New Crew

"RNLI" Alternate Universe

by KT

Chapter 11
"Oh God Buck, what's wrong?" JD asked desperately kneeling in front of his stricken friend; he looked back at an equally horrified Vin.

Buck wasn't even attempting to answer, which in Vin's limited experience of the man was a very bad sign, he too knelt in front of the big second coxswain.

"Buck, can you hear me?" he asked.

Clearly Wilmington was still conscious but incapable of doing anything but groaning as he lay on his side below the wheelhouse.

"We gotta get Nate out here Vin, now!" JD was already on his feet, but Vin suddenly grabbed him and pulled him back.

"Not now JD!" Before the teen could protest Vin pulled him down beside him, both kneeling over their stricken friend. " Hold on to Buck, JD," Vin instructed.

That sixth sense he shared with Chris was working very well; at that moment the mast of the Septem in Unum lifted enough to clear the deck. Chris instantly slammed the Saint Nicholas into reverse and spun the wheel to port, as her bows swung away and she slid backwards the mast slammed back down, missing the lifeboat’s bows by a hair’s breadth. With no deck to support it the rest of the catamaran began to follow the mast as it slid beneath the waves, the cabin and cockpit hit the lifeboat's forward deck with a sickening crunch. Vin and JD huddled even closer trying to use their bodies to protect Buck from the wreckage. As Chris pushed the throttles to the limit the resilient Seven class pulled herself free even if she did leave a fair section of safety rail behind. Then they were free, Vin looked up and over his shoulder as the starboard hull slipped beneath the waves and the Septem in Unum was gone.

"Now go get Nathan," Vin instructed.

JD didn't need a second bidding. He barrelled into the lower cabin and pulled up short. The Tredwells were on one side, huddled together under blankets. Josiah was on the other side, his left foot encased in an orange bag, which Nathan appeared to be pumping full of air. He was holding an oxygen mask to his face, although JD knew it was in fact gas and air to help with the pain. Ezra, looking like the proverbial drowned rat, sat behind Sanchez.

"Doc you gotta come see to Buck," he stated.

"Let me finish Josiah’s splint first JD," Nathan hadn't been listening closely or even looked up.

Josiah could, despite the concussion, the pain and the mildly pleasant floating feeling from the drug he was receiving, see all too clearly that the doctor had to leave him now. He pulled the mask down.

"Nathan I can wait - go now," he stated quietly.

Nathan looked up at the priest and then he looked at JD. Never, not in six years of practising medicine, had he seen anyone look so stricken and terrified on behalf of another. He patted Sanchez on the shoulder, replaced the mask, then he picked up a small pouch and stuffed it inside his jacket and left with JD. Kneeling down at Buck’s head he quickly assessed the situation after Vin described the accident.

"Okay, Buck? It's Nathan. I need you to listen to me so I can help you, Buck, let me know if you can hear me," he tried to get a response from the big publican.


"Good man. Listen, I think you have some broken ribs and they’re pressing on your lungs, that’s why it hurts so much but I can't do anything here on deck - me and Vin are going to have to move you into the cabin. I'm not going to lie to you, it's going to hurt, more than it does now. But I am going to give you something for the pain."

Removing the pouch he pulled out a pre-filled hypodermic needle and inserted it into the back of Buck’s hand.

"What is that?" asked Vin.

"Morphine." He then went on to explain how they were going to move Buck.


Once they had him below, Vin left them to check on Chris. He didn't like what he found. The tall coxswain was ghost white except where he was covered in blood, the crimson only emphasising how pale he was. His was gripping the wheel with iron white-knuckled fury, nothing like the skilled deft grip he usually used. From what Vin could see the blood was still running freely, and he could clearly see at least one piece of glass still protruding from the back of Chris' left hand. With no glass in the windows the rain and spray lashed both of them, but while Vin had been active the whole time Chris had been just standing there trying to keep them afloat, his lips were tinged with blue.

"Look Chris, let me take her for a while; you go down and get warm," he suggested as quietly as the storm would allow.

"No." Came the ground-out response. "Get JD up here," he commanded.

Vin knew JD was currently consumed with guilt and worry and in no fit state to be of any help, but it was clear it was no time to mention this. But he did feel Chris needed to know about his oldest friend.

"Chris, Buck is hurt bad, why don't you go see him?" he tried again.

"Just get the kid."

JD was reluctant to go. He was hovering behind Nathan watching him work on Buck. At Nathan’s request he had gotten the doctor a diver’s knife, and then watched with awe as Jackson with a speed and skill JD could only dream of, used it to divest Wilmington of most of his clothing. The livid mark on the side of his chest was all too clear, but if that was bad you didn't need to be a doctor to see what was really wrong. As Buck breathed in he could clearly see a section of the rib cage move in, not out. And despite the morphine it was equally clear how painful this was.

Vin came up behind JD and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Kid, Chris wants you - best go now," he said quietly.

JD shook his head.

"JD," Buck 's voice was weak and breathy but it grabbed all their attention. "On this boat when the coxswain says come that’s coming straight from God, right Father?"

"Damn right," affirmed the priest.

JD took one more look at Buck, who had fixed him with his midnight blue eyes, daring him to contradict him. Then the young man nodded and left.

Up in the wheelhouse JD was as shocked as Vin by Chris’ state of health, but didn't have the courage to raise the issue. He did notice the damage in the wheelhouse. And no matter how scared he was of Chris he was more worried about Buck.

"Chris, I need to be with Buck," he stated firmly.

Chris looked at him. "Vin told me Buck’s hurt; well, the best thing we can do is get him home so he can get the proper care, right?"

"Yes, I guess so." JD reluctantly admitted

"We have no instruments JD, nothing of any use. I need a course JD, I need you to get us home."

JD paled. No instruments! No GPS, no radar, no radio. He would have to work out where they were and plot a course manually. It was his job, he knew how to do it, he had just never considered he would have to.

"Do we have a compass still?" he asked. He was reasonably confident of his navigational skills, but his dead reckoning at night with no stars was not something he wanted to rely on.

"Yes, thank God. JD, you know where we are?" Chris asked.

In a fine attempt at a Wilmington grin JD said. "To within a meter."

"Well, when all else fails mindless optimism will get us home I guess, you kid have definitely been spending too much time with Buck." Chris said, finally allowing himself a smile.


Vin stood watching Nathan with Buck, impressed with the man's gentleness and skill considering they were being chucked around like peas on a drum. He had put in an IV line and placed Buck on oxygen. Then after placing rolled towels and blankets to support his chest and help cushion some of the boat’s extreme movements in the turbulent seas, he helped Buck to roll back onto his injured side since he found that best. Then he covered him with several blankets and beckoned to Vin to move away.

"How long ‘till we get back, I'm assuming there is no chance of a chopper?" he asked the mechanic.

"No chance, even if one that could fly in this was free, we have no radio, no way to tell them we need them," Vin explained.

"Shit! Buck has what's called a flail chest, two, maybe three ribs broken in more than one place, in effect they’re free-floating. When he breathes they do the opposite to his other ribs, it's incredibly painful and potentially very dangerous." Vin nodded his understanding, as Nathan went on. "He needs to be some place warm and dry and still and he needs to be there fast."

Vin looked past the doctor to Buck, ashen with shock and pain, even behind the oxygen mask it was easy to see how badly every jolt and pitch of the boat affected him. He wasn't complaining or crying out of course, it wasn't his way, but it was clear how little the morphine was helping.

"And the others?" Vin asked.

"Josiah's mildly concussed, his foot is dislocated and most probably broken, he's splinted, I’ve had him on gas and air for the pain, now he’s had a shot of morphine as well - basically he’s floating. I don't want to put him on an IV 'cause Buck's most likely going to need it all. Ezra has mild hypothermia but basically he's okay. Mrs. Tredwell has fractured her arm, Mister Tredwell has a sprained ankle, the little girl hypothermia, exhaustion and she swallowed a lot of water. They’re all in shock. How long Vin? I need to know what I'm dealing with."

The Welshman took a deep breath. "With the tide and the wind with us this time, two and a half, maybe three hours."

Nathan nodded - not as bad as he thought, if Wilmington could keep breathing for himself, if the circulation in Josiah's foot didn't deteriorate, if little Jess hadn’t swallowed enough water to course complications if…if, it was all ifs. He suddenly realized Vin was speaking again.

"Sorry, what was that?"

"I said you need to look at Chris, he needs to be down here, I can get us home but he won't leave the wheel."


Nathan glared at his captain. "You need treatment now, I'm ordering you to release the wheel to Vin!"

"I'm alright, I have to bring you… us home." Chris was looking even paler.

Nathan tried a new tack. "Vin, take the wheel."

"Nathan I'm warning you!" Chris snarled,

"If you can let go of the wheel for a count of…of shall we say five, and stay on your feet you can stay."

Nathan could see Vin was about to protest but he just winked at him. Vin, trusting the doctor, put a hand on the wheel. Chris looked from one to the other. Well if that was all it took to get rid of them, he could do that. He released the wheel, and instantly the nausea that had been nagging at him for some time assaulted him, he staggered, turned, made it to the door, vomited, turned back and sank to his knees.

"I made that four, do you agree Mister Tanner?"

"More like three and a half I'd say Doc."

"Bastards!" Chris spat out. Nathan hauled him to his feet and helped him down below.


Vin watched him go and then turned back to face the sea. He knew JD was watching him, he gripped the wheel affecting an air of confidence he didn’t feel. Sure he’d taken The Lone Star though some bad weather, but nothing like this and he’d never piloted a boat like this in anything but the lightest swells. JD came to stand beside him.

"We have to turn on to this bearing," he said looking at the compass and pointing. Vin looked and acknowledged his new course. "I know it won’t be easy to stick to it in this swell, but basically we need to go north-north east. I’ve taken in to account the average wind speed, tides and current drift, so we should be on course." JD went to see what speed they were running at but this was just one more instrument that wasn’t working. "Got any idea how fast we’re going?" he asked.

Vin listened to his beloved engines, looked outside at the white foam-capped waves passing them, and made a quick mental calculation.

"Maybe 18 or 19 knots," he ventured. This was well below the boat’s top speed of 25 knots but given the conditions and the damage the vessel had received it was very good.


Ezra was feeling like a spare part. Sure, he felt wretched but not as bad as anyone else under Nathan’s care. Now they were under way there wasn’t much he could do to help Vin and JD get them home any quicker so he decided to help the sick and injured. Shrugging off the blanket Nathan had draped round him he moved as steadily as he could to where Jackson was tending to Chris. The doctor had placed a pressure bandage on the head wound and dressed the other cuts, mostly on the back of Chris’ hands. The one with glass still in it had been packed and dressed with the glass still in. With the limited resources and less than ideal conditions he didn’t want to risk removing it. Chris glared down at his now mummified hands.

"What?" asked the doctor. "You thought once I’d done this you would go back up and take back the wheel?" Think you’re Superman, do you?"

Chris just continued to glare.

"Well I’m going to let you in on a little medical secret Chris Larabee, you are as human and frail and mortal as the rest of us. Now you don’t have a concussion but you are in pain, you're verging on hypothermia and you’ve lost enough blood to make you feel faint and sick, right?"

A half closing of the eyes and the merest hint of a nod was the only admission of truth Nathan got, but it was enough for him.

"Rest, let Vin drive." With that Nathan stood, he almost fell over when he saw Ezra standing behind him. "God don’t scare me like that! What are you doing up?"

"I am mostly recovered and wish to be of some assistance," he explained.

Nate regarded him, in comparison to the others he looked a lot better, he had to admit that. Then he looked at Sanchez, the morphine was working a lot better on him than on Buck and he was asleep, Chris might make a run for the door, and the Tredwells might be the civilians but he really needed to be monitoring Buck constantly. There was a very real risk he could develop a collapsed lung or worse still - given the increased level of effort breathing now took and the constant pain, he would simply not have the strength to maintain his own airway. If that happened Nathan would have to intubate him and that was something he wanted to avoid, not only was it a procedure he rarely had a chance to practice but even the most skilled trauma doctor would have trouble performing the delicate task in these conditions.

"Alright Ezra, look after the Tredwells and keep an eye out for our esteemed leader making any bids for freedom,"

"I heard that!" the esteemed leader growled.

"I’m going to be with Buck."


Ezra delivered three mugs of hot chocolate to the family. Little Jess smiled shyly as she accepted it, sitting on her lap was her teddy bear. It was the only thing she had saved from the boat. When Ezra had seen her pull the sodden but safe toy out he realised just how much they had lost. This yacht wasn't some weekend diversion; this was their home, their life. A whole year of memories and life had slipped to the bottom of the sea. Jess' parents had also saved something each, as Ezra had watched them unpack the waterproof packages they both had inside their clothing, among the documents, passports, money and photos he had also spotted a small horse’s head carved in some kind of pale wood and an intricately embroidered scarf. Given the chance of saving one precious object, he wondered what he would pick?

"What's his name?" Ezra asked pointing at the toy.

"Puff," Jess' mum answered for her daughter.

"I had a bear once, he was the best friend I ever had and his name was Paddy." Ezra explained seriously. "And when I was little I used to want to take him to school. But Mat… the lady who looked after me, she told me that I had to leave him on my bed so he could sleep. Do you know why?" She shook her head. "Well you see, while you are asleep your teddy is awake and looking after you so no bad thing can ever hurt you in your sleep, so in the day he has to get some sleep to be bright and awake all night long." He was rewarded with a smile. "Would you like a Penguin to go with your cocoa?" She nodded.

Ezra frowned. He made a great play of looking for the biscuit. He looked in all his pockets; he looked in her pockets and her parent’s, before he finally produced it as if out of her ear. This got not only at smile but also a laugh.

"What do you say, Tiger?" Harry prompted.

"Thank you Ezra." Came the small reply.

"She's a bit overawed you know." Liz explained.

"Well that is to be expected; it has been a most harrowing episode for all of you." Ezra was actually amazed at how calm they all were.

"No it's you, you're her hero," she finished.

Ezra was more than a little nonplussed by this, but before he could analyse it much Jess' small voice got all their attention.

"Where is Paddy now?" she asked.

"I am very sorry to tell you that one day an evil witch came and stole him from me. This witch won't steal your] teddy though." He added hastily. "She only wanted mine."

"Oh no!" Jess gasped. "Who looks after you while you sleep? Have you killed the witch?"

"Have no fear, young lady. No, I have not killed her for she has powerful magic to protect herself, but she cannot harm me anymore for now I have six guardian angels watching over me instead."


In Four Corners, when communication with the Saint Nicolas was lost everyone's mind flew back four months. It was as if history was repeating itself, as if the sea was mocking them for daring to once more venture out into its fury and steal back those whom it had chosen as it's sacrifices. Among those now pacing were Rain, Inez and both Nettie and Casey Wells. All four of them looked up as the boathouse door was flung open as Father Connery burst in.

"They can see them!" he shouted. "They can see them!"

"Who can see what?" asked Travis.

"Father Abbot called over the radio, they can see the lifeboat from the tower, she 's coming back!"

Instantly everyone crowded around him asking questions, he assured them the monks were sure of what they saw. Suddenly Casey shouted.

"I'm going up to the castle to watch. Anyone coming?"

They all did. Orin Travis decided he was not as young as he thought he was, as, despite the weather, the younger ones raced up the path that wound around the castle hill. Just below the castle itself, and castle was a grand name for one small tower and few scattered bits of broken wall, was the bandstand. It at least offered a flat hard place to stand and some protection from the elements. From there they had a good view of the island, if the monks could see them they would be coming into view around the island very soon. Despite the good Abbot’s assurance none of them would believe it until they saw it.


JD had seen it first, it had been the proudest moment of his life. He had the wheel, just temporally while Vin ate a Mars bar, and he saw it. Just to be on the safe side he counted twice - eight seconds, the light he could see was flashing once every eight seconds, it was the Saint Just light, they had made it!

"We did it, Vin," he exclaimed handing the wheel back, "and look who brought her home."

Vin frowned not understanding what JD was trying to explain.

"Us Vin, the rookies, we got her home all on our own."

And then it struck him, the kid was right.

"Who you calling rookie JD? We’re lifeboat men, we’re just doing our job."

"Still pretty cool though isn’t it?"

"Pretty cool. I can find my way from here, especially since dawn is coming up, go tell the others, go tell Buck." JD needed no second bidding.

"We’re almost there people," he called out as he came into the cabin. "We can see the lighthouse and dawn is breaking, it won't be long now."

After this announcement JD headed straight for Buck, kneeling down next to Nathan so he was in line with Buck's face.

"We made it Buck, we're coming home," he said more gently, trying to keep that elated happy feeling he had had in the face of so much pain, pain he felt responsible for. Then before he could stop himself he began to apologise again.

"I'msorryI'msorryit'sallmyfaultI'msosorry," the words flowed seamlessly into one.

Not able to talk, he just didn't have the strength to control his breathing that much, Buck pushed on arm out of his cocoon of blankets and grabbed JD's wrist. The avalanche of words stopped, his attention drawn to his friend’s eyes, eyes that implored him to stop. Buck shot a quick look at Nathan. The doctor wasn’t happy to leave his patient but recognised the two of them needed some time alone.

"I’m just going to check on the others, JD call me if you’re worried okay?" he said gently as he got up.

JD hadn’t taken his eyes off Buck, but he nodded.

"I know what you want to say, that it’s not my fault, it just happened, that I would do the same for you, and I would too!" JD watched his friend’s face to see the truth of his words writ large. "But it was my fault Buck, you told me to pull back, I didn’t listen, I thought I knew it all and you got hurt ‘cause of that, ‘cause I was dumb and arrogant and stupid."

Buck knew he wasn’t going to be able to ease JD’s mind without talking so he summoned up what little strength he had left and all of his immense courage to speak.

"JD…stop," he gasped out, tightening his grip on the youth’s wrist. "Stop now…you made a mistake that’s all…will you do it again?"

"No, no never please don’t talk Buck, you know what Nathan said, rest, breath, nothing else matters right now."

"You learn from mistakes…we all make them even God over there." His eyes moved to the sleeping form of Chris Larabee on the other side of the cabin. "It’s what makes us, us."

He couldn’t go on it was just too painful. JD sensing this moved his hand so instead of Buck gripping his wrist he had hold of Buck’s hand. He squeezed.

"Still grateful you did what you did, still sorry I made the mistake that put you here, but I will learn from it."

Buck nodded slightly just as Nathan was returning.

While JD and Buck were speaking Nathan checked on the Tredwells. Little Jess had fallen asleep on her father’s lap, both parents looked drained and close to dropping point. Josiah was awake again, most of the effects of the morphine had worn off but it was too soon to give him more.

"I hear we are close to home?" he enquired of Nathan.

"Soon Josiah, very soon, just hang on in there and the good Lord will get us home safe." Nathan hated to see his patients in pain and not be able to help but he took comfort in knowing the end was in sight.

"Indeed brother Nathan He will," Sanchez lay back down and closed his eyes.

Next Nathan went to sit beside Chris, his eyes were closed and his head lolled with the movement of the boat. Blood had soaked though the dressings on his hand and on his head. Gently Nathan took his pulse, relieved it was strong, if a little on the fast side. He was sitting there watching JD and Buck when Ezra came to sit beside him.

"I have been thinking about what happened to them," he pointed to JD and Buck. "Vin told me about it, taking into account the difference in their heights I surmise if Buck had not stepped in front of him that cleat would have struck young JD in the face - do you concur?"

Nathan nodded.

Ezra speculated further. "And I suspect the result would have been catastrophic if not fatal?"

"Fatal, most probably instantly; in fact if it hadn’t hit Buck’s life jacket it would have killed him too," Nathan confirmed.

"Do you think they know that?"

"Buck knows, he’s been around, seen some stuff; he knew when he moved what was likely to happen. JD? I don’t think he realises just how bad it might have been, with luck he never will."


"Ezra, we need to warn them onshore about incoming casualties, can we do that?"

Ezra stood up. "I will attend to it, let young Mister Dunne stay here. I will assist Vin."


As the people waited in the cold grey dawn on the bandstand, the Saint Nicolas finally rounded the island and came into view. A huge cheer went up from everyone except Travis who was watching her though powerful binoculars.

"Wait! Wait!" he shouted. "She’s in bad shape," he warned.

As Travis watched he saw a flare fired from the side of the battered wheelhouse.

"What does that mean?" asked Nettie.

"Casualty," Tiny informed her.

"Two, three, four, five, oh God, six! They have six casualties!" Travis breathed pulling out his mobile phone and dialling 999.

As the ship limped around the end of the harbour wall Ezra and Vin saw what looked like the whole town assembled on the quayside. Backed one behind the other on top of the wall, close to their moorings were three ambulances, doors open, blue light flashing. Relief was all Ezra and Vin could think of, they were home, safe, their friends would get the care they needed.

As the walking wounded were helped up and into the waiting ambulances the paramedics went on board, eventually with the Tredwells packed off in one ambulance and Josiah and Chris in another, everyone waited for the last casualty to emerge. After talking over the difficulties of getting Buck out of the boat and up on to the quayside over the wreckage littering the boat’s stern, and considering it was now low tide they decided to sedate and intubate him in the boat. That way he would be mercifully oblivious to the extra pain the move would inevitably cause.

Nathan and JD were at his side as they prepared to do it.

"You understand what we’re going to do, you remember we discussed this before?" Nathan asked.

Buck nodded slightly.

"Okay I’m going to put this needle in your hand and soon there will be no more pain." He pushed the needle in; Buck didn’t so much as flinch. "When you wake up you’ll be in hospital." He pressed the plunger on the hypodermic. "In a nice warm, dry, clean bed with pretty nurses everywhere." As he watched, the slight smile that had appeared on Buck’s face faded, his eyes fluttered once and closed.

When Buck was finally lifted from the boat up onto the quay-side there was an audible gasp from the crowed. Inez stepped forward to walk beside the stretcher. JD walked on the other side his hand on Buck's shoulder, Nathan ahead; he carried the portable ventilator that was now breathing for Buck via the tube in his throat. She reached out and took his hand in hers as she walked, then bending low she whispered in his ear.

"Madre de Diòs! No me dejes ahora, por favor, no aguantarìa sin tì! "

Nathan looked back at her, JD looked across briefly. Once Buck was safely loaded and the ambulance pulled away, she, JD and Nathan were left standing on their own until Ezra and Vin walked over to stand with them.

"What did you say to Buck?" JD was too tired to be tactful.

Inez plastered on an amused smile. "I told him, men have very clever ways to get out of doing any work and he better get well soon and come back."

Then suddenly she looked around worried - someone might have understood what she really said. She was however relieved to see no one had. Inez wasn’t ready for that yet, especially from Buck himself. Father Sanchez knew of course but that was in the sanctity of the confessional so it didn't count in her eyes. Just then Rain pushed her way though the crowd and ran to Nathan. Instantly forgetting how tired he was he enveloped her slender frame in a huge bear hug and swung her around and around, when he finally set her down the two of them kissed until they were out of breath. Nettie and Casey had followed her

"Come on big guy, let me take you home and pamper you," Rain said taking him by the hand.

"You too, peque," Inez turned to JD. "I shall spoil you rotten?" She turned to Nettie. "That is right no? Spoil him rotten?"

"Indeed that is right and I know someone else who looks like he could use some spoiling." The old lady eyed Vin.

"No, no thanks Nettie. I have to secure the boat then I'm going to my own boat and sleep for a week." Vin explained backing away slightly.

Travis stepped in at this point. "Tiny and the crew will secure the boat, it's not like it's in a fit state to go any place, go guys, go eat and sleep, you've earned it."

"And you are not sleeping in that cramped draughty old tub!" Nettie stated firmly, jabbing her finger into Vin's chest.

"She is not a tub!" he protested.

"You contradict me boy and someone won't be getting rhubarb crumble and custard for his tea tonight!"

That sealed it. If he was going to get rhubarb crumble and custard he was going to go to Nettie's and he would be as quiet and meek as a kitten; until he got his reward.

JD was still looking up the hill, in the direction the ambulance had gone. "I need to get to the hospital to see Buck...and the others," he added hastily.

"JD, Buck is going to be unconscious for at least twenty four hours probably longer, go home have a hot bath, eat something, go to bed, rest. I'll pick you up tomorrow morning and take you in the Helston to see him okay? Otherwise you'll be passing out just as he's coming to, then what use are you?" Nathan explained.

He looked around at the others. "That goes for you lot too, Chris and Josiah are as bushed as us if not more, they're gonna be asleep. We can all go tomorrow."

Eventually they agreed, as they walked Ezra was trying to remember where he had left his car keys.

"What are you doing?" Inez asked, looking puzzled.

He explained and she looked even more puzzled.

"But the pub is just up the hill, and you cannot park outside - why do you want your car?"

When all he did was stare at her she went on. "You cannot go home there is no one to look after you. No, you will come home with me and JD, you can sleep in Buck's bed, he won't mind."

Buck might not mind but the look on Ezra's face said he did.

"I will put on fresh sheets, the bath is clean do not worry Senor," she assured.

Still he looked unhappy at the prospect.

"Or you can come home with us," Rain offered.

But Ezra had no wish to be a gooseberry in their home. Nettie also offered, but he did not want to give the old lady extra work.

"Make your mind up boy, because you are not going home to an empty house." Nettie stood in front of him hands on hips.

"You had better do what my aunt says," Casey explained.

"And follow doctor’s orders." Rain turned to Nathan. "Right?"

"Oh yes absolutely, and your doctor orders you to do as the women say, it's safer."

"Ya can't win," Vin explained.

He looked at JD for support, but the youth just shrugged. "I'm a 'peque' what do I know?"

"Very well, I will accompany young JD to that den of iniquity known as Buck's room, for one day only!"

As they all walked Casey fell instep with JD. "I think you are all very brave," she admitted. She might have been saying 'all' but she was walking with JD and looking at JD.

Damn, first time a girl I actually like hits on me and not only is Buck not here to see it, I'm too tired to do anything about it-bloody typical! JD lamented silently, while giving Casey what he hoped was a winning but also modest smile.


It took two weeks to repair the Saint Nicholas. By the time she was back on station and ready to launch so was Chris. Buck was released from intensive care after four days and came home a week later. It was two months before he was fully fit though. Josiah's ankle took the longest. Even after the external pins were removed he was in plaster for two months and on crutches for another month and a half. In the end it was six months before he was back on the crew.

The RNLI awards three medals for valour. The gold medal is only awarded in the most extreme circumstances and is considered the Victoria Cross of the lifeboat service. For the rescue of the crew of the private yacht Septem in Unum, Coxswain Christopher Larabee, Second Coxswain Buck Wilmington, Senior Mechanic Vincent Tanner and Crewmen Ezra Standish received the RNLI Gold Medal, Second Mechanic Father Josiah Sanchez, Crewman John Dunne and Crewman Doctor Nathan Jackson received the Silver Medal. In addition, Josiah received a commendation from the Holy Father in Rome, which effectively silenced any further objections the Cardinal could come up with. The story was carried in all the national papers, who dubbed the men 'The Magnificent Seven'.

Septem in Unum versis omnia possibilia sunt.

The End

Feedback: Yes please.

If you want to know more about the real RNLI go to-



A Levels = Exams usually taken at 18 to gain entry to university

Aga = Solid or oil fuelled cooker, often heats water as well

B and B = Guest house offering Bed and Breakfast

Clangers = Small, pink, cute alien heroes of a children's TV show much loved by adults

Crisps = Potato chips

Duvet = Comforter with a removable cover (assuming I understand 'comforter' right)

Duw = Welsh word for God

E blocker = Boy in his second year at Eton Collage i.e. 14 to 15 years old

Half Blue = Sporting honours awarded at Oxford & Cambridge universities

Heath Robinson =Illustrator famed for his drawings of wacky and complicated machines.

Lychgate = Covered gate leading to a graveyard

Penguins = Chocolate covered chocolate biscuit

Penlee = The Penlee lifeboat from Mousehole in Cornwall was lost in 1981 with all hands

Public School = In Britain a 'Public School' is a private school, often a boarding school

Quid or Quids = Money i.e. pounds

Rugby = Sport similar to but tougher than American Football, 15 a side

Slips = Close fielding position in Cricket, requiring fast reflexes

Smarties = Similar to M & M's

Soup Dragon = Supplier of 'Blue String' soup to Clangers

Taff or Taffy = Nickname for a welsh person

Try (in Rugby) = Like a touch down in American Football, worth 5 points.

VAT = Value Added Tax similar to sales tax