Loyalty

A sequel to the story, Bonds

A/NThis is a non-canon story and has seaQuest characters from Series 1 and 2. It also has O/C who appears in Bonds.

Nathan and Kristin are married and have adopted Lucas.

Michael Bridger is Nathan's younger brother and his wife Cara and Lucas were taken by Lawrence Wolenczak and Edward Curtis. Michael and Cara's daughters, Freya and Kit have exceptional mental ability especially Kit. Lucas and Freya started to become romantically attached.

If you want to read a little more about the family and their relationships – you can read from Chapter 36 in Bonds. There is also an epilogue at the end of the story which leads into this story.

Many thanks to darkin520 who has once again picked up the gauntlet to help with checking before publication :o)

Chapter 1

Lucas was in heaven.

He was in England, in Oxford, walking towards Magdalen Bridge past All Souls' College, hand in hand with Freya. What could be better? He was in an ancient centre of learning, the bastion of education. It was autumn and the leaves were turning their wondrous shades of reds, oranges, and yellows that only nature could mix. When they had walked in Christ Church meadow they had tried to catch the twirling leaves as they fell for luck. He couldn't stop smiling. He had come over to England with Kristin for Cara, Freya, and Kit's half-term holiday.

Michael, Cara's husband, could have almost waved as their planes crossed somewhere above the Atlantic since he had flown to New Cape Quest to consult on an upgrade to the maglev on seaQuest. It was also an excuse to spend some time with his older brother, Nathan Bridger.

So this holiday was just Kristin, Cara, Kit, Freya, and Lucas. Cara had suggested Oxford for the day and she and Kristin were with Kit, leaving Lucas and Freya to wander around together on their own, Kit-free. Lucas loved Kit, but she was nine-years old and Freya's younger sister; he desperately wanted to spend some alone time with Freya as a couple, and here they were.

It was perfect.

He had missed Freya since the summer holidays when the English Bridger family had spent time at New Cape Quest and then on Bridger Island. He was disappointed to have not been with Freya on her fifteenth birthday, but they had spent hours on the vid-link celebrating on their own. They kept in regular contact when he was on seaQuest, and their long distance romance suited them both and was progressing slowly and steadily. He watched her looking in the shop windows, her blond hair scooped up into a loose bun on her head, with wisps falling over her face. She was dressed in a forest green outfit – jumper and skirt with boots to match. Lucas vaguely wondered if Maid Marion would have looked the same and if so, he could understand why Robin Hood was attracted to her. Perhaps they could go to Sherwood Forest later on in the week as that was another place Lucas wanted to see; he would ask Cara when he saw her.

Suddenly, next to him, Freya stopped, and her body went rigid.

"What's the matter?" Lucas asked.

"I'm sure… it can't be… but it was so like…" She leaned up against Lucas. He noticed that she had gone really pale.

"Get Mum," she whispered.

Cara finally managed to find her phone in the dumping ground of her bag. Pens, paperclips, erasers, used tickets, packets of hankies, a screwdriver, a sewing kit, a penknife, and one single sock were finally moved out of the way to reveal the phone.

"Oh, hi, Lucas…" but before she could continue, Lucas interrupted.

"Can you meet us by Magdalen Bridge? Freya is… well she thought …"

"Don't worry; explain when we see you. We are on the way."

Lucas put his arm around Freya and guided her slowly towards the bridge. She held on to him, and they waited for the rest of the family.

Within minutes, he could see them coming towards him. Kristin was so striking, striding out ahead. She was wearing a short tweed jacket over a plum-coloured polo jumper and trousers that matched exactly. Her boots and bag also picked out one of the colours in her jacket. She was stunning. Her hair was cut and shaped to perfection, as was her make-up. In contrast, Cara came next; Lucas loved how Cara managed not to have anything that quite matched. She had a pale blue jumper, jeans, flat suede boots, and a black cardigan. Her multi-coloured bag jangled next to her hip, reflecting the myriad of a jumble inside it. Her blond, shaggy hair fell over her shoulders and her slightly too long fringe spoke of a busy working mum who spent a lot of time helping other people and not herself. Kit had grown since the summer and was now nearly ten. Her little girl features were slowly turning into the more angular features of the Bridger side of the family. However, her blond hair and twinkling blue eyes clearly made her the daughter of Cara.

"Freya, what is it?" Cara went straight over to her daughter and put her arm around her as well. "You look as though you have seen a ghost!"

"Not seen, more like felt."

"What do you mean?"

Freya took a deep breath and looked at the ground as she really didn't want to have eye contact with anyone.

"I suddenly had a feeling that Robert was really near by."

"Robert who?" Kristin and Lucas asked together.

"Bridger," answered Kit, who had sensed what her sister was trying to say.

"But Freya," said Cara, "Robert has been missing a long time and was presumed dead. What was it that made you think you had seen him?"

"Not seen, Mum, felt. It's really hard to explain, but I heard in my mind, 'fantastic Freya.' That's what he used to call me when we were playing together."

It was Cara's turn to have a sharp intake of breath. It was true; that's what Robert did call Freya on the very few occasions that she saw him.

Freya continued, "I remember him rolling the ball to me and then throwing it to me. When I caught it, he called me fantastic and ever since called me that all the time."

"You were very small. You must have only been four or five-years old at the time, He came and spent a summer with us before he went on a mission, the mission where he…" Cara trailed off, remembering the outcome and the sadness it brought Nathan and Carol.

"Didn't he spend time with Dad?" asked Lucas.

Cara turned to Lucas.

"You may not believe it, but ten years ago, Nathan was quite a different person. He was very career-minded. He and Robert often did not see eye to eye. Carol was the constant peacemaker. When Carol became ill, Nathan realised what was most important in his life, and he left the UEO." Cara turned to Lucas. "Did you see anyone?"

He thought for a moment, "There were people passing us, but I didn't see anyone suspicious. Everyone looked like us, just tourists."

Kristin looked at Cara. "You are taking this quite seriously, aren't you?"

Cara nodded. "Only the family knows about Fantastic Freya, and even I had forgotten about it until now."

"Frightful Freya, more like," commented Kit who was cross at having to leave a market stall where she had just persuaded her mum to buy her a rather excellent T-shirt.

"Kit," admonished her mother, "This is serious – can you help?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, can you concentrate and see if you can find Robert?"

"But I have no idea what he was like – I've seen the photos we have and the one Uncle Nathan has in the frame in the room in Bridger Island, but I don't know him."

"I know, sweetheart, but can't you just try and reach out with your mind?"

"Okay, I'll see what I can do." With that, she closed her eyes.

'Robert Bridger, I know this sounds stupid, but if you can hear me, let me know 'cause my mum and sister want to know if it was you that Freya felt a few moments ago here in Oxford – I don't mind as I don't know you.'

The other four members of the family looked expectantly at her.

"Naw – nothing doing, sorry." The other four members of the family were disappointed

"Shall we tell Uncle Nathan?" asked Freya.

"No," replied Cara, "Not until we have some more evidence. I don't want to worry him at the moment."

But Robert Bridger did hear his cousin. He knew that his two young cousins had great mental powers, especially Kit. But to experience it first hand was truly amazing.

He had wanted to speak to Freya, but she was with Lucas Wolenczak, no Lucas Bridger – his adopted brother. Seeing her close up had rekindled memories long-forgotten of being at his Aunt and Uncle's house in England, playing with a small child. He remembered the welcome he had always received and the feeling of being settled when he was with them. His life was now different, and it was his turn to watch and protect.

To make sure they were safe and to do this, he had to be invisible. He had received training of how to make his mind quiet and unnoticeable to probing from the minds of others – but the power and clarity he had felt from Kit had been far beyond anything that he had experienced before.

The department he now worked for had information that Macronesia had shown interest in Kit, and that could not happen. Robert was to make sure of that.

"Can I still have that T-shirt?" Kit brought everyone back to reality.

"Oh, Kit, I don't think so; I think we should think about going home," replied Cara.

"Mum, that's not fair. Just because Freya sees Robert in his faded denim jeans and his aviator sunglasses, we all have to …"

"Kit, how did you know what he was wearing?" interrupted Kristin.

Kit stopped. "I'm not sure; I saw it in Freya's mind. It's so small, anyone can poke around in there."

"But I don't know what he was wearing!" stated Freya.

"That's because you are no-one, not anyone," answered her sister.

Cara gave her younger daughter a disapproving look, then continued to speak to the others, "We should go now – Kit, we'll look for that T-shirt on the Internex. I'll feel better in the car."

Cara could feel her heart beginning to race, but Kristin's reassuring arm around her shoulders was calming and as they walked closer to the car, she began to feel better.

With Kristin reassuringly next to her and the girls and Lucas safely in the back, she began the drive up the Woodstock Road, north, towards home. Lucas always marvelled how Freya and Kit managed to fall asleep within five minutes of being in the car. He never felt the urge and so instead put his micro earphones into his ears and listened to music.

"Are you alright, Cara?"

Kristin put her hand on Cara's shoulder.

"Yes, I just want to be home."

The rest of the drive was uneventful, and Cara and Kristin reverted to talking about what website would be the best to find the T-shirt Kit liked and how long the meat would take to marinate for the recipe she had planned for the evening meal. After an hour and a half, the familiar landmarks of their village started to appear and as if by magic, the girls woke up.

"What's for tea?" Kit said, almost in synchronisation with her eyes opening.

"We'll have some tea and toast and then I'll start to prepare our evening meal," replied Cara.

"Can we have the brownies I baked yesterday?"

"We'll see." That was Cara's way of saying, 'it depends how hard they are and what they taste like.' Kit may have incredible ability with her mind, but her ability to follow a recipe on her own was still in the developmental stage, and she had insisted on making the brownies totally on her own.

As she pulled the car onto the driveway, the rest of the family started to get out. Kristin had keys for the house and began to unlock the door with the rest of the family following. Cara stayed in the car.

"I'll just put the car in the garage," she called.

Kristin raised her hand in acknowledgement and continued inside the house.

As Robert was driving up the single-lane A-road, a farmer's tractor pulled out in front and blocked the carriage way.

'Damn it, I hate these small English roads,' he thought to himself and settled down to wait for the tractor to manoeuvre its way around the road.

On seaQuest, during a break from discussions about the maglev upgrade (which did not include a sweet dispenser or screen for showing films as Kit had suggested which still made the Bridger brothers laugh after nearly a year) and over a well earned coffee, Nathan continued his favourite pastime, winding up his younger brother.

"So, have you checked your bank account yet? Kristin has had two days to influence Cara and the girls over what to buy?" The smile on Nathan's face was very broad.

"I'm sure my wife will exhibit restraint," replied Michael. Then he thought about it. Nathan waited. Michael groaned, "Oh dear…I'd just better go and look…" and he went towards his quarters.

"Got you! One to Nathan." The captain of the seaQuest was still pleased he could predict his younger brother's thoughts.

"I've just thought …" Cara was saying as she walked through the front door of her house. She stopped. There was no-one downstairs. Kristin's bag, a couple of the shopping bags and Lucas's phone and ear pieces were on the floor.

The hairs on the back of her neck stood up. She sensed the movement behind her, searing pain at the back of her neck, and then darkness.