Out of Reach

By JSRobertson

Seaview was getting ready to embark on a seven-day cruise to the undersea laboratory, Clear Blue Pacific. Lee and Chip had spent most of the day down at the sub pen making sure that all the supplies were loaded for the cruise since Chief Sharkey had a family emergency and the rest of the officers who would oversee the loading were still on shore leave.  Since this lab was the furthest away and they didn’t get there very often, they always doubled up on the supplies.

The two men stood on the dock, clipboards in their hands, watching the supplies being loaded, “Chip, I’m going to run some drills on the way to the lab. It’s been awhile,” Lee said.

Chip rubbed his forehead, “Yes, it’s been a few cruises since we put the men through some drills but you know they’ll have no problem with them.”

“You’re right, but it doesn’t hurt to keep them on their toes,” Lee replied as the last container was finally lifted off the dock and loaded on the boat.

It was 1800 hours by the time everything was stowed and checked off the manifest.  Lee and Chip returned to the Institute offices just as Harry was walking to his car.

“Everything set for us to leave on schedule?” Harry asked.

“Yes sir,” Lee replied.  “We’ll be ready to shove off at 2300 tomorrow.”

“Okay men,” Nelson answered.  “Don’t stay too much longer.”

“Aye, sir,” both men responded as they checked in with Howard who was just leaving for the day.

“Good night, sirs,” Howard said. 

“Good night,” Chip replied as the two men opted for the stairs instead of the elevator.

When they got to their offices, everyone was gone except Janet.  She was still at her desk working as both Lee and Chip had given her a lot of work to complete before they left for the sub pen.

“Chip, why don’t you head on out,” Lee said.  “I’m sure we’ll be leaving shortly.”

“Thanks Lee,” Chip answered.  “Julie has some wedding plans to discuss before we leave.  What I thought was going to be a very small wedding is now turning into a huge affair now that her mother is involved.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a traditional Navy wedding,” he sighed.

Chip and Julie’s wedding was six weeks away and Chip made Lee promise he wouldn’t take any ONI missions until after the wedding.  

Chip grabbed his cover, service jacket and left for the evening.  He walked past Janet’s office, “See you tomorrow,” he said as he walked to the elevators.

“Have a good night,” Janet said as she sat at her desk.


Even though Janet’s desk was heaped with papers, she was very engrossed in a spreadsheet on her desk.  There was a problem with the inventory and she had to figure it out so they had an accurate count of what supplies were on hand before tomorrow as Chip wanted to review it to see if Seaview needed any supplies before they departed.  Also, there were quite a few letters that needed to be done as they had to be mailed before they left and she wanted to make sure they made tomorrow’s mail. 

Lee walked in Janet’s office, sat down on the corner of her desk and eyed what she was doing.  Looking up she asked, “Don’t you have something to do besides watch me?”

“Not really, as nothing needs my immediate attention right now,” Lee answered with a grin.  “How much longer are you going to work?”

Janet got up from her desk and walked around to the front where Lee stood up to meet her.  She wrapped her arms around his waist, looked him in the eye and said, “Beat it.  I can’t work with you watching me.  Go find something to do for the next hour.”

Lee burst out laughing.  “You’re telling me to go?”

“Yes, if you want to get out of here at a decent hour, you have to leave me alone,” Janet pleaded.   “Go for a run or go to the workout room.”

“You know you can’t be here alone,” Lee reminded her as he kissed her.

Returning his kissed she answered, “I’m sure there’s something that needs to be taken care of so go find it and do it.”

She released her arms from around his waist, sat back down at her desk and continued working as Lee walked out the door chuckling, “That’s the first time someone told me to beat it.”

Janet shook her head and returned to her spreadsheet.  Lee went to his office and checked his e-mails.  He answered all of them and wondered what he should do next.   He would do the schedule for the drills he wanted to run.   He found the form that Janet had set up with all the drills listed so all he had to do was find the drill, type in the day and time he wanted them done.   He printed it out and would go over it with Chip in the morning.   He was going to work on some reports tomorrow, but since he had to wait for Janet he might as well do them now.  He wouldn’t give them to her until later as he could see she already had a lot of work to finish.   He finally finished the last report and looked at his watch.  It had been two hours since Janet kicked him out of her office.   He turned off his computer and would make her go home as he was tired and hungry.   Now I know how she feels when I have to work late, Lee thought as he looked up and saw Janet standing in the doorway with her jacket and purse.

“I’m sorry it took so long,” she apologized.   “I couldn’t find the error and after realizing one of the columns was accidentally hidden, I got it straightened out.  The letters that needed to go before we leave will go out tomorrow.  She looked at Lee’s out box and sighed.  “Is all that for me?”

“Yes, sorry I wasn’t going to give it to you until tomorrow,” he said looking up at her through his long lashes.

“Thanks but I’ll just add it to the pile.  It’s a good thing we’re not leaving until late,” she replied as she picked up all the folders.   They walked out of Lee’s office, stopped at hers so she could drop off the folders and left for the day.


Once at home, Janet made a quick dinner, cleaned up and joined Lee on the couch where he was watching a movie.

“Chip left early,” Janet remarked as she rested her head on Lee’s shoulder.

“He had to go over wedding plans,” Lee explained.  “Seems Julie’s mother wants a traditional Navy wedding.  He’s going to let me know tomorrow.”

Janet fell asleep a few minutes later, but Lee finished the movie, woke her up and they made their way up the stairway. Janet got ready for bed, climbed in and was asleep before Lee removed his uniform.  She didn’t even stir when he quietly slipped into bed.


Lee was up early the next morning and was gently removing his arm from around Janet when she grabbed his wrist.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she asked mischievously.

Before he could answer, she pushed him on his back and straddled his hips.  She leaned down and kissed him softly.  After he responded to her kiss, she kissed him again only deepening her kiss.  He smiled deviously as he drew her down on his chest.   Both of them laid there totally contented before getting out of bed.  After taking their customary shower together, Lee left Janet to finish getting ready while he made some coffee and breakfast.  Since it was a nice day, Lee decided to take the Cobra to work. 


Lee parked the car in his parking space and opened the door for Janet just as Chip pulled into his parking place.

“Good morning, Chip,” Janet said.

“Morning, Janet, Lee,” Chip replied as they walked to the front door of the Institute.

Lee held the door for them and they were greeted by Howard who signed them in as they went to the elevators.

“Make any decisions?” Lee asked as they left the elevators and headed to their offices.

“Yes, you better make sure your Dinner Dress with the Blue jacket is clean,” Chip responded.  “It’s going to be a traditional Navy wedding complete with swords.”

Lee looked at Chip and could tell he wasn’t happy about it.

“No problem, it’ll be fine.  At least we won’t have to wear the ‘chokers’,” Lee replied referring to the dress white uniforms with the high collars.

Grinning Chip replied, “That’s the one good thing about it, but I’ll do whatever makes Julie happy.”

Janet had never been to a traditional Navy wedding so she was looking forward to it.

As Lee patted him on the back, he said, “I’ve made out the schedule for the drills.  We’ll go over it and see if we need to change anything.”

“Janet, did you get the inventory updated?” Chip asked.

“Yes I did.  I put a copy on your desk.  The only part we’re short is that one electrical relay for the flying sub but we just replaced it about a month ago and hadn’t had to replace it for a few years before that.”

“I’m still getting the new supplier to make the part correctly,” he replied unhappily as he’d been working with a manufacturer for a few months and they still haven’t made it the right way.

Lee frowned when he found out about the part, but since they had replaced it recently, he wasn’t too worried about it.  

Chip called Janet to his office at 0900 hours so they could discuss the inventory. They found no discrepancies so she left the office leaving Lee there to review the drills and schedule.  As she walked out the door, she heard Lee’s phone ringing.  She went into his office, looked at the number and knew the admiral was calling Lee.

“Good morning, Admiral,” Janet said pleasantly.

“Good morning, is Lee there?” Harry asked.

“He’s in Chip’s office, do you need to see him?”

“Yes right away and Chip too.”

“I’ll tell them,” Janet replied and quickly went to Chip’s office.

“Lee, Chip,” Janet said, “The admiral wants to see you right away.”

Both men dropped what they were doing and walked out of Chip’s office and headed to Nelson’s.  They stopped by Angie’s desk before going in.”

“Morning,” she said, “Go right in, he’s expecting you.”

Lee rapped lightly on the door before opening it and entered the office.

“Morning, men,” Harry said as he motioned them to sit down in the chairs in front of his desk.

“I just got a call from the SECNAV.  Lee, he wants us in Washington as soon as we can get there.  How soon do you think we can leave?”

“I can be ready to leave in thirty minutes.  Just need to finish up one item, file our flight plan and we can go,” Lee told him.

“We’ll probably be staying overnight so do you need to go home to get anything?”

“No sir, I have a uniform and whatever else I need already here,” Lee replied.  He always kept an extra set of clothes and other items he would need in case he was called on an ONI mission.

“Good, so do I, I’ll meet you at the elevators in thirty minutes,” Harry answered.

“What about the mission?” Chip asked.

“I mentioned it to him and he told me to sail on schedule; it would be no problem if Seaview wasn’t in port,” Harry responded.  “We’ll catch up to you while you’re in route.”

“Aye, sir,” Chip said.  “I’ll do the pre-flight check list on the flying sub while you get ready to leave.”

“Thanks, Chip,” Harry said as he took his briefcase from under his desk and started to put papers in it.  Lee and Chip stood up and left Harry’s office.

“I wonder what that’s about,” Chip pondered as he walked with Lee to his office before heading for the sub pen.

“We’ll know soon enough,” Lee answered walking into his office.   “Chip, adjust the drill schedule.  We’ll start one day later since I don’t know when I’ll be back.”

“Okay,” Chip said heading for the elevators.

Janet was in Lee’s office putting some reports on his desk when he walked in.  He went over to the computer and brought up the aviation weather site.  Janet noticed he entered his destination as Washington DC.

“What did the admiral want?” she asked cautiously.

“We’re flying to DC to meet with the SECNAV,” Lee told her as the weather popped up on his screen.

“Does that mean we’re not leaving later on tonight?”

“No Seaview is still going on her cruise.   We can’t delay sailing as that lab really needs those supplies.  We’re already a week late on delivery,” he told her as he checked over the weather.  Lee frowned as the weather came on the screen. There was a huge storm over the Midwest so he would have to fly further south than normal to avoid most of the storm which meant it would take them a little longer to get to DC.  He also hoped they would arrive in DC before the storm.

“When will you be back?” she asked as Lee logged into NIMR Communications so he could file his flight plan.

“I’m not sure and we’ll catch up to the boat,” Lee replied as he took a duffle out of the closet along with a clean uniform while waiting for communications to come up on his computer.  

“I’ll do that while you file your flight plan,” Janet offered taking the uniform from him.

“Thanks, sweetie,” he replied squeezing her hand. He filed the flight plan and waited for them to acknowledge they received it.   He heard the ding a few seconds later and turned off the computer. 

Janet carefully folded his uniform pants and shirt and put it in the duffle while Lee took a small case out of his drawer.  It contained the toiletry items he would need and put them in the bag.  Janet removed his service jacket from the hanger and grabbed his cover off the shelf and put it by the duffle bag.

He looked around his office and saw the reports sitting there so he quickly signed off on them.  “Chip will give you the drill schedule once he makes a few corrections so you can put it in your bag.”  Janet had a bag she took with her on the boat.  It contained the cruise packet and whatever other items were needed for that mission along with any work she hadn’t completed. Once everything was packed, he took Janet by the waist and gave her a hug, but before he could give her a kiss, Harry was at the door.

“You ready to leave?” Harry asked catching them in an embrace.

“Yes, sir,” Lee answered as he removed his arms from Janet’s waist.

Smiling Harry replied, “Carry on, I’ll meet you by the elevators.”  He left leaving the two of them alone.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Lee said as he kissed her good bye.

She kissed him back and walked with him to elevator where he handed her the car keys.  “Have a safe trip,” she told the two men as they boarded the elevator and headed for the sub pen.


Harry and Lee arrived at the sub pen where Sharkey was overseeing the loading of the last few cases for the mission.

“Everything alright?” Nelson asked as they walked down the gangway with him.

“Yes sir.  Thanks for letting me stay the extra day,” Sharkey replied.

“Chief, make sure everything is stowed securely as we’re packed to the gills on this trip,” Lee told him.  “Also, I’m going to run the crew through some drills.

“Yes, sir,” Sharkey responded.  “We just loaded the last of the supplies and noticed there’s not much room for anything.    Don’t worry about the drills, I’ll make sure the crew is prepared.”

“Thanks Chief,” Lee said adding, “and I know the crew will be ready.”

They made their way down the ladder into the control room where Chip was just coming up from the flying sub.  Sharkey took their gear and stowed it in the flying sub laying their service jackets on the bunk so they wouldn’t get wrinkled.  Chip had retrieve their leather flight jackets as soon as he boarded the boat and put them on the table in the observation nose.  Sharkey helped the admiral into his jacket, while Lee donned his.

“All set,” Chip said as he handed Lee the check list to initial.  Lee signed off on it and they walked over to the hatch.  Harry headed down the ladder with Lee following close behind.  Sharkey closed the hatch and secured it while Chip went to the launch panel for the flying sub waiting for Lee to tell them to open up the docking bay doors.

The two men put on their harnesses while Lee attached the throat mic and turned on the engines.  After he looked over the instruments, Lee pushed the button on the mic.  “Launch,” he said once the engines were warmed up. 

“All green, Lee,” Chip replied as he pressed the button opening the doors.  “Okay to launch.  Have a good trip.”

“Thanks Chip,” Lee answered and released the sub from her clamps and lowered her down into the water.  He would stay submerged until he cleared the channel before taking to the sky.


Once they cleared the air traffic around the Santa Barbara area, Lee picked up speed careful to stay below Mach 1 so not to disturb anyone with sonic booms.  It would take them a little over three hours to reach DC provided they didn’t run into any severe weather when they arrived.

As they flew over the Rockies, “Do you know why the SECNAV wants to see us?” Lee asked worriedly.

“He wouldn’t give me any details over the phone but I get the impression it must be pretty important to want us in DC right away,” Nelson replied as he looked out the viewports and the clear blue sky.   “Something bothering you…we’ve been called on short notice before.”

Sighing, Lee guided FS-1 over the mountains, “I’m just suspicious that we need to get to DC so quickly.   I told Admiral Johnson to take my name out of the rotation as an available agent.  I promised Chip he wouldn’t have a battered and bruised best man at his wedding.  It’s been three weeks and I’m wondering if Admiral Johnson isn’t using the SECNAV to get me to take on a mission.”

Nelson chuckled softly knowing Gerald Johnson, head of ONI, would use any means to get Lee on a mission if he really needed him.  “Let’s hope that’s not the case.”

Once they crossed the Rockies, Lee shifted his flight route further to the south.

“Changing your route?” Harry asked as Lee always flew straight across the country as it was the shortest route to the East coast.

“There’s a huge storm centered in the Midwest.  I’m hoping to avoid most of it,” Lee replied. 

As they flew further south, they caught the southern edge of the storm making for a bumpy ride.  Once they cleared the storm area, Lee resumed his normal flight route.  It was 1600 hours when they arrived in the DC area and received clearance to land at Reagan International Airport.  Lee taxied the little sub to the remote section of the airport and when they arrived at the parking area, one of the ground personnel motioned him to pull into an empty hanger.

After Lee had parked FS-1, Harry took off his harness while Lee completed the shut-down procedures.  He removed the throat mic and then his harness.  Both men shed their leather flight jackets and replaced them with their service jackets and covers.  Lee unlocked the rear hatch and was met by one of the ground crew.

“Rory,” Lee said recognizing him.  “How do we rate the ‘preferred’ parking spot?” he joked.

“Hello Commander.  There’s a big storm heading this way with strong winds and hail.  Nobody was scheduled to use the hanger so I decided to park your little machine in there…that is one cool aircraft.”

“Thanks Rory,” Lee said as he took their duffle bags from Nelson and placed them on the tarmac.  He secured the hatch using his alpha numeric code, picked up the two duffle bags and headed for the terminal.  They didn’t get too far when they were met by two ensigns who saluted the two officers.  Harry and Lee returned their salute.

The taller ensign said, “Admiral, Commander, please follow us.  We have a car right outside to take you to the Pentagon.”  Each of them picked up a bag and made their way to the front of the terminal building.

The ensigns opened the car doors for the two men who slid in the back seat.  They then put their bags in the truck of the car.  The sky was threatening rain and by the time they arrived at the Pentagon it had started to drizzle. 

The ensigns quickly opened the doors for Harry and Lee and told them as they alighted from the car, “Don’t worry about your bags, we’ll see that they’re taken care of.”

Grinning, “Thanks,” Lee replied as he remembered being assigned to the motor pool for a short time and having to drive around officers.

The two men hustled into the Pentagon and removed their covers when they entered the building.  They stopped at the front desk where they showed their credentials to the guard on duty who made a phone call to the SECNAV’s office.

“An aide for the SECNAV will be here shortly to escort you to his office,” the guard told them.

“Thank you,” Harry said as both of them tucked their covers under their arms.

Before long an aide greeted them, “Hello Admiral, Commander, please follow me.”

Harry and Lee followed him to the elevator where they descended a few floors underground.  When they left the elevator, they followed the aide into the office of the SECNAV where they were required to show a guard at the desk their credentials.  Once they were cleared, the aide led them down a long hall with closed doors on both sides.  He stopped at the last one, inserted his ID card and opened the door ushering the men into the room.  Harry entered the room followed by Lee.  Harry stopped as soon as he entered as Lee slid in beside him. 

“Mr. Secretary,” Harry greeted the SECNAV and shook his hand.  Lee also greeted him and shook his hand.

Besides the SECNAV and his aide, Admiral Johnson was standing there.  Lee saluted Admiral Johnson, who returned his salute and sat down after the SECNAV was seated

“Gerald, why are you here?” Nelson asked feeling Lee tense up as he stood next to him.

“Gentlemen, please be seated,” the SECNAV said, “And I’ll explain why Admiral Johnson is here.” 

Harry and Lee sat down sitting on the opposite side of the table from the two men.  Lee picked up the pencil in front of him and rubbed his fingers along the side.

“Can I get you something to drink besides water?” the aide asked as a bottle of water sat in front of them.

“No thank you,” Nelson replied for both of them.

“I’m sure you’re wondering why I wanted you here so quickly,” the SECNAV said.  “A situation has developed earlier today; we need your help, along with Seaview’s.”

The SECNAV continued, “A jet crashed this morning in the ocean about fifty miles from the border of the People’s Republic.  We don’t know if it had a mechanical issue causing it to crash or it was shot down.  The pilot ejected safely out of the aircraft and was picked up by a fishing vessel in the area.  Luckily for him, the vessel was from a friendly nation.  As of now, we haven’t had a chance to talk to the pilot and it could be sometime before we’ll have access to him as the boat isn’t returning to port for a couple of weeks.  We’ve been using satellite data to monitor the PR’s boats and subs.  Right now, they don’t have anything in that area of the ocean so we’re hoping you can get there before they show an interest in the aircraft and start snooping around.”

“What does that have to do with us?” Nelson asked.  “I’m sure you have ships and planes in the area that can get the pilot off the fishing boat so you can talk to him.  Besides Seaview is sailing tonight to an undersea lab that is in desperate need of supplies.”

“We know that,” Johnson told them.  “That’s one of the reasons why we need your boat.  The jet went down one hundred miles from that lab.”

“The jet was carrying some highly classified information taken from the PR.  We managed to get their nuclear weapon sites and security codes for those weapons,” Johnson continued causing Lee to sit a little straighter in his seat.

Lee spoke up, “I thought they had to get rid of all their nuclear weapons when we got rid of ours?”

“Yes, they were supposed to and led us to believe they did but, we found out they didn’t,” the SECNAV replied.

“We need Seaview to go to the area and find the black waterproof box the jet was carrying.  We know it’s still there as a tracker was placed in the box that only ONI could track.  Since Seaview is in the area delivering supplies, no one would question why she was there and I’m sure you could find a reason to be that far away from the lab.”

The SECNAV pulled out an above ground map of the area where the plane went down.  Harry and Lee looked over the area and then at each other.

Lee said, “We have no idea what the ocean’s like in that area as no one will venture any closer than twenty-five miles from the PR’s border as they’ve been known to attack anything that gets too close. They don’t abide by the twelve-mile international limit.”

“We’re well aware of that,” the SECNAV answered.  Seaview is the only boat that can handle the recovery,” he stressed.  “If we send one of our ships out there, they’ll wonder why since they know the pilot was recovered.  I’m hoping you’ll take on the recovery.”

“I guess you leave us no choice,” Nelson replied looking at Lee.  “We’ll find some logical reason to be that far away from the lab after we deliver their supplies and that close to their border.”

“Thank you, Admiral,” the SECNAV said.  “Since you’re taking on a mission for the Navy; I’m ordering no civilians to be allowed on the boat.”

“May I ask why,” Lee said as he looked over at Harry.   “We’ve done missions before for the Navy and never had to leave them off the boat.”

“I understand that most of your crew are Navy reservists,” the SECNAV asked ignoring Lee’s question. 

“Yes, sir,” Lee stated assuming he wasn’t going to get an answer to his question.  “There are only four crewmen that are civilians.”

“Will it hamper your ability to complete the mission if they’re not on board?”

 “No sir,” he answered.  “Their positions are not vital to the running of the boat.”

“Good,” the SECNAV stated.  Seaview will deliver the supplies to the lab and then continue on to the crash site.  After you’ve recovered the box, check out the condition of the jet.  If you think its damaged enough that nothing could be salvaged from it, leave it as is.  But if there’s a chance the PR could get any parts or information from it, you’ll need to destroy it.”

“Yes, sir,” Nelson replied.

After giving Nelson the downed jet’s coordinates and radio frequency of the black box, “We’re done here,” the SECNAV said and stood up with the rest of the men following his lead.  “John will take you back to the entrance where your ride will be waiting.”

Just as they were preparing to exit the room, there was a knock on the door and a woman whispered in the SECNAV’s ear.

“It seems the storm they were predicting to hit the area has arrived and shut down the airport until further notice.  It looks like you’re going to be stuck in DC for the night.  My staff has made reservations for you at a nearby hotel.”

“Thank you sir,” Lee responded as they left the room following the aide to the front entrance. 

The ensigns and their car were waiting outside in the pouring rain.  Harry and Lee quickly scrambled to the car where the ensigns quickly opened the door for the two men. Once in the car they removed their covers and wiped them off as the ensign driving was already heading in the direction of the hotel.  When they arrived, the entrance had a covered overhang so Harry and Lee could exit without getting wet.  The ensigns removed their bags from the trunk and brought them inside.

“Thanks,” Lee said giving them his special smile.

“You’re welcome sir,” they replied and left the hotel.

Harry and Lee made their way to the reservation desk.  Harry gave them their names and both were given keys to rooms on the same floor but a few rooms apart.  As they checked in, the bell hop had already taken their bags to their rooms.

As they waited for the elevator, Lee said, “I better call Chip and let him know about Eddie, Timmy and Jason not being able to go on the mission.”

Harry looked at Lee, “Don’t forget about Janet.”

“Don’t worry sir, I won’t,” Lee replied unhappily as he wouldn’t be able to see her as they would catch up to the boat while she was at sea.

The men agreed to meet in thirty minutes for some dinner.


When Lee entered his room, he loosened his tie, and undid the top button on his shirt.  He walked over to the sliding glass door and saw it being pelted with heavy rain, hail, and wind. There were continuous flashes of lightening and loud claps of thunder. It’s a good thing we didn’t leave, Lee thought as the door rattled with a loud boom of thunder.

He sat down on the bed facing the window and took out his cell phone.  Lee pressed the number three button and Chip answered on the first ring, “Hi Lee.  Everything okay…why did SECNAV want you in DC?”

“He actually wanted Seaview, I’ll explain when I get aboard.  Just depart per schedule,” Lee told him.

Chip could tell by Lee’s voice that he didn’t want to tell him why they wanted Seaview over an unsecured line. “I understand,” Chip responded.   “Are you leaving tonight?”

“No.  The airport is shut down due to a monster storm that’s hitting the area,” Lee replied as there was another loud clap of thunder.

“Sounds pretty bad,” Chip said hearing it over the phone.  “So when do you think you’ll be leaving?”

“Hopefully sometime early tomorrow morning provided the storm blows out to sea by then.  There’s another issue that has come up.  The SECNAV ordered us to remove all civilians from the boat.”

Chip hesitated for a second before saying anything, “Why?” he finally asked.

“I asked that question and he conveniently avoided answering it,” Lee said.  “So tell Eddie, Timmy and Jason to report to another department for the duration of our cruise.  Put them wherever they’re needed.”

“Sure, Lee,” Chip replied.  “What about Janet, have you told her she can’t come?”

Sighing deeply, “No, not yet.  I’m going to call her when I finish with you.  She’s not going to be very happy.”

“Either are we because we now have to do all the paperwork she’s been doing,” Chip joked trying to lighten Lee’s mood as he could tell something was bothering him.

“I forgot about that,” Lee groaned.   “I’ll call you when we get close to the boat so you can send us a homing signal,” he told him.  

“We’ll see you sometime tomorrow,” Chip replied as he heard Lee sever the connection.

Lee took a deep breath dreading his next call.  He knew Janet would be upset that she wouldn’t be able to be on the boat.  He pressed the number one button on his phone and heard it ringing. 

Janet was typing at her computer when she heard her phone chirp…that was Lee’s signal that he was calling.

“Hi Lee,” Janet said as she turned away from the doorway.  “Are you on your way home?”

“Hi sweetie,” Lee replied.  “No, we can’t leave because of a huge storm here.  They closed the airport to all traffic.  Hopefully we’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning.”

“Good, I can’t wait to see you,” Janet answered eagerly.

“About that,” Lee responded as he rubbed his hand on the back of his neck.   “We’re undertaking an important mission and have been ordered that no civilians are allowed on the boat, so you’re going to have to stay home for this mission.”

“Why?” Janet asked knowing Lee probably couldn’t answer her as she could tell he wasn’t telling her everything but figured out it was the SECNAV.

“I don’t know why.  When I asked that question, he avoided giving me an answer and I’m not going to question him,” Lee said with a grin knowing Janet didn’t always understand the Navy’s protocol.  “I’ve already talked to Chip about the three men and they’re going to be assigned to another department.”

“I don’t get it but I’ll adjust the crew roster noting the changes,” Janet said disappointedly.

“I just need you to do me a favor.  Could you pack my duffle bag and see that it gets loaded on the boat?  I’ll need…”

Chuckling, “Lee Crane, I think I know what you’ll need as I’ve been watching you take off or put on your clothes for quite a while,” Janet replied with a grin.  “I do prefer watching you remove them though.”

Smiling Lee answered, “Okay, I trust you know what I need.  Maybe Chip or one of the crew can bring it aboard.”

“Lee, I’ll make sure you have your gear.   I’m really going to miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too.  I’ll call you as soon as I’m on Seaview as we’ll be leaving pretty early and I don’t want to wake you.  Love, you,” Lee said softly.

“Love you too,” Janet replied sadly as Lee disconnected the call.   “Shit,” she said before she turned around to put her phone on her desk and saw that Chip had just entered the doorway.

“I heard that,” he chuckled.  “Swearing just like a sailor.   I’m sorry you can’t go on this cruise.”

“Me too,” Janet answered.  “Sorry about that slip.  I guess I just don’t understand the Navy stuff.   I’ll make out a new crew roster and leave it on the charting table when I drop off Lee’s duffle bag.   You do know you two will have to do all the paperwork…do you remember how?” she teased.

Smirking, “Yes, I remember how to do paperwork.  Do you want me to stop on my way back to the boat and get the paperwork and Lee’s bag?”

“No, Chip, I’ll get the bag and paperwork on the boat.   I can’t leave for a while as I still have some more work to finish for this mission and will have to add more papers for the special one so just go and enjoy your evening.  Have a safe trip.”

“We’ll miss you,” Chip said before he left.

“I’ll miss you too,” Janet replied unhappily as Chip made his way to the elevators.

She worked for a couple more hours before she could call it a day.   Angie and Wanda met her at her desk as she was packing the bag for the boat.

“Sorry you can’t go on the mission,” Angie said as the admiral had called in to report to her what had taken place in DC.

“I’m very disappointed as this will only be the second mission I’ve missed since I started here.  At least you’ll know where I am as I won’t trot off to Vegas,” Janet laughed.   The first mission she missed, Admiral Johnson had conned her into taking an ONI mission in Las Vegas and she got into trouble. *

“We’ll all be here tomorrow,” Wanda said as they walked out of the institute after saying good night to Howard who signed them out.

They said good night and headed to their cars.  The only good part about this day was that Janet got to drive the Cobra home.   She drove the short distance, pulled the car into the garage and went inside.  She put her purse and bag by the door so she wouldn’t forget to take it to the boat.  She went upstairs pulled out Lee’s duffle bag and proceeded to put what he needed into it.  She knew he had quite a few uniforms on board, but added a couple more since this mission would be a few days longer than planned.  By the time she was finished it was 2000 hours.  Even though she was hungry, as she didn’t eat lunch, she would go to the boat first before eating.  She packed up the SUV and headed for the sub pen.


After Lee finished talking to Janet, he looked at his watch and saw he only had a few minutes before he was to meet Harry.   He unbuttoned his cuffs, rolled up his sleeves and made his way over to the bathroom area where he washed his face and hands.  The lights flickered once but didn’t go out.   Damn, that is some storm, Lee thought as he finished up, put the towel back on the rack, re-buttoned his sleeves and fixed his tie.  He grabbed his service jacket and headed for the door.  He was locking the door when Harry walked up next to him.

“Did you make your calls?”

“Yes sir,” Lee responded.  “And as you would expect, Janet wasn’t very happy.”

Harry patted him on the shoulder, “I figured that out when the SECNAV told us no civilians were allowed.  I don’t understand why as we’ve done government missions before.”

Lee pushed the elevator button, “That’s been bothering me too along with what else they haven’t told us.”

The two men entered the elevator and made their way to the restaurant which was quite crowded as no one wanted to venture out in the drenching rainstorm.  They didn’t have to wait long before they were seated near the window with an overhang as it was right next to the outdoor seating.

They ordered drinks but waited to order dinner as they weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere and decided to enjoy themselves.  Harry finished up his drink and ordered another, but since Lee was flying tomorrow he ordered coffee.  They placed their meal order and Lee could tell something was up with the admiral.

“Lee, I’ve been wanting to talk to you but there never seems to be a good time at the Institute as we keep getting interrupted,” Harry said as he took a sip of his drink and continued.  “I’m hoping you’ll take over running the Institute when I retire.  You know I think of you more than just the Captain of my boat.”

Blushing slightly, Lee responded, “Yes sir and I hope you realize you’re more than just my boss to me.”

Harry nodded with a grin.

“I hope you’re not planning on retiring soon,” Lee asked with concern.

“Not if I can help it,” Harry replied.  “I’m just getting some my personal affairs in order and want to know that the Institute is in good hands.”

“Sir, I’d be honored to run NIMR,” Lee stated.

“There’s just one other item I would like to take care of,” Nelson said, “I’m thinking about building a sister sub to Seaview.  We have more than enough requests for the use of Seaview, and I hate to turn down requests so I want to get it built before I retire. 

 “A new sub just like Seaview?”

“Yes, I think she’ll be very similar but with the latest and greatest technology and materials.   I was thinking of making you her captain and Chip captain of Seaview,” Harry said feeling out Lee’s response.

“Sir, with all due respect, I think I would like to keep on being the skipper of my grey lady’, not that I wouldn’t like to take the new one for a spin once in a while,” Lee replied with a grin.

Smiling back Nelson responded, “Somehow I knew that was going to be your answer.”

The waitress had returned with their dinner, so they stopped talking about business and enjoyed the delicious meal as the storm raged on outside the window.  When they finished, Lee reached for the check.

“Lee, I’ll take care of it,” Harry said.

“No sir, it’s my turn,” Lee answered handing his credit card to the waitress.

“You keep track of who pays?” Harry asked surprised.

“Yes sir, I do,” Lee replied grinning.   He really didn’t but wanted to treat Harry to dinner this time and knew he would give him a hard time about paying.  The waitress returned with Lee’s credit card, he signed the slip and the two men walked to the elevators.

When the men got to their rooms Lee said, “Sir, how about we leave at 0700 hours if we can?”

“Sounds good Lee.  Good night,” Nelson replied and entered his room with Lee walking down the hall to his.  He removed his tie and sat on the bed.  He turned on the TV hoping to get a weather report but would check the aviation weather and file his flight plan in the morning when he could get a more accurate weather report.  He finished getting undressed and fell into the bed watching the lightening before falling asleep.


Janet arrived at the sub pen and couldn’t park in her normal spot as they were re-surfacing the parking area closest to the boat.  She pulled next to another SUV and walked to the dock area with the duffle bag, her purse and paperwork bag.  It was only 2030 hours and no Seaview personnel were on the dock only the security guards.

“Good evening, Mrs. Crane,” Andy said as she walked up to him.   “Do you want me to take that down to the control room for you?”

“No thanks, Andy.  I’ve got to put out some paperwork for the mission so I’ll take it down.  Thanks for the offer,” Janet replied as she walked down the gangway and into the service hatch.

When she arrived at the ladder to head down to the Control Room, she knew there was no way she would be able to carry all the bags to the bottom so she dropped Lee’s duffle bag through the hatch just like she had seen the other men do before going down.  Janet saw the bag had landed close to the periscope island.  When she went down the ladder, she didn’t notice the strap of the bag had fallen on one of the rungs.  When she stepped on that rung, her foot got tangled up in the strap, she lost her balance and fell off striking her head on the periscope island.   After seeing stars, she got up, rubbed the back of her head and noticed a little blood on her finger.  Not too much blood.  I’ll check it out later, she thought. 

She opened her bag with the papers for the cruise, took out the crew roster and put it on the clipboard on the charting table for either Bobby or Chip to mark off the crew as they came on board.  When she was finished, she picked up Lee’s duffle, her two bags and made her way to the spiral staircase where she managed to get them all to the top.  By the time she got to the top and into the passageway that led to her cabin, she was a little dizzy and felt nauseated.   She dragged Lee’s duffle to their cabin and left his bag right next to the desk while she put her purse and bag on the desk.  By that time, she was so dizzy she could hardly stand.  Damn, I should have eaten before I came here, Janet thought as she laid down on the bunk and closed her eyes hoping the dizziness would stop.


Lee was up at 0600 hours and saw the storm had stopped and the sun was peeking through a small opening in the curtains.  He quickly showered, dressed and packed his duffle so they could leave on schedule.  He checked the aviation weather and it would be clear flying all the way to California.  There was a storm brewing in the Pacific so he would check the weather again before heading out to sea noting they may have to run submerged which would take them longer to meet up with the boat.  He filed his flight plan with NIMR and left the hotel hoping to find a shop where he would get some coffee and donuts for a quick breakfast.  He wanted to leave as soon as possible as he knew the airport would be backed up with a lot of planes wanting to take off after yesterday’s storm.  He had just returned to his room when there was a knock on the door; the admiral stood there with his bag ready to leave.  The two men quickly ate, checked out and hailed a cab for the ride to the airport.  They boarded FS-1 after thanking Rory for letting them park in the hanger.  Once inside, they removed the service coats, donned their leather flight jackets, and strapped on their harnesses.  Lee flipped the switches letting the sub warm up and then radioed the tower for permission to take off.   He was number fifteen in the take-off order.

“So much for an early start,” Lee groaned as they waited in line for clearance from the tower.

When it was finally their turn, Lee was cleared for take-off and quickly had FS-1 off the ground and heading west.  They should be near the Pacific Ocean in four hours as there was a strong head wind left over from the storm.  When they were close to home Lee would get an update on the weather. 


Once all the men had reported for duty, Seaview left 2230 hours, thirty minutes early, as Chip wanted to get a head start as the water was getting a little rough from a storm brewing in the Pacific.  When Seaview cleared the breakwater, Chip ordered the boat to two hundred feet where they would stay until they reached the laboratory.   He knew Lee would check in once he was close to them.  He had tried to call Janet before they left but it went straight to voice mail so he figured she was at home sleeping.


Wanda and Angie reported for work the next morning and noticed Janet’s SUV wasn’t in her parking spot.  They called her house and cell but got no answer only voice mail. 

Angie was a little worried so she called Hank Rivers, NIMR head of security.  “Hank, this is Angie.  Could you check out the Crane house.  Janet wasn’t sailing with Seaview on their mission and I can’t get in touch with her.”

“Sure thing, Angie,” Hank replied radioing one of the cars patrolling the Institute.  He also called down to the dock security to have one of them check out the parking lot just in case her car was there.  

Hank had his answer in five minutes so he called Angie back.  “Her car is in the sub pen parking lot so maybe there was a change of plans.”

“Thanks, Hank,” Angie replied relieved realizing she might have been ordered to report to the boat and go on the mission after all.  The admiral and Lee weren’t scheduled to report in until they docked with Seaview so she would wait and find out if Janet was with them.


Lee and Harry had clear sailing until they reached the west coast.  Lee checked the weather and found there was a huge storm centered over the Pacific and heading inland.  He would be able to fly only a short way over the water as they headed for the boat before he would have to submerge as the tops of the storm’s clouds were well over 20,000 feet.  He went Mach 1 as soon as he cleared the airspace out of LAX.  He flew for an hour before the weather was too rough for him to continued so he submerged the little sub.

“FS-1 to Seaview, come in Seaview,” Lee said over the throat mic.

“This is Seaview,” Chip replied.   “Hi Lee, when will you be here?”

Looking at his watch he answered, “Not for another two hours.  We have to run submerged due to the heavy weather topside.”

“We left early to get ahead of the storm,” Chip responded.   “We’ll send out a homing signal for you.”

“Thanks Chip,” Lee answered.  “FS-1 out.”

Lee checked the computer and found the signal, honed in on it as they made their way to the rendezvous point. 


It was a very tiring ride as they ran submerged for three hours and were on the last leg of the trip when Lee finally hailed the boat.

“FS-1 to Seaview,” Lee radioed. “Open the docking bay doors.”

Seaview aye,” Chip said as Kowalski heard the request and pressed the button to open the doors.

As Lee approached the sub for docking, he noticed a strong burning electrical smell.  “Admiral, do you smell something burning?”

“Yes, I thought maybe it was just me,” Nelson answered.   “It’s a good thing we’re docking as I think the smell is getting stronger.”

“I’ll have them check it out, once we’re docked,” Lee replied as he slowly brought the sub into the docking bay and waited for the clamps the secure her before shutting her down. 

Once Lee saw the docking bay doors close, both men removed their harnesses.  Sharkey opened the hatch and waited with Chip for them to come up the ladder.  

“Chip, Chief,” Nelson acknowledged once he was clear of the hatch and waited for Lee to emerge. 

“Hi Chip, Chief,” Lee said as he stood on the deck in the observation nose.  “Chief, have someone bring up our bags but before taking them to our cabins check out the wiring on the sub.  There was a definite burning smell right before we docked.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey answered as he went down in the sub and handed Patterson the two duffle bags and who put them on the side.  He took Nelson’s briefcase and put it on the table in the observation nose before going down the ladder into the sub.

“Lee, Chip,” Harry said as he grabbed his briefcase, “Let’s meet in fifteen minutes in my cabin so we can bring Chip up to speed on the details of our new mission once we’ve unloaded the supplies at the lab.”

“Aye, sir,” both men replied as Harry made his way up the spiral staircase.  Lee followed Chip into the control room so he could check their position, speed and how long before they arrived at the lab.


Janet had fallen asleep and woke up thinking she had only been sleeping for an hour.  She quickly sat up when she felt the thrum of Seaview’s engines.  She looked at her watch and saw she had been sleeping for over twelve hours.  She quickly threw her legs over the edge of the bunk and stood up.  I’m in big trouble, she thought as she opened the door to her cabin and ran into the passageway just as the admiral was walking down the corridor towards his cabin and saw her.

“Janet,” he bellowed.  “My cabin now.”

“Yes sir,” she replied as she followed him in.  “Sir, I can explain…” she started to say when Nelson just looked at her his blue eyes ablaze so she stopped talking.  She had only seen that look one other time and that was when she slapped Jason Weldon in the face.**

He threw his briefcase on the desk and pushed down heavily on the intercom button, “Captain Crane, report to my cabin immediately,” he said sharply.

Taking the mic from the holder on the charting table, Lee replied, “Aye sir,” He looked at Chip, “I wonder what happened between here and his cabin.”

“You better get going,” Chip told him.  “He sure doesn’t sound very happy.”

Lee was already half way up the staircase taking two steps at a time, ran down the corridor and knocked on the cabin door.

“In,” Nelson answered curtly.

Lee opened the door and was still in the doorway, “Admiral, what’s…” he didn’t get to finish his sentence when he saw his wife sitting in front of Harry’s desk.

“What are you doing here?” he asked unhappily.   “You’re knew you weren’t going on this mission.”

“Admiral, Lee, please let me explain,” Janet pleaded.   “It’s not what you think.”

Lee entered the cabin and sat down on the corner of the admiral’s desk facing his wife.

Nelson glared at her as she started to tell them what happened.  “I brought Lee’s duffle and the paperwork for the mission to the sub pen.  I couldn’t carry all the bags down the ladder into the control room so I dropped Lee’s duffle down the hatch.  The strap must have fallen on one of the rungs but I didn’t see it.  When I got to that rung, my foot got tangled in the strap and I fell off the ladder and hit my head on the periscope island. I hit my head hard enough that I saw stars.  I rubbed my head and found a small cut and a bump.  I put the crew roster on the charting table and brought the bags up the staircase in the observation nose.  By the time I got them up to the top and to the cabin; I was dizzy and nauseated.  I laid down on the bunk hoping the dizziness and nausea would subside. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and just thought I was hungry.  I got here about 2030 hours and knew I had at least an hour before anyone would be arriving. I fell asleep,” Janet explained close to tears when she finished. 

Harry took a deep breath before responding, “Lee, taken her down to Sick Bay and have Jamie check her out.  If she’s okay, have someone take her back on FS-1 to the Institute.”

“Yes, sir,” Lee replied as stood and helped Janet up.

Before she left the cabin, she looked at Harry, “Admiral, I’m so sorry. I would never purposely disobey an order.”

Since he loved her like a daughter and felt sorry for her, he softened his tone, “I know you wouldn’t.  I hope you’re okay.”  

“Thank you sir,” she responded as they walked out the door into the corridor.

Lee looked at his wife with concern, “How are you feeling now?”

“Better, I’m not dizzy anymore.  Lee, you do believe me, don’t you,” Janet asked hopefully.

“I believe you,” Lee said as they walked by their cabin.  “Let’s stop here so I can take off my jacket and you can get your purse.  This way we won’t have to come back to get it.”

Lee opened the door and let Janet go in first.  After he hung his coat, he took by the waist and gave her a hug and a kiss.

“Does that mean you’re not mad at me,” Janet asked softly after returning his hug and kiss.

“No, I’m not mad at you for falling asleep but you should’ve asked for help.  You could’ve have been hurt more seriously,” Lee replied.

“Yes sir,” Janet answered giving him another kiss.  “At least I got a proper good bye.”

Lee smiled, returned her kiss and they left for Sick Bay.


Jamie was surprised to see Janet as he had a copy of the crew roster and didn’t see her name on it.

“I thought you weren’t going on this mission,” Jamie remarked.

“I wasn’t supposed to and I’m not going to be on board for long,” Janet said as she explained to Jamie what happened.

Sighing as he pointed to the gurney, “Sit down and let’s have a look at you.”

He checked her out for a concussion but didn’t find any symptoms and took a look at the back of her head where he found a slight bump and a small cut.

“You’re fine,” Jamie told them.  “No concussion and there’s nothing to do for the cut, but when you get back to the Institute, if you feel sick or dizzy again, go directly to Med Bay, understood.”

“Yes, Jamie,” Janet answered as she got up from the gurney.


Lee and Janet left Sick Bay and made their way to the Control Room.   When the entered through the aft hatch, Chip was surprised to see her.

“How did you get on board…I never saw you,” Chip said as she explained to him what took place. 

“Chip, where’s Chief Sharkey.  I want him and Riley to fly Janet back to the Institute.”

“Chief’s still down in FS-1 checking her out,” Chip replied.

Lee, Chip and Janet walked over to the observation nose just as Sharkey was coming up from FS-1.

“Chief, did you find out the problem…when can she be launched?” Lee asked.

“Yes, Skipper,” he responded holding a burnt-out relay.  “Sorry sir, she’s not going anywhere until I replace this.”

Chip and Janet looked at the part and grimaced.  It was the one they were having trouble getting from the new vendor.

“Go get one from stores,” Lee ordered.

Chip spoke up, “Lee, there are no replacement parts in stores.  That was the last one we had.  This is the part we replaced a month ago after having no problems for years.   The original vendor went out of business and I’m working with a new one but he’s still trying to get it made.”

“Yes, I remember now,” Lee said dejectedly.  “That puts FS-1 is out of service for this mission, so Janet will have to stay on board.”

“I’m sorry Lee,” Janet replied.  “Will you get in trouble from the SECNAV if I’m on board?” she asked worriedly as she didn’t want to get her husband in trouble.

“We’ll worry about him later,” Lee responded as he rubbed his hand on his forehead. “Chief, prepare the diving bell for service.  We’ll have to use it to bring the supplies down to the lab.  Have Riley, Marco and Phil along with Patterson in the Missile Room to help with the unloading of supplies when we get there.”

“Aye, aye sir,” Sharkey replied.   “Pat, bring the bags to the cabins and I’ll start preparing the bell.”

“Yes sir,” Patterson said as he grabbed the bags and went up the staircase while Sharkey exited out the aft hatch. 

“Lee, it’s going to take a lot longer to get those supplies to the lab,” Chip reminded him.

“Yes, double the time but we’ll make it work.  I’ll inform the admiral when we meet in his cabin to discuss the Navy’s mission,” Lee answered. 

“Aye sir,” Chip replied turning the conn over to O’Brien and followed Lee up the staircase to the admiral’s cabin.  Janet also ascended the staircase where she would take a quick shower, change into some new clothes and go to work.  She didn’t have many clothes on board but would make do with what she had.


Lee knocked on the Nelson’s door.   “In,” he replied as Lee and Chip entered the cabin sat down on the chairs in front of his desk.

“Admiral, FS-1 is unavailable for this cruise,” Lee said as he explained the situation regarding the part, the vendor and that Janet would have to stay on board the sub.  “We’ll be using the diving bell to take the parts down to the lab.  It’ll take us longer to re-stock the lab but I don’t see any other way,” Lee told him.

Harry nodded his head in agreement.  “How long before we get to the lab?”

“We should be there in seventy-two hours,” Chip answered.

“Fine,” Harry replied.  “Now for the Navy’s mission.”  He explained to Chip what the Navy wanted Seaview to do.

“Sir, we’ve never been in those waters,” Chip said. 

“Yes, I realize that but, I guess that’s going to change,” Harry responded.   “You two can look over the terrain of that area.  I have a feeling it’s not going to be smooth sailing,” he sighed.

“Yes sir,” the two men replied, left the cabin and returned to the control room.

Before heading for the control room, Lee checked his cabin to see if Janet was still there.  She had just finished dressing and was getting ready to go to her office.   Lee explained to her what the mission was so she could prepare the paperwork.  He quickly gave her a kiss and left the cabin before one thing would lead to another.

Once in the control room, Lee looked for any maps they had of that area.  He found a couple but since no ships had navigated that section of the ocean, there wasn’t too much data on the underwater landscape so they would have to rely on whatever satellite data was available. 


Lee conducted several drills in the mornings and afternoons for the two days they were sailing to the lab.   He was happy with the results of all the drills except for the rescue diving team. 

After completing the drill, Lee was upset with the response of the emergency dive team so he called the seven men into the observation nose and closed the crash doors. 

“Your reaction time in getting into your suits and into the water took far too long.  If there was a real diver out there that needed to be rescued, he would have died,” Lee told the men consisting of Chief Sharkey, Kowalski, Patterson, Riley, Marco, Phil and Cooper.  “We will run another drill and you better have a quicker response.  Dismissed.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” the men replied as they left the nose and returned to their stations.

He scheduled the drill for later that afternoon and was pleased with the improvement.  He recalled the men to the observation nose, “Well done, dive team…great improvement.”

“Thanks, Skipper,” the men replied in relief.

Lee and Chip were very relieved they didn’t have to worry about the paperwork as Janet noted the results of the drills and would file it.


Once the drills were completed, Lee ordered Sharkey to have the men bring the supplies for the lab to the missile room to save time.  There were quite a few boxes and containers so he wanted them ready to be loaded as soon as they were in position.

They were two hours away from the lab; Harry, Lee, Chip and Janet were in the control room when Harry asked Sparks to place the call to the lab and let them know when they were arriving.

“Admiral, I have Dr. Bender on the radio for you,” Sparks told him.

“Pipe it to the observation nose,” Harry told him.

“Aye, sir,” Sparks responded and put the call through.  

Lee and Janet joined him in the nose.  Since it would take longer to unload the boat, Lee decided Janet would check off the supplies as they were loaded into the bell as that would free up another man to help unload the supplies in the lab.

Harry picked up the mic on the table, “Gustav, it’s good to hear your voice,” Nelson said.

“Good to hear yours too Harry.  I hope your calling to tell me you’re here with our supplies.   We’re tired of eating tuna fish,” Dr. Gustav Bender, lead scientist, at the lab teased.  He had two assistants with him, Steven Karner and Robert Cager.   The main function of this lab was to check out the fish, aquatic plants and composition of the sea water.

“We should be arriving in two hours and yes, we have your supplies,” Harry answered with a grin.  “We’ll have to use the diving bell to deliver the supplies as FS-1 is out of commission so we’ll send down a crewman to help unload.”

“Thanks Harry.  Will you be coming down?”

“Yes, I’ll be there after the first load is delivered.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve discovered.”

“See you soon,” Gustav replied looking forward to seeing his friend.


The lab was situated one hundred and fifty feet below the surface so when Seaview arrived at the lab, Lee ordered maneuvering to bring her up to seventy-five feet.  He positioned her over the top of the lab so the bell would align up with the sea lab’s hatch.

“I’ll meet you in the missile room,” Harry told Lee as he made his way up the staircase.

“Yes sir,” Lee replied as he and Janet left the control room through the aft hatch and headed to the missile room. When they arrived, the missile room was packed with so many boxes and containers they could hardly walk around. 

Lee and Janet made their way over to the men who were loading the first batch of supplies, “Phil, I want you to go down to the lab and help them unload the supplies as they delivered.  Patterson, Riley, you’ll take turns riding down in the bell; change positions every hour.  Marco, you’ll help load the bell along with either Riley or Patterson.   Chief, you’ll be in charge of lowering and raising the bell.  Mrs. Crane will check off the supplies off the manifest as they are loaded.”  He looked at Janet, “You will only check off the supplies, no helping them load the bell.”

“Aye, aye sir,” they all replied. 

Since the bell didn’t hold as many supplies as FS-1, Lee figured it would take them close to nine hours to complete the delivery.

Phil and Patterson boarded the bell with as many supplies as they could fit in before Chief Sharkey lowered it down.  Once it coupled with the lab, with the help of the two men stationed at the lab, Phil would unload the supplies and send it back up for more.

Harry entered the missile room with his green sweater on his arm and made his way over to the deck hatch just as the bell was returning from its first delivery.  Harry pulled on the sweater as the crew loaded up the bell with more supplies.

“Save some room for the admiral,” Lee told the men who started to remove some boxes.

“Don’t worry Lee, I’ll be able to squeeze in there,” Harry replied as he climbed into the bell with Patterson. “I’ll let Sharkey know when we’re returning to Seaview. I’m sure Dr. Bender and his men are looking forward to dinner so I hope Cookie is making a good one.” 


When Seaview made a deliver to any of the undersea laboratories, the personnel were always treated to a home cooked meal.  Cookie would always make the labs favorite meal.  The men at this lab liked roasted chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and carrot cake for dessert. 

 “I’m sure he’ll make their favorite dinner,” Lee said as he secured the hatch on the bell after Harry was aboard.  Lee signaled Sharkey to lower the bell.  He waited until Sharkey motioned to him that the bell had reached the lab.

Lee would return to the control room once Harry was aboard the lab so he and Chip could look over the maps they had of the area they would head to for the Navy.  He also had Sparks get whatever satellite data they had which wasn’t very much as a lot of the oceans hadn’t been mapped out.


Chip was at the charting table when Lee entered the control room.  He was studying the many charts and maps he had spread out over the table.  He looked up when Lee approached the table.

“There isn’t a lot of information about the area where that plane went down.  If the coordinates are correct, the wreckage should be about two miles off the PR’s twenty-five-mile limit.  I checked out the surface maps and found there’s a volcanic island five miles away from the coordinates.  I had Sparks check it out and it’s been in-active for the last ten years.  As far as the ocean floor, there’s nothing charted as no one wants to go that close to the PR.”

Lee rubbed his hand through his hair, “I guess we’ll have to chart it as we go along.”

The two men returned to the charts and plotted the course they would take to the wreckage. 


The men in the missile room had been loading supplies for almost nine hours.  Janet figured they had only three more trips before all the supplies would be delivered. 

On the last trip up from the lab, Riley told Sharkey that the admiral and Dr. Bender would be returning on the next trip up.

“Missile room to Control Room,” Sharkey said over the mic.

“Control Room,” Lee replied, “everything okay, Chief?”

“Yes sir,” Sharkey responded. “The admiral will be returning on the next trip up.’

“Thanks, Chief,” Lee answered and stowed the mic.  “I’ll be back when the admiral and Dr. Bender are on board.”  Lee looked at his watch.  “Dinner should be served in an hour.  Hopefully they will be done unloading the supplies.”

Chip looked at Lee, “I sure hope so as I’m looking forward to dinner as I didn’t get much of a lunch.”

Grinning Lee said, “I’m sure Cookie will have plenty of food.”  

He left the control room and was surprised that there was still supplies to be loaded into the bell.  He walked over to Janet.  “How many more loads?”

“I think about three more,” she replied tiredly. 

Lee looked at her and could see she was tired along with the rest of the men.  It had been a long day for them.  Once they finished with the supplies, the men would be off duty but Janet would have dinner with the men from the lab.

When Sharkey brought the bell up, Lee undid the hatch and helped Harry and Dr. Bender out.

“Welcome aboard,” Lee said to Gustav as he shook his hand.

“Thanks, Lee,” Dr. Bender replied and looked over at Janet.

“Good to see you, Janet,” Gustav greeted her. 

“Nice to you see too, sir,” she replied with a grin.   Gustav had taken a liking to Janet as she reminded him of his daughter. 

“I hope you’re hungry,” Lee said, “I know Cookie has been cooking all day.”

“What are we having?” Gustav asked.

“Tuna casserole,” Janet joked getting a huge smile from Dr. Bender as he knew she was teasing him.

Lee piped up, “Your favorite dinner, of course.”

Harry, Lee and Gustav left the missile room and made their way to the observation nose where dinner would be served as soon as the other two men were aboard the boat.  Lee turned around and grinned at Janet as he left.

It was thirty minutes later when they finally made the last delivery and all the men were back on board the boat.  Janet escorted Steven and Robert to the nose for dinner.  


The crash doors were closed separating the observation nose with the control room., O’Brien saw Janet and the two men enter the control room and opened the doors.  Lee smiled when he saw them as he was getting worried why it was taking so long to complete the job. 

“Sorry you had to wait for us,” Janet said.  “We had more loads than expected.”

Lee handed Steven, Robert and Janet a drink while Cookie and the mess specialists set out dinner.  The group took their places at the table and enjoyed the meal.

When they were finished, Dr. Bender said, “Thanks for a fantastic dinner.   I don’t know if I’ll have room for dessert.”

Cookie smiled as the mess specialist had just brought in the carrot cake and coffee. 

“On second thought,” Gustav grinned as Cookie served him a huge piece.


Normally when Seaview made a delivery to the undersea labs, Lee would surface the boat so they could get some fresh air and look around outside instead seeing nothing but darkness when they were in the lab.

Lee left the nose to check the weather topside and didn’t like what he saw.   He returned to the nose.  “Sorry Dr. Bender but the weather topside is too rough for us to surface.  It’s very windy and there’re high waves.”

“I understand,” Dr. Bender replied.  “Just looking out the observation nose seeing the little bit of light that’s filtering through the water is fine with us.” 

The men and Janet were enjoying their coffee, cake and conversation when they felt the boat gently roll from side to side.

Lee and Chip quickly set down their cups and opened the crash doors.  Lt. O’Brien was at the sonar console talking to Kowalski.

“Kowalski, what was that?” Lee asked as he picked up the extra set of head phones.

“A small undersea quake,” he answered.

Putting on the headset, Lee looked over the screen and didn’t see anything.  “Ron, anything on the hydrophone?”

“No sir,” Ron replied as he handed Chip his headset.

Lee listened for a while before removing the headphones.  “Any idea how far away?”

“I’m guessing about hundred miles west of here,” Ski responded.

Chip removed his headset and handed it back to Ron.  “Nothing on the hydrophone.”

Lee, Chip and Bobby returned to the charting table, “How much longer are you on duty?” Lee asked.

“Another hour, sir,” he said.

“I want to be notified immediately if there’s any type of movement.  Please tell Scott and the rest of the watch when they come on duty to let me know also,” Lee ordered.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Bobby answered as Lee and Chip returned to the nose and closed the crash doors behind them.

“Problem, Lee?” Harry asked when they returned.

“A small undersea quake,” Lee said worriedly.

“We’ve noticed an increase in the seismometer readings in the last few weeks too,” Dr. Bender volunteered.  “Nothing major but it’s the first time we’ve had any readings at all.”

“Thanks for information,” Nelson replied noticing the worried look on Lee’s face meant he wasn’t telling him everything.

Looking at his watch, Gustav, said. “Well, Harry, we better get back ‘home’.  It’s been a long day for everyone.  Thanks for the delicious dinner and the supplies.”

“You’re welcome, Gustav,” Harry replied as Lee opened the crash doors.   “Hopefully, you won’t have to wait so long for the next delivery.”

Harry walked with the three men from the lab to the missile room where Sharkey and Patterson were waiting to return them to the lab.

“Thanks again, Harry,” Gustav said as Patterson helped him into the bell.  Robert and Steven climbed in while Sharkey secured the hatch.  Harry waited while Sharkey lowered the bell to the lab.  Once the bell was secured to the lab, he left the missile room for the control room.


While Nelson was in the missile room, Lee, Chip, and Janet returned to the control room where Scott Taper had replaced O’Brien on duty.  Nathan and Trevor were on sonar and the hydrophone.  While they weren’t as good as Kowalski and Ron, Lee knew they would catch any movement. 

“Skipper, Lt. O’Brien briefed me on your orders,” Scott said.  “We’ll be on our toes.”

“Thanks, Scott,” Lee replied as Nelson entered the control room. 

He walked up to Lee, “I know there’s more to the quake than you told Gustav.”

“That small quake was centered about one hundred miles west of here, right where we’re headed.   On one of the surface maps, Chip found a small island with a volcano that hasn’t erupted in ten years.”

“We don’t know if that’s the cause of the quake,” Harry said as Lee stood beside him.

“No sir,” Lee responded, “but that could be something the SECNAV failed to tell us.  I still have a feeling there’s more to this mission than they’re letting on.”

Looking at Lee with a wry grin, “Maybe there is but there’s nothing we can do about it.  I’ll see you in the morning,” Harry said as he patted Lee on the shoulder and made his way up the staircase to his cabin.

“Good night, sir,” Lee said and turned to Chip and Janet.  “I’m going to take a quick walk-around the boat.  I think we better stay here for the night and forge our way to the crash site tomorrow.

“Yes sir,” Chip replied and headed over to Scott who was at the sonar console, relayed Lee’s order and headed back to the charting table where Janet was standing.

“I’ll see you in a little while,” Lee told her.  “Go up to the cabin, you look tired.”

“I am tired,” she replied.  “I didn’t realize checking off and loading supplies could be so exhausting.” 

Lee frowned when Janet said loading, “Did you help load the supplies?”

“Go do you walk-around,” Janet said quickly and left him standing there knowing she would be in trouble because she did help them load the supplies.


Chip waited for Janet to ascend the stairs before following her up.  He undid his tie while they walked to their cabins.

“Chip, why the worry about the sea quake?” Janet asked as they headed down the passageway.

“Sea quakes can cause undersea landslides and Lee’s worried that it could bury anyone who’s out there trying to recover the box.  It could also bury the plane and box before we get there,” Chip responded.

“I understand,” Janet said when they reached his cabin.  “Good night, Chip.”

No wonder Lee looked so worried, Janet thought as she reached the door of their cabin.


Once in their cabin, Janet let out a big yawn; she couldn’t wait to hit the rack.  Since she didn’t have any pajamas on board, she had snagged one of Lee’s pajama tops, she put it on and climbed in the bunk.  She wanted to wait for Lee to return but was too tired and she knew he wouldn’t be back for at least two hours.  She fell asleep as soon as she laid down.

Lee returned two hours later and smiled when he saw Janet asleep.  He had talked to Marco, who was just going off duty, when he stopped in the missile room.  He asked him about Janet helping load the bell and Marco told him that she did help.  He also told him he was surprised at how much she could pack into the bell. 

Lee quietly removed his uniform and took his pajama bottoms off the hook in the head, put them on and slid into the bunk next to her.  She never moved or woke up.   Lee laid there for a while hoping they wouldn’t have any problems getting to the wreckage.


Lee and Janet were up early the next morning as Lee wanted to get an early start on heading to the wreckage, but he also wanted let his wife know that she needed to follow orders.

As Janet scrounged for something to wear, Lee was in the head shaving. “I’m going to put you on report,” he said in his command voice.

Janet stopped what she was doing.   What have I done now, she thought as she leaned up against the bunk.

Lee came out of the head, wiping his face with a towel and walked over to the bunk.  He rested his hands on the bunk putting one hand on each side of her.   “You were ordered not to help load the bell and you did it anyway.”

Janet looked him in the eye, “Yes sir,” she replied deviously as she rubbed her hand on his chest slowly working her way down into his pajamas bottoms and found her intended target.

“You could have…,” Lee tried to continue but let out low moan instead as Janet distracted him while she undid the drawstring on his pajamas and let them fall to floor still working him over.  He picked her up and laid her gently on the bed.  Before long her pajama top was laying on the floor next to his bottoms.  

“Oh Lee,” she said breathlessly as they made love.

“Am I still going on report?” Janet asked as she laid nestled in Lee’s arm when they were finished.

“No,” he replied kissing her forehead.  “But, please just follow orders.”

“Yes, sir,” she answered crisply.

Lee got out of bed, showered and went to breakfast without Janet so they could head for the wreckage site.  “I’ll see you later,” he told her as he left the cabin.   She was still looking for something to wear as she had run out clothes.  She would head down to the laundry to wash what little clothes she had on board.

“I’ll be there shortly,” she replied and gave him a quick kiss.

She found something to wear, took a quick shower and went to the wardroom for breakfast. Harry and Jamie were still there so she would have breakfast with them.


When Lee entered the control room and went to the charting table, Chip looked at his watch.  “Running a little late today,” he teased.

“Yes, and it’s none of your business why,” Lee replied with a grin.  “I assume there were no more sea quakes as no one notified me.”

“Nothing is noted in the log book and Scott didn’t tell me about any,” Chip responded.

“Have you plotted a course?”

“Yes,” Chip answered, “but it’s going to be slow going once we’re about twenty-five miles from the lab.   I looked at the charts again and there is no easy way to get there.  There’re lots of sea mounts, rocks, and small caverns.  It’s even worse to the south as its nothing but solid rock.  We can’t go further north as that would put us ten miles into PR territory.”

Lee shook his head acknowledging what Chip had found out and then looked at who was manning the critical stations and was happy to see he had his top men there; Kowalski on sonar, Patterson on the hydrophones and Riley minding the seismometer. 

“Let’s head out,” Lee said as Chip gave maneuvering the coordinates and the engine room the speed.   Seaview’s engines were engaged and you could feel her pick up speed as they proceeded to the coordinates. 


Harry, Jamie and Janet finished eating and left the wardroom.  Jamie returned to sick bay while Harry went to the control room.  Janet went to her office to grab the laptop computer so Chip could mark some of the crucial areas of the ocean that hadn’t been charted. When Nelson arrived, both Lee and Chip were at the charting table looking at the maps they had spread out. 

“Everything okay?” Nelson asked as Lee looked up and rubbed his finger on his lips.

“So far, but we haven’t reached the most dangerous part of the trip,” Lee replied.

“Skipper,” Riley yelled from the seismometer, “I’m getting a reading from the volcano.”

Lee ran over to the sonar station, “Ski, how far away?”

“About 3,000 yards, not creating too much turbulence,” he responded.

Lee picked up the extra set of headphones and listened.  “Doesn’t seem to be too bad,” he said as he took off the headphones.

Picking up the mic from the periscope island, Lee announced, “All hands, brace for turbulence.”  He stowed the mic back and returned to the sonar screen as Seaview rocked back and forth but not enough force to knock the men off their feet.

Lee looked at Harry, “I have a feeling, we’re heading into a maelstrom.”

Harry answered, “I’m getting that same feeling.   If you need me, I’ll be in my cabin.   I might have some more detailed charts in there on this part of the ocean.”

“Yes sir,” Lee replied. 

Harry ascended the staircase and when he arrived at the top Janet was just coming down the passageway with the computer.   “I’ll be in the observation nose if you need me sir,” she said to him.

“I think you’ll be tied up most of the day with Chip and the mapping of the ocean floor,” he replied.  “Neither of them are very happy right now.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Janet replied as she went down the staircase and brought the computer over to Chip who would put in the data as they went along.


Seaview was at one hundred and fifty feet and had traveled twenty-five miles.  Lee was in the observation nose looking out the windows when the current started to pick up causing her to drift to the right almost rubbing against a sea mount.  

“Steady as she goes,” Lee said to the helmsman.

“Aye, sir,” Phil and Marco replied as they gripped the wheel a little tighter. 

As Lee continued to look out, Seaview’s spotlight revealed a dark and foreboding cavern with sea mounts, rocks and who knows what as far as he could see.

“Chip, look at what’s up ahead,” Lee said as he went over to the sonar console and turned on the front nose camera. 

“Nothing was noted on a chart or map about a cavern,” Chip reported as he looked over the maps again.

“Depth from keel to bottom?” Lee asked Kowalski.

“One hundred feet, Skipper,” Ski answered.   “There’s one hundred feet of rock above us.   As far as I can tell, we should fit through the cavern.”  Kowalski reported without Lee asking knowing those would be his next questions.

As Seaview got closer to the entrance of the cavern, Lee could feel the current was starting to sweep them in.  “Engine room, reduce speed to 1/3,” he ordered.

“Aye sir, reducing speed to 1/3,” the engine room repeated.

The huge boat slowly decreased its speed but was still being pulled in by the current.

Harry felt the decrease in speed and pushed the button on the intercom, “Lee, what’s the problem?”

Picking up the mic Lee said, “We’re coming to the entrance of a cavern and the current is picking up.”

“I’ll be right down,” Harry replied getting up from his desk and headed down the staircase his heels clicking on the stairs.

He walked to the charting table facing the observation nose, Harry looked over his shoulder while Lee stood behind him with his tie undone, top button unbuttoned, worried look on his face and beads of sweat on his forehead.   

“It looks like it’s going to be a rough ride for the next several miles,” Lee said as the boat entered the cavern.

As Seaview made her way deeper into the cavern, the current became more treacherous.  The gently swaying of the boat was replaced by a harder rock and roll causing the crew to hold on to whatever they could find. 

“Thank goodness for the electronic stabilizers,” Lee told the admiral as they held onto the periscope island. “Or we wouldn’t stand a chance against this current.”  Chip and Janet had braced themselves at the charting table.

Harry nodded his head in agreement and looked out the windows in the observation nose as Seaview plowed through the dangerous current, the spotlight revealing nothing but darkness ahead.

At the mercy of the current, the boat slowly made her way through the cavern drifting right and then left.   “Hold her steady,” Lee yelled to the helmsman who grabbed the wheel tighter causing their knuckles to turn white as sweat formed on their brows.

Lee, his eyes fixed on the forward nose camera, could see the cavern narrow slightly, “Four-degrees right rudder,” he told the helmsman wanting to make sure he kept the boat in the middle of the cavern.

The current continued to push them through the cavern. The current was getting stronger causing the boat to rock and roll more violently than before.  Lee used the back of his sleeve to wipe the sweat that had formed on his brow.  Chip was trying to note everything down on the computer as they went along.  He too was sweating and had undone his tie.  Janet held on to the computer while Chip entered the data and was surprised at how much she was also sweating.

“Keep her steady,” he said to the helmsman as they were still drifting as the current kept pushing them along.  He finally saw the end of the cavern…it had been a fifty-mile trip.

When Seaview made her way out of the cavern, Lee went over to the helmsman, “Good work men,” he said and patted them on the shoulders.  Both men were covered in sweat.  Phil let go of his wheel and shook out his one hand and then the other as they were starting to cramp up.  Marco did the same thing and wiped the sweat off his face.

The current wasn’t as strong as in the cavern, nothing Seaview couldn’t handle, the rocking and rolling had stopped.  There was open water above them and the ocean floor had dropped considerably so Lee wasn’t too worried about the next twenty-five miles.

Lee looked around the control room.  He could see the men were still tense and covered in sweat even though the air revitalization system was working.  He could only imagine what the rest of the crew was like…they needed a break. 

“Admiral, I know we want to get to that plane and the box, but how about we stop here for a few minutes to let the men catch their breath and just relax for fifteen minutes,” Lee asked.  Hell, I need a break, he thought as he ran his hand through his hair.

Harry looked around and nodded, “I agree Lee.  We all could use a break…that was one scary ride.”

Lee picked up the mic at the charting table, “Engine room, all stop.”

“All stop, aye sir,” the engine room answered.

Seaview slowly came to a halt; the whole control room crew took a deep breath and let it out. 


Once Seaview stopped, Cookie brought a fresh pot of coffee and some cookies to the nose.  As Janet poured mugs of coffee for the men, Riley was watching the readings on the seismograph.

“Skipper, you better take a look at this,” Riley said.

Lee walked over to the station and pushed the button to release the paper showing the readings.   “Damn,” he mumbled and walked over to the charting table where Harry and Chip were standing.

“What is it?” Harry asked as Lee hands him the reading.

“That volcano is showing signs of erupting again but this time it looks to be a little stronger than the other one.”

“We better get moving and get to the site before it does erupt,” Harry told Lee.

Before Lee could tell the engine room to get underway, Kowalski shouted, “Tidal wave approaching in thirty seconds.”

“All hands brace for tidal wave,” Lee said into the nearest mic.

Just as Lee finished his announcement, the boat was hit by a huge tidal wave sending everyone sprawling.  Lee, Chip and Harry were sent flying to the port side of the boat with Lee landing on Phil at the helm before all three were then launched to the starboard side.  Janet still in the observation nose was sent flying across the nose and fell against the table and onto deck.   The red emergency lighting took the place of the normal lights.

Once the violent rocking and rolling ceased, Lee and Chip helped Harry off the deck.

“Are you okay, sir?” Chip asked with concern as he saw him rubbing the back of his head.

“I’m fine,” he replied.

Lee picked up the cord from the mic that was dangling off the end of the charting table.   He surveyed the control room making sure the crewmen were okay and noticed a few of them rubbing their shoulders but all the men had reported back to their stations.  A small fire had broken out on the starboard side of the boat but Ron grabbed a fire extinguisher and had it under control.

 “Damage control report,” Lee said as he continued to check out the control room.

“No structural damage, small fire in the circuitry room so we’ll be on emergency lighting for fifteen minutes, no injuries reported,” Sharkey reported.

“Thanks, Chief,” Lee replied as Chip picked up the maps, charts and slide rulers from the floor and put them back on the charting table. 

“Engine room, all ahead standard,” Lee ordered.

“Engine room, aye,” they replied as Seaview got underway.

As Lee stowed the mic he looked in the observation nose for Janet.

“Where’s Janet,” he asked Chip.

“Last time I saw her she was in the nose getting coffee,” Chip replied looking in the nose and didn’t see her either.

Lee and Chip ran into the nose where she was just getting up from the deck. Broken coffee mugs littered the deck floor along with the coffee.   “Chip, get maintenance up here to clean this up.”

“Yes, Lee,” Chip said and headed for the control room and made the call.

“Are you okay?” Lee asked worriedly as he helped her up afraid she was burned from the coffee and injured from hitting the table.

Rubbing her hand, “I’m fine.  Just a little wet so I’ll have to change,” she replied as she looked at her wet shirt and pants.

He noticed she was rubbing her hand, so he took it, looked it over.  “Go change then stop in sick bay and see Jamie before you come back.  You have a large bump there.”

“It’s okay,” she responded but Lee gave her the ‘you better follow the order’ look.  “I’ll have him check it out.”

She went up the staircase, changed her clothes and went to sick bay where Jamie looked at her hand and gave her an ice pack to put on it after telling her it was just a bruise.

“I told Lee that but he insisted I see you,” Janet said as she took the ice pack and left sick bay.

She reported back to the control room just as the lights came on, “Jamie said it was only a bruise and to keep the ice pack on it so I can return to duty,” Janet told Lee who was standing at the charting table.

“Thank you,” Lee replied with a smile.

Chip had calculated that they would be at the crash site in an hour so Lee gave Sparks the radio frequency the SECNAV had given them for the black box.  Once they got closer to the site, Lee hoped they would pick up the signal.


As Seaview approached the crash site, Kowalski called over to Lee, “Skipper, I’m picking up a metal object…about three thousand yards off the port bow.”

Nelson, Lee and Chip walked over to the sonar console where Lee picked up the head phones and listened to the echoes.

“Could be the plane,” Lee replied and put down the head sets.

“All stop,” Lee ordered.

The huge submarine glided to a stop not too far from the airplane.   Janet was in the nose and spotted it.

“Skipper, it’s the plane,” she yelled to Lee.  “It’s broken in half.”

The three men looked up from the sonar console and stared at her, “Did she just call you Skipper?” Chip chuckled as Janet had never called Lee that before.

Harry, Lee and Chip walked into the nose to get a better look at the plane.  Lee walked over to Janet, “Skipper,” he whispered as he stood next to her.

“Sorry, it just came out,” Janet answered with a smile.

“The plane must have split in two when it hit the water,” Harry remarked.

Lee went to the radio shack.  “Sparks, any sounds from the plane?”

“I can hear a very faint pinging but I don’t think it’s coming from the plane,” he replied handing Lee another head set.

Lee stood there listening and handed him back the head set.  “Give me one of the water-proof radio trackers and program it with the radio frequency,” he told Sparks.

Sparks handed Lee a tracker, “Skipper, already programmed and ready to use,” he replied as Lee took the radio and patted him on the shoulder. 

Lee walked back to the observation nose, “There’s a faint pinging but we don’t think it’s coming from the plane.  I’m going to take two divers out and see if we can’t locate the box.”

“Go ahead,” Harry answered.

Lee returned to the control room, “Ski, Riley come with me, we’re going to go find a black box.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” the men responded as they left their station and were immediately replaced with two other men.

Lee called the missile room, “Chief Sharkey, ready three diving suits.  I’m going out along with Kowalski and Riley.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey replied as he pulled Lee’s yellow diving suit off the rack and got it ready for him.  Gil took two more suits and equipment off the rack and prepared them for Kowalski and Riley.


The three men entered the missile room and put on their wet suits.  As they finished suiting up, Lee said, “We’re looking for a black box; the box is twelve-inches square which is the standard issued box from ONI.  The tracker will have a flashing light.  The closer we get to the box; the light will get brighter and the flashing will speed up until we find the box at which time the flashing will stop.  Looking at the plane, I don’t know if it’s in the back or the front.”

“Skipper, why is the box black and not orange or another neon color so it can be found easier?” Riley asked.

“The box is black so it looks like it’s part of the cockpit so if someone does find it they wouldn’t know it wasn’t meant to be there.”

The men put on their tanks and made their way over to the escape hatch.  Lee made sure the tracker was securely attached to his weight belt.  Sharkey undid the wheel and turned on the regulator valves as they entered the chamber.  He secured the hatch and signaled Gil to release the valve.  He watched the flood indicator as it filled up with water and heard the outside hatch open releasing the men.


Lee and the two men swam to the front of the boat and to the back of the plane which was about fifty yards off the front bow.  Harry, Chip and Janet watched from the observation nose as they came into sight. 

“Sparks, make sure we have an open mic to the divers,” Chip ordered.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sparks replied as he flipped a switch.

The three men made their way into the back of the plane.  Lee removed the tracker from his belt and held it up.  There was only a faint light and slow flash.  “I don’t think the box is in the part of the plane.  Riley, I want you to look around and see if you can find it,” Lee said.

“Aye, sir,” Riley answered.

As he looked around, Lee and Kowalski swam to the front section of the plane.  Lee noticed the light was brighter and the flashing increased but the signal wasn’t as strong as it should be if he had located the box.  “I don’t think it’s here either.   Admiral, are you sure this tracker will find that box?”

“Yes, Lee,” Harry replied.  “It’s got to be there somewhere.”

“Kowalski, look around in here.  I’m going to check outside the plane to see if it lying somewhere away from the wreckage.”

“Yes, sir,” Kowalski responded and started looking around the cockpit and the back side of the plane.  Riley had finished with his section of the plane and returned to the front half to help Kowalski search for the box.

Lee left the front section of the wreckage and swam around to the right.  The signal was getting stronger as he swam towards the front of the plane.  He had gone about twenty-five feet in front of the plane when the light was bright and the flashing had stopped.  He was standing on the edge of a crevice.  He aimed his light down into the crevice and saw the black box sitting on a ledge.  As he faced the crevice, on his right was an open hole, he moved his light over to the hole and couldn’t see the bottom.  On his left was a small land mass at the foot of the crevice.  The ledge was six-foot long and about five feet deep.

“I found it,” he said as Riley and Kowalski swam over to him. 

“Where is it?” Harry asked as he was unable to see what Lee was looking at.

“It’s on a ledge in a crevice.  I’m going to try and get into the crevice,” Lee said as he handed his light to Riley. “Damn,” he mumbled.  “I’m too big for the crevice.

“Skipper, let me try,” Kowalski said as he tried to get into the crevice but he didn’t have any luck.

“Admiral, maybe I can reach if I lay down,” Lee told Harry as he laid down on the ocean floor and reached into the crevice only to be a foot short of reaching it.

“Ski, see if you can reach,” Lee said as Kowalski also tried to grab it and didn’t have any luck.

“Can’t we try and hook it with a rope and haul it up?” Riley asked taking his rope off his belt.

“No that won’t work as there’s nothing to tie the rope too.  The box is smooth all the way around.  I don’t want to jostle it too much because I’m afraid it will fall in the large hole in front of the ledge.”

“How about a magnet?” Janet suggested as she listened to the conversation.

“Good thinking but the box isn’t made out of metal so the magnet wouldn’t work,” Lee explained but was impressed that she thought of it.

“Chip, who’s the smallest man on the boat?” Lee asked.

Chip mentally ran through every crew member.  “Cooper,” he said. 

“Get him suited up and out here,” Lee ordered.

“Yes, sir,” Chip replied and picked up the mic on the table.  “Cooper, report to the missile room on the double, you’re going for a swim.”

Chip left the nose and went down to the missile room to brief him.


Cooper was one of the mess specialist but also worked in the reactor room.  He was tall, lanky and one of the rescue dive team divers and didn’t get off the boat too often.  He was cleaning up the wardroom after lunch when he heard the order.  Surprised he at looked at Cookie.

“Cooper, what are you waiting for,” Cookie said.  “Get moving.”

“Yes, sir,” Cooper replied and hustled out of the wardroom and into the missile room where Sharkey and Gil were getting his diving suit ready.

Chip was already in the missile room when Cooper arrived.

“The Captain is fifty plus yards in front of the boat.  Follow his light beam.  He needs your help getting a box out of a crevice.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Cooper responded as he finished suiting up. 

Sharkey opened the hatch adjusted his regulator and secured the hatch.  He watched the ball rise to the top of the plastic cylinder signaling the hatch was full.

When Chip returned to the observation nose he reported, “Skipper, Cooper’s on his way.”

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee answered and waved his flashlight so Cooper could see him.

Cooper swam up to Lee who explained what he needed.   Cooper tried to get into the crevice and he was just a little too large for the crevice.  He laid down and reached into the crevice but couldn’t get his hands on the box.

“Mr. Morton,” Marco yelled from the seismometer.  “The volcano is erupting.  Turbulence in sixty seconds.”

Harry, Chip and Janet ran into the control room, Chip picked up the mic, “Lee, return to the boat.  Turbulence headed our way.”

“Let’s go men,” Lee ordered as the four of them swam as fast as they could to the boat as they didn’t want to get caught outside the boat when the turbulence hit.

Chip picked up the mic, “Attention all hands, brace for turbulence in fifty seconds.”

Harry and Janet held onto the periscope island while Chip braced himself at the charting table.  “Come on,” he muttered under his breath as he watched the divers swim back to the boat from the nose camera.  He lost sight of them when they approached the escape hatch.


The four divers made it back to the hatch where Lee made sure the three men were in the hatch before he entered it.  They were no sooner in the hatch when the boat was rocked by the turbulence.  Lee was still on the ladder when the turbulence struck causing him to hit his head on the ladder.  Kowalski had just made it to the bottom but he struck his head on the gauges.  Cooper and Riley were thrown against the sides of the hatch.

Meanwhile in the control room, the crew was tossed around before the rocking and rolling stopped.  Harry and Janet were thrown to the deck but were uninjured and got up with no help.  Chip landed on the helmsman and then was also thrown to the deck.  Chip picked himself up and looked around the control room.  He noticed they were shaken up but no one was injured.

He reached for the mic, “Damage control report.”

“No damage to report.  One injury, he’s on his way to sick bay,” DC reported.

Double clicking the mic, Chip called, “Missile room, did the divers make back aboard?”

“Aye Mr. Morton.  They’re in the escape hatch,” Sharkey reported as Gil undid the wheel on the hatch.

The four men tumbled out of the hatch.  Cooper and Riley were rubbing their shoulders, Kowalski had a large cut on his forehead and Lee also had a cut on his head and had a headache from bumping his head on the ladder. 

“Report to sick bay as soon as you’re dressed,” Lee ordered the men. 

“Aye, sir,” they replied and quickly changed into the uniforms and headed out the missile room hatch.

“Ah, Skipper,” Sharkey said, “You might want to go too as you’ve got a cut on your forehead.”

“I know Chief,” Lee answered as he sat down on the bench and tied his shoes.  “I’ll go there shortly.”  He stood up and took a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped away the blood that was dripping down his cheek.  He left the missile room and headed for the control room.


When Lee arrived in the control room, he looked around and saw that all the stations were manned. 

 “Any damage?” Lee asked as he looked at Janet making sure she was okay.  She caught him staring at her and wondered what was wrong.

“No damage, one injury,” Chip replied.  “Make that two injuries.  You better lay-up to sick bay and have that cut looked at.”

“I’m fine,” Lee declared as he wiped away some more blood and rubbed his forehead as his headache was getting worse.  He knew he had a slight concussion but didn’t want to get stuck in sick bay until after they had retrieved the box.

“Lee,” Janet started to say but he stopped her.  “I’ll go later.”

“How are we going to get that box out of the crevice?” Harry asked.

“I’m not sure sir,” Lee answered running his hand through his hair.  “There’s no way to reach it and no one small enough to fit into the crevice.” 

 “I’ll go,” Janet declared.   “You wanted the smallest man on board… that would be me.   I have my advanced open water certification and Lee has taken me on several dives.”

Harry, Lee and Chip looked at Janet and couldn’t argue with her about her size or capabilities.

“I don’t like it,” Nelson said worriedly.  “There’s got to be another way.”

“Admiral, no one else can get into the crevice provided the turbulence didn’t cover it.  It’s too narrow long ways but she should be able to go in the front side.”

Sighing deeply Harry looked at Janet, “You’re willing to do it.”

“Yes sir,” she responded.  

Since they really needed to get that box, Harry and Lee both reluctantly agreed.

“Janet, go get your diving suit on and I’ll get dressed and meet you in the missile room,” Lee told her. 

“No,” Nelson said, “You’ll go to sick bay and have Jamie check you out.   Chip and Patterson will accompany Janet on the dive.

“Aye, sir,” Lee replied as he rubbed the back of his neck.  He had a headache and knew he shouldn’t go out on a dive.

Janet looked at Lee as she ascended the staircase.  She would’ve liked to have Lee with her but she had been diving with Chip before and was comfortable going with him.  Chip, Lee and Patterson walked out of the control room. 

No one was in the observation nose and didn’t see any of the rocks falling from the land mass at the back of the crevice to the ocean floor.


Lee arrived in sick bay just as Kowalski, Cooper and Riley were leaving.  Chip and Patterson continued on to the missile room.

“Are you all right?” Lee asked as he was worried about them.

“Yes sir,” Kowalski replied for the men.  “Fit for duty.” 

“Thanks for your help men,” Lee told them.  “Report back to your stations.”

“Aye, sir,” they replied and headed to the control room and wardroom.

“It’s about time you showed up,” Jamie said to Lee when he walked in.  

Giving him a wry grin, “You just can’t wait to get your hands on me,” Lee replied as he sat down on the gurney.  “How’s Kowalski, I see he had a bandage on his forehead.”

“Just a couple of stitches and a waterproof bandage,” he answered as he looked at Lee’s forehead.  “The other men just had a few bruises.”

“Your cut doesn’t need stitches but I don’t like how your eyes look.  Do you have a headache?”

“Yes,” Lee answered truthfully.  “I bumped it on the ladder in the escape hatch.”

After doing a more thorough check, Jamie determined Lee had a slight concussion and wouldn’t be able to dive for a couple of days.

Jamie put a waterproof bandage on Lee’s forehead. “You’re free to go,” Jamie said to Lee as he stood up from the gurney. 

“Thanks, Jamie,” Lee replied as he left sick bay.


Janet entered her cabin and took her swimsuit out of the drawer and put it on before slipping into her black diving suit with shocking neon pink stripes.  She was a little nervous but knew the admiral and Lee were counting on her to retrieve the box.  Maybe Lee won’t get into trouble because I’m on board if I get the box, she thought as she finished changing.

She took a deep breath and left the cabin going down the ladder to the missile room just as Lee was leaving sick bay.

He waited for her so he could walk with her.

“You okay?” she asked with concern as she could tell he wasn’t feeling well.

“Yes, no stitches but I do have a slight concussion so it’s good I’m not diving with you,” he said as they entered the missile room.

Chip and Patterson had just finished dressing and were putting on their tanks.  Lee explained to them where the box was located.

“Please be careful.  There’s a huge hole in front of the ledge…it’s so deep you can’t see the bottom.  Just get the box and get out of there,” Lee said as he gave Janet a pouch to put the box in so it would be easier for her to swim back.  He then helped her on with her tanks and turned on her regulator while Sharkey and Gil took care of Chip and Patterson.

The three of them entered the escape chamber, Lee secured the hatch and signaled Gil to fill it with water.  They watched the water fill the plastic tube letting them know the hatch was full.  Lee looked into the porthole and gave Janet a thumbs-up.  He left the missile room and joined Harry in the observation nose.  They didn’t have to wait too long before they saw the divers clear the front of the boat.


Chip was in the lead with Janet directly behind him and Patterson next to Janet.  Janet stopped briefly and Patterson stopped with her.

“You okay Mrs. C.?” he asked stopping when she stopped.

“Yes, the pouch was making it hard to swim as it keeps flying in my face, I want to tuck it in my weight belt.”

She tucked it in and caught up to Chip who was waiting for them.  The three divers made it to the crevice.   Chip flashed his light down into the crevice and saw that the box was still sitting on the ledge.

“The box is still there,” he reported.

“Good,” Lee answered.  “Janet, go to the front of the crevice.  I think you’ll fit in there.”

“Yes, Lee,” she replied as she swam to the front.

Chip and Patterson helped her slip down into front of the crevice.  Once she was level with the ledge, she knelt on the edge and reached for the box.  She grabbed it, stowed it in the pouch and snapped it closed. 

“Got it,” she exclaimed as she pushed off the ledge.


“Skipper,” Riley shouted, “the seismometer is showing some activity.  Looks like an undersea quake is going to hit the area.

“Chip, get back to the boat.  There’s quake going to hit the area,” Lee warned. 

“We’re on our way,” Chip replied.


Janet reached her arms up so Chip and Patterson could pull her up out of the crevice. Just as Chip and Patterson were helping her out, the underwater quake hit causing the land mass at the back of the crevice to start sliding down into the crevice.  The force of the quake caused the men to let go of Janet’s hands.  Losing her balance, she fell backwards into the crevice bumping her head on the side and landed on her back.

I’m being buried alive, Janet thought as rocks and sand piled on top of her.  Panicking, she tried to push away the rocks and sand as they continued to bury her but her arms were pinned by her sides.  She was amazed that she still had on her mask and regulator.  With the pouch laying across her chest and the weight of the rocks and sand; she was having a hard time breathing.  Her head hurt and she was dizzy from knocking her head on the edge of the crevice.  Tears ran down her face as she realized she would never see Lee or anyone she loved again.

Chip and Patterson also lost their balance and were knocked down.  They were trapped as the rocks, boulders, and sand continued to fall on top of them.  As hard as they tried to push away the debris that fell, the size and weight of the boulders, rocks and sand proved too much and buried them up to their chests.


Harry and Lee watched in horror as they were buried. 

Picking up the mic from the table, “Janet, Chip, Patterson,” Lee yelled frantically.

Janet faintly heard Lee’s voice calling her over the radio. “Lee, love you,” she replied weakly before everything went black.

 “Chip, Janet, Patterson” Lee shouted again, but not one of them responded.

Throwing the mic on the table, he ran into the control room, “O’Brien, conn,” he barked as he continued out the aft hatch with Nelson following quickly behind.

Taking the mic from the holder, “Rescue diving party, report to the missile room on the double.  This is not a drill,” O’Brien ordered.   “Chief Sharkey, bring all digging equipment to the missile room.   Sick bay report to the missile room three divers down.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey replied as he snagged a crewman in the passageway to help him gather the equipment from one of the storage rooms.

“Aye, aye,” Jamie responded as he and his corpsman grabbed their emergency supply kit and stretchers.

Gil and Blair were in the missile room and immediately readied the scuba gear.  Simpson, Thompson, and Dunlap also reported to the missile room to help out with the diving suits and assist anywhere they were needed.

 Cooper arrived first, with Kowalski and Riley right behind him.  As Lee ran down the passageway, he was undoing his tie and buttons.  He arrived in the missile room and was unbuttoning his cuffs. Blair had his suit ready, so he quickly shed his shirt, shoes and pants and donned his diving suit.  

As the four divers were ready to leave the boat, Sharkey handed Cooper and Riley each a shovel and Kowalski a pick ax.

Just as Lee followed the three drivers into the escape hatch, Jamie ran into the missile room.  “Captain,” he said angrily.

“Jamie not now,” Lee hollered and entered the hatch.  Gil turned the valve and watched the tube fill up as the other three divers got ready to go out.

“Admiral, I told the Captain he couldn’t dive for a couple of days,” Jamie reported exasperated with Lee’s disregard for his orders.

Harry lightly touched his arm, “Jamie, Patterson, Chip and Janet are the three divers,” Harry said softly.

Jamie let out a sigh, “We’ll be ready when they bring them aboard,” he answered.

“I know you will,” Harry replied.  “I’ll be in the observation nose.”

“Yes, sir,” Jamie responded as Harry left the missile room and headed for the nose.

Sharkey, Phil and Marco finished suiting up and climbed into the escape hatch, Gil released the valve and they left the boat swimming towards the other divers.


As the first team of divers swam to the trapped men, Lee told them urgently, “I only saw two divers trapped.  Look around the area and see if you can locate the other diver.  Kowalski, Riley, you take the diver on the back side of the crevice.  Cooper and I will free the diver on the front.  Let me know which diver you have.”

“Aye, sir,” the three men replied as they arrived at the crevice.

They quickly surveyed the area and only saw the two divers so Kowalski and Riley went over to their diver. 

“Skipper, we have Patterson,” Kowalski reported.  As they removed some of the smaller rocks away from him, they saw a large boulder had trapped his leg.   Both Riley and Kowalski tried to move it but it wouldn’t budge.  Kowalski looked at Lee.  “We can’t move the boulder and his leg is caught.”

Lee shouted, “Where are those other divers?”

“Right here, Skipper,” Sharkey answered as they swam up to Lee.

“Marco, Phil, help Ski and Riley free Patterson and get him back to the boat,” Lee directed.

“Aye, sir,” the men responded quickly.  It took all four men to move the boulder off Patterson’s leg.  Once his leg was freed, Riley and Marco started digging the sand away from him. 

Lee and Cooper approached their diver and discovered it was Chip.  “Chip, where’s Janet,” Lee asked frantically.

“Lee, I’m sorry…she fell backwards…I lost my grip on her hand,” Chip responded terrified they wouldn’t be able to get to her.

“Don’t worry, we’ll find her and get her out,” Lee reassured Chip as he could see Chip was very upset.  

Lee looked over the crevice and as much as he wanted to dig for his wife, he knew that they would have to dig through all the debris that covered Chip and Patterson to get into the crevice, so he had no choice but to free them first.

Chip was buried up to his chest in rocks, small boulders and sand.  Lee, Sharkey and Cooper moved the rocks off his legs and carefully moved the sand off of him.

The four men had finally dug out Patterson.  Marco and Phil wrapped their arms around his waist and took him back to the boat.  As they passed Lee, he could see his leg was broken by the way it just hung in place.

Kowalski and Riley joined Lee and the other two men as they continued to dig out Chip. 

“Ski, Riley, starting digging out the crevice.  I’m afraid Janet is buried somewhere in the debris. 

“Aye, Skipper,” they replied and starting hastily digging, careful not to put their shovels in too deep as not to hurt her.

Finally, Lee, Sharkey and Cooper got Chip free.  “Lee, let me help dig,” Chip gasped trying to catch his breath.  “I’m not hurt that badly.”

“No, you’re going back to the boat,” Lee ordered.  “Chief, take Mr. Morton back to the boat and bring out an extra air tank.  Janet could run out of air by the time we find her.”

“Yes, sir,” Sharkey replied as he took Chip’s arm and led him back to the boat.

Chip’s chest and ankle hurt so he was having a hard time swimming.  When Marco and Phil returned to help dig after dropping off Patterson, Sharkey stopped Phil and had him help Chip to the boat while Marco continued on.

When they reached the hatch, Phil went down the ladder first and then helped Chip down.  Sharkey quickly followed.  They waited as the hatch was drain of water.


Meanwhile on Seaview, Harry and O’Brien stood in the observation nose watching them dig out the two men.  He had been listening to their conversations as he had Sparks key up the radios so he could hear what was taking place. 

“Damn,” he mumbled softly when he heard that Janet was trapped in the crevice.  O’Brien heard him but didn’t say anything but knew how Harry felt about her.

He waited a few minutes before leaving for the missile room as he wanted to make sure they got Chip free.  Once Chip was free he left for the missile room and arrived just as they were bringing Patterson out of the hatch on the way to sick bay.

Dunlap and Simpson took him from the arms of Marco and Phil.  Before they laid him on the stretcher, Gil removed his hood, weight belt and air tanks and helped Dunlap and Simpson lay him down.  Jamie did a quick assessment and knew he had a broken leg but would make a more thorough check for other injuries once all the divers were back on board.  He applied a temporary splint to hold his leg in place for the trip to sick bay.

“Frank, Simpson, take him to sick bay.  Frank, take an x-ray and make him comfortable until I can set his leg,” Jamie directed.

“Yes, sir,” the men replied as Frank strapped him to the stretcher.  When he was done, they carefully picked up the stretcher, made their way through the missile room hatch.

“Jamie, what’s wrong with Patterson,” Harry inquired.

“A broken leg for sure.  I’ll check for other injuries when I get back to sick bay.  Have they freed Chip…found Janet?” Jamie asked worriedly.

“They’re on the way back to the boat with Chip and they’re digging out the crevice looking for her,” Nelson said quietly.  Jamie looked at Harry and could see the worry etched on his face.

“Admiral, you know Lee will do everything to find her,” Jamie reassured him and also trying convince himself they would find her.

“I know but what condition will she be in?” Harry added anxiously


When Sharkey and Marco arrived at the hatch, Sharkey went in first, then helped Chip into the chamber with Marco following behind him.  Gil quickly opened the hatch as soon as the green light signaled the chamber had been drained.  Blair helped Chip remove his scuba gear before they laid him down on the other stretcher.

As soon as Chip was turned over to Jamie, Sharkey quickly grabbed another set of air tanks.  Harry nodded knowing that Janet had been out there at least an hour and would be very close to running out of air if she hadn’t already.  Sharkey climbed back into the chamber and Gil turned on the valve filling it with water.

Jamie gave Chip a quick check and found his ankle was either severely sprained or possibly broken so he would need an x-ray.  He could tell by the way Chip was taking only shallow breaths, his chest and ribs hurt which meant one more x-ray. 

“Come on Chip, you’re going to sick bay,” Jamie told him.

“Can’t I stay until they find Janet?” Chip gasped.  “It’s my fault…I let go of her hand…she fell backwards…Lee’s never going to forgive me if something happens to her.”

Jamie looked over at Harry.  They had never seen Chip so distraught…the stoic, unflappable XO of Seaview was a wreck.  He very rarely let his emotions show; at least not in front of the crew.

“Chip, I need you to go to sick bay so John can x-ray your leg and chest. I want to know what I’m up against when I get there.  I’ll make sure you know when they find her.”

“Yes, Jamie,” Chip said wincing in pain.  

John and Dunlap picked up the stretcher for the short walk to sick bay.   Dunlap helped John get Chip onto the gurney and returned to the missile room with the stretcher.


Sharkey and Phil returned to the crevice where Sharkey put the extra air tank down next to Lee who was at the front of the crevice.  He put a rock on the strap to hold it in place. He and Phil joined the other divers who had been feverishly digging for what seemed to be hours but in-reality was only thirty minutes.   They were losing hope of finding her.  As Lee continued digging, he realized she could have been crushed by the rocks and sand, fallen into the hole where there was no hope of finding her or if she still was wearing her breathing regulator, she would be out of air by now.  Unless she fell into the bottomless pit at the front of the crevice, he would keep on digging until they found her and bring her back aboard Seaview no matter what the outcome would be.

“Skipper,” Kowalski shouted.  “I see a neon pink stripe.”

Lee quickly swam over and looked at the stripe.  He couldn’t tell if it was on her arm or leg.  Luckily some of the boulders were too large to fall into the crevice so most of what they continued to shovel off of her were small rocks and sand but Lee knew that the weight of the sand and rocks might be too heavy for her small frame to bear.  Sharkey was digging up towards the front of the crevice when he discovered another pink stripe causing the men to dig a little faster but being careful not to dig down too deep so they wouldn’t hit her with their shovels.  Lee was at the head of the crevice and used his hands to push away the rocks and sand from what he hoped was her head.

Finally, Riley managed to free one of her arms, Kowalski quickly checked for a pulse, “Skipper, she has a pulse but it’s very faint,” he said cautiously.

Using their hands, they slowly managed to uncover the rest of her body.  She still had the pouch on her chest as well as her mask and breathing regulator.  Lee saw some bubbles coming from her regulator but before they could get her out, they stopped. He quickly picked up the extra air tank, put the regulator in her mouth where bubbles appeared again.  Kowalski checked her pulse and nodded his head. 

“We got her,” Lee said with relief over the radio.  “She’s breathing but unconscious.

They had to chip away some of the side of the crevice to free her as she was wedged in tight.  It took longer than Lee anticipated but they wanted to be careful not to forcibly remove her so they wouldn’t aggravate any injuries she might have sustained.

All seven divers took a deep breath when they finally removed her from the crevice.  As Lee held her in his arms, Sharkey carefully removed her spent air tanks, her weight belt and the pouch from around her chest.  Lee wrapped his arm around the one side of her limp body while Kowalski did the same on the other side holding her tanks as they swam back to the boat.  The other divers picked up the equipment and followed them back.

Reaching the hatch, Lee gently wrapped his arms around Janet and slowly descended to the chamber floor with Ski right behind holding her tank.

Jamie, as promised, called sick bay and let them know they had found Janet and were bringing her aboard.

When the red hatch light turned to green, Gil released the wheel.  Thompson and Jamie carefully took Janet from Lee’s arms as he held her up.  They placed her on the stretcher where Lee removed the hood of her scuba suit and rubbed her cheek before Thompson and Simpson picked up the stretcher and whisked her to sick bay.  Lee quickly removed his diving gear and he and Harry followed the stretcher to sick bay.

Once the rest of the divers were back on board and had stowed their gear, Sharkey grabbed the captain’s uniform along with the black box and headed to Sick Bay.  Lee thanked him for collecting his clothes and had him take the box to the admiral’s quarters for safe keeping.


Jamie entered sick bay and went over to Chip and Patterson before Janet got there.  Both men were anxiously waiting to find out how Janet was.

“Jamie, will she be okay?” Chip asked as soon as he saw him.

“I don’t know, Chip I haven’t had a chance to look her over,” Jamie replied.  “I’ll let you know.”

When Janet arrived in sick bay, John and Frank gently lifted her off the stretcher and laid her on a gurney.  Lee helped Jamie remove her scuba suit and both were surprised at how bruised her arms and legs were.  After seeing the bruising to her extremities, Jamie was worried about what he’d find under her swimsuit.

“Lee, I know she was covered in rocks and sand, but her arms are really bruised,” Jamie stated.

“She was wedged in the crevice.  We had to chip away at the side to get her out.  I have no idea how she got wedged in there,” Lee replied as he stood next to Jamie watching everything he did.

“Captain, please stop hovering…you’re getting in my way,” Jamie said as he tried to work around Lee.  “I want you to leave and let me examine her.  Go get dressed and grab a bite to eat.  If anything changes, I’ll call you.  Now go,” Jamie ordered.

“Jamie, I want…,” Lee tried to say but Jamie cut him off.

“Lee, you know we’ll take good care of her. You can come back in an hour and I’ll update you on Chip’s, Patterson’s and Janet’s condition.”

“Come on Lee, let Jamie do his job,” Harry coaxed.  “Go get changed and I’ll meet you in the control room,”

Lee ran his hand through his hair and looked at his wife, “Okay,” he replied reluctantly.  He bent over and gently kissed her lips and rubbed her cheek. 

As he left the examination room, he saw his uniform on the chair by Jamie’s desk.  He picked it up.  “I’ll join you in the control room in ten minutes,” Lee told Nelson.

“I’ll be waiting,” Harry answered and made sure Lee left sick bay before exiting and heading for the control room. 


After Lee left, the first thing Jamie did was to check for a concussion when he saw she had a nice size bump on the side of her head. He noticed her breathing was rapid and shallow, her pulse was also rapid and weak, along with cold and clammy skin.  He was worried she was in shock but realized there could be other reasons for these symptoms.  He needed to examine the rest of her, so he had Frank help him remove her swim suit. As they removed her swim suit, they noticed she had several hematomas along with bruises and contusions on her abdomen, chest and sides. 

“Frank, get an IV started,” Jamie said urgently.   “John, bring me the ultrasound.”

Frank got the supplies for the IV and quickly had it set up and delivering a saline solution to get her fluids up.  Once he was done, John brought the ultrasound machine over to the gurney.  Jamie started on her lower abdomen and didn’t like what he saw.  He could see she had a small hematoma on her spleen which he hoped it wouldn’t rupture.  As he continued the scan, he thought he saw a bruise on her kidney but they would have to get a urine sample and check it for blood. He continued up and when he scanned her liver, he saw she had a small tear that was leaking blood into her abdomen.  He would have to keep a close watch to ensure the bleeding didn’t get any worse.  If it didn’t stop or got worse, he would try to seal off the bleeding without surgery.  He scanned her chest and found a couple of cracked ribs. There was an outline of a bruise in the shape of a box on her chest but figured when she fell in the crevice, she had the box on her chest which actually prevented more serious injuries to her heart and lungs.  He finished his scan and took a deep breath.  She was in worse shape than he thought.  He took the chart Frank had set up and made notes and gave instructions to Frank to x-ray her ankle.   He knew it was going to be a long night.

“Frank as soon as you’ve x-rayed Janet’s ankle, hang a unit of blood.  I’m going to give her a transfusion to replace the blood she’s lost from the tear in her liver.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll try sealing it off without surgery.  She has one hour to improve.”  While Frank took Janet for the x-ray, John typed and cross matched her blood.  Even though Jamie knew her blood type, he wanted to make sure he gave the most compatible blood he had on hand.

“Yes, sir,” Frank replied as he quickly took her for the x-ray.  Once he returned with her, they dressed her in a gown and John started another line for the blood.”

Jamie left Frank to take care of Janet momentarily and went to check on Chip and then Patterson.

“Jamie, how is she?” he whispered worriedly as it hurt to breath. 

“I’ll let you listen in when I tell Lee,” Jamie replied.  Chip looked at Jamie and could see how worried he was.

“How are you feeling?”  Jamie asked as he removed the ice bag from Chip’s ankle and looked it over.  He then looked at the x-rays and was relieved to see there was no break.   He also had a few cracked ribs along with some contusions and bruises on his legs and chest.  Jamie listened to his lungs to make sure they weren’t compromised.  He also checked his heart, neck, spine and belly to make sure there were no other injuries.

“You’re okay except for your ankle.  For right now you’re going to rest, with your ankle wrapped, elevated and iced until we dock.  I’ll see how you’re doing at that time and if you need a removable boot or cast.  You’re going to need crutches to get around for a few days until it starts to feel better.  It might take six to eight weeks to heal as sprains can be worse than fractures.”

“Jamie, I’m getting married in six weeks and I better be able to dance at my wedding,” Chip warned.

“If you do as I say, you should be able to dance at your wedding,” Jamie replied with a smirk knowing he had Chip right where he wanted him…obeying his orders.  I’ll give you some acetaminophen for the pain.”

“Thanks, Jamie,” Chip answered as he was in a little pain.

“Now for those ribs, you’ve had them before and know the routine.  You’re going to need some extra rest if you want to ‘enjoy’ your honeymoon.”

“Yes sir,” Chip replied scowling at Jamie’s smirk.

“How’s Patterson,” he asked.  He could see Pat in another bunk with his leg elevated and covered in ice too.

“He’s got a broken leg and when I finish checking him over, his leg will be cast.   He won’t be dancing at your wedding.”

Jamie walked over to Patterson who was dozing from the pain medication he had prescribed.

“Hi Doc,” he managed to say.  “How bad is it?”

“I don’t think you’re going to need surgery so I’m going to cast it, but when we dock, you’re going to see an orthopedic doctor just to make sure.  You also have some fractured ribs and bruises on your legs and chest.  They’ll heal with some extra rest.”

“Aren’t you going to wrap them?” he asked.

“No, we don’t do that anymore as it keeps you from taking deep breaths and that could increase your chances of getting pneumonia.  So even though it may hurt, you need to breathe deeply and cough.  Take a pillow and hold it to your ribs which will minimize the pain during deep breathing or coughing.”

“Okay, Doc, whatever you say,” Patterson replied.

He ordered John to give him some more pain medication and put a cast on his leg.  Jamie returned to Janet’s bedside.  She was still unconscious; her breathing and heart rate were still rapid but had improved slightly. He looked at his watch and knew Lee would be arriving any minute.  He dreaded telling him about Janet’s injuries because he knew he would blame himself for letting her go out.  Jamie pulled up a stool next to the gurney and sat next to her.  He would wait to see if he had to do the procedure on Janet’s liver before moving her to a bunk.   John entered the cubicle and gave him the results of the urine test and just as he suspected there was blood in her urine.  Sighing deeply, he had another injury that had to be watched. He also handed him the x-ray, her ankle wasn’t broken but severely bruised. 


Lee scrambled up the stairs to officer’s country and his cabin, where he took a quick shower, changed into a fresh uniform and headed down the staircase where he found Harry in the observation nose examining the black box.  He was drinking a cup of coffee and eating a sandwich Cookie had brought in while Lee was changing.

“Join me,” Harry said as Lee sat down across from him.

Lee saw a tray of food on the table.  He poured a mug of coffee and refilled Harry’s but pushed the tray away.  He looked at his watch checking to see if he could return to sick bay. 

“It’s not time yet and you’re going to have a long night ahead of you so you better eat,” Harry told him as he pushed the tray back.

“Yes, sir,” Lee replied softly.  He took a bite of the sandwich and a gulp of coffee.

Harry picked up the box again and looked at Lee.  “How do you get into this thing?   There’s no latch or key lock.”

Lee put down the sandwich and took the box from Harry.  “Usually there’s a code and you need a special radio to unlock the box.   Sometimes the code is the radio frequency so maybe Sparks can work his magic.”

Picking up his mug, Harry looked at Lee over the rim and asked, “How long to get back to Santa Barbara?”

“Almost four days,” Lee replied as he took another drink of coffee while Harry pushed the tray back towards to Lee who took another couple of bites.

“I’ll call SECNAV and let him know we’ve recovered the box.   What about the plane?”

“There’s really nothing left of the cockpit, most of the instrument and gauges were destroyed when it hit the water and what wasn’t destroyed in the crash is of no use since it’s been underwater for quite a few days.

Lee checked his watch again…only ten more minutes before he could return to sick bay.

“Admiral, I’m going to get us underway,” Lee said as he walked into the control room and the charting table where Bobby O’Brien was still on duty. 

“Skipper, any news,” he asked as Lee noticed all the men looked up from their stations hoping to hear some news.

“Not yet,” Lee replied as he looked at the charting table for the piece of paper with the course he and Chip had plotted earlier.

Finding the paper, he unshipped the mic, “Engine room, all ahead standard.”

“Engine room aye,” they repeated back.

Lee felt Seaview’s engines engage.  He double clicked the mic and gave maneuvering the course and stowed the mic. 

“Bobby, come to two hundred feet,” Lee told him.

“Aye, aye sir,” Bobby answered and gave the orders.

“I’ll be in sick bay if you need me,” Lee said as he waited for Harry to join him then they left through the aft hatch.


Lee and Harry entered sick bay and found Jamie walking away from the bunk after checking on Patterson.   Chip and Janet were still on their gurneys but when Jamie was finished talking to Lee and Harry, he was going to have Chip moved to a bunk.

Lee walked quickly over to the gurney where Janet was laying.  He was surprised to see the IV and that she was getting a blood transfusion but that didn’t stop him from picking up her hand and rubbing the top of it.  He noticed it felt cold and clammy.

“Jamie, why the IV…blood…how is she?”  he asked worriedly. 

“Lee, she’s been hurt pretty badly.  She has a severe concussion, a severely sprained ankle and her left kidney is bruised.  She also has a hematoma on her spleen that will need to be watched in case it ruptures.  Her liver has a small tear in it causing her abdomen to fill with blood…that’s why she has the IV and is receiving a blood transfusion. I’m hoping the bleeding in her liver will stop on its own,” Jamie explained as he looked at his watch.  “Her pulse and heart rate are a little better but if they don’t improve in the next fifteen minutes, I’m going to have to do a procedure on her to seal up the tear.  If that doesn’t work, she’ll need surgery.  She also has a couple of broken ribs as well as many contusions and bruises.”

Lee took a deep breath and rubbed his hand though his hair.  “Jamie, will she get better?”

“She’s a healthy young woman, so yes, she’ll get better but it’s going to take time and rest,” Jamie replied trying to reassure him. 

Jamie had moved Chip’s gurney next to Janet’s so he could hear his report.   “Lee, I’m sorry,” Chip said as he looked at his best friend and could see the anguish in his face.

“Chip, it’s not your fault.  No one knew that quake would hit the area.  If it wasn’t her, it could have been you or Patterson.  How are you?”

Jamie spoke up, “He has a severely sprained ankle, a few broken ribs as well as contusions and bruises.  He’ll be able to get around in removeable cast after a few days in sick bay.  He’s going to be moved to a bunk in a few minutes.”

“What about Patterson?” Harry asked as they looked at the bunk where he laid sleeping with his leg casted and elevated.

“He has a broken leg.  I don’t think he’ll need surgery but I’m going to send him to an orthopedic doctor when we dock.  He also has a few fractured ribs, bruises and contusions.”

“Thanks, Jamie,” Lee said as he and Harry stood next to the gurney.

Frank helped Chip off the gurney and slowly walked him over to the bunk.  He had a hard time getting in the bunk because his ribs hurt more than his ankle.  Once he was settled, Frank elevated his ankle and gave him some acetaminophen for the pain.


Jamie returned to Janet’s gurney and retook her vitals.  They hadn’t changed from the last time he took them.  “Damn,” he muttered under his breath.  

“Jamie, what’s wrong?” Lee demanded. 

“Her vitals aren’t improving.  I’m going to have to try and seal the tear.”

Lee rubbed his hand on the back of his neck, “How do you do it?”

“I’ll pass a thin plastic catheter into the blood vessels in the groin and then up to the liver.  I’ll inject a fibrin glue to seal the vessels.***  Let’s hope this works,” he told Lee.

“Okay, Jamie,” Lee said nervously as he held Janet’s hand.  “When will you do it?”

“Right now, so why don’t you go to the control room and I’ll call you when I’m finished,” Jamie suggested.  “John, prepare Mrs. Crane for the procedure.”

“Yes sir,” John replied as he prepped her. 

“I’ll wait right here,” Lee insisted giving Janet a kiss before he sat down in the chair in front of Jamie’s desk.

“We’ll both wait,” Harry said as he sat in Jamie’s chair.

“It was worth the try,” Jamie responded as the left his office to get ready for surgery.  The three men scrubbed up and donned their gowns.  Frank and John had set up the equipment Jamie would need.  He did the procedure which took two hours to complete.  When he was finished, Jamie walked into his office still in his surgical gown.  Lee and Harry both stood up. 

“The procedure went well and I think it will work…I’ll know in an hour,” Jamie told them.  After I check her out, we’ll move her to a bunk where she’ll be more comfortable.”

“Can I see her?” Lee asked.

“Just for a few minutes.  She’s still unconscious but hopefully she’ll wake up soon,” Jamie answered as Lee and Harry went to Janet’s gurney.  Lee moved a stray hair off her face and stroked her cheek while Harry took her hand and gently patted it.

Before Jamie could shoo them out, a call came for Lee.

“Control room to Captain Crane,” Bobby called.

Lee left Janet’s side, walked over the Jamie’s desk and picked up the intercom box.

“Yes, Mr. O’Brien,” Lee replied.

“Skipper, can you come to the control room.  We’ve picked up something on sonar.”

“I’ll be right there,” Lee answered as he looked over at Janet.  He was hoping to stay with her tonight

Harry caught his look and went over to Lee as he stood at Jamie’s desk.  “Go see what they need, I’ll stay with her.” 

“Thank you, sir,” Lee replied as he left sick bay for the control room.’



When Lee arrived in the control room, Bobby was leaning over the sonar console while Kowalski was staring intently at the screen.

“What’s the problem?” Lee asked.

“I’ve picked up what sounds like propellers.  They’re about 3,000 yards off our port bow.”

Lee picked up the headphones and listened to the submarine’s distinct sound.  “Shit,” he said as he threw down the headphones.   “Sounds like a nuclear submarine.  I’m guessing the PR figured out we’re here because of the downed aircraft.”

“I didn’t know the PR had nuclear subs,” Bobby said.

“They’ve been buying some surplus ones from a couple of their allies,” Lee replied with concern.  “Put the crew at battle stations.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Bobby responded and pressed the button three times sounding the klaxon.

Men scurried to their stations while Bobby waited for each department to report in.   “All battle stations ready,” he told Lee.  As much as Lee would’ve liked Chip in the control room with him, he knew Bobby would do a great job.

“Good,” Lee replied as he watched the sonar screen noticing the sub getting closer.  “How far are we from their twenty-five-mile limit?”

“We’re thirty miles from their boundaries,” Bobby reported after checking the position on the charting table.

Harry hearing the klaxon watched as Jamie and John prepared for battle stations tethering Janet’s IV’s to the bunk to prevent it from rolling away. 

Harry went to Jamie’s desk and called the control room, “Lee, what the devil is going on?” he asked.

“There’s a PR submarine coming right at us.  So far, they haven’t made any moves but I want to be ready when or if they do.”

“I’ll be right there,” Harry said as he looked at Jamie.  “I’ll be back.”

“Yes, sir.  Let’s hope we don’t run into any trouble,” Jamie replied as Harry left sick bay and made his way to the control room.


Jamie returned to Janet’s gurney after an hour.  He checked her vitals and was pleased to see that her heart rate and breathing had returned to normal.  He had John bring over the ultrasound.  He scanned her abdomen and discovered that the bleeding had stopped and the tear had been repaired. 

Jamie let out a sigh of relief.  “John, Frank, help me move Mrs. C. to a bunk.  The three men carefully picked her up and gently laid her in the bunk nearest Jamie’s office. 

After they got her settled Jamie said, “Great job today, thanks, men,” noticing they looked tired and realized they hadn’t left sick bay since they reported for duty. He sent them to get some food and take a break.  He looked at the coffee pot and knew it was cold but poured himself a cup anyway. He was surprised it was hot; someone had brought him a new pot. He figured it was Cooper when he walked into sick bay with four trays of food.

“Cookie, thought you, Mr. Morton, Mrs. C. and Patterson might be hungry,” he told Jamie.

“Mrs. Crane is still unconscious, but I’ll see the others get the food,” Jamie replied.  “Tell Cookie, thanks.”

“Yes, sir,” Cooper answered disappointed to learn that Janet was still unconscious.

Jamie didn’t even know he was hungry until he saw the food.  While he waited for John and Frank to return, he ate the food and drank the coffee.  He knew he would need another full pot of coffee to get him through the night.  Since both men had been on duty well past their watches, he decided to stay the night in sick bay and let John and Frank hit the rack as he would need them tomorrow.  When they returned from their break, Jamie insisted they go even though both men said they would stay the night.


Just as Harry arrived, Kowalski reported, “Torpedoes approaching bearing 1-2-0, range 2,500 yards.

“Hard left rudder,” Lee shouted to the helmsmen who parroted back the order.  

Seaview made the turn as they heard the torpedoes pass them on starboard side. 

“More torpedoes bearing 1-7-0, range 2,000 yards,” Kowalski shouted.

“Hard left rudder,” Lee commanded as the boat made the hard turn and the torpedoes ran under the sub.

 Before long, Lee was dodging another set of torpedoes that had been fired at them. Damn, this guy isn’t giving up, Lee thought.  Picking up the mic, “Missile room, prepare torpedoes 1 and 2 for firing.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey’s voice replied.

“Lee what are you firing at?” Harry asked wondering if Lee had lost his mind.

“Nothing, I want them to think they destroyed us.  Picking up the mic, “Prepare for concussion,” Lee warned.

“Fire 1 and 2,” he said rapidly.

“Two fired,” Sharkey replied the boat shuddering as the torpedoes left the tubes.

The two torpedoes had smashed into a sea mount 2,000 yards away. Seaview rocked and rolled from the explosion.

“Damage control, report,” Bobby asked when they moving from side to side.

“No damage to report,” DC replied.

Lee returned to the sonar screen, “Ski any crevices or ledges ahead?”

“Looks like a crevice one hundred yards ahead.”

Lee picked up the mic, “Engine room, all stop.”

“Engine room, aye” they replied as the boat slowly stopped right where Lee wanted her.

“How much water between keel and the bottom?” Lee asked quickly.

“One thousand feet,” Ski replied back.

“Wide enough for us to fit in?”

Grinning, “Yes sir,” Kowalski replied back crisply.

“Maneuvering, full down elevation on all planes, take her down five hundred feet,” Lee ordered.  

“Aye, aye, sir,” maneuvering responded.

“Steady as she goes,” Lee said to maneuvering as Seaview slowly sank into the crevice.

Harry watched Lee and realized what Lee was up to…he was hiding.   He wanted the other captain to think they had destroyed Seaview. Smiling, He certainly isn’t unimaginative and will outsmart any captain on any boat, Harry thought.

Once Seaview was in place, Lee unshipped the mic on the periscope island, “Rig boat for ultra-silent running.  No movement, talking, or noise at all,” Lee commanded as everything was shut down on the boat.

Since Lee had everything under control, Harry knew he would be worried about how the men and Janet in sick bay faired with the turbulence so before the boat was completely shut down he whispered to Lee, “I’ll check on sick bay.”

Lee smiled gratefully and nodded as Harry quietly left the control room and made his way to sick bay.


Jamie and John were checking on Chip and Patterson.  Jamie had already checked on Janet and even with the klaxon sounding and the rocking and rolling she hadn’t moved or even looked as if she would waken.  Jamie was getting worried as there was no physical reason for her to still be unconscious as her vitals were good.  Harry looked at Jamie who nodded the men were okay.  Chip was awake and wondered what was going on, pissed he wasn’t up there helping Lee. He would have to wait to find out, but Patterson was sleeping from his pain medication.

Harry quietly pulled up a chair, sat down next to Janet’s bunk, gently removed her hand from under the blanket and held on to it.

Janet realized she wasn’t cold…she was breathing on her own without her regulator…she could move her arms…she was free…she felt the warm hand in hers…she was safe.  She needed to wake up. 

Slowly her head cleared.  She opened her eyes and closed them again.  She hurt everywhere…she took a deep breath and forced her eyes open.  The room was dark and very quiet…too quiet.   If I’m on Seaview why aren’t her engines thrumming…why the low lightswhere am I? she thought frightened by how quiet it was even for sick bay.  She tried to sit up but gasped in pain and then found a hand over her mouth.  She looked up and saw the blue eyes of the admiral staring down at her.


Harry felt Janet stirring beneath the blanket, he was afraid she would wake up and make a noise.  When she tried to sit up and let out a cry, he had to stop her so he put his hand over her mouth.  When he saw the panic in her eyes, he put his finger to his lips letting her know she needed to be quiet.  Taking a deep breath and nearly crying out in pain, she figured they were on silent running and he didn’t want her to make any noise.  She nodded her head acknowledging she knew to be quiet so he removed his hand and smiled. 

She looked around sick bay trying to see if Chip or Patterson were there. When she didn’t see them, she looked at Harry with tears in her eyes.   He somehow knew why she was crying.

He leaned close to her ear and whispered, “They’re okay.”  She squeezed his hand as he wiped away her tears.

Jamie saw that she was awake but couldn’t do anything until the silent running was cancelled.  Harry looked over at Jamie and nodded.  Another problem down, with a couple more to go, Jamie thought as he sighed in relief that she was awake.

Even when she fell back to sleep, Harry didn’t let go of her hand.


Lee waited patiently for the other sub to reach their position.   He hoped they wouldn’t detect Seaview in the crevice. After listening to the sonar echoes, he knew the boat was nuclear submarine but one of the older ones out there.  He figured she wasn’t equipped with latest sonar or hydrophone equipment.  Picking up the headphones for the hydrophone, it wasn’t too long before Lee heard the engines of the PR’s sub sail over the top of Seaview.   He continued to follow her progress on sonar. 

When she had travelled one thousand yards away from them, Lee dropped the headphones and picked up the mic, “Cancel silent running…maneuvering take us up to seven hundred feet.”

“Aye, aye sir.”

Lee watched the gauges as the boat rose in the water, once they were at two hundred feet from the surface, Lee called the missile room, “Load all four torpedo tubes.  Fire in salvo on my orders.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey responded as he, Gil, Blair and Dunlap loaded all four tubes.

Lee stood at the periscope island rail looking at his watch, “Come on,” he mumbled as he waited impatiently for Sharkey to let him know the tubes were loaded and ready to fire.

“Torpedoes ready,” Sharkey called.

“Fire torpedoes,” Lee ordered as he felt the boat shuddered when the torpedoes left the tubes.

Lee silently counted down in his head knowing when the torpedoes would hit its target.  Before long he heard the explosions, he was waiting for.  Seaview rocked and rolled as their torpedoes destroyed the other submarine. The red emergency lightning replaced the normal white lights.

Lee picked up the periscope mic, “Damage control, report,” he asked when Seaview had stopped rolling from side to side. 

“Slight damage to the main generator.  We’ll be on emergency lightning for thirty minutes,” DC reported.

“Cut that time in half,” Lee ordered.  

“Aye, sir,” DC replied.

Lee stowed the mic and stood by the charting table, “Mr. O’Brien, resume course and speed for home.”

“Aye, aye sir,” Bobby answered and gave the order to maneuvering and the engine room.

Lee looked around the control room and noticed that it was quite crowded.  Alpha watch was scheduled to be off duty over an hour ago. Beta watch reported for duty but the men on alpha watch didn’t leave during the skirmish with the PR’s sub.

“Good job, men,” Lee told them, “you’re relieved of duty.”

The crew on alpha watch vacated their stations while beta watch took over.  Scott Taper was waiting at the charting table with Bobby.

“Nice job, Bobby,” Lee said him.   “Scott will relieve you.”

Scott picked up the log book to note the change in command but knew that Lee would have to fill it out with the events that had taken place.  He looked at Lee not sure what to do.

“Just leave the log book for now.  I’ll fill it out later.  I have a lot of paperwork to do before I can retire.”

“Yes, sir,” Scott replied and left it on the charting table.

“If you need me, I’ll be in sick bay for the next hour,” Lee told Scott.  “Come on Bobby you need to hit the rack as we’ll have another long day tomorrow.”

“Yes sir,” Bobby answered as Lee walked out the aft hatch.

Bobby took the log book and went into the observation nose, sat down at the table and filled it out.  He could see Lee was tired so he would save him the time by completing the entries.  It’s something he’d done in the past before going off duty. 


As Lee made his way out the back hatch, the emergency red lightning was replaced but the normal light. Lee loosened his tie and undid his top button as he walked into sick bay and was worried when he didn’t see Jamie at his desk.  He quickly ran into the bunk area where Jamie and Harry were talking to Janet.  He went over to her bunk and was surprised to see her awake.

“When did she wake up?” he asked Jamie as he stooped down next to her bunk and gave her a kiss on the forehead.  He took her hand and gave it a squeeze.

“She woke up in the middle of our silent running,” Harry explained, “I scared her when I put my hand over her mouth when she cried out. I had no choice as I didn’t want her to make any noise that could be picked up by the other sub.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know why it was so quiet as I couldn’t hear the engines and sick bay was even more quiet than normal.”

“How do you feel?” Jamie asked as he checked her vitals noting they were normal for now.

“Like I was hit by a truck,” she replied grimacing in pain as she tried to sit up but just laid back down again.

“You’re going to be very sore for the next few days,” Jamie told her what had happened and explained the procedure he had to do.  “When we arrive back at the Institute, you, Chip and Patterson will be guests of Med Bay for a few days.  I need to watch how your liver is healing and your spleen as we don’t want that hematoma to rupture.  I’ll put a removable boot on your ankle when you’re able to get around, but for right now you have to remain quiet.”

“Yes sir,” Janet replied with a yawn.

Jamie looked at Harry and Lee.  They looked as tired as he felt.  “I think we all could use a good night’s sleep.  Let’s leave her to get some rest along with the rest of us,” he told them. 

“I’ve got some paperwork to do before I can come back.  I’ll stay the night with her and the rest of the men so you can get some sleep,” Lee said knowing Jamie was the only one duty.

“No, I’m going to sleep in one of the bunks tonight so you, Skipper, will report to your cabin,” Jamie declared giving Lee his don’t argue with me look.

“Okay, Jamie,” Lee acquiesced as he gave Janet a kiss on the lips and covered her up as she snuggled in the bunk.

Lee walked over to Chip’s bunk to check on him and found he was still awake.

“Lee, what the hell happened?” he asked anxiously.

“There was a PR submarine, I’m assuming, going to the plane to check it out.  We got in their way and they decided to try and take us out.  We were nowhere near their boundaries,” Lee told him as he rubbed his finger on his lips, “Chip, get some rest I have to talk to the admiral.”

“Lee, you’ve got that look in your eyes that…well you know…something isn’t right.”

“Yeah, Chip, I’ll let you know if my hunch is right after I check it out.”  Lee looked at his watch.  “Now that both you and Janet are gold bricking, I have to do all the paperwork.  If I start now I just might be finished before I have to be on duty in the morning,” Lee teased as he patted his friend on the shoulder.  “Does Jamie think you’ll be alright by the wedding?”

“Yes, I’ll be alright whether Jamie says I am or not,” Chip laughed causing him to wince in pain.

Lee left his friend, walked over to check on Patterson who was sound asleep. 

“Good night Jamie,” Lee said as he walked over to Jamie’s desk.  “Thank you for taking care of them.”

“No problem, Lee,” Jamie answered.  “Go get some rest.”


Lee left sick bay and returned to the control room where Scott was walking around checking in with the men at their stations.  He took the log book and walked over to the table in the observation nose.  He opened it up to write down the events that had taken place with the PR submarine.  He was surprised to see that the information had already been recorded in the book.  He knew by the handwriting Bobby had made the entry.  He was impressed at what he had written so all he needed to do was make a couple of additions before he signed off.  He gave the log book to Scott to sign showing the change of command.

“If you need me, I’ll be in my cabin,’ Lee told Scott as he suppressed yawn.

“Yes, sir,” Scott replied noticing Lee looked beat.

Lee ascended the staircase and was going to knock on the admiral’s door but he looked at his watch and it was already 2300 hours.  He continued on to Janet’s office where he grabbed the paperwork that needed to be completed before he could hit the rack.  After working another two hours catching up, he finally finished that day’s paperwork knowing he would have more to do tomorrow.  I’m sure happy we hired Janet to do all this paperwork, he thought, plus I’m enjoying the extra bonus, I’m married to her.   He put the paperwork in his out basket and would file it in Janet’s bag tomorrow morning.  He went to the head, washed his face and sat down on the chair, removed his shoes tucking them under the chair.  He was too tired to take off his uniform so he laid down completely dressed on the bunk and fell asleep.


Lee slept past his normal time so he quickly took care of his morning ablution, put on a clean uniform and headed out the door.  He knew it was too early to go to sick bay so he’d start in the control room.  He descended down the stairs and saw Scott at the charting table.   Lee walked over to him and saw that he was checking out their speed and course.

“Good morning, sir,” Scott said when Lee stood next to him.

“Morning, Scott,” Lee replied, “how’s it looking?”

“We’re on course and at speed.” 

“Good,” Lee responded.  “If you need me I’m going to be in the admiral’s cabin.”

“Yes sir,” Scott answered.

Lee left the control room for the staircase but he stopped when he heard the familiar steps of Harry coming down. 

Lee waited at the bottom for him.  “Good morning, sir,” Lee said.

“Good morning, Lee,” Harry replied.  “Everything on schedule…have you checked with sick bay?”

“Yes sir, were on schedule but it’s too early to check in sick bay.  Jamie would throw me out if I wake any of his patients.” Lee answered with a grin.  He stopped grinning, “Could I talk to you about something?”

“Yes, here or in my cabin?”

“Your cabin,” Lee said as he followed Harry up the stairs and into his cabin.  Lee opened the door and let Harry go in first.

Harry sat down in the chair resting his arms on the desk as Lee perched himself on the corner.  He saw the coffee pot was filled with coffee.  He took a mug and poured one for Harry and then himself and took a quick gulp.

“Admiral, do you remember when I said I thought the SECNAV wasn’t telling us everything?”

“Uh, uh,” Harry answered wondering what Lee was eluding to.

“I think I figured it out…that PR sub wasn’t after the plane.  I believe it patrols the waters around the perimeter of the PR and destroys boats or ships that they think are too close to their boundaries,” Lee stated. 

“You think we were purposely sent here to take out that sub?”

“Yes,” Lee replied.  “Sir, they could’ve sent another boat or sub to get that box.  We just happened to be going that way, so they chose us to get it knowing we would run into the sub.  They wanted us to take her out of service.”

Harry looked at Lee.  While he had a hard time believing the SECNAV would send them out to do that, he wouldn’t put it past Admiral Johnson to do it.”

“Sir, wouldn’t Admiral Starke know about that sub? I’m sure there must be a few boats sunk in that area.   Also, when I looked over the airplane, it didn’t have mechanical failure, it was shot down.  If they really wanted to check out the plane, they would have done it as soon as they shot it down.”

Harry sat back in his chair, “You want me to pump Jiggs’ for information,” Harry said with a grin.

“Yes, sir.  I think SECNAV should have told us about it and what we were up against right from the beginning.  What does he want to hide?”

Harry rubbed the back of his neck, “I agree with you but it might not have been SECNAV but Admiral Johnson.  Maybe that’s why SECNAV didn’t want the civilians on board so if something did happen to us…well you know what I mean.”

“You’re probably right, so will you call him and find out?” Lee asked as he took another sip of coffee.

“Yes, I’ll call him later,” Harry replied.  “I don’t think he’d appreciate a call quite this early.”

“Thank you sir,” Lee said as he stood up from the desk and looked at his watch.  “Still too early for a visit to sick bay.”

“How about breakfast?  I’m starving,” Harry suggested as he stood up and walked to the door. 

“I could use some more coffee and something to eat too,” Lee admitted as he held the door for Harry and they made their way to the wardroom.


Once in the wardroom, Cookie was just setting up the coffee urn.  He saw his commanding officers enter and quickly poured each of them a mug.

“Good morning, sirs,” Cookie said as he put the mugs down in front of them as soon as they sat down.  “Pancakes for breakfast this morning.  I’ll have some for you right away.”

“Thanks, Cookie,” Lee answered.   “With Chip in sick bay at least there will be enough pancakes for everyone,” Lee joked as Jamie walked in.

He joined the two men after getting a mug of coffee.   “Everyone is doing fine.  John is with them and they were still sleeping which is the way I want it.  All three of them are going to need a lot of rest so you may check in on them when they’re awake,” Jamie told Lee and Harry but looked directly at Lee.

“Yes sir,” Lee reluctantly replied as Cookie set down three plates of pancakes and bacon in front of the men. 

After they finished breakfast, Harry returned to his cabin to call Jiggs’ while Lee and Jamie went to sick bay to check on Janet and the men.   All three were awake so Jamie let Lee in to see them.  He went over to Janet’s bunk and crouched down next to her bunk and gave her a kiss on the lips.  She was very happy to see him and returned his kiss. 

“How are you feeling?” he asked taking her hand in his.

“Terrible, I hurt all over,” Janet replied winching as she tried to get more comfortable.  “Every part of me hurts.”

“Sweetie, I know but it will get better,” Lee said sympathetically knowing how she felt having been in that position many times.  “Eat your breakfast and get some rest,” Lee told her kissing her forehead as he went over Chip’s bunk.

“How you feeling buddy?”

“Just as bad as Janet,” Chip stated as he eased himself up.   “My ankle really hurts.  All I know is it better be healed in six weeks.”

Grinning Lee said, “I’m sure it will be but I don’t think a sore foot is going to stop you.”

Smiling back, “You got that right,” Chip responded as Cooper brought in his breakfast.  “I’m starving,” he said and starting eating as soon as Cooper put the tray down.

“I’m glad I ate so at least I got some food,” Lee laughed and patted Chip on the shoulder before leaving to talk to Patterson.

“How you doing, Pat?” Lee asked.

“Okay Skipper.  I hurt all over and the leg’s a bit sore but I’ll be fine,” Patterson answered as Cooper gave him a tray. 

“Eat you breakfast, I’ll check back with you later,” Lee said and went back to Janet’s bunk where she was just picking at her breakfast.

“You better eat it up if you want to get out here,” Lee stated as Jamie looked at Janet pushing her food around the plate.

“Not really hungry right now,” she responded.  “Can you take it away, please?”

Lee picked up the tray and set it on the table near her bed.  “I have to check in on the control room but I’ll be back later,” he told her squeezing her hand.  She scooched down in the bunk, Lee covered her and she fell asleep.

Worried Lee went over to Jamie who was sitting at his desk.  “She okay?”

“Yes, she’s hurting so I’ll see that she gets some more pain medication.  Lee, she’s going to need a lot of rest when we get back.  It might be a couple of weeks before she starts to feel better.”

Rubbing his hand on his forehead, Lee replied, “I understand and I’ll make sure she gets it.  Call me if anything changes on any of them.”

“Yes sir,” Jamie said as he got up and got some pain medication for all his patients. 

Lee walked out of sick bay and returned to the control room.


Nelson returned to his cabin and worked on some papers before calling Jiggs.   He was curious as to what he would tell him.   He worked for about an hour before deciding to place the call.  He pressed down on the intercom button, “Sparks, get me Admiral Starke at Pearl.”

“Yes, sir,” Sparks replied just as Lee entered the control room and heard Nelson place the call.

He walked over to the charting table where Bobby O’Brien was checking their position, course and speed.

“Good morning sir,” Bobby said as Lee walked up to him.

“Good morning, Bobby,” Lee replied.  “Thanks for putting the entry in the log book.  You saved me a lot of time.”

“You’re welcome, sir.  You looked pretty tired when you left for sick bay.  How are Mr. Morton, Mrs. Crane and Patterson doing?”

“They’re sore but it’s going to take time,” Lee responded.   “Everything looks good.”

“Thank you sir.  If we have no problems, we should be home in three days.”

“I’ll be in my cabin, call if you need me.”

“Aye, sir,” Bobby replied as Lee ascended up the staircase.  He walked passed Harry’s cabin and was tempted to knock but continued on to his.  He knew Harry would call him when he had some information.

He stopped at Janet’s office and picked up the work that was left on her desk, returned to his cabin, loosen his tie and sat down to tackle the mound of paperwork that had accumulated overnight. 


Harry waited while Sparks contacted Jiggs’ office at Pearl Harbor.  He didn’t have to wait long when Sparks radioed his cabin.

“Admiral, I have Admiral Starke for you.”

“Put him through,” Harry replied and picked up the phone.

“Harriman, why are you calling?”

“I’m hoping you can give me some information,” Harry said candidly.

“What kind of information?” Jiggs’ asked evasively.

“I’m sure you know we were sent to pick up a box from a downed plane near the People’s Republic.  I want to know about the submarine that was patrolling the waters around there?”

Hesitating slightly, Starke replied, “What submarine?”

“Cut the crap, Jiggs’,” Harry replied angrily.  “You know damn well what submarine I’m talking about.  Why weren’t we told there was a sub in that area?”

“Okay Harriman, settle down,” Jiggs’ said.  “Yes, there is a sub in the area. Johnson…”

Harry interrupted Starke, “Correction, there was a sub.  We destroyed it late last night after she attacked us.”

Sighing deeply, “You took it out?”

“Yes, we didn’t have a choice when she fired torpedoes at us.”

“Harry, that sub had taken out five ships for no reason.  The PR reported to our government and several other governments that the boats had infringed on their territorial limit.”

“Well, that’s certainly not true as we were over thirty miles from the limit and they had no problem firing on us.”

“So were those other ships, some of them more than fifty miles but that didn’t stop them,” Jiggs told Harry.

“Why didn’t the SECNAV alert us to that fact, we would have liked to been prepared,” Harry stated.

“Johnson was afraid you would turn down the mission if you knew about the sub so had the SECNAV convince you to take it on for the Navy.”

“Lee was right,” Harry mumbled under his breath. 

“What’s that, Harriman,” Starke asked.

“Lee thought SECNAV wasn’t telling us everything and he was right.”

“Did you get the box?”

“Yes, we got the box but it nearly cost us Lt. Commander Morton, Seaman Patterson and Janet Crane.  There is a disk in that box isn’t there? We weren’t sent out there as a ruse just to knock out that sub?”

“There’s a disk in there and sorry about your men but I thought no civilians were allowed on the cruise so why was Mrs. Crane on board,” Jiggs’ asked crossly.

“It’s a long story and it’s a good thing she was on board or we wouldn’t have retrieved the disk.”  Harry explained what had taken place with Janet on why she was on board and how they got the disk.

“I’m sorry they were hurt.  I don’t think Gerald is going to accept the explanation why Janet was on board. When will you be docking in Santa Barbara?”

“In three days, barring any more unforeseen problems,” Nelson replied sarcastically.  “I’ll call Johnson and let him know what has taken place.”

“Thanks, Harry,” Jiggs’ said as he severed the connection.

“Damn,” Harry grumbled as he hung up the phone.  He pressed down the intercom button, “Captain Crane report to my cabin.”

Harry threw his pencil on the desk and leaned back in his chair as there was a knock on the door.   “In,” he said knowing Lee was at the door.

“You wanted to see me, sir,” Lee asked as he walked over to the desk.

“Sit down, Lee,” Harry told him.  Lee again perched on the corner of his desk.

“I talked to Jiggs and you were right, they knew about that sub,” Harry said and related his conversation with Admiral Starke.

Lee shook his head, “I don’t understand why Johnson just didn’t come out and tell us.  He should know we would’ve taken on the mission if it affected the safety of other ships.  Thanks for checking, sir.”

“I’m going to call Admiral Johnson and tell him we have the disk and about the sub.  He’s not going to be very understanding about Janet being on board after ordering no civilians but don’t worry I’ll handle it.”

“Thank you Admiral,” Lee replied with relief.

“I’ll see you later,” Harry said as he picked up the phone and asked Sparks to get Admiral Johnson on the phone.

Lee got up from the desk, left Harry’s office and went to sick bay.


Sparks called Nelson’s cabin when he had Admiral Johnson on the phone.

“Harry, do you have the disk?” Johnson asked when Harry was on the line.

“Yes, Gerald, we have the disk…and sunk the submarine you neglected to tell us about.  Yes, I found out you knew about that damn sub and didn’t tell us.   I don’t why you didn’t tell us about and I don’t care.  We’ll be docking in three days.”

Taken aback by Harry’s tone, Johnson replied, “I’ll expect a full debriefing on recovering the disk and eliminating the sub when you return.”

“That won’t happen for at least three weeks as the people involved in the recovery of the disk won’t be released from sick bay until then.  If you need the disk, you’ll have to send someone to pick it up.  FS-1 is out of commission.”

“Harry, who and how were men on your crew injured?”

“Gerald, the box was dislodged from the airplane and landed on a ledge in a crevice.”  Harry continued giving him a detailed account of what took place in the recovery of the disk and the sinking of the submarine.

“Harry, the SECNAV specifically ordered no civilians on board and that order was disobeyed.  There could be charges leveled against Lee for not following orders,” Johnson cautioned.

“I don’t think so,” Harry replied confidently. “If you level charges against him for something he had no control over, you just might lose your best agent and the use of my submarine.   I’m sure you’ll make sure the SECNAV understands the situation.”

“Okay, Harry you win,” Johnson conceded.  “I’ll send a courier to pick up the disk.”

“Bye, Gerald,” Harry said and hung up the phone with a grin.

He finished up his paperwork and made his way to the control room.


Lee entered sick bay and found that all three patients were awake.  They were all sitting up to decrease their chances of getting pneumonia.  Jamie made sure they were not in pain and comfortable. 

After he stooped down and gave Janet a kiss, Lee asked, “How are they doing?”

“They’re doing okay given their injuries.  Janet’s liver and kidney are healing nicely.  The hematoma on her spleen hasn’t ruptured but we’ll have to keep a watch on that as it could rupture in a few days or weeks.  We’re going to have to remove all of them from the boat through the overhead hatch as none of them will be able to walk off the boat.”

“I’ll make arrangements when we dock,” Lee replied as he sat down next to Janet and held her hand before returning to the control room.


Three days later, Seaview sailed into the channel at NIMR.  Lee and Bobby were on the flying bridge as Lee let Bobby berth the huge submarine at Dock A.   The dock crew along with the deck crew tied her down.  Once she was secure, they returned to the control room where the crew was shutting down their consoles.

“Nice job,” Lee said to Bobby.

“Thank you, sir,” Bobby replied as he filled out the log book and gave it to Lee.  He would put it in Janet’s bag so she could make copies and then bring it back to the boat.

Bobby and Lee stood at the base of the ladder saying good bye to the men going shore leave.    

“Skipper,” Sharkey said as he walked into the control room.  “I’m going topside to make sure the crane is ready to remove Mr. Morton, Mrs. C. and Patterson from sick bay.  Kowalski and Riley will be in the missile room to make sure they are loaded properly.”

“Thanks Chief,” Lee said appreciatively knowing they were in good hands.

“You can go now Bobby, thanks again for all your help,” Lee told him.

“Aye, sir,” he responded as the grabbed his gear from the observation nose and headed up the ladder. 

As soon as Bobby left, Lee heard Harry’s familiar footsteps on the staircase. He walked into the control room with his briefcase and the black box. “I’m going to the office and will meet up with you later in sick bay.  Johnson called and told Angie that a courier will be arriving in an hour to pick up the box.”

Sighing deeply, Lee said, “I guess I’ll have to face Johnson and the SECNAV at some point.  I’m really not looking forward to that meeting.”

“Lee, I wouldn’t worry about,” Harry replied as he patted him on the shoulder.  “I don’t think there’ll be a problem.”

Lee looked at Nelson and wondered why he was so sure there wouldn’t be a problem.  

“Go and make sure Janet, Chip and Patterson get off the boat,” Harry said as he passed his briefcase and the black box to a crewman waiting at the top.  He climbed up the ladder, went out the service hatch and down the gangway where he saw Julie waiting for Chip.

“He’ll be right out and don’t worry he’s okay,” Harry said trying to reassure her as she stood there with a worried look on her face.

“Thank you, sir,” she replied giving Harry a weak smile.

He walked to his car which was parked on the dock and drove to the institute office. 


Just as Nelson walked away, the ambulance from Med Bay arrived on the dock.   Sharkey had just finished positioning the crane over Seaview’s top hatch.  He radioed the missile room, “Kowalski open the hatch.”

“Aye Chief,” Kowalski said and pressed the button opening the hatch while Riley prepared the basket liter. 

John had just helped Patterson into the missile room as he would be the first one off the boat.   When he laid down, Riley secured him to the liter and had Kowalski radio Sharkey that he was ready to go.   Sharkey started the crane and carefully lifted the liter out of the boat while Kowalski and Riley steadied it as it was lifted.  Once on the dock, Jeff and George, the corpsmen from Med Bay, removed the straps, helped him up and into the ambulance.  Sharkey lowered the liter back into the boat.  Chip would be next.  Frank helped Chip hobble to the missile room and into the liter.  Sharkey repeated the process slowly lowering the liter to the dock.  Jeff helped Chip out.  As soon as he was out of the liter, Julie ran over to him and carefully gave him a hug as tears ran down her face.

He wiped away the tears, “I’m okay,” he told her as he kissed her softly. 

“I was so worried when Angie called and told me what happened,” Julie sobbed.  “Can you come home?”

“No honey, I’ll have to stay in Med Bay for a couple of days,” Chip said as she held on to him as they walked over to the ambulance.

George helped him into the ambulance and he sat down next to Patterson.  Julie sat next to him while they waited for them to bring up Janet.


Lee made his way to sick bay to help them take Janet off the boat.   They would need to bring the basket liter to sick bay as Jamie wasn’t going to let her walk to the missile room.  Kowalski and Riley brought in the liter.  John and Frank gently picked Janet up from the bunk and put her in the liter. 

“Why can’t I walk,” Janet asked embarrassed by all the attention. 

“Please just humor me,” Jamie said.  “I just want to make sure you don’t aggravate your injuries.”

“Just do as he says,” Lee told her as he rubbed her check.

“Yes, Lee,” she replied as Kowalski and Frank secured her in the basket.

John, Frank, Riley and Kowalski picked up the liter and carried it to the missile room with Jamie and Lee following behind.  Riley attached the straps to the hook on the crane and radioed Sharkey to lift it up.  Sharkey carefully picked up the liter as the men kept it from swinging.  Lee knew Janet would be scared as they lifted her off the boat as she was afraid of heights.  Sharkey gently put the liter on the dock.  Jeff and George released the straps, picked up the liter and put it in the ambulance.  They would wait until Jamie was on the dock before they would take them to Med Bay.

Julie was surprised see that Janet was going to be taken to Med Bay on a stretcher.  “Hi Janet,” she said when she was in the ambulance.  “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine,” she replied. “Just a little bruised and battered but I’ll be fine by the wedding.

Julie smiled, took Janet’s hand and gave it a squeezed.   She waited outside the ambulance until Jamie arrived and released them.  Jamie made his way down the gangway and saw that all his patients had no problems from their ride and told George to take them to Med Bay where the staff was expecting them.  He went to his car and would meet the ambulance there.


Lee went to his cabin, gathered his duffle bag, Janet’s purse and bag and returned to the control room where Kowalski and Riley were waiting for him.  They took his gear, brought it topside, and would put it in his car. 

“Thanks men,” Lee said as he walked down the gangway, stopping at the end to talk to maintenance and security before he would he go over to Med Bay and check on Janet, Chip and Patterson.

When he arrived, all three were settled in their rooms.  Jamie had made arrangements for Patterson to see an orthopedic doctor the next day.  Kowalski had volunteered to take him for the exam.

Chip would stay a couple of days before returning home where Julie would stay with him and make sure he didn’t overdo it as she wanted to make sure he was better for the wedding.

Janet would be stuck in Med Bay for at least a week.  Jamie wanted to make sure the hematoma on her spleen didn’t rupture, along with making sure the repair to her liver and bruised kidney were okay.  He also needed to get her a removable cast for her ankle.   If everything was okay after a week, she would be released from Med Bay but would need to stay home and rest for the next week before returning to work for half days.

There were no missions scheduled for the next couple of months as Seaview would be getting her decks redone so Lee would be able to spend a lot of time with Janet making sure she rested.


Six Weeks Later

It was 0800 hours on Saturday morning when Lee and Janet woke up to bright sunshine coming in the windows of their bedroom.   Janet stretched as she sat up in bed pulling the sheet up over her.  Lee looked at her as she sat up.

“It’s going to be a beautiful October day,” Janet purred.

“Looks like it.  What are your plans for today?” he smiled mischievously.

“Lee Crane, WHAT are my plans,” Janet practically shouted.  She looked at him and saw his grin.  “Okay you got me.”

She laid back down snuggling next him.   He kissed the side of her head before laying her on her back then ran his hands skillfully over her body and kissed her deeply which led to a bout of love-making.


Chip’s wedding was scheduled for later that afternoon.  Lee was his best man and Janet was Julie’s matron of honor.  They had gotten home late after the rehearsal dinner and party hosted by Chip’s parents at the hotel where the wedding reception was taking place. 

“We better get going,” Lee said as he got out of bed and headed for the shower.  Janet followed him and turned on the water as Lee shaved.  He looked her over noticing that most her bruises and contusions had healed but there were still a couple that were a light yellow and green.  She had recovered from the rest of her injuries as did Chip but Patterson still had his leg in a cast. 

As Janet finished dressing, Lee took her dress downstairs and hung it on the door frame.  He was going to drive Janet to Julie’s house where she would help her get dressed.  Julie’s mom and Chip’s mom would be there as they were all going to get their hair and make-up done.   Lee would dress at home and then go down to Chip’s house to help him.

Lee made a pot of coffee and while he was waiting for the coffee to brew, he looked out the window and saw Chip heading up to the house.  Lee unlocked the patio door.

“What are you doing here?” Lee asked noticing the normally cool, calm and collected XO of Seaview looking very nervous. 

“Here,” Chip said as he handed Lee Julie’s wedding ring.  “You have to keep this, I’m afraid I’ll lose it.”

“Sure, isn’t that part of the best man’s job?” Lee joked.  “Want some coffee?”

“Yes,” Chip replied as Lee handed him a mug of the strong brew.

Janet entered the kitchen and saw Chip.  “Good morning, Chip.  Are you ready for your big day?”

“I guess so,” he answered.  “I just hope everything goes off without a hitch.”

“Don’t worry it will,” Janet reassured him.  “Want some breakfast…pancakes?”

“Sounds good,” Chip responded.

Janet made them pancakes, cleaned up and grabbed her bag with the items she would need to get ready.

“Sorry Chip, Lee has to take me to Julie’s.   This will be the last time the three of us will be together as now there will be four of us.   I’m so happy for you and Julie,” Janet told him as she gave him a kiss on the cheek.

“Thanks, Janet.  I’m really happy too.”

He returned to his house while Lee took the ring, ran upstairs and put it next to his insignias and medals that he would put on his uniform.  He put Janet’s bag in the car while she carefully laid the dress on the back seat.  He drove to her to Julie’s, helped her with her bag and gave her a kiss goodbye. 

“See you soon,” he said as she took the items and watched him drive away.


It was early afternoon when the women returned to Julie’s house to get dressed.   Julie’s mom, Terry, Chip’s mom, Christine, and Janet got dressed as soon as they arrived at Julie’s house.  The three of them helped Julie into her gown.  After a few minor adjustments, she was ready and looked beautiful.

“Chip is going to stop breathing,” Janet said laughing.  “You’re gorgeous.” 

“Thank you, I hope he likes the dress,” Julie replied looking in the mirror. 

“Julie, he’s not going to care what the dress looks like, all he will be looking at is your face,” Janet told her.

Julie gave Janet a hug as they got ready to leave for the church.  They would take her veil with them and wait to put it on when they arrived at the church in downtown Santa Barbara.  It wasn’t too far from the hotel where the reception was being held.   Terry answered a knock at the door and the florist was there with the flowers.  She gave the two mothers their wrist corsages, handed Janet her bouquet of pink roses and Julie her bouquet of white and pink roses.  She told them the flowers were set up at the church and she would be taking the rest of them to the banquet hall.

Janet was looking for Julie’s dad so he could take them to the church but a limousine pulled up instead. 

“I didn’t order a limo,” Julie said nervously.

“A Commander Crane ordered the limo to take you to the church and then to the reception,” the driver told them.

Julie looked at Janet, “I don’t know anything about it,” she said but he’s here and we need to go so the four women climbed into the limo for the ride to the church.

When they arrived, they quickly found the bride’s room so no one would see Julie before she walked down the aisle.


After dropping Janet off, Lee went home and put his insignias on his jacket.  He quickly put his uniform on put the ring in his pocket and headed down to Chip’s house where his dad, Steven and Julie’s dad, Greg were waiting.  When Lee arrived, Chip’s dad handed out beers.  “Son, much happiness always,” he exclaimed as they clinked their bottles and took a drink.

“We better get going,” Chip said nervously.  “I don’t want to be late.”

“Chip, when have you ever been late.  We have plenty of time to get there,” Lee chuckled surprised at how nervous he was.

They climbed in Lee’s SUV and arrived at the church a few minutes after Julie.  


Chip’s sister, her husband and their children saw Chip getting out of the car and ran over to greet him.  His brother, and his family were also there and went over to offer their congratulations.  He was happy they all had come out from Chicago.  They had meet Julie only a couple of times but liked her very much.  Lee blended right in with them as he was considered one of the family ever since he met Chip at the academy.

Chip’s dad and mom stood grinning as their family kissed and hugged both Chip and Lee. After Julie’s parents had greeted their guests, Christine went over to them and introduced them to Chip’s siblings and their families.

Chip looked at his watch for the twentieth time.  “The ceremony is going to start in thirty minutes, so we better head into the church.”

 “Okay Chip,” his mom said as she herded her family in the church.

All of the crew from Seaview were invited and entering the church as well as Angie and her date Evan.  Wanda and Aaron stopped to offer their congratulations before they went into the church.  Before Lee and Chip entered the church, Harry and Jamie walked over to them. Jamie extended his congratulations and followed Chief Sharkey, Kowalski, Patterson and Riley into the church and found some seats.

“All ready to get married?” Harry asked as he, Chip and Lee walked into the church through a side entrance taking them
to the front.

“Yes, sir.  I can’t wait,” Chip replied with a huge grin.

“Congratulations, Chip,” Harry said shaking his hand and left Lee and Chip alone as he found his seat.  Chip’s parents had invited him to sit with them.

The priest came into the room, “Ready to start Commander?”

“Yes sir,” Chip responded enthusiastically as he and Lee followed the priest out the door.  

“Lee, look at all the people,” Chip muttered nervously as they stood in the front of the church.

“Calm down bro, it’ll be over before you know it,” Lee said knowingly.  “Enjoy every moment of it.”


As soon as Julie arrived in the bride’s room, Janet helped her put on her long veil.  She made sure it was laying straight and would flow behind her.  She then handed Julie her flowers.  Julie’s dad and mom each gave her a kiss before Terry would leave Julie with her dad.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” Julie declared as she put her arm through her dad’s giving him a huge grin.


Chip’s dad escorted his wife down the aisle followed by Julie’s mom who was escorted to her seat by Lee who then returned to his place next to Chip.

As the music started, the back door of the church opened and Janet started down the aisle.  Lee stared at her as she looked beautiful in her long halter-style maroon dress.   He met her in the center of the aisle and escorted her up to the first step where he gave her arm a gentle squeeze.

Janet stood to the left as Lee returned to the right.  As soon as the organist started playing again, the whole congregation stood up and turned around as the doors opened revealing Julie and her dad.  

Chip couldn’t believe how beautiful Julie looked in her white strapless sheath tulle lace gown and long lace veil.  She looked like a princess.  Chip smiled broadly as she walked up the aisle.  Her dad gave her a kiss and he placed her hand in Chip’s.  Janet took her bouquet from her as the priest began the service. As Chip and Julie exchanged vows, Lee looked over at Janet and winked.  She winked back hoping no one saw them.

“May I have the rings please,” the priest said as he waited for Lee to place the rings on the prayer book.

Chip looked at Lee as he padded his pockets looking for the rings.  Chip gave Lee his icy XO stare that made crewman shake in their boots. Smiling, Lee finally took the rings out of his pocket and placed them on the book.  Chip grinned back knowing his ‘brother’ had to give him a hard time.

Chip and Julie exchanged rings, the priest said the final prayers and told Chip he could kiss his wife.  Chip and Julie kissed for the first time as husband and wife.  

Janet handed Julie her bouquet and they turned around to face the congregation as the priest said, “May I present for the first time, Lt. Commander Charles and Julie Morton”.

The whole church erupted into applause as they walked down the aisle to the back of the church.  When they went outside, there was an honor guard of officers from the Seaview and some of Chip’s old Navy friends that formed an arch of swords.  As they walked past each pair of officers, they would lower their swords only letting them pass after they kissed.  When they got to the last one, they kissed and walked past Lt. O’Brien who gently tapped Julie on the rear welcoming her into the Navy and the Seaview.

Lee and Janet followed them out of the church and waited for the honor guard to leave before going over to Chip and Julie.

“Congratulations, Chip, Julie,” Lee said giving Julie a kiss and shaking Chip’s hand.  Janet gave Chip a kiss and Julie a hug. 

“You know I’ll get back at you somehow or someway for your incident with the rings,” Chip teased.

“I know but I couldn’t resist as you were so worried I would forget them or lose them,” Lee laughed.

After taking many pictures in the church with their family and friends, Chip, Julie, Lee and Janet climbed into the limo where they would accompany Chip and Julie for more pictures at the beach.  Lee had the chauffer open a bottle of champagne he had them put in the car.  Lee and Janet toasted them as they drove to the beach.  As Chip and Julie had their pictures taken, Lee and Janet stood there watching.

Lee wrapped his arm around his wife’s waist.  “You look gorgeous,” he said to Janet as he kissed her forehead.  

“You don’t look too bad either,” Janet cooed as she leaned closer to Lee.

When Chip and Julie were finished taking pictures, they returned to the limo and had another glass of champagne as they rode to the reception.  When they arrived their family and friends were waiting for them and clapped as they walked into the banquet hall decorated with pink, white and red roses on the tables that were covered with dark blue tablecloths and white napkins.  The first duty was to cut the wedding cake using Chip’s sword.  They neatly fed each other a piece of cake before it was taken away to be served as dessert.  

Before they served dinner, Lee stood up and offered at toast, “To my brother, best friend and his wife, Julie, we wish you much joy and happiness in your new life together.” 

After dinner and dessert was finished, Janet and Lee joined Harry and Jamie at the table they shared with other NIMR staff.

“You look very nice,” Harry said to Janet as he patted her hand.   They all nodded their heads in agreement.

“You all look great in your uniforms.  Maybe we should have a mandatory once a month meeting where everyone has to wear their dress blues,” Janet said with a wry grin.

Lee along with the rest of the men shook their heads no.  “These uniforms are not as bad as the white chokers but they’re still uncomfortable,” Lee replied as some of the crew went over to Chip and Julie and offered their congratulations.


It was time for the band to start playing and after the first dance by the Chip and Julie, everyone was invited to join in.   Lee took Janet by the hand and lead her out to the dance floor.

“This brings back pleasant memories for me,” Lee said lovingly holding her close.

“Me too,” Janet answered back giving her husband a hug.  As they danced, Janet asked, “Are you disappointed that we didn’t have a military wedding?”

“No, I loved our wedding just the way it was.  Sweetheart, as long we got married, I didn’t care how we did it.”

“Thanks Lee,” Janet replied as she held him close.

They finished their dance and returned to the table but when the band started to play again, Harry took Janet’s hand and asked her to dance.  He was a very good dancer which she found out when they went to the Bahamas.****

“I saw Lee look at you and wink when Chip and Julie were saying their vows.  He’s very happy being married to you.”

“Admiral, I never thought I could love someone again after my first husband died.  But when Lee asked me to marry him I knew I couldn’t say no.  He’s made me very happy.”

“I remember dancing with you at your wedding.  It was one of the happiest days in my life.  Lee is like a son to me and when he married you I acquired a daughter.”

“Sir, I’m so happy you consider me your daughter.  I love you like a father,” Janet told him with tears in her eyes. Harry brushed them away as they continued to dance.

Harry and Janet stayed on the dance floor and danced again as the band played another song.

Jamie walked over to Lee, “Seems the admiral is enjoying his partner.”

“That’s okay.  I’m glad she’s enjoying dancing with the admiral.”

Before long the wedding was winding down and the band was playing the last song for the night.  Julie and Chip were still at the reception as they were having too much fun.  They wouldn’t leave for their honeymoon for a couple of days as they wanted to spend some time with Chip’s parents and siblings as well as Julie’s parents.  They would leave on Tuesday for the Turks and Caicos for two weeks.

Lee took Janet’s hand and led her out on the dance floor where she heard the familiar refrains of her favorite song.  Love at First Sight”.***** As they danced, the song brought a smile to her face as she remembered when Lee told her how he fell in love with her the first time he met her.

“Did you ask them to play this?” Janet asked as she wrapped her arms around Lee’s neck and he wrapped his arms around her waist.

“Yes, I did,” Lee replied as he pulled her closer and kissed her.


When Chip and Julie left the reception, no one knew where they were going to spend their first night together as husband and wife…Chip didn’t even tell Lee.   He was on his honeymoon and nothing was going to stop him from spending the next two weeks with no one to care about except Julie.

Lee had made arrangements to stay overnight at the hotel where the reception was being held.  Holding hands as they made their way to the room, Lee opened the door and let Janet go in first.   He removed his jacket and tie and hung them in the closet. He unbuttoned his shirt and rolled up the sleeves as Janet stepped out of her shoes. She had to admit her ankle was bothering her and she was tired.

She stood facing Lee as she undid her necklace, “Do you think Chip and Julie will be as happy as we are?”

Lee pulled her close, “No,” he answered without hesitation.

Janet pushed away from him, “Lee, how can you say that?” Janet asked surprised at his comment.

Pulling her back close to him, “No one will ever be as happy as we are,” he replied lovingly as he undid the zipper on her dress and let it fall in a puddle on the floor.


The End.


* See story “Trouble in Vegas”

** See story “A New ONI Agent”

*** Information from www.merckmanuals.com

**** See story “A Daunting Mission”

***** “Love at First Sight” by Styx From the album “Turn of the Century”  Written by Glen Burtnik/Dennis DeYoung/James Young  Copyright 1990 WarBride/Hampstead Heath/Grand Illusion Music/Alloy Music


Thank you, Nancie, for your help with the medical portion of the story

Thank you to my fantastic beta, Christy, for your help and suggestions.