Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Stalwart, handsome heroes and the best looking blinking lights, chattering computers and mechanical brick-a-brack money could buy.


What do you suppose this little knobbee does, Admiral?
Richard Basehart (Admiral Harriman Nelson), Bob Dowdell (Commander Chip Morton)
and David Hedison (Captain Lee Crane).

     In Seaview's control room, there was organized pandemonium. Crane and Nelson erupted through the access tube down the ladder and crashed to the deck. Crane hit first. To avoid being promptly crushed by the Admiral, he adeptly lurched out of the way. Instantly, he surveyed the situation. The "Christmas tree" display of ballast control lights showed a glittering hodgepodge of red and green. Far too much red for the Captain's comfort. One leg up on the periscope stand, Commander Chip Morton barked out orders as he turned and saw the now disheveled Crane and Nelson.
    "The bridge is clear!" Crane shouted.
Nifty gathering of some of Seaview's best.      The Admiral added, "Hatch Secure!" and then redundantly, "Get us off the surface!"
    Unlike other modern subs that had no system for downright fast emergency dive situations, Seaview could drop like a stone on a moment's notice. Much of the work was handled automatically by ship's computer. It was for exactly this kind of unforeseen situation that Nelson had overdesigned his research vessel.
    "Lee, take her down to two thousand feet. Now! Head for the basement!"
    "All dive!" ordered the Captain. "Two thousand feet. Emergency dive!"
    The surprise and stress of the moment showed on Chip Morton's face. "Take her down to two thousand feet.   Emergency dive!"
    Dive manager Stu Riley watched as the last red light turned green. "All hatches and main tank vents closed. Flood Negative. Prepare to dive."
    Morton turned to the sub's control station. "Helm, maintain course, dive the boat."
    Riley called out, "Dive, all dive!"
    Plains and helmsman went to work. Further orders and repetitions echoed all around.
    "Emergency dive in progress." On the com, Riley's youthful voice was pulled thin by surprise and stress.  This was an abbreviated version of standard procedures.
    Through the noise and commotion, they could hear and feel the submarine respond to the all-out call to get the hell off the surface. The deck tilted noticeably and the crew's sea legs compensated. Status reports shot from one control station to another and sounded over the intercom, reverberating in the air around them. Orchestrated chaos. A perverse side of Lee Crane couldn't help thinking, This is more like it!  Hey, Lee--I think I found your dirty shirts.   

----Excerpted from The Nemesis Syndrome

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