I don't own Andromeda. Or nothing else you recognize.

Son of strength, son of mind, son of chaos.

Chapter 1: Options.

Rommie sat near Dylan by their house in the Infinity Atoll. She thought about the events of the past few months.

First, when during an attack by an overwhelming Dragan force, when they all seemed doomed, Dylan confessed his love to her. Of course, with his luck, a Commonwealth battlegroup arrived exactly 24.7 seconds after he finished… and 20.1 seconds after her reply. Then, thanks to the clause which granted AI full citizen rights, and the powers of the captain aboard his ship, they went to the Wrath of Achilles (due to the limited cooperation abilities, it blocked the retreat of the enemy fleet on the other side), and emerged from it husband and wife.

Harper barely had time to comment how jealous he was of Dylan - then Trance kicked him. Hard. Of course, while out of place, it was still a joke. Seamus was very happy for them. They all were.

Except for certain forces in the Commonwealth, but what could be more natural?

Or annoying.

Now, five months later, Rommie and her husband finally found time for a honeymoon. And there was another thing they had to discuss – well, them and Harper.

They saw the latter coming from their right (him and Trance rented a small house about a kilometer away from theirs). Even from a distance, he looked worried.

"May I sit here?" he asked when he approached.


He sat on the sand cross legged, and thought about what to say.

"Well, Seamus, go ahead. You can hardly surprise us." Said Dylan.

"Well," He hesitated for a moment. "The AI opposers were taken by surprise with your decision to marry, so there is nothing they can do about it. However, they have already recovered, and effectively cut off every single channel which would allow you to adopt a child."

"Sad but not surprising" Said Rommie "That's one down".

""Now as for the second option. Modifying your body so you could bear a child. You see, since the DNA won't be yours, you will be considered a surrogate mother. That is grounds for incredible amount of legal red tape delay. It may stretch for decades.

"And that leaves personality merge." Said Dylan

"And that leaves personality merge." Confirmed the engineer. "Luckily, the Andromeda has all the necessary equipment, as well as enough memory to incorporate the child's persona. Therefore, it is considered as personal as any usual childbirth, no laws exist, and therefore they have no right to interfere. Of course, a few laws can be passed, but the fleet, as well as all the other AI's have promised us to delay them for long enough, or die trying."

"But the social implications." Said Dylan. "Merged Ones are often outcasts, even among the AI. Even in our case…"

"But of course, Harper, you have no hatred of them. I am familiar with the tale of the Exodus." Said Rommie, provoking a puzzled look from Dylan. "What, you never heard it, my love?"

"No, I am afraid not."

"Oh, come on Boss!" Harper said. "That's one of the most massive battles of the Fall. It is as famous on Earth as the battle of Thermopylae, despite all the Ubers' attempts to crush the very memory of it. You see, Earth was one of the few planets which really accepted Merged Ones. So, when the Dragans decided to take it, twenty ships controlled by them – every single one in existence – defended it while those who wanted, fled the planet". Under his voice he added "Some idiots, like my ancestors, decided to stay". Collecting himself, he said aloud "They were hit with twenty times their firepower. Over a quarter of the enemy fleet was destroyed, with not one of the Twenty Merged Ones left alive at the end of the battle. Every single transport made it to safety."

"And the New Commonwealth doesn't remember that?" Dylan was positively shocked.

"According to the records I have," Interfered Rommie "The Commonwealth decided to abandon Earth due to several factors, including their mistrust of the Merged Ones. Apparently, the combination of that, and the defenders' success beyond anything ever shown by the Old Commonwealth, made it a shame for Terazed and every other Commonwealth remnant."

Dylan thought for a minute. Then he slowly spoke:

"And what does Trance say?"

"Freedom." They all turned to see the golden woman standing beside them. "I have a feeling, that should your child grow up, he will have a freedom of destiny which was never before seen in the universe."

"Harper, how long until you can complete the preparations?"

"I can complete it in six days, but in order to be certain of everything, I would rather have a month. Finish up your honeymoon, guys, you deserve that at least."

Rommie grinned, and tackled her husband into the sand. At this, the other couple smiled, and went to their house – probably with similar thoughts in mind.