In the Presence of Mine Enemies

By Dawn Nyberg

**Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Andromeda. The concept of Andromeda and its characters are owned by Tribune Entertainment – I am merely borrowing them. No profit is being made. **

AUTHOR NOTES: This is the fourth installment to a series. This story is the sequel to: "Anathema." If you haven't read the other stories in the series – you should. They build on each other.

*** Comments and reviews are always welcome. ***


"Harper?" Beka called out in Machine shop three. Harper didn't answer. "Andromeda, I thought you said Harper was in here."


"Well, unless he picked up the ability to becoming invisible – he's not in here."

"Scanning … I have detected a sensor loop."

"Sensor loop? Sneaky, Harper. Very sneaky. Andromeda locate his vitals and find him that way."

"Locating … I have him in Machine shop six."

"Six? We turned that into storage." Beka sighed and left to find Harper. He had been unusually quiet since his return to the Andromeda over two months ago, and she was unaccustomed to it and worried about him. She reached the door and walked in. "Harper?"

"Man, how'd you find me?"

"Sensor loop was a creative try, but I had Andromeda locate your vitals."

"Not fair."

"If you want to hide out Harper you should just go to your quarters and leave a do not disturb on your com."


"So, why are you hiding out in storage?"

"I just wanted some space that's all."

"Harper … I'm worried about you."

"Why? I'm peachy."

"You're different – quiet. You have been since we got you from Goku."

"I'm okay, Beka."

"What did they do to you there?"

"Nothin', Beka. They were pretty decent for Nietzscheans."

"Harper." Beka knew Harper hadn't spoken a lot about his time on Goku and the unspoken was what scared her. "Have you talked to Tyr?"

"About what?"

"About what is bothering you."

"Nothing to say. I'm fine, really." Beka only looked at him – long and hard. "Really, Beka. I know you're waiting for some big bomb shell about tortures and beatings …"

"Were there?" Her eyes softened as she looked at the young man. Harper rolled his eyes.

"Geez, Beka! No, I wasn't beaten or tortured. Man, you're like a dog with a bone. I'm fine. Can't a guy want some privacy sometimes without getting a formal inquisition? Dylan, gets quiet … even down-right moody and you don't harp on him."

"That's Dylan – it's apart of his personality – not yours."

"Oh, and a person can't change?"

"It's just not you, Harper." The young man stood up quickly from his seated position on a crate.

"You don't know what's me and what's not," he snapped. "Everyone has a second face Beka – everyone. What makes me any different?"

"You just are. You're always more upbeat – more talkative than you've been." Harper laughed in frustration, but it sounded more like a hiss.

"You only know the 'me' I've allowed you to get to know. Nobody ever really knows anybody, Beka. If I say, I'm fine – I'm fine, and leave it be."

"You can talk to me," Beka knew Harper was pulling away. Even the words coming out of his mouth didn't sound like him. It was as if the innocence in him had been shattered and she wanted to know why – needed to know why. She needed to know why he had become what she never thought he would – jaded.

Tyr appeared in the door. He had gone looking for Harper as well, and followed the voices he had recognized as Beka's and Harper's.

"Damn, this place is turning into Grand Central Station. I'm outta here." Harper walked past Tyr and the Nietzschean said nothing to the young engineer. Beka started after Harper.

"Harper?" Tyr put an arm across the doorway – blocking her path. "Out of my way!"

"Leave him be, woman."

"I can't."

"You can, and you will."

"Tyr, you can't tell me you haven't noticed how he has been since coming back. Something is bothering him."

"He will talk when he is ready to."

"It's been two months!"

"He is on his own time schedule – not yours, Beka Valentine."

"But …"

"No, but. He will talk when he is ready."

"Fine," Beka said deflated. "It's just that … well, you know I …"

"I know." Beka looked at the Nietzschean and realized he did understand. They shared no other words. Beka only nodded and Tyr dropped his arm and they walked silently back to the Command deck.

Later that Night – Hydroponics

Tyr was working off some excess energy lifting weights on the basketball court. The door opened and to his surprise Harper walked in.

"Hey, Big guy. Feel like a game of one on one?" Harper bounced the basketball against the floor. Tyr didn't respond verbally – he smiled and extended his hands. Harper tossed the ball toward him, "You check it to me."

They ran up and down the court – both panting and sweating. However, they both seemed to be enjoying each other's company. Harper would occasionally taunt Tyr playfully and the Nietzschean would chuckle. At one point Tyr got a hold of the ball and the young man went for it – Tyr laughed and simply held it above Harper's head out of reach as he switched it from hand to hand.

"No fair!" Harper smiled devilishly at his opponent and he threw his shoulder into Tyr knocking him off balance enough that he lowered the ball and Harper grabbed it. "Got it." He ran the court and made a basket.

"You cheated," Tyr commented idly. Harper smiled.

"Cheating is relative."

"Do you realize how much like a Nietzschean you sound sometimes?"

"Well, it's the truth, isn't it? It is relative."


They played hard another ten minutes or so and then they wrapped the game up. They sat against the wall as they both cooled down. They sat in companionable silence until Harper broke it.




"For what?"

"Not harping on me like Beka and watching me constantly like everyone else."

Tyr nodded.

"I'm okay, ya know."

"Are you?" Harper paused at the Nietzschean's response.

"Yeah, it's just…"

"What?" Tyr knew this was the moment and he wanted to know what was bothering his brother in blood.

"I'm Human, Tyr. I was born Human, but I have these urges and feelings. When I was on Goku they had a chance to come out. The combat training I had to go through was intense and sometimes I thought it would break me, but I enjoyed it. The fighting, I mean. And, when the Fukumadere came …"

"And when they came, what?" Tyr urged.

"When I fought that guy – it was brutal. We both wanted each other dead. I've killed before Tyr, but it was always with a gun and I had no other way out. But, this time was different…"

"How so? You had to or you would have died."

"I know. It's just that… I killed him in hand-to-hand combat and with his own knife. It seemed so…"


"Yeah, but there was something else. When I've had to protect myself in the past before I wasn't like this," Harper raised his forearms and extended his bone armaments. "When I was fighting him – this feeling came over me and I gave into it … it felt so powerful and I had this controlled rage and I wanted him dead." Harper paused a second. "And when I killed him, it felt …" Harper broke off suddenly.

"Good?" Tyr now knew what demon Harper had been battling – his conscience. Alas, the Human aspect of the young man Tyr knew would always be there. Of course, Nietzschean's have a conscience, but only if it suits them to at any given moment. He himself could attribute his own conscience to a handful of decisions in his life. Even the fact he was having this conversation with Harper was because he had felt as if he owed the young man for saving his life that day and taking a hit with a Gauss gun and had given his blood – so, that the boy might live.

"Yeah, it did. Tyr, I don't like it that it felt that way." Harper's eyes were dark even haunted.

"Little Man, it does not make you a bad person. It was the heat of battle. You survived and it is okay that you did. You did what you had to and the experience of it will benefit you someday."

"What? Benefit me?"

"Child, you cannot create experience, you must undergo it. What you became in battle was a survivor and that does not make you a cold- blooded killer. You have undergone a change due to an experience, but it is important to realize you do not kill for pleasure. And, feeling good that you have survived or were victorious does not make you a monster. Am I clear?"

Harper did understand, "Yeah, crystal." His eyes softened and he grinned.


"Man, you know … sometimes, 'life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.' Why do you suppose that is?"

Tyr looked wide-eyed at the young man he now called brother and laughed, "Quoting, Shakespeare, now? You have changed, Little man. Just when I thought your only literary extent went only to those surfing books you love to read."

Harper swung a hand over and hit Tyr squarely in the stomach, "Oof," escaped from Tyr and he grabbed Harper's head in a chokehold and ran his knuckles over the young man's head.

"Ow!" Harper laughed as he complained.

Tyr stopped and released Seamus. Harper rubbed his head as he made a face at Tyr. "You'll live."

"I don't know. I think you did some damage."

"Yeah, to your ego." Tyr stood up and offered a hand to Harper. "Come on let's get some food in you from the Mess."

"Yeah, I could eat a horse!"

"A horse, eh?"

"Well, at least a Fesstian Burrower. They're great on a stick!" Harper kidded.

Tyr cuffed the back of Harper's head. "Come on, boy!"

One Week Later – Loma Drift

The crew had a chance for a short break on Loma Drift – as drifts go it wasn't as bad as others, but a person still didn't want to get caught off guard. Harper was on his own for a change. He walked into a pub to grab a Perellian Ale – a rather strong brew. Tonight, he wasn't in the mood for a Sparky Cola. Tyr had his own pursuits on Loma as did the rest of the crew. Of course, Rommie had stayed aboard the Andromeda, but everyone else was out and about and Rev also stayed aboard. People and Magogs didn't always get along. Some people refused to believe some were Wayists.

A woman approached Harper as he stood against the bar. "Hi," she said as she looked him up and down and stopped at his bone armaments, and smiled.

"Hi there, honey."

"Nietzschean, huh?" Harper paused and answered.


"Which pride?"

"What does it matter? You're Human, right?" Harper was having fun with this.

"Oh, I didn't mean to offend. It's just I sort of have a thing for Nietzschean men."

"Really? How good for you." She reached up and ran her fingers through his hair. She didn't seem swayed by the attitude he was clearly giving her.

"I didn't think Nietzscheans drank alcohol," she commented as she spotted his drink.

"Not usually, but we make exceptions." There was something about her he didn't trust. She was nervous. He could hear her accelerated heart rate and he could smell fear on her. He took a hold of one of her forearms. "What are you hiding?"

"Nothing." It was clearly a lie.

"Whom do you think your dealing with? You're nervous. I can smell it on you."

"I…" she stammered and her sentence died off.


"I was paid to find out what Pride you're from."

"Paid? Who paid you?"

"Him." She pointed her shoulder to a man sitting at a table against the wall. Even before he saw the bone armaments on the man he still knew he was a Nietzschean. The man sat with his back against the wall and clearly had more than one option for an escape if needed. Even when Harper had walked into the pub he had surveyed the room enough to the exits and the basic clientele.

"Go." His voice was flat as he walked passed her toward the man. "And you would be?" The Nietzschean blood that coursed through Harper inclined him to a kind of boldness he never or rarely experienced as plain old Human Seamus Harper.

"Devers Mandalay, Cobra Pride."

"Well, I'm happy for you. So, what can I do for you?"

"You look like you might come from the Drago-Kazov Pride."

Harper laughed. "Don't let my brother hear you say that – he's liable to kill you just to watch you die."

"What Pride are you then?"

"What business is it of yours? I assure you I am not apart of the Drago- Kazov."

"Good thing."

"Really? And why is that?"

"I'd have to kill you."

"Really? Huh… well, I guess you could have tried. This is boring me." Harper started to walk away and the table the man was sitting at seemed to erupt and very quickly Harper found himself in a fight.

Harper and Devers both went at each other as if they were in a dogfight. The Cobra Nietzschean slashed Harper along his upper left arm. The young man hissed, but countered quickly. He dropped low and kicked the man in the groin and before he could recover Harper slammed upward and slashed across the man's chest with his bone armaments. He could have killed him if he had wanted to, but instead he had chosen to alter the upward direction to a slash rather than stab.

"Not bad. You've been trained," Dever's appeared surprised. "But, you won't win."

"Are all Cobra loose lipped like you? Come on… Bring it." Harper went after him.

"You are Drago, aren't you?" Dever's hissed.

"Are you deaf or something? I said, no." They both punched each other and began circling one another like animals. The pub had stepped back – no one was prepared to step in the middle of a fight between two Nietzschean. The Loma Drift did not have much of a security force and this fight most likely would not bring them. Harper and Devers still continued to fight.

The Cobra Pride Nietzschean stepped back and pulled a knife out. "Now, you're dead."

"Oh, a new toy, yippee." Harper pulled a blade of his own. They went blade to blade for only a short time – the young engineer had learned a few tricks on Goku and he disarmed the man easily and quickly. The other man's knife skidded across the floor. They both got in some more hits and both were bloody. Finally, the sound of a Gauss Gun being fired caused them both to stop.

"All right you, Ubers! I've had enough … you're reckin' my place and this fight is no longer entertaining. You've got two choices: stop or I kill you both or let's see … stop or I'll kill you both. Am I bein' heard here?" Both men withdrew and nodded. Harper never dropped his eyes from his opponent. They both stepped outside the pub and into an alley adjacent to the pub.

"I've got places to go. We're done here." Harper groused.

"I'm not," he started to swing and Harper caught his fist and stepped in behind the man with a leg, and shoved him into the wall face first.

"I said… we're done." Harper left the man on his knees and started to leave.

"No…" Harper turned to see the man getting to his feet.

"Are you stupid or something? You have a death wish?"

"You're good… I'll give you that. You're combat training was extensive. You have to be Drago-Kazov."

"Man, you're like a dog with a bone aren't ya? I'm not Drago-Kazov!"

"Then what Pride? No, Nietzschean denies his own Pride – unless he's hiding something. Perhaps, being Drago-Kazov."

"Man, you've got a fixation problem don't you? Fine … I'm Kodiak. Ya happy?"

"Kodiak? But, they're all…"

"Not all."

"You spoke of a brother. What is his name?"

"Now, that my friend is none of your business." Harper started to leave.

"There are others." The man blurted out. "Other Kodiak."

"Not possible."

"There were some who survived and were able to join other prides – Kodiak DNA is even in the Cobra gene pool. We needed new blood."

"Kodiak Pride has been gone for a long time."

"Yes, but there are descendants and even some elders still live."

"Look, I gotta go. And anyway, what Nietzschean pride in their right mind would take up on a drift? I'm outta here."

"We're on the move … this hole isn't permanent. Who is your brother?"

A third voice joined into the conversation at that point, "I am Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria, by Barbarossa."

Harper smiled. That introduction always did strike him as funny, but he'd never tell Tyr that. Tyr surveyed Harper as he walked toward him – he was bruised and bloody, but in one piece. He smiled. "Now, what did I tell you about playing with strangers?" Harper laughed.

"I guess I don't listen to well, huh?"

"Do you ever?" Tyr now looked fully at the other Nietzschean. "Now, who are you?"

"Devers Mandalay – Cobra Pride. You're both Kodiak?"

"Yes, and what business is it of yours?"

The conversation between Anasazi and Mandalay filled the better part of thirty minutes and finally, Tyr agreed to meet the Alpha male of the Cobra. He made Harper accompany him. He had to know if there were other Kodiak.

**One Hour Later**

"Tyr?" Harper's voice was lowered as he leaned in to whisper.


"Why are we here?" Harper looked out over the busy Pride council meeting. It was being led by Marita Inis, the Alpha female of the pride.

"We will go soon. I want to meet the others. I have to know."

"Alright, but you know they are sizing us up, and I'm gonna fail big time."

"Why? You showed your prowess in fighting and you're clearly a superior fighter to the man they call there combat trainer."

"You know why, Tyr."

Tyr looked at Harper and nodded. It was true – the young man appeared to be Nietzschean, but the genetic test they took would show any deficiencies. Harper had the bone armaments, the heightened senses, and he was a more than a capable fighter, but his lung capacities and lung abilities were that of a Human and not a Nietzschean. His eyesight was also Human. At best, he would be declared a Beta at the discovery and deemed a hybrid. A child born of one Nietzschean parent and one Human. It wouldn't look that great, but at least he would be tolerated by most Prides. If they discovered that Harper had acquired his Nietzschean attributes via a blood transfusion they would declare him a mutt and that would put his life in danger.

"Anasazi?" His name being called by Marita broke him from his thoughts.


"We have the genetic testing back. You are from Kodiak and your DNA profile is excellent. Your brother is also Kodiak, but, I'm sure you know what concerns me."

"Enlighten me."

"It is obvious that your brother does not share both parents in common with you. There are blatant Human aspects. It is clear, he is a hybrid."

"He bested your own combat trainer. No matter his genetic profile he is worthy."

"That is not for you to decide." Another Nietzschean stepped forward.

"Anasazi? Son of Barbarossa. I knew of your father. He was an admired Nietzschean. I share the Kodiak blood. I am Marinus Landau."

"Landau? I recall the name … your parentage is that of Kodiak and Cobra. I remember my father spoke of a pair bonding with Kodiak and Cobra."

The meeting between Landau and a hand full of other Kodiak descendants in the Cobra pride was coming to an end. Harper had stayed to the sidelines and remained quiet, but observant. Something about this pride made his skin crawl and he didn't trust them. Of course, the rule of thumb among Nietzscheans was 'never trust a Nietzschean.' But, Tyr was the exception to the rule and he trusted him with his life.

The meeting ended.

"Anasazi, we would like to offer you a place in the Cobra pride. Your brother, however, could only ever achieve a Beta ranking and we currently have no need for Betas." Marita spoke evenly. Tyr looked from her to the other Nietzscheans in the pride that stood looking at him. Harper was still standing to the side. Tyr looked long and hard at Harper and returned his eyes to Marita.

"I must decline your offer."

"Loyalty to a sibling is ill served." Marita surveyed Harper with disdain and settled back on Tyr.

"I need … give you no explanations to my decision."

Before, Marita could speak an officer from her council approached her and called her to the side. They spoke for a few minutes and the officer left. "Urgent business. Might you reconsider the invitation while I am away and then we will take your final decision as that – final."

Tyr nodded.

Harper walked up to Tyr. "So, Big Guy, what's the hold up? You all ready told them no."

"You must still become accustomed to the protocol of Nietzscheans, Little Man." Tyr said under his breath only for the young man's ears.

Marita returned after twenty minutes and approached both Tyr and Harper as they stood side by side. "I apologize for the delay, Tyr. Have you had a change of mind?"

"No, I hold firm."

"As you wish, but if you should ever change your mind … you're always welcome in Cobra Pride." Marita moved in front of Harper and extended a hand. Harper eyed her in surprise, but extended his own hand. "I hope you understand our position." Harper knew what she meant. He was considered Beta, but he didn't really care. He shook her hand although something about this whole thing felt fishy. Tyr didn't understand what this was all about. It was out of character and not in Nietzschean protocol to acknowledge a Beta let alone apologize to one.

Tyr and Harper left the Cobra Pride meeting and returned to the Andromeda.

** One Hour Later **

"You're sure he was not immunized?" Marita questioned a Nietzschean in her medical staff as she washed her hands.

"Yes, Commander Inis," the man answered. "The blood tests for the DNA confirmed no immunity to Soeki."

"How long before the virus takes hold in him?"

"It will likely take a day or two, but he will probably start feeling some mild early effects within hours."

"Perhaps, once his genetic hybrid mutt brother is dead he will return to us. Tyr Anasazi would benefit our gene pool a great deal. You're sure of your results about the Beta?"

"Yes, I'm not wrong. He has Human DNA markers in conjunction with Nietzschean DNA. It is clear that there is a genetic link between the Beta and Anasazi, but he clearly was never immunized for Soeki as a child. Which makes it impossible that he is a hybrid. He has to be a genetic mutt."


Marita was quite pleased with herself. Soeki was a deadly virus that only affected Nietzschean's, but it had been eradicated many generations ago by immunizing Nietzschean's at birth. However, samples of the virus were always kept by Prides for the manufacturing of the vaccine. Soeki once contracted was deadly if the antibodies were not given within seventy-two hours of testing positive. Soeki was a well-guarded Nietzschean secret. No Human medical record contained information on it. After all, it would be a deadly weakness if discovered.

Marita was pleased with her plan to give Harper Soeki. It put no other Nietzschean at risk as all have been vaccinated. She made sure that Tyr was immune and he was. She wanted nothing to endanger a possible new pride member that had such high genetic worth. Her idea to pass it to Harper in the handshake had gone off without a hitch. And, she was certain that the diagnosis would not be discovered in time or at all.

** Twelve Hours Later Back on the Andromeda**

Harper impatiently pushed the sweat away from his eyes as he worked on the distortion module. "Damn, why is it so hot in here? Andromeda?"

"Yes, Harper" the holographic AI appeared.

"Adjust the temperature in Machine Shop Four. It's burning up in here." Andromeda scanned Harper instead.

"It's not the room Harper."

"Of course, it is. I'm not nuts. It's hot in here."

"You're running a fever, Harper."

"A fever? I'm just over heated working in here. I'm fine."

"No. I have scanned you twice now. You're body temperature is elevated. You have a fever of 101. How do you feel?"

"I'm perfect. So, you see, I'm not sick." Harper was telling a half-truth. He had felt fine, but now he wasn't feeling that well and he was beginning to feel like he was on a boat. He would swear that the room was rising and falling. He looked back up at holographic AI image. The hologram was coming in and out of focus. He heard the doors open to the machine shop.

"Harper?" It was Rommie. Andromeda had alerted her to Harper's fever.

"Hey, Rom Doll. I guess I don't have to ask what brings you here."

"Are you all right?"

"She's overreacting, Rommie. I'm fine."

"You're not fine." She could see that Harper was having trouble focusing on her. "Let's get you to Medical."

"No!" Harper was becoming agitated. Rommie scanned him. His fever had just spiked another two degrees.

"Harper come on don't be difficult. You're fever is up to 103 now. Let Trance look at you. You'll probably be back on your feet tomorrow." She reached out for him again.

" I said, No!" He pulled back from her and the room tilted. He clung to a distant shelving unit. "Just go. I'm fine."

"You're far from fine. You're not thinking clearly, Harper. Come on!"

"I think your hearing needs rewired. I said, no."

"Fine. You leave me no other option." She analyzed quickly who was the closet crewmember to the Machine Shop. It was Tyr. She called out on the over head Com. "Tyr?"

"Yes." He was in the process of doing a pull-up.

"You're needed in Machine Shop Four. We have an urgent situation." He let go of the bar and dropped to the floor.

"What's wrong?" He was all ready leaving for the Machine Shop.

"Harper is ill and will not go to Medical."

Tyr arrived and saw Harper across the room. Rommie filled him in on what had transgressed prior to him being called. "Harper?" Tyr was cautious in his approach.

"I can't believe she called you. I'm fine."

"Clearly you're not, boy." Tyr wasn't going to play this game he approached Harper with purpose and physically grabbed him by the arm.

"Let go!" Harper pulled at him and Tyr had no choice, but to forcefully grab both of the young man's arms to keep him from hurting himself.

"Calm yourself, child."

"I don't want to go. You can't make me."

Tyr smirked at Harper despite his best efforts. "I can't make you? What do you think I'm doing at this moment?"

Harper elbowed Tyr in the stomach and broke free of his grip. " I said, No!" Tyr was pissed now. Harper was like an unruly child that needed disciplined. He moved quickly toward Harper and grabbed him and pushed him forcefully against the wall.

"You will control yourself. Am I clear?" Harper's eyes were wide. He started to speak, but all that came out was a cough that turned into a coughing fit. Suddenly, Tyr picked up on his accelerated heart rate and Harper had a good deal of adrenalin running through his system all at once. The acute Nietzschean hearing picked up on the same thing Rommie did as the coughing wound down to a wheeze and then silence. Harper wasn't moving enough air. He grabbed onto Tyr, his eyes wide with fear.

Anasazi wasted no time – he knew Harper could not walk. He picked him up and both he and Rommie had alerted Trance that there was a medical emergency.

Trance worked over Harper she gave him a hypo shot to try and relieve his breathing difficulties. It wasn't helping. Tyr stood nearby. Harper made eye contact with Tyr and attempted to speak. Tyr came over to him quickly. "Child remain silent conserve your breath." The Nietzschean was concerned.

"You worry too much," was barely audible as Harper fought to get enough breath to say the few words. Tyr shook his head.

"What's wrong with him?" Tyr asked Trance with impatience.

"I'm not sure. It's viral, but it isn't coming up in any of the medical information. I'm still scanning. Harper suddenly began to thrash around. His lips were turning blue. "He can't breath!" Trance shouted and pushed Tyr out of the way.

** Forty-Five Minutes Later **

Trance looked at the computer screen and Harper's vitals. He had deteriorated quickly. He was now on life support. He wasn't able to breath on his own any longer. He had slipped into a deep coma and was unresponsive. The crew had gathered outside Medical awaiting news. Except for Rev Bem who was off praying for Harper's recovery. Tyr was aloof from the crew as he paced around like a caged animal in the corridor not far from them. The door to Medical opened and Trance appeared. Beka breezed past Trance and went to Harper. She had to see him with her own eyes.

"What's going on, Trance," Dylan looked over toward Harper. The young man looked so vulnerable.

"I wish I knew."

"What!" Tyr's voice bellowed. "You still don't know what is wrong with the boy?"

"The virus he has contracted isn't showing up in any of Andromeda's medical records. I'm still looking. I'm sorry."

"It's okay, Trance," Dylan spoke up. "I know you're doing everything you can."

"He obviously picked it up on Loma Drift. Tyr, do you know where he went while he was there?"

"I found him at a bar. He had a run in with a Nietzschean."

"From the Cobra Pride?" Dylan asked. He remembered what Harper had said about them asking Tyr to join them.

"Yes. And, he was with me after that. It's hard telling what the boy got himself into before I came across him."

Beka stood next to Dylan now. Her face etched with deep worry lines.

** Twelve Hours Later **

Harper hadn't improved and despite the life support his vitals were weaker and Trance feared they would lose him if a cure were not found soon. Tyr walked into Medical. "Tyr, it's late. You should be trying to get some sleep." Trance didn't want Tyr to run himself down. He was Nietzschean, but not invincible.

"He's not getting better is he?"


"You haven't found anything in the medical archives?"

"No, but I won't stop looking."

Tyr walked over to where Harper lay. He stood looking down on the boy. He was so pale and Tyr knew his young life was slipping away. "I just wanted to see how he was. I'll let you get back to looking for a cure. If I can do anything for him …" He left the sentence unfinished, but Trance understood. Tyr began to walk away and heard Trance begin reviewing Harper's symptoms with the Medical computer.

"Small circular rash marks on the torso." That simple statement made Tyr stop in his tracks before he reached the door. He spun around.

"Let me see them!" His voice was raised and carried an urgent tone. Trance looked up at him alarmed.

"See what?"

"The rash marks." Trance then knew he had overheard her talking with the computer. She pulled up Harper's shirt.

"There. Do you recognize them?" Her eyes hopeful.

Tyr looked at them and new instantly. "Yes, it's a Nietzschean disease called, Soeki."

Trance interrupted him, "It's not in any records. Are you sure? What is the treatment?"

"You won't find it in any records. Nietzscheans keep it a secret. We vaccinate at birth for it."

"We need a vaccination then?

"Only Nietzschean Prides carry the vaccine." He knew they were running out of time.

"Where are we going to find a Pride that will let him have the vaccine?" They both looked at each other as the same thought occurred to both of them at the same time – Goku.

"I'm on it!" Tyr shouted as he started for the door. "Keep him alive, Trance."

"Tyr!" He stopped at the door.


"How long do we have?"

"From the moment of showing symptoms … seventy-two hours."

Trance's eyes shifted to Harper and back to Tyr. "Run!" Tyr took off for the Command


**The Following Day**

Beka maneuvered the slipstream with ease, but was tired. The Andromeda had to go through multiple slip stream vectors to reach Goku and time wasn't on their side. They were within two hours of reaching Goku and Dylan sent a message to Bodie, the Nietzschean Commander and leader of the Sun-Tzu Pride. Bodie had answered quickly and said his medical staff waited for their arrival. Meanwhile, Trance sent Harper's medical status information to Goku.

**The Planet Goku**

The crew of the Andromeda waited to hear from the doctors on Goku. Tyr sat alone. He wanted to have some space from his fellow crewmembers. They had cut it close, and he only hoped the vaccine's antibodies would work in time. The door opened to the Medical area and Bodie walked out followed by another man.

"This is Dr. Majorca," Bodie introduced him to the crew of the Andromeda.

"How is he?" Dylan asked quickly. Tyr had joined Captain Hunt and the others.

"The vaccine has been given. I've run some tests and by the viral load in his bloodstream he was infected with Soeki at least two days ago. He is at the very edge of treatment time. It will be another two hours before we know if the antibodies from the vaccine are working. His fever is very high and he is still on life support. The next two hours will be critical."

"I want to see him." Tyr's voice was passive – almost emotionless, but his tone was urgent.

"Yes, of course." Bodie stayed behind with Dylan and the others as the doctor took Tyr into the Medical area. Beka sat down and Dylan came over to her. She had dropped her head into her hands. Dylan placed a hand on her shoulder.

"It's going to be okay, Beka. Harper will survive." She looked up and into Dylan's eyes.

"We don't know that Dylan. I can't lose him. I just can't." Her voice trembled as tears welled up in her eyes and spilled down her cheeks. Dylan sat down and wrapped and single arm around her shoulders. Trance sat on the other side of Beka and just tried to lend support. Rev had thought the presence of a Magog on a Nietzschean planet was not a good idea. He had stayed behind on the ship and would pray for Harper.

The Med room was empty except for Tyr and Harper. Bodie had cleared out the room so that Tyr could have some privacy. Tyr sat next to Harper and watched his young chest rise and fall because machines willed it so. "Little Man?" Tyr's voice was quiet and gentle. He felt a heaviness deep in his belly and he refused to acknowledge it for what it was – fear. "Little Man, can you hear me?" Tyr watched for any sign that the boy did know he was there. Despite the coma – he hoped his words would get through. "I'm not used to this," he began. "A Nietzschean should always maintain a certain degree of detachment … even from siblings. You are of my blood and that cannot be denied. You are my brother, Harper. Wherever you are right now … hear this, child." Tyr reached out and rested a hand on Harper's head. "You will not die today!" His voice was slightly raised, but it held a sense of command. He hoped this was the one order that the boy would actually follow. "You are strong and you will not give up. Fight! Am I clear?"

He stood up and before removing his hand from Harper's head he brushed back the fever matted hair from the young engineer's forehead. Tyr smiled slightly to himself and shook his head as he removed his hand from Harper's head. "What have you turned me into boy?" He said to himself under his breath. He was not accustomed to worrying about the well being of anyone beyond himself let alone showing emotion on a regular basis or caring. This was uncharted territory and he wasn't sure he liked it. It felt like weakness to him. He left the room and returned to the crew waiting in the corridor.

**Two Hours Later**

The Medical doors opened and the doctor appeared. Everyone stood up from where they had taken seats. "Well?" Beka's anxious voice chimed in first.

"The vaccine seems to be working," Dr. Majorca answered, but his facial expressions betrayed the seemingly good news.

"Seems?" Tyr questioned.

"We should talk privately about your brother."

"Privately!" Beka's voice rose in anger. "That kid in there is like family to me! Hell, he is family. If there is something to say … tell us all!" Dylan had stepped forward and put a calming hand on Beka's shoulder. She tried to shrug it off. "Don't Dylan! I want to know!"

"Dr. Majorca," Tyr began. "You may speak freely in front of us all." The doctor nodded.

"Well, as I said the vaccine appears to be working. His temperature is coming down and his vitals have begun to stabilize, but not yet normalize." He paused a moment and looked directly at Tyr. "As you know there are possible side effects from surviving a near fatal Soeki infection." This was the moment Tyr didn't want – the words he didn't want to hear. He knew that Soeki could leave a Nietzschean with permanent disabilities and often that was why they were allowed to die when the infection had exceeded two days as it had in Harper, but some that did survive had no ill effects – he took hope in that.

"Yes, I'm aware of the potential problems." Tyr's voice was flat and emotionless. He felt like he was on autopilot.

"What problems?" Beka's voice was impatient. "Maybe he knows about Soeki, but we don't!" She gestured to herself and the others. "What is wrong with Seamus?"

"Captain Valentine," Dr. Majorca began. "Soeki has caused permanent disabilities of varying degrees in Nietzscheans that have survived an infection of Soeki that elapsed two days."

"What kind of disabilities?" Dylan asked before Beka could.

"The ranges have gone from the minor to …" his voice trailed off.

"From the minor to the what?" Dylan's voice was thick with concern. Tyr had stepped back and was leaning against the wall. He knew what was coming and wished he didn't have to hear it out load. He preferred to just know the possible consequences.

"The minor have been slight motor difficulties that either remain permanent or resolve themselves after a time. Also, there have been sense impairments. Such as, hearing, eyesight."

Dylan interrupted the doctor before he could speak again. "Worst case doctor?"

"Beyond dying … he could suffer permanent cognitive disabilities. For all intents and purposes he would be a child. He would require constant care. He would have to relearn speech, walking, eating, everything. But, some cases have been mild versions. We don't see the worst case that often merely for the fact in a Nietzschean society, Captain Hunt, we allow the infected to die, but it has not been a problem for some time as we vaccinate at birth."

Everyone was speechless. Tyr clenched a fist at his side. If Harper were debilitated what decisions would have to be made regarding his life. Tyr would not allow the boy to essentially be trapped in the shell of his former self. Harper would not want that. But, Tyr knew he would have opposition from Beka and he was sure at least Trance. But, the others would probably understand. But, he was getting ahead of himself. Beka's face was white and she sat down. Trance came over to her and sat down. "It's going to be okay, Beka." She assured. Beka looked at her with expectant eyes.

"Is this something you know, Trance?" Beka knew that Trance sometimes glimpsed the future.

"There is a perfect future to everything, Beka."

"Is this one of those futures?"

"It has every chance of being one of them. Harper is strong."

"When will we know?" Dylan asked the doctor.

"When he regains consciousness I'll have a better idea of his cognitive status, but until he comes out of the coma I have no way of predicting either way and it still could take a day or two to really know."

**Two Days Later**

Harper slowly came to. His world was hazy and he felt detached. "Little Man?" He recognized the voice, but he was so tired he wanted to go back to the warm darkness. "No, Harper! Open your eyes!" Tyr's voice penetrated the haze. Harper opened his eyes fully and tried to focus on Tyr. Finally, Anasazi's features came into focus. The young engineer noticed something – Tyr looked tired … real tired. Like he hadn't slept in a day or two, but the Nietzscheans eyes betrayed a hint of something Harper couldn't quite place, but if he didn't know better it looked like relief.

"T …" he tried to speak, but he began to cough.

"Here," Tyr filled a cup with water and put a hand under Harper's head and urged him to drink. "This will help." The young man relished the cool liquid as it fell down his throat. "Better?" Tyr's voice held an anxious tone. The Nietzschean was trying desperately to gauge Harper's state of mind. He would follow the boy's lead.

Harper surveyed his surroundings and he realized where they were. "Goku?" His voice was barely a whisper, but Tyr had understood and he smiled despite his best efforts not to.

"Yes. Do you know my name?" Harper looked at the Nietzschean with confusion.

"Tyr," he answered.

"Good. You had us going there for a while, Little Man. How do you feel?"

"Like road kill." Tyr looked at him strangely. Harper rolled his eyes.

"Never mind it's slang from ancient Earth. I feel like crap. Does that work for you?"

Tyr chuckled. If Harper was wise cracking then he was okay. Harper's eyelids were heavy and Tyr could tell he was tired. "Sleep Little Man. Grow stronger." Once, Harper was asleep Tyr stood and went to tell the others that he had awakened from the coma and he wanted Dr. Majorca to look him over just to be sure. But, after that he had some business to take care of that was overdue.

**Later that Night**

Tyr approached the Maru in the blanket of night. It was late. "What do you think you're doing?" Beka's voice broke the silence of the night. Tyr turned and looked at her.

"It's late. Why are you not asleep?"

"Couldn't sleep. Thought I'd take a walk. Now, answer my question. What are you doing?"

"I need the Maru."

"You're not taking my ship anywhere, and I can't believe you're leaving when Harper is sick."

"The Little Professor is growing stronger and he is out of danger."

"What could you possibly have to do that is so important that you're leaving in the middle of the night and stealing my ship?"

"I was borrowing it."

Beka rolled her eyes. "Little details. So, what are you doing?"

"I have some unfinished business that needs tending to."

"Unfinished? And. it can't wait?" Tyr only looked at her and then suddenly she understood where he was going to go. "Loma Drift?"

"I have something to take care of there, but the details are best left unsaid. At least you can use plausible deniability with our illustrious Captain Hunt.

"I don't think he'd have a problem with this. Not this time. Go on take the ship. When are you coming back?"

"Soon." Tyr started for the ship.

"Tyr!" Beka called out. He stopped and turned.


"Be careful."

"Well, Captain Valentine, you care."

"Oh, Hell! Go." She responded her voice irritated. Tyr chuckled and left. He had the little detail of revenge to take care of.

**Early Morning**

Beka walked out to the Maru to greet Tyr. The Nietzschean approached. "Is the boy all right?"

"He's sleeping. Did you finish your business?"

"Yes." Beka never asked him about that details and his simple answer was enough for her.

"Was I missed?"

"Are you kidding? You made record time. The sun is barely up. Everyone is still asleep."

"Not everyone," Tyr commented as he looked at Beka. She smiled.

"I admit it. I've been waiting."


"Not sure. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine."


**Two Weeks Later on the Andromeda**

Harper had awakened earlier and made his way to the Machine shop. He had been forbidden to return to his duties yet, but he was going nuts. The Soeki infection had left him with some minor problems that the doctor on Goku had assured him would abate over time. He sat in front of a wiring panel. His left hand wouldn't really work the way he wanted it to and he was frustrated. He had also been affected with his walking. It was a bit unsteady, but improving. He tried the wiring panel again, but he couldn't hold his polymer proton welder. "Damn, you've got to be kidding me!" He said in frustration. "This thing barely ways anything." He tried to force himself and his hand shook. He threw the welder across the room.

"Well, your general strength is improving." Harper spun around. He had been so wrapped up with himself that he hadn't noticed he was no longer alone. Tyr stood at the door to the Machine shop.

"Why are you here?" Harper asked in annoyance.

"I could ask you the same question, boy. You're getting better, Harper. Give your body time to heal. You will be back to normal in another week or so."


"I think you should return to your quarters."

"You're not my babysitter you know. I'm a big boy!"

"All you've said is true, but you're coming with me anyway. The doctor said you could do more harm than good if you forced yourself into activities your body isn't ready for. Use your head."

"Activities? What? Like walking? Holding a welder that hardly weighs anything? I'm screwed up Tyr!"

"It's not permanent, Little Man. Fine, do what you want. But, if you harm yourself further it's your own fault." Tyr started to walk away.


"Yes." He turned to look at the boy.

"Did you kill her?" Tyr looked at Harper with a little surprise. He knew Beka would not have told the boy anything, but nevertheless he knew.

"Yes." Anasazi turned and started to walk away and stopped, "Are you coming, Little Man?"

"Yeah." Harper didn't ask further. He knew that Tyr had done what he did for him. He wasn't sure how he felt about the fact Tyr had killed someone in his name, but he would never ask Tyr anything further about it. But, something felt different around Tyr and he couldn't quite place it since coming out of the coma and leaving Goku. The Nietzschean acted the same, but in an almost unperceivable way he seemed to be drawing back from Harper – detaching. Maybe it's just in his head or is it? He thought to himself.

To be continued?