He sat silently on his cot. Right in the center. Neither to far the right or the left.
His legs dangled over the edge. He swung his right foot which hit the floor once ever half second.
"I'm not sorry" he whispered "I'm not sorry."
Harper was confined to his quarters for exactly 3 weeks...it had been 3 days.
They had been planet side.A little R & R as they picked up supplies. It was a nice little planet a lot like what earth might have been like a thousand years ago. There had been a fight and someone had died. There had been Nietzscheans. He and Trance had gone to this little pub... He owed Trance a drink since she beat him at cards. They sat at a small table In the corner. Harper looked around the room, there weren't many girls here. Trance was already giggly and Harper had been laughing at one of her jokes when the Nietzscheans walked over.
There were three. Two that were about Tyr's age and a younger one probably in his teens.
"What is it?" asked the one that looked to be in charge.
"A drink! Want some?" giggled Trance.
"what is it?" He asked again a little louder looking directly at Harper.
Harper wasn't about to let these goons push them around.
"Her name is Trance!, do you mind we were having a private conversation."
The teen Nietzschean obviously trying to impress the others grabbed Trance by the tail and pulled her from her chair.
"OW!" screamed Trance "what did you do that for?"
Harper reached for his blaster but before he could draw it the head Nietzschean had Harper pinned to the wall. A single hand held him there by the throat. He looked Harper in the eye.
"Are you a mud foot?" Harper couldn't get the words out over the pressure on his neck so he simply glared back. "I know you are I can still smell the dirt on your skin."
Harper had no choice but to look the man in the face and a memory flooded over him that he had held deep inside for many years. He had forced him self to forget.
Memories of earth flashed through his mind. He had been ten. He had come from the water pump where he and Declan had been getting water for supper. Declan and him were both excited they hadn't eaten in two days but there was two cans of beans at home and a cabbage. Both boys were anxious it felt a bit like Christmas. He had heard the screams first. They dropped pails of water and ran.
He was met at his home tent by a crowd but pushed his way through. There was a group of Nietzscheans there beating on some refugees. The four humans kneeled on the ground and the Nietzscheans were asking them about stolen food. The refugees had been low on food for months and many had starved to death.
"Momma...Papa" He cried and ran forward but was caught by his arm. His Aunt had grabbed him and held him close to her. She tried to hide his face but he saw everything.
"This is what we do to those who steal from us!!" The Nietzschean drew his blaster and killed all four of the kneeling refugees. His mother had to be shot a second time since the first had missed her heart. He watched them fall to the ground and their blood pooled around them on the dry earth.
The man that had fired that blaster looked Harper in the face.
"We don't like your kind in here, leave before you make me sick!"
"You don't want to see him sick." snarled the second Nietzschean. He let go of Harper's throat and walked back to the bar.
The bar tender appeared beside them and quickly helped Trance up.
"Just leave ok? I don't want any trouble...the drinks are on me."
Harper followed Trance out he felt like he was in a daze. They crossed the street. He looked up and he saw that the sun was setting,it was beautiful, but he felt removed empty.
Trance had been talking to him but he hadn't heard.
"Are you OK?" he didn't answer.
He turned he saw the Nietzschean walk out of the bar he was talking to a female she smiled at him and they spoke. Suddenly he laughed and hugged her.
Rage filled Harper, how could he laugh it wasn't fair. His parents couldn't laugh any more, He didn't get to hug them or say good bye! The rage and pain he had held on to for years boiled over he drew his blaster and fired. The Nietzschean fell to the ground with a gurgled scream. The female screamed a loud pitch wail. He had killed him. The haze that had been surrounding burst like a bubble. The teen Nietzschean boy lay on the ground not the one that had killed his parent.
"No..." he groaned
"Harper we've got to run" Trance pulled on his arm and they ran.
They had gotten back on the Andromeda and Trance had sobbed the whole story out to Dylan. Harper stood there blank, tired, empty.
The Nietzscheans had been wanted men on the planet and so the authorities informed Dylan that as long as there was a punishment that they would not pursue the matter further.
Dylan had asked him why he just didn't walk away Harper's only reply was that he wasn't sorry for what he did.
Harper was sentenced to three weeks confinement in his quarters.
The first day he was angry and threw things around his quarters. He yelled and screamed. Other then Rev Bem bringing his food and medicine he wasn't allowed to talk to anyone not even Rommie so no one came.
On the second day he became bored, the confinement of looking at just the four walls was getting to him. He decided to flip through some of the latest news reels manually. He came across the news story of the murder. It seems the Nietzschean that had died had just been told that his first son was on it's way and it would now grow up with out a father.
On the third day Harper sat in the middle of his bunk. He counted the swinging of his foot and he whispered over and over again.
"I'm not sorry, I'm not sorry." Rev came and brought him his supper, sat it on a table near by and looked at Harper quizzically. Harper didn't even notice him. Rev left silently. Hours later Rev returned and looked at the untouched plate of food.
"Harper you must eat."
"I'm not sorry, I'm not sorry..."
Rev Bem retreated once more.
He felt his weight shift on the mattress as Beka sat down beside him.
"Harper..." she started unsure what to say.
"I'm not sorry." He continued to watch his foot swing. They sat there and the minutes ticked by.
"I'm not sorry."
She reached out and turned his head towards her and their eyes met.
Harper's eyes welled up and tears streamed down his face. She pulled his head down on to her lap and unconsciously stroked his hair.
"I'm sorry." he whispered
"I know." and she sat there until he cried himself to sleep