GHOST

By Jules

From the Author: A little idea that came to me while I was trying to put my other stories back together after my computer crash. Hopefully some of it will show a lighter side of some of the crew. The banter between Lucas and Tony is meant to be funny and will hopefully make you laugh a little, but it does get more serious in later parts of the story.

and now….. the story begins……………..

Out in the deep atlantic ocean, the deep sea vessel SeaQuest had just finished a very long tour and would begin heading back to Pearl Harbour.

At the moment, most of the crew were in their beds sleeping. The time was about

1.30am and onboard, everything was relatively peaceful.

In one particular small room, there were two beds, one on top of the other, in bunk style. On the bottom bunk was Tony Piccolo. Above him, the resident genius teenager, Lucas Wolenczak.

Lucas stirred, thinking that he could hear something moving about in the corridor.

The room felt a little colder, and he reached to pull the blanket closer around him.

His fingertips groped about in the darkness for a few moments before he was forced to open his eyes.

On any other given night, the tube running through their room would be dark this time of night. Darwin could usually found in the moon pool, so the lights in the tubes were switched off.

Lucas wasn't fully awake, but realised with curiosity that there was light in the tube and he could see the water.

What he wasn't fully prepared for was the sudden appearance of a man's face through the water…………….

For a mere moment his voice seemed to be lost to him, but not for long as he let out a startling scream and sat up in bed.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhh"

Tony in the bed below had been sound asleep but woken so abruptly by the sheer panic of the teenager's scream that he sat up immediately, forgetting that he was sitting on the bottom bunk and got up too quickly.

A resounding clunk could be heard as a result followed by a whole range of explicit words and curses.

"Luke are you alright buddy?" came the question, as rubbed at the place where he had struck his head.

By now, other rushed footsteps could be heard and then a frantic knocking on the hull door to the room, and it being thrown open.

Lucas was still sitting on the bed, staring into the tube where he had seen the face.

He hadn't heard the people come into the room, nor Tony swearing about his head.

"What is going on?" a half dressed Nathan Bridger demanded to know. The question was directed at Tony because he was the first one he saw. The Captain now turned his attention to the teenager, thinking it odd that he had not answered.

"I don't know myself. I was sound asleep when Lucas there started screaming like a banshee," Tony explained, wincing at the headache that he was starting to have.

Kristen Westphalen had also joined Commander Ford as one of the people to run at the sound of yelling coming from the room. She knelt down and tried to pry Tony's hands away from his forehead long enough to look at the injury.

"Lucas?" Bridger said, trying to gain the teenager's attention, but noting the frightened look on the boy's face. "Are you all right. Are you hurt too?" he asked, noticing Kristen's administrations to Piccolo.

Kristen stood up and took an active interest in Lucas's pale features and lack of response to the questions. Bridger got up onto the bunk with the teenager, and found him shivering.

"He is cold," Bridger said giving a diagnosis, but that wasn't all that was wrong with Lucas. Kristen had handed up a blanket and the Captain wrapped it around the slim shoulders.

It was now that Lucas was brought back to the present as he turned and faced the audience in his room. He appeared a little surprised and confused and why there were so many people in the room. The warmth from the blanket was welcomed and he pulled it more tightly about himself.

"He might be going into some sort of shock," Kristen diagnosed. "Tony needs some ice for his head. Try and coax him down from there and I can take a better look at him in Med Bay.

Lucas looked at Bridger and whispered very softly, "There was a………face……… in the water."

The Captain had to lean in closer to hear what was being said. No further description or details were offered. Perhaps the boy had been dreaming, but looking at his face right now, you would be couldn't be blamed for thinking differently.

"He thinks he saw someone in the tube," Bridger commented.

"Did you see anything Piccolo," Ford now quizzed Tony as he stood to follow thedoctor's orders.

"The only thing I saw was stars after I connected with the bottom of his bunk," Tony answered truthfully. But upon thinking about what had been said he added, "You don't think there is somebody aboard do you?"

Bridger paused for a moment, thinking of the ramifications if it were true. They had people sneak aboard before unannounced and it had gone badly for the crew in the past.

"Commander, start a small search. All areas, but make it discreet until we know for sure something is on the boat. Make sure that you check the water too," Bridger ordered, not willing to take a chance with the lives of his crew at stake.

"Aye, Sir," Ford responded, but he wasn't convinced that the Captain had explained what they were looking for enough, "But can you tell us what we are looking for?"

Bridger turned back to Lucas, who still appeared to be out of it.

"A face, I guess," Bridger replied, not bothering to ask Lucas further until Kristenhad checked him out.

Ford left the room, and Tony stood up, moaning over dramatically at the pain in his head, but following Kristen towards the door. Hopefully the ice pack would help.

"Lucas?" Bridger stated, starting to climb down the ladder of the bed, expecting the teenager to follow. The boy looked back at him blankly, but seemed to understand what was required.

"The lights are on but nobody's home," Tony murmured to Kristen.

"Tony!" Kristen attempted to scold him, but not being able to come to the sameconclusion as Lucas started to come down from the bed.

When Lucas's feet hit the floor, they thought he must have been ready to pass out because his knees started to buckle. Bridger had made an awkward attempt to stop him from falling, but all of them were shocked when the real Lucas seemed to reappear from nowhere.

"Captain!" Lucas said as he stood upright, a little confused about what everybody was doing in his room. "It is 2.00am?" he stated, meaning it to be a question rather than just stating a fact.

"Lucas?" Bridger asked, not really sure whether the kid had just woken up from his dream or not.

"Yes, that is my name," he answered, giving the Captain a 'you are being totally weird' look.

"We were hoping you could tell us what was going on?" Bridger asked. "You woke up screaming."

"No I didn't," Lucas said indignantly.

"You did so," Tony blurted out, "I banged my head on the bed."

"You banged your head?" Lucas repeated back. "Maybe you were falling out of bed instead."

"Falling out of………..," Tony said, totally baffled by the change back to the Lucas they recognized. "I'll give you……." he started to say.

"Wait a minute, I don't think any of us here are sure what has happened here tonight," the Captain stated.

"I don't know either. I wake up to you three dragging me out of bed for no reasonat 2.00 am and Tony blaming me for his head."

"A few minutes ago, you said you saw a face in Darwin's tube," Kristen prompted, hoping it might help the teenager remember what he had seen.

"How can I see anybody's face in the tube. It is always dark at night. The lights are turned out?" Lucas replied. When the other three in the room looked back above Lucas's bunk, they saw exactly that. The tube was totally dark, just as it should be.

They looked back at Lucas who was beginning to think they were all pulling somesort ofprank on him, getting him back. Tony was certainly capable of something like this.

"Let's go back to Med Bay and get some ice on Tony's head, and then we can talkabout this further," Kristen said, her tone of voice emphasising that she was not about to argue the point with anybody this time in the morning.

Kristen exited the room, followed by Lucas who still thought he was being the victim of an elaborate joke. Bridger and Tony looked at each other as they left together, both of them thinking that the change in the teenager's demeanour in the space of a few minutes was just too strange not to notice.

Tony consented to sitting on one of the gurney's while Kristen poked around in a cupboard to find what she needed. The corridors were still darkened, making the lights of Med Bay stand out.

Lucas stood by the gurney casually, wincing a little as he saw the bruise already forming on Tony's forehead, but not understanding why they had all thought he had been screaming. He had been sleeping peacefully, and had not heard anything out of the ordinary.

He began looking at the different medical equipment in the room, waiting for Kristen to come back. The room temperature seemed to be dropping and he pulled at the blanket that was still draped around his shoulders.

All sounds seem to disappear from the room, as though it were an old silent film. He could see Bridger saying something to Kristen and pointing at him, but couldn't hear any of the words being spoken.

Maybe there was something wrong with his hearing? The whole feeling within the room was strange. And the corridor outside was now more visible, though he could not see any lights on to account for this.

Bridger had remained with the teenager, just watching him in general and trying to figure out why he had appeared so disorientated a few minutes ago.

Kristen came back, "Here you are, Tony. This should help ease the swelling. It didn't Break the skin thankfully, but you might have a bit of a headache for the rest of tonight."

"Luckily you have a hard head, huh," Bridger said jokingly, Tony not bothered by the comment. They were all waiting for Lucas to add some more teasing of his own, but could see when they looked up at him that something had changed again.

He was looking back at them, but his face was pale again and he appeared to be trying to hear what they were saying.

"What is wrong, Lucas?" Bridger asked gently, moving closer to the teenager. To his dismay and concern, the boy took a few footsteps backwards.

It was then he noticed that Lucas's gaze was not fixated on him, but behind him.

Tony looked at the young man and attempted to see where he was focusing.

For all three of them, it was the doorway to the Med Bay. The boy appeared to be expecting something to come into view.

Lucas watched the corridor, his voice escaping him entirely and his mouth becoming very dry from the fear he was feeling. He couldn't help it. It was almost a sense of dread, or foreboding.

He then heard a sound. A brief relief on his part that there was nothing wrong with his hearing, but a knot began to form in the pit of his stomach.

The first heavy footstep came. Then a second. They didn't sound like normal UEO issue boots like the Captain or Commander Ford would wear. They made a more deeper toned sound.

Lucas could feel the fear within him growing and his chest was beginning to tighten, his breath coming in shorter breaths. The hair on the back of his neck began to stand up. He deliberately took two steps backwards.

The footsteps stopped for a moment, and Lucas thought that he had been merely scaring himself for no reason. Then he felt his mouth drop open at the appearance of a large black man in the doorway.

No sound came from Lucas's mouth, the scream in his throat frozen by the fear. What made this man stand out more than usual is that Lucas found himself able to see through the man enough to make out the door.

The man was no living person. A ghost.

Bridger was becoming alarmed at the boy's strange behaviour. He didn't appear to respond to anybody in the room again. Tony had called his name several times, with no effect.

The teenager's gaze never wavered from the one spot, but his breathing became more shallower. The boy's blue eyes opened wide and his lips trying to mouth another scream.

There was nothing near the doorway that the others could see that would frighten him. Without warning, the boy's legs betrayed him and Lucas pitched forward.

"Whoa," Bridger said as he barely caught the limp form.

"Lay him up on that bed there," Kristen instructed, a little worried by what was troubling the usually energetic young man.

"What is the matter with him?" Tony asked. If he had known the boy was sick, he would have told the Captain or the doctor, but the kid didn't say anything before they had gone to bed a few hours ago.

Kristen noted the chill in the boy's skin once more, just like it had been in his room. "Fainted," she answered, pulling out another blanket from a cupboard and covering the unconscious youth.

"Fainted? From what?" Nathan asked, genuinely worried that Lucas might have been coming down sick with something.

"I don't know," Kristen answered truthfully. "He shows no signs of fever. Nothing else that I can pinpoint immediately."

"But you saw the look on his face right?" Bridger prodded. "He was scared of something?"

"Maybe he did see something in the tubes?" Tony surmised, forgetting about his headache for a moment.

"Maybe we have all been working too hard and just need a good rest," Kristen interjected, not wanting to jump to any wild conclusions about what Lucas might have thought he saw.

"Captain," came a voice from the Med Bay doorway. Commander Ford entering, and approaching. He was about to deliver his report when he noticed the prone Lucas lying on one of the beds.

"Is Lucas all right?"

"We don't know, Commander. He was standing here a few moments ago and then seemed to be out of it again like he was earlier. Before any of us could blink, he collapsed. Kristen thinks he has just fainted."

"Did you have anything to report?" Kristen asked as she placed a pillow under Lucas's head and made him more comfortable.

"No not really. I was just coming to say that we looked everywhere, but the systems are not showing any signs of unauthorised persons aboard," Ford explained. "How is your head Piccolo?"

"Throbbing nicely," Tony shot back in a friendly tone of voice.

A moan from the bed signalled to all that Lucas was regaining consciousness. Bridger waited until the teenager woke on his own, allowing him to get his bearings before bombarding him with questions about what had happened.

Lucas grimaced and then attempted to sit up, but stopped when dizziness assailed him. He opened his eyes briefly looking towards the foot of the bed where Commander Ford and Tony were standing.

It was then that what he had witnessed came flooding back to him with such force. Like a blow to the stomach, the breath in his stomach exhaled all at once. He remembered the man and the face that he had seen standing in the doorway.

He turned quickly, trying to look towards the doorway to see if the ghost was still present. His posture slumped a little in Bridger's restraining grasp when there was nothing there.

"What did you see?" Bridger asked, knowing that Lucas believed he seen something that frightened him, and the most logical explanation for the boy suddenly fainting as he had.

"A black man," the boy offered, his voice sounding detached from the present.

Tony couldn't help but laugh out loud as he looked at Commander Ford standing beside him. He knew that Lucas would not have meant it as a derogatory comment, but the description and Ford being there was just too much of a coincidence.

"Are you quite finished," Ford remarked, thinking that Tony was acting like the usual misfit they had come to know him as.

"Oh come on, Lucas keels over and a few minutes later, you walk through the door and he tells Bridger that what scared him was a black man. What are the odds of that?"

"It wasn't Commander Ford," Lucas stated simply. He was looking about the room, expecting something else to jump out of the shadows at him.

Ford let Tony's joke at his expense slide, but it was the statement from Lucas that made them all stop and think for a moment. There were no other black crew members aboard the SeaQuest at this time, and no doubt Lucas would have recognized Ford coming into the room.

"Let's all go to bed, it is very late and get some sleep. I think we are all over tired," Kristen suggested, giving a worried look at Lucas. The teenager still looked about the room, his eyes tired.

"We will just have to wait and see how things turn out," Kristen said quietly to Bridger. There was no real point to keeping Lucas or Tony from returning to their room.

Bridger acknowledged what she said with a nod, watching Lucas as he stood up, preparing to leave Med Bay. He waited for any residual signs of dizziness, and although there were none, he did seem very apprehensive about exiting the doorway.

Tony was trying to think of a funny line that might bring the teenager out of his silent mood, but nothing cam to mind, so he just followed behind, his hands in his pockets.

Piccolo turned in the direction where the room was that he shared with Lucas, but the teenager failed to follow. Bridger raised a questioning eyebrow at Tony, but noticed that the boy was now headed in the direction of his cabin. He shrugged his shoulders, perhaps it was best, especially if Lucas felt more secure.

Tony wasn't totally surprised, but a little worried about his friend. Normally Lucas could be depended on to be one of the most level headed people he knew, but something had happened tonight to change all of that.

Bridger went into his quarters, wondering how the next few hours would go. He was prepared to stay up and talk if that is what Lucas wanted. But it looked as thought he didn't need to do that, as Lucas was grabbing a spare pillow and blanket out of a closet and getting ready to sack out on the couch.

"You can take my bed if you think it will help you sleep better," Bridger offered.

"No thanks, I don't want to do that," the teenager responded. This was the first few words he had strung together in a sentence since telling Commander Ford that it wasn't him that had scared him.

Lucas stopped in the middle of what he was doing, "You don't think I going crazy do you?"

At the moment, it seemed like the only rational explanation. He was the only one saying that he was seeing things that were not really there. There had been three other people in the room. Why hadn't they felt the temperature of the room change or hear the footsteps approaching?

"No, I don't think you are going crazy," Bridger responded, trying to be light-hearted about it to quell any doubts the boy had about his own sanity.

"Good, neither do I," Lucas laughed, but it sounded fake. He laid down on the couch and covered himself with the blanket, signalling that he was finished talking for now and wanting to try to sleep to shut out what he had seen.

Bridger got ready to return to bed as well, hoping that a few hours sleep would put a new perspective on things and return everything back to normal.

For the first half and hour or so, Lucas had feigned sleep, waiting for the Captain to drift off. Now, he laid awake, turning over and laying on his back and looking up at the ceiling. Despite his best efforts, sleep was eluding him all together, and he kept trying to work out exactly what it was he had seen. Or who.

Some hours later, Bridger woke up, a little later than normal, but considering the interruptions they had had, the extra sleep had been welcomed. He was surprised to see that the blanket and pillows on the couch were neatly folded and placed at one end. Lucas must have risen before him and made a start to his day.

Kristen walked into the mess hall about the same time as Nathan, both of them greeting each other and asking if they had managed to get some further sleep.

"Lucas was gone when I awoke this morning, but I slept fairly well," Bridget admitted.

Piccolo could be seen at the serving counter, getting his breakfast and looking all right. The bruise on his forehead did stand out in contrast to the rest of his face, but he didn't seem to be having any pain that the doctor could notice from this distance.

Lucas approached the mess hall from behind the Captain and the doctor, heading immediately for the coffee. His face looked drawn and tired, and his eyes dull and listless. Obviously he had not slept at all.

"I thought you said he went back to bed this morning?" Kristen quizzed Nathan, upon seeing Lucas.

"Maybe he was still restless," Bridger suggested his concern for the boy's health resurfacing. The idea that the boy was getting sick renewing itself.

"I don't think he went back to sleep at all," Kristen pointed out. "He looks tired."

Several other crew members were also having their own breakfast, some seated together at one table. Lucas carried a tray that held a glass of juice and a fresh pot of coffee, but nothing to eat. He looked about, judging the best place to sit.

The teenager started to walk to one that was unoccupied, and separated from the others, when someone spoke to him.

"Hey Lucas, seen any more of Casper this morning?" came the jibe.

Lucas's tired features quickly turned into one of accusation as he turned around and faced Tony. "Did you have to tell the whole boat, or did you just want to announce it out loud to the whole world!"

The young man was not impressed, and loudly clunked his tray down on the nearest table, walking out of the mess hall

Tony watched the angry teenager leave, and then spotted Bridger and Kristen coming in. "I didn't tell them much at all," he said in his own defence. "A few others heard Lucas last night and wanted to know if there was anything wrong."

"Did you have to tell them that he thought he saw a ghost?" Bridger asked, knowing that it was going to take some fixing on Piccolo's part to apologize.

Lucas was a very private person and being made a mockery of did not sit well with him. Not because he was too proud or any such thing, but because it brought back too many unfavourable memories about the put downs and the humiliation that he experienced during his child hood from his real father.

"I don't think you are entirely to blame," Kristen waded into the conversation. "He didn't go back to sleep last night.

The other crew members felt just as guilty as Tony, that they had made fun of Lucas like they had. None of them knew that Lucas hadn't been sleeping well, and they didn't know that the teenager was still trying to forget last night.

"I will make it right, Captain," Tony promised.

"I know you will," Bridger agreed, knowing that Tony cared for the teenager. "You might want to give him time to himself today though. Think things out for himself."

For what remained of the morning, Lucas did just that. Keeping to himself, and going about a few routine tasks with little or no conversation unless he had to. He didn't look to still be angry at anyone, but he didn't stop and start up a conversation with anyone, including the Captain.

After lunch, Lucas had shut himself away in his room, focusing on some program he was working out on his computer. He didn't try and regain any of the sleep he had lost the previous night, but worked at a steady pace to keep his mind sharp and alert.

O'Neill suggested to smooth things over about any unkind words, they have a movie night where everyone could enjoy each other's company in a relaxed atmosphere. The tour was over and it was time to start to wind down before they reached port and took a much deserved break.

There was a general agreement of this being a good idea, not just for Lucas, but for the relaxation and stress relief that it might bring. The different tasks of who was getting the food and drinks, and the movie selection was delegated out amongst a small group.

Commander Ford had declined the invitation, preferring to use his spare time to work out in the gym.

Tony nominated himself to invite Lucas, hoping it would make up for the scene in the mess hall that morning. Bridger and Kristen planned to be in the same room, but not watching the movies. Neither of them thought the younger crowd would enjoy their more mature tastes. The two of them intended to play cards quietly in another corner of the room.

"Knock knock," Tony said as he entered the room. Lucas was still punching away on his keyboard at a frantic pace, a pencil clenched between his teeth whilst his eyes were fixed on a second monitor to his right.

At first Tony thought he might have been getting the silent treatment, but realised that it was more likely to be Lucas's normal concentration on his work. Close out the rest of the world about him to everything except what he was doing.

"I am sorry about this morning," Piccolo stammered, feeling a little stupid.

Lucas had heard him enter, and now turned to face him, removing the pencil from his mouth. "Don't worry about it. Sorry that I acted like a jerk."

Tony looked a little surprised. He was the one that was supposed to be apologising. "You didn't do anything wrong," he replied. It was about now that he could see the dark shadows under the teenager's blue eyes and noted how tired the kid did look.

"Some of the guys are watching some movies tonight in the games room. Want in?" he asked simply.

For a moment, Tony was convinced that he would get a negative answer, but was pleased to hear, "Sure, when."

"No schedule, just when you want to turn up. First movie goes on after dinner."

"Okay, that gives me a little time to finish up here, thanks."

"See you there," Tony said as he left, pleased that there was no longer any tension between them.

True to his word, at ten minutes after seven, Lucas wandered casually into the recreation room on the SeaQuest. He greeted the Captain and Kristen who had just sat down to their first hand of cards.

"Hey, Luke, saved you a seat here up front, buddy," Tony shouted from across the room.

Lucas accepted the seating arrangement, saying a quick hello to Miguel and Tim who were also joining in the entertainment.

Lucas drew a hand through his hair, trying to hide the tiredness he was feeling. It was part of the reason he had come after all. His concentration wavering from the lack of sleep. He didn't know if he would be able to sleep through a whole movie.

"Piccolo, would you stop eating all the popcorn before the movie even start," O'Neill commented. Sitting on Tony's leg was a large bowl filled to the top with buttered popcorn. It was meant to be sitting in the middle of the low coffee table.

"If you want any, Tim, you are going to have to be nice to me," Tony told him, the current atmosphere calm and friendly.

"What are we going to watch?" Miguel asked, wanting the show the start. "And save some of that popcorn for me too Tony."

Lucas appeared to be enjoying the joking around, but he didn't actively join in. He accepted an offer of a glass of soda, but shook his head at Tony holding up the bowl of popcorn.

The opening credits of the movie began, Tim, Miguel and Piccolo ceasing their chatter and beginning to take notice of what was on the TV screen. It was a cowboy film. A genre that O'Neill was particularly fond of. Miguel argued to see a martial arts movie, and Tony had opted for a horror movie, until they thought about Lucas being present.

"He seems content enough," Kristen voiced to Bridger halfway through one of their hands of cards. Much to her dismay she lost that round and was going to have to get a good deal next time if she was to survive the game.

About halfway through the film, Tony had glanced towards the end of the couch, only to see that Lucas was asleep. His arm being used as a crude pillow.

Bridger rose from their cards and smiled down at the sight of the teenager finally catching up on the sleep he had missed last night.

"You want to move him to a bed so he can stretch out better?" Piccolo enquired, thinking the kid would wake up with a kink in his neck.

The sound of voices caused Lucas to move and mutter something. Bridger didn't want to wake him unnecessarily. If his slumber was disturbed now, there was no guarantee that he would fall back to sleep easily once in a bed.

"Just leave him for now," Bridger whispered, heading back to the table of cards.

They could still see him and the quietness of the room at present seemed to help.

Tony and the two others resumed watching their film, all unprepared for what would happen next.

Lucas opened his eyes and realised that he had fallen asleep. His body was tired and he didn't particularly feel like moving, but it was something else that caught his attention. He didn't recognize the movie on the screen, and wasn't able to follow the plot.

At first he thought there must have been something wrong with the TV set because he couldn't hear the movie that was playing. But then all of a sudden, he froze as he began to hear the same booted footsteps he had heard the night before.

Tony had been following the movie, waiting to see who was going to draw their gun first between the two cowboys. The next thing he knew, Lucas had woken up in a fright and leapt over the back of the couch they were sitting on. His foot had connected with the bowl of popcorn and overturned, spilling all over Piccolo and the floor.

A single piece of popcorn now sat precariously on Tony's head. Miguel and Tim had burst out laughing at the sight.

Bridger had rushed over to the teenager, noting once again the pale features and the slight shivering that had occurred yesterday.

"I heard them again," Lucas said, his voice betraying his fear. "The footsteps," he said in frustration. "Why can't any of you hear them?"

"Calm down a minute, honey," Kristen tried to soothe, taking his arm and trying to get him to sit down. "What did you see?"

"I didn't see anything," Lucas stated firmly, wanting to stand up and go out of the room to hide his embarrassment. He knew his friends would be looking at him thinking he had lost it again.

"What was it that you heard?" Bridger rephrased, sitting beside the anxious teenager.

"Boots. I can't describe how I know they are different to ours, but they are," he said, the words tumbling out rather than being put into any sort of order as he spoke.

"Tim, will you go and get us all some tea and coffee, please," Kristen requested.

Upon returning, Kristen asked for a weak cup of coffee, not too hot, which she placed into Lucas's hands, urging him to sip at the liquid. She could see the inner struggle. He didn't want to show his fear or appear weak in front of his friends, but his mixed up emotions had him close to tears of frustration.

The coffee did appear to help, and his nerves calmed significantly. He sat quietly, those around him concerned but trying to think of a rational explanation.

"Let's sit down and talk about this," Bridger suggested.

Piccolo was the first one to speak, "I don't get it though. If Luke here was seeing something, then why couldn't I pick up on it?" Those crew members currently in the room were all well aware of Tony's physic abilities.

"Seems strange that no one else would see whatever it was," Miguel said.

"Great now I know that everyone thinks I am nuts," Lucas said, slightly annoyed, but unable to think of a way to get them to understand what he had witnessed.

"Nobody thinks that, Lucas," Tim tried to reassure the teenager, but in his own mind, he couldn't be sure that there had been anything to see or hear.

"Your not the first one aboard this boat to think they have seen an apparition, you know," Kristen pointed out candidly.

Lucas, Ortiz and O'Neill nodded there head at what the doctor had said, referring to another incident that they remembered. Tony however, was left a little out of the loop and wasn't aware of the previous encounter.

"You don't think it could be something to do with Lily and Robert do you? I mean coming back or something. Or that Captain fellow that wasn't too keen on me entering his cabin?" Lucas questioned.

Tony looked confused, "Who is Lily and Robert? And what did this Captain fellow try to do?"

"Tried to stop me from going into his cabin with a wall of flames," Lucas said casually.

"A wall of flames?" Tony repeated, thinking it sounded a little dangerous.

"Well it wasn't fire to begin with remember," Bridger now joined in with some of the detail. "The handle on the door burned when Chief Crocker touched it too, but when I tried, it was ice cold. Frozen."

"Fire? Ice?" Tony quipped. "Sounds as though you guys might have been dreaming huh?"

"No it was no dream," Lucas stated. "The ghost moved his head on the picture when the Captain, Kristen and I were watching it on film. Earlier that day he had thrown the Captain across his room."

"That I remember. I had the bruises to prove it," Bridger admitted.

"Are you guys really serious?" Tony asked, finding it a little hard to believe what was being said.

"Oh yes, and that wasn't the strangest part," Tim replied.

"There is more?" Tony commented, a little sarcasm starting to creep into his voice.

"Yes, Kristen there was taken over by the spirit of Lily. She dressed up in a fancy dress and was dancing in the ballroom and everything," Ortiz explained.

"Dancing in a ballroom. Fancy that," Tony said, the scepticism hard to hide.

'Hey, we all experienced it. Even Commander Ford thought he saw a light on in one of the rooms and the ship had been sunk on the bottom of the ocean for almost a hundred years."

"Sounds like you were all too long at sea to me," Tony remarked. Although he had been through such scientific achievements as artificial gills. Beliving in spirits and the supernatural wasn't something that he had thought often about.

Until Doctor Smith had found out about his physic abilities and tried to tap into them, He had just thought himself as a normal person who believed in only things he could see firsthand.

"Why am I the only one seeing this one?" Lucas asked straight forwardly. All this discussion about how many others had experienced what happened on the George made him ponder why no one else could see this ghost.

"I don't know, honey?" Kristen answered, not being able to offer much assistance. "What was the ghost trying to do when you saw it?"

"I only saw it once, in Med Bay, and we all know what happened there," Lucas said, trying to hide his embarrassment.

"I tell you what, Lucas. Lets go Ghost Busting together. I mean, I don't know what you saw, and I don't believe in ghosts, but lets stay up tomorrow night and see if it appears again. That way, we know you are not crazy," Tony offered.

"Why do I get the feeling that this isn't such a good idea?" Miguel asked Tim quietly.

Bridger and Kristen displayed a little scepticism themselves, but Lucas seemed to relax a little at Piccolo's plan. If they didn't see anything, then there was nothing to worry about, except a teenager's wounded pride.

The next evening, one very tired looking Lucas stood in the main corridor of the SeaQuest, torch in hand. Even though they had agreed on what to do, the previous night had been a long one. Mostly of lying awake and wondering if he would hear the footsteps again.

Throughout the day, he had caught small snatches of sleep, but not enough and he knew that the Captain and doctor were getting worried about it. He had refused the offer of any artificial or natural sleeping draught, but did think that it might be needed after tonight if they didn't solve the riddle.

Lucas had gone over several memories of Bridger's ghostly encounter with the Captain of the George, trying to see if there were any similarities.

The arrangements had been for the Captain and doctor to stand in one of the sideways Corridors so that if something appeared to Lucas, then they would be able to get a look from a different angle and verify the ghost's appearance or presence.

To round out the audience, Tim O'Neill and Miguel had also offered to keep watch. Commander Ford had raised an eyebrow at Bridger when it was mentioned what they intended to do, but was too curious not to be there as well.

"Tell me again, what we are doing?" came the question from Tony standing directly behind Lucas and also wielding a torch.

"You promised not to walk on my shoes again, remember!" Lucas hissed as he felt his friend tread on the back of his heel for the third time.

"Well you have to give me some sort of warning or something that you are going to stop," Tony retorted.

"You can't get seats this good," Miguel whispered to the group standing in the side corridor, Smirking at the exchanges they could hear between Lucas and Tony. Nothing had happened yet, but the entertainment value alone was worth waiting up this late for.

Bridger and the others watched in pure mirth as Lucas and Tony snuck along the corridor, torch light guiding them. The two of them slightly hunched over as they walked.

"What was that!" Tony demanded to know, hearing a sound. The corridor had been deliberately left dark except for the torch light and the two were jumping at almost every shadow or small noise.

"Me, you idiot. Watch where you are going," Lucas scolded his partner in crime again.

Before Lucas had a chance to continue his display of annoyance, the sound of the footsteps made him stop and stand almost rigid as fear began to fill his senses again.

Tony had dropped his torch and the resounding clunk on the metal grated floor only caused more anxiety in the teenager.

"What do you hear?" Bridger asked, noting the teenager sudden stop in the one place and looking as though he was trying to hear something. He could see the apprehension and nervousness on the tired young face. Adrenalin was driving his sense of alertness.

Tony whipped around his torch shining it in the direction that he thought the teenager was looking, "But I don't see anything."

Lucas froze as the footsteps came closer. He had not shone his torch light, but looking in front of him, though that he could make out the form of the dark-skinned man once more. His hands began to tremble, and he tried to take a step backwards.

Tony was a few steps behind the teenager, but perplexed that he could not see anything that might be frightening his friend.

The ghost remained still. Looking back at him. His face not threatening, but appearing as though trying to tell him something.

Without warning to Lucas, the ghost appeared to begin running. Not away from him, but straight at him. All at once, Lucas lost whatever nerve he had and his legs turned to jelly.

For a few moments his feet refused to obey his command to run. The ghost was still coming towards him. It looked as though it was going to run right through him.

Before anyone else had time to react, Lucas gasped in terror, and quickly turned, dropping his own torch and forcibly knocking Tony over in his attempt at escape.

To be Continued………………………………….

JULES