A late Second Season story.  This is an Expanded and Revised version of my original cross-over story, and is decidedly grittier and more serious than the first; but hopefully still manages to capture both fandoms’ universes and canons.


Eye of the Storm


by Lynn



Captain Lee Crane sat at his desk aboard Seaview pouring over the reports after their last mission, when Seaview had been fitted with experimental computers replacing the entire crew; all except the Admiral, himself and the eight scientists overseeing the experiment.  The mission had ended very badly, with multiple body bags and an enemy agent nearly destroying the Peace Ship.  The technology was left over from the failed super-computer that had been installed on Seaview the year prior, and although the computer had played hide and seek with the Navy in perfect form, the mission had also proven why the submarine needed her crew.  A computer only does what it's programmed to do, as the assassin running around after Lee had demonstrated, and if Lee hadn't of been there, Seaview would have been in the hands of the enemy.  Both of these attempts at taking the human factor out of submarining had failed miserably, and he still questioned the super computer's reaction time.  It seemed to him, that he would have given certain orders sooner.  As far as he was concerned, nothing took the place of experience and a man's gut reactions.


A cup of lukewarm coffee sat half-consumed on his desk as Seaview glided along, currently cutting a path through the Pacific Ocean on the way to her next assignment.  As he studied the report, he was completely unaware of the unseen eyes watching him.


“Is he the one?”


“Yes, we have been observing him.  He has the qualities that we want to study.”


“Very well, when will the experiment begin?”


“We are prepared to begin as soon as the subject goes airborne.”


“Excellent, open the portal for all to observe,” the metallic voices said, their words echoing as if speaking to one another in a vast cavern. 


They continued to observe the Captain as a portal opened over his head, revealing dark clouds and an ominous sky over an unknown American city.  Yellow lights illuminated in two parallel lines over his head, as Lee Crane went about his business, completely unaware that the portal that had opened over him, or the dangers that the storm represented over America and indeed, the entire world.


* * * * *


Lee descended down the spiral staircase, his oxford heels clicking a cadence of his swift steps and wearing leather flight jacket.  He handed off a garment bag with fresh uniforms along with a small overnight bag to a waiting crewman, before heading to the chart table to speak with his Executive Officer, Chip Morton. 


Chip raised his head as Lee neared, offering a friendly smile as he handed Lee the clip board.


“FS1 is all checked and ready to go,” he reported as Lee looked over the pre-flight log and signed off, handing the clip board back over to Chip.


“Very well, Chip.  Have Sparks advise the Admiral of my ETA; I should reach Washington by 1100 hours.”


“Aye Sir,” Chip replied professionally, but with a familiar tone as he deadpanned his next words.  “Have fun in those meetings,” he said, attempting to look busy with charts, but his half-smile gave away his intended humor.


“It’s not too late to conscript you into coming too, you know?”  Lee returned in his best command voice as Chip's head shot up to be greeted with Lee's “Gotcha!” smile. 


“Thanks, but no thanks,” the XO replied with a raised eyebrow.  “I think I'll stay behind and supervise the bilge tank cleaning.” 


Chip's witty reply elicited a chuckle from Lee as he considered that right now, he wished he could stay behind and supervise the bilge tank cleaning!  Unfortunately, these budget meetings in Washington were a necessity when Seaview did as much government work as it did.  The Admiral was capable of handling the meetings himself, but more and more Lee found that Harry was including him in on more of the administrative details.  He didn't mind.  He enjoyed working with Harry, and these Washington trips usually included at least one night of the Admiral sharing some of the more colorful stories of his long career.  Still, Washington was Washington; and the bureaucratic machine was an element of funding that he wished he could bypass.


Lee turned with a, “Carry on, Mr. Morton,” descending down into the flying sub with a carefree smile as Chip followed, dogging the deck hatch for him. 


Lee’s smile faded naturally, getting down to business as he settled into the pilot's chair, flipping switches and readying FS1 for the launch, while silently considering how much he enjoyed piloting the flying sub.  He reached up, adjusting his throat mic to speak.


“FS1 ready to launch.”


“Aye, Skipper.  Launch in five, four, three, two, one; launch.” 


Chip's steady voice filled the cabin as Lee felt the magnetic arms release, and FS1 slipped into the depths of the ocean, effortlessly.


“FS1 has cleared the bay doors, Skipper.”


“Very well, Chip.  See you in a week.” 


They signed off as Lee piloted the yellow manta-like wonder through the depths and headed for the surface.  He checked his surface sonar readings, verifying a clear path, before increasing his speed for the moment the flying sub would broach the surface and go airborne.   He conducted a radio check with Sparks and continued his ascent from the depths as the dark ocean gave way to the sunlight, piercing through the sea water.  A satisfied smile crossed Lee's face, as FS1 transformed from a submersible to a jet aircraft capable of Mach 2. 


He never tired of handling the smooth aircraft, but FS1 wasn't just a joyride; it was a work horse for Seaview, putting the command crew within reach at virtually any position on the globe.  Lee smiled to himself at that thought, as he flipped on the autopilot for the five hour flight ahead and considered the wonder of the flying sub’s supersonic capabilities; here he was out in the middle of the Pacific, and by noon he'd be having lunch with Admiral Nelson in Washington.


Lee sat back, allowing the autopilot to guide the craft along her preset course, when all of the sudden a storm appeared out of nowhere.  He didn't fly into it.  It just appeared before him and it wasn't like anything he had ever seen before; so, he took back the controls and activated his throat mic.


“FS1 to Seaview, come in Seaview.”


His hail was met with a strange buzzing noise, however, as he failed to make contact with the Boat.  It wasn't static electricity, and the closest thing he could liken it to, was a high voltage power line buzzing as its power surged through. He called for Seaview again, receiving similar results, and abandoned the effort in order to handle the increasingly bumpy ride.  He took the control sticks in both hands, riding the rough storm out as it strangely began to change colors.  The familiar dark purple in the clouds changed to the full spectrum of a rainbow, as the unnatural lights penetrated through the hull of FS1, nearly blinding him. 


Meanwhile, FS1 was taking some heavy turbulence, and Lee was glad he had remained strapped in, as his harness worked to keep him in his seat.  Then, just as quickly as the storm had appeared, it was gone.  He didn't fly out of it, it was just gone; but what was there caused him to swallow hard, as Lee realized that he had just flown into a barrage of flak!


* * * * *


Huge “booms” preceded dark black puffs of smoke all across the sky, as Lee sought to climb out of the range of the deadly explosive charges detonating around him and rocking his craft with its devastating fury.  Every thunderous burst of explosives carried the threat of imminent destruction, as FS1 rattled and moaned in protest at flak detonating far too close.  His only hope was to escape to an altitude above the explosive’s ability to reach, but even as he climbed, he heard a terrible ominous roar.  The explosion was far too close to the flying sub resulting in sparks and smoke as his panels shorted out. 


The flying sub began to lose altitude, as Lee worked hard against damaged equipment to keep the aircraft in controlled flight, but soon realized that he was going to have to look for a place to set down.  That realization, however, brought on as much confusion as the inexplicable flak he had flown into.  He was supposed to be flying over the Pacific Ocean; but what he saw below him was land everywhere, as far as his eyes could see.  Nothing was making sense, but he currently had his hands full trying to keep the flying sub airborne, so he concentrated on his number one priority, the need to set FS1 down safely. 


He fought to keep her nose up in an attempt to lower his airspeed, but he was still coming in hot.  There were several fields below, but he’d have to work hard at avoiding the nearby forest.  He picked out a field with adequate space for his careening speed and concentrated, as his usually light touch on the controls was replaced with a white knuckled grip. 


He watched his altitude; one hundred feet, eighty feet… twenty feet… he was losing control and running out of field, so he sat the flying sub down, hitting hard and bouncing like a dolphin several times until she finally slid to a grinding halt as the smell of overworked brakes permeated the cabin.  The harness held Lee safely in place as he took a deep breath while looking out the window in front of him, only twenty yards from the forest.


He took a deep breath and reached for his throat mic, attempting once again to contact Seaview, but just as before, her frequency was dead. 


“Where am I?” he asked himself in a near whisper as he scanned his surroundings through the window, trying to make sense of how he had ended up over land so quickly; he wasn't anywhere near an island when he ran into the strange storm!  To say ‘Something wasn't right’ would be a gross understatement, but he didn’t have the luxury of contemplating the thought any longer; the yellow aircraft’s crash landing in an open field was sure to bring attention he didn’t need at this point.  He moved to the supply cabinet and pulled out a service revolver, pulling the clip out and checking its readiness for action before sliding it back into place with an audible “click”.  He slid the revolver into his holster and climbed up the flying sub's top hatch.


He didn't know where he had landed, but the flak had been a good indication that he wasn't in friendly territory, so he dogged the hatch and keyed in his personal security code to lock the flying sub.  The security system included crash doors that secured FS1's windows, protecting her technology safely inside from prying eyes.


Lee started down the craft’s outer ladder and dropped to the ground, pulling his gun and crouching low to scan his surroundings.  The sound of vehicles approaching garnered his immediate attention as he spotted several trucks in the distance.  They were decidedly military trucks and by the looks of their models they weren't American, so he decided to retreat to the cover of the forest.  He was sprinting for the trees when a line of soldiers stepped out of the forest with their guns bearing down on him.  Lee stopped in his tracks; he was pinned downed and out-gunned, with nowhere to run.  He dropped his gun with no options left, as he stared at fifteen machine guns pointed toward his chest and raised his hands in surrender.


There was a flurry of action around him as they spoke in German, yelling at him and ordering him to stand still.  Other than to comply with their obvious request to “halt”, Lee didn’t let on that he understood their language.  He tried to hide his confusion as several guards searched him, handling him roughly as he took in their appearance.  They wore WWII uniforms; Nazi uniforms.  The vintage of their trucks, their uniforms, the flak...everything was screaming out that he was in Nazi, Germany.  But his thoughts were interrupted as he was man-handled and brought to stand before an officer in a black uniform; a gestapo captain.  He looked Lee over carefully, stepping forward and reaching to finger the dolphins on his collar insignia.


“You are a long ways from your submarine, commander,” he said in thickly accented English as Lee stared straight ahead, maintaining his command face and fixating on an undisclosed point in the distance.  “Your aircraft seems to be locked.  You have a code to open it?”


Lee didn’t respond to the captain’s request, keeping his face schooled straight ahead in defiance.  His actions were met with a swift backhand across his jaw. 


“You will find it more pleasant to talk with us now, commander,” he threatened darkly, but Lee turned his face back to its original position and continued to stare ahead.  The gestapo captain was livid at the American officer’s defiance and swung a heavy hand once again, whipping Lee’s head in the opposite direction, but he remained silent, returning his face to stare once again over the captain’s shoulder as a thin stream of blood ran down the corner of his mouth.  The captain let out a small humorless chuckle, his next words dripping with dark promises of ill intent.  


“Very well commander.  We will have your aircraft and all its secrets, but you have just chosen the hard way,” he spat out, turning toward a guard with his next orders.  “Put him in the truck and secure the aircraft.”


Lee was marched to a canvas covered truck, pushed from behind when they thought he was moving too slowly, and climbed inside.  He was pushed into a seat with an unnecessary rough hand on his shoulder amidst a truck full of guards and sat back, trying to make sense of how he ended up in a war that was fought forty years ago.


* * * * *


Colonel Robert E. Hogan stood outside his barracks watching his men play a spirited game of volleyball.  The ballgame was a good distraction for the guards as it hid the fact that not all of his men were out for exercise time in the yard.  Staff Sergeant Kinchloe was busy in the radio room of the underground tunnel, receiving a radio message from their submarine contact.  He transcribed the message then tore it off the clipboard, stuffing it into his green fatigue jacket pocket.  He headed up the ladder doubling as the bottom of the bunk bed to the barracks, where Royal Air Force Corporal Peter Newkirk was seemingly playing a game of solitaire at the table, his innocent game covering the fact that he was actually the look-out for “Kinch”.


“Anything Kinch?” Newkirk asked in his decidedly British accent, as he placed another card down on a pile.


“Yeah, I need to get this to the Colonel,” Kinch replied, patting his pocket with the message he had just received.  They ambled out the door, showing little emotion as Colonel Hogan leaned against the side of the barracks with his cover tilted off of his forehead.


“A message for you Colonel,” Kinch said quietly while watching the volleyball game.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out the note palming it over to his commanding officer.  Hogan turned slightly, as Kinch and Newkirk stepped in front of him to block the tower guard’s view.


“Be on the look-out for a yellow flying saucer?”  Hogan said in a loud whisper as he read the note incredulously.  “Last seen flying over Dusseldorf at 1,600 kph?” he continued with a scoff, stuffing the note into his pant pocket and pushing his service cap higher over his head, “Are they crazy?”


His rhetorical question was left unanswered as Corporal LeBeau ran up, seemingly to chase an errant ball.


Kolenal,” he said, speaking with his distinctive French pronunciation of the word Colonel, “incoming trucks.” 


Hogan watched as a caravan of trucks and a staff car entered the Stalag.  The covered truck off-loaded a swarm of German soldiers surrounding one American prisoner.  He was heavily guarded and Hogan was barely able to determine that it was an officer being herded toward Klink's office.


LeBeau, get a peek under the canvas of the flatbed,” Hogan ordered casually.  


With that the volleyball made a few trips over the net and then ended up underneath the bed of the truck.  LeBeau ran after the ball, slipping under the truck quicker than the guards could stop him.  He reached for the ball and snagged a quick peek under the tarp before he was called out by a very loud Sgt. Schultz.


LeBeau you little cockroach, get out of there!” 


The small agile corporal found his way out with the ball under his arm, speaking indignantly in French all the way back to the volleyball game, where he suddenly lost interest and moved to take up a place next to Hogan.


Kolenal, you're not going to believe what it is.”


“Try me,” Hogan deadpanned.


“A big yellow saucer, what it does I can't tell, but it’s as yellow as a daisy,” the 5’1” Frenchman reported dramatically as Hogan nodded toward the building behind him.  LeBeau followed Col. Hogan through the barracks filled with bunk beds, lockers, and a pot belly stove, heading straight into his office.  Kinch and Newkirk followed casually, while Sgt. Carter stood at the barrack's door standing watch.


“Kinch, let's make some coffee,” Hogan said with a carefree smile, referring to the ingenious listening device disguised as a coffee pot.  A few cracks and a short spray of static later and they were in business, listening to Klink go on about, “…What a privilege it is to help the gestapo in every way possible.”


“Yes, yes Colonel Klink, you said that before.  What I need is a place to interrogate this prisoner.  Your office will do,” the voice of the gestapo captain was heard, completely disrespectful despite the fact that Klink was his superior officer.


“Of course, Captain Schmidt,” an overly agreeable Col Klink responded, much too jovial for the situation.  My office is your office.”


Hogan offered a sideways smirk to Newkirk; they had all heard that one before.


“Let's start with your name, commander,” the captain asked matter-of-factly.


“Crane, Lee Benjamin.  Commander.  Serial number 544891357,” Hogan and his men heard from the officer that had been brought, in as the Colonel raised a brow in question.


“Commander?  What's a naval officer doing this far into Germany?”  Hogan asked in a soft voice so that he could still hear the conversation in Klink's office.


“Very well, Commander Crane,” he said, expecting that the officer had reconsidered his position and was now ready to cooperate.  “Your aircraft seems to be locked; the fatherland has use of its technology.  How do we access your craft?”  He demanded, obviously pacing the floor, his voice becoming louder as he walked past the microphone hidden on Hitler's picture.


“Crane, Lee Benjamin.  Commander.  Serial number 544891357.”


A series of punches was heard, mixed with the grunts of a man taking hard blows as Hogan's eyebrows sharpened.


“This is getting a little rough, you boys keep monitoring; I'm going to pay Klink a little visit.”


Hogan left the room swiftly and headed toward the Commandant’s office.  He entered the outer office, noting Helga visibly cringe with each grunt she heard while sitting at her desk.   Sgt. Schultz was also present, currently engaged in a nervous pace across the floor of the outer office, and livened up when he saw Hogan enter the room.


“Colonel Hogan, it’s such a nasty business, the gestapo.  This is most unusual!” the large sergeant bellowed.


Hogan ignored Schultz’ rantings and proceeded immediately for  Klink’s office door with sheer determination in every step, as Sgt. Schultz tried to hold him back.


“Colonel Hogan, the gestapo officer left instructions that they were not to be disturbed.  It would mean my life!” Schultz said, but his melodramatics were lost on Hogan as he burst through the door just in time to witness the naval officer receive yet another blow to his gut.


“Colonel Klink, I protest!  This man is a prisoner of war, and under the Geneva Convention he has the right...”


Hogan's speech was cut-off as Captain Schmidt yelled at the top of his lungs, “I left orders not to be disturbed!”


Colonel Klink, who had been pacing behind his desk wringing his hands, welcomed Hogan's outburst.  If the Red Cross ever found out about this it could tarnish his record at the Stalag. 


“This is Colonel Hogan, ranking officer of the POWs.  Colonel Hogan, Captain Schmidt.   Captain Schmidt, Colonel Hogan,” the camp commandant said, but Klink's nervous introductions were met by Schmidt's fury.


“This prisoner is not under your jurisdiction Klink, we are merely here because the Allies will not bomb this facility and it will give us time to talk with our guest here.” 


Captain Schmidt's tone had lowered some, but Hogan wasn't buying it.  The Commander was hanging between two guards barely able to stand and breathing hard.  Schmidt had been careful to lay his blows where his clothes would cover the bruises, but it was apparent that the Commander had been roughed up good.


“Yes, but you see, Captain Schmidt,” Klink bumbled along not wanting to infuriate the gestapo officer, “he is here in my prison camp and the Geneva Convention clearly states...” 


Klink's words were cut off by Schmidt as he yelled back his response, “This prisoner is an enemy spy and does not fall under the rules of the Geneva Convention.”


“Wait a minute, Captain,” Colonel Hogan chimed in, “the Commander is clearly in uniform, wearing insignias of the United States Navy.”


By this time, the Commander had recovered and was standing more steadily on his own two feet, watching the exchange going on before him like a bystander.


“This man is an enemy spy, and will be treated as such,” Schmidt informed the American colonel, before dismissing his presence as completely unimportant.  “Klink, put him in solitary confinement.  No visitors!  And you, Colonel Hogan will not be granted the opportunity to speak with the spy!” 


With that, Hogan was ushered out of the room, as Klink followed Schmidt to view the solitary detention area with the Commander stumbling along between two guards. 


* * * * *


Hogan rushed across the compound to the barracks, and was immediately bombarded by his men all speaking at once.


“What are they trying to pull?”  “What are we going to do Kolenal?”  “If I could get my hands on that gestapo captain!”


“All right!  Cut it out!  Let's work the problem, not the other way around,” Hogan ordered, his words putting the men back on track as he began issuing orders.


“Kinch, get on the horn and find out what they know of a Commander Lee Benjamin Crane, also notify them that the yellow flying saucer is here.”


Newkirk's and Carter's eyebrows both waggled up and then down in unison as he continued.


LeBeau, let's see if they've got the Commander settled in yet, and then we'll go pay a little visit.” 


With that, Hogan walked over to the water faucet, turning his service cap backwards and pulling on the fixtures till it rose to his line of sight. 


“Up scope,” he ordered, while LeBeau slipped outside and stood in front of the tomato soup can that effectively hid the lens, as Hogan positioned the “periscope” to find Klink, Schmidt and his entourage of guards leaving the detention cells and heading back toward Klink's office.


Hogan lowered the periscope and turned around to face his men. 


“Gentlemen, let's go visit the Commander.  Newkirk, Carter, you're with me.  LeBeau, monitor the coffee pot for me.” 


Hogan proceeded over to the bunk on the far side of the wall and whacked the bunk twice as the secret compartment rose, and the three descended down the makeshift staircase toward their secret tunnels.


* * * * *

Lee was dumped off in a cell with one cot, a toilet and a sink.  His body felt like it had been used as a boxer's bag as he lay on his cot with one leg bent at the knee.  He was still confused about how he ended up here; it wasn't like any storm he had ever seen before, that was for sure.  But could he really be in Nazi Germany during World War Two?  Stranger things had happened, even in his two short years aboard Seaview, so he couldn't rule it out.  He swallowed hard, biting back some of the pain with a small groan and closed his eyes.


Off to his left, the dingy sink slowly and silently swiveled away, as Colonel Hogan ascended the hole by a ladder from the underground tunnel.  Carter slipped up to the door to listen for guards as Newkirk stayed at the tunnel, listening for a possible alarm from there.  Hogan made his way over to the Commander and spoke quietly.


“Commander.  Commander Crane,” he called quietly.


Lee's eyes opened slowly, turning toward the American Colonel beside him. 


“Colonel,” Lee said trying to rise from where he lay to report to the superior officer.


“At ease, Commander,” Hogan said, offering a reassuring smile as Lee surrendered and fell back on the cot.


“What's a Navy Commander doing so far from the ocean?” Hogan asked, getting down to business.


“That's what I'd like to know as well,” Lee replied airily, apparently confused himself.  “Colonel...”


“Hogan,” he finished for Lee.


“Colonel Hogan, what about my aircraft?”


“They brought it in on a flat bed,” Hogan answered with a furled brow.  “You mean that yellow flying saucer actually does fly?”


Lee smiled, but his smile changed to one of concern as he finally accepted his surroundings.  “I really am in Nazi Germany, aren't I?”


“Yeah, you really are.  Commander what do they want from you?”


“The security code to unlock my aircraft.”


“Someone's coming!” Carter whispered almost too loudly.


“We've got to go.  How long can you hold out?”  Hogan asked straightforwardly.


“As long as it takes,” Lee answered with a half-smile.  Hogan returned his smile and turned to leave as Lee watched the three men climb down the tunnel, and the sink swivel back into its original position. 


He heard the keys in his cell door as a large German sergeant walked in with a tray of food, placing it on the floor next to him while Lee held his sore ribs, making no motion to sit up.  The sergeant tsked, tsked, then walked out shaking his head and muttering, as Lee closed his eyes thinking about the strange events he had been inexplicably pulled into.


* * * * *


Hogan made his way through the underground tunnel system, stopping off at Kinch's radio on the way up the ladder.


“Anything Kinch?”


“No Sir.  London is checking on it, but so far they’re not missing a Navy Commander or a yellow flying saucer.”


Hogan nodded his head, “Why do I always get the crazy ones?” he asked in comical disbelief as he climbed up the ladder, heading straight for his office.




“The Captain made a phone call; they are bringing in a special interrogator tomorrow.”


“Great!” Hogan said, throwing his hands into the air in exasperation.  Just what we need.  All right, we'll just have to try and figure a way to get Crane out of here before they get too serious with their interrogations.”


All the men nodded in agreement, but no one knew how they were going to spring the Commander out from under the noses of the gestapo, not to mention his yellow flying saucer.  But they were also believers in their commanding officer, and Colonel Hogan had pulled many rabbits out of his hat before, this time would be no different.


* * * * *


Lee woke the next morning and found his way over to the sink.  He would have liked to have figure out how the tunnel mechanism worked, but he figured there was a reason why Colonel Hogan hadn’t taken him with them.  He wasn't sure when the Colonel had stormed into the office who Hogan was at the time.  At the time, he was busy trying to put some air into his lungs, but when he showed up in his maximum-security cell by way of an underground tunnel, he knew.  He recognized Hogan from his pictures, and that's when he knew that he really was in Germany during WWII. 


He knew that part of how Hogan's operation worked was to keep the inept Colonel Klink in command.  So, Hogan made sure that Klink could boast what no other POW camp could.  No successful escapes.  Of course, that wasn’t really the truth, as prisoners rotated out the camp with some frequency, along with the ones that they helped move along to the underground from other POW camps.  So, Lee knew that he couldn't risk destroying this efficient espionage operation with his untimely escape. 


He turned the water on, almost surprised that the plumbing still worked, and washed his face.  There was no towel, so he just patted his face dry.  His leather jacket was lying on the cot, as he walked back holding his side to sit down beside it.  Everything was riding on him not breaking; the entire course of the war could be changed if the Nazis got ahold of FS1.


His thoughts were interrupted, as he turned toward the door when the very large Sergeant opened his cell door and called to him almost apologetically. 


“Commander, this way please.”


Lee raised his eyebrows incredulously.  Please?  Here he was a prisoner in a POW camp and the guard was escorting him around like he was a guest in a hotel.  He stood and followed his guard as the Sergeant mumbled about the strange goings-on in Germany today.


* * * * *


Lee found himself back in Klink's office.  It was somewhat comforting; he knew that Hogan could keep track of him from here since it was bugged.  He was taken to a straight back chair with arm rests in the middle of the floor, and pushed into a sitting position, as the gestapo guards took small belts and strapped his wrists tightly to the armrests.  This isn't looking good, he considered silently, before they proceeded to strap his ankles to the legs of the chair in like manner.  Yep, this is definitely not good, he decided as the guards tugged on the belts to test them and then stepped away, taking up positions in the corners.


Lee scanned the room, looking for anything that might be of value to him, but even the radio was useless.  Who would he call in 1943?  No, this was Hogan's game, and he'd have to trust him to make good his escape.


Just then the door opened as Captain Schmidt, Colonel Klink and a very dangerous looking female walked into the room.  She was exquisitely beautiful with her blonde hair coiffed perfectly on her head, and her well-fitted dress showing off some dangerous curves; but her intent was revealed right away as he spotted the cold heartless evil within her deep blue eyes.


She moved to stand squarely in front of him, bending down to reach his eye level and purposely revealing her cleavage as Lee stared straight ahead without reacting, which annoyed her greatly. 


“So, Commander Crane, you have a security code that we need,” she said coldly, reaching to unbutton his shirt, starting from the top button and working down seductively as she spoke.  “This doesn't have to be unpleasant, Commander,” she said, as she reached the button just above his buckle, then nuzzled up close to him stroking his dark hair as she whispered into his ear.  “I think I could arrange for a better place to interrogate you.” 


Her insinuations weren't lost on Lee; he just didn't care to play her game, so he spurned her with his Command face, as she rose from her seductive pose over him. 


“Bring in my gear,” she bellowed, as Lee knew full-well that he was about to feel the fury of a woman scorned.


He watched emotionless, as she unpacked her contraption, recognizing the electric shock electrodes she was preparing.  He sighed inwardly; the bad guys always seemed to favor this particular mode of torture, and steeled himself for what was going to be a very painful session.


With her preparations complete, she turned toward Lee, practically cooing her next words.  “Now, Commander, let’s begin… shall we?”


* * * * *


Hogan and his men gathered around the coffee pot and cringed as a hot, buzzing sound preceded a painful grunt that dragged on until the buzzing sound stopped.


“Electric shock,” Hogan spat out to himself, as the normal banter the men usually engaged in was put away with the seriousness of the matter.  All prisoners were restricted to the barracks, presumably to keep them from hearing the results of the interrogation as the next few rounds produced more than a grunt from the commander.


Hogan sighed deeply, looking toward his men, each face downcast upon hearing the torture of a prisoner.  It just didn’t seem right to allow Crane’s private hell to be publicly displayed like this, so he made a decision.


“You guys, uh… keep a watch in the barracks,” he said as his men delayed slightly.  “I just think a man deserves some privacy for something like this,” he added, turning down the coffee pot and leaning in close to hear, and taking full responsibility for monitoring the interrogation as the men filed out.  LeBeau was the last to leave, watching as his commanding officer leaned over the table with his head lowered, before shutting the door quietly behind him.


* * * * *


Lee’s chin rested wearily on his bare chest as six round electrodes were taped in place to ensure the maximum effect. 


“So, you have had training, I see,” she observed, leaning against Klink’s desk, her skirt hiking purposefully as if a man being tortured would be interested in the sexy legs of his tormentor at this point.  Klink had been kicked out of his office, and to avoid the unpleasant sounds of the interrogation, had retreated to his quarters to pace and wring his hands privately.  Only the gestapo captain and two guards posted in the corners with cold expressionless faces, were left in the room.  Even Helga had been dismissed from the outer office to keep this, quite illegal session, private.


“You’ve learned to concentrate through the pain, but I won’t let you any longer,” she declared, stepping forward and pulling his head back by a handful of hair.  “Remember, Commander, there’s always an easier way,” she suggested, dropping his head and reaching for a black blindfold on the desk behind her.  Lee watched as she approached with a sadistic smile, before wrapping the blindfold around his head and tying it tightly.


“Now, the code, Commander?”


His silence was met with the expected shock, but then she changed the game plan; asking the question only partially before administering then next shock and issuing repeated shocks for his non-answers.


“You see,” she cooed in his ear, causing him to shudder slightly as he had lost track of her movements in the room.  “You cannot concentrate when you don’t know when it’s coming,” she explained, before delivering another shock to make her point.


“The code,” she demanded again, before issuing the next shock, followed by three more. 


She leaned in close again as his ragged breaths filled the room.  “You’re going to break, Commander,” she promised.  “Give me the code,” she coaxed as he swallowed hard.  She smiled, recognizing the signs of a man at his wit’s end, and waited for his answer.


He spoke in an airy breath that she couldn’t understand, so she stepped in closer.


“Tell me again, Commander,” she demanded, feeling very much in control.


“Go… to… hell,” he said, stronger this time and delivered loud enough for the benefit of every gestapo agent in the room, which was followed by a long shock that escaped in an unchecked outlet of pain.


* * * * *


Hogan stepped out of his office, his face taunt with the burden of monitoring the interrogation still visible.


“Is it over, Sir?” Carter asked with a swallow, remembering the time his buddies thought he was being tortured, only to find out that he had been wined and dined until his stomach hurt from indigestion.  If only the same could be true for the naval commander, he silently wished, but knowing that there was no such luck, not with the gestapo involved.


“Yeah,” Hogan said, clearing his throat.  “Kinch, get back on the horn and rattle some cages, the Navy’s got to be missing a Commander.”


“Right,” Kinch replied, glad for something productive to do as he headed for the bunk on the far wall.


“Did he… break, Colonel?” Newkirk ventured to ask with a shrug of his shoulder.


“No, he finally passed out and they took him back to Solitary.”


“Should we pay him a visit, Kolenal?” LeBeau asked, wishing he had some secret family poultice that would ease the pain of a two-hour long torture session.


“He’ll be out for a while,” Hogan surmised.  “We’ll go after Kinch gets some information on the Commander,” he decided, looking each of his men in the eye before nodding and retreating to his office for a bit of privacy.


* * * * *


Sometime during the interrogation Lee had mercifully passed out and was deposited back onto the cot in his cell.  He woke grateful that he was lying down and not still in the interrogation chair.  His shirt was still open as two-inch round red marks bore witness to where the electrodes had been placed.  He had denied her at every turn, and in her frustration, she had finally zapped him one last time, putting him over the edge of his pain threshold before passing out. 


He laid there breathing heavily, trying to reign in the pain from his chest as well as his wrists from writhing in the chair.  He was fully aware that electric shock caused superficial damage, unless the victim had a bad heart, which is why torturers preferred this mode of interrogation.  They knew that he would recover, waking to burns on his chest and shaken insides, but suffering no real damage.  He’d be ready for another session in a couple of hours… it was a game he knew all too well. 


He didn't hear the sink rotate, but did feel a breeze and turned his head to see Hogan climbing back up the tunnel.


“Crane, we need to talk,” the Colonel delivered curtly, even though the Commander was still obviously weak.


Lee knew what was coming.  The Navy didn't know who he was; to them, he was just impersonating an officer.


“Who are you?”  Hogan continued, needing some answers; something to explain who he was and if he was really legit. 


Lee took in a deep breath; he needed Hogan's help to get FS1 out of the Nazi's hands; and the only way he knew to do that was to level with the Colonel, as fantastic as it might sound.


“I'm Commander Lee Crane and I'm from your future; forty years into your future,” he said, getting exactly the response he expected as Hogan's eyes registered his disbelief, causing Lee to chuckle weakly.  “I know Colonel, I wouldn't believe me either; but you do have to believe in my aircraft sitting out there,” he argued passionately.  “If the Nazi's get their hands on its technology it could change the course of this war, and very likely the course of the entire world.”


Hogan studied Lee's eyes as he spoke, the red burns on his chest signaling the depths that Crane took to keep his aircraft out of German hands, even as the sounds of the interrogation played endlessly in his head, forced to listen by duty, and having no way to help his fellow countryman at that point.


“Give me something to go on; something that tells me you're not crazy,” Hogan all but pleaded, needing something more than the fantastic story Crane just gave him to convince him he was one of the good guys. 


Hogan was deadly serious as Lee nodded his head, running his tongue over his dry lips.  He was aware of many of Hogan's missions, and he knew that very few people on the face of the earth would understand what he was about to say. 


“My aircraft runs on nuclear power,” Lee disclosed, watching Hogan's brow rise that Crane would know about the Manhattan Project, since it was a top-secret experiment.   Lee was well aware that Hogan and his men had liberated a barrel of “heavy water” from the Germans, setting back their nuclear program at least six months.  “It also has jet engines,” he continued, knowing that this too was a secret not widely known at this point in the war.  “I know that the Germans are working on theirs now, but the ones on my aircraft will make travel across the Atlantic possible in hours.”


Hogan took off his cover and ran a hand through his hair replacing it as he spoke, “You sure don't make this easy on a guy, do you?”


Lee would have chuckled at Hogan's attempt to lighten the mood, except that his pain took that moment to spike as he breathed in deeply, before putting the pain back into place.  He opened his eyes again and found Hogan.


“Colonel Hogan,” he said, unable to completely hide his discomfort.  “I heard them say that they were moving me out tomorrow,” Hogan's eyebrows raised, but Lee continued on, “if you're as connected as I think you are then I need you to blow up my aircraft on the road; me too if you have to, I can't let them take possession of my craft.” 


Hogan looked Lee squarely in the eyes.  He had heard Lee's interrogations and had also heard the gestapo’s plans.  He knew enough German to impersonate officers and had even fooled both Klink and Major Hochstetter at a dinner party one night, but he had learned a long time ago to beware of POWs who spoke it fluently.


“You speak German?” he said in a slightly accusatory manner, and wondering if he had fallen for an old gestapo trick of bringing in a German spy, pretending to be one of them.


“Yeah,” Lee admitted.  “I speak Ruskie better, but I'm not Russian either.  I've had...espionage training.” 


Hogan's head shot up, hoping he was finally getting to the bottom of just who Lee Crane was.


“With who?” he all but ordered.


“ONI, but they won't know who I am either, at least not for another forty years,” Lee said, his strength now waning and in desperate need of sleep at this point.  “Please Colonel, just blow up the convoy,” he pleaded, not knowing how long he was going to be able to stay conscious.  “But you'll have to totally destroy the aircraft.  Leave nothing for them to salvage,” he finished, closing his eyes as he worked through more pain, while Hogan watched, nodding to himself as he made his decision.


“We'll do what we can Crane, but my connections are even better than you think.  Hang in there,” he encouraged, silently trying to figure out how he was going to explain to London that he was protecting an officer from forty years in the future, when he really wasn’t sure if he believed it himself.


Lee nodded, as Hogan and his men quietly left the cell then closed his eyes, surrendering to the rest he needed and for the next session he knew was coming.


* * * * *


Kolenal!”  LeBeau called in a flurry as Hogan exited his office, having been busy making plans to intercept the convoy, rescue Crane, and steal back the yellow flying saucer.


“General Burkhalter just came through the gates and they're moving Commander Crane,” the small statured Frenchman reported; though he enjoyed cooking as a master chef, LeBeau was a valuable member of Hogan’s espionage team, able to perform any duty his commanding officer threw at him, including hiding in the safe and other tight spots from time to time.


Hogan calmly peered out the barely opened barrack’s door and watched as Lee Crane was marched across the compound.  His shirt was buttoned once again, and he walked with the proud bearing of an officer; even so, the man was in pain, he could see it from where he stood. 


“Men we’ve got to do something,” Hogan declared, knowing that every man has his breaking point, and that Crane was walking into his third round of gestapo interrogations.


“You can't believe that cockamamie story of his, Sir?” Newkirk asked incredulously, his British accent adding a colorful inflection to the question.


“I don't know what to believe,” Hogan admitted, “but I do know that there is an American officer out there, taking a lot of pain to keep that aircraft,” he said pointing in the direction of the flying sub still under the tarp on the flatbed, “out of enemy hands.  And our job is to not only protect that aircraft, but that officer as well,” he finished full of passion. 


Hogan's conviction wasn't challenged as he headed toward the office, his men following sheepishly behind, while Kinch set up the coffee pot once again.


* * * * *


Lee was brought back to Klink's office and was placed into the same chair that he had sat in earlier that day.  This time his cuffs were unbuttoned and his sleeves moved back before the straps were laid across his wrists and secured.  A rather large German general had joined the party; the scar across his face gave Lee the impression that he wasn’t someone to cross.  The blonde bombshell who had presided over his last interrogation session was present, pressing seductively against him once more. 


“The hard way or the easy way, Commander?” she whispered in his ear, seemingly to offer a way out of the next torture session if he would only tell them what they wanted to know. 


Lee flexed his hands under the tight belts that strapped him in.


“I'm told I’m better with my hands free,” he quipped tongue and cheek, but still with defiance as she stepped back, understanding that Crane viewed her offer as only a means for escape, not cooperation.


“I'm sure you are, Commander, but I don't trust you,” she said, backing away to introduce the new arrival.  “This is General Burkhalter; he is most interested in your flying aircraft.  It seems that it was monitored exceeding 1,600 kph?”


Lee stared straight ahead, neither confirming nor denying the speed of his aircraft as the blonde chuckled at what she perceived to be his impending breaking point.  She turned around slowly to reveal a syringe ejecting the air bubbles out the top as she walked purposely toward him. 


“I think you will become very talkative, Commander,” she said, injecting the needle into Lee's right arm at the vein.  “You may resist me, but you can’t resist my needle,” she whispered, making eye contact and smiling victoriously.


Lee felt the effects of the truth serum as it raced up his arm, issuing small grunts as his will warred with the drug, producing very uncomfortable side effects the more he resisted.  He was still working against its compliance tendency when he felt someone move closer while his head dipped in concentration.


“What is the security code, Commander?” the decidedly nasal voice of the General was heard as Lee battled to deny their will.


“Crane, Lee Benjamin; Commander...” he said, in practiced recitation of his name, rank, and serial number.


“Yes, we know that,” Burkhalter interrupted.  “What we want is the security code to access your craft,” he stated impatiently, sure that the stupid American hadn't understood the question, but Lee's intentions weren't missed as he answered again.


“Crane, Lee Benjamin; Commander.  Serial number...”


His defiance was met with immediate repercussions as the blonde bombshell stepped forward and injected another dose of truth serum, his chin sinking deeper onto his chest as Lee continued to drum up his disobedience to their demands.


“Now, Commander, will you give me the security code?”  Burkhalter demanded more than asked; sure the American would break under the double dose of the strong drug.


“No,” Lee replied as firmly as he could muster.


“What?” Burkhalter screamed in a near temper tantrum.


“No...Sir,” Lee responded, adding the ‘Sir’ with a level of contempt that sent the General into more of a rage. 


“Increase the dosage,” Burkhalter demanded as the blonde interrogator jammed yet another needle into her prisoner’s arm, enraged that she hadn’t been able to break the American yet, and concerned that her standing as a leading gestapo interrogator was in danger should she fail. 


The drug was strong as Lee battled far more confusion on the third dose.  His disorientation was further hampered with a barrage of questions coming from both sides of his head as the blonde interrogator and Burkhalter teamed up to throw him off guard, throwing questions and facts at him and noticing the obvious effect the triple dose was producing.  He worked to concentrate, but the three injections were leaving him muddle-headed, to the point that he wasn’t even sure if he was successfully keeping his secrets.  The interrogation went on, as he tried to zone out their endless questions while battling the increasing uncomfortableness of the overdose of truth serum, until somewhere in the middle of the session he lost it, and blacked out.


* * * * *


Hogan turned off the coffee pot.  He had allowed his men to hear the session, partly to instill their understanding of the stakes, though he didn’t have to.  He was their commanding officer and he expected his orders obeyed, but he also knew that Crane’s story was so fantastic that it would stretch any man’s faith.  At this point, he wanted them to know the caliber of man they were sticking their necks out for, whether he was looney as Newkirk suggested, was another matter. 


“Kinch,” the Colonel said, breaking the silence of the room as his men reined in their heavy emotions, with each man understanding that though Klink may be an inept fool, the gestapo was another matter altogether, and they were all too well aware what the Nazi’s were capable of.  “Get below and make sure the Underground is ready for the Operation.”


Kinch nodded; his efficiency, ability to repair his equipment, and level-headedness making him one of Hogan’s most trusted men.


“Newkirk, Carter, you’re with me again.  LeBeau, monitor the coffee pot and make sure that we know of any changes to the convoy’s route.”


“Right, Kolenal.” 


Hogan nodded, knowing he was doing the right thing, and ready to lead a daring daylight raid to free a high-value prisoner and his yellow flying machine.


* * * * *


Lee woke on his cot, curled into a tight ball and holding his mid-section as the after-effects of three doses of truth serum left him feeling sick as a dog.  He blinked his eyes open to see Hogan crouched down in front of him offering sympathy from his expressive face. 


“What did I tell them?” he asked breathy and pained, and having only a fuzzy memory of the events after the third injection.


“Nothing, Crane,” the Colonel assured, offering his respect in his simple two-word answer.


“It’s Lee,” the dark-haired officer said, as a brotherly bond between the two officers grew.


“My friends call me, Hogan.  I'm saving my first name for when I'm not blowing up bridges and dodging gestapo.”  Hogan smiled and Lee returned it weakly.  “Listen Lee, they're moving you out tomorrow.  Don’t worry; we'll take care of everything.”


Lee nodded and held his mid-section tighter as muscle cramps continued to seize him.  He felt Hogan pat his arm in encouragement, before leaving again through the tunnel under the sink.


* * * * *


Lee was marched out to the covered truck early the next morning.  Burkhalter had returned to Berlin the night before, though infuriated with the Commander’s lack of cooperation, he was convinced that the gestapo’s tried and true physical interrogation sessions would break the American in due course.  The blonde interrogator rode with him, determined to make sure that the next sessions of Crane’s interrogations produced a broken man.  The convoy consisted of the three covered trucks, the flatbed and Captain Schmidt’s staff car. 


He was positioned in the second covered truck, with six guards and was still very ill.  He hung his weary head, but was fully aware as he listened to the caravan head out of the POW camp.  He needed to stay awake, although the bumpy, dirt roads bouncing him around like a Mexican jumping bean, was doing a good job of that at present.  He knew that there would be a diversion, so he worked to keep himself ready to aid in the rescue; at least he thought that was what Hogan had alluded to in his cell.  At any rate, if he didn't take out a few of these guards, some of Hogan's men might get injured or worse; so, he listened intently for anything out of the ordinary.


They had only traveled about a half-hour when he heard the explosions outside.  Lee reacted immediately, pulling the two guards on either side of him together in a thud, as their helmets bounced off one another.  He kicked the gun out of the guard directly in front of him while grabbing for the machine gun of one of the downed guards.  Three guards were down and three started toward him, but another explosion rocked the truck, causing the remaining three guards to land in a heap in front of him. 


He aimed at the vulnerable men lying haphazardly on truck bed, delivering a serious make-my-day-smile as they recognized their precarious position and dropped their guns to raise their hands in surrender.  The truck stopped as the sounds of gunfire and multiple struggles were heard outside.  He motioned for his prisoners to remain quiet as he trained his machine gun on the guards and waited to see who was going to open the canvas.


“Whoa there, Commander, it’s just me,” Carter said with his Iowan accent, while standing outside the canvas as Lee blew a heavy sigh of relief, recognizing him as Hogan's man, even though he was now wearing a German uniform.  More men, underground contacts Lee thought, since they were dressed in village attire, climbed in taking control of the German guards as Lee was helped out of the truck.  The energy it had taken to take his guards out had spent him, so he ended up leaning heavily on Newkirk. 


“I’ve got you, Commander,” Newkirk said, as Hogan took up the other side, efficiently heading back into the woods while the Underground cleaned up the scene. 


“My aircraft?”  Lee asked before taking too many steps.


“Trust me.  I do this all the time,” Hogan quipped, flashing a brilliant smile and Lee thought he returned it, but his head dipped just as quickly as they moved swiftly through the Bad Kissingen Woods. 


Lee concentrated on not being a burden to his rescuers, trying to aid in his own rescue; but three torture sessions had taken its toll on him.  He was barely aware when he felt them lay him on a cot.  He didn't know where he was, he had lost track of that the first mile away from the road as his body gave way completely to a deep sleep.


* * * * *


Lee woke groggily, hearing men talking around him, but he was too incoherent to recognize them.  All he knew was that he wasn't on Seaview.  His awareness returned slowly as he struggled to remember that he was right in the middle of the Second World War.  He kept his eyes closed, not wanting to alert the men around him that he was awake; he needed to know where he was, and who he was with.


“I tell you, he must be some kind of commando, 'cause when I opened the canvas he had all six of those guards on the floor training a machine gun over them.”  Carter's excited farm boy voice gave way to Newkirk's British accent as he chimed in.


“I still say he's looney, this whole thing's a sticky wicket if you ask me.”


“What about his aircraft, have you ever seen anything like it before?” came the calm reasoning voice of Kinch.


“Well, the Kolenal trusts him, and that's good enough for me,” came from the very French sounding LeBeau.


“Okay men, knock it off.  Let's get back to work, shall we?”  Hogan's final say so quieted the men as they continued to argue about the sanity of the Navy Commander while filing out.


Hogan turned toward Lee and sat down, crossing a leg over his bent knee and sighing loudly.  “Okay, so how long have you been awake?”


A weak smile formed on Lee's face as he opened his eyes.  “Only a few minutes,” he admitted sheepishly.  “Sorry, habit of mine.  I woke not knowing where I was, or who I was with,” he replied, looking around at the obvious inside of a dug-out tunnel.  “I still don't know where I am,” he said with a smile, feeling much better now that the overdose of truth serum had worked through his system.


“It’s not much, but we call it home.  You're just about under Colonel Klink's office,” Hogan said, enlightening his guest as Lee's face crinkled in reaction.  “Don't worry, when you're up to it we'll get you out of Germany.” 


Hogan watched as Lee's earlier smile gave way to a decidedly concerned look.


“I'm not sure where to go.  I don't know how I got here, so I have no idea how to make it back,” he admitted, carefully moving to sit against the wall slowly.  His ribs were sore from playing punching bag, his chest was sore from burns, and his muscles protested vigorously at the side effects of the truth serum; all in all, a pretty routine mission, except he wasn't on a mission.


“You want to explain to me how you got through three doses of truth serum?” Hogan queried, still trying to get a handle on just who Lee Crane was.  “It’s pretty potent stuff,” he added, shifting back in his chair as Lee nodded.


“The drug must be a derivative of MI Dioxide*, it’s like antibiotics, they become less effective the more they’re given.  So, I spent a week in special training getting pumped with the stuff and interrogated until I built up the resistance.”


“Special training?  And these are the good guys?” Hogan asked incredulously.


“Yeah well, I've got a day job.  I only do missions on occasion,” Lee answered in slight jest, as Hogan reacted much the same way Chip Morton would have, which is why he kept that little week a secret from his best friend.  He rested his head back on the wall; moving had nearly spent him as he tired easily.  “Is the aircraft secured?”


“It’s hidden away, at least until someone gets a little snoopy,” Hogan replied, his service cap pushed back over his forehead and his light banter returning after the harrowing mission.


“I was thinking that I might be able to rewire my shorted panel and fly out.  I don't know where I'll head, out of Germany and away from Japan.”


Hogan watched the play of emotions on Lee’s face and blew a breath of acceptance; somewhere deep inside he believed this Crazy Commando Navy Commander. 


“Tell me Lee.  Is it worth it?  Do we win this thing?”  Hogan was tired of the espionage and danger, and truth be told, he was tired of sending everyone else home while he stayed behind.  He wouldn't leave though; he’d been given a chance before and turned it down.  He made a difference to the war effort here, and his way of life meant something to him; something he didn't want to turn over to the evil of Hitler and his men.


“Yeah, it’s worth it,” Lee replied sincerely; he owed it to Hogan for believing him and getting him out of the hands of the gestapo, so he told him what he wanted to know.  “The Allies will win this war and America will become a strong power in the world; helping to balance the on-going struggle against evil.”  Lee watched Hogan's eyes respond to that last statement.  “I wish I could tell you that this would be the war to end all wars, but it won't.  We continue to work to keep our country safe and free, even forty years from now.  But what you do here today matters; your generation secures the future for us.  Hitler is a madman, he has to be stopped,” he added passionately.


“How much do you know about me and my men?” Hogan asked curiously, in a slight shift of conversation.


“About your men, not much… About you?”  Lee smiled knowingly.  “ONI has an entire training session on thinking outside of the box; your missions are the cases we studied.”


Hogan chuckled, “And here I thought I was just being creative; now I find out I've been thinking outside of the box.  I think I'll remember that, the next time we have to call all the way back to the states for a pizza recipe.”


Lee chuckled, he hadn't heard that story, but it sounded like a good one. 


“Well, I've got to get topside before Klink pulls a surprise inspection, which isn't scheduled for another half-hour,” he said checking his watch and having pre-knowledge of Klink’s schedule.  “Get some rest Lee; we'll get you and that aircraft out of Germany,” Hogan promised before heading topside to join the other POWs.


Lee leaned his head back and took comfort in Hogan's confident words.  He was tired, so he lay back down and slept, sleeping soundly and peacefully even though he was still technically in a POW camp in the middle of Germany.


* * * * *


“Are you sure you’re up to this?” Hogan asked, as Lee stood ready to climb the ladder dressed as the rest of Hogan’s men; in black slacks and a turtleneck sweater with black cameo grease smeared on his face.  “You could draw the schematics, and Kinch could handle it.”


“No, I don’t think that’s wise.  I’m not sure how this time travel works and I don’t want to mess with the future,” Lee replied, aware that the enlisted men still hadn’t decided if he was “looney” or not.  “I’m good,” he assured Hogan who raised an eyebrow in serious doubt, but accepted Lee’s self-assessment nonetheless.


Lee waited below as Newkirk and Carter exited the vertical tunnel first; then followed up, waiting for the all clear before opening the hatch, an ingenious device disguised as a tree stump.  Quickly he exited, lowering the tree stump and ducking into cover to avoid the random sweeps of the watch tower’s spotlights.  A moment later, Hogan joined them as Lee got his first look at the outside of the POW camp he had escaped into!  Barbed wired fences, Nazi guards roaming the perimeter with itchy trigger fingers, dangerous dogs… all hiding the most efficient espionage outfit in Germany.


A hand on his shoulder, told him it was time to go as Lee ignored his sore ribs and followed Hogan to where he had stashed FS1, inside a cave large enough to drive the flatbed into. 


“You sure they won’t look in here?” Lee asked, figuring the cave would be an obvious place to hide such a prize.


“Nah,” Hogan said with a shrug of his shoulder.  “A certain General made it off-limits when he stashed his plunder of priceless artwork here.  It’ll be safe,” he assured his naval counterpart.  “Come on, we can only be out a couple of hours a night,” he added as Lee nodded his readiness, conducting a walk-around and patting the bulkhead fondly for how well she had endured the abuse of the flak. 


Newkirk and Carter positioned themselves to keep watch outside the cave as Hogan followed Lee down into FS1’s cockpit, whistling through his teeth at the sophisticated equipment, while completing a thoroughly impressed 360 degree turn.


Lee headed straight for the wiring box on FS1’s starboard side and started his assessments of the damage.  “It’s actually not bad,” he reported.  “I can repair this tonight,” he said before approaching the flight controls and pulling open an access panel between the pilots’ chairs.  He issued his own whistle between the teeth and shook his head.  “This will take several nights,” he decided, moving to the supply box for his soldering kit.  “the flight control surfaces looked good,” Lee reported, as he headed to the wiring box to complete his work for the night, “I think she’s going to fly,” he finished, while Hogan sat in the left seat, taking the dual controls in his hands and smiling at the difference between the sticks and the yoke of the bomber he flew. 


“I sure miss being in the air,” he sighed under his breath.


Lee bit his bottom lip, addressing another obstacle he’d have to overcome.  “I’m uh… going to need a runway, she can handle short take-offs,” he informed.


Hogan swiveled the pilot’s chair to face Lee.  “You sure don’t ask for much, do you?” jesting lightly.


Lee chuckled in response, before providing another alternative.  “I spotted a lake on our way here.”


“So?” Hogan queried.


“She’s built for amphibious take-offs and landings,” Lee informed, leaving out the part of being a fully operational submarine.


“You’ve got to be kidding?” Hogan shot back.  “I don’t recall seeing any skids.”


“Trust me,” Lee said with a half-smile and continued his work, as Hogan checked his watch to keep them on track.


“So, forty years in the future?” Hogan said nonchalantly.


“Forty-two to be exact,” Lee corrected, with a shrug for rounding off his first number. 


“So, you’re what?  Twenty-nine… thirty?” Hogan asked, fishing for Lee’s age and silently impressed at the Commander’s rank, especially during a non-war time situation.


“Thirty-three,” he answered.


Hogan laughed, he was only a few years older than Crane in the here and now, but when Lee returned to his own time, he stopped to shudder at the ridiculous thought before moving on, to consider the fact that he would be in his late seventies!


“So, let’s say that we meet up when you get back,” Hogan suggested.  “Just to prove to myself that this is all legit,” he finished, knowing he’d have to wait over forty years to keep this appointment.


Lee nodded.  “Fair enough,” he said, closing the panel and satisfied with his work.  “I arrived in Germany on the same day and time, just a different year,” he said, “and I was heading to the Capitol in DC to meet my boss.  So, forty-two years from the time I take-off… if all goes well, I’ll be there,” Lee said, with the hint of the knowledge that he had no guarantees he would get back to his own time at all.


“It would be easier if I knew who your boss was,” Hogan asked with a raised brow.


Lee nodded negatively; too much about the future had already been disclosed.  Hogan understood the stakes, as he had no guarantee he would make it through the war to keep the appointment either.


“Time to go,” he announced taking to the ladder as Lee followed behind, entering his security code and climbing down the ladder to meet Hogan at the bottom.


“Let’s go,” Hogan directed, as Lee followed close behind.


They traveled silently through the woods, until Hogan dropped down, motioning for his men to do the same.


“What is it, Colonel?” Newkirk asked, his blue eyes searching for the danger his commanding officer had spotted.


Hogan used his gun to point toward a small band of roaming guards working the woods.


“Krauts,” Newkirk muttered under his breath.


“We’ve got to get back before roll call,” Hogan muttered under his breath. 


“Do you want me to… you know?” Newkirk said, drawing a line across his throat.


“The last thing we need is more guards out here investigating something like that,” Hogan replied in a whisper, reaching down instead for a baseball sized rock at his feet.  “Carter, lob this to the other side of the road,” he instructed, as the tall, lanky American sergeant waited for a clear moment and then stood to throw the rock far enough into the woods on the opposite side to ensure their clean passage.


The rock rustled bushes on its way down as the three guards in the middle of the road took off to investigate.


“Good job, let’s go,” Hogan ordered, moving his detail along, but they hadn’t gotten very far when an unexpected sound stopped them in their tracks.


“Halt!” A German guard yelled, quickly looking over Hogan and his two men, all hopes of talking themselves out of the situation was lost in their black commando attire as the men raised their hands; their side arms no match for a machine gun.


“Where’s Commander Crane?” Carter asked, just now noticing that he wasn’t among them.


“I knew it,” Newkirk said in a side whisper.  “I knew he was trouble.  This is a sticky wicket, Colonel, a sticky wicket,” he said before the lone guard silenced them and called across the road for the rest of his detail.


The guard held the three men at bay, while diverting his attention back across the road and growing increasingly nervous when they didn’t respond.  “Schnell, shnell!”  The nervous guard yelled, motioning his prisoners to drop to their knees and place their hands behind their heads.  Once they were in place, he called across the road again.  His nervousness increasing until he spotted a single guard break the bushes from across the road, and head straight for him.


“It’s about time,” the guard muttered in German as the guard made his way up the embankment and circle behind him.  “What took you so long?” the guard said over his shoulder to his fellow guard.


“Couldn’t find a uniform that fit,” he replied in German as the guard turned, confused at the strange statement.


“What?” he said, turning just in time to receive a well-placed blow to the jaw that sent the guard out to la-la land as his eyes rolled to the back of his head, teetering back and forth a couple of times clearly dazed, but still on his feet as Newkirk stepped forward.


“Allow me, Commander,” the barrack’s con-man said mischievously, cracking his knuckles before popping the guard in the nose, watching him fall back decisively.


“Couldn’t find a uniform that fit,” Hogan repeated with a roll of the eyes as Lee Crane shed the army helmet and long overcoat.  “Where did you go?”


“Had to dispose of the other three, I figured you didn’t want gunshots,” he said with a shrug of the shoulder.


Hogan stepped forward, reaching for Lee’s hand and inspecting the new scuff marks on his knuckles.


“Carter,” Hogan said, sending the accident prone-sergeant across the road to investigate, a few minutes later he returned to report.


“They’re out like a light, Colonel, all three,” he reported.


“All right, let’s get going before they wake up,” he said, moving his men along and raising an eyebrow to silently admit that he had, for a moment, thought Crane had betrayed them.


“Sorry, Colonel.  I heard the noise and had to react,” Lee explained.


“I guess once a spook always a spook,” Hogan said, regarding Lee’s espionage skills.  “I could use a man like you, but… I’d guess the future might need you too,” he said in a candid moment that Hogan didn’t partake in often, choosing rather to keep his sanity from the violence of the war by retreating to humor.


Lee smiled, and then moved forward, following Hogan’s men back to the tree stump entrance to their secret tunnels.


* * * * *


Lee stood outside of the flying sub.  He had re-wired his control panels, hoping the repair job would be good enough.  He had done the rewiring over the course of three nights and had talked Hogan into moving FS1 to a nearby lake for the take-off.  That had taken some doing, as Lee was sure that Hogan had put him back into the category of the crazy commander once again. 


Lee shook each of the men's hands, thanking them for saving his life and then stood in front of Hogan. 


“Thank you, Colonel Hogan, I'll look you up when I get back.”  It was wishful thinking, Lee really didn't know how to make it back to where he belonged; he just knew it wasn't in the middle of Germany with technology that could change the course of the world.


“You’d better, but when you do...call me Bob.” 


Lee smiled, by then Hogan wouldn't be blowing up bridges and dodging the gestapo.  He climbed to the top of the flying sub and saluted Hogan, and then descended downward dogging the hatch, grateful that Hogan’s Heroes had been there to help him through a “sticky wicket”, as Newkirk would say. 


Lee fired up the engines and was pleased to see his baby responding just the way she should.  He eased her into deeper water until she was floating freely and began his take-off across the lake like a runway.  When he reached VR, he pulled back on the control sticks and raised the flying sub out of the water as FS1 darted across the night sky, gaining altitude to ride above any possible flak.


Down below, Hogan and his men; Carter, Kinch, LeBeau and Newkirk watched as the yellow flying saucer skimmed the water building speed until it shot up into the air, speeding out of sight across the starry sky.


“He might not be looney, but I still think he’s crazy!” Newkirk said with a grin.


“Yeah, well aren't we all?” Hogan said with a grin, thinking of the wonder of the yellow aircraft.  And someone said I think out of the box, he mused, silently sharing the private joke with himself.


* * * * *


Lee took the flying sub to Mach 2 and was soon out of Germany.  He still didn't know where he would go, but he figured he might find a tropical island to wait out the war.  His thoughts, however, were disrupted when the storm appeared again.  His hope of returning to his own time was realized as the rainbow began to illuminate and penetrate his bulkhead once again.  He continued flying as FS1 took turbulence again; then inexplicably found himself back over the ocean, blinking several times as the terrain instantly changed before his eyes.  A quick bearing check found him on course for Washington DC. 


He reached for his throat mic and said a silent prayer as he hailed his Boat, “FS1 to Seaview, come in Seaview,” barely holding back his delighted chuckle when he heard the reply.


“Go ahead FS1, we're reading you loud and clear.”  Spark's voice sounded mighty fine just now, and Lee thought he’d better not sound like he was cracking up, but he needed to know when he had returned and if he had lost any time.


“Sparks, how long ago was my last transmission?”


Er...about fifteen minutes, Sir; just before you went airborne.”


Lee smiled; he had returned to the same time and space that he had encountered the strange storm.


“Very well, Sparks, contact Admiral Nelson, with my ETA,” he reiterated and blew a breath of relief out.


“Aye Sir.”


Lee continued the flight, watching for any signs of the storm, but somehow, he figured that it wouldn't appear again.  He didn't know why he felt that way; it was just a gut feeling, or maybe wishful thinking, he added silently.  But as he made his way across the ocean and caught his first glance of the California coastline, he finally allowed himself to believe that his fantastic journey had indeed come to an end.  It was only a two-hour flight from here, since he was already at supersonic speed, and couldn’t wait to share with Harry his strange tale.


* * * * *


Over the top of Lee, the portal still hung open as the metallic voices conversed amongst themselves.


“So, he protected the future with his life, and was even willing to blow up his only hope of returning to his own time.  Interesting.”


“Yes, his character trait of self-sacrifice has certainly been worth the study.”


The metallic voices continued to speak amongst themselves as the window below the portal transformed from an ominous dark storm to a beautiful sunny day over the unknown American City, as the danger of the test passed and the world returned to the place that the generation of men like Hogan had fought to preserve.  Their voices faded as the portal lights changed from yellow to white, and then the portal closed. 


All the while, Lee was unaware that he had been observed, or that the circumstances had been arranged for him to be tested.  The rest of his flight was thankfully uneventful as he guided the flying sub into her berth and took a cab into DC.  By noon time he was walking towards the Capitol in full uniform to meet Harry, sore from his ordeal, but grateful to have returned to his own time.




He turned to see Harry and an elderly, silver-haired gentleman with an unmistakable smile.


“I hope you don't mind, but I met up with my good friend...”


But Lee interrupted Harry as he reached his hand out to the 75-year-old man, greeting him with a fantastic smile.


“Lee,” the silver-haired man greeted.


“Good to see you, Bob,” he said with more than a little emotion, their hands clasping in a friendship forged over 40 years ago as Harry looked on perplexed. 


“Have you two met?”


“Aye Sir, and do we have a story to tell you...”





The End 


Eye of the Storm




* MI Dioxide was the truth serum used on the Second Series episode “Escape from Venice”





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Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and her main characters belong to Irwin Allen

And her respective production companies