King Ang was on the news tonight, opening
Parliament. His voice has changed and he’s begun those awkward years. But there was nothing awkward in the presentation
of his speech. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t all that long ago that he was a frightened little boy facing
a big challenge….
We’d been asked by the State Dept.
to take the boy King home to his country after his father had been assassinated. Asked, not ordered. And while I could have
made the decision, I left it to Lee.
It was just before Christmas, and he, like
the rest of us had plans. But he could see the importance of assisting an ally and told the crew all Christmas leave had been
To my surprise, I really wasn’t aware
of much regarding the new King’s country. In fact, when Lee brought the entourage aboard, I thought the military aide
was the King! Instead I found myself facing a mere boy. For a few brief moments
we could all see the pain in his eyes when he was informed of his father’s death. Briefly. They’re trained not
to show undue emotions, the royals of most countries. Minutes later he turned out to show his true colors, a royal pain in
It was worse for Lee. As Captain he isn’t
used to be treated like a lackey and the boy seemed to delight in strutting his royal pleasure, and even threatened me with
blackmail if he didn’t get to have my cabin (the best aboard) for his quarters.
The boy had hardly gone to bed when
there was an attempt on his life, and Lee thought he might have been making it up. But the knife wasn’t one of
ours. But who among his entourage could be a threat? If that wasn’t enough, Lee informed me that Seaview was being tailed.
Having a royal aboard was more than annoying.
He demanded he plunk himself smack in the Control Room and had a fit when his valet wasn’t allowed to make his lunch.
Apparently Cookie had waved a cleaver in front of the man. Things got worse when we were attacked by a sub and Crane insisted
we get the ‘kid’ out from underfoot. The 'kid', of course, had a royal tantrum.
Suffice it to say, Lee was able to destroy
our attacker, and while he didn't want to, he relented later at the Countess's request to let Ang back into the Control Room.
It wasn't long before he talked Lee into
letting him look through the periscope when we got a surface contact. Lo and behold he spotted a man. He was alone in a rowboat and seemed harmless enough, so Lee requested permission to bring him
aboard. Ang seconded the request with a royal command!
The boy and ‘John’ as the
castaway called himself hit it off right away and they became fast friends. John, bless him, even got the boy to start
acting human. And with a little plot of their own by switching bunks, we discovered it was the Countess who had tried to kill
Ang. The King demanded we execute her on the spot.
We didn't, and he tried to kill her himself.
But no boy is a match for grown men, and the lady would have to await trial once we got them all home. At that point,
it was hypothetical. There were so many riots there, the King might not have a home to go home to. We decided if Ang
would make a public broadcast from Seaview, he just might be the uniting force against the rebels.
With John's encouragement, Ang agreed and
he spoke as if to the manor born. Soon we were informed of his citizens rallying to the royal cause, and we escorted
them back to the bosom of their country.
Lee and I attended the special ceremony
that had been interrupted when his father had been murdered, and John seemed to have disappeared.
the lad and his aide seemed to have things well in hand, along with the government, so we returned to the boat and headed
home, secure in the knowledge that ours was a 'mission accomplished', and our ally was hopefully going to be in ‘safe’
hands for many years to come.
Except, of course, female ones, apparently
now, if the pretty girl clinging to his arm on the news broadcast meant anything.
And was it my imagination, or was that man
nearby in exotic garb a dead ringer for Lee? Oh, I knew he’d been drafted for an ONI assignment, but surely not to
'ride shotgun' for this event? Whatever, I sure wish I were a fly on the wall.