VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA
"THE PRICE OF DREAM"
Written By: Barbara & Bill Paul
The year is 1964, and the FBME (Federal Bureau of Marine Research) has just come into existence. Admiral B.J. Crawford was named it's Director. The mission of this agency is to build facilities and craft for undersea exploration. Like its counterpart, NASA, its charter had applications both to increase scientific knowledge and to bolster the defense of freedom through technology. As a government agency, the FBME's first and foremost commitment is to further national interests through the harnessing of the ocean's power and resources. As a result, the FBME has an entire fleet of exploratory craft and vessels and the oceans now support many permanent and mobile underwater research facilities.
The first permanent FBME installation was the NIMR (Nelson Institute for Marine Research) headed by the world's foremost authority in Marine Sciences, Admiral Harriman Nelson, USN (Ret.). The Institute is located just outside of the city of Santa Barbara on the southern California coast. It is the largest marine science center on the west coast and supports most of the Pacific operations of the FBME. What only a very few know, is that this installation is soon to become the home port for the most sophisticated submarine in all the world.....the SSRN Seaview. A special underground sub pen has been constructed 500 feet beneath this world famous Marine Center to berth this fabulous creation. It's creator and builder, Adm. Harriman Nelson heads up the Institute and is in overall command of the sub's scientific and military operations and missions. He alone is answerable to the President and the Office of Naval Intelligence of whom give him his orders.
However, today, the Admiral is going to
come face to face with a reality he has been ignoring for some time now. A high
price is about to be paid for the completion of his dream. A very high price
indeed. His entire life is about to be changed.
sat at a desk in an office that still smelled of new carpet and fresh paint. He
had his window open to help cut the smell which was beginning to give him a
headache. He was unpacking files and putting them away in his file cabinets when
he heard a voice call his name from the door. He looked up over the clutter of
boxes to see his fiancee' Katherine Campbell. She was leaning casually against
the door frame with a slightly perturbed look on her face. She pointed to her
watch. The second he saw her he remembered their lunch date. He looked at his
watch, then at the pile of files he had in his hand and then back at her with a
very guilty expression. He put the files he had in his hand on his desk.
"I had a bet going with your secretary you'd forget our
lunch date...............Guess what?" She said with an amused smile.
"You won, right?.............. I'm sorry. I just got so
involved with trying to get things settled in here I completely lost track of
the time. You still available for dinner?" He asked walking up to her stepping
over boxes and piles of books.
"I think I can find a
few moments in my busy schedule for you." She replied as he reached her.
"I'm glad to hear that." He added as he took her in his
arms for a kiss.
It was interrupted by a sound in the
next room. It was his secretary, Angie. She had cleared her throat and was
looking at them with an amused grin on her face.
get back to work." He replied trying to sound perterbed.
"Yes sir, Admiral sir." She replied smiling as she returned
to her work as ordered.
"Shall we?" He remarked with a
motion of his hand to the door.
He grabbed his hat and
coat with a glance back at Angie as he left, giving her a wink.
“Don’t work too late ok? Don’t want you costing me an arm
and leg in overtime.” He replied with a smile.
Wouldn’t want you to have to hock the Seaview to meet my expenses now would
we...sir?” She replied back with an equally amusing remark and smile.”We’ll be
at the Harbor Restaurant if you need me.”
Have a nice day.” She replied with a grin at her own pun.
He just shook his head and left for the restaurant located
not far from the Institute. It was a quiet place with soft music and dim lights.
It was one of Harry's favorite haunts. It had a beautiful view of the Harbor
where his yacht was moored and beyond the breakwater was the sea. A pier jetted
out over the water, and tables with umbrella's adorned the nautical look of it
as old fishing nets, lanterns, and rope hung from the rails in a casual but
quaint way. As they entered the restaurant, he instinctively reached up and
removed his hat with a smile at the mai-tra d' who greeted them.
"Good evening Admiral, Ma'am. Your usual table sir?" He
replied picking up two menus as he spoke.
Thank you." Nelson replied as he put his arm out to Katherine who took it with a
smile to him.
He always had a way of melting her heart
when he wore his uniform. He looked so handsome and distinguished in it. Daniel
escorted them to their own private table that overlooked the harbor. There were
whispers from some of the folks there as they asked each other if that was who
they had thought it was with answers confirming their guesses. Even though he
tried his damnedest to keep a low profile, the press seemed to always catch wind
of his work and had painted him as some kind of legend in the area. An image he
wished he didn't have. He never did like grandstanding or being in the
spotlight. However, it seemed to come with the job. Though he didn’t like it, he
had come to accept it as a part of life.
The sun had
just sunk below the horizon leaving its final trails of light across the evening
sky. He really had lost track of the time. He held out the chair for her and
then sat down himself across from her at the table. He set his hat beside him.
Katherine looked at him and just smiled.
asked, his eyes giving away his curiosity which she loved toying with.
"You look like a kid with a new toy Harry. I've never seen
you so excited and enthused." She remarked taking his hand in hers.
"I got some good news in the mail this morning." He said
reaching into his jacket for the envelope.
A set of orders?" She said teasingly.
"In a way." He
said with a smile handing it to her.
She took it and
looked at the address on it and then looked at him as if not sure she should be
"Go on, it's ok." He replied with an anxious
tone of voice. She opened it and began reading it.
waiter came up to them and took their orders and left, leaving them to their
It was a letter from the FBME informing
him he had obtained the official approval to begin construction of the Seaview.
That he would receive whatever funding and assistance he required. She handed it
back to him with a big smile realizing his dream had come true. All those years
fighting with the appropriations committee to get them to ok it, and now it was
a reality. She could see his eyes shine under the lights of the restaurant. She
had never seen him more happy and content.
"When do you
leave for the Yards?" She asked.
"You mean when do WE
leave? You are coming with me aren't you?" He asked.
it permissible? I don't want to create any problems for you." She said.
"A problem you'll never be Katherine, and yes it's ok. It's
up to you." He said.
She looked at him and then her eyes
drifted to the harbor and finally out to the sea where the sun was setting. She
couldn't believe she was going to be his wife within a few days. The great
Admiral Nelson himself. A man everyone said would remain a confirmed bachelor.
She looked at him as he looked out at the ocean with a
look she had come to know all too well. She had resigned herself to the fact
that the sea would be the only thing that would ever come between them and she
accepted the competition.
"It's so peaceful and quiet
here and there's something magical about the look of the sea tonight." She said
looking out at the water with dreamy eyes.
"How would you like to spend the night aboard. We could
anchor out and just enjoy the time together. God knows I don't spend near as
much time with you as I should or would like. I'm surprised you still feel the
way you do about me after all those nights at the Institute. But it's almost
over now. Things should start settling down some." He replied.
The waiter returned with their food and they began
eating while they continued their conversation.
"I'm really happy for you Harry. You've worked so hard
all these years for this. You deserve it." She said looking down at the table
with a serious face, gently fondling his hands in hers.
"I've made the arrangements to have you accompany me to
the yards where they'll be building her. I had just assumed you'd want it that
way. I can change it if you decide not to go, and I'll understand. " He replied
looking her directly in her eyes.
"If you want me to come, I'll come. What about your work
here? Who'll handle it for you while you're at the yards?" She asked.
"I'm getting an Assistant Director. Should be arriving
in a couple of weeks I'm told. I can't believe I've finally got the ok. You know
how long I've been battling Congress over this?" He asked.
"Years." She replied.
"Yes, years and now it's time to turn the dream into a
reality." He said as he looked out at the Ocean with a distant stare as if lost
in his thoughts.
"This sub means a lot to you and you need to give her
your best, and if this means my being there with you then that's the way it'll
be." She added firmly.
From the cover of a corner wall and some plants, 2 men
watched the couple in silence. The phone rang at the counter and the desk clerk
"Harbor Restaurant. May I help you?" He answered.
"Is there a Miss Katherine Campbell there? It's urgent I
speak with her." The voice on the other end of the phone remarked with an urgent
tone of voice.
"Yes she is. One moment please." He replied as he
motioned for their waiter to come to him.
He told the waiter about the call and to tell her about
it. The waiter acknowledged the request and went to their table where he looked
at them and then addressed Katherine.
"You have a call Miss. Campbell. You can take it at the
front desk." He replied.
"I won't be long." She replied standing.
Harry stood as well and then sat back down when she left
and looked out at the sea. His thoughts drifted to the Seaview and how thrilled
he was to finally get the funding for her after all the fighting he had to
Katherine followed the waiter to the front desk where
she was handed the phone. The 2 men moved in close to her casually and without
"This is Katherine Campbell. Who's this?" She asked.
"My name is unimportant. If you and your fiancee' wish
to see the sun rise in the morning do exactly as you're told. There are 2 men
standing close to you in suits. Do you see them?" He asked.
"Yes." She replied as she looked at them giving them the
Que. to move in on her.
"You will go quietly with them and will not make a
scene. Act normal and no one will be harmed. Do you understand these
instructions?" He asked.
"Yes." She said.
"Hang up the phone and go quietly with the 2 men now. "
He said as the line went dead.
She hung up the phone and looked at the 2 men who came
up to her. She looked in the direction where Harry was and let the men escort
her quietly from the restaurant without an incident. Time passed and Katherine
hadn't returned. Harry began to get curious and looked in the direction of the
front desk but didn't see her. He grabbed his hat and stood and went up to the
front desk and addressed the man behind it.
"My fiancee' had a call. Did you see where she went?" He
"Yes. She left with two gentlemen a few moments ago. Is
something wrong sir?" He replied.
"Did you say she left with two men? What did they look
like?" He asked with deep concern now.
"They wore suits and drove a black Mercedes." He
He knew he had a serious problem. It wasn't like
Katherine to just up and leave with someone without letting him know first. He
left and got in his car and drove to his home. He entered the house and closed
the door turning on the lights. He went to the phone and picked it up only to
hesitate and finally hang it back up. Who was he going to call? What was he
going to tell them? Harry knew there was nothing he could do at the moment but
wait and he was never very good at waiting games. He lit a cigarette and began
pacing the floor trying to make sense out of the past hour. Who were these men
and what did they want with her? Then again, was it him they were after? If it
was, why take her? Why not go directly for him? What did they want? He pulled
out a bottle of scotch and began drinking one glass after another. A thousand
questions flooded his mind as he tried to get some sleep finding it impossible.
His mind raced as he tried to think of who could have abducted her and why? He
tossed all night waiting for a call or something from her or her abductors. He
didn't know where to start or what to do. He finally dozed off.
Angie was in bright and early as usual and had
everything unlocked, opened and the lights on and was making a fresh pot of
coffee as she glanced at her wall clock. It read 0800 hours. As the coffee was
brewing she went to the window and looked out to where Harry's car was usually
parked. It was empty. Thinking it was a bit odd she remembered the hot date he
had with Katherine that evening. She figured they had probably stayed out most
of the night. She returned to her desk and began working. As time passed she
glanced back at the clock to see it was almost noon. She stood and went to check
his parking spot again and discovered it was still empty. Concerned now that she
hadn't heard from him by now she called the front gate to see if he'd come in.
He could've come in and had somewhere else to go to first. The gate sentry said
he hadn't come in yet. She decided to call his home.
The phone rang bolting him from the deep sleep he had
finally rested into. He grappled for the phone and with a groggy voice answered
"Yes." He mumbled.
"It's Angie at the Institute sir. It was getting on sir
and I was a bit concerned. Is anything wrong?" She asked noticing she'd woke him
from a sound sleep.
Harry tossed his covers off and sat up on the edge of
the bed as he switched ears with the phone.
"What time is it?" He asked as he looked for his watch
on the nightstand.
"About 1220 sir. Are you ok?" She asked with a concerned
tone of voice.
"Yeah....I'll be in directly." He said standing.
"Yes sir." She replied as she heard the line go dead on
the other end.
He stumbled about as he got dressed. His head pounded
and he felt a little nauseated. He got in his car and headed for the Institute.
Angie watched from the window as his car pulled up and parked in his reserved
spot. He got out and walked to the front door. He entered his office to find
Angie pouring him a cup of coffee. She handed the cup to him with his morning
mail and messages as he passed her. He looked rough. His eyes were bloodshot and
bags were visible under his eyes indicating he hadn't slept much last night. She
looked at him with a worried expression. He took the cup of coffee from her and
the in-coming and went into his office without a word to her. He left the door
open and sat down at his desk. He took a sip of his coffee and set it on his
desk as he began going through the mail and messages. This waiting was starting
to get to him. He hated this feeling of utter helplessness.
Angie stood and went to the door and glanced in at him.
She could tell something was troubling him deeply. She went into his office and
stopped in front of his desk.
"Something troubling you sir? Anything I can help with?"
"No! Just do your job and mind your own business." He
said as he continued reading his mail.
Something was defiantly wrong. She turned and went back
to her desk and continued with her work as ordered. As the day began to roll to
a close she stood and looked in at him. He had gone to his window and opened it
and was just standing in front of it staring out across the grounds. This was
all she could take. She went to her phone and called the Office of Naval
"This is Angie Reynolds from the Nelson Institute. I'd
like to speak with a Commander Walt Evens. Tell him it's urgent." She said in a
serious tone glancing back into his office making sure he was still at the
window. She didn't want him to know what she was doing.
It took a few moments that seemed like hours to her.
Finally she heard the familiar voice of her old friend.
"Angie? What's wrong? They told me it was urgent." He
replied with a worried tone of voice.
"I don't know if there's anything to be concerned about
here but Harry was late coming in this morning. When I called his home I woke
him from a sound sleep. It was 1220 then. When he walked in he looked like he'd
been up all night. When I asked if anything was bothering him he told me to go
back to my job and mind my own business. This isn't like him Walt. Something's
wrong, I can see it in his eyes, and it's not a lovers spat, I can tell. Could
you come by and feel him out for me? Just to put my mind at ease. I know you two
don't see eye to eye on things right now but I think he needs your help and he's
too damn stubborn to admit it." She said with definite concern and a hint of
fear in her voice.
"All right, just take it easy. I can be there within the
hour. " Walt replied trying to calm her down.
"Thanks. I better get off before he catches me." She
"I'm on my way." He replied as he heard the line go
Walt hung up the receiver and thought for a moment. Angie could usually handle anything Harry tossed at her including an attitude but this sounded serious. He'd never acted like that with her before. Something was defiantly wrong and true, they did have a falling out over a mission several months ago and neither had spoken to the other since. However, he couldn't let something as stupid as that stand between him and a close friend, especially if he was in trouble and he knew Angie wouldn't ask him what she had if it wasn't serious. He stood and left leaving word where he'd be. He arrived within the hour and parked next to Harry's car and walked up to his office. Angie gave him a smile when he entered.
"What's going on?" He asked.
"He's still staring out the window. He told me to cancel
everything today." She reported with a glance in at him.
"Ok, I'll take it from here." He said with a reassuring
smile to her.
Angie went to the door and knocked on it. Harry looked
over at it and saw Angie with Walt. Their presence seemed to return him from
wherever it was he'd been for the past several hours and turned to face him.
"Commander Evans to see you sir." She said returning to
"Admiral.....I was in the area and thought I'd drop by
for a few moments. How's it going?" He asked as Harry looked in his direction.
There was a long period of silence between them till Harry finally broke it by
extending his hand out to him for a handshake. Walt entered his office on that
Que. and went up to him taking his hand firmly in his.
"Close the door and have a seat." He said directly.
"Yes Sir." He replied a little sarcastically.
Walt could tell he was upset, nervous and there was even
a hint of confusion on his face. He could also smell the liquor on his breath
and his bloodshot eyes told him he hadn't had much sleep. After closing the door
as ordered, he took a seat in front of his desk and looked at him setting his
briefcase beside him.
"What's up? Looks like you've had a rough night?" He
"You could say that...........Commander......I mean
Walt, I know we've had our differences and we still don't agree about what
happened on that mission but I need to talk to someone. I don't always agree
with the way you tend to do things but you're still the best damned Intelligence
person I know. Can we call a truce?" He asked as he took his seat behind his
desk and looked at him with almost pleading eyes.
"What's happened Harry?" Walt said as his eyes got
serious and stared into his with a genuine look of concern that helped put Harry
at ease with him.
"I think Katherine's been kidnapped." He replied coming
right to the point.
"............Come again?" He said sitting up in his
"I think someone's grabbed her. We were having dinner at
the Harbor last night and the waiter told her she had a call. She left to take
it and never returned. When I checked on her I was told she had left with 2 guys
in suits driving a black Mercedes. I haven't heard a word from her since and
this waiting is driving me crazy!" He replied standing with obvious irritation.
He walked back to the window lighting another cigarette.
Walt stood as well and went up to him taking his friend
by his left forearm.
"Ok Harry, just slow down a minute. We can't get
anything accomplished in this frame of mind. Have you had anything to eat yet?"
"No.....I can't eat .......and I can't leave this
office. What if they call and I'm out. No..... I have to stay here." He said as
he slipped his arm out from his grip and began pacing the floor, puffing on the
Walt went to his intercom and pressed the button to
Angie's desk. When she answered he ordered 2 meals to be delivered to the
office. He left the line open and looked back at Harry. He wanted Angie to
listen in on things.
"all right Harry .......Let's try to clear our heads and
approach this like two rational people all right? Now...let's take this from the
beginning shall we?" Walt said trying to keep a lid on Harry's emotions which he
was discovering were running real high.
Nelson took a deep breathe and looked at the floor for a
brief moment. Harry had always been extremely attentive to proper military
appearance. He could see a definite after 5 shadow and the fact he'd been
drinking really sent warning flags up. Harry looked at his friend a little
"I told you what happened already. Someone has her and I
want some answers." He stated with obvious impatience.
"Don't start getting huffy with me Harry.........I don't
have to take orders from you any more and I'm not one of your employee's." Walt
replied directly, hoping to jar some sense into his friend.
Harry turned with obvious agitation and looked like he
wanted to haul off and hit him. Instead, he put his right hand up behind his
head and rubbed his neck.
"All right, " Walt continued, easing up a little "......
now...lets try to get to the bottom of this. It looks like we may have a
security problem here. If someone does indeed have Katherine as you suspect then
why ...could they be using her to get to you?" He stated as he looked at his
friend with concern and worry.
Harry always had to feel in control of a situation. This
time however, he wasn't, and Walt could tell he wasn't dealing with it very well
at all. Harry turned and looked at Walt as if surprised at his statement and
even just a bit annoyed.
"Security problem? What security problem?" He asked with
a direct tone of voice.
"You're the Director of this Institute for starters, a
retired high ranking military officer, and we both know your background in
Intelligence. So do a lot of others on the other side. You're also considered
the World's leading authority in Marine Science and Engineering. Some of your
designs have made major impacts in the military and scientific communities which
in my opinion makes you a likely target." He remarked just as directly.
".............I can see this was a mistake." Harry
replied looking back out the window with a puff of his cigarette.
"If you really thought that, would you have asked me for
my help?" Walt replied.
Nelson looked at his friend and was silent. His eyes
fell from Walt's to the floor and he sat down on the couch nearby. It was very
clear to Walt he wasn't thinking clear and was in a compromising position. Also
he could tell the formal setting of his office wasn't helping to put him at
ease. They needed to go somewhere where Harry would feel more relaxed. Only then
could he hope to get to the bottom of things.
"Look Harry. What do you say we both head to my place? I
still have that bottle of Glen Levits we liberated from those Marines back in
'54 that hasn't been opened yet. We can sit down and hash this out." He replied
with a understanding expression on his face.
"What are we saying here? Someone has Katherine and you
want to hold a social." He said with obvious anger now. His feeble attempt at
logic was also failing him as well which wasn't helping the situation any.
"All right Admiral, We'll do it your way. Just where do
you suggest we begin? Any ideas where she's being held and by whom?.........What
are they after? I'm waiting sir......time's wasting." He replied bluntly looking
him straight in his eyes.
Harry looked at him for a long moment as if debating
whether to deck him or throw the book at him for insubordination. He stood and
stared at him with rage filled eyes. He needed time to think and he wasn't
giving him the chance. Then as if a light had come on inside his head, he
suddenly began to realize what Walt was trying to do. One thing he had always
been good at was getting him to stop and think before acting on emotions.
Something he tended to do quite frequently he realized.
"You know Harry, you have a brilliant mind but you still
think too much with your heart....... Come on. Let's go somewhere where we can
relax and discuss this...ok pal?" He said with a gentle and reassuring hand on
He looked at him and after a moment nodded his agreement
with a sigh of resignation. Walt canceled their meals and he and Harry headed
for his home. When they arrived Walt opened the door and let Harry enter first.
He walked in and looked around the room removing his hat and coat.
"Here, I'll take those. You go in and have a seat. I'll
be right back. I need to check in and let them know where I am. I won't be
long." He went to the bedroom and telephoned his office.
"Hey Jim, this is Walt. Go ahead and put me on
administrative for the rest of the day. Something's come up I need to take care
of. No..no..I wish it was that redhead. Yeah...ok.. see ya in the morning." He
remarked hanging up the phone. He turned and looked back into the living room
where Harry was waiting for him.
"Maybe it'd be a good idea if you called your office and
had all calls forwarded here in case they try to reach you." He said.
He looked at him and picked up the phone and called the
Institute. Angie answered.
"Nelson Institute. Adm. Nelson's office. How can I help
"Angie, Nelson. I just wanted you to know we're at
Walt's place in case you needed to reach us. You have the number don't you?" He
"Yes sir. Do you want your calls sent there sir?" She
"You're unbelievable.....yes, please, and
Angie......sorry for unloading on you this morning. I'll explain it all later."
He said with a calmer tone of voice which made her feel a lot better.
"Not necessary sir. I understand. I'll forward all calls
to this number. Will there be anything else?" She asked.
"Not right now. I'll be in touch." He replied.
"Yes sir. I'll handle things here for you." She said
with a reassuring tone.
"Thanks Angie. See you soon." He replied as the line
While Harry was on the phone Walt went to lay his hat
and coat on his bed when an envelope fell out hitting his shoe. He reached down
and picked it up as he laid the jacket on the bed. It had the FBME address on it
and it looked official. He thought for a moment and then making sure Harry was
still occupied, opened it and read it. It was suddenly crystal clear to him what
was going on here. Harry was over his head in something he had little exposure
and experience with. If his suspicions were correct, his life could be in
jeopardy as well. It was all beginning to make sense now. Somehow, these people
had learned of the sub project that even he didn't know about and wanted it
and/or him and was using Katherine as leverage. He returned the letter to its
envelope and put it back in his coat.
"Dammit Harry." He whispered under his breathe. He then
went back into the livingroom just as he was hanging up the phone.
"She's having my calls sent here and will take care of
things there for me till I get back. I appreciate this Walt. I know we haven't
been on the best of terms lately. I've had a lot going on and things have really
begun taxing my patience." He said as he settled back on the couch.
"Care to talk about it? It might have something to do
with who's got Katherine." He said going over to his bar and pouring them both a
He wanted Harry relaxed and maybe giving him a few
drinks just might do it. He came back and handed him the drink. He took it and
sipped it as Walt took his seat across from him.
"Tell me Harry, just what are you doing out there
anyway? Do you have any kind of Government projects going on? Any Contract
work?" He asked as he eased back with a sip of his drink.
Harry was silent as he thought about what he had going
on at the Institute. He looked up at him and let out a sigh setting his glass on
the table beside him. He leaned forward toward Walt resting his elbows on his
knees and looked at the floor. After a few seconds he lifted his head and looked
deep into his eyes with a seriousness he had seen only once.
"Let me think........we're still settling in out there
for the most part. There's a lot of construction still going on and we're still
installing security systems on the grounds, in the buildings and at the pen.
Communication's is still..." He started but was interrupted by Walt and
"Pen? What pen?" He asked with interest.
"A sub pen, why?" He asked curiously.
"Why do you have a sub pen Harry? You don't have any
subs out there. " He asked.
"I'm designing a new sub for the FBME, and we'll be
berthing her at the Institute when she's completed." He replied.
"You're designing a submarine........what kind of a
submarine?" He asked with a growing interest.
"A Research sub, ........ we're still on the drawing
board with a lot of it. I have a team who's working on a new computer and the
geochemists are designing the nose for it. The Electronics guys are pulling
their hair out trying to figure out the wiring. We just got the funding
yesterday. I have a letter to that effect in my jacket. Katherine and I talked
about it at dinner and about her joining me at the shipyard where they're going
to be building her." He said looking at Walt a bit confused over where he was
heading with his questions.
"Does Katherine knows about this project?" Walt said
He walked over to the couch where Harry was sitting and
sat down beside him. Harry looked at him curiously, confused about his line of
"Yes, I've tried to keep her updated on the progress.
Why do you ask?" He asked studying Walt closely.
"What are you going to use this boat for?" He asked
"Oceanographic and Marine research..........and you're
starting to make me nervous with all these questions. Where are you going here?"
"I'm not quite sure ..yet,...would it be possible for me
to see the plans for this creation of yours or are they classified?" He
"Sure, I have the plans in my safe at the Institute." He
Harry looked at him as Walt stood and went to get his
hat and coat from the bedroom. He came back handing them to him. Harry took them
and looked at him for a brief moment as Walt headed for the door.
"Come on. We'll stop and eat first and then go to your
office." He stated as if it were an order.
Harry followed him out. They got in Walt's car and
headed for a small restaurant where they both ordered a good meal and ate as
they continued talking about the sub and the work he was doing at the Institute.
It had become very clear to Walt that all Harry was seeing was the scientific
aspects involved and was blinded to the bigger picture. A picture he was going
to have to paint vividly for him real soon. After their meal they headed back to
the Institute continuing their talk as they drove.
They arrived at the main gate of the Institute in good
time where they were stopped by security. Bright floodlights lit up the large
sign over the gate which read NELSON INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH with the words
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA under it in bold letters. The guard stepped out in
front of the closed gates and put his hands up in front of him signaling Walt to
stop. Walt stopped and took note of the security there. The guard went up to the
drivers side of the car as Walt rolled down the window and presented his ID to
him. The armed guard took his card and shown a flashlight on it and then looked
over at Nelson for a moment.
"Good Evening sir. Another late night?" He asked handing
the card back to Walt.
"We shouldn't be long." He stated.
"Very well sir. Have a good evening." He said going
inside to activate the electronic lock on the gate. It slid open and he came
back out and waved them through closing the gate behind them, locking them in.
Security was definitely no problem here. At the Office building they parked in
Harry's reserved spot along the curb. It was after hours and the place was
deserted except for the roving security he had spotted on the way in. Harry got
out of the car and waited for Walt to join him and they entered the building.
The two men proceeded to the elevator and entered. Harry
pressed the button for the 3rd floor and they started up. When they stepped out
Walt noticed a guard walking down the hall with a side arm and wearing the
uniform of a military policeman. They went up to his office door and the guard
nodded to them as they passed him, recognizing Nelson. As Harry unlocked the
door to his office, Walt noticed the sign on the door which read 'ADM. Harriman
Nelson' and below his name was the words 'Director - NIMR'. They entered and
Harry turned on the light. He went to his office and found the door locked. He
unlocked it and walked in turning on the light.
"You're going to have to excuse the mess in here. I'm
still getting settled in, but you already know that don't you?...Just watch your
footing ok?" He said.
Walt took special notice this time of the boxes and
books that were scattered in piles around the room. His first visit was rather
rushed and he had other things on his mind. He took note of a radio unit that
was just setting on a crate near the far wall near an opening in it. The room
was freshly carpeted and painted and the furniture was quite comfortable
looking. Harry went to his desk and cleared it off. Then he walked around to a
spot on the wall and gently tapped the paneling. A door clicked open to reveal a
safe. He turned his back to Walt covering the combination so he couldn't see it
and opened it. He pulled out a roll of what looked like maps. He went back to
his desk and laid them down and pulled the rubberband off them. He unrolled it
to reveal the detailed schematics for the Seaview.
"There she is, What do you think?" Nelson remarked
almost beaming with pride.
Walt carefully studied the drawings in front of him. It
was unlike any type of submarine he had ever seen. The most striking difference
was the bow. While most submarine designs were rounded to house the sonar and
torpedo tubes, the Seaview had two large fins, almost like a Manta Ray and eight
large windows allowing for excellent visibility.
"What keeps those windows from imploding from the
pressure?" He asked.
"They're made of a new alloy we've developed called
Herculite. Its light , transparent, and has a tinsel strength greater than
titanium. The observation windows are six to ten inches thick, yet they can
withstand pressures in excess of 3,000 psi." Nelson replied.
"Amazing!" Evan's commented as he continued to study the
drawings, then he noticed two rows of hatches along the deck just behind the
"Harry are those what I think they are?" he asked.
"Yes, they're missile tubes. The Seaview is equipped to
carry up to sixteen experimental missiles or sounding rockets and can even
launch small satellites if necessary."
"Those things are big enough to carry any sea-launched
ICBM we have in the inventory." Walt said ,starting to become concerned. "For a
'research ship' you're packing a lot of firepower aren't you?"
Harry seemed a little uncomfortable at Walt's last
"Well, yes, I guess we are, but, hopefully, we'll never
have to use them for that purpose." He replied trying to sound convincing.
"Yeah, right ... and I'll be the next Chief of Naval
Operations." Walt said sarcastically.
He noticed the area on the prints where the reactor was
and started studying it rather intently. Harry noticed it. Walt looked up at him
with a curious look.
"This isn't anything like the S5W system we use. What
type is it?" He asked studying the prints intently.
"An S17 type. It's more compact and much more automated
then the conventional models. It takes up decks B and C and allows us to reach
speeds of 45 to 55 knots. She employs heavy shielding to permit access to the
surrounding areas." He stated.
Walt looked up from the desk at Harry surprised at his
"Has this been built yet?" He asked with definite
"Yes. The prototype was tested about 2 weeks ago and
operated perfectly. We've been given the go to begin construction of the sub.
That's what the letter was about that I showed Katherine." He replied.
"Who designed this system." He asked almost not wanting
to hear his answer.
"I did,..why?" he replied.
"What type of coolant system are you using?" Walt fired
back, ignoring his question.
"Liquid sodium.....you want to fill me in here? Am I
missing something in the conversation?" He remarked with a curious and
inquisitive tone of voice.
"That stuff's pretty corrosive, have you come up with a
way to contain it?." He asked.
"Yes. We've developed some new alloys............ I
don't like that look in your eyes. What's going down here?" He asked
"That's it! " Walt exclaimed, slamming his hand on the
desk. Nelson backed away as Walt began to pace the room. Walt had a look on his
face as though someone had flipped on a light in his head.
"That's what? What in the hell are you talking about."
Harry asked curiously.
"You really don't know, do you." Walt said making a
circle around Harry's desk and flopping into his chair.
"You honestly don't realize what you've done here do
you." He replied looking up at Harry with serious eyes.
"NO, but you're about to tell me, aren't you?" He said
walking up to him.
"It's all starting to make sense now." Walt said to no
one in particular, deep in thought.
He looked up at his friend and realized all he was doing
was agitating the situation. Harry drew a deep breathe and looked at Walt with
an expression or irritation.
"Sorry Harry,..let me back up a minute. Remember back in
the late 50's the Navy built a nuclear sub , the Seawolf."
"Sure I remember her, I was on the Nautilus at the time,
putting her through sea trials." replied Nelson.
"Well, I was pretty good friends with her exec, can't
recall his name right now, tall lanky guy from Georgia, finally left the Navy
and became a peanut farmer of all things.... Calabash...Cartwright...no, Carter,
James Carter. "
"What's this got to do with Katherine's abduction?"
Asked Nelson , his voice rising with agitation.
"I'm getting there." Walt answered realizing he needed
to get to the point. "Anyway, I seem to recall Jim telling me something about
testing a liquid sodium reactor on the Seawolf. Worked pretty well except that
the sodium kept eating the coolant pipes. The Navy finally gave the whole thing
up as a bad idea. Reports are that the Soviets have been working on their own
liquid sodium system for years with the same results."
"I still don't understand what this has to do with me. "
"Don't you see Harry, the reactor you've come up with is
not only more efficient and more powerful than anything else out there, its also
extremely quiet , which could make the sub much more difficult to detect. Hell,
it might even make current ASW systems obsolete over night given the Soviets
free reign at sea. " Evan's said looking down at the blueprints.
"Somehow they've got wind of your design and I'll bet
you a case of Scotch they're after it." He stated bluntly.
Harry straightened as the reality of things began to
sink in. He sat down on the edge of his desk and his eyes fell to the floor.
"And I thought I had gotten out of this line of work
when I retired." He said as if lost in deep thought.
Walt looked at him and stood. He went up to him and put
a hand on his shoulder trying to reassure him things would be ok. At that moment
the phone rang. Both men looked at it and Nelson looked at Walt as if asking
what he should do.
"I'll get on the other line. Wait for my signal." Walt
He went into the outer office and took the phone in his
hand and walked to the door where he could see Harry and he him.
"On 3...1, 2, ....." And he picked up the phone at the
exact same time Harry did.
"This is Nelson." He replied.
"Be at the Harbor Pier in 45 minutes. Go to your usual
table. You'll be contacted." And the line went dead.
Harry just looked at Walt. His eyes told him all he
needed to know. Harry hung up the phone as did Walt. He gathered up the plans
and returned them to his safe and locked it closing the wall panel behind him.
The two left his office and once outside Walt stopped him.
"I'll be nearby. Just play it cool....ok?" He said with
a reassuring voice as he put a pen in his shirt pocket gently patting his chest
with a smile.
Nelson just gave him a nod and they got in their cars
and headed off the grounds. Harry drove straight to the restaurant and noticed
he had lost Walt a while back. He parked his car and went inside. Daniel
escorted him to his usual table. Harry sat down.
"Dinning alone tonight sir?" He asked politely.
"I'm expecting company. I would appreciate it if you saw
to it that we were not disturbed." Nelson replied trying not to appear
"Of course. Would you like me to bring you anything
while you're waiting?"
"Yes, a Scotch and water." He replied looking around
He lit a cigarette and waited. He looked around but
didn't see Walt anywhere. Nelson kept glancing nervously at his watch. It was
already ten minutes after eight. He was anxious enough about the events of the
past 24 hours, and being kept waiting like this wasn't helping matters any.
"Your drink sir. Will there be anything else?'. Nelson
glanced up at the waiter and shook his head in silence indicating he was content
with just the drink.
As the waiter left three men approached the table.
Nelson looked up at them as they approached and he went to stand but was given a
wave of a hand telling him to remain seated. They sat down, one on each side of
him and the Blond hair'd one across from him.
"Good evening Admiral." The blond hair'd gentleman
remarked to him with a smile.
"How 's my fiancee'?" He asked with a low voice, looking
deep and seriously into the man's eyes with a look that told him he wasn't in
the mood for games or socializing.
"She's quite well and unharmed.......so far. Now,
whether or not she remains that way will depend on you." He replied growing
quiet as the waiter came up to them.
"Would you like to order drinks?" He asked.
"I'll have a Vodka." The blond hair'd man replied.
The others, who had remained quiet the whole time shook
their heads in a negative manner and looked back at Nelson in silence. The
"I must admit Admiral, you are full of surprises." He
remarked lighting a cigarette of Russian origin.
"Enough about me, what do you want?" He asked with a
direct and brash tone of voice.
"In good time Admiral. You really do need to learn to be
more patient." He said easing back in his chair in a casual and relaxed
Nelson was becoming very irritated with this guy. His
patience was gone and his mood was getting worse by the second. The man on his
left responded to his heightened posture by casually putting a hand on Nelson's
left forearm gently. He looked at him in silence revealing the presence of the
pistol he carried just inside his coat. This got his attention and he looked
over at the blond headed man as he tried to bring himself under control. Walt
knew Harry's behavior well and could read his posture and expressions a mile
away. He could tell he was wound tight and on a hair trigger and it wasn't going
to take much to send him over the edge.
"Get it under control Harry." He whispered to himself as
he watched things silently from his table.
"Relax Admiral............... I understand you're
working on a special project. A submarine to be more precise. Is this correct?"
He asked with a puff of his cigarette.
"You tell me." He replied trying not to sound too
"Just answer the question Admiral." The man replied in a
very calm and quiet tone of voice.
Nelson hated this procrastination. He stared into the
man's quiet eyes and was silent. This seemed to irritate the man for he leaned
foreword on his elbows toward him and dropped Katherine's necklace on the table
before him. His face went serious and his eyes blazed into Nelson's indicating
he wasn't going to play games either. Harry picked up the necklace and then
looked back at the man, his message coming across crystal clear. With a sigh of
resignation he nodded, yes.
"You hold degrees in Oceanography, Electronics,
Engineering, and Nuclear Physics.......quite an impressive record. " He remarked
easing back in his chair with a more relaxed posture now. He had made his
"I say again.....what is it you want from me?" He asked
"My sources have told me you have designed a new type of
reactor for this submarine of yours. Is this correct Admiral?" He asked taking a
puff of his cigarette.
Nelson was getting very uncomfortable with this
conversation. Walt had been listening intently to the conversation as well over
a small receiver he had in his ear. He drew a deep breath and let it out slowly
as he could see where the questioning was going. He'd been right. It was the
reactor they were after. He continued to eat his meal as he listened.
"I'm looking at several possibilities." He answered.
"I see.....tell me, what kind of coolant will you be
using in it?" He asked taking a sip of his drink.
"There's only one type of reactor coolant I'm aware of.
Why do you ask? Are you aware of another type?" He asked as he too eased back
into his seat.
"You're playing a very dangerous game Admiral. A
very....dangerous game." He stated looking coldly into Nelson's eyes.
Nelson didn't need to say a word. His expression told
the man all he needed to know. He wasn't the bluffing type and he didn't scare
"You will get the plans, and come to the beach just off
dolphin inlet. You know the place?" He asked.
"Yes, I know the place. But what makes you think I have
plans? A large portion of this project is still on the drawing board." He
"You have exactly 60 minutes. We will have your fiancee'
there. I don't need to tell you to come alone. We wouldn't want any accidents
now, would we? 60 minutes Admiral." He said standing with the other men.
They exchanged looks and the men left. Nelson glanced at
his watch and looked around one last time for Walt but didn't see him. He
couldn't wait for him. He left and headed for his office. As he opened his safe
and picked up the plans he hesitated.
"I can't do this." He said as he tossed them back into
the safe and as he started to close the door he heard Walt's voice.
"I've notified Adm. Crawford and the Intel boys. You'll
be covered pal." He said as Harry turned to face him.
Harry looked at Walt with confused eyes and then at
Katherine's picture on his desk. He closed his eyes and his head dropped as he
reached into his safe for the plans. Walt stopped him and handed him another
set. Harry looked at them, and him, and closed the door to his safe, locking it.
He folded them up and put them in the inside pocket of his coat. He then reached
in his side drawer and took out his shoulder harness and gun. He took off his
jacket and put it on checking the weapon for ammo. He put it in the holster and
with one last glance at Walt he turned and left heading for the inlet as
There was a full moon out that night which lit up the
coastline. The air was cool and he could smell the salt in it. The waves rushed
up on the shore indicating to him it was close to high tide. A strong sea breeze
blew over him as he began walking down to the beach. If it weren't for the
situation he was facing it could have been a relaxing visit. He looked around
but didn't see anyone. He looked at his watch and realized he was five minutes
early. As he waited he began going over the events leading up to the moment. He
looked around again trying to catch sight of Walt. He couldn't see anyone. The
internal battle that raged inside him consumed his every thoughts as he searched
the water and beach for signs of his adversaries.
He sat down on a rock and looked out at the sea. He put
his hand inside his coat and felt the pistol he had in the shoulder harness
under his arm. He took a deep and shaky breath. Finally, in the distance, just
off shore, he spotted something, low to the water and moving in. He studied it
as it got closer. He finally recognized it as a raft that contained 4 people. It
drew closer and finally washed up on the beach. Two men jumped out and ran up to
him leveling rifles on him. The other one stepped out and pulled the raft up on
the beach while the fourth person remained in the raft. The 3rd person extended
a hand to the person in the raft and helped her out. It was then he recognized
it was Katherine. He straightened but found the barrels of the rifles pushed
firmly into his stomach and back stopping him from going further. They walked up
to him. Harry and Katherine exchanged looks. She tried to go to him but the man
grabbed her by her arms firmly and stopped her. Harry straightened in protest of
his treatment of her. One of the men moved up in front of him and opened his
uniform coat. He saw the pistol and took it out tossing it into the water.
"You have the plans?" He asked.
"I have them." He replied.
The same man who had removed his pistol checked his coat
again and found them. He removed them and went over to the man holding Katherine
and handed them to him. He leveled his rifle at him again as the man released
Katherine and opened them to inspect them. Once released Katherine ran into
Harry's arms. He held her close and tight to himself. She was shaking and
crying. He removed his coat and put it around her shoulders and kissed her
gently on her forehead. He looked back at the man.
"Very good Admiral. However these plans appear to be
incomplete." He said folding them back up and putting them inside his shirt.
"I told you that a lot of the project was still on the
drawing boards. The rest of those plans I'm afraid are tucked away in my head."
He said with a soft and yet controlled tone of voice.
"I see........then you'll have to come back with us." He
replied as he said something in Russian to the 2 men.
"I'll go with you on one condition." Nelson said
"And that is?" He asked.
"You let her go free.........let her go and you have my
word I won't give you any trouble." He said.
Knowing the kind of man Nelson was and knowing that he
was a man of his word, he gave him a nod of acceptance. Harry looked at
"Go to the car and drive home." He told her flatly.
"Harry, you...." She started.
"GO! Get out of here, now.......Katherine, please!" He
said in an almost pleading voice.
She looked at him and gave him a kiss and then began
running to the car. Harry watched as she reached the car and got in and drove
off as instructed.
"I have kept my end of the agreement Admiral." The man
Harry walked up to the man and stopped before him. As if
out of nowhere a muffled shots rang out and the one of the men who had been
standing guard on Harry dropped to the sand. Harry seized the opportunity and
lunged at the man standing in front of him, trying to grab his weapon. As the
other guard raised his gun another shot was heard and the man fell near his
comrade. The group's leader and Nelson continued to struggle with each other at
the waters edge. Walt watched the skirmish through the nightscope of his rifle
hoping for a clear shot the man. He didn't want to think about the alternative
if he couldn't . A third and final shot rang out and the two men stood still for
several seconds until finally the Russian fell to his knees and then collapsed
face down on the sand dead. Harry stood over him and lifted his head up and drew
a deep breathe. Walt stood and ran down beside him.
"You ok?" He asked as he reached his side, looking his
friend over from head to toe.
something..........Walt........" He said between breathes.
"What's that?" Walt asked.
"I'm getting too damn old ...... for this shit." He said
as he laid a hand on Walt's shoulder with a smile.
The two men headed back to the road and got into Walt's
car. Harry's head fell back in the seat and he closed his eyes. Walt looked at
him and drove off for Harry's home.
"Thanks for taking out those two guys for me." He said
as he rested in the seat.
"You know, I really need to get to the range more
often." He said as he drove.
"Oh? You took those two out pretty efficiently from
where I stood." He said.
"Maybe so,......but I wasn't aiming at them." He
remarked in a serious tone still looking straight ahead.
Harry didn't say a word. He just rolled his head and
looked real hard at Walt as his thoughts raced over what he'd just heard. They
reached the Institute and was passed through the gates with no problems or
delays. They headed for his home and as they pulled up they saw his car in the
driveway and the lights on inside. Walt pulled into the Driveway and parked
behind his car. He shut the car off and looked at Harry who was looking hard and
silent at his home.
"What is it?" He asked.
"Why hasn't Katherine come out to meet us?" He said as
he opened the glove box of Walt's car taking the .38 revolver he kept in it out.
He checked it for ammo and opened the door. He got out and made a quick scan of
the area as did Walt. They slowly approached the home and after checking out the
front door area they went to the large sliding doors. It wasn't till then did
they notice one of the doors was ajar a few inches. They looked at each other
and Harry drew a deep breath and grabbed the door sliding it open quickly. Walt
move in around him and Harry followed backing him up. Walt suddenly stopped and
turned keeping Harry from going any farther. The expression on his face told
Harry all he needed to know.
"Katherine?" He whispered.
"Yes.....she's dead." He replied moving aside to let him
Harry turned the corner to the bedroom hall and saw her
body face down on the floor in a pool of blood. He began to breath quickly and
deep. His right hand clenched in a fist and he walked to her kneeling down
beside her lifeless form. It was then that he saw the note laying on her. He
picked it up and opened it. He read it and suddenly crumbled it in his hand and
his head lifted up and he let out a cry of pure anger throwing his gun into the
facing room. His head fell and he dropped to a half kneeling and half sitting
position in silence. Walt was on him instantly. Kneeling beside him he pried the
note from his hand and read it.
"I believe you have an old saying in your
country.....Paybacks are Hell aren't they?"
Walt looked at him and after a moment put a hand on his
"Harry......come on......we need to call the police." He
said as he helped him to his feet and directed him to a chair in the livingroom
where he sat him down.
He went to the bar and came back with a glass of Scotch
which he handed to him. Harry looked up at him as if in a daze and took the
glass taking a swallow of it. Walt picked up his phone and called the Santa
Barbara Police. Within half an hour or so they arrived. Institute police
supplied security on him till they arrived. Harry hadn't said a word or moved an
inch. An Ambulance accompanied them and the medics went to his side when they
entered and checked him over. One of them gave him a shot. Walt looked at him
and walked up to him.
"It's a mild sedative. It'll help him sleep. He's in a
state of shock and not surprising either. We'll take him to the MedBay here at
the Institute where he can sleep it off under medical supervision. We'll also
take care of the other party for you." The medic replied.
"Thanks." Walt said looking at Harry who just sat
quietly staring off into space lost in his own world.
Katherine's body was placed in a body bag and taken to
the ambulance. The medic looked at Nelson and knelt down beside him. Harry
slowly looked up at him.
"We're going to take you to your MedBay Admiral." He
said to him as he helped him to his feet.
Harry was quiet the whole way in. Walt stayed with him
while he was checked over and taken to a room where he was put to bed. The Chief
Medical Officer came in as Walt was getting ready to leave.
"Commander. I'm Dr. Timothy Jamison. How's he doing?" He
asked as he looked at Harry who appeared to be asleep in the bed.
"I think that sedative they gave him has kicked in
finally." Walt replied.
Jamison went up to him and checked him over thoroughly
and looked back at him as he checked the IV they had in him.
"He's asleep. He's been through a lot. We'll take good
care of him." He replied with a look back at his Boss. "Looks like you could use
some sleep yourself Commander, do you want me to give you anything?"
"No, that ok, I think I'm going home and get myself
stinking drunk. Damn I hate this work. I'll be at my office if you need to reach
me in the morning." Walt said handing Jamison his card.
"I'll keep you informed. Knowing him he'll want out in
the morning." He said with a grin.
"Don't you know it. Well, Good night Doctor." He said as
he turned and left.
"Good Night Commander." He said as he watched Walt
leave. He glanced back at Harry and then turned out the light and closed his
door. A nurse looked in on him periodically all night to make sure he was ok.
In the morning Harry awoke to the smell of fresh coffee.
The nurse had brought in his breakfast. He pulled himself up to a sitting
position as the nurse adjusted his pillow for him behind his back.
"How are we feeling today sir?" She asked as she opened
the blinds letting the sun in.
"A little drained but ok." He said as he took a swallow
of his coffee.
His door opened and Jamison entered. Harry swallowed his
eggs and looked at him. He went up to him and checked the IV.
"I think we can get rid of this Admiral." He said as he
proceeded to remove the needle from his left arm.
"When you letting me loose?" Harry asked as he finished
"How's after breakfast and a shower sound? I had a clean
uniform brought over for you." He said.
"Sounds great........Doc.......where'd they take
Katherine's body?" He asked as he finished his breakfast.
"Commander Evans has that information sir. He wanted me
to call him when you were ready to leave. He wanted to be with you when you went
to see her." He said.
"Thanks Doc." He said as he tossed the covers off
He got up slow and a little shaky but soon steadied
himself. He went into the bathroom, shaved and showered and came out and got
dressed. His car was parked out front in a reserved spot and he drove to his
office. He entered and everyone he saw expressed their condolences to him. He
just gave them a weak grin and walked on without a word. He entered his office
and Angie looked up at him as he came in. She stood and went up to him. He hung
up his hat and coat and turned to face her. She went to give him a hug as she
normally would do but he stepped aside and walked past her into his office. He
left his door open. She brought in his messages and mail. He sat down at his
desk and looked at her. She set them on his desk near him and looked at him.
"Will there be anything else sir?" She asked.
"No, thanks." He said as he leaned back in his chair and
began to read his messages and mail.
She went out and sat back down at her desk. As she sat
down she looked in at him with a worried look. The door opened and Walt came in.
She looked at him and nodded to the open door. Walt noticed her look of concern.
He looked at the open door and went in. Harry looked up as he entered.
"Well, you're looking a lot better then you did last
night." He said as he took a seat near his desk.
"How you doing?" He asked in a serious tone.
".....I'll be ok." He said in a not so convincing
"You want to see her?" He asked.
He didn't say anything. There was a long period of
silence as Walt noticed Harry's efforts to get himself built up to this. Harry
stood and him and Walt headed for the Funeral Home in town. Walt waited in the
outer room while Harry went in to see her. After a while he came out and they
headed back to the Institute. He didn't say a word the whole way back. Once in
his office Walt looked at him with a serious face.
"Harry, I can't tell you how sorry I am about Katherine,
I don't know, maybe...Maybe if you'd called someone else things might have
turned out different." He got up walked across to the window and looked across
"I mean.. what was I thinking, hell I'm an analyst, not
an operative. The moment you told me what was going on, I should have dragged
your butt over to Naval Intelligence, the FBI, ....anyone." Walt turned slowly
and looked at his friend. Harry just sat quietly staring into space as if he
didn't have a friend in the world. When he said what he had Harry just seemed to
look up and his eyes stared into Walt's with a look of deep hurt only to quickly
look away again as if he didn't want Walt to see what he was feeling inside.
He'd lost his fiancee' and now the only other person he felt close too was
trying to bail on him. Walt caught the quick glance and the look.
"Uh...., I don't know if it means anything after all
that's happened , but if I can do anything or if you ever need me for anything,
I don't care what it is or when it is, all you need do is pick up that phone and
call. You understand?" He said staring hard at him with a serious and sincere
Harry just looked at him, not sure how to take what he
said. Then his thoughts drifted to the past few days and how he was right there
for him. He could see he meant every word he had said.
"Her death wasn't your fault, it was mine......You're
right. I never should have drug you into this. I should have taken it to the
NIA. I've really stressed our friendship and I really don't deserve this kind of
loyalty. You're right, we shouldn't work together in the future." He said
looking at his desk top at nothing in particular.
"Why, because if we got too close something might happen
to me too? Don't worry about that , one thing I've learned working with you is
how to watch my six. In a way it's probably a good thing. Keeps me frosty and on
my toes." He replied trying to make Harry feel useful.
"One thing you've never needed was someone to keep you
on your toes. Something I still haven't gotten through my head yet and it cost
Katherine her life because of it." He said picking up her picture and staring at
"What do you mean you haven't gotten the message? You'd
be dead right now if you hadn't. You handled yourself admirably out there." He
said trying to boost his friends spirit some.
"Let's face it Walt......I'm not as young as I use to
be. I'm getting old and I can't react like I use too...or need too. Maybe I need
to step aside and let someone younger take the lead on this project." He said as
he put her picture back on his desk.
"So what are we saying here? You telling me you're going
to just give up everything you've busted your ass to achieve to date and simply
role over and quit? I don't believe what I'm hearing here.....You give up and
Katherine's death will have been for nothing. Could you live with that?" He said
leaning on his desk now and staring coldly into his face. He could see the
internal conflict going on inside him. He straightened and took a deep breath
and let it out with a sigh.
"Harry, I know this probably isn't the best time to say
this but you have to put this behind you. It hurts like hell and its going to
hurt for a long time, but you have a job to do. You've got the institute to run
and a boat to build. Make the Seaview a reality.........I really believe
Katherine would've wanted it that way." He remarked a bit harshly only to mellow
his tone at the end.
Harry just sat there in silence. He just stared at the
picture of Katherine. Walt studied him with a worried look and then looked at
the picture. He knew it was going to be hard for him to put all this behind him
but he had to snap him out of this state of mind.
"Look Harry..." Walt began but was cut off
"I'd really like to be alone if you don't mind." He said
still staring at the picture.
Walt looked at him in silence for a few moments and then
went up to him putting a hand on his shoulder. Harry let out a deep sigh and
looked up at him.
"You know where to reach me if you need me." He said
with a reassuring grip.
Harry eyes fell from his and he looked back at his desk
in silence. Walt removed his hand and left, closing his door behind him. Angie
looked at him as he came out noticing he had closed his door.
"How is he?" She asked with concern in her voice.
"He needs time to get himself pulled back together. Go
easy with him ok?" He said as he headed for the door.
"Don't I always?" She replied back with a smile.
He paused at the door and looked back at her returning
her smile. When he left she looked at the closed door and stood. She went to the
coffee pot and made a fresh pot. Pouring a cup she went to the door and knocked.
There was no answer. She opened it and looked in to find him sitting at his desk
as if in an hypnotic trance. She entered and went up to him setting the cup on
his desk in front of him. This seemed to bring him back from wherever he had
been and he sat up and looked at her.
"Thought you might like a cup, it's fresh. Is there
anything I can do?" She asked.
"Make reservations for a flight to the yards. I'll be
leaving in 2 days." He said as he picked up the cup and took a sip of it. Angie
noticed his hand was shaking slightly.
"Will there be anything else sir?" She asked looking at
"Yes..........have my quarters cleaned up. I'll sleep
aboard my yacht tonight. Any meetings?" He asked as if it were difficult to
"No sir." She said knowing he had 2 meetings scheduled
with Finance and the Construction Manager which she had canceled after hearing
the news of Katherine's death.
"Good, put me on Administrative will you? I'll be at the
Marina." He said standing.
"Yes sir." She said standing aside to let him pass. He
left and headed for the Marina where his Yacht was moored. He pulled into his
reserved parking spot and shut the engine off. He got out locking the car behind
him. He looked around at the scenery listening to the sounds of the screeching
gulls and the waves. He began walking to his 120 foot yacht called "Dreamweaver"
but stopped as he noticed 2 men sitting on a bench near it. They wore business
suits and looked like Government folks. They saw him and stood. Nelson took a
deep breath and continued to the vessel. When he reached it his Captain and 2
deck hands met him taking his bag from him as he came aboard.
"Welcome aboard Admiral. I'll see your bag is stowed
below for you. Your orders sir. " The Captain asked.
"Who are they?" He asked.
"Don't know, they were asking for you. Told them you
weren't aboard so they decided to campout on the pier." He replied.
"Find out who they are and what they want. I'll be in my
cabin." He said as he headed below.
"Aye sir." He replied looking towards the 2 men on the
He glanced back at Nelson as he disappeared below and
then turned and went to the gangway. He walked across it to the pier where he
went up to the 2 men. They turned and directed their full attention to him.
"The Admiral wants to know who you are and what you want
with him?" He said directly to them.
Both men took out their ID cards and showed them to the
man. He looked at them and nodded.
"Please tell the Admiral our business with him concerns
funding for a special project he's working on." One of the men replied.
"Wait here." He said as he went back aboard.
The 2 men watched as the man went back aboard and
disappeared through the same hatchway Nelson had used.
"This is some boat he has here." The other man remarked
looking at the vessel from bow to stern.
"Yeah......isn't it though." He replied looking the
craft over himself.
The vessel's Captain went below to Nelson's cabin and
knocked on the door.
"Come in." He replied.
"Admiral........They're CIA sir. One of them said their
business with you concerned funding for a special project you're working on." He
replied opening the door and entering, closing it behind him.
"You're sure they're CIA?" He asked.
"I saw their ID's sir. Yes, they're CIA." He replied.
"Bring them here." He stated bluntly as he eased back in
his chair taking a sip of a drink he'd poured himself.
"Yes sir." He replied.
He went back up topside and went ashore. He walked up to
the 2 men who looked at him as he came up to them.
"If you'll follow me please." He said.
They followed him aboard and then down below to Nelson's
cabin. They noted the names on some of the doors.
"A research vessel?" One asked the other who just
shrugged his answer.
They reached his cabin and the Captain knocked.
"Enter." Nelson replied standing.
The door opened and the 3 men entered. Nelson looked
long, hard and silently at the 2 men.
"Thank you. Carry on." He replied to his Captain.
"Aye sir." He replied leaving, closing the door behind
Nelson looked at the men as he walked up to them still
studying them silently. His uniform shirt had been pulled out of his pants and
unbuttoned revealing the T-shirt under it.
"Admiral Nelson, please accept our sincerest condolences
on the passing of your fiancée'....Our ID's sir." He remarked as they both
showed him their cards.
"Get to the point." Nelson replied flatly and with
"Yes sir. You're building a prototype submarine. We know
you don't have enough funding to complete it. We're here to offer you the
balance." He replied.
Nelson's eyes narrowed and he took on a very defensive
posture which the 2 men picked up on immediately.
"Why?" Nelson asked looking the man coldly in his eyes
as he took a sip of his drink.
"We believe your boat has a lot of potential." He
"Potential huh.....Thank you for the offer but I have
all the funding I need gentlemen. If you'll excuse me." He said as he reached
for the wall mic.
"I think it'd be to your advantage to finish hearing us
out sir." The man said stopping him.
Nelson stood silently and just studied the man before
him. He didn't trust the CIA as far as he could throw his yacht.
"Admiral.........first off we know you don't have the
money and don't have any prospects lined up either. Now, we're willing to fund
the remainder of your project if you'll agree to do an occasional job for us
here and there." He concluded.
A slight laugh escaped Nelson's lips as he smiled and
set his glass on a table near him. He looked at the man and his face got very
"I'm going to have you escorted ashore. If you bother
me, my crew, or any of my personnel at the Institute I'll file formal charges.
Have I made myself clear?" He said with a calm and quiet tone of voice.
"Think about it Admiral. Here's my card should you
change your mind." He replied laying a business card on a table beside his
Nelson had them escorted ashore. He picked up the card
and looked at it, thinking about what he had said. He finally tossed the card in
his desk drawer. He gave his Captain the order to set sail and the yacht slipped
gracefully away from the pier and headed for the open sea. The 2 men watched the
vessel leave from their car and when it was out of sight they headed off.
Walt sat in B.J.'s office discussing the events leading
up to Katherine's death.
"Is he all right?" Crawford asked with genuine
"They gave him a sedative and had him spend the night at
the Institute's MedBay. He was in his office this morning." He replied.
"That didn't answer my question Commander." Crawford
remarked a bit annoyed.
"He's as well as can be expected sir. Look Admiral, I'm
worried about Harry's safety. This project of his has made him a target. After
what's happened Security 's going to have to be tightened on him and the
Project." He said.
With that there was a knock at his door. He looked up
and over at it.
"Yes." He replied.
The door opened and 2 security policemen entered. They
went up to his desk and saluted him. He returned the salute.
"The security folks at the Nelson Institute have
apprehended someone they say is connected with the death of Admiral Nelson's
"Where is he being held?" He asked standing along with
"The holding facility at the Institute sir." He
"Let's go." Crawford said as the 2 men left for the
They arrived in short order and went to the cell where
the man was being held and began interrogating him. After determining he was the
one who had killed Katherine, Walt went to a phone and called Nelson's office.
"It's Walt, Angie. Let me talk to Harry." He said.
"He's not in Walt. He took Administrative leave and said
he'd be on his yacht. What's the matter?" She asked noting the tone of urgency
in his voice.
"We've got Katherine's killer in Security holding.
Contact the boat and let him know." He replied.
"Right away." She replied hanging up.
She tried reaching the pier but received a msg. that the
boat had sailed. She went to his radio and called the yacht. Nelson came to the
"Nelson here, over." He replied.
"It's Angie Admiral. Commander Evan needs you here in
Security immediately sir. They have Katherine's killer in holding. Over." She
There was a long period of silence. Nelson's face went
pale and straight. His Captain looked at him from the wheel with concern.
".......Understood.....I'm on my way, Out." He replied
cutting the line.
"Admiral?" His Captain asked.
"Turn about Ben and head back in. Notify me as soon as
we dock. I'll be in my cabin." He said turning and heading for his room.
"Aye sir." He replied turning the vessel about and
heading for port.
Once docked Nelson went ashore and headed for the
Institute. When he arrived he went straight to the holding area where he ran
into B.J. and Walt. He walked right by them as if he hadn't seen them with a
look in his eyes Walt knew all too well.
"Damn." He said going after him.
He caught up with him outside the cell. He grabbed him
by his arm firmly. Harry turned to face him in a confrontational state, his eyes
blazing into his with a look of uncontrolled rage.
"Whoooooa!.....Just.. cool it." He said firmly trying to
get his attention.
Nelson looked at the guard and then turned away from
Walt firmly jerking his arm free of his grip.
"Open that cell." He ordered.
"Belay that seaman. Don't start that crap with me
Admiral or I'll slap you in the cell next door." Walt remarked firmly.
The man inside the cell looked at Nelson and just smiled
at him. Nelson grabbed the cell door and jerked it hard.
"Paybacks are hell aren't they?" The man stated with an
amusing tone of voice.
"You Son-of-a-Bitch!" Nelson said making a grab for the
The guard, realizing what was going on pulled his gun
and leveled it on Nelson stopping him cold.
"Sorry sir.....he's a federal prisoner. I have my
orders. Stand back please." He said firmly.
Walt and B.J. moved between him and the guard and had to
physically pull him out of the room. Once outside they managed to talk him down.
"He'll pay for what he did. Trust me." Walt said knowing
how feeble it sounded.
Nelson turned and walked out of the building. Walt
followed him out. Once outside he went to his car and suddenly without warning
put his fist into the front passenger side window, shattering it. Walt just
stopped and looked at him realizing the situation. Harry pulled his fist back in
pain. He looked at it and then took out his handkerchief and wrapped his
knuckles with it.
"Feel better now?" Walt replied going up to him "Here,
let me see that." He said taking a look at it.
"That's going to need to be seen too. Come on, we'll
take my car." He said.
They headed to the medical facility on the grounds and
went to ER where Nelson was seen too immediately. His hand was cleaned and
bandaged and he was released. Once back in the car Harry seemed to sink into the
"Where too?" Walt asked.
"My yacht." He said in a low voice.
They drove out of the Institute and Walt took his time,
taking the scenic route to the Marina. Harry just stared out the window in
silence. When they reached the pier Harry got out and headed for his boat. Walt
followed. Once aboard they went to his cabin. Harry poured the 2 of them a
drink, handing Walt his as he sat down on a couch. He took a sip and just stared
at the floor. Walt sipped his and then looked at Harry.
"You really need to learn to control that temper of
yours pal. It's going to get you hurt real bad or killed one of these days." He
said easing back in his seat.
"Yeah." Was all he said in almost a whisper.
"You know what you need?" Walt asked.
"What?" He asked.
"A diversion." Walt replied.
"Not a problem. I'm leaving for the Yards day after
tomorrow. I'm going to complete this project and nothing is going to stop me.
Not threats, assaults, or lack of funds." He said as he took a deep swallow of
"Just don't drive yourself into a grave by pushing so
hard you kill yourself." Walt remarked finishing his drink.
"Thanks for the ride. I think I'll try and finish that
cruise I started." He said standing, finishing his drink.
Walt looked at him and put out his hand to him. Harry
took it firmly.
"Take care and keep in touch." Walt said as he turned to
"Thanks for everything." He said.
Walt left and Harry reached for the doorknob and
stopped. He thought about the 2 men who had paid him a visit earlier. He went to
his desk and opened the drawer removing the card they had given him. He looked
at it and was about to toss it back into the drawer when he had a change of
mind. He picked up the phone and dialed the number on it. A woman's voice
answered and he asked for the name on the card. In minutes he was connected with
"Agent Reynolds." He replied.
"Mr. Reynolds, this is Admiral Nelson. You have a deal."
He said hanging up immediately.
He didn't like the CIA or the way they did things. He
knew he'd be contacted for the details and notified his Captain to set sail. He
went out on deck and watched the sun set as they headed out to sea. His thoughts
were on the sub and the project and on a revenge he'd have one way or the
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