provided a suitable ship for the expedition, it had already been
sent to Maalaea as part of the recovery and blockaid. Max
and Murphy had been flown out to it, earlier this morning. Both
now stood on the fantail near the sonar sled monitor room,
talking over the events of the night before.
hates me!" Max insisted. "Yeah, whatever...That's not what I'm
seeing here, pal." Murphy jabbed. "You're not even on the same
page...On second thought, forget the page, you're not even reading
the same book." Max shot back. "Ok, man...But that's not what
Sue tells me." "Nevermind, will you? We got a sled to
drop!" Max finished. The time for small talk had passed... Now
with the sonar sled ready, and the ship in position, It
was time for the two men to get to work.
ship had it's own sled, holding more equipment then the one
they had used the day earlier. This one had all the standard
stuff, plus video feeds...Even a famous history. This was the
Argo. (The same device used to find the Titanic.) Now, it
was being lowered into Maalaea Bay, to find the bottom. With
1200 feet of cable, the sled was sure to find it.
Murphy entered the dark control room. (This "room" was more like
a large cargo container filled with electronics.) After letting their
eyes adjust to the darkness, the two started watching the
monitors and video feeds. There were two other Navy techs
with them, searching for the Lexington's remains.
more time had passed When Murphy spoke up. "Reading a depth
of 435. Radiation climbing again. Someone wanna check our heading?"
One of the Nav-techs went to a map, Max looking over her
sholder as she plotted. "Looks to be about the same place
we were, yesterday." He said, adding. "Anything on the vid, yet?" "Nothin'
but dirt and rock..." All were puzzled. With radiation levels this
high, they expected to be seeing debris from the ship below.
But still, there was nothing. "You notice something missing? " Hedged
Max. "Besides a ship, you mean?" Murphy answered. Max never paused.
"How 'bout, were's the fish?" With this, the Nav-techs took
notice. Max delivered. "Big sign of underwater disturbance... This place
should be filled with undersea critters." "Good call." Murphy replied.
20 minutes passed
as the sled went deeper still. "735 feet now...Radiation holding
at 98. The bottom looks more broken up, now." Murphy called out,
breaking the silence. "Seems like the whole bottom's hot... " Max
paused, pondering his findings. He turned to the Nav-techs. " I
thought you guys said, most of the radiation would be contained
by the core shielding. So...what's up with this?!" Somberly, the
Navy woman answered. "In most events, yes... This looks like a
complete core breach." Max and Murphy looked at each other in
heavy thought "That's gonna take a little more, than a quick
house cleaning." Max mumbled. "I'm getting elevated thermal readings... Temp
is 135... 137... 142... Climbing rapidly!" Murphy Exclaimed. "...Holy shiit! I've
lost the bottom!" Max stammered, then continued. "...I need more cable.
Like now, guys!" The sonar device was fed more slack in
order to re-discover the bottom. The room went quiet once again.
" It's like, the whole damned bottom's been blown away! " said
Murphy in odvious confusion. "Did anyone report Tsunami?" Max inquired
to the Nav-techs. "Not really, the waves were already high due
to the storm. If anything did come in, that be the
quick answer." Came the reply. Again, silence.
"I'm getting another
depth reading....1,012 feet! Still decending!" Exclamed Murphy once again,
then adding. "Radiation level increasing as well!" Max leaned over
to check Murphy's monitors. "I'm getting solid hits from the magnomiter,
now. Checking the video feed. " He said as he switched attention
to the small T.V. screens. The bottom was a broken mass
of newly altered rock and debris, still bubbleing with tremendous
heat. Clearly, the volcano had punched through here. But, there was
someting new. Small fragments of twisted metal, sections of hull, ladders,
and other parts of what used to be a missile cruiser. "I
think we found your ship...Or what's left of it." Max said
flatly. " ...Ahhh guys? Hold up. I'm getting a bounce. " interupted
Murphy, looking confused. "Part of the ship, maybe?" Offerd Max. "Not
unless it's moving!" Murphy stimyed. "Wait-a-minute. What!?" Max asked, equally. "Large
sonar contact... Moving toward the sled! Unless it changes direction,
it's going to hit!" Murphy shot. The Nav-techs looked just as
confused. "A whale, maybe? " "I have no idea..." Max mumbled as
if in deep thought. "Start haulin' in the sled, get it out
of there! Lets go! " Murphy fired. The cable started winding,
pulling Argo back from the depths...But the sonar echo kept