I only wrote the story I didn't make it. I own nothing and get nothing. But I think Appreciate who beta read the first half for me is super nice.

OK and remember only part of this is bet read … here's the rest


*** Later ***

Harper paced the small cell. He felt forgotten. In many ways he supposed he deserved what he got. He had flown off the

handle trying to blow up the Macobi. But ... ah heck there were no buts. He shouldn't have done it. It was just…He was sick of being with out hope, but he hated the

Macobi because they had given him back some hope, and hope was just too painful. Now, he just wanted to feel nothing. He had been numb in the past, and numbness was what he wanted now.

Back on Earth he had lived without hope. Well like all little kids he had had dreams. But his innocence had ended with the death of his cousins. They had played all sorts of games in the happier times before they'd died. They'd pretended to be explorers and super heroes, but most often they'd pretended they were fighter pilots fighting Nietzschien war ships. Harper sat on his bunk and smiled at the memories.

He remembered that they'd been dirty and always hungry, but they had let their parents worry about that. They were kids.

Then the Magog had come. It had been a week before his uncle got enough courage to kill his cousins and then it had been almost too late. Each member

of the family had gotten to say good bye. Harper had said his good byes in turn, but by then they had already been unconscious from the pain. He didn't

think they had heard him say he was sorry that he had lived.

After that, he'd been numb. He'd felt nothing. He'd felt nothing when his Aunt began screaming and sobbing at their bedsides. He'd felt nothing when his uncle killed him self. His parents had said they were worried about

how cold he had gotten. His aunt who mostly pretended he didn't exist had once tried to talk to him and tell him it wasn't his fault. But,

it hadn't mattered. He had felt nothing.

It was months later before he felt anything again. His mom had said something to his father. She was always quick and had made

some wise remark about his father's new beard. His parents both laughed. He remembered watching them as though from a long distance away.

His dad had grabbed his mother around the waist and she'd squealed and laughed harder. Surprising himself, Harper had smiled. His mother had noticed instantly

and escaped from his father and then pretended to hide behind him.

Harper laughed at her antics, and it felt good. So he had started to feel again from that point on. But not as much as before. His emotions came back a little at a time. Even then he was reluctant, feeling that numbness was safer.

He was just starting to feel somewhat normal about a year and a half after their death, when the Nietzscheans arrived. Just for sport, it seemed to him, they killed his parents. His

aunt had seen the whole thing but he had seen nothing. He had been out trying to scavenge parts so he could make a space heater. Winter was coming and their little lean-to was anything but warm.

Harper remembered he had also been a little excited on that fateful day. He was about to have his thirteenth birthday and that always meant at least a few congratulations. As far as presents, well...he was expecting nothing, really, but he could always hope. His parents always tried to do something special for him.

When he turned the corner around the neighbor's hut he saw his aunt lying in the mud crying. She hadn't been quite right since his cousins died but his Mom had usually watched her.

"Auntie Val?" He'd gripped her arm and tried to help her up. Then he'd noticed the blood. The front of her shirt was covered in gore and she had been stabbed more then once. Harper gasped and almost dropped her.

"They stole ...eggs...and flour...she wanted to make pancakes."

She started to sob. He laid her down as gently as he could and went in the hovel he called home.

What he saw even now he couldn't bring himself to remember and quickly pushed the thoughts from his head. He had run back outside and thrown up. When he'd managed to stagger upright again he noticed his aunt along with his mom and dad had died.

That was the last time he had felt anything, well, until he'd met Beka and was on the Maru.

Being on the Maru he had started to have hopes again in bits and pieces. He'd laughed with Beka when they both got drunk playing cards,

felt fury when one of her stupid boyfriends had ripped them off. Then there was Rev Bem who, well, frightened him and Trance who

with her innocence had made him feel wonder again.

Then had come this stupid ship and this stupid quest. He had so many emotions now he didn't know how to control them, After so long being numb, he wasn't used to

them. He tended to explode at the wrong times. Whether his mouth got out of control because he was nervous or because he worked himself too hard trying to make Beka, Rommie and Dylan glad he was around, he wasn't sure. But get out of control it often did.

Now the Macobi offered him hope that he could be free of the Magog swimming in his intestines but they wouldn't give him any further

information! It was impossible for him to be patient and rational.

Rev Bem entered the brig with a plate of food and his medicine inhaler.

"Rev…" Harper started, just glad to see a friendly face, "Did Dylan talk to you?"

"Dylan was very angry."

Harper's face fell visibly but he managed a nod "Any idea how long I have to stay in here?"

"He didn't say." Rev dropped the force field separating them and handed Harper his meal.

Harper felt something on the bottom of the tray.

There was a small stack of flexi's. He smiled. It was nice to know everybody didn't hate him.

Rev Bem leaned in close. "Those are high guard protocols, maybe you can find a way to redeem your self."

Harper's feelings were getting a little out of control again. He swallowed hard.

"Thanks Rev ...I mean it."

The Magog bowed once and left the room.

Harper lay on his bunk, his meal forgotten, and started to read the flexi's. High guards regulations were a dry read and after an hour he feel asleep.

He was awakened by a sudden noise.

Harper bolted up in his bed. Rommie must have dimmed the lights after he had fallen asleep. He had been thinking too much of his days

Earth today and his first automatic thought was: Magog! His heart beat rapidly in his chest. Then he realized that he was on the Andromeda, not on Earth. Usually that thought would cure his fears but after recent months it no longer did. His fears crystallized as he turned to find an indistinguishable form in his cell.

"Who's there?" he demanded.

Harper could make out a figure but not a face.

"Beka is that you?"

"Your fears are not unfounded. The Macobi want more than they are willing to give."

"Who are you! What are you talking about?."

"You've been warned." Then the figure seemed to fade away in the darkness.

"Yeah," whispered Harper "I've been warned but who will believe me?"

"Rommie!" Harper called out. but there was no reply.

"Rommie it's important!"

She appeared before him. "There was a Macobi just in here! Well at least I think it was a Macobi, of course it was who else would it be! He was trying to warn us about..."

She held up her hand. "Harper, there was nothing on my sensors. You know I would know if something were happening in here. Why are you doing this?" She seemed to be almost pleading and then a funny look

came over her face. "Maybe I should get Trance to give you a physical maybe your medicine or...."

This time he interrupted her. "I don't need a physical I'm....., Trance!

Ummm, you know what? You're right - I'm not really feeling the best after all. Can I see her?

Now Rommie looked suspicious. "Trance, can you report to the brig please." She called Trance anyway.

A few moments later Trance showed up. She had her medical bag with her; it was pink and had sequins all over it.

Rommie wasn't leaving. Harper wondered if she was still suspicious of his motives. He wondered if she trusted him? His heart ached

a little at the thought that she might not.

"Rommie patient/doctor stuff is private."

"Harper..." Rommie started to object.

"It's ok" replied Trance "I'll watch him."

Rommie didn't look happy. "Fine. Engaging privacy mode," she snapped and disappeared.

Trance started to scan him. "Hmmmm."

"It's ok, Trance, I just needed to talk to you." Harper stilled her hand that held the scanner.

"Harper it's not OK! Your iron is low and your blood pressure is too. Have you been having stomach pains?" Trance was all


Harper sat down on his bunk with a depressed sigh. "Trance, listen! Rommie doesn't believe me there was a Macobi in here a little while ago! He gave me a warning about them wanting more then

they were willing to give."

Trance's face softened a little, she wasn't able to keep up her businesslike front. "Harper, why did you try to attack the Macobi?"

"Really, Trance, I don't know! I guess I was just frustrated."

"We'll get them out Harper don't worry." Harper knew she was not referring to the Macobi, but to the larvae stubbornly lodged in his gut. Trance took his hand and with her other hand gently brushed the hair from his eyes.

She did her best imitation of Tyr, dropping her chin and saying with a deep voice, "Where there's life, there's hope."

Harper snorted out a laugh and smiled. "Don't let him catch you doing that!" and he laughed again.

Trance smiled too and went back into her bag and started getting an injection ready for Harper.

"There was someone here, Trance."

She walked over to him and placed the injector against his neck. "I'll

look around keep my eyes open," she looked him in the eyes as she

injected the vitamins, "if you promise to be good."

Harper couldn't break her gaze. Sometimes she was so intense.

"I..." he started to temporize.

"Harper if you're not willing to promise..."

"Ok, fine!" he half snarled "I'll be good!" He felt like a little kid. Trance seemed to bring that out in people. He hated feeling that way.

She smiled and nodded "I'll see what I can do."

* * * * * * * * *

Dylan was in his quarters. He was reading some of the old transmissions that Sarah had sent him before he had become trapped in the black hole. There was a chime at his door.


"Dylan it's Beka; let me in?"


Dylan watched her storm in. She looked like a black cloud. "What can I do for you and don't mention Harper."

"You can't leave him in there!"

Dylan sighed. "Beka he can't just go around trying to blow people up."

"Locking him up in there won't help! We need him out here, and

shutting him away isn't going to help the Andromeda."

"The Macobi are helping with repairs. I don't plan on leaving him there

forever, but…"

There was another chime at the door and it was Rev Bem. "Sorry to interrupt but I was wondering if I could have a talk with you about young

Master Harper..."

"Not you, too!"

A third chime was heard.

"COME IN!" The door flew open and Trance gave a little startled jump.

"Ahhh.... I was wondering…"

"About Harper." Dylan's voice was resigned.

"Well that too, but, are the Macobi suppose to be fixing Rommie's sensors?"

The hologramed Rommie popped in to existence "What do you mean? I don't detect any tampering... oh."

Dylan tried to gain control "Trance where did you see these Macobi?"

"Deck 5 near the old crew quarters, I was visiting Harper and..."

"It's ok, Rommie tell Tyr to get down there immediately but tell him to only question them and I'll meet him there. Beka you and Rommie see if you can find any more problems.

Trance.... keep an I eye on our other guests."

"Dylan? This would be a lot faster if we had Harper." Beka looked at him hopefully.

"Fine!" he replied angrily "but once he is done he is confined to quarters, and if he even so much as makes eye contact with the

Macobi he is back in the brig indefinitely."

"You got it big guy!" Beka smiled warmly.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Beka freed Harper and took him to one of the main engine rooms where he quickly jacked into Rommie. Harper had barely said

two words while they walked to the engine room. Harper's constant nervous chatter was a part of who he was. His silence had Beka concerned.

She tinkered at a near by panel

looking for possible tampering, she glanced over at where Harper lay slumped against a bulkhead. He was so infuriating and yet she

felt sorry for him. Harper was a living contradiction.

She shook her head and tried to concentrate on fixing Rommie's sensors.

Suddenly the Red Klaxons sounded. "All crew report to the bridge we are under attack." Rommie's voice echoed through the halls.

Beka went to give Harper a kick but he was already waking up.

"Rommie said we're under attack? From who?"

"I don't know but let's get to the bridge." She replied helping him to his feet.

They ran down the corridors. Two Macobi turned the corner a head of them. Beka slowed making Harper stay behind her.

"What's' going on?" asked one looking concerned.

"I don't know we were just going to find out."

"Well now you know." Sneered the other and with one smooth motion pulled a blaster out of his vest and aimed it at Beka.

Beka looked down at the gun. She tried to cover her surprise not wanting that creep to know he had gotten the drop on them.

She could feel Harper practically bouncing on his toes behind her. Whether it was an urge he had to protect her or simply his hatred of the Macobi she reached behind her and grabbed his arm to steady him and to keep him from any rash reactions.

The weird thing was the other Macobi looked as surprised as she felt.

"What are you doing!" it shrieked.

"Will you Shut up Durphin!"

"But we need them!" the Macobi's voice was getting higher pitched.

Harper actually covered his ears a bit.

Beka tried to diffuse the situation "Listen what's this all about? I thought we were working together hopefully towards signing a


The Macobi with the gun replied "We have know about you for a long time. Not all of the Macobi agree with the ruling class, some of us think that the Drago Katsovs would make a better alliance."

"Your working with the Nietzscheans!"

"Beka I told you, see?!"

"Harper quiet. And what do you plan on doing with us?"

"Bargaining chips."

"Well you couldn't have picked a couple of people. You see we are both very difficult and....."

Beka did a very swift crescent kick to the Macobi's hand and the blaster flew from his hand and hit the wall.


Harper literally dove for the gun. He slide across the polished floor and grasped the barrel of the blaster and a foot stepped down on his hand with a crunch. He screamed out as the bones in his hands

were crushed. Gasping in pain he looked up, it was Antilla, the Macobi leader. She must have come around the corner while they were

dealing with the other two. She had her own blaster trained on Harper but she was looking at Beka who had turned pale as a ghost.

"Don't move or I'll kill him....it seems my dear your not as sneaky as you think but I will agree that you're are difficult."

Harper made a move to attack Antilla. But he had only time to flinch before she twisted her boot on Harper's broken hand.

"And you little one I wouldn't try anything."

Harper only groaned through clenched teeth.

"Leave him alone you over grown frog!" Beka moved forward.

"Don't tempt me Capt. Valentine." She charged up her Blaster and

shot the Macobi named Durphin. "I will do anything to get what I want."

Harper and Beka both flinched as the dead Macobi slide to the floor.

"Now you up! Next to her." Harper got slowly to his feet cradling his broken hand and went to stand by Beka.

Antilla directed them down the corridor towards the docking bay.

Beka whispered to Harper. "Can't Rommie detect this?"

Harper shook his head "Life sign sensors are down, she won't even know were gone."

"Shut up!" growled the Macobi that first pulled a gun on then.

Once in the docking bay Beka noticed in total there was 6 Macobi. Thirty had initially come on board. So that bit was true at least, not all the Macobi were on the same side....or she hoped or all of Andromeda might be in danger. Well there was no way she was going to let her

and Harper get captured with out a fight.

"Rommie!" she yelled, "We're under attack deploy internal defenses"

The hologramed Rommie popped into existence and instantly sized up the situation.

"Internal Defenses deployed and Captain Hunt has been informed of the situation."

The internal defenses started firing but with out her life sign sensors operational Rommie was blind and the shot fired randomly around the room.

In anger one of the Macobi back handed beka in the head with the butt of her blaster. She fell to the deck unconscious.

"NOOOOOOOO!" Harper screamed and dove at the nearest Macobi.

"No Harper WAIT we're coming!" yelled Rommie

But it was too late. Harper was beaten down like Beka and hauled into the Macobi ship.

Three Macobi got on the ship with them

two lay dead a third severely injured on the deck.

The ship started to lift of when Dylan, Tyr and Rommie rounded the corner firing. One of

Dylan's force lance blasts did some damage to the aft thruster but not enough to stop them.

"Damn" he swore as he watched the Macobi fly away.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Beka woke up with a groan she tried to reach for her aching head but her hands wouldn't move.

"Huh? What?" She murmured as she became more aware. She opened her eyes gawd her head hurt. Slowly she remembered what happened. "Seamus?" she called trying not

to turn her head to fast. But her voice hurt her head anyway.

There was no answer. She tried to focus her eyes in the semi darkness. Her own hands were tied above her head and against

the bulkhead behind her. Slowly she could make out objects in the room.

And there was a figure trust to wall like her sitting directly across from her. She gave it a little kick. It groaned but didn't move. "Harper is that you?"

"I hope not because I feel like crap."

Beka smiled despite her self "You ok?"

"Besides my face feeling like a giant bruise, a headache the size of the

milky way, my hand feels like it's on fire and my stomach hurts, I'm great!"

Beka could ignore most of it but the last bit. "Your stomach hurts?"

"Yeah, I probably just got kicked or something."

"Rev said that stress ..."

"Man does hey tell everyone... no I'm cool."

Beka could tell there was a nervousness in his voice though and she was worried. "Don't worry we'll figure a way out plus I bet the

Andromeda will be all over their asses in minutes."

Just then a door opened. The small room they were in was flooded with light. The light was so bright it made her eyes water.

She blinked a couple of time and looked around. For the first time she could look around. It looked like they were being

stored in some small cargo area. There were boxes and tie downs littering the floors. She tried to look at her captor but all she

could see was a silhouette. It seemed to be checking on them.

It stepped in side it was a Macobi she didn't recognize but there had been a lot of them. It felt Beka's restraints and then went over to the engineer. Harper yelped a little while the Macobi checked

his bonds.

Beka saw the condition he was in for the first time and swallowed a gasp. Harper's one eye was swollen shut and he had

a red scrape across his forehead. But his hand looked the worst. He probably couldn't see it from the position he was in (which was a good thing.) It was deep purple, bent in all shorts of weird angles and it was three times the size it should have been.

She needed to get him to a med~dec before it was to late to heal it properly.

"Hey you! Macobi!" He turned his oversized green head towards Beka."We need a med~dec and water."

The Macobi just looked at her for a moment and turned and left them in the dark once more.

Harper was feeling a little giddy from the pain. "Do you think that was a yes?" he giggled "Man, I would kill for a Sparky!"

"Harper when we get out of here I'm buying"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Andromeda was in political Chaos. There were 23 Macobi that needed to be rounded up and controlled and every single one

of them demanded to know what the heck was going on immediately. Rev, Rommie and Tyr rounded them all up. Which made them even more indignant. Being told what to do by a Magog, a thug and an android. They were not the peaceable people they once seemed.

Dylan and Trance were on the bridge.

Dylan pretended to think out loud. "Hmmm they scrambled their trail Andromeda can you narrow it down at all?"

"I can narrow it down to three."

"The right one." Whispered Trance without even looking up from her station.

"You heard the lady Rommie." Dylan stood in the pilot's spot and set a vector for the slipstream on the right of his current position.

Dylan wasn't about to let his crew be kidnapped even when they were a pain in the ass. "Let's go" commanded Dylan and they

entered the slipstream.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tyr and Rev stood guard over the Macobi as Rommie tried to reach The Macobi's home planet as per her Captain's request.

Rev was annoying Tyr by trying to make friends with the Macobi who obviously held him in contempt.

"This is exactly what got us in to this trouble in the first place."

"Good will is never a bad thing Mr. Anasazi."

"It's one thing to create an alliance and quite another to invite strangers to invade your ship, Magog."

"A show of trust is how alliances are formed. Life is about risk."

"Don't talk to me about risk."

"Are you worried about Beka and Master Harper?"

"They let their guard down they deserve what they got."

"I find it hard to believe your not concerned at all, I think you've

bonded with us more then you let on."

"I have done no such thing." Tyr's voice raised and they he got control. "Besides the boy creates trouble for himself. I will not be responsible for a ...."

Rev finished his sentence for him. "A kluge?"

"A careless, parentless mudfoot."

"Not all is his fault." Rev held up Harper's medicine which was on a broken chain." I found this in the hall where they were captured."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

Harper and Beka sat in the darkness.... Ok this is ridiculous swore Beka.

"Harper!" she stopped and listened, she could hear him snoring quietly. That

boy could sleep through anything. She once flew the Maru through an extremely dense asteroid belt. Harper didn't even know anything hadhappened.



"I can hear the ships engines there slowing down."

Harper tried to blink his good eye awake. "I wonder where we are? Do you think Dylan's following us?"

"I hope so."

The macobi that had checked on them before entered the room this time he brought a buddy. One trained a blaster on them while the other undid theirbonds.

"Where are we..." before she could finish her sentence she was back handed across the face.

Harper made a move forward but the Macobi with t he blaster faced Harper.

"Try it!" He sneered.

They were quite literally herded out of the ship.

Beka looked around they were in a space port.

The two guards stopped them for a minute and told them to wait. Two more Macobi came off the ship and the four had a bit of a discussion.

Beka stripped down to her muscle shirt and used her over shirt to create a sling for Harper's hand.

"If we don't get you to a medic soon we'll have to try setting thatourselves."

Harper grimaced as he settled his arm in the sling.

"I was thinking about that idea and I can't say I like it."

Two of the Macobi came back and the other two went back on the ship. Harper and Beka were then directed through the market crowd. It was mid~day and very hot on whatever planet they were on. People being held at gun point didn't seem to be an issue though as everyone ignored them and the Macobi.

They walked for about 15 min before they came to a tall building. The building looked like an old cathedral that had been redone. There was two Nietzschiens sitting on the stoop outside with rifles that got up when they arrived.

"What do you want?" one asked gruffly

"We're here to see your Alpha, Egros. We bring him a gift."

They were led into a large chamber with about 20 Nietzschiens.

Harper was feeling a little panicky this was too much like earth. Beka had to admit she was getting worried her self.

One Nietzschien stood up. "Who enters?"

The Nietzschien from the door spoke up.

"This beast says he has a gift for Egros."

A male Nietzschien lounging in a comfortable chair replied. "Lets see my gifts!"

Ergos was a large guy, bigger then Tyr even, thought Harper. He had short blonde hair and a beard to match. They were made to stand before him.

"We are of the Macobi and have been in negotiations with you we brought you

these gifts as a sign of our cunning and good will."

Ergos stood and gave them a cursory inspection. He grabbed Harper's hair and

tilted his face upwards.

"This one is damaged and the female.... " he reached over to touch her and Beka spit in his face.

He wiped his face and smiled. "What kind of slaves are these?"

"They are not ordinary slaves they are from the Andromeda."

A look of suprise crossed Ergos's face. "Hunt's ship?"

"That very one."

"Well this is a gift." He circled Beka "and who are you to Capt. Hunt his mate?" the Nietzschiens had raised to touch her chest.

"You creep!" Growled Harper and he stepped forward.

Ergos did a quick back hand and Harper hit the floor with a grunt. "Captain Hunt might run an undisiplined ship but here you will find there are rules,I own you, and you will do as I say!"

Ergos motioned to one of the gaurds and as they were lead away. Beka could hear Ergos talking to the Macobi. "Maybe we can make a deal after all."

Come on Dylan where are you she thought, we need you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dylan was leaping through slipstreams and dodging booby traps the Macobi had left for them. This was to well planned even though he had taken precautions he obviously had not taken enough. Maybe they were all over worked the idea of a bit of a break had appealed to much? But how could they take a break with a Magog world ship out there?

tyr voice beeped over the com system.

"Captain Hunt? How long do you expect us to wait down here with these... creatures?"

Tyr was right he couldn't have them stand there till this was resolved.

"Lock them in Hanger bay 4 and have one of the bots stand gaurd and get down here to the bridge."

Harper and Beka were both fitted with Alarm collars that could be controlled by the guards.

"If you run, I'll push this button and your head blows off, If your a smart ass I push this button and I shock you."

This Nietzschien obviously had genetic malfunctions. Beka wonder why he wasn't

killed at birth. Harper despite everything seemed interested in the device.

"Really, that's cool how far does the signal range?"

"One mile, I helped design it." the Nietzschiens chest puffed out a little.

He then looked around realizing he probably shouldn't be socializing with slaves and his tone changed."OK now in your cell food and water will come later." He pushed them in to a large cell room with 30 other mixed breeds of slaves.

Beka found a relatively quiet corner and pushed Harper down in it giving him a quick inspection. The swelling in his eye had gone down but his vision was blurry in that eye. The magog were asleep but if he didn't get medicine ASAP it was going to be a problem.Then there was his hand.

Beka searched around for a few minutes and came up with a couple of sticks barely more then twigs.

"OK you ready."


Beka felt Harpers hand it was broken in more then one place and the fact that it was elevated over his head for more then a

couple of hours during transport hadn't helped either. Even just touching his hand was hurting him. Harper had closed his eyes and clenched his jaw tightly. Beka placed her hands on two different spots on his hand.


He nodded with his eyes close.Beka pulled and twisted.

Harper screamed.It was over in a second but both felt shaky and ill after.

"It wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't sound like popcorn." Harper tried to joke through the pain.

Beka quikly tie his hand up using the twigs as splints. "We need ice."

"And baby magog sleeping pills... I think one of them just moved." Harper looked up at Beka with a terrified look on his face.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Tyr stood beside the helm as Dylan directed the Andromeda through a final slipstream.He had followed the emissions trail and with the small promptings from Trance and they seemed to be in a new solar system. There were 4 planets and two suns. Only one planet was habital and it was a harsh planet.

Rommie filled them in on the rest of the details. "The average temperature on the planet is 30 Degrees Celsius. The planet is made up of 72 percent deserts landscapes, 12 percent water and the rest is grass lands. Population 3.2 billion."

"I've been here before." murmured Tyr

"Great! It will be easier for us to track them if you know your way around."

"This is not a friendly planet Captain, we will need more then a map."

Dylan looked at what was left of his meager crew. Tyr was must especially if they needed

fire power, Trance because Dylan really needed her intuition right now and she might need to help Harper as Rev hand found his medicine in the corridor. "All right, Rev Bem you and Rommie stay. Protect the ship, gaurd the Macobi and keep in constant radio contact with us in case of trouble. Trance, Tyr with me."

Trance and Dylan left the bridge. Tyr followed but turned to look back. He didn't like that his only back up was to be a magog and a ship but what could he do?"Be ready, there will be trouble!" he snarled at them and followed the others out the door.

Trance looked around as Dylan, Tyr and her stepped off the Maru. They were at the edge of a small city. Rommie had said the city

depended on the economy created by trade ships and mining. She could she why. There

was nothing here but marketers.

He thoughts were interrupted when she saw a group of Nietzschiens.

"Ahhh Dylan, Nietzschiens!" Trance pointed at them.

"Well that certainly didn't take long" Tyr pulled Trance away and followed Dylan quickly.They ducked in to a local drinking establishment.

"Tyr did you recognize them?" Started Dylan



"Are those good Nietzschiens or bad Nietzschiens?"

Tyr turned to Trance "All Nietzschiens are bad Nietzschiens."

Trance considered that for a minute.

"Do you think the Drago's know where Harper and Beka are?"

"I can almost guarantee it."

"This makes thing difficult."

"To say the least."

"Hey not all Nietzschiens are bad." Cut in Trance with a determined face.

The two looked at her for a second and then went back to their conversation.

"We should determine their location first."

"Captain, this is sheer suicide."

"Are you backing out on me?"

"Not yet."

"I need to know I can count on you."

Tyr thought about it a minute "Alright."

"OK, Tyr do you know where the Dragos home base is?"

"It been a few years but I think so unless they have moved it. "

"Ok I want you to hang out there but stay out of site, see what you can see. Trance and I will try to find the mines and see if they have any new unwilling employees, stay in contact and be careful."

Tyr nodded and left the bar a few moments later Dylan and Trance followed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Beka was exhausted but she didn't want to fall asleep. She needed to watch Harper and be there for him. It would be a couple of days before he would die, without

medicine, a couple of hours before whatever damage the magog did would be irreversible.

Harper let out a groan and held his stomach. Beka stroked his hair away from his eyes, he was getting a fever she noted.

"Beka,...you look tired"

"I am" she smiled

"Why don't you go to sleep I'll stay awake ... I couldn't sleep anyway so I'll wake you if one of our roommates gets nosey...ahh gawd" he clenched his good arm around his stomach.

"Don't worry about it slugger, I'm fine."

Guards appeared at the cell doors and seemed to be surveying the crowd, there was a couple of Macobi with them too. They spotted Beka and Harper and one of the Macobi pointed at them.

"Oh oh this can't be good." Harper tried to sit up straighter.

"No, stay there I'll deal with this."

The guards and the Macobi, one of which was Major Antilla strode in to the cell the other prisoners scattered out of their way like kicked puppies.

Beka stood and put her hands on her hips "What the hell do you want?"

"You'll be coming with us, we have a few questions."

"We won't answer any of your stupid questions and besides he's to sick

to be moved anywhere except to a medical ward."

"We don't want him just you."

"What!" Beka didn't like the idea about being separated from Harper.

"Look, he's really sick, he's been infested with magog. He needs medicine, we don't have time to fool around."

Major Antilla looked surprised. "Magog?...I don't believe it how is it He was fine when we left the ship and we have not encountered any magog ...unless your pet....?"

"Rev Bem is not my pet, and we had medicine to control it ...what do you care anyway?" Beka waved her hand in the air "I thought you weren't bothered by the Magog."

The Nietzschien guard turned to the Macobi with surprise you can control the Magog? Ergos will want to know more of this?"

The Macobi looked like children caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

Major Antilla motioned to her companion. "Leave the boy for now and bring

her we'll work this out."

They grabbed her arm and started to haul her away.

"Let go of her you jerks!"

Beka didn't want Harper hurt anymore. "Seamus stay put it's ok...i'll be right back."

Harper met her eyes and didn't believe her.

"Becareful" he wispered as they took her away.

Rommie and Rev Bem stood on the bridge of the Andromeda.

"All my sensors are now back on line."

"Good, Good."

"And I just sent some bots to feed the Macobi."

The view screen clicked on it was the Macobi from where they were being held.

"This is an outrage we demand to speak to Captain hunt and we demand to be let out of here this is a disgrace we are not animals to be penned!" The Macobi spokes person continued to rant.

"I'm very sorry to detain you" interrupted Rommie " as soon as this is resolved and Captain Hunt returns you will be free I assure you this is only temporary."

"When Captain hunt Returns!!!! You mean he's left us...." The rant continued.

Rev stepped up. "We are very sorry." And turned the view screen off and turned to Rommie "It has been longer then I expected I pray everything has gone alright?"

Rommie had a worried expression on her face and did not answer the question.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Two Nietzschien guards held Beka's arms back. Major Antilla backhanded her across the face.

"Tell me how many Nova bombs you have?"

"We don't have any nov...." Another blow hit her this time in the stomach. Her body did it's best to double over but the guards held her place. Beka licked the blood from a cracked lip from one of the numerous blows.

"Listen this is ridiculous, If I had any real information to give you I still

wouldn't give it to you, unless your total motivation is to be an unarmed women to a pulp then by all means GO A HEAD!" Beka was furious. Furious with the Macobi, furious about having to leave Harper, furious about the whole damn situation.

"Then what good are you to me Captain Valentine? Why should I keep you alive?"

"Because if you don't Dylan and they rest of my crew will kick your ass and you know it."

She said it a very direct tone so there was no mistake to Antilla that she meant it.

Antilla circled her like a rabid dog. "Ergos wants you and your small blonde friend as slaves. He will be going to the mines but he has much different plans for you. He wants to take you off world for genetic testing,

those Nietzschiens always playing with the natural order of things. You won't die

Captain Valentine." Antilla reached forward and grabbed Beka by the front of her hair and pulled her face close to her own "But I hear it's very painful, you'll wish you had."

Antilla let go of her hair with a small push and faced the guards. "I'm done with her do what ever you want."

Once again Beka was bodily hauled away.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * ** * *

Harper half sat half laid in his cell. His 'roommates' were starting to size him up and he didn't like the looks of things. "This sucks." He whispered to himself. Just when he thought things coldn't get any bleaker they did.

Four Nietzschiens unlocked they cell door and started rounding everyone out the door. Harper wasn't even sure his legs would support him any more. He tried to get to his feet shakily. He made it but leaned against the wall to catch his breath.

"You, hurry up!!" motioned one Nietzschien guard at Harper.

Harper was about to give one of his token comments when one of the baby Magog gave a jerk and he yelped in pain. He didn't remember falling down but suddenly he was looking at one of the guard's feet.

"I said get up!!!" Harper didn't remember him saying it a first time either.

He couldn't reply the room was spinning and he was afraid he would lose yesterday's lunch then it occurred to him he wasn't sure the when the last time he ate was. It didn't really matter anymore and he threw up on the

Nietzschien's boots and passed out.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tyr had been standing outside all day watching the entrance of the Drago's

stronghold. The sun had set about an hour ago when he had checked in with Dylan. He stifled a yawn he wasn't tired only bored. Nietzschien's had been coming in and going all day with no sign of anyone he recognized.

A group of five came out this time and they had someone between them. He strained his enhanced eyesight in the dark...yes, he was sure of it.

"Captain Hunt" he whispered into his internal communicator "They are transporting Captain Valentine."

"Affirmative Tyr, Follow her and keep in contact, we will follow your signal

and catch up." There was a pause. "Any sign of Harper?"

"None." Even the proud Nietzschien couldn't keep the concern out of his voice.

He followed the group through the crowds of citizens still roaming the street he wasn't about to let Beka out of his sight and considered mounting his own attack on his own when it became obvious that the were heading to the docking strips. They were going to take her off planet.

Dylan touched Tyr on the shoulder, and Tyr almost removed his head with his bone armaments.

"It's you." He stated a matter of fact.

Dylan nodded "I'll get on the other side you stay here on my signal open fire, Trance when you can help Beka get away."

"OK." Trance smiled nervously.

"We can do this." he insured her.

"I know." She whispered but didn't seem convinced.

"OK lets move!"

Harper woke with a sneeze. He sneezed so hard he was sure he had rattled something lose in his head.

Great on top it all I have allergy's!

He could open his eyes he just didn't

want to. He smelt something damp and moldy like old grass.

He shifted slightly and felt bristles poking at him. When he finally did open his eyes a crack he saw that he was lying on a small bed made from hay. There was a figure crouching before him but it was silhouetted against some weak lamplight and he couldn't make out a face.

"AHH there you are." The creature's voice was sweet and it helped Harper sit up and drink some tepid water from a rusty cup.

He felt a small but firm hand at the back of his neck. Harper was very thirsty and

tried to gulp the water resulting in a coughing fit.

"Who are you?" He gasped out between coughs

"A friend of a friend, I told you about the Macobi didn't I but you didn't listen. There are some on your ship still."

"You're the one from before! Do you know were Beka is...umm my friend she's a tall women with blonde hair...."

"Shhhh now she is fine but you are not, rest."

"My Magog....my stomach."

"They are asleep again for now."

"How? ....Where are we?" Harper was confused to many things had and were happening.

"So many questions? We are in the Nietzschien mining tunnels, in the slave

quarters. Tomorrow you will be expected to work and I can't help you then but we will talk soon. Sleep, rest."

Harper couldn't fight it anymore and a feeling of peace came over him and he slept.


As soon as Beka heard weapons fire she dropped into a crouching position. The first thought that traveled through he brain was 'it's about time!'

Her guards scattered one grabbed her arm and tired to drag her away she resisted hoping it would give her rescuers time to shot but amid the chaos no shots came there way. She watched and struggled as her guard reached into his pocket and brought out a small pad and pushed a button.

'Ahh no' she had forgotten about the control collar she wore and a small but severe electrical shock shot through he body. She felt numb and let the Nietzschien attempt to drag her away.

Shots were fired and quickly Trance was by her side.

"Beka are you ok? We need to run." Beka just managed a nod as all her strength went to making her legs move and she followed Trance away from the firefight. They hid behind some cargo and were quickly met by Dylan

and Tyr.

"Beka are you ok?" Dylan asked urgently

"Yes but Harper..."

"We need to regroup, we'll head back to the Andromeda for now and get organized, get a plan. Don't worry we won't leave him behind".

"But you don't understand" she half sobbed the last few days of tension flooding over. "He might already be dead."

Harper felt a gentle tug on his foot. Most people would have slept through it but

he was born on earth. Harper could sleep through anything as long as it didn't touch

him. Well that's not true he had been kicked many a time and never woken but all

the years in the refugee camps had given him almost a sixth sense. Normal noises,

loud noises, a shake he could sleep through but quiet secretive noises and movements woke him every time. Before he even realized he was awake he kicked his legs hard. There was a very boyish yelp and Harper sat up.

Running from him was a boy probably no more then nine. Harper watched him go, it

wasn't so long ago when he was that boy.

Just about then a red flashing light started with a wailing siren. Harper covered his

ears the others around him started to groan and shuffle out of the small

cave they had been housed in. He quickly took stock. The swelling in his face had

gone down and he could see out of both eyes again, though he could still feel

that it was deeply bruised his hand had been re bandaged and his broken bones felt more

secure. A thought occurred to him and he quickly pulled up his shirt. He made a

disappointed sigh, yup baby magog, check. But they were sleeping. So he hadn't

dreamed it. He looked around the cave was now empty and he got up from the straw bed.

A Large Nietzschien enter the room.

"Your new?"

Harper nodded for once mute.

"Here's the rules, alarm goes off you go to work, it goes off a second time you

come back here. Go it kluge?"

"Where do I work?"

"Find a supervisor now MOVE IT!" the oversized gorilla grabbed him by

the scruff of shirt and propelled him through the cave entrance.

The main chamber reminded him a lot of the magog worldship where he and Tyr had been held by the magog.

"Awww man just once can't I be a slave on a tropical beach!"

No one looked up and even glanced his way. He looked around and finally saw what

looked like a supervisor. He also noticed that no one was paying any attention to him

either. He slowly started to make his way a way from the supervisor. He was very careful not to draw attention to himself.

He got about 50 feet away from the supervisor when heard something beep. He

looked around but couldn't find the sound. He took a couple more steps. He didn't

really know where he was going but it just seemed like the right way to go. Maybe Trance was rubbing off on him. The beeping got louder now the other slaves were starting to look at him.

he tried to hurry a little. The beeping was getting positively loud. It was his collar her realized. Everyone around him stopped and stared.

"Hey you kluge! Don't move!"

"AWW crap, this damn collar!" He started to panic and tried to make a run for it

pulling at it as he ran. He only got a few more feet when an electric shock went

down from his neck all the way to his toes and he fell to the ground numb.

He felt his body twitching on it's own he couldn't control it. A dark shadow fell

over him, it was the Nietzschien supervisor.

"Hey your the new kluge from the Highgaurd ship aren't cha. You think your special since you came from some fancy ship don't

cha? Boy, your just another slave to me. Try to run away again and I'll have

you whipped. No slave ever leaves the pit alive!"

Dylan put his arms around beka to comfort her. Worry crossed his face for both beka and harper.

Tyr actually was the first to speak up.

despite all of the pretenses he had, he cared for the boy. "Harper survived twenty years on earth he is surpassingly resourceful... and lucky, but we will beneither if we don't move."

Dylan helped Beka stand and kept his arm across her shoulder as they dodged

through what was left of the market square. Many had been scared off by the

fire fight.They ran to where the Maru had been hidden.

Beka seemed to gain back some of her composure once she was on board and she was

filling Tyr in on the details of the Nietzschien stronghold.

Dylan contacted the Andromeda."Rommie, you there?"

"We're here, everything's fine.""How are the Macobi?"

"Impatient. Did you find Beka and Harper?"

"We have Beka."

A quick smile crossed Rommie's face but left just as suddenly. "No harper?"

"We're working on that, are your sensors online?"

"Yes there're back on line but Harper will need to double check therepairs."

Then in a lower voice Dylan made his request. "Can you scan the surface for

his life signs."

There would be to much interference to give them an exact location due to the planet's

atmosphere they both new that, but she should be able to tell if he was a

live and where approximately.

Rommie gave a worried nod and her face concentrated as she scanned.

"Yes! Dylan he's alive!" She practically shouted "He's in the mines."

Both Beka and Tyr overheard and smiled. Relief was etched in Beka's exhausted face.

"Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt... "Rev Bem started "but I went to check on our

Macobi guests in the cargo bay where they were being held but it was empty."

Rommie looked shocked "But my sensors still show 24 life signs in there."

"There are most decidedly not I'm afraid and if your sensors show that they

are there then we have no idea how long they have been missing."

Beka sighed "and we don't really know if Harper is still alive."

"We will have to go on the assumption that the Macobi can fool Rommie's

sensors that's how they dismantled them in the first place, and that Rommieis

correct that Harper is alive." Dylan paused in thought for a moment and rubbed his hand

over his face. "We all need to get some rest. I know you won't take my advice so I'm

making this an order. In eight hours Tyr and Beka will mount a rescue for Harper. But not before. Trance and I will return to the Andromeda and investigate what's going on with the Macobi at the same time."

"But Dylan..." Beka started to protest.

"No, buts in eight hours. Tyr's right if Harper can survive 20 years on earth and

having Magog larvae in his stomach he can survive eight hours."

* * * * * * * *

'Awww man I'm going to die.' Harper thought to himself as he hefted a bag of

mineral ore on his shoulder with his good hand and headed into a low narrow

tunneltowardsa crevice where there was a

little dolly system that took it the rest of the way out of the mine.

He had lost track of time. He had eaten once but his body was still shaky from

being sick and being shocked and he could not keep it down. The fact that he

couldn't really tell what he was eating didn't help.

Everybody must think he's dead he though and at times he wished he was.

Tyr's words of survival kept running through his head till he actual said

'shut up' out loud. The supervisor had given him a dirty look but nothing more,

thank the divine he didn't think I meant him.

'Awww man I'm going to die.' Harper thought to himself as he hefted a bag of

mineral ore on his shoulder with his good hand andheaded into a low narrow

tunnel towards a crevice where there was a

little dolly system that took it the rest of the wayout of the mine.

He had lost track of time. He had eaten once but his body was still shaky from

being sick and being shocked and he could not keep it down. The fact that he

couldn't really tell what he was eating didn't help.

Everybody must think he's dead he though and at timeshe wished he was.

Tyr's words of survival kept running through his headtill he actual said

'shut up' out loud. The supervisor had given him adirty look but nothing more,

thank the divine he didn't think I meant him.

Harper was careful not to make eye contact with the supervisor or

anyone else. Like earth the only way to survive was to stay off everybody's radar.

Twelve hours later Harper was barely able to drag the mineral ore bags across the floor. The supervisor yelled at him to hurry and he ducked a blow as he went by.

Once in the narrow passageway he stopped

to catch his breath and he closed his eyes for a second. He could feel his broken hand throbbing in it's bandage.

He heard a noise and looked up fearing that the supervisor had come looking

for him.He looked up to see the hooded figure he had seen when he was in the

brig and when he was sick.

"Oh it's you." Harper was to tired for formalities

"How do you fair?"

"Just peachy." Harper looked down at his feet he was to tired to even lift his head "Why do you care anyway, who are you?"

"I told you a friend of yours asked me to watch out for you."


"Does it matter?"

Harper didn't reply he just kept looking at his feet, everything felt so hopeless. Then he saw something at the bottom of the figures

coat something purple. Harper gasped with surprise.

"You have A TAIL!" his voice rising with excitement.

The tail quickly tucked it's self back under the cloak

"I have no such thing" the cloaked figure's voice was almost indignant.

"No fooling me buddy I saw it!"

"Sssh you'll bring the guards ...you shouldn't trust your eyes it's dark

in here and your very tired."

Harper smiled a smile that covered his whole face. "OK sure." But he couldn't even convince himself and had a crazy

urge to giggle.

After a few seconds Harper gained some composure.

"It's a pretty big sacrifice to come here just to help me and if you were

here to help me why don't you help me escape?"

"No need your friends are on their way."

"No they can't they'll be killed!!" Harper felt slightly panicky again.

"There is a good chance everything will be fine."

Harper smiled to himself he was like her.

"Mr. Harper I wish to tell you this is not completely a selfless act on my part."

Harper looked up shocked. "You want to be paid ! Look I really appreciate your help but I don't have any money...."

The hooded figure raised it's hands in complacency "I am not looking for finances I only require answers."

"Answers? If any one needs answers it's me."

"You don't really need them how ever I do."

"What kinda questions you got?"

"All humanoids have hopes. What do you hope for?"

"What kind of question is that? Look, the supervisor will be coming soon."

"He will not be thinking of you for several more minutes...You talked to yourself about hope when you were in the in confinement on the Andromeda."

He was pushy just like Trance could be sometimes when she really wanted something.

"So you can read minds huh? Cool. Well.. the usual I guess but most of it has come true. I wanted to get off earth and now

or at least I did live on the Andromeda. I would like to get ride of these baby magog." Harper patted his stomach

"Life and shelter are all you wish for, I sense something more?"

"Um sure, really, I guess... should I wish for something else?"

"What are your deepest desire's?"

"A million thrones and some hot babes to share it with." He tried to brush it off. This was all getting more then a little uncomfortable.

A purple hand reached out and lightly touched Harper's forehead.

Harper rocked back in to the wall behind him with a force of what felt like a major electrical shock. It was over as quickly as it began but the hair on his arms stood on ends.

"What the hell!"

"I see." He said "We are not so different you and I."

"What did you see?"

"More then you or your friends give you credit for."

"Man you are just like Trance! I can't get a straight answer! Is it good at least?"

"All things are relative. I thank you though for the information"

"What information I DIDN"T TELL YOU ANYTHING! AGGGGGGGHHHH ok that's it I'm going back to work, are you still going to be haunting me?"

The purple man tilted his head in a sign of confusion "I'm not dead?"

Harper couldn't help but smile...'Yup just like Trance' he thought.

The end of day bells rang.

Harper turned his head towards the entrance of the cave "Thank the divine it's about time!" when he turned his head back the cloaked figure was gone.

Harper returned to his cave. He was bone tired. He found a patch of floor that was not occupied he didn't even remember lying down but he did remember that he did dream of little purple men and women with tails.

A Nietzschien guard entered the slave cave quietly. He glanced at the pathetic dirty and smelly creatures littering the floors. His nose wrinkled in disgust. He was looking for a specific pathetic little creature.

He spied him and made his way towards him. He judged his timing and he placed a hand on Harper's shoulder at the same time as his

other hand covered Harper's mouth muffling his yell.

The Nietzschien let go of Harper 's mouth and motioned for silence.

"Tyr!" Harper whispered with happiness.

The Nietzschien only shook his head and indicated silence again as he helped Harper to his feet.

Harper swallowed a groan his body had stiffened up and every movement was painful.

Tyr grabbed his elbow and guided him

through the darkness and out side the mouth of the cave.

Once there he was attacked and someone tried to smother him.He soon realized his attacker was Beka who had grabbed him ina bear hug.

"Hey boss." he whispered. "What brings you by?"

Beka whacked him hard on the shoulder.

"OW what's that for?"

"For making me worry." She smiled

"Let's go boy before we draw more attention to ourselves."

"I missed you to big guy, but one problem." Harper indicated his collar "I can't go far or this thing lights me up like a firecracker."

"Don't worry I gotcha covered. Rommie helped me rig this after she took mine

off, like mine was rigged for travel or I would have been fried to, I almost was" Beka pulled and little electronic device out of her pocket.

"Less talking and hurry up" whispered Tyr urgently "before someone sees us and realizes I am not of this tribe."

Beka pointed the little device at Harper's collar and pushed a button. Harper heard a small click and the collar opened up around his neck.Harper pulled it over his dropped it on the ground and stepped on it.

"Good riddance."

And they ran.

Harper's body protested. After hours of labor when his body had already been beaten and only 2 hours sleep at most ... well it

wouldn't listen to him anymore. Plus it was dark. Harper's shoulder bounced of a wall for the umpteenth time. He swore quietly and Tyr directed him around it. Tyr could see nearly perfectly in the dark and Beka had a tiny red flashlight.

"We need to stop and check our map." Beka whispered.

"We're LOST!" Harper said a little louder then he would have liked.

"Quiet!" Hushed Tyr "I'm sure we need to take the next right."

There were voices coming towards them. The three of them ducked into a crevice that someone had created while removing ore.

Harper was pushed right against Beka and he could feel her heart beating. He also had the violent urge to sneeze.

Two Nietzschiens walked by. They didn't seem in a hurry or to be looking for anything in particular. But then one suddenly paused.

They all held their breath collectively.

"What wrong?"

"I thought I heard something."

"Probably just a wallrat."

"Hmmm, I guess" but he didn't look convinced and he flashed a low powered light around the area for a few moments. He shrugged his shoulders."Yeah, I don't see anything" and the two Nietzschiens continued down

the tunnel.

"Whew, that was close." Whispered Beka

Harper covered his face and sneezed three times in row.

"Let's go" growled Tyr.

** * * * * * ** * * ** *

Rev stood beside Rommie in one of the storage bays. He had a hand held scanning device and was directing it around the room.

"Your sensors may have been faulty but you are correct I am showing that there

are Macobi life signs in here."

"They are not invisible because if they were I would sense movement or fluctuations."

"Indeed it's very odd. It's like they have gone but left their energy signatures behind."

"Do you think the Macobi have the ability to project energy."

"If so that may be why they are not bothered by the Magog and why they were unwilling to share the information. My people rely

on senses to hunt their prey. The have the normal five senses but also a sixth sense or instinct. Sometimes we can just sense another beings presence, their energy. If the Macobi can project their energy

then they might be able to elude any Magog attack by seeming to be somewhere else."

"Also that means no cure for Harper."

Rev nodded his head sadly "Well this is all speculation but I believe it is true. But I also believe the divine has a purpose for all of us including our young Master Harper, a cure may still be


"I hope so, as annoying as he is I miss him."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dylan stood on the bridge looking down on the planet where half his crew was. How did this get so out of hand? Tyr was right

he did trust to easily but he had felt him self becoming more jaded over the past few months he desperately wanted to be able to trust again. He missed the security of the commonwealth. Yet this was a different time, with different people. He couldn't let his homesickness jeopardize this new crew. In some ways this is

more like his dreams from boyhood. To explore the unknown,encounter new species. He just didn't realize he would have to do it alone.

Holo-Rommie popped into exsistence beside him. She had a concerned look on her face.

"Dylan are you OK?"

"Yes fine," he smiled shaking him self out of his self-pity. "Anything to report?"

"Rev's come up with a theory about why we still detect the Macobi,plus due to the malfunctions in my sensors I was unable to detect the deployment of three escape pods, their ship however is still in the hanger bay."

"I want you and Rev to go down there and check their ship out, make sure they left on the escape pods, and look for clues as to

what their plans were. I'll meet you down there in five minutes."

Rommie flickered away beside him and flickered back almost instantly " I've picked up a ship on my sensors it's the Eureka Maru ." the hologram smiled despite her self. Three life signs on Board."

Dylan smiled to things were getting better.

Harper was on med~dec with Trance. He was babbling as she applied nanobots and bandages to his wounds. She also gave him a new dose of his medicine. Trance was happy to hear his voice again as he told his story but her face frowned as he talked about his purple friend.

"I don't know anyone like that Harper."

"I know your all hush hush about this stuff but when did you meet him how did he know where I was?"

"I'm telling you the truth!"

"Yeah, yeah."

She gently grabbed his face between her hands and forced him to meet her eyes. "I don't know any one like that and have talked

to no one other then the crew and the Macobi......" a look came over face. "What did this person say to you the first time

you talked?"

"Umm, he warned me that the Macobi wanted more then they were willing to give."

"What if this guy worked for the Macobi? You never saw him till the Macobi came on board and he must of traveled with you to

the planet."

"Tyr did mention he thought our escape had been to easy but I thought he was just being Nietzschien."

"Did he ever ask you for anything?"


"No stupid, your mysterious friend."

Harper stifled a yawn he was having trouble putting two thought together. Trance realized this but they needed to figure this out fast and she urged him on.

"Umm, he asked me for payment for his help and I told him I didn't have any money he said he just wanted to know what my hopes

were. I told him babes but he didn't believe me and then he did this mind reading thing."

"Harper you didn't did you!"

"What? I didn't mind he made my magog go to sleep for a while and he helped me when I was sick "

"Think about it ... a person's hope is a very powerful thing. With out hope beings cease to function, with hope they become

empowered. Look at Dylan for example he never lost hope about the commonwealth and that makes him very powerful and in turn people want what he wants or has. Telling the wrong people about your hopes means they can steal that energy from you. He really was asking for more then he was giving"

"So your saying having 'hope' produces an actual tangible energy?"

"Not everyone can detect it, and then only some beings can actual harness it and use it."

"But I didn't feel any different after he read my mind."

"He probably just made a connection so he can use it when he needs to."

"So you think the purple guy was working with the Macobi?"

"It makes sense and with what Rommie told me about the Macobi being able to leave there energy signatures behind to make us think that there were here..."

"Ok now I'm confused..."

"I'll fill you but I want to talk to Rommie first and you need to rest ,I promise if you rest I'll tell you everything."

Harper yawned again to tired to argue. "Ok but if anything happens wake me ok?"

"I promise."

Harper wandered out of sick bay and headed for his quarters for a long deserved nap a little worried about what a mysterious purple guy wanted with his hopes.

* * * * * * * *

There was a staff meeting minus Harper on the bridge.

"So if the Macobi have the ability to store personal energy what do they need Harper's friend and the Nietzschiens for." Dylan was trying to make sense of it all.

"Well like the magog, I think the Macobi have the ability to sense other peoples energies but I don't think they have the ability to collect it hence Harper's friend." Rev rationalized.

"And the ability to expel energy has been documented in many different sentient

beings, and even insentient earth insectoids..."

"But what about the Nietzschiens?" Dylan interrupted Professor Rommie's lecture.

There was silence and Beka spoke up first. "Antilla said once that not all the

Macobi believed that the commonwealth was the way to go and many believed they stood a better chance creating an alliance with the


"What motive would the Macobi possibly have to join any kind of alliance if they are as powerful as you say? They have power just in sheer numbers never mind this hocus pocus" questioned Tyr.

"Well, I think we need to meet with the Macobi liked we planned even if

we are a few days late." Dylan decided

"Are you nuts!" Beka started

"Maybe, but I think we deserve some answers."

It took 4 hours and 3 slipstream jumps to get to the rendezvous point.

Beka pulled the Andromeda to a stop.

There was no sign of any Macobi ship anywhere. "Well what now?" Said

Beka to no one in particular. Rev who was manning navigation looked up from

his scans.

"No ships but I detect a fairly dense asteroid field off to our left

about 1000 microns away. It's quite expansive."

Rommie appeared beside Dylan on the bridge. "The asteroids are made up of 60% Taris ore, 30% iron, 5% water in solid form, and .."

"And who cares," Beka snapped impatiently.

Rommie gave her a rude look "And I was going to say 40% of the larger asteroids are hollow."

"Hollow?" questioned Dylan "Hmm."

"Do you think they have magog in them?" asked a nervous Harper who had entered the bridge unnoticed.

"Good to see you looking better Mr. Harper."

"Yeah, thanks, Trance filled me in so what do you say?"

Rommie took another scan my sensors are back on line but It's impossible to tell the ore scrambles my scans. I only have the information I reported to you a moment ago..."

"It's ok Rommie" Dylan raised his hand to quell the avatar's concerns. " I have a plan." He then made a ship wide announcement "All hands to your stations."

Moments later Tyr and Trance showed up on the bridge.

"Tyr ready torpedo tubes 1 through 3 we are going to have a little target practice."

"Dylan I'm all for blowing the hell out of the magog but won't that just like piss them off?"

"Trust Mr. Harper." Harper said something under his breathe that Dylan chose to ignore.

"Torpedos ready" confirmed Tyr.


Dylan said the words Tyr responded but as they did 12 Macobi ships flew from their hiding spots amongst the asteroids.

The Andromeda torpedoes hit two of the asteroids. Rock and ice fragments blew apart damaging and destroying other near by


Beka smiled "you smoked them out." She then flipped the ship in a quick barrel roll to avoid there fire.

"Tyr, Harper launch the fighters and man the remotes."

Tyr already had his VR glasses on and Harper flew over to help him.

"Rommie status?"

"Three Macobi ships destroyed" the Andromeda shock under an impact. "There is some damage to engine three but over all I'm fine... Dylan they're hailing us."

Harper's purple friend appeared on screen. He did look a lot like Trance thought Dylan but more sinister.

"Captain Hunt I presume?"

"What do you want?" Dylan almost snarled

"You fired first?"

Dylan was tired of these games. "And you attempted to steal my ship and injure my crew."

The purple man nodded his head "That is true, but my cause is just, it was my god's will."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

"What kind of god orders attacks on innocent people?"

"You and your crew are hardly innocent Capt. Hunt."

"Who is this god you talk of?" questioned Rev Bem

"He has no name to speak of but we his faithful followers refer to him as

the Spirit of the Abyss."

A low groan developed in Rev's throat.

The purple man continued. "He wishes to see your crew destroyed for the crimes

you have committed. Millions of faithful devotee's mostly Magog murdered bythis

crew and this vessel!"

The rage in his face turned his purple color nearly to a navy blue.

Dylan quickly put things together "So you are a follower of the Spirit of the Abyss and the Macobi are also his followers?"

The purple man ignored the question but Dylan knew he was right

"Do you confess your crimes?"

"It was an act of war!"

"Then we have met an impasse, this will not end till I have your bodies on a slab."

The veiwer disconnected and the view of space reappeared.

"Captain they're firing." Chimed Andromeda. The ship rocked and the crew held

on to their panels to keep from being thrown about. "There's damage to my port nycell"

"On it!" shouted Harper and he ran from the bridge towards the damaged area. He jogged quickly down the hall when he heard a voice. He stopped.

"Rommie? Is that you?"

The hologramed Rommie popped into existence.

"What are you talking about? Hurry The Macobi are firing again." Rommie

looked distracted and disappeared again.

Harper continued down the hall in a hurry.

"Your hopes are for family and friends, freedom from fear, for strength, onfidenceand for life." Pain ripped through his head and Harper fell to his

knees clutching his head in pain. "Wha what's going on who are you?"

"How quickly you have forgotten me?" the purple man's voice chortled in his head.

"I am here to collect my payment."

"They're mine, I didn't give them to you!" he screamed. He felt his strength draining from his body.

The voice echoed in his head "whether you gave them to me or not they are mine

now. You are indebted to me."

Harper felt despair filling his body to replace his ebbing strength. Another

bolt of pain ripped through his head and he screamed again.

He heard Dylan's voice from a thousand miles away. "Mr. Harper... repairs? Something ...wrong?"

The ground beneath him shook and he was unsure if it was his own body betraying him or if the with Macobi were still firing on the ship.

He heard Rommie's voice closer then Dylan's but still far away, her words floated around his head but didn't make any sense...'it didn't matter anyway nothing did' he thought.

The purple man thoughts floated through his head seeming more real then his own. "Get up" it echoed "walk towards the air lock."

Harper could see no reason to resist other then he felt so tired. "Walk to the airlock and you can rest."

Harper got to his feet slowly and walked down the hall.


"Rommie report. What's happening with Harper?"

"He was screaming and holding his head, he seems alright now but he is walking away from the damaged area... Captain three more

Macobi vessel's off our starboard bow."

"I'm on it, I'm on it" chimed Beka as she drove the Andromeda into a tight


"Tyr fire at will, Trance check on Harper and hurry. Rev ..."

Trance left the bridge before Dylan finished his sentence.

"Rommie where is Harper currently?"

"Heading towards airlock # 3. He's unresponsive"

"Thank You."

Trance ran towards the airlock. She hoped that she would make it in time.


Harper stood in front of the airlock confused. Pain rippled through his head

draining even more of his energy. He leaned against the bulkhead for support and let out a groan. 'open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest.'

"Go away." He whispered

'open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest. 'open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest.'open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest. 'open the airlock, then no

more pain, only rest.'

He just wanted to shut his eyes, he just wanted the world to go away he wanted to shut his eyes and never have to deal with anything ever again. The pain throbbed behind his eyes spreading through out his head, it kept him awake and all he wanted to do is sleep. He closed his eyes. The pain

got more intense till he reopened his eyes.

"This part of the ship will vent.... if I open the airlock...the bridge is..." Harper tried to take control of his thoughts but he couldn't seem to grasp them and he was tired of trying.'What does it matter, nothing matters...

'open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest.'

His hand hovered over the airlock release button.

'Open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest'

Something jerked his hand back his body turned and swayed as it lost it's

equilibrium. Someone grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him against the


"Open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest." He mumbled.

"Harper focus!!" It was Trance's voice. She was his friend. Wasn't she? 'You have no friends, your just a lowly mudfoot she doesn't matter. Open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest.'

Trance looked at her friend. The was no doubt in her mind what was going

on. The purple one like her had stolen Harper's Hope's and he had so few to start with. No screaming or shaking was going to work.

She closed her own eyes her skin began to tingle. She would deal with the consequences later. She thought of Harper, concentrating

on who he was, his essence. She wondered if this was what it was like when Harper jacked into Rommie.

Inside Harper's head she heard him screaming. "Harper?"

"No, not you to Trance!"

"I'm sorry I know I shouldn't be here but I wanted to help."

"It hurts."

"I know."

"Open the airlock, then no more pain, only rest"

"Harper you can't listen to him."

"Why not? What does it matter?"

The purple man voice addressed Trance. "I see you here, really I thought I would see you sooner."

"These ones belong to me find your own."

"I have and mine wants yours dead."

Harper groaned "Both of you go away.... NO! ARGGHHHHH!" He screamed in frustration and pain.

"I'm stronger you then you and you know it." Trance did her best to ignore her friends pleas this was for him. She pushed at the

intruder with her mind.

The purple man smiled. "You are my queen, but much has changed,I have found something better to worship then you. The Spirit of the

Abyss has much strength. He might even be more powerful then you."

"I doubt it."

"Please... what's going on... please go away... why are you doing this to

me? Did I do something wrong?"

"You were born." sneered the purple man

Harper's essence slunk further in to it's self and Trance needed to hurry. She focused her attentions on him.

"Harper listen to me. I'm your friend I care for you."

"Lies...your hurting me."

She tried a different tactic. "Do you remember Infinity Atoll? Wouldn't it be nice to go back there and enter in the surfing competition this year?"

"It doesn't matter... I lost..."

"Harper, you were so close I just know you would win next time."

He seemed hesitant but then he grew a little stronger "You think I could?"

"I know you could!...Plus Beka says she need you to fix the slipstream on the Maru... no one knows it like you"

"She hates me... I made her and Bobby break up"

Trance had no idea who Bobby was but she pressed on. "No she's grateful, she told me herself. Rev Bem was saying to me the other day that he might have leads on how to get

your Magog out I was going to tell you but then all this stuff started happening..."She felt him grow stronger again...strong enough maybe...

She pushed again at the purple man. "Now leave I mean it!"

He seemed to fade a little but then suddenly He growled at her like a dog with a bone even though he knew he was out matched. He sent one final wave of pain. It effected both Harper and Trance. Harper screamed and Trance gritted her teeth. Trance had had enough she struck out with all her being. The purple man looked frightened

but had no time to react This time he screamed. A horrible gurgling scream.


"Rommie report."

"The Macobi are retreating towards the asteroid field. I'm to large to

follow them in... Capt. they're hailing."

The purple man flickered on screen. He looked pale and slightly ill.

"Capt. Hunt, Don't think you have won there will be others like us we will have our vengeance, we will have our vic...tory." The purple man fell to the floor and the transmission ended.

The Andromeda crew was stunned into silence.

Rommie spoke first. "The Macobi are fleeing on the far side of the asteroid field, Capt. should we give chase?"

"No let them go for now, we need to regroup" Dylan smiled tiredly.

"Any word on Harper?"

"Trance reported in. Harper is on med~dec he is exhausted but will be fine in a day or two... Dylan I am picking up various reports from the fleeing ships it seems the purple man is dead."


Trance looked down at Harper and watched him sleep. Other then The magog and the other scrapes he was still healing from he

psychically healthy. She didn't know about his mental stability though he had been through so much. Plus now he knew more about her then she cared to admit. That made her more then a little nervous. Most of all though she hoped for his own sake that he would find his 'Hope.' Being in his mind she new he had lost a lot of his hope

on earth being and being on the Andromeda had given him some of it back. She wanted

to help him rebuild up his hopes and dreams again but she wasn't sure he would even talk to her again since she had forced her way

into his mind. A tear trickled down her cheek.

A rough hand reached out and brushed it off. She jumped with surprise, lost in her own despair she hadn't noticed him open his eyes.

"Hey." He whispered.

"Hey" she responded tentatively.

"You killed him?" She nodded.

"You saw the stuff inside my head?"

Again she nodded but she turned away unable to meet his eyes.

"I...hope you don't hate me...' He stuttered "I ..I hope we can still be friends."

She reached out to him gathering him in a big bear hug, tears streaming down her face. "Friends forever and beyond."

"Hey Trance." His voice muffled against his shoulder. "This year will you come watch me surf at Infinity Atoll."

A huge smile covered her face and she laughed. "I wouldn't miss it for the


FINI (Finally)