Silent Running
By George Miller

Captain Lee Crane and Commander Chip Morton were standing in the control room beside the navigational chart table. They were plotting the course requested by Admiral Nelson several hours earlier.

“Lee,” Morton asked, “Do you have any idea where the Admiral is taking us?”

“No, Chip. At this point I’m as confused as you are. But those are our orders.”

“Aye,Sir.” Chip continued to plot the ordered course and passed on orders to the helmsmen. The ship moved effortlessly through the water. Chip had called to the engine room and requested two-thirds speed.

The admiral then entered the control room. Seemingly agitated he called Lee over to one side and demanded, “Can’t you obey orders? I want to reach my destination as soon as possible. That means full speed emergency. Can you handle that?”

“But Admiral, I don’t understand.”

“You don’t have to understand. You need to get the Seaview to the position I ordered. If you intend to remain Captain....”

“OK, OK, Is everything all right, Sir?”

“Everything’s fine! I’ll be in the lab. Advise me when we reach the coordinates!!!”

The Admiral left the control room as Lee ordered full speed ahead. Chip looked over to Lee with a questionable look. Seeing Chip’s look, Lee simply shrugged his shoulders. Two hours later they arrived to the spot the Admiral ordered. Lee clicked the intercom and called, “Admiral, We’re here, Sir.”

“Fine, hold this position, get the diving party out to locate the transatlantic cable. I need that connection.... I’ll be in the lab. Advise me when we’re hooked. In.”

With only a few minutes passing, Lee was able to advise Nelson that they were now spliced into the cable. “Fine, it’s about time.... I’ll be here in the lab, Hold this position. I’m not to be disturbed.”

Minutes passed then hours passed. Chip asked Lee, “Sir the men are beginning to get concerned. We’ve been here over twenty hours already. How much longer? Shouldn’t you contact the Admiral?”

“What? Not me! The admiral said he was not to be interrupted and I’m not going to annoy him. However, Chip... If you feel brave....”

“No, not me!” Chip responded, “I can wait. I’m not going in there!”

Several hours later, Lee was caught by surprise when he heard the Admiral over the speakers in the control room. “Lee, you can have the divers go back out and break contact with the cable and return aboard.”

The divers quickly left the Seaview to carry out their orders. They broke connection and returned as directed. Admiral made his way forward to the control room.

“Admiral, divers are back aboard, we’re ready to get underway,” Lee said. “If I may ask, what was that all about?”

“Not now, Lee. Just continue with your previous mission. Go to one third speed and rig for silent running till further notice, I’ll be in my cabin. Once again... I’m not to be disturbed for anything.”

“Silent running? Sir?” Lee questioned..

Yes, silent running. I’ve just spent the last thirty straight hours on America On Line, and I need to get my sleep!!!!”

Return to story index,
The Story Index


Return to Home Page,
The New Captain's Log

Free Counter, Page Counter