This story is dedicated to the memory of David Hedison.  He shared his marvelous talents with us whether he was in a movie, on television or in the theater.   For me, he will always be the handsome, brave and resourceful Captain Lee Crane, Commander of the SSRN Seaview.

 He is greatly missed by his fans.


By JSRobertson

Seaview bobbed gently in her underground sub pen where she was docked after her last mission.  Admiral Nelson and Lee Crane, her captain, decided to upgrade several of her operating systems while they were in port.  They received all the new equipment and data they needed; so, Lee along with Chip, and several other key crew members, worked on the upgrades ensuring Seaview would still be the most technically advanced and powerful submarine in the world.   It was an intense and time-consuming project and they had a couple more days before the upgrades would be completed.


I really need to meet with Lee, sooner rather than later, Harry thought checking his watch and noticed it was already late in the day and decided he would discuss the matter with Lee first thing in the morning.  He opened his briefcase, setting the important envelope inside and thought about Lee’s probable reaction to its content.   He would fire up Lee’s emotions at what he was doing, but he knew it was the right thing to do.

He needed to talk to Lee about the important matter, but was having a difficult time meeting up with him because he spent most of his time on the boat.   By the time Harry arrived in the morning at the Institute, Lee was already at the sub-pen and Harry didn’t want to interrupt him while he was doing the upgrades.


It was a little after 0700 hours when Harry parked his car at the administrative building and noticed Lee’s car was already there.

Good god, who gets here this early, Harry grumbled as he grabbed his briefcase from the seat and walked to the front door.   He pulled on the door handle but it was locked.  He fished his keys from his pant pocket and unlocked the door.     Harry walked over to the front desk, signed in on the log-in register. then took the elevator up to the second floor.   He exited the elevator and headed for Janet’s office.

“Good morning, sir,” Janet said cheerfully when she saw him.

“Morning,” Harry muttered. “Do you always get here this early?”

“Not always sir, but since Lee has been spending most of his time on the boat, he likes to get here early to do all his paperwork before he goes down there.  Chip and the rest of the crew don’t arrive until 0800.”

That at least accounted for the locked door, Harry thought, since Janet was working alone in the office while Lee was at the sub-pen.

“I’m probably not paying you enough for all the hours you put in,” Harry teased.

“Sir, I don’t mind coming in.   Sometimes I need to take off when Lee gets into trouble so it all works out,” Janet answered softly.

Harry smiled at her response, “Is Lee here or did he leave for the boat?”

“No sir, I believe he’s still here.   He’s catching up on that paperwork before he leaves.  Do you want me to get him for you?”

“No, thanks…I’ll find him.”   

Harry walked through the waiting room and down the short hall to his office.   He had to pass by Lee’s office so he hoped to catch him there.   He didn’t make it to the office before he spotted him getting some coffee.

“Good morning, sir,” Lee said when he saw him.   “You’re here awful early.”

“I know,” Harry grumbled. “But I need to talk to you.   Do you have a minute?   There’re a few items I need to discuss with you.”

“Yes, sir.   I’ll bring the coffee,” Lee responded with a smile.

Harry opened the door to his outer office and proceeded into his office with Lee following behind with two mugs of coffee.   Harry put his briefcase on his desk, sat down in his chair and rested his elbows on the desk.   Lee placed a mug of coffee in front of him.

“Lee, would you please close the door to the offices?” Harry asked.

Lee shut the doors before he sat down on his favorite perch, the corner of Harry’s desk.   Harry took a sip of the hot coffee and grinned.

“You make the coffee this morning?”

“Yes, is there something wrong with it?”

“No,” Harry replied knowing his young captain liked his coffee very strong.

“What did you need to talk to me about?” Lee inquired taking a sip of his coffee.

“First, how are the upgrades proceeding?”

“We’re almost finished upgrading the communication system.   We should be finished by Monday and hope to run a few tests. The rest of the upgrades should be done by Tuesday at the latest.”

“Good,” Harry said his voice taking on a more serious tone.

“Everything okay, sir?” Lee asked noting the change in Harry’s mood.

“Everything’s fine, son,” Harry answered as he pushed the buttons on his briefcase, unlatching the two clasps.   He reached in and pulled out a thick file of papers, then closed the case.   He put the briefcase on the floor and left the papers sitting in the middle of his desk then sat back in his chair and looked at Lee.

Lee saw the file, stared at it and then Harry.  

“I’ve been meeting with my lawyers this week so that’s why I didn’t look for you sooner.”

Before Harry could continue, Lee quickly interjected, “You’re not thinking of retiring, are you?”

“No, hopefully not for a while but I want to make sure I have everything in order for when I do retire or if something should happen to me.”

Lee started to speak up but Harry put up his hand, “Let me finish.   Lee, I want you to take over running the Institute when I retire or…,” Harry trailed off, not bothering to finish the uncomfortable thought.  “This file contains papers turning over the control of the Institute and Seaview to you.   I wouldn’t trust anyone else to take on this job but you, as I know how you feel about Seaview and the Institute.   I know I’m not giving you much time to read them over, but I would like you to sign them by the end of the day.”

Surprised, “Admiral, what about Edith? Shouldn’t she have a say in this…she’s your sister,” Lee replied.

“I’ve talked to Edith about this and she agrees with my decision.”

Lee rubbed his hand through his hair, “Sir, I don’t know what to say.”

“Just read the papers.  I realize there’s a lot to read, perhaps you could let Chip take over for the day so you can look them over.”

“Yes sir.   I’ll run down to the boat and tell him,” Lee answered and stood up.  Harry stood up as well and handed Lee the thick file.  

Lee nodded solemnly at the heavy task of even considering Harry’s departure in any form, and left Harry’s office, He returned to his office, where he set the file on the desk and headed over to Janet’s office.


Janet was working on her computer, looked up and saw Lee entering the office.

“What’s wrong?” she asked with concern noticing the somber look on his face.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Lee replied.  “I’m running down to the boat to let Chip know he’s going to have to work on the upgrades alone today.   I have something important to do for the Admiral.”

“Do you want me to run down to the boat and talk to Chip?” Janet offered.

“No, I’ll do it,” Lee stated needing some time alone to think about what the admiral had just told him.   Lee looked at his watch.   “It’s 0745, if I’m not back by 0815, call my phone.”

“Yes, Lee,” Janet replied anxiously as she could tell he had something on his mind.

Lee left her office and headed for the elevator just as Wanda and Angie were getting off.

“Good morning,” they said to Lee as he walked on.

“Morning,” he answered distractedly and push the button shutting the doors.


Lee walked down to the underground sub pen, wondering why Harry chose now to let him know he wanted him to run NIMR.   Maybe he does want to retire and is tired of the daily grind.  Is he sick and doesn’t want anyone to know? He thought as he entered the entrance to the sub-pen.    Chip, Sparks and the other two communications specialists were just getting ready to board the boat.

“Chip,” Lee called as he walked over to him.    “Can you handle the upgrades today without my help, I have a project to do for the Admiral.”

“Yes, Lee,” he replied noting the somber look on his face.    “We’re just going to continue what we were doing yesterday. Everything okay?”

“Yes, we’ll talk about it later,” Lee replied.  “If you have any problems, just call.”

The four men continued down the gangplank while Lee walked up the stairs and back to the institute.


Janet looked at her phone and saw it was 0810.  She started to call Lee when she heard the ding of the elevator and waited to see if Lee had returned before she called him. 

“Hi, I’m back,” Lee said as he stood in her doorway.    “I don’t want to be disturbed unless it’s an emergency.”

“Okay, Lee,” Janet answered.   “Could you do me a favor and put this in the folder on your desk?” she asked as she handed him the report she’d finish.

“Sure,” Lee replied.   “I’ll get the rest of the paperwork signed and back to you a little later this morning.” He smiled at her, privately pleased with her efficiency and walked to his office.

He entered his office, put the report in the file and grabbed his coffee mug.  He went into the waiting area, filled up his mug and returned to his office shutting the door.  After a quick sip of coffee, he sat down at his desk and looked at the file Harry had given him to read over.    Sighing deeply, he opened it and started reading the document.


It was mid-morning and Lee had been reading over the papers for a couple of hours when there was a knock on the door and Harry looked in.

“How’s it going?” he asked.   “I know it’s not very exciting reading.”

Looking up from the page, “Admiral, are you sure you…,” Lee started to say when Harry stopped him.

“Yes, Lee, I’m positive this is what I want to do…need to get my ‘ducks in a row’ as they say.   Just a couple of items I forgot to tell you.   Don’t sign the document as we need to do it in front of a witness and then have it notarized.  Call Angie and tell her when you’re finished so she can get in touch with Jason Campbell.   Bring it to my office and we’ll sign it there. Secondly, please let Janet know what you’re reading as this involves her future too.”

“Yes, sir,” Lee replied.   “I should be done by early this afternoon.”

“Take your time.   I’ll see you later,” Harry responded and left Lee alone.

Lee took a deep breath and returned to reading the page he started when Harry interrupted.


At 1300 hours, there was a soft knock at the door.   “Come in,” Lee replied and looked up to see who was coming in.

“I’m sorry to bother you but I went to lunch and only ate half my sandwich so I brought back the other half for you and some fresh coffee,” Janet said setting the bag and a mug on Lee’s desk.

He smiled. “Thanks, sweetie,” Lee answered. “I’m glad you stopped by as I need to talk to you about the project the Admiral gave me.”   He stood up from behind his desk and walked over to Janet who stood in front.   “Let’s sit on the couch,” Lee said taking her hand as they sat down.

“Lee, is there something wrong…is the Admiral okay?”

“He’s fine.   He asked me to read over the documents he had prepared, turning over the running of the Institute and Seaview to me when he retires or if something should happen to him,” Lee explained.

“Lee, is he retiring?” Janet asked anxiously not even wanting to think about other the reason.

“No, not for some time but as he said ‘he wants all his ducks in a row’ for when he is ready to retire.   He wanted me to talk to you about it as it will mean we would have to stay permanently in Santa Barbara.”

“Where else would we live?” Janet inquired puzzled.

“Well, maybe you’d like to return to Chicago.”

“Why would I want to move back there?   Your job and Seaview are here, my job is here.  The only family I have are you, the Admiral, Chip and Julie…all of our friends are here.   There’s nothing for me in Chicago.   The couple of friends that are there, we can visit or they can come here.” 

He grinned broadly, “I was hoping you’d say that,” Lee replied giving her a hug.

“Lee, I’m very happy for you.   He trusts you and your judgement.  You know he loves you like a son and wouldn’t have anyone else take over.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.  I only hope I can live up to the expectations he’s created.”

“You’ll have no problem,” Janet reassured him.    “I better let you get back to reading but …,” she said glancing at her folder.

“I know you want me to get to your paperwork,” Lee laughed as they stood up.

“That would be nice as I’d like to finish it before we leave.”

“Wait here, I’ll do it right now,” Lee said as he walked around to his chair, sat down and opened Janet’s file.  He looked over the reports, signed off on them and the letters.   He handed Janet the folder, stood up and kissed her across the desk.   “The admiral would like you to be there when we sign the documents.   I should be done in an hour or so.”

“Just call me and I’ll meet you here,” Janet replied taking the folder from Lee and left his office.

Lee watched her leave, appreciative at the support she’d given him then sat back down and continued reading the last few pages as he munched on the sandwich.


It was 1500 hours when Lee finally finished reading the document.  He placed the last page on the back of the pile, picked up the rest of the pages, straightened them out and put them back in the folder.   He sat back in his chair, rolled his shoulders and rubbed the back of his neck.  He wasn’t used to sitting there reading that long so his neck and shoulders were a little stiff.  He sat looking at the folder before taking a deep breath and dialed Angie’s extension.

“Yes, Lee,” Angie answered.

“Hi Angie, you can tell the admiral that I’m finished and we’ll be there shortly.”

“I’ll let him know,” she replied, hung up the phone and quickly dialed Jason Campbell in the legal department upstairs.   He was waiting for her call and would bring a notary with him when he reported to Harry’s office.  She then called into Harry’s office and let him know Lee, Janet and Jason were on their way.


Lee hung up with Angie and dialed Janet’s extension.

“Hi, Lee,” Janet responded recognizing his number.

“Can you meet me in front of my office?   We need to meet with the Admiral and Jason Campbell.”

“I’ll be right there.”

Lee threw out the paper bag from his lunch and rinsed out his coffee mug in his washroom before he grabbed the file.  He opened the door and waited for Janet to get to his door, then took her hand and gave a quick squeeze as the two headed for Harry’s office.   


Lee and Janet entered Angie’s office where she greeted them with smile.    “Go right in, he’s expecting you.”

“Thanks,” Lee replied and rapped gently before opening the door.

Harry was seated at his desk and stood up when they came in.   Lee handed him the folder which he placed on his desk.

“Hi Janet,” Harry said.   “I’m sure Lee explained to you what he was reading.”

“Yes sir.   Thank you,” Janet replied softly.    “I just hope you’re not planning on retiring anytime soon.”

“Not quite yet, my dear,” Harry answered with grin.    “Sit down while we wait for Jason.”

Lee and Janet took a seat in front of Harry’s desk.  Harry had the curtains open and the afternoon sun was just starting to make an appearance in the office.

“Admiral, are you sure about this?” Lee asked again.

“Son, never surer of anything in my life,” Harry responded as he sat down behind his desk and opened the folder to the last page where they would sign the document, making it legal that Lee would takeover running the Institute and Seaview when the time came.

They hadn’t been sitting too long when there was another knock on the door.   Lee stood up, walked over to the door and opened it up for Jason and Connie, the notary.

“Hello, Jason, Connie.   It’s good to see both of you,” Harry said as they walked over to his desk.

“Good afternoon, Admiral, Lee, Janet,” Jason said as he shook hands with all of them.   Connie also added her greetings.

Jason stood beside Harry as he sat at his desk.   “Admiral, I need you to sign on the top line, Lee, you’ll sign below the Admiral’s signature, and I’ll sign below yours as the witness.   Connie will then notarize the document making it legal.”

Harry removed the pen from the holder in the front of his desk and signed his name.   He handed the pen to Lee who then signed his name.  Jason signed as the witness before turning the document over to the Notary.

“Admiral, I’ll have two copies made of this before I file the original with the rest of your papers.   You’ll have the copies before you leave today,” Jason explained.

“Thank you, Jason,” Harry replied.    “Thank you too, Connie,” he added.   

“Thanks,” Lee added.

Jason picked up the folder and they both left Harry’s office leaving him with Lee and Janet.

“I think this calls for a toast,” Harry exclaimed and headed to the credenza under the window. 

Janet stood up and gazed outside at the magnificent view of the ocean and sub pen.   I’m one lucky lady, she thought.  I’m married to the love of my life, and I have the admiral who is the only father I’ve ever known, even if we aren’t related by blood.  The only thing missing in this picture is Seaview bobbing in her pen.

“Janet,” Lee called, “Janet, are you okay?”

Janet was suddenly aware that Lee was calling her name.   “Sorry, I got caught up in the beautiful view.”

Lee had poured them each a couple fingers of Harry’s favorite scotch, Glen Livet.

“Thank you, Lee, Janet, you’ve made me the happiest man on earth,” Harry toasted and quickly downed his drink.   Lee followed suit as did Janet feeling it burn as it went down.

“Admiral, I only hope I can live up to your expectations,” Lee stated as Harry poured him and Lee another drink.

“Son, I have no doubt you will,” Harry answered.

Before they left, Harry shook Lee’s hand and then pulled him into a hug a father would give his son then kissed Janet on the cheek as well.


Lee and Janet walked by Angie’s desk and saw she had a smile on her face.   Lee looked at her and knew she was privy to what Harry had done.   She’d been Harry’s personal assistant for many years and he confided in her and also valued her opinion, so Lee figured she’d put in a good word for him.

“That was the Admiral’s third best decision he’s ever made,” Angie said happily.

“The third?” Lee questioned.  “What are the first two?”

“First to build Seaview and the Institute…second to hire you as her captain.”

Smiling back, “Thanks for your confidence, Angie.   Let’s hope he’s not planning on retiring anytime soon.”

“You got that right,” she answered and returned to her computer.

Lee and Janet walked out of her office stopping at Lee’s door.


Lee looked at his watch.  “Would you mind if I went down to the sub pen and checked on the upgrades for an hour or so?”

“No take your time, I still have work to do,” Janet responded.  “But first do you have a quick minute?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

She took him by the hand and led him into his office and shut the door.   She gave him an extremely long passionate kiss.  

“What was that for?” Lee asked pleasantly surprised.

“Just because,” Janet answered.   “I’m very happy for you and whenever the admiral is ready to retire, you’ll do just as good of job as he did, don’t sell yourself short.”

“Thanks, sweetie,” Lee replied countering with a lingering kiss of his own.


Lee made his way down to the underground pen, then headed down the gangplank and into the service hatch where he climbed down the ladder into the control room, jumping off the second to the last step.   He made his way over to the radio shack.

“Hi Skipper,” Sparks said surprised when he saw him.  

“I finished my project early and thought I’d see how things are coming along.    Looks like you’ve got everything under control,” Lee remarked.  “Where’s Mr. Morton?”  

“He’s in the circuitry room making sure everything is connected in there.  We did have a problem with one of the cables.  For some reason we can’t make the connection.  Unfortunately, it’s behind one of the consoles.  We’re either too big or too small to get in there.”

“Let me have a look,” Lee said as shimmied in between the two consoles, picked up the cable and made the connection.  “Try it now.”

Sparks turned the dial and it lit up.   “Thanks, Skipper.  We were just about ready to take out the two consoles so we could get in there.”

The men continued working on the connections and powering up the consoles.  After working about ninety minutes, Lee decided it was time for them to go home.  

“Let’s call it a day, men,” Lee stated.   “You’ve been here long enough.”

“Aye, sir,” the three men replied as they shut down the communications system and headed for the ladder.


Lee lingered a few more minutes making his way to the observation nose.   He turned back to look into the control room.   He loved being aboard his ‘gray lady’ and now he would never have to leave her.  He picked up the mic to call the circuitry room, when Chip walked through the hatch.

“Hey, Lee,” Chip said as he walked over to Lee.   “When did you get here?”

“A little while ago.  Everything set in the circuitry room?”

“Yes, we should no problems when we fire up the radio.” Chip remarked looking for the other men.

“I sent the rest of the men home; we can continue this tomorrow.   Do you have a few minutes, I need to talk to you?”

“Sure, Lee,” Chip responded noting the serious tone in his voice.

“Chip,” Lee said cautiously with a worried look on his face.

“What’s wrong?” Chip asked recognizing the look on his ‘brother’s’ face, having seen it many times before and knew something was bothering him. 

“Did Harry talk to you about me running the Institute and Seaview when he retires?   I know he put you second in command.”

“Yes,” Chip replied matter-of-factly. “He talked to me about it a couple of weeks ago and I was all for it.”

Letting out a breath, “Thanks Chip.  I really wanted your take on this.  You’ve been with the Admiral longer.”

“Lee, Harry loves you like a son, so why wouldn’t he put you in charge.   I know I’m second in command, but that’s just to keep you from going off on some tangent,” Chip chuckled.

Lee grinned, “I’m glad to know you’ll be there to keep me in line.  Between the two of us, I hope things will remain the same.”

“As far as I’m concerned, things will always be the same, bro.”

The two men climbed up the ladder and walked down the gangplank.   Chip walked over to his car while Lee headed back to the admin building where Janet was just shutting down her computer.    Lee grabbed his briefcase and jacket, met Janet at the elevator and they headed for home just as the sun was setting.   It was Friday and they were looking forward to the weekend of just relaxing.


Lee and Chip reported for work first thing Monday morning and headed directly down to the boat to make a final check on the upgrades.   They had no problems with it and knew it would be ready for Seaview’s next mission.   They would now spend most of their time in the office since both Angie and Wanda were going to take some desperately needed time off.   Wanda was already gone and Angie would be leaving in a couple of days.   Janet had no problem filling in for Angie and Wanda, but with both of them being gone, Harry insisted that Angie contact Human Resources for a fill-in secretary.   NIMR had several of them that would fill in at any of the departments to help out when staff had to leave for various reasons.  


It was 0800 on Tuesday morning and Angie was getting ready to leave the next day for vacation, so she was in Janet’s office reviewing with her what needed to be completed while she was gone.   She’d arranged for the fill-in secretary to come in a day early so she could get acquainted with the telephones, the routines and meet Harry along with Lee and Chip.

“What’s the secretary’s name that’s coming?” Janet inquired.

“Her name is Claudette Somers and she’ll be here at 0830, she’s been working for the Institute for several months.”

“That’s good,” Janet replied as she and Angie continued going over the work.

At precisely 0830, they heard the elevator ding and a voice call out, “Is anybody here?”

Angie and Janet left her office and saw a short woman with light grey hair standing in front of Wanda’s desk.

Both women walked over to her.   “Hi Claudette, I’m Angie Pearce and this is Janet Crane,” Angie greeted and both shook her hand.  “Thank you for coming here to work.”

“I go where they send me,” Claudette answered unenthused.

“Follow me and I’ll show you around,” Angie answered glancing at Janet with a raised eyebrow at her flat response.  

Angie showed her Janet’s office, along with Lee’s and Chip’s.   Both men were meeting with Harry but by the time they entered Angie’s office, they were just leaving his office with Harry following them out.

“Admiral, Lee, Chip, I’d like you to meet Claudette Somers.   She’s going to be working here while I’m gone.”

“Nice to meet you,” the men replied.

“Same here,” Claudette said briskly.

“Well, we’ll leave you in Angie’s hands,” Harry remarked.   “If you need anything just let us know.”

The three men returned to their offices leaving Angie, Janet and Claudette alone.  

“I’ll leave so Angie can review the phones and routines,” Janet remarked.  “Is there anything I should know?”

“Yes, I don’t come in before 8:00 and I leave promptly at 5:00.  I also take lunch from 12:00 to 1:00,” Claudette answered matter-of-factly.

“That’s no problem,” Janet responded and left Angie’s office.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a long two weeks, she thought heading back to her office.

As she walked by Lee’s office, he called out to her.   “Janet, can you step in, please?”

“What can I do for you?” Janet asked with a grin standing the doorway.

“She seems very interesting,” Lee commented with a smile.   “If there’re any issues, just let me know.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure everything will be fine, only one thing, don’t plan on lunch before 1300 hours as Claudette goes between 1200 and 1300 hours,” Janet responded with a sigh and returned to her office.


Claudette reported for work on Wednesday and settled into the routine.   Luckily the phones weren’t too busy and Harry didn’t have many appointments, but he was a frustrated with her.   Every time he gave her a letter to type up, she’d change the words or omit them.  He had her give them to Janet for proofing to ensure they were right.

It was Thursday of her second week and they only had two more days before Wanda returned on Monday and Angie on Wednesday.  Janet and the three officers were looking forward to their return.   Claudette was nice enough, but for some reason gave the impression she really didn’t want to be working there.  She never went out of her way to help out, only doing what Angie had specifically asked her to do.  


Harry was at a budget meeting and wasn’t expected back until early afternoon.   Lee and Chip were busy in their offices taking care of their paperwork.

Since the phones hadn’t been very busy, Janet decided to go down to Seaview to clean out some of the old mission files she didn’t need on the boat, bring them back to the office, then remove the older files from the office files and have them put in the Institute’s storage warehouse.  When Lee found out that Janet was going down to the boat, he offered to help her, leaving Chip and Claudette to man the office.  As soon as they left, the phones started ringing off the hook.  

Chip was in his office and heard the constant ringing and went to Angie’s office.

“Would you like me to help you with phones?” Chip volunteered.

“No, thank you,” Claudette replied curtly.   “I can handle them.”

“Okay,” Chip answered and returned to his office and shut his door.  Thank goodness, only two more days, he thought.


Lee and Janet returned from the boat about 1130 with Patterson and Riley who were carrying several boxes.  They went to the file room and put the boxes on the floor leaving Lee and Janet to put the new files in the cabinets after they removed the old ones, which they boxed up and called security to take to storage.  Chip heard them return and met them in the file room.

Janet, I’m so glad you’re back,” Chip said standing in the doorway.    “The phones have not stopped ringing since you left.   I offered to help Claudette, but she turned me down so I’m not sure what’s going on, but then they just stopped ringing.”

“Sorry, Chip,” Janet responded.   “The phones had been so quiet this week, I thought it would be a good time to update the files as I needed the room on the boat.”

“Only a couple more days until we’re back to normal,” Chip said with a grin.  “I have a couple of items to tell you. The reason the phones stopped ringing is that for some reason the whole communication system shut down.   Trish sent Ralph over to let me know.”

“Have communications been restored?” Lee asked worriedly. 

“Yes, they have and they’re checking out what happened.  We were totally cut-off from the outside world, so we might have to invest in a back-up system in case that happens again.

“What is the other item you have?”

“The Admiral called a few minutes ago and he wants us to get the budget together for the boat.   I’ve worked on some of the numbers, but would like your input on some items.    He doesn’t need it until tomorrow but I’d rather have it ready as soon as possible.”

“I’m done here and we can’t leave for lunch for an hour, so let’s tackle it now,” Lee replied and turned to Janet.   “Any issues arise, you know where we are.”

“Got it,” Janet answered.   “Thanks for your help this morning.”

Lee squeezed her hand and followed Chip to his office.

Claudette walked out of Angie’s office and saw Janet.   “You sure picked a great time to leave, the phones never stopped ringing and then we didn’t have any phones at all.   I’m going to lunch,” she said abruptly.

“Sorry, it’d been quiet so I figured it was a good time and I really needed to get that done,” Janet apologized as Claudette headed for the elevator.


It was 1245 hours; Janet was working in her office when she heard the elevator ding letting her know that someone was exiting the elevator.  She wasn’t expecting anyone and it was too early for Claudette to return from lunch, so she headed for the reception area, but before she could get there, she heard the voice of Admiral Starke.

“Doesn’t anybody work in this place?” he bellowed.

“Sorry sir, we’re short-handed this week and I was in my office.   Admiral Nelson isn’t here, did he have an appointment with you?” Janet asked when she reached the reception area.

“No, I’m here on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy.   He called earlier this morning, left a message with you and so far, he hasn’t received a return call.”

“Sir, I didn’t take a call from…,” Janet tried to explain but Admiral Starke cut her off.

“He didn’t get the whole name but it ended in ‘et’ and you’re the only one was name ends in ‘et’.  I thought you were more competent.” Starke said curtly.

“Sir, I’m trying to tell you, I wasn’t in the office this morning.  I was on Seaview,” Janet insisted firmly but politely.

Lee and Chip opened the door to Chip’s office and heard the dressing down Admiral Starke was giving Janet.   Both men quickly went to the reception area.

“Is there a problem, Admiral?” Lee asked calmly but silently fumed at the way Starke was berating his wife.

“As I was telling Mrs. Crane, the Secretary of the Navy called this morning.  He couldn’t reach Admiral Nelson, so he called here with instructions to find him immediately and have the Admiral call him.   He didn’t get the whole name, but only caught the last part, ‘et’ and since Janet,” he remarked emphasizing the ‘et’, “is the only name that ends that way, I was curious as to why she didn’t pass on the message.”

“Lee, I tried to tell him I wasn’t here to take that message, but he doesn’t believe me,” Janet said exasperatedly.

Before Lee could respond to Admiral Starke’s accusations, the elevator dinged and Claudette stepped out.

“Admiral Starke, I’d like to you meet Claudette,” Lee said also emphasizing the ‘et’.   “She’s filling in temporarily while Wanda and Angie are on vacation.”

Admiral Starke glared at Lee as he continued, “Claudette, did the Secretary of the Navy call this morning for Admiral Nelson?”

“Yes, sir…oh, I forgot to give him the message.   The phones were so busy this morning and Janet wasn’t here so I didn’t get him the message.   Sorry,” she replied somewhat contrite.

“Harrumph,” Starke huffed when Claudette admitted she took the message.  “Is the Admiral here?”

“No, but he should be back shortly,” Janet replied as the elevator dinged and the doors opened revealing Harry.

Harry looked at the five people standing in the reception area, “Did I miss the invitation for the party,” Harry quipped as he the exited the elevator.  “Jiggs, what are you doing here and what else did I miss?” he asked noticing the look of contempt on Lee’s face.

“Harriman, I need to speak with you now,” Jiggs stated.  “I’ll explain in your office. Crane and Morton may as well come too…they’ll eventually be involved.”

The four men headed for Harry’s office with him in the lead.  

Admiral Starke turned around before leaving, “Sorry, Mrs. Crane, for the misunderstanding,” he apologized.

“Thank you, sir,” Janet replied as the men turned to follow Harry.   Lee turned, looked back at Janet, and winked bringing a smile to her face.

The four men entered the office and shut the door.  Claudette left the reception area, not saying a word to Janet.  Janet shrugged her shoulders and returned to her office.  Only two more days, she thought and sat down at her desk.  Her stomach grumbled, but knew she wouldn’t get lunch today, so she grabbed a granola bar out of her desk and ate it while she finished up her work.


Meanwhile in Harry’s office, he sat down on the couch with Jiggs next to him and Lee and Chip on the opposite couch.   “Why are you here and what took place in the office as I sensed something was wrong?” Harry asked.

Starke explained what had taken place in the office with Janet.   Harry wasn’t happy with the way he treated her and would talk to him privately about that later.

“What does the SECNAV want and why did he send you?”

“He tried your cell phone but it went to voice mail, so he called your office.   When he didn’t get a call back right away, he called and ordered me to find out why since I was on my way to Santa Barbara for a meeting.   I also tried calling but I couldn’t get through.”

Lee piped up, “Admiral, the whole communication system shut-down for some reason.   They’re looking into why, so that’s why Admiral Starke couldn’t get through.”

“Keep me informed on what happened,” Harry responded and turned back to Starke.  “Any idea what the urgency is that he needs to talk to me about?”

“No,” Starke admitted.

“Well, I guess I better call and see what he needs,” Harry answered knowing that he would probably have some mission for Seaview.   “Chip, get the message from Claudette so I have the number he wanted me to call.”

“Yes, sir,” Chip replied and opened the door to find Claudette standing there ready to knock.

“I thought you might want this,” she told Chip and handed him the message.

Chip gave the message to Harry who had moved to his desk.   He picked up the receiver, dialed the number, and got the SECNAV on the phone.  As the connections was made, Harry hit the speaker button so everyone in the room could hear the conversation.


“It’s about time,” the SECNAV said when he saw that Harry was calling.   “What took you so long?”

“Sorry sir,” Harry replied, “we had a miscommunication in my office.   What can I do for you?”

“I need you to go to Hawaii and meet with representatives of a couple of countries, whose names I would rather not say over the phone,” he stated urgently.

“May I ask what for?” Harry inquired.

“I’ll explain when you get here, but have Seaview prepared to shove off on a moment’s notice,” the SECNAV responded.  “I’m acting on orders from the Secretary of Defense.”

“Yes, I can arrange that, but since there’s a chance that Seaview will be involved, I’d like Commander Crane to accompany me,” Harry answered.

“Of course, just get here as soon as possible.  Admiral Starke, you need to attend as well,” the SECNAV commanded.  “How long will it take you to get here on the flying sub of yours?”

“We can be there in 3 ½ hours,” Harry said looking at Lee for confirmation who nodded his head in agreement.   “We’ll leave as soon as we’re done talking.”

“Good, I’ll arrange for rooms at the Hale Koa Hotel.”

“Thank you, sir,” Harry replied and hung up.

“Chip, head down to the boat and prepare the flying sub for immediate launch.   Lee, get a bag packed and I’ll meet you on the boat in 30 minutes.”

“Yes, sir,” both men replied and headed out the door.

Harry removed his briefcase from under the desk, undid the latches and put in several files, he stood up and Jiggs followed.   “Just one more thing, if you ever have a problem with any of my staff, let me handle the situation,” Harry declared.

“Sure Harriman,” Jiggs said contritely.   “I’m going to cancel my meeting and I’ll meet you on the dock.”

The two men left the office with Harry stopping at Angie’s desk while Jiggs continued to the elevator.

“Claudette, cancel my appointments for Monday and Tuesday.”

“Yes, sir, that’s quite a few appointments, but I’ll start cancelling them right away,” she grumbled not looking forward to making all those calls.

“Good,” Harry muttered and walked through the waiting room and saw Lee standing in the door to Janet’s office telling her they had to leave for Hawaii and to prepare to have the boat ready to leave on a moment’s notice.

Damn, he thought.  I can’t leave Claudette here alone.   Janet will have to stay behind if Seaview has to shove off.”

“Lee, I’m glad you’re still here,” Harry stated.   “I have a problem.   If Seaview is needed, I’d like Janet to stay here.  I don’t want Claudette here alone.”

Janet piped up softly, “I can stay, but Wanda is due back on Monday and Angie on Wednesday.  Would you like me to see if Claudette could stay for the extra two days?”

“No, I’ll tell her she’s still needed and you can then come, if and when Seaview is needed,” Harry replied seeing a smile on both Lee’s and Janet’s face and headed back to his office to tell Claudette the change of plans.


Lee lingered in Janet’s office for a few more minutes after Harry left.   He went around to the back of her desk and helped her up.  He wrapped his arms around her waist, drew her close for a hug before he gave her a long deep kiss.  “That’s going to have to last you until I see you again.  I’m glad you’ll be with us if Seaview needs to leave.”

Janet returned the kiss and hug.   “Me too.   Have a safe trip,” she said with a grin.

Lee left her office, stopped in his to get his computer, and hustled home to pack up a bag before he headed back to the boat.


Harry returned to his office to talk to Claudette.

“Claudette, I know Friday was your last scheduled day to work here but Seaview may have to leave on a mission, so I’m going to need you to stay and work on Monday and Tuesday.    We won’t know for sure until tomorrow but make plans on being here Monday morning.   Wanda will be back so you won’t be alone,” Harry stated strongly.

Claudette was hoping to get done with job as soon as she could.   She didn’t like working for Harry or the rest of officers.  They had too many phones calls and jobs that needed to be done, but she could tell by the tone in the Admiral’s voice that there would be no refusing.

“Yes, sir.   I’ll be here on Monday if needed.”

“Good,” Harry replied and returned to Janet’s office.

“I see Lee left.”

“Yes sir, he was going to pack a bag and report directly to the boat.   He should be there in about fifteen minutes,” Janet answered knowing Lee could pack very quickly.

“Claudette will be here on Monday and Tuesday if needed.    I don’t think she was too happy about it, but too bad,” Harry chuckled.   “I sign her paycheck.”

“I don’t think she likes working here,” Janet remarked.   “I’ll let her know as soon as you find out.”

Harry grinned and headed to home to pack his bag.


As soon as Harry left, Claudette made her way to Janet’s office and stood in the doorway.

“The Admiral told me I had to work on Monday and Tuesday.   Can you tell me why when Wanda will be back and you’re here?” she snapped.

“When Seaview leaves, I leave,” Janet explained.   “I’m part of the crew, so I need to be on board when they shove off.”

“You sail on that gray tube?   How convenient your husband’s the captain. What do you do?” she remarked snidely.

Even though Janet didn’t owe her an explanation she replied, “I was hired for the job before I married Captain Crane.  I do most of the paperwork for the missions.   There’s a lot that needs to be done when Seaview sails.”

“No way in hell would I take on that job. Just let me know if I’m needed,” Claudette huffed and headed back to her office with an angry look on her face, not pleased she would have to work on Monday and Tuesday.

Janet shook her head and returned to her work.    Poor Wanda, Janet thought sympathetically.   She would shoot her an e-mail letting her know that Seaview might be leaving and that Claudette would be there so she wouldn’t be alone.


Lee headed down the ladder into the control room and jumped to the deck just as Chip was exiting the hatch to the flying sub.   Ron followed him out.    Lee handed Ron his bag so he could stow it on board.

“She’s all ready to go,” Chip told Lee as he handed him the clipboard to initial the check list. 

“Thanks, Chip.   We’ll leave as soon as the Admirals come aboard.”   

They wouldn’t have to wait too long as they heard Harry’s voice coming from the service hatch.   He and Starke made their way down the ladder and over to the observation nose where Lee and Chip were waiting.    Ron took their bags and put them in the flying sub. 

“Ready to go?” Harry asked.

“Aye, sir,” Lee replied.

“Chip, as soon as we find out if Seaview is needed, we’ll give you a call.   How long will it take to get to Hawaii?” Harry inquired.

“I’m figuring we can shove off in as little as twelve hours or no longer than eighteen.  Depends on where the crew is and how soon they can get here.   As soon as I have some personnel available, we’ll start loading the boat with supplies.”

“Sounds good.   I’ll let you know if any additional equipment is required once I find out more details,” Harry said.

“Yes, sir.  Have a safe trip,” Chip replied as Lee headed down the ladder.

Once all three men were in the flying sub, Chip dogged the hatch and walked over to the FS-1 launching panel.


Harry climbed in the pilot’s seat while Lee assumed the co-pilot’s with Admiral Starke sitting in the back.  

Harry looked over at Lee, “Mind if I her take out,” he said jokingly knowing Lee loved to fly the little sub.

“No, sir,” Lee answered with a smile.  

Harry flipped the switches turning on the engines and watched as the red lights turned green. When the last one turned green, he called Chip.

“All green ready to launch,” Harry said.

Chip was watching the FS-1 control panel and waited for the last light to turn green before replying.   “All green, sir, launching.”

Chip pressed the button opening the docking bay doors, feeling the boat shudder as they opened.    “Docking bay open, okay to launch,” Chip informed Harry.

“Launching,” Harry replied and deftly maneuvered the little sub from the underbelly of Seaview.   Chip stood at the control panel waiting for Harry to clear the nose of the boat as he knew Harry would stay submerged until he exited the channel before taking to the sky.   When FS-1 cleared the nose, Chip hit button closing the docking bay doors.  

“Thanks, Ron, for your help,” Chip said.   “You can return to your duties.”   

“Aye, sir,” Ron replied and headed up the ladder and off the boat.

Chip turned off the lights in the control room and headed back to the office.


Chip returned to the admin building and stopped at Janet’s office.   Janet looked up from her computer when she saw him in her doorway.

“Flying sub get off okay?”

“Yes, no problem.   They’ll let me know as soon as they can if we need to shove off,” Chip replied.

“Are you going to be able to sail with us?” Chip asked realizing that if they left, she might have to stay behind.

“Worried about having to do your own paperwork if I don’t?” she teased.

“No, worried about how Lee’s going to be a bear to work with.   You know he hates it when you’re not on board,” Chip chuckled.

“Yes, I’ll be able to sail with you.   Wanda will be back on Monday, so the Admiral told Claudette she had to work Monday and Tuesday.   She wasn’t very happy about it.   I don’t know why, but she really doesn’t like working here.”

“I noticed that too, but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Chip remarked.


Harry decided on a water landing rather than flying into Hickam Field with the commercial and Air Force jets.  He proceeded to the dock assigned to them and shut down the little sub   Once the sub was secured, he, along with Admiral Starke and Lee, exited FS-1 and made their way down the dock where they were met by a driver who would take them to their meeting   After saluting the three officers, he took their gear and put it in the trunk and sped away to the command center for the Pacific fleet and Admiral Starke's office.  When they arrived at headquarters, the men exited the car where the driver assured Harry and Lee that their gear would be taken to the hotel.

The men entered the building and headed down the hall to the conference room.  


When they entered the room, the SECNAV was sitting at the head of a large rectangular table with four men and one woman.  The three men slipped into the vacant seats across from the visitors.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," Harry apologized.

"Welcome gentlemen, let me introduce you to everyone," the SECNAV said looking at Admiral Starke.   "Admiral Jiggs Starke, Commander of the Submarine Pacific fleet.  To his left is Admiral Harriman Nelson, owner and builder of the Nelson Institute of Marine Research and the submarine Seaview, to his left is Commander Lee Crane, captain of the Seaview. 

He proceeded to introduce the people already seated at the table starting on his right.  "Dr. Marya Yurievna and Tsezar Maximovich, representing the People's Republic.  Next to them is Fahm Nadaga and Captain Sumat Pavlo from the country of Tercua.

After everyone acknowledged each other with greetings, the SECNAV started the meeting.  Both Harry and Lee were a little surprised that the PR was here at the meeting, given the tensions between the two countries.  The country of Tercua was an ally of the United States and wondered what they had to do with the PR as they weren’t allies.

“Admirals Starke, Nelson and Commander Crane, I’m sure you’re wondering why we’re having this meeting,” the SECNAV asked.

Harry glanced over at Lee who’d picked up a pencil and wrote down a couple of questions on the tablet in front of him.   He almost broke out in a smile when he saw the two questions; PR in the US, why Seaview.  He had the exact same ones.

“Yes, sir, that did cross my mind,” Harry declared.

The SECNAV continued, “I’m sure you’re aware the People’s Republic and Tercua are not allies, but they are working on a peace agreement between the two countries.   One of the major sticking points is a submarine, the Xiphias, which is sunk in Labgen Bay.  Admiral, have you heard of that boat?” the SECNAV asked as he wanted to make sure both Harry, Jiggs, and Lee knew the details regarding the Xiphias.

“Yes, we know of the sinking of the boat,” Harry answered.   “From what I heard, she had a fire on board and a repair ship was dispatched to help save the boat from sinking. It managed to put out the fire and save most of the crew, but while towing it back to the mainland, another fire broke out and some of the crew returned to the boat to try and save it. Ultimately she sunk with several crew on board.”

“Yes, your story is correct,” Dr. Yurievna replied.   “But what you didn’t know is that there are four torpedoes armed with nuclear warheads aboard her.”

Harry and Lee sat up a little straighter in their seats as they didn’t know about the warheads.

“In order for the peace negotiations to continue, we want the warheads removed from the boat as we’re afraid they will explode,” Mr. Nadaga explained.  

“What does that have to do with Seaview?” Lee asked wanting to get to the point of the meeting.

“Commander Crane has a point.  Before I commit my submarine, what is it exactly you want us to do?” Harry inquired.

“We’re asking you to oversee the removal of the nuclear warheads,” Mr. Nadaga said.   “Even though the United States is not an ally of the People’s Republic, you are one of ours and we want a neutral party to help us out.  The People’s Republic have agreed to use the Seaview as that party.    Your boat is privately owned, and they are aware that you do work for the Navy, but feel you can be impartial to any decisions or items that need to be addressed in the removal of the warheads.”

“You are aware that both Commander Crane and myself have had prior dealings with the People’s Republic and most of them, let’s say, haven’t always been pleasant,” Harry stated frankly.

“Yes, we’re aware of your dealings, but we hope that won’t jade your decision in accepting our request,” Mr. Maximovich of the PR replied.   “We would like to come to an agreement with the country of Tercua as it would be beneficial to both countries.”

Harry looked at his captain and could tell by the look on his face that he wanted no part of this mission, but Lee realized, Harry had the final word on whether they take on the request or not.

“What will happen if I don’t commit Seaview?” Harry asked.

“Unfortunately, if you don’t commit to helping us, the warheads will stay where they are and the peace negotiations will end as this is a major sticking point for the country of Tercua,” Dr. Yurievna answered.

“Dr. Yurievna is correct as my country will not continue negotiations with the People’s Republic if they are not removed,” Mr. Nadaga stressed.

Harry sat there contemplating the repercussions if he didn’t help.   After a few long minutes, he replied, “I’ll help you with your request, but I will have complete control over the project and if I don’t like how things are being done, I’ll pull Seaview out of there as fast as I can.”

Harry looked at Lee as he let out a deep breath.   “How soon does this need to be completed?” Lee asked.

“Thank you, Admiral,” said the representatives of both countries.

“We’d like to start immediately,” Mr. Nadaga answered.    “Captain Pavlo, how soon can your submarine, Sthenos, be at the coordinates?”

“We can shove off as soon as I return from this meeting, so I’m guessing we’ll be there in two days,” Captain Pavlo replied.

“Dr. Yurievna how soon can your boat be there?” the SECNAV asked.

“Our submarine, The Surki, is already in Labgen Bay and is surveying the Xiphias to see how much damage is done and how hard it will be to enter.   We’ll be using our destroyer, Tavya, to remove the warheads as our submarines are not equipped to handle a bathysphere.   She is also stationed in the area.  It will take me at least three days to return to my country and to be ferried to the destroyer.

“Admiral Nelson, how soon can Seaview be at the coordinates?” the SECNAV inquired.

Harry looked at Lee and let him answer the question.

“It will take ten to twelve hours for Seaview to be loaded and her crew assembled. Once she leaves port, another two days before she’ll reach Hawaii.  So, you’re looking at two and half days,” Lee remarked.  “I’m not familiar with that area, but I’m guessing that it will take another five days to reach the site of the sunken sub.”

“So, we’re looking at a week before we can begin removing the warheads,” Captain Pavlo replied in response to Lee’s reply.   “We’ll adjust our schedule accordingly.”

“I’ll let my captain know what the time frame is too,” Dr. Yurievna answered.

“I’d like to have more information about the Xiphias,” Harry said.

“Why don’t I leave you to discuss the details and work out how this operation is going to take place,” SECNAV stated and stood up.   “I’ll let the Secretary of Defense know that the operation is a go.   Admiral Starke, come with me as I have some items, I need to talk to you about.”

Both men left the conference room leaving the one woman and five men to discuss the plans.

“If you’ll excuse me,” Lee remarked.   “I have to let my XO know to prepare Seaview to shove off.”   Lee stood up and exited the room making his way down the corridor to the front entrance.

Harry and the rest of the group headed over to the sideboard and helped themselves to some coffee.

“Do you have any ideas or thoughts as to how we can accomplish removing the warheads?” Harry asked.

“We sort of worked out a plan while we waited for you to arrive, but are open to any other suggestions,” Captain Pavlo replied.   

“Good,” Harry remarked.   “I’d like Commander Crane to hear the plans, so, as soon as he returns will see what you’ve come up with.”


Lee stood outside the entrance to the admin building.   He looked at his watch, noting that it was 1830 in Santa Barbara.  He knew both Chip and Janet would have left the office so he dialed Chip’s cell phone.  

“Hi Lee,” Chip answered recognizing Lee’s number.

“Hey Chip,” Lee responded.   “Get Seaview ready to shove off.   Have the men report for duty at 0600 tomorrow and set sail as soon as she’s loaded and all the crew is aboard.   Head for Hawaii and then we’ll head on to Labgen Bay.”

“Labgen Bay as in the Indian Ocean?” Chip exclaimed.   “What and why are we going there?”

“I’ll call you tomorrow at 0900 your time, and you can let me know your approximate sailing time.” Lee continued.   “You’re not going to believe who we’re helping out.”

“Now you really got me wondering,” Chip quipped.   “Will we need any special equipment?”

“I’m not sure as I don’t have all the details for the mission.   I’ll know more tomorrow.   Talk to you soon,” Lee answered and disconnected the call and dialed Janet’s number.

“Hi honey,” Janet said knowing Lee was calling.

“Hi sweetie.   I just wanted to let you know that Seaview is needed for a mission and will sail as soon as possible.  I’ve already contacted Chip to have the crew report by 0600 tomorrow and start loading the boat.  She’s headed to Hawaii right now.   I told Chip I’ll have more information for you tomorrow when I call.”

“Okay Lee, we’ll make sure she’s ready to go,” Janet acknowledged.  

“Will you be able to sail with us?” Lee asked hopefully.

“Yes, the Admiral told Claudette that she’d have to work Monday and Tuesday if the boat had to leave port and she wasn’t too happy about it.   I’ll let her know to report on Monday,” Janet remarked.   “I miss you already; see you in couple of days.”

“Glad you’re able to come with us and miss you too,” Lee answered and hung up.   I don’t know what we’re getting into but I already don’t like it, he thought.


Lee returned to the conference room, quickly grabbed a cup of coffee and returned to his seat next to Harry.

“Lee, it seems the group has worked out some plans on how to remove the warheads,” Harry stated.  “Captain Pavlo, would you care to explain your plans?”

“Yes, sir,” the Captain replied.    “It’s too deep for divers to remove the warheads, so we are going to use our bathyspheres.  We can lower the divers down into the submarine where we can then help remove the warheads.”

“That makes sense,” Harry agreed.   “But I might have a faster way of removing them.  Dr. Yurviena do you have any diagrams or drawings of the Xiphias and Surki?”

“Yes, I do,” Dr. Yurviena replied and reached under the table and brought up her briefcase.  She opened it up and handed Harry the drawings of both submarines.   Harry and Lee looked them over as he knew that Harry was thinking of using FS-1 to transport the warheads back to the PR’s submarine.   As they looked over the drawings, Harry frowned.

The group noticed his frown.   “Is there a problem, Admiral?” Dr. Yurviena asked.

“Yes, I was hoping we could use my flying submarine to bring the warheads to your sub, but her hatch will not line up with the hatch on the Xiphias.   So, we’ll have to use the bathyspheres.  I know mine will fit on the hatch of the Xiphias.  Captain Pavlo how about yours?”

“We checked that out and yes, we will have no problems also.”

“Will the Surki be staying in the area even though she’s not going to be used to bring up the warheads?” Pavlo inquired.

“Yes, she will stay in the area, just in case there’s a problem,” Dr. Yurievna answered.

Mr. Nadaga spoke up.   “I know the Labgen Bay is quite large, but three large submarines in one area seems a bit dangerous.”

“We’ll just have to make sure we stay out of each other’s way,” Lee commented.    “Where exactly is the Xiphias?”

“She’s in six hundred feet of water about three hundred miles off the coast of Tercua,” Mr. Maximovich answered.  

“Okay, we have a little more maneuvering room,” Lee replied.    “How do you plan on bringing up the warheads?”

“We’re hoping that divers from each vessel will work together to bring the warhead safely to the front of the boat.  I know that Seaview is there to oversee the operation, but both countries are counting on you to send divers down to help out.”

“We don’t have problem with that,” Harry replied.    “What we need now, is to know what condition the Xiphias is in so we can plan on how to get them out.”

“Why don’t we break for dinner and reconvene in two hours; I should have that information by then,” Dr. Yurievna suggested.   “Do you think we can use this room again?”

“I’ll check with Admiral Starke,” Lee volunteered and left the room to find him.

“We could all go to dinner,” Harry offered.

“Thank you, Admiral, but we should contact our government and let them know that the project will be taking place,” Mr. Nadaga replied.

“Dr. Yurievna, Mr. Maximovich, would you like to join us?” Harry asked, privately considering the irony of having dinner with citizens of the People’s Republic.

“Thank you that would be very nice,” Dr. Yurievna answered.

Lee returned to the room.   “Yes, the room will be available to us as long as we need it.”

“We’ll see you in two hours,” Captain Pavlo said as he and Mr. Nadaga left.

“Lee, Dr. Yurievna and Mr. Maximovich are joining us for dinner,” Harry explained.   “There are many fabulous restaurants, so what would you like to eat?”

“I’ve heard great things about your pizza,” Marya stated.   “Could we have that?”

Harry smiled at Lee who also broke out in a grin.   “Yes, ma’am,” Lee replied.   “I know just the place.”

The group of four headed out the door to a waiting car.  Lee gave the driver the name of the place, which also got a smile from the driver.   He stopped at a small restaurant not too far from the base.


The two groups returned from dinner and made their way back to the conference room to resume their discussion on how to remove the warheads.

Harry spoke up, “Since we have three large submarines in a small area, I suggest we keep them at separate depths.    Dr. Yurievna, I think it would be in the interest of safety to have the Surki stay away from the main recovery area but still within reach if needed.  So, let’s have her stationed at four hundred feet, three hundred yards away.  Captain Pavlo, I would have your sub at four hundred feet and Seaview at three hundred feet since she is the largest of the boats.  We’d schedule the times when personnel would be lowered onto the Xiphias depending on whose personnel are the last to leave the sub.”

“How many trips do you think it will take to remove all the warheads?” Captain Pavlo asked not knowing the size of the PR’s bathysphere.

 “We’ll only be able to take one at a time.  It’s going to be tight getting them in there as well as our divers,” Dr. Yurievna proclaimed. 

“How many divers do you think each submarine should send down?” Mr. Maximovich asked.

“Let’s start with two divers from each sub,” Lee replied.   “If we need more, we can have them lowered down.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” Mr. Nadaga nodded.   

“Dr. Yurievna, have you received any information from the Surki on the condition of the Xiphias?” Harry inquired.

“Yes, from what they can see on the outside, the hull hasn’t been breached, but we won’t know what the inside is like until we make a dive into the boat.   Unfortunately, I know there will be a few bodies in the sub, but I’m not sure where they’re located.”

“I recommend that all divers are fully equipped for a submarine full of water and cold,” Lee advised.

“I agree,” Pavlo replied.   “I’ll make sure my divers have the proper equipment.”

“Ours will also have the necessary equipment,” Maximovich responded.

“I believe we have some of the important details worked out,” Harry said.   “Now, how will I contact you to let you know we’re near the area?”

“Call me,” Nadaga replied handing Harry a card with his name and number.   “I’ll contact the Navy and they’ll inform Captain Pavlo when you’ll be arriving so he can assemble his crew and shove off.”

“Will you be sailing with them?” Lee asked.

“No sir, I’m not very good on boats,” Nadaga admitted.    

“Dr. Yurievna, how will we notify you when we’re in the vicinity?” Harry queried.

“I’ll answer that, Admiral,” Maximovich said.   “You can get in touch with me.”  He also handed Harry a card.

“I’ll have more information for you tomorrow when I contact my Executive Officer as to how soon they will leave port,” Lee replied.

“Captain Pavlo and I are leaving first thing in the morning for home, so just give me a couple days’ notice,” Nadaga answered.

“When are you leaving, Dr. Yurievna, Mr. Maximovich?” Harry added.

“We’re not leaving for two days as flights to our country are not as prevalent as to Tercua,” Dr. Yurievna ventured.  “And when we do arrive home, I’d have to be ferried out to the destroyer by boat, so we’ll more than likely be arriving at the same time as you.  

“Mr. Maximovich will you be accompanying Dr. Yurievna on the mission?”  Harry inquired.

“I’m with Mr. Nadaga,” Maximovich explained, “I don’t like boats of any kind.”

Harry looked at Lee and smiled.  “Dr. Yurievna, in order to save some time, why don’t you sail with us on Seaview?   This way you won’t need to be ferried out to the destroyer.”

“Thank you, Admiral,” Dr. Yurievna exclaimed excitedly.   “But won’t your crew be upset that there’s a woman on board?  I know sailors aren’t always thrilled when we’re on their boat.”

“No, that won’t be a problem.   We’ve had women scientists on board and besides, Lee’s wife, Janet, is a member of the crew and sails with us all the time.”

“Then I’ll take you up on your offer for a lift.”

“Well, I believe we’ve got a good start on what needs to be accomplished,” Nadaga said.   “Thank you again, Admiral Nelson, for committing Seaview and your crew to this mission.”

“Hopefully, all will go well,” Harry countered.


The group stood up and before they left the conference room for the ride to their hotel, Harry invited Dr. Yurievna and Mr. Maximovich to go sight-seeing with him and Lee tomorrow since they wouldn’t be leaving right away.   Mr. Maximovich declined the invitation but Dr. Yurievna was more than happy to accept.  She’d never been to Hawaii and would probably never get here again, so she was eager to see what the state had to offer.   Harry would pick her up at 0900 for breakfast, show her around the island and then they would have dinner at the Officer’s Club.

The six shook hands just as an ensign knocked on the door letting them know their ride had arrived. 


Lee and Harry made their way to Jiggs’ office just in case he was still there.   Harry wanted to brief him on the mission details, so he could contact the SECNAV.   When they arrived, his light was still on, so Harry knocked on the door.  Jiggs’ looked up from his paperwork and told them to come in.   Harry explained what had taken place at the meetings and what arrangements had been made to remove the warheads.

“Thanks, Harry,” Jiggs said.   “I know this can’t be easy for either of you with your past history with the PR, but you know as well as I do that the SECNAV wasn’t going to take no for an answer.”

“You got that right,” Harry replied.   “Want to come sight-seeing and have dinner with Dr. Yurievna from the People’s Republic, Lee and me tomorrow?”

“Some of us have to work tomorrow,” he grinned.  “But dinner sounds good.”

Harry smiled back.  “Lee, can you arrange to rent a car for tomorrow?”

“Yes, sir.  When I get back to the hotel, I’ll get one for you.”

“Don’t rent a car, just take mine,” Jiggs answered.   “I’ll pick you up at the hotel on my way to work.  You can just keep it for the day.  Just let me know what time dinner will be so I can make reservations and you can pick me up on the way.”

“How about 1800 hours?” Harry remarked.

“Yes, Harriman, that will work,” Jiggs replied.   “Let’s get out of here.  I’ll take you to the Hale Koa; it’s on my way home.”


Jiggs’ dropped Harry and Lee off at the Hale Koa Hotel reserved only for servicemen and women.   The two men checked in at the desk, were given keys to their room and told their gear was already in the rooms. 

They rode the elevator in silence, both of them in their own thoughts on the mission ahead of them, Lee slowly twisting his cover in his hand. 

As they left the elevator when it reached their floor, Lee stopped.  “Admiral, could I beg off the sight-seeing tomorrow as I would like to keep in contact with Chip on the status of the boat.   I’d also like to check out a few things regarding the sunken sub, the area, the people….”   Lee tried to continue but Harry cut him off.

“I understand you want to know everything and anything you can about this mission, but you will join us for dinner,” Harry answered with a wry grin.

“Yes, sir,” Lee grinned as they arrived at the door to Harry’s room.    “Good night, Admiral.”

“Night Lee,” Harry responded as he entered his room leaving Lee to continue down the hall to his room.


Lee entered the room and saw his duffle bag on the floor.  He put his cover on the dresser, removed his service coat and undid his tie and top button of his shirt before unbuttoning his sleeves.   It had been a long day and he was tired but wanted to contact Janet.   He checked his watch, 2000 hours here; 2300 hours at home, Janet’s probably asleep so I’ll text her, Lee thought as he removed his phone from his pant pocket.   Hi Sweetie, it was a long day.  Hope you slept well.  Love you and see you soon.   Lee pressed the send button and started to remove his shirt when his phone rang.   He smiled as he answered the call.

“I thought you’d been asleep by now,” Lee declared.

“I was hoping you’d call before you went to bed,” Janet replied sleepily.    “Anything more you can tell me?”

“I’ve got more details but I want to talk to you and Chip, so be in his office at 0900 and we’ll Skype.”

“I’ll be there,” Janet answered sensing by Lee’s tone of voice he wasn’t very happy.   “You’re not very thrilled about this mission, are you?”

“No, I’m not, but we really didn’t have a choice.  Good night, sweetheart, love you.”

“Good night, Lee, love you too,” Janet countered and hung up the phone, knowing her husband well and trusting his apprehension.     I sense trouble.


Lee was up at 0600 and quickly dressed in shorts and a shirt.  He hoped to go for a run after he checked in with Chip and Janet.    He knew he’d be spending most of the day on the computer so he wanted his fresh air now.

He made himself a cup of coffee from the pot in the room, quickly drank it up and made another while he waited for his computer to boot up.   He sat down at the table with the coffee.   He logged on and sent a message to Chip that he was ready for the call.   Chip responded quickly and they made the connection.

“Good morning, Lee,” Chip said swiftly.  “You’re up early.”

“Morning, Chip. Probably, no earlier than you,” Lee quipped.  “Is Janet there?”

“Right here,” she answered pulling up a chair next to Chip.

“What are we doing?” Chip asked seriously.

Lee sighed deeply.  “We’re helping the countries of Tercua and the People’s Republic recover some nuclear warheads from a sunken submarine in Labgen Bay.” He continued to explain to them about the treaty and the details of the mission.

“The People’s Republic!” Chip exclaimed horrified.   “We’re helping them out after all encounters you and the admiral have had with them?”

“The SECNAV didn’t leave us much choice.   So, here’s what I’m going to need you to do.   First, load the boat for the whole trip.  I was thinking of having her stop in Hawaii, but when we flew in, the harbor was pretty crowded so the admiral and I will meet up with you in FS-1.   I’m guessing we’ll be gone about fifteen days, but take twenty days-worth of supplies.   Make sure Apple One is prepared to dive.   Also, triple the number of air tanks we normally take. I’m not sure how warm or cold the water will be, but I’m sure the submarine will be cold even if it’s not filled with water, so make sure we have both wet suits and dry suits and include inter-liners with the dry suits.  Also, bring as many flashlights as you can.”

“We have plenty of flashlights.  I’ll bring plenty of extra batteries and some headlamps along with any charts and maps we have of that area,” Chip added.

“Good thinking,” Lee replied with a smile at his XO’s ability to think ahead of what they might need.

“Okay,” Janet answered writing down everything Lee requested, plus what Chip added, not that she needed to as Chip would remember everything Lee asked for, but she wanted to make sure they didn’t forget anything.

“Now that we know where and how long we’ll be gone, I’ll have the crew start loading the boat,” Chip remarked.

“Exactly how many crew members have reported for duty?” Lee asked quickly.

“So far only about half have reported for duty.   It’s still early and many were on shore leave,” Chip added.

“As of now, I haven’t heard from about twenty men,” Janet offered updating Chip’s tally.   “Most of them are on their way here.”

“How about Chief Sharkey and Kowalski, have they reported in?”

“Yes, but they’re about ten hours away,” Janet replied.  

“Damn,” Lee grumbled.   “You’re going to have to wait for them before you shove off.   We’re really going to need their deep diving skills.”

“Janet, we’ll be having a guest with us, so make sure there’s a cabin for her,” Lee said.   “Her name is Dr. Marya Yurievna and she’s from the People’s Republic.  Also, please bring all the work in my ‘in’ box, as I’m sure there’ll be time to work on it.”

“Yes, I’ll make sure a cabin is ready,” Janet replied uneasily.   “I already have your work stashed in my bag.”

“Is that all?” Chip queried.

“Yes, that’s all for now. I’ll check in with you around 1700 hours to see how things are progressing,” Lee remarked.    “If you need anything, just call, I’ll be available all day.”

“We’ll make sure everything is taken care of and ready to go,” Chip responded.  

“Thanks, I know you will,” Lee replied sincerely and cut-off the connection.

Chip turned off his computer and looked at Janet.   “He’s not happy about his mission at all and I can’t say I blame him.   I’ll contact stores and Cookie and tell them how long we’re going to be gone so they can make sure we have enough supplies.”

“I’ll make sure that Cabin A is ready for our guest,” Janet answered softly as she wasn’t happy either.


Lee sat at the desk for a few more minutes before deciding to go on his run.   He needed to sort out what was going to take place on this mission and would use the run to make sure things were in order.   He took his wallet and cell put them in his pocket, grabbed the room key and headed out the door. He ran for about ten miles before stopping at a fast food restaurant for a take-out order of hot cakes, sausage and the largest cup of coffee they offered.   He returned to the room where he ate breakfast before taking a shower.   Lee sat down at the table and turned on the computer having several items he wanted to research regarding this mission.   He wanted as much information as he could get on the submarine, Xiphias.   He hoped to get a layout of the sub or at least find out what class she was.  He did get lucky and located an article about her history and found a layout, it wasn’t very detailed, but it had enough information to see that getting those warheads out of the sub was going to be tricky.  Using his ONI connections, he was able to gather a dossier on Dr. Yurievna and was quite impressed with her credentials, awards and recognition she’d received. 

Before continuing his research, he made himself another cup of coffee before tackling the next item on his list…the country of Tercua.   He was curious as to why Tercua wanted a peace treaty with the PR.  After hunting around for some newspaper articles, he found very little news on the subject.  He did manage to get some data on the type of submarines they would be using since Captain Pavlo hadn’t given them any information on his sub.  He then hunted for anything he could find on the PR and the treaty.  Again, he discovered very little news.     Hmmm, Lee pondered.    Lee checked his watch and was surprised to see it was already 1630 hours.   He stood up and stretched before he checked in with Chip.


Meanwhile, Harry also was up early dressing in a pair of black pants and white shirt.  He would wait to contact Lee hoping he’d have more information on how soon Seaview would be ready to depart.   He was looking forward to showing Marya around Oahu.    Harry walked through the lobby and headed outside to wait for Jiggs.   He didn’t have to wait too long before his friend pulled up.

“Where’s Crane?” Jiggs asked.

“Not coming.  He wants to stay in contact with the institute and do some research,” Harry answered.   “You know he’s very thorough.”

“Yes, to a fault,” Jiggs remarked and drove off to his office.

They arrived at the administrative building where both men left the car, Harry climbed in the driver’s seat.

“I’ll be back about 1730 to pick you up for dinner.”

“Okay, Harriman.   Have a nice day,” Jiggs smirked, knowing that with Crane’s absence, Harry would be spending the entire day alone with a pretty lady scientist.   He lost his smile, replacing it with his “spit and polish” hardened face and headed to his office.


Harry drove away smiling at his friend.    He had to admit he was looking forward to spending the day with Marya.   She was about his age and very attractive.  When he pulled up in front of her hotel, the valet was there to open the door.

“Would you please leave the car here?   I’ll be back in a few minutes.   I’m just going into the lobby to find my friend,” Harry stated.

“Yes, sir,” the valet replied as Harry headed for the door only to have it open and Marya step out.

“Hi Admiral,” she greeted with a smile.   “I’m already to go.”

Harry escorted over to the car where the valet had seen them coming and had the door opened.

“Where’s Commander Crane?” Marya asked when she did see him in the back seat.

“He’s not joining us today.   He wants to keep a close eye on the readying of Seaview and check out some other things.  Do you still want to go sight-seeing, just the two of us?”

“Yes, I would like that very much, Admiral.”  

“If we’re going to be spending the day together, please call me Harry,” Harry insisted.

“I’ll do that as long as you call me Marya,” she countered with a smile.

He smiled back.   “Anything in particular you were interested in seeing?” he inquired.

“I would really like to see the memorial at Pearl Harbor.”

“Let’s go,” Harry replied, put the car in gear and headed for the memorial.


When they arrived at the site of the USS Arizona Memorial, they found it was closed for repairs, but they were able to take a thirty-minute tour of Battleship Row and the area around the USS Arizona Memorial.  Marya found it very interesting and was moved by the site. Even though Harry had seen it many times he still found it very somber.

“Any other places you want to tour?” Harry asked as they walked back to the car.

“Not really, I trust you’ll find some great sites,” Marya replied as Harry held the door for her.

Harry headed for the Lyon Arboretum about half-hour away from Honolulu.   They walked around for a couple of hours before heading for the Iolani Palace.   They had lunch at an outdoor restaurant before checking out the Moanalua Gardens.   They still had some time before they would meet with Lee and Jiggs.  

“Harry, could we go to Waikiki Beach?” Marya asked.

“Sure, why not,” Harry answered and headed for the famous beach.   They parked the car and walked down to the beach.   Acting on a whim, Marya removed her shoes and headed to the water.   Harry smiled as he watched her before removing his shoes, rolling up his pants and joining her as the two walked along the beach.


“Can I ask you something about your helping us with the removal of the warheads?” Marya asked Harry as they strolled on the beach enjoying the beautiful sunny day. 

“Sure, what is it?” Harry replied having no idea what she was going to ask.

“Commander Crane seems a bit young to be a Captain,” she ventured. 

“Yes, he is the youngest man to captain a submarine in the Navy, but don’t underestimate his prowess or capabilities.   I wouldn’t want anyone else with me on this mission.   He’s the best man for the job,” Harry declared.

“I wasn’t implying that he couldn’t do the job,” Marya apologized.  

“Lee Crane needs to know every detail possible for every mission including who comes aboard Seaview, so I’m sure he’s checking you out just as I’m sure you’ve checked us out.”

“Touché,” Marya answered.   “Yes, I’m not going to lie, we do have a dossier on both of you.”

“You had an advantage over us,” Harry stated.   “You knew who you were dealing with.  We, on the other hand, had no idea what we were getting into.”

“I realize that, and I’m also familiar with your previous dealings with us…don’t worry your secrets are safe with me.”

“Thank you,” Harry responded feeling he could trust her. 

They walked a little further down the beach before returning to the car and heading back to Marya’s hotel so she could get ready for dinner.

“We’ll be back about 5:45 to take you to dinner,” Harry said as he helped her from the car.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Marya replied sincerely.

Harry watched as she entered the hotel.   He returned to the car and drove back to his hotel.   He was hoping to talk to Lee before they left for dinner so he could fill him in on Seaview and when she would be departing.


Lee dialed Chip’s number but it went directly to voice-mail which meant he was probably on the boat.   He contacted NIMR’s communication center and had them patch him directly to Seaview.   Sparks answered the hail.

“Hi Skipper,” Sparks answered promptly.

“Sparks, is Mr. Morton around?” Lee asked.

“Yes, sir, he’s in the observation nose, I’ll put you through.”

Chip picked up the mic after Sparks let him know Lee was calling.

“Have you left yet?” Lee inquired.

“No, we’re still waiting for Chief Sharkey and Kowalski,” Chip reported.   “They should be arriving in an hour.   Do you want us to shove off without them?”

“No, we’re going to need them, so wait,” Lee grumbled wishing they hadn’t taken on this mission.  

“We’re ready to leave as soon as they board,” Chip commented.  

“Okay, sounds good.  Thanks for getting everything together on such short notice,” Lee said appreciatively.  

“That’s what XO’s do,” Chip quipped.   “I’ll find a way for you to repay me.”

“I’m sure you will,” Lee chuckled.   “Just text me when you leave so I can let the admiral know.”    Lee looked at his watch.   “We’ll depart from here and meet up with you.”

“We’ll leave the light on for you,” Chip chortled.

“Is Janet around?” Lee asked so he could say hello.

Janet was in the observation nose with Chip and was hoping Lee wanted to talk to her.  “I’m here…everything okay?”

“Just fine…see you soon,” Lee responded.

“Can’t wait,” Janet answered and handed the mic back to Chip.

“If anything comes up, just call,” Lee said.

“Aye, sir,” Chip replied and stowed the mic.

Lee disconnected the call on his phone and sighed, as he didn’t have a good feeling about this mission.  


Lee had downloaded some information he wanted Harry to read over, so he removed his flash drive from the computer and headed down to the business center where he printed it out.  

He returned to his room, took a quick shower and put on his khaki’s.   He was ready to go and would call Harry, hoping they’d be able to meet before they left for dinner so he could fill him in on Seaview’s departure and the data he’d found.  

He dialed Harry’s phone.

“Hi Lee,” Harry answered.   ‘I was just going to call you.”

“I was hoping we could meet before we left for dinner,” Lee stated.   “Do you have some time now?”

“Give me ten minutes and I’ll come to your room,” Harry replied.

‘Yes, sir,” Lee said.

Exactly ten minutes later, Harry knocked on the door.

“Did you have a nice day?” Lee inquired.

“Yes, we had a great time,” Harry declared, but ready to move on.   “What do you have for me…did the boat leave?”

“No, she hasn’t left yet.  They’re still waiting for Sharkey and Kowalski.”   Lee checked his watch.   “According to Chip they should be leaving any time now.   He’s going to text me when they shove off.   I’ve got some information for you to read over regarding Dr. Yurievna and some articles on the peace treaty.”

“How about I look over the information when we return from dinner and we have a little more time,” Harry suggested as he didn’t want to be late to pick up Jiggs.

“Yes sir,” Lee replied and the two men headed for the elevator.


They arrived at the administrative building where Jiggs was waiting for them.   He took over the driving and they headed to Marya’s hotel.   Harry entered the lobby just as she was getting off the elevator.   They walked out the door, into the car, and left for the Officer’s Club on the base.    While they enjoyed their dinner, Lee’s phone buzzed letting him know he had a message.   He excused himself from the table and walked into the waiting area of the restaurant.    The message was from Chip stating that they had just cleared the channel and would wait for his call as to when they would be docking with the boat.   Lee texted back he would check in with him later and returned to the group.   He reported to them that Seaview had just left.   Everyone was pleased that the mission would finally be getting underway.   The group finished up dinner and enjoyed a night cap before leaving the restaurant.     

Jiggs dropped Marya off at her hotel before Harry and Lee.    Harry escorted her into the hotel telling her that he would contact her later in the morning to let her know when they would pick her up to meet up with the boat.   She assured him she would be ready when they arrived.  She gave Harry’s hand a gentle squeeze and thanked him for the tour as well as the dinner and pleasant company.   Harry returned her squeeze and watched as she entered the elevator when he returned to the car; he thanked Jiggs for letting him use his car and would keep in contact with him regarding the mission.  


Since Lee had the information in his hotel room, the two men headed there.   Both of them removed their service coats and set them on the bed.   Harry removed his tie and unbuttoned his top button.   Lee went to the table and removed several sheets of paper from his briefcase and handed them to Harry.

“Dr. Yurievna is a very intelligent woman,” Lee stated also removing his tie, and undid his button.

“I can see that,” Harry remarked as he read over the dossier Lee gave him.   “She’s worried you’re too young to be a captain, but I set her straight,” he grinned.  “She had dossiers on both us and knows about our prior dealings with the PR, but I have her word she won’t say anything about those dealings.”

“Can you trust her?” Lee asked softly not wanting anyone to know his part-time job as a spy for ONI.

“Yes, I believe we can,” Harry replied without hesitation and continued to read over the rest of the documents Lee had given him.

“Looks like this peace agreement isn’t as important as you’d think, given the urgency in getting those warheads off that sub.” Harry remarked reading the information Lee found on the peace agreement.

“That’s what I thought too, but maybe they just didn’t divulge all the information, not wanting to panic the people about the warheads,” Lee surmised.

“Could be,” Harry responded.   “Just find it very interesting.”

“I’ve downloaded data on the area where the sub is and more information on the Xiphias along with information on what type of submarine Captain Pavlo will be using.   He wasn’t too forthcoming with too much data.”

“I noticed that too.  I’ll look over the rest of what you acquired tomorrow morning,” Harry responded trying to suppress a yawn.  “How about breakfast and then we’ll set up some parameters on how we’re going to remove those warheads…0900?”

“Yes sir,” Lee answered with a smile noticing Harry’s yawn.

“Night Lee,” Harry said as he picked up his coat and tie and headed out the door.


It was 0900 and Harry started to open the door when he heard a knock and saw Lee standing there.

“I was just coming to get you,” Harry said casually as they made their way to one of the restaurants in the hotel.

“Have you checked in with Seaview this morning?” Harry asked while they waited for their breakfast.

“No, not yet.  I was going to find out what time you’d like to leave before I made contact with them,” Lee replied taking a large gulp of coffee.

“How about 1600 hours, we shouldn’t have to back track too far to meet up with them.”

“That’s what I was thinking too,” Lee agreed.   “We can radio them after we eat.”

The waitress brought over their breakfasts; neither man said anything as they ate, lost in their thoughts on the mission ahead of them.  Harry paid the bill and they walked back to Lee’s room so Harry could read over the rest of the information Lee had compiled while Lee radioed the boat.


Lee contacted Tish at the Institute who patched him through to Seaview.

“Mr. Morton, I have the Skipper on the radio,” Sparks said to Chip who was at the chart table.

“Send it over here,” Chip requested as Sparks flipped a switch giving Chip the call.

Chip picked up the mic, “Good morning, Skipper,” he said cheerily.   “Everything okay with you and the Admiral?”

“Yes, just fine,” Lee answered.   “What’s your status?”

“We should be nearing the islands around 1700 hours today.

“Good, you’re making great time.  Plot a course to these coordinates,” Lee said giving him the area in Labgen Bay where the Xiphias was sitting.  “We’ll depart from here around 1600 hours.”

“Got it,” Chip replied.  “See you soon.”

“Yes, I’ll let you know when we’re ready to dock,” Lee said.

Chip stowed the mic and gave maneuvering the new coordinates.


“You got some interesting data on the Xiphias,” Harry remarked when Lee completed his call.  “I remember a little of her from the drawings Marya showed us earlier but she didn’t let us look too long.”

Lee shook his head in agreement.

“Not going to be easy to get out those warheads,” Harry commented.    “Got any ideas?”   He knew Lee would have formulated a plan after looking at the diagram of the sub.

“Well,” Lee smiled at his boss and friend knowing he’d also have an idea or two of his own.  “I’m assuming that the PR will send down at least two divers.   We’ll have to let them disarm the torpedo.  Once it’s disarmed, the divers from Seaview and the Sthenos will help guide the warhead through the sub to the hatch.   Their divers are going to have to board the bathysphere so the other divers can hoist up the warhead.    If it’s anything like ours, it could be heavy and cumbersome to move if the boat is filled with water.  We might have to send down more divers depending on how things go.

“Your plan sounds good, but what if we suggested that instead of using Seaview, Sthenos and Tavya, we only use Seaview and Tavya.  The divers from the Sthenos could be stationed on the Tavya. This way, we’re only lowering two bells instead of three and we wouldn’t have to worry about the subs getting in each other’s way and save time,” Harry offered.

“I thought about that too, but I’m not sure the country of Tercua would be agreeable,” Lee commented.  “Would we want to have our men on their ship?” he added.

Harry looked at Lee with a slight grin and knew that he would never put his men on a boat from the PR.  “Well, when and if the time arises, maybe we can suggest it and see what happens,” Harry countered.  “Now, who are we sending down?”

“I was thinking you and I could go on the first dive to scope out how to get the warheads out,” Lee explained.   “I’m betting it’s going to take us four days to remove all the warheads, maybe longer depending on the conditions in the boat.   For the second dive, I was thinking Kowalski and I would go, followed by Chip and Patterson, and then you and Sharkey for the final dive.  If we need more divers, we have Riley, Marco, Phil and Ron.”

“I like that idea,” Harry concurred.  “We can always adjust the schedule if needed.”

“I’ve made sure we’ll have all the equipment we’ll need for both a dry and wet sub,” Lee added.   “Plus, plenty of air tanks, flashlight and batteries.”

“Sounds good,” Harry acknowledged.  “Now, I better let Marya know that we’ll pick her up about 1530.”  Harry dialed her number while Lee arranged for a car to pick them up.


Lee and Harry picked up Marya and were dropped off where FS-1 was docked. 

“Harry, you invented that?” she asked as she stood in awe at the little sub.

“Yes, she’s quite an invention,” Harry replied like a proud father.

Harry unlocked the sub with his numeric fob.  Lee opened the rear hatch, took the luggage that had been placed on the dock and stowed it in the sub.   He helped Marya aboard and made sure she was secured in her seat as Harry readied the sub for takeoff.   Even though he was dockside, he was cleared by the tower to take off and quickly headed out to sea as to stay out of the way of the incoming passenger and military planes.   Once he was airborne and at altitude, he glanced behind to make sure Marya was okay as there was complete silence aboard the craft.   He noticed she looked a little scared.

“You okay, Marya?” Harry asked.

“I’m okay,” she replied shakily.   “Wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I’ll be alright.”

Harry looked over at Lee who had a grin on his face; that was the reaction most people had when they flew on FS-1 for the first time.  

Lee pressed the button on his throat mic so he could contact the boat.   “Seaview, this is Crane, come in Seaview.”

Sparks replied instantly, “This is Seaview.”

“Sparks, let me speak with Mr. Morton,” Lee requested and Chip was on the line in no time.

“Hi Chip, we just took off from Pearl.   Send us your coordinates so we can see where you’re located.”

Chip told him where they were.   “We should be on your radar in about an hour.   Once you’ve got us, send us a homing signal.”

“Aye, sir,” Chip replied.   “See you shortly.”


Forty-five minutes later, Kowalski notified Chip that FS-1 was on radar so Chip had Sparks send out the homing signal for the sub.   He ordered Maneuvering to dead stop to wait for her to berth before continuing on course.   

Harry docked the little sub and was completing the shut-down procedures while Lee helped Marya out of her harness and seat.  He disengaged the ladder, put it in position and headed up the ladder just as the hatch opened.   He was greeted by Patterson and quickly made his way out of the hatch to the deck where Chip and Janet were waiting.   As Harry helped Marya up the ladder, Lee reached down to help her out of the hatch.   She waited next to Lee while Harry climbed out.

“Patterson, take the gear to our quarters and Dr. Yurienva’s to Cabin A,” Lee ordered looking at Janet to make sure he had the right cabin.   Janet nodded her head and smiled.   She was glad to see her husband.

Harry stood next to Marya and introduced, Chip and Janet.  “Dr. Yurienva, this is Lt. Commander Chip Morton, he’s the executive officer of Seaview and next to him is Janet Crane, administrative assistant to Lee and Chip and Lee’s wife.”  

“Nice to meet both of you,” Marya replied and shook hands with both of them.  “Admiral, those windows are magnificent,” she marveled as she looked out the nose.   

“Thank you,” Harry said.   “I’ll show you around as soon as you’re settled.  I hope you realize that there are some areas on Seaview that you will not be able to access because of security.” As much as I trust you, I still have to maintain Seaview’s security, Harry thought.


“I understand,” Marya responded amazed at the size of the control room.

“Janet, will you please take Dr. Yurienva to her cabin?” Harry asked.   

“Yes, sir,” Janet responded.   “Dr. Yurievna, if you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your cabin.”

Janet headed up the spiral staircase with Marya following close behind.


Once in the passage way, Marya looked at Janet.   “Are you always aboard Seaview as I was surprised there was a woman on board?”

“Yes, Doctor,” Janet replied.   “I take care of the paperwork for the boat and help out the Admiral, Captain Crane and Mr. Morton.”

“It must be nice working with your husband,” Marya smiled.

Janet grinned back.   “I was a crew member before we got married, and yes, it’s nice to be working with him.”

They reached the door of Cabin A and Janet opened the door letting Marya enter first.   

“My goodness I never expected something so large,” she remarked.

“Most guests make that remark when they enter the cabin but then, Seaview isn’t a regular sub,” Janet commented with a grin.   “If you need anything, please let me know.   My office is right down the hall on the left.   You can pick up the phone and Sparks will answer if I’m not available.  The Admiral will be here shortly to show you around.”

“Thanks, Janet,” Marya replied.   “And please, call me Marya.”

“You’re welcome, Marya,” Janet said and closed the door heading back to the control room.


Lee, Harry, and Chip were at the chart table reviewing some charts.  Lee looked up when he heard Janet’s familiar footsteps on the stairs; he winked at her as she approached them.

“Dr. Yurienva is getting settled in,” Janet said.   “Admiral, I told her you’d be with her shortly for her tour.   If you would like, I can show her the areas she’s allowed in,” she offered.

“Thanks, but I’ll take her around,” Harry remarked looking at his watch.  “Have Cookie serve dinner in the nose tonight, say 1830 hours.”

“Yes, sir, I’ll let him know,” Janet replied and headed out the aft hatch to the wardroom.

“Lee, Chip, if you don’t need me anymore, I’m going to give Marya a tour of the boat,” Harry said and added, “Lee, fill Chip in on how we’re going to help remove the warheads from the Xiphias and schedule a meeting for 0900 tomorrow in the nose with the divers.  We’ll have Marya attend the meeting also.”

“Aye, sir,” Lee answered as Harry trotted up the staircase.

“Just how are we going to remove those warheads?” Chip asked.

Lee explained on how divers from all three boats were going to work together to remove them.  He also told him what the schedule was and who was diving. 

“So that’s why we waited for Sharkey and Kowalski,” Chip remarked.   “I’m sure glad we did.  Any idea what this sub looks like inside…outside?”

“According to Marya, there’s a sub down there that checked out the Xiphias and its hull is supposed to be intact.  We won’t know much more until we actually board her. I did some research while the admiral was showing Marya around Oahu and managed get to some drawings of the Xiphias I need to print out for us to look at,” Lee commented.   “I’m hoping Marya will have a more detailed drawing of the inside of that sub.”

“The admiral seems to like her, but what do you think of her?” Chip ventured.

“She’s nice and is a very smart woman,” Lee answered tapping a pencil on the table.

“But she still works for the PR,” Chip added.

Lee gave him a sly grin and returned his attention back to the charts.


Harry knocked on the door to Marya’s cabin and she quickly opened the door.

“Ready for the 50-cent tour,” Harry chuckled.

“Lead the way,” Marya replied with a smile.

Harry showed her around the boat making their last stop his lab.  She was very impressed with its contents and hoped she’d be able to spend some time in there.  He then led them back to her cabin.

“Harry, I hope you don’t expect me to find my way around Seaview,” she exclaimed.   “I was lost after we turned off the first passageway.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll make sure someone will be here to take you where you want to go,” Harry assured her.    “Dinner will be in the observation nose at 1830 hours.   I hope that’s enough time for you to get ready...and I’ll escort you myself.”

“More than enough and thank you,” Marya replied and closed the door to the cabin as Harry continued on to his own.


Janet made her way to the wardroom to let Cookie know about dinner in the nose.    He had no problem and would start setting it up as soon as he and his specialists cleaned up after the officers that had just finished eating.  


Lee and Chip finished looking over the charts of the area where the Xiphias was laying.  Lee dropped his pencil on the table.   “I’m going to my cabin and print out the information I have on the sub and some other items you need to see,” Lee remarked.   “I’ll be back in an hour or so.”

“Okay, Lee,” Chip replied, “not too much happening here.”


Lee jogged up the stairs and headed for his cabin.   He booted up the computer and read over the documents he wanted printed and hit the print button when he was finished.   He was going to get them from Janet’s office, when she opened the door and handed him his print outs. 

“Is this everything?” Janet asked with a grin.

Lee flipped through the stack of papers, “Yes, thanks for the delivery service,” he replied.

“I told Cookie about dinner in the nose, and he’ll have it ready at 1830,” Janet added.

Lee smiled, gave her a quick kiss before leaving for the control room.


Lee and Chip headed to the nose at 1815 where Janet joined them a few minutes later.   Cookie had made some appetizers and set them out on the side board.  Since Seaview was technically working for the Navy, no alcohol would be served but there was plenty of other beverages available.  Harry and Marya arrived promptly at 1830 and joined the group for drinks and appetizers before Cookie served dinner.   Chip had partially closed the crash doors giving the group some privacy from the control room.  Scott Taper and Carl Jenkins were on duty but Lee, as captain, was always available if needed.   The group enjoyed a delicious dinner and were standing in the nose watching Seaview plough through the dark water enjoying their coffee.

“Thank you for inviting me to tag along with you,” Marya said.  “This view is spectacular.”

“I’m glad you came with us,” Harry replied grinning.   “We’re having a meeting tomorrow at 0900 with our divers to go over the schedule with them.  I’d like you to be there so you can meet them and share any ideas you may have on removing the warheads.”

“I’ll definitely be there,” Marya answered eagerly.   “I have a few thoughts I’d like to share.”

“Good, we’ll have breakfast at 0800, and then meet here,” Harry declared.

Harry and Marya left a few minutes later leaving Lee, Chip and Janet to linger a little longer before turning in for the night.    Lee and Chip checked in with the control room while Janet waited in the nose. Lee finished up in the control room and they headed up the staircase with Chip following behind.


Harry and Marya arrived in the observation nose at 0900.   Lee, Janet, Chief Sharkey and the divers needed for the mission were also present.   Chip joined them a few minutes later after making sure that the divers on duty in the control room had someone to man their stations.   He closed the crash doors to give them some privacy.

“Good morning, men,” Lee greeted.    “We’re going to need your expert diving skills so that’s why you’re here.”

“This is Dr. Yurievna from the People’s Republic and we’re going to help her country, and with help of the country of Tercua, remove four nuclear warheads from torpedoes on a sunken submarine in the Labgen Bay,” Harry stated.   “Dr. Yurievna, I’d like you to meet the divers that will be assisting you in this mission.   I don’t think you’ve met Chief Sharkey, Chief of the Boat. To his right is Seamen Kowalski and Patterson.   They are going to be the main divers.  If more are needed, we have Seaman Riley, to Patterson’s right, along with Crewman Ron, Phil and Marco.”

“We’ll be using the diving bell to send down two divers to the sub.  From the information available to us, we’re pretty sure that the submarine’s hull hasn’t been breached, but more than likely it’s going to be cold and dark in there,” Lee continued.  “We’re guessing it’s going to take us four days to remove the warheads.   Maybe longer depending on what we find.   If we feel more divers are needed, we’ll send more down.  The Admiral and I are going to do the first dive so we can scope out what needs to be done. The second team of divers will be Mr. Morton and Patterson.  The next set of divers will be me and Kowalski with the final dive consisting of the Admiral and Chief Sharkey.   We’ll hold a briefing after each dive to compare notes to see if anything different needs to be done on the next dive.  Also, the country of Tercua will also be sending down two divers on each dive, so there are going to be a lot of men in small spaces.”

“Any questions?” Lee asked.

“No sir,” the men replied, so Lee dismissed them to return to their duties.

“I do have a drawing of the interior and exterior of the Xiphias,” Marya added as she unfolded the large paper she was carrying.  

Lee helped her lay it out on the table where he, Harry and Chip looked it over noting where the hatches were located.   They also realized that this submarine had only forward torpedo tubes so all the warheads were in the front of the boat.  The three officers looked at each and knew that it was going to be a difficult job removing those warheads from the cramped area.  

“I know that it’s very cramped in there; nothing like Seaview,” she remarked noticing the looks on their faces.

“All the men on Seaview at one time were stationed on a Navy submarine and are used to the small areas,” Harry said.  “But I think it would be a good idea to send out the flying sub to also check out the condition of the Xiphias.   It will help us with positioning the Seaview over the hatch for docking the diving bell.”

“That’s a good idea, Admiral, and I would like to be on that flight,” Marya acknowledged.

“As soon as we arrive at the coordinates, we’ll take her out and look over the sub,” Harry confirmed.

“I also think we should have a meeting of all personnel, from your destroyer as well as Tercua’s, so we’re all on the same page as to what order the diving bells are going to be lowered and whose personnel have what duties,” Lee suggested.  “Since you need to get aboard your boat, I think we should hold the meeting there.”

“I agree with you, Captain,” Marya concurred.  “I’ll contact Captain Urdino and arrange to have that set up.”  Marya refolded the drawings and set them aside.

“Marya, I’ll help you make your call as soon as I check our position,” Harry said.

“Thank you, Admiral.”

The three officers left Marya and Janet in the nose and headed over to the chart table.


Marya watched the three men as they poured over the maps on the chart table.

“They didn’t seem too happy when they saw how tight it was on our sub,” Marya remarked worriedly.  “You don’t think they’ll back out, do you?”

“Dr….Marya, please don’t underestimate them.  If they said they’ll get your warheads out, then they will.   I’ve seen them in some difficult predicaments and they’ve always worked it out.   Just give them a chance to assess the situation,” Janet replied honestly.   She wasn’t surprised when Lee announced that he and the admiral were going on the first dive.   She knew he would never let his men do something he wouldn’t do himself and he would also want to see how safe it was to remove those warheads.

“You sure have a lot of confidence in them,” Marya responded solemnly.

“In a difficult situation, I wouldn’t want my life in anyone else’s hands but theirs.   If you’ll excuse me, I have some work I need to finish before the Captain looks for it,” Janet grinned.

“Is it okay if I stay here?” Marya asked.

“Yes, I like to sit here and watch the fish go by.  It’s like my own personal aquarium.   I’m sure the admiral will be with you shortly,” Janet said.  She walked up the staircase leaving Marya alone in the nose.

I sure hope they can get those warheads out. Marya thought as she looked out the windows.   Harry joined her shortly and escorted up to his cabin so she could make the necessary calls and arrangements.


Marya called the Tavya, talked to Captain Urdino who also thought it was a good idea to have a meeting with all the parties involved in removing the warheads and was more than happy to have it aboard his boat.  She informed him that the Seaview would be in the area in 2 days and they would contact him when they were ready for the meeting. He told Marya that he was looking forward to meeting Harry, Lee and the men from Tercua.   Marya thanked her friend as she had dealings with him in the past. 

“Okay Harry, the meeting is set-up.   We just need to let him know when we’ll be arriving.   He said he’s looking forward to meeting you and Lee as well as the men from Tercua,” Marya said.

“Thanks, Marya,” Harry replied.   “I’ll contact Mr. Nadaga and let them know we should be there in forty-eight hours and fill him in on the meeting aboard the Tavya.

“I’ll be in my cabin as I’ve got some work to finish up,” Marya remarked and left Harry alone to make his phone call.  He made contact with Mr. Nadaga who assured him that Captain Pavlo would attend the meeting.


Harry made his way back to the control room so he could let Lee and Chip know that the meeting was scheduled.   He noticed that they were in a deep conversation as he approached the chart table.

“The meeting is scheduled aboard the Tavya as soon as we’re ready,” he told the two men.   “Everything okay…your conversation looked pretty intense.”

“Everything is okay, sir, but I would like to have the boat ready to dive at a moment’s notice,” Lee replied rolling a pencil between his hands.  “I’ve had too many dealings with the PR to trust them.   I don’t want the crew or Seaview in harm’s way if this meeting should go sour.”

“I understand and don’t blame you,” Harry answered honestly recalling his many unpleasant dealings with the PR.

“Chip and I were discussing who should be on deck standing watch,” Lee remarked.

“I’ll be in the conning tower, with O’Brien in the control room.   We’ll have Chief Sharkey and Kowalski on deck along with the two crewmen who man the zodiac,” Chip responded unhappily, not liking the whole situation or the mission.


Harry and Marya sat in Harry’s ‘front porch’ before retiring to their cabins.   Harry sat down at his desk and was perusing some paperwork before he checked in with Angie.   She would be back from vacation and he wanted to know how things were at the institute now that she had returned.  He pressed the intercom button and asked Sparks to get her on the videophone.  

“Admiral Nelson’s office,” she answered anxiously.

Harry noticed his unflappable PA seemed harried and frazzled when she answered.  ‘Is everything okay Angie?” Harry asked.

“No, I can’t find the budget file or the folder with the information.   I know it was on the computer and in my desk but neither one is where they’re supposed to be. Also, the correspondence file is empty.  There should have been several letters in there.”

“I gave the correspondence to Janet so she should have them but I don’t know about the budget sheets,” Harry explained. 

“Damn,” Angie said softly but Harry heard her.   “I found the budget file in the trash can and all the data has been deleted.  I have no idea where the folder is.  I’m going to have to start all over.   I hope you weren’t called to work on the budget?”

“No, I was just checking in.   Don’t worry about the budget, I have the information and we’ll work on it when we’re on our way back from the mission. I guess Claudette really didn’t like working for us as it seems she went to great lengths to sabotage the budget sheets and who knows what else.   Have payroll cut her a check and tell HR to terminate her immediately.”

“Yes sir,” Angie replied dejectedly.  “Sorry.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll get it done,” Harry assured her.   “I’ll check in with you in a few days.”

“Yes sir,” Angie answered softly still upset.

“Chalk one up for Claudette, Harry thought unhappily that one of his employee’s would do something that drastic because she had to work a couple of extra days.


Two days later, Seaview was sitting one hundred yards away from the sunken submarine.   They had been in contact with Tercua’s sub, Sthenos, who was also in the area.   Both of the PR boats were also waiting for Seaview to arrive. 

Harry, Lee, Chip, Marya and Janet looked out the observation nose window at the Xiphias.   “Prepare the flying sub for immediate launch,” Harry ordered as he wanted a closer look at the submarine.

FS-1 launched ten minutes later with Harry, Lee and Marya on board.   Harry slowly circled the sub so Lee could check for any breaches in her hull.   He didn’t see any obvious breaches but there could be cracks in her hull that they couldn’t see.   Harry then flew over the top of the sub looking for the best place to have the diving bell connect with her and decided the hatch closest to the front of the boat would work best.   He returned to Seaview so they could prepare to surface, bring Marya over to the destroyer, and meet with the other boat’s personnel.

Chip and Janet were waiting in the observation nose when the admiral, followed by Marya exited the sub with Lee following behind.   Lee walked over to the sonar and radar consoles with Chip behind.

“Ski, what’s above us,” Lee inquired.

“Nothing but clear water.   There’s a submarine off our port side at one hundred yards with another one hundred yards of our stern,” Kowalski replied.

“Patterson, where’s the destroyer?”

“She’s one hundred yards off our starboard side,” Patterson answered.

“Take her up, Chip,” Lee said.

“Prepare to surface, blow all ballast tanks, full elevation on all planes,” Chip told maneuvering.

Seaview slowly broached the surface.   They were lucky the sea was calm so they would have no problems making their way over to the destroyer or leaving the boat on the surface.

“Crack the hatch and have the deck crew prepare the zodiac,” Lee ordered as he donned his service jacket and grabbed his cover.


Lee had one of the stewards bring Marya’s bag topside so they could load it on the zodiac. He headed up the ladder and out the service door followed by Marya and the admiral.

Two crew members were in the zodiac waiting for them to board.  Chief Sharkey and Kowalski were ordered to stand watch on the quarterdeck in case there was a problem on the destroyer.  Lee descended the ladder and waited at the bottom so he could help Marya down.  He was surprised she handled the ladder on the swaying submarine and zodiac like a pro.  Once she was settled, Harry joined them and they set off for the destroyer.


“Sharkey, why are we helping the PR?” Kowalski asked irritated.   “With all the problems they’ve caused the admiral and skipper, you’d think they’d want no part of them.”

“No idea and I’m not thrilled with the situation either, but I’m sure the admiral and skipper have their reasons,” Sharkey replied.  “Just keep watch for the skipper’s signal if they need help.”

Lee had arranged a signal with Sharkey and Kowalski in case there was an emergency.


The crew of the Tavya helped Marya aboard followed by Harry and Lee.

“It’s good to see you again, Dr. Yurienva,” Captain Urdino greeted warmly.

“Thank you, Captain,” Marya replied smiling.

Turning to Harry and Lee, “Welcome aboard Admiral, Commander.  I’ve heard a lot about you, I’m Captain Dor Urdino,” Urdino remarked.   “I must say that the pictures of Seaview don’t do her justice.   She’s a magnificent vessel.”

“Thank you, Captain,” Harry answered.

“Would your men like to come aboard while we conduct our meeting?”

“No, thank you, Captain,” Lee replied.  “They’ll return to Seaview.”   Lee dismissed the men and told them they’d contact the boat when they wanted them to return.


Captain Urdino led them to a small meeting room near the control room where Captain Kir Dima of the PR sub, Surki was waiting.   It wasn’t too long before Captain Pavlo and his Executive Officer, Daur Rairu, joined the others in the room.

“Thank you for having this meeting so we can discuss our plan of attack on removing the warheads,” Harry said kindly.

“We’re very interested in hearing how we can remove the warheads,” Captain Urdino replied eagerly.

“Marya, could you please layout the drawing of the interior of the sub?” Harry asked.

Marya opened her briefcase and laid it out on the table in the room, on top of a map showing the area where the sub was sunk.  Everyone gathered around the table.

“As you can see its very tight quarters.  We still think that Tercua and the United States should send down two divers each.   We took a closer look, using the flying sub, at the Xiphias and can’t see any obvious breaches in the hull, so we’re going to assume that it’s dry.  But it’s going to be cold in there and definitely dark so we’re going to equip our divers with a dry suit with an inter-liner, breathing tanks and flashlights,” Harry said. 

Marya spoke up, “I have an idea on how to eliminate the use of air tanks as they’re going to get very uncomfortable if we have to wear them for a long period of time.  I looked over the drawings of our bathysphere and there’s an extra coupling on top.  We’ll connect a large air hose from the Tavya to that coupling and when we make our second dive after the other divers are aboard, we’ll send down the bathysphere with a hose long enough to bring it to the torpedo room.   You’ll have to wear your air masks until we can lower the hose down, but it will be only for a short time.  We’ll test it out first to make sure we can get enough air down the hose so everyone has no trouble breathing.  If it doesn’t work, we’ll revert back to the air tanks.   I suggest that you still bring extra tanks with you.  Also, we’ll have to watch the carbon dioxide levels as we have no way of removing it.”

“That just might work,” Harry acknowledged as he wasn’t looking forward to wearing an air tank for several hours or inhaling the carbon dioxide.

“I’ll have the crew rig up the air hose and see how much air we can send down,” Urdino remarked excitedly as he didn’t want to wear those tanks either. Just one more item, I know the sub is on the bottom but I’m sure you realize that we don’t want anyone wandering around the sub, so we’ll be sending down four divers.  They will be stationed in secured areas where no one needs to be.”

“I understand,” Harry responded as Captain Pavlo shook his head in agreement.

“How are we going to get our divers on the boat?” Urdino asked.   “We have a lot of boats in a small area.”

Harry glanced at Lee, “I would like to suggest that instead of using the two submarines and the destroyer on the surface, we only use two boats.   The divers from the Sthenos could be stationed on the Tavya and lowered down from there along with the Tavya’s divers. It would be safer as the subs are not maneuvering back and forth and save some time,” Harry suggested.

Captain Pavlo looked at his XO.  “That’s not going to work.   I don’t want my men on their boat or use their equipment,” Pavlo declared strongly.   “We’ll use our own boat and equipment.”

“I realize that we are trying to work out a peace agreement between the two countries, and this might be one way of showing we can get along, but we’ll also be using our own boat and equipment,” Captain Urdino stated.

“Okay,” Harry replied and continued.  “After looking at the top of the sub, we’re going to have our bathysphere set down on the forward hatch.  I think that will work out best for us,” Harry answered seeking to keep the meeting on track.

“We also thought that the forward hatch would be the best spot…a shorter route to get the warheads out,” Pavlo concurred after looking over the drawings of the sub.

“Our thoughts too,” Urdino added.

Lee moved Marya’s drawing of the sub revealing the map of the bottom. “Each sub will be at different depths from the surface,” he explained.  He removed a pen from his shirt pocket and placed an X where each boat would be stationed including the Tavya on the surface.   “Even though the Surki is not being used in the recovery of the warheads, we would like to keep her there in case of an emergency but stationed out of the recovery area.   Captain Dima, we would like your boat at four hundred feet and two hundred yards from the Xiphias.”

“I have no problem with that,” Dima replied.   “We’ll be ready for whatever you may need.”

“Captain Urdino, you’ll send your divers down first and then bring up your bathysphere.   Once the rest of the divers are on the sub, you’ll lower your bathysphere down again so we can load the warheads.”

 “Captain Pavlo and the Sthenos will be at four hundred feet from the surface.  She will lower her divers down and move forward one hundred yards.   Seaview will station at three hundred feet from the surface and after her divers are on board, she’ll move back one hundred yards so the Tavya can resend down her bathysphere. Once the warheads are on board, we’ll reverse the process until all divers are back aboard their vessels.  If you have a better way of keeping them separated, we’ll be happy to hear your plan,” Lee responded.

“I think that plan will work out great.   We’ll all stay out of each other’s way, and get those warheads off safely,” Urdino agreed.

“Captain Pavlo, will that work for you and the Sthenos?” Harry asked noting he’d been very quiet.

Hesitating slightly, Pavlo looked over the map, “Yes, that will be fine.”

“Of course, if there’s an emergency or help is needed, we’ll maneuver the boats to a different position,” Lee added.

“As far as divers,” Urdino continued, “I’ll be going down on the first dive with Dr. Yurievna, and one more diver qualified to remove the warheads.   One diver will stay in the bathysphere to help load the warhead after it’s removed and the other one will be stationed outside the control room.  On subsequent dives, one officer and three more divers will be sent down.   I believe Dr. Yurievna will be on all the dives?”

“Yes, I will,” Marya responded.   “I’m responsible for making sure they get off the sub safely.”

“Captain Crane and I will be going down on the first dive.   Our XO will be on the second dive, with Captain Crane on the third, and I’ll be on the last dive,” Harry said.

“I’ll be on the first and last dive,” Captain Pavlo remarked.   “We’ll also be sending an officer with a diver.”

“I think we have everything in order to complete the removal of these warheads,” Marya responded.   “Let’s just hope everything goes according to plans and we have no mishaps, as safety is my first concern.   I think we should begin the dive at 0900 tomorrow, so that will give us time to test out the air hose.  We’ll contact the Seaview and Sthenos by radio when were ready to send down the bathysphere.”

Everyone nodded their heads in agreement and headed out of the meeting room to the deck where Pavlo and Lee radioed their boats to send over the zodiacs to come and get them.   The group thanked Captain Urdino and Dr. Yurievna again for the meeting and would see them tomorrow.   Harry and Lee left the destroyer and headed back to Seaview surprised the meeting went so well.


Harry descended down the ladder to the control room followed by Lee who jumped off before the third rung from the bottom to be greeted by Chip and Janet.  Lee ordered the boat to dive and stay at three hundred feet.

“Everything go okay over there?” Chip asked warily noting neither Harry nor Lee looked upset.

“Yes, everything’s good.   We’re going to do the first dive at 0900 hours tomorrow,” Lee answered removing his service coat and cover setting it on the table.  “Admiral, I did think it was strange that the PR would be worried about us wandering around their sunken sub.”

Harry cracked a smile and replied, “I did too, but it’s their boat.”

Confused, Chip asked, “Wandering around a sunken sub.   Who’d want to do that?”

Lee explained to Chip why there were sending down more divers and that they would be watching where he and the men would be at all times.  

Chip shrugged his shoulders, “Seems a little over the top.”

“I agree,” Harry remarked.   ‘If you need me, I’ll be in my cabin updating the SECNAV on what is happening.”

“Chip, take over here.  I’m going to the missile room to check out the diving bell and make sure we have all the equipment and gear ready for the dive and then to my cabin to make up a duty roster as to who’s going to cover what tomorrow, during the dive.” 

 “Yes, sir,” Chip replied and returned to the chart table, but he first walked over to the radio shack.


It was 0700 when Lee made it to the wardroom for breakfast.  He’d been up since 0500 and had doubled check his gear before stopping in the control room to check on Scott and David before the next watch reported for duty, and leave his duty roster on the observation nose table.  Harry, Chip, Jamie, Bobby and Janet were already there eating breakfast.  He grabbed some eggs, toast and coffee and sat down next to Janet.

Lee took a large gulp of coffee, “Chip, Bobby, I would like to meet with you to go over the duty assignments before the admiral and I go down to the sub,” Lee stated.  “Jamie, I would like you also to attend this meeting, so let’s meet in the nose in thirty minutes.”

“Aye, sir,” the men replied as they finished up their breakfast.

Harry and Janet made their way to the nose.  As Lee walked by Patterson, Riley and Kowalski he told them also to report to the nose.  He picked up the mic, “Chief Sharkey, report to the observation nose.”   He shipped the mic and grabbed his papers off the table while they waited for Sharkey to come to the nose.  Just a few minutes passed before Sharkey reported to the nose and stood with the rest of the men and Janet.

“As you know the admiral and I are taking the first dive down to the sunken sub to help retrieve the warheads.  We’ll be leaving sometime after 0900 as soon as the other bells have been lowered and brought back to their boats.  We’re the last boat to send down our personnel.   I’ve made out a roster of where I what key personnel while we’re on the sub.  First, Chief, I want you and Kowalski in the missile room overseeing the launching and monitoring of the bell.  Use whatever crewmen you need to help.  Patterson, you’ll be on the bell maneuvering it down to the sub when we’re finished for the day. Riley, you’ll take over tomorrow because Patterson will be on the dive with Mr. Morton.””

“Aye, sir,” the men replied snappily.

“Chip, Bobby, you’ll be in charge of getting Seaview over the hatch and maintaining her until the admiral and I let you know we’re on the sub.   Once we’re on the sub, bring up the bell and move the boat back one hundred yards, so the PR can send down their bell again.  We’ll be in radio contact with Seaview at all times and we’ll also be monitoring the other boat’s radio communications.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” they answered.

“Jamie, we have no idea if that sub is flooded or dry, I know we’re going to need oxygen tanks for a short while depending on if the PR can get oxygen down there.  I’m hoping there are no problems, but I would like you to be in the missile room when we return from the sub.”

“Yes, sir,” Jamie said.

“As soon as possible after we return, I want to have a debriefing in the nose with the rest of the divers going down to the sub.”

“Aye, sir,” everyone responded.

Lee dismissed the men so they could follow out his orders.  Harry, Lee and Janet remained in the nose while Chip and Bobby returned to the chart table where they checked their position and the currents, making sure the bell would have no trouble docking with the sub.

Lee checked his watch, they still had thirty minutes before they would have to suit up for the dive.

“Ready, Admiral?” Lee asked.

“Ready as I can be not knowing what’s down there,” he declared as he pointed to where the sub was beneath them.  

“All right if I come back here and watch?” Janet asked quietly since she would be in the missile room watching as they launched the bell

“That’s fine,” Lee grinned.   “You won’t see too much from here, but Chip will have the forward cameras monitoring the operation.”

“Thanks,” Janet replied worriedly, still not happy they were helping out the PR.  


Sharkey and the men made their way to the missile room.

“Let’s check out the bell one more time to make sure that nothing goes wrong. We’ll load the air tanks and flashlights.   I still don’t like that both the admiral and skipper are going down there together,” Sharkey grumbled.

“I’m not too thrilled about going down there either,” Kowalski shot back getting a nod and frown from Sharkey.

“Me either,” Patterson piped up as he and Riley took the air tanks and set them by the bell.


Harry and Lee returned to their cabins so they could change.   Even though they were going to have inter-liners in the dry suits, they wanted warmer clothes underneath.   Harry made his way to the missile room where Sharkey and Kowalski had just finished loading the air tanks and headlamps.   Kowalski was checking the cable on the bell while Sharkey tested the headset.  

“All set, Chief?” Harry asked.

“Aye, sir.   We got double air tanks for you and the skipper.  We’ve put another set of doubles plus a single.  I hope that’s enough air,” Sharkey answered.

“Me too, Chief,” Harry responded.   “Hopefully we won’t need the extras if they can pipe air into the sub.”

Lee and Janet entered the missile room a few minutes later.  “I just got word that the PR sent down their bathysphere and is on its way back to the top.   As soon as we hear that Tercua’s bathysphere is back on board and they’ve moved the sub, we’ll head down,” Lee commented.

Lee put on the inter-liner for his yellow and black dry suit while Harry donned his black inter-liner and suit.  They would wait to put on the air tanks until they reached the sub.  Once on the sub they would unload the extra tanks in case they needed them.  If they weren’t needed, they would leave them for the next set of divers.  


“Skipper,” Chip radioed.

Lee walked over to the mic and removed it from the holder, “Yes, Chip,” he answered.

“We received word that the bathysphere from the Sthenos is back aboard and they’ve moved the boat forward.   You’re cleared to go.”

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee responded and stowed the mic.    “All set, Admiral?”

“Let’s go,” Harry said and headed over to the bell.

Before heading to the bell, Lee gave Janet a quick kiss and hug.  Sharkey helped Harry aboard and then Lee.

“Not much room in here with all the gear,” Lee lamented as he squeezed in.

“Good luck, sirs,” Sharkey said as he closed and secured the lock on the bell.

He returned the console and stood next to it donning his headset and checked the radio with the bell. 

“Lower her down,” Sharkey told Kowalski after getting the all clear from Lee.  

The crewman opened the bottom hatch and Kowalski began lowering the bell down from the underside of the boat

Both men watched out the small portholes to see where they were on the sub and from what they could see, they were very close to the hatch. Lee maneuvered the bell per Harry’s instructions and it gently landed on the escape hatch of the sub.   Lee undid the lower hatch on the bell and waited for the sub’s hatch to be cracked so they could descend into the sub.  

“Ready, Admiral,” Lee said as he helped Harry put on his air tanks.

“I guess so,” Harry replied helping Lee with his tanks.   

When both men had their air tanks and head lamps in place, they heard the hatch opened revealing the face of Captain Urdino.


Harry descended down the short ladder first followed by Lee who handed him the extra air tanks and headlamps.  When both men were safely on board the sub, Lee called Chip and told him to bring up the bell relaying to him that the sub was dry.

Urdino removed his regulator so he could communicate with Harry, Lee and the diver with him.   “It’s a little cramped in here but we’ll make our way down to the torpedo room where the rest of the men are right now.  We tested out the air hose and we’re pretty sure it’s going to work but until the bell returns, you’ll need to use your tanks,” Urdino said quickly.   Before he replaced his regulator, he ordered the diver to help them with their gear and wait for the bathysphere with the other two divers that would stay with the bathysphere.

The diver nodded his head and took the air tanks and headlamps Lee passed him and put them on the side with the others that had been brought aboard.

As they proceeded further into the sub, it was dry, cold and dark.  You could still smell the odor of the burning wires and equipment from the fire that caused the sub to sink. Lee and Harry followed Urdino down a passageway that was lined with portable flashlights giving the bulkheads an eerie glow.  Lee shivered as he walked down the passageway; not from the cold as he was properly dressed, nor the fact that the sub was on the bottom as he’d been on derelict subs before; something just didn’t seem right to him about this mission.  He shook it off and continued to follow Harry.   The sub wasn’t much different than the Skipjack class the US had used so they were somewhat familiar with its layout.   They reached the torpedo room which was very small and already crowded with Marya, Captain Pavlo and several other divers.  Harry and Lee noticed there were two sets of four torpedoes each pressed up against the tubes.   They must have shifted when the boat sunk and would have to be moved out so they could work on removing the warheads.


Marya looked up from the torpedoes when she heard Urdino return with Harry and Lee.   She nodded hello to them and removed her regulator, “I suggest we wait until we get the oxygen in here so we can ditch these tanks; there’s barely enough room to work with all the gear.”   She put her regulator back for a couple of breaths of fresh air before removing it again.   “We’re going to have to move back both sets of torpedoes because each set has two nuclear warheads.   But I think we can only move one set at a time,” she said quickly inserting her mouthpiece.

Harry, Lee and the rest of the men nodded their heads in agreement. 

Lee’s radio buzzed, it was Chip letting him know that the bell was back on board and Seaview had moved back.   Urdino’s radio then beeped and he received word that their bell was on its way down with the divers and air hose.   It would take it about twenty minutes for the bell to reach the sub.   Urdino returned to the hatch to wait for the bell and bring the air line into the torpedo room.   While they waited, Marya pointed out which of the torpedoes were equipped with the warheads.   Harry and Lee looked over the torpedoes and while they were similar to the United States, they weren’t sure how the warheads were attached.  Both men looked at each other; their eyes said everything, they were glad they didn’t have to remove the warheads.

Urdino returned a few minutes later with a diver lugging a large air hose.   He was able to position it over the area where the men would be working. When the cool air flowed gently through the hose, Marya removed her regulator first and nodded to the others that if was safe to remove their mouthpieces and tanks as there would be plenty of air for all of them.   True to his word, Urdino sent the diver to prevent unauthorized entry to the control room while a second diver stayed with the bell ready to help load the warhead when it was time.

Harry and Lee, along with the rest of the men, slowly and carefully inched the set of torpedoes away from the tubes.   It took all their strength to move them far enough away so they had enough room to work.   Sweating and breathing heavily, the six men took a short break before they began removing the warhead.   Since one warhead was on top of the set and another on the bottom, Marya chose to work on the top one first.  Her efficient crewmen knew what needed to be done and began removing the screws, wires, and connectors on the homing equipment before they could reach the nuclear warhead.   Once all the homing equipment was removed, they raised a side panel away exposing the warhead.  The men slowly and methodically disconnected the parts holding it to the rest of the torpedo. 

“So far, so good,” Marya said, “but now the hard part.   This warhead is 17 inches in diameter, thirty inches long and weighs close to two hundred pounds.   We’re going to need everyone’s help getting it out of here. I’ll have my men, and Captain Pavlo’s two divers lift the warhead out of the torpedo.  Admiral, will you, Captain’s Urdino, Crane and Pavlo take it from them and move it away from the holder and to the bell, but before you do, put on your air tanks as there’s no breathable air out there.”

The four men donned their tanks and were in position to take the warhead from the others.   The hatchway was too narrow for more than one man at each end, so Lee and Pavlo would take it through the hatch but had to wait until Harry and Urdino were on the other side so they could help guide it along the passageway.   Lee and Pavlo slowly moved over the knee-knocker hatch and into the passageway where the other men grabbed part of the warhead.   They had one more hatch to go through before they made it to the escape hatch with the bell.   Marya and the other men followed close behind to offer assistance if needed. 

Lee was wondering how they were going to get the warhead up the ladder and into the bell.  Once they arrived in the hatch area, he didn’t have to worry as there were two of the biggest and most muscular men Lee had ever seen waiting to take the warhead from them.  The man closest to the bell took one half and walked slowly up the steps while the other man balanced the warhead and followed him in.   They gently placed the warhead on the bottom of the bell and securely tied it down.   There was barely room for the diver and Marya who would be going back to supervise the unloading of the bell on the destroyer.  The man on the bell removed the air hose and set it on the floor for the next day’s dive.  Harry helped Marya into the bell and the other diver secured the hatch.

Tavya, this is the captain, bring up the bell,” Urdino ordered on his radio.

“Aye, aye sir,” came the reply as the bell was gently uncoupled from the hatch, the air lock keeping out the sea.

The rest of the men sat on the floor of the passageway, knees drawn up to the chests and waited for their return trip back to their boats.  All of them agreed they were exhausted.


Ninety minutes later, Lee finally got the call that “Apple One” could be lowered down to pick up him and Harry.  Once they were on board, Seaview would have to be moved back so Captain Urdino and the rest of his men could be hauled up to their boat.

Chip and Janet headed down to the missile room when they received the call that they were bringing up the bell.   Jamie was already there waiting for Harry and Lee’s arrival with his bag.   No one knew what shape they would be in when they came aboard, as they had been down there for over eight hours.

Patterson cracked the hatch on the bell.   Harry made his way up the steps followed by Lee.

“Skipper, do you want to take her up?” Patterson asked.  

“No, you take her up,” Lee responded tiredly after removing the regulator from his mouth, happily ditching his air tanks and took a deep breath of fresh air.

“Bring her up, Chief,” Patterson said into the mic then helped Harry remove his tanks.

When the bell was safely on board, Chip removed the mic from the escape hatch, “Mr. O’Brien, back 1/3 for one-hundred yards,” he ordered, stowed the mic and headed for the hatch where Janet and Jamie were waiting for it to open.

“Aye, sir,” O’Brien replied and the boat’s engines were engaged as she slowly moved back into position.

Sharkey hurried over to the hatch and quickly undogged it.  Patterson helped out Harry then Lee.  When they were free of the bell, they removed their dry suits and both men were drenched in sweat. 

“Welcome, back,” Chip said noticing that both men looked spent.   

“Thanks, Chip, it’s great to be back,” Harry replied wiping the sweat from his brow.

“Admiral, I’d like to have a debriefing with the men going on the next dives, can you be ready in fifteen minutes?”

“I’ll be there after a long hot shower,” Harry grinned heading for the door.

Jamie also noticed the men looked a little worn out.    “Admiral, Skipper, I want to check your carbon dioxide levels before you do anything,” he ordered.   “You’re both breathing heavily and are looking very fatigued.  I’ll only take a few minutes.   If there’s too much CO2, I may not let the next group dive.”

Both men looked at Jamie and knew he was right, so they followed him out leaving the rest of the men to secure the bell. 


Jamie had Frank draw blood from Lee while he took care of Harry.   “I’ll have the results by the time you have the debriefing,” Jamie said as he prepared to process the samples.   Harry and Lee left sick bay and headed for their cabins for a long hot shower.


When Lee and Janet entered their cabin, Janet asked worriedly as Lee’s clothes were soaking wet, he smelled like dead fish and looked exhausted, “Are you really okay?”

“Yes, nothing a long shower won’t take care of and some food,” Lee assured her giving her a quick kiss. He picked up the pitcher of water on the desk and drank several glasses before he took his shower.  Not only was he hungry but very thirsty as well.   His arm muscles were throbbing from carrying the warhead through the hatches but there was no way he would let Harry take all that weight or tell Janet and Jamie.

Lee stripped off his wet clothes and headed to the head where he would need a little longer than a three-minute shower to soothe his muscles.   Janet took his smelly clothes, put them in a plastic bag to take down to the laundry later. She sat on the bunk waiting for Lee so they could go to the debriefing together.   She knew Lee was more tired than he let on.  He finished up his shower, dressed in a fresh uniform minus his tie and they headed to the control room.  


When they reached the observation nose, most of the men had assembled and were waiting for Lee and Harry.   Lee noticed Chip by the chart table and headed over there.  Janet stood with the rest of the crew as they waited for Lee and Chip. 

“Everything okay here?” Lee asked.

“Yes, sir,” Bobby answered.  “Just reviewing who’s going to be on duty with the next watch.”

“Great job today, Bobby,” Lee said sincerely.   

“Thank you, sir,” Bobby replied happily.

“I wonder where the admiral is,” Lee said.   “I thought he’d be here by now.”   Just as Lee picked up the mic to call his cabin, Sparks walked over to the chart table.

“Skipper, the admiral asked me to tell you to start the briefing without him.  I just put through a call from Dr. Yurievna.”

“Thanks, Sparks,” Lee responded and stowed the mic. 


The crewmen needed for the next dives had their backs to the windows. Chip and Jamie, who’d just entered the nose, joined them there while Janet sat at the table behind Lee to take notes of the briefing.

“Just a few things I want mention,” Lee started.   “The sub is dry but cold and dark.   You’ll need your air tanks unless you’re in the torpedo room where the PR has piped in fresh air from the destroyer. As most of you know, those rooms as not very large, so combined with all the men in there, the heat from the lamps needed to see, the room gets quite warm, so Chip and Pat I’d suggest you don’t put too many clothes under your inter-liner.   I do want you to wear that plus the dry suit just in case there’s a problem and water does get into the boat.  Also, there are two racks of four torpedoes each.  Both of them shifted when the sub sunk and were pressed against the hatches.  We only moved one set of racks otherwise there’d be no room to work.  Kowalski, you and I will have to help move the other set of racks when we dive; it’s going to take all of the men on that dive to move those racks as we had a hard time moving them today.  The only other problem we encountered was once the warhead was removed from the torpedo, it needed to be carried to the PR’s bell.   It’s not a long way but it weighs over two hundred pounds and very awkward to handle.  You need to maneuver it through the passageways which are dimly light with flashlights and through two hatches.   As on our boat, only one person can fit through the hatch at a time leaving two people to carry the brunt of the load until you get to the passageway.   Anyone have a suggestion for an easier way of moving them?”

“How about a collapsible stretcher,” Janet piped up when no one else had anything to offer.   “I don’t know if Jamie has one that will carry that much weight but you can tie the warhead down and when you get to the hatch, you’ll have the handles to help carry it and then the side handles for when you’re in the passageway.”

Lee turned around, looked at his wife and winked at her.   He faced front again, “That just might work.   Jamie, how much weight can our stretchers carry?”

“They’re rated for two-hundred and fifty pounds, so I don’t see the weight as a problem and as you know there are plenty of tie down straps on them,” Jamie replied with a smile.

“Chief, make sure one is stowed on the diving bell for tomorrow’s dive.  Also, put on at least four canteens of water.   We had no idea how long it was going to take and we didn’t bring any so I want to make sure you’re hydrated.”

“Aye, sir,” Sharkey answered.

“I don’t think the next dive will take as long as the first one since you don’t have to move the racks and we know what to expect.  As far as removing the warhead, the PR personnel will take care of that.   Dr. Yurievna and her men know what they’re doing and she’ll direct you if she needs your help.   Before moving the warhead, put on your air tanks; once you leave that room there is no air,” Lee stressed.   “When you do get to the area where the bell is, the PR will load it.   I hope they’ll have the same two divers there tomorrow as they had there today as those men could’ve have carried the warhead themselves.   They’ll take Dr. Yurievna back with them, leaving two divers to stay with you and the men from the Sthenos.  The men from the Sthenos will be taken up before us, so just sit there and wait.   If you have any problems, please radio the boat and we’ll get you out of there as fast as we can.   I’m hoping for a smooth operation and we’ll have another debriefing when you return from the dive.  Meet in the missile room tomorrow at 0900.  Any questions?”

No one had any, so Lee was going to dismiss them when Jamie spoke up, “Skipper, I have the results of yours and the admiral’s blood tests and it showed an elevated amount of carbon dioxide.  Nothing so far that would stop the mission but I want to test everyone that comes back from there as soon as they’re aboard.   If the levels get too high, I’ll have to consider stopping the next dives.”

“Yes, Jamie, they’ll report to sick bay right away.   I still want you in the missile room when the bell returns,” Lee responded.

“Aye, sir,” Jamie answered.

“Anything more?   If not, dismissed,” Lee said as the crewmen left the nose except for Lee, Chip, Jamie and Janet.

Lee looked at Jamie, “I’m guessing the levels are up because of the number of people in the room and though there is fresh air piped in, it’s just barely sufficient,” he surmised.   ‘I’ll let the admiral know.”   

As they headed out of the nose, Lee’s stomach grumbled very loudly.   “I guess I’m hungrier than I thought,” he chuckled as normally Chip’s stomach would do the grumbling. 

They stopped in the control room when they heard Harry’s footsteps on the staircase.  

“I was hoping to catch the briefing,” Harry said when he saw everyone was gone.   “Did I miss anything?”

Lee recapped what he told the men.  Jamie then told him about the elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

“I agree with you on that Jamie,” Harry said not happy to hear that news.   “I’ll let Dr. Yurievna know, maybe they can increase the flow of air.   I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m starving…let’s eat.”


The next two dives proceeded without incident.  Lee’s advising the divers to wear less clothing and take canteens resulted in the men returning less fatigued and not dehydrated as he and Harry were on the first mission.  Harry mentioned the rise in CO2 levels to Marya on their daily briefing after the dive, and she promised to try and get more air into the room.

Upon Chip’s and Patterson’s returned, Jamie tested their blood and though the CO2 level were still higher than normal, but it wasn’t enough for Harry to consider halting the next dive. But when he tested Lee and Kowalski’s levels upon their return, they were almost in the abnormal range.  Lee reported that they had to move the other rack of torpedoes away from the tubes and all the men were breathing heavily so that may have contributed to the higher levels.  Jamie was satisfied with that answer and since Harry and Sharkey wouldn’t have to worry about moving any racks, he would let them dive, happy this would be the last one to the sub.


After the third dive to the sub, Harry and Marya held their usual briefing.

“It’s a good thing the next dive will be the last,” Harry advised Marya.   “I don’t think my CMO would let anyone participate as the CO2 levels are climbing because there’s no way to remove them from the area.”

“I’m aware of that,” Marya replied, “I’ve had my CMO test our diver’s blood levels after you mentioned it and our divers were higher also.  I’m very thankful this is the last one too.   I can’t thank you or Captain Pavlo enough for the help you’ve given us with this mission.  I honestly don’t know if we could have done it on our own.  Harry, just one more item, could we send down our bell to pick up the second set of divers instead of waiting until your and Captain Pavlo’s divers are picked up?   I would like to get these warheads back to the mainland as soon as possible…I know it’s only a couple of hours but I would feel better knowing they’re out of the area.   I’ve spoken with Captain Pavlo and he had no objections.”

“That will be fine with us.   We’ll wait until the Sthenos has picked up their men before we send down our bell.”

“Thanks, Harry.   It was a pleasure working with you, Captain Crane and the Seaview.  Maybe someday we’ll meet again,” Marya said sincerely.

“I hope so,” Harry replied honestly as he’d come to like Marya very much.

Harry severed the connection and headed for the control room to let Lee know of the change of plans.


Harry and Sharkey waited in the missile room for the clearance to be lowered down to the sub.   Lee and Chip were in the control room watching on the forward camera the Sthenos’ bell being lowered down to the sub.   Once they saw the bell being raised, they would make their way to the missile room to help lower Apple One.

“Bobby,” Lee ordered, “you have the conn…let me know as soon as we receive word the Sthenos have moved out of the way.  Wait for my order before moving the boat into position.”

“Aye, sir,” Bobby replied as Lee, Chip and Janet, who was in the nose, left for the missile room.

“All set, Admiral,” Lee said. “The Sthenos’ bell should be on board any minute.”

“Ready,” Harry answered.   “I’m glad this mission is almost over.”

“Skipper,” Bobby radioed.   “The Sthenos moved and we can launch the bell any time you’re ready.”

“Thanks, Bobby, maneuver the boat into position,” Lee responded as Harry and Sharkey headed for the bell.   Seaview’s engines engaged and the boat moved slowly forward into position.  

Lee helped Harry in with Sharkey following, while Chip donned the headset and Kowalski manned the controls for the bell.

“See you in a few hours,” Lee told Harry, who nodded as Lee closed the hatch and dogged it.

The bell was slowly lifted off the deck of the boat, the deck door opened and the bell was lowered into the dark water below.   Lee watched her disappear before the door closed.  They waited in the missile room until they received word that they could bring the bell back to the boat.

“Secure the detail,” Lee ordered when he received word that Harry and Sharkey were on the sub.   They would return to bring the bell back when Harry notified them they were ready to return.


Harry and Sharkey had no problems connecting with the sub and undogged the hatch waiting for one of the men to unlock their side.  They were met by one of the large men who’d loaded the warheads on the first dive.   Before Harry and Sharkey donned their air tanks, Harry removed the radio from his pocket and notified Lee that they could bring up the bell so the PR could lower theirs down with the air.   Once the bell was uncoupled, Harry and Sharkey made their way to the torpedo room where they were greeted by Marya and Captain Pavlo.   The men had started to remove the front of the torpedo before the air arrived and all of them could remove their air tanks which gave them a little more room to work.   When the warhead was finally freed from the torpedo, and placed on the stretcher, Sharkey and Captain Pavlo carried it through the first hatch and had help from the other men before carrying it through the last hatch.   They reached the bell and the two large men loaded it in the bell.   Marya and the rest of the men had made their way to the hatch with all the gear, air hose, flashlights, and head lamps that had been placed along the way.  


Before they disconnected the air hose, Marya had them put it on the floor so they would have air before she left.

“Thank you, Captain Pavlo, divers, that helped make this mission a success,” Marya said, “I hope our two countries can once again resume the peace treaty talks now that the main obstacle is out of the way.”

“I hope for that too,” Pavlo replied as he shook Marya’s hand.

“Thanks, Admiral, Chief, and the rest of your crew that helped with this operation.   I know you weren’t thrilled to be asked but my country and I are very grateful for your help,” she told Harry reaching for his hand and giving it a squeeze.

“You’re welcome, Marya,” Harry replied returning the squeeze and watched as she climbed up into the bell. 

Before the diver disconnected the air hose, the men left on board donned their air tanks as the hatch was dogged and the bell was lifted away from the sub.  


The PR bell returned ninety minutes later to pick up the rest of their men.  Sharkey and the diver from the Sthenos helped them load their gear.   They said good-bye to the diver and Sharkey dogged the hatch.   When he reached the bottom of the stairs, everything went black.

Harry saw Sharkey fall and went to help him when Captain Pavlo grabbed his arm.  “Sorry admiral,” he said and stabbed a needle into Harry’s arm.   Before he blacked out, he saw an evil grin on Pavlo’s face.

Pavlo’s radio beeped to let him know their bell was on its way down to pick them up.    The diver climbed the stairs when he heard the bell couple with the sub and undogged the hatch.

“Kurka, stay there and help me load the admiral on the bell then come here, I want you to radio Seaview,” Pavlo ordered.

Once Harry was on the bell, Pavlo handed over Harry’s radio that he’d removed from his pocket.    “Tell Seaview that when you entered the sub, you found all of us unconscious.   I’ll “pretend” to come to so I can talk to Captain Crane.”

“Sir,” Kurka hesitated, “Do we really want to do this?   What if they find out it was us and not the PR who took him…we could be in a lot of trouble.”

“They’ll never find out.   You don’t want to do this job the rest of your life, do you…think of the money? He’ll be off our boat before they even realize the PR didn’t take him,” Pavlo assured him.

Kurka pressed the call button on the radio, “Seaview, come in Seaview,” Kurka called urgently.

“This is Seaview,” Sparks replied not recognizing the voice coming over Harry’s radio.

“I need to speak to Captain Crane right away,” Kurka continued handing over the radio to Pavlo’s waiting hand.

“Skipper, can you come here…I’ve got a call from the sub,” Sparks called to Lee who was at the chart table with Chip.  He and Chip ran over to the radio shack.

“What is it Sparks?” Lee asked worriedly.

“Someone is using the admiral’s radio to call us.   He didn’t say who or why?” Sparks replied handing him the mic on the console.

“This is Captain Crane, who is this?”

“Captain, it’s Pavlo from the sub,” he said weakly.   “We were ambushed.  Sharkey was helping load the bell and the next thing I knew he was falling down the stairs when one of the divers came back and sprayed something in our faces.  When I came to the admiral was gone.”

“Damn,” Lee uttered.   “You’re sure he didn’t return to the torpedo room…how’s Sharkey…how soon can you get your bell loaded and out of the way?”

“I checked but they booby trapped the hatches so no one could go back there or anywhere on the sub. We can be ready to leave in ten minutes and Sharkey is still unconscious.  He took the full brunt of the spray.   He’s still breathing and we’ve made sure his regulator is working.  I’d have one of my men stay with him but the diver that came with me is hurt pretty badly.  He fell down the stairs and hit his head…I’d really like to get him back to my boat.”

“Just move your bell and boat out of the way as soon as possible,” Lee answered frustratedly.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t stop them.   I’ll radio you as soon as we’re out of the way,” Pavlo replied with a smile.

“Thanks, Captain,” Lee said and tossed the mic down on the console.   “I knew something was going to go wrong”

He and Chip walked back to the chart table.   “Bobby, move the boat as soon as we get word that the Sthenos is out of the way, then, plot a course for the west coast of the PR.   As soon as I’m back on board, call maneuvering, give them the course and bring the boat up to flank,” Lee ordered.

“Yes, sir,” Bobby answered as Lee and Chip sprinted out the aft hatch almost running over Janet.

She could tell something was wrong and followed them to the missile room.


“Riley, is the bell ready to go?” Lee asked urgently.

“Aye, sir, just waiting for clearance,” Riley replied.

“I’m going with you, Sharkey’s been hurt and the admiral has been kidnapped,” Lee explained as Bobby’s voice came over the mic.

“Skipper, we can move into place,” Bobby told Lee and ordered maneuvering to start the engines as he guided the boat into position.

Lee hopped on the bell before Riley.   “Skipper, you need an air tank,” Riley said and handed Lee one with the regulator before he climbed on board.   Chip dogged the hatch and gave the order to release the bell.

Lee tapped his foot nervously as they made the descent to the sub.   When the bell was docked, he quickly opened the hatch and hopped down the stairs over to where Sharkey was sitting.   He was just coming to when Lee reached him. 


Captain Pavlo and his men removed an unconscious Harry from the bell.

“Take him to the brig and post a guard,” Pavlo ordered.   “He should be out for another two hours but if he starts to regain consciousness, inject him with this.”

He handed Kurka a syringe and he and the other diver dragged Harry to the brig while he made his way to the control room.

“Daur, head for these coordinates at flank speed and let me know how long it will take us to get there,” Pavlo ordered pulling a slip of paper out of his pocket and handed it to his XO.  “We should be out of radio range by the time Crane gets back aboard Seaview.”

“Aye, sir,” Daur replied and gave the order as Pavlo headed over to the radio shack.  “Ignore all hails from any boat, including ours,” he ordered his radioman.  

“Aye, sir,” the man replied.

He returned to the small chart table.   “How long?”

“About ninety minutes,” Daur answered.

“Good,” Pavlo smiled and headed for his cabin.


Lee removed his regulator and stooped down next to Sharkey, “Chief, are you okay,” he asked worriedly.  

“I think so Skipper,” Sharkey replied shaking out the cobwebs from his brain.   “Where’s the admiral?” he asked when he didn’t see Harry there.

“The PR took him.   From what Captain Pavlo reported, they knocked everyone out and put him aboard the bell and left. Come on, Chief, let’s get out of here so we can start searching for the admiral.”

He and Riley helped a shaky Sharkey into the bell.   Riley closed and secured the hatch while Lee called Chip so he could start hauling the bell back to the boat.  Once inside the bell, Sharkey closed his eyes trying to recall what happen right after he helped load the PR’s bell, but everything was still a bit fuzzy.

When they were aboard the boat, Jamie was there to meet them.   Sharkey didn’t want to lay down on the stretcher Jamie had brought with him, but when he tried to walk, he almost fell over.   He laid down as Riley and Frank, the corpsman, helped carry him to sick bay.   Janet followed and would report to Lee how he was doing after Jamie was done examining him.

Lee and Chip quickly departed the missile room for the control room.   Per Lee’s orders, Seaview was already underway and headed to the People’s Republic.


Ron was manning the radar console with Phil on sonar when Lee entered the control room.   He headed directly for the radar screen and looked over it to see if the Tavya was still in range but the screen was empty of any objects.

“Damn,” Lee mumbled.   “How long as the Tavya been out of range?”

“About forty-five minutes sir,” Ron replied.

“Nothing on sonar either, Skipper,” Phil volunteered.   “The Sthenos been out of range for thirty minutes.”

“Mr. O’Brien, take her up to ninety feet,” Lee ordered.

Bobby ordered maneuvering to bring the boat up as Lee headed for the radio shack.

“Sparks, try hailing the Tavya, I want to talk to Dr. Yurievna if you make contact.”

Sparks raised the antenna and began calling the Tavya but was getting no response.  After several tries with no answer, Lee waved his hand in disgust letting Sparks know to stop.

“I want to Skype with the SECNAV. Tell him it’s an emergency,” Lee told him.   “Give me two minutes to get to my cabin and then put him through.”

“Aye, sir,” Sparks answered.

Lee walked past the chart table, “Chip, come with me.  Mr. O’Brien, you still have the conn.”

“Aye, sir,” Bobby replied as Lee and Chip sprinted up the staircase and down the passageway to Lee’s cabin.


Lee entered the cabin, turned on the lights and headed over to his desk, sat down and booted up his computer while Chip took the seat in front.

“Skipper,” Sparks called on the radio.   “I have the SECNAV.”

“Pipe him through,” Lee said and waited for the Secretary to come online.

“Commander, this better be important,” the SECNAV barked.

“Yes, sir, it’s very important.   Admiral Nelson has been kidnapped by the People’s Republic,” Lee replied and explained what had taken place on the last dive of the mission.    “We’re heading for the west coast of the People’s Republic right now trying catch up with the Tavya.  We’ve tried calling and they’re not answering.”

The SECNAV sat there quietly for a few seconds before replying, “I’m ordering you to change your course and head home to Santa Barbara.”

“Mr. Secretary, if we do that, we’ll lose our chance of getting the admiral from them,” Lee objected angrily snapping the pencil he had in his hand.

“Commander, I gave you a direct order and I expect it to be followed.   Should you decide to disobey my order, I will have you arrested and court-martialed for failing to follow a direct order and insubordination.   Do I make myself clear?” the SECNAV commanded.

“But sir, we can’t let them have him,” Lee said furiously.  

As Lee was arguing with the SECNAV, Chip was frantically writing on a piece of paper.  When he finished, he held it up for Lee to read.

Think…who’ll run the Institute, Seaview, if you’re in jail.  You’re in charge now!

Lee looked at his XO, best friend, and knew he was right.  He was now in charge and people depended on him.   Lee looked back at the SECNAV, “Yes sir, we’ll head for home,” he reluctantly acquiesced.

“Also, Commander, if you should decide to use one of Seaview’s other means of transportation to try and find Admiral Nelson, I will strip you of your command and send a helicopter to forcibly remove you from your boat.   Do I make myself clear?”

‘Yes, sir,” Lee answered defeatedly.

“Lee,” the SECNAV said softening his tone.   “We will make every effort to find the Admiral, I promise.   There are things going on right now that you don’t know about and don’t need to know about, but we’ll get him back,”

“Thank you, sir,” Lee replied and severed the connection on the computer.

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee remarked running his hand through his hair.   “I forgot about being in charge.”

“It’s okay, Lee.  I was ready to tell him where to go too,” Chip admitted.

Lee stood up and Chip followed.   “Do you want me to order the change of course?”

“No, I better do it,” Lee answered as they headed out the door.

They walked silently down the passageway and staircase as they headed for the control room.   Lee walked over to the chart table and noted their current position. He used every ounce of discipline that had ever been drilled into him not to retreat and go after Harry, but in the end, he knew he had no choice.  He took a deep breath before he looked at the map, with his hands shaking, he pulled out his slide rule and charted the course for Santa Barbara.

“Mr. O’Brien, here’s our new course.  See that’s it’s taken care of,” Lee ordered handing him the paper with the course and speed barely keeping his emotions in check.

“Aye, sir,” he replied looking over the course and knew they were heading home.  He looked at Chip with a puzzled look on his face as he picked up the mic and gave maneuvering the new course and the engine room the speed. The control room was silent except for the beeps, and bings of the equipment as the crew knew they were not searching for the admiral anymore.


“Chip, you have the conn,” Lee said quietly.

“Aye, sir,” Chip answered knowing his best friend was devastated that they couldn’t continue the search for the admiral.

Lee headed for the staircase stopping briefly in the nose and looked out the windows before he quickly ascended the stairs and ran down the passageway.  Just as Lee cleared the top of the staircase, Janet came in the aft hatch to report on the Sharkey’s condition.   She heard the course change and walked over to the chart table where Chip was standing.

“Did we locate the admiral?” she asked excitedly hoping they had found him.

Chip hesitated before answering and looked around the control room at the men who were anxiously waiting to hear what he was going to tell her.

“No, we haven’t found him,” he told her but knew her well enough she wasn’t going to let is stop there.

“Why?” she said with a puzzled look on her face as Lee would move heaven and earth to find him.

“Lee, was ordered by the SECNAV to return to Santa Barbara and if he didn’t, he would be arrested and court-martialed for failing to follow an order and insubordination,” Chip explained.   “He was going to ignore the order but remember with the admiral missing, he’s now in charge so he had no choice, but to follow the order.”

“Can’t he just take the flying sub and look for the Tavya?” Janet countered.  “How would he know?”

“No, the SECNAV would have stripped him of his command and had him forcibly removed by helicopter from Seaview.”

“Damn,” Janet replied softly.  “Where did he go?”

“Probably to your cabin.”

“Thanks, Chip,” Janet whispered, patted his hand as she knew he was upset about Harry too and made her way to the staircase.

Chip glanced around the control room and noticed the men were still staring at him.  “All right men, back to work, we have to get this boat home,” Chip ordered somberly.


Hoping to keep her emotions in check for Lee, she paused at the door and took a deep breath before slowly opening it.  She found Lee resting against the bunk, legs out-stretched and crossed at the ankles, his hands resting on either side of him, staring at the floor.

He looked up as she walked over to him; he stood up and faced her, his tie was loose around his neck, top button undone, his eyes brimming with tears.  

“You know?” he asked shakily.

“Yes, Chip told me,” she replied softly.

“I feel guilty like I’m deserting him…he’s my mentor, my friend and my ‘father’,” Lee lamented tears rolling down his cheeks.   “But I couldn’t go because there’s so many more people depending on me now.”

Janet wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him close as silent tears fell on her shoulder. Even though she was trying to be strong for him, she also was unable to hold back the tears and cried on his chest.  They stood holding onto each other for several minutes before Lee eased himself away from her.   He brushed her tears away with his thumb.

“They’ll find him,” Lee declared trying to reassure himself and her, that the admiral wasn’t gone forever.  “I better get back to the control room,” he said softly and made his way to the head to throw some water on his face.

He came out of the head and Janet looked at his shirt, “You better put on a new shirt as yours is wet and has black spots where my mascara ran,” Janet remarked walking to the closet and get a new one.

Lee looked down and nodded his head, “I guess that’d be a good idea.”   He removed the wet one and put on the new one Janet handed him.  She held out his tie but he shook his head.   “I’ll see you later,” he said, taking a deep breath, he started to walk out the door when he turned around, “How’s the Chief?”

“He’s going to be fine, Jamie said but, he’s going to keep him overnight,” Janet answered.   “You better tell him what’s going on.  He feels guilty that the admiral was taken on his watch.”

“Thanks, I’ll stop there before I head to the control room.”   Lee shut the door and proceeded to Sick Bay

After Lee left, Janet sat down on the bunk and wondered how long it would be before they found the admiral.   She looked in the mirror and saw the black smeary mess under her eyes, so she made her way to the head to wash her face.


Several hundred miles away in the opposite direction from the Seaview, the Sthenos was cruising to meet up with some of her countries’ other vessels for war games, but she had one stop to make before she got there.   They were rendezvousing with a freighter in the Indian Ocean to drop off some special cargo.  

“How long before we reach the rendezvous point?” Pavlo said to Rairu, his XO.

“Fifteen minutes, sir,” he replied.

“Take her up to ninety feet,” Pavlov ordered. 

“Aye, sir,” the XO answered, gave the order as the boat slowly crept up.

“Radar, anything on the screen,” Pavlo asked as he walked over to the radar man.

“Yes, sir, just appeared,” the radar man replied.

“Good, as soon as we’re one hundred yards away, surface the boat,” Pavlov ordered.

“Aye, sir,” the XO said as Pavlo looked at him with a smile on his face.


Down in the brig, Harry was slowly waking from unconsciousness.  He heard the thrum of the engines and knew he wasn’t on Seaview.  He tried to open his eyes but quickly shut them as the light made them hurt.   He had a monstrous headache and his arms and legs felt like lead weights were holding them down.

What the hell is going on, Harry thought trying to recall what happened on the submarine.  The last thing he remembered was sitting next to Pavlov and feeling a prick in his arm right through his dry suit.  He again tried to move but every muscle hurt, so he stopped trying and let the sleepiness he was feeling take over.


“Captain,” the guard called on the radio.   “The admiral is waking up, what should I do?”

“I’ll be right there,” Pavlo answered and headed down to the brig.

He was hoping the admiral would stay unconscious until they could get him aboard the freighter.  He didn’t want him waking up in the middle of them transferring him so he would inject him with half the dosage in the syringe, just enough to keep him out a little longer.  He had the guard unlock the cell door and injected Harry with the drug.

“Let me know if he stirs again, but that should keep him out until we get rid of him,” Pavlo told the guard who’d locked the brig door.


Pavlo returned to the control room just before Rairu gave the order to surface the boat.

“There’s a boat one hundred yards off our bow,” the XO reported. 

“Up periscope,” Pavlo ordered as Rairu pressed the button and waited for it to rise up to his level.   He pulled down the handles and slowly spun around looking for the boat.   “There she is, the Niazam,” he said taking in the brown and red freighter.   “Down scope.”

“Mr. Rairu, surface the boat and crack the deck hatch.  I want a raft ready to shove off as soon as I confirm that’s our boat out there.   I’m going topside and want a radioman to send out Morse code.”

“Why not use the radio?” Rairu asked.

“I don’t want anyone to hear us talking.  Who knows how far Seaview’s radio will receive and I don’t want them on my tail if they do hear us.   Also, prepare two torpedoes.”

Rairu had a strange look on his face when Pavlo gave the order.   “Insurance, just in case they decide to renege on our plans.”

Pavlo and a radioman headed up to the flying bridge and located the freighter from the country of Kamase.  “Send this message,” he instructed the operator.   What kind of rum do you drink?

The operator sent the message and they waited for an answer.   It took the Niazam a little while to reply as they weren’t expecting a message in Morse code.  “Admiral Nelson, of course, came the reply.

“Send this,” We have your choice and will deliver it to you.   Do you have your part of the bargain?

Yes, came the reply and we’ll expect you shortly.

Pavlo headed back to the control room leaving the radioman there as he would be needed later.   “It’s all set,” he told Rairu.  “Have them bring Nelson up here and put him on the raft.   I’ll need two more men.”

“Do you want me to go with you?” the XO asked.

“No, I want you here to make sure the money is deposited in the account before I leave Nelson there.  Morse code me a message letting me know it’s there.  If a problem occurs, we’ll fire the torpedoes.”

“What about Nelson?” Rairu asked.

“I don’t care what happens to him.   I just don’t want to be caught with him anywhere near us,” Pavlo sneered.   Rairu shook his head in agreement because with the money they were being paid to turn over the admiral, all of them would be able to retire from the service.   Nelson was just a pawn in this scheme.


Two men went down to the brig to get Harry.  He was still unconscious and they had to half drag and carry him to the control room.   One of the men pulled him up the ladder as the other pushed him up.   They got him in the raft along with Pavlo and rowed over to the Niazam.   Her captain, Moda Naing, was waiting on the deck for the raft.   His men helped hoist Harry unto the deck along with Pavlo and the other two men. 

“What’s wrong with him?” Naing asked noticing he was unconscious.

“He’s been drugged.  We didn’t want him to know where he was going.   He should be conscious in a couple of hours,” Pavlo stated. “Now, your part of the bargain.”

“How do I know he’ll be okay?” Naing huffed angrily.

“Trust me and you better follow through on your part or I’ll blow you right out of the water,” Pavlo warned.  

“Everything is all set.  I just have to notify my man and he’ll make the transfer,” Naing assured him.

“I’m not leaving until that money is where it should be,” Pavlo retorted.

Naing signaled a man in the cabin.  He could be seen using the radio telling them to transfer the funds into a pre-arranged account.   The money would be deposited ten minutes from the time the order was given.   Pavlo looked over at his boat and waited for the message letting him know the money had been deposited.  Neither man spoke as they waited for the signal.   Twelve minutes later, Pavlo saw the code his was waiting for.

“Thank you,” Pavlo said.   “Pleasure doing business with you.”  

He and his men quickly boarded the raft and headed back to the Sthenos where Pavlo gave the order to dive and the sub sunk below the surface to join up with the rest of Tercua’s fleet for war games, no one the wiser at what had just taken place by the renegade sub commander and his crew.


Naing’s men moved Harry to a storeroom below deck where he’d stay until he regained consciousness.   They still had to pick up some more goods before they headed home.


Lee entered Sick Bay finding Sharkey in a bunk and Jamie at his desk.   He approached Jamie who looked up from his file.

“How is he, Jamie?” Lee asked with concern.  

“He’s going to be just fine.  I’m keeping him here until tomorrow morning, but he’ll be able to report for duty,” Jamie assured him.   “Everything okay with you?” Noticing Lee looked a little ragged.

“Yes, worried about the admiral,” Lee answered running his hand through his hair.   I’ve got to tell the Chief something and you might as well hear it too.”

Lee and Jamie walked over to Sharkey.

“Hi Skipper,” Sharkey said eagerly.  “Do we have a lead on where the admiral is…I know we changed course…are we going to get him?”

Lee looked at Sharkey and then Jamie and let out a deep breath, ‘No, Chief, we’re heading back to port per orders from the SECNAV.”   Lee explained to them the orders and how he had no choice but to follow it since he was now in charge of the Institute and Seaview.

“Damn,” Sharkey swore.   “I feel so guilty that I let the admiral and you down.  I couldn’t even stop them from taking him.”

 “Do you remember anything about the mission?   Did someone make a comment…look upset…anything at all would help,” Lee pleaded.

“No Skipper. From what I could see everything went according to plan.   I was helping them close the PR’s bell and wham the next thing I know I’m waking up seeing your face.”

“If you think of anything, let me know,” Lee requested.

“Yes sir,” Sharkey answered despondently as Lee patted his shoulder reassuring him that he didn’t blame him for what happened.

Lee and Jamie returned to Jamie’s office.   “Let me know if you need any help.”

“Thanks, Jamie,” Lee responded and headed out the door for the control room.


Lee entered the control room through the aft hatch, heading straight for the radio shack to ask Sparks if he received any calls of the SECNAV. He reported the radio had been quiet.  As he walked to the chart table, the men looked up from their stations as he passed them by.  They all understood what had to be done and wouldn’t hold it against him.  Chip looked up from the map he was looking over as Lee approached.   He could see that Lee was still upset at what had taken place.

“You okay?” he asked quietly.

“I will be. Thanks for telling Janet and the crew why we had to change course…I don’t think I would’ve been able to do it.”  Lee admitted.

“Why don’t you call it a day, I’ll take over until the next watch reports for duty.   You look exhausted,” Chip commented.

“No, I still have a couple of phone calls to make,” Lee replied as he picked up a pencil and started tapping it on the table.   “I have to call Angie and Edith.  I just need to know where we are so I can figure out what time it is in Santa Barbara.”

Chip pointed out on the map their position and Lee quickly figured out it was early afternoon.   “I’ll be in the admiral’s cabin, if you need me.”

“Want me to come with you?” Chip inquired.

“No, thanks,” Lee muttered and headed up the stairs.


Lee opened the door the Harry’s cabin and hesitated, it was very difficult to go in knowing he wasn’t there or even on the boat.   He called Sparks and asked him to place a call to the institute so he could talk to Angie.   He called back a couple of seconds later letting him know that Angie was on the videophone.

“Hi Lee, everything okay?” she asked warily as she wasn’t expecting any calls from them today as the admiral wasn’t scheduled to call her until tomorrow.

“No, Angie, the admiral’s been kidnapped,” Lee replied solemnly.

“You’re going to be late returning so you can get him, right?” she asked worriedly.

“No, we’re on our way back to the Institute,” Lee said and explained what had taken place with the SECNAV.

Tears formed in her eyes, “But Lee what will they do to him?”

“I don’t know,” Lee answered barely holding back his tears.  He took a deep breath and continued.   “Where’s Edith…is she at home…I need to let her know.”

“No, she’s on her way here for the Board of Directors meeting scheduled for Thursday. I’m picking her up at the airport in a couple of hours.  They’re meeting to discuss the budget and other items.  The admiral figured you’d be back by then.”

“Damn,” Lee mumbled.   “It doesn’t look like we’re going to be home until Friday.”

“Lee, the meeting’s been postponed a couple of times already.   If it doesn’t get voted on this time, the Institute will have to shut down per the bylaws.”

“Okay, do you have all the information you need for the meeting?”

“No, the admiral and I were working on it.  When he called on Wednesday to work on it, I discovered that Claudette had deleted all the information and put the file and folder in the trash.  He said we’d work on it on the trip back.  He should have budget information somewhere…maybe his desk or briefcase. You’ve got to find it, so I can put in the amounts as we go over each line item.   Lee, you’re going to have to take over for him.  There’s also a couple of other items that need to be done too but nothing as important as the budget.”

“I guess Claudette wasn’t too happy that she had to work a couple more days,” Lee remarked angrily.   “I’m sure the admiral took care of terminating her employment.”

“Yes, he did,” Angie answered softly.  “I’m really sorry, Lee, I thought I had put the file in my secured folder.”

“It’s okay Angie, let me look through his papers, hopefully I can find them,” Lee sighed.   “I’ll get back to you; also, don’t mention any of this to anyone else but Wanda, hopefully I’ll get some more information from the SECNAV and don’t tell Edith, I’ll call her when she arrives.”

“Okay, Lee,” Angie said softly wiping tears from her eyes.   “I’ll talk to you soon.” 

Lee severed the connection and looked around Harry’s desk for some papers.   Maybe Janet was helping Harry and knows what’s going on.

Lee picked up the mic, “Mrs. Crane, report to the Admiral’s cabin immediately.”


Janet was in her office working on the duty rosters when she heard Lee’s hail and quickly ran down the passageway to Harry’s cabin.  She rapped softly on the door.

“Come,” Lee said.

“You wanted to see me,” she asked worriedly.

“I just told Angie what has taken place,” Lee told her.   “She’s very upset as you would expect, but she tells me there’s a budget meeting on Thursday which I totally forgot about with making sure this mission went off without a hitch.  Were you helping the admiral with the budget?”

“Sorry Lee, I wasn’t.   I know he and Angie were working on it.  Is there something I can help you with?”

“I need to find those sheets.  I looked on his desk but I thought maybe you might know where he would keep them.”

Janet felt like she was intruding on Harry’s personal space as she opened up the second drawer on the right-hand side of the desk, ruffled through a few folders and found it on the bottom of the pile.  “I noticed when I do help him with work, he always puts it in this drawer.”   She also pulled out several other folders for Lee to look at in case he needed the information that was in them.

“Thank you, sweetie,” Lee said gratefully.  “I’ll look over all this and let you know if I need any help.”

“I’ll be in my office, just call,” Janet answered leaving Lee to peruse the mountain of paper.


Meanwhile, on a freighter in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Harry was regaining consciousness.  He noticed the sound of the engines was different from the last time he awoke and that he was now laying on a mattress on the floor in a room that smelled like diesel fuel.  Where the hell am I, he thought as he checked out the condition of his body.  He only had a dull headache and his arms and legs didn’t feel as heavy. He cautiously opened his eyes revealing a dark room. He slowly tried to sit up but the room started to spin, so he laid back down.  Once his eyes were accustomed to the darkness, he looked around the room and surmised he was in some sort of storeroom.  He’d only been laying there for a few minutes when he heard voices outside the door and a lock disengage.   The light was turned on causing Harry to quickly shut his eyes as the brightness made them hurt.  He slowly opened them and saw a man about six feet tall staring at him.

“It’s about time you woke up,” he stated.

“How long have I been here…who are you…where am I?” Harry asked as he slowly sat up and waited for the room to stop spinning before he’d stand up and face the man.

“About three hours.  I’m Captain Moda Naing and you’re on the freighter Niazam from the country of Kamase and you don’t need to know where you are.  You’re going to be our guest for a few weeks.  I’ll see that you get some clothes, food and water.” Naing told him noticing he was still in his dry suit.   “You’ll have to stay in here for a couple of days before I’ll let you up on deck.”

“Thanks,” Harry said sarcastically wondering how he got on the freighter from the submarine.   He knew Naing wasn’t going to be too forthcoming with information so he let it go for now.

Naing left the storeroom and locked the door as Harry sat back down on the mattress and rested against some boxes.  He didn’t have to wait too long before the door was unlocked and a short man with red hair handed him a pair of pants, a faded blue shirt, a canteen of water and a sandwich.

Harry drank the water greedily as he was very thirsty.  He changed into the clothes and found some rope to use as a belt since the pants were a few sizes too big.  He nibbled at the sandwich trying to figure out how he got here as the last thing he remembered was Pavlo injecting him in the arm.  He finished the sandwich, took another drink of water and laid back down on the mattress.  Even though he felt a little better, he was still very tired, so he drifted off to sleep.


Lee looked over the budget papers and noticed that there were only a few blank spaces.   He saw that the sheets had on last year’s amounts and what the different departments wanted for this year.   He and Chip had given Harry their figures for Seaview and saw that they were posted.   He took a quick glance at the other folders but would worry about them later.

“Sparks, get me Angie,” Lee asked pressing down the intercom button.

“Aye, sir,” he replied and hailed the Institute.

It was only a couple of minutes when Sparks let him know he had Angie on the videophone.

“Okay, Angie,” Lee said.  ‘I found the sheets and see that there’s only a few items missing.”

“Lee, you’re going to have give me the numbers you have so I can fill them in on my sheets since mine were deleted,” Angie stated. 

Lee gave her all the number that Harry had on the sheets.  “Do you have the numbers for the missing line items?”

“Yes,” she replied and gave the information for Lee to write on the sheets. “Normally the admiral would look over all the data, change anything he didn’t like or feel was necessary after he checked out the information if the department wanted a significant increase over last year’s budget.  He’d then fill in the information on the computer and send it to the board of directors.   The bylaws state they have to have the budget twenty-four hours before the meeting.”

“Damn,” Lee exclaimed.   “Sorry Angie, I didn’t mean to swear, but this is so overwhelming.  I have no idea what each department needs and why they want the increase…it’ll take me days just to figure that out.”

“Don’t worry,” Angie replied calmly.  “The admiral took care of most of that part of the requests.   I’ll fill in the new amounts on the sheets and send an email from Harry’s computer here.   I know what to include in the email.  Looking over the final amounts, they aren’t too much over last year’s budget and the admiral was pretty happy with what the amounts are.   You’ll just need to be here to answer any questions, the best you can, if something comes up.”

“Thanks, Angie,” Lee replied.   “I don’t know what the admiral pays you, but it’s not enough.   I’ll look over everything so I can have some knowledge of what is going on.   When are you going to pick up Edith?”

“I’m going to leave in an hour,” Angie answered softly.

“Don’t tell her anything.   I’ll take the flying sub and be there later on tonight.   Just bring her to the Institute and wait for me.   If I come back now, you can answer any questions, I might have regarding the budget and all these other items.”

“Okay, Lee.   I’ll see you later,” Angie said and severed the connection.

Lee sat back in Harry’s chair and took a deep breath as he knew he was in for a long day and night.


Chip was off duty and didn’t feel like eating.  He turned control of the boat over to Scott Taper and headed up the staircase.  He was worried about Lee and would stop at the Admiral’s cabin before turning in.   He stood looking at the nameplate on the door and signed deeply before he gently rapped on the door.

“Come,” Lee said as he poured over the contents of the other files.

He looked up when he saw Chip enter.

“Everything okay?” he asked with concern.

“Just fine.  I’ve turned the conn over to Scott.   How are you doing?” he asked seeing that Lee looked worn out.

“I can’t believe how much work the admiral did.  Right now, the budget is the main issue,” Lee said explaining what had transpired between him and Angie and what Claudette had done.

Chip rolled his eyes when he heard about Claudette and the budget debacle.   “I’m not surprised,” he remarked.  “She wasn’t happy working there but even that was pretty nasty.”

“I don’t know how he does it.   I’m going to turn over the boat to you to get home.  I’m going to take the flying sub to Santa Barbara so I can let Edith know about Harry and work with Angie on some of these projects.”

“We’ll get her home,” Chip assured him.   “How soon are you leaving?”

“Janet and I will be leaving in an hour,” Lee responded as he’d take Janet with him as they might need her help in the office.  He put all the paperwork in Harry’s briefcase, snapped it closed as they headed for the door.

“I’ll see that FS-1 is ready to launch,” Chip replied.

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee said noticing he looked pretty tired too.

Chip ordered the flying sub readied for launched and returned to his cabin.


Chip entered his cabin, removed his tie, unbuttoned his shirt and sat down at his desk.   He had paperwork to take care of but didn’t feel like tackling it right now. He couldn’t believe that they had to stop searching for the admiral but knew they had no choice.  Lee needed him to make sure he followed the orders or they would all be in trouble.  He crossed his arms on his desk and laid his head on them as tears flowed from his eyes.   He sat there for a few minutes before he stood up, went to the head, rinsed off his face, re-buttoned his shirt, and straightened his tie before heading back to the control room where he would make sure Lee and Janet had no problems leaving.


Lee made his way to the cabin to get his briefcase and leather jacket.  He met Janet on the way and explained to her that he was leaving for the institute; she readily agreed to accompany him on the trip.  They entered the cabin where Lee packed his briefcase with his papers, while Janet went back to her office and retrieved her work so she could work on it at the institute.   She returned to the cabin and Lee helped her put on her jacket.  She grabbed her purse, bag and Lee’s briefcase, while he took Harry’s.   They silently walked down the passageway to the staircase and headed for the flying sub hatch.   Cookie had gotten word that Lee was leaving and put together some sandwiches, since Lee and Janet hadn’t eaten dinner along with a couple thermoses of coffee and water.   He brought them over to Lee and handed them to Kowalski who was stowing all of Lee and Janet’s gear.   Lee’s smile was thank you enough for Cookie as he returned to the wardroom.

“If the SECNAV should call, patch it to the flying sub,” Lee told Chip.

“Yes, Lee,” he replied.   “Just keep us informed if you should hear anything.”

“I will,” Lee answered watching Janet as she climbed into FS-1.   He followed her down as Chip secured the hatch.

He walked over to the panel for FS-1 waiting for Lee to radio him that he was ready to go.  

“Ready to launch,” Lee said over the throat mic as he flipped the switches starting the little sub’s engines.

All the lights were green, so Chip opened up the docking bay doors and waited for Lee to sail by the nose before closing them.   Once Lee cleared the front of Seaview, he shut the docking doors and went over to Scott at the chart table and told him he would be in his cabin if they needed him or any phone calls came in.


It was a long tiring flight back to the Institute, neither Lee or Janet did much talking.   They ate the sandwiches a couple hours into the flight and Lee was grateful for the coffee.   He was really tired but knew he had a long evening ahead of him.   He still had to explain to Edith what happened to Harry and why they couldn’t go find him.   He wasn’t looking forward to that conversation.   Janet dozed off for an hour leaving Lee to sit with his thoughts about how much Harry meant to him.  

Lee prepared for a water landing calling the communications center to let them know he’d be landing so someone could meet them and bring them to the admin building.  He made a smooth landing and unbuckled his belt as Janet undid hers.  He opened the rear hatch and put their gear on the dock while the dock crew made sure the sub was secured.   When Seaview returned, he’d have someone bring her back to the boat.


When they arrived at the admin building Lee noticed that Angie’s car wasn’t there.  They made their way into the building and Howard was surprised to see them.   He looked at Lee’s face and could sense that something wasn’t right but he didn’t say anything.

“Any news,” Wanda inquired worriedly when Lee and Janet alighted from the elevator.

“No, not since we left.   Any calls come here?” Lee asked.

“Nothing at all,” Wanda replied unhappily.

“Where’s Angie and Edith?” Lee said.

“Angie just called; they should be here shortly.   Edith’s flight was delayed for several hours due to weather.”

“I’ll be in my office,” Lee told her.  “Let me know as soon as they get here.”

“Yes, Lee,” Wanda answered softly.

“Is there anything special you want me to do?” Janet asked Lee as they walked down the hall.    

“No, just stay by the phone,” Lee instructed, “But when Edith gets here, come into the office.”

“Okay, Lee,” Janet answered following him into his office where she put his briefcase on the floor under his desk.  Lee hung up his jacket and loosed his tie.   She could see Lee was exhausted but knew he’d never leave until he finished what needed to be done so she headed over to the coffee pot to make some coffee before heading to her office.  


Angie and Edith arrived ten minutes later.   Edith was surprised that Angie brought her back to admin building instead of taking her to Harry’s house.  She thought it was strange that Angie would need to pick up something so late in the day.   She followed her down the hall to Harry’s office but stopped when she saw Lee standing there.   Wanda had let him know they were on the way up.   Janet was behind them when both women walked in.

“Lee, I didn’t realize Seaview had returned,” Edith stated walking over to give Lee a hug, something she did every time she saw him. 

“Edith, the boat’s not back,” Lee said somberly.   “I have something to tell you about Harry.”

Edith studied Lee’s face and knew he wasn’t dead by the look in his eyes but knew something was very wrong.

“Harry’s been kidnapped.  I’m assuming by the People’s Republic,” Lee said and went on to explain what he could tell her about the mission and how it happened.

“What are you doing here…why aren’t you searching for him?” she snapped.

“We were searching for him, but were ordered by the SECNAV to stop.  If I disobeyed his order, I would have lost my command and been court-martialed.  Edith, I was willing to give up everything to search for him, but Chip reminded me that with Harry gone, I’m in charge of the Institute and if I didn’t take over like Harry wanted, what would happen to Seaview and the Institute?”

“Sorry, Lee.  I let my emotions get the best of me.  I know you’d do everything in your power to find him, and Chip’s right, we do need to you to take over as I surely wouldn’t be able too.”

“I only came back so we could get the information for the budget meeting out on schedule,” Lee continued.   “I’ve only sat in on the meetings and had no idea how much work went into preparing for it.”

Edith looked at Angie, ‘Can’t we postpone the meeting until Harry returns?”

“No, the meeting has already been postponed a couple of times and according to the bylaws, the budget has to be approved by Thursday or the Institute will shut down,” Angie explained.

“I forgot about that,” Edith responded.   

“I’m in constant touch with SECNAV,” Lee stated.   “He assured me that they are doing everything possible to find him.   He knows I’ll do anything to help them find him.”

“I know, Lee and this can’t be easy on you or any of us,” Edith replied.   “Anything I can help with here?”

“No, we’ll have it done before the deadline,” Angie assured her.   “Why don’t I take you to the admiral’s house?”

Janet piped up, “I’ll take her, this way you and Lee can work on the budget.”

“Thanks, sweetie,” Lee answered and gave her a quick kiss.   Angie handed over the keys to her car since Lee’s wasn’t there.

Janet picked up Edith’s suitcase and they headed to the elevator as Lee sat down at Harry’s desk and opened up his briefcase.


Neither Edith nor Janet spoke on the short trip to Harry’s house.   Janet took Edith’s suitcase out of the car as she opened the door.   

“You and Lee both look exhausted so don’t stay too much longer.  Tell them if the budget gets out a little late it’s no big deal.   I’ll deal with anyone who complains,” Edith told Janet.   “Please call if you hear anything.”

“You know we will,” Janet replied and gave Edith a hug before she returned to the admin building.


Janet parked Angie’s car and entered the building.  Wanda was still there as she didn’t know if she should leave or stay.  Janet made her way down the hall to Harry’s office where Lee and Angie were going over the budget.

“Why don’t you and Wanda go home,” Lee said.   “We’re almost done here.”

“No, I’ll send Wanda home, but I’m staying.   I’ve got plenty to do here and I can answer the phones if a call should come in,” Janet insisted.

Lee smiled and nodded his head okay. 

Janet returned to the outer office, “Wanda, Lee said you should go home.   We’ll be fine and it’s already been a long day for you.”

“Thanks, you look pretty tired too,” Wanda replied quietly.   “I sure hope we get some information soon.”   Wanda took her purse from her drawer and headed for the elevator.   She looked back at Janet with tears in her eyes.  

Janet made another pot of coffee, poured two cups and brought them to Lee and Angie.  She stopped on the way back to her office to pour one for herself where her desk was piled high with mail.  She let out a huge yawn and checked her watch.  Because of the huge time difference between where Seaview was and the Institute, she and Lee had been up for over twenty-four hours.   No wonder I’m so tired. Janet thought as she started to sort through the mail.   She kept what she could do, gave Chip his mail and items he would need to take care of, but she kept all of Lee’s.  He didn’t need the extra burden right now.   It was two hours later before Lee and Angie appeared at her door ready to leave.  

The three of them walked out together.  

“Come in a little later tomorrow,” Lee said to Angie.   “I’ll make sure to get out the e-mail”

“I’ll be here on time,” Angie assured him.   “I’ve been here later than this.”


Lee and Janet got home and headed right for bed.   Even though they both were exhausted, it was a rough night as Lee kept tossing and turning, keeping Janet awake.  He offered to sleep in the other room but she wouldn’t let him and wrapped her arms around him.   They finally fell asleep for a couple of hours before Lee got out of bed and quietly took a shower hoping not to wake up Janet, but she woke up when she heard Lee turn off the shower.

“Why didn’t you wake me?” Janet asked softly.

“I didn’t want to, why don’t you stay here and rest for another hour or so,” Lee told her.   “I just want to make sure everything is okay before I send out the budget.”

“No, I’m going with you.   Make some coffee and I’ll be down shortly.”

Lee kissed her and went downstairs while she took a quick shower, got dressed, and put on her make-up. 

They quickly ate some toast and coffee then left for the office.


Howard greeted them and Lee explained to him what had happened to Harry but asked him not to say anything.   He didn’t want anyone to know what had taken place just yet because he was hoping Harry would be found before too long.  Howard assured him he wouldn’t say anything.

Lee retreated to his office while Janet made the coffee and brought him a large mug.

“When do you have to send out the budget?” she asked taking a sip of her coffee.

“By 0900,” Lee replied as he looked over the budget sheets he had printed out.   “Can you take a look at them and see if you see any glaring discrepancies,” he asked handing her the sheet.

Janet carefully looked them over and didn’t see anything that someone might question.   “Most of the figures are only a little higher than last year’s amount, so I don’t think that would be a problem.   I noticed that Seaview went way over budget this year and her new budget is a lot higher than last year.”

“The admiral, Chip, and I did talk that over.  We went over because a couple times I had to be bailed out of an ONI mission. Harry wanted to avoid them asking questions as to why we went over so that’s why we increased her budget.   Not sure what I’m going to tell them if they should ask.”

Janet grinned, “Lee, you’re very good at making up a story right on the spot, so I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

“You know me too well,” Lee replied smiling.  

Janet handed the sheets back to him as they heard to elevator ding.   Both Angie and Wanda appeared at Lee’s door.

“Did you hear anything?” Angie asked urgently.

“I’m calling the SECNAV right now.  I just wanted another set of eyes to look at these budget sheets,” Lee said.   “I know we checked and double-checked but it never hurts to have someone else look things over.”

“Lee, don’t worry.   Everything is in line with other years’ budgets…there’s nothing to out of range,” Angie reassured him.   “Let me get settled and we’ll send the e-mail off.”

“I’ll be there as soon as I finish my call,” Lee replied and dialed the SECNAV’s personal number which Lee had gotten from Harry’s phone.


The SECNAV’s office phone rang several times before the call was answered.  His secretary had caller ID and saw that Lee was calling.  Before putting the call through, she informed the SECNAV who was on the phone. 

“Hello, Commander, how can I help you,” he said.

“Do you have any news on Admiral Nelson’s kidnapping…did you get in touch with the People’s Republic…Dr. Yurievna?”

“I talked to the ambassador for the PR and they are insisting that they did not kidnap Admiral Nelson.   ONI can’t get in touch with Dr. Yurievna, they tell me she’s not back from disposing of the torpedoes.  We’re checking out other sources too,” he explained to Lee.

“Sir, the only other people on that sub were from the country of Tercua, and they’re an ally of ours.   According to Captain Pavlo, he was drugged by the PR also so how can we believe what they’re saying,” Lee stated vehemently.

“Commander, I’ll get back to you when I find out more information,” the SECNAV replied curtly letting Lee know he wasn’t happy with his tone.

“Yes, sir,” Lee answered exasperatedly trying to keep his anger in check as the SECNAV disconnected the call.   “Damn.”

Lee took a deep breath and left his office heading for Angie’s.   Janet and Wanda were there waiting to hear what Lee had to report.

“No news.  Naturally the PR is denying they have him,” Lee said angrily.    “Maybe I can get some information from my sources.  I’m going to call Seaview and let Chip know what’s going on, plus I want to call Edith and let her know.  I’ll call you when I’m ready to send out the email.”


Lee left Angie’s office for Harry’s and made his way over to the closet and slid back the door revealing Harry’s radio system.   He turned it on, picked up the mic and hailed the boat.   Sparks quickly answered Lee’s call.

“Sparks, tell Mr. Morton I’m on the radio and have him go to the monitor in the nose, and while I’m talking with Mr. Morton, call sick bay and have Doctor Jamieson report to the nose,” Lee said and sat down at Harry’s desk and turned on the video monitor.  

“Aye, sir,” Sparks replied and relayed Lee’s message to Chip who was at the chart table and then placed the call to sick bay.

A few seconds later, Chip appeared on the monitor.

“Hi Lee.   Anything new about the admiral,” Chip asked anxiously.

“I just talked to the SECNAV and the PR is denying that they took him,” Lee answered.   “But what else would they say, they’d never admit to kidnapping him.   What’s your status?”

“We’re actually a little ahead of schedule, so we should be in port by early Friday afternoon.   Did you get the budget worked out?”

“Yes, but I haven’t sent it out yet,” Lee stated.  “There’s another reason for my call. Is Jamie there yet?”

“He’s just walking in now,” Chip replied.

“Good, shut the observation doors to the nose.”

Chip walked over to the control panel and pressed the button closing the doors.

“Everything okay, Lee?” Jamie asked worriedly.

“Yes, as I told Chip, we still don’t know who took the admiral or where he is, but I need your help,” Lee said.   “I don’t want to tell the Board of Directors about Harry’s kidnapping just yet, so I’m going to inform them that he’s contracted a virus and Doctor Jamieson recommended that he not leave the boat which will account for why the admiral asked me to take his place at the meeting.  Jamie, I’m sorry to ruin your weekend but I think it’s better that only a few people know what’s really going on.  Chip, I need you to stress to the crew that they can’t say anything either.   I have a gut feeling that if it gets out, we might never get him back.”

“Lee, you know the crew will do anything you ask,” Chip assured.

Lee rubbed his hand on his forehead.   “Yes, I know, but I just want you to remind them.”

“If you want, I’ll stay on the boat,” Chip offered even though he was looking forward to being with Julie.

“No, I’ll take care of it; but you can visit if you want,” Lee grinned.   “After the weekend, we’ll pretend to bring him to Med Bay but still let everyone believe he’s too ill for visitors.”

“It’ll be fine,” Jamie assured Lee.  “I have plenty to do here anyway.”

“Thanks, Jamie,” Lee replied.    “If I hear anything, I’ll let you know.”

“Okay Lee,” Chip said and turned off the monitor.   “Let’s hope they find him soon.”

Chip opened up the doors and both men walked into the control room with Jamie continuing out the aft hatch back to sick bay.


After Lee finished his call to the boat, he walked into Angie’s office.

“Can you get, Janet and Wanda and come to the admiral’s office, I want to explain to you what I’m going to put in the email to the board.” He returned to Harry’s office, took his mug off the desk, walked over to the couch, took a huge gulp and stood looking at the windows at the empty berth where Seaview was normally docked. 

Janet, Angie and Wanda walked into the office and sat down on the couch across from Lee who waited to sit down until after the women.

“I just want you to know what I’m going to put in the e-mail to the Board of Directors,” Lee said and told them his plan.   “Sorry, sweetie but I’ll have to spend the weekend on the boat.”

“I’ll stay on the boat too,” Janet stated firmly letting Lee know he wasn’t going to talk her out.

“Lee, these people are the admiral’s friends and colleagues.  He’s known most of them since the beginning of the Institute, don’t you think they deserve to know why he’s really not here?” Angie asked with concern.

‘I realize that, but I don’t want the real reason to get out why he’s not here.   I know most of them would not say anything, but they may slip up and someone might overhear and if it gets out, it might jeopardize our finding him,” Lee explained.  “I know I’ll be in big trouble when and if the truth does get out, but I’ll take my chances.  I’m hoping he’ll be back before that happens.”

“That should work,” Angie said.   “Most of the Board members leave after the meeting so they won’t be around to ask questions or want to visit him, especially if he’s sick.”

“Good to know.   Thanks for your help; I understand it’s hard to lie to them but I’m only concerned with the admiral’s well-being.”

“We understand,” Janet answered for the three of them.

“I have to make one more call before I send the email out with the budget.   I need to let Edith know what I’m doing and why.   Angie, give me a few minutes and then we’ll send out the email.”

“Okay, Lee,” Angie replied just as Lee’s phone rang.

“It’s Edith,” he said.

The three women left Lee alone to talk with Edith.


“Hi Lee…any news…did they find him?” Edith asked nervously.

“No, I talked to the SECNAV this morning and he said the People’s Republic denied taking him.   I called some of my sources and they’re going to see what they can find out.  I’m glad you called; I was just going to call you.   I’m ready to send out the budget information but I’m going to put a note letting them know that Harry’s not here and I’m going to be at the meeting,” Lee told her.

“How are you going to explain Harry’s absence,” Edith questioned.

“I’m going to tell them that he contracted a virus and Doctor Jamieson advised him not to leave the boat.  Even when Seaview docks, he’s going to stay on board a few more days.   Jamie and I will be aboard to stay with him, to keep up appearances,” Lee said.  

“Lee, I don’t know,” Edith replied hesitantly.   “What if they find out you lied to them?”

“Edith, I’ll take my chances.   I have a gut feeling that if word gets out that Harry’s missing, we may never find him.”

He could hear Edith take a deep breath, “Okay Lee.   Harry always said to go with your gut feeling and he said yours was right most of the time.   I’ll “visit” Harry on the boat too.   I have a lunch date with several board members today.  We usually go out when they come in for the meeting.   Should I keep the date?   I have dinner plans tomorrow night too.”

“Do what you’d normally do,” Lee answered.   “Nothing out of the ordinary, except me being at the meeting.”

“I know you’d rather be searching for Harry, but I’m sure glad you’re here,” Edith stated sincerely.

“Thanks for your confidence,” Lee remarked.  “Keep your fingers crossed, everything will work out.   I’m going to send out the email now, so just be prepared to take a few calls.”

“I’ll handle it,” Edith declared and hung up.

I hope everything goes according to plan, Lee thought as he walked out of Harry’s office and headed for Angie’s desk.


“Ready to send out the budget,” Lee asked Angie.

“Let’s do it,” Angie replied, “and don’t worry.”

The two of them headed for Harry’s office where Angie booted up his computer.  

Angie had given Lee a copy of the email Harry would send out with the budget and agenda.   Lee typed the message and added a note on the bottom letting the Board of Directors know that he was sending out the message on Harry’s behalf and why he was there instead of the Admiral.   He attached the budget folder to the email.   He had Angie look it over before he sent it out.  She nodded her head and Lee pressed “send”.

“Now the fun begins,” Lee muttered.

Angie smiled and started to leave the room when Lee called her back.   “Angie, please send out an e-mail to all the department heads.   I want to meet with them after the budget meeting.   I’m going to tell them the real reason Harry isn’t here.   I’m hoping that they can keep it quiet until we find out where he is.   Schedule the meeting for 1200 hours.”

“Yes, Lee,” Angie replied.   “I think it’s a good idea to let them know and I’m sure they’ll keep it to themselves.”

Lee looked at her skeptically as she left Harry’s office.


 Harry awoke and was feeling a lot better.  His arms and legs didn’t feel like they were being held down by a ton of weights and his headache was gone.   He checked his watch and realized that was morning.  He wondered if he would have to spend another day in the storeroom when he heard someone unlocking the door. 

“Good morning, Admiral,” Naing said.   “Hope you’re feeling better today.”

“Yes, a lot better,” Harry answered disgustedly.   “How long are you going to keep me locked up?”

“I like a man of few words,” Naing replied.   “We’ll let you out a little later.   Don’t think you’re just going to lay around and do nothing even if you’re my ‘guest’.  We’ll find something for you to do while you stay with us.   Ah, I see breakfast has arrived,” Naing said as a man came into the room with a tray of food.   “Enjoy.”   Naing and the man left Harry to his breakfast locking the door after them.   He was hungry so he ate it and while it wasn’t the best, he’d had worse.  

He sat back down on the mattress wondering what Naing and his boat was up to.  He figured it couldn’t be anything good.  A couple of hours after Naing left, Harry felt the boat stop.  Before long he heard some men walking down the hall.   He quickly made his way to the door and tried to make out what they were saying.  They were whispering so he could hear them but knew they must have picked up something as he could hear them dragging something on the deck.  They stopped and he could hear them unlock another door.   The voices were now on the wall next to his room.  He walked over to that wall to catch anything they said, but they were still whispering so he heard nothing.   They continued to bring items down the hall for another thirty minutes before it stopped and the boat started moving again.  

He had just sat back down on the mattress when a sailor opened the door.  “The Captain wants to talk to you.”

Harry got up and followed the man out and into the pilot house of the boat.  He saw that they were nowhere near land as the boat was surrounded by water.    “Catch some fresh air while you can, Admiral, because you’ve been assigned to the mess,” Naing declared.

“Thanks,” Harry muttered thinking there could be worse things to do on the freighter.

He was allowed fifteen more minutes before the cook came topside, showed him where to go and what to do.


Shortly after Lee sent the email, the phone calls started to come in.   Angie, Janet and Wanda explained to the board members that Lee was tied up with some other projects that needed to be completed and he would answer their questions tomorrow at the meeting.

Lee had taken about twenty more folders out of Harry’s briefcase.   He headed to his office as he felt uncomfortable sitting and working at Harry’s desk but he had so many questions for Angie regarding the projects in the folders, that he gave up and returned to Harry’s office so Angie would have access to all the information on the projects. 

“Lee, some of these don’t have to be finished right away, but there are a few that really do need answers.   The admiral would do a little on each project so he wouldn’t get too far behind.   I can show you the ones that need an answer fairly soon.”

Lee was grateful that Angie was so prepared and up-to-date on all of Harry’s work.   She showed him the ten projects that needed to be completed in the next week.  Harry had written notes on each of them so Lee would be able to make a decision if Harry wasn’t back.  

“I don’t know how he does it” Lee stated running his hand through his hair.   “Running the institute, Seaview and other projects.”

“Lee, most of the time I can’t even keep up with him,” Angie chuckled.   “It’s gotten a little better since you and Chip have taken over running the boat but before then, even I don’t know how he did it.”

“Looks like Chip’s going to have to take over the boat issues, or I’ll never be able to make a decision on these projects.  I’ll read over the projects and notes and let you know if I have any questions,” Lee said tiredly.

“Okay, Lee, don’t worry, you’ll do fine,” Angie reassured him and left Lee alone.


It was fifteen hundred hours and Lee was tired reading.   He didn’t have lunch, his head hurt and he was exhausted.   He knew Janet, Angie and Wanda had to be tired after the long day yesterday.   

With Harry’s folders in his hand, he headed out to Angie’s office.   “Angie, stop what you’re doing and go home.  I’m closing the office early today.  We were all up late, and I want everyone ready for tomorrow’s meeting.”

“Thanks Lee, I am quite tired…not just from lack of sleep but worrying about the admiral.   Everything is set for tomorrow’s meeting.  Breakfast will be delivered at 8:00 and we have all the folders on the budget made and passed out, so there’s nothing to worry about.”  He left Angie to shut down her computer and close up Harry’s and her office.

Lee continued on to his office where he grabbed his briefcase from under his desk, opened it and saw all of his work.   Not much rest for me tonight, he thought as he put Harry’s folders in with his.  He latched the briefcase, grabbed his jacket and headed for Janet’s office.

He stood in the doorway for a few second before she realized he was standing there as she had her back to the door.   He looked at her and could tell she was exhausted.  They’d been up for over twenty-four hours the previous day and had only gotten a couple hours of sleep.  He could see the stress etched on her face and knew she was worried about Harry too.

“Are you going somewhere?” she asked worriedly noticing he was wearing his jacket.

“Yes, home with you.  I’m shutting down the office early today.   We’re all exhausted and I want to make sure we’re on our game tomorrow, so we’re all leaving.   If anyone calls, communications can forward the calls to my cell.”

“Okay, Lee.  I’m so worried and tired that I can’t see straight anymore,” Janet replied tiredly.   He waited while she shut down her computer, put on her sweater and turned off the lights.

Angie caught up with them as they headed towards the reception area.  Wanda too looked beat and was glad she was able to go home early.

They boarded the elevator, headed down where Lee told Howard they were leaving for the day and headed outside into the warm air.


Howard was just opening the doors when the Crane’s arrived at the Institute.  They both had a better night’s sleep even though Lee had stayed up a couple hours later than Janet to look over some of the work he’d taken to do on the boat but didn’t get it finished.  They entered the office and Lee headed directly to his while Janet went to hers, put her things away and made some coffee.   They didn’t have any breakfast at home and would grab something later.  Lee forgoed his shipboard khaki uniform in favor of the dress blues they wore for business activities at the Institute.  Their dress blues were actually green, something Janet found quite amusing.  He removed his jacket, laid it on the couch, then put his briefcase on the desk and unlatched it removing the files he’d done for Janet and the folders he had from Harry’s briefcase. 

He made his way to the conference room to check out that everything was ready for the meeting.  He didn’t have to worry as the agenda, budget sheets and all the paperwork they needed were placed in a neat pile at every chair with the board member’s name on it.  He looked over the information with Harry’s name on it.   Damn, he thought, how I wish he was here to do this.

Janet went to Lee’s office to give him a mug of coffee and discovered he wasn’t there but saw the lights on in the conference room.   She walked down the carpeted hall and saw Lee looking over the pile of paperwork.   He seemed a little nervous to her.   Here’s a man who’ll go into a foreign country with hardly any information, he’s been taken over, dealt with aliens and monsters but a budget meeting has him rattled, she thought clearing her throat so he knew she was there.

“Thanks,” he said as she handed him the coffee, her hand lingering a little longer on his.

“Lee, you’re worrying too much,’ Janet told him.   “Whatever happens, Harry will understand, that’s why he left you in charge, knowing you’ll do what’s best for the institute.”

“You’re right,” Lee replied with a sigh of relief.   “Let’s go to my office, I have some work for you.”

They left the conference room and headed to Lee’s office where he handed Janet all her folders.

“When did you do this?” she asked.

“After we went to bed, I couldn’t sleep and after keeping you up the other night tossing and turning, I didn’t want to do that again, so I went downstairs and tackled this.”

“You could’ve woken me up; I would have helped you,” Janet said softly.

“No, I also needed to think some things out,” Lee confessed as they heard Angie and Wanda come in.

Both women walked to Lee’s office hoping he had some information for them regarding the Admiral, but Lee told them nothing was new, reporting that they still didn’t know where he was.   They returned to their offices both terribly disappointed.


An hour later, the stewards from the cafeteria arrived to set up the coffee and pastries for the meeting.   Once they left, Edith arrived seeking out Lee for information.

“Anything?” she inquired.

“I’m sorry, Edith, but no more news.  I checked with my sources, and so far, no one has heard anything, but they’re going to keep me informed if they hear something,” Lee responded.

“Okay, Lee.  I know you’re doing everything you can,” Edith answered disappointedly and walked to the conference room where she grabbed some coffee and pastry and sat down at the head of the table since she would run the meeting.

He also told her that after the meeting he was going to meet with the department heads and tell them about Harry.   She also thought it was a good idea.  


At 9:45 the rest of the board members arrived and made their way to the conference room, where they poured themselves some coffee, and helped themselves to the pastries.  The mood was rather subdued because of Harry’s illness.  Lee had made his way into the conference room after all the members arrived, he took his seat to Edith’s right and waited for her to call the meeting to order.

She started the meeting and they began discussing the budget.   They had many questions for Lee who answered the best he could.   The only sticking point on the budget was how much Seaview had gone over and how much more they wanted for the next fiscal year.

“Yes, we know Seaview is over her budget but several missions lasted longer than intended and we ran into some unplanned difficulties.”   He didn’t want to tell them they were because she had to rescue him from several ONI missions that had gone bad.  “That’s one of the reasons why Harry wanted to increase this year’s budget so we’d have a little cushion in case we encounter more issues.   As you can see, Seaview has quite a few missions scheduled and we’ve also taken on several new clients which will more than make up for the increase,” Lee stated.

After much discussion, the budget was approved for the next year.   Lee softly let out a sigh of relief after Edith adjourned the meeting.   Several board members wanted to know how Harry was and if they could visit him.   Edith looked at Lee.

Seaview isn’t due back until late tomorrow and I talked to Doctor Jamieson this morning.  While Harry’s doing better, he’s not up to visitors just yet and will remain on the boat for a few more days until he gets stronger,” Lee lied.  

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” one member replied.   “I was going to stay over and see if I could visit him, but I guess I’ll return home.”

“Captain, you did a fine job on such short notice as I know Harry does most of the budget himself,” another mentioned.

“Thank you, sir,” Lee replied.   “Have a safe trip home.”

“Edith, we’re still going out for dinner as planned?” a couple more members asked.

“Yes, of course,” Edith answered.   “I’m looking forward to it.”

A few board members lingered a little longer talking to Edith, making sure she gave Harry their words of encouragement on getting better. Thirty minutes after the two-hour long meeting concluded they all had left leaving Lee and Edith alone.

Edith looked at Lee with a grin, “Nice save Lee.   I was wondering what you were going to come up with regarding Harry and his illness.”

“Thanks, Edith,” Lee responded.   “I’m sure glad that’s over.   I’m going to contact Seaview and see how things are going and let Chip know we’re good for another year.”

“Please call if you hear anything,” Edith said giving Lee’s hand a gentle squeeze.

“You’ll be the first I call,” he replied giving her a peck on the cheek.

Edith said goodbye to Janet, Angie, and Wanda and headed back to Harry’s house.


“You must have done a good job,” Wanda told Lee.   “I heard several members talking about how well everything went, considering you took over at such short notice.”

“My hands were sweating the whole time,” Lee admitted.  “When they asked why we went over, I really couldn’t tell them so I just made up a story.”

Angie and Wanda were privy as to why the boat went over budget but knew Lee would have no problems telling them something.  Lee and Janet walked back to his office and glanced at the stack of files on his desk.

“I better start working on these as some of them are going to need answers,” Lee stated.   Janet pulled on his tie bringing his lips closer to hers and gave him a kiss.

“See, I told you everything would work out.”

“Yes, you did,” he chuckled returning her kiss. 


Lee returned to Harry’s office and took a deep breath and pressed the button on the intercom, “Angie, please have the department heads report to the conference room in fifteen minutes.”

“Yes, Lee,” she replied and sent out an e-mail.  

The department heads started arriving a few minutes later and were shown into the conference room where Lee and Angie were waiting.  When all had arrived, Lee was seated at the head of the table with his arms extended in front of him, his fingers intertwined into a fist.  He looked at all of them. 

“I’ve called you here to let you know that your budgets for next year have been approved.   The board didn’t cut any of them and I’m sure you’ll stay within your budgets.”

They all had smiles on their faces glad to be able to continue their work.

“Just one more item,” Lee said seriously.   “I know you’ve heard that the Admiral is very ill aboard Seaview, that isn’t the truth.   I’m going to tell you some information that needs to go no further than this room.  The admiral isn’t really sick, he was kidnapped on our last mission and as of now, we have no idea where he is.”

Everyone let out a gasp.  Lee continued, “We’re doing everything in our power to try and find him.   It is imperative that this is not leaked out.   You can’t tell anyone about this as it might jeopardize our search for him.    Ladies and gentlemen, I’m trusting you with this information and relying on you not to say anything.  I felt I owed you an explanation as to why he’s not here.   Please don’t make me regret my decision.   I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have but only regarding the budget and the running of the institute.”

No one had any questions and as they left thanked Lee for his trust in them.

When they all had left, Angie said, “I have no doubt they will not repeat anything you told them. The admiral has always trusted them.”

“Thanks, Angie,” Lee replied taking in a deep breath.


Lee placed his call to Seaview letting Chip know that the budget was approved and to check on the status of the boat.  Chip reported that they’d arrive a little sooner than expected.   Lee asked Chip to let him know when they entered the channel as he wanted to meet them and talk to the crew before they left on shore leave.   He spent the rest of the day reviewing the folders from Harry’s desk.   Harry had left some notes on most of them but there were a couple that didn’t have very many.   After checking with Angie, she told him those could wait for a while so Lee pushed them aside and tackled the ones that had to be finished.


It was late Friday morning when Lee received a call from Chip letting him know they were entering the channel.   Lee quickly left the admin building after letting Janet and Angie know where he was going.   He made his way to the dock just as some of the crew’s families were waiting to greet them when they left the boat.   Julie, Chip’s wife, was there waiting and walked over to Lee when he arrived at the dock.  

“Hi Lee,” Julie greeted.   “Any word?”   Lee had told Chip it was okay for him to let her in on what had taken place on the mission, but she had to promise she wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize them finding Harry.

“Nothing yet,” Lee responded despondently. 

“Well, if I can help, just let me know,” she answered somberly.

“Thanks,” Lee replied watching as the dock crew tied down the massive submarine that Chip and Bobby had just docked in her berth.  

Lee waited as the dock crew put the gangplank out.  As soon as they finished, Lee ran down and disappeared in the service hatch just as Chip and Bobby were making their way back to the control room.

“Nice job,” Lee complimented them.  “No scratches.”

Both men smiled at their commanding officer, Chip noted he looked very tired.  

Lee walked over to the charting table and picked up the mic.

“Attention all hands, this is the captain.   Welcome back and thank you for your help on this mission.   Just a reminder not to say anything regarding the Admiral’s disappearance.   Enjoy your shore leave.”  

Lee stowed the mic watching as the men methodically shut down their consoles and stations.   He stood at the bottom of the ladder saying good bye to all his crew as they left the boat.  

Chief Sharkey, Kowalski, Patterson and Riley were some of the last to leave the boat. 

“Skipper, if you find out where the Admiral is, we want to be on the team to rescue him,” Sharkey said with the rest of the men shaking their heads in agreement.

“You’ll be the first I call,” Lee replied patting him on the back.   He knew Sharkey blamed himself for Harry’s kidnapping.  

They made their way up the ladder on off the boat just as Jamie entered the control room.

“You don’t have to spend the weekend,” Lee informed him.   “All the board members left when they found out the admiral was going to spend the weekend on the boat.”

“Well, if you change your mind, I’ll be available.   I’m sure you’ll keep me advised when you find him,” Jamie answered.   “Take care of yourself, you know Harry wouldn’t want you to run yourself ragged trying to do everything.”

“I know,” Lee responded.   “I’ll take care.”

Bobby and Jamie left the boat leaving only Chip and Lee on board.

“Still nothing?” Chip asked worriedly.

“Nothing.  I’ve even called some of my sources and they haven’t heard anything.   It’s like he just disappeared.”

‘We’ll find him,” Chip said confidently.

Chip headed up the ladder with Lee right behind him.   Chip checked in with the maintenance crew and gave them instructions on what needed to be completed.   After he met with them, he took Julie’s hand and they headed home while Lee returned to the office.


Harry had been gone for two weeks and Lee was having a hard time trying to keep up with what needed to be done on the boat and with the everyday items that needed his attention regarding the running of the Institute, plus a few other projects that he was working on.   He’d stay late into the evening and come in early, but it was taking its toll on him. He really missed Harry and was getting angrier every day he was missing.  He finally had to admit he couldn’t do it all, so he called a meeting with Chip, Janet, Angie and Wanda.

“I’ve come to a decision,” he started.   “First, I don’t know how the admiral did everything.   Second, from now on, anything related to Seaview and the crew, Chip and Janet will handle it unless it’s something that’s needs my approval.   Anything else, I’ll continue to take on.”

“Lee,” Angie piped up.   “The admiral couldn’t do it all either, so that’s why you and Chip handled anything regarding the boat.   You’re doing a great job, so please don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks, Angie,” Lee said realizing how much Harry depended on her to keep things in order and in line.

After the meeting was over, Janet went to Lee’s office and removed the folder she’d put there; it was all items regarding the boat and placed it on Chip’s desk causing him to looked up from the paperwork he was working on.

“Okay, let’s get started,” he told her as she sat down in front of his desk.


Harry laid in the cot in the storage area he’d called home for the last five weeks.   The crew finally found a cot and he put the mattress on it so he didn’t have to lay on the floor.   They also managed to scrounge up another set of clothes.   He checked his watch and knew the cook would be there shortly to let him out of his room.    He really didn't really mind KP duty as he knew there were worst jobs on the freighter. While he worked in the galley, he tried to feel out the cook as to what their plans were, but he was very tight lipped on what he said to Harry.  They did let him on deck when he was done with his galley chores and even if he found a way off the freighter, it would have been fruitless as he saw no lifeboats and knew he wouldn’t get very far with several crewmen always watching his movements. They made sure he was locked up at night so he couldn’t use the stars to possibly figure out where he was. He was also locked up when the freighter stopped to pick up whatever they were carrying on the boat just in case he tried to escape.   He figured they were running drugs or weapons.  The only good thing was when they stopped, they had fresh supplies. Wherever he was now, there was no land in sight.

He heard the door being unlocked and stood up ready to take care of his morning ablutions.   When he finished, he and cook headed to the galley to prepare breakfast for the second shift crew and the first crew coming on duty.   He gained new respect for Cookie on Seaview as he was always preparing food for the 125 men on the boat. 

After the crews finished up, Harry cleaned up and was washing the table when Captain Naing sat down on one of the benches.

“Well, Admiral looks like your stay on the Niazam is coming to an end.   We’re going to be docking in a couple of days”

“Where would that be?”  Harry asked quickly hoping to catch Naing off guard.

“Nice try, Admiral,” Naing said quickly.   “You don’t need to know that.”

He left Harry to finish up.  No matter where they were docking, he had to figure out a way to seize an opportunity to escape from Naing and his men.


For the next two days, Harry wasn’t allowed on deck.   He did his chores in the galley and was immediately returned to his room.   He figured they were close to land and with more ships around, he might recognize where he was.

He paced the small room wondering what their plans were for him.   He knew Lee and company were trying to figure out what happened on the Xiphias.  All they had to do was talk to Marya, she’d tell them that Pavlo drugged him, he thought.   Or she was in on the plan and wouldn’t offer any help. 

“Either way I’m in trouble,” he said out loud.

On the second day, he felt the boat slow down and by the noise and maneuvering of the boat, he knew they were docking.   It wasn’t too long before he heard the door being unlocked.   The cook was waiting at the door from him.   He picked up his extra clothes and headed out the door where he was taken topside and was brought before Naing.

“Welcome to your new home, Admiral,” Naing stated.   “Please, don’t try to escape, my men along with the guards who’ll be escorting you have guns and I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you after you’ve come so far.”

Harry looked around the dock.   There were no other boats and nothing to indicate where he was.

“You’re holding all the cards,” Harry snapped as two crewmen walked him down the gangplank onto to the dock.

As he walked down the pier, he had to look twice at one of the men he saw walking towards him.  He just stared at him.    What the hell, he thought as the man continued walking pass him.


There was a small complex in the country of Kamase that the People’s Republic used to move drugs and weapons in and out of the country.    The commander in charge called Victor and Franco into his office.

“The Niazam has finally arrived.   I want the two of you and two other men to meet it.   You’ll remove the freight and take charge of a prisoner,” he said.

“A prisoner?” Victor questioned.

“Yes, he’s going to be transported with the freight to the Intelligence department as soon as the other freighter arrives.   We’ll move them all at one time.   Just put in him one of the storage rooms and keep it locked.   We don’t want him to escape as we paid dearly for him,” the commander sneered.    “That’s all.”


Franco, Victor and two men proceeded to the dock and parked the truck at the end of the pier.

“Igor, Jakub, you’ll unload the freight while Victor and I guard the prisoner,” Franco instructed.

“Who is this guy that he demands that much attention?” Victor asked as Franco had been with the PR longer than him and was the commander’s right-hand man.

“No idea,” Franco replied.   “I just follow orders.”

The four men walked down the pier to the freighter.   As they got closer to Harry, Victor’s heart skipped a beat.    What the hell is he doing here?   He looked at Harry with his scraggly beard, ill-fitting clothes and wouldn’t have recognized him if it weren’t for his steely blue eyes meeting his.

They stopped half-way down the pier when one of men holding Harry spoke up, “He’s all yours now.   I’d keep an eye on him.   He hasn’t caused any trouble on the boat but I wouldn’t trust him.  Name’s Admiral Harriman Nelson, and you paid handsomely for us to bring him here.”

“Got it,” Franco acknowledged as he took Harry by the arm and led him the rest of the way down the pier with Victor following close behind.


Due to an impending storm, Igor and Jakub with help from the crew quickly unloaded all the boxes they’d taken aboard    Franco and Victor stood outside the truck with Harry.

“Franco, can you spare me for a few minutes?   I gotta call my old lady,” Victor said.  “Got some sort of problem.  I’ll just be over there.”   He pointed to a small clearing about hundred feet away.

“Sure, don’t be too long,” Franco answered. 

Victor walked over to the clearing and pulled his cell phone out of his front pocket.   He dialed a number and waited anxiously for someone to answer.


It had been five weeks since Harry was kidnapped and no one had any information on where he was or who’d taken him.    SECNAV was no help nor were Lee’s contacts.   Lee tried to call the phone numbers for Maximovich, Pavlo and Nadaga from Harry’s phone but they were all conveniently disconnected. He realized that they may never find him.


Lee desperate to find Harry, tried calling Marya again, and the call went right to voice mail.   He angrily tossed his phone on the desk and ran his hand through his hair as he sat back in his chair.  His phone rang a few minutes later and his was surprised to see that Marya was calling him.

“Hi Lee,” Marya said pleasantly.  “I saw you called.  “What can I help you with?”

“Dr. Yurievna, I’ve been trying to reach you for several weeks.   Admiral Nelson was kidnapped from the Xiphias on the last dive.   Do you know anything about it and where he could be?” Lee asked frostily.

“Lee, I’ve been in no man’s land working on the torpedoes ever since I left the Xiphias,” Marya replied surprised at his tone of voice.  “I don’t anything about it…is Harry okay?” she asked worriedly.

“I was hoping you’d be able to tell me,” Lee stated angrily.  You were the last person to see him.”

Marya paused for a few seconds recalling her last contact with Harry and continued, “He helped me into the bell…I squeezed his hand and then your Chief Sharkey closed the hatch. You don’t think I had anything to do with his disappearance, do you?” she asked hurtfully.

“Dr. Yurievna, I don’t know what to think.   No one knows where he is.  Your country and Tercua both deny taking him.   According to Captain Pavlo, something was sprayed in their faces and they were knocked unconscious and that was when your bell was leaving.”

“Lee, I can assure that I know nothing about this.  I’m very sorry you think that I was involved.  I really cared for the admiral,” Marya answered softly.   “Would you please keep me informed?”

Lee exhaled deeply believing she knew nothing about Harry’s kidnapping.   Yes, I’ll let you know if I hear anything.”

“Thank you, Lee.”

“Shit,” Lee shouted when he hung up.   He still had no clue where to find Harry.


Lee and Janet had gotten home from work late as Lee was working on a project that he’d put off for as long as he could.   The company wanted an answer as to whether NIMR was interested in taking on The Tanner Project.   Lee looked over Harry’s sparse notes.   He was going to have to make a decision on this in the next couple of days.

They headed to bed, but Lee couldn’t sleep so after Janet had fallen asleep, he went down to his office and began to sort out Harry’s notes along with some he’d taken. He wasn’t really thrilled with this project; it was something he thought would be nothing but a headache and wondered why Harry even said he’d look it over.  He found his reason as he got further into the project’s proposal; it was the company of a close friend.

“Damn,” Lee mumbled.


Janet woke up and found Lee was gone.   She trotted downstairs and saw the light on in his office.  She walked over and stood quietly in the doorway. She noticed that he looked like hell…Harry’s disappearance had taken its toll him; emotionally and physically.

She walked into the office and put her hands around Lee’s neck and kissed the top of his head.

“I thought you said you were going to sleep tonight,” she said softly.   “You’ve been up late every night since Harry’s kidnapping.   You can’t keep this up.”

He put his hands on hers, “I’m sorry but I need to give them an answer in two days and I just started looking this over but from what I’ve seen, I’m not going to take it on.   I just hope when Harry comes back, he doesn’t get mad.”

“Lee, he put you in charge and you know he’ll accept your decision,” Janet responded sitting down in the chair in front of his desk.

“I’m sorry, I haven’t been around lately,” Lee said apologetically.

“No apology needed, we’re in this together,” Janet remarked.   “Let me help.”

Lee handed her some of the papers he’d read over, “Read these and let me know what you think.”

Janet started to read them when Lee’s phone rang causing both of them to jump.


Lee didn’t recognize the number but he’d been taking any and all phone calls just in case it was Harry or someone calling about him.

“Hello,” he said abruptly.

“Hi Lee, sweetie,” the voice said.   “I know you have problem; I can help.” 

Lee smiled as he answered, recognizing the voice and knew he must be undercover and couldn’t talk.  “Yes, I have a problem and can you help solve it?” he continued.

“Call Uncle Johnson and he’ll help you,” the voice said softly.   Lee could hear someone yelling to him in the background along with a boat horn. “Gotta go, we’ll talk soon…I’ll call back.   Love you,” the caller said disconnecting the call as Lee heard the other voice getting closer.

Lee looked at his phone and broke out in a smile.  Janet was confused at who Lee was talking too.

“Who was that?” she asked worriedly thinking Lee was losing his mind.

“Jason Weldon,” Lee told her as he got up from the desk, took her hands in his, helped her up from the chair and kissed her.    “All I can figure out is he must undercover and he’s seen Harry.”

“Where…who’s got him?” Janet asked anxiously.

“I’ve got to call Admiral Johnson and find that out,” Lee said looking at his watch noting the late hour, but he had to know where Jason was so he could start making plans for Harry’s rescue.   He dialed Johnson’s number.


Admiral Johnson heard his phone ringing, saw who was calling and quickly answered the phone so as not to wake his wife.

“Commander, do you know what the hell time it is?” Johnson said gruffly. 

“I’m sorry sir, but I just received a call from Jason Weldon and he’s seen the Admiral,” Lee stated as he repeated his conversation with Jason.   “I just need to know where he is.”

“What!!?” Johnson yelled.   “He’s undercover and not supposed to call anyone including me.”

“Admiral, please tell me where Jason is,” Lee pleaded.  “I’ve got to go and get the admiral.”

There was dead silence on the phone as Johnson contemplated telling Lee where Jason was located, but he knew Lee well enough to know that he’d keep Jason and his mission secret. 

“He’s somewhere in the country of Kamase.   He’s undercover and if they find out who he is, the mission will be busted and his life would be in danger and before you ask, I’m not telling what he’s doing there.”

“I promise I’ll not compromise the mission or Jason’s cover,” Lee stated knowing how many times his life and missions had been compromised by someone’s mistake.

“You better not or I’ll have your six,” Johnson declared.  

“Thank you, sir,” Lee replied.   “Just one other problem.   What should I do about the SECNAV?”

“Don’t worry about him, I’ll take care of it,” Johnson remarked.    “Good luck, Lee”

“I’ll keep in touch with you,” Lee answered and heard Johnson disconnect.


Jason headed back to Franco and Harry.    “Sorry, my girl, Lee, has some big problem she wants me to solve from one hundred miles away.   Women.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.  Let’s go, they’ve got everything loaded,” Franco replied as he climbed in the driver’s side of the truck.   Harry climbed in and sat between Franco and Jason with an inward smile…he knew the cavalry would be arriving soon.


They hadn’t traveled very far when they arrived at several small concrete warehouses.   Franco backed the truck up to the dock door and got out of the truck.   Jason slid out and helped out Harry.  Franco ordered the other men to unload the cargo they picked up from the freighter while he and Jason walked Harry over to a side door.

Jason opened the door letting Franco go in first followed by Harry.   Franco led him down a long corridor with doors flanking both sides.   They stopped at a door about half-way down the corridor.   Jason unlocked the door, letting Harry go in first.  

“Welcome home,” Franco laughed mercilessly.   “You’ll be staying here for a few days so make yourself at home.”

“Thanks,” Harry replied unenthused with his accommodations.  

Jason winked at Harry as he left the room with Franco heading first out the door so he didn’t see the wink.


Harry looked around the room.   The walls were cement blocks, the ceiling was at least sixteen feet high and had one filthy skylight that barely let in any light.   The only other items in the room were a cot with a mattress and a bucket in the corner.   As Harry looked around, he knew there was no way he was going to get out and no one was going to get in except through the door.

He laid down on the cot and heard the skylight being pelted with rain from the arriving storm.  He hoped Lee and friends would be there shortly.  Even though he didn’t know where he was going, he knew he wasn’t going to like it.  The rain lulled him to sleep.  


As soon as Lee hung up with Johnson, Janet started pummeling him with questions.  “Did he tell you where Jason is…are you going there…why is Jason there?”

“You sure have a lot of questions,” Lee smiled.   “He’s undercover in the country Kamase on a top- secret mission.  Can’t leave as I don’t know where in Kamase Jason is.”

“Have you ever heard of Kamase?” Janet inquired.

“I believe it’s a small country on the Indian Ocean.   Its closest neighbor is the PR.”

“Do you think, they brought the Admiral there, so they could take him to the PR?”

“Yes, but something is very strange, why did it take them so long to bring him there.   When I talked to Jason it sounded like he was near a dock.   I could hear a boat horn in the background.”


As soon as Lee got to the office, he went to the conference room where on one wall was a huge map of the world.   Chip came in a few minutes later and went looking for Lee when he wasn’t in his office and finally found him in the conference room staring at the map.

“What’s up?” he asked.

“I found out where the admiral is,” Lee said excitedly.   “I got a phone call last night from Jason Weldon.”

“Jason Weldon!!” Chip exclaimed.   “You better tell me what’s going on.”

The two men sat down at the conference table as Lee explained his phone call from Jason. “I called Admiral Johnson late last night and he told me that Jason is undercover in the country of Kamase.”

“Kamase?” Chip asked.  “I don’t think I ever heard of the country.”

Lee stood up and Chip followed him over to the map as Lee pointed out where the country was located.

“It figures, it’s probably in the PR’s pocket,” Chip declared.

“That’s what I’m thinking, but why did it take them so long to bring him there.   I suspect there’s a lot more that we don’t know,” Lee replied. “I’m just waiting for Jason to call and tell me exactly where the admiral is so we can plan his rescue.  As soon as Angie and Wanda arrive, I want to have a meeting so I can fill them in on the latest developments.”

“They should be here shortly.   Any ideas on how and when we’re going to execute this rescue… and how many men we’re going to need?”

“Just enough to get him out.  I promised Admiral Johnson that I wouldn’t compromise Jason or his mission so I’m thinking you, me, Sharkey and Kowalski.”

“That’s all we need,” Chip acknowledged nodding his head in agreement.

The two men headed back to their offices until 0900 when Lee would tell Janet, Angie and Wanda his plan.


When Angie and Wanda arrived at work, Lee called a quick meeting with all of them.   He explained to Angie and Wanda what had taken place and that they were to answer all calls that came through since Lee didn’t know how or when Jason would be contacting them.

“I’m waiting twenty-four hours for him to call me back,” Lee said.    “If I don’t hear from him, we’ll go to Kamase and see what we can find out.   It’s not that big of a country but it would be a lot easier if we know where the admiral was.   I’m going to call Edith and tell her we know where he is.  Any questions?”

No one had any questions, so they were returning to their office when Lee asked Angie to stay back.

“Angie, I’ve been looking over The Tanner Project.   The admiral didn’t have many notes and I see that the owner of the company is a friend of his.   Do you know anything about this project…the admiral’s thoughts?”

“The only thing I know is that the admiral took it on as a favor but he didn’t say too much about it and I know he didn’t really get into it as I keep a log of the projects that come in and remind him when they’re due.   This one really didn’t have a due date but as I told you they called and want an answer.”

Lee nodded his head, “I’m still mulling over this and I don’t want to make the admiral’s friend mad, but I think I’m going to turn it down,” Lee said.

“I got the impression that the admiral might have done that too.   If you don’t want to take it on, I’m sure the admiral won’t be upset.  Let me know and I’ll contact the company, tell them that we’re turning it down.   If they want to talk to the Admiral about it, I’ll explain that you’ve taken over for him since he’s been ill and consulted with him and you’re both in agreement.”

Lee smiled at Harry’s PA knowing she’d have no problem letting them know.   “Thanks, Angie, I’ll have an answer for you tomorrow.”


After a long day, everyone headed home disappointed that they hadn’t heard from Jason.   Lee was hoping that he’d call around the same time as he did yesterday.    Lee and Janet continued to read over the project and Lee had definitely decided to turn it down.   He’d have to face the consequences when Harry returned.

As Lee was putting the papers in his briefcase his phone rang, it was the same number from the night before.

“Hello,” Lee answered cautiously.

“Hi Lee, sweetie,” Jason replied.   “Are things better today?”

Lee took a deep breath, “Yes, they are.  I was hoping I could meet you and tell you in person.”

Jason was outside the building and looked around to see if anyone else was around before he gave Lee an answer.    “I don’t know if the boss would like it if you came to Zidaw.  I don’t have any time off and we’re leaving tomorrow,” Jason said softly just as Franco rounded the corner and caught him on the phone.

“Victor, get the hell off the phone…just tell your sweetie to leave you alone before the boss catches you.   We have another job to do.”

“Gotta go and don’t call me again,” Jason stated vehemently and quickly disconnected and deleted the call.   He didn’t want anyone to see who he’d called.

“Sorry, Franco,” Jason apologized.   “She’s in a new country, all alone.   I promise it won’t happen again.”

He was the new guy in the group and had finally wheedled his way into the inner circle and didn’t want to get caught jeopardizing his life or the mission.  He almost had all the evidence ONI would need to confront the PR and their trafficking of drugs and weapons once they moved them over the border. 

“Better not, or I’ll have to report you,” Franco declared.   He was uneasy about Jason and why the commander insisted he team up with him.

“What’s up?”  

“There’s an extra shipment coming into tonight and we have to unload it,” Franco said.

“Is this one we’re expecting in two days…are they that early?” Jason questioned.

“No, somehow they’ve managed to get more stuff.   There’s not that many boxes, so we’re to unload it and bring it here.   We’re still scheduled to move everything including the admiral out tomorrow.”

Franco headed for the truck with Jason following behind breathing a sigh of relief as he knew Lee and would be here before they left.


For the first time in five weeks, Lee finally let out a sigh of relief.

“Where is he?” Janet asked urgently as soon as Lee was off the phone.

“In the town of Zidaw,” he replied as he dialed Chip’s number.   “We’re going to be leaving in an hour.   According to Jason, he’s not going to be there very long so we have to go now.”

His friend quickly answered the phone.   “Lee…what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, Jason called and told me where the admiral is being held.   Meet at the flying sub in one hour.   I’m calling Sharkey and Kowalski.  I’ll fill you in when you get there.”

“Got it, I’ll be shortly,” Chip replied.

Lee called Sharkey while Janet called Kowalski and told them to meet at the flying sun in an hour. Both men said they’d be there in thirty minutes.

Janet packed up Lee’s laptop figuring he’d need it to check out the area.

Lee charged upstairs to change into his fatigues, grab a backpack and fill it several items he would need. He quickly headed downstairs where Janet was waiting by the door,

“Please be careful and call us to let us know you’re on your way back,” Janet stated handing him the laptop.

“Will do. Tell Angie and Wanda what’s happening and call Edith,” Lee directed kissing and hugging her goodbye.


When Lee boarded the boat, he quickly booted up the laptop, and accessed the detailed mapping sites he could get through his ONI connections when Chip arrived. He located the country of Kamase and was able to locate the town of Zidaw.  It didn’t look too big, but there were two definitive areas.   One dedicated to the downtown area and homes and another to a small industrial section.  Lee was also checking out the coast line to see if he could find a place to set FS-1.  As they checked out the area, Sharkey and Kowalski descended down the ladder into the control room.

“Skipper, did you find the admiral?” Sharkey asked enthusiastically.

“Yes, we did,” Lee responded and told them about his calls from Jason Weldon.

“What a stroke of luck,” Kowalski remarked rubbing his forehead. 

“I believe I’ve located the area where they’re holding him,” Lee said as he pointed out the small industrial section I’m not a hundred percent sure that’s where he is, but when I talked to Jason I heard boat horns in the background so I’m assuming they must have been unloading freight.  There is a small dock area and as you can see there is a freighter in the dock.  It’s only a short drive to the industrial area. Let’s be ready to leave in thirty minutes,” Lee explained as he checked his watch noting it was 2300 hours. “There’s the ten-hour time difference and I’m figuring a seven-hour flight, so if we leave by 2330 hours it will put us there somewhere around 1630 hours tomorrow afternoon.   This is our only chance to get him as they’re moving him out soon.   According to the maps, it doesn’t look like there are any major airports around so I’m hoping we can sneak in there, find a place to hide FS-1 not too far from the area and hike the rest of the way.”

Lee enhanced the area near the coast so they could look for a landing place.  Chip spotted one far enough away from the dock but still close enough to the area where they hoped Harry was being held.

“Okay, we’ve found our landing zone. Chief, grab some rifles and side arms from the armory.   Ski, go to Sick Bay and bring some extra first aid supplies in a backpack.  Also, since it’s a long ride, I don’t want anyone tired out, so we’ll fly over in shifts.  Chief, you’ll take the first shift of ninety minutes, followed by Kowalski, Mr. Morton and I’ll take the last leg.”

“Aye, sir,” the two men replied and left the control room.

“Any idea where the admiral’s been for the last five weeks?” Chip inquired.

“No clue, but I’m sure he’ll have a hell of a story,” Lee responded.

Chip climbed down into the flying sub making the necessary preparations for launch as Lee headed to the radio shack to file his flight plan with NIMR communications.

“All ready to go,” Lee asked when they all were back in the control room.

“Aye, sir,” they replied.

Kowalski and Sharkey headed down the ladder into FS-1 first followed by Chip then Lee.   They stowed their gear and weapons.  Sharkey took the pilot’s seat while Chip and Ski strapped into the rear seats.   Lee sat next to Sharkey and helped launch the small sub.   They would stay underwater until they were past the breakwater and take to the sky.  After clearing the area, they would take her up to Mach 1 over the ocean for most of their long trek.


When Janet arrived at work the next morning, the first item of business was to call Edith who was very excited that they’d found Harry and would fly out on the next flight.   She then told Angie and Wanda that Lee and Chip along with Chief Sharkey and Kowalski had already left on the rescue mission

Angie looked unhappy at the prospect of both Lee and Chip leaving to rescue Harry.  “What happens if something goes wrong, they’ll be no one to run the Institute?”

“I know Angie, but you know as well as I do, that there was no way I could tell Lee not to go or not to let Chip go,” Janet answered solemnly.

“You’re right,” Angie replied knowing nothing would’ve stopped either of them.

The three returned to their offices to wait for word from Lee.


Each man took their turn in the pilot’s seat with Lee flying the last leg of the journey He had figured out the coordinates for the small cove and programmed them into the computer.  He wanted to make sure they weren’t spotted on radar, so when he was twelve miles from shore, he submerged and would finish the rest of the journey underwater.   When he was near the cove and still in fairly deep water, he surfaced the sub.  While Lee completed the shut-down procedures, Sharkey opened the rear hatch so Ski could get the raft out.  Once the raft was set, Kowalski climbed on board and Sharkey handed him the weapons and backpack.  He boarded the raft followed by Chip and Lee.   They rowed the short distance to the shore and jumped out.  Sharkey and Chip hid it beneath some brush while Lee pressed a button on his fob and watched as the little sub submerged into the water.  Kowalski passed out the side arms keeping a rifle for himself and gave one to Sharkey.

“According to the map, there should be a road about one hundred yards directly from the shoreline,” Lee stated.   “Ready?”

“Let’s go,” Sharkey replied eagerly as the four men headed through the forest finding the road quickly.


When they reached the road, Lee didn’t hesitate at which direction to go, they turned to the left and started walking keeping close to the edge of the road.   They hadn’t been walking too long when they heard a truck coming up from behind.  They ducked into the brush on the side of the road and watched as the truck passed them by.   As soon as the truck was far enough away, they headed back out onto the road.

“Looks like we’re heading in the right direction,” Lee remarked.

They walked a couple more miles when they came upon a gravel road on the right.  They stopped at the road and could hear voices not too far away.   They quietly walked down the road stopping just short of a small clearing with three brick buildings in a semi-circle. Each building had a single wide garage door.  The truck that had passed them on the road was parked at the building closest to them with the garage door open.  Lee observed four men at the back of the truck and recognized one of the men as Jason Weldon.

They watched as the men loaded cartons and crates from the garage into the back of the truck.

“When they go back into the garage, Chief, I want you and Ski to circle around the front of the truck, head to the back and take out two of the men.   Chip, you and I will take on the two from this side.  The one closest to the end of the building is Jason, let me handle him,” Lee whispered his men nodding their understanding of his instructions.

When the men headed back into the garage, Sharkey and Ski quickly ran to the front of the truck and down the side. Lee and Chip moved closer to the building so they could take care of the other two. 

Three of the men left the garage and loaded boxes onto the truck when Lee and company made their moves.   Sharkey, Kowalski and Chip all knocked out their men while Lee waited for Jason to come out of the building.

When he stepped out of the garage, Lee quickly put his arm around his throat and pinned his arm behind his back.

“I was wondering how long it would take you to get here,” Jason murmured knowing who his attacker was.

“Looks like we got here just in time,” Lee countered.  

“You got that right.   He’s in this building, third door on the left.   Be careful, there’s a commander in the office at the front of the building,” Jason replied and handed him the keys to the door.

“Thanks for calling and telling me where the admiral was.  We had no idea where he was until you called.  You do know I’m going to have to knock you out to make it look legit,” Lee stated.  “I promised Admiral Johnson I wouldn’t compromise your mission.”

“Yay I know, just don’t hit me too hard,” Jason muttered as Lee punched him in the face just hard enough to knock him out and leave a mark.

“Chief, Ski, stay here and make sure the men don’t get in the way.   Chip, you and I will look for the admiral.”


Lee slowly opened the door from the garage and looked down the hallway to make sure it was clear.  He and Chip swiftly walked to the third door.   Lee put the key in and opened the door.   He felt around the wall and found a light switch.  He flicked on the switch but no one was in there.   All he saw was an empty cot that someone had been using.

“Damn,” Lee mumbled disappointedly.  “He’s not here.”


Harry had heard someone opening the door and hid behind it.  He knew that they were going to move him today, but he wasn’t going to go without a fight.

Harry recognized Lee’s voice and came out from behind the door.  “I’m here,” he declared with a huge smile.

“Admiral,” Lee grinned looking at the dirty, long bearded and poorly dressed man.   “I’m so glad we found you, but we have to leave now.”

Chip checked the hallway for the commander and motioned to Lee that the coast was clear.  Lee had Harry follow Chip out, but as he exited the room the commander had left his office and was standing at the front of the hallway.

“What the hell is going on here?” he bellowed and shot at Harry catching him in the shoulder.   Lee right on Harry’s tail, quickly turned and shot the commander’s hand causing him to drop the weapon and fall to the floor.

“Get him out,” Lee ordered Chip as he went to the commander and picked up his gun.   He had all he could do to keep his temper in check.   He left the man lying on the floor writhing in pain with his hand bleeding profusely.

Chip helped the admiral up from the floor where he had fallen after being shot.  They quickly left the building and were met by Sharkey and Kowalski.   Lee followed a few seconds later.

“Admiral, can you walk for a little bit before we take care of your wound?” Lee asked worriedly.  He wanted to get out of the area as soon as possible.

“Yes, I’ll be all right,” Harry replied cradling his arm.

The five men high tailed out of there and made it to the main road where they stopped so Kowalski could check on Harry’s wound.


Lee ordered Sharkey to watch the road for any traffic as Kowalski checked out how badly Harry was hurt.  He opened Harry’s dirty shirt that was now covered in blood, exposing the wound.   “It’s a through and through,” Ski told Lee.  “I’ll put on a temporary bandage and put his arm in a sling until I can take better care of it when we return to the flying sub.” 

Harry winced in pain as Kowalski cleaned out the wound the best he could, placed a temporary bandage hoping to stop the bleeding and put it in a sling.  Sharkey and Kowalski put their arms around Harry and helped him walk back to FS-1.


When they arrived at the cove, Chip and Kowalski uncovered the raft and hopped in while Lee brought up the little yellow sub.   Sharkey helped Harry into the raft leaving Lee and Chip to row back to the sub.   Lee unlocked the hatch, opened it up and Kowalski climbed in first so he could help Harry aboard and start working on Harry’s wounded shoulder.  

“You okay, Admiral?” Lee asked with concern and he was looking a little pale.

“I’m fine,” Harry replied gruffly.

When everyone was on board, Lee started up the engines and submerged where they would stay until Kowalski was finished with Harry’s shoulder.

Harry wasn’t happy that he’d have to ride home in the bunk but there were no other seats available and since he was hurt, Lee ‘ordered’ him to the bunk with a smile.  When Harry’s shoulder was bandaged and in a new sling, Kowalski gave him something for the pain knowing it would put him to sleep. Before he dozed off, Kowalski made sure he was secured in the bunk for the long ride home.

“All set, Skipper,” Ski said when he was strapped in his seat.

Lee made his way into international waters before taking to the air as he would fly them all the way home. 


As soon as Lee was at his desired altitude and out over the ocean, he placed a call to NIMR.

“FS-1 to Nelson Institute, come in Nelson Institute,” Lee radioed pressing the button on his throat mike.

“Nelson Institute, do you have him?” Trish asked quickly recognizing Lee’s voice.

“Yes, we do,” Lee replied happily. “And we’re on our way back.” He checked his watch and quickly figured out the time difference noting it would be close to 1430 hours in Santa Barbara.  “Connect me to Janet,” he asked waiting for Trish to make the connection.

“Yes, Lee,” Janet answered quickly when Trish told her who was calling.  “Did you find him…is anybody hurt…are you on your way back…when will you get here?”

“Slow down,” Lee replied calmly.   “We have him and he’s been shot in the shoulder. I’m going to land FS-1 on the landing strip since it’ll be easier for the admiral to exit from there rather than the boat.  Call Jamie and alert him that we’re going to need him to meet us there.   Tell him I’ll call fifteen minutes before we land.”

“How long before you get here…we’ll meet you there too,” Janet said anxiously.

“Sweetie, we’ve only been in the air an hour and still have six more to go.   We’ll arrive at the Institute around 1430 hours,” Lee answered.

Angie and Wanda heard Janet talking so they quickly ran into her office to find out who she was talking to.

“Lee’s on the phone, they have the admiral and he’s been shot but not seriously.  They won’t be here until 1430,” Janet told them.

“I’ll call you when we’re ready to land. FS-1 out,” Lee responded.

As soon as Lee’s call was disconnected, Janet called Jamie and reported to him what Lee told her.  He was relieved that they were on their way home and would be ready for her call.


After what seemed to be an eternity, Lee finally called to let Janet know they were almost there.  She alerted Jamie and the three women left in Janet’s SUV to meet FS-1 at the airstrip.   They arrived at the same time as Jamie and the ambulance.   They stood on the tarmac listening for the sound of FS-1’s engines.   They didn’t have to wait too long when they heard the whine and the bright yellow sub came into view as Lee made a picture perfect landing.

As soon as Lee switched off the engines, the ambulance backed up to the rear hatch with the stretcher waiting for the hatch to open.


Kowalski opened the rear hatch and Jamie climbed aboard to check out his patient while Ski explained what he’d done and the drug he’d given Harry who was just waking up.

He was surprised to see Jamie’s face looking back at him.   “We’re home already,” Harry asked wearily.   “I guess I was more tired than I thought.”  

Jamie helped him to sit up and quickly assessed his wound.   He would need some stitches but first he needed a shower, shave and some clean clothes.  Jamie helped him out of the bunk and with Sharkey’s help walked him out to the stretcher.

“I can sit in the damn ambulance,” Harry insisted.  “My shoulder’s injured not my legs.”

“Okay, you can sit,” Jamie acquiesced.

He saw the three women standing there as he walked to the ambulance.  “’Who’s minding the office if the three of you are here?”

“We just had to see you,” Angie exclaimed.   The other two women nodded their heads in agreement.   “We were all so worried about you.”

Smiling Harry answered, “I was worried that I’d never get back here too.   When Jamie’s finished with me, I want all of you to hear what and where I’ve been for the last five weeks.  That includes you, Chief, Ski.”

“Give me about an hour before you can see him,” Jamie added as he and Frank helped Harry into the ambulance.

“Yes, sir,” they replied as Lee closed the ambulance doors and it left for Med Bay.


Lee watched as the ambulance drove away letting out a deep breath, relieved that they finally had Harry back home.   He was also dog tired as were the rest of the men.  It’d been a long day for all of them.

“Chief, Kowalski, take FS-1 back to the boat in the morning,” Lee ordered.

“Aye, sir,” they replied grateful they didn’t have to do it now.

“Angie, when is Edith due in?”  Lee asked as they walked to the car.

“Patterson will be picking her up at 1600.  I’ll let him know to bring her directly to Med Bay,” Angie replied.

Everyone climbed into Janet’s SUV for the short drive to Med Bay where they would wait until Jamie let them see Harry.


Jamie had Frank help Harry get out of his filthy clothes and helped him shower, shave, get into some scrubs, and in bed so Jamie could put some stitches in his shoulder.   He told Harry the wound wasn’t too serious and he wouldn’t have to have surgery but would need to rest it for three to four weeks.   Harry just scowled at him when he heard that.

“Admiral, why don’t you wait until tomorrow to fill us in on where you’ve been for the last five weeks,” Jamie suggested when he was finished.  “You really need to rest.”

“Jamie, first of all I don’t think those people out there are going to wait until tomorrow, and I really want to explain to them where I’ve been,” Harry replied.   “Besides, I need some answers too.”

Jamie knew he wouldn’t be able to discourage him, so he walked out to the waiting room to the anxious faces of Lee and the rest of them.   “The wound wasn’t serious, no surgery, but he’ll need to rest for a few weeks.  I tried to persuade him to wait until tomorrow to tell you where he’s been for the last five weeks, but he won’t hear of it, so you might as well come in.”

Lee followed Jamie into Harry’s room with the rest of them following behind.   They were glad to see Harry was cleaned up and looking like himself. 

The three women sat in chairs next to Harry’s bed, while the men stood behind them anxious to hear what had taken place on the bell and where he’d been for the last five weeks.

“The last thing I remember, was Sharkey helping Dr. Yurievna into the diving bell.  He was coming back down the steps and fell unconscious at the bottom.  When I tried to help him, Captain Pavlo looked at me, said he was sorry and injected me with something.   I woke up a few hours later on a boat, named Niazam and a Captain Naing in charge from the country of Kamase.   I have no idea how I got aboard the Niazam, or where I was and Captain Naing wasn’t very forthcoming with information. They put me to work helping the cook with the meals.  I have a new appreciation for what Cookie does on Seaview,” Harry quipped and continued. “As soon as the last meal was served, I was locked up before dark.  I’m thinking they didn’t want me using the stars to get an idea of where we were.  Every time we stopped, fresh supplies were brought on board, but there were never any markings on the boxes.  After five weeks, Naing said we’d be docking and I was going to be let off the boat, but when we arrived, there were still no markings on the dock or the other boats in the harbor.   As they were walking me down the pier, I saw Jason Weldon coming towards me.   He didn’t acknowledge me, so I figured he must be undercover.  I don’t know what he was doing there, but I was sure happy to see him as I knew he would find a way to let you know where I was.  Now, can you fill in any of the blanks?” Harry asked.  


Lee looked at Harry.   “I don’t know too much,” he admitted.  “Pavlo called to tell us that the PR had sprayed something in their faces and that Chief Sharkey was unconscious and you were gone.  He said one of his men was severely injured and he wanted to get him off the sub so we let them remove their people before I could get down there. Sharkey was just coming to when we arrived and couldn’t tell us anything.   When we got back aboard, I contacted the SECNAV who ordered us back to Santa Barbara.  He said he’d take over trying to find you. He threatened court-martial, stripping me of my command, and forcibly removing me from Seaview, so I had no choice but to follow his orders.  We tried calling Mr. Maximovich, but naturally his phone was disconnected and when the SECNAV contacted the PR they denied they’d taken you.  We also tried calling Mr. Nadaga from Tercua and never got through.  After trying several attempts to contact Dr. Yurievna, she finally called me back the other day.  When I told her what had taken place, she said she didn’t know anything about you being kidnapped.  I have to admit that I believed her. The SECNAV contacted the officials in Tercua and was told they knew nothing about your kidnapping.  Admiral, I contacted the SECNAV every day to see if there was any news, I called in some favors but no one knew where you were until Jason called me asking if you were missing.  I had to convince Admiral Johnson that I wouldn’t compromise Jason’s mission if he told me where he was undercover. I managed to get the country out of him but even he didn’t know where Jason was located.   Luckily, Jason was able to give me the city and time frame so we hightailed out of here to get you before they moved you.   Even though the PR denied they took you, that’s exactly where you were heading.  That’s everything I know except the country of Tercua is definitely involved some way.”

“Hmm, I agree,” Harry replied relieved that Marya wasn’t involved in his kidnapping.


Harry looked at the eight people in his room and even though it was only late afternoon, Lee, Chip, Sharkey and Kowalski looked like zombies and as tired as he felt.  He knew they’d been up more hours than he cared to count.  “I’m ‘ordering’ all of you to get some rest.   Close the office for the rest of the day,” he commanded.

Jamie nodded his head in agreement.   “I’ll release the admiral sometime tomorrow.  You can visit with him then.”

Sharkey, Kowalski, and Chip said their good byes telling Harry they were glad he was back.  Angie and Wanda both gave him a hug and promised to visit later when Edith arrived.   Only Lee, Jamie and Janet remained.

“Jamie, Janet, could I have a few moments alone with the Admiral?   I promise I won’t be long.”

Jamie and Janet left the room as Lee pulled up a chair and sat down next to Harry’s bed.

“Sir, it’s so good to have you back,” Lee exclaimed.   “I was afraid I’d never see you again.”

“Son, I was afraid I wouldn’t see any of you again,” Harry replied truthfully. “Thank goodness, Jason was in the right place at the right time.”

“I almost disobeyed the SECNAV’s orders, but Chip reminded me that I was in charge and that my being in jail wasn’t going to help the situation. But damn, it was hard to give the order to head for home when I knew you were out there,” Lee confided.

Harry looked at his young captain and smiled.   “That’s why Chip’s there, to keep you in line.”

Lee returned his smile.  “I better get out of here before Jamie throws me out.   I’ll be here to take you home when you’re released,” Lee said patting Harry’s good shoulder and left the room looking back as Harry closed his eyes.

Janet was waiting outside Harry’s room for Lee.   “You okay?” she asked worriedly as Lee looked like he was going to fall asleep on his feet.

He took her hand, “Yes, I’m fine just a bit tired.  Let’s go home and get a few hours’ sleep before I make a couple of phone calls.”


Lee slept for a couple of hours before he eased out of bed making sure not to wake Janet.  He slipped into a pair of shorts and donned a t-shirt and headed for the kitchen where he made some coffee before he called Admiral Johnson and the SECNAV.

When the coffee was finished brewing, he poured himself a mug and slipped outside to make his phone calls starting with Admiral Johnson.

“Johnson,” the Admiral answered.

“Admiral, it’s Lee.   I just wanted to let you know that we found Admiral Nelson and got him out of the country. I don’t think we compromised Jason’s mission,” Lee explained.

“No, you didn’t,” Johnson acknowledged.   “Several agencies beside us sent in a task force to raid the area several hours after you’d left and he had already disappeared.   They were sending drugs and weapons to the PR.  I guess the only casualty was the Commander of the unit being shot.  I don’t suppose you had anything to do with that?”

“Yes sir, I shot him after he shot the admiral in the shoulder,” Lee admitted. 

“Nelson going to be okay?” Johnson asked.

“Yes sir, he’ll be fine.   Thanks again for your help.”

“You’re welcome and I guess you owe me,” Johnson quipped. 

“Yes sir,” Lee answered knowing he’d be the first-person Johnson called when he had a mission.

Lee disconnected the call, took a swig of coffee and sat down at the table.   He wasn’t looking forward to his next call.

Lee hit the speed dial number on his phone and waited for the SECNAV to answer. His secretary answered the call and transferred Lee’s call to him.

“Commander, I don’t have any news regarding Admiral Nelson,” the Secretary snapped.  He was tired of Lee calling him for information.

“Sir, I’m not calling for information, I’m calling to tell you we found Admiral Nelson and brought him home earlier this afternoon.”


Janet woke up and saw that Lee wasn’t in bed.   She quickly slipped into some shorts and a t-shirt and headed downstairs where she spied Lee on the patio.  She went outside and put her hands on Lee’s shoulders as he was talking to the SECNAV.    “Do you want me to leave,” she whispered.

Lee shook his head and held up his empty coffee mug.  She returned to the kitchen and grabbed a mug for herself, the carafe and headed back outside.   She filled Lee’s mug and sat down next him so she could hear what Lee was telling the Secretary.

“I got a call from an ONI undercover agent who happened to spot the admiral being escorted off a boat in the country of Kamase.”

“Kamase,” the Secretary repeated.

“It’s a small country surrounded by the People’s Republic.   Seems he’s been on one of their boats for the last five weeks.   Just as the diving bell from the People’s Republic was getting ready to leave, one of my men was sprayed with a drug and the admiral was injected with a drug by Captain Pavlo.   He then made up some story that the People’s Republic drugged them all and that he needed to get one of his men off the sub as he was badly injured, which I’m sure wasn’t true.  The admiral doesn’t remember anything after he was drugged until he woke up on the Niazam, the boat from Kamase.   We can only assume that he was taken aboard the Sthenos and then transferred to the Niazam.

“And why wasn’t I informed of all this before you took off the get him,” the Secretary demanded.

“Sir, there wasn’t time.   My informant let me know that they were going to remove the admiral that day so with the time difference I had to move quickly,”

There was silence on the phone as the Secretary processed what Lee told him.   “Was anybody hurt?”

“Yes, the admiral was shot in the shoulder and I had to shoot the Commander of the camp.  ONI and other agencies raided the camp after we had left and it turns out they were running drugs and weapons for the People’s Republic.”

“Did Admiral Johnson know about this?”

“Yes sir, I had to find out where the informant was and he gave me the country and my informant let me know when he called.   If he hadn’t been there, I don’t think we would have ever found the admiral.”

“I agree with you,” the Secretary remarked. 

“More importantly, the country of Tercua knew what was going to take place on the submarine and let us think they were working towards a peace treaty when all along they just wanted to turn the admiral over to the People’s Republic.   I’m sure they got something in return for kidnapping him even though they denied having anything to do with it,” Lee said angrily.

“Yes, something is a little fishy there and I should have checked things out a little more carefully before badgering you to take on this mission.   Just, give me some time to check things out and I’ll get back to you when I do.   Commander, I am glad the admiral is back.  Even though you may not think so, I was doing everything I could to find out what happened to him,” the Secretary countered.

“Yes, sir,” Lee responded.  “We’ll wait and see what you turn up.”

Lee pressed the disconnect button, set the phone on the table and took a gulp of coffee. 

“Well, what’s he going to do?” Janet asked.  

“He’s going to look into it and get back to us.  He did seem contrite about sending us there without checking things out, but he didn’t say he was sorry either,” Lee remarked.

Lee checked is watch.   “How about we go back to bed?  Jamie isn’t going to let the admiral out until tomorrow and Edith isn’t due in until later this evening.   I got a text from her letting me know that her flight was delayed because of weather so we don’t have to worry about her.”


They went back upstairs to their room where they shed their clothes and climbed back into bed    Lee felt bad that he’d been neglecting Janet these last few weeks but knew she understood.  

As soon as they were in bed, Janet ran her hand down the length of Lee’s body enjoying the response she was getting.   She climbed on top and they joined in making love.  When both were pleasantly satisfied, Janet slid off, and nestled in the crook of his arm, her hand resting on his chest.  

“It’s so nice that the admiral is back and in relatively good shape,” Janet remarked playing with the hair on Lee’s chest.  

“It’s perfect,” Lee responded in relief that he had his ‘father’ back.   “Just perfect.”


Harry returned to work four days after his release from Med Bay.   Edith was still at his house and mother-henning him to death so he was glad to get back to work.   Even though his arm was still in a sling, it didn’t stop him from working.   It took Lee and Angie all week to get him up to snuff on what had taken place during his five-week absence.   It was late morning on Friday and everyone was looking forward to the weekend.

Lee had one more item he needed to review with Harry. He stopped at Angie’s desk before entering his office.

“Is he in there?” Lee asked holding the file he needed to talk to Harry about.

“Yes, he’s there looking over some new projects for the Institute.  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind you stopping in,” Angie replied with smile.    

Lee rapped lightly on the door.   “Come,” Harry said and looked up to see who was entering.  He smiled when he saw Lee enter. 

 “Do you have a few minutes?” Lee inquired.

“Sure, I’m glad you stopped by.  I was going to have Angie call you,” Harry replied closing the file he was reading as Lee walked over to Harry’s desk taking his favorite spot on the corner.

“Thank you for taking good care of the Institute during my absence.   I realize you were caught totally unaware of what was going on,” Harry remarked.

“Sir, I don’t know how you did everything…I couldn’t keep up with all of it.   I finally had to turn over anything to do with running the boat over to Chip,” Lee confessed.

“Well, it does help to be in on everything on the ground floor and not thrown into it.   I’m sure you noticed that I let you and Chip take over most of the decisions regarding Seaview.”

“Sir, I was glad I was able to finish what you started,” Lee answered.  “Even though I was very confused on some things, Angie was a miracle worker as she got me caught up on what was taking place.  I would have been lost without her.”

“I know what you mean,” Harry responded with a grin.   “I’ve had several board members comment on how well you handled the budget meeting during my ‘illness’.  Angie filled me in on why I wasn’t attending the meeting.  Very clever.”

“Oh that,” Lee muttered.  “I was afraid if they knew the real reason why you weren’t there it might have jeopardized our finding out where you were.”

“It’s okay, you did what you thought was best trying to find me,” Harry assured Lee.  “Also, I still don’t know how you managed to get the budget passed without an argument but I’m happy about it.   Maybe I should turn the budget over to you,” Harry quipped.

“Sir, with all due respect, I’d like to decline that job,” Lee chuckled.   “I’m just glad they approved it.”

“Lee, I know I made the right choice when I appointed you to take over for me.  I have no doubt about it.   I wish it didn’t happen the way it did, but I am grateful,” Harry said sincerely as he looked at Lee noticing the dark circles under his eyes were fading.  He knew Lee’s work ethic probably kept him working all day and night.

“Thank you, sir, but you may regret that decision,” Lee countered.   “I have one more item I need to discuss with you.  The Tanner Project.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Harry replied nonchalantly leaning back in his chair.  “I didn’t realize that had come up.”

“We had put it on the back burner, but they called a week ago and needed an answer.   I turned it down,” Lee said.   “While I was reading it over, I found out he’s a friend of yours.   I looked over your notes, had Chip and Janet read it over and they agreed that it was something we wouldn’t want to take on.   I hope I didn’t cause you to lose your friendship with Mr. Tanner over my decision.”

“Don’t worry about it.   I wasn’t going to take it on either.   I said I’d look it over just to humor Tanner.   You saved me from declining it,” Harry declared.

“I was worried that you’d be mad,” Lee admitted.

“You were in charge so I’d have to respect your decision,” Harry added looking at his watch.  “Let’s get out of here.  I’m closing the office for the afternoon and we’re all going to lunch.  I’ll have Angie call Edith and she can meet us at Giovanni’s.”

“Sounds good,” Lee responded as Harry stood up and Lee followed.

Harry removed his jacket and cover from the closet and the two men headed to the door when Lee’s phone rang.

He looked at the caller ID and frowned.   It was the SECNAV.


“Crane,” Lee answered as Harry rolled his eyes.

“Commander, I have some information you might interested in,” he said.

“Yes sir.  Can I put you on speaker phone as I’m with Admiral Nelson and I’d like him to hear what you’re going to tell me?”

“Yes.  Admiral, how’s the arm doing?” SECNAV asked.

“It’s coming along, sir.  Thanks for asking,” Harry responded.

“Good.   We’ve been checking out the countries of Tercua and Kamase and their roles in the kidnapping.   It seems the peace treaty between Tercua and the People’s Republic was legitimate and that removing the torpedoes has helped speed along the process.   However, after the President of Tercua found out what had taken place, he ordered a full investigation into Captain Pavlo and his crew.   They discovered that Captain Pavlo, his XO, Daur Rairu, and several crewmen acted on their own regarding your kidnapping, and were paid handsomely to sell you to the country of Kamase.  A crewman by the name of Kurka sung like a canary when confronted as to the big deposit of money put into his account two days after you were kidnapped.  All involved will be facing a trial, obviously dishonorably discharged from their Navy and possible jail time.  They didn’t tell me what was going to be done with the money.   As for the country of Kamase, who was also generously paid by the People’s Republic to transport you to them, they will be facing economic sanctions not only for their part in the kidnapping scheme, but for also selling weapons and drugs to the People’s Republic,” SECNAV reported.

“Thank you for following up on this,” Harry replied with a grin.

“You’re welcome,” SECNAV answered and hung up.

“Well, at least Pavlo didn’t get away with kidnapping you,” Lee remarked.  “He had everyone hoodwinked. Kurka was the man who called to tell me you’d been kidnapped.   He sounded a little unnerved and now we know why.”

Harry was quiet for a few moments pleased to have definite confirmation that Marya wasn’t involved with his kidnapping.  I sure wish I could see her again and explain to her what happened, he thought, but for now he’d have to settle for a phone call.

“Admiral, is everything okay?” Lee asked worriedly when Harry didn’t say anything.

“Just fine, son.  I’m ready for lunch,” Harry answered patting Lee on the arm as he walked out the door with a smile.

The End.


Author’s notes:

This story is loosely based on a Russian K-8 November class submarine that sunk while participating in the Okean 70 naval wargames in the spring of 1970 with four torpedoes armed with nuclear warheads.  Several crewmen were also lost when the boat sunk.  Weather conditions and settling at a depth of 15,000 feet made recovery of the torpedoes impossible. For more detailed information on this submarine, visit the National Interest website and the article A Dead Russian Submarine is Sitting on the Bottom of the Ocean (Armed with Nuclear Weapons) dated August 5, 2017

Also, a huge thank you to my outstanding betas.   You’ll never know how much I appreciate your time and suggestions.


This story is a work of fiction.  I do not sell or make a profit from this work.  The names of the countries, boats and people are made up by the author for the story. Any resemblance to actual people, places or things is purely coincidental.

The characters from the television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea are the intellectual property of Irwin Allen Productions and copyright © by the respective production companies including Irwin Allen Productions, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers.