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Since "Blog posts are a great way to share news, opinions, and creative pieces with the community", here goes nothin'.

Fanfic Info Table
Title Ideas of Family Author Alex Mcpherson, with some Beta'ing from Acaeton at times.
Summary On a visit to Xinti, Harper gets some bad news. When Rommie finds out, a chance encounter with Trance gives her an idea of how to cheer him up...
Rating Teen. Disclaimer I don't own Andromeda. I just decided to try playing in the sandbox for awhile.
Spoilers Season 1, some of Season 2. Warnings Maybe some Angst, but it's my first time writing that stuff so it might be a bit of a fail.

But, I am going for plenty of Harper Humour, so...

Time Period Post-2x12 - Ouroboros by about a month or two. Relationships Hints (aka lots of teasing) of Harper/Rommie, but not a relationship, they just are getting closer as friends, as Rommie keeps protesting in offscreen scenes for the fic.
Story Notes First, I'm british so don't mind the british spellings. (I sometimes use american for a few words when I've simply forgotten over time which is the british spelling, like defence/defense. Word usually catches it for me.) Second, I'm transcripting, rather than copy-and-pasting from the Word files. This is me trying for proofing-as-I-type. And Third, if the fic sucks, don't be afraid to say why, although telling me it sucks without telling me why aint of the good.
Chapter Notes This is where I tried a little, change in format between the version in word and this blog version. Just discovered one thing didn't know about Wiki: press enter twice to register new paragraph. Just starting on the next line doesn't seem to work.

Also, as I go I will likely be rewriting bits (to make things read better/easier, fix mistakes/grammar, etcetera.

Chapter 1

Scene 1: Command Deck

Looking up from the report, Dylan glanced at the busy engineer at the other end of the Command deck, before keeping his eyes on Beka, “I thought these systems would have been operational by now.” He spoke, not loud enough to attract Harpers' attention.

Beka composed herself, and replied, “Harper says he’s moving as fast as he can.”

Dylan looked closely at his first officer, and nodded. She had looked sad, until he had spoken. Normally, he would have then commented that Harper had already taken twice as long as the last time he’d had to do repairs of this magnitude, and only half of the repairs were even done, and that was across the systems, none were yet fully repaired. However, he didn't reply to that, as he knew something was up with Harper.

Ever since their visit to Xinti for the first time since Hohne's death, Harper had been, well, distracted was an understatement. Dylan glanced in Harpers' direction, just long enough to see the man enter the conduits and disappear, then decided to take a slightly different track.

"Don't tell me it's because we're short on supplies, Beka. Something has been going on with him in the last month. When he's not working or, sleeping in his quarters, He's on the Maru alone. We're all worried about him, Beka." Seeing her about to protest about him apparently about to interfere, he continued a bit louder, "And normally, I wouldn't be forcing the issue, but it's really beginning to affect the performance of his duties, and worse than when he was infested with Magog eggs."

"He's just one engineer, you can't expect him to-"

Dylan interrupted her, "That's, not what I'm talking about. Ever since we stopped by Xinti, he's been depressed, and isolating himself from all of us. He's definitely not his old self, and I'd never thought I'd say this, but, I'm starting to miss the old Harper."

Beka looked away, and no longer hid her feelings on the subject. Dylan was taken aback at the clear sadness in her entire stance. That just made him worry a lot more. Then when Holo-Andromeda appeared beside him with an equally sad look of concern, his worry was compounded even more.

"I too am worried for him, Beka. Not just because his ability to repair me is impaired by whatever's wrong, but because not only is his interactions with the crew, except my avatar, even when he's on duty dropped off significantly, and even then when he does interact with you all, they're short, to the point and entirely absent of his usual humour and wit. He doesn't even drink as much Sparky Cola as he used to, and he hasn't touched a single can today, despite having numerous opportunities when he passed by his personal stash in the machine shops."

Dylan's eyebrow rose with that, and he had to comment, "I'd have thought that was a good thing."

"Normally, yes, afterall the drink has no nutritional value. But as he once told me, it's the principle of being able to drink it in such quantities and not have the long-term side effects thanks to med deck and the Commonwealth medical database, along with that he already gets nutrition from his meals. He usually drinks on average 3 Litres daily. That's how much he's had in the last week, not day. Combined with the other changes in his behavior, it's not exactly looking good." She turned to Beka, and continued, "Whatever it is that happened on Xinti, he's not bouncing back from it like he had with everything else that has happened in the last year and a half. I can't imagine what it could be. You were with him there; surely you know what it is?"

"I do." Beka whispered, and turned slightly away, leaning on a railing. "I can't betray his confidence."

A flicker of movement in his peripheral vision, and Dylan noticed Rommie approaching. "He was fine before you visited the Hohne Memorial Wing at the Capital City Medical Research Centre."

A flicker of some emotion passed over her face, and Dylan had a strong feeling that they had learned something there.

Holo-Andromeda looked away for a moment, as a distracted look passed over her face. When she turned back, she spoke, "I was concerned, when an encrypted file was uploaded to Harpers' Medical files from the facility. But, per patient confidentiality, I did not decrypt it to look for myself. Without permission from Harper, only Trance, as our de facto physician, is allowed to see it. There are two possibilities probable, given that her own behavior towards Harper do not indicate otherwise. She has either not read his file, or she has but, whatever it is, she hasn't seen the significance of."

"Or a fourth possibility. She already knows, acts like she doesn't, and is trying to get the better possibile futures in regards to that, to happen." Dylan finished.

Rommie agreed, "Possibly. Although, given her actions when she switched places with her younger self, it is very possible that she didn't already know. She came back thanks to the Tesseract machine, then used the opportunity to completely remove the magog eggs from Harper. Her younger self might have not even known how to use the situation to that particular advantage. Which brings us back to Harper."

The three looked at Beka. Feeling the weight of their looks, she began, "He picked up some virus before we got to the hospital, the symptons started to appear shortly after we split up from you, Rommie. I convinced him to get it checked out at the Medical Research Centre anyway, instead of waiting to return here." She caught their concerned looks, and shrugged, "It's okay, they sorted that out. But they were curious of how he survived as long as he did, given his near-nonexistent immune system, and until we dragged you out of that black hole, no reliable way to consistently treat him."

"What kind of virus was it?"

"It's sorted, no ill effects. But they did a full range of tests. I guess they uploaded all the results."

"It would explain the size of the File." Andromeda mused. "As it is, it's larger than the one we had on him."

"And Harper saw these results?" Dylan asked.

Beka looked away, and stood up straight, "Yeah he did... Just..." She took a deep breath, then said, "Sorry Dylan, but... I'm not sharing. I think I'll go help him fix the ship."

With that, Beka left, leaving Dylan and the two Andromeda's looking at each other in worry. After a moment, Dylan spoke, "Andromeda, I want you to decrypt that fil."

Holo-andromeda stood up straight, and loosing all expression, asked, "Is that an order, or a request, sir?"

Before he could respond, Rommie interrupted. "Andromeda..."

Her Holographic twin just cut in, "Harper's performance has always been beyond the level of any Commonwealth or High Guard-trained Engineer that has served on my crew. His own skills far outweigh what his previous experience before he came aboard would indicate. His present performance level is somewhat higher than a Commonwealth-trained Engineer's at his age and level of experience. Until such time as his performance degrades below Commonwealth standards, I am bound by regulations not to invade his privacy like that."

Rommie however, looked like she wasn't accepting that. "He's not a Commonwealth Engineer, Andromeda. Or even High Guard. He's your engineer... our engineer! And we're both concerned for him, so regulations be damned. Whatever this is, this is affecting him way more than anything else ever has, so I'm going to help him, just as he always helps us. And he always has whether we like it or want him to or not." With that, Rommie stormed off leaving Holo-Andromeda looking at her agape. As she reached the doors out of the Command Deck, she added, "Sometimes I can be a real pain in the ass." At the last, Andromeda lost the surprised expression, switching for a pensive one.

Dylan looked at the remaining version of Andromeda. He didn't voice the unspoken part of Rommies' speech, that he was more than just their engineer, he was their friend. "In short, until his performance degrades below a certain level, you won't be obeying that. If I make it an order."

"Affirmative, Captain." She replied, regaining her composure, and a more formal stature. "I don't like it, but as I said. I'm bound by the regulations."

"This is more than just regulations, Andromeda. Otherwise Rommie wouldn't have been so... vocal... about her disagreement."

In a quiet voice, she answered, "I know." She looked in the direction of the conduit, before louder, she continued, "In his time here, within me... I have learned a lot more than what my avatar has, given her somewhat limited point of view. That includes that it took Beka a long time to win his trust. Yet, when he agreed to help us, he seemed to trust us. Beka shared with me that it was not in his character to do so, that quickly and that deeply. I have managed to since learn that his trust from the start, was not so much in us, as it was in me."

"He trusted you." Dylan muttered, in thought.

"I doubt he'd have built my avatar if he didn't." She added. "And he's never lost that trust. I have never given him reason to. And it's not just trust, Captain. He has a faith in me that's beyond his trust for me."

"What about when an older version of your personality matrix-"

She interrupted, "That's different. Both in his mind and heart, he understands what happened. Especially as he accidentally triggered it, which he has always felt guilty for, rather than blaming me for."

"Why haven't you shared this with Rommie?" He asked. It was only just starting to occur to him just how seperate the two were that they wouldn't actually know what the other did.

"When Harper took a damaged Type 3 Maintenance drone and rebuilt it, but with the modifications to be my avatar... He didn't exactly build her to the specifications you two found on Guard Station SG-92196." Dylan, distracted for a moment, began to work on his console, but he continued to listen. "Some of the modifications were like the addition of tear ducts. Others were... different."

Dylan looked up at her, "What kind of modifications?"

"One of the things that was clear to me after the backup personality matrix and Magog World ship incident, was that she is independant from me. More than she would have if he did stick with the specifications. If he had, my, younger, personality, would have taken control of her. Although she would have also seen the evidence of what we all were trying to tell her. I don't know if she... I, would have continued on that path or not. Suffice to say, the modifications at the time were a mixed blessing. But now... I don't really need to tell you the kind of modifications from the baseline specifications, do I?"

The corners of his mouth twitched, and he agreed, "No, you don't. He's Harper, that's all the explaining needed." He looked back at the work, and spoke up, "Enviromental systems restored to parts of the lower decks. Just another Several hundred meters of corridor and around 200 rooms to go." He looked up at her, and continued from before, "What do you think will happen, when he finds out Rommie looked through those files?"

Andromeda looked off, distracted, as she replied, "I don't know. Only that he will be upset. I just hope th.." She paused, closed her eyes a moment. When she opened them, she looked at Dylan. "Captain, she's decrypting the file." Dylan looked towards the conduit for a moment, but then turned back when she started, "Oh... I..." Dylan looked at her in concern, as she froze for a moment, before disappearing.

"Andromeda?" He asked aloud to the room.

The main screen flickered, Andromeda appearing on the middle screen. "Captain, I really think you should get to the med deck."

Scene 2: Med Deck

She was frozen in realisation of what it was that had gotten Harper so depressed. A warship she may be, but she understood what it meant. From the years that she... no, her 'Ship self' had carried a mostly-human crew, she knew how important that this was to Harper.

Holo-Andromeda appeared close by to her, but she paid no attention, as she a slumped down to the ground, and wrapped her knees with her arms.

The soft voice of her sister called out, "Rommie?"

No reaction.

About a minute passed, when Andromeda closed the file and re-encrypted it just in time for Dylan to enter.

The Captain barely reacted, as he moved in close to the avatar, who was clearly in emotional shock. He reached a hand to her right shoulder, and shook her just slightly. "Rommie?"

This time, she did respond, only slightly, dipping her head a little and letting her hair fall in front of her face.

In concern, Dylan knelt down and his other hand went to under her chin, gently tilting her head back up to face him. He saw the tears building in her eyes. Now he was really wondering what the problem was, if it got this reaction from her. "Rommie?" he tried again. "You okay?"

She slowly loosened her arms, and looked him in the eyes. "It's not me that's not okay, Dylan."

A stab of fear gripped his heart, a sick realisation striking him like a brick. "Harper..." He gasped.

Rommie belatedly realised what he was probably thinking, and hurriedly corrected, "Not dying. He's... not dying." She gulped as the thought of that happening occured to her. She shuddered slightly, and struggled to push the thought away.

"Then what's wrong?" He asked.

"I know why he's been so depressed this last month." She whispered. Her arms gripped her legs a bit tighter, and somewhere in the back of Dylan's mind, he thought for just a second on how many human reactions she had picked up on and was doing, without even realising it anymore. Probably related to what Andromeda had been saying on the command deck.

But at the forefront of his mind, he warred with the part of him that saw this as a major issue and so he 'just had to interfere', and the part of him that was their friend, who respected their privacy. And before, the duty-bound part of him was winning, but seeing this tipped it the other way.

"I'm not gonna ask you to tell me what the problem is, Rommie." She gave him a sad smile in thanks. He sighed, and continued, "And I know you'll treat it as a private matter, not for discussion among the rest of the crew. But I need to know, whatever it is... Can you help him?"

"I can't fix hi-..." She paused, catching herself from revealing the problem, and restarted, "I can't fix the problem. And I doubt Trance could." She looked down in sadness at her answer.

"That's not what I'm talking about." He moved to her side, glancing up at Holo-Andromeda, who held her arm out just hovering over Rommies' left shoulder, giving her sister what comfort she could, and couldn't, provide. Holo-Andromeda got the message, and disappeared. "I meant, to help him deal with this. Whatever, this, is. And He will know you know, Rommie. He knows you better than anyone, and he can tell if you try to hide that you know..."

Rommie stiffened at the comment, and gulped. More in the middle of his mind, He had another thought about her human reactions. Normally he dismissed them, but Andromeda had brought the subject up, so he couldn't just dismiss them anymore. "You want me to tell him that I... violated his trust." She slumped down, head dropping, hair covering her face again, and her knees drew closer in to her chest.

"If it comes from Me, or the others, then you most probably will lose his trust. But you have a better chance of keeping his trust if you tell him you know. And try to help-" He stopped, moving back from her in surprise when she shot up and out of the room.

Holo-Andromeda appeared, and had an almost amused expression on her face. Dylan lokoed between her and the open doorway which Rommie had disappeared through in a blur.

"Andromeda?"

She held her hand up to pause his question, and amusedly, counted down, "3... 2..." Dylan looked at the doorway as Rommie appeared. Andromeda simply spoke, "Machine Shop 5." this time, Rommie left and didn't reappear.

Dylan had to ask, "This has affected her that much?"

"Enough to disrupt her datalink to my systems, yes."

For a moment, Dylan thought back on other times, at first glance unrelated, until he put the pieces he already had together. "I guess this all kind of explains the other times, when I caught the three of you arguing?"

Holo-Andromeda looked away in embarrassment, quickly nodded, then disappeared.

"Huh." Dylan merely mused, looking between the door and where the hologram had been.

Scene 3: Machine Shop 5

Among the piles of various parts dissassembled into even their component pieces, Seamus Zelazny Harper slowly cleaned a larger cyclindrical part, but his mind was most clearly not on the job. However, it soon changed, when he heard some running, the door to the shop open, and a blur move from said open doorway to just in front of him. He knew of only one person on the ship who could move like that.

Or talk that fast, as Rommie was speaking way too fast for him to understand or catch a single word. For about a few seconds she was talking like that, then paused and asked, "You don't trust me anymore.... do you?"

Chills went down his spine at the implications by that statement, combined with her emotional state. But since he didn't know what it was she was talking about (having only a suspicion), he put down the part and spoke calmly to her, "Rom Doll, calm down. I didn't catch anything you said, you were talking too quickly. Now start again, and slowly, okay?"

Rommie looked down in embarrassment, "Sorry... it's just..." She gulped, and looked up back at him, "I've been worried, Harper. Really worried. Nothing else ever got you so down... for so long... I just needed to know why." He noticed that her eyes were very wet, that she was holding tears in... when one dripped down, he knew she was failing. Ignoring that, though, he listened as she continued, telling him exactly what she learned, by, "-Violating your privacy-", her words, and that she was, somewhat, sorry for doing that, but reminding him she was very worried.

In the chaos of the emotions kicked up by this, his mind tried to calm it, and try to let her know that he still trusted her, but even that was failing, under the weight of the emotions. He knew that since coming aboard the Andromeda, he had changed. If this kind of thing happened during his first year or two on the Maru, he would have said no, meant it, and not felt bad. Between that period and after spending some time on the Andromeda, he'd have said no, but far more affected by it, wanting to trust but not trusting. And now, well... he was in the middle, sort of.

Especially since it was Rommie, seeing how much she was worried, and more...

His emotions began to settle, so he stood up, and moved around the mess, so nothing seperated them but air.

"I didn't want anyone learning about that." He spoke quietly, reaching a hand out to her. She gratefully took hold, and seemed to get the subtle implied permission, as she scanned him, as though to confirm it for herself.

She gulped when the scan confirmed it, and when she let go, she simply bridged the gap between them, her arms wrapping his middle in a hug. They stood like that for a minute, Rommie hugging him and Harper's arms draped, just hanging limply in surprise, before he returned the hug, his arms wrapping around her.

And like that, they stood for awhile, before Harper requested, "Andromeda, privacy mode, please?"

From the speakers, she softly replied, "Of course." He smiled at that, having picked up the empathic undertone.

Turning his attention to the Avatar in his arms, he pulled away just slightly, and said something that shocked her, "The scan in the Center only confirmed it, Rommie."

She looked in his eyes, and blinked away the tears that had gathered, releasing one arm from around him to wipe them away, before she asked, "How long have you suspected?"

"I'm no virgin, Rommie." He said, as if it was obvious and wholey contrary to his lack of success. And she could detect no lie in the statement. "After I escaped Earth, and... got my head sorted, I had these thoughts about having a family... a real family, away from that hell. You know, have a gorgeous wife, a pair of kids, and a decent job to provide for them. Life on the 'Maru was tough, but I thought, if Beka's dad could raise a family on that ship, then why not me? He built that ship, and I knew enough that I could build a Twin ship if I wanted, after a few years..."

He moved away, but grabbed her hand again, and led her to a couch, where they sat down, and he continued. "A few times, I met brilliant and beautiful women, who liked me." At her look, he gave her a signficant look, "They did. In the first few years on the Maru, I had plenty of girlfriends. After I got the hang of relationships, they started to stick around for more than a week or two... keep in mind, at the time, I didn't exactly go for princesses or any woman who I knew were, 'out of reach', so to speak." He sighed, and continued, "When I got into a relationship that lasted longer than a month or two, you know, a serious relationship, we started talking about having kids. But it never happened, and only once because my girlfriend at the time decided against kids. Business was a bit dry, but Beka eventually got decent paying jobs... well, jobs that paid well enough to stay flyin'. But after about a year of being in several steady relationships with the agreement to trying for kids, and no results? A guy gets to wonder, and not about his partner." He looked away, at a bulkhead, and even quieter than he had already been speaking, he whispered, "I started to ask, what if I couldn't have kids." He turned back to Rommie, and gave her a sad smile.

"I used to have this mental picture, one that changed each time I got a new girlfriend, you could say. Me, my girlfriend and a pair of kids, all livin' on the Maru between dangerous jobs. Some pictures of me teaching the kids how to fix things, and all that stuff. But after I began to ask myself, could I have kids? That picture changed. I could see kids in the future for the girls I was with, but I wasn't in those pictures, you know, me and the Maru... Eventually, I began to wonder if it was worth it? Having a girlfriend who'd only leave when she discovers I couldn't give her a family, and so on."

"That's why you started to set your sights at the unattainable?" Rommie had to ask.

"It didn't happen all at once, I just... It started off with my, confidence, in flirting with the 'unattainable', increasing. And it was nice, for awhile, until my girlfriends stuck around for not quite so long, and the time between girlfriends stretched from weeks to months... until I was just flirting, 'trying to attain the unattainable'. I figured, I was more likely to have a kid than for one of them to actually be my girlfriend, so if they did, well, almost certainty, right?"

"But neither happened, and if you did get a girlfriend, it'll be to everyones surprise." Rommie spoke.

"I couldn't picture staying with a girlfriend, through thick and thin, if I couldn't have kids. So what started as my, excuse for it, became just good old Harper Habit." He chuckled humourlessly. "I cared about each and every one, and they all cared about me, but they left me, Rommie. And If I could give them kids, who knows? I might have left the Maru with one of them, or she even stayed. Despite how things were, my parents always told stories about how things used to be, Family who stuck together, rather than betraying each other over scraps of food, and I wanted to be like that."

"You wanted a family."

He nodded, and with a sigh, said, "Beka's like a sister to me, and the divine knows I stuck around on the Maru mostly because of that, and that I always thought she'd find someone who deserved her, get married, have kids and raise the next generation of Valentines in the Family Flying Home. You know, have Neices or Nephews, to spoil and corrupt like any half-way decent uncle." He chuckled at the image.

"But in your heart, it's a family of your blood, you wanted." She replied.

"Yeah. Tyr would say I have an almost Nietzschean drive to mate and have 'offspring'." Harper half-joked.

His comment about Nietzscheans reminded her of her crew, from before the fall, specifically, for those who wanted families and discovered they couldn't, some of whom were indeed, Nietzscheans. She shifted over on the couch a bit, back into the hug, and spoke, "There were times when some of the couples in my old crew were unable to have kids. Sometimes it was because of the job, either because of what they do or, what they had done before. Sometimes, because of where they grew up. Not all worlds were havens, even some member worlds of the Commonwealth. Environmental, or other reasons. But just sometimes... because of genetics." She looked up at him, the tears were back and starting to fall down her cheeks. "The few on my crew who found that out, had the worst reactions of all. Especially when other methods wouldn't work."

Harper looked at her in shock, not having a clue that this was a problem even during the time of the Commonwealth.

"I don't know how you're really coping, Harper. You've had a much much harder life than I can imagine... and this on top?" She gulped, and buried her head in the crook of his shoulder. "I don't want to lose you." She whispered.

He was really concerned by what she meant at the end. "Rommie?"

"I've, lost, crew before." She whispered. "Because they... the hardest was losing the Chief Weapons Officer who served during Commander Perrims' tour as First Officer..."

"Before the Secret mission to galaxy M58." Harper commented.

"Before that mission, just before Perrim was promoted and given the orders, Lieutenant Kahlaine who had tried having children with his wife for over a year, learned about his... condition." Rommie shuddered and whispered, "I found out after Perrim took official command, and had enquired where he was, as he had not shown up for duty. Kahlaine had asked for privacy mode in his quarters... and..."

"He commited suicide?" Harper asked, feeling like someone had knived him in the guts, mainly at the thought that Rommie thought he might react that badly.

Rommie's tone changed, to anger, when she continued, "His pride were... pleased to hear that he took his own life, after hearing why he had."

"Please tell me, that not all of the ones who served here that had... that, commited suicide?"

"They left the service... most of them." Harper suddenly felt his breath being constricted a bit, as Rommie told him, "I'm not gonna let you do that, too."

He gave her a sad smile, "I'm not going anywhere, Rommie. And I'm definitely not gonna, do that."

With a sense of relief, in the both of them for varying reasons, Rommie loosened up and moved away, although she didn't break contact. "Good. You're my engineer, and, more than that... You're my friend."

That brought a smile to his face, and she was glad to see him smiling like that again.

Scene 4: Command Deck

A day passed, and Dylan was glad to note the positive change in Harpers' behavior. He even smiled, when, during the middle of the day, Harper entered the Command deck whistling. Not badly, either, although he seemed to be struggling with the tune.

Just before he was about to say something, his console alerted him to a piece of good news. Changing tracks, he instead began, "Mr Harper, I'm glad to see that all of the systems are back online, most of them at 100 percent.

The familiar sight of Harper's ego being stroked... that is, metaphorically of course, prompted the usual from Harper. "Trust in the Harper. The Harper, is good." He spoke with a smile, walking over to his console."

Holo-Andromeda appeared near his station, and stared at the engineer. "Aren't you forgetting something?" She asked, amused at something.

Looking up from his console, he frowned as he spoke, "If it's about that systems check, I'm on it."

"Not that. Yesterday you were-" She stopped, as Harper muttered something in alarm, and fled the command deck in almost a blur.

"Something wrong?" Dylan asked.

She turned to him in a flash, and gave him a very amused smirk. "Nothing in particular, but let's just say he's learned to not put off certain jobs when I remind him."

"So, that was..."

"Just your typical 'Harper' reaction." She simply answered, before disappearing.

Scene 5: Corridors

As the weeks passed by, Harper returned to normal, the Andromeda had gotten into one or two major fights, although it seemed every 2 or 3 days they were in a relatively minor one be it Nietzscheans Magog or Kalderans, or just the average pirates and other scum wanting to go up against the legendary Andromeda Ascendant, although that didn't actually occur more than twice. As Beka had said, "Someone's been handing out the Stupid pills again.", which of course, prompted Trance to make some joke.

Considering the tensions that had existed between her and the crew since her past/future selves' switcheroo, she had tried to do her best to relieve them. And while she hadn't been aboard when Rommie had found out the truth and had been helping Harper deal; she and Tyr had been gone on a covert mission at the time; She could feel the affects this whole sequence of events was having on the future. And she felt responsible. Especially, as it was her own interdiction that meant just before their trip to Xinti, it had been Tyr and herself doing a cargo run on the Maru. By chance, they discovered that some mercenaries had been hired to kill Dylan.

After returning with their cargo, Dylan had had a bright idea to take a short vacation on Xinti. Because of how well she had worked with Tyr, the pair had started to investigate leads together instead of taking that vacation, but then of course, the Andromeda had been asked to go on a mission for the Perseids while she and Tyr were off chasing a lead. So while they were off on a backwater drift being intimidating, Harper's mood had been dropping until Rommie pulled him out of it... After learning about it on her return, she'd had an idea, which could smooth over the tensions even more, and, as Beka had once complained to her, 'Give Rommie a hobby', to paraphrase. But, she had been stewing over it, rather than going ahead with it, both because of the future being hazy in regards to if she did go ahead with it, then there was that twice, even three times a week, Beka and Harper were leaving for a variety of reasons on the Maru, and then it was because, well... she honestly didn't know how to accidentally talk Rommie into it. And she knew Rommie was too stubborn to accept the idea, never mind go ahead with it.

And she really hadn't expected to get the idea of how to accidentally talk Rommie into it from listening to Beka and Harper talk about some missions, reminiscing about when it was those two on the Maru running cargo, and not Tyr and herself. A talk that extended to Beka sharing more stories about her life aboard the Maru, before Harper, Rev and Trance joined her crew, back when it was just Beka and her brother.

And so with the idea in her head, and having heard of how to implement it rather ironically from Harper, along with her foresight getting not so cloudy, she knew it was time...

Only, it wasn't working so well, the 'happen by Rommie accidentally-not' part, not the talk. She had the feeling she was going to get some help from an unlikely source, and she didn't figure who, until...

"Trance, is something the matter?" Holo-Andromeda asked when she reached an intersection, but unable to see which way with her abilities she should go. "You've been wandering my decks for half an hour." Andromeda added.

"Oh. Well, would you mind if, say, I accidentally bumped into Rommie, and we got talking about something, so that when I accidentally say something she decides something and down the road it seems something came about by accident?"

Andromeda gazed at her intently, and asked, "Good thing?"

"Maybe, best I can tell."

The hologram appeared to think it over for a second, before a mischevious smile graced her lips. "I'm sure I wouldn't mind, so long as it's good, I'm sure it'll be the, right thing to accidentally do." With that, she disappeared, and Trance, grinning, took the right corridor at the intersection.

A few minutes later, and several corridors and decks from where she talked to Holo-Andromeda, a very distracted Trance walked by Rommie, who looked up from doing some repair work on a door her bigger sister had sent her to take a look at (as apparently, Harper was busy with something else.)

"Trance, is something the matter?" Rommie asked, making Trance do a double-take, considering how Andromeda had greeted her before.

"No, nothing." She replied, and Rommie nodded, and went back to work, albeit distractedly. "You okay, Rommie?"

"Hm? Yeah, I guess." She replied, and stood back up from the open panel.

"Down about Beka and Harper leaving so much on the Maru?"

Rommie shrugged, and replied, "They've been out many times before. Why should I be worried?"

"They're your crew, they're your friends..." Trance listed off, smiling.

In answer, Rommie sighed and nodded, "So okay, I do worry about them, even knowing that they've done it before." Rommie frowned, as she was distracted by something again.

Which only made Trance smile, knowing it was going to be easier than she'd have thought it would. The intended result was clearer by the minute. And so, knowing Rommie would recall the conversation with perfect clarity later, once she was no longer distracted, Trance began to, babble, as she used to do. As the two walked along the corridors, Trance was prattling on about the Maru, relating various stories that Beka had shared, interjecting them with a variety of comments that seemed so 'innocent' that she knew Rommie wouldn't even think it was intentional (unless, of course, her big sister told her it was.) She even chanced the mention of what Beka once said her dad compared the Maru to, although vaguely and subtly enough that she was almost completely sure Rommie still wouldn't realise what she was doing.

And then, job done, she made a start, "Oh, that's it, I knew I was forgetting something. See you later Rommie, got some stuff to do."

Rommie nodded, and they split up, Rommie distractedly not putting thought to the conversation yet, and Trance skipping away until she knew Rommie wouldn't hear.

"That was devious." Holo-Andromeda spoke up, appearing in the middle of the corridor when Trance stopped.

"I might be known for being so on occasion." She said, trying for the innocent look. "Don't you think it'll be a good thing, though?"

All she got in answer, was a smile, before the hologram disappeared. Smirking, Trance continued on.

And on a nearby screen, Andromeda appeared and said to her holographic self that appeared, "I'm not sure on Trances' plan."

"If we don't tell our Avatar, she won't realise and her plan would succeed. And I think it will be a Good Thing."

"Somehow, hearing the capital letters in that doesn't ease my nerves about it." Display-Andromeda replied wryly.

Trance smiled, having just caught the conversation on the edge of her hearing range.

Scene 6: Obs Deck

Beka was seriously ticked off after hearing Harper whine and moan, and had settled for going to the obs deck to cool off, rather than strangle him. She had been joined by Dylan, who was especially curious

Scene 7: Machine Shop 2

Placeholding.

Post-Chapter Notes

First Five scenes... Two to go. I've rewritten a fair bit as I copied from the word file, so I need to update that too. Bit by Bit. AlexMcpherson 03:49, March 22, 2010 (UTC)

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