Disclaimer: See chapter 1.
Author's note: Alright, I know that this has been a long time in coming and I sincerely apologize for the long delay. I will try to do better next time. I have not yet abanoned this story, although there will be a major rehab done as far as the plot in concerned. I have decided to make this a story with a very slight crossover with the Stargate universe. No action will be set there. It will be generally be referenced only, with possible cameos by some of our favourite aliens. Thank to everyone who stuck with this story, and thank you to everyone who reviewed the previous chapter. It really makes my day.
Harper's statement shocked everyone, especially Beka, who was feeling slightly betrayed. She knew it was silly, but she truly felt like Harper was her brother and most of the time, she forgot about his past on Earth. Besides, the girl was only 16 or 17. She couldn't possibly be Harper's twin sister. Glancing at Dylan, she had to suppress a giggle; had his mouth open in a most un-high-guard-like way.
Harper was the first one to move.
"Zu?" he whispered, and took her hand, giving everyone else the minute they needed to compose themselves.
Finally, Trance spoke up, "What's her name, Harper?"
For a moment Harper said nothing, then, "Alexandria Zulika Harper. Zu for short, 'cause Mom always said that she was so wild she belonged in a zoo." Silence followed.
Beka studied Harper, noting his tired look. Before she could say anything, Dylan jumped in, "Well, Mr. Harperyou wouldn't mind answering a few questions, would you?"
"As long as I can stay here, I don't care," Harper was unnaturally still and quiet. It was, to say the least, unnerving. Beka was used to seeing him constantly moving.
"Of course," Beka agreed for all of them. She looked around for a place to sit, but really didn't know what to do with herself. This was a situation she never thought she'd encounter.
"I can get a room ready for her, Harper," Rommie offered, when no one else made a move to speak. Harper's eyes never left his sister's face,
"If you would get her rooms next to mine, that'd be perfect, Rom-doll." Harper smiled weakly. Beka though that was probably his attempt to act normal, but it fell so terribly short that she knew in that moment how deeply shaken Harper was.
Everyone was waiting for Harper to begin, but as the seconds ticked by, it was clear he wouldn't start without incentive.
"Harper. . . I . . ." Dylan was cut off.
"Want me to tell my sad little story." Harper sounded bitter, so Dylan wisely kept his mouth shut. Taking a deep breath, Harper slowly began,
"We were around fifteen, maybe. . . that's getting up there, Earth standards. Some of our group was already married, had some kids." Beka was shocked, really shocked. She'd never heard him talk like this before. Ever. Fifteen and married with kids? What the hell was wrong with this universe? "We always looked out for each other; when our grandparents died, when our cousins and our aunts and uncles died, when... well you get the idea. She was the only family I had left, 'cept for my parents. And Brendan." Here he stopped and Beka sneaked a look at Dylan, who had the grace to look guilty.
"It was late, dark like. We never went out after dark, but Mum was sick. Real sick. Zu... she went to get help. She went looking for Brendan, and the local "doctor." She never came back. Brendan came, said she'd stopped at his place, before going to get the doc.
"Anyway, she left. She left, and she never came back.
"I never found out what happened. When people disappear on Earth, they are either dead, or on another god-forsaken planet or drift, working as a slave. Or worse.To tell you the truth, I almost hoped she'd been killed."
Beka felt sad. Sad and old. The universe really did seem to hate Earth, and hate Harper even more. This told more about Harper's life on Earth than anything he'd ever said before.
Timidly, Trance spoke, "Um, Harper, she's kinda waking up." Beka noticed Harper looking at his sister with a look he normally reserved for one of his many beloved projects. The one that says, "I'm not going to be good for anything else for days.
It had only been a few seconds when she started to move, groggily, before opened up her eyes. The she bolted of the bed, almost collapsing when she tried to stand. Harper caught and helped to steady her, joy evident in his eyes.
"Where's Lotash, and old Snakehead?" When no one spoke, she sighed. "The guys who were with me?" She doesn't know Harper's here, Beka realised. Looking across the room at Dylan and Trance, Harper's sister failed to notice who was holding her up.
"They're dead, aren't they?" At Trance's affirmative, she cursed, sadly.
Harper was at a loss for words. He didn't know what to say, and neither did any of the other crew members. The awkward silence was broken when Alex asked, "What about Seamus Harper? Where is he?" Turning slightly, she saw who was holding her up.
"Seamus!" was all she managed to get out before the two of them were overcome with tears. Hugging each other fiercely, they were content to do nothing but savour their reunion.
Hastily Beka slipped out, followed by the others. Once outside, she made Rommie promise to monitor them constantly. They'd had too many unpleasant surprises to afford being careless.