  Lee reached for his wife’s hand as they walked back to the admiral’s room




By the time Aaron was done taking Janet’s statement the admiral was back in his room.  Lee, Chip and Janet found Jamie outside of his room with a small grin on his face.


“I think he’s over the hump.  His blood pressure is rising so hopefully he will gain consciousness soon.


Lee looked at his watch.


“FS-1 should be landing in less than an hour.  Edith should be able to wake him up,” Lee told Jamie.


They went in his room and Janet sat next to his bed, grabbed his hand and was rubbing the top of it.  Lee and Chip grabbed a couple of chairs and sat next to her.


He still didn’t move.


“Come on admiral please wake up,” Janet implored.


They sat there about an hour when Lee’s phone rang.  He got up and went into hallway.


“Crane,” he answered quickly.


“Hi skipper we should be landing in thirty minutes and will bring Miss Edith to Med Bay as soon as we land.”


Any change in his condition?” Sharkey asked while Kowalski flew FS-1.


“No chief not yet.  Call me when land and get to Med Bay, I’ll meet you at the door.”


“Aye, sir.”


Before Lee could go back into the admiral’s room he saw Angie and Wanda coming down the hall.  They both looked a little better than before.


“Hi Lee,” they said.  “Any change?”


“Jamie had to take him back into surgery.  One of the blood vessels ruptured.  He repaired it and his blood pressure was rising.  He still unconscious though.  Aaron is here and needs to take your statements so why don’t you go in and see the admiral before you give Aaron your statements.” 


The three of them went into the admiral’s room.  Chip and Janet came out so they could sit with him for a few minutes before they had to leave.


Aaron was waiting in the office and heard Lee talking to them.


“I heard Wanda’s and Angie’s voice, are they okay?” Aaron asked Chip.


“Yes, they seem better.  They’re with the admiral right now.  Who do you want to talk to first?”


“I’ll talk to Angie first.”


“Okay if I send her out in a couple of minutes?”


“Sure.  I’ll be here in the office.”


Lee came out of the admiral’s room and saw Janet and Chip waiting there.


“Edith should be here in thirty minutes.”


“If anyone can get him to wake up, it will be Edith.  She’ll threaten to stay forever,” Janet said quietly.


“You got that right,” Chip answered back.


Lee went in and tapped Angie on the shoulder and whispered, “Aaron needs to talk to you.”


“I know.  Let’s go and get it done,” she replied getting up and leaving with Lee.  


Janet and Lee went back in the room while Chip took Angie to the office where Aaron was. 


“Angie, do you want me to stay with you?” he volunteered.


“Is it okay if you do?” Angie replied looking relieved that someone would be there with her.


“Yes Angie, Chip can stay with you.” Aaron told her.


She sat down in front of Aaron while Chip stood behind them leaning on the wall.


“Angie just like I told Janet, I’m going to video tape your statement, okay? Just tell me your name and position at NIMR.”


“Yes sir.”


“Just start at the beginning,” Aaron said starting the video camera.


“Angie Pearce, administrative assistant to Admiral Nelson.”


She explained her version of what happened in the offices and her story wasn’t much different from what Janet had told Aaron except that she pulled Wanda to the floor and laid on top of her.  She never saw Lee or the other men until after they jumped Curt.


“Thanks, Angie.  I know that was hard to do.”


“If it helps put them in prison, I would tell it again to anyone.”


“You may have to Angie if they go to trial.”


Angie got up and left the office.


“Angie, could you please send Wanda in here?”


“Yes I will.”


Angie and Chip went back to the admiral’s room.


“Wanda, Aaron needs to take your statement,” Chip said softly.  “Do you want me to sit with you?”


“Yes, maybe you better.   I know Aaron and won’t have a problem talking to him but because we’re seeing each other I don’t want anyone to think he influenced my statement.”


Chip took Wanda where Aaron was.  He got up when she came into the room and gave her a kiss on the cheek.  He was glad Chip came with her.  This way there would definitely be no problems with her statement.


Just like Janet and Angie he told her he was going to video tape her statement.


“Just start at the beginning, Wanda, by stating your name and position at NIMR.”


“Wanda Carston, receptionist at NIMR.”


She relayed to him what took place and her recollection of what happened was very similar to Janet’s and Angie’s before she was shot.  She couldn’t tell him anything more because she passed out and when she came to, she was on the floor with Angie on top of her. 




While Wanda was giving her statement, Sharkey called Lee.


“Skipper we just landed and are on our way to Med Bay.”


“I’ll meet you by the front door.” 


“Yes sir,” Sharkey replied


He left Janet and Angie to sit with the admiral.


Lee went out the door of Med Bay to meet Edith.  He stood in front of the glass covered Med Bay building.  He was glad he put on his beige sweater and long sleeved light purple shirt this morning as it was quite cool for this time of day.  He put his hand around a pole and leaned against it.  A worried look etched on his face with concerned about the admiral whom he considered to be more of a father than his friend and boss.  He hoped and prayed he would be alright.


Hearing the car approach he went to meet it.  Kowalski opened the door for Edith while Sharkey grabbed her suitcase and put it in the front lobby of Med Bay.


“Thanks Chief, Kowalski,” Lee said to his men patting them on the back.  “Why don’t you head on home.”


“No problem sir,” they replied.  They were pretty tired as it was a long haul to fly from Santa Barbara to Boston and back again. 


Before leaving Sharkey asked, “Skipper any change in the admiral’s condition...did he wake up?”


“No chief not yet,” Lee said worriedly. 


“He’ll come around skipper,” Kowalski said to Lee.  “Please let us know if there is anything more you need us to do.”


“Thanks, men.”


Sharkey and Kowalski walked away back to the car and drove back to the sub pen to pick up Kowalski’s car before heading home.




“Lee how is he?” Edith asked as she gave Lee a hug before they went into Med Bay.


“Improving but still unconscious,” he told her as he took her hand and brought her to his room.


Janet and Angie got up and went out of the room so Edith could sit with her brother.  She was shocked at all the medical equipment attached to him.


“Jamie will he be alright?”


“He should be but I need him to wake up.  That’s your job, Edith to get him to wake up.”


“Please tell me what happened,” she asked while holding his hand.


“You remember Claudia, his date from the auction,” Lee said quietly.


“Yes.  He told me that they had been going out together and that it was getting serious.”

”She was actually working with another man who wanted revenge on the Harry for something that happened over twenty years ago on an ONI mission,” Lee explained.


“You better tell me all of it,” Edith sighed.


Lee explained to Edith what had taken place at the institute offices and what had transpired twenty years ago.


Taking a deep breath Edith said to Lee, “I’m so sorry Angie, Wanda and Janet had to endure all of that.  Maybe we shouldn’t hold the auction anymore.  I don’t want anyone to get hurt ever again.”


“We’ll think of something,” Lee told Edith knowing she would be very upset if they had to stop holding the auction.  He was already working on something anyway.




When Wanda was done with her statement, she, Aaron and Chip went back to the admiral’s room and found Angie and Janet waiting outside.


“Edith’s in there with Lee right now,” Angie told her.


“Chip, do you think I could talk to Lee right now?  He’s the last one I need to talk to today.”


“Sure, I’ll get him for you.”


Chip went into the room and tapped Lee on the shoulder.


“Aaron needs to talk to you.”


“Me why me?”


“Don’t know Lee.  He asked me to get you.”


“Edith I’ll be right back.  See if you can’t get him to wake up.”


Lee gave Edith’s shoulder a squeeze and went to the office where Aaron was.  The rest of them sat down in the waiting room waiting for the admiral to regain consciousness.



“Aaron what do you need me for?” Lee asked tensely.  “You were there when we rescued them.”


“Lee, I just want to know how you found out about Claudia’s background.”


“Aaron, I can’t tell you that,” Lee replied seriously.


“Lee, if I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were a spy or something.  You find out more information on people and things than even I can.”


Lee just gave him a wry grin, “I guess I know the right people to ask.  I have one question for you.”


“What do you need?”


“Do you know why Tim Weaver was working for Mr. Pepin?  When we hired him our background check showed nothing amiss.”


“Yes, we looked into his background too and recently he got into gambling and owed a lot of money to some very nasty men.  Mr. Pepin was at a casino in Vegas and saw them strong arm him for the money. He approached Tim and offered to pay off his debt but he would have to do a job for him.  Pepin checked out Tim and found out he worked at NIMR.  What dumb luck otherwise Pepin would have had to come up with a different plan to get into the institute.”


“Thanks for telling me.  Also thank you for keeping the media out of this.  It could’ve have hurt the charities involved in the auction.”


“At least I gave you more information than you gave me,” Aaron said with a grin.  “No problem Lee.  I do hope there will still be an auction next year.  The charities in Santa Barbara always need help and the auction provides that.


“I’m sure we’ll figure out something.”


They both got up and went back to the rest of the group waiting outside the admiral’s room.




Edith had been in the admiral’s room for about an hour when he started to stir.  Jamie went over and looked at him and could tell he was finally waking up.


Blinking a couple of times he focused on Jamie and then he saw Edith.


“I must have been pretty bad if they had to go and get you,” he managed to croak out softly.


“You really had us worried,” Jamie responded.


“Is Wanda alright,” he asked as he tried to sit up.  “What about Angie and Janet are they okay?”


Jamie gently eased him back down telling him, “Wanda is fine.  Her shoulder just needed a few stitches.  Angie and Janet weren’t hurt at all.”


“Harry how are you feeling,” Edith asked as she stroked his forehead.


“I’ve been better.  Boy my side really hurts.  What happened to me?”


“The bullet lacerated your liver which I fixed but a blood vessel broke and I had to open you up again. You’ve lost a lot of blood too.  Everything should be fine now.  You’ll spend at least another three days here and then go home to recuperate for another two or three weeks depending on how much you push yourself when you should be resting.”


“I’m going to stay here with you until you are completely healed,” Edith told her brother.  “And no complaining.”


Sighing he replied, “Yes Edith.”


Jamie managed a weak smile telling them, “I’m going to let the rest of them know the admiral is awake.  I know they will all be relieved.  Edith you can stay for a little while longer.  I’m sending the rest of them home to rest.  They can come and visit you tomorrow.”


“Jamie, please send Lee and Chip in.  I need to talk to them for just a few minutes.”


“Alright but only a few minutes.”


Jamie went out in the hall.  Everyone there looked at his face and could tell the admiral must have woken up.


“He just woke up,” Jamie told the group.  “I’m letting Edith stay for a little while longer.  When she leaves he would like to see you, Lee and you too Chip.  The rest of you are to go home, get something to eat and go to bed early.  You can come back tomorrow.”


Angie and Wanda started to protest but Jamie just glared at them. 


“I’ll make sure they get home,” Aaron told Jamie.


“Thanks, Aaron.”


Aaron wrapped his arm around Wanda’s waist as the three of them walked out the door. 


As he walked them out he said to them, “I’m taking you both out to dinner and I will not take no for an answer.”


“Yes Aaron,” they both replied too tired to argue.


“Jamie do you have any idea what the admiral wants to talk to us about,” Lee inquired.


“No Lee.  Just said he wanted to talk to the both of you.  Please stay only a few minutes he still needs to rest. Then the three of you will go home too.  Get something to eat and go to bed.  You all look like hell.  I’ll be in my office so come and get me before you leave.  Frank will be on duty tonight so I’m going home too.”


Edith came out a few minutes later.  She gave Janet a hug and then Chip.


“He’s not too happy I’ll be staying with him while he recovers.”


“He’ll get use to having you around.  Maybe he’ll want you to stay longer,” Janet told her with a small grin.


“That will never happen,” Edith answered back as she took Janet’s hand and sat down to wait for Lee and Chip to talk to the admiral.




Lee and Chip went into the admiral’s room.  They were glad to see he was awake but could tell he was in a lot pain.


“I need to know what happened after I passed out.”


“Admiral we can talk about that in a couple of days.  You need to rest and get your strength back,” Lee told him.


“Lee, I want to know now,” the admiral insisted.


Taking a deep breath Lee began telling him what happened, “Chip, Aaron Thompson, Kowalski, Patterson and I went up the fire escape ladder into your office.  Janet created a diversion so we could overpower Curt who was standing by Angie’s door.  Janet lay on top of you while Angie pulled Wanda down to the floor and covered her.  Aaron shot David before he could take a shot at me.  Kowalski and I took care of Roy and Curt.  Chip handled Claudia.”


“Is David dead...was Claudia hurt?”


“Yes sir, David was killed.  No, Claudia wasn’t hurt when we overpowered them but she did leave with a nice shiner thanks to Angie.”


“A shiner?”


“She was complaining about her zip ties being too tight and Angie had enough so she slugged her.  I must admit that it brought a smile to all our faces.”


“Angie slugged Claudia.  I wish I could’ve have seen that,” the admiral chuckled then grimaced in pain regretting he did that.


“I guess sending the ladies to that self-defense class is paying off,” Chip said with grin.


“Lee, I owe you an apology.  I should have trusted your instincts and let you do a background check on her.  I should’ve known better too.  But I was sure smitten with her. Had I listened to you none of this would’ve happened.”


“Admiral, please don’t blame yourself.  There’s enough blame to go around.   I should have trusted my instincts and done it anyway.  When I did do a background check on her it was already too late.”


“What about the there much damage?”


Chip spoke up, “No sir.  I’ve told them to take the carpet that was going on the second floor and put it our waiting room.  The new couch and chairs for upstairs are also going on our floor.  They can recover our chairs and couch. They’re also going to repaint the room.  The only equipment that needed to be replaced was the cell phones.  Trish is taking care of that.  You’ll have a new one by Monday, not that you’re going to use yours if Edith has her way.”


“Will you be able to return to the offices on Monday?”


“Yes we should.”


“I hope it’s not too hard for Wanda, Angie and Janet to go back there.  It must have been pretty awful for them.”


“They’ll probably be a little nervous about going back but with the new carpet and furniture it might make it a little easier,” Lee stated.


“I don’t want them to be uncomfortable.  If we need to we’ll move up to the second floor and move accounting, HR and legal to the first floor.  I need the both of you to be honest with me and let me know how they react when they go there on Monday.”


“Yes sir,” they replied.


“One more thing,” the admiral said yawning, “I want you and Chip to rethink our security at the office. I don’t want it like a prison though.


The admiral yawned again just as Jamie came in.


“Gentlemen your time is up. He needs to sleep.  Out now.”


Lee and Chip left the admiral’s room and went to where Edith and Janet were waiting.


“How’s he feeling,” Janet asked worriedly.


“He’s doing fine,” Lee reassured her and took her hand and gave it a squeeze.


“Come on let’s go get something to eat before Chip’s stomach grumbles any louder,” Lee smiled.


Frank went into the admiral’s room while they were still there.  Jamie came out a few minutes later.


“Jamie would you like to join us for dinner?” Lee inquired.


“Thanks Lee.  I think I will.”


They decided to go to Giovanni’s.  He was pleasantly surprised to see them especially Edith.


“How nice to see you again, Miss Edith, I hope everything is okay,” Giovanni asked noticing the admiral was not with them.


“Yes, everything is fine,” Edith replied noticing the look on Lee’s face that told her nothing had been released to the media.


The only one who would admit they were hungry was Chip.  When dinner arrived they all managed to eat the delicious food even Janet ate her whole meal much to Chip’s disappointment.




They drove back to the institute and Jamie took Edith to the Admiral’s house and got her settled in.  Sally, the admiral’s housekeeper would be there in the morning to make breakfast and make sure everything was ready for the admiral when he came home.


 Chip, Lee and Janet went to the Crane’s house.  Tomorrow was Sunday so they decided they would spend most of the day with the admiral.  Chip would drive tomorrow and pick up Lee and Janet about 0800 hours.  He said good bye to them and walked down to his house.  Lee and Janet went into theirs and sat on the couch.  They were tired and relieved the admiral was on the road to recovery.


They went upstairs and went right to bed.  They were too tired to do anything but sleep.




Lee woke up early on Sunday and went down to make some coffee.  As he made the coffee he looked out the window.  The ocean was very calm today.  He was thinking of a way to beef up security at the office but not as the admiral asked make it a prison.


Janet woke up and found her husband wasn’t in bed.  She could smell the coffee, putting on her robe she went downstairs and saw him looking out the window.  She came up behind him and put her arms around him giving him a hug.  He put his hands on hers.


“You okay?” she asked.


“Yes better today. Not nearly as worried,” he said turning around giving her a kiss.  They grabbed a quick cup of coffee before going upstairs to get ready.


Lee, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, was going to turn on the shower when Janet grabbed his hand and took him into their bedroom.  She dropped her robe and climbed back into bed.  Lee joined her in bed where they enjoyed some morning exercise.


They took their usual shower together, dressed and were ready to leave for Med Bay by 0800 hours.


Chip was waiting by the front door when they left the house.  Arriving at Med Bay they saw that Jamie’s car was already there.  They went to the admiral’s room and found Edith sitting there while he ate his breakfast.


“Good morning Lee, Janet, Chip,” Edith said brightly.  “How are you this morning?”

”Fine,” they replied. 


“How are you today, Admiral,” Janet asked softly going over to his bed and kissed his forehead.


“I’m feeling a lot better today,” he told her grimacing as he tried to sit up.


“He’s already trying to make Jamie let him leave today.  But he’s not having any of it.  The earliest will be Tuesday,” Edith told them.


“Admiral I wouldn’t fight him.  You know I’ve tried and never succeed so just let him have his fun.  I think he enjoys keeping people here.  This way he doesn’t get bored,” Lee said with a grin.


The admiral tried to laugh but it hurt too much. 


The five of them talked about what happened.  Lee mentioned to the admiral that Aaron would be coming to take his statement when he was feeling better.  Edith had some questions regarding the auction.


“What should we do about the auction?  Do we need to cancel it or move it to another location?  I really don’t want a repeat of what happened this year.”


Lee piped up, “I don’t think we need to cancel it or move it unless we get too many people for the hall.  If you agree to it, we will put on the tickets that all winning bidders will be subjected to a background check.   Whoever wins the bid will have to sign a form giving us permission to do the check on them.  If they won’t sign the form, we won’t give them the phone number of their winning date.  This way we will know who they are before anyone goes out on a date. I’ll check with the legal department and get their opinion.  I know we’ve never had a problem before and this was a special situation but it wouldn’t hurt to know something about the people you’re going out with.  You can’t cancel the auction too many people count on it to supplement their funds.”


“That’s a really good idea,” the admiral said nodding his approval.  “If the winning bidder won’t sign the form, NIMR will pay the winner’s bid.  This way the charities won’t loose their money.”


“Oh Harry,” Edith exclaimed, “What a generous thing to do,” she said giving him a kiss on the forehead.


“Must be the drugs talking,” grimacing as he chuckled.


“Well since I’m here I’m going to contact everyone who participated in this year’s auction and find out it if they will do it again next year.  It’s never too early to start planning.  It will be here before you know it.’


Looking at Chip first, “Well?”


“Do I really have a choice,” he snorted.


“No you don’t but thank you,” she told him grinning.


“Harry is going to do it too,” she said matter-of-factly.


“I guess I am.”


Next she looked over at Lee and Janet. 


Janet looked at Lee and smiled, “Sure we’ll do it again as a couple. But I have an idea.  What if we both were bid on separately but went on the dates together.  This way you’ll have two dates and get more money.”


Lee groaned loudly.  He thought when he got married he wouldn’t have to be auctioned off anymore and now his wife is not only auctioning them both off but he has to go a date.  He looked at his wife and she knew she was going to be in trouble when they home.


Chip let out a loud snicker after seeing the look Lee gave Janet.


“Mr. Morton, the ballast tanks need cleaning out so I’d watch my comments,” Lee said sternly.


“Yes sir,” Chip replied barely containing a grin as he hoped Lee was kidding.


“That’s a wonderful idea,” Edith said delighted.  “I’ll check with the rest of the group later on this week.”


Jamie came in and saw that the admiral was getting tired.


“Everyone out.  He needs to rest,” he told them holding the door open as they left. 


“I’ll be back later,” Edith told him.


“Much later please, as the crew of Seaview wanted to see him along with Wanda and Angie.  He’ll never get any sleep.”


“If they come to see me, please let them in,” the admiral asked quietly.


“Okay but they can only stay for a couple of minutes,” Jamie relented.


By the end of the day, every member of the crew had stopped in to visit him.  Angie and Wanda stayed a little longer but Jamie finally came in and shooed them out.


“Please try and rest.  You’ll be here longer if you don’t,” Jamie threatened.


“Okay Jamie,” he replied closing his eyes.  He actually was very tired.


Edith came back and saw he was asleep so she left him alone.  Jamie was still there going over some instructions with John who had the night shift.


“Edith, wait a minute and I’ll take you home.”


“Thanks Jamie.”


Jamie looked in on the admiral one more time before he left and drove Edith to the admiral’s house.  She invited him in for some dinner which he gladly accepted.




Chip drove Lee and Janet back to their house.


“What are you doing this afternoon? How about we barbecue at my house?  I have some steaks I can barbecue along with some potatoes we can bake.”


Lee looked at Janet who nodded yes, “Sounds good to me.”


“What can we bring besides the beer and wine?’ Janet asked.


“How about those brownies?  They’re so good,” Chip said his mouth already watering.


“Sure, I’ll bring brownies.”


They got out of the car and told him they would be over in a couple of hours.  As soon as they got in the house, Janet went to the kitchen to make the brownies. 


“Do you need my help,” Lee asked.


“No I can do it.  Why don’t you finish going over the rest of those proposals. I’ll make you some coffee.”


“Thanks sweetie,” he said tenderly giving her a kiss before heading to his office.


She would make two batches of the brownies.  One for Chip and the other for work tomorrow.


She just realized tomorrow was Monday and she would have to go back to the office.  She felt sick to her stomach.  She didn’t know the offices had been redone as Lee forgot to tell her.


As she waited for the brownies to bake she stared out the kitchen window looking at the ocean. 


She forgot to make the coffee and Lee came out to make sure she was alright.  He saw her staring out the window and shaking.  He came up behind her and put his arms around her.  She leaned her head back onto his chest.


“Sweetheart what’s wrong...Why are you shaking...Are you feeling okay?” he asked tenderly.


Turning around and taking a deep breath she looked him in the eyes and said, “I’m afraid to go to work tomorrow.  When I think about going into the office all I see is the admiral and Wanda bleeding, David’s dead body and blood all over.  Lee, I don’t know if I can go there.” 


“Sweetie, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.  Chip had the waiting area redone.  They’ve repainted it, put new carpeting in and there’s a new couch and chairs.  Please don’t be afraid.  I’ve decided that I’m going to stay at the office all day tomorrow.  We still need to finish upgrading the computer but I’m going to have Sparks help Chip tomorrow.  I know it’s going to be hard for all three of you so I don’t want any of you to be alone,” he told her as he hugged her tightly.


“Thanks Lee for letting me know and staying with us.”  She hugged him back and gave him a kiss.


“Do you still want to go to Chip’s for dinner?”


“Yes I do.  The brownies are almost done so we can leave soon.”


They left ten minutes later with the brownies, a case of beer and a bottle of wine.




About five miles away from the institute, Angie sat on the balcony of her condo with a glass of wine staring at the ocean.   For the first time since she started working at NIMR she didn’t want to go to work on Monday.  She loved working for the admiral and the institute and always looked forward to going to work but not this time.  She always felt secure there but she had to admit she was afraid.  She didn’t know the waiting area had been redone.




Wanda sat in the living room of her apartment with a beer.  Aaron had been over earlier and they had gone out to dinner but he got a call from the station and had to leave.  She stared at the TV.  It still had the football game on they were watching.  She dreaded the fact that tomorrow was Monday and she would have to go to work.  She could call in sick and say her arm was too sore for her to work.  Aaron had told her the waiting area was being redone but she still didn’t want to go.




Chip, Lee and Janet sat on Chip’s deck enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.  Chip had barbecued the steaks to perfection.  Janet went to the kitchen to make some coffee to go with the brownies.  Chip waited until she was gone so they could discuss the new security measures they wanted to put into place.


“Lee, I know you’re more of an expert on security than I am but I think what we are doing now has been working so do we really need to change it that much.”


“I was thinking about that too.  Let’s try this first and see if it will help.  We can’t make it prison not only for the ladies but for our visitors.  We don’t want them to think they’re not welcome.  How about when someone does come to see one of us, we have security at the gate not only call the front lobby but also Wanda directly.  This way if one of them fails to let us know who’s coming in the other one will have notified us.  I know it seems redundant but if it helps us keep track of who’s entering NIMR it might be worth it.”


“That doesn’t sound like too much extra work and it might just be enough.  Let’s try it and see what happens.  I’ll have Hank meet me in the lobby tomorrow morning with the security guard.  I know Howard is going to be on vacation this week.”


“Okay.  Also I told Janet that I would stay at the office with them tomorrow. She’s afraid of going there tomorrow.  I don’t know about Angie or Wanda but I’m willing to bet they’re afraid too. 


“Should we tell the admiral how they feel and just move upstairs?”


“No let’s wait and see what happens.  Did you let Wanda and Angie know the waiting room had been redone?  It might ease their minds a little.  I know I forgot to tell Janet.  She seemed a little more at ease when I told her.”


“Gee Lee I totally forgot to call Angie.  I’ll call her right after you leave.  Aaron was going to tell Wanda.  He met me up there while they were being redone and said he would let her know.”


“Do you think Sparks could help you with the upgrades tomorrow?”


“Yes he could help.  He might actually be better than you,” he chuckled.


“Just for that remark, I’ll let you call him and tell him he has to work tomorrow.”


“Sure Lee no problem.  Where’s Janet with the brownies and coffee?”


Lee saw Janet at the door and got up to open the door for her as she brought out the brownies, cups and coffee.  Chip grabbed a brownie before she could put the plate down.


“You’re worse than a two year old,” she told him grinning.


They had their coffee and brownies and sat outside until about 2200.  Lee and Janet decided it was time to go home.  She left the plate of brownies with Chip.


Lee was in bed by the time Janet finished getting ready.  He picked up the covers as she got in and put them over the both of them. 


He wrapped his arms around her kissed her ear and whispered, “Everything will be alright.”


“I know,” she whispered back and fell asleep.




Chip called Angie and Wanda right after Lee left.


“Angie how are you doing?”


“Chip I’m afraid to go to work tomorrow,” she admitted.


“Please don’t be afraid.  The offices have been redone.  There’s no evidence of what took place.  Do you want me to come and take you to work tomorrow?”


“No I told Wanda I would pick her up since she can’t drive.  We’ll be fine, Chip, but thanks for offering.”


“If you change your mind just call me.  I’ll get Wanda too.”


“Good night, Chip,” she told him as she hung up the phone.


Chip made his other phone call to Sparks who was more than happy to help Chip with the upgrades tomorrow.




Lee and Janet woke up at their usual 0500 but neither one of them slept very well as Janet was very restless.  After following their normal routine, Lee found his wife standing in front of her closet trying to decide what to wear.  He could tell she was very nervous so he made the decision for her picking out a blue floral dress


“Please wear this.  It’s my new favorite dress,” he told her smiling as he handed her the dress and gave her a hug.


Hugging him back, “Okay,” she smiled putting it on.  She went to the bathroom to finish getting ready as he went downstairs to make the coffee.


She came down looking very attractive in the blue dress.  This dress is my new favorite, he thought.


They ate breakfast, cleaned up and got in the car.  He grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze which she returned as he pulled the car out of the driveway.




Angie picked up Wanda a little earlier than usual.  They wanted to get to work early, get the butterflies out of their stomachs and get to work.  Angie still had a ton of work on her desk to finish and Wanda had a lot of files to take care of.


By sheer coincidence, Chip, Lee and Janet, Wanda and Angie all pulled into the office parking lot at the same time.  When they got out of their cars, the three women looked at each other and smiled.  They all had blue dresses on and were very nervous about going into the building.  They just stood there looking at the front door.  Chip and Lee stood there watching them very closely.


“If we stand out here afraid to go in, David Pepin will have won,” Angie said bravely.  “He can’t hurt any us anymore and we need to prove to ourselves we can forget about him and what he did by going into that building and getting to work.”


“Yes ma’am,” Janet and Wanda agreed.


Taking a deep breath the three of them walked in the front door followed by Lee and Chip.  They were surprised to find Howard there.


“Howard I thought you were going on vacation?” Janet asked.  “You didn’t stay home because of what happened here?”


“No.  My wife’s mother decided to come here instead of us going there.  I needed to get out of the house.  She was driving me nuts,” he replied.  “But I’m sorry I let you all down by letting myself get duped by Tim.”


“Howard none of knew about him or the other people.  Please don’t blame yourself,” Lee told him honestly.


“Yes sir.”


“Howard we’re going to change some of the security measures.  I’m going to call Hank and have him meet us here and discuss what Captain Crane and I want to do,” Chip stated.


“Whatever you need me to do, I will do it.”


They got on the elevator and went to the first floor.  The girls walked to the waiting area and were pleasantly surprised at how nice it looked with the new carpeting, paint, chairs and couch.  They looked at each other and smiled knowing they would have no problem working here. 


They looked in the admiral’s office and wished he was there with them but he would be back soon enough.  He would be released from Med Bay on Tuesday and then have to spend at least two more weeks at home.  Edith would be taking care of him so Jamie wasn’t worried about him coming back to soon.  She would keep a very close watch on him and not let him do any work until she thought he was ready.  He was not going to be very happy.


Angie went over to the coffee pot and made some coffee like she did every morning.  Janet was carrying something very carefully in her bag.  She pulled out a plate of her special brownies.  They all sat down in the waiting area drinking their coffee and eating the brownies.  When they were finished with the brownies they got some more coffee and went to their offices and started to work just like any other day.  Chip, of course, would take the brownies to his office.


Lee and Chip looked at each other and knew they could report back to the admiral that they would be staying on the first floor.




The End.



* Man of Many Faces Season Four episode where Lee Crane goes out a door in the admiral’s office and down the fire escape to avoid the police who were looking for the admiral.




Thank you Nancie for your help with the medical parts of the story.


Thank you Chris B. for your help.