What Lies Within Us

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: It's kinda ELF-y, I guess. Mostly psychological, although Lucas will bleed a *TAD* Mentions character death multiple times. If you want happy, go elsewhere.

Season: Three and two. I LIKE Season two's characters (other than Lonnie.) Besides, Lucas was too immature to use in the first season. I like season two Lucas the best.

Summary: What would the old Lucas say to the Lucas we saw in Season three (or beyond?)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Lieutenant Lucas Wolenczak finished dressing and glanced around his quarters. He made his glance thorough, just in case it was his last. With the way the Macronesian-Chaodi War was progressing, his thoughts of mortality were ever increasing. And frighteningly realistic.

After all, his side was loosing. Loosing made Lucas do two things: reflect and prepare. Reflect on the good times, and prepare to be the next in SeaQuest's long line of casualties.

As his gaze traveled the room, it fell upon the barren walls. Walls which had once been covered with Tony's scantily clad women now reflected the emptiness that Lucas had felt heavily since his former roommate's death.

Moving his eyes to the twin beds, Lucas again was reminded of Tony, only this time in the form of late night talks and confidences. Before the war, Lucas and Tony had shared so much-there were secrets he had promised to take to his grave.

He'd been true to his word.

Finally, Lucas' gaze traveled to his computer terminal. It was a much more advanced system than he had ever had the privilege of having in his quarters before. But then, what else could be expected when the UEO was paying him to come up with ways to sabotage Macronesia's computer systems?

Lucas didn't have the time or the luxury to ponder the ethics involved in such an operation. If he had, he may have seen parallels in what the UEO wanted to what Mycroft had proposed. But he was a soldier now, not a teenage computer hacker.

As he turned to walk out the door, Lucas reflected on a time when he had been just a teenage hacker. He wondered idly what his younger, more carefree self would have thought if he had seen the current incarnation of Lucas. What would sixteen year old Lucas, chief computer analyst on the science ship SeaQuest have said about the hardened military Lieutenant Wolenczak, current sub-fighter on SeaQuest the warship?

The impatient beeping of his PAL jerked the lieutenant from his reverie. Already knowing who was on the other end, he answered, "I'm on my way to the shuttle bay now, Captain."

There was a pause, and Hudson seemed as though he was trying to decide whether or not to reprimand his lieutenant. Deciding against it, the Captain replied simply, "Don't dawdle."

Dawdle? Since when did Hudson use words like dawdle? Clearly, the war had taken its toll on the Captain.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

After Tony's death, Lucas had taken over his sub-fighter position as a type of homage to his friend. It had become a type of tradition on SeaQuest: another sub-fighter bites the dust? No problem, his buddy will replace him. Tony had replaced Jim Brody, after all, thereby beginning the tradition. Lucas simply continued it. True, Kimura was technically the main sub-fighter, but she stayed on the boat now more often than not. After all, she was second in command now.

That left Lieutenant Wolenczak.

Wolenczak expertly maneuvered his small craft in and around the three Chaodi crafts intent on catching up to him. "Now, now, I do believe you are invading my personal space," he taunted as he rose jerked just close enough to the lead vessel for long enough to allow the second vessel to target, aim. . .then he pulled up and out of the way.

He had cheated death once more.

The third Chaodi craft was still on his tail and the lieutenant was beginning to feel the pressure. He was able to keep dodging the weapon fire, but the little craft stayed glued to his tail like a shadow.

And then it was gone.

The lieutenant didn't believe it at first. He checked his sensors for some indication that something had happened to the other Chaodi vessel. Finding none, Wolenczak opened a channel to SeaQuest.

He knew something was wrong the minute Tim answered. Tim's voice was not audibly shaken but there was enough of a change from Tim's regular voice to frighten the pilot. If Tim's tone didn't frighten Wolenczak, Hudson's words chilled him to his very core. "SeaQuest is surrounded, Wolenczak. Get out of here-while you can."

Hudson's sentence was barely finished before the lieutenant felt the force of the impact caused by SeaQuest's destruction. There was no surprise in the lieutenant in reaction to the revelation. There was only an acceptance. The few acquaintances he had left in the world were dead.

He bade a silent goodbye to Tim, Dagwood, and Darwin before plotting a course back to SeaQuest's last known point of origin.

After all, if the Captain was dead, Lieutenant Wolenczak technically didn't have to follow orders any more, did he?

As the lieutenant maneuvered closer to the scene of the battle, his sensors definitely picked up remnants of the destroyed SeaQuest. He also noticed a very large Macronesian ship-presumably the same one that destroyed his vessel. Lucas was still planning on how to get close enough to the ship without being detected when he felt himself begin to lose control of the sub-fighter. He thought at first it was the Macronesian ship, but he soon discovered that it was in fact his sub-fighter was being pulled away from the other vessel. Closer inspection revealed to Wolenczak that he was being pulled towards what looked very much like a whirlpool underwater.

Wolenczak tried every dirty trick he could think of, but in the end, he could do nothing as the little sub-fighter was drawn closer and closer into the whirlpool.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Wolenczak awoke to the unpleasant smell of blood and discovered his head had taken a rather hard blow. That was immediately unfortunate, as the result was a tremendous headache. A headache that was only exacerbated by the annoyingly high-pitched sound of O'Neil's voice.

*O'Neil? Tim? But. . . he's DEAD,* Wolenczak protested to himself. They all were.

"Repeat: unidentified vessel: This is SeaQuest. Please respond."

*It SOUNDS like SeaQuest,* Wolenczak argued inwardly.

Hesitantly, Wolenczak leaned forward to respond. "This is Wolenczak. What's going on, O'Neil? One minute you're here, the next minute you and Hudson are telling me to make a run for it. Then you were destroyed. Now you're back. What's going on?"

There was a pause on the other end and when O'Neil spoke again, there was his characteristic kindness. "Wolenczak? Are you by chance related to Lucas?"

"Funny, Tim, real funny. Now, are you going to let me back on the ship or not? The sub-fighter's about had it and I've got a pretty nasty cut on my head."

The pause was a bit longer this time, but Tim's voice was still kind when he spoke again, with an additional dose of confusion. "We'll be happy to lend you medical attention once you identify yourself."

"Fine, Tim. This is Lieutenant Lucas Wolenczak, Chief Computer Analyst and Sub-fighter Pilot on the UEO vessel SeaQuest DSV. Currently I am also your superior officer and, following Lonnie's demotion, I am third in charge of SeaQuest. So, I highly suggest you cut the shit and let me on the fucking boat before I damn well bleed to death."

The pause was long enough this time to make Wolenczak wonder where the hell Kimura and Hudson were. There was no way Tim would be getting away with this if they were here. *They must have been killed in the attack. . .but why isn't SeaQuest damaged?*

"You are cleared to board, Lieutenant. Captain Bridger will meet you in the shuttle bay."

"Captain Bridger? Why the hell is he on the boat?" Wolenczak demanded.

"Well, he is the Captain. Funny, I would have thought the third highest ranking officer on the boat would have known that," came Tim's reply.

Wolenczak didn't like it. But in the end, the dizzy feeling in his head persuaded him to ignore his reservations.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

To Be Continued. . .