2047, UEO National Cemetery, Miami Florida
The sound of the 7 guns going off simultaneously broke the silence. The large group of naval officers stood around the two caskets, side by side, separated by just a few feet. Besides the casket sat a woman holding a UEO flag as well as an American Flag. The woman closed her eyes as the 21 gun salute had finished. The caskets slowly were lowered and the view revealed the two tombstones.
Captain Nathan Bridger; Loving Husband, Loving Grandfather
Commander Lucas Wolenczak; Scientist, Specialist, Loving Husband, Loving Father
With the end of the 21 gun salute, the large group of naval officers started to walk away. Captain Ford, Lieutenant Commander Piccolo, Commander Hendrickson, Dagwood, and Admiral Hudson stayed with the woman, Piccolo placing his hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes and stood up, moving to the open holes in the ground. She fell to her knees before the hole Lucas had been lowered into and covered her face, crying. She held her swollen, 9 month pregnant stomach and just rocked, crying.
Admiral Hudson moved behind her, and reached for her, but she elbowed him away. She stood up and turned, looking at Oliver and glared up at him, her eyes tearing up once again. "You did this. You had to have a new Seaquest. You had to be the biggest, the best, and look what it got you. They are dead and my daughter will never see her father." She moved away from him and walked away slowly. She stumbled a bit, causing Dagwood to follow, with Tony Piccolo. Oliver looked at Ford and then down to the lowered caskets.
"She blames me, but we both know who did this. We have to find him. Does she know that her father is the one who killed them?" Oliver spoke softly as Ford walked towards him, paying his respects. He shook his head.
"No one knows yet, except Secretary McGrath, you, me, and Hendricks. We have put out a notice for information in regard to Robert Bridger. No sign that he is in trouble, and it is on secured UEO channels only." Ford responded and watched as Dagwood and Tony got into the waiting limo with the woman. In the limo, Tony looked at the woman.
"Natalie, you know this was not Admiral Hudson fault. But if you want to vent at someone, vent at me. It should have been me, not Lucas." Tony pointed out a pseudo truth. It was Tony that should have been piloting the craft that carried both Lucas and Nathan. Dagwood looked between the two, a sad, melancholy face as he avoided eye contact.
"I am a widow... at the age of 30. 40 if you want to get technical. I just lost the two most important people to me. My husband and my Grandfather. I told them both not to do it. 'Don't help them anymore. Let Seaquest rest.' That is what I told them. But you can never stop the two of them on anything once their eyes are set on something." She rubbed her stomach, looking out the window as the view of the two caskets disappeared.
At the wake reception, which was held at the Wolenczak home in St. Croix, the Seaquest's former crew, past and original talked and mingled, mostly about what they remember about Captain Nathan Bridger, and Lucas Wolenczak. Everyone was in attendance but Natalie Bridger-Wolenczak, who was outside, sitting on the dock. She had a dolphin between her legs and was rubbing his nose and head.
"Natalie sad. I miss Lucas." Darwin stated and spouted some water. Natalie wiped her eyes and nodded to Darwin.
"Darwin sad too. I miss both of them. We loved them very much." She said as she pet Darwin gently. She could hear someone walking down the dock, but chose to ignore them. She had no idea who it was, nor did she care.
In the house, Ford looked around and realized he was the only one from the original crew, other than O'Neill. He leaned back, sipping from a drink and shook his head. "I remember the first time we met. Captain Bridger was in khakis and a plain yellow t-shirt, and this snotty looking teenager was following him in a sundress. One of Nathan's stipulations when he came back was to see to it that his granddaughter had a room. He would not leave her."
"I don't recall Lucas and Natalie being very in love when I met them. From what I hear, she wasn't a fan of him when they first met." Tony stated, looking at Ford for answers to a question never asked.
"She didn't... She thought he was a smart mouth kid who was too smart for his own good. He had already graduated from College at age 16, and she was in 9th grade, doubling up on her studies to keep up with a school she never went to." Ford looked down and smiled, letting out a snicker. "I remember what she did when she saw him touching Darwin. She about hit the roof."
2018, Seaquest DSV on day of launch
"What the hell are you doing to my dolphin?" Was heard across the bay as a young girl walked in. She moved to Darwin, jumping into the water, sundress and all. Lucas looked over at the girl, and let out a grunt, his crooked smile trying to charm her out of being upset.
"Natalie, relax. Lucas here made Darwin talk." Nathan said, looking down at his granddaughter, shaking his head. He started to second guess his idea to let his granddaughter come on board a submarine with a teenaged boy.
"Natalie. Talk. Lucas nice." Darwin's voice was heard and she looked from Lucas, in a glaring manner, to Darwin, tilting her head. She pet his head and shook her head.
"Lucas too smart for his own good..." She said to Darwin and glared at the blond boy with the amazingly sparkled blue eyes. Lucas let out a laugh and then realized she was serious.
"Look here. I don't know who you are, or what you are talking about, but I improved Darwin's ability to communicate." Lucas tried talking to the girl, while looking her over. She wasn't bad looking for the young age of 13. Long medium brown hair, hazel eyes with a dark brown rim and green flecks. She stood 5'3" and had a decent figure. He was impressed, but not for the fact she is overly pretty, but for the fact she is the first girl to not be impressed by his brains and charming smirk.
"Natalie, Darwin is not your dolphin, he is my dolphin and get out of the water and dry off because we are leaving." Nathan stated, hands on his hips.
A little bit later, Natalie walked around the ship with Nathan, listening in on Dr. Westphalen's conversation, and meeting Lt. Krieg who was in the academy with her father, Robert. She followed her grandfather onto the Bridge to discuss the distress call Seaquest received and before Natalie knew it, they were at battle stations and the Bridge was being sealed off.
"Natalie, go to my room. Stay there until we figure out what is going on." He nodded to another officer to escort her out. As they walked down the hall to the Captain's quarters, the ship rocked and Natalie got thrown into a door. She let a cry as her head hit the door, slumping against it.
Lucas sat in his room, having sealed the door when the alert was sounded. When the ship was hit he fell to the floor, flipping off his chair. He heard a band and looked towards the door and in his own curiosity, opened the door, seeing Natalie collapsed against the wall. He blinked and looked around, seeing the escorting officer knocked out as well. Lucas wrapped his arms around Natalie, lifting her into his room and re-sealing the door, laying her on the floor.
"Umm...what's... Natalie! That's her name! Natalie, come on, wake up." She looked her over, seeing just a developing bump on her head. He looked at her, unconscious on the floor, noting that she almost looked angelic. He watched as she winced and her eyes opened and after blinking a few times, her eyes met his.
"You..." She said softly, wincing at the pain the red blinking lights were causing her. Her head was killing her.
"Come on; let's get you to sickbay... You got a bad bump." He gently helped her and lifted her to her feet, wrapping his arm around her and her arm around his shoulders. After a few moments, he walked her into sickbay, and Nathan was already there, looking over the current wounded.
"Natalie!" He called out, moving to Lucas and Natalie, then looking at Dr. Westphalen who moved over, checking her head. Lucas let Nathan take Natalie and backed up a bit, wondering if she was ok.
"Just a bump on the head, but she should get some rest." Dr. Westphalen said as she checked out Natalie.
Present Day (2047)
"She didn't like him at all?" Dagwood asked Ford as he tilted his head in a confused way. Ford nodded and sipped his drink.
"You need to understand. In the beginning Lucas was very cocky, and a bit of an egomaniac. Natalie was more of the island girl. She woke up, studied, and swam in a lagoon with Darwin. Seaquest was a completely different life for her. Never mind the fact she had no idea she was going to be staying. Natalie is a lot like Bridger; she spoke her mind and was very mindful of her surroundings." Ford tried to explain what it was like over 25 years ago, though to them, it had only been 15.
"Anyone seen Natalie?" Piccolo walked back into the house, worried about Natalie.
"She hasn't come back in yet that we saw." Henderson stated and looked at the group.
"She was outside with Darwin and now she is gone. Darwin said she was with a man." Piccolo stated and the group got up and went out to the dock where Darwin was swimming. Ford kneeled by the end of the dock and looked at Darwin.
"Darwin, what happened?"
"Natalie taken, she said 'you' and man pulled away." Darwin stated. Lucas had made a better vocalization program, but was still working on Darwin's ability to talk like a normal human could. Ford looked around and then ran back towards the house.
"Admiral! We have a situation! Someone took Natalie." Ford met Oliver and looked at him, seriously as the group caught up.
In the car with two men, Natalie didn't look scared, but she was. Any other time, she would have jumped out of the car, but not as pregnant as she was. She looked at the man who had grabbed her and shook her head at him.
"Why Robert? Grandpa spent years thinking you were dead. You left me as a baby... Why do you want me now?" Natalie asked the man who looked like a slightly younger version of Captain Bridger.
"It's not you I want. It's what your husband had. You are going to get me Seaquest. You know you should call me dad..." Robert looked at her as he stopped in front of a private jet.