Last Chapter, Yeh!

Man, when I have a bad day, I have a really lowdown, in the gutter, nastier than a hungry Magog, terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. Harper thought to himself as the two burly guards shoved him through the doors to Engineering. The guards watched him as they took up post at the doors. Harper sighed and found his toolbelt on the floor. He turned to his captors as he put it on.

"You want control over the systems or shall I make it so this place is actually functional first?" He asked, not wanting to get slapped around again if he fixed the wrong system.

The larger of the guards moved closer and got right in Harper's face, "Turn control over to us. We do not need the help of a human to get this ship operational."

"Okay. Chill." Harper put up his arms defensively and made his way over to the open console he used previously to get into Andromeda's systems. Like any average, non-super genius can just decide he knows how to fix this ship. He thought as he sat on the floor and pulled a jack from his toolbelt. The guards followed him, watching his every move closely.

Harper plugged one end into the console and was about to go in when the guard suddenly aimed his weapon at him. "Whoa! What's your problem?!" Harper asked, not liking being targeted.

"What are you doing?" The guard demanded, unfamiliar with the technology of cerebral ports and sending your consciousness into a computer.

"Hey, you want control? Then I gotta go back in the system. As much of a super genius as I am, even I can't do it manually. Now, if you'll excuse me." Harper held up the jack for all to see then plugged himself into the system. His eyes rolled back and his body went limp as his consciousness left.

Harper walked around the ship's mainframe. "Rommie, you here?" He shouted into the dark abyss. No response. "Damn, guess it's just me and my super genius." Harper set to work immediately. He had created very specific safeguards around the slipstream and weapons controls, for anyone else it would have taken hours to bypass, he could have them down in close to half an hour. It took about that much time to take down the lock outs around the slipstream drive. He figured he could chance giving them control since the slipstream was offline and would take hours to fix. He had seen the damage in the middle of the attack. Weapons were a different story, he refused to make these guys one of the most unstoppable forces in the galaxy.

"Well, they've got propulsion, fat lot of good it does them though." Harper figured he could squeeze another hour or so into his time inside the system and say he'd spent it all to get slipstream back. "Now, Rommie. Where are they hiding you?" Harper needed to find where the virus had stored Andromeda's personality. For that, he needed to take out the virus at least partially.

"Okay, big bad and ugly. You got lucky last time but this time I'm kicking you out." Harper had a lot more time now and used it wisely. Instead of trying to disable it full on, he picked away at the virus bit by bit. He was definitely making ground but figured he should leave, his guards could be getting suspicious. He pulled out and looked up at his alarmed guards.

"Ya miss me?" Harper asked tentatively as he pulled the plug from his head. He looked up and saw Hylar had joined the guards and did not looked pleased with Harper.

"You better have transferred control of this ship over to me, or you'll be very sorry."

"Not exactly. You can control slipstream now, not that it's operational or anything. That's about all I've gotten around to." Harper found himself once more slammed against the wall.

"Well then I suggest you get back in there and turn *all* control over to me."

"Hey, I'd love to pal, really. But I just spent a couple of hours with my consciousness floating out of my body. Now, you can't just do something like that whenever you feel like it. I stay in there too long, or go in too frequently and my brain gets fried and my mind gets trapped in there. And trust me, you don't want me crawling around in there, I get bored easily. I may have to start rewiring things." Harper was lying of course but they didn't know that. He could stay in there indefinitely under the proper circumstances.

"Fine." Hylar released Harper, who immediately readjusted his shirt collar.

"Glad we understand each other. Now, you gonna take me back to my friends or what?" Harper asked, his voice sounded more commanding than he had meant it to.

"When will you be able to go back in?" Hylar sounded as though he was mocking Harper. Only really bad guys could change an ordinary sentence into a taunt so easily, they had lots of practice in doing so.

"I don't know. A couple hours." Harper told them, thinking they would bring him back to his cell. He really wanted to get some rest and his cold was getting worse, not that he was going to complain to his captors. While interfaced with a system Harper's body got no rest, despite it being inactive. If anything he felt more exhausted after being plugged in.

"Well then, that should give you plenty of time to get these engines operational." Hylar sneered.

"I thought your almighty crew was more than capable of fixing them without the help of a pathetic human?" Harper glared at the guards as he quoted them.

"I'm afraid my crew greatly over-estimates their engineering abilities. Besides, they are unfamiliar with the ship's systems, you are not. Now get to work, or I may become bored with you and your ship and take it out on your friends."

Harper glared at Hylar as he reluctantly set to work on the Slipstream Drive and once more yearned for a Sparky. Andromeda was always a big job, especially for one man. He also usually had nanobots and Rommie to help with repairs. He prepared himself for a very excruciating repair job.


Dylan paced in his cell, as did Beka. It had been more than two hours since Harper had been forcibly removed by the Hasisians. Every ten minutes or so Dylan would call for Rommie, hoping Harper had somehow gotten her back online. No such luck so far.

"Would you stop that incessant pacing, both of you?! You are making me dizzy." Tyr said to Dylan and Beka. They both immediately stopped, but still were clearly restless.

"It's just irritating. Not being able to do anything." Beka exclaimed, clenching her fists in an attempt to relieve some tension.

"You are doing as much as the rest of us. If there is nothing you can do, the obvious choice is to do nothing." Tyr pointed out, he was relieved that they had stopped pacing.

"You'd give up? Just like that?" Dylan questioned him, shocked by his behaviour.

"When an opportunity for escape presents itself I will take it, but until then I refuse to please our captors by pacing around like a caged tiger." Tyr replied, as calmly as ever.

Dylan sighed, he hated when he didn't have control of a situation. "I think we're all just a bit on edge here."

"Not to mention bored out of our skulls." Beka added.

Trance smiled brightly, "We could play a game, like eye spy. Or have a sing along. There must be something we all know."

Everyone groaned audibly, Trance's face sank. It was clear no one wanted to play. "Harper would play." She grumbled under her breath. Everyone felt a slight pang of guilt, knowing that indeed the young engineer most likely would play the game with her unhesitantly.

Dylan sighed again, "Okay, Trance. You go first."

Trance immediately brightened, "I eye spy with ... "


Harper worked on the engines as fast as possible. If his plan did work, which he really hoped it would, then functional engines would definitely be a good thing. The guards never took their eyes off him, but at least they had stopped questioning every move he made, apparently when Hylar made an order it was to be followed to the T. He had been working for hours, and would need at least two more to finish, he doubted he'd get that long. As he repaired the Aligners, which he'd been unable to fix in the initial fight, he tried to recall how much rest he'd gotten lately, hoping his fatigue was just in his mind.

In the morning he had woken up from an unrestful sleep of no more than six hours and then went to work, where he grudged on with his repairs for ten hours, with breaks every now and then and that ten minute nap he'd squeezed in. Then another hour of repairs before he went to his quarters for some actual rest, of which he got maybe five minutes. It had been eight hours since he was removed from the brig and put to work which brought Harper to the conclusion that he was totally exhausted.

"Achoo! Achoo!" Not to mention sick. Breathing was becoming more of a chore as his chest began to tighten, but Harper had had plenty of experience being sick and knew how to function that way. He sneezed again and this time turned away from the console, in the general direction of the guards. Even though they were halfway across the room the guards still backed up slightly when Harper sneezed in their direction. Harper noticed this and smiled to himself. They can't really be scared of catching a cold. He thought. But it was quite possible, they're race could be very susceptable to disease or just fear it altogether. Harper put that little tidbit of information in the back of his brain while he worked.

Shortly Hylar returned. "It has been six hours, you will reinterface with the computer and turn *all* control over to me." It wasn't a request, it was an order. Harper wasn't good with orders.

"I got a better idea." Harper jumped down from the console he'd been standing on.

"Don't test me human." Hylar warned him with hatred flaring in his eyes.

"Hey, all I meant was I'm gonna have the engines done in like half an hour, let me finish and you can start off to wherever it is you're headed while I'm interfaced getting the weapons online."

"You seem awful eager to participate." Hylar stated suspiciously.

"I'm sick, I'm tired, I've been working like a dog and I wanna see my friends, who you are practically holding at gunpoint over my head. So, yeah, I'm cooperating, I just wanna get this over with." Harper had been practicing that line in his head all day. Hylar seemed to accept this but once more got right in Harper's face.

"Fix the engines." He ordered then turned to leave.

"Aye, aye, Captain Fruit Loop." Harper mumbled under his breath. Luckily the Hasisians didn't have very good hearing and missed his comment.

Harper got back to work and in little less than half an hour the engines were running smootly. "Oh Mr. High and Mighty, you can use Slip Stream now." Harper said as he patched through to the Command Deck. "If you even know how." He added after releasing the button.

"About time, now get to work on the weapons." Hylar commanded as he turned off the comm.

"Not even a thank-you, or good job. No one appreciates me ..." Harper stopped complaining when the guards began to converge on him. "Okay, okay, I'm on it." Harper walked resolutely over to the interface console and sat down.

"I know you'll miss me, but please try to contain your emotions." Harper smirked. Just before he plugged himself in Harper felt the ship lurch suddenly. Good luck trying to navigate slipstream suckers. The ship didn't move with it's natural flow it normally did, when Beka or even himself were piloting. He plugged in and allowed his consciousness to drift through the cyberworld.

"Oh, Rommie. Haven't dug yourself out yet have you?" No response. "*sigh* alone in your mainframe and not a soul in sight. Well except a big nasty virus." Harper set to work once more, the virus was deteriorating and Harper could tell it would disperse soon. After an hour or so Harper was done.

"Okay, one adjustment here, another adjustment there and ..." A bright light flashed inside the mainframe as the virus disappeared. "Rommie!" Harper exclaimed excitedly as the AI reappeared before his very eyes.

"Harper. What happened? I am detecting far too many Hasisians onboard and Dylan and the others are in the holding cells. I must go release them."

"No! Don't do anything, they'll know I fixed you. I got a plan." Harper explained.

Rommie crossed her arms, "I'm listening."

"Great, here's what we do."


As the guards hovered over Harper's still form they were forced to back away as sparks shot out from the interface console and Harper's cerebral port. Harper's eyes immediately shot open.

"Ow, ow, ow!" He yelled as he unplugged himself as quickly as possible. He leaned against the wall and rubbed at his neck gingerly, he had been slightly burned, but nothing too serious. "Do not go in there!" Harper warned the guards as if he thought they might decide they wanted to take a stroll through cyberspace.

The guards were not amused, they had automatically signalled Hylar when the sparks started.

"What happened?" One of the guards asked, no hint of concern for Harper's well being in his voice.

"I'll tell you what happened ... " Harper began when the doors suddenly opened and Hylar walked in, not looking happy.

Harper pointed a figure at him accusingly, "Your stupid virus has screwed up this ship's systems worse than I thought possible. All the systems are criss crossed, most of the consoles aren't responding, the reactors are almost completely shut down. I mean when you screw up, you screw up good. It's so fried in there I had to pull out to keep from being barbecued." Harper knew he was taking a big risk releasing his anger on Hylar but his plan had to work. He just needed Hylar distracted for a minute or two he knew this was the perfect way.

Hylar launched Harper into a bulkhead with all his strength. Harper flinched and had a sudden intake of breath, but refused to cry out.

"You will go back in there, *right now*! And I don't care how 'screwed up' those systems are. I want complete control over this ship in an hour." Hylar was completely serious and the red in his pupils even increased in radiance. Harper pretended to be intimidated, he was no longer going to be pushed around by this guy. Harper was playing him and he didn't even know it.

He looked up at Hylar defiantly but moved to replug himself in. He flinched as the jack went in, he had told Rommie not to shock him too bad, but it was still a bit tender around his cerebral port from the sparks. When Hylar left Harper was already roaming Andromeda's systems, with a well hidden grin on his face.


The crew's heart pounding game of eye spy was brought to an abrupt halt when the ship lurched suddenly as it entered slipstream.

"Seems as though Master Harper has repaired the Andromeda." Rev Bem observed.

"Well, the engines at least. I just hope he hasn't given them weapons control." Dylan said as the ship lurched unsteadily once more.

"They should highly consider working on their piloting skills." Tyr commented, not enjoying the bumpy ride.

"Agreed." Dylan added.

"Can we keep playing?" Trance asked, she had been winning a great deal at eye spy. Everyone sighed but agreed.

It was an hour later, and the crew had fallen into silence. Boredom and despair were winning out when suddenly the beautiful AI appeared before them.

"Hello, Dylan." Rommie greeted her captain as she dropped the force fields.

"Rommie, you're back online." Dylan smiled.

"Harper fixed you didn't he? I knew he could do it." Trance felt quite proud of her best friend.

"Yes, he did. He also has a plan to regain control of the ship and get all Hasisians offboard." Rommie explained.

"Great. What is it?" Beka inquired.

"I'll have to go into details later, but I believe it will work. Harper wants you all to go the Medical Bay. The deck is clear of Hasisians except for the two guards outside this door and internal weapons are offline. Harper says you're on your own to get rid of them."

"Shouldn't be too difficult." Tyr said, grinding his knuckles.

"Oh, Harper also wanted me to tell Tyr that he heard the Hasisians say that the Nietzscheans were one of the weakest species they'd ever encountered and offered little to no resistance when attacked." Rommie stated matter of factly.

"Is that so?" Tyr was fuming. Harper had told her to say that, he hadn't actually heard it but he knew an angry Tyr was a force to be reckoned with, even against two burly Hasisians.

Dylan and Tyr positioned themselves directly behind the door. Dylan motioned for Rommie to open the door and they lashed out at the guards before they knew what hit them. Dylan smashed one guard on the back of the head before he turned around then kneed him in the face as he doubled over, knocking him unconscious. Tyr spun the other guard around first and continually pounded his fists into the Hasisian's head, eventually knocking him out as he hit the deck.

Dylan was pleasantly surprised to find his force lance on one of the guards. He powered it up as Beka and Tyr took the guards' weapons.

"Rommie, how many Hasisians are onboard?" Dylan asked as they headed down the corridor.

"52." Rommie answered without appearing.

Dylan nodded, "Let's get to Medical, it's best to go along with Harper's plan, we can't possibly take them all out ourselves."

"I should like to try." Tyr told Dylan, while powering up his new weapon.

"Let's give Harper's plan a shot first, we may not have to resort to violence. But knowing Harper I doubt it." Dylan replied as they made it to the Medical Bay. They all walked in and the doors shut behind them, locking.

"Okay, Rommie. We're here. What's Harper's plan?" Beka asked impatiently.

Rommie reappeared in front of them, "Harper plans to render all the Hasisians onboard unconscious. Once they lose consciousness it will be a simple matter of physically removing them from the ship. I scanned the Hasisians to learn about their physiology, and Harper and I believe that if Arithon gas is vented throughout the ship than it will take less than thirty seconds to take effect on the Hasisians, rendering them completely harmless."

"A plausible plan. But why are we locked in the Medical Bay?" Tyr inquired.

"Arithon gas has been known to have unpleasant side effects when inhaled, every area of the ship, apart from the Medical Bay is going to be flooded with the gas. This is the best place for you all to be." Rommie replied.

"What kinda side effects?" Trance asked worriedly.

"Illness, such as fever, chills, severe headaches. Others have experienced temporary respiratory problems afterwards. Nothing you would like to experience. Just stay here and after I've vented the gas and then the decks are clear of it, it should be safe for you to emerge. I must speak to Harper first." With that note she disappeared.

"Well, I guess we just wait. Sounds like Harper's got this all planned out." Beka surmised, making herself comfortable on the Medical bed.

"Yes, I must admit I'm surprised. When Rommie said Harper had a plan I was certain it would be centered around blowing up the Hasisians." Dylan added.

"There is always time for that afterwards." Tyr commented casually, receiving a nasty glare from Dylan.

Trance frowned, something bothered her about Harper's plan, "Guys. If the Arithon gas is really that bad then won't it have side effects on the Hasisians too?"

"Not like they don't deserve it. But they're physiology's different from ours, there's no telling what may happen to them but Rommie's not programmed to kill so it couldn't be anything life threatening to them." Beka said.

Trance still shifted restlessly, "What about Harper? Rommie said the gas is being vented everywhere but here. If he's not here won't he be affected too?"

Realization dawned on everyone's face.

"He wouldn't do what I think he's gonna do, would he?" Dylan asked, unsure of Harper's motives.

"Oh, yes he would. If it meant getting these guys off the ship he definitely would." Beka assured him. "That little psycho, he's gonna shut us in here safe and sound while he risks his life. When I get my hands on him, I'll kill him myself for his self-righteousness. When the Hell did he get that?"

"Maybe he has a plan. You know, he knows somewhere he can go to not be effected, or he just won't breathe or something." Trance suggested.

"It's a possibility but I want to know for sure. If Harper's putting himself in harm's way then we'll find another way to get the ship back. A fever alone could have lasting affects on Harper's health. Rommie!" Dylan beckoned the AI. He got no response. "Andromeda!" He called out again. "Why isn't she responding?"


When Harper re-entered her system, Rommie knew that it was time to put their plan to work. Harper seemed anxious as he approached her.

"You shocked me way more than you needed." He complained immediately.

"You said to make it realistic."

Harper couldn't contend with that logic, "You get Dylan and the others out?"

"Yes, they're all safely locked in Medical Bay. Harper are you sure this is wise? There has to be another way." Rommie pleaded.

"I'm positive. These guards haven't left my side for a second since they've come onboard, there's no way for me to get them off my back. And there may very well be another way, but neither of us can think of one right now and Hylar is gonna get really pissed if he doesn't get control soon, so either way I'm screwed. I prefer this way." Harper smirked, he was just glad he was going to be able to get the drop on Hylar.

"I'm still not sure I'm willing to go along with this. You could be seriously hurt in this endeavour. The side effects of the gas are dangerous to normal humans, not to mention someone with your compromised immune system."

"Look Rommie, I'm touched, really, but I'm sure this is the right thing to do. Don't make me reprogram you to make you do this, I really hate doing that. I'll hold my breath, I promise." Harper put his hand up in a bad version of scout's honor.

"I will be venting the gas for thirty seconds and then it may take an additional minute to clear it from the deck." Rommie told him, not knowing how long he could hold his breath.

"Yeah, I can do that." Harper assured her although he knew he probably couldn't. His breathing was labored as it was thanks to his ever increasing cold and a minute and a half suddenly seemed like a lifetime.

"Harper, Dylan is requesting my presence. I believe they want to be let out of Medical Bay."

"Don't let them. No matter what. I'm gonna cut off the link now, start venting the gas a few seconds after I log out. Wish me luck." Harper smirked as he disappeared from the mainframe.

"Good luck." Rommie said to herself, then waited a few moments and began venting the Arithon gas.


Harper felt his consciousness return but kept his eyes closed and made no movements to indicate his consciousness. He took several deep breaths, filling his lungs with as much oxygen as possible. He heard a hissing noise which could only be gas being pumped into the room, he took one last deep breath and held it. He silently began counting in his head.

1, 2, 3, 4,

"What's going on?" He heard one of the guards.

5, 6, 7, 8,

There were sounds of movements and then only the hacking coughs of the Hasisians.

9, 10, 11, 12,

He heard them gasp for air and finally felt the floor tremor as they collapsed.

13, 14, 15, 16, 17,

Harper tried to concentrate on holding his breath. He felt the ship suddenly lurch.

18, 19, 20, 21, 22

His first thought was that something had gone wrong, but then he realized whoever was piloting through the slipstream had probably just fallen unconscious.

23, 24, 25, 26,

He felt his chest tighten and could feel his heart desperately yearning for fresh oxygen.

27, 28, 29, 30,

He could hear the gas had stopped venting into the room. One minute left. No prob.

31, 32, 33, 34,

Oh God, I'm gonna die!

35, 36, 37, 38, 39,

No I won't. Arithon gas just causes fever and chills. ... which I could die from thanks to me and my Mudfoot immune system.

40, 41, 42, 43,

I need air!

44, 45, 46, 47,


"What's that noise?" Trance asked looking around the room. The others listened as well. They had been unable to force the door open in any way and Andromeda refused to answer any requests of her presence.

"It's gas being vented." Rev replied as he identified the sound.

"Dammit! I'm gonna kill him. I'm gonna have a serious talk with our AI too." Beka fumed as she paced around the Medical Deck.

"I suppose there's nothing we can do now but wait." Rev surmised as he pondered their predicament.

"Trance, get any medical supplies you may need to treat exposure to Arithon gas ready. Once it's safe to leave we're going to get directly to Harper." Dylan ordered, thinking it was the best they could currently do. Trance immediately began to get all the supplies ready. The others waited impatiently for the doors to open, knowing it wouldn't be long.


50, 51, 52

I can't take it!

53, 54, 55,

Harper laid down on the floor, trying to get as low as possible. He pulled his shirt to his mouth in a poor attempt for an air filter and breathed in.

56, 57, 58,

As soon as the first rush of air hit his lungs he began to cough violently. The gas burned, but Harper kept his head low still needing the little air in the room.

59, 60, 61, 62,

This was a really stupid plan!

63, 64, 65, 66,

But the guys are okay. This isn't as bad as if something had happened to them.

67, 68, 69, 70,

Harper tried to look on the bright side as the gas kept up it's nonstop assault on his lungs. He continued to cough violently but could feel a difference in the air he took in. It was cleaner. But far from being pure yet.

71, 72, 73, 74,

Harper's coughing became violent as he felt his lungs would soon burn through his chest.

75, 76, 77, 78,

The air became much cleaner. The pain in his chest didn't go away, but it didn't worsen with each attempted breath either.

79, 80, 81, 82,

Harper was pretty sure he was breathing pure oxygen now, but there was no way to tell with the searing pain still in his lungs.

83, 84, 85,

Rommie appeared beside Harper looking very concerned. "The gas is gone."

Harper's coughing didn't relent though, his speech was slurred and almost unaudible, "Only .. eighty .. five .. seconds..."

"I sped up the venting. You have to get to Medical Deck immediately." Rommie was in holographic form and her avatar was offline so could offer no support. She was forced to watch as Harper only managed to nod in agreement.

"Beka .... Dylan ..." Harper managed to get out, intending to ask if they were all okay.

"They're all fine. They were locked safely in the Medical Bay when the gas was vented."

Harper smiled through his cough and stumbled out of Engineering. He could still feel the gas in his lungs and would have signed a deal with the devil for a drink of water to quench the flames in his chest. His cough never abated as he tried to get down the corridor, he stopped and leant against the wall for support.

I feel like Hell, but I think that plan worked out rather well.


Harper ducked to the floor as the the hallway was filled with weapons fire. Several shots rang out over his head. He looked up and saw Hylar standing at the end of the hallway, rifle charged and looking none the worse for wear.

Oh, crap! Harper got up and made his way back to Engineering as fast as possible, which isn't very fast when you feel like you're going to cough up a lung.

Hylar laughed maniacally as he followed Harper and made his way to the door of Engineering.

"Not a bad try, human! I'm actually impressed. Too bad you didn't know a Hasisian can hold his breath for up to three minutes, or else you may have vented the gas a bit longer. I only wish my crew had been smart enough to realize this before trying to fight against the gas as they inhaled it." Hylar taunted as he approached the doorway.

"Rommie ... lock doors." Harper squeaked out, just before Hylar entered and practically got his foot caught in the door. Harper could hear Hylar at the other side of the door, pounding on it for all he was worth. The pounding quickly changed to laser fire as Hylar attempted to shoot down the door.

Harper was beat. The last twenty-four hours seemed to catch up to him all at once. He leaned against the wall, no longer able to support his own weight and slid down the wall as the hacking cough persisted.

Well, I suppose this is the kinda ending I should have expected from a day as bad as this one. Harper thought as he dropped his head to his knees. He heard the sound of the metal door clenching and knew Hylar had shot his way through. Then he heard the unmistakable sound of a force lance, it was far different than the energy discharge of the Hasisian weapons.

He used the last of his depleted strength and lifted his head. He smiled genuinely as he saw one of the most beautiful things in his life.

Beka stood in the doorway, appearing like a giant, with forcelance in hand. The light from the hallway cast a shadow on her body, making her appear to be no more than a silhouette. She visually scanned the room until her eyes came to rest on the young engineer crouched on the floor. She knelt down in front of him to make them face to face.

"Seamus Zelazny Harper, I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you." She looked at him with a mixture of concern and pride.

"Please ..(cough) .. kill me." Harper requested with a slight smile as he was victim to another bout of severe coughs.

"Well that's what you get for trying to be a hero." Beka extended her arm and helped Harper to his feet and also supported most of his weight. "Which you are by the way, but don't let it go to your head."

Tyr stood in wait in the hallway, forcelance in hand as well.

"It appears he was the only one who did not fall victim to the gas." He stated, indicating Hylar's prone body. "And you .." Tyr took a seemingly menacing step towards Harper then clasped his shoulder almost fondly, "Well done Little Professor."

Harper smiled and forced himself to always remember the last few moments just as his coughing became increasingly worse. He fell to his knees and everything from then on was darkness.


Harper looked around his surroundings to find himself somewhere very familiar. He was in the Medical Deck, again. He felt much better than before, but his chest was still tight when he breathed and the burning sensation had numbed down to a few sparks. He saw Trance with her back to him messing around with the medical supplies. He involuntarily coughed, causing her to turn around. She smiled broadly.

"Bout time you woke up, sleepyhead. A few more hours and I could have pronounced you clinically dead." She joked.

"You wouldn't be far off. So, what's the diagnosis Dr. Sparkly Purple Babe?" Harper asked, as he sat up.

"Well, let's see." She picked up a flexi that held the list of what Harper had been treated for, "Physical exhaustion, some slight burns around your cerebral port, I don't know how you got those, you contracted a high fever while you were asleep which broke last night, it's gonna be harder to breath for awhile, your lungs have to recover from the Arithon gas and you can expect to have a few headaches, ranging from bad to very bad. If that happens just take this," She handed Harper a hypo, "and it should go away in a few minutes. You'll also be staying in the Medical Bay for a few more days, I could probably release you in tomorrow but I like watching Tyr try to fix things. It's quite entertaining."

"No prob, Trance. I'll be happy to relax in Medical a few days. I have been meaning to catch up on my sleep. But I'd love to see Tyr's adventure in Engineering." Harper smiled at the thought.

"Not if you wanna stay in one piece you don't." Harper and Trance looked up to see Dylan and Beka had joined them, "It's very dangerous to go near a Nietzschean who can't get something to work, especially when the traditional method of hitting it isn't working." Beka continued.

"Hey guys. Please tell me those idiots didn't do any permanent damage to Rommie's systems." Harper pleaded, his eyes showing that he didn't want to spend the next month fixing up the systems.

"Nothing too serious. We're still operational." Dylan replied as he and Beka took a spot near a Harper's bed.

"What'd you do with the intruders from Hell, anyway?"

"We put them back on their ship and sent them on their way," Beka replied calmly, Harper stared at her in shock. No retaliation? Beka saw the look on his face and smiled. "That is with only enough power to maintain life support and most of the essential parts taken from their ship. They should be adrift for several months before anyone finds them."

Harper laughed but it soon turned into a coughing fit. Trance quickly filled a glass of water and gave it to him. He drank it greedily. "Thanks." He managed to get out.

"Maybe we should all let you get your rest." Dylan suggested, motioning for Trance and Beka to leave with him.

Harper did feel tired so didn't protest as they filed out of the room. He scanned the room visually and called out just as Trance's tail disappeared from view.

"Hey! Where are all the "Get Well Soon" presents?" In the next room Dylan and Beka rolled their eyes and didn't reply. Harper just mumbled under his breath as he sunk into the bed.

"Not even a card." He sulked.

"I think he'll be fine." Beka stated.

"He'll be more than fine, he's never gonna let us drop this. Like he needed an ego boost." Dylan commented just as they were about to walk out.

"Damn right." Harper had heard them and called out again from the next room. "You know I'm not always gonna be their to save your butts. After three hundred years you'd think you could take better care of yourself. I can't just go rescue you guys every time ..."

"Go to sleep!" Dylan and Beka bellowed simultaneously and finally left.

Harper pulled the covers up but continued muttering to himself. "Some people are so unappreciative. I risk my life for them and this is the thanks I get. No thanks at all. The least they could of done was get me a fruit basket." Harper looked up and saw Trance coming back in with her hands behind her back. She brought them in front of her and handed Harper the present.

"Trance you're the best." She just smiled as she made her way out of the Med Deck once more. Harper cheerfully unwrapped the basket and inspected the assortment of fruits, then snuggled back into sleep, after placing the fruit basket safely on the floor.

The End

Hope you all enjoyed. Tell me what you thought, pretty please with loads of sugar. Diana.