Chapter 14: Shattered Glass
This chapter is rated R/NC-17, you have been warned.
"Illusions are certainly expensive amusements, but the destruction of illusions is even more expensive."-Friedrich Nietzsche
Panting hard she ignored the sharpness burning in her lungs, ignored the pain in her tired legs. She had to get back to the Maru before Telemachus did something completely and utterly stupid.
God-damned Nietzscheans. They were twice as fast as a human on a normal day, but today? Damn it straight to the seven hells Telemachus was fast. She'd seen him move before but this? This was insanity. Twice as fast on a normal day, but on a day where he was pissed?
Scratch that. He wasn't pissed. He wasn't even mad.
He was enraged. And it was an emotion to such an extreme that she had never seen from him before. She's seem him pissed with Tyr, she's seen his cold anger with Gerentex, she thought she'd seen the spectrum, but this? The tension that had crept up his spine as he stood in front of his mother's –his real mother's- monument, the tightness of his clenched fists.
The scream of rage that had erupted from him.
The look of pure fury as he'd turned around.
Her feet pounded hard on the pavement, leaping over chunks of missing road and fallen debris. Beka could barely fathom what had happened. Something she never could have expected or anticipated.
Telemachus was not a Dragan.
The blood of the Drago-Kazov did not flow through his veins.
It didn't flow through Emily's.
The breeding for aggression, attitude, and a multitude of other highly unpleasant things were just not in Telemachus.
His entire relationship with her finally made sense.
His acceptance of Emily.
His tolerance for Harper and Rev.
His reluctant cooperation with Tyr.
His deference to Dylan and herself as Captains of their respective ships.
Some parts of his attitude were definitely the upbringing, but at his core, what made him the Nietzschean he was, and why it confused him so much. That was his nature. That was the result of three hundred years of selective Majorum Pride breeding.
He was Majorum.
He was born on this destroyed, devastated planet.
Beka skidded to a halt and held onto a crumbling wall as the Maru came into view. Gasping harshly she took in much needed air. She was maybe only a few minutes behind him and could only guess what he was about to do. He was angry, he wasn't thinking straight as everything he knew fell apart around him. It was making him reckless.
Her head and heart pounded as she heard the grinding of the Maru's cargo release mechanisms.
"Damn it, Telemachus."
She started running again and could only watch as a Nietzschean slipfighter took off from the Maru and into the sky.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Ignoring the pain, Beka found herself on her ship racing through the corridor to the flight deck. Dropping into her chair breathlessly she opened a channel.
"Telema…chu…Tel! Where are you…going?" she huffed wincing at a cramp in her side.
Taking a deep breath. "Telemachus!"
Why was his name so damn long?
"I swear I will…huff…kill you when you…get…back…" If he comes back. Would he come back? Was he…gods dammit was he abandoning her? Where the hell…what the hell was she going to tell-
"Beka." The comm. line came to life. Throwing her head back against the chair she ignored the headache. Son of a bitch actually answered.
"Where are you going?"
"Enga's Redoubt." His voice was short, clipped.
"Telemachus. Please, just wait," she tried. "Calm down first."
She heard him laugh. Humourless. Bitter.
"I have to go."
"I'll be back. I promise."
"And where the hell am I supposed to find you?"
She wasn't going to stick around Tarazed, and the Andromeda was still orbiting Oedekirk. Beka winced as guilt started gnawing at her. She'd left Trance, Harper, and Rev there. In the middle of a negotiation crisis with the Drago-Kazov. If the Dragans hadn't blown them straight to hell she was going to have some major apologizing to do. But hey, she supposed this squared her with Dylan. If he let this go, she might forgive him for blindly listening to Rafe.
Hell, could she even really go back to the Andromeda now? Telemachus was the only thing that kept the Dragans from firing on them, the only thing that let them get planet-side on Oedekirk, to even have them remotely willing to listen to Dylan. Telemachus may not have been born into the Pride, but despite how he got there and the circumstances of his "adoption", he still had some friends in high places. The Nez Pierce family was one of the most respected families in the Pride. Telemachus's brother was Fleet Marshall for Divine's sake.
And just what the hell was Telemachus planning to do on Enga's Redoubt?
Could she risk her father and Emily…
Beka's heart leapt into her chest.
Her dad was still up there in orbit.
She pounded the controls in anger, the bastard had disconnected before hitting the atmosphere.
Dammit, dammit, dammit. Dad's waiting up there.
A Nietzschean fighter with Drago-Kazov markings and signature was heading his way.
Her father would shoot it down.
It was the fastest she'd ever opened a comm. channel in her life.
Tapping his finger against the flexi screen a square popped up to block Emily's circle. Beka and the Nietzschean had been on the surface for a while and there was only so many times he could watch a blank screen. There was also only so much time Emily could watch him watch a blank screen. The Piper Maru had a well built system that would detect any ships in the area, any slipstream events. He'd wanted it as defensively and offensively capable as possible when he built it. The weapons system he upgraded before leaving Infinity for the Andromeda. The universe was a dangerous place, he knew that better than anyone. Space, planets, nowhere was completely safe. It paid to be prepared.
Emily placed a circle near the top of the flexi's board.
"Got you grandpa."
Ignatius snorted as he pondered his next move. A glance at the board told him that she was right. Even if he blocked one of her attempts, she had two other circles in a row and her next move would put three in either space. It both amazed and concerned him that she could win any strategy game nine out of ten times. He loved her to pieces but the things about her that were so Nietzschean…it kicked him in the gut. It really did.
As he finally made his decision, he was cut off when the Piper's klaxons began to blare a proximity alert. His stomach sank as he pushed himself from his chair and all but ran to the flight deck, Emily's footsteps echoed through the corridor behind him. There was no way it was the Eureka Maru, he'd built in a different alarm for it entirely. What worried him was that Nez Pierce said they might run into trouble.
Sliding into the control chair he slid it forward and engaged it. Emily sat at the console behind him ready to do what was necessary. Far too mature for her age…
"What is it?" she asked.
Tapping the control the view screen lit up a projection. A small object was coming up fast from the surface, almost straight their way. Tapping a few more controls, he tried to narrow it down with the long range sensors. Making an adjustment he finally had it.
It was a slipfighter so what was –
The rest of the information came up. It was Nietzschean design. But that's not what had Ignatius reaching for weapons control.
There were markings.
He though he heard the comm. beeping but steadily ignored it. In the background he heard clicking.
"DAD? Dad! Are you there? Emily, where's your grandfather?"
"He's here, he can hear you."
"Beka? Beka, now's not the time."
"Let it go! The slipfighter! Let. It. Go. Do not fire. I repeat DO NOT FIRE!"
Ignatius stared at the speakers his daughter's voice was coming from incredulously. His hand gripped the firing control.
"It's a Dragan! WHY THE HELL NOT?"
"Grandpa, no!" His hand was ripped away from the control as Emily deposited herself in his lap, keeping his hands from any of the Piper's controls. Had this whole family gone insane?
"Dammit dad, it's Telemachus! It's Telemachus. Please don't fire."
"Where's he going?" demanded Emily. "Mom, where's he going?"
Ignatius heard noise. It was all her heard. Muffled, mumbled, distant. He realized it must be his daughter and granddaughter, but he had no idea what they were saying to each other. He just sat there. Staring at the speaker. Staring at the view screen. Watched as the slipfighter disappeared into slipstream.
Where did…where did the slipfighter come from? Could…it could have just been on the planet couldn't it? It…wasn't like- Nez Pierce wasn't a Dragan. He… There… Where did…
"Beka… What the hell is going on here?"
The planet he assumed he was born on.
The planet that was nothing to him anymore.
A planet of lies, of deceit.
Did they all know?
His mind had been working ever since he left Tarazed. Organizing and slotting every memory, reshaping, clarifying, analyzing. He saw things from so many different points of view now. Different angles, different meanings, different everything. It was an understanding about an entire life spent living on the outside, always a part of but never quite belonging, never quite fitting in.
Stalking through the corridors he ignored everything and everyone around him. Greetings were met with hostile silence and eventually the others just started staying out of his way. If his body language didn't give away his simmering anger, his facial expression would have.
The pure fury that had burned through him on his birth planet had long since turned a wrathful cold. But his body felt like it was still being pulled into both extremes. One minute he was simmering and the next a stray thought would start his blood boiling.
He couldn't believe her. Couldn't believe them. The Matriarch, his "father", the co-wives, they all had to have known what he was. A lost child stolen from another Pride. How dare this be kept from him! His heritage was his right as a Nietzschean! And they completely rewrote it. Rewrote his ancestors, his history, his kin, his genealogy, his lineage! Everything!
Reaching the end of the hall he considered blasting the control mechanisms to open it, but in the end slammed his fist through it. He barely felt the pain as sharp, broken fragments dug through his skin. It was nothing to the emotional upheaval that crashed into him on Tarazed. The doors slid open and he stalked inside. Kallianax barely had time to look up from her flexi before he rounded on her.
"Was it you?"
"Was what me?"
"Who killed my mother!" he snarled.
He watched her jaw clench and her eyes narrow. She dropped the flexi to the floor forgotten and stood to face him.
"I am your mother." She stated coldly, blades twitching in irritation.
Telemachus would have none of it.
"Octavia Rhade of Majorum Pride was my mother. You murdered her when the Drago-Kazov invaded and destroyed Tarazed. I've seen what's left."
"What about all your speeches about family? About loyalty?" He demanded. "I had that! I would have had all of that and you took it from me! My family, my history, my pride, my blood. Emily is the only true bloodline I have! Genealogy is the most important thing there is to a Nietzschean and mine? ALL A LIE!"
"I gave you a LIFE!" Kallianax yelled angrily. "I gave you everything. Prestige, stature, standing, opportunity! I gave you the galaxy! What was there for you on that wasted mudball planet? Death? Slavery? An empty, mundane existence where you would be completely incapable of achieving class, rank, or promotion, that was what waited for you. A life of hunger, filth, and squalor. That's what you would have preferred?"
Her eyes burned into his. "I gave you all I could. I didn't have to do anything. It's that girl and that ship, isn't it? They're turning you against your Pride!
"YOUR pride. It was never mine. There isn't one ounce of Drago-Kazov blood within me. My entire line was Majorum. Thor was never my father, there was no dead wife, all lies."
"I could have told you I bore you."
"And I know why you didn't. Your rivals never would have stood for it. I don't even know why the Matriarch covered this up for you!"
"You know why!" she snarled. "You are the first confirmation we had of a genetic reincarnation. You had great genes, and set our hopes soaring. You are the proof of Drago Museveni's eventual return. Telemachus, you could have been happy. Married. But what did you do? You threw it all away on a Kludge! A kludge that mistakenly bore you a child while you shunned every available female in Drago-Kazov Pride!"
"Obviously with good reason! And now I've come to realize that what the rest of the universe says about this Pride is true." He glared. "Know this Kallianax. Beka and Emily are the best things that have ever happened to me. I see it clearly now. They're the only things that have ever made sense in this enigma I called a life."
"The Pride accepted you."
"I was always an outsider."
"Would you listen to me?"
"Why? That's what I want to know, WHY? Why did you do it?"
"I didn't know!" she burst. Grabbing a vase off the cabinet Kallianax threw it violently against the wall, glass shattering across the floor. "She attacked me! We fought, she died. That's it! It wasn't until after the fact that I heard you crying. And instead of leaving you there to die I took you with me! Your fath- Thor spoiled me. Whatever I wanted I got, it made me a brat. That all changed after I started raising you. I changed."
"Not enough to tell me the truth! Why didn't you just tell me I was adopted from a dead Pride from the beginning? As a child do you think I would have cared? That I would feel as betrayed as I do now? I would have had my lineage!"
"You would have questioned us at every turn! Worse than you already did!"
"Maybe the Drago-Kazov Pride needs to be questioned! Look what you've all become!"
"You're suddenly an expert?"
"What about him?"
"I have his journals," Telemachus stated. "He believed that we could be better than what we were. Warrior poets who would bring civilization and decency, living gods among the stars. The Nietzscheans he describes, the race we used to be before the Fall? Those Nietzscheans no longer exist."
"Well they've been dead for three hundred years."
"Don't. Just don't. You know I mean their philosophies and what they stood for. Our people rebelled against the Commnonwealth and look what happened to us."
"We were born to rule."
"Not like this."
"That's your Kludge talking."
"Her name is Beka," he glared. "And I will kill any Nietzschean who touches her."
It was a promise and a threat entwined in one sentence. He couldn't find anything else to say. His anger hadn't abated, he could still feel it pulsing, but he needed to leave. If he stayed any longer he might end up starting a blood feud with his former Pride. The woman in front of him he could barely stand to look at. The woman he once called mother, the woman whose approval, pride, and support he once always sought had become a casualty to his bitterness. He didn't know if their relationship could ever be repaired, he didn't even know if he wanted it to be.
Turning on his heel, Telemachus left without looking back.
She had no idea how long she stood staring at the door her wayward son had left out of. No idea if she breathed or moved, but when she did finally come back to herself it was with a scream of rage. Picking up whatever she could find she hurled things across the room. Glass shattered creating piles of multicoloured shards, wood splintered leaving broken wreckage where it fell.
She was furious.
He was her son!
The only one she'd ever have!
Growling, she clenched her jaw and started to pace.
Telemachus would come back to her. To his Pride. She knew he would. He just needed time to calm down. To reflect. He'd realize that she was his mother, that she'd always been his mother.
Breathing shallowly she looked at the open door. Her rooms were far from the main corridors, not many lingered here this early. There was a good chance they'd not been overheard.
He'd better hope we weren't.
No one could know. No one could know that he knew the truth of his placement within the Pride, and if Telemachus knew what was good for him he'd keep his mouth shut and not do anything stupid in his haste.
He was her son. And if she could, she'd try to protect him from the fallout of his obvious lapse in judgement. His fall from grace would likely be hers as well.
There had to be some way to spin this, a way to salvage it. Some way to keep the others from targeting her son. But if he defied them to their faces it would be over. There would be nothing she could do. He would be exiled, cast out, not that he would care. But he should care, particularly since the others might start making attempts on his life. And if not his own then his…his family's. Just thinking about the kludge and her half-breed made her nauseous.
And then there was her own fate. Kallianax sat and buried her head in her hands. The Nez Pierce name would be disgraced. And she…
Kallianax lifted her head and glared at the wall. She would not shoulder the whole blame for this. The Matriarch accepted it. The Pride accepted it. They could have told her 'No', they all had that chance. But one look at his genetic sample and they saw potential. Females saw a future husband for their daughters, and the Pride saw the chance at having Drago returned to them through Telemachus.
Oh no. They were all to blame.
She would not go down for this alone.
It had been almost a day.
An entire day of worrying about just what Telemachus was doing, worrying about what he may have already done, and if those things may have gotten him killed.
I swear if he's dead I'm going to kill him.
She had been relieved beyond belief that she'd gotten to her father in time. Even more relieved that Emily was with him, since he probably would have killed Telemachus anyway despite her pleas not to. Even better was that her father couldn't interrogate her. Not with Emily right there with him. That girl was earning her keep every damn day.
She was also thankful that they had been on two different ships. Though she did feel bad leaving Emily with a peeved off grandfather, Em could handle it and she knew her father would never take anything out on her, and he would try and calm himself down for her benefit. It had hopefully kept him calm while they got back to the Andromeda, which was thankfully no longer orbiting Oedekirk. The peace talks had broken down like everyone but Dylan knew they would and the Andromeda had been forced into a retreat. Everyone was fine which would have been good, except everyone included Talia as well.
But Beka would admit the woman did prove useful.
After Beka could no longer stall her father with waiting around Tarazed, and a message from Andromeda about the situation reached them, she'd been forced to make the rendezvous.
She'd been avoiding her father ever since.
The first thing that made it possible was giving a full and completely detailed report to Dylan, leaving nothing out. The longer she talked the longer she didn't have to explain things to her father. She knew he was getting pissed off by her avoidance, and knew that realistically in the long run it would make the confrontation worse, but she couldn't find it in herself to care.
She needed to talk to Telemachus first. She had to know he was okay.
How the hell are you going to find us you idiot?
After Dylan she made her way to Trance and Harper who were both good distractions for her father and in keeping Emily entertained. Beka knew that when this whole thing was over she was going to have to sit down and have some damn long quality time with her daughter.
Beka huffed and turned, making her way to the ladders she climbed down to a lower level. She was thankful that Andromeda's corridors were so labyrinthine. Her father would get lost looking for her and if Andromeda had any sense at all, she wouldn't help him track her movements.
That said, her father stalking her was the only thing that made her finally find a use for Talia. She was sorry she had to do it but really, he left her no choice. Her father could barely stand her biological mother, so Beka purposefully went to see her.
She sat through the snide comments, the complaints, and really Telemachus had better damn well appreciate this. She found out nothing new, nothing that would ever answer her questions about why Talia did what she did, just that the hatred for her father was mutually shared by both her parents.
By the gods she never wanted to end up like them.
When Ignatius finally did find her, he and Talia had once again got into a heated argument giving Beka the perfect chance to escape unnoticed by either party.
She was becoming scarily good at escape and evade.
She jumped as Holo-Rommie appeared in front of her.
"I thought I would let you know that I've detected Telemachus's slipfighter approaching the hangar."
"Are you serious? Do not tell Dylan yet, that idiot Nietzschean is mine!"
As she started running through the corridors in order to reach him first, Beka went over her list of horrible-things-to-do-to-significant-others-when-they-leave-you-to-deal-with-curious-rampaging-fathers. She was on number forty-seven when she finally ran into him on his way down the hall towards her. And by the ever loving Divine was she happy to see him. The urge to wrap her arms around him and to scream in his sensitive ears to never leave again briefly crossed her mind but she bat it away before it could fully take hold. He looked a bit calmer, still rough around the edges but it was a look she could deal with.
Stopping directly in his path, she put her hands on her hips and glared at him.
"Where have you been?" she demanded. "Do you have any idea what-"
"I had to think." He walked around her.
Beka's eyes narrowed. Oh no he did not.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"I have to see Dylan."
Oh for the love of-
Running to get in front of him, she braced herself and pushed her hands against his chest to stop him.
"Oh I do not think so. I have not been avoiding my father for over a day just so you can blow past me for Dylan. If you want to talk then you run whatever you're planning to say to Dylan by me first."
"And before I forget this is yours." She dug in her pocket and tossed him a small vial. "It's …well, remains. The Tarazed Nietzscheans said you'd probably want to test it against your own DNA. Which you could have done in the first place had you not flown completely off the handle."
"You're not Nietzschean."
"You don't understand what they did."
"Don't understand what? That the Drago-Kazov destroyed the world you were born on, kidnapped you, then lied to you about everything to cover it up? Yeah, I kind of picked up on that believe it or not."
"I meant what it means to be without your lineage. Genealogy-"
"Is one of the most important things to a Nietzschean. I know this. I know how angry you were, are, I was there. I could see it, hell I could taste it."
He sighed and palmed open a door next to them leading them into an old crew cabin. They didn't need to have this conversation in the middle of a corridor. He'd been thinking since he left Enga's Redoubt. Thinking of some sort of vengeance that would satisfy what had been done, not only to him but to what was left of Majorum Pride and Tarazed. And he figured it out. It was a good plan, though Beka seemed less than pleased about it after he explained it.
"Are you insane?" she hissed. "I mean, have you completely lost it in the last twenty-four hours?"
"It's a good plan."
Beka gripped her hair tightly. She was at a loss for what else to say. There were some things that would have been nice to know about her lover's "former" Pride. The fact that they had access to fifty-three High Guard Heavy Cruisers just like Andromeda? Would have been something to get a head's up about. They had Commonwealth ships already thanks to, what they now knew was the invasion of Tarazed, but a system full of Heavy Cruisers?
"You didn't think to mention this to Dylan before because…?"
"He didn't need to know."
She threw her hands in the air.
The Drago-Kazov were coming up with an AI eraser, they were still likely a few years from it but they were getting closer. Telemachus told her that Harper could get the AIs back online, have the Andromeda free them, then Dylan could start rebuilding his New Commonwealth with a lot less worry.
"And who the hell would help us crew them if your crazy as fuck plan works?"
"The Than. They have the second largest military in the Known Worlds, if Dylan can't convince them then maybe the Than on Tarazed can."
"You seriously want to make an enemy of the Drago-Kazov?"
"They were already my enemy."
"Okay." Beka held her hands out in a calming manner, her voice taking on the characteristics of someone trying to talk down a crazy person. "Trying to be the voice of reason here. I thought Nietzscheans were survivors?"
"And what does the non-voice of reason say?"
"That you being Majorum makes me feel better? Also the odds of my dad outright killing you might have decreased by a percent?"
He gave her an amused snort.
"But look, seriously though. Your Drago-Kazov connections have kept us all safe. Safe from slavery, from shoot downs, it's kept Andromeda safe so far."
"I'll be an outcast soon anyway. And if I stayed with them I would have had to leave Andromeda eventually. If I stayed here, if I helped Oedekirk try and throw off their invasion they would see it as treason against the Pride. I've already gone against them by going AWOL, Kallianax has just been covering for my absences. I don't think she will anymore."
"You really want to do this? Rescue the ships in Tartarus, save Oedekirk, have their military command, make an alliance…betray the Drago-Kazov?"
"They killed my family."
"And then they became your family."
He growled. "This feels right."
"You're angry. I don't want you to do something you might regret later. No matter how much I hate that particular Pride."
"The Drago-Kazov have no right thinking they rule this galaxy," he said. "And trust me they do. I've seen the way they handle people first hand. The slave worlds, the tribute worlds, other Prides. I've seen their brutality. And what I've lived with is not how we're supposed to be. I've read Gaheris's journals. We were a different race once. And without the Drago-Kazov I think we might be again."
"If you go to him with this Telemachus, Dylan will likely do it. You have to be sure because once we go down that road there's no coming back."
She was right, he mused. There wouldn't be. Most of him knew that, knew that he had a decision to make. Thought he'd already made it. Would leaving the Drago-Kazov cause more problems or less? He was doing this for himself, his Pride, and his planet. But he didn't remember his birth parents. He had no memories of Tarazed. Only Kallianax.
But looking at Beka there was one thing he was certain of.
"You're all I want."
"Huh?" Beka's eyebrows rose as she stared at him. He smirked at her and trailed a finger down the side of her face.
"You're all I've ever wanted," he said. "Since the day we met I couldn't get you out of my head. Every world we conquered, every red head I saw… I had to check. Had to make sure it wasn't you, half hoping it was. You and Emily are my family. Not her. Not them."
His hands found her hips and he pulled her close.
"You're in my blood. You were an eight year obsession for me. I couldn't let you go. And if I went back to the Drago-Kazov I'd have to. It'd be treason if I married you."
"Someday, one day. It doesn't have to be today, or next month but… But damn it Beka I want to call you my wife. You're mine," he growled.
Pressing his lips to hers was the best feeling he'd had in days. He could always lose himself in her. In her arms, in her scent, she was an addiction he never wanted to quit. He didn't quite know how it happened, but she'd held him captive for a decade, most of which she was completely unaware of.
"Mmm, wait wait. One question. How'd you find us?"
"Tracking device on the Maru. I'm not losing you again."
Beka rolled her eyes and kissed him again. She'd let it go for now. Because honestly? This was probably the most romantic situation she'd ever found herself in with a man. He sort of just proposed to her.
A Nietzschean proposed to her. And hey, she just might be considering it. And she definitely needed where this was heading. Telemachus's hands slid up her front, squeezing her breasts and kneading them before reaching for the zipper of her shirt and pulling it down. Sliding it off her shoulders, she took the opportunity to rid him of his tank top, yanking it over his head and throwing it blindly behind her.
Gun belts, boots, pants all hit the floor at some point and they found themselves on a long unused bed. Pushing Telemachus onto his back Beka straddled his hips. Her hands wandered over his broad, smooth chest. By the Divine, does he have to be so perfectly sculpted? She wondered. Beka didn't consider herself particularly vain, but when it came to men, the stronger the better. And Telemachus was the representation of everything she wanted. His shoulders, his chest, his back, his height, his, erm…length. All of it nothing short of amazing. And he wanted her. Somehow she had managed to snare a Nietzschean who made her a priority.
And she lo-
She-she loved him.
"What is it?" he asked noticing her still.
Stars help her she really did.
"I-" she smiled at him quickly before bending down to press their lips together. "I'll tell you later."
Her tongue found its way inside his mouth, running along the backs of his teeth. Oh and the way he kissed her, Divine she loved that too. Their kiss became quicker, more forceful. She bit back a moan as his fingers pressed between her legs. Spreading her moisture around he pressed hard on her nub making her hips buck. Before he could do anymore she reached between them and gave his hardness a few quick pulls before positioning herself and pressing down. She moaned into his mouth as he filled her. His echoing groan sent a shockwave straight to her core.
Telemachus slid his hands up Beka's thighs and grasped her slim hips. Bracing his feet on the bed he thrust up inside her, encouraging her to move if she wanted the chance to ride him. If she didn't he would end up throwing her onto her back without her realizing it. He threw his head back exposing his neck to her searching mouth as she rotated her hips. By the Progenitor he needed this. They both did. Being together like this with Beka was something he could hardly describe. The way she fit him, gripped him so tight, squeezing and taking him deep into her body. Who knew that he'd be ensnared so thoroughly be this lithe human woman?
Beka braced her hands on his chest and started thrusting faster against him. Rocking in time with his thrusts, the driving force behind his own hips. Her breasts bouncing with the motion.
Beka sighed. Heat laced through her stomach as she ground her clit against his pubic bone. A little more, a little more she could feel it building. She moaned as one of Telemachus's arms pulled her tightly to his chest, her breasts crushed flat to his pectorals. Her nipples stiffened even further and the new stimulation. His right hand grabbed her ass and forced her harder against him. Both straining for that final release, hips pistoning faster, his cock sliding in and out of her with a speed she could never have imagined before him and finally, finally, she felt it. Felt herself go over that edge, cried out as her walls tightened around his hardness, her fluid coating him and making his glide easier.
Telemachus's body locked, his hands clutched at her with bruising force as he spilled himself inside of Beka. She collapsed on top of him and lay their panting. Listing to his harsh breath somewhere above her head and loving the way his heart pounded in her ear.
She loved that she could do this to him.
She loved him.
And one day she'd actually tell him.
Probably when he marries me. She grinned cheekily into his chest as his hand ran through her hair.
She groaned, "Really Andromeda?"
She'd been lying with Telemachus for a good half hour after their session and it had been the most non-stressful thing she had done in the past who knows how long. At times it felt like her family had been bombarding into her life without notice for years.
"I just thought you'd like to know that your father's heading this way. My Main AI told him you were around here," said Holo-Rommie. "And it's time you stopped avoiding him."
"I think you did mention something about that," said Telemachus.
Beka slapped him in the arm as she jumped up to get dressed and Holo-Rommie dispersed.
"Yes. I did, didn't I? I'm avoiding talking to him about things I've been avoiding for a very long time. And now he's curious, and suspicious, and probably quite pissed so I would stay out of sight until I tell you it's safe in case he takes his anger out on you in the way of gauss gun bullets."
"What did I do?"
Beka sighed. "He thinks you're a Dragan which is one thing but…I'm going to tell him. About us. And the truth about what happened on Avilan. All of it. Even if he never speaks to me again like Rafe has apparently decided… He needs to know. It's not fair to you or to Emily to keep this going on and I want you to know how sorry I am that I let him keep thinking that you-"
"Stop." Telemachus sat up and gripped Beka's hand which had been toying with her shirt's zipper.
"I don't blame you for not telling them. I don't blame them for assuming. Given the Drago-Kazov's reputation it's what I would have thought had I been in their position. I understand, so don't apologize to me again."
"I don't know how you can be-"
"You're not supposed to. Humans think differently than Nietzscheans."
"I'm not even going to argue, since that's what I'm about to be doing."
"You don't have to do this right now. You can wait."
She smiled at him and ran her hand through his mussed hair.
"No I can't."
She also didn't want to. The weight of it made her tired and it was finally time to face up to her mistakes.
Beka stared straight at her father as he ranted about running all over the damn ship trying to find her. He was angry like she knew he'd be, but she expected it. As he went over everything he'd gone through looking for her Beka had to resist the urge to shut her eyes and bang the back of her head against the Maru's bulkhead.
"-and the fact that you've been on the Andromeda with Nietzscheans and now I find out one was a fucking Dragan?"
"He is not Drago-Kazov dad! He's Majorum!"
How many times would she have to explain that one to him? Her father was being difficult. Exactly like she thought he'd be.
"And he found that out when?" he demanded rhetorically. "Three seconds ago?"
"It's been more like a day," she muttered.
"Don't get cute. And why couldn't you just have told me all of this before? Why the hell have you been avoiding me?"
"Because," she started slowly. "I knew you would take it badly."
"Take it badly? Take it badly? Yes, I am taking it badly. I find out my daughter is serving aboard a ship full of Nietzscheans-"
"And that one of them has spent his entire life thinking he belonged to Drago-Kazov Pride. Where the hell did Hunt find them? I mean, hell, the Kodiak I can understand he has no Pride left, but what the hell is a Dragan doing playing mercenary?"
"He's not a mercenary."
"He came with me." Beka winced. "Telemachus was…part of my crew before we…met…Dylan…"
Ignatius's face went through many expressions and colours before settling between confusion and barely contained anger.
"You…why…how could… You would put your crew at risk, your daughter?"
"He's not dangerous!"
"Why do you keep defending him!"
"My God Beka, are you…are you in love with him?" he hissed.
Beka crossed her arms and stood her ground. "And if I am?"
The silence that followed deafened her, but she knew from experience that it wouldn't last for long. She knew where all of this was heading, what he was about to bring up next, and she was finally ready to face up to everything.
"After everything they did to you?"
Right on cue, dad.
"You let a Nietzschean on board your crew after one raped-"
"I wasn't raped!" she yelled over him. "It was before the attack! I was with him before anything even started. I was upset because you were high as fuck the night before!"
And it was out. Finally. She watched her father flinch, the guilt of his past Flash use becoming more present over the anger. She watched him go silent as he stared at her. Now is as good a time as any to continue Valentine.
"I wanted to forget everything," Beka started, "forget my fucked up life even for just a single day. I was so alone back then. You and Rafe never noticed. But I did everything for us back then. I found jobs, I found cargo. I started doing all of it when I was twelve and by the time I was sixteen Rafe didn't even care anymore, he was barely helping me."
The only thing he wanted was to leave and never look back. He didn't care if you lived or died. She thought. She'd never say it to him, because deep down she thought he already knew. She knew his relationship with Rafe was still shaky, but after her last visit with Rafe her relationship with him was probably now just as, if not more, shaky.
"I just wanted to forget how bad things were getting," she continued, "how bad things were going to end. And then I met T…him." She amended, she thought it might be better to tell her father the whole truth first before mentioning Telemachus and Emily's relationship. "I didn't know he was a Nietzschean. I didn't know he was bored and just waiting for the attack to begin. We hooked up, and he made me forget everything wrong in my life."
"…you were practically naked when I found you," said Ignatius, grasping.
"It wasn't Emily's father. And would you let me finish!" she snapped as her father opened his mouth. "There was a girl being attacked, and I…I stupidly drew the Dragan's attention. He tossed me around a bit, ripped my clothes, but then smelled someone else all over me. Thank the Divine for the Nietzscheans' heightened sense of smell, huh? He threw me back at the same Nietzschean and to say I was shocked to see his bone blades would be an understatement."
She laughed suddenly. "You know what the crazy part is? I wasn't scared of him. I was more angry with him than anything. And then I was confused. He stayed with me to keep me safe. He told me when the next patrols were coming and when to leave. He let me go, dad."
She could see he was trying to calm himself, and for that she appreciated it.
"When you found me and I realized what it looked like to you…I-I didn't know what to do."
"So…so you lied to us? Do you have ANY IDEA-" he started, calm disappearing.
"You assumed!" she yelled back. "I don't remember ever saying the words! I didn't say anything. But I was going to! And do you know what stopped me? You did. You and your fucking Flash! You quit! You actually quit! You came back to us! And-and I thought you did it because of what you thought happened and if I told you the truth, told you what really happened, I thought you'd start up again! It was killing you! And you…you finally quit."
Her eyes started to sting. "I was a kid. I was young and scared, and you and Rafe just wouldn't stop fighting. Every time I tried to tell you both what happened you cut me off. You wouldn't let me say anything. So I gave up. Neither of you wanted to hear it so why keep trying? Neither of you would have believed me anyway."
Ignatius sat down hard on one of the chairs behind him. Leaning over he hung his head in his hands and tried to make sense out of everything Beka had just told him.
After a few minutes of quiet she took a step forward.
"You really…you weren't hurt."
She shook her head. "No."
Ignatius looked up at her, tears on his face and she felt exactly like she did the night they found out about her pregnancy.
"The fact…" he started. "The fact that you didn't think you could tell me. Was I- I made a lot of mistakes, Beka. A lot of them. And I've tried to make up for them."
"Dad, you have." She tried as tears finally spilled over her eyes. She wiped them away quickly and took a breath.
"I haven't. You couldn't…you were too scared to tell me this. And I- I didn't help. I…never let you speak up. I was too scared myself. Too scared what you'd say, I couldn't even think about it. How does any parent? But I regret that. I regret…not being strong enough for you. I wish I could have been there, I wish I would have let you talked regardless of what it was about. I'm sorry Rocket."
"Me too. But hey you're still taking it better than Rafe did."
"Oh yes. And he's pissed. And convinced that I'm delusional and making things up."
Ignatius wiped his eyes and sighed. He heard Beka's footsteps echo on the grating as she sat in a chair next to him.
"Your brother's always been a bit…"
"But at least we can deal with him together now."
She laughed. Ignatius paused in his thoughts and looked at his daughter.
"And this…this 'Majorum' Nietzschean…Rocket, what the hell?"
"Ah…right. Telemachus…" She winced.
"Oh there's more…" he groaned. "You have that look."
Beka ducked her head. Why didn't she have a better poker face around her family?
"Okay umm…do you remember Bobby Jensen?"
"The guy I wanted to blow out an airlock?"
"What happened to him anyway? You were always vague."
"He said some things to Emily, she cracked his ribs, and I tossed him out on his ass."
His eyes widened. "She cracked his ribs?"
"Breast bone, probably. One punch." She held up a single finger. "And then I found out that instead of my hold being filled with computers they actually weapons. Bobby lied to me about the cargo and we started getting fired on by Nietzscheans wanting their weapons back."
"That son of a bitch stole Nietzschean weapons?"
"Drago-Kazov weapons. I couldn't outrun them. Telemachus is a very good pilot, just don't tell him I said that."
"That's how you met him?"
She nodded. "We were taken aboard, I thought we were going to die, Telemachus walked in and offered to let us go if he came with us. I don't know or care what he told the others."
"Why would…Beka none of that makes sense."
"Yeah this is the part that um…"
"Is this was what Tyr meant. About you hiding things from me?"
Beka scoffed in disgust and threw hands up in irritation. Of course Tyr would. She was amazed he hadn't just flat out told her father the truth then and there. But because he hadn't she was about to tell her father.
Like ripping off a bandaid. Tell him quick.
"Telemachus is Emily's father."
She cringed and waited.
"So he…what?" Ignatius just gaped at her.
"I told you he was different! Hell he's more different now than he was back then though. He's changed, dad. He's changed so much, and he loves Emily! He adores her. You haven't seen them together."
Ignatius let out a reflexive laugh. "So that's why she talked about him so much. She just…lights up."
"Yeah. She does."
"He's her fath…gods, Beka."
"I know. I know and I am so sorry. To you, and Rafe, and Emily and Telemachus. God, he just shrugged it off like it was nothing when he found out what you guys thought he did to me. I just, I didn't know what to do. And the fact that he could understand that. I don't know how. Just that he's the only man in my life who hasn't disappointed me. Hasn't left me, hasn't abandoned me, hasn't hurt me. For the love of the Divine he…he asked me to marry him."
Ignatius's look was incredulous.
"I know. Dad trust me, I know how…out there that is. But he…even without his entire world shifting on its axis, I know, I don't just think I know that he would have stayed with us if the Drago-Kazov made him choose. He said he'd always felt different than them," she said. "Would you believe Harper and Telemachus are friends?"
His stare was doubtful. Harper hated the Dragans more than any other being in the galaxy, and with good reason. To consider one a friend… If there were any more surprises Beka was going to throw at him tonight he just might have a heart attack.
"You're not pregnant are you?" he tried.
"Right. Sorry, just wanted to get that out of the way."
She levelled a half-hearted glare at him.
"Telemachus has always been different. He basically abandoned Drago-Kazov Pride the day he found me and Emily. There was always something about him that just didn't add up. His relationships with Harper and Rev Bem for instance. How many Dragans, let alone Nietzscheans do you know who would get along with an Earthling and a Magog? Or respect Dylan's authority? The only issue Telemachus has is with Tyr. Kodiak Pride and the Drago-Kazov have a bloody history. But I think more than anything Tyr just annoys him. It's his Majorum breeding dad. No matter how the Dragan female who killed his birth mother raised him, Nietzscheans have always relied so heavily on their genetics. She couldn't get rid of that. They kept him because he is a verified genetic reincarnation of one of his ancestors. The same ancestor who served with Dylan aboard Andromeda."
"This family runs into coincidences far too often," Ignatius muttered pinching the bridge of his nose. "I'm…not okay. With any of this right now but I-I have a lot of thinking to do. A lot of thinking, and…I hope I'll be able to figure all this out and understand it," he said. "I'm not sure how I feel right now."
"It's sort of a lot to take in."
"Tell me about it."
"But as long as you're still talking to me and not planning to kill Telemachus, I can give you all the time you need."
"Jenna's going to kick my ass about all of this," he gave her a small half-smirk.
Beka smiled. "I'm counting on it."
It was probably a few hours after he'd talked to his daughter that she commed him about coming to the Andromeda's bridge. The ship herself was helpful in making sure he made it. Beka told him that Hunt had called a crew meeting, and even if he wasn't technically crew, she wanted him there for whatever announcement was about to be made.
Standing on the bridge he stared at Nez Pier- well, Rhade as he was calling himself now. Emily was sitting on the railing right next to him, and by the gods he could see it. The resemblance she had to her…father was strong. And it was likely why he'd never seen them side by side until now. It's how Beka told him Rafe put the pieces together and she didn't want him doing the same thing because she knew he's react worse than Rafe had.
She would have been right.
When Rhade had finally started talking he couldn't believe it at first. He still doesn't know what to think after Rhade told the crew about his plan to rescue over fifty High Guard ships from some Dragan controlled system.
The new hatred he had for the Drago-Kazov, his former Pride, blazed in his eyes, every word spoken of them laced with such poison.
He didn't know what to make of him
Rhade was Emily's father. A Majorum Pride Nietzschean. Ignatius was reeling as he looked between Rhade, Beka, and Emily. They were a family. After everything they had found each other again.
You'd better love them, Majorum. Or I promise you will deal with me.
So that was it then. The answer to the enigma to Telemachus Nez Pierce, or wait…
"Rhade. My name is Telemachus Rhade."
Tyr had erroneously called the former Dragan by the last name he always called him and was treated to the surprise of him taking his ancestral name back. Hmm.
Tyr would never like Rhade but with his new vendetta against the Drago-Kazov, they might actually now have something in common.
Trance Gemini smiled secretly to herself as she watched her crewmates. Rhade's plan was a good one, and it had good odds. But they would need a much larger military to be able to make it work entirely. The ships they were to rescue would need Captains and crews. And the Than-Thre-Kull were a good option. Dylan just needed to convince them to sign his Commonwealth Charter and help. It might be difficult though as the Drago-Kazov would likely view this as a sign of war. Rhade was essentially betraying them after all.
But if not the Than, then they might need to seek out other worlds. Other alliances. Whether they be Perseid or even the rival Nietzschean Prides to the Drago-Kazov. But to trust Nietzscheans with High Guard technology to rival Andromeda?
Future is cloudy, try again later.
The world around her continued to move, her Bonsai tree kept safely onboard the Eureka Maru. She would need to tend to it soon. Branches of reality were coming closer and she had to keep a watchful eye to move this reality forward. There was a perfect possible future somewhere, and she would keep searching for it time and time again.
She could feel danger coming as it always did but the Valentines would stand on a stable foundation and their faith in Dylan would grow as would their belief in his mission. The crew would come together, family would come together. And however worried everyone might be for Emily's safety, Trance knew something they didn't yet.
The girl was a warrior, strong and swift like her father, intelligent and worldly like her mother. She was going to be fine.
Trance glanced around.
Rhade was sure.
Emily was intrigued.
Beka was worried, yet hopeful.
Rommie looking to her Captain.
Dylan Hunt looked around at his crew. Their eyes glancing back and forth between him and Rhade. Rhade, it felt almost odd to be saying that name again. Go into the black hole with one on his ship, come out of the black hole with one on his ship. And now Telemachus was retaking Gaheris's name. It was so hard to believe. They looked so alike, yet acted so different. The tale Beka and then Telemachus relayed to him mere hours ago had answered a lot of questions. He needed to talk to him more later though. To him, to Beka, maybe even to Ignatius.
The Drago-Kazov had High Guard ships. And the Nietzscheans figuring out how to erase the AIs and take control of them was not something he could risk. In the back of his mind, he hoped it wasn't an elaborate trap. As hard as Gaheris's betrayal was, he needed to learn to trust again eventually. Though the irony of Telemachus Rhade betraying the Drago-Kazov was not lost on him.
His mind was made up.
"Well then…" Dylan started, hope rising in his chest. "I say: Let's bring it."
"The long night has come. The Systems Commonwealth, the greatest civilization in history, has fallen. Now one ship, one crew, have vowed to drive back the night and rekindle the light of civilization. On the starship Andromeda... hope lives again." –Dylan Hunt
A/N: And that's all she wrote! If anyone is familiar with my other chaptered fics you'll notice I have a pattern of leaving things open ended. In my opinion nothing really ends. Even when the curtain closes or the screen fades to black there is still something else going on.
To all of you who have stayed with this story for so long, I have to say that I love you guys. You've all been so amazing and faithful, and so supportive.
And I feel I owe you all a gigantic apology.
Not only for the long chapter waits but I'm also sorry for not giving you the story I think you deserved.
It will probably be one of my lasting regrets in regards to fan fiction. This is the first story I ever seriously considered deleting off the face of the internet. The reason I haven't is because there's quite a few of you that like this fic and as a reader myself, I know exactly what it's like to have an author remove a story that's liked or loved.
It was long ago but some of you might remember when I said this story was going to be a trilogy. That was the original plan anyway. Here's some tidbits:
Glass Shards was supposed to be the second of the trilogy and it was supposed to deal with Beka's family only. It was supposed to deal with Beka's relationships with Rafe, Ignatius, and Talia, and a combination of the other family members' relationships with each other. I think it was also going to deal with the family finding out that Rhade was Emily's father and the truth of what happened on Avilan. Rafe likely would have returned and I would have dealt with the Magog Worldship, Dylan's issues with Rhade, and the start of the New Commonwealth.
Shattered Glass was the title of the third instalment and it would have dealt entirely with Rhade finding out exactly who he was and deal with his relationships with Kallianax and the Drago-Kazov, his eventual defection and his feelings for Beka. Basically it would have expanded on a lot of scenes particularly the Beka/Rhade relationship. They would have come together much slower and gradually would have fallen in love. I feel the way it stands now is rushed.
So much was packed into the story as it stands now. I packed Parts 2 and 3 of a trilogy into 14 chapters. I tried to get as many of the main plot points as I could and make them fit, and I hope it reads decently. I think it's rushed, but given my time constraints in RL and my complete disinterest in the Andromeda fandom, it was the best I could do. I've been working on this story for 6 years and you guys know exactly how long it took for updates. Had I attempted my original trilogy plans I just might have ended up having to abandon this.
To those who enjoyed this story I can't even begin to tell you what your reviews meant to me during these years. You really did keep this story alive, you kept me determined to finish, and you let me know you all were still waiting. I finished this for you all, and I finished it because I swore a long time ago that I would never be an author who abandoned any of their works in progress. I didn't want to do that to my readers because a lot of my favourite stories have been abandoned and I like having closure.
Thank you so much: Ryua Malfoy, Beka Rhade, coldqueen, Elflinn, TriGemini, ElvenCompanion, B. L. A. the Mouse, darkelf1313, KenzieHazz13, Jena, amz-123, Desdemona, silk f, KitsuneDragonheartLove, jadedrebeltheawesome, cazbarbj, Martinie Party, R.J., Sophie, Benesound, Carol, Sylvie, Danielle, Sara, Rachelle, Stephanie, prin69, Karakin, babsji, Thought, …. …., Nan, Monique, Reggie, Jenndifurry, Janea, Fanfic is Fun, Lucid Lady, a fan, Natta, Time is full and I'm up next, Artemis1000, wee-me, Thalaba, TJ, Jena, BurningTheMidnightOil, SomeoneElsesDream, Anzibanonzi, Drix, jpdt19, Bellkie, Yvy, Kat, nienor513, Cassi, Joy, Blonde-Existentialist, jojobevco, Wind Spirt, lilyoftheval5, QuasiSense, CallowWanderlust, and Sage5. I hope I got all of you!
Thank you all for taking the time to review this story whether it was one chapter or all of them. Each one of you brightened my day and kept my goal of finishing it alive.
Also, since this story is now NC-17 I might think about going back one day and expanding the suggested sex scenes in Chapters 2 and 10. But I make no concrete promises.
Take care and have a safe and merry holiday season!
Happy Holiday everyone!