Lunar Andromeda

Fandom: Andromeda/Sailor Moon

Disclaimer: All Andromeda characters are copyrighted to Tribune Entertainment. The Sailor Moon concept belongs to Naoko Takeuchi.

Rating: NC-17

Archive: Anywhere, just give credit where credit is due

Feedback: Yes, please! Send all comments to purenightshade@gmail.com

Author's Notes: There are some severe spoilers for the entire series, especially concerning the character of Trance Gemini. You've been warned.

Summary: After a brutal attack by the Magog on a planet belonging to the restored Commonwealth, Dylan Hunt decides to get rid of the Magog threat once and for all. Trance has a plan.

Episode 28: Terazed

The doors to the command deck opened again as Okami and Kasei joined the others. Rhade tried to stay calm, but the puzzled look on Kasei’s face wasn’t helping. She looked like she was deep in thought about something. Not wanting to bring what could be a private conversation out into the public like this, he kept his peace, deciding to wait until they were alone to ask her about it.

“Captain, I am receiving a message from Tri-Lorn,” Andromda said, appearing on the screen.

“Patch him through.”

Tri-Lorn’s face appeared on the screen. “Captain Hunt,” he said by way of greeting. “I’m glad that you could make it here so quickly. Though, if you don’t mind my asking, where have you been? No one has seen or heard from you in some time.”

“We had to make a side trip to Earth. After that we wound up on Callien and then made a quick trip to the Pegasus galaxy,” Dylan told him.

“The Pegasus galaxy? No one goes there. There are no known slipstream routes to get there.”

Yumeko stepped forward, bowing politely. “We did not use this slipstream that you people are so fond of. There are other far more efficient methods of transportation, means not known to the people of the Tri Galaxies.”

“Might I ask who you are?” Tri-Lorn asked, staring.

“Of course. I am Kiyoshi Yumeko, First Order Imperial Princess of the planet Kinshei, Guardian of Air, and Heir to the Queen of the Golden Imperium.”

Tri-Lorn was silent for a moment. “A princess? You have some interesting passengers, Captain Hunt, but under the circumstances, perhaps the Andromeda isn’t the best place for a princess to be.”

“Four princesses,” Yumeko corrected.

“And one prince,” Beka added, looking at Yuki, who flushed.

“My companions are also members of three of the other royal houses of the Golden Imperium,” Yumeko continued. “As for this ship being unsuitable, we are not the delicate hot house flowers that you seem to think princesses are. We have come to help fight the Magog with things that you cannot even conceive of. But, if you do not want our help, we’ll simply return home and watch as the Magog devour the Tri Galaxies. Ours would remain perfectly safe as we would be there to protect is along with others like us.”

“They’ve already proven to be invaluable in the fight against the Magog, Tri-Lorn,” Dylan explained. “Don’t let their pretty faces fool you. They’re all highly skilled fighters in addition to having excellent table manners.”

“Well, except for Okami and Kasei, but we’ll let their eating preferences slide this time,” Tenshi said with a smile as the two in question growled at her.

“I see. Well, we’re glad for any assistance you can provide. Please, join us down here for dinner. I’m sure that your crew could use some shore leave.”

“I’m sure they could. We look forward to dinner. Hunt out.” Dylan turned to Tenshi. “What was that all about?”

“What? The table manners crack? It’s an old running gag. Okami’s people eat very odd things and Kasei…well…it’s probably best that I don’t get too much into that right now.”

“Is there something we should know?” Rhade asked.

“No,” Kasei replied flatly. “It’s an outdated bad joke based on one incident eight thousand years ago and doesn’t need to be repeated.”

“Oh lighten up Kasei,” Yumeko said, punching her in the shoulder. “It’ wasn’t that embarrassing.”

Kasei gave her a look. “I never said it was embarrassing, just that there’s no point in dragging that up again. You two do that every single time we’re reborn and it gets tiresome.”

The blond sighed and shook her head. “We’re going to get you to laugh one of these days, I swear it!”

Kasei turned to Dylan. “If you have nothing else that you need us for up here, I have things that I need to do,” she said stiffly.

“No, nothing that I can think of, but please meet us at the Maru in three hours hours.”

She nodded stiffly. “I’ll attempt to be presentable,” she said, leaving the command deck.

“What is her problem anyways?” Harper asked. “She’s nowhere near the nice girl I knew on Earth.”

“Where do you want us to start, Harper?” Yumeko asked gently. “Eight thousand years of trauma and dealing with her family and responsibilities will do things to a person, even one as generally stable as Kasei. We don’t know the whole story of what happened to her. I’m assuming that she hasn’t told anyone but Yuki so it’s pointless to even ask us about any of it.” She bowed politely and left the command deck with the other two Guardians. Yuki smiled apologetically and followed them out.

~~~~~~~~~

Kasei sat alone in her room long after leaving the command deck, pondering the events of the last couple days. It was getting harder and harder to avoid reality the more time she spent on the Andromeda and it was becoming increasingly easier to let Rhade slip past her defenses. Head versus heart, she mused to herself. I feel torn, broken almost. I’m being pulled in so many directions it seems. I have almost no control and yet I have complete control. She shook her head. What am I going to do?

The door chime rang and she rolled her eyes. Oh great. I bet I know just who that is, too. She got up and answered it. Surely enough, there was Rhade standing there with his hands behind his back.

“May I come in?” he asked politely.

“Just don’t try to touch me, alright. I’m really not in the mood,” she said, letting him in. She closed the door and went back over to sit in the couch she used as a bed. “What do you want?”

“You didn’t come to my room so I came to yours,” he replied.

“I kind of have a lot on my mind right now.”

He smiled wryly. “Yes, I noticed that when you came up to the command deck. You looked distracted. Can you tell me what you were thinking about?”

“Assuming that I can form coherent thoughts, are you? I don’t even really know what was going through my mind, or what was going on up there until Tenshi made that uncalled for crack.”

“What was that about anyways?”

“Nothing if any importance, as I said earlier. Not worth bringing up. I think they were just trying to get me to laugh or lighten up or something.”

“I think you could use a good laugh.”

“So you’re here to entertain me?”

He shook his head. “No. I just came to tell you that I spoke with my parents just now and they’re going to be at the dinner Tri-Lorn mentioned. You don’t have to talk with them, but I thought you should know.”

“That’s all you came over here for? To warn me that your parents would be there?”

“And to give you this.” He handed her a wrapped package. “I tried to give this to you before but things kept getting in the way. I wanted to do this before we went down to dinner just in case something happened and the opportunity didn’t present itself again for a while.” He stood up. “I’ll leave you to your thoughts then,” he said as he left.

When the door closed, something inside Kasei cried silently. He actually didn’t touch me or make any move to. Strange. I half expected him to try something just to see how I’d react. She looked at the package in her hands. It was fairly thick and heavy. She peeled back the paper to reveal a book. Curious, she opened it and nearly dropped it in shock. Inside was a collection of music that was popular at the time she first came to Earth. Some of it she’d played before but had forgotten how. A few were songs she despised, but that was to be expected. At the back were songs that her band, Zodiac, had played. Written in red ink inside the cover was a message from Rhade.

Maybe some day you’ll trust me enough to play anything from this book. I hope this helps you find your music again. It would be a shame to have your guitar gathering dust and not be blessed by the touch of your hands.
--Telemachus Rhade

She looked up towards the door, staring. I had no idea he could be so thoughtful. She set the book down and went over to the stand where her guitar was and picked it up, making sure that it was still in tune before sitting down with it and the book, going through as many pages of songs as she could before she had to set it aside in order to get dressed for dinner. She was loathe to do so as it had been ages since she’d played and had forgotten how good it felt to loose herself in the flow and rhythm of the music. She felt relaxed, as relaxed as she had he first time she’d allowed Rhade to touch her, to make love to her. Putting the guitar down meant that she had to dress up.

The door chime rang again. This time it was Yumeko, Tenshi, and Okami, all dressed in their formal uniforms of black pants and tops done in the colors of their respective auras: light blue, dark cyan, and silver. “You’re not dressed yet?” Tenshi asked. “Not much of a surprise, that.”

“We came to catch you before you bothered wearing anything else,” Yumeko added. “We may as well go as a matched set. Yuki’s already got his on and is probably in a corner of the Maru somewhere trying to keep Beka from ripping the thing off him.”

“Those two are so weird,” Okami commented, brushing a stray lock of hair out of her face.

“He’s starting to smell just like her,” Kasei said, heading for the small closet in her room where her formal uniform was. “Aren’t we taking something of a risk by wearing these things? We have no idea what these people are like or how they’ll react to something like the senshi.”

“Who say we have to tell them anything?” Tenshi asked. “That Tri-Lorn fellow knows that we’re princesses and he chances are high that he’ll just assume this is some kind of formal gear from our star system, which is essentially correct but not in the sense that he understands. Besides, it was hard enough to convince Rhade of his true nature. Imagine convincing the three galaxies. I don’t feel up to repeating myself that many times. I prefer to let them draw their own conclusions about our clothing.”

Kasei snorted as she stepped behind a screen to change. “This may prove to be amusing, then, as we watch these people try and impress the princesses. Are we going to assume our usual roles or just stick to business as usual?”

“I don’t think that we really have the time to play games here, so business as usual. That should be enough to keep them on their toes at the very least.”

Kasei shucked her clothes and donned the black pants and red top before coming back out to her friends. “I have something to take care of before we head down. I’ll meet you at the Maru in a few minutes, ok?”

Okami narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “What could you possibly have to do before we leave? I’m starving and by all rights you should be, too.”

“I need to brush my hair, Okami, and find my jacket. I don’t know what the climate is like down there and I don’t fancy freezing through dinner. Better to be prepared, right?”

“Point made. We should probably get our jackets as well, just in case,” Tenshi said as they headed out.

Alone again, she took her hair out of it’s ponytail and brushed it out before taking the long scarlet ribbon out of her bag and placing a part of it around her forehead before twining it expertly around and through her long red-black hair. Next, she added an ear cuff made of silver and set with a rough and uncut star ruby, mark of the royal house of Nomaie, to her left ear. She took out a black velvet bag and set it aside, putting on her jacket. It was one of the most intricate pieces of clothing she owned. It was a deep scarlet red and was lavishly embroidered in silver and gold with a stylized version of the statue of Kanehjer Sherakasei, the representation of both the Queen of Nomaie and her Heir. It didn’t matter that Kasei was no longer the Heir. She was still a princess of the royal house of Nomaie by birth and was entitled to display her crest. Before doing up the jacket, she picked up the black velvet bag and emptied its contents. She took the shiniest piece and put it on under the jacket and slipped a second item onto the ring finger of her left hand. She examined the third piece for a few moments and then slipped it into a secret pocket in the inside of the jacket. Deeming herself to be properly dressed, she put on a pair of boots with thick, chunky high heels and headed off to meet the others in the Maru’s docking bay.

~~~~~~~~~

En route to Terazed, Dylan cornered the four Guardians and Yuki and got them to tell him just how they should be introduced to the dinner guests. They went over it several times, taking up the entire trip to the surface, until Dylan felt that he had it all right. Beka set the Maru down at the coordinates Tri-Lorn had provided. They were greeted by all three Triumvirs and the highest officials of the Commonwealth.

“We’re glad that you could get here with such speed, Captain,” Tri-Camille said, smiling. “We weren’t expecting you this soon.”

“It’s a very pleasant surprise, let me assure you,” Tri-Jema said reassuringly. “With the Magog on their way, your early arrival is most welcome.”

“You must be hungry,” Tri-Lorn commented. “Please, let’s go to dinner. We can discuss matters pertaining to the Magog afterwards. Captain Hunt, do you have a list of the names of your guests? I would hate to cause a diplomatic misunderstanding by introducing them wrong.”

Dylan handed him a flexi. “It took me a while to get it all right, but its there.”

Tri-Lorn took the flexi and scanned it briefly and nodded. The Triumvirs led them into a nearby building and up a short staircase to a large dinning hall where the rest of the dinner guests were waiting patiently.

“Thank you for your patience,” Tri-Jema said politely, entering the hall. “Our guests have arrived, bringing with them warriors from another galaxy to help battle the Magog.”

The crowd murmured happily as Tri-Camille continued. “I give you the crew of the Andromeda Ascendant. Captain Dylan Hunt. Captain Rebecca Valentine. Lieutenant Commander Telemachus Rhade. Seamus Harper. Trance Gemini and her close friend Aries.”

As they were introduced, they took their seats around the table.

“I would like to take a moment to introduce our other guests this evening. They hail from the Pegasus galaxy, a place thought unreachable. Their journey to come here was long and perilous. Please make them feel welcome. I give you Kiyoshi Yumeko, First Order Imperial Princess of the planet Kinshei, Guardian of Air, and Heir to the Queen of the Golden Imperium and her companions. Yoake Kasei, Princess of Nomaie, Guardian of Fire. Utano Okami, Princess of Ha’ven, Guardian of Earth. Namida Tenshi, Princess of Aiella, Guardian of Water. Yoake Yuki, son of the royal house of Nomaie.” As they were named, they stepped forward and headed to their assigned seats. Kasei noted that she was seated a few seats away from Rhade and on the opposite side of the table. He’d been seated with his parents. She made a note as to who they were for future reference.

Once the Triumvirs were seated, dinner was served and conversation sparked up around the table. The Guardians remained apart from the conversation, observing those around them while pretending to ignore the stares of the people around them. Okami especially was on the receiving end of a great deal of staring. The crew of the Andromeda had become accustomed to her ears and tail, but it came as a shock to the citizens of Terazed. Tenshi’s clearly inhuman face was second on the list. Yumeko looked pretty much human but for the odd slant to her eyes. Kasei and Yuki received the least amount of staring, allowing them to blend in more easily. It was easy enough to hold back from the conversation around the table as the other guests didn’t quite know what to make of them or how to talk to them.

Dinner was a three course meal. It started with a light soup made with vegetables and a kind of rice. The soup was followed by grilled fish and a salad. Kasei and Yuki ignored the fish out of disgust. Okami ignored the salad, and dismissed the fish after a few bites as it was far too seasoned for her tastes. The final course was a massive roast with vegetables, rolls, thin but flavorful gravy, and wine. Kasei, Yuki, Tenshi, Okami, and Yumeko all refused the wine, asking for water instead.

There was a break after the third course was served where the guests could mingle freely. Rhade always lingered near Kasei, but talked freely with anyone who wanted conversation. His parents stayed with him, asking him countless questions about his journeys with Dylan. They paused in their questioning to speak with Dylan and to enquire about the Princesses. Rhade took that opportunity to invite Kasei over.

“Kasei, my parents have asked to meet you,” he told her before she could object to being called over. “This is my mother, Penelope, and my father, Odysseus.”

Kasei inclined her head politely. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Telemachus has much to say about his journeys with you and your companions,” Penelope said. “He finds you to be most interesting.”

Kasei’s eyebrow twitched. “Does he now?” She looked up at Rhade briefly. “How interesting.”

“So tell us about yourself,” Odysseus urged. “What’s your home world like? How did you come to be on board the Andromeda?”

“My home world is a desert ruled by women. As for how I came to be here I was captured and tortured by members of the Drago-Kazov Pride,” she said bluntly.

“I hope you don’t judge the entire Nietzschean race for what they did.”

“I did for a long time, but after going home and having some serious healing done, I’ve more or less gotten over it. I’m still not to crazy about your people, but I can cope.”

“Well, we’ll just have to do our best to leave you with a good impression of our people,” Penelope told her cheerfully. “Telemachus, why don’t you take the princess and show her around?”

“I’m not sure that would be a good idea,” Rhade replied. “We don’t exactly get along very well.” As he spoke, his eyes were on the ring on her finger, recognizing it as the one she’d said had been given to her by Seikou. He took that as a subtle hint.

“And why not?” Penelope sniffed. “Our son is a wonderful person.”

“Yes, well, it’s very easy to when one comes from a matriarchal society, grows up hating men, and is brutally tortured by Nietzscheans. Things tend to bleed together. Never mind that aspects of his personality just rub me the wrong way. If you’ll excuse me, I have other things to do.” She walked away from the very stunned Rhade family.

“She doesn’t seem like such a nice young woman after all,” Penelope commented.

“She’s just in an unfamiliar and stressful environment,” Rhade explained. “She’s bound to act differently than she does normally.”

“That’s no excuse for her behavior, Telemachus. She was downright rude.”

Rhade stiffened. “That’s just how she is. It’s a part of her culture. Nomaiens are very abrupt and not overly polite as we understand the concept. As far as Kasei herself goes, that was remarkably civil.”

“You call that civil?” Odysseus asked incredulously. “I haven’t dealt with anyone that rude in a long time and I hope to never have to deal with that one ever again.”

Rhade swallowed nervously. “Unfortunately, father, you may wind up dealing with her more than you’d like if things turn out well. You see, I haven’t told you everything about her. There are things that have happened, things I’ve learned on this journey that have strongly affected me. She may not look it, but she’s the reincarnation of someone named Valkyrie Museveni.”

His parents stared at him. “How can that be? She’s not even remotely Nietzschean.”

“Apparently, Nietzschean DNA is very similar to Nomaien DNA. This is what led to her capture by the Drago-Kazov. Our scans when we rescued her confirmed their suspicions. After some research in the Andromeda’s computer banks, we found an image of Valkyrie as well as her genetic profile. There was a slight difference, but they are otherwise identical. Her people believe that it’s possible to be reincarnated across the racial boundary. Kasei’s brother, Yuki, in fact clearly remembers being reborn as a Nietzschean. When we were on her home world, she spoke to someone very important to her people and learned that we were both reborn the way we are as a test. If we could over come our racial differences, then we deserved to be together.”

“And you want to be with that…horrid woman?” Penelope squeaked.

“More than anything else,” Rhade confirmed. “I love her.”

“You would willingly be with a non-Nietzschean?”

“Technically, she is a Nietzschean, mother.”

“I refuse to believe this.”

“When I get back to the Andromeda, I’ll send you Trace’s findings. I’m sure that you have records on Valkyrie here given who she was and who she was married to, which brings up an interesting point. Why was she never mentioned to me?”

“No one in our Pride really felt comfortable with her,” Odysseus replied. “We knew of her reputation among her Pride, but when she chose Gaheris it was one of the great scandals at the time. Her Pride was annoyed that she chose someone of such a small Pride and ours was afraid that her choosing of Gaheris would lead to a merging of Pride Majoram with Pride Drago-Kazov. We didn’t want that to happen. To this day, some members of our Pride are positive that the merging didn’t happen only because their marriage was so short lived. After Gaheris died in the Andromeda’s fight against the Nietzscheans, she vanished with their only child, a year old daughter they had named Guinevere. Nothing was heard from them after that.”

“So Valkyrie was something of a shame to our Pride, a black spot in our genealogy,” Rhade said slowly.

“We’re just glad that she took her only child and vanished.”

“If she wasn’t approved of, how did she come to be married to Gaheris? Our Pride’s matriarch would have had to have approved of the match.”

“Do you want to refuse a descendant of Drago Museveni himself?” Odysseus countered. “That aside, her genes were most excellent, as was to be expected.”

“You do realize that if you have any interest in her, you’ll have to bring it up with the matriarch,” Penelope said smugly. “I highly doubt she’ll approve.”

“I’m uninterested in gaining anyone’s approval,” Rhade informed them stiffly. “I’ve made my decision to earn her approval and hers is all that matters to me. I’d hoped that you wouldn’t have any problems with this, but I can do this without your support. I tried being the good son: joining the High Guard, earning my rank of Admiral, marrying, and having children. All of that ended when my family was killed and I left Terazed. I’ve found someone who I care a great deal about and want to be with.”

“It’s nice to see that you’re determined to do this,” his father said. “But you aren’t considering the consequences of your decision.”

“On the contrary, I’ve spent the entire trip here thinking about that. I might be throwing everything away for nothing as Kasei has yet to fully accept me, but if she does, it will be well worth the sacrifice.”

“Why don’t you tell us everything?” Odysseus suggested. “If you feel that she’s worth all that, then perhaps you should explain the circumstances around this decision.”

He nodded and began telling them of what had happened since Admiral Jaynes had contacted Dylan to tell him that Arntzed was under attack. He omitted the sailorsenshi part, not wanting to try and explain all of that to his family. He told them most everything he knew about the Princesses, Yuki, their homes, races, and cultures and about them personally, leaving out the more intimate details of his encounters with Kasei.

When he finished his account, his parents just stared at him. “And you say you love this woman who lets you near her but won’t be with you?” his father asked incredulously. “How is that possible?”

“I still don’t fully understand it myself, but according to the person she spoke to this is in part due to residual feelings I have from Gaheris.”

“You and Gaheris are different people with identical genes, Telemachus, that’s all,” his mother said. “All of this stuff about it being a true reincarnation is nonsense.”

Kasei, who had continued to listen to their conversation after leaving earlier, came back with an angry look on her face. “Are you mocking my people’s beliefs?”

“Not at all,” Penelope said blandly. “We’re merely telling our son that it’s not possible.”

“And you would know this…how? Have you ever been reborn? Do you have any idea what it’s like to remember multiple lifetimes with the clarity of the one I’m presently in? Don’t limit yourself to what you know for sure. Accept that there may be things outside of your comprehension and your life may become happier and more relaxed.”

“You dare speak to us this way?” Odysseus sounded angry.

“Yes, I dare.”

“And what gives you the right? You’re not a princess here, young lady. If it weren’t for the Andromeda, you wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

“True enough, but your son left something out of his story,” she said, removing the jacket to reveal the golden double helix band on her arm. “I have chosen him; he just hasn’t figured it out yet. Frankly, I wasn’t expecting him to. Nomaiens consider men to be a little lower on the intelligence rating, but their generally pleasant appearance makes up for it. He’s just lucky he’s nicer looking than most.”

Rhade managed to refrain from dragging her off somewhere and celebrate. Instead, he looked down at her. “Why thank you, Kasei,” he said with a touch of amusement to his voice. “Though I think you’ve managed to infuriate my parents enough for one day, don’t you think?”

“I think your parents would get along quite well with mine just based on their levels of outrage at all of this,” she drawled. “Now, if you’ll excuse me again, I believe desert is being served, she said, putting her jacket back on and heading over to speak with Okami and Yumeko.

On the other side of the room, unnoticed by the rest of the dinner guests, Trance and Aries had been watching the entire exchange between Kasei and the Rhade family with some amusement. “Well Aries? Does that match up properly?”

The other girl nodded. “It’s not how I expected it to happen, but given the circumstances, there are bound to be some discrepancies in what I know and what’s happening now.”

“Do you think this will be enough to repair the damage?”

“I can’t say for certain, but it’s a definite start. So. Want some desert?”