Third Revised Edition
Author’s Note. This is an intense slash story and not for everyone.
were mid evening storm clouds forming off shore. Lee Crane looked at his
watch from his NIMR office. It was nearly midnight in
The noise from Edith's party was giving him a headache and Nelson retired to his father's old study in Edith's town home. He'd enjoyed seeing her like this. It was just one of the Nelson properties both he and his sister still owned. It was a soundproofed room, a legacy from his grandfather, obsessed with the need to be free of his noisy brood of children every now and then. Nelson only remembered that the man was a kind of historian, and immersed in the tales of the golden olden days, and the Nelson tea trade, which frankly had bored him.
Nelson studied the wall, filled to the brim with old books, manuscripts, and curios from around the world. They'd been collected over the centuries and nobody now knew what had belonged to which collector, or even what some of the object's d'art were. Even the old clock had been stopped at 11:58 for decades, purchased from one of Captain Shamus O'Hara Nelson's crewmen. On a whim, e picked out what looked like a sketchbook from the glass fronted bookcase. He'd never noticed it before, and doubted if anyone, relative or servant, had even looked at it anytime within the last few decades.
It contained some rather well done pen, pencil, and pastel drawings of an old sailing ship, a couple of mangy dogs, a few weird looking plants, and other miscellaneous subjects. Some loose pages fell out from the center, folded up into quarters as if they'd been hastily hidden away. Opening one of them up, Nelson gasped in surprise. With utter shame, he actually felt himself growing aroused by the sight of a dark naked man on his back, partially hidden from view by a ginger haired man, also naked, his face turned away, in the act of forced sex, the dark man’s arms, held firmly down meant anything.
The next was a side view of the same dark naked man, his face lowered in shame or exhaustion, his arms strung up to a wood beam above him and his legs dangling just above the deck. Unkempt sailors, their clothes indicative of the early 1800's were watching with interest, laughing, and encouraging who might be the same man as in the first drawing, his pants down, raising a tankard, raping his victim.
Harriman was sickened by the fantasy. It couldn't have been drawn from life. In those days one could be prosecuted, even hung, for any kind of sex outside of woman/man marriage.
"Harry?" Edith called, through the door.
Her voice startled him. Shamefaced for being caught looking at pornographic pictures, he hurriedly stuffed them back into the sketchbook. "Oh, uh, sorry, I lost track of time."
"What's that?" she asked, as she absently pulled on her old antique necklace that had been in the family since who knew when. It was an ugly old thing, a round orb with a horrendous engraving of the man in the moon. Just perfect for a Halloween party. She was glad Harry was here but hadn't been able to convince him to wear a costume. But then, at least his suit was better than the uniform he practically lived in.
"Uh, Just an old sketchbook...."
She grabbed before he could put it away and began to leaf through the pictures. Then she found the shameful sketches, and paled as even more sketches fell out.
Nelson froze as he saw the long hidden artwork. This time the dark man was recognizable. The naked Lee's eyes were haunted, as he was shown lying on his back, across the great carved Nelson bed, in fact the same one in the old Nelson mansion the brother and sister hardly ever used.
“Ohmygod!” Edith gasped as she saw her brother in the sketch, naked and astride Lee, holding his arms back even though ropes stretched were stretching them taut.
It was difficult for either Edith or Harriman to notice the expertly rendered moonlight streaming through the window and the fireplace's glow illuminating the pornographic scene.
Another drawing sowed Nelson on his back, in what looked like an old ship’s master’s cabin while Lee penetrated him, his black hair splattered with semen and his ass dripping with it.
"How could you?" Edith demanded, outraged, ignoring the rest that had scattered on the floor, "How could you make sketches of you and Lee like this? What kind of pervert are you?"
"What are you talking about? I didn't sketch any of these! I wouldn't even know how! I'm no artist! This is a frame up! Edith, I swear..."
"I'll take them all upstairs and away from prowling eyes until we can destroy them. If I'm right, we'll probably be getting a blackmail demand, if not, it's somebody's idea of a very sick joke."
Later, as Nelson prepared for bed and examined the rest of the sketchbook and drawings, he found, as sordid as they were, they were highly erotic. He had to admit he'd had some wild fantasies himself, about Lee, what it would be like to have a more intimate relationship with him. So far, their feelings toward each other, deeply affectionate, even a kind of love, had had been strictly platonic. Still, on occasion, Nelson had found himself pondering what it would be like, the two of them, consummating their feelings sexually.
Continuing this line of thought was ridiculous. Lee would never agree, In fact, he'd probably quit Seaview and never speak to Nelson again.
Nelson had just drifted off to sleep when he felt cold. Looking up he saw the shadow of a very familiar figure.
"Well, well, well,” the ghost of Captain Shamus O’Hara Nelson said as he glimmered in the moonlight, “I'd not thought to see you here tonight, of all nights. But I'm glad of it."
"What do you want?"
“Over my dead body!” Nelson shouted, suddenly on his feet.
"There's nothing you can do to stop it,” Shamus laughed, “Not tonight my boyo. So don't waste your breath trying."
"Lee Crane can't break your perdition. He's not related to you. You need me to break your curse."
"I didn't say I wanted him to break it! I’m in need a little company. And I'm not meaning yours."
"I don't understand. What can Crane do for you? And he’s not even here."
"But I am.”
Immediately Nelson felt a bolt like lightening jolt his body and mind. He fought the spectre but it was hopeless. He was, to put it bluntly, possessed. He struggled against it, but Shamus was too powerful for him, and Nelson felt the sensation of floating in air.
Lee had decided to bunk aboard Seaview. Though in dry-dock, the boat had power and water feeds. The area was practically deserted except for the two security guards on duty at the hangar's entrance. Crane was glad he was the only one aboard. The night lights aboard were adequate enough and he enjoyed the solitude at times and had already changed for bed, but couldn't resist the urge to give her a walkabout, even barefoot and in his pajamas. He was in the Observation Nose when Nelson approached.
"Admiral? Sorry, I didn't hear you. Was your flight cancelled? I thought the Navy agreed to let you fly piggyback in that fighter to check some controls? What happened?"
Nelson just stared at him, as if he had a fierce headache.
"Are you okay?" Lee asked.
"I am now," Nelson grabbed his arms fiercely. "You're mine and nobody can have you but me!"
Lee tried to free himself from Nelson's hold, to no avail. "What's wrong with you? Let me go!"
Nelson stuck him. It was such a hard blow that Lee struck his head on the deck. Before he could regain his senses, Nelson had a vise like grip on him, and with an old fashioned knife had literally torn his pajama bottoms down the middle and ripped them off. Leee. Lee heard the buttons pop off his top before it too was ripped off of him.
Struggle as he did, Lee was no match for the superhuman strength Nelson showed. Yelling for help only brought him more pain as Nelson held him firm and began to beat him.
Lee tried to reach for the Klaxon alarm but it didn't work as its wiring had already been stripped.
“It’s useless to fight me, boyo,” Nelson said as he unbuttoned his pant’s flap with one hand while the other held Lee down with more than super human strength. With one fell swoop, he raised Lee's hips upward and plunged his stiff organ into Lee's ass, tearing Lee's sphincter ring and soft tissues.
Lee screamed as Nelson thrusted. It was like being torn apart. But that wasn't all that made Lee cry out in agony. He was being raped. By Nelson.
"Stop it! For God's sake, stop it!"
With some final frenzied thrusting, Nelson finally came. He withdrew and grabbed Crane upright, who was trembling from shock and pain, and dragged him blood and semen dripping from Lee’s ass, past the plot table, maintaining a tight grip from which Crane could still not escape, and quickly picked up some duct tape that had been left there. Raising the periscope up, he bound Lee's wrists to the handles. Lee kicked and squirmed, but was unable to free himself or catch Nelson in any vital area.
"Now, let's see you fuck Seaview. You want to. You know you do."
Lee cringed as Nelson, hard again, mounted him from behind. With growing shame, as Nelson thrust against Lee's prostrate and fondled Lee's organs, Lee was betrayed by his own body.His penis grew hard and his testicles ached. Nelson came first, then spun them both around on the periscope island, still inside Lee, whos own copious amount of semen now exploded over some of the consoles and onto the deck of his beloved Seaview.
"Why?" Lee screamed with tears of shame, "Why are you doing this? God, what's happened to you?"
Nelson only laughed, withdrew, and stepped off the island, running his fingers over the freshly sprayed consoles. Licking his fingers he turned, hands on his hips, and admired the fresh trail of blood and semen dripping down Lee’s legs.
“I always said a virgin should show a bit of blood," Shamus laughed.
Lee threw up.
Nelson abandoned Crane and went back to the Observation Nose and the liquor cabinet, pouring himself a drink, savoring it, then returning to his prisoner.
"Now," Nelson said, "fuck her. Fuck Seaview again."
"Fuck her laddie, fuck her again," Nelson ordered.
"When hell freezes over!" Lee screamed, but to no avail but Nelson fingered, fisted, and manipulated him until Lee came again sobbing from the humiliation.
Nelson laughed and held the knife against Crane's throat. "You belong to me, and will do as I say.”
“Stop it you bastard! Oh God, help me…you can’t be Harry, you can’t be…who are you!" Lee screamed.
"Why, I'm your best friend."
"No! You can't be! You're not the Harriman Nelson I know!”
"I never said I was ‘Harriman’ Nelson," the ghostly Shamus said, emerging out of Nelson who sank to the deck.
""You see," Shamus said, suddenly clothed in full old fashioned seafarer's uniform, "he's Harriman. I'm Shamus. And I own you both. Till next we meet!”
With that he vanished in a poof of light and Lee blacked out.
Captain,” a familiar voice roused Lee,“ you seem to be in need of assistance."
"Pemm! Where's Nelson?"
one?” Pemm asked, removing the duct tape from Lee’s
wrists and helping him to sit down on the periscope island, sticky with drying
blood and semen. “And don't you mean `when'? You'll have to forgive me, but I
took the liberty of sending the Admiral back to
"It..it wasn't Nelson," Lee was still trembling, "Shamus did it, whoever, whatever, he is. Looked just like Harry but...."
"Ah, yes, yes, but it was Harriman's body, nonetheless, wasn't it? As I was saying, you and only you can prevent it. You know the Admiral won't be able to live with himself if he rapes you, whoever takes over his body. What's more, he took your virginity, in a manner of speaking that is. He made you bleed, and filled you up with his physical essence, even if he was possessed by his ancestor. That's right. His ancestor Captain Shamus O'Hara Nelson, randy bastard, one of Boston's leading citizens. And he'll take over the Admiral and make him do it all over again to you in a few minutes unless you prevent it. You won't even be able to look at the periscope the same again, or Seaview. .I'd remove your memory of what happened to you, if I could but...it's just not possible, even if I sent you back to before it all happened.
The time continuum is rather complicated, more exceptions than rules. I won't bore you with the details. But as I said, you can prevent the attack from happening, at least in Nelson’s case, in the first place."
"The only way to prevent Shamus from coming back from the dead tonight to possess Nelson is for you to go back into Shamus’ past. It's only possible this one night. Trust me, I checked all the timelines. You might even be able to save Captain Nelson from his purgatory. And just think...Harriman Nelson will never have to live with the awful stigma of raping you, his one true friend; thinks of you as a son even, making his assault of you that more disgraceful, incestuous even."
"It can't be that simple," Crane said, running a shaky hand through his hair. "I don't understand..."
" I promise you. Do this, and Nelson will be spared that awful fate."
"How? What do I have to do?"
swore an oath in front of witnesses that if he could have but one night to
screw the man of his dreams, he'd be content for eternity. That's binding, so
to speak, ghost wise. He won't be allowed to possess anyone, even if he has to
spend eternity in perdition. And that man of his dreams, my dear Captain, is
you. I'm afraid he saw a picture I'd drawn of you. I like to keep a record of
my encounters in time. Said he was on fire to get into your pants. That's when
he made his oath. So, take it or leave it. You'd better decide quickly.
It's nearly midnight in
"You want me to have sex with him? Are you insane? Oh, I can't....not again..,not like that…"
"It won’t be like it was here. Do you really want your Nelson to get possessed and rape you all over again? It'll kill him. You know it will."
"Just this one night?"
"This one night, and then I'll bring you back here, before it all happened, and no one will be the wiser except you. I can't remove your ordeal. But you'll have saved your friend, your father really, I know how you two feel about each other. So it will be worth any shame or agony of the act. It's the only way Captain. If there were another, I'd have told you."
"I...all right. Deal."
Nelson had just fallen asleep when he was awakened by the maid and told to come downstairs on a matter of some urgency.
Edith was standing at the entry in her fuzzy terry robe, eyes wide.
"Admiral Harriman Nelson?" one of the police officers asked.
"Yes, what can I do for you?"
"You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law," he said, putting handcuffs on Nelson.
"What's going on? If this is some kind of practical joke, it's not very funny."
"You're under arrest for the beating, rape, and kidnapping of Commander Lee Crane, here's the warrant. Did you kill him after you assaulted him?"
"Lee...my god, what's happened to him?"
"You're a cool one."
"Okay, your Institute called us as soon as they'd conferred with the local police. Your Captain had bunked on your submarine in the dry-dock hangar. When one of your men wanted to speak to him, he didn't answer the call. When they checked the sub, they found some semen and blood splattered about in the Observation Nose and Control Room. His PJ’s were found in a heap, ripped to shreds. That's when they checked the security tapes. That's when they had proof that you assaulted him, you pervert. So where did you dump him?"
"You can't believe I'd ever hurt Lee! Besides, I've been here all day and night, how could I be in two places at once? Or even travel the distance quickly?"
“Look, I think its best you don't say anymore till you have a lawyer..."
Edith stared in horror at Nelson.
"Edith...Hon, you can't think..."
"Just go with them Harry, go now."
"I need to call Chip."
"That Chip Morton fellow?" the officer asked. "He's the one who placed the call to us to have you arrested. I don't think he'll want to talk to you anytime soon. Come on."
Flashes of light glared in Nelson’s eyes, as overcoat clad, he was escorted to the waiting car. Reporters flashed their cameras and the mobile news teams were already shoving microphones in his face.
"Admiral, why did you do it?" one of reporters insisted.
"I didn't do anything! I've been framed! I’ve been here! It had to be an impostor, a double, a look alike..."
"If you wanted sex so bad why didn't you just jerk off or hire a prostitute? There are male ones if that’s your preference. Why sodomize your Captain?"
"I never raped Lee Crane!"
"But you've wanted him, haven't you? It's common knowledge he's close to you. We have witnesses that will swear to it."
"Stop it! Stop it! Just find him! If somebody's gone to all this trouble to impersonate me, Lee's in danger! Real danger!"
The officer managed to push Nelson into the car, and it sped away.
The moon was bright that long ago Halloween night as Lee, still naked, stood with Pemm in front of the calculating eye of Captain Shamus O'Hara Nelson.
"About time, Pemm. I thought you said that witching device of yours would be quick. I'm horny as hell, especially after you showing me what I do to him in the future."
"There were some details to attend to....."
"So, if this works, if I have sex with him here, tonight, because of what I said in the pub, even if I was boozed up, I'm bounded not to take over the body of my descendant, what's his name again?"
"Nelson, Admiral Harriman Nelson," Crane said.
"Fair enough, though I can't say I care overly much for Admirals," he leered, "But, just what's to stop me from taking you any time I please? Tonight or a thousand tomorrows. Pemm showed me what I did to you in the future, but I can see the evidence for myself, my dear wet Captain.”
"No," Crane said, moving away from him, "Tonight only...Pemm?"
"I haven't reneged Captain. If you're here now, it's a sure bet Captain Nelson won't be headed to the 21st century to ravish you, in Harriman's body or anyone else's. And only I have or know how to use my device, remember."
"I've changed my mind. I'll think of something else to protect Harry. I can't do this."
"Too late. We made a deal, you and I. It can’t be broken. You're Captain Nelson's property now. You might have to restrain him, Shamus; you've seen for yourself that he's not very cooperative." Pemm tugged a bell pull. "Oh, Crane, make sure you do nothing to harm Captain Nelson. After all, if you do, well, Harriman Nelson won't even be conceived. The Captain hasn't begot a son yet to carry on the line, not that he isn't able, as you well know."
Two strong and greasy sailors entered the room. One carried heavy ropes, the other a pistol. They grabbed Crane's arms.
"I believe I have a date with you tonight, young man," Shamus said, "bring him to my bedroom. You can stay and watch if you like."
Nelson frowned, as he answered more questions at the police station. He was exhausted and was getting nowhere in convincing them that he had nothing to do with Lee's disappearance.
"Here," one of the cops flung down some of the sketches.
The figurehead of the sailing ship was not a mermaid, or a maiden. It was an anatomically correct carving of Lee in all his masculine glory.
“That’s your Captain isn't it?"
"It looks like Lee, but no, I did not sketch it or any of these! I tell you, I'm being slandered!"
"That's yet to be determined."
Another picture showed a bedroom, and a mantle clock. It looked just like the clock Edith had in the townhouse. The moon was full through the window, and the fire in the fireplace had died down to embers. The naked Lee, or at least Harriman had thought it was Lee, was balled up semi-sideways, almost in a fetal curl facing the wall on the polished hardwood floor near the vast carved bed, its sheets crumpled and stained dragging to the floor. His balls looked red and swollen under his legs. His legs were bruised; his wrists and ankles bore heavy scratches and cuts. His back was also bruised and scarred with long cuts. Blood stained semen spilled and flowed to pool on the floor beneath him.
"Pretty sickening, isn't it," the cop said.
"I swear I had nothing to do with Lee's disappearance, or what you say happened to him! And I have no idea who drew these damn sketches or why!"
"You enjoy rough sex? Is that why you had to draw this, to remind you of it?"
"Stop it! Just stop it! I did nothing of the sort! I don't even know where Lee is!"
"You're close to him. Everybody swears to it. Very close. Times have changed, Admiral. You may as well admit it. It isn't a stigma anymore to have same sex relationships, except in military type settings like yours. You're besotted with him. You had to take him. You couldn't stand it any more. You had to have a gorgeous man like him. You snapped."
"No, no, no, no! I love him too much to ever want to hurt him!"
"Love him, Admiral?"
"I...you're taking it the wrong way.. What I meant was...."
"You said you love him. Is that a lie?"
"I...he's like a brother, a son, that's all, there's nothing wrong or sordid about it. It's pure, chaste..."
"But...the thought has crossed your mind, hasn't it? That your deep virtuous love could develop into something more? On a more intimate level?"
Nelson said nothing. Part of him wanted to insist he'd never thought of it. Part of him knew the truth. He did want Lee. But not in the brutal way these images suggested.
"Turn on the tapes," the officer said. "Even you can't argue with this evidence."
Nelson watched in horror as he saw `himself' attack and ravish Lee. While static interference obscured some clarity of it, there was enough intact to convict anyone.
"Well? Do you still insist that wasn't you?"
"I don't know who it was, or why, but I swear on all that's holy that I did not rape Lee Crane."
Throwing his arms up in disgust the cop turned, and said, "It won't hold you know, an insanity plea, and we're checking the semen for DNA," he left, and one of the sketches fell to the floor. It was of a fully erect and victorious gladiator Nelson standing over the defeated Lee looking up in horror at the fate to come in the Roman arena. This artist was imaginative, if sick SOB, and Nelson swore to himself that if he ever found out who'd made this filth, he'd wring his neck.
Chip slammed the phone down and put his head in his hands. This was the fourteenth cancellation for Seaview's services. He'd taken charge when all hell had broken loose at the news of Nelson's disgrace. He was absolutely disgusted with Nelson, and would have resigned like more than half of the crew and most of the employees of the institute had, but for Lee's sake, their morning star, their invincible symbol of strength, he would try to hold things together until they learned more. In fact, in spite of the many resignations, to a man, all of the crewmen were currently assisting the search parties trying to track down their Captain's location, dead or alive.
"No sign of him," the dirt stained Kowalski entered the office in defeat. "Mr. Morton? Don't you think maybe it was an impostor like the Admiral said?"
"You saw the tapes Ski."
"But there is a possibilty?"
"I suppose, but..."
"Chip?" a frazzled Angie entered the room, "You'd better turn on the TV."
"All charges have been dropped," the reporter said in front of the police station, "Nelson's been irrefutably proven to have been in flight by the Navy and air traffic controllers as well as in full view of party guests at the very time Lee Crane is reported to have been assaulted. The timer in the security tapes aboard Seaview and the flight recorder, taxi records, and dinner guests prove his innocence. You may remember a recent incident in which the Admiral and the Captain were each professionally impersonated. So his insistence that this is a similar case is not without precedent. Because of the discrepancies, and the fact that there's no body, and most of all that the semen retrieved from the sub was contaminated by a lab technician, making it's DNA unverifiable, the police have no choice but to free Nelson. Insinuations continue, however, that all of the alibi's are staged. That the lab, the Navy, and the party guests were somehow paid off by the Nelsons. Meanwhile, the Admiral claims the notorious sketches are an attempt to sully the Nelson family name. That may be hard to prove one way or another, but a former classmate of the Admiral says he does have the artistic capability to produce such works, and could have been a professional artist. Even some top psychiatrists theorize that the Admiral may have made them as a sexual outlet. The search for Lee Crane continues...."
She was interrupted as a heavy eyed and worn out Nelson was escorted in a borrowed coat, down the steps to Edith's limo. Boos and hisses pelted him along with insults of `pervert!' `Getting away with murder' and the like.
The massive bed behind the closed bed-drapes shook with the rhythmic thumping, groans and grunts of Shamus' pleasure as well as another's wails and groans. Twice that night an old crone of a servant had entered the room and re stoked the fire and replaced the candles. She'd learned not to question things or face her master's wrath. She could only wonder about the soul trapped in Shamus's passionate grip. But money talked, and no one wanted to loose Captain Nelson's financial support of their livelihoods. So she, like members of Shamus’ own estranged family and investors, had cast a blind eye to his hobbies. She wondered who the victim was this time, and if he would survive the night. She was about to leave the room when thumping stopped.
"Well, it wouldn't hurt as much,” Shamus was telling his victim, “if you'd relaxed and not fought it like I told you.You're sadly lacking in sexual education, which I will just have to remedy."
"Rot in hell, you demon!" Lee screamed.
"You agreed to service me to save your beloved Harriman, at least at first. And since I'm already damned, so they say, I’ll take my pleasure where I find it, my glorious Adonis. This Harriman of yours is an imbecile if he hasn't even tried to have his way with you. You'll come to enjoy it, I promise, even if we only have this night. Yes, I’m accomplished in many techniques in the act of love, regardless of gender, or,” he laughed, “species.”
The servant gasped at the comment and Shamus pulled the curtain back, “It was just a joke woman. Bring me a drink; I'm a little bit preoccupied. No, don't bother to go downstairs. Bring me the bottle of gin over there, set it on the floor here. Oh and we need new sheets."
"Help me, for god's sake, help me!" Lee's voice called out to her.
"He went back on his word and he doesn't like it yet. But he'll learn."
"You'll burn in hell for this!"
"It’ll go easier on you if you cooperate."
"Suit yourself. By the time I’m finished with ye, you’ll be beggin’ for it."
"Pemm come back! Pemm, help me!" Crane called out as the Shamus began to ravish Lee again.
"Now, why should he do that, laddie, after all, this was all his idea...."
Sally said a silent prayer for the boy's deliverance, as she closed the bedroom door, knowing all the while it was hopeless. She was powerless to do anything. She'd tried once years before, when she'd heard loose talk from a cabin boy, and his about his `servicing' the Captain. But when she told those in authority, they claimed all in her imagination. But she'd seen them pocket the money Shamus had given them. He'd had her whipped, then raped her, swearing it would happen again if she told anyone about his `special interests'.
The vindicated but travel weary Nelson joined Morton inside the sub, still in the dry-dock hangar. There were dark circles under Nelson's eyes mixed with tears as he watched a clean up crew wipe up the soiled decking and consoles.
Nelson fell to his knees. "Whatever it takes, however long it takes, I want the monster that did this to Lee found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law..."
"Excuse me, sir," Chief Sharkey said as he climbed down the ladder into the control room.
a Mr. Whitt on the videophone from
"Thank you Francis. I'll be right there in a few minutes....Chip...give me a few minutes aboard alone first though, will you?"
Within two minutes, Chip and Sharkey had climbed back `upstairs' to the dry-dock `bridge' leaving the man alone.
Nelson walked slowly toward the periscope island, still raised, its handles still wound with the cut strands of duct tape, other evidence below.
"How could he do this to you Lee, how?"
Like a man in a dark dream, Nelson joined Chip and Sharkey I the administration office, took the call and then called a staff meeting for his remaining officers and crew.
"The parchment, and the carbon dating of the sketches, according to Mr. Whitt," Nelson said, "shows all of them to have been drawn from between 1789 and 1830."
"Weird," Riley said, "what a coincidence. They look just like you and the skipper."
"I'm not sure it is a coincidence," Nelson said, "There is another man who does look like me. Just like me, in fact. Captain Shamus O'Hara Nelson, but he died at sea in the early 1800's. He was an ancestor of mine. A slave trader. It was a secret he kept to the grave until he revealed it to me. Or at least his ghost did."
“Oh gawd, not another one,” Chip groaned.
"Afraid so. He’s cursed to wander the seas in a kind of purgatory. He'd wanted me to complete his sentence for him, but I managed to get out of it and he stopped haunting me. When Whitt told me about the age of these drawings, it became clear to me. I think that Shamus took one look at Lee, who, like all of you, didn’t see him, and decided to take me over Halloween night and...then there’s Pemm….and I can't help feeling there's something about these sketches that could help our investigation to rescue Lee, but for the life of me, I don't know how. I'm groping at straws."
"Admiral? Kowalski gulped, "if you're right, and the Pemm took the skip back in time, are these drawings f what's happening to Skipper now?"
“I pray to god they're no, but I think there’s a pretty good chance of it."
"I wish you'd kept Pemm's old timepiece, even if it was nuked and fallen apart," Chip said.
"We'll think of something. We have to."
Lee was growing feverish. He'd been beaten some more by Shamus and his thugs before having been taken aboard Captain Nelson's ship and `stowed' in his cabin, manacled yet again in chains as a show of power. `Ship's Whore' they called him, but he'd been sick for two days now, as the small ship was enroute, a blessing in that Shamus didn't like himself or his fine silk sheets being thrown up on so much on while proving his virility. But the sickness was abating, so even pretense wouldn't stop Shamus from taking him again or delivering him to the crew as he'd continually threatened. It came that night.
The crew's quarters were dark and damp, and lit by lanterns swaying in the roll of the ship. Most of the men were filthy. Some were asleep in their hammocks, but most were enjoying the evening's `entertainment'. Lee had been dragged below personally by the Captain and the Master at Arms, who maintained a tight grip on the weakened Crane. At least the manacles had been exchanged for rope.
"String him up to the beam," Shamus said, accepting a stein of beer. Jeers and cheers greeted Lee's ears as his only garment, a threadbare nightshirt two sizes too big, was removed. The Master at Arms and two other men, looped the heavy rope over one of the beams, near the stepped platform before it dipped down to the main floor.
"Leave me alone, you bastards!"
"You'll not be calling my crew bastards! True born, most of `em anyway," Shamus made a joke of it. "Bring me the cat," he continued .Captain Nelson stroked the instrument, the nine pronged whip .Once, twice, he stuck Lee's back. Crane managed not to cry out, trying not to give the man the satisfaction.
"Seems the cat's got his tongue," Shamus said to the grunts and laughter of his crew." Perhaps, he needs a little persuasion."
Shamus unbuttoned his trousers to the cheers of his crew.
After the Captain had left, the orgy began. All night long, and well into the next day, the men repeatedly raped Crane, those that were inclined, and some who simply took the advantage of any kind of sexual release regardless of preference to gender. In as many contorted positions and techniques as they knew, they beat, restrained, and ravished the Ship's Whore. A few times during the `festivities', Shamus came below to check on things, satisfied that his crew appreciated his generosity, then returned topside.
When would the humiliation and pain end, Lee's mind raced. When and how could he get out this living hell? He was utterly helpless, bound, beaten and repeatedly invaded. It was as if fire and knives were lunging into him with every thrust the men had inflicted. It was far worse than when he was first taken in Shamus in Nelson's body. And his throat was so raw he could hardly swallow.
"The clock was jammed," Edith said on the monitor, "with this," she held up a pocket watch. "It's got blood stains on it, like fingerprints. It's inscribed... `Time and tide wait for no man, but one'. The clock smith says he remembered his grandfather mentioning one similar. The phrase had stuck in his mind as downright irreverent. It had belonged to a Mr. Pemm, he said, a self proclaimed inventor who'd opened a shop in Boston and offered him a job....he started that day a bright eyed cheerful boy of eleven. But when he returned home that night, he was disheveled, dirty, in tears, and said he'd never go back again. But when his parents asked why, he just said there were things best left unsaid. No amount of pressuring would get their son to talk. They went down to the shop right away, but Mr. Pemm had disappeared.... Harry, are you all right?"
"The blood...I want you to have it analyzed. Have the DNA results sent to the Institute medical center. STAT."
"Harry, what's going on?"
"Just do it."
"I've checked all the maritime city records, Admiral," the librarian said on the phone, "Captain Nelson was never in trouble with the law. He was lost at sea in a storm and greatly mourned by the entire community."
not too many. I have the ship's roster. I can fax it to you. There's no Crane
listed on it.
But what's odd is that the ship's whore is. Doesn't give her name though.Oh, I'm not sure this will help your research, but Shamus's estranged wife never attended the memorial. Seems they had marital problems, and she spent most of her time at her parent's home or abroad, spending Shamus's money, though they did produce the one son a bit late in life. She told her parents it was a' most unpleasant conception'. I also found something about Mr. Pemm. It seems as though he was a frequent houseguest of Captain Nelson's, and a skilled artist. Oil portrait's mostly, of leading citizens, I have a list of the sitters, but only found one or two descendants of the sitters. They say they've never seen any portraits. I checked the art museum, and they found they only had some sketches by Pemm listed in the index; Pen, pencil, chalk, but when the curator went to retrieve them, he found they'd been sealed by order of the town fathers. You'll have to get the mayor to release them for viewing. She'd never even heard of them, but when she checked, she said the statute is still on the books. Since it was from 1802, she's open to removing the block. Just let her know and
she'll get things moving, legal wise. I've got her personal number. She's intrigued."
"Thank you, you've been more help than you realize."
"Now, listen to me, Crane," Shamus said from his cabin the next afternoon. "You know now that Pemm lied about you only having to service me one night, besides you reneged on being willing, so it’s a moot point. You’re stuck here. Now, I have 48 crew, your ass is bleeding bad, and it'll get worse if you're ever fucked in a real orgy. This was just a little preview to show you I mean business. Fuck me, and be fucked by me, willingly, without me having to have a threesome to force it and I'll insure you're protected from what you just went through. The crew won’t be allowed to touch you except at my discretion and supervision. If you don’t cooperate, well, I promise you that you will, in time, be quite literally be fucked to death. And to top it off, Harriman Nelson will never be born. I won't beget any child on my wife or any other female so the good Admiral's line won't even come into being. So what will it be?"
Lee could hardly stand, even supported by the Master at Arms, as he stood before Captain Nelson, He'd been beaten, whipped, pummeled, pounded, penetrated, and ridden. He'd been on his back, his belly, and contorted as the men had found sexual satisfaction in his body. He'd been forced into others as he was pounded, as Shamus had said, as part of a threesome. His nipples had been twisted, bitten, and even wound with string into sharp nubs. A thin green pliable twig with feathered notches cut into it had been inserted into his penis and pulled in and out. His body had forced him to pee, and he'd had diarrhea more than a few times, and was `punished' by the crew with more beatings and sexual depravities.
"I'd rather die a million deaths than `service' you, or any of your bastard crew," he spat, "but I won't cheat Nelson of his life, however long or short."
"Then you're agreed? To be my special whore?"
"God forgive me," Lee said, a totally broken man, in body and spirit, "Yes."
"Admiral?" Chip aske, popping his head into Nelson's office. Kowalski was working on some files with him. "Edith's here."
"Does she have the timepiece?"
"Yes, holding onto it for dear life, like you said. Also has Pemm's paintings and other drawings from the museum.. The mayor released the sealed ones to your custody”
Shamus had been as good as his word, and Lee had been under his protection for a few days now.
"Deeper, my dark stallion, and faster!" Shamus grinned, as Lee did his duty.
Lee's mind had been starting to play tricks and for a moment he lapsed into thinking it was Nelson, his Nelson. Shaking his head, his mouth was forced down by Shamus's hands to his nipples.
"Suckle me, boy. That's it. Like a puppy it's mother's teats."
Again, for a moment it was Harriman his tongue and mouth were trying to bring milk from.
"Kiss me, lad. On the mouth," Shamus said.
But the taste of stale cheese and beer brought Crane of his delusion. He stopped thrusting.
"What's wrong? You haven't come yet."
"You were looking at me funny, and you seemed to enjoy it, that's not like you Crane. I know you have no feelings for me... It's him isn't it? You were thinking of Harriman!" he shouted angrily.
"I should have known. You want him."
"Don't lie boy, well, have you had him?"
"No. We've never...except for when you..."
"Ah, except for when I deflowered you in his body way off in the future sometime. Did I ask you to stop fucking me? Get back to work lad, I want to feel it ...if it helps you, just pretend I'm him, and that we're doing it in his cabin aboard your confounded boat."
Lee said nothing but continued to pound until he came. He swore to himself that he'd never pretend Shamus was Nelson again. Nelson deserved adoration, and worship, not the disgust he had toward his ancestor. Lee finally came, and Shamus, hard now himself turned Lee onto his stomach, and mounted him deeply, continuing the coitus until completion. It didn't matter to him that Lee's anal ring was puffy and purple, and that it had open blisters oozing pus. Or that it made Crane grunt in agony with every thrust he made and that it all made a bloody mess on the sheets. Whores were supposed to moan, in pain or pleasure, it didn't matter. All that mattered was that they submit.
Beautifully drawn, the picture of the centaur reared up on its hind legs. The half horse, half human was Lee in full majesty, his muscles rippling in power, his face and genitals fully exposed.
"No wonder those Bostonians thought it best to hide these away," Chip said.
"But what I don't understand is how can all of these sketches look so much like Lee?" Edith asked.
"I think it's time I told you something," Nelson said.
As Nelson explained the visitations of Captain Nelson and Mr. Pemm to his sister, Chip looked through the rest of the pictures the original town fathers had deemed offensive.
One was a spectacular picture of Crane holding Nelson adoringly, their sweaty, cum streaked naked bodies pressing close against each other in a lover's embrace. Another was an absolutely glorious rendering of Lee standing, hands on hips, his penis in fully erect and ready for action. His face was somewhat bearded, his hair longish and unkempt. It was difficult for any of the viewers not to be aroused by the image of such potent masculinity.
"So," Edith said to Nelson after his explanation, "you think that this Shamus Nelson took you over and then had his way with Lee, then he or this Pemm zapped you back to before he took you over ? And that's why you can't remember it, because it never happened to you? "
"That's about the size of it. And, the transponder in my watch is not in sync with Seaview's which proves it."
"This is a bit hard to swallow, Harry."
"Do you have a better explanation for all that's happened, and all of the pictures, and the clock?"
"Frankly, no...So what are you going to do, if you're so convinced, to get Lee back?"
"I'm going to use this," he indicated the timepiece, "to go back in time. Where I believe Lee is."
"You don't even know if it's Pemms! Or how to work it!"
"No, I don't, but Pemm does, and if he's the man I think he is, he's probably already seen and heard us, isn't that so, Pemm? Pemm? Where are you Pemm? Answer me!"
"Oh, Harry..." Edith sighed, distressed. While parts of his explanation made sense, it was just impossible. He was obsessed with his theory that the man in the sketches was really Lee, and not just a look alike.
Crane was allowed topside for some air and shakily held onto the rail. He was wearing an old long coat with no buttons, his arms holding it together for warmth against the cold. Some of the crew snickered appreciatively, pointing to the cum trails on the back of his legs. Roughly cleaned up and protected from an another orgy with the crew or not, the Captain still kept him naked. And very very wet. Shamus approached him and for a while neither said anything as they looked out to sea from the railing.
"So, lad, ever tell him? How you feel about him? Harriman?"
"No. Never. God, I miss him."
"What's he like then, this master of your heart?"
"He..."Crane suddenly looked at Shamus, "it's none of your business, master."
"Ohhh, you have a bit of your fighting spirit back I see. I warn you..."
"I know I know. Don't worry, I've learned my lesson. I'm yours to do with as you please. There's no way off this tub anyhow. I won't risk losing the Admiral to oblivion."
"You despise me, don't you lad?"
"You know I do."
"It's getting colder. But first," he unbuttoned his trousers, "make me come again. In your throat. You shouldn’t gag so much now. Here, in front of the crew. I want them to see you submit to me."
"I hope to god you'll be arrested for all of this."
"Go on. Suck me. Deep throat me. Then swallow it. All of it."
With a lump in his throat, Lee fell to his knees and did as he was told, hating himself, but unable to think of a way out of his own living purgatory.
"Admiral," Sharkey's voice came over the intercom. "The DNA test from the timepiece matches the Skipper's."
"Need any more proof Edith? Pemm? Pemm!" Nelson yelled into thin air, "I know you're watching! Get in here now!"
"You bellowed, Admiral?" Pemm stood before them. "Oh, I see you appreciate my artwork."
"Bring him back!"
"Bring whom back, did you loose somebody?"
"You know damn well who I mean! Bring Lee back!"
"But if I do that...well, you just won't be able to live with yourself. Captain Crane understands that. So much more intelligent than you."
"I know all about Shamus Nelson taking over my body and attacking Crane. We got some of it on tape."
"Must be nice for you, to watch yourself raping the lad. You know you want to ravish him on your own."
Nelson grabbed Pemm by the collar, "Bring him back, Pemm! Now! Show me how to work this damn thing!"
"But it was Crane's decision to go back in time. Granted, I sent you back in time a few minutes before the ghost took you over. But your stalwart Captain, while still bleeding with your semen dripping down his legs agreed to go back to Shamus's time to prevent Captain Nelson from taking you over again. Seems he cares about you."
"Why, why would going back in time prevent Shamus from coming back to haunt or take me over?"
"Because, Captain Nelson had said if he could but have sex with Crane; he'd seen one of my drawings and liked the way Crane looked; he'd be content in this life and the next. That, Admiral, simply put, means his future ghostly wanderings would be limited. He wouldn't be able to possess anyone, you included. And while Crane only thought it would be for one night, well, Shamus had other ideas."
"Shamus has had sex with Lee?" Nelson asked, his voice barely a whisper, his heart aching.
"Oh, my oh my, he certainly has. Hard and frequent, though I can't say Crane's been a very willing partner. Changed his mind and wanted out of the bargain, but Captain Nelson kept him prisoner and fucked him anyway and decided to keep him. Why, Crane’s been back in time now for several weeks. I know it's only a few of your days, but then, the time continuum's a bit complicated and...."
"If Lee accomplished his task, willing or unwilling, why haven't you brought him back?"
"Because, you idiot, Shamus made another deal. It superseded mine…and he won’t engender your line unless Crane lives his life as Shamus’ whore…of course, I probably should have warned him…”’
With that Pemm disappeared.
"Pemm! Pemm, come back!"
"How long have you had that fever?" the ship's Surgeon-Barber asked, reaching and feeling Lee's forehead, as Crane tried to mop a hardened chunk of bread in the unpalatable broth. He'd been allowed to eat with the officers today, and had been granted the privilege of wearing the Captain's green quilted Japanese Kimono. But they all knew he was naked underneath.
"I'm all right."
"No, you're not,” Doc said and looked at the heavy eyes, tousled hair, and unkempt face. Crane's hands trembled, and his skin was almost jaundiced, and there were dark brownish spots on the kimono. In a soft voice he asked, "Have you been bleeding more? From there?"
Crane looked up, fully understanding the term `there', "A bit."
"You having a hard time peeing?"
"Yes," Lee said, amazed this quack knew anything. This was the man who'd claimed a good blood letting would help rid Crane of the evil vapors that had made him `see things' that weren't there.
"I'd like to examine you."
"Look, I'm sick and tired of having my ass `examined.'"
"I think you're hemorrhaging," the Barber said bluntly.
After a moment Lee acquiesced with a nod.
"I have some opiate. It'll make it easier for you. I'll have to put my arm up your rectum to feel things out."
"If your peritoneum is torn, there's nothing I can do for you, and you'll die from fecal poisoning. But, if it's just burst abscesses from tissue damage, then I can give you an ointment or enema. You may also have an enlarged prostrate gland. If it's swollen too large, it can block off the urethra and force the urine back up into your kidneys...and you are yellowish..."
"All right all right, just knock me out and do what you have to do."
It was the weirdest dream Lee had ever had in his life. The waves on the shore were lit by moonbeams and his hooves were splashing as he galloped along the shore. Water droplets speckled his hind quarters and tail, and on his chest and arms. Being a centaur; part horse and part human, he felt a physical freedom like he'd never had before. Then he saw Nelson. The man had taken an evening swim and now bent over to retrieve his clothes. Lee reared in arousal, only knowing that he must take the man who meant so much to him. To fill him up, to flood him the proof of his love. Suddenly he was mounting Nelson, who pushed back against him, wanting him, needing Lee. But then Nelson begged him to stop. But the centaur's lust was just too great. When Lee finally climaxed, more blood than semen flushed out Nelson's ass.
"No, no!" Lee moaned loudly again and again.
"What's going on here?" Shamus shouted as he entered the officer's quarters. "Have you been having your way with him?" he asked angrily and jealous.
"I was examining him, Captain. I thought he might be bleeding internally."
"Well of course he is, I took him hard, the crew took him hard and..."
"That's not what I mean. I thought the lining of the colon had been ruptured and that he might be dying."
"No. The boy's very very lucky it was only an abscessed rectum and enlarged prostate. The anal ring shows three infected tears. That's why it's swollen and blistered. Those had burst and gotten infected. I think that's what caused the fever in the first place." He poured some smelling medicinal fluid on a cloth and gently patted the anal ring with it. "Captain, it's not for me to advise you as to your sexual practices, but I'd recommend that you insist on using some proper lubrication for any future intercourse with him; yours or the crew's.
Lee moaned, interrupting their conversation. He tried to shake the confusion away. It slowly dawned on him that it had been a dream, being a centaur in the throes of passion with Nelson and that he was in a strange bed. The effort of trying to sit up sent a flash of light and pain into his head, and he gasped for air.
"Whoa, there," Doc said. "You've been out of it awhile. But you'll be glad to know your fever's broken, and you'll be all right. It'll just take some time for the prostrate to get back down to normal, so you'll be having a stick in your wick a while."
The barber laughed, as he replaced the opium's cork in the small kit of long handled razor blades. " I put a catheter in your penis to allow your urine to flow freely. I've removed it for now, but you'll need it again later. And you're not hemorrhaging. Just some burst abscesses in your rectum and inflammation and blisters from some tears in your sphincter and anal ring. I've given you a vinegar enema. It'll sting pretty bad for awhile, but it'll help the inflammation in the long run. You're going to be just fine, aside from not being as tight as you used to be. You'll never be that small again, but at least you'll still have bowel control and...."
"If you'll leave us now..." Shamus said to the Barber, and unbuttoned his pants.
"Captain, you can't mean to..."
"That's not a request."
"The pain will be unbearable! And you may just undo what good I've done him!"
"Get out of here!" Shamus pushed him away, "You said he'd be fine."
"I meant he wasn’t dying! I didn't say he was ready for another sexual assault!"
"Assault? Assault? Is that what you're calling my lovemaking?"
"Since when is rape lovemaking?"
"And since when is having your way with a whore rape? Get out and go bother somebody else with your adlepated nonsense. I don't know why I bothered to hire you in the first place."
"Please," Crane pleaded to the Barber, still wobbly, trying to get up off of the bed, "help me. Don't let him..."
Shamus slapped Crane down. “Have you forgotten that I hold the keys to Harriman's life in my hands. You're mine until the day you die."
"Then if I have to kill myself to get out of this nightmare, so be it!" Lee suddenly reached for the long handled razors and tried to cut his wrists.
"Kill yourself, Crane," Shamus said in fury, "and I promise you I'll never beget a son! So it'll all be for naught, your sacrifice!"
“I,,,I’m sorry..I wasn’t thinking clearly. The drug…”
“Very well. Now, let’s get to business.”
Doc sent a silent prayer of thanks heavenward and vacated the cabin.
Angie entered the crowded office, "That Librarian from
Within a few minutes everyone who could, was jammed in the Admiral's office listening in.
wouldn't have even noticed, but the name stuck somehow. It's an incomplete
letter that was found in an old tintype style photo album donated to the
library. It's rather, well, disturbing..." she began to read aloud.....
"I had warned the Captain again that Crane was too hurt and weak to tolerate any more of the captain’s unnatural practices, and stood my ground, but the Captain, even a bad one, is ‘God’, and kicked me and told me to shut up, go back to my quarters, or find myself in the same predicament. For a moment I thought I was going to be placed in irons but reason prevailed and I returned the quarters I shared with four other officers, God help and forgive me for not interfering more.
"I could hear the young man's cries of unbelievable agony as the Captain had his way with him yet again. I was certain that the captain’s obsession with Crane was more than the Captain being highly sexed and needing action, making due with the men aboard, This was different. He'd made some kind of pact with Crane, to keep from handing him over to the crew again for another orgy and when Crane had tried to slit his wrists in a moment of utter despair, drugged though he was I’m sure, at those times, Crane always backed off, remembering the very real threat, whatever it was, to his friend Harriman, should he do away with himself.
“I remember this time that it was nearing midnight when the lightning struck the ship and started the fire. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to stop it and the Captain, now on deck, his lower parts fully exposed and his manhood stained with Crane's blood on it, was muttering about how' damn undignified it was to be sunk without his pants on'. He gave the order to abandon ship.
"While everyone rushed about salvaging what they could, and lowered the longboats, I went back below to see about Crane. He was in no fit shape to move, let alone walk without help.
"When I got to the cabin, he made no sense at all, talking about an `Admiral' and that the Captain had to live to sire a son. I tried to calm him down as I put the only coat I could find on him and practically carried him topside, and told him the Captain's son was in New York and called Ebenezer.
"Crane looked at me as though I were mad, then he started to laugh hysterically before a cold hard look formed in his eyes. If I live to be a hundred I'll never forget how that glare chilled me to the very bone.
"They lied, they both lied!" he shouted, and seemed both angry and relieved at the same time, running his hand through his matted hair. Then he started to yell at an invisible spectre, "You sonofabitch Pemm! Pemm!"
"I tried to calm him, but he saw my watch and grabbed it, "Where did you get this?" he asked and started to click the thing over and over. He kept yelling for this Pemm person. I was very afraid now of his crazed state, "Work! Work!" he kept yelling, a little strength returning in his anger, but he lost his grip and it fell to the deck. He fell to his knees, and scrabbled around the deck for it, but it slid over the side as the ship lurched, falling into one of the longboats. If Crane was acting crazy before, now he was hysterical. Half crawling, half slipping toward the rail and the waves, I feared for the life of the man in the longboat who'd caught the thing.
"In the chaos for a moment I thought I saw the Captain, somehow having gotten dressed in strange attire, call Crane by his given name of Lee, race over and kneel beside him, clutching him in his arm, and wearing a long chain with a round disk of the ugliest `man in the moon' engraving you'd ever seen. He pressed its left eye. I know now that I was completely delusional at the moment for just as quickly I saw that the pantless Captain already secured his place in one of the freed longboats, and the other with Crane on the deck.
"Then the ship shuddered again and exploded from the powder igniting in the fire. I must have been knocked out for all I remember after that were hands helping me up into one of the longboats, already swamped, and the fight for our lives against the raging sea. We lost sight of the other boats, and never saw the Captain or the rest of our shipmates again.
"It's been several years now since that horrible cruise, but as I look at fate, I wonder if perhaps something good came out of it at least. I saw for myself the terrible things men of ill will can do and have dedicated my life to help the victims of that kind of evil.
“I can only hope that God can forgive me for standing idley by, not having risked my life to save Crane’s. For he was already living in a terrible kind of death, and only now has any kind of peace with the angels.
"I'm sorry, but that's all there is," the librarian finished to stunned silence. "Was it of any help at all?"
dear," Nelson said, excited, "I can't even begin to thank you enough.
And when I return to
"Relation of yours maybe?" Ski asked Doc.
idea...but `doctoring' as they called it way back has been the family business
for generations...wouldn't that be something..."
Meanwhile Nelson had grabbed Edith, "The necklace! The necklace! Don't you see? That's the device. We've had it all along!"
"I know I have it here someplace," Edith rummaged through her unzipped travel bag in her room at Nelson's quarters.
"Here," Nelson dumped the contents onto the bed, "Sorry, faster.'
Grabbing the tangled chain, he raced back to the still crowded Institute office, her a quick trot at his heels. Eager, if out of breath, he raised it in victory.
"Chip, if that memoir is right, all I have to do is press its left eye."
"Maybe, but maybe not. It could be a trap set up by Pemm to get you back in time and stay there."
"If he wanted me back in time, he could have sent me there anytime he wanted. I'm sure this will work. But...take care of things if it doesn't. Edith, I love you," he added, "Just to let you know in case I don't come back." He took a breath, pressed the eye, and vanished.
It was just as the ship's Barber had said. They were sinking sideways; Lee was desperately crawling toward the rail, his coat open and flapping in the wind.
"Lee! Lee!" Nelson called, racing over to him, ignoring the chaos. Kneeling, and clutching Crane tightly in his arms, he pressed the orb's eye again.
Tingles permeated his body again, and suddenly with a thud he and Lee felt the lush carpet in his NIMR office.
The reality of finally being free caught Lee off guard for a moment, then all of the pent up emotions, fears, and torture of the past weeks came to a head, and he collapsed into hysterical sobs of relief against Nelson's chest. Nobody noticed that the soaked coat had fallen open, exposing Crane's nakedness. All anyone cared about was that he was alive. Nobody said a word as Nelson let him cry, rocking him gently, before kissing his forehead.
"It's all right now; everything's going to be all right. It's all over Lee," Nelson said as everyone’s hearts ached for their beloved Skipper, so hurt, so vulnerable as he wept.
Jamison's touch startled Lee, and he tried to pull away.
"It's all right, Lee," Nelson said, still holding him firmly, "It's only Jamie, you're safe now."
"I..." Lee looked up, "I'm sorry, I forgot for a minute.The ship’s barber surgeon gave me something…kind of knocked me out for an exam but mad me a little wacko…"
"All right Skipper, let's get you cleaned up," Doc said softly and nodded to the corpsman, who with Nelson helped lift Crane onto the ready stretcher, and swaddled him in warm blankets. They'd seen how he cringed in pain even with their utmost gentleness. "Ski, give us a hand. Skipper, I'm just going to give you a little IV before we move you and...Skipper?"
"What's wrong?" Nelson asked, his shirt splotched with Lee's warm tears.
"He's asleep. Totally exhausted," Jamison inserted the IV, then felt Lee's forehead, "and feverish. Admiral, it's going to take a while for us to examine and treat him; if you like you can wait in the operating gallery. I wouldn't advise it, it'll be ugly. But at least you'll be able to know what's going on first hand."
"I'll be there in a few minutes."
was with silence and respect that the crowd watched as Crane was carried to the
waiting vehicle to take him the short ride to the
Morton?" Sharkey asked as he helped the XO with some Institute business
the next day, his and everyone's minds still with Crane in the
"I'd forgotten about that sketch...you're right...so's the slave..."
"That's good then, Pemm's not gonna' be able to zap them back there?"
"Now why would I do that?" Pemm stood before them.
Sharkey pressed the alarm button. In less than a few seconds security guards held Pemm's arms.
"You take your job seriously don't you?" Pemm said, "Will you let me explain?"
"Let go of his arms, but stay with him," Morton said.
"Thank you. This rendering was simply an artistic work for a paid client. Look at the water spots, it's melting you idiot, because somebody set a cold drink on it"
"Why are you here?" Morton asked.
"That's a good question," the bedraggled, beard stubbled Nelson stood at the doorway, "And you'd better answer quickly before I..."
"Before you what Admiral?" he suddenly vanished and appeared just as quickly in another part of the room. "You see, no matter what you try I'll always be one step ahead of you. You can't hold me, you can't even kill me. This is just a courtesy call to let you know that your moon medallion has been rendered worthless, should you ever decide to challenge time or me again. I admit that I underestimated you this time."
"Then you're actually admitting defeat?"
"I'd say it's a," he winked toward the sketch, "draw," he disappeared.
"How's Lee?" Chip asked, Pemm forgotten.
"He'll mend, thank God, but it's going to be a long hard road for him, physically and emotionally. Doc's more concerned about the psychology of it...rape victims, especially repeated gang rape, well, let's just say Lee may need a bit of help coping with it all. We've already hired a psychiatrist who specializes in such things."
"Lee's tougher than you think, Admiral, after all..."
"We all have our breaking points. I think Lee's reached his."
Chip was silent for a moment then asked, "The police want a statement. It's all over the news that we found him. They don't know how though. And Mrs. Crane wants answers. She feels we've been ignoring her, though Angie's been keeping in touch."
"Well, it's certain we can't tell the whole story. And I think our staff can be trusted in that no-one wants to end up in an insane asylum. Just tell the cops our own search and rescue worked, Lee was found captive by a psychotic madman, who managed to escape. As for his mother, have Sharkey fly her out here. I think Lee will need her support in this. But I don't know how much to tell
“Most of the staff that resigned want back.”
"Well, it’s good to see that," Edith said from the doorway, "I was wondering if you'd ever smile again."
"It won't be happening frequently. Not until Lee's fully recovered."
"I know, but it's good to see a beginning."
"But he was certified as fit for duty!" Nelson argued four months later from his office.
"We know," Admiral Starke said on the videophone, "But after..."
"See for yourself, this was taken aboard during pre-check." he clicked on the security tape....
"Welcome aboard Lee," Chip said to Crane as he jumped down the ladder. "You're looking fit."
"Thanks," he said and began to walk aft he was called over to a console to confer with a crewman. Listening to the crewman's complaints about something not working right, Lee began to click on the various buttons, but then he noticed they were the very same consoles he'd sprayed his semen on when Shamus had him. "Oh god, oh god," he said. Then he looked at the periscope island with horror. "Chip, I...I can't do this, I thought I could but I can't..."he hurried to the ladder, with a look toward the nose. A shudder ran through him and he climbed up.
"He was shaking so badly," Starke said, "and so upset that Morton had to call Doc. Had to sedate him. He's still in Sick Bay. Morton's talked to him, but Crane insists he'll never be able to take command again."
"Oh yes he will, I'll be there ASAP."
"You don't understand," Lee said from a chair in the quiet room.
"But I do understand! I understand that those bastards raped your mind and body. This was just Pemm's way of making sure that you would be a victim for the rest of your life! Lee, listen to me. Don't let him win. We need you! Seaview needs you, and..most of all, I need you. And I need you whole."
"Sub drivers are a dime a dozen, you can get anyone you want, besides, Chip..."
"Chip is mortified that he may have to be acting captain longer than he'd hoped, and..Lee, look at me. It's no secret that we're friends, right?"
"Of course but.."
"Lee, when you were back in time I was beside myself with worry, and not because I needed a Captain for Seaview. I was worried because I care about you, yourself. These men, if you can call them that, wanted to destroy you for their own selfish pleasures, and they have, if you let them get away with this."
"It's not my fault! I can't help it! When I see the `scope, the consoles, I...I can't get it out of my mind!"
"All right, fair enough. The memories are there. Brutal, horrible, and obscene. But don't let the memory of it all conquer you."
"Damn it, I soiled her! Don't you understand? I tried so hard not to, but I just wasn't strong enough, or maybe Shamus was right and I wanted to fuck Seaview!" Lee shouted, angry.
"That's not true and you know it. Somehow, in your heart you know it. You're just upset from remembering. Lee, Doc's talked to you. The shrinks have too. They told you that it was all just a physiological response didn't they? "
"Then you realize that if Shamus were to stuff my ass and touch my prostrate and fondle my dick, that I'd come too?"
"But...you would have found a way not to..."
"Do I have to call one of the corpsmen in here to prove it to you?"
Lee stared at Nelson.
"I'd really rather not go to all that trouble and embarrassment to them," Nelson said, "but if it'll convince you that none of what happened is your fault, I'll press the call button right now."
"I..I.." Lee gulped.
"Lee," Nelson put an arm around his shoulder. "I'll make a deal with you. Come with me aboard Seaview, right now. She's still docked, so there's no problem if you want to get off the boat. Do a walkabout and if you still feel you can't face it, I won't say another word. You can take as much time as you want before coming back to Seaview. I'll even sit with you in counselling sessions. But Lee, remember this, no amount of scrubbing he down is going to remove the memory. It's up to you to face the memories, and conquer them. Let them be only that. Something from the past that's all over now."
"You sound like one of the counselors."
"No, I sound like your friend, your brother, your father."
Quiet teams of crewmen wondered what was going on. Morton hadn't turned command over to the Skipper as Crane slowly made his way from the ladder to the Control Room and began to walk about, stopping at times in front of various consoles and the periscope.
The sound of the submarines' various pre-check operations continued, vocal and electrical, and Lee took a deep breath.
"Up scope for pre-check,” he ordered,
Chip pressed the button and saw Lee hesitate as the scope rose, but he did grab the handles and gripped them, slowly spinning around in a full circles. Pausing, he sighed in relief. “`Scope checks fine Mr. Morton, Make all preparations to get underway for the war games, with your permission, that is."
"Shut up and just take command will you Lee?"
“I have command,” Lee said with a grin to Chip and a nod to Nelson.
"So he's had no further problems?" Jiggs asked from the videophone in Nelson's office back at NIMR two weeks later.
"Doc and Chip have been reporting to me daily. He's doing fine."
"You should be a shrink. I watched you know. There was a camera in the room."
"Eavesdropper. So, how's Seaview doing as the fox in the war games?"
"Crane's a damn fine tactician; the whole fleet can't find the boat.... Harriman, you know, I'm on fire to know what happened, really. There's got to be more to it than what the report said..."
"There is, but...I'm sorry Jiggs. Perhaps one day, but not yet."
"Very well, the games end day after tomorrow at 0700. I don't suppose you'd care to come out here and join me for breakfast. Crane's invited too."
"We'd be delighted."
Nelson leaned back and enjoyed the taste of maple syrup and strawberries on some really outstanding pancakes at the officer's club. Jiggs was relating some tale about his first taste of breadfruit when Lee entered the room and waved, soon joining them.
"Good job Crane," Starke said.
"Thank you, sir."
Jiggs couldn't help notice that Nelson's look of pride, deep affection, and sorrow. He also noticed Crane's almost reverential look toward Nelson. Well that was to be expected of a subordinate to a superior. But as the meal went on he began to sense something else. Something hidden by each man, even from each other. Perhaps it was the embarrassment of that impostor affair. It must have been galling for both of them.
It was so hard, so damn hard not to take Lee in his arms right then and there, Nelson thought, right there in front of Jiggs, the US Navy, and the whole damn world. He was so desperate to be a part of him, to become one soul with him, that he'd barely noticed that breakfast was over.
"Well, I've got a meeting," Starke rose. "When will Seaview be departing?"
sails tomorrow. But I'm flying back to
"Give her my regards."
"I will, Jiggs, I will. Well, Lee, let's be off."
He'd taken the flying sub this time, and she was safely parked in the Coast Guard's marina. Nelson and Edith spent some quality time together, and he agreed the originals of the pornographic pictures that had been returned to them were best left locked away or destroyed. In the end, Edith decided to let Harry make the decision. They could be of value, artistically and historically, even if they were garbage.
Later that night, as he burned them one by one in the bedroom fireplace, he held the one of the scruffy Lee, standing, hands on hips, aroused and ready and could only wonder. Was this too, the rendering of Lee for a paid client like Shamus, or was this a picture of something to come?
He could only wonder, and hope.