The Captain’s Mission  by Pauline


 Foreword: My first monster story, sort of. A big thank you to everyone that helped on this story, especially to Diane for keeping me on track.  Although this story is for Storms picture contest, I cannot take full credit.


The sound of ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ accompanied Lee Crane as he made his way to the wardroom.  They were 24 hours away from Santa Barbara and the whole boat was in festive mood.  Nelson had been pestering Lee to join him and Jamieson at his cabin for the holiday.  As Lindsey and Chip had spent last Christmas with her father, this year she was going home with Chip, leaving the doctor on his own, so the Admiral had invited the doctor to spend Christmas with him and Edith.  Lee was thankful to have the excuse that he was going home for Christmas.  Not that he wouldn’t enjoy spending the holiday with Nelson but the idea of having both Edith and Jamie mother hen him was too much.


Entering the wardroom Lee was greeted by the smell of Pumpkin Pie and cinnamon rolls.  The room had been decorated with garlands and a small Christmas tree.  Even Cookie was wearing a red fur trimmed Santa hat.


Lee wasn’t very hungry; he seemed to have been eating all day.  A selection of nibbles kept appearing in the nose throughout the day and he had found it especially hard to resist the chocolate chip shortbread cookies.   He knew that he should try to balance it by eating something healthy.  He considered the roast beef, mashed potatoes and green vegetables, but he couldn’t stomach that amount of food.   He grabbed a banana and an apple and after pouring himself a cup of coffee, Lee joined Nelson and Morton who were already seated at one of the tables. “Evening, Admiral.”


“Evening, Lee.”  Nelson looked at Lee’s tray and frowned.


Lee wondered if it would have been easier to avoid the wardroom and just gone to his cabin.  Lee crunched into his apple, ignoring the looks he knew he was getting from Jamie and Chip.  Just because he didn’t have a bottomless pit for a stomach didn’t mean that he wasn’t eating enough; he ate when he was hungry.  “I’ve been eating all day,” he finally defended his lack of appetite.







Lee stood beside Chip in the control room as the last of the crew departed; they would all meet up again for the annual Christmas party before going their separate ways for the holidays.  The men’s mood was even more exuberant now than ever as they chatted about their plans.  Patterson was going on a jungle and beaches adventure, although Lee would have thought that the man got enough excitement aboard Seaview.  Kowalski, as usual, was going home to see his family and as for Riley, Lee didn’t want to know what he had planned for his leave.   He just hoped that he wouldn’t have to bail anyone out after the holiday. 


“That just leaves you, me and the Admiral,” Chip smiled as they watched Kowalski disappear through the hatch.


“You go ahead, Chip.  I’ll wait for the Admiral,” Lee knew that Lindsey would be waiting for Chip topside.  “I’ll see you at the party.”


“Who is the lucky lady this year?” Chip asked.


“My social life’s kind of taken a back seat lately.”


“What, the institutes most eligible bachelor doesn’t have a date for the Christmas party?”  Chip teased.


“No, and don’t you go getting any ideas, Mr Morton,” Lee warned.  “I can find my own date,”  The one person he would have liked to have asked, Sophie, unfortunately did not live in Santa Barbara, and was probably off doing something for ONI.  Since their last mission together, he had found himself thinking about her a lot.


“Yes, Sir,” Chip grinned, handing him the clipboard he was holding.


Lee walked to the bottom of the ladder with Chip. “Catch you later,” he gave his friend a departing pat on the arm.  Returning to the plot table, Lee unshipped a mic. “Admiral, it’s Lee, the crew has all gone ashore,” he reported.


“All right, Lee – I’ll join you shortly.” Nelson replied.


Lee returned the mic to its clip and walked forward to watch the activity dockside while he waited for the Admiral.  At least this cruise he had managed to survive unscathed.   Too many times he’d picked up an injury and spent his leave either in Med Bay or recovering at home.  That had him thinking about Sophie again, he’d ended up getting hit in the face on that one, but his injuries hadn’t been serious and, he smiled to himself, he had got a kiss from her at the end of the assignment.




Karen Atkins stood watching Lee Crane across the room; the man was sinfully gorgeous in his dress blue uniform.  She wasn’t the only member of the ER staff that thought so, but unlike all those other females that fantasized about the handsome Captain, tonight she was on a mission.  When she usually saw him in the ER, he was sporting some sort of injury, so tonight it was good to see him whole and in perfect health. 


She was delighted to see that he did not appear to have a date; she would love to play nurse with him, in a totally non-professional way.  Recently her sex life had been nonexistent, but that was going to change.   However, she wanted more than a romp between the sheets; she was looking for something more permanent.  Nursing her White Christmas cocktail that she didn’t really want, she made her way across the crowded ballroom towards where Crane was talking to Chip Morton and Lindsey Jamieson.  Karen knew Lindsey and it was the perfect opportunity to break in on the three of them.


“Hey, Karen,” Lindsey greeted. “Chip, Lee, you know Karen, from the ER?”


“Yes, of course, good evening,” Lee smiled.


“Commander, it’s good to see you looking so well,” Karen smiled.


“Thanks,” he smiled back, lowering long lashes over those honey gold eyes shyly. “If you’ll excuse me, I have a few...commitments.  I hope you enjoy the party,” he nodded to Chip Morton and turned to leave.


“Isn’t he ever off duty?” Lindsey commented light heartedly.


“Well, he is the Captain,” Chip replied as he watched Crane walk away.


“Yeah, and you’re the Exec but I hope you are not planning on abandoning me?” Lindsey answered.


“No chance,” Chip slipped an arm around Lindsey’s waist and pulled her closer. “Why don’t we find a table?” he suggested.


“Okay,” Lindsey agreed. “See you later, Karen.”


“Yeah, sure.”  Karen sighed.  Damn it!  What did she have to do to get Crane to notice her?  She wandered over to the buffet and selected some nibbles and then munched them while she watched Lee Crane circulating.  He stopped to shake hands with someone and chatted briefly before moving on to another group of people.  She knew most of the people at the party, either from Seaview or from Med Bay.

Lee had made his way to where Nelson stood talking to Angie and Lola.  Karen scowled as she watched them flirting with Lee.  Angie had a date, why did she have to flirt with Lee?  Wasn’t one man enough?  She thought irritably.




Doctor Theodore Grosvenor stood watching the young woman across the room, her interest in the handsome Captain was obvious, as was Crane’s indifference to her.  Theo smiled to himself; could he have found an ally in this young woman?  He had been working for the military, studying the application of hypnosis for military use.  But the experiment with subliminal messages*, carried out aboard Seaview had ended in disaster when Crane had actually shot Nelson.   He still argued that it had been an unqualified success.  However, the Navy dropped the program and he had been forced to look for private backing and treating people for phobias, loosing weight or to stop smoking.   There were many applications for hypnosis and he could do so much more with his skills. In fact, he’d used it tonight, on the guard to gain entry to the institute.  It amused him to think that if questioned, the only unexpected guest the guard would remember would be Admiral Johnson, director of ONI.  So far no-one had challenged his being there.


Crossing the room, he approached her. “Can I get you a drink?  You don’t seem to be enjoying the one you have,” he offered, smiling.


Karen glanced at her still almost full glass.  “I don’t accept drink from strangers.”


“Quite right, allow me to introduce myself, Doctor Theo Grosvenor.”


Karen looked at him hesitantly for a moment before answering. “Karen.”


“A pleasure to meet you, Karen,” he took her hand and kissed it lightly.  “Forgive me, but I couldn’t help noticing, you are interested in the Captain, are you not?”


“What’s it to you?” she huffed.


Theo again smiled.  “I need your help with a little test. Why don’t you let me get you that drink and we can talk about it?”


“I don’t know,” Karen eyes him suspiciously. “What sort of test? 


A secret test.  I work for The Office of Naval Intelligence.”  Or at least I used to. He showed her his ID.


“Well...all right, but no funny business,” she warned cautiously.


“I promise.” He took her arm and led her to the bar. “What can I get you?”


“A cream soda please.”


Once she had her drink, he directed her to a table at the edge of the room, where their conversation was less likely to be overheard.  “Now, Karen, tell me all about Captain Crane.”




Karen continued to watch Lee, moving closer to where he was sitting with the Admiral.  He had danced with both Angie and Lola, but hadn’t even glanced Karen’s way.  It wasn’t fair!  At the moment the table was unattended as both men were dancing.  Taking the opportunity, she walked slowly passed, making sure that no-one was watching her, she slipped something into Lee’s drink.  Theo had promised her that it would not harm Lee, that it was part of the test.   Maybe the evening wouldn’t be a complete failure after all.  She smiled to herself as she recalled her suggestion to the doctor that he might propose to Lee that he have the Flying Sub painted red.  It was a bit of a standing joke amongst the admin staff that Lee wanted the Flying Sub painted the same colour as his red sports car, and what harm could it do?  Besides, she was helping her country.






Lee suppressed a giggle, he was feeling slightly drunk as he stepped outside.  Funny, I didn’t think I had that much to drink.  After slipping away from the party, Lee decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to drive home.  He'd spend the night in his cabin aboard Seaview.


“Excuse me, Commander Crane, could I talk to you for a moment?” A man dressed in a black dinner suit stepped out of the shrubbery.


“Who are you?” Lee wasn’t so drunk as to let his guard down, even on Institute grounds.


“I’m Doctor Grosvenor,” the man replied.


“Sorry, I don’t think we’ve met.” Lee asked.  He didn’t know the man, but he could be an associate of Nelson’s.


“No, Commander, it is you I want to speak to. Maybe we could go somewhere and talk over a coffee? You look tired.” The man reached out and took Lee’s arm, guiding him away from the conference centre.


Lee suddenly did feel tired; maybe coffee would be a good idea. He stood for a moment debating the issue.  There was no way he was taking this man on board Seaview. “We can go to my office; I'll make us some coffee and we can talk there.”


Ah, ha... it's working, Grosvenor thought.






“Take a seat, Doctor."  Lee picked up the coffee pot and went to fill it with water. After putting the coffee on, he joined Grosvenor at the desk. “Now what’s this all about?”


“I want to help you, Lee.  May I call you Lee?”


Crane frowned. “I don’t understand, how do you think you can help me?”


“Tell me what you want to do, Lee.”


Lee sighed; this was a waste of time. “Look, Doctor, I’m tired. I don’t have time for this game.”


“That’s just it, Lee.  You work too hard, you need to relax and have some fun.  When was the last time you did something spontaneous?”


“Did Doctor Jamieson ask you to do this?” Lee eyes narrowed as he regarded Grosvenor with increasing suspicion. 


Grosvenor chuckled. “No, Lee, I assure you I have not spoken to your doctor.”


“Well someone put you up to this.  What are you, some sort of shrink?” Lee started to get to his feet, he’d been enjoying the evening up until now. 


“Not exactly, I had been researching the use of hypnosis for military application.”


“Hypnosis? What does that have to do with me?” Lee swayed unsteadily as a sudden wave of dizziness hit him.  He leaned on the desk to steady himself. Crane was feeling uncharacteristically wiped out. “I’m sorry, but I think it’s time for you to leave.”  Before Lee realised what was happening, Grosvenor was on his feet and moved around the desk.


“Why don’t you lay down here, you’ll be more comfortable,” he took Lee’s arm and led him to the couch.

Even as Lee thought about resisting, his energy drained away. His legs would no longer support him.  He sank down onto the couch. “I’m sorry, Doctor, I don’t...”


“Lie down and close your eyes for a few minutes,” Grosvenor’s voice was soothing.  “You’ll feel better when you wake up.”


“Yes,” Lee felt compelled that he had to do as the man suggested. He stretched out on the couch and closed his eyes.





“That’s it, Commander, relax and focus on my voice,”  Theo smiled, this was too easy. “All right, Commander, I want you to listen very carefully.  You are going to have the Flying Submarine painted red – a surprise for Admiral Nelson.”


“Surprise, yes,” Lee smiled.


“That’s right.  When you wake up, you will remember what you have to do, but you will forget all about what I’ve said, and all about meeting me .  I was never here. Do you understand, Commander?”


“Forget, yes, I understand.”  Lee answered sleepily.


“Good, now you will sleep and when you awake, you will go to Seaview and carry out my instructions.  Do not let anyone see you,  no-one must know.”  


“No one must know,” Lee repeated.


“That’s very good, Lee.  Sleep now.”  Theo stood and quietly left the room, pausing at the door to look back at Crane before quietly closing it and making his way to the stairs. 





Lee woke, disorientated.  Sitting up, he looked around his office. How had he gotten here?  He couldn’t remember anything after he had decided to leave the party. 


Dropping his head, Crane raked a hand through his hair.  There was something he had to do – the Flying Sub...yes, that was it.  He looked at his watch, it was almost 0200.

Getting to his feet, he hurried out and headed for Seaview.  He’d catch a couple of hours sleep in his cabin, then take off in FS-1.

He was thankful that he had worn his dark dress uniform and not his white dinner jacket; it made it easier to hide in the shadows.  Lee’s covert skills made it easy for him to sneak aboard Seaview without being seen by the skeleton staff on duty over the holiday.  Entering through the sail hatch, he headed for his cabin, but then changed his mind.  His cabin was the first place they would look for him.  


Backtracking to the first ladder down, he headed forward through the lower decks to the rear access to FS-1 – his baby, where hopefully no one would think to look for him.


Entering the Flying sub’s hanger below the control room, he spun the wheel to open the rear hatch and stepped inside, securing the hatch behind him.  As long as he left the power off, no-one would know he was down here.  He would bypass the circuits that lit the ECS monitor board in the control room before he launched FS-1. 


Shrugging out of his uniform jacket, Lee looked around before hanging it on the back of the pilot’s chair.  Turning to the bunk, he pulled a blanket out from the storage locker below and unfolded it.  After spreading the blanket over the cold plastic covered mattress, he climbed onto the bunk and used another blanket to cover himself.  Used to sleeping where ever and when ever, he was asleep as soon as his eyes closed.




Ted Buchanan, owner and director of Avionics & More stood looking at the yellow craft parked in his hanger.  “I don’t know, Lee.  It’s a big job and we’re breaking for the holiday tomorrow lunchtime.  I don’t think we can do it.”


“But it has to be done before the Admiral gets back from holiday,” Lee insisted.


Ted shook his head as he walked around FS-1.  “What’s so urgent about this anyhow?”


“It’s a surprise,” Lee replied.


Ted looked at him. “Who exactly is paying for this surprise?”  Not that he didn’t trust Crane, but he was begining to wonder about this job.  If Nelson hadn’t authorised it... The special paint required didn’t come cheap.


“Please, Ted.  You’ll get paid, I promise.” Lee paused at the rear hatch.


“All right, I’ll see if any of the guys want to work overtime, but I can’t promise,”


“Thanks, Ted, I owe you,” Lee smiled.  “I’m flying home tomorrow;  can I pick her up on the 31st when I get back?”


“I’ll see what I can do, you’d better call first to make sure she’s ready,” Ted was already begining to think that he would regret taking on this job.  “Do you need a ride back?”


“No, thanks, I’ve got it covered. Want to help me suit up?”




Lee entered Seaview via the pressure well.  The 8 mile swim back to NIMR using one of the sea scooters, standard equipment aboard Seaview now, left him tired and hungry.  Ted had thought that he was crazy to swim back, but the scooter had done most of the work.   Securing the scooter, he pulled off the hood and flippers and divested himself of his airtanks and weightbelt. 


Climbing to his feet, Lee picked up the waterproof bag containing his clothes, after he’d showered and changed he’d be ready to go to the airport. For now, he checked the corridor.  There shouldn’t be anyone below decks,  but he didn’t want to take the chance of being discovered and having to explain what he was doing aboard.  He smiled to himself, Nelson was going to be in for a surprise.


He managed to make it to his cabin without encountering anyone.  The metal deck was cold to his bare feet and by the time he reached his cabin he was feeling chilly.  The shower helped warm him up and he quickly changed into a pair of jeans and a polo shirt, shrugged into his leather jacket and headed out.


It was daylight now and he didn’t have darkness to assist his escape, so he  used the same mainetance/emergency tunnel that he had used the very first time he had sneaked aboard Seaview to aviod the guarded gate.  He paused at the exit, checking before stepping out into the daylight and calmly walking to his car in the nearly deserted parking lot.






30th December


The return flight to Santa Barbara had been fairly boring; he’d read for a while and had gotten up to stretch his legs a couple of times. It was 1630 when the plane landed and he was hungry. But it was another two hours driving time before he could stop and pick up a few groceries before returning to the remote lighthouse that had become his home.


After he’d finished eating, he went for a walk; he loved the beach  at night.   The solitute, with only the sound of the waves breaking on the sand and the magical flurescence of the tiny sea creatures as they danced in the water.  Walking silently beneath the night sky, a cool breeze ruffled his hair and carressed his face.  He took a deep breath, breathing in the salt air.  He walked for a way before sitting down on one of the rocks that had been left behind by the retreating shoreline.  It was good to be back.


He loved his mother and New England would always be his real home, but this was were he felt he belonged.  After the death of his father, Lee had retreated inside himself.  He’d erected barriers, never letting anyone get too close for fear of getting hurt again.  That was until he’d gone to the academy and met Chip Morton.  Chip had gotten under those defenses, cajoling, badgering, slowly wearing him down, until they had become as close as brothers. 


And then there was Nelson, he smiled.   Suddenly he remembered the Flying Sub. He was supposed to call to see if she was ready.  It was too late now, he’d call first thing in the morning, but would sneak back aboard Seaview to get an early, and unobserved start should she be ready.




It was as if he was on auto-pilot, Lee snuck down to the pressure chamber, changed into his diving gear and left via the open well.  Again he used the scooter for the swim up the coast. 


He made the return journey in the FS1 submerged so as not to draw attention and alert anyone that she wasn’t where she was supposed to be. He smiled, would Nelson like his surprise?  






2nd January.


Lee and Chip stood on Seaview’s deck, watching the last of the stores being loaded as Admiral Nelson’s car drew up along side.  They were not supposed to sail yet, but had been called back early.  It had been a rush to get Seaview ready and Lee had been out late New Years Eve with friends and had not had much sleep the last 48 hours.   Lee smiled as Nelson crossed the gangplank and stepped on board.


“All set, Lee?” he asked.


Lee nodded. “Ready whenever you are, Admiral.”


“Get underway as soon as possible,” Nelson ordered before disappearing through the hatch.


“Aye, Sir.”  Lee turned to Chip. “Single up fore and aft and prepare to get underway.”


“Aye, Sir,” Chip acknowledged.


Lee ducked into the sail hatch and followed Nelson below.  Dropping the last few rungs of the ladder, he joined the Admiral at the plot table, curious to know what their mission was.


Nelson looked up from the charts as Lee approached. “NASA has reported a giant whirlpool, some four hundred kilometers in diameter, in the Altantic ocean, just about here,” Nelson placed an x on the chart.


“What could be causing it, Admiral?”  Lee asked, studying the chart and making some mental calculations.


“Could be a number of things, Lee.  Water temperature and salinity could be a factor.  Cold water is heavier and so sinks below warmer water which is lighter, therefore creating a vertical current.  This type of vertical movement occurs frequently in the tropics because high temperatures lead to the evaporation of water from the surface. The salt doesn’t evaporate with water, though. It stays in the ocean, which raises the level of salinity in the upper layer of water. This layer sinks and gives way to less saltier waters from the depths. Such vertical movement of water creates giant whirlpools.”  Nelson explained.


Lee nodded thoughtfully.  “Well, as long as it is a natural phenomenon and not the work of some alien or other outside involvement.”  It would make a pleasant change for Seaview to be involved with a purely scientific project; although he couldn’t help feeling uneasy. Or was there something else on his mind that he couldn’t remember?


Nelson chuckled. “We’ll find out, won’t we?  I’ll be in my cabin. Carry on, Lee.”  Still smiling, Nelson put the pencil down and headed aft.


“All secure, we’re ready to shove off any time you want to,” Chip reported as he entered the Control Room.


“Very well, Chip – take her out.”  Walking forward, Lee stood in the observation nose, watching through Seaview’s windows as the sub eased away from the dock.





Hours later Chip was more than ready for supper and had accompanied Crane to the Wardroom.  Lee had been quiet all day and now Chip watched him pushing his food around his plate and not really eating anything.  “A little early in the cruise to be off your food,” Chip commented.


Lee shrugged and put down his folk. “I’m a little jet lagged, I guess.”  Resting his elbows on the table, Lee bowed his head into his hands and closed his eyes.


“Hey, you’re not going to fall asleep on me, are you?”  Chip teased.




Chip frowned, suddenly concerned; Lee was nearly asleep at the table.  “Lee?” he touched his friend’s arm.


“Sorry, Chip,” Lee opened his eyes and levered himself upright.  It was obvious to anyone watching that he was exhausted. 


What the hell had Lee been doing?  Surely ONI had not nabbed Lee for an assignment over the holiday?  Nelson would blow his top.  “Why don’t you turn in?” Chip suggested.  If Jamieson came in now, he’d have Lee in Sickbay so fast, his feet wouldn’t touch the deck.


“Yeah, I think I will,” Lee pushed wearily to his feet.


“Want me to walk with you?”  Chip knew that he was pushing it, but Lee looked ready to keel over and he would be happier knowing that he’d made it to his cabin okay.


Lee seemed to recover a little as he straightened and glowered at Chip. “”I think I can make it to my cabin on my own.”  However, the effort was spoilt by a yawn that he couldn’t quite stop.


“Chip grinned. “Aye, Sir.  Goodnight, Skipper.” He would stop by Lee’s cabin on the way to his own.


Lee shook his head at him, but grinned. “Good night, Chip.” Lee shot a sheepish look in the direction of the galley before making his escape.




As part of the regular maintenance routine, Chip had Sharkey checking out the flying sub.

“Mr Morton, could you come down to here, please, Sir?” Chief Sharkey called over the P.A.


Chip unshipped a mic. “What is it, Chief?”


“There’s something I think you should see, Sir,” Sharkey replied.


“I’ll be right there,” Chip returned the mic to its clip and shrugged at Lee.

Walking forward, Chip climbed down into the Flying Sub. “What’s the trouble, Chief?”


“I found the Skipper’s wetsuit and scuba gear down here, Sir,” Sharkey indicated the gear that had been left on the deck.  At least it’s the one he always uses. Do you know what’s  going on?  And how could it have gotten down here without it being signed out? Even the tanks aren’t the ones we usually keep down here.”


“I don’t know, Chief,” Chip replied thoughtfully, remembering how tired Lee had been.  WHAT had Lee been doing?  Had he been on some secret mission while they’d all been away? “All right, Chief, get this geared stowed away. I’ll look into it,” Chip ordered.


“Yes, Sir.”


What was that all about?” Lee asked when Chip returned to the control room.


Chip shrugged. “Just some gear left where it wasn’t supposed to be.”



Lee rubbed his forehead; he was beginning to get a headache, he again had the feeling that there was something that he couldn’t remember that he should.  Then there were the blanks, when he’d woken and couldn’t remember what had happened.  It had happened twice, once after the party and again when he’d woken in his cabin aboard Seaview on New Years Eve and couldn’t remember how he’d gotten there.


“Are you okay, Lee?” Chip asked, breaking into his thoughts.


“Yes, I’m fine, Chip,” Lee tried to keep his voice even.  Chip could read him like a book and he didn’t want to give him any reason to think that there was anything wrong with him, because there shouldn’t be.  Pushing his worry aside, Lee moved away to do a circuit of the control room. 


“Is there something you want to talk to me about?” Chip asked quietly, when Lee returned to the plot table.


“Like what?” Lee asked, caught by surprise at the unexpected question.


“Like why we found your wetsuit and gear discarded in a messy heap in the Flying Sub?”


Lee shook his head. “What? I don’t remember using it.”


“Lee, if Nelson finds out that you’ve been on an ONI assignment...”


“No, I swear I wasn’t, Chip.  And if I was, do you think I’d be stupid enough to leave my gear lying around!” Agitated, Lee walked forward into the nose.  Had he used the gear? What the hell was happening to him?  Why couldn’t he remember those blank times in his memory? What was going on?


Crane wasn’t surprised when a few minutes later he felt a hand on his shoulder.


“Lee, maybe Doc should take a look at you?” Chip suggested cautiously.


“I’m fine, Chip,” Lee assured him, forcing a smile. 


It wasn’t so much that he may have taken an unauthorised pleasure dive, what was really worrying Crane was if he’d been under some enemy influence and was a danger to the boat and his crew. Maybe Nelson should relieve him of command for this mission; after all, it wasn’t as if the mission was anything vital.  Just a curiosity, really.


The memory of when he’d been kidnapped and brainwashed would always be with him.  He’d tried to sabotage Seaview and kill Nelson, although he doubted that he could have pulled the trigger.  Still he didn’t want a repeat of that debacle.  It had made Lee doubt his suitability to continue captaining Seaview, but Nelson’s faith in him and the support of his friends had helped him put it behind him and move on.


That had been three years ago and for the most part, there had been happy times since.  He loved his life, although there had been tough missions and they had lost crew, they had won out in the end.


Lee sighed inwardly; it was going to be a long cruise.  It would take Seaview another eight days to reach their destination. Usually he enjoyed being on his boat, but with this uncertainty hanging over him...




Startled, Lee was a bit curt. “Take the conn, Chip – I’m going walkabout.” Maybe a few hours prowling the boat and talking to the crew would help him relax.


“Aye, Sir,” Chip answered quietly.






Although he had not found anything needing his attention, he had enjoyed talking to the men that he had encountered on his walk through the boat.  Surprised that it was lunchtime, he became aware that he was actually hungry as he headed for the Wardroom.  That should make Chip happy.


After downing a chicken salad roll, fruit, ice cream and a large chocolate brownie, Lee was on his second cup of coffee and felt so full he didn’t think that he would want anything else to eat for the rest of the day.


With coffee mug in hand, Lee took himself off to his cabin for the afternoon to attack the paperwork that was his lot in life. 





It was hours later when a knock on his cabin door broke into his thoughts. “Come,” he called in answer, knowing that his visitor was probably Chip Morton, since Lee had foregone dinner.


“So this is where you’re hiding,” Chip entered the cabin carrying a tray.


“I am not hiding,” Lee scowled; resting back in the chair and watching Chip approach the desk.


“Since you didn’t come to dinner, I bought dinner to you,” Chip put the tray down in front of Lee; ignoring the glare he was getting from his CO.


“I’m still full from lunch,” Lee grumbled as he surveyed the tray.


“You know how Cookie gets when you don’t eat,” Chip told him.


Lee shook his head, mumbling half to himself that he couldn’t be expected to be hungry when he had been sitting at his desk all afternoon and hadn’t worked up an appetite.


Chip only smiled and shrugged, but Lee wasn’t fooled, he knew that the tray had probably been Chip’s idea.  Lee decided that he’d better make an effort to at least eat something to placate his XO.  Although Lee didn’t know why he had been so tired that first day, and again, he felt like there was something missing.  Like there was something he should remember, but he didn’t know what.    While he ate, Chip filled him in on the boat’s status.  Lee was pleased to hear that they had made good time and were ahead of schedule.






Over the next few days’ things settled into a routine and Lee found himself starting to relax.  Maybe his worries had been unfounded.  So far nothing untoward had happened.  As Captain, he needed to be aware of what was happening on the boat at all times and to ensure that Seaview was maintained in top condition.  That gave him the excuse to walk the boat, doing inspections and talking to the crew. 


While it was Sharkey’s job to liaise between the crew and Captain, Lee liked to make himself available to anyone whether they might have a grievance or wanted to talk about a personal problem.  He was a good listener and tried to be fair.


He’d also spent time with Nelson in the lab, discussing what he wanted when they reached the area of the whirlpool. That couldn’t happen fast enough for Lee; he was looking forward to getting off the boat for a while to collect samples.  He loved diving, but they were still a few days away from the area.


This evening he had been in the galley helping to deal with a problem with the garbage disposal when the Admiral and Jamie came into the wardroom.  After cleaning up, Lee joined them for dinner. 


“Admiral, I’ve been thinking, I could take the Flying sub out; she could be at the site in a matter of hours.  I could do a preliminary survey of the area.”


Nelson smiled at Lee’s apparent enthusiasm. “Cruise not exciting enough for you Lee?” he teased.


Lee gave him a shy smile.  Nelson knew him too well.


“All right, Lee, but be careful.  There will be some strong currents around the area,” Nelson warned.


“Yes, Admiral.”  Lee nodded.   “I’ll leave first thing in the morning.”


“Not first thing, Lee.  Make sure you have breakfast first,” Nelson told him.


Lee gave him a sheepish smile, he knew better than to argue when Nelson used that tone. “I’ll take Kowalski as co-pilot,” Lee was already thinking ahead, he enjoyed piloting the Flying sub. Nelson may have designed her, but she was Lee’s baby.






Lee entered the control room, shrugging into his black leather flying jacket and approached the plot table. “Chip, all stop, stand by to launch the Flying Sub.”


“Aye, Sir,” Chip unshipped the mic from its clip on the side of the chart to relay the order. “Engine room, all stop.”


Nelson came down the spiral stairs as Lee walked forward to the Flying Sub access hatch.  “All set, Lee?”


“Yes, Admiral,” Lee waited while Kowalski bent and opened the hatch.


“Dead stop, trim satisfactory,” Chip reported, coming to stand beside the Admiral.


“Very well, Chip – you have the conn,” Lee turned and started down the ladder into FS-1.


“Keep in touch, and remember, don’t get too close.  We don’t want you being pulled into that thing,” Nelson told him before the hatch was closed.


Everything appeared to be normal as Lee entered the small craft.  He paused at the bottom of the ladder and looked around. He had that feeling again, that there was something he should know, but he couldn’t remember.  Giving himself a mental shake, Crane secured the ladder and moved to the pilot seat while Kowalski strapped himself into the co-pilot seat beside him.


They quickly ran through the pre-light check and Lee contacted the control room. “Flying Sub ready to launch.”


FS-1 dropped smoothly from her hanger. A disc of yellow sunlight reflected from the surface to Seaview’s starboard side as he turned FS.1 to port and headed up and away from Seaview.


“Lee, would you mind explaining how it is the Flying Sub is a different color?” the Admiral’s voice came over the radio, his tone upset and confused. "I understand your gear was found in her..."


“Different color?  I’m sorry, Admiral, what are you talking about?”


“Are you telling me that you are not aware that FS-1 has been re-painted red?” Nelson asked with a hint of dis-belief in his voice.


“What? No! Err...why would you think that I would know anything about that, Admiral?”


Lee  suddenly wondered if this was the something he couldn’t remember.


“Never mind for now, we’ll discuss this when you get back,” Nelson replied gruffly.  Clearly he was not happy.


“FS-1 out,” Lee broke the connection.  The Flying sub was now Red?  He shook his head in confusion.  He was aware of Kowalski giving him a curious look.  He’d worry about it later, right now he needed to concentrate on their mission.





Kowalski was busy taking photos of the whirlpool as Lee made several passes over the area.  Lee had never seen anything quite like it before and  it reminded him of an aeriel view of a tornado.  “Have you got all you need, Kowalski?” he asked, glancing at the crewman.


“Yes, Sir.  That sure is something.”


Lee nodded agreement. “Flying Sub to Seaview, come in, please, over.”


“Receiving you, Lee,” Nelson voice came over the radio.


“We’re over the whirlpool, Admiral.”


“How’s it looking, Lee?”


“This thing is incredible,” Lee replied, almost thinking aloud.  “We’ve finished photographing, I’m taking her down for a closer look.”


“Be careful, Lee,” Nelson cautioned.


“Yes, Sir, over and out,” Lee tilted the nose of FS-1 down, making a shallow decent towards the water.  A few minutes later, FS-1 hit the surface and submerged.  Even outside of the whirlpool, the current was strong enough to affect her. Lee increased the power in attempt to stop them being pulled into the  vortex.  “Give me a hand, Kowalski.”


“Yes, Sir,”  Kowaski put down the camera and took hold of the controls.


“We’ll follow it down and see how deep it goes.”


“Yes, Sir.”


They were nearly at a thousand feet down before the vortex started to diminish and the water became calmer.  However, visibility was still poor due to the silt and debris being stirred up from the bottom.  “Keep your eyes open, Kowalski,” Lee ordered as he started a search of the area


“What are we looking for, Sir?”


“Anything that doesn’t belong,”   Lee wasn’t sure what he expected to find, Nelson seemed convinced that the whirlpool was a natural occurance.   They spent some time exploring the area, but couldn’t find anything to indicate that the whirlpool was anything other than a natural phenominone.  Suddenly the engines started to splutter and they started to lose power.


“What’s wrong?” Kowalski asked in alarm.


“Silt must be getting into the intakes and blocking the filters.  Let’s head back to Seaview,” Lee turned FS-1 onto a new heading, but the engines continued to struggle.


“Can we make it, Skipper?” 


“I hope so, Kowalski,”  Lee activated the throat mic to call Seaview. “FS-1 to Seaview, come in, please, over.”


“Receiving you, Lee – go ahead,” Chip answered.


“We’ve got engine trouble, Chip. I'm not sure if we can make it back.  I’m going to try and bring her back submerged.”


“Okay, I’ll have Seaview head for your position at flank.”


“Thanks, Chip.  FS-1 out.”





“Admiral, the Flying sub is reporting engine trouble.  Lee isn’t sure they'll make it back,” Chip reported.


“All right, Chip.  Plot an intercept course. I’ll be right there.”


“All ready on it,” Chip told him before returning the mic to its clip and moving to stand behind Paterson on Sonar.  “Have you got a fix on the Flying Sub?”


“No, Sir.  They’re out of range,” Patterson told him.


Chip turned from the sonar and returned to the chart table to plot the most direct course to the Flying Sub's last known position.


“Chip,” Nelson entered the control room from the aft hatch and headed towards Morton. “Where are they?”


“About here, Sir.” Chip indicated the position on the chart.


Nelson reached for a mic. “Lee, its Nelson, What’s your condition?”


“We’re losing power; I can’t get enough thrust to get airborne.  I think the intakes are clogged,” Lee reported.  Doing the return trip submerged would take them too long; they were some distance from Seaview and it would mean that they would have to go around.


“Hold on, Lee.  We’ll be there as soon as we can,” Nelson ordered.


“I’m going to try and find shallower water so that we can try and make repairs,” Lee informed him.


“All right, Lee – keep us informed, Seaview out.”  Nelson laid the mic on the plot table and ran a hand through his hair muttering a curse.


Chip took a calming breath, trying to tamper down his own worry about his friend and CO.  How did Lee do it?  He’d managed to get into trouble again on what should have been a simple survey flight.  


“How long will it take us to reach them?” Nelson asked, breaking into Chip’s thoughts.


“Too long,”   Chip braced himself for the explosion of Nelson’s temper.  If  FS-1 couldn’t make it back under her own power, they would be out of air before Seaview could reach them.




The engines continued to cough and splutter as Lee coaxed the Flying Sub towards Seaview.  They had only covered a short distance, but were at least clear of the whirlpool and the strong currents it created.  They had been climbing when the engines started play up, but were still too deep to go out in scuba gear.  “Come on,” Lee muttered, pulling back on the controls in an effort to gain speed and reach shallower water.  He was thankful now that he had heeded Nelson and eaten breakfast, at their present speed, it was going to be a slow trip back and they were both going to be hungry and tired by the time they returned to Seaview.


Suddenly there was a flash of something big moving across in front of the Flying Sub.


“Did you see that, Skipper?”


Lee nodded.  Leaning forward to try and get a look at whatever ‘it’ had been. “Yes, Kowalski, I saw it.”


“What was that?”


“I don’t know...” there were many myths and legends about giant creatures that inhabited the oceans.  Lee had encountered some, up close and personal in the course of Captaining the Seaview.  Lee looked at the sonar screen, whatever it had been; it had appeared out of nowhere.  “What the...?”  A contact sped across the screen and Lee looked up. “Kowalski, did you see what it was?”


“No, Sir – it was moving too fast,” Kowalski replied apologetically.


Lee frowned, whatever it was, he had no desire to find out.  


“Do you think it’s checking us out?”  Kowalski asked.


“Could be, let’s hope that it doesn’t decide to take a closer look,” If it took an interest in the Flying Sub, they wouldn’t stand a chance of out running it, they were only making between fifteen to twenty knots.  From what little he’d seen, he had gotten the impression that it was nearly as big as the Flying Sub.


“Yes, Sir,” Kowalski nodded in agreement.


Lee adjusted the Flying Sub’s course in the hope of moving away from whatever was out there. “See anything, Kowalski?”


“No, Sir,”


“Keep an eye on sonar,” Lee ordered.


Lee searched the ocean beyond the windshield, alert for any danger as FS.1 moved through the water.


“Here it comes again,” Kowalski warned.


Lee got the impression of something reddish coloured as it entered the beam of the forward lights.  It was moving up over them, long tentacles trailing behind it. “A giant squid,” Lee whispered in surprise.  He’d heard about them, but had never seen one.

Lee struggled with the controls, but he knew it was useless, the creature’s tentacles closed over the sub.  FS-1 bucked and rolled, throwing them around in their seats like some wild rollercoaster ride.  There was an explosion and sparks and smoke erupted from the control panel.  Lee gave up with the controls and looked at the control panel.  Coughing, he unbuckled and lunged in the direction of the fire extinguisher hanging in the rear. 


“Skipper... ” Kowalski yelled.


Lee grabbed the extinguisher and aimed it at the control panel as he staggered, trying to stay on his feet.  The smoke caught in his throat and stung his eyes.  A few blasts from the extinguisher put the fire out and Lee put it down on the deck, intending to return to the pilot seat, but then, the boarding ladder broke free and slammed into him, knocking him to the deck.




At that moment, the squid apparently decided that they were not another squid.

It released the Flying Sub and she nosed dived towards the bottom.  Kowalski grabbed the control, trying to pull the nose up.


As the Flying Sub settled none too gently on the bottom, Kowalski unbuckled and dropped to his knees beside Crane. “Skipper, can you hear me?”  He took Crane’s wrist and felt for a pulse. 


Lee moaned softly, but his eyes remained closed.


Encouraged, Kowalski gave him a gently shake.”Skipper?” Carefully, he turned Crane onto his side; a bruise was already forming on the side of his face.  Hurrying over to the locked beneath the bunk, Kowalski grabbed the oxygen and a blanket.  He placed the folded blanket under Crane’s head and then turned on the oxygen before holding the mask over Crane’s nose and mouth.


Crane jerked and tried to push the mask away.


“Easy, Skipper,” Kowalski soothed.


Crane’s eyes opened. “Kowalski?” he mumbled thickly beneath the mask and tried to sit up.


“Slowly, Skipper,” Kowalski helped him sit up and eased him back against the bulkhead. 


“What happened?”

“We’re on the bottom,” Kowalski told him. “You were knocked out, I think you might have a concussion.  Best not to move around too much,” Kowalski cautioned.


Lee looked around the interior. “What’s our status?”


“I’m not sure, Sir,” Kowalski admitted reluctantly, he’d been too concerned with the Captain to worry about the Flying Sub.


“Need to check...” Crane tried to get to his feet.


“Easy, Skipper,” Kowalski took Crane’s arm and helped him stand.  "Maybe if we play dead, that thing will leave us alone,” Kowalski suggested.


“I’m okay,” Raising a hand to his head, Crane swayed unsteadily as he started towards the control panel.  Opening it, he surveyed the damage. “Propulsion circuits are blown.”


Still holding onto Crane’s arm, Kowalski looked at the burnt circuits.  “Oh, man, we’re never going to get off the bottom.”


“I might be able to by-pass them.”


Kowalski regarded him doubtfully; he knew a concussion when he saw one.  “You should sit down, Skipper, let me do it.”


“All right, Kowalski,”   Crane conceded as he turned and headed for the pilot seat.  Dropping into it, he fastened the throat mic. “Flying sub to Seaview, come in Seaview.”


“This is Sparks, receiving you, Skipper.”


Sparks, is the Admiral there?” Lee asked.


“Just coming, Skipper.”


There was a pause before Nelson came on the radio. “Lee, its Nelson, what’s your condition?”


“Admiral, we were attacked by something, we’re on the bottom and the propulsion circuits are blown.” Lee reported.


“Can you make repairs?”


“I’m not sure Admiral, I’m going to try and by-pass them.”


“All right, Lee, keep in touch.  Seaview out.”




Nelson threw the mic down onto the chart table. “That’s all we need.”  He knew that he should not have let Lee go, but he had no real reason to refuse.  Lee was too important to them all to be risked like this.   Stuffing his hands into his pockets, he stalked forward into the nose.  He felt so damn helpless.


Lee had made such a difference to all their lives.  When Lee had taken over the captaincy, everything had changed, both on and off the boat.  Yes, the crew had resented Lee at first, but he had proven himself on more than one occasion and the crew had come to appreciate Lee’s relaxed command style.  Lee’s long term friendship with Chip Morton and the gentle teasing between the two officers’ also contributed to the atmosphere of the boat.  Lee had become a close friend and Nelson considered him vital to the future of the institute.  He couldn’t contemplate the future without Lee.  He wasn’t going to let that happen, he vowed with renewed determination.  Unclipping the nearest mic, he started giving orders.  “Reactor room, add strontium pellets to the reactor.  Engine room, give me all the speed you can and hold it there.”


As the replies came back, he walked back to the plot table.






Lee sat slumped in the pilot seat, his throbbing head and blurred vision had forced him to turn over the repairs to Kowalski.   All he really wanted to do was lie down and close his eyes, but he wouldn’t allow Kowalski to see how badly he was feeling.  He was still the Captain and it was his responsibility to get them back safely.


“That should do it, Skipper,” Kowalski announced, closing the panel.


“Good work, Ski,” Lee straightened and ignoring the dizziness the movement caused, started flicking switches.  The control panel lite up as the power came on and the engines started.


Kowalski had returned to the co-pilots seat and was fastening his safety belt.


“Let’s see if we can lift off the bottom,” Lee took the controls and gently started FS.1 moving.


“Hey, we did it,” Kowalski grinned.


Lee smiled.  The engines were still acting up, but at least they were headed back towards Seaview again.  “FS.1 to Seaview, come in, Seaview, over.”


“Receiving you, go ahead, Lee,” Nelson answered.


“We’ve managed to make repairs and are on our way back, but it is still going to take us at least 24 hours to reach Seaview,” Lee reported.


“All right, Lee – we’ll be here.”





“Begin recovery,” Nelson ordered.


“Aye, Sir,” Chip walked over to helm control. “5 degrees down bubble, steady as she goes.”  He watched as Seaview closed on the Flying Sub’s position. “Engine room, slow to one third.”


“One third, aye.”


“Open nose hatch.”


“All stop.  Activate magnet recovery gear.”


FS-1 hung suspended under Seaview’s forward section, before slowly starting to rise in response to the recovery gear.  Within minutes she was safely in her berth and the bay doors were closing.


“Chip, I want to see Captain Crane in my cabin as soon as he comes aboard,” Nelson announced prior to disappearing up the spiral stairs.


“Aye, Sir,” Chip acknowledged, wondering why Nelson hadn’t waited for Lee and given the order himself.  Walking forward, Chip waited while Sharkey opened the deck hatch.  Kowalski appeared first and bent to help Crane.  “Are you okay?” Chip asked as Lee climbed out of the Flying Sub hatch.


“Yes, I’m fine,” Lee nodded. “You’d better get a repair crew down there.”

“Aye, Sir.  The Admiral wants to see you in his cabin,” Chip told him.


“All right, Chip – thanks,” Lee headed towards the spiral stairs that would take him to officer’s country.


“Excuse me, Mr Morton, but the Skipper should be in Sickbay,” Kowalski told him.


“What happened?” Chip asked.


“He hit his head, he was out for a couple of minutes.  I think he has a concussion, Sir.”


“All right, Ski, go eat and then hit your rack.  I’ll make sure the Captain is taken care of.”  Chip dismissed the crewman.  Morton returned to the plot table and unshipped a mic.  “Sick Bay, this is the Exec.”




“Come in,” Nelson called in answer to the knock on his cabin door.


“You wanted to see me, Admiral?” Lee asked, entering the cabin.


“Yes, Lee.  Come in and sit down,” Nelson’s smile turned to frown as he saw the bruising on Lee’s forehead. “What happened?  Are you all right?”


Lee raised a hand to his head. “It’s nothing, Admiral. I’m fine.”


Nelson regarded Crane across the desk; Lee looked pale, despite his healthy tan.  He wondered if he should postpone talking to Lee until he had eaten and slept. “Coffee?”*


“Thanks.  What did you want to see me about, Admiral?”


“Lee, I asked security to look into how the Flying sub apparently was painted red without anyone knowing.” Nelson began, picking up the sheet of paper lying on his desk.


“And?” Lee asked between sipping his coffee.


Nelson leant forward on the desk. “Lee, according to Ted Buchanan at Avionics and More, you turned up there and told them that you needed a paint job on the Flying Sub and that she had to be ready by the 31st.”


Lee stared at Nelson.  “I’m sorry, Admiral, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Nelson got up and walked around to perch on the edge of the desk. “Lee, where did you go after the NIMR party?”


Lee hesitated, rubbing his forehead.  “I ...err...went to my office.  I must have fallen asleep there.  When I woke up, I decided to spend the rest of the night in my cabin.”


“What happened after that?” Nelson prompted.


Lee shook his head. He suddenly went white, almost falling out of the chair, then dashed into the head.


“Lee,” shocked, Nelson started after him, but was stopped by a knock on his door. “Come,” Harry growled and was surprised to see Jamieson enter, followed by Chip Morton.  Now how the devil did doc know Lee wasn't well?  


The sound of retching stopped any questions and Nelson motioned Jamieson to enter the head.




Jamieson helped Lee back into the cabin and guided him to a chair.  Lee dropped into it and leaning an arm on the desk, dropped his head onto his arm with a moan. “Sorry, Admiral,” he mumbled.


“It’s all right, Lee, you should have told me you weren’t feeling well.”  While Jamieson took a small vial from his medical bag and filled a syringe, Nelson unbuttoned Lee’s cuff and bared his arm.


“This should help with the nausea,” Jamieson said as he administered the injection. “We’ll give it a few minutes and then get you to sickbay.”


“Can’t I go to my cabin?”


“Sorry, Skipper, you know the rules. You’re going to sickbay for 24 hours observation,” Jamieson told him gently as he rubbed Lee’s arm. “The only question is, can you walk or do I need to call for a stretcher?”


“I can walk,” Lee insisted, levering himself upright.


Jamieson smiled. “Stupid question.”


With Jamieson on one side and Nelson on the other, Lee made his way out of the cabin with Morton brining up the rear.






Nelson found sickbay quiet when he returned to check on Lee several hours later.

“How is he, Will?” he asked the doctor, who was sitting at his desk drinking coffee.


“Mild concussion and some bruising, he’ll be fine in about a week, if he follows his doctor’s orders,” the doctor smiled.


“Can I see him?”


“Help yourself.”


Lee was lying quietly in a lower bunk with his eyes closed, he seemed to be asleep.  Nelson stood for a moment looking down at the sleeping man.  Leaning against the rail, Nelson resisted the temptation to reach out and touch Lee, not wanting to wake him.  The bruise was leaching out and had spread down the side of Lee’s face.  Nelson shook his head.  I let you go out on a simple recon and you end up in sickbay. 


Lee stirred, turning his head and then opened his eyes. “Admiral?”


“Lee, Lad, how are you feeling?”




“Well, don’t get any ideas about escaping,” Nelson warned gently.


“Yes, Sir,” Lee smiled.  “Admiral, I’m sorry about the Flying Sub,” Lee apologised quietly.


Nelson patted his shoulder. “We’ll talk about it when you’re feeling better.”


“No, Admiral...there’s something I need to tell you.”


Seeing the worry on Lee’s face, Nelson decided to let him talk. “All right, Lee – go on.”


“Admiral, that night...after the party, I woke up in my office and I couldn’t remember how I had gotten there."  Lee lowered his gaze and fidgeted with the bedclothes. “Then there is later, when I woke up in my cabin on New Years Day and couldn’t remember anything.”


Nelson glanced in Jamieson’s direction, wondering if the doctor should re-examine Lee.


“Admiral...” Lee started hesitantly. “What if I’ve been brain washed or something?”


Nelson wasn’t sure what to think. “I don’t see how Lee, but I suppose anything is possible.  Maybe Jamie should take another look at you.” 





Nelson looked up from studying Lee’d blood under the microscope  and shook his head. “Nothing.”


“Nothing here either,” Jamieson replied as he straightened from checking the results of the tests he’d just finished on Lee’s blood. “But if he was drugged, it will have cleared his system by now.”


“So what do we do now?”


“Admiral, I don’t want to subject the Captain to any invasive tests until he is feeling better,” Jamieson told him.


Nelson nodded agreement.  After all, except for not being able to remember, Lee had not exhibited any signs of being drugged or brain washed.  He didn’t want him to have to be subjected to any unnecessary medical exam, especially knowing Lee’s dislike for anything medical.


“Why don’t you get some rest, Admiral.  Chip is with Lee and Frank will call me if there is any change in his condition,” the doctor suggested sympathetically.


Nelson scrubbed his hands over his face, it had been a long day and he knew that he should rest.  However, this was Lee and he found it difficult to rest when Lee was lying in sickbay.  Lee had become so much more than Seaview’s Captain, he was the son Nelson had never had. 


“Admiral, Lee will be fine until the morning,” Jamieson said as if knowing what he was thinking.  It was no secret that he and Lee were close and he’d made no attempt to hide his feeling from the doctor when there were no crew around to observe.  


“All right, Will.  I’ll look in on Lee and then I’ll turn in.”





Lee was sitting up, eating breakfast.


“Lee, good to see you looking better,” Nelson greeted as he entered the Sickbay. “I’ve been looking at the tapes from your recon.  You were attacked by a giant Squid, about 40 feet long.” Nelson told him as he walked towards the bunk and lent against the top bunk, looking down at Lee.  “Very little is known about them, they are very rarely observed, let alone caught on film.”


“Glad I could help,” Lee answered, giving a look from under his lashes.


“You realise that with FS-1 painted red, it probably mistook you for another squid,” Nelson chuckled.


“Admiral, about the Flying Sub...”  Lee started.


Nelson held up a forestalling hand.  “Don’t worry about it, Lee. We know all about it now, here,” he handed Lee a fax message that he had received from the institute.


“What’s this?” Lee took the paper and read it.


My Dear Admiral Nelson


I do hope that you liked the little surprise that I arranged for you.  Do not blame Captain Crane; it really was not his fault; although he made an excellent test subject.  In case you have not worked it out, he was hypnotised, with no memory of what he did, with the aid of a drug to make him more open to suggestion. Rest assured that there will be no lasting effects on the Captain, I wish him no harm.

But I wanted to make an irrefutable point that my methods work. 


I know that you have many questions and one day I would like the opportunity to discuss my work with you.  But for now, that will have to wait.  I will be in touch again at some time in the future.


Until then,

Good bye Admiral.  We will meet again.

Lee shook his head, handing the sheet of paper back to Nelson.  “I wish I could remember who he was.”


“Security is looking into it and when we get back, I'll go over the list of people that attended the party.  We’ll get to the bottom of this, Lee,” he assured the Captain.


“I wish they would pick on someone else for a change,” Lee complained.


“Finish your breakfast and then maybe Doc will let you come and sit in the front porch.  We’ll be arriving at the whirlpool shortly to complete our mission,” Nelson said cheerfully.  He was relieved to know that nothing worse had been done to Lee. 


As for his squid adventure... Crane would attract the only one around with a funky paint job he didn't even order...  Nelson shook his head.  Life was never dull ...


"I think we can put this down to the Flying Sub getting her own back," Jamieson said jokingly.   



The End...or is it?











·      The Death Watch

·      I know that Lee should not be drinking coffee, but Nelson does not know that he has a concussion, and Lee would not admit that anything is wrong.