David's Star II: Journey's End - Chapter 5
by Cassi

Reminder warning as stated in the beginning of this story. One scene may trigger memories for anyone who has ever been assaulted before. To reassure those, this scene is brief and the would-be attacker greatly underestimated his target.

Archie groaned and opened his eyes. His throat hurt and his head was fuzzy. What had happened? He searched his memory for what was going on. He remembered he couldn't breathe, and he remembered the nurse being frantic and calling for Horatio to come quick, but there wasn't much after that.


Turning his head, he saw the nurse, White Eagle sitting in a chair. She was not dressed as a man. She wore a loose fitting men's shirt over what he'd remembered Katryn had called a tank top. It was now very noticeable she was a woman. Why was she no longer hiding it?

"You look different."

Hannah gave a shrug. "Jesse blew my cover." She informed him, simply.

"Jesse was here?"

"Katryn was in surgery and I needed help."

Archie frowned. "Who was she doing surgery on?" No one had told him anything of anyone hurt on David's Star.

"There was an explosion a month or so back." The nurse explained. "Jesse was injured with Conrad. He has burns on the side of his face and his left hand is still in bandages. Conrad took it across the face, and his eye got burned. Katryn had been watching it, and told me yesterday she would have to take it out entirely if the infection got worse."

Archie frowned, taking this in.

"Also Jesus Martinez, George Johnson and Petur Jakov were killed."

At the names, Archie's blue eyes filled. "Jesus is gone?"

She nodded. "I was his replacement."

Archie was quiet, as he considered this. "I don't even know your name." He remarked, slowly. "All I ever heard was Nurse White Eagle."

She gave a small smile. "Hannah."

"Hannah . . ." He repeated, to himself. He liked it. Hannah White Eagle. "Am I alright, Hannah?"

"We were able to patch the lung for the moment, although you'll notice when your head clears that Jesse left in the chest tube." She told him.

Archie frowned, confused.

"We used a tube to drain the blood out of the lung." Hannah explained. "Jesse left it in just in case you had any more bleeding problems."

Curious, Archie looked down under the blanket. Sure enough, there was a tube stuck through the bandaging.

"You should be breathing easier now though."

He nodded. That he was. "My throat hurts."

"I had to stick a tube down your throat for the surgery." Hannah replied. "We got it out before you woke up. Jesse said it might 'seriously freak him out.'"

Archie gave a half smile. Jesse had gotten to know him well. Frowning, as his eyes focused more, something shiny caught his attention. A locket around her neck. It was opened. The face of a tiny baby stared out from a small picture.

Hannah, noticing him staring, looked down, and quickly closed the locket, tucking it back under her shirt.

"Is it yours?" He asked, softly.

Hannah did not meet his gaze. "He was. Yes."

"I'm sorry." Archie spoke up, quickly. "I did not mean to pry."

Hannah nodded. "He died when he was eight months old."

"And his father?"

"I'd rather not talk about that."

Archie nodded. "I'm sorry." He repeated, looking away.

"It's not your fault." She replied, looking away. "I should probably get some sleep now."

Archie mentally kicked himself as he watched her get up and leave the room. He'd seen the sadness behind her eyes. This was something she was in great pain over. Why, he did not know . . . but something else in her face had caught his attention. Something he knew all too well. Suddenly, he wanted to know everything about this woman.

Hannah . . . such an ordinary name, and yet, he loved it. Perhaps when this was all over, they could spend a bit more time talking. Of one thing he was sure, something about her seemed to draw him to her. Whatever it was, he had somehow fixed in mind that this woman cared about him. She wanted him to live.

Archie watched after her some more. Yes, he decided. If for nothing else; he would live for her.

Hannah fled the sick berth, not caring where she was going. She had to lie down. Her head was pounding and the memories of her past she had tried so hard to squash down would not leave her alone. If she could just sleep . . . her mind would forget . . . for a while at least.

In the dark, a pair of unseen hands grabbed her and a hand was clamped over her mouth. By instinct, Hannah bit down hard, and drove her elbow backward into the man's ribs.

"Ah, ye wanna play that way, do ye?" A low voice whispered, as a knife came to her throat. "One sound and I'll slit ye ear ta ear."

Hannah's eyes narrowed. No. This was not going to happen again. She had sworn never again. This man could kill her for all she cared, but he was not taking anything from her. Adrenaline surged through her veins as she slammed her heel down on her attacker's foot with all her weight, then, ripping the knife away, she gave primal scream, as she spun around driving her knee into his groin.

The knife in her fist clattered to the deck as Hannah was again grabbed from behind.

Shrieking, she drove her elbow into the ribs of the new attacker, and heard a groan, and she recognized Horatio's voice. "Stop, it's me." He managed to get out.

As soon as Hannah stopped moving, Horatio let her go, kicked the knife away, and forcibly yanked the man from the deck, where he was groaning in pain. "Put this man in irons!" He ordered, glaring in disgust, as he shoved the man toward Matthews.

Hannah stood still, staring at the knife on the floor in total shock. The adrenaline in her system leaving, her vision blurred and she felt herself falling. Then, there was only sleep.

It was Acting Lieutenant Hobbs who caught her when she fell. He'd seen what was happening and had moved to jump in, but Hornblower had beaten him to it.

Horatio spun around when he heard Hobbs' shout of surprise. "We need to get her back to the sick berth." He ordered.

Hobbs didn't move except to look from the woman in his arms to Horatio. "I think she needs to go back to her own sick berth, sir." He replied, quietly.

Horatio frowned, and realized Hobbs was right. After what had happened, Hannah needed to go back to her own ship. "Take her in the jollyboat." He ordered. "I'll see that her effects follow."

Hobbs nodded and carried the nurse up the stairs, headed for the first available boat. "Signal David's Star!" He ordered the men. "Tell 'em their nurse needs medical attention and we're on our way to their ship."

By the time Hannah woke up, she was back on David's Star, in her own hammock. Beside her, Katryn sat, watching. The memories of what had happened came back and a tear escaped at the corner of her eye. What followed was a torrent, as she felt Katryn's arms around her. The two friends remained this way for what seemed like hours, and yet, was only a few minutes.

In the Renown's sick berth, Kennedy and Bush had heard the scream. A scream unlike any they had ever heard before. There were no words, only the rough sound of emotion and desperation. The two of them had almost jumped out of their skin.

"Oh God, no." Archie whispered. What had he done?

As Hannah finally got control over herself, Katryn passed her a box of tissues.

"Not that it helps much now, but I've got an answer to your question on Mr. Hobbs." Katryn informed her.


"Definitely trustworthy." Katryn replied. "He was the one who brought you in. I got a good look at him then. He doesn't trust others easily, but he himself is trustworthy."

Hannah shrugged. "Good to know, I suppose." She responded. "What are we going to do about Archie?"

"I think he'll be okay for the small amount of time they have until they reach Kingston." Katryn told her. "You did a good job."

"He saw my locket."



"What did you tell him?"

"I told him he died when he was eight months old."

"That's it?"

"I just couldn't say anything else." Hannah stated, shaking her head.

"You underestimate him." Katryn informed her. "I know this man and you haven't read his medical records yet."

"It's not that I don't trust him." Hannah corrected. "I just wasn't ready."

Katryn nodded. "You need to get some rest." She ordered her friend. "It's been a long day. I'll be back after a while."

"Leave it be." Hannah warned her, as Katryn disappeared through the door.

Hannah closed her eyes. She knew where Katryn was going, and yet she knew better than to stop her.

Out in the main sick berth, Jesse could not be consoled. It had been his fault. If he had not called her by her real name, she would have been fine. In his own room, he lay down on the bed and sighed. He stayed that way, facing the wall until he fell asleep.

"What happened?" Archie demanded, as Horatio entered the sick berth over an hour later. They had ended up having to literally break down the door to Archie's quarters to get to Hannah's effects. It was later that Horatio had discovered the locking mechanism only Hannah could have installed near the top of the door, worked into the doorframe itself.

"You heard?" Horatio asked, stalling.

"The entire ship must have heard that scream." Archie remarked, forcefully. "Now tell me what happened!"

"Miss White Eagle has gone back to her own ship."

Archie sat up, annoyed. "Don't avoid the question." He demanded.

Horatio sighed. "Seaman Robins attacked her." He finally answered. "But I suspect he may have received a lot more than he was bargaining for."

Archie's gaze shifted to the blankets that covered him. "I've never heard anything like that scream." He finally whispered.

Horatio nodded, shaking his head in what appeared to be disbelief. "I pulled her away." He finally replied. "But the way she responded suggested that Robins may have been in more danger than she was. She reacted to the attack like a wild animal cornered."

"Are you suggesting she would have tried to kill him?" Bush questioned, astonished.

Horatio looked from Bush to Kennedy, and nodded. "I believe that if I had not stopped her, she would have killed him. I saw her rip a knife from her throat and twist around so fast, she may have very well stabbed him, had I not pulled her back. As it was she drove her elbow back into me so hard, she may have actually bruised a rib or two."

Archie, sitting silent, continued to stare at his lap. What could have happened to Hannah to make her so upset at one moment, and then react like a wild animal the next? Sighing, he realized what it was he had seen in her face before she had left the sick berth, earlier. He had seen himself.

'I don't want to talk about that.' Archie closed his eyes.

"Archie, what is it?"

Archie blinked. Now was not the time. "Nothing." He replied quickly. "Just a bit lightheaded."

Horatio pushed him gently to lay him back down. "You should be resting." He responded. "Dr. Davidson said they have patched the lung, but it's still only a temporary respite. We're only a day from Kingston, if this wind stays with us. If you remain resting, there should be no further problems."

"Take me over there." Katryn ordered Brandon.

"Captain said to leave it be." Brandon informed her. "He said that the man's crime, according to the Articles of War, is punishable by death. He said to let them take care of it."

"I'm not following orders from Captain Richards." Katryn confessed. "He's been superseded, and I have to go."

Suddenly catching her meaning, Brandon nodded. "Let's go."

"Yer gonna get in trouble." Duane remarked, shrugging.

Brandon eyed his friend. "Can't disobey a direct order from the real Captain, and Russ knows it."

Duane nodded. He could not argue with this. He knew well, this was officially a study trip, but it was also a Missions trip . . . and if God had given an order, not even Russ could stop it. "I'll let him know."

Brandon nodded, and followed Katryn down the side of the ship. In his own heart, he knew Katryn was not joking or making up something. There was a look she got in her eyes. Something that was put inside her, and when that happened, KC would not rest or stop until the order from above had been carried out.

Above, Captain Richards saw the boat, and came running out his door to call them back. He was stopped by Duane.

"She said she had to go and she was on orders from Someone whose authority is greater than yours." The cowboy explained. "And you know when Katryn says that, she doesn't go through with it unless she's positive."

Sighing, Richards nodded. He knew well. "Then we must trust she will not act on her own emotions."

"I don't think she can." Duane answered, distantly. "I don't think He'll let her."

Aboard the Renown, Hobbs stared over the side. A boat was approaching, and there had been no signal. "Sir." He called, motioning Lt. Buckland over. "It's their Surgeon."

Frowning Buckland looked down. "Get Hornblower up here." He ordered, remembering the temper of the female surgeon before. There was only one possible reason for her coming alone so soon after the nurse's return to David's Star.

Leaning down, Buckland assisted the man he knew as Mr. Jefferies in climbing aboard, and then the both of them reached down to help the surgeon up. She had made no effort to disguise her gender this time. Her hair was down, and although her shirt was modestly covering everything, it was plain to see she was a woman.

Not meeting anyone's eyes, she said only one thing. "Take me to him."

"Mr. Kennedy?" Buckland inquired, hoping desperately she had only come to see her friend.

This time she looked him dead in the eye. "No." Came the answer. "Take me to him."

There was no mistaking her meaning this time. Relieved, Buckland looked up seeing Hornblower coming out on deck.

"She needs to see your prisoner, who attacked Hannah." Mr. Jefferies informed Horatio. "Now."

Horatio sighed. "I really don't think that is a good ide—"

Brandon cut him off. "Now." He ordered, pulling Hornblower closer. "Look at her face! We were told to leave it be; by our own Captain, too, but the orders we're going on now are not his."

Frowning, Horatio stared at Katryn's almost blank stare and set features. He'd seen it before. "Mr. Matthews, take them to the brig." He commanded, swallowing.

"Not me." Brandon corrected. "Her. Alone."

"That we cannot allow." Buckland protested.

"Look, call it what you want, whether it's the Last Rites for a condemned man, or whatever you frickin' wanna call it, but she needs to see him now!" Brandon spat out.

Buckland frowned. He had not realized the surgeon was some kind of priest. He said nothing as the Boson led the woman below decks. Mr. Jefferies had followed, mentioning he would wait for her in the sick berth.

"Mr. Hornblower, what exactly is this?" He asked, pointedly.

"I know no more than you do, sir, as to why she's here now." Horatio replied, shrugging. "But I have seen her behave this way before. Things she knows about people, things she says she is told to tell them. If Dr. Casse has said that God sent her here tonight, and her own Captain has done nothing to stop her, what place do we have to forbid it?"

"What exactly have you seen before that makes you so convinced she was sent by God?"

"I was on Watch on their ship, back when Mr. Kennedy broke his leg." He began. "I saw her come out on deck, with her eyes closed. I'd thought she was sleepwalking. I called to her, yet she did not respond. When she stopped, she was outside the door of a room belonging to three of her shipmates. When she knocked, one of them, Lt. Conrad opened the door, saying he had prayed she would come, because the other man in the room, Lt. Redbird was very ill and may have died, had she not come."

Buckland stared.

"She said God had told her something was wrong, and she had gotten up to find out what." Horatio went on. "She had blindly followed where He sent her."

"You're sure of this?"

"I saw the look on her face." Horatio informed him. "It was the same now, as it was then. I know it sounds strange, but I've since learned that there are certain things about her that cannot be explained any other way."

On the way to the brig, Brandon had separated, headed for the sick berth. If he was going to be here, he may as well visit his injured friend. He knew that Styles, by orders, had been sent to the sick berth, due to the severity of his injuries, and he was interested in seeing Archie as well.

In the brig, Matthews lead Katryn to the cell of the man who had attacked Hannah. He was in chains.

"Leave me."

Matthews nodded and backed out, closing the door behind her.

The man stared at her, uncertain. He knew who she was, and he had a feeling as to why she was here, but something in her face kept him silent.

When she finally opened her mouth, it was not what he'd expected to hear.

"I always hoped the past could be put to rest." She finally spoke up. "But it can't, can it?"

He frowned. What was she talking about?

"And yet as I was angry before, I'm not anymore." She went on. "Because I now see you as God has seen you."

Not giving him a chance to protest, she continued. "I see a small boy, huddled in a corner, curled into as tight a ball as he can make himself. A boy so tortured and hurt, by the terrors around him that he lashes out at anyone who would dare to come near. He lets no one in, and his corner is all he knows."

The man's fists inside the chains curled up tighter and his teeth ground.

"When I see that boy, the anger leaves me, and I pity him."

"He doesn't need your pity!" The man snapped.

"No, he needs the Love of a Savior."

"There is no such thing."

Unblinking, Katryn did nothing to stop the tears slipping down her cheeks.

"But there is."

The man, not impressed, spat at her. "Where was that Savior seven years ago?"

Katryn closed her eyes and opened them, meeting his stare. "The same place He is now." She told him. "Right beside you, waiting for you to reach out to Him. Through the pain, through the shame, He has always been right there."

"And why did He not stop it?"

"He doesn't promise there will be no pain. Only that He will be there to hold you through it. Why things like this happen, I can't say exactly, because I don't know. All God has promised is that you are never alone. No matter what happens, whether for good . . . or bad; He is still there."

"And what would you know about it anyway?" He demanded. "Have you ever had any pain in your perfect life?"

She did not answer right away, and he'd all but decided he was right . . . until she opened her mouth; and as she began to speak, what came out was not what she had intended to say. Instead it was the words to a song she had come to love over the last year. Something Hannah had played for her. The words; describing both their lives, just as it did the life of the man who now sat chained before her.

"Dreaming comes so easily; cause it's all that I've known

True Love is a Fairy tale. I'm damaged, how would I know?

I'm scared; and I'm alone. I'm ashamed and I need for you to know. . .

I didn't say all the things that I wanted to say,

I can't take back what you've taken away,

Cause I feel you; I feel you near me.

"Healing comes so painfully; and it chills to the bone.

Will anyone get close to me?

See, I'm damaged, as I'm sure you know.

Oh I'm scared, and I'm alone.

I'm ashamed, and I need for you to know. . .

I didn't say all the things that I wanted to say,

I can't take back what you've taken away,

Cause I feel you; I feel you near me.

"This mending for my soul; an ending to this fear;

Forgiveness for a man who was stronger;

Cause I was just a little girl, and I can't go back.

I didn't say all the things that I wanted to say,

I can't take back what you've taken away,

Cause I feel you; I feel you near me.

I can't go back, I can't go back; no I can't go back.

"There is healing . . .

There is peace . . .

There is freedom . . . from fear.

And He will Love you . . . like no one's loved you;

And you will never be Afraid.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah . . . Hallelujah to His Name.

"We are His Children. How much He loves you.

And He will never leave you alone. . ." (Damaged –redemption extended version- By Plumb)

In the sick berth which was not that far from the brig, the group overheard the voice, as Katryn had switched from merely reciting to actually singing the song. Horatio, who had come below eventually, stared at Archie, who did not in the least bit seem surprised at the words. Remembering what he'd thought of the conversations between Katryn and Archie, three years earlier, he realized he'd been correct in assuming she and Archie had a lot in common.

Roughly fifteen minutes of listening to nothing but total silence, after she'd finished the song, Katryn entered the sick berth. "We'd better get going, Brandon."

Archie looked disappointed. She was leaving so soon? "Will you not stay a little longer?" He asked.

"We arrive in Kingston tomorrow, Archie." She told him, pointedly. "Originally, we weren't supposed to be here now."

"But since you are, might you stay longer?"

"I have to get back and check on Hannah, and Jesse's not much better." She informed him. "He's blaming himself for blowing her cover."

Sighing, Archie nodded. He could understand this. "Is Hannah alright?" He asked, so quietly, she could hardly hear him.

Katryn nodded. "She'll be okay after she gets some sleep."

Archie nodded again and licked his lips before continuing. "Will you visit after we've docked?"

"As long as they let us in to." She replied. "And Jesse will be over to remove the chest tube before you're transferred off the ship."

Satisfied, Archie gave her a half smile and laid back once again.

After they were back in their own boat, headed back to David's Star, Brandon finally broke the silence. "Is he alright?"

Katryn closed her eyes, knowing he did not mean Archie. "I think he will be fine now." She replied.

Brandon nodded. "Then the trip was worth it."

"Yes." Katryn answered, after a moment. "More than worth it."

Upon her return to their own ship, Katryn, not speaking to anyone, retired to the sick berth. But instead of returning to her own room, she went to Jesse's. He was asleep. Closing the door, she laid down on the bed beside her fiancée, and, wrapping her arms around him, she finally fell asleep.




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