I know he means well,
but sometimes Harry can’t see the forest for the trees! I was reminded
of this while watching an old monster movie on TV, a monster that was out of control. Of course, they wouldn’t be monsters
if they weren’t.
We’ve had our own
share of creepy crawlies and outsized denizens of the deep under the sea and
from far far away (outer space) while serving aboard Seaview, but this little protozoa was
so incredibly small at first, I suppose all Harry and his egghead scientist buddy
could see at the time were possible cures for the plagues of mankind, birth defects for example, believing that accelerated
evolution was the key. So they set out to do that very thing, wanting to tap into the very place evolution began, as if Janus
could possibly know that!
Still, as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. In other words, sometimes a little tampering
with Nature might just be mankind’s downfall.
And down we came. Literally,
to the bottom. The professor’s energizer managed to turn those microscopic elements into a gigantic pulsating blob so
heavy that it rendered us unable to get the hell out of Dodge, so to speak from the increasing seismic activity of the Vema
Seamount which severely damaged us.
The blob was also responsible
for incapacitating the night watch with nitrogen narcosis. I was ready to keel haul all of them! At least it turned out they
had a legitimate medical excuse. Apparently the thing deprived them of enough oxygen to give them the bends!
And if that wasn’t
enough, this little expedition gave Clarke a nervous breakdown. No doubt he was
upset about our destination, as his brother’s body still lay in one of the many downed subs in the area, but I could
have sworn by him as a responsible deck officer, not a quivering bowl of Jell-O. He’s
no coward and has proved it on numerous occasions. But this, well, oh hell, I don’t know, whatever it was, simply unscrewed
him and he deliberately altered course without permission, and even struck Kowalski in his attempt to get out of the brig. He’s not a Reserve Officer, that’s why he was allowed the promotion to
Lt. in the first place, even jumping over the ranks of Ensign and Lt. Jg. due to his graduating from the California Maritime
Academy. If he were Reserve, he’d no doubt have been Court Martialed and dishonorably discharged.
As it is, he accepted
a reduction in rank back down to Seaman (Nelson had considered firing him) and limited him for any future duty aboard Seaview.
He has served aboard a few times since, without incident.
But back to my tale. Harry
and Dr. Janus determined the best way to destroy the blob was by a surfeit of Carbon Dioxide, and they blasted the thing with
it, but Janus got stuck between it and the bulkhead and was crushed and/or was exploded with it as it went kaboom, destroying
it and Dr. Janus completely.
I found Harry just outside
the lab, half conscious leaning against the blown out door. Later, he was a bit
maudlin and satisfied himself with a quote from the Bible about the beginnings of mankind. “And the Lord God formed
a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.”
Sure wish he and Dr. Janus would have remembered that to begin with. But I didn’t say anything; he was feeling bad enough.