The cabin squeezes, and there’s that awful metallic whine, like a girder about to break.

“We’re at 25,000, cap’n.”

Yes,” says Hardwick.  “We’ve broken Nemo’s record, the Mohammedan son of a b-”

“Sir.  Permission to stop dive?”

“What?” Hardwick whirls, chomps the dead, wet cigar.  “Why in the deep would we do that?”

“Respectfully, sir, I don’t think she can handle -”

“Oh she’ll handle alright.” He strokes the ceiling, which is closer than it was.

“There’s also the issue of the men, sir.”  Johann, the chef, bursts into the cabin, wearing a squid as a hat.  “The pressure’s getting to them.”


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