They had another argument today. Not that
it’s a frequent occurrence, but it does happen, and for a while I had to walk around on eggshells and warned the men
that weren’t on shore leave to steer clear of Officer’s Row at NIMR.
For once I was glad not to be involved. I
know sometimes I’d complained a bit about being left out of the loop, and Lee was trying to remedy that, but even under
Captain Phillips I had been pretty much left alone aside from Seaview. I’m her XO and a damn good one, but I’m
not her Captain, and certainly not one of NIMR’s executives.
More and more the Admiral’s taken to
asking Lee to handle some of the administrative matters of the Institute, not to mention some personal favors. And Lee, most
of the time, complies. Today wasn’t one of them. And Angie even handed me a spare set of earplugs while I turned in
our completed report and she returned to her spreadsheets.
The walls of Nelson’s inner office aren’t
as soundproof as they should be and one could hear their raised voices, if a bit inaudible. I did pick up something about
Lee being ‘disagreeable’, and Nelson being ‘a damn fool’, and I wondered if we’d be seeing a
new Captain. I’d had that fear before. But nothing had come of any of those times when Lee wouldn’t hesitate to
tell the Boss off. (Does he have a death wish?)Probably nothing would come of this disagreement now, either.
I was about to return to my office to lock
up and begin my shore leave, when Lee barged out of Nelson’s office and noticed
the earplugs in my hand. What he was going to say was interrupted as the Admiral emerged, breathing heavily, drink
“Well, if you won’t, Morton will,”
“You can’t be serious?”
Lee turned pale. “I wouldn’t ask that of my best friend!”
“I’m your best friend, and you
won’t do it for me!” Nelson pouted.
My god, what was it that Lee was being asked
to do? A super-secret undercover mission? (Now that would really be weird, as Nelson had badgered Lee about his continuing
stints as a part time field agent with ONI)
“Oh very well, when is this thing?”
“1400 at the Hilton, so you don’t
have much time, “he pulled out something from his pocket, “You’ll need this.”
“There’s something else I’ll
need,” Lee moaned, running a hand through his hair,” Doc still here, Chip?”
“Uh, no....”I replied, starting
to get worried.
“What about Frank?”
“The corpsman’s gone too.”
“Swell…”then he noticed
Angie, “Er…I don’t suppose you have any of the …pink stuff.”
I must have groaned. The Pink Stuff? The Pink
Stuff? That could mean only one thing.
Lee looked at me sadly as he took the bottle
from Angie. A ‘watered down’ version of the stronger stuff Doc kept locked up in Sick Bay.
“Good luck, Lad,” Nelson returned
to his office.
“Gee, thanks, Harry. Er, Chip…I
“No way bro, no way I’m going
to Edith’s bake sale.”
It was a special Bake Sale for some charity,
and as one of its patrons, Miss Nelson was also contributing to the cause and expecting a representative from NIMR to attend
and partake. Probably spinach puffs. Of course, Lee would at least be able to wash down some of her culinary creations with
something strong, like a double martini, I told him.
Ordinarily I like spinach puffs. Only…these
“I expect hazard pay, you do realize
that don’t you, Sir?” Lee yelled toward Nelson’s office.
“Already deposited in your account,”
Nelson’s voice shouted back.
“How about a sick day tomorrow as well.”
“Don’t press your luck, Captain.
See you tomorrow. Now get out of here. I don’t want you to be late.”
Yes, there are sometimes it’s good to
be left out of the loop.