The Dragon in the Sea


"In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
-Isaiah 27:1

Admiral Belland: "Ensign Ramsey, we've lost twenty subtugs in these waters over the past twenty weeks. . . For almost two years now we've been getting extra oil from reservoirs under the marginal seas of the Eastern Powers' continental shelf. . . We developed an underwater drilling technique working from converted subtugs. A high-speed, low-friction pump and a new type of plastic barge complete the general picture. . . The EPs know they're losing oil. They know how, but they can't always be sure of where or when. We're outfoxing them. Our detection system is superior."
Dr. Oberhausen: "Everything we have is superior except our ability to keep them from sinking us."
Ensign Ramsey: "What was the casualty percentage on those twenty subtugs we lost, sir?"
Admiral Belland: "Of the last twenty missions, we lost all twenty."
Dr. Oberhausen: "One hundred per cent."
Lieutenant Commander Turner: "Enemy agents aboard the tugs could be turning [the spy-beams] on."
Dr. Oberhausen: "To make a long story short, these devices have been leading the enemy to our secret wells."
Admiral Belland: "The real trouble is that we're shot through with sleepers--people the EPs planted years ago--long before the war--with orders to wait for the right moment. People in the damnedest places. . . We're reasonably certain you're not a sleeper."
Ensign Ramsey: "Reasonably certain."
Lieutenant Commander Turner: "We've screened, screened and rescreened our subtugs crews. We've found one that looks good. . . However, they do not have an electronics officer."
Dr. Oberhausen: "That's where you come in, Ramsey."

"In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine."
-Isaiah 27:2








*Note: In all the versions of Dragon in the Sea, Under Pressure, and 21st Century Sub I have noticed that a line is missing. About page 78, the correct dialog is:

They coasted quietly.
"What is it?" asked Garcia.
"Metal. Big. Coming our way."
"Dunno yet."
"Is it an EP?"
"It's the ghost of Joe Stalin reincarnated in the form of a steel whale," said Bonnett. "Shaddup, will you?"

The underlined part is missing in all but one edition, the Doubleday and Company, Inc. bookclub edition, Garden City, New York, 1956 and the original pulp serial version in Astounding. A great find for only $1.50 in a little used book store. Never underestimate the value of a different edition. =)