ME, Myself and No One.
Harper stood on his toes and stretched out his right arm…he couldn't quite reach the coil above his head and had skinned his knuckles twice trying to reach it. Harper was in a bad mood. Nothing was going his way today. He was in what basically worked out to be the starship Andromeda's boiler room. The environmental controls had been acting up and some of the plants in hydroponics were beginning to freeze while elsewhere places like the crew quarters were well above 40 % Celsius.
" a little more..ahhhhhhhh gotcha ya!" He had just managed to wrap his index finger around the offending coil.
"need help?" a voice asked not 2 inches from his ear.
Harper let out a yelp and jumped, the coil, which he had been pulling on sprung from his grasp and was now 10 feet above his head, wrapped around a pipe.
"Crap, Trance! You scared me!" Harper glanced up at the coil and swore again.
"Sorry" trance answered meekly "Dylan asked me to see how you were doing."
"Can you hook that coil with your tail?"
" I don't think so…"
"Then I'm doing crappy" Harper muttered to himself as he went to get a ladder. Trance followed him.
"Beka says we might be able to stop at a place called 'Thesieus' Throat' in a couple of days…she's says they have dance clubs, restaurants and shopping!"
"Good maybe I can finally get some new wiring for the command console," he said unenthusiastically
"Harper …now I know something is wrong especially when your not excited about beer and parts and… how is your medicine working? Any stomach pains? Fever?" Harper brushed her hand away from his forehead
"Trance really I'm just having a bad day ok...back off mother Theresa! Sheeesh!"
"Grump!" Trance pouted and left Harper to retrieve his ladder by himself.
*** 10 min later***
Harper stood on the top wrung of the ladder now back among the piping. Once again he reached for the coil.
"Harper!" yelled a voice from a few feet away. Once again he jumped with surprise only this time he banged his head as well."
"Dammit" he swore holding his head and swaying slightly at the top of the ladder. "Beka WHAT!"
"ooooo Trance is right you are grumpy...what's up?"
"Maybe if everyone would quit pestering me I wouldn't be!"
"Ok big man I was going to offer my help…." Beka held her hand s up in defense and walked backwards towards the door. Harper feeling not the least bit guilty shouted through the piping
"Don't let the door hit you on the way out!"
Harper did manage to complete his work on the coil and had the environmental systems back in order with only a couple more interruptions (one from Tyr and one from Rommie.) So he decided to relax in his quarters get some peace and quiet, with a brew and go over the specs for his latest project, but within minutes of lying down on his bunk with his flexi's he was asleep
What felt like minutes later Andromeda shuddered and jerked.
"What the…." Harper spoke to himself as he held on to his bunk so he wouldn't be thrown to the floor and then to the ship.
"Rommie? What's going on!?" The ships AI did not respond.
The ship quit shaking as suddenly as it started.
Harper listened to see if he could hear anything, but there was nothing. No emergency alarms, no Rommie not even any background noise like the hum of the engines or anything.
"Creepy" whispered Harper once again to himself.
He got up from his bunk and went out to the hall.
He nearly tripped over a droid that lay on the deck inactive.
"This can not be good!" he reached down and opened the droids front panel. "The power is on it should be fine." It was like it had just feel asleep but that was weird, of course, because droids don't sleep. The droids power wasn't depleted it had simply just stopped. Ok now he was really worried and ran for the bridge.
The doors on the bridge swished open but the room was empty.
"Rommie?" still no answer
he did a ship wide call and heard the speakers were working because he heard his voice bouncing around the outside of the bridge. No one answered.
"Where the hell is everybody?"
Harper walked around the Andromeda searching for anyone or even some clues as to what happened.
There was no sign of anybody. He did find a couple of more droids lying around but that's about it. He even checked the Maru but everything was where it was suppose to be.
Man, he thought, this ship is huge when you have to walk around it looking for people! He walked into hydroponics.
"TRANCE!!!!!!!!!!!" his voice echoed around the room. No answer. Harper strolled through the bay but something made him stop dead in his tracks. They were gone all of them! Herman, Fred, Sam, all of them! Even the beautiful huge tree that should have been in the centre was gone. How could a tree disappear? How could all of trance's plants disappear? How could a crew disappear?
There was a loud beep over the intercom and the red alarm klaxon sounded. Harper jumped. It had been really quiet.
"What the hell!"
Harper ran for the bridge again.
On the bridge lights were flashing and alarms were sounding it took him a minute to figure out someone was hailing him. Usually Rommie interpreted all these signals.
"ahhhhh on screen?"
The head and shoulders (at least it looked sort of like a head and shoulders) of a weird looking blue alien appeared. The alien had approximately 16 little holes where is nose should have been and ears like a bat.
"Are you the captain of this vessel?" the creature gurgled.
Harper paused for a nano second "yes, yes I am. Captain Harper" he tried to be taller.
" I am in need of assistance…..is this the Andromeda Ascendant?"
"yup…..ahhh ..i mean" now in a deeper voice "of course it is."
The alien looked at him oddly
"I thought the Captain of the ship was Dylan Hunt, I wish to speak to him where is he?"
Harper gave it up. "He's ummm out…what can I do for you?"
"My ship went through an anomaly a few parsecs back. It seemed to have shorted out a couple of systems, we were on our way to buy parts at "thesius' throat" so we have none to replace the ones that were damaged we were wondering if we could buy a few relays from you?
" An intergalactic cup of sugar, sure, I'll see what I can find and send it over."
"Thank you, in the mean time if your Captain Hunt returns I would like to speak with him."
Harper blushed "yeah, sure thing."
The screen returned to a view of space.
He set the view screen to show the anomaly the alien creature guy had mentioned. It looked like a typically ion storm but around the edges of it he could see sparks that looked a bit like lighting. Had the Andromeda gone through that? Maybe it held the answers to where everybody was?
Harper was searching the ship for clues when
He found her in the officer's mess on the floor. She looked discarded. She was like the other droids simply not working. But Rommie was far from like the other droids in Harper's eyes. He pulled her out of the mess to Dylan's quarters and laid her on his bed.
"Are you in there Rommie? I just need someone to talk to. I don't know how to fix you but I'll keep looking for a way. Can you send me a sign about what's going on at all?….. Well, I got to go look for the others, I won't be long, don't worry I'll come back."
He walked towards the door and glanced back. He felt useless but he didn't have time to fix her right now he had to find the others. He wasn't choosing them over her but yet he felt like he was betraying her by not attending to her needs immediately.
"I will be right back." He said again not even sure if she could hear him and walked out of the room.
After sending the parts over to the alien ship he jacked into the main system on the bridge.
He felt his body go slack and his consciousness flow through the biotechnic tunnel and he was in. "Rommie…come on babes where are you?"
He walked around slowly and then he saw something, something he didn't want to see.
A hand, then an arm and a body.
"Rommie?" his voiced cracked.
He ran over to her and held her in his arms. Data from programs zoomed around them. Her body was phasing in and out of existence in his arms. He thought for a minute that her eyes were focusing on him.
"har…..per" she whispered almost below his hearing level. And then his arms were empty.
"Rommie COME BACK!!!!!"
Harper's breathe came in small gasps...had Rommie just died? Impossible. He wouldn't allow his brain to accept it.
His existence returned to the bridge. He was going to get them back wherever they were!
Harper ran to the new bridge consul and aimed the Andromeda into the anomaly.
42 days later inside the anomaly currently named "pain in the ass"
Loud music blared through the empty halls of the Andromeda Sparky-Cola cans, Miscellaneous machine parts and clothing littered the enameled floors. About a month ago Harper had scavenged an old chair from one of the old crew quarters and had hauled it up to the bridge. This where Seamus Harper currently was. He sang loudly just to break the unbearable silence. He had his eyes closed and was thinking of the past few weeks. He had entered the anomaly not know what to expect…well he certainly had not expected what he did find. This anomaly reminded him of the legendary Bermuda triangle of earth. There were ships everywhere!! All were empty with no life signs. Ever so often a ship would come in and manage to leave relatively unaffected. Most of those ships left as soon as they entered…Harper surmised they were scared off but what they saw, it was a lot like a graveyard at times. Harper had docked with a couple of the ships, sheer boredom over came his nervousness but all that he found was empty ships just like the Andromeda. Sometimes a ship would come in that wouldn't leave and that haunted Harper even more. A ship would come in like any other Harper would hail them but before they could respond a red glow would surround the ship like they were being scanned he could here there voices not quite panicking yet and then silence. They would be gone. Harper had been scanned himself almost daily but still he remained. Alone.
Even when he was on earth Harper was never alone. In the refugee camps there was little to no privacy. Often his family had shared their shelter with other families. Overcrowding was a fact of life.
Even though Andromeda was huge there was always someone around pestering him, so he never felt alone. The utter silence was getting to him.
He had heard of guys who man far out spaceports going nuts. He could relate to that now.
He missed Trance's incessant chatter, Tyr's lectures, Dylan asking about repairs, Beka nagging about something. Doing repairs with Rommie and even Rev Bem's rambling philosophy sessions. He would do anything just to here there voices again. In fact any voice other then his own.
To make it even worse he was running out of Trance's medicine to keep the magog in his stomach at bay.
He quickly pushed that thought out of his mind.
He had deployed sensor buoys on his first day in the anomaly. They hadn't found any life signs yet.
There was a beeping, he had almost missed it over the music. He turned the sound off and found the source of the beeping. One of the buoys was notifying him that a new ship had entered the anomaly. Harper didn't even bother hailing them. But he did watch them closely. Sure enough here it came. He had everything on the Andromeda focus on the red light scan and tried to trace it origin. It was simply to quick to get any decent reading though. The scan was over and Harper did his own scan there was still 2 life signs! He was about to hail them when the opened fire. _________
Harper did his best to cover all the stations at once but without Rommie and the others it was near impossible. The Andromeda was meant for a crew of 3000 it had 5 and today only one.
Maybe he had been hanging around tyr to long because he was suddenly determined to go down swinging.
A Blast rocked the ship like it was on a ocean.
Harper had shields up and ran to the other consul and returned fire. He had only returned one barrage when he was hit again. His feet left the ground he landed hard on his shoulder and very quickly his head followed.
He woke up and didn't immediately know where he was. His heart raced and he sat up ready for anything. Unfortunately his body wasn't ready for anything. He had to blink rapidly to get his vision back and he gasped in pain as his body reminded him of other aches and pains. He lay back down and more slowly took stock. He was in a brig of some sort and it wasn't the Andromeda's. Moving his right arm hurt a lot so he didn't. He reached up with his left and felt his face. He had a nasty bump on his forehead and he was sure he had a black eye, as it seemed swollen to. He groaned in pain and frustration.
A few minutes later a large human male and a Perseid female entered the room. They both looked pissed but the women looked like she was going to explode. Harper sat up at put his feet on the floor.
"What did you do with our crew you little…..?" hissed the Perseid women
"What!" Harper was shocked "It wasn't me!! I'm…."
The man but his hand up to stop the conversation
"Shut up both of you!" he demanded. "who's ship were you on boy!"
"As a matter of fact it's mine you KLUGE!" ok now he was sure he had been spending to much time with Tyr.
The man pushed a button and the energy field that served as one wall of Seamus's cell disappeared.
The Two entered the cell. Harper stood and tried to back away but other then back on the bunk there was no place to go. The man reached out and grabbed Harper by the throat. Harper tried to break the grip but with only one good arm it was no good…Heck two arms probably wouldn't have helped either.
"I won't ask again." Growled the man and threw Harper against the bunk.
He cried out in at the pain as his sore possibly broken arm hit the bed.
"Stop, listen" he gasped "I lost my crew to, and didn't you see the buoy's they are search buoy's!"
They both looked surprise and stepped to the side and whispered to each other. Harper was to tired to even try to eavesdrop. But he did notice one thing...they both had dataports!
Harper stared and stared.......dataports weren't very common and they were very expensive he had gotten his when he was working for a black market group on earth so he could smuggle data and stuff. His boss had paid for it, that man still hated him because he then claimed Harper was his
property (something he hadn't thought about) and Harper took off, he was sure there
was a bounty hunter out there somewhere with his name on it. But, where and why did these two have them? They didn't even look like engineers.
"Listen," he interrupted "I don't know who you are or what your doing going
through this stupid anomaly but I don't know where your crew is so holding me here is kinda pointless don't you think?"
They stared at him. After being alone for so many days of dreaming of having someone to talk to he was grateful not to be alone but this wasn't what
he had in mind when he had prayed to Rev's god."Boy, we might be able to use you but we are not sure we can trustyou."
"We can't, he's not worth our time, let's kill him!"
"Shut up Persch!" yelled the human to the Persied female. "We could port
with him and give him a neural control beacon"
Persch got a evil look on her eyes and a grin to match " yes we could"
Harper had never heard of a 'neural control beacon' and he was not
sure he wanted to.
"Hold on a minute here! You guys are great really...but I got tons of
work to do how bout another day ok?"
With lightning speed Persch crossed the tiny cell pulled a gun and held it at Harper's throat.
She smiled again. "Hold still little worm"
Harper tried to swallow but it was hard with that cold barrel against his adam's apple.
The Human male pulled a port cable from his pocket and plugged it into his
own neck. He sat down on the cot beside Harper. He tried to pull away but Persch grabbed the front of his hair and held him in place. She also clicked the safety off on her weapon. Harper froze. The human male the plugged himself into Harper.
There was the tunnel but unlike jacking into the computer the tunnel
just ended in blackness. He felt like he was just kicked in the head and
then pushed off the edge of a cliff. After weeks of being by himself this
blackness was hell. He felt lost, he was falling in the darkness. Seamus Harper screamed! Suddenly he wasn't falling anymore he was standing on what
looked like a glass platform.
"Never ported with an organic before have you? The pain will go away
the more you connect with other organics" laughed the man.
"Maybe....no.....Oh god my head hurts...what the hell is your name?"
"Look for it, it's here working with organic is similar to computers"
Harper tried to concentrated through the pain , then he saw a word glowing white behind the man.
"Zeff, your name is Zeff!" then like a hammer falling the name
disappeared behind Zeff and even more pain flashed through Harper's brain. He fell
to his knees clutching his virtual head.
"This is what it fells like when you run into a wall" Zeff sneered you can not access anything in my brain with out me letting you in or this is what it will feel like."
The pain lessened but Harper did not stand yet he didn't trust his knees.
"I am now going to search your brain Harper, and yes I know your name.
You have no walls, your brain is mine and you will tell me everything."
Harper could feel Zeff in his mind. It was like little red ants chewing on his scalp. He groaned And held his head again.
"Stay out of my head you creep!" but Harper could do nothing to stop him.
Harper had many memories and secrets that he had kept locked up for a long time. This he didn't even like to look at and they were in his brain and here was this stupid idiot riffling through them. Harper tried to stand
but the minute he did Zeff pushed the pain into his head again.
"Stay still." Zeff's voiced bounced around like a bad echo. Anger and frustration built up in Harper and he thrust himself and his hatred at the virtual Zeff. Zeff yelled in surprise and Harper felt him leave his
brain but just as suddenly as Zeff left, there was a blinding pain that left
him falling in the darkness.
Harper woke up on the floor. It was more then a little disorientating always
waking up in a different place.
His bad shoulder and arm were wrapped and taped to his body. His other arm was free. He felt a little ill. Like you feel when you've been sick but are getting better, achy and weak. He looked around. His one eye was nearly swollen shut and site out of it was blurry any way. His other eye was
fine though. He was on a small craft of some sort. He could see Persch at the helm and Zeff was standing looking over her shoulder at something. Harper sat up and through the view port he could see they were boarding the
Andromeda.Zeff saw that he was awake.
"There is water in the dispenser" he said gruffly.
"Why are you being so nice all of a sudden?"
"I know! I know everything about you." Gawd he thought I had hoped it was a dream. This guy had raped his mind. Harper started to feel a little ill again. "I know everything...your hopes and fears and if you don't do everything I say I'll bring another wall down on you" Harper felt the blood
drain from his face at the remembered pain. "and I'll fire your robot girl friend out the garbage shoot"
"You better believe it." then Zeff pulled a vial out of his pocket "and for extra insurance I'll hold on to your medicine...better be good kid, this is
the last of it you wouldn't want me to accidentally loose it."
Zeff started throwing the vial up and down in the air. Zeff smile slide off his face "and if you ever try anything like you
did when we were jacked together...I'll simply kill you..very,very slowly"
The anger in his eyes burned into Harper.
Harper had to stifle an evil grin of his own. He must of hurt the bastard a
little and that made him feel a little better.
Their small ship landed in Andromeda's bay. Persch grabbed him by the scruff
of his shirt and pulled him out the door.
"Take us to the bridge!"
Harper had no choice but to take them. Once there Persch stood at the helm
"Tell me about the special controls." Harper did but he told them as little as possible.
His mind was racing a mile a minute. What would Dylan do, What would
Beka or Tyr but the answers were as elusive now as they were a few weeks ago.
Harper started doing what he did best he started talking.... "Look you know everything about me right? You know I had nothing to do with
your crew going missing and I'm looking for mine to, so what do you want with me?"
Zeff turned back to look at Persch and talked over his shoulder. "Your ship
is going to help us get our crew back and then we are simply going to keep
it, you know this ship better then anyone else, we need you for a little while but
believe that is a temporary condition."
Harper getting a one of his brilliant ideas tried to keep Zeff talking as he
slowly backed up so he was leaning against one of Andromeda's control panels.
"What is it that you guys do? Exactly I mean your not normal smugglers or
anything since you have dataports."
"We are security specialists, We go in to a company and set up their
security systems, state of the art!"
Harper quietly pushed buttons behind his back. "So you set up these systems
and people pay you to tell them how to break in?"
"You catch on quick for a worm!" sneered Persch.
Harper made a face at her and pushed one more button. The Andromeda's
"WHAT!" screamed Persch and banged on the controls.
"Hey, I just fixed those!"
Zeff turned towards him. "And you'll fix them again. But, we'll do it together"
He pushed Harper out of the bridge a head of him but before Zeff could
follow him out the door Harper spun and slammed his good hand on the bridge
door locks. The bridge door slammed closed. Zeff had to leap back to avoid
being crushed. Harper quickly plugged in to the door and locked them in
with his own personal security code.
Zeff's voice came on over the intercom system.
"Very nice Mr.Harper... but I know you remember, and it will be only a matter
of time till I open this door, plus If I don't figure it out in 45 minutes
you'll come open it for me or you'll be baby Magog food."
Harper raced down the halls of Andromeda ...he needed help and fast! He ran
in to Dylan's room.Rommie lay silently on the bed.
"I'm back again doll, I still haven't figured out how to fix you but I'm
running out of time and I really need someone on my side!"
Harper lost track of time as he scanned and rescanned for problems. He had
done it a million times since the others disappeared, still he could find
nothing. Zeff's voice echoed through the halls again.
"Tick Tock boy!"....5 minutes till the babies need their supper.!"
Harper swore under his breath. The muscles in his stomach clenched with
tension...or wait...was that the magog?
"Work Seamus work...don't think about it!" Images of the magog attack
flooded his brain making it hard to concentrate. Harper took a deep breath
trying to keep it together. He heard whispers then a red glow started to
fill the room. Great now the aliens or whatever that took everyone were
doing their daily scan he didn't have time for this! Ok now he was sure he
felt one of the magog in his stomach move! He continued to aim his scanner
at Rommie pushing out all other thoughts. He needed to fix her.
Harper was concentrating so hard on his scanner he didn't see her hand
twitch, and then her eye lids.Rommie sat up. Harper jumped with surprise.
"Rommie!" his heart leapt to his throat!
"The aliens scan and my scanner must have created the correct frequency to
turn on your central power core! ?Brilliat!"
Harper started to babble ".....The crew
disappeared, you died, they were in my mind, we've been boarded, I need my
medicine ..."Rommie was instantly in full battle mode.
"Harper, unlock the bridge then go straight to med-deck." then to her self
"Activating internal sensors followed by internal defenses."
Harper just stood there looking at her.
"What?" she asked suddenly self-conscious. Harper grabbed her with his good
arm hugged her and ran from the room.
"Men!" muttered Rommie confused.
Harper ran towards the loading dock, he was going to listen to Rommie but he
had to do something else first. As he rounded the corner he ran smack into
Persch, both of them landing on the deck. Harper groaned and held his shoulder.
"ahh there you are little worm!"
"Your out?" Harper was only a little surprised as he had witnessed what she
and Zeff could do first hand.
"So it seems! Your security codes weren't all that tough. Since Zeff was in
your head he knows all the things you care about. Humans always pick codes
they can easily remember. So they pick things they like as part of their
codes. It seems little worm your not as smart as you think!"
Harper and Persch were back on their feet standing face to face.
"That's where your wrong!" Harper pulled his nano-welder out of his tool
belt and held it like weapon
At the same time as Harper pulled out his nano-welder Persch pulled out
her blaster. They stood face to face. Harper was angry. These people had raped his mind, taken over his home and had stopped his search for his friends. He was tired, in pain and he had had enough. The tension between the two could have created sparks.
"Look Persche, your wrong, you guys might have my medicine but I have Rommie and she can make more! Zeff might know all about me but he doesn't know the Andromeda! He does know about all the good and the crappy
things that have happened to me over the past year, but the one thing you and
Zeff always forget is I know the Andromeda, every bolt every relay and the makes
me a FREAKIN GENIUS!"
Then as if on cue the lights dimmed the red klaxon sounded and the internal defenses kicked in. Harper fired his nano-welder at Persch. Persch dived out of the way of both Rommie and Harper's weapon.
Harper ducked and rolled away from Persch's blaster fire and took off down the hall.
The hologram Rommie appeared before him.
"Harper I told you to go to Med-deck. Quit fooling around!"
"Rom doll, I'll be there in a second, I Promise..."
"Harper this isn't funny the magog....and your arm"
"Trust me I haven't forgotten, I'll be there just keep the bad guys busy ok?" Harper shouted the last part over his shoulder as he continued down the hall.
Persch found Zeff and was giving him her report as the two hid from
Rommie's internal defenses behind a piece of bulkhead.
"That stupid kid!" Zeff swore.
"Did you put that program in him?" Persch tapped her head with her finger.
"Yeah but it will only work once and he needs to jack into something first,
plus I don't know if it will help us anyway now that the ships working again. Did you try breaking into the central system?"
"Yes, but I keep getting zapped, they have a great security system it's like it's alive or something, we could make millions if we could just tap into it... give me more time."
Harper was in the engine room. This was not his favorite place to be anymore, he could still smell the magog and the memories he was trying to avoid were harder to forget when he was here. But, Rommie was alive and
he wasn't alone anymore. He had just come from the docking bay and had placed
micro bombs in Persch and Zeff engines 5 min after takeoff their engines would blow, their little shuttle would never make it back to their ship.
Dylan would have appreciated that he decided not to blow them to a million pieces. All he had to do now was jack into Andromeda set the last part of his plan in motion and then he could go to Med-deck like he promised
He put his jack into his neck and was about to plug in when one of his magog
decided to do a back flip near his lung. It felt like a kick to the chest. All his air rushed out his throat. It was a good minute before he could get any air at all and even then it was slow coming. Rommie appeared
"Harper are you alright"
Harper coughed "Peachy."
"That's it my humanoid body is coming with your medicine and you're going to med-deck."
Rommie disappeared and Harper plugged in.
"I just need a little more time...." His voice faded. The cybernetic tunnel
raced around him. He felt his body go limp and he was in.
"I warned you if you tried anything..."
"How did you get into Andromeda" Harper replied panicky worried for his friend.
"I'm not in side the ship I'm inside you." Zeff slammed his mental wall down
on Harper this time even harder then before. Harper screamed and was engulfed in darkness.
Rommie had the pirates cornered but where she had them trapped also blocked
her way to Harper. She had to get the medicine to him before the magog did
too much damage, his medicine was already half an hour over due. This past year she had lost her original crew, lost the love of her life, saw and remembered her first crew massacred, almost lost her current crew to
the magog and now they were missing. She'd be damned if a couple of pirates
would keep her from saving the only one she had left!
Her hologramed self appeared to her right and her avatar appeared on screen behind the
She had them surrounded. They spoke as one with one conviction.
"You can not win here today, you will leave us alone NOW or die."
Persch yelled with fear. "I told you it was alive!"
Zeff growled and opened fire "it's only an A.I."
" This A.I. is different ....we need more people...Zeff it's not worth it....let's go!"
Zeff hesitated "this ship is worth billions of thrones!"
"It worth nothing if were dust, we need to get our crew back."
"Alright lets go... but ship be warned we are coming back."
"I'll try to remember to look frightened." Rommie replied sarcastically.
Persch and Zeff ran for their ship.
Rommie let them go she needed to get to Harper.
Harper fell in the darkness. At least it felt like he was falling. There was
also the pain but Harper was familiar with pain. This pain was acute and different from any he had felt before, the pain centered in his head and leaked out to his entire body. The hardest thing to cope with was the
feeling of despair, he felt so alone.
"HEEEEEELP!!!" he screamed but no one came.
Rommie found him in the engine room. He was plugged into the main systems.
If he was plugged in why couldn't she feel him?
Rommie quickly pulled
up the sleeve on Harper's shirt and injected him with the medicine. She hoped it
was in time. Rommie looked at Harper's face usually he simply looked like he was sleeping when he was jacked into something, very serene, but this time he looked different, like he was having a nightmare, his hand was even twitching a bit. She hoped it wasn't the magog. She needed to wake him
She placed her hand on Harper's data port so she could interface with him directly. She was going to find him.
Rommie was in her own head, which was always a bit strange. She heard whispers everywhere but couldn't quite make out what was being said.
"Harper ... Is that you?"
There was more whispering but none of it sounded like Harper. Then off in the distance there was scream. A deep, long painful scream. That... sounded like Harper! Her heart beat rapidly in her artificially body as she followed the scream. She followed it but it was in the far reaches of her mind.
"Harper?" the scream was louder but she still wasn't quite there. Then she saw a
small opening like a connection only big enough for her arm. She looked in.
There was Harper he seemed to be floating, his body twitching in pain he was
surrounded by a pocket of darkness.
Why couldn't she open the connection more?
Then it occurred to her she wasn't looking into another part of herself she
was looking into Harper. That data port was connecting them but there was a
problem, a virus, he couldn't fully connect with her and he was trapped. The virus was causing him great pain.
"Harper?" she called "can you here me?"
"Rommie is that you?" his voice replied weakly
"It's me can you hold on? I'll fix this!"
"No, Please ....don't leave me.... Wait. your not really here are you? I'm imaging again...I'm..."
He stopped talking and grabbed his head and groaned in pain.
"Harper, I'm real, I won't leave but I need to fix the problem."
She didn't think he heard her as he curled up in pain.
She reached her arm through the portal she couldn't quite reach him. She was
receiving tiny little electrical shocks up and down her arm. It was causing
havoc with some of her minor systems but that was the least of her worries.
She pushed her arm through again just a little further this time. Success!
Her fingers wrapped around his wrist. She pulled him towards her. He looked
like he was waking from a dream.
"Rommie?" he looked exhausted.
"Harper it's ok I've got you and I'm not going to leave...there's a virus..."
"Did you isolate the contaminated files?" even when was barely aware of what was
happening he was trying to fix things. He often said he was a genius did he
really know that he was?
"You're the contaminated file I'm afraid and if I isolate you completely you
might be lost.He seemed to grow even paler.
"Maybe you should let me go...."
"What! No! Harper we can fix this."
"I don't want to hurt you."
"You don't hurt me Harper" Rommie smiled."You fix me."
Harper gave a weak smile in return and moment of silence fell between the two.
"Rommie do you hear whispers or is it only in my head?"
"We are both in your head...and yes I do hear them."
"Can you make them louder?"
Rommie concentrated for a minute and the voices got louder.
"We're here.....Ship!.......Mr. Harper....can you hear us.....
Frequencies....Andromeda....We're here.........Ship!.......Mr. Harper....can
you hear us..... Frequencies.... Andromeda....We're here...."
"Rommie it's them!! Beka, Dylan everybody!" Harper seemed to perk up a bit
trying to think through the pain and exhaustion.
"ok, ok... I fixed you by matching the frequency on my scanner to that of the alien scans."
Rommie was starting to understand."And if we match of the frequency of
the data stream we can clean up the message and we'll be able to find out
where they are! Harper no one has used radio waves in thousands of years! You are a genius!"
Harper smiled and his eyes closed. His grip on her arm was weakening.
"No! Harper wake up... we need to fix you first! You need to stay awake." If
he fell asleep in his mind it mostly likely mean he would die.
"I'm tired Rommie and it hurts." He whined.
A brilliant idea shot through Andromeda's head."I'm going to push you Harper."
"If I let go of you you'll stay trapped, I can't pull you through our
connection it's to small. If I push you really hard you might have enough
momentum to come out the way you came in."
"It sounds risky..... Brilliant!" he words were slurring she had to hurry.
"When I push you you'll need to stay awake or this won't work."
Harper nodded but didn't answer. She tighted her grip and shook his arm.
"Ouch! Huh, yeah, I'm awake! Rommie loosen the grip. Sheeesh!"
"Ok are you ready?"
"Born ready...wait,wait,wait...Rommie ...thanks."
Rommie smiled and then pushed as hard as she could and he was gone.
Rommie let go of his data-port. She was back in the engine room.
Harper's eyes were still closed. She unplugged him. Still nothing.
She grabbed his good hand and lifted his head from the floor "Harper?"
Without opening his eyes he replied "I'm awake see Rommie....Rommie?"
Harper smiled and fell asleep.
3 days later...
There was this awful noise. Something like a cross between a mosquito and a
buzz-saw.Harper tired to ignore it but it wouldn't go away. He shifted, didn't she
know he was trying to sleep. Trance was a horrible singer. Then a thought occurred to his sleep addled brain.
"Trance?" He slowly opened his eyes
"Welcome back sleepy head!" Trance radioed the bridge and informed everyone
he was awake.
"You're here!" Harper yawned helplessly.
"Yup, Rommie used your idea about frequencies and located us. There were
these really nice aliens that wanted to learn about other organic things.
They didn't take you because they thought you were a machine, I think it had
something to do with your data-port. And they transported us to this planet,
we tried to send you a message and....."
Harper let her babble on it was one of the best things he could of heard. He could feel a smile growing bigger and bigger on his face. Then he could hear voices from the hall.
"He needs to rest, Captain's orders!" Rommie was trying to stop Beka, and Tyr
and Rev from getting in.
"If you don't move I'll cut you in two!" that was Beka's voice Harper noticed.
Then Dylan's,"Ok, but just for minute Trance says he's still mending."
Not a moment later med-deck was filled with the happy voices of his family
and Harper Knew he would never really be alone again.