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22 September 2016 @ 11:24 pm
Andromeda AU: Chapter 16, Not enough answers (work in progress)  
Hi, here you have another chapter, I know it took too long but it's finally here. I was going to make it about The unconquerable man but I realized it was necesary first to explain about Tammerlane and so on so I leave it for the next one. Currently working on chapter 17. Please review!

Hola, aquí está finalmente el capítulo 16. Iba a ser sobre El hombre inconquistable pero me di cuenta de que era necesario primero aclarar lo de Tammerlane y más cosas, así que lo dejé para el siguiente. Estoy trabajando en el capítulo 17. Por favor, dejadme algún comentario.



Chapter 16: Not enough answers

"Who the hell were those?" Beka asked over the sound of alarms.
"I don't know but we have other things to worry about now." Dylan grabbed his console as the ship shook. "Andromeda where is the closest star? We need energy."
Andromeda's image materialized in the main screen, "Captain, there is a type K star at six light minutes from our current position. The system is uninhabited."
"Beka, take us there. Rodriguez, make teams to repair the damage." Dylan did not wait for an answer as he ran to the Hangar Bay One.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tyr and Gaheris had just managed to force the Maru's hatch open when Dylan arrived. Two nietzschean females had just came from the battered ship when Dylan saw Tyr carefully taking a bundle from the younger one and running past him, followed closely by his First Officer and the women.
"Ship, the closest medical bay?"
Rommie came running from a side corridor, "Medical Bay Two," she answered the dark nietzschean as she kept pace with him easily.
"I want Trance there NOW!!" he roared.
Trance was waiting in the Medical Bay with the doctor and the nurse from the corresponding shift. Tyr left the bundle over the pallet and fixed the last ones with a ferocious glare, "OUT, NOW!"
The officers looked at Dylan with confused expressions on their faces. He nodded to them, if the claim of the Knights was true the less people involved the better, "Rommie please." He saw the fleeting surprise in the avatar's face just before she left the room. "Andromeda, activate Privacy Protocol in Medical Bay Two, Argosy Special Code AO one-four-nine-two-five-four-nine-one-gamma-romeo. Authorization Captain Dylan Hunt."
"Privacy Protocol Engaged, Argosy Operation Code Acknowledged." Andromeda's voice confirmed the special code that would provide extra privacy. He got it from the admiral to use in case of emergency and the situation might qualify as that.
Tyr was already unwrapping the bundle as Dylan watched a baby with mocha skin emerge from it. As far as he could see he was unconscious or dead. Tyr took a hypo-spray from a pocket in his pants and applied it to the little arm. After some seconds a little whimper came from the baby as he moved and began to cry.
Trance got closer and ran a scanner over the small body. She frowned as she observed the results, "He is... unharmed. Blood pressure a little low but nothing to worry about."
"It was a necessary precaution to fool the sensors." Tyr put the baby in the arms of the younger woman as Trance went to tend a cut in the head of the older one.
Dylan watched them intently as he tried to order his thoughts, "Well, are you going to explain it?" He saw Gaheris looking intently at Tyr and a silent conversation seemed to take place between them. Neither spoke so he turned to the women, "And you are?"
Tyr answered for them, "This is Freya, my first wife. And this," he pointed to the older woman, "is Olma, matriarch of Orca Pride. We..."
Gaheris cut him before he could continue, "Dylan, do you trust me?"
He laughed humorlessly, "What the... what kind of question is that, Gaheris?"
"Just now the most important I will ever make." The commander's face did not give anything away about what he might be thinking.
"Yes... yes, of course I trust you. So, now I want to know why I had to engage with three ships of lunatics determined to kill you all, and whose was the nietzschean ship which came to our rescue because, if not for them we would be dead." He registered surprise in the faces of his officers as he mentioned the unknown ship. "Is it true? What they said about the child?" He nodded in the general direction of Freya.
Tyr sighed deeply, "he is my son, Tammerlane. And yes, it is true. And before you talk captain," he pointed at him, "think about who and what I am. I will kill you and destroy this ship if you try to harm him, so thread very carefully. And you," he pointed to Trance, "can calculate possibilities. Tell me, what does the future have in store for you if you betray me or say a word about this?"
"Well, if I only consider the fact..." She was interrupted by Tyr's low growl "Okay, it does not matter now. But Tyr, you do not have to worry. I would not put your son at risk. Too much depends on his survival..." Trance bit her lip as if she had said too much.
"Dylan, listen to me," Gaheris stood in front of him as he spoke. "It is imperative that we protect him. He is the key to unite the prides and bring the nietzschean people to the ways previous to the Fall. You are in a unique position to forge a true alliance, one that will be everlasting. Tyr will have the right to rule until Tammerlane becomes old enough to reclaim his place. With him as Alpha we will have a fleet enough to wipe the Magog."
Dylan rubbed his tired eyes with his fingertips, this could not come at a worst time, with unknown forces trying to control the Commonwealth, "So an alliance. Well, we already have one with some of them." He spoke, referring to the uneasy military alliance they had signed with several prides. He faced Anasazi, "It sounds great, to reestablish the glory of the nietzschean race. But something bothers me, who guarantee that when that happens your people will not destroy the Commonwealth again?" He watched the dark nietzschean intently, "Are you really our ally, Tyr? As far as I know you have always kept a secret agenda."
Tyr shook his head slowly as he smiled, "Captain Hunt, I am who I am. The goals I set the night I saw my pride slaughtered are still there. The things I promised myself to change when I was sold into slavery are still there. But," he made a vague gesture with his hand, "those objectives have always had many points in common with yours. Order, peace, freedom of choice, safety for my children and my children's children..."
"Somehow I think we don't agree with the future of the Drago-Katsov pride, seeing you want to exterminate them..."
Tyr cut him with a raised finger "Not all of them, just the ones responsible for the attack to Kodiak pride." He curled his lip with content, "I do not kill innocents indiscriminately. I am not like them."
"You killed Orca Pride! You blew them all to pieces, and now you say..." Olma tried to hit him but it was intercepted by Freya.
"Orca pride signed its death sentence when Guderian sent my son's DNA to the Dragans. What did you expect?" Tyr took her in his arms as tears welled from her clear eyes, "I also lost people, my mother, brothers and sisters. But thanks to them," she pointed to Anasazi and Rhade, "we are alive. Now our obligation is with Tammerlane."
For some seconds only the accelerated breath of the older female and the baby's cries could be hear. Then the woman shoulders shagged as she sobbed. Freya left the child in Tyr's arms and hugged her as they cried mournfully.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tap, tap, tap, "Andromeda."
"Yes, Beka?"
Tap, tap, tap, "Are they fine?"
Correctly interpreting the vague question Andromeda answered her, "Commander Rhade and Specialist Tyr Anasazi have suffered minor wounds, just like the nietzschean females that accompany them. The nietzschean child had no pulse when they entered Medical Bay Two."
The tap, tap, taping stopped for some seconds to come back with a vengeance. Rodriguez casted his eyes to the heavens, Beka's habit of drumming her fingers when she was nervous drove him nuts. "You may go, Beka."
Her head turned around, "Are you sure? I don't want Dylan scolding you because of me..."
"We cannot do anything except to wait until the hydrogen tanks are full enough. There are no ships in the vicinity." He glanced at her, "Go."
"Thank ya!" She smiled at him as she left the pilot's chair and ran out of command.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When Beka got to the Medical Bay she found Rommie waiting at the closed door, "Argosy Privacy Mode is engaged, Beka. I am afraid you cannot enter."
Beka frowned as she recognized the Special Operations Division, "Argosy Privacy Mode? Never heard that before."
The avatar watched her with a didactic expression as she explained, "It is a particular Privacy Mode activated with an Argosy Code. The usual mode is used mainly to ensure the privacy of the crew, but the information is stored in my memory, where it won't be accessed unless a security override is used. With the Argosy code there will be no records of the conversation or the sensors inside the room while it is engaged." She frowned, "I am surprised, I thought Dylan's Argosy code would have been deactivated before we left Tarazed. Given our current mission I do not see the need for it. Unless, of course, the High Guard Command has provided him with a new one. But in that case..."
Beka cut her before she could keep digressing, "You do not know which one is?"
"The used code is deleted from my memory as the mode is engaged."
The blonde captain began to get a headache, "Wait, so how do you know if he is giving the right code if you do not remember it?"
Rommie sighed deeply in a fine imitation of human frustration, "I have the encrypted codes in my core. When someone gives me an Argosy code a subroutine confirms or denies it and then it is deleted from my memory. Of course the original code stays in the core, the one that is given to me to activate whatever protocol is the one which is deleted."
There was no occasion for Beka to answer, the door opened and a dirty, tired looking Gaheris left the room. When he saw her he went directly and took her in his arms. As she was held in his powerful embrace she watched Tyr and a blonde nietzschean female leaving the room. She was holding a small bag against her chest and her pale face was devoid of life, as if she were in shock.
"Divine, no." As she looked at the dark nietzschean he met her stare with wide, anguished eyes as a tear fell from them, "Tyr..."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Four days later the damage was being repaired at a good rate but they were still waiting for the fuel tanks to replenish. The radiation from the star made it impossible to collect hydrogen in a single round, so the Andromeda had been forced to leave the corona every seven hours to avoid mortal exposure.
Neither Tyr nor Gaheris had known from which pride the mysterious ship that had saved them could be. As far as they knew only the Knights of Genetic Purity had followed them.
After a particularly boring day Dylan stood under the shower thinking again if he had taken the correct path allowing Tyr to leave, if admiral Rhade was to be trusted, if...
He sighed as he got out and absently dried himself. He trusted Gaheris, what's more, he knew his friend understood Anasazi's mind better than he would ever do. And as much as he thought about it he did not understand what benefit admiral Rhade could get if he would be deceiving him. But he was tired of carrying the weight of such secrets.
As he dressed he thought again about Tammerlane. Tyr had used an enzyme to slow down his son's breathing and heartbeat until he looked dead, just as he had done when he took him to the Medical Bay. It was dangerous but his nietzschean officers had assured him that nietzschean babies were far more resilient than humans. Dylan had given Anasazi a Lancer transport shuttle and he was now taking his son and the two females to a hidden location. It was not a permanent solution, they all knew. The news had spread throughout the Andromeda like wildfire and sooner or later someone was bound to fully analyze the sensor readings from the hangar and the corridors. Then they would see that the child had brain activity when they left. Dylan hoped that when that would happen, the wheel would be already rolling.
It was especially difficult not to be able to share his concerns with Andromeda. She had been his confident, his counselor and his friend for a long time and it had been hard to ask Rommie to leave the Medical Bay; for a second he had seen something akin to pain in her eyes. But it was a necessary precaution. He knew that she would never betray him willingly but if someone accessed to her core with the right codes she might not have a choice in the matter.
The doorbell brought him back from his musings, "Andromeda, open the door."
A harried looking Harper got inside his quarters and closed the door. "Hey boss. Look, I have something about the... special project you assigned me, ya know?" He passed his hand through his spiky hair, making it even more messy, "it's bad, Dylan. It's very bad."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hot, Drago's bones, so damn hot...
He could feel her inner muscles massaging his throbbing manhood like the finest silk. The sight of his shaft emerging from the tight entrance of her body, shiny with their combined juices, only to disappear again, brought him closer to lose control. It was sensory overload.
A blonde goddess riding him, her fingernails digging in his muscles as she griped his thighs to better move, her pale sleek body a stark contrast against his bigger tanned one. Her moans as she sought satisfaction from his body driving him to a place where only instincts inhabited.
"Oh, yes..."
Mine...
"Yesss... please..."
Must go deeper...
"Please, there... don't stop..."
Come inside her...
"Ohhhh, please..."
His hands were rubbing her rosy nipples, marveling once again at the satiny texture. He knew what she wanted, had learnt to read her needs like an open book. He forced her back to arch more, seeking instinctively with his shaft that place inside her that made her scream, as he rubbed her moistened clit with two blunt fingers. He felt the first spasms of her body that heralded her devastating orgasm.
"Gaheris!"
He loved the way she screamed his name when she was coming, how she whimpered, and moaned and shook. He brought her to lie on his broad chest, his hand holding her hair so she had no choice but to face him as his thrusts increased in force and velocity. "Look at me!" She was still in the throes of her orgasm, her sex over-stimulated with the constant friction of his shaft deep inside her depths. "Open your eyes, Beka!" he said between clenched teeth.
She finally complied, her blue eyes still unfocused, her mouth full from his kisses. It was too much and Gaheris finally gave up and filled her with his seed as he growled in ecstasy.
For a long time they lay there, their panting breaths echoing through the small cabin of the Maru, his semi-erect manhood still buried inside her warmth. He put his arm behind his head and used the other to trace her spine slowly. As they recovered Beka breathed deeply as she licked his nipple, "you taste good.... hmmm, smell good too..."
"I smell like a lissian goat, Beka!" he laughed.
"No, you smell kinda male-ish... and taste salty." She looked at him with an impish grin, "you know, this," he felt a ticklish caress across the dark damp hair under his arm, "is very sexy."
His eyebrows shot to his hairline, "my armpit? Sexy?"
"Yeah, it turns me on..."
"Human women are so weird."
She watched him with mock affront, "You know if I am horny from ten meters and I am the weird one?"
"Seventeen meters and yes, you are weird," he kissed her lips tenderly, "but you are mine."
She wiggled until she found a comfortable position with her arms crossed over his chest so she could lay her head on them while she contemplated him, "Are you still not talking about Tyr's son?"
He kept a neutral expression on his face but did not answer. He hated to lie to her so he had refused to share information about what had happened in the Medical Bay five days ago.
"Okay, okay, I understand. This is very important for you. If those loons were right it would put the nietzschean society upside down and who knows how the rest of the universe would react." She sighed, "Look, what if I talk and you just listen, deal?" She interpreted his raised eyebrows as affirmation.
"Just before you left with Tyr Harper told me he had a surprise for me. It seems that from Rommie perspective the Maru was lacking in several systems. He told me that he had tried to improve the sensors but the system was unable to handle it. He said," she laughed, "that the 'not so lovely bucket of bolts' would end up fried. But he was able to install a backup system for the data; it was something that I had always wanted but there was never enough money or time."
Beka frowned at him "The dead of your own child, an innocent baby... I can't imagine the kind of pain..." She left sentence hanging and then she narrowed her eyes as she watched him. "You know, Rommie explained me that Dylan used an Argosy code to engage Privacy Mode. By the way, did you know that when Privacy Mode is on Rommie still knows what is happening? She just cannot reveal it." She made an aggravated noise, "I hope she is not using our private moments to feed her own fantasies." She felt Gaheris' chest shaking as he laughed silently.
"Well, back to the matter. Since Dylan used that Argosy code there would be no record of what happened, none whatsoever. So I thought, why the extra security? I know, the ramifications could be huge but still..." Her piercing stare was making him nervous.
"So I am in the pilot's chair at Command, bored off my tits when I say 'Hey maybe I can take a look at the Maru's records'. But it seems that some kind of 'malfunction' had deleted them. But then, you know what? I remember the brand new backup system." She smiled nonchalantly.
"Rebecca..." she knew, damnable stubborn woman, she had figured out everything.
She put her finger on his lips with a mocking severe expression, "Shh, still talking. So I see the video recordings but during the skirmish with the knights of the genetic crap several cameras were damaged so there was not a lot to see." She made a sad face only to hit her forehead with her palm, "Beka, silly girl, you still have the sensor readings in the backup! Well I don't want to bore ya so I will go forward to the part when I see that the life sign of Tyr's baby suddenly drops." Beka was again piercing him with her blue gaze, "Well, there was a battle going on, I bet the Maru was like a maraca and it has a lot of places where you can get hit. BUT," she pointed at him, "it happened when the Maru was already inside Andromeda, just before the hatch was opened. Kinda sudden: the Maru gets in, the baby is perfectly fine, wham! The baby's not breathing and has no pulse."
"Let me explain..."
She rolled over to lie on the bunk by his side. "Look, I know that this is big and I understand that you don't trust anyone with this..."
Gaheris rolled to his side and leant over her, "Beka do not say it. I trust you with my life, with my love. But this knowledge puts you at risk."
"I would never..."
"What if you have no choice? They could drug you. They could torture you. It is not only for Tammerlane's security but yours too." He stroked her cheek softly as her gaze softened, "I will do whatever is necessary to keep you safe, Rebecca. Even when you do not like it." He kissed her tenderly.
As he left her lips she spoke, "so his name is Tammerlane. I like it." She sighed in a preoccupied fashion, "I have deleted all the data, the backup too. And I have turned off the Maru's AI so this conversation is not recorded but if I found out other will too."
"I know, we only won some time. But if Anasazi gathers enough prides to bring Tammerlane's existence to light the child will be protected."
"All the prides?"
"At the moment only the ones that he has alliances with. He has some major... bonus that attracted the attention of several prides. He has mates in Sabra-Jaguar, Volsung and some more minor prides. Majorum too but right now I am not sure if it is safe to invite them to the gathering." Dylan had told them not to consider Tarazed as a place to hide Tammerlane in. He had not tell them the reason but Gaheris had suspected for some time that something was not right inside the Commonwealth and that Dylan knew about it.
"Do you think that some prides may not like that Drago's reincarnation is finally here?"
"No, but some might want to take him and raise him as their own. Having Drago Museveni's DNA will not make him a good leader, it will be the education that he will receive. Just think about it, if the Drago-Katsov pride get its hands on him in some years we will have a leader who will consider slavery as something acceptable and almost all the nietzschean will follow him." He stroked Beka's neck absently as he spoke, "my people need to be reeducated in what is or is not good or evil. That will take generations but with Drago reincarnated it will be easier... if we keep him in our side. And that means keeping Anasazi in our side too."
Beka frowned as she laughed, "Mister Beyond Good and Evil? Don't take me wrong, I know Tyr is not like the Dragans but I am not sure if he is really 'in our side' as you put it."
"Essentially we share the same views. He is against slavery and the high tributes some prides force some planets to pay with no reason; he is not against an alliance with the Commonwealth. Other things... I think we can find a common ground with him."
"Well," Beka kissed him with growing interest, "I hope you are right."
His hands travelled south towards more tempting territories and soon they were again lost in the feel of each other.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Ha, I knew something was bothering you! You have been acting weird for some time." Beka frowned at him, "Dylan, are you sure this is not a trick? No offense," she looked at Gaheris, who was sitting in the couch with her, "but admiral Rhade could be making up this to discredit you. You can't forget that he did not want Tarazed to join the New Commonwealth."
Gaheris spoke as he took her hand, "None taken. This could be a conspiracy against Dylan, but I don't think so. Telemachus knows that there is no turning back now. If this would have happened before the referendum yes, but now it would serve no purpose." He crossed his booted feet as he watched Dylan intently, "however there are some things that now have sense. Some sensationalist media had suddenly taken an interest in the private life of some prominent families, especially nietzschean ones. The last news were related to the Alpha of the Occidental sector of Majorum pride, Gabriel Rhade, Telemachus' brother." He frowned, "I took it just as some morbid curiosity from the gutter media but it may be the beginning of a smear campaign."
"What is the nature of said news?" Rev Bem questioned him.
"Well, something about the first wife of the Alpha taking an interest in some human male."
"Are you sure it cannot be true?" The Wayist monk tried to soften the question with a non confrontational voice but still he received a low growl from Rhade.
"Yes, I am sure." Gaheris saw Dylan's surprised expression and sighed as he explained his point of view, "Penelope is a female raised in a very traditional way. She would not leave an Alpha who is responsible of several millions of nietzscheans for a human male, no matter how arresting he would be."
Dylan watched them as they mulled over the situation. No one had left when he had told them they could get out of his room before risking court martial. He had known that they would follow him to hell and back. They were his family, even Tyr. The dark male was resting against a wall, with his arms crossed and an unreadable expression on his imposing features. The others had got closer to give him their condolences and Tyr had expressed his gratitude with a simple nod and had been silent since then.
Dylan only wanted Rommie could be here with the rest. Using the Argosy code to engage Privacy mode made him feel like a betrayer. "There is more. Harper," he nodded to the engineer.
The blond man put the portable console he had brought with him on the coffee table as he spoke nervously, "this is the thing: a couple weeks ago, when Admiral Rhade was here, Dylan called me to his office. They wanted me to analyze a data crystal and keep it secret." He looked at Beka, "I wanted to tell you, I swear! But, well, they told me it was very 'delicate' and the good admiral can be scary..."
Dylan sighed as he cut him, "Harper, please..."
"Okay, okay. So the crystal had video recordings, sensor reading and the whole lot. In the video," he punched in the console and a tridimensional vid came to life over the table, "you can see someone flashing in the admiral's office, just like that. So with this vid, the sensor readings and my genius I found similarities with our good friends Jaeger and Satrina 'The hot bitch' Leander. I mean, the mechanics are not the same but whoever he was he tesseracted into the room."
"My Divine, the Abyss and the Commonwealth?" Beka exclaimed with a horrified expression on her face.
"Yep, the same. The sensors Rhade used were freakin' good so we have more information now. And I have found this too," he typed something in the console and a raspy, sustained screech could be heard in the room.
Rhade and Tyr screamed as they both doubled over and put their hands over their ears, "Off! Turn that off now!"
"Okay, Okay! It was not so bad! Come on, you whinny..."
Rhade growled as he recovered, "stupid midget... What the hell was that?"
Dylan observed Trance, her purple face had a grey tint and her eyes were wide and frightened, "Trance, are you all right?"
"I need to listen it again, now!" the young purple girl stood nervously and began to pace.
"Fine, give me a moment." Dylan searched in his desk's drawers until he found an earpiece. He gave it to Harper so he could synchronize it with the console.
"I don't get it; it is just some kind of static crackling. There, take it." Harper gave it to Trance and he activated the recording.
"I can tell you that it was not just statics, there was some hellish screeching in a higher band. I suppose that only nietzschean ears can reach it." Gaheris said.
They all could watch Trance's horrified face as she listened. She finally took the earpiece off and sat.
"It is impossible, he cannot be..." She whispered, "There was no way to escape for him, how...?"
"Trance!" It worked, the purple girl stopped her ramblings and looked at Dylan, "Care to share with us?"
Trance breathed deeply, "I did not imagine that it could be him. You have to understand, I felt that the spirit of the Abyss was not like you all but if I would have known I would have tell you before!"
"Tell us what?" Beka exclaimed impatiently.
"He is... was one of my people. He has changed, that is the reason I did not recognize his... energy."
Dylan frowned, "your people... what are they exactly?"
She avoided the direct question as she answered, "look, time ago he did something very bad, an abomination. We learnt about it when it was too late, so we made sure that he would not be able to do it again." She lowered her eyes, "I imagine he found a way to come back."
Tyr moved to loom over her with his arms crossed over his chest, "you have not answered the question."
She looked at him with wide, innocent eyes, "what was the question?"
"Trance!" Harper rebuked her.
"Does it matter? I don't see how it could help right now. He is not one of us now, he..."
"Oh, it matters all right," Dylan laughed humorlessly, "Whatever we can learn about him will help. You have always avoided telling us about where you come from or even 'what' you are. What is the matter, Trance? Why all the secrecy?"
"Because I cannot tell you, okay?! I am not allowed to reveal certain things!" The pissed off tone of her exclamation was so different from her usual sunny way. "Please, please, you have to believe me. I don't know what he is now." She said pleadingly.
They all gave a start when Dylan crashed his palm over the desk, "Enough! I am TIRED AND SICK of secrets! This is too important for you to simply say that you cannot reveal us more!" He passed his hands over his hair, "you are going to talk to your people AND you are going to tell them that captain Dylan Hunt of the Andromeda Ascendant demands of them to come out from whatever hole they are hiding in. If he was one of your people he is your responsability!"
Trance got closer to him so she could take his hands in her smaller ones, "I will contact them, okay? Dylan please, I need you to trust me. I want to help you but I am scared, there are boundaries that I cannot trespass."
Dylan watched her frightened eyes and sighed deeply. Why it was so difficult to be mad with her? "Look, talk to them." He squeezed her hands gently as she tried to move away, "And Trance? This is not over."