David's Star II: Journey's End - Chapter 10
by Cassi

Horatio kept his emotions carefully hidden as Matthews and Styles rowed back to the ship. Will, was also quiet, although it was obvious he was not his usual self.

Originally, Horatio had his doubts as to Acting Lieutenant Hobbs' morals and his sense of duty. He had questioned him when they had returned to the jollyboat. Hobbs did not say much, though it was clear he knew what they had done. His only mentions of the injured Officer were that he had not seen Kennedy alive, nor had he seen any of the men speaking to him. He had come only at the Captain Richards' insistence to see Miss White Eagle.

In his eyes, Horatio had seen a softening. If not for Archie's benefit, he would keep his silence at Hannah's request, though Horatio knew nothing of what had been said between the two of them, it was more than obvious she had spoken with Hobbs for a while.

Dr. Sebastian had volunteered his services as a Surgeon for the Retribution, until they found the Commodore's flagship. If they didn't find it, he would accompany them to England. Although he mentioned that the Commodore was very likely to seek their ship out, as Luis was not only his Surgeon, but his friend. The others knew there were other reasons as to why Pellew would be looking for them, though. It had become common knowledge between the men in the boat that the Commodore had overseen the transfer of Kennedy to David's Star, and would be anxious to know of the young man's condition.

When the group returned to the ship, Horatio gave Will the watch and retreated to his cabin. When the door closed behind him, he finally let the tears he'd been holding back fall. His friend was alive and would continue to live. Of this, he had no doubts, but as Archie had been his closest friend, his brother even, he would still miss him dreadfully. Though his pain and the guilt he had carried before had been eased greatly, he still felt the loss in his heart.

Sighing, he pulled out the wax sealed envelope Archie had given him, and placed it in a safe place in his sea-chest. Removing his topcoat, he heard the distinctive rattle of paper. Frowning, he picked the coat back up, and discovered something else in his other pocket. Another envelope; this one so stuffed full, the paper was straining at the contents. It was also wax-sealed, and below the wax, was what he knew to be called scotch tape; put there in an attempt to keep the letter from bursting open. This envelope had his own name in the center. The handwriting was that of Dr. Casse. Opening it, he found four folded letters, some sort of card and several pictures that had obviously been taken at the time Archie and Horatio had been on David's Star, not to mention a few others that had been taken after Horatio had left the ship to rejoin Captain Pellew's crew.

Seated in his bunk, he dumped the contents of the envelope on the bed. The letters were in four handwritings. One, he recognized as Archie's. The second was that of Dr. Casse. The third belonged to Captain Richards, and the fourth he realized to be Hannah's handwriting. The card had a picture of David's Star on the cover. The entire crew was in a group together on the main deck. It had been taken at the beginning of the voyage, Horatio realized, as he could visibly see Jesus and George in the midst of the grinning crew members. It didn't have Hannah or Allyssa in it, but Horatio noticed a man he had never seen before. Obviously it was George Sebastian, the crewman who had been killed the day David's Star had first come across his path.

Opening the card, he smiled through his tears. It had been signed by the entire crew, including Archie, who had signed only his first name.

Placing the card aside, Horatio slowly picked his way through the pictures. There were many of himself and Archie. In addition to those, there were pictures of everyone, including some recent pictures of Hannah and Allyssa.

It took him close to an hour to get through the stack of pictures, pausing at the memories they brought back.

Moving on to the letters, he opened the one from Captain Richards first. Amongst the expressions of his best wishes and his reassurances that Archie would be taken care of and looked after until he was settled in, the Captain had advised Horatio not to show the pictures to anyone, with the exception of those who already knew the secret of David's Star.

That was certainly understandable, considering what the pictures contained. No, he would definitely never show them to anyone else. He would keep them safely hidden. Sighing, he placed the pictures back into the envelope with the card and laid back, contentedly reading letters.

In his own quarters, Acting Lieutenant David Hobbs lay in his hammock, reflecting on the day's events and the things Miss White Eagle had told him. On the Quarterdeck, away from the others, she had told him her story. What had happened in her past and of the birth and loss of her child. He had listened, now fully understanding what had happened on the Renown. Seaman Robins had been hanged shortly after their arrival in Kingston. Much to the surprise of those present, he had gone willingly and was completely at peace. Whatever the exchange between Robins and Dr. Casse had obviously affected him deeply and though he did not speak of what was said during the time, his actions and demeanor were completely changed.

Robins was granted; at his own request, the time to speak with Miss White Eagle briefly before he was executed. She told Hobbs he had apologized for his actions the night he had attacked her and she had given him her forgiveness and her best wishes, kissing him on the cheek. She'd said she understood and would not hold anything against him.

As he approached the gallows, with conviction, he had only said he was ready to go home.

Shifting his mind back to the present, Hobbs re-read the letter he'd been given by Miss White Eagle and smiled at the picture she had made her friend, Miss Marsden, take of the two of them on the Quarter deck. He knew not how it was made, but he would keep it hidden amongst his dearest keepsakes with her letter.

Kennedy was a very fortunate man, he thought to himself. Though she had not mentioned it, he knew full well they had saved the Lieutenant and taken him with them. He had seen Kennedy's sea-chest when it was brought aboard David's Star. As for the possibility of Kennedy and Miss White Eagle eventually ending up together, Hobbs had no doubts she did love him. It had been visible in her eyes, she had loved him from the first day. Above all else, he hoped for her happiness and deliverance from the past that haunted her.

The letter and picture safely hidden, Hobbs finally allowed himself to fall asleep. He had only a few hours before he would take the watch from Lieutenant Bush.

Archie stirred. He had been dozing lightly, and wasn't sure how long it had been since the singing in the other room had stopped. He only knew it had gone quiet in the sick berth, and the medication he was being given through the IV left his head blissfully cloudy.

A sound.

Archie frowned. In his narcotic-induced lightheaded state, he couldn't determine the origin of the sound until something brushed his arm, startling him. His eyes shot open as he instinctively jerked away. The action was instantaneously regretted when a pain in his chest took his breath away.

Coughing, he was dimly aware of someone's arm around his back, pulling him into an almost sitting position, while holding the oxygen mask over his mouth and nose.

"Sorry." Hannah whispered, as he caught his breath. "I didn't mean to scare the crap out of you."

At the sound of Hannah's voice, Archie's pulse slowed as he allowed himself to relax. After his coughing stopped and his breathing normalized, she lowered him back down to his pillow.

"I'm alright." He reassured her, keeping his voice down. "You just startled me is all."

"Note to self." Hannah responded. "Do not sneak up on patient under the influence of narcotics and blood thinners who has had major chest surgery."

Despite the slowly subsiding pain in his chest, he couldn't help but chuckle.

"I was going to disconnect the transfusion IV, but it seems you're seeping again."

Archie groaned in dismay.

Hannah placed the oxygen mask into the drawer in the table beside his bed, and readjusted the tubing under his nose. "Don't get ahead of me." She spoke up reassuringly. "I'm still going to disconnect it. The bleeding has slowed enough that you should be alright."

"So what happens if—"

"I'm leaving the port in, just in case."

Archie made a face.

Hannah laughed. "And I can see you have had dealings with this before."

Archie shrugged. "It's mainly just an annoyance, but Katryn explained the reasons for doing so last time, so I do understand why."

"As long as there are no farther bleeding problems, it'll be removed in a day or so." Hannah informed him, walking over to the cabinet to fetch yet another gown to replace his soiled one.

Archie eyed the new gown. "After all this changing, how is it you even have more in there?"

Hannah laughed. "We soak them in peroxide to remove the blood and then they go to the laundry room." She explained. "However, in this case, you no longer need one with buttons on both sleeves. We have more of the other kind on hand."

"Huzzah." Archie retorted, flatly, with a snort, letting her remove the gown he was wearing.

Hannah giggled. "Actually we haven't changed the gown as much as you'd think." She informed him. "Your assumption earlier about leaving it off was right on the money. We left the gowns off for the first few days after going through about twelve in seven hours."

Archie nodded, thankful he had not been awake for that part.

"Hold this while I change the bandage." She ordered, handing him a flashlight. "This way I don't have to turn the light on."

Archie laid back and propped his elbow on raised railing at the side of the bed opposite from where she was standing. He remained silent, watching her face as she applied the new bandage."

Hannah, conscious of his staring at her finished her work and discarded her gloves. "You're making me nervous." She informed him, finally meeting his gaze.

"Not intentionally." He returned, not shifting his eyes from hers.

Hannah held the stare for a moment before she turned away.

Archie chewed his lip before breaking their momentary silence. "Were you planning to go back to bed?"

Hannah stood a minute before she turned, a small inquisitive smile curving at the corner of her mouth. "Why?" She asked. "Are you bored?"

Archie shrugged, the hint of a blush creeping on his cheeks. "A bit." He responded, honestly. "I have a feeling I'm not going to be getting up any time soon. What exactly am I supposed to do in all this spare time?"

Hannah gave a sly smirk. "You've got a book on the bed beside you." She pointed out, motioning to the book of Shakespeare's Sonnets propped up against the bed railing, where it had slid down when he'd started to doze earlier.

"I've read it at least five and twenty times already."

Hannah raised one brow, looking amused. "You're a really fast reader." She quipped, slyly. "You've only been awake for about 8 hours now."

Knowing she was teasing him, Archie remained silent, not taking the bait.

"Not sleepy then?" Hannah went on. "You looked like you were asleep when I walked over here."

"I heard you." Archie put in, defensively. "It just took me a bit to figure out what I was hearing." He motioned to the smaller bag of liquid connected to the saline bag attached to the IV tubing in his other arm. "Whatever that medication is that Katryn put in that thing, it's really good."

"Fentinel." Hannah informed him. "It's a very small amount, but in this case you needed something stronger than morphine."

Archie raised his eyebrows. "How much stronger than morphine is it, exactly?"

"Roughly about 100 times stronger." Hannah answered. "Which is why we're only giving you a very small amount in IV push; meaning diluted in saline and hooked into your IV on a time release schedule."

100 times as strong. Archie's gaze drifted as he reflected on this. It certainly explained why his head was so fuzzy. "How long am I to be on that?"

"Not too long." Hannah replied, squeezing his shoulder reassuringly. "We're going to take you back down to morphine after a day or two."

Archie swallowed and nodded.

"Your body is going to take a while to get past the shock of the injury, Archie." She told him seriously. "This isn't like breaking a leg. You literally got a hole blown into your lung and severely damaged part of your liver, not to mention the gall bladder, and I don't think I need to remind you that you wouldn't have survived the trip to Kingston had we not found your ship in time."

"You never told me what happened that day when you called Jesse in." Archie responded, frowning. "There was something about blood clotting and I couldn't breathe."

Hannah sat down in the chair beside his bed and seemed to be thinking a moment before her dark eyes met his gaze. "It was what we call pulmonary embolism." She told him, quietly. "It's what happens when the blood starts to clot in your lungs, choking off the air supply to the brain. Identifiable by a sudden onset of pain in the chest, serious difficulty breathing, bleeding at the mouth, and cyanosis."

Cyanosis. He vaguely remembered her using that word in the sick berth on the Renown. "Pale blue color." He commented, thoughtful.

Hannah nodded. "Usually appears first around the mouth and eyes, then spreads."

"Then what happened?"

"The injured lung was collapsing, and you had abnormal breathing sounds in the other one."

Archie's frown deepened.

"You were going into what we in medical trade call 'Respiratory Failure.'"

After a thoughtful moment, he looked back at her face. "Meaning both lungs were failing." He responded, distantly.


Hannah nodded. "You needed a chest tube to drain the blood build up in the lung that was choking off the oxygen to your brain. You can only go without oxygen for so long before you end up with brain damage. I've only ever assisted on that kind of procedure once in my entire career before that day, but you were going into Respiratory Arrest, and you would have died."

Archie frowned, considering this. "Then it would seem I owe you my life." He remarked after a moment.

Hannah rolled her eyes. "More Jesse than me."

Archie met her gaze with a sly grin. "Don't discredit yourself, my dear." He quipped, smirking. "You were there. Jesse had to be called there."

"Yes but Will was the one who called him." She pointed out.

Archie raised an eyebrow. "Leftennant Bush?" He mused. "And just how did he know how to call Jesse?"

"Shut up." Hannah ordered.

"That's what I thought." Archie retorted, with a triumphant grin.

"If you don't stop that this minute, I'm going to twist those stitches and make you beg for mercy."

Archie stared at her a second before he dissolved into laughter.

"Okay, time for another blood transfusion."

Archie immediately fell silent. He didn't mind some teasing but he did not want to have to deal her putting him back on transfusions.

Satisfied, Hannah stood up.

"You never did answer my question, though." Archie spoke up quietly.

"What question was that?"

"If you were going back to bed or can you sit a while longer?" He reminded her.

"You really are bored, aren't you?"

Archie shrugged. "As I said before, I have a feeling I'm not going to be getting up any time soon." He answered, honestly. "However, that's not the main reason I asked."

"I know." Hannah responded, distantly.

Archie kept silent, waiting for her to finish.

"It's a really long story to tell." Hannah finally replied.

Archie sighed. "I'm not going anywhere." He told her, quietly. "But if you're too tired tonight, I can understand that. I suppose I can find something else to do."

Hannah gave a thoughtful look. "So you're bored with reading." She commented, more to herself than to him. "What else did you have in mind?"

Archie chewed his lip, thoughtfully. "Does Katryn still have that music player?" He asked, curiously. "I didn't see her with it."

Hannah laughed. "Well, she has a music player, but not the one you'd remember." She informed him, with a grin. "That music player died a horrible death of overuse syndrome and when the ship came back to resupply, Katryn found out that they had stopped making those walkmans."

Archie's eyes widened in shock, remembering how attached Katryn was to her walkman.

"Yeah, that's about how she took it too." Hannah answered, laughing. "But hang on a sec."

Archie's brow furrowed as Hannah rushed off toward the women's quarters. After a moment, she returned with something in her hand. Something rather tiny and rectangular.

She handed the item to Archie. Confused, he looked it over. It seemed to be some little rectangular metal object in a little case with a belt clip on it. Opening the case, he pulled out the metal object. It had a tiny screen, and a round circle with different shapes on it, but he couldn't figure out what to do with it. On its backside, he distinguished the odd word, 'iPod' with a picture of an apple beside it.

He looked up at Hannah. "I'm assuming this can't play tapes, and I don't see any way to open it, so how does it work?"

Hannah reached over to the top of the device and pointed at what appeared to Archie to be a tiny button. Making sure he watched what she was doing, she slid the switch over. The little screen lit up. "That's the lock." Hannah told him. "It keeps it from being accidentally turned on."


Step by step, Hannah showed him each feature and how to sift through the playlists on the 'iPod'.

Archie, noting that several of the singers and titles were familiar from his days of listening to Katryn's tapes, looked up at her. "How many songs are on this thing?"

"Over 1400." Hannah answered.

Archie stared at her. "On this tiny little thing?"

Hannah nodded. "It hooks into a laptop, where the songs are actually stored. Not all the songs on the laptop fit in this thing, so I switch them around a lot, but there are enough songs in there to keep you busy for a while."

"Then this is yours, I gather."

Hannah nodded. "Katryn has her own, as do a lot of others."

Archie nodded. "You have some of the same songs though." He pointed out, looking through them.

"A lot of the same songs." She corrected. "Katryn and I have similar music tastes. Although some stuff, I've gotten her hooked to, like Skillet."


"It's a band."

"Named after—"

"A frying pan." Hannah confirmed, laughing at his confusion. "Despite that fact, they're really good, if you like very hard rock . . . which I do."

"As in Metal-Rock?"

Hannah nodded. "Except that Skillet is a Christian hard rock band."

Archie shrugged. "Interesting." He'd heard some metal music on Katryn's walkman. It wasn't bad, although the shouted lyrics had given Horatio a headache. Archie, himself, had actually liked some of it. "I'll look that one up." He responded after a beat. "Skillet, you say?"

"Yeah, but it's easier to find on the playlist titled 'Metal.'"

Archie nodded, quickly finding it, and sifted through the songs. "Evanescence?" He questioned, eyeing the band names. "I've heard her music before."

"Amy Lee." Hannah noted. "She has a great voice."

"That she does." Archie agreed.

"I do have a condition for using this."

"Don't break it?"

"Well that goes without saying, but actually I was going to say don't sing with it."

Archie chuckled. "I'll leave that to Katryn." He managed to get out. "Somehow I doubt my injury will allow for singing. I've barely gotten back to speaking as it is."

Hannah grinned, wryly. "It only works for Katryn because she keeps one ear uncovered so she can hear herself making sure she's on key. Most don't do that and they're almost always off key. Drives me insane."

"Anything else?"

"Yeah." Hannah replied, as if remembering something. "Watch the battery level. It's rechargeable but the charger has to plug into something. It has enough power for at most 24 hours, but that's as long as the screen isn't lit the whole time. The longer the screen is lit, the more the battery is used. If you're listening to a playlist, let the screen stay off."

"How does it stay off?"

"It turns itself off after a bit." Hannah informed him. "Most of my playlists have a lot of songs so you shouldn't have a lot of trouble. If you don't like the song, just click the next button and it goes to another."

Archie nodded. "Got it."

"And if that's not enough to stem your boredom, here." She went on, dumping a few books into his lap.

Archie eyed the covers. Wordfinds; he was familiar with, having done them before during his last stay. The other two books, he frowned at. "What is 'Sudoku'?"

"It's another mind game involving numbers."

Archie gave a doubtful look.

"The directions are in the first pages." Hannah assured him. "No math skills needed. See?" She pointed to a note at the bottom of the cover of the book.

"Oh good." Archie retorted and pointed at his head. "Very little math skills included."

Hannah laughed but couldn't hide the yawn that followed.

"You'd better get some sleep." Archie spoke up.

Hannah nodded, checking his IV bag. "I think I'll change that first." She remarked, absently. "It's almost empty."

Archie looked up at the saline bag, realizing she was right. "I suppose it would be better than having to come back in a few minutes, although I must admit I wouldn't mind."

"Yeah, I bet." Hannah snorted.

"There is something else I may need before you disappear off to bed though." Archie put in, watching her hook up a new bag to his IV.


"Something to write with, that doesn't involve a quill and ink." Archie told her pointedly, motioning to the books in his lap.

Hannah closed her eyes and shook her head. "I knew that."

Archie grinned, watching her return to her room.

When she came back, he was surprised to see her holding a sack of markers and pens.

"Good Lord, I didn't really mean quite that many."

Hannah shrugged. "Variety." She remarked, plopping the bag on his bed. "You can do them all in different colors."

Archie laughed. "How bored would one have to be to consider that?"

Hannah gave him a pointed look and opened the book of wordfinds.

To Archie's surprise, as he flipped the pages he discovered that not only were there several in the book that were already done, but every one of them was in a different color. "Point made." He managed, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Here." Hannah interrupted, holding something else out.

Archie frowned. "What is it?"

"It's a reading light." She explained. "It clips to the book you're working in so you don't have to have a brighter light."

"Oh, how clever." Archie mused, turning it on.

"Makes it less annoying for the others in the room."

"It also helps the others in the room if you keep your voices down and stop giggling over there!"

Hannah closed her eyes. "Thanks Dave."

Archie started laughing again.

"By the way, nurse, I need some more drugs." Conrad went on. "And could you change my IV bag too, oh and how 'bout a nice big smooch and a sponge bath while you're at it?"

Holding his chest now, Archie was in stitches. (no pun intended)

Hannah, noticing his situation, pulled the oxygen mask back out as Archie started coughing again.

"Dave, can you lay off?" Hannah ordered, holding the mask over Archie's face. "You're going to kill him."


"Do I have to come out there?" Jesse's voice cut in from his room.

"I think he's ok." Hannah responded.

Archie finally caught his breath and wiped the tears from his cheeks. "I'm alright." He assured them.

"Sorry again." Dave put in, sincerely.

Hannah replaced the mask in the drawer and moved over to check Dave's IV, finding it to be nearly empty. Changing it, and making sure Dave got his morphine dose, she returned to Archie's side to check on him. "Anything else?"

Archie gave a sheepish look. "Am I allowed water yet?"

"Jess, is he allowed water yet?" Hannah called out.

"Well let's see . . . after all that stress—"

Archie groaned.

"Are you going to behave yourself out there?" Jesse retorted.

"Yes, Daddy." Archie returned.

Dave snickered.

"I suppose he can have a bottle of water." Jesse finally answered.

Hannah retrieved it from another cabinet and set it on the bed beside Archie. "Is that everything?"

Archie, noting the exhaustion in her voice, nodded. "Goodnight Hannah."

"G'night Archie." She murmured, giving his shoulder the customary squeeze.

"G'night Hannah." Dave intoned, sweetly.

"Ah shaddup." Hannah snorted, headed for her room.

Archie resisted the urge to laugh, by turning on the iPod, and placing the headphones over his head to tune Dave's suggestive comments out.

Dave, bored to tears himself, had been switching back and forth doing between crossword puzzles and reading books in the "Left Behind" book series. He had read them several times now and still enjoyed them, regardless of Katryn's pointing out all the continuity errors in addition to some factual errors. Despite these things, even Katryn loved the series and owned all of them. Perhaps he'd see if Archie was interested in reading them when he got bored with the puzzle books.

For the moment, he decided, he would stop teasing Hannah. It was plain obvious she had feelings for the young Lieutenant. Dave had not missed the way she had acted the entire time he'd been in the coma. He knew as well as most others how much Hannah had slept during that time. Not only that, Dave had also noticed Archie seemed to have the same regard for Hannah. Probably best, he decided. Dave liked Archie and had spent a lot of time around him the last time he'd been there. At that time, he'd wondered if perhaps Archie could have come between Katryn and Jesse. As time had gone on, it had become more obvious Katryn saw Archie more like a younger brother.

Archie, at the time, had actually spoken to Dave about her once or twice. Archie, after having been moved back to the main sick berth after the pins had been removed from his knee, had told Dave exactly how he'd seen things. He loved Katryn a lot and it was hard for him to believe how much older she was. As for anything romantic, however, he mentioned Horatio had asked him the same thing and he had given Horatio the same answer. Archie had already noticed Katryn had obvious feelings for Jesse and it was clear Jesse loved her too. Having great respect for both of them, Archie had not even attempted to come between them and; he expressed at the time; he was not even sure he could have come between them.

To see the way Hannah acted with Archie had been to Dave, a miracle. When Hannah had first come on board the ship as Jesus' replacement, he had noted something off about her. Hannah had a quiet nature and a gleam in her eyes that revealed a lot of pain. She had dressed mainly in black, in addition to painting her nails the same color. Though she had to wear her period men's clothing, she had chosen mainly black in this as well, including her black breeches. Her nail polish had been pushing the dress code, but Russ had allowed it as it was not easily noticed.

As the group was like family to each other, they shared a lot about themselves. Dave knew about Hannah's baby, and he knew how the child had come to be, as well as how the child had died. Of all the hurt Hannah still carried with her, of all the people she could have found, Dave knew that Archie was the one person who would understand her the most. Hannah may still wonder as to what God's purpose was for her to be chosen for the crew here, but Dave had no doubts in his mind. Hannah was there for Archie, and it was also why God had saved the young man's life. The two, in Dave's opinion, were meant for each other long ago and it would greatly surprise him if they were not an item before the end of the journey.

Laying back, Dave tried to find a comfortable position to possibly sleep. The morphine Hannah had given him had taken care of most of the pain in his face, but he still had trouble sleeping.

How much had this journey changed the lives of the crew? The friends he'd come to love and then said goodbye to. The Navy SEALs on the ship had been a very close group. Nothing had prepared Dave for what he had seen in the explosion. They had not been wearing their protective gear that day, with the exception of their bullet proof vests. George had heard the click preceding the first blast. He had moved to shield Jose from the explosion, knowing Jose was not even wearing a vest.

Petur, who had been closest to the shot at the time, had jolted the cannonball unknowingly. When it clicked, he had been seated right next to it, working on another. Conrad, having heard the explosion, had ran for the room, with Jesse and Jesus. Petur was not even recognizable. George had taken most of the burns and shrapnel, covering Jose. Conrad had quickly pulled Jose from the room. Jesus was working on George, and with Katryn and Willie seeing to Jose outside the room, Jesse had gone in with Conrad to check George.

This was when Conrad had heard the second click from the shot Petur had been working on. In a split second, he had screamed for KC to get Jose away, and he had grabbed Jesse, pulling him toward the doorway, moving himself in front of him. The shot had blown, the shrapnel impaling both Jesus and George and the ensuing fire ball backlash had caught he and Jesse as they struggled to get out of the room.

Katryn had shot the both of them with a fire extinguisher as Kim had come racing back, the Captain behind him. Russ quickly had gotten men on the job of getting the injured out of the way, and Major Hendricks had allowed only those in full Kevlar gear into the room.

Dave closed his eye. He had not remembered much after being shot with the fire extinguisher. He had passed out as soon as he was sure Jesse was still alive.

When he had finally awakened in the sick berth, the whole side of his face in bandages, with Jesse in the next bed over, Katryn had told him he had permanently lost the sight in his right eye. Due to his loss in eyesight and depth perception, Dave was still awaiting the verdict on his condition. The chances at this point were that he would likely be discharged from the SEAL team. This, to Dave had been the hardest news to take after his learning who had died in the explosion. He was to be eventually awarded a metal for saving Jesse's life, but even this had not really cheered him much. He'd felt bad at not being able to have gotten Jesus out as well, but the young nurse had been just out of Dave's reach.

He sighed, remembering how they had been back in the beginning. Joking around, bored, and reckless. Back when they had saved the Indefatigable by sinking the two French ships, Dave had been seriously reprimanded, as had the others who had broken the dress code rules. The only thing that had saved them back then was the fact that the two French ships they had sank were supposed to have been later sank in a storm in the northern Atlantic. When the ships had not returned and the French were unable to recover them, it had been assumed they had either been sank by the British or lost another way.

The rules had gotten more strict after that incident, and none dared to be seen above decks without being properly dressed, and the women were required to be in men's clothes as per the propriety rules of the time period. Since then, there had been no problems. They still fired on another ship if that ship fired on them, but the shots were mainly aimed for the masts and rigging. Only if the ship persisted, did they fire into the hull.

Also due to the complaints regarding the flag, the sponsors had changed the color to white with a black star. This had fixed a lot of their misunderstandings.

Three years. Good times and bad, Dave still did not regret signing up for the trip. Though things like the explosion were not so good, the trip itself had been nothing short of an adventure worthy of any movie on the silver screen.

Sighing, Dave, having finally found a comfortable position and went back to reading Soul Harvest, before a half hour later, he at last fell asleep.

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