The Unsettling Disappearance

By Kay H.





The Seaview is in the middle of a long 5-week cruise.  The cruise started as a routine re-supply mission for the Sea-Lab in the Pacific Atolls off Guam.   The Seaview continues the second part of its mission near the Mariana Islands to map the sea floor off Faris Island, which had undergone changes due to undersea quakes in the area.   Admiral Nelson was not on this trip, because of some critical experiments and meetings that were scheduled at the same time. 


An emergency message was sent out by Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC) ship Chiku.  Their deep-sea probe was in trouble over the Marianas Trench.  The Chiku has been holding stationary, while monitoring Kaiko their robotic deep-sea probe that was mapping Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench.   Kaiko is a rare unmanned deep-sea probe that could dive deeper than 19,680 feet. The Kaiko also had the capability of collecting samples and storing them under pressurized conditions, which would hopefully allow for future study of the fascinating eco system. The Kaiko left Challenger Deep following the terrain as it approached closer to the surface continuing to collect samples while still mapping the terrain.  At 3000 feet, electrical troubles caused a power failure, resulting in the Kaiko sinking to the bottom of the ocean floor.  Fortunately the Kaiko seemed to be intact, but the collected samples were in danger since the battery back-ups had a limited shelf life.  Dr. Asahiko Taira the General-Director of JAMSTEC called Admiral Nelson at the Nelson Institute requesting his assistance if possible.  Admiral Nelson had collaborated with JAMSTEC on the design of the Kaiko.  The only vessel with the capability to reach the 3000-foot depth was the Seaview.   Admiral Nelson contacts the Seaview about assisting the Chiku. 


Lee is in his cabin working on the daily reports, when he receives a call from Sparks.


 “Skipper we’re receiving a message from the Institute.  Admiral Nelson is calling for you.”


 “Thanks Sparks, pipe it through to my cabin.”


“Lee, what is your location?”


“Admiral we’re off Faris Island.  We’re about 2/3 of the way through mapping this area of the Marana Islands.  Why?”


“Lee, you should be about 50 nautical miles from the east end of the trench.  The Chiku deep-sea probe is resting on the bottom with a power failure.  They have some valuable samples from deep in the trench that will be lost unless the Seaview can reach it and raise the probe before their batteries expire.  The probe only has about 4 hours of battery power left.  How long will it take you to reach them?  You should be able to use the arms on the flying sub to catch and raise the probe to its mother ship.”  Lee puts the Admiral on hold and calls the control room.  “Mr. Morton what is our exact location?  How long will it take to reach the following coordinates lat 20.3 long 75.9 at flank speed?”


“Skipper, we should be there in a 90 minutes.”


“Mr. Morton, change course and go to flank speed.” Lee disconnects from the control room and switches to the Admiral.  “Admiral we should be there in about 90 minutes.”


“Okay Lee, I will let Dr. Taira know.  Contact the Chiku’s captain when you raise the Kaiko.  After you have turned the probe over to her mother ship go ahead and spend the next week mapping the area of the Smokers. We can return to finish mapping the Faris Island area later. The Sea quakes could have been caused by some changes in the Smokers.”


“Admiral is there a specific Smoker’s group you want to study or do you just want a general overview of the area?”


“Lee, right now just an overview to see if there have been any major changes.  We will expect to see Seaview in a couple of weeks. Institute out.”


Nelson leaves the Institute for some secret meetings before Seaview returns and is supposed to be gone for an undetermined time.  Nelson informs his secretary Lynn Bryant that Captain Crane will be in charge of the institute when Seaview docks, until he returns.  Admiral Nelson is attending a clandestine meeting with a group of world-renowned marine scientists.  This meeting is being held to address the problem of a toxic pesticide TBT, which is poisoning marine wildlife worldwide.  TBT is an organotin compound, the active ingredient in marine paints used widely on hulls of oil tankers and cargo ship to protect them from pests. TBT prevents the growth of algae, barnacles and other marine organisms on the ship's hull, but like most pesticides it kills much more than just their target action. The effect of TBT is harmful on all the kinds of marine wildlife navigating underneath the ships and is causing damage to the sensitive oceanic ecosystem.  After a recent environmental destruction of sensitive marine ecosystems a group of world-renowned marine biologists, oceanographers and representatives of the fishermen were asked to meet by the UN and some major World Leaders to devise a policy for dealing with problems caused by the TBT poisoning of marine wildlife. This had to be done in secret because the scientists knew there would be a strong outcry from shipping corporations.  So the marine scientist began holding meetings at a secret Symposium working to develop an International Policy for governments that would prohibit the use of this compound.   An International Shipping Conglomerate called Scorpio has heard rumors about this Symposium and wants it stopped at all cost.   Scorpio is not concerned about the sensitive marine ecosystem only with large profits.  They will do anything to stop the Symposium from finishing their conference and sending the new International Policy to the World Leaders for ratification.



The recovery and transfer of the Kaiko to the Chiku goes smoothly.  Then Seaview heads to the area of the Smokers and starts scanning the area.


“Chip, pull out our map for this area.  Let’s see what this area looked like the last time we were here.”


“Lee, look at this.  It looks like the Black Chimney has collapsed.  Maybe that’s what caused the sea quake.”


“Chip, you are probably right.  Let’s see what else has changed.” He turns toward sonar and hydrophones.  “Kowalski and Patterson keep a sharp look out for changes.  It is possible for a new chimney to develop or an old one to collapse and cause another quake.”


A week later Seaview finishes mapping the changes in the area of the Smokers with Kowalski on sonar and Patterson on hydrophones.  Everything has been routine while scanning for the past week.  Then suddenly it is anything but routine.


“Skipper, I’m picking up a strange signal on sonar,” Kowalski calls out.    “One of the great chimneys’s is collapsing.   Prepare for collision-- a  shockwave should hit in 30 seconds.”


Chip double clicks the mike “Everyone hold on. Prepare for collision in 30 seconds. This is not a drill!!!”


As soon as Kowalski reported the strange signal, Lee turns and grips the chart table.  The Seaview rocks violently from side to side as the shockwave hit.  Lee looses his grip on the chart table during shaking of the Seaview. Loose items fly everywhere, a few leaks breakout and some panels spark. The lights flicker and go out.


“Damage Control report,“ shouts Chip.  “Patterson, Kowalski get those leaks sealed.  Put out those fires.  Sharkey, get down to the Circuitry Room find out why the emergency lights are still off.”


As Kowalski turns to shut off the leak, he sees the Skipper lying on the floor next to the stairwell. He yells, “Mr. Morton, the Skipper’s been hurt.” 


Chip double clicks the mike.  “Sickbay to the control room.  Captain down.”  He turns to Kowalski.  “See what you can do until Doc gets here.”


Chip calls,  “Blow ballast, we have to get to the surface.  Without power we will sink.  The only way we can make repairs is on the surface.”


Sharkey says “Mr. Morton, damage control reports the fire in the circuitry room blew several panels.  They will need to be re-wired.  It will require at least 8 hours for complete repair, sir. Air Circulation should be restored in 30 minutes.   Lights should be back on any minute.  There is a hull breach in sections 45-47, but the watertight doors are holding.  As soon as we surface they can put divers in the water to patch the hull.”


Doc arrives in the control room to check on the Skipper.


Chip says, “Doc how is he?  How many others are injured?”


“I‘ll let you know Chip, after I check him out.  There are a number of minor injures, mainly bruises and sprains, except for the Captain and Seaman Chang.  He received second degree burns on his hands and arms from the f ire in the circuitry room.”


Later Jamie calls Chip, “Mr. Morton would you come to Sickbay.  I have the injury report you requested.” 


Chip walks into sickbay “Jamie how is Lee?”


“The Skipper is still unconscious.  He has a blow to the back of the head.  It looks like a moderate concussion.  He has 4 cracked ribs on the right side and a bad cut that took 20 stitches to close.  He has some blunt force trauma to the abdomen, which has bruised his spleen and right kidney.  It doesn’t look like they’re bleeding at the moment, so we will just keep a close watch on them.  As long as Lee rests and doesn’t start to bleed, he should be fine. He also wrenched his left knee and ankle when he fell.  Chip, I am going to need your help.  When he wakes up he will insist up on monitoring or trying to make the repairs himself and we can’t let this happen.  If he starts moving around too much, he could start to hemorrhage from the spleen or kidney. You probably need to send out a request for volunteer blood donors, just in case. I have some in stock, but I may need more, if the captain starts hemorrhaging.”


“Jamie, I will do what I can. I’ll put out the call for volunteer donors to see you, when their duties permit. As soon as we get power back, I will contact the Institute, to let them know our situation.  I will be back later to check on Lee.  Call me if there is any change.”


A couple hours later Lee moans.  Jamie leaves his office and goes over to Lee’s bunk. 


“Skipper, can you wake up for me?  Just open your eyes.  Don’t move your head.”


“Do I have to?  I just want to sleep?”


“Come on Skipper, just open your eyes.  Wake up and talk with me, then I will let you go back to sleep.  I need to know how you are feeling.”


“I’m fine, Jamie.  I’m just tired.  How’s Seaview?  Why are we surfaced?  I need to go to the control room and check the damage.”


Lee tries to sit up. He gets dizzy and starts to pass out.  Jamie puts his hands on Lee’s shoulders and gently pushes him back down. “Skipper, don’t move.  You need to stay still.  You could start to hemorrhage. You have some serious injuries.  You also need to calm down or I’m going to sedate you.  I don’t want to do that with your head injury, but I will if necessary.  Why don’t I call Chip?  He can come down and give you a status report.” Jamie reaches for the mike. “Mr. Morton, come to sickbay please.”


Chip picks up the mike in the control room, “Morton here.  Doc, I will be right down.”


Chip walks into sickbay.  “Jamie, is Lee okay?”


“Yes Chip, he is awake.  I agreed to let him have a status report, in consideration for some cooperation.”


“Lee, It’s great to see you awake.”


“Chip, why are we on the surface?  What’s the damage to Seaview?  Anyone injured?”


“Lee, settle down.  I’ll tell you everything.”  Chip pulls up a chair next to Lee’s bunk.  “Beside you, only one other crewman was seriously hurt.  Seaman Chang has second and third degree burns on his hands and arms, but he will be okay.   The Seaview has some minor hull damage.  There was a minor hull breach in sections 45-47 with some flooding.  The watertight doors held.  We are pumping out those sections, then the divers will patch both the inside and outside hulls.  A fire in the circuitry room caused damage to two panels; the re-wiring is currently under way.  Repair should be completed in a few hours.   The Institute has been notified about the problems.  The Admiral wasn’t available, but I talked with Lynn.  I told her to let him know we would be heading home as soon as the repairs are finished.  Lee, everything is under control.  You just need to rest.  I check back later to keep you updated on the repairs.  Please just do what Jamie says.”


Chip leaves sickbay to go check on the repairs.  Lee lies back for a few minutes and looks at the bunk above him.  As he lays their, thinking and worrying he decides that he needs to go see for himself. He looks around sickbay and does not see anyone, so he decides to get up.  Lee leaves sickbay and heads to his quarters to change clothes.  Jamie walks back into sickbay and notices Lee missing.  Carl, one of the corpsmen walks into sickbay.


“Burke, where is Captain Crane.”


“I don’t know, Sir.  He was here when I stepped out to the Pharmacy.”


“You should never leave the Skipper unattended in sickbay.  It gives him a chance to slip out.”


Jamie picks up the mike. “Mr. Morton this is Sickbay.  Have you seen Captain Crane, he has left sickbay.  Captain Crane, please report to sickbay.”


“Jamie, let me try.  Control room to Captain Crane.  Please report.  Attention all hands, anyone who has seen Captain, please report to sick bay.”  There is no response to the announcement. “Jamie, meet me in the Captain’s quarters.  He probably went to change into his uniform, before starting to check on the repairs.”


Dr. Jamieson and Chip arrive at Lee’s quarters at the same time.  Chip opens the door and sees Lee lying on the floor next to his desk.  Jamie rushes over to check him.


“He’s in shock.  It looks like he is hemorrhaging.  I guess I was right.  I am going to need that blood now.”  Jamie calls sickbay for the corpsman to bring a stretcher to the Captain’s Cabin.  “Let’s get him back to sickbay and setup for surgery.  I will call you after I finish surgery to let you know how he is doing.”  Later, after the surgery, Doc calls the Exec.  “Mr. Morton the Captain is out of surgery and doing fine.”


Chip leaves the control room to check on the repairs to the hull.  “Sharkey, how is the welding coming?”


“We just finished Mr. Morton.  The divers are securing their tools.  They should be back in a few minutes.”


“As soon as the divers are in I want to dive.”  Chip heads to sickbay.  ”Jamie how is Lee doing?”


“He better than I expected, when I opened him up I found a small tear in his liver.  If he had stayed put and rested like he was supposed to this would not have happened.  I knew I should have sedated him, concussion or no concussion.”


“Jamie, calm down.  You know Lee likes to challenge you.”


“That’s the problem.  I knew better than to trust him.  Now he will have a longer recovery, because of the surgery and the blood loss.  It could have all been prevented.  It was so unnecessary.  I am not taking any more chances.  I am going to keep him sedated until right before we dock.  I am only going wake him up to see how he’s doing before I transfer him to the Infirmary.”


Right before the Seaview docks, Jamie allows Lee to wake up. 


“Skipper, how are you feeling?”


“Jamie, what happened?  The last thing I remember is being in my cabin.”  Lee then blushes and looks away, when he remembers why he was in his cabin.


Jamie frowns at him, “You were supposed to be in the bunk here, NOT IN YOUR CABIN.  You started hemorrhaging.  I had to perform surgery to stop the bleeding.  You had a small tear in your liver.  You still have a bruised kidney and spleen, along with the three cracked ribs, sprained ankle and a wrenched knee.  The Seaview should be docking within the hour.  I am going to let Chip give you a status report.  Then you will rest quietly until we finish docking and then you will be transferred to the Infirmary.  You can plan on spending the next week in the Infirmary.  Then and only then I might release you to rest at home for the next week.”


As Seaview approaches the channel in preparation for docking, Sparks receives a communication from the Admiral’s assistant. She has an important message for the Captain from Admiral Nelson and requests that Captain Crane report to the Admiral’s Office as soon as the Seaview docks.  Sparks hands the message to Commander Morton.  Chip then takes the message down to sickbay. 


“Jamie, Lee just received a message for Lynn Bryant.  Apparently Admiral Nelson has an important message for Lee.  Lynn needs him to report to the Admiral’s office as soon as the Seaview docks.”


“Chip, I thought that you reported Lee’s injuries to the Admiral.”


“Jamie, I left him a message with Lynn, but never had a reply from him.  Something is wrong.  This doesn’t sound like him.  What are we going to tell Lee?”


“Well I wanted Lee to go directly to the Infirmary, but I guess we are going to have to stop by the Admiral’s Office first.  This is going to cause problems.  Once Lee gets anywhere near the offices, it is going to be almost impossible to get him to the infirmary, especially if there is a problem with the Admiral.”  Jamie leaves his office and walks over to Lee. “Skipper you received a message from Lynn Bryant.  Apparently you need to stop by the Admiral’s office.  Lynn has an important message from the Admiral for you.  Now listen carefully Lee.  You, Chip and I are going over to the Admiral’s Office and as soon as you get the message, we will head to the Infirmary.  DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT STAYING AT THE OFFICE.  You need to rest and be monitored.  I want you to promise that you won’t fight me on this.  I mean it Lee.”


“Okay Jamie, I promise.”


The Seaview docks and Chip, Lee, and Jamie head over to Admiral Nelson’s Office.  There they discover that Nelson has left for a secret conference at an unknown location.  Lynn does not know when the Admiral is due back nor does she have any information on this conference.  Lynn informs Lee that the only information that the Admiral gave her was that Lee would be in operational charge of NIMR until his return, even though he is still recovering from his serious injuries and should be in the Infirmary.


“Jamie, I know I promised, but I didn’t expect the Admiral to be gone.  I have to deal with the immediate problems.  Lynn, are there any issues that urgently need to deal with?” 


“Lee, George Belles needs your approval for releasing the funds to cover the current operating cost.   The guidelines Admiral Nelson put in place for the operation of the institute allows you this authority.  Everything thing else can wait a few days.”


“Okay Lynn, set up a meeting immediately with George.  Chip, while I am at it begin scheduling the repairs on the Seaview.  I will go ahead and authorize them.

Chip; we need to get these repairs done as fast as possible since we are not sure if the Admiral may need Seaview. Lynn, how did the Admiral leave?  Did he leave by car?  Jamie as soon as I meet with George, I will go with you to the Infirmary.  I will agree to stay for a few days, but I must be able to handle any emergencies that occur while I’m there.”


“Lee, he was picked up by helicopter.  He didn’t say where it was going or if he would change to a plane later.  I’m so sorry that I didn’t get more information.  I just wasn’t thinking.”


 Jamie is upset and frustrated that Lee is slowing and hindering his recovery by pushing himself so hard doing his and Nelson’s job. “Lee, I will let you handle these issues as long as it does not jeopardize your health.”


George Belles arrives at Lee’s Office.  “Captain Crane, I understand you have final approval of expenditures while the Admiral is away.  Admiral Nelson normally approved everything over a certain dollar amount, as well as the payroll of the institute and expenditure of certain projects.  Do you want to maintain the same procedures?  If so, I need your approval for the Cyprus Project Expense and for the release of funds for the current payroll checks.”


“George, right now I want to keep the same system in place.  I may change it later; if so I will let you know.  I certainly will release the funds for the current payroll.  I definitely want my paycheck and I am sure everyone else does.   What do I need to sign? Now what is Project Cyprus and what are their expenditures?”


“I do not know anything about the project.  I think that information is a need to know and I do not need to know.  Normally the Admiral reviewed the expenses and just approves payment.  There is a past due payment on the building rental, which should have been made two weeks ago. But the Admiral left the Institute before approving payment.  The building landlords have been in contact with my office about the payment.”


“Okay George, go ahead and issue the payment.  Please send me a copy of any information that you have in the file on Project Cyprus and I will look into it.  Are there any other immediate issues that I need to deal with?” 


“No Captain, there are policies in place for the Institute’s routine daily expenditures.  The next special project which will need approval is still 2 months away.”


“Thanks, George that will be all.  Lynn would your check the Admiral’s files for information about a Project Cyprus; bring me whatever you can find to the infirmary.  Okay, Jamie, I’m all yours now. Let’s go.”


Jamie, Chip and Lee walk out of the Administration Building; Chip turns to walk down to the Seaview, while Jamie and Lee continue on to the Infirmary.


“Nurse Chambers, to what room is Captain Crane assigned?”


“Dr. Jamieson, he is in room 317.  Are there any specific instructions?  It is after lunch.  Do I need to order a lunch tray for Captain Crane or has he already eaten?”


 “No, he hasn’t eaten; just order him a light tray for now.  I will write up orders later.  I do want to start an IV of Ringers.  Go ahead and get a set of vitals and we will see where we are at. Has his chart arrived from the Seaview?  Lee, come on let’s go up to your room.  You get changed, and then Nurse Chambers will get your IV started.  No complaints, your volume is still low from the blood loss.  You have been up too long already; you need to rest.  I know you’re worried about the Admiral.  We all are, but you cannot neglect your health.  If you are going to handle the urgent institute jobs, you need to work with me.  That means rest when you can and you need to be honest with me about how you are feeling.”


“Okay, Jamie, I agreed to try.  Yes, I am worried about the Admiral.  It‘s not like him.  And I am tired and beginning to hurt.  I’m not really hungry right now; I just want to sleep.”


“Okay, Lee, we will skip lunch right now.  I will just change your IV to D5W instead of Ringers.  This will give you some nutrition.” Turning away, Jamie continues “Nurse Chamber’s, I am going to switch the Skipper’s IV to D5W.  Also give him a shot for pain.  Skipper, this should also help you sleep.”


Seaview has been in port for a week and repairs are almost completed. Chip frequently stopped by the Infirmary and kept Lee updated on the status of the repairs. The Admiral has now been gone for over three weeks with no communication.  Lee is beginning to become very concerned.  Jamie has approved Lee for limited duty, only working partial days at the office. Lee starts investigating to determine if the Admiral had left any indication of where he was going and what he was doing.  There is a private location where the Admiral sometimes leaves hidden information in coded format for Lee.  First Lee looks in Admiral Nelson’s office on his bookshelf for the book on Civil War Naval History.  This book is hollowed out and sometimes the Admiral leaves hidden information for Lee. Since the book is empty Lee decides to look in his office at the picture of a light ship, which is on the wall behind his desk.  The box frame, which holds the picture of the ship, has a hidden drawer built in the back of the frame.  This is the second location where either the Admiral or Lee will leave information.    On Admiral’s Nelson desk, Lee finds some papers on marine toxins polluting sensitive marine biosystems, but nothing else to indicate what he had been working on. When Lee does not find any notes from the Admiral, he calls Admiral Starke at COMSUBPAC.


 “Admiral Starke, this is Commander Crane.  I am trying to locate Admiral Nelson.  Have you heard from him recently?  Do you know where he is? “


“Captain Crane, why are you looking for Admiral Nelson?”


“Admiral, the Seaview arrived in port last week.  Admiral Nelson was not at the Institute.  He left a message for me with his secretary that he was attending a secret meeting and would be in contact later.  We still have not had any communication from him.  I am concerned that he may be in danger.  Do you know anything about this meeting?”


“No Captain, I have not heard from Harry in several weeks.  He was supposed to attend a meeting here last week, but canceled.  He said that a problem with some experiments had come up and that he could not leave them.  I thought that he was at the Institute.  This does not sound like Harry. Let me check with some people and I will get back to you.”


“Do you think that Admiral Parks may know anything about the meeting?”


“I will check with Roy along with the other people, Commander.”


“Thank you, sir.  I will wait to hear from you.”


Lee contacts some of his friends at ONI and other people in the intelligence community. In the meantime a new scientist, Dr. Jacques Claus-Walker shows up at the front gate. 


“I’m Dr. Claus-Walker.  Admit me at once.  Someone show me to my new office and laboratory.  My assistants should be here tomorrow.   Hurry up man!  What are you standing around for?  Did you hear me?”


“Dr. Claus-Walker I need to see some identification,” the guard at the gate explains. “I cannot admit you without approval and you are not on my approved list.  I will call Admiral Nelson’s office and see if they have any authorization for you.”


“You idiot!!!   I have instructions from Admiral Nelson.   Show me to my laboratory immediately.  Your delay is inexcusable.”


“Dr. Claus-Walker just wait right there until I get approval.” He calls the main office. “Commander Crane, this is Roberts in security.  There is a Dr. Claus-Walker at the gate demanding admittance.  He claims to have instructions from Admiral Nelson for a laboratory and office.  He is not on my approved list and I don’t have any instructions regarding him.  He is quite upset, Sir.”


“Okay, Roberts clear him through security on my authority.  Please have him escorted to my office.”  He turns to the secretary. “Lynn have you ever heard the Admiral mention a Dr. Claus-Walker?  Did the Admiral leave any instruction about him joining the institute staff or for laboratory space?  Check with John Fulbright to see if the Admiral requested a security clearance for Dr. Claus-Walker.  Lynn, also call Facilities and find out what laboratory space is available at the moment.  Also have them send you the list of spare equipment in storage, which is available for use by visiting scientists.  Please call George Belles and have him come over.  Ask him if the Admiral set up an account for Dr Claus-Walker. ”


“No Lee, the Admiral has never mentioned Dr. Claus-Walker.  Mr. Fulbright has never heard of Dr. Claus-Walker or received any paperwork on him from the Admiral.  Do you want him to start a background investigation?  Lee, John Ryder, the head of Facilities, says that the Admiral has not designated any laboratory or office space for him.  The only laboratory space available is on the 4th floor of the Knowles Building and is 2400 square feet, but there is no office space attached to the lab.  The best he can do for an office is on the 6th floor of the same building, where is an office suite.  It contains one large office with an outer office, which would work for an assistant.  It is currently be used for storage, but they can have it cleaned out and ready in a few hours. ”


“Yes, Lynn, have John get the paperwork started for a background security check.  Call Chip and have him join me, and then show in Dr Claus-Walker.  Maybe now will get some answers.”   


Lynn calls Chip, who is in his office.  He walks down the hall to join Lee, who is sitting at his desk drinking a cup of coffee.  Lynn is working in the reception area at her desk.  Robert’s escorts Dr. Claus-Walker to reception.  Lynn informs Commander Crane; Dr. Claus-Walker has arrived.


“Lee, what’s going on?  Who is this Dr Claus-Walker?  It’s strange that John doesn’t have any information on him.”


“Chip, have a seat.  Let’s meet Dr. Claus-Walker and see what he has to say.  Lynn, please send in Dr. Claus-Walker.”   Lynn escorts him into the office.  Chip and Lee both stand.  Lee holds out his hand and says, “Dr. Claus-Walker, I’m Captain Lee Crane.  This is my Executive Officer Commander Morton.   I understand you have some instructions from Admiral Nelson concerning an office and laboratory space.    May I see them please? “


Dr. Claus-Walks stalks over to the desk ignoring Chip and Lee’s out stretched hand.  “Captain Crane I demand to be shown to my Laboratory.  My project is urgent and I need to get started immediately.  Admiral Nelson assured me that I would have everything I needed if I accepted his offer to join the Institute.  I accepted his offer.  I have been detained, harassed and insulted by everyone here.  I demand to see Admiral Nelson; I will not be dealt with by a subordinate.”


“Dr. Claus-Walker, unfortunately the Admiral is unavailable. I am temporarily in charge.  The Admiral did not leave any instructions concerning your arrival before he left, so as you can see your arrival is something of a surprise.  Please let me review the instructions the Admiral gave you.  It might clear up the matter for us.”


“If you insist HERE THEY ARE!”  He throws the papers down on the desk.


The documents Dr. Claus-Walker presents to Lee showed a set of coded instructions.  They were written in a code developed and used by Nelson.  Lee is one of the few people who know this particular code and it leads him to believe these instructions are authentic.  


“Dr. Claus-Walker when did you last see Admiral Nelson?  When did he give you these documents?”


“Captain, I too much busy to answer these questions. Now when are you going to stop hindering my work show me to my laboratory? “


“Dr. Claus-Walker, it is not that easy. You must be processed by Human Resources and have your picture taken for your badge.  The badge must be worn at all times. Then you must receive a security briefing from Mr. Fulbright, the Chief of Security.  Until these things have happened, you cannot go anywhere on the Institute grounds without a security escort.   What type of research are you doing?  How much area and what type of equipment do you need? This will help determine the laboratory location.   The Institute has some items that are available for visiting scientists.”


“Captain Crane, I don’t need to meet with Human Resources or Security.  I will give you a list of equipment I need.  I want it ordered immediately and delivered by tomorrow.  I will not use anything you have in storage.  Who knows what has been done with it.  I expect a 4,000 square foot laboratory, with benches for 5 technicians.  My technicians will arrive tomorrow and I do not expect you to delay them with any of these silly issues that you are raising with me.”


“Dr. Claus-Walker, I am sorry that you find inconvenient, but Human Resources and Security are not negotiable.  The Institute operates under Department of Defense regulations and you will comply with all of the regulations.  We will process you as rapidly as possible.  Your technicians will undergo the same process.  If you would give me their names, we will start working on their paperwork today, which will speed up the processing when they arrive.  After you clear security I will have you shown to your lab. The only laboratory space available is on the 4th floor of the Knowles Building and is 2400 square feet, but there is no office space attached to the lab.  The best we can do for you is an office is on the 6th floor of the same building.  It is a suite containing one large office with an outer office space available for an assistant.  It should be ready for you later this afternoon.”


“Captain that laboratory is not acceptable.  Someone else can have that space.  Surely you have a laboratory with my size requirements and an office attached. You can move another scientist into this space and I will take theirs.”


“Dr. Claus-Walker, we will not interrupt other scientists’ work to move them, so you can have their laboratory space. You will use the space that we have available.  Give me your equipment requirements and I will have someone check it over.  If the equipment is already available at the institute, you will use it.  I will not approve the purchase of equipment that is already here and available.  We will expedite your orders as much as possible, but you are not the only individual here at the institute. ”


 “Captain you will regret treating me this way.”


Dealing with Dr. Claus-Walker has kept Lee in the office late today.  Lee arrives the next morning tired and cranky.  Security had called Lee at home last night with problems concerning Dr. Claus-Walker.  He entered several laboratories and offices of other Institute personnel.  He was also monitored entering a restricted area.   When Lee arrives at the office early the next morning, he has voicemail and emails from Dr. Marcus, Dr. Shine and Dr. Flame all complaining about damage done to experiments that were running overnight.  Their experiments were interrupted and equipment being used in the experiment was removed from the laboratory.  They also reported missing equipment to Security.  Security reported that the missing equipment was found in Dr. Claus-Walker Laboratory. Lee’s frustration increases as he deals with Dr. Claus-Walker. 


Lynn arrives at the office. “Captain when did you get in?”


“Good Morning Lynn, I have been here for a while.  Please call Dr. Marcus, Dr. Shine and Dr. Flame for me, ask them to meet me in the conference room in an hour.  Also notify Mr. Fulbright of the meeting.  After you finish with that, contact Dr. Claus-Walker tell him to be in my office at 10 o’clock.  If he gives you any problems, notify him that security will escort him to the meeting.”


Lee meets with Dr. Marcus, Dr. Shine and Dr. Flame.  “Gentlemen I apologize for the interruption of your experiments.  Security will return your equipment and station a 24-hour guard outside of your laboratories to prevent any future occurrences. I will be speaking with Dr. Claus-Walker shortly.  You can be assured that this will not happen again.”


At 10 o’clock Dr. Claus-Walker is escorted in to Lee’s Office.


“Commander Crane, what is the meaning of this interruption?  I have never been so insulted in my life.”


“Dr. Claus-Walker, stop talking right this minute.  You were informed of the Institute Security rules.  You do not go in any area’s marked Restricted.  You will not enter any laboratory or office, but your own.  The equipment that you illegally removed from the other laboratories will be returned immediately.” Lee starts shouting, “YOU WILL NOT REMOVE EQUIPMENT FROM ANOTHER PERSON’S LABORATORY.  IF YOU CANNOT FOLLOW THE RULES I WILL ASSIGN A SECURITY GUARD TO YOU PERMEANTLY.”


“Commander, you will regret treating me this way.  I needed that equipment, my work is important.  They can do theirs at any time.”


Lee’s health continues to decline due to his over working and stress.  His injuries still have not had a chance to completely heal; he is working longer that the half days that Jamie specified.  Lee continues to spend what little free time he has trying to find Nelson instead of resting, eating or even sleeping.  The new scientist has Lee spending a lot of time smoothing ruffled feathers of the other scientist at the institute. Jamie decides to stop by to check his patient.


Lynn what time did Lee get in this morning?” the doctor asks as he walks into the office.


“Jamie, he was here when I got in at 7.  He was still here when I left last night. He looks tired and a little flushed.  I think he maybe running a fever.  I know that he has been busy all morning with problems that Dr. Claus-Walker caused last night.”


Jamie walks into Lee’s office.  “Lee, I want to check you out at the Infirmary now.  You’re over-doing it.  I only agreed for you to work a few hours each day.  You’re never going to heal until you give yourself a chance to rest.  Do I need to admit you to the Infirmary and sedate you?”


“Jamie, I just don’t have the time right now.”


Lynn calls Lee and says, “George Belles needs to see you.”


Jamie walks around Lee’s desk and sits down.  Lee just glares at him.


“I will wait until you’re finished with George.”


“Send him in Lynn


George Belles walks into Lee’s office and sees Dr. Jameison sitting in front of his desk.


“George, what can I do for you?”


“I’m sorry, Captain, I didn’t mean to interrupt your meeting, but we have a serious problem with Dr. Claus-Walker.”


“What has he done now?”


“He is ordering a lot of expensive equipment and having it billed directly to the institute.  He is not going through Purchasing.  We have no way of tracking what he is ordering or spending.  Most of the companies are not ones we have worked with nor have contracts with. Receiving finds out when the items arrive.  This has got to stop.  It is against policy and sets a bad precedent.  Some of the other scientists are complaining -- why do they have to follow the rules and he doesn’t. ”


“Okay, George, I understand.  Thanks for bringing this to my attention.   Do we have any idea about how much money he has spent?  Could you get me a list of what items he has ordered, from whom and the total cost?  I will deal with him. Please inform the Receiving Department to refuse any items that come in for Dr. Claus-Walker, which do not have the appropriate institute paperwork accompanying the item.” 


Lee and Jamie leave for the Infirmary.  Jamie admits Lee and gets him settled in a room, where he gives Lee a quick once over. He is not happy with what he sees.  Lee has lost 10 pounds that he can ill afford. His blood pressure is low and he is running a low-grade temperature.  “Lee when was the last time you ate or slept?  No don’t say anything.  I don’t want to hear it.  I said only limited duty a few hours a day, not your usual crazy schedule.  You need to rest and get at least 8 hours of sleep at night.  You have to eat regular meals or you are never going to heal.  Now this is what you are going to do.  I’m going to have a tray brought up and you will eat, then you are going to lay down in one of the rooms and get some sleep.  Your blood pressure is a way too low and you are running a slight fever. It could just be from being on your feet so long.  Skipper I want to give you another pint of blood just to be on the safe side.  I am going to give you some Tylenol for your fever and a shot of antibiotics.  After you have gotten some rest, I will re-check your blood pressure.  It had better be normal or I will admit you and sedate you, so you can get the rest you need.  Understand!!”


“Yes Jamie.  But I need to call Lynn first.  I am waiting on a call from someone who may have some information about the Admiral.”


“Okay, you can call Lynn.  Also call Chip and have him take over for you.  I don’t want you disturbed except for an emergency or the call you are expecting about the Admiral.  I mean it Lee; otherwise I will make sure you rest.  I can guarantee that you will not like my methods.”


Lee sighs and reaches for the phone.  “Lynn, Jamie has kidnapped me at the Infirmary.  I am waiting for a call from a Mr. Scones.  If he calls, transfer him over here.  If you need anything else, call Chip and see if he can help, if necessary he will call me.”


“Lee, here your tray, now eat.  See that bed, I expect your tail in it and asleep in 30 minutes or I will sedate you.  I will notify the switchboard to put any calls that Lynn transfers here through to this room (only if it’s) a call from Chip or the Admiral.”


“Only one more call, Jamie.  Let me talk to Chip and let him know what is going on.  Hopefully he can field any problems that Lynn has.”


Lee reaches of the phone again, “Chip, I need you to do me a favor.  Jamie is sidelining me for the afternoon.  I am at the Infirmary, and he is threatening me with a sedative unless I get some sleep.  I am in room 317.  I asked Lynn to funnel any problems through you first; if you can’t handle it Jamie has authorized the switchboard to put your calls through.  I am waiting for a call from a contact to setup a meeting with someone who has information on the Admiral.  I not sure when or where this meeting will be.  I will call you with the information before I leave the grounds.”


Several hours later the phone rings waking Lee up. 


“Hello, this is Commander Crane.” 


“Lee I have a Mr. Scones on the phone for you.  I will transfer it now.”


“Scones this is Lee, do you have the information for me?  What time is the meeting?  Where?  Thanks.”


Lee calls Chip’s phone and reaches his voicemail.   “Chip, I just got the call.   The meeting is set in LA for 8 pm tonight.  I am leaving now.  It will give me time to drive down and look over the location before the meeting.”


Lee gets up, dresses and leaves the Infirmary.  He picks up his car and heads for LA. As he drives to the meeting with his contact he is run off the road by a truck, knocking it into the guardrail.  Lee is knocked unconscious by the accident and re-injures himself.  While he is sitting in the car unconscious, the truck that ran him off the road stops and then speeds back toward him.  The people in the truck want to make sure that Lee is unable to continue to his meeting.  The truck stops again when it sees two California Highway Patrol Motorcycle officers riding toward them.  It takes off in the opposite direction.  The CHP officers are Frank Poncherello and Jon Baker.  Officer Baker calls dispatch to report the accident, gives a description of the truck, notifies dispatch his partner is in pursuit and requests paramedics. Officer Baker stops to check out the injured man Ponch takes off in pursuit of the truck. Lee is just coming around as Baker reaches the car. 


“Sir, you’ve been in an accident, don’t move.  My name is Jon Baker and I’m with the California Highway Patrol.  I have called for the paramedics and they will be here soon. You just take it easy.”


Meanwhile the paramedics from Station 51 arrive at the scene.  Jon Baker is standing next to the car as Roy DeSoto and John Gage run over to check out Lee. 


“Hi Jon, what do we have?” asks Johnny. 


“This gentleman is a victim of a hit and run accident.  He was unconscious, but is starting to come around now.”



Johnny bends over to check out the accident victim. “Hi, my name is Johnny Gage and this is my partner Roy DeSoto.  We’re paramedics with the LA County Fire Department. What is your name?  How are you doing?” 


“My name is Commander Lee Crane with the Nelson Institute.  I ‘m just fine, I only had the wind knocked out of me.”


“Can you move? Do you hurt anywhere?”  Johnny asks seeing that he is anything but fine.


 “I need to notify security at the Nelson Institute about the accident. Then I need to get out and check to see if my car is still drivable. I’m late for a very important meeting and need to be there.”


Indeed, Johnny thinks, this victim is going to be a difficult one. “I am just going to check you out; then we will get you out of the car.  Right now, I am going to take your vitals and see how you are doing.“


Ignoring him, Lee begins trying to get out of the car. Johnny lays a calming hand on Lee’s shoulder and says, “Settle down, sir.  You have a cut on your head that is bleeding and you may have a concussion as well as other injuries.”


 Johnny writes the vitals down on a piece of paper and turns to hand them to Roy who is setting up the biophone to contact the hospital.  As Johnny turns away to give Roy the paper, Lee opens the door and get outs.  He starts to walk toward the front of the car to look at the damage.


Ponch has just arrived back at the scene of the accidents and meets up with Jon.  “I lost the truck in the canyons; they cut down a dirt road and I could not follow them on the bike.”


Jon turns; looking toward Lee’s car.  He notices him getting out while Johnny’s back is turned.  He yells for Johnny to look out for his patient.  


Johnny whirls around, noticing Lee limping on his left ankle and starting to sway.  Johnny runs over to Lee and catches him as he starts to fall.  Johnny thinks, “I knew that he would be difficult.”  Johnny looks at Lee and says “that was not a wise thing to do, Commander; you could have aggravated your injuries.”  Johnny leads Lee over to the back of the squad to sit him down.  Johnny takes a small flashlight to shine into Lee’s eyes to check his pupil reactions.


Meanwhile Roy is setting up the biophone and contacting the hospital.  “Rampart this is Squad 51. How do you read me? “


Roy, his pupils are sluggish.”


 At Rampart a red light flashes indicating a call to the Base Station. Dr. Kelly Brackett answers, “Squad calling in, repeat.”


Rampart, this is Squad 51.  We have a 38-year old male victim of a traffic accident.  The vitals are as follows--B/P is 90/60, respiration is 16 and pulse is 80.  Pupils are sluggish but reactive. Rampart, the ambulance has arrived at the scene.”


 Lee calls out “Officer Baker, I need to get going.   Can I fill out the accident report later? I don’t have time for this. I need to get to my meeting.    Mr. Gage, my personal doctor will get check me out later.  Is there a release form I can sign refusing treatment?” 


“Commander Crane, let my partner notify the hospital that you are refusing treatment,” Johnny says with a sigh because he already knows that he won’t be able to talk the Commander out of leaving.


Roy lets Dr. Brackett know what is going on and starts to get the release form.   Meanwhile Lee suddenly gets dizzy and passes out.


Johnny says, “Wait Roy, he passed out.   We can treat him now.”


Roy informs Dr Brackett, “We have a patient now.” 


Dr. Brackett says, “Start an IV with ringers, TKO and get him in here as soon as possible, preferably before he wakes up again.” He turns to Nurse McCall.  Dixie setup treatment room 3.  Have x-ray standing by.  Be ready to draw the standard trauma panels. I want to have an idea of the injuries and hopefully begin treatment before he regains consciousness and insist on leaving.  I’m afraid, based on the trouble he was giving the paramedics that he will insist on leaving AMA, before we know how serious his condition is.


Lee is placed on the stretcher and into the ambulance for transport to Rampart.  Johnny jumps into the ambulance with the biophone and drug box.  Johnny continues to monitor Lee’s vitals en route to the hospital.   The ambulance arrives at Rampart where Dr. Kelly Brackett is waiting.


“Treatment room 3, Johnny.  How was he on the way in; any problems?  Has he shown any sign of consciousness?  Dixie, get blood for a standard trauma panel and a urine sample.  Go ahead and an insert a Foley catheter. “


 Dixie draw blood for a standard trauma panel and get a new set of vitals.  “X-ray's here whenever you are ready for them, Kel.”


“Doc, here is his ID. His name is Commander Lee Crane with the Nelson Institute of Marine Research.  It looked like he was favoring his ribs and left ankle, but he wouldn’t let us check him out.  It was a good thing he passed out when he did or he would have left.”


Dixie, let’s get him in a gown and then get x-rays of head, spine, ribs and the left ankle.”   As Dixie cuts off Lee’s shirt, she calls out, “Kel, look at these bruises over the chest and abdomen. Some of them look old and some are fresh.   What’s happened to him?  There is a cut on his side with stitches.” 


Dixie, you’d better call the Nelson Institute and see if anyone there can give us Commander Crane’s history.  We need to know what previous injuries he had.  What his condition; otherwise it is going to be hard to tell what is a new or an old injury.  Maybe they have the name of his doctor so we can contact him.”


Johnny says, “Doc, when he was insisting on leaving, he said something about getting checked out by his own doctor later.” 


After they are finished in the Emergency Room, the trauma staff admits Lee and transfers him to a room.  Dr. Brackett goes upstairs to check on him and instructs the nurses to contact him as soon as Lee starts to wake up.  He writes orders for 2-hour neurological checks to start after he regains consciousness.   


Several hours later after Lee has been admitted, Dixie finally has time to call the Nelson Institute.  “Hello, this in Nurse McCall at Rampart General Hospital.  I am calling about a patient that was admitted here, by the name of Lee Crane. We need some information.  To whom am I speaking?” 


“Hold on, Miss McCall.  This is Roberts in Security; let me put you through to Commander Morton. He should be able to answer your questions.” Roberts put Dixie on hold and calls the XO. “Commander Morton, this is Roberts in Security, there is a phone call from a Nurse McCall at Rampart General Hospital about Commander Crane.”


“Okay, Roberts, transfer the call through and notify Dr Jamieson to come to my office.”  Chip waits for the call to be routed to him. “Miss McCall, this is Lieutenant Commander Chip Morton, what is this about Lee, Commander Crane”


“Commander Morton, Commander Crane was in an accident.  He was brought into our Emergency Department.”


“What are his injuries, how bad?”


 “He is unconscious at the moment and Dr. Brackett, his physician, had some questions about his physical condition.  It appears that he had recently been injured.”


  “Miss McCall, if you would give me your number I will have our Chief Medical Officer call Dr. Brackett back.  Dr. Jamieson should be in my office in a few minutes.”


Ten minutes later Jamie walks into Chip’s office.  “Chip, what’s going on?  What is this about Lee being in the hospital? Which hospital?”


“Jamie, hold on. Let me tell you what I know.  Apparently Lee was in an accident in LA and taken to Rampart Emergency hospital.  I talked with a Nurse McCall there.  Lee is unconscious, but stable and the doctor would like to get his medical history.  They noticed his previous injuries.  They left the number of a Doctor Kelly Brackett for you to call.  It seems that he is the Head of the Emergency department and Lee’s doctor.”


“Okay, Chip, let me call Kelly.  He is an old friend as well as a top trauma specialist.  Lee couldn’t be in better hands.  Also Kelly is just as stubborn as I am, so Lee won’t be able to put anything by him.” Jamie dials Kel’s number at Rampart.


 Doctor Bracket says, “Hello, this is Dr. Brackett”


 “Kel, this is Will Jamieson.”


 “Hi, Jamie it’s good to hear from you.”


Jameison says, “Same here, Kel.  It’s has been too long.  I’m calling about one of your patients--Lee Crane.  I understand that he has been in an accident and is your patient.”


“Jamie,” Brackett asks. “How do you know Commander Crane?” 


“I am the CMO of the Seaview at the Nelson Institute.  He’s my Captain.  He was injured on our last cruise and is still recovering.  What is his condition and injuries?”


“Jamie, he has a concussion, some cracked ribs and possibly some internal injuries.  He’s stable at the moment and we’re monitoring him.  He is still unconscious, but was conscious at the scene of the accident and resisting medical care.”


Jamieson says,”I understand.  Lee is one of my most difficult patients.  Commander Morton and I will be down at Rampart in a couple of hours.  I will bring his medical records.  He apparently has re-injured his ribs, which were cracked and healing.  Also he had bruised his spleen and right kidney, but they had been healing also.  I also repaired a small tear in his liver.  He was still suffering from blood loss due to hemorrhaging from the tear in the liver.  Kelly, I had better warn you the once Lee wakes up he will try and leave.  He has a major problem with doctors and medical staff.  Please give him this message.  HE IS TO STAY PUT UNTIL CHIP AND I GET THERE.  Hopefully this will keep him from trying to leave on you, if he regains consciousness.  Depending on how his condition is, I will probably arrange for transport back to the Institute Med Bay, where we are used to dealing with him.”


Dr. Brackett says, “Okay Jamie, when you get here just come my office in the Emergency Department and I will take you up to his room. I will also warn the nurses to watch out for escape attempts.”


Jamie and Chip arrive in LA and meet Dr. Brackett.  “Kel, how is Lee?  Has he regained consciousness yet?” 


“No, Jamie, but it he is responding more to outside stimulus, so he should be coming around soon.  He is in room 529.  Come on, I will take you upstairs; I was just going to check on him.  Did you bring his medical records?”


“Yes, Kel here they are. You can see his previous injuries were serious, but he was improving, slower that I liked because he would not slow down and rest.”

Jamie looks embarrassed as he remembers Chip standing beside him.  I’m sorry; let me introduce our Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Chip Morton.”


“Dr. Bracket, call me Chip. Can you tell me anything about the accident?” 


“Well Chip, according to the CHP, Commander Crane’s car was struck from behind and it appeared as though someone was trying to run him off the road.  Two CHP officers saw the accident.  Their names are Jon Baker and Frank Poncherello.  Here is their card. They work out of the Central Division and they should have more information on the accident.  I know that they want to talk with Commander Crane about the accident as soon as we feel that he is up to it.”


Lee is just starting to wake up as Dr Brackett, Jamie and Chip enter the room.  Dr. Brackett motions Chip and Jamie to wait by the door and approaches the bed. “Commander Crane, I am Dr. Kelly Brackett. You are at Rampart Emergency Hospital. You were in an accident.   How do you feel?  Are you in pain? Can you tell me what you remember?”


 “What happened?” asked Lee.  “All I remember is a truck coming up fast behind me.  Then it hit me in the rear.  I lost control of the car and hit the guardrail.  I don’t remember anything else. Doctor Bracket; I’m fine.  I just need to get out of here; I’ll see my own doctor later.”


Dr. Brackett motions Chip and Jamie over.  “Commander, some of your friends are here.  I need you tell me if you recognize them?”


Lee tilts his head and glances shyly through his lashes.  “Yes Doctor.  This is Chip Morton, my Executive Officer and Dr. Jamieson, my CMO.  Jamie likes to make my life miserable and ruins all of my fun.  Hi, Jamie, when can I get out of here?”


Jamie laughs, “You’re not my problem at the moment, Skipper.  You’re Doctor Brackett’s problem until I get you back to the Institute and into my clutches.  Don’t you think that you should find out about your injuries before you start trying to escape?”  Jamie turns to face Dr Brackett smiling. “See Kel, I warned you about him.”


Kel just laughs and says, “He reminds me of one of the paramedics that treated him at the scene of the accident - Johnny Gage.  Every time Johnny is injured; his first question even if he has just regained consciousness or been removed from a vent is when can he get out of here.  Commander Crane, I need to examine you first and see how you are doing. We know you have a concussion.  You broke several of your previously cracked ribs and apparently bruised your right kidney again.”


“Doctor Brackett, please call me Lee. I must get back to the Institute as soon as possible; it is vital.  There are critical matters that I need to attend to.”  Lee turns he head and looks at Chip. “Chip; how’s my car?   Have you heard anything from the Admiral yet?”


“Well buddy, I checked on you first, not your baby.  Now that I know Doctor Brackett and Jamie have you under control, I will go check with the CHP about your car and find out everything I can about the accident.  There is still no word on the Admiral.”


“Chip, have Security run a check on the truck that hit me, it was a Ford Ranger.  It was dark metallic green, with California license plates.  I only got a partial plate number 78S9.  Maybe the CHP officers at the scene of the accident got the full plate number.  I think that one of the officer’s names is Jon Baker.   The truck deliberately rammed my car.  I’m sure that they were trying to prevent me from making the meeting. Obviously they succeeded.  This may have something to do with the Admiral being missing.”


“Commander Crane, you need to rest and let yourself heal or you may start to bleed again or even puncture a lung. You need to be honest with me about how you are feeling.  Also you need to let us know, if you are in pain or nauseated.  I’m sure you have a bad headache. We can’t give you any strong painkillers, until we are sure about your neurological status.   That does not mean that we can’t give you a mild pain reliever.    You cannot rest if you are in pain.   And there is no way that you can leave now regardless of how important you feel it is.  We need to monitor you to make sure there are no complications from your injuries.  Let’s see how you are doing tomorrow.  We might be able release you to Dr. Jameison for transfer to your Institute’s Infirmary.”


Jamie laughs, “Good luck, Kel on getting Lee to be honest about how he is feeling.  Lee’s answer is always I’M FINE, even if he is doubled over and about to pass out. Lee will not admit to pain or an injury or request a painkiller.  You just have to be proactive and very observant when treating him, instead of a relying on his input.  Lee is a brilliant person, about everything but his own health.”


Lee looks at Jamie though his lashes.  “I’m not that bad.  Doctor Brackett, can we loose the tubing?”  Lee asks as he points to the IV and the catheter.   


“Commander Crane-- Lee let’s wait awhile and see how you are doing later.”


As Chip gets ready to leave the hospital he laughs and tells Lee to listen to Jamie and Dr. Brackett.  “Buddy, it doesn’t look like your going to be getting away with anything.  You rest while I go down to CHP Central Division.  I will check with Officers Baker and Frank Poncherello about the accident. “ 


Commander Morton arrives at CHP Central Division and talks with the Officer Barry Baricza at the Desk. “I need to speak to Officers’ Baker and Poncherello about an accident they worked involving Commander Lee Crane.  I am Lieutenant Commander Morton from the Nelson Institute.”


“Just a moment, sir.  Let me get my sergeant.”    The officer turns and picks up a telephone.  “Sir, there is a Commander Morton here wanting to speak with Jon or Ponch about an accident they worked this morning.”


Getraer is sitting at his desk, but is immediately interested.  “Thanks, Barry.  I will take it from here.   Commander Morton, I’m Sgt. Joseph Getraer, Officers’ Baker and Poncherello watch commander.  I understand you would like to talk with them.  They are currently out on patrol.  I can have dispatch call them, but it will take sometime before they get back to the station.  Is there something I can do to help?”


“I understand they worked an accident involving my commanding officer, Commander Crane this morning.  Apparently someone trying to run him off the road hit his car.  Commander Crane was on his way to a very important meeting.  I need all of the information that you have on the accident, so I can have our security start investigating.  I’m concerned that security at the Institute has been compromised, because very few people knew Commander Crane’s destination. Any information you have will help.” 


“How is Commander Crane doing?” Getraer asks.   “Has he regained consciousness?  We still need to get his statement for the accident report.”


“Yes, Sgt. Getraer.   He doesn’t remember much of the accident.  He does remember being hit by a green metallic Ford truck.  He did not see the full license plate, but he thought that is was a California tag with 78S9.  As soon as Lee is able, I’m sure he will make a statement.  Can you tell me how bad his car is and where is it located?”


“They filed a preliminary report on the accident.  We have issued an ABP on the green metallic Ford Ranger 150 truck that hit Commander Crane’s car.  The plate was a current New Mexico 77S 9F5 tag.  The truck had a damaged front grill, with a crumpled right fender.  Officer Poncherello lost them in the canyons, when they cut off on a dirt road that headed up in the hills.  The truck appeared to be a 4-wheel drive.  His motorbike is not designed to handle that type of terrain.  We put a chopper in the air, but no luck.  They probably hid the truck in one of the canyons.  There is a lot of brush in the area, making a search from the air difficult.  We ran the license plate.  It came back stolen and belonging to a Buick Sedan, so that doesn’t help any. The Commander’s car was impounded as evidence in a hit and run accident.  We towed his car to our shop to be photographed.   There is quite a bit of both front and rear end damage.  It will need some repair before it will be drivable.”


“Thanks for the help, Sergeant.  I would like to thank your officer’s for their assistance to Captain Crane.  If you could fax any additional information to our Head of Security John Fulbright, I would appreciate it.  Here is my card.  Captain Crane and I both can be reached through those numbers.  Please let me know when the car is released and I will arrange for it to be transported back to the Nelson Institute.  As soon as the doctors approve, we will also transfer Captain Crane back to the Institute Infirmary.”



Chip leaves the CHP offices and heads toward Rampart Hospital.  He calls the Institute and brings John Fulbright up to date on the accident.  Mr. Fulbright informs him that Miss Bryant needs to talk with him or Captain Crane. 


“John, transfer me to Admiral Nelson’s Office.”


“Admiral Nelson’s Office, Miss Bryant speaking.  May I help you?


Lynn, its Chip.”


“Chip, how is Lee?  I’ve arranged for rooms at the Marriot down the street from Rampart for you and Jamie.”


“He is doing okay.  Jamie is at Rampart with him.  I just left the CHP office.  I’m heading back to the hospital now.  John Fulbright said you need to talk with me or Lee?”


“Oh Chip; Dr. Claus-Walker is driving me up the wall looking for the Captain.  He is furious that Receiving has refused to accept the items he ordered.  He is yelling at everyone and making all kinds of threats.  Admiral Stark has been calling every half hour for Captain Crane.  I told him that Lee had been in an accident and I would have you or Lee call as soon as one of you checked in.  Please call him and get him off my back.  Maybe he has found out something about Admiral Nelson-- not that he would tell me.”


“Okay Lynn, just hold the fort.  I think Jamie is planning on transferring Lee back to the Institute as soon as he is well enough. I will call you when we get the arrangements made.   Thanks for arranging the rooms, but after I check in with Jamie I will probably return to the Institute.  It depends on how Lee is doing and when he thinks Lee will be released.  Dr. Claus-Walker can just continue to yell, because nothing will be changed until we get back.”  Chip hangs up with Lynn and dials Admiral Starke’s Office.

“Admiral Starke’s Office this is Commander Emmons speaking.”


“Hi Joe, Chip Morton here.  Is Admiral Starke in?  I understand he is trying to reach Lee or me.”


“Yes, Chip he has been.  You just missed him.  He left for a two o’clock meeting.  He wanted to know if you have heard anything new about Admiral Nelson.”


“No Joe, I was hoping that he was calling with some new information.  A contact of Lee’s set up a meeting for 8 o’clock this evening with someone who was supposed to have some information about Admiral Nelson.  Lee was run off the road on the way to the meeting.  Unfortunately this caused him to miss the appointment.  The accident was deliberate, probably to keep Lee from making the meeting.  Lee was injured and is currently at Rampart General Hospital.”


“I will update Admiral Stark when he gets back.  Tell Lee to get well.  Keep us informed.”


Chip arrives back at Rampart.  He goes up to Lee’s room looking for Jamie.  Lee is asleep and Jamie is sitting in a chair looking over Lee’s test results. He motions Chip to step out into the hallway.


“I don’t want to wake Lee.  He is in quite a bit of pain, but all we can give him at the moment are mild pain relievers until his neurological status improves.  It is going to be a long night with the Neuro checks every 2 hours.  What did you find out from the police?”


“Not much.  Lee was right about the type and color of the truck, but wrong about the plate number.  It was a New Mexico plate not a California plate.  The tags were stolen off of a car, so no help there.  I checked with the Institute and Lynn has arranged rooms at the Marriot down the street.  Admiral Starke called, but he did not have any information about the Admiral.  The Institute still has not heard anything either.  When do you think we can take Lee back to the Institute?”


“Chip if you need to get back to the Institute; go ahead.   Depending on how Lee’s neurological exams go tonight and providing he doesn’t have any complications, I will arrange for his transfer back to the Institute tomorrow.”


“Jamie, I can wait and drive you and Lee back tomorrow.”


“No Chip, I would rather have Lee transferred by air ambulance.  I don’t want him riding for that distance.  Once we reach Santa Barbara Airport, I will arrange for an ambulance to transport us to the Institute.   The only place Lee is going is from one hospital bed to another.  I will sedate him for the trip; otherwise he will be too uncomfortable for him.  I will just stay here with him tonight.  I can get some sleep in the doctor’s on call room.”



“Okay Jamie, I will head back to the Institute.  Dr. Claus-Walker is on the warpath and driving Lynn nuts.  Let Lynn or me know when you make Lee’s travel plans.  I will have the Institute ambulance meet your plane.  I also want to have a security guard present, since we don’t know for sure who was after Lee or why. I don’t think that a security guard is necessary here, unless you’ve noticed something suspicious. I would like to see Lee before I leave, if it’s okay.”


“Sure, Chip you can see Lee.  Please just don’t wake him if he’s asleep.  We’ll have to wake him up in another 45 minutes, so why don’t you go get something to eat, and then come back to his room.  Then you can see him before you leave.  I think Lee is okay here, I haven’t noticed anything suspicious.    He is being watched closely by both nurses and doctors. Kel’s not taking any chances on missing something medically or taking a chance on Lee walking out of the hospital.”



“That’s a good idea Jamie.  I am hungry and this will save me stopping later.”


Chip goes down to the cafeteria and runs into Doctor Brackett and Miss McCall.


“Commander Morton, join us.  This is Dixie McCall.  Did you find the out the information you needed for the CHP?”


“Yes, I just got back from there.  Lee was right about most of the accident information.  I just stopped by to see Lee.  He’s asleep, but Jamie said that the nurse would be waking him up soon. “


Dr. Bracket says, “Unfortunately yes, but it is necessary.”


“I know Lee and I both have had concussions before, and it is not a lot of fun.  You just get comfortable and back to sleep, when someone is waking you up asking you a lot of silly questions, then smiles and tells you to go back to sleep.”


Kel and Dixie laughs.   Dixie then says “You definitely been through this before, Commander Morton.”


“Just call me Chip, please, Miss McCall.  Thanks for the conversation while I ate, but I want to get back to see the skipper before he falls back to sleep.  I’m leaving to drive back to the Institute after seeing him.  Jamie is going to stay with Lee until he is ready to be transferred to the Infirmary. Nice to have met you Miss McCall.  Doctor Brackett thank you for everything that you have done for Lee.”


“Commander, have a safe trip.”


Chip goes up to Lee’s room.  The Nurse has just finished her vitals and Neuro check.  Lee looks over as the door opens and sees Chip.


“Hi, Chip, what did you find out at the CHP?  What shape is my car in?”


“Well buddy, you were right about the type and color of the truck, but wrong about the plate number.  It was a New Mexico plate not a California plate.  I did not see your car, because CHP had towed it to their shop to be photographed, since the accident was a hit and run.  From what Sgt. Getraer said there is quite a bit of damage.  It will need some repair before it’s drivable.  I have arranged to be notified when they release your car, then I’ll arrange for it to be transported back to the Institute and you can arrange for the repair later. Jamie is going to stay with you until he transfers you back to the Institute.  I am going to drive on back now.  I will see you in a few days.”


“Have you heard anything on the Admiral yet?  Any problems at the Institute I need to know about?”


“No we still haven’t heard from the Admiral.  The Institute is fine.  Nothing you need to worry about.  I had better get out and let you sleep while you can, 2 hours will come around before you know it.”


“You aren’t telling me anything I don’t know.  I’m fine.  I don’t know why everyone can’t leave me alone and let me sleep.  They won’t even remove the IV or catheter.  I hate those things.”


Chips laughs at Lee’s expression as Jamie walks in the room.  He notices that Lee is drifting back to sleep.  He raises an eyebrow at Chip.


“What is that laugh about?  What are you and Lee up to?”


“Chill Jamie, Lee was just complaining about the IV and catheter.”


“I know he hates them, but unfortunately they need to stay in right now.  He is not going to be happy with me either when he is transferred to the Institute.   They both will stay in until after I get him to the Institute and am satisfied how the kidney is doing.  Using the urine collection bag is the best way to monitor his kidney functions, so the catheter stay put.”


“I’m glad I won’t be around when you tell him.  It’s your ears and I bet you did not bring your earplugs.  He is definitely not going to be happy with you.”



The Symposium is still going on. What Admiral Nelson though would take a couple of weeks at the most is now going on the 5th week.  Harry is getting frustrated at the slow progress being made.  Everyone agrees with the marine biologist, oceanographers and representatives of the fishermen, about the problems caused by the toxic pesticide TBT.  And they all agree that the poisoning marine wildlife worldwide has to be stopped.  The delays in writing the symposium’s recommendations for presentation to the UN and the worlds government is because some of the marine biologist insist that all toxic pesticides need to be included.  They want any toxic poison, which affects any kind of marine wildlife and the sensitive oceanic ecosystem to be banned.  Their ideals are great, but the point of this quick clandestine meeting was so that there would be secrecy until the recommendations was submitted to everyone at the same time.  Now what should have taken only a couple of weeks, drags on.


As he sits listening to the same argument over again, Nelson thinks, “I am sure that Lee is getting worried.  I wish I could contact the Institute but we all agreed to the utmost secrecy.  I did not even have a chance to leave Lee a hidden message.   Well, Seaview should have docked 2 weeks ago and the crew should be on shore leave.  We don’t have another mission for another month, so Lee should be able to cover my meeting in Washington.  I need to think of someway to break this deadlock.  There has to be a solution, because the longer we stall the better the opportunity for Scorpio to discover what we are doing.  If Scorpio discovers our mandate they might figure a way to stop the ratification by the UN and the governments of the world.  Scorpio will not stop at anything, whether it is bribery, murder or extortion.”


The next morning Lee is awaked again by a smiling cheerful nurse.  He is tired and cranky.  He has a killer headache with no pain medications in sight yet.  He still has the dreaded IV and catheter.  No one is around that he can yell at to vent his frustration. “He can’t yell at this young smiling nurse, so he just grits his teeth.  Jamie has already warned him that he had better not treat this staff the same as he does the ones at the institute. So he just smiles as he answers the same stupid questions that have been asked every time they have awakened him.   The nurse finishes taking his vitals.  The she turns toward the door as she hears it open.  Dr. Brackett and Dr. Jamieson enter Lee’s room.


“Good Morning, Dr. Brackett.  Good Morning, Dr. Jamieson.  Commander Crane is doing just fine.  His blood pressure is still a little low and he has a temperature of 101 degrees.  It has been rising slightly all night, but it was still 99 at his previous vitals check.  He has been fully orientated each time he was awakened, but I think he is getting cranky.  He seems to be clenching his jaw.”


“Thank you Susan, I will take it from here.  Jamie do you still want to transfer him this morning or do you want to wait?  We can repeat the blood work and start him on antibiotics.  You are more familiar with his history and reactions.”


“Kel, I think I would prefer to go ahead and arrange for the transfer.  Lee’s pressure is still a little low, but acceptable.  The flight will not take that long.  If we follow the original plan the ambulance should be here in an hour.  We can go ahead and draw the blood for the labs.  Then why don’t you order some Tylenol for the fever and give him a shot of antibiotics.  Make it a Bicilion shot, and then he will not need another one for 6 hours.  Pain could also be causing the temperature increase.  Since his neurological checks have been fine all night, we can go ahead and give him a stronger pain reliever. You can fax the laboratory results to the Institute.  The transfer should only take about 4 hours, so we will be at the Institute before he is due the next injection.  I can change antibiotics if necessary after I see his test results.”


“Okay, Jamie, let me go write the orders.  I will also confirm the air transport orders.  Why don’t I leave you with Commander Crane?  He looks like he wants to say something to you.”


“Sure, Kel, I will see you before I leave.  Thanks for everything.”  He turns back to Lee. “Now Lee, hold on just a minute and I will let you know what is going on.  We will be transferring you in about an hour by ambulance to an air ambulance for the flight to Santa Barbara.  When we arrive the Institute ambulance will meet us at the airport to transport you to the Infirmary.  You will be sedated for the trip.  Hold on.  I know it isn’t what you want, but you would not be able to handle the pain in moving so soon without the sedation.  So if you want to go home you will agree to my rules.  One more thing before you ask, the IV and catheter stays.  None of this is negotiable. “



Lee just glares at Jamie with the look that normally makes crewman cringe.  Jamie continues to watch Lee and finally raises one eyebrow.  Lee growls at Jamie “Is that all?”


“Yes, Skipper.”


The nurse comes in and hands Lee a cup with some pills.  “Commander, please take these while I change your IV and inject your pain medication.  Here is some water to wash the Tylenol down.  It should help your fever.  I am going to take some blood.”  She is very efficient and is quickly done.  “Okay that is all done.  Let me send the blood to the lab, then I will be back with your shot of antibiotics and your sedative.  Then I will finish getting you ready for transport.”


Lee glowers at Jamie.


“Not a word Lee.  She is only doing what she was told.  You behave and be nice.”


A few minutes later Susan returns to Lee’s room. Commander, please roll over so I can give you your shots.  They both go in your hip.”  She injects both shots. Now that’s all done, you can turn back over.   I am going to empty your urine bag.


“Dr. Jamieson, do you want any sent to the lab for analysis or do you just want the output volume?”


“Nurse, please send some to the lab for analysis.  What is the current output volume and when was it last emptied?”


“I was emptied 6 hours ago.  This urine volume is only 400 cc.”


“What was his previous urine volume?  What flow rate has the IV been running at?”


“The urine volume was 700 cc, Doctor.  The IV flow rate is 20 drops per minute.  This is his 2nd IV since we last emptied the bag, so he has received approximately two liters of fluid.”


“Thanks Nurse Jacobs.” 


Jamie glances over at Lee.  He is blushing.  Lee is embarrassed listening to the conservation between his very attractive nurse and Jamie.  He thinks of all things to talk about, they are talking about how much urine he’s produced.  How embarrassing.


“Lee, what is the matter?”


“Jamie, how could you?  Honestly, why should it matter how much have I peed?”


“Lee, one of the reasons that the catheter is staying is so your urine volume can be easily monitored.  With the injury to your kidney, we need to make sure that they are functioning normally.  You know it’s not to embarrass you.  We record the amount of fluid that you receive, which is whatever you drink plus the amount of your IV’s.  We then need to monitor the amount of fluid excreted as urine.  Right now your output is a little low.  Which may mean your right kidney is still in shock from its recent injury.  I know it is not pleasant, but bear with me.  This is why I am leaving in all of the tubes.  Now quit fighting the sedative, the sooner you go to sleep the sooner you will wake up in one of your favorite places.”


Several hours later the air ambulance arrives in Santa Barbara.  Chip and Roberts from Security meet the plane along with the ambulance.  As the door opens Chip climbs on the plane.


“Jamie how was your flight?”


“Everything was fine, Chip. No problems.  Lee slept the whole way.  Let’s move him to the gurney and get him to the Infirmary.”


“Jamie, are you sure?  He looks flushed like he has a fever.”


“Yes Chip.  He is running a temperature.  We drew blood, before we left Rampart.  The results should be waiting for me at the Institute.”


Lee is quickly moved to the ambulance and arrives at the Infirmary.  Lee is then moved to his favorite room. Nurse Judy Chambers walks in and hands Jamie the laboratory results from Rampart.


 “Judy, here is a copy of Lee’s chart form Rampart.  It looks like he is developing a urinary tract infection. His white count is high and his urinalysis shows a high bacteria count.”  He pauses a moment in thought.  “Okay, let’s do this.  I know the Foley catheter was only inserted yesterday, but let’s change it out anyway with a new one.  Then flush out the lines with 200 cc of sterile saline. Then take another 500cc of sterile saline and push through the catheter lines into the bladder.  Hopefully we can accomplish this before Lee wakes up.  It is going to be very uncomfortable for him, pushing that volume into the bladder.  Then we will start him on IV antibiotic Keflex 5000 units every 4 hours.  Collect another urine sample in 8 hours for analysis.  Hopefully the catheter lines were only contaminated, if the next sample still shows a high levels of bacteria we will have to repeat this procedure again and Lee will definitely be unhappy.”


“Yes Doctor.  How will the urinary tract infection affect the injured kidney?” 


“I am worried about that.  This is the last thing that Lee needs at the moment.  Call me if you need me or if Lee wakes up.”


Jamie leaves Lee’s room.  Chip is waiting outside for him.


“Jamie you look worried.  Is Lee okay?  When can I see him?”


“Yes, Chip.  I am.  Lee has a urinary tract infection, which complicates things a bit.  He was already run down before the accident.  The kidney was just beginning to heal.  This was the last thing he need with the kidney being re-injured.”


“What can you do?”


“We’re doing it at the moment.  I’m starting Lee on a high dose of a very strong antibiotic; unfortunately the possible side effects are not pleasant.  Hopefully we will not have to deal with them.  The only other thing to do is to change out the catheter line, then flush the new lines and then flush out the bladder.  It is not pleasant procedure and very uncomfortable.”  Jamie sees Chip cringing and sympathizes with him.  “Judy is doing this right now, while Lee is still sedated.  We will repeat the urinalysis in 8 hours and the blood work hopefully will see an improvement.  Otherwise we will have to repeat the whole procedure again. Lee is not going to be happy.  Why don’t you wait to visit Lee until tomorrow?  I want him to rest as much as possible, so I am putting up the no visitors sign.”


Chip heads back to his office.  He informs Lynn that Lee has safely arrived, but is running a fever and Jamie has put up the no visitor sign until tomorrow morning.  Lynn hands Chips all of Lee’s messages before she leaves for the day, most of them are complaints from Dr. Claus-Walker.  Chip throws the messages from Dr. Claus-Walker down on his desk.  They can wait until tomorrow; there is no way that Jamie will allow Lee to be disturbed by this nonsense.


Meanwhile Admiral Nelson finds a solution that satisfies most of the people at the Symposium.  The policies and recommendations are submitted to the United Nations and various world governments.  The governments then work to pass legislation prohibiting the use of TBT on ships.  These laws will require the shipping companies to remove TBT from the hulls of their ships with in 60 days or the ships will be banned from entering port.  Nelson is in a hurry to return to his Institute.  He arranges for an immediate flight to Santa Barbara.  When he arrives, he calls the Institute to send a car to pick him up. He learns from Security the Commander Crane has been in an accident and is in the Infirmary. Security calls Commander Morton at home.


“Mr. Morton, this is Roberts at Security.  We just received a call from the Admiral, requesting a car to pick him up.  The Admiral asked for Captain Crane’s location.  I don’t think he realized what time it was.  I informed him that Captain Crane had been in an accident and was in the Infirmary.   The car is supposed to take him there as soon as it picks him up. “


“I will be right over.  Call Dr.  Jamieson and let him know.”


Chip and Jamieson are waiting when the Admiral arrives at the infirmary.  They both say, “Admiral, where have you been?  We have been searching for you everywhere.”


“What happened to Lee?  How is he? Didn’t you receive my coded communication?”


“Admiral, settle down and I will tell you everything. Lee’s going to be fine. He is asleep right now.  It is only 6 am.  Let’s get some coffee and sit down-- it is a long story.”


“Jamie, you said Lee is okay?” Chip asks.


“Yes, Chip the antibiotics are working and so is the kidney.  It will take time for him to recover, but he will be fine.”


The Admiral is starting to frown.  Chip and Jamie take turns telling the Admiral about everything that has happened while he had been gone.  Several hours later they finally finish.  The Admiral looks shocked.


“You mean that a scientist by the name of Claus-Walker showed up with instructions from me?”


“Yes Admiral, Lee recognized the code as yours.”


“I never sent such instructions!  I have never heard of this person.  You mean no one knows what he has been working on?  Call John Fulbright, have him seal the lab and hold Dr. Claus-Walker until I’m available.  I want to inspect the lab after I see Lee.  Jamie I want to see Lee now.”


“Okay Admiral, let’s go.  He is in room 317.  I think that this is going to be a very pleasant surprise for him.  Remember he is in a lot of pain and been running a fever, so don’t be shocked at how he looks.”


They all walk down to Lee room.  Jamie opens the door and looks in.  Lee is sleeping.  Jamie walks in and gently shakes Lee’s shoulder.  “Lee wake up.  You have a visitor.”


”Lee, its Nelson can you wake up for me?”


Lee opens his eyes.  “Admiral is it really you?  Are you all right?  Where have you been?”


“Settle down Lee, I will tell you all about it.” After the Admiral finishes talking with Lee, he and Chip leave to meet with Fulbright outside of Claus-Walker’s laboratory.  Lee is still running a low-grade fever and very weak.  He quickly falls asleep.  Chip and the Admiral walk into the Knowles Laboratory Building and meet up with security outside of Dr. Claus-Walker’s laboratory.


“John is the laboratory sealed.  Where is Dr. Claus-Walker?”


“Admiral we sealed the laboratory, but Dr. Claus-Walker was not here.  I checked with Roberts at the front gate and Dr. Claus-Walker has already left the grounds.  He worked late last night and hasn’t arrived yet this morning.”


“Okay, let’s check the lab.  Does he have any technicians?  Where is his office?”


The gate doesn’t have a record of his technicians entering the grounds today.  They will be stopped at the gate and held in the security office when they arrive.


“Admiral, he brought 5 technicians with him.  They joined him after he arrived.  His office suite is on the 6th floor, there wasn’t any available on the 4th floor near the lab.”  Chip, stops and thinks a moment.   “Admiral, I know that Lee had requested a list of all equipment purchased from George Bellos.  Lee received reports from Dr. Marcus, Dr. Shine and Dr. Flame about damage done to experiments and missing equipment.”    Chip turns to look at the Head of Security, “John I know security found the missing equipment in Dr. Claus-Walker laboratory.  Wasn’t there were reports of him entering restricted areas?  I know that Lee had a security watch placed on him after these breaches.  Do you have a list detailing which areas he entered?”



“Good idea Chip, this should help me determine what he was doing.”  The Admiral turns to security.  “John, please send the security watch report to my office.  Give them to Lynn and inform her I will be there shortly.  Also have her get the equipment list from Bellos.  Chip and I will look through the lab and office.”   The Admiral stops, runs his hand through his hair and looks thoughtful; “John, we have copies of the ID photos for Claus-Walker and his technician send them to Lynn also.  I might recognize one of them.”


John Fulbright says, “Okay Admiral, I will get right on this.  Do you want someone from security to accompany you and Commander Morton?”


“No John, we will be fine.”  The Admiral and Chip turn to walk into the lab.


“Chip, collect any laboratory notebooks or any other papers, while I check the benches and equipment.  It might give me an idea of what he was doing.  I can review the paperwork later.  When we finish here, we will check the offices.”


After the lab and offices have been searched, the Admiral returns to his office and Chip returns to the infirmary to check on Lee.  As he approaches Lee’s room he sees Jamie.


“Jamie, how is Lee doing?”


“He’s fine.  He went right back to sleep when you and the Admiral left.  Of course, the sedative in his IV could have helped.”


“I was worried how he was reacting to the news from the Admiral.”


“I know, so was I.  Which is why I’m planning on keeping him sedated for the next several days, he will just worry about everything and want to help the Admiral unravel the mystery.  He needs to rest and heal. The only way to prevent the arguments is to keep him sedated.  I’m going to put the no visitor sign up for the remainder of the day.  I’m sure the Admiral is going to be busy for the rest of the day and I don’t want to see you again either.  Before you say it, yes I will inform you of any changes with Lee.”


Chip turns to walk away form Lee’s room “Jamie, you better have the earplugs ready, when you wake him up.”


Chip return to his office later and calls security.  “John, have someone check the computer in Dr. Claus-Walker’s office for any deleted files.  Also pull all of his phone records and the email logs that were sent and received.  Have a copy of this sent to the Admiral’s office whenever it’s completed.”


Later that afternoon after the Admiral has reviewed all of the information on Dr. Claus-Walker and his technicians he has Lynn set up a meeting with George Bellos, John Fulbright and Chip   As Chip walks down from his office to the conference room next to the Admiral’s office, he meets up with John Fulbright and George Bellos.


“John, has Claus-Walker or any of his people shown up today?”  


“No Chip, no sign of them.  I also had some of my people check their address. No luck.  Maybe the Admiral will have an idea.”  The Admiral walks just as John makes the last statement.


“Gentlemen, have a seat.  John, I heard your last statement and yes, I think I know what went on.  I recognize some of the photos.  Dr. Claus-Walker’s real name is Paul Magnus and one of his technicians is Josh Lemon.  They both work for an international corporation associated with Scorpio.  They have primarily worked on bio-weapons using marine toxins.  Unfortunately they destroyed all of their notes so I am just guessing what they were doing here, but I think that they were trying to find out about Project Cyprus.  I will turn all of the information that we have to ONI, they can follow it up.  That is their job.  Thank you for all of your hard work on this matter, but now it is time to put this behind us and move forward.  I’m going to check on Lee and then get some rest.”



The End


Thanks to Sue for all of her hard work and great ideas on this story.