by George Miller
Captain Lee Crane and Commander Chip Morton were just concluding a meeting in Lee’s cabin. They had many details of this upcoming mission to discuss. Everything needed to go as planned.
“So Chip, you have all the details you need?” Crane asked..
“Yes, Sir!” Chip answered.
Lee folded the paper he was holding and handed it to Chip. “Here are the coordinates you will need to complete your part of the mission.”
Chip glanced at the paper and slipped it into his shirt pocket. “Not a problem, Sir. I know the location.”
“How long will you need to take care of everything and return?”
Chip stared of for a moment, thinking about the time factor and replied, “Four hours, Sir. Yes... I can be back aboard Seaview in four hours after departure.”
“Fine, Chip.” He added, “that will give me time to complete everything here at this end. I’ve already informed the Admiral that you are making an emergency flight on the flying sub to pick up some crucial parts for Sharkey.”
“I’ll be ready to leave in ten minutes.” Chip said, standing to leave.
The Captain reached for the mic and gave the orders to Sharkey to prepare the flying sub for immediate launch.
Chip hesitated at the Captain’s door and turned back to ask one last question... “Sir, you’re sure we’re doing the right thing?”
Lee stood at his desk and with a reassuring look to Chip simply added, “Yes, Chip... We are.”
A few minutes later, Lee was in the observation nose of the Seaview by the FS1 hatch. Chief Sharkey was climbing the ladder as Chip was coming down the circular staircase from the upper levels.
The Chief gave a quick salute to the Captain and Mr. Morton, “FS1 is ready for launch, Sir.”
“Thank you Chief”
Sharkey turned to Morton, “Sir, are you sure you don’t need me to go along?”
Chip looked at Lee, with a grin, then back at Sharkey, “I think I can handle this. After all, I’m sure the Captain has a project or two for you here on Seaview.”
“I’m sure he does. That’s what I’m afraid of,” he whispered to Chip as he was going down the hatch.
Crane and Sharkey stood watching out the great windows on the Seaview as the flying sub launched and made it’s way to the surface.
“Chief,” Lee said to Sharkey, “Chip was right... I do have several projects for you. Get yourself some volunteers and break out the cleaning supplies...”
Sharkey rolled his eyes, hoping that the Captain didn’t see him do it and replied, “Yes, Sir.”
“I’m sure you fully understand. I want this submarine to be a clean and sparkling as the first day she was launched.”
“Aye, aye, Sir.”
Lee put a hand on Sharkey’s shoulder and said in a more friendly voice... “I assume you’ve talked to all the men? They are aware of what they are going to say if questioned by the Admiral?”
“Yes, Sir!” Sharkey smiled. “Everyone on board has just had the overwhelming desire to make the Seaview look it’s best, no other reasons.”
“Fine, Chief, Fine... oh, there is one more thing...”
“You’ve four hours to complete everything!”
Sharkey acknowledged the time frame with the fact it would be no problem and left to get all his volunteers started. He knew as the entire crew, with the exception of the Admiral, just what was going on. He would do his part to be sure the Seaview was looking her very best.
Captain Crane passed though the Control Room on the way to his cabin. He was thinking to himself, ‘Now I understand why they call the submariners the silent service.’ This was one time that he was sure that all his men were going to remain silent about this mission.
Chief Sharkey traveled the length of the Seaview, stopping at almost every location to inspect the work being done by the men. He was very proud of what he saw. The Seaview was actually beginning to sparkle.
When he made it to the missile room, he saw Kowalski busy down by the torpedo racks. He felt he had to stop and ask... “Ski, just what are you doing?”
“Just following orders, Sir.”
“But, you’re polishing the torpedoes?”
“Yes, Sir! This entire ship is going to look it’s best! You can count on it, Chief!”
Sharkey shook his head as he turned to leave. “Very well... Carry on...”
The Chief always knew that the Seaview crew was the best. Their dedication was unmatched on any ship at sea. He continued his inspection throughout the sub and would up where he had begun, the observation nose. Reily was working detail in this area.
The Chief went over to look out to the sea. That’s when he noticed a smudge on the windows... “Reily, come over here... now!”
Reily rushed to the Chief’s side, “Yes, Sir?”
Sharkey pointed to the smudge he’d noticed. “I assume you missed a spot?”
“No, Sir... I don’t do windows!” Reily responded.
He knew immediately that he’d said the wrong thing. Sharkey turned a bright shade of red and stood there staring at his man in disbelief . In a very low and slow voice he said, “You... don’t... do... windows???”
“Sailor, you have your orders. Unless you want to be on report...” he said as he tossed the Windex to Stu.
Stu quickly turned to continue his work. This was not the time to try to tell Sharkey that he was simply joking with him. Maybe later...
Captain Crane was in his office when he received word from Sparks that the flying sub was approaching Seaview.
“Yes, Sparks. Transfer Chip to my private line and let me talk to him.”
“Mr. Morton, Captain Crane here. Is everything going as planned?”
“Yes Sir. Everything is going fine. Our visitor is right here with me. We should be docking within five minutes.”
“We’ll prepare for docking.”
“One question, Captain.”
“Where is the Admiral? He’s not aware of anything yet?”
“He’s in his cabin. Still working on the reports from the last mission. I’m sure he’ll be in there for a few hours yet. However, I have a sailor posted nearby to notify me if he leaves early.”
After docking, Kowalski opened the FS1 access hatch and took a step back as the special visitor entered the Seaview. Crane, standing there, noted the expression on Ski’s face.
“Permission to come aboard, Sir?” The visitor asked.
“Permission granted!” Crane said as he helped the visitor up through the hatch.
The Captain had seen other visitors to the Seaview have the same reaction. The things that they saw totally amazed them. He had to shake his head a little. He took these things all for granted, but he guessed he could
understand their awe.
“Everything looks so wonderful. I’d really love a tour of your ship.”
“Anything you’d like. That can be arranged.” The Captain said. “But for now, we’d better take care of something else.”
“Yes, that would be great. Does he know...?”
“No,” Crane said. “He has no idea. Just as you requested, we have not let him in on any details.”
“Wonderful, we should go then. Oh, and Captain?”
“Thanks so much for everything.”
“Don’t mention it.” Crane said as they left the observation room towards the Admiral’s cabin.
They all reached the Admiral’s door and Lee gave it firm knock.
“Yes, who is it?” the Admiral called out.
“It’s me, Sir, Captain Crane and I’ve got someone here who wants to see you.”
“I’m in the middle of these reports, can he come back later?”
“Ah, No, Sir. We can’t... it’s very important.”
The Admiral called out from his desk, “Well, Come in then. This better be important,” he added with a gruff voice.
Lee went through the door first. The Admiral looked up from his work. “Yes, yes, Lee, what is this all about... who needs to see me so urgently”
The Captain moved to one side of the door as Chip escorted the visitor into the cabin.
The Admiral immediately stood from his desk, “Carol, is that really you?”
“Yes, Admiral... It’s me. I’m so glad you remembered me.”
“Remembered you? How could I forget you?”
Lee, standing by the door, grinning at Chip, said, “Well, Sir. I’m sure you two would like some time to talk.”
Startled, Nelson looked to Lee, “Yes... Yes, we would.”
Lee made his way through the door and started to speak again. However, he was stopped by Carol who said quietly, “That will be all, Captain...” as she slowly closed the door. As the door was about too close, she added in a whisper, “Thank you, Lee.”
Later that evening, Lee was with Chip at the plotting table. They had been very happy that they were able to surprise the Admiral with a visit from a friend. However, they were beginning to become a little concerned.
Chip was the first one to bring up their concerns. “Lee, it’s been over eight hours they’ve been in there. Do you think everything is OK?”
“Relax, Chip. I’m sure everything is fine. They haven’t seen each other in quite a long time. They have a lot of catching up to do.”
“I guess you’re right, Lee... It’s just that...”
“Well, Chip, If you’d like to stop by the Admiral’s cabin...”
Thinking for only a moment, Chip answered, “Not me, Sir!”
The Admiral stood up and said to Carol, “This has been great. I’m so glad you could come by. It’s a little strange though...”
“What’s that, Harry?”
Well, it’s not very often that you get visitors aboard a submarine. I’ll have to thank Lee for going to all the extra effort to make this possible.”
“Yes, I agree!”
“If you can excuse me for just a moment, I really need to check on something in the lab. I’ll only be a few minutes.”
“No, problem,” Carol said. She spotted the Admiral’s computer on the table behind his desk and asked, “Harry, would you mind if I used your computer for a few minutes?”
“No, not at all,” he said as he left the room.
Carol went quickly to the computer hooked up her cellular modem, that she just happened to bring along, and logged on to her service provider. She began to quickly type and post her message on the “onelist”...
Subj: Answered Questions...
Date: 99-04-29 23:00:58 EDT
From: HYPERLINK "mailto:HNELSON@NIMR.com" HNELSON@NIMR.com
Yes, Seagals, that’s right... This message is coming from the Submarine
Seaview... I am currently using Admiral Nelson’s computer... can you believe
it??? I can hardly believe it myself. I had a wonderful trip on the flying
sub as Chip Morton came to pick me up. I know a few of you would have liked
to stowaway on that flight :-) and I’ll tell you all about it later.
I’ve spent the last eight hours with the Admiral. I had to let him go do some
research in his lab... It was just great! He’s such a wonderful man. I can’t
tell you what it feels like to actually be aboard the Seaview and with the
Admiral. To think that Lee and Chip would go to all this trouble... it’s just
Well, to answer a question that was asked earlier right here on the one
list... I can assure you that the Admiral does “not” have any. I know you are
going to have still take my word for it, but if there is anyone who is still
skeptical, I will be glad to stay on Seaview and continue my investigation to
Oh, one more thing... Wish you all were here... ;-)
Seaview’s newest sailor... Carol
It only took a few moments after posting that message that the response messages began pouring in. After the shock and disbelief that the message came directly from Admiral Nelson’s office and that Carol was actually with the Admiral, the comments were once again raised... “Eight hours???? You say
he does not have any??? Tell us all Carol... how you can know that for sure...” “Yes, tell us...” another message cried out. “We need to know!!!”
Carol expected the some would still doubt her statement, but she was prepared to answer this question as well... So... another message was posted on the list....
Subj: RE: Answered Questions...
Date: 99-04-29 23:48:58 EDT
From: HYPERLINK "mailto:HNELSON@NIMR.com" HNELSON@NIMR.com
OK... OK... You ask me how I know for sure that the Admiral doesn’t have
any.... Well, I’ll tell you all now...
I found out this information in the “best” possible way... As I said before,
the Admiral is a wonderful man... so, to find out for sure that my statement
was true.... Well... I asked him!!! He told me he did not and you all know...
He’s never lied before...
Well... I need to go... I hear Harry coming back down the corridor...
Talk to all of you soon... but not too soon...
I’ll fill you all in on the details when I get back...
Bye from the Seaview,
PS. Well... maybe not all the details ;-)
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