Saying Sorry is Hard to Do



“ The Nietzschean’s!”
“Harper…” Beka groaned.
Trance looked confused.
Dylan kept quiet.
Rhade was ready to explode.

Once again, Harper had succeeded in using his race as the butt of one of his stupid jokes. The annoying little blond man took great pleasure in insulting him and his people. Rhade felt his bone blades twitch with the fleeting desire to bury them in Harpers scrawny neck.

“Let’s focus people. How much further until we’re clear of this debris field?” Captain Dylan Hunt purposely positioned himself in between Rhade and Harper. The last thing I need is for my tactical officer to kill the engineer.
“We will clear the debris field in approximately ten minutes and twenty three seconds.”
Beka Valentine, pilot and captain of the Eureka Maru responded.
“Good. Thank you.” Maybe we can make it back to the Andromeda without homicide… Beka, steady as she goes. Mister Harp…” He was about to order Harper back to the engine room when the ship powered down without warning.
“What the hell?!” Beka exclaimed.
“Harper!” Dylan barked.
“I’m already on it boss.” Harper called over his shoulder, scurrying off the bridge.
“Weapons are offline Captain.” Rhade tried in vain to get a response from his console.
“No forward thrusters, no reverse, nothing, nada.” Beka unstrapped herself from the pilots seat.
“Are we able to communicate?” Dylan ran a hand over his face, afraid he knew the answer.
“Nope. We are completely dead in space. Why is it anytime we take my ship, it always ends up broken?” She glared at Dylan, daring him to insult her baby.
“It must be fate.” He answered her wryly. “At least we still have life support.”

“Uh…boss? It doesn’t look good.” Harper sullenly approached Captain Hunt.
“Well, go ahead. Tell us.”
Harper glanced nervously at Beka, who was obviously fuming, licked his lips and began. “Well, uh, the good news is that there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the ship. All systems are functional; they just don’t have any power.” He finished quickly, hoping that Beka wouldn’t blow a fuse.
“How could they not have any power Harper?” She crossed her arms over her chest, narrowing her eyes at him.
“Hey! I didn’t do it. Something in the debris field must have drained all the energy
Ten minutes…just ten more minutes… “All right Mister Harper. Thank you for the report. Would this mysterious power draining force prevent Andromeda from scanning the debris field?”
“Unfortunately, yes. However I, being the genius that I am, can possibly insulate the power supply of one of the escape pods and charge it with just enough power to make it through and contact Rommie.”
Rhade snorted at Harpers ‘genius’ comment. “What good will that do us? If Andromeda tries to come for us, she’ll be stuck as well.”
“Well Mister I-Gotta-Be-Negative-Nietzschean, I haven’t got that far in my brilliant planning yet.”
“Well get there Harper. The longer we’re stranded in this debris field, the more likely the chance of us running into something and damaging the ship.” Dylan ordered, saying the last part more quietly as to avoid a confrontation with Bekka.
“You got it boss.”

After Harper had left, Dylan regarded Rhade for a moment. “Why don’t you work with Harper on this one?” He suggested, trying to sound casual.
“What? Help Harper?! Your jokes are just as funny as his.”
“I’m serious Rhade. The two of you have to get past this.”
“The problem is Harper’s, not mine.”
“I understand that Rhade. But I need to know that my crew can work together. Consider it an order.”

“One more little bit, yep, and now if I can just get this…Ow! You’re a hot little baby huh? But don’t you worry. Daddy Harper is going to fix you up nice and AH!”
Harper’s one-sided conversation with the escape pod was interrupted by Rhade’s sudden presence. His eyes unconsciously settled on Rhade’s bone blades.
“Dylan suggested we work together on this…project.”
“Oh really? Well, uh, I mean, uh…sure.” Harper turned back to the panel he was currently welding around the escape pod. He had succeeded in welding several smaller pieces but the main panel still needed to be put in place.
Rhade watched amused as the smaller man tried to lug the large panel closer to the pod. “Would you like some assistance Harper?” He asked, not hiding his smug expression.
“No, no. I got it.” Harper strained his muscles and pulled as hard as he could but only managed to move the panel a few inches.
“Allow me.” Using only one hand, Rhade lifted the panel from the deck and placed it into positioned. “Shall I hold it place for you?”
“Um, yeah, sure. That would be swell.”

They worked in silence for a few minutes before Harper spoke again. “Uh, you know big guy, the jokes aren’t really personal. I mean, they’re not even that funny.”
“They aren’t funny at all.”
“Yeah, well…what I’m trying to say is…”
“You’re sorry?”
“What?! No! Uh, oh…uh yeah, kind of.”
“If that is an apology…”
“Rhade. Harper. Any progress?”
“Of course boss. Just a few more adjustments and she’ll be ready to fly.” Harper tweaked one last connection on the pod and the Maru powered up.
“I *am* a genius!” Harper exclaimed.
Dylan rolled his eyes. “Andromeda? Can hear me?”
“Yes Captain. Are you all right?”
“Yes, we’re fine. Something drained the ships power. How did you get through?”
“When you failed to return or report, I tried scanning the debris field. When that was unsuccessful, I used the lasers to effectively cut a path. We are now within visual range of each other.”
“Excellent. Dylan out.”
“I’m still a genius. My plan would’ve worked.”
“I’m sure it would have Mister Harper.” Dylan said over his shoulder walking back towards the cockpit.
Once he had gone, “About that apology?” Rhade raised an eyebrow towards Harper.
“All right, all right…I’m sorry. There. Are you happy now?”
“Now was that really so hard?”

~~The End ~~

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