Post season 5.

Don't owe any of the characters, and no, I am not making any money with them.



The enormous spaceship exited slipstream and came to a halt shuddering.

The young ensign at the helm of the Andromeda Ascendant threw a quick glance over to her captain, who was still firmly holding on to his console, the knuckles of his hands white from the strong grip on it, his legs spread apart for a more secure footing. The less experienced – or less fortunate – of the crew on Command Deck were picking themselves up from the floor, dusting off supposed particles from their uniforms and helping each other along as they scrambled to their feet.

„I'm sorry, Sir," the ensign apologized with an embarrassed air.

„Never mind, Miss Perrault, the first slipstream ride at the helm of the Andromeda Ascendant is never easy," the captain calmly replied. „Everybody on board has to start learning sometime, and today is as good a time as any. One isn't born a slipstream pilot, you know?"

„Actually, there is one," a voice dryly commented on his remark, a voice that seem to come directly from behind the polished wall panel next to the main screen on the bridge.

Within a second the captain reached the panel and pulled it down, revealing an unruly mop of blond hair and a pair of blue eyes full of reproach.

„Mr Harper!" The captain's tone was one of surprise... and annoyment. „Mind telling me what you are doing buried in my ship's entrails?"

„Keeping her together, if you don't mind. And quietly asking myself why you aren't waiting for our born slipstream pilot before starting with the flying training of the new recruits. This insane rush through slipstream has blocked two of the main exotic matter converters, so I decided to look them up." Seamus Zelasny Harper, chief engineer of the Andromeda Ascendant was launching himself all ahead full into yet another one of his usually rather long technical explanations. Also as usual, Captain Dylan Hunt, commanding officer of the said vessel, Commodore of the High Guard fleet and self admitted technical amateur at best, was rapidly loosing his patience while confronted with a sheer interminable flow of loudly voiced engineering details.

„... that was no longer able to process the security backup files, which I fixed. And lucky for you I did so, because during this last jump your precious Ms ‚Not born a slipstream pilot' Perrault, in spite of her otherwise remarkable attributes," and here Harper shot an admirative glance towards the ensign's indeed lovely back, „also managed to disrupt three more conduits, thereby almost creating a meltdown with the hydroalanium transformator. If I hadn't been there, it could easily have blown up half the command center."

„Oh!" The captain looked down at the younger man in a somewhat sheepish way.

„Yes, oh!" the engineer concluded. „Dylan, as much as I admire your skills and everything, those kids are really, really green. And frankly, Beka is sooo much better suited to guide them through these first steps of slipstreaming. Don't you agree?" Harper added quite bluntly. Silence descended on Command, while the young man stood in front of Dylan with his back turned towards the other people present on deck. Blissfully unaware of the aghast looks the mostly new crew members were throwing at them, he suddently noticed Dylan's eyes close to slits only moments before he felt the captain's hand painfully squeezing his shoulder.

„Mr Harper, walk with me," the tall man towering above him suggested in an even, inflexible tone.

„What, now? What?" the engineer protested, „What did I say?"

„Walk with me, Mr Harper," the captain urged him anew, firmly pushing him towards the door.