PART ONE (of 4)
New York City, Modern Times...
No one paid any attention to the small man who walked into the bookstore. He was dressed in an outlandish suit, quite mismatched. He had a pair of reading glasses perched on the end of his nose as he peered at the old books crammed into the shelf. The books were mostly old and water damaged from the passing of time, but the little man didn't seem to mind their condition as he looked through them. Picking out a thin unmarked volume, he began flipping through the pages, as a piece of paper fell from the book at his feet. He looked down, but thought nothing of it as he searched for another book. Nothing seemed to suit his fancy, and as he stepped away, his eyes were drawn to the piece of paper. Picking it up, he carefully unfolded the coarse paper. It was a hand drawn map, made with light ink markings. He could scarcely make out the drawing. It seemed to be some island of the South Carolina coast, not identified by name but marked with a circle and a date: March 21st, 1864.
The man looked at the date, trying to think what had happened back then. He knew that it was during the Civil War but that was all that he knew about the date. The tip of the island was circled and old lettering spelled out the name Foster Dean.
"Foster Dean?" the man muttered. He pulled the small book from the shelf and crammed the piece of paper inside of it. He carried it up to the check out counter of the shop. "I'll take this," he stated, dropping it on the counter.
The man behind the counter looked over at the book without picking it up. "Oh, that's one of the damaged ones. Give me five dollars for it and we'll be even."
The man pulled out an old coin purse and counted out three dollars and several quarters, dropping them on the counter.
The man behind the counter stuffed the book into a bag and looked at the other man. "I could make you a deal on some of the other ones... What's your name?"
The man smiled at him. "Pem...Mr. Pem. I think this will do for the night."
He picked up his book and headed for the door. Walking out into the cool night air, he went back to the old hotel room where he was staying. He flipped through the book finding nothing except the map and a list of ships and sailing times from Port Charleston, South Carolina.
"This might be a good place to start," he muttered, taking a gold pocket watch from his pocket. Turning a series of small dials, he set the date for March 19th, 1864. He then pressed the button, the room shimmered and he found himself standing on the street of Old Charleston in 1864.
"Get out of the road!" someone bellowed to him, as a wagon quickly passed. It was loaded down with soldiers, Confederate soldiers in gray uniforms. One or two of the uniforms were complete but most of them were in rags. He looked around at the rushing of people and the noise, listening to the roar of guns... maybe canon shots as it rumbled in the distance.
He could smell the smoke and sea air. He could see the rigging of tall ships in the distance, so he wandered in that direction, watching with fascination at the activity that was going on there. A few people stared at him as he passed, not sure what to make of the man in the strange clothing. Many of the ships were in sad condition, either laying half swamped in the harbor or damaged from the war. He walked over to the docks looking out at sea, seeing lights reflecting in the water.
"What are you doing?" a voice confronted him.
Pem turned to see an older man move up beside him. The man was on crutches, one leg missing with a bandage around his head. Pen noticed that he was filthy, reeking of body odor and old whiskey.
"What are the lights?" he asked the man, pointing out to sea at the faint lights on the horizon.
"Damn blockade," the older man answered. "We can't get anything out. Jeff Davis is waiting for us to help him, but they can't get anything out there. Got ships lined up to try... fool's errand if you ask me."
"So are you..." he quickly corrected himself. "Are we sending more men?"
The old man laughed, "Men? There ain't no men left. We are sending the only thing that we have left, the gold and silver from the homes to be smelted down to buy what the army needs." The old man looked down the line at the ships moored in the harbor. "They are even carrying gold from the churches," he whispered as in conspiracy with Pem.
"Good," Pem replied. "We got to do something."
"Yeah," the old man agreed. "They don't look like much but they are fast. That small one is the fastest so she'll outrun those Yank ships."
Pem looked over to where the man pointed at the small ship nearest him. He could not believe his luck, for on the side facing him was the name of the vessel... Foster Dean.
He slipped a few coins into the old man's hand and walked away. So this was the Foster Dean, is it? I have got to find out what happened to it.
New York City, Modern Times
Pem's world shimmered again as he reappeared in the hotel room where he had started out. It was now morning and from the noise on the street, late enough for him to do what he wanted to do. He left the room and rushed down the street to the Public Library. The library and the Internet had certainly made his projects much easier when he needed information. He entered the building and hurried over to the information desk, waiting impatiently for the woman sitting there to acknowledge him.
She finally looked up to see him standing at her counter. "May I help you?" she asked him in a bored tone.
"Ah, yes. I am doing research on a sailing vessel... the Foster Dean. I believe she sailed during the Civil War from Charleston."
The woman nodded at him and began to key in information into the computer at her desk. Pem stood there looking curiously about the library as she worked. It was an older building; the shelves were lined with old books and videos. There were even racks of paperback books, most were well worn.
"Sir?" her voice interrupted his thoughts.
He turned back around to the woman as she started talking to him, "That was a blockade runner. It left port on March 20th, 1864, and was presumed sunk. There is no date given for that."
He smiled at the lady, "Why, thank you." He then turned around and walked away from the counter, certain that he knew of the ship's fate. He was certain how to find the gold and silver that the old man was talking about. It could be just a tale but it would take him very little time to confirm what had really happened and he knew who could help with that! Now where would he find Admiral Harriman Nelson this morning?
He left the building and turned down the next alley. It was the perfect time to travel back but he thought that it would be much safer to pass the war years. He turned the dials for Charleston again, but this time in the year of 1874, March 21st. It would be ten years later, no one would suspect why he would be there. No one would remember the Foster Dean by that time. It would be simple enough to step in and remove the gold. He patted his pocket, assuring himself that he still had the map.
Denver, Colorado, 1874
James West and Artemus Gordon were relaxing in their train car; playing a game of pool when the telegraph began clicking. Artemus, being the one most familiar with the code, immediately set his pool cue down. He walked over to the table to write down the incoming message that was no doubt from Washington.
James remained where he was, listening to the clicking and making out what he could of the message, wondering where this assignment would take them.
* . --. .. .-.. .. - --- .-.. --- ...- . .-.. . ... ... .--- ..- ... - .-. .
.-.. . .- ... . -..
Miguelito Loveless just released from prison/
New York City, Modern Times
As Pem patted the map in his pocket he had an idea. Why should I return to the past when all I have got to do is get some modern day help? He reset the pocket watch and set the dial for another location. This was going to be easier than he thought.
Time travel usually makes one dizzy and disoriented for several seconds but Pem had no trouble with the results of moving through time. As the reality of the last move began to form around him, he smiled to see his old friend sitting at his desk involved with reports and paperwork.
"Admiral Harriman Nelson!" he announced his arrival to the man.
Admiral Harriman Nelson looked up from his report, shocked to hear the voice. Recognizing the figure standing before him he rested his head in his hands. Sighing deeply, he rose from the desk. "Pem! What are you doing here?"
Pem walked over to the desk looking down at the reports. He picked one of the sheets up as Harry reached for it to try to snatch it away from him. "Expenses!
Ah, I could help you out with these... Really, Admiral! You ought to allow me to help you. I ask for so little in return..."
"Pem, you never ask for little," Nelson growled at him. "I thought that we were done with you."
"Oh... by switching the signs? Making me think that I was in the reactor room? That was just a temporary setback, Admiral."
"I want you out of here..."
"No, you don't... I have plans for both of us," Pem answered, dancing back from the other man's reach.
"No!" Nelson warned, raising his finger to the man. "I have no time for you."
"Maybe not for me but what about for the Foster Dean?"
Nelson leaned back on his desk, crossing his arms over his chest. "Okay, Pem, you have my attention for three minutes... then I'm calling security."
Pem smiled smugly at the Admiral. "My dear Harriman... May I call you that? Of course, since we are going to be partners. I have found the treasures of the ages."
"Oh? Treasures of the ages? I don't see how we could possibly be partners..."
Nelson started, only to be interrupted by the man before him.
"Yes!" Pem rang out. "And all you have got to do is loan the Seaview to me for just a couple days until we can recover the treasure."
Nelson laughed. "We are not going treasure hunting! Never with you, Pem! The Seaview is at sea right now doing an important survey and we are in no position to go off on some crazy treasure hunt that you have dreamed up."
The smile vanished from Pem's face. "I have the information here. You have to look at it, we could all be very rich from this undertaking and I do promise you 10% of what we find."
Nelson continued to laugh, pinching between his eyes. "Ten percent? Do you even realize what it costs to take the Seaview out? We are not in this for buried treasure." He got up from the desk and returned to his chair. "Where do get all these hair-brained stunts that you come up with?"
"I have a map," Pem informed him.
"Oh, my God! " Harry continued to laugh as he sat down in his chair. "So you found a gold mine map?"
"No, buried treasure..." Pem answered. He was getting quite close to pouting at the Admiral.
Nelson looked at the small man before him. "Pem..."
"You owe me!" Pem shouted at him. "I brought your sub back. Do you remember that?"
Harry rose from the desk, "Oh, yes! I do remember that." The Admiral's voice was getting dangerously low. "I have yet to understand how you just happened to be there then, Pem..."
Looking wounded, Pem placed his hand on his chest like he was in real distress. "Admiral..."
Nelson sighed, "Okay, Pem, what do you have?"
Pem pulled the map from his jacket pocket, making a show out of unfolding it before laying it on the Admirals' desk. "See!"
Harry looked over the map, then back up at Pem. "So what is this?"
"It's a map of a buried treasure."
"And you have the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge in your other pocket?" Harry asked him.
Pem showed his dissatisfaction at the Admiral by putting on another pouting face. "This is the location of the Foster Dean. This," he pointed at another area on the map, "...is Charleston."
"It had confederate gold and silver. It was a 'Blockade Runner' and was sunk in March of 1864."
Harry leaned back in his chair, mumbling the date to himself as though he was mentally searching for information. "Pem, you have already made one mistake with your map here...this part of the East Coast is known as 'The Graveyard of the Atlantic'. If anything went down here, it is long gone by now." Harry got up from his desk and walked over to the bookcase behind his desk and picked out a book, then returned to the desk. He quickly flipped through the book, pausing to read something then looked up at Pem. "This is what I thought. They had a major hurricane in 1878. Anything that would have gone down at..." he looked back at the map, "...Sullivan Island is long gone by now. You would be 100 years too late to find your treasure."
"Too late?" Pem asked, thinking. He suddenly smiled as he removed the watch from his pocket, "No, that is where you are wrong, Admiral..."
Nelson noticed the movement and tried to get up from the chair to stop the man, but the room faded from his sight.
Somewhere in the Pacific, Modern Times
Captain Lee Crane was standing at the plotting table, trying to decide the next sweep pattern for the reef that they were studying. He had a cup of coffee sitting on the table along with the instruments that he was using.
"Uh, Skipper..." Ski called softly to him.
Lee looked up from the table in time to see Admiral Nelson and Mr. Pem form in front of him, beyond the plotting table. He dropped the pencil on the table as he stood up. "What?..."
Pem smiled at him, "Good morning, Captain Crane. You are looking well."
Crane looked quickly over at Nelson. "What is he doing here?" He noticed that Pem was still holding the pocket watch in his hand. Lee reached for it, trying to snatch it from the little man, who quickly moved out of his way.
"No, Captain. I'm doing you a favor," Pem answered as he twisted the dial again.
Captain Crane felt a dizziness pass over his body before it stopped again. He opened his eyes to see that Pem and Nelson were still in front of him. "What did you do?" he asked furiously.
"Nothing that will cause any of you gentlemen any harm. I just need to borrow your sub for a couple hours." Pem smiled a pleasant smile at the Captain. This is going to be the easiest thing that I have done in ages.
"Like hell you will!" Nelson answered him.
Pem looked up to see Chip Morton moving in on him from the radio shack. Morton reached out and grabbed the man's arm as Nelson and Crane moved toward him. Pem moved the dial again. He and Chip Morton disappeared before the eyes of all in the Control Room.
"Chip?" Lee called out as he realized that Morton had disappeared with Pem. The two men were gone, vanished into who knew where. He turned quickly to Sparks, "Get me a reading. Where are we?"
Charleston, SC, 1874
Chip Morton realized that he was standing on dry land next to Pem. He looked about him at the large Live Oaks and the Spanish Moss hanging from the limbs. It was a warm night and crickets were chirping, hidden in the grass at their feet. The air was heavy with the perfume of flowers.
"Where are we?" he asked angrily.
* * * * * * * * *
The train pulled into Charleston, SC early the next morning. After breakfast Jim and Artemus began readying themselves for the day ahead. Jim was checking out his wrist gun before putting his shirt on. Then he proceeded to hold up his jacket and install the knife into the collar overlay, and the pick into his lapel pocket. Grabbing his hat, he checked to make sure his wire was still installed inside the rim.
In the meantime Artemus was busy looking into the mirror, putting on his make-up. "Since I'll be hanging around the docks I should try and fit in like the rest of those pirates down there. Can't smell too clean either," he mentioned as he splashed the bottle of whiskey all over himself. "What a waste of good whiskey!" he said as he kissed the bottle. He then dabbed a bit on his neck behind his ears before taking a long swallow of the remaining liquid.
"I'll buy you one while I'm in town, Artie," said Jim, laughing as he walked up to Artemus. "After we get Loveless we'll both celebrate."
"James, my boy, I'm going to hold you to that promise."
"Give me about a half an hour start, then we'll meet later on by the tavern."
"Got it. Be careful Jim, this is Loveless we're dealing with."
"Always, Artie, always. See you later." And with that James was out the door and mounting his horse. Artie listened as he rode off and then went back to applying his precious whiskey; moaning under his breath.
Somewhere in Charleston
Loveless and his entourage arrived at their hideout, a old tavern on the waterfront known as the Feather Queen. After settling in, he called his gang's attention to the large table in front of them. On it was a map of a ship, a ship called the Foster Dean.
"This is where the Foster Dean is thought to have gone down, in the waters we are close to. We have the plans of the ship. About in the middle of the ship is a small room; that's where the vials of medicine are kept. In there is my precious serum... the serum that will turn men into zombies, who only I will be able to control. Serum with which I will rule the world!"
"How are we going to get it, Dr. Loveless?" asked one of the henchmen. "It's at the bottom of the sea. We don't have a way to get down to the ship".
"You think that it presents a problem? We have Voltaire's lungs and now we only need to find the brains to find the serum, without causing it to erupt. I haven't figured that part out yet, but I will. Be assured gentlemen, I will."
"In the meantime, I want guards posted all around our hideout. James West and Artemus Gordon will no doubt be arriving shortly. I want them captured alive and brought to me. They have been a thorn in my side one too many times. I want West and Gordon to see my rise to power."
Port Charleston, SC, 1874
As Jim rode into Port Charleston, he slowed his horse down to a walk. He rode through the town until he came to one of the last taverns that was closest to the waterfront. He dismounted and his horse to the hitching rail. Before entering the tavern his gaze fell upon the ships moored by the docks. Then his eyes settled on the name of the bar he was about to enter, The Feather Queen Tavern.
As Jim entered he could hear the music playing and see the gaiety of sailors on leave. He tossed his hat onto the table and took a seat, all the while glancing around and observing the main room. It was a dirty two-story building that doubled as a cheap hotel for those who had to wait for the next day's passage out of town.
Off to the left, behind the bar, was a door that was disguised by a faded curtain. Must be only for employees, he thought. I'll have to find a way to explore back there. His thoughts were interrupted by one of the saloon girls.
"What'll it be mister?" she said as she walked over, eyeing Jim. "What a handsome piece of man," she thought. "I bet he has a bit of money to spend, and just maybe I can get him to spend some on me."
"I'll have a whiskey," said Jim, thinking about his deal with Artie back on the train. He wondered where Artie was and what information he would have.
The girl came back from the bar with his drink, and one for herself, of course.
"Don't mind if I have a drink with you, do you?"
"Not at all," responded Jim, motioning to the empty chair.
The girl sat down with a smile, pleased that this handsome, well-dressed man wouldn't object to her drinking with him. "What brings you to town, ah..."
"West, James West."
"What brings you to town, Mr. West? Are you thinking of signing onto one of the ships?"
"Ah, no I'm not, but I am interested in one of the ships in particular. She's called the Foster Dean," said Jim, taking another sip of his whiskey. The whiskey tasted sour.
The girl's tone changed sharply as she replied, "Never heard of her, mister."
With that statement she quickly got up from her seat and walked away with a look of fear in her eyes. Her look told Jim a lot. Now he knew he was close to some mystery... could it be Loveless? Could he have actually found the little man without having to search for him? And he knew he had to find out what was behind the door behind the bar.
Jim got up, tossed his coin onto the table, grabbed his hat, and walked out of the tavern. He'd be back, but first he wanted to walk down to the docks and find Artie. It didn't take long to find him. A man swaying from side to side bumped right into him. "Why don't you watch where you're going, sonny. You... you young whippersnapper!"
"Why don't you have a seat, Old Timer. You're a little unsteady on your feet," said Jim.
"You have any whiskey, Sonny?"
"I don't think you need anymore whiskey, Old Timer," said Jim as he led the sailor around the corner to a seat. When Jim knew they were out of sight he asked Artie quietly, "Find out anything, Artie?"
"No, Jim, everyone is tight as a drum. No one wants to talk about the Foster Dean. You would have thought it was a ghost ship the way they all turn white when that name is mentioned. Especially when you mention the serum. I think they're really frightened, Jim. I think someone has already gotten to them."
"Yea, I got almost the same response in the Feather Queen. There's a back room that I think is significant. I think we should try to get back there. I have a feeling that's the key to finding Loveless. Something has the girls in there not willing to talk."
"I'll hang around here a while longer and meet you later. I'll try to find out who the captain was of the Foster Dean and if there were any survivors we can talk to."
"Alright, Artie, I'll meet you later."
And with that Artie got up, smacked his lips, hunched his shoulders, and said, "You young whippersnappers, can't even spare 2 bits for a drink, you ungrateful..." Jim took out a coin and tossed it at the old sailor with a smile, and turned back towards the tavern.
As James left Artie behind, he noticed the man in the shadows to the side of the Feather Queen Tavern. He wondered who he could be and what his possible connection was, if any, to the finding of the Foster Dean. When James glanced over to the place he had seen the man, he noticed that he was gone! If there was one thing James knew, he knew that if that man were connected in any way, he'd show up later. He wouldn't be too difficult to spot. He was wearing what appeared to be a uniform underneath a navy pea coat.
The odd thing about it was that it didn't resemble any navy uniform Jim had ever seen before, whether in this country or a different one. This man was beginning to really bother him. He really had wished he had time to track the man down and talk to him. Jim brushed it out of his thoughts for the moment as he entered the Feather Queen once again.
Charleston Docks, 1874
Chip Morton hung back in the shadows across the street watching the two men part company. It seemed obvious to him that something was up between the two of them as they whispered quietly then made their ending statements loud enough to be overheard. His thoughts were interrupted as Pem returned to the shadows.
"You are too obvious in that uniform," Pem complained.
"Well, if you would have given me warning, I would have dressed for the occasion," Chip snapped back at him.
"Commander, you are touchy! I thought you were the gentleman over the Captain and Nelson," Pem sneered at him as they started walking off down the street.
"I didn't want to come with you!" Chip replied.
"And I didn't want you to..." Pem answered. "You were the one that grabbed me when the time device transposed me to this place."
"Simple, Pem... send me back!" Chip commanded.
Pem stopped and squirmed around a bit. "I can't..."
"And why not?"
"Admiral Nelson will kill me over this and I just might need you, Mr. Morton."
"Need me? I have half a notion to kill you with my bare hands."
After Pem heard Chip's threat of violence he smiled that smug little smile that Chip hated. "I'm the only one that can operate the time device," he gloated.
Chip rolled his eyes, "So? What am I suppose to do?"
"Help me find the Foster Dean."
"And what is the Foster Dean?"
"Riches, my boy. Confederate gold!" Pem told him as his eyes lit up with joy. "We can be quite wealthy if we work this right. We need to find the ship."
"That's simple enough," Chip told him and turned around, heading back to the tavern that they had just passed. He stopped as he got to the door, reading the name on the window, The Feather Queen, before stepping inside.
"Wait...wait!" Pem was calling to him.
* * * * * * * * *
As Jim walked up to the bar the bartender met him. "What'll it be this time Mr. West? You left here in such a hurry before, I didn't think we'd see you in here again."
The bartender was wiping the bar down the entire time he was talking. He then flung the towel over his arm, all the while deeply eyeing the government agent. Jim noticed the bartender's eyes staring at him and then the man looked over to the two guys at the end of the bar by the door.
"I just couldn't resist your hometown hospitality," replied Jim with a smirk.
He had noticed the men as well. The bartender didn't look very amused and was about to reply when he noticed a blond haired man approaching the bar and his unwanted customer. The bartender immediately put his hand down beside him and motioned the men to back off. Jim noticed his action.
Chip looked around the room, thinking that he had just stepped into a movie set. The room actually stank from the smell of cheap booze, body odor, cigarettes and anything else that could have an odor to it. He was amazed to see that he was about the cleanest thing in the room except for the man he had seen outside earlier. The young blond man put his hand on Jim's shoulder and said, "Excuse me, I'm looking for the Foster Dean?"
"The Foster Dean?" questioned Jim. Jim immediately noticed the look on the bartender's face. He also saw him glance over at the men with a look in his eyes. Jim knew he had to talk to this man and as privately as possible. "Can I buy you a drink, sailor"?
"I'm not a sailor, sir, but, ah... yeah, I'll take a drink. How about a beer?"
"Two beers, bartender, for my friend and I."
Jim suggested they have a seat at a table that was back against the wall.
He was going to have to ascertain what this man knew and how he could know about the Foster Dean, and more importantly, if he knew about the serum!
Chip sat down with James at the table in a corner of the tavern. He was still bewildered by all of this. "What has Pem gotten me and the Seaview into this time," Chip wondered. This was turning out to be quite a mystery! If it had been anyone else but Pem, Chip would be going out of his mind by now. This was all so unbelievable, but yet, here he was, back in the 1870's, in a tavern on the South Carolina coast, talking with... could this man be a lawman?
Saloons, saloon girls, dirt streets, and using horses as means of transportation.
His adventurous side was coming out. He was actually becoming a bit excited about all of this. His apprehension was waning. Chip was still a bit uneasy but being here with this gentleman who apparently knew how to handle himself was easing his tension.
This man certainly seemed in good physical shape, both mentally and physically. His appearance was quite convincing. He was well-mannered when pushed into a corner. And well dressed also. He had on a light blue shirt, a vest to match, a pair of suspenders to hold up what looked like some very tight fitting pants. I wonder how he breathes in those? A matching waist length jacket completed the ensemble, it wasn't the usual dock outfit. The gun tied to his side was a nice looking piece.
The well-dressed man was talking to him. "I'm James West, and you are..."
"Oh, uh, Morton, Chip Morton. I'm from a ship in the harbor." At least, Pem told him that the ship was in the harbor.
"What is your business here?" Jim asked Chip.
Chip proceeded to tell him a made-up story about wanting to come ashore for a drink. "What is your business? You aren't a local."
"You asked about the Foster Dean?" Jim West reminded the man.
"Yeah, I did," Chip agreed. "I might want to sign aboard her..."
Jim nodded, looking into his glass. He smiled at the man. "Sign aboard her? The Foster Dean went down during the war... I don't think you would be interested."
Chip returned the smile, as he drank down the whiskey. "And how would you know this... you are not a sailor."
Jim smiled at the young man who had bested him in this verbal conflict. "No, I'm not... but neither are you."
"You might be surprised about who I am," Chip responded. "I don't have time to play games with you, West. Who are you and what is your knowledge of the Foster Dean?"
James West sat the glass down on the table and leaned forward looking into his opponent's eyes. "Someone that you don't want to take on either... I have limited time here also. Unless you have information for me, then I suggest that we part company."
Chip smiled widely at the man before him. "I know where it is... why do you want it?"
Jim West leaned back into the chair and looked at the man before him, who appeared not to be too worried at Jim's threat. He was thinking hard at this point; he did not like the confidence that the younger man had... could he be connected with Loveless? He took a chance with his guess. "If you are working independently against Loveless, you are playing a dangerous game."
Chip bluffed back, "I don't fear any man, I don't care how big he is..."
West smiled, It was obvious with this statement that he wasn't working with Loveless... perhaps working alone... maybe he had been in the war... trying to recover the missing gold? "How about a job?"
Chip smiled. "A job? What do you want me to do?"
"You share your information with me... and help me recover what I am after and I'll pay you $100.00," Jim offered.
Why should I share anything with you?" Chip countered.
Jim sighed and reached into his pocket. He withdrew his wallet and took a $100.00 bill out of it. He also fished out his identification card and dropped it on the table so that the young man could see it. "Maybe your country might appreciate it."
Chip picked up the card and read over it... Secret Service? He looked over the card, seeing Jim West looking at him smugly. "Secret service, huh?"
"Yeah, why don't you do something to benefit your country?" West asked, pouring Chip another drink.
Chip smiled at the man and reached into his back pocket, pulling out his wallet. He fished out his Naval ID card and dropped it on the table. "Well, Mr. West, this should make an interesting partnership."
"How's that?" Jim asked reaching for the card.
Chip reached over and stopped his hand as he touched the card, "I would suggest that you read the date on the card first... and then tell me what you know. This is a government investigation."
James West picked up the card, reading the front and suddenly looked up at the young man before him. "You are not from this time, are you? What else do you know?"
"I'm in the Navy...ONI, Mr. West. That is the Office of Naval Intelligence. Yeah, you read it right... we have traveled through time," Chip stated.
"What makes you capable to travel through time, Mr. Morton?" No wonder this guy is out of place here, he's out of time! His time!
"We know about the Foster Dean and the gold that is aboard her," Chip admitted.
"Well, then you only know half of the story." James felt more confident now about this young ship's officer who said he was from the future. He thought about the fact that perhaps he could be of great help to him and Artie. Artie? Where was his colleague anyway? He should have joined him by now.
"I've been sent here on assignment to find the Foster Dean and the serum that's on board. Washington wants me and my colleague, Artemus Gordon, to find it before it falls into the wrong hands. Your Mr. Pem sounds a great deal like our Miguelito Loveless, and if the two of them should meet and join forces, that would be disastrous for both my time and yours!"
Submarine Seaview, Port Charleston, 1874
Lee Crane slammed his fist on the plotting table. "Ski, get me that reading!"
He turned to Admiral Nelson. "What is going on here?"
Nelson looked angry at the turn of events, but chose to ignore the tone that the Captain was using with him. He walked over to navigation, "Hold this position! Make no course changes or movements unless they are cleared through me."
Nelson walked over to the plotting table, opening the doors below it, searching through the charts. "If I don't find the chart that I'm looking for, Lee, you are going to be navigating blind. And to make matters worse, I think we are in 90-100 feet of water!"
Lee looked at the Admiral like he was a crazy man. "What chart are you looking for?"
"Let's try the Atlantic Coast, off South Carolina."
Lee stooped down and pulled out a chart, "This should cover it! We were in the Pacific Ocean."
"Yes, but you know that wave of dizziness that hit right after Pem and I arrived?" Nelson asked, unrolling the chart. "I think we were transported by Pem then." He searched the chart with his finger. "We should be somewhere along in this area." He was pointing to the waters off Sullivan Island. "The water at Sullivan is about 30 feet in our time... maybe a bit more deep now, I'm not certain."
"What did you come up with, Ski?" Crane called to him.
Ski was standing over at Spark's station when he answered. "Nothing from navigation satellites... communications either. Magnetic readings are..." He had walked over to where the Admiral and Skipper were standing and handed them a piece of paper with the coordinates that Sparks had written down.
"I am picking up Morse codes, Sir... nothing else," Sparks called out to them.
"From what?" Lee asked.
"Union Pacific, Sir, " was the answer. "It seems to be a time table."
"Damn! He did it again," Nelson stated, looking over the chart. "You might need you sextant and compass before this is over, Lee."
Lee turned to Navigation. "Get us going... and back us out into deeper water. We are in shipping lanes and I want plenty of clearance. Hold her steady." He turned back to Nelson. "Where did he take Chip?"
"I don't think he meant to take Chip with him. Chip probably just grabbed hold of him before Pem blinked out."
"Why are we here? You don't seem to be surprised." Crane was quite annoyed by this situation. The charting in the Pacific was boring enough but he wasn't happy with this turn of events...
"Pem came to my office to discuss a gold shipment that he was after and when I told him that I wouldn't help... well, here I am."
"So what in the hell are we suppose to do?" Lee asked, grumbling as he looked over the chart.
"We are suppose to help him," Nelson answered. "It looks like we are going to have to do something to get out of the situation."
"Help Pem? I don't think so!" Lee answered.
"And do you have a solution for getting out of this, Captain? If you have a time piece in your pocket... maybe you ought to let me in on your plan," Nelson stated sarcastically.
Lee looked up from the chart, smiling slightly. "I actually have no idea what to do."
"Well then, Captain, I suggest that we go ashore and see what we can come up with," Nelson suggested. He picked up the mike, clicking it several times.
"Yes, sir?" Sharkey's voice came over the speaker.
"Chief, the Skipper and I will be going ashore... find clothing appropriate for 1870's sailing days. Get O'Brien up here to take command." He put the mike back down in the cradle. "Kowalski, you will be joining us."
Ski jumped up, smiling. "Yes, sir."
Nelson smiled at Crane. "I'll take him along to keep you from strangling Pem until we get back where we belong."
Within an hour's time, the small boat pulled under the raised dock. Ski was tying the boat off as Crane steadied it while Nelson climbed up on the planking to the top of the pier. Crane followed him up the planking, watching his footing.
"I'm not going to fall in, Lee. I have done this plenty of times," Nelson warned, noting that Lee kept a free hand near him.
"This isn't the normal way of going ashore," Lee reminded him.
Nelson reached the top and offered a hand down to the Captain. "You need help?"
"No! I didn't know that you were part monkey." He climbed up beside the Admiral. They were followed closely by Ski.
Nelson stood up and looked around the dock area. It was mostly deserted this late at night. The area was nothing except old warehouses with broken or boarded up windows. Old nets and boxes sat around as though forgotten. Small boats were upturned on pilings or covered over by tarps to protect them from exposure. He turned back to the other men, "Lee, you come with me and Ski, stay around here and just keep your eye out for anything that looks like Pem. He will have to come to the dock area eventually."
"Apparently he can travel laterally through time if he's just jumping from the sub to the land and so on," Crane said as he followed Nelson.
They walked off down the dock. It was late night and there was little activity except for a few lighted bars and taverns along the streets. They had a few of the women to call to them as they passed by the door some of the places.
"How about a drink?" an old man called out to them as they walked by. He was leaning up against some crates and reeked of alcohol. His age was hard to guess but he had certainly spent a lot of time at sea. His clothing was old and patched and very dirty.
Lee Crane took one look at the old man. "No, I don't believe so."
Nelson went over the man. "Have you been in this area for long?"
The old man answered that yes, he had, as he spit on the docks inches from Lee's foot. When he noticed that the man backed up, he smiled at him. "What's wrong with you, sonny?"
"You share some information with us and I'll get you some whiskey," Nelson promised the old man.
"Sure!" he slurred. "What you want to know?"
"Do you know a ship called the Foster Dean?"
The old man nodded slowly. "Yeah." He pointed back down the dock. "You come with me and I can tell you about her."
As he pointed down the dock, Nelson and Crane turned to look where he was pointing. Lee suddenly felt a gun at the back of his neck. He started to turn as the gun barrel jabbed him harder.
"Look, Sonny Boy... you had been remain calm. Let's take a walk down the dock." He motioned the Admiral down the dock, keeping the gun against Lee's neck. The old man walked behind them, keeping an eye on Crane, who he had already sized up as trouble. It was too late when he heard the movement behind him as Ski moved up from behind, coming down on his head with his gun butt.
"Ski!" the Admiral called out, turning to catch the old man before he hit the deck. "I wanted to be able to talk to him." He felt the growing lump on the man's head. "We need to get him back to Sick Bay to Jamieson. I have a feeling there is something going on here."
"Why would this guy have a gun... what could Pem have done in less than two hours?" Lee asked as he and Ski supported the old man as they returned to the small skiff under the dock.
It took them the better part of an hour to row back to the sub, now in deep enough water that she was able to maneuver. Crane had signaled the sub that they were returning. As they drew closer, Seaview was waiting on the surface with Sharkey and Patterson on deck to assist them.
Nelson climbed out of the boat as Sharkey pulled it into the deck. "Get this man to sickbay and see what we can do to help him. I want him talking as soon as Doc can get him awake. Lee, let's go to my cabin, I am going to have to do a bit of research on the Foster Dean as there seems to be a lot of interest in her at this time."
* * * * * * * * *
Twenty minutes later, Captain Crane was sitting in the Admirals' cabin as he was pouring over books that he had. "All we have is that it was a possible gold ship... a blockade runner. There has to be something..."
He was interrupted by the intercom coming on in his office. " Ah, Admiral?"
It was Doctor Jamieson's voice over the speaker. "Admiral, I have a situation here that I think you and Captain Crane should see yourselves."
"Jamie, is this regarding the old man that we brought onboard?" Crane asked him, fingering the speaker button on the device.
"Ah... yes," the Doctor answered.
"Can it wait?" Crane asked, beginning to grow impatient.
"No. I think that you had better come now," Jamieson replied.
Admiral Nelson nodded that they would go down. He closed the book that he was looking through for more information on the Foster Dean.
"On our way," Crane answered as he followed Nelson out of the office.
It took them only minutes since the Sickbay was only down the passageway and down a stairway to the lower level. Admiral Nelson entered Sickbay to find Jamieson sitting at his desk smiling up at them.
"What's wrong, Jamie?"
"There's nothing really wrong except your old man isn't an old man. I decided that we needed to clean him up a bit so we did. The man is wearing quite an elaborate disguise."
Jamieson got up from the desk and walked into one of the treatment rooms. The 'old man' was lying on the bunk, still unconscious... but with dark black hair. The old clothes had been removed, and dumped in a pile on the floor. The 'old man' was dressed in pajamas and covered with a blanket.
"Who is he?" Nelson asked as the man began to stir when Jamieson gently shook his shoulder. Lee Crane stepped over to the door, blocking it should the man recover quickly enough to make a dash for it.
Artemus Gordon, Secret Service Agent, stirred slightly from his forced sleep, wondering why his head was hurting so badly. He was aware of someone shaking his shoulder...'Jim? No, the voice was wrong.' He opened his eyes to see a face staring down at him, a face that he did not recognize. He tried to sit up, but Dr. Jamieson held him down on the bed.
"Who are you?" he asked the man standing over him.
"Dr. Jamieson. You are in my Sickbay," the man answered him.
Artemus Gordon's eyes went to the Admiral and then to Lee as he stood by the door. "You are from the dock?"
"Yes," Lee answered. "I was the one with a gun to my neck. You remember?"
"Who are you?" the man on the bed repeated.
Port Charleston, 1874
After Mr. Pem finished touring the town, he walked back over to the place where he last remembered seeing Commander Chip Morton, at the tavern called the Feather Queen. Upon entering he stood close to the door, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dark smoke-filled room. After his eyes adjusted, he allowed them to look over the tavern room. He was anxious to find the Lt. Commander who latched onto him at the last minute before he transferred back in time.
Pem, with his smug demeanor and a crooked smile on his face, spotted Chip Morton sitting at a table in a corner of the room, and with him was a well-dressed gentleman. They appeared to be deep in conversation due to the intense look on their faces.
"I wonder who that well-dressed gentleman is with the Commander," mused Pem, rubbing his hand over his chin. Pem just stood where he was, studying their facial expressions trying to determine the gist of their conversation.
"I wonder if that fellow knows anything about the Foster Dean. Perhaps he can be of some help to me in finding the gold." That thought brought a wide smile to Pem's face. Pem would rather have had Admiral Nelson's help.
If only Admiral Nelson would have agreed to have helped him, Pem gladly would have cut him in on a share. Why did that man have to be so stubborn? Pem stomped in his mind. Well, as long as he had Morton, he knew the Admiral and that feisty Captain Crane would eventually arrive. And with them, the Seaview! And then in return for the Admiral's help, he would help the Admiral return back to his time.
Just about the time Pem was finishing up his thoughts, Chip looked up and spotted him. "Uh oh, don't look now, but there's Mr. Pem."
Jim looked up to see Pem walking over to their table. He noticed that Pem's face looked as sickly sweet with that smile on it as Dr. Loveless' face looked sickly evil. He was beginning to see the resemblance between the two. Jim groaned, one Dr. Loveless was enough to handle, but two of them? Double trouble!
As this thought passed through Jim's mind, he found himself thinking about his partner, Artie. He should have been here by now. He sure could use his help. Well, he had Chip Morton and in a short time he was sure his ability would soon be tested.
Jim found himself hoping Artie was okay but something inside of him told him Artie could very well be in trouble. He wasn't even sure if Artie was still on the docks...
As Pem approached their table, Jim noticed the natives were becoming increasingly restless. No sooner had Chip introduced Mr. Pem, who was still smiling that stupid smile and took a seat, than the first of the hoods begin walking over.
"We don't like the company you keep, Mr. West".
"Really?" Jim responded. "I don't see where that's any of your business".
"We want you to leave now."
"Do you now?" said Jim as he began slowly rising. And with that, he overturned the table, which threw the guy backwards. As the second hood approached him, Jim pulled back his arm and threw a punch, which landed the guy on his back. He was out, cold.
Chip took the cue and got into the fight also while Pem just sat in his chair feeling amused. He was more than content to let the two young men fight it out with these ruffians.
Chip landed a few good punches himself but he was no match for these 'wharf rats', who seemed to fight on a daily basis just for fun. Chip was caught off guard with the next punch and down he fell, hard.
Jim glanced over to see Chip fall. Morton would be safe where he was. West was grateful for the help, these guys seemed to have come out of nowhere.
Jim ran up the stairs, punching one guy on the way only to meet two more who came out of the back room. He bent down and tripped one of them, sending him over the banister, and punched the other one back into the room. Seeing a few of them down below, Jim dove on top of them.
He picked one up by the head and landed a punch on his jaw that sent him sprawling. He threw the second guy over the bar causing the whiskey bottles to break. When Jim turned back around, the third guy landed a punch on Jim's jaw that spun him around and sent him to the floor. As he was trying to get back up he felt something come crashing down on top of his head, and then everything went blank.
When Jim awoke, he realized he was no longer in the tavern room. His hands were tied behind his back and so were his ankles. He realized that Chip was sitting next to him, tied up as well, with a dazed and puzzled look on his face.
Then Jim heard a familiar voice from his past. "My dear Mister West..." Jim looked up to see Dr. Miguelito Loveless.