Shieldbrothers: The Rescue

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 3848
Disclaimer: I do not own Andromeda, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Chapter Two: Athena & Katherine Escape

“I’m not going to argue with you about this, Katherine.” Athena’s tone is bored. She lies back on her bunk with her eyes closed. How did the locals stand this heat? She can’t wait to get back to her proper place onicenice climate controlled ship.

“This plan can not work.” Katherine murmurs as she leans back against the gray stone wall. Her head is bowed so that her long, white blond hair hides her face.

Athena slides her arm over her face. “It will work. Trust me.”

“They can’t be this stupid.”

“They’re men.” Athena laughs softly. “Of course they’re stupid.”

Katherine sets her hands on the waistband of her black leather pants. Her fingers tap significantly against what appears to be a decorative twist of gold cord stitched loosely into the waistband. One quick yank and she will have a garrote. “We can take them if we rush them…surprise them.”

“We need firepower.” Athena smiles. It is a good thing that Katherine has her to look out for the woman. Her shield sister is a wonderful fighter but not inclined to think things through. “Focus. We have to get their weapons.”

“Athena…”

“No. We do this. We do it now.” Athena orders. Katherine should know by now to leave the strategy to her.

“They’re coming.” Katherine whispers. Her hands slide reluctantly away from the gold cord.

“Stay calm. Focus. This may be our only chance.”

Okay. She will pretend that it is Athena walking through the door instead of some boring male. Katherine waits until the footsteps pause out side the doorway. Katherine sighs softly. She raises her head, slowly combing her fingers through the silken strands as she arches her back at a provocative angle.

A sidelong glance tells her that she has the guard’s full attention. Well, the male was Beta; he probably hadn’t had a chance at sex in ages. She tosses the blond strands over her shoulder to cascade in a silken fall down her back. Katherine trails her fingertips over the soft curves of her breasts. The pale pink circles of her nipples peek, half-exposed over the black leather. Another sidelong glance shows the stocky, blond guard standing close to the force field shielding the open doorway, watching her intently. The guard moistens his thin lips in anticipation of her next move.

Huh. She would have never believed that a guard could be distracted this easily. She would not have been but Athena is right. Again. Katherine pushes away from the wall and strolls over to the force field. She strokes the ends of her white blond hair over the white curves of her breasts. She smiles invitingly at the hapless guard. Ah, the idiot is smiling hopefully back. Maybe she will get to kill him soon. Good.

“I need…water.” Katherine leans subtly forward, allowing her breasts to surge against the hard edges of her leather bustier. More of the delicate pink of her nipples edges over the black leather. “Could you bring some to me…please?

“It’s not time for your food yet.” The beta rumbles in a deep voice. He hefts his gauss rifle warningly, tightening his grip on the weapon but his brown eyes are focused in obvious fascination on her breasts.

Katherine glances across the cell to where Athena is feigning sleep on the hard mattress of the bunk. Katherine holds up a finger to her lips and winks playfully at the guard. “Shhhhhh. You’re going to wake up my friend.”

The guard’s tone is almost absent minded as he continues to stare hopefully at the shift and wobble of her pale curves against the edges of her bustier. “She’s already awake.”

Damn it, Katherine thinks, blondie isn’t as stupid as he looks. The Sabra-Jaguar did have a reputation for breeding for brains and cunning. Of course, this guard was one of the culls or he wouldn’t be so openly interested in what she was flaunting in front of him.

Tad tad that her own Pride lacked that particular DNA strand. Her poor brother is the best of the lot and still he has to depend on her as his enforcer. She had to depend on her Shield Sister to scheme for her but at least, she had enough cunning to know that she needed a lover who was smart and cool as well as cruel. Athena is a perfect match for her. Katherine leans closer to the force field and smiles at the guard.

“Get back on your bunk.” Blondie’s order lacks force.

Katherine takes a deep breath and watches with amusement as his eyes glaze over. “Why? I just want to talk to you.”

“Just shut up and do as you’re told.”

“Katherine?” Athena sits up on her bunk. Her face and voice are cold.

Katherine starts, making her breasts sway within the confines of her bustier. Her blue eyes widen dramatically as she stares at Athena. “Yes?”

“What do you think you’re doing?” Athena stands. Her mouth takes on the hard, cruel curve that Katherine finds so exciting.

Katherine shivers. She glances back at Blondie and briefly presses a finger to her lips, giving him an imploring look. Her voice is meek and fearful as she answers. “Just asking the guard for some water.”

Athena stalks up behind Katherine. She wraps her fist in the white blond hair and jerks Katherine’s head back. “Are you sure you’re only asking for water?”

“Yes…yes.” Katherine says breathlessly.

“You want him. Don’t you?” Athena snarls in Katherine’s ear. Athena sweeps an appraising glare over the man. She jerks Katherine’s head again. “You know I won’t allow that.”

“I didn’t mean any harm.”

“What did you say?” Athena growls.

Katherine trembles. “I mean…I meant no disrespect Mistress.”

“You lying bitch.” Athena snarls menacingly. She shoves Katherine away. “You asked for this punishment remember that?”

Katherine staggers and turns to face her lover. She purses her lips in a silent kiss. Her head rocks back as Athena slaps her hard once…twice. Katherine licks the blood from the corner of her mouth. A slow smile ghosts over her lips.

Katherine drops to her knees in front of Athena. Her back is perfectly straight. She tilts her head back, keeping pale eyes downcast. She watches Athena from under her long lashes. “What would you have me do, Mistress, to repay for this violation?”

“Did I give you permission to speak?” Athena backhands Katherine. “Has our time in this…cell…eroded your brain?”

“No, Mistress.” Katherine’s voice is meek but her eyes are smoldering with lust.

“What reason can you give me for your insolence, hmm?” Athena taps her foot impatiently on the stone floor.

“I have no excuse, Mistress.” Katherine looks up, shaking her long hair back. “I deserve your punishment.”

“You know what you must do, don’t you? You know the one thing that will make this right, yes?” Athena strokes the back of her hand over Katherine’s bruised cheeks.

Katherine licks her lips. Her pale hands settle on the waistband of Athena’s black leather pants. “Yes, My Lady.”

Katherine gasps as Athena grabs a fistful of her white blonde hair and presses her face against the sleek, black leather.

Athena loosens her grip enough for her lover to look adoringly up at her. Athena stares sternly down. In her peripheral vision she can see the guard edging closer. “Ask me…no…I want you to beg me.”

“Mistress, please my I have the honor of servicing you?”

“How will you serve me, Little One?” Athena asks softly. She releases Katherine’s hair, allowing the silken strands to flow through her fingers.

Katherine’s long fingers dance deftly over the laces, pretending to unfasten Athena’s leather pants. “If I may, Mistress, I will open the laces of your leathers. I will use my tongue and my fingers to bring you pleasure.”

Athena smiles. She traces the outline of Katherine’s pink lips. She glances sidelong at the guard. If he gets any closer he will be right in the force field. Ah, good. The guard has called his two friends over to enjoy the show. “Don’t spill a drop of my cream. Am I understood?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Good. You may proceed.”

Katherine rises up on her knees, blocking the guards’ view of the activities. She moves her hands over the leather covering Athena’s groin as she pretends to be opening the flap. She leans forward and nuzzles the area. She grips Athena’s hip with one hand and strokes the other up the inside of Athena’s thigh.

Athena flexes her fingers, twining her hand in Katherine’s long hair. Athena gasps and tosses her head back, shaking her long braid down her back as she tilts her hips forward.
“Very good, Little One.”

Athena looks at the three guards through the veil of her lashes as she moans loudly, arching her back. They have lowered their weapons and are jammed shoulder to shoulder in front of the force field, trying to see more of the floorshow. A little more and the idiots will drop the force field and come in.

Athena slides her hands over her stomach to stroke her leather-covered breasts. She arches her head back as she slowly unhooks the front of her bustier, freeing her breasts. She cups her hands around the tawny globes; pushing her breasts up and rubbing her thumbs over her hard copper nipples. She presses her hips forward. “That’s it, my pet. Drink from me…oh…oh, yes!”

Athena moans, tossing her head as the force field flares out and the guards sidle into the room. She strokes and rubs her breasts as Katherine continues to make loudly enthusiastic sucking and licking noises. She watches as all three men walk into the room like sheep, easing closer and closer to the floorshow. She alerts Katherine to the men’s movements with her cries. “ Mmmmm….good. Oh yes…yes! Almost there…almost there.”

Athena can feel the readiness in Katherine’s muscles. She watches under her long lashes as the pathetic excuses for guards creep closer. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yeeeeeeeessssss!”

Katherine rakes her bone blades across the abdomen of the man on her right side, disemboweling him. She swivels on her knee to her left, shoving her fist into the groin of the second man. As she rises to her feet, Katherine slams her knee into hace,ace, knocking him back. She ducks around him and grabs the third guard, throwing him down on the stone floor. She drops down to her knees beside him and strikes hard at the vulnerable length of his throat. Athena grabs the dazed second guard and neatly snaps his neck as Katherine rises from the body of her last victim.

Katherine quickly removes the gauss pistols from the three dead guards. She checks the pistols and hands one to Athena. She grins cheerfully at her lover. “Well, I stand corrected.”

Athena quickly hooks up the front of her bustier. She laughs. “I told you it would work.”

“Now…let’s find a ship.” Katherine pokes her head outside the cell and motions for Athena to follow. They quickly run down the hallway and out of the compound.

***

Tyr stands at the wall behind Dylan Hunt in the balcony overlooking the Terazed Senate floor. The Terazed Congress is in session and there is much debating going on down on the floor. Dylan is leaning forward, listening with interest as his pale eyes flicker over the delegates – assessing, monitoring the course of debates. The Captain does not seem worried; his wide shoulders are relaxed under the tight High Guard tunic. Interestingly enough, Rhade seems to find the fit of the Captain’s tight uniform more intriguing than the debates. A faintly amused smile edges his lips.

Tyr scans the pattern of movement on the senate floor. He has been watching long enough that it does not require his full attention to monitor the flow. He knows the pattern and the players now so that any anomalous movement will be immediately noted and acted upon. His hands rest near his weapons.

He glances at the locator chip fastened to his gauntlet. The small device is useful, clever and attractive like all of Harper’s creations. It pleases him to think of Harper pondering over plans for the device and the time spent working on the locator, creating it solely to be assured of his safety and whereabouts. Tyr sighs with contentment as he thinks of Harper waiting back on the Andromeda. He will be glad when the meetings are over and he can go home to his mate.

Tyr turns his head, his hand dropping to his pistol as rapid footsteps move closer. One of the Admiral’s aides trots over and bends to whisper to Telemachus Rhade. Rhade looks quickly at Dylan then leans over and whispers urgently in his ear. Dylan stands and turns to Tyr. He motions for Tyr to come with him. They walk down the hallway and out onto the plaza outside the House of Congress.

“Are we leaving so soon?” Tyr asks as he walks beside Dylan. His eyes flicker over the people in the plaza, evaluating possible threats.

“No.” Dylan shakes his head. He walks quickly toward an office building. “It seems I have a message from the Sabra-Jaguar Archduke.”

“Bolivar? What is he scheming now?”

“I’ll find out soon enough. We’re taking the message in the Admiral’s office.”

“How generous of him.” Tyr purrs. Was Rhade truly interested in Dylan and courting or did Rhade have something else in mind? His eyes widen in amusement as a faint blush crawls up the back of Dylan’s neck.

“I thought so.” Dylan’s voice as stiff as his posture. He climbs a flight of stairs and moves swiftly across the lobby. Rhade’s aide greets them and escorts them up to the Admiral’s office.

n wan waits until the aide discreetly leaves then he sits down in the black leather chair behind the big desk and taps the code in on the console.

“He gave you the code to his communications system?” Tyr raises his brows. Either Rhade is doing some serious wooing with intent or the good Admiral is laying traps for the unwary but which is it? Giving the access code could be a proof of trust or a test of trustworthiness or both.

Dylan gives Tyr a quizzical look. He leans comfortably back in the big chair. “Yes…and?”

“And?” Tyr probes curiously. Has Dylan noticed nothing in Rhade’s manner? Or is Dylan aware of and deliberately using Rhade’s interest to bind the Nietzschean to the Commonwealth? “And you don’t find it…odd that the man would do that?”

Dylan shrugs and pulls his impenetrable cloak of blandness around him. “He trusts me.”

Tyr moves to stand behind Dylan as the screen flickers to life. “I would assume so.”

Archduke Charlemagne Bolivar lounges comfortably on a dining couch upholstered in pearl gray satin. A midnight blue robe of silk, lavishly embroidered with silver falls open over his chest. Matching silk pants cling to the lithe lines of his body. A white corner of marble table shows at the edge of the screen. The Archduke cradles a crystal wine glass in one hand. He raises the glass in a silent toast. “Captain Hunt, allow me to apologize for pulling you away from those august proceed.”
.”

Dylan shakes his head. “No apology necessary. Just tell me what was so urgent that I had to be addressed in person.”

Charlemagne raises a pale brow at Dylan’s abruptness but otherwise does not react to the tone. “I’m afraid that we’ve had a bit of a mishap on Cester’s Core.”

“I’m sorry. A mishap?” Dylan frowns.

Charlemagne sighs. He studies his wine glass then holds it out. A dark, feminine hand appears in the corner of the screen, pouring wine into the glass. “It’s really quite embarrassing. It seems that the two beta females you placed in our custody have managed to escape.”

Tyr laughs. He leans back against the gray wall. The explanation for this should be good. How will the Archduke play it? Such incompetence on his men’s part had to be embarrassing. Particularly in a Pride famed for scheming. “Your men allowed two women…two beta females…to escape? Has the Jaguar genetic program been overhauled? I thought Jaguars bred for cunning and superior intellect.”

“I’ll allow that little comment, Anasazi.” Charlemagne seems to give his full attention to a minute adjustment of the graceful folds of his robe. He pauses to sip delicately at his wine. “We had a few of our beta males guarding them. We assumed because the women were betas that this would be sufficient. It was a…miscalculation.”

“Does anyone know where they’re headed?” Dylan asks.

“No. They managed to take one of our ships…” The Archduke stares down into his crystal wineglass for a second before raising his eyes. His face is as emotionless as carved marble.

“They what?!” Tyr pushes away from the wall. His eyes are wide. This must be mortifying for the proud Archduke. Someone would be suffering deeply for it. The Jaguar did not tolerate incompetence. “What did your men do…just give them free rein to do whatever they pleased?”

“They slaughtered the men guarding them. We are investigating now.”

“Is there more?” Tyr asks.

“No. That’s it.” Charlemagne sighs. “Sorry about the news, Hunt. Enjoy your meeting.
Bolivar out.”

Dylan turns to Tyr. “Where do you think they’re heading?”

“One of their home worlds more than likely.” Tyr shrugs indifferently. As long as the women don’t interfere in his affairs, he doesn’t care what they do. “They’ll want to regroup for the next offensive.”

“Next offensive? These women are not warriors, Tyr. They’ll settle down someplace. They won’t want to be found.” Dylan stands up.

“They…are…warriors, Dylan. They’re very good, ruthless. They will gather forces and try to move against the Andromeda.” If the women could gather enough allies and enough resources to launch an effective attack but they would need time to build alliances and lay viable plans. There is no immediate threat to the ship.

Dylan laughs confidently. “That would be suicide. They won’t want to draw the wrath of the Commonwealth down on their heads.”

“The Andromeda and her crew played a major role in their downfall, Captain.” Tyr frowns slightly. It is unlikely the two betas will be able to put together the kind of long-term political alliance needed to gain enough power to launch a serious assault on the Andromeda but that did not mean that they would not try. Neither woman struck him as an effective political schemer. “They will want to make us pay for that.”

Dylan leans on Rhade’s desk. “Two women in a stolen ship are not a threat to Andromeda.”

“Dylan…” Tyr allows his voice to trail off before he reveals his exasperation. Knowing that he is annoyed will only deepen Dylan’s opposition. Perhaps there was no need for concern at this point. Charlemagne was a man of considerable resources and cunning. The Archduke would be hunting the women. Charlemagne would have to do something drastic to the betas to redeem his reputation after their escape.

“I don’t want to hear another word about it, Tyr.” Dylan’s tone is firm. “I’ve got to get back to the senate before Telemachus wonders where we’ve gotten off to.”

“Then by all means let us not keep the good Admiral in suspense.” Tyr motions for Dylan to leave ahead of him. Tyr touches the locator in a secret caress. As long as Harper is on the Andromeda, the Little Professor should be safe for now but he cannot help but feel uneasy.

***

Harper leans out of a conduit and looks up at the android. “How’s that Romi-loma-ding-dong?”

Rommie frowns for a long moment, pursing her full lips as she considers. “Better. My internal defenses are not as sluggish as before. Thank you.”

“My pleasure.” Harper slides out of the conduit and begins gathering his tools. He notices Rommie still standing nearby. “Something else?”

Rommie tilts her head as she eyes Harper thoughtfully. “Have you talked to Beka?”

Harper frowns. “No…what’s the matter?”

“Nothing.” Rommie shrugs her shoulders under the red leather of her tunic. “I was just wondering if you and she had talked recently.”

Harper stares at her. His brow arch questioningly. “I had lunch with Trance earlier and she didn’t mention anything.”

Rommie clasps her hands in front of her waist. “Beka has been a little…well…odd lately.”

“HARPER!” Beka bellows from down the corridor. “Harper, you slippery little shit, where are you?”

Harper’s eyes widen. Rommie meets his startled gaze and nods gravely.

“Uh um…over here, boss.” Harper calls over his shoulder. He looks down the corridor in the direction of Beka’s voice.

Beka rounds the corner and comes to a halt, her hands on hips. “There you are! Thought you’d be moping in your quarters.”

Okay, enough is enough. He’s put up with her moodiness long enough. Harper frowns at her. “What is up with you, Beka? You’ve been a real pill for a while now.”

Beka points a thumb at her chest. “Me? There’s nothing wrong with me. I didn’t abandon my friends and become Tyr’s love slut.”

“What?! Did you just call me a love slut??” Harper fights back a snigger. His mouth twitches as he tries not to smile. Tyr’s love slut, huh? It sounds a like a bad porn film.

“Yeah, well…yeah.” Beka tosses her head. There is an answering flicker of amusement in her eyes but she has the grace to look a little embarrassed.

“Beka, you know how it is.” Harper steps closer to his friend. “Why do you keep bustin’ my chops about this?”

“You don’t talk to me any more.” Beka crosses her arms over her bright red shirt.

“What are we doing now?” Harper waves his hand.

Beka frowns. Her blue eyes are troubled. “Yeah, well, you used to be under foot all the time. But now you and Tyr are always hidden away somewhere.”

Harper stares at the floor for a moment, biting his lip. He had no idea that Beka felt so left out. He isn’t even sure what to say. Tyr is a big part of his life now. Things cannot be exactly as they were before he moved in with the big guy. He looks over at Rommie.

Rommie looks from Beka to Harper. “I have some calibrations in astrophysics to catch up on.” She hurries down the corridor.

Harper looks back at Beka. “So basically, what you’re saying is you miss me.”

“Yeah. I guess I am.” Beka responds quietly.

Harper sighs in an elaborately long-suffering manner. He smoothes his hands over his vivid blue tee shirt as he studies Beka’s expression. “I’ll hug you if you promise not to do the sniffing thing.”

Beka grins. “I promise.”

Harper wraps his arms around her slender waist and pulls her close. He can feel her arms tight and protective around him.

Beka playfully rubs her nose against his neck and sniffs loudly. “God, you smell just like him.”

Harper pulls backs and frowns in mock reproach. “You promised.”

Beka fixes a virtuous look on her face and stares down at him. “I didn’t sniff. I just inhaled.”

“Same difference.” Harper laughs.

Andromeda’s hologram appears suddenly next to Harper. Her arms were folded across her chest. “Harper. I have a coded message for you or Tyr from Tyr’s…aunt?”

“I didn’t think Tyr had any relatives left.” Beka looks curiously from Harper to Rommie.

Harper smiles sheepishly at Beka. “Boss, I gotta take this. It may be important.”

“Are you asking me to leave?” Beka taps her fingers on her leather clad hips.

“Yeah. But I promise to play Vedran Whist with you later,” Harper offers, hoping she won’t get mad again.

“Deal.” Beka nods sharply and strides away.

Harper hurries to the nearest machine shop and plants himself in front of the communications screen. “Andromeda engage privacy mode.”

“Privacy mode engaged. Authorization Chief Engineer Seamus Harper.”

Harper activates the message. He wrinkles his nose as Olma’s image appears on the screen. What can she possibly want? The twins haven’t been with her very long. Surely she isn’t complaining about the boys already. Harper doesn’t like Olma but if Tyr trusted her to care for his son, Tamerlaine, that should mean that Harper could trust her within limits.

“Tyr. I’m hoping this message reaches you soon. The children are fine. Your sons are a joy. They all grow strong. The twins are progressing nicely in their warrior training. You will be very proud of them when you see them. Your…youngest…is growing physically and mentally every day.

Now I must bear bad news. It has come to my attention that a couple of beta females from one of the smaller prides have stated they intend to exterminate your line. I believe there may be an attempt on the lives of your sons.”

Harper leans forward and presses the pause key. What should he do? Tyr will need to know this immediately. The boys’ lives are in danger. But Tyr is off on that stupid mission with Dylan. Harper runs a hand through his hair and sighs. He better think of something fast. He presses the resume key and settles back to the rest of Olma’s message.

“You must come to get Bellerophon and Chimaera. They are no longer safe with me and your youngest is no longer safe with them. I do not wish to separate the boys since they have grown quite attached to each other. However, the safety of your youngest son is my priority. Contact me as soon as you get this message.”

Harper replays the message as he considers options. Not really any choice. Tyr can’t go get the kids so he must. It is his duty as Tyr’s shieldbrother to help care for his family in Tyr’s absence. The Andromeda isn’t far from where Olma lives. He can take the Maru and be back soon. It shouldn’t take him more than a day…tops to get the boys safely back to Andromeda. No reason to feel so uneasy about it.

Harper leaves the machine shop and heads toward the docking bay.

“Rommie. I’m gonna have to prep the Maru for launch.”

“Harper, where do you think you’re going in my ship?” Beka groused.

“Mission of mercy, Boss. I’ll be back before ya miss me.”


TBC


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