David's Star II: Journey's End - Chapter 6
by Cassi

Kingston, Jamaica: January 3, 1801

Commodore Sir Edward Pellew sighed as he left Hornblower's cell. The boy would still tell him nothing of how the Captain had fallen into the hold. It hurt that he could tell the young man nothing of the plot he was already involved in. He would tell him later.

The inquiries had been going on for several days now. Hornblower was only allowed out of his cell when he was in court or when he was allowed to see the men in the hospital cells.

Kennedy and Bush had been put in a cell by themselves. Styles was deemed well enough to be involved in the inquiries. He was not allowed to lift anything or exert himself too much, but he was none the less allowed to be up and walking.

Under the Commodore's orders, the crew of David's Star had been allowed to visit the hospital cell where the Lieutenants were being kept. Dr. Casse, Miss White Eagle, and Dr. Davidson had been frequent visitors. Katryn was frequently heard singing to the men, accompanied by Hannah. Together, the two were quite good, and it seemed to not only improve the Lieutenants' disposition, but all the men in the nearby cells.

Dr. Clive declared it as a better medicine than he himself could provide. He therefore encouraged such visits.

Pellew gave a small smile at the genius of it. Because they were frequently in the general area, no one would suspect they were actually planning on spiriting one of the prisoners away. They had not told him how they were going to make it look as if Kennedy was dead, but then he'd decided he didn't really care how they did it, as long as they achieved their purpose.

The Commodore walked through the corridors of the prison holding area, acknowledging the various men that saluted him. As he neared the hospital area, he heard the familiar voices singing. He paused, hearing the current song. It appeared they were telling a story through their singing.

Pellew stopped, just out of sight, listening to the words.

"She walked to the mailbox on that bright summer's day.

She found a letter from her son in a war far away.

He spoke of the weather and good friends that he'd made.

It said, 'I've been thinking about Dad and the life that he had,

And that's why I'm here today.'

And then at the end, said; 'You are what I'm fighting for.'

It was the first of his letters from war.

She started writing, 'You're good; and you're brave.

What a father that you'll be someday.

Make it home. Make it safe.' She wrote every night as she prayed.

"And late in December, a day she'll not forget.

All her tears stained the paper, with every word that she read.

It said, 'I was a goner and I was out there alone,

When the shots all rang out and bombs were exploding.

That's when I saw him. He came back for me.

Though he was captured, a man set me free.

And that man was your son. He asked me to write to you.

I told him I would, oh I swore.'

It was the last of the letters from war.

And she prayed he was living, she kept on believing,

And wrote every night just to say, 'you are good, and you're brave.

What a father that you'll be someday.

Make it home. Make it safe.'

She wrote every night as she prayed.

"And then two years later, autumn leaves all around.

A car pulled in the driveway, and she fell to the ground.

And out stepped a Captain, where her boy used to stand.

He said, 'Mom, I'm following orders, from all of your letters,

And I've come home again.'

He ran in to hold her, and dropped all his bags on the floor;

Holding all of her letters from war.

Bring him home . . . bring him home . . .

Bring him home." (Letters From War By Mark Schultz)

The men in the hospital area, nearly all of them being Navy men who had been fighting in a war themselves, broke into applause, cheering.

In his place out of sight, Pellew's face shone in a smile. Knowing a few men who had indeed been captured by the enemy, as he himself once was when he was young, he found this song remarkably touching. After a moment, he turned and walked away. He would visit the men later, he decided.

For the moment, they were getting everything they needed.

Later that night, as Archie watched Horatio leave the cell he and William shared, he sighed. "It has to be tomorrow morning." He stated, quietly. "If I don't get there before he does, he'll take the blame himself."

William nodded. "Let's hope your friends are set up on their end." He responded.

Early the next morning, Major Lance Hendricks stood outside the courthouse, just out of sight of anyone inside or outside.

"I alone pushed Captain Sawyer into the hold!"

When the courtroom burst into loud shouting, Hendricks looked back at his friend, Captain Julius Miklos. "This is it. Tell them the mission is a go."

Miklos nodded and turned back to relay the order to the Medical Team and the Marines who were assisting with the transfer. A dummy of the right height and weight had been sewn into a canvas. They would switch this with Archie.

Seeing Lieutenant Hornblower rushing toward the courthouse as fast as he could, Hendricks ducked back quickly, to avoid being seen. He was dressed as a regular British Marine in a red uniform, but Horatio would easily be able to recognize him if he saw him.

As soon as the Lieutenant had gone inside, Hendricks returned to his position.

Lance waited until he saw the Marines leading Archie out of the courtroom. Taking his aim, carefully, he fired the almost invisible dart. It hit Kennedy in the neck. The drug in the dart would take roughly about ten to fifteen minutes to take effect. It would almost literally stop Archie's heart, putting him into a state of cardiac arrest.

Once Archie stopped breathing, they would have less than ten minutes at the very longest to get Kennedy out of his cell, switch him with the decoy body, and shock his heart back into beating. He would then be quickly transferred back to their ship, straight to the already prepared O.R. where Katryn would be ready to go to work.

The bandages had finally been removed from Jesse's hand and he was now able to use it again. He and Hannah would do the work in the prison after the switch, while Katryn would be waiting with Allyssa on the ship.

Two of their own Marines, like Hendricks, were disguised as guards, with their red uniform coats. They would be responsible for removing Kennedy from the cell. Commodore Pellew had already seen to that. He would make sure the two Marines made the switch and had an area off to the side; still inside the prison where Jesse and Hannah were waiting.

After the commotion had died down, they would remove the real Kennedy from the jail and smuggle him to the ship.

At least that was their plan.

Archie, allowing the Marines to lead him from the courtroom, had felt the prick in his neck. He'd reached up to grab the dart, and quickly stuffed it into his uniform pocket. As the drug entered his system, he knew there was not much time left.

Once back into the cot he'd been laying on for the past few days, he knew he would have to make whatever he said to Horatio short. The pain in his chest had completely faded and he could feel his body shutting down. What had they given him?

Outside the cell, only Pellew overheard the two men saying their goodbyes. He heard when Kennedy stopped breathing. Quickly, he motioned for the Marines to come get the body.

Horatio did not move as the men took his friend away. He continued to sit that way, staring at nothing for some time. When Pellew returned, after having seen to Kennedy's transfer, the young Lieutenant had still not moved.




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