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Chip Morton's Journal

The Java Connection


It’s a fact of life that most important resource aboard Seaview isn’t me. It isn’t the Captain, or the Admiral either.  No, the ‘command trio’ as some folks call us, can  be pretty much replaced through the chain of command, though while Lt. O’Brien might be able to handle the duties of Acting Captain, and he has on occasion,  I think it might be a bit awkward if Sparks  ever truly found himself with the ‘duty’.

Now, where was I? Ah yes. I was speaking of the most important resource aboard Seaview.


This became quite clear to me when we’d  been a bit too  up close and personal to a dormant volcanic sea mount just  when we had one of those ‘incidents’ that Lee calls a ‘tantrum,’ that Seaview simply sometimes decides  on, from systems failures to short in the circuitry, (to keep us on our toes, Lee says).

But whatever the cause, (we still haven’t found it yet) said tantrum  just happened  to slam us into the seamount which gave us an extensive   breach in the hull from the impact. We had to surface for part of the emergency hull repairs (not a good idea as  Doc ran out of  Dramamine early on.)


If handling work rotations on the surface  around seasick sailors is  bad enough, what nobody counted on was that the ripped hull pretty much inundated some of our storage compartments with  sea water, some of Seaview’s ‘innard’s , and god knows what else. We’re still  clearing out the mess as the pumps work overtime.


Chief Sharkey  was just compiling the damage control reports and groaned.  Apparently just  about all our dry goods were inundated. Rice, beans, various pasta, etc. Okay, that wasn’t good, but I didn’t see what the big deal was. You’d think he’d died the way he was acting. After all, we still had enough in the way of canned and frozen goods until we reached the nearest naval base for more substantial repairs. Until, that is, he told me that Cookie didn’t  even have enough flour in the galley to make the noodles for the Lasagna that the Captain had been counting on.


Now, I can live with or without Lasagna. But believe me, I’m not  looking forward to reporting to Doc that the one and only dish (aside from doughnuts) that Lee actually consumes full servings of, is now in effect, sunk for the duration.  

For a moment I racked my brain, and suggested that he tell  Cookie to try a noodle less lasagna. (I’m the XO, it’s kind of normal for me to think on my feet.)

“That’s sacrilege! Besides, I’m not sure it’s possible, ”Sharkey furrowed his brows.

 “Well, I’m sure the Captain will understand the situation.”

“Uh, yeah, that goes without saying, it’s just that…er…there’s something else that’s not on that list sir…Cookie told me in passing….”


“The breach got all the coffee too.”

For a moment I stood, stunned, then realized that my mouth must be hanging open, aghast.

“Yeah,” he continued, “he was just going to get some to refill the empty galley canisters when the breach happened….there ain’t no more.”

All of it’s gone?” I tried to be hopeful that both Cookie’s report and the Chief’s might have been exaggerated.

“’Fraid so, sir..uh…you want to tell the Skipper or should I?”


I’ve had to do many things as Seaview’s XO. Bad things. Things you never want to do again. Tell someone their loved one’s died, or seen the results of a terrible mishap, etc. etc., but telling Lee Crane there was no more coffee, well, that  was above and beyond the call of duty.


Of course, I could always delegate.

“Uh, you want Sick Bay standing by?” Sharkey asked before I wheedle my way out of it and give the job to him, “after all, maybe they got some brew tucked away in those IV bags…”

It was a relief to laugh over the standing joke that Sick Bay’s  worst patient had coffee in his veins, hence, Sharkey’s little joke.


As I went in search of Lee, I pondered that while the crew could probably handle a brief deprivation with perhaps the occasional irritated outburst or bad headache, caffeine deprivation turned Lee into a…well… beast. It would be almost preferable if he had a full blown  ‘furry’ episode like he had with Braddock’s experimental atmosphere than when I was going to have to tell him about the coffee.


Damage Control said he’s down in the thick of things, checking out the jury rigged wiring for one of the shattered panels from the breach.  I fully expect to see him, not hovering over the work parties, but as usual, crawling around in whatever mess needs crawling around in, inspecting repairs, and even doing some himself. (He’s a hands- on Captain.)


While Sharkey had joked about having Doc stand by, I was sorely tempted to take him up on it. Lee’s sure to be  irritable enough!  But no, Doc’s probably got his hands full trying to help the guys throwing up feel better…


At least I have earplugs at the ready. (I learned that early on!)  Still, I can’t  help but  wonder about Lee’s addiction to coffee! 


I also can’t help remembering the kid’s movie we’d had on tape last night about a frog and his friends in the swamp. Though I don’t remember the lyrics, my own popped into my mind…. ~‘Someday we’ll find it, the Java Connection, the creamer, the sugar, and me’~



The best order to read The Java Connection in the blogs:

#1Chip’s Blog

#2 Kowalski’s Blog

#3Doc’s Blog

#4 Lee’s Blog

#5 Nelson’s Blog

#6 Lola’s Blog Edit Text