We discover the events leading up to Patches' Chrysalis.
"Things are starting to feel a little tense."
Patricia Chambers, master seaman of the Canadian naval reserves, is stationed on the HMCS Shawinigan in the Arctic Ocean. Having sailed out of the Halifax, she is thinking ahead a few months in the future, when she has some possible architecture jobs lined up… but for now, she has her naval work to focus on.
Patricia chats up her fellow seaman, Leduc, asking what he's got planned for his future. She's called away by her lieutenant to help fix the ship's engine's alternators that seem to always be acting up. Down in the engine room, the captain tells her to work as quickly as possible: with no working alternators, they'll have to turn off the engines until she can get them fixed. Patricia orders her colleagues to keep her well-supplied with heat and caffeine during her work so she can get them moving again as soon as possible.
A smaller ship starts cruising straight towards them, flying no flag and not responding to their calls. Drug runners, perhaps? Or something more dangerous? Chambers keeps her attention on trying to fix the engines, frustration building at them. There seems to be a strange whistling coming from inside the engine, too. "Do you guys here that?" she asks her fellow seamen. Just after Leduc answers in the negative, a sudden crack pierces the air, and a bullet embeds itself in Leduc's head. "Sniper!" The ship tries to come about, but without power from the engines, they are sitting ducks.
As Patricia looks on in horror, her fellow seamen get shot down one by one by the enemy ship, and a voice comes out of the engines. Giggling, the mysterious voice tells her that it "fucked them all up", and demands "more". Patricia is flabbergasted: who the ferk is in the engines, sabotaging them as they're fired upon? She's unable to reason with the voice, and tries firing on the enemy ship alongside her captain. Rising out of the ocean is a strange boulder… it's much too big to be a whale, isn't it? As the shape continues to rise out of the ocean, Patricia takes a shot at the enemy captain, taking him out while her captain takes a hit too.
As medical arrives on the scene, Patricia watches the huge monster rise out of the ocean alongside the HMCS Shawinigan, shaped almost like a dinosaur. A huge tongue extends from its mouth, and it starts to laugh. Thinking she may have hit her head harder than she thought, she reaches up and discovers that her ears have become… pointed? The voice from inside the engine cackles out again, and she snaps back, swearing at it. The engine starts to whir, and the more heated the argument becomes, the more the engine turns until it roars back to life.
Patricia picks up the tiny creature, almost like a little imp, and swings him back and forth. He insists he did nothing to fix the ship, noting that he only likes to "make things go boom". As the Northern Lights bloom over the ocean, Patricia notices her features have changed, with her ears elongating, her skin paler, and small swirls appearing on her cheeks. "My name's Jank," the imp tells her. "Cuz you like to jank things up? Well I'm Patches, cuz I patch things up." And with the imp still swearing at her, she tosses him up into the air and the sea monster gulps him down.
And with Patches credited with five enemy kills, they sail away, the new nocker keeps the alternators going any way she knows how. Back in Halifax, she is promoted and given bonuses for her work, but the nocker decides to leave the naval reserve, hoping to pursue her love of architecture. The commodore arrives, and Patches notices that she too has changed. "I was wondering when you were going to tell us about the sea monster, Patches." And sliding a box across the table, she presents Patches with Jank again! And scribbling a name on a piece of paper, she tells Patches that there's another man like her in Montreal who may be able to help… even if he may be a bit crankier than her.