|Tides of Fate
by Greg Williams
© Greg Williams -- all rights reserved
The horn sounding on the freighter S.S. Denali Venture was a familiar sound to Captain David Pettigrew. An old salt, he'd plied the Pacific sea-lanes for a good 20 years now.
Pettigrew's first officer Christopher Nelson walks up to him as he stands in the bridge.
"We're under way Captain. Mr. Davis has us out to sea."
"Good. How are our new passengers?"
"Settled in sir."
"Excellent. Invite them to my mess room for dinner tonight would you?"
As Nelson leaves, David looks aft at the departing skyline of Hong Kong. It had been an interesting couple of days. Local news reported that a virus had broken out of quarantine in Atlanta and that mass deaths were occurring, not just in America, but also all over the world. The port authority ordered Captain Pettigrew to leave shortly thereafter, because China was closing all it's borders. Oh sure the Chicoms were funny, but this was down right odd. Mass deaths! That's when an American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dylan Frazier requested they come aboard. They had been bumped off their flight and there only alternative was by boat; the Denali Venture. David sighed and slipped off his chair and went below.
Later that night in the captain's mess, David sat at the head of the table, the Frazier's on his left sitting together and his staff heads sitting around the table. Across from Mr. Frazier sat Chris Nelson, beside him, the ships chief radioman Jack Nighthawk, a Native American. Beside Mrs. Frazier sat young Bobby Davis, chief wheel operator; across from him, Miles Horn the ships English doctor and finally at the other end of the table sat Marcus Lane, chief engineer and a very muscular African-American. Tonight's meal consisting of steak and rice.
"Are the reports we've been hearing about a virus outbreak true Captain?" asked Mrs. Frazier.
"What we've gotten is sketchy at best Mrs. Frazier. Jack?"
"It looks bad captain." says Jack "What I've heard is that entire countries are closing their borders to stop the spread, and it appears to be airborne."
"Are we at risk?" asked Miles
"I don't know. But CNN International is going to broadcast a world wide report from a Doctor ah, Stein I believe, who will talk about it."
"Might be a good idea to keep your ear open for tonight." says David
"Can do Cap'm."
"Mmm, this steak is delicious Captain," says Dylan
"Dylan, how can you think about eating when our son is out there with your brother? We don't know if they're alive or not."
"I'm worried to Colleen, but were half a world away."
"What's your son's name?" asks Chris
"Gavin. He's only 10 years old."
"How long does it take this ship to cross the Pacific?" asks Dylan
"At our speed?" says Bobby "Two months. And that don't count our time past the canal in Panama to our final destination in New York."
Colleen puts her face in her hands and tries to stop from crying. Dylan puts his arm around her.
"I know, I know. I'm worried too."
Later, Jack is at the radio just off the bridge, the second radioman, Charlie Grace is standing behind him.
"This is it. Charlie, get the captain and the others."
Moments later the senior staff and the Frazier's are crammed into the radio room.
"Pipe it through the whole ship." says David
"Boy, he sounds awful." says Bobby.
"Crikey" says Miles, his English accent becoming thicker "Those jackals won't leave him alone will they?"
"People are turning into animals?" says Chris
"Not just that" says Charlie "But some are changing gender, and even their age."
"Creepy." says Bobby
"What did he call it again?" says Dylan
"SCABS." says Jack "Stein's Chronic Accelerated Biomorphic Syndrome."
"I thought AIDS was an awful name for a disease, this is downright horrible!" says Colleen.
Static fills the little room.
"They've gone off the air." says Charlie.
"What do we do Captain?" asks Chris
"Until we hear otherwise, we keep going." says David "Bobby, how far along are we?"
"We should be seeing the northern most portion of the Philippines by tomorrow; The Babuyan Islands. Do you want to make for Subic?"
David thinks for a moment.
"Forget the Philippines, head for Guam."
The next day the ship passes within site of several islands. Dylan and Colleen are standing at the railing watching the islands pass. David walks up.
"We should reach the Marianas by the end of the week. Mr. Lane is putting everything he can into the engines."
"If you make a Star Trek joke, I'll have to hurt you captain." says Dylan with a smirk.
"Ho ho. I'd never dream of it."
"What is it this ship is carrying captain?" says Colleen
"Oh, a couple dozen automobiles, fuel, enough food to feed a small city, cooking spices, clothing and an assortment of other stuff; why?"
Colleen looks back out to sea.
"I know this is wrong of me to think so, but if society keeps going downhill the way it is, we may have to find a private little island and use our cargo to survive."
Dylan puts his arm around her.
"Not a chance." says Dylan "Sure there have been deaths, but I'm sure this'll all simmer down like a bad case of West Nile."
Miles walks up to them.
"Excuse me captain, might I have a word with you?"
They walk away from the Frazier's and Miles turns to David.
"Four crewmembers have fallen ill sir."
"It looks like the flu sir."
"Not that bug that's been going around?"
"They're almost alike sir."
"Damn! Well, keep them isolated in sick bay for now and keep me informed."
Over the course of the week, over half of the ships compliment of 20 falls ill the Frazier's included. David is in his cabin, sick as well, when a knock comes at the door.
"Who ith it?"
"It's Miles sir."
Miles walks in wearing a surgical mask over his face and carrying a tray.
"Chicken soup sir, best for what ails you"
"On the table Miles."
"I've got more bad news sir. Nelson and Lane have come down."
"Lane?! The mand id ath healthy ath a bull! How cand he be thick?"
"This virus doesn't discriminate sir."
"How many altogether have come down?"
"Not counting the Frazier's, 14."
"Mr. Grace tells me we should be in radio range of Agana in a couple of hours."
Later in the radio room, David, Charlie, Miles and the Frazier's are listening to Charlie trying to reach Guam.
"This is the Denali Venture calling Agana station. This is the Denali Venture calling Agana station. Come in Agana. Can anyone receive?"
"You three should really be in bed." says Miles
"I want to know what's going on." says Dylan.
Charlie leans back in his chair and takes off his headphones.
"It's no use." says Charlie "I can't reach them."
"How's your Morse code Mr. Grace?" says David
Charlie's face brightens.
"You still use Morse code in this day and age?" says Colleen
"You'd be surprised." says Charlie
After several moments of typing on the telegraph key.
"Got something!" says Charlie "Read you loud and clear Denali Venture....keep away....island under quarantine....Apra Harbor closed.....all vessels scuttled to prevent escape....."
"What about news from the states?" says Dylan
Charlie ticks away.
"Last reports were of mass rioting.....riot in Agana destroyed radio tower.....do not know how long can keep telegraph up....Repeat: world wide rioting due to hysteria over plague."
"Can we make it past the canal zone in Panama?" asks David
Charlie relays the question.
"Negative....Panama has closed canal zone....nation in shambles....recommend you find an isolated island and stay there.....we must go off the air now.....good bye, good luck and may God help us all."
Silence fills the room.
"Cor!" exclaims Miles "Balmy I tell you, simply balmy!"
"I never thought I'd live to hear about the collapse of civilization." says David
Colleen leans her head on Dylan's shoulder.
"Your prediction, it seems, came true Mrs. Frazier." says Miles
"Don't remind me." she sobs.
David turns to Miles, a determined look on his face.
"Miles, I don't care how sick he is, get Bobby up to the bridge. I want to know the location of every atoll and island chain east of the Marianas."
The next day the entire crew is at the aft end of the ship. Six bodies, covered by white tarp are lying on the deck. David addresses the crew.
"We are gathered here to remember our fallen crewmembers. It would seem that we are not immune to this virus. Let us honor the memory of our fallen shipmates. Mr. Horn."
Miles steps up and reads off the names of the men as they're tossed into the sea.
"Christopher Nelson splash Philip Dixon splash Brian McIntire splash Douglas Lynch splash Lucas Jefferson splash Gregory Jorgenson splash. Eternal Ocean, from whence we came, receive these, your servants. May God have mercy upon their souls."
"Amen." they all intone.
"Now then, the next order of business is to decide what to do." says David "The last communication out of Guam told us to find an isolated island and stay there. We have found a good prospect out of Sentinel Island atoll. Unless you wish to continue on to the states we will be staying there for an untold amount of time. All those in favor of Sentinel Island."
Hands are raised.
"All those in favor of the states."
Fewer hands are raised.
"It's decided. We will try to make a living on Sentinel Island. Mr. Davis, set a course.
The crew breaks up. Dylan and Colleen walk up to David.
"I'm sorry you got caught up in all this. For all you know your son may be dead."
"A bad case of West Nile?" says Colleen glaring at Dylan. He shrugs.
"So I was wrong. What's Sentinel Island like?"
"An atoll of two island, Sentinel and Zephyr. It was discovered in the 1800's and the captain named it after his ship. It was used as an airbase during World War II to hit the Japanese held islands of Wake, Truk and Guam. Zephyr Island is sand covered with no real interest, that's where the airfield is. Sentinel Island has a small jungle on it where we can set up shop and live."
"Well, I guess we'll see how the Polynesians lived." says Dylan
"With some modifications." says Colleen "We'll be using modern technology."
"Yeah, trees, car doors and 60 year old airplane parts." says David
Later that day on the bridge, Bobby is manning the wheel; David is watching the skyline with binoculars. Charlie walks in.
"Anything more from the radio or telegraph?" says David
Charlie suddenly grabs his stomach and gasps.
"What's wrong?" says David
"I....don't....know sir. Ugh! It's like....my insides.... are on fire! Augh!"
Charlie collapses to the deck and writhes in agony.
"Horn! Get up here quick!" shouts David into a pickup.
"Jeez-laweeze!" exclaims Bobby.
"Charlie, talk to me!" says David
"Ohh, I'm fine now."
Miles comes to the bridge at a run.
"What's the mat....bloody hell!"
Sickbay. David and Miles are here. Miles is doing some tests on Charlie. He's turned into an upright bobcat.
"According to that Stein guy, this is normal." says Miles
"How do you feel Charlie?" says David
"I feel fine now. Better than fine, I feel great! It's a little hard to describe how my senses are doing."
"What's your prognosis doctor?" says David
"From what I can tell, he's healthy. No more pain? Any dizzyness?"
"None." says Charlie
"Glad to hear it." says David
The intercom buzzes.
Captain Pettigrew, we're nearing Sentinel Island.
"I'm on my way."
Sentinel Island beach. Two motorboats from the Denali come ashore and the men start unloading. Miles takes several steps then does a dramatic pose.
"I claim this land for England!"
"Very funny Horn." says Jack "Help us unload this stuff."
"Sorry, couldn't resist."
Later that night, the crew is gathered around a bonfire, the Denali Venture safely anchored.
"Welcome to your new homes my friends." says David "Tomorrow we'll offload the needed supplies from the ship and start exploring the island. I need volunteers for both jobs."
Hands are raised.
"Very good. Marcus Lane, Aaron Burke and Charlie Grace will offload the ship. Myself, Ray Sisco and Mr. Frazier, will explore the island. Get some rest, your gonna need it."
Personal log entry, Captain David Pettigrew, March 1, 2003; we've safely offloaded the cargo and other essential items and our little colony is thriving. Our water supply is augmented because of a large spring just a short distance from the shore. Which is a good thing so we don't have to overtax our fresh water condenser. There's plenty of fruit here so we don't have to stretch our food supply. Mrs. Frazier gave our little colony it's name and it stuck. New Roanoke is open for business. We had another crewmember change last night. John Barclay transformed into a dingo, rather obvious given his Aussie origins. Should be interested to see what happens in the future.
Night. A shrill scream pierces the silence of the colony. Everyone hustles out of their makeshift tents.
"Was that you Mrs. Frazier?" says Bobby.
"No. It came from that tent."
"Oh, my god!" comes a shout.
Justin Kelly comes out of his tent and scoots away on his butt.
"What happened?" says David
"It's Harry! He's changed!"
"Harry? You okay in there?" says Charlie
What steps out isn't a man, but a girl of about 18.
"Do I look okay to you?! I'm a friggin girl!"
"This isn't normal I tell you!" shouts Justin
"Normal went out the porthole the moment that virus was let loose." says David.
Log Entry August 20, 2003. Something strange happened last night. Harry Ferguson was turned into a girl! The shock of it quickly passed and Harriet Ferguson is now helping Colleen with some chores around the colony.
Log entry September 1, 2003. After six months of trying to reach someone, Jack has finally got an answer. A group of civilians stranded on Wake Island has reached us by telegraph. Apparently they were there on a scientific expedition and got left behind. It took them this long to build a telegraph device. There has been talk about taking a skeleton crew on the Venture and going to rescue them. There's a storm on the way so it will have to wait.
Log entry September 3, 2003. I still can't believe it. Disaster! A massive typhoon swept over us. The Denali Venture was capsized by waves and is now facing the sky belly up! We only have one boat left and the consensus is that it should be used for fishing. Lance Duffy is dead. A tree came down during the storm and smashed his shelter. His funeral was just an hour ago.
Over the next several years, nothing significant happens at the "colony" of New Roanoke.
Log Entry March 1, 2010. Seven years ago today, we came to this island. It's not a bad life we've made for ourselves. I've come down with SCABS. It happened two day ago as I was helping to gather fruit. Apparently I fainted and, according to Miles, I was very feverish. I have been turned into a red fox. It's a little odd waking up to see yourself as an animal. Charlie and John assure me I'll get used to it. Bobby Davis has also been transformed, into a dolphin. He has the ability to look like a humanoid dolphin and then transform himself into a full dolphin. It makes fishing a lot easier.
Log Entry August 19, 2011. Our first crime; I don't know what got into him. Harriet was preparing dinner when Justin Kelly attacked and tried to rape her! She fought him off and ran away. He was stopped only after I put a bullet into Justin's head. I had no choice! He always was a little unstable.
Log Entry June 5, 2014. Several of the men have decided to refit one of the aircraft left behind during World War II. Marcus Lane, Travis Carpenter and Aaron Burke have been working for over a month to get an old Corsair flyable; and they've succeeded! Using bits and pieces they've managed to make it work. They've dubbed the plane Chimera, a fitting name. Tomorrow they draw lots to see who flies it.
Travis Carpenter steps into the cockpit and straps himself in.
"Where do you want me to head Mr. Lane?" says Travis
"You only have enough gas for one round trip." says Marcus "Try the Marshall's. They must have some rescue boats."
"Go for it." says David "And good luck."
"Okay. Here we go."
He turns the ignition on. The plane sputters for a few seconds then comes to life after some 70 odd years. A cheer erupts from the others as Travis taxis to the strip and flies off.
Log Entry June 6, 2014. Unfortunately he didn't get very far. The Chimera sputtered as he banked over and the engine cut out. The plane dropped like a rock! Bobby says that Travis was killed instantly.
Log Entry February 4, 2015. Two extraordinary things have happened. Joshua Knight got SCABS last night. It was at dinner last night. Joshua suddenly doubled over with pain and transformed into a full seagull! He screeched then flew away! I don't think his mind survived the transformation. That's another person gone. The second thing that happened is we learned that Mrs. Frazier is pregnant! Miles confirmed it; New Roanoke is going to have its first child!
Nine months later, inside Miles' tent, Colleen is in some makeshift stirrups, Dylan next to her, David at the door watching.
"Come on Colleen, push!" says Miles
"You can do it honey!" says Dylan
Colleen gives a final shout and crying can be heard.
"It's a boy!" says Miles
Later that night around the campfire, they all congratulate Mrs. Frazier on the baby.
"What are you going to name him?" says Bobby.
"Denali David Frazier."
Several of the men rib David.
"Hey I had nothing to do with it!" says David.
"What does Denali mean anyway?" says Dylan
"It's the native Alaskan word for Mt. McKinley." says David.
"A big name for someone so little." says Jack.
"He'll get bigger." says Colleen "Thank you, David, for letting us on your ship. I don't care what happened, I'm still grateful."
They all turn to the rusting out hulk of the overturned Denali Venture.
"She makes a great fish reef." says Bobby.
Log Entry November 3, 2015. Bobby has come up with a proposition. He's going to see if he can swim for help. I've agreed to let him go. Those civilians on Wake can't help us so he'll make for the Marshall's or Caroline's. We've stockpiled a supply of fish so we should be okay.
Log Entry February 9, 2016. Bobby has returned. He didn't find a single ship out there. He landed on an island in the Caroline's but the natives drove him back out because of his having SCABS. It was a long shot to start with.
Log Entry August 10, 2021. Another typhoon has hit us, and we've had another casualty. Harriett Ferguson was swept out to sea and drowned. Its hit Aaron Burke the hardest since the two of them we're really starting to become the item. Bobby has insisted that he go out again and look for rescue. He's told me he'll go as far as Hawaii, if he has to, but he'll find help. Little Denali is growing up so fast. Must be all the fish and fruits he's eating. Pretty soon "Uncle David" won't be able to carry him anymore.
Log Entry April 2, 2022. Another major storm has hit us. No death this time, but Dylan Frazier has lost his left eye from debris. During the storm we had another transformation. Marcus Lane transformed into a grizzly bear. With the ability to shift from a human-sized bear to full; makes hauling fallen tree's away much easier.
Log Entry December 27, 2023. It's been a little over two years since Bobby left. I hope he's had luck finding help. Ray Sisco has committed suicide by hanging himself in the jungle, and it was Colleen who found him. Not a pretty site. Speaking of Colleen, both she and Dylan have recently fallen ill. We're waiting from Miles to hear the news. Bobby, please come back to us safe.
French Frigate Shoals. Commander Kyle Rosen relaxes in an armchair on the deck of the submarine U.S.S. Cheyenne. All around the submarine his crew is either swimming, enjoying the beach on the shoals or lounging around on the deck.
"Captain, there's something coming from the ocean!" shouts crewmember.
Kyle takes off his sunglasses and peers through his binoculars.
"It's a SCAB. What's he doing out here?"
"He's coming this way sir. Shall we stop him?"
"Negative. Let's see what he wants."
The dolphin SCAB climbs up the hull and shakes Kyle's hand.
"Other people at last! Oh, it's been so long!"
"Who are you?" says Kyle
"Oh, my names Bobby Davis. I'm a survivor from the freighter Denali Venture. We've been marooned on Sentinel Island for a little over 20 years! You're the first people I've come across. You've got to help us."
"Sentinel Island?" says a crewmember "But that island is uninhabited."
Bobby looks at the otter SCAB who just talked.
"You have SCABS on your crew captain?"
"Ever since the SCABS Military Inclusion Act was signed last year.
"What? Never mind, we've been out of communication for a while. Our only source from the outside being a couple of scientists stranded on Wake."
"Scientists are stranded on Wake?"
"All right. I'll need to talk with my commanders at Pearl."
Kyle walks towards an access hatch.
"What's the situation in the Pacific?" asks Bobby
"It's been chaos ever since The Collapse. We've only now been able to restore order to the various island chains. AND there have been major cutbacks in the navy. This ship is one out of six of the last remaining Los Angeles Class subs."
"Give me a history lesson later, get on the horn with your commander's fast!"
Sentinel Island. Jack Nighthawk and Aaron Burke are walking along the island's beach.
They both turn and see Bobby coming out of the ocean.
"Bobby! Your alive!" says Jack
"Where have you been all this time?" says Aaron
"Later, I need you guys to get everyone out here, quickly."
"What do you mean?" says Jack
"Just do it, I'll explain when everyone is here."
Moments later the rest of the survivors have gathered around Bobby, asking questions. David raises his hands to silence them all. Bobby then does a double take upon seeing the Frazier's. Colleen, holding Denali's hand, has become a Collie morph; and Dylan a Great Dane morph; tawny colored fur with black on the muzzle; his makeshift eye patch giving him a tough guy look
"Dylan, what happened to your eye?" says Bobby "You've changed too."
"Long story." Says Dylan
"So, what do you think of our new forms?" says Colleen posing.
"I'm impressed. Denali it's good to see you again. My word, how old are you now?"
"Eight." Says Denali
"All right Mr. Davis what have you got for us?"
"Oh, right. This."
He turns to the ocean and waves. The U.S.S. Cheyenne surfaces and Captain Rosen steps out; they all erupt into cheers!
"We're going home! We're going home!" John Barclay and Charlie Grace shout as they dance in a circle
"Where'd you find them?" asks David
"French Frigate Shoals." says Bobby "Completely by chance."
Two weeks later, Pearl Harbor Memorial Hospital. The medical staff has checked out the survivors. A Vice-Admiral enters the ward they currently occupy and walks up to David; they shake hands.
"Vice-Admiral Henry Jessup. How are you all doing today?"
"We're doing fine Admiral, thank you." says David.
"So what happens to us now?" asks Bobby.
"That's up to you. The doctors say you're all fit to leave. They're amazed at how fit young Denali is."
"Thanks." Says Denali "I take after my parents."
"Oh, I almost forgot; Mr. And Mrs. Frazier, your son Gavin is alive and well."
Colleen gasps in delight and hugs Dylan.
"Although he goes by a different name and lives in a different city."
"Where?" asks Dylan.
Jessup takes a piece of paper and a picture out of his shirt pocket and hands it to them.
"That's my brother?" says Denali "He looks nothing like me."
Everyone can't help but laugh.
"It's the only city on the east coast that makes an effort to have "norms" and SCABS live together."
"What do you mean?" asks Denali "Do people not like other SCABS?"
"You'd be surprised." Says Jessup "Do you want us to contact him or maybe do it yourself?"
"No, I think we'll surprise him." Says Colleen.
The Blind Pig Gin Mill seemed kind of slow tonight, but that was made up for by Wanderer and the Lupine Boys. Wanderer had just done another of his song and stand-up routines and goes back to their table.
"You ever think about going on the comedy stage Wanderer?" asks one
"Well, I have considered it." Says Wanderer with a smirk
"Good, the stage leaves in five minutes."
"Be on it!" they all say, and then burst out laughing.
"Bada boom!" says Wanderer
At that moment Dylan, Colleen and Denali enter the bar. Dylan takes one look around and then starts humming the music to the Star Wars cantina scene.
"Honey!" says Colleen
"Hee hee, sorry. Couldn't resist."
They turn and see Donnie.
"I don't normally allow minors into my bar." He says through the vodor.
"Hey, I'm no minor, I'm a major!" says Denali.
This produces a round of laughter from the Lupine Boys.
"If you say so." says Donnie with a small smile. "What'll it be?"
"A Budweiser for me, and a coke for him." Says Dylan
Wanderer steps up to them.
"And welcome to this humble establishment we call The Blind Pig." Says Wanderer is his British accent "They call me, the Wanderer."
"Yeah? Where ya headed mister?" says Denali.
The Lupine Boys laugh again as Wanderer gives him an odd look.
"Ouch, shot down by a ten year old. And what might your name be young lad?"
"Cor, blimey guv'nor, me name's Denali if ya must know." Says Denali in a cockney accent "An I'm not ten, I'm eight."
At that even Dylan and Colleen start to laugh. Wanderer can only stand there looking dumbfounded.
"Wha...? Where'd you learn to do such a good accent?"
"Uncle Miles." Says Denali
Wanderer looks at the Frazier's.
"Long story." Says Dylan
Donnie brings their drinks. Dylan takes a long pull from the bottle.
"Ahh! It's been so long since I had a beer."
"Mmm. Dad, this drink is bonza." Says Denali "What's it called again?"
"Bonza?" says Wanderer "That's an Australian word. And you've never had a Coke?"
"Long story, I know. What an interesting family you folks make."
"You don't know the half of it." says Dylan with a smile. "By the way, I wonder if you can help us locate someone."
Wanderer bows slightly.
"I am at your service."
Dylan hands him a piece of paper.
"It's personal." Says Colleen
"Hey Silver, get yer flea bitten carcass over here! These nice young folks wanna have a talk with you."
The wolf morph that first spoke earlier stands up and comes over, carrying his drink in his hand. Grey, almost silver fur with white on the muzzle on down; he wears a simple black vest and modified blue jeans for his tail and digitgrade feet. He places the glass he's holding on the bar counter and shakes Dylan's hand.
"Heya. Silver Sawtooth. What can I do for you?"
"Do the names Dylan and Colleen Frazier ring a bell?" says Dylan
"They were my parents. I was told they died at sea at the time of The Collapse."
"We're not dead, Gavin. We were merely detained." Says Dylan
"We're home son." Says Colleen
Silver looks at Wanderer, who has the same look of amazement.
"Say, uh, Wanderer does the piano man take requests?" says Dylan
"Hey Jack, up for a request?"
"Name that tune, baby." says Jack DeMule
"Route 66." says Dylan
"You got it."
Jack starts to play the song and Dylan nods his head in time to the music.
"Ah yes. Route 66, the Mother Road." says Dylan
He turns to Colleen
"Did I ever tell you about the time I drove down the Oklahoma portion during the summer of 2000?"
"Oh, a few times." says Colleen.
"My dad couldn't get enough of Route 66." Says Silver "Are you really my parents?"
"What further proof do you need?" Says Colleen
"Mom, Dad!" he says in a shaky voice.
Dylan and Colleen nod. Silver fiercely hugs his parents, sobbing.
"Oh mom! Dad! I've missed you so much!" he says between sobs.
"It's a Kodak moment."
"Excuse me." comes an annoyed voice
They look at Denali, Silver tries to compose himself.
"Oh, right." Says Colleen "Gavin, meet your brother Denali."
"You were busy, I see." Says Silver "And my name is Silver, now."
"Not to me it isn't." says Colleen
"Ouch." whispers Wanderer.
"Yeah, what is it about the name changes?" says Dylan
"If you don't get it, you'll never know." says another patron
"You have been out of circulation." says Silver
"Are you sure he's my brother?" says Denali "He looks nothing like me."
"Hey, do you mind? Family moment going on here!" says Silver
Wanderer puts his hands up in a surrender gesture.
"Okay, okay. I'm leaving."
"Let's go to my apartment." Says Silver "We can do some catching up and I can get to know the squirt here."
Dylan puts some bills on the bar.
"I still can't get used to the fact that they put Reagan on a money bill."
They start to head out the door.
"Hey Silver, for what it's worth, we're happy for ya." Says Wanderer.
The other Lupine Boys agree.
As for the other survivors of the S.S. Denali Venture.
John Barclay returned home to Australia and settled in the Outback.
Charlie Grace settled in San Francisco and became an Alcatraz tour guide.
Aaron Burke went back to sea and commanded his own freighter
Marcus Lane settled in a colony of other bear morph SCABS named Beartown, located in the wilds of Alaska.
Miles Horn returned to England and opened his own medical practice in London.
Bobby Davis stayed in Hawaii and worked in the civilian air and sea rescue.
Jack Nighthawk returned to his tribe's reservation and married his childhood sweetheart.
The scientist stranded on Wake; Dr's Orr, Daneeka, Dobbs, Nately, McWatt and Major; were rescued a week after the others and continued their professions.
As for Captain David Pettigrew, he retired and wrote a book on their misadventures and rescue on Sentinel Island titled: "The Fate of the Denali Venture, A Survivor's Story." It went to the New York Times bestsellers list and David lived off the royalties the book sold. There's even talk about a movie being made.
Website Copyright 2004,2005 Michael Bard. Please send any comments or questions to him at email@example.com