NIMR Reports is a Fan Fiction Magazine on the World Wide Web for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea starring Richard Basehart and David Hedison.
A JOB WELL DONE
by Carla Keehn
Captain Lee Crane studied the walls of the Seaview's Sick Bay for the hundredth time that day as the ship's Doctor listened to the Captain's heartbeat.
The Doctor folded up the stethoscope and frowned at his unwilling patient. "You seem to be having a difficult time resting, Skipper." He slipped the stethoscope into his coat pocket. "That's why I felt it was necessary to keep visitors away."
"Doc, you don't understand -- I can't just lay here and do nothing! I need to see Chip."
"I'm sorry, Skipper. I thought I made it clear that the ban on visitors included Commander Morton."
"C'mon, Doc! You're not being reasonable. I'm the Captain -- I need to get the ship's status reports!"
Doc shook his head. "No visitors and that's final!"
"But, Doc, I've got a ship to run!"
"You may not take your injuries seriously, Captain, but I do. You're only prolonging your stay in Sick Bay by refusing to cooperate. You must have peace and quiet -- and I'm going to make sure that you get it!"
Crane shifted uncomfortably as he tried to raise himself from the bed. "But I'm completely out of touch here! I need to see Chip so . . ." Without warning, the room started spinning and the Captain's vision grew fuzzy. He moaned as the dizziness forced him to lay back down.
"Let that be a lesson to you, Skipper," the Doctor said unsympathetically. "Right now the only thing you need is rest! You may be in charge of this ship, but I give the orders in Sick Bay. Do I make myself clear, Captain?"
Crane closed his eyes and nodded weakly.
Satisfied that his patient had quieted down, the Doctor returned to his desk and became engrossed in the latest medical journal.
It's too quiet in here . . . thought Crane. He tried to position himself so he could get a better view of the corridor outside of the Sick Bay. He watched the constant stream of activity with longing. The Captain perked up when, a few minutes later, a Corpsman rushed past him and headed for the Doctor's office.
"Doctor, there is a discrepancy in the Medical Stores inventory."
Doc closed his journal and frowned. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, sir. We've checked the stores against the inventory twice." The Corpsman handed his clipboard to the Doctor.
Doc scanned the sheet in front of him. "All right, let's go have a look." The Doctor followed the Corpsman, then paused at the door. "I'll be right back, Captain."
Lee Crane sighed heavily. Here I am . . . trapped in Sick Bay . . . can't even find out what's happening on my own ship . . . I always end up risking my life and my sanity because of some mission . . . Makes me wish sometimes I was still back in the Navy . . .
Crane's thoughts were interrupted as Admiral Nelson came into the Sick Bay.
"Glad to see you're awake, Lee." Nelson pulled a chair over to Crane's bunk. "How do you feel?" The Admiral glanced at his friend. I know that Lee must feel like a caged animal in here . . . He shook his head in frustration. I was against Seaview's being involved in the testing of that new missile guidance system in the first place . . . Lee was almost killed stopping that enemy agent . . .
"Fine, Admiral, fine!" Crane replied. He made a sour face. "I wish I could convince Doc of that so I can get out of here."
Nelson smiled sympathetically. "I understand how you feel, Lee." The Admiral remembered all too well some of his past stays in Sick Bay. "But I think we should let the Doctor do his job."
Crane was disappointed. He was hoping that the Admiral would show more interest in helping him get out of the Sick Bay.
Nelson held up a folded piece of paper. "I've brought you something, though, that I think will help make your stay a little more tolerable."
It's going to take a lot to make that happen . . . thought Crane. He eyed the paper in Nelson's outstretched hand warily.
"Go on, Lee, take it!" Nelson said. "That's an order!"
Crane took the paper and opened it.
Nelson smiled knowingly as Crane read.
"But, Admiral . . . I don't understand."
Nelson chuckled. "I don't blame you, Lee. It's not everyday that you receive a commendation from Washington. Thanks to your actions, we were able to avoid a major setback to world peace."
The ship's Doctor returned and looked at Nelson ominously. "Admiral . . ."
"I know, Doc, no visitors, " Nelson finished, then stood up. "I was just leaving." Nelson turned to Crane. "Well done, Lee. I'm proud of you!"
The two old friends regarded each other silently for a moment.
Yes, there are times that being the Captain isn't easy, thought Crane. But deep inside, the Captain was satisfied. He knew there wasn't any other job he would rather have.
Copyright 1998 by Carla Keehn
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