Hi everyone, if the start sounds familiar I did post up a little bit of this about two years ago but I've only just got around to continuing it and I've made some changes to this first chapter as well as extending it a little bit. Thanks to everyone who read and review when I originally posted it up. I don't use a beta editor since I like to get the chapters up as quickly as possible.
This is an Elf story about Lucas's past relationship with his father – not quite sure where it's going at the moment but somewhere in that direction. At this point no-one on seaQuest knows anything about Lucas's relationship with his father.
As always I own nothing that I write about and intend not copy write infringement.
Lucas sat and stared at the computer screen, and more specifically at the 'You have mail box.' There were lots of messages. Lots of junk mail, a couple of requests for help with various computer programmes. And there was the other one.
The message that held Lucas's attention so rigidly was from Juliana. Nothing strange there, they had been going out for almost three months now and it was a rare day when they didn't talk to each other on the inter-nex. Only the title of the e-mail was worrying – it contained the two words no man at sea wants to read – it said: 'Dear John.'
Lucas took a deep breath and clicked on the message. He scanned through it quickly almost believing that if his eyes did not rest for too long on any one word, it would make the message less real.
Phrases jumped out at him – 'I'm sorry...' 'It's not you, it's me...' 'Wolf-man...' 'Hope you won't be too mad at us...'
There was a knock on the door and without waiting for an answer Ben burst in. Lucas instinctively closed the window before spinning around to face his friend. Ben caught a glimpse of the action, but did his best to make sure Lucas didn't suspect it.
'The Captain sent me to find you.' Ben said, in his usual cheerful voice. 'You were supposed to be in a meeting in the ward room five minutes ago.'
'Damn!' Lucas cured looking at his watch. After searching for half a minute he found the paper work for the new programme the Captain wanted to talk to him about and hurried out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Ben caught the door just before it snapped shut and smiled. Something was bothering Lucas, and he was just the man to discover what. Looking both ways down the corridor, checking there was no one there to question his actions, Ben slipped into Mammal engineering.
He nudged the mouse and to his huge relief Ben found that Lucas had been so distracted he had forget to close down his inter-nex account. Perfect, this was just the opportunity Ben had been waiting for. He was bound to find something that would help him think of a practical joke in time for Lucas's sixteenth birthday.
But first, Ben couldn't resist a bit of snooping. He opened up the unread e-mail messages. Junk mail, junk mail, something a computer programme Ben had never even heard of, more junk mail. Didn't Lucas ever get any interesting messages?
He hit on the old e-mail button and as soon as he saw the senders name Ben knew he had hit the jackpot. Ben clicked on the message without checking the subject and opened it up – then he winced. Ouch – not even a computer nut like Lucas could think dumping someone by e-mail was a good idea. He read further down - 'Wolf-man' double ouch – dumped for your best friend? No wonder Lucas was distracted.
Ben absent-mindedly shut down the computer and stared at the aqua tube that ran along side the room. There was no doubt about it, Ben decided as he watched the rippling light, he was moral officer, Lucas couldn't be anything but depressed after getting news like that, it was up to him to cheer the kid up...
The next morning Ben knocked on the door to the Captains quarters and this time remembered that it was good manners to wait until you were invited in before entering. After a few moments the Captain called him in. Bridger, obviously fresh from the shower was still drying his hair with one towel and his only covering was a similar towel wrapped around his waist.
When he saw his visitor Bridger raised his eyebrows, 'been sent to the head master's office again, Lieutenant? What did you do this time?'
'As it happens, I here of my own free will.' Ben said, as if he always made appearance in the Captains quarters without Ford catching him in one of his scams.
Bridger looked sceptical.
Ben smiled, 'I was wondering if I could have...'
'No,' Bridger cut in, before Ben could say anymore. 'What ever it is, no.'
'Before you say anymore Captain, I have to tell you that what I'm asking for is not for my benefit, it's for Lucas,' the moral officer protested.
This caught Bridger's attention. 'If Lucas needs something, he can ask me himself, he doesn't need to go through the supply officer,' he pointed out.
'The thing is,' Ben said, choosing his words carefully, 'Lucas doesn't know he needs it yet.'
Bridger sat down with a sigh – convinced now that it was going to be one those conversations. 'Let's start with the basics, what is it that Lucas doesn't know he need yet?'
'Shore leave,' Ben said.
'Let me guess, shore leave that you will volunteer to accompany him on?' Bridger said, sarcastically.
Ben was about to protest. 'Never mind,' the Captain said, dismissing the subject with a wave of his hand, 'Lucas has already been granted shore leave – he's going to stay with Juliana and Wolf-man for a few days.' Bridger watched as Ben visibly flinched at this piece of news.
'I don't think Lucas will want to go there,' Ben said.
'Moral officers intuition?' Bridger asked.
Ben hesitated for a second. 'If I tell you something, it can't leave this room,' He said.
Bridger nodded, and set the towel he had been drying his hair with own on his desk. Ben told him about the e-mail and after hearing the story Nathan Bridger couldn't but agree Lucas would not want to see Juliana or Wolf-man very soon.
'This needs to be handled with tact,' he told Ben Krieg with a warning note.
'I was thinking that maybe me and some of the other guys should take him out for a few days – somewhere he couldn't fail to enjoy himself,' Ben suggested, 'We could say it's for his birthday, we won't mention Juliana or anything like that.'
Nathan held out his hand, 'The broacher?' he requested.
Ben smiled and handed the Captain a disk. He pushed the disk into the drive on the computer. Bridger watched the advert on the video. One thing he was sure about, no teenage boy could go to a place like that and not enjoy himself.
'You don't think Lucas is a bit young for a place like that?' Bridger asked.
'It's probably not as good as it looks.' Ben reassured the Captain. 'It's just somewhere for sailors to let they're hair down while they are on leave – we'll have a drink, chat up girls, eat illegal food – it will be fun.'
'Lucas is too young to drink.' Bridger pointed out.
Ben's grin widened. 'Not there – well, it's no more illegal than anything else they do there anyway. But, of course we will all make sure that he doesn't drink too much.'
The Captain didn't look very sure. 'Who were you thinking about taking with you on this little expedition?'
'Tim, Miguel, Shan,' Ben saw the Captains doubtful expression, 'and Ford of course,' he added with a sigh.
Bridger nodded. 'You are all granted leave for the weekend. But, and pay attention to this part Krieg, if anything happens to Lucas, anything at all, you will all be held personally responsible.'
Ben thought about this. 'How responsible exactly?' he asked.
Bridger smiled. 'I wouldn't suggest any of you come back to the boat.'
'Nathan Bridger, are you out of your mind?'
Bridger spun around to face the door of his quarters wrapping the towel more securely around his hips. It is not easy for a man to look dignified when he is caught by an attractive woman while wearing nothing but a towel.
'Sorry, Kristen, I didn't hear you knock,' he walked over to the door and held it open for her, 'perhaps we could talk about this when I'm dressed?'
She didn't look in the least bit embarrassed. 'This is important Nathan – far more important than your modesty! For heaven's sake man I'm a Doctor I'm sure you haven't got anything I haven't seen before.' Kristen walked over to the chair by his desk and sat down.
The Captain sighed and shut the door. Grabbing his uniform from the wardrobe he walked into his bathroom and, unless Kristen was very mush mistaken, locked the door behind him.
He emerged a few minutes later fully dressed and looking somewhat more capable of dealing with whatever had put his chief scientist into such a temper.
'What can I do for you Kristen?' he asked, taking the seat opposite her.
'You can explain to me just why you are allowing that idiot to take an impressionable boy to "Paradise Dome".'
'He is sixteen, we can't think of him as a boy for ever,' Nathan began.
'Nathan,' Kristen said, in her most reasonable voice, 'that place is not suitable for Lucas. Do you have the least little idea what goes on there?'
'Kreig did show me a disc,' he said, 'it seems pretty harmless…'
'Harmless? Then all I can say is that the disc must have been extremely censored! I should have thought everyone had heard the stories about that place.'
Bridger was tempted to ask her about those stories, but he had the uncomfortable feeling that he would end up more embarrassed than the doctor. He settled for saying 'Lucas will be perfectly safe. Ford is going with them.'
'Thank God for small mercy's!'
A thought suddenly presented itself to Bridger for his inspection. 'How do you know about the trip anyway?'
'Darwin told me,' she said.
'Darwin? Who told him?'
'Apparently he was in the aqua-tube when Kreig was talking you into it.'
'Sometimes I wonder if it was a good idea to teach him to talk!' Bridger muttered. 'Still, I've said they can go, I can hardly change my mind now.'
Kristen sighed, 'he just seems so young! And it's not as if he's had much of a childhood as it is.'
'Don't worry about him. He'll go out, have a little bit too much to drink, talk to girls, eat things he shouldn't and they'll have him back here first thing on Sunday morning no different to how he was when he left.'
'Shouldn't you get in touch with his father to see if he is willing for his son to leave the ship? You are supposed to be inform him of Lucas's movements aren't you?'
'Considering he hasn't answered any of the messages I've left for him over the last six months, I don't really see the point any more.'
Benjamin Kreig was having trouble with a new concept.
'You don't want to go?'
Lucas didn't look away from the screen. 'Not really, anyway I've got a tone of work to do here, not to mention all the projects I'm consulting on. I think I'll just stay here and try to clear some of the backlog if it's all the same to you, Ben.'
'But this is The Pleasure Dome! Everyone wants to go to the Pleasure Dome!'
Lucas still didn't take his eyes off the screen. 'It's just not my kind of thing,' Lucas told him absently.
'Girls dancing around poles aren't your sort of thing?'
Lucas was about to say 'Not really' again when the small part of his brain that was paying attention to the Lieutenant kicked into gear and told him that the conversation would get a lot more complicated if he gave Ben the wrong idea.
'I just don't have time at the moment,' he said instead, 'everyone wants something done at the moment. The Captain, Dr. Westphalen, Ford, Crocker, my father, everyone.'
One name jumped out from the list for Kreig, he'd hardly ever heard Lucas mention his father. 'You're doing work for your father?'
'Just helping out with a few odds and ends he doesn't have time to do himself, nothing much,' Lucas told him, 'so when are we going to this Dome thing?'
Ben didn't notice the conversation change of direction. 'I knew the girls would change your mind!' he told Lucas, 'we are offically on leave as of tomorrow. You get packed tonight – these are going to be the best few days of your life!'
Westphalen and Bridger were there to see the party into a launch. Everyone was there in plenty of time, all except Lucas. By the time they were due to leave Ben Krieg was practically jumping up and down in excitement.
Ford cast a long suffering glance at the Captain who smiled at his XO. He patted the Commander on the shoulder, 'It's going to be a long few days.' Ford nodded in agreement.
When Lucas finally hurried up to the launch he was carrying an old hold all and his lap top case.
'You want to bring your lap top?' Krieg said.
'I just have a few bits of work that I need to finish…' he began, but Kreig took the lap top case out of his hand and handed it to the Captain.
'This is not a work trip – you are going to enjoy this weekend if it kills me! It won't hurt to leave your projects behind for a few days.'
Lucas turned to the Captain but the older man shock his head. 'As much as it hurts me to say it Kreig is right. You need to escape from your work not take it with you. Go. Have a good time. Everything will still be here when you get back.'
Between them Kristen and the Captain got everyone in the launch and away from the ship within half an hour of when they were supposed to leave.
'If anything happens to Lucas, I will have their scalps,' Kristen told Bridger. He smiled. 'And your too,' she added. His smile faded a little.
To be continued...
Well, that's all for now, any comments welcome. Please review.
I'll be updating this as and when I have time, but the next chapter should be up relatively soon.