|Andromeda: Destruction of Illusions|
|Author:||Keith Robert Andreassi DeCandido|
|Release date:||Febuary 8, 2003, (First Edition)|
October 19, 2003, (Second Printing)
|Series:||Andromeda Tie-in (#1)|
|Followed by:||The Broken Places|
-Friedrich Nietzsche, C.Y. 6808
Dylan Hunt is sitting in his quarters on the Andromeda Ascendant, having just been rescued by the crew of the Eureka Maru days previously. He is still pondering the stunning revelation that 300 years have passed, and is reading the Eureka Maru’s historical database to catch up on recent history. Rommie, not yet a physical avatar with an android body, starts a conversation with Dylan where he reveals how skeptical he his of his new crew; Rommie reveals that she believes that the Andromeda should not have civilians on board as crew.
On Takilov Drift, in the Takilov Drift Impound Lot, Teena Harwall is remembering about how she and her Than-Thre-Kull partner, Song of the Ocean, came into ownership of the lot through a combination of negotiation, bribes, and the murder of several officials on the drift. She then reviews the new queue of recently impounded vehicles, and notices that 3 new vehicles arrived. Teena then receives a call from one of her employees. He has been contacted by a Nightsider who is interested in a yacht that is not supposed to be sold; even though the vehicle was not supposed to be listed as it had already been earmarked for a Perseid. Teena talks to the Nightsider, and agrees to meet him to talk in a more private setting about selling the yacht for a higher bid. After the call, an explosion rocks the lot and the AG generators are damaged. The Eureka Maru that was recently impounded was stolen in the ensuing confusion by someone professional, and the half-Nietzschean security officer, Malthazar Jrinto, on the drift tells Teena that he wants the vessel back in the lot because he signed in the vessel. The security officer and his squad go into space, and prepare to give chase in specially designed slipcapable 1 person ships, called Banshees. They start to catch up with the cargo ship 10 minutes before they are able to go to Slipstream. However, the vessel evades them and goes to Slipstream, where drift security follows. The exit point in a nearby inhabited system is mined and some of the security forces are wounded and crippled. The cargo ship quickly jumps back into Slipstream, and Jrinto gives chase alone. Because of the sudden engaging and spooling up of the custom slipdrive in his small vessel, Jrinto must stop his pursiut. He hails the cargo ship, and the captain responds. It is Beka Valentine, captaining the Eureka Maru, who broke it out of the impound lot. She escapes because of Jrinto’s vessel’s limitations, and tells Seamus Harper that next time, he can post the bail.
Right after the chase, the Maru approaches the Olivares Trust, a Drift located on a Slipstream Nexus. Beka is incensed at Harper, although she acknowledges that he is the best mechanic and general technology specialist that she has ever seen. Fred Vexpag comments about the debacle, and also becomes a subject of Beka’s wrath. He apparently has a talent with weapons. They move to dock at one of the repair ports on the drift owned by a man named Vasily. Beka personally knows Manteen, and catches up with him as she docks. He informs her that her brother; Raphael Valentine; has been at the drift for 6 months. Harper reports back from his damage assessment and informs Beka that the slipstream drive is fine, but the Antiproton Solenoid Valves are not, and need to be replaced. They are extremely expensive, as then need to be customized for every individual vessel. Beka wanders off to a bar on the drift, and meets an Umbrite who observes that she appears to be down on her luck and in need of a job. He is in need of a reliable pilot and a slip-capable vessel. Beka agrees to negotiate with Goran.
Prince Nwari, ruler of the planet Malani’s Haven, is underground his city surrounded by mercenaries hired to get him and his princess off the planet and its inhabitants, who are staging a coup against him after Bisime died. Tyr Anasazi is the head of the group, which consists of him, 2 Humans, a Cyborg, a Than-Thre-Kull, and a Nightsider. While escorting the prince and Hamsha down a tunnel, which is booby trapped, the group detects a group of rebel soldiers coming down the tunnel. The Than dies when they exit the tunnel but only after dispatching 11 rebels. The prince and his entourage of aides and mercenaries make it to the spaceship and they safely leave the planet.
Meanwhile Beka, on the drift, is shown the bill to repair the ship and it is far more than she can pay. She decides to take the job offered to her by the Umbrite Goran. Meanwhile, Harper shows up from a bar on the Maru with a Perseid that he just met, who has a way to rob the Ursa Pride of their most sacred relic a sword used to slaughter a former leader. Beka is skeptical and decides that the salvage job offered by the Umbrite takes priority.
Tyr is on Haukin Tau Drift dreaming about his experience at the age of 16 when he escaped the diamond mines of Xochital after a cave-in in the mine where he was enslaved. He wakes up and receives a message from Ferahr al-Akbar, a friend, weapons dealer, and a contact for business. Alric Augustus wants to meet with him. However the meeting goes badly and the marshall ends up berating Tyr about the extermination of his pride and leaves.
Beka and the crew of the Maru are salvaging artifacts from a radiation swept Tychen when a sweep by their drones picks up diamonds underneath a tomb. They come up with a plan to retrieve them and go back to the Trust to pick up the LT4 explosives and tools they will need. Beka has been looking at the plans for the robbery of the Sword of Terpsichore, and she is halfheartedly thinking about it. When they go to get the diamonds they pull it off without a hitch and are in orbit about to depart when Restorians show up and start taking shots at salvage ships near the planet. They fire on the Maru. A large hole is punched in the cargo hold and everything is lost. When they get back to the drift they also find out that their contact was killed and that the Umbrite moved onto another drift.
On Haukin Tau Drift Ferahr is thinking about the first time he saw Tyr and how uncompromising he was. He recalls how Tyr had been moving up in the world and about the equipment that he had sold Tyr. While daydreaming he receives a message from the planet whose ruler Tyr had recently rescued with a minister requesting an audience with Tyr. He wants Tyr to lead his armies to restore order. Tyr agrees but for an exorbitant amount of money. He and Ferahr then agree on the price for a transport and Tyr leaves.
Harper is hacking into the museum where the sword is kept and is using codes provided by the Perseid to break into the VR matrix so he can disable the security measures. He does it and Beka walks to the case with the intention of carrying off the sword. However it is a holographic fake and she walks out of the museum to the getaway vehicle empty handed.
On Schopenhauer’s World, Charlemagne Bolivar is sitting in a massive hotel suite waiting talking to Douglas Powell. The aide is informing him about Beka’s situation, and tells Charlemagne that the crew displayed remarkable prowess and might be useful. He suggests that they might be able to harbor Charlemagne’s sister, Cathrine. Charlemagne agrees and his aide goes off to make arrangements. The Maru and her crew arrive on the planet and are waiting in a hotel room. Beka and the aide negotiate and she accepts the job of protecting the 7.5 month pregnant Cathrine and her bodyguards on the Maru until her pregnancy is over. She is being hunted by Sabra assassins. On his yacht Charlemagne talks to his aide about the conditions and admires Beka’s negotiating skills. His aide expresses his disapproval.
Back on Malani’s Haven Varastaya, one of Tyrs mercenaries, ambushes and kills dozens of rebel soldiers at an important location. She reports back to Tyr who is talking to the rebel minister about important tasks that need to be done in order to keep the planet under control such as a draft, increased draconian measures and more taxes. The minister argues but eventually caves in and follows Tyr’s advice.
Back on Schopenhauer’s World, Cathrine and the Maru’s crew are in the hotel suit preparing to leave. Cathrine has managed to get on everybody’s nerves and is a taxing burden on the crew already. Rev Bem and Beka are talking and Beka tells Rev that she has managed to gain some legitimate contracts for cargo-hauling to maintain an external look of normalcy while the princess is on board. Cathrine’s bodyguards walk in and they and Beka have a tense conversation before the bodyguards go onto Cathrine’s room. Beka walks down to the cargo bay where the Maru is being stored and walks into the secure bay. A purple female with a tail jumps out from behind the boxes, and nervously introduces herself as Trance Gemini. She then starts to babble and tells Beka that she thinks that there is something wrong with some of the cargo boxes. Beka inspects the boxes and then notices a misplaced wire that is the trigger to an explosive device, probably meant to kill the Than owner of the company that had hired them to do the cargo run. Fred Vexpag is taking Cathrine shopping, and is getting annoyed with her because of the constant whining and complaining. Beka arrives in the middle of a tense conversation between Vexpag and the Nietzschean bodyguard and tells them about the explosive. As the bodyguard heads for the door he triggers an explosive in the doorknob. The bodyguard gets shot and is killed and in the ensuing chaos Cathrine gets grabbed by 2 Nietzscheans. However in the firefight one of the Nietzscheans is killed and the other tripped by Trance, who is in the area, allowing Cathrine to be rescued.
On Malani’s Haven, an the minister is watching the capital city burn. He believes that he has made the right choices but no matter what he seems to do his regime is crumbling around him. He goes to talk to Tyr in the throne room and when he is inside along with several other mercenaries he signals an unknown person and says that the throne room is secure. Alric Augustus, who Tyr had talked with as well as the formally deposed king and queen of the planet, walk in. Tyr informs the minister that he has been blind, and had been taking no advice on how to change his situation. The Marshall was now the benefactor of the planet, and was going to help with its inception into the newly created Ursan Empire.
On the Maru, several cargo runs have been successfully completed and Cathrine is still alive. However, another attempt on her life was made and the crew is on edge. A few minutes after the Maru drops out of slipstream, Harper tells Beka that he has detected a signal emanating from Cathrine and the crew quarters. A tense standoff follows but is broken when the crew of the Maru and one of Cathrine’s bodyguards realize that the signal must be sent by the other bodyguard. The bodyguard sending the signal is killed, and the Maru gets ready for an assault by Nietzscheans. 2 ships from the Drago-Kazov Pride show up, and demand that the princess be turned over. Beka opens a slipportal but does not enter depending on it to blind the sensors of the other vessels. She destroys one and as they other is closing in she goes to slipstream. However, they are forced to drop out of slipstream because of damage that they sustained. Vexpag and the bodyguard go outside the ship to do repair, and Vexpag dies because he did not check his suit seals. It is revealed to Beka that Cathrine might be bearing the Nietzschean Progenitor, which is why she needed protection and a place to hide until her pregnancy is over.
On Haukon Tau drift, before he and his mercenaries set of to retake Malani’s Haven, Tyr is being insulted by the Nietzschean Marshall. Right before the Marshall leaves, Tyr shouts out that he can retake Malani’s haven for the Marshall’s prid, on the condition that he be allowed into Ursa Pride so that he can breed and begin to rebuild the Kodiak Pride. The Marshall agrees but only if he can give them Malani’s Haven and if Tyr send a genetic sample to his ship for testing. Months later Tyr and the Marshall talk in the Throne room and Tyr is not allowed to join the pride. While he is given 8 million credits Tyr is enraged and begins to makes plans for revenge. A week later he breaks into the Field Marshall’s chambers and brutally murders him and his guards but not before he informs the Field Marshall that he has slaughtered his entire family and that his linage dies with him.
On the Maru, Beka is watching and re-watching the video of Vexpag’s death over and over. Rev Bem comes in and talks with her. He also informs her that the purple girl’s from the drift, Trance, can’t wait to see her again. They land on Schopenhauer’s World but a pair of Nietzschean assassins are waiting and shoot Beka in the shoulder. She falls unconscious but not before she shoots the assassins. She wakes up in her bunk on the Maru with Rev telling her that she is ok and that Trance is on board. Cathrine has started to go into labor. They send out an SOS hoping to attract any vessel with a Nietzschean medic but a Drago-Kazov ship responds. Beka arms her weapons but before she can fire Charlemagne hails her and says that he has negotiated a temporary truce. Trance helps Cathrine give birth to a healthy baby. The baby is not the Progenitor and Beka and Charlemagne part ways.
Back on Olivares Trust, the Maru has just been newly repaired. Beka then receives a message from a Nightsider named Gerentex, who wants to meet to discuss a salvage mission. He comes onboard and Beka agrees to participate in a salvage mission. On Haukon Tau Drift, Tyr and Gerenmar are talking about an upcoming job which was set up through Gerentex. The Maru takes on mysterious cargo in large boxes and sets off (after 16 weeks of searching) to the Hephaistos System, to look for the Andromeda Ascendant.
On the Andromeda Ascendant, all the Maru crew members are settling in. Rommie reports to Dylan that repairs are going as planned, and that she ship should soon be in good shape. Hunt remarks that he is surprised at the new crew and that they took up his mission, and that they will soon be ready to try and restore the Systems Commonwealth.
- Alric Augustus
- Beka Valentine
- Charlemagne Bolivar
- Douglas Powell
- Drago Museveni
- Dylan Hunt
- Element of Air
- Ferahr al-Akbar
- Fred Vexpag
- Malthazar Jrinto
- Ogun Bonaparte
- Olorun Bonaparte
- Raphael Valentine
- Rev Bem
- Seamus Harper
- Song of the Ocean
- Teena Harwall
- Trance Gemini
- Tyr Anasazi
- The Friedrich Nietzsche quote comes from the 1880 collection of aphorisms “The Wanderer and his Shadow”.