Pairing: Dylan/Rommie

Summery: Sequel to Face the Music. Rommie and Dylan's relationship courses trouble when a planet founded by religious extremist asks to join the new Commonwealth…

Note: With thanks to szhismine for the beta.

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Intolerance, Part 1: An Invitation

Rommie sat in Dylan's arms in the shade of the tree on the observation-deck. She pulled his arms tighter around her, and he responded by kissing her on the top of the head. It had been six-months since their declarations of love for each other, and Rommie doubted she could be any happier.

She blinked, "Dylan, there is a courier ship approaching from astern. They claim to have a priority message for you." Dylan sighed, "Why now, we spend time at Drifts and colonies, why now?" Rommie patted his arm, "You're an important man." Dylan kissed her again, "Even when I want to spend time with the woman I love? Why couldn't you let it wait till later?" Rommie turned her head so he could look him in the face, "You know the rules: I'm still the ship's Avatar. It's my duty to tell you these things." Dylan gave up, "Ok, lets go see what it is all about."

They walked to command arm in arm, but separated as soon as they passed through the hatch: one more rule to their relationship. Beka had the watch, "Message for you from the colony world of New Salem." Dylan scratched his head, "Can't say it rings a bell." Andromeda's hologram appeared, "It's relatively new, founded 200 years ago. Mostly Humans, but with a few others added to the mix." Dylan nodded, "Ok, play the message."

The main view screen changed to show a well-dressed man sitting behind a desk, "Captain Hunt of the Starship Andromeda Ascendant, my name is Ulysses Cain, and I bring you greetings from the world New Salem. We are interested in joining your new Commonwealth, and ask that you visit us to evaluate our worthiness. You will find our slipstream coordinates attached to the message. We hope to hear from you soon." The imaged faded.

Dylan shrugged, "Well, short but to the point. What do we know about New Salem?" Rommie blinked, "An agricultural world near Than space. Used to suffer from Nietzschean raids, but they recently up-graded their planetary defence grid. Relatively stable government. According to our most recent records, a man named Ulysses Cain is planetary head of state." Dylan turned to Beka, "How long would it take us to reach New Salem?" Beka looked at the slip-coordinates, "It's two slip's from where we are, with about a days sub-light in-between."

Dylan smiled, "Let's go."

To Be Continued