Kids of HMAS Hammersley
Summary: Chloe Blake meets another Hammersley child at school.
Spoilers: It's set a few years after Season 5, so better watch all episodes of Sea Patrol before reading.
Disclaimer: Sea Patrol's not mine.
A primary school in Cairns, first day of the new term
"Mum! I'm ten years old and it's not my first day at school!", I protested when my mother gave me a hug. She let go and smiled. "Sorry dear. Have a nice day."
"Yeah mum, you too", I replied, then I entered the schoolground. I looked for my friends, but there were too many people around- teachers, pupils and a crowd of excited little kids (I'm not that tall, but I definitely wasn't as tiny as some of them back in Year One!)
Suddenly I nearly stumbled over a little girl squatting on the ground. "Oh, sorry", I apologized. "What are you doing down there?"
The girl looked up. "There was a really big spider, but it's gone", she explained. Then she got up and smiled at me, showing two missing front teeth. "Do you like spiders?", she asked.
"Well, I don't run away screaming if I see a spider, but I don't wanna keep one as a pet", I said. The little girl giggled: "You can't keep a spider as a pet!"
"Of course you can!" Oh no, I thought. Now she's gonna annoy her parents till they buy her a pet spider.
I decided to change topic: "What's your name, by the way?"
"Josy. And yours?"
"Chloe... Today's your first day at school, isn't it?"
Josy nodded. "My mum is here and my dad can see me from the sky", she said.
"From the sky? Is he a pilote?"
"No. He's an angel."
I must have looked very confused because she added, "He died before I was born, but now he's an angel and can watch me from up there."
"Oh, okay. In that case, my dad is an angel, too", I said. Chris, my dad, had worked on a Navy patrol boat. He hadn't come home very often and had died in an explosion when I was five, so I didn't remember much of him.
The bell rang and everyone made their way into the school building. In our classroom, by best friend Liza and me were seated next to each other, just like before the holidays.
That was the good news. The bad ones was that every Monday morning this term would start with two History lessons (My whole class hates History cause the teacher is sooo stupid!)
A few hours later
The last lesson was over, finally. I threw my stuff into my schoolbag and left the classroom together with my friends.
When we stepped out of the building, Liza said: "Sorry, I have to hurry up. Mum's taking me to the dentist's by car and I think she's already waiting for me..."
I made a face, I didn't like going to the dentist's either. "Well, see you tomorrow, then."
When Liza had left, I turned to my two second best friends Jenny and Katie. "What about you, can we walk home together?", I asked.
"Uhm, sorry, but we have to wait for our little brother. Today's his first day at school", replied Jenny or Katie (They're twins and even their parents sometimes mix their names up!)
Jenny or Katie rolled her eyes: "You know, he'd be perfectly okay if we didn't wait for him..."
"...but Mum thinks he could get lost on the way home or something like that", her sister finished the sentence.
Sometimes I'm happy to be an only child, I thought. "See you tomorrow, then."
I walked off alone and had nearly arrived at the gate when someone crashed into me from behind. I turned around to complain and saw it was little Josy. "S...sorry", she stuttered.
"Well, next time look the way you're running, okay?" But she had already run off and was now hugging a woman who was obviously her mother.
When I walked up to them, Josy said, "Hi Chloe, this is my mum."
"Yeah, I can tell." Josy's Mum looked like a taller version of her daughter (except for the missing front teeth): quite small, dark hair, blue-green eyes.
"You know Mum, Chloe's dad is an angel, too", Josy said.
"Is he? My condolences, Chloe."
Condo-what?, I thought. Why do adults always talk in such complicated words? "Uh, thanks ma'am, but what exactly does 'condolences' mean?", I asked.
"It's another way of saying, 'I'm sorry for you'."
"Oh, thanks", I said for the second time in less than a minute.
"Chloe?" That was Josy. "How did your dad become an angel?"
"Don't be so nosy", her mother said.
"No, it's okay. He was in the Navy and he died in an explosion when I was five."
Josy's mother seemed to be very interested in my story: "He was in the Navy? Do you know the name of the ship he worked on before that explosion?"
"It was a patrol boat called Hammersley. May I ask why you wanna know that?"
"Because I used to work on that ship, too."
"So... you knew my dad?" Of course she did, patrol boats aren't that big, I silently answered my own question.
"Well, there was only one person aboard who had a daughter named Chloe: Petty Officer Coxswain Chris 'Swain' Blake".
"Chris Blake, that was my dad", I agreed. "But 'Swain'..."
"... was his nickname", Josy's mother explained. "Short for coxswain, the person who steers a ship."
"Uh... does everyone in the Navy get a nickname like that?", I asked.
Josy's mother nodded. "Usually it's a short form of their job."
Josy had been quiet for a few minutes, but now she announced: "On mum's ship, there was a guy named Spider!"
"It wasn't my ship, dear, but yes, there was a sailor we called Spider. His actual last name was Webb."
"Well, I hope the nicknames for people with the last name Blake are nicer", I said.
"Why, are you planning to join the Navy after school?", Josy's mother asked.
"Well... yes", I replied.
"I don't", Josy said. "I wanna work in a zoo."
"Where there are lots of spiders, right?", her mother sighed. Josy grinned: "Yes!"
With a sigh, her mother turned back to me. "As far as I know, there's no 'official' nickname for the last name Blake, so it would depend on your job."
"Uhm, I don't know yet what exactly I'd like to do", I admitted.
"That's okay, you still have much time to decide." Josy's mother checked her watch. "I'm afraid we have to leave now. It was nice to meet you Chloe."
"Thanks, same to you..." Then I remembered something: "Josy said her father was an 'angel', too. I'm sorry."
Josy's mother nodded. "He was in the Navy as well." With that, she and Josy turned around and walked away.
A/N: For those who still haven't guessed: Josy's parents are Nikki 'Nav' Caetano and Josh 'ET' Holiday, with ET dying before his daughter was born :-(.
(I thought they should have a daughter because a Year One boy would probably not talk to Chloe and thus make the story a bit short ;-). Since a girl can't be named Joshua jr. and there's apparently no female version of that name, I decided on Josy).
PS: Reviews please! :)