Disclaimer: I do not own Sailor Moon or Andromeda. Also, this will be the last time I put in this disclaimer for this story.

Sharem: I still don't know who Ami will be paired up with…but it should be with someone who can protect her as best he can. I'm still leaning towards Rhade, mind you… This chapter is set after the episode "So Burn the Untamed Lands."

Avatar of Mercury

Chapter 2

Ami sighed softly as she walked down the dusty street, her mind on things other than her current whereabouts. It has been a month since she met the crew of the Andromeda Ascendant and she felt that they were the ones that Flavin was talking about when she first came to Seefra. Harper, she felt was a young man who needed a good friend to talk to and Doyle was someone she would love to call a friend. They appeared to hit it off, but something about the blonde woman troubled the former senshi a little. Beka Valentine was funny but driven by the need for control of her life and money and Trance Gemini was still a mystery. Dylan Hunt and Telemachus Rhade were another matter. Both men were different as night and day but they gave the impression that they did not trust her. The petite woman sighed once more as she realized where she was and entered Seamus' bar.

She saw the group toasting to something unforeseen and inwardly shrugged to herself. Ami realized that it may be a long time before any or all of them trust her completely. She quietly made her way to a concealed booth and sat down, removing her hood and cloak to make herself a little more comfortable.

"You are lonely," a gentle female voice whispered quietly to the woman. Ami glanced up and smiled as she noticed Trance sitting in the booth with her.

"In more ways that you can't imagine," Ami replied just as softly as she observed the camaraderie between the Andromeda crew.

Trance tilted her head to one side and smiled her enigmatic smile. "They will trust you, Ami. Just give them time."

The blue haired woman nodded slightly. "I suppose so, Trance. Nevertheless, this is making my task a little harder. He did not say it would take long and then again, the old man seemed to like speaking in circles."

The Avatar giggled lightly, knowing of whom Ami was talking about. She felt that she could be a friend with this young-looking woman. In fact, she felt that Ami needed a friend.

"Whom are you referring to, Ami?" Dylan asked. He was walking out the door when he heard the statement made by the blue haired woman.

Ami glanced up sharply to see the captain sitting down in the booth next to her. Her body tensed up momentarily before relaxing. "Just someone I knew when I first arrived here on Seefra," she answered concisely. She knew that he was not ready to truly listen about her 'relationship' with the enigmatic Flavin.

Dylan knew that the woman was hiding something but wisely decided to keep that to himself. "So Ami, what are your plans for the day?" he asked, changing the subject swiftly. "Harper says that you have a knack for computers and all things mechanical. If you have some spare time, I could possibly use your help aboard my ship."

"Well, I just helped that elderly couple who lives at the edge of town and gave Seamus the water and ice for the day. I also have nothing else planned…so, I suppose I can help you out." Listening to the stories from her sometimes overly attentive bartender, Ami really wanted to take a peek at the technology of the Andromeda Ascendant. She wanted to compare it to what she had seen and created when she was in Crystal Tokyo.

The tall Paradine smiled charmingly at the petite woman and he chuckled inwardly when he noticed the light blush on her face. She is quite the interesting woman, he thought to himself as he stood up and waiting for Ami to follow. He glanced at the Avatar, Trance, and saw that she had her enigmatic smile showing. Of course, he did have an ulterior motive in taking this strange woman up to his ship. Andromeda could do a scan on the young woman and see what she really was.

Ami gracefully stood up from the booth so she could follow Dylan out of the bar. She turned around to wave at Trance and suddenly she ran into what felt like a brick wall. She would have fallen to the floor if someone did not grab her arm and hauled her roughly back to her feet. The Mercurian looked up and locked gazes with the darkly handsome Nietzschian as he released her immediately.

"One would think that you were clumsy," Rhade uttered sarcastically, his dark eyes scanning over the petite woman's form and then glanced over at Dylan. "Dylan, where are you going with this woman?"

The Captain sighed and pointedly looked at the Nietzschian. "I'm taking Ami up to the Andromeda, Rhade. Harper says that she has a knack for computers and she might be able to get the ship running."

"Hardly," the dark-haired man remarked, giving the former Senshi a disdainful gaze. "This woman is too small to do anything useful other than provide Harper with water and ice…and maybe help some of the pathetic losers who live on this planet."

Ami felt anger well up deep inside her but knew better than to try and take it out on this rude man physically, so that left her with her strongest asset to use; her mind. "Are you living on this planet?" she asked innocently even though her expression was not one of innocence.

"Of course I do. Where else is there to live?" the Nietzschian retorted sharply, his eyes narrowing slightly.

Ami smiled sweetly and then walking to the exit. "Then that means that you are also a, how did you put it, pathetic loser." At that, she left the bar with Dylan close behind, chuckling softly.

"WHAT?" Rhade roared as he realized that his own words were used to insult his person. "That…that wench!"

Trance giggled softly as she left the booth in order to stand in front of her crewmate. She looked up into his eyes and smiled. "Don't push her, Rhade, or she will only humiliate you again with words. I have this feeling that you, out of all of us, will get her to truly trust us."

"Trance, that's just a bunch of crap. I say that she has to get our trust before I can trust her. How can you just trust her right off the bat, Trance? I do NOT like her and I don't think that Dylan is doing the right thing in taking her to Andromeda."

"Telemachus Rhade, Dylan is many things but he is not a fool," the Avatar gently admonished. "He does not fully trust the 'Friend of Water' but he does like her. He just wants to make sure that she is a friend. As for me trusting her, we Avatars always know of such things." At that, Trance turned around and walked over to the android Doyle and began a conversation with her.

Rhade stared at the Avatar for a moment before scowling at everything that came into his sight. "What the heck does she mean by 'Friend of Water'?" he muttered darkly as he made his way to the bar.

"This ship is amazing!" Ami exclaimed as she and Dylan walked through one of the many corridors of the Andromeda Ascendant. "And it's quite different from where I…what I am accustomed to." She mentally slapped herself as she caught herself from revealing a part of her past.

Dylan glanced down at the petite woman walking beside him. He had noticed that Ami caught herself from saying something and filed that piece of information away for later. 'So she is hiding something,' he thought to himself as he halted in front of the door that led to the bridge of the ship. The door slid open and the two walked onto the bridge.

"This is the bridge and the main operations of the Andromeda Ascendant," the tall captain stated proudly. "She is quite the ship and very amazing if I do say so myself."

Ami slowly walked around the area, her sapphire eyes taking in everything in sight. "I think she's beautiful inside AND out," she responded, awe lacing the tone of her voice. "She is so sleek outside…it's hard to believe that something so beautiful is a warship."

Just then, a holographic image of a lovely woman with shoulder-length black hair and dark eyes flickered into existence. "Why thank you," the woman replied. "I do try to keep myself in excellent condition, despite the fact that I am not at full power at the moment."

The former senshi was startled for a moment. She did not expect the ship to talk back to her, let alone accept the given compliment. "Sugoi," she remarked quietly, not realizing the word she had used. "I didn't expect you to answer me. You are an AI, are you not?"

The holographic woman tilted her head to one side for a moment. "I am a highly sophisticated Artificial Intelligence created by the top Vedran scientists," she replied proudly. "Captain, Telemachus Rhade is on an approach vector and will be docking in approximately ten minutes."

Dylan sighed and scowled slightly. "Thanks, Andromeda. I wondered how long it would take for Rhade to get here." He then turned around to look at Ami. "Sorry, Ami, but I'm going to have to cut your tour short. If you want, stay here and feel free to ask Andromeda all the questions you want."

Ami nodded as she watched the captain leave the bridge and then closed her eyes for a moment. 'Why is Rhade coming here?' she thought for a moment, allowing herself the luxury of feeling a little irritated. It was an emotion that she was feeling more and more ever since she met the crew of the Andromeda. The Nietzschian irritated her the most for some unknown explanation. In her mind, she likened the man's attitude towards strangers as similar to her friend, Rei.

"You are upset," Andromeda remarked, startling Ami out of her thoughts. "And before you ask how I knew, your body temperature rose a couple of degrees and a redness on your cheeks and tips of your ears appeared as soon as I mentioned Rhade."

The Mercurian blinked rapidly for a moment and chuckled softly. "Well, I'm more annoyed than anything when it concerns that man," she answered, a slight smile gracing her features. "He…does not trust very easily. I can understand that, but to the point of being rude and obnoxious? I'm sure that isn't normal."

The hologram of Andromeda studied the petite woman for a moment before replying. "You do not know what he is then. He is a Nietzschian, a race of people that were genetically engineered to be stronger than the average human. His attitudes and mistrust are part of what he is."

"That still doesn't make it right," Ami muttered under her breath. Suddenly, a sharp pain filled her chest; it was unlike she had ever felt before. She clutched the front of her tunic as she staggered forward and leaned against the ship's console. All she knew was something bad had happened and it wasn't good news. The young-looking woman knew that she had to get back down to Seefra-1 right away.

It was in this position that Dylan and Rhade found her a few seconds later. The captain immediately went over to Ami and pulled her within his arms to keep from collapsing. "What's wrong?" he asked. He did not get an answer as the woman became lifeless in his arms. "Andromeda? What happened to Ami?"

"I do not know, Captain," the ship replied. "I was telling her that her body temperature rose and her cheeks became red when Rhade was mentioned. She then muttered something and suddenly gripped her chest as if she was in great pain."

Rhade snorted and rolled his eyes. "She's just a weak…"

Andromeda cut the Nietzschian off by saying, "From my readings, this woman is not as weak as she appears."

"Andromeda, I want to know what these readings are later. Right now, Ami needs help," Dylan remarked curtly as he carried Ami in his arms. "I'm taking her to the medical bay."

"No," the blue haired woman protested in a weak voice. "I need to go back to the planet. Don't ask me why…just know that I am needed back on Seefra."

"That sounds like how Trance would talk," the captain commented quietly before turning his full attention to the woman in his arms. "Ami, you are in no condition to go anywhere."

"But there is something in pain on the planet!" Ami exclaimed as she struggled from Dylan's arms. He gently put her back on her feet but kept a hand on her shoulders. "I'm a DOCTOR, Captain Hunt, and I will help anyone and anything that is in need of my abilities."

At that moment, Trance appeared on the bridge with a sad look on her face. "Dylan, Ami needs to come with me," she remarked sadly. "Someone needs her immediately or things dire will be the outcome."

"Then bring us with you," the Nietzschian stated in a tone that brooked no argument. "I do not want to leave this woman alone with you or anyone."

The Avatar glanced at Rhade and shook her head. "No, you and Dylan are not allowed to attend. Ami will explain everything when she is ready." Trance, with a gentle smile on her face, held out a hand to the former senshi. "Ami? Please come with me. It will be faster this way." Ami nodded as she took the Avatar's hand. In a flash of light, the two women were gone.

Dylan sighed for a moment before turning to face the dark haired male. "I hope we get a good explanation after this," he said meaningfully.

Rhade nodded. "I really want to hear that woman's story as well, Dylan."

It was at that point that the holographic image of Andromeda reappeared in front of the two men. "Captain, I have the analysis from the scans I did on Ami." The captain of the Andromeda Ascendant and the lone Nietzschian listened intently as the ship told them what she had discovered.

A few miles outside of the town that Ami lived in, Trance and Ami appeared in a bright flash of light. The former senshi coughed as dust from the area flew around the two. She looked around the lifeless area and then glanced at the taller woman. "It…doesn't feel quite right here," Ami noted with a bit of trepidation in her voice. "And yet, I sense something very familiar."

Trance nodded as she gazed the area herself. "I agree with you…it does not feel right and I too sense something familiar." She started walking forward and pointed to what looked like a mound of rocks off to the distance. "There. We need to go there."

The Mercurian sighed softly. "Okay, Trance…I wonder why you couldn't get us any closer."

"I wish I knew that as well, my friend."

At that, both women started walking to the rocks, which soon was made clear to be a large mass of boulders, as they got closer. They shared looks with one another as a strange sound began whistling quietly. When they approached a part of the rocky mass, the sound began to get a little louder and started to sound like someone crying. Ami's feet stopped suddenly.

"It can't be," she whispered to herself, not realizing that Trance had heard her. The blue haired woman then ran towards the sound. As she rounded one of the large boulders, she gasped. Before her was a familiar face and figure, a friend that she never thought that she would ever see again, lying on the sandy ground in a pool of blood.

"Mamoru!" Ami cried out as she ran towards the man. She knelt beside him and cradled his bloody head in her lap. "What…what happened? No, don't say anything…I'll get you to the town and help you."

Mamoru opened his eyes when he heard the sound of the Mercurian's voice. His mouth curved slightly as he gazed upon his long lost friend. "Mercury…I thought you were gone for good…" He coughed as he tried to speak a little more. "We all…did. The only…person who…knew where you…went…would not tell us. Pluto…has always…been like that…"

Ami gazed up at Trance, tears in her blue eyes shining. "Trance, Mamoru needs medical attention. I don't…I don't have the equipment needed to save him here…I need to get to my rooms in the town."

The golden skinned Avatar nodded. "I'll take you both to someplace better, Friend of Water. However…this man…"

"Don't say it!" Ami hissed between her teeth. "He is MY FRIEND! I have to save him!" The without any type of warning, they all found themselves back on the bridge of the Andromeda. Dylan and Rhade had surprised looks on their faces when the three appeared suddenly. That was when they saw the man lying on the floor.

"What happened here?" the Captain asked brusquely when he knelt down by the wounded man.

"Mamoru needs medical attention, Dylan," Ami murmured when the taller man stared pointedly at her. "Please, I need to help him."

Captain Hunt nodded while he picked up the King of Crystal Tokyo. He was surprised to see someone so badly wounded still be conscious. Normal people would have passed out by now. Ami followed them through the ship's corridors and went inside the medical bay. She may not have been inside there before, but she was able to recognize the use of most of the equipment. She then gave Trance a pleading look signifying that she needed some assistance.

The Avatar nodded and went over to the Dylan. "Dylan, please place him over there," she stated as she pointed to a medical bed. "And please, take Rhade with you when you leave. His presence will be distracting to Ami…she will be operating on her friend." At that, Trance shooed the two men out of the medical bay.

"Whoever that man is, he better be important enough for us being thrown out of there," Rhade remarked testily as he glared at the closed door. "They brought a stranger to Andromeda and I don't like it."

"I don't like it either, Rhade, but we have to trust Trance. She's never wrong about these things." The Captain stared at the door and sighed before looking at his Nietzschian companion. "Come on…let's get something to eat. I know that there is still some food left on Andromeda."

Sharem: Sorry it took so long to update this story, but a few things happened. Hopefully, updates will come by more often. .:sweatdrops:.