Episodes 23, 24, 25, 26, 27: Young Driftees

A Nadia: Secret of Blue Water Fanfic by Jon Turner

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Disclaimer: Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is the property of Toho/SogoVision/NHK, and ADV Films. I am responsible simply for this story.

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A word of note about this fanfic: This is meant to replace the Lincoln Island arc, one of the lowest points of "Nadia", which lasts from Episodes 23 to two thirds of Episode 27. Since this arc damaged much of what made the show so appealing in the first place, particularly where the characters' relationships with each other were concerned, I wanted to omit this part of the story altogether and this is my attempt. I hope you enjoy.

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Everything happened so unexpectedly. Gargoyle unleashed his deadliest attack on the Nautilus, sinking the mighty submarine into the ocean. To save Jean, Nadia, Marie, and King from death, Nemo had led them to his personal quarters. After an emotionally charged confrontation with First Officer Electra, Nemo released the capsule from the doomed craft. Now the Captain's Cabin cruised beneath the dark waters, carrying its four passengers to depths unknown.

Nadia lay on Nemo's bed and wept. The recent turn of events on the Nautilus had traumatized her terribly... but none more so than overhearing Electra's passionate exchange with Captain Nemo. The last part of Electra's message—the revelation that he had been her father all this time—was especially shocking.

Over the course of thirteen long, unloving years at the circus, Nadia had convinced herself that no grown-up could be trusted, especially someone as cold and aloof as Nemo. Whom she hated with a vengeance. Who had sacrificed many sailors and innocent people in his quest for killing Gargoyle. Who happened to be her father. Her father! A pang of regret loomed over Nadia's heart—why had she treated him so coldly? More importantly, why did she refuse to say good-bye to him just before they parted? Even now, she could hear Nemo's stern words echoing through her mind:

"Nadia, I want you to know that you have made me very sad."

Nearby, Jean stared out the front window of Nemo's cabin. It almost felt like it had been days since Nemo had separated them from the Nautilus, but since they were underwater, he couldn't tell for how long. Nemo had entrusted him with the responsibility of looking after Nadia, which, of course, he wanted very much to do. The only problem was, Nadia hadn't spoken to him—nor even Marie or King, for that matter—since they were jettisoned.

He felt even more helpless in realizing that there was nothing that he could do to improve their situation. Usually, Jean had a solution to a problem, but this was totally beyond him.

What if never see daylight again? he thought to himself.

Suddenly, Jean realized what he was doing—he was thinking negative thoughts. No, he wouldn't give up easily. It wouldn't make matters any better. The only thing he could do was to convince himself that things would turn out for the better.

Another thought entered Jean's mind—he wished he had another project to work on. The last invention he made—a spare mini-rocket to replace one that had exploded in mid-air—had been used to save Nadia from being transported aboard Gargoyle's vessel. Yet now he was feeling that burning desire to build another machine. But what could he do?

Then Jean noticed the books on the nearby shelf. "Of course!" he thought to himself, "There is a way to pass the time!" Jean took a book down and started to read.

Marie, meanwhile, was getting antsy. Why were they all floating in the middle of nowhere? More importantly, what had happened to Sanson and the others? Impulsively, she raced for the door.

Jean dropped his book and snapped to attention. If Marie opened the door, the entire cabin would flood and they would all...

"Don't do it, Marie!" he shouted.

"Why not?" whined Marie.

"You... you just can't open that door," Jean replied. "If you do, we'll all drown."

"But I want to find Sanson!"

"He... he's not there, Marie," Jean sighed sadly. "Nobody is."

Marie looked very sad. "No one?" she asked sadly.

Jean shook his head.

For a while, Marie lowered her head sadly. After a moment, it hit her. She could play with King! Then she wouldn't feel so worried. Giggling giddily, she raced over to the little lion cub and tapped his head.

"Tag! You're it!" Marie shouted.

King took off after Marie, roaring and panting as she ran around the room in a circle. In the midst of her excitement, she jumped on Nemo's bed and began bouncing next to Nadia.

"Come on, Nadia! Play with us!" squealed Marie, tugging on her shoulder.

Annoyed, Nadia whirled around and shot Marie an angry look. "STOP IT, MARIE!" she yelled, "Just leave me alone!"

Marie was stung by Nadia's angry tone and words. Tears welled in her eyes, and she began to wail.

Normally, Nadia would feel guilty for lashing out at Marie, but this time she was too miserable to care. "Oh be quiet," she growled, "If you're going to cry, do it somewhere else!"

That made Marie wail harder than ever.

Jean, having overheard this exchange from the corner of his ear, dropped his book and turned his attention to the little girl. If the group started arguing with each other, then they would all be done for. Generously, he approached Marie and gave her a hug.

"There, there, Marie," he said gently, "It's all right."

Marie's sobs echoed from his shirt as Jean glanced up at Nadia. "Nadia, what is going on with you?"

Instantly Nadia whirled around at Jean, her face contorted with rage. "This is your fault, Jean!" she snapped. "We're all trapped inside this horrible place, and it's all because of you!"

"Nadia, why are you blaming me?" Jean asked.

"If I had never met you, I wouldn't be in this mess, or get you, Marie, and King into so much trouble!" Nadia replied. "You should've just left me at the circus!"

"What? And let Gargoyle capture you?" Jean responded. "No. I promised you I'd take you to your birth place, and I'm going to keep that promise."

Nadia turned away from Jean in a huff. "I wish you would have just left me alone. I was much happier at the circus before you came into my life!"

From the wavering, sad tone in her voice, Jean knew that Nadia didn't really mean that. Even still, he wanted to cheer Nadia up, to let her know that he was on her side.

Marie seemed to have settled down, and she gently pulled away from Jean. She settled herself on the floor and hugged King.

Jean looked around, wondering what he could do. Then, something caught his eye. The nearby cupboard was open, exposing a row of canned food. And one of them contained spinach. It hit him right away—Nadia was hungry! And since she opposed eating meat or fish, this would be just the right thing for her to eat. He took the can and pulled open its top, then approached Nadia.

"You must be hungry," he said. "Here, eat this."

Nadia didn't seem quite so angry now, but she didn't look all that thrilled either. Turning slightly, she muttered, "What is it?"

"It's a can of spinach," Jean answered cheerfully. "This is okay for you to eat, Nadia."

After a brief pause, Nadia responded in a soft voice, "I'm not hungry."

"Are you sure?" Jean asked. "If you don't eat this soon, the spinach will go bad."

"I said, I'M NOT HUNGRY!" Nadia shouted, in a tone much harsher than she intended.

As shocked as Jean was by her outburst, he tried to be patient and polite. "Very well," he spoke calmly, "But I'll leave it right here if you change your mind." And he placed the can beside the bed, then returned to his book.

After a few moments, Nadia's stomach began to growl. Jean was right—she was hungry. Hastily, she grabbed the can of spinach. Scooping some of the spinach into her fingers, she took a big bite. To her delight, it was delicious. In fact, it was one of the finest she had ever tasted in a long time. She ate some more, until at last the can was empty.

Nadia was feeling a little better now. She turned to face Jean, whose nose was stuck in his book as usual. It annoyed her to see him so occupied in his book, but he had just brought some food for her. And she couldn't get angry at him about that.

"The spinach was delicious, Jean," Nadia finally spoke. "Thank you."

Jean looked up from his book and replied. "You're welcome, of course. Feeling better?"

Nadia sighed sadly. "No, I still feel like we're all going to die."

"Don't say that, Nadia," Jean responded, "Everything will be just fine. We'll get out of this somehow."

"How do you know?" Nadia asked. "Do you have an idea?"

"Well... no," Jean answered.

Nadia sighed in disappointment.

"But somehow... I just feel that we'll be fine," Jean continued.

Suddenly, CRASH! The outer walls of the Captain's Cabin scraped against something hard. The force tilted the cabin sideways and sent Nadia toppling out of the bed.

Jean reached out to catch her, and she fell right on top of him. Pulling herself up, Nadia came face to face with Jean. They both stared at each other in a stunned, embarrassed silence. A moment later, Nadia looked down. Jean's hands were touching her breasts!

Instantly, Nadia's anger erupted like a tempest, and she struck Jean viciously across the face. "YOU PERVERT!" she yelled.

Jean clutched the cheek where Nadia had hit him. "I didn't mean to! It was an accident!"

"Nadia! Jean!" cried Marie, "Look! I see daylight!"

Jean and Nadia raced to the window. Marie was right—the cabin had stopped against soft, dry land!

Noticing the top hatch, Jean, Nadia, and Marie opened it and looked out. Before them was a beach that led to a strangely unusual forest, where the trees were all of different types.

"Where are we?" Nadia asked.

"It looks like some kind of island," Jean answered.

Presently, King bounced out of the capsule and raced across the beach.

"King! Where are you going?" Nadia asked. "Come back!"

"Marie will follow him!" chirped Marie, as she ran after the lion.

Jean stared after the pair. I sure hope nothing happens to them, he thought.

He and Nadia dropped down to the beach and began to explore the new island.

"This is quite a bizarre place, Jean," said Nadia. "Just look at those trees."

--TO BE CONTINUED--

At this point, the story proceeds along to the third quarter of Episode 27, where Jean and Nadia are discussing the surroundings of the island that will turn out to be the mysterious space satellite, Red Noah

-Jon T.