The box was worn from being toted around the universe. Dylan smiled to himself. Only a Vedran could make a truly impenetrable object like this. It had taken Dylan's voice authorization, his fingerprint, and his DNA to open the box. The lock clicked open softly, and Dylan gripped the corners of the box. Slowly, he opened the lid, raising it so that he could see the things inside. What he saw made his heart skip a beat. In the box were all the things from his childhood that he missed most.
The lid lifted easily, the hinges protected from the outside world. A photo of himself, taken 320 years earlier, smiled back at him. He had an arm around his shoulders. It belonged to his father, a tall man who looked almost exactly like Dylan. They were both smiling at the camera, a genuine happiness in their eyes. Dylan picked up the photo, feeling its glossy finishing in his fingers. He turned it over carefully. There was a message on the back, printed in a familiar fatherly scrawl. It read "You and me at the High Guard museum. Your 10th birthday."
He put the photo down again and pulled out a baseball. "I never did understand the game." He said softly, feeling the laces of the old yellow ball.
"Nobody did," Beka said supportively, staring at the items.
Dylan set the ball aside and took out another object from the box. It was a packet of seeds. The yellowed packet had a picture of a daffodil on the front, and Dylan pinched the bag, feeling the small seeds inside. Beka looked at him questioningly, one eyebrow rose ever-so-slightly.
"Its…" Dylan took another look at the bag. "We used to have a garden together." He could feel his eyes welling at all the memories. He put the bag aside again and looked at the last item in the box. He looked at it for a while, his brow furrowing at its appearance.
"What is it, Dylan?" A curious Beka asked. She was leaning forward over the box, her curly golden hair falling out from behind her ears.
"I… Don't know." Dylan replied. "I haven't seen it before." He reached into the box and withdrew the small watch, letting it's chord fall between his fingers.
It was a small brass pocket watch engraved with his father's initials, JH. He ran his hand over the engraving, feeling the same brass that his father had held more than three centuries ago. A chill ran through his back as he held it, the chord swaying back and forth. He opened it slowly, and his mind was immediately tangled in a hymn that calmed him, the river of sound coursing through his soul. The hymn kept in time with the small ornate clock hands as they ticked around the face of the clock.
"Ah, Dylan?" Beka asked, putting a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at her but didn't say anything, a soft smile playing on his lips. "What's so funny?"
He gazed at her for a few seconds more, soaking up the hymn before answering. "Don't you hear that?" She looked at him as though he had just told her that they found a llama in a spacesuit floating around on Deck 9.
"No." She looked at him seriously. He handed her the watch and released his grip, the chord still dangling through his fingers. He let it roll off and pulled back. Beka's face contorted into one of shock, and then pleasure. "Wow." She said, looking at the face of the watch. "Pink Floyd at their finest."
"What?" Dylan asked.
"It's playing my favourite song. By Pink Floyd." Beka looked at him innocently. "Why?"
"It played 'March of the High Guard' for me," He said, staring at the strange watch with a look of concern. Beka handed it back and again it played the soft hymn in Dylan's head, floating on his brainwaves like leaves float in the wind.
He gently shut the pocket watch and the music stopped. He placed the objects back in the box and shut the lid, hearing the little metallic lock click shut.
"Well," Harper said loudly. "Now we know what the 'Chord of the Guard' is. And also that it's unwinnable. Un-stealable. Un-sellable-"
"Harper?" Beka shot him an angry look. "You're not even using real words anymore."
"Sorry Boss." Harper quietened for a few seconds. "So!" He said rather loudly, making Beka grip her head. "I hear you have a hang-over. And you know what else I hear?" He smiled and wiggled his eyebrows mockingly.
"I hear Booster Rocket got some action!" Rafe called from behind them. Beka's face flushed red, and she covered it with her hand.
"I didn't do anything." Beka said through her teeth. "Whoever told you two is a lying piece of-"
"Nobody told us..." Rafe said mischievously, flashing smile # 121, the 'we just caught you out' smile. "You just admitted to it." He crossed his arms and leaned back, proud.
"I didn't. You can ask Dylan himself." She frowned.
"Whoa boss! Dylan?" Harper looked at her like a hurt puppy. "This is just like when Luke and Leia-"
"Yes, genius, who else is on the ship?" Rafe asked jokingly, cutting Harper off while holding back laughter.
"Shut up! Both of you!" Beka erupted, her fists falling to her sides. "We didn't do anything! We just got drunk. Nothing else." She paused for a second. "Well, we kissed- But that was it!" She frowned at them both.
"Beka and Dylan," Rafe muttered under his breath. "Sitting in a tree…" He looked up with a wicked smile. "K-I-S-S-I-N-"
"Shut up!" Beka squealed, then turned on her heel and walked the other way.
"No 'buts' Valentine!" She continued walking, and then stopped dead in her tracks. "And I want my albums back. Especially my Pink Floyd."