Lee and I had been
planning on some BBQ after our last mission, which had been uneventful despite Lee’s misgivings about one of our passengers.
But when Jiggs came by unexpectedly I
expected the fur to fly, so to speak, but as the evening wore on, my old friend was actually acting a bit paternal toward
him. Even Lee wondered about Jigg’s unaccustomed attitude, took me aside
and I quote, “Has he had some kind of head injury?” For if any two
officers are ever at odds with each other it’s Admiral Jiggs Starke and
Cmdr. Lee Crane.
There’s always been a bit of, I guess
you’d say professional rivalry. Jiggs expects the respect due his rank. And granted,
all Naval officers do, but Jiggs is also used to ‘putting the fear of God’
into any junior officer he encounters, and Lee, being Lee, won’t let him.
And I know for a fact ( from Morton) that Lee still calls my old friend ‘Captain
Bligh’, at least, behind his back.
That had begun when I was aboard the submarine Neptune to observe her sea trials.
Sea trials that went terribly wrong. Electromagnetic Radiation from an undersea
mountain range caused weird readings and malfunctions, and while I went out for core samples with one of her crew, a monstrous
giant radioactive coelenterate engulfed the doomed sub and she exploded.
Fowler and I had to swim to the surface through
smaller normal sized jellyfish and were stung repeatedly for our efforts. On the surface, aided by inflated wetsuits, we struggled
to survive the storm, but he was lost to the waves. I was fortunate to be rescued
after a few days.
(I found out later Jiggs had commandeered
Seaview as was his right at Commander, Submarine’s Pacific to investigate the loss of Neptune, and was still giving
Lee and the entire crew the third degree when I was released from the hospital. )
Jiggs didn’t really believe my story
about the giant jellyfish and was a bit put out by Lee’s support of it. Yes, my boy Lee would follow me to Hades if
I asked him. Well, sort of. He can be opinionated about some things and even defies me at times, but that’s his right
And Captain he was, when he resorted to mutiny
in order to save Seaview. Pulled a gun on me, so he did. Of course, I was a bit out of my head at the time. Suffice it to
say, that same electromagnetic field played havoc with the boat, (practically nothing worked, and we couldn’t even blow
ballast). Well, Lee wanted to dive to pick up maneuvering speed. I was surprised and hurt that he trusted the damn computer
over me. In fact I rather lost it, and removed him from command.
(Harriman, Harriman, Harriman, how could you
and Jiggs have been so stupid!)
Anyway, he pulled a gun on me and ordered
the dive. I would have thought the crew would have apprehended him, but not they. They would have done anything he said, with
or without the gun.
And dive we did, which restored some of our
controls. But was I relieved? Even grateful? I’m ashamed to say I was so upset with him that he’d defied me, I
ordered him out of my sight. For as long as I live I won’t forget his eyes. Hurt. Betrayed even.
I was so demented I wanted him court martialed.
Jiggs, of course, realized he’d been right and saved all hands, and ordered me escorted to Sickbay.
then the damn Jellyfish decided to attack.
But Lee, called back to the Control Room by
Jiggs, let Seaview become engulfed and gave it a whopper of a nuclear charge though the hull, destroying the thing.
You’d have thought after the way I’d
treated him that Lee would have abandoned all hope of restoring our relationship,
even if my mental breakdown had a legitimate excuse. (Turns out I was allergic to Cortisone which had been given to me after
my Neptune ordeal)
In any case, Jiggs told Lee I should be proud
of him. Damn right.
Now, that doesn’t mean that Jiggs has
been all hearts and flowers toward Lee from that point on. In fact, there’s been an ongoing shall we say, animosity as Lee won’t hesitate to tell
Jiggs what he thinks. So it was surprising to say the least he tried to usurp my relationship with him.
Or maybe he was just lonely. One thing’s for sure. Jiggs can play ‘big brother’ all he likes. But I’m still the real thing.