The Island

By JSRobertson


“Mayday! Mayday!” the pilot yelled over the radio fighting for control of the crippled aircraft.  “We’re going down,” he shouted to the passengers on board.  “Hold on.”  Through the fog he spotted an aircraft on the ground on an island in the Aleutian Chain. He was hoping there was a place to land there.   He was going to have to try and land as severe icing was forcing them down.  Right before he touched down, he realized the aircraft he spotted earlier was one that had already crashed.  Shit, the pilot thought. He didn’t have enough power to go around and check it out as he had to land now. As he touched down, the right landing gear was sheared off causing a ground loop forcing the right wing into the dirt.  The plane cart wheeled out of control rupturing the gas tank causing the wing to burst into flames.  The five men on the plane needed to get out very quickly before the flames spread to the rest of the plane.  They were afraid that the other tanks would catch fire and explode. 



Two weeks earlier


It had been a long day at NIMR.  The admiral, Lee and Chip had just wrapped up their weekly Thursday meeting which took longer than usual because they were leaving for their annual required reserve training on Saturday.  The admiral had them go over everything that would need to be done while they were away.  Lee and Chip left the admiral’s office noticing that Angie, the admiral’s personal assistant, had already left for the day.  The admiral packed up his briefcase as he had another meeting to attend in downtown Santa Barbara with the mayor and said good bye to them.  Lee looked at his watch and was surprised to see it was 1830 hours. 


Standing by the door at Chip’s office, Lee asked, “What are you doing for dinner?  Janet and I are going to Giovanni’s, want to join us?”


Hesitating Chip replied, “Thanks but I’ve made plans.  It’s my turn to pick up the cleaning.”


“Since when are you turning down dinner to pick up cleaning?  Okay bro, what’s up,” Lee said as he gently nudged Chip into his office.  “You never want to get the cleaning so who is she?” Lee laughed.


Breaking into a smile, Chip answered, “Okay, you’re on to me.  You remember Julie Bates?  She’s the detective that worked with Aaron Thompson on Janet’s kidnapping case.”


Standing in Chip’s office with his arms crossed, “Yes, I remember her.  Dark hair, about five nine, long legs, brown eyes,” Lee replied.


“I hope it’s the spy in you that remembers all that or you’re going to be in trouble if Janet finds out you’re checking out other women,” Chip teased.


“It’s the spy,” Lee deadpanned.  “Get on with it.”


“I met her picking up our cleaning two weeks ago.  She was there picking up her cleaning and we started to talk as we waited in line.  I asked her out to dinner that night and we hit off,” Chip explained.  “We’re going to her favorite Mexican restaurant tonight.  I’d ask you to come with but...”


 “No problem, Chip.  I’m glad you’re seeing someone.  But I’m a little hurt you didn’t tell me sooner,” Lee complained.


“Just wanted to make sure it was going to last longer than one date,” Chip admitted.  


“Have a good time,” Lee told him patting him on the back as he walked out of Chip’s office and ran into his wife who was just coming to get both of them.


“Who’s having a good time,” Janet asked innocently.  “Are you two ready to go? I’m hungry.”


Lee took her hand in his.  “I’ll tell you later,” Lee replied.  “Chip has other plans so it’s just you and me tonight.  Are you sure you want to go out?  We could go home and have dessert first,” Lee said deviously.


“Dinner then dessert,” Janet chuckled as Lee went into his office, taking his jacket and cover out of the closet.  They walked back to Janet’s office where she took her purse out of her desk and Lee got her coat and helped her put it on.  They waited for Chip who was just coming out of his office and walked with him to the elevators.


“Good night Chip,” Janet said as Lee held the car door for her and she got in.  Lee got in the car and before he could start the engine Janet asked, “Who’s the woman?”


Laughing he started the car and pulled out of the parking place.  “Nothing gets past you.”


“No, you and your spy stuff are wearing off on me,” she grinned.


“The woman is Julie Bates.  She’s the detective that worked on the case when you were kidnapped.  They’ve only been dating for a couple of weeks so he wants to be alone with her.”


“I remember her.  She was very nice and good looking too.  I know what it’s like to be newly dating.  I remember when we first started dating you didn’t want Chip to come with either,” Janet said as she grabbed Lee’s hand and held it as they drove to the restaurant.




Chip drove to Julie’s condo which was in the northern part of Santa Barbara.  He parked the car and rang her bell where she met him at the door dressed a short jean skirt with a light blue top.  He looked her over and smiled.  She locked the door and walked to the car where Chip opened the car door for her and when he got in asked her for directions to the restaurant.  They went to a Mexican restaurant on the outskirts of Santa Barbara.  The restaurant was small, quaint and not very crowded.  They were seated in the back and were looking over the menu trying to decide what to eat.


“I’m going to have the chicken chimichanga and an iced tea,” Julie said closing her menu.


“I’ll have the same thing,” Chip replied and ordered for the two of them when the waitress returned to take their order.  “No wine tonight?”


“Sorry, I’m on call tonight. We’re short handed in our department as Aaron had to go out of town on another case. Is that a problem?”

“No, unless your phone rings,” Chip teased.  Julie smiled at him knowing he would understand if she had to leave.


After the waitress brought their iced tea, Julie asked Chip, “Does Seaview have any cruises coming up?”


“No, not for a month but Lee and I have to attend a two week training session back East,” Chip told her.


“You’re going to be gone for two weeks?” Julie remarked unhappily sipping her iced tea.


“Yes, since I’m in the Naval reserves I have to go every year,” he responded noticing she wasn’t pleased he would be leaving and was happy to know that.  “I’m leaving on Saturday.”


When the waitress brought their dinners, Julie finished hers much to Chip’s disappointment as he was used to taking home leftovers.  They were enjoying dessert when Julie’s phone rang.


“Julie Bates,” she answered.  “Okay I’ll be right there.”  She hung up the phone and looked at Chip.  “Sorry, but I have to go.  There’s been a kidnapping.”


“No problem,” Chip replied signaling the waitress for their check.  He quickly paid it, leaving the tip on the table and they left the restaurant.  When they got to her condo, he walked her to the door and gave her a long kiss. 


Catching her breath, “I’ll call you as soon as I can,” she said.


She quickly got in her car and drove to the station.  Chip got back in his car and drove home. Damn, he thought as he unlocked his door, now I know how my dates feel when I have to leave them.  He shut the door, put his keys on the counter, went to the refrigerator, grabbed a beer and sat down on the couch.




Lee and Janet arrived at Giovanni’s and he was glad to see them as they hadn’t been there for awhile. “Good evening, Mrs. Crane, Commander,” Giovanni said to them as he led them to a circular booth in the back.


“Hi Giovanni,” Lee answered as he let Janet get in the booth first before following her in sitting next to her. 


Giovanni handed them menus.  “Your server will be right over.  Enjoy your meal,” he told them signaling the waitress to come over to the table.  She was a new waitress and had never served the Crane’s before but did notice right away how good looking Lee was.


“Hello, I’m Sharon,” she told them looking Lee over as she put a bread basket and butter on the table.


“Hi Sharon,” Lee replied, “We’ll have a bottle of your house Pino Noir.”


“Yes sir,” she said walking away but not before glancing back to look at Lee again.


Grinning, “Well, you’ve managed to charm another one,” Janet remarked taking a piece of bread, put some butter on it and took a bite.


“Are you jealous?” Lee asked playfully grabbing himself some bread.


“Why of course,” Janet teased giving him a kiss. 


Sharon came back with their wine and poured it in their glasses.  They were ready to order and both had tortellini in marinara sauce.  


Janet took a drink of her wine, “Do you have everything packed for the next two weeks?” she asked softly.

”Yes, I’m all ready to go,” Lee replied knowing Janet was upset that he had to go as he took a drink of wine.  He changed the subject and asked, “Did we get in all the parts for the overhaul on FS-1?”


“Most of them, but the rest of them should be in on Monday, so they’ll start when they get them.  Sharkey doesn’t want to begin until all the parts have come in,” Janet answered finishing up her glass of wine.


“Good idea,” Lee answered emptying his glass and refilling both of theirs. 


Sharon placed their dinners in front of them.  “Is there anything else you need?”


Janet replied, “No everything is fine.”


Lee and Janet ate their dinner and were too full for dessert.  Janet as usual didn’t finish her meal and would take a doggie bag home to eat while Lee was gone.  Sharon noticed they were finished eating and brought over the check; Lee signed the charge slip, and helped Janet out of the booth.  “Thank you,” Sharon said as Lee and Janet left.  They walked up front where Giovanni bid them good night.  When they got into the car, Lee asked, “How about dessert when we get home?”


“I just might be too full,” Janet teased as she took his hand. 


Lee pulled the car in the garage and opened the door for Janet.  They both hung their jackets in the closet and Lee put his cover on the shelf.    He went into the kitchen and noticed a light on at Chip’s house.  He’s home early, Lee thought; I hope everything went okay with his date.  Janet had already gone upstairs to get ready for bed. Lee made sure all the lights were off and went upstairs too.  When he got upstairs Janet was just coming out of the bathroom.  He wrapped his arms around her waist while she wrapped her arms around his neck.  He lowered his head down and kissed her gently on the lips, deepening his kiss when she responded back.  She went to the bed, pulled the blankets back and covered them up when Lee slid under.  She ran her hands down Lee’s body stopping only when she reached her intended goal.  Lee moaned softly as he gently placed his hand on Janet’s breast.  They lay sated and sexually happy in each other’s arms as they fell asleep.




Janet and Lee woke up the next morning and got ready for work.  They were running late so they didn’t have a chance to get breakfast.  When they got to NIMR, they met Chip parking his car so they waited for him so they would walk in together.


“Good morning Janet, Lee,” Chip said as he held the door for them.


“Hi Chip,” Janet replied as they walked to the elevator and pushed the button.  They rode the elevator up to the second floor in silence.  Lee decided to talk to Chip later about his date. 


The three of them would be very busy today.  Wanda was going on vacation and would be gone the same two weeks as Lee and Chip.  Janet would take over her duties besides doing hers, Lee’s and Chip’s.  They went over to the waiting area where Janet made the coffee and went to her office while Lee went into Chip’s office.


“Morning Lee,” Chip said unhappily knowing Lee what he was going to ask.


“How was your date?” Lee asked cautiously.  “I noticed your light was on when we got home...everything okay?”


“Yes, we were having a good time and she got called on a kidnapping case.  Now I know how my dates feel when I have to leave them,” he lamented.


“Sorry bro,” Lee replied, “can you see her tonight?”


“I don’t know.  She going to call and let me know.”


They just finished talking when Janet was at the door with three coffees and a folder full of letters that needed to be signed and another with notes she needed to review with them. She handed each of them a mug of coffee. “Is now a good time to talk to both of you or do you want me to come back later?” she asked looking at the two of them knowing something was up and would find out later what the problem was.


Chip sat down at his desk, “Now is a great time.  The phones aren’t ringing and no one else is here.  What do you have,” he asked looking at the bulging folders. She and Lee sat down in the chairs in front of Chip’s desk. She took a quick sip of her coffee, opened the folder and handed each of them some letters to sign.  The two of them looked them over, signed them and handed them back to her.  “Lee, I have quite a few proposals that need to be addressed.  Look over what you can today, give the rest back to me and I’ll have the admiral check out the ones you don’t get to. Okay?”


Smiling, “Yes ma’am,” he replied as he took the folder from her.


“Chip, I already told Lee that all the parts are not in for the overhaul on FS-1.  I checked with the manufacturer and they should be in on Monday.  Sharkey doesn’t want to start until he has all the parts.  If I don’t get the parts by Monday, is it okay if I threaten to pull the contract on them.  This is the second time we’ve had an issue with some of their parts.”


“Do whatever you need to do,” Chip responded surprised that Janet would suggest that as she was usually pretty easy going.  “What parts are we talking about?”  Janet opened up her folder and took out the parts sheets and pointed to the ones they didn’t have.  “No problem about threatening them, we have another company that could supply those parts if we needed.  They’re a little more expensive but if this company can’t fulfill the order, by all means contact the other company and get prices and lead times.”


“Thanks,” Janet answered.  “I have nothing more to discuss with either of you right now.  Do you have anything for me?”  After waiting a couple of minutes and neither one of them said anything Janet got up, “Well if you have nothing.  I’ve got plenty of work to do.  See you both later.”  She took her cup of coffee and walked out the door.


Lee and Chip looked at each other realizing they had just been dismissed by Janet.  “Well, I’m glad I didn’t have anything to give her,” Chip snorted.  “I don’t think she would’ve have been too happy.”  Lee stood up, took his coffee mug and walked to the door, “I do have some things for her but wasn’t sure I wanted to mention them,” Lee chuckled.  “She doesn’t need any more work right now.”  Lee left Chip’s office, stopped to get some more coffee and went into his office.  He looked at the folder of work he needed to give Janet and sighed.  I better put this on her desk when she’s not looking, he thought as he sat down at his desk and opened the folder of proposals Janet handed him.


By the time the three of them had finished their meeting, the admiral, Angie and Wanda had come in.  The admiral already had Angie in his office laying out the plans for the day.  Wanda and Janet were by Wanda’s desk so she could go over with Janet what needed to be done while she was away. 


After reading proposals for an hour, Lee needed more coffee.  He went to the waiting area and saw that Janet wasn’t at her desk but could hear her and Wanda talking.  He quickly went back into his office, grabbed the folder he had for her.  He walked into Janet’s office and put the folder on her desk.  As he went back to his office he thought, I’ll make it up to her later.


Janet finished up with Wanda and went back to her office where she saw the folder on her desk, frowning she wondered where it had come from until she opened it up and knew Lee had put it there.  He’ll pay later, she thought and sighed as she sat down at her desk and went through it. 


The day went by very fast.  It was 1700 hours when they all decided to leave for the day.  Janet and Angie went to Wanda’s desk, “Have a good vacation,” they told her giving her a hug goodbye.  The admiral, Chip and Lee also wished her a good trip.  Angie and Wanda went to the elevators and left for the day.


Lee and Chip had cleared their desks.  Lee gave the proposals he didn’t get a chance to look at back to Janet.  He also gave her the ones he had gone through.  There were a few of interest but most of them he didn’t think they would take on so Janet would send out letters to them.  Since none of them had time for lunch they were deciding what to do for dinner.


Standing in the doorway of Janet’s office, “Since we’re going to be gone for two weeks and they never serve pizza, I vote we get that,” Chip announced.


Lee and Janet looked each other and nodded their heads in agreement.  The admiral walked to her office, “Have fun,” the admiral said to Lee and Chip.  “Don’t worry about Janet, I’ll take care of her,” the admiral told Lee. 


“Thank you sir,” Lee said gratefully.  He and Janet weren’t thrilled when the admiral made them move to NIMR property but they had to admit it was working out.  When Lee was on ONI missions he knew Janet would be safe and it was also nice to have the admiral around to look after her when both he and Chip were gone.


Janet rolled her eyes at Lee, “I can take care of myself.  I don’t need to be watched,” she replied stubbornly.


“I know but I still feel better knowing someone is watching out for you,” Lee remarked squeezing her hand.


“Admiral would like to join us for pizza,” Chip interjected quickly before Janet could say anything more remembering the last time Lee wanted someone to watch Janet.


“Sure, I’ve got nothing planned for the evening,” he replied as they headed to the elevators.  They got in their cars and drove to the pizza place a few miles from the institute where they ordered three pizzas and a couple pitchers of beer.  Chip kept checking his cell phone hoping to get a message from Julie.  Lee noticed and decided not to say anything but it didn’t get by the admiral or Janet.


“Chip, you keep looking at your phone.  Is there a problem?” the admiral asked with concern.  He was close to Chip as he was one of the first people he hired when he started building the institute and Seaview and was afraid something was wrong.


“No just waiting for a message from someone.”


“Anyone we know,” the admiral continued taking a swig of his beer.


“I’m dating Julie Bates.  She was going to let me know if I could see her tonight,” Chip told the admiral.  He didn’t normally like to talk about who he was dating but the admiral asked.


“Isn’t she the detective from Janet’s kidnapping case?  Nice choice,” the admiral said as he poured them some more beer.


Chip never did get his phone call but they did enjoy the rest of their evening. “Be careful,” the admiral told Lee and Chip as they walked to their cars after dinner. 


“Yes sir,” they replied. 


Before Lee and Janet left, Lee said to Chip, “Be at our house by 0600 and Janet will take us to the airport.  Sorry you couldn’t hook up with Julie before we left.”


“Thanks, and I’ll be there at 0600,” Chip answered walking to his car and driving away. 


Lee and Janet got in their car.  “You are in deep trouble, Lee Crane,” Janet said when he started to drive away.


He knew why he was in trouble and grinned, “Sorry I put all that work on your desk when you weren’t looking. I promise I’ll make it up to you when we get home.”


“You sure will,” Janet quipped as she sat back thinking about how much she was going to miss her husband.




When Lee and Janet got home, they quickly made sure everything was locked up for the night and went upstairs.  Lee helped Janet undress while she helped him.  Before long they were in bed enjoying each other.  Lee fell asleep when they were finished but Janet laid there watching her husband sleep.  When she put her head on his chest, he woke up briefly, wrapping his arm around, gave her a kiss on her temple and fell back to sleep.  Sighing, I’m going to miss sleeping with him, Janet thought as she finally fell asleep.


Both were awake before the alarm went off.  Lee went into the bathroom and turned on the shower.  He got in and stood there as the water ran over him when Janet joined him a few minutes later.  Lee gave her a deep passionate kiss which led to other activities.  They finally got out of the shower when the hot water ran out.


Lee put on his service blue uniform.  Janet took one look at him and almost dragged him back to bed. They walked downstairs Lee stopping briefly to pick up his bag.  Lee put it by the front door and went into his office to get his computer while Janet made the coffee. She made enough for her, Lee and Chip.  By the time it was done brewing, Chip as at the door with his mug. 


“Is it ready yet,” he asked with a grin.  He looked just as handsome in his uniform too.


“Just finished,” Janet replied as she filled his mug and filled one for Lee and herself.  They each took a bagel that Janet had taken out of the freezer and put in the toaster.  She knew Chip would never make it to the airport without something to eat.  She cleaned up while Lee pulled the car out of the garage and Chip stowed his gear in the car along with Lee’s.  Lee would drive to the airport and wouldn’t worry about Janet driving back as she had gotten quite familiar driving to and from the airport.


Chip got in the front and Janet hopped in the back.  “Chip, did you ever get a hold of Julie?” Janet asked after she put her seat belt on.


“No,” he said discouraged.  “I’ll try calling or e-mailing her when I get there.”


They would be able to call and e-mail the first week they were there but not sure about the second week as they maybe out to sea.  Traffic wasn’t too bad on the freeway going to the airport and they got there in plenty of time.  Lee pulled the car to the curb and got out going to the back and opened the hatch.  Chip and Janet both got out of the car.  Janet gave Chip a quick kiss on the cheek before he went back to get his gear.  She met Lee at the back as he took his gear out of the car and gave him a long deep kiss.


“I’m going to miss you,” she told him giving him a hug. 


“I’m going to miss you too,” he replied returning her hug.  “I’ll call you when we land,” he told her as he closed the hatch while Janet got into the car.  They had to walk in front of the car to get to the sky cap and she noticed quite a few women staring at the two of them as they went into the terminal building. They sure are a handsome pair, she thought. Sighing deeply, Janet made sure no cars were coming and pulled out into the road and drove home.  


It took her almost three hours to get home as traffic was terrible and there was an accident.  By the time she got home she was hungry so she took out the leftover tortellini and put it in the microwave. She took it out the deck and sat at the table as it was a beautiful sunny day.  It would have been a great day to go scuba diving.  Now that she was a certified diver, they hadn’t had any time to go out and enjoy it.  She ate her lunch, cleaned up and was contemplating going to the institute to work.  Lee took his computer with him so she wouldn’t be able to work from home.   Janet tried calling the admiral’s direct line to see if he was there but he didn’t answer.  She wasn’t allowed to be there by herself so she wouldn’t be able to go into work.  Janet decided to frame the pictures she found in the garage and hung them in her office.  When that was done she cleaned up the house and did laundry.  She went for a walk on the beach but had to turn back when it started to rain.  She managed to keep herself busy the rest of the afternoon.  She was reading a book when the phone rang.


“Hello,” she said quickly.


“Hi sweetie.  We just got here and settled in our room,” Lee told her.  “I’ll call you when I can, love you.”


“Love you too,” Janet responded as she heard Lee hang up.  At least I know where he’s at and he can’t get hurt, I hope. Janet thought.


After making and eating dinner, she watched an old movie but fell asleep missing the ending so she got up and went to bed.  The rest of the weekend went by pretty fast as she shopped, baked, and read some more. She was actually looking forward to going to work on Monday as it would give her something to do.




Janet was ready for work early Monday so she left right after she finished breakfast.  The admiral was just pulling into his parking place so Janet waited for him and walked with him into the building.


“Lee and Chip get to Norfolk okay?” he asked holding the door for her.


“Yes sir.  Lee said he would call when he could,” she replied pressing the button on the elevator after saying good morning to Howard.


“I remember going to those training sessions.  Sometimes they were very informative and other times boring, but you didn’t hear that from me,” he grinned.




It was early Tuesday morning when Janet’s phone rang.  “Hello, Janet Crane,” she answered.


“Hi Mrs. C,” Janet smiled recognizing Sharkey’s voice.  “We have a problem.  We never received the missing parts for FS-1 that we’re waiting for,” he told her.


“Chief, those were due yesterday. Let me call and find out where they are,” she said.  “I’ll call you back.”  Damn.


Janet immediately called Norton Manufacturing and talked to a George Gray.  He informed her that the parts might not be shipped until Thursday.


“Mr. Gray, I was told by Dale Horner that we would have those parts yesterday,” Janet told him looking at her notes making sure she had the correct name.  “Your company is holding up a very important overhaul,” she told him sternly.  “If you can’t get those parts out by tomorrow, I’m going to cancel your contract with NIMR.  This is the second time I’ve had a problem with a delivery.  I expect a phone call from you telling me those parts have been shipped.”


“I’ll make sure they get out tomorrow.  Please accept my apology for the delay,” Mr. Gray told her.


Janet hung up her phone quite forcefully. “Damn,” she said out loud.


“Is there a problem?” the admiral asked startling her as she didn’t notice him standing in the doorway.


“Sorry sir I lost my temper.  They just make me so mad. They promised me the parts and then can’t deliver.”


You’re going to cancel their contract,” he laughed.


“Well, I did talk to Chip and he said I could tell them that as there is another company we could get the parts from.  They’re a little more expensive but they guaranteed we would have the parts when we needed them.  Sorry if I overstepped the line.  It’s just that it tees me off.”


“Don’t worry about it.  I’ve never seen you so upset over not getting parts. I’ll check with you tomorrow and see if we got them.  If need be, I will contact the president directly.”


“Thank you Admiral, now I have to tell Sharkey he’s not getting his parts,” Janet remarked.  The admiral left her office with a grin on his face.  He knew that company was in trouble if they didn’t send out those parts.  Janet called Sharkey and he too was not happy but would let her know when they came in.




Wednesday was a blur as Janet was very busy.  She still hadn’t heard from Lee and was a little upset but knew there was a chance he wouldn’t be able to contact her.  It was late in the day when she received the phone call from Mr. Gray letting her know the parts were shipped out priority shipping and she should have them first thing Thursday morning.




Janet got to work on Thursday morning, made the coffee and returned to her office.  She had just booted up her computer and saw a message from Lee saying they were just fine, learning some new information and wouldn’t have to go out to sea and they would probably be home late next Thursday.  She was answering him back when she heard someone clear his throat by her door.


Looking up from the computer, “Good morning Chief,” Janet said.  “Just one minute, I’m answering the Skipper’s e-mail.”  She hit the send button.  “Okay, what brings you here so early,” Janet asked warily seeing a box in the Chief’s hand.


“Hi Mrs. C.  Everything okay with the Skipper and Mr. Morton?”


“Yes, Chief everything’s fine.  In fact they’re coming home a few days early.  What’s in the box?”


“We finally got the part but when I opened the box I noticed the housing was cracked.  I don’t think it was done in shipping as this thing was pretty well wrapped as you can see,” Sharkey replied showing her the box and its wrappings.


“Damn,” Janet said out loud.  “Sorry Chief, but I’ve just about had it with this company.  I’ll call them right now,” Janet remarked looking at her watch knowing the company would be open as they are based on the east coast.  She quickly dialed the number and asked for Mr. Gray.  Before he could say hello, she said, “Mr. Gray, this is Janet Crane.  I received the part I needed but the housing is cracked and don’t tell me it must have been done in shipping.”


“Mrs. Crane,” Mr. Gray replied condescendingly, “I can’t believe we would purposely send out a cracked part.  It must have been done in shipping.”


“Mr. Gray, I don’t care if it was done in shipping or it left your company like that.  When can I expect a replacement and it better not take as long to get that one as it did this one,” she said tersely. 


Shocked at her tone, “I’ll see that a new one is shipped out immediately,” he replied quickly.  “You’ll have it by Friday,” he assured her.


“I better.  Also, I will be talking to Commander Morton about this problem and let him decide if we should continue using your company as a supplier for NIMR.”  She hung up the phone before he could answer


Looking at Sharkey, Janet told him, “We should have the part by Friday.  Heaven help them if we don’t.  He sure pissed me off with his attitude.” 


“Yes ma’am,” Sharkey replied.  He was very surprised at Janet as he had never seen her angry.  He knew he better not get on her bad side.  “I’ll let you know when the part comes in.”  He walked out of her office shaking his head but smiling.  I guess working for Mr. Morton has rubbed off on her,” he thought as he walked out the institute office and back to the hangar where FS-1 was parked.


Janet took the list of parts that Norton Manufacturing made for NIMR and sent an e-mail to the other company asking them to quote prices for the parts and lead time.  The rest of Janet’s day did improve as she completed quite a bit of work so Monday wouldn’t be too bad.  She never did get the proposals to the admiral as he left early to have dinner with the mayor and his wife.




Janet was at work on Monday morning when it dawned on her that Chief Sharkey never called her to let her know that he received the new part.  She dialed the number for the hangar.  “Sharkey,” he answered.


“Good morning Chief.  Did you get the part?” Janet asked crossing her fingers.


“Sorry Mrs. C.  I was just going to call you.  It didn’t come in,” he sighed not wanting to be anywhere near her when she called that company again.


“Okay.  Let me know when it comes in,” Janet sighed.  “I’m going to turn this over to the admiral.  Maybe he can get some action from them.”


“Yes ma’am, I’ll let you know,” Chief replied.


Janet got up from her desk and walked to the admiral’s office.  Angie was there but noticed his door was closed.


“Is the admiral in yet?” Janet asked Angie.


“No, he’s not due for a few hours,” Angie replied.  “He’s going over to the laboratory.  He has a meeting with the technicians there.  Problem?”


“Yes, one of our suppliers isn’t shipping the parts they need for overhauling FS-1.  I’ve tried to get them to ship it but...”


“I know,” Angie laughed, “They act like we don’t know what were doing and only will give the answers to the officers. I’ll let you know when he comes in.”


Shaking her head in agreement Janet grinned back, “Thanks Angie.”


Janet went back to her office and logged in the new batch of the proposals that had come in.  She put them in the folder with the rest of them.  Hopefully the admiral would be able to look at them so Janet could get the letters out on the ones they didn’t want to take on.  


Right after lunch, Angie called and let her know the admiral was in his office. Janet picked up her folder of proposals and her notes on the missing part for FS-1.  She knocked on the admiral’s door.  “Come in,” he replied.


“Good afternoon, admiral.  Do you have a few minutes for a couple of items I need to go over with you?” Janet asked.


“Sure,” he replied motioning Janet to sit down in the chair in front of his desk. 


She took the folder of proposals and put them in front of him.  “These are the proposals Lee didn’t get a chance to finish, plus I’ve added a few more,” Janet said as she pushed the folder in front of him.


“Hmm,” he replied opening the folder.  “Looks like I have my work cut out for me.  I see some notes, what’s going on?”


Janet explained to him about the part for FS-1 and how she was having a hard time getting them to ship it. 


“Don’t worry about it.  I’ll take over from here,” the admiral told her taking the notes from her. 


“Yes sir,” Janet replied as she stood up.  “Thank you.”   She left the admiral’s office and returned to hers.  Looking at her desk she still had inventory to do and some more file updating for Wanda.




On Wednesday morning the admiral finally got a chance to look at the folder of proposals Janet left with him.  He knew they wouldn’t be able to take on most of these but was happy to know that they were still highly in demand.  After reading them for an hour he was tired of them.  The admiral leaned back in his chair and took a glance at a bulletin he had received regarding the Navy’s use of Robotic sub-hunters.* He was seriously thinking of contacting them asking if Seaview could be of assistance when his phone rang.  Reaching forward he pushed the intercom button, “Yes Angie,” he said waiting for her to let him know who was on the phone.


“Sorry to bother you Admiral, but Admiral Starke is on the phone and would like to talk to you.  He says it’s important,” Angie told him.


“Put him through, I’ll talk to him,” the admiral replied picking up the phone as soon as it rang.  “Yes Jiggs, what can I do for you?”


“Hello Harry,” Jiggs said brightly, “How would you like to take a tour of the new Japanese helicopter carrier, Izumo?”


“Helicopter carrier?” the admiral asked sitting up in his chair.


“Yes, they took delivery a few weeks ago.  They will be using it to search and deal with submarines.  Interested?  I’m going as well as Admiral Brandon Fisher who was also invited to look it over.  I thought you might like to join us.  We’re going to leave on Thursday from San Diego and stay a few days in Japan.”


“Of course I’m interested,” the admiral responded quickly.  “I’ll have Sharkey fly me to San Diego on FS-1.”


“What Crane or Morton not available,” Jiggs asked knowing that both of them enjoyed flying the little sub.


“No, they’re both away for two weeks annual training.”


“I’ll see you Thursday morning in my office,” Jiggs stated, “Bye Harry.”


“Good bye Jiggs,” the admiral replied.  He hung up the phone and buzzed the intercom, “Angie please call Chief Sharkey and tell him I need to see him right away. He should be in the FS-1 hangar and cancel any appointments I have for the rest this of the week and most of next week.”


“Yes, sir,” she answered.


Angie called the hangar and got Chief Sharkey on the phone.  “Chief, the admiral would like to see you right away,” she told him. 


“Yes ma’am.  I’ll be right there,” Sharkey responded.  Chief Sharkey hurried over to the institute office and went into the admiral’s office.  “Chief, have you started to overhaul FS-1?”


Taking a deep breath he answered, “No sir.  Still don’t have all the parts.  Mrs. Crane has been trying to get it for me.  It should be here today.  Sorry for the delay.”


“Good, I’m going to need you to fly me to San Diego as soon as you can get it ready.  I’ll meet you at the hangar in an hour,” the admiral told Sharkey.


“It’ll be ready, sir,” Sharkey said as he walked out the door and drove back to the hangar.


After Chief Sharkey left, Angie looked at the admiral’s calendar and noted he only had one appointment and made the phone call immediately canceling it.


Standing behind his desk, the admiral was packing his briefcase when he saw the folder of proposals on his desk and thought about bringing them with but decided not to.  He pressed the intercom button, “Angie, can you and Janet come into my office for a few minutes?”


“Yes sir, I’ll call Janet.”  Angie waited until Janet got to the admiral’s office before going in.  The two of them went into his office and sat down in the chairs in front of his desk.  He sat down after closing his briefcase.


He handed Janet back the folder of proposals, “Sorry, I won’t be able to get to these” he told her.  Looking at the two of them he continued, “I’m leaving for Japan to look over a new helicopter carrier.  I’ll be gone a few days.  Let Lee and Chip know where I’ve gone and I’ll check in with them when I can.  There also a bulletin on the top from the Navy.  Please have Lee check this one out as soon as he gets back. It’s about the Navy’s new robotic sub-hunter.  I would like his opinion on helping the Navy with this.”


“Yes sir. I’ll make sure he checks it out,” Janet replied taking the bulletin and putting it on top of the folder.


“Also, I didn’t get a chance to call regarding the part that we’re missing for the flying sub.  If it’s not ready when we leave on the next mission, we’ll leave someone behind and they can fly it to us.”


“Thanks for letting me know.  I’ll check with them again.” 


“When are you picking up Lee and Chip?” he asked Janet.


“Tomorrow afternoon.  Their flight arrives around 1400 hours if it’s on time,” she replied. 


“Angie, when Janet leaves to get Lee and Chip, you are free to go.  I don’t want you here alone.  Also, I’m closing the office on Friday.  The two of you have been working very hard these last couple of weeks, you deserve a vacation.”


“But sir, I have a lot of work to do,” Angie protested.  

”Me too,” Janet agreed. 


“I’m sure the two of you can find something more exciting to do than work.  The office is closed,” he reiterated.


“Yes sir,” they both replied as the admiral stood up, grabbed his briefcase, cover, jacket and headed for the door.  Before he left, Angie and Janet told him to have a safe trip.


Both of them were smiling after the admiral left the office.  Angie spoke up, “Actually Friday off is going to work out great as I can get an early start on my drive to San Francisco.  I’m meeting a friend for the weekend.”


“Lee will be home and I’m sure I can think of a few things to do,” Janet said mischievously.  The two of them went back to their desks to finish up the rest of the day. 




Chief Sharkey went back to the hangar to do the pre-flight check list on FS-1.  I guess not getting the part was a good thing after all, he thought as one of the mechanics came in the hangar and handed him a box.  Sharkey looked the address, smiling, his missing part had finally come in.  He enlisted the help of the mechanic and they finished the pre-flight check list.  Sharkey taxied the little sub out of the hangar and waited for the admiral.  



The admiral went to his house, packed his suitcase and left for the hangar.  Chief Sharkey met him at his car, took his suitcase and put it aboard FS-1.  Sharkey strapped in the pilot’s chair while the admiral strapped into the co-pilot’s seat.  It would take them thirty minutes to get to San Diego where they would land at one of the docks at Naval Base Point Loma.  The hotel the admiral liked to stay at was in walking distance of the dock.  Chief Sharkey accompanied the admiral to the hotel so they could enjoy lunch together before he returned to NIMR.   When they finished lunch, they walked back to the hotel.  The hotel was white with a red tiled roof.  If available the admiral would stay in the room above the arched doorway that led to the garden. He enjoyed sitting on the balcony with its black iron railing. Dressed in his service dress blues holding his cover, “Well, Chief, you can return to NIMR,” he said to Sharkey as they stood in front of the fountain with it’s blue tiled base which was the center piece of the hotel’s garden along with the two huge palm trees.


Sharkey turned to face the admiral, “Sir, are you sure you don’t want me to accompany you?  I can go back to NIMR and pack my bag,” Sharkey told him.  “I’ll be back in an hour.”


“No Chief, that’s alright.  I’ll be fine,” the admiral responded as he looked out over the garden.


“Yes sir,” Sharkey answered as he left the admiral and walked back to the dock and FS-1.  He strapped in, got clearance to take off and returned to NIMR.  When he landed, he taxied the little sub to the hangar where they immediately began tearing her down for the overhaul.




The admiral took his luggage, briefcase and went to the front desk to check in and was able to get the room over the arched doorway.  He took off his jacket, put it on the back of the chair and opened his briefcase.  He took the papers he had on the Japanese carrier and went out on the balcony, sat down enjoying the sunshine while he read up on the Izumo.  The Izumo was constructed in a shipyard in Yokohama at a cost of $1.5 billion dollars.  It was named after former Izumo province in western Honshu.  The Izumo weighs 19,500 tons and is 814 feet long.  The ship will carry nine helicopters and 470 personnel.  The ship can carry over twenty aircraft but it doesn’t have a catapult so it wouldn’t be able to launch fixed-wing fighters.  A planned vertical-take-off-and landing variant of the F-35 could fly from the Izumo’s flight deck making it an aircraft carrier in disguise.**  The admiral put down his papers and wondered how successful they could be in finding and dealing with submarines.  He sat on the deck a little longer before going back into his room to take a quick shower before he went to meet Jiggs and Admiral Fisher for dinner.




It was early on Thursday morning when Janet went to work.  She met Angie in the parking lot and they walked into the building together.  After greeting Howard, they took the elevator upstairs.


“It sure is going to be quiet around here,” Angie commented.  “What time are you leaving to get Lee and Chip?” she asked as she made the coffee.


“Probably around 1200 hours as it might take awhile to get to the airport,” Janet replied as she poured a cup of coffee when it had finished brewing.  “I’ll let you know when I’m ready to leave so you can go too.”


“Thanks, I hope to get most of my work done by then,” Angie replied as she walked to her office.


Janet left the waiting area and went to her office and looked at all the proposals.  She would take them home with her.  Since they were off tomorrow, she hoped Lee would want to look at them over the weekend especially the bulletin on the Robotic Sub-hunters.  She took out the bulletin and read it over.  She knew Lee would be interested in helping the Navy with this.  Janet worked all morning and managed to get most of her work done by the time she had to leave.  She turned off her computer, took her purse and closed her office door.  She walked to Angie’s office.  “Come on, it’s time to leave,” she said to Angie as she stood in front of her desk.


“Great timing,” she replied, “I just finished my last report.”  She turned off her computer and got her purse out of her drawer.  The two women turned off the lights, locked the door and left for the day. 

“Have fun and a safe trip to San Francisco,” Janet told her.  “We should be back to normal on Monday.”


“Be careful going to the airport,” she said to Janet as they walked to their cars.


“Thanks, I will,” Janet answered.  She left NIMR and headed to the airport.  As she drove along the highway, traffic wasn’t too bad so far.  She ran into a traffic jam about fifteen minutes outside the airport.  She knew she wouldn’t be able to park the car and meet Lee and Chip.  She would have to look for them at the arrival terminal.  She was sitting in traffic when her phone rang.  “Hi Lee,” she said recognizing his number.


“Hi sweetie.  We just landed and are going to get our luggage.  How soon before you get here?”


“Stuck in traffic, I’ll call you as soon as I get to the terminal.  Wait outside and I’ll pick you up.”


“Okay, just take your time.  We’re in no hurry.  Well I’m in no hurry but I think Chip is anxious to get home,” Lee remarked smiling at Chip who gave him a dirty look.


Laughing, “I’ll be there soon,” Janet replied and disconnected the call.


While Lee and Chip waited for the luggage to come out, he walked over to a corner and called Julie.  She answered the call on the third ring.  “Hello,” she answered.


“Hi Julie, its Chip,” he said, “We just landed and we’re waiting for Janet to pick us up.  Are you free tonight?”


“Yes, I’ve been waiting all day for you to call.  I get off work at 5:00,” she replied eagerly.


“I should be home by then.  I’ll pick you up and we can go out to dinner.”


“Well, I thought we could stay in.  I was planning on making dinner.”


Grinning, Chip replied, “That works for me.  I’ll see you soon.”  He pressed the disconnect button and walked over to Lee.


“Is she going to be home?”


“Yes and she’s making dinner,” Chip smirked knowing Lee would have to go out if he wanted to eat but knowing him as well as he did, they would probably stay in and not eat at all.


They collected their luggage off the carousel.  Dressed in their service dress blues, the two handsome men got quite a few offers to be taken home as they waited outside for Janet to call.  After waiting fifteen minutes, Lee’s phone finally rang.  “I’m just coming up the ramp,” Janet said, “I see you standing there.”   She stopped along side of them and got out of the car.  Lee went to the back of the SUV and opened the hatch.  Chip followed and they both put their luggage in the back.  Janet quickly gave Lee a kiss before climbing into the back seat.  She would let Lee drive home as he would have made her very nervous if she drove.  She gave Chip’s hand a squeeze after he got in the car.  “Welcome back,” Janet said happily.  “I missed both of you.”


“I missed you too,” Lee answered taking a quick look at Janet and smiled.


“Me too,” Chip said.


“Are going to see Julie tonight?” Janet asked nosily.


“Yes, I’m,” he replied looking very happy.


Janet was glad Chip had found someone.  She didn’t mind him tagging along with them but knew he would like to get married and start a family so she hoped it would work out with him and Julie.


As they sat in traffic, Lee asked, “How’s the admiral...what’s going on at is overhaul on FS-1 coming along?”


“My you have a lot of questions,” Janet laughed.  “The admiral is on his way to Japan to look at a new helicopter carrier their going to use to search and deal with submarines.”


Japan?” Chip questioned.


“Yes, he went with Admirals Starke and Fisher.”


“All the big guns are going,” Lee joked.  “Okay what else?”


Janet told them that they just started the overhaul on FS-1 and explained about the problem she had getting the parts and that she sent the parts list to the other company and was waiting for them to respond.  “I hope that was okay?”


“No problem.  Sorry you had to handle that issue,” Chip replied.  “I’ll call them tomorrow and give them hell.”


“About tomorrow, the admiral closed the office.  He said Angie and I didn’t have to come in because we worked very hard the last two weeks but he didn’t say anything about you to slackers,” Janet teased.


“Slackers,” Lee said raising his eyebrows.  “We worked hard too.”


“Just kidding, you have the day off too.”  Janet told them everything else that took place while they were gone.  She would tell Lee about the proposals when they got home.  She was paying him back for all the work he gave her right before he left.


They finally pulled in the Crane’s driveway around 5:30.  Chip quickly took his luggage out of the car.  “Thanks for the ride.  I’ll see you later,” he said as he walked down to his house.


Lee and Janet smiled at each other.  “He’s sure in a hurry,” Janet said as they walked into their house.  She couldn’t wait to get her hands on her husband.


“I know how he feels,” Lee replied as he set down his luggage and took Janet into his arms and kissed her tenderly.  “I sure missed kissing you among other things,” Lee remarked playfully as he hung up his jacket, undid his tie and loosen the top button on his shirt.


“How would you like to practice your undercover skills,” Janet said wickedly as she unbutton Lee’s shirt and ran her hand down his bare chest.


“I can always use the practice,” he replied happily as he put his arm around her waist and they walked upstairs to the bedroom.  As Lee went upstairs he saw Chip pull out of his driveway. He sure got ready pretty fast; he thought but knew exactly how he felt as he couldn’t wait to get his wife into bed.




Admirals Fisher and Nelson met in Admiral Starke’s office before for going for an early breakfast. Once they were finished they would make their way over to Naval Airfield at North Island to board their plane.  Their luggage had already been taken over to the airfield.  As they ate breakfast, they discussed the information regarding the Izumo.


Admiral Nelson spoke up first, “I read over the information you gave us.  That’s a pretty big carrier.  It’s almost as big as their Imperial aircraft carriers.”


“They may need it as Japan detected Chinese submarines in waters close to Okinawa and Kagoshima,” Admiral Fisher remarked.


“They can also use it for peace keeping operations and international disaster relief,” Admiral Starke added.  “Do you know who we’re meeting with?”


Admiral Fischer looked over his notes, “The Japanese Defense Minster Gen Nakatani.  He’s the one who invited me to look it over.”


The three men finished up their breakfast and went outside where their car was just pulling up to take them to the airfield.  Once at the airfield they made their way over to the tarmac where a Grumman C-2 Greyhound was waiting.


Seeing the airplane Admiral Nelson grinned, “We’re taking that old bird?”


Hugh, the pilot, responded, “Sorry Admiral, right now it’s the only plane available.  It’s going to be a long flight as we have several stops to make for refueling and the delivery of goods.”


The three admirals climbed aboard the plane and sat down buckling their seatbelts as the pilot and co-pilot prepared for take-off. The ground crew did a nice job of rearranging the goods that needed to be delivered so the three men would have room to sit comfortably.  The first leg of the trip would take them to McChord Air Force Base south of Tacoma.  They would need to refuel and drop off parts that were needed for some of the aircraft stationed there.  They were cleared for take-off and before long were at their desired altitude.  As they settled in for the four hour ride, the three men opened their briefcases and took out the work they brought with. 


The admiral pulled out a copy of the bulletin on the robotic sub-hunters and asked Admiral Fisher, “Brandon, do you know anything about these new sub-hunters?”


Admiral Fisher took the bulletin and looked it over, “Not really Harry. There’s another admiral involved in this but I’m not sure who it is,” he responded handing it back to the admiral who handed it to Jiggs to look over.


“This could be a real interesting program,” Jiggs replied looking at the admiral.  “Something you might want to get Seaview into?”


“We might want to help them out.  Maybe we can improve our detection systems by assisting them,” the admiral admitted.  He put the bulletin back in his briefcase and continued working on his reports.


The three men were so engrossed in their work that they didn’t realize they were getting ready to land at McChord until they felt the pilot expertly land the plane.  The three admirals unfastened their seat belts and got out of their seats as soon as the plane stopped.  When they got to the cabin door, they could see it was raining.


“Sirs, we’ll be here for about thirty minutes,” the co-piloted reported to them.  “Just enough time for a pit stop,” he told them with grin. 


The admirals stopped in the terminal, made their pit stop and boarded the plane for the next leg of the trip.  They were going to fly into Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage for more fuel and another delivery. The admiral looked out the small porthole window and could see the weather conditions were a little worse than before with a little more sleet than rain. After the five and half hour flight they all were glad to leave the plane and get something to eat before they started the short flight to Atka Airport where they would drop the rest of the goods and take on more fuel.    The five men boarded the plane and took off.   Admirals Starke and Fisher fell asleep not too long after they took off.  The admiral took out his briefcase again and finished up the work he had brought with him.   He finally sat back in his seat and closed his eyes.




Chip arrived at Julie’s house after stopping at the store for some flowers and wine.  She met him at the door and he handed her the flowers.


“Didn’t know what you were making for dinner so I brought a bottle of red and white wine,” Chip told her holding up the two bottles as she took the flowers from him.


“Thanks for the flowers, they’re lovely,’ she said smiling. “I’m making roast chicken, so I guess either one will work.”


Chip followed her into the kitchen where she took a vase from the cabinet and put the flowers in it.  “Whatever you’re making smells delicious.”


“Dinner should be done shortly.  Do you want some wine now?” Julie asked as she stood by the counter arranging the flowers.


“I can wait,” Chip replied went over to the counter, took her in his arms and gave her a long deep kiss.  Even though she was caught off guard, she returned his kiss with equal passion.


“How about we put dinner on hold,” Julie said breathlessly to Chip as she went to the stove and turned off the oven.  She took Chip’s hand and led him to her bedroom. 


They slowly undressed each other enjoying every moment as new lovers.  Julie climbed into bed and Chip followed sliding beneath the covers next to her.  Julie looked into his blue eyes before they made love.  “Oh Chip,” she said tenderly as they laid there catching their breaths.  Chip kissed Julie again as she nestled next to him.  He wrapped his arms around her and they both fell asleep.  They never did eat dinner.




Lee and Janet quickly dispensed with their clothes and climbed in to bed.  Lee gently kissed Janet, “I sure missed you,” he whispered as he ran his hands down her body.  “I missed you too,” she murmured back as she let her hands roam over him.  She gazed into his eyes, sparkling with mischief and love.  She felt the press of his body against her and he lowered his head and kissed her again.  “Oh Lee,” she said breathlessly as they joined.  Wrapping his arms around her Lee asked, “Do I need more practice on my undercover skills?” 


“Maybe just a little more,” she teased, “but how about a little later. You’ve worn me out.”


“Okay, sweetie,” Lee said kissing her temple as they fell asleep. 






Nelson woke up when he heard the pilot yelling mayday.  Once the plane stopped cart wheeling he quickly undid his seatbelt making sure that Jiggs and Admiral Fisher had undone their belts.  Harry, in the lead, ran to the front of the plane to check on the pilot and co-pilot as Fisher opened the door.  When he got to the cockpit he checked on the co-pilot but discovered he was dead.  He checked on the pilot and felt a pulse.  He undid his seatbelt and dragged him to the door.  With Jiggs’ help, they managed to get him out.  He and Jiggs’ carrying the pilot and Admiral Fisher ran as fast they could away from the plane before it exploded hurling them to the ground.  Harry lay on the ground and could feel the heat of the flaming plane on his back.  His head hurt as did every muscle in his body.  He slowly pushed himself up to his knees.  He looked around and noticed that Fisher, Jiggs and the pilot were still unmoving on the ground.  He turned to look at the plane, there was not much left of the burning fuselage.  He noticed not to far away from the burning plane was another plane.  He slowly stood up and went over to Jiggs who started to stir.


“Jiggs,” Harry said, “are you alright?”


Shaking his head to clear it, “Yes, Harry, I think so,” he replied as he too slowly stood up.  


Harry stooped down next to the pilot who was unconscious.  He could tell he was badly injured.  He had a bad gash on his head and possibly a broken leg. Nelson stood up as Jiggs walked over to Fisher who had a bad wound on his back from a jagged piece of metal he ran into in his hurry to get out of the plane.  Jiggs knelt down next to him as he moaned in pain.


Brandon,” he said softly, “can you hear me?”


Grimacing in pain, “Yes, Jiggs I hear you.  My back is killing me...what happened?”


“The plane crashed but I’m not sure why.  Just take it easy as we get a grip on the situation.”


“Okay,” Fisher answered as he slowly sat up.


Jiggs walked over to Nelson, “Harry, what the hell happened,” Jiggs asked.


“Something must have happened to the plane.  I was dozing when I heard the pilot yell mayday.”


“Me too,” Jiggs answered as he looked at what was left of the plane.  “Now what?”


“I’m not sure,” Harry said trying to assess where they were.  He figured they were on one of the islands in the Aleutians. 


“Harry, do you have your SAT phone?” Jiggs asked knowing he always had it with him.


“I did, but it’s in there,” the admiral replied pointing to the burning plane.  “It was in my briefcase.  Check with Brandon maybe he has one.”


Jiggs made his way over to Admiral Fisher who wasn’t looking to good.   Brandon, do you have SAT phone?”


“Sorry, no,” he replied shaking his head.  “I don’t usually carry one of those.”


Nelson walked over to the two men, “Right now we need to find some shelter before we get any colder and wetter.  There’s another plane over there.  I’ll check it out and see if we can stay in there.”  He had a strange feeling come over him as he walked over to the other seemed familiar.




Standing not to far away from the men behind a bush a man stood watching them.  He heard the plane flying very low overhead and knew it was in trouble. He saw the plane crash and catch on fire.  As he stood there, he watched some men exit the plane and noticed some of them were hurt.  He would go and help them.  He came out from his hiding place and walked over to Nelson. 


“Let me help you,” the man said before he got to the other plane. 


Startled by the appearance of the man, Harry replied cautiously, “Okay.”  He had no idea where this man came from.  He only knew they had to get out of the elements.


The man stared at Nelson and recognized him from long ago.  He remembered his blue eyes and voice but could tell he didn’t remember him.  “Follow me,” he told them as Harry picked up the pilot while Jiggs went over to Admiral Fisher and helped him up.  They followed the man to a small cave on top of a hill not too far from where the plane crashed.  It wasn’t very big but it was warm and dry.  The man helped Harry put the pilot on a small cot.  He noticed that there were items from the other airplane in the cave.  Harry then went over to help Jiggs with Fisher.  He moaned in pain as they gently put him on the seat cushions that were laid out in a bed.  The man went to a makeshift cupboard and took out some bandages.  He went to Fisher and looked at his back. It was a jagged wound and knew it should have stitches but he didn’t have anything to use.  He covered the wound with some gauze pads he had and wrapped some bandages tightly around him stopping the bleeding.


“Thank you,” Admiral Fisher told the man.


“You’re welcome,” he replied moving on to the pilot.  He wrapped his head in another bandage.  He looked at his leg and could tell it was broken.  He went outside not to far from the entrance to the cave and broke off a few branches from a sturdy bush.  He wrapped them around the pilot’s leg forming a splint.  He checked his eyes and could tell he had concussion and knew they would have to just wait and hope he regained consciousness.


Harry and Jiggs watched as he methodically took care of the two men.  When he was finished he went over to Harry, “We meet again Mr. Nelson.”




“Damn,” the air traffic controller muttered. “Where did it go?” he said turning the dials.


“Problem?” the supervisor asked as he walked over to the controller.


“Yes, the Grumman C-2 Greyhound disappeared off the radar,” he replied worriedly.   The supervisor looked at the radar screen and didn’t see it either.  He picked up the mic, “Grumman C-2 Greyhound 456 report.”  He waited a few seconds before calling it again.  There was still no response.  Taking a deep breath he said, “Hopefully they landed on Atka Island.”  He radioed the Atka Airport and identified who he was and asked, “Did a Grumman C-2 Greyhound land there a few minutes ago?  They were scheduled to land there for fuel and to drop off supplies according to their flight plan.”


“Sorry, no plane has landed recently and the weather is so bad that there is no way they would be able to land.  We have hurricane force winds, snow, and ice.”


“Thanks, Atka,” the supervisor responded.  “We better call the USCG so they can send out the Search and Rescue unit out of Kodiak.”  He looked out the control tower and could see the weather had deteriorated in the last hour.


“Any idea where they could have gone down?” he inquired.


Sighing deeply, “I’m guessing somewhere near the Fox Islands and Islands of the Four Mountains.  That’s the last report I have from their transponder,” the controller told him. 


The supervisor called the USCG and reported the C-2 Greyhound missing and the area where they went down.  They informed him that there was no way they would be able to send out any aircraft tonight.  The weather was too dangerous but as soon as the weather improved they would send out the helicopters.  “We better find out where the flight originated and let them know we’ve lost contact with them,” the supervisor said to the controller. 




The communications center at North Island in San Diego had just received a call from the USCG letting them know that they lost contact with the C-2 Greyhound somewhere in area of the Fox Islands and the Islands of the Four Mountains on their way to Atka Airport and they couldn’t send out SAR because of the weather.  Carrie, the communication officer, checked out who was on that flight.  After seeing who was on that plane, she didn’t want to make the calls to inform them that the aircraft was lost but had no choice.  She called Pearl Harbor where Admiral Starke was based and Washington DC where Admiral Fisher was stationed and told them they lost contact with the flight.  She used to work at NIMR and dreaded making the call letting them know that the plane Admiral Nelson was on went down. 


Picking up the phone Carrie took a deep breath before dialing.  She dialed the number which she knew by heart and got Trish on the phone.  Trish normally worked the day shift but was filling in for the night shift operator while she was on vacation.  “Hi Trish,” Carrie said quietly when Trish answered.


Trish recognized Carrie’s voice and could tell something was wrong.  Cautiously she asked, “What’s wrong Carrie?”


“I’m sorry to tell you this but the admiral’s plane went down in the Aleutian Islands.  They couldn’t pinpoint the exact location but somewhere in the Fox Islands and Island of the Four Mountains area.”


“Have they sent out SAR?” Trish asked anxiously.


“No, they can’t as the weather is too dangerous.  They will as soon as they can,” she told Trish, “I’m so sorry.”


Trish answered, “Thanks Carrie, if you get any more information, please let me know.”


“Of course,” Carrie answered and hung up wiping tears from her eyes.


Trish hung up her phone and sat there a few minutes as tears ran down her cheeks.  She composed herself as she dialed Lee’s number as he was in charge when the admiral was away.




Lee and Janet were asleep when Janet heard Lee’s phone ringing.  He didn’t stir so she knew he didn’t hear it.  She reached over him and took the phone off the table by the bed.  “Hello,” she whispered not wanting to disturb Lee.  “Hi Janet,” Trish said softly, “Is Lee there?”


“Yes, he’s right here,” Janet told Trish knowing something was wrong by the tone in her voice.  “Lee, Lee,” Janet said as she gently shook him awake.


“Sweetie, what’s wrong...are you okay?” he asked with concern seeing Janet with his phone in her hand.


“Trish is on the phone.  She needs to talk to you,” she told him as she handed him the phone.


Lee quickly took the phone from Janet’s hand.  “Yes Trish,” he said running his hand through his hair.


“Lee, the admiral’s plane went down over the Aleutian Islands,” she told him her voice quivering.


“,” Lee asked frantically sitting up in the bed.  “Have they sent out SAR...did you try to call his SAT phone?”


“The NCTS (Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station) at San Diego just called to let me know.  All I know is that the plane vanished from the radar screen.  They were to land at Atka airport but when the controller contacted the airport they weren’t there. The plane went down somewhere between the Fox Islands and the Islands of the Four Mountains.  The controller contacted the USCG to send out the search and rescue team at Air Station Kodiak but the weather is too dangerous to send out right now.   Sorry Lee I forgot about the phone, I’ll try it now.”


“No, I’ll try it,” Lee said quickly.  “Trish, activate the emergency call system so we can get the crew back.  We’ll take Seaview and the flying sub to look for them. I’ll call Chip.”


“Yes Lee and Lee, I’m so sorry,” Trish told him starting to cry.


“Let’s not assume the worst just yet,” he told her really not believing it himself and promptly got out of bed.  He dialed the number to the admiral’s SAT phone and it went directly to voice mail.  “Shit.”


“Lee, what’s wrong?” Janet asked seeing how pale her husband looked even with his olive complexion.  “Lee, tell me,” she asked again panicking.


He went back to the bed and took her in his arms, “The admiral’s plane went down in the Aleutian Islands and they can’t send out the search and rescue due to weather.  We need to get Seaview ready to leave immediately so we can look for him,” he said as he held her close.


“No, Lee.  It can’t be,” Janet cried tears running down her cheeks.  Lee continued to hold her as she sobbed. “Lee do you really believe he’s dead?”


“No, I would know if something happened to him...I would feel it and I don’t have that feeling,” Lee replied quietly. “Come on, we need to get ready,” he said as he wiped away her tears as they both got out of bed.  Janet turned on the shower while Lee called Chip.


 Lee dialed Chip’s phone and looked out the window waiting to see if a light went on in his house.  The phone rang three times before a sleepy Chip answered.  No light went on.  


“Lee, you better have a good reason for calling,” Chip remarked as he undid his arm around Julie waking her up.


“Chip, the admiral’s plane went down.” Lee told him somberly and explained where and that they couldn’t go find him because of the weather.  “I’ve got Trish recalling the crew.  We’re packing now.  I’ll meet you on Seaview.”


Chip had jumped out of bed and was pacing the room as Lee told him about the admiral.  Julie sat up pulling the sheet up over her and could see how upset Chip was.  “Okay Lee.  I’ll meet you on Seaview.”  Chip looked at his watch, “I should be there in forty-five minutes.”  He hung up with Lee, “I’m sorry I have to leave.  The admiral’s plane went down and we’re going to take Seaview to look for him,” he said as he got dressed went back and knelt on the bed and kissed her good bye. 

“Can you please let me know if you find him?” Julie asked seeing the worry in Chip’s face.


“Yes, I’ll let you know,” he replied as he gave her a hug and ran to his car.  When he got home he quickly showered, packed what he would need and was back in the car heading for the dock.  He noticed Lee and Janet’s house was dark and figured they were already on Seaview.


As soon as Lee finished talking to Chip, he got in the shower while Janet, who had already taken hers, packed their bags.  They were on their way to the dock thirty minutes after Trish called.




When Lee and Janet got to the dock they saw Chief Sharkey directing the crew on loading the supplies. Two crewmen came over to them and took their bags and would put them in their cabin.  Cookie had raided the cafeteria for the food supplies they would need and had the mess specialists loading those items. 


“Chief,” Lee said as he quickly ran over to him.


“Skipper,” Sharkey replied, “please tell me it’s not true.  It’s a mistake and they found them and they’re okay.”


“Sorry Chief.  Is FS-1 ready to go...can we take her?” Lee asked urgently.


“No skipper, I checked but the men are going to work extra hours to get her ready but it’s still going to take another three days.”


“Damn,” Lee said angrily.


Janet stood next to Lee feeling helpless.  It was her fault FS-1 wasn’t ready to go because she couldn’t get the part.  “I’m sorry, Lee,” Janet whispered tears welling in her eyes.  “If I got the parts in sooner, she would be ready and we could use her to find the admiral.”


Lee turned to look at his wife and could see the guilt in her eyes.  “Sweetie, it’s not your fault,” he reassured her squeezing her hand.  “I know you did all you could.” 


While Lee, Chief and Janet were talking Chip came running onto the dock and down to the gangway.  “Any more news,” he asked impatiently as he handed his gear over to a crewman walking down the gangway.


“No nothing more.  Let’s go below and plot the course to the Aleutians,” Lee said quickly as the three of them went down the gangway.  “Chief, see me before we shove off.”


“Yes sir,” Sharkey replied and went back to hurry up the men loading the sub. 


The three of them went down the gangway, into the hatch and down the ladder into the control room.  Lee and Chip went over to the plotting table where Lee found a map of the Aleutian Islands.  Janet went to the observation nose and stood there looking out the windows watching the men load the supplies. 


“They lost contact with the plane in the area by the Fox Island and Islands of the Four Mountains on their way to Atka Airport,” Lee said as he pointed to the area on the detail map he had placed on the plotting table.  “Look at all those islands, inlets and coves.  It will take us days just to search all of them provided when can get close to those islands.  Some of them are loaded with rocks,” Lee said frustrated.


 “Chip, plot a course to that area and let me know how long it will take us to get there.  As much as I would like to run at flank speed the engines wouldn’t take it.  We’ll run flank during the day and full at night.”


“Yes, Lee,” Chip replied as he took the scale and drew a line to the area they were headed to.  He measured and calculated the distance and course.


As Chip plotted the course, Lee looked at the radio shack and saw Sparks was sitting at the control panel.  He walked over to him.  Sparks, please check the weather in the Aleutians and try the admiral’s phone again. Also check with the DOD to see if they have located a signal from the plane’s transponder.”


“Yes sir,” Sparks replied turning his dials and contacted the weather station in the area.  He took down the information they told him.  When he called the admiral’s phone it went to voice mail again. He checked with the DOD and the USCG and took a deep breath after he got their report.


Lee returned to the plotting table just as Chip finished calculating the distance and time.  “Lee if we run at flank and full speed, it will take us three days thirteen hours.”


“That’s a long time,” Lee sighed, “but I guess we have no choice.  Where’s Sharkey,” Lee asked abruptly as he wanted to set sail.


Sparks took off his headphones and walked over to the plotting table where Lee and Chip was standing.  “Skipper, the weather is still bad.  There are twenty foot seas; forty mile per hour winds with gusts over fifty, snow and ice are still issues.  They expect the storm to last at least another three days.  Also, there was no answer on the phone and the DOD does not have a transponder signal from the plane but will join the search with the Coast Guard as soon as they are able.”


“Damn,” Lee said loudly breaking the pencil he was holding in half.  “Thanks Sparks.”  He left the plotting table and returned to the radio shack.


“Lee, what about FS-1, I assume she’s not ready,” Chip asked pissed at the company who supplied the parts. 


“Yes, the men are working extra hours to finish her overhaul.” 


Sharkey had just come down the ladder into the control room.  “Skipper, everything is loaded and we’re ready to go as soon as you say the word,” Sharkey reported.


“Chief, I would like you and Riley to stay behind,” Lee told him.


“But Skipper...,” Sharkey started to say but Lee cut him off mid-sentence.


“Chief, I want you here and wait for them to finish FS-1.  You and Riley can meet up with us.  There’s a lot of ground to cover up there and we really need her.  Push the men but not too hard.  I want the work done but I don’t want to have any problems with her once she’s finished.  You and Riley have flown her enough to know if there’s a problem.  We’ll shove off as soon as you’re clear of the gangway,” Lee said. “Thanks Chief for all you hard work getting Seaview ready to sail.  The admiral would be proud.”


“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey replied even though he was disappointed but knew the skipper was right.  Sharkey saw Riley at the radar console and went over to him, “Riley, come with me. We’re staying behind to bring up FS-1 when she’s ready.” Sharkey said as Riley turned over the headset to Phil who quickly sat down and took over for Riley.


Riley looked over at Lee and nodded.  Lee nodded back knowing he understood how important FS-1 would be in locating the admiral.


Sharkey and Riley went up the ladder and out the sail hatch and stood on the dock as Sharkey directed the dock detail to take up the gangway as Lee and Chip made their way to the conning tower.  Lee backed Seaview out of the dock and into the channel. They cleared the breakwater four hours after they got the call regarding the admiral.  Lee and Chip returned to the control room where Lee directed them to dive the boat and head for the Aleutians.


After making sure Seaview was on course and at the proper depth, Janet went over to him.  “Lee, we need to call Angie and let her know that the admiral is missing.  Do you want me to call her?”


Rubbing his forehead he replied, “No I’ll call her.  I better call Edith too.”  He went to the radio shack and asked Sparks to put a call through to Angie.  He didn’t want to tell her about the admiral but knew she would have to know in order to handle any phone calls or the press once word got out the he was missing.  He and Janet waited in the radio shack for Sparks who finally got in touch with Angie. She was very worried when Sparks told her that Lee wanted to talk to her.


“Angie,” Lee said quietly.  “The admiral’s plane went down over the Aleutian Islands.  We’re heading there now.  They’re not sure where it went down and haven’t received a signal from it.”


“No Lee, please tell me it isn’t true,” Angie pleaded.  “He can’t....” she stopped unable to finish her sentence.


“None of us want to believe it.  We’ll keep in touch,” Lee told her.  “Please let us know if you should find out any information.  They will call the institute first.  Do you know if Edith is at home?  I need to call her and let her know.”


“I’ll get to the institute as soon as I can,” she said softly as tears ran down her cheeks.  “Edith isn’t at home.  The admiral told me she was going on a trip to Africa with one of her charities.  She should be home next week.  I’ll inform her of what has taken place as soon as I can reach her.”


“Thanks, Angie.  Also, Chief Sharkey and Riley are at the institute waiting for FS-1.  If you have any problems, let them know.”


“Yes Lee.  Please find him,” she answered her voice quivering.


Lee broke the connection.  Janet could tell by the conversation that she was upset.  She rubbed her hand on Lee’s arm.  He gave her a weak smile before they returned to the plotting table. 




Harry, Jiggs, and Brandon stared at the man standing there before them.  He was skinny but not unhealthy looking.  He had long hair and a scraggly beard.  His clothes were tattered and worn.  The admiral spoke up, “You know me,” he questioned.


“Yes, sir.  We meet many years ago when you came to get me out of the People’s Republic,” the man continued.  “I’m Vladimir Shencko.”


Harry stood there looking at a man who had disappeared twenty years ago.




Twenty years earlier


It was early morning when Captain Harriman Nelson’s submarine docked after a six month deployment. He was on the quarterdeck waiting for the gangway to be put in place so he could dismiss his crew.  The dock detail has just finished putting it down when a lieutenant approached Nelson. 


“Captain, you’ve been ordered to report to Admiral Wentworth’s office right away,” the lieutenant told him.


“I’ll be there as soon as I dismiss my crew,” Nelson replied wondering why the head of COMSUBPAC in San Diego wanted to see him.  “Did he say why?”


“No sir, all he said was that it was important for you to get there as soon you docked.  So that’s why I’ve been instructed to escort you to his office as soon as I contacted you.  I’ll have someone get your gear and bring it to the Admiral’s office.”


“Let’s go,” Nelson replied as he turned to his executive officer.  “Mr. Carter, please see that the crew is dismissed and the boat taken care of.  Seems I have to report to the Admiral’s office.”


“Yes, sir,” Carter replied as Nelson walked down the gangway to the waiting car.  Nelson knew his boat and crew were in good hands and wouldn’t worry about her as he had the best exec in the Navy.


The lieutenant held the door for Nelson, who climbed in the back seat.  Shutting the door he got in the front and drove to the admiral’s office.  Once at the admiral’s office he opened office door and waited for Nelson to enter.  He knocked on the admiral’s door.  “Come in,” Wentworth said.


“Admiral, I have a Captain Nelson waiting in the outer office, would you like me to show him in?”


“Yes, thanks, lieutenant,” the admiral replied as he put down the folder he was reading and waited for Nelson to enter.  Nelson saluted the admiral who returned the salute and sat down in the chair in front of his desk.


“You wanted to see me sir?” Nelson asked. 


“Yes,” Wentworth replied as he looked at the folder in front of him.  “You’ve been called to Washington for an ONI mission.  You’re to report to Admiral Archer.”


Even though Nelson had done some ONI missions before he was surprised to be called up for one as it had been a while since he had been recruited.  “Did Admiral Archer give you any of the details?” Nelson asked.


“No sorry, nothing at all.  All I know is there is a transport waiting to take you to Washington as soon as you’re done here,” Admiral Wentworth responded standing up as Nelson also got up.  Wentworth shook his hand.  “Good luck, Harry,” he told him as they walked to the office door. 


Nelson left the admiral’s office and noticed his duffle bag was waiting next to the chair in the waiting room.  Smiling as he left, he knew his executive officer would have taken care of packing what he needed.  He walked outside where there was a car waiting to take him to the airstrip. He boarded the plane and they took off immediately. He had been in port for only thirty minutes before he left.  




It was late afternoon when Nelson landed in Washington DC and was driven straight to Admiral Archer’s office.  He managed to catch a few hours of sleep on the plane but the ride was bumpy as they to fly over some rough weather.  He still couldn’t understand why people wanted to be in the sky rather than under the sea where the ride was a lot smoother.  He walked into the admiral’s office and was greeted by Sean Grant, the admiral’s personal assistant.   “Hello, Captain.  The admiral’s expecting you,” he said as he opened the door for Nelson.


The admiral was seated at his desk and rose to shake Nelson’s hand after he saluted him.  Already sitting front of Admiral’s Archer desk was Patrick Grady.  Nelson knew him from a couple of previous ONI missions they had done together.


“Admiral, Patrick,” Nelson greeted them as the admiral motioned him to sit down.


“Harry, Patrick,” Admiral Archer said as he sat down at his desk, “We need you to go to the People’s Republic and extract a Dr. Vladimir Shencko.  He wants to defect to the west.”


“Why does he want to defect?” Patrick asked.


“He has the formula for a new nerve gas they have developed that is undetectable by standard chemical detection equipment and defeats chemical protective gear.  He doesn’t like the fact that they are going to use to subdue the people in the countries they take over.”***


“I thought the use of dangerous gases was forbidden by several treaties,” Harry remarked.


Admiral Archer looked at Harry over the top of his glasses, “Since when does the PR follow the rules.”


“Okay, so they don’t play by the rules,” Harry conceded.  “What are we to do?”


“We need you to go in and bring him out.  He’s in the town of Yantaxu just over the border from the country of Lodova.  He’s being hidden in a safe house by a family with ties to the US.”


“How soon do we need to retrieve him?” Patrick asked.  “I’m assuming yesterday.”


Giving the two men a wry grin, “Yes, yesterday.  You’ll leave tonight on a plane that will take you to the town of Grando in Lodova.  When you arrive, check into the James Hotel where you’ll meet up with Tanner Booth.  He will help you cross the border into the PR.  You can coordinate with him when you will need to leave for the border.  Once in the PR, it’s a short hike to the town of Yantaxu.  When you have Shencko, you’ll make your way back across the border and return to Grando where there will be a plane to bring you back to the US.  Any questions?”


Patrick looked at Harry, “I have none.  Do you?”


“No,” Harry replied.


“Well you better get ready to leave.  There’s a driver ready to take you to the airport.  When you have Shencko and are on the plane, call me,” Admiral Archer said.  “Also, please be careful.”


“Yes sir,” the two men replied as they got up.  Harry saluted the admiral while Patrick shook his hand.


The two men grabbed their duffle bags and went to the front of the ONI building where there was a driver waiting to take them to the airport.  The two men boarded the plane that would take them to the city of Grando.  The ten and half hour flight and the seven hour time change left the two men exhausted so they took a cab to the James Hotel and checked in for some much needed sleep before they would meet Tanner Booth. 




Patrick woke up at 8:30 the next morning and quickly showered and dressed.  He went to Harry’s room and knocked on the door.  Harry answered the door already dressed and ready to go.


“I’m starving,” Patrick told Harry since they hadn’t had anything to eat since they left Washington.


“Me too,” Harry replied, “but we’ll get something to eat after we contact Booth.”


Patrick agreed, took out his cell phone and called the number Admiral Archer had given him for Booth.  He answered the phone on the third ring.


“Tanner, this is Patrick Grady.  When and where can we meet?” 


“Yes, Patrick I’ve been expecting your call.  How about we meet at a small cafe, The Swan, down the street from your hotel?  Say around 8:45.”


Patrick looked at his watch, “8:45 is fine,” he replied looking at Harry who nodded yes.


“How will I know it’s you?” Tanner asked.


“I’ll have the book War and Peace with me,” Patrick told him.


“Okay, I’ll see you soon,” Tanner answered hanging up.


It was 8:40 and they were getting ready to leave when Patrick grabbed the book off the shelf.


Nelson chuckled, “That’s some heavy reading you’re taking with you.  You’re not planning on reading that are you?”


Snickering too, Patrick said, “It’s the first book I saw sitting on the shelf.  No way, it’s far too long and not my type of literature.”


The two men walked out the hotel room and went down to the lobby.  They left the hotel and saw The Swan cafe was only seven or eight doors away.  They entered the cafe, found a table and ordered coffee.  They waited awhile before ordering breakfast looking for Tanner to show up.  It was already 9:00 and they didn’t want to wait any longer so they ordered their food.


As they were eating, Harry looked at his watch, it was now 9:15 and Tanner still hadn’t showed up.  “Now what,” Harry remarked. 


“I don’t know.  I’m sure he said to meet him here,” Patrick commented.


The two men finished up their breakfast, paid the bill and were walking out the door when a tall man with dark hair graying at the temples waited for them to leave the cafe.  He noticed the book in Patrick’s hand.


“Patrick,” Tanner said shaking Patrick’s hand, “Sorry I’m late but I got hung up at work.  Let’s walk while we talk.”


“Tanner, this is Harry Nelson,” Patrick said introducing Nelson.  Harry shook Tanner’s hand.


The three men walked down the street.  Tanner looked over his shoulder a couple of times but showed no concern that someone was following them.


Harry started the conversation, “Where is Dr. to do we get to him?”


“Dr. Shencko is hiding in a safe house in Yantaxu.  It’s a small town just over the border in the People’s Republic.   It’s a three mile walk to the border from here and then another three mile hike to the house where he’s being hidden.  We can take the road until we get near the border.  The house is on the edge of town so we’ll have to walk in the woods once we cross in the PR. It starts getting dark around 6:00 so I suggest we leave then.  I’ll meet you at the hotel.”


“Alright, we’ll meet you outside the hotel at 6:00,” Patrick responded as the three men parted company.  Tanner turned around and went back to the cafe while Patrick and Harry continued walking down the street.  


The two men continued walking around the town stopping for a late lunch.  They went back to the hotel and changed into their black pants, turtlenecks, boots and jackets.  The two men packed up their duffle bags and had them ready to go when they returned.  Patrick made sure War and Peace was put back on the shelf.  They took the elevator downstairs and went out the door where Tanner was waiting for them.  They walked three miles and ducked into the woods before they crossed the border into the PR.  The woods weren’t too dense and they made the additional three miles before it was totally dark. 


Tanner motioned for the two men to stay out of sight while he knocked on the door to the small cottage.  A woman opened the door and greeted Tanner with a hug.   They could see him talking to her.  She nodded her head and Tanner signaled the men to come to the door.  They quickly went inside where Tanner shut and locked the door. 

“Tess, this is Patrick and Harry.  They’re here to take Dr, Shencko back to the United States,” Tanner told her.  Tanner explained, “Tess is my daughter.  She lives here in the People’s Republic because the land and house have been in her husband’s family for generations.  He can’t bear to leave it so they stay here and help out anyone who wants to leave.”

“Nice to meet you,” Tess replied.  “Dr. Shencko’s been waiting for you.”  She led them to the kitchen where she opened up the pantry door.  She reached under one of the shelves and pressed a small button.  The wall opened up and there was a narrow staircase that led down to the cellar.  Tanner, Patrick and Harry followed her down to the small room with a dirt floor and one dim light. The room was chilly so Shencko sat on the small cot wrapped in a quilt.  He stood up when they got to the bottom of the stairs.

Tanner introduced Patrick and Harry to Dr. Shencko.  “These men will see that you get out of the country,” Tanner told him.  “I suggest we get going. We don’t want to be wandering the streets in town too long after dark.  There aren’t many people out after dark around here and we don’t want to be too conspicuous.”

Shencko gathered his small backpack.  “Thank you for taking care of me,” Shencko said to Tess.  “I appreciate your willingness to help me.”

“You’re welcome.  I don’t know why you want to defect but I’m glad you’re on our side now.” 

They made their way upstairs where Tanner looked out the door and saw no one was around.  After Tanner gave his daughter a kiss good bye, the four men made their way back through the forest.  Just before they crossed the border back into Lodova it stated to rain.  Luckily for them, they made it to the road and walked back into town not looking too wet and muddy.  They stopped in front of the hotel where they bid good bye to Tanner.

“Thanks for your help,” Harry said shaking Tanner’s hand.

“No problem,” Tanner replied, “There will be a plane waiting for you at dawn.  Good luck, gentlemen.”

The other two men shook Tanner’s hand as he turned and walked back towards the edge of town.  Harry, Patrick and Shencko walked into the hotel and took the elevator up to their rooms.   Dr. Shencko would stay in Nelson’s room.  He was looking forward to a long hot shower and a real bed to sleep in.  Harry let him shower first.  He thought he would never get out.  Harry jumped in the shower and by the time he was finished Shencko was sound asleep.  So much for talking to him, Harry thought as he climbed in the other bed and fell asleep too.



It wasn’t quite light out when Harry woke up and noticed Dr. Shencko was still sleeping.  They needed to get an early start as it would be a long flight back to the States.  Just as Harry finished his morning ablutions, Dr. Shencko woke.


Good morning,” Harry said to him as he got out of bed.  “Sleep well?”      


“Yes sir, I did,” Shencko replied.  “I’m sorry I fell asleep last night but I didn’t get much sleep while I waited for you to come.  Mr. Nelson I want you to take the documents with the formula.  I would feel better if it were in your hands.”  He handed Harry the file with the information inside.  Harry opened it up and scanned over the documents. He would read them more carefully on the flight home.


“Please call me Harry.  I just have a few questions,” Harry asked. “How did you develop this formula and how did the PR get it and you?”


“I worked for an independent laboratory before it was taken over by the People’s Republic.  Another scientist and I were working on another type of gas and discovered it accidentally. He went to the man in charge of the laboratory and told him about it.  When I found that out, I knew I had to take the formula and leave the country.  One of the workers in the plant works for a group of people that help defectors escape to another country.  They put me in contact with Mr. Booth‘s daughter.  I found out Tanner’s been working for the underground group for many years so I knew I could trust him.  Besides I didn‘t think he would put his daughter in danger if he wasn‘t legitimate.”

“We’re glad you did.  You better get ready as we have a long plane ride ahead of us,” Harry told him as there was a knock on the door.  Harry went over to the door looked out the peep hole and saw Patrick standing there.  When he opened the door, Patrick had three cups of coffee and a white bag with fresh baked rolls and jam.  Breakfast was served.  Dr. Shencko quickly got dressed and joined the other two men for breakfast.  They quickly finished their coffee and rolls.  Patrick went back to his room, got his duffle bag and met the other two in the hallway where they walked to the elevators.  Patrick paid for their rooms and the three men walked towards to airport where the plane was waiting for them. 




The airport was fairly large and busy but they were directed to their plane in a remote section of the airport.  The two pilots were waiting for them and helped them stow their gear.  The three men boarded the military transport plane that was sent by ONI to pick them up.


“Welcome aboard, gentlemen.  I’m Skip, and Charlie is your co-pilot,” the pilot told the three men as they made their way to their seats.  “We had to change our flight plan as we’ve been ordered to take you to the west coast of the US.   It will take us a longer as there’s a severe weather systems bombarding Europe so we’ll have fly east and make several stops for fuel but our final stop will be San Diego.  Please buckle your seat belts as we prepare to take off.”

The men settled in for the long ride. They made several stops for fuel and were able to get out of the plane on a few of them.  Dr. Shencko and Patrick fell asleep for most of the flight.  After dozing for a little while, Harry opened the folder on the nerve gas and read the information more carefully. He knew a little about nerve gas and how it worked but after looking at this formula and the test results, he was glad it was in the United States’ hands and not the People’s Republic’s as this was a nasty gas.




Their next fueling stop would be Adak Island in Alaska.  Vladimir Shencko breathed a sigh of relief when they landed as he had finally made it to the United States.  They would stop not only for fuel but also get something to eat. After making sure the plane was refueled, Skip and Charlie joined the other men at the officer’s club.  The five men quickly finished up their meal and boarded the plane. They were cleared for take-off and headed for the air base near Tacoma, Washington.  This was their last stop before finally landing in San Diego.  




As they flew over the Aleutian Islands, Harry resumed reading the information on the nerve gas when he felt the plane shudder.  He looked over to Patrick who looked back at Harry with a worried look on his face.  The two of them had flown enough to know that something wasn’t right. Harry glanced out the window and could see one of the engines had stopped working.  


Before too long Charlie opened the cockpit door. “Gentlemen, hold on.  We’re going down,” he told them as they watched Skip struggle to maintain control of the aircraft while Charlie was on the radio sending out a mayday call.  After skimming over the tops of the tall brush they landed hard and bounced back up again. Before making a belly landing, Skip shut off the master switch killing all power to the aircraft so it wouldn’t catch on fire.  They all sat there taking deep breaths realizing they had made it to the ground in one piece.  Skip activated the aircraft’s locating beacon hoping it would work and send out a signal as to where they went down.  Skip and Charlie un-strapped their belts and went to checkout the condition of the aircraft and the three men. They were happy to see none of them were hurt only shaken up.  Charlie opened the door to the aircraft and looked over what he could see of the plane while Skip looked out the window on the other side.  They both looked at the wings checking to see if the fuel lines had been ruptured in the landing.  Neither one saw any fuel leaking.  Charlie looked down to the ground; if they needed to evacuate the aircraft it wouldn’t be too bad of a jump.  The weather was foggy, cold and rainy.  As long as the airplane didn’t catch fire they would be able to stay on board. 


Charlie walked back to the pilot and reported what he saw. Skip turned to the three men.  “From what we can see, the airplane is intact and no fueling is leaking from wings which means we can stay on board.  I’ve activated the locating beacon so hopefully they will find us soon.  I’m sure by now, they’ve noticed we’re no longer on their radar and will send out the search and rescue team, so I suggest we sit back and wait for help to arrive.” 


After sitting on the plane for a few hours, they needed to stretch their legs so they decided to leave the aircraft.  The rain had stopped but there were plenty of low hanging clouds.  Skip and Charlie jumped out first and helped the other men out.  It was good to get some fresh air as the aircraft was stuffy and starting to smell like jet fuel.  They all stayed near the plane except for Dr. Shencko.  He wandered a little further away to relieve himself.  They were getting ready to re-board the plane when they couldn’t find him.


“Where’s Shencko,” Patrick asked as he looked to the spot where he was last seen.


He couldn’t have just vanished,” Harry said as they combed the area around the plane.  “He was here a few minutes ago.  Since no one has approached us there must be no one on this island.  Quite a few of the Aleutian Island are uninhabited.”


The four men separated and looked for Dr. Shencko.  The island wasn’t very large but the brush was so overgrown in places, you couldn’t see anyone if they were right next to you.  They continued searching when they heard a helicopter approaching.  They ran back to the aircraft hoping they would see them standing there as they waved white towels they got from the plane. 


“There they are,” the chopper pilot said to his co-pilot as he looked for a spot to land.  “We’ve found them,” he reported to his base just before setting down the chopper not to far away from the plane.  Harry quickly scrambled back into the plane to get his pack with the formula.  The co-pilot jumped out of the chopper and shook hands with Skip.


“Man, we’re glad to see you,” Ship told the co-pilot of the chopper.


“Same here but we need to take off right away.  There’s a huge storm heading this way.  We were about to give up and return to base when we decided to come over further south.”


“We can’t find one of the men,” Harry told them.  “We can’t leave without him.”


“I’m sorry sir, but if we don’t go now, it will be days before we’ll be able to get out of here. There are hurricane force winds and snow not to far from here and heading this way.”


“Come on Harry,” Patrick said tugging at Harry’s sleeve.  “We can’t find him.  We have to go.”


Harry reluctantly boarded the chopper along with Patrick, Skip and Charlie.  He continued to scour the island looking for Vladimir as they flew away from the impending storm to Kodiak Island.






Seaview had been sailing since 0700 and was making good time as she sailed towards the Aleutian Islands.  Lee, Chip and Janet had been up since 0300.  It was now 1900 hours and none of them had anything to eat except a quick sandwich at 1000 hours in the observation nose and even that Jamie insisted they eat.  They decided to meet in the wardroom for dinner.  As Cookie brought them over some stew and freshly made bread, Janet could see the lines of worry and exhaustion etched on her husband’s face as well as Chip’s face too. 


“As soon as we’re done with dinner, let’s hit the sack.  O’Brien and Taper can take over until we come back on duty at 0700.  I’m bushed,” Chip said as they finished up and Cookie took away their plates.  He put a plate of chocolate chip cookies in front of them but none of them took one.  Cookie wasn’t upset as he could see how tired the three of them looked.


“Me too,” Janet replied hoping Lee would agree with them.


“I’m going to do a quick walk around the boat.  I just want to make sure everything is running smoothly.” Looking at Janet, “I’ll be there shortly,” he said as they left the wardroom.  Chip and Janet headed to their cabins as Lee headed in the opposite direction.




Janet got ready for bed and fell asleep as soon as she laid down.  She woke up three hours later and Lee still hadn’t come back.  She quickly pulled on a pair of NIMR sweats and made her way down the spiral staircase.  She noticed the crash doors between the control room and observation nose were closed. She saw Lee sitting in the admiral’s ‘front porch’ watching Seaview plow through the water.  She walked over to him and put her hands on his shoulders.  He jumped slightly not expecting anyone to be there as he didn’t hear her come down the stairs.  Janet walked around to face Lee. When she stooped down to his level she could see his eyes were wet.   She pulled up a chair and sat facing her husband.  “I never realized how much he really means to me,” Lee told her, “I can’t lose him.”


She looked Lee in the eyes, “He means a lot to me too,” she replied softly.  “I know he’s okay, I just feel it,” she told him taking his hands into hers.  “We’ll find him but you’re not going to be able to help look for him if you’re exhausted.  Lee, you’ve been up since 0300 and no one can function properly on so little sleep.  Please come to bed,” she coaxed. 


Reluctantly he replied, “You’re right.” He stood up, helped Janet up and pressed the button on the crash doors. He walked over to the plotting table where Bobby O’Brien and Scott Taper were standing.  “Bobby, Scott, if there are any problems, please call me,” Lee instructed.


“Aye, aye, sir,” they both replied. They returned to what they were doing without saying a word but they could see their skipper was very worried.  Lee walked back to the staircase where Janet was waiting and he let her go up first before going up himself taking one last look out the windows.


When they got to their cabin, Lee got ready for bed and laid down next to Janet.  He pulled her close and was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.  Janet laid there watching her husband sleeping and prayed she was right and that the admiral was okay.  She finally fell asleep about an hour later with tears running down her face.




Lee and Janet were up early the next morning.  Lee looked a little better; the dark circles weren’t as bad as they were the night before.  They quickly got ready and met Chip in the wardroom for breakfast.  Lee had downed three cups of coffee by the time he and Chip made their way to the wardroom.  Janet lingered a little longer as Jamie had come in for breakfast.  He sat down next to her and noticed how tired Lee looked. 


“Did Lee get any sleep...he looks terrible...I can give him something to knock him out,” Jamie said to Janet as he drank his coffee.


“Yes, he slept a few hours after I finally convinced him to come to bed telling him he wouldn’t be any help finding the admiral if he was exhausted.  He’s worried that they can’t search from him and they haven’t heard anything from the plane’s transponders. Let’s wait and see if he needs anything.  You know if you give him something, he’ll be pissed.”


“Yes, I know but...” Jamie didn’t finish his sentence.


“I’ll try to make sure he gets more sleep,” Janet assured Jamie as she got up, put her cup away and left to go to the Control Room.




Lee and Chip walked into the control room and noticed all the stations were manned with the alpha shift.  Chip pulled out the log book and noted the change in command.


“Any problems,” Lee asked O’Brien and Taper.


“No sir,” O’Brien replied.  “We’re right on course and on schedule.”


“Thanks, men,” Lee said, “you’re relieved of duty.  See you later.”


“Yes sir,” the two men replied as they left the control room.  Both of them were exhausted and were looking forward to hitting the sack.


“We are making good time,” Chip commented as he checked the charts.


“Good, let’s just hope the weather is better by the time we get there,” Lee replied as he glanced out the windows in the observation nose.  Sparks please get Chief Sharkey on the phone,” Lee asked.


“Aye sir,” Sparks replied as he dialed up the institute.   “Skipper I have the Chief on the line.”


“Put it over here, please,” Lee asked as he picked up the mic on the side of the plotting table.  “Chief, how’s the overhaul coming soon will she be ready?”


“Right now another four days.  One of the parts we received wasn’t quite right.  I had to have the machine shop rebuilt it so we’re a little behind.  Skipper, the men are working as fast as they can.  They’re working twenty four hours a day. Sorry sir.  Any news on the admiral?”


“No Chief, we’re still two days away from the islands.  Thank the men for working the extra hours.  I have a feeling FS-1 is going to be the only way we’re going to find the admiral.  Keep me informed if you run into any more problems.”


“Aye, sir,” Chief replied and heard Lee sever the connection.

The whole control room heard what the Chief reported.  Lee looked around the control room and saw the worried looks on the men.  “We’ll find him,” he reassured them.  I hope, he thought.


Janet looked at Chip and remarked, “I’m so pissed at that company.  I can’t wait to get back and ream that Mr. Gray out.”  Chip had a surprised look on his face as he had never seen her so angry. 


“Calm down.  I’ll take care of it when we return,” Chip said with a small grin.


“Yes sir,” Janet replied, “I sure didn’t do a good job of handling it so you better take care of it.”


Lee glanced at Janet then Chip and gave him a smile.  He too was surprised at how angry she was but was enjoying her new feistiness.




You’re alive...where were you...what happened to you...we searched the whole island for you?” Harry asked Dr. Shencko shocked to learn who he was.


“Slow down, Mr. Nelson but I don’t think I should address you as Mr.,” he replied with a smile looking at Harry and his uniform with the four stars on his collar.


“No, it’s Admiral.  When I went to bring you out of the People’s Republic, I was working for ONI but I was actually a Captain in the Navy,” Nelson replied.  “This is Admiral Jiggs Starke,” Nelson told him as Jiggs stood next to him.  “The other man is Admiral Brandon Fisher and the pilot’s name is Hugh.”   Vladimir shook each one of their hands except for the pilot who was still unconscious.


“Come and sit down and I will tell what happened twenty years ago,” Vladimir said as he led them to the area near the fire.  He pulled out a few more cushions from the old airplane and the four men sat down.   “When we left the plane, I walked away as I had to go to the bathroom.  I was coming back when I was hit from behind and knocked unconscious.  When I came to, I was in this cave and a Japanese soldier was sitting next to me.   I went to get up but he pushed me back down and pointed his rifle at me.  He spoke no English and I knew a little Japanese but from what I could gather I was his prisoner.  His name was Inseok Nasaki.”


“Was?” Nelson asked.


“He died three years ago,” Vladimir sighed heavily, “We became good friends and he hoped we would be rescued before he died so he could go home.”


“His prisoner?” Jiggs questioned.  “But the war was over by then.”


“I knew that but he didn’t.  He had been on this island since World War II.  The Japanese dropped him off on this island to patrol it and forgot to come back and get him.”


“How did you find this out if he didn’t speak any English?” Fisher asked.


“Eventually I taught him enough English so he could tell me why he was here.”


“Why did he take only you?” Nelson wondered.


“He was going to take the rest of you one by one but you were rescued before he could get to you.”


“What have you been eating for the last twenty years? This island doesn’t look like it has anything but brush,” Admiral Starke inquired.


“Mostly fish, there are some bushes that have berries on them but we would catch fish.  Water wasn’t a problem as it rains here quite frequently.  We took whatever we could from the plane.  There wasn’t much food or drinks on the plane but the cushions, first aid kit, towels, and clothes that were left behind we used.”


The admiral got up from his seat and paced around the cave.  “I’m sorry we left you behind.  We did look for you but couldn’t find you.  When the chopper came to rescue us, we had to leave as there was a huge storm coming in.” 


Chuckling softly, “Just like the one that’s out there now.”  You could hear the wind howling and the rain and sleet hitting the covering on the entrance to the cave.


“I hold no ill-will towards you, Admiral,” Vladimir said.  “I would have done the same thing if the situation was reversed.  But I would like to know if we’ll be rescued this time?”


“I’m sure help is on the way,” Jiggs interjected.  “Harry here has his own submarine and I’m sure that his captain and crew are on their way.  Right Harry?”


Giving Jiggs a wry grin the admiral answered, “Yes Jiggs, I’m sure Captain Crane and Seaview are on their way but finding us might be a problem.  I’m sure they don’t know exactly where we are and there are a lot of islands to search.”


“What about that flying submarine you have?” Jiggs continued.


Sighing, “When I left she was undergoing a complete overhaul.  I’m sure they’re working around the clock to get her up and running,” the admiral replied.


“A flying submarine?” Vladimir asked with a perplexed look on his face.


“You should see her.  It’s bright yellow, flies in the air and then goes into the water.  A marvelous machine,” Jiggs added.

“Harry, I do have one question.  Did you get the formula to the people in charge?”


“Yes Vladimir, it was never used.”


“Thank you,” he said breathing a sigh.  “I feel better knowing my stay here was not in vain.”


As they sat telling Vladimir how the world had changed since he’s been on the island, Hugh started to moan.  The admiral and Vladimir went over to him and could see he was coming around.  He tried to sit up but quickly laid back down.


“Take it easy,” Harry said, “you have a broken leg and a concussion.”


Looking intently at Nelson, “The plane...Jerry...the rest of you?” he asked.


Harry sat down next him, “The plane caught on fire.  I’m sorry Jerry didn’t make it but the rest of us are okay.”


“Damn,” he said softly.  “I’m sorry sir.  The wings iced up so quickly...I saw the other plane on the ground and thought it was safe to land there until I realized that plane had crashed and by then it was too late to abort the landing.”


Patting him on the shoulder Harry told, “Its okay, Hugh.  Help should be on the way.  Hang in there.”


“Yes sir,” he replied closing his eyes and fell back to sleep.


Harry walked back to the rest of the men and sat back down.  Even though there was a fire burning, it was damp and cool in the cave because of the weather. After eating some of the dried fish Vladimir gave them, the other men laid down on the cushions and one by one fell asleep.  The admiral sat there next to the fire trying to figure out how soon Lee and Seaview would be there.  If at all, he thought knowing there were a lot of islands to check out.  Even with FS-1 it would take them days to find them after they got there.  He sprawled out on his cushions and fell asleep too.




After traveling for three days, Seaview was thirteen hours away from the island Unalaska in the Fox Island group.  Lee had asked Janet to research the Aleutian Islands but especially the Fox Islands and Islands of the Four Mountains.  She found as much information as she could on them and gave it to Lee.  After looking over the information, there were quite a few islands.  He decided to start with Unalaska as it was one of the few in the chain that was occupied.  After checking out the island he found out that Amaknak Island is an islet and Unalaska Bay has a harbor on it.  They would dock there and see if they could find out if they had any information about a plane crash.


Lee ordered Seaview to be brought up to ninety feet.  “Up periscope,” Lee asked as Chip pushed the button and it rose out of the well.  Making a three hundred and sixty degree sweep of the area, Lee pushed the button and lowered the periscope.  “Damn,” he said to Chip.  “The seas are at least twenty feet, windy, snow and sleet.  It will be tricky but we should be able to get Seaview in the harbor and dock her.”  Walking over to the radio shack, “Sparks radio the harbor and find out if we can dock there,” Lee asked and walked back to the periscope island.


“Aye sir,” Sparks replied as he contacted the harbor. 


“Chip, you and I will go ashore and talk to the harbormaster.  Maybe he can help us out.” 


“Yes sir,” he answered directing one of the crewmen to get their cold weather gear. 


Sparks called Lee to the radio shack and reported that they would be able to dock at the harbor.  The end slip was the largest and easiest to get in and out of. 


After a quick dinner in the wardroom, Lee, Chip and Janet returned to the control room where Bobby and Scott had reported for duty.  They would be in charge while Lee and Chip were on shore.   Lee ordered Seaview to surface.  He and Chip donned the coats, hats and gloves while they waited for her to broach the surface.


“Crack the deck hatch,” Chip ordered, “and have a sea detail ready to tie her down.” 


“Aye, aye sir,” the sea detail replied.


Lee and Chip made their way up the ladder in the control room and opened the hatch.  Seaview was rocking in the gale force winds.  Lee slowly and carefully maneuvered her into the end slip.  The deck crew quickly put out the gangway and tied her down as fast and securely as they could under the nasty weather conditions.  The two officers made their way down the gangway.


“That wasn’t fun,” Lee remarked as he pulled up the collar on his coat.


“I’m glad it was you and not me,” Chip answered as he buttoned his coat up all the way.


They were met on the dock by the harbormaster who wanted to take a look at the submarine that had just docked in his harbor.


“I’m Captain Lee Crane and this Lt. Commander Chip Morton.  We’re from the Nelson Institute of Marine Research in Santa Barbara.  We’re wondering if you heard of a plane crash on any of the islands.  Admiral Nelson was on a plane that crashed around here and we’re trying to find him,” Lee explained.


“No sir, I’m sorry I can’t help you.  I haven’t heard of any plane crashes but then most of the people around here have not left their houses because the weather is so bad.  I’m surprised you managed to get that huge submarine in here with no problems.  She sure is a beauty,” he said looking at Seaview.


“Thank you, yes she is,” Lee replied. “Thanks for your help,” he said unhappily as he and Chip walked back down the gangway and into the service hatch.  Lee and Chip went up the ladder to the conning tower and waited as the deck detail cast off the lines and pulled up the gangway.   “All ahead, dead slow,” Lee ordered once the men were back on board.  Seaview slowly left the dock, rocking steadily.  Once they cleared the dock and were in open water, Lee and Chip made their way down the ladder to the control room.  “Secure the detail.  Prepare to dive,” Lee ordered as they removed their gear and handed it to the crewmen who took it away.   “Damn,” Lee said as they waited for the all green so he could dive the boat as she was rocking pretty badly.  If they stayed on the surface any longer, Lee was worried they would have a lot of sea sick crewmen as subs weren’t made to be on the surface during a gale.  After being out in the elements on the dock, Lee understood why SAR couldn’t fly.  He knew even FS-1 would have problems flying in the weather.


“All green,” Phil reported as the last light on the panel lit up.


Chip keyed the mic, “Dive, dive, dive.”


“Take her down to two hundred feet,” Lee told Chip as he stood by the plotting table.  Janet was in the observation nose and walked over to where Lee stood as Seaview slowly glided under the water.


“Did they know anything?” Janet asked but by the look on Lee’s face she already knew the answer.


“They didn’t hear anything about a plane crash,” Lee told her tapping his pencil on the table deciding on what their next move should be. He checked the list of islands again.  He walked over the to radio shack and gave Sparks the list of islands that he had circled.


Sparks, these islands have airports on them, please contact them and find out if they had an airplane land there recently.  If not, find out if they’ve heard of a plane going down.  Get as much information as you can.”


“Aye, aye sir,” Sparks replied taking the list from Lee and looked up the codes for the airports.


Lee started tapping his pencil again, a sure sign he was worried.  After he looked at the map of the islands again, he knew there was no way Seaview could dock or even get close to most of them so they could check them out.  Lee, Chip and Janet stood at the plotting table when Lee stopped tapping his pencil.


“How about we go out in teams to check out some of these islands?  You and I can each head up a team as well as the other officers,” Lee said looking at Chip.  “Janet, make up a sign up sheet and post it in the crew’s mess and wardroom asking for volunteers to go search the islands.  We’ll assign whoever signs up to go out with us.  We’ll take three other men on each team.”


“What about the weather,” Chip asked.  “Do you think we’ll be able to launch a zodiac in the wind and high seas?”


Running his hand through his hair Lee responded, “That’s my only worry but I’m game if you are. Since the weather is so bad we won’t be able to stay out too long. Some of the larger islands are populated so we may run into someone who’s heard about a plane crash. Right now, it’s the only idea I can come up with until we get FS-1 here.”


“I’m game,” Chip answered as he didn’t have any better ideas.


Janet quickly left the control room and went to her office.  She already had a sheet with every crewman’s name on it.  All they would have to do is put a check mark by their name.  She put a check mark by her name and posted the sheet in the crew’s mess and wardroom.  


While Lee waited for Janet to post the lists, Sparks walked over to Lee and Chip with the list of islands Lee had given him.  “Skipper, I called every island on the list with an airport and none of them had an aircraft land there and they haven’t heard of any plane crashes.” 


“Thanks Sparks,” Lee said as he handed him back the list and returned to the radio shack.  “I guess we’re going to have to check out the rest of the islands.  No sense checking out the ones with airports,” Lee said disappointedly.


Lee looked at the list again and told Chip to set a course of Aiktak Island. It was a small island but it had a beach and they weren’t too far away from it.  As Chip set the course, Lee made a boat wide announcement.  Picking up the mic at the plotting table and click the button once, “Attention all hands, this is the Captain.  We need volunteers to go ashore and look for the admiral.  It’s going to be treacherous to launch the zodiacs as there are high winds and seas but it’s the only way we can search for him.  Sign up sheets are posted in the crew’s mess and wardroom.  That’s all.”  Lee stowed the mic back in the holder and leaned against the table.  “Hopefully we’ll get a few men to sign up,” Lee said to Chip.  “How long before we get to Aiktak?”


Chip looked at his figures and replied, “About two hours.”


“Set a course and head there at flank speed,” Lee told him as Chip relayed the order to maneuvering and the engine room.  He would wait until they got to the island before checking the lists.  He didn’t want to pressure the men into signing up. 




Harry and the rest of the men woke up the next morning hoping the weather would have cleared but the wind was still howling even louder and fiercer than before with  a rain/sleet combination.  After eating some more fish and a few berries for breakfast, Jiggs and Brandon were telling Vladimir about their families. Since they would be together for awhile, the men decided to use their first names.  Hugh woke up and still had a headache and his leg was aching but Vladimir had nothing to give him for the pain.  He ate and drank some water and went back to sleep.  There was nothing for the men to do so they kept the fire going for warmth and waited to be rescued.  Brandon and Jiggs were giving up hope that they would be rescued.


“Jiggs, Brandon,” Nelson said, “It’s only been three days.  I figure it will take Seaview that long just to get to the Aleutian’s.  I know they will come.”  Nelson looked over at Vladimir and noticed he had a worried look on his face.  “Is there a problem?” he asked as Vladimir walked away from the men and headed to the back of the cave.


“I’m afraid we’re going to run out of food and fire wood.  I had plenty on hand but I wasn’t expecting guests,” he said with a wry grin.  “And with the weather so bad, we can’t go fishing or get any dry wood.  I’m also running out of bandages for Brandon’s back and Hugh’s head.  Hugh’s head wound is healing nicely but I’m worried that Brandon’s back is infected as its redder than it should be.”


“How many days of food and wood do you think we have left?”


“I’d say about three more days.  If the weather breaks, we can fish but if it doesn’t...”


Patting his arm Harry replied, “Don’t worry.  We’ll think of something, who knows we could be rescued by then.”


“Harry, you’re such an optimist,” Vladimir answered as he left the back of the cave and sat along side Jiggs who was telling a story about his and Harry’s tenure at Annapolis. 




After a quick bite to eat in the observation nose, Lee was anxious to find out who had signed up and prepare the teams that would go out.  “Janet, would you please bring the lists to me,” he asked as she was starting to pace.


“Yes sir,” she replied and headed out the aft hatch.  After she left, Lee said to Chip, “Does she always pace?  She was driving me crazy.”


“Yes, when she’s worried, she paces and it drives me crazy too,” Chip snorted.  “You don’t know how many times I’ve had to ask her to leave and go pace somewhere else especially when one certain captain is on ONI mission,” he said sarcastically.


“Sorry, I didn’t notice it until just now,” Lee replied sheepishly.


Janet’s first stop was the crew’s mess.  When she took the list off the board, every man had a check next to his name.  It was the same when she went to the wardroom.  She knew Lee would be proud of his crew.  She entered the control room through aft hatch and walked over to the plotting table.  “Here are the lists,” she told him as she handed them to him and watched his face.  He looked at Janet with a huge smile and handed the lists to Chip. 


“Everyone has signed up,” he whistled, “including Janet.”


Lee looked at the list again not noticing her name with a check next to it as he sometimes forgot she is a member of the crew.  “Sorry sweetie, there’s no way I’m going to let you go out there.”


“But Lee, I want to help,” she insisted.


“You can stay here and make sure when the men come back they get warmed up with coffee and hot chocolate.  You’re not the only one who’s not going to be able to leave the boat.  Jamie, Cookie, the engine room, get my point,” Lee told her.


Sighing, “Yes sir,” she replied a little too earnestly.  “Sorry Lee, I didn’t mean for it to come out that way.”


Squeezing her hand, “I know, don’t worry about it.  You can help us set up the schedule.”


Lee and Chip looked over the list and decided that he would go out first with Kowalski, Ron and Marco.  Chip would go next with Patterson, Phil, and Rodriguez.  They assigned men to go out with O’Brien and Taper.  The rest of the men were assigned to other officers depending on their watches.  They would have a total of ten teams to go out if needed.  Lee had Janet post the lists before he made another announcement.  This time he wanted to give the men the information they needed before they headed out. 


“Attention men, I want to thank all of you for volunteering to go out and search for the admiral.  Every man and woman on Seaview signed up,” Lee said looking at Janet and smiling. “As you know some of you will have to stay on board.  But I know the admiral would be proud of all of you.  All the following rules will be followed when you leave the boat.  All men will wear waterproof winter gear along with a life jacket whether you’re on a team leaving the boat or on the deck helping to launch the zodiac. The weather has not abated so it will be very difficult to launch the zodiacs.  We will only stay out for two hours or less.  If you get wet or cold, you will let your supervisor know so you can return to the boat.  Thanks again.”  Lee put the mic back in the holder.


“I better get ready to leave,” Lee said to Janet and Chip.  “Chip you have the conn.  Once we reach the island, we’ll take her up to ninety feet and look around before we surface.”


“Yes sir,” Chip replied as Lee and Janet went up the spiral staircase.  They stopped at Sick Bay before they went to their cabin.  When they entered Sick Bay, they could tell Jamie wasn’t too happy with what Lee was doing.


“Lee, if the seas are that bad, do we really need to send anyone out. I’m worried about frostbite and hypothermia,” Jamie told him.  “If someone falls into the water, they’ll be dead if they’re in there longer than five minutes. I’ve been researching the Aleutians too.  That water is very cold, it never warms up.  Please don’t take any unnecessary chances.”


“Was that comment directed at me in particular or for everyone,” Lee asked knowing Jamie was always concerned when he left the boat.  “Jamie, I’m worried about that too, but I don’t have any other ideas.  I know it’s a long shot that we may even find him but I’ve got to try,” Lee explained.


“I know,” Jamie replied. “Just be careful out there, all of you.”


“We will,” Lee answered. Before leaving Sick Bay, Lee mentioned, “It’s going to be pretty rocky when we’re on the surface.  Just keep Chip informed on how many men get sick.”


“Yes, I will,” Jamie answered knowing he was going to be in for a long couple of hours.




Once in the cabin, Janet helped Lee get his gear out, pulling out his green sweater that he would wear over his uniform.  He removed his tie and pulled the sweater on over his shirt.  He reached over, grabbed Janet and gave her a kiss.  “I’ll be careful, I promise,” he told her as they gathered his boots, coat, over pants, gloves and hat.  They walked back to the control room where they met the rest of his team. 


Chip looked through the periscope, “Lee, the weather is still bad.  I think once you’re away from the boat we should dive.  It’s going to be too rough for us to stay on the surface.”


“I agree.  We don’t anyone to get sick.”


Chip called maneuvering and surfaced the boat about a hundred yards from the coast.  The deck detail was on the quarterdeck by the time Lee, Kowalski and the rest of the men were out of the sail hatch.  It took the deck detail a little longer to launch the zodiac and struggled to keep is close to the boat so the men could board it.  The four men made it into the zodiac and Kowalski skillfully maneuvered away from Seaview.  The crew watched them as they made their way to the coast.  They lost sight of the zodiac in a wave but it came back out on top and made it to shore.  The deck detail went below and Chip dove as soon as the hatch was closed.  He could see some of the men were already looking a little ill. 


“Control room, this is Sick Bay,” Jamie radioed.  “I’ve got ten men who are sea sick.”


“Thanks, Jamie.  Hopefully that will be all as we’re going under,” Chip replied.  He looked at Janet and she didn’t look very good.  “You okay?”


“No but I’m just going to sit in the observation nose for now,” she replied sitting down not wanting to make the walk to Sick Bay.  “I’ll be fine.”


Chip looked at her and shook his head as Lee also had trouble being on the surface in a regular boat.  Once they were stationed at ninety feet, the men were looking and feeling better.




Lee and the men made it to shore but it was a struggle to get there and they were tired but the time the pulled the zodiac on shore.  This may not be the best way to search for the admiral after all, Lee thought as they stopped to catch their breath.  They found the beach and walked into the interior of the island.  It wasn’t very big and they quickly searched it and found nothing.  They made their way back to the zodiac and launched it towards Seaview.


“Chip, we’re heading back, surface the boat,” Lee said dejectedly. 


By the time they motored back to Seaview and boarded her they were exhausted and cold.  The deck detail helped them out of the zodiac and stowed it as the men made their way to the sail hatch and down to the control room.  Lee made sure all the men were below before he went into the hatch and down the ladder into the control room.  Once on the bottom, he stood there for few minutes.  Chip and Janet walked over to him.  Janet helped him remove his gloves and hat.  She could see he was tired.  “You okay,” she asked softly.


“Yes, just tired and cold.  Chip, I don’t know if we want to attempt this.  Just launching the zodiac and keeping it from capsizing was tiring.  The weather is brutal and the island was hard to navigate not knowing where we were going,” Lee told Chip as he removed his life vest, coat, and pants.  He handed them to a crewman who came up along side of him.  He needed some coffee so he walked over to the observation nose where he found a new pot of the strong brew.  Pouring himself a cup, he wrapped his hands around it as he drank it.  He finished it quickly and poured another one drinking this one a little slower.


“Lee, I’m willing to try.  Let’s go to another island,” Chip told him.  “I think we should at least try a couple more.  Maybe the weather will get better.”


Seaview sailed to the next closest island. Chip took his crew out when they reached it.  Lee standing in the conning tower, gasped in horror as Chip almost fell in the water but Patterson managed to haul him back into the zodiac. He looked up at Lee and gave him the okay sign and they continued their trek to the island.  After searching the island which was a little bigger, they found nothing and returned to Seaview.  While Lee waited for Chip to return, he charted out the course to the next island. Once Seaview reached it they decided to launch the zodiac in the morning. This time O’Brien and Taper would go out.  Lee and Chip had changed O’Brien and Taper’s watches so they could lead out the next group of men.  Johnson and Taylor would be in the control room for the night.  They were fairly new to the boat but Lee was confident they could handle her.  They had managed to find a plateau to set her down on for the night.  Lee told Johnson to call him if they had any problems.  Lee and Chip were exhausted after their jaunt outside.  Both of them nearly fell asleep while eating dinner.  After dinner Lee, Chip and Janet headed for their cabins.  Lee fell asleep as soon as he got into the bunk.  Janet laid there for awhile before snuggling close to Lee.




Lee, Chip and Janet skipped breakfast and went immediately to the control room to get ready for the next group to leave for the island.  They grabbed a cup of coffee from the fresh pot Cookie had just put there.  O’Brien’s and Taper’s team would go out first. This island was a little larger than the ones they checked out yesterday so Lee decided to send out two teams so the could cover more ground.  Lee took the boat up to ninety feet and looked out the periscope. He thought the weather looked a little less challenging than yesterday.  He gave the teams some last minute instructions before surfacing the boat.  Lee and Chip went topside to the conning tower.  Janet decided to wait below for them as she was freezing there the last time she went out.  While the winds were a little calmer it was still difficult to launch the zodiacs.  Once the teams cleared the boat, Lee ordered them to take her down where they would stay until O’Brien and Taper radioed them they were returning.


Taper’s team returned after two hours and reported they found nothing.  Lee looked at his watch and noticed that O’Brien’s team had been gone almost three hours.  He was worried and surfaced the boat to send out another team to look for them when O’Brien radioed they were coming back.  Lee went to the conning tower to wait for them after surfacing.  He could see one of the men was hurt as they gently lifted him out of the zodiac and onto the deck. They quickly brought him into the sail hatch and to Sick Bay. As soon as they were aboard, he ordered maneuvering to dive.


“What happen...what took you so long to return,” Lee demanded as O’Brien removed his gear.  O’Brien saw Taper waiting for him over by the plotting table.


“We made it to the island with no problems.  We checked it out but on the return trip Smith was hurt when he slipped into a hole.  He never even saw the hole as it was covered up by the tall grass that grows all over the island. Sorry Skipper.” 


Patting him on the shoulder, Lee replied, “Its okay.  I just got a little excited and worried when you were late.  Unfortunately most of the Aleutian Islands are covered with that grass. I noticed it on the island I was on.  Go change and get some hot food and drink,” Lee told him.  Before he and Taper left the control room, Lee said, “Thanks men.”


“No problem, skipper.  We all want the admiral back,” O’Brien told Lee as he and Taper walked through the aft hatch carrying all their gear.


Chip went over to Lee.  “Jamie says Smith has a bruised shoulder and sprained ankle.  He should be able to return to duty in a couple of days.”


Rubbing his hand on his forehead, Lee ordered Chip to set a course for the next island.  He went into the observation nose and stood there as he was trying to decide if they should continue the search or just wait until FS-1 was ready.  But he knew the longer they waited the less likely they would find him and the rest of the men.


Lee walked over to the periscope island where Chip was standing.  He put his hand on the railing and rested his chin on his hands and raised his eyes to meet Chip’s.  “It’s taken us two days to search three islands, Sparks called the ones with airport and no one knows about a crash.  Smith was hurt on a almost fell in the water...I don’t want anyone else hurt or killed. There are sixty nine various types of island in the chain.  It will take us forever to search all of them and even if we search them all, we may never find him.  For all we know the plane could have gone down in the ocean or by now the elements could have gotten to them,” Lee said miserably. “What do you think?”


Lee and Chip did not see Janet come down the spiral staircase.  She stood there listening to them discuss whether to call off the search.


“Are you suggesting we give up and wait for FS-1?” Chip asked knowing Lee well enough that he didn’t want to make that decision by himself.


“I guess...,” Lee started to say when Janet ran over to the periscope island where Lee and Chip stood.


“No Lee, please don’t stop searching for can’t give up...please,” she pleaded as tears ran down her face.


Lee and Chip were surprised to see her, “Sweetheart, it will take us too long to search all these islands.  I don’t want to give up but I also have to consider the risks involved sending men out into that weather.  I won’t put the men in danger.  You know as well as I do that the admiral wouldn’t want that either,” Lee told her as he took her hand in his.


“Please, Lee, just one more day,” she begged looking him in the eye, “Please.”


He didn’t want to give up either, so Janet helped him make the decision.  “Okay one more day and I will lead the team out but if we don’t find him, we’re going to wait for FS-1,” Lee told Chip and Janet. He took his handkerchief out of his pocket and she wiped away her tears.


“Thank you, Lee,” Janet replied as she gave him a hug and the wet handkerchief.   He shook his head and put it in his pocket.


“How long before we get to Chuginadak Island?” Lee asked. They had been looking in the Fox Islands for the plane but they were going to change directions and head to the Islands of the Four Mountains region maybe they would find him there.


“We should be there sometime during the night,” Chip responded after plotting the course. 


“Okay set a course and I’ll go out first thing in the morning,” Lee answered.  Looking at his watch he knew Johnson and Taylor would be on duty in thirty minutes. “Meet me in the wardroom in forty five minutes for dinner.  I just want to make sure Johnson and Taylor know what to do,” Lee told Chip and Janet.


“Yes sir,” they replied and walked out the aft hatch.  Chip went to his cabin to catch up on some paperwork while Janet went to the wardroom to wait for Lee. 


As soon as Lee explained what he wanted from the officers on duty he went to the wardroom where, Chip, Janet and Jamie were waiting.  Once he sat down, Cookie and the mess specialists brought over the dinner.  Cookie had made lasagna and garlic bread.  All of them were hungry and finished up everything on their plates much to Jamie’s surprise.   Cookie put a pot of coffee on the table for the men and went back to the galley and brought Janet a cup of tea along with some brownies.  They finished those and retired to their cabins for the night.  Janet fell asleep wrapped in Lee’s arm.  Lee laid there hoping they would get lucky and find his ‘father’ and mentor tomorrow. 





The three of them met for breakfast before Lee would head his team out to the island.  After eating the pancakes and bacon Cookie made Lee and Janet returned to their cabin so Lee could get his cold weather gear and put his sweater on along with his long underwear.  He was cold the last time they went out so he wanted to be prepared this time.  Lee grabbed some of the gear while Janet got the rest and they headed to the control room.  Janet had also put on an extra sweater so she would be warmer when she was in the conning tower.  Johnson and Taylor were at the plotting table when Chip entered the control room.  “Everything okay here?” Chip asked as he checked he log and saw they were sitting at ninety feet about one hundred yards of the island’s coast.  Looking at the two men, “Good job, thanks for making sure we’re in position.”


“No problem, sir,” Taylor replied. 


“You’re relieved of duty,” Chip told the men noting the change of command in the log book. 


“Yes sir,” they answered leaving Chip at the plotting table just as Lee and Janet came down the spiral staircase.


Kowalski, Ron and Marco were there dressed and waiting for Lee.  Chip had looked out the periscope and noticed the waves weren’t quite as high and the wind had slackened off but it was still dangerous to launch a zodiac.


“What’s it look like up there,” Lee asked as he finished putting on his coat, hat and life jacket.


“Not as bad as before but still not ideal conditions,” Chip replied with a deep sigh, picked up the mic and ordered maneuvering to surface.


“We’re going to be out a little longer as this is the largest island in the Island of Four Mountains chain.  We should be back in four hours,” Lee told Chip as he headed up the ladder for the quarterdeck.




The five men in the cave were cold.  The weather had not let up so they were running short of fire wood.  They only made a fire during the morning to take away the chill and then at night but only for a few minutes hoping the embers would keep them warm as they slept.  Their food supply was also running low.  Water was not a problem as they caught the rain in the containers Vladimir had been using for years.  They rationed out what they had so they were now down to one meal a day.  They were willing to give Hugh more but he refused to be treated any differently.  Vladimir was still hoping the weather would clear up.


As they sat around the morning fire, Vladimir spoke softly, “I’m sorry that we have to ration the food and fire wood.  There’s never been a storm this bad in the twenty years I’ve been here.  Hopefully she’ll blow herself out and I can get us some fish.  As for firewood, that could be a problem as everything is going to be very wet.  You can’t burn wet wood as it causes too much smoke.”


“Please don’t worry about it,” Brandon reassured him with a grimace, “I’m sure we all have been in similar situations.”  He knew that Harry and Jiggs had been part time operatives for ONI at one time as he also did a couple of missions for them.  Vladimir had checked out his back and wasn’t happy with the way it looked.  It was getting redder and he only had enough bandages to change them once more.


“Harry, where’s that submarine of yours?” Jiggs grumbled loudly.  “They should have found us by now using that flying sub of yours.”


He too was wondering why the flying sub wasn’t looking for them and assumed there was a problem with her overhaul.   “Soon Jiggs, I hope very soon,” Harry replied.


To keep warm they would take turns walking around the small cave but even that didn’t help so they huddled close together next to Hugh, who was finally able to sit up, for warmth. 


What I wouldn’t do for a hot cup of coffee. I wouldn’t care if it was the instant kind, Harry thought as it was his turn to walk around.  He too was getting discouraged but he knew Lee wouldn’t give up looking for them until he had actual proof they couldn’t be found or had died.




Once on the surface, they launched the zodiac and Lee and his team headed for Chuginadak Island.  He was proud of the deck detail as they had gotten quite good at launching the zodiacs in the bad weather.  Lee sailed to the northern part of the island to Applegate Cove where it would be easier to get on the island.  Lee knew there was an active volcano, Mount Cleveland, on the western part of the island and hoped it wouldn’t erupt while they were there.  There was a small strip of land that separated the western side from the rugged eastern side of the island.  He headed for that strip hoping maybe the plane had landed there.  The team searched the island and found nothing.  Lee radioed Seaview.  “Chip, surface the boat, we found nothing here,” he said wearily.


“Yes, Lee,” Chip reported back and ordered the boat to surface.  He and Janet went up to the conning tower to wait for them to come aboard.  


“It’s freezing up here,” Janet said to Chip as they waited in the conning tower.  “Even with my extra clothes, I’m still cold.” 


“I know,” Chip answered as he was cold too.  “Why don’t you go below and wait for Lee,” he suggested.


“No, I want to make sure he gets aboard safely,” she replied watching the zodiac get closer to Seaview.


Once the zodiac was along side the boat, Kowalski, Ron and Marco made their way up to the deck and were waiting to help Lee aboard when a giant wave caught him and knocked him in to the frigid water. 


“Lee,” Janet shouted as she saw him go under and scrambled down the ladder to the sail hatch and out on the deck before Chip could stop her.  “It’s my fault,” he heard her say as he quickly followed her down and onto the deck after alerting the control room that the skipper was in the water and to get Jamie to the control room right away.


“Janet, go below,” Chip said.


“No not until I know he’s alright,” she replied tersely.   “It’s all my fault,” she muttered to herself.


Kowalski and the rest of his team jumped back into the zodiac grabbing at Lee trying to keep him from going under.  Even with his life jacket on, they were having a hard time getting him out of the water.  His boots, heavy pants, gloves and parka along with his clothes and hat were dragging him under the waves.  The life jacket just barely kept his face out of the water.  It took the strength of all three men to drag Lee out of the water. 


“Go below right now,” Chip sternly ordered Janet who he had to grab by the life jacket to prevent her from falling in after a gust of wind almost blew her off the deck.  Janet knew by the tone of Chip’s voice she had better listen to him.  She walked quickly with the help of one of the deck detail to the sail hatch and down the ladder where she waited for them to bring Lee down.  Jamie was waiting with a stretcher and blankets to cover him as soon as he got there.


By the time they got him down the ladder he was barely breathing...his lips were bluish-grey...and he had stopped shivering.  “Get him to Sick Bay right away,” Jamie instructed Frank and Patterson throwing on the blankets.  Jamie and Janet quickly followed behind as Chip came down the ladder.  O’Brien was at the plotting table waiting for the deck detail to issue an all clear before diving the boat.  Chip made sure the other men on Lee’s team were okay as they were wet too.  “Do any of you need to go to Sick Bay?  Any frostbite, numbness or pain from the cold?” Chip asked quickly.


“No sir,” they replied as they shed their wet clothing as soon as they were on the boat.


“Thanks,” Chip told them, “go get some dry clothes on and something warm to drink.”


“Aye sir,” Kowalski answered.  “How’s the he?”


Running his hand through his hair Chip said, “I don’t know Ski, I’m going to Sick Bay right now.  I’ll keep you posted.”  Chip was already out the aft door before he finished talking.


The three men went to their quarters, changed, stopped at the crew’s mess for some hot coffee and waited for word on the skipper.



Jamie and Frank quickly removed Lee’s life jacket, coat, boots, hat and gloves.  They cut away the rest of his clothing not wanting to move him unnecessarily as the internal organs are sensitive to physical shocks.  They quickly covered him with layers of blankets and covered his head leaving only his face exposed.  Jamie had taken Lee’s temperature and found it was only eighty one degrees.  Jamie put him on an IV of warm saline solution as well as an oxygen mask with warm air.  He applied warm compresses to his neck, chest and groin to help warm him up.  If he couldn’t raise his body temperature he would have to resort to more desperate measures which he hoped to avoid.  He also had to watch out for “after drop” when re-warming him because the cold blood in his extremities returns to the body core, lowering the core temperature further.****


Janet stood next to him but out of Jamie’s way as she watched them work feverishly on Lee trying to warm him up.  “It’s my fault,” she whispered over and over again as tears ran down her face.  Jamie was to busy to notice what she was saying but Chip who had arrived in Sick Bay right after they started to warm Lee up heard her.


“It’s not your fault,” he told her squeezing her hand.


“If I hadn’t asked him to continue searching for the admiral, he wouldn’t have fallen in the sea,” Janet sobbed.


“Janet, Lee didn’t want to stop searching and needed someone to tell him to continue looking for the admiral.  If you hadn’t told him to continue on, I would have so please don’t blame yourself.”


Wiping away her tears, “Thanks Chip for telling me that. Also, I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you when we were on deck.”


“I almost lost my grip on you,” Chip admitted.  “Lee would have never forgiven me if I let you fall in the sea.”


Jamie walked over to Janet and Chip.  “I think he’s going to make it but it was close.  He should wake up in a little while.  I’m going to leave him on the gurney as I don’t want to move him to much until he’s warmed up.”  Both Janet and Chip knew how close Lee had come to dying as they both had a similar experience with hypothermia.  Chip pulled over a stool to Lee’s bed so Janet could sit next to him. He grabbed one too and sat on the other side.  They had only been sitting there a few minutes when Sparks radioed Sick Bay.


“Mr. Morton, I have a call from Chief Sharkey.”


“I’ll take it in the Control Room,” Chip answered.  “I sure hope this is good news.”  He ran out of Sick Bay and into the Control Room to the radio shack.  Sparks handed him the mic.


“Yes Chief?” Chip said out of breath.


Surprised that Chip was on the mic, “Mr. Morton, FS-1 is ready to go.  Riley and I checked her out and are ready to depart as soon as we’re done talking with you.  Where’s the skipper...did you find the admiral?” he asked with concern.


“Chief, I’ll tell you about when you get here and no we haven’t found the admiral yet,” Chip responded softly.  “Be careful the weather up here is still very treacherous.  Fly her at Mach II until you hit the bad weather and then submerge for the rest of the way.”  Chip quickly figured out in his head how long it would take them to reach Seaview.  “You should get here in about four hours.  Call us when you’re close and we’ll send you a homing signal.”


“Aye, aye sir,” Chief replied as he severed the connection.  “Come on Riley, we gotta go.”


“Yes sir,” Riley answered as he quickly donned his leather jacket and handed the Chief his. 


Sharkey put on the jacket and headed to the hangar where FS-1 waiting.  The two men hopped on board using the rear hatch and did the pre-flight check list.  Sharkey turned on the engines and taxied her down the runway. They were airborne twenty minutes after he called Chip.  They were making good time until they got half way there when the weather turned nasty.  The little sub was thrown around in the wind so Sharkey quickly submerged and would have to fly the rest of the way underwater.




Chip severed the connection with Sharkey to the whoops and hollers of the Control Room.  “Quiet down and back to your stations,” he told the men with a grin on his face.  “We still have a boat to sail but maybe now we’ll have a chance at locating the admiral.”


Chip left the control room and ran down to Sick Bay where Lee was still unconscious.  Janet looked at Chip and could tell something was up.  “What did the Chief want...what’s it FS-1?” Janet asked worriedly.


“Everything is fine.  Sharkey and Riley are on their way in FS-1.  They were leaving in a few minutes and should be here in a few hours.”


Tears of relief started running down Janet’s face.  “Now maybe we can find him.”  She leaned over her husband and whispered in his ear, “FS-1 is on her way.  Please wake up.”  Chip smiled at her as she told Lee the flying sub was coming.  He sat down on the other side of Lee and waited with her.  Jamie sat at his desk and watched as the two of them once again waited for Lee Crane to wake up.  He shook his head and returned to his paperwork.




Harry and the four other men were hungry, cold, tired and in desperate need of a shower.  Sleeping on the cushions from the airplane beat sleeping on the hard dirt floor but tempers were getting short.   It had been six days since their airplane crashed.  The weather was still bad even though the wind had died down some and the rain-sleet pelting the make-shift door wasn’t as hard.  They only had enough food for one more day and wood for one more fire. 


“Harry,” Jiggs shouted.  “Where the hell is your boat or flying sub?  I don’t want to die here.”


As much as Harry liked Jiggs he was getting on his nerves.  “I don’t know where they are.  I’m sure Captain Crane is doing all he can to find us,” Harry said though clenched teeth. 


All the men were getting discouraged, fearing that they would never be found.  Hugh’s leg was starting to hurt more the colder he got.  Vladimir had given out all the blankets and coverings he had.  Even sitting together wasn’t keeping them as warm as before.  They needed the weather to change and change quickly.  They would burn the wet wood outside hoping some of the heat would make its way into the cave.


Where is FS-1 and Seaview, Nelson wondered as he sat next to Brandon while Jiggs walked around.  He knew if they weren’t rescued soon or the weather didn’t get better they would all suffer from hypothermia.  Jiggs sat down along side Harry.


“Sorry Harry,” he said patting Harry’s arm.  “I’m just so damn cold and hungry.  I’m sure Crane is doing all he can.”


“I know,” Harry responded and laid his head against the back of the cave and fell asleep.




Janet and Chip had been sitting next to Lee’s gurney for a couple of hours.  Their backs were getting tired from sitting on the stools so Chip stood up and stretched.  “I’m going to check on the control room,” Chip whispered to Janet.  “I’ll be right back.”


“Okay Chip,” Janet replied as she too stood up.  These stools were not very comfortable.  She patted Lee’s hand.  “Come on honey, wake up.  They’re going to need you to fly FS-1,” she pleaded.


Jamie walked over to Lee and took his temperature while Janet stood there watching him.


“His temperature is up to ninety degrees,” Jamie told Janet, “he’s not out of the woods yet but is making progress.”   Frank came over to Lee and replaced the cooling compresses around his neck, chest area and groin with warm ones.  Janet stood next to the gurney while Jamie listened to his heart.  Lee started to move around trying to snuggle deeper into the blankets.  He was shivering a little so Jamie got another blanket and covered him.   Jamie went back to his desk while Janet walked around Sick Bay a few times to stretch her legs.


Lee opened his eyes and closed them again.  He opened them again and blinked a few times. He felt cold.  He realized he had no clothes on and there were heat compresses around him.  He took his hand out from under the blanket and pulled away the covering around his head.  Janet noticed his hand moving and went over to the gurney.  “Lee, leave that alone,” she told him trying to put it back in place.  Jamie heard her and went over to him.


“I don’t like it...feels to confining,” he said trying to sit up but Jamie gently pushed him down.  “Where are my clothes...what’s going on...why do I have all theses blankets on,” Lee asked tersely.


“Lee, you’re suffering from hypothermia.  You fell into the ocean when you were returning to Seaview after going to look for the admiral,” Jamie told him. 


“I remember going to the island and returning to the boat but after that I can’t remember anything,” he replied rubbing his forehead.  “The other men...are they okay...they didn’t fall in?” he asked looking around Sick Bay to see if there were any other men in there.


“No just you,” Jamie replied as Chip walked into Sick Bay.


“No you’re the only one who couldn’t get back aboard the boat with no problems,” Chip teased.  “But I do have some good news.  FS-1 is on her way.  She should be here in a couple of hours if she doesn’t run into bad weather.”


“That’s great.  When can I get out of here,” Lee asked struggling to sit up as Jamie held him down.


“Maybe tomorrow,” Jamie answered.  “I want to make sure you have no after effects from the cold.  Lee, if they hadn’t gotten you out of the water as quickly as they did, you’d be dead.  Your body temperature was down to eighty one degrees.  So please just stay here.  Even if I let you out, and I said if, I’m not going to clear you to fly FS-1 for two days.”


“Jamie, we can’t wait that long.  The admiral’s been out there for almost a week...I...we need to find him,” Lee pleaded.


“We have plenty of other people that can fly FS-1,” Jamie reminded him.


“Okay,” Lee conceded and turned to Chip, “Chip plot a course for FS-1 to scout the islands we haven’t checked yet.   You take the first shift...stay out for two hours no make it three hours,” Lee said urgently.


Chip glared at him.  “I’ll take care of the details.  You just calm down and do what Jamie tells you.  And that’s an order as acting captain of Seaview.” 


“Yes sir,” Lee sulked.  Chip went back to the control room to plot out the flying subs course and schedule for tomorrow’s search.  He would stop back on the way to his cabin and show Lee the plans he made.


“Jamie, can I at least have some clothes to put on and maybe I can rest in my cabin.  I know what will warm me up very quickly,” he said looking over at Janet who blushed at Lee’s remark.


“Clothes, yes, cabin no.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll let you return to light duty,” Jamie replied with a smirk on his face.


“I’ll bring you your pajamas,” Janet volunteered as she walked out of the cabin embarrassed at what Lee was implying.  Janet went to their cabin and grabbed Lee’s pajamas off the hook in the head.  When she got back to Sick Bay, Jamie took the pajamas from her. 

”How about you go to the wardroom and bring back a warm lemon lime drink for Lee,” Jamie told Janet.  “His body temperature is still below normal and he could use something sweet to drink.  We’ll help him get into his pajamas and into a bunk where he’ll be more comfortable.”


“A warm soda?” Janet asked, “How about some hot chocolate?”


“No caffeine and chocolate has caffeine in it,” Jamie told her.


“Okay but he’s not going to like it,” Janet answered and left for the wardroom to get Lee his warm soda.


When she got there Cookie was cleaning up from the dinner crowd.  “Hi Mrs. C, how’s the skipper.  Does he want something to eat or drink?”


“Better but only something warm and sweet to drink like a warm lemon lime soda.”


 Cookie walked into the galley, “Here you go,” he said handing her the can and a straw. 


“Thanks, Cookie.  Maybe tomorrow he’ll be able to eat.”   Janet left the wardroom and returned to Sick Bay where Jamie and Frank had helped Lee get into his pajamas and settled in a bunk.  She handed him the warm soda with a straw. 


He stared at the can and then at Jamie.  “A warm soda?” he said disgustingly. 


“Drink it up,” Jamie ordered. 


Janet sat down next to Lee’s bunk and watched him drink the soda.  He took a couple of sips before handing the drink back to Janet.  They felt Seaview shudder and Lee knew the docking doors had been opened up for FS-1 to dock in her berth.  He smiled at Janet as Seaview shuddered again when the doors closed.  Lee let out a sigh of relief, yawned and laid back in the bunk.  “I still feel chilled,” he told Janet as he snuggled under the blankets.  Janet reached up to the top bunk and took the blanket off and covered Lee with it.  “Thanks sweetie,” he said as he closed his eyes and fell asleep.  Janet had been sitting there for a few minutes watching Lee sleep when Jamie walked over to check Lee’s temperature.


“He just fell asleep,” Janet told Jamie stifling a yawn.


“He’s going to be fine. You can go and get some sleep,” Jamie said. 


“Yes sir,” Janet replied too tired to even argue with him.  She put the chair back and walked out of Sick Bay just as Chip was coming in.   “He’s asleep,” she told him.  “I’m sorry Chip, I’m just too tired to sit there any longer and I know if Jamie let’s him back on duty tomorrow, it could be a long day.”


“No problem.  I’ll stay with him a while,” Chip replied even though he was exhausted but didn’t want to leave him alone and knew Janet must have also been extremely tired if she didn’t want to stay with Lee. He knew she would never leave him if he wasn’t going to be all right. 


Janet went to their cabin, quickly changed and climbed into their bunk.  She fell asleep and dreamt they found the admiral.

Chip stayed for a few minutes before Jamie kicked him out after he fell asleep in the chair.   Jamie left Frank to mind Sick Bay as he too was tired. 




Janet and Chip were in Sick Bay first thing in the morning to see Lee.  Jamie had already checked Lee out and found his body temperature back to normal as well as the rest of him.  He would let him return to duty but he wouldn’t be able to fly or take out the zodiac until tomorrow.


He quickly got out of the bunk and told Chip, “I’ll meet both of you in the wardroom in ten minutes.  Bring the course you’ve plotted and the schedule.”  He gave Janet a quick kiss before he left for their cabin to shower and change into his uniform.


“Yes sir,” Chip answered and left for the control room while Janet went to the wardroom.


Janet got some breakfast, cup of coffee and sat down to wait for Lee and Chip.  Chip returned with the items Lee requested and sat down across from her after getting breakfast and a cup of coffee.  Lee showed up a couple of minutes later, went to the sideboard and grabbed some eggs and coffee.  He sat down next to Janet, “Show me what you’ve got,” Lee said taking a big gulp of coffee.


“I’ve plotted a course to cover the rest of the Aleutian Islands.  I checked the weather already but there are still gale force winds and the sleet has turned to rain.  It’s going to be hard to fly low enough to see the ground.”


“Damn,” Lee said taking a bite of his eggs and pushed his plate away.  “You think you can handle her?”  Chip had plenty of experience flying FS-1 but it was going to be tricky flying in the high winds and Lee didn’t want to risk losing Chip or the flying sub.


“Yeah, I can,” Chip assured him as he finished up his breakfast and coffee. 


Janet removed the plates to the dish bin, took their cups and refilled them with coffee and sat back down while Chip continued to show Lee the rest of the schedule and course.  “Thanks,” they said when Janet handed them the coffee.  She smiled back and listened to what they were saying.


“I’ve assigned Patterson to fly with me on the first run.  We’ll check out the Near Islands, Buldir Island and the Rat Islands,” Chip said as he showed Lee the map.  “I know those islands are further west than where we think the admiral’s plane went down but I don’t want to overlook them just in cause they made it that far.  If the weather doesn’t get any worse, Sharkey and Riley will take the afternoon run and go over the Andreanof Islands.” 


“Let’s check with Sharkey and see how she handled in the wind before we send anybody out,” Lee suggested as he got up from the table, taking some of the papers off the table as Chip grabbed the rest.  Janet took the rest of the dishes and put them in the bins and walked out with the two men. 




The men in the control room were happy to see their skipper back on duty.  Lee walked over to Kowalski, Marco and Ron, “Thanks men for pulling me out of the ocean.”


“No problem, Skipper,” they replied as Lee patted each of them on the shoulder.


Lee, Chip and Janet walked over to the plotting table where they put down the papers.  Lee picked up the mic, “Chief Sharkey please report to the control room.”


Not a second later a reply was heard, “Aye, aye sir.”


Lee and Chip continued to look over the papers as they waited for Sharkey.  “If Jamie clears you to fly, you and Kowalski will fly over the rest of the Island of the Four Mountains and the Fox Islands tomorrow.  That will cover all the islands in the chain.  If we don’t find him on the islands...” Chip started to say when Lee cut him off.


Running his hand through his hair he said, “They probably went down in the water.  So let’s plot a course around those islands so we can search the ocean floor for anything metal.”


Sharkey had just come into the control room and walked over to the plotting table.  “Good to see you Skipper,” the chief said. 


“Good to see you Chief.  Did you have any problems with the flying sub or the winds?” Lee asked.


“She flew like a dream,” Sharkey answered, “A little trouble with the winds.  We had to submerge when we got close to the islands as the wind was blowing her around quite bit.”


Janet was listening to Sharkey talk about the little sub and had a question, “Chief, I heard you say that one of the parts had to be re-worked was it the one that we had a hard time getting?”


Sharkey looked at Chip then Lee before he answered her.  He remembered the last time he told her about not getting the part and was afraid of what she would do.  Both Lee and Chip nodded to Sharkey, “Yes ma’am.  They sent us the wrong part but the men were able to adapt it to what we needed.”


“Damn,” Janet said under her breath not wanting the rest of the control room to hear her.  “Sorry Chief.”


Lee, Chip and Sharkey smiled at her response.  Chip went on to tell Sharkey the plans for taking the flying sub to look for the admiral. 


“You better get ready to go out,” Lee told Chip.  “It’s going to take you awhile to get to those islands at the end.  Sparks, please check the weather,” he asked.


Chip had already informed Patterson that he would be going out with him.  He had his jacket on and handed Chip his as he grabbed the map and course coordinates he plotted.  Sparks handed Lee the weather information.  “Looks like the winds have died down a little more,” Lee commented, “but please be careful and don’t take any unnecessary chances.  If the weather gets too bad turn back and we’ll try later.” Lee told Chip as they walked over to the hatch in the deck.  “Good luck,” Lee told Chip as he patted him on the shoulder.   Patterson undid the hatch and waited for Chip to go down before he followed him.  Sharkey closed the hatch and turned the wheel securing it.   “Prepare to launch the flying sub,” Lee told Kowalski. 


“Yes, sir,” Kowalski replied pressing the button to open the docking doors.  “All green, Skipper.”


“Launch,” Lee told him.  He, Janet and Sharkey stood looking out the windows as the flying sub cleared the Seaview and took off.  Lee walked to the radio shack, “Sparks I want all calls from FS-1 piped to the observation nose.”


“Yes, Skipper,” Sparks responded as he waited for Chip to call. 




Chip and Patterson cleared the front of the Seaview and prepared to leave the water.  Once in the air Chip headed in the direction of the coordinates he had plotted.  The gale force wind buffeted the little sub so Chip decided to run submerged until they got close to the islands they were going to fly over.  It took them almost two hours to get to the area.  Chip took to the air and flew over the Near Islands.  It was hard to see the ground with the fog and low hanging clouds.  Chip headed for Attu, the largest island in the Near Islands.  It was once a base for the Coast Guard, so he thought maybe they may have landed there but after flying over the island, they saw nothing.  Chip and Patterson flew over the rest of the Near Islands and didn’t see any signs of a plane or crash.  They headed for Buldir Island and then the Rat Islands.  After searching for another two hours, they found no signs of a plane crash.  The winds had subsided somewhat but they still had a hard time controlling FS-1.  Chip and Patterson were tired by the time they were ready to return to Seaview.  “FS-1 to Seaview,” Chip called using the throat mike.


“Skipper, I have a call from FS-1,” Sparks said over the mic.


Seaview,” Lee answered immediately.  “Chip did you spot anything?”


“No Lee, not a thing.  We’re heading back, we should be there in an hour.”


“Okay, Chip.  We’ll be waiting,” Lee said stowing the mic in its holder.  “Kowalski, keep an eye on FS-1 and open the dock doors when they’re close.


“Aye sir,” Kowalski replied noticing the dejected tone in Lee’s voice.  He turned back to the observation nose and looked at Sharkey and Janet.  They were unhappy at what Chip reported.  Lee felt the docking doors opening and knew Kowalski must have FS-1 on his sonar screen and was close enough for berthing.  Lee spotted FS-1 as she went under Seaview to dock.  Sharkey went over to the hatch and opened it up when the wheel finished turning.  Chip came back on board with his tie loosened and top button of his shirt undone.  He and Patterson both looked exhausted. 


“You okay,” Lee asked them once they were on the deck in the observation nose.


“Just tired,” Chip replied as he removed his jacket and handed it to Patterson who would put it away for him.  “The strong winds made steering her hard to control.  It was hard to see for the low hanging clouds and fog not to mention watching out for the volcanoes.”


Lee rubbed his forehead, “Thanks Chip.  Why don’t you go to the wardroom,” he suggested as it was 1300 hours and knew he would be hungry. “I’ll meet you there in a few minutes.”


“Thanks Lee.  I could sure use a cup of coffee,” Chip replied as he walked through the control room, out the aft hatch and down the passageway to the wardroom.


“Chief, be ready to leave at 1400 hours,” Lee told him as he and Janet walked to the plotting table and turned the conn over to O’Brien. 


“Aye, aye sir,” Sharkey reported as he walked over to Riley at radar.  “Be ready to leave at 1400 hours,” he told Riley.


“Yes sir,” Riley replied checking his watch making sure of the time.


Before leaving for the wardroom, Lee stopped at the sonar console, “Any metal contact, Ski?” Lee asked as they had been searching the bottom for anything metal that could come from an airplane.


“Sorry sir, nothing,” Kowalski replied softly removing his ear phones.


“Keep looking,” Lee said as he walked toward the aft hatch with Janet following behind him.


“Aye sir,” Ski answered as he put the earphones back on and tuned in a couple of the dials.




When Lee and Janet entered the wardroom, Chip already had a grilled cheese sandwich half eaten along with a half a cup of coffee.  Lee and Janet sat down and one of the mess specialists brought them a sandwich and some coffee.



“The weather seems to be clearing up.  The further west we got the weather was a little better but it’s still windy.  After reading up on the Aleutian’s that’s a normal occurrence,” Chip told Lee. “The storm that’s been raging for the last six days is unusual even for this area according to my research.”


Lee put down his sandwich after eating only half of it.  Jamie came in to check with Chip on how his flight went and saw Lee push his plate away.  He sat down and pushed it back to him.  “Eat or you don’t go out tomorrow,” Jamie informed him.


“Jamie, I’m just not hungry,” Lee quipped as he took a gulp of coffee and motioned for the mess specialist to bring him some more.


“You can’t and won’t live on coffee alone,” Jamie insisted glaring at Lee. 


“Yes, Jamie,” Lee replied taking the plate back and another bite of his sandwich smirking at Jamie as he did.




Sharkey and Riley were getting ready to board the flying sub when Lee, Chip and Janet entered the control room.  “Be careful and watch the wind,” Lee reminded them as they walked to the observation nose.  He made sure they had the coordinates Chip plotted along with a map.


Sharkey went down the ladder and was strapping in as Riley followed him down and he also strapped in.  Chip closed and secured the hatch.


“Ready kid,” Sharkey said to Riley.


“Let’s go,” Riley replied. 


Sharkey flipped the switches, started up FS-1 and put on the throat mike.  “Ready to launch, Skipper,” Sharkey said into the mike.


Lee gave the command to launch FS-1.  Lee, Chip and Janet watched as FS-1 sailed away from the sub.  Chip and Lee went back to the plotting table and would wait for Sharkey to report in.  Janet stayed in the observation nose and sat down in a chair staring out the windows as Seaview made her way in the water. 




Sharkey headed for the Andreanof Islands.  It was still very windy but they didn’t want to stop searching even though the little sub was being blown around.  They had been gone for three hours and did not see anything resembling an airplane on the ground.  They flew over Adak Island were there once was a Naval air station hoping they maybe landed there but spotted nothing.


“FS-1 to Seaview,” Sharkey called. 


Seaview,” Lee replied.  “Anything?”


“No sir.  Nothing at all,” Sharkey replied with disappointment.  “We’ve searched all the islands and are returning to Seaview.”


“Okay Chief,” Lee responded still holding the mic in his hand.  He finally stowed it back in its holder and stood staring at the admiral’s ‘front porch’.


While he stood there, Sparks told him he had Angie on the line.  Lee exhaled deeply as he didn’t want to tell her they hadn’t found the admiral or any trace of him.


“Put it in the observation nose,” Lee asked as he walked over to the table in there and picked up the mic.


“Hi Lee, did you find him,” she asked anxiously.


“Sorry Angie, nothing so far.”


“Oh Lee,” she said softly.  “I was hoping you had some good news and were heading back.”


“Not just yet,” Lee replied, “but I’m afraid we’ll have to come back soon.”


“You do have a mission scheduled for next week,” she reminded him.  “The admiral wanted to make this trip to Bali to check out a problem at a fish hatchery.  Also Edith has returned from Africa.  I told her about the admiral and she’s flying out to Santa Barbara.  She should be here later today.  I’m going to pick her up at the airport.”


“I remember the mission,” Lee told Angie.  “I’ll let you know when we’re returning.  Give Edith our love.”  Lee terminated the connection and saw his wife looking at him.  He sat down next to her and took her hand in his.  They sat there for a few minutes before Kowalski said that FS-1 was returning.


Lee stood up and Chip walked over to the hatch and waited for Sharkey and Riley to climb out.  He could see they looked tired too.  “Sorry Skipper,” Riley said as they walked to the control room.  Both their watches were over and they headed to their quarters.




While the men of Seaview were still trying to find the admiral, the men on the island were struggling to keep warm.  They only had enough wood for one more fire.  They were arguing as to when they should make it.


“I say tonight,” Jiggs slurred.  Brandon and Hugh were so tired, they didn’t care.  All they wanted to do was sleep.  Harry and Vladimir finally agreed with him just to shut him up.


Harry knew they were starting to display the symptoms of mild hypothermia.  Maybe if they got warm tonight they would stand a better chance of fighting off the more severe form.  Vladimir took the last batch of wood and made the fire.  The five men huddled around it.  They ran out of food yesterday but still had plenty of water.  They heated the water and drank it hoping it would warm them up.  After a few minutes they laid close together and even closer to the fire and fell asleep.




Chip and Lee walked back to the control room while Janet went up the spiral staircase to their cabin to get ready for dinner.  Lee turned over the conn to O’Brien and Taper.  As he and Chip walked to the control room Lee had made a decision he knew no one would like.


“Chip, after Ski and I search the rest of the islands if we don’t find anything, we’re going to have to face the fact that he’s been lost.  We’ve been searching the bottom and can’t find any metal contact so we have to assume the plane must have blown up and the wreckage scattered across the ocean or islands.  We’re going to have to head home.”


Chip looked at Lee and could tell he didn’t want to have to make that decision but they couldn’t look forever.  “I agree.  We could search every island on foot and still not find anything.”


“I’ll tell the crew after I come back from my search but I want to tell Janet first then Jamie my decision.”


“Okay, Lee,” Chip said as they entered the wardroom and saw Janet sitting at the table where Lee sat down next to her.  None of them were hungry but let Cookie put some soup and crackers in front of them.  The three of them took a couple of spoons of soup before they got up to leave.  Putting their dishes away, they walked out of the wardroom.  Chip headed to his cabin.  Janet was going to their cabin as she knew Lee was going to take his walk around.


“Janet, would you please come with me on my walk around?  I need to tell you something,” Lee said as he took her hand and they walked down the passageway towards the missile room.  Lee checked with the men in there and then they made their way to the reactor room, engine room, and circuitry room before heading to the Admiral’s lab.  While the admiral was away Lee always made sure his fish in the specimen tanks were fed.  If he wasn’t available Janet would do it.  She had no idea what most of the fish were even though the admiral had told her the species several times.  She only knew the two angel fish and named them Bonnie and Clyde.   She walked over to their tank and they quickly went to the surface where Janet gave them two pinches of food.


“Lee what do you need to tell me,” she asked softly as she watched them eat.  Clyde always ate most of the food.  She could tell them apart as Clyde was a little bigger than Bonnie.


“If Kowalski and I don’t find any signs of the plane crash tomorrow, we’re going to head back to Santa Barbara.  We’ve searched most the islands and the ocean floor where the plane might have gone down.  We have to face the fact he’s not going to be found,” Lee told her standing next to her as she tapped on the glass and the fish came over to her.


As tears streamed down her face, she faced Lee.  “I understand.”  He took her into his arms and wrapped them around her while she cried.  He had to be strong for her and the rest of the crew but knew he would have to accept that he had lost his ‘father’.


Lee walked Janet back to their cabin on his way to the control room to make a final check before going to see Jamie.  O’Brien and Taper had Seaview on a plateau at one hundred feet.  “We’ll stay here for the night,” Lee told them.  “Any problems, just call.”


“Yes, sir,” they replied as they watched him leave the control room out the aft hatch.  They looked at each other and knew their captain had a lot on his mind. 

Lee’s last stop for the night was Sick Bay.  He walked in finding Jamie at his desk finishing up some paperwork.  Jamie looked up and was surprised to see him.  “Everything okay, Lee?” he asked putting down his pen as Lee rarely came into Sick Bay voluntarily.  He looked at him and figured he needed to tell him something and it wasn’t good.  Lee sat down in the chair next to Jamie’s desk.


“Kowalski and I are going out to search the last part of the Aleutian Islands for the admiral.  If we don’t find him on this search...” Lee paused having a hard time continuing.  “...we’re going to return to Santa Barbara.  We’ve searched most the islands and most of the ocean floor where they lost contact with the plane.  Damn it, Jamie, we’ve found nothing.  Not even a piece of metal,” Lee told him running his hand through his hair.  “We can’t stay any longer.  We have to return for a mission the Admiral took on as a special favor for a friend of his.”


Jamie put his hand on Lee’s arm.  “I understand.  Lee, it’s been a week and unless they’re out of the elements...”


“I realize that Jamie but I’m going to look at this last set of islands so I know in my heart I...we did everything possible to find him.”


“Lee, you have done everything in your power to find him,” Jamie reassured him.


“Thanks for the pep talk,” Lee smiled as they stood up.  “Don’t work too much longer,” he told Jamie as he turned and walked out of Sick Bay.  Jamie watched Lee leave and go up the stairs to his cabin.  “Shit,” Jamie thought as he put his paperwork away and left Sick Bay for his cabin.




Lee entered his cabin to find Janet sitting at his desk in her pajamas.  She was looking at the picture of the admiral, Lee and Chip taken a few months after Lee took over command of Seaview in their dress white uniforms.  “I’ve always loved this picture.  The three of you look so happy. You can see how proud he was you were the captain,” Janet said putting the picture back in its place on Lee’s desk.  Lee went over to her, helped her up and held her rubbing her back. After a few minutes Janet pushed herself away from Lee, “I’m tired, let’s go to bed.” She pulled back the blankets on the bunk and climbed in.  Lee got ready for bed and climbed in next to her.  He pulled her close and could feel her body shaking as she cried herself to sleep. 




When Harry and Vladimir woke up the next morning the wind was still howling but the sleet had changed to rain.  They were shivering as were the other men who were still sleeping.  The fire had gone out hours ago.  “Harry, we’re going to have to go out today and find some wood to burn.  If we leave it outside the smoke will stay out there and maybe some of the heat will come in the cave.  If we don’t, we’re going to freeze to death.”


“Okay, let’s see if we can find some wood,” Harry replied knowing it was a long shot at it working.  The wood would be very wet and he wondered how they were going to keep the rain from putting it out.  Lee, where are you? Harry wondered.


As hard as they tried, they had a hard time getting up.  Even though they just woke up they were tired.  “Let’s wait a little longer,” Vladimir said as he leaned up against Harry.


“Fine with me,” Harry responded and closed his eyes resting his head on Vladimir’s shoulder.




Lee and Janet were up early and quickly got ready. They would eat a fast breakfast so Lee and Kowalski could get an early start on their search.  Chip and Jamie were already in the wardroom when they entered.  Lee looked at Chip and knew Jamie had told him what they talked about yesterday.  Even Janet could tell Jamie knew what Lee’s plans were if they didn’t find the admiral today.  Cookie put a plate of pancakes in front of them.  They weren’t hungry but figured they better eat it or Jamie would have a fit.  Once they finished up, the four of them made their way to the control room.  Janet had brought Lee’s leather jacket with her so he wouldn’t have to go back to the cabin.  Lee looked over the control room and saw every stationed manned and ready to go.  Sharkey was by the vertical plotter.  He was going to mark the islands as Lee flew over them.  Patterson had replaced Kowalski at the sonar console.  Chip checked in with Johnson and Taylor who had relieved O’Brien and Taper. Everything was in order with Seaview as well as the log books, so Chip signed the book noting the change in command.  Taylor and Johnson were tired but left the control room and went to the crew’s mess were most of the crew not on duty were going to wait to see if Lee and Kowalski would find the admiral.  


Lee walked over to Sparks who already had checked out the weather for him.  He handed him the report before he could ask for it.  Lee gave him a pat on the back, “Thanks,” he told him.   “You’re welcome, sir,” Sparks replied.  Lee looked over the weather and noticed the winds were not a gale level but still strong enough to play havoc with the flying sub.  The sleet was now rain and there were low hanging clouds.  “I think we have our work cut out for us,” Lee stated.


“Ready Kowalski,” Lee asked as he put on his jacket still standing by the plotting table. 


“Yes sir,” he answered putting on his jacket and stood next Lee.


Lee unrolled the map of the Fox Islands and Islands of the Four Mountains.  “We’re going to fly to the east towards the coast and search those islands before turning north and then head west before heading south and then back east,” pointing to each island on the map. We’ll fly under to clouds as close to the ground as we can without hitting any volcanoes.”  He re-rolled the map and gave it to Kowalski. They walked over to the observation nose to the hatch leading to the flying sub.  Kowalski cracked the hatch and went down the ladder.  Lee took Janet’s hand, gave her a quick kiss and a hug whispering, “We’ll find him.”  She kissed him back and nodded in agreement. 


“Good luck, Lee,” Chip said as Lee headed down the ladder into the flying sub.


Lee and Kowalski strapped in and Lee turned on the engines while Kowalski checked out the rest of the systems. 


“Everything ready to go?” Lee asked.


“All green,” Kowalski responded as Lee told the control room to launch the flying sub.


Chip, Jamie and Janet stood in the observation nose and watch as the flying sub cleared the front of Seaview and prepared to go airborne.  Chip returned to the control room while Jamie and Janet sat down in the chairs and would wait for Lee to report in. 




Once Lee was airborne, it took all his skills to keep control of the flying due to the high winds.  They managed to fly east over Tigalda Island.  Kowalski using binoculars was scanning the water and islands for any sign of the plane.  “Sorry Skipper, there’s nothing but volcanoes on the island.”


Lee turned the little sub and headed back west over Akutan Island.  They still didn’t see anything.  Lee flew over many more islands in the Fox Islands but they found no aircraft.  “Skipper, some of these islands are so small it would be difficult to even land on them,” Kowalski commented.  


After being out for three hours Lee called Seaview, “FS-1 to Seaview,” pressing the button on the throat mic.


Seaview,” Chip answered immediately.  Jamie and Janet went over to the plotting table when they heard Lee calling in.


“We’ve spotted nothing in the Fox Island and we’re now heading back west to the Islands of the Four Mountains.  I’ll report back in two hours,” Lee said after looking at his watch.  FS-1 out.”


“Okay Lee.  We’ll be waiting for your call,” Chip responded softly and stood there with the mic in his hand for a few seconds before finally replacing it.  Jamie and Janet went back to the observation nose and sat down.  Cookie had just put a new pot of coffee in the nose.  Janet poured a mug and brought it over to Chip.  He nodded thanks as she gave it to him. She then poured a cup for her and Jamie which they drank slowly waiting for Lee to call.


Due to the low hanging clouds, Kowalski was having a problem seeing the ground.  Lee was getting more discouraged by the minute.  Kowalski put down the binoculars just for a moment so he could re-focus his eyes.


“Kowalski, keep looking,” Lee ordered.


“Sorry Skipper,” Kowalski replied and picked up the binoculars.


“No Ski, I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have jumped on you.  How about you fly her for awhile and give your eyes a rest while I scan the ground,” Lee apologized.


“Thanks, Skipper.”  Kowalski handed Lee the binoculars and took over the controls of the flying sub.  They had just turned back east on their final leg of their search before heading back to Seaview.  


They only had a few more islands to search when Lee spotted something on the ground.  “Kowalski, circle back over the area you just flew over.  Kowalski quickly made a U-turn and headed back.   “Ski, look there’s a plane down there.  Can you get a little closer,” Lee said excitedly.  Kowalski dropped down a little lower and he too saw the plane.  Lee looked at the map and traced the course he and Chip had plotted.  They were near Samalga Island.  The island was one of the smallest ones in the chain and uninhabited.


“Skipper, I see the plane but it looks like it’s been there awhile but did you notice the huge burnt out area next to it,” Ski asked.


“Yes, I did.  I’ll take back the controls to try and land her.  There sure isn’t much room but I’ve got to try,” Lee said as Kowalski turned over the controls to Lee.  If anyone could land FS-1 in a small area it was Lee.  He could get her to do things she was never meant to do.  While Lee was probably the best at flying her, Kowalski wasn’t too far behind as he also had a knack for handling the little sub.  Lee managed to land her not too far from the other plane.   He and Kowalski un-strapped their belts and went to the locker in the back where they quickly took off their shoes and put on the boots, water-proof parkas and gloves they had stored in the sub knowing it would be muddy and cold once they left FS-1.  They exited the rear hatch and made their way to the aircraft on the ground.




Harry woke up and saw the rest of the men were still sleeping.  As he tried to clear the cobwebs from his brain, he heard a familiar noise.  He sat up quickly waking up Vladimir who was resting against him. 


“Did you hear that,” he asked getting up and going to the entrance to the cave.


“Hear what,” Vladimir replied sleepily and stood up next to Harry.


“It sounded like a whine of an engine, FS-1 engines,” he answered as he opened up the door letting the wind and cold into the cave waking up the rest of the men.


“Harry, what the hell are you doing,” Jiggs asked looking confused as what was going on.


“I heard FS-1,” Harry said.  “I’d know that sound anywhere.”


“Come on, Harry, close the door you’re letting all the cold air in,” Brandon told him as shivered.


Harry shut the door after he left the cave.  The wind was still blowing and it was raining but he didn’t care.  He knew he heard her.  After looking down into the small valley, he didn’t see her only the old plane and the burned area of the other plane.  Maybe I was dreaming, he thought as he returned to the cave and sat down next to Vladimir his clothing soaking wet.   “Sorry guys, I could have sworn I heard her,” Harry said teeth chattering. Vladimir also sat down.   Harry closed his eyes and fell back to sleep only to hear Jiggs talking to him a few minutes later.  “Harry I heard it, she’s here,” Jiggs said excitedly.


Harry slowly got up, “I’m going to check out the area by the plane,” he said going out into the bad weather.  Brandon tried to stop him figuring he was not thinking clearly and was suffering from hypothermia.  Harry shook off his hand and started walking down to the valley stumbling has he made his way down.  Vladimir followed him not wanting to leave him out on his own afraid he would get disoriented and not come back. 




Lee and Kowalski walked over the aircraft they spotted from the air.  Lee could tell that the airplane had been there awhile but was surprised that it wasn’t overgrown by the brush that surrounded the area around the plane.  Before going into the aircraft, they walked over to the charred spot on the ground.  There were quite a few large pieces of the aircraft that hadn’t burn. They found part of an engine, landing gear and a wing intact laying little ways away from the main fuselage. Neither one of them said anything as they walked around the burnt out fuselage looking for anything to identify the people on board.  They finished searching the area around the plane and found nothing.


Sighing heavily, “I’m thinking this was the admiral’s airplane,” Lee said to Kowalski as he turned his back to him and walked away from the area not wanting Kowalski to see how upset he was.  “That one over there is far too large and it’s been sitting there for awhile.  Let’s check it out anyway; maybe it can give us a clue as to how it got here.”  Lee and Kowalski entered the older plane and noticed there was nothing in it.  All the seats had been removed along with everything else that wasn’t bolted down. 


“Skipper, this plane is empty,” Kowalski said as they walked to the cockpit and noticed the gauges and radio were gone too.  “This island isn’t habited so where did all the stuff go? This type of plane was used at least twenty years ago.” Kowalski told Lee as he had been fascinated with planes his whole life and knew quite a bit about them.


Shaking his head, Lee answered, “Ski, I have no idea unless they took all the stuff with them when they were rescued.  You would think the Navy would’ve sent someone back to salvage the plane.”


Lee stood at the rear of the plane looking out the door at the scorched earth.  “Let’s head back, I think we have our answer,” Lee said somberly as he jumped out of the plane and starting walking back to FS-1 wondering how he was going to tell Edith, the crew and the staff at NIMR that the admiral was dead.  Kowalski jumped out right after him.  They walked back in silence to FS-1.  Before they got to the little sub, Lee stopped.  “Did you say something Ski,” Lee asked turning to face him as he thought he heard him call his name. 


“No sir.  I didn’t,” Kowalski answered quickly.


Lee removed the hood on his parka.  He heard someone calling his name again.  “Did you hear that,” Lee said.


“Yes sir, I did that time,” Kowalski replied as he looked to where the sound was coming from.




The rain had stopped as Harry left the cave. Before he got to the bottom of the hill, he saw the little yellow sub sitting in the valley near the other airplane.  He saw two men walking back to FS-1.  He wasn’t sure who they were because of their parkas but he would bet one of them was Lee as he was the only one who could land FS-1 in that small area.


As he ran stumbling down the hill he yelled, “Lee, Lee.”  He lost sight of them as he was at the bottom of the hill and the brush was too tall to see over.  He yelled again, “Lee, Lee, stop....don’t leave...wait...we’re here.”




Lee started walking over towards the voice.  He could swear it was the admiral’s voice he heard coming from the brush.


“Lee, Lee,” the voice yell again as the admiral emerged from the tall brush. 


Lee stood there staring at a dirty, scraggly, and smelly man but he would know those blue eyes anywhere.  “Admiral, is it really you?” Lee asked running over to him and embracing him.  “It is you,” Lee said with tears in his eyes.  Kowalski stood there looking at the admiral with relief on his face.


“Kowalski,” the admiral said, “I’m so happy to see you.”


“Same here sir,” Kowalski replied as Vladimir came out of the brush and almost ran into him.


“This is Vladimir,” the admiral said to Lee and Ski.  “He’s saved’s a long story I’ll tell you later.  We have to get the other men out of the cave and into FS-l.”


“We’re already here,” Jiggs bellowed as he and Brandon came out of the brush struggling as they carried Hugh.  They too looked the same as the admiral.  Kowalski went over to the men and took Hugh from them as they were having a hard time holding him up.  None of the men looked very well as they were shivering.  Lee suspected they were suffering from hypothermia.  


“Kowalski, we need to get them FS-l immediately,” Lee ordered as they looked like they were about to collapse.  Kowalski helped Hugh get on board while Lee took Admiral Fisher.  Kowalski strapped Hugh into the bunk and covered him with one of the thermal blankets they kept on board.  Lee strapped in Admiral Fisher and covered him.  Lee then helped Admiral Starke onto FS-1 and put a blanket around him.   Kowalski helped Vladimir on board and put him in the co-pilot’s seat and put his parka on him.  Lee wanted to assist the admiral but he got himself aboard.  Lee made him sit in the pilot’s seat, removed his parka and wrapped it around him as they had run out of blankets


Lee started FS-1 so the men could warm up.  He took the mic off the side by the pilot seat, “FS-1 to Seaview. Come in Seaview.” Lee called urgently.


“This is Seaview,” Chip answered quickly.  “Lee, are you’re late calling and we’ve been trying to raise you for the last half hour.”  Jamie and Janet heard Lee’s voice and ran over to the plotting table.


“Sorry Chip but we found the admiral,” Lee replied.  “We’re going to need help...we’re on the island of Samalga...bring Seaview as close as you can to the island.”


“You found the admiral,” Chip asked quietly not knowing if he was alive or not.


“Yes, he’s alive,” Lee told him.  He could hear all the men in the control room cheering and yelling. 


“Calm down men and report back to your stations,” Chip said smiling.  He looked at Janet who had tears in her eyes and relief on Jamie’s face. 


Once all the cheering stopped Lee continued, “We have all the men from the plane on FS-1 but can’t take them all.  I’ll have Kowalski fly back three of them.  I’m sending two injured men and Admiral Starke but tell Jamie to be prepared to receive a total of five men. I think they are suffering from mild hypothermia.  Tell Cookie to have a lot of food and hot drinks available too.”


“Jamie’s right here and will have Sick Bay ready to receive them all,” Chip replied after getting a nod from Jamie who had already left the control room and headed to Sick Bay to alert Frank and John.  “How long before Kowalski will get here?”


Looking at his watch and knowing where Seaview was stationed he said, “He should be there in thirty minutes.  The admiral, one other man, and I will wait for Kowalski to come back.  Call SAR on Kodiak Island and let them know we have them so they don‘t send out their choppers as the rain has stopped and the winds have died down.”


“Okay Lee,” Chip answered, “we’ll be waiting for you. Seaview out.”


Lee put the mic back in its holder and put his leather jacket on as he let the admiral keep his parka and gloves.  He helped Vladimir off the sub still wearing Ski’s parka and gloves and then helped the admiral.  “Get going Ski,” Lee told him as he closed and locked the rear hatch.  The three men left on the island moved away from FS-1 as she took off barely clearing the large brush.


“We can wait in that plane,” Lee suggested pointing to the old plane.


“No Lee, there’s a cave up that hill,” the admiral said pointing to the where the cave was.  “We can wait there until Kowalski returns.”


“You’ve been in a cave all this time,” Lee asked as he followed the two men up the hill to the cave.  Vladimir opened the door and they walked in.  Lee looked around noticing the items from the old plane in the cave. He felt the cold and dampness of the cave and looked at the fire pit and knew it hadn’t been used for awhile.


“Yes Lee, this has been home for the last week,” the admiral told him. “I’m sorry Vladimir. Lee, this is Dr. Vladimir Shencko.  Vladimir, meet Commander Lee Crane.  He’s the captain of my submarine. Vladimir has been living on this island for the last twenty years.”


“Nice to meet you,” Lee shook his hand and said, “You’ve been here twenty years.  Were you on the old plane that crashed?”


Before he could respond, “I was too Lee,” the admiral added as Lee just stood there was a perplexed look on his face.  “It’s a long story I’ll tell you about once we’re aboard Seaview,” the admiral said patting him on the shoulder.


“It’s so good to see you,” Lee said quietly, “we had just about given up on finding you.  You have a lot of phone calls to make when you get back.  Edith and Angie will be the first two.”


“You called Edith,” the admiral asked, “I suppose she’s in Santa Barbara and will want to take care of me.”


“Admiral, I had to call her.  We didn’t know if you were dead or alive.  She needed to know,” Lee explained.


“Yes, yes, you’re right.  I’m just not thinking clearly,” the admiral said as he pulled the parka tighter around him. 


“I’m sure she will along with Angie, Wanda and Janet,” Lee grinned.  “I bet Edith won’t let you out of her sight for weeks,” he teased.


“Huh huh,” the admiral grumbled, “but I better get cleaned up before they’ll even want to see me let alone take care of me.” 


“I know one person who isn’t going to care how you look,” Lee said, “and will be happy to see you when you get aboard.”


“Think she’ll give me a kiss hello?” the admiral said with a grin knowing he was filthy and smelly.


Smiling back, Lee replied, “I bet you get a kiss and a hug.”


Vladimir looked at the two men and had no idea who they were talking about.  The admiral saw his confusion and explained to him that Lee’s wife, Janet, worked on the submarine.


“They let women on submarines?” he asked.


“Yes they do now but even if they didn’t since Seaview is a privately owned vessel I can do whatever I want,” Harry stated as the three men laughed.


While they waited for FS-1 to return, Vladimir remarked, “That’s some kind of machine. It flies in the air and then into the water?”


“Yes sir,” Lee answered, “the admiral invented her and we wouldn’t have found you if he hadn’t.” Lee continued looking at the admiral relieved that he was alive even if he was a mess.


They talked about the flying sub a little while longer before they heard the whine of her engines and knew Kowalski had come back to pick them up.


Vladimir is there anything you would like to bring back with you?” the admiral asked.


“No Harry, I don’t think so.  I need to start a new life so why take the old one with me,” he said quietly, “but thank you for offering.”


The three men made their way down the hill to the valley just as Kowalski turned off her engines.  He opened the rear hatch and helped Vladimir aboard.  He made sure he was strapped in.  The admiral sat in the back next to Vladimir as he wanted to make sure he had no problems flying in the sub.  Kowalski sat down in the co-pilot’s seat while Lee strapped in the pilot’s seat.  He turned on the engines and radioed Seaview.


“FS-1 to Seaview,” Lee called while starting the engines.


Seaview,” Chip answered. 


“We’re leaving the island now, Chip.  We should be there shortly.”


“Yes sir,” Chip responded as he looked at the men and woman in the control room who were waiting anxiously for the admiral to come aboard. 


Thirty minutes later Lee radioed Seaview, “Open the docking doors.” 


“Aye, aye sir,” Chip replied. After opening the docking doors, all the men left their stations and stood in a line in the observation nose.  Once FS-1 was tucked in her berth and the docking doors closed, Sharkey went over to the hatch, turned the wheel, and lifted it open.  Lee let the admiral go up the ladder first where he was piped aboard his submarine.  He was surprised as they wouldn’t normally pipe him aboard.  Once on deck, the crew cheered and clapped loudly relieved to have him back.  Chip and Janet were standing at the front of the line.  Chip shook his hand vigorously, “Welcome back sir.”  Janet, her eyes wet with tears, gave him a kiss and a hug said, “I’m so glad you’re back.”  The admiral looked at Lee and smiled which Lee returned.  The admiral made his way down the line shaking all the crew’s hand before they returned to their stations.


“Mr. Morton,” Lee said to Chip, “set a course for home.”


“Aye, aye sir,” Chip said promptly telling the engine room and maneuvering to get them underway.


Vladimir followed behind the admiral amazed at what he saw.  He realized he had a lot of catching up to do.


Frank was waiting at the end of the line, “I have orders to bring the admiral and his guest to Sick Bay as soon as he boarded.”


The admiral looked at him and sighed, “I can’t refuse, can I?”


“No sir.  Dr. Jamieson said he would drag you down himself if you didn’t come.”


“Frank, tell Jamie I will personally bring him down as soon as he calls his sister,” Lee told him.


“Yes sir,” Frank answered and left for Sick Bay.




As soon as Hugh, Admirals Starke and Fisher were aboard, Chip made sure that they had an opportunity to call their loved ones.  Sparks placed the calls from each of them and put them in the observation nose for privacy as Chip had closed the crash doors.  There were plenty of tears as they re-connected with their family members.


When the admiral came aboard, Lee made sure he placed a call to Edith.  Lee checked his watch and knew she would be at the institute waiting for him to call along with Angie and Wanda.  As soon as Lee radioed he had found them, Chip phoned the institute.  


“Harry, is that really you,” Edith cried when she heard his voice over the video phone seeing how dirty he was.  “I’m so glad you’re alive…are you okay?  I don’t know what I would have done without you.”


“I’m fine,” he replied his eye getting moist with tears.  He was afraid he would never see her again.


Angie took her turn talking to him, “Oh Admiral, it’s so good to hear you voice,” she said as tears ran down her cheeks. 


Then Wanda also talked to him, “I’m so glad you all right,” she said her voice quivering with emotion.


“I’ll be home soon,” he replied staunchly as the tears fell from his eyes. “I missed all of you.”  He disconnected the call, wiped his eyes, opened the crash doors and returned to the Control Room.  Lee, Chip and Janet were standing at the plotting table with Vladimir.   Janet had tears in her eyes knowing how emotional the women at the institute would have been. She was having a hard time controlling her emotions as she was glad her ‘father’ was safe.


Vladimir, do you have anyone you need to call?” the admiral asked.


“I don’t think so.  I had a sister in Morava but I don’t even know if she’s still alive,” he replied sadly. 


When Janet heard that she looked at Lee, he nodded his head letting her know it was okay to look for her as he knew she would move heaven and earth to track her down.




As Lee, the admiral and Vladimir walked to Sick Bay, Lee asked softly, “Admiral, aren’t you missing a man?  If Vladimir was already on the island...”


“Yes Lee, the co-pilot of the airplane was killed in the crash. We couldn’t get him out before the plane caught on fire,” the admiral replied.  “The man with the broken leg is Hugh, the pilot,”


“I see,” Lee answered as they walked into Sick Bay. 




Jamie was waiting for the admiral and Vladimir to come aboard.  He had already taken care of Hugh’s leg and Admiral Fisher’s back. With the help of Frank and John, they managed to clean up the two men and get them into some clean scrubs.  Admiral Starke just needed to clean up and eat a good meal.  He wanted to wait in Sick Bay until the admiral and Vladimir came aboard before going to a cabin. 


“It’s about time you got here,” Jamie teased with a grin on his face as he too was very happy to see his boss and shook his hand.


“I’m fine,” the admiral told Jamie.


“I’ll be the judge of that,” Jamie said as he looked him over.   “Why don’t you get cleaned up and return back here so I can check you out more thoroughly,” Jamie instructed.  “I expect you back here in thirty minutes or I‘ll send Frank to get you.”


“Jamie,” the admiral protested but saw the look on his face, “Okay, I’ll be back,” he grumbled.  “Jamie, this is Dr. Vladimir Shencko, a chemical scientist from the People’s Republic.  I was supposed to bring him back to the US over twenty years ago but he got detained.”


“I’m Will Jamieson, chief medical officer of Seaview and NIMR, pleased to meet you,” Jamie said as he shook his hand looking him over. “I understand you’re the one who took care of Hugh and Admiral Fisher.  You did a fine job with what you had to work with.  Hugh’s leg is healing nicely as is Admiral Fisher’s back. It’s infected but with some antibiotics he‘ll be fine.”


“Thank you, Dr. Jamieson,” Vladimir replied.


“Everyone calls me Jamie and I want to take a look at you also.  I’ll have John bring you back here in thirty minutes.”


“I’m okay,” Vladimir answered which brought a snicker from Lee and the admiral.


“Dr. Shencko,” Lee said smiling, “Please don’t argue with him. He going to win and will not let you alone until he does.  No one can escape Jamie when he gets you in his clutches.”


“Please call me Vladimir,” he said to Lee, “all right you win.”  


Before Lee returned to the control room he said to the admiral, “Chip, Janet and I will meet all of you in the wardroom in an hour.  Cookie has some hot chicken noodle soup and fresh rolls waiting for you.”


“Fine, Lee,” the admiral said patting his shoulder and left for his cabin grateful to be back ‘home’.




John escorted Vladimir and Admiral Starke to their cabins where there was a change of clothes and all the other necessities they would need to get cleaned up.  “I’ll see that the laundry takes care of your clothes,” John told them, “Just leave them by the door.” 


“Thank you,” both men replied as John returned to Sick Bay.


Both men took longer than normal showers as the hot water felt so good on their bodies.  Both men shaved and looked a lot better than before.  Vladimir hadn’t shaved in over twenty years.  He had managed to cut his beard with a scissors he found in the first aid kit but it finally felt good to get rid of it.  He went through three razors to get it all off.  John had thought ahead and actually put four disposable razors in the pack he gave each of them.


Thirty minutes later John returned to get the men and both of them were ready and waiting for him.  Just as John was about to knock on the admiral’s door, he opened it up.  “I’m ready,” he said shutting the door to his cabin.


John brought the men to Sick Bay where Jamie looked them over.  He was happy to report they were in surprisingly good shape considering their conditions.  They were suffering no ill effects from hypothermia but knew had they stayed there much longer it would have been a lot worse as Admiral Starke told him they didn’t have any more wood to make a fire.   Even though Vladimir was very thin, he was in good health after spending twenty years on the island.


Jamie released the admiral along with Admiral Starke and Vladimir from Sick Bay but ordered them to the wardroom for some dinner.  He would keep Admiral Fisher in Sick Bay overnight with an IV of antibiotics but Hugh would have to stay in Sick Bay until they arrived in Santa Barbara as a submarine was no place to be walking around on crutches. 


Cookie had the mess specialists bring the two men still in sick bay large bowls of soup along with the rolls and coffee.  The men were very pleased to get the food along with the strong hot coffee they had been craving for the last week. 


Jamie left Frank in charge of Sick Bay as he would go to the wardroom for dinner and make sure the other three men ate dinner. 




Lee returned to the Control Room where Chip was reviewing the course and speed with O’Brien and Taper.  Janet was in the Observation Nose looking out the windows as Seaview cruised through the water.  After he finished with Chip he joined her in the Observation Nose.  “You okay,” he asked as he could see her eyes were a little moist. 


“I’m so happy you found him,” she said to Lee giving his hand a squeeze.  She would have given him a kiss but the whole control room was watching them. “I don’t know what I would’ve have done with out him. I do have a question for you, what was that grin he gave you when he came aboard?”


Lee grinned as he explained, “He didn’t think you would give him a kiss or hug because he was so dirty and stinky.”


“Lee, I didn’t even notice, I was just so happy to see him.”


“Me too,” he concurred.  “Let’s see if Chip is done with O’Brien and Taper so we can go to dinner.” he said as they walked into the Control Room and stood next to Chip just as he was finishing up, “I’m anxious to hear the story about how the admiral was on the first plane to crash there.”


“What!!” Chip and Janet said in unison.  “He was on that island before?”


“Yes, he was bringing Dr. Shencko to the US as he was defecting from the People’s Republic.  But that’s all I know.”


The three of them left the Control Room through the aft hatch and made their way to the wardroom where the other men and Jamie had just sat down.  Cookie and the mess specialists were bringing them huge bowls of soup, bread and of course coffee.  Janet sat next to the admiral, Lee sat next to her and Chip across from them.


“Admiral,” Lee said, “please tell us how and why you were on Samalga Island before.”


The four men from the island dug into their soup as the admiral explained to Lee, Chip, Jamie and Janet what had taken place twenty years before and how they had to leave Vladimir behind when they couldn’t find him.


When the admiral was done talking, Lee piped up, “I don’t understand why the Navy didn’t go back and search for you or salvage the plane.”


Vladimir responded, “They did search for me.  I could hear planes flying overhead while we were in the cave.  I knew one of them had landed and let some men off.  I could hear the searchers talking around the entrance to the cave but Inseok had covered the door with so much brush that unless you poked around you wouldn’t even know the cave was there.  He gagged me so I couldn’t shout out and also had his gun pointed at me. As for the plane I don’t know why they never came back for it but I sure wish they had maybe I wouldn’t have spent so many years away.”


“Why did they leave Inseok Nasaki on the island to start with,” Janet asked breaking off a piece of roll.


“During WWII the Japanese attacked the islands of Attu and Kiska during the Midway Atoll battle.  They were afraid the US would invade their main land.  They probably put him on the island to keep it secure and forgot to pick up him,” the admiral told her.


“That poor man.  He had been there alone all that time,” Janet replied sadly. 


“He had no idea how long he had been there until we showed up.  I don’t know how he lasted that long,” Vladimir answered with a tear in his eye.  “I still miss him.”


The group sat there in silence for a few minutes before they finished up their dinners.  The men from the island all had second helpings of soup.  The only who didn’t was Vladimir.


“Is there something wrong with the soup…I can make you something else,” Cookie asked.


“No, the soup was great.  I’m just not used to eating meat.  I’ve lived on fish for so long I forgot how it tastes,” he said reassuring the worried chef.


“I can make you a tuna fish sandwich,” Cookie offered ready return to the galley.


“No…no.  Please this is fine.”


“I hope you haven’t lost your taste for chocolate as I made brownies for dessert,” Cookie said he signaled the mess specialists to bring over the brownies and remove the dirty dishes from the table.  They placed two huge plates of brownies down in front of the group and two carafes of coffee.  They all eagerly dived into brownies.  There were enough brownies for everyone to have two except Janet who had one but Chip ate her second one.  Vladimir watched as Chip took the last brownie.


He whispered to the admiral, “Does he always eat that much food.”  Noticing he also had three bowls of soup and that many rolls.


Lee and Janet overheard him and broke out into a smile as the admiral answered, “Yes he does and we have no idea where he puts it.”  Chip just smiled as he drank his coffee and finished up Janet’s brownie.


Vladimir and Admiral Starke could barely contain their yawns so they excused themselves to return to their cabins for the night.  Admiral Starke took Vladimir to his as he was very confused as to where he was and how to get to his cabin.


The admiral along with Lee, Chip, Jamie and Janet lingered a little longer before retiring to their cabins. 


“Cookie,” the admiral called, “I would like to have a celebration dinner in the observation nose tomorrow.  Do you have anything you can make?”


Thinking it over for a minutes, “Yes, I can make something special for you,” Cookie answered.


“Good, put out the good china and wine.  We do have wine don’t we?”


“Yes sir.  I’ve been saving it for something special,” he answered with a huge grin on his face.


They finally stood up after the admiral started to yawn.  Jamie noticed it, “Admiral, you’ve had a long day.  You better go hit the rack.”


“Yes, I agree.  I’m pretty tired.  I can’t wait to sleep in my bunk instead of on those airplane cushions.”


They all walked back to their cabins.  The admiral and Lee walked ahead of Chip and Janet.  Jamie made a quick trip back to Sick Bay to check on his patients before going to his cabin.  


“Lee, sometime tomorrow I would like to talk to you about how you managed to find us.  There are so many islands in the chain.  I didn’t think we would ever be rescued,” the admiral said.


“Admiral, I didn’t think we would find you either,” Lee answered as they stopped Lee and Janet’s cabin.


“Good night sir,” Lee said, “it’s good to have you back.”   Janet and Chip shook their heads in agreement.


They stood outside their cabin door watching the admiral walk down to his cabin.  The three of them took a deep breath and finally relaxed. 


“Good night, Lee, Janet,” Chip said as he walked to his cabin.


Lee opened the door for Janet and let her go in first.   He took her by the waist and gave her a long deep kiss which she returned.  They were so worried about the admiral they hadn’t had anytime for themselves.  They quickly got ready for bed and climbed in.  They managed to tune out everything and concentrated only on each other for the next few hours.




After they all had breakfast Lee and Chip went to the Control Room and stood at the plotting table checking Seaview’s position and speed.  She was on course and should be home in two days.  Janet had gone to her office to finish up the duty roster when she got an idea.  She went to Sick Bay to talk to Admiral Fisher and Hugh.  She asked them if they wanted their wives to meet them when they docked in Santa Barbara.  They were very appreciative that their wives could be there.  Before she went to the Control Room with the duty rosters, she looked for Admiral Starke.  She found him in the wardroom just finishing up breakfast as he had slept in.


“Good morning, Admiral Starke,” Janet said pleasantly.  “Did you enjoy your breakfast?”


“Yes, it was fine,” he mumbled.


“Sir, would you like us to have your wife meet us at the institute when we dock?  I’ll make sure she’s there.” Janet asked.


“No that’s okay.  She’s not in San Diego right now. I’m not sure where she is,” he told her tersely.


“You sure sir?  We can track her down,” Janet volunteered.


“Mrs. Crane, I told you no,” he said tersely and scowled at her.


“Yes sir,” Janet replied and left the wardroom.  She decided she would track her down anyway.  What could he do to her as he couldn’t fire her.  Just rant and rave but she was willing to take his gruff.





Janet left the wardroom with the duty rosters and went to the Control Room. She handed them to Chip to look over before she posted them.  He signed off on them and she stood there.


“Is something wrong?” Lee asked with concern as she didn‘t leave right away.


“I’ve got an idea but I don’t want to do anything about it without the admiral’s approval or yours,” Janet said softly.


Lee and Chip looked at each wondering what she was up to.  “Spill it,” Lee said with a grin.


“I already have Angie trying to find Dr. Shencko’s sister.  If she does find her, can we fly her to NIMR?  I was also hoping we could maybe fly Admiral Fisher’s and Starke’s wife along with Hugh’s wife to meet us when we dock. Maybe they could also stay the night at a nice hotel? They must have been worried to death about them.  I know how I feel when you return home after an ONI mission.  I know it will cost a lot of money but…”


Before Lee could answer, the admiral came down the spiral staircase and heard only part of what Janet had suggested.  “What costs a lot of money?” he asked.  


Lee and Chip looked at Janet, “Sweetie, it’s your idea, you ask him,” Lee told her with a smile knowing full well the admiral would agree to it but he wanted her to ask.


“Well,” she hesitated but got up her nerve and explained to him what she wanted to do.  If he said no, she was in big trouble as she already had made arrangements with Angie to do it. 


“That’s a great idea,” the admiral agreed.  “I don’t care what it costs.  Family is the most important thing in a person’s life.  I never realized it until I was afraid I would never see mine again.”


“Thank you sir,” Janet replied quickly as she ran up the staircase to her office so she could call Angie and tell her it was okay.  Damn, she thought as she forgot to post the duty rosters.  As soon as she was done with her call she would post them.


The admiral went out the aft hatch after giving Janet the okay to get Vladimir.  He was going to show him his lab and the rest of the boat. He knew he was a smart man and could use him at NIMR so he wanted to talk to him privately about a job.


Lee and Chip watched as she ran up the staircase and laughed.  First she forgot about the rosters and would have to come back to post them.  Lee spoke up once she was out of earshot, “I think she had already put her idea into motion.  I wonder what she would have done if the admiral had said no,” he mused tapping his pencil on the plotting table.


“I think it would have cost you and her a couple month’s salary,” Chip chuckled.  “Knowing her as well as I do she would’ve paid for it herself to get their families there.”


“You’re right,” Lee agreed shaking his head, “but if it makes her happy, I’d gladly pay for it.”  The two of them returned to their duties in the Control Room.  Lee making his rounds checking out the equipment and men while Chip continued to monitor their progress.




Janet called Sparks from her cabin and asked him to put her through to Angie at the institute.  “I got the okay from the admiral,” she told her excitedly. 


“That’s good because I’ve already booked the flights for Admiral Fisher‘s and Hugh‘s wife,” Angie snickered. “They’re coming from the east coast. I’ve also made reservations at The Pepper Tree Inn for all of them.   Admiral Starke’s wife just got back to San Diego and I have a driver bringing her up.  I have a line on Dr. Shencko’s sister.  I’ll know more later today.”


“Thanks Angie.  Did you call the other person I talked to you about?”  Janet asked carefully crossing her fingers.


“Yes, good to go,” Angie replied happily.


“I’ll talk to you later,” Janet answered severing her connection.  She did a happy dance in the cabin before running to the crew’s mess to post the duty rosters.




After the admiral asked him to make something special for dinner, Cookie went to the freezer to see what he had.  He forgot he put some stew meat in the freezer.  He took it out to thaw.  He checked the wine supply.  He had two bottles here and knew the admiral had a couple of bottles in the Observation Nose.  He would use his bottles to make a beef in wine dish with noodles.  They didn’t have any fresh vegetables or fruit left so he would have to use the frozen corn he had on hand.  For dessert, he could make a couple of pies.  He would make one apple and one cherry using the canned filling but could make the crust from scratch.  They didn’t have any ice cream for a la mode but he was sure the admiral wouldn’t mind.   After they served breakfast, Cookie and the mess specialists started cooking dinner.  The longer it cooked the tastier it would be.  When it came time for lunch, the galley smelled heavenly between the meat dish and pies.  Lunch was tuna sandwiches with chips but no one cared as Cookie was too busy with dinner.




It was an hour before dinner and Cookie had asked Lee to close the crash doors so he and the mess specialists could get ready for dinner.  Cookie found the admiral’s two bottles of wine in the cabinet by the spiral staircase.  Lucky for him it was red.  They brought out the good china and set the table.  Cookie had also managed to create a few appetizers with some canned shrimp he had and some leftover bread which he broiled making it nice and crusty. 


Since all the men from the island only had the clothes on their backs when they were rescued and as hard as the men on laundry detail tried they couldn’t get their clothes cleaned.  The men had to wear crew’s uniforms until they got into port.  So the admiral decided that the officers would wear their duty khaki’s for dinner. Janet chose to wear the only dress she had on board with a pair of low heels.  Dinner was scheduled for 1800 hours.  Cookie had the mess specialists set out the appetizers and drinks for those who didn’t want the wine. 


Hugh with the help of Admiral Fisher came through the aft hatch with Jamie following behind.  He hobbled on his crutches through the control room and into the Observation Nose.  He was in awe at how big Seaview was and how much the crew thought of the admiral as that is all they talked about when they had to come to Sick Bay.  Admiral Fisher was also impressed with the sub.  He had heard of her but never had the opportunity to see her until now.  The admiral had given him a tour once he was released from Sick Bay.  Admiral Starke came down the spiral staircase followed by the admiral and then Chip, Lee and Janet.  Lee waited at the bottom of the staircase for her to come down.  He had to admit she looked very nice tonight.  He gave her hand a quick squeeze when she got to the bottom.  As Lee opened the wine, Janet brought over the glasses to be filled.  Once everyone had a glass the admiral made a toast.


“To life and family.  Enjoy your life as you never know when it could be over and love your family even more,” the admiral said raising his glass, winking at his command staff and Janet who winked back.


“Here, here,” everyone replied as they raised their glasses.  They munched on the appetizers until Cookie brought in dinner.  Everyone sat down with the admiral at one end and Admiral Starke at the other.  Lee and Janet sat next to Admiral Fisher and Vladimir.  Chip parked himself next to Hugh with Jamie alongside of him too.   Cookie put the noodles and beef in wine on their plates with the corn and dinner rolls. They all marveled at how delicious the dinner was.


When everyone was finished eating, the mess specialist removed their dishes and replace them with dessert plates and cups for coffee.  Cookie brought in the cherry and apple pies to many oohs and aahs.


“I’m glad I don’t work on this submarine,” Hugh commented, “I’d gain twenty pounds.  The food has been great.”


Everyone laughed and agreed with him.  “Thank you,” Cookie replied graciously as he filled their cups with coffee.


They were enjoying the evening so they lingered well into the night. Vladimir, Admiral Fisher and Hugh couldn’t stop looking out the windows as Seaview made her way through the water.  Cookie had to make another two pots of coffee before they decided to call it a night.  Jamie helped Hugh back to Sick Bay while the rest of them went to their cabins.  Only the admiral, Lee, Chip and Janet remained after everyone left.  The admiral went to his special cabinet and took out his Glenlivet Whiskey and poured the four of them a drink.  “Thank you for finding me,” he told them.  “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life there.”  They clinked their glasses together and drank up the amber liquid.  Even Janet took a small sip.  She gave the rest of hers to Lee. The admiral and Janet made their way to their cabins while Lee opened the crash doors and looked around the Control Room.  The men were at their posts and Seaview was on course.  He and Chip were satisfied the boat was running smoothly and went to their cabins.


“Good night, Lee,” Chip said when they reached his.  “It’s been a long day.  I’m sure glad it all worked out.”


Lee undid his tie and loosened the top button on his shirt.  “I’m glad Janet helped me make the decision to go out one more time to look for him,” Lee replied.  “Night Chip.” 


Lee continued on to his cabin where Janet had already fallen asleep.  Chuckling as he watched her sleep, he knew she had a little too much wine and whiskey.  So much for my evening plans, he thought as he got ready for bed, climbed in the bunk laying right next to her.




Seaview made good time as Lee ran her at full speed the rest of the way to Santa Barbara.  They were about three hours from docking at the institute. 


Janet went to the Control Room to look for Lee. She had just gotten off the video phone with Angie. He was there with Chip and they were discussing what needed to be done to Seaview during her short time at the institute.  They had a mission scheduled to the southern Pacific and were scheduled to leave on Wednesday. It was a mission that the admiral had set up a few months back.  Even though they didn’t want go, he knew the admiral had promised his friend he and Seaview would help him out.  Since it was already Sunday, they wouldn’t have much time at home.


Janet walked over to the plotting table.  “I’ve got some good news for you,” she said to him smiling.


He looked at her with a perplexed look, “Well are you going to tell me or do I have to guess?”


“First, the mission scheduled for next week has been postponed indefinitely.  Seems the problem the admiral’s friend was having with the hatchery has corrected itself.   So we’re free for the next month as that was the only mission scheduled until the following month when we’re scheduled to restock one of the undersea laboratories,” she told them happily.


“That is great news,” Lee said with relief.  “But you said first, so what’s the other issue,” he asked sensing she needed something from him.


“When we dock, could you dismiss the crew first before letting the men from the island off the boat.  I want to surprise them after the crew has left.  All their families are going to be there including Dr. Shencko’s sister as Angie managed to track her down.  She’s hasn’t seen her brother in over twenty years so I thought…”


“Say no more, sweetie.  I’ll make sure that the crew will be the first off.  They’ll want to see their families too.”


“Thanks honey,” Janet said giving Lee a quick peck on the check as she walked out the aft hatch.  He looked around the Control Room noticing all the men had smiles on their faces.




It was early Sunday morning when Seaview made it to the channel that led to her dock.  Lee and Chip were both in the conning tower as Lee skillfully berthed the huge submarine not scratching her paint much to Chip’s chagrin.  The dock detail threw the lines to the deck crew and tied her down as the dock detail put out the gangway.  Once Seaview was docked and tied down, Lee and Chip returned to the Control Room.  “Attention all hands,” Lee said over the mic.  “You are dismissed for the next two weeks.  Enjoy your time off and I can’t thank you enough for all the hard work you put in on this mission.”  You could hear the whoops and hollers as the men started to leave the boat.  Chip standing at the bottom of the ladder in the control room checked each one off as they left.  Kowalski, Patterson, Chief Sharkey, and Riley were the last ones off the boat.  Lee stopped them before they left the boat, “Chief, Riley, thanks for staying behind and bringing up FS-1.  We never would have found the admiral without it,” he said as he patted them on the back.  “Kowalski and Patterson, thanks for the extra effort you put in when searching the islands,” Lee told them giving them a pat on the back too. 

“No problem, Skipper,” the men replied.


The men went up the ladder and out the sail hatch.  Janet had asked Sharkey to tell Angie that they were the last ones off so she could have the families of the men stranded on the island greet their families in private.


Angie helped Dr. Shencko’s sister out of the car. Edith and Wanda as well the other men’s wives were there waiting too and one surprise person.  Admiral Fisher’s wife and Hugh’s wife were rather surprised at the size of Seaview. 


Jamie went up first and with the help of Admiral Fisher got Hugh up the ladder and onto the quarterdeck where he and Admiral Fisher spotted their wives.  Hugh’s wife ran up the gangplank and greeted her husband hugging and kissing him while Admiral Fisher ran down the gangplank and greeted his wife picking her up and swinging her around kissing her as her well.  Admiral Starke headed up next followed by the admiral, Lee and Janet.  Chip would be the last one off the boat today and would help up Dr. Shencko.  When Admiral Starke got to the quarterdeck he stopped.  He was surprised to see his wife there as he had ordered Janet not to call her.


As the admiral, Lee, Janet, Chip and Dr. Shencko walked onto the quarterdeck, Admiral Starke bellowed, “Mrs. Crane, I see you don’t follow orders any better than your husband, do you?”


“No sir,” she snapped back quickly.  Lee was about to say something to him but Janet put her hand on his arm.  Admiral Starke walked back to her, leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek whispering, “Thank you.”  He ran down the gangplank into the waiting arms of his wife.


“What was that all about?” Lee asked. 


“He told me not to call his wife but I did it anyway.” 


Lee gave her a kiss on her other cheek and chuckled, “I guess neither one us can follow his orders.”


Dr. Shencko saw his sister, Renata, standing there and broke into tears as he hadn’t seen her in over twenty years.  Janet took his arm and walked him down the gangplank to his sister’s open arms.  All of them were crying when they hugged.  “I didn’t know if you were alive,” Dr. Shencko said to her.  “Thank you,” he said to all of them.  “You’ve made me very happy.”  Everyone wiped away their tears as Lee helped Renata into the car and Dr. Shencko climbed in the back seat next to her and grabbed her hand.  The driver left the dock and drove them to the Inn where they would be able to get reacquainted.


Edith, Angie and Wanda ran over the admiral and smothered him with hugs and kisses.  He was embarrassed by all the attention he was getting.  “You’re not going anywhere for awhile,” Edith told her brother as he held his hand.


Jamie and Chip had made their way down the gangplank and were standing next to Lee and Janet.  Chip wondered why there was still a car there as all of them had brought their own cars to the institute.  The door opened and out stepped Julie.  Chip stood there not sure what to do.  Julie ran over to him and gave him a very passionate kiss and hug.  He was pretty embarrassed by the time she was through.


Lee, Chip and Janet normally went out to eat when they returned from a mission.  “Chip, are we going out to eat…my treat…anywhere you want to go,” Lee teased.


“Sorry Lee,” Chip responded quickly, “Not this time.  I’ve got other plans.”  Chip threw Lee his car keys and jumped into the car with Julie and drove off.


“Janet, I guess you’ll have to drive our car home,” Lee laughed as he caught Chip’s keys.


Jamie was the last one left.  “Jamie,” Edith said, “come over to Harry’s house.  I’ve got enough dinner for all of us.  Lee, Janet, Angie and Wanda you’re welcome to come too,” Edith offered.  She hoped they would say no as she wanted to be alone with her brother and Jamie.


Lee spoke up, “I still have a few loose ends to take care of here, so the rest of you go.  I’m going to be awhile.”


The admiral looked at Lee and smiled. “Okay Lee, how about we meet on Tuesday at 0830 hours?”


“Works for me admiral,” Lee grinned.


Angie and Wanda also had other plans and begged off dinner.  The four of them stood there watching the admiral along with Jamie and Edith drive away.  “Thanks for taking care of all the details,” Janet said to Angie and Wanda.  “I love happy endings.”


“It was a great idea.  I’m sure they’re all going to enjoy themselves tonight.”  Angie and Wanda gave Janet and Lee a hug and walked back to the parking lot.


Lee took his wife around the waist and gave her a very passionate kiss.  “Well Mrs. Crane, your idea was a smashing success. How about we go home and see how I can repay you for making me go out one more day to search for the admiral.”


“Well, what do you have mind,” she said mischievously.   Lee whispered in her ear what he had in mind. She grabbed his hand and they ran to the cars.  Lee jumped into Chip’s car while Janet got into theirs.  They were home in ten minutes and in bed five minutes after that.


Even though they had Monday off, Janet got back at Lee for putting all the work on her desk when she wasn’t looking.  She made him read over all the proposals she brought home.  She gave him the bulletin on the robot sub-hunters the Navy was testing and that one piqued his interest. 


“Did you read this,” he asked excitedly.  “We just might have to improve our detection equipment.”


“Yes, I did and knew you would want Seaview to help out,” she replied grinning. 


It was late afternoon and Lee was still in his office reading over the proposals when Janet went over to him and kissed the top of head and ran her hands down his chest.  “How about you take a break?  I need some attention,” she purred as she took the one he was reading out of his hand, put it on the desk and sat in his lap.


“What kind of attention,” he teased as he kissed her tenderly.


“Come upstairs and I’ll show you,” she said taking his hand leading him upstairs where they spent the next couple of hours lost in each other.


When they were finished, they were hungry so Lee decided to call Chip and find out if he and Julie wanted to go to dinner with them.  Chip’s phone went straight to voice mail.  Lee chuckled as he hung up the phone.  He never did get a hold of him for the rest of their time off.  They never went out to dinner either.  Lee made them grilled cheese sandwiches which they ate and went back to bed.




Tuesday morning


The admiral got to NIMR very early on Tuesday morning and was the first one there.  He walked into his office, turned on the light and stood behind his mahogany desk.  I was afraid I would never be back here again, he thought as he gave it pat.  He sat down at the desk, looked up the phone number for Norton Manufacturing.  He dialed the number and asked for Jacob Norton.


“Good morning, Jacob,” the admiral said coldly when he answered the phone.


“Hello Harry.  What can I do for you this morning,” Jacob asked warily knowing something was wrong by the tone of his voice.


“I’m terminating your contract with NIMR as of today.  You have failed on two orders to ship the parts needed on time and the last time a part was shipped to us it arrived damaged.  It was a desperately needed part and had to be reworked by my men.  It nearly cost me my life and the lives of others.  Good bye,” the admiral said as he hung up the phone not giving Jacob a chance to respond.  He sat back in his chair and savored the quietness before everyone would come in.




It was 0830 hours and Lee and Chip were in the Admiral’s office still talking over how they searched the islands and finally find them when his phone rang.


“Okay Angie, put him through,” the admiral said with a smile.


“Good morning Jiggs.  Did you have a nice stay in Santa Barbara?”


“Yes Harry very nice.  Thank you for bringing Virginia to Santa Barbara.”


“I had nothing to do with that.  Janet, Angie and Wanda deserve the credit for bringing her here.


“Please convey my thanks again to them,” Jiggs said softly.


“I’ll let them know.  Now what can I do for you.  I have a lot of work to catch up on.  Commanders Crane and Morton are in the office explaining how they found us,” the admiral told him.


“Thank you Commanders Crane and Morton for saving us.”


“You’re welcome,” Lee replied with a smile surprised that Admiral Starke sounded so contrite.


Jiggs continued, “Well I just got a call from General Nakatani.  He heard about what happened to us and wanted to know if we were still interested in checking out that new aircraft carrier.   Admiral Fisher turned down the invitation stating he had some important meetings to attend but I didn’t want to be rude so I said you and I would be glad to look it over.  I’ll check and see what kind of flights we can get over there.”


Lee and Chip groaned softly, rolled their eyes and shook their heads no.  “Tell the General I’ll be happy to look over his carrier but Jiggs, I’m taking FS-1 to Japan.  You can go anyway you want,” the admiral told him. 


“Harry, can I ride with you on FS-1?” Jiggs asked quickly.


“Sure, I’m sure Commander Crane wouldn’t mind having you as a passenger when he flies us over.”


“Thanks Harry.  I’ll get the date and call you back.”


“Bye Jiggs,” the admiral replied and hung up the phone.  “Pack your bags Lee, you’re going to Japan.”


“Thanks for the invite, sir,” Lee responded with a grin.




The End.




* Source:


** Source: The National Interest, Source URL (retrieved on April 6, 2015):


*** Source:


**** Source: and



Author’s note: Cities and countries are fictional made up by the author and any resemblance to a real country is                                                  coincidental.

                        All information on the Aleutian Islands was gathered from

                         Also, thanks to Christy for her help editing the story and with information on the Aleutian Islands.