Show: Andromeda but centered on OC
Part: 1 of 1
Setting/Season: Between Season 4 and 5
Spoilers: Kind of if you haven't seen the end of Season 4.
Warnings: Talk of Violence and Death
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Andromeda characters so don’t sue me. Sirees is mine.
Summary: Sirees from my stories "Just A World Away" and "Past Sins" has been reassigned to recruit officers for the war against the Abyss. This story is just an internal view of her respect for Dylan and the officers who fight for the Commonwealth.
A/N: Written for a friend who has fought for us. Sirees is my pen-name but I snatched it up after I wrote my first story about this character because despite her often surly attitude, I quite like her.
What would happen if you royally pissed off a Nietzschean?
Have you ever killed a Nietzschean?
How many people have you killed?
Have you ever come face to face with a Magog?
Do you know Dylan Hunt?
Are they serious? The questions you get when going from school to school as ordered by your superior officers. So my ship was destroyed and nearly all my crew died. I should still be out there helping. The Magog and Nietzscheans are breathing down our necks and they have me visiting schools. I’m a fighter not a babysitter. I don’t do well with small children. And I told Tri-Lorn as much which is why he sent me to a high school.
“Recruit them if you can?”
Do I look like a salesman?
Right now I’m standing in front of a classroom full of teenagers as the teacher introduces me. I’m in what I always wear. A black leather, fitted uniform with a high collar and my rank insignia displayed as it should be. My hair is pinned back, not that I would normally bother, and I’m standing like I was raised to be a High Guard officer. I don’t even play by the rules normally, but here I bring the appearance of someone trained. I’m trying to bring the polished feel Dylan does.
Mrs. McLillian turns to me after she tells her class to welcome me. She gives me a strange look which I also noticed she gave me when I first met her this morning. She probably thinks there’s something’s wrong with me that I’m a woman and I’m a High Guard captain; it’s strange how some still hold to such an attitudes.
“Hello. I am Captain Sirees Anwar and I was told by my superiors you might be interested in hearing something about the High Guard. Can’t really see why you would but I’ll humor the lot of them anyway.”
Laughs. Strange, I was serious.
Why would these boys and girls want to become men and women of the High Guard? So they can watch their friends and families die? The Argosy training doesn’t prepare you for what you’ll see. They don’t know that and hopefully they never will, but truth be told the High Guard could use the fresh blood.
I’ve crossed the room and now I turn to look at them again. I’ve chosen to hide my purple eyes behind my preferred green. It will evoke fewer questions. “I received the questions from your teacher and just grabbed a handful to answer here.”
I look at them completely serious and then start in. “Pissing off a Nietzschean is a really bad idea because they might try to kill you or simply betray you in the long run. So best keep the ones on our side firmly planted where they are. And yes I’ve killed Nietzscheans, an entire invasion party, with the help of a recent charter planet called Ladonia. The people wanted to keep their planet instead of letting it fall to the Dragans.”
I mentally shake my head because I am the one who took these questions without really reading the others. So I’m stuck and have to answer them because I was sent here to talk to these kids and this is part of it. Dylan would be laughing right about now and I can almost see that smug expression he can get when he knows he’s right. “I’ve killed a lot of people. Some died under my command. And I’d rather not talk about any of them. As for the Magog, not a pleasant subject either but the answer is yes, I’ve come face to face with a Magog and I’ve killed all that I’ve encountered.”
Dylan faced something similar. He faced the world ship only a year after being with his new crew and they’d all survived. My crew wasn’t as lucky but there were far more of them, but Dylan went on to create the Commonwealth as it is now… not perfect but it exist and can be changed.
I mentally sigh. It hasn’t been that longs since I was told Dylan betrayed the Commonwealth and was hiding a rouge Nietzschean aboard Andromeda, but I don’t believe the facts are accurate and I’m hoping these teenagers don’t ask about it. “Yes, I know Dylan Hunt.”
“Short and to the point, but there’s more to you than you are admitting.”
I look through the crowd of teenagers to find one boy staring intently at me. I know he is the one who spoke up and wonder what exactly he’s referring too. I’m curious and so I step in closer to my audience. “Well don’t be shy now. Say what’s on your mind.”
The boy nods to me as he pushes himself out of his chair. “I took the liberty of looking you up last night. Your file says you’ve been reposted. There aren’t too many reasons why a Commonwealth Captain is reposted and fewer reasons why you’d be reposted to PR patrol.”
“Do tell?” I’m curious now. Not only does this kid think like Dylan but he’s got that arrogant ‘I know something about you’ thing I actually like about Dylan. Plus he’s got that way of getting to the point slowly. That’s all me.
“According to what I’ve read, you’d have to be under review for something or…”
I hold out my hand because I can already hear the words as they scrabble around in his brain and I can’t bear to hear them in that second. It is rather kind of him to halt his revelation while I inwardly pull myself together. “Or my ship was destroyed.” The boy nods but he doesn’t sit down and I can tell he knows more than he’s already said. “Tell me what else you figured out?”
“I remember the reports about Zephyrus and went back to check them over and right there in black and white it states you were Zephyrus’s captain when it was destroyed.”
“He. When he was destroyed.” I look around the room. The sea of faces have changed and I can tell they wonder about me, wonder what kind of Captain I am that I would let my entire crew parish. “Like I said I didn’t want to talk about the dead, but since you brought it up, might as well.” I shrug like I’m disconnected from what happened but the truth is it eats at me and I see my crews faces when I dream, which is why I feel sleep is the enemy.
I’m not looking at them but I can sense some of the people in their seat, shrinking down. They feel uncomfortable but the boy who brought it up is still standing. “What’s your name?”
I look up at him. My stare is of the warrior I’ve become; the one that took down the Magog on her ship and then the one who killed her own crewmen. “Josiah, while I don’t appreciate the memories this discussion has brought up; it does bring up something I wanted to tell you but knew would really put you off to the whole idea of the High Guard.” I pause, got to be dramatic. “Death.”
I watch Josiah take his seat. It would seem his goal was to open this subject. “Being part of the High Guard isn’t all about fighting the bad guys and winning. It’s about life and death. More prominently, death. One of my remaining crewmembers confided to me that the hardest thing was watching people die and knowing there was little to nothing he could do. As for me, being the Captain, in the moment, I was sure I could save everyone aboard my ship. After all I’m good at what I do and in the past I’ve always come out on top of things.” In actuality, it is because I’m different that I assumed I would succeed but such was not the case.
“So to see my ship being infested with Magog and to see my crew being killed almost cost me the only thing I have left. My sanity. I fought, I killed and I helped save a couple hundred lives, but nearly 4000 people died on my ship and when all else had failed I had to blow Zephyrus out of the skies.” This fact still haunts me but truthfully Zeph took all evidence of Tal’s death, which I’m grateful for.
I look to the faces and see the horror on their features. Josiah looks pained as if he really didn’t know what he was bringing up but he’s staring at me and I meet his gaze. There is no use in hiding from what happened. It is a matter of public record, well mostly. “Saving the crew was my duty but saving my ship wasn’t. Destroying Zeph was something commanded of me by logic and rules of the High Guard.”
My gaze breaks from Josiah and sweeps over the other 100 students in this very large classroom. “You never, EVER let your ship or AI fall to the enemy. Why? Because, while the AI is a powerful ally it can also be turned. The AI is a program which can be altered to do the bidding of others. Sometimes the AI is more formidable than one would expect simply because they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their crew but they are just as vulnerable as a humanoid crewmember.”
I see a hand and wonder what this girl far in the top corner is thinking. “Name and question.”
“Anna. AI’s are sentient beings. How can we destroy them without being responsible for taking a life?”
I physically shake my head. “You’re right. They are sentient. They feel, they care and they want to be with us. A ship AI and its Captain have a relationship no one can understand until they experience it. Zeph was the only one I told everything too. He always kept my private musings to himself and when I needed it he always presented a logical spin on whatever nasty little mess I’d gotten myself into, but in the end Zeph knew what would happen to me or the Commonwealth should he be captured. And he chose to sacrifice himself. Sure I feel responsible and that is something I will have to live with but at least I don’t have to live with him being taken and used to harm us all.”
Another boy in the back stood up and is looking at me. My gaze goes to him and he quickly spits out. “Peter. Isn’t it your job to sacrifice yourself for your crew?” Dylan, where are you when I need you?
These aren’t the kids I pictured. No these kids are all about the ideals that make the Commonwealth great and they’d be a great asset to the corps. “Yes, Peter, as the Captain it is my duty to sacrifice myself for my crew. And I did to the best of my abilities, in the end all that was left was the Magog and I made sure they all blew to hell.” You would expect me to emphasis that statement but instead I say it like it isn’t really true because I know they are still coming.
I look up as a bell rings loudly but few of the students move and their teacher looks at me. “I’m leaving information with you teacher about the Argosy. Dismissed.”
They all file out, leaving their homework in Mrs. McLillian’s box on her desk, all except Peter, Anna, and Josiah. They are trailing, taking their time so as to be the lasts to leave and the last to put their work in their teacher’s inbox. I’m looking down at the papers from the students still clutched in my hand, but I raise an eye without moving my head, as the three of them move towards the door. “You three. They stop in there tracks, nearly out the door and now probably wondering why they opened their mouths. Mrs. McLillian is staring at them and me, wondering what I’ll say. I stand up straightening my posture and look to them. “You were not the students I expected. I expect the students who would ask me how many people I’ve killed.”
“You got them too.” Josiah added and I cough a small laugh.
“An attitude like that will get you into nothing but trouble with Argosy….” I eye them, studying their reaction to my statement before adding, “So wait to be a smart ass until after you’re out of training.”
Anna juts her head towards me. “What makes you think I want to join up?”
I pull one paper out of my stack, one I ignored because I didn’t want to address it in front of the entire class. I hold it up and read it. “What is it like to make a difference in the universe?” I look to her and then turn the paper towards her. “Same turquoise ink as your homework,” I point to Mrs. McLillian’s desk.
She looks at me with a slightly crooked smile. “And the answer is.”
“I haven’t yet.” She nods to me and I watch all three of them leave; knowing they’d make fine High Guard officers.
Mrs. McLillian approaches me slowly and I can tell she thinks she’s misjudged me in some way. “Be honest and we won’t have a problem.” I say and nearly startle her.
“When you entered my classroom, I thought this was just another ploy to get these young children to join your war. Promises of further education, training, and all the grand promises officers before you have made, but you didn’t speak of traveling to other worlds and all the glory of the High Guard. You told them they could die. You told them they might have to watch while people they care about are killed. You told them…”
“Yes.” She shakes her head and then stares at me again.
“And when I came in here, I saw you; a woman who judged me because I was an officer while you stay safe because of us, but truthfully that isn’t who you are is it? You’re a teacher. You watch out for these kids until such time as they go out and become what ever it is they become. You worry and you wonder but if they come to you and tell you they want to join the Argosy you will hand them the brochure without comment, because unlike me you’re here to support them, and I’ll be there to make them realize how much they should have appreciated your support when they were here.”
Her mouth is hanging opened as she looks around the room. “Well, the honesty from you is a little more than I can take so let’s just thank each other and move on with our lives.”
I have to laugh and I do. I don’t have many female friends, but I really think this woman and I could have been friends if I was more inclined to be a teacher or even lived locally. Instead I’m a soldier who fights for people like her whether she knows it or not and whether she appreciates it or not. I am surrounded by men and woman more like me everyday and tend to have more men friends than woman. Why? Dylan probably. He’s the ideal. Not perfect but what all of us strive to live up too. I thank her for allowing me into her classroom and she thanks me for being honest with her class. I nod to her as I think, “Dylan would have wanted me to be honest,” and I realize I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately.
As I walk towards the transport vehicle I keep thinking of Dylan, out there amongst the stars and I envy him. He is still fighting. He’s still trying to get something done in the now Abyss riddled Commonwealth. They say he’s betrayed us but a piece of my soul is with him on Andromeda pushing him to complete a destiny he was born to do.
As the transport takes off I can see Josiah standing on the lawn looking up and something inside of me knows I will see him again but I try not to think about it because it would mean having another ship and another crew… both ideas I can’t wrap my mind around.
“Captain?” The lancer at the helm grabs my attention away from Dylan and Josiah.
“Reports have just come in that Andromeda was destroyed in a battle with the Magog Worldship. There is a list of the dead.”
“Dylan?” I stare out the window praying this lancer doesn’t say what I already know.
“I’m sorry Ma’am, he was killed.”
I remain silent as we fly back to Command; Dylan plaguing my thoughts. He was my friend and the only person I truly trusted. I knew no matter what line he gave me he’d always help me. And now he’s gone and I must face the universe knowing he isn’t part of it anymore. Not only must I go without a friend but the Commonwealth has to go without the only person arrogant enough to shape the universe and the future. May the Divine help us all.