This story is an epilogue to “Double Vengeance”.  The reader may want to read that story first to fully enjoy this story.


Reparation-Something that is done or given as a way of correcting a mistake that you have made or a bad situation that you may have caused.  Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary




Dedicated to the memory of Angela who loved Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and her Captain, Lee Crane.

Her support and passion for Voyage will be greatly missed by her Voyage friends.




By JSRobertson


Seaview had just returned from a three week exercise of fox and hound with the Navy’s newest destroyer and submarine. The Navy had contacted Admiral Harriman Nelson, owner of Seaview, asking him if he was interested in helping them with their sea trials.   The admiral was more than happy to aid the Navy knowing that Lee Crane, Seaview’s captain, would love to show off his boat and crew’s skills.  When Seaview was the hound they were able to find the Navy’s submarine four out of the five exercises.  Seaview was only found once by the destroyer and once by the submarine out of the six exercises when she was the fox. 


As Seaview headed home Lee went to the radio shack to make a boat wide announcement, “Attention men, this is the captain.  The Navy just sent us a Bravo Zulu on the completion of the exercises.  You proved to me that you can compete with the Navy’s newest boats.  Congratulations on a job well done.”


Lee stowed the mic back in its holder and returned to the observation nose where the admiral, Chip Morton, Seaview’s XO and Janet, Lee’s wife and Seaview’s secretary were waiting.


Barely containing a smile, “Lee,” Chip said when he returned, “you failed to tell them there was one slight mishap on the last exercise.” 


“Yes, I know,” Lee replied frowning, “you won the bet and I’m sure the whole crew knows I scraped the paint on the left bow fin.”


When Lee directed Seaview out of the last cavern where they were hiding, she drifted a little further to the left than Lee anticipated and her paint was scraped.  Lee and Chip had a bet on who would scrape her paint first.  If Chip scraped the paint, he wouldn’t be able to have dessert or coffee for a week.  If Lee scraped her paint Chip would get to drive Lee’s other baby, a Shelby AC Cobra for a week.  Seaview was Lee’s first love, not even Janet could get past her.


The admiral and Janet also had a hard time containing their smiles as it had been sometime since one of them scraped her paint.  Seaview would be dry docked in the underground facility while she got a new paint job.




It was late Sunday evening when Lee expertly brought Seaview into the underground sub pen and dismissed the crew once she was tied down.  They had no missions scheduled for the next month so there was time to paint her and take care of the routine maintenance.


The admiral, Chip, Lee and Janet left the sub pen and walked to their cars.  Chip had ridden with Lee and Janet to the dock and would ride home with them and pick up the Cobra.  When they got to the parking lot, Julie, Chip’s girlfriend, was waiting for them.  


“Welcome home,” she said to them giving Chip a quick kiss on the cheek not wanting to embarrass him in front of the admiral with a more passionate one as he would get that and much more when they got back to her house.

“Good night, see you in the morning,” the admiral said as he walked to his car leaving the four of them on the dock and drove away with a smile on his face.  He knew Lee was upset that he scraped the paint and lost the bet but knew he would keep his word.   He was happy that his officers got along as well as they did. 


“I’ll take Chip home,” she volunteered as she grabbed his hand and they walked to their cars.


“I’ll pick up the Cobra tomorrow after work,” Chip said to Lee wanting to cash in on the bet right away before Lee changed his mind.  


“No problem,” Lee replied as he opened the car door for Janet who slid in and looked at Chip while Lee walked around the car.   She gave him a wry grin as she knew Lee was more upset about scraping the paint than losing the bet.


“See you tomorrow,” Janet said to Chip.


When Lee got in the car, Janet grabbed his tie and pulled him over to her giving him a very passionate kiss which he gladly returned.


“Honey, you’re a good sport.   I promise to make it up to you when we get home,” Janet teased.


“I’ll hold you to that promise,” he replied with a grin as he put the car in gear and drove home.




They parked the car in the garage and went into the house.  “Are you hungry?” Janet asked as she put down her gear.


“No, not really,” Lee replied as he dropped his gear.  “How about we forget about dinner and go upstairs.  I’m really tired.  These last three weeks have been very challenging.” 


“That’s fine with me,” Janet answered noting he did look a little tired.   She realized it was more than a competition for Lee as he wanted to prove to the Navy that Seaview was just as good as their new vessels.   He hadn’t been sleeping well since they left on this mission and would find him at his desk going over maps at all hours of the night.


They walked upstairs and as they got ready for bed Janet asked, “Are you too tired for....”


Before she could finish, Lee gave her a deep lingering kiss and led her over to the bed where they quickly slid under the covers.  I guess he’s not that tired, Janet thought as she caught the twinkle in his amber eyes as he pressed his body against hers.  She missed their intimacy but now that the mission was over and Seaview had performed very well, she knew Lee would be able to perform just as well if not better.  Tired, sated and happy, they finally fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms.




Lee woke up at 0500 hours, yawned, turned over and fell back to sleep.  Janet finally woke up and saw it was almost 0700.  She quickly shook Lee awake, “Honey, we’ve overslept.  We’re going to be late,” she said as she jumped out of bed.  “Are you never over sleep,” Janet asked in a panic.


Stretching, “I’m fine,” Lee replied as he stayed in bed.  “I woke up at 0500 and decided we needed some more sleep.  So we’re a little late. Why don’t you come back to bed and we’ll continue on with what we started last night?” he suggested eagerly pulling back the covers so she could climb back in.


Janet looked at her husband, who was never late, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?” she laughed and jumped back into bed.  He kissed her passionately as she ran her hands down his chest to his lower body where he let out a soft moan enjoying what she was doing.  They joined in love and laid next to each other breathing heavily for several minutes before getting up.   

Janet turned on the shower and climbed in while Lee shaved.  She got out and he jumped in while she finished getting ready.  They wouldn’t have time for coffee or breakfast this morning as it was almost 0800 hours and they should have been at work already.  They quickly got in the car and drove the short distance to the institute.


“What are you going to tell the admiral as to why we’re late,” Janet asked as they pulled into their parking space. 


“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, as he isn’t here yet,” Lee said noticing the admiral’s car wasn’t there.


“You got lucky this time,” Janet laughed and saw Chip pull in after them.   “Maybe we should find out why Chip is late?”


“You know why he’s late,” Lee chuckled as they got out of the car and met Chip as he was walking to the door.


“You’re late too,” Chip said looking embarrassed at getting caught being late. 


Grinning “Overslept,” Lee replied as he held the door for Janet and Chip.


“Yah, me too,” Chip answered as he entered the lobby and went over to the counter and signed the three of them after wishing Howard a good morning.


They took the elevator to the second floor where Wanda was waiting for them and not looking very happy.




“Where have you been...Admiral Johnson has called three times looking for you,” she told Lee.  “I didn’t know what to tell him.  That man has no patience,” she continued.


“Sorry Wanda,” Lee apologized.  “We got in late last night and we slept in a little later.  I’m sorry he took his frustrations out on you.”


“It’s okay,” she told Lee as the phone started to ring.  “For some reason he scares me.”  Janet looked at the number and knew the call was for Lee.


“Looks like he might be calling again,” Janet said as she answered the phone.  “Good Morning, Commander Crane’s office, Janet Crane speaking, how may I help you?”


“It’s about time you got there,” he said gruffly.  “Don’t you people have to be at work on time?  I need to talk to Lee.”


Sighing, Janet looked at Lee, “Admiral Johnson would like to talk to you.”


“Give me a minute to hang up my coat and I’ll take his call,” Lee responded as he and Chip walked to their offices. 


“Just minute, Admiral” Janet told him not happy that he was calling as it meant Lee would have to go on an ONI mission.


Janet put the call through to Lee’s office and said to Wanda contritely, “I’m sorry we’re late too.  We should have called and let you know we wouldn’t be here on time.”


“Angie and I were worried something happened when you weren’t here as you’re never late.  We didn’t know if something went wrong with the mission or if you had a problem.”


“I promise we’ll call the next time we’re going to be late,” Janet told her.


“Thanks,” Wanda replied with a grin letting Janet know she wasn’t mad at her.


Janet walked to her office, turned on the light and stood there looking at all the mail, reports, and proposals that sat on her desk.  She also had a box of work from Seaview she had to finish up.  She would have to work late to get it all completed.  She put her purse in the drawer and sat down when her phone rang.


“Janet, can you please come to my office?” Lee asked. 


“I’ll be right there,” she replied noticing he was still on the phone with Admiral Johnson.


She walked down the hall to Lee’s office and opened the door.




Lee hung up his coat and turned on his computer before telling Janet to put through the call from Admiral Johnson.  He really wasn’t in the mood to deal with him right now.


“Hello, Admiral,” Lee said as he sat down in his chair.


“Good morning, Lee,” Johnson said pleasantly.  “Congratulations on your recent exercises with the Navy’s new vessels, seems you outsmarted both of them.”


“Thank you sir,” Lee replied.  “Both those ships will be hard to outsmart once their officers and crew spend more time working together.  They did give Seaview a good workout though.” Lee continued smiling with pride that his boat and crew did get the best of those newer vessels.


“The reason for my call is I need you and Janet to pick up a flash drive with the plans for the PR’s new ADC chip (analog-to digital converter).* They’ve been using it to jam our drones, radios, radar, and other electronics hindering our operations.    We’re a little behind on this project and would like to see how they’ve made it so we can speed up our manufacturing.”


“Why does Janet need to go?” Lee questioned knowing Johnson had an ulterior motive. 


“Lee, do you remember Leon Kelly?” Johnson asked.


“Recall the name but not sure where I met him.   Admiral, please just get to the point,” Lee snapped.


“Commander, watch the tone,” Johnson warned. “He was the PR operative in Las Vegas Janet had a run in with over some maps.”**


“Yes, I do recall the incident where you coerced my wife into picking up some maps without my knowledge or permission,” Lee answered just barely keeping his anger in check.


“Well, he’ll turn the plans over to her and only her.  He feels she’s the only person he could trust with them plus she’s not an operative and has nothing to gain by getting them.”


“I’ll go alone,” Lee said.  “I only saw him briefly but I’ll remember him.”


“Lee, I tried to send another agent or even you alone and he won’t budge.  Please ask her if she’ll help us out.  You will go along of course.”


Sighing deeply Lee responded, “Let me call her into my office.  I’ll let her decide.  And Admiral, if she says no I won’t let you beg her to go,” Lee added.


“Fair enough,” Johnson replied as Lee put him on hold and called Janet into his office.




Janet entered Lee’s office sat down in the chair in front of his desk a little worried as to why Lee wanted to see her.


 “Janet, Admiral Johnson would like to talk to you as he needs your help.  I’ll let him tell you why,” Lee explained. 


“Okay Lee,” she answered softly.


Pressing the button on the phone, Lee said, “Admiral, Janet is in the office and I’m going to put you on speaker phone.”


“Good morning, Janet,” Johnson responded politely.


“Good morning, sir,” Janet replied anxiously.


“I’ll get right to the point.  Janet do you remember Leon Kelly?”


“Yes sir.  He was the PR operative in Las Vegas when I picked up the maps and he beat me up.”


“Yes,” Johnson answered clearing his throat.  “As I explained to Lee he has a flash drive with some plans for an electronic chip we desperately want,” Johnson stressed.


Rolling her eyes, Janet asked, “What does that have to do with me?  I don’t know anything about electronics.”


Lee and Janet could hear Johnson take a deep breath, “He will only give the plans to you, no one else.  So I need you to pick them up.  I’m hoping you’ll help us out.  You and Lee will need to go to the country of Gromenten.***  Lee, I sending you via e-mail the form to sign letting us use Janet for this mission.”


“What a minute,” Lee blurted out.  “I haven’t agreed to take on this mission let alone you use my wife.”


“Lee, time is of the essence.  You need to be in Gromenten no later than Friday which means you’ll be leaving late Wednesday night as it’s a fourteen hour flight and they’re nine hours ahead of you.”


“That’s not giving us much time,” Lee said heatedly.  “Why such short notice?”


“If you don’t pick up those plans by Saturday, Kelly is going to sell them to a country we in no way want to have those plans,” Johnson replied curtly.  “Gromenten is opening a new aquarium in Podgorca, the capital, on Friday evening with a dinner for selected guests and you two are on the list.  There will be a formal reception hosted by the president on Saturday night.  Admiral Nelson received an invitation to the opening but is unable to attend so you and Janet are going in his place.  The exchange will take place at the reception.”


“Admiral, can Lee and I have a minute to talk privately,” Janet asked quickly seeing that Lee was getting agitated and would get into trouble if she didn’t stop him. 


“Yes,” Johnson answered impatiently.


Lee put Johnson on hold so they could talk.  “Lee, I’m not thrilled about going but I’ll do it as long as you’re with me. As far as his form he wants you to sign, you can stuff his form. Since we’re talking about this and you’re going along, you don’t need to sign any forms.  If Johnson doesn’t like it, I won’t go.”  Lee was surprised at her attitude regarding the form but understood since she was his wife and not an underage daughter.  He laughed to himself “You’ve come a long way, baby,” and truth be told he liked her that way.


Lee looked at Janet and ran his hand through his hair.  “Okay, we’ll go and no more forms.”  He took Johnson off hold.


“Admiral,” Janet said, “I’ll agree to go on the mission.”

“Thank you,” Johnson said sighing deeply.   “I’ll make your travel arrangements and e-mail them to you.  Lee, did you receive the document giving Janet permission to go on this mission?”


Lee looked at his computer and saw the e-mail message.  “Admiral, no more forms.  Janet is not a piece of property I can sign over, she’s her own woman,” he told Johnson as Janet sat there smiling.


Hesitating for a second Johnson replied, “I understand.  Also, you’ll need to wear a white dinner jacket and Janet a black dress for the reception.  Seems the aquarium is decorated in black and white hence the dress code.  Look for your travel information, itinerary and how you’re getting out of the country in the next couple of hours.   Thanks, Lee.  You’ll drop off the flash drive with me on your return trip home and give me a complete debriefing.  Good luck.”


“Thank you sir,” Janet replied.


“Good bye,” Lee said as he hung up the phone.   “I guess we could be sent to a worse place.  Gromenten isn’t a bad place to go.  The capital city of Podgorca is pretty and there things to see besides the aquarium,” Lee told Janet.


“I guess you’ll have to find your white dinner dress no problem,” Janet replied as she stood up went around to Lee and gave him a kiss.   “See you later.”


“Oh no, sweetie, we have to tell the Admiral about our new adventure,” Lee said as he got up from his chair, opened the door and waited for Janet so they could go to the admiral’s office. 


Chip was just coming out of his office for another cup of coffee, “What...where... and when do you leave?” Chip asked with a smirk on his face.


“Come with us while we tell the admiral,” Lee said as the three of them walked into Angie’s office.




“Is he here?” Lee asked Angie as they stood in front of her desk.


“He is now,” the admiral replied as he came up behind them.  “What can I do for you?”


“Lee just got a call from Admiral Johnson,” Chip chimed up before Lee could which got him a disgusted look from Lee.


“Janet, you better bring in a whole pot of coffee,” the admiral said as he opened the door to his office and went in followed by Lee and Chip while she got the pot of coffee and some mugs.


Before the admiral sat down on the couch, Janet poured them all a mug of coffee.  Chip sat next to the admiral on the couch across from Lee and Janet.  “Let’s have it,” the admiral told Lee taking a sip of coffee.


“Janet and I have to leave for a mission to Gromenten to pick up plans on an ADC chip,” Lee reported.


“An ADC chip...what is that?” the admiral asked curiously.


“It’s a high-speed analog-to-digital converter,” Lee told him.  “They’re used to jam drones, radios, radar, and other electronics.”


Chip piped up, “I’ve been reading up on them.  It seems the PR has a head start on the chip and is already using it.  I’m waiting for us to develop one.  It’s something we’re definitely going to need on Seaview.”


“Hmm,” the admiral mused.  “But what does that have to do with the two of you?”


Lee explained what Johnson had told him about Leon Kelly and the reception.

Smiling when Lee told him about the reception at the aquarium, the admiral replied, “Funny I did get an invitation to the opening and was thinking of going but I guess ONI just changed my mind.”


“Sorry sir,” Janet answered knowing he would have loved to gone.


“When are you leaving?” Chip asked unhappily.


“We need to leave on Wednesday night and will spend most of Thursday traveling.  On Friday there’s a tour of the aquarium with the official opening and then a dinner.  Saturday we’re on our own until the reception hosted by the president.   The exchange will take place at the reception.  Once we have the plans, we’ll head back to Washington to be debriefed by Johnson.  I don’t have all the travel information just yet.”


Sighing deeply the admiral replied, “Just be careful.  I know this seems like an easy mission but you know nothing is ever easy when the two of you are involved.”


“Yes sir,” Lee replied as the three of them stood up and left his office.


“I’ll take you to the airport,” Chip said as he returned to his office already worried about his friends.




Lee and Janet returned to their offices.  Lee got all the travel information by late afternoon.  He printed the itinerary and left it on his desk.   There was no return travel information.


It was 1800 hours by the time Chip, Lee and Janet were ready to leave for the day.  Chip followed the Crane’s home and picked up the Cobra.  He and Julie had a date for dinner and he wanted to drive it to the restaurant.


“I promise I’ll be careful,” Chip told Lee as he started the car.


“I know you will Chip,” Lee said with a smile.  “Have a good time.”


Lee watched Chip drive away and suggested, “How about we go out for dinner?”


“Sure, Giovanni’s for some eggplant,” Janet replied giving Lee a kiss.  “Just let me get my coat.”


They hopped in Janet’s SUV and headed for the restaurant.




After enjoying their meal, Lee and Janet were almost home when a car crashed into them head on.  Lee tried to swerve out of the way but the other car caught the front of the Crane’s car and spun it around where it then smashed into a light pole on Lee’s side caving in the side of the car.  Janet’s SUV being an older model had no side airbags. She heard the window shatter as the car came to an abrupt stop.  Janet sat in the seat stunned for a moment as her air bag deflated leaving her covered with a white powder.  She looked over at Lee.  He was covered in glass from the window and the white powder from the deployed air bag.  The door of the car was crushed inside the car as it rested against the light pole.  She quickly undid her seat belt and leaned over the console to check on him.  She saw blood running down his face.  She wiped away the blood looking to see where he was injured. He had a large gaping wound on the side of his head from where the door caved in.  The armrest and controls were also smashed up against his side.  She looked down at his legs and thought one of them looked broken.  She took out her cell phone and called 911.   She heard Lee moan and leaned over to him again. 


He opened his eyes, “Hurts,” he said painfully. “You okay?”


“Yes, I’m fine,” Janet replied wiping away some more blood from his face.  “Help is on the way.  Please don’t move.”


“Don’t think I could if I tried.  Trouble breathing, chest, head hurts, leg broken,” Lee mumbled in pain.


“I know honey,” Janet told him as she took his hand.  


Janet looked out her window and saw a man looking in.  He opened the door.  “You okay, ma’am,” he asked with concern.


“Yes but my husband’s very badly injured,” Janet said softly trying hard not to cry.


“Help’s here now...don’t move they’ll get you out,” he told her as he moved away to let a paramedic by the door.


“Hi, I’m Steve.  Are you hurt...can you move?” he asked quickly.


“Yes, I can move but my husband can’t.  Please take care of him, I’m okay,” Janet pleaded.


“Don’t worry we’re working on getting him out right now.  Why don’t you step out of the car and let me in so I can check him out.”


Steve helped Janet out of the car and into the arms of another paramedic.  He wasted no time jumping in the car to take a look at Lee.  The firemen were already trying to move the car away from the pole so they could get Lee out. 


“I’m Adam, come with me,” the paramedic said to Janet and tried to lead her to the ambulance so he could check her out. 


“No I’m fine...I want to wait until they get Lee out of the car,” she told him and shook off his arm.  


He let her stay but stood nearby just in case she had a problem.  A policeman came over to her and asked what their names were and some questions before leaving her with the paramedic.  Janet could hear Lee moan in pain as they worked on freeing him from the car bringing her to tears.




Chip didn’t want to keep Lee’s Cobra overnight at Julie’s house so they were driving to the Crane’s house when they came upon an accident.  As they drove past, Chip recognized the car and saw Janet standing next to it.  He quickly pulled off the side of the road.


“Chip...what’s wrong,” Julie asked as he got out of the car.


“That’s Janet’s car,” he said as he ran over to her with Julie following close behind.


“Janet,” Chip yelled as he got close to her.


“Chip,” she said bursting into tears when he got to her.  “Lee’s pinned in the car and badly hurt.”


“What happened?” he asked as he looked at the car trying to see Lee.


She told him that the car came at them head on and Lee tried to swerve out of the way.   “Julie, stay with Janet, I’m going to call Jamie and have him meet the ambulance at the hospital,” Chip said urgently as Julie put her arms around Janet. 


Chip walked away and called the institute.  Jamie was still in Med Bay and told Chip he would meet them at the hospital. He then called the admiral and told him what had taken place and he too would be at the hospital.


Thirty minutes later they finally had Lee freed from the car and in the ambulance where the paramedics were working on stabilizing him before they left for the hospital.  They wouldn’t let Janet in the back until they were ready to leave.   Chip had his arm wrapped around her while Julie conferred with the officers who were handling the case.  She asked them to make sure that everything was taken care of with the car.  

She walked back to Janet and Chip. “The man in the other car is hurt but not as bad as Lee. He’s on the way to the hospital.   He’s drunk, they found open beer cans in his car,” Julie told them.


The paramedics finally opened the doors and Adam helped Janet into the ambulance where she saw Lee’s head was wrapped in bandages, he was on oxygen, had an IV line and his leg had a temporary splint on it.    


“We’re ready to leave,” Steve said to Janet as she sat down next to Lee and gently took his hand in hers.  He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. 


“I forgot to tell you he’s allergic to morphine,” Janet said frantically. 


Steve patted her hand, “He told us.  We wouldn’t give him anything anyway in case he has a concussion.”


“We’ll meet you at the hospital,” Chip said to Lee and Janet.  “Hang in there bro.”


“Thanks Chip, Julie for staying with Janet,” Lee answered quietly.


Adam closed the back door and hopped into the front seat and pulled away from the scene heading for Santa Barbara hospital.  Chip and Julie quickly ran back to the car and followed the ambulance.




Once inside the emergency room they quickly took Lee to a cubicle where Jamie and the emergency room doctor were already waiting for him to arrive.   Both doctors talked to the paramedics so they could get a rundown on the treatment they’d provided.


“Jamie, I want to stay with him,” Janet insisted.


“Janet, let us check him out and take care of him and then I’ll let you in.  You should be checked out too.”


“No, I’m fine, just scared,” Janet replied shakily.  


There were two nurses in the cubicle with them, “April, take Mrs. Crane to a cubicle and have her checked out,” Jamie instructed her.


“Yes, Dr. Jamieson,” she replied and led Janet to the cubicle next to Lee’s where another doctor checked her out.  They didn’t find anything wrong with her but she did tell them she had a headache.  She insisted she didn’t hit her head but they sent her for a CT scan anyway.   When she came back, Chip, Julie and the admiral were waiting for her.


“Is Lee okay....where is he?” Janet asked hysterically seeing his cubicle was empty.


“They just took him for a CT scan and x-rays,” Chip said calmly as Jamie walked into her cubicle.


He had the results of Janet’s CT scan.  “Everything looks fine,” he told her.  “I’ll see that you get some acetaminophen for your headache.”


“Jamie, what’s wrong with Lee?”


“He more than likely has a concussion and a scalp laceration that’s going to need a few stitches.  He also has a couple of broken ribs but I don’t think they punctured his lung and a broken leg.  You were both very lucky your car had airbags.”


“He’s going to be in the emergency room for quite awhile so why don’t the rest of you go home.  I’ll stay here until Lee is settled in a room and take Janet home,” Jamie firmly suggested.


Chip said to Julie, “I’ll take you home, then come back and wait with Janet.”


“No, if it’s okay with Janet, I’ll wait too,” Julie replied sitting down in a chair.  Janet whispered, “Thanks.”


The admiral spoke up, “I’m not leaving until he’s settled.”


Jamie looked at the three of them and knew they would never leave him. So much for trying, he thought as he returned to the nurse’s station where he ordered the acetaminophen for Janet’s headache.   




It was over an hour before Lee returned from his CT scan and x-rays.  After taking out some glass from the laceration in Lee’s scalp, Jamie put in ten stitches.  The orthopedic doctor didn’t want to cast his leg until the swelling went down which would probably be tomorrow.  The scans showed he had a mild concussion and x-rays showed he had two broken ribs but no punctured lung. 


By the time Lee was finally settled in a room, it was 0100 hours.  All of them were very tired especially Janet.  She wanted to stay overnight with Lee but Jamie wouldn’t let her. 


“Please let me stay with him,” Janet insisted.   “I’ll sleep in the chair...someone has to wake him up because he has a concussion.”


Lee looked at Janet and saw she was exhausted, “Sweetie, you’re exhausted so go home and get some sleep.  I’m not going anywhere and there are nurses that will wake me up.”


“Okay Lee,” Janet replied as she could tell he was tired and in pain. 


Since Chip had the Cobra, he would take Julie home and return the Cobra to the Crane’s house while the admiral would take Janet home.  The only problem Janet had she had no car to drive.  She didn’t want to take the Cobra and Chip needed his car so the admiral asked Chip to arrange to have a car brought to her house from the motor pool for her to drive and to contact Trish in Communications so they could replace Lee’s broken phone as it was smashed in the crash.


“Thank you Admiral,” Janet said when he dropped her off and walked her to the door.  She was emotionally spent, tired and burst into tears when they got to the door.  The admiral took the keys from her, opened the door and let her cry on his shoulder. 


“I’m sorry,” she told him after she finished crying.  “I was so afraid after that car hit us...Lee was in such pain...I didn’t know if he would be all right.”


“It’s okay,” the admiral replied as held her close.   “Would you like me to stay here with you tonight?”


“No sir.  I’ll be fine,” Janet said as she gave him a hug.  “I’m so tired, I’ll fall right to sleep.”


“If you need me, just call,” the admiral told her as he left and walked to his car. 


Janet laid down on the couch, pulled the afghan over her and fell asleep.




Janet woke up at 0700, quickly showered and got dressed.  There was a car in the driveway that the motor pool had dropped off earlier.  She found the keys on the seat and drove to the hospital.  She knew the only door open would be the emergency entrance so she parked her car near that door and went to Lee’s room.


When she entered his room, he was still asleep even though there was a nurse checking his vitals. 

“You’re here pretty early,” the nurse said to her.  “Visiting hours don’t begin until 11:00.  Are you his wife?”


“Yes and please let me stay,” Janet asked softly.  “I promise not to disturb him.”


Seeing how worried Janet was the nurse replied, “Okay, but just let him sleep.”


“How is he...did he get any sleep?”


“His vitals are good.  Not too much sleep as we did wake him up a few times.  He’s probably in pain but never complained.”


“No, he would never complain,” Janet responded as she sat down in the chair next to his bed. 


The nurse finished up and left the room closing the door.  As soon as the door was closed, Janet pulled her chair closer to Lee’s bed and gently picked up his hand and held it.  She had been sitting there for an hour when Lee woke up.


“Hi sweetie, how long have you been here?” Lee asked sleepily.   “How do you feel...did you get any sleep?”


“I’ve been here about an hour”´ Janet replied.  She got up, gave him a kiss and gently rubbed his cheek already having a large amount of stubble on it.   “I’m a little sore but nothing I can’t handle.  And yes, I did sleep after crying on the admiral’s shoulder but I was so worried,”


“I sure he didn’t mind,” Lee replied with a yawn.   “He loves you like a daughter.”


 “I know and why don’t you go back to sleep, you still look very tired.”


“Sounds like a good idea,” Lee grimaced in pain and closed his eyes.


Janet sat back down and took his hand in hers.  She closed her eyes and nodded off sitting in the chair.  She woke up when she heard Chip’s voice.   “Hi Janet,” he said quietly as he walked in the room with two cups of coffee.


“Hi Chip,” Janet replied as she stood up and gratefully took the cup of coffee from him.   “He was awake about an hour ago and went back to sleep.  The nurse said his vitals are good...thanks for getting the car...and thanks for stopping last night,” Janet rambled.  “I don’t know....”


“I was in the right place at the right time and glad I was there for both of you,” Chip responded patting Janet’s hand and sat down in the other chair on the side of Lee’s bed.


Jamie and Dr. Rick Zambler, Lee’s orthopedic doctor, entered the room a few minutes later.  Jamie saw Janet and Chip sitting there.


“I see you two are here early.  Has he woken up this morning?” Jamie asked as he looked over his chart.


“He woke up about an hour ago.  He’s in a lot of pain but you know he won’t say anything,” Janet answered. 


“I’m not surprised he’s in pain,” Jamie replied rubbing his forehead as Dr. Zambler looked over his leg.


“It’s safe to cast it,” the doctor said, “I’ll make arrangements to have a cast put on it and I’ll order some pain medication before we do it.”


“Thanks, Rick,” Jamie responded as Lee woke up.


Jamie explained to Lee that they were going to give him some pain medication before they cast his leg.   He nodded his head knowing the routine.

“Janet, Chip, why don’t you get some breakfast while we take care of this,” Jamie told them firmly and held open the door.


“I take it you don’t want us around,” Janet remarked as got up from the chair, gave Lee a kiss and walked to the door followed by Chip who patted Lee’s shoulder.  


“I’ll come and get you when you can return to his room.”


“Thanks, Jamie,” Chip replied.  They walked down the hall to the elevator and to the cafeteria where Chip piled on the food and Janet grabbed some toast and coffee.   Chip looked at what she had on her plate.  “You eat like a bird.”


“Sorry Chip, just not hungry but you’ll tell Jamie if I don’t have something so I’m having toast,” Janet smirked.


They found a table and sat down to eat.  They were just finishing up when Jamie entered the cafeteria, got a cup of coffee and sat down with them.


“Dr. Zambler put his leg in a cast.  He won’t be able to walk on it for a few days but I’m going to keep him here anyway.  He can hardly move with the broken ribs plus the concussion so I’ll feel better if he stays.  Judging by the way he looks, I don’t think he’s going to fight me at least for a day or two,” he told them as he looked over at Janet.  “How are you feeling today...sore?”


“Yes, I’m a little sore I think from the seat belt but I’ll manage.  Thank you Jamie for taking care of Lee, at least this time is wasn’t his fault,” Janet said with a weak grin.  Jamie patted her hand and smiled back.


“Dr. Zambler gave him some pain medication so I don’t know if he’s awake or not but I know you both want to get back to his room so let’s go,” Jamie said as he stood up.   


Chip and Janet refilled their coffee cups and the three of them were just about to enter Lee’s room when Chief Sharkey, Kowalski, Patterson and Riley came walking down the hall towards them.


“Mr. Morton, Doc, Mrs. C,” Sharkey called out softly, “We just heard about the he okay...can we see him?”


Chip looked at Sharkey and the other three men.  “How did you find out the skipper was here?” he inquired.


Sharkey spoke up, “After Tommy dropped off the car this morning, he went to the security gate and asked why the skipper needed a car.  Billy told him that the skipper and Mrs. Crane left the grounds last night and the skipper never came back in his car but the admiral had Mrs. C. in the car when he returned to the institute.  Mr. Morton had brought back the Cobra and was alone.   He also said the no one was brought to Med Bay so he called Kowalski and told him about it.  Kowalski took a chance and called the hospital just to see if the skipper was here and what room he was in.  They told him the room number so we wanted to find out what happened and see how he’s doing.”


“I suppose by now the whole institute knows that skipper is in the hospital,” Chip asked seriously.


“Yes, sir,” Sharkey answered sheepishly.  “You know the men would want to know....”


“We were in a car accident last night,” Janet told them.  “The skipper got the worst of it.”


Jamie looked at the four men and knew they wouldn’t be happy unless they could check on their skipper.  “Please just look in on him.  He’s probably sleeping and will be okay but does need to rest.  Tell the rest of the crew he’s fine and they can visit him when he gets home.”


“Okay Doc,” Kowalski answered as the four men opened the door and looked in.  Lee was sleeping so they didn’t go in but were surprised at how badly injured he was.  “Are you okay Mrs. C.?  Kowalski asked with concern. 


“I’m fine and thanks for coming, I’ll tell the skipper you checked in on him,” Janet responded as she looked at the worried faces of Lee’s men.


All four men told Janet that if she needed them for anything to let them know and left the hospital. 


Chip sat down next to Lee’s bed, “I’m surprised the Admiral isn’t here.”


“I’m sure he’ll be here shortly,” Jamie replied.  “I’m going to check Lee’s chart once more before I leave for Med Bay.  I have one man there I need to check on but I’ll be back later.”


“Anything serious,” Chip asked not knowing about any injured personnel.


“No, just a fall from a ladder while changing a light bulb just kept him as a precaution.”


“You’ll know where to find us,” Janet said with a wry grin as Jamie grinned back and left the room.


Chip and Janet watched TV while Lee slept.  They turned down the sound and were watching the close captioning pointing out all the spelling errors as Janet held Lee’s hand and rubbed the top of it.  He finally woke up an hour later.




Admiral Nelson had a hard time sleeping when he returned home after dropping Janet off.  He wasn’t surprised she broke down and was happy he was there for her as he thought of her as the daughter he’d never had.  He was relieved Lee would be alright but yet very worried about his ‘son’.  He finally got up after tossing and turning for what was left of the night.  He showered and left early for the institute to tell Angie and Wanda what happened last night as he didn’t want them to hear it from someone else.


He arrived at the institute at 0630 and knew Angie and Wanda wouldn’t get there until 0800.  He started the coffee pot which was all set to go, all he had to do was turn it on.  While he waited for the coffee to brew, he went into Lee’s office to see if Communications had left a phone for him.  On his desk was a brand new phone. I wonder how many phones he has destroyed, the admiral thought shaking his head.   As he took it off of Lee’s desk, he saw the itinerary for the mission to Gromenten.   “Damn,” he said out loud as he walked out of Lee’s office and poured a cup of coffee.  He sat down at his desk, took a sip of the coffee and dialed Admiral Johnson’s phone number.


“Admiral Johnson’s office,” Sandy said brightly.  “How may I help you?”


“Good morning, Sandy, this is Admiral Nelson.  Can I please talk to Admiral Johnson, it’s very important?” the admiral asked.


“Yes sir.  Please hold while I get him on the line,” Sandy replied.


“Harry, what can I do for you?  It’s pretty early out there.”


“Gerald, Lee and Janet Crane were involved in a head-on collision last night.  Janet’s okay but Lee is badly injured.  There is no way they’ll be able take on the mission to Gromenten,” Nelson said as he told Johnson about Lee’s injuries.


“Harry, Janet has to go on that mission. There was an incident last night…I don’t have all the details yet…because we don’t have the damn ADC converter.  We desperately need those plans.”


“Gerald, Janet will not go alone.  I know Lee will not let her go and I’m not going to let her even though Lee knows she’s going.  Find someone else.”


“Harry, I don’t have anyone else and Kelly will not give the plans to anyone but her and Lee,” Johnson stressed emphatically.

“Use Jason Weldon, he can pass for Lee as Kelly didn’t get a real good look at him running out the door like he did,” Harry said sharply.


“Jason’s buried so deep on a mission I couldn’t even find him if I tried.”


“Sorry Gerald you’re out of luck,” Nelson re-iterated.


“I do have an idea,” Johnson responded.  “Can you be in San Diego in four hours?”


“Yes, I suppose I could, care to tell me why?”


“No, not just yet.  Be in Jiggs Starke’s office by 1100 hours.  Please Harry.”


“Okay, I’ll be there,” Nelson replied and hung up the phone.  He had no clue as to why Johnson wanted him in SD.




The admiral went out to get another cup of coffee and was walking back to his office when he heard Angie and Wanda talking as they got off the elevator.   He sat down at his desk and waited for Angie to come into the office.   Wanda stopped at her desk while Angie continued on to her office.  When she opened the door she was surprised to see the door to the admiral’s office open and him sitting at his desk.


Before she took off her jacket she went into the office.  “You’re here early today, sir.  Is everything alright?”


“No Angie, there’s been an accident.  Why don’t you get Wanda and I’ll tell you what happened,” the admiral told her wearily.


“Yes sir,” Angie replied and left to get Wanda.  Wanda was already getting a cup of coffee when Angie came out of the office.   “Wanda, the admiral wants to see us right now.  There’s been some sort of accident.”


The two women quickly went into the admiral’s office and sat down on the edge of the chairs in front of his desk.  They could tell by the worried look etched on his face that something was very wrong. 


“Last night while Lee and Janet were driving home from dinner, they were involved in a head-on collision.”


Both women gasped as the admiral continued, “Janet’s okay but Lee was badly injured.  He’s has a head laceration, a concussion, two broken ribs and a broken leg.  He’s at the hospital in Santa Barbara.  I know both of you would like to go there, but I’m asking you to stay here and as they say, man the fort.   When you’re finished for the day, you can go to the hospital.”


“Yes sir,” the women replied worriedly. 


The two women left the office almost in tears.  “Those two can never catch a break,” Wanda uttered, “Lee and Janet do seem to have a lot of bad luck.”  Wanda returned to her desk as the phones had already started to ring.




The admiral looked at his watch.  He wanted to go and see Lee before he left for San Diego.  He picked up his phone and dialed Sharkey’s number. 


“Hello Admiral,” Sharkey answered noting the number was his boss’s.


“Chief, I need to be in San Diego by 1100 hours so I’ll need to leave by 1000 hours.   Could you please go to Seaview and get FS-1 ready.  I’ll take you as a copilot.  Is there anyone on duty that can help you prepare her?”

“Yes, sir,” Sharkey replied quickly.  “Patterson and Kowalski will be on duty so I’ll get them to help.”


“Thanks Chief.  The skipper was in a car accident last night.”


“Yes sir we know and we’re just leaving the hospital.  We’ll head right over to the sub pen and get the flying sub ready.”


The admiral wondered how they found out about the accident and would quiz the Chief on the way to SD.  He grabbed his jacket and cover and went to Angie’s desk.  Wanda was there giving her a couple of messages she took while the admiral and Angie were on the telephone.


“I have to go to San Diego to meet with Admiral Starke at 1100 hours.   Chief Sharkey and I will be taking the flying sub but I’m going to stop at the hospital before I leave,” he told Angie.


“Yes sir,” she replied.  “If Janet needs anything tell her to give us a call and we’ll take care of it,” Angie told him. 


“Please give them our love,” Wanda asked.


“Of course,” the admiral replied and walked to the elevators.   


Howard had heard about the accident, “Give Commander and Mrs. Crane my best,” he told the admiral as he walked out of the building.


The admiral nodded his head, got into his car and drove to the hospital.




The admiral arrived at the hospital and went to Lee’s room.  Janet and Chip were talking quietly as Lee was still asleep.  He noticed that Lee’s leg had already been put in a cast.  He handed Janet Lee’s new phone.  “Thank you Admiral.”


“How is he this morning?” he asked concerned.


“He was awake but went back to sleep after they casted his leg.  It wiped him out.”


The admiral replied, “I’m sure it did. How are you this morning?”


“A little sore but I’ll be fine,” Janet answered.  “I’m just worried about Lee.”


As they were talking, Lee woke up and greeted the Admiral, “Good morning sir.”


“How are you feeling, son?” the admiral asked seeing that Lee was having a hard time getting comfortable. 


“Fine,” Lee replied with a chuckle.  “When is Jamie getting here…I want to know when I can get out of here.”


Janet, the admiral and Chip looked at Lee.  “Honey, I don’t think Jamie is going to let you out for a few days.  You can hardly move without being in pain so how are you going to function at home?  Please don’t argue with Jamie if he wants you to stay,” Janet pleaded.


“We’ll see,” Lee frowned.


The admiral had looked at his watch several times while he was with them.  “I’m sorry I have to leave,” he said.  “I have a meeting with Admiral Starke this morning.  Sharkey and I are taking the flying sub to San Diego.  We should be back later this afternoon.”


Janet quickly stood up, “Lee, I totally forgot about the mission for Admiral Johnson.  The admiral reminded me when he said he had a meeting with Admiral Starke.  I’ll have to call him and tell him we can’t go,” she said anxiously.


Sighing, Lee replied, “I’ll make the call so don’t worry about it.”  He could see that Janet was worried about talking to him.


“I’ll call Admiral Johnson for you and explain the situation,” the admiral volunteered not letting them know he had already talked to him. 


“Thank you sir,” Janet replied breathing a sigh of relief.


“I’ll stop by when I return,” the admiral told them.  “Take care and don’t give Jamie any trouble.”


“Yes sir,” Lee responded wondering what the admiral’s meeting was about with Admiral Starke.  Since the admiral didn’t offer any explanation Lee wasn’t going to ask.


When the admiral left the room Lee asked, “Chip, did you see the look on the admiral’s face when he told us about the meeting.  He almost seemed a little nervous about it.”


“Yes, I noticed it.  I’m surprised he didn’t say anything about it...must be top secret,” Chip answered.  “I’m going to get some coffee.  Janet would you like some...Lee how about some breakfast?”


“I would love some more coffee,” Janet replied gratefully.


“Nothing for me,” Lee said.  “I’m still a little nauseated and have a slight headache.”


Chip left the room leaving Lee and Janet alone.   Janet leaned over the rail on the bed and gave Lee a gentle kiss. 


“I’ll call the nurse and maybe she can bring something for your headache,” Janet suggested as Jamie walked in the room.


“You still have a headache?” Jamie asked.  “I’ll get you something for it.  I ran into the admiral and he told me he’s going to San Diego for a meeting.”


“Did he tell you what it was about,” Lee asked as he rubbed the side of his head with the stitches.


“No and leave those stitches alone.”


“When can I get out of here...I can rest at home,” Lee insisted.  “You know how I hate hospitals.”


“Not for a few more days,” Jamie replied.  “Lee, you’ve had concussions, broken ribs and a broken leg before, you know how hard it is to move.  And I know you well enough that you’re in pain and trying hard not to show it.  Did you eat something?”


Lee conceded, “You’re right, I just can’t get comfortable and I’m not hungry...still a little nauseated...and tired.”

Chip returned with coffee for Janet and offered to get some for Jamie, who declined.  He was going to get some pain medication for Lee and head back to Med Bay.   Chip and Janet sat down with their coffee as Lee yawned and fell asleep. 




The admiral arrived at the sub pen and boarded Seaview where he found Sharkey, Kowalski and Patterson just finishing up the pre-launch check of FS-1.


“All set to go Admiral,” Sharkey told him as he handed him the list for him to sign.  He quickly signed it and put on his leather flight jacket Sharkey had put on the table in the observation nose.  Sharkey donned his jacket and went down the ladder into the sub.  The admiral followed him down while Kowalski secured the hatch and walked over to the launch control panel.  He picked up the earphones and waited for the admiral to tell him to open the docking doors.


The admiral and Sharkey strapped in and turned on the engines.  The admiral put on the throat mike and called to Kowalski.


“Ready to launch, Kowalski?”


“Yes sir...all green...docking doors opening...FS-1 released from docking clamps,” Kowalski replied. 


“Thanks Kowalski, Patterson,” the admiral answered and slowly lowered her down and headed for the surface.  Once Kowalski saw her clear the nose of the sub, he closed the doors.  He and Patterson went topside and returned to their security watch.




The admiral surfaced FS-1 and took off for San Diego flying at Mach 1.  As they were flying, he said nothing to Sharkey until they were almost to San Diego.


“Chief, how did you find out about Captain Crane as I didn’t think it was in the newspaper or on the news?”


“We learned about it from Billy in security,” Sharkey said and told the admiral how they found out.


“I guess nothing gets by security,” the admiral added with a smile as he prepared to land at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego.   He was cleared to land and pulled up to one of the docks where they would leave FS-1 until they were ready to depart. 


The admiral and Sharkey exited the little sub and found the car Admiral Starke had sent to pick them up.  After a short ride to Starke’s office, they entered the office and were greeted by Admiral Starke’s secretary, Roberta.


“Hello, Admiral and Chief,” she said noticing Sharkey’s rank.  “The admiral will be with you shortly.”


“Chief, wait here for me.  I don’t think I’ll be too long,” Nelson told him.


“Yes sir,” Sharkey replied as helped himself to the coffee on the counter, a magazine and sat down to wait.


Before long the door to the Starke’s office opened and he stood at the door while Nelson entered the office.


“Harry, I hear congratulations are in order.  Seems Seaview outfoxed our newest vessels,” Jiggs said as the admiral entered the office.


“Jiggs’ what’s going on?” Nelson asked irritated as he would rather be with Lee.  “I’m sure Johnson didn’t ask me down here so you could offer your congratulations.”


“Johnson told me about the mission the Crane’s were supposed to go on, about the accident, and that Janet needed to complete the mission even if Lee couldn’t go.   Sorry to hear about it, are they okay?”


“Lee’s pretty banged up but Janet’s okay.   Why did Johnson want me to come here?”


“I don’t know but we’ll find out shortly as we’re going to have a web cam meeting with him.  Care for some coffee?”


“Thanks, I could use some.” 


Starke went over to his credenza and poured them both a cup.  They had just sat down when Jiggs’ computer dinged letting them know Johnson was there waiting.


“Good morning, Jiggs” Johnson said.  “Is Harry there?”


“Yes, Gerald, he’s here.  What’s this all about?”


Johnson continued, “Harry, I know you said Janet won’t go on the mission without Lee and that he wouldn’t let her go anyway but something very serious has happened.  I told you about an incident that took place earlier today well its worse than we thought.  Five men were killed when their boat strayed off course because their guidance system was jammed by the PR’s ADC. The boat was from the destroyer you just did the exercises with. Right now we’re nowhere close to even having a chip ready to challenge them.”


“Damn,” Nelson said sadly.  “Gerald, I’ll try and convince Lee to let her go only I’ll go with her...or Chip Morton.” Nelson suggested.


“Harry, that won’t work.  Kelly is insistent that the Crane’s are the only ones he’ll turn over the flash drive too.  He’s holding all the cards right now and I have no way of contacting him to try and change his mind.  I do have an idea and I know you’re not going to like it and neither will the Crane’s but we have to have that chip before any more men are killed.”


“Okay Gerald, what’s the idea.”


Johnson took a deep breath and replied, “I want to send Paul Gallagher in Lee’s place.  He looks like him...I know he took his place on Seaview and no one knew even you...he can be Lee.”


“Gerald, have you lost your mind?  Lee would never let him impersonate him again and as far as Janet going with’re asking for trouble,” the admiral shouted.


“Harry, you don’t really have choice.  You know as well as I do Lee will not want any more men killed because he can’t go,” Johnson replied angrily.


“Can I ask them before I commit to this...has Gallagher agreed to do this?” Nelson asked seriously.


Hesitating before he replied, “No, he doesn’t even know about it and I’d rather you didn’t ask them.”


“You want me to just show up with him in Santa Barbara and tell them this is what is going to take place.  You’re pushing your luck with Lee...he might just up and quit on you.”


“I know I’m taking a chance but Harry I need you to convince them.  I’m sure Janet wouldn’t want any more families to lose their loved ones because she didn’t go.”


“Gerald, you’re not playing fair.  You know she’ll go because they don’t want anymore families to suffer.”


“I’m sorry Harry but as I said we’re desperate.”


Harry ran his hand through his hair.  “Okay Gerald, I’ll try and convince them but you still don’t know if Gallagher will do it.”


“Jiggs, could you please have him brought to your office right now,” Johnson asked knowing he was being held in the detention center on the base.


“I’ll contact the detention facility and have him brought over,” Jiggs replied and asked Roberta to get them on the phone.


Harry sat there stewing as he knew Lee may not like it but would agree to it because of the men that were killed or how many more could be killed. 


“It’s going to take about fifteen minutes to bring him here,” Jiggs said to Johnson.  “I’ll call you back when he gets here.”


“Okay,” Johnson replied and disconnected the call.


“Sorry Harry.  I had no idea what he was up to.  I’m glad I’m not in your shoes.”


Damn, Nelson thought trying to think of a way to tell Lee and Janet.





Nelson got another cup of coffee from the credenza as they waited for Gallagher to arrive.  It was twenty minutes later when he was brought to Jiggs’ office.  Sharkey looked up from his magazine and couldn’t believe he was looking at Paul Gallagher. 


What the hell is going on, Sharkey thought as the door opened and Gallagher entered Admiral Starke’s office. 


Gallagher was surprised to see Admiral Nelson sitting there.  “Why was I brought here...why is he here?” he said sharply as he stared at Nelson.


“Sit down and we’ll explain,” Jiggs told him as he called Admiral Johnson.  “Admiral, Mr. Gallagher is in the office.”


Jiggs turned the computer screen around so Gallagher could see who he was talking to.


“Good afternoon, Mr. Gallagher.  I’m Admiral Johnson head of ONI.”  He looked at him and could not believe how much he looked like Lee Crane.**** 


“Yeah, so what?” he said curtly.


Johnson let out a breath, “Mr. Gallagher we need your help.”


“You need my help,” he snapped.  “ONI needs help from an operative of the People’s Republic.  You must be in a hell of a lot of trouble to ask me but I’m curious as to what you need me to do for you.  Spill it.”


“We need you to impersonate Lee Crane.  He and Janet were scheduled to leave on a mission on Wednesday.  They were in a car accident and Lee can’t go.  You will go with Janet as her husband.”


“You want me to impersonate him?” Paul laughed wickedly.  “What’s to stop me from agreeing to do it, kidnapping Janet, not finish the mission and holding her for ransom?  Crane will pay anything to get her back including his life,” Paul said smugly.


Nelson bristled at his attitude and spoke up, “First of all, do you really want to tangle with Janet Crane again.  You know she will not go peacefully.  She took a shot at you once and missed.  I guarantee she will not miss again and she did manage to clobber you with a paperweight knocking you out and spoiling your plans.  Secondly, Lee Crane would move heaven and earth to find her along with one hundred and twenty five other men.”


Johnson spoke next. “Commander Crane along with ONI and all the other intelligence agencies would be hunting for you so you’d be a wanted man on all continents.”


“I’ll go back to the PR.  They’ll hide me until the heat is off.”


“I wouldn’t be too sure of that,” Johnson replied with a smug look.  “Word out there is you’re a wanted man by them too.  They think you’ve been talking and I have it on good authority that there’s a nice price on your head.”


Paul looked at Johnson, Nelson and Starke the wind taken out of his sails by Johnson’s last comment.  “If I do agree what’s to stop you from turning me over to them...and what do I get out of this?”


Johnson answered, “After you complete the mission, we’re willing to put you in the witness protection program, change your name and looks.  You can take on any look you want but will not be allowed to stay looking like Lee Crane.  Go back to your original looks.”


Paul sat there for a few minutes.  He was caught totally off guard that his own country had a price on his head.  I really don’t want to stay as Lee Crane the rest of my life anyway, he thought.   “I’ll do it.   Do the Crane’s know about this plan?”


Nelson replied, “No, as of now they don’t.  We have to convince them that you’ll keep your word.”


“I’ll do my best.  What’s the mission?”


“You and Janet need to pick up a flash drive with some information on it from the PR,” Johnson told him.


“I’m working for the US against the PR,” Paul lamented.  “Continue.”


“You need to go to the country of Gromenten where you’ll attend a reception celebrating the opening of a new aquarium.  That’s where Janet will get the information from another PR agent, Leon Kelly.”


“Whew,” Paul said blowing out a breath.  “Looks like the PR is on the losing end on this mission.  I didn’t know Janet Crane was an ONI agent.”


“She’s not officially.  Kelly will only give the information to her and Lee,” Nelson responded.  “She has been on other missions so you don’t have to worry about her.”


Nodding his head Paul said, “What else?”


“You’ll need a white dinner jacket and some clothes.  We’ll get you something to wear,” Johnson said with relief.


“No need to.  I assume we’ll be returning to Santa Barbara.  I have a house there with my own clothes and dinner jacket.”


“A townhouse on the waterfront,” Nelson said.  “I saw you go enter it with a brunette.  I thought it was Lee at the time.”


“You got it Admiral.  I’ll stay there until we leave for the mission.”


“No Paul, you will stay on NIMR grounds just in case you’re being watched.  Admiral Nelson, does Lee have the itinerary for the mission?”


“I have it and will go over it with Paul and Janet,” Nelson sighed.  “I’ll find someplace for Paul to stay so security can keep an eye on him.”


“That’s all I have,” Johnson said.  “Admiral Nelson, you’ll get back to me after you talk to the Crane’s.  Any questions?”


No one answered so Johnson clicked off the computer.  Admiral Starke looked at Nelson and was glad he didn’t have to tell the Crane’s.  Nelson stood up and grabbed his cover.


“Take care, Harry and good luck,” Starke said to his friend as he stood up and shook his hand.


“Thanks, Jiggs.  I have a feeling I’m going to need it,” Nelson sighed.


“Good luck to you too, Mr. Gallagher,” Starke said still staring at how much he looked like Lee Crane.


“Thank you sir,” Paul replied politely.


Starke walked the two men to the door to his office, opened it up and showed them out.


Chief Sharkey stood up when the three men walked into the waiting area.  “Ready to leave Chief?” Nelson asked.


“Yes sir,” Sharkey replied glaring at Paul.


“Chief, Mr. Gallagher will be returning with us to the institute.  No questions, I’ll fill you in later.”


“Yes sir,” Sharkey responded frowning and held the door for the two men.


There was a car waiting for them when they left the building. As they were driven to the dock, the admiral explained to Sharkey why he was bringing back Paul.  The admiral could tell Sharkey didn’t like it but wouldn’t say anything.  They pulled up to the dock where FS-1 was bobbing in the channel.


“I can’t wait to fly in that,” Paul said excitedly.


The three men climbed down the ladder.  Sharkey made sure that Paul was strapped in and they took off for NIMR.




It was late afternoon by the time they reached the institute.  Before they’d submerge into the channel to dock with Seaview, the admiral called Angie and asked her to call down to the dock and alert Kowalski and Patterson that they were returning and would like them to help dock FS-1.


Paul was enjoying his ride aboard the small sub.  “Admiral, I have to admit this is one cool machine.”


“Thanks Paul,” the admiral replied as he called Seaview.  “FS-1 to Seaview, come in Seaview.


Seaview,” Kowalski replied.  


“We’re approaching the channel now, Kowalski, please open the docking doors.”


“Yes sir,” he replied and pressed the button opening the doors.  He could feel Seaview shudder as the doors opened and felt FS-1 docking.  Once he heard the engines turn off, he shut the doors.  He and Patterson went to the hatch and opened it up.


The admiral was the first out, followed by Sharkey.  They were closing the hatch when the admiral stopped them.  “We brought back a passenger.”


Kowalski reached his hand down to help Paul out of the hatch.  When he saw who it was he stopped and stared at him and then the admiral.  “I’ll explain later.  I would like you and Patterson to keep an eye on him,” the admiral told the two men.


“Yes sir,” they replied tensely.


“Now I need to get to the hospital to see Captain Crane.  You two will come with me and Paul.  Chief, get your car and meet us at the hospital.”


“Yes sir,” Sharkey answered.

The four men went up the ladder and down the gangplank to the admiral’s car where Gallagher sat in the back with Patterson while Kowalski sat in front with the Admiral.  As they were driving to the hospital, the admiral explained to his men why Gallagher had accompanied them back from San Diego.  As much as they didn’t like him, they understood what this mission entailed and would help out as much as they could.


The admiral, Gallagher, Kowalski and Patterson arrived at the hospital and waited for Chief Sharkey before they went to the floor where Lee’s room was located.  There was a small waiting area at the end of the hall.  “Men, could you please stay here with Mr. Gallagher until I need you.”


“Yes, sir,” Sharkey replied and sat on the couch across from Gallagher and his men.


The admiral returned to Lee’s room and stood outside for a moment.  He took a deep breath and entered the room.  Lee was awake and talking to Janet and Chip.  He stopped when the admiral entered the room.  “Good afternoon, sir,” he said.  “I hope everything went okay in San Diego.”


“Everything went just fine but I do need to talk to you about the meeting,” the admiral said to them.  “It’s about the mission to Gromenten.”


Chip stood up and was walking to the door when the admiral stopped him.  “You can hear what I have to say.”


The admiral stood at the foot of the bed along with Chip.  All three of them looked at the admiral’s face and knew something was up.


Rubbing his hand on his forehead, the admiral said, “There’s no easy way to say this.  I had talked to Admiral Johnson before I came here earlier this morning and I told him what happened.  He was the one who scheduled the meeting in San Diego. There was an incident early this morning involving one of our boats and five of our sailors were killed when the PR jammed their GPS causing them to stray into PR waters. They were from the destroyer we went up against in the latest exercises.  The US is in desperate need of that flash drive with the plans.”   Turning to look at Janet, he continued, “I know you don’t want to go but....”


Before he could finish Janet stopped him with tears in her eyes, “I’ll do whatever needs to be done to get that information so no more families will have to suffer a loss.”


Lee looked at her, “Sweetie, you can’t go alone...Admiral is someone going to go with Weldon,” he asked nervously.  He didn’t want her to go but he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if more men died because of him.


Chip quickly spoke up, “I’ll go with her if that will help.”


The admiral responded, “Jason Weldon isn’t available.  I volunteered to go and I figured Chip would volunteer also but Johnson won’t budge because Kelly is in control and he has no way of reaching him to inform him of the current situation.”


Janet looked at the admiral and asked, “Who’s going to go then?”


Lee replied softly, “Paul Gallagher.”


“Yes,” the admiral answered letting out his breath.  “I brought him back with us.  He’s agreed to help us out.”


Lee, the admiral and Chip saw the horrified look on Janet’s face.  “I can’t...please let me talk to Johnson,” Janet pleaded.


“What’s to stop him from taking Janet, the flash drive and selling it to other countries?  What’s he going to get out of this?” Lee snapped.


The admiral explained to them the conditions which Gallagher agreed to abide by.  “He’s a wanted man so he has nothing to lose and a lot to gain by helping us out.”


Lee took Janet’s hand.  “I know you don’t like him but...”


“It’s okay Lee. I’ve got no choice as I don’t want any more families to be hurt so I’ll work with him.  But I will set up some rules.”


“I’m sure you will,” Le replied with a wry grin.  “Is he here?”


“Yes, he’s out there with Sharkey, Kowalski and Patterson.  I need to find a place for him to stay on institute grounds.  Johnson wants to make sure nobody finds him.”


“He can stay at our house,” Janet said quietly.  “I might as well set down the ground rules before we leave.”


The admiral left the room to get Gallagher.  Lee looked at Janet, “Thank you.”  Chip stood there not looking very happy at what was going to take place but knew Janet and Lee had no other options.


The admiral returned with Gallagher who stood at the foot of the bed.  “I promise I’ll keep her safe,” Gallagher told Lee.


“You better,” Lee answered sharply.   “I have the travel information and itinerary but Johnson didn’t tell me how we were going to get out of there.  Admiral will you contact him and have him send that information to you and what they’re going to do about phones. They’ll need to be in contact with me or she won’t go. After we get that information, we’ll go over the plans and details tomorrow.”


“I’ll take care of that,” the admiral replied, “I have to let Admiral Johnson know Janet’s going.”


Jamie walked into the room and saw Gallagher there.  “What the hell is he doing on here?”


The admiral explained to him why he was there and what he and Janet were going to do.  Jamie looked at Lee, “And you’re okay with this?”


“Jamie, I don’t like it at all but we don’t want any more families to suffer a loss,” Lee replied wearily as he rubbed his forehead.


Jamie looked at him and could see he was tired.  “Everyone out, he needs to rest,” Jamie ordered.  


“I’ll be back shortly,” Janet whispered in Lee’s ear as she left with the rest of them. 


“Chief, take Mr. Gallagher to his townhouse so he can get the clothes and items he needs for the trip and bring him to the skipper’s house and stay there until Mrs. Crane returns.  Kowalski and Patterson will go with you.”


“Aye, aye sir,” Sharkey answered surprised that Gallagher was staying at the skipper’s house.  He would make sure someone was on duty all night at his house.


They left the hospital while the admiral, Chip, Jamie and Janet returned to Lee’s room. 


“Chip, you don’t have to sit her all night.  Go get Julie, have some dinner and go home,” Janet insisted.


Rubbing the back of his neck, “Okay but I’ll be back tomorrow to help with the plans.”


The admiral told them, “I’m going to call Admiral Johnson and advise him that you’re going and get the rest of the information.  I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”


“Yes sir,” Janet responded as she sat down in the chair and picked up Lee’s hand realizing the next few days were going to be very difficult. 


“Lee, how are you feeling...did you eat lunch?” Jamie asked as he took his vitals. 


“Still have a headache but they should be bringing me some medication soon,” he replied.  “Yes, Angie and Wanda stopped by on their way home and brought some food from the diner as they know the hospital food isn’t that good.  I did manage to eat some but still not feeling that hungry.”


Jamie patted Lee’s shoulder, “You know concussions take time to get over so you still need to rest.” 


Jamie and Janet sat talking to Lee for awhile when he started to yawn.  “Go home and get some rest,” he told Janet.  “We have a lot to do tomorrow.  Jamie you can go too as there are plenty of doctors and nurses to take care of me.  Would you do me a favor and walk Janet to her car?”

”Lee, I can walk to my car,” Janet insisted.


“I’m leaving anyway so it’s no trouble,” Jamie replied as he left the room leaving them alone for a few minutes so he could put some information on Lee’s chart.


Janet gave Lee a kiss and rubbed his cheek.  “I’ll bring your shaving kit tomorrow. You’re looking a little too scruffy for me,” she said with a smile.


Smiling back, “Thanks,” he answered and returned her kiss.  He watched her walk out of the room and saw her meet Jamie in the corridor before the door closed.  What have I gotten her into this time? he thought as he closed his eyes.


As Jamie and Janet walked to her car in the parking lot, Jamie asked, “Are you sure about this mission...working with Paul Gallagher...can he be trusted?”


“No Jamie, I’m not sure of anything and I’m scared as hell but I have to do it.”  Jamie nodded his head understanding why she needed to undertake the mission as she’s developed a sense of duty just like Lee.


They reached Janet’s car and Jamie waited until she pulled out of the parking lot before returning to his car.  Janet, I hope you know what you’re doing, he thought as he drove home.




Janet pulled into her driveway and saw that Kowalski’s and Sharkey’s car were still there.   Sighing deeply, she sat there for a few minutes before going in.  Just as she got out of the car, Patterson opened the door to the house and walked over to the car to greet her.  “Hi Mrs. C, is the skipper okay?”


“Yes, he’s okay just tired so he sent me home,” she replied as she walked into the house.  Gallagher was sitting in a chair while Kowalski and Sharkey sat on the couch watching him.  “You can all go home.  Mr. Gallagher won’t try anything or leave the house, will you?” Janet said tersely.


“Where am I going to go?” Gallagher replied sarcastically.  “This place is worse than Fort Knox.”


“Mrs. C, I told the skipper I would have somebody stay here,” Sharkey protested as Janet opened the door for the men.


“Chief, please it’s been a long day and I’ll clear it with the skipper. I’ll be fine.”


“Yes ma’am,” he replied.  “Okay, you heard Mrs. C. out now.”


Quickly standing up, the other three men said goodnight as they walked out the door.  Janet said goodnight, shut the door and locked it.


“Mr. Gallagher, you know where the guest room is, help yourself to whatever is in the refrigerator and I’ll see you in the morning.  Just a few ground rules for this mission; no touching, hopefully there will be two beds, if not you’ll sleep on the couch, chair or floor. I really don’t care where just not next to me.  You will not be in the bathroom area when I’m in there and clothes on at all times. And you will be ready to leave by 0800 tomorrow morning.”


“Yes, Mrs. Crane, I’ll be ready and I accept your rules.”


Janet went upstairs to her bedroom where she shut and locked the door.  She got ready for bed, climbed in and sat there for a few minutes.  What have I gotten myself into? she thought as she scooted under the covers and fell asleep.




By the time the admiral returned to the institute, Angie and Wanda had left for the day.  He sat down at his desk and placed a call to Admiral Johnson even though it was already 2100 hours in Washington.  Johnson picked it up on the first ring.


“Gerald, I explained to Lee and Janet about the turn of events that took place regarding the men that were killed and she’s agreed to go with Gallagher.”


The admiral could hear him let out a sigh of relief.   “Thanks Harry, I’m sure that wasn’t a pleasant task.   I still can’t believe how much he looks like Commander Crane.”


The admiral let out a small chuckle.  “Gerald, he fooled everyone but Janet.  She said his eyes had no warmth and after seeing him again I know what she means.”


“Any problems or concerns I should know about,” Johnson asked.


“Lee has a couple of items that need to be addressed.  First we need to know what arrangements have been made to get them out of there and secondly, phones.  He will not let her go unless she has a phone.”


“No problem with the phone.  Is there anyway you can get one as there isn’t enough time to send one to you?”


“I’ll have Commander Morton take care of that.  How are they getting out of there?” the admiral repeated tersely.


“I’ve e-mailed you that information.  I don’t think there’ll be any problems,” Johnson said hesitantly.


“Lee is going to review the itinerary and escape plans with Janet and Gallagher tomorrow.  You know he’s going to scrutinize those plans so there better not be any problems.  If something happens to Janet on this mission, I can guarantee that you will never see or hear from Lee Crane again,” the admiral said curtly.


“Harry, you’re forgetting that Gallagher is a highly qualified operative on the same caliber as Crane,” Johnson replied sharply.


“Sorry Gerald but the last twenty-four hours have been very difficult.  I guess it’s catching up to me.  If there are any problems, we’ll contact you tomorrow.  Goodnight.”


“No problem, Harry.  I appreciate your help getting Janet to go.  Talk to you later.”


The admiral hung up the phone and sat back in his chair for a few minutes.  Leaning forward he opened the bottom drawer of his desk and took out a glass and a bottle of his favorite scotch.  He poured himself a healthy amount and sat back in his chair as he sipped the amber liquid.  I sure hope I didn’t make a mistake convincing Janet to take on this mission, he thought as he finished up his drink leaving the glass on his desk.  He got up, turned off the lights and went home where he found a light supper waiting for him.  He was hungry as he hadn’t eaten anything all day so he finished up the supper, cleaned up and went to bed.




Chip went to Julie’s house after he left the hospital. Even though he was exhausted he needed to see her.  She opened the door when he knocked and could tell he was wiped out. 


He walked into the living room and gave her a kiss, “I really needed that,” he told her kissing her again.


“That bad,” she asked as she walked into the kitchen and took a bottle of beer out of the refrigerator and handed it to him. 


“I sure need this too,” he grinned taking a large swig.


“Let’s eat and you can tell me what happened,” Julie said as they sat down at the table.


“Honey, I would love to tell you about it but I can’t,” Chip replied.  “I’m sorry.”


Julie patted his hand, “I understand.  I can’t always tell you about my day either.  Can you stay tonight?”


“Yes, I have to be back at the hospital tomorrow morning but I can get up early and go home and change.”


Julie grabbed his hand and led him to the bedroom.  They undressed and climbed into bed where they lost themselves into each other.  Tired but happy, Chip wrapped his arms around Julie while she slept.  Even though he was exhausted, he had a hard time falling asleep.  I hope Lee won’t regret letting Janet go on this mission, he thought as he finally fell asleep.




Janet woke up early and got ready to leave for the hospital. She grabbed Lee’s shaving kit before she went downstairs.  When she unlocked the door and opened it, she could smell the coffee all ready brewing.  She found Gallagher toasting a couple of bagels. 


“I thought you might be hungry as you didn’t have dinner last night,” Gallagher told her has he poured her some coffee.


“Thanks,” Janet replied, took a drink and a bite of the bagel. 


They quickly finished breakfast, cleaned up and left for the hospital.  They arrived at the hospital at 0830. Janet gave Lee a kiss and then helped him shave.  He looked and felt so much better that he got another kiss.  He had already eaten breakfast but was savoring his only cup of coffee for the day as Jamie would only let him have one.  His headache was gone and it still hurt to move around but he was determined to get out of bed.  The nurse had brought him some crutches so he was finally able to go to the bathroom on his own and sit in a chair with his leg propped up on another chair.


It was 0900 by the time everyone got to the hospital to go over the itinerary and information.  Lee was anxious to see how Janet and Gallagher were going to get out of Gromenten.  The admiral gave Lee the information Johnson had sent him last night via his personal code. 


As Lee looked over the information the admiral asked, “Chip, could you get a phone?  Admiral Johnson doesn’t have enough time to get them a phone before they leave so I said you would take care of getting one.”


“Sure, no problem.  I’ll get a burner phone and program in the numbers she’ll need.”


“Thanks Chip,” Lee said relieved that at least she’ll have a phone.  “Admiral, did Admiral Johnson give you any more details than what is on this paper?  I would like to know the name of the operative who’s going to get them out of the reception hall and the person who is meeting them at the lake.”


“Sorry Lee, that’s all I have.  I’ll check with Angie to see if there’re any more e-mails,” the admiral replied and left the room to call her.   He returned to the room a few minutes later.  “No e-mails from Johnson.”


“Damn,” Lee responded not happy with the lack of information or the escape plan.   Sighing deeply, he looked at Janet and Gallagher, “Here’s what’s going down.  This is the itinerary for the time you’re in Gromenten.  After landing there, you can take a cab to the hotel.  I looked at the map and the airport isn’t too far from the capital so it shouldn’t take you too long to get to the hotel and check in.  Hopefully the room has two beds,” Lee said looking directly at Gallagher.  “If not...”


“Lee, don’t worry that issue has been taken care off,” Janet reassured him.  “Please continue.”


Lee looked at Janet and then Gallagher; Janet must have set down the ground rules already, he thought and continued, “The dedication and grand opening of the aquarium will take place on Friday afternoon followed by a dinner sponsored by the aquarium.  Since we’re taking the admiral’s place on this trip, you’re invited to the dinner because he was one of the honored guests.”


“When do we need to wear the white dinner jacket?” Gallagher asked frowning. 


Chuckling Lee answered, “Not a fan of a white I take it.  You’ll need to wear that on Saturday for the formal reception hosted by the President of Gromenten.  You’ll meet Leon Kelly at the reception.  I don’t have any idea how he’s going to get the flash drive to Janet.  Sweetie, you’re going to have to play that by ear.”


“No problem,” Janet responded.  “I’ll figure something out.”


“Once you have the flash drive, there will be a server who is one of our operatives, sorry don’t know his name, and he will escort you out of the ballroom through the kitchen where he’ll have a car waiting for you.  Gallagher, it’s about an hour’s drive to Lake Radask where you’ll stop a at farm house.  Someone will meet you there, again I don’t have a name, to make sure you get down to the beach where a helicopter will pick you up.  Once on board the chopper, they will fly you to an aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.  From there you’ll hop on a transport to England, stop for fuel and then onto Washington where you’ll give Admiral Johnson the flash drive and he’ll debrief you on the mission.”   Lee turned to the admiral, “Sir I was hoping we could pick them up using FS-1.  I know I can’t fly her but maybe you or Chip can bring them back?”


“No problem,” the admiral responded.  “Janet as soon as you leave England, give Lee a call and we’ll get ready to leave for Washington.  We’ll make the decision as to who’s going to fly her there when the time comes.”


“Thank you,” Janet replied feeling better that FS-1 would be bringing them back home as she’s was already worried about all the flying they would be doing.


“How long is the flight?” Gallagher wondered.


“It’s a fourteen hour flight if you don’t have any issues and Gromenten is nine hours ahead of us so Thursday’s going to be a long and tiring day.  You’ll have some of Friday to try and get over the jet lag.  Chip will drop you off at LAX.  I suggest you leave here no later than 1800 hours so you’ll have enough time to make the 2200 flight.


“Anything else I need to know about you and this mission?” Gallagher inquired. 


“No, nothing special.  You’re pretty good a being me so I trust you’ll do what needs to be done,” Lee answered unhappily. 


Chip looked at the clock and they had been meeting for over two hours and he was hungry. 


“How about I get us a couple of pizzas for lunch,” Chip said.  “Sorry Lee no beer with the pizzas this time.”


“Pizza sounds great,” Lee replied.  “Admiral, Janet, Gallagher, okay with you?”


“Works for me,” Gallagher answered.  “I haven’t had pizza in quite a few months.”


“Sorry Lee, I need to return to the office.  Angie and Wanda are there by themselves and I know Angie needed to talk to me about some budget issues.   I’ll check back with you later on.”


“I understand.   Since Jamie isn’t going to let me out of here for a couple more days, maybe Chip could bring me my computer, proposals, mail anything to keep me busy.”


“If Jamie says its okay, I’m fine with it,” the admiral replied as he left to return to NIMR while Chip also left to go get the pizzas.




Chip returned with the pizzas which they finished up not saving any for Lee for later so he would be stuck with hospital food for dinner.


“Janet, Chip, I want to talk to Gallagher alone,” Lee told them.  “Could you please wait outside?”


Janet looked at Lee, “Sure, we’ll take the pizza boxes and cans and dispose of them.”  She and Chip picked up the trash and left the room.   Gallagher stayed in the room and sat down in the chair next to Lee.


“Gallagher, I’m trusting you with the most important person in my life,” Lee said seriously. “You better make sure you bring her back safely or the world won’t be big enough for you to hide in,” he threatened.


“Lee, we’ll be careful, get the flash drive and be back here in one piece.  I know what I’m doing,” Gallagher stated.  “I have money and no one to share it with so I’m hoping my family will take me back when I return.  I made a big mistake by going to work for the PR but as they say the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”


Lee shook his hand and handed him the itinerary papers and invitations.  Lee would keep the information on the escape plan.  He was hoping to call Admiral Johnson and get some more information on the identities of the people helping Gallagher and Janet.


“Could you please ask Janet to come back? I want to talk to her,” Lee asked Paul.


“Sure Lee,” Gallagher replied and held the door as Janet walked in.




After Chip and Janet disposed of the garbage, they were standing by the door to Lee’s room.


“We’re going to have to leave soon so you can get your things.  I want to leave no later than 1800 hours as traffic could be a real pain at that time.”


“We’ll leave as soon as I say goodbye to Lee.  I haven’t packed anything but have it ready I just need to get the suitcase out of the garage.”


“Janet, you’re not sure about this mission are you?” Chip asked sensing she was very nervous as she didn’t stop tapping her foot the whole time they’ve been standing there.


“I’m just nervous and worried.  I don’t like leaving Lee in his condition.  Oh I know he’ll be alright it’s just that going that far without him.”


“You’ve been on missions without him before.  The one with Jason Weldon***** and Las Vegas,” Chip reminded her.


“And look how they turned out,” Janet answered with a wry grin.  “I’m sure everything will be fine.  I only have one other small issue.”


Chip raised his eyebrows wondering what that could be.  “What issue?”


“There’s a hell of a lot of flying involved and you know how I like to fly,” she giggled nervously.


Chip broke out in a smile and patted her hand, “You’ll be fine, just don’t look down.”


They saw the door to Lee’s room open and Gallagher stepped out.  “Janet, Lee wants to see you.”


She went into the room leaving Chip and Gallagher in the hallway.  Chip gave Gallagher one of his well known icy stares.


“I know I better bring her back safely,” Gallagher sighed deeply.




Janet sat down on the chair with Lee’s leg on it so she could face him.  He noticed the worried look in her eyes.


He took her hands in his, “What’s wrong?”


“I just hate the fact that Paul has to be you again...he’s so nonchalant about it.”


“Sweetie, you’re going to have to make the best of it.  I’m not exactly thrilled that my wife is going to be sixty-five hundred miles away with a criminal but look at the outcome when we get that flash drive with the plans on it; you will be saving a lot of lives.


“I know it needs to be done and I agreed to do it but it still bothers me,” Janet replied as Lee struggled to his feet and leaned on one of his crutches as he gently gathered Janet in his arms. 


“I’m scared,” Janet said softly as she gently rested her head on his chest.


“I’d be worried if you weren’t scared,” Lee replied as he rubbed her back.  “I get nervous too when I have to go on a mission…everything will be fine…just trust Gallagher, he’s a good operative.”


“I will,” Janet answered as Lee gave her a deep passionate kiss which she eagerly returned.


“That’s going to have to hold you for a few days,” Lee smirked.


“Yes and you too,” Janet responded hugging him tenderly so she wouldn’t hurt his ribs.


Janet went to the door and let Chip and Gallagher back in.   “We better be going,” Janet told Gallagher.  “I need to finish packing.”  She gave Lee one more kiss before they left the room.


Chip was watching Lee as he watched Janet and Gallagher walk out the door.  “She’ll be okay,” Chip said softly before he left.


“I sure hope so,” Lee replied worriedly as he ran his hand through his hair and sat back down in the chair.




Traffic was light through Santa Barbara so when Chip dropped Janet and Gallagher home they had more than enough time to finish up their packing before Chip returned.  Janet grabbed Lee’s suitcase from the garage and put all her clothes, shoes and toiletries in the one suitcase.  Gallagher told her she could put her dresses in his garment bag with his suit and dinner jacket so she wouldn’t need to take an extra bag. 


She had just finished packing when Chip knocked on the door.  He took Janet’s suitcase and loaded it in the car leaving Gallagher to put his own bag in the car.  Janet climbed into the front seat so Gallagher had to sit in the back.   Traffic wasn’t as bad as Chip expected so they made it to LAX in plenty of time to catch their flight.  Chip took Janet’s bag out of the car while Gallagher grabbed his suitcase and the garment bag. 


“Be safe,” Chip said as he gave Janet a hug and kiss on the cheek before he had to leave the drop off lane.


“We will,” Janet replied quickly returning the hug and kiss.  She took her bag and brought it the skycap for tagging.


Gallagher waited at the door to the terminal for Janet before they walked in together.




They checked in as Lee and Janet Crane and made their way to the gate.  The flight was on time but they had about an hour to kill before the flight took off.


“Do you need something to read?” Gallagher asked as they walked by a magazine stand.


“No thanks, I have a book.  I’m actually glad this flight is at night.  I hope I can sleep most of it away.”


Gallagher grinned, “Don’t like to fly?”


“No, I hate flying except on FS-1.  I love flying in that little sub.”


Before long they were boarding their flight.  Both of them were dressed in blue jeans, shirts and comfortable shoes.  Gallagher’s jeans were a little tight and Janet had to admit he looked just like Lee.  As they boarded Janet noticed the flight attendants giving Gallagher the once over.  Glad it’s him and not Lee, Janet thought as they made their way to their seats in business class so they would have a little more room.


As they took off, Janet was gripping the arm rest so tightly her knuckles were turning white.  Gallagher noticed and gently patted her hand which she quickly pushed away.   This is going to be a long mission if she keeps this up, Gallagher thought as he looked out the window.


Janet fell asleep about four hours into the flight.  Gallagher lasted a couple more hours before he too fell asleep.  When they awoke, the flight had only two more hours before it landed. 




They went through customs and were walking through the terminal when Janet stumbled and Gallagher grabbed her arm.  She glared at him as he prevented her from falling.


“Janet, I know you despise me for what I did to you and Lee but you’re going to have to act like were married if this mission is going to succeed,” Gallagher said exasperated with her attitude.  “I know what I’m doing so please trust me...I’ll get us back home safely...I promise.”


Janet looked at Gallagher, “Thank you and I’m sorry,” she said contritely.  “You’re right I need to forget about the past and work on getting this mission completed.  I forgot you are a trained agent even if you worked for the other side.  I’ll trust you.”   She took his hand gave it a gentle squeeze as they continued to walk through the terminal and outside to get a taxi.





Gallagher hailed a taxi and dropped them off in the front of a new hotel.  The bell hop removed their luggage and brought it into the lobby and waited for them as they checked in.


“Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Crane.  You’re on the fourth floor,” the young desk clerk told them as she handed Gallagher the two key cards and gave him the once over.


“Thank you,” Gallagher replied and took Janet’s hand as they walked to the elevators.  She didn’t remove his hand from hers just in case someone was watching.


Janet snickered as they walked away, “Same thing happens to the real Lee,” she whispered.


“That might be one advantage of looking like him,” Paul teased as they got into the elevator with the bell hop.


Paul found their room, opened the door and let the bell hop go in first with their luggage.  He put it on the stands and hung up the garment bag.  Paul gave him a tip and locked the door when he left.  He put a finger to his lips not wanting Janet to say anything.  He went over to his suitcase and pulled out a small black device.  He slowly scanned the room for listening devices and then checked for cameras. 


“The room is clean,” he said to Janet after he didn’t find anything.


Grinning, Janet replied, “Lee does the same thing every time we stay at a hotel.  It must be the spy in you.”


“You can’t be too careful,” Paul answered.  “Are you hungry...we could get something to eat.”


“I’m not hungry just tired,” Janet replied smiling as she noticed there were two beds in the room.


Paul saw her grin.  “Well that takes care of one ground rule but I’m taking the bed by the door to the balcony.  You take the one by the wall.  If something goes wrong, I want you to roll off the bed onto the floor and stay down next to the bed and the wall.”


“Okay,” Janet said.  “We always sleep in the bed by the wall.  Don’t you get tired of being a spy?”


“No and I’m sure Lee has explained to you that you never know who or what will happen and I’m not taking any chances.”


“Yes, he has,” Janet sighed as she opened her suitcase and took out her pajamas.  She went into the bathroom, changed and climbed into bed.  Goodnight Paul,” she said quietly.


“Goodnight Janet,” he replied as he walked to the bathroom and got ready for bed.   He climbed in the bed and fell asleep.




When Janet woke up the next morning she noticed that Paul’s bed was empty and made.  She didn’t hear anyone in the bathroom and started to panic.  Damn, she thought.


She quickly pulled on her robe and was going to double check the bathroom when she heard the key card in the door.

Paul walked in with a couple of coffees and saw Janet standing there.


“Did you think I left you?” he asked seeing the worried look on her face.


Slightly embarrassed she replied, “Well, you weren’t here and there wasn’t note so it did cross my mind.”


“I won’t leave you here alone…I will complete the mission,” Paul reassured her and handed her a coffee.  “Cream and sugar right?”


“Thanks,” Janet replied and took a swig.  “Not to strong just the way I like it.”


“I’m not a big fan of coffee.  One cup will last me all day.  I know Lee drinks it by the gallon so I had to get use to that,” Paul admitted.


“Yes, he does like his coffee,” Janet answered.  “What’s on the agenda for today before we need to go to the opening of the aquarium?”  She took another sip of her coffee.


“I don’t know about you but I’m starving so as soon as we’re ready and have had breakfast, I would like to look around the outside of the aquarium and then go over to the hotel where the reception is being held.  I just want to check out the exits and find the road that we’re supposed to take to the lake.  I found a map of the city when I got the coffee and studied it.  It looks like we can walk to where we need to go.  You okay walking around?”


“No problem.  I like walking plus we’ll get to see more of the city.  Just let me take a quick shower and I’ll be ready to leave in twenty minutes.”


“Twenty minutes?” Paul questioned.   “I never met a woman who could get ready in that short of time.”


“Watch me,” Janet responded and was ready to go twenty minutes much to Paul’s surprise.


They walked out of the hotel room to find a place to eat.




They left the hotel and walked a short way down the street to a small restaurant that wasn’t too crowded.  They were seated immediately and ordered breakfast.  While they waited for their food Paul had some questions for Janet.


“I know it’s none of my business but I would like to know a little more about you in case someone asks me at the reception.  I know enough about Lee to get by but nothing about you.  How did you meet...did you always live in long have you been you got the job on Seaview?’ Paul asked cautiously.


“I understand that someone might ask those questions in conversation so I’ll give you the answers,” Janet said as she explained to Paul how she came to California, got the job on Seaview and married Lee.  “We’ve been married almost four years.”


“That’s quite an interesting story.  I’m glad it worked out for you and thanks for answering my questions,”


“Now how about answering some of my questions,” Janet asked as she finished her breakfast.   “How come you became an operative for the PR?”


“The PR gave me an offer I couldn’t pass up and I’d rather not say how they found me,” Paul told her.  “As I told Lee it’s a move I regret taking as I’ve alienated my family and friends.  When this is over I’m going to contact my family and see if they’ll forgive and let me back into the fold.”


“I understand,” Janet replied honestly.  “I have just one more question.  How did you manage to capture Lee?”


“A good operative never reveals his plans,” Paul laughed but continued, “I got lucky as someone else set him up and I was in the right place at the right time but once I had him, he was very difficult to contain.  He seemed to be one step ahead of me at all times.  I was very embarrassed that he managed to escape even with all the extra precautions I implemented.”


“Thanks for telling me,” Janet said as Paul paid their breakfast tab.  Janet smiled at what Paul told her as Lee was always one step ahead of everyone.


It was a beautiful day and she was looking forward to their walk.  I guess he’s not that bad, Janet thought as they walked to the aquarium.




They reached the aquarium and went up the steps.  Paul opened the door for Janet and they went inside.  They didn’t get very far when a guard stopped them.  “Sorry the aquarium isn’t open to the public until tomorrow.  The grand opening will take place later today.”


“No problem,” Janet replied as Paul scoped out what they could see. 


After they left the building and walked back down the steps, Janet dropped a tissue on the ground and bent over to pick it up looking behind her.  Janet whispered to Paul when she stood back up, “Did you notice the man in the grey sweater and black pants?  He’s been following us for awhile.”


Surprised that she noticed him, Paul replied, “You’re pretty observant.  Yes, I saw him.  He’s been following us since we left the restaurant.  Stay close...I’m not sure what he’s after.  Can we continue on to the reception hall or would you rather return to our hotel?”


“I have no problem continuing on,” Janet replied as they made their way to the hotel.


The hotel where the reception was being held was one of the older ones in the city.  Paul and Janet could tell it had been remodeled but still kept the old world charm.   “I really want to check out the back exit of the hotel and where we’ll pick up the car.  I want you to go into the lobby and wait for me there as it looked pretty busy.  If the man follows you in there, stay in plain sight.  I don’t think he’ll try anything with all those people around.   I’ll come in and get you when I’m done checking out the back.”


“Okay, I’ll be right by the door,” Janet answered worriedly as she went into the lobby and waited by the door watching for the man to go by.  The man continued on down the street.  Janet noticed he didn’t even follow Paul when he went around the side of the hotel.


Paul walked to the back of the hotel looking behind him to see if the man had followed him down the alley.  He saw the man walk by the alley.  The alley was actually very wide as cars were parked on the opposite side of the back of the hotel.  Paul located the door outside the kitchen and walked by it looking to see if the alley would take them to the street.  He walked a short distance past the hotel and found a road that looked like it led out of town.  Paul made his way back to the front door of the hotel and went inside to find Janet.


Janet saw Paul enter the hotel. “Did everything check out?”


“Yes, the alley’s wide enough for a car to be parked and the road is right past the end of the hotel.  I don’t think we’ll have any problems.”   Paul looked at his watch.  “How about we get some lunch?  By the time we eat and walk back to our hotel, we should start getting ready for the grand opening of the aquarium.”


“Sounds good,” Janet responded.  “Do you think I could call Lee when we get back just to let him know we’re okay and find out how he is?

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” Paul replied with a grin.


They found a restaurant enjoyed a nice lunch and walked back to the hotel.  Both of them had they’re eye out for the man who followed them before but neither one of them saw him or anyone else following them. 




The man continued walking past the hotel and saw that Paul had gone down the alley.  He wasn’t sure why but would let his superiors know.   He walked a couple more blocks before he pulled out his phone and made a call.   “I followed them for most of the morning.  They went to the aquarium and then to the hotel where the reception is being held.  I guess he was checking them out.  Yes, I’m sure it was Lee Crane and his wife.  We’ll be ready for them tomorrow night.  I’ll check in with you tomorrow after we have them.”




Paul and Janet made it back to the hotel with plenty of time to get ready.  Before Janet made her phone call, Paul scanned the room again for bugs.  He wasn’t going to take any chances that someone had entered their room after they left.  He was a little worried about the man that followed them.


The phone rang only once when Lee picked it up, “Hello,” he said quickly.


“Hi grandpa, how are you doing?” Janet asked as Paul shook his head.  Lee sure has trained her well, he thought.


Chip was with Lee and saw a puzzled look come over his face before he broke out into a smile.  “I’m fine, sweetie.  How are you...enjoying your vacation?”


“Yes, everything is fine here too.  Miss you and can’t wait to tell you all about it,” Janet answered.  “I’ll call you tomorrow.  Bye grandpa.”


“Bye sweetie, love you,” Lee replied and disconnected the call.   “Grandpa, is that the best she could do.”


Chip looked at Lee and grinned, “Grandpa?  Is that Janet’s code word for you...actually that’s not too bad as you’re moving like one,” Chip teased as Lee swatted his shoulder and then grimaced in pain forgetting about his ribs.


Breathing a sigh of relief, “So far everything is okay,” Lee told Chip.


When Janet hung up the phone, Paul burst out laughing.  “Grandpa.”


“I wasn’t sure if anyone would be able to trace or listen on my call, so I didn’t want to use Lee’s real name so that’s all I could come up with,” Janet replied with a chuckle.


“Well that will work.  Do you want to get ready first?”


“No, why don’t you get ready.  I’ll need a little more than twenty minutes this time.”


Paul quickly took a shower and dressed in a black suit with a white shirt.   He went out on the balcony and put on a purple tie while Janet got ready.  She showered, did her hair and make up and put on a dark purple dress unaware that Paul had put on a purple tie.


“Well I guess great minds think alike,” Janet laughed when she saw his tie.   She grabbed her purse and put any identifying documents they had with them in it as they didn’t want to leave that information in the room.  Paul opened the door and as they left the room, he tied a thin piece of wire around the door handle and latch.  There were a few people in the hallway so Janet linked her arm in Paul’s as they walked to the elevator.  When they got to the lobby, Paul hailed a cab for the ride to the aquarium.




When they arrived at the aquarium, it was all lit up and there was a line of people waiting to get in.  You had to show your invitation to the guards at the door before you could enter.  Paul took the invitation out of his suit coat pocket and showed it to the guard who checked their name off the guest list.  They walked down a short hall where the president of the aquarium was greeting guests. 


“Good evening, I’m Goran Zaklon, president of the aquarium,” he said to Paul and Janet as he shook Janet’s hand.


“Hello, I’m Lee Crane and this is my wife Janet.  We’re very sorry Admiral Nelson couldn’t attend your opening.  He was called to Washington at the last minute,” Paul said as he shook the president’s hand. 


“Oh yes, it’s nice to meet you.   I was sorry to hear he wasn’t attending but I’m glad he sent you Captain Crane.   I hope you’ll report back to Admiral Nelson how nice our exhibits are and hopefully he’ll be able to join us one day.”


“From what I’ve seen your exhibits are wonderful and I’m sure the admiral will make a point of coming to see your aquarium,” Janet told Mr. Zaklon. 


“Thank you Mrs. Crane.  I hope you’ll both enjoy looking around at the rest of the aquarium and the dinner.”


Paul and Janet walked away from the president as he greeted the next guests in line.  There were waiters serving champagne and hors d’oeuvres.  Paul removed two glasses of champagne and gave one to Janet.  They each took a couple of shrimp hors d’oeuvres and walked around the aquarium sipping their champagne.


“The admiral would really love this place.  It has everything from penguins to octopuses along with quite a large assortment of fish.  We would have to give him a time limit though as he would never leave,” Janet said smiling.  This place reminds me of the windows on Seaview and Lee would like this place too, she thought as they stopped at an exhibit where the sea otters and seals were playing in the water.


Before long they were asked to be seated so they could serve dinner.  “I hope they don’t have fish on the menu,” Paul whispered jokingly as he found their table and held the chair out for Janet.  She laughed as the waiter put down a plate of chicken and rice.  They sat at a table with some representatives from England who knew the admiral and were disappointed he couldn’t attend.  After dinner Paul and Janet looked around the aquarium a little longer before leaving. 


Since it was still early and it was a beautiful evening, they decided to walk back to the hotel.  As they walked Janet remarked, “One evening down and one to go.”


“Let’s hope tomorrow’s evening goes as smoothly as this one,” Paul replied as they entered the hotel and went up to the room where Paul didn’t check to see if someone had entered the room as the wire he had place on the door was undisturbed.  Tired from the fresh air, walking and champagne, Paul waited on the balcony while Janet got ready for bed.  She was sitting with her back up against the headboard.  She was going to ask Paul what he had planned for tomorrow when he came out of the bathroom in his pajama bottoms hung low on his hips.  The room was warm so he wasn’t wearing a top.  He reminded her of Lee so she quickly turned off the light on her side of the bed and slid under the covers with her back facing Paul.


Paul was smiling as he climbed into bed, turned off his light and said goodnight to Janet. 




Paul was already up when Janet woke up.  He was dressed and out on the balcony when she got out of bed.  She quickly got ready and joined him on the balcony.


“What’s on the agenda for today?” she asked looking over the city.


“I thought since we don’t have to start getting ready until 4:00 for the reception at 6:00 we could take a tour of a castle that has a winery in it and we’ll have lunch there.  They have a bus that will take us there and back.  It’s only 8:00 now and the tour leaves at 9:00 so we can have breakfast and still have time to make the tour.”


“Okay, sounds like fun,” Janet replied as she walked back into the room and grabbed her purse and jacket.


Paul didn’t set his trap as they wanted the maid to take care of the room.  He would check it when they returned.


They had breakfast, found the bus for the tour and had a nice tour of the palace and sampling some of the wines.  They were back at the hotel by 3:00. 


“I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to take a nap,” Janet told Paul yawning.  “The fresh air and wine have made me sleepy and I still can’t get over the jet lag.  Will you wake me up by 4:30?”


“Sure.  I could use a nap too as it’s going to be a long night,” he replied as he stretched out on his bed.


Before long both of them were asleep.  Paul had set the alarm on his watch for 4:00 so they wouldn’t oversleep.




Janet woke up to the alarm going off on Paul’s watch which was on the vanity in the bathroom.  She figured out how to shut it off but noticed Paul was still sleeping.  He had sampled a few more glasses of wine than Janet on their tour.  She stood there wondering how to wake him up and not get hurt.  The first time she tried to wake Lee up, he grabbed her by the wrist and almost broke it.  The second time she landed on her back on the deck of Seaview.  Lee told her to put her hand on his knee so she would try that.


She walked over to his bed and applied a little pressure to his knee.  He kicked her hand off but didn’t try to grab her as he sat up in the bed.


“Sorry, but you slept through the alarm and I wasn’t sure how to wake you,” Janet told him.  “Lee said I should wake him up that way so I thought it might work on you too.  I didn’t mean to scare you.”


“No problem.  That was a good way to wake me up or you might have been laying on the floor.”


“Why don’t you get ready first?” Janet said watching Paul run his hand through his hair just like Lee.  “While you’re getting ready I’ll give ‘grandpa’ a call.”


“Sounds good as I don’t need that much time,” Paul said as he got up from the bed and went into the dressing area.  He shaved again, turned on the shower and took the white dinner jacket out of the bag.   He took the pants from the bag and hung them on the rod along with the jacket.   He took a leisurely shower, put on some after shave lotion and dressed. He had brought a tie but hoped he wouldn’t need it but just in case he put it in his jacket pocket.  He went into the room where Janet was on the phone talking to Lee.




Jamie released Lee from the hospital on Friday night after he had talked to Janet.  The only way he let him go was that Chip promised to stay with him and make sure he didn’t overdo it.  Lee was hoping Janet would call as he had gotten the names of the contacts from Admiral Johnson.  He and Chip were sitting at the table looking over some proposals when Lee’s phone rang.  “Damn,” he said, “I left it by the couch.”  He started to get up but Chip had already gone over and picked up the phone and handed it to Lee.


Janet was worried when it rang quite a few times before he finally answered it.


“Hi gramps,” Janet said happily.  “How are you?”


“Hi sweetie, I’m just fine.  Jamie let me go home yesterday,” Lee told her.


“You’re not by yourself,” Janet asked worriedly.


“No, Cousin Chip is staying with me until you get back.”


“I bet he likes that,” Janet laughed.


“Julie’s on assignment out of town so Chip’s not a happy camper anyway so he doesn’t mind watching me,” Lee replied. 
”How’s everything going?” 


“So far, so good,” Janet said not telling him about the man that followed them as she didn’t want him to worry.  “The aquarium was very nice.  Uncle Harry could spend a whole week in there.  The president and some people from England were disappointed he was unable to attend but they made us feel very welcome.”


“Is Paul behaving?” Lee wondered.


“Yes, he’s being a perfect gentleman.  Grandpa, I really miss you and wish you were here.”


“Me too.” Lee replied sadly.  “Is Paul around I would like to give him some more information I found out from Uncle Johnson?”


“He just finished taking a shower, let me see if he can come to the phone.”


“Make sure he’s dressed before you get him,” Lee said jealously. 


“Calm down, Gramps.  We have a system worked out,” Janet answered.  She put the phone on the bed and walked over to the dressing area just as Paul was putting on his pants and was shirtless.  “Gramps would like to talk to you.”


Paul walked over to the bed and picked up the phone.  Janet stood there staring at him.  She almost forgot it was Paul she was talking too not Lee.


“Hi Paul, Cousin Anton is real anxious to see you so you’ll go to his place later tonight.  He’ll be waiting for you.   After you visit him, Uncle Josif is expecting you.  Anton will tell you how to get there.   I know it’s a lot to do but you do need to see family while you’re there.”


“I understand Gramps,” Paul replied barely able to keep from laughing.  “I’ll make sure we visit both of them.  Here’s Janet.”


“Okay we’ll see you soon.  Grandpa, I miss you,” Janet told Lee lovingly and whispered, “I love you.”


“I’m looking forward to having you back...miss and love you too,” Lee replied nervously.  He heard Janet disconnect the call.


Chip looked at Lee and could tell he was worried.  “They’ll be leaving for the reception in an hour.  I have feeling something isn’t going to go as planned.”


“Lee, you’re going to have to trust Paul’s judgment and Janet’s instincts to complete this mission.  Before you say it, I know easier said than done.  Let’s get back to work.  It’ll take your mind off of them.”


Rubbing his forehead, a sure sign he was worried, Lee replied, “You’re right nothing we can do but wait. I hope you don’t mind me tapping my pencil since I can’t pace,” he teased.   Chip just shook his head and gave him another proposal to look at.


Janet stood by the bed with the phone in her hand.  Paul could see she was a little nervous.  “Don’t worry we’ll be back home shortly.  ‘Grandpa’ will be okay until then.”

“You’re right,” Janet replied.   “Are you I can get ready?”

“Yes, all finished but I’ll have to stay in the room as it’s started to rain.  Sorry I promise not to look,” Paul kidded.

“I know,” she answered as she went into the dressing area and took her dress out of the garment bag. It was a short off the shoulder black dress.  She quickly took a shower, dried her hair and put on her makeup.  She stepped into her dress but was having trouble zipping it up.  Lee always had to help her when she wore this dress.  She put on her pumps and went into the room where Paul was watching the local news.  “Looks like storms are coming in later tonight so that might slow things down,” he commented.

“Just great,” Janet responded unhappily realizing the helicopter might not arrive on time.  “Could you please help me zip up my dress?”

“Sure, no problem,” Paul answered as Janet walked up to him and turned around.  He zipped up her dress and didn’t try anything.

“Thanks.  Just let me put the rest of my things in the suitcase.  I know we aren’t going to be able to take this with us so is there anything you want me to put in my purse besides your papers?”

“No as long as you don’t mind holding on to those, I’m good.”

Janet put everything in her suitcase except her lipstick and comb which she put in her purse.  Paul put the garment bag in his suitcase.  He left one of the key cards on the desk.  He took the other with him to give to Anton so he could get into the room and remove their luggage.  Paul took one last look around.

“Ready to go?” he asked Janet looking at his watch noticing it was almost 6:00

Taking a deep breath, “All ready,” she replied as Paul opened the door.  She took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze as they walked to the elevators.


By the time they got downstairs it had stopped raining and there was a cab waiting for them as Paul had called ahead and arranged for one to pick them up.  The cab driver had to wait in line before he could drop them off.  He finally pulled up the entrance of the hotel and the doorman opened the door of the cab, Paul got out and helped Janet out of the cab.  Paul paid the driver and they walked into the lobby. The prime minister and his wife were greeting their guests outside the entrance to the ballroom. The guard asked Paul for their invitation before he would introduce them to the Prime Minister. Paul took the invitation out of his pocket and presented it to the guard who led them over to Prime Minster.

“Sir, Commander and Mrs. Lee Crane,” he told him as the prime minister looked at Lee. 

“Good evening Commander, Mrs. Crane.  Thank you for coming.  I was sorry to hear that Admiral Nelson was unable to make it but he sent a very capable replacement.  It a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Crane.”

“The pleasure is all mine,” Janet replied as she shook his hand as he introduced his wife to Janet and Paul.

“I hope you enjoy your visit here and this evening’s festivities,” the prime minister’s wife said to them as she looked Paul over from head to toe.

“I’m sure we will,” Paul responded slightly embarrassed as they walked away so they could greet their next guests. 

As they walked away, Janet looked back and watched as the prime minister’s wife checked Paul out from behind.  She turned around, chuckled softly and linked her arm into Paul’s.  “I guess she liked what she saw,” she told Paul. 

They walked into the ballroom which was decorated with white drapes interspersed with black ones.  The tables had black tablecloths with white napkins and chair covers.  The only other color in the room were the centerpieces of white roses with purple iris’ and ferns. The band was setting up their equipment in the front of the room which had groupings of trees with white and purple flowers. 

“Would you care for a drink?” Paul asked when they entered the ballroom.

“Yes, a gin and tonic would be good,” Janet replied as they walked over to the bar and Paul ordered drinks for both of them.

As he handed Janet her drink he asked, “Do you see Kelly?”

“No, I haven’t seen him. I wonder where he is.” Janet replied with a frown.

They continued to walk around the room greeting people they had met yesterday at the aquarium and looking for Kelly.  Everyone was asked to be seated so dinner could be served.  Paul and Janet found their table and were happy to be seated with some of the people they met yesterday.  A few of the men brought their wives to this dinner whom they introduced to Janet and Paul.

After everyone was seated, Anton, the operative that would help them leave was their server, poured them all a glass of wine from the prime minister’s winery. As they were eating, the women talked about food while the men talked about world politics. After dinner Janet decided to use the restroom while Paul went to get them something to drink.  Paul was standing by the table waiting for her when she returned to the ballroom. She spotted Kelly by the bar. 

“He’s over by the bar,” Janet whispered to Paul as they sat down.  “He’s the gentleman with the blond hair and purple flower in his lapel.  Paul turned around and saw who Janet described.   “I don’t want to go over there as that would be too obvious, so let’s wait and see if he makes contact with me,” Janet suggested.

“Good plan,” Paul responded as the band started to play.  “Do you dance?”

“Yes, I love to dance,” Janet replied as Paul took her hand and led her out to the dance floor.  

As they danced Janet remarked, “You sure are a great dancer.”

“Thank you,” Paul answered.  “It was my mother’s idea.  She said every man should know how to dance so she made my brothers and I take dancing lessons.  Lee doesn’t dance?”

“Let’s just say dancing is not one of Lee’s favorite things to do.  He’ll dance only if I ask him but I don’t care how he dances, I just like being in his arms,” Janet sighed.

“Well, dancer or no dancer, Lee Crane is one lucky guy to be married to you,” Paul said softly. 

Blushing slightly, Janet replied, “Thank you and I’m very lucky to be married to him.”

They stayed on the dance floor for another song and as they danced Kelly tapped Paul on the shoulder.  “May I cut in?” he asked.

“Sure, but just one dance,” Paul teased turning Janet over to Kelly.

Paul stood along the side of the room by the trees.  He looked like all the other men dressed in their white dinner jackets, white shirts and no tie.  He stared intently and frowned as Kelly pulled Janet closer to him as they danced.  He was a bit jealous at how close she was to him even though he had no claim on her either. 

“When we finish this dance, go back to your table and accidentally knock your purse to the floor.  I’ll help you pick up the contents and give you the flash drive,” Kelly explained to Janet. 

“Yes, how nice,” Janet answered as another couple danced close to them. 

The band finished the song, everyone clapped and Kelly walked Janet back to the table.  Paul started to join them when he saw Janet knock her purse to the floor.  Both Janet and Kelly bent down to pick up the contents that had fallen out and handed her the flash drive.  Paul stopped realizing that was how Kelly was going to give Janet the flash drive.  As soon as they stood up, Paul returned to the table.

“Sweetie, is everything okay?” he asked as Janet was zipping close her purse.

“Yes, I accidentally knocked my purse off the chair and Mr. Kelly was kind enough to help me pick up the stuff that fell out,” Janet replied looking around the floor to see if there was anything else lying around.

“Thanks for helping, Mr. Kelly,” Paul said to him as Paul took Janet back out on the dance floor when the band started playing again.

“Did you get it?” he asked softly.

“Yes, it’s in my purse which I will take with me where ever I go.  When are we supposed to leave?”

Paul looked at his watch.  It’s only 9:00, the chopper won’t be at the beach until 11:00.  According to the map, it should only take us an hour to get to the house by the beach.  I didn’t look outside but I thought I heard thunder when you were dancing with Kelly.  That will slow us down along with the chopper so let’s leave at 9:30.”

“I’ll be ready,” Janet replied as they finished up the dance.  “I’m going to go to the ladies’ room as who knows the next time I’ll get there.” 

‘Paul and Janet walked out of the ballroom.  While Janet was in the ladies’ room, Paul looked outside and saw it was pouring rain, lightening and thundering.  “Damn,” he muttered under his breath and walked back into the reception area just as Janet was coming out of the ladies’ room.

“Weather’s not cooperating.  It’s pretty bad out there.  I think we should leave now,” Paul told Janet as they walked back into the ballroom.

“Fine with me,” Janet replied going back to the table where Anton was cleaning off the glasses and napkins.

“Can we leave now?” Paul whispered to him.  “Weather’s going to slow us down.”

“No problem. I’m going to take you out through the kitchen. Once I take my tray into the kitchen, follow me in there. Don’t worry about the staff as I told them I was helping my friend sneak out of the party with his girlfriend. There’s a small brown car parked across from the door to the kitchen.  The keys are in it.  Just follow the alley out, make a left, stay on the road until you get to Kalron Drive.  Make a right onto the road and follow it down to the house on the right.  A man will be there to guide you to the beach.  There’s some black clothes in the back for you to change into.  That white is bright even at night.  Good luck.”

“Thanks for your help,” Janet said as they waited until Anton had cleared the table.  He walked to the kitchen door, went in and Paul and Janet followed him.  As they entered the kitchen, Kelly also followed them in.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Paul asked sharply.

“I’m defecting to the US so you’re not leaving with out me,” Kelly demanded. 

Anton was getting nervous waiting for them to come out the door.  He saw a man giving them a hard time and figured it must be Kelly.  He motioned to them to hurry up.

“All right come on,” Paul said quickly as the three of them went out the kitchen door to the car. 

Before Anton returned to the kitchen, Paul gave him the key card to the hotel so he could remove their luggage and ship it back to the States.  Anton was glad this part of the operation was over. He would go to the hotel after the reception and pick up their luggage.


Paul headed for the driver’s seat while Janet and Kelly went to the passenger side of the car.  Kelly looked at Janet as he held back the seat so she could climb in the back as there was no way he would fit back there.  He was as tall as Paul.

Paul hopped in the car as Janet was getting into the back seat.  “Shit,” he said loudly.

“What’s wrong,” Janet asked worriedly as she noticed some people entering the alley.

“This damn car is a stick shift.  I can’t drive stick.  Kelly can you drive a manual trans?”

“Hell no,” Kelly replied.

Sighing deeply, Janet said, “Kelly get in the back, Paul scoot over, I can drive a stick shift.” She removed her purse from her shoulder and put it on the seat beside her.

Both men did as they were told.  Once in the car they both stared at Janet amazed that she could drive a manual transmission.  Janet started the car and put it first gear since Anton had backed the car into the parking spot.  She pulled into the alley and made the left onto the road.

 “It’s sure crowded back here.  I can hardly move,” Kelly complained.

“Do you want to walk to the US?” Janet snapped.  “If not I suggest you be quiet.”

They had been driving for thirty minutes in the pouring rain.  Janet was driving as fast as she could but the lightening would blind her as she drove down the dark road.  They could see flashing lights up ahead and a car across the road.

“I wonder if there’s an accident,” Janet said as she slowed down before she got to the car.

“Possibly or maybe a road block,” Paul told her. 

“Pretend you’re sleeping and just play along with me.  I’ll get us through,” Janet told the two men.  Before she started to drive, she pulled down the sleeves of her dress exposing a little more cleavage.  Sorry Lee, she thought and continued to the car and flashing lights.

A man with a flare raised his hands stopping them when they got to the car.  Two men in uniforms with high powered flashlights walked over to the sides of the car.

Janet rolled down the window, “Is there something wrong?” she asked as she pulled her skirt a little higher exposing more of her thighs.

“Who’s in the car with you?” the man asked as he waved his flashlight at the passenger seat and the back seat. 

“My husband’s in the passenger seat and my brother’s in the back.  We’re coming from a family wedding, they had too much to drink and I had to drive.  We’re going to my uncle’s house a little way up the road.”

Paul let out a groan.  “Are we home yet...sweetie you promised me if I didn’t throw up in the car I would get ‘lucky’ tonight,” Paul said as his hand grabbed Janet’s breast.

“Can we please go?” Janet asked sweetly hiking her skirt up a little higher.  “You wouldn’t want to deprive a man of getting ‘lucky’ now would you?”

The men looked at each other over the roof of the car and nodded agreeing to let them go.

“No, I wouldn’t want to do that,” the man on Janet’s side of the car replied smiling as the other man moved the vehicle blocking the road out of the way.

“Thank you,” Janet said as she quickly put the car in gear and drove down the road letting out her breath.

She drove a couple of miles down the road before she stopped and put herself back to together.

“Nice work, Janet,” Leon said from the back.  “You handled that like a pro.”

“Thanks Leon,” Janet replied as Paul leaned over and whispered in Janet’s ear, “Sorry about the free feel but I had to make it look real.”

“I understand,” Janet said as she put the car in gear and continued down the road puzzled as to why there would be a road block unless they were looking for someone.

As they were driving, Leon found the black bag with the clothes in it.  He pulled out two black turtlenecks and handed one to Paul so they could ditch the white jackets and shirts.

They hadn’t driven much further when Janet asked, “Paul, why a road block...were they looking for us...but one knows why the real reason we’re here?”

“I was wondering the same thing.  I’m a bit worried about it as who would’ve known we would be on this road as it’s pretty deserted.  We haven’t seen another car since we left the city.”

Leon sat in the back seat not saying a word.

Janet drove for another forty-five minutes before Paul saw the sign for Kalron Drive. It had stopped raining when Janet made the right turn and slowly made her way down the bumpy unpaved road.  On the right hand side of the road there was a light on the house they were looking for.  Janet pulled into the driveway, turned off the car and put her purse around her neck and shoulder.  The three of them got out of the car and walked to the front door.  Before Paul could knock on the door, a man opened it up.  “Josif?” Paul asked.

“Yes and it’s about time you got here,” he said grumpily.  “Don’t like being out in the storm.  Follow me.”


After letting Janet drive away, one of the men’s cell phone rang.  “Hello,” he said quickly.

“Has anyone come down the road?” a voice asked hurriedly.

“Just one car, a couple and a brother coming home from a wedding, we checked them out and let them go.”

“Were the men dressed in white jackets...the women in a black dress?”

“Yes sir, they were,” the man answered starting to sweat.

“You fools those were the people we’re looking for.  Did they say where they were going?”

The man on the phone looked over at the driver trying to remember what Janet had said.  “Yes, they were going to her uncle’s house down the road.”

“There aren’t too many houses down that road so they’re probably heading for the beach.  Take the road you’re on now to Kalron Drive and turn right.  Follow it until it dead ends.  There’s a small tree lined area before you get to the beach.  Stay in the trees, I’m going to send help.  I need you to stop them from leaving...I don’t care how you do it.  Understand?”

“Yes sir,” the man replied and disconnected his call.  “We need to get to the beach and hurry.”  He explained to the driver what their instructions were as he grabbed their automatic weapons from the back seat of the car.


Paul, Janet and Leon followed Josif down a short gravel path before they got to the beach.  The beach was all rocks and no sand.  Janet was having a hard time keeping up with the men in her high heel pumps so she took them off.  The stones were cutting into the bottoms of her feet but at least she was able to stay with the men. 

“Here’s where I leave you.  I only had to make sure you got to the beach.  Good luck,” Josif said and turned around and went back down the path as a flash of lightening lit up the sky and a loud clap of thunder followed.

Paul had an uneasy feeling they were being watched and even with the flashes of lightening he couldn’t see anything.  There was some tall grass on the edge of the beach so they would hide in there until the chopper showed up.

“How much longer until that chopper gets here,” Leon asked several times.

“The weather is probably holding them up,” Paul said impatiently.  “You’re starting to irritate me so I suggest you sit there and be quiet.”

Janet watched Paul as he continued to look around.  She also had a feeling they were being watched but couldn’t see anything either.  After waiting for thirty minutes they finally heard the chopper coming and watched as it landed on the beach.  The three of them came out of the grass and started towards the helicopter when gunshots erupted.


The two men found the road they were looking for and followed it to the tree lined area near the beach.  They were waiting in the car when they saw a set of headlights coming at them from the opposite direction.   They left their car and watched while two men got out of the other car. 

Whispering one of the men asked, “Are they here...have you seen them?”

“We haven’t seen anyone but then we just got here too.”

“I’m sure they’re waiting for a chopper to get them out of here.  We’ll stay hidden in the tree line until the chopper lands and when they try to board the chopper we’ll start shooting.  Maybe they’ll give up and we can bring them back alive.”

The four men walked down to the tree line and waited for the helicopter to land.  They looked around but didn’t see anyone and wondered where they were hiding.


As soon as the chopper landed, the door opened and an air crewman in fatigues stood guard at the door with his gun drawn as Leon, Janet and Paul ran towards the chopper.  Before they got to the door, they were fired upon from the tree line.  The air crewman returned fire as another one helped Leon aboard who moved to the far side of the chopper away from the door.  Before he could help Janet aboard, she tripped and fell fifty feet from the door.  Paul quickly laid on top of her shielding her from the bullets.  He moaned in pain as the bullets ripped into his back.  The air crewman continued to return fire as Paul gathered what strength he had left and helped Janet up and into the chopper with help of the other air crewman.  He collapsed before he could climb in. 

“Don’t leave him there,” Janet yelled trying to jump out of the chopper to grab Paul’s arm and help them bring him aboard.

“Stay in the chopper,” Paul ordered sharply as the crewman helped him aboard.

Once they were aboard, the pilot quickly took off and headed towards the open sea as the co-pilot radioed the carrier.  He had only gotten part of his message off when the radio died.  One of the bullets had destroyed the radio as they took off. 

Paul lay gasping for breath on the floor of the helicopter.  He was bleeding profusely from several gunshots to his back.

“Please help him,” Janet begged the crewmen as he wrapped a blanket around her.

“Ma’am, I’m not a medic and we weren’t expecting to be fired upon.  I’ll do the best I can to help him,” the crewman who helped them aboard replied.

Paul was very pale and shaking.   Janet held his hand while the two crewmen tried to stop the bleeding by applying some bandages they found in a first kit to his back.  Once they finished, Janet wrapped a blanket around him.  

“I’m sorry ma’am but that’s the best we can do for him.  We should be landing on the carrier in thirty minutes,” the crewman reported.

“Thanks for all you have done for us,” Janet answered shakily.  “Can you radio the carrier and have a corpsman standing by?”

“I’ll inform the co-pilot and let him know he is critical.”   The crewman called the co-pilot who told him the radio was broken. The crewman relayed that information to Janet and Paul.

Having a hard time talking, Paul whispered softly, “Janet, don’t worry about it.  I need to tell you something that’s very important to me.  I wanted to tell both you and Lee when we returned to Washington but...”

Janet stopped him before he could continue, “Paul, please hang on,” Janet implored.  “We’ll be on the carrier shortly.”

“Janet, please listen,” Paul said urgently, “I’m sorry for all the pain and trouble I put you and Lee through when I posed as Lee. I should have just left it alone but I wanted revenge...I regret I ever did that to you and Lee...please forgive me.”

“Paul we’ll talk about this when we’re all together,” Janet said holding back her tears.

“No, I need your forgiveness right now,” Paul asked weakly.  “Please.”

“We forgive you, please stay with me,” Janet pleaded squeezing his hand tightly.

“Thank you,” Paul replied with one last gasping breath and closed his eyes.

The crewman checked him out and shook his head.  “Ma’am, I’m sorry, he’s gone.”  He took another blanket and covered him.

Janet started crying as she let go of his hand and pulled the blanket around her tighter. 

“I’m sorry about your husband,” Leon said to Janet sympathetically not realizing that Paul wasn’t Lee Crane.  She didn’t know if she should say anything so she kept quiet. Let Johnson tell him the story, she thought.

Leon took a deep breath, damn, he thought.  I really messed this up.

Janet sat next to Paul’s body until they reached the aircraft carrier.


On an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, the captain was waiting for a radio transmission from his chopper.  He waited in the communication’s center for the call as he had instructions to call Admiral Johnson at ONI as soon as the helicopter was airborne and on its way back.  “Chopper 895 under fire,” the co-pilot said rapidly.  “Three civilians on wounded...hold on for more...”

The captain pressed the button on the mic, “Chopper 895 come in...come in 895.  Shit,” the captain said as he threw the mic down.  “Keep trying,” he instructed the communication specialists as he returned to the bridge. 

“Captain,” the communication specialist called the bridge a few minutes later.  “No response from the chopper.  Do you want me to continue trying?”

“No,” he sighed deeply.  “Get me Admiral Johnson at ONI.”

“Aye, aye sir,” he answered as he made the call to ONI.   “Captain, I have Admiral Johnson.”

“Captain, do you have them...are they okay?” Johnson asked impatiently.

“Admiral, right now I don’t know if I even have a helicopter. Their radio isn’t working. The co-pilot reported they were under fire but did get them on board but one was wounded.  Don’t know which one or how bad.  It will be another thirty minutes before we’ll get them on radar if they’re returning to the ship.”

“Under fire?” Johnson questioned. 

“That’s what the co-pilot reported.  As soon as I find out any more information I will pass it on to you.”

“Thank you Captain.  I would appreciate it,” Johnson said unhappily as he hung up the phone.   “Damn,” he muttered as he rubbed his forehead.  He didn’t want to have to make his next Lee Crane.


Lee, Chip, the admiral and Jamie were at the Crane’s house waiting for word from Admiral Johnson that Janet and Paul had been picked up by the chopper and were on their way back to the carrier.   Lee looked at his watch again as he tapped his pencil on the table. 

“Why hasn’t he called?” Lee asked worriedly.  “They should have been picked up thirty minutes ago...something’s gone wrong.” 

Chip patted him on the shoulder, “Tell us about not being picked up on time or not even being there to be picked up, do I need to go on,” he smirked.

“Point taken,” Lee remarked realizing how many times they had to wait for him to be dropped off.  Just as Lee checked his watch again, his phone rang.  “Are they on the way home...are they okay?” Lee rapidly asked Johnson before he could even say hello.

Taking a deep breath Johnson told him, “All I know that the chopper was under fire.  It picked up three people and one of them was wounded.  They lost radio contact with the chopper.  It’ll be another thirty minutes before the chopper will show up on their radar if at all.”

“Three people...who’s the third person...who knew they would be there?  Someone found out why they were there,” Lee shouted.  “Johnson you better hope nothing has happened to her.”

“Lee, I don’t know all the details.  As soon as I find out more, I’ll call you back,” Johnson said wearily.  He wasn’t even upset that Lee was insubordinate as he was mad too.

Lee threw the phone down on the table and ran his hand through his hair.  “I shouldn’t have let her go,” he lamented.  “It’s my fault.”

“Lee, what did Johnson tell you?” the admiral asked cautiously seeing how upset Lee was.

“The helicopter was under fire.  They got them on board but one of them is wounded then they lost radio contact with the chopper,” Lee explained miserably.  “They won’t know if the chopper is returning for another thirty minutes.”

“Who’s the third person?” Chip wondered.

“My guess it’s Leon Kelly.  He probably decided to leave with Janet and Paul,” Lee said.  “Who knew why they were there...only Paul, Janet, Leon and the two operatives...someone talked.”

The four men sat at the table waiting for more information hoping for the best.


The radar operator was closely watching his screen for the chopper.  They received the call from them over forty-five minutes ago and should have been on the radar by now.  Finally, a blip appeared on the screen.  The operator shouted to the captain as he sat on the bridge, “Sir, I have the chopper on radar.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, he picked up the mic, “Flight-deck crew prepare to receive helicopter.”

The crew went about their normal duties preparing for the landing of the chopper.  The captain was anxious to meet the helicopter and find out why they lost their radio.  He knew that someone was wounded on board so he had a medical team on stand by.  Admiral Johnson told him that Commander Crane and his wife were coming on board so he asked Ensign Sara Baker to accompany him to the flight deck in case they needed anything.  They made their way down from the bridge and were waiting on the flight deck when the chopper landed.  After the pilot had shut down the engines, the rear cabin door opened and the two air crewman jumped out.  The captain and Ensign Baker walked over to them as they helped out Leon and then Janet.  The captain would talk to the pilot and co-pilot after they completed the shut-down check list.  He also wanted to speak with Lee regarding the events that took place on the beach.  He was not aware that they would run into resistance on the pickup.  He went over to Leon and began asking him questions assuming he was Lee as he had heard of him but never met him. 

“Sir, I’m not Lee Crane.  My name’s Leon Kelly.” Leon responded and turned his head to the cabin of the chopper. 

The captain looked in the cabin area of the chopper and saw a body covered up.  He walked over to Janet and was surprised at the way she looked.  She was muddy, wet, her knees were scrapped raw and had no shoes on.  “Ensign Baker, please take Mrs. Crane and Mr. Kelly to the guest quarters where they can get cleaned up.  See that Mrs. Crane is given some clothes and shoes and then take her to Sick Bay to be checked out.”

“Aye, aye sir,” Baker replied and went over to Janet and Leon.  “I’m Ensign Baker and I’ll take you to the guest quarters where you can get cleaned up.”

“No, not yet, I want to wait until they remove him,” she told Baker as the crewman prepared to take the body out of the cabin.

“Mrs. Crane,” the captain said quietly. “I’m sorry that your husband was killed but I will need to talk to you later regarding the events that took place on the beach.”

“Thank you, sir.  May I please use your radio?  I have to place an important call.”

“Yes, you can use the radio as soon as you get cleaned up.  I need to check with my crew about what exactly took place on that beach and report back to Admiral Johnson.”

Sighing deeply, Janet watched as they removed Paul’s body from the helicopter and took it away. 

“Mrs. Crane, Mr. Kelly,” Ensign Baker said softly, “please come with me.”  She took Janet’s arm and led them down to the gallery deck and the guest quarters.


Ensign Baker showed Leon where he could get cleaned up and told him to wait for her before leaving the cabin as the captain wanted to talk to him.  He wasn’t nearly as dirty as Janet.   They went a little further down the narrow hallway where she opened the door to another cabin.  She was about the same size as Janet and would go to Sick Bay and get her a set of scrubs and some slippers. 

“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Baker said to Janet.  “My name is Sara.”

“Thank you, I’m Janet.” Janet replied as she removed her purse from her shoulder and put it on the bed.  She took off the rest of her clothing and left them on the floor while she took a shower.  She was putting on what clothing she could wear again when there was a knock on the door.    

Janet opened the door, “You sure took a quick shower,” Baker said as she handed Janet the scrubs, slippers and a plastic bag.

“I’m used to a Navy two-minute shower...I work on a submarine,” Janet replied as she quickly donned the clothes and slippers, picked up her dress off the floor and put it in the bag.  She took her purse and put in on her shoulder.  “Could I please make my call now?”

“I’m supposed to take you to Sick work on a submarine?”

“I promise I’ll go after I make my call and I’ll tell you about the submarine.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Baker answered as they stopped by Leon’s cabin and picked him up.  Baker led them up to the bridge and the captain’s cabin where Janet would be able to call Lee.  The captain was still talking to the pilot, co-pilot and two air crewmen regarding what had taken place on the beach.  While they waited for him to return Baker took Janet into the captain’s office where she called the communications center for Janet so she could place her call.


It was well over two hours since Admiral Johnson had contacted Lee regarding Janet and Paul.  He was getting more worried and frustrated that he hadn’t call with more information.  They had already gone through two pots of coffee and were working on a third one when Lee’s phone rang.

“Hello Admiral, do you have any more information?” Lee asked assuming it was Johnson on the phone. 

“Lee,” Janet said softly.

“Janet,” Lee replied relieved to hear her voice.  “Are you okay...what happened...who was wounded?”

“I’m fine, just a few scrapes and bruises,” she answered her voice quivering.  “Paul’s dead.  We were ambushed when we were boarding the helicopter.  He protected me.  The radio was knocked out so we couldn’t communicate with the carrier.  Leon Kelly came back with us too.”

Rubbing his forehead, he could hear in Janet’s voice that she was barely keeping it together so he didn’t want to ask her too many more questions.  “Sweetie, do you know when you’ll be leaving the carrier?”

“I’m not sure.  I don’t know if our ride back is on the ship.  Let me check with Ensign Baker.  Hold on.”

“Ensign Baker, do you know when we’ll be leaving for England?”

“The COB has been delayed due to weather.  It should be here within the hour but it will have to be unloaded and reloaded before you can leave.  I’m guessing another two hours.”

“Thanks,” Janet responded.  “Lee, not for another two hours.”

“Okay, call when you get to England and FS-1 will pick you up in Washington.  It’s going to be alright,” Lee reassured her.

“I know,” she answered tiredly. “Lee, there’s a small suitcase in the hall closet, could you please give it to the admiral or Chip to bring with.  It has some clothes and toiletries.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring my suitcase back so I packed that one.  I’ll see you soon.” 

“I’ll be waiting for you and I’ll make sure they take the suitcase.  Love you,” Lee said tenderly.

“Love you too,” Janet replied and hung up the phone.

Lee put down his phone and sat there for a few moments before he told the rest of them what Janet had just told him. 

Looking at the admiral and Chip, “I don’t know which one of you is flying FS-1 to Washington, but I’m going with you,” Lee declared staring at Jamie daring him to try and stop him.

 “I have no problem with that as long as you’re not the pilot or co-pilot.  I understand you need to be there for Janet,” Jamie agreed.  “Would you like me to go with too?”

“Thanks, Jamie but there’s not enough room for all of us.  I’ll make sure she sees you when we return,” Lee said.

 Chip, you can fly us there and I’ll fly us back home,” the admiral stated as he stood up.  “I’m going to call Angie and let her know Janet is okay and that we’ll be leaving for DC sometime tomorrow. I’ll call down to Seaview and see who’s there.  Hopefully Sharkey or Kowalski are there and they can bring FS-1 to her hangar.  It will be easier for Lee to board her on the ground rather berthed in Seaview.”  He went outside to the patio to make his call and returned a few minutes later.

 Lee looked at the coffee in his cup, “I need something a little stronger.  Chip how about getting us some beers.”

“No problem,” he replied and grabbed four beers from the refrigerator.

As the four men sat around the table, Chip looked at his watch, “I’m beat and since I’m flying us to DC, I’m going to hit the sack.  Once Janet calls from England, I suggest we all hit the sack as it’s going to be a long day.  She’s not going to get into DC until tomorrow morning sometime.  We’ll have time to prepare FS-l and leave well before Janet arrives in DC as it’s going to take her longer to fly from London than us from here to DC.”

“Chip, you go ahead and get some rest.  I’ll wait for Janet’s call and then hit the sack.  Admiral, I’ll call you when we’re ready to leave for DC,” Lee said.  “Jamie, I’ll call and let you know when were leaving DC.”

Both the admiral and Jamie agreed with that and said goodnight to Lee and Chip.  Chip cleaned up their mess and went upstairs to the guest room.  Lee laid down on the couch and waited for Janet’s call.


After Janet completed her call, Baker gently took her arm.  “I need to get you to sick bay, captain’s orders.”

“Yes, I promised I would go.  Lead the way,” Janet replied feeling better now that she talked to Lee.  “I’ll tell you about my submarine and you can tell me about this huge ship.  I thought Seaview was big but this ship is enormous.”

The two women left the bridge just as the captain was returning after talking to crew of the chopper.  “Did you make your call?”

“Yes sir,” Janet answered. “Thank you for letting me call him.  We’re on our way to sick bay as ordered.”

“While you’re gone, I’m going to talk to Mr. Kelly and then I’ll need to talk to you and I’ll report to Admiral Johnson what has transpired.”

“Yes sir. I’m scheduled to meet with him before I return to California.”   Janet didn’t say anything about the flash drive as she wasn’t sure if he knew why they were in Gromenten.

Baker and Janet went down to the gallery deck where sick bay was located.  As they walked to sick bay Janet told her about Seaview and that she worked at the Nelson Institute.  Baker was quite impressed and had heard of Seaview and the institute.  She told Janet about the aircraft carrier and how many people it took to run a ship that size.  They made it to sick bay where PO Kevin Nettles, the corpsman, was waiting for them.  He made Janet sit on a gurney and looked at her knees. She told him how she scraped them. He re-cleaned them and put on some antibiotic cream and bandages. 

“Kevin, could you check out the bottoms of her feet.  She came aboard without any shoes and I noticed she’s been limping.”

“No problem, Ma’am.  Why didn’t you have any shoes on?” Kevin asked as he made a note on the chart he had in his hand.

“I had high heeled shoes on but had to ditch them so I could walk on the rocky beach to the helicopter.  I’m fine,” Janet told them.

Kevin examined her feet and saw that they were cut and bruised.  He cleaned them up, bandaged them and gave her a pair of socks to put on with the slippers. When you return home have your physician take a look at them so they don’t get infected.  He went over to a cabinet and took out a couple of pills and gave them to Janet.

Janet looked at him and the pills. “They’re just an antibiotic,” he told her.  He handed her a cup of water.  She swallowed the pills and slid off the gurney.

“Thank you,” Janet said as she and Sara left sick bay and went back to the bridge so she could talk to the captain.

When they entered the captain’s cabin, the door to his office was closed. 

“He must still be talking with Mr. Kelly,” Baker said.  “Why don’t you have a seat and get off you feet.  I’m sure they must hurt to walk on.”

“Yes, they’re a little sore but I’ll be okay,” Janet replied as the door opened and Leon came out of the office followed by the captain.

“Please have a seat Mr. Kelly.  There’s coffee in the pot over there, please help yourself.  If you want something else to drink Ensign Baker can get if for you.  Mrs. Crane, I would like to talk to you now.”

“Thank you sir,” Kelly responded as the captain waited by the door for Janet to enter his office.

Once in his office, Janet sat down in the chair in front of his desk.  “What would you like to know, sir?” Janet asked.

The captain sat behind his desk, hands folded in front of him, “Just give me your version of what took place on the beach.”

“First of all the body that was taken off the helicopter is not Lee Crane.  His name is Paul Gallagher and he was posing as my husband.  Lee was unable to go on this mission because he was injured in a car accident a couple of days before we were scheduled to leave.  If you need any more information regarding the mission, you’ll have to ask Admiral Johnson as I’m not sure what I can tell you.”

“No problem, I’ll talk to Admiral Johnson.  Please tell me what happened on the beach.”

Janet explained to him what took place on the beach adding, “Sir, we were not expecting anyone to be on that beach let alone have them shoot at your men and us.”

“Thank you for talking to me.  I know your COB ride should be landing shortly.  Once it’s unloaded, we’ll quickly reload it so you can head for home.”

“Thank you sir,” Janet replied wearily. 

“Is there anything else I can do for you?” the captain asked as he stood up and headed for the door.

“Yes sir, just one thing,” Janet said as she stood up.  “Can Paul’s body be put on the COB and sent home with me?”

He noticed how upset Janet was and responded, “I’ll see to it that his body will be transported back with you.”

“Thank you sir,” Janet answered and followed the captain to the door and went into the cabin area of his quarters where Leon was waiting drinking a cup of coffee.

“If you’ll excuse me, I’ll take care of your request and call Admiral Johnson.  Ensign Baker will stay with you until you leave.  Just let her know if you need anything,” the captain said to Leon and Janet as he returned to his office where he made a phone call regarding Paul’s body and then to Admiral Johnson.

“The COB just landed,” Baker told them.  “You’ll be leaving in an hour.  Is there anything I can get you?”

“Just the head please?” Janet asked.  Sara led her to a small room on the opposite side of the captain’s quarters and opened the door for her.  She noticed that Janet never let go of her purse the entire time she was on board the ship.  Trying hard not to cry, Janet used the facilities and wiped off her face with a cool wet paper towel before leaving the head. She returned to the cabin where Sara was waiting for her.


The captain took care of Janet’s request and then called Admiral Johnson who was glad that the helicopter had returned safely.  He wasn’t very happy when the captain told him that Paul was killed during the extraction.  He had no idea that there would be any problems with the extraction as no one knew the real reason why they were there.  He was also surprised when the captain reported that Leon Kelly was with them.  He would make sure that Kelly was brought to his office with Janet when they landed.  He had one more call to make before he called it a night and went home.  He dialed Lee’s number.

Lee noticed the phone number was Johnson’s, “Hello, Admiral.”

“Hi Lee, I just heard from the captain of the carrier and the helicopter returned safely to the ship.  Janet is okay but Gallagher was killed during the extraction.  Someone must have found out why they were there.  Leon Kelly decided to defect to the US and returned with them.  I’m going to debrief him when they return to DC.”

“Thanks for calling but I’ve already talked to Janet.  Seems you had a leak somewhere,” Lee replied sarcastically.  “We’re flying out tomorrow to DC to meet Janet’s plane.  I’ll see that they both get to your office.”

“Lee, you can accompany them but I’ll have someone meet them when they land.  Do I make myself clear,” Johnson answered sharply.

“Yes sir,” Lee responded.  “I’ll see you tomorrow.”  He hung up the phone disgustedly and laid back down on the couch.

Johnson hung up his phone, leaned back in his chair and sighed deeply as he knew tomorrow was going to be a long day.  He sat for a few more minutes before getting up, putting on his jacket and cover.  He turned out the lights in his office and left for the day.


The COB was unloaded and quickly reloaded with the mail and Paul’s body.  Ensign Baker received word that they wouldn’t be able to leave for a while as a storm they had been tracking was approaching and prevented the COB from taking off.  They were hoping to get it loaded and off before the storm but there was a problem with one of the containers that needed to be unloaded and it took longer than expected.   Ensign Baker relayed the information to Janet and Paul who were not pleased but understood the situation.  Leon was sprawled out one of the couches in the captain’s cabin while Janet sat in the chair.  Sara offered to get them something to eat or drink but both declined.

As they sat there, they could hear the thunder and rain hitting the sides of ‘the island’ where the captain’s cabin was located.  After waiting for an hour, they were finally given clearance to take-off so Sara walked them down to the flight deck. 

Janet saw the COB and had one question, “How do we take off from the deck?”

Sara smiled and replied, “You’re catapulted off the deck.  You need to wear a helmet, goggles, life jackets and here are some ear plugs as the plane is very loud.”

“Catapulted,” Janet said softly.  “If I wasn’t so tired and anxious to get home I would be panicking right now.”

Leon stood with Janet and Sara watched as a jet was catapulted off the deck.  “You mean just like that.”

Sara nodded her head.  “Come on they’re waiting for you to get aboard,” she told them as they walked over to the COB.

The captain was there waiting for them.  As Janet shook his hand she said, “Thank you very much for your hospitality.  I sorry there were problems with this extraction.”

“It wasn’t your fault, Mrs. Crane; have a safe trip back,” he replied as he shook her hand and then Kelly’s. 

Janet turned to Sara, “Thank you for all you help.  If you’re ever in California and can make it to Santa Barbara, please stop by the institute and I’ll give the grand tour of Seaview.”

“You’re on,” Sara answered with a grin.

When Leon and Janet boarded the COB, Janet saw a case that looked like a coffin and assumed it contained Paul’s body.  She sighed as she put in the earplugs before putting on the helmet, goggles and life jackets.  The pilot and co-pilot helped them into their seats which were facing backwards and tighten their seat belts.  Once Janet and Paul were secured, they returned to the cockpit, prepared to take-off and were catapulted off the deck.  As they were catapulted off, Janet and Leon’s feet flew out from under them as they accelerated causing them to lose control momentarily.  Once in the air, they settled down for the short flight to England where they would refuel for the long trip to the States. 


The COB landed at a military airport in England and would have to wait to take off again due to weather.  The pilots, co-pilots, Janet and Leon de-boarded the plane and went into the control center.  When they finished using the facilities, Janet was looking for a phone to use so she could call Lee.  Her burner phone had no power.  “Damn,” she said under breath but was heard by the pilot.

“Problem, Mrs. Crane?” he asked as they watched the lightening and rain.  Leon and the co-pilot were standing on the other side of the room.

“I’m supposed to call my husband and tell him when we’re leaving here but my phone is dead and I don’t see one I could use.”

The pilot dug in his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.  “Here use mine,” he told her with a smile.  “I know you must be anxious to get back to the States.  I don’t have all the details of what took place but we have orders from a higher up to make sure you get back with no problems.  We’ll be leaving within the hour as the storm is letting up.”

“Thank you very much, I really appreciate your help,” Janet replied as she called Lee. 


Lee had fallen asleep on the couch but woke up the instant he heard his phone ring. 

“Hello, Janet?” he asked not recognizing the number.

“Hi Lee,” Janet replied.  “We’re in England waiting for a storm to blow over.  According to the pilot we should be leaving within the hour.”

“Okay sweetie, you all right?” he asked with concern as she didn’t sound right.

“Very tired and drained,” she answered.  “But you could have warned me about how we get off the deck of the carrier,” she said with a slight chuckle.

“Sorry, I forgot about that.  I hope you didn’t panic too much,” he winced realizing that she wouldn’t like that at all.

“I was pretty scared there for awhile but guess I was just too tired to panic.”

“It’s still going to be a long and tiring flight, so sleep on the plane if you can,” he suggested.

“I’ll try.  One of the Ensign’s on the ship gave me some earplugs so it’s not so loud.  Lee, I got to go, they’re telling the pilot to load up.  See you soon.  Love you,” she said distantly.

“We’ll be there to meet you in DC,” Lee told her as he heard her disconnect the call.

Lee checked his watch and knew that they would have to leave in a couple of hours to make it to Washington DC in time to meet Janet’s plane.  He set his watch alarm and laid back down on the couch to catch a couple more hours of sleep.  He knew it was going to be a very stressful day for Janet.


Janet handed the cell phone back to the pilot, “Thank you very much.”

“No problem,” he replied as they headed to the plane. 

He boarded the plane after completing his walk around and preformed the pre-flight check list as the co-pilot, Janet and Leon boarded.  The co-pilot made sure Janet and Leon were secure and reported to the cockpit to prepare for take off.  Cleared by the tower, they took off and headed for DC.  Even though the seats weren’t very comfortable, the drone of the engines lulled Janet to sleep about an hour into the flight.  Leon managed to stay awake for another hour before he too fell asleep.

Janet woke up when she felt Leon patting her hand.  “We’re about an hour out of DC,” he told her that the co-pilot had radioed into their helmets.

“Thanks,” Janet said as she tried to stretch out a little. 

Before long they were landing on the runway.  Janet could feel them touch down but was unhappy she couldn’t see if FS-1 was there as the COB had no windows.  They taxied to a section of the airport reserved for the military planes that fly into the airport.  She hoped that Chip or the admiral were there to meet her.  Once the pilot and co-pilot finished the shut-down procedure, they returned to the cargo section of the plane and opened the door.  Janet and Leon had undone their seatbelts, removed the helmets, life jackets and goggles and left them on the seat.  The co-pilot helped Janet and Leon off the plane as the ground crew chocked the wheels and prepared to unload the mail and freight they had brought back. 

“Thanks for the ride,” Leon said to the pilots shaking their hands.

“Thank you,” Janet also said shaking their hands.  “May I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” the pilot responded.

“Could you please find out what and where they are going to do with the body?”

Before the pilot could answer, a man dressed in a uniform walked over to Janet, Leon and the pilot.

“Hello, I’m Lt. Commander Samuelson,” he told them.  He looked at the pilot and said, “Thanks for bringing them back and I’ll take over from here.”  The pilot nodded and walked away from them.

“Mrs. Crane, they’ll take the body to a hangar and ONI will contact his family.”

“Thanks for the information.  I’ve got his papers with me, would you like them...can I watch as they unload his body?”

“Yes, I’ll take them and see that his family gets them,” he answered and hesitated at her request but saw the look on her face and replied, “Yes, they should be removing it shortly.”

The three of them stood there and watched as they removed Paul’s body from the plane and carried it to the hangar.  Janet wiped away the tears that were falling down her cheeks.

Leon stood there watching as the body was carried away.  Damn, he thought.

“If you’ll follow me, there’s a car waiting to take you to Admiral Johnson’s office.”

The three of them turned around and began walking to the terminal building.


Lee had a hard time falling back to sleep after Janet’s call so after laying there for an hour, he got up and made some coffee. He had been sleeping on the couch so he wouldn’t have to go upstairs.  His office had a bathroom so he had Chip bring down all the items he would need to get ready.  He looked out the window as the coffee was brewing and filed their flight plan with the communications center and checked the weather.  He poured a cup of coffee and slowly drank it still looking out the window noticing it was an overcast day.   He grabbed his crutches and walked to his office where he shaved and then wrapped his leg in a big garbage bag before he showered.  He put on his blue service uniform and was returning to the kitchen when he ran into Chip coming down the stairs dressed and ready to go.

“You’re up early,” Lee said to Chip as he slowly walked to the kitchen.  “You didn’t have to get up for another hour.”

“I heard your phone ring earlier and laid for awhile and figured I might as well get up and make some coffee but I see you beat me to it.   Janet okay...did they leave?”

“They were delayed again by weather but were just leaving when she called.  I’m worried about her.  She sounded tired and distant.  You don’t think anything went on with her and Gallagher,” Lee asked worriedly.

“Lee, you can’t really believe that.  Look at what she’s been through in the last four days...a man she despised had to pose as you...she had to pick up some important information that lives are depending on...she’s only been shot at once before and never had someone die in front of you know she hates to fly and look at all that she’s had to do in the last few days. Also, she probably hasn’t had much sleep for the last twenty-four hours.”

Running his hand through his hair, he replied, “I guess you’re right.  She has been through quite a bit and I did forget to tell her how they we’re going to get off the carrier.  She wasn’t too happy with that adventure.”

Smiling, Chip said, “You didn’t tell her about being catapulted off the carrier.  I have to admit I was scared shitless the first time I had to do it so no wonder she’s a little distant.  I’m sure she’ll be fine once she’s back home.”

“Thanks bro, for setting me straight,” Lee told Chip as he poured him a cup of coffee.  “We better call the admiral so we can get going to DC.  I’ve called in our flight plan to the communications center and checked the weather; it’s clear flying all the way.”  Lee called the admiral while Chip ate a bagel he found and drank his coffee.  He tossed Lee a bagel which he ate and finished up his coffee.  Lee hobbled out to Chip’s SUV and crawled in.  Chip put Janet’s suitcase next to Lee.

They were met at the hangar by Sharkey and the admiral.  Sharkey had already completed the pre-flight check list so FS-1 was ready to go when they were.  Lee went into the small sub through the back hatch and sat in the back seat while the admiral climbed into the co-pilot’s chair and Chip into the pilot’s after handing Lee the suitcase.  They prepared for take-off and were airborne ten minutes later.


FS-1 arrived at the airport in DC and was given clearance to land in the military side of the airport.  Chip taxied her to a spot near the terminal so Lee wouldn’t have walk too far.  Chip got out of FS-1 first so he could help Lee out.  Lee handed him Janet’s suitcase before he left the sub.  They walked into the terminal building and spotted some chairs so Lee could sit down.  He was too nervous to sit and wanted to find out how soon Janet’s plane was scheduled to land so he walked over to the counter where an older woman was working.

Giving her that special smile he asked, “Could you tell me how soon the COB from England is going to land?”

The woman looked him over, noticed his rank and replied, “Commander, do you have any paperwork authorizing you to have information on that flight?”

“No ma’am,” Lee answered, “But...”

“Sorry sir, no paperwork, no information and you should know better than to ask me to give you information without authorization.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Lee said and walked back to Chip who had sat down in one of the chairs. 

“When’s it due to land?”

“I don’t know she wouldn’t give me the information because I have no paperwork.”

Chip chuckled, “That’s what happens when you get old, you lose your charm with the older women.”

“Who’s losing their charm,” the admiral asked as he didn’t come into the building with Lee and Chip as he was talking with the security men.  “When’s Janet’s flight landing?”

“I don’t know sir,” Lee replied, “The woman at the counter wouldn’t give me the information because I have no authorization.”

Patting Lee on the shoulder the admiral said, “Let’s see if I can get us that information.”  He walked over to the counter and the woman looked up at him and smiled.

“Yes admiral, how can I help you?”

“I’m looking for information on a COB due in from England?  Do you know when it will land?”

Looking at her clipboard with the planes due to land and be parked in her area she answered, “In an hour sir.  Would you like me to let you know when it’s on the ground?”

“Yes ma’am that would be very nice.  Thanks for you help.”  The admiral walked back to Lee and Chip and sat down.  “In an hour.  I guess rank does have its privileges and Lee you know she was only doing her job.”

“Yes sir,” Lee answered with a smile.

The three men sat there waiting for the plane when Lt. Commander Samuelson walked into the office.  He showed the woman his ID and paperwork.  She looked at her clipboard and gave him some information.

Lee recognized him and got up to talk to him.  “Hi Pat,” Lee said.  “Are you here to bring Janet Crane and Leon Kelly to Admiral Johnson’s office?”

“Hi Lee, yes, I am.  Admiral Johnson told me you would be here and to let you ride back with us to the office. But you’re not to talk to Mrs. Crane or Mr. Kelly about the mission.”  He left Lee standing there and walked out onto the tarmac to wait for the plane.

“No problem,” Lee replied as Samuelson walked away.  He walked back to the admiral and Chip.  “I can ride back with Janet and Kelly so if you want to come to ONI you’ll have to take a taxi.”

“How about we find restaurant for lunch and we’ll wait there for you and Janet,” Chip suggested.

“It might be awhile,” Lee advised, “So go ahead and eat we’ll catch up with you later.”

“Sounds good but we won’t leave until we see Janet,” the admiral replied as the woman at the desk waved him over.

“That plane has just landed and should be here in ten minutes.”

“Thanks.”   He walked over to Lee and Chip.  “The plane’s on the ground.  Let’s start walking as its going to take Lee a little while with his crutches.”

Chip held the door while Lee made his way out.  Chip had Janet’s suitcase in his hand as they walked onto the tarmac where the plane had just taxied over to the hangar. It was quite a distance to the plane from where the terminal building was located.  Lt. Commander Samuelson was almost to the plane by the time the pilot had turned off the engines and the ground crew chocked the wheels.  The door opened and the one of the pilot’s helped Leon out and then Janet.  She had her back to the three men as they made their way over to them.

Lee saw her talk to Samuelson, who then talked to one of the ground crew.  He watched her as they unloaded a coffin from the plane and carried it to the hangar.  He noticed Janet wiping her face.  She took some papers out of her purse and handed them to Samuelson.


After Janet handed Paul’s papers to Samuelson, they turned around and started walking to the terminal building.  Lee noticed what Janet was wearing and was shocked at how she looked.  She had on green scrubs, a pair of slippers that were to big, she was limping and looked exhausted.

Janet saw Lee, Chip and the admiral walking towards her.  She was surprised to see Lee so she ran as fast as she could so he wouldn’t have to walk to meet her.  Lee stopped to wait for her hoping she wouldn’t knock him over.  When she reached him she gently put her arms around his waist and buried her face in his chest.  He handed Chip his crutches so he could embrace his wife who was now sobbing.  Not knowing what to say he stood there rubbing her back as she sobbed. Samuelson and Kelly reached where they were standing but didn’t approach the couple.  Kelly stood there in shock as he stared at Lee.   He’s suppose to be dead, Kelly thought.

Janet gathered herself together and asked, “What are you doing didn’t tell me you were coming...Jamie let you fly?”

“Sweetheart, I wouldn’t leave you alone to handle this situation and yes Jamie let me go as long as I didn’t fly FS-1.  You your outfit.”

“I’m tired even though I did manage to sleep most of the way home but the last twenty-four hours have been very trying. I’m fine just two scraped knees and bruised and cut feet.  A short black dress and high heels are not meant for a beach with rocks instead of sand.  Hi admiral, Chip, thanks for coming to get me,” she said giving them both a hug.

“Ahem,” Samuelson said breaking up the conversation.  “I have orders to bring Mrs. Crane and Mr. Kelly back to ONI right away. 

Kelly finally spoke up, “What the hell is going on here?  If you’re Lee Crane, who’s the man in the coffin?”

Lee replied curtly, “Yes, I’m the real Lee Crane.  The man in the coffin was Paul Gallagher and was posing as me because I couldn’t go.  He was a PR operative.”

“PR operative...but he looked just like can that be?”

“You don’t need to know that information,” Lee snapped.

“We need to leave now,” Samuelson stated sharply.

“Can I please change my clothes before we leave?” Janet asked politely.

“Ma’am, you can change when you get to ONI.  There’re restrooms there.”

Lee was about to say something when Janet put her hand on his arm, “Fine, let’s go and get this over with so I can go home,” she said tiredly.

Lee took his crutches from Chip and they walked back to the terminal building where there was a car waiting to take Samuelson, Janet, Lee, and Kelly to ONI.  Lee, Janet and Kelly climbed in the back while Samuelson hopped in the front.  Janet held Lee’s hand as they drove to ONI.  The admiral and Chip hailed a taxi and told him to take them to a restaurant located not to far from ONI.


Admiral Johnson was impatiently waiting for Janet and Kelly to arrive at his office.  He was anxious to get the flash drive from Janet but very curious as to why Kelly left with them and how the PR found out about the mission, extraction and where it was located.  He would talk to Kelly first as he hoped to get that information so he could decide what to do with him.  He was sitting in his office when he heard Samuelson talking to his secretary, Sandy.  He opened the door and saw Janet, Lee and Kelly standing there with Samuelson.  He was surprised at how Janet looked and knew Lee was probably pissed at the way this mission turned out knowing he might have been killed if he had gone instead of Paul.

“Commander Samuelson, please show Mr. Kelly into my office,” Johnson said.  “I’ll be in there shortly.”

“Yes sir,” he replied and led Kelly into the office, where he sat down in the chair in front of his desk while Samuelson stood next to him.

“Lee, Janet, I’ll be with you as soon as I’m finished with Mr. Kelly.”

“Yes sir,” Lee replied tensely as he sat down and put his crutches up against the wall. 

Sandy, is there a restroom nearby where I can change?” Janet asked as she handed Lee her purse.  “Please hold on to this.”  Lee nodded his head realizing that’s where the flash drive was stashed.

“Sure, follow me,” Sandy replied as Samuelson left Johnson’s office.  “I’ll be right back,” she told him.

Janet followed Sandy down the hall to a restroom and unlocked the door.  “If you need anything, please let me know,” Sandy told her as she patted her hand.

“Thanks, Sandy.  I should have everything I need but appreciate your help.”

Sandy left the restroom and Janet cleaned up the best she could.  She changed into a pair of pants and shirt and was happy to put on her own shoes. Her feet and knees still hurt but they didn’t look like they were infected.  She put on her makeup and brushed her hair.  She took the clothes she took off and put them back into the suitcase.  She took a deep breath and returned to Johnson office. 

“Feel better,” Lee said softly as he looked her over and handed her back her purse.

“Much better,” Janet replied.  “I need to talk to you privately when we’re done here.  It’s very important.”

“No problem,” Lee answered hesitantly wondering what she had to tell him.


Johnson returned to his office, sat down at his desk and looked Kelly in the eye.  “Why did you defect to the US and how did the PR find out about this mission.  You’re the only other one who knew about it and I know Paul wouldn’t have talked,” Johnson said harshly.

“It’s my fault he was killed. I had no idea that the man posing as Lee Crane was a PR operative and if I didn’t leave with them I would have been killed. Let me tell you what happened,” Kelly said as he explained to Johnson why the PR knew they would be leaving from that location.

Lee and Janet had been sitting there for an hour when Sandy left the office for a few minutes. 

“Can you talk to me now?” Lee asked softly after Sandy closed the door to the hallway.

“No, not here, I think the place is bugged,” Janet said with a smile.  “We’ll find some place outside.”

Lee grinned and took her hand gently into his.  “I’m sorry you got tangled up in this mess.”

“Lee, remember I volunteered to go.  None of us realized how different the outcome would be.  If you had gone, I might be taking you home in a coffin,” Janet answered with tears in her eyes.  “No one should have died.”

Sandy returned to the office with some coffee and muffins for Lee and Janet.  “You look like you could use a snack,” she told them as she handed them each a coffee and muffin.

“Thanks,” Janet replied.  “I haven’t anything to eat since dinner at the reception.  I don’t even know how many hours ago that was.”  She ate her muffin and Lee’s but he drank his coffee.

Janet put her head on Lee’s shoulder while they waited.  She was so tired she could barely keep her eyes open.  Lee had removed his coat and put it around her shoulders because she said she was cold.  They waited another thirty minutes before Leon finally left Johnson’s office.  Just before the door opened, Samuelson entered the office and stood by the door.

Leon stopped in front of Lee and Janet.  She lifted her head off Lee’s shoulder and looked at him.  “I’m sorry,” he told her and was led away by Samuelson.  

Janet looked at Lee with a confused look on her face.  “Where’s he going?” she whispered. 

“I’m not sure but they’ll take him somewhere and ask him a lot of questions,” Lee replied softly.

Johnson returned to his office for a few minutes, closed the door and made a phone call.  He opened the door to his outer office and looked at Janet.  “You can come in now.”

As Johnson waited in the doorway, Janet stood up and asked, “Can Lee come with me?”

“I’ll let him sit in on the debriefing since he was originally scheduled to go on the mission but with one condition that he doesn’t say anything.  Not one word or I’ll send you back here to wait.  Understood, Commander,” Johnson said tersely.

“Yes sir,” Lee replied as Janet handed him his crutches and they made their way into Johnson office where they sat down in the chairs facing his desk.


Janet opened her purse and removed the flash drive and handed it to Johnson.  “I hope it’s what you wanted as the cost to get it was pretty high.”

After what Kelly had told him, Johnson quickly put the flash drive into his computer and booted it up.   He looked it over and breathed a sigh of relief.  “Yes, this is what we needed.  Thank you for getting it and I’m sorry that Paul was killed.  The mission wasn’t supposed to end that way.  Please tell me what happened and start at the beginning so I can figure out where things went wrong.”

Janet took a deep breath, “After breakfast on Friday morning, Paul wanted to check out the aquarium and hotel.  We walked to the aquarium first but they wouldn’t let us in until the grand opening but Paul was satisfied with what he saw and we left to look around the hotel.  He wanted to see where the exits were, the kitchen and alley where the car was to be parked.  As we walked to the hotel, I noticed a man was following us ever since we left the aquarium.  Paul noticed him too and said he’d been following us since we left our hotel after breakfast.”

“You never mentioned someone was following you, when you called,” Lee said irritated.

“Commander,” Johnson warned.  “One more outburst and I will send you out.”

Sighing, “Sorry sir,” Lee replied.

“We walked to the hotel anyway and Paul made me wait for him in the hotel lobby while he walked down the alley.  I stood by the door and watched as the man walked by the entrance of the hotel but he didn’t follow Paul down the alley.  We never saw him again.”

He did exactly what I would’ve have done, Lee thought as he sat there listening to Janet.

“After he checked out the back of the hotel, he returned to the lobby to get me and we walked back to our hotel.  We went to the grand opening of the aquarium and I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary and Paul didn’t mention anything either so we enjoyed the aquarium and returned to the hotel when it was over.  Since the reception wasn’t until the evening, we spent the day at a castle with a winery.  Again I didn’t see anyone following us and Paul didn’t seem worried about anything so I assumed nothing was wrong.” 

He took her to a winery.  What else they did they do during their free time?

Janet took a drink of water from the glass on Johnson’s desk and continued, “We arrived at the reception, met the Prime Minister and his wife.  I didn’t see Leon right away when we entered the ballroom.  It wasn’t until after dinner that I saw him by the bar.  While Paul and I were dancing he cut in and told me when we go back to the table to knock my purse to the floor.  He helped me pick up the items that fell out and handed me the flash drive.”

Lee shifted in his chair, dancing, he thought as he tried to get comfortable.

“The weather was pretty bad so we decided to leave early from the reception since we weren’t sure where we were going and what the road was like.  Anton had us follow him to the kitchen and would lead us out the back door.  He told the people in the kitchen that his friend wanted to get away with his girlfriend and not be seen.  As we were going through the kitchen Leon followed us and said he was going with us.  Paul tried to stop him but he insisted so he relented and let him come with us.  We got into the car and neither one of them knew how to drive a stick shift so I had to drive the car.  It was slow going as the weather was really bad. We had been driving about thirty minutes when we saw a road block.  I talked my way past the two men and we continued on for another forty-five minutes before we found the road that would take us to the beach.”

I wonder how she talked her way past the two men. I’ll have to ask her.

Janet paused from a few minutes to gather herself as tears started to run down her cheeks.  Lee took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.  “Its okay sweetie, just take your time,” he told her as Johnson looked at him but didn’t say anything.

Wiping away the tears she started talking again, “We went to the house and Josif led us down to the beach. The chopper wasn’t there when we arrived but we were a little early so we hid in some tall grass.  It had stopped raining but it was still lightening.  I had a feeling we were being watched and I think Paul did too as I could see him looking around especially by a tree line that was near the one side of the beach.  The chopper landed not too far from where we were hiding.  Once the chopper landed and they opened the door we started toward the chopper.  Leon went out first, I followed him and then Paul.  The gun shots started as soon as Leon made his move to the chopper.  He made it aboard.  One of the air crew was shooting at where the shots were coming from.  I tripped and fell before I made it to the chopper.  Paul laid on top of me so I wouldn’t get shot.  I and the air crewman got on board but Paul collapsed before he could get in and the two air crewmen had to pull him in.”  Janet paused for minute before continuing, “They weren’t prepared to take care of any injuries as they and we weren’t expecting to be shot at.  The air crew did that best they could for him but he just…”

Janet stopped unable to finish her sentence.  Lee stood up and took his wife in his arms and comforted her not caring what Johnson said or did to him at this point as he had learned what took place on the beach.

Janet eased herself away from Lee, “I’m okay,” she told them and sat down again.  “I’m sorry Admiral but I guess the lack of sleep is catching up with me.”

“I understand. Did Gallagher say anything to you?” Johnson inquired.

Janet hesitated slightly before answering, “No, he didn’t.”

Lee looked at her and knew she was holding something back but didn’t say anything.

Johnson put down his pen after he finished taking notes on what Janet had told him.  He looked at Janet, “Thank you for taking on this mission.  I know the circumstances weren’t what you expected as was the outcome.  Also, Mr. Kelly paid you a compliment as he told me how you got by the roadblock.  He also remarked that you handled yourself like a professional operative.”

“Thank you sir,” Janet replied.  “May I ask you some questions?”

“Depending on the questions,” Johnson answered surprised at her request. 

“I would like to know how the PR found out our extraction point.”

“I’m not at liberty to tell you that information,” Johnson replied and stood up from his desk.

“What does that mean…I was almost killed…one man lost his life and you’re not at liberty to say.  I want to know how they found out,” Janet demanded angrily.

Lee sat there saying nothing but was proud of his wife wanting to know why as he would have asked the same questions.

“Admiral, I think you owe me an explanation.  I put my life on the line for you.  If Paul hadn’t gone in Lee’s place, I would have brought him home in that coffin,” Janet insisted.

Johnson looked at Lee and saw he wasn’t going to get any help from him.  “Admiral, I would like to know that information also,” Lee said calmly.

Rubbing his hand on his forehead he replied, “I do owe you an explanation about that and the rest of the mission.”  Johnson sat back down at his desk.

“This is what Mr. Kelly reported to me,” Johnson explained. “The PR knew we didn’t have that ADC chip because every time they jammed our equipment, we couldn’t respond back.  They realized we would be desperate to get the plans for this chip after the men were killed when they strayed into PR waters.  Kelly already had dealings with Janet so they used him to lure the both of you to Gromenten.  The reception was the perfect setting for the setup as they got access to the guest list and saw your names on it.”

Lee interrupted Johnson.  “How did they manage to get access to the guest list?”

“Kelly didn’t know as he wasn’t involved in that part of the setup.  He was instructed to call ONI and tell them he had a flash drive with the plans for the ADC chip and that Janet was the only one he would give it to.  They knew Lee wouldn’t let her come alone so they would kidnap the both of you as payback for catching Paul Gallagher, their top agent.”

“I thought the PR put a price on his head if he managed to escape?” Lee asked.

“Well...I made that up so he would help us,” Johnson told them.  “I’m not proud of that move but I needed his help.”

Janet rolled her eyes when Johnson admitted to lying to Paul.

“Kelly had a change of heart when he heard that the PR had killed the five service men for straying into their waters and he had enough of the cloak and dagger life so he decided he would defect to the US. The reception fit nicely into his plans so he would leave with you.   He didn’t believe the PR would actually give him the plans for the real chip so he checked out the plans on the flash drive.  He’s an electrical engineer and knew the plans on that drive would never work.  He figured if he was defecting he would make sure he gave us the real information.  He knew the head IT person and made arrangements with them to get into the main computer system.  Once in there, he downloaded the real plans for the chip and deleted it from their system.  He also knew that there were surveillance cameras and would be caught but hoped it would be after he had left Gromenten.”

“Why would someone risk his life to help Kelly get into the computer system?” Lee wondered.  “Once the PR discovered they helped him, their life wouldn’t be worth anything.”

“Lee, Kelly didn’t elaborate on that part of the scheme.  Whoever it was knew what they were getting into.”

“Obviously, they found out before we left but when?” Janet asked. 

“According to Kelly, they didn’t find out until the day of the reception.  The man that followed you the day of the aquarium opening was sent to make sure it was you and Lee in Gromenten.  Once they realized Kelly had double crossed them they sent more men to kill him.  They were hoping to take you and Lee alive before you got on the helicopter.”

Lee sat up a little straight in his chair, “How did they know where the chopper would pick them up?”

“Kelly said someone was going to put a tracker on the car.  Before he decided to defect he went to Gromenten and checked out the area looking for the fastest and easiest way out of the country.  He knew it would be chopper near the water as most of the country is pretty mountainous and not many places to land near the capital unnoticed.  He told them the best route to drive to the beach.”

“How would they know what car to put the tracker on,” Janet inquired. 

“Kelly believes the man that followed you, watched all the cars that were driven behind the reception hall that night.  He probably checked them out and saw the keys laying on the seat and took a chance that was the car.  They were tracking you and saw you were going in the opposite direction Kelly had given them so they hastily set up the road block you ran into. The only problem was the two men at the road block didn’t know who they were looking for so they let you go.  Once they realized where you were heading they sent them and another pair of assassins to the beach.  Kelly hoped the chopper would get there before the killers did but when the weather didn’t cooperate he knew there could be trouble.”

“Admiral, he never once said anything about the PR looking for could he not tell us that there was a possibility of trouble? Maybe we could have done something different,” Janet said unhappily.

“He regrets that now and is pretty upset at what took place,” Johnson told them.  “He had no idea that Gallagher was posing as Lee.  Does that answer all your questions?”

“I just have one more,” Janet said softly.   “What will happen to Paul’s body?”

“We’ll contact his family and make arrangements to send his body to them.”

“Will you please let us know where you send him so I can tell his family what happened?”

“You can’t tell them anything.  I’ll make sure they know how he died.”

“But sir...” Janet protested.

“This mission was vital to national security; they can’t and won’t know all the details.  I expect you to keep this information private just like any other operative is expected to do.  Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, sir and thank you for answering my questions,” Janet said as she stood up and shook hands with him.  Lee saluted him and they left his office.

“We better call Chip and the admiral,” Janet told Lee as they walked out of the ONI building.  “I still need to talk to you before we leave.”

“I’ll call and tell them to meet us at the airport.  Will an hour be enough time?”

“Yes, that should be fine.  Can we go to the reflecting pool near the Washington Monument?  It’s so peaceful there and open so no one will care what we’re talking about.”

Lee dialed Chip’s phone and told them they would meet them at the airport in an hour.  He then hailed a taxi for the ride to the monument.


Once at the monument, they found a place to sit not too far from where they cab dropped them off so Lee didn’t have walk too far.  It was a beautiful cool day and Janet forgot to pack a sweater so Lee took off his jacket and put it around her shoulders.  Before they sat down Lee leaned his crutches up against the bench and took Janet into his arms giving her a hug and a long deep kiss not caring who was watching.

“I’ve wanted to do that since you got off the plane.  I’m so glad you’re back safe and sound.”

“I’m so happy to be back.  I haven’t even had a chance to find out how you’re doing.  I see you still have the are your’re walking pretty well with the crutches,” Janet remarked as they sat down on the bench.

“I’m fine,” Lee replied with a grin.  “Jamie’s going to remove the stitches tomorrow.  Ribs are still a little sore but not too sore to take you to bed when we get home,” he teased.  “What did you need to talk to me about...was there a problem with Paul?”

“No not at all.  He was a perfect gentleman.  There were a couple of times when I was talking to him that I forgot he wasn’t you but his eyes always gave him away.”

“I’m glad you didn’t have any problems and that he kept his promise to bring you home safely which I wish I could thank him for,” Lee said sadly.  “Is that what you needed to talk to me about?”

“No,” Janet sighed deeply.  “Before Paul died, he asked me to forgive him for all the pain and trouble he caused us when he posed as you.  He regrets seeking revenge on us.  I told him we would forgive him.  It was so hard to watch him die.”

“I’m glad you forgave him.  I think he wishes he never hooked up with the PR.  He alluded to that when we talked before you left.  He was hoping his family would forgive him and take him back.”

“Lee, that was the worst situation I’ve ever had to deal with and I hope I never have to deal with it again.  I keep thinking what would’ve happened if you had gone instead of Paul, it makes me sick to my stomach. But I now have a new understanding of what you go through when you return from a mission that has gone bad.”

“It’s never easy to get over and it’ll just take some time,” he told her wrapping his arm around her, pulled her close and kissed her temple.  “I have a couple of questions I need to ask.”

“Ask away,” Janet told Lee as she held his hand.

“You went to a winery...dancing?”

“We had a lot of time to kill on Saturday.  Paul found a tour of a castle that had a winery so we went and the wine was pretty good.  We danced at the reception and I’m going to tell you Lee, he was a great dancer.  He said his mom made him take dancing lessons,” Janet grinned. 

“Just one more did you get the men on the roadblock to let you go by?”

“Well, I told Paul and Leon to pretend they were sleeping.  When the men stopped us I told them that we were on our way home from a wedding and they were both drunk so I had to drive.  Paul woke up and told them that because he didn’t throw up in the car he would get ‘lucky’ and put his hand on my breast. Sorry Lee but we needed to convince them to let us by,’ Janet said honestly.

“So he did get ‘lucky’,” Lee said with a smile.   “Good thinking under stress.  You’re getting good at this spy stuff but don’t get any ideas of doing this permanently.”

“No way would I want to do this permanently.  One spy in the family is more than enough and do you think the admiral and Chip would let me do it.  You cause them enough problems. And Lee you had nothing to worry about as you’re the only one I will ever want,” Janet answered as her stomach growled.

“Are you hungry?”

“Yes, how about we stop at a drive thru and get some burgers, fries and drinks.  We can pick it up on the way back to the airport,” Janet replied and looked at her watch.  “We better pick some up for Chip and the admiral as I’m sure they’re hungry again as it’s been a few hours.”

“Sounds good,” Lee responded as he grabbed his crutches and they walked to the street where they found a cab and asked him to stop at a fast food restaurant where they ordered enough food to feed a small army.  He dropped them off at the terminal where FS-1 was parked.  The admiral and Chip were waiting inside.  Chip was happy to see the food.  They found a lounge for officers in the terminal where they could eat.  When they were finished, they walked to the flying sub and prepared to take-off for home.  Chip helped Lee board, then Janet.  The admiral decided to let Chip fly them home so he would get some more hours at the controls. They would reach Santa Barbara in the early evening. 


Janet sat next to Lee and was dozing while they flew home.  Lee was telling the admiral and Chip what Janet told Johnson about the mission and how and why Leon decided to defect to the US.

“Lee,” the admiral said somberly, “I hate to think how different our ride home would have been if you had gone instead of Gallagher.”

I don’t even want to think about that ever again, Janet thought as she listened to the men talk.  She dozed off again and woke up when she heard Chip calling the institute letting them know they would be landing in thirty minutes.  Chip had no problems landing FS-1 and taxied her over to her hangar where they would take her back to Seaview at a later time.

The admiral unbuckled his harness and went over to the rear hatch and unlocked it while Chip completed the shut-down process. 

Janet undid her harness and the admiral helped her out.  “I’m so glad you’re back,” the admiral told her and gave her a hug.

“Thank you sir. I’m glad to be back.” Janet replied and took Lee’s crutches out of the sub so she could give them to him when he exited FS-1.

Chip finished up and was waiting for Lee to undo his harness so he could help him out.

“Nice flying,” Lee quipped, “Almost as good as me.”

“Watch out bro, I might just take your crutches and leave you here,” Chip joked as he helped Lee out. 

They didn’t even get out of the hangar when Jamie showed up and saw Janet limping.

“What happened...are you okay?” he asked her.

“I’m okay just a few scrapes, cuts and bruises,” she told him.  “I’ll stop and see you tomorrow.”

“No, you know the rules.  You’ll be checked out now...let’s go.”

Smirking Lee said, “You have to follow the rules just like I do.”

Janet gave Lee a dirty look as they climbed in Jamie’s car and went to Med Bay.  

Helping her get on the gurney Jamie checked out her knees and feet and asked, “How did you do this?”

“High heels on a rocky beach aren’t a good idea so I had to remove them.  Jamie a lot more took place on this mission than was expected.”  Janet explained to Jamie what happened to her and Paul.  She told him she saw the corpsman on the carrier and that he gave her an antibiotic.

“Everything looks good.  They did a good job on the carrier.  I won’t give you any more antibiotics unless they start to look infected.  You know the routine, keep them clean and covered.  I’m sorry to hear what happened to him. If you need to talk just let me know,” Jamie said sympathetically.

“Thanks Jamie but right now I just want to go home, take a long hot shower and go to bed.  I need to go to work tomorrow and think about something else.”

“I’ll clear you to go to work.  While you’re both here I’ll take out Lee’s stitches and check him out so he can go to work tomorrow too.”

Janet slid off the gurney and went to get Lee while Jamie cleaned up and prepared to remove Lee’s stitches.  Janet hated watching him take out stitches so she would stay in the waiting room until Jamie was finished.

When Janet went to get Lee from the waiting room, the admiral and Chip showed up. 

“Everything okay,” the admiral asked as Lee went into the exam room.

“Just fine,” Janet replied, “Jamie’s removing Lee’s stitches and I don’t like to watch him do that.  I’m cleared to return to work.”

“Don’t worry about going to work tomorrow,” the admiral told Janet.

“Thanks, but I need to work,” Janet told him quietly. 

“I understand.  Since everything is under control here, I’ll see you tomorrow,” the admiral replied and left Med Bay and returned home where he removed his jacket, undid his tie and went to the kitchen where he got a drink of water thankful that Janet was okay.

Chip stayed with Janet while Jamie took care of Lee.   “You okay?” he asked as she seemed a little quiet.

“Yes, just wish things had turned out differently and we all made it home safely.  Paul asked me to forgive him for what he did to Lee and me before he died.”

“Did you?”

“Yes, I did. He actually turned out to be a nice guy.  I feel guilty.”

“You can’t let it get to you; just let it go.  I’ve seen what guilt can do to a person,” Chip reminded her.

“You’re right but it’s going to take awhile to forget about it.” Janet replied as the door opened to the exam room and Lee hobbled out.

“Thanks Jamie,” Lee said as he rubbed the area getting him a dirty look from Jamie.

“Is he cleared for duty?” Chip asked with a smile.

“Yes, as long as he doesn’t go aboard Seaview until his cast is removed.”

“Jamie, good luck with trying to keep him off of Seaview,” Janet grinned.

The three of them left Med Bay, walked to Chip’s car and he drove them home.


When they arrived at the Crane’s house, Chip packed up his things as he would return to his house now that Janet was home to look after Lee.  He had quite a few items to carry so Janet helped him take his things to the car.

Before he left he told Lee, “I’ll pick you up tomorrow for work. Good night Lee.”

Janet walked Chip out the door and put his things in the car.

“Thanks Chip for taking care of Lee while I was gone and coming to get me.  When is Julie returning?” 

“Tomorrow, I really missed her,” Chip replied with a huge smile.

“I guess that means we won’t be seeing too much of you,” Janet teased.

Turning slightly red and embarrassed, “No, just at work I’m afraid.   Janet, I’m glad you got back safely,” Chip said as he gave her a hug.

“Thanks Chip.  Say hi to Julie for us,” Janet answered returning his hug and watched as he drove back to his house.


Janet returned to the house and sat down on the couch next to Lee.  “Everything okay, you were gone for awhile.  Yes, just fine.  We won’t be seeing too much of Chip as Julie is returning tomorrow,” she told Lee with a big smile.

Smiling back Lee said, “Sweetie, we do have one problem if Chip isn’t around...we’re going to have to buy a car.  Do you want anything in particular?”

“No but I did like my SUV.  Could we get another one of those?”

“No problem.  How about you take your shower and I’ll meet you in bed,” Lee replied as Janet helped him up the stairs.

Janet turned on the shower and waited for the water to get warm.  Once the water was warm, she stood under it just letting it run down her body.  She was surprised when she heard the shower door open and Lee stood there with a garbage bag wrapped around his leg.  Breaking out in a huge smile, she wrapped her arms around his waist and gave him a long kiss. 

Pushing herself away Janet told Lee, “Jamie’s going to be mad if you get that cast wet.”

Grinning, “I’ll take my chances,” Lee replied as he pulled her closer to him.

They finished their shower and Janet climbed into bed while Lee removed the garbage bag from his leg.  “Dry as a bone,” he reported.

“Hey ‘grandpa’,” Janet snickered as she propped herself up on one elbow and watched Lee.  “Are you ready for a challenge?”

“’Grandpa’ was that the best you could do... and of course I’m up for a challenge,” Lee snorted as he walked over to the bed.

“Lee, honey, you’re always up,” Janet smirked as her eyes wandered over Lee’s body stopping at the lower half as she pulled back the covers and he slid beneath them.

He proved that ‘grandpa’ was indeed up for the challenge several times that night.


Chip picked up Lee and Janet and drove them to the institute. After Janet said good morning to Angie and Wanda who were happy she was back unharmed, she went to her office and was grateful that her desk was piled up with work as it would take her mind off the mission.

Several days had gone by and she was finally catching up.  She was just going to get some lunch for her and Lee when the phone rang.

“Janet Crane, how may I help you?”

“Hi Janet, its Jenny Crosby, Paul’s cousin.”

“Hi Jenny, how are you?’ Janet asked softly.

“We’re fine; we just wanted to let you know that Paul’s body arrived the other day.  We’re going to have memorial service for him here in San Diego and wondered if you would like to attend.  Admiral Johnson mentioned that you wanted to know when he came home.”

“Thank you for letting me know, and yes, Lee and I would like to attend the service,” Janet responded.  Jenny told Janet that the service would take place on Friday and where it would be held.

“We’ll see you soon,” Jenny said quietly.

Janet hung up the phone and sat there for a few minutes before going to Lee’s office to tell him about the service.  Lee got up from his desk and walked to the front of it where Janet was standing.  He could see something was wrong.  “Sweetie, is everything okay?”

“I just got a call from Jenny Crosby.  They’re having a memorial service for Paul on Friday and she wanted to know if we wanted to attend the service.  I told her we would be there.”

“Of course. I’m sure the admiral will let us take FS-1,” he told her as he gave hug.  “I’ll ask if he would like to go as well as Chip.”

“Okay Lee,” Janet answered.  She went back to her office before heading to the cafeteria so she could wipe away her tears.


The four of them left on Friday morning for the short trip to San Diego.  Lee had arranged for a car to pick them up from the Naval Base Point Loma and take them to the cemetery where the service would take place.  Jenny and Jacob went over to greet them when they arrived.

“Thank you for coming,” Jenny said to them.  “I know it must be hard for you to be here after what he did to you.  Admiral Johnson said he was helping the government with a project when he was killed and that he saved Janet’s life.  I’m sure there’s more to it than he told us but I’m glad you’re okay.”

“Yes, he did save my life and we’ve forgiven him for what he did to us.  He was going to change his life and hoped you would let him back into the family,” Janet told her softly.

“We would have taken him back in a heart beat,” Jenny replied with tears in her eyes.

Jenny took Janet’s hand, gave it a squeeze and they walked over to where the service would take place.  Janet stood between Lee and Chip and wiped tears away from her eyes when the service ended.  Lee wrapped his arm around her waist and gave her a gentle hug. 

Thank you for saving my life. I’ll never forgot the ultimate sacrifice you made for me, Janet thought as she stood there for a moment longer before they walked away and returned to the car for the ride back to the naval base.

The group boarded FS-1 and returned to the institute where Lee and Janet decided not to go back into the institute office for the rest of the day.  They would go home as soon as Lee checked out the paint job on the right bow fin where he scraped the paint.  It was a little cool out so Janet grabbed her jacket out of her new black SUV.  Lee couldn’t understand why she wanted black but had to admit it looked pretty sharp.  They walked down the path to the above ground sub pen where Seaview had been brought the day before by Chip, O’Brien and some of the crew on duty.  Janet sat down on the bench and waited for Lee as he checked out the paint job.  He walked back to the bench and sat down next to her.

“They did a good job fixing the scrape,” Lee told her.

Smiling, “Did you have any doubts they would,” Janet replied.

“Never a doubt,” Lee responded as he wrapped his arm around her.  ‘You were pretty quiet on the way back from San Diego, you okay.”

“Yes, I was just thinking about Paul and how differently this mission could have ended if he hadn’t gone in your place.”

“I know what you mean,” Lee said honestly, “that thought has crossed my mind a few times.”

“I guess someone was watching out for us again. I’m afraid we’re going to run out of ‘get of out of trouble’ tickets,” Janet remarked as she snuggled next to Lee.

They sat there for a few more minutes watching Seaview bob in her pen before Lee said, “Let’s go home.” 

She helped Lee up from the bench and they walked back to the SUV.  Janet took Lee’s crutches, put them in the back seat and walked around to the driver’s side of the car and drove home.


The End.



Author’s credits:


*For story purposes only, I’ve stated that the US does not an ADC chip to show the urgency that Janet and Lee retrieve the plans for this chip.  The US does indeed have this chip, developed through DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and is working with a company to create a smaller processor that uses less power but is still able to compute the data required for the chip to work.  See the website listed for more information regarding the ADC chip.



Author’s notes:


I realize this story is very similar to “A New ONI Agent” written and posted in July 2013.   I did have a problem with what to do with Paul Gallagher and him looking like Lee Crane.  I didn’t want him to linger in the detention center for too long so I figured he and Janet would do a mission for ONI with him posing as Lee.  Even though the initial background of the story is similar; the mission, circumstances and outcome is very different.  I hope you enjoyed the story.



**See my story, “Trouble in Vegas”


***Fictional country on the Adriatic Sea.


**** See my story, “Double Vengeance”


***** See my story, “A New ONI Agent?”


Thank you Christy for all your help and suggestions.