Morton, the tight-ass


Voyage to
the Bottom
of the Sea

Robert "Bob" Dowdell
As Lt. Cmdr.
Chip Morton


Mr. Morton decked out and looking sharp!
For Bob's bio and much more, visit

    Chip Morton scratched the back of his head, thinking, This is nuts! Nothing adds up. "I don't like this," he said gruffly.  "Lee, none of this data makes any sense--kind of like one of Sharkey's shaggy dog stories.  Are we supposed to believe that this meteor suddenly changed course and speed just before it struck water?  They're not supposed to be able to do that, at least not that I recall."
    Just then, several monitors on the wall flashed to life with sonar and radar readouts.  The standing men turned to look while the Admiral leaned forward across his desk.  They saw columns of data, multiple photos, and charts accompanied by tables to facilitate analysis.  Nelson thumbed his desktop touch-screen, and in response, the largest monitor displayed a summary of the events thus far.

Compilation time: 20:03 hours, summary of subject object
Origin of object: Extraterrestrial.
Estimated initial entry mass: Approximately 92 tons.
Current mass: Approximately 17 tons.
Configuration: Spherical (See entry photo & sonar report.)
Approximate Diamter: 50 feet (Est.--see sonar report.)
External Temperature: 50 degrees Fahrenheit. (Stable.)
Depth: 6,325 feet. (Stable.)
Composition: Undetermined.
Nature of object: Undetermined.
Intent(?): Undetermined.

Chip Morton threatens to smile (in black & white).

    The four of them stared at the screen. Nelson and Sharkey traded confused glances as each simultaneously thought to himself, Undetermined?  What the hell does that mean? Morton shifted uncomfortably as a look of curiousity crossed his face and he said to no one in particular, "Undetermined?  What the hell does that mean?"
    Captain Crane addressed Nelson.  "Admiral, what the hell DOES that mean?"
    The Admiral was about to speak when Chip Morton's eyes lit up.  "That's no meteor." The lights had switched on.

A composed Chip Morton and Kowalski       Sharkey's attention shifted from Morton to the seated Admiral Nelson.  "If it's not a meteor, then what is it, sir?"
    Nelson stood up and spoke directly to the Captain.  "Lee, Let's go have a look."
    Sharkey put on his best tough-guy bearing.  "Level three security?"  It wasn't really a question.
    Nelson nodded agreement to the Chief and glanced at Crane.  "If that's all right with you, Captain."  He knew very well it was.  The Admiral continued, "Lee, I'm going to Observation.  Meet me there in five minutes."

    There was a nod of ascent from Crane, who walked over and fingered the Admiral's desktop touch-screen.  "Sparks, have all data pertaining to this meteor event--anything that could possibly relate to it--made available in the nose."  He directed his attention back to the group. "Chip, take over in control."  Turning to Sharkey, Crane continued,

"Chief, I assume you'll be busy with security and damage control . . . just in case.  Let's proceed cautiously."
    Back on ship's communications, Nelson added, "Sparks, tell Doc to be on standby.  We're going to level three security.  Have Mr. Riley get the Flying Sub ready for use on a moment's notice."
    It was time to move; they all headed for the door.  The Admiral was the last of them to exit.  He switched off the lights as he exited the room and closed the door. The silence left in the wake of their departure was tinged with a low-level electronic discharge, the sound so soft as to be virtually undetectable.  A faint greenish glow hung over the walls, floor and ceiling.  It momentarily clung to every surface of every object in the room.  Seconds later, complete silence and darkness fell.
  Incredibly, Chip Morton Smiles again (with a reddish tint).
----Excepted from The Nemesis Syndrome      

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