Pairing - Kate centric with a hint of Mike
Rating - PG?
A 'Shadow Line' episode story.
Author's note #1- Many thanks to Ryanthorpe, for the magic red marker. Thanks.
Disclaimer - I don't own them but I promise to return the crew to the boat when I've finished.

Author's Note #2 - This is my first Sea Patrol fic. I hope you like it.

Dazed, Kate's eyes flickered open. It was dark. Cursing the bone numbing cold, all she wanted to do was hunker down under her doona and go back to sleep, but she couldn't, not with all the deafening noise blaring right by her ear.

Water bubbled and gurgled over rocks. Birds squawked, flapping away in panicked flight. The thumping sound of her heart beat against her chest. And finally, the hissing of radio static irritated her beyond reason.

After a few seconds of confusion, Kate remembered everything. And it all began with her stupid mistake. She hadn't checked back with Spider. Idiot! Not Spider, her!

Shuddering, Kate recalled perfectly every detail, the crack of a rifle shot, the slam of the bullet against her back, the intense white hot pain spreading all over her back, and then she'd been knocked off her feet and into the creek.

She'd been shot in the back by a Russian mercenary. The same man who'd stabbed Charge. Bastard.

It was her fault. Simple as.

Shaking her head, she couldn't believe her own level of tactical incompetence. The searing pain in her back was justified punishment as far as she was concerned. Life was harsh, especially in battle as the perpetrator rarely survived to learn from their mistake. If she got out of there alive, she'd have to apologize to Spider for putting his life in jeopardy. She hoped that he wouldn't blame himself if she didn't.

The distinctive sloshing of someone moving through the water from the same direction as the shot had come from meant only one thing.

The bastard was coming in for the kill. His first mistake. Poor tactics. He should've left the area. If he was ex-Special Forces, he could eliminate all the shore party one by one if he wanted to. Easily. He must've known her team would converge on the location of the shot. They were already close by. The bastard didn't have to come up and close to kill her. The Steyr was an accurate weapon. He could've emptied the magazine from 100 metres away and killed her many times over. All it would have taken was one head shot.

Kate tried to move but nothing happened. Panic rose within her when her legs refused to work. Had she'd been paralysed? As quickly as the dread came, it disappeared when her arms slowly obeyed her commands. Her left hand wrapped around a rock, stopping her from drifting further downstream.

With grim determination, Kate thought that if she was going to die then she'd try and take him out with her, for Charge and for the crew of the cargo ship. Slowly her hand moved to her 9 mm, slipped it out of the holster, clicked off the safety, and waited, hoping it still worked despite being submerged for God knows how long.

Sinatra's rich vocals filled her mind. 'Regrets? I had a few ...' It was too late to list all her mistakes and regrets now as she waited in the cold water. Except maybe one. Kate closed her eyes and recalled the details of his face. He'd be all right. The crew would look after him.

Water splashed up the back of Kate's head.

Setting her jaw, she gently caressed the trigger.

A hand grabbed her shoulder and roughly turned her over. A smirk of triumph filled his face.

Kate would soon wipe that smirk off his face as she acquired the target and squeezed the trigger.

Silence filled the jungle and Kate breathed again.