Title: Black Plague
Author: AKA Jipster
Archive: Only The Command Deck
Disclaimer: Don't own Andromeda, I admit it, but if it ever comes up on Ebay I might give it a go.
Rating: PG-13
Setting/Season: Season One (After D Minus Zero, before Harper 2.0)
Spoilers: Anything Early Season 1
Warnings: Violence, Bad Smells
Comments/Feedback: Welcomed!
Summary: Rev Bem is acting strangely, and Harper chooses the wrong time to disturb him, an act that will test the strength of the newly formed Andromeda crew.

Black Plague

By AKA Jipster

Part 1

Beka Valentine seemed troubled as she stood on command, enough that it became distracting to Dylan Hunt, as he glanced over to her once again from his console.

"Is everything ok, Beka?"

Beka showed surprise to his question, and cleared her throat before speaking. "It's nothing," she gestured.

"Beka, I know that I am still getting to know you and your crew," Dylan purposely began. "But I think I still have fairly good judgement, enough that is to know that something is bothering you," he noted calmly.

She didn't respond immediately, and Dylan saw Beka hesitate. She still didn't totally trust him he figured. She had an almost arrogant air about her sometimes, one that implied that he was inferior or lacking any kind of sense simply because he had not physically lived for the past 300 years.

Dylan felt that regardless of that, he still knew something about human nature, even if he was looked upon sometimes as a relic, he'd lived enough even if in the past to have observed his fellow humans.

Beka was frowning now, seeming to concede to his observations. "It's Rev Bem," she finally spoke with some caution. "I think something is wrong with him, he's been in a constant meditation now for nearly twelve straight hours, ever since we returned from that drift with the supplies, and he was acting kind of strange on the Maru during the journey back."

Dylan saw her concern but he knew very little of Magog, they hadn't exactly served with the Commonwealth before the fall, in fact Rev was the first Magog he'd ever seen, let alone befriended. What he did know however was that Beka cared deeply for the Wayist Monk, and so far he had seen nothing to concern him about having a Magog serving on his make shift crew, but her words now alarmed him.

"How was he acting strange?" Dylan asked.

"Irritable," Beka answered, looking at Dylan clearly wanting to say more. "Rev is usually very patient, but he insisted we left him to his meditation, and he just seemed distracted, lacking his usual control," she sighed, as Dylan considered her response.

"Would Trance be able to help?" Dylan suggested. "Maybe he's ill?"

"Rev ill?" Beka checked quickly, and it was clear it hadn't even crossed her mind. "Do Magog get ill?" she then questioned unsure. "Well it couldn't hurt to have her check him out, I'll go find her," she then figured, and with a brief smile she left command in search of Trance, so they could then figure out what was wrong with Rev.

Rev Bem sat in darkness, with his head bowed having sought out the quietest place he could on the Andromeda. Distractions were testing him; in fact everything seemed to be testing his patience, and he felt disorientated. The lower decks at least offered him some sanctuary and peace, as he rocked gently in a never ending meditation, quietly chanting in a bid to remain focused, but he knew deep down that he was struggling, and there was no answer that he could find for it.

It appeared to him that his demons were trying to strike him down, and Rev had felt the first pangs of doubt back on the drift when his vision had blurred and his balance impeded. He knew he was being tested, Rev simply knew it now, and his time had come for his faith to test him, so he stepped up his efforts in a bid to please the Divine, as he chanted with more determination.

The demons were not going to drag him back to his old ways, his hunger was not his need, and he could beat these feelings he was having, the weakness that was trying to test him. Rev was then aware that he was not alone, his senses were heightened momentarily and his usually controlled instincts were overwhelmed by old urges, redundant urges that suddenly felt very real and needed. His mind became a flurry of pain and hurt, of the need to destroy and he closed his eyes to overcome the intensity of the feelings his senses had evoked.

The briefest of touches on his shoulder sent the Magog into a chilling instinctive action, the scent of his visitor and his growing need collided inside of him, and Rev turned sharply with his teeth showing, a low threatening growl sounded from Rev's throat, and before he realised what he was doing he unleashed the paralysing spray over the owner of the hand that had hesitantly been on his shoulder only moments earlier.

The inhumane cry of shock and horror snapped Rev out of his trance like state, and he focused immediately on his prey, and quickly backed away with fear at his own actions.

"Oh no," Rev spoke with distress. "No, no, this can't be," he repeated over and over, and he held his medallion in his clawed hand. Gripping the bulkhead to prevent further actions that he could not control, he closed his eyes to the truth and prayed for forgiveness and the way.

"Do you know what's wrong with him?" Trance asked Beka with a bounce in her step, as they walked along the quiet unused corridors of the lower decks.

"Trance, he's meditating on the lower decks," Beka stressed as an answer. "Why would he come down here, no one goes down here," Beka then said with disgust.

"Harper does," Trance offered brightly, her purple skin seemed oddly out of place with the darkened corridors.

"He does, why?" Beka asked.

"He's found a lot of supplies down here, where do you think he got all that Sparky cola?" Trance smiled knowingly, but Beka just frowned and shook her head.

"Are we close to Rev's position yet?" Beka asked now with agitation, the darkened corridors were not helping her mood.

"I think so," Trance answered brightly, looking at the pocket scanner.

"You think so?" Beka checked.

"I think there's someone else down here, I'm not sure which one is Rev," Trance answered with confusion.

They both then heard a noise, it sounded like gasping and something else they couldn't quite determine. They quickened their pace, and saw someone semi standing, semi crawling along the corridor ahead, almost definitely struggling to move.

"Harper!" Beka called out on recognising the fallen man, and she hurried forward, catching the young human in her arms, before he collapsed completely. "Harper, what happened?"

"Rev," Harper gasped, and his mouth was agape as his arms flailed about desperately, as if he was struggling to breathe.

Trance looked on as Harper's head rolled, and then he seemed to go limp, remaining conscious, but unmoving. "He's been paralysed," Trance then figured, and she pointed to his face, the clear liquid that was still visible on his pale skin. "Rev did this."

"What?" Beka said with shock, and although Harper's eyes remained watching her, he was unable to move in her hold.

"Beka, something's wrong," Trance then noted.

"Harper's paralysed, yes, I think something is very wrong!" Beka stressed loudly with panic, glancing around with fear, knowing that if Rev had attacked Harper of all people, he could come back for more.

"No, Magog paralysing spray is only supposed to incapacitate the victim, not kill them, it's simply designed to keep the victim immobile, but alive for infestation," Trance stressed, her hand now placed on Harper's white t-shirt, against his chest. "Harper's lungs are failing, I think his heart too; the spray is paralysing all of his internal organs."

Harper groaned in Beka's hold, reminding them he was still conscious. "Maybe we shouldn't discuss this in front of him?" Beka panicked, her mind still confused by what had happened. "We need to get him to med deck, and quick," Beka gathered Harper up with Trance's help and they moved with urgency.

End of Part 1