In Part Seven Polly learned she must pilot the two-man sub to destroy a squadron of German U-boats or risk altering history.
“Polly, I need you to do something.”
“You have to make sure the two divers are attached to the the sub.”
Polly: the dead guys?
“I know. My guess is that the submarine was destroyed at the same time as the wolf pack. Probably the result of an accident. The Germans may have delayed nuclear weaponry testing because of this.”
Polly: got it
Polly put the sub in neutral and let come to rest on the sand. Bridgette directed her to a compartment containing a length of mooring line. She tied off the line to the sub, looped the line through her belt, and swam back to where the corpses of the divers lay.
Polly wound the long end of the mooring line around the bodies, dragging them back toward the sub after each loop. She tied the dead divers together then returned to the sub. When Polly took the sub out of neutral Bridgette said, “You may have to run on the surface for awhile.”
“You’re probably going to to need to take a breath of air soon. You can go faster as well.”
Polly lowered the diving planes, forcing the sub upward. The nose surfaced then crashed back onto the waves in a tremendous explosion of foam.
A stiff breeze blew behind the sub, pushing it up over the crests and down into the troughs of the swells. The single propeller came out of the water, cutting the air as the sub began falling downward into the watery trench.
Polly continued at full three-quarter throttle, smashing through the waves. She struggled to hold onto the steering wheel as the heavy swells pounded the sub.
“Polly are you okay?” Bridgette asked.
“I’m okay, a bit cold,” Polly answered through chattering teeth.
“You’re right on course. You should be within range in twenty minutes.”
Polly continued. When she was within effective torpedo range Bridgette said, “The squadron is stationary and holding at a depth of 40 feet.”
“What should I do?”
“Dive to a depth of 55 feet before you fire the torpedo. Set the proximity timer—”
“How do I do that?” Polly interrupted.
“Don’t worry, I can see the timer set up on the torpedo. I’ll walk you through it.”
“Your’e the best, Bridge,” Polly said.
“Polly, the torpedo is mounted right below you. There is a hatch on the floor. Open it.”
Polly, holding the helm in one hand, reached down and twisted a latch. She opened the cover. “Okay, what now?” She asked.
“This is easy Reach down and open the small door on the torpedo right below you. You’re going to to see a rectangular piece of bronze with a circular knob on one end.”
Polly glanced down, “I see it,” she said.
“To activate the proximity sensor you turn the black knob one full turn to the left, push it forward until it stops, then turn it one full turn to the right.”
Polly leaned into the steering wheel, maintaining a steady course as she reached down the through the hatch on the floor of the sub. She couldn’t reach the switch. Polly reached down further—watching the rolling seas in front as she peered above the hub of the steering wheel.
Her fingers found the a rectangular piece attached to the smooth hull of the torpedo. She felt around. A rubberized circular button met her fingertips. She twisted the knurled edges, slid the button forward, twisted it to the right, and locked it into place.
She closed the hatch on the floor and said, “That’s done.”
“Good job, Polly,” Bridgette said.
Once the proximity switch had been set, Polly continued ploughing through the waves at three-quarter throttle. Bridgette kept in constant contact, relaying course adjustments. Polly remained silent until Bridgette told her she was one minute out from the squadron of U-boats. “All right,” she said, “I’m taking it down now.”
Polly adjusted the diving planes upward. The nose of the sub plunged into the swells. Polly took a deep breath and held it as the cockpit submerged.
Bridgette guided Polly to the target. At the thirty mark she instructed Polly in firing the lone torpedo. Bridgette began a countdown at the ten second mark: “—five, four, three, two, one. Fire.”
Polly rotated the handle on a dial mounted on the right side of the steering wheel clockwise. She pulled the handle forward, twisted the handle counterclockwise one full turn, then pushed the handle flush with the dashboard. Compressed air propelled the torpedo out of the tube mounted on the belly of the sub. A massive cloud of bubbles rose to the surface as the nose of the sub reared up.
Polly pushed herself out of the driver’s compartment. She flipped over, leveled off, and kicked as hard as she could away from the sub. ‘Swim, Polly, swim,” Bridgette urged her on.
Polly continued pumping until the muscles in her thighs and calves ached. Her spine, neck, and shoulders throbbed from the continual motion of the dolphin kick.
She heard an explosion. It came from all directions, deafening her. The she felt it. The shockwave pushed tons of water from the epicenter of the explosion, radiating outwards. She was thrown about like a wind-blown leaf, end over end. Polly fought against the surge of water, looking for the sunlight shining through the surface. She swam hard, lungs bursting.
As she broke through the waves, a bright orange light enveloped her. The water around her seemed to evaporate in a billowing cloud of steam. She fell into nothingness.
Polly continued to fall. The light around her faded into inky blackness. She lost consciousness. When she came to she lifted her head up and spit out some sand. She was laying face-down on the beach. Waves lapped up around her knees and up to her waist. She pulled herself up, looked around and asked, “Bridge, am I home?”
Bridgette hesitated, “Not quite,” she answered.