Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?
Chapter 7 Should auld acquaintance be forgot?
“Seamus Harper! You come back here this instant!”
Harper cringed at the shrill tone of an enraged Trance Gemini. The petite purple alien stomped angrily towards him. He quickly stashed something incriminating behind his back and pasted what he hoped was an endearing smile upon his face.
“Why hello my purple pixie! How can the Freaking Genius be of service?”
Trance attempted to look intimidating and failed miserably. Tyr made it look so easy to do but she was just too darn cute to pull it off convincingly. She put a hand on one hip and held out her other towards Harper.
“Hand it over right now, Seamus!”
Harper faked bewilderment in an effort to throw Trance off the scent. “Hand over what?”
Trance shook her head. “I know that you’ve got Norma. You’re not experimenting on Norma. I remember what happened to poor Walter with that black hole experiment.”
She tapped her foot impatiently and Harper grinned at her sheepishly. He pulled out the object of his criminal endeavors from behind his back and gently placed it in her hand. She huffed and turned around to go back the way she had come. She could be heard gently comforting Norma as she walked back towards Hydroponics.
Harper rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath. “Sheesh, all that for a stupid plant. Women!”
Harper sadly made his way back to his beloved machine shop empty handed. He shrugged. ‘Guess its back to the old drawing board. Trance wouldn’t willingly hand over any more of her plants as experimental subjects. It was so hard to be an underappreciated genius on this ship.’
Harper had sequestered himself within the confines of his machine shop in a bid at avoidance. He couldn’t help his negative feelings. Elsbett Bolivar was onboard the ship. Sure, she was an extremely hot babe but she was a Nietzschean babe. He had lived on Earth far too long under Nietzschean rule to let his prejudices go just because she happened to be an ally.
She hadn’t come alone either. No, this was not a simple friendly visit. She had brought her fleet with her. She was dragging Captain Dylan Hunt and his ship, the Andromeda, into her little war with the Dragans.
Harper muttered disparaging remarks about the Dragans, Elsbett’s pride Sabra-Jaguar, Elsbett herself, and Dylan’s stupidity for signing a treaty with Archduke Charlemagne Bolivar in the first place.
He grabbed a nanowelder to make some minor adjustments to his latest flash of inspired genius. He would just stay hidden until everything was resolved. They could always call him on the intercom if his services were desperately needed.
He groaned when he heard the intrusive voice of Rommie, the android avatar of Andromeda. “Harper, you have a personal call waiting for you.”
Harper turned around in slight annoyance at the interruption of the petite android. “Can’t it wait, Romdoll? I’m kinda busy at the moment.”
Rommie arched an eyebrow at her scruffy engineer. He was wearing one his loud eye-watering shirts. He brought new meaning to the words ‘fashion-challenged.’
She looked straight ahead and ignored the hated nickname that Harper had lovingly bestowed upon her. “It sounds urgent. I would suggest that you take it.”
Harper rolled his eyes. “Fine, fine. Patch it through here.”
He set his tools down and Rommie walked briskly out of his workspace. This had better be important, he thought sourly.
Harper was pleasantly surprised to see the familiar face of his cousin. He pushed a few buttons on his console to resolve Brendan’s image into a full-sized hologram.
“Brendan, this is a surprise!” Harper leaned forward and fixed his cousin with a suspicious glare. “So, why are you calling?”
“Shay, I heard that you moved up in the world. Got yourself attached to one of the most powerful starships in the universe. Choice scam. I wish I had thought of it.”
Harper nodded but wasn’t taken in by the flattery. “Yeah, sure…what do you want?”
Brendan’s smile faltered. “Things are getting worse here on Earth. The ubers are dragging more people away for forced labor. I heard that the Andromeda was going against the Dragans.” Brendan paused a moment and looked determined. “We want in on the action. We want to be free. We need your help.”
Harper looked away. He still felt guilt for leaving his cousin alone to fend for himself on Earth. But Harper had jumped at the chance to leave that hellhole behind and he would do it again if he had to.
Harper finally looked back at Brendan’s pleading face. “Let me see what I can do. I can’t make any promises just yet.”
Brendan smiled. “Any assistance would be appreciated, cuz. It was nice to see you again, Shay.”
Harper smiled weakly in return. “Yeah, it was nice seeing you too.” He cut the transmission off and went to look for Beka, Andromeda’s first officer and captain of her own ship, the Eureka Maru. She might be able to help.
Harper was walking down one of the many corridors with the leather-clad blonde bombshell also known as Beka Valentine.
“But Beka…this is Earth we’re talking about. The birthplace of humanity. The jewel of the universe. We have to help.”
Beka smiled and patted Harper’s arm in a patronizing manner. “Harper, Earth isn’t what she used to be.”
Rommie matched Beka’s stride and nodded. “Earth is just another slave planet among the many already claimed by the Drago-Kazov. She isn’t strategically important to our objectives.”
The captain of the Andromeda Ascendant chose that moment to step into the hallway and join the conversation. “Earth isn’t important unless we make it important. I think that we might be able to lend some assistance, Mr. Harper.”
Harper’s hopes rose at that.
Harper grumbled as he helped Rommie prep the Eureka Maru for launch. He was getting his wish. Dylan would help Earth but Harper was going to have to work for it, literally.
His task was simple in explanation while being complex in execution. He along with Rommie would incite rebellion among Earth’s inhabitants against their Nietzschean oppressors. While they kept the local garrison busy, the Andromeda would sweep in to utterly destroy all Earth-based armored units.
He sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily. They were going to need a miracle to pull this off.