Hey everybody

Hey everybody! I'm Baaaaaacccckkkk!! I got a laptop as a graduation present, so now I can continue my creative endeavors…YAAAAAY! Sorry…I ate too much cake and my hyper level is through the roof! Anyways, I guess it's time to unleash my mojo

Chapter 4 Welcome

Molli awoke slowly, blinking away the sleep and yawning loudly. She couldn't remember the last time she'd slept that well. She began stretching her arms and legs when suddenly, she saw cleanly pressed sheets and a fluffy pillow. Panicking, she quickly realized that she was in a strange place and that there were loud noises all around her. Scared, she looked around for something familiar…anything that would tell her where her home had gone. For a moment, she thought she might be experiencing one of those nightmares that she experiences so frequently, and she called out for her cousin Brendan. Instead, her long lost brother Seamus popped his spike-haired head over the edge of the bunk, looking more than a little distressed.

"What's the matter Mol? Somethin' wrong?" Molli blinked several times. Finally, the sleep cleared and the events of the last few days flashed through her memory. She breathed a sigh of relief and gave Harper a playful smack on the side of the head saying, "why didn't you wake me up, Shay?" Harper gave his own silent sigh, then laughed, ruffling her hair fondly like he used to when they were children.

"I guess I just thought you might wanna sleep in." he shrugged. Molli gave him her most incredulous look. "We are flying through SPACE and you thought I wanted to SLEEP??" Just then, she was struck with a thought. She jumped down from the bunk and landed awkwardly since she hadn't quite gotten the hang of artificial gravity. "Oh…are we at the bigger ship yet?" Harper smiled at her eagerness. "Almost…we are about thirty minutes from docking. Why? Was there something you wanted to do?" The evil smile on his sister's face as she straightened out her irreparable outfit told Harper that this was going to be an interesting introduction.

The Andromeda

As Dylan Hunt stood outside the doors of docking bay three, he could only imagine the havoc that Harper had caused this time. Of course, he felt terrible about having abandoned him in his time of need, but it simply couldn't be helped. There were more important planets out there than Earth, more commonly called the hell-hole of the universe.

The guilt Dylan felt for having left Harper alone in a crisis situation was not the only reason for allowing him to bring his sister back to Andromeda. Dylan had a feeling that, even though Harper's parents died when he and Molli were very young, Harper wasn't exactly "dad of the year" material. It was Dylan's hope that having someone around to keep Harper in line might be the best thing for both Harper, and the rest of the ship.

It was only a few minutes before Beka showed up, followed closely by Trance, Rev Bem, and Tyr. They were all curious about the trouble that someone else with Harper's DNA could potentially cause. Dylan couldn't help but be slightly worried about the girl's safety on the Andromeda around someone with Tyr's temper, but he kept his concerns to himself.

Trance, meanwhile, busied herself telling everyone present the exact immunizations and numerous tests she would be required to perform on the "poor child" as she described her. "Who knows what kind of horrible diseases, infections, and/or bacteria she most likely picked up while living in that terrible place!" She exclaimed with a look of genuine sympathy.

Beka gave a kind of exasperated sigh. They all turned in time to see her close her eyes and place her thumb and index finger on the bridge of her nose. When she did not elaborate, Rev Bem felt compelled to ask, "is there something wrong Beka? You seem a bit distressed." She shook her head and removed her fingers. "Naw, it's just that, I finally got the little pipsqueak to where I could take him out and he would only get sick about fifty percent of the time. Now we have to start all over with ANOTHER one of these immunodeficient HUMANS!" She sighed again and Dylan relinquished a small chuckle.

As expected, Tyr stayed as far from the group as he could while still being in the room. Come to think of it, Dylan wasn't sure why Tyr was even here. He had expressed a great dislike of Dylan's decision to allow an Earthling child to live among them with no usefulness what-so-ever. Dylan glanced down to Rev, who was standing to his left. Rev must have seen the question in his eyes, because he too glanced behind them at Tyr, then whispered, "Tyr and Beka have a bet going." As realization dawned on Dylan, he raised his hand as an indication to Rev that he needn't go any further. "I don't think I want to know." He whispered back.

Suddenly, the com on the wall sparked to life, saying, "Andromeda, this is the Eureka Maru, requesting permission to dock…" Dylan keyed the com, responding, "Permission granted Maru, Bring her in to docking bay three…Welcome back."

Once the main portion of the bay was repressurized, the crew all made their way toward the ship's entrance. When the door opened, Rommie was the first to exit. At first, she found it strange that everyone had gathered for their arrival, until she remembered that there was a new crew member in need of an introduction. She stopped in front of her commanding officer, stiffening in a formal solute. Dylan reciprocated and she turned to join the rest of the onlookers facing the cargo ship.

A small smile graced her lips as she took the empty space next to Beka. Only moments ago, she had taught that very solute to a very intrigued little organic who wanted to make a good first impression on her new captain.

Inside the Maru, Molli could feel numerous alien stares straight through the hull. She looked to her brother for comfort. He gave her a bright smile. "Don't worry! They'll love ya!" She looked at the door skeptically for a moment, then made up her mind. Grabbing firmly onto the back of Harper's loose cargos with her good hand, Molli gave her brother a determined nod and they were on their way.

The air grew quiet after Rommie had deboarded. Everyone's minds buzzing with their own individual questions. Finally, Harper's slight form could be seen in the door frame of the Maru. At first, it looked as if everyone had gathered here for nothing. There was no sister to be found, until Harper began his descent down the ramp. Whenever he took a step, a blonde curl or two could be seen bouncing just to his right and slightly below his shoulder blade.

When Harper finally reached his friends, he was practically trying to pry his sister off of him. She was holding on so tight that he was sure her knuckles were white. Still trying to remove the slender fingers from his pants, Harper began the introduction. "Hey guys, and beautiful girls," he winked towards Beka, Trance, and Rommie. "It is my pleasure to introduce my long lost, but never forgotten baby sister, Molli Rhenè Harper." Finally, the fingers came free and the girl was guided by her brother from the protection of his back, to the exposed space in front of him.

Dylan's first thought was that she looked a bit like a little lost puppy. She was trying her best to keep her shoulder-length curls in front of her face, as if hiding behind them. Now that Harper's body was positioned behind her, she tried to make herself sink into his body, pushing herself as far back as she could go. Her uninjured hand, once removed from the back of Harper's pants, immediately reached behind and found a grip on the cloth covering her brother's right knee.

Knowing that it would be a while before the girl would fully trust any of them, Dylan decided that it was his duty to try and make her feel as welcome as possible. He took a few steps to close the distance between them, then kneeled in front of her donning his most friendly smile to quell her fears. "Hello there. My name is Dylan Hunt, and this is my ship." He waved around them for emphasis. "Your brother lives here as part of my crew. If you'd like, you can live here, too. My only rule is that you learn how to pull your weight and help out around here. Is that alright with you?" He looked into her eyes, barely visible behind her thick hair, but there was no doubt that she shared her brother's piercing, ocean-blue eyes. She turned her gaze toward the floor, as if mulling it over. After a moment she looked up, but not at him. Her eyes looked questioningly to Rommie. Dylan turned in time to see Rommie give a faint nod. When he heard a deep breath from behind him, he turned back to the girl and she did something he never would have expected.

After she released the breath she had been holding, she let go of Harper of her own accord and brought her arm up in a swift and sloppy solute she answered, "Yes sir, I think I can handle it." Smiling, Dylan got to his feet. "Welcome to the Andromeda miss Molli."

Soooo…What do you think? Further updates may take a while as I just started my 2nd semester of nursing school, but I promise I haven't forgotten…It's just slow going.