"Your number cannot be completed as dialed..".
Nelson listened to the mechicanical tones of his mobile phone one last time. He had been warned by Lee, before they had set out, that out here the satellite signal would be too weak, but this was an emergency and he would try any means possible to reach the Institute. It would seem that today was to be one of those days where nothing would go right. It had been, according to Lee, a simple outing to try to find a dog. Not just any dog and now it was this was the dog of the season and something that the Insitute children could not live without. With the fact that Seaview had not returned from her mission until late on the 24th December it was now a countdown for doggie as Chip put it. Not that he had been much help with the hunt. Nelson thought back some fifteen minutes ago to when they had first enterd the store.
"Have you a description of the man we’re looking for?" Asked Nelson not quite still not quite sure how Crane had managed to talk him coming to this place, even less sure where they should start the search.
"From what Angie told me his name’s Joe and I think his dogs name’s Scar."
Nelson had never liked the idea. Ever since Lee Crane had suggested it to him at the end of Seaview’s last assignment he had had doubts about their ability to succeed in this, reckless plan. Many a time it was Lee that had got them all safely home. That was until they had come here. . The logical and straightforward thinking, Skipper of the submarine Seaview, a man that could cope with any crisis that befell them. Hah, thought Nelson The moment Lee Crane, had entered this place any and all logical thinking had been thrown out of the window. It did not humour him that for once he had found pitfalls in what Lee had called a foolproof plan. Nelson had resigned himself, ever since they had got off the base that there was a high probability of this happening so had not come alone. However he had not envisaged that one Commander Chip Morton would also be effected. Now Morton as well as Crane were somewhere in this large building, caught in a maelstrom that Nelson could feel wanted him in its clutches as well. It had all happened so suddenly as they had arrived. One second they had been together wondering where was the best place to start. Then Crane had mentioned something about a lobster man or some such thing. The admiral pointed out that there was no such thing, especially in Santa Barbara . Nevertheless Crane was undaunted in what he had seen. So in what Nelson could only call dread, they begun looking for this lobster man. It was then they had decided that to save time they should spilt up. That was when Nelson got at last put his scheme into action. Ever since he had read about the Stealth Boomer blueprint’s coming to this place quicker than off the air force’s production line. He had thought about getting in touch with his friends at ONI. However he had decided that the direct approach was the best means of defence. He had been very weary about coming to this place just in case. Just in case of what, he was not at all sure. In this place, at this time every thing had a price. Nelson just wondered just what he would do if he found that his sub had gone the same way as the Stealth Ever since the death of John Phillips Nelson had become paranoid about security. Now maybe even here where you could buy anything from a Stealth Bomber to the USS Enterprise. He did not want to find Seaview up for sale along side them. Would it mean that that his security was still a sham, putting all of their lives in danger or was this just all just part of the American dream that everything’s for sale one way or the other, even his dream of the future of submarines. As the melee of would be shoppers scurried around the Admiral, no doubt with that must have purchase in mind Nelson must have caught the eye of one of the many assistants who were scattered throughout the store , almost like secret agents. Blending in with the whole tone of the place. Never knowing that one was about to pounce to try to make a sale until you heard the immortal words….
"Can I help you, Sir." An old gentleman dressed in a long red uniform had stopped just by Nelson. He smiled as he asked. "Can I direct you to anything in particular?" This was it. Thought Nelson. Just one simple question and then every thing would be answered. Nelson momently glanced up at one of the large anti-shop lifter mirrors to see if there was any sign of their elusive XO or even Lee, but they were no where in sight, not down this isle anyway. However Nelson could not help but sigh as he caught another glance at what the store considered as Christmas decorations. Hanging by a thread down the end of each isle a giant pink plastic turkey wishbone could be seen threating to bash any unspecting shopper on the head as they trundled past. Nelson, musu have been still on automatic pilot after the mission as the moment they had entered the store had warned Lee about the wishbone. Nelson thought it would be ironic if after the difficult misson they had been on, they would have to take Lee to Doc with concussion from a plastic wishbone, a giant wishbone. However now the countdown was getting close, in ten mintutes the store would close and then, no Nelson could not think that they would find the dog. Angie had told them that this was the only place that could have any of the stock left. Angie of course being Angie had been right about the stock and after being pointed in the fight direction he had soon found their man, or dog. And then there was the other buring question that he wanted answered....
" I believe you’ve got the NIMR sub Seaview for sale. Where can it be found?"
"Arr, our best selling model, sir. Follow me and I’ll also show you the accessories that come with it this year." Accessories? Thought Nelson. Had this market place as well as selling his sub also changed its design? This place was being more and more interesting. If they had indeed copied his design maybe he would do the same to them. Copyright that was still a major word for this place. For the Admiral there was no way that he was going to change the name of his submarine because there was a fictitious one made famous in a film ‘Voyage to the bottom of the Sea.’ Just because it was Seaview they thought that the film industry had so much power. That their sub had been based on his submarine was startling obvious the moment he had seen the film. Even now more so up close, Seaview was the same yet different. Along with a change to the nose Nelson could now see in detail how the internal requirements for the film had been met. It was most ingenious and must have taken the soon to be ex-film designer many months of labour. It was not very often that one of Nelson’s soon to be new team of designers had one of his earlier pieces of work up for sale. But the toy and film industry’s loss was his gain. For as soon as he saw the added extra’s that were for sale with this snap and glue model, Nelson knew that this was a designer who was on his wave length and was surely wasted in Hollywood. Nelson he had found everything that he had come for and a bit more.
Even though he was sure that that his Captain and XO would have alot of explaning to do when he found them in the computer section both trying to sink a submarine that had an uncanny recemblence to Seaview. After watching for a couple of minutes he decided that, no, 'Voyage to the bottom of the Sea' would not be on his Christmas list for either of them. Seaview had enough problems without Nelson himself putting ideas into the officers heads. Mind you the game did look like fun....