FINAL PART! Woo hoo – Thanks for all the reviews and support!
Dylan saw Beka was alone on the observation deck, and slowly approached seeing her look up as he got closer.
"Mind if I join you?" Dylan asked cautiously.
"Sure," Beka gestured to her side, as she looked out to the stars.
There was silence for a moment before Dylan spoke again. "Harper should be back on his feet in a couple of weeks at least, Rev has done a sterling job, with the help of Trance to save him."
"He had us all worried for a time," Beka agreed. "But Harper always manages to pull through," she added with a forced smile.
"There was a time a broken neck would have left him paralysed," Dylan idly noted. "And the internal bleeding and injuries he suffered would have killed him first."
"Well I'm grateful I don't live in those times," Beka stated, and then sighed. "But just think if Harper had suffered the same injuries on Earth, his home."
"Then he would most likely be dead now," Dylan conceded.
"Should I be feeling extra special now that I saved him from that?" Beka turned to Dylan now, facing him with her question.
Dylan considered her words, noting the weight behind her question. "I think in some sense you should, you recognised his talent, and you gave him a chance."
"Or maybe he gave me one," Beka reasoned. "He would have got off of Earth eventually, even without the port he was still a quick learner, an asset on any ship."
"Beka, what is your point exactly?" Dylan now asked with confusion, but some interest to.
"Why did he stay?" Beka asked. "When I was blind to the facts in asking him to work with a Magog, why did he stay?"
"Maybe because he saw that to you it wasn't a big deal?" Dylan suggested. "You were probably the first person he had ever met that didn't want to kill a Magog, that treated a Magog as an equal without prejudice," Dylan reasoned. "Exactly how he most probably wanted to be treated, after the life he had lead under Dragan rule."
Beka considered his words, and then returned her attention to the stars. "I'd never considered that," she admitted.
"Beka, you are a truly amazing person, and I've known that from the start just by looking at your crew," Dylan continued. "All of which, in their own way, would probably have had to work a hell of a lot harder with any other captain to be accepted like you accepted them."
"What about you?" Beka countered.
"I trusted my first officer's judgement, correctly," Dylan smiled.
Beka smirked. "We should still keep an extra close eye on Rev, his words and admissions about Harper still concern me."
"Will you tell Harper?" Dylan asked, having heard Beka's earlier concerns about Revs confession regarding his willpower around Harper.
"No," Beka stated confidently. "There are some things in life Harper really doesn't need to know."
"Will Rev tell him?" Dylan asked.
"If he does, it's the way Harper should find out," Beka conceded. "But I don't think it will change anything," she added.
"You don't?" Dylan checked.
Beka could only shrug now, as she looked out across the stars. "I wouldn't be surprised if Harper's always known, and in some way has used that power over Rev to find the strength to work with him."
"That works," Dylan showed surprise in the conclusion. "So, you don't mind Harper just getting on with things now, with no big deal?" he ventured.
"I can't change Harper's ways, no more than I can change Rev's, but I can do what I always do, and that's keep them both in line to make sure they stay in line," Beka grinned. "Things will be back to normal in no time," Beka then decided, with brightness as she turned and headed towards the exit. "And we can get back to this nonsense mission about creating a new commonwealth or something?" she mocked before leaving, as Dylan could only smirk at her words.
The music was loud, and filled the entire room but the occupant barely seemed to notice, his eyes closed and lost in another world altogether. Around him he saw sea, sand and beautiful partially clothed women enjoying the sun and fresh air.
Not looking out of place, Andromeda appeared in Harper's line of vision and flickered, reminding him of his virtual escape as he focused on her.
"Harper, you have a visitor, in the real world," Andromeda revealed, the music now but a distant hum.
"Who?" Harper asked, holding a glass of constantly cold beer in one hand and a good comic book in the other.
"Rev," Andromeda revealed without saying anything more.
Harper looked out to the simulated ocean, inside Rommie's matrix, where he had built himself a temporary escape whilst he was forced to recuperate. The thought of staring at the four walls of his quarters hardly appealed when he had the expanse of Andromeda's matrix to play in, via his port. Finally Harper appeared to sigh, and he nodded his head.
"I could tell him you are resting," Andromeda offered.
"No, it cool," Harper was about to disconnect when he caught a strange look in Andromeda's eyes. "Everything ok, is there more?" he checked.
"There's no more," Rommie confirmed.
"You sure?" Harper pushed, not convinced and wondering if there was some system check she was hoping he'd do, or other maintenance. "I know officially I'm off duty for a while, but for you babe I'm willing to break the rules."
"No, Harper, you need to rest, and my systems are operating within their required parameters," Andromeda revealed. "I am," she now hesitated, before continuing. "Happy that you are recovering well."
Harper smiled now. "Rom doll, you didn't think I'd leave you did you?" he questioned. "Especially over a Magog," he added. "Babe, I keep telling you that I love you, I'm not leaving till you make my dreams come true," he suggested with a cheeky smile.
"You are definitely recovering, Mr Harper," Andromeda noted, wising up to her engineer quickly. "But I am glad that you are staying, even if I will be forced to listen to your continued overtures of affection for me."
"You make it sound so romantic," Harper complained with a smile.
"Rev is still waiting," Rommie reminded him.
"Ok, I'll be right there, and thanks, your appreciation is appreciated," Harper acknowledged fondly, before closing his virtual eyes, and all too soon he was pushed back into his own consciousness and back his quarters, lying down on his bunk surrounded by cushions and bed linen. "Rev, sorry for the delay, Rommie wouldn't let me leave before I kissed her goodnight," Harper teased as he disconnected the jack, on seeing the Magog stood at the door.
"I did no such thing," Andromeda returned from the view screen in Harper's quarters, and quickly blinked out of sight to a blank screen.
"Hey Rommie, kill the music before you go, and Rev come in," he gestured, as he slowly and tentatively sat up with some effort, and the music instantly stopped.
"Are you still in pain?" Rev asked, as he found himself a seat and seeming grateful for the peace now.
"Not really, just a little cramped up," Harper attempted a reassuring smile, as he stretched his arms and back.
"I am just," Rev hesitated in finding the correct words.
"Checking up on me," Harper finished for him knowingly. "I'm being good, you told me to rest, and I'm resting, see?" he gestured to his bed and his general relaxed state.
Rev nodded his head, satisfied by Harper's statement. "I did fear you might try to do too much, too soon."
Harper noticeably frowned. "Any other time, maybe," he shrugged. "But I broke my freaking neck, plus more," he simply said, showing some fear to that diagnosis. "So I'm sitting still for long periods of time on this hard surface, surrounded by a mountain of cushions, and other comforts, for as long as you say I have to, ok?"
"Physically you have fully recovered from all your injuries, your broken vertebrae are as strong as ever, and the internal damage has healed satisfactorily, you are once again able to support your frame," Rev pointed out. "There is no need for great concern," he added.
"Still," Harper frowned "Best not to take any chances," he offered, clearly shaken by the experience. "Rev, Trance told me that by you paralysing me when you did, that it might have saved my life, it prevented my body going into shock and with the broken bones and other damage inside, it could have been fatal," he quickly explained it how he understood it. "I just wanted to say thanks," he briefly smiled.
"My concern was high, and I feared your health was at risk," Rev bowed his head slightly. "Our captors shouldn't have moved you after falling from such a height, and I had to ease your suffering."
Harper was clearly troubled by something, as he appeared suddenly uncomfortable. "Rev," he finally spoke, knowing he already had the Magog's full attention. "You were going to though, you know, weren't you?" he said with uncertainty, and avoiding looking at Rev as he spoke.
Rev lets a low growl of regret sound before responding. "I can not lie to you, Harper."
Harper closed his eyes to the truth. "I knew it," he simply answered.
"Harper, I was weak," Rev began to try and explain, but Harper soon gestured to him to stop.
"No, it's ok," Harper was quick to respond. "I spoke with Beka earlier, she didn't say anything directly but she said enough for me to figure something out."
"She did?" Rev asked.
"That maybe I'm not exactly easy to work around either," Harper shrugged. "That maybe it's no coincidence that Magog are attracted to places like Earth, and go for us puny humans before they attack the ubers," he continued.
"Real Human's offer a certain variety, and appeal to my kind," Rev was forced to admit. "Genuine humans, the unmodified kind."
Harper forced a grin. "Now I'm all for modification," he mocked. "Is that why I didn't see a lot of you at first?" Harper then asked with more serious tones. "When I first arrived on the Maru?"
"In part, yes," Rev agreed.
"But also in part, you were trying to make me feel more comfortable?" Harper figured.
"Yes," Rev answered again.
Harper slowly got to his feet with some care, his usual pace and abrupt movements were absent as he walked slowly across his quarters to retrieve a can of Sparky. "Tyr clipped me around the ear this morning, when he caught me fixing a faulty monitor in the corridor," Harper smiled now, rapidly changing the subject. "Things are returning to normal, I guess."
"Tyr should know better than to hit you at this time, especially around the head so soon after what happened," Rev scolded, but then lightened on seeing the strange amusement on Harper's face. "And you told me you were resting, not working."
"It was on my way to the mess," Harper protested lightly. "Besides, Tyr stopped me working in his own sweet way, so don't worry," Harper shrugged. "And he didn't hit me hard, even he's going gentle on me," he added with amusement.
"The extent of your injuries caused great concern," Rev then revealed by way of conversation. "And they no longer fear that you have desires to leave."
"Good," Harper simply answered. "Do they still fear us though?" he asked, looking around as if feeling they were being monitored, that maybe the crew were keeping tabs on Rev being in such close proximity to him.
"They seem assured that we no longer wish each other harm," Rev answered.
Harper smiled. "Like I could ever hurt you," he smirked now.
"Do not think me so ignorant that I wouldn't know that you have killed my kind in the past," Rev spoke with caution. "That you are more than capable of such acts."
Harper smirked in an uneasy manner, clearly wanting to deny Rev's words, but unable to. "Difference is that now I don't have twenty odd kludges watching my back like the old days, I never killed alone, Rev, no one did if they wanted to live," he remembered, and lost himself to his thoughts for a moment.
"That gang on the drift were not like the ones you may have been a part of on Earth, they acted on word of mouth alone, not for survival," Rev spoke with care, sensing Harper's concern. "They were fools, and mindless bullies especially for what they did to you," he stressed.
"I know," Harper sighed. "But they treated you just the same as those gangs on Earth did, that I was once a part of."
"And should a Magog come screaming up to you tomorrow, with intent to kill, then Master Harper I would expect you to do everything in your power to save yourself from that fate," Rev now spoke, as he rose to his feet, with determination. "You may have a friend in me, Harper, but I am but one, I am not an entire race."
Harper slowly nodded his head. "Right, see a Magog, if he doesn't answer to Rev, run like hell, right?" he smirked.
"That would be a good start," Rev agreed with amusement. "And should I ever threaten you again, do not hesitate to act as you see fit," Rev declared.
"Ok," Harper said a little warily. "Well I'm just glad I'm free of Earth and those Magog raids," Harper then announced, but caught the look that Rev now gave him. "I'm never going back, Rev, those days are over, hopefully you'll be the only Magog I have to deal with now till my dying day."
"Harper, my kind are all over this universe, not just Earth," Rev reminded him.
"Yeah, but it's hardly as if the Andromeda will run into them, I know Dylan wants all kinds joining the Commonwealth but I don't see Magog high on that list," Harper mocked. "So far we've done everything we can to avoid them, and I'm going to make sure that stays the same," he said with conviction.
"No one can predict the future," Rev lightly warned. "But you have my promise that should anything happen, involving my kind, I will do everything in my power to ensure your safety."
Harper smirked at Rev's promise. "Rev, we're cool, don't think you have to make these grand gestures to me, because of what happened, you saved my life already, everything else is forgotten," he assured him, as he finished his Sparky.
"You saved mine too," Rev remembered.
"Then we're even," Harper declared. "But thanks, maybe it's not such a bad thing to have a Magog watching your back, so long as that is all your doing, and for reasons of protection," Harper quickly added, then grinned.
"For protection," Rev confirmed. "Although I can not promise that I may have idle glances for other reasons, when I may feel like a snack," he then added with a Magog smile.
"Rev!" Harper lightly snapped. "You make that sound so," he grimaced. "Wrong," he finally spoke with disgust, as he returned to his cot wearing a smile once again.
"I will leave you to rest now," Rev bowed, still smiling at Harper's discomfort having found their common ground once more, before he left the room. Harper carefully sat back down again with care, enjoying some more precious and rare time without any stress of work, and being able to finally appreciate all the luxuries of his new home, as he closed his eyes and jacked back into Rommie's matrix.