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Story by Mizor
Graphics by Pic
  Chapter 1

Beka vs the Port Authority


Time: CY 10090 AD July 5167
Location: The Andromeda Ascendant's officers' mess

chapter image It was mail call on the Andromeda Ascendant. The electronic mail had been downloaded and the bulk mail had been distributed. Trance and Harper were in their stateroom opening the packages they had received, the majority of which were toys for Aurora or seeds for Trance. Tyr was on Andromeda's firing range testing out the new telescopic site he had gotten for his favorite gauss rifle while Dylan was in his stateroom reading the book of poetry Andromeda had bought for him. That left Beka and Rommie who were sitting in Andromeda's wardroom contemplating the small box Beka was holding . The box was about thirty centimeters in length and three centimeters in width covered with a sky blue velvet like material with three red stripes, two narrow and one wide running across one corner of the box.

"Don't keep me in suspense, Beka" said Rommie. " It looks like a jewelery box. What's in it? Do you have an admirer you've been holding out on us?'

"Not that I know of," said Beka, "but the colors are Takahashi family colors. Ok, lets see what's in it."

"Oh my!" she exclaimed as she opened up the box. She reached into it and removed a necklace. The chain was braided gold. Dangling from the center of the necklace was a large stone surrounded by a dozen smaller stones. The smaller stones were a translucent amber in color, the larger stone was the same color but had a green stripe going through the center of it. The stripe reflected the light in such a way that it seemed to glow within the body of the larger stone. "Are those cat's eye gems?" she asked.

"Let me take a look," said Rommie.

Beka put the necklace back in the box and handed it over to Rommie who held the necklace up to the light to give it a thorough examination. "They are," said the ships avatar, "but they're only second quality stones. Not nearly as valuable as first quality stones would be."

"Only being about 35 to 50 thousand thrones in this case," retorted Andromeda's holographic self, who had appeared when Rommie began to examine the necklace. Her tone of voice showing that her opinion of 'only' was considerably different from Rommie's

"There's a paper in the box," said Rommie pointedly ignoring her holographic counterpart. She plucked the paper out of the box, unfolded it and read what was written on it to the others. "It says 'With grateful appreciation, Nikolay'"

Rommie gave Beka a suspicious look. "Normally when a man gives a woman a gift like this there's only one thing he's thanking her for. Come on, girl, what did you do to get this? Give."

Andromeda's core self chose that moment to make her presence known in the main viewscreen. She gave her avatar a disgusted look at the android's phrasing. "Been watching old vids with Harper and Trance again have we?" she asked her avatar.

Beka put the necklace back in the box. "Nothing that romantic I'm afraid, Rommie."

"It had to have been something," pressed holo Andromeda. "What was it? You might as well tell us. We're not going to let you alone until you do."

Giving the necklace one last look Beka closed the box. "All right, but it's a long story. It was before we met you guys. We had just arrived on Fenree with a load of zentsuji melons...."

  Chapter 1