CRANE: "He's gone! Admiral, what is that thing?" NELSON: "Yes, I think he's gone, at least for now--" He comes down the staircase, trying not to be too obvious about leaning on the handrail. Spock follows, watching him closely. NELSON: "--that ultrasonic gadget we used on Blackbeard's ghost still seems to work. At least . . . it did. I . . . I don't know how long he'll stay gone though." CRANE: "Admiral, are you feeling any better?" NELSON: "Mr. Spock has been giving me a quick course in Vulcan meditation techniques. So far it seems to be helping, but I'll still need to use the diving bell sooner or later." MORTON: "I wouldn't recommend that right now, Admiral. Sonar's picking up something moving on the bottom--looks like one of those big creatures with the red eyes." CRANE: "The ones that can pick up Seaview under one arm?" MORTON: "I'm afraid so, Lee." CRANE: "This is getting way beyond a joke!" SPOCK: "Indeed, Captain, I fail to see any humor whatsoever in the situation." Nelson glances down at his hand, and frowns. "Concentrate," Spock murmurs in his ear. "Remember, you must restrain all emotional responses." "I'm trying," Nelson mutters back. Spock steers him to the table by the nose window, and the others gather round and settle into chairs. Morton orders a crewman to bring a supply of coffee. Normally, they would have gone to the Admiral's cabin to talk things over, but it's a bit untidy right now. NELSON: "Lee, can you bring me up to date on our situation?" CRANE: "I'm not sure I know where to start. Even if Krueger's gone, we've still got a lobster-man and a manfish wandering around the ship, a jungle in Corridor B, and something big and brain-shaped growing in the laboratory . . . and that's just what I know about." NELSON: "Chip, have you anything to add to that?" MORTON: "You forgot the whale, Lee. Not to mention the hull damage, and the fact that we're perched on a ledge just above crush depth with no communications, and the Flying Sub's out of commission again." CRANE: "All right, all right. Frankly, Admiral, I'm running out of ideas. One thing at once we can handle, but all this . . . we could go on tackling one thing after another all night, and in the meantime, we're running out of air and time!" Kowalski arrives with a pot of coffee and a tray full of mugs. Also on the tray is a glass jug full of rather pretty red orchids. NELSON (pointing at the orchids): "Where did those come from?" KOWALSKI: "There's a whole mess of them growing in the Reactor Room, sir. Cooky thought they'd look nice on the table." NELSON: "Get them out of here and disintegrate them right now!" KIRK (puzzled): "What's wrong with the flowers?" CRANE: "Believe me, Jim, you don't want to know--and you certainly don't want them around." Kowalski takes the flowers away, shaking his head. NELSON (stirring a double spoonful of sugar into his coffee): "All right, let's try to think logically." SPOCK: "An excellent suggestion, Admiral." CRANE: "Logically? There isn't any logic to what's happening! Everything's been going crazy! Half the problems we dealt with in the last five years are coming back to haunt us!" NELSON: "Exactly. There has to be some pattern to it--but what? What?" MORTON: "I haven't a clue, Admiral." NELSON: "It all started right after our visitors came aboard. Ever since then . . . ever since then, it's been like time got twisted out of shape. All the worst bits of our past, coming back . . ." Nelson absent-mindedly pulls his cigarette case out of his shirt pocket and flips it open. It contains four miniature oxygen cylinders, a tiny blow-pipe with drug-tipped darts, and no actual cigarettes at all. CRANE: "Admiral, you quit smoking the season before last, remember?" NELSON (a bit irritably): "Yes, I remember." CRANE: "Are you sure you're feeling up to this?" NELSON: "Would it help any if I told you exactly how awful I feel right now?" CRANE: "Probably not, but--" NELSON: "Then stop fussing and let me think, will you?" SPOCK: "Calm, Admiral. Pain does not matter. Fatigue does not matter. You can transcend these things." Crane fishes the nearly-empty aspirin bottle out of his pocket and passes it across. Nelson helps himself to the last three tablets and pours himself more coffee. Outside, the whale nudges at the wounded submarine, not quite hard enough to push it off the ledge, but enough to rattle the cups and raise a few more sparks from the abused circuits. KIRK: "You know, I just had a thought. Is it possible that all this is an elaborate illusion arranged by some kind of super-powerful energy being for its own amusement? Like the time we--" SPOCK: "Unlikely, Captain. Super-powerful energy beings were uncommon on twentieth century Earth." CRANE: "Oh, you'd be surprised at what we've had stopping by. In fact . . . AARGHH!" Crane doubles over in agony, spilling his coffee. NELSON: "Lee! What's the matter?" CRANE (very pale and straightening up with difficulty): "I'm not sure. It feels a bit like . . . OUCH! ... Radiation poisoning." NELSON: "But you haven't been near the reactor today!" CRANE: "Well something's . . . URRGH! . . . wrong!" KIRK (grabbing the microphone): "Sick Bay, this is Kirk. Bones, we need you up forward right now!" McCOY: "On my way, Jim." A couple of minutes later, Bones arrives, with Seaview's own Doctor close behind. By this time, Crane is slumped forward over the table; the spilled coffee's soaking into his shirt; he's barely conscious. DOC: "What happened?" McCOY (plying his tricorder): "It looks like radiation sickness. Considering the radiation levels on this antique, I'm hardly surprised." DOC: "I'm afraid there's nothing I can do, other than try to make him comfortable. After all, he's been living on borrowed time for years!" NELSON: "There must be something. Doctor McCoy, can you help him?" McCOY: "I can try." He administers several hyposprays, and after a moment, Crane sits up--groggy at first, but rapidly recovering. CRANE: "Thanks, Doc. That feels a lot better." McCOY: "Don't mention it. Miracle cures are my specialty. Anyone else?" He happens to wave his tricorder in Admiral Nelson's general direction, and half the indicators turn red. McCOY: "Spock, I thought you were supposed to be taking care of the Admiral." SPOCK: "And I have done so." McCOY: "You green-blooded, pointy-eared loon! You can't treat a rampaging mutant virus with meditation lessons!" NELSON (wearily): "It seems to be working so far. Anyway, we're wasting time. We need answers, not arguments!" McCOY: "Admiral, you're in urgent need of treatment. If only I could beam you up to the Enterprise . . ." NELSON: "Unfortunately, that's not possible right now." McCOY: "But you're running out of time, man!" NELSON: "Of course! Time! That's the answer!" All the others around the table stare at him as if he has finally flipped. NELSON: "Spock, you remember when we were down in the lab before Krueger showed up, we were discussing temporal backlash? That's it. Your ship's arrival dragged all these phenomena out of the past. We won't get back to normal until you and your colleagues have gone." SPOCK: "An interesting deduction, Admiral. Unfortunately, we cannot return to the Enterprise until some semblance of normality has been restored here." NELSON: "I think we can handle that." CRANE (sotto voce): "A semblance of normality is about as close as we ever get anyway." NELSON: "Right, here's the plan . . ." Somewhere below deck. . . . Seaman Stuart Thomas Riley, USN, and Lieutenant Kevin Thomas Riley, UFP, after being assigned to a detail together by Chief Sharkey (to shore up weakened bulkheads), quickly discover that they have more than just their middle and last names in common. It turns out the two are actually progenitor and descendant. The man from the Seaview is the great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather of the man from the Enterprise! RILEY, S: "Hey, Kev, hand me that brace, will ya?" RILEY, K: "Sure, Stu." RILEY, S (hammering in the steel beam between the deck and the ceiling): "Man, I hope this holds!" RILEY, K: "And if it doesn't?" RILEY, S (smiling, and slapping his co-worker on the shoulder): "Then we won't have to worry about dinner tonight!" Sitting down right where they are, the two Rileys steal a precious minute from the laborious work-detail to celebrate their new-found relativity. RILEY, K: "I mean, like, WOW! What are the odds!" RILEY, S: "You said it, Daddio!" RILEY, K: "I think you got that backwards, GRAND-daddio! Listen, if we get out of this mess alive, Stu, I wanna show you my ship." RILEY, S: "Yeah! And I want you to hear all my 'Beach Boy' albums. I'd give ya my autographed 'Pet Sounds' to take back to the folks as a souvenir, but it got all scratched up last week when we went into a crazy dive or somethin'." RILEY, K: "That's okay, Stu, I don't need a souvenir. Meeting you is enough. I'm kinda glad we hit that black hole. But now that I think of it, maybe ... maybe you could give me something." RILEY, S: "Name it." RILEY, K: "How 'bout a picture of yourself? When I was a little kid on Tarsus IV, I lost everything I had (including Mom and Pop), when Kojak the Executioner decided to bump off half the planet. See, one day the stores ran out of 7-Up, Cheerioes, gummy Klingons, and lollipops, and the guy freaked! Luckily, Captain Kirk was my baby- sitter at the time. Mom promised she'd pay him double if he took me out to a movie till the Feds came to the rescue. Only--" (biting his lip): "--he never got his credits." RILEY, S: "Gee, Kev, that's rough." (Reaches into his back pocket and pulls out his wallet): "Here." (He hands Riley a 2x3 black and white photo of himself on a surfboard, hanging 10.) RILEY, K (taking the pic): "Man! Dig that hair!" (It's long and wet.) RILEY, S: "Yeah. That was taken right before I got assigned to Seaview. I wasn't aboard five minutes before Captain Crane made me get a hair cut." SHARKEY (spotting his lost crewmen from a bend in the corridor): "What are you two goof-offs doin' sittin' around!" Both Rileys jump to their feet. RILEY, S: "Chief! Guess what? Kev and I are long lost cousins!" SHARKEY (looking like he swallowed something sour): "I don't care if he's your Aunt Sadie! Now get back to work! On the double!" RILEY, S: "Aye-aye, Chief." As they toil furiously to secure the next bulkhead, the two young men talk on and on about their Irish heritage. Before long, harmonious strains of "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" are wafting from one end of the Seaview to the other . . . . Back in the Control Room, Crane, Kirk, Spock, Morton, McCoy and Doc listen to Nelson expound on his theory, and program of action. When Nelson stops talking, no one says a word until . . . CRANE (looking dubious): "Admiral, I don't see how that's--" . . . .Unbeknownst to the men aboard the SSRN Seaview, the USS Enterprise, and the rest of the Universe, chronology suddenly ceases its heretofore irreversible succession of events. Everyone, everywhere, freezes, as "that old common arbitrator", "the sand pile we run our fingers in", "the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called TIME" comes to a screeching halt. (In other words, the clocks stop!) From another dimension beyond this one . . . DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "The experiment is going well." DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "Perhaps not. Admiral Nelson is very close to uncovering our design." DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "I assure you he is not omniscient." DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "But you made him too wise. I fear he will discover the true--" DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "I shall keep watch on the Admiral. You pay heed to the Vulcan." DISEMBODIED VOICE 3: "Gentlemen, don't you think it's about time--no pun intended--that I paid a visit to our . . . men in uniform?" DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: "No. The hour is not yet come." DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: "Yes. The experiment must run its course." TIME is restored . . . CRANE: "--going to accomplish much of anything." KIRK: "I agree with Lee, Admiral. The plan's stinko!" NELSON (looking mad): "Is that so? Well, what about you, Mr. Spock? Do you go along with Frick 'n Frack here?" SPOCK (contemplating his steepled fingers, he finally looks up): "No, sir, I do not." KIRK (hurt): "Spock! You traitor!" SPOCK: "Jim, get a life. The Admiral has clearly articulated our only possible recourse." CRANE (wiping away beads of sweat that have formed on his brow): "Well if you two think it's a good idea, then I . . . " (Obviously in pain again, he reaches for his left side.) NELSON (squeezing Crane's arm): "Lee? You all right?" Crane answers yes with a nodding head. DOC (placing his hand on Crane's shoulder): "Come on, Captain. You just drew the Watch in Sick Bay." CRANE (releasing his side and sitting up straight): "No, Doc. There's no time for that." KIRK: "Atta-boy!" (Patting Crane on the back--hard--he misses the look of utter agony in Lee's eyes): "Bones is always trying to pull rank on me, too." McCOY: "Jim, be quiet!" (Waving his mediscanner in front of Crane, and studying the results): "This boy is sick! But it's no wonder. All he is is skin 'n bones. Don't y'eva feed this fella, Admiral?" KIRK (rolling his eyes): "Uh, Bones, don't you have some elective surgery to perform on yourself?" McCOY: "What?" KIRK: "That foot-in-mouth-ectomy we talked about at our last staff meeting?" McCOY (spitting nails): "Still havin' those nightmares about Miss Edith an' that big-ol' truck, Jim-boy? Maybe Spock heah can give ya 'notha one-a-those 'fergit it' mind-melds." KIRK: "When we get back to the ship, are you gonna be sorry you said THAT!" McCOY: "Oh, yeah?" KIRK: "Yeah!" CRANE (exasperatedly running his hands through his hair): "Oh, knock it off! Please!" KIRK: "See what you did, Bones?" CRANE (loosening his tie, and unbuttoning his collar): "Doc, you and Dr. McCoy lay aft to the Crew's Mess on the double. See what you can do about freeing those trapped NEPS." NELSON: "What's this about trapped men, Lee?" CRANE: "Never mind, Admiral. It's no biggie." (Noticing his orders have yet to be carried out by the two physicians): "Go on, gentlemen." McCOY: "Listen, Son, if that hypo's wearin' off--an' Ah'm afraid it is--yawl ah gonna be cryin' foh yuh Mama in a minute." DOC: "He's right, Captain. You're in no condition to--" CRANE: "Your concern is duly noted and appreciated. Now get lost!" Fit to be tied, the medical men leave the Control Room. As soon as McCoy's back is turned, Kirk sticks out his tongue. CRANE: "Chip?" MORTON: "Yes, Lee?" CRANE: "Get started on the Admiral's plan." MORTON (With absolutely no idea how to do that, he stands up and gives a hearty): "Aye-aye!" CRANE: "Jim?" KIRK: "Lee?" CRANE: "Would you come with me to the Missile Room? The Admiral's going to be busy with Mr. Spock, and I could really use your help." KIRK (standing up): "I'm there, Captain. It's about time we started fighting back. And besides, us handsome heroes gotta stick together." Crane rises slowly from his chair. He pauses at the table as yet another spasm of pain sets his nerves on fire. NELSON (sympathetically): "Lee? Are you sure you can handle it? What if--" CRANE: "Admiral, if anything happens to me, Jim'll do his duty. Even if it means sacrificing his life for the good of both our ships." KIRK (paying attention all of a sudden): "Huh?!" NELSON: "Just the same, be careful. And for heaven's sake, whatever you do, don't start mooning about that ditzy Mermaid from the third season! If her boyfriend comes looking for her, we're all sunk." CRANE: "Don't worry, Admiral. I'm way over that chick." NELSON: "Right. Sure. Just . . . stay focused." CRANE: "I will." NELSON: "And Lee?" CRANE: "Yes, sir?" NELSON: "Try not to get knocked out at a crucial moment, hm?" CRANE: "I'll do my best, Admiral." Crane and Kirk hustle up the spiral stairs. As they travel down Corridor A, Crane begins to hum. CRANE: "Lah-la-LAAAAAAH, la-LAH la-LAH la-LAAAAAAAAAAH, Lah-la-LAAAAAAH, la-LAH la-LAH la-LAAAAAAAAAAH, Lah-la-LAAAAAAH--" KIRK: "Catchy tune! What is it?" CRANE: "Just a little ditty I picked up . . . on vacation in Venice." KIRK: "Vacation?" (Sighing wistfully): "You're a lucky man. I have no beach to walk on." CRANE: "Try Malibu." The sound of voices up ahead makes Crane and Kirk stop in their tracks. Crane sneaks down to the end of the corridor and peeks around the corner. CRANE: "Oh, no!" KIRK: "What's wrong?" CRANE (sprinting back to Kirk): "Run! Just run!" Senator William Dennis is pressing the flesh of every man in his path. Turns out he's from the home town of every one of them! As the Captains trip the light fantastic in the opposite direction, who should be coming their way but the Mummy! CRANE (feeling slightly faint): "This just isn't my day!" Lee leads Jim to the nearest air duct. CRANE (opening the grate): "Hurry up!" KIRK (pointing): "You want me to go in there!" CRANE: "Come on! What are you waiting for?" KIRK: "Look, Lee, you go this way, and I'll take the turbolift and meet up with you later, okay?" (He takes one step away.) CRANE (grabbing Jim by the elbow): "Get up there! Before I use a stun gun on ya!" KIRK (hefting himself up): "O-kay-ay! But I'm warnin' ya. I ate a lotta cucumbers before we crashed into that black star this morning. I've had a belly-ache all day." Crane works valiantly to get Kirk's ample stern through the narrow opening, then gets himself in in the nick of time. With oxygen levels dropping by the minute, and those cucumbers making their way down Kirk's digestive system, crawling through the claustrophobic passageway is pure, unadulterated torture! It seems almost an exercise in insanity to keep going. But, keep going they do. And eventually, they reach the Missile Room. Although the place is crowded with crewmen, no one even bats an eye at the incoming Captains descending from a hole in the wall. Then Crane notices why. CRANE (standing with hands on hips): "Chief!" SHARKEY (under his breath): "Uh-oh!" (Just about to roll the dice near the torpedo firing control panel, he looks up sheepishly): "Uh . . . Hiya, Skipper! D'you call me?" CRANE: "What's the meaning of this, Chief?" Ensign Chekov, and various Seaview crewmen in blue and red overalls break up the scene and try to look busy. The Chief and Mr. Scott skulk over to their respective commanding officers. SCOTTY (smiling at Crane): "Now, Laddie, it's not what yer thinkin'!" KIRK: "Belay that, Scotty. I wanna hear Lee bawl out his CPO." CRANE: "Well, Chief?" SHARKEY (thinking fast, but coming up empty): "No explanation, sir." CRANE (nodding in disgust, and repeating in the same tone): "'No explanation, sir.'" SHARKEY (looking guiltier than sin): "Sorry, Skipper." CRANE (squinting): "Chief, you're on report." SHARKEY: "Aye, sir." KIRK: "So are you, Mr. Scott!" SCOTTY: "But, Captain, Francis here was only showin' me how tae--" CRANE: "There's no time for anymore talk! Chief, I want this room cleared. Now! Captain Kirk and I have a lot of work to do." KIRK: "And we don't want any nosy, know-it-all-non-coms looking over our shoulders!" CRANE: "That's right! Now move, Chief! Get these men out of here, then you and Scotty head for the Reactor Room. But don't go in until you receive orders from the Admiral." SHARKEY: "Aye, sir." (Clapping his hands and shouting): "All right you men, you heard the Skipper. Out!" CRANE: "Chief!" SHARKEY (with one foot on either side of the hatch): "Sir?" CRANE (holding his palm out): "The dice." Chief Sharkey tosses the dice to Crane, who places them in his pants pocket. Within seconds, Lee and Jim are alone in the cavernous Missile Room. KIRK: "So where's this famous key of yours that's supposed to open 'PASSFAIL', or whatever it's called?" CRANE (walking past the escape hatch toward the panel): "'FAILSAFE', Jim." KIRK: "Like I said, whatever." CRANE (reaching under his shirt, he pulls out the chain which holds the key to their redemption--or their doom): "I still don't see how this is . . . Whoo . . ." Ravaged by the radiation poisoning, and weakened further by his recent noxious travail through the ventilation duct, Crane leans against the wall for support. KIRK (taking Crane by the elbow): "Gosh, Lee, you really are sick, aren't you?" CRANE (holding his left side): "My spleen's gonna pop any second!" KIRK: "Yuk!" CRANE: "Either that, or I'm gonna turn into the Fly again. I have this strange craving for milk and rum all of a sudden." KIRK (grimacing): "Why don't you do us all a favor and turn into Felix Leiter instead?" CRANE: "'Fraid I wouldn't be much use around here with only one leg." KIRK: "Oh yeah. The sequel." (Grimacing again): "That scene with the shark was really gross!" CRANE: "I know. That's why I told my agent--no more 'Bond' flicks for this sailor!" KIRK: "That reminds me, Lee. I've always been curious about something." CRANE (trying to stay conscious): "Yes?" KIRK: "By any chance, do you have a portrait hanging in your Conning Tower?" CRANE: "What are you talking about?" KIRK: "License to Kill came out in 1990, right? But you looked the same then as you did twenty years earlier in Live and Let Die. How come you never- the-hell age!" CRANE: "Can I help it if I have good genes?" (Feeling another severe spasm of pain, he reaches for his side, then slumps to the deck.) At that precise moment, a tall, thin, dark-haired, strikingly handsome man, who looks, and who is dressed, exactly like Captain Lee Crane, emerges from the shadows of the nuclear missile silos. To make his presence known, he inhales and exhales heavily. CRANE 2 (wearing a snide and unctuous smirk): "Does it still hurt very much, Cap--" Kirk annihilates him with his phaser. CRANE: "Nice going! But how'd you know he was up to no good?" KIRK (reattaching his weapon to its Velcro patch, and helping Crane up): "It's been my experience, Lee, that whenever anybody's double shows up acting that smarmy, it's better to shoot first, and ask questions later." CRANE: "Am I glad you did!" KIRK: "Who was that, anyway, your evil counterpart from the 'Mirror, Mirror' universe?" CRANE (Unable to fathom Kirk's queer colloquialisms, Crane quits trying. He pulls the metal chain over his head, inserts his key into the waiting slot, then turns it. The protective cover over panel number 3 gives way): "Okay, Jim. We've gotta work fast! We have less than . . ." (checking his wrist watch): ". . . seven minutes to disarm these missiles." KIRK: "How come the Admiral's so sure they're gonna blow?" CRANE (apologetically): "You know. The writers get tired; the studio keeps slashing the budget; the grips go on strike. There's no time for continuity. Same old story--forget the plot, just keep the big-shots happy." KIRK (nodding): "I hear ya." KRUEGER: "Unt I voot say zat iss a pretty poor ekscuse!" Kirk and Crane turn at the sound of the familiar voice. KRUEGER (smiling): "Hello, boyce!" Crane faints dead away at the sight of the undead Krueger, and collapses in a heap. He comes to a few minutes later, when Kirk waves some smelling salts under his nose. KIRK: "Lee, it's all right! Krueger's a good-guy now!" CRANE (sitting up, but still woozy): "What?" KRUEGER (kneeling): "Zat's right, Crane. I haf reformt. Zat sonic-beam machine really packs a vallop, let me tell you!" With Kirk and Krueger's help, Crane gets to a standing position. CRANE: "You mean, you're not here to take me away?" KRUEGER: "No. I yam here to help you." KIRK: "Lee and I don't need your help, Krueger. We have it all under control. So just go ahead and shuffle off to Buffalo." KRUEGER: "Za Bahamas, idiot!" KIRK: "Whatever." KRUEGER (eyeing Kirk with disdain): "How dit a nincompoop like you ever get commant of a starship?" KIRK: "Hey! I thought you weren't gonna be mean anymore!" KRUEGER: "Eef you vere a crewman on my unterzeeboot, Kirk (za U-faw-faw-faw), I voot not trrrust you to empty za bilge pumps by yourself!" (Noticing Crane stifling a laugh): "Unt you're no cheenius eeza, Crane!" Lee loses his smile. KRUEGER: "All I dit vas change my clothes, part my hair on za uzza zide, unt talk like Lawrence Velk, unt you did not rrrecognize me ven I came to see you again in 'Za Heat Monsta'." CRANE: "Was that you?" KRUEGER: "Indeet!" CRANE: "But you died in that episode!" KRUEGER: "Oh, ja? Listen, Crane, next time, before you bury someone at sea so lickety-schplit, check za guy's pulse first, vill you?" CRANE (shrugging): "Sorry." KRUEGER (shuddering): "My Got! I vas so colt! Een zee Arctic yet he dumps me ovabort!" KIRK (growing weary of not being the center of attention): "Tell us the truth, Krueger. It couldn't have been that sonic blast that changed you. What really did the trick?" KRUEGER: "Eet vas Lani. You see, I saut I coot not liff vizout my sourbrrraten. Zat's vhy I neetet Crane's bottie--to go to za butcher for me. But Lani sess she likes me betta as a ghost. So, I gif her her vay at last. Uzzavise, I never hear za ent of it. You know vimin: nak, nak, nak! Zis vay, also, I von't track so much mut in za hut, ja? Besites, eet iss gettink too darn hart to keep up zis akzent any lonker. Unt unto eternity? Forget about it! But you know somesink, Crane? I sink you voot haf liked my Lani. Sheesh a goot kissa! Unt she iss soooooooo beautiful! She saut you vas prrretty cute, yourself! Ekzept for zat little bullet hole in za site, she gafe your bottie a sumps up." CRANE (blushing humbly): "Really?" KRUEGER: "I vouldn't kit you." KIRK (noticing steam coming from one of the missile silos): "Uh . . . Lee . . . Hadn't we better get started on these missiles?" CRANE (waving his hand dismissively): "Yeah yeah. In a minute." (Turning back to Krueger): "What else did she say about me, Captain?" KRUEGER: "Oh, somesink about your haysal ice unt your vayfee black hair." KIRK (fed up to here with the discussion of the ageless and adorable Captain Crane): "Lee!" CRANE (glaring at Kirk): "Will you stop bugging me! Can't you see I'm talking to Krueger?" (Turning back once again): "Did Lani happen to mention anything about a rugged personality, Captain?" KRUEGER: "I don't sink so. Say! Vhy don't you call me Gerhardt, Lee?" CRANE: "All right . . . Gerhardt." KIRK (to himself): "Oh brother!" CRANE: "Gerhardt, will you please tell Lani thanks for me? You know . . . for letting the Admiral know I was on that creepy island. It was close, but luckily, he managed to stuff me in the Flying Sub right before the final credits started rolling." KRUEGER: "Sure sink. Unt now, Crane, before I take my leaf, I vill tell you vhy all zese strrrrange happeninks haf been happenink." The Seaview creaks; the lights flicker; the air pumps pump out the last remaining molecules of oxygen, then grind to a stop. KRUEGER: "Vhat za HECK!" (Looking upward): "No time for explanations, boyce! All I can tell you iss zat Nelson's idea vill not verk. For vunce, Kirk iss right--za plan iss STINKO! Looks like zee olt ret- het iss finally loosink eet." CRANE (raising his voice to hysterical proportions): "Then we've had it!" KRUEGER: "Cheepers-krrreepers, vhat a gloomy Gus." CRANE (still screaming, and now, pacing, too): "I can't ba-LEEVE it's gonna end like this!" KRUEGER: "For Pete's sake, Crane, stop gettink yourself in such an uproar! Your schpleen can't take it, Kitto!" KIRK: "Captain Krueger, I thought you were gonna help us." KRUEGER: "My powers are gone now, Chimmy. But I vill see vaht I can do. Maybe I ask Flipper outsite to gif you a lift to za surface, hm? After zat, you're on your own. But at least you vill haf air, unt you can try callink za Enterprise for help." CRANE: "But what if we still can't raise Jim's ship? What if we can't hold trim on the surface?" KRUEGER (placing his hand on Crane's shoulder): "Zen, my boy, I'm afrait eet vill truly be, at lonk last--voyage to za bottom of za sea!" Krueger steps back. His form begins to waver. His distinct features gradually blur out of focus. His once powerful voice is reduced to a barely audible whisper. KRUEGER: "Goot luck, my frents, unt farevell . . . F a r e v e l l . . ." With his eyes trained on the fading phantom, Lee Crane pulls himself to attention, bends his right arm at the elbow, and brings his hand to his brow. The evanescent ghost of Captain Gerhardt Krueger smiles gratefully, returns the salute, then disappears from sight. KIRK: "I guess he's headin' for that big U-boat in the sky." Seaview lurches and starts sliding backwards off the ridge. Doggedly, Lee Crane staggers over to the Missile Control Panel and goes to work on disarming the missiles. Sirens blare and warning lights flash as Seaview plunges downward yet again--but at the last possible moment, the fall stops with a jarring thud. The great whale has positioned himself under the submarine, and begins to nudge it towards the surface. Seaview's going up! Courtesy of Moby Dick and Gerhardt Krueger! Far below, the bottom-dwelling monster waves its seaweedy arms and rolls its great globular eyes in rage at being deprived of its toy. . . .
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Copyright 1997 Rachel Howe and Alison Passarelli