Ship Made Flesh

He was going to kill Harper. He'd never been particularly homicidal before, so he didn't have much experience with the feeling. But there was no doubt that, right now, a dead Harper would improve Dylan's mood immensely.

What had the boy been thinking? His abilities were without question, but his sense of courtesy--not to mention his timing--was severely lacking. What if Andromeda didn't *want* a body? Had Harper even bothered to ask her? What if she didn't want to be anything other than what she'd always been?

What if *Dylan* didn't want her to be anything other than what she'd always been? No one had asked him, either, and wasn't she supposed to be his ship?

He frowned a little at the thought. It had never been a question before. The Andromeda Ascendant was Dylan Hunt's ship. Period. The female holoimage that she projected--that *it* projected--was just an interface that made command interactions easier.

At least, it had until Harper had locked himself in the Eureka Maru to launch his "secret project". Cutting Andromeda's internal sensors had been extraordinarily bad timing, and if the ship had been a little less resourceful there would be no one left alive to explain to Harper the error of his ways.

With any luck, Beka had taken care of that already. He'd been on his way to find out when Andromeda intercepted him, looking the way she always had, except... more solid. More real. An actual person--and one that, it seemed, he couldn't hold a conversation with to save his life.

He had to wince at the memory. The "uniform" that Andromeda's holoimage always wore was something he had taken for granted… until he saw it in person. For the first time, he wondered who had designed that outfit. Had she chosen it of her own accord? And if so, could she possibly have any idea how distracting it was?

Distracting. That was a good one. Of course she couldn't know. If she could she never would have appeared on the Bridge the way she had, trouble or not. It wasn't *that* hard to find a shirt on this ship, and she of all people would know how to go about it.

No, the reality of it was that it simply hadn't occurred to her. She was a ship, after all. What use did she have for clothes?

Not just *a* ship, he thought with a sigh. *The* ship. "Welcome aboard"… What had he been thinking? Could he have found anything more ridiculous to say to her?

Like Harper, of course, he *hadn't* been thinking. That was the problem. He just didn't know how to talk to someone who had never been more than a computer. He and Andromeda had been to hell and back more times than he could count. They'd been together for years--well, centuries, if one wanted to get technical--but she had always been "the ship".

The ship made flesh, now. It changed everything. Or maybe… nothing. And he wasn't really sure which option troubled him more.

He was going to kill Harper.

Run Away