Andromeda AU

BY : b5delenn
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 5660
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 14: A conspiracy to unravel, a mission to begin

Three thousand, five hundred and twenty one souls. A complete and competent crew. Lancers, engineers, doctors, sub-officers, officers... Dylan thought he would never see it again.

It had taken almost six months to select and train the new crew. Six months of intensive work, arguments, changes but finally it was done, they were ready to depart. Despite the fact that Andromeda was a warship they were given the task of finding new members for the Commonwealth. The authorities decided that the Andromeda Ascendant was a symbol of military might, something that could attract planets with the promise of protection against the magog threat.

Still, despite his dream was closer to reality he knew that forces unknown were lurking in the shadows, waiting to make a move. He was still trying to find out which the ultimate goal could be. He remembered how the elation he felt as they learnt the referendum's result had soon turned to restlessness...

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Three days after the referendum Dylan had been called again to the office of the Admiral Rhade, this time alone. He had thought he would find hostility but the Admiral had surprised him. As he stood at attention Rhade had invited him to sit. Then he had taken a small device from a pocket and activated it. Dylan recognized it from his years in Argosy Ops, some sort of portable inhibitor to avoid recording and surveillance devices.

"You can never be safe, Captain." Dylan merely watched the Admiral with a guarded expression. Rhade smiled and cocked his head in a way that reminded him of Gaheris. "The halls of power are not always clear, Captain Hunt."

"I agree Admiral, but I do not think you have brought me here just for a leisure talk." Dylan watched him expectantly.

He suddenly grew serious. "Yes, you are right. You have come here, changed my entire world for all purposes and now here I am, sharing my concerns with you, the same man who have turned everything upside down." He was quiet for a moment and Dylan saw he was struggling with some strong emotion. Finally Rhade fixed him with a deep glare. "We may not share the same views about the Commonwealth, Captain, but I consider you an honorable man. We have firm reasons to believe the referendum was manipulated."

Dylan could not disguise his surprise, "What!? Why?" He stood and began to pace, thinking about the surveys previous to the referendum, how they were convinced they would lose and the dream of a strong Commonwealth would disappear... He watched Rhade as a thought came to his mind, "Do you think I...?"

"Captain, sit down. I do not think that, in fact I have proof that neither you nor your crew has anything to do with it."

"You have proof?" Dylan said as he sat, "Have we been watched?"

Rhade's eyebrows arched as he replied, "Please Captain, do I look stupid to you? Of course you have been under surveillance. I have not become who I am because of my trusting nature. No, whoever rigged the results was very powerful, enough so he did not leave proof to use against him." He sighed deeply, "The system of voting is solid, this was not a greedy candidate changing a thousand votes by hacking a couple of computers."

"How are you so sure about it if there is no proof?"

"The results were very clear one day before the referendum, even with your efforts to change people's mind. Eventually you would have been able to win it, but not in so little time. I used my influence to summon it so fast for that reason."

"You cheated..."

"I did what I had to do to win, but it seems that someone else did too." He smiled with little humor, "I was so sure of our victory that I did not find necessary to manipulate the voting myself. Ironic, isn't it?"

Dylan remembered when he found out that Gaheris cheated playing Go. He had told him that he did it to win, and he had seemed genuinely surprised when he had realized that Dylan did not. "Like father, like son. You are a true nietzschean." The Admiral just watched him with a blank expression. "So, why are you telling me this? Do you expect me to go to the Triumvirate and explain them this... this conspiracy theory you have?" 

"It would serve no purpose, as I said there is no proof left. And the Triumvirate may be involved in it. Captain," he stood and walked to the chair by Dylan's side, sitting there and leaning so he could watch him closely, "only people inside the government could orchestrate something like this, as I said before someone very powerful. Whoever they are will have plans for the future, whatever they might be. Eventually I may need your help."

Dylan watched him intently. As much as he disliked the Admiral's tactics he knew the nietzschean had legitimate reasons to think as he did. Someone had taken great efforts to make the Commonwealth a reality but their reasons might not be as pure as his. "I want something in return." Rhade watched him expectantly, "my crew, I want to keep them."

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Admiral Rhade had found a solution for Tyr and the crew of the Eureka Maru. They were hired as consultants, giving Dylan the authority to give them the tasks he considered suitable. Dylan smiled remembering the happy faces of Harper and Beka when they were told they would have a steady salary and their outrage when he told them they had to submit to a training of five months to be qualified as valid for the job. He was alleviated that they had finally accepted, he was not sure that Gaheris would have not left with Beka if she would have rejected the offer.

Dylan had several meetings with Admiral Rhade and they had developed a budding understanding. Maybe it was because he had known Gaheris for a long time and saw him when he looked at the Admiral, but Dylan felt that he could trust Telemachus. He only hoped he was right because if the conspiracy was real they would need all the help they could get.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

The weekend before Andromeda's departure Gaheris and Beka make the most of it and booked an expensive hotel room in the most exclusive resort of New Paris, Tarazed capital city. The last night found them soaking in the big tub, with Beka reclining against her nietzschean's expansive chest and her butt resting against his ever-interested groin. She wiggled her hips just to tease him and received a playful pinch in the nipple as a result.

"Divine, I am going to miss this. I love the Maru but its shower is tiny and the one in my room in Andromeda is not much better." She stretched her sore neck, the physical training had been grueling.

"I like the shower of the Maru..." Gaheris' deep voice was clearly amused.

Beka snorted, "that's because you use its lack of space to rub against me." She purred as he massaged her shoulders with his strong hands.

"Me? Why would I do such a thing?" He inhaled her clean scent, delicious. "Why would I take every opportunity I have to touch the most perfect woman the universe has produced?"

"You, silver tongued devil..."

Gaheris held his breath, he had been thinking a lot about this and her words about the space on the Maru, or lack of, gave him an opening. "I have been thinking," he said casually.

"Oh, that is a surprise, I was not sure you were able. Well, some simple mental process yes but think... I thought nietzscheans could... Ouch! Don't bite me, bad dog!" She rubbed her earlobe.

He growled playfully, "you are asking for a spanking!"

"Oh yes, we both know how that improved my manners the last time..."

Gaheris recalled how surprised he had been when months ago Beka had explained him that he had to pretend to be a Commonwealth trainer and she would be his wayward cadet. And how arousing it had been. Since he was with Beka he had discovered a lot of things that he had never thought of as erotic before, role playing being just one of them. He shook his head to concentrate, this was important and if he began to think of her rosy round buttocks as his hand impacted in them he would end up taking her in the tub. "I think you should move to my quarters in the Andromeda. Except the Captain's and the ones reserved for guest they are the biggest." He felt her body tense.

"Umm, I don't know, Gaheris. I am used to living in the Maru, I don't mind..."

"Rebecca, I want you to move with me." He lowered his voice to a seductive whisper and caressed her arms like he would to a frightened filly; emotionally she was just that, scared to give her trust to another man so he could disappoint her yet again. "You know I need more, I am being patient with your insecurities but you have to give in too."

"Look, I just... I am afraid, okay?" She hugged her folded legs, unconsciously adopting a defensive posture. "What if you suddenly remember how it is to have a harem of nubile nietzschean wives and decide that I am not enough?"

He could not help but laugh, "Rebecca... I think you do not understand... Let me tell you a story, about a High Guard Commander. A nietzschean alpha, breed and born to be a father and a husband. How he had five wives, how he felt a... fondness for them. How he loved his children." He forced her to recline again. "He was trapped three hundred years and when he was freed everything he had known was gone. But suddenly a female Captain barged in his life." He stretched her against him. "She was argumentative, pig-headed and... she was strong, caring, beautiful."

"Gaheris," he could hear the waver in her voice.

"Shh, let me finish. You make me feel fear, happiness, anger, everything so mixed up that half of the time I am not sure which one I am feeling. Maybe it makes me weak, maybe YOU make me weak, but you know what's the worst? That I do not want it to end. I would kill to keep feeling this way, to keep you by my side..." He reflected upon his life as he searched the words. "As a child I learned that romantic love was just a trick of nature to ensure reproduction. As an adult I had no reason to think different... until I found you."

"Gaheris I..." 

He cut her, "If it is a trick... or more, I don't know, Rebecca. But if I am sure of one thing is that... I love you." The last words were a fierce whisper.

Beka wiped the tears from her face but they kept coming. She moved her legs over his so she could face him and gave him a wavering smile, "just when I thought you could not be romantic you tell me something like this." She sighed as she felt somersaults in her belly, this was it. She could run as she had been doing all her adult life or she could take a leap of faith and trust him to guard her heart. "I love you too, Gaheris. I... It's... I will move with you because..." She laughed, "I am not good at expressing my feelings, I would like to say something very deep but... I love you, that's it."

Gaheris' smile was full and beautiful to behold. "Don't worry, you would not like to lose your reputation of tough starship Captain using flowery prose, would you?"

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

The branch was changing, reshaping, growing beyond her sight. Something was coming, a big change was upon her and for the first time in her life, Trance was scared.

The first time she had seen Beka Valentine she realized that her place was by her side. Her insight was limited due to her age, as she was young for someone of her race, but that she had known with absolute clarity. Beka was... a great turning point in the universe, one that reshaped the realities. But now, Trance was afraid that she would have to leave them behind: change was coming her way.

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Tyr strode toward his quarters in Andromeda. The previous day he had said goodbye to his new wives after leaving them comfortably settled in a spacious estate he had bought. Eventually he would brought all his mates together but for now it was safer to have them dispersed, it make more difficult for his enemies to find them.

He had always thought the goals of Captain Hunt were unfeasible at best. However after the last months he was revisiting his views and plans concerning Hunt and his future. A Commonwealth with the nietzscheans as allies could be closer than Tyr had ever thought. He was not against the idea, if it was done fitting his wishes for the future of his race. He had set his plans in motion stealing the remains of the Progenitor. It had been risky but necessary, as it had been propagating the rumors of him being the one who took them from under the nose of the Dragans. When questioned about it he had never confirmed nor denied it, but his reputation as mercenary and the hate almost all prides had against the Drago-Katsov had made the people more likely to believe it. So he had begun to receive offers. He had taken two Sabran females as mates; then one Jaguar, three Volsung and more from minor prides. They all were living with their families and he had visited them as regularly as his duties allowed.

Gaheris knew the bones of Drago Museveni were in the Storage Area Fifteen; from what Tyr had regarded the Commander had not told Hunt, but the Captain suspected. He did not care, as long as Dylan did not interfere in his plans, but Anasazi knew that eventually he would have to include him in them or get rid of him.

As he opened the door to his quarters he heard the alarm of his personal communicator. When he watched the vid displaying in the screen he felt the adrenaline flooding his body and his heart began to beat madly in his chest. "Fack!"

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Gaheris was in command checking the systems. The Captain wanted to be sure everything was fine and working when they departed for Sintii. Tarazed remained as a symbol of change but due to the difficulties to reach it through slipstream it had been established Sintii as the new System Commonwealth's capital planet. The first travel of the Andromeda Ascendant as a ship of the restored High Guard would be there, to transfer the necessary military and civil personnel from Tarazed and to receive their next mission.

The spying device he always carried in his pocket began to beep insistently. He hurried to the Captain's office, "Captain, someone is trying to launch the Maru."

Rommie frowned as she spoke "I do not detect any alarm in Shuttle Bay two."

"I installed a tracking device in the Maru, whoever are doing it have bypassed Andromeda's security but..."

"And why did you..."

Gaheris cut him impatiently "Captain, we can discuss my motivations later."

Dylan stood, thinking that it would be great to have one quiet day; maybe when he retired."Let's go."

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

As they ran inside the Maru they found Tyr loading enough weapons to supply a small army. He watched them intently as he got back to his task, "I am leaving. I do not want to fight you but I will if you force me to."

Dylan laughed without humor, "What makes you think you will win?" He heard the low growl coming from the Kodiak, "Never mind. Look Tyr, maybe you can just explain why you are trying to take the Maru and all this weaponry, I may add High Guard property, without giving us an explanation." He inclined his head in a conciliatory manner as he spoke "We may be able to, you know, help you."

The dark nietzschean lowered his head as if thinking. Finally he fixed them with a troubled look. "My wife," he said.

Dylan frowned as he opened his mouth to talk but Gaheris did it before, "Which one?"

"Wait, which one? You have more than one?" He asked Tyr as he looked at his First Officer angrily, it seemed that Gaheris had not considered necessary to inform him. The only wife Tyr had, as far as Dylan was concerned, was the Orca chick, and he thought he did not consider her to be his mate anymore.

"Freya." Tyr left the box he was holding in the ground and threw his locks back in an agitated manner as he paced. "I have been searching for her... I..." He stood before them with a blank expression that did not fool them, he was strongly affected. "It was wrong to leave her with that... backwater pride of hers. I should have taken her with me when I left but it would have exposed my plan at the moment. I have been searching for her and this morning I have received a transmission. She is in danger." He pointed at Dylan as he spoke, "do not confront me in this Dylan, you will lose."

Dylan tried to calm his fury; he was tired and sick of his nietzschean officers hiding information from him, plotting behind him... In his last conversation with Gaheris about Tyr his First Officer had recommended him not to confront his weapon's officer with the contents stored in Storage Area Fifteen. Gaheris thought that it was better to watch closely Anasazi without being obvious about it. He said that the nietzschean would take it as an attack and they did not need Tyr Anasazi as an enemy when they needed all the allies they could get. Dylan decided to follow his advice.

"All right, I will allow this... mission of yours," he took a small amount of satisfaction when he saw the surprise painted on the faces of his two officers. "Rhade, you go with him."

**********

A bit of a cliffhanger there, I promise I will not keep you waiting for long.



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