By George Miller
The morning sun attempted to break through the remaining clouds left from the storms which covered most of southern California. Warm sea breezes were coming in over the beaches of Santa Barbara. There was every chance that this would be a good day for the sailors assigned to the submarine Seahawk to finish their duties in preparation for departure. The sub base was located in a secluded area about twenty miles south of Santa Barbara. The location of the base was known only to those directly connected with the mission at hand. The men of the Seahawk were an elite group of sailors, chosen for their ability to deal effectively with the unknown. Seahawk was being refitted with all the latest detection devises available. It’s hull had been reinforced to withstand dives to a depth of ten thousand feet. New nuclear propulsion systems were capable of producing a speed of 150 knots while submerged without the normal cavitation sounds. This made the Seahawk a very dangerous submarine.
Admiral Crane was in the officers quarters looking over the details of the impending mission. He could not shake the feeling that things were not quite right with the orders. However he was convinced that they must be carried out. This was a delicate situation and he had an idea that there may be some on board that could not be trusted. Lee had received command of the Seahawk six months earlier when it had returned from it’s previous sea duties under very mysterious conditions. The captain had been killed by his own men. Lee was given no details, but it raised concerns which he kept to himself. No expense had been spared in the refit of the submarine, and he felt that every improvement would be needed. He just hoped it would be enough.
“Captain Morton” Lee called into the ships intercom.
“Morton here” replied Chip.
“Report to my cabin immediately.”
“I’m almost through with the installation of the nuclear missiles and forward torpedoes, It will be only a few minutes...”
“Put Kowalski on that detail. I want you here now.”
“Aye, Aye Sir. On the Way.”
Chip Morton had served with Lee for over five years under a different command. They had been friends for many years prior to that time. It was this reason that allowed a feeling of trust to confide in him the details of the mission. He still couldn’t shake the feeling that he would need to be cautious even with Chip. There came a knock on the cabin door.
“Yes? Who is it?”
“Come” Lee called. “We leave port at 23:00 hours tonight. It’s time for me to release the details on our target. This information is to be kept on a level three confidence. Only the two of us will know the mission until I feel it necessary to supply details to the crew. Do you understand?”
“As you are aware, we have made many improvements to the Seahawk, and we will need to rely on every one of them. We will push the crew to their limits. It is your job to see that there is no failure to any of the systems or the crew.”
“Understand, sir.” Chip responded. “With all this secrecy and major changes, just what is our mission?”
“Chip, you better sit down. You may have a problem accepting this detail, but I am relying on you as my second in command. This is going to seem an impossible job. We have been ordered to search, locate and destroy...”
“Admiral... Lee, what is it? Locate and destroy what?”
“We are to locate and destroy... the Seaview, with all hands aboard.”
Elsewhere in the Pacific ocean, the Seaview effortlessly moved through the deep waters. In the observation room behind the clear steel windows sat the inventor and builder of this amazing submarine. Admiral Hariman Nelson, who was alluded by scientists around the world as a man of great vision. Some said that the creation of such a sub was nearly impossible. The Seaview had been built as a scientific research vessel. It had been designed to reach depths that no US Naval submarine had ever been capable of. The greatest innovation was the development by Nelson of a transparent steel that was used in the nose of the Seaview.
It was through these windows to the sea that Nelson saw something that was to change his life forever. It was something that he could not get out of his mind. His life seemed to be driven by a new obsession. It had cost him the respect of many of his peers in the scientific society. After returning from that final mission, several of his officers had requested to be released from duty aboard the Seaview. Since the ship was privately owned and not officially registered as a US Navy submarine, there was little he could do to prevent their departure. Among those who requested leave was Captain Lee Crane, Chip Morton and Seaman Kowalski. The men never actually gave any lengthy explanation for their request, but the Admiral was sure they had no recollection of what had happened on that last expedition.
What these three men could recall, as well as the other eighty six sailors aboard the Seaview did, was that three months of their life was missing. Even the data recorders aboard ship had been cleared of any information of the lost time. Only the Admiral had the knowledge of what had occurred, but without any hard evidence, he would not even attempt to explain it to Lee Crane. Lee had been a good friend of Nelson and was given his first command when he boarded the Seaview, but an inner feeling told him to keep the information to himself for the time being. After all, who would believe such a thing could happen without the scientific proof. He was not sure himself that it had really happened or perhaps he wished that he to could have been as fortunate as the others to not recall anything about the events.
It all began about a year earlier while the Seaview was investigating a strange undersea current that was creating a hazard to the international shipping lanes in the Pacific. It was similar to the Bermuda triangle but it was more deadly. Ships that ventured into the area were sinking so quickly that there wasn’t time for any distress calls. The only indication of a problem was that ships were missing and had not reported any problems. With the lack of information from any of the effected vessels, it left a large area of the shipping lanes to be explored. It was decided by the ship owners that only the Seaview and Admiral Nelson would be able to successfully find the cause of the problem.
Admiral Nelson was in his quarters going over reports of information gathered by the Seaview crew when the call came in, “Admiral, I think you should come to the control room.”
“What is it , Captain?”
“Sonar is picking up signals that are not similar to anything we’ve ever had before.”
“Anything else unusual?”
“Water temperature outside the hull is forty degrees above normal and still rising.”
“I’m on the way.”
Nelson left his cabin and was making his way forward to the control room when there was a solid impact on the side of the Seaview, knocking the Admiral to the deck. A sudden motion in the other direction sent him crashing against the bulkhead.
“Control Room, this is the Admiral, what hit us?”
“Still checking,” replied Lee, “Damage control...Report.”
“Damage control, Aye. Slight water leakage in the forward torpedo room, Under control.”
“Fine, stay on it. Morton, slow to one third.”
“Aye Aye Captain, Engine room slow to one third.”
As the Admiral entered the control room, he immediately sensed the speed reduction. “Captain, why have we slowed?”
“Sir, we were just hit by something, but there is nothing there. We need to locate the cause before we can resume at full speed.”
“Try to keep the time to a minimum. We have allot of ocean to explore as soon as possible.”
“Yes, Sir” Crane responded.
Commander Morton was at the depth indicator, noticing a problem notified the Captain. Captain Crane, we’re losing trim and the depth of the ship is increasing with out control.”
“All back full, Chip, pull us out of it.”
“Aye, Sir. Engine room all back full, we’re losing trim.”
Nelson called to Crane, “Get control of this dive. I’ll be in the forward observation.” Nelson continued to the observation room in time to see something very strange. Directly in front of the Seaview was what looked like a tornado. Being five hundred feet down and being drawn deeper the Admiral began to call Lee to the observation room. Before he could call for Lee to report to the forward room there was a shudder aboard the ship. They were being drawn deeper and deeper under the ocean surface. There was not enough speed to counteract the pull of the current. The Seaview reacted violently as it attempted to hold the depth at the current level. The ship was pulled into the current with the lower speed. The Seaview was being drawn closer to the turbulence. The ship was beginning a long arcing turn to the left and the nose was continuing to go down.
“Captain, full speed reverse... having no effect. We’re still going down. Reactors near critical,” called Chip, “Outside water temperature now 60 degrees above normal.”
“Mr. Morton, full right rudder, all up on the diving planes, We’ve got to break free of the currents,” ordered the Captain.
“Aye Sir.” Helm, Full right rudder, Planesman full up on the controls.”
These actions were having no effect on breaking the Seaview free from the current. The submarine continued its spiral decent. The reactors were going critical.
“Lee,” called out the Admiral, “Full speed ahead, thirty degree down bubble, full left rudder. Let’s try to power forward at a greater speed than the current. Centrifugal force should throw the Seaview clear of the turbulence.”
“Captain there’s no time. She’s breaking up. Just do it. Now...”
“ OK Admiral, Engine room full speed ahead. Helm thirty degree down bubble full left rudder. Chip monitor depth gauge and speed.”
Chip began to read off the decent. “1000 feet, 1200 feet, 1500 feet... Speed 50 knots, 65 knots and increasing.”
The Seaview continued to dive. Depth readings were now over 5000 feet and speed was passing 90 knots. This was faster than the sub had ever traveled. The force of the current continued to draw the sub downward. At 6000 feet below the surface the turbulence subsided. The speed however remained constant at the 90 knots.
“Sir, it’s working,” called Chip, “Helm is regaining control. Speed holding at 90 knots. My God...”
“Chip, what is it?”
“Outside water temperature now 130 degrees above normal. Lee, the ocean waters are heating the Seaview to critical levels. We can’t withstand this heat for more than a few minutes...”
It was at this moment the Seaview lost all electrical power. Everything simply shut down. The Seaview had gone into total darkness. All monitoring equipment was off line. There was a mystifying sense of silence aboard the ship. They appeared to be floating on air. There was no effect of the turbulence to be felt.
“Engineering, Electrical, Damage report.” Called out Lee in the darkness.
“Engineering here Sir. Everything is down. I can give only life support and minimal emergency lights through the batteries. Damage to full ships circuitry unknown at this time.”
“Get on it. We need ship systems back on line, now.”
“Working on it,” called back engineering.
What seemed like endless minutes, but was actually only a few seconds, full power was restored. All ship functions were restored.
“This is the Captain, Full ship damage control report.”
One by one all the ship’s departments reported the same thing. There was no damage to report. All systems were operational again, as if nothing had even happened.
“Commander, what is our depth and speed?”
“Depth is ....”
“Chip report, what is our depth?” demanded Lee.
“We... We’re on the surface. Our speed is 5 knots. I don’t understand this. I gave no orders to surface or to reduce speed.”
Crane called out to navigation. “What’s our position. How far of course are we after that last experience?”
“We are currently positioned at about 200 miles off... Wait, let me recheck this.” The navigator rechecked his magnetic compass and took position from the internal monitors. “It all checks out Sir, we are now positioned 200 miles east of Washington DC.”
“Where? That can’t be accurate. We were in the center of the Pacific. You’re telling me that we are now 200 miles out in the Atlantic ocean?” asked Lee. “Sparks, put a call into the Nelson institute.”
“Communications, this is the Admiral, maintain radio silence. Send no messages without my direct orders.”
Lee was confused with the order for radio silence and asked the Admiral for his reasons for such an order.
“Lee, until we know exactly where we are and how we got here in less than two minutes, I want to make every effort to be concealed from everyone. We need time to investigate what really has happened to us. Take the ship down to two hundred feet and hold position,” ordered the Admiral, “I’ll be in my cabin.” On his way out of the control room he stopped by the radio room. “Sparks, as I said, I want no outgoing communication but I want you to monitor all standard radio broadcast frequencies and report anything you feel unusual directly to me on my private comm. line to my quarters.”
“Sir, exactly what am I looking to hear that you would consider as unusual?”
“I don’t know what you may hear but I am sure that you will be able to determine what is different than expected in radio communications. Just keep me informed.”
“Aye, Aye Sir.”
Lee and Chip continued going over each and every piece of equipment used for tracking the ship’s location. Everything checked and rechecked that the Seaview was off the east coast of the United States. They had no explanation of how this could happen. It simply wasn’t possible, yet it was true. The Seaview had moved to the other side of the world in a mater of minutes.
Seaman Kowalski, having just ended his duty shift, had returned to his bunk for some relaxation with his music. His portable radio had been preset on his favorite station of blues music. Being so many miles out to sea there were only a few stations that could be heard. Tonight was different though, his usual station was not coming in so he began to run the dial for another station. The stations he could locate were playing music that he had never heard before.
Between songs there were advertisements for major motion pictures with stars he had never heard of before. However with the long difficult details of the his previous duty shift, he was almost to a point of exhaustion. Kowolski was not paying to much attention to what was on the radio and in just a few minutes fell into a deep sleep.
Sparks was continuing to monitor standard radio frequencies as per the Admiral’s orders. He too, like Kowalski, did not recognize any of the music on the stations. There were advertisements for products he had never heard of before. While he was confused at what he was hearing, he did not feel it was enough to contact the Admiral. That is until he heard a local news report broadcast. Sparks was immediately contacting the Admiral. “Admiral Nelson, Sparks here.”
“Nelson here, what is it?”
“I think you should report to the radio shack. I’ve got something here that you were looking for.”
“On my way.” Called Nelson. “Captain Crane, meet me in the radio shack now.”
“Crane here, right away.”
Nelson was making his way to the radio shack when he ran into Lee in the corridor. Lee asked “What is this all about?”
“I ordered Sparks to monitor all broadcast frequencies while maintaining a radio silence. He has apparently heard something that has concerned him greatly.”
“What was he listening for?”
“Let’s get there and see what he’s got.”
The two men made their way into the radio room. What they found there stopped them in their tracks. Sparks was sitting at his control panel with his headphones on and was very pale. He almost was in a state of shock.
“Sparks, are you all right?” asked Crane. There was no response. Lee pulled the headphones from the radioman and switched the radio to the external speakers. What they heard was unbelievable. They now understood what was bothering Sparks”
Over the radio they heard the last seconds of a local newscast, “...and those are the top stories on this Friday afternoon, September 28, 2178. This news broadcast has been sponsored by your Federated Motors auto company and the new 2179 aerovan available now. Stop by your local dealer today...”
Crane and Nelson simply stood there looking at one another saying nothing. It was the type of thing that you could not believe you heard, but if you had to hear it you’re glad that you were not alone. After several minutes Lee broke the silence. “Admiral, did he say the year 2178? That’s just not possible. We must have misunderstood it.”
“No Lee, that’s what the man said, replied the Admiral. “I knew something was wrong and that things were not what they seemed. The way we had surfaced and dropped to 5 knots with out orders. There has to be a logical explanation.”
“But how... how is this possible? If we heard right, that means that we are almost two hundred years in the future.” Lee once again turned his attention to Sparks. He was still sitting there motionless and he was unresponsive. “Sick bay, Doctor, report to the radio room, Emergency.”
“Sick bay, here.” Called the Doc. “On the way.”
“Lee, here, let’s get him out of the chair, let’s put him down over here.”
Sparks remained motionless, simply lost in his own thoughts. The Doctor arrived in a few moments, “What’s the problem here?”
Nelson responded, “He appears to be in shock. He seems totally unresponsive. Can you do something for him?”
“I’ll do all I can, Sharky, get some men and get Sparks down to sick bay, now.”
“Yes sir. Men, you two,” called Sharky “get over here on the double. Let’s get this man to sick bay.”
Lee turned to Admiral Nelson, “Do I assign someone to the radio shack duty?”
“No, for the time being we won’t need any one on the radio. We’ve heard what I was afraid of and if my ideas of where we are anywhere near true, no one will be calling us.” he added, “at least no one we know.”
> Nelson reached over and shut down the radio and as he was leaving the radio shack with Crane, they both saw the control room crew, looking to them for answers.
“Lee, talk with the men, explain our position to them and have them stand by their posts.”
“Explain to them? I don’t even know what’s going on.” replied Lee.
“Well, that’s just what we’ve got to find out. They’re good men, just have them remain calm and we’ll try to inform them details later. Right now, however, check full status of the Seaview and report to my cabin in ten minutes.”
Nelson left the control room and Lee did his best to console the men and get damage reports as requested.
While the crew of the Seaview were trying to find out what had happened to them, in a top secret underground laboratory located just outside of Washington DC, there was an increase in activity also. This lab was unknown to anyone in Washington. It was a massive facility with walls of computers, tracking devices, surveillance equipment and a strange system of controls located within a restricted area. It was difficult to imagine that a facility of this size could be built so near the Capital, without anyone’s knowledge, but the man in charge was no ordinary man.
Karl Wilhelm had built the facility with a specific goal in mind. His plans were in motion now and were proceeding as he had planned. Many years of preparation were now ready to be put into action. Wilhelm was in his office when he received an urgent call, “Mr. Wilhelm, we have a problem in surveillance area C.”
“What’s the problem?” he responded.
“We have an unidentified passage report through the Pacific portal.”
“That’s no problem, nothing has been able to survive the passage through the portal. So, why are you telling me about this report?”
“That’s just it Sir, we’re getting reports of a passage with the ship in question surviving the trip.”
“Impossible, no ship from that time period could survive that” replied Karl.
“I know that’s how it was, but we have confirmed reports of the transport. You better get in here now, We need to know how to handle this.”
Wilhelm, highly agitated, left his office for the control area. Many thoughts were running through his head. How was this possible? Too much planning had been done, every possible contingency had been investigated. Well, he thought he had covered everything.
Arriving in the control area, Karl went directly to his chief commander, Fred Klaus, “All right, fill me in on the details, just what is going on here. Have these reports been rechecked? I know nothing built at that time can survive the transport. We’ve done all those test transports, all successful.”
“I realize that sir, but this was not one of our tests. We do have confirmed reports that a submarine from the twentieth century has safely come through the portal.”
“How? How was it possible?”
“Reports from undersea sensors show that unlike other ships that fought against the current and destroyed themselves, this submarine had gone full power into the portal” replied Klaus. “This allowed the ship to survive the passage.”
“Well where is it now?” demanded Wilhelm.
“It’s reported position is about 200 miles of the coast of Washington, right here in the Atlantic.”
“Have you identified this ‘miracle’ ship?”
“Well sir, we’ve checked the computer history records from that time period and we have determined that it is the submarine Seaview, commanded by Admiral Nelson.”
“Admiral Nelson?” Wilhelm thought for a minute, “Yes, Yes, I do remember reports of this Seaview and Admiral Nelson and if I remember correctly, his captain is a man named Lee Crane.”
“Sir, what do we do now?”
“Has there been any reported action from the Seaview?” he asked, “and have they attempted to reach anyone in Washington as yet?
No, sir. After they appeared off shore, they dove the submarine to two hundred feet and have not moved from that location and there has been no radio signals sent from the ship.”
Wilhelm thought about the situation for a few minutes. He knew that his submarine, the Seahawk, had been sent safely through the portal to the 1990’s, but the Seahawk was a ship designed by twenty-first century standards. He had designed the sub himself to withstand the trip. The ship was under the command of Captain John Wilson. The Seahawk was playing a key role in Wilhelm’s overall plans and would have a much larger role to come.
“Of course,” Karl responded, “They still don’t realize what they have done. The know by now that they are not in the Pacific, but they may not know that they have shifted in time. It’s amazing that they actually survived the trip. The Seaview was... is, a very unique ship.”
“If I remember correctly, all I’ve read about Admiral Nelson tells me he won’t make a move until he’s sure he knows all the facts about their situation. Continue to monitor the Seaview and alert me of any changes. I’ll be in my office.”
Wilhelm returned to his office trying to think of a way to handle this problem with the Seaview. He had planned too long to have everything changed now. He also knew that Admiral Nelson was a brilliant scientist and could ruin everything if given the chance.
He could not, would not let him disrupt his plans...
Admiral Nelson was at his desk, going over figures and calculations about there situation. He just did not have enough information available to make any determinations. He found it nearly impossible that they had been transported to another time, but being a scientist, he knew there had to be a logical explanation. There came a knock on his door.
“Come in” called Nelson. “Lee, good, come in sit down. Did you speak to the men?”
“Yes, with what little information I had. I tried not to get into the ‘time’ problem.”
“Good, for now only you and I and of course Sparks know about our trip to the future. By the way Lee, have you checked in on Sparks?
“Yes Admiral, the Doc has given him something to rest, he seems calm, but he hasn’t spoke since the time in the radio shack. Doc assured me he’ll be OK.”
“Very well, now let’s get on with our problem of time. The way I see it, while I don’t know how, we have been transported into the future. We don’t know what level of surveillance they have available in this time period so we may have been detected already.”
“I agree with you Admiral, but how do we get the information we need to return?”
“We will need to send a shore party to investigate. While we are off the coast of Washington DC, we still have no idea about what the world is like today. We can not risk getting caught by anyone from this time period and still expect to be allowed to get back home. Because of the risk factor, only two men will go ashore. Lee, one will be you and I’d like you to take Morton with you.”
“But if we can’t be detected, how do we get ashore?”
“I’ve given that some thought, Lee. Kowalski will pilot the flying sub and will take you underwater to a secluded area where he will drop you and Morton off and wait for your return.”
“If we are being watched, they will surely spot the flying sub departure.”
“Your right Lee, I’ve given that some thought” Nelson replied. “What we will do is turn the Seaview toward the open sea and go to full speed at the moment the flying sub is launched. The flying sub will be lost to sonar in the wake of the Seaview, then Kowalski can run the bottom to the shore.”
“That sounds fine, once we’re ashore just what are we looking for?”
“Lee... I don’t know. Just check things out. Get information on the government, see what direction the country has taken. Check with newspapers and news reports to see if there is any mention of the Seaview.”
“I understand Admiral, I’ll speak with Morton and Kowalski about the mission. We’ll find out something that will tell us how to get back.”
“OK Lee, but remember,” reminded Nelson, “This is the year 2178 and we really have no idea where their new systems of surveillance are. We don’t even know who’s controlling the government. So, just be extremely careful.”
“Yes Sir,” Lee said, “We’ll be all right.”
Lee left the Admirals cabin and returned to his own. Once there he called to the control room, “Commander Morton, report to my cabin and bring Kowalski with you.”
“Morton here, Aye Sir” Chip turned to Kowalski who was stationed at sonar and said, “You heard the Captain, Let’s get down there. Patterson take over sonar, Sharky, you have the conn.”
While waiting for Morton, Lee called into the ships intercom, “Sharky, get a work detail to prepare the flying sub for immediate launch.”
“Sharky, here, aye sir.” Sharky responded. He turned to some crewman,” Let’s go men, let’s do prelaunch checks on the flying sub.” While he was among those that were all too confused with what was happening, Sharky knew not to question orders from the Captain.
Chip and Kowalski made their way to the Captain’s cabin. Chip wasn’t quite sure what was going on with the Seaview, but felt sure that Lee had answers to his questions. At least he had hoped so. When they arrived at the Captain’s door, he gave it a strong knock.
“Who’s there,” called Crane.
“Commander Morton and Kowlaski, sir”
They entered the Captain’s office and stood by Lee’s desk, awaiting orders.
“Commander Morton, Kowalski, you’d better sit down for this,” advised Lee. “I know the two of you have many questions about our ‘experience’ on the Seaview. While you both are aware that we have been transported to the Atlantic ocean, you are not aware that we have also been transported about a hundred years into the future.”
“Into the future?” questioned Kowalski. “That’s impossible, it can’t be done.”
“Kowalski, let the Captain continue,” ordered Morton.
“You’re right Kowalski, based on the way we think things are supposed to be, but however, I can assure you it’s true,” said Lee, “and the Admiral has ordered us to go ashore to find anything that will help lead us back to our time.” Lee continued, “I must advise you that this mission must be done in complete secrecy. We must not be caught by authorities or raise any suspicion of anyone on shore.”
“But Captain,” asked Chip, “what are we looking for?”
“Chip, right now, I don’t know. The admiral wants us to find anything that can explain our time shift and something that will get us back.” Lee then added, “Who knows, maybe time shifting is a standard occurrence in this time period.”
“When do we leave?” asked Kowalski.
“Fifteen minutes. Get into civilian clothes and meet me at the flying sub.”
“Aye aye, sir.” Chip and Kolwalski left for their cabins to prepare. They both left the office with more questions on their minds than when they arrived at the cabin.
Fifteen minutes later, Lee entered the flying sub, to find Morton and Kowalski already aboard. Kowalski was in the pilot’s seat while Chip was in the back. Lee took the copilot’s seat.
“All systems checked?” asked Lee.
“Flying sub fully prepared for launch,” replied Kowalski.
“Admiral,” called Lee into the radio. “Flying sub ready for launch. Will launch on your orders.”
“Ok, Lee,” called the Admiral. “Turning the Seaview now to offer cover as discussed. Stand by for launch, be prepared for turbulence on departure.”
“Captain, what turbulence?” Asked Chip.
“To attempt to avoid detection, the Seaview will turn towards open sea and go to full speed ahead at the exact point of launch. This could be rough. Kowalski, immediately after launch, take us directly to the bottom.”
“Captain.” Nelson called on the radio, “Seaview in position, Full speed ahead in ten seconds. FS1 control, launch the flying sub... Now”
The flying sub dropped from it’s holding area under the nose of the Seaview. As soon as they hit the water, the Seaview went to full speed. Kowalski pushed on the controls to go to the bottom. The current generated by the Seaview almost turned the flying sub over. Both the Captain and Kowalski had to fight the controls to bring them level with the ocean floor before impact. Within twenty feet from the bottom, they had leveled off.
“OK Kowalski, hug the bottom and proceed to the assigned coordinates.” Lee ordered. Overhead as planned, the Seaview had come to a stop and held at two hundred feet depth. “Let’s hope that the cover was successful.”
Back at the underground complex, Wilhelm was busy searching through his massive computer’s history of naval ships. He had located the Seaview and was now going over all records of every crewman aboard. He knew he needed to check all records including all mission records of the Seaview and her crew. While it would have been easier to simply blow the Seaview out of the water, which he had the power to do from his base, he had found something very critical to his plans that would not allow that line of action. While being in the twenty first century, along with the knowledge of when the Seaview entered the portal, he was able to check on missions that the crew of the Seaview hadn’t even started yet. It was this information that told him what he needed to do.
While he was rechecking his notes, he received a call. “Mr. Wilhelm, Klaus here.”
“Yes Klaus, what is it?”
“Better get down here, there’s been activity on board the Seaview”
“On the way,” called Wilhelm.
Karl made his way to the control area, while going over his plans for the Seaview. He arrived in a few minutes. “What’s the report on the Seaview’s activity.”
The submarine turned toward the open sea and started engine to full speed, but only for about several thousand yards. It seemed they were leaving the area, but have since stopped and returned to their original position.”
“Any reports of anything leaving the submarine?” asked Wilhelm.
“No divers have left the ship”
“I don’t mean divers, I’ve been checking historic records. The Seaview was equipped with a flying submarine. That Admiral Nelson is a smart man, he could have used the Seaview as a diversion while sending the flying sub out with a small crew.” Wilhelm shouted over to sonar, “Do a scan of the entire area, pay close attention to the bottom of the ocean floor.”
Minutes later, “Sonar here, we are picking up activity about two hundred yards away from the submarine. A small craft, seems to be heading for shore.”
“Track it’s course,” ordered Wilhelm. “Klaus, get a detail together. We need to find where those men come ashore and need them captured.”
“Sir, Here is the estimated landing site location, time of arrival about fifteen minutes.”
“Good,” Wilhelm then turned to Klaus, “Get the detail to that location. I need those crewman captured. I need them brought to me alive and unharmed, they are not to be killed. I’m serious about this. These men must not be harmed. If we lose some of our men in the capture, you are not to return fire.”
“But Sir, if our men are killed, we are not to respond?” questioned Klaus.
“Absolutely not, you just don’t realize the importance to my plans. You have your orders... Move.”
Klaus assembled a group of ten of his best men together, advised them of their mission and sent them on their way. “Keep in radio contact, we will inform you of any change of location. Remember, these men are not to be harmed in any way. Locate these men before they can reach anybody from the government. Keep out of site yourselves and bring them back to the base.”
The ten men left the control area to proceed with their mission.
Aboard the flying sub, Crane, Morton and Kowalski were making their way toward shore while skimming the bottom of the ocean floor.
“Captain, we’re three minutes from drop site” advised Kowalski.
“Fine, just watch for any underwater obstructions. The waters are going to become very shallow in just a few moments.” “Chip,” Lee said, “We’re reaching our destination point. Prepare to go ashore.”
"Kowalski, I want you to surface just long enough for Morton and myself to leave. Then take FS1 out to two hundred feet offshore and settle to the bottom. Remember, no radio contact with the Seaview. Your orders are to return to drop off location exactly twenty four hours from now to pick us up. If we’re not at pick up point within ten minutes, you are to return to your staging area. After twenty four hours you will attempt our pick up once more. If we still are not here, return to Seaview.”
“But sir,” asked Kowalski, “without you?”
“Those are your orders. If we’re not here after forty eight hours...” Lee added, “We can’t allow the Seaview to be captured. The Admiral is working on other plans at this moment.”
“We won’t need those plans. You’ll be returning to the Seaview with me. I know you two will succeed.” Kowalski assured them. Although he knew he was trying to reassure himself.
“OK Kowalski, we’re here. Chip are you ready?”
“Yes, Captain,” Chip replied.
“Lee ordered, “Surface under those overhung trees. We’ll use the top hatch. OK Kowalski, thirty seconds on the surface. Chip, we’ll use the cover those trees to go ashore. Let’s go.”
Chip and Lee made their way through the undergrowth on shore. Turning briefly, the saw the flying sub sink below the surface to make it’s way to the planned holding area.
“Well, Captain, Where do we go from here? Morton asked.
“We’ll head inland, toward Washington. Oh, one more thing Chip...”
“While we’re on this mission, drop the formalities. We don’t want to arouse any more suspicions than necessary.”
“Aye, aye, sir.... I mean OK, Lee.”
The two men made their way toward the city, while trying to maintain there cover. Their plan was to get into the city and try to find anything that would help explain their situation. While making their way, they discussed their plans, “Lee, have you come up with any ideas as yet on what we’re trying to find?”
“I don’t know, Chip. I would guess our first step would be to find out if time travel is a common experience in this time.”
“Well Captain.... er, Lee, at least we have made it this far without being stopped and questioned.”
“Let’s hope our luck holds out,” Lee said, We simply have to succeed with this. Nelson and the whole crew are counting on us to return with some kind of answer.”
As they entered the city of Washington, Chip spotted a newsstand on a corner. “Lee, wait here, I’ll run over and pick up a copy of the Times. We may find some information that may lead us in a helpful direction.”
“What is it?”
“You can’t just go buy a paper with money that is one hundred years old. We don’t even know what the standard currency is in this time.”
“You’re right. I wasn’t thinking.” Chip replied. “Lee, over there... a vending machine. We can’t be caught buying there.”
“OK, go ahead. I’ll look down here” Lee indicated toward a major building complex. “Get right back with me.”
Chip returned in a few moments and they both began checking the paper for anything useful. They could not find any reference to the Seaview off the coast. There was nothing to indicate anything unusual in the area.
“Find anything, Lee?”
“No Chip, nothing here, let’s move on.”
The two men continued their trek into Washington with the belief that they were as yet undetected by anyone in the area. However, they were unaware that their every move was being watched by several men since their departure of the flying sub.
The men sent out by Wilhelm knew their objective. They were to capture but not hurt these two visitors from another time. They began to close in and were ready to make their move. As Lee and Chip turned the corner, they were jumped from behind. Lee turned quickly, broke away from his attackers and was able to put two of his attackers down. Nearby, Chip was able to take care of the two men trying to subdue him. In the confusion of the fight, one of the thugs pulled a gun, and pointed it directly at Chip.
“Chip!!!” yelled Lee, “Look out, get down.”
At that moment a shot rang out. Their attackers ran from the scene. Lee turned to Chip, expecting the worst. But to Lee’s amazement, Chip slowly got up from the ground and asked Lee if he was OK.
“I’m OK, Chip, but the shot....”
“Lee, look over there” One of the group of attackers was lying in a pool of blood on the sidewalk. He had been shot in the back.
“I’m not sure what that was all about, but I really don’t think I want to be here when the authorities get here and we have to explain who we are.”
“Right, Lee. Let’s get out of here, on the double.”
As they ran down the Avenue, they were able to duck down an alley at the sound of police sirens. They had barely escaped a bad situation. They continued running for several blocks until they felt it safe to stop.
“I’ve a feeling that was not just a random attack. We may not have been as inconspicuous as we had thought.” Lee commented. “What I don’t understand is why that man was shot by one of his own.”
Chip reflected on the whole matter. “Well, we can’t assume that we were picked at random in that attack. It looks like that man was shot to prevent him from shooting us.”
“Right, they’re gone now, but I think they’ll be back. We will have to be more alert.”
Chip and Lee went on their way, but with more caution than before. They couldn’t risk another surprise attack. Lee was still convinced that that man had been shot to prevent him from taking Chip’s life. He would have to give this more thought.
While they were walking down one of the streets in Washington, Chip spotted a sign that he thought was interesting.
Calling it to Lee’s attention, Chip said “Look here, Lee, we may find some answers here” He pointed to a sign for the National Museum and Technical Institute for Marine Exploration.
“Great idea, Chip. Since our problem occurred at sea, and one hundred years ago, there should be records of strange maritime occurrence.”
They went the five more blocks as indicated by read signs, turned the corner to see the museum.
“Lee, look at the size of that building. It looks like there is no admission since it is a Government building.”
“Well, at least that is in our favor. Let’s go in. I’m sure we will find what we need there.”
They took one more quick look over their shoulders to make sure their friends weren’t following them. They entered the museum, and stood in awe at the size of the structure.
“Gentlemen...” Called a man from behind, “Would you care to join our tour of the Marine Museum? The next full tour starts in ten minutes”
Turning quickly, still nervous from the earlier attack, Lee replied’ “No, no thank you. We’d like to browse the museum at our own pace. If that’s all right.”
“Sure men, no problem. Enjoy your visit. If you have any questions, I’ll be at the visitor service area.”
“Thanks.” Lee turned to Chip. “Let’s start looking around.”
The two men began to move around the various displays in the museum. The also spent an equal amount of time looking over their shoulders. They both agreed that their earlier attackers were sure to be back. They had left the main lobby area and moved down one of the great halls to another area. They entered on of the exhibition rooms and before them was an amazing sight...
“Chip, just look at this...” called Lee, “The actual submarine Nautilus. This is unbelievable”
“I can’t believe it. Such a famous submarine. It was the stories of the Nautilus that began my interest in the sea.”
“I know, Chip. It was one of the major factors in my joining the submarine forces and then the Seaview.”
While standing in awe of the Nautilus, they had momentarily forgot to keep a watch for their attackers. They were quickly brought back to reality when Lee spotted the men coming around the stern of the Nautilus.
“Chip, they’re back” yelled Lee. “They’ve spotted us, let’s get out of here, now.”
“Right with you” responded Chip.
They moved slowly toward the nose of the submarine to give the look that they were unaware. It didn’t have the effect they had hoped for. The other men broke into a run toward Lee and Chip.
“There on to us.... Let’s move.”
“Quick, down this way. We’ve got to lose them in the crowds.”
They ran down the halls through other visitors to the museum, trying not to hit anyone. They turned down a large hall. Lee was sure they had not seen them through the other people. Just in case he was wrong, he pulled Chip into a nearby doorway. They both went into a huge room and were standing in the doorway looking through a cracked door to see if they had slipped away from those men. To their temporary delight, they watched the men continue down the hall, away from them. While continuing to watch, while catching their breath, Chip was the first to turn around. He just stood there... frozen
All he could say was “Oh, my God.... Lee,
come here... now!
Lee, still watching out the door, called back, “What is it? Something that might help us?” Lee turned toward Chip and he too, stood there in disbelief.
“My God, Chip. It.... It’s the Seaview!”
“It must be a full size model, Sir”
“No, Chip. This is the Seaview, every inch of her the real thing.”
“But Lee, the Seaview and Nelson and all the men are out in the Atlantic waiting for us.”
“Chip, get a hold on yourself” Lee ordered. “This is the Seaview at this time. Remember, we’re not supposed to be here.”
“Right, it’s just too strange” Chip said. “What do we do now?”
“I say we go aboard. While it is their display of the Seaview, it is still our ship, right?”
“And you are the Captain... Let’s do it.”
They made their way up the access ladders to the deck, while trying to make sure they were not spotted. While they wanted to avoid another attack, they also were not ready to try and explain to the management of the museum. As they headed into the hatch, Lee was remembering how, so many years ago, he had first entered through this same hatch.
They entered the control room, walking slowly and carefully, as if they had never seen the inside of the ship before. There was a silence on board such as they had never experienced. Lee remembered the mission where he went alone on a mission to test a new computer, but at least then there was the sounds of an operational submarine. While the engines were off, thankfully the museum had supplied electricity to the sub, so at least there were lights.
“Chip, let’s get down to the observation room. Maybe we can get a look from there.”
Lee turned to Chip and asked, “I thought we agreed... no formalities”
“Well sir, It only seems right. We are on the Seaview”
“OK OK let’s go... Commander Morton”
It was a strange feeling to look out the special windows that usually showed undersea life, but instead now showed the paneled walls of the museum. There were several people milling around the Seaview from the tours. It gave Lee a sense of pride to realize that the Seaview would end it’s missions here in the National Museum among so many other items from the history of the sea.
“I hope they don’t decide to give any tours on board right now,” Lee said.
“Yeah, NOW’s not a good time.”
“Chip, let’s see if there is anything here that will help us. Check out the missile room, I’m going to my cabin. Meet me there in fifteen minutes”
Aye, aye sir!”
Chip went up the circular staircase from the observation nose while Lee made his way to his cabin. When Lee made his way through the control room, he paused at the radio shack. He thought for a moment to try and send a message to the Seaview, from the Seaview. Nelson, he knew, would be amazed at all this as well as proud, as Lee was. But, no, radio silence had been ordered and it would be followed.
He continued on his way, looking at the computer. If he only had time.... The information that was held in the computer would be fantastic. Maybe, just maybe he could try to recall information from the time they passed through the time portal, it might shed some answers. He activated it with his secret code. To his surprise, the computer hummed to life. He programmed the search for the time period in question, while looking at the hatch in the conning tower, ‘I really hope, now that there are no tours’ he thought to himself.
The response from the computer was not what he expected. While he located information that they had been on a mission about missing ships, the next several weeks were just blank. No records. This was strange. He moved further ahead in the records looking to see when they resumed.
There were no records that indicated any of what they were going through now. The system was not capable of losing records on its own. They had to have been erased. But .... Why....
Lee had thought for a moment, to move the tapes further into the future to see what it may carry for him and his crew. But, he was not the type of man who would want to cheat his future with that kind of information. He believed in living life as it came. He suddenly had a cold chill. What if they never made it back to their own time and that is how the museum got the Seaview in the first place. No, his mind wouldn’t accept that idea. They had to get back. He had so much still to do.
He shut down the computer and headed on to
his cabin. When he arrived, he was surprised that while locked, his key still worked. Unlocking the door and entering his cabin from the future, he took a few minutes to look around. He recognized many of his belongings. However, there were some pictures on the wall that were new to him. In one of the frames was a picture of Lee congratulating a new Captain in full dress uniform. The new ‘Captain’ was Chip Morton. Lee was shown wearing ‘Admiral’s’ stars. Looking on was a very proud looking Admiral Nelson. He knew it might be wrong, but he removed the picture from the frame and put it in his pocket. He thought he might like to have it later.
He moved to his wall safe, using his combination, opened it and removed the contents to his desk. Among the items was his personal hand gun. This could be helpful, he thought, but then again, how stable is the ammunition. After all, it’s been in this safe for around a hundred years.
He had just begun to go through his personal papers when he was shocked by a voice over the intercom on his desk.
“Lee, Chip here... come in, can you hear me?”
“Chip, you just scared the hell out of me. What is it?”
“I think you better come forward to the missile room....” There was a pause. “You’ve got to see this.”
“What, what is it?”
“Not over the intercom, I need you here now, so go forward and get here now!”
“On my way” Lee Replied.
Lee stopped for a second. Something must be wrong. He thought how Chip called him Lee instead of Captain over the intercom. Chip was so adamant about formalities while on board. On top of that, telling Lee to go forward to the missile room. Chip knew the layout of the Seaview, but then it dawned on him. Chip was with someone who did not no where Lee’s cabin was. They probably did not even know who they really were. He looked on his desk and thought, ‘I don’t care how old it is, I’m taking the gun.’ He threw his papers back into the safe, locked it and headed aft to the missile room.
As he approached the missile room, he thought that to enter through the hatch, he would be walking into a trap. So he turned the hatch wheel, but moved into a supply room to the left and entered the missile room that way.
When he was in the room from the side, he found he was right. There were five men waiting inside the hatch for him. Looking across the room he saw Chip tied to a chair being guarded by two other men with guns aimed at Chip’s head.
While passing a missile silo, Lee was hit from behind. His gun slid across the floor, getting the attention of the five men at the doorway. Lee was captured from the floor and tied up next to Chip.
Lee was rubbing the back of his neck where he was hit.
“Lee, I’m sorry. They were here when I got here” Chip whispered.
“That’s all right. You did the right thing. You warned me about it with your call to me. I should have done more”
“What more is there. There’s eight of them.”
Lee yelled to one of his captors, the one who hit him. “What’s this all about?”
“Just sit there and shut up!”
“I demand to know why you’re holding us!”
“Demand? You.... Demand?” He laughed out loud. “You’re in no position to demand anything. You cost me one of my best men out there in the street.”
“I didn’t kill anyone! One of your own men killed him. Who knows, maybe it was you!”
The man moved toward Lee and slapped him with a backhand so hard it drove Lee from the chair. “You’re only alive now because I know how to follow orders.” He responded, “So do force me to do otherwise.”
One of the other men, visibly agitated, jumped up and yelled, “The hell with orders, I say we kill him now. I’ll do it” He reached to his side, “and I’ll do it with his own gun!”
Before his men could reach him, he raised the gun, pointed it at Lee and pulled the trigger. Lee heard the blast, but felt nothing. The old ammo in the weapon had not been stable. All six rounds exploded at once, killing the man where he stood.
Lee worked his way back into the chair. “Now what? Are more of your men going to die? What’s this all about?”
“Enough now! I’ve had all I’m taking from you. One more word from you and I’ll kill you myself” He responded. You’ll know when the time is right. Not before!”
He called his other men together, and Lee could make out most of what he was saying. “The museum closes in two hours. We’ll wait here. I’ve sealed the hatches to prevent any other visitors. They won’t investigate the problem until tomorrow. By then we’ll have these two back to the base.”
Lee whispered to Chip, “Well, I guess we’ll get our answers soon enough.”
Wilhelm was beginning to panic. His plans for his future were ready to be put into action. He had not heard form his search party since they had radioed him about the failed attempt to capture the two men. He had ordered them to keep in constant contact. How ten of his best men could not capture the two intruders from the past was unimaginable to him. He was pacing around his office when there was a knock on the door.
“Yes, who’s there?”
“Klaus, sir... We have word on the search party.”
“Come in.” He ordered.
Klaus entered the office only to find an angry man staring back at him. He moved toward Wilhelm, but remained cautious.
“Well?” Wilhelm demanded.
“Good news, sir. The search party is entering the compound now. They have the two men but unfortunately, we lost two of our men in the process”
“I can’t worry about that now! They knew the dangers when they joined my team. Let’s go Klaus. Let’s go and greet our visitors.”
As they made there way to the main level, Klaus noticed that the anger had left Wilhelm, only to be replaced with a new excitement, a new sense of urgency. They approached the main area as the remaining members of the search party were pushing the two captures ahead of them. The two men had been tied up and were blindfolded. As Wilhelm approached the group of men, they showed their disgust with the two men they brought in, they gave Lee and Chip a final shove, driving them to the floor.
“Easy, men. We don’t want to harm our visitors from the past. They’ve been through so much.” Wilhelm said sarcastically. He then thought to himself, “And they have so much more to go through...” He ordered his men to get Lee and Chip to their feet and to remove their blindfolds.
“Welcome...” he said to the two. “Welcome to my little establishment. I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”
“Where are we? What are we doing here? Just who are you?” Lee asked quickly.
“Easy, easy Captain.” Wilhelm replied.
“Captain?” Lee asked. “What makes you think I’m a Captain?”
“Come now, Captain. I’m right of course. You are Captain Lee Crane of the submarine Seaview, and you sir...” pointing to Chip, “are Chip Morton. Waiting for you aboard your great Seaview is a man we all know, Admiral Nelson”
“You haven’t answered my questions. You seem to know all about us, but you haven’t told me who you are or why we’re here.”
“Well Captain, allow me to introduce myself... I am Karl Wilhelm, and all that you see here and so much more is under my command. As far as knowing everything about you.... That was easy. You see, while you’re wondering where you are, you’ve forgotten that you have traveled about one hundred years into the future. I simply had to research you and your ship in my history based computer system.”
“You see, Captain,” Wilhelm added, “I know all about you. I know your entire life. I know about things you’ve done, that you haven’t even done yet in your own time.”
“That’s all well and good, but you have not told us why we’re here.”
“OK...” Wilhelm said. “Let’s go into this office over here and I’ll explain everything.” Wilhelm led the two men toward a corner office. He offered a seat two the two men and began to explain...
“Gentlemen, you and your submarine have stumbled on and passed through a time portal of my making. Several other ships from your time have entered also, but were all destroyed. Your Seaview, and your ability, Captain, have successfully passed through. The fact that you are here will prove very helpful in my plans for my future.”
“We’ll never be of help to you!” Chip exclaimed.
“Ah, but you will, in ways you can’t imagine.” Wilhelm went on, “and you won’t be able to not help me because you will think it’s your own idea.”
“Never!!!” Chip said as he made a move to get Wilhelm.
“Chip, sit down!” Lee ordered. “Let’s her him out.”
“Wise thinking, Captain.” Wilhelm added. “By all means, Mr. Morton, you need to relax.” He turned back to Lee and continued his story, “I am sure you’ve heard the saying ‘knowledge is power’ before, and there is truth in that statement, to a point. While knowledge may equal power, it’s how that knowledge is used that is the real power. You see, I have in my possession the worlds largest computer bank of historical knowledge. I have records on every living person in the world. I have information on their individual lives and all members of their families. This genealogical information is cross checked and spans hundreds of years in the past. This is, Captain, how I know all about you. I know you better than you know yourself. My computer has told me everything. I know when and to whom you will marry, Captain. I also know how many children you will have and even their names.”
“Fine, so you know when I will get married and have kids. That tells me that you apparently aren’t going to kill me, but I still don’t understand how the knowledge of a persons history will give you all this power you’re talking about.”
Well, Captain,” Karl added, “Since you’ll not remember any of this anyway, I can tell you. As I said it is how you use the knowledge is where you get your power. I have come up with a way to stop anyone who tries to stop me in my domination of the world. If I am threatened by anyone in my quest for the ultimate power of world leadership, I simply revert to my database of genealogical history, looking for family members from the persons past, and simply have the appropriate member of their family killed and my problem with that individual simply vanishes, as you can understand Captain, because with an ancestor killed at the right time.... the person who gets in my way.... simply ceases to exist.” Wilhelm leaned back in his chair and added, “You see, Captain, he ceases to exist because he was never born.”
Lee and Chip looked at one another in disbelief. “That’s not possible. You’re here. How do you kill someone’s ancestor in the past?”
“That part’s easy! I’ve already got a crew that has transported back to the twentieth century to take care of my special needs in that time.”
“What do you mean, you’ve got a ‘crew’ in the past? How? Where?” Lee asked.
“Easy Captain, one question at a time.” Wilhelm said. “Just as you’ve come through the portal, I’ve sent my own submarine Seahawk back through the portal. They are waiting for my commands to act as needed in, shall we say, eliminating the needed individuals.”
“But, it seems you have everything in place for your plan, so why do you need our help?” Chip asked.
“Fair question, Mr. Morton. The first person I need eliminated here is a man named Henry Wilson. He just recently came to my attention while creating a task force to investigate a huge power draw in this area. He’s too close to realizing that it’s my underground control center and computer bank that is drawing that extra power. He must be stopped.”
“Why not simply send your goons out to kill him?”
“Too messy. Also there’s always the possibility to track it back to me. Anyway, killing him would not erase the information he’s already given to his associates. So you see, it’s so much easier and effective to see that he was never born in the first place.”
“OK, so I understand your reasoning, while I don’t agree with it, where do we fit into your plans? Lee asked once again.
“Well, before I knew of the problems I would have with this Henry Wilson, I appointed as the Captain on my submarine Seahawk a man named John Wilson. John happens to be Henry’s brother. So, when I eliminate the ancestor of Henry Wilson, I will not only cause Henry to cease to exist, but also my Captain will vanish also. You, Captain, will take over the mission aboard the Seahawk.”
“Never!!!” Lee yelled as he stood up. “You’ll never make me take over that submarine!”
“Now, now Captain... Never say never” Wilhelm said as he requested Lee to sit down. “A few days ago you would have said you would never visit the twenty-first century, yet here you are.” He added, “There are ways available to me that will insure your cooperation. I intend to surgically implant a small devise into the base of your brain that will allow me to send subliminal thoughts directly into your mind.”
Lee cringed at the thought of mind control and trying to find a way out of it said, “It won’t work! I’ll remember all about this meeting and your plans. I’ll tell the whole story to Admiral Nelson and you will be stopped.”
Ah, that’s just it.... You won’t remember a thing about all of this. Your memory will be erased of all we discussed. When you are back aboard the Seaview you will come to your ‘own’ decision to leave the Seaview and take over the Seahawk command. You, too Mr. Morton will have to experience the same fate as your captain.”
“But what about the crew aboard the Seaview?” Lee asked. “Surely you aren’t going to bring them all here for the same operation.”
“No need to. When you are back aboard you will open a gas canister into your air revitalizing system at the exact moment you pass back through the portal.” Wilhelm explained, “This will clear all memories from your crew regarding your excursion into the future. You two will be taken to the operating room right here and undergo the implants. You will then be given the gas canister and dropped off near your pick up point with your man named Kowalski.”
“You won’t get away with this!” Lee declared.
“Oh, but Captain.... I assure you.... I will!!!”
Wilhelm called out to the waiting Klaus to have a crew of men take Lee and Chip to the operating rooms for the implants. The men entered the room to take Lee and Chip away, but they made an attempt to break free. During the struggle, Lee and Chip were injected with a drug and quickly dropped to the floor. They were out before they hit the floor. Their limp bodies were carried to the designated surgical areas.
The operation on the two men from the past went successfully. Karl Wilhelm was there to witness the installation of the microprocessor into the base of the brains of both Lee Crane and Chip Morton. He was pleased with himself, to have found a way to take an unfortunate occurrence of the Seaview passing through his time portal and being able to turn it to his advantage. After completion of the operations, he knew it would be a few hours before the anesthesia wore off. He would be able to tell soon after if their memories had been cleared of their earlier meeting.
Lee and Chip were brought to a room together to awaken from the surgery. It was a room set up as a general office so that they would not know they had undergone the recent surgery. Karl was in his office when he received word that his visitors were coming to. He went to the room quickly. He knew that his best acting performance was ahead of him. It was important that these two men thought he was a friend from the future, wanting to help them get back to their own time.
He was in the room as Lee and Chip began to sit up. “Good, I’m glad to see the two of you are feeling better. We were worried for a while.”
Lee, still groggy from the medication asked, “Where are we? How did we get here?”
Wilhelm thought to himself, “This is going great. They don’t remember a thing.” Walking over to Lee, he held out his hand to Lee. Lee shook his hand, “My name is Karl Wilhelm and you are in my special laboratory. My men found you at the beach. There had been a rockslide and you both were knocked out. They brought you here for my doctors to look after you till you improved.” I know of your problem. I know you came ashore to find anything that would help you get back to your own time.”
Chip looked at Lee and then to Wilhelm, “You know about us?” He asked.
“Yes, I do. I feel it is partly my fault that this has happened to you, the rest of your crew and your submarine.”
Lee was confused, “But how do you know about us and what happened?”
“Well my work here involves looking for ways to improve the food supply for a nation that is overcrowded. Most of the farms have been taken over for living space. But with the shortsighted developers they did not realize they were destroying our food supplies. I have developed a system of time portals to bring the needed food supplies from the twentieth century to our time where it is dearly needed. Unfortunately, my system operators did not get a portal closed in time and your submarine was accidentally drawn through it. I’m glad your ship survived the journey and I feel it’s my responsibility to help you get back to your own time.”
“Thank you, we do need any help you can offer,” Lee said.
“Of course! I’ve drawn up the coordinates that you need to get your submarine to and we will make the needed preparations to pass you back to your time.”
Lee and Chip looked pleased. Their ordeal would soon be over. “We appreciate all your help, but there are so many questions we have,” Lee said.
Wanting to get this thing underway as soon as possible, Wilhelm said, “I would like to take the time to answer all your questions, but if we are to get your crew back, we have to act immediately. I know you put the safety of your crew ahead of everything else.”
“You’re right, Mr. Wilhelm.”
“I knew you would,” Karl replied. “My men will get you back to your pick up point. Again, allow me to apologize for your inconvenience.”
“No problem, I’m just glad that you can get us back.” Lee and Chip both stood and shook Karl’s hand. “It was a pleasure to meet you.”
Karl thought his ploy was going wonderfully. He reached to the table and picked up a small canister. He handed it to Lee. “I almost forgot, I believe this is yours. My men found it near where they picked you up. I don’t know what it is, but I thought you’d want it back.”
Lee thought for a second then had a feeling, “Yes, that’s right.” He took the canister from Karl and slipped it into his pocket. “I wouldn’t want to forget that.”
The men came into the room and escorted Lee and Chip to a waiting car. They were driven through the city on their way to the pick up site with Kowalski. They passed a very large building with a sign identifying it as the National Maritime Museum.
Chip pointed it out to Lee, “Man, Lee I wish we would have time to visit that museum!”
Lee’s response was, “You’re right Chip, it would be great to see the future of the Navy and all underwater research. I’m sure Admiral Nelson would like it!”
Captain Crane and Chip were dropped of very near the pick up point. As they started down towards the water’s edge, they could see the flying sub waiting for them just off shore. Kowalski was standing on shore with several of Wilhelm’s men. Both Crane and Morton had no idea that Kowalski was subjected to a similar operation while aboard the FS1.
“Captain, Mr. Morton” he called out. “I’m sure glad to see you two. These men here explained everything to me and said you would be arriving shortly.”
“Yes, Kowalski,” Lee responded. “It’s time we get back to the Seaview. I have the answers we need to get back to our own time.”
“Yes, Sir.” Kowalski said as the three made their way to the flying sub.
When they were on their way, Chip turned to Lee, “I wish we had more time to spend in the city. There are so many things... so many amazing things we could see.”
“I know Chip. But there is no time. This is not our time. Perhaps there are things we wouldn’t want to know...”
Chip silently agreed, but still couldn’t resist thinking of all the possibilities.
Captain Crane switched on the radio and called, “FS1 to Seaview... FS1 to Seaview...”
“FS1 this is Seaview” came the Admirals voice over the radio. “I thought the order was for radio silence.”
“That’s no longer needed. Everything’s ok now. We’re on our way back.”
“Did you find anything helpful?”
“Yes Admiral, I’ll explain everything when we’re back on board.”
In minutes the flying sub was docking in the Seaview. Crane and Morton made their way through the hatch to a waiting Admiral Nelson.
Nelson asked Lee as soon as he was aboard, “Lee, tell me... what have you found out?”
“Let’s go to your cabin,” Lee said. Turning to Morton he handed him a paper, “Chip, here are the coordinates. Get the Seaview underway immediately. I’ll be with the Admiral.”
“Aye, Sir.” Chip turned and headed for the control room.
“OK Admiral,” Lee said. “Let’s get to your cabin. You’re not going to believe the information I found out on shore.”
They entered the Admirals quarters and Lee proceeded to tell the Admiral all about Wilhelm’s plans to use the time portals to feed the world in the twenty-first century. He told the Admiral of the accident that bought the Seaview to this time and how Wilhelm was going to assist in returning the Seaview and here crew to their time.
“You’re right Lee,” Nelson said. “It is hard to believe. I still think there is more to all this than he let on to you.”
“I don’t think so, Sir.” Lee added. I’ll admit that it seems impossible, but I’m sure there have been advances made in this time that we can’t even imagine. Karl seemed sincere in his concern that we were caught up in his time portal and he has offered his assistance in returning.”
“Did he give any thoughts on the other missing ships from our time?”
“No, according to his records, the Seaview was the only ship to pass through time.”
“Perhaps we should delay our passage back and go pay a visit to this Wilhelm myself. I’ve got some more questions for him.”
Lee, beginning to feel irritated, replied, “No Admiral, there’s no time for that. We need to reach the coordinates on schedule to be able to pass back to our time. I know you want all the information you can get, but my first concern is with the safety of the Seaview and her crew.”
Nelson saw that Lee was becoming agitated and tried to calm him down. “Lee, I know this whole experience has us all on edge, but think of the possibilities...”
“Admiral, Sir. I am the Captain of this submarine and I’ve been given the opportunity to return the crew to their own time and I am going to take it!”
“I’m sorry Sir, but I’m needed in the control room.” Lee said as he stormed out of the Admiral’s cabin.
Nelson, left alone in his cabin, stared at the closing door as the Captain left. He knew that Lee was concerned with the crew. He also knew that Lee had always been a fine officer. It still was unlike him to become agitated so easily. His thoughts still were that there was more to all this than they’ve been told. He would try to talk to Lee later to smooth things out. For now, though he knew Lee was right. The Seaview and her crew did come first.
Lee arrived in the control room and went to Chip. He had cooled off a little since he had left the Admiral. He was still upset though with the Admiral not believing his explanation of his findings. He also was upset with himself for arguing with the Admiral. He did not understand why he was having these feeling of anger with Nelson. Well, he thought, he’ll deal with that later. He had a ship to save.
“Chip, how’s our progress on reaching the location of the portal?” Lee asked.
“Everything is on schedule. We’re thirty minutes away.”
“You have your orders straight for our passage through the portal?”
“Yes Sir, when we enter the turbulence the Seaview is to be put on flank speed and full left rudder and down on the planes.”
“That’s right, Chip.” Lee added. “We cannot fight the current. We must propel through it at full speed.”
The Admiral entered the control room and went over to Lee and Chip. “Lee, about our meeting...”
“No, Admiral, let me apologize.” Lee said. “I guess we all are a little tense.”
The Admiral watched Lee’s actions and felt something still was not right, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He also sensed that Chip became a little tense upon his arrival.
“Chip, is everything prepared for our passage?” Nelson asked.
“Yes, Sir! It is,” Chip answered. “The Captain has everything under control.”
The Admiral just couldn’t understand why the extra tension with Chip and Lee. He would have to talk to each of them after they were back in their own time.
“Carry on, then.” He added, “I’ll be in my lab. I’ve got some things I want to check on before our passage. I want to set up monitors to track our movement through time. We may not get this chance again.”
Lee responded sharply, “I, for one, hope not!”
The Admiral turned and left for the lab. The crew was beginning to sense trouble between himself and the Captain. He knew that they did not need any additional problems.
“What’s going on? I feel like I was irritated just by the Admiral being here and I don’t know why.”
“I know what you’re saying. I’m having the same feelings, but we’ll both have to worry about them later.”
“Yes, Sir.” Chip said, still a little unsure.
Sealed in his lab, the Admiral was setting up the equipment to track their passage. He also turned on his tape recorder. He still felt guilty about it, but he had secretly placed a recorder in Lee’s gear before sending him on his mission. He had taped everything that Lee had said or heard during his excursion. He thought that perhaps the recording may shed some light on why Crane was acting in such an irrational manner. He was playing the portion of the tape where Lee and Chip were just entering Washington when the Seaview violently shuddered. The power blacked out for a moment, shutting down the tape player. He’d get back to it later. He heard the call over the Seaview’s intercom...
“Attention all hands, this is the Captain. Stand by your posts and stand secure. We are entering the portal in three minutes. Damage control, stand by!”
Lee was holding on the charting table along with Chip. The Seaview was beginning to react to the circular current already. “Chip, you have the conn. I’ve got something to do. Get us through this!”
Crane turned and left the control room as quickly as he could with the ship heaving from side to side. He checked his pocket while on his way to the air revitalization room and found he did have the small canister with him. He did not understand the importance of his going there, but felt he must. He knew it was urgent.
When he turned the corner he ran into Sharkey who tried to stop him to ask him something, but he just pushed Sharky out of the way and continued on his way.
Sharky started to get up off the deck calling to the Captain and began following him when the Seaview lurched to the left and began it’s dive, knocking him back to the deck.
Lee could tell that the Seaview had begun it’s passage through the portal just as he entered the air revitalization room. He reached in his pocket, withdrew the canister, opening it and tossed it into the system as he too was thrown to the deck.
The Seaview continued deeper into the turbulence. Chip was yelling out orders to keep the Seaview at full speed and dive. Crewmen were all hanging on to their stations. While the men were working to keep the Seaview under control, the odorless gas was passing through the ship. Lee knew it would only be a few more moments. All power went out on Seaview for a few seconds and as quickly as it started it was all over. The power restored and the Seaview was in calm waters once again.
Karl was working on his projects in his office when he received the call from Klaus.
“Mr. Wilhelm, Klaus here...”
“Yes?” Karl answered. “What’s the Seaview’s progress?”
“The Seaview has just passed through the portal as planned. Our tracking computers tell us that they are now in the Pacific Ocean, very close to their original position. There seems to have been one small problem with the passage though.”
“What sort of problem?” Karl asked.
“It seems that the captain sent the Seaview through the portal with more speed. We had not allowed for that. They returned to their time only they arrived about three months in their future.”
“I don’t see where that will be a problem for us.”
“Not for us directly, but I’m sure the Admiral will have some concerns about the loss of memory for the three months. He’ll search for answers.”
“Let him. He’ll have nothing to investigate. His memory of all these events will be erased like all of his crew when the canister was released. How about the canister? Any signs that it was released?”
“Yes, Sir. Captain Crane released the gas just at the point of passage.”
“Great news! Continue to monitor. Nelson will pose no further threat to me. If by some chance he does... we’ve got Crane there to deal with it for us”
Karl sat back in his chair to contemplate his success. Everything was going as he had hoped. He thought about how he was able to turn a near disaster of the Seaview’s visit into something that would solve his problems on the Seahawk. He felt sure that Crane would be a perfect replacement to do his bidding as Admiral on the Seahawk. The fact that Crane had released the gas as ordered assured Karl that he did indeed have full control of the fine Captain.
It was time to put the second stages of his plans for Crane into effect. He left his office and headed for the computer subliminal control station.
He typed several commands into the computer terminal and reached for the microphone. It was time to begin sending his messages to Crane.
He spoke into the computer’s voice interface, “Lee... Lee Crane... You will convince the Admiral that the mission you are on is over. You will return the Seaview to base. Do not accept anything other than complete compliance from Nelson. When you arrive in Santa Barbara, you will then advise the Admiral that you are leaving the Seaview. You will not give any reason for this. You will also advise Nelson that Chip Morton and Seaman Kowalski are also turning in their resignation from the Seaview’s crew.”
With the commands given to Crane he knew there was nothing that could stop him now! He returned to his office to look into his future plans for the Captain. It would be a few days till they reached their base and Lee would be available to take control of his Seahawk.
The Seaview regained all power and settled down in the cam waters. The Admiral, from his lab, called on the intercom, “Captain, what’s going on? What’s the problem?”
Crane found himself in the air revitalizing room, although he didn’t know why he was there. “Admiral, Crane here... We seemed to have hit an underwater disturbance. I’ll have the men investigate it immediately.”
“I’m on my way to the control room. Meet me there!” the Admiral said. He looked around his lab and tried to remember just what it was that he was doing. He said to himself that he must have hit his head and forgot what he was doing. He’d get back to whatever it was later. Right now he wanted to know what tossed the Seaview around like that.
Lee was leaving the air revitalizing room, still wondering why he was there, when he ran into Sharky.
“Sir,” Sharkey asked, “Is anything wrong in there?”
Not wanting to let on that he had now idea, he said to Sharkey, “Get some volunteers and do a full diagnostic check on the air system. We just had a battle with some rough waters and I want to be sure everything is all right there.”
“Aye, aye, Sir,” Sharkey answered. “Right away!”
Lee continues on his way to the control room to meet the Admiral. As he passed sick bay he saw Sparks coming out.
“Sparks,” called the Captain, “Are you OK?”
Sparks stopped to talk with Lee, “Yes, Sir.”
“Why were you in sick bay?” Lee asked.
“Don’t really know, Sir. Must have been a check up. I don’t really remember. Doc said I fine and can return to duty.”
While Sparks continued back to the radio shack, Lee met the Admiral in the control room. He was talking with Mr. Morton about the disturbance.
“Lee, glad you’re here,” said Nelson. “Commander Morton is checking for the cause of the disturbance.”
“Well, Chip,” Lee asked, “what have you found?”
“Nothing definite, Sir. Possibly an undersea earthquake or volcanic action. Everything is normal now.”
Nelson ordered, “All stop! We need to go back and investigate the cause. It may have something to do with the missing ships we’re looking for.”
“Just a minute, Sir!” Lee added. “We don’t even know the current condition of the Seaview and you want to send us back into rough waters?”
“Captain, do I need to remind you that we are here to investigate the loss of other ships?” the Admiral asked. “We need to know!”
“Admiral! Do I need to remind you... That I am the Captain of the submarine! I am responsible for the safety of all aboard. I will not allow you to put my men in danger!”
Nelson had had enough of this attitude from Crane. “Captain, in my cabin, now!” The Admiral turned angrily and headed out of the control room.
“Yes, Sir!” Lee said. He turned to Chip and quietly added, “You know what’s right. Set a course for home. I’ll be with the Admiral.”
Chip gave a understanding glance to the Captain and responded with, “Yes, Sir.”
When Captain Crane knocked on Nelson’s door the response was immediate. “Come in!” Nelson called.
Lee entered and was told to take a seat. He could see that Nelson was quite upset.
“Lee, what’s got into you? It’s not like you to argue with my orders in front of the men. Can you explain your actions?”
The Captain, who had come into Nelson’s office ready for a confrontation, did not know himself why he had acted that way. He just felt it was necessary. “Admiral, I must apologize... I don’t know why I acted that way in front of the crew. I’m confused with quite a few things since we hit that turbulence.”
Nelson calmed down a bit and seemed to accept Lee’s apology. He knew Lee was a fine Captain and that there must be an underlying cause. There were a few questions that he himself had regarding the last few minutes.
“Tell me, Lee, what things are you confused about.”
Lee took a moment to gather his thoughts and said, “Well Admiral, it’s all small things. When we came out of the rough waters I found myself in the air revitalizing room... only I don’t know why I was there. When I was on my way to the control room I ran into Sparks leaving the sick bay. He had no idea why he was even there.”
Nelson thought of his own forgetfulness in his lab at about the same instant. Something was surely wrong but he could not put it all together.
The intercom on Nelson’s desk gave the frantic message from Chip, “Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane, you’re needed in the control room... it’s urgent.”
Captain Crane reached for the mike before Nelson could. “What’s the problem, Chip?”
“It’s the main computer... Better come down.”
Nelson looked at Lee as he responded, “On the way!”
Nelson and Crane rushed to the control room to find Chip rerunning data into the computer.
“Well, Chip, what is it?” Lee asked.
“Here look at these reports. I was entering the daily log into the computer and this is the readout I received back.”
Lee read the entry regarding the undersea turbulence and the short power black out and could see nothing wrong with it. “I’m sorry Chip. I still don’t see the problem.”
“The date, Lee. Check the date.” Chip handed another copy to Lee. “I printed the last entry made into the log. I make these entries daily, only look at the dates. They are three months apart.”
Captain Crane asked, “Have you checked the computer programming? Maybe it’s just an error.”
Admiral Nelson took the two reports and also checked the date on his watch and before Chip could answer he stated to Lee, “No Captain, there’s no mistake with the computer. According to these reports, we have indeed lost three months.”
“But how, Admiral?” Lee asked. “We just simply can’t lose three months. It’s not possible.”
Nelson thought back to his conversation with Lee about not remembering why he was where he was and also Lee’s story about Sparks. “Well, it may be impossible, but never the less... it has happened!”
Lee became irritated again and said to Nelson, “Well, if that’s the case, I must insist that we scrub this mission and return to base as soon as possible.”
“Lee, we still don’t know what happened to those missing ships.”
“Right now, Admiral, I’m not concerned with those ships. If I and my men have lost three months of our memories, I want the Seaview at port and the men off her till we find out what happened.” Lee turned to Chip, “Do you have our course mapped out for our return to Santa Barbara?”
“Fine,” the Captain said, “Then let’s get underway!”
“But, Lee...” the Admiral interrupted.
“No, Admiral... I’ve got to think of the crew! We’re going home.”
The Admiral, thinking about the loss of the time being unexplainable had to finally agree. “Yes, Lee, you’re right. I’ll be in my cabin,” he said as he turned to leave.
Lee went over to talk to Chip who was with Kowalski, “Mr. Morton, you understand, don’t you?”
Chip replied, “I don’t understand why, but yes... yes I do.”
“Skipper,” Kowalski added, “I was just telling Mr. Morton that, while I don’t understand why I’m feeling this way, I feel I need to get out of my duty aboard Seaview.”
Lee, having the same thoughts simply told both Chip and Kowalski, “I know... We’ll discuss it after we reach Santa Barbara. For now, though, back to your stations.”
Morton and Kowalski nodded and turned back to their stations.
Admiral Nelson was sitting at his desk at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research going over piles of documents from the last unfinished mission. Seaview had returned to port about two weeks ago. Nelson was still trying to come up with some ideas on the cause of the lost three months. It was very unsettling to not be able to solve this mystery. He was also concerned with the changes in his Captain as well as Morton and Kowalski.
Nelson had allowed most of the crew to a much needed shore leave, but had ordered Sharky to keep a few volunteers to fully check out the computer system aboard Seaview to locate any possible clues. He still had not received anything from Sharkey that would help with the problem.
The Admiral was taken away from his thoughts by the intercom on his desk, “Admiral, Captain Crane, Chip Morton and Kowalski are here to see you, Sir.”
“Please ask Morton and Kowalski to wait a few moments and ask the Captain to come in.”
There was a knock on the door... “Come in.”
Lee Crane entered the office and stood in front of Nelson’s desk. The Admiral took note that Lee had a nervous and troubled expression on his face. He had a bad feeling about this meeting...
“Lee, sit down,” Nelson told him, “I hear that Morton and Kowalski are with you. What can I do for you?”
“Well, Sir,” Lee began, “this isn’t going to be easy, but there are some things that need to be said. I’ve been aboard the Seaview for several years now and have enjoyed my service with you and her crew. We’ve been through some very difficult times. We’ve had the chances to do some real good for the people of the United States as well as the world. I never in all my imagination thought I’d ever be here talking with you about this. I’m not even totally sure why I’m here now. It’s just an inner feeling I have since our last mission.”
The Admiral could tell whatever it was that Lee
wanted to say was very difficult for him and he truly hoped he was wrong with what was coming next.
Lee continued, reaching into his pocket for a paper, “Admiral,” he said while giving the paper to Nelson, “I’m handing you my resignation from service on the Seaview.”
Nelson just sat there. It was the worst thing he could have been told. His thoughts went back through all the years that Lee had been Captain of the Seaview. This just couldn’t be happening.
“Lee,” the Admiral asked, “are you sure this is what you want to do? Is there any chance to change your mind?”
“No, I’m afraid there is nothing that can change my mind to stay.”
“I don’t understand any of this.”
“Lee added, “Sir, I don’t either, but I do feel sure that this is right. It’s time I leave the Seaview.”
“Should I assume the worst and believe that Morton and Kowalski are here for the same
reason?” Nelson asked.
“Yes, Sir,” Lee answered. “They have their papers drawn up for their resignations also. You can ask them yourself, but it won’t change anything.”
Nelson called his secretary, “Please ask Mr. Morton and Kowalski to come into my office.”
The two men came in and stood by Captain Crane.
“Gentlemen,” Nelson started, “I’ve heard from Captain Crane that it is also your desire to leave the service of the Seaview. Is that right?”
Kowalski and Morton looked to one another and Kowalski gave a nod to Morton. “Yes, Sir. It is right. We’ve talked this over for the last several weeks and we both, no, all three of us feel it is necessary.” He added with a glance to Lee.
Nelson turned his attention to Kowalski, “You agree with this?”
Kowalski, looking a little tense replied, “Yes... Yes, Sir I do! I’ve talked with the skipper and while I can’t give a complete reason for this, I must also resign my post.”
Nelson sat back in his chair and crossed his arms. He was trying to put his thoughts together quickly. He had never expected anything like this. He could only think it had something to do with their last mission, but had no answers.
He pushed his chair back and stood up at his desk and said, “Well then gentlemen, I want to make it clear to you that I have valued your service to the Seaview. You are among the finest sailors that I’ve had the opportunity to sail with. We have been through a lot together and always thought there would be many more years of your service. As you know, while the Seaview is not on a government mission she is a private ship. Therefore while I totally disagree with your decision... I have no way to prevent it. I thank you for your loyal service in the past and while I regret this with all my being... I accept your resignations...”
Captain Crane stood up and held his hand out to the Admiral. Nelson took a step forward and shook it. Crane, Morton and Kowalski took two steps back, stood at attention and offered Admiral one final salute. Admiral Nelson, controlling himself as best he could, returned the salute.
No more words were spoken. The three men who had come to see Nelson turned quickly and went through the door.
The Admiral sat heavily at his desk and just held his head. It was as if the last few minutes had not been real. He continued for several hours wondering if there was something he could have said or done to prevent this action by his best men. He felt that he should have done more. He should have recognized the problem, only he had no idea that there was a problem to see.
His deep thoughts were interrupted by his secretary coming through the door, “Admiral, it’s getting late... will you be leaving soon? Do you need me for anything else tonight?”
The Admiral looked startled, “No... nothing else... I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Very well, Sir.” She turned to leave. “Good night, Sir”
Admiral Nelson came out of his daydreams and found himself in the observation nose of his submarine Seaview. He still wasn’t over the fact that he was making this trip without Crane, Morton and Kowalski. He knew it was probably too soon to go back to sea, but he felt his last mission was still in need of being finished. While he still had no hard evidence to prove it, he just knew that his best men leaving had to do with the three months of lost time. He was determined to find the cause for the missing ships. He had never left a mission incomplete and this one would be no different. He couldn’t help but continue to wonder what had happened to Lee, Chip and Kowalski. When they left his office that day, it was the last he’d heard from them.
Well, that would have to wait. He had things to get done. He left the observation room and went to the control room where he found Sharky on duty. He had appointed Sharky control of the ship in Morton’s absence. He had been doing a fine job under the circumstances. Sharky had asked for and received permission to have Patterson take over his other duties in keeping the ship running. Nelson had many more things to be responsible for by sailing without a Captain, but he knew he still had the best crew to ever board a submarine.
“Sharky,” Nelson said as he approached, “anything new on our search for the turbulence?”
“No, Sir,” Sharkey replied. “We’re still a good distance from the original location you gave me. We’ll be there in a few more days.”
“That’s fine, carry on. I’ll be in the lab. I want to check some readings on the waters in this area.”
“Aye, aye, Sir.”
Nelson left for his lab. He had some ideas that he wanted to investigate. He felt comfortable that the Seaview was in good hands.
Once locked in his lab, Nelson began going through charts and computer printouts from the sensors he had ordered to be placed on the hull of the Seaview. He simply wished he could come up with some concrete evidence he’d need to convince the others about the missing ships. There were people that thought him to be a little crazy to sail on this mission so soon after the problems. He would prove them wrong! He wouldn’t stop until he could. People had said he was crazy before, even in his concepts for the Seaview. He had converted many of them to be believers. He knew there would always be those few that would not be convinced... so be it.
While going over the statistics, he glanced over to his right and spotted a tape in his recorder unit. He didn’t remember putting the tape in, but decided he needed a break and went over and hit play. What he heard was Chip and Lee on some sort of mission in Washington, but he couldn’t remember the mission. He immediately gave the tape his undivided attention.
Just then a call came over the intercom, “Admiral Nelson, Sharky here.”
Nelson stopped the tape and picked up and keyed the mike, “Nelson, What is it Sharkey?”
“Sir, we’re picking up some variances in the water temperature.”
“How much of a change?”
“Temperature is up about ten degrees, but it’s holding there for now.”
“Continue to monitor any changes. I’m in the middle of something that could be important to this mission. Do not disturb me unless the temperature rises to a dangerous level.”
“Aye, aye, Sir,” Sharkey answered back.
Nelson went back to the tape and hit the play button. He pulled up a seat. He was going to hear the whole message this time... without interruption. He continued listening all through the sections where Lee and Chip were discussing being in the future. It continued with the altercation and fight with some men. He heard a shooting and also listened to his two men running into a maritime museum. He heard the part where Lee and Chip found the Nautilus and, did he hear right, the Seaview...
Nelson stopped the tape for a moment. He had to think about all this. One hundred years in the future... Washington... the Nautilus and the Seaview? It all seemed impossible, but it had to be true. This could be the evidence he was looking for! He went back to the tape for more information.
The Admiral just sat back and listened to the whole recording without another stop. After listening to it he knew he had indeed found what he was looking for. While he found it all hard to believe, he was able to put answers to many of his questions. He now knew why Lee, Chip and Kowalski felt they had to leave the Seaview, and why they were not even sure of the reasons themselves. He cringed at the thought of the brain implants done to his men. He had heard Wilhelm’s entire plan for the future and how it was the cause of the missing ships and how he had planned to use Crane to solve his problems. Yes, Nelson was beginning to feel better about this mission. It was all making sense now.
He was concerned, however, with the submarine Seahawk. With this being a submarine from the twenty-first century and being commanded by Lee Crane and Chip Morton, it could pose a very real threat to the Seaview and her crew. The Seaview was the most technically advanced ship afloat in it’s own time. To be up against the Seahawk’s abilities could be risky. He only hoped that Lee and the Seahawk would not locate them until he found a way to deal with this Wilhelm.
Klaus made an urgent call to Wilhelm, “Sir, please report to the control area. We have a major problem here.”
Karl didn’t even take time to respond with the mike. He left his office on the run to meet with Klaus. The message sounded very urgent.
“What? What is it?” he yelled to Klaus as he arrived in the room.
“It’s the Seaview, Sir. We’re getting readings that she’s very close to the pacific portal.”
“That’s impossible! How can they have found out about it?”
Karl responded quickly, “There is no way! I’ve covered everything. The canister of gas was to clear all their memories of everything.”
Wilhelm thought for a few moments and then asked, “Where is the Seahawk, right now?”
Klaus checked some computer reports and found the Seahawk with Crane less than twenty nautical miles away from the Seaview. He gave this report to Wilhelm who was pleased that it seemed that Crane was already on the trail of the Seaview.
Karl went to the subliminal terminal and keyed the mike to get a message to Lee Crane. “Admiral Crane... You are less than twenty miles from the Seaview. I’ve keyed the coordinates directly into the Seahawk’s computer. Now is the time! You know your duty. Locate and destroy the Seaview! Nelson must be killed. He cannot be permitted to find that portal.”
Admiral Crane stopped what he was doing and called Captain Morton to his side. “Captain, the time is now! We’ve located the Seaview. Let’s move in for the kill.”
“Aye, aye, Sir!” Morton replied.
The Seahawk with the location of the Seaview already in her possession, was only minutes away from the attack.
On board the Seaview, Nelson was just returning to the control room. He wanted to check the location of the Seaview and also get a follow up report on the water temperatures.
Nelson called Sharky to the plotting table, “Sharkey, what is our exact location?”
Sharky checked on the charts made some corrections and pointed, “Right here, Sir.”
Nelson was checking the charts when he spotted an undersea lab about ten miles away. He wanted to get more information on this lab. Perhaps they would have information that would help with his search for answers on this portal he’d heard about. He ran his request for this in his ships computer. He would have this information in a few minutes.
Nelson was interrupted from his work with an urgent call from Patterson, “Sir, Admiral, Sonar shows another submarine within five miles, coming this way.”
“Helm, thirty degrees left rudder. Let’s see if she’s spotted us or if she’s after us.”
The Seaview made the maneuver and Patterson watched the sonar and called back to Nelson, “The submarine has made a correction to their course. They are on an intercept course with the Seaview.”
“Twenty degrees right rudder, speed to two thirds. Let’s stay away from her.”
A call came out of the radio shack as the Seaview was changing course. “Admiral Nelson, we’re receiving a message form that submarine.”
“Transfer to me immediately... on loudspeaker...”
The voice, a familiar voice came over the speakers inn the control room. Everyone at their stations just froze when they heard it. “Admiral Nelson, are you there?”
Nelson responded, “Yes, I’m here! Who are you and why are you tracking us?” After hearing the tapes, he already knew the answer to this.
“Why Admiral... Don’t you recognize my
voice? After all those years? I am Admiral Crane, Admiral Lee Crane of the submarine Seahawk.”
The crew of the Seaview was in shock. Was this really possible?
Nelson choked back his emotions and responded, “Well, Admiral, I’ve wondered what’s become of you since resigning from the Seaview. I assume that Morton and Kowalski are with you on board?”
“Yes, Captain Morton and Commander Kowalski are serving me quite well here on the Seahawk.”
Nelson asked, even though he was sure he knew the answer already, “Why are you here? Why are you after the Seaview?”
“Well, Nelson, I tried to tell you to leave this mission alone. I told you it was not wise to continue the search for answers, but you didn’t listen. You never did! I wanted your crew to know that you are the reason this has to happen. We cannot afford the chance that you will find the portals.”
Nelson called back to Crane, “What do you mean... what has to happen?”
“It’s simple Admiral, you’re going to die! The Seaview is in my sights now. Your great submarine along with you and your crew are all dead!”
Sharky grabbed on to Nelson’s arm and spun him around. “Admiral, Sir, we have her on sonar and I can have a full torpedo attack and blow her out of the water before she can even fire.”
“No! That’s no good, Sharky. Didn’t you hear? Crane and the others are aboard the Seahawk. If we destroy that submarine, we kill Crane, Morton and Kowalski.”
Sharky gave a look to the Admiral of great confusion. “I do know that, Sir. But it doesn’t sound like Crane is going to have similar feelings.”
“No, Sharky! I know Crane. He won’t fire on the Seaview. I am sure of....”
Patterson cut off the Admiral’s statement with an announcement of two torpedoes fired at Seaview.
Nelson turned his attention to the Seaview. “Full right rudder, all ahead full... dive, dive...”
The Seaview immediately made the course change. The crew could here the torpedoes pass only inches form the submarine.
He grabbed the mike and called to Crane, “Lee, come to your senses... call off this attack. There’s no need for it! It’s all wrong. You know it is. Don’t make me fight back!”
His answer from the Seahawk was load laughter, “Admiral, you don’t understand... Your dead in the water. We didn’t miss the Seaview.”
“Yes, yes you did! We’re still here.”
“For the moment... check your sonar. You forget... The Seaview is not any longer the most advanced ship afloat. The Seahawk is!”
Patterson yelled to the Admiral, “The torpedoes have turned. They’ve adjusted for our course change. Impact in twenty seconds.”
Crane called back laughing even louder, “You see Admiral... You’re finished...”
The crew was silent just before the Seaview took two direct torpedo hits in her aft sections. The Seaview was rocked like never before. Nelson was thrown to the deck with all the other crew members. He was thrown down near the computer terminals. As the rocking subsided and as the control room fire detail went into action, Nelson was able to pull his earlier requested report form the printer.
“Damage control, Report!” Sharky ordered.
“Aft torpedo room... direct hit. Hull destroyed taking on water fast. Most crew out of the room. Sealing watertight doors to the area.”
“Engine room... Engines out. No power to hold trim. We’re going down!”
Sharky wouldn’t accept this. “Blow all ballast, take us up.”
“Sorry, Sir. No response. Electrical controls have been destroyed.”
Nelson called to the helmsmen. “Go to full manual control. We’re going down! I’ll be in the observation nose. I’ll call the course changes from there. I’ll need immediate response from you.”
“Yes, Sir,” they called back in unison.
Nelson began running for the observation nose and ordered Sharky to go with him. When they got there, Nelson spotted what he was looking for in the distance. He called to the helm, “Five degrees right rudder. Ten degrees down bubble.”
Just then, Sharkey saw what the Admiral saw in the distance. “Sir, we need to try to surface the Seaview. Why are you ordering us down deeper?”
“Right there,” said Nelson pointing to the object that was fast approaching.
“The sea lab, Sir? You’re taking us right on an impact course. You’re going to destroy the Seaview!” Sharky had a quick thought... was Crane right? Was Nelson Crazy?
The Seaview was on a death course with the undersea lab. Nelson and Sharkey both watched as the lab drew closer and closer. It was just a few feet away from the huge windows on the Seaview... then... impact. The Seaview hit the sealab with a direct hit. The nose of the great Seaview was buckling under the pressure of the impact.
Sharky had only a moment to yell to Nelson... “WHY?”
Karl Wilhelm was thrilled. His plan had gone wonderfully. The advanced design of the Seahawk was too much for the Seaview to handle. Nothing could stop him now! The fine Admiral Nelson was dead at the hands of his very own Captain. Oh, he thought... the sweetness of success.
Klaus wasn’t as thrilled as Karl. He interrupted his leader’s feelings of success with some disturbing news. “Sir, the Seaview is indeed going down, but my indication is that he’s headed directly for an undersea lab. It’s as if he’s aiming directly for it. It’s not natural for a sub going down to have a commander order a dive.”
Wilhelm ran to the closest computer terminal and typed faster than he ever had before. He beat on the side of the computer in an effort to speed up the findings. He did get the answer, but not the one he wanted.
“Sir, less than 100 feet. Direct impact eminent in ten seconds”
Karl Wilhelm looked at the clock on the wall, watching the seconds click by. There was nothing he could do except.....
“NOOOOOOOOOOO...” Wilhelm left out a scream that was possibly heard all the way back in the twentieth century. In a moment Karl was gone... the base was gone... everything gone!
Back aboard the Seaview there was felt by all aboard the terrible impact into the undersea lab. The great nose of the Seaview was crushed allowing death to pour in from every seam... or was it...
There was a tremendous shudder on the Seaview all the power was out and every man on board knew they were going to die here. Then a moment later, the power was restored the Seaview was on the surface. The nose was intact. The aft torpedo room was not damaged. In fact, the Seaview couldn’t have been in better shape.
Nelson and Sharky ran back to the control room and yelled to Patterson, “Sonar report. Is that other submarine setting us for another attack?”
Patterson looked strangely at Nelson, “No, Sir. We’re alone out here. No other sub within a hundred miles of our location.”
Nelson looked around for a moment and went back to the observation nose. He sat behind his control table and pulled out the note from the computer. He had no way of knowing this in advance, but after hearing Wilhelm’s plans on the tape, he had to try it. He read the paper again.
Pacific Western Sea Lab operated by oceanographer Frederick Wilhelm.
It seemed to Nelson that Karl’s plans could have possibly worked for him. They sure worked against him. Nelson felt bad about the killing of Frederick, but it could not be avoided.
While he was sitting there going through his thoughts of everything, he heard something, no not something, someone talking behind him...
“Commander Morton, you’ve got the conn. Kowalski, return to your station we’ll discuss this later.”
Both men turned to their Captain and said, “Yes, Sir!” They turned and returned to the control room.
The Admiral stood up and turned around, “Lee, is that you?”
“Yes, Sir! You need something?”
The admiral looked at Lee with a huge grin and replied, “No, Lee. I’ve got everything I need right here.”
The Admiral wanted to explain everything to Lee that had happened, but delayed for a moment. He only had that one piece of hard evidence in his lab. “Lee, don’t go away... Ill be right back!”
Admiral Nelson rushed to his lab and went to the recorder. He wasn’t going to appear the fool any longer. He hit play to hear a portion of the tape. He wasn’t really surprised to find it was blank. He told himself that with Frederick dead, as Karl’s plans had said... “kill the ancestor and your adversary was never born”
Karl Wilhelm was a smart but sick man... The Admiral stopped himself... he would have been a sick minded man... had he ever been born.
Admiral Nelson returned to the observation room and was glad to see Lee Crane still there. He went to Lee and just looked at him with that same grin.
“Admiral, are you sure your all right?”
“Yes, I’m just fine.” Remembering the ‘last’ time he saw Lee he had to ask. “One question, Lee”
“What are you, Chip and Kowalski going to discuss later? Your not planning anything drastic, are you?”
“Drastic, Sir? No not at all. We’re trying to decide where we’re going to spend our time on shore leave when we get back home. We’re going to have a great time. Perhaps you would like to join us?”
“Yes, Lee... Time... It’s all about time...”
Captain Crane looked a little confused but agreed, “Yes, Sir.”
“Lee...” Nelson said with a hearty laugh... “Let’s go home......”
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