Ok, I've started reading Blade Runner 2: The Edge Of Human, so this could get a little philosophical…

Chrysalis, part 14

Dylan wasn't surprised to see an entire squad of heavily armed Lancers waiting outside the cell: they had taken the deaths of two of their number personally. He handed his forcelance over to the sergeant leading the unit and the door opened.

Spencer was sat cross-legged on the metal bunk bolted to the far wall, "So you've finally decided to come see me." Dylan pulled the small chair closer and sat on it, "I was told your where shouting and screaming demanding to see me." Spencer nodded, "I waned to give you one last chance to repent your sins."

Dylan laughed, "I hate to be the one to brake it to you, but it's not like you're in any position to lecture me on repentance: at the lat count you're facing charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, smuggling, impersonating a registered diplomat, kidnapping, membership of an illegal organisation, and anything else that Tyr can find in the legal texts that'll fit."

Spencer shrugged, "Considering most of those so-called 'crimes' where committed against Nietzscheans and your 'wife', I would hardly consider my position as being all that grave."

Dylan shook his head, "You really don't see it do you? You can't comprehend that fact that what you did was wrong. Do you have any sense of right and wrong, any moral fibber what so ever? You claim that Rommie isn't human, yet she displays more human emotion then I have ever seen one of your so-called 'Knights of Genetic Purity'.  Nietzscheans I can understand. Than-Thre-Kull, Perseids, even Nightsiders, I can understand, but you people deify my ability to comprehend."

Spencer looked at him, "You where born during the time of the Commonwealth, you even lived on Tarn-Vedra. Doesn't it anger you to see what the Nietzscheans did with their little play for power? What the universe has become because they where engineered to be treacherous, devious, backstabbing? Haw can you stand there and call them your friends?"

Dylan shrugged, "You're right, it dose anger me to see what the universe has become after The Fall, but I don't blame every Nietzschean alive today for the actions of their ancestors 300-years ago. Commodore Hardcastle, I could under stand him: he's a man of honour and integrity, and if things had worked out differently, he could have been one hell of a High Guard officer."

Spencer snorted, "Hardcastle's a fool: he should have blown this ship to atoms rather tan try and talk you down. He's weak, unworthy of his position." She looked at Dylan, "And how can you claim that that 'thing' that shares your bed is more human than I am? It's a freak, the result of a scientific misadventure. She may have survived this time, but that was not the only EMP grenade we have."

Dylan smiled, "It's interesting you should bring that up: in order to repair the damage done to the organic parts of Rommie's body when the EMP grenade went off, we had to re-activate the maintenance nano-bots that have her the ability to reproduce in the first place. They repaired the damage, and a lot more." He could see he had Spencer's full attention, "They started altering the rest of her, but at a greatly increased rate." He laughed, "She's more human now than she was before. They tell me that an Electro-magnetic pulse wouldn't even faze her now."

Spencer's jaw dropped, but Dylan stood before she could say anything, "I here that Than prison's are very, how shall I put it, basic. Have fun." With that, he left.

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Dylan lay in bed, unable to sleep. Even the reassuringly warm feel of Rommie curled up at his side was not enough to relax him. Spencer's words had frightened him: the Genite's weren't only after him, they where after his family was well.

His eyes travelled over to the cot at the end of the bed: Paul was sleeping peacefully, something he'd only just mastered. In all, he was probably affected by everything lest of all: he was only just old enough to be able to tell people apart, and had not really noticed that his mother was gone.

Rommie shifted, "Dylan, you're keeping me awake, and not in the way I like." Dylan looked down at his wife, "I'm sorry, I just can't get what Spencer said out of my head: the Genite's are after us, after you. How are we meant to live with that sort of threat dangling over our heads all the time?" Rommie stretched her arm across his chest, "Dylan, we live on a warship, trying to keep the peace in a hostile universe. We could get ambushed by one of a number of enemies tomorrow and die. We can't predict the future. Well, Trance can, but she's not talking."

Dylan brushed a few stray strands of hair way from Rommie's face, "I know, I know. We accepted this life for ourselves when we took our oaths of service, but Paul didn't. He doesn't know that there are people out there who will gladly kill him just because he's our son. Where we right to bring him into this universe when there are so many uncontrollable factors."

Rommie rested her had on his shoulder, "Dylan, we could spend the next hundred years debating the pros and cons of raising a child in the post-Fall universe, but you're forgetting the one reason that really counts: hope. We have to hope that we can make the universe a safer place for him; otherwise what's the point of doing any of this? Go to sleep Dylan: we have the rest of our lives to work this out."

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Beka pressed the chime on Dylan's office door, and was surprised when the door opened automatically, "Dylan, you in here?" Her voice echoed around the empty room. She took a step in, and a flexi sitting on the table, her name written on the top. The tapped the corner to open the message:

Dear Beka,

Sorry to leave you in the lurch like this, but we need some time alone, just the three of us. We know that there will be a lot of work for you to handle, but we are going to be in space dock for two weeks repairing the damage done by the Genite's in anyway, so we decided to split town for a few days. We promise to return the Maru in the same condition we borrowed it in.

And don't bother asking Andromeda where we've gone: she's sworn to secrecy.

See you when we get back,

Dylan and Rommie.

PS: if you're still wondering why you're feeling a bit off in the mornings, I think you should go see Trance in Medical. She may have some news for you…

Love,

R

*********************************************************************

The Eureka Maru drifted silently through space, its engines on idle. If not for the beacon flashing out a continuous signal, it may have been mistaken for a derelict, but then, most people don't venture this far out into inter- stellar space.

The youngest of its three occupants stirred momentarily, before joining its parents in much needed sleep, blissfully unaware of what the future had in store for it.

Outside, the universe went on pretty much the same as it always had: one second at a time.

The End

Ok, that's the end of that.

I do feel a bit sad, but like the song says: every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end. As soon as I've finished Knife Edge, I'm going to start work on Friends and Family, the third of my Harper/Mary stories.

Watch this cyber-space…