The first thing that you hear when you wake up is the sounds of sirens. A loud female voice repeats, "Life support critical."
You take a step out of the capsule you're in and take a moment to take a catalog of you body. Both arms, both legs, ears, eyes, nose, hair; everything's there. The next thing you do is try to remember what you were doing prior to waking up. You frown when absolutely nothing comes to mind. The only thing you know for sure is that you're on a spaceship.
The voice reminds you that life support is still failing. You make your way to the Bridge. At the controls is another person. He is tall, lanky, with a mess of light brown hair.
"Hey mate," you say. "What are you doing?"
"Trying to fix life support," the person responds. "Now if you don't mind, I need silence. Or as much as I'm going to get with the ship continuously announcing the failure," he says, waving his hand towards the ceiling.
You lean against the door and watch him work. The ship is announcing the failure every two minutes much to your annoyance. You hear two sets of footsteps approaching when the man at the controls taps something and the ship says, "Life support stabilized."
The two others join you. One has jet black hair that is sticking in every direction; he is thin with round glasses. Next to him is a heavier set guy, with mousy brown hair.
You glance between the three men and decide to be the first to speak. "Anyone got a clue who we are or what we are doing?" you ask.
"Nope," the black haired one answers. "Woke up to the 'life support critical,' and found him," he jabs his thumb towards the heavier set man next to him, "on my way here."
The man that was just indicated is standing behind the raven haired man. "The same," he says meekly.
"Okay, well it's clear that none of us have our memories," the man at the controls says. "Which means names are out until one of us remembers or we figure it out. It's going to get real confusing fast. Better course of action is to number ourselves, probably by the way we came into the Bridge. So I'll be One."
"Which leaves me as Two," you say. You glance at the two who walked in together. "I guess you have to figure out who wants to be Three and who wants to be Four."
The black haired man speaks. "I'll be Four. Now that that's settled, we probably should search the ship and try and figure out what it knows about us."
One speaks. "I'll look into the ship's memory." He turns back to the console that he was tapping on earlier. "But we should probably stay in contact."
Four nods. "With equipment like this, there should be some sort of comm set up," he says. "Search for that first, One."
You shift uneasily. You don't like that you don't know your name or remember your history. This just feels like a recipe for disaster.
One taps something and the console closest to you opens. Four comms rise up. "Awesome, I knew there should have been some," Four says brightly.
You all grab a comm. You shove it in your ear as One taps another button. "We are good to go," One says. "I just made the link so that we'll be able to hear each other."
"I came in from the right," you say. "I'm going to go investigate that way."
You leave before any of them can stop you.
The ship is large, with several bedrooms, a mess hall, a holding station, an Infirmary, and two escape pods. It takes several hours for the three of you to secure the ship. The only thing that you find during your search is an AI in the Infirmary. The AI is powered down, most likely in stasis.
You touch it just to confirm. When it doesn't move, you figure that One is the only person who is going to be able to get it back online.
"Hey, One, come to the Infirmary. We've got a powered down AI here," you say.
One arrives a few minutes later with Three and Four in tow.
"The rest of the ship is clear. It's only the four of us and this AI on board," Four announces. "Maybe the AI has information about what happened to us?"
One holds his hand up. He goes to the computer in the corner of the room. It's several long, quiet moments until the AI sits up quickly. She glances around the room. "May I be of service to you?" she asks. Her voice reminds you of the voice that woke up from your sleep.
"Can you retrieve your memory?" you ask hopefully.
The AI is silent for a while before turning to look at you. You're met with a pair of icy blue eyes. There something too human about them that make you shiver. "No, I cannot. My memory has been corrupted."
You deflate. "Well there goes that chance," you mutter.
Four runs his hand through his messy hair with a long, drawn out sigh. He glances at One. "There wasn't anything in the Bridge to indicate who we are?"
"No," One answers sharply. "We were keeping a log, but like the AI, the data was corrupted."
"I can help with that," the AI speaks. "I am linked to the ship, after all."
The four of you look at each other and then back at the AI. "Let's take her to the Bridge, then."
One is the first to speak when you get to the Bridge. "AI, can -"
"I prefer Dorcas, if you don't mind," she interrupts. The notion of an AI having a name makes you laugh. And Dorcas turns toward you, her expression is blank and her eyes are hard. "Is there something funny?"
"No, no," you say, waving your hands in front of you. "One, continue."
One glares at you before looking back at her. "Dorcas," he corrects himself, "will you look at the data and see what you can salvage?" The AI closes her eyes, and One hurries to speak. "I didn't mean for you to do it through your link; I meant for you to show me how."
The AI frowns, which strikes you as odd. "But it much faster if I look into it this way," she says.
One looks like he's about to argue when Three steps forward. "I don't know about you, but I would prefer to figure out who we are sooner than later, so maybe we should just let the…" he trails off, before correcting himself, "Dorcas, look into it for us."
It's the first time since you've met him in the Bridge that he has really talked more than an agreement or confirmation an area is clear. He looks like he's uncomfortable. But Four moves forwards and clasps him on the shoulder.
"I agree. You can have," he pauses, eyeing the AI from the side, "Dorcas teach you how later. Right now, safety should come first."
Dorcas looks to One for her final orders. "Alright, just check," he says, relenting.
The Bridge is eerily quiet while the AI checks through the logs. "With this amount of damage, it will take me several days to uncover the corrupted files," Dorcas says.
"Is there anything you can tell us now?" you ask irritably.
Her icy blue eyes snap to you. "Your intended destination is in the Andromeda system. The planet of destination is small and scarcely populated, as are the other planets in this system. It circles around Mirach, the largest star in the system."
"Thank you," Three says. His voice, unlike before, is confident.
One frowns. "Can we drop out of hyperspeed before we get to the planet and go incognito?"
"Of course," Dorcas replies promptly. "I will lower us out of hyperspeed when we reach the Andromeda system. It will be a few hours. I will let you know when we do."
Four slaps a hand on One's shoulder. "I don't know about you, but I'm starving. Why don't we go to the mess hall and whip something up while we discuss what happens now?"
Food is placed in front of you as the four of you sit around the table in the mess hall. You didn't realize how hungry you are until then. You wolf it down as quickly as possible. One and Three are, apparently, slow eaters. You look at Four.
"Any ideas on how we're supposed to know what we're supposed to be doing in the Andromeda system?" you ask.
Four leans back in his chair, balancing perfectly on two legs, propping his feet upon the table. He folds his hands behind his head. "That is the question. We can always land on the planet and see if anyone recognizes us?"
Three frowns. "That's highly dangerous," he says in between bites.
You frown as well. "Three's right. It's too dangerous. We don't know if they are friends or foes."
One pushes his plate away. "I think that we should remain on the ship until Dorcas can tell us something more about ourselves or why we are here. All we know is that we don't know anything about ourselves."
"Do you think we wiped our memories? Or do you think that someone else did?" you ask.
The other three shift in their seats uncomfortably at the mention of your memories. One meets your eyes. "We won't know that unless Dorcas can sort out the corrupted files. But the most likely answer would be one of us wiped our memories," One answers.
You glance between the three of them. Any of you could have wiped your memories. And that doesn't make you feel better.
"We'll stay on the ship then," Four says. "At least until Dorcas can tell us something about ourselves."
You nod your agreement. "I'm going to pick a room and lay down. I'm sure Dorcas will inform us when we get to the Andromeda system."
You don't wait for their responses as you head towards the bedrooms. You feel a pull towards one that you can't explain. You figure it has to do with some sort of muscle memory or the likes, and that this was your room before you got dragged into this mess. You barely get your shirt and pants off before you pass out.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer is that the last thing you think before you fall asleep.
Dorcas wakes you up a few hours later by announcing your arrival in the Andromeda system. You start to put your clothes back on when you notice a tattoo on your chest. You button your pants and find a mirror. Upon further inspection you find there's two hands holding a heart with a crown on top tattooed directly over your own heart.
You stare at it for a long time, trying to decipher the meaning, before you realize that you should be leaving you room. You frown and pull your shirt back on before hurrying to the Bridge. The other three are, predictably, waiting for you. "Sorry," you tell them. "I found a tattoo and got lost in the moment. Have we managed to figure out why we're here?"
"No," Dorcas answers. "Retrieving the corrupt files is more difficult than I was anticipating." One is about to talk when Dorcas frowns. It looks odd coming from an AI; a little too human for your tastes. "Something is wrong. A ship has locked onto our coordinates. There's an incoming transmission."
The screen flickers to life. You are greeted by the sight of a tall blonde with a sneer on his face. "Shuttle out of the ship to ours and nobody gets hurt," the man says. "You have one minute or we fire."
You don't like the sound of that. "Dorcas, can you take us to hyperspeed?"
"Where would our intended destination be?" Dorcas asks.
"I don't care!" you snap. "Anywhere that is not here would be really good right about now."
"As you wish."
You reach hyperspeed as the other ship fires. Luckily, it doesn't hit. You turn your attention towards the other three. "Well, that answers one question."
Three frowns. "Which one?"
"Whether or not we have a traitor on board," you answer.
Three's frown deepens. "How do you suppose that? We could've been heading there to help and some people might not have liked it."
You nod your head. "That might be true. But they were there waiting for us. They could see us even in incognito mode. I don't think that it's possible to do that unless they knew exactly where we were going to be."
Your statement is met with silence. And you don't like it. You don't know who to trust.
Dorcas interrupts your thoughts. "I have set the coordinates for an Outpost two galaxies away. We shall make it there by tomorrow afternoon."
The four of you are eating lunch when Dorcas announces that you have reached the Outpost. You've made a point not to be around the other three much since yesterday. You're not sure who you can trust and that makes you feel uneasy.
Three's voice pulls you out of your thoughts. "I think that we should split up," he says.
"That's a bad idea," One reminds everyone. "We still haven't the slightest clue who we are. And since the attack yesterday, it's clear that someone is after us."
"We don't trust each other," Three points out.
One levels him with a stare. "That may be true but what do you prefer - safety or trust?"
"We can't exactly force each other to stay," Four says. "But I agree that it's probably the safest bet if we stick together, regardless of whether or not we trust each other."
"We may not like it, but it's probably the only thing that will keep us alive," you say in agreement.
Three's resolve wavers and after a few minutes, he relents completely. "If that's the case, we're going to need some supplies. We're running low on food."
"We also need some repairs," One says.
The rest of the meal is finished among the talks of what repairs need to be done and what supplies need to be picked up. The money is split, comms are online, and the four of you separate to gather what is necessary.
A few days later, Dorcas is standing in the Bridge as you enter. Her long blonde hair is in a high ponytail, showing off the serial number on her neck. Her back is straight and her hands are clasped in front of her. Her posture makes you uneasy.
She doesn't let anyone ask questions before she starts to speak. "I've done as you've asked and I have managed to recover some of the corrupted data." She gestures to the screen. "This is what I have found."
The screen comes to life. The first one to come up is One. "Remus Lupin is wanted for theft, smuggling, and forging."
Four is next. "Peter Pettigrew is wanted for theft, smuggling, and suspected arson."
Your face is the next one on the screen. The list of crimes is longer. "Sirius Black is wanted for theft, smuggling, treason, conspiracy, and attempted murder."
You can feel the eyes of the other three on you but you don't look away from the screen. You feel absolutely nothing as you stare at yourself. You thought that maybe you would figure out your name and suddenly everything would click into place. You're disappointed that it doesn't.
"Finally, James Potter is wanted for theft, smuggling, and kidnapping," Dorcas says. "I am still trying to recover data. I will update you when it comes."
When she is done speaking, all of your faces and crimes reappear altogether on the screen. You can't wrap your head around the idea that you all actually have names and histories, and that you aren't actually the good guys.
One is the first one to break the silence. "Thank you, Dorcas."
There's a knock at your door. You hesitate slightly before you open it. Standing in the doorway is One. Remus, you remind yourself.
"May I come in?" he asks softly.
You step to the side and gesture him inside. "What can I do for you?"
"You seemed to rush out of the Bridge kind of suddenly. I thought something may be wrong," he says.
"It's just weird," you tell him, "having names and identities after not having them."
Remus frowns as he takes a seat on your bed. "I'm kind of relieved to have a name at least."
You frown. "We're not the good guys."
Remus gives you a small smile. "Just because we're the bad guys doesn't necessarily mean that we're bad people. You haven't stopped to consider that we must've had reasons to do the things that we've done," he says.
"Well, if you put it that way," you respond.
Remus pats your hand. And then he stands. "I'm heading back to the Bridge. Dorcas is supposed to help me learn how to fly the ship more accurately." He stops at the door, leaving against it. "By the way, you keeping to yourself is starting to look suspicious."
"What do you mean?"
"Looking at it from the outside, it seems like you have recovered your memory and that you're the one that erased them in the first place," Remus informs you.
"I didn't -"
Remus cuts you off. "Speaking with you now, I've realized that you're struggling to accept the fact that we've lost our memories."
"I just don't want to be betrayed. If I don't think of you as friends, it won't bother me as much when we find out who the traitor is," you say softly. You glance up at him. "Do you understand?"
Remus nods. "I get it. I don't want to think that one of you has betrayed us, either. But thinking that way will leave you far more lonely than living with the fact that one of us did betray us. Because right now, all we have is each other. Just think about it."
He leaves you to your thoughts. You fold your hands under your head and stretch out along your bed. You resolve to spend more time with the others even though you don't really want to. Because Remus has a point.
Dorcas calls you all to the Bridge the next morning. Surprisingly, you are the first one there. James comes in, yawning and rubbing his eyes. Remus and Peter come in together. They are talking idly about the comms.
"We have set route to the next Outpost," she informs them. "However, I think you may want to set a new destination. I have uncovered a place that this ship has been to recently. It may help you uncover your past."
"Where?" Remus asks.
Dorcas unfolds her hands and points to the screen. "It's in Lyra system."
"Set the course," you order.
Dorcas nods. "Setting the course. We shall be there in a day and a half."
"When we drop out of hyperspeed, go incognito," Remus adds on. "We'll take the landing ship down to the planet."
You clap your hands together happily. "Now that that's settled, how about some breakfast."
The other three stare at you in disbelief as you turn on your heels and heading towards the mess hall.
The trip to the planet below turns out to be more eventful than any of you could have imagined. You're walking along the road in the market, the comm in your ear, when you're pulled by the arm into an alley. A beautiful redhead is standing in front of you. Her eyes are blazing with anger.
"What are you doing here?" she hisses.
You grin at her. "Guys, we've got a good lead here. I'm in an alley somewhere in the market," you say.
This causes the woman in front of him to cross her arms and glare at you. "What is going on?" When you don't answer, she raises her eyebrow. "Well?"
"It's best if we have this conversation in private," a voice says behind them. You don't have to turn around to know that it's Remus. By the sounds of the footsteps, the others are with him.
She turns. "Keep up," she orders.
She leads you through winding streets and back alleys until she comes to a stop in front of a nondescript house. She lets you into the house and then she closes the door, makes sure the windows are shut, and the blinds are down. She turns around and puts her hand on her hips. "I'm still waiting. And it better be good. Otherwise, I'll kick your asses from here to the Andromeda galaxy."
You glance at the other three. James is staring at her with a starry eyes, while Remus and Peter are looking anywhere but at her. "Long story short, we lost our memories and was hoping that someone here would be able to help us out a little bit."
"Any ideas who would do that?" she asks.
You shake your head.
She laughs. "You know, you may not remember who I am, but you're not different than who you were before you lost your memories. I can still tell when you're lying."
James speaks this time, saving you from lying again. "Who are you exactly?"
"You really don't remember?" she asks softly.
James shakes his head. She crosses the room and pulls him into a kiss. "That give you a hint?" she asks when she pulls away.
James is grinning. "I'm going to say we're involved."
"I'm your wife," she finally answers, "Lily." She glances between you, Remus, and Peter. "Well I definitely believe that you don't know who you are."
Remus nods. "Any idea what we were doing?"
"No, James makes a point to keep me away from your work. But I have something here that might help you," she announces. She rummages around until she pulls out a tablet. "James gave me this in case of an emergency."
Remus takes it from her hands. "Thanks."
"Now, you guys need to get off this planet," she orders. "As fast as possible."
Peter speaks this time. "If you're his wife, why would you want us to leave so quickly?"
Lily frowns. "It's not that I'm not happy to see James, or you guys. It's that the Intergalactic Authorities are looking for you. You being here is a danger to me. I can put into Azkaban for helping you."
"I see," James murmurs. He nods to you. "We should probably go then."
Lily pulls James into another kiss. When she pulls away, her frown still doesn't disappear. "Send me another message if you can. And be safe."
You smile at Lily while you pull James towards the door. "I'm sure Remus will send you something if we can."
Once you're back on the ship, the four of you head immediately for the Bridge. Remus hands Dorcas the tablet.
"We need you to figure out what's on this," Remus orders.
Dorcas nods. She plugs it into the console and closes her eyes. After a few moments, she opens them. "There is only one contact on this. Would you like me to contact them?"
"It could be a trap," Peter says.
"We won't know that if we don't try," James argues.
Peter frowns. "I don't know about you but I'd rather not go to prison because we were searching for our memories."
You mimic Peter. "He has a point," you say.
Remus fold his arms over his chest. "We'll never know unless we try. We can probably outrun whoever is going to come after us if this is a trap."
"You didn't feel how she kissed me," James argues. "She wasn't setting us up for a trap."
"You can't be sure about that," Peter counters.
James glares. "Let's put this to vote then with majority rules. I vote we make contact with whoever is on that tablet."
"Well, I don't," Peter says, glaring right back.
"I'm going with James on this one," Remus says. They turn to you. "You'll be the deciding factor, Sirius."
You close your eyes. You know that Peter has a point; while Lily may seem genuine, she could be setting you up. On the other hand, Remus and James also have point. You'll never find out anything unless you get in contact with Lily's contact. "Let's contact them," you say finally.
"Contacting them," Dorcas replies.
On the screen, an old man, with a long, white beard is sitting in a chair. He's not looking at the screen. "Lily, what can I do for you?" he asks. His voice is softer than you would've expected.
"Um, we're not Lily," Remus answers.
The man's head snaps up. His calm demeanor doesn't change. "No, I don't suppose you are. What are the four of you contacting me through Lily's tablet for?"
"We ran into a bit of trouble and lost our way," Remus answers.
"What sort of trouble?"
You narrow your eyes in suspicion. "First things first: why are you the only contact on Lily's tablet?"
The man frowns; it makes the wrinkles on his face appear more predominant. "You four have been sent out on several missions recently and James wanted to keep Lily as far away as possible. He left her a tablet with a direct line to me in case she doesn't hear from you for while and was worried."
"Why would she contact you?" Peter asks.
"I would be able to contact James for her. We wanted to have deniability in case they were keeping an eye on her. Which of course you would already know. So I ask again: what happened?" he asks.
You look between the others, silently asking if they were going to tell the mysterious man everything. Peter makes the decision for you.
"Sorry, we had to make sure. We've lost our memories and wanted to make sure Lily didn't throw us into a trap," he answers.
There is silence after. The man runs a hand down his long beard thoughtfully. "Well, I'm Albus Dumbledore," he introduces himself. "You've been working with me to free the galaxies from the Intergalactic Authorities, who are under Voldemort's rule."
You narrow your eyes again. "Are you telling me that the Space Authority is bad?"
Dumbledore tries to hide his laugh, but fails. "That's certainly one way to put it," he says mildly. "I was going to reach out today anyways, so you contacting me was most opportune. We received a tip that the Intergalactic Authorities are going to try to steal Terranova from a supply ship heading for an uninhabitable planet in Messier 83. Would you go take it before they have a chance to get it?"
Remus speaks. "What is Terranova?"
"That is right," Dumbledore mutters. "My apologies. Terranova contains everything that would a planet would need to make it habitable. However, this device is in prototype phase and isn't ready for sale. They are testing a new mixture and they have no idea how it will work, which is why they were going to test it in Messier 83."
"So is this device dangerous?" you ask.
Dumbledore is quiet for a minute, stroking his beard. "In the wrong hands, yes. If this device isn't handled correctly, it could kill thousands of people, if not more. Which is why I need the four of you to get this device for our cause."
You turn towards the other three. They turn as if they know a discussion is coming up. Remus lifts his eyes to meet Dumbledore's eyes. "We'll have to discuss it," he says.
"I understand. I'll send the information to your ship in case you decide to do it."
With that, Dumbledore fades from the screen. Dorcas' hand gestures to the control panel. "The information has arrived."
"We can't decide anything until we have all the information. Dorcas will take us to the nearest Outpost. We'll use the computers there to verify the information," James says, taking charge. "Anyone got a problem with that?"
When none of you object, Dorcas nods. "The nearest Outpost is an hour away."
By the time you reach the Outpost, the four of you have already reviewed the information Dumbledore has set. Dorcas gets off to acquire some more food with the little bit of money you have left. Remus is at the controls, navigating his way through the internet.
You hide in your room. Though, you suppose if they know where you are, it's not really hiding. You power up the computer in your room, and you look yourself up. You scroll through several pages of information.
Then you click on a video. Before your eyes, a man with dark hair and darker eyes is staring at the camera. You've seen him before when you look in the mirror. The woman behind him shares his dark looks, but she is older, more fragile, looking like she's barely holding onto life. There's something off about how he looks into the camera; you just can't pinpoint what. You think that if you had your memories, you would know.
The reporters are asking too many questions for you to catch. Their responses don't make sense to you. But at the bottom of the video, the words "Sirius Black, crown Prince of Messier 83, has disappeared after allegedly killing his father, Orion Black" flash across the screen. It is immediately followed by "Regulus Black takes the throne."
You freeze, horror runs through your veins like fire. You push away from the computer and start to pace. You push your fingers through your hair. The word traitor sits at the front of your mind. And then the fire in your veins is doused quickly.
After several long moments, you finally sit back down. You replay the video over and over again, your eyes focused on your brother. There is something off about him; you just know it.
You're going to find out what if you go.
After Dorcas returned and the information was verified, Remus and James both insisted on helping. Even Peter couldn't deny that getting the Terranova would save countless lives. You think over your plan again, and you execute it without hesitation.
While the three of them took one of the pods, you took the other. Instead of landing on the planet with them, you take the pod to a different one. You have delved deeper into your family, trying to figure out where they would be, and realized that your brother would be on vacation now, while your mother was working on new legislation. Regulus is alone on this planet. If the guards weren't included, that is.
You land the pod in an open field. There's a figure leaning against a tree when you exit. He looks almost bored.
"You're late, brother," he says.
You keep your distance from him, wanting to have an escape if necessary. "Where's your guards?"
"I told them to stay at the castle," he answers. "I'm entertaining Princess Marlene for the Galactic Authorities. Besides, I can handle myself." You glance down to see the gun on his right hip and the sword on his back.
You shrug. "Why haven't you killed me?" you question.
His hand goes to the gun, hovering over it, waiting. "Who do you think got the tip to Dumbledore?" he asks carefully. "I knew you would get my message to meet."
"And?" you ask.
"You wanted me to let you know if the Galactic Authorities were closing in on your lover's friends," he replies. "I've heard rumors that they have pinpointed the Longbottom's location. They are said to be in the Comet galaxy, on the planet Abell. I can try to stall them as long as I can to give you time to get them out."
You are about to reply when they hear footfall approaching them. You are pushed back towards your pod.
"You must go. These are mother's guards. They won't believe you didn't kill father. Go and save Remus' friends. And don't panic when I shoot the pod," he orders.
You are barely in the pod when your brother opens fire. You don't hesitate to get the pod out of there. You don't relax until you're safely back on the ship.
"Where were you?" James demands as you enter the Bridge.
"I had some business to take care of," you reply. "We need -"
You break off as you are shoved against the wall. James is glaring at you. "So you really do remember. Why'd you take our memories?"
You push him away, glaring back at him. "I didn't remember anything. I looked myself up while we were at the Outpost," you inform him harshly. "You three had just as much opportunity to look yourselves up as I did, so don't look at me like I did something you wouldn't."
Peter steps in between you and James. "And?" he asks sharply.
"The treason I supposedly have been accused of is killing my father, the King of this galaxy," you force yourself to say. "I saw a video of the reporters interviewing my mother and brother about what happened. There was something off about my brother. I followed a hunch."
James raises his eyebrow. "You put us all in danger to follow a hunch?"
"I only put myself in danger," you correct him. "I disabled all the communications to that pod and removed all evidence of which ship the pod came from. You didn't see the look in my brother's eyes. I had to figure out what was going on. And it's a good thing too."
"Why's that?" Peter asks. He still hasn't moved from in between you and James yet. His eyes keep darting between the two of you, waiting for the tension to relaxing in James' shoulders.
"Remus has friends in trouble," you inform them.
James folds his arms across his chest. "And we're supposed to believe that?"
"We need to get to the Comet galaxy. My brother said the Galactic Authorities were after the Longbottoms. I, apparently, asked him to keep an ear out for information about them." You shrug. "I got the impression that he's a double agent for us."
James turns toward Remus. "This is your call," he says, his voice hard, "since they are apparently your friends."
There's a long moment while Remus considers this. You look at him, replaying your brother's words. Lover. You suppose that you could be with someone like Remus. He's clearly capable and smart. But right now, any thoughts of romance turns your stomach.
Remus looks at Dorcas. "Can you contact Dumbledore?"
"Of course," she replies. She closes her eyes as she follows Remus' order.
The screen lights up as the call connects. Dumbledore appears on the screen. "Did you get it?"
"The Terranova is in our holding station," Remus confirms. "But that's not why I'm calling. Did I know anyone by the name of Longbottom?"
Dumbledore's face grows dark. "We shouldn't speak of them. Our transmission can be hacked at any time."
Remus turns to you then meets James eyes. "That's all I needed to know," he says curtly. "How are you wanting us to deliver Terranova?"
"I'm not," he replies. "Just keep it with you. You'll know what to do with it." Before anyone can protest that, the screen goes dark.
Remus sighs. "Sirius, did your brother tell you where they possibly could be?"
"I told you: Comet galaxy," you answer.
"He couldn't narrow that down?"
You frown. "He mentioned the planet Abell."
"Dorcas," Remus says, "Set course for Abell."
Dorcas' answer falls on deaf ears. Remus pokes you in the chest. "You aren't to do that again," he growls. "We're a team. You tell us if something comes up or if you get any crazy ideas like meeting your brother when you're not one hundred percent sure he's not going to kill you."
You hold his eyes for several moments before you head for the door. "I may not have known that he wasn't going to kill me. But I did know that I wasn't going to risk putting any of you in danger because I had a hunch. Wake me when we've reached Abell."
You don't wait for their responses. You just head to your bedroom.
You're putting your comm into your ear when the pod lands just outside of biggest city on Abell. James gives you a look.
"No more splitting up," James says firmly.
You roll your eyes, but you also knew that it was coming. You know that it's probably for the best. "Alright. I'll go with Remus. We'll look through the market. James and Peter can look through the parks. It looked like Dumbledore knew something about the Longbottoms," you mention.
"Assuming that he's keeping some sort of eye on them," Remus says, following your thought pattern, "their message should be easy to spot and even easier to overlook."
James nods in understanding. "Parks and marketplaces would be heavily travelled, which would make it easy to leave a clue and easier to overlook it. That's genius."
Peter raises his hand. Upon realizing what he's done, he lowers it. "Sorry, but wouldn't it look suspicious for two guys to walk around a park together without something to pretend to do. I mean, obviously, Remus and Sirius can pick up something to cover the fact that they are roaming a market looking for a clue."
"Pretend to be on a date," Remus says.
You snicker as Peter and James look horrified at the suggestion. Peter is mumbling under his breathe while James is shaking his head.
"I mean, Peter makes a valid point, and if Sirius' brother is correct in saying that the Galactic Authorities have a lock on their position, it would look suspicious if two guys are just hanging around the park for no reason," Remus explains.
"Have a picnic," you manage to say in between snickers.
James opens and closes his mouth several times. Then he's finally able to talk again. "You can't be serious!"
Saying, "But I am Sirius," just feels right. You tug on Remus' arm and disappear from the Bridge. You call out as you leave, "Don't forget the picnic!"
Remus is smiling as you exit the ship with him. And you think that maybe if things were different that you could fall in love with that smile. You quickly change the subject. "Did you bring the money to buy something?"
He nods. He looks to the sky and then towards the city. "I really hope that they are safe."
You take several hours to walk around the market. It's far larger than you are expect. You're nearing the end when this woman is following you with her eyes. She is old, but by the look in her eyes, she seems dangerous. She's almost as tall as you are, very thin, with a hat that has an animal on top of it. It doesn't take long before she approaches you and Remus.
"Oh, you should take a look in my shop, young man," she announces as she puts a hand on Remus' forearm. "There is a hat in there that I think will be perfect for you."
"I'm not looking for hats, ma'am," Remus informs her politely.
"I insist," she repeats. "I believe this hat is meant for you."
You watch as Remus removes her hand from his arm. "I'm sorry, but I'm really not looking for hats."
Her hand immediately goes back to his arm. You see Remus wince when she digs her fingernail into his skin. "I must insist," she repeats again. "It will only take you a moment."
Remus look at you. You just shrug. "Let's see these hats," you say.
Remus is horrified at that prospect. The woman just grins. "I really must show you this hat. My shop is just across the road."
You follow her, leaving Remus no choice but to follow you. When the door shuts, the woman turns around, a frown on her face. "You really don't know how to take a hint, boy," she says.
"Excuse me?" Remus' eyes widen.
"I suppose you are here to help Alice and Frank," she continues on as if Remus never spoke. "I've been keeping my eye for you since they got here. Do you have plans to get them off this planet?"
It doesn't seem like Remus can think of words. You glance at the hats. "Are they the Longbottoms?" you ask.
"What sort of question is that, Black?" she snaps. "Of course they are the Longbottoms. You would think that you would know who you are here to protect."
"Can you give us a moment?" you ask. When she just raises an eyebrow, you lead Remus to the other side of the room. "I think that the only choice we have is to take them back to the ship."
You give him a look that clearly shows your annoyance. "Regulus said that they were in trouble. And that the Galactic Authorities were after them. The only chance we have at protecting them is getting them off this planet and leaving as soon as we can."
Remus sighs. "And how are we supposed to get off this planet with three extra people on board. They search the ship when we got here and will search it when we leave."
"We're obviously smugglers," Sirius explains. "We hide them."
Remus rubs his eyes. And then he sighs again. "This sounds easier than it will be. Contact James. I'll head back to the ship after I buy one of those hats. You can stay and help them find their way back to the ship. Once we have them hidden and James and Peter get, we leave and go somewhere far, far away."
You nod. As Remus goes back to get a hat, you press the button on your comms. "James, Peter, wait ten minutes then head back to the ship. We found them. Will explain more later."
James and Peter both confirm. You go back to the woman. "Get Alice and Frank," you tell her. "And pack your bags. We'll take you somewhere safe."
It's several long minutes later when the woman reappears, with two others in tow. "Got everything you need?" you ask. When they nod, you grin. "Well, I'm going to take you to our ship. The problem is that you'll -"
"Have to follow you at a distance," the man says. He looks a lot like the woman, tall with sandy hair and a wide smile. "No worries there. Alice and I know how to follow."
Alice is pulling on a red wig, while Frank is pulling on a brown wig. She grins at you. "Thanks for coming. You weren't supposed to though."
Frank hugs the woman. "Thanks, Mum."
"Wait," you interject, "she's coming with."
Frank's mother smiles. "That's nice, but no. It would look suspicious if I leave now. We were hoping the GA would assume that Frank and Alice wouldn't be stupid enough to come home. If you're here, that's obviously not the case. I'll stay here and give you time. But the longer the three of you stay here and discuss it, the closer the GA gets."
Frank gives her one last hug. "Be careful, Mum," he whispers. He turns back to you. "We're going out the back into the alley. Stall three venders up. Pretend to be looking for something until we make it to the main road."
You leave the shop and do exactly what is expected of you. You can't help but think about how Frank's mother is staying behind as a decoy.
You're barely off Abell's surface before Frank and Alice come out of their hiding spot. They've lost their wigs. The six of you are sitting around the table in the mess hall. Frank and Alice haven't touched their food.
"Why aren't we in hyperspeed?" Alice asks, finally breaking the silence.
"We're not leaving this galaxy," Peter answers. "Not yet at least. Dorcas has us in incognito."
Frank frowns. "Why wouldn't we leave as quickly as possible?"
James, Peter, Remus and yourself share a look. It's Remus who answers. "We need to know a few things first."
"Ser-" Frank breaks off. "Really? What could be more important that getting away from the GA?"
"Why are the Galactic Authorities after you?" Remus asks, his tone hard.
Frank and Alice share a look. "I don't know what is going on," Alice says. "But Frank and I met at work. We were detectives for the Galactic Authorities. There's a murder on Posh; a woman named Mary MacDonald. Frank and I were working the case when we found out that her death was part of a large scale cover up."
"And then suddenly, we're accused of treason," Frank adds. Frank meets Remus' eyes. "You got us off Posh just in time. We've been trying to expose the cover up since, but we've never been far enough ahead of the GA before now."
You run your hand through your hair. "Do you know of any galaxies where there's an uninhabitable planet near a habitable one?"
"Triangulum galaxy is the first one I think of," Alice answers. "There's an uninhabitable planet that revolves around Sicilia. Something about it being too cold? I dunno, but the other planets in the system are habitable. Why?"
Peter answers with a grin on his face. "We needed to know where we were going. Dorcas, set course for the uninhabitable planet revolving around Sicilia in the Triangulum galaxy."
Frank and Alice look alarmed. "You're kidding, right?" Frank asks.
Remus stands. "Follow me. I'll show you why we aren't kidding."
He leads the pair to the hidden Terranova. "How long until we get there, Dorcas?" you ask.
"A day and a half," she responds quickly. "After leaving that planet, we will need to fuel up at the Outpost station between the Triangulum and Andromeda galaxies."
The six of you are in the Bridge, waiting for confirmation from Dorcas. The AI had taken a pod down to the surface in order to release Terranova. At first, none of you wanted Dorcas to do it, but there was quickly realization that there was no other option.
"The container has broken. Data from the other Terranovas have shown that it takes several hours to become habitable," Dorcas says. Her voice comes across the comms loud and clear.
You let out a breath of air that you didn't realize you were holding. "Great job, Dorcas. Come back to the ship."
"Well, we'll stay for the night. Dumbledore said that this particular model was a prototype. When we wake up, we'll take reading from surface of this planet to determine whether or not Terranova was successful," Remus tells the couple.
Alice gives him a watery smile. "Thanks for saving us again, Remus. We owe you big time."
"Don't go thanking me yet," Remus warns. "This still has a chance of failing."
It does. The readings of the planet that was previously in habitable are within habitable range. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you think that Dumbledore foresaw you helping Frank and Alice. You don't mention this to the others.
Remus looks miserable saying goodbye to Frank and Alice. He hugs them both longer than strictly necessary. "Keep the pod to travel to get more supplies from one of the surround planets," he murmurs. "But don't go often. They'll get suspicious."
Frank laughs. "Don't worry about us. We'll survive." He reaches into his pocket and shoves money into Remus' hand. "Think of this as payment." He takes Alice's hand and walks out of the Bridge.
You pat Remus on the shoulder as Dorcas tracks Frank and Alice's movements. When it's evident that they've landed on the surface and nothing is going to happen, you order Dorcas to set your destination to the Outpost.
Peter offers to make drinks to celebrate.
There's not much that you remember in between the Outpost and waking up in a prison cell. Your head is killing you as you open your eyes. You're not on the ship. You shoot up like a rocket and exit your open cell. The first thing that comes to mind is that this is Azkaban.
You look around, trying to find the others. James is the first one you spot. And then you spot Remus. But no matter how much you look around, you can't find Peter.
"You haven't seen Peter either," you say, sitting down next to Remus. "Or Dorcas?"
James isn't far behind you. He takes the seat next to you. "I haven't seen Dorcas, but I suppose that AIs would be in a different location than humans. What's the last thing you remember?" he questions, his eyes never leave the crowd.
"Dropping the package off," you reply. "You?"
"Did we even land on the Outpost?" Remus asks.
You frown when James says, "I don't know. I remember Peter passing out drinks and then nothing."
"You don't think…" Remus trails off.
"No," you say, trying to force yourself to believe your words, "he lost his memories like we all did. There's no way that he could've remembered how to contact the GA, even if he was the traitor."
James shakes his head. "He never actually said that he lost them. He just agreed with me when I said that I had woken up and bumped into him." He bits his lips. "He looked tense when I first saw him."
Remus inhales sharply. "He's never really said much, either."
"That doesn't mean that he betrayed us," you point out.
Remus raises his eyebrow at you. He opens his mouth to remark but you're saved by another inmate who sits down at the table with you.
You don't see Peter until the next day. He's walking around with the prison guard. He look frightened even from your cell. And you know that James and Remus were right; Peter was the one to betray you.
You don't contain your anger as Peter passes by your cell. "Why?" you growl. You sling him into your cell wall. You hear the other inmate scream and yell and get excited, but your eyes never waver from Peter's. "Why did you betray us? What did we do to you?"
Peter cowards in front of you. "You don't know what they would do to me if I didn't. I had no choice," he whimpers.
"Did you ever lose your memories or did you just play along?" you demand.
He diverts his eyes from your glare. "It was the easiest way to figuring it out. I wiped your memories when you were too close to figuring it out. I had no choice."
Before you have a chance to say anything else, you feel an overwhelming sense of sorrow overtake you. You fall to the ground, groaning. You feel as if you'll never be happy again, that you're next breathe is stuck in your chest.
You don't remember passing out.
A/n - This story is kinda a mix of a lot of things. Mostly it's a mix of Dark Matter and Firefly. There's a line in here that I pulled from Wreck-It Ralph - "Just because I'm a bad guy doesn't mean I'm a bad guy." If you haven't watched the movie, I highly recommend it. Also, the Terranova mentioned above is an idea that comes from a Doctor Who episode - The Doctor's Daughter. I don't remember the name of it so there's a slim chance that I got it right.
Shout out to Amber who was with me every step of the way. Honestly, this fic wouldn't have been finished without her.