Homefires

BY : Suryallee
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 1922
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Tribune Entertainment. No copyright infringement or use intended. I merely wrote this for my and my readers entertainment only.



Title: Homefires

Author: Suryallee
suryalle@t-online.de

Pairing: Harper/Tyr

Rating: PG13 to NC-17 The
latter will only be posted fully out written on AFFN and adult sides.

Spoilers: many

Archive: if someone wants
to, sure^^

Feedback: makes my day,
honestly!

Website: none

Disclaimer: All characters
belong to Tribune Entertainment. No copyright infringement or use intended. I
merely wrote this for me and my reader’s entertainment only. 

Warnings: This story
contains cussing and stuff and slash, so if this disturbs you, don't read on.

Notes: see under this part
and read them!

Beta: none so far but
wanted.

Thank you for the reviews that I got! I honestly did not think I would
get even one and I got three on different sides^^ I am glad someone else is
still loving this fandom as much as I do! Dances happily around and waves, Hija
people! And some even put it on their story alerts, I am very happy, thank
you^^

Sury

Chapter Two; Learn to dance to the music of a
time long gone.

 

…what will happen when the future meets the distant past to talk about
the present?

The devils four riders, the plagues of mankind will ride once more.

And they will unmask the liars, the thief’s and the treacherous, to
dance upon their graves!

To make the world a better place?  

Part taken out of full gravestone inscription, around 1350, Germany, Europe.

 

Beka folded
the blankets carefully around the well known frame of the very man she had once
called her engineer and best friend. Then she simply plopped down onto the
chair next to the bunk in that she had put Harper into to get some rest. He
looked so small now, so vulnerable and so freaking different! Had he grown out
his hair? At the nape of his neck, he had begun to let it grow as it looked and
braided it to keep it out of his face and work she concluded. It suited him,
Beka thought.

He Had
Raised Her Son!

Beka’s
freaking son!!

Harper, of
all people possible, had raised the child Paul Musaveni had used her stolen DNA
for to create it…Beka couldn’t believe it!

She sighed
and rubbed her face in a weary gesture. This was simply too alien to take in
all at once. No wonder was it now any longer to Beka that the Vedran Empire and
their allies were so out to find him. Not to her. Staring up at the ceiling of
the Maru, Beka Valentine connected the dots in her mind and the picture she
finally got wasn’t appealing to the woman at all!

It told a
very ugly story in the end.

Harper was
used from the beginning on. In a way she did not like at all, nope, not at all!
Her fist met the wall beside her with an unholy force. The only questions she
had now left were; why?  And for what
exactly? What was the purpose of this entire plot? The only answers to that
questions that Beka could come up with was that someone had needed a fool to
play with and found out too late that said fool had not only a mind of his own
but also the clever intellect of a genius to do his own thing in the very end. Harper
had his morals, she did know that best.

Someone had
tried to use his hurt about losing his family and friends and his planet, all
the resulting hate out of it, to kill the very single person that had spawned
the Nietzschean race.

But…wouldn’t
that have changed the future too?

Beka
groaned again. Whoever had been that *brilliant a plotter* had first off, not
counted on Harper’s devotion to her, Beka and secondly been a complete dimwit
in her opinion. What she simply did not get was what the other had had in his
or her mind what would have happened if Harper had done it. This was
ridiculous!

For all she
know the Abyss could have succeeded!

Her son…the
child she would never meet…Harper had…

Snarling
Beka shook her head hard to focus on the present problems again.

 Biting around on her nails the blond haired
woman tried to figure out what she could do now, what she should do. It wasn’t
that easy as one might think, too many possibilities had to be considered. Too
many of what ifs to take in caution. To turn Harper over to the authorities
wasn’t any option at all. She had a hunch what they would do. Practically trap
him in a lab for the rest of his life, under constant supervision and never to
let him out again.

Beka slowly
suspected that they feared his mastermind in a way that even she couldn’t
fathom.

To judge
from what she had heard in the last hours since she had found his hidden Lab on
the old orbital station out of Dylan’s times and after he had suddenly appeared
out of the blue, Beka was certain that certain people had a good reason to do
so. Harper was dangerous in his own right. Much more as even Beka had given him
credit before.

He had
vanished from the face of the known universe for nearly a Year!

Beka had been
worried sick over the wellbeing of her vanished friend and much confused when
everybody suddenly wanted to *talk* to Harper out of the blue. No one had given
a shit about him in the year before, after the fall of the Abyss. All had been
too busy to pamper their precious Dylan; no one had cared a shit about Harper.
Even she got lost in the ringing bells for a while, what Beka now regretted
deeply. So it had baffled her deeply when all suddenly wanted him and no one
knew where he had vanished to. Growing suspicious, she had taken the Maru and
gone in all secrecy to check on every single hideout she knew of Harper ever
have mentioned in the past. Praise Harper’s paranoid mind and his equally
obsessed believe that the entire universe was out to get him! He had chosen the
last place to use that anyone else beside her would have even thought him to
use.

What to do
now?

Dylan? No
option. She was certain that he would want to do the *right* thing and turn him
over into the *care* of his allies as soon as he saw Harper. Only for his own
good, of course! Beka snorted and hit her head backwards against the solid wall
of the Maru with a low curse.

Trance? She
suppressed another snort. Same case as Dylan and if her feeling was right, even
a worse fate for her friend. She had grown distant to the now Golden Trance
Gemini who had turned out to be the Avatar of Tarn Vedra’s sun. often Beka
wondered if Harper had been right when he once told her that they all had put
too much trust into the changed being that had come through the from the
Tesseract Machine created rift in the times and universes. He had never fully trusted
her as much again as he had trusted his purple pixie. Harper had mourned her
deeply, Beka knew.

Had he been
right?

Had that
golden replacement maybe really manipulated them all more as she had originally
thought? To Beka it often looked like it now, since she wasn’t in Trance near
presence anymore and had time to think things over in time by herself. Her
first uncertainties had grown on Sefra actually and never had gone away again ever
since.

There was
always the benefit of doubt.

Racking her
hands through her hair, Beka stood and checked one last time on Harper to then
go to the pilot seat to slipstream out of the sector. Better to bring as much
distance between and the others as possible for now. She didn’t take risks,
never had done so in the past and wouldn’t do in the future.

She would
not talk to them all again before this all was sorted out!

Grinning
furiously now what was bordering on maniac in some ways, the woman took off to
fly a series of diverted routes to confuse possible trackers for a longer
while. She had to keep a friend out of trouble as he had her for uncountable
times before without to ever ask for a favor in return. And from the looks of
it, she maybe knew the very person who would help them to solve this puzzle
out.

Willingly
or not, he owned it to Harper as much as she did!

________________________________________________________________________________

On a planet
far away from her position a tall figure gently forced a dove to fly from an
elegant hand with a flick of the delicate but none the less very masculine
wrist with a soft shove.

“I take it
then that no one has gotten a hold onto him so far?”

The surprisingly
deep smooth voice addressed an equally tall, if not taller man behind him who
had the build of a warrior and dark skin. It contrasted sharply but not
unpleasantly so with the light tanned one of the speaker. The addressed man
behind him gave a short shake. It seems to be all that the speaker from before
did need to confirm his suspicions. A sigh escaped the blond man and the sound
of bone blades snapping out to the full length for a moment in expressing
silent anger was all that disturbed the silence in the little garden. 

“Crap!”  The man sighed again before he crossed his
arms in front of a well toned chest, clad in real silks of black and silver
colors and then he turned to look out at the river below the garden in the
distance in silent contemplation. For minutes no one spoke then the first man
turned around to the silent sentinel behind him to look directly into the dark
eyes of the man.

“I want him
found and secured, fast! Before the fools of the new Commonwealth begin to
suspect even more as they already do. Get him and her too if possible and bring
them to the place we confirmed upon at any cost, unharmed and in one piece.
Take whoever you deem needed to accomplish these tasks and tell your goons to
be careful. I will not tolerate any kind of stupidity coming from them. And
make certain to not let them on the plot by accident! That would be disastrous
to all the work we have done so far. I do not have to spell it out to you, of
all people, what is on stage here, do I?”

Again the
dark man behind the first simply shook his head.

Behind him
another man, not as tall as the dark skinned one but still of impressive
stature and taller then the first almost silently walked over to the first two.
He displayed a silent and deadly grace that was lost on many others in the
present time. His skin was olive tanned and the hair nearly fully black. It
kissed the skin of his broad shoulders while he walked or more glided over. He
had the movements of a predator, controlled, soundless and graceful.

Coming to a
stop in a respectful distance to the first person, the newcomer bowed in a
military fashion and then straightened to full height, hands clasped behind his
back. A grin on the handsome face told the other two all they needed to know.

“Oh,
splendid! I take it that you have good news for me then?”

The dark
haired male nodded once.

“Yes. We
found the station he used and the rest of the machine. It was fully destroyed
by the time we got there. Someone took lengths to blast it into stardust before
anyone arrived. For the reports, I believe it was Captain Valentine. The reads
of the scans that we made of the areal point all in into the same direction,
Sir. We found also traces of the presence of the Maru lasers in the scans. I
conclude that she found him before us and took him away and destroyed the
evidence to confuse possible hunters of them both.

 Since she hasn’t appeared anywhere near the
new Commonwealth in the last hours I take it that she is smarter as we have
first thought even and has concluded some of the facts together by herself, at
least enough to hide from everyone else with him.“

Both of the
other males now traded an amused grin openly with each other.

“That’s
Beka Valentine for you. I told you how knowledgeable she is beforehand.” The
dark skinned man spoke calmly with a sensually dark voice and the fair newcomer
nodded. “True. And your warnings fell not on death ears, I assure you.” The
black haired man replied in an equally calm tone of voice.

The blond
haired man walked over to the two others and addressed the last arrived one of
them.

“Any clues
to where she could have vanished to?”

With a
shake of the head the addressed man confirmed his lack of knowledge of the
asked to the others openly. “None, Sir. She masked her way out with taking
several different routes after the other and so confused even our tracking
programs and AI’s. May I mention that said AI’s are highly impressed by her
skills?”

The first
man laughed loudly at the snarky comment.

As did the
other one, both traded an amused grin in silent understanding. The last arrived
man did not know her as well as the two others did. “You may. I am not overly surprised
though, she always was a more than worthy adversary to deal with. Even before
knowing her to be the Alpha Matriarch of our race. That’s one of her greatest
charms. ” He winked at the newcomer.

Then he
turned to the mansion behind them all and begun to walk up to the open terrace
doors in a leisurely manner. He also showed the grace of a dangerous creature
on him and despising him to be blond haired, he reminded the other two on a big
cat when he gave up any pretense and just was being himself. As he was
currently doing it right this moment right in front of both other males. Both other
Alpha’s knew very well that this was displayed uncommon trust in their species
etiquette and meant that he respected them and didn’t comment on it.

They simply
followed his lead and took it in stride.

“How
amusing! From all people possible, she was the last one who I thought of would
go after Harper. Then again,” He turned shortly to fix the gazes of the others
for a moment with his sharp thoughtful eyes. “she was always thinking first on
herself then of her family and closest friends and then, after a long distance,
of all the others. It should have not surprised me so much, I think. After all,
Paul Museveni chose her out of this point, among of many fortunate others.”

When he
came to a stop in the doors wide open space he turned again and walked into the
house. His voice floated behind him when he vanished with a final nod at the
two from the sight of the duo of high Alpha behind him into the darkness of the
room behind the doors.

“You have
your different orders, act upon them with all dealings necessary to ensure a
success and bring this to an end. He is getting impatient. A failure is not an
option! And tell the, luckily for us and him now former Drago-Kazov Alpha,
that I need his immeasurable expertise on the matters of the Vedran Empress and
her hoodlums, if you would be so kind. She is getting surprisingly annoying of
the late and I hate it to not being taken seriously!”

The two
dangerous men behind him just sniggered at his last words before both turned
into different directions to fulfill their given orders.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Sitting on
the shaded terrace of the shop on this nameless drift, Beka had brought him to;
Harper contemplated his life in silence over a hot glass cup coffee.

He so hated
to be proven right.

No matter,
though, Harper understood perfectly well that he shouldn’t have gotten that
attached in the first place. And to judge from what Beka had told him of what
had happened meanwhile he was in the distant past, there was much more going on
here as he would have ever believed.

She was
sure someone had tried to use him.

But why
him? Ok, so he hated the Nitsch’s with a, strength bordering on
self-destruction if needed to pay back certain ones for deeds in the past. That
doesn’t mean that he would ever take out his angers on a helpless child! And
Beka’s one at that to top it all, if that was even possible. For what did these
unknown people take him for?

A
completely mentally and morally unhinged madcap?!

He maybe
was foolish often and in many ways but even he had some standards and curse it
if he would fall that low just to please some certain perverts who thought it
would be funny to toss him around some more to later use him to do their dirty
work for them! So what if he had made his peace with Drago a long time before
he had met him? It had not done any harm to anyone in the end and Harper had
done it because he found out that he had been Beka’s child.

His seize
on the hot glass filled to the brim with the dark liquid took on force until
the knuckles stood out white under the skin. It broke with a sudden ugly sound
under the force used and buried some of the shards deeply into his right hand.

Hissing
sharply, Harper fast let go on the remains to then pick methodically the shards
out of his hurt hand without to give a damn of the shocked looks of the
onlookers. The waitress hurried over to give him bandage material and a towel,
thinking it had been the responsibility of the glass pot that had burst because
of the too hot liquid and not Harper, clutching it until it gave under the
pressure.

Next to him
sat a concerned Beka and tried to lighten the mood, unsuccessfully, of course.

She had
tried it already since hours on end and nothing seems to work enough to shake
Seamus out of his sad stubborn mood again. No matter how hard she tried. Not
that Beka had thought it to be any different, she had known he would react like
that beforehand and so, wasn’t all too badly taking it. It was a wonder in
itself that her friend had not already tried to take his own life so far. She
wouldn’t question her good luck as long as it lasted.

Calmly she
watched the changed man next to her patch himself up. No help was offered or
wanted; she understood that without to spell it out.

He…had…changed. 

Different from
before. Calmer in many ways now if that was the right word, deadlier in many routines
and uncharacteristically quiet. Even Beka couldn’t fathom any longer what was
sometimes running through the mastermind of Harper. He was almost an alien for
most of the time. Not to her, oh no, but to the entire outside world.

He had,
almost, become like a Nietzschean in many ways and reactions and this little
observation disturbed Beka a little more as normal.

Oh, Harper
had explained her how that came to be and she understood, again. Still, the
display of him breaking the pot and not giving out a shout of pain was highly
alarming her in so many ways. He was collecting evidence. She had seen such
reactions of her friend in the past. Only difference to then, now he was wordlessly
doing so and more thorough in his taken means to an end.

Harper had
become an unknown participant in these games of hidden intentions around them
both. One that was highly terrifying and devious. That would not back down as
Harper would have done in the past and who was not showing any open weakness to
his enemies to any further extent. Instead, he now played them all masterfully
and that to an excess that astounded Beka.

Only Beka,
her he still showed the original Harper, his true self as she silently called
it. Only to her he was still the open and friendly man she had known. She
figured that was because he still trusted her fully with his secrets and she was
feeling privileged about that. All others now only saw an extremely cunning man
without to realize it that never showed any of his schemes on his new poker
faced identity, that he was showing them. Who played the fool to such lengths
that his unfortunate opponents all saw too late behind the carefully crafted
mask of him.

If ever.

The last
two weeks had been…eventful to say at last.

He had not
taken long to recover to some extent, had only needed a few days to think her told
stories over and then had suddenly reacted. Their first stop had been at a
drift that was known to have a lot of Nightsider’s onto it. He had grilled them
all, well all that mattered and Beka was surprised of the findings both made
there.

For a while
Beka was concerned about his too open behavior around them. That was until she
got it on the second day there that he was screwing them over with showing them
a false persona. After that, Beka had stood back and simply watched her friend
outmaneuver one after the other.

Shocked to
the core from what she saw and amused to no end at the same time.

He had gone
here to buy his equipment before he had built the machine. Now, after nearly a
full standard year he had found out that someone unknown to the rat faces had
left it with them in a much too easy raid, to be later found by him to use it.

They had
been played too, and Beka made no hide out of it to the Nightsider’s who in
turn where suddenly uncommonly helpful and told them much more details. In the
end they knew the following.

Someone
else had taken lengths to let high class mechanical gear fall into their hands
to be found from Harper later.

Same
someone had pointed it out to Harper by using third parties of his old contacts
that he could finds here what he needed.

And last
but not least; there were more parties involved as both of them had originally
thought!

The last
bit was a surprise to Beka and Seamus. That unknown party had tried to find out
their whereabouts too and even went so far to leave a message for them both
with one of the rats to deliver it to them if they ever showed up here again.

Both had
faster as lightning deserted the drift and two days done nothing else to
constantly jump from one drive into the other. In the end all of their pursuers
had given up.

For now.

The message
had been written on plain old paper, much to Beka’s and Harper’s astonishment.
And folded neatly and lain inside of an old fashioned envelope. Said Nightsider
had not dared to open it. He had told both that he did valuable his life too
much for taking such a risk.

That new
party was of Nietzschean origin.

What made
them both now contemplate to go to the only person Beka had thought of to be halfway
safe, Telemachus Rhade on Tarazed. Now both debated on the fact that he was,
after all and foremost, still a Nietzschianer in the end and how he was maybe
involved into this all.

It gave all
many new dimensions to consider, as Harper put it, to judge carefully.

Why in the
unknown name of the Divine did the Nitsch suddenly hold an interest on them
both?

From what
Beka could tell Harper, they had in surprisingly short time rebuilt their
former empire to new lengths even. It was bigger as before the High Guard times
and took a span that made the new Commonwealth look small and insignificant in
comparing the two. Not only that, they had also been united under one single
leader from what she knew and that alone left only one answer now come to
Harper’s mind; they must have found the born genetically copy of Drago to do
such a feat or have found an equally high ranking person to use.

And if he
was not mistaken, the only being he could figure out to be the copy was a by
now, maybe ten years old boy or even younger and not the in different cycles
mentioned grown adult that was their new leader.

Thus that,
Tyr’s son was dark skinned like his father and not fair as the new leader seems
to be as described from various sources of Beka. Nor was Tamerlane a Blond.
Harper and Beka too had fast figured out that Tyr’s son had still lived,
despise everything he had told them all in the past. It had been Harper who had
secretly checked on Tyr’s mail, so to speak and on the various rumors flying
around in the rest of the universe, to then figure it out in the end.

The last of
his clues had been the Genites and their try to kill Orca pride to kill one
single child.

It had been
easy to figure out for his crafty mind in the end. Although he had never told a
soul, Harper had secretly checked on the kid as long as he could after Tyr’s
demise. Not even the sly Olma had been able to figure out their unknown
benefactor who had hid cleverly from all of her tries to de-mask him.

Harper had
taken care of that.

The last
time he had checked on her and the boy and Olma both had mysteriously vanished out
of the universe. He flexed his fingers in a try and hissed softly again at the
pains that shoot up his arm.

“I will
give you a shoot of Nanobots when we go back. One of the modified ones that you
stored in the med centre in the Maru.”  He
gave a nod at Beka’s words, not bothering to look up, still inspecting his hurt
hand. One of his first actions had been to recalibrate the Nano’s on board of
the Maru. The effectiveness with that they now worked had Beka stunned for
hours to no end.

He even
went so far to give her a shoot and himself too, to ensure that they were both
as healthy as they could be. The little helpers had done an astonishing work
and that; fast. They didn’t last in the human system but until they had expired
they had worked out a many a health problem of Beka. Now even her hair Nano’s
worked better as before!

Chuckling
quietly to herself the woman did move up when Harper did and left the shop
before the artificial Nightfall on the station fell fully.

It was time
to sort their allies out.

_________________________________________________________________________________

 In another corner of the universe, Dylan Hunt,
Captain of the starship Andromeda stared unbelievingly up into a face he had
never believed to ever see again. Well, not in this form but still it was the
same.

“It can’t
be! It simply can’t!”

Never less,
it could and the owner of said face and his crocked grin was the last thing
Dylan saw before he abruptly lost his conscious mind and fell. Only to be
caught in the nick of time before he could hit the floor.

Caught from
an arm with characteristically Bone Spurs, laying flat against the bracer of
the owner of the same ones.

His rescuer
and assailant grinned and chuckled at Dylan’s not so typically reaction to see
him before he secured the force lance on his belt, that he was holding with the
other hand. A frozen Andromeda could only watch him hoist up her Captain on
both arms and carry Dylan over to an abandoned seat on the command deck.

Her Avatar
was out, courtesy of the Nietzschean’s on board who had come seemingly out of
the nowhere and had fried her internal programs with an unknown virus for a few
minutes to board her hull. Doyle too was out like a light, he had taken care of
the androids himself, and the core AI had been reduced to watch that fights.
All in all it had been a strategically brilliant maneuver; she had to give the Nietzschean’s
that much. Still, it brought her and her crew in lethal danger now.

She, like
her Captain had, wondered too how this could be!

It was
impossible and yet seemingly appeared to be the true. Still frozen, the core AI
of the Andromeda watched the Nietzschianer that puzzled her so much set Dylan
down on the chair almost gently. She remembered other occasions this particular
one had acted with the same astounding tenderness in the past.

 She wished Harper had been here and not for
the first time actually, in the past months she and her other self’s had often
wished him to be back. He at least had kept her in top order and function
unlike the incapable fools that the new Commonwealth had supplied as his
replacements.

And now
look what good it had brought them all to let the new order decide about such important
matters!

The
Nietzschianer had taken extreme care to not damage any of them all more as
absolutely necessary, what surprised her, why? One would think he would do more
damage, as it looked he did not want her to be damaged nor her crew or Dylan.
He had even scolded one of the others when he had been too rough and had
seriously injured one of the new lancers who had valiantly fought back. Said
lancer was currently in med deck and taken care of, from the assailants of all
people! What was going on here!?

Suddenly
she lost her coherent mind and feared already erasing when the voice of the
Nietzschian male told her in an almost soothing voice that he would only put
her to sleep for a while.

The dark
haired man smirked at the now blank screen before it came to life again, only
this time with the blank face of Andromeda’s AI. Her originally AI was
sleeping, this was only a rudimentary version, created from the temporally
virus in her core to do his biddings for now. Later, her core and her other
self’s would not remember these events and the temporally version would erase
itself without any loopholes.

“Andromeda,
take route to the programmed coordinates and that asap!”

The
temporally version nodded and did what she was told without any emotion shown
on her face or to speak. She didn’t need to. The man in the meanwhile made
place to a pilot who took place in the seats to fly the ship to the assigned
coordinates with the help of the temporally AI.

Not a word
was spoken; all of his men knew their assigned roles in this little plan.

Taking up
the lifeless seeming form of Dylan the man begun to leave command deck,
whistling the crowning melody of the Vedran Empresses all the way out. When he
reached Dylan’s quarters he placed the sleeping man carefully on his bed before
he opened a link to the blond haired man from weeks before.

“Mission
accomplished, Dylan Hunt under guard. No one was lost; one thought got a bit
roughened up from one of my men. He showed a surprising resistance and skill I comment
him for change. That fool who did the damage was dealt with; the Lancer is in
med deck and will recover. I will bring Dylan now to the agreed coordinates and
give him over to our impatient one.  
Then I will leave the ship in the hands of our
engineers to modify the programs to join them.”

He stopped
for a second to turn a serious look at his conversation partner on the screen.

“She will
not like us taking advantage like this of her or her crew, and I fear Mister
Harper will want to kill us when he finds out, Sir.” On the other end of the communication,
the blond raised a brow then he nodded. He knew as much.

“It has to
be done. Sadly. If we want to get rid of their pesky little spy programs that
those fools have installed all over the time inside her Core AI and elsewhere,
she will have to endure and to accept our help, even if it maddens her. And as
much as I know it better as to invoke the wrath of a female, and if it is only
that of a programmed one, we have no other choice.” He grimaced.

His talking
partner nodded at the words.

“Good work,
though! One task done, the other is still evading as usual. He has many
troubles to catch the two, but that was to be expected from the beginning on.”
Both men shared a look of that clearly said, ouch!

“The two
are still on the run?”

The other
nodded. “The Nightsider gave them the message that we want to talk to them,
even to their conditions but nothing has come back so far.” The blond hit the
table in front of him with a fist. “She and he are collecting data as it looks,
just as we expected them but far faster as we gave them ever a credit for, and
no one of the two is acting like usual… it has become a game of cat and mouse.
With us as the mouse, lately, and the two as the cats in that respect.” He
grinned in wry humor and the darker of the two mirrored that look. 

Getting
serious the blond addressed the dark part of their conversation once more
before he blinked out.

Get rid of
what isn’t of any use for us and bring the rest to the given coordinates, we
will meet there…oh and one thing more; He is very pleased.”

Stopping
the recording and then turning around, the man watched Dylan sleep for some
seconds before he checked again on all else on the ship. Giving out some orders
he simply called it a night and settled after some moments down directly next
to the out of all Dylan.

A very
content smile on the full lips the eyes closed and he fell into a very light
sleep, lulled there by the missed scent of Dylan.

__________________________________________________________________________________

When Beka
and Harper found out two days later that the Andromeda seemingly had vanished,
both were shocked.

Nothing was
pointing into a safe direction of what possibly could have happened to Dylan
and his crew until a week later a liner starship found survivors of a seemingly
crash on an abandoned orbital station over a gas giant by what seem to be an
accident. The former crew members of the missing Andromeda told everyone who
asked that they couldn’t remember anything else as that Dylan suddenly had
ordered them all off ship.

Rumors were
that the ship had a run into something in space that had destroyed her.

None of the
two in the hidden Maru believed that version for one second only. The sensors
of Rommi were far too superior to let such a fate happen, both were sure that
someone had stolen the Andromeda right from under the nose of the new
commonwealth and Dylan too but to what purpose was eluding them. The question was
who the culprit was.

Meanwhile
Harper furiously started to search after Dylan and the missing warship, Beka
checked on Telemachus Rhade and found him gone from Tarazed since a half year
already. Not even his family was any longer there, the entire Majorum Pride had
left and was last seen in the area that now the united prides controlled. They even
got an entire planet for their own use from what she could find out. Cussing,
she scarcely avoided it to get caught from the home guard before she could
leave her informant on Tarazed again.

She had
snuck in with a stolen ID and Slip-fighter and barely made it off planet in the
end.

What was
the most startling to her and Harper was the latest news of the Prides letting
slave worlds go if they wanted. They even offered those who wanted to stay a
place in their hierarchy, low of course they were still Nitsch in all respects
but a secured one none the less and a free one. Many of the former worlds took
that offer and did not defect to the new commonwealth as one would have
thought.

Harper
could only mourn the fact that this turn of events came much too late for the
Earth.

The message
in the envelope had entailed the wish of the Pride’s leader to meet him and
Beka. He even told them to free chose a place if wanted and written in an
unknown neat script from an unknown person. The two didn’t take it. To big was
the risk of a trap in their opinion but still, it was a confusing development. Both
couldn’t shake the feeling of that something bigger as them was going on here.

What was so
important on one engineer and one Captain of an insignificant trader ship like
the Maru to have the interest of such a person?

Well if you
didn’t count in Beka being the Alpha Matriarch of their race, that is. Somehow
both of them doubted it big time that that was the point here. No, it had to be
something else and Harper as Beka tried their hardest to figure out what.

Meanwhile
Beka was on her way back; Harper sat in their current hideout and mused over
all the data he had found.

They had
hidden the Maru from detection on the same old and now empty space station
where Dylan, Beka, Tyr, Trance, Harper and Rev one day had found the child
warriors in. the same ones that had fought against the Magog all the time as
well as the raiding Nietzschean parties. The commonwealth had come and gotten
them after it was established.  Now no
one lived here anymore, only the ghosts of times past.

The entire
part of the universe was fully abandoned now, since the Magog had destroyed
everything in here what was worthy or useful and it had become a no man’s land.
For Beka and Harper it was the ideal place to hide and sit the current dilemmas
of everyone else out. Meanwhile they watched the others make fools out of
themselves idly and contemplated on the meaning of this entire madness around
them both.

The old
station had been a lucky hit.

When he
searched the old files of communications stored in the destroyed AI Harper
found some real goodies. An entire library of conversations that the station
accidentally had overheard and stored and under the many of thousands of
messages of ages past, Harper stumbled over one of the last Vedran Empress
shortly before her murder.

His
interest piped he had played it on the screen he used and listened to the
haughty monarch, long gone, he got the surprise of his life!

From what
he could puzzle together later he suddenly became a good picture of what
exactly had happened three hundred years in the past. He could also draw
parallels to his own situation in the present. The problem was, he refused to
believe it! It was simply too much to take in and besides that, it meant that
someone dear to him and his friends had betrayed them all in many more ways
than one. It even gave a hellish crazy explanation to the why!

Cradling
his head in his hands Harper took some deep frantic heaves of air to calm him
before he checked over his finds again, for the tenth time.

When Beka
got back, a surprise awaited the tired pilot. Harper was drunk as a sailor and
currently danced with a stuffed teddy bear he had found abandoned on the
station deeply in an almost comically looking embrace of some sorts to a sad
music she knew he had loved to hear on Earth. Arching a brow she went over to
him and looked at the hilarious picture for a few minutes before she decided to
ask. Against her better judgment.

“Care to
tell me what is the meaning of this impromptu party, Harper? And where did you
find this bear? He dances well.”

Said man
turned to her and flunks himself into her arms. Only now it occurred to Beka
that he was crying…had he finally snapped under all that pressure? There in her
hold he babbled out everything he had found out. Beka blanched rapidly, when
she connected his ramblings together in her mind to the final picture.

Then she
cursed violently!

As it
looked, the last Empress had only been one of many before in her line of duty
to think the same. Until then, the Magog had only been a minor treat to the
entire known universe.

The
Vedran’s had always prided themselves with the fact to be the oldest race in
the universe and so had always seen themselves as the most important compared
to every other one. And they had gone many lengths to ensure their superiority
over the millennia.

When Earth
was reluctantly welcomed in the empire humanity had been no treat to them at
first.

That
changed when they saw how successful the Homo sapiens and later the
Nietzschean, their sub race grew, compared to them. The human races needed less
of time to reach certain goals and grew steadily in numbers, the Vedraner grew
jealous with the time but hid it in the attempt to do something against that
later, when no one expected it.

It was such
a petty concept to think about that it eluded any rational explanation. Since
the Vedran Race had always been praised in the past to be the best of all races
in the known universe. The last empress had taken to treachery to ensure that
the commonwealth and the Nietzschian Empire had gone on each other’s troths’. That
had happened before she was killed.

It had
always wondered Harper from where in the hell the Abyss had the coordinates for
their needed slipstream attack on the worlds in the past. It had so suddenly
changed the route of the world ship that no one had expected them to be there
at that time. That in turn had lead to the destruction of worlds like
Schopenhauer’s world and others with the entire population of Nietzschian
people dead. Killed by the Magog who after that had become the treat they had
been in the end.

It had been
agents of the Vedran who had given them out to it deliberately to ensure a rift
between the two human races.

And so they
had invited the dark avatar into the known universe with the full knowledge of
what he was capable off, thinking they could control him in the end. Of course,
they failed in the very end and closed the ways to reach them off, of the rest
of the universe. Not that they had really cared at that point, still in
believing that the Abyss would never reach them and take care of their problems
for them.

What they
had not counted on was the fact that the Abyss also endangered their own suns
avatar. Trance had left them to find a way to remove the abyss and his minions
from the universe once and for all.

But even
she had played a two faced game.

Maybe her
younger self had been honest to a point and really cared, her golden self had
not. At least not that much enough to not use the crew of the Andromeda or
everything she could to do her dirty work with luring them into wrong believes
and false truths. When she had become once more one with her star, her
influence had left the crew of the Andromeda slowly but surely and other powers
had taken over again to use what they could to ensure their superiority.

Since his
Earth had been destroyed, those powers behind the scenes had planned to use
Harper for their goals.

Such as,
killing Drago Museveni for them in the distant past, for example.

At least
that was the conclusion that Beka made out of it.

However,
they all had greatly underestimated him and his devotion and loyalty in the end
and found out too late that nothing was running according to their plans. 
Now this party tried to do damage control and
that included Harper in their hands or at least, killed if possible. He knew
too much even not knowing anything at all. They had also underestimated his
remaining true friend’s reactions to his missing person and their mulish
behavior in his respect. Honestly believing that they could buy them over with
giving them their rightfully owned life’s back or making them to important
figures in the New Commonwealth. They had also not considered a third party to
jump into the mix and mess their plans up royally. And said second party was
the new Nietzschean Empire and their mysterious leader that no one could place.

In simpler
words; all had run down the drain.

A cold
shudder run over Beka’s back only thinking of all of this.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Outside the
station in a safe distance from the Maru’s sensors away a ship came out of a
slipstream tunnel and settled shortly after behind a moon.

The captain
of said Nietzschean cruiser dismissed the pilot of the small and fast slip
fighter that had leaded them here. It had taken him enough time to find the two
and now that he had found them he did not risk anything to spoke them before he
could seize them. Actually he had an accident to thank for. If she hadn’t been
in such a hurry to escape the Home Guard of Tarazed he would never have found
her in such a short time. How ironic that he had to thank Telemachus for his
luck, in a way, and Beka’s curiosity of what he was doing. Said Marjoram pride
alpha was currently staring down onto the screen with equally interest as he
did it.

“Finally! I
already began to believe that we would never get them.”

 The older of the two males nodded calmly.

“A
testimony to that two’s skills to hide and to survive. If we hadn’t been lucky,
she would have escaped again.”

Telemachus
nodded. That much was clear as the day on his new home world.

“Well then,
let’s get the two into safety, even they will not trust us first or believe it
that we mean only good.”

The darker
and older one of both agreed and barked orders out. In a matter of seconds all
were in a hurry to do what he told them.

Until next time^^ Suryallee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






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