Billy and his sister, Sheena were visiting their uncle, Dr. George Deep, also known as Dr. D. to them, who is their father's brother, for the summer in his sea lab called the Cassandra, and were anchored at an island called Ilandra. Billy and Sheena visit him every summer as Dr. D. isn't married and doesn't have children, but he likes kids, so that is why he invites his nephew and niece over every summer.
One morning, Billy was pretending to hunt for "Joe the Great White Stingray" (Billy has a very strong imagination as he imagines himself as William Deep Jr., Undersea Explorer and solver of scary ocean problems). Billy pretended that his "oxygen tank" has been sabotaged, so he went to his diving partner for help, turning out to be Sheena, who breaks the illusion by telling Billy to get real and not act like a total jerk. This really annoys Billy, as he thinks that his sister, who has no imagination, is no fun. Then Dr. D called down to them and warned them that some sharks have been sighted in the area and to stay away from Clamshell Reef, which Billy had been anxious to explore and he was also excited to hear about the sharks, as he had never seen real sharks before (except at the aquarium). Later, he and Sheena were underwater again and was examining a school of neon-blue fish when they suddenly darted away. Billy then realised that he had reached Clamshell Reef and thought he could explore a little when he was encountered by what appeared to be a giant octopus with twelve tentacles! Billy would have been drowned by the creature if Dr. D. didn't come out in a life jacket and pull him back up and put a lifesaver ring around Billy. Billy told him and Sheena (who had swum over) about the sea monster, but Sheena sceptically said there is no such thing and Dr. D. told Billy that his legs probably got tangled in seaweed and suggested that they should swim back to the Cassandra. Billy was really mad and dismayed that his sister and uncle didn't believe him about the monster. Then he asked Sheena if she would like a race back to the Cassandra and she instantly accepted, in spite that she is wearing flippers and Billy isn't. So Billy tried to take a shortcut by swimming over some red coral but it backfired when he accidentally stepped on the coral itself, burning his foot. Dr. D. told Billy that it is fire coral that he stepped on and that he is lucky that he had burned his foot, because the coral is covered in a mild poison and if Billy had the poison in his bloodstream, he would be paralyzed. The three of them started swimming back to the Cassandra, when Billy felt someone pinch his leg. He told Sheena to cut it out, thinking it is her but saw her with Dr. D. and wondered uneasily about who was pinching his leg.
Later, Alexander DuBrow, Dr D.'s assistant, came over and told Billy that he had stepped on the fire coral once as well. Billy also told him about the sea monster, but like Sheena and Dr. D., Alexander didn't believe him as well. Alexander had also arranged some lunch, which Billy and Sheena were not looking forward to, as for dinner, Alexander made brussel sprouts casserole and for breakfast, made whole wheat pancakes that sank to the bottom of Billy's stomach. Lunch was chicken salad sandwiches, which seemed to be all right until Billy took a bite and his mouth was on fire. Billy accused Alexander of putting fire coral in the sandwich, but Alexander told him that it is just a little chilli pepper for taste. Then Dr. D. came in and Sheena suggested that they could make dinner tonight, firing out suggestions until Dr. D. told them that he will make grilled fish for dinner, much to Billy and his sister's delight.
Later Alexander was giving Billy and Sheena a tour of the sea lab, showing them different kinds of fish they have caught, including a black ribbon eel named Biff. Billy then noticed a red indicator that controls the Cassandra's Nansen bottle, which is broken and they haven't got any money to repair it and were waiting to see if a university in Ohio would give them more. Billy and Sheena hated to think of the Cassandra just sitting on a dock and even worse, Dr. D. being stuck on land with no fish to study. Billy recalled how Dr. D. came to their house for a Christmas. But Dr. D. was so used to being on water that he wasn't comfortable on land. He had pranced around the house, barking out orders like a mean old sea captain until on Christmas Eve, their father told him to shape up or ship out and Dr. D. spent a good part of Christmas Day in the bathtub playing with Billy's old toy boats. And Billy never wanted to see his uncle stranded on land again.
Alexander assured them that Dr. D. always finds a way to get by and was asking one of them to feed Biff when Billy noticed a man and a woman in a boat from Marina Zoo coming up to the Cassandra. Alexander left the lab to see what it is all about and Sheena left too. After giving a netful of guppies to Biff, Billy wondered if Dr. D. will let him some afternoon swimming so that he could find the sea monster and prove to him and Sheena that he wasn't crazy. Billy was passing Dr. D.'s office when he heard the man from the zoo tell Dr. D. that they wanted him to find a mermaid! Billy was most astonished at this and was excited to be one of the first people to find her and had an even more exciting thought that he could be the one that found her and that fame would follow him onwards. So Billy heard the zoo people, Mr. Showalter and Ms. Wickman tell Dr. D. about the mermaid, how the fisherman have seen her and swore that she is real. The zoo people thought that a real live mermaid would be a spectacular attraction at Marina Zoo and that they will be paying Dr. D. one million dollars when he finds the mermaid. Dr. D. (who had been skeptical about the mermaid at first) told the zoo people that he wouldn't feel right about capturing a mermaid and putting her on display, but they assured him that the mermaid will have special care. So Dr. D. accepted, as one million dollars would be a big boost to his work. Billy was delighted at this, but then the door opened and he fell into the room and he sheepishly told the surprised adults that it is a nice day for a mermaid hunt. Mr. Showalter and Ms. Wickman were dismayed at this as it was meant to be a secret, but Alexander assured them that they can trust Billy as he is serious for someone his age. Dr. D. made sure that Billy promised not to tell anyone, even Sheena with the zoo people relaxing at that and they left the Cassandra with Billy thinking about not letting Sheena be on television with him after he single-handedly captured the mermaid.
The next morning, after a bad dream about the sea monster and determined not to let it stop him from finding the mermaid, Billy sneaked out and started to search for her on the water, thinking about her, when he felt something grab onto him. It turned out to be Sheena as she had seen Billy sneak out and swimming to somewhere he shouldn't be and where he had burned his foot and wondered if he was up to something or that Billy was just crazy. Billy knew that if he revealed that he was up to something, he would have to tell Sheena about the mermaid and he wouldn't do that so he casually admitted that he was crazy. Sheena tried to persuade Billy to come back to the boat when he heard a splash and thinking it was the mermaid, started to swim towards it, with Sheena frantically calling him to come back, but Billy thought that she was just trying to trick him.
Billy then saw a fin, but it turned out that it was a fin of a hammerhead shark, and Sheena was trying to warn him about it. Billy tried to get away from the shark, from swimming to the reef to climbing on fire coral to get away, but the shark had him cornered and was about to move in for the kill when something moved in between Billy and the beast. Billy watched the other creature fight the shark, while shrill animal squeals and a low musical hum filled the air. After the shark was driven away, the creature swam over to Billy and raised its head, revealing to be the mermaid! Billy thanked the mermaid for saving his life and asked if there was anything he can do in return. The mermaid then pressed her finger on his palm, healing away the burn of the fire coral, to Billy's astonishment. Then the mermaid jumped back into the water, and while he was looking around for her, Billy thought that she disappeared that he thought he had dreamed her up until he felt a pinch on his leg, revealing that it was the mermaid who pinched him and Billy remarked that she was worse than Sheena. Then a net was dropped over the two and they were pulled out of the water, with the mermaid's siren-like screams filling the air.
Sheena and Dr. D. were most astonished to see a real live mermaid, with Dr. D. wondering if this could possibly be a hoax while Sheena demanded if this was another of Billy's tricks. After how she saved his life and how unhappy she was, Billy began to feel bad about capturing the mermaid as they transported her back to the Cassandra. Alexander was proud of Billy for finding the mermaid but Billy told him it was the other way around. Billy told Dr. D. that he has to let the mermaid go, but Dr. D. insisted that they have to study her first, but assured that she will be all right and noticed Billy's bleeding leg. Billy told them how she fought off the shark to save his life and seeing how upset the mermaid was, he tried to persuade Dr. D. to let her go. But Dr. D. said that the mermaid is an important discovery and that if he let her go, he would let down the entire scientific community, the whole world. Billy cruelly scoffed that Dr. D just wants the million dollars, prompting his uncle to tell him that he knows him better than that and that he only wanted the money to continue his research and he would never use the mermaid to get rich. So he and Alexander carried the mermaid to a tank that was filled up for her and put her in. The mermaid stopped moving for a moment, causing Billy to cry out that they killed her, but Sheena told him that she isn't dead but is crying. Since they couldn't understand her clicks, whistles and hums, Dr. D. decided to go to Santa Anita to get some supplies for the mermaid.
While Dr. D. was gone, Billy stayed up on deck with the mermaid. He tried to communicate with her by using sign language and asking her if she was hungry, but she only copied him, not really understanding. So, with Alexander's help, Billy tried to give a chocolate chip cookie to the mermaid, only for it to go soggy in the water. When Alexander was gone for a moment, Billy reflected on how the mermaid fought the shark when she started crying again, making Billy feel even more guilty. So he attempted to free the mermaid but was stopped by Alexander. Billy told him how unhappy the mermaid was and Alexander explained that Dr. D. has worked his whole life for a discovery like her and it would break his heart if Billy let her go. He also told Billy that his uncle is a caring and that he will do his best to make sure the mermaid has everything she needs and he needs to study her to help people understand and take better care of the ocean, to which Billy admitted is important. After he showed Billy the ship's sonar probes, Alexander asked Billy if he wanted marinated squid for lunch (much to Billy's disgust) and suggested that they could have a picnic with the mermaid. When Billy came on the deck, the mermaid did a chewing motion, saying that she was hungry, so Billy gave her the marinated squid, which she enjoyed. Billy was most happy to know that he was the first person to communicate with a mermaid. Alexander called out that the marinated squid was their lunch but after looking at the mermaid, he was glad to know that someone liked his cooking! Dr. D. soon came back with plenty of seafood and after looking at some tests, explained to Billy and Sheena that she is sending out a sonar to contact her friends. Later, Sheena tricked Billy into thinking that the mermaid escaped. Billy was angry at first, but thought maybe Sheena could help him lift the mermaid out of the tank, but Dr. D. appeared before he could ask and told them it is bedtime and that he will check up on the mermaid during the night.
Later, in the middle of the night, Billy was thinking about what will become of the mermaid and how it was his fault for having her captured when he noticed another boat come up to the Cassandra and four masked men jump off of it and then a struggle on deck, where the mermaid was! Billy and Sheena rushed up to deck, to find that the masked men have knocked Dr. D. unconscious and were kidnapping the mermaid. Billy, remembering how the mermaid saved his life, attempted to return the favor by charging at the masked men, only to have one of them pick him up and throw him in the tank he was in. As he struggled to stay afloat in the tank, Billy saw Alexander coming up on deck and urged him to stop the masked men. But it turned out that Alexander had arranged the whole thing with the masked men, as his new bosses will be paying him twenty million dollars, while the zoo was paying one million. Billy was angered to know Alexander had double-crossed them. Then Dr. D. woke up and grabbed Alexander before he could get to the other boat, prompting Alexander to order the masked men to get them. Dr. D. tried to make Alexander listen to reason but to no avail, so he and Sheena were thrown in the tank with Billy. Dr. D. called out that they can't just leave them there so the men pushed the tank overboard and they left with the mermaid. Billy, Sheena and Dr. D. struggled to get out of the tank by unlatching the lid, but there were some latches that they couldn't reach. It seemed like the end for them, until a whole bunch of other mermaids appeared around the tank. At first, Billy thought they were having revenge for taking their friend, but it turned out that they arrived to help them by pushing them back up to the Cassandra. Billy realized that this is the second time that a mermaid has saved his life and felt that he owed them more than ever now. Billy then asked them to help find their friend and lead them to the kidnapper's boat. Dr. D. was unsure about this as fighting with Alexander and the masked men would be too dangerous until his nephew and niece convinced him that they have to follow the mermaids. So, the trio boarded Dr. D.'s dinghy and followed the mermaids to a silent cove where Alexander and the kidnappers were hiding out. They noticed that they didn't have a tank so they tied the mermaid to the boat underwater, which made it easy for the other mermaids to free her. While Billy and the others watched the mermaids free her, the kidnappers suddenly appeared, with one of them holding a flaming torch. Dr. D. told them they have come for the mermaid, prompting the kidnapper to set the dinghy aflame. Billy, Sheena and Dr. D. struggled to put the flames out, when the kidnappers noticed that the mermaid had been freed, causing a fight to break out. The kidnappers were about to go on the dinghy to throw the Deeps in the water when suddenly the boat rocked. It turned out that the mermaids were rocking it so that the trio will make their escape. Dr. D. then told Billy and Sheena that they know where to find the mermaid and that they will come back for her. Billy was dismayed as he thought after all that his uncle was going to capture her again and give her to the zoo.
The next morning, Billy and Sheena were having breakfast, discussing Dr. D. and the mermaid when Mr. Showalter and Ms. Wickman arrived, having heard that the mermaid had been found. Ms. Wickman presented Dr. D. with his check of one million dollars and Dr. D. took it from her, almost to his nephew and niece's disappointment until he tore it up and told the zoo people that they have sent him on a wild goose chase and that mermaids do not exist. After the disappointed zoo people left, Billy and Sheena praised Dr. D., telling him he is the greatest and Dr. D. made a deal to them of never mentioning mermaids again, making the mermaid their secret forever. But Billy wanted to see her one last time to say good bye, so when Sheena and Dr. D. were napping, he went out to find her, only to find the sea monster that he encountered earlier.
Deep Trouble II
Billy and Sheena were spending another summer vacation with Dr. D. One day, Billy was pretending to be William Deep Jr., world-famous undersea explorer, battling a purple octopus by tickling its purple belly. The octopus then turns out to be Sheena, who then shoved Billy away and asks if he is a tickle-fish and then called him a moron. At that, Billy decided to play a trick on Sheena by pretending to be a shark, using a gray pillow to look like a shark fin as he is swimming toward her. The joke seemed to have worked at first, but then it turned out that a real shark, which was astoundingly as big as a whale, came charging at them! Billy and Sheena barely managed to escape in time when the shark slammed into the Cassandra. Dr. D. came up to see what was going on and Billy and Sheena told him about the shark and how huge it was, but Dr. D. told them that there are no large sharks in the area. Then he invited Billy and Sheena into the lab to see a silvery fish the size of a big dog, which Dr. D. had trouble identifying, which then turned out to be a minnow. Dr. D. was astounded at this, as minnows as they are supposed to be as small as Billy's pet goldfish (which he brought along on the trip), reminding Billy that he forgot to feed them. On his way out, Billy noticed some bottles filled with murky brown water with greenish-brown gunk floating on top. Dr. D. explained that it is plankton, which is made of tiny little plants and animals that clump together and float around in the water. A lot of fish eat it, so Dr. D. suggested to Billy to give some of it to his goldfish. So Billy went into his cabin to feed his goldfish and to his astonishment, he found someone's head in his fishbowl. But it turned out to be a doll's head that Sheena put in to pay her brother back for his tricks. Billy was angered at this and told Sheena not to touch his fish and snail again. And while Billy's goldfish ate the plankton, Dr. D. told Billy and Sheena that he has to go back to the lab to examine the minnow, muttering that something strange was going on.
Billy had become obsessed with paying Sheena back for her doll trick, so the next day, he thinking of how he would pay her back, as his earlier trick backfired. Billy finally managed to come up with something and then decided to have a swim to cool off, when Sheena caught him climbing down the ladder and insisted to come along with him. Sheena was nervous due to their encounter with the giant shark, but Billy assured her that nothing bad will happen. There was nothing to be afraid of at first, but then Billy noticed Sheena swimming towards what appeared to be pink and rubbery like a soft blob of bubblegum. Before Billy was able to warn Sheena, the blob pulled her inside and swallowed her up. Then to his shock, Billy realized that he was staring at a jellyfish as big as a human! Billy knew he had to rescue his sister, so in spite of how disgusting the jellyfish felt, he went inside and pulled Sheena out to safety, barely managing to escape when the creature went to fight another giant jellyfish.
Billy and Sheena frantically swam back to the Cassandra to tell Dr. D. about the giant jellyfish, but he was nowhere to be found. They looked around for their uncle, thinking of where he might be, when the sea lab suddenly started to rock violently. Then to their horror, Billy and Sheena saw what appeared to be a giant snail down the passage to Billy's cabin. Billy and Sheena were wondering how it got on the boat and so big, when they thought they heard the monster snail crying for help, but it turned out to be Dr. D., who was trapped underneath the snail. After they managed to pull their uncle out from under the snail, Billy and Sheena told him about the giant jellyfish and they were wondering what was going on in the waters when suddenly, the boat began to rock again. As they rocked about, the three Deeps heard some thudding coming from Billy's cabin. After a struggle to reach his cabin, Billy saw to his shock, that his two goldfish had grown the size of small whales! Seeing they were the cause of the boat tipping, Dr. D. told Billy that the goldfish have to be thrown overboard, so Billy sadly helped his uncle and sister push his pets out of the boat.
They were wondering what they were going to do about the snail, when Billy heard footsteps above them and told Dr. D. that someone was up on deck. So the trio went on deck to find three men standing there. The leader asked if everything was all right as they had seen the Cassandra tilting dangerously to one side and were afraid that they were going to tip over and that they were going to rescue them. Dr. D. assured the men that they were all right, to which Billy was astounded of as they had encountered giant sea creatures, which was not all right at all. The leader then introduced himself as Dr. Ritter and his two assistants, Mel Mason and Adam Brown. The two scientists then had a conversation of how they both study the sea life and then they were about to leave when Dr. Ritter asked if they had seen anything unusual in the waters, prompting Billy to tell him about the giant fish until his uncle poked him in the elbow to quiet him down. Dr. D. tried to tell the other scientist that Billy was just joking, but Dr. Ritter told them that he was sorry to hear what Billy said and that they have seen too much. Dr. D. and Sheena tried one last time to lie to Ritter, but then the giant snail crashed out, prompting Mel and Adam to grab Billy and Sheena respectively. Dr. Ritter then explained to the Deeps that he had been working on such a brilliant project that could change the world and solve all their problems. What Ritter did was that he had been injecting a growth hormone into the plankton beds, causing the fish that fed on them to grow very large, which was a plan to end world hunger. Dr. Ritter also mentioned that there are a few kinks, that he cannot fix. Once he was done explaining, Dr. Ritter told the Deeps that they know too much and have to be taken care of as he doesn't like snoops and Billy and his family were taken away to his boat.
At Dr. Ritter's ship, the Deeps were being tied up in a small cabin. Hoping to help himself and the others escape, Billy bit Adam Brown on the arm so that he will forget to tighten his knots. As Dr. D. was reflecting on what Ritter told them, Billy managed to get himself free by loosening his knots, to his sister and uncle's delight. Billy was about to help free them too, when Dr. Ritter suddenly burst in, saying that they interrupted his lunch. Seeing that they wanted to get off, Dr. Ritter and his men took them up on deck to make them jump off the boat while there was land for miles. Billy got ready to jump off when Ritter asked which one of them would like to go first, when Dr. D. stopped him and asked the other scientist to spare him and Sheena, to which Ritter declined. Billy looked for something that could help them escape until he saw a rubber lifeboat. He and Sheena were almost pushed into the water, when suddenly some giant seagulls swooped down and attacked the ship. While Ritter and his men struggled against the seagulls, Billy and his family managed to untie the lifeboat and barely escape in time. They then floated out to sea with Ritter shouting after them that they cannot escape and he will get them.
Billy and his family spent a stormy afternoon and all night floating in the lifeboat until the next day they managed to find land to their delight, and had coconuts for breakfast. But unfortunately it turned out to be a very small and deserted island with nothing but palm trees and coconuts. Dr. D. assured Billy and Sheena that they will have something to eat and as Billy looked around for what they can have, he wondered how they were going to get off. That night, the trio sat around a campfire, discussing what they were going to do, with Billy very worried about what was going to happen to them. Then he and Sheena tried to catch some fish for dinner when they were suddenly ambushed by a giant crab! The Deeps scrambled up a nearby tree to safety, but one of the branches was unable to hold Billy and Sheena's weight any longer so it broke off and the two kids fell down towards the crab. But the crab didn't really intend to attack them, so it went back into the water. And then to their horror, the Deeps saw that the tide had taken their lifeboat away, leaving them stranded for sure. It seemed hopeless for the Deeps, until two giant dolphins came with their lifeboat. So Billy and his family tied a rope around one of them, settled in the lifeboat and let the dolphin carry them away.
The giant dolphin pulled the Deeps all night long and then the next morning, they had reached a ship. At first Billy and Sheena thought it was Dr. Ritter's boat, but as they got closer, the saw it was the Cassandra, to their delight. Billy and the others climbed aboard the ship and were looking forward to a big breakfast when Dr. Ritter ambushed them as he had been waiting for them, as he cannot let them live to tell about his work. After he forced Billy and the others downstairs and saw that Dr. D. had collected some of his plankton, Dr. Ritter explained that he had found the kinks that he hadn't worked out yet: They know that fish grow gigantic if they eat the plankton, but Ritter explained that if a human consumed the plankton, then they become a fish themselves almost instantly, and they stay a fish for the rest of their life. Dr. D. thought that the other scientist was crazy, so Ritter attempted to prove his point by forcing Billy to drink one of them. Billy was most hesitant at this, but seeing that Ritter wasn't giving him a choice, he took out a bottle and drank it down, in spite of Dr. D.'s efforts to stop him. However, Billy doesn't turn into a fish, frustrating Ritter. And then fight broke out between the two scientists with the trio struggling to restrain Ritter. Then Ritter picked up a bottle of plankton and declaring that it works, he drank it down and to the Deeps astonishment, he turned into a fish and dove into the water. Billy attempted to go after him, but Dr. D. said to him that he will be a fish forever and can't do any harm to anyone now. Glad that it was over, the Deeps examined the mess when Sheena asked Billy how he didn't turn into a fish when he drank the bottle. Billy then explained that he had angry about Sheena's doll trick so to pay her back, he emptied out one of the bottles, washed it out and replaced the plankton with iced tea. Then he would gross Sheena out by pretending to drink the plankton in front of her. And he did pay her back when Dr. Ritter ordered him to drink a bottle of plankton, Billy took out the one filled with iced tea. Sheena laughed at this to Billy's surprise and she told him that they were starting to think alike as she was going to do the same trick on him and took out a bottle and drank it down, with Billy and Dr. D. watching in horror, hoping that she picked the right bottle.
Billy is adventurous, enthusiastic and daring and can be a real joker. He has a very big imagination and likes to act out his adventures as "William Deep Jr., undersea explorer/The Undersea Mutant". Billy is also a real thrill-seeker and dislikes anything that is really boring. Billy does have his moments of being scared and worried, but sometimes tries to hide it from his sister. He thinks that Sheena is no fun as she doesn't like to participate in Billy's games. Billy also likes to play tricks on his sister, much to her annoyance. But even though they don't always get along, they still care for each other and Billy is always interested in Dr. D's work and is very close to his uncle. Billy is very high-spirited, but can also be a bit impulsive, which does lead him into trouble at times.
Billy is thirteen years old, Asian-American and tall and skinny with straight raven-black hair and dark blue eyes.
- Goosebumps HorrorLand
- Classic Goosebumps
- Deep Trouble
- Goosebumps Graphix
- Terror Trips
- Goosebumps The Movie:
- Monster Survival Guide (mentioned)
Television and Film
- Television series:
- Tod Fennell (television series)
- Billy is the first male protagonist to be Asian-American.
- In Deep Trouble II, Billy tells the reader that most little sisters look up to their big brothers but not Sheena. Billy doesn't know this, but there are many big brothers throughout the series that never get along with their little sisters. For example, if Billy only knew how Michael Webster got along with his little sister.