Disclaimer: The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea characters are not mine, just borrowed for this story.
Reviews are always welcome.
The red cobra sauntered down Main Street. The small town was abuzz with the excitement of the wine festival; banners with pictures of grapes hung from every shop doorway. However, the festival in town was not what brought the Captain and Executive officer of the submarine Seaview to this usual sleepy hollow.
Lt O'Brien the second officer and his lovely bride to be were holding their engagement party at the lake retreat just outside the small town.
Michelle Prescott worked as the receptionist for the research building at NIMR. In the year that had passed since she had filled the position, she had become well liked by all of her co-workers. It just happened to be a pleasant surprise that both she and O'Brien worked for Admiral Nelson, since neither one had ever ran into each other at the institute.
Michelle had gotten a flat tire on her way to a local music festival and was stranded on the side of a lonely stretch of highway. Just like in the movies, O'Brien was going to the same festival. He had happened upon the damsel in distress, and swooped in and carried her off like a white knight with a horse.
The pair hit it off, and after six months of dating, O'Brien continued being her prince charming. He got down on one knee and proposed to the most beautiful and wonderful girl he had ever met, and just like the girl, the day was turning out to be just as wonderful and beautiful; perfect for an engagement party.
"Lee we're going to be late," protested Chip as Crane continued his inspection of the local buildings down Main Street. He was clearly looking for a particular place.
"Relax, we have plenty of time...there has to be one somewhere in this town. It will just take a moment...hang on. Yes, here it is." replied the Captain as be pulled into a parking space in front of the brick building.
"You couldn't have stopped at a bank before we left town this morning?" Chip complained.
"No, I didn't have time. Rebecca called, and then I was running late to pick up our suits from the dry cleaners, which made me late coming back to pick you up. I didn't have any time to pick up a gift for the happy couple, so I figured I'd put some cash in a card and they can put it towards their wedding." Crane answered as he got out of the car. He was somewhat surprised to see Chip doing the same thing.
"I'll only be five minutes Chip; you can wait in the car."
Chip smiled, and his blue eyes sparkled in the sunlight.
"The last time you were going to be five minutes in a bank, I sat in the car for twenty minutes while you flirted with the teller. And like you said, you were running late this morning. We still have to change before the party, and as your XO, it's my job to see that the Captain keeps on schedule."
"Those twenty minutes were worth it. If you remember, I had six dates with the lovely bank teller Nancy."
The pair, dressed in their usual khaki uniforms, walked in to the bank.
It had been a stressful morning.
The pile of paperwork on Crane's desk had grown to enormous proportions; a situation that was made worse when Lee tripped on a computer wire and knocked the organized stack of papers flying around the office. A problem with some computer repairs aboard Seaview had required Chip's attention, which left Lee as the only option to go a pick up their suits if they were even going to attempt to be on the road before eleven am.
Rebecca, the lady Crane met at a dinner function eight nights before, had called to make plans for their second date which held Lee up at the office. Then traffic to and from the drycleaners had been horrible. The drive to Dragon Lake had been pleasant however, and the duo had managed to make up some time. But with a twenty minute drive still ahead of them and the dinner party set to begin in thirty minutes, they could not afford any distractions or delays.
The bank, like all the other buildings down Main Street, had a small town cottage feel. The front was brick and decorated with flower baskets, giving off all the appearances of a house save for the large sign that betrayed its true occupation. An elderly gentlemen dressed in a white security uniform greeted Lee and Chip at the door. There was one young lady working as a teller, and a middle aged man dressed in a grey suit was busy going over some paper work with a couple at the corner desk. The dark haired Captain walked up to the teller and greeted her with a smile.
"Good afternoon gentlemen. How can I help you today?" The perky brunette greeted them with a smile.
"I'd like to make a withdrawal." answered Lee, sliding his bank information across the counter.
"Well I'd be glad to help you with that. You came in at just the right time."
"How's that?" asked Chip, who was leaning against the counter to Crane's right.
The bubbly girl explained while she typed at her computer.
"Well we're closing early today in honour of the wine festival in town this weekend. There's going to be a big 'to do' at town hall for the buyer of the rare bottle of wine that was found in the old winery. It supposedly sold for three hundred thousand dollars at last night's auction."
"That must be some bottle of wine!" said Morton.
"Are you gentlemen in town for the festival?" The young woman asked.
Lee responded as the girl proceeded to count out his cash.
"Actually, we're here for an engagement party out at Dragon Lake."
"Which one of you is the lucky guy?" The teller smiled and batted her big brown eyes at the boys.
"It's a friend of ours actually." offered Chip as he smiled back at the teller.
The three were so focused on their conversation that they did not hear the group of four individuals enter the bank, or hear the click of the lock on the front door. What did get their attention, and the attention of everyone present, was the shouted demands of one of the individuals and the thud of the security guard being thrown against the wall and hitting the floor.
"Everyone on the floor NOW!" Shouted the tallest of the four people dressed in black.
The other gunman that wasn't with the security guard ordered to the gentlemen in the gray suit.
"You, come out from behind the desk." The voice was distinctly female. This black glad individual was much shorter than the other three.
The third gunmen, wearing a black vest, moved over towards Crane and Morton, who were starting to move towards the ground. He grabbed the teller and ordered her to sit beside Lee and Chip. He then proceeded to order them all to put their cell phones, wallets, and everything else in their pockets into the bag he was holding.
The female gunman was doing the same with the couple that was sitting at the desk in the corner. The fourth gunman was shutting the curtains on the bank windows. The tall gun men had escorted the man in the gray suit, who had been identified as the bank manager, into the back room.
The young bank teller that had been assisting Lee was leaning against the counter sobbing. Lee leaned over and put a hand on her shoulder.
"What's your name?" he whispered.
"Shelby." She replied. Her voice was shaky and very faint.
"It's going to be ok Shelby. My name's Lee and this is Chip." Crane said in the most reassuring voice he could muster.
While Lee was comforting the distraught teller, his XO was analyzing their present predicament. After about ten seconds, Chip leaned over and whispered his findings to Crane.
"Ok. The tall one, the girl, and the one watching the door each have hand guns, and the one wearing the vest only has a shot gun. We're out numbered and definitely out gunned, but they sound like a bunch of kids. You got a plan?"