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.
TRICK OR TREAT!
Captain Lee Crane looked around the Control Room quickly. All stations were fully manned and the Seaview was proceeding on course for the Nelson Institute in Santa Barbara. Everything seems to be running smoothly, a satisfied Crane thought to himself. He turned his attention back to the reports that Chief Sharkey had handed to him several minutes ago, and began reviewing the pages with his Executive Officer, Chip Morton. Suddenly, Crane pushed the report aside and grabbed the edge of the plotting table for support. A wave of dizziness swept over him.
"Lee, are you okay?" asked Morton, looking concerned.
"I . . . I don't know," replied Crane slowly. As quickly as it had come, the dizziness seemed to pass. Relieved, Crane straightened and loosened his grip on the plotting table. He reached again for the report. " I'm fine, Chip. Whatever it was is gone now."
Morton stared at Crane uneasily. "Are you sure you don't need to have Doc take a look at you?"
"I said that I'm fine, Chip!"
Morton realized from the Captain's irritated tone of voice that it would be better just to let the matter drop. Wordlessly, he picked up the report and began leafing through the pages.
Crane tried to concentrate on the papers before him, but found that, for some inexplicable reason, he couldn't. Something is wrong, he thought to himself as he remembered what happened the last time he felt this way. Now on edge, Crane loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar as he glanced around the Control Room. Everything seems to be normal, except . . . At first, Crane dismissed the shadow that seemed to be forming near the Flying Sub hatch as a trick of the Seaview's lights. As the shape continued to take on a definite, recognizable form, Crane felt a shiver travel up his spine.
Now fully materialized, the 3000 year old mummy growled at Crane and began taking faltering, but definite, steps towards him, its arms outstretched.
It's not possible, Crane thought frantically, this is just not possible! Face to face with the mummy, Crane felt overpowered by a feeling of weakness. He lurched forward against the table, grabbing Morton's arm. Crane moaned as wave after wave of dizziness shot through his body. Morton watched helplessly as Crane's legs buckled and he sank to the deck, unconscious.
Meanwhile, in another part of the ship . . .
Admiral Nelson scowled at the large pile of paper in the middle of his desk. I really dislike all this paperwork, Nelson thought grimly to himself. Realizing that the time had come to take care of some of the work waiting for him, he poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down at the desk. Nelson pulled the top folder towards him, opened it and began to read.
"Trick or Treat!"
Nelson looked up, surprised to hear his own voice break the silence in the room. Startled, his arm bumped the cup on the desk, sending the cup and saucer crashing to the floor.
"Clumsy, Admiral, very clumsy!" the voice said again.
Nelson looked around, then began to rub his temples. I've been working too hard. I know that I'm alone in my cabin. Suspicious, Nelson got up from behind the desk and slowly moved around the room searching for the mysterious intruder.
"Not alone, not on Halloween!" answered the voice quickly from behind him as if it had been reading Nelson's thoughts.
Nelson spun around. On the edge of the desk sat a puppet; a puppet that not only had Nelson's face, but also was wearing his uniform.
The puppet smiled at him and said excitedly, "The Professor says that today's the day!"
Nelson stared at the puppet, too surprised to speak.
"Which will it be, Admiral? Trick . . . or Treat?" continued the puppet.
"I thought we got rid of you and Professor Multiple for good the last time!" replied Nelson, finally finding the voice to speak. "Now what are you and the Professor up to?"
The puppet laughed at Nelson, slapping its knees playfully. "You were wrong, Admiral!" replied the puppet, laughing harder. "You haven't answered my question yet, Admiral. Which will it be, Trick . . . or Treat?" The puppet stopped laughing and the smile was replaced with a somber expression. "How sad . . . yes, how sad . . .Captain Crane got a trick!"
Nelson opened his mouth to speak, but was stopped by Chip's voice booming over the intercom.
"Sick Bay, this is the Exec. Send a stretcher team to the Control Room on the double!"
"What have you done to Captain Crane?" demanded Nelson, his patience wearing thin.
"Just a game, Admiral. Captain Crane got a trick, not a treat! Too bad for him . . ." The puppet leaned forward in a serious manner. "And too bad for you, Admiral . . . yes very bad for you, because the Professor says you get a trick too!" With the blink of an eye, the puppet disappeared.
Nelson looked around cautiously. Satisfied that his visitor was indeed gone, the Admiral headed towards the door, intent on finding out what had happened to Crane. Just as he reached the door, Nelson gasped as a sharp pain shot through his body. His thoughts spun wildly as he remembered the last time he had felt an agony like this. No! his mind screamed out as he tried to fight back. The beast inside Nelson became stronger as it sensed that it soon would be free. Nelson sank to his knees in the middle of the room. The pain was stronger now, so strong that Nelson thought it would tear his body apart. Shaking, he watched in horror as his hands changed before his eyes into something animal-like. Despite the pain, Nelson forced himself to stand. He staggered over to the small mirror on the wall. He clawed at his face as the transformation completed itself. The werewolf looked at its face in the mirror and screamed in rage.
"GRRRRRRRRR!" the beast roared as it began slashing and hacking at everything in its sight.
Suddenly the puppet reappeared on the edge of the desk, smiling at Nelson with a silly grin. The puppet clapped its hands happily and laughed at Nelson. "Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat!" the puppet shouted gleefully. "How do you like the Professor's trick, Admiral?"
The beast stared at the puppet for a minute, then rushed for the desk, trying to make a grab for it.
The puppet hoped onto the beast's shoulder. "How sad that I must be on my way," the puppet said in a sorrowful voice. His expression became lighter. "But I'll be back . . . to play another day!"
As the beast clawed frantically at its shoulder, the puppet disappeared. The puppet gone, the beast turned its attention to the pounding on the cabin door.
"Admiral, it's Morton!" came Chip's voice from outside the door. "Open up, sir! What's going on in there?" After several minutes, Morton, Sharkey and several crewmen broke into the cabin.
When Morton shot at it, the beast screamed in rage. Then it fell to the deck unconscious as the dart's tranquilizing drug took effect.
Later, in Sick Bay . . .
Lee Crane shifted uncomfortably on the cot, as he slowly regained consciousness. His body tensed, then relaxed, as he realized where he was.
"How do you feel, Lee?" came the voice from across the room.
Crane gently eased himself up, resting on his elbows. Across the room, behind the metal gate that separated the restricted area from the rest of the Sick Bay, Crane could see Nelson stretched out on a cot with his arms folded behind his head.
"Fine . . . I think, " replied Crane after a minute. Gripping the edge of the cot for support, he pulled himself up to a sitting position. "Admiral," began Crane, "you won't believe what I saw in the Control Room . . ."
"I think I can guess, Lee," replied Nelson with a smile on his face.
"What's happening to us?" asked Crane, looking confused.
"Well, Lee, if my calculations are correct, we shouldn't have to worry about this happening again," explained Nelson. "At least not for another year," he added.
"Another year?" exclaimed Crane in a strained voice as he remembered his experience in the Control Room.
"Easy, Lee," cautioned Nelson. "What time do you have?"
Crane fumbled for a minute, then replied, "It's almost dawn. Why do you ask?"
Nelson nodded slowly. "It's over," he replied in a relieved voice.
"What's over?" asked Crane, growing agitated. "Admiral, what's going on . . . what is it that you're not telling me!"
"Halloween, of course," replied Nelson in a calm voice. "I'm afraid, Lee, that we have been the victims of an elaborate Trick or Treat prank."
Speechless, Crane looked at Nelson with a surprised expression on his face. "But you don't really believe that . . ." stammered Crane.
Nelson nodded slowly.
"But how . . . and why?" asked Crane.
"It's the only explanation that makes any sense, Lee," replied Nelson as he got up from the cot. "I'll explain it to you sometime." Nelson shook the metal gate in front of him until it rattled. "Right now, I'm more interested in getting Doc to let us out of here. I don't know about you, Captain, but I've got a ship to run!"
Crane smiled. "Aye, sir!" he replied quickly. He pushed himself off the cot and headed for the Doctor's office.
Copyright 1997 by Carla Keehn
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