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Echoes of future past, part 50

Beka lay back in bed, dazed: to say it had been a long and hectic 9-mouths would be an understatement.

The bundle in her arms stirred, and she looked down at her son, "Awake again are you? I hope you realise the amount of trouble you've already coursed me! You know, it's going to be interesting to explain how you came to be in our wedding photos. I think I'll leave that up to Trance."

"Someone call my name?" Trance said, standing in the doorway. Beka looked at her, "As my farther used to say: I'm talking about you, not to you." Trance laughed as she crossed the room, "As long as it's nothing untrue, I don't mind." Beka smiled, "Where are the others?" Trance waved at the door, "Out there, arguing as to who get's to hold the baby first." Beka tilted her head to the side, "So you decided to end it by sneaking in here?" Trance smiled, "Guilty as charged."

Beka carefully handed the bundle over to her best friend. Trance looked the newborn, "Hello Ryan. This is the first time I've had a chance to welcome you into the world properly." She turned to Beka, "Out of curiosity, why 'Ryan'?" Beka starched, "It was my grandfathers name: I didn't know him well, he died when I was little, but he was always kind to me." Trance smiled, "Seamus owes me 50-thrones." Beka looked at Trance, "Huh?" Trance smiled, "He insisted you named him after Captain Ryan of the Wrath of Achilles." Beka laughed, "That faïence of yours sure has some strange ideas, genius or not."

The door burst open and Rommie, Dylan, Tyr and Harper stumbled in. Beka smiled, "Come in why don't you." Their was a flicker of light as Andromeda's holographic form blinked into existence, "Why thank you, I will." Beka looked at her, amazed, "How'd you do that?" Andromeda smiled, "Tight-beam link the a receiver on the roof, and holographic emitters in the ceiling. Not the new hard-light system I've just had Seamus install in my ship-self, but it allows me to go ground-side if I want."

Dylan blinked, "Impressive none the less." Andromeda looked slightly hostile, "Well it's about time the Vedran's did something useful." Dylan fixed her with an icy glair, and she nodded, "I know, I know: less on the Vedran bashing, it is their planet after all, I know." Beka smiled, "It's ok by me, and I promise you, as soon as we get back, you get to hold Ryan." Andromeda smiled, "Thank you: I look forward to it."

Trance handed Ryan over to Harper, "Hear you go. Consider it practice." Harper looked like a dear trapped in headlights, "Wow, hold the phone! I'm still getting used to the whole getting married thing: you want to leave it a while before you start thinking about having any of our own. Anyway, I think Dylan and Rommie are next in-line." Dylan held out his arms in defence, "Don't you go putting ideas into my wife's head: She's already on at me about starting a family, I don't need you encouraging her!"

Rommie smiled, "The decision already been made, and acted on." Dylan blinked "What?" Rommie smiled, guiding his hand down to her stomach, "I'm four weeks late: you're going to be a farther." Tyr slapped Dylan on the back, "Welcome to the club. It's about time to!" Dylan's jaw dropped, "I think I need to sit down." Trance smiled, "Well if you're going to pass out, you're in the right place, what with it being a hospital." Dylan collapsed into an empty chair, speechless. Rommie smiled, "Now I know what to do whenever I want to shut him up."

Harper handed Ryan over to Rommie, "Here: you need the practice more than me!" Rommie carefully took the baby, "Hello. So, you're the one responsible for all this? Well, things are certainly better than the last time you where born, what with us all being alive and all." She tuned to Beka, "He's beautiful Beka. Just wait: in three months you have the fun of looking after him as his bone-blades come through."

Beka looked at Dylan, "So what's next on the mission front?" Dylan snapped back to reality, "Andromeda's still undergoing repairs after the last clash with the Kalderans, so she's going to be in dry-dock for a time while they patch her up and finish with the new upgrades. Then we wait and see what the new Minister of War has in mind: could be the Kalderans, could be the Pyrians, could be the Ogami, or it could be Freeboots." Beka nodded, "So who got elected: I haven't checked the news recently."

Tyr smiled, "Charlemagne Bolivar." Beka's shook her head; "I knew he was up to something when he started sucking up to Uxulta." She turned back to Dylan, "I'm surprised he didn't offer you the job of deputy." Dylan smiled, "He did, but I turned him down. Telemachus Rhade took it in the end. Should be interesting."

Andromeda stood against one wall, "If you could all gather around the bed, I'll take a few photos." Tyr blinked "Whit what?" Andromeda smiled, "I'm an AI: I'll just upload what I see into my memory banks, and print it off later." Tyr nodded, "Oh. Ok." They gathered around the bed as instructed, Rommie handing Ryan back to Beka. Andromeda grinned, "We are going to have the strangest photo album in the known worlds."

The End

PS: there will be short Authors note posted soon. Read it, don't read it, it's up to you.

*Crawls off into a corner to cry…*