Beka sighed as she walked down the halls of the palace. She certainly didn't feel comfortable here...not even after all this time.

The World ship had been defeated with the aid of Harper's nova bombs and the New Commonwealth was firmly established. Amazing how many worlds wanted to sign on with the winners. Beka grinned ruefully.

She'd even found a way back to Tarn-Vedra. Sure, the engine of creation had turned out to be non existent but, hey, other things had worked out.

Dylan was president now and he and the former crew lived in the palace. Tyr, amazingly enough, was the ambassador and liaison to the Neitzscheans. He'd admitted that the New Commonwealth was best for everybody--including Neitzscheans. So, in his position, he would prevent a repeat of the betrayal that caused the fall in the first place. Harper was chief engineer of a convoy of High Guard ships. Of course, Andromeda was the flag ship. Rev was the head of the Wayist movement that was becoming almost a state religion. He lived at a retreat he'd established at Brandenburg Tor. Something fitting about the site of the first blow to the old Commonwealth being the home to a movement that was helping to preserve the new one. As for Trance--well believe it or not the purple pixie was Dylan's vice president.

Beka herself had been offered this position but, she'd turned it down. She knew that it wouldn't fit her. So now, she was the only former crew member of the Andromeda who didn't have an official government position. Well, you could count Rev, she supposed. He wasn't officially part of the government either.

Beka reached her rooms in the palace. Technically, she supposed she wasn't entitled to a place in the palace. After all, she technically wasn't with the government. But Dylan had insisted and everyone else from the former crew to the council had agreed that she was entitled.

Beka recalled the conversation she'd had with Dylan about it. He'd told her, "You were a very vital part in restoring the Commonwealth. I wish you would take a position in the government but, since you won't it doesn't matter. You're still entitled to live here."

"Dylan I--."

"No buts. You've earned it. Everyone agrees. You are a part of the only family I have left. I want you near me. Bad enough, Rev had to go. I don't want you to go too."

"All right. You win. I'll stay. Did I ever tell you how annoying you can be?"

He grinned. You may have mentioned it on occasion."

Beka sighed and dropped down in a chair. It was great to be cared about in that way but, it didn't change the fact that she didn't belong here and didn't fit in. She was happy that everyone else was happy but, she herself just couldn't seem to find a place here no matter how hard she tried.