Title: The Secrets of Fire

Disclaimer: I own nothing, not Andromeda, not the crew, not even Harper, damn, I do own the people that I created though and the story, so at least there's that.

Archive: Go ahead, that be great, just tell me

Email: reneestamour@yahoo.ca

Pairing: I doubt there will be, but maybe some Harper/Trance, dunno, will see how it goes

Summary: Harper has problems with fire and a new past is discovered, a very bad past

Author's Note: This is my first Adromeda fanfic and my second fanfic overall, my first one is under another name.any review is nice but please try to be nice (

The Secrets of Fire

Two months after Harper joined the Eureka Maru, Rev comes in the scene.

"No Miss Captain! There's no way I'm going to work with a Magog! They stink, they use our bodies to nurse their lil' demon eggs and oh yeah, lets not forget, we're their food!"

Harper stormed out of engineer determined not to let his boss win this fight no matter the consequences that he was sure would follow. He had lived most of his life during Magog raids, surviving through their destruction, savageness and their hunger for flesh. There was no way in hell that he was just going to throw away all of his instincts, not to mention justify their action by working with one of them. Beka followed behind him baffled by his behavior. In all his time on the Eureka Maru, even if it hadn't been long, she had never seen him being so. well, emotional. He had always been passive and reserved, doing everything she asked of him without complaints for fear of being beaten or abandoned. She had reassured him that these assumptions were false, that she would never hit him and that he could have a say in whatever he was suppose to do. She would always listen to his opinion but that didn't mean she wouldn't order him to do something he didn't want to do. That was the leader's job, but she was a humane leader. She saw him in one of the Maru's hallway. He was busily working on a panel as if it was the most important thing in the universe. He seemed to have completely forgotten about her, but "seemed" was the key word here. She crouched down at his level so she would appear less threatening. He was practically shaking with anger.or fear from their argument; she couldn't decide which one. It was getting so bad as he was concentrating on his work; she was worried that he would hurt himself with the nano-welder in his unsteady hands. Beka sighed and tried to convince him again.

"Listen Harper, he's a Wayist monk; he doesn't believe in violence!" calming down she attempted another approach by comforting him "I wouldn't put my crew in this kind of danger..."

He glared up at her; he couldn't believe what she was saying. The thought of a non-violent, carebear Magog was implausible to him. His anger reaching his peek, he opened his mouth to yell at her in frustration when he had a strangely familiar feeling.

Beka watched as Harper's facial features changed from anger to confusion but didn't get a chance to register it when all of a sudden her sleeve caught on fire. She let out a small yelp and franticly waved her arm in the air to extinguish the flame. It went out pretty easily as it had only been a small flame. Luckily she had taken it out before it had burnt her skin. She looked up expecting to see Harper standing in front of her but to her shock he had vanished. She looked around and saw him sitting in one of the corners. He had his arms around his knees and was rocking himself. As she looked closely she could see that his skin had turned a grayish-white.

"Harper? Harper are you all right?" She approached him but stopped when she realized that it only aggravated his state of mind. He was more terrified by what had just transpired then when he had first seen Rev Bem.

"Harper its ok, really"

"N-no, fire. There was a fire. B-Beka please tell me there's no more fire."

"Theres no fire. It's gone. I took it out." Worried at his outburst she put her arm around his shoulders. He visibly flinched but didn't pull away. As Harper closed his eyes from relief he let out a deep breath and rested his head on the bulkhead. They had never discovered the cause of the fire but on that day Beka found out that her engineer had pyrophobia.

***** A year before the present, Andromeda.

The Adromeda violently trembles as enemy missiles bombarded its hull. Everyone, except Harper, who had been in Engineer, had been on the command deck when the attack started.

Captain Dylan Hunt had to muster all his strength just to keep himself from flying all over the place. His knuckles had turned white as he griped the railing. Beka was strapped into her seat, flying the ship and avoiding the blast as much as she could. Tyr was enjoying himself by shooting at the adversary. A little bit too much enjoyment thought Hunt.

"Rommie status?!" The Captain screamed as he tried to get his voice over the loud noises.

The android was holding her own while going through the attacks and processing the information that the Adromeda sent her.

"We haven't sustained any major damage Captain, but if we don't stop them soon, then. lets just say that Harper wont be too happy" She needed to shout just as loudly as Dylan had. He nodded and looked over at Tyr.

Tyr hit the weapons consol one last time. Right before their weapons hit the other ship, Tyr shouted but being stoic as usual "And in a blaze of glory they shall fall!" The ship exploded in million pieces that went soaring everywhere. It was as every bit impressive as Tyr had made it out to be.

Dylan didn't really care if it was striking or not, he was just relived that it was finally over "Good job people, good job"

Trance wasn't so sure though "Um Dylan I don't think its over."

The lights and controls went out when the ship shuddered one last time.

"What the.?" Beka said.

"This isn't good" As typical, Dylan stated the obvious

Beka rolled her eyes at him in the dark "No, you don't say"

Then, just as suddenly as it had went out, everything lighted up when the emergency power kicked in. The Andromeda's hologram appeared in front of Dylan.

"Dylan there was an explosion in machine shop six" she seemed to faze out for a second as she verified her readings "I'm reading intense heat. We've got a fire sir" When Beka heard fire she tensed, she hoped beyond hope that Harper was nowhere near it.

Hunt sighed, he was really getting tired of this "Alright find Mr. Harper and send him down to take care of it" Before Beka could respond to Dylan's request Andromeda hologram had disappeared.

"NO Dylan don't send him!" Beka rushed out of her seat.

Dylan looked at her confused. At that moment Andromeda's persona materialize once again, but this time she didn't appear as strong and confident as before.

"Dylan, Harper was in machine shop six when the explosion occurred, he hasn't come out since"

"Oh my god Harper! I have to get him out of there" Beka was about to leave but Dylan stopped her.

"No Beka I need you here in case our friends' friends come looking for us. Tyr, Rommie go rescue Harper, now! Trance I want you to go prepare Medical for a patient." As they left Dylan took Tyr's position at the weapons consol. Right before Trance went out the door, Beka spoke up.

"Trance remember that you wont just be treating burns." Beka's pleading face waited for the golden girl's response. Trance nodded and left. Oh yes she remembered all too well her best friend's fear of fire.

Dylan was confused again. Did he say that he was really getting tired of this? He wasn't happy that there was yet something else that he didn't know about his crew.

"Beka what's happening?"

"Harper has pyrophobia," Beka said staring off into space.

"What?"

"He has a fear of fire, or a phobia of fire, whichever one you pick they add up to the same thing. At first Harper will stare, for hours, at a fire, not moving, not eating, not sleeping and almost not breathing. He seems transfixed by them. But if they suddenly appear or if they go into his safety zone he freaks out. He starts screaming, and then its not as bad, I can reach him that way. But if it shocks him real bad he goes into a catatonic state. I've always been able to help him at the beginning of those cases so he doesn't stay that way for very long but.now its more serious, he's been there a long time, longer then he's ever been. And-and an explosion that big." Beka couldn't continue it was all too much for her. She had to sit down, all her strength had been depleted from the attack and her worry for her friend.

"Will surely upset him" Dylan finished for her. It took him a fraction of a second to decide there next course of action "Adromeda go on auto-pilot and warn me of there's any sings of ships in our proximity."

"Understood"

"Beka lets go"

"Where are we going?" She got up

"Your going to meet up with Tyr and Rommie and I'm going to Medical"

Beka smiled relieved that she could go help her friend. "Thank you"

"Don't thank me just yet" They left running, going their own ways.

***** When Tyr and Rommie arrived the fire had covered the entire room. The temperature was so extreme that Tyr couldn't come more then three feet from the door before getting burnt from the heat itself.

"Don't you have fire extinguishers in that room?" Tyr said annoyed but Rommie knew that it was just to cover his worry for Harper.

"Yes there is but they must have been damaged by the explosion. Obviously you can't go in without getting burnt but I'm fire resistant. I'll go find him. My body might collapse from the heat after so when I come out be ready to grab him and start running to Medical." He nodded.

She went in with a determined look on her face. She knew that Harper must be terribly brunt but she hoped he wasn't dead. Her logical, android part of her mind told her that there was no way that a human could survive this fire but she suppressed it. She couldn't just discard Harper like this. She continued running in the fire screaming Harper's name. Then she spotted him. Flames surrounded his unconscious body. He didn't look as awful as she had pictured him to be. She ran up to him, picked him up, not even checking if he was dead or not and rushed out of the room. When she came out she saw that Beka had joined them. She handed Harper to Tyr and crumpled to the floor from the heat. Tyr swung him on his shoulder and hurried to Medical not even second glancing Rommie to see if she was ok.

"Rommie are you alright?!" Beka franticly said torn between helping Rommie or following Tyr

"I'm fine. Just go to Medical, I'll meet up with you in a minute." Beka hesitated for a moment still unsure but then darted after Tyr

*****

Tyr ran in Medical with Harper still on his shoulders. He spotted the bed and ever so gently, which was quite strange to see from a Neichien, laid him down on it. Trance was right beside Harper in a second checking for burns. Tyr stared at her with a stern expression on his face.

"Help him now" Trance could hear a faint growling coming from him.

Dylan was about to say something about Tyr's behavior when Trance lifted up her hand to stop him. She knew that Tyr was only worried about Harper but she didn't have time to take care of Tyr right now. She looked up at him and matched his gaze. With her new traits as the golden girl she looked as frightening as he did. Dylan noted that Tyr seemed to shrink in her presence. At that time Beka burst into Medical.

"I'm doing the best I can. Now don't rush or interrupt me or it might cost his life" Trance said as much to Tyr as to Beka and Dylan. They all knew who was in command at the moment. She started to look over Harper again; he didn't appear to have sustained any burns. This didn't make sense to her. He had to have some kind of injury. Of course he was unconscious but she thought that it resulted more from his fears then anything else.

"Andromeda is there anything that I missed?" Dylan, Tyr and Beka could definitely hear the confusion in her voice. Trance was relieved that he wasn't burned but in a way she was more worried because she didn't understand any of this. None of her abilities showed or explained to her his reasons to be physically fine.

"No you haven't missed anything. I have scanned his entire body and it appears that he has no burns what so ever. Which is quite incredible since any other human and humanoid would have been close to ashes by the time my android persona reached him."

They were all speechless at this new piece of information. Dylan was about to ask how all this was possible when Harper opened his eyes, sat up and started to scream in terror. Beka rushed up to him and put her arms around him as she always did when this sort of incident happened. Trance stepped away to give Beka enough room. Tyr and Dylan were too shocked to do anything.

"Its ok Harper there's no more fire. It's gone, we took it out. Shhhhh its ok." Harper tried to claw his way out; he hadn't stopped screaming. Beka wouldn't let him go, she knew that if she did he would hurt himself; she would also never be able to reach him again, he would be lost to all of them forever. Dylan and Tyr were about to help her restrain him when Trance looked at them and shook her head to stop them.

"Trance maybe you should give him a sedative" Andromeda said still a bit unsure of what was happening.

"No that wouldn't help at all, it would only make things worst, trust me." Andromeda was about to disagree but decided to stay quiet as she realized how grim Trance had sounded.

*****

After almost an hour Harper had calmed down. Unfortunately though he had become catatonic, as Beka had feared he was going to do, but she never left him. She still had a shred of hope that he was going to be alright. Four days after the incident Harper finally came out of his unresponsive state. He recovered fully, but that day furthered his collections of nightmares. The crew of the Adromeda investigated the odd reasons for him to have survived that fire but they never found out how it had happened. For now on they were always overly careful with fire or the potential of a fire

***** A month before the present

Dylan taped his fingers impatiently on the sliptream drive chair. Harper was 20 minutes late for his shift. He didn't like it when his crew was late. What if something happened and he didn't have the people he needed to get themselves out of trouble?

"Andromeda can you go wake up Mr. Harper"

"My Avatar is already on her way"

Dylan frowned "Why don't you just wake him yourself, it would be a lot faster"

"She thought that some very cold water should be involved in waking up Mr. Harper." Adromeda face never changed, she stayed serious as ever.

"Oh" Dylan shook his head and chuckled.

******

Rommie tip toed into Harper's quarters with the bucket of water in her hands. She couldn't wait to see his expression when he woke up from the water.

The lights were still out but as she got closer to Harper's room she could make out a faint glow. She was close enough to see Harper now. To her surprise he wasn't sleeping but sitting up in his bed staring at whatever was making the light. She couldn't see what was creating the glow just yet since the wall was hiding it. The light seemed to dance around in constant movement, just like.fire. Rommie panicked. She ran into his room and sure enough a small fire was burning in one of the corner. All lights dies out as she threw the water that was previously meant for Harper at the fire.

"Andromeda lights! Harper are you okay?" Harper snapped out of it; he looked at Rommie confused

"Rommie?.What happened? Why are you here? Shit I'm late!"

"No its okay Harper. Don't worry about being late right now.

"Um.okay then" He was even more perplexed now.

"Harper what happened? How did the fire start?"

"There's a fire!?!" His face visibly blanched and his eyes got bigger.

"There was a fire" she made sure to stress out the word 'was'.

"Oh. Where was it?"

"In your room. You were staring at it!"

"I was?"

Rommie was getting exasperated "Yes, don't you remember!?!"

"I.um.I think.I think I remember.ya, ya in that corner!" He pointed out were at had been, "I don't remember how it started though. Funny thing is I was dreaming of fire before waking up."

"I see. why didn't Andromeda sense there was a fire? Even with privacy mode, as I know you always put that on, she would detect it."

Harper fidgeted guiltily "Um, you see I kinda changed it for my quarters so its even more private"

Rommie rolled her eyes "Well it doesn't matter right now.. are you going to be alright?"

"Yeah I'm fine" Se looked at him suspiciously "No really I'm fine"

"Still, I want you to go to Medical"

"Aw come on, I'm good, I don't need to go"

"Harper we are not debating this. Go, now"

"Yes mother"

***** Present.

Beka was sitting in the Command Deck bored as ever. Two days ago Harper had taken the Eureka Maru for his vacation and he was suppose to be coming back today. She had to admit that being without Harper, even if he was annoying sometimes, was quite dull. Just then the Maru came out of slipstream.

Beka opened a channel "Welcome back Harper"

She waited for a response but none came "Harper you there?"

Again, silence. Beka was getting worried

"Andromeda?"

Adromeda appeared on the viewer screen. She also looked concerned which didn't reassure Beka at all. "I am not detecting any life forms on the Maru"

"What?!"

****** Harper could remember going his merry way to meet the Andromeda when all of a sudden a ball of light appeared in front of him, hit him and then there was only blackness. He had woken up on a bed that he was sure wasn't Andromeda's or the Maru's. He hadn't moved or opened his eyes yet, pretending he was still unconscious, to see if he could find out anything. Except it had been an hour since then and nothing had happened. He decided to open his eyes and see what kind of trouble he had gotten himself into this time. It wasn't really amazing: he was in a gray room, with a gray desk and closet and a gray bed. There was something about this room that he couldn't put his finger on. It seemed vaguely familiar. Just then for some unknown reason the room made him think of needles, pain and fire. He shuddered at the thought of all three of those things; especially the last one. He made himself suppress the thoughts and got up from the bed to see what was in the closet. On the shelves there was gray undergarment and shoes; hanging from the poll, not to his surprise, were gray shirts and pants.

"These people definitely have a color problem."

"Ah yes you always complained about the dullness of the colors didn't you Edan?"

Harper swirled around to face the man that had just spoken. He was a tall dark man. He wore a long black hooded garment that hid almost everything except for his hands and face. From what Harper could see he had brown skin, short black hair, piercing eyes that were completely black and claw like nails on his hands. There was something also familiar about him. But he knew whomever this man was he wasn't there to help him.

"What, you don't recognize me Edan?" The man said tauntingly "Do you know where you are my little fire starter?"

Harper couldn't say anything; he was too terrified of this man. He couldn't stand his voice and either. It sounded almost demonic. Images of fire came to his mind again, and pain, excruciating pain.

"Well it doesn't matter, you'll soon remember this place and me. Oh yes you definitely will." He smiled evilly. Harper could see a faint red glow in his eyes.

***** To Be Continued