Lee’s in a snit again. Asked me outright
why I’m’ continually being swept off my feet by my egghead scientist buddies, (his words, not mine). Seems some
old sci fi movie on TV got him thinking about Dr. Janus and our disastrous expedition we’d had at the Vema Seamount.
He hadn’t been happy about the mission
in the first place, and even wanted to keep Seaview in port. But, Lee being Lee, finally agreed to let me peruse my scientific
dreams of this protozoa which Dr. Janus had assured me was located at just the kind of the place where evolution began and
with a little tweaking, might conceivably lessen or cure a multitude of ailments.
you get right down to it, it wasn’t really the energized protozoa‘s fault that felled us so badly. Its increased
growth and weight simply weighed us down so we couldn’t maneuver when the already bad seismic activity in the area got worse.
But it did cause nitrogen narcosis amongst
the night watch, sucking too much oxygen from the air leaving the men a bit ‘drunk’. Lee was livid as we’d
been sailing around in circles. Poor Chip was on the receiving end of Lee’s wrath but
with a bone fide medical excuse, it was quickly forgotten by both men, still
friends. Still are.
As for another matter, though I wanted to
throw the book at Lt. Clarke for downright disobedience. Since he’s not
a Navy man, not even in the Reserves, the only option open to me was to fire
or bust him back down to Seaman which is what I did. Which I suppose in retrospect was the right thing to do. After all if
I’d listened to Lee in the first place I wouldn’t have placed Seaview in such a precarious area and Clarke was
simply being logical. As it is, Clarke will remain at NIMR, but will not be allowed aboard Seaview unless we’re undermanned.
And so Lee began to question me after that
movie. He may not always understand science, but he usually allows me a little leeway (ha ha) when I ‘chase after dreams’. But that was one expedition I’m sure he hasn’t really forgiven me for. I
suppose he feels responsible, one, for bringing Seaview to the seamount against
his better judgment , two, the loss
of his passenger and three, the loss of Lt. Clarke who could have been a fine officer.
It was hard to answer Lee. I am swept off
my feet by the possibilities out there. That’s not all together a bad thing.
I’m a scientist not just a submariner. I thought he’d come to grips with that. But I do know in retrospect that
I should have at least considered the options. Suffice it to say he knows the next time he has reservations about a mission,
I’ll weigh them more carefully than I did that time.