This is my first ever fanfic, so please R&R. I don't own seaQuest or any of the characters and I'm not using them to make any money. If I did own seaQuest, that episode with the 200-foot crocodile would never have happened. Enjoy!


Pro Patria Mori

Chapter 1

"The twenty-first century. History will remember it as the century of war. If there's anyone left to remember. At first the wars were sporadic – Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria – developed nations were able to sleep easy in their beds, thinking that far away conflicts would not involve them. But it wasn't long before every nation in the world was drawn into the fight, and every man, woman and child was affected. Nations merged and split; new alliances formed; the weak were subdued; heads of state fiddled while the old world burned.

It's been nineteen years since the beginning. For nineteen years I have served my country – whatever its name happened to be that day – as the war shifted and mutated. A generation has grown up knowing nothing but war. I have lost dear friends and good soldiers, and worst of all, my wife, Carol. But today is a proud day for me. Today is the day the tide of war will turn. A new ship is entering the ocean, a ship whose capabilities are way beyond anything that's been seen before. She's the most advanced piece of technology below the surface, or above it; and I should know: I designed her. She's been four years in the making, but now she's ready for her maiden voyage; and the UEO has given her to me. There'll be no fanfare – maybe in peace time a technological achievement like this would have been paraded before the world, but the UEO is very keen that no-one should know she's there. Nevertheless, rumours have been circulating for years – among the officers, she's a myth, something to give them hope. But now she's a reality, and in her lies all our hope for the future. With seaQuest on our side, I know we can win this war."

Captain Nathan Hale Bridger stepped onto the bridge of his boat, and grinned. It was just as he'd imagined. Everything looked shiny and new; some of the furniture even still had plastic on it. Lights glowed and flashed on every screen. The bridge crew stood sharply to attention. Bridger stood in the middle of his bridge and glowed with pride.

Some members of the crew he'd selected himself, some had been assigned by the UEO. He looked them over carefully now. First, the XO, Jonathan Ford. He was young for a commander but, Nathan mused with regret, there were few left of the more experienced generation now. Many had lost their lives in years of war. Most of this crew were hardly old enough to remember the days before the fighting began. He hoped this man made up for in skill what he lacked in experience.

Next was Lieutenant Commander Hitchcock. Bridger nodded at her. She was one he'd chosen, they had worked together on his last command. She was resolute, gifted in both programming and mechanical engineering, and every inch the soldier. That was one officer Bridger didn't need to worry about.

He surveyed the rest of the team. The communications officer, a young, bespectacled man, seemed frightened. Bridger tried to remember his file. He couldn't remember the name, but he recalled something about the young man having an extraordinary linguistic talent. He knew the UEO would not have assigned him if they had any doubts about his performance. Beside him, smartly to attention, stood the sensor chief, Ortiz, Bridger thought. He was grinning at someone across the room, but the grin disappeared when he felt the captain's eyes on him. Bridger smiled inwardly. It was good to see camaraderie developing so quickly amongst the crew, even better that they understood that there was a time and place for levity.

Manilow Crocker, security chief, was an old friend. They had fought together on numerous occasions. Crocker was old, aged prematurely by years of war and sorrow, but Nathan needed someone with experience on his crew, and he trusted the chief implicitly.

Finally, Bridger turned to the youngest member of the bridge crew. The young man stood sharply at attention, gaze directed firmly forwards. Bridger felt his heart swell with a mixture of pride and nostalgia. The boy looked so much like his mother, who was so sorely missed. He wondered for a moment if he had made a mistake assigning his own son, Robert, to the crew. The boy was only twenty-five, barely out of the academy, and although he was already a lieutenant, he had seen little combat. Bridger privately suspected that there had been more than a little sucking up in his early promotion, although, of course, he would never suggest so to his boy. He knew that his son was a capable soldier, but more than that, he wanted to keep an eye on him. And maybe he wanted something to remind him what he was fighting for.

Bridger let out a satisfied sigh. "At ease," he said. As one, the crew stood down from their salute. "To your stations," Bridger commanded, and the crew obeyed. The captain sat down in his chair, removing a piece of sticky tape from the arm. "Helm, lay in a course: one-four-seven mark niner."

"Aye, sir. Course one-four-seven mark niner. Course laid in sir."

Bridger looked over at his XO. Ford looked tense. Bridger grinned at him. "Move out," he said. "And make as little noise as possible."

The world was going to be very surprised when seaQuest came to call.