Chapter 14

Back on the Hamersley the RHIBs had unloaded RO and Marie being rushed to sick bay, both fairly stable. Mike and Nav and Buffer had followed them down.

"What happened?" Mike questioned

"It was a trap Sir he was waiting for X. This is her mother" Buffer spar that word out it was clear she hadn't been a good mother to Kate

"Kate's mother is dead" Mike commented surprised

"I can assure you I am not yet" Marie argued

"He shot RO said he owed him that"

"The bugs I knew I should have said something" Ro moaned as Chefo tried to patch up his wound

"What bugs?" Mike asked confused

"XO had me search the ship for them this OW morning, they were all over. I said we should report it but she wouldn't let me"

"So Roy kills her mother, bugs the boat, sets a trap for Kate why?" Mike questioned

"Revenge" Marie guessed

"Revenge what for?" Mike asked failing to keep the surprise from his voice

"Kate testified in a case against him put him away for 20years" Marie recalled

"What happened?" Mike inquired Marie shut her mouth "it could help us to save her"

"Roy beat us both for a long time, Kate's school found out so Roy decided to kill her hide the evidence."

"20 years ago" Swain muttered trying to do the maths

"She was 7 years old!" Mike worked out having the advantage of knowing Kate's age

"But she was a real brat always wanting attention" Marie recalled

"She was 7 years old" Mike repeated before deciding to move on "what happened next?"

"He ordered Ro and I out, said he'd shoot RO again if we didn't. Then Marie came our saying there was a bomb. Then Roy came out his gun pointed at X telling us we had 5 minutes. X indicates he was telling the truth and we evacuated" buffer recalled

"Ok we'll continue to track them. Buffer I want you to prepare a boarding party get them ready." Mike ordered returning to the bridge. They were following Roy's boat from a distance.

Suddenly it exploded. Water, fire and smoke erupted from the small boat.

"Get the RHiB in the water Buffer get your team there we have to search for survivors Swain g with him there could be serious iniuries " Mike ordered running on deck half the crew behind all armed with binoculars as they searched the wreckage. The smoke was making it really difficult to see clearly anything in the water.

Leaving his crew to search Mike had the hard job of informing NAVCOM

Commander Steve marshal answered the phone

"Sir we have a situation. My XO Kate McGregor has been kidnapped"

"Mike start from the beginning" Steve said worry creeping into his voice

Mike retold the whole story from Kate's mother dying to the bugs to the bomb exploding

"Dammit Kate" Steve muttered when the whole story was told.

"Sir?" Mike questioned

"Mike I'm about to tell you everything I know. Kate was abused by her stepfather Roy for 2 years before he tried to kill her by throwing her off the boat. Social services sent her back to her mother where the abuse continued. Until one day Marie beat her to within an inch of her life and left. Somehow Kate managed to go to school and get help she was then accepted into foster care. She was lucky enough to get 2 loving parents who although couldn't adopt her treated her like she was their own. Natalie and Simon. Recently Kate's foster mum died we thought it was a stroke." Steve finished

"How do you know all this Sir" Mike asked

"I was Captain on the ship who rescued Kate first time and my parents fostered her. I regard her as my little sister" Steve confessed "you need to find her Mike Roy will kill her"

"We will find her Sir" Mike promised wondering why Kate had never told him any of this.

"I'll try scramble as many resources to you as I can"

"Thank you Sir"

Mike re-joined his crew in the bridge. Using the binoculars off Charge he searched the wreckage.

"Sir we found something" Buffer radioed

"It's her jacket" he continued disappointed.

"Keep looking Buffer she is out there" mike replied wishing there was more he could do but both RHIBs were looking and all spare crew.

"Sir I see smoke" Nav yelled pointing at land on the horizon

Mike and most the crew directed there vision to the beach

"2 figures Sir" Nav reported we are too far away to get visual confirmation

"It's them get us there Nav" Mike radioed the RHIBs ordering Them to the beach knowing they were faster. They raced to the beach

"It's them Sir" Nav reported getting a clearer view "He is dragging X to a motor boat she looks in bad shape" She reported bad shape being an understatement.

Mike used his binoculars to look, not happy with what he saw. Her face was bruised and swollen, blood trickling down from several wounds. Her dark top shimmered red and was ripped as were her trousers and her bare feet were bloody and swollen.

"The motor boat has stopped" Nav reported watching as the RHIB got closer. "Oh God he has thrown the anchor over board, and Kate is attached"

"Buffer swain time is up" Mike reported as Kate went under the RHIBs arrived

Swain and ET dived under while buffer and spider cuffed Roy. Dragging him onto one of the RHIBs and ordering them back to the ship. Spider searched the motor boat finding the knife Kate has used to escape.

"Buff" he said holding up the knife. Buffer grabbed it diving in. Kate was limp ET and Swain struggling to untie her Buffer easily cut through the rope. Swain grabbed one side ET the other as they rushed to the surface. Spider pulled Kate in first Swain second

"She isn't breathing Spider chest compressions" Swain ordered pinching her nose and delivering 2 rescue breaths

Spider began pumping her chest as buffer and ET jumped abroad firing the motor and heading for the Hamersley. After 3 rounds Kate spluttered water leaking out her mouth as she began taking wet raspy breaths.

Swain put her in the recovery position taking her pulse

"She is back" he said relief in his voice.

As they arrived on the ship the crew was assembled ready to act. They lifted the stretcher in Buffer and Spider carrying to the ward room with Swain and Chefo close behind. The ward room was empty with RO and Marie having been moved out. Swain shut the door knowing the crew would be waiting outside. He administered the oxygen adding a few breaths as needed. Chefo took the observations relaying them to Swain. Nicky stood by helplessly

"Ok take over breaths Chefo I want gentle slow breaths. Nav I need dressings from over there" Swain ordered. "Apply pressure there care don't drive the wooden stake in any further and don't pull it out" he instructed siting an IV access point into Kate's arm. Quickly he started fluids letting them run on free flow. His headset bleeped indicating a doctor was on the line

"What you got sailor?" the voice asked

"Kate McGregor 32, assault and drowning successfully resuscitated on scene. Right airway is clear for now; breathing is laboured and raspy but improving on oxygen resp rate is 23 and sats 87 on 15l02 and partially ventilated via bag mask. Blood pressure is 92/56 pulse is 156. She is slowly coming round alerting to pain. She has several injuries most noticeably a wooden chair arm sticking out of her side, some burn marks and lots of bruising. I have put IV fluids through. Temp is 35.5 at the moment" Swain related.

"Sounds like you're doing all the right things you need to keep going with the oxygen and get her back to Cains ASAP" the doctor decided "And leave the spike in but start antibiotics if you can"

"Ok" Swain agreed. Opening the door as he predicted Mike was outside

"We need to get her back to Cains now" Swain said, "She is critical"

"We are 2 hours steaming away they're trying to order a helicopter evac" Mike reported

"It would be useful" Swain agreed deciding to go back to Kate.

Inside her observations were improving

"Ok we don't need to bag her anymore just put the oxygen on keep it handy though. Chefo check on RO and Marie for me"

"Swain she is coming round" Nikki reported,

"X, Kate can you hear me" Swain shouted

"No, No I'll be good I will I promise please mummy please" Kate begged beginning to thrash on the bed.

"Kate its ok she isn't here your safe" Swain reassured pinning her down. It didn't work

"SAILOR SNAP TOO" he shouted Kate went still on the bed so much so they both thought she had died. Reassured she was still breathing Swain continued

"Your safe now Kate can you open your eyes" he asked his voice a lot softer

"Hurts" Kate murmured

"I know I'm gonna help you with that" Swain promised "Nav pass the morphine" He administered it slowly. Kate settled down.

They kept a close eye on her all the way to port. She stirred a few times but generally remained asleep. On arrival an ambulance was standing by. Buffer and ET carried Kate out, RO and Marie behind. Swain handed over getting in the ambulance. It was his job to see things though. Mike escorted Roy into police custody with Spider. Though secretly Mike wished he was handing over a body bag.

Going back on ship he completed the post voyage paperwork as fast as he could which took extra-long as he had to do the stuff Kate normally did as well.

Finishing he rushed to the hospital to find his crew waiting there on one side even RO whose arm was in a sling with a dressing on it on the other side was Steve with some strangers.

"How is she?" Mike asked worriedly

"In surgery it's going to be a while" Steve replied. "I'm sorry I should do introductions. Simon Kate's father, Susan is Kate's sister; this is Mike Kate's CO and his crew, Nav, Buffer, RO, and Swain" Steve introduced pointing at the relevant person. Everyone said hello politely nodding as their name was introduced.

As they all sat down the doctor came in

"She is stable, the operation went well. The main problem was the deep laceration to her side with foreign body, we managed to remove all the particles but will need to follow up the surgery with antibiotics. Unsurprisingly the chest x-ray showed water on her lungs were going to give oxygen and more antibiotics and just wait for her body to absorb the water. She has a broken wrist which we had set and casted and lots of bruises all of which will heal in time as will the burns." The doctor reported "It will take approximately month before she is well enough to leave and she will need at least 3 months off work"

"We can arrange that" Steve promised.

"Good she will need a lot of support but it looks like she has that" the Doctor noted looking at the support network she had.

"Great we'll I'll be off then" Buffer decided, "Nav, RO would you like a ride home?" he offered they both accepted.

Mike stayed wanting to see Kate in his own eyes. He had only glimpses since she had left for the boarding. Steve excused himself needed to get back to work as did Susan as Emily needed collecting from school.

The doctor let Mike and Simon in they each took a side of her bed. She woke up smiling at both of them and sipping some water before slipping into a deep sleep.

"I would have killed him" Simon started suddenly breaking the silence. Mike looked up "Even with my Navy discipline he'd be dead"

"It was hard" he confessed "But once we become the judge, jury and executioner we become pirates. We become the things we hate" Mike replied passionately.

"Part of me knows your right" Simon admitted "but part of me doesn't care. Damn I feel so helpless." He confessed rubbing his hair. "Kate may not be mine genetically but I care for her just as much, even if she does find herself in more trouble."

"Trouble Kate?" Mike laughed, Simon turned serious

"I don't mean with the law I mean trouble with the heart. All she has wanted is to be loved" Simon remarked sadly "but even when she is loved she fears of losing it, fears they will change their minds and leave" Simon stroked her hand as Mike considered his words. "A few years back when Kate was in the academy we thought she had gotten over it, she became more confident, starting opening up. She was seeing a boy. Then one day she didn't come home. We searched all night for her all of us. Natalie found her half frozen, he'd dumped her, she waited all night for him to show. She shut down again after that. Only opened up to Natalie but even then it was less than before. That was the last time I felt like this waiting to see if she was ok, feeling hopeless" Simon sat quietly reflecting on what he had said. Mike needed air, rudely he barged out of the room making a run down stairs.

She had waited for him! He had been so convinced she wouldn't so sure. Even worse than leaving her waiting in the process he had destroyed her heart. Mike kicked the wall angry with himself and the Navy rules as he wondered how Kate could even work with him. No wonder she was so frosty to begin with and so hostile to Ursula. He made a decision right then and there to make it up to her. No matter what it took he would spend the rest of his life apologising.

Taking a deep breath he return to the hospital room.

Chapter 15

Kate woke up with a start. Again the nightmare of that day repeated itself. She reminded herself she was safe. She sat up glad to be home with her own belongings. 3 weeks in hospital had just about sent her insane. Now she was home it was better she had her own space even if Susan had moved in full time to help her. Her arm was still in plaster, itchy and heavy the cast allowed her to use her arm which was good because her feet were still swollen and bruised from the abuse they had taken. Twice a week a nurse came to the home to change them. Her side had healed well, the stitches had even come out and although there was an ugly scar and slight pain if she twisted funny she had been lucky not to incur any long term side effects. Her lungs were also in good shape she did breathing exercises every hour when awake and still used nebs to help strengthen them.

During her time in hospital she had a lot of time to think about the relationships in her life. Marie was gone dead to her she wasn't lying when she said she could never forgive her the fact that not once did she stop by just confirmed it.

Mike was a different case he visited every day they weren't at sea. Outside of work and the chain of command the friendship grew back into the small blossom it had once been. Although nothing was set and Kate was still being cautious it was the start of a beautiful friendship.

3 months after she had been carried off Kate was back smelling the sea air on the deck of the Hamersley. She smiled wistfully

She was homeā€¦.