This is the last story in the series involving Ghag Huchay.  The reader should be familiar with the stories “Crown of Thorns” and “Goodness Triumphs Over Evil” to get the full enjoyment of this story.  


Loose Ends

By JSRobertson

Chapter 1

It was late Thursday afternoon and Admiral Harriman Nelson, mastermind of the Nelson Institute of Marine Research and his submarine, Seaview, was trying to clear off his desk before he left early Friday morning for a long weekend.  Two of Harry’s friends, Admiral’s Jack Warner and Peter Dotson were retiring after thirty-five years of service in the Navy and a formal attired retirement party was being held on Saturday night in their honor. Lee Crane, Captain of his submarine, would also be attending since he had dealings with both Admirals in the past and was included on the guest list.   Harry needed to be there Friday night since he was meeting the two Admirals along with Jiggs Starke for a men’s only dinner.

Harry had signed his last letter and was on his way to give it to Angie, his PA, when the phone rang. 

“Yes, Angie,” Harry answered impatiently.

“Sir, I have Dr. Simmons for you,” she told him.   “He said it was important.”

Sighing, “I’ll take it; put it through.”

“Hello Alex, what can I do for you?   I was just getting ready to leave for the weekend,” Harry stated.

“Sorry, Harry, I’ll make it short.   Could you be at the Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay by Wednesday morning?  I’d like leave on the mission to Antarctica.” 

“Let me check with Captain Crane, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem.   I’ll get back to you later.”

“Thanks, Harry, and sorry for the late notice,” Alex replied.  

As soon as Harry hung up, he had Angie summon Lee and Chip Morton, Seaview’s XO, to his office so he could let them know the status of the mission that had been postponed earlier was now ready to go.  It wasn’t too long before he heard a soft rap on his door.

“Come,” he said as Lee and Chip entered his office and sat down in the chairs in front of Nelson’s desk.

“Dr. Simmons called and he’s ready to move on the voyage again.  He would like us to be at the Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay by Wednesday morning.   Will that be a problem?”

“No sir, if we leave Monday afternoon, we should be there Tuesday night,” Lee answered quickly figuring the timeframe in his head.

“I’ll make sure the boat is loaded and ready to shove off,” Chip added knowing it would be a challenge getting the boat ready since Lee and Janet would be gone for the weekend.  He’d enlist the help of Bobby O’Brien and Chief Sharkey to make sure the boat was ready to sail.  He knew that Janet had the mission packet ready so he’d just have to grab that off her desk.

“Thanks, men, I’ll let him know we’ll be there and make sure his equipment and gear are ready for us to load at the base when we arrive.    Lee, I’m planning on leaving tomorrow for Washington D.C. at 0800 hours.”

“Yes, sir.  I’ll make sure FS-1 is checked out and ready to leave at that time.”

“Good,” Harry responded as both men stood up and left his office.  

Harry wasn’t too far behind them.  He said goodbye to Angie and walked out the door ready to start the weekend.


Lee and Janet were up early Friday morning, showered and prepared to leave.   While Janet finished up in the bathroom, Lee slipped on his navy-blue shirt and was putting on his jeans when Janet was ready to leave the bathroom.  She stopped to watch him zip up his jeans.  He turned around and saw her watching him.  

“Is there something wrong?” he asked curiously.

“No, nothing’s wrong,” Janet purred, “you’re lucky we have a schedule to keep or I’d have you back in bed.”

“How about I make it up to you later?” Lee laughed taking her into his arms and giving her a kiss.

“Deal and I will hold you to that,” she replied and returned his kiss.

Lee put the rest of items he needed into his suitcase and zipped it up.  He double checked the garment bag making sure he had everything he needed for his dinner dress uniform, including the miniature medals. He saw his cover was hanging from a hanger and his shoes were in the bottom of the bag and noticed Janet’s dress was also in there.  All set, he thought and zipped up the bag.

Janet put on her necklace, earrings, rings, watch and the bracelet Lee bought her from Kolenovo.  Even though the bracelet had caused a lot of trouble for them, it was still a sweet reminder of Lee’s love for her; she loved the bracelet and wore it every day.   She finished packing and grabbed the small bag she needed for her toiletries as Lee took their luggage downstairs.   While he put all bags in the car, Janet made coffee and toast.  They quickly ate breakfast, cleaned up and left for the Institute.


Lee pulled into the parking lot of the hangar where FS-1 was parked.   He parked the SUV just as Kowalski, who was helping him check out the flying sub, pulled into the space next to them.   He opened the door for Janet and met Lee at the back of the car.   Ski took the garment bag and put it over his shoulder and grabbed Janet’s suitcase while Lee took his.  

“Good morning, Skipper, Mrs. C.,” he said happily.

“Morning Ski,” they responded as they walked to the door of the hangar.

“Thanks for coming in early,” Lee said after they entered the hangar.   

“No problem, Skipper.”

They walked to the aft hatch of FS-1 where Lee turned the wheel and opened it up for Kowalski so he could put the garment bag on the bunk and stow the suitcases.   Once everything was stowed, he then took the clipboard from the hook so they could begin the check off list.   Janet watched the two of them work like a well-oiled machine.     When they finished, Ski went to the front of the building and pushed the button on the huge hangar door.  Lee then walked around the outside of little sub making sure everything was in order, while Ski removed the chocks from the wheels.  

By the time they’d finish checking out the sub, Harry had pulled into the parking lot.   Kowalski hustled over and opened the door for him.

“Thanks, Kowalski,” Harry said as they retreated to the back of the car.

Kowalski removed Nelson’s garment bag and suitcase then carried them over to FS-1 and stowed the bags.

“All set, Skipper.”

“Thanks again, Ski,” Lee replied.    “We’ll see you on Sunday.    I’ll radio the Institute when we’re ready to land.   I’m going to bring her right to the boat so she’ll be ready to go when we leave on Monday.”

“Yes, sir.  We’ll be waiting for you and I’ll make sure your cars are parked in the lot near the sub pen,” Ski answered.   “Have a safe flight and have a good weekend.”

“Thanks, Kowalski,” Harry responded.   “Ready to go?”

“Yes, sir, whenever you are.”

Lee entered the sub and helped Janet in.  Harry sat down in the pilot’s seat, but he knew Lee loved to fly the little sub so he didn’t mind being the co-pilot this time around.   Janet strapped in the seat in back and didn’t know what to expect since she’d never taken off from land before.

Lee strapped in his seat after securing the hatch.   He turned on the engines, checked out the gauges and slowly rolled FS-1 out of the hangar. 

Lee taxied the little sub to the end of the runway and took off.   Once he was airborne, he radioed the tower at the Santa Barbara airport letting them know he was in their air space.  He had filed a flight plan with them along with NIMR’s communication center.   He was cleared to his desired altitude and headed east as they began their weekend.


“Admiral,” Janet piped up an hour into the flight, but Harry interrupted her before she could continue.

“Two items I need to discuss with you, first, we’re not going to talk about any business on this trip and second, you’re to call me Harry from now on, unless it’s necessary to be more formal.  Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Lee and Janet replied.

“Now what were you going to say?” Harry inquired.

“I’m curious about how you met Admiral’s Warner and Dotson?”

“We met at the academy.   Jack Warner and I were roommates.  Peter was Jiggs’ roommate.   We had a lot classes together and would also go out when we found the time.   We’d cover for each if someone stayed out past curfew or got into trouble.”

“Ad…Harry,” Janet said.   “Trouble…I never thought you’d get into trouble.”

Harry laughed.   “Oh, there were a few times when we pushed the limit.   I’m sure Lee knows what I’m talking about.   All work and no play gets very boring, so you have to do something.”

“What did you do?” Lee asked.

Harry went on to tell them a story of how they got in trouble in a bar and he had to drag Jiggs’ and Peter out before the police got there.

Lee smiled as Harry told his story.

“I’m sure Lee has some stories about his time at the academy with Chip, Joey and a few others,” Harry replied.

“Yes, there were a few incidents where we almost got caught,” Lee interjected.   “Chip saved my six a few times and I had to save his too.”

Lee told a couple of stories that Harry didn’t even know about while Harry added a few more of his own.   Janet sat there listening to the two of them talk about their experiences at the academy just like a father and son would do.  Harry looked over at Lee and smiled.  Lee knew that smile and waited for Harry to make his move.

“Janet, you’re awful quiet back there.   I’m sure you’ve done some things you’re not proud of,” Harry said innocently.

Janet looked at Harry and saw him smiling and then at her husband who’d turned around to see her reaction to Harry’s question.

“Well,” Janet replied knowing she’d been set up, so she told them about the time that she and her friends had tried drinking and they got drunk.  She had to walk home from her friend’s house and she fell off the curb just as a police car drove by.

“That’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” Lee asked trying hard not to laugh, but Harry couldn’t help himself.

 “Yes, and it wasn’t funny at the time, but now it is kind of funny,” she answered laughing too.

Lee and Harry had more stories to tell when they were at sea and stopped in various ports around the world.   Before long they were approaching Reagan National Airport so Lee had to turn his attention back to flying FS-1 and prepare to land.


Lee was cleared to land and taxied to a remote section of the airport, where he completed the shut-down procedures before opening the rear hatch.    Harry and Janet un-buckled their harnesses and went over to the bunk and storage area.   Lee opened the hatch, hopped out and they handed him the gear.   Once all the gear was removed, he secured the little sub with his numeric fob.

“Dad, is it okay if I keep the keys,” Lee asked with a jestful grin.

“Sure son, as long as you don’t take her out for a joy ride,” Harry chuckled.

Lee grabbed Janet’s bag and the garment bags and flung them over his shoulder.   Janet took Lee’s suitcase while Harry handled his own.    They walked across the tarmac and through the building to the street.  The limo was waiting outside the building and the driver quickly took the garment bags from Lee and set them in the trunk.  He stowed the rest of their bags and opened the door for them.   Harry climbed in first followed by Janet and then Lee.

Harry gave him the name of the hotel they were staying at in Lafayette Square.   It was the hotel where the retirement party was being held.  Since it was late afternoon on Friday, traffic was a little heavy, but none of them minded the long ride as it gave them time to look around.   Janet had only been to Washington a couple of times and didn’t get to see much of the city when she was there, so she was looking forward to having some time to sightsee.

They pulled up in front of the hotel and the door man opened the car door for them.   Their bags were quickly transferred to waiting luggage cart, and the porter followed them to the front desk and waited for them to check in.  Once complete, they headed to the elevators and up to their rooms.


Lee and Janet’s room was next to Harry’s.    They exited the elevator and walked down the hall coming to Harry’s room first.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night,” Harry told them. “I’m having dinner tonight with the admirals and tomorrow morning breakfast with them and their wives.    I’m sorry I won’t be spending much time with you, but we’ll meet for breakfast on Sunday, say 0900.”

“Yes, sir and don’t worry about it,” Lee replied.  “There’s plenty to do here, so we’ll keep busy.   Just have a good time.”

“Thanks,” Harry answered as he inserted his key card into the slot and opened the door.

Before he entered the room, Janet remarked, “Don’t let them talk you into retiring.”

“I won’t,” he replied with a grin.   “I’m not ready,” he said entering the room and closing the door behind him.


Lee and Janet walked the short distance down the hall to their room where Lee inserted his key card and opened the door, letting Janet go in first.  Janet walked over to the window to see a fantastic view of the White House. 

Lee joined her at the window and put his arm around her waist.  He bent down to give her a kiss, but was interrupted by a knock on the door.   Lee checked the peep hole and it was the porter with their luggage.   He let him in and he hung up the garment bags and put their bags on the luggage stands.  Lee gave him a tip and he quickly left.

“Now where was I,” Lee asked when he returned to Janet’s side.

“I think you were going to kiss me,” Janet purred.

He bent down and gave her a kiss and hug.  

“How about we get some dinner and then you can keep your promise from this morning,” Janet suggested.

“Good plan,” Lee replied.

Janet picked up her purse and sweater.  Lee took her hand as they made their way to the elevator. 


Lee had never been to this part of Washington, so he checked with the concierge and she recommended a restaurant not too far from the hotel.   The street was crowded with tourists and people going home from work.  They walked hand in hand down the street to the small restaurant.  Even though the street was packed with people, the restaurant wasn’t very busy so they didn’t have to wait for a table.    They had a very enjoyable meal and were happy they came early, because by the time they were ready to leave the place was packed and people were waiting to be seated.   Since it was a beautiful evening, they decided to walk around.

Lee helped Janet put on her sweater after they left the restaurant.    They walked down to Constitution Avenue and looked back at the White House.

“Wow, that’s very impressive,” Janet stated.

“Yes, it is,” Lee concurred as they stood there in silence.

Lee squeezed her hand and they walked back to the hotel.

“We’ll check out some more sights tomorrow.  There’s really a lot to do here.”

“Sounds good, but I’m really tired.   I haven’t done anything, but just flying across country tires me out,” Janet replied as they entered the hotel and went to their room.


Lee turned on the TV while Janet went to the dressing area and got ready for bed.   She opened Lee’s bag and put on the top of his pajamas, leaving him the bottoms.   She returned to the bedroom area and noticed Lee had already turned down the bed.   She climbed in and put the pillows up the against the headboard while Lee changed.   He came back to the room, slipped in next to her and turned off the light leaving the room illuminated by only the TV.   She snuggled up to him and put her hand on his chest.  

“Lee,” Janet said softly.

“What,” Lee replied as he rubbed her arm.

“Do you know what this movie’s about?”

“No, not really, but it’s the only thing on that looked interesting.”

“I know something more interesting,” Janet cooed as she undid the drawstring on Lee’s pajamas and slid her hand down into them.  Lee moaned when Janet found her target.   He turned off the TV, slipped out of the bottoms and scooted down into the bed while Janet removed the pajama top and tossed it to the bottom of the bed.   She then moved on top of Lee and they let their passion take over.


Lee woke up early the next morning, but Janet was still asleep.   He’d let her sleep in while he went to look for some coffee and breakfast.   He quietly left the room and went to the lobby where he found the coffee shop open.   He bought a few cups of coffee and rolls and returned to the room.   Janet was still sleeping so he took his shower, shaved and put on a pair of jeans and polo shirt.  He went over to the table by the window and opened the curtains slightly to let in some light so he could read the paper he picked up with breakfast.   He’d finished one cup of coffee when he saw Janet stirring.   She sat up in bed surprised to see Lee dressed and reading the paper.   She looked at her phone she’d put on the night stand. 

“Lee, it’s only 0800 and you’ve already got breakfast,” she muttered.   “Looks like you’ve showered too.   Can’t you ever sleep in?”

Smiling, “Nope, can’t do that.   You better hurry up and get ready before I drink your cup of coffee,” Lee teased.

“Okay,” Janet replied with a grin as she got out of bed.  She gathered the items she needed for the shower and headed into the bathroom.   She exited it a few minutes later and took out a pair of jeans and white shirt out of her suitcase.  She quickly dressed and did her make-up.   She walked over to the table and kissed Lee on the top of his head then sat down and picked up a cup of coffee and a roll.  

“Anything interesting in the paper?” she asked as she nibbled her roll.

“No, not really.  I was looking to see if there was anything special taking place at any of the attractions but nothing exciting.”

“What are we going to do today?”

“I thought if you wanted to, we can check out the Washington monument, Lincoln Memorial, and maybe the Capitol building, and then stop for a late lunch since we’re not going to have dinner until later this evening.”

“Works for me,” Janet answered as she finished up breakfast.   She threw out the garbage, straightened up the room and put on her shoes.   “I’m ready when you are.”

Lee put down the paper, stood up and walked over to Janet.   He kissed her and grabbed the key to the room while she took her purse.   They exited the hotel to a bright and sunny day with unseasonably warm temperatures.  They would start at the Capitol Building and work their way back to the Lincoln Memorial since it was the furthest away.


It was early afternoon and Lee and Janet had visited the attractions they wanted to see plus added a few more.   They were hungry so they stopped at a café on their way back to the hotel.   It wasn’t very large, but very cozy with the tables covered in red and white checked table cloths.    

Lee ordered a beer and Janet a glass of wine.   They looked over the menu and decided on chicken wrap sandwiches. When the waitress returned with their drinks, she took their order and they talked about the sights they’d seen.

“What was your favorite attraction?” Lee asked as he took a swig of his beer.

“I think the Lincoln Memorial,” Janet answered reflectively.   “What was yours?”

“The Capitol Building,” Lee responded decisively.

They finished eating and after the waitress had removed their plates, Lee finished up his beer, and signaled the waitress for their bill.

When they left the restaurant, the weather had gotten cooler and the once sunny skies were now overcast threatening rain so they quickly walked back to the hotel and went to their room. 

“I don’t know what you have planned, but a nap would be nice since we’re going to be up late tonight,” Lee suggested giving Janet a kiss.

“Good idea,” she replied mischievously as she turned down the bed.


The couple napped for a couple of hours before it was time for them to get ready.  After showering, Lee put on his uniform.  

“I’m sure glad we didn’t have to wear the ‘choker’ uniforms,” he remarked referring to the dress white uniforms with the high collar.

“It doesn’t matter which one you wear, you always look handsome and sexy,” Janet replied.   “Could you please help me zip up my dress?”

“Sure.”  Lee zipped up Janet’s wine-colored, off the shoulder long dress.

“Sweetheart, you don’t look too bad yourself,” Lee whistled at how fantastic she looked.

“Thanks, honey,” Janet replied giving him a hug and picked up her cocktail purse.   “Ready to go?”

“I guess so, but I think I’d rather stay here,” Lee joked as he opened the door for her.  

Chapter 2

Harry was exiting his room just a Lee closed the door so the couple hurried down the hall to meet him.

“Harry, are you enjoying yourself?” Lee asked thoughtfully.

“Yes, it’s been a lot of fun reminiscing,” Harry replied with a smile.

“Did they talk you into retiring?” Janet inquired anxiously.

“No, so far they haven’t convinced me,” Harry chuckled.

“Good,” Lee and Janet said in unison.


The trio made their way to the elevator, took it down to the lobby and then walked to the banquet room where the party was being held.  The room was decorated in blue and white to match the uniforms.   Admiral’s Warner and Dotson along with their wives were standing by the door greeting their guests.  

Harry introduced Janet to the Admirals and their wives.   Lee had been at previous functions with them, so he needed no introduction and shook their hands.

“Nice to meet you,” Janet said pleasantly.  “Thank you for inviting us.”

“Nice to meet you too,” the admiral’s wives replied warmly.   “We hope you have a good time.”

After the pleasantries were finished, the trio moved on so they could talk with some more of their guests.

Harry led them over to a table where Jiggs Starke and his wife, Virginia, were sitting.   More introductions were made as Janet had never met Mrs. Starke.   The men got drink orders and went to the bar where they were stopped several times talking with people they knew, but hadn’t seen in a while.

While they waited Janet said, “Mrs. Starke, I can’t thank you enough for giving up your seat to Lee so he could be home for Christmas.”*

“Please call me Virginia,” Mrs. Starke stated.   “You’re welcome.   I know how hard it is to be alone for the holidays.”

The two women were having a wonderful conversation when only Lee returned with their drinks.  

“Sorry, Mrs. Starke, both admirals got detained by some more friends,” Lee reported as he put down Virginia’s drink.

Grinning, “That happens all the time at these parties.   At least I have somebody to talk to this time,” Virginia added looking at Janet.

They continued talking when Harry and Jiggs finally returned to the table as dinner was about to be served.   More people stopped at the table wanting to talk to Harry and Jiggs, so more introductions were made before they got to eat dinner.


After several speeches and tributes to Admiral’s Dotson and Warner, dinner was served.   The band starting playing as soon as dinner was finished.  Harry took Janet’s hand and led her out to the floor.

“Thanks for dancing with me,’ Harry said happily.

“Adm…Harry, I love dancing with you,” Janet replied.   “Lee isn’t a big fan, but I’ll get him out here for a couple of dances.”

“I know he doesn’t like to be out here,” Harry added with a smile.

They finished their dance and after Harry brought Janet back to the table, he made his way over to the bar where he’d seen another friend he hadn’t talked to in years.    Admiral Starke and his wife were dancing, leaving Lee and Janet alone at the table.

“Everything okay?” Lee asked taking Janet’s hand in his.   

“Just fine, but I need to use the ladies’ room.   I’ll be right back and then you’re going to have to dance with me.”

“Deal,” Lee smiled.


Janet walked to the entrance to the ballroom and she saw a woman catch her foot on the carpet and start to fall.   She quickly ran over to her and caught her before she hit the ground.

“Are you okay?” Janet asked worriedly.

“Yes, I’m fine.  Thank you for catching me,” the woman replied gratefully.

“Let me help you to your table,” Janet insisted.

“I’d appreciate it,” the woman answered.   “This darn boot is more of a problem than the ankle, maybe I should have had a cast put on instead this boot.”

Janet took her arm and escorted her to a nearby table.   The woman sat down and Janet caught a glimpse of the boot she mentioned…it was large, black and cumbersome.

“What happen?” Janet asked.

“I fell in the foyer of my apartment.  I’m sorry I have no idea who you are. We arrived late, so I didn’t get to meet anyone.  I’m Lillian Johnson.” 

“Hello, I’m Janet Crane.   Are you the wife of Admiral Johnson?”

“Yes, that’s me,” Lillian replied with a smile and shook Janet’s hand.   “And you must Commander Crane’s wife.”

“Yes ma’am,” Janet answered politely.

“Please, call me Lillian.   The men may have to use titles, but we women don’t,” she laughed.   “Gerald has mentioned you a few times, so it’s finally nice to meet you.”

“Oh, he was probably mad at me; I tend to get a little angry when he sends Lee on missions.”

Lillian patted Janet’s hand.   “I know it’s hard when they have to leave.   Gerald was an agent for a few years after we got married and I didn’t like it either, but you get used to it.”

“I finally realized that, but it still doesn’t stop me from worrying; only now I keep it to myself.” 

Lillian took Janet’s hand in hers, “This is just between you and me,” she said.   “Gerald worries about him too when he sends him on a mission.  He seems to like your husband.”

“Thanks for telling me, and I promise not to say anything.”

Admiral Johnson walked over to the table with a couple of drinks while Lillian and Janet were talking. 

“Good evening, Janet,” Johnson said surprised to see her at his table.

“Gerald, Janet saved me from making a huge fool of myself with this boot.   I almost tripped and fell coming into the banquet hall,” Lillian explained.

“Thank you,” Johnson said to Janet.   “It’s nice to see you.”

“Same here Admiral.   Lillian, if you need to leave again, I’ll be happy to help you.  Just let me know,” Janet remarked. 

“I should be okay for the rest of the evening.   Thanks again for your help.   It was a pleasure meeting you.”

“Same here.”

As Janet started to walk away from the table, Lee spotted her and came over to where she was standing by Admiral Johnson.

“Good evening, Admiral,” Lee greeted.   “Mrs. Johnson, how nice to see you again.”

“Same here, Commander.   You have a very charming wife. Enjoy the rest of the evening.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” Lee replied grinning as he took Janet’s hand and they walked away.

“What was that all about? I was wondering what was taking you so long,” Lee asked.

“I was on my way to the ladies’ room when Lillian stumbled in the boot for her ankle and almost fell.   I stopped her from falling, brought her back to the table and we started talking.   She’s very nice, nothing of what I expected,” Janet stated.

“How about that dance?”

“In a minute, I still need to use the ladies’ room,” Janet laughed and they walked out to the lobby to find the powder room.


After Lee and Janet left the Johnson’s table, Gerald sat down next to his wife.

“Gerald, is Janet one of your people?”

“No, she’s doesn’t work for the agency, but she’s helped me out a few times when I needed a woman and we didn’t have any available.   Why?”

“Do you think she’d help us out with our problem?”

“I don’t know, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask.   Technically she wouldn’t be working for ONI, so maybe Commander Crane wouldn’t mind if we borrowed her.”

“Let’s call them in the morning.  We’ve got nothing to lose at this point,” Lillian said eagerly as she took a sip of her drink.


Lee and Janet returned to the banquet room and walked on to the dance floor as the band was playing a slow song.  Lee wrapped his arms around Janet’s waist while she laid her head on his shoulder.

I love being in his arms, Janet thought as they danced.

“Sweetheart,” Lee whispered softly in her ear, “You look perfect tonight, and I’m one lucky guy that you’re mine.”

Janet lifted her head off his shoulder and looked into his amber eyes, “Thanks, honey,” she replied lovingly and laid her head back on his shoulder.

When that song was finished, they started playing another slow song, so they stayed out on the dance floor.  


After a couple of more toasts and slow dances the evening was winding down.   Lee and Janet were getting ready to leave when Harry came over to them.    “We’re still on for breakfast tomorrow at 1000?”

“Sir, I thought it was 0900 but 1000 works for us,” Lee chuckled.

“Good, we’ll meet here at the hotel,” Harry remarked.

“Yes sir,” they replied with smiles on their faces.   They knew Harry was going to need a little more sleep by the time he returned to his room.

They said good bye to the two retiring admirals and their wives along with Admiral Johnson and Lillian who were also leaving.  

They walked to the elevator and waited for a car to reach the lobby.  They were the only ones going up, so as soon as the doors closed, Lee removed his jacket and tie.

“That feels so much better,” Lee declared.

“Lee, do you think Harry would let you and the rest of the officers get away with no ties on Seaview?” Janet wondered.

“No, I don’t think so,” Lee countered.   “But at least we don’t have to tuck them in.”

 Both of them laughed as they exited the elevator and headed for their room.    


It was 0800, and the ringing of Lee’s phone woke them up.   Lee quickly grabbed the phone off the nightstand.  He saw the caller was Admiral Johnson.

“Lee, who’s calling so early,” Janet asked not realizing it was 0800.  With the curtains closed and the overcast sky it seemed earlier.

“Admiral Johnson and it’s not that early…it’s 0800…we just slept late.”     

Janet looked at Lee and groaned.

“Hello, Admiral,” Lee answered warily.

“Good morning Lee,” Johnson said pleasantly.  “I’m not calling to send you on a mission, but Lillian and I would like to talk to you and Janet.   Could you be here by 0915…I’ll send my driver to pick you up at your hotel at 0900?”

“Yes, sir, we can be ready by then, but how long will the meeting last, we’re having breakfast with the Admiral at 1000 hours?”

“It won’t take very long and we’ll make sure you’ll be on time for breakfast.”

“Okay, we’re staying at the hotel where the party was held.”

“Good, Michael will be waiting outside for you.”

“Yes, sir,” Lee replied and disconnected the call.     “Admiral Johnson wants to see us at his apartment, and no he’s not sending me on a mission.   His driver will be here by 0900,” he told Janet.

“Well, we better get moving,” Janet responded and jumped out of bed.   

They quickly showered, got dressed and made it to the lobby at 0900.   They walked outside where a black sedan was waiting for them.

“Good morning, Commander; Mrs. Crane,” Michael said as he opened the door.

Janet climbed in and Lee followed.  Michael shut the door, climbed in the driver’s seat and headed to the Johnson’s apartment.


The Johnson’s lived in an apartment just north of Washington DC.   Michael pulled in front of a tan, five story building and opened the door for Lee and Janet.  

“I’ll be waiting to take you back to your hotel when you’re finished,” Michael told them.

“Thank you,” Lee replied and took Janet’s hand.

They walked to the front door which was opened by the door man.   The lobby of the building was very ornate with red and gold decorations and had seating on both sides of the elevator.   The concierge had the elevator waiting for them.  

“The Johnson’s are on the fourth floor, Apartment C.   It’s to your right when you get off the elevator.   Have a nice day,” he told them.

“Thanks,” Janet responded.

They entered the elevator and the concierge pushed the button for the fourth floor.

“This is one fancy building,” Janet said to Lee as they were whisked up.   “Have you ever been here before?”

“No,” Lee replied noticing the cameras in the elevator.   “It sure is a nice and secure building.”

When they reached the fourth floor, they made a right and found the Johnson’s apartment, Lee knocked on the door.


Admiral Johnson opened the door, “Good morning, Lee, Janet, and thank you for coming right away.”   He led them into a foyer with white marble floors and two blue chairs flanking the doorway.     “Lillian is in the living room waiting for us.”

They followed Johnson into the living room with floor to ceiling windows.   Even though the day was overcast, the room still had plenty of light and had a beautiful view of the park across the street.    Lillian was seated on one of the couches that faced each other.    Lee and Janet sat down on the opposite couch while the Admiral sat down next to his wife.

“How about some coffee?” Lillian asked.   “I know I could use a cup.   Gerald, would you mind pouring?”

Johnson poured four cups of coffee and handed one to Lee, Janet and Lillian. 

“I guess you’re wondering why we asked you here,” Lillian stated after taking a sip of coffee.

“Yes ma’am,” Lee answered.

“We need your help…well more specifically, Janet’s,” Johnson said.

Puzzled, “My help?” Janet questioned.

“Let me explain,” Lillian said.   “Our granddaughter, Luisa, lives on the island of Teramenfor with her father, Phillip, who is president of the country.    Her mother, Helena, our daughter, died shortly after she was born.  I would normally go visit her this time of year and spend a couple of weeks with her and her father.   This year was going to be a little different as I was going to bring her back here to stay for a few months.”

Johnson continued, “The island of Teramenfor has been in Phillip’s family for centuries.   The presidency always went to the oldest son.  For some reason, Phillip’s brother, Edward, doesn’t think he’s doing enough to make the country better, so he’s fighting to take over the presidency.   He does have some supporters, and Phillip’s afraid there could be some trouble, so he wanted Luisa out of there.

“What does that have to do with Janet?” Lee asked warily as he already had a hunch what they wanted.

“Since I have a hard time getting around, we were hoping Janet would take my place and bring her back here.   She would have to stay a few days, so it doesn’t look like she’s being removed because of the turmoil.

“I have a few questions,” Janet remarked.    “Where is Teramenfor…how long does it take to get there…when would I have to leave if I choose to help you, and how old is Luisa?”

Lee smiled as those were the same questions he was going to ask.

“Teramenfor is north of the island of Ibiza.   As far as getting there it takes two days.   You would fly from here to London, stay there overnight and then take a short flight to Ibiza.  Phillip would meet you at the airport and then it’s a fifteen-minute boat ride to the island,” Gerald told them.   “You would need to leave tomorrow.   I know it’s short notice, but that’s when Lillian had planned on leaving and Luisa is six years old.”   Lillian took a picture off the table next to the couch of a little girl with dark brown hair and green eyes and showed it to Janet and Lee.  

“We’re scheduled to leave for a mission to Antarctica on Monday,” Lee stated.

Janet put her hand on Lee’s knee, “We need to talk this over privately, can you excuse us for a few minutes?   We’ll go into the foyer.”

“Yes, of course,” Lillian responded disappointedly as she hoped Janet would say yes immediately.

Lee and Janet stood up, left the living room and walked into a far corner of the foyer.


“Lee, I really would like to help them out.   I know it’s short notice, but I’d never be able to live with myself if something happened to their granddaughter because I didn’t go,” Janet said.  “She sure is a cutie.”

“I know how you feel, but I’m not thrilled that you could get caught in a political takeover,” Lee countered, but saw the look on Janet’s face and knew he wasn’t going to deter her, and relented with an audible sigh.

“I know I won’t be able to go on the mission…will that be a problem, Captain?” Janet asked with a grin.

“No, I’ll make do without you, but I know one person who’s not going to be happy.”


“Chip.” Lee smiled, “he’s going to have to do his own paperwork if you’re not there.”

“You’re going to have to do yours too,” Janet snickered.

“I won’t mind doing it as it will take my mind off the fact that you’re not on board,” Lee remarked.

“Before I commit to the trip, I’m going to ask Harry if it’s okay with him if I left…he may not let me go.”

“I’m sure it will be all right but ask him anyway.   You realize there’s a lot of flying, and you don’t like to fly,” he added.

“I’m not thrilled with that part, but I’ll just have to deal with it.  At least on the way home, I’ll have company,” Janet said giving him a quick kiss before they headed back to the living room.


Meanwhile in the living room, Lillian and Gerald sat there waiting for Lee and Janet to return.

“Gerald, what did Lee mean when he said they were leaving on a mission on Monday.   I remember you telling me he was captain of Harry’s boat, but what does that have to do with Janet?”

“She also goes on the missions…she’s part of the crew.”

Lillian had a disappointed look on her face.  “I guess that means she won’t be able to help us out if she’s expected to go.   What will we do?”

Gerald patted his wife’s hand, “If she can’t go, we’ll just have to wait until your ankle is healed and hope nothing happens in the meantime, but let’s wait and see what they say.”

Lillian squeezed Gerald’s hand, “Okay, you’re right…I won’t worry about it until we hear what their decision is.”


Janet and Lee returned to the living room to the apprehensive faces of Lillian and Gerald and sat back down on the couch.

“I’ll go to Teramenfor and pick up your granddaughter,” Janet told the Johnson’s.   “But I need to get the okay from Admiral Nelson first, before I totally commit to going.”

“Thank you…we understand,” Lillian said relieved.    “When will you have a definite answer?”

“We’re meeting the admiral for breakfast, in fact we’re already late,” Lee replied.  “Janet will call you as soon as she has an answer.    We’ll get the details then.”

Lee and Janet stood as did Gerald who helped Lillian to her feet.   She slowly made her way around the table that separated the two couches and gave Janet a hug and then Lee.    Gerald shook their hands.   

“I’ll be honest with you Admiral, I’m not happy with the fact the Janet could get caught up in a political war, but she wants to help you out.”

“I’ll find out how things are going there, and have some more answers for you when you call back.”

“I’d appreciate that, sir,” Lee replied as he took Janet’s hand.  

“Thank you again.   You’ve made us very happy,” Johnson told them as he showed them out.


The Crane’s left the building where Michael was waiting in front for them and climbed in the opened car door. 

“Sir, do you want to return to your hotel?” he asked.

“Yes, that would be fine,” Lee replied.

Just as they pulled away from the curb, Lee’s phone rang.   He smiled at Janet.   “It’s Harry.”

“He’s probably wondering where we are as we’re never late,” Janet snickered.

“Hi Harry,” Lee said.

“Where are you…are you okay?” Harry asked worriedly.   “I tried your room and there was no answer.”

“We’re on our way back to the hotel.   We should be there in ten minutes and we’ll explain when we get there.”

“Okay, Lee,” Harry answered and disconnected. 


As they rode back to the hotel, Janet took Lee’s hand.  “Thank you, honey, for letting me go.”

“Like I would be able to stop you,” Lee chuckled.  “You can be pretty stubborn sometimes.”

“I must take after a certain captain I know.   I think you’re wearing off on me,” Janet laughed.

Lee gently squeezed her hand.   “I sure hope so.”

They held hands enjoying the ride back to the hotel.

Chapter 3

The couple walked through the lobby to the restaurant.  When they arrived, there were several people waiting to be seated.  Lee looked to see if he could spot where Harry was sitting, but he didn’t see him so they would have to wait for the hostess to show them. 

“I’m looking for the Nelson table,” Lee asked politely.

“Follow me,” she replied.

Lee let Janet go first and followed behind placing his hand gently on her back letting her know he was there.   She led them over to a table by the window, where the sun was peeking through the clouds brightening up the room.

“Thank you,” Lee said when they arrived at the table and quickly claimed the empty seats.

“Sorry we’re late,” Janet apologized.  

“No problem, my dear,” Harry responded. “But, where were you?”

“Admiral Johnson called this morning and wanted to see us,” Lee replied.

“Damn,” Harry mumbled under his breath but not soft enough, so Lee and Janet heard it.

“Harry, he’s not sending me on a mission.   He actually needs Janet’s help.”

“Oh, that’s so much better,” Harry said sarcastically.

“He’s not sending me on an ONI mission either,” Janet answered.   “He needs me for something personal.”

“Personal?” Harry asked.

“Yes, his wife, Lillian, was going to pick up their granddaughter from her home on the island of Teramenfor.”

“Teramenfor?” Harry questioned.   “Where’s that?”

Janet went on to explain where the island was located and what they wanted her to do.   “Harry, I told them that I would help them out provided it was okay with you.    Lee’s on board, but I wanted to clear it with you before I gave them a definite answer.”

“Of course, it’s okay with me.   I remember when Gerald’s daughter passed away.   It took them quite a while to get over it.   I think the only thing that kept them going was Luisa.”

“When are you supposed to leave?” Harry asked.

“Tomorrow,” Janet stated.   “I know it’s short notice, but they’re worried about what could take place if they wait until Lillian’s ankle is healed.”

Lee piped up, “That brings up another issue.  Harry, I was hoping we wouldn’t leave for Santa Barbara until tomorrow, after Janet’s flight leaves for London.

“Definitely,” Harry declared as the waitress appeared at their table, took their breakfast orders and refilled their coffee cups.

The waitress brought their breakfasts, and they eagerly dived in while talking about the party the night before.  When they finished, Harry paid the bill and they left the restaurant.


“Lee, we better call the Johnson’s and let them know I’ll be going,” Janet said in their room.  “I need to find out what the weather’s like.”

“Yes, I’m hoping he has more details on what’s taking place over there,” Lee replied and dialed Johnson’s number.

It rang twice before Gerald answered the phone.

“Hi Lee,” he said.

“Hello, Admiral,” Lee replied.   “Admiral Nelson gave the okay for Janet not to sail with Seaview, so she’s free to go get Luisa.  Did you find out any more information on the situation over there?”

“Yes, I talked to Phillip and it seems things have settle down, but he would still like Luisa to leave as soon as possible.   He’ll be happy to hear that Janet will be coming.”

“Janet does have a few questions,” Lee told him and handed the phone to her.

“Admiral, just a couple of items.   What is the weather like there?   It’s cool here, so I need to know what type of clothes I need to bring and I don’t have my passport with me, so how can I get into London and Ibiza?  Where will I stay in London? How will Phillip know who I am?  Can I have your cell and his cell numbers?”

Lee smiled as she asked her questions.   She’s getting too good at this, Lee thought.  

“The weather is in the 70’s, but gets cool at night.   Don’t worry about the passport, I’ve taken care of the details and I’ll send him the picture I have on file, so he’ll know who you are.  You’re going to be using the room I booked for Lillian.  She always stays at the same hotel, and I’ll let them know you’re going in her place.   Harold will pick you up from the airport and take you to the hotel. He’s the driver we always use when Lillian travels to London.   He will also bring you back to the airport the next day for your flight to Ibiza.   You need to be at the airport by 0600 as your flight leaves at 0800.   You shouldn’t have any problems going through security.  Michael will be dropping off your tickets, documents, and hotel information.  If you should run into any problems, just give me a call.”   He gave Janet his cell number along with Lillian’s and Phillip’s.   “Phillip will call me as soon as he picks you up, so I know you arrived safely.”

“Thank you, Admiral.”

“No, Janet, thank you,” Johnson countered. “Lillian and I are so very grateful you’re doing this for us.   We’ll never forget it.”

“Janet, I want to talk to him again,” Lee whispered.

“Sir, Lee would like to talk to you,” Janet told him and handed Lee back his phone.

“Admiral, I’m going to have Janet give me Phillip’s number.”

“No problem, Lee and thank you.  I know you’re not happy letting her go with what’s taking place over there, but Phillip will keep her safe.  Just one more thing, I’ll pay to fly Janet back to Santa Barbara or wherever you would like her to meet up with you.”

“Thank you, sir, let me get back to you on that, as I’m not exactly sure where we’ll be,” Lee replied.


Lee disconnected the call.  “Do you have enough clothes for this trip or do we need to go shopping?”

“Sorry Lee, but most of the clothing I brought is for cooler weather.   It’s in the 70’s there, but I don’t know how much I’ll find since most of the summer stuff is gone.”

“Let me refile my flight plan, let the Institute know we’re returning tomorrow, and then we’ll go shopping,” Lee said then started making his phone calls.  When he was finished, he took her hand, “Grab your purse, we’ll see what’s out there.”

Janet smiled as Lee had never been shopping with her when she needed to buy anything, so she was looking forward to their trip.   She usually shopped on her own except when he needed something, so it would be a nice change. 


They found a department store not too far away, so they decided to walk.  When they arrived at the store, Lee held the door for Janet as they headed in.    She was surprised she found the items she was looking for along with a small bag to take on board the plane since her purse was too small for her reader and a few other things.   They paid for the items and were walking back to the hotel when Janet slipped her arm into the crook of Lee’s arm as he carried the bags.   He was unusually quiet as they walked.

“A penny for your thoughts?” Janet asked as they strolled down the street.

Letting out a breath Lee replied, “I’m thinking of going with you to pick up Luisa.   If I can’t get on your flights, I can always catch up with you.”

Luckily no one was behind Janet when she stopped dead in her tracks.   Lee walked a few more steps before he realized she wasn’t with him.  He turned around and saw her standing in the middle of the sidewalk and walked back to her.

“Don’t you trust me, or my ability to pick up Luisa,” she asked softly, the hurt evident in her eyes and voice.

“No, I trust you implicitly and your abilities,” Lee reassured her.  “I’m just worried about the issue between Phillip and Edward escalating while you’re there.”

“Lee, do you think Admiral Johnson would send Lillian there alone if things were that bad?”

“No, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t,” Lee acquiesced.   “Sorry, I just worry about you.  I know you can handle it.”

“I promise to be careful,” Janet responded and put her arm back through his as they continued their walk.  

When they reached the hotel, the doorman opened the door and they made their way into the lobby.

“Let’s check to see if your documents have arrived,” Lee suggested as they walked to the registration desk.

“Hello,” Lee said to the young woman at the counter.   “Was an envelope dropped off for Mrs. Crane?”

“Yes sir,” she replied giving Lee the once over before handing over the envelope.   “I have it right here.”

“Thank you,” Lee said, taking the envelope and handing it to Janet as they headed for the elevators.


Once they were in their room, Lee set the bags down on the dresser as Janet opened up the envelope and laid the contents on the table.   There were airline tickets for the trip to London and Ibiza for Janet, and another set for her and Luisa along with the return flight information.   There was a sheet of paper with the name of the hotel where she would be staying in London, along with the phone numbers she requested, and the other papers she would need to get into London and Ibiza.  

Lee looked over the airlines tickets.  “Sweetie, you’re flying first class to London and Ibiza both ways.”

“First class?” Janet asked surprised.  “That will make the flight a little easier.”

“I’m going to take a picture of the flight information and hotel information, so I have it in case I need to contact you, I’ll know where you are.”    Lee took out his cell and snapped pictures of all the papers he wanted.

“I need to pack if we’re going to meet the admiral on time.”   She emptied her suitcase laying all the items on the bed. 

Lee watched as she sorted out her clothes.   “Do you want the larger suitcase?”

“No, I’d like you to take back the things I can’t use so you’ll need to the larger one.   I can get everything I need in mine.” 

When she had everything she didn’t need in a pile, she methodically packed her suitcase with what she was taking and then packed the one he was taking with him.   She managed to get her things and his clothes in his suitcase with room to spare.

“I don’t know how you did that,” Lee mused.

“Takes talent,” Janet giggled.

She looked at her watch, “We better get a move on, if we’re going to meet Harry for dinner on time.”

Both of them freshened up and headed out the door just as Harry was leaving his room.   Harry saw them coming and waited for them.   They boarded the elevator and walked to the restaurant.


Harry had made reservations, but it wasn’t crowded for a Sunday night as most of the travelers had left.   The group followed the hostess to the east side of the restaurant near the windows where sheer curtains had been drawn, giving the restaurant a cozy feeling.

Lee held out the chair for Janet and she sat down between Harry and Lee.   The hostess handed them the menus and left.  They didn’t have to wait too long before their waitress came over to the table.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“I’ll have Glen Livet, neat,” Harry ordered.

“Could I have a cranberry and vodka, please?” Janet asked.

“Coffee for me,” Lee said before she asked.

Both Harry and Janet smiled knowing he wouldn’t indulge in a drink since he was flying in the morning.

“What did you do today?” Janet inquired while they waited for their drinks.

“I walked around Washington.   I haven’t been here in a while, so I decided to look around.  When I returned, I ran into Jack and Peter so we grabbed a quick bite to eat.   They had a couple of hours to kill before they left to catch a flight to the warm and exotic island of Bora Bora.”

“That sounds nice,” Janet remarked.   “Did they….”

“Yes, they did try and get me to go with them, but I said no,” Harry interrupted with a grin.

“Why would you want to go to Bora Bora when you can cruise to cold and barren Antarctica,” Lee teased.

The three of them were laughing when the waitress brought over their drinks.   “Would you like to order now?”

“Give us a few minutes, please,” Harry responded.

“Yes, sir.   I’ll be back in a little while.”

“What kept you busy this afternoon?” Harry asked after taking a sip of his drink.

“We went shopping,” Janet said.  “I needed to pick up some clothes more suitable for my trip.  The things I brought are too warm for the weather.   It’s not exotic, but it is warm in Teramenfor.”

“You all set to leave?”

“Yes sir, as ready as I’ll ever be,” Janet answered.

“Lee, are we ready to leave tomorrow?”

“Yes, we should get out of here fairly quickly as Janet’s flight leaves at 0800 and we can’t go beyond security, so as soon we see her off, we’ll head for home.   We should be back by 1100 hours so that will give us a few hours to get ready before we shove off.   I checked the weather and it looks good for a smooth flight.  Just one more item,” Lee said. “Admiral Johnson will purchase a ticket for Janet to get home, but I was hoping to pick her up with FS-1 if possible.   If I’m unable to go for some reason, could we send Chip, Kowalski, or Riley?   I know it’s a lot to ask.”

“Of course, we’ll pick her up,” Harry stated.  “I’m not sure how long we’re going to be down there, and I know we’ll all want her back on board as soon as possible.”

The waitress returned and they placed their dinner order.  

“I’m not flying you are,” he chuckled looking at Lee as he ordered another drink.

While they waited for their dinners, they compared the sights they visited and realized they went to the same places. Lee and Janet dug into their dinner with gusto as they hadn’t eaten lunch and were hungry.   Harry enjoyed his dinner too.   When they were finished, Harry and Janet ordered coffee and they splurged on brownies for dessert.   The waitress returned with the check and Lee paid for dinner much to Harry’s displeasure, but Lee told the hostess when they arrived to make sure he got the bill.  

On the way back to the room they stopped and checked out so they wouldn’t have to worry about it in the morning. It was still early, but tomorrow would be a long day for the three of them so they returned to their rooms.

“I’ve made arrangements for the limo to pick us up at 0530,” Harry said when they left elevator.

“We’ll be ready,” Lee answered leaving Harry at his door as they continued down to their room.


Janet put her phone and reader on the chargers while Lee got ready for bed.   She looked out the window that faced the north side of the White House and loved how it looked at night all lit up.    Lee came up behind her, put his arms around her waist and she leaned back onto him.

“I’m going to miss you,” he said lovingly.

“Me too,” Janet replied softly and turned to face him putting her arms around his waist.

He gently tipped her chin up to him and kissed her on the lips.   “Why don’t you get ready for bed,” he suggested mischievously.

“You got it,” she answered and went into the bathroom while Lee turned down the bed and climbed in.

Janet returned a few minutes later and snuggled in next to him.  She laid on her side and faced him as he wrapped his arm around her.   

“I’m sure glad you’re not going to be in Ibiza very long…that place is known for the parties, night clubs, beaches and men with their six-pack abs,” Lee muttered as he had checked out their web page.

“Lee Crane, do you really think that those men would be interested in me.  I’m sure they are all under thirty and besides the only six-pack abs that will come close to me are yours,” Janet cooed.

“Right answer,” Lee replied and kissed her passionately.

He turned off the light and pressed his six-pack abs against her…not only once but several times that night.


Lee set his watch for a 0445 alarm.   It seemed far too soon when it chimed, letting them know it was time to get up.  They hopped in the shower, Lee was done first so he left Janet in there to finish up.   He completed his morning ablutions and packed the items when he was done with them.   He was putting on his black Dockers and tan shirt when Janet exited the shower.    She looked at him as he dressed.   I’m sure going to miss him, she thought as she toweled off and put on her black pants and pink sweater.    She put away her things in the suitcase and put on her jewelry.    Lee had gone into the main room to make sure they didn’t leave anything.   He unplugged Janet’s chargers, took them and her reader and put it in the bag she was taking on the plane.   He put her phone next to her purse, then turned around and saw she was having trouble putting on her bracelet.   

“Let me help,” Lee said walking over to her.   

“Thanks, I’m having a little trouble getting it on this morning…just a little nervous,” she confessed.

“I understand,” Lee replied taking the bracelet, and securing it on her wrist.   He took her in his arms for a long hug knowing they wouldn’t have time when they dropped her at the terminal.

“Sweetheart, please be careful,” Lee stressed kissing her.   “I know you’re only going to be gone a few days, but you know anything can happen.”

“I promise, I’ve had a good teacher,” she answered kissing him back and giving him a long hug.

Lee looked at his watch, “We better get going, I’m sure Harry is already downstairs waiting.”

Lee took the garment bag from the closet and grabbed his suitcase by the handle.   Janet put her purse on her shoulder after placing the phone inside and took the handle of her suitcase and opened the door for Lee.   They saw Harry leaving his room.   He waited for them and the three of them headed for the elevators.   

They walked through the lobby and out the door where the limo Harry hired was waiting for them.   The driver quickly came over and took the garment bags from Harry and Lee.    They helped him put the bags in the trunk leaving Janet’s till last.

“Jimmy,” Harry said.   “A slight change in plans this morning.   We need to go to the international terminal and drop off Mrs. Crane before heading to our ride.”

“You got it sir,” Jimmy replied and opened the door for them.   

“It’s a good thing you’re leaving early,” Jimmy remarked, “it’s going to be very crowded in about an hour.”

He closed the door, ran to the driver’s side and hopped in and had them at the airport in twenty minutes.


“Please call me as soon as you land in London and when you get to the hotel.    Call when you leave for the airport and when you land in Ibiza.    I know Phillip’s going to call Admiral Johnson when he picks you up, but I would like you to call me too,” Lee asked Janet.

“Yes, Lee.   I’ll make sure to call you,” Janet answered with a grin.   

“With the time difference you might not get through on my cell, so call the institute and have them call the boat,” Lee continued.

“Okay, Lee, I think I can handle it,” Janet snickered.

Harry had a grin on his face, but was glad Lee told her to call as he’d be worried too until he heard from her.

When the limo arrived at the terminal, Harry reached over and gave Janet a quick hug and kiss on the cheek. “Please be careful,” he instructed.

“I will, you too,” Janet said.

Lee exited the limo followed by Janet.   Jimmy opened the trunk and took out her suitcase and handed it to the skycap giving him the flight number.

Lee gave Janet a hug and whispered in her ear, “Love you.”

She whispered back, “Love you too and please don’t worry.”

“Sir, we need to leave before they give me a ticket,” Jimmy said urgently.

“Sorry,” Lee quickly entered the limo and Janet waved as they drove off for the remote side of the airport where FS-1 was parked.    She knew Lee would be taking off before her. 

Chapter 4

Janet walked through the terminal and located her gate.  She had a couple of hours until her flight left so she looked for a store to buy some magazines and something for Luisa.   She located a store not too far from her gate where she purchased a bottle of water, a couple of magazines and some coloring books, crayons and story books on ballerinas.  She returned to the gate and parked herself near the windows so she could see the planes taking off.  An hour had passed and she was reading her magazine when she heard a lot of commotion.   There were quite a few people lined up by the window and pointing at something in the sky.   She stood up and saw that FS-1 was taking off and flew right past the window.  She smiled as the people oohed and aahed at the sight.   She returned to her seat and went back to reading her magazine when an older gentleman sat down next to her.

“Did you see that yellow aircraft…I’d love to know who build it…wouldn’t it be neat to fly on her?” he asked excitedly.

“Yes, it would be pretty neat,” Janet replied grinning.  I know who built it, I’ve flown on her and know her pilot intimately, she thought.  

She looked at the board by the entrance to the plane and saw the time for departure had been updated.   It would take off an hour later.  Damn, she groaned softly.  I wish I was on FS-1 now.   I better text Lee and let him know the flight is delayed so he won’t worry when I don’t call, Janet thought knowing he’d never hear the phone ring while he was flying.  He’d be half-way home by the time she even took off.  She removed the phone from her purse, texted Lee the new time and said she’d call as soon as she could.  


Finally, it was time to board and take-off for London.   She found her seat by the window and the gentleman that sat next to her in the terminal took the seat next to her.

“Hello, I’m Bill Evans,” he said politely and offered his hand.

“Hi, Janet Crane,” she replied shaking his hand.

They talked during take-off and while breakfast was served.   He fell asleep after eating, leaving Janet to read her book.  She too fell asleep and woke up a couple of hours before they landed.  

The flight landed over an hour late and Janet hoped the driver scheduled to pick her up would be there.  She’d never been to this airport alone so she followed the crowd to where she would pick up her luggage.  After going through customs with no trouble, she breathed a sigh of relief when she saw a man with her name on a sign.

She walked over to him, “Hi, I’m Janet Crane.   I’m sorry we’re so late.  I hope you haven’t been waiting all this time.”

“No ma’am, I’m Harold and I always check the flight arrival times before I come to pick up my passengers.”

He retrieved her luggage from the carousel and directed her to the limo where he dropped her off at the hotel and retrieved her bag from the trunk.  She went to give him a tip which he refused stating it had already been taken care of.   

“I’ll be here tomorrow at 10:00 to bring you to the airport for your flight to Ibiza.  See you tomorrow,” he stated.

“Thank you, Harold,” Janet replied and entered the hotel.


Lee’s goodbyes to Janet were curtailed when the limo driver reminded him about a possible parking ticket.  When he was back in the limo, Jimmy headed for the remote section of the airport where FS-1 was parked.

Harry looked at Lee, “Son, she’ll be okay…she can handle this,” he said patting Lee’s knee.  

“I know Harry but she’s never gone alone…she’s always had company,” Lee replied worriedly.  

“Lee, she’s smart and knows what to do if something does happen.   Give her some credit.” Harry smiled inwardly, his tough as nails captain could handle sea monsters, aliens, and spies without breaking a sweat, but Janet Crane was his soft spot.

Running his hand through his hair, “You’re right, I’m over reacting again,” Lee laughed.

Jimmy pulled in front of the small building, opened the door for the men and then the trunk so they could retrieve their bags.     

“Thanks, Jimmy,” Harry said as he closed the trunk.

“You’re welcome sir.  Just call me when you come back to DC.  Have a safe flight, sirs.”

“Will do,” Lee answered as the two men walked to the entrance of the building.  

Lee checked in with the man at the counter and they walked across the tarmac to FS-1.   He used his numeric fob to unlock the rear hatch.   He hopped in and quickly stowed both their gear, before heading to the cockpit to help Harry with the pre-flight.   When they were finished, Lee returned to the rear hatch to let the ground crew know it was okay to remove the wheel chocks. He secured the hatch, then returned and buckled in.  He attached the throat mic then turned on the engines, and contacted the tower while the engines warmed up. He would be sixth in line to take off.   He maneuvered the little sub to the taxiway and waited in line.  When it was his turn to take-off he waited a few minutes before taking off to avoid the turbulence from the huge jet that had taken off before him.   He didn’t need much of the runway before he was airborne.   He quickly cleared the airspace around the airport and headed west.  

“We should be home by 1100-1130 hours,” Lee said after noting their time of departure. 

“That will give us plenty of time to get ready to sail,” Harry remarked.   “But I’m sure Chip has everything ready to go anyway.”

Lee smiled, “No doubt about that.”

Lee looked at his watch, they’d been in the air for two hours and Janet’s flight should have taken off an hour ago.  He wondered how she was doing.   Harry saw him look at his watch. 

“I’m sure she’s fine,” Harry chuckled as he knew Janet hated flying especially the take-off.  

Grinning, “You’ve never had her grab and put a death grip on your hand,” Lee chuckled.

“No, but I’ll make sure and take my turn the next time we fly,” Harry volunteered.

The two men talked about the mission and what they hoped to find when they arrived in Antarctica.  Before long Lee was entering the airspace around the Santa Barbara airport and was cleared to land at NIMR.   Since Seaview was in her underground pen, Lee would submerge near the channel and complete the flight underwater so he could dock her in the berth on the boat.

“FS-1 to Seaview,” Lee hailed.   “Come in Seaview.”

“This is Seaview,” Sparks answered.   “Welcome home Skipper.”

“Is Mr. Morton on board?”

“Hi Lee,” Chip responded as he was in the radio shack when Lee called.  

“Chip, we’re about ten minutes out.  Open the docking bay doors.”

“Aye, sir,” Chip said.   He motioned to Kowalski to open the doors since he was at the sonar station.

Lee skillfully docked the little craft and shut down the engines before completing the rest of the shut-down procedures.  He removed the mic and unbuckled his harness as did Harry and heard the wheel turn on the hatch and lift up.  Chip looked down at them as Lee positioned the ladder in place.   Harry handed Lee their gear and he passed it up to Chip who laid it on the table.

Harry climbed up the ladder followed by Lee.

“Welcome back,” Chip greeted them and was surprised to see that Janet wasn’t with them.    “Where’s Janet?”

“She’s doing a favor for Admiral Johnson and his wife.  She’s going to pick up their granddaughter, Luisa,” Lee said and explained to Chip where she was going and why.     

“I’m waiting for her to call and let me know she arrived in London,” Lee stated taking his phone out of his pocket and saw she’d sent him a text.    “Damn,” he mumbled.

“Problem, Lee?” Harry asked with concern.

“No, just that her flight is leaving an hour late and she’ll call when she can.”

“You know she’ll call.   I’m going to head over to the office and check in there before I head home to re-pack for the mission,” Harry said.   “I suggest you go home and pack.”

“Yes sir,” Lee replied and grabbed his gear while Chip took Harry’s.  They climbed up the ladder, down the gangway and headed to parking lot.   “See you in a little while.”

“Thanks, Lee,” Chip said.   “I’m already packed and ready to leave so I’ll see you back on the boat.”

“Everything on board?” Lee inquired as they walked to the car.

“Yes, all the supplies are loaded and we can shove off a little earlier than planned as all the crew has reported for duty.  We’ll leave as soon as you and the admiral come aboard.”

“Nice job, Chip,” Harry remarked.   “I should be back in an hour.”

“I’ll be here before that,” Lee answered.  

The two men put their gear in their cars and headed out.  


Lee went home, unpacked the car, put the garment bag in the closet and took his suitcase upstairs.   He left it there and took his duffle bag out of the closet.   He packed his uniforms and the rest of the gear he would need for the mission.   He threw the duffle over his shoulder and headed downstairs.   He was hungry but knew there was nothing there so he’d grab a sandwich on the boat before they left.   He was back on the boat thirty minutes after he left.   Cookie had a pot of hot coffee in the nose and put out a few sandwiches so they could eat lunch while preparing to leave.   He and Chip were going over the course to Antarctica once they left NSB Kings Bay.   After plotting the course, the two men headed into the observation nose, sat down and grabbed a sandwich and coffee.  Lee told Chip about the retirement party and what a nice time they had. He checked his watch causing Chip to smile.

“She’s still in the air,” Chip told his ‘bro’ and best friend.  “You know she’ll call as soon as she can.”

“I’m that transparent,” Lee muttered.   “Maybe I was checking to see how long the Admiral had been gone.”

Chip laughed out loud.   “Yeah, right.”

The two men finished up their sandwiches and coffee and were heading back to the control room when Lee detoured to the radio shack.

“Sparks, I’m expecting a call from Mrs. Crane.   Patch it through as soon as you receive it,” Lee instructed before returning to the chart table.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sparks replied.

“Are we ready to leave?” Harry asked Lee and Chip when he boarded.

“Yes, sir,” Lee replied as he picked up the mic.

“Prepare to shove off.  Close all water tight hatches,” Lee ordered making note of their 1400-hour departure time.   Two hours ahead of the original schedule.

The men on the dock threw the ropes to the deck crew who stowed them on the boat and then ran down the ladder to their positions.   It was a tricky job getting Seaview into her outside dock, but even trickier getting her out of the underground sub pen.   Lee slowly and methodically maneuvered the huge submarine into the channel.   Once she cleared the channel, he dove to one hundred feet for fifty miles beyond the breakwater and executed some angles and dangles making sure everything stayed in place.    After he was satisfied with the maneuvers, he ordered them to dive to two hundred feet at standard speed.

After they were at depth and speed, Lee made his way over to the radio shack.

“Are you sure the radio’s working?” he asked knowing Janet should’ve landed over an hour ago.

“Yes, sir, she’s working,” Sparks replied, but checked in with the institute just to make sure.

“Thanks,” Lee said, patted his shoulder and returned to the chart table.

“No word,” Harry inquired.  

“Not so far,” Lee responded.

“If you need me, I’ll be in the lab setting up for Dr. Simmons and then to my quarters,” Harry stated.

“Do you need help?” Chip asked.  

“No, not that much to do.  There’s more paperwork to do than setting up,” Harry remarked.   “I’m sure you’ll need time to do your own paperwork,” he chuckled knowing that with Janet gone, Chip would be on his own in that regard and walked up the spiral staircase.

Frowning, “He’s got that right,” Chip muttered causing Lee to laugh.

Chip stayed at the chart table while Lee made his rounds of the control room checking in with each man at his station or console.  Before returning to the table, he glanced at radio shack catching Sparks’ eye.   He smiled and shook his head letting him know he hadn’t received a call.   Lee returned to the chart table, picked up his pencil and tapped it on the table as he checked their position.


Janet entered the lobby of the three-story hotel located not too from the airport and made her way to the registration counter.

“Good evening,” the woman said to Janet when it was her turn to check in.

“Hello, I’m Janet Crane and I have a reservation.”

“Welcome, Mrs. Crane.   We’re sorry to hear about Mrs. Johnson’s accident.   You’re in the room Mrs. Johnson uses when she stays here.   If there’s anything you need, please let us know.  The elevators are to your left.  Enjoy your stay.”

“Thank you,” Janet replied and took the handle of her suitcase and made her way to the elevators.

Her room was on the second floor at the back of the hotel.   She looked at her watch and saw it was almost 2300 hours.  No wonder I’m tired but I better call Lee, she thought knowing he would be worried if she didn’t.   She dialed his cell phone and it went directly to voice mail.     I bet they left for Kings Bay already.   She then called the Institute and was connected with Trish at the communications center.

“Hi Janet,” Trish said when she saw the number.

“Hello, Trish.   Did Seaview leave on its mission?   I tried calling Lee’s phone and it went directly to voice mail.”

“Yes, they left about 1400 hours.  I’ll connect you to the boat as Sparks’ has checked in with me a couple times wondering if you called.”

Smiling Janet asked, “How many times has he checked in?”

“Two and Sparks won the bet,” she snickered.

“You bet on how many times Lee was going to make Sparks call,” Janet chuckled.

“Yes, but please don’t tell him,” Trish asked.  

“No problem, your secret is safe with me,” Janet answered and waited while Trish connected her to the boat.

Seaview,” Sparks answered.   

“Hi Sparks,” Janet said when she heard his voice.   “I heard you won the bet on how many times the Skipper would ask you to check with the institute.   I would have guessed more than two,” Janet laughed.  “And I won’t tell him about your bet.”

“Thanks, Mrs. C.   I’ll get the Skipper for you.   Captain Crane, I have the phone call you’ve been waiting for.” Janet heard Sparks say.

“Pipe it to my cabin,” Lee ordered and sprinted up the spiral staircase and down the passageway to his cabin.   He entered his cabin and sat down before the phone rang and picked it up on the first ring.

“Sweetie, how come you’re calling so late…is everything okay…how was your flight?” Lee asked in rapid succession.

“Lee, the flight was fine…taking off didn’t even bother me.   We were late taking off and then customs was backed up. I even managed to sleep for a couple of hours,” answering his rapid-fire questions with a smile.   “You caused quite a stir at the airport when you took off with FS-1.   The windows were crowded with people watching.   An older man sat down next to me and wanted to know who built it and wanted to take ride.   I didn’t say anything.   The same man was seated next to me on the flight.”

“Picking up men,” Lee teased.   

“He was old,” Janet quipped.  “You left early for Kings Bay...were there any problems?”

“No problems, Chip, Bobby and Sharkey did a great job on such short notice.  Since everyone was on board we decided to get an early start. You sound tired,” Lee commented.

“Yes, I’m really exhausted.   The time difference is catching up to me.   I’ll call you when I arrive in Ibiza,” Janet told Lee.  “I’m going to bed.”

Sighing deeply, “Wish I was there with you.”

“Me too,” Janet responded.   “Talk to you tomorrow…love you.”

“Love you too,” Lee replied and waited to hang up until he heard Janet disconnect the call.   He sat there for a few minutes before returning to the control room.

After Janet finished talking to Lee, she got ready for bed.   She climbed in the queen size bed and snuggled under the comforter.


Chip heard Lee’s familiar footsteps on the staircase and looked up from the chart table.  “Everything okay?”

“Yes, the flight was late and customs was backed up.   She was really tired so she was going to bed.”

“Now that she’s called, can you relax so we can figure out where to surface the boat when we get to Antarctica.   Hopefully Dr. Simmons will have a more detailed map of the area so we know where he needs to go.”

“I’ll make sure to ask the admiral when I see him,” Lee responded as the two men returned to their map.


Janet set her phone alarm for 0800.  She wanted to make sure she was ready to leave by 1100.  When the alarm went off, she groaned not wanting to get up as she was still tired.   She’d closed the curtains but could see that the sun wasn’t out as it looked dark and grey from a small gap where the curtains didn’t meet.  She forced herself to get up and turned on the faucet in the shower.  No fun without Lee, she thought as she quickly bathed.  She toweled off and slipped into her black pants and white shirt.  She put her make-up on and then her jewelry.  

She was hungry so she headed downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast.   She lingered over her coffee as she had plenty of time before she needed to leave for the airport.   After breakfast, she looked for a store so she could buy a bottle of water for the wait at the airport and then checked her watch deciding she’d better head back to the room to get ready to leave.  

Once in the room, she made sure she didn’t leave anything behind, then grabbed her suitcase, purse and bag and headed out the door to check out and wait for Harold to pick her up. 

“Good morning, can I help you,” the woman asked when she walked up to the counter.

“Hello, I’m Janet Crane and I’d like to check out.”

The woman typed her name in the computer.   “Yes, Mrs. Crane.  Everything has been taken care off.   I hope you enjoyed your stay.”

“Thank you, I did,” Janet replied, took the receipt and started for the door when Harold walked in.

“Good morning, Mrs. Crane,” Harold said as he took her suitcase.   “I’m parked right outside.”

 After the short ride to the airport, “I’ll see you later in the week,” Harold stated as he helped her from the limo.

“Thank you, Harold.   I’ll be looking for you,” Janet said with a smile.

Janet made her way through the airport, she still had a couple of hours to kill before she took off.


The gate area was already packed with young people heading for their vacation in Ibiza but she managed to find a seat facing the windows.   She noticed a man seating in the end seat next to her but didn’t pay much attention to him.  

As soon as she was settled, she’d let Lee know she was at the airport.   It was the middle of the night and didn’t want to wake him up with a phone call so she would text him.   She put her bag on her lap and reached into her purse so she could get her phone.   The bag slipped off her lap and landed on the shoe of the man next to her.

“I’m very sorry,” she apologized as she quickly picked up the bag.

“No problem,” the man said annoyingly not looking up from his magazine, but out of the corner of his eye caught sight of the bracelet on her wrist when she picked up her bag.  He turned to look at Janet.    “No harm done,” he replied and returned to reading his magazine.

Janet put the bag on the floor next to her and texted Lee.   Good morning, honey.  I didn’t like sleeping or showering alone.   I’m now at the airport waiting for my flight to take off.  If it’s on time I should be landing about 1600.  You were right, there are a lot of young men heading for Ibiza, but I can’t tell if they have six pack abs,” she teased.   “I’ll call you when I land.   Miss you…love you.   She sent the message and checked her e-mail where she found nothing important and turned off her phone so as not to wear down the battery, then put her phone away and took out her magazine.

She noticed the man seating next to her had gotten up and walked away a few minutes after she dropped her bag on his foot.  I hope he’s not mad, she thought and went back to reading her magazine.


Ghag Huchay was waiting for the flight to Ibiza as he was returning home to a small island south of Ibiza. It was one of the islands he’d bought when he left his job working for the People’s Republic.   He still did some free-lance work in the security department for the PR but spent most of his time in his orange and lemon groves.  There weren’t many people living on the island, only the ones he employed to look after the groves and their families.   He had a few security men on retainer including Andre, his right-hand man. 

He arrived early and sat down on the end seat facing the windows and pulled out his magazine.   He hadn’t been sitting there too long when someone sat down beside him.   He didn’t look up from what he was reading, but could tell it was a woman from her shoes.   He felt something land on his shoes and saw the woman’s bag had fallen to the floor.   She apologized and quickly picked up the errant bag.   He was slightly irritated that someone would be so careless, but out of the corner of his eye noticed the bracelet she was wearing.

What the hell, he thought.  How lucky can I get?   He immediately looked at the woman and hoped it was who he thought it was.   Janet Crane.  

He sat there a little while longer before getting up and moving to the back of the waiting area.   He needed to be sure that the woman wearing that bracelet was Janet Crane, since he’d never met or seen her before.   He quickly pulled his phone from his pocket, punched in his passcode and checked the GPS finder on his phone.   It beeped showing the bracelet was right where he was.   I’ve got to find a picture of her, he thought.  He checked to see if she had any social media accounts, but found none.  Damn. There has to be a picture of her somewhere.   He knew she worked for the Nelson Institute, so he searched for their website.  He found it, there were no pictures posted, but read about the place hoping there would be some detail that would lead him to a picture.  He’d gone back a few years and found an article about an auction that was held to raise money for a women’s shelter and food bank.  Hopefully the press was there and took a few pictures¸ he thought after reading the article.   He searched “The Santa Barbara News-Press” website and found an article and several pictures including one of Janet Crane.  Bingo, he practically shouted out loud.   The woman sitting in the seat was Janet Crane.   I wonder if she’s here alone.  He looked around for Lee and didn’t spot him.  Man, I might have a problem.  There were two flights using that waiting area.   One for Ibiza and one for Valencia.   Just my luck she’s going to Valencia.  I’d have to figure out a way to get on that flight.  Guess I’ll just have to wait and see which flight she boards.


Janet sat reading her magazine when she heard an announcement for boarding the flight to Valencia.  She waited a few minutes for those passengers to start boarding before she gathered up her bag and purse, heading down the hallway looking for a restroom.  She took care of her needs and walked back to the waiting area and sat down checking the board and noticing her flight was boarding in fifteen minutes.   She didn’t bother to take out her magazine, but watched as the planes went by the window.    She checked her phone, but didn’t really expect anything from Lee, so she wasn’t disappointed when nothing showed up.


Ghag leaned against a pole, his eyes never leaving Janet.   A few minutes later, he heard the announcement to begin boarding the flight to Valencia.   He saw Janet gather her things and stand up as the passengers were checking in for the flight, but continued down the hallway.   He followed her making sure he never lost sight of her as she mixed in with the other travelers then breathed a sigh of relief when he saw her head into the restroom.   He waited a few steps down from the restroom and turned his back when she walked past him back to the waiting area and sat back down.   Ghag leaned against the pole once again, keeping a sharp eye on Janet Crane.   Perhaps it was pure luck finding her here, or maybe just destiny, either way he was ready to seize the moment.

Chapter 5

Finally, it was time to start boarding her flight.  Since Janet had a first-class ticket she would be seated right away.  She picked up her bag and purse and headed down the ramp to the plane.   She found her seat which was the last row in first-class and sat down next to the window and looked out.   The day was still overcast, but she’d checked the weather in Ibiza and it would be sunny and warm when she arrived.   As she buckled her seat belt, a man about Lee’s age sat down next to her.

“Hi, I’m Nicky Avers.”   He didn’t normally introduce himself to his seatmate, but she was good looking and alone, so he hoped they would strike up a conversation.

“Hi, Janet Crane,” she replied offering no more information and looked out the window watching the ground crew load the baggage on the plane.

So much for conversation, Nicky thought and buckled his seat belt.


Ghag watched as she boarded the plane and cringed to see that she was flying first-class.   He also had a first-class ticket, an indulgence he used when he flew home to his island.    He hoped she wouldn’t be sitting next to him.   He waited until everyone had boarded the plane and made his way down the ramp taking his usual seat in the middle of first class.   As he sat down, he could hear the flight attendant welcoming the passengers in first-class.  He was very pleased to hear her welcome “Mrs. Crane” aboard.   He knew that she would recognize his name if she heard it so he hoped she wouldn’t be paying attention when he was welcomed aboard.    Fortunately, just as the attendant approached him, he heard her seatmate introduce himself, so she never heard him welcomed.   

So far things are falling right into place, Huchay thought.   


Ghag sat a few rows ahead of Janet and turned around to see if he could see her, but the seats obstructed his view.  Since he would disembark before her, he took great delight in the fact that she was alone because it would make it that much easier for him to grab her as she left the plane. He just needed to make sure whomever she was meeting didn’t find her.    He’d find out shortly why she was here and tightened up his seatbelt as they prepared to land.


After the airplane landed and was taxiing to the gate, Ghag texted Andre who would be waiting to pick him up.  I have an unexpected guest with me. She’s not going to be very cooperative so be prepared.  They reached the gate and the door to the plane was opened letting the passengers disembark.   Ghag was one of the first off the plane.   He stood just past the ramp exit where Janet would have to walk past him to get to the baggage area.   He noticed she didn’t have any luggage with her so they would need to claim hers along with his.  He saw her as she exited the plane and started to follow the rest of the passengers, but he grabbed her arm as she walked by him.  

“Make a sound and you’ll never see your husband again,” he hissed softly in her ear.   “Just follow me and act like we belong together.”

“Who are you?” Janet asked fearfully as she tried to get away, but Huchay squeezed her arm harder causing her to cry out.

“Don’t make a scene,” he warned her again.  “You’ll find out soon.”

The two of them walked through the terminal and down the stairs to the baggage claim area.  He quickly hustled her out one of the side doors to a waiting car.   As Ghag left the building he noticed a man and a little girl standing in the waiting area with her name on a card, but made sure to block Janet’s view, and pushed her into the car and closed the door.

“Andre, this is Janet Crane.”

Andre looked at Ghag with a surprised look on his face.  

Seeing his look, Ghag continued with a smile.   “Yes, she’s the wife of Lee Crane.   I need you to get our luggage.   You know which one is mine.  Ghag turned and looked at Janet, “Mrs. Crane, what does your suitcase look like?”

Janet glared at him.  “I’m not giving you any information until you tell me who you are.”

“Mrs. Crane, I really don’t care if you get your luggage.   You can wear the clothes you have on or go naked,” he snapped.  “Your choice as you’ll be my guest for a day or more depending on your husband.”

Janet didn’t know what Lee had to do with this, but she didn’t want to wear these clothes or go naked so she told him, “It’s light gray with a piece of yellow duct tape on the handle.”

Andre left the car leaving only Huchay and the driver.  Janet realized this could be her only chance to escape.   She hoped the driver wouldn’t be able to get out of the car fast enough to catch her.   She punched Ghag in the side catching him off guard and quickly opened the car door and ran out.   Just as she left the car, Andre was returning with the luggage and saw her.  He dropped the luggage and picked her up by the waist before she could get away.  He shoved her into the back seat where Ghag was seething.    He slapped her across the face cruelly.  

“If you ever try anything like that again, I’ll kill your husband,” he snarled.

Janet rubbed the side of her face where it stung from the slap.   She knew she’d have to do what the man said if she didn’t want Lee to get hurt.   


Phillip and Luisa left Teramenfor late morning on Phillip’s boat that would take them to Ibiza. It would take fifteen minutes to get to the island.  Once docked, Phillip knew Chester, the driver they always used, would be waiting for them.  He would take them to Luisa’s restaurant of choice and wait while they ate lunch.  It was a tradition they started every time they picked up Lillian.  Luisa felt like having a hamburger today, so they would stop at one of the places noted for their burgers.  After they finished lunch, they headed to the airport where Chester left them off at the arrival terminal.  He would park the car and wait for Phillip to call him letting him know they were ready to leave.

“Papa,” Luisa said when they got out of the car.   “Do you think Miss Janet will like the sign I made for her?”

Smiling down at his daughter, “I’m sure she’s going to love it, honey.”   

Even though Phillip had a picture of Janet, he’d written her name on a piece of white cardboard and let Luisa decorate it.  

“Papa, can I hold the sign?” Luisa asked excitedly.   She was looking forward to meeting Janet after her grandmother told her about Mrs. Crane. 

“I think you’re a little too small, she might not see it,” Phillip replied with a smile noting how excited she was.

“Yes, Papa,” Luisa agreed.  

They had arrived fifteen minutes before the flight was due to land.   Phillip checked the arrival board and was happy to see that the flight was on time.   

Before long Phillip heard a lot of noise and knew that the flight must have landed as people were streaming down the stairs to the baggage area to wait for their luggage.  He and Luisa quickly stood and moved off to the side, but where Janet would be sure to see the sign.    

The baggage was unloaded onto the carousels and people quickly claimed their bags and left the area, but Janet wasn’t with the group of people that had come down the stairs.   Phillips checked the arrival board and saw another plane had arrived at the same time as Janet’s.

Maybe she got lost or needed to use the ladies’ room, Phillip thought as more people began arriving in the waiting area.  They stood a little closer to the baggage area this time and waited for Janet.

Pulling on his hand, “Papa, where’s Miss Janet?” Luisa asked innocently.  “Shouldn’t she have been here by now?”

“Yes, Luisa,” Phillip answered worriedly, and then patted her hand.   “I’m sure she’ll be here soon, Cupcake.”

He looked in the baggage area and saw two gentlemen standing there talking on their phones, but Phillip noticed that there was no luggage left in the baggage claim area.  

He walked up to the first man, “Excuse me, did you come in on the flight from London?”

“No sir, sorry I didn’t,” he replied and walked towards the door.

Phillip then approached the second man, “Pardon me, but did you come in on the flight from London?”

“Yes sir, I did,” the man answered.

Phillip took out his phone, “Did you see this woman on the plane,” he asked showing him the picture of Janet.

“Yes, sir, I did.   In fact, I sat next to her.   Her name is Janet Crane,” the man replied.

“Did you see where she went?   I was supposed to meet her here and so far, she hasn’t shown up.”

“She was sitting by the window, but left the ahead of me when I needed to get my luggage from the overhead bin.  I lost sight of her when she left the plane.   Maybe she’s in the restroom?”

“Thanks for your help.  I’ll check in there,” Phillip responded.

“No problem, I hope you find her,” Nicky said and walked out of the terminal.

“Come Luisa, let’s check the ladies’ room,” Phillip told Luisa and took her hand as they walked to the closest ladies’ room.   He couldn’t go in, but heard the hand dryer running.   Maybe she’s in there, he thought hopefully.

An older woman walked out.   “Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you,” Phillip said to the woman, “but is there anyone else in there?   I’m waiting for my friend and she hasn’t shown up yet.”

“Sorry, I was the only one in there,” the woman replied.

“Thank you,” Phillip answered dejectedly.

“Luisa, let’s go sit down by the door.   I have to call Grandpa.”

“Yes, Papa.  Is it about Miss Janet and why she’s not here?”

Phillip smiled at his daughter and how smart she was.   “Yes,” he responded as they walked over to the seating area.


Phillip dialed Gerald Johnson’s number and he picked it up on the third ring.

“Phillip, did you pick up Janet?” he asked quickly.

“No, she’s not here.”  

“What do you mean she not there?”

“Gerald, I don’t know where she is, but I do know she was on the plane as I talked to the man who sat next to her, but her bags are not here so she must have taken them.”

“Give me ten minutes.   Please stay there until I get back to you,” Johnson replied anxiously.

“I’ll wait here just in case she got lost,” Phillip answered and sat down next to Luisa.


Johnson quickly dialed his contact at Heathrow Airport.  He explained to him that he wanted to verify that Janet had gotten on the plane in Ibiza.   He waited impatiently tapping his fingers on the desk while the man checked the records.   He confirmed that Janet did get on the plane.

“Thanks,” Johnson said after he hung up the phone.   He sat at his desk wondering where she’d gone when his cell phone rang.  It was Lillian and he knew she was calling to check and see if he heard from Phillip.  

“Hi Dear,” he answered softly.

“Did she get there…did you talk to Phillip?” Lillian asked hurriedly.

“There’s seems to be a problem.   She got on the flight, but Phillip hasn’t seen her.   We’re still trying to locate her.   I’ll call you back when I have some news.”

“Oh Gerald.   I hope nothing has happened to her,” Lillian cried.  “Commander Crane will never forgive us.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll find her.   I’ve got to go.”

“Okay, Gerald,” Lillian replied and hung up.


Gerald took a deep breath and dialed Phillip who anxiously picked it up on the first ring.

“She was definitely on the plane.  What could have happened to her?”

“I had them page her, but she hasn’t answered.   Maybe she decided not to take on the job and left on vacation?”

“No Phillip, Janet would never do that,” Johnson said adamantly.   “She reminds me of Helena and how caring she was.   Something must have happened to her.    You might as well go back home.   I’m going to keep checking and I’ll let you know if, and when, I find out anything.   Please give our love to Luisa, and Phillip…we’ll get her out of there, I promise.”

“Thanks, Gerald, I understand.   Just keep me informed.”   Phillip disconnected his call with Johnson and called Chester to come and get them.   

“Papa, did something happen to Miss Janet?”  Luisa asked quietly.

Phillip stooped down to her level.   “I don’t know, Cupcake, but don’t worry grandpa is sending people to look for her.”

“Yes, Papa,” Luisa answered and took her father’s hand as they walked out of the terminal.


“Damn,” Johnson muttered after he hung up with his son-in-law.    He now had to call Lee and tell him that his wife was missing.  He picked up his phone, “Sandy, get me the communications center at the Nelson Institute.”

“Yes sir,” Sandy replied and call the institute.

Johnson’s phone rang a moment later, “I have Trish in communications for you.”

“Thanks,” Johnson replied.  “This is Admiral Johnson and I need to get in touch with Commander Crane.”

“Yes, sir.   I’ll put you through to Seaview,” Trish answered and flipped a couple of switches.

Seaview,” Johnson heard as Sparks picked up the call.

“I need to speak with Commander Crane, immediately,” Johnson said.

“Yes sir,” Sparks responded.


Lee woke at his usual 0500 hours and hopped out of bed taking the few steps to his desk where he had his phone.   He picked it up, tapped in his code and saw there was a message from his wife.   He quickly accessed the message chuckling as he read it.   He texted back, Good afternoon sweetie.   Hope you had a nice flight to Ibiza.   You had better not be checking out any of those men and their abs.  I’ll call you as soon as we dock.  Love and miss you too.  He hit the button sending his message.   He put the phone back on the desk and took care of his morning ablutions.  I sure do miss the smell of her shower gel, Lee thought as he tied his tie missing the fact that Janet always took her shower while he got dressed.  He sighed deeply as he looked in the mirror, making sure his tie was straight.  It was a little off so he fixed it and clipped the tie clip and left the cabin for a quick stop in the control room before getting breakfast.


He trotted down the stairs and noticed that Taper was by the chart table making some notations and Morgan was just heading back to the chart table.

“Good morning, Skipper,” the two men said when they saw Lee.

“Morning,” Lee replied.   “How’s everything?”

“Fine sir, we’re on schedule,” Taper replied.

“Good, I’ll be back after breakfast and you can give me a complete briefing on what happened overnight.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” they replied as Lee headed out the aft hatch and down the passageway to the wardroom.


When he entered the wardroom, he saw that Chip was already there and had just gotten his breakfast.   Lee grabbed some toast and coffee and joined Chip at their usual table just as Harry and Jamie walked in.   While they grabbed some breakfast items, Lee and Chip took a drink of coffee savoring the first taste of the day.   Harry and Jamie sat down across from them.

“Hear from Janet?” Chip asked taking another gulp of coffee.

“Just a text message.  She’s flying to Ibiza now and will text me when she lands.  I hope I can talk to her when we dock in Kings Bay.”

“We should be there at least an hour or more depending on how much equipment needs to be loaded,” Chip remarked.

“Are we still scheduled to dock later this afternoon?” Harry asked.

“Yes sir.  I checked with the control room before I came here and we’re right on schedule,” Lee replied finishing up his cup of coffee and got up for a refill.   Chip handed him his cup.

“Dr. Simmons confirmed that all the equipment is at the dock waiting for us to load,” Harry said.  

“Hopefully, there’s an opening in the ice so we can surface,” Chip added.  “Otherwise, we might have to stop further away than we want.”

“I’ll make sure he gives us a map of the area so we can check it out before we get there,” Harry responded as he finished his coffee.   

Cookie brought the pot over and refilled all their cups before they left for the control room.


Harry, Lee and Chip entered the control room through the aft hatch.   Harry and Chip continued on to the chart table while Lee detoured to the radio shack.

“Good morning, Skipper,” Sparks said when he saw Lee approaching.

“Any calls?” Lee asked.

“No sir, but I’ll patch it through when I receive it.”

“Thanks,” Lee replied patting the communication specialist on the shoulder and headed for the chart table checking out the stations and talking to the men as he walked by.

 “Mr. Taper, update,” Lee asked when he got to the chart table, where Harry and Chip were already gathered.

“We’re on schedule,” Taper replied pointing to the area on the map.  “No problems overnight were reported in any departments.”

“Good job,” Lee answered.   “I have the Conn.  You and Mr. Morgan are relieved.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” the men responded and made note of the change of command in the log.

Harry and Chip both noticed when Lee looked at his watch and frowned as Janet’s flight should have landed an hour ago.    

“When was Janet supposed to land?” Harry asked.

“1500 hours,” Lee said uneasily.

“You know the flight could have left late,” Chip remarked.

“I guess so,” Lee responded running his hand through his hair.

“What course have you set for Antarctica?” Harry asked.

Chip took out the paper from under the map and showed it to Harry.  

“Looks good, but I’m worried about how thick the ice is there.   I’ll check in with Alex and see if he can contact his people at the site and give us an idea.”

“That would help us decide where to surface,” Lee said looking at the map.

“Skipper,” Sparks called from the radio shack.   “I have a call from Admiral Johnson.”

“Pipe it to the observation nose,” Lee ordered and ran to the front of the boat, his sixth sense kicking in even though the call could be for any number of reasons.

“Aye, aye sir,” Sparks replied and sent it to the phone in observation nose.


Lee quickly picked up the phone.  “Admiral, did Janet land? Why are you calling?”

He heard Johnson take a deep breath before he answered.   “Lee, Janet is missing.”

“What do you mean she’s missing,” Lee shouted.   Harry and Chip heard Lee’s tone and hurried into the nose.

“She was on the flight to Ibiza, but when Phillip went to pick her up she wasn’t there, and her luggage was gone.  I checked with the airline and she was definitely on the flight. Phillip had her paged and looked in the obvious places, but she didn’t show up.   I’m waiting for surveillance video from the airport to see if they can give us a clue as to what happened to her, but it’s going to take a while.”

Lee stood there squeezing the receiver so hard his hand was turning white.  “Admiral, let me know what the surveillance shows.”

“Yes, Lee and I’m really sorry.”

Lee slammed the receiver down on the phone not hearing Johnson.

“Lee, what’s wrong?” Harry asked worriedly.

“Janet’s missing…she was on the plane and her luggage is gone, but Phillip never saw her.   Johnson’s checking surveillance video to see if he can see what happened.   They’ve paged her, but she’s nowhere to be found.”

“Damn,” Harry said.   “How could she just disappear?”

“I’m sure she didn’t disappear,” Lee replied.   “I’m betting someone spotted her and took her to get back at me.” A long career at ONI shouted this was more than a possibility.

“Lee, how many of your enemies even know you’re married and who Janet is?” Chip reasoned.  “You’re very good at keeping your private life private.”

“I don’t know Chip,” Lee remarked rubbing his fingers across his forehead.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…we’ll wait and see what Johnson finds out,” Harry suggested.   “If it turns out to be foul play, we’ll take FS-1 to Ibiza and find her.”

“Thanks, Admiral,” Lee answered.

Harry and Chip returned to the control room leaving Lee staring out the observation windows.    Damn, Lee thought.  I never should have let her go alone.

Chapter 6

Andre put the luggage in the car, climbed in the back seat and sat next Janet who was now stuck in the middle between Andre and Huchay.

“Get us out of here,” Huchay ordered the driver, afraid someone would’ve seen what had taken place and report it to the police.

The car sped away from the airport and headed for the harbor where Ghag’s boat that would take them to his island.

“Who are you...where are you taking me…what do you want?” Janet snapped.

“That’s a very nice bracelet you’re wearing…I thought I’d never see it again,” Ghag responded calmly.

“My bracelet, what does that have to do with you taking…?” Janet asked, but stopped mid-sentence.   “You’re Ghag Huchay, the man who drugged and tried to kill Lee when he was in Kolenovo…you took my bracelet and sent it to the admiral.”

“Yes, I placed a small tracking device in the bracelet,” Ghag said with an evil grin.   “I never imagined I’d run into you.”

“What do you want with me?”

“My dear, I really don’t want you…you’re only a bargaining chip,” Ghag declared.   “But you don’t need to know anything more until the times comes.”


Janet tried to look out the car windows, but they were dark tinted.  Even the divider between the front and back seat was tinted, so she had no idea where she was or where they were taking her.    She had to try something to alert Lee that she was in trouble.   She gently rubbed her eye and reached down to grab her purse that was on the floor.  She hoped she’d be able to get to her phone and press the number one button.

“What the hell are you doing?” Ghag asked seeing her going for her purse.

“I’ve got something in my eye and need my mirror,” Janet answered.

“Sit back,” Ghag ordered and pushed her back against the seat.   “I took the liberty of removing your phone from your purse when you tried to escape,” he told her taking her phone out of his breast pocket.

Janet let out her breath, Damn, she thought.   I hope I didn’t blow my only chance of escape at the airport.”

They drove for another few minutes before the car came to a halt.  When the driver opened the car door, Janet could smell the ocean and hear the sea gulls, so she knew they were near the water.   

“Steven, take the luggage and put it on the boat,” Ghag ordered.    “Andre, keep an eye on her, she’s pretty sneaky.”

Andre got out of the car and waited for Janet as she scooted out.  He quickly took her by the arm.   He was a very large and muscular man and she realized she’d never be able to get past him.  He walked her down the short pier to a large yacht.    Ghag was ahead of them and boarded the boat waiting for Andre to bring Janet aboard.   She knew there was no way for her to escape, so she reluctantly boarded the boat.

“Where are we going?” Janet asked when she was aboard.

“To my home on the island of Estelo,” Huchay replied as he gave the order to shove-off.

“I don’t like boats, they make me sick,” Janet said desperately trying anything not to leave Ibiza afraid no one would ever find her.

“Now, Mrs. Crane, there’s no need to lie, I know you work aboard Seaview.   While we waited at the airport for our flight, I read all about the Nelson Institute and Seaview.   So, I know you’re accustom to being on a boat,” Ghag answered snidely.

The yacht slowly made its way to the entrance to the harbor.   Once out in open water, Ghag ordered the boat to pick up speed.

“How long before we arrive at your island?” Janet asked.

“It’s only a fifteen-minute ride and don’t get any ideas about swimming back to Ibiza.   You’d never make it alive,” Huchay threatened.   “Andre, show Janet to the salon and stay with her.   I don’t want her wandering around.”

“Yes, sir,” Andre answered and grabbed Janet by the elbow.  She shrugged away his hand and walked with him to the salon.  

“I need to use the head,” Janet said as they walked.

They stopped at a door on the starboard side of the boat.   Andre opened the door for Janet.   “I’ll wait right here for you.”

“Thank you,” Janet replied snidely, closing the door and locking it.    She looked around, but there was no porthole and no other way out of the head except the door she just entered.   She took care of her business and opened the door.  Andre led her down a short hall to the salon where Ghag was waiting for her.

“Andre, call Cara and tell her to have dinner ready at 6:30, and to prepare the guest room.”

“Yes, sir,” Andre responded and left Janet and Ghag alone.

“Would you like something to drink? Water, coffee, tea, wine, or something stronger?”

“No thank you,” Janet answered tensely and sat down on one of the white leather chairs.  She looked around the salon decorated with dark teak wood, and several more chairs laid out in a semi-circle and glass tables.  Ghag poured himself a glass of wine and sat down in the chair next to Janet’s.

“Why did you kidnap me?” Janet asked again.

“Hmm, kidnap is such a nasty word, I’m just using you…you’ll find out soon enough,” Ghag said as he patted her knee and left his hand there which Janet quickly pushed off.

“Don’t touch me,’ Janet stated emphatically.

“Very well, my dear,” Ghag sneered as he got up and moved to another chair across from Janet’s where he kept leering at her.

As they sat across from each other, Janet was lost in her own thoughts, Lee’s going to be pissed because I talked him into letting me go and talked him out of coming with me.  Then she stopped as another, more pressing, thought occurred to her.   What did he mean by I’m a bargaining chip?  “Oh no,” Janet muttered softly.  He’s using me to get to Lee.  Damn.

“Did you say something, Janet?” Ghag asked.

Janet stared at him as he caught her off guard by using her first name.

“No,” Janet glared.

Andre entered the cabin, so Ghag looked away from Janet. “Mr. Huchay, we’ll be docking in five minutes.”

“Thanks, Andre.    When we dock, please escort Mrs. Crane off the boat to the house and to the guest room. 

“Yes, sir,” he replied, left the salon and waited outside the door until they docked.

“Janet, we dress for dinner and I’m tired of calling you Mrs. Crane so from now on I’m calling you Janet.”

“Whatever,” Janet answered uncaring.   She was anxious to find out the real reason Huchay had ‘borrowed’ her, and she hoped it wasn’t the reason that just dawned on her.


Lee returned to the control room and tapped his pencil on the chart table.    “How soon before we dock?” he asked.

“A little ahead of schedule, around 1600 hours,” Chip answered knowing Lee already knew the answer.

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee responded still tapping his pencil.

“I’ll be in my cabin if you need me.  Call me if you hear anything,” Harry told the two men trying hard to hide his concern for Janet’s safety too.

“Aye, sir,” Lee replied.

Harry went up the stairs stopping briefly to look at Lee.   He could see the worry etched on his face, but continued on to his cabin as there was nothing he could do until they found out who had taken Janet.  He too, was very worried about her.


Chip saw how worried Lee was about Janet, but also knew him well enough to suspect that something else was on his mind.   “Lee, what else is troubling you?” Chip asked cautiously.

Lee looked at his best friend and ‘brother’, “Let’s talk in the nose.”

The two men headed to the observation nose and leaned up against the table as they looked out the windows at the dark blue sea.

“Chip, what if Janet just left,” Lee said unexpectedly.

Chip looked at Lee and furrowed his brow, “What do you mean…she just left?”

“What if is she’s tired of sailing around the world in a submarine…working at the institute…the cloak and dagger part of my life.   Going to Ibiza would be the perfect opportunity for her to pack up and leave.”

“Lee, we all hate the cloak and dagger part of your life, but Janet would never leave you.   She’d come to you and tell you straight out she didn’t want to do this anymore.   Come on bro, you know her better than that.”

Lee rubbed his fingers across his forehead, “Of course you’re right.   I’m just hoping that was the alternative as to what really has happened to her.  What if whoever has her doesn’t get in touch with me?”

“We’ll find her…the admiral will move heaven and earth if need be,” Chip reassured Lee patting him on the back.

“Thanks for setting me straight,” Lee replied.  “We better get back to work.”


The two men were heading back to the control room when Sparks called Lee on the mic.

“Skipper, I have Admiral Johnson on the phone.”

Picking up the mic in the nose, “Put it on the monitor in the nose,” Lee ordered as Chip turned it on.

“Lee,” Johnson said.   “Here is the surveillance video from the airport and it’s a bit grainy.   There is someone with Janet but we can’t make him out.   I’ve had our tech team look it over and try to clear it up, but they still couldn’t get a clear view.  Sorry.”

“I’ll look it over maybe, I’ll recognize something about them,” Lee replied gratefully.   “Thanks.”

“Please keep in touch as, Lillian and I are worried about Janet,” Johnson responded sincerely.

“I’ll let you know if I find out anything,” Lee answered and turned off the monitor.

Lee left the nose and headed for the radio shack.   “Did you get a copy of the video?”

“Yes, sir.   I’ve downloaded it to the server,” Sparks said.

“Patterson,” Lee called urgently.

Patterson quickly left his console and reported to Lee as Ron took over for him.

“There’s surveillance video on the server, I want you to blow up every frame with Mrs. Crane in it, and any frame with the man with her.”

“Aye, sir,” Patterson replied and headed for the photo lab.

“Chip, take over the conn.  I’m going to look over that video again.”

“Yes sir.   Good luck.”

As Lee headed for the staircase, Harry came over the intercom, “Lee, report to my cabin.”

Lee picked up the nearest mic, “On my way.”   He stowed the mic and sprinted up the staircase to the admiral’s cabin.


Lee reached Harry’s cabin and knocked on the door.  “Come.”

He opened the door and sat down on the chair in front of Harry’s desk.   “Sir, you wanted to see me,” Lee asked anxiously.

“Any news from Johnson?” Harry inquired.

Lee looked at Harry surprised that he’d asked that question as he had no way of knowing Johnson had just called.

“Your sixth sense must be working, I was just on my way to my cabin to look over the surveillance video Admiral Johnson sent over.  The video confirms someone was with Janet, but it’s pretty grainy. I’m hoping maybe I can spot something familiar about the person.”

“Can you bring it up here so we can look together?”

Lee went around to Harry’s side of the desk and brought the video up on his computer.   Both men looked at it frame by frame, but couldn’t make out the face of the person with Janet, but definitely knew it was a man.

“Either this guy knew there was a camera or he was just lucky enough never to be photographed,” Lee said frustrated.

He sat down on the corner of Harry’s desk.   “Maybe Patterson will be able to get a clearer image.   I asked him to print out photos.”

“Hopefully he’ll be able to clean them up a bit,” Harry answered.

Both men sat silently and jumped when there was a knock on the door.   “Come,” Harry ordered.

Patterson entered the cabin with a hand full of pictures.  “This is the best I could do, Skipper,” he said handing Lee the photos.

“Thanks, Pat,” Lee answered as Patterson left the cabin.

Lee scrutinized each picture and then handed them to Harry.   “I can’t make out who this man is,” Lee said discouraged.

“I agree with you there, you’d think they’d have better cameras,” Harry stated after looking over the pictures.

“Admiral, I want to take FS-1 to Ibiza,” Lee said.   “Maybe I can find the man who sat next to her and ask him if he noticed anything suspicious.   The island isn’t that big.”

“Son, you don’t even know if she’s still on Ibiza.   There are a lot of little islands in that area…she could be anywhere in the world by now.”  Harry checked his watch, “It’s only been a few hours.  Let’s wait, and if we aren’t contacted by morning, I’ll be the first person on FS-1.”

Lee ran his hand through his hair, a sure sign he was worried.   “You’re right,” he conceded.

“We’ll find her…I promise,” Harry said as he stood up from his desk.

Lee followed suit, “I guess I’m not thinking like a seasoned ONI agent,” he admitted sheepishly.

“No,” Harry concurred, “just a worried husband…and there’s nothing wrong with that.”  He patted Lee on the shoulder as he headed towards the door.

 “Thank you, sir,” Lee responded.    “I’ll be in the control room.”  


Meanwhile, Huchay was waiting on the main deck when the boat docked on his island.   He waited for Andre to bring Janet up from the salon before he left the boat.  When she was on the main deck, Huchay walked down the gangplank followed by Janet and Andre who had a tight hold on her arm.   They walked up a few steps and a large white stucco house with a red terra cotta roof came into view.   The house was u-shaped with a courtyard in the center.   The middle part of the house had sliding glass doors.   They entered the house through one of those doors that led to a small hallway.   On the opposite side of the hallway was a living room with another set of doors that looked into a valley of trees.

Once in the house, Ghag disappeared while Andre showed Janet to a room on the left side of the house.

“Your bag will be here shortly,” Andre told her.   “If you need anything just pick up the phone, Cara will answer.   I’ll be back to take you to dinner at 6:30.”

“Fine,” Janet responded unhappily and sat down on the bed when Andre left leaving her alone.   She hadn’t been sitting there too long when there was a knock on the door.   The man from the boat was there with her bags, and brought it in the room placing it on the stand near the door.

She waited impatiently for the man to leave hoping she’d be able to sneak out the door, but when she opened the door, she found another man standing there. 

“Did you need something?” he asked.

“No.”  Janet shut the door.   Damn, he’s posted guards at the door.

She noticed the room was spacious with a dresser on one wall and the opposite wall had a sliding glass door that led out to a small patio with a table and chairs that had a spectacular view of the mountains.    She walked down a short hall and found a large bathroom and outdoor shower that was surrounded by a wooden wall.   She could see some green plants on the other side of the wall, but couldn’t make out what kind.

Janet returned to the bedroom and went over to the sliding glass door and looked out.  She didn’t see anyone, so she unlocked the door and slid it open.  She walked out unto the patio and checked for cameras.  As she looked for the cameras, she discovered a staircase on one side of the patio, partially hidden by a small hedge.  This could be my only chance to escape, she thought as she made her way down the stairs.  She got to the bottom, looked around and started walking…but she didn’t get very far.


Ghag headed to his side of the house to his bedroom and study.   He stopped at his study first before heading to the bedroom to get ready for dinner.   He sat down at his desk and sorted through the mail that had been picked up when they were in Ibiza.   His security cameras were monitoring the house when out of the corner of his eye, he saw Janet walking down the stairs from the patio off her room.

“Damn,” he shouted and quickly ran out of the office to the patio.

“Where the hell to you think you’re going?” he hissed when he met her at the bottom of the stairs.   “I told you there’s no way off the island except by boat and there are guards stationed on the dock.  Besides, no one else would help you escape since they wouldn’t want to face the consequences.”

Andre was returning from his house and heard the commotion.  He quickly walked to the noise and saw Ghag and Janet.  Ghag saw him and motioned him to join them.

“Andre, post guards at the top of the patio.  It seems Janet decided to try and escape.”

“Yes, sir,” Andre replied and left to assign the guards.

Janet stood there wondering how he knew she’d left the room since she hadn’t spotted any cameras.  He grabbed her tightly around the arm and led her back up the stairs to her room.  As they walked up the stairs, Janet looked at the eaves of the house and saw a small camera the same color as the house. Ghag shoved her into the room, slid the door closed and locked it.

“I wasn’t trying to escape.   The room was stuffy, so I opened the door to let some fresh air in,” Janet replied sharply.

Ghag stood in front of her as she stood at the foot of the bed.  “Janet, you are trying my patience.” 

“Well, you and I both know the solution to that problem…let me go,” she replied curtly.

Ghag slapped her hard across the face, knocking her onto the bed and bringing tears to her eyes.  “Just remember one thing, you are expendable,” he snapped.  “Get ready for dinner.”

Ghag opened the door and walked out slamming it behind him. 


Janet got up from the bed and went into the bathroom.   She could see a bruise forming on her face.  It was the same place he’d slapped her before.   She took a cloth and ran it under cold water and gently pressed it to her face.    Damn, she thought.   I have to find a way out of here before he kills me.

Janet rinsed out the cloth and put it under the cold water again and put it on her cheek.   She held it there for a few more minutes before removing it then looked at her arm, it was red and starting to bruise from where he grabbed her.  Janet sighed deeply, there was nothing she could do about her arm.   She checked her watch and saw she only had fifteen minutes before Andre would be there to take her to dinner.  She returned to the bedroom and opened her bag, taking out a long white skirt and a yellow shirt to wear.   She used the outdoor shower, hoping no one could see her then dressed and redid her make up trying to hide the bruise, but didn’t have much luck.   Just as she finished, she heard a knock on the door.  She took a deep breath, and opened the door finding Andre there waiting to escort her to dinner.


Ghag returned to his study, furious that Janet had tried to escape.   He knew she wouldn’t have gotten very far as none of his workers would have helped her.   She’s proving to be a pain in the ass…but I still need her, Ghag thought.   He finished sorting through the mail and set it aside.   He went into his bedroom where he showered, changed his clothes and left for the dining room.


Andre led Janet down a short hall to the dining room which was located on the same side of the house as Janet’s room.  The dining room had a view of the valley, a large table occupied the center of the room with a crystal chandelier over the table and a side board with an urn and plates of fruit sat against the wall.

Ghag stood looking out the windows, with a drink in his hand.  He turned around when Janet and Andre entered the room.  

“That’s much better,” he said looking Janet over from head to toe.   “Would you like a drink?”

“No, thank you,” Janet responded.   I need to keep my wits about me in case there’s chance of escaping, she thought.

“Andre, return in an hour,” Ghag ordered.

“Yes, sir,” Andre replied and left Ghag and Janet alone.

Ghag walked to the head of the table and directed Janet to sit on his right side.   Once she was seated, Cara brought them plates of chicken, rice and vegetables. 

 “Wine?” Ghag asked as he poured a glass for himself.

“No, water will be fine,” Janet answered softly.

“Suit yourself,” Ghag said then eagerly dug into his dinner. 

“Since I’m only a bargaining chip, when are you going to contact Lee and let him know what you really want,” she asked hesitantly.

“I’m going to let him worry and wonder what happened to you, so tomorrow some time,” Huchay replied nonchalantly. “I have some business to take care of so when that’s finished, we’ll give him a call.”

Janet took a disinterested bite not happy she’d have to spend the night.    She managed a few more bites before pushing her plate away.

“You’re not very hungry.  Afraid I might poison you?  Don’t worry, I still need you.”

They ate the rest of the meal in silence.  As soon as Ghag finished his dinner, Cara appeared and removed their plates.   She returned from the kitchen, went over to the sideboard and gave each of them a plate of fresh fruit then poured Ghag a cup of coffee.

“Ma’am, would you like some coffee or tea,” she asked Janet.

“Tea would be nice, thank you,” Janet responded.   Cara went to the side board and returned with a cup of tea.

 They finished up the rest of their meal and Andre returned exactly one hour later to take Janet back to her room.

“I have breakfast at 9:00.   Andre will pick you up at that time.   Good night, Janet.”  

Ghag left the dining room and headed down the hall to the right side of the house.  Andre waited as Janet removed the napkin from her lap and put it on the table.   He walked her back to her room and locked the door. 


Damn, Janet thought when she heard the lock click.  She was stuck in the room…she heard Ghag tell Andre to post guards by the patio, but maybe she could try it anyway.   She unlocked the door, but before she could open it a guard appeared at the top of the stairs.  She relocked the door and closed the drapes.  There has to be a way to contact Lee, she thought pacing back and forth when an idea hit her.  Ghag had her phone, but he didn’t take her reader which was equipped with WIFI.   She picked up her bag from the dresser, took out the reader and turned it on hoping it would connect without a password.   She waited watching the circle spin as it tried to connect.   After a few disappointing minutes and no connection, she gave up trying and sighed.   She could still use the reader to read her book so she got ready for bed.  She climbed in the bed and took out the reader, but didn’t turn it on and sat there thinking how this whole mess got started when Lee first encountered Hai Phong.

Lee had been sent to the People’s Republic to get the notes and a formula for a potent new truth serum the PR had developed that proved to be very effective and deadly.  Hai Phong was the chemist in charge of the project.  Lee had no choice, so he used her to get the information.  When she lost her job because of what he did, and was forced to retire, she vowed to seek revenge on him.   A few years later, Lee, while on an ONI mission near that region, ran into Hai again only this time she held all the cards.   She kidnapped and drugged him, causing him to have severe hallucinations.  When the Admiral, Chip and Kowalski managed to find and rescue him, Hai killed herself rather than be captured.   Ghag Huchay had been sent to bring Lee back to the PR and found Hai’s body.

Ghag Huchay was in love with Hai, and when he found her dead, he also swore to hurt or kill Lee or anyone else he cared about for revenge.  Lee met up with Huchay unexpectedly while he was again working for ONI. He was beaten by Andre and given a very potent drug that caused him to become violent and suffer such severe pain that made him wish he was dead.  Huchay found the bracelet Lee had bought for her and used it to prove he had Lee so the Admiral would know it was him who had drugged Lee. It took Lee weeks to overcome the pain the drug caused. 

Janet took a deep breath and fingered the bracelet, “and now Huchay has me; even dead Hai Phong is still creating trouble,” she whispered angrily and sat there for a few moments before scooting under the light blanket and falling into an uneasy sleep.

Chapter 7

Chip was at his normal position at the chart table with Bobby standing next to him, when Lee returned to the control room.   He looked up when he heard Lee’s footsteps on the stairs.   He could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t happy.

“Any luck?” he asked as Lee picked up a pencil.

“No, we only know it’s a man.   Even Patterson’s photos didn’t shed any light,” Lee reported tapping his pencil.   “I’m assuming no calls came in?”

“Sorry, Lee, nothing at all.   What are you going to do once we’ve loaded the equipment?”

“If we don’t hear anything in the morning, the admiral and I are going to Ibiza.  Don’t know what we’ll find, but maybe someone at the airport saw something.   You’ll continue with the mission as scheduled.”

“Aye sir,” Chip replied.

Lee looked at his watch.   “Why don’t you and Bobby go to lunch.   I’ll stay here until you return and then I’m going to my cabin to catch up on some paperwork.”

“Aye, sir,” they replied and headed out the aft hatch.  

While at the chart table, he reached under the top and pulled out a map of the Mediterranean Sea.   Ibiza was one of the few places he’d never been to and wanted to check out exactly where it was located.   He charted a course to Ibiza and quickly calculated in his head how long it would take FS-1 to get there, then walked around the control room checking in with the men.   He stopped and talked with Sparks making sure there was nothing wrong with the radio.  Chip and Bobby returned to the control room and noticed Lee was standing at the chart table, distractedly staring out the windows tapping his pencil.

“I’ll take over,” Chip said.   “By the time you finish up your paperwork we should be close to Kings Bay.”

Lee tossed his pencil on the table, “Thanks, Chip.   I’ll be back before its time to dock.”

Lee trotted up the staircase and headed down the passageway to his cabin, lost in thought trying to figure out who hated him enough to kidnap his wife. There was nothing for him to on; no proof at all, and yet he knew that she had been taken to get to him.


Lee walked in the cabin and sat down at his desk.  I know I have a lot of enemies, but none of them could possibly I’m married.   Hell, most of them don’t even know my real name, he muttered as he opened the desk drawer and removed one of the two folders with the paperwork he needed to complete.   He opened the folder, but his attention was diverted to the other folder on his desk…the one that contained the pictures Patterson had blown up from the surveillance cameras.  “Who are you…where are you…what do you want with Janet and why haven’t you called?” Lee muttered as he closed his paperwork folder and took out the photos and re-examined them.    Damn, that guy had to know that there were cameras, he thought angrily.   Frustrated, he put them back in the folder.  Before he could re-open the other folder, there was a knock on his door.

Annoyed by the knock, “Come in,” Lee responded tersely.

Cookie walked into the cabin with a tray of food and a carafe of coffee.   “Mr. Morton asked me to bring you some lunch since he knew you wouldn’t make it to the wardroom.”

“He told you to bring it?”

“Yes sir, he figured you might give one of the mess specialists a hard time about eating,” Cookie replied with a grin.

“Thanks Cookie,” Lee grinned back forgetting he was annoyed at being disturbed.

“I’ll be back in a little while to remove the tray,” Cookie answered and left the cabin.

Lee took the roast beef sandwich off the plate and ate while he filled out his reports.    I don’t miss doing these, he thought as he sipped the piping hot coffee.    He finished up his lunch and most of the reports, putting them back in the folder, and made his way to Janet’s empty office to place it on her desk.  I sure hope she’ll be back to deal with these, he thought, whimsically thinking of happier times.


He left the office and returned to the control room where Chip was studying the sonar screen.

“Problem?” Lee inquired joining Chip at the console.

“No, sir.   Just finishing up a tour of the control room.   We’ll be docking at the naval base in an hour.   They gave us an end slip.”

“Good,” Lee replied as he heard Harry’s footsteps on the staircase.

“How soon before we dock?” he asked Lee.

“About an hour,” Lee replied.  “Sir, how about we stay at the base for the night and have Seaview leave in the morning for Antarctica.  I’ll give the crew shore leave before the long trip south and under the ice cap.”

“Sounds good,” Harry agreed.   “I’m going to contact Dr. Simmons and let him know we’ll be docking shortly.”

“Here’s our location in the harbor,” Lee said handing him a piece of paper with the docking information.

Harry tapped the paper as he read it over and retreated up the stairs to his cabin to make his phone call.

Furrowing his brow, Lee looked at Chip, “I’m assuming we have a shore leave schedule somewhere,” he said as Janet usually handled all that information and took care of posting the schedule.

“I’m sure it’s on Janet’s computer.   I’ll check it out and post it,” Chip offered and headed to Janet’s office.    I never realized how much we depend on her,” Lee thought worriedly, with every single task reminding him that his wife was missing.


Seaview docked in NSB Kings Bay at 1800 hours.   The crew loaded the supplies that would be needed for the journey to Antarctica.  When the crew finished with the loading, they were divided into two groups with each group getting a two hour leave as Lee wanted all personnel back on board by 2300 hours.  He also had Chip instruct the men not to get into any trouble as he wasn’t in the mood to bail them out of jail.   Dr. Simmons invited Harry, Lee, and Chip to have dinner, but Lee declined in case he received a call from the kidnapper.  Sparks volunteered to stay in the radio shack until Thompson reported for duty.  Lee had instructed the other radio operators stressing the importance of finding him wherever he was if a call came through.   Bobby would be on duty in the control room until Chip came back aboard, so Lee returned to his cabin to complete the rest of his reports.   It was a couple hours later when he finished up his last report.   He put it in the folder with the rest of them and set the folder underneath the one with the photos.   Janet would be proud of me.   He picked up the folder with the photos and scanned through them once more, disappointed he still couldn’t identify the man who had his wife.   He put them away, sighed deeply, and set out for the control room.   He knew Chip would be returning shortly to relieve Bobby. 

Lee saw that Thompson, Spark’s replacement, had returned and was getting some last-minute information from Sparks.  

“Bobby, as soon as Sparks is finished with Thompson, you can leave.   I’ll stay here until Chip returns.”

“Thank you, sir,” Bobby said as Sparks stood up, grabbed his jacket, cover and walked towards the two men.

“Skipper, I’ve instructed Thompson on what I was doing, so there should be no problems.”

“Thanks, Sparks, Bobby, for taking the second shift,” Lee told his men.  

Bobby put on his service jacket, took his cover and the two men headed up the ladder and out of the sub.   Lee sat down in the nose, watching the service crews on the other docks working on some of the submarines that were stationed there.    It wasn’t too long before he heard Chip’s familiar steps on the ladder.  He saw Lee in the nose and walked over to him.

“Any news?” Chip asked holding his cover in his hand and a bag of take-out food in the other hand.

“No nothing,” Lee replied disappointedly.

“Lee, they’ll call,” Chip said trying to reassure his best friend.    “Here, I brought you dinner.   We went to this fabulous seafood place, so I ordered you steak and lobster.   Let me stow my gear and I’ll have Cookie heat it up and bring it to the nose with some fresh coffee.”

Smiling, “Thanks Chip…I appreciate it.”  Lee noticed Harry wasn’t with him, “Where’s the Admiral?”

“He’ll be here shortly.  He went with Dr. Simmons to check out his laboratory and pick up his gear, since he’ll be spending the night on the boat so we can get an early start in the morning.”

Chip closed the crash doors only leaving a gap large enough for him to fit through in case there was a problem and called the galley to take care of Lee’s dinner.

Cookie brought in Lee’s dinner a few minutes later along with the coffee and some cookies he’d hidden from the crew, hoping to do what he could to ease the Skipper’s worry just a little bit.  


While Lee ate his dinner, Chip munched on the cookies not missing the worry etched on his ‘brother’s’ face.   Neither man said anything as he ate. 

“That was really good,” Lee said when he finished.   He took the napkin off his lap and placed on the tray.   He poured himself another cup of coffee and refilled Chip’s.  Chip offered him a cookie, but Lee shook his head no.

The two friends sat looking out the observation nose windows at the activity taking place on the docks when they heard Harry’s voice in the control room.   Both men quickly stood up and walked over to the crash doors as Chip pressed the button opening them the rest of the way.

“Good evening, Admiral,” Lee said walking over to Harry as he waited off to the side for a man on the ladder to come down.  

“Any news?” Harry asked immediately.

“No sir,” Lee replied noting the disappointed look on Harry’s face.

“Alex, I’d like to you meet Lee Crane, Captain of the Seaview.”

“Nice to meet you Dr. Simmons,” Lee responded shaking his hand.

“Please, it’s Alex and I’m very sorry to hear what has happened to your wife.   I’m sure you’ll hear from them.  I know how hard it is to miss someone you love. Harry reassured me that the mission will go on and that I’m in good hands with Commander Morton and the rest of your crew.”

“Thank you, sir,” Lee answered.   He figured Harry would have told him about the kidnapping since they would be leaving in the morning for Ibiza.   He also knew the Dr. Simmons had a family emergency causing him to postpone the mission earlier, so he was very understanding.   It was certainly a welcome change from the many egotistic, self-absorbed scientists Seaview had hosted in the past.

There were more voices topside as Sharkey, Kowalski, Riley and Patterson came down the ladder.  

“Kowalski, here will take your gear Dr. Simmons,” Lee said.  

 “Aye, sir,” Ski replied and could also tell by the look on his Skipper’s face that he hadn’t heard anything.

“Lee, I’m going to show Alex the lab and the rest of the boat, after that I’ll be in my cabin.  I’m going to call Angie and tell her what has occurred.  I want to make sure she knows to pass on any phone calls in case the kidnapper contacts the Institute,” Harry remarked.

“Yes, sir,” Lee replied.  “I’ll let you know if I hear anything.”

When Harry and Alex left the control room, Harry glanced back and saw how worried he was that he hadn’t heard from the kidnappers.

“Chip, why don’t you call it a day.   I’ll stay here and wait for the rest of the men to return.  I’m sure you have quite a few reports that need to be completed.”

“I sure do.  I can’t believe how many. Did we always do this much paperwork?”

“Yes, I didn’t realize how much we’ve come to depend on Janet now that she’s not around,” Lee replied sadly.  

“She’ll be back to do our paperwork,” Chip answered encouragingly as he patted Lee on the shoulder.   Chip walked up the staircase and entered his cabin where he removed his tie and rolled up his sleeves ready to dive into the reports.


It was 2245 when Taper finally returned to the control room with his clipboard.   “Skipper, all the crew has reported in from shore leave.”

“Thanks, Scott.   You’re relieved,” Lee told him as he picked up the mic.   “Deck detail, secure all hatches.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” they replied.

Lee stood in the control room listening as the hatches were closed and locked and waited for the men as they scrambled down the ladder.  Since they were in port, no one would be on duty except Thompson who would turn over the communications system to Josh in a couple of hours.   He’d already been briefed on what to do if a call came through for the captain.   Lee never liked the eerie silence of the control room when all the equipment and consoles were shut down.   He left through the aft hatch noticing the lights in the passageways had been dimmed.  Seaview was tucked in the for the night.  No need for a walk around, he thought so he made his way up the ladder near sick bay and ran into Jamie as he walked down the passageway to his cabin.

“Any news?” he asked hopefully.

“No, nothing at all.   The admiral and I are leaving in the morning if I’m not contacted,” Lee replied anxiously.

“Well then, you better get some sleep.   You look pretty tired,” Jamie added.

“Yes sir,” Lee answered with a slight grin.   “Good night, Jamie.”

“Night Skipper.”

Lee entered his cabin, undid his tie and unbuttoned his shirt.   He went to the head and washed his face hoping the cool water would help ward off the beginnings of a headache.  He sat down at the desk then opened the file with the photos.   He looked through them again but still couldn’t make out who the man was.  He finished getting ready for bed and climbed in the bunk.   He laid his hand behind his head, tired but unable to fall asleep and wondering who had Janet and where they’d taken her.  


Janet woke up at 8:00 the next morning to the sun shining through the drapes she closed when she went to bed.   She slept better than she anticipated, more than likely from the stress of the kidnapping as well as the jet lag.  She headed for the outdoor shower still not sure it was as private as it looked.  Having no other bathing choice, she took a quick shower and put on a blue skirt with a white sleeveless top.  She looked at her cheek and saw it was a nice shade of purple and tried to cover it with make-up but the purple still showed, so she gave up.    She put her reader back in her bag and set it alongside her purse.  I sure would like to get off this island, but if my hunch is correct, Lee will be taking my place, Janet thought as she plopped down on the bed.  I don’t know if I can live with that.   I’ve got to figure something out, or hope Lee can figure out a way for both of us to escape.

She hadn’t been sitting there too long when she heard someone at the door undoing the lock.  

Before she could open the door, she heard a knock, “Mrs. Crane, I’m here to take you to breakfast.”

She recognized the voice as Andre’s.   She walked over to the door and opened it.

“Good morning.   It’s almost 9:00, please come with me, Mr. Huchay is expecting you to be on time.”

“What if I don’t want to go?” Janet declared curtly.

Andre took a deep breath, “That is not an option,” he replied grabbing her arm.

Janet pulled her arm out of his grasp and followed him to the dining room where the doors were open letting in a warm breeze even though it was early in the morning. 

“Mr. Huchay will be here shortly,” Andre told Janet and left her with Cara who was arranging pastries and fruit on the side board.   “Would you like some coffee?” she asked.

“Yes, please,” Janet replied.  She realized she was quite hungry, since she didn’t finish her dinner last night.

Cara handed her the cup, “Thank you,” Janet said adding some cream and sugar to it before she walked over to the open doors where she could smell the orange and lemon blossoms.   “How long have you been here?” Janet asked Cara trying to make conversation and find out some information.

“A few…” she started to say, but stopped talking abruptly when Huchay entered the room.

“Good morning, Janet,” Huchay greeted as Cara quickly handed him a cup of coffee.  “I hope you slept well…I see you have a nice bruise on your face.”

Janet just glared at him.   

“Cara, serve breakfast immediately.   I have a lot to do this morning.”

“Yes sir.   I’ll be back in five minutes,” she answered and left the dining room to make them breakfast.

“Janet, sit down,” Ghag ordered.

Instead of following his order, she went over to the side board and poured another cup of coffee, before sitting down at the table, invoking a dirty look from her captor, which she ignored.

“I have quite a bit of business to take of this morning, but as soon as I’m finished, we’ll see about contacting your husband,” Ghag said curtly.  “You’ll have to stay in your room until I’m finished.”

“Where else would I go,” Janet responded indifferently.

Cara returned with their breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.  Neither one of them spoke as they ate.  Huchay finished eating and stood from the table.  “Andre will take you back to your room.   I’ll send for you when I’m ready.”

Janet put her napkin on the table just as Andre came into the room.   He walked her back down the hall, opened the door and waited for her to enter.   When she was in the room, he closed the door and locked it again.


Janet sat down on the bed for a few minutes before getting up and heading for the outdoor shower.   Maybe I can remove some of the wooden slats, she thought.  She looked to see if she could find one that was loose or broken.  She located one at the top, but wasn’t tall enough to reach it so she grabbed one of the chairs from the bedroom and placed it in the shower.   She hopped on the chair and managed to wiggle the slat away but couldn’t see anything.   She needed to pry off a few more boards.  They wouldn’t budge so she had to look for something to use as a lever.   She looked in the bathroom and found the rod from an old towel bar and managed to pry a few more slats away from the post, only to find a chain link fence holding back a thick hedge.

“Damn, there is no way to escape this place,” she mumbled stepping off the chair and put it back in the bedroom.  She didn’t bother replacing the slats she removed and left them on the shower floor.

She returned to the bedroom and checked her watch only to discover that it had been only an hour since breakfast.   Bored, and with no other ideas for escape, she took the reader out of the bag and moved to the small table that overlooked the patio. She turned on the reader hoping again that it would connect, but the circle just kept turning.  She tapped her fingers on the table hoping an idea would pop in her head on how she could escape, but nothing came to her, so she read her book.


She’d been reading for about two hours when she heard the door being unlocked.  She quickly put her reader away and went to the door, opening it to find Andre standing at the door.

“Mr. Huchay, wants to see you.”

“It’s about time,” Janet replied impatiently.

She walked along side Andre as they made their way down the hallway to the right side of the house, when they came upon a closed door.   Andre knocked, opened it and waited for Janet to enter the room before closing the door after her.  Ghag sat behind a glass topped desk with two white chairs in front of it.  

“Sit down,” Ghag said pointing to the chair on the right.  “It’s after 12:00 here so where would your husband be now?”

Janet sat down in the chair he indicated, but did not respond to his question.

“Look, if you want to see him again, you’d better tell me where he is,” he demanded.

“He’s on Seaview.”

“Let’s send your husband a text message, shall we?” he said removing her phone from the drawer in his desk.  “Put in the code to unlock the phone,” he ordered.

Janet was reluctant to do what he asked, but figured she had no choice if she wanted to see Lee.   She took the phone from his extended hand and put in her code.   Ghag quickly took the phone from her before she could press any other buttons.   He looked over the phone and found the message app.

He typed in his message.   If you want to see your wife again, surface the boat so we can talk face to face.   Text back when you’re on the surface.   He pressed the send button and the phone dinged letting him know the message was sent.

“Let’s see how long it takes him to follow orders,” Huchay snapped.

Hoping to reach a soft spot, she tried a different tactic.  “I have a good idea why you’re punishing me and Lee, but is that going to bring back Hai?” Janet asked softly.

Enraged over her comment, Ghag stood up placing his hands on his desk looming over Janet, “Don’t you ever mention her name again,” he sneered.  “It’s his fault she died and I’ll never stop making you, your husband or the people you care about pay for that.”

Boy, that was the wrong approach, Janet thought, but didn’t say anything and sat there waiting for Lee to respond to the text.  As much as she wanted to see and talk to him, she privately hoped he wouldn’t get the message, because she was terribly afraid of what Ghag would do to him.


Seaview left the naval base at 0500.   Lee and Chip were in the control room while Harry and Dr. Simmons sat in the nose holding on tightly, while Lee put the boat through some serious angles and dangles making sure that none of the cargo they stowed moved around. 

“Does this always happen?” Alex asked after Lee finished the maneuvers, satisfied everything was stored properly.

“Yes, Captain Crane likes to put Seaview through her paces,” Harry nodded.

“Thank goodness, I didn’t have breakfast,” Alex replied with grin.

Harry smiled back at his friend, “How about we get breakfast now?   Cookie should have things ready now that Lee’s finished shaking us up.”

“Sounds good,” Alex replied as the two men stood up and wandered into the control room.

“Sorry if I made you nervous, Dr. Simmons” Lee apologized noticing he looked a little unnerved during the maneuvers.

“No problem, I just wasn’t prepared for it,” Alex answered.

“Lee, we’re on our way to breakfast, you and Chip will join us,” Harry stated letting Lee know he needed to eat before they left for Ibiza.

“Yes sir, we’ll be there in a few minutes,” Lee responded knowing Chip would be hungry by now as it was 0600.   He put his pencil down on the chart table when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.   He quickly removed it, put in his code and found the message from Janet’s kidnapper. 

“Whoever has Janet wants me to surface the boat so we can talk face to face.”

“Well, what the hell are you waiting for!” Harry exclaimed.  

Lee looked at Chip, but he didn’t need to tell him to surface as he already had the mic in his hand, “Surface, surface,” he ordered and stowed the mic.

When the boat had broached the surface and leveled off, Lee sent his message.   On the surface.  “Now maybe we’ll find out who has her and what they want.”

Chapter 8

Huchay sat back down at his desk.  Janet could see he was still very upset over her comment.   I hope I didn’t make things worse, she thought as she heard the ding on her phone signaling she had a message.

Huchay shoved the phone at her, “Put in the code,” he commanded.

Janet punched in the numbers and Huchay grabbed the phone back before she could read the message.

“Well, it seems your husband does follow orders and not just issue them,” Huchay said snidely.

Janet sighed knowing Lee would do anything to find her.  

In ten minutes we’re going to Skype via computer, so add me to you contact list if you want to talk to you wife,” Huchay typed and put in his contact information and sent the message.    “Give me your contact information.”

Janet gave him Lee’s information assuming they would use his computer.  Ghag entered it on his computer and sat back waiting for Lee to respond.

The phone dinged back stating that he put in the information and was waiting for him to place the call.


Lee looked at the message he received back.   “Whoever has Janet is using Skype to contact us, so I’m guessing it’s from a private computer and his information gives no hint at who he is.   Let’s use the computer in my cabin,” Lee stated.   “Admiral, Chip, I would like both of you to see and hear who we’re dealing with.”   Harry and Chip nodded in the affirmative. 

“Sorry Alex,” Harry said.   “Why don’t you go to breakfast and we’ll join you shortly.”

“If it’s all the same to you, Harry, I’ll wait here,” Alex answered seeing how relieved they were to hear from whomever had Janet.

“Lt. O’Brien, you have the Conn and continue on course,” Lee ordered, hastily heading up the spiral staircase, and completely missing the clear concern of very man in the control room.

“Aye, aye, sir,” Bobby responded.   

The three men hurried up the staircase to Lee’s cabin.   He turned on the computer and clicked on the Skype button, put in the kidnapper’s information and waited from him to make contact.   He didn’t have to wait too long before he heard the ringing, letting Lee know who was calling him.


“Hello, Commander,” Ghag said when Lee’s face appeared on the computer screen.  

“Huchay,” Lee muttered unhappily recalling all his prior experiences with Huchay.   He knew Huchay had no scruples when it came to getting what he wanted; even killing if necessary.   He also knew his wife was in extreme danger.   

“Yes,” Ghag replied back with an evil grin.   “I’m the one who took your wife, and if you want to see her again you’ll follow my instructions to the letter.”

“Let me see her now so I know she’s alright,” Lee demanded.

Huchay laughed, “You are in no position to make demands, but I’ll let her talk to you.”    He turned the computer around so Lee could see Janet.”

“Hi Lee,” Janet whispered.   

“Are you okay…what happen to your face…did he hit you?’ Lee asked noticing the bruise on Janet’s cheek.

“I’m okay,” she replied softly. 

“Huchay,” Lee yelled, “get back on the computer.   You bastard!!!”

“Now Commander, that’s no way to talk.   Just give me what I want and I’ll give you back your precious wife,” Huchay snarled.

“What do you want?” Lee asked seething expecting Huchay to demand his life for Janet’s, something he was completely willing to do.

“Well, I wanted to trade her for you,” Ghag started to say but Lee cut him off.

“I’ll come…tell me when and where.”

“No,” Janet exclaimed realizing what she surmised was coming true.  She figured Huchay would turn Lee over to the People’s Republic to make up for his past mistakes.   She didn’t know much about the PR, but if they got a hold of Lee, he would be tortured, put in prison or killed, judging by how he’s returned from previous encounters with them.  “I’m not letting you.”  

“Janet,” Lee snapped, “not your choice.”

Janet let out a deep sigh knowing she’d never see her husband again if he was traded for her.  

“How nice,” Ghag said sarcastically.   “She’d give up her life for you too, but I don’t want you.   While you would make a nice gift to the PR redeeming my previous errors, I’m looking for a bigger prize.”

“Prize?” Lee asked confused as to what Huchay wanted and turned toward Harry and Chip who shrugged their shoulders, as they had no clue as to what he wanted.

“Yes, I’m willing to trade your wife for…Admiral Nelson,” Huchay declared.

“No!” Lee and Janet both shouted.

“My, my, you’re both willing to give up your lives for the Admiral...he must mean a lot to you.   Take it or leave it.  If you leave it, Commander, I suggest you say good bye to you wife right now, because you’ll never see her again,” Huchay hissed.

“When and where?” Harry said as he pushed Lee away from the computer.

“Admiral Nelson, how courageous of you to be traded for Janet.   You must love her very much.”

“You bet I do and I’ll do anything to get her back,” Harry replied impatiently.  

“There’s a small island in the Mediterranean Sea called Navetien.  Meet me on the island by 5:00 pm today. You’ll find a house and I’ll be waiting there to make the exchange.  Don’t be late…you don’t want to find out what happens if you’re late.   Here are the coordinates.”

Ghag quickly clicked off Skype.    “Looks like you’re going to go home after all,” Ghag spat.

Janet pushed herself up from the chair and tried to slap Ghag’s face, but he caught her hand and twisted her wrist causing her to yell out in pain.  “Don’t you ever try that again, or Nelson will make the journey for nothing, because you won’t be around.” Ghag dropped her arm and walked around the desk to the door, where he knew Andre would be there waiting.

“Take her back to her room and return here.  We have a lot to do before we leave,” Ghag said to Andre.

“Yes, Mr. Huchay,” Andre replied as Janet walked out of the room.  She rubbed her wrist even more pissed now that she’d put the admiral in danger, as she followed Andre back to her room where he locked her in again.


“Huchay! Huchay!” Lee yelled as he clicked off Skype.   “I have to see a map,” Lee said as he quickly stood up from his desk and headed out of the cabin running down the passageway and staircase to the control room.

He went directly to the chart table and pulled out a map of the area as Harry and Chip finally caught up to him.   He quickly located the coordinates on the map and figured out how long it would take FS-1 flying at Mach 1 to reach the island.  “Damn, he isn’t giving me much time to get to that island, even flying at Mach 1, it’ll be close.”

While Lee was checking out the coordinates, Chip ordered Sharkey and Patterson to prepare FS-1 for immediate takeoff.  

“Lee, we better take some back-up, we’ll have to figure out a way to get Janet out and not turn me over,” Harry said.

“Yes, I was thinking the same thing.   Chip, Kowalski, you’ll come with us,” Lee replied getting a nod from Harry.   “Sir, I think we should also have Seaview follow us out there.  I know it’ll take her some time to get there, but just in case we need more support we could ferry people back and forth if needed.”

Harry looked at Lee and didn’t respond to his question.  Wondering how Alex would respond knowing how anxious he was to get to Antarctica since the mission had already been postponed for a few weeks.   He started to extend his apologies to their guest scientist when Alex who had been listening to their conversation from the nose approached Harry.

“Harry, do whatever needs to be done to rescue Mrs. Crane.   Please don’t worry about the mission, we’ll continue on once we have her.”

“Thank you, Alex,” Harry said gratefully.    “Now let’s get going.”

Chip took the keys to the arms locker, from his pocket and removed four .45 service pistols and laid them on the chart table.   He then proceeded to the radio shack and had Sparks give him four radios.

After checking out FS-1, Chief Sharkey waited in the nose for Lee.   “Sure, you can’t use one more?” he implored.

“Sorry Chief, there’s only room for four,” Lee replied patting him on the shoulder.  “Someone’s going to have to ride in the bunk anyway.”

“Okay, Skipper but I’ll be ready if you need me,” he answered picking up the guns and radios.

“Bobby plot a course and bring her up to flank speed.   We’ll check in with you once we arrive at the island.”

“Aye, aye sir,” he answered working on the course while they were talking. 

The five men headed over to the nose just as Patterson’s head cleared the hatch.  Sharkey handed him the guns and radios which he stowed on the sub.    “All ready to go, sir,” Patterson said handing Lee the check-off sheet to sign.    Lee quickly initialed it and headed down the ladder followed by Harry, Chip and Kowalski.   Lee settled into the left seat, and Harry into the co-pilot’s chair.  Lee started the engines, attached the throat mic, checked in with Sparks and ordered the docking bay doors open as the rest of the men quickly buckled in afraid Lee would leave the boat before they were ready.  

Lee lowered FS-1 out of her bay and quickly headed for the surface passing in front of the boat.   Alex watched as she sailed by, “Good luck,” he whispered and headed to the wardroom.


Alex entered the wardroom and noticed Jamie was sitting there alone.   He took some breakfast items and walked over to Jamie.

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” he asked.

“No Dr. Simmons, not at all,” Jamie replied as Alex sat down across from him.

“Thank you, Dr. Jamieson,” Alex answered.

“Please call me Jamie.”

“Okay if you call me Alex.”

Jamie smiled and took a sip of coffee.  “I’m assuming Lee got a call from the kidnappers, I felt Seaview shudder when the docking bay doors opened.   Where did he go…who’d he take?”

“Yes, he received a call and has to be at some island in five hours.   He’s afraid he won’t make it in time,” Alex explained.  “The admiral, Mr. Morton and the sonar man went with him.” 

“He’ll make it in time,” Jamie assured him.   “Nothing will stop him or any of the others from getting to Janet. 

“They seem very close, none of them batted an eyelash when Lee asked them to accompany him.”

“You’re correct they are very close.   Lee and Chip were roommates at the academy and closer than most brothers.  The admiral thinks of Lee as a son and he’s very fond of Janet.  Kowalski, the sonar man, works well with Lee, so I’m not surprised he took him, besides that, he’s also a trained field medic and Lee has a penchant for getting into trouble or should I say trouble seems to find him.”

“If you need any help in Sick Bay, I’m also a medical doctor and will help out in any way that I can.”

“Hopefully, I won’t need your assistance but I’ll call if I need you,” Jamie said as he got up from the table.


Once Lee passed in front of the nose, he piloted FS-1 away from the boat and went airborne.  Even though they were in the middle of the ocean, he made sure there were no other aircraft in their vicinity and headed up.  When he was at his desired altitude, he engaged to Mach 1.  The four men were thrown back in their seats, but relaxed when they reached full speed. 

“Chip, look on the computer and see if you can find any information regarding the island of Navetien,” Lee asked as he turned on his throat mic.

“FS-1 to Nelson Institute,” Lee hailed knowing someone would be manning the radio.

“Nelson Institute,” the familiar voice of Trish replied.  “Did you find Janet?”

“The kidnapper called and we’re to meet him on an island in the Mediterranean.  We’re on our way now, I’ll send our flight plan to you in case there’re any problems.  It’s too early to call the admin office, let Angie know when she comes in.”

“Okay, Lee.   Good luck.  Make sure you let us know when you have her,” Trish responded.  

“We’ll keep you informed the best we can,” Lee answered, anxious to move to his next task.   “Can you connect me to Admiral Johnson, he should be in his office.

“I have your connection,” Trish said after a couple of minutes.

“Thanks,” Lee replied.

“Johnson,” the admiral answered.  

“Admiral, we found out who took Janet.   Ghag Huchay has her.  We’re on our way to pick her up.”

“Huchay?” Johnson questioned.   “How did he get her?”

“He didn’t tell me, but I’m thinking it was dumb luck since no one knew she was going to Ibiza.  She was in the wrong place and he was in the right place.   I’m not sure how he found out who she was, but I’ll worry about that later.  We’re on our way to the island of Navetien in the Mediterranean.   Ever hear of it?”

“No, but what aren’t you telling me?” Johnson inquired knowing Lee well enough that he wasn’t revealing everything.   “I’m sure he’s not just going to hand her over with no compensation.”

Lee sighed deeply, “No, he’s trading Janet for Admiral Nelson.”

“Damn,” Johnson exclaimed.   “I’m guessing Harry went along with it and you’ve got a plan on how to get them both back.”

“Yes, the Admiral went along with it but right now no plan.  I want to scope out the area before I can figure out how to get Janet back and keep the admiral safe.    I’ll be in touch when I can,” Lee stated and broke the connection.

Harry chuckled lightly, “I was hoping you’d have something in mind.”

“Sorry Admiral, I want to see what we’re dealing with before I can formulate a plan.”

“We’ll figure out something,” Harry assured him.


While Lee was talking to the institute, Chip filed the flight plan and then started searching for information on the island of Navetien.   He read what little information he found online, but noticed that is was for sale so he looked up the real estate information where he found quite a bit more about it.

“Chip, did you find out anything about the island?” Lee asked when he finished talking to Johnson.

“Yes, the island is about 35 square miles, mountainous, an hour south of Ibiza, but only thirty minutes from the coast of Spain.   It was at one time an old fort, but was sold to a private owner who converted it into a 3,000-square foot villa.   The house is situated on the highest point on the island and it has a sheltered harbor and mooring facilities.  There’s also a beach and a couple of lagoons.”

“That’s sure a lot of information for a small island,” Harry commented.

“I found out the place is for sale and checked out the real estate information, otherwise there was very little on it.”  Chip showed the real estate pictures to Harry and then to Lee.

“Does it give the owner of the property?” Lee inquired.

Chip looked over the information, “No, it doesn’t list the owner or the price.”

“Wonder why Huchay picked it…I’m betting he doesn’t live there but near there,” Lee mused.   “Thanks, Chip.”

The four men looked out the viewports and settled in for the balance of the journey.


Ghag sat back down at his desk.   “Damn, maybe I should get rid her instead of keeping her…she never gives up,” he mumbled as he finished formulating his plan.    He waited for Andre to return so he could fill him in on what they needed to do to bring this to an end.   He didn’t have to wait too long before there was a knock on the door.

“Enter,” Ghag answered as Andre walked in and closed the door.  “Did she give you any trouble?”

“No sir,” Andre replied.  

“Here’s the plan,” Ghag said, “I’m trading Janet for Admiral Nelson.   He’s a worth more to the PR than Crane, not that he wouldn’t be a good trade, but Nelson means a lot to both of them so the hurt will be that much greater. They’re meeting me on the island of Navetien by 5:00.  I want you to prepare the yacht and the cabin cruiser.   You, me, and Janet will be on the yacht along with the regular crew.   Assign four men to the other boat.   I’ll make the trade at the house.  Once I have the admiral, you’re to take him to the cabin cruiser and get the hell out of there. Head for Ibiza where there’ll be a plane waiting to take off for the PR as soon as you and Nelson are aboard.   Once you’ve dropped him off with the head of security, who will be waiting for him, catch the plane back to Estelo.    Any questions?”

“Do you think Crane and Nelson will come alone?”

“No, they’ll probably have back-up with them.   Make sure the men on the cabin cruiser are armed.  I’ll return by yacht to the island after I’m finished.  Go get things ready.   We need to leave by 4:30. I’ll meet you and the rest of the men at 4:15 for some final instructions.”

“Yes sir,” Andre replied leaving the office and headed down to the boat dock.

When I’m finished only one Crane will walk away…alone, Huchay thought after Andre had left.  He picked up the phone and dialed the dock.   “Rig the boat, but tell no one,” he ordered the man on the phone and hung up.

Huchay calmly looked out over the ocean with an evil grin on his face.


Lee and company arrived at the coordinates for the island at 4:45; fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.   He flew low over the island so he could check it out before deciding on a place to land FS-1.

“I see the house on top of the mountain; it doesn’t look too hard to get to.   I don’t see any boats docked in the harbor so I’m assuming Huchay hasn’t arrived yet.    Admiral, did you notice any boats heading towards the island?”

“No, in fact, there’re no boats anywhere around here.”

“Another reason why Huchay chose this place…even though it’s close to land there’s nothing else around it.   I’m going to land in the lagoon on the south side of the island near the beach.  It’s larger than the other one, more secluded and closer to the house so maybe we can surprise Huchay and catch him off guard since we’re here first.”

Lee glided the little yellow sub into the lagoon and maneuvered her into place with her rear hatch facing the beach.  While Kowalski unbuckled his harness and undogged the hatch, Lee radioed Seaview letting them know they had arrived.   Kowalski took a gun belt and radio and put it on before handing out the rest of the weapons and radios.

“Chip, you take one but I don’t want the Admiral and I to have one.   If Huchay sees that we’re armed, he might just forget the trade and take Janet back with him or someone might get hurt, but we’ll each take a radio.   Let’s explore the area and see what kind of options we have if we need to get out quickly.”

Chip and Harry nodded in agreement as Ski handed Chip a gun belt.  He put it around his waist and buckled it in place. He then took the radio and stashed it in his uniform pocket.  Lee and Harry followed suit with their radios. The four men left the sub and walked up the beach to a stone staircase that would take them to the top.   With Kowalski in the lead, they climbed the stairs and paused at the top to look around.   They could make out the house not too far from the staircase. 

“Let’s check out the house first and see what we’re dealing with,” Lee suggested.   

The four men headed down a short brick path and came upon the side of a large stucco house with a covered patio and another set of stairs in front.

“Chip, you and the admiral check out the house.   Kowalski check out the front and see where those stairs lead and I’ll cover the back.” 

As Lee walked around the back of the house he came upon another set of stairs.   Curious as to where the staircase led, he headed down to the bottom of the stone stairway with its rope handrails. It stopped abruptly at the bottom of a lagoon.   He stood on the last step and looked out over the blue-green water and the stone archway that connected one side of the mountain to the other.  There weren’t many trees or plants on the side of the craggy mountain.   Underneath the arch was a passageway from the lagoon to the ocean.  He paused there for a few moments, fists clenched, hoping things would work out so he would get his wife back and not have to turn over the man he regarded as his father to Huchay.    Before long he heard Chip calling his name.  Lee turned and headed back up the staircase just as Chip was heading down.

“Anything down there?” he asked carefully.

“Nothing that’s going to help us.   There’s only the lagoon leading out to the ocean with an arch that connects the two mountains, but it’s too small for any type of boat except a small cabin cruiser,” he replied and headed up the stairs.   “It’s really warm here, long sleeves and ties aren’t the best choice of clothing,” Lee remarked as he removed his tie and put it in his pocket.  He undid the top button on his shirt and rolled up his sleeves.   He noticed Chip had already done the same thing.  The two men returned to the top of the mountain where Harry was waiting but Kowalski hadn’t returned from the stairs in the front. 

“The house is locked which is to be expected.   From what I can tell, it doesn’t look like anyone’s been here in a while.  The furniture’s covered with cloths and there’s cobwebs on the front and patio doors,” Harry explained.

A few seconds later, Kowalski appeared at the top of the stairs.  “What’s down there?”  Lee asked urgently.

“That staircase leads down to the harbor.  Even though the stairs are terraced, it’s a little steep in some places.   Wood handrails on each side…deep drop on the right…shallower drops on the left with grassy areas.

Lee rubbed his hand over his face.   “I know he’s not going to come alone so we need to be ready to overtake his men.  He’s also going to assume that the admiral and I didn’t come alone so Chip and Ski I want you to position yourselves on each side of the house, but stay out of sight until Huchay releases Janet and tries to take the Admiral away.   Once Janet is safe, make your presence known. Hopefully, we’ll out-number his men.  I’m not thrilled that the Admiral and I aren’t armed, but I don’t want to do anything to anger Huchay.”

“What happens if he manages to get the Admiral?” Ski asked solemnly.

“Do whatever it takes to keep them from leaving the island with the Admiral.  If he leaves this island, we might never find him,” Lee stated vehemently.   “I realize this probably isn’t the best plan, but right now Huchay is holding all the cards.   I’m open to any ideas.”

Harry and the other two men looked at Lee and shook their heads as they waited for Huchay to show up.

Chapter 9

After Huchay finished talking to Andre, he had his lunch brought to him and then instructed Cara to bring Janet a tray.   Finally, I’ll avenge your death, Hai, my love, he thought as he looked out over the ocean while eating.   Cara returned thirty minutes later to remove the tray and quickly left her boss.   He completed the project he was working on and made a few phone calls.   He left his office and proceeded to his room where he prepared to leave for the island.   He moved the picture on the wall, opened the safe and removed his gun, a snub nose Smith & Wesson .38 that fit nicely into his pant’s pocket.   He closed the safe, put the picture back in place and checked his watch; it was 4:00.   He left the room and made his way down to the dock.   He wanted to check in with the man he spoke with on the phone.

When he arrived at the dock, he headed directly to a mysterious man standing by the cabin cruiser.   “All set?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” the man replied and handed him a small black box which he put in his pocket.

He walked over to the larger dock where the yacht bobbed gently on the sea in the bright sunshine.   “It’s a beautiful day,” he muttered to no one.


Janet sat down at the table in the room still rubbing her wrists wondering how far away the island was where they were meeting Lee and the admiral.  She was fairly good with directions except when they were at sea; unless she could see the sun, she had no clue which direction they were heading.   She hadn’t been sitting there very long when she heard the door being unlocked.   The guard opened the door and let in Cara with a tray.

“Mr. Huchay ordered me to bring you lunch,” Cara said as she set down the tray on the table.

“Cara, do you know where the island of Navetien is?” Janet asked quietly.

“About…” Cara started to say but was interrupted by the guard who ordered her to leave.   Cara whispered “sorry” and quickly left the room.

“Damn,” Janet mumble as she heard as the door lock.  I wonder when we’re leaving, she thought as nibbled at the salad and drank the iced tea.  

When she ate what she wanted, she packed up her things and put her bags on the bed so she was ready when they came for her.  She returned to the table and looked distantly out the window at the mountains.


Before long the crew of the yacht, the men assigned to the cabin cruiser and Andre arrived at the dock.  Andre was surprised to find his boss already there.   He wondered why he was there early as he never arrived anywhere a head of time, nevertheless, he knew not to cross him.

The men stood waiting for Huchay to speak.    “I know you’re all familiar with the island of Navetien.  We’re going to be leaving here around 4:30.   The yacht will proceed to the main harbor and let off myself, Mrs. Crane, and Andre.  The rest of you will stay with the yacht unless we radio you.   The cabin cruiser will follow about five minutes behind us.  You’re to use the lagoon with the arch.  It might be a tight squeeze, but I know you can get her in there.  Also, throttle back your engine before you enter, I don’t want our guests to know that there’s another boat as it would ruin my surprise,” Huchay chuckled as he continued.  “The yacht will wait for you to clear the arch before proceeding to the harbor.  Once in the lagoon, idle the engine and make your way to the staircase.  Radio the yacht and let them know you’re in position so we can dock.  Also, keep the engine running on the yacht to disguise the engine noise from the cruiser.  Next, I want two men to stay with the cruiser and two men to go up the stairs to the back of the house.   I’ll radio the cruiser when I’m in position so the men can make their move.  Check around to see if there are any unexpected visitors besides the two men I’m expecting, I’m sure they won’t come alone.   Andre will fill you in on your destination.  I’ll return to the yacht and we’ll then head back here.   Any questions?  If not, be back here at 4:30,” Huchay ordered as he turned his back and headed up the stairs to the house.

The men looked at each other and four of the men headed to the cabin cruiser to make sure it was ready to go while the crew of the yacht checked her out.   Andre headed to his house to pack a bag since he wouldn’t be back for a couple of days.


Janet checked her watch and noticed it was 4:25.   The island we’re going to must be close, she thought knowing they were meeting Lee at 5:00.  She stood when she heard the door unlock a few seconds later.   The guard opened the door and Ghag walked in.

“Let’s go,” he said gruffly as he looked at the bed and saw her belongings sitting there and chuckled softly.

Janet picked up her bag and purse and threw them over her shoulder as she took her suitcase and followed Ghag out of the room.  They made their way to the center of the house and to the door they used when they arrived.   They walked down to the dock where Andre and the rest of the crew were waiting.   Ghag boarded the yacht while one of the crew took her suitcase and put it in the salon. 

Before she climbed on board, she noticed a smaller boat at the other dock with four men, I wonder if that boat is coming with us, she thought worriedly, knowing Lee would bring someone with him, but FS-1 could only hold four people so that would leave Lee greatly outnumbered.

“Hurry up,” Ghag snapped as he waited for her to board.

She hustled onto the boat not wanting to make Ghag angry.  Andre led her to the salon where she had been before.  She put her purse and bag on the floor and sat down in a chair.  She looked at her watch and saw they were leaving at 4:40. The crew pushed the boat away from the dock and they headed out to sea.   She could see they were heading into the sun, so she knew they were heading west.  Once the island was out of sight, Ghag entered the salon, took a bottle of water from the small bar before he sat down on the opposite chair from Janet.  

He took a swig of water, “I’m looking forward to seeing your goodbye to Nelson,” he smirked. 

Janet wanted to get up and slap him across the face, but knew he would have no qualms about hitting her back so she sat there and seethed.  Leaving Janet alone, Ghag entered a cabin off the salon and locked the door.   She stood up and looked out the window, but only saw water.   She checked her watch and saw it was 5:00.   I hope it isn’t too much farther, she thought knowing that Lee should have arrived at the island.   She walked to the door of the salon and opened the door only to be confronted by a crewman.

“Do you need something?” he asked politely.

“No, I just wanted to see where we were going.”

“Janet, get back here and sit down,” Ghag shouted as he entered the salon locking the cabin door after him.   “They’re not going to help you.”

Janet sighed deeply and sat back down.

“We’re almost there,” Ghag said as he sat across from her with a wry grin.

They hadn’t traveled too much longer when the yacht suddenly stopped.   Janet looked out the window and saw a large mountain.   This must be the island, she thought.   But why are we stopping…I don’t see a dock or place to moor a boat.


The cabin cruiser waited for five minutes as ordered before leaving the dock.   They proceeded to the island and caught up with the yacht as it waited by the arch.   The captain throttled back the engine when he entered the area by the arch.  He had to make sure he stayed in the middle where the water was deeper.  He slowly made his way through and into the lagoon where he maneuvered the boat into place near the bottom of the stairs.   Once he was in position, he idled down his motor and radioed Andre that they were in position.


The yacht remained stationary for several minutes before it started moving again.   Janet realized they were going slower than before.  She checked the window again and saw they were maneuvering into what looked to be a harbor.  She could see they were slowly making their way down a channel and before long they stopped at a large dock.   Two men jumped off the yacht and were standing on the dock waiting to tie her down.  She watched as the men quickly and easily tied down the large vessel and put out the gangplank, but noticed the engines were still running.  Why aren’t they shutting down the engines, she wondered.

Ghag left the salon and motioned for Janet to follow him.  She picked up her purse and bag while Andre who was at the door, grabbed her suitcase.   She walked behind Ghag and in front of Andre.   They have me surrounded so I can’t even try and escape to find Lee.   Besides, I wouldn’t have any idea where to go as all I see are mountains.


She walked between the two men down to the end of the dock where there was a stone staircase that had been carved out of the mountain.  The stairway wasn’t wide enough for more than one person to walk so she followed behind Ghag as they climbed up the steep stairs.   She noticed on the right side there was a steep drop to the water.   On the left side there were smaller drops and covered in grass.  As they progressed up the stairs the drops weren’t as deep.   Ghag stopped at the last landing which was wide enough for the three of them to walk up the last five steps together.  

“You will stay with me at all times as I’ll have no problems shooting you, your husband, or Nelson,” he warned in a whisper as he took her arm and guided her up the steps.

Andre reached into his pocket, removed a radio and pushed a button sending a signal to the cabin cruiser that they were in position, and to send the men up the back staircase.


Lee paced in front of the house while Chip went to the patio on his side of the house and would be able to see what was taking place without being seen.  Kowalski’s side also had a patio, so he was able to duck around a corner and could also see what was taking place.  Lee checked his watch and noticed it was 5:10 and no boat.

“What if he doesn’t come,” Lee said wiping the sweat off his brow.  

“He’ll be here,” Harry assured him not happy with the situation, but knowing he would do anything for Lee and Janet.

Lee stopped pacing, “Do you hear that, sounds like a boat approaching.”   He tried to look out over the ocean to see if he could spot the boat, but the trees blocked the view.

As the noise got louder, they knew that the boat was nearing the harbor.   They still couldn’t see the boat, but all four men knew by the sound of the engines that it was fairly large.  They heard the engines throttle down figuring it was entering the harbor.  

Lee and Harry stood in front of the house surprised that they could still hear the low rumble of the engines.

“Wonder why they didn’t shut down the engines?” Lee asked curiously.

“I guess they want to make a quick getaway,” Harry surmised.

“Thank you, Harry, for being willing to do this.  I promise I’ll never let them take you away,” Lee said softly as the two men waited in front of the house.

Harry patted Lee’s shoulder, “I know you won’t, son,” he replied.  


The trio reached the top of the stairs where Janet saw Lee and the admiral standing in front of a large single story brown stucco house with a green slate roof and a covered patio on both ends.  

Lee started to walk towards them, “Back off Commander…no happy reunion just yet,” Huchay snapped as they stood ten yards from Lee and Harry.

Lee returned to his position next to Harry and gave Janet a long look over to see if she’d been hurt.   She saw his look, smiled and rubbed her nose letting Lee know she loved him and was okay.  It was a signal they used when they couldn’t talk to each other.   He brushed his nose back but with no smile.

“Nice to meet you in person, Admiral Nelson,” Huchay said calmly. 

“Can’t say I agree,” Harry replied sarcastically.    “Let’s just get on with it.”

Before Huchay could reply, there was a great deal of commotion on both sides of the house.


Two of Huchay’s men pushed Chip and Kowalski to the front of the house.   Chip and Ski stood next to Harry and Lee while the other men moved next to Andre.

“We found them hiding on the patios,” one of the men said as he and took the guns they had taken from Lee’s men and handed them to Andre.

“I see you didn’t come alone,” Huchay spat.   “I figured you’d try and outsmart me again, but looks like I’ve outsmarted you this time.”

“Sorry Lee.   They came up the back staircase; we had no idea they were there,” Chip explained testily that they had gotten caught.

“It’s okay.  I should have known he’d bring more men.    Now I know why they didn’t shut down the engines, they used their boat to disguise the noise of the other boat.”

“Very good, Commander,” Huchay grinned.  “Now let’s get on with the exchange, so I can get the hell out of here.  I never did like this island,” he said tersely. “Admiral Nelson, my men are going to take you to a boat in the lagoon behind the house.  Please don’t cause any trouble, I don’t want to have to shoot Janet,” Huchay warned as he pulled out a gun and a small black box from his pocket. 

Lee clenched his fist knowing he had been outwitted. 

Harry looked at Janet and then Lee who had a grim look on his face.  “It’s okay,” he whispered to Lee. 

“Admiral…” Lee started to say when Harry stopped him.

“Just get Janet out of here safely…that’s an order,” Harry stated.

“How nice,” Huchay snarled.   “Tie his hands and take him away.”

One of the men standing next to Andre took a length of rope out of his back pocket, went over to Harry and tied his hands while the other man held a gun on him.  

“Wait, hand over my wife,” Lee fumed stopping the men from taking Harry.

“So sorry, Commander, but I guess you’ve been duped.   She’s not going back with you,” Huchay smirked.   “I lost my love and now you’ve lost yours, so we’re even.”

“Andre, get moving,” Huchay ordered.

Lee watched helplessly as they led Harry away.   He knew Huchay would shoot Janet if they made a move to stop them from taking Harry and he would then lose the two people he cared most about.  

Harry turned and looked at Lee.  He could see the pain in his eyes.  He nodded letting Lee know everything would be okay.  The men shoved Harry across the patio as Andre followed behind with a gun pointed at his back and down the stairs to the waiting cruiser.

“Damn you, Huchay,” Lee shouted charging Huchay, but stopped when he grabbed Janet around the neck, placed her in front of him and pointed the gun at her head.   He noticed Huchay also had a small black box in his hand.

“I suggest you stop right there…I have no qualms about shooting her,” Huchay hissed stopping Lee in his tracks.

“Lee, love you,” Janet said softly.

Lee, Chip and Kowalski stood there as Huchay walked backwards with Janet as his hostage to the staircase and then heard the engine of the cruiser engage, knowing they’d also lost the Admiral.

Chapter 10

Huchay made it down the first stair when Janet elbowed him in the ribs causing both of them to lose their balance and tumble over the wooden rail.

“Janet,” Lee yelled as the three men charged the staircase and saw that they had fallen about fifteen feet to a grassy ledge.   Lee climbed over the broken rail and Kowalski started to follow him.

“Ski, stay there.   There’s not much room on that ledge,” Lee said.   “I’ll need Chip and your help to get them up.”

“Aye, sir,” Ski replied and stood on the stairs with Chip.

Lee carefully worked his way down the side of the mountain, his leather oxfords making it more difficult as they kept slipping on the rocks.   He finally reached the spot where Janet and Huchay were laying.   Janet had fallen on top of Ghag and had her eyes closed.   He noticed a pool of blood forming behind Huchay’s head.

“Janet,” Lee whispered.   “Can you hear me?”

“Yes, Lee,” she replied weakly.   “Just trying to catch my breath.”   She slowly tried to sit up and gasped in pain grabbing her side.

“Sweetie, you probably cracked or broke a couple of ribs.  I’ll get you up top in a few minutes.”

“Okay, Lee,” Janet answered as Lee gently helped her off of Huchay and off to the side.  Lee checked on Huchay who opened his eyes and moaned in pain.

“Huchay, let me help you,” Lee said as he tried to check to see how badly he was injured, but pushed Lee’s hands away.

“It’s no use. I know I’m not going to make it, but I still win, Commander,” Huchay muttered victoriously and pressed a button on the black box he still had in his hand and then stopped breathing as blood flowed from his mouth and ears.   Seconds later a loud explosion was heard from the back of the house and Lee could see the black smoke coming from the lagoon.

“Shit,” Lee screamed, “he blew up the boat.”

“No,” Janet cried realizing that was the boat Harry was on.   “Go and find the Admiral.”

Lee looked at his wife and wanted to make sure she was safe, but also needed to try and save the man he considered his father.

“Lee, please go,” Janet pleaded with tears in her eyes, “I’ll be fine.”

He scrambled back up the mountain.   “Ski, come with me…Chip stay with Janet…find out where Seaview is.”

“Okay, Lee,” Chip responded and made his way down the mountain side to stay with Janet.    He took the radio out of his front pocket.

Seaview, come in Seaview, this Morton,” Chip said urgently.

“This is Seaview,” Sparks answered quickly.

“Let me talk to Mr. O’Brien.”

“Yes, sir,” Sparks replied and connected Chip with Bobby at the charting table.

“O’Brien here, Mr. Morton.”

“How long before you reach the coordinates?”

“About three hours,” Bobby responded.   “We’re running at flank.   I don’t know if I can get any more out of her.”

Chip sighed deeply, “Okay, just let Dr. Jamieson know we’re going to have some injuries.”

“Aye sir,” Bobby answered as he heard Chip sever the connection.

Seaview’s still a few hours away,” he told Janet as she whimpered in pain trying to get more comfortable.  He moved closer to her so she could lean against him.

“Did Lee find the Admiral?” she asked worriedly.

“Don’t know, I’m waiting for him to call,” Chip said as he saw Janet close her eyes.


Harry walked down the stairs with one man in front of him, Andre behind him with a gun pointed at his back and a second man following him.   Harry knew there was no way he could escape with a mountain on one side, the lagoon on the other and his hands tied.   He could see the boat at the bottom of the stairs and two men were standing on the deck so even if he dove into the water, they would fish him out before he could get away.   He was helped aboard and pushed into a seat.   One of the men on the boat headed to the wheel house, put the boat in gear and slowly idled her away from the staircase.  When he pointed the bow toward the arch, it exploded.   Harry and the rest of the men were thrown from the boat.   As he flew out, Harry caught his head on the canopy that covered the wheel house and was hit in the side and arm with flying debris.  He was furthest from the initial blast than his captors, but the blast had done its damage.  He hit the water and moaned in pain as he tried to use his arms and hands to keep his head above water.  He figured his arm was broken and his ribs were hurt when he tried to take a deep breath.   He also realized he had a head wound when the salt water burned his forehead.  He tried to turn over onto his back, but he couldn’t because his arms were tied in front of him.   He grimaced in pain when he took a deep breath and floated face down.  


Lee and Kowalski ran down the stairs to the lagoon where they saw the debris from the boat scattered across the surface.   Lee spotted a body and dove into the water.   When he reached the body, he discovered it was one of the crew.   Kowalski saw another one and he too dived in the water and swam over to it.   It was one of the men who took the Admiral.  

“Ski, keep looking,” Lee shouted as they swam among the debris where Lee saw another body.  He swam over to it and discovered it was Andre who was also dead.   

Lee continued to scan the water and saw the khaki uniform of the Admiral floating face down a short distance away.  He quickly swam over to him, turned him over, and saw Harry staring at him with his hands still tied.

Harry gasped for breath as soon as Lee turned him over.  “I guess I can hold my breath longer than I thought,” Harry quipped and went limp in Lee’s arms.

“Kowalski, over here,” Lee yelled as he held Harry’s head above the water.  

Kowalski swam over to Lee, untied the admiral’s hands and helped Lee bring him over to the platform.  From what Lee could see, Harry had a large cut on his forehead, a huge bump on his head, a broken arm and more than likely some broken or cracked ribs.

“Admiral,” Lee asked.  “Can you hear me?”

“Yes, Lee,” he replied weakly.    “The other men?”

“Dead. Just rest, Admiral…we’ll get you out of here.”

“It’s okay, Lee,” Harry grimaced and closed his eyes.  

“Kowalski, stay with the Admiral.   I’m going to check on Janet and bring FS-1 here.  We’ll take him directly to Seaview.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Kowalski answered.


The men on the yacht were sitting in the salon waiting for Huchay to return when they heard an explosion.  

“What the hell,” Luis, the captain of the yacht, yelled and ran out of the salon and saw black smoke coming from the lagoon.   “Gilberto, Esteban, Arturo come with me,” he said running to check out what had happened.  He grabbed the first aid kit that was stowed in the front before leaving the yacht.

The four men ran down the dock and up the stairs, but stopped briefly when they saw the broken rail.    Luis looked down and saw Huchay laying on the ledge along with Janet and Chip sitting nearby.

“Gilberto, Arturo, run down back stairs to the lagoon and see if there are any survivors,” he ordered handing Gilberto the first aid kit. 

“Luis, captain of the yacht,” Luis told Chip and Janet who opened her eyes when she heard the men talking.

“What happened to Mr. Huchay and Mrs. Crane?” Luis asked.

“Chip Morton,” he introduced himself quickly, “and I’ll explain later what happened.  Can you help me get Janet up from here?   I think she has a couple of cracked or broken ribs.”  

“What about Mr. Huchay…the boat?”

“Huchay’s dead and he blew up the boat before he died,” Chip replied grimly nodding to the black box still in his hand.

“Esteban, run down to the yacht and bring me some rope.   We’re going to have to pull her up to the top.   It might hurt a bit, but I don’t see any other way.”

“It’s okay,” Janet answered as Chip helped her up.   “Please just get me off the ledge.”

“While we wait for the rope, want to explain what took place?” Luis asked.

“I elbowed him, we lost our balance and fell over the rail landing on the ledge.   I didn’t mean for that to happen I just wanted to distract him so I could maybe get away,” Janet added painfully.  

“Why did he want to meet here?” Chip asked.

“He owns the island and we were ordered to bring Mr. Huchay and Mrs. Crane here,” Luis answered as they waited for Esteban to return with the rope.  “Sir, I’m just the captain of his yacht and I do what he tells me to do and ask no questions,” Luis added, “I don’t understand why his guest felt like she had to get away?”

“Guest is hardly the word for it,” Chip replied tersely.  “Mrs. Crane was kidnapped.”

Luis shook his head.  “I knew he was a rough man, but I swear, we didn’t know anything about that.”


The two men Luis sent down to the lagoon ran down the steps and stopped when they neared the bottom of the stairs and saw all the debris from the cruiser floating in the lagoon.  They saw Lee and Kowalski stooped down next to the Admiral at the bottom of the platform.

“Are there any more survivors?” Arturo inquired anxiously wondering about his friends.

“No, the rest of the men are dead,” Lee answered tensely noticing the first aid kit in his hand.  “Give me the first aid kit.”

 Arturo quickly handed the kit to Lee who opened it up so Kowalski could find what he needed to help the Harry.  He removed some gauze pads and an elastic bandage and wrapped it around Harry’s head trying to stop the bleeding then applied a small sling to his broken arm.

“Skipper we need to get him to the boat right away. I’m sure he has a concussion and we need to have his gash stitched.

“Okay, Ski,” Lee said as he stood up.  “There’s no way we’ll be able to carry him up these stairs and then down the ones to FS-1 so I’m going to bring her in here.   I don’t think she’ll fit between the arch but I’m hoping that it’s wider under the surface so I can submerge and fit through.   Just stay here with him.”

“Yes, sir,” Ski replied and continued to monitor the Admiral’s condition.


When Esteban arrived at the yacht he grabbed a large coil of rope and a life jacket, thinking it might help in getting Janet up from the cliff.  He quickly ran down the dock and up the stairs stopping at the top where he stood next to Luis.

“Here’s the rope and I brought the life jacket.   Since her ribs might be cracked or broke I thought she could put this on to help protect them,” Esteban added.

“Chip, have Mrs. Crane put on the life jacket and then tie the rope around her,” Luis said as he the tossed the jacket and end of the rope to Chip.

Chip caught the items.   “Janet, I’m going to put the life jacket on you to help protect your ribs.   Then I’m going to tie the rope around you, the lifejacket should help stabilize your ribs, but it’s going to hurt like hell.  Use your feet to help keep you away from the rocks, but let us do all the work.

“Okay, Chip,” Janet replied wincing in pain when she breathed.  “But how will you get up?”

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be right behind you.  I got down so I’ll get back up,” Chip reassured her.

 Chip helped her put on the jacket, tied the rope around her and made sure the knot was secured.   “She’s all set,” Chip yelled up to the two men.

The men above removed the slack from the rope and slowly began easing Janet up the slope.   The life jacket did help protect her ribs, but she couldn’t help the moans that escaped as they pulled her up, though she did manage to keep away from the jagged rocks.  When she was close to the top, Luis reached down and helped her up the rest of the way.  

“Thank you,” she gasped as she sat down on the ground and caught her breath hoping to ease the pain.

Luis helped her out of the life jacket while Esteban assisted Chip in getting to the top.   Once on the top, he stooped down next to her.

“You okay?” he asked with concern.

“Yes, just hurts when I breathe,” she replied as she rubbed her forehead.

“You have a headache don’t you,” Chip surmised, scowling that she hadn’t filled him in earlier.

“Yes, it started a little while ago and it seems to be getting worse.”

“You probably have a concussion too,” he said gently, letting her off the hook.  “Don’t worry we’ll get you into Jamie’s clutches soon,” he added causing Janet to smile.  He turned to Luis and Esteban.

 “Thanks for your help.   I don’t know how we would have gotten her up.”

“You’re welcome and I’m sorry she was put in that position,” Luis answered.  “Esteban, go down and see if Gilberto and Arturo need any help,” he ordered.

Esteban started towards the stairs, but stopped when he heard voices.


Lee ran up the stairs with Gilberto and Arturo following behind him and walked to the front of the house almost knocking Esteban over.   Lee quickly ran past him when he saw Janet sitting on the ground.

“Lee,” Janet called when she saw him come around the corner.   “Where’s the Admiral…he’s not…,” she cried when the admiral didn’t follow after Lee.

He stooped down next to her and rubbed her arm.  “No sweetie, he’s alive, but badly injured.”

He looked over at Chip and the two men standing with him.  

“Lee, this Luis and Esteban.  Luis’ the captain of the yacht and they helped get Janet up,” Chip said.

“Lee Crane; and thanks for your help.”

“Are there any other survivors?” Luis asked noticing only his two men returned and none from the cruiser. 

“No,” Lee replied curtly.  “Chip, we have to get the admiral to the boat right away.  How close is Seaview?”

“About three hours away.”

Lee rubbed his hand over his wet hair and returned to Janet’s side.   “Do you think you can down the stairs to FS-1?”

“Of course, let’s go,” Janet replied and slowly stood up grimacing in pain.  She tried to bend down to pick up her gear but Chip grabbed it.

Lee, Chip and Janet headed for the stairs that led to where FS-1 was docked.   Janet walked slowly down the stairs with Chip behind her while Lee trotted ahead of them so he could unlock the rear hatch.


Kowalski continued to watch over the admiral.   He had to add another layer of gauze to his head as the gash bled through the bandage, while Gilberto and Arturo did what they could to help. 

Harry started to stir.   “Kowalski, where’s Captain Crane?” he asked trying to sit up.

Placing his hand on his chest, Kowalski eased Harry back down.  “Easy sir,” Ski replied.   “He’s bringing the flying sub to the lagoon so we can get you out of here.  He should be here shortly.”

“Good idea…I don’t think I could make it up those stairs,” Harry admitted and laid back down closing his eyes.

“What’s a flying sub?” Gilberto asked confused.

“You’ll see,” Ski smiled.

Chapter 11

Lee jumped into FS-1, helped Janet into her seat and carefully buckled her harness.   “This might hurt a little, but I have to make sure you’re secure,” he said as Janet winced in pain.

“I know…it’s okay, just get to the admiral,” Janet replied as Lee quickly took his seat, buckled in and started the engines.

Chip hustled into his seat and strapped in as Lee prepared to take-off from the lagoon.

“Lee, are you going to fit through that arch?” Chip asked skeptically.

“No, I want to check it out, but I’m pretty sure we’ll have to submerge and then surface once we’re in the lagoon.  I’m hoping it’s a little wider under the water,” Lee said as he eased the little sub off the beach and into the water where he took off.

He circled around the island and made his way to the archway and landed on the water facing the arch trying to see if she would fit through.    No way, he thought as he then slowly took the little sub beneath the water.   He submerged to a depth of fifty feet and it was still too narrow for FS-1.   He went down another fifty feet, and the opening was just wide enough for her to fit through.  He carefully guided the sub through the opening and surfaced on the other side of the arch.

Kowalski smiled in relief when he saw the little yellow sub bobbing on the water.  Gilberto and Arturo stared in wonder at FS-1 as Lee maneuvered her as close as he could to the bottom of the steps.


Chip unbuckled his harness and opened the rear hatch when FS-1 was in place.  “Nice parking job,” he commented.   “We should have no problems getting the Admiral aboard.”

“Thanks,” Lee replied as he swiveled his seat around and undid his harness so he could help Chip bring Harry on board.

Kowalski, with the help of Gilberto and Arturo carefully passed Harry, over to Chip and Lee.  He moaned in pain as he was brought aboard and put in the bunk. Once the admiral was in the sub, Kowalski hopped on board.  Kowalski closed and secured the rear hatch.   He quickly went over to Nelson and made sure he was secured in the bunk.  “All set, Skipper,” Ski reported as he sat in the seat next to Janet and strapped in.

Lee slowly eased the sub away from the stairs and submerged under the water.  When he cleared the arch, he quickly took to the air. 

“FS-1 to Seaview, come in Seaview,” Lee called using the throat mic.

“This is Seaview,” Sparks quickly replied.

“We’re on our way back.  Send us a homing signal.”

“Yes sir,” Sparks replied and sent the signal.   

Lee honed in on the signal and quickly figured they were half an hour away.   “We should be docking in thirty minutes...tell Dr. Jamieson that Admiral Nelson and Mrs. Crane have been injured.”

“He’s already been alerted and is standing by,” O’Brien answered when he heard Lee’s call.

“Thanks,” Lee replied.   “I’ll report back when I’m ready to dock.”

“Aye, sir,” O’Brien answered.

“How’s the Admiral?” Lee asked Kowalski.

“The gash on his head is still bleeding and will need stitches, he probably has a concussion, for sure a broken arm and maybe a few ribs.   I’m not sure if he has any internal injuries.  He was awake for a while, but passed out.   He woke up when we moved him, but I think he’s out again.”

“How about Janet?” Lee asked when he glanced back at her and noticed she’d fallen asleep.

“Probable concussion, Sir.  Mr. Morton said she had a bad headache, I’ll wake her in a few minutes.”

“Thanks, Ski,” Lee replied worriedly.   “Chip, did the men on the yacht know where Andre was taking the Admiral?”

“No, according to Luis, the captain, they were ordered to bring Huchay, Andre, and Janet to the island, wait for Huchay and bring him back,” Chip explained.   “He did tell me that Huchay owned that island,” he added.

“So, he was planning on returning home, wherever that was, with Janet,” Lee reasoned.


Lee gave the little sub more speed and managed to shave a few minutes off the thirty-minute flight to the boat. When he was almost on their doorstep, he called Seaview to let them know he was ready to dock.  O’Brien had Patterson open up the docking bay doors and called Jamie over the intercom, informing him that FS-1 was docking.

Jamie quickly grabbed his bag while Frank took the collapsible stretcher and reported to the control room.  They waited in the nose with Bobby and Alex so he could be the first one down to check on Harry and Janet and find out how seriously they were injured.

They felt Seaview shudder as the clamps latched onto FS-1 locking her in place.  Lee and Chip completed the shut-down procedures while Kowalski unbuckled his harness and ascended the ladder to undog the hatch.   Before Kowalski could push open the hatch, Bobby lifted it up and Jamie scrambled down to check on his patients, forcing Kowalski back down the ladder.  Frank followed behind with the stretcher.

“What happened to him?” Jamie asked going over to the bunk.

“He was on a boat when it exploded,” Lee explained.   “He was conscious and talking, but he’s been out since we put him in the bunk.” 

Jamie unbuckled the straps that held Harry in the bunk and made a quick examination.   “I want to take him through the rear hatch, he’s in no condition to walk out of here,” Jamie ordered as Frank quickly opened the stretcher and with Kowalski’s help, gently laid him on it, while Chip opened the rear hatch for them.

Jamie looked at Lee in his rumpled uniform that was dirty, bloody and still damp in some places.  “You’re not hurt?”

“No, just had to go for a swim in a lagoon to rescue the Admiral,” Lee reassured him.

Jamie then walked over to Janet, checked her out, and made an initial assessment. “She’s obviously in pain but is awake and responding,” he reported.   He noticed her clothes were dirty but dry.  “What happened to her?”

“I’m fine…take care of the Admiral,” Janet insisted as she slowly undid her harness.   

Lee quickly spoke up, “She fell about fifteen feet onto a rocky ledge and landed on top of Huchay.   Her ribs hurt and she has a headache.”

“Lee, make sure she gets to sick bay, now,” Jamie stated urgently.   “No stopping to change or get cleaned up.”

“Yes, she’ll be there shortly,” Lee agreed wholeheartedly as Jamie retreated up the ladder and out the hatch.  “Dr. Simmons, I could use your help in sick bay.”

“Let’s go,” Alex replied following Jamie out the aft hatch as they ran down the passageway to sick bay.

Lee carefully helped Janet out of the seat.  She was a little unsteady on her feet so he gently put his arm around her waist.     

“Chip, station Seaview here until we find out how badly the Admiral’s injured, just in case we need to transport him to a nearby hospital,” Lee ordered before leaving for sick bay with Janet out the aft hatch.

“Aye, sir,” Chip replied as he ran up the ladder and over to the chart table to check in with Bobby on their position.


As they made their way to sick bay, they had to stop when Janet got dizzy and nauseated.  Lee stood holding on to his wife as she leaned against the bulkhead waiting for the spinning to stop before continuing on.

“Lee, I have to find out how the Admiral is,” Janet insisted when they arrived in sick bay.   “I need to know if he’s going to be okay.”

Lee and Janet headed over to the gurney where Jamie and Frank were taking care of Harry.

Jamie looked up from his examination, “Captain, I’ll let you know how badly he’s injured when I finish examining him,” he stated.   “Take Janet over to the other gurney.”

“Okay, Jamie,” Lee replied and led Janet to the other side of the examination room where an area had been curtained off for her privacy. 

“Dr. Jamieson asked me to check you out if that’s okay with you,” Alex said to Lee and Janet. 

“Thank you, Dr. Simmons,” Janet replied as Lee helped her onto the gurney wincing in pain as she sat down.

“Can you tell me what happened?” Alex asked softly.

“I fell over a rail unto a rocky ledge,” Janet replied.

“She’s having a hard time breathing and has a headache,” Lee interjected before Janet could say anything more.

“Yes, I am having a hard time breathing and my side and head really do hurt,” she answered.

“Why don’t you change into some scrubs…it will be easier to examine you and you’ll be more comfortable out of those dirty clothes. Lee would you assist her in case she gets dizzy? We’ll step out so you can change.”


John walked over to the cabinet by the door and took out a set of pink scrubs.   When Janet came on board, Jamie had to order her a smaller size, since the ones he had on hand were far too large, so he ordered pink ones to keep them separate from the regular ones he used on the men.

Lee helped her stand up.  She grimaced in pain as he carefully removed her shirt and put on the pink top.   She undid the button on her skirt and slipped it down over her hips and grinned at Lee.   “Not as much fun this time.”

He smiled back, “Come on hold onto me while you get out of the skirt.”   Janet put her hand on his shoulder to steady herself and stepped out of the skirt.   Lee put the scrub bottoms of the floor.  She put her one hand on each one of his shoulders and lifted each leg while Lee guided her foot into the pants leg and pulled up the scrubs.   He then helped her sit back on the gurney. 

“You okay?” he asked tenderly seeing her trying to catch her breath. Lee stood in front of her resting his arms on each side of her.  A worried look replaced his grin. 

“I’m fine,” she replied, “I just need a minute for the room to stop spinning.”

They heard a lot of commotion from the other side of the room.   “Lee, go see what’s happening…please make sure the Admiral is all right,” she said anxiously.

“I’ll be right back,” Lee assured her.   He walked over to where Jamie was examining Harry, but saw that he was gone.  His heart dropped to his stomach as visions of internal bleeding and damaged organs ran rapidly through his head and turned hastily to find Jamie.

Jamie saw Lee approaching, “Just taking him for x-rays,” he said quickly placating the concerns he read so easily on Lee’s face and then continued.  So far, he has a concussion and the abrasion on his head will need a few stitches.   I know he has a broken arm and a few cracked or fractures ribs.   I want to make sure they didn’t puncture his lung or damaged any of his other organs.   I’m pretty sure they didn’t, but I want to double check.   I’ll set his arm once the swelling goes down.  How’s Janet?”

“Dizzy and having a hard time breathing.  Dr. Simmons is going to check her out now that she’s in the scrubs.”


Alex was waiting in Jamie’s office for Janet to change.  When he saw Lee talking to Jamie, he knew it was safe for him to examine Janet. 

“How are you feeling?” Alex asked as he took her vitals and wrote them down on her chart.

“Not so good,” Janet admitted.   “Still dizzy…really nauseated…hurts to breath.”

“Lie down and let me check you out,” Alex said softly.

Janet cringed in pain as Alex helped her lie down.   He checked her eyes, pressed on her abdominal area and sides.  He could see bruising on her left side.  He gently pressed that area causing her to cry out in pain.

“Sorry but I had to check out your ribs,” Alex explained.  

“I know,” Janet acknowledged.  

“Where did you get that bruise on your face…from the fall?”

“No, Huchay hit me when I gave him an answer he didn’t like.”

“Damn,” Alex said angrily as he finished his examination.   “I’m sure you have a mild concussion and a couple of fractured ribs.   I’m going to take an x-ray just to make sure there’s no damage to your lung and or other organs.   John, will you take Mrs. Crane for x-rays, please?”

“Yes, sir,” John replied as he moved the gurney from behind the curtain and to the x-ray room.


Lee heard Alex and Janet talking and started to walk away, but Jamie put his hand on Lee’s arm stopping him.   “It’s all right Lee, she’s in good hands.”

Lee ran his hand through his hair, “I know, but Jamie when I saw her fall over that railing…,” Lee couldn’t continue with his thought.

“I know what you mean. What did happen…I thought Huchay was trading Janet for the admiral?”

“That was the plan, but the bastard planned on double crossing us from the very beginning, he was taking Janet back to the yacht when she elbowed him in the ribs causing him to lose his balance; he pulled her over the railing with him,” Lee explained, he anger towards Huchay rising to the surface once again at all that had happened in order to get revenge on him.

“And Huchay?”

“He’s dead.   I tried to help him, but he knew he wasn’t going to make it so he used his last breath to blow up the boat the Admiral was on.”

“Whew, that’s pretty nasty,” Jamie replied as Chip walked into Sick Bay.

“We’ve found a spot nearby to set down for the night so I’ve ordered Bobby to take us there,” Chip told Lee as they felt the engines engage.

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee responded.   “Just in case the Admiral needs a hospital,” he said to Jamie.

“I think he’ll be okay on board, but it doesn’t hurt to be close to a hospital.  I’ll know after the tests,” Jamie added.

“How’s Janet?” Chip asked looking over at the cubicle.

“Dr. Simmons is checking her out,” Jamie answered.    “We should know soon.”


Alex joined Jamie, Lee and Chip in the main exam room where they waited for Harry to come back from x-ray.  

“How is she, Alex?” Lee asked urgently.

“She has a mild concussion; some bruises and I believe a couple of fractured ribs.   John will take her for x-rays as soon as the Admiral is finished.   I’m sure you know there’s not much to do for concussions or fractured ribs but rest.”

“She’ll spend a day in sick bay before she can return to her cabin.  And I’m sure she won’t give me a hard time like some people I know.” Jamie said with a wry grin directed at Lee.  “The admiral will be here for quite a few days, but I see no reason we can’t continue the mission,” Jamie added knowing that Alex would be anxious to know if they could continue to Antarctica.   “He won’t be able to dive or leave the boat.”

Alex returned to Jamie’s office and sat down at the desk to record his notes in Janet’s chart just as they brought Harry back.


While they waited for the x-rays, Jamie put a few stitches in the gash on Harry’s forehead.  He’d just finished up when Frank brought over the x-rays.   He placed them in the light box on the wall and looked them over.

“No punctured lungs and the rest of the organs look good too,” Jamie said and turned off the light.   “I’ll set your arm tomorrow if the swelling has gone down,” he explained.   “I realized you’re probably in pain, but all I’m going to prescribe is acetaminophen because of the concussion.  Plan on staying here for a few days…Frank will get you settled into a bunk.”

“Harrumph,” Harry grunted as Frank wheeled the gurney over to a bunk.   He helped Harry into some scrubs and got him settled in for the night.

Once he was settled, Jamie, Lee and Chip walked over to the bunk.   Jamie gave him the acetaminophen with a cup of water.  

“Thanks, Jamie,” Harry said sleepily.   “I am really tired.”

“You know the protocol, so you better catch some sleep while you can,” Jamie told him.   “I’ll be around to check you out a little later.”

“No rest for the wicked,” Harry quipped and closed his eyes.


The three men left Harry’s bunk and returned to the examination room just as John returned with Janet.   Alex followed the gurney into her exam room.   Jamie, Lee and Chip weren’t too far behind.  

Lee went over to the gurney and took Janet’s hand.   “You okay?” he asked worriedly.

“Yes, I’m fine,” Janet remarked noticing the wry grins on their faces.

“Sweetie, do you feel up to answering a few questions?”

“Sure, I’m not going anywhere,” Janet chuckled causing her to wince in pain.

“How did Huchay know it was you at the airport?”  Lee asked.

“I didn’t know who he was so I innocently sat next to him while I was waiting for my flight to Ibiza.  My bag fell off my lap and accidently landed on his foot.   He told me he noticed the bracelet on my wrist when I went to pick it up and that he’d placed a small tracking device in the bracelet.”  

“Damn, he was lucky,” Chip stated.

“Do you know where he took you?”  Lee questioned.

“The island of Estelo…it’s only fifteen minutes from Ibiza…sorry, I’m not sure what direction we traveled, I couldn’t see the sun.”

Lee patted her hand.   “Don’t worry about it…it really doesn’t matter now.”

John entered the cubicle and handed Alex the x-rays, they examined the x-rays at the light box, and returned a couple minutes later.

“A couple of fractured ribs, but everything else is good,” Alex told them.    “I know you’re in pain, but since you have a concussion I can only give you acetaminophen.   According to Jamie, you’ll be staying here for a at least a day so that he can keep an eye on you.”

“I figured that,” Janet muttered unhappily.

“Let’s get her settled in a bunk,” Jamie instructed John.    “She needs to rest. When was the last time you ate, are you hungry?”

“Not hungry, just tired,” Janet replied yawning.

“Janet needs to rest, so why don’t you get cleaned up and get something to eat,” Jamie said, his suggestion more an order.   “You can come back later and sit with her,” Jamie added kindly.

“Thanks, Jamie,” Lee answered.  “I would like to get out of these clothes.  I’ll be back later, Sweetie,” he assured her but Janet had already closed her eyes.   I’ll meet you in the Wardroom in fifteen minutes,” Lee said turning toward Jamie and the others.

Jamie, Chip and Alex left sick bay and headed for the wardroom while Lee lingered a moment more, then gave Janet a quick kiss on the cheek and headed to his cabin for a shower and change of clothes.

Chapter 12

Lee entered his cabin, stripped off his damp clothes and headed to the shower.    Shit, he thought angrily, as the warm water cascaded over him, pissed that Huchay tried to double cross him and snatch Janet and Harry away.  He finished showering, put on his uniform and was still angry over the events that had taken place, so he took a couple of deep breaths to calm down before he left the cabin and headed down the passageway to the spiral staircase to the control room.    

“How’s the admiral and Mrs. C.?” Bobby asked when Lee reached the charting table.

“They’re both going to be fine,” he replied honestly.   “Plot a course to Antarctica.”

“Aye, sir,” Bobby answered and pulled the maps out from under the table as Lee walked out the aft hatch.

He would have to pass by sick bay to get to the wardroom so he stopped in to check on Janet and Harry.

“Hi Skipper,” John greeted him.    “I just looked in on them and they’re both sleeping.”

“Thanks, John,” Lee replied and continued on to the wardroom.


It was well past dinner time, but Cookie knew what had taken place and made sure that Lee, Chip, Jamie and Alex would have something to eat.   

“Have a seat, sirs,” Cookie said when the three men entered the wardroom.   “I’ll have your dinner right up.”

Chip and Jamie sat in their usually spots with Alex sitting next to Jamie.   As soon as they were seated, Cookie brought over piping hot bowls of homemade chicken soup, a plate piled high with chicken sandwiches and a fresh pot of coffee.

“Where’s the Skipper?” Cookie asked wanting to make sure the captain ate.

Jamie checked at his watch, “He should be here in a couple of minutes, or we’ll send someone to find him,” he said resolutely.

The men dug into their dinners not realizing how hungry they were until they smelled and tasted the food.

Jamie was about to hunt down Lee, when he walked in the door.   “It’s about time you got here,” Jamie stated knowing Lee would’ve blown off eating if he could, so he could sit with Janet and Harry.

“I’m early, I still have two minutes left before my fifteen minutes are up,” Lee teased bringing a grin to all their faces.

Lee sat down and Cookie brought over his soup.   “Thanks, this smells great,” he said realizing that he too was hungry.

“Dr. Simmons, thanks for helping out in sick bay,” Lee said as he ate his soup.   “We’re going to spend the night in this area and first thing in the morning we’ll set sail for Antarctica so we can complete your mission.   I appreciate your patience,” he added.

“No problem, it felt good to work as a doctor again, and please don’t worry about the mission.   I know you’ll get it done.  The Admiral and Janet are most important right now.”

“I know you were counting on the Admiral to help you with the moss collection, but now that he can’t, I’ll make sure that the collection will be taken care of with divers.”

“Thanks, Lee,” Alex replied, “that’ll work for me.”

When they finished eating their dinner, Cookie brought out a plate of chocolate chip cookies and poured them all more coffee.

“It’s a good thing I’m not going to be on this boat too long…I’d gain ten pounds,” Alex chuckled as he took a cookie.

The other men grinned as they each grabbed a cookie too.    

“Let’s check out the course, Bobby has plotted,” Lee said to Chip following his last sip of coffee, “And then I’ll see how Janet and the Admiral are doing.”

“Sounds good,” Chip replied as he stood to join Lee.

“I’m beat,” Alex declared.  “It’s been a long day.   I’ll see you in the morning. Good night.”

“Good night,” the other men replied as they headed out the door.


Lee and Chip entered the control room hearing the blips and pings of the equipment.   Bobby was huddled over the charting table when Lee and Chip approached.  

“Everything okay?” Chip asked.

“Yes, sir.   Just double checking my figures for the course to Antarctica.”

Lee looked over his work.  “Nice job,” Lee complimented.   “We’ll set sail at 0700.”

“Aye sir,” Chip answered.

“I’ll see you in the morning,” Lee said, reaching for the log book to note their departure time.

“Night, Lee,” Chip responded as he headed up the staircase to his cabin.  

Lee remained at the chart table and stared out the observation nose windows of his gray lady.  She always brought him peace and comfort, tonight was no exception.


Jamie had checked on Harry and Janet when he returned from dinner and was giving John some last-minute instructions before he too retired to his cabin.

When Lee returned to sick bay, Jamie was just getting ready to walk out the door.  John was sitting at the desk and the lights in the bunk area were turned down low. 

“Both are sleeping and doing well, but I know you want to sit,” Jamie said quietly. 

Smiling, Lee nodded, “Thanks again, Jamie for coming to the rescue.”

“Lee, you know I’ll always do whatever is needed,” he answered patting him on the shoulder and left for his cabin.


Lee removed a chair from Jamie’s office and sat down next to Janet’s bunk.  Even though he put the chair down quietly she woke up to find him staring at her. 

“Ow,” she said when she tried to change position, so she could see him better.   “That sure didn’t feel good…how’s the Admiral…is he really going to be okay?” Janet whispered nervously.

“Yes, Jamie says he’ll be fine, but will need to rest.  How are you feeling?” Lee asked worriedly.

“Still have a headache and the ribs are sore, but I know it’s going to take a while for them to heal,” she replied softly.  “I had no idea when I elbowed Huchay in the ribs that he would fall over the rail and ….”   Janet stopped as she couldn’t finish her sentence.   “I just wanted to distract him enough so you could get to him.”

“I know that,” Lee told her as he pushed a stray hair gently off her forehead.  “You did the right thing, and I can’t say that I’m mourning that bastard’s death,” he replied honestly.

Frowning, “And it’s my fault that the Admiral is hurt.   If I hadn’t insisted on helping out Admiral Johnson, our Admiral wouldn’t have been a pawn in Huchay’s scheme,” Janet lamented.    “Do you think he’ll forgive me?”

“Sweetie, I don’t think he blames you for what happened.    You had no way of knowing you’d run into Huchay.   Nobody did…he just got lucky that he ran into you.”

Janet sighed, “Thanks for the pep talk.   There’s just one more thing.”

“What is it?” Lee asked tenderly as Janet took her hand out from under the blanket and place it in Lee’s hand.

“I realize that we had to delay the mission to Antarctica so that Seaview could rescue me, but do you think the admiral would mind if you took the flying sub to Teramenfor to pick up Luisa?  We can’t be too far away from them, and I feel that I’ve let her down along with Admiral Johnson and Lillian,” she said guiltily.

Lee looked at his wife and saw how upset she was that she didn’t complete her ‘mission’.  “I’ll make arrangements to pick her up tomorrow,” Lee assured her as she let out a yawn.

“You better get some rest or I’ll have John kicking me out,” Lee said as he bent over and kissed her gently on the lips.

“Thanks,” Janet replied and closed her eyes.   Lee sat there for a few minutes until her breathing was slow and even, so he knew she was asleep.


Harry lay in a bunk on the other side of sick bay.   He could hear Lee talking to someone, but the voice was too soft for him to recognize.   He didn’t remember too much after they pulled him from the lagoon.   His head hurt, as did his arm and ribs.   He laid there with his eyes closed when he heard a chair being set down next to his bunk.  

“Sorry, sir,” he heard Lee say.   “I promised I wouldn’t let anything happen to you, and I let you down.   Please forgive me.”

Harry opened his eyes and stared into the face of the man he considered his son.   “Lee, you didn’t let me down.   I knew what I was getting into, and you had no idea the boat would blow up, so please forget about it,” Harry responded with a smile trying to relieve Lee of his guilt.

“Thank you, sir,” Lee replied back with a wry grin.

“Who were you talking too…did someone else get hurt?”

“It’s Janet,” Lee answered.  

“How did she get hurt?” Harry asked trying to sit up, but quickly laid back down.   “That wasn’t too smart,” he said painfully.

“Huchay decided not to follow through on his deal, and was going to take her back with him to his island.   She elbowed him as they were walking down the stairs and they fell over the rail unto a ledge…Admiral, I thought I’d never see her again,” Lee explained.

“She’ll be okay?” Harry wondered anxiously. 

“Yes, some fractured ribs and a concussion.”  

Harry breathed a sigh of relief.   “And Huchay?”

Huchay’s dead…he hit his head on a rock. He died right after he blew up the boat.   What do you remember when they led you away?”

“We walked down the back stairs to a cabin cruiser stationed in the lagoon near the platform.  They shoved me onto the boat and pushed me into a seat.   The captain took the engine out of idle and moved it away from the platform.  He gave it a little gas and turned it towards the arch when the next thing I knew I was flying through the air.   I think I knocked my head on the canopy and was hit by flying debris.   My hands were still tied and I knew my arm was broke so I couldn’t keep myself facing upright.   I took a deep breath as I ended up floating face down until you pulled me up.   Thanks, by the way,” Harry added.  Lee just nodded his head.     “Where were they going to take me?”

“I don’t know but my best guess is the PR.  All the men on the cruiser were killed so there’s no way of knowing for sure.  According to the captain of the yacht, they knew nothing about what was taking place, they were ordered to bring Huchay, Andre and Janet to the island and bring Huchay back.  Maybe Huchay thought he could clear his name of his previous errors if he turned you over.   He figured if things didn’t go as planned; he’d just kill you and everyone on the boat.”

Harry stared at the bottom of the bunk above him.   “What a sick bastard.”

“Huchay must have snapped after Hai died.  I can understand that to a certain point, I know how I would feel if something happened to Janet.   But I’d never think of hurting or even killing someone to get even, if anything, it just made him more of a sick bastard than before,” Lee added, trying to keep his emotions in check for Harry’s sake.

“Lee, most people wouldn’t act that way…he’s had it out for you for a long time.”

“I suppose so,” Lee responded.    “Sir, ….”

 “Son, what else is on your mind?” Harry questioned sensing Lee needed to tell him something more.

“Janet feels guilty that she didn’t get to bring Luisa back to Admiral Johnson and Lillian.  I’d like to take FS-1 into Teramenfor and pick her up,” he said a bit sheepishly.

“You sound like a son asking his father for the car keys,” Harry chuckled but quickly stopped when his ribs hurt.

“I guess it does,” Lee chuckled too.   “Well, Dad?”

“You’re the captain,” Harry replied stifling a yawn.

“I’ll contact Admiral Johnson and leave first thing in the morning.   I’ll take Riley with me.   He might be able to entertain Luisa on the long trip.”

“Good choice,” Harry answered not being able to stop the yawn this time.

“Thanks, Harry.   You better get some rest.   I’ll check on you in the morning,” Lee said but Harry had already fallen asleep.

Lee put the chair back next to Jamie’s desk, leaving instructions to contact him if either Harry or Janet had any problems during the night. 


Lee headed up the stairs to his cabin, sat down as his desk and turned on the light.    He rubbed his hands through his hair as he thought about how he could have lost the two most important people in his life.   He shuddered as he thought about it.  He poured himself a glass of water from the carafe on his desk and took a long gulp.  Too bad it isn’t a beer, he thought as he put the cool glass to his forehead.   He took another sip before he pressed down the intercom button summoning the radio shack.

“Thompson,” Lee said when the communication’s specialist answered his hail.   “Get me Admiral Johnson.”

“Aye sir,” Thompson replied.

As Lee sat waiting for Thompson to call him back, he wondered just how he would react if something happened to Janet or Harry.  His musings were cut short when the phone rang on his desk.

“I have Admiral Johnson, sir,” Thompson reported and put the call through.

“Lee, what the hell is going on?” Johnson asked cautiously.

Lee sighed deeply, “We met up with Huchay on the island of Navetein and made the trade, only he didn’t live up to his end of the bargain,” Lee told him and explained what had taken place. 

“Harry, Janet, they’re both okay?”

“Yes, both will be fine,” Lee confirmed.   “Janet’s upset that she didn’t get Luisa.   I’m willing to pick her up in FS-1 and bring her to the States tomorrow if it’s okay with Phillip.”

“I’ll check with him, but I’m sure he’ll be happy to have her out of the country as things are starting to get a little dicey.  I was going to try and get away, but I’ve got too many agents out in the field right now.    I really could use your help….”

Lee stopped Johnson mid-sentence, “Admiral, I’m not taking an ONI mission right now,” he replied boldly.

“I understand.   Let me contact Phillip and I’ll get back to you.”

“I’ll wait for you call,” Lee responded and severed the connection.

He sat back in his chair and closed his eyes.   Man, I’m beat…I better hit the rack if I’m going to being flying all day tomorrow.    He sat for a moment resting and losing track of time when he was interrupted by the ringing of the phone.

“Yes,” Lee answered quickly.   

“Admiral Johnson for you, Skipper,” Thompson reported and put the call through.

“Phillip and Luisa will be waiting for you,” Johnson told Lee.   “Call him when you’re ready to land and he’ll have Luisa ready to go.”  

“Okay, it will be sometime in the morning.”

“Thank you, Lee,” Johnson said appreciatively.   “I know Lillian will be very happy to hear Janet’s okay and that Luisa will be here tomorrow.”

“You’re welcome, Sir,” Lee replied and hung up the phone.

He removed his uniform, washed up and climbed into the bunk.   He was unhappy that he was in it alone, but relieved that both Janet and Harry would be fine.   He closed his eyes hoping sleep would come, but he just kept seeing Janet falling over the rail.  After a couple of hours of restless tossing and turning he finally fell asleep.

Chapter 13

Lee awoke still tired at 0530.   He had a long day ahead of him, so he hopped out of bed and quickly took his shower and donned his uniform.    He’d left his wallet to dry out overnight, and put it in his back pocket.  He opened the door to the cabin and walked out just as Chip was leaving, so the two men walked down to the control room together.

“There’s been a change in plans,” Lee said as they headed down the staircase.   “I’m going to Teramenfor to pick up Luisa.  Janet felt guilty that she didn’t finish what she started, so I’m going to do it.   Riley will be accompanying me, mostly to keep her entertained.  Seaview will leave as scheduled and we’ll catch up to her after we drop off Luisa in Washington.   We’ll leave here around 0630.   I want to check on Janet and the admiral then grab some breakfast before I go,” he informed his first officer.

“Sounds like a plan,” Chip replied as they reached the bottom and strode into the control room where Scott Taper was just completing a circuit of the room.   He quickly moved to the charting table when Lee and Chip arrived.

“Good morning, sirs,” he greeted.

“Morning, Scott,” Lee answered as Chip bid him hello too.    “Everything ready for us to leave at 0700?”  

“Yes, sir.   We had no problems and everything checks out.”

While Lee was talking to Scott, Chip walked over to Sharkey who was at the vertical chart.   “Chief, prepare the flying sub for launch at 0630.  The Skipper and Riley will be taking her out.”

“Aye, aye, sir,” Sharkey replied, turning to the blond rating.   “Riley, come with me…you’re going for a ride with the Skipper today, so we have to check out the flying sub.”

“Where we going?” Riley asked as he turned his headset for the hydrophones over to Ron.

“I don’t know,” Sharkey said briskly.  “When the Exec says check out the flying sub, you just do it.”

“Yes, sir,” Riley answered and grabbed the clipboard with the list and headed over to the hatch.

Lee stood at the charting table, plotting his flight plan to Teramenfor and then to Washington D.C. from there.  “Riley, wait here,” Lee asked as he started to walk by him.   Riley stopped, handed Sharkey the clipboard as he continued on.

“Thanks, Chief,” Lee said as he walked by him.     

“Riley, we’re picking up the little girl from the island of Teramenfor for Mrs. Crane.  Luisa is used to flying so hopefully she’ll have no problems on the flying sub.”

“Yes, sir,” Riley answered.   “You can count on me to watch her.”

Lee smiled as Riley walked over to the hatch and down the ladder.  He headed to the radio shack with his flight plans for Sparks to file with the proper authorities and the Institute.  Chip waited at the aft hatch for Lee, their first stop would be sick bay to check on Harry and Janet.


Jamie and Alex were already in sick bay when Lee and Chip arrived.   They were reviewing John’s notes from the overnight hours.

“Good morning, Lee; Chip,” Jamie greeted as did Alex.

“Morning,” Lee answered.   “How are Janet and the Admiral this morning?”

“I just looked in on the Admiral and he’s still sleeping, but he had a calm night,” Jamie replied.    “Janet’s awake and I’ll let her tell you how she’s feeling…she was wondering where you were.   Is there something wrong?”

“No, everything is fine.  She’s eager to find out an answer to a question,” Lee responded.

“If it’s about getting out of here today…I’ll see how she’s doing at the end of the day and maybe she can return to your cabin with strict orders not to do anything but rest,” Jamie remarked.

“No, that wasn’t it but it’s good to know,” Lee grinned.   “Chip, would you please fill them in.”

“Sure, Lee,” Chip replied and explained to Jamie and Alex what would be happening today as Lee went over to Janet’s bunk.

She heard him talking to Jamie but couldn’t quite make out what he was saying.   She was anxious to talk to him when he walked over to her bunk.


“Hi sweetie,” Lee said and bent down to give her a kiss, which she happily returned.    “How are you feeling?”

“Better, just a slight headache and a little sorer than yesterday.   I think a few more bruises popped up overnight,” Janet replied.   “How’s the Admiral this morning…are you going…when are you leaving?” Janet rambled nervously.

“He’s still sleeping and yes, I’m going.  I’ll be leaving in a little while to pick up Luisa and take her back to her grandparents.   Riley’s coming with me and I’ll be gone most of the day.   Jamie might let you out of here, but you’ll have to be good and not do anything but rest.”

“He’s no fun,” Janet laughed wincing in pain, “but if it means I can leave, I’ll do what he says.   Lee, before you go, in my bag are some things I bought for Luisa.   Please take them to her, and let her know how disappointed I am that I didn’t get to meet her.”

“I’ll get the items and let her know,” Lee assured her.  “I’ll have Chip let you know when I reach Washington with Luisa. I want to get some breakfast, before I leave so I’ll see you later on.”

“Love you and please be careful,” Janet said reaching up and pulling on his tie to bring his lips down to hers and kissed him.

“Love you too,” he smiled and returned her kiss.

She watched him as he, Chip, Jamie and Alex left for the wardroom.   She was a little hungry and knew Jamie would see to it that Cookie brought her some breakfast.   She managed to find a comfortable way to lay while she waited.


After quickly eating his breakfast, Lee hurried to his cabin to get his leather jacket and get the items Janet had bought for Luisa.   He searched her bag and found the crayons, coloring books and storybook on ballerinas.  Smiling as he pulled his jacket on, he grabbed the bag and headed for the control room.  He heard Chip tell the crew to prepare to get underway and to bring the boat up to two hundred feet so they could launch the flying sub.   Riley was waiting by the hatch when he reached the nose.    Lee felt Seaview’s engines engage and the boat slowly head up.

“Thanks, Chip,” Lee said when Chip met him in the nose.

“Everything checked out on FS-1, so you’re ready to go,” Chip stated.

“Good.   I’ll let you know when we’ve reached Teramenfor and are heading for the States.   I’ll call again and advise you when we’re heading back to the boat.   Please let Janet and the admiral know what’s going on.”

“Yes sir,” Chip responded.  “Have a safe trip.”

“We will,” Lee replied with a grin.  

He walked over to the hatch and handed Riley the bag as he headed down the ladder.  

“What’s in the bag, sir,” Riley asked when the two men were in the flying sub.

“Some things Mrs. Crane bought for Luisa…just stow them in a locker.  We’ll keep them here so she’ll have something to do when we’re on our way to the States.”

Both men buckled in, Lee attached the throat mic and started up the little sub.   He made sure everything was working and called the boat.  

“Ready to launch.”

“Launching,” Chip replied and told Kowalski to open up the docking bay doors.

“Doors open, okay to launch,” Chip said and waited for FS-1 to clear the front of the boat before closing the doors.  

He watched from the nose as Lee sailed passed on his way to the surface.  He signaled Ski to close the doors.

“Maneuvering, all ahead standard,” Chip ordered as they got underway to Antarctica.


Lee checked his watch and they were leaving exactly on time…0630.   He knew it would take them ninety minutes to get to Teramenfor and approximately six hours to get to Washington if they didn’t run into any problems.   Lee had checked the weather before they left and it looked like smooth flying all the way.  

When they were fifteen minutes out of Teramenfor, Lee called Phillip to let him know when they’d be arriving and requested docking instructions.  Phillips directed him to a secluded bay located near the Presidential Palace with a private dock.   Lee had no trouble finding the dock and easily guided her in.  


Lee shut down the engines as Riley unbuckled his harness and opened the rear hatch.   Lee undid his harness and exited the little sub where Phillip and Luisa were waiting.

“Good morning, Mr. President, I’m Commander Lee Crane and this is Stu Riley,” Lee said as he shook hands with Phillip.

“Nice to meet both of you,” Phillip replied as he introduced his daughter.  “This is Luisa.”

Lee stooped down and shook Luisa’s hand.    “Hi Luisa…I’m Lee and this is Riley.”

“Hi,” she replied softly.   “Where’s Miss Janet?”

“Miss Janet had an accident and was very upset that she couldn’t come and get you, so she sent me…I’m her husband.   I promised her that I would take very good care of you, and get you safely to your grandparents.”

“Okay, Mr. Lee, but am I going to fly in that?” she asked cautiously pointing to the little yellow sub.

“Yes.   It flies just like an airplane, only it won’t take us a long to get there,” Lee explained.   “Miss Janet bought you some things to help pass the time while we’re flying.”

Luisa smiled at Lee through her long lashes.   “I’m ready,” she declared.

Lee stood up.   “I guess we’d better go,” he laughed.   “I’ll make sure Lillian and Gerald call you as soon as we land.   Plan on approximately six hours.   Riley, see to it that Luisa’s bags are stowed and she is securely buckled in.”

“Yes, sir,” Riley replied with smile.  

“Thank you, Lee,” Phillip said.   “I’m sorry Janet ran into problems getting here, but I’m glad Luisa will not be here.  Things are getting a little hot, but I’m hoping we can come to an agreement shortly.   One more thing, I had the cook pack up some sandwiches, cookies and drinks just in case you get hungry or thirsty.”

“Thanks,” Lee answered and accepted the bag.   “Since it is a long flight, we can put it on auto pilot and take break.   Please don’t worry…we’ll get her there safely.”

“I know you will,” Phillip replied and shook Lee’s hand.   Phillip knelt down next to Luisa.  “Are you ready to go see Grandma and Grandpa?” he asked.  Luisa smiled and nodded her head emphatically.  “Good.  You listen to Lee and Stu and be a good girl.  I will miss you so much.  Call me when you get to Grandma’s, will you do that?”

“Yes, Papa, I will,” she replied.

“Good.  Call any time you like.  See you soon, sweetheart,” Phillip answered then drew her into a tight hug and gave her a kiss on the forehead.  Luisa returned his hug and fought hard to keep the tears at bay.  “That’s my brave girl.”

Lee smiled and waved Riley over to escort Luisa into FS-1.  Stu extended his hand; which Luisa took tentatively then followed him into the bright yellow ship.

“Good luck…I hope things work out,” Lee said as he shook Phillip’s hand then boarded the yellow sub and secured the hatch.

Lee was worried that the harness might be too large for Luisa, but Riley made the adjustments and had her buckled in and secured when he entered the sub. 

“Once we get up in the air, I’ll get the things Janet sent along for you,” he said with a smile.

Lee and Riley buckled in and they were ready to take off.

“Don’t be afraid Luisa,” Riley said.   “The Skipper knows what he’s doing.   Just let me know if you have any problems.”

“Okay Mr. Riley,” Luisa replied softly.   

Riley bent over and whispered, “Between you and me, I’m not a mister.   Just call me Stu,” he said with a wink to her agreeing nod and sweet attempt to wink back.

Lee nodded to Riley to check on her once they were in the air.   He swiveled his seat around and found her staring out the viewports.

“You okay?” he asked.

“That was fun…just like a real airplane leaving the ground…only we did it on the water,” she answered unfazed.

Riley returned his seat to the front and looked at Lee.   “Everything’s A-Okay, Skipper.”

Lee smiled as he brought the little sub up to altitude.  “Riley, there’s a satchel in the cabinet with the things Janet sent along.  Why don’t you show those to Luisa and see if there’s anything there she’s interested in?”

“I’m on it, Skipper,” Riley replied.  He unbuckled his harness, opened the cabinet and pulled out the sack.  He opened it up and passed it to Luisa for her inspection.  “Anything there that you would like?”

Luisa looked in the bag, eyeing everything inside.  “I think I’d like to color,” Luisa stated as she took the book and crayons.

“Great choice,” Stu said.  “Let me see if I can get you something to put that on.”  Riley found a small tray that the Admiral used when working on a flight and fit it in place across the seat arms so she had a place to put her book and the crayons.

With Luisa now settled, Lee smiled and gave Riley a nod of approval and thanks.  He quickly returned his attention to their flight across the Atlantic and her very anxious grandparents.


When Jamie returned to sick bay after breakfast, he went to check on Harry.   He was awake and annoyed that Jamie was going to make him stay there for a couple of days.

“I can rest in my cabin,” Harry insisted.    “How much can I do with a broken arm?”

“It’s not your arm I’m worried about,” Jamie countered.    “You have a concussion, fractured ribs and a deep laceration on your forehead.”

“I’ve had worse,” Harry grumbled.

“Just humor me for today and tomorrow.”

“Harrumph,” Harry sniped knowing Jamie was in charge of everything medical.   “How’s Janet?”

“She’s fine and as anxious as you are to get out of here.    I just don’t know why no one wants to stay here,” Jamie joked.   “I thought my bedside manner was pretty good.”

Harry smiled at his friend, “It is Jamie, so don’t be offended.”

“Breakfast should be here shortly,” Jamie told Harry just as Cookie entered with two trays.

Cookie served Harry and Janet breakfast.   Jamie supervised making sure they both ate everything.  

With breakfast finished, Jamie went over to Janet’s bunk to see how she was feeling.

“Jamie, do you think I could take a shower?”  Janet asked nicely.    “I only have a slight headache.

“Yes, I’ll make arrangements for you to take a shower here,” Jamie replied, but saw Janet frowning.  “What’s wrong?”

“I’d rather take one in my cabin,” she said softly.   “I’d have to go there to get my clothes anyway, I’d just feel more comfortable there.”

Jamie smiled at her and nodded that he understood.  “I’ll let you go but Frank will escort you to your cabin and wait outside.   You have fifteen minutes to get ready.   If you’re not ready by then, he’s going in to make sure you’re okay and I want you to stay here for the day.  I’ll see how you’re doing later on and maybe release you to your cabin.”

“Agreed,” Janet replied and carefully got out of the bunk only wincing slightly when she moved a little too fast.

Frank helped her up the ladder and they walked slowly to her cabin.  When they arrived, Janet went in and Frank waited outside.   He smiled as he tapped his watch letting her know he was timing her.  


Janet slowly removed the scrubs and headed for the shower.   Sure, wish I was at home with the whirlpool tub, she thought as she took a hot shower lingering longer than normal as every bone in her body hurt or ached. She saw that a few more bruises had popped up overnight, but decided not to tell Jamie since he’d make her stay in sick bay.    She pulled some sweats out of the drawer and slowly put on her socks and clothes.   She slipped on her shoes and was ready to head back to sick bay.  She grabbed her reader and was almost ready to leave when she heard a knock.  

“I’m coming,” Janet said as she opened the door finding Frank waiting for her.

He helped her back to sick bay and she convinced Jamie to let her sit with Harry.  Jamie brought over his desk chair for her to sit on as it was a little more comfortable than any of the other chairs.  

“Admiral, I’m so sorry that you got hurt,” Janet apologized.  “I never thought that by helping out Admiral Johnson you’d be injured.   I felt so sorry for him and Lillian that I just wanted to help them out.”

Harry gently patted her hand with his good hand, “Honey, there’s nothing to apologize for.   No one knew this would happen.   How did Huchay find out who you were anyway?”

“He put a tracking device in my bracelet before he sent it to you,” Janet said and explained how he found out who she was and where he had taken her.  “He said he wanted to hurt anyone close to Lee, because of what happened with Hai Phong.  He wanted Lee to suffer just like him,” she added angrily.

“Hai’s death was her own doing, not Lee’s,” Harry replied.   “He was just looking for someone to blame.”

“Yes, sir, I guess you’re right,” Janet responded softly.  

“Did Lee leave already…I haven’t seen him this morning.”

“Yes, they left early this morning.   You were sleeping and he didn’t want to wake you.   He’s hoping to be back later this afternoon. I feel so guilty that I couldn’t complete my ‘mission’,” Janet remarked.

“None of this was your fault, so stop beating yourself up over it.   Luisa will get to her grandparents and all will be fine,” Harry assured her.

“Thank you, sir.”

Harry and Janet sat there talking for an hour before Harry started to yawn.   Janet was also tired so she returned to her bunk.  

Chapter 14

Lee, Riley and Luisa were three hours into their flight when Luisa called out to Lee.

“Mr. Lee, how soon before we get there?” she asked.

“Riley, take over,” Lee said as he turned over control of the little sub to him.  

Lee swiveled around his seat.   “We have a couple more hours.”

“I’m hungry.   Could I have lunch?”

“I’ll get you something to eat,” Lee replied as he unbuckled his harness and walked over to the bag with the food.  “Do you want a sandwich?”

“Yes, please.  Is there peanut butter & jelly?”

Lee checked the sandwiches and found a PB&J for her.  He unwrapped it and set it on the tray after putting her coloring book on the floor.

“Thank you, but can I have some milk?”

“No milk, I’m afraid, but how about water?”


Lee uncapped the water and gave it to her.  

“Riley, how about a turkey sandwich?”

“Sounds good to me, Skipper,” he answered as Lee handed him the sandwich with a bottle of water.  

Lee took the other turkey sandwich and some water too.  He returned to his seat and buckled back in taking back the controls so Riley could eat his sandwich.  


When Riley was finished, he unbuckled his harness and passed out cookies to all of them.   He then took over the controls while Lee ate his sandwich.   When they were finished, Lee resumed control while Riley cleaned up.   Luisa was tired of coloring so Riley put the items in her bag and gave her a book to look at. 

An hour had gone by and Luisa hadn’t made any noise. “What’s Luisa doing?” Lee wondered.

Riley looked back to check on her and saw that she was asleep.  “She’s sleeping like a baby,” Riley answered.  

Lee smiled and wished he could take a nap too. 


FS-1 was thirty minutes out of Washington DC when Luisa woke up.  

“Mr. Lee, are we almost there?” she asked politely.

“Yes, honey, we are…we should be landing in little while, so you’ll need to hang on a little longer.”

“Okay.   Will Grandma and Grandpa be there to pick me up?”

“Yes, they’ll be waiting for you.”

Lee radioed the tower and received clearance to land.  

Riley looked back at Luisa and saw her watching Lee land the sub, eyes were wide as saucers.  “Everything okay?” he asked not sure if she was frightened by the landing.

“Yes, that was neat,” she replied excitedly.   “I never get to see the plane land from the front, only from the side.   Grandma always lets me sit by the window.”

Lee and Riley grinned as Lee taxied the sub to the military side of the airport.  

While he completed the shut-down procedures, Riley removed his harness and undid Luisa’s.   He packed up her gear, removed her bag from the storage locker and helped her out of her seat.   Lee unbuckled his harness and opened up the rear hatch.   Riley jumped out onto the tarmac and waited for Lee to pass Luisa to him.  Lee carefully handed Luisa to Riley who set her down on the tarmac and held her hand while Lee exited the sub.   Riley gave Luisa’s hand to Lee so he could get her gear out of the sub before Lee secured it.

Luisa held tightly onto Lee’s hand as they headed for the lounge where Gerald and Lillian would be waiting for them.  


Gerald and Lillian had been waiting in the lounge for over an hour waiting for FS-1 to land.  

“They’re here,” he told Lillian pointing to FS-1 as she taxied to the parking spot.

“They flew her on that,” she said anxiously.

“Yes, it’s perfectly safe.   It even goes in the water,” Johnson explained as Lillian looked at the yellow sub.

They watched through the window as Lee, Riley and Luisa made their way across the tarmac.    Luisa spotted her grandpa and tried to run to the door, but Lee kept a firm hold on her hand as he didn’t want her to fall or get in the way of any equipment on the tarmac.  

“Hold on,” Lee said firmly but with a smile.   “You need to stay with me.”

“Okay, Mr. Lee,” Luisa replied.

They finally made it to the door and Lee let go of her hand.

 “Grandpa,” she shouted when they got to the doors.

Johnson scooped her up into his arms and gave her a hug and kiss.   “Luisa, it’s so good to see you,” he said lovingly.

“Where’s Grandma?” Luisa asked worriedly when she wasn’t at the door to meet her.

“She’s sitting over there,” he replied pointing to the seating area where Lillian waited.  She still had a hard time getting around with her boot and was afraid Luisa would knock her over.

Luisa ran over to Lillian and gave her a hug and kiss too.   “I’m so happy you’re here,” Lillian told her as she rubbed her hand over her hair.   

“Me too,” Luisa exclaimed happily.

“Thank you, Lee,” Lillian said.   “I’m sorry Janet ran into trouble…she’s okay, isn’t she?”

“Yes, she’ll be fine.   She’s very disappointed she couldn’t bring Luisa here.”

“Can you stay…we can have dinner?” Lillian suggested.

“No, thank you. Mrs. Johnson.   Riley and I have a long trip back to Seaview, but thanks for the offer.”

Lee stooped down next to Luisa.   “You were a great passenger.   How about I bring Miss Janet here to meet you when we get back from our trip?”

“Yes, please, I would really like to meet her,” Luisa answered eagerly, and gave Lee a kiss on the check.   She grabbed Riley’s hand and pulled him down so she could give him a kiss too invoking a chuckle from Seaview’s surfing bum turned able-seaman.

“Admiral, I told Phillip you would call him and let him know when we arrived,” Lee said.

“I’ll do that and thanks again, Lee,” Johnson replied appreciatively as he shook his hand and then Riley’s.

Lee and Riley watched as the three of them made their way out to the car that was waiting just outside the door for them.

Lee turned to Riley.  “How about we make a pit stop, get some coffee and head back to the boat?”

“Sounds good to me, Skipper.”


Lee pushed the button on the throat mic, once he was well out over the ocean.

“FS-1 to Seaview, come in Seaview,” he called.

“This is Seaview,” Sparks replied.

“Patch me through to Mr. Morton,” Lee requested.

“Aye, sir,” he replied.    “Mr. Morton, the Skipper’s on the radio.”

“Send it over here,” Chip replied and picked up the mic at the charting table.   “Hi Lee.”

“Hi Chip,” Lee answered.   “We just left DC and are heading back.   We should meet up with you in about six hours.”

“We’ll keep the light on for you,” Chip chuckled.

“You better,” Lee replied laughing.   “Please let Janet and the admiral know we’re on our way back.”

“Yes, sir,” Chip answered.   Seaview out.”


Lee turned off the radio and pulled back on the control sticks to gain altitude, and switched to Mach I as soon as they were clear of any land.    He let Riley fly the sub for a couple of hours as it had been a while since he had any flight time.   He needed to be recertified, so this would count as his recertification.   Lee was pleased with the way he handled the craft.  They were about an hour from the boat when Lee called them and had them send a homing beacon for them to follow.

Both men were looking forward to docking as it had been a long day.   When they were ten minutes out, Lee called the boat and had them open the docking bay doors.   Lee decided to let Riley bring her in as the last part of his recertification.   He had no problems docking the little sub in the berthing bay.

“Good job,” Lee said as they completed the shut-down procedures.

“Thanks, Skipper,” Riley responded as he moved the ladder into place so they could exit the sub.  

He went up the ladder, undogged the hatch and climbed out where Chip was waiting for them.

“Welcome back,” Chip said when Lee stepped on deck.   “Any problems?”

“Nothing whatsoever.   Let’s talk over dinner,” Lee suggested as he turned to Riley.   “Thanks for your help today.”

“You’re welcome, Skipper.   I was glad I could help out,” Riley responded and left through the aft hatch. 

Lee removed his leather jacket and set it on the table in the nose.   “It’s been a long day.   How’s Janet and the Admiral?”

“I had lunch with both of them and they’re both anxious to get out of Jamie’s clutches.   I’m sure Janet will tell you what’s going on.  I was just going to dinner when you called, so how about I meet you in the wardroom in fifteen minutes?”

“Sounds good, I want to wash up and check on Janet and the Admiral,” Lee agreed and grabbed his jacket off the table and sprinted up the staircase to his cabin.


Lee hung up his jacket, removed his tie, rolled up his sleeves and washed up, stopping to look into the mirror and sighed.  It had been a long day. Hell, a long couple of days, he thought, running a tired hand through his dark hair.  He stepped out of the head, not even trying to stifle his yawn.   He’d been gone all day and knew he was too tired to do his walk around, so he’d catch up with what took place on the boat from Chip.  When he left the cabin heading for sick bay he realized he was very hungry.


Janet and Alex were sitting with Harry in sick bay when they felt the boat shudder as the docking bay doors opened.

“Lee, must be back,” Harry surmised.

Janet looked at her watch, “He’s right on time…has that man ever been late?” Janet asked grinning.

“Maybe once or twice, if I remember correctly,” Harry said thoughtfully, as the boat shuddered again when the doors closed.

It wasn’t too long before Lee walked into sick bay and over to them.   He bent down and gave Janet a kiss.  She kissed him back and could see he was pretty tired.

“How was your flight…did Luisa have any problems on the flying sub…did you tell her I’m sorry I couldn’t come,” Janet peppered Lee with questions.

“I told Chip I’d tell him at dinner how the day went.   Do you think Jamie will spring you from here to eat?”

“I heard that,” Jamie answered tersely and walked over to them.   “Yes, I was going to let them eat dinner in the wardroom,” he grinned.   “And I’m going to spring Janet from sick bay, provided she rests in your cabin or the nose for one more day.   She can then return to work, but will need to check in with me periodically throughout the day.   As far as the Admiral is concerned, he can go to dinner, but I’d like him stay here until tomorrow afternoon and then can be released to his cabin or the nose for another day.   That’s my deal…take it or leave it.”

Harry and Janet looked at each other and knew they weren’t going to be able to con Jamie into anything more. 

“Deal,” they both replied eagerly.

“Good, then I suggest we go to dinner,” Jamie said as he and Alex helped Harry out of the bunk.

Lee helped Janet up from her chair and took her hand as they left sick bay.  Chip was walking down the passageway and met up with them as they entered the wardroom.  


After dinner, Jamie escorted a disgusted Harry back to sick bay letting the men know that sick bay was closed to visitors for the rest of the night while Alex went to his cabin.  Lee saw that Janet got to their cabin and promised he’d return shortly since he wanted to check in with Chip and the control room before he turned in for the night.  Chip showed him where they were currently positioned on the course O’Brien had plotted.   He was satisfied with where they were and how things were progressing. 


“Chip, got a minute,” Lee asked Chip before he signed the log book turning over command to Scott Taper and David Morgan for the night.

“Sure, Lee, problem?”  Chip responded following Lee into the observation nose and stood next to him.

“No, just thinking about how things could’ve turned out a lot worse…we got lucky this time,” Lee said solemnly.

“I agree with you there.  Huchay was really set on getting revenge anyway he could.  I don’t know how I’d react if something happened to Julie,” Chip said undecidedly, “but I don’t think I’d want to purposely hurt someone.”

“I know you wouldn’t,” Lee countered looking at his best friend and ‘brother’.  “One more thing, I didn’t get a chance to thank you for helping Janet.”

“Hey, isn’t that what friends and brothers are for,” Chip added knowing Lee would have done the same thing for his wife, Julie.    Chip looked at Lee and knew something else was playing on his mind.

“Spit it out,” Chip insisted.

“You know me too well,” Lee muttered.  “I don’t understand how a man could callously blow up his own boat killing all his men.”

“Lee, you don’t get to be the head of PR security by being nice.   Hell, Lee, he tried to kill you by injecting you with a life ending drug.   He’s one nasty bastard,” Chip stated emphatically.  “Plus, Andre beat the crap out of you so he wasn’t much better.”

Lee ran his hand through his hair, “You’re right,” he admitted.   “Thanks for setting me straight.”

The two men stood looking out the nose watching the boat plow through the water when Lee let out a yawn.    “I’m heading up…it’s been a long day.”

Yes, sir,” Chip agreed as he was tired too.

Chip headed up the stairs while Lee turned back and faced the control room.   He knew his ‘grey lady’ was in good hands for the night with Scott and David so he trotted up the stairs to his cabin.


Janet started to get ready for bed when Lee left the cabin for the control room, but decided to leave her sweats on for the night.  She still had a slight headache and ached all over from the fall, so Jamie had given her some acetaminophen to take.   She poured a glass of water from the pitcher on the desk, popped the pills in her mouth and drank the water.   She took her reader and set it on the bunk.  She’d read while she waited for Lee to return, which she hoped was soon as he really looked beat.   She slowly pushed herself up on the edge of the bunk, gingerly scooted back and then swung up her legs.   That sure wasn’t pleasant, she thought as she caught her breath from the pain in her ribs.  She managed to wiggle her way into the corner of the bunk where she could prop herself up and sit comfortably.   She grabbed the reader and continued reading the mystery novel she’d started on her way over to England.    It’s only been three days since I left but it seems like a lifetime ago, she mumbled quietly to herself.  She started to fall asleep when she heard the knob turn on the door.   Lee walked in looking even more tired than before.


“Hey, sweetie, you doing okay?” he asked as he walked over to the bunk.

“It was a little difficult getting up here, but I’m fine.  Honey, you look exhausted…you’re not doing a walkaround are you?”

“Not tonight.   I’m beat.  Who’d think flying across two oceans would be tiring.   I must be getting old,” he laughed.

“I don’t think you’re old at all,” Janet chuckled and winced in pain.   “I keep forgetting that everything hurts.”

“Let me get ready for bed…I need to talk to you about a couple of things,” Lee said seriously.  They had made an agreement to be honest with each other, so he didn’t want Janet to find out he’d thought she had left him when she didn’t meet up with Phillip and Luisa.

“Everything okay…the Admiral?” Janet asked worriedly wondering if something happened that she didn’t know about.

“He’s fine as far as I know,” Lee reassured her.   “Just give me a few minutes.”

Lee changed into his pajamas, washed up and turned off the light in the cabin leaving only the dim light in the bunk area lit.  He climbed in next to Janet and she snuggled up against him as he gently put his arm around her.

“First, I want you to know that when you didn’t meet up with Phillip and Luisa, I thought maybe you just left,” Lee said softly. 

“What do you mean just left…you?” Janet asked confused.

“Well, I thought maybe you were tired of being on Seaview, working for the Institute…my ONI missions and me,” Lee confessed.

“Lee Crane, how could you think that…besides I’d tell you right out if I didn’t want any of those things. Now your ONI missions that’s another story,” Janet replied with a grin.

“That’s what Chip said,” Lee admitted.

“Well he’s right.   I love my job here on the boat, at the Institute and most of all you,” Janet declared.   “Is that all?” she asked sensing Lee had something more to tell her.

“Why did you say no when Huchay was going to trade me for you,” Lee questioned.  

“I figured he’d turn you over to the People’s Republic and I was afraid of what they would do to you.   I’ve seen how you’ve been treated by them from ONI missions.   If they got you in their clutches permanently, they would’ve tortured you to death for information that you’d never give them.  I just couldn’t live with myself if that happened,” Janet answered softly.   “I don’t think he would have hurt me…maybe made my life miserable, but I could have lived with that.”

“Sweetheart, thank you but I’d never have left you with him.   Never,” Lee said emphatically.   “I couldn’t live with myself not knowing where you were or what was happening to you. I’d search all the ends of the earth for you.”

“Thanks,” Janet replied lovingly and kissed his cheek.   “I’m really tired.  Do you think we could go to sleep now that we’ve talked about Ghag Huchay for the last time?”

“Definitely,” Lee stated and helped her scoot under the covers.   He tenderly kissed her on the lips as he slid down next to her and gently put his arm around her.   When he closed his eyes, he again saw her falling over the rail and pulled her a little tighter.

“Ow, Lee you’re hurting me,” Janet said quietly loosening his grip on her.

“Sorry, sweetie, but when I close my eyes, I see you falling over the rail and not being able to stop you,” Lee apologized.

“I’m not going anywhere near a rail tonight, I promise,” she told him rubbing her hand over his cheek.  “So, go to sleep.”

‘Yes, ma’am,” Lee replied kissing her forehead.  He sighed deeply and relaxed for the first time in quite a while.   Hopefully everything would be back to normal or at least as normal as it ever got on Seaview.


The End.

*See my story, “Alone”


Author’s notes:  Thank you Lynn for your suggestion of putting a tracer in Janet’s bracelet.   

                                 Thank you Christy for your suggestion for the title.

A special thanks to my fantastic beta team for your suggestions, comments, and corrections.  You’re the best!!!

This story is a work of fiction.  I do not sell or make a profit from this work.  The islands of Teramenfor, Navetien and Estelo are fictitious islands made up by the author for the story. Any resemblance to actual islands is purely coincidental.




The characters from the television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea are the intellectual property of Irwin Allen Productions and copyright © by the respective production companies including Irwin Allen Productions, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers.