An old lighthouse was at Hastings Point atop a bluff, rising from the center of an old Victorian house with a widow's walk surrounding the base of the tower at the roof. Prisms of great oil-fed lamps. Several outbuildings once stored foghorn, oil kegs, firewood, etc. but the light is never lit now. Over the main door of the house is a modest scrollwork sign: FOUNDATION FOR OCEANIC RESEARCH. Under that, in smaller simple Gothic script, is: Miller Simon, Ph.D., Director; Elizabeth Merrill, M.D., Associate. There are two huge antennae near the main house. You enter the hallway, pass several small offices, then enter an area with quaint nautical flavor: whaling ships, maps, etc. with anemometers, petri dishes, aquariums, barometers, and so on. It's a VAST lab. The far end hold a radio room jammed with transmitters, sophisticated computer bank, and such. Opposite it is a spiral stairway to the upstairs beds and baths. At the sea side is a rear exist with a wooden stairway to the beach. Miller Simon's desk is covered with sloping mountains of papers, but Merrill's is clear and neat. Around the corner in the hallway is a set of sliding doors, behind which is an elevator to the tunnel to the sea 200 feet below. In the tunnel is the dock.
At the Seabase, they had an Ultra-High Frequency Neutronic Directional Responder that could pick up the voice of the merman, Mark, underwater. They also had a loading dock seagate there.
They had a strange, four-sphered, deep-diving nuclear-powered sub-sea exploration ship called the CETACEAN, and each time it was launched it cost $15,000. The forward sphere was the control pod and they sat in raised swivel seats. The four huge spheres were in a row linked by passageways under a narrow steel deck. There was a conning tower perpendicular in front, sloping down in the rear, on deck between first two spheres. There was a ring of portholes on each sphere, with remote-control cameras and sensors. the Front pod had powerful headlights, with dimmer floodlights on the others. Divers entered the airlock in the second sphere. It had a black, sinister appearance and cruised underwater at 10 knots.
Besides the CETACEAN, they had a speedboat labeled the FOR-US.
DR. MILLER SIMON was one of the world's foremost marine biologists, although he had been brought up to take over the family ranch in Montana. Dangerous, smart, fast, he was a brilliant theoretician, warm, cheerful, optimistic, diligent, with a racing brian that off-handedly and in a smart-alecky way always came through. He loved mysteries. He came across as straight-faced and serious, but putting you on. Intensely emotional, upbeat, outspoken, aggressive, he had a light, almost giggly laugh. He wore a rumpled labcoat, had wild brown hair, and was short, stocky, and built like a wrestler.
DR. ELIZABETH MILLER was Navy, was associate in Navy Undersea Center, 25 miles south along the coast. Unmarried, in her mid-thirties, slender, with big blue eyes and neatly coiffed blonde hair. More disciplined and more of a worrier than Miller, she was marked by reserve and quiet thoughtfulness.
MARK HARRIS (Patrick Duffy) was the man from Atlantis. He wore tight yellow trunks; on the left leg was the image of a conch shell suspended over the tips of blue waves. At 6'2" and 165 lbs., he is lithe, lean, and well-muscled with fine strong features and black hair curled close to his head. His luminous eyes are variegated green, with a very deep, penetrating quality, but they fade to hazel when on land; they are shielded by touch membranes to prevent them collapsing while he is diving. He also has gill-like tissues in his chest. He can resurface without compressing, unlike human scuba divers. His fingers and toes are webbed and his smooth hairless skin has no carotene layer. There are no bubbles when he swims and he does that with an undulating eel-like motion. He likes to suck in yellow plankton, his favorite snack. He can hear in sonic and subsonic ranges far beyond humans. He needs to be in the water every four hours. He wears dichroic glasses specially treated to shield his eyes from sunlight when on land. His origin is unknown, because Mark is amnesiac.
C.W. CRAWFORD was an administrator who wore three-piece pinstripe clothes; a manicured bookkeeper. He was claustrophobic.
JOMO was the CETACEAN's black helmsman.
JANE BRYAN was the perky young communications officer for the CETACEAN.
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