The Message
By: George Miller

Captain Lee Crane of the submarine Seaview was in his cabin when he received the call from Sparks.

“Captain, Sparks here.”

“Yes Sparks, Crane here, what is it?”

“Could you please report to the radio shack? I’ve just received a message... Top priority.”

“I’ll be right there!” Lee responded.

Lee left his cabin and was on his way to the control room when he was met in the corridor by Admiral Nelson.

Nelson asked Lee, “What’s this all about? I heard the urgency in Spark’s voice.”

“I don’t know, Sir.” Lee replied. “Are you expecting anything?”

“No, Lee, but we’ll soon know.”

The Captain, with the Admiral right behind him arrived at the radio shack. Sparks handed Lee the message. Lee read over the note and looked to the Admiral as he handed it to him. “Yes, Sir. This is important!”

The Admiral read the same message and nodded in full agreement. “Lee, what is our exact position right now? Can we make it there in time?”

The Captain led Admiral Nelson to the plotting table. Chip Morton was there already. Lee gave the coordinates to Chip and insisted he plot a course immediately with required time.

Chip quickly finished the calculations and reported, “We are right here,” he said while indicating their position on the charts. “It will take at least two days to reach the needed location.”

“Two days?” the Admiral exclaimed. “That’s not good enough! We need to be there in less than twenty four hours.”

“But Admiral,” Lee replied, “Morton’s right. There is no way to make it there in that time.”

“Lee, you don’t understand! You read the message. That will be too late. Don’t tell me that we can’t do it. We need to find a way!”

“Wait... There may be a way...” Lee said thoughtfully. “We can use the flying sub.” Lee rechecked the coordinates and added, “With the flying sub, we can be there in nineteen hours.”

“Yes, you’re right, Lee” Nelson responded. “We can make it in time! Make the preparations. Meet me in my cabin.”

The Admiral left the control room feeling more assured that they indeed will make their destination. Lee grabbed the mike and called for Sharkey.

“Chief Sharkey, this is the Captain. Report to the control room, on the double.”
“Sharkey, here. Aye Sir.” The Chief responded while turning to his men, “All right you guys... Keep on these repairs.

In just two minutes, Sharkey arrived in the control room. “Captain, what is it, Sir?”

“Chief, the Admiral, Mr. Morton and I have to be somewhere quickly. Prepare the flying sub for immediate launch.”

Sorry, Sir. Can’t do that,” Sharkey told Lee.

“What do you mean? You don’t understand, we need the FS1, and we need it now!”

But Sir, the flying sub took some major damage on our last mission. We’ve held off on repairs since we were on our way to Santa Barbara.”

“Well, Chief, all that’s changed! We need repairs done now! Have you determined the extent of damage and time to repair?”

The Chief checked some notes he had with him. He thought for a moment and told the Captain, “It looks like we can have it prepared in about four to six hours.”

Lee fired back, “Make it three! Get your best men on it. Trust me, you don’t realize the urgency of this mission!”

“Aye, Sir!” he said as he turned to some men in the control room area. “Kowalski, Patterson... follow me! We’ve got some quick repairs. Don’t just stand there... Let’s move it!”

Lee wasn’t looking forward to this but he went to the Admiral’s cabin with the bad news about the FS1. He explained the reason for the delay and expected repair time.

The Admiral was visibly upset, but tried to remain calm. “Lee have Mr. Morton plot a course to reduce our flight time after the repairs. I want the Seaview to make the best time she’s ever made! We will make this mission a success!”

“Aye, Aye Sir” Lee pulled the mike from the Admiral’s desk and informed Chip of the course change. He looked at the Admiral as they could feel the Seaview picking up speed..

A little over two hours, while in his cabin again, Lee received the call. “Captain, Sharkey here. FS1 is fully repaired and ready to launch!”

“This is Crane. Good job, Chief. I knew you could do it!” The captain clicked the mike button twice and called the Admirals cabin. “Admiral, I just received word, the FS1 is repaired and ready for launch!”

The admiral checked his watch... “Great! We can still make it in time. Contact Chip and have him get ready and the two of you meet me forward in ten minutes.” Then the Admiral added. “Lee, one more thing...”

“Yes, Admiral?”

“Full dress uniforms! We’re going to do this right.”

“Aye Sir” Lee called back. He contacted Chip and passed on the orders and continued to prepare himself.

The three men in their full dress uniforms met at the forward hatch in just a few minutes. The men in the control room were all wondering just what mission could be this important. But, true to form, they knew their place and didn’t ask. If it was important to their Captain, that was all they needed to know.

Nelson, Crane and Morton made their way into the flying sub and in a minute they were launched from the Seaview and were breaking the surface to continue their mission. The Admiral checked his watch as he had done so many time in the last few hours. Chip was feeling a little nervous. He had never been on a mission like this before. Then again, he thought, the Admiral and the Captain have been on so many mission, but he was sure this was all new to them also.

After a couple of hours of flight time, Crane pointed down to the ground... “Admiral, these are the coordinates in the message. This must be the area.”

“Fine, Lee.” The Admiral began scanning the area for a place to land the flying sub. Spotting a suitable area, he began his decent. They put the sub down just behind a row of buildings.

As the three men exited the flying sub, they noticed people watching and pointing. It seemed that they were not quite sure what to expect when they saw the flying sub land so close. But the three men, looking great in their full dress uniforms, ignored the stares. They had a mission and they were going to make it!

They continued a little further up the street, looking at all the buildings, trying to find the right one.

Chip stopped the Admiral and Lee and pointed... “Here it is. I’m sure this is the place.”

Nelson checked the message one more time and checked his watch, again, “Yes, Chip. This is it.” He looked at both Lee and Chip, “Well men, you ready?”

Lee and Chip both nodded that they were and Lee responded, “Well, let’s do it!”

The three men walked up the walkway and the Admiral knocked on the door. They waited nervously till the lady came to the door. They could see the surprise on her face...

The Captain spoke first... “Ma’am, I’m Captain Lee Crane this is Commander Morton and this is Admiral Nelson of the Submarine Seaview. Is this the location of the first annual Voyage Connvention?”

It took a moment for the lady to respond... “Yes, gentlemen. This is indeed the place. Come in, come in. We’ve been expecting you. I’m so glad you got my message and could come.

The Admiral replied, “No problems at all. We’re glad to be here.”

As they began to enter the house, Lee had memories of a time long gone by as he heard a familiar tune coming from another room... La La Laa... La La La La La La.....

The End...
(or is it?)

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