Merry Christmas Lee
Written by Winnie - AKA poohbear-29
Lee Crane stood alone on the deck of his submarine. He looked at his watch and noticed it was sixteen hundred hours on December 24th and he was alone. Tears of sorrow ran down his cheeks when he realized it was Christmas Eve and everyone he knew and loved was dead and gone.
It happened a little over a week ago. An explosion had rocked Seaview and somehow he had been thrown into the future. Seaview was all he had left of his own time and friends. He had never felt so tired and alone.
Since arriving in this desolate place he had explored the surrounding city only to find it deserted as well. There was no sign of life anywhere. No birds singing. No dogs barking. No people. No cars. No vendors selling hotdogs in the parks. No children playing. Just deathly silence. It was a terrifying and depressing feeling.
He wasnít even sure he was on earth anymore. The sky was the wrong colour blue with shades of red, orange and yellow streaking through it. The ocean. Admiral Nelsonís wonderful playground that they all knew and loved was brown with pollutants of some unknown origin. He had gone diving yesterday morning only to find the ocean also devoid of life. ĎNothing could survive in this mess anyway.í He thought. It had been like swimming in a thick pea soup. He felt leaden as he swam in the stuff and was glad when he broke the surface of the water and climbed back up on the docks.
He could see some form of precipitation falling somewhere to the North of his position and remembering what had happened in yesterdays rainfall he went back down into the control room. His arm still burned where the rain had touched it. He removed the bandage and looked at the swollen red welt just below his left elbow. It was still painful to the touch and he went down to sickbay to get something to put on it. He prescribed a couple of Doctor Jamisonís strongest sleeping pills for himself, to help him get some rest.
ĎWhere are you guys?í he thought as he lay down on one of the sickbay bunks and drifted into a dreamless sleep.
On the submarine Seaview, the crew waited anxiously for any change in their Captains condition.
"How is he Doc?" Admiral Nelson asked Will Jamison.
"I donít know what to tell you Admiral. He was hit with quite a jolt of electricity and heís in a coma. The burn on his arm is not too serious as long as we can keep it from becoming infected. I keep putting antibiotics on it but it just doesnít seem to help. Itís weird. That burn should be healed by now. The electrical explosion was over a week ago." He told Nelson.
"You said he had no other injuries. Just the burn to his arm where the electrical wiring touched him."
"Then whatís causing the coma?"
"Right now I couldnít tell you Sir. Your guess is as good as mine."
"Damn. Today is Christmas Eve Jamie. Lee should be here to enjoy the festivities. Not in sickbay in a coma."
"It is Christmas eve Sir, and maybe we can all help by saying prayers and talking to Captain Crane. I believe that patients in comas benefit from people they love talking to them. It canít be proven but it has been documented many times." He looked down at the patient covered to his bare chest with a thin blanket. "Come back to us Lee. We need you." He said and quietly left Nelson alone with Crane.
In his own bleak world, Lee Crane opened his eyes and sat up shakily, "Jamie!" he called looking around sickbay for the doctor. ĎI know I heard you.í He thought, Ďbut where are you?í
He stood, walked into Jamieís office and wasnít surprised to find it empty. He looked at his watch and saw he had slept for six hours. It was now twenty two hundred hours and he was still alone. ĎMust have been imagining your voice Jamie. Wishful thinking, I guess. How do I get home from here? Where is here? Please God help me find the way back!í he pleaded.
He heard a noise behind him and turned to see a flash of light. Suddenly a manís familiar shape stood before him.
In the sickbay Nelson laid a hand on Craneís shoulder, "Lee... Lee...." Nelson tried hard to cover the anguish in his voice but he failed miserably, unable to keep the emotions at bay. "Son, come back to me, to us, to Seaview. We all need you. Donít leave us." Hearing a noise behind him he turned to see Commander Chip Morton, one of Leeís closest friends, enter sickbay.
"Any change Admiral?" Nelson shook his head and indicated for Morton to stay. "I donít want to interrupt Sir, I can come back."
"No, Chip. Lee needs us all right now. The more people talking to him and praying for him, the better his chances are that he'll hear us. If thereís a chance he can hear us we have to try." Nelson said tiredly.
"Admiral, I came down here to ask you something."
"What is it Chip?"
"Well, everyone Iíve talked to on this boat believes in the power of prayers." Nelson nodded and signalled for Morton to go on. "Itís Christmas Eve and prayers seem to be even stronger at this time of year. We were wondering if you would say a special prayer at midnight, for everyone to hear. We could pipe it through the entire boat."
Nelson smiled at the exec, "Asking Godís help for a loved one on Christmas Eve has always been a good idea. Letís do it. Arrange for all the crew to be involved. Have it timed to start at precisely Midnight."
"Letís hope it works." Morton said with a faint smile.
"Hope is a very powerful word Chip, but we also need faith." Nelson said smiling back.
In Leeís world he stared at the man with dawning recognition, "Curly, Curly Jones. Is that really you?"
"Itís me Skipper. Iíve been sent by God to help you." His smiling face put Lee Crane at ease immediately.
"How can you help me Curly. You died a year ago, which means I must have too." Crane said softly, looking at Curly in disbelief.
Smiling at Crane, Curly shook his head and began to explain, " I died in that accident, but you, Skipper, are very much alive. You just have to find your way back."
"How do I do that Curly? Can you really help me?" his voice betrayed the faintest trace of hope.
Back in sickbay Nelson was standing next to Lee, uttering words of encouragement. "Lee, did you hear that. Maybe with everyone praying at the same moment in time you will hear us, and God will give you back to us. Seaview really does need you. She will never be the same with someone else in command. I need you son!" Nelson spoke in anguish, heartfelt tears rolling down his cheeks. He didnít bother to wipe them away, unconcerned that someone would see them.
Lee shook his head and looked around, confused. "You arenít imagining things Skipper. That was Admiral Nelsonís voice you heard. Can you feel the agony he is going through?"
"How can I be hearing his voice when he isnít here? I donít understand."
"Let me explain. When the electrical explosion happened you were standing next to the console. Luckily you only had one hand touching the console and the other arm acted as a ground. The voltage was not as strong as it normally would have been. It really was a miracle you survived."
"I donít think Iíd call it a miracle. I donít want to survive here. I want to go back to the real world!" he said somberly.
"Thatís why I was sent Skipper. I can help you if youíll open your heart and mind and do as I say." Curly said wearing the brightest smile Lee Crane had ever seen.
Back in sickbay Chip had replaced Nelson in their vigil with Crane "Lee itís twenty three hundred hours on Christmas Eve." Chip said sadly, holding Leeís seemingly lifeless hand. "Jamie made Admiral Nelson leave long enough to eat. Heíll be back soon. I just wanted you to know how much I miss you. The crew feels the same way. We really want you back, and with Gods help it just might happen."
Where Lee was he could hear the words Chip was saying, but they were faint, as if spoken from a distance. "I hear Chipís voice, but it seems to be far away. Further than Admirals Nelsonís was." Lee said in despair. "They seem to be moving away."
"They are where they always were, itís you who is moving away. The longer you stay here the harder it will be for you to go back. We must return to the scene of the accident and wait for the sign." Curly took Cranes arm and slowly lead him towards the burnt out electrical consoles.
Lee felt himself walking alongside Curly, but could not figure out how doors opened before they touched them. "What kind of sign are we looking for?" he questioned.
"Youíll know it when it comes, Skipper. I canít tell you what to look for, but I promise youíll know." Curly smiled benevolently.
"I hope your right Curly. I pray youíre right. I donít want to stay here." Leeís voice was full of sadness.
All arrangements had been made and two men hovered over Lee Craneís body.
"Everythingís ready Admiral." Morton told the sad eyed Admiral.
Nelson looked at his watch and saw it was twenty three forty eight. Twelve minutes till Christmas day. "Chip, I have this weird feeling that if this doesnít work, Lee will be lost to us forever."
"I feel the same thing Sir. We have to do this right." Chip said quietly. "You can say the prayers here in sickbay and the crew will repeat them starting at midnight."
"Why does everyone feel this will work?" Jamie asked coming from his office. "I mean Iíve had the same feeling as you guys and everyone else on Seaview. Just why do we feel this way?"
"I think it has to do with faith. Faith and the time of the year it is. We all want a miracle to bring Lee back to us. What better time of year than Christmas to ask for one. We just have to believe strongly enough."
Nelson picked up the mike and started to pray as the clock struck midnight.
Curly looked at Crane, a bright sparkle in his eyes, "It wonít be long now Skipper. Just listen." He said with a smile.
Lee Crane glanced at his watch as it struck midnight and he heard voices, faint at first, but growing until he could pick out individual people. "Curly, I hear them. What do I do?" He glanced around anxiously looking for Curly Jones. "Curly come back, I canít do this without you." He cried, afraid of being alone in this strange, terrifying, unfriendly world.
"You know what to do Skipper. Listen with your heart. It will give you the answer you need. Remember to have faith."
Lee Crane was alone again on his deserted Seaview. The voices he had heard were slowly moving away and he began to plead for them to return. "Admiral, Chip, Jamie, somebody, I hear you. Please help me find you. Please God donít leave me here."
Seaview began to fade before his eyes. "No, come back." He screamed.
"Please God give us back our friend." Nelson continued in a voice laced with pain and sorrow. "I have never had a son of my own until you sent Lee Crane into my life. We all need him. He is our friend, brother, son, and we need him."
Lee felt himself pulled back into a body wracked by pain, but at the same time he had never felt better in his life. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes. Taking a deep breath he smiled.
Nelson heard the sharp intake of breath and looked at his Captain lying in his bunk. An arm hooked to an IV line and an oxygen mask covering the lower half of his face. "His eyes are open!" he said into the mike. Seaview was totally quiet while the crew waited with bated breath for confirmation.
"Lee?" Nelson said quietly, afraid he was wrong, and that Lee was still in danger.
Captain Lee Crane looked up into the anxious faces of Nelson, Morton and Jamison. "Thank you God." He said happily.
"Welcome back Lee. How do you feel?" Jamison asked reverting back to his roll of doctor whose patient had just come out of a coma.
"Hurts everywhere, and I wouldnít change the sensation for anything." He said smiling weakly.
"Ok, Admiral, Chip, youíll have to leave until I can check the patient. Iíll let you know when Iím finished." Jamie looked at the burn on Craneís arm and was not at all surprised to see it was fading. "Admiral, look at this."
Nelson and Morton looked at the fading mark and up then at Jamie. "Does this mean heís out of danger?" Chip asked.
"I think so. You know, Admiral, this may not be Thirty Fourth Street but we have our own Miracle on Seaview today."
"That we do Jamie. Oh my, the crew. I have to let them know. Chip lets go tell them the good news." Nelson said as he walked over and picked up the mike. "We have two reasons to celebrate today." He began, "First is the reason we celebrate this day every year. The Birth of Jesus. The second reason is that God has given us our own Christmas Miracle. Lee Crane is awake." Seaview rang with shouts of happiness and prayers of thanks for the return of their beloved Captain.
Lee Crane lay in his bunk Christmas morning, propped up on pillows. Jamie had gone for breakfast and he was alone. "Thank you Curly!" he said with a smile.
"Who are you talking to Lee?" Nelson asked coming into the room, followed by a grinning Chip Morton.
"You wouldnít believe me if I told you." He said sadly.
"Today I think I could believe anything. Christmas is a time of Miracles." Nelson said.
"Yes it is Sir. I had help making my way back here. I donít think I could have done it without him." Leeís voice was soft and Nelson thought he heard a slight quiver in his voice.
"Who was it Lee?" Chip asked his curiosity piqued.
"Curly," Lee Crane said the name softly.
"Ahh!" Nelson said, "Curly Jones. Yeah, I can picture him coming back to help you Lee. I donít know if you realize just how much the man admired you."
"Iíll never forget what he did for me. I know God sent him to me. Curly told me so himself but, I truly believe I would have died in that place if he hadnít showed up." Lee told them seriously.
"What was it like Lee? The place you were in I mean." Chip asked him.
"Well, it was terribly lonely. Maybe Iíll tell you about it someday. For now I just want to forget that place. But there is something else you guys should know." Lee said softly. "While I was in the Coma I could hear you calling me. You were really close at first but faded with the passing of time. I didnít realize you were the means for me to come back. It took Curly to make me open up my mind and let your voices pull me back home."
"We all owe Curly Jones a word of thanks for his help in bringing you back where you belong. I can safely speak for the entire crew when I tell you weíre glad Seaview has her Captain back. Merry Christmas Lee, and welcome home." Nelson said a very happy smile plastered on his face.
"Merry Christmas Lee." Chip said smiling as well.
"Merry Christmas to you both." Lee Crane said as they left. ' Merry Christmas to you Curly Jones. Thanks you for your help.í he thought with a smile.