By Chris Allen
Admiral Harriman Nelson and Captain Lee Crane approached the guard at the entrance to the topside hatch of the submarine Seaview.
“Any one else aboard yet?” asked Nelson as he returned the sailor’s salute.
“Yes, sir. The only ones aboard right now are Commander Morton, Doc Jamieson and Chief Sharkey.”
“Very good. Carry on.” Nelson and Crane descended the ladder into the control room. Chip Morton, Seaview’s Executive Officer, was hard at work checking the charts in preparation for their departure. He looked up as the Admiral and the Skipper entered the control room.
“Welcome aboard, Admiral, Lee.” Morton was pleased to see that they had arrived. The crew were not due back from shore leave until later that day. Many of them would have difficulty reporting for duty on time. The fog was so thick outside it made driving dangerous and the airport had been closed all day. “I’m glad to see you made it despite all the fog out there.”
Nelson smiled. “Well it wasn’t too difficult. I have been staying at my apartment at the Institute for the last few days, trying to catch up on some paperwork. Lee joined me yesterday, so we didn’t have far to come.”
“No one else is here except the Chief and Doc. The crew are due to report at 1800.” Chip checked his watch. “Another three hours yet.”
“Everything O.K. here, Chip?” asked Crane, looking around the empty control room.
“Everything’s fine, Lee. Very quiet as you can see. The Chief is in the missile room, Doc’s in sickbay and I’m here and that’s it. All present and accounted for.”
Crane grinned and said, “Very well, carry on. I’m going to have a look around and I’ll see you back here later.” It was part of Captain Crane’s routine to take a quick tour around the boat making sure that everything was as it should be. He was very proud of the Seaview and liked to inspect her from top to bottom before the start of each mission.
“Aye, sir,” replied Morton. He watched the Skipper leave the control room, heading up the spiral staircase and then turned to the Admiral who had been checking the charts.
“Any further orders, Admiral?”
“Uh, no Chip. Carry on. I’ll be in the lab if you need me.” Nelson was already engrossed in his own thoughts about his latest experiment. This mission was going to be an exciting one for him. The Seaview would soon be heading for an area in the South Pacific where an undersea lab was located. Scientists have been carrying out experiments on electric eels and have discovered some fascinating data about them that Nelson was very interested in. He carried his own bags up to his cabin, dropped them off quickly and then headed for the lab.
Lee Crane enjoyed the quiet inspection of the Seaview. After he left his cabin, he headed for the missile room. Sharkey was there, busy at work. “Everything shipshape in here, Chief?” asked Crane.
“Oh, yes sir, Skipper,” replied Sharkey, looking up from his inspection of the torpedo control panel. “Pretty quiet around here. I hope the men make it back on time.”
“I hope so too, Chief. The Admiral is anxious to get underway without delay. Carry on.”
“Aye, sir.” Sharkey watched as the Skipper headed out of the missile room. He was used to the Captain’s pre mission inspections. The Chief returned to his work, humming softly to himself.
Crane spent the next half hour checking the store rooms, circuitry room, engine room and even headed up to the lab to see if the Admiral had any further orders.
Nelson was totally engrossed in his work when Lee entered the lab. Lee coughed slightly to let the Admiral know he was there. Nelson looked up and smiled at his Captain. “Oh, Lee. I didn’t hear you come in.”
“I’m heading back to the control room in a few minutes. Is there anything else I need to know about this mission?”
Nelson thought for a moment. “No, Lee. I think we have discussed everything. I’m heading down to the control room now. Any chance of a cup of coffee?”
Lee laughed. “I was thinking the same thing, Admiral. The galley was deserted when I checked it a few minutes ago. I’ll get Sharkey to see if he can get some coffee made. I’ll meet you in the observation nose in about fifteen minutes?”
“Fine, Lee. See you there.” Nelson left the lab and headed down to the control room.
Admiral Nelson entered the control room and saw that Chip was still hard at work at the plot table. Nelson greeted him and joined him at the charts. They both looked up suddenly when they heard the topside hatch open.
“Finally,” remarked Nelson, checking his watch. “I was beginning to think we might have to sail without the crew.” Morton headed over to the ladder to see who was coming aboard. He looked up toward the open hatch but there was no sign of anybody coming down. Chip looked over at Nelson who motioned him to go up and take a look. Chip started to climb the ladder and had almost reached the top when a figure in dark clothing began to descend the ladder. Seeing Morton there, he gave him a solid kick. Morton lost his balance and fell down the ladder, landing heavily onto the deck of the control room. The intruder quickly climbed down and had a gun pointing at Nelson before the Admiral could have a chance to react. Almost immediately, three more men dressed in dark clothing came down the ladder. The last one closed the hatch after him.
The man holding the gun motioned for Nelson and Chip to move back over towards the plot table. Nelson helped Chip up, who was a bit dazed from his fall down the ladder.
“Who the devil are you?” demanded Nelson angrily.
“Names don’t matter at this time, Admiral,” replied the man with the gun. “Quite simply, my country has need of your submarine so we have come to deliver it to my people. We may have need of you sometime, so for the present you will remain unharmed as long as you cooperate. My men are quite knowledgeable in the operation of a submarine. We will be setting the Seaview’s controls to automatic so my small crew should have no trouble handling what needs to be done. I suggest you relax and enjoy the ride.” The intruder looked around the control room as his men settled themselves at the sonar and hydrophone stations. “It seems your crew has not arrived yet which is a stroke of luck for us. Who else is aboard right now?”
Nelson answered quickly, “There’s just the two of us. The fog has delayed everyone.”
The intruder seemed to weigh Nelson’s words carefully. “I doubt very much if you are telling me the truth, but no matter. The rest of my men should be aboard by now and will take care of any of your men. In fact they should be in the engine room right about now.”
The intruder issued some instructions to his men. One of them took out his gun and stood guard on the periscope island with his gun trained on Nelson and Chip. “I must leave you for a while, Admiral. I need to check on my men and make sure everything is running smoothly. My man has been given orders to shoot to kill, so please don’t make any unnecessary movements.” The intruder headed up the spiral staircase to the upper deck leaving Nelson and Chip alone with the three men.
Suddenly they could hear the sounds of the Seaview’s engines starting up.
After having left the Admiral, Crane decided he had better find Sharkey and get that coffee made. It wouldn’t do to head off on a mission without the Admiral first having his daily ration of coffee. He chuckled to himself and headed down to B deck. As he reached the bottom of the stairs he suddenly remembered he hadn’t seen Doc Jamieson yet. As he headed toward sickbay he spotted Doc coming down the passageway with his arms loaded with boxes of medical supplies.
“Expecting an invasion, Doc?” grinned Crane, rushing to help Doc with the boxes before he dropped something.
Doc looked up at the sound of the Skipper’s voice and laughed. “I hope not, Skipper, but I thought I’d better stock up anyway. My corpsman hasn’t shown up yet so I decided to do my own shopping in the supply room. I can’t believe how quiet it is around here without the crew. At least I’m able to get some work done without being interrupted.”
Crane and Doc Jamieson reached sickbay with the supplies. They put the boxes down on one of the tables. “Thanks, Skipper. I should be well stocked now for any emergency.” Doc looked up at the Skipper hopefully. “This should be a fairly routine trip, shouldn’t it, Skipper?” The last mission had been very dangerous and Doc had his hands full patching up quite a few of the crewmembers. Luckily there had been no loss of life this time but even the Seaview, herself, had needed almost a compete overhaul.
“Pretty routine this time, Doc. The Admiral is all excited about these electric eel experiments of his. It should be just a quick trip to the undersea lab with a few days stopover there and then we should be heading straight back to Santa Barbara.”
Doc seemed relieved to hear the news. “I don’t mind admitting, Skipper, that it would be a nice change of pace to have an assignment where the most serious injury would be a cut finger or a bruised shin, you know, the everyday medical problems that you might encounter on a submarine filled with 125 men going about their daily work.”
Crane laughed and added. “I expect by the end of this cruise you will be complaining of boredom.”
“I certainly hope so, Skipper. In fact I’m actually looking forward to a nice case of boredom.” Doc glanced at the pile of boxes on the table. “Well, I’d better get these supplies sorted out and stored away before we . . . .” Doc’s ramblings were interrupted by the unmistakable sounds of the Seaview’s engines starting up. “Is that what I think it is, Skipper?”
Crane’s shocked look on his face confirmed Doc’s suspicions. Crane hadn’t given any orders to prepare to get underway. The crew wasn’t even aboard yet. Who had started the engines? Crane grabbed the microphone from the wall. “Mr. Morton. Who gave the order to start the engines?” No answer. “Control room. This is the Skipper. Control room!” Crane looked at Doc. “Excuse me, Doc. There must be a problem. I have to get to the control room.” Crane headed out of sickbay and ran down the passageway toward the control room.
As Crane began to enter through the hatchway that led to the control room he could see Chip standing with the Admiral by the plot table. He was about to call out to him when suddenly a shot rang out and a bullet just missed him. As he ducked back into the passageway he wasn’t quite fast enough and he felt the burning pain as the second bullet struck him in the arm. He staggered backwards but managed to stay on his feet. Whoever was firing the gun was coming after him!
Crane quickly ran down the passageway. As he turned the corner he ran right into Doc who had been heading towards the control room to see what the problem was. Doc was slightly taken aback at the sight of his Captain with his arm covered in blood but he quickly regained his composure and managed to open the door to one of the storage rooms. He and the Skipper dashed into the room, quickly shutting the door behind them. Almost as soon as they shut the door, they could hear the sound of someone running past the storage room and down the passageway.
Doc quickly produced a handkerchief from his pocket and bound Crane’s wounded arm with the makeshift bandage. He was about to say something when Crane motioned for him to remain silent. They both listened for sounds in the passageway but everything remained quiet. After a few moments, Doc whispered to Crane, “What’s going on, Skipper? Who shot you?”
“I don’t know, Doc. We must have intruders aboard. I barely had time to notice Chip and the Admiral standing there in the control room, when someone started shooting at me.” Crane winced as he tried to move his arm.
“Keep your arm still, Skipper. I managed to stop the bleeding temporarily, but I have to get that bullet out.”
“No time now, Doc. It looks like the Seaview has been taken over. They have started the engines and that means we will probably be getting underway anytime now. I don’t know how many others are on board but I’m not about to let anyone take over the Seaview.” Crane thought for a moment. “The first thing I need is a gun.”
“I have one in my desk drawer, Skipper.”
Crane looked up at Doc with a puzzled look on his face. “You keep a gun in sickbay?”
Doc managed a nervous grin. “You never know when I might have to persuade certain uncooperative patients to stay in bed.” Crane would have laughed if he wasn’t so worried about what was happening on the Seaview. Suddenly, they both felt the motion under their feet that told them that the Seaview was now underway.
“Come on, Doc. Let’s get to sickbay.” Doc helped the Skipper to his feet and they both listened carefully to make sure the coast was clear before opening the storage room door and heading for sickbay.
After shooting Crane, the man who had been on the periscope island took off after him. The man at sonar quickly took out his gun and pointed it at Nelson and Morton before they could do anything. They were ordered to stand still and not to make any unnecessary movements. The Admiral could see the worry in Chip’s face which mirrored his own. They knew Lee had been shot but they didn’t know how badly he was injured. A few minutes later, the man who had shot Crane returned to the control room, alone. Nelson and Morton both breathed a sigh of relief as they listened to him explain to the others that he had been unable to find the Captain. He had been ordered by the leader to remain in the control room and stand guard over the Admiral and the Executive Officer.
Doc locked the door behind him as he and the Skipper entered sickbay. He went directly over to his desk and opened the bottom drawer and handed the gun to Crane. Crane checked to see that it was loaded and then sat down while he tried to think of what to do next. Doc gave him a shot for the pain which he promised would not make him sleepy and then proceeded to rebandage the arm, all the time grumbling that he really should remove the bullet.
“Doc, you are going to have to come with me,” decided Crane. “I don’t know if they are aware that you are aboard but it will be safer if we stick together.”
“Do you have a plan, Skipper?”
“I think the best thing is to try and free the Admiral and Chip. If we can get to the control room without being seen, we may be able to surprise whoever is there.” Crane glanced up at the wall where there was an access panel to the ventilation shaft. Doc could see where the Captain was looking.
“Are you going to be able to move through that ventilation shaft with just one good arm?” asked Doc worriedly.
“It’s not too far. Come on.” Crane and Doc pushed a table over to the wall right under the access panel. Crane got Doc to jimmy the panel open and then Doc helped Crane up first and then followed right behind him. They closed the panel behind them and slowly headed along the shaft to the control room.
It was tough going. Crane could barely move his left arm and had to practically drag himself along the shaft. They had to move quietly so that they would not be heard by the intruders. They finally made it to the panel that led to the control room. Crane positioned himself to the side of the door so that he could not be seen by anyone. He could see the Admiral and Chip who were still standing at the plot table. There was a man on the periscope island with a gun aimed right at them. He could see only two other men who were busy at sonar and the hydrophone station. They didn’t seem to be armed and were engrossed in their work.
Doc watched the Skipper as he seemed to be formulating a plan in his mind. He noticed
that Crane’s arm was bleeding again and cursed himself for not bringing along any extra supplies. Crane then motioned to Doc to stay well back in the shaft. Crane carefully opened the access door silently praying that the hinges would not squeak. He stretched out along the ventilation shaft with his gun pointing towards the man on the periscope island. He steadied his gun and took careful aim before slowly squeezing the trigger.
There was a tremendous bang as the sound of the shot echoed through the ventilation shaft. The bullet found its mark as the man with the gun dropped like a stone. Immediately Nelson and Chip sprang into action and subdued the two other men before they could get to their feet. Crane started to come out of the ventilation shaft and Chip gave him a hand down.
“Good job, Lee,” said the Admiral, holding a gun on the two men.
“I would suggest you drop the gun, Admiral,” said a voice. “You too, Captain.” Nelson and the others turned to see the leader of the intruders standing on the spiral staircase pointing an automatic rifle at them. Nelson and Crane had no choice but to drop their weapons. Doc, who had just been about to come out of the shaft, quickly moved away from the opening and lay there quietly, his heart thumping.
The intruders quickly tied up the Admiral, Crane and Morton and sat them down on the floor in the observation nose with their backs against the windows. Doc watched from his hiding place for a while before deciding he had better see if he could somehow get help. He looked over at the radio shack and was dismayed to see that someone had destroyed most of the equipment there. Calling for help from the outside would be impossible. Doc was on his own.
They had been sitting there, tied up for over an hour. Morton looked over at Crane who did not look well. He had lost a lot of blood and was growing weaker. Morton glanced over at the Admiral. They were both thinking the same thing. Time was running out.
Doc was not happy with this situation at all. He managed to make his way back to sickbay and, lacking any other plan except to try and find Sharkey, packed a bag of medical supplies that he could carry on his back and headed back into the ventilation shaft. If Sharkey were still alive and hadn’t been captured, he might find him in the missile room.
Doc carefully made his way along the endless tunnels until he came to a sharp bend. He was about to go around the corner when he heard a shuffling sound. Someone else was in the ventilation shaft! Doc crouched out of sight around the bend and waited. As the person started to round the corner, Doc grabbed him around the neck and started to choke him. As he continued to tighten his hold, he looked down into the face of Chief Sharkey! Doc immediately loosened his hold and was very relieved to see a friendly face.
“Doc!” spluttered Sharkey, barely able to talk.
“Am I glad to see you, Chief!” whispered Doc.
“You’re the last person I expected to find in here, Doc,” said Sharkey. “Where did you learn to give a stranglehold like that?”
“Never mind that now, Chief. We’ve got problems.”
“You’re telling me, Doc. Did you know we’ve been boarded and these jokers have got Seaview underway?”
Doc explained to Sharkey what had happened in the control room and how the Skipper had been shot. Sharkey explained to Doc that he had spotted the intruders in the engine room and had managed to get away without being seen. He, too, had used the ventilation system as his escape route. Despite the fact that they had no weapons with them and little hope of reaching any of the arms lockers, Doc and Sharkey knew that they were the only hope the others had. They didn’t know how many of the intruders were aboard but Sharkey had counted at least ten, including the men in the engine room and others posted throughout the boat. With the four that Doc had seen in the control room, including their leader, things did not look good. The radio was destroyed so there was no chance of getting help from the outside.
“Maybe I could make it to the flying sub and go for help, or maybe use the radio there to call for help,” suggested Sharkey.
“You would have to get past the four men in the control room, first, Chief. And that’s where they are holding the Admiral and the Skipper and Mr. Morton.”
“So how do we get rid of fifteen guys when there’s only two of us?” asked Sharkey.
“Chief, I’m used to fixing everybody up after the mission is over. I’m not usually the one planning the mission.” Doc was quiet for a moment and then a huge smile broke out on his face.
Sharkey looked at the expression on Doc’s face. “You feeling alright, Doc?” He looked at Doc again. “Hey, have you got a plan?” Sharkey leaned towards Doc who began to explain to the Chief what he had in mind.
The Seaview had been underway for over two hours. They had been running submerged for the past hour. Nelson expected that the search would be on for the missing submarine. The Seaview wouldn’t have received port clearance and by this time most of the crew would have shown up to find out that the Seaview had sailed without them. The authorities would be after them. With the radio shack destroyed there wasn’t much hope of getting a message through. Nelson looked over at Crane who now lay on the floor. His eyes were closed. There wasn’t anything that he and Chip could do for him. Nelson felt utterly helpless.
The leader came back down from the upper deck with his automatic rifle. He seemed very pleased with the situation. Everything seemed to be under control.
“Captain Crane is badly injured,” stated Nelson. “If you untie me I could try and do something to help him.”
“Sorry, Admiral. I feel much more comfortable with you all tied up.”
“He’ll die without some help!” yelled Nelson in frustration.
“That would be unfortunate, Admiral, since my country could use his skills and his knowledge of military secrets. However, you and Commander Morton will be very useful to us, especially you, Admiral, with your great scientific knowledge.”
“You won’t be getting any help from either one of us,” said Nelson bitterly.
“So be it, Admiral. After all, we already have the greatest prize of all, this amazing submarine of yours.” The leader turned his back on the officers and walked over to confer with his men.
Doc and Sharkey made their way laboriously to the particular storage room that they had in mind. Sharkey loosened the door panel from the ventilation shaft and after checking to make sure the way was clear, jumped out and entered the storage room, closing the door behind him. Doc stayed where he was, praying that Sharkey wouldn’t get caught.
Two minutes later, Sharkey came out of the storage room with the supplies that they needed and started to cross the passageway when he heard someone coming. He quickly ran back into the storage room and closed the door. As two dark clothed intruders walked past, Doc held his breath and hoped they would keep right on going. His prayers were answered and soon Sharkey was back in the ventilation shaft with the supplies that he had taken from the supply room. Doc and Sharkey then headed along the ventilation shaft for their next destination, the air revitalization room.
Doc was beginning to think his knees couldn’t stand anymore of this crawling around the shafts when they finally reached the passageway leading to the air revitalization room. As if things weren’t bad enough, there was a guard standing right outside the door. Doc and Sharkey looked at each other and then went back down the shaft a short way to figure out what to do next. Once the plan was decided on, the difficulty was putting it into action. The two men went their opposite ways, each praying that the other would be successful.
As the guard stood outside the door of the air revitalization room, he was surprised to see a man in khaki strolling down the passageway with an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
“Hey, buddy, got a light?” asked Sharkey.
Before the guard could regain his composure, a hand came from behind him holding a thick wad of cotton. The cotton was held tightly against the guard’s face and after a slight struggle, the guard slumped to the floor.
“Way to go, Doc!” grinned Sharkey as they both grabbed hold of the guard and dragged him into the room.
“Chloroform. Works every time,” replied Doc, pleased that he had the forethought to pack some in his bag.
Sharkey quickly returned to the ventilation shaft and brought their other supplies into the air revitalization room. He shut the door and locked it. They didn’t want any other unwanted visitors while they were working.
After fifteen minutes, Sharkey finished making the necessary adjustments to the ventilation system. Everything was set.
“Okay, Doc. I’ll give you ten minutes to get into position. Will you be alright?”
“Don’t worry about me, Sharkey. Here, give me those four gas masks and I’ll be on my way.”
“Right, Doc. Good luck.”
“You too, Sharkey.” Doc opened the door into the passageway and after checking again to see if the coast was clear, Sharkey helped Doc up into the ventilation shaft. Sharkey then returned to the room and locked the door again.
Lee Crane had regained consciousness but was barely aware of his surroundings. His arm felt like it was on fire. Nelson and Morton kept talking to him to try and keep him awake but he was having difficulty keeping his eyes open. He looked up toward the access panel to the ventilation shaft where they had left Doc nearly three hours ago. He blinked his eyes to try to clear his vision. He could have sworn he saw Doc’s face behind the grille. He looked again. It was Doc!
“Admiral, look . . . it’s Doc,” said Crane in a barely audible whisper.
Nelson looked over at Crane thinking the Skipper must be hallucinating. He looked off in the direction that Crane was looking and to his surprise he, too, saw Doc who was holding up something and trying to get their attention. Nelson whispered to Morton who also looked up to where Doc was hiding.
“He’s got a gas mask in his hand, Admiral!” whispered Morton.
A dawning of realization came to the Admiral. “The air supply. Doc has done something to the air supply. Try to hold your breath as long as you can and take only small breaths if you have to.”
No sooner had Nelson given the instructions when everyone started having trouble breathing. Crane passed out almost immediately from the gas that he breathed in. Nelson and Morton tried to hold their breath but were soon overcome also. The three intruders in the control room stood up, clutching their throats, gasping for air. As they collapsed, Doc, wearing a gas mask, kicked the door to the ventilation shaft open and jumped out, clutching the extra gas masks in his hands. He ran over to Nelson, Crane and Morton, quickly putting the masks over their faces and encouraging them to breathe deeply. The gas masks, equipped with an oxygen supply, did the trick. Doc quickly untied Nelson and Morton and then busied himself with Crane.
Nelson and Morton grabbed the guns from the unconscious men in the control room and tied them up. Then the two officers brought Seaview to the surface and stopped all engines. Nelson then gave Chip instructions to take the con while the Admiral dashed to the engine room. He arrived there just in time to meet Sharkey, who was also wearing a gas mask. The men who had been working in the engine room were passed out in various positions on the floor or lying over the consoles they had been manning.
“We have to work fast, Admiral. That gas only lasts for about an hour. Then they’ll all start to wake up.”
Nelson and Sharkey worked quickly to tie up the men before they regained consciousness. Nelson was especially pleased to find the leader of the intruders lying there with the rest of them. Then Nelson and Sharkey made a quick search of the submarine. They found a few more of the men who had been standing guard at critical areas and tied these up too. Hoping that they had found them all, Nelson and Sharkey then returned to the control room. They helped Doc carry Crane to sickbay and then began the job of getting Seaview underway again. This time their destination was back to Santa Barbara.
Sharkey had already removed the gas canister that he had connected to the ventilation system and had restarted the air circulation system with clean air this time but it took a while for the air to be purified and breathable again. Once the intruders started to regain consciousness, Doc considered it safe enough for Nelson and the others to remove their gas masks. Then Doc set to work to remove the bullet from Crane’s arm.
The Admiral was able to use the short wave radio in his cabin to contact the authorities who would be providing an escort back. Luckily, the intruders had not located the transmitter which was hidden behind a secret panel on the wall of the Admiral’s cabin.
The Seaview met a Naval destroyer en route to Santa Barbara and the prisoners were taken aboard the destroyer. A very relieved Admiral Nelson then instructed Chip and the Chief to get the Seaview underway again at flank speed. There was a very anxious crew awaiting their arrival at the dock in Santa Barbara.
A week later, Admiral Nelson, Captain Crane, Chip Morton, Doc Jamieson and Chief Sharkey were sitting in the observation nose reminiscing about their recent adventure.
Everyone had congratulated Doc on his ingenious plan to pipe knockout gas throughout the whole submarine.
Morton inquired, “Doc, what gave you the idea in the first place?”
“Well, Chip, I knew the Chief and I had no hope to overpower more than fifteen men so I thought I could use my medical skills instead.”
“Yes. Since I spend a lot of my time removing bullets from most of you.” Doc smiled and looked over at Crane who was still recovering from the bullet wound in his arm. “Or stitching you all up from the many accidents and explosions that we seem to have here on Seaview. Well, I realized how useful an anaesthetic can be to render someone unconscious, so I just decided to put everyone aboard Seaview to sleep all at the same time. Sharkey knew how to connect the gas canister to the air revitalization system and it actually went quite smoothly after that. Our one problem was that the Admiral and the Skipper and Mr. Morton would have to breathe the gas in also but I thought if I could warn them not to breathe so much of it in and if I could get the gas masks to them quickly then they wouldn’t feel the effects too much.”
“Worked like a charm, didn’t it Doc?” said Sharkey with pride in his voice.
Doc nodded in agreement and then, as if remembering something, looked over at Crane once more. “By the way, Skipper. Didn’t you say something about a nice, routine mission where my only complaint would be boredom?”
Crane laughed along with the others. “Well, sorry about that, Doc. How about if we try again? I promise you this time that this will definitely be a very boring mission for you. In a few minutes, we are going to be heading out once more for that undersea lab so that the Admiral can finally complete his experiments on the electric eels. We have a full crew aboard, there’s no fog outside and we have doubled all guards topside. What could possibly happen?”
The others all laughed as Doc stood up and shook his head at the Skipper’s last remark. He then left the observation nose muttering to himself something about Captains who should know better than to tempt fate and how he, himself, should have known better than to expect any mission aboard Seaview to be routine.
Crane and Morton headed over to the control room.
“Make all preparations to get underway, Chip. Steady as she goes.”
“Aye sir. Steady as she goes.” A few minutes later, Chip smiled at Crane as the Seaview sailed smoothly out of the harbour heading out on another “uneventful” mission.
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