The Seaview's Missile Room crew fidgeted nervously as their Captain completed his inspection.
Captain Chip Morton ran his white-gloved hand along one of the missiles and looked down in disgust. He glared at the men, then eyed the dirt blackened glove. Sloppy work, Morton thought to himself. These men have had it easy for too long! He turned to Chief Sharkey, who was hovering anxiously at his side. "Is this the best they can do?" Morton asked, holding out his gloved hand.
Sharkey swallowed nervously. "Sir," he stammered, "we followed your orders to the letter . . ."
Morton held up his gloved hand once more. "Belay that nonsense, Chief," he ordered sharply. "I want the work done over, and I want it done right this time!"
As Morton headed for the hatch, the crew watched in stunned silence.
"What's the matter with you monkeys!" Sharkey barked at them. "You heard the Skipper! Get busy!"
Sharkey's sharp words got the crew's attention and they snapped into action.
Chip Morton paused at the hatch, watching the men work. With a satisfied smile on his face, he thought to himself: They'll learn. It's by the book from now on!
Without warning, a sudden turbulence rocked the Seaview, knocking Morton and his crew off their feet. Morton felt a sharp pain as he hit his head on the deck. In the distance he could hear far off voices . . .
"Sir, are you all right?" Sharkey asked anxiously. "Skipper, come here!"
Morton felt someone shake him gently. He heard Sharkey ask: "Do you think he's okay, sir?"
"I don't know, Chief," replied Captain Lee Crane. "Chip . . . Chip!"
As Commander Chip Morton slowly opened his eyes, he saw Lee Crane's expression change to one of relief. Morton sat up, rubbing the bump on the back of his head.
"Chip, are you okay?" Crane asked in a concerned voice.
"Yes," Morton replied. He got up and looked around the Control Room. "What happened?"
"We hit some turbulence. You were knocked out for a few minutes," explained Crane.
Morton leaned against the periscope landing with a strange expression on his face.
"Skipper, are you sure he's okay? He doesn't look so good," commented Sharkey to Crane.
Morton just smiled as he remembered his tour of duty as the Seaview's Captain. Someday, he thought wistfully, someday . . .
Copyright 1997 by Carla Keehn