Foam on the Large Wave
(Fisi 'o e nauaoam)
Bomar glared at the door through which his
prisoner had been led. His
crippled hand trembled in his pocket.
Finally, he turned away, growling a curse. A
few minutes later, the door opened softly.
“I knew he wouldn’t jump to your side, Mr.
Bomar. He is absolutely loyal
to Nelson, that submarine and his crew, as well as to his country. Captain Lee Crane cannot be bought.”
Bomar took a deep breath and turned to face the
doctor. Mendon was short,
barely over five feet tall, his light brown hair was clipped short, almost
to the point of baldness. His
blue eyes were large and round, as though in a state of perpetual
surprise. He had picked up the glass that Crane had left and was
stroking his meticulously trimmed beard with long, thin fingers.
“Then he will have to be broken and the
information taken by force!” Bomar shouted.
“I will have that information, Mendon.
I have most of the components….”
“But Mendez and Nelson have the rest,” Mendon
“I think that Nelson’s information was
duplicated by the others. Which
means that what we got from Delacroix is pretty much the same as what
Nelson has. I also know that the admiral was working closely with Mendez
on something that was holding up the completion of the propulsion unit.”
Bomar clenched his good fist. “And
Mendez gave Crane that information.”
He studied Mendon. “Why couldn’t you get it with the truth serum?”
“Apparently they have developed a means of deep
conscious information implanting,” Mendon said, almost to himself.
“I used a small dosage when the jet came in.”
“You will get the information!” Bomar
responded, his voice rising again.
“It will take some work,” Mendon began and
then hesitated. He saw the
stormy look on Bomar’s face and added quickly.
“But I believe I will eventually be able to get past the
“Yes, you will,” Bomar hissed. “Or else we will have to terminate our business
Mendon almost choked on the wine he was drinking,
but recovered quickly. “I
don’t think it will come to that, my friend.
I have given you a great deal of good service already—and in a
very short time. I am the
one, after all, who had the operatives to supply information on Crane’s
activities, especially those who allowed his capture.
I am the one who has been instrumental in getting the latest
information you have, as well. And
I was the person with the network available to steal all of the little
toys you’ve wanted.”
Yes, Mendon had proved himself most useful, but lately he had
become distracted from the work that was most important—that of putting
together the propulsion unit. Mendon
had his own agenda and Bomar would have to be careful to keep that agenda
in check until the scientist was finished helping him. “Yes, you have,
but this last….”
“….piece of information is vital. Yes, yes, I know, but somehow I believe that we would
eventually be able to figure it out without outside information,” Mendon
said soothingly. Then he
looked startled, as though he had just thought of something.
“Leader, did you send Crane to the laboratory?”
“Of course, he had to know just who his better
Mendon grimaced. “You
have a problem with my methods?” Bomar asked scathingly, already knowing
“You have your ways, and I have mine.
However, I personally believe that this is a modern age and like
everything else, one has to adapt to more modern methods.
Torture has to become more sophisticated.”
Bomar shook his head.
“Sometimes the direct approach is best.
Let them know who’s boss.”
He gazed at the doctor. “You
“Not with your philosophy, but sometimes with
your methods. Do you
realize that when I break through the block protecting the information, it
may be in a form that needs to be written?”
blanched and then he rushed toward a phone.
“Don’t do anything to him; just restrain him!” he shouted.
There was a pause and then Bomar cursed and slammed the receiver
“Na’alu had only started,” Bomar said
tersely. “Crane still has
the use of one hand.”
There was nothing else that could be said.
“Go down there and get busy. Do whatever it takes to obtain what Crane carries in his
Mendon almost scurried from the room in his eagerness. A smile formed on the small man’s lips as he opened the door. Yes, Bomar thought. Mendon would eventually get what he wanted but the world would grovel at his, Keith Bomar’s feet. He would not just be the master of a small island in the Pacific but of whatever he set his sights on. Crane had looked at him as though he had been crazy when he had mentioned the stars, but it was a reality. Bomar would take his empire to the stars. The leader laughed. No one would taunt him then. No one would pity or laugh at his ‘disability.’ He would be the master and no one would dare.
Lee watched the little man approach.
The heat from the units on the arms of the chair, coupled with the
pain of his hand was making him dizzy.
Sweat rolled down the sides of his face as well as into his eyes,
but he didn’t bother to wipe it away.
He could only wonder what this man would cook up to do to him.
With a short oath, the short, thin-faced man, went
to the panel and turned off the heat units.
The heat almost immediately dissipated. In a few minutes, he stood before Lee, now wearing a
lab jacket. He took
Lee’s burned hand and examined it.
“Good thing you’re right-handed, Captain.”
“Yeah, terrific,” Crane muttered, grimacing at
the pain the man’s handling of his hand was causing.
“It will eventually heal, but you will most
likely carry scars,” the man said, letting the hand drop.
Lee’s breath hissed between his teeth.
“And what’s your role here-- Rasputin or Mengele?” he asked
The smaller man said nothing for a moment, then he
frowned. “I am Dr. Paul
Mendon,” he said quietly.
“Apparently not a medical doctor, unless
you’ve forgotten your Hippocratic oath.”
“Captain, this is not a pleasant situation for
“Yeah, right,” Lee snapped sarcastically,
unable to ignore the pain.
“Captain Crane, your, uh, attitude is not
helping,” Mendon said, his voice even.
Lee could tell the doctor was irritated, though.
“You have some information my leader needs.”
“Wants,” Lee corrected.
“And he is determined to get it. I will try to be as humane as I can doing it, but….”
The captain sighed and said nothing.
Mendon was spouting BS, but it would do no good to argue with him.
The scientist pushed up one sleeve of Lee’s shirt.
“What are you doing?”
“Something to loosen your tongue a bit.”
Lee jerked his arm aside and seemed to have the
scientist at a stalemate, but growled orders to Na’alu brought the guard
to his side. Lee felt the
steel hard hands clamp his arms to his side and the scientist plunged a
hypodermic needle into his right shoulder.
“You can wait outside the door, Na’alu.
There will be no further problems,” Mendon said.
The Polynesian studied Lee, who had stopped
struggling, and then he shrugged and left the laboratory.
“This is a little different than the first
dose,” Mendon said, more to himself than to Lee.
The captain felt a buzzing in his ears and a
peculiar lethargy begin to steal over him. He could see some of what
Mendon was doing, but it didn’t seem to matter much.
The scientist dragged a table with a tape recorder near his chair,
pulled a stool next to the table and sat down.
As he turned on the machine, he studied Lee.
“Tell me your name,” Mendon requested.
“Lee Crane,” Lee answered tonelessly.
“Is that your full name?”
B. Crane. Middle name’s
Benjamin,” Lee answered. Then
he began to laugh. “Should
have been something else. Grandfather
called to give his idea on my name when I was born.
Started to spell, V, for Vanderbilt, for the people he worked for
when he was younger, but a storm cut him off.”
A tiny voice in the back of his mind was ranting at his babbling of
family stories, but there was nothing to be done about it.
A smaller voice was quite pleased that Mendon was drumming his
fingers impatiently on the small table.
“Dad thought he said B and added my middle name….”
“Does Admiral Nelson have all of the information
on the new propulsion drive?”
Lee wanted to say ‘what propulsion drive?’ but
he couldn’t. “I don’t
know.” Did the admiral have
all the components? Was he
part of the set up? No, he
couldn’t have been. Nelson
would never have sent him out if there hadn’t been need.
“No.” He slipped a
bit further into his torpor and the little voice in his head got quieter
and quieter. He couldn’t even focus on the questions he was being asked
and barely registered the sound of his voice answering. But what seemed only a short time later, Lee heard Mendon
asking a clear and distinct question.
“What is Admiral Nelson’s secret private
The inner voice that had been silent had returned
with full force and it provided the answer.
“Go to hell, Mendon.”
The scientist looked a little shocked and then he
smiled. “You are more
resistant than I thought, Captain, but next time I will add something to
make you even more cooperative. As
it is, I do have to thank you for the information you have given me.”
In chagrin, Lee saw that the tape was over half
expended. He wondered what he
“Oh, yes, you are a font of information,
Captain, but I think we will take a short break.
Later, we can get together and chat some more,” Mendon said
pleasantly. The scientist
called out and a different guard entered the room.
“Escort him to his cell. I
want him back first thing in the morning.”
The guard nodded, unbuckled the strap holding Lee
in the chair and jerked him to his feet.
With the Polynesian gripping his shirt, the captain had no choice
but to go exactly where Bomar’s strongman wanted him to go.
Lee was aware of his throbbing hand again. He gripped his left wrist, hoping that partially cutting off
the circulation would help. It
did a bit and he watched his surroundings more attentively. It was an underground corridor like the other one, but this
one was larger, presumably to house prisoners.
Wooden doors were set at approximately eight-foot intervals, but
that varied, depending on the location of natural fissures out of which
the cells seemed to be constructed. The
end of the corridor loomed near, but they stopped before they got to it.
The guard pulled a narrow wooden beam out of a
metal slot set into the doorframe and pulled open the door. Old-fashioned, but effective, Lee thought..
The Polynesian pushed the prisoner inside.
The American found himself in an approximately four by eight foot
rough-hewn rock walled cell. The
light was practically non-existent, and Lee looked to find its source.
There was a small rectangular hole about foot by four inches, set
high in the door. It was
about eye-level for him and he gazed out, trying to judge the activity. There was none. Crane
judged that it had to be past midnight.
He paced the confines of his tiny cell.
There was a cot on one side and a tiny lavatory in the corner.
He sighed and sat down on the bed. It creaked, but held sturdy.
Somehow, he had to get away from here.
He knew that Mendez had developed a way to implant the information
that others couldn’t extract from him, but was it absolutely foolproof?
No, nothing was absolutely foolproof.
And Lee didn’t want to admit it, but he felt the gnawing of fear.
He shoved it aside, but he knew that it was lurking below the
surface of his conscious thoughts.
How far would Bomar and Mendon go to try to get this information?
Bomar’s stunt with the hot-plate, and Lee knew that it was the
leader’s stunt, was crude and it was only the intervention of Mendon
that both hands hadn’t been burned.
But of the two, it was the scientist that Lee was more afraid of.
He had mentioned Mengele, and had noticed, even
through his pain, the flicker of more than irritation in the small man’s
eyes. There had been
admiration. Mendon admired
the Nazi butcher of WWII, the “Angel of Death.”
The lab was here for experimentation and like the Jews in Nazi
Germany; Mendon was using prisoners here on Bomar’s island for his
By his own admission, Mendon had used truth drugs,
two variations. What would be
next? Crane knew Bomar wanted
him alive and able to communicate the information he had received from
Mendez. Now he understood
that the phone call to the guard, Na’alu, had been from Bomar who had
realized that he might need his hands to communicate if they broke through
the block that guarded the precious information.
That small revelation gave Lee scant solace
although it provided a small bit of hope.
He leaned back against the cool stone wall, and felt the beat of
the sea join that of his heart. It
helped relax and calm him much as the subtle movements of the Seaview did
when they were at rest on the surface.
It helped mute the pain of his burned hand.
He wondered if he should attempt to bandage it and then decided
against that move. Cloth
would only burst the blisters and cause even more pain.
He needed to get back to the more important matter
at hand—how to escape. That
was foremost, and not just because it was part of his duty, but because he
needed to get the information of this place and the operation of the two
men in charge. There was also
the idea that Lee simply didn’t want to stick around for Mendon to enjoy
intensive chemical experimentation on his body.
But when the guard came to unbolt the door early
in the morning, Crane had not come up with any solutions. So he tried the only thing he could think of.
As the guard motioned him out of his cell, Lee complied docilely
enough but as he walked out, he threw his weight against the door, shoving
the guard off balance. A
karate chop to the side of the neck with his good hand brought the guard
to his knees gasping. Lee
sprinted down the corridor to the door he had come through earlier.
It was the only way out. Go
for it! he coaxed himself. Maybe,
Lee Crane, old boy, you’ll get lucky today.
A few other prisoners were awake and curious about
what was going on; softly calling out for him to release them, but Lee
couldn’t take that chance. He
reached the wooden door and hesitated only a second.
Hearing the guard stir behind him and more prisoners waking up, Lee
simply threw the door open and kept running.
--Right into a young Polynesian woman with a tray
of food. With a cry of
surprise, she fell to the floor, food flying everywhere.
Lee hesitated and saw her frightened look. “Are you all right?” he asked softly.
She gave the barest of nods, her eyes still large
“Good,” Lee said and headed toward the door he
was unfamiliar with. He would
take a chance with this one, hoping it would allow access out of the
prison. He was running
through a small kitchen. An
older woman looked up, saw him and screamed.
Crane didn’t try to reassure her, just kept on running.
He passed through the narrow room and out another door.
This one opened to a cavern; a storeroom by the looks of it.
He dodged around stacks of boxes and crates, noticing at a glance
that the information on the outside was in various different languages.
Some were in Russian, some Chinese and some in English and a few
European languages. What he
saw in English seemed to indicate parts and machinery.
It would appear that Bomar was building something big.
Crane overhead voices.
He also heard the steady beating of the ocean against rocks, and
headed in that direction, trying to discern where the voices were coming
from. A pop from one side
startled him and he turned to find a swirling, noxious cloud of gas
wafting into his face. The
world spun and then darkened.
|Foam on the Large Wave Prologue|
|Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Contents|