Yesterday was the last day of shore leave. The Sea Quest crew had been on

leave for two weeks. The UEO Engineers had made repairs and modifications.

Captain Nathan Hale Bridger sat in his quarters reflecting on his time away from

the boat. Though he enjoyed his time away, he was glad to be home. While

unpacking he wondered what the rest of the crew had done especially Lucas. Lucas

was like a son to him. They seemed to balance each other out. Lucas had parents

that showed they cared little about him, and Bridger missed son Robert and wife

Carol. There was something special about Lucas. It seems that every one who met

him wanted to adopt him. He hoped that the teenager was able to enjoy his leave.

He had noticed that Lucas seemed distracted. After finishing his unpacking he

headed to the bridge.

Miguel Ortiz, Tim O'Neill, and Ben Krieg waited patiently for the arrival

of Lucas Wolenczak. They were all supposed to meet a half an hour before two.

They were going to take the launch back to Sea Quest. They were supposed to be

back on the boat at two. O'Neil looked at his watch. It was already two, which

meant Lucas was half an hour late.

"The captain is going to have our hide for being late. Where is Lucas?" Ben

asked the third time in thirty minutes.

"Same answer as the last two times Ben." Ortiz pointed out.

"Maybe we should call Sea Quest. Let them know why we haven't arrived." Tim said

starting to become concern. Before anyone could speak Krieg's PAL went off.

"Krieg here."

"Ben where are you guys?" The voice was of his ex-wife Katie Hitchcock.

"We were just about to call. We're still waiting for Lucas. He hasn't shown up

yet."

"I better notify the captain." The three did not envy her task.

The captain was heading toward the bridge when he ran into Commander

Jonathan Ford who was also heading for the bridge.

"Captain."

"Did you enjoy your leave Commander?"

"Yes I did sir, but I 'm glad to be back to work."

"I know what you mean Commander." As they entered Commander Hitchcock greeted

Bridger and Ford. She saluted her superiors. "At ease everyone. Is everyone on

board?"

"Not yet sir. I just got word from the MR-5. Ben just told me that Lucas hasn't

showed up."

"Mr. Adams get me Doctor Wolenczak's home number."

"Already on it sir." After several minutes he responded. " No ones answering sir."

"Try Dr. Wolenczak's office. I'll be in the ward room." He motioned for Ford and

Hitchcock to follow. It had taken several minutes to get a hold of the office.

Bridger sat in his chair looking at the individual screen. Hitchcock and Ford

took seats close by. Bridger was looking at a woman who was at least forty and

had dark brown hair. She was obviously the doctor's secretary.

"I'm Captain Nathan Bridger of the UEO Vessel Sea Quest. I need to talk to the

doctor about a serious matter concerning his son."

"I'm sorry Captain. Doctor Wolenczak is currently out of the country and won't

be back for another month."

"When did he leave?"

"Three weeks ago."

"Do you have a number I can reach him at?"

"I'm sorry he is unreachable at the moment. All matters about his son are to be

referred to the boy's mother." She cut the connection leaving Nathan staring at

a blank screen. His anger was beginning to flare.

"That's not good. Lucas told me that he be spending two weeks at home with his

father."

"Well maybe he's at his mother's since his father wasn't home sir." Katie told

him hoping that was the case.

"Mr. Adams get Mrs. Wolenczak on the line." He soon had Mrs. Wolenczak on the

line but was thrown for a loop at the lack of care she showed. She had responded

to the situation by saying "Lucas is his father's problem and his father should

handle it." She hung up before Nathan could say anymore.

"If Lucas isn't with his father and isn't with his mother then where is he?"

Commander Ford asked knowing that was the question that was on their minds.

"I don't know Commander but I intend to find out."

While Bridger was trying to get a hold of Lucas's parents, Lucas was

running for his life. H e knew that he had gotten in way over his head. He had

spent his shore leave talking to people who knew his parent's. Though his uncle

and his wife had gotten custody of Lucas when he was too young to remember he

knew they weren't his real parents. He must have pushed some buttons because he

now had two men chasing him.

As he ran he thought about what led to this chase.

Flash Back: Last night

He was sitting at the table in the restaurant of the hotel. He was proud to find

out that his parents were kind loving people who were always there to lend a

hand. No one could tell him what happened to them. Everyone he had talked to

said they just seemed to vanish. Lucas didn't buy that. He noticed that every

time he brought the subject up of where he could find them people would quickly

shrug their shoulders and move on to another topic. He was master at the art of

evasion and knew they were hiding something. He was eating his dinner when a man

who looked to be forty-five stopped at his table. With his hat pulled down low

Lucas couldn't see the man's face. He spoke to Lucas in a voice so low that

Lucas had to strain to hear him.

"Meet me at this address tomorrow two hours before your flight. I tell you what

you want to know." The man had left as quickly as he had appeared. Lucas was

confused by what happened. He looked at the piece of paper and wonder should he

follow up on it. If this man meant what he said Lucas would finally know the

truth about his lineage.

The next morning Lucas was up bright and early. He already had his bags

ready to go so that he could leave as soon as he returned. The address was

within walking distance so he grabbed his computer and took off. As he walked he

wondered if he was doing the right thing. The thought was quickly pushed out of

his mind as he arrived at the meeting place. It was an old bookstore. He entered

and saw a young female that looked no more than eight. She had long blonde hair

and bright blue eyes.

"Can I help you?" She asked him with a big smile. Her voice was soft and sweet.

Lucas couldn't help but smile back at her.

"I was given this address to meet a man here."

The girl hopped down from the step stool she had been standing on. "Follow me."

She took Lucas into the back room where she opened a door that led into a

cellar. The cellar was dark at first but she continued holding Lucas's hand

tightly and led him in through another door. The room they were now in was nice

and comfortable looking. "Have a seat." The girl went into another room and

Lucas heard her tell some body with excitement that he was here. The door opened

as two figures stepped out. The girl was leading the way. When he saw the two

faces his heart filled with warmth.

"Hello son."

"Mom? Dad? Is that really you?" His voice wavered. They nodded slowly and opened

their arms to embrace him. He felt the warmth of the tears running down his

face. He was to choked up to speak. All he could get out was "Why?"

His parents took him over to the couch and sat him down. A parent on each side.

"Why did we leave you? Is that what you want to know?" His father asked while

his mother held him tight. Lucas could only shake his head.

"We didn't want to," said his mother. "Your uncle forced us to. He used his

money to get some high powered attorney to take you away from us. He used our

going into the witness protection program against us. Saying it was no place for

a baby to be raised. He had bought off the judge."

"My brother did it out revenge. To get back at me for having the life he always

wanted. We're sorry son. A day hasn't gone by that we haven't thought about you.

We were so proud when we you graduated. We were thrilled when we'd learned about

your dolphin program." Lucas looked at his parent's with a shocked looked. The

vocorder was a highly kept secret known to only a few people. "Your not the only

one who can hack into confidential files. Where do you think you get it from?" A

huge smile was on his father's face at that remark.

"If there was any way we could have gotten you back we would." His mother's

voice spoke softly.

"I know you would." He paused getting himself under control. He turned to face

the little girl who stood silently watching. "And who is this pretty young

lady." He reached out to take her hand to pull her closer.

"Lucas, this is your sister Nicole." Unable to hold her excitement in any

longer, She gave her big brother a hug around the neck.

"You know I always wanted a little sister." Her eyes lit up with excitement over

the words he had just spoken. She sat happily on Lucas's lap. The trio filled

Lucas in about Ryan O'Connor. The man whose organization they had shut down. The

reason why they were hiding. They had found out that Lucas was coming to the

island and consider it a risk they needed to take to see him. Lucas soon

realized that if he didn't leave soon he would miss his flight. He had found his

family and he didn't want to leave.

"Son, it's getting late. If you don't leave soon you going to miss your flight.

You wouldn't want your captain worrying about you." His mother spoke pulling a

recent picture of them from a bag near the couch. "Take this with you. So that

you will always know that no matter how far apart we are we are still close

together." She handed him a picture of the three. "I love you." She hugged him.

He turned to his father. He repeated the steps with his father. His father

handed him a small piece of paper.

"Here's the address you can find us. There's a number there to. Call and come

see us. We'll let you know if we get relocated. We have to do this until

O'Connor is put away for good." Lucas understood what his father was saying. He

hugged him once again.

"I wish that I had something to give you."

"Just seeing what a handsome young man you are is all that we need." His mother

replied. Turning to Nicole Lucas bent down.

"Now you can call me any time and e-mail me as much as possible. I'll be back

too see you just as soon as I can. I promise to be the best big brother you ever

had."

"You already are." He gave her a big hug and kiss. Lifting her up he carried her

back to the main room followed by their parents. Lucas set his sister down and

gave his family one last good bye.

He had barely been a block away from the old bookstore when he heard the

sounds of explosions. He quickly turned and went back. The sight he saw

frightened him. He saw some men attacking the store and his family being led out

by force. Two of the men had seen him and started advancing with their guns

drawn. Lucas did not hesitate. He took off running knowing that he was the only

who could help is family.

Present day

Lucas drew his attention back to the problem at hand. The two men were

still chasing him. He ducked into a crowded restaurant. He had easily managed to

loose his pursuers. He then made his way to Paradise cove.

Bridger sat in his quarters. All thoughts were on his missing crewmember.

He knew something was wrong because Lucas would have called if he was going to

be late. His thoughts were soon distracted by Lieutenant O'Neill's voice.

"Sir Admiral Noyce on line." Bridger went over to his screen, hit a few buttons

and watched as his old friend's face appeared.

"Bill?"

"That look confirms what I called about."

"What are you talking about Bill?"

"When exactly were you going to tell me that Lucas was missing?"

"How did you know?"

"I just got a call from the Howser Hotel on Golden Plains Island. The room Lucas

was in has been ransacked. There's no sign of him."

"We're on our way. What's he doing out there all alone? Where did he get the money?"

"The only one who can answer that is him. Call me if there is anything I can do."

"Thanks Bill." Bridger turned the screen off and hit the communications button.

"Mr. O'Neill I want all the senior staff in my ready room in ten minutes."

"Yes sir!"

Ten minutes later the senior staff was assembled in the wardroom. All eyes

were on the Captain as he strolled in. Ford sat to the right of the captain's

chair. Next to him sat Katie and then Crocker. On the opposite side sat Dr.

Westphalen, O'Neill, Ortiz, and Krieg. They all sat waiting for the Captain to

speak.

"As most of know that as of two this afternoon Lucas was listed AW.O.L. I just

got a called from Admiral Noyce. We've got a place to start. Lucas was staying

at the Howser Hotel on Golden Plains Island. Somebody went through a lot of

trouble to trash his room." He stopped to let the words settle in. No one spoke

at first.

"What about Lucas?" Ben had thought of Lucas like a little brother and barely

managed to voice his concern,

"There's no sign of him."

"What are we going to do sir?" Commander Ford asked.

"Mr. Krieg, Mr. Ortiz, I want you two to check out Lucas's room and see if there

is any thing that might help us find out why Lucas was there. Mr. O'Neil, I want

you to monitor all communications to and from Golden Plains Island. Doctor get

your staff on standby just in case. Crocker get your teams ready. We got to be

prepared for anything." Ensign Hall interrupted the meeting.

"Sir There's an incoming call for you. It's Lucas sir!!!"

"Patch him through." The pictured appeared on the big screen so everyone could

see. The Vid-phone Lucas was using made his image disoriented. They all saw a

very frightened teenager. "Lucas, are you alright?"

"I can't talk long or they're going to find me."

"Who's going to find you?"

"Two men carrying weapon."

"We're only an hour away." The teenager's face went paler.

"They're coming. I've got to talk quick before they see me. Look for info on

Ryan O'Connor. They see me. Captain," he paused. "Paradise Cove. Got to go." The

screen went black. They all sat in silence taking in what had just happened. No

one wanted to break the silence. Bridger finally spoke looking at Ford and

Hitchcock

"I want you two find any information that you can about O'Connor. Alright

everybody you have your assignments."

Ben and Miguel opened the door to Lucas's room. They felt odd being there

without Lucas being there. To their surprise the room was clean.

"The captain must have had him clean it before leave. At least we'll be able to

find our way out. I thought they might have to send in a search party for us."

Miguel chuckled at Ben's comment. The teenager's room was usually unorganized.

"You want the drawers or the computer?"

"The computer. I feel strange going through his stuff like this. I feel like I'm

invading his privacy."

"I know what you mean. I just hope we find something useful." They began their

search. Miguel knew that finding anything in Lucas's computer would be hard to

get to. Krieg began searching through some papers in Lucas's desk. Both men

worried about Lucas.

Lucas's head was pounding. He could hear the sound of whimpering coming

from the corner of the room. He opened his eyes to find the room completely void

of light. He moaned. After several seconds he focused his thoughts. He

remembered what happened. He was trying to get away from the two men when he

felt something pierce his upper shoulder. A tranquilizer had been injected into

him. He still heard the whimpering.

"Nikki? Nicole, is that you?"

"Lucas?" Her voice was shaky. "Lucas, I'm scared." Lucas followed her voice. He

found her curled up in a small ball. He sat down lifting her into his lap,

holding her close.

"I know you are. So am I. I'm not going to let anything bad happen to you." He

stroked her hair gently. "Have you seen mom or dad?" He felt the movement of her

head. "This is O'Connor doing isn't it?" She nodded yes. "I want you to listen

to me. Help is on the way. My friends from the Sea Quest are coming. You trust

me don't you?"

"I trust you. You're my brother."

"Alright then just play along with me when they come back to get us. We can out

smart them. I mean it couldn't take much." She laughed at that statement.

"That's what I like to hear." After several minutes of stroking her hair, Lucas

noticed her breathing had slowed and she was asleep. A big smile appeared on his

face as he realized he had done that several times when Bridger tried to comfort

him about upsetting matters.

The Sea Quest crew arrived exactly one hour later. Crocker had sent a team

to check out the hotel Lucas had been staying in. The senior staff held one more

meeting to discuss what they had found. Lucas's room turned out to be a dead

end. The computer's information was locked tighter than Fort Knox. Ford and

Hitchcock had found an article involving two of Lucas's relatives. Talking about

how they testified against the man, who manage to escape while being transported

to the pen. Both sets of people seemed to disappear. Captain Bridger, Dr.

Westphalen, Crocker, Krieg, Ortiz, and several other security guards went the

shore to find Passion Cove. Finding the cove with no problem they found a cave

nearby. Cautiously they moved closer to the cave entrance. Guns were drawn as

they edge closer and closer. They soon found that the cave was empty except for

a picture and Lucas's computer.

"Sir it's Lucas's computer. There's a note on here." Ortiz told them. They all

read the note.

If you're reading this it means Ryan O'Connor has captured me. If I am successful then someone should come to retrieve my computer. Hopefully Sea Quest will be there to intercept them. Please make sure they receive it. I will explain everything when we meet again. Lucas "I hope he knows what he's doing. Crocker set your team up around the perimeter. The rest of us will watch the road to for any signs of them. Let's get comfortable people we could be here a while." Bridger said as they went to get into position.

One hour had passed before someone had decided to come and get Lucas and

Nikki. He had woken her up when he heard the footsteps. Nicole had clutched

Lucas not willing to let go. They both covered their eyes to shield the bright

light. Lucas felt the force of one of the men pull them roughly up.

"Alright don't get pushy. We don't want any trouble." They were led down a hall

to some stairs and then to another room where the light was better, There were

some chairs and a table. At the head of the table sat a man who Lucas took to be

Ryan O'Connor. He was a tall slender man with build. His dark brown hair

accentuated his facial features. His eyes were cold and unfeeling. Nicole

clutched Lucas even tighter than before. The man scared her. The guards pushed

them into a chair. Making them face him.

"So this is the boy genius."

"What have you done with our family?" He let his voice quiver to give the full

affect.

"They're getting what they deserve for trying to put me in jail." He smiled an

evil grin.

"What are you going to do with us?"

"I was thinking about killing you and making your parents watch. Then I thought

I'm going to need some assurance that the UEO stays off my back. So once I'm out

of their waters then I'll kill you."

"Well your going to need some money to get out of here."

"It's too bad he's going to kill us you could have made him rich." Nicole

responded getting on her big brother train of thought.

"Where would you come up with that kind of cash?"

"If I had my computer I could use the program I design to hack money in to any

account I want."

"You couldn't do that. It's impossible."

"How do you think he got the money to come here? After all he is a genius."

Nicole responded. She could see that he had fallen for it.

"I'll make a deal with you kid. You put ten million dollars in my various

accounts and I won't kill you two."

"I don't know. That's a lot of money. It would take some time to do." He paused

for a few minutes. You got a deal as long as no further pain is brought to our

parents." O'Connor reluctantly nodded. "But atlas I do not have my computer. I

must have left when I stopped for water at Passion Cove. I think I was near the

cave."

"Jack! Leo! Take these two and lock them in the room with their parents. Send

Crazy C and Duke to get the boys computer from Passion Cove." The two nodded as

escorted the two to their new room. As the door was open they shoved them in.

Lucas gasped as he saw his parents.

It was getting late. The sun would be going down within the next hour or

so. Everyone was getting tired and hungry.

"Lucas did it. They're coming." Krieg called out. They all got into position.

They heard the two men talking.

"Let's hurry up and get this computer so we can get rid of those two brats."

"Yeah I know what you mean. I think the boss is going soft."

"Do you see it?

"Over there." As the two men stepped closer the Sea Quest crew stood up.

"UEO! You're under arrest. Put your hands in the air." Crocker called out the

two men turned to fire their guns at the crew but were instantly taken down. The

guards surrounded the two fallen bodies. Taking the no mercy route, they

threaten to kill them if they didn't tell them what they wanted to know. The two

men had quickly spilled their guts.

The site of his parent's body was almost too much for him to take. They

were bloody and bruised. O'Connor had done a real number on them.

"MOMMY! DADDY!" Nicole called out seeing them on the floor. She managed to get

away from Lucas's grip. "You two don't look so good. He beat you up bad." Tears

were beginning to form in the little girl's face.

"Lucas," His mother just barely above a whisper. "You got to get out of here

before he hurts you two."

"Don't talk. The Sea Quest crew will be here soon just hold on."

"Go now," his father cried out in pain. "You have to look after her now. Don't

let anyone separate you two. Promise us you won't let anyone separate you two."

Lucas's face was now wet with his own tears. He was losing his parents for a

second time.

"I promise."

"Nikki honey you be good for your brother. Stick with him. We love you both

dearly." Their mother spoke.

"Now get going. Before they come back. We love you and we'll always be together.

We'll try to hang on."

Lucas went over to the door and looked around. There was a guard posted right

outside the door. There was a window on the other side of the room. He looked

around the room for something to break the window with. The plumbing in the

place was very old and weak. Lucas was able to use the lead pipe to break the

window. Clearing the glass away he heard the guard call out.

"STOP!"

"Come Sis you first." She ran over to him and he lifted her out the window. In

one jump he was out beside her. "We have to run. Come on." The two took off

running hoping to avoid being caught. The man who was standing guard was in

pursuit. O'Connor had heard the commotion while he was outside.

The Sea Quest crew quietly made their ways up to the house. Crocker

counted off as they kicked the door in. They were immediately hit with guards.

The guards were no match for the trained officers. They security team began

rounding up the guards. Bridger motioned for the rest of them to spread out.

Bridger and the doctor found the room with the two bodies. Wearily the man

looked up at Nathan. The woman beside him already dead.

"Please take care of them. Help them. They're out there. Ple--ase He-*cough*

*cough* help them." With his last breath spoken he died. Bridger closed the

man's eyes and headed out to the main hall.

"They're in the woods. Come we have to get to Lucas before O'Connor does." The

whole crew nodded. Running outside they headed in the direction of the woods.

"LUCAS! LUCAS! WHERE ARE YOU?" Bridger called out. His only response was

gunfire. The crew headed toward the sound. Several more shots rang out louder.

They were getting closer.

Lucas was now carrying Nicole in front of him. Trying to protect her body

from the bullets. He thought he heard the captain's voice but couldn't be sure.

He thought he imagined it. He heard his name being called again. As several more

shots barely missed him, he knew he wasn't imaging things.

"CAPTAIN! WE'RE HERE!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. He made Nicole jump.

Taking a chance to look back he could see O'Connor and guard right behind them.

He could also see the Sea Quest crew in hot pursuit a few feet back but closing

in fast. He hadn't noticed that the woods had ended. He had looked back and

almost didn't stop in time. They were trapped. In front of them a cliff. Behind

them O'Connor and the guard. O'Connor slowed his pace holding his gun directly

at Lucas. Lucas set Nicole down but behind him trying to protect her. He could

still see his friends approaching but knew they wouldn't be in time. Lucas heard

the clicking of the gun.

"UEO! Put you weapon down." Crocker called out. The guard replied immediately

but not O'Connor. Lucas watched the scene. He closed is eyes saying a quick

prayer for his sister's safety. BANG!!!!!!!! Lucas felt the sharp pain as the

bullet hit his left shoulder. The impact sent him stumbling back. It sent him

and his sister over the cliff. He heard her scream as they. Water instantly

rushed up around them.

Crocker and his other security man fired the guns at O'Connor at the same

time he fired on Lucas. The crew had seen them fall over. Ben knew Lucas would

not be able swim very well with his shoulder injured. Without hesitating Ben ran

for the cliff and dove off. Miguel was right behind him. The others watched as

the two men hit the water. The sun was starting to set making it hard to see.

They had quickly found the little blonde girl. She had been trying to swim up

when they found her. Miguel held on to her while Ben went down for Lucas again.

Under the water Ben searched frantically but needed to come up for air. As he

was about to go under once again Lucas's unconscious body floated up. At first

both men were shocked then realized it was Darwin.

"Thank you Darwin." Ben said while taking Lucas in his arms to swim back to

shore. The swim to shore was fast as both men held on to Darwin fin. Once on dry

land Ben and Miguel began CPR on Lucas. After several tries he finally coughed

up the water. By this time Bridger, Westphalen and Crocker made it down to the

beach. Kristin immediately began to examine the injury.

"We have to get him to Sea Quest immediately." Luckily they weren't to far from

the shuttle.

Inside the shuttle the doctor tried to stop the bleeding from the wound.

Crocker and his men stayed behind until the local authorities could come.

Bridger piloted the shuttle back to the boat. Miguel sat holding the eight-year-

old with a blanket around both of them. Krieg tried to assist the doctor in

anyway he could.

"Is Lucas going to be alright?" The girl spoke her voice shaky.

"He's going to be just find." Krieg had noticed that she had never taken her

eyes off. Wanting to distract her from the scene he tried talking to her.

"I'm Ben. What's your name?"

"Nicole," she replied. "And he's Ortiz, Bridger, and that Dr. Westphalen." Ben

looked at her a little surprised. She caught the look they all wore. "Lucas has

told me about all of you. He even showed me pictures of each one of you."

"How do you know Lucas?"

"He's my brother." Before anyone could respond to that Lucas began to speak.

"Nikki? Is Nikki alright?" He pleaded with the doctor.

"She's fine Lucas." Westphalen said trying to get him calm. Nicole hopped off of

Miguel's lap. She took Lucas's hand.

"I'm right here big brother."

The sub docked in Sea Quest. A Med team was waiting with a stretcher. Carefully

Bridger and Krieg carried Lucas out and laid him on the stretcher. The Med team

quickly rushed to the Medbay to begin surgery

"You'll have to wait out here. I'd advise that you two get out of those wet

uniforms. I don't want to be treating you next. Nathan, why don't you take

Nicole and get her some dry clothes and something to eat." He hesitated. "I'll

call you as soon as we are done."

Bridger walked beside Nicole as they headed to get her something to eat.

They had stopped by Lucas's quarters and grabbed something for her to wear. The

shirt was too big and the shorts were baggy. Bridger was uncertain about what to

say to her. He noticed she was taking in everything that they passed.

"You look impressed."

"Oh I am Captain. Lucas told us about the Seaquest, but I never imagined this.

It's amazing."

"Well I'm glad you like." They entered the Mess hall which virtually empty.

Nicole and Bridger got their foods and headed for one of the empty tables. A few

minutes later Ben and Miguel entered and got some food.

"Mind if we join you?" Bridger motioned for the two to sit. Silence had overcome

the table. "So how are old are Nicole?"

"Eight. I'm going to be nine in March."

"What grade are you in?"

"I don't go to school. I learn my lessons over the net. My net teacher says I

very intelligent for my age. If I were to go to a normal school she says I'd be

in the seventh grade. Which would feel kind of awkward to me." Bridger's PAL

went of.

"Lucas is out of surgery." They all got up and headed to the Medbay.

All was quite in the Medbay. Doctor Westphalen was in her office and Lucas

was resting comfortable. He opened his eyes upon hearing the door open. He

managed a weak smile.

"Hey pal." Bridger said smiling see that the teenager was doing better than when

he first came in. "How are you feeling?"

"I've had better days."

"You gave us a good scare." Ben replied "I'm glad your okay."

"Yeah Ben needs someone to get in trouble with." Everyone laugh but Ben. He gave

Miguel a dark look. Miguel and Ben told Lucas they would visit tomorrow so he

could get some rest. Lucas yawned several times and looked as if he could nod

off any minute. Nicole asked the captain to lift her closer to Lucas. She

whispered to him.

"I love you." Gently kissing him on the cheek as he fell back into dreamland.

Nathan and Kristen watched as warm feelings filled their bodies. "Thank you Captain." She said after they had left the room.

"It was my pleasure. It's getting late. You can sleep in Lucas's room tonight."

They were once again in Lucas's room. Bridger had pulled back the covers

for her. When she was in bed he tucked her in.

"If you need anything don't hesitate to call me. Just push the button on the

desk. Alright?"

She nodded her head. "Thank you Captain."

"For what?"

"For always being there for Lucas. For not giving up on him, and being so nice."

All Nathan could do was smile. "Get some rest. You've had a busy day" He turned

the lights down low but not completely off and shut the door. He stood outside

the door thinking to himself.

That is one strong eight-year-old.

Nicole had slept for several hours when her sleep was interrupted by

images of her parent's body. She struggled in her sleep and woke up abruptly.

She was a little disoriented. She was scared. Not wanting to stay in the room by

herself another minute she left. It was late and the corridors were empty. She

found her way back to the Medbay. It seemed everyone was asleep. She went to

where Lucas was and sat in the chair by the bed. As if Lucas had felt her

presence he opened his eyes.

"Hey what are you doing out of bed?"

"I had a bad dream. I'm scared."

"What are you scared about?"

"All of this. I knew they weren't going to make it. I knew you knew they weren't

going to make it. I keep seeing their images of them before they died. All

bloody and bruised barely able to talk. I miss them already." Her voice was

trembling and the tears no longer stayed concealed. "Why did they have to die?"

"I can't answer that. I feel the same way. I just found my parents only to lose

them all over again. Come here." He motioned with his good hand for her climb

into the bed. He pulled the covers back for her. Standing on the chair she climb

in. Her head laid on the good side of his chest. He spoke in a soothing voice.

"I know you're scared, but nothing is going to happen to you here. Not while I'm

here to protect you, Not while Captain Bridger and the others are around. When

you think of Mom and Dad think of all the fun times you had with them. They're

in a better place where people like O'Connor can't hurt them. They will always

be with us." She was still crying and he stroked her hair. He was glad that she

was letting it all out. He knew he would probably be doing the same thing as

soon as the shock wore off.

Bridger felt the urge to check on Lucas one last time before he went to

bed. He had stopped by his quarters to check on Nicole. To his surprise the bed

was empty. He thought for a minute and figure there was only one place she could

be. He made his way quickly to the Medbay. He was relieved and overwhelmed with

awe. The sight before him almost made his eyes water. Nicole was snuggled

securely in the bed, head in Lucas's chest, and his arm around her. Once he

recovered he took steps closer to the bed. He sat down in the chair looking at

the two. He noticed that Lucas wasn't sleeping. Lucas turned his head to face

the captain.

"Look's like you got a bunkmate for the night."

"I don't mind. The realization of what happened finally hit her."

"What about you? Are you alright with everything?" Lucas knew that eventually he

would end up telling Bridger. He figures for Nicole sake as well as his own he

should talk to Bridger about it. He knew that he could trust Bridger.

"Tomorrow. We'll get into it tomorrow." Bridger didn't push the matter. He knew

the teenager would tell him when he was ready. "She's going to need clothes."

"I know. I figured if she's willing we could send her with Katie and Kristin.

They can get her what she needs. We can have our talk while they're gone. "

Lucas nodded. "Get some rest pal. The doctor will have my hide if she thinks I'm

keeping you up." He started to get up.

"Captain wait! Can you stay here until I fall asleep?"

"Sure I can." He returned to his chair. Lucas extended his hand out for him to

take it. He felt Lucas squeezed it tightly. "Thanks."

"I'm always here for you." Those words echoed through Lucas's mind as he drifted

off to sleep.

The next morning Kristin had to laugh at the sight she saw before her. She

wanted to see how Lucas was feeling. When she opened the door she saw Nicole and

Nathan fast asleep. Nicole was snuggled in close next to Lucas, and Bridger was

hunched over sleeping holding on to Lucas's hand. Lucas laid there with eyes

closed but wasn't asleep. She walked over to wake Nathan up. She gently placed a

hand on Nathan shoulder. Shaking him lightly, he jumped, waking up groggily. His

disorientation was enough to wake Nikki. She rubbed her eyes sleepily.

"Morning kiddo." Lucas replied. Bridger hid his smile. He had called Lucas that

several times.

"Good Morning everyone." She still looked like she was half a sleep. Still

rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

"I've got to check Lucas out. Why don't you show Nicole where she can wash up?"

"Alright Doctor. Come on, We'll stop by the laundry and see if your clothes are

cleaned."

"Okay." She said cheerfully. She pulled the covers back just enough so she could

get out. She stood on the bed and leaned over to kiss Lucas on the cheek. "I

need to talk to you when I get back."

"I'll be here. Not like I have much of a choice." Nicole giggled at the look

Lucas received from the doctor. She hopped off the bed. Taking Bridger's hand as

they left the Medbay. "Do you think I could get out of here soon?"

"Hush young man or I'll order up a full-scale test that will prolong your stay.

If you're good I might let you out tomorrow." Lucas put his hand up in defeat.

Nicole returned to Medbay twenty minutes later. She was freshly showered

and had eaten breakfast. The Captain had gone to talk to Kristin.

"Did you have a good breakfast?"

"It was okay."

"What did you want to talk about?"

"I wanted to get a couple of thank you gifts for Mr. Ortiz, Mr. Krieg, and a

fish for Darwin. Ortiz and Krieg jumped in after we fell off the cliff. When

Krieg couldn't find you Darwin bought your body up. You weren't breathing when

we got to shore and they performed CPR. I just wanted to show them I appreciate it."

"I think that would be okay. The Captain is going to ask Katie and Kristin to

take you shopping for clothes. The Captain has offered to pay for the clothes. I

have a little money left from yesterday."

"I' have a little from my allowance. I want to get Darwin his favorite fish."

"That would be Tuna. It's his chocolate. While your gone the Captain and I are

going to be having a talk. I just want to make sure you want to stay on

Seaquest."

"I want to stay with you. "

"That's fine. The Captain will make sure of that. When the Doctor releases me

I'll give you the grand tour of the boat. Have you seen my computer? Do you know

if the captain brought it back."

"He was right. He said you wouldn't go to long with out it. I'll go ask him what

he did with it." She left and disappeared out of the room. Several minutes later

she reappeared carrying his computer. She hugged it close to her body making

sure not to drop it. She handed it to Lucas.

"Climb up here. We can do a little window shopping right here." She climbed onto

the bed. He put the computer where they both could see it. "Let's go through

some of these store catalogs. It will give you a idea of what you're looking

for." For about an hour they sat on the bed looking for the many items.

"That's perfect. That's would be perfect for the Captain." It was a holographic

picture of a mother protecting her dolphins from a shark.

"Your right. I'll have to transfer some money to pay for it." He typed fast.

"There it's paid for. Have Kristin or Katie get it for you. Let me get out of

this before they come and get you."

"I hear them coming."

"I'm clear. Lets make it look like we've been having fun" He put a game on his

computer. As Bridger and Westphalen entered they heard the sound of laughter and

playing.

"Well it looks like you two are having fun." Lucas looked up with a big smile.

"She's kicking my butt in Space Havoc."

"When you got it you got it."

"Katie is going to meet us at the launch if you're ready." Kristin said smiling

at the eight-year-old. Nicole nodded her. Bridger helped her down. Nicole looked

at Lucas.

"Maybe we can take that tour later tonight."

"We'd better get going. If we want to be back in time. The captain has allowed

us three hours to shop. Let's go."

Bridger returned to the Med Bay to have his talk with Lucas. He sat down in the chair.

"Are you ready to talk?" Bridger asked Lucas. He nodded his head.

"Let me start by saying that I never planned for any of that to happen." He

paused trying to get his thoughts together. "I was playing on my computer a

couple of weeks ago when I couldn't sleep. I was doing what I do best. Well I

ended up in one of my father's system. While in the system I spotted my name.

Curious about what the file contained I checked it out. They were adoption

papers. I couldn't believe what I saw. I began to do more research on it. I came

up with the name of my real parents." He paused looking up at Bridger's face and

the returned his eyes to the sheets. "I began looking for information on David

and Pamela Wolenczak. I had remembered hearing the names before. After many more

nights of hacking I found out where they had been staying last time anyone had

seen them. I just wanted to learn more about them. To see if they were anything

like the father I know. I wanted to know why they gave me up." He relayed to

Bridger the story his parent's had told him. He then told them about what

happened up to the point Seaquest saved them.

"It's not fair." Tears were beginning to fill Lucas's eyes. "I finally get the

parents I always wanted and their taken from me before I even get a chance to

know them." He couldn't hold the tears back anymore.

Bridger got up from his chair and sat on the bed. Taking hold of the teenager to

comfort him. "It's okay kiddo. Let it all out." He continued to talk softly

trying to calm him. Lucas calmed down and began to speak.

"The last image that we both have of them is their battered and bruised form. It

was horrible." His voice was quivering. "I didn't even get to tell them that I

loved them."

"They knew. Trust me parents know. If you had said it a million times or never

at all they know deep down that you loved them." Lucas let a few more tears slip

out and he felt better. After several minutes the tears had dried up. "One good

thing came out of this. I'm getting the chance to know my sister."

"She spent the last eight years with your parents. She can tell you more about

your about them."

"I promised them that I would look after her, not let us be separated. Lawrence

might try to adopt her like he adopted me. I won't let that happen. I won't let

him put her through what he put me through. Coming on Seaquest wasn't a

nightmare but a blessing. It got me away from him to where I would be safe."

"Tell me about it. I want to understand." Bridger asked knowing Lucas needed to

get that off his chest to. Lucas hesitated. "Take your time." After several

minutes he began.

"As soon as I was old enough to walk and understand he barked orders at me. When

I didn't move fast enough he hit me not just a spanking, but a black and blue

beating. My mother would just sit there and watch saying I was getting what I

deserved. I remember I was on my way home from school one day and got beaten up

by some bullies. I was alright but my clothes were torn." He paused not wanting

to remember. Bridger waited until he was ready. Giving his hand a reassuring

squeeze. "My mom saw me when I came in and began yelling at me. She sat me down

until he came home. Then once he saw me I got a beating for getting dirty and

not being able to stand up for myself. I've been in the hospital more times than

the doctor themselves."

"Did you tell anyone?"

"I tried, but the people I told were either bought off or never heard from

again. So I stopped telling people. He only took me to one hospital which he

happen to have a large amount of money invested in." The tears had come back. "I

just won't let her go through that. She's been through enough." Bridger rocked

him back and forth.

"I'm not going to let that happen to her or to you. That man will never lay

another hand on you." Bridger fought to control his anger. "I'm going to talk to

Noyce with your permission I'd like to tell him. Not all of it just what's

relevant. We'll talk to a lawyer and I'll see about getting custody of both of

you. Is that alright with you?" Lucas nodded his head and the tears began

flowing once again. He soon fell asleep.

Three hours later in the Med Bay Lucas was playing cards with Tim. He

hadn't been down to see him yet and wanted to tell him how glad he was back safe

and sound. The door to his room opened and in came a very excited Nicole.

Following not to far behind was Katie and Kristin both had two big bags.

"You guys buy out all the stores?" Lucas asked sarcastically.

"No just most of them." Nicole replied returning her brother's sarcasm.

"She insisted on coming down here and showing you what she got."

"Nicole have you met Tim O'Neil yet?"

"Not officially. It's nice to meet you Mr. O'Neil."

"Please call me Tim. Lucas has been telling me a lot about you. I hope you like here."

"We'll there so many interesting things. I want to learn about them all. Now I

want to show you two what I got." She showed them every outfit holding up to

herself to show what they look like on her. "I got you a get well gift big

brother. They helped me pick it." She handed Lucas the present. He unwrapped the

gift. Lifting the lid his face went in to a huge smile. "Thank you. It's great."

They had gotten him a new game for his computer. He hugged his little sister. He

thanked Hitchcock and the Doctor to. Katie and Tim excused themselves and left.

The doctor had gone into her office. She dug into the bags and bought the

present out for Ortiz. She opened it to show a angel pin.

"I got one for Ben too. There's a card for each of them. It reads: A Thank you

gift to our Guardian Angels. Wear this close to your heart and it will always

watch over you." The doctor entered about twenty minutes later.

"You'll be happy to know that I am releasing you tonight on the promise that you

rest and take easy for the next couple of days. If you have any pain come see

me. Now get out of here before I change my mind."

"Who are you and what have you done with Dr. Westphalen?"

"You know it's not to late to change my mind." With that Lucas handed Nikki a bagged.

"Come on. Let's not look a gift horse in a mouth." Kristin smiled as the two

rushed out the door.

Bridger sat on the bridge thinking about the conversation he had just had

with Admiral Noyce. Bill had agreed the Lucas should not be allowed to go back

to Dr. Wolenczak. He had talked to him for about an hour filling him on

everything. Bill knew that Nathan had a close relationship with Lucas. Speak of

the devil Lucas and Nicole came on to the bridge. He smiled when he noticed

Nicole holding Lucas's hand. He noticed most of the bridge crew had come up and

told Lucas they were glad he was okay. Nicole's eyes were wider than they were

when she walked with Bridger. They were talking with Miguel.

"The doctor did release you?" Miguel joked.

"No I just decide to take a stroll and hope she didn't know I was gone. You

think I want to see the doctor hunt me down."

"Maybe you can keep him out of trouble. We've all tried." Nicole laughed at

Miguel's statement.

"Very funny Miguel. Very funny. We'd better get moving we still have a date to

meet with Darwin."

"Bye Miguel." Nicole waved as they headed where the captain was standing.

"Hey Captain!"

"I see the Doctor Westphalen let you out."

"Yes on my word to take it easy and rest. So I thought I'd give Nicole a tour of

the ship. We're headed to the moon pool."

"So what do you think of the Seaquest?" Bridger asked Nicole. Before she could

answer Ford joined them. "Commander have you met the newest member of our

science team? Commander Ford. Nicole Wolenczak." Commander Ford smiled and

extended his hand.

"It's nice to meet you." Lucas was taken back. He didn't think he had ever seen

the commander smile. "Sir I need to talk to you."

"And on that note we shall make our departure. Come on Lucas I want to meet

Darwin. Good bye Captain. Commander." They watched as the two left. Nicole

practically was pulling Lucas.

"Dr. Wolenczak is waiting to speak to you sir." He motioned for Ford to follow.

Lucas and Nicole had made a few stops before heading to the moon pool.

Lucas had went to put the present in Bridger's quarters, and they both did

Miguel's quarters. Katie promised to get the small present into Ben's quarters.

They stopped at kitchen to pick up Darwin's present. Lucas grabbed the vocorder.

Darwin swam up to them.

"Lucas okay?"

"Yeah Darwin I'm fine. You saved my life. Thank you."

"Lucas's friend?"

"Yes this is my sister. She's part of my pod. Just like you. This is Nikki."

"Hello Darwin."

"Hello Nikki." Darwin swam around before returning. "Nikki Darwin's pod?"

"I hope to be Darwin. We got you a present for saving Lucas." She brought the

fish out of the bag. "Lucas told me this was your chocolate. Enjoy and thank

you." Darwin took the fish from her while she patted him.

"Fish good. Nikki play?"

"He wants you to play with him. Go head."

"Lucas play?"

"I play with you but I'm staying dry." Lucas picked up a ball and through into

the water. Darwin retrieved it and gave to Nikki. That went on for a while.

"Nikki swim?"

"Can I?" She looked at Lucas. He nodded.

"Your already wet. You might as well jump in." She took off her socks and shoes

and went in. "Now take hold of his fin." She did as she was told and Darwin took

her for a ride.

Bridger and Ford entered the wardroom. They took a seat and Bridger hit

the switch to reveal the screen. Dr. Wolenczak's face appeared.

"Captain Bridger, I'm sorry to disturb you but I request the presence of my son.

One of my staff will be there to pick him up in the morning,"

"I'm sorry Doctor but Lucas has a previous engagement." Bridger stated calmly.

"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???" Wolenczak's voice was now enraged with fury.

"He has to attend a funeral."

"A FUNERAL!!!!! I EXPECT MY SON TO BE READY BY MORNING!"

"It won't be possible. He has to attend the funeral of his "biological"

parents." Bridger emphasized the biological. "A fact that I'm sure you're well

aware. We're at the coast of Golden Plains. It just wouldn't be possible. Sorry

Doctor." Bridger cut the transmission before the doctor could begin again.

"Thank you Commander your presence was very helpful in keeping my temper down. I

would love to ring that mans neck. There are some people who should never have

or raise children; He's one of them. The bridge is yours. I have to call Noyce

and then go talk to Lucas." Ford nodded and returned to the bridge.

Bridger finished his call to Noyce. He knew Bill would do everything in

his power not let Lucas leave Seaquest. He had wanted to stop by his quarters

for a minute to be alone to gather his thoughts. He closed the door and sat down

on the bed. His eyes soon spotted a package on the table. I wonder where this

came from. He picked up the package and unwrapped it. He read the note inside.

This is a "Thank You" for everything you have done. To being the father Lucas needed, to being there when no one else was. Thank you for letting me stay with him. Thank you for letting Lucas and me stay aboard. He told me about your planned on doing. I think it's a wonderful idea. We got you this gift because it resembles you in many ways. Thank you! Nicole & Lucas

Nathan unwrapped the gift to find a miniature holographic projector. He hit the

button and watched the scene before him. A mother dolphin protecting her young,

Nathan watched the scene play out a couple more time before he turned it off and

headed to the moon pool.

Lucas had suggested that she play tag with him, Lucas knew it was one of

Darwin's favorite games. It was a funny sight to watch as Nicole tried to tag

Darwin. Lucas turned as he heard the footsteps coming. He saw the Captain coming

caring a towel.

"I thought you might need this."

"Thanks." Lucas laughed as Darwin splashed Nicole again. The two came over when

Bridger sat down.

"Hi Captain."

"Hey there kiddo. Looks like you and Darwin are getting along."

"Nikki fun. Bridger play too."

"Not tonight pal. You and Nikki play some more I need to talk Lucas." The two

began to play again. Bridger and Lucas headed toward the lab to be out range of

the pool.

"What's up Captain?" Bridger remained silent.

"I just got a call from Doctor Wolenczak. He requested your presence to join

him. I told him you had a prior engagement." Lucas faced paled slightly but not

much.

"I bet that just pleased him."

"Oh yeah. It basically came down to me telling him that you were going to your

parent's funeral. Then I hung up on him."

"That doesn't sound like something you would do."

"I was trying not blow my stack and tell him what I really thought of him.

They'll be plenty of time for that later."

"He's not going to let it go that easy. He always gets what he wants."

"Not this time, I promise you that. Come on it getting late and you both need

your rest." They turned to the moon pool seeing Nikki had already gotten out and

was wrapped in the towel Bridger had brought. As they got closer they both

noticed she had fallen asleep on the floor. Bridger slowly lifted her into his

arms. He knew with Lucas's injury that he would not be able to carry her.

"Look like playing with Darwin wore her out." Bridger nodded.

"Speaking of dolphins, that was very nice gift you two got me. Thank you."

"It was her idea. A thank you for the last few days. She picked it out. I just

helped her look and helped pay for it."

"That's another thing I been meaning to ask you." He whispered as they entered

Lucas's quarters. "Where did you get the money for your little trip and the

gifts? That salary we give you isn't enough to cover all that." He laid her on

the bed. He began taking off her shirt.

"I invested my money into a few things and it grew from there. The UEO gave me

some money for the vocorder. Let's put this one on her." It was one of the many

new clothes she had.

"I haven't done this since Robert was little." Lucas nodded. He was glad that

Captain had helped him get her back there. Once the nightgown was on he and

Lucas began to pull off the other wet items. After about five minutes they had

her in entirely dry attire.

"Thanks for help Captain. Have a restful night."

"I always do. You're the one that seems to have that problem." He smiled as he

shut the door behind them.

The next day the whole senior staff was in dress uniform. They were all

going to the funeral to support Lucas and Nicole. Lucas was wearing the only

nice suit he had. Nicole had on one of her new dress that was just for that

occasions. They took two subs so they wouldn't feel so crowded. Bridger sat down

next to Nicole.

"Thank you. I really loved the gift you left for me."

"It's nothing compared to what you have done for us. We just wanted to let you

know we appreciate you putting up with us. I've heard that Lucas can get into

trouble with the best of them."

"He has a special knack for it. He told me that you picked it out." She nodded

her head.

"I saw it and it instantly reminded me of you. You're just like that Mother

dolphin. From what I've seen you're always there to protect those you care

about. Thank you captain for being you." She gave him hug and he returned it.

Krieg seeing the opportunity to have his talk with her he sat down beside her

after Bridger left.

"Did you get your gift?" She asked as he sat down.

"I got it right here." He opened the uniform to reveal the pin.

"I wanted to thank you for wha7t you did the other night. You saved his life."

"I was doing my duty. Even though I try not to show it he means a lot to me as a

friend, and so do you. If you ever need to talk I'm your man."

"The soft side of Benjamin Krieg. If the other saw this it could ruin your hard

core rep. Thanks for watching over both of us." The rest of the trip was met

with light chatter.

Several other people showed up for the funeral beside the people from

Seaquest. It was a fairly short procedure and they all said a few words. After

the ceremony the people had dispersed leaving no one but the Seaquest crew.

Nicole was in tears and Lucas was fighting them off. Bridger placed a hand on

his shoulder.

"We just need a few minutes alone to say our good-byes."

"Take your time. We'll wait for you by the entrance." Bridger motioned for the

rest of the crew to move on. Westphalen and Hitchcock had been crying and were

trying to get themselves together as they waited. Lucas took Nicole's hand as

they stood near the two coffins.

"I love you two. I didn't have much time to spend with you two, but I'll cherish

the time we did."

Nicole spoke her voice mangled with tears. "I miss you two so very much and wish

that we had more time to be a family. Bridger is going to adopt us so we can

stay together. Daddy, I hope that you don't mind me calling him dad. It seems

fitting since he cares for us as much as you do. We'll come and see when ever we

get a chance. I love you." She turned to Lucas. "You don't think daddy would

mind me calling Bridger dad do you?"

"I know he wouldn't." Lucas closed his eyes to say one more prayer for his

parents. He suddenly felt a hand grip down on his shoulder tightly. He knew that

feeling. He felt the man yank him up. A look of pain fell across his face, as it

was his bad shoulder.

"I'm your father and you better not forget that!" He spoke looking directly at

Lucas. He backhanded Lucas who fell to the ground. Nicole rushed to his side.

"Leave him alone!" Nicole stood protectively in front of Lucas. Lawrence's

attention was now focused on the blonde girl in front of him.

"How dare you speak to me like that!!" Lawrence raised his hand to strike the

child. Nicole stood her ground determined to protect her brother. As the hand

was about to strike Nicole felt her body being pulled swiftly back. Lawrence's

hand missed its target. Lucas had recover just in time to pull his sister back.

"I won't let you hurt her the way you hurt me." He spoke trying to keep his

voice steady. "Why you piece of sh---." Lawrence went to strike Lucas again, but did not see

what Lucas had waiting for him. Lucas through the hand full of dirt at his

uncle's eyes.

"AHHHH!!!!!!!"

"Nikki! Run! Head for the captain and the others. I'm right behind you." Lucas

only made it a few steps before he was thrown to the ground again. Agonizing

pain rushed through his body as he landed on his shoulder hitting his head on a

rock. He immediately slipped into unconsciousness.

Bridger and crew had heard the cry that came from where Lucas and Nicole

had been. The whole crew took off toward the gravesite. They were just coming up

on they hill when they saw Nicole. Many tears were coming down Nicole's face as

she ran to get help. Through blurry vision she ran to the Seaquest team.

"Nicole, Where's Lucas?" Bridger asked trying to stay calm.

"He was right behind me. He attacked Lucas. Stop him before he hurts him. Please

stop him from hurting Lucas." Nicole's pleads ripped at each of their hearts. It

took Bridger a moment to voice his question.

"Who is hurting Lucas?"

"Dr. Wolenczak." Bridger heart jumped up into his throat. He picked up the

crying Nikki and motion for his crew to continue. They could see the gravesite

but found no sight of Lucas. Bridger motioned for Ford, Ortiz, and Crocker to go

after the figure that was lurking in the distance. The rest began their

searching for Lucas. Nicole's head was buried in Bridger's shoulder. Tears were

soaking his shirt. He sat down with her on his lap. He stroked her hair trying

to calm him down.

"It'll be okay. We'll find him."

"Captain over here." Ben Krieg called out. He had been looking for Lucas when he

had looked down into one of the graves. Ben had jumped in to check on Lucas.

Kristin was next one to make it over to the grave. With Ben's help she stood

next to him in the grave. She had brought her bag with her in case she had

needed to give Nicole or Lucas a sedative. She began looking him over. The first

thing she saw was the blood coming out of his shoulder. She began checking him

for any broken bones. The only other thing she found besides some slight

bruising to the face was the bump on his forehead.

"Ben hold him up so I can stop the bleeding to his shoulder again. Nothing a few

stitches won't cure." She sterilized the wound and the put a bandage over it.

She looked at the people who were anxiously waiting for her verdict. "He going

to be just fine. He mange to tear his stitches. I'll have to get him back to Sea

Quest. He has quite a few bruises and a good size lump on his fore head." Ford,

Crocker, and Ortiz returned just in time to help get Lucas out. Nicole had

refuse to let go of Bridger. Ben had lifted Lucas up so that Ford, Miguel, and

Tim could carefully lift him out the rest of the way. They laid Lucas on the

ground and he let out a slight moan. Bridger and Nicole moved closer to Lucas.

Nicole looked at him and realized that Bridger was right.

"See, I told you he'd be alright." She smiled a little bit before returning her

attention back to Lucas.

Darkness had overcome him and he was fighting for light. He could hear the

voice of someone calling him. He could feel the gentle shake, but still the

darkness was winning. Another voice was heard with the other. A deeper familiar

voice was calling to him. He tried to respond but the darkness prevented. He

finally heard the voice that helped him emerge into the light. Lucas's eyes

opened slightly. Everything was blurry and he immediately shut them. He could

feel pain radiate through his head and shoulder. The voice again beckoned him to

open his eyes.

"Come on Lucas, open your eyes again. Please." Lucas opened his eyes and looked

at his surroundings. He was a little confused at first of his surroundings. The

last place he remembers was being at his parent's funeral.

"You're back on the Sea Quest. How do you feel?" Kristin asked him.

"My shoulder and head hurt. How long have I been out?"

"A couple of hours. This one hasn't left your side since we got you back on the

shuttle." Lucas looked over to his left.

"Hey there. You all right? He didn't hurt you did you?"

"No. Thanks to you he never laid a hand on me." Tears were beginning to run dawn

her cheek. Lucas lifted his hand to wipe the tears off her cheek.

"Hey none of that. I'm okay." Her tears stilled flowed and she was getting

emotional. Bridger and Westphalen were becoming concern. Before they could do

anything Lucas had the situation covered. He pulled back his covers pulled Nikki

into them. She buried her head into his chest. He wrapped his arms around her.

"Could you gives a few minutes?"

"We'll be in the other room. Just buzz us if you need anything." Bridger said

understanding. Lucas began to stroke her hair.

"Talk to me." She refused to speak. "Come on you can't this bottle up in you.

Tell your big brother."

Taking several breaths she spoke with a squeaky voice. "Why? Why did he do that?

"Why did he try to hurt you?"

"I don't know why he did what he did, but he is a very sick man. He thinks that

he has to control everything including me. The only thing that registers in his

mind is causing pain."

"I was so scared when I saw him hit you. The first image that came to me was of

mama and daddy. I thought he was going to kill you."

"He may have. I don't know, but that was a very brave thing you did standing up

to him. Don't you ever do that again. He could have seriously hurt you if I

hadn't pulled you back in time. I don't want see you get hurt."

"What if he try's again?" She was shaking a little. Lucas held her tightly and

looked her in the eyes.

"You trust me right?" She nodded yes. "I promise you that I won't let him hurt

you. I'm not going to let anyone hurt you. You feel better?"

"Uh-huh. You promise that we'll stay together?"

"Cross my heart." She could feel Lucas's breathing began to slow and realized

that he was drifting back to sleep. She curled up closer and soon found his

rhythmic breathing putting her to sleep.

Dr. Lawrence Wolenczak sat in his office looking up some information. He

stilled fumed that his son had been so insolent. He wanted to know who was the

little girl was who tried to protect his son. He began making some calls and

soon found out what he was looking for. The new news lightened his mood. Picking

the phone up once again he called his lawyer.

"Matt this is Lawrence. I need you to take immediate action on getting me

custody of my niece Nicole Wolenczak. My brother and his wife have just recently

died. I want you to get me custody."

"Sure Lawrence. I call you in the morning." Lawrence hung up and made his next

call to Ueo headquarters.

Bridger and Kristin entered the room about twenty minutes later. They

found both souls fast asleep. Bridger chuckled at the sight before him. Lucas

looked like Nicole's teddy bear. Her arms were around his body and her head

rested on his chest. Kristin motioned for Nathan to follow into the hall.

"She's had such a great effect on him."

"I know what you mean. They need each other. Maybe he'll think twice about

getting into trouble with her around. It's been a busy day I think I'm going to

turn in early."

"That's sounds like a good idea. We could all use the extra sleep." Bridger said

his good nights and headed to his quarters. He had changed into his sleepwear

and was about to turn off the light when heard that all to familiar beep.

"Yes?"

"Sorry to disturb you sir. Admiral Noyce is online one for you."

"Thank you Mr. O'Neill." Bridger sat at his desk and waited for the call to be

put through. A few seconds later Admiral Noyce was looked grimly at his old

friend. "I know that look. Out with it Bill."

"We've got big trouble Nathan. Dr. Wolenczak has gone to the head of the UEO

demanding that Lucas be sent home immediately. He threatens to pull his support

out of the UEO. I've been ordered to order you home. Lucas is to be packed to go

by the time you arrive. I'm sorry Nathan."

"Bill, There must be something we can do. The good doctor attacked him today at

the funeral. He scared his poor sister to death. She hasn't left his side since

we returned."

"I'm sorry Nathan."

"If the Ueo won't do anything about this than I'll have to take matters in to my

own hands. I won't let that kid suffer at the hands of that monster again." In

fit of anger Bridger disconnected the link and put his uniform on again. He left

his quarters and headed back to Medbay.

Lucas had been lightly sleeping when he heard the door to Medbay open.

Lucas feigned sleep. He listened as the footsteps came closer to the bed. He

knew it was Bridger but could tell that the man seemed troubled. Lucas heard

another set of footsteps enter from across the room. He could barely hear the

conversation that was taking place.

"Nathan, what's wrong? I thought you were going to bed."

"I was but I got an interesting call from Admiral Noyce." Kristin noticed the

anger in his voice. "We have been ordered to return to New Cape Quest."

"Why?"

"It seems the UEO hasn't got a backbone anymore. They're more afraid of losing

one of their top investors than the safety of a youth. Dr. Wolenczak has

demanding that Lucas be sent home immediately. I'm not going to let that son of

a bi--"

"Nathan!!!"

"Sorry. I won't let Lucas go back there. Lucas hadn't told me everything that

has happened in the good doctor's care but it fairly evident that the doctor

doesn't deserve to someone like Lucas."

"What are you going to do Nathan?"

"First of all I know I'm not letting him go back to that man. I'll figure out something."

"Come on We can discuss it over a cup of coffee. It's going to be a long night."

Lucas heard the door close as the two left Medbay. He laid there to assure

himself that they were gone. He gently shook Nicole to wake her. He couldn't

take the chance of leaving her behind. Besides he made her a promise and he

intended to keep it.

"Come wake up sleepy head. I need your help."

"Huh?" She asked groggily. "What's going on?"

"I have to leave Seaquest for a little while. Our Uncle is trying to force the

UEO to take me off of Seaquest; I got a plan that will get him out of our lives

for good. Come on! We have to hurry."

The Seaquest had not yet begun its journey home yet. Most of the senior

staff was on the bridge that morning; Bridger was in the wardroom talking to

attorney about the present situation. Kristin was on her way to Medbay to check

to see if Nikki and Lucas had awoken. She was flabbergasted when she found the

bed empty. She left Medbay and headed to Mammal Engineering. She found Lucas's

Quarter's empty. She immediately went to the wardroom. Captain Bridger was

startled by the doctor's abrupt appearance.

"What's wrong?" He asked.

"I went to check on Lucas in Medbay and he and Nicole were gone. I checked his

quarters and the moonpool."

"I'll have the Chief put a search out for them." Before he could call Crocker,

Commander Ford's voice interrupted.

"Captain, we have a shuttle leaving the ship."

"Who is on it?" Bridger asked as he and Westphalen headed toward the bridge.

"I've got two life signs sir. It's Lucas and Nicole." Ortiz responded.

"Hail the shuttle!"

"No response sir."

"Keep trying. I want all sensors tracking that shuttle."

While the Seaquest took off after the shuttle a dolphin and two figures

swam in the opposite direction. The two figures held tightly as the dolphin swam

quickly. Soon they came upon their destination where a shuttle was waiting.

"Hey guys, I'm glad you made it." Lucas replied. Lucas lifted Nicole up to the

two waiting people.

"How now Frankie."

"Give me hand. Watch the shoulder." The two lifted him up on to the shuttle.

"Thanks Nick." He turned to Darwin. "Go back to Seaquest." He motioned with his

hands and Darwin left. They all went into the shuttle.

"I'm cold and tired." Nicole responded.

"Here wrap yourself in this." Juilianna handed them both a blanket.

Lucas wrapped his sister in the blanket and old her to lie down on the bench. He

put the second blanket on top of her. He watched her for a few seconds as she

began to fall asleep. He felt Juilianna take his hand and pulled him up front.

"She's really cute Lucas. I bet that's how you looked when you were little."

Lucas just smiled.

"Time to stop the shuttle and let the Seaquest catch up." Hr typed some commands

on a nearby computer panel. "Thanks for the help guys. We're going to end this

once and for all."

"What's the plan?" Nick asked.

The shuttle finally stopped. Bridger had O'Neill hail the shuttle again.

Still they got no response. All sensors reported two people aboard. Bridger,

Kristin, Crocker, and Krieg board the shuttle. As soon as the other shuttle

docked Bridger and crew went inside. What they expected to see and what they

found were two totally different things. The shuttle was empty.

"Mr. Ortiz, how many people do you scan on this shuttle?"

"Six. Sir." A light flashed on the panel in front of them. Bridger hit the

button and Lucas' image appeared.

"If you're watching this than that mean the Seaquest has caught up to the

shuttle. As you can see Nikki and I are not a board. We are safe. Captain, in my

quarters there are two disk. One is to fix the problem I created for the sensors

to scan two the two of in the shuttle. The other disk is for you explaining our

actions. Hope to see you all soon." The message ended.

"Crocker, you bring this shuttle back and we'll take the other back."

"Yes sir."

Several minutes later Bridger was in Lucas's quarters. Laying on the

desktop was two disks. One was labeled Bridger. Bridger took the two disks and

headed for the bridge. He handed the one to Miguel who put into the system.

"Sensors are back to normal Captain."

"Good I want everyone to look for some kind of shuttle or someplace those two

would have gone. I'll be in my ward room."

After the planning session the rest of the ride was done on autopilot. Nick and

Lucas played a game. As usual Lucas had the higher point score. Juilianna sat

next to Lucas cheering him on. Lucas enjoyed being in the company of his

friends. He felt relaxed around them. He didn't have to try to be someone else.

They were docking at Node 3. Lucas gently shook Nicole to wake her up. She

rubbed her eyes sleepily.

"Where are we?" She looked around temporary forgetting where she was.

"We at the place I told you about. I want to introduce you to my friends come

on." She kept the blankets around her but took his hand. They walked of the

shuttle to the halls of Node 3. Three people were waiting for them. "Nikki,

these are my friends Nick, Juilianna, and Mycroft." She shook each one of their

hands.

"Let's get you guys into some clean clothes. Then we can get started on your

problem." Mycroft spoke as they headed for the living quarters. As they passed

people in the hall the ones who had known Lucas from his previous visit welcomed

him back. Nicole was introduced and liked how instantly the people took to her.

Bridger sat in the wardroom and watched the Vid disk. The image of Lucas

and Nicole appeared. Nicole was sitting in Lucas's lap. Bridger had a feeling

that Lucas put her there for a reason and it was working. Seeing the little

girl's innocent face stare back at him Bridger found himself feeling content.

"I heard you talking to the doctor. I really appreciate what you were going to

do for me. I realized that you were taking a great chance. I couldn't let you do

that. I have a plan that will take care of my uncle. I figure it's only a matter

of time before he tried to get Nicole. I'll contact you soon."

"Bye Captain." He heard Nikki speak.

"See you soon Captain." The screen went black. Bridger almost dreaded what he

had to do next. He knew he would have to alert the UEO that Lucas was missing.

The only pleasure was getting from this was Doctor Wolenczak would have him.

Three days later everything was ready to go. It had been arranged that

Luca, Nick Mycroft, and a female by the name of Jeri, would go to shore.

Juilianna offered to stay behind and watch over Nikki. Lucas was dress in jeans

a shirt, and a vest. He was hoping that it would offer some protection from what

was to come. Once dressed he sent his message to the Seaquest. He knew that

Seaquest was still in the area and hope that they would arrive on time. He

headed for the docking bay. Nikki was walking with him holding his hand. When

they arrived Lucas bent down to talk to her.

"I'll be back for you soon. I want you to be on your best behavior. I'll be gone

for a few hours, but when I come back we'll go home."

"To Seaquest?"

"Yes to Sea Quest." He hugged her tightly. He whispered in her ear. "I love you."

"I love you too." She whispered. "Be careful!"

The doorbell chimed to alert him that he had company. It was about two in

the afternoon. A smile slipped across his face. Lucas had a scared kook on his face.

"Are you Doctor Lawrence Wolenczak?" The tall black man asked.

"I am."

"And this is your son?"

"Yes he is where did you find him?"

"We'll let him tell you that. Sign here please." The woman on the other side of

Lucas spoke. "And here." Lawrence signed the two documents without reading them.

"Thank you he's all yours."

"Get in the house!" Dr. Wolenczak pushed Lucas in to the house. He stumbled but

quickly recovered. "Just where did you think you were going?" Lucas remained

quiet. He knew that would get his so called father started. "ANSWER ME!!"

"No where." Lucas said almost too quiet to here.

"Damn right your not going any where, and where did you put that sister of yours."

"Somewhere where you won't find her." At that remark his uncle hit him. Lucas

fell to the floor.

"Don't use that tone with me!" Lucas looked up at him from the floor. "As your

father you will show me the respect I am deserve."

"You never were or will be my father." The beating had begun. Lucas had struck a

nerve with that response. Dr. Wolenczak began to kick Lucas in the chest and

stomach. After several hits Lucas responded by getting out of the way. He was

able to get to his feet. He took a second to look at his watch and knew he only

had to make it a few more minutes. That glance cost him as he felt the hand

against his face.

"How can you do this? How can you be so cold to the people who loved you? It no

wonder you couldn't stay married." Lucas regretted his statement almost

immediately. His uncle had grabbed his arm squeezing it painfully. Lucas

struggled trying to break free. There was a pounding on the door. Lucas knew

that helped had arrived. His uncle didn't let up. The pressure he applied

threatened to break Lucas's wrist. Lucas feeling the need to be free lands a

kick where it would hurt the most. The doctor cried out in pain and doubled over

momentarily releasing his grip. Lucas rushed to unlock the door but was cut down

by Lawrence, who threw Lucas across the room. He was out cold.

The Sea Quest crew had just arrived, as did the cops. They saw two people

banging on the door trying to get in. The group rushed to join the two by the door.

"You've got to stop him before he kills him." The tall black man spoke. Bridger

was too concern about the statement to realize that he knew the man. The officer

rose his gun and fired at the door. The cops pushed the door open and rushed in.

"POLICE! PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD." The cop shouted as Doctor Wolenczak

started to advance toward Lucas. The doctor looked toward the door and realized

that he was in trouble. He complied with the officer's wishes. The cops had

Wolenczak handcuffed when Bridger, Westphalen, Krieg, and Crocker rushed to

where the teenager lay. Nick had entered from his hiding place from the side of

the house and joined the Sea Quest crew. Bridger and Westphalen bent down to

turn the teenager on his back. When Lucas felt the gentle touch of his friends he knew he was safe.

"I'm glad you could make Captain." Lucas said opening his eyes, giving his best

smile, and tried to sit up.

"Not so fast young man." Kristin replied.

"I'm fine really. This vest and the pad I'm wearing underneath took most of the

blows. I barely felt a thing." He looked over at Nick. "Did you get it?"

"Every bit of it. You alright?" Nick stood holding up the tape.

"I'm fine. The worst of it was to my face and wrist. They're just bruised."

"You've got a lot of explaining to do." Bridger had finally spoke. Lucas looked

away sheepishly. The police lieutenant interrupted.

"I'll need a statement from you young man" Lucas nodded and stood to follow the

officer. Nick followed close behind. The Sea Quest crew right behind them.

It had been hours since Lucas had left. Nikki was becoming worried.

Juilianna had tried to play games with her but Nicole was to worried about

Lucas. They were sitting in the computer.

"Is this what you been doing since I left playing games."

"You're alright." She ran over to him and he swooped down to pick her up. She

gave him a monster of a hug.

"Of course, I'm alright. I told you I'd be back."

"You know big brother you need to learn how to duck." That statement sent

everyone laughing. It was then that she realized the group behind them. Her face

lit up more when she saw who was there. "Captain!" Lucas set her down and she

went over to him. He picked her up. She gave him a big hug.

"Hey Kiddo."

"I missed you."

"Well I missed you to."

"Can we go home now?" Bridger nodded and looked at Lucas.

"You two go ahead. I'll meet you there in a few minutes." Bridger nodded his

head. Lucas went over to everyone and said his good-byes. Lucas thanked Mycroft

for the role he played. Nick and Juilianna once again walked Lucas to the launch.

"Thanks for the help. I couldn't have pulled it off with out you."

"No problem. I just wish you would stay."

"No can do, but I'll see you on the INTERNEX." Nick gave Lucas a hug and left.

Lucas turned to look at Juilianna. He took her hands in his. They looked into

each other eyes and he kissed her. He headed to the docking bay doors. "I'll

call you." She nodded her head and the docking bay door closed.

A month had passed and the whole ship waited in anticipation. They all

wanted the final papers to be signed. The papers that declare Bridger the legal

guardian of Lucas and Nicole Wolenczak. Krieg had been planning the mother of

all parties secretly. He and several others had been gathering supplies and

hiding them. Finally the day had come. Bridger had received a call from Admiral

Noyce early that morning.

"Sorry to have awaken you Nathan but this call couldn't wait."

"What's so important that you couldn't wait till a decent hour." Bridger said as

he checked the time on the clock.

"Nathan trust me. It's important. You're about to become the father of two

geniuses."

Bridger stared at his friend with a confused look. Then it hit him and his face

was had a huge grin on it.

"You mean it's finally time?"

"All you three have to do is come down and sign the papers."

"That's great news Bill. We'll be down soon." Bridger quickly dressed and headed

to wake Lucas and Nikki. Bridger, Lucas, and Nicole stood in the office of the lawyer, two hours later.

The Lawyer entered carrying the papers.

"We have a few things we need to discuss before we proceed with the signing. I

need to know what name you want to go by."

"We've all discussed this and decided to stay with the Wolenczak name. Though I

have many bad memories I many great ones." Lucas looked at Nicole who nodded to

agree at what her brother said. Bridger gave Lucas's hand a strong squeeze.

Bridger understood that they kept the Wolenczak name in memory of their parents.

"Alright you two sign here." He handed a pen to Lucas and Nicole. Once they

signed he turn to Bridger. "And your signature here." Looking over the papers he

smiled. "Congratulations! You're officially a family." A great relief fell over

the three as they hugged one another. They left and headed back to the launch.

Bridger looked over at his family.

"I wanted to surprise you with this but now is a good a time as ever. We're

going to spend a week on our island."

"When?" Both Lucas and Nikki asked simultaneously. Bridger let himself chuckle

at their enthusiasm.

"We'll be leaving tomorrow." Nicole talked excitedly to both Lucas and Nathan.

Asking them questions about the island.

The crew waited anxiously by the moon pool. The place had been decorated

in pink and blue. With banners that said "It's a Boy" and "It's a Girl". The

launch arrived and the captain and his family were greeted with emptiness. He

had expected everyone to be there to greet them. They stepped out into the hall.

There was Darwin swimming in the aquatube.

"Hey Buddy. It's good to see you too." Darwin swam rapidly back and forth. "I

think he wants us to follow him." Lucas and Nikki followed their father and

Darwin. They were led to the moonpool where they got a big surprise.

"SURPRISE!!! Congratulations."

Epilogue

Bridger stood on the deck of his home. He watched Lucas and Nikki, his

children, in the water playing with Darwin. Bridger walked down to the beach and

to the dock. He loved hearing the sound of laughter especially from Lucas. He

had been in such deep thought when he stopped on the deck he hadn't heard Lucas

calling to him. A giant splash of water from all three brought him out of it.

"Hey! You three are going to pay for that." He laughed and jumped into the water

splashing Lucas and Nikki when he went under. The four of them played until it

started getting late.

"It's getting late. Come you two we still have to get dinner started."

"See you in the morning Darwin." Nikki said as she waved goodbye.

"See you Darwin." Lucas smiled and walked with his father. Dinner was simply a

frozen pizza. After dinner everyone looked tired and Bridger insisted that they

head up to bed. Nicole didn't argue but as usual Lucas protested.

"I'm not tired yet."

"Humor me will you, Your suppose to set a good example for her."

"When have I ever set a good example? Look who I hang out with, Ben Krieg, need

I say more." They all laughed at the joke and Lucas and Nicole headed foe bed.

Bridger locked up and soon followed behind them. He went and checked on Nikki

first. She was in bed with the lights still on. She waited for Bridger to tuck

her in and tell her goodnight. It had become a ritual for them on Seaquest since

the days after the trial of Lawrence Wolenczak.

"You go right to sleep we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow." She nodded her

head. "Goodnight and sleep tight."

"Goodnight Dad." She kissed him on the cheek and turned off the light. He liked

hearing Nikki call him dad. Lucas wasn't as willing. He still called his father

"Captain" He went over to Lucas's room. The teenager was already asleep. Bridger

smiled and shook his head. He went over and pulled the covers over Lucas. He

moved the stray piece of hair that had fallen out of place. Softly he spoke.

"Goodnight Kiddo." Bridger had turned the light out and was about to close the door.

"Goodnight Dad." A sense of love flowed through Nathan upon hearing those words

from Lucas. Tears of joy ran down his face.

"Sleep tight son."

The End

DISCLAIMER: Don't own Seaquest Not making any money. Nicole Wolenczak and her parent are mine. Please Ask if you want to use them.