I Am My Brother's Keeper
By Dawn Nyberg

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Andromeda and no profit is being made.

** Note ** This is the sequel to "Invictus" and is set in an Alternate Universe.


Harper sat in front of an electrical board -- his frustration growing. It had been almost two months since the accident and the transfusion that saved his life. Dylan had wanted him to take it easy, but there was work to be done and it wasn't getting itself done.

"Damn you," he muttered as he tried to pry back a panel. He stood abruptly and kicked the metal panel and threw his tool across the room.

"Whoa!" Captain Hunt's voice was an unexpected interruption. Harper turned and glared at him for a moment.

"Where did you come from?" Harper's patience had grown thin recently and he hated to be bothered while in the Machine shop.

"The door like most people," Dylan offered lightly - he tried to let the boy's attitude slide.

"I didn't hear you," Harper offered before turning from Dylan and back to the metal panel in question.

"This might help," Captain Hunt held the tool the young man had thrown across the room.

Harper walked over to Dylan and put a hand out, but said nothing to the man. Harper's expression was one of annoyance. Dylan was sure he also saw anger in the boy's face. He handed him the tool. "Are you feeling okay?" Dylan was concerned.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I'd just like to do my job. Is that okay?" Harper's voice was almost hissing.

"I think you should call it a day - maybe go to Medical. You're due for a check-up anyway."

"I'm fine and I don't need Medical."

"Harper, don't make me give you a direct order. Trance said that you needed frequent check-ups after the transfusion."

"I have went. I'm not going anymore."

"You're not acting like yourself, Harper. Let's get you to Medical." Dylan extended a hand and gently put in on Harper's elbow. The boy jerked away from the man's grip. "What's wrong?"

"I said I'm not going to go to Medical. I don't need any more freakin' tests. I feel fine!" He proceeded to march past Dylan and out of the Machine shop. The Captain stood in a surprised state of shock for a moment. He had never seen this side of Harper before.

"Where do you think you're going?" Dylan raised his voice - his tone was both one of authority and anger. Harper answered without turning around to Dylan.

"The Command deck, I have to reset the mainframe displacement wiring sensor."

"I said, go to Medical!"

Both men entered Command as Beka and Tyr stood in apt silence while watching the two fellow crewmembers yell at each other.

"How does a night in V-deck sound, Harper?" Dylan's tone was dangerous.

"Ooh, remind me to shake later. I have work to do."

Tyr watched Harper with a raised eyebrow. The young man had had little to say since the transfusion. The Nietzschean remained silent and observed.

"Harper, maybe you should go to Medical," Beka offered. The boy turned on her.

"You too! I am fine. I'm tired of all the tests and I'm not having any more. Have I sprouted a third eye? No, I haven't. I just want to do my work and be left alone!"

"That's it, you're ass is going in V-deck," Dylan spat. Harper looked the Captain squarely in the face and turned on his heel and strode out of Command. He muttered over his shoulder as he left.


Dylan started after the boy and Beka stopped him. "Wait, maybe he just needs a break Dylan. It has been almost two months - I'd be tired of constantly going to Medical."

"Are you about to tell me you think he's acting normal?"

"No, but maybe he wants to make some of his own choices Dylan. He didn't choose to have the transfusion - we made that decision for him."

"That's no excuse to allow him to disobey a direct order."

Tyr had managed to leave unnoticed while Beka and Dylan had words over Harper. He wanted to talk to Harper himself. He went to the boy's personal quarters and found them empty. "Andromeda?" his strong voice called out.

"Yes, Tyr."

"Where is Harper?"

"Searching. . . Hydroponics."

Tyr headed for the crew's recreation area.

Harper paced back and forth in front of the large window that looked out into space. He idly rubbed his forearm beneath his long sleeved shirt. Both forearms ached -- actually they had for almost two weeks now. He pulled up a sleeve and starting at his elbow he gently rubbed foreword to his wrist. The medium sized lumps were extremely tender to the touch. He counted them - three. He had three on his other arm as well. He pulled down his sleeve. The door to Hydroponics opened.

"Boy?" Tyr called out. Harper said nothing, but met eyes with the Nietzschean as he turned toward the man.

"What do you want?"

"Have you lost your mind or found your manhood," Tyr chuckled.

"What do you mean?" Harper spat.

"That's the first time you've ever really stood up for yourself."

"Up yours, Tyr! Don't act like you know me - you don't."

"Perhaps, I don't, " the Nietzschean, offered. After all Harper was displaying a new side to himself. He looked at the boy more closely. His cheeks were slightly flushed and his eyes reflected discomfort. "What's going on?"

"I don't have to explain anything to you. Just because you gave me blood doesn't mean you own me! Why did you anyway?"

"You would have died."

"So? What's it to you? I'm just a Human . . . I'm nothing in your eyes."

"Don't presume to know me, boy." Tyr growled.

"Why did you do it?"

"Because I owed you, and I leave no debt unpaid."

Harper turned from Tyr and went to lean against the window. He wanted to stare out into the vastness and lose himself in the deep black of space. He accidentally leaned against an arm and hissed from the pain. Tyr walked purposefully over to the boy and took an arm in his hand. Harper tried to jerk it away despite the pain the movement caused, but the Nietzschean held firm. Tyr pushed back the sleeve and stared at three lumps on Harper's forearm. He pushed back the second sleeve and saw the same thing. Harper looked at Tyr - anguish in his eyes. "I'm a freak," he muttered quietly as he slid down the wall and pulled his knees up to his chest. Tyr stood looking at Harper, but he couldn't find words - no speech would come from his mouth.

"Andromeda," Tyr finally broke out of his silence.


"Lock the door to Hydroponics and engage privacy mode."


Harper looked up at the Nietzschean. "You gonna kill me?" Tyr stalked off toward the green sanctuary and began to pace. "I don't care," Harper offered. "Do it! I'll make it easy. Well, are you going to kill me or not?" The Nietzschean didn't respond.

Dylan had hunted down the whereabouts of Tyr and Harper and was annoyed at the locked door. "Andromeda?"

"Yes, Captain?"

"What's going on in Hydroponics?"

"Sensors show Harper and Tyr inside, sir."

"Who ordered the doors locked?"

"Tyr. Do you wish to override?" Before he could answer, Beka interrupted.

"Don't Dylan - maybe Tyr and Harper need to talk some things out." Against Dylan's better judgment he decided to let them talk.

"Fine." He would have words with Harper later regarding his behavior.


Silence had filled the space between the two men for the better part of an hour. "Kill me, Tyr." Harper's voice was quiet. The Nietzschean turned and looked at Harper. His mind had been processing since seeing Harper's arms. His eyes softened, but only a fraction.

"I can't do that, little man."

"Why? I'm a freak."

"No, you're not."

"Then what's happening to me? I hurt so much."

"Yes, I imagine you do. We are young -- not yet one year of age when we go through tulang demam. The pain is forgotten."

"Tu . . . dem . . . what?" Harper looked confused.

"Tulang demam - they will break through very soon." Tyr motioned to Harper's forearms.

"They? What will?" Harper remained sitting on the floor he didn't trust his legs to keep him standing.

"Your bone armaments." Tyr's voice was matter of fact.

"Spikes? Like you! No way! I want them out!" Harper stood and walked around Hydroponics in an agitated state. Tyr watched him silently. "I'll have them cut out or something.

"It won't work." Tyr answered.

"Yes, it will."

"No, little man. They are apart of your DNA now. The blood . . . my blood has begun to change you."

"Did you know it would do this?" Harper's voice rose in accusation.

"No, I did not. I assumed my nanobots would improve your immune system, but this never crossed my mind."

"If you had . . . would you have done it?"

"No." Tyr's voice was flat.

Harper studied the Nietzschean for a long moment. "I don't want them! I can't do this. I feel - I feel . . ." Harper began pacing around the room once again. As he circled the room he looked very similar to an animal locked in a cage.

"You feel aggression, even rage, yes?" Tyr leveled a gaze on the young engineer in front of him. "Your blood burns, does it not?" Harper stopped in his tracks and looked at Tyr, and the Nietzschean saw recognition in them.


"That is Nietzschean blood. You will learn to harness that feeling and make it work for you."

"Yeah, right. I don't want to." Harper threw a fist into the air. "I don't want this." He tore at his sleeves exposing the lumps on each forearm. He grabbed an arm roughly and hissed at the pain. "Man, they hurt."

"I will make wraps for you. I will use a Nietzschean remedy that is used on the children. It will help with the pain."

"I've had enough help from you! Why did you have to give me your blood?"

"Are you hard of hearing, little man? I told you that you would have died."

"So what? Death is better than this." Tyr moved quicker than Harper had ever seen him move. The Nietzschean grabbed the young man with both hands and pushed him against the wall.

"We both may not like this, but the fact remains - through your heart runs Kodiak blood. Death is not an option, am I understood?" Tyr growled - low and guttural. He stared into Harper's wide and unsure eyes. His hand went to the young man's forehead and Harper flinched. Tyr chuckled at the reaction. "You're running a fever - tulang demam has begun. Your time is near."

"I'm scared," Harper offered in all honesty - his normal funny, humor driven bravado had disappeared and had left a vulnerable, afraid young man in its place.

"Use that fear - own it. You will survive this." Tyr's voice seemed almost comforting to Harper - almost.

"Use the fear. Look whose talking you weren't even one when this tu- dem thing happened to you. You don't even remember the way it felt."

"It's tulang demam and you're right I don't."

"Then save your Nietzschean views for someone who cares." The room shifted suddenly and Harper realized a moment later that if it hadn't been for Tyr he would have hit the floor.

"You need to be in your quarters, little man. Can you walk?"

"I'm fine."

"That is not what I asked."

"Yeah, I can walk. Dylan's gonna be pissed at me. Beka . . . I don't know. I don't want to go to Medical, Tyr."

"I will see to that. Andromeda?"

"Yes, Tyr."

"End privacy mode and unlock the Hydroponics door."

The corridor was empty for the moment. Both men headed toward the crew quarters - specifically Harper's room.

"Captain Hunt, you wanted notified when Tyr and Harper had left Hydroponics."

"Thank you."



"I detect a rise in Harper's body temperature."

"A fever?" Beka broke into the conversation.


"Andromeda, where are they headed?" Dylan asked.

"Their current path will take them to crew quarters."

"Not Medical?"


Both Dylan and Beka left Command and headed toward crew quarters - they wanted to intercept the men.

"Tyr?" Harper was feeling worse by the minute and the pain in both of his arms was stabbing.

"Yes, boy?"

"I don't feel real . . . " Harper's world slid away from him and he passed out. The Nietzschean caught him easily and picked him up.

"Hang in there, little man." Tyr strode with purpose toward Harper's quarters.

Beka and Dylan were there outside in the corridor waiting. "Oh God, Tyr! Is he okay?" Beka felt a panic rise in her chest. Dylan's frustration evaporated at the site of the unconscious boy.

"He will be fine." Tyr answered. "He needs to be lying down."

"Yes, he does," Dylan agreed, "but not here. He needs Medical."

"No Medical," Tyr's tone was one of finality.

"I'm the Captain here and he needs Medical."

"There is nothing that can be done for him there."

"What?" Beka's face drained of color.

"What's going on, Tyr? Do you know what's wrong with him?" Dylan's voice was thick with concern.

"What did you do to him?" Beka hissed. "Did you hurt him?"

"I don't have time for this." Tyr proceeded to push past both Beka and Dylan and entered Harper's quarters. He placed the young man in his bed with surprising gentleness. "He is going through tulang demam. It's . . ." He wasn't able to finish as Dylan cut him off.

"I know what it is. You have to be wrong."

"What are the two of you talking about?" Beka was annoyed and wanted answers.

"I'm not wrong," Tyr offered. He pushed back the ripped sleeves and exposed the raised lumps that now appeared fire red and Tyr could feel the raised skin was hot to the touch.

"That's from the transfusion, but how?"

"The how does not really seem to matter now in the scheme of things, does it?"

**** One Hour Later ****

Tyr dipped a clean cloth into a cool watery substance. He soaked it and gently wrapped it around one of Harper's forearms and he prepared to wrap the second as well. Dylan and Beka had finally conceded that this was a situation they had to leave in the Nietzschean's hands and that not even Trance could really help. The young man moved restlessly in his bed. The fever gripped him and even in his dreams the pain reached him. As Tyr settled the final cloth on Harper and secured it - the boy seemed to relax somewhat and drift into a more restful sleep. However, Tyr knew this was the calm before the storm - what was to come would be far from easy - most likely for both of them the Nietzschean surmised.

**** Three Hours Later ****

"I can't do this," Harper moaned in agony.

"Yes, you can," Tyr's voice was soft, but assertive.

"Please, Tyr. Make it stop." Harper was writhing in his bed. Tyr had unwrapped the young man's arms and had run a cool cloth over each of his forearms. Harper was soaked in sweat. "I'm so hot."

"I know, little man. It will end."

"Before it kills me," he hissed out in pain.

"It will not kill you," Tyr offered. The Nietzschean looked at Harper's forearms. "It will happen soon. The pain will be very intense."

"You're all comfort aren't you?" Harper let some of his humor slip out despite his pain and Tyr allowed a slight smile to cross his lips.

Another hour had passed and Harper had fallen into a fitful sleep. Tyr sat in a chair against the wall and waited. Harper suddenly screamed out in pain and grabbed at his forearms. Tyr rose quickly and fought to hold the young man down. "You must lie still."

"Oh God!" Harper was fighting against the restraint of the Nietzschean. "No, no, no. Make it stop. It hurts so bad."

Tyr could only hold the young man down. Harper continued to yell in agony. His young face was wet with pain filled tears. His screams filled the room and Tyr couldn't help, but feel responsible for his pain and Harper's screams were almost primal. Tyr watched as the bone armaments pushed their way through. The tips of each bone pushed through Harper's pale skin and with them blood. Harper continued to scream out, but remained still as Tyr now cleaned the blood away. The bleeding wasn't much, but enough to be tended to. Harper had been silent for a few minutes and Tyr looked up from his tending duties and noticed that the young man had evidently passed out. It was just as well, Tyr thought to himself. Tyr sat and stared at both of Harper's forearms. They each had three bone armaments poking through. He observed that only about an inch had broken through the skin, but he knew they would continue to grow - just like every other Nietzschean until they reached their specific length. The only thing Tyr was uncertain about was how fast they would grow - he wasn't sure if Harper would experience accelerated growth or not - he would just have to wait and see. Of course, with the growth of the bones Harper would experience slight aches and pains, but nothing compared to the pain he suffered during tulang demam.

Harper moved in his sleep - he slowly woke up to a dull and constant throbbing in his arms. His quarters were dimly lit and quiet. He had his back to the door of his quarters and he didn't care to turn over. He heard no noise behind him and figured Tyr must have left. He slowly lifted an arm and looked at it. He gingerly ran his fingers over the protruding bones on his forearm. Harper lifted the other and looked at it. He stared at them for a long moment. He hated the site of them and there was nothing he could do - they were apart of him now. He put down both of his arms - he wanted to scream, to hit something, but all that came despite his best efforts were the tears, he fought to keep them silent.

Tyr sat silently in the far corner of the room - he made no noise. He watched Harper's slight shoulders rise and fall - he knew the young man was crying. He had watched him examine his arms and now he saw the impact of them on Harper. The Nietzschean clenched his fists - Harper was an annoying little man, but Tyr felt an emotion he couldn't put a finger on - or was it quite simply he didn't want to acknowledge it - he wasn't sure. He just knew he hated to see the young man so tormented. He remained motionless in the corner until he was sure that Harper had cried himself to sleep. He didn't want Harper to know he had seen him cry.


"How is he doing?" Dylan's voice broke into Tyr's silent thoughts as he stared out the large window on the Observation deck.

"As well as can be expected."

"Is it over?" Dylan noticed the Nietzschean looked tired.

"It'll never be over Dylan."

"He'll learn to live with them, Tyr. He'll be fine."

"What if he doesn't want to live with them, hmm? Have you thought of that Captain?"

"He'd never do anything to himself. Would he?"

"Dylan, it's no mystery he doesn't like Nietzschean's. Now, he is a Nietzschean by blood. He is of my blood. What am I supposed to do? He will never be accepted by other Nietzschean's - not that he'd want to be, but he will always have to keep his guard up."

"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

"Always the eternal optimist, aren't you?" Tyr held back a chuckle.

**** Two Months Later ****

Harper walked out of the Hanger deck - the wiring on a door had been shorting and he finally had the hydraulics working right. He had been forced to take three weeks off to rest and regroup. He hadn't really spoken with Tyr - he didn't know where to begin. He needed time and the feelings of frustration and anger were only growing. He hated himself and when he looked in the mirror he saw a Nietzschean looking back at him. The growth of his bone armaments had been accelerated and he was glad that they had finally seemed to stop. They all measured a little over five inches according to Trance's measurements. Tyr had said he thought it may be due to the fact he had gotten them at his adult age and not as a child like a Nietzschean, but at any rate the possible reasons didn't matter much to Harper - he had them and he hated them.

"Harper, I was just headed to see you," Dylan spoke light heartedly.

"Yeah, did you need something?" Harper was on edge and the feeling of rage was getting harder to control and he was so tired of fighting it.

"I just wanted to see how things were going. Did you get the door fixed?"


"Great. How'd you like to join us in the Officer's Mess?" Dylan wanted to coax the boy back into eating with the crew - he kept to himself since the transformation and Dylan wanted him to know that everyone accepted him - no matter what.

"No, I'm fine."

"No, you're not," Dylan corrected. Harper continued to walk down the corridor as Dylan talked to him. His anger was growing. He just wanted to get to his quarters so he could unleash this rage before it boiled over. Tyr was headed toward his own quarters when he heard Harper's voice and then Dylan's.

"You need to accept this, Harper!"

"Go to Hell!"

Tyr heard Harper's response and walked with purpose to intercept the two men. "I just want to help you, Harper. We all do."

"You wanna help me? Huh? Can you make this all go away?"

"Harper, stop walking away from me and talk." Dylan said in frustration, but not anger as he reached out and touched Harper's shoulder. Something in him snapped and he turned on Dylan. His bone armaments extended and he swung an arm at Dylan before he could even think of stopping. Tyr had turned the corner just in time to see what happened. Dylan's quick reflexes were all that saved him. He ducked and caught Harper's arm at the wrist and shoulder and shoved him into the wall.

"Let me handle this, Dylan," Tyr said in a low tone. Dylan looked at the Nietzschean and then at Harper who remained looking at the wall. "Little man?" Tyr's voice was uncommonly gentle. The boy looked up at him, but said nothing. "Go on to your quarters. I need to talk to Dylan." Harper didn't resist he wanted out of here and Tyr was giving him an out. He took it.

"He's out of control, Tyr."

"I'll handle it."

"Really?" Dylan's voice was angry.

"I said . . . I would handle it," he nearly growled. "You have no idea what it is like."

"No, I don't, but I do know he needs to be controlled and it's plain to me he is a danger to this crew."

"Dylan, he is a boy. He will learn to control his impulses."


"I will teach him how to control the fire that burns in him." He started to walk away from Dylan toward Harper's quarters.

"Tyr?" The Nietzschean stopped and turned toward Dylan. "Why are you doing this?" Tyr studied Dylan for a long moment.

"I am my brother's keeper." His tone was blunt and he said no more. He turned from Dylan and walked down the corridor leaving Dylan Hunt in stunned silence. Tyr Anasazi of Kodiak pride had just claimed Seamus Harper as his blood, his brother and responsibility. He could only wonder what would become of this unexpected blood bond between complete opposites, but something felt oddly right - for the first time in a long time.