Title: In the Beginning
Summery: Yet another version of how Harper met up with Beka
Disclaimer: I own nothing, and I am
getting no money
The bar was nearly empty when Beka
entered. It was still early afternoon
here and the crowd had not yet arrived.
Strolling over to the bar she pulled up a stool and leaned casually on
the bar top. The bartender stopped
drying the glass in his hand and asked, "Can I get you anything Miss?"
"Yeah, a scotch and soda on the
rocks" the barman nodded and fixed the drink.
Beka didn't really need a drink; she needed to find someone to fix her
slip drive. She looked around the
bar. She had hoped to find an engineer
here who hadn't already had too much to drink.
In fact, at this point only moderately wasted would be acceptable. Unfortunately, there were only a handful of
patrons in the bar at this hour. A
couple sat making out by the window, very interested in each other but not very
helpful for Beka. A green fellow was
laying face down on his table surrounded by about 13 empty glasses, also not
what she needed. Turning back to the
bartender she asked, "Do you know of an engineer who might be available to do
some work for me?"
"Hmm, there's Harper. He's probably down in Docking Bay 3. He's great, a little odd. Probably can fix whatever your problem is
though." Beka thanked him, threw back
her drink in one gulp, leaving only the ice clinking around in the glass and
quickly left the bar to find this "Harper".
The bay seemed deserted; the
mechanic the bartender mentioned was nowhere in sight. As she turned to leave, he rolled out from
under a little ship. At least she
thought this must be whom the barman meant.
As he got to his feet he noticed Beka for the first time. "Can I help you beautiful?" he asked. Beka just looked at him with disbelief. The kid was obviously from Earth. Like
anyone who grew up on that planet he was undersized, pale and emaciated. In
fact, by the looks of him, he probably wasn't long off the hellish planet. Beka knew would take years for him to gain
enough weight to simply not be scrawny.
His blonde hair was wild and out of control and he smiled crookedly at
Still evaluating the engineer she
noticed the cerebral port that graced his neck. It wasn't that rare to find someone with a cerebral port, but
this was the first person she had actually met who had one. She had heard it was
a risky operation and had quite a long, painful recovery period.
He was just a kid, even with the port there was no way he was the
great mechanic he claimed. As if he was reading her mind he spoke again, "I'm
Seamus Harper, genius extraordinaire, do you have a problem?"
Beka Valentine, I need someone to fix my slip drive"
problem, I'm finished here, where's your ship."
"Are you really a mechanic? You
must be, like, 17?"
"First of all, I'm 20. I've just been blessed with boyish good
looks." He batted his eyelashes at her
"You could say I'm a mechanic, I tend to think of myself as a handy man and
doer of all things."
"Be straight with me, are you any
good? My ship is my life and I don't
want some kid who just downloaded instructions on how to fix a slip drive
messing with my engines."
"Oh, I assure you lady, I am the
best you'll find here, or anywhere for that matter. I'm a freaking genius.
You want proof?" he gestured to the ship he had just finished working
on. "This heap had to be towed in;
drive and impulse both had to be redone.
Coolant was leaking and fissures in the conduits were seeping radiation
into the cockpit. I fixed it all. So I repeat, I'm a genius and it would be a
mistake not to pay me to fix your ship."
Beka sighed, he better not be lying, "Alright, let's go." Beka led him to the docking port and the
Maru. At the sight of her ship he
whistled in approval. "What a Junker"
confused she looked at him, "Babe, I love a challenge", he explained.
in the guts of the Maru, Harper took little time to diagnose the problem. Beka sat on a stool nearby, watching
him. The boy looked like he could
barely lift a band scanner or a welder, but he was currently banging the dents
out of a coupling faster and better than anyone she had seen before. "So, you work for the station?" Beka
bartender just throws some business my way from time to time."
long have you been here?"
observant babe, but no, I left Earth as soon as I turned 18." Still holding a wrench-like tool, he pointed
to his cerebral port, "Got this and left that hell within a week", Beka smiled,
she believed him. This seemed like a guy
who knew what he wanted and went for it.
But, 2 years and he was still a human toothpick.
took a week to recover from the procedure?" the boy smiled again, still banging
I left AMA (against medical advice) and wound up with an infection that left me
flat on my back in some clinic on a backwater planet for 2 weeks. But it was worth it to be away from that
torment." Beka smiled with Harper, she
believed that too. Harper inserted the last coupling into the system and checked
that it was secure. He was
thorough. Then he pulled some sort of
sprayer out of his belt and sprayed the inside of the network of pipes.
really need new parts. I fixed the ones
you had and this will keep them from melting again. That was your main problem, a malfunction in the drive was
causing it to produce too much heat, which began warping the internal
parts." This guy was smart, and she
could use him around. They were wasting
a lot of time finding a port every time something broke; and on the Maru that
was rather frequently.
looking for an engineer, would you be interested?
offering me a job?"
and board, a cut of the profits and you'll see the galaxy."
you come work for me?"
thought for a minute. He had just met
this woman, he didn't know much about her, and she didn't know much about him.
But, it was a way off this station, food, and a roof over his head. Honestly, those were the most important
things in his life. Plus, it was a
chance for adventure. Beka was looking
at him expectantly. Harper sighed and
smiled. "Sure boss, when do we leave?"