Here's my new fiction. I'm hoping this will be a longer than any other I've written and I'm breaking all my rules; I usually write the whole story before publishing but I haven't actually finished this. I'm a couple of chapters a head of what I'm publishing so I'll continue writing and publishing quickly (fingers crossed). I would especially love this story to be reviewed; I want the advice. Anyway, here goes...
Disclaimer: I own none of the Sea Patrol Characters that appear on TV; any that you don't recognise belong to me!
1130 hours, HMAS Hammersley
"So what exactly did they say?" questioned Kate as she and Mike entered the bridge. Mike passed Nav a piece of paper and she began plotting a course.
"Starboard 10, steer 310," she told Swain, who was at the helm. He altered course.
"Apparently they have two in need of urgent medical attention. They are having difficulty breathing and ones unconscious," Mike replied. "What's our ETA Nav?" The navigator looked at the screens in front of her and replied.
"Approximately an hour and a half." Mike nodded.
An hour and 15 minutes later, the RHIB's had been boarded and were being lowered into the water. Nikki stood on the top deck, looking through her binoculars. As one of the RHIB's shot out across the water in front of her eyes, she saw the familiar body of a certain person. The man who had stolen her heart. Nikki was daydreaming by the time Mike came out and joined her on the deck. Watching as the RHIB's approached the yacht, Nikki turned to her boss.
"Pretty nice yacht, sir," she said. Mike smiled and nodded.
"Sure is Nav."
"Do we know what these people are doing out here?" she asked.
"Apparently it's a group of women enjoying a day out, according to NAVcom anyway," he replied.
"40 miles out to sea? Right," said Nikki, turning back to the yacht where the Hammersley crew had now boarded.
On the yacht, the boarding party began searching the ship when no one replied to their greeting. The teams searched for a minute before X called out.
"They're down here!" Swain immediately rushed down, finding 4 people unconscious in the room. Kate was bent down checking the pulse of one woman while Swain hurried over and checked another.
"They're all still alive," he called out a minute later. He began checking each for any signs of what might of happened. Kate was doing the same. By this time, ET and Buffer had arrived, also Bomber who headed over to help Swain. Kate and Bomber attended to one woman just as ET walked over.
"Oh my god," he said, looking at the woman. Kate looked up at him, so did Swain. Kate looked down when the radio made noises.
"X-Ray82, this is Charlie82, come in over," said the CO.
"This is X. Go ahead," she replied.
"What's the situation there, over."
"Sir, we have 4 females, all aged 50-55, they are unconscious but we can't find any indication as to why yet, over." Mike suddenly had a flashback to a boarding well over a year ago when they boarded the Inako.
"Have you checked to make sure the vessel is clear of gas or toxins, X?" he asked, worry evident in his voice. Nav looked over at the captain, realising he was thinking about Rick Gallagher and the toxin from a while ago.
"Yes sir," X reassured. "ET checked when before we came aboard." Nikki watched Mike sigh with relief.
"Alright X. I'm sending Nav and Charge over to assess the boat for towing and to navigate to home port," he said into the radio, still smiling. ET had just taken a closer look at one of the women when he heard this last message.
"X, no. Nav can't come on board," he said insistently. Everyone looked up at him confused.
"ET?" asked Kate, hoping for more elaboration.
"I know her," he pointed at the woman in question. "It's Lucia Caetano." The crew looked between him and the woman, who was still unconscious.
"Nikki's mother?" asked Kate. ET nodded.
"Are you 100% sure on this?" asked Buffer, looking down at the woman next to ET. ET looked him in the eyes.
"Of course I'm sure!" he replied. "I live in the same house as Nikki for one thing." Nobody mentioned the fact that she was going to become his mother in law soon as they knew ET and Nikki were keeping it quiet. Kate and Buffer nodded. ET turned and ran a hand through his hair.
"She's gaining consciousness," Bomber reported. Swain looked up and went over to Lucia. Lucia looked up at all the people surrounding her and looked startled.
"What's happening? Where am..." she said in a distressed voice, gasping for air.
"Ma'am, my name is Chris Blake; I'm the medical officer from the HMAS Hammersley." Lucia didn't seem to register this until she heard the word 'Hammersley.'
"Hammersley... what?" she attempted to say.
"ET," said Swain, calling ET over. "Talk to her, a familiar face will probably help." ET bent slowly next to Nikki's mother.
"Lucia, Lucia. It's Josh. Just, just try and stay calm," he attempted, holding her hand. Recognising the voice, Lucia looked up at him.
"I know you," she said. ET smiled.
"Yeah I know. You're going to be okay," he tried reassuring.
"Nikki..." spluttered Lucia, gasping for air.
"She's okay, she's back on the Hammersley," answered Kate in a soothing voice. Lucia started gasping for more air and ET looked back at Swain, whose face was grim. Lucia seemed to realise that something was dreadfully wrong and was obviously thinking the worse, judging by her next comment.
"Joshua, you are a good man. I want you to marry her and make her happy. Look after my little girl for me," she wheezed. ET gripped her hand.
"You're going to be okay," he said, willing that Lucia would be okay. He knew how close Nikki and her mother were and knew what it would do to her if she lost her mother.
"Please just, tell her that I'm proud of her and just want her to be happy. And that I love her," she whispered. ET shook his head.
"You can tell her that yourself, when we get you back to the Hammersley," he said insistently but Lucia's eyes were rolling in her head and she was beginning to lose consciousness. Swain was looking at the woman next to Lucia when ET called out. "Swain! Swain!" Swain hurried over.
"I haven't got a pulse," said Bomber. Kate looked at ET.
"Commence CPR! Bomber, take airways, I'll do compressions," said Swain and Bomber pulled a mask out of the medical bag and placed it over Lucia's mouth. ET stood up and looked down, trying to give Swain more room.
"Come on Lucia," Buffer heard ET whisper. Swain and Bomber continued CPR as Mike radioed again.
"Charge and Nav are coming over now." Kate looked up at ET before radioing back.
"Sir, before they do, I need to speak to you privately," she demanded. Back on the Hammersley, Mike was on the deck while the RHIB containing Nikki and Charge, plus the driver, was waiting on the water for Mike to give the signal to go.
"Go ahead X," said Mike, worried by the tone of his XO's voice.
"Sir, one of the women has been ID'd." She replied. She went to continue but Mike spoke.
"Sir, ET's recognised her. It's Lucia Caetano," said hurriedly, looking back as Swain and Bomber continued with CPR. Mike looked down at the RHIB and could see Charge and Nikki waiting, probably wondering why they were waiting so long. Mike took action.
"Bring the RHIB back up!" he called out. Below on the RHIB, Nikki and Charge both stood and held their arms out.
"Charlie82, this is November 82, what's going on?" asked Nikki.
"Nav, I need you back on board. I'll send Charge over." Nikki was confused and looked over to Charge, who looked equally confused. She turned to the driver and held up her arms, indicating she had no idea what was going on. In a minute, Nikki had climbed off the RHIB and it was being lowered again, this time with only Charge and the driver.
"Sir?" asked Nav, walking towards her captain on the deck, wearing her boarding gear.
"I need you on board Nav," he said, trying not to look his navigator in the eye.
"Sir?" she asked again, not understanding why she was called back.
"Nav, I just you to stay on board," said Mike more firmly. Although she still had no idea what was happening, Nav turned and went to head to the bridge. Mike sighed.
Back on the yacht, Swain and Bomber were still trying CPR.