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Errare · Humanum · Est

hc_bingo fic: poisoning

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Title: All in a Day's Work
Fandom: Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda
Pairing: none
Prompt: Poisoning
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 921
Summary: Harper, the larvae, and Weiss Brau. (He’s poisoning himself, sure, but he’s poisoning them right along with him.)

A/N: Written for hc_bingo. Masterpost with my game card is here.

Something on the console bleeped a warning, the tiny light doing its best to catch his attention. He shut it up by hitting it with a bottle of Weisbrau. “Heh. Problem solved.”

“No, problem most definitely not solved. Harper. What are you doing?”

Harper leered at the AI as she materialized in the hall near where he was working. Who needed beer-goggles when you could have tech-geek-goggles? Right now, he had both. “Engineering, Rom-doll. Like always.”

“Your use of that term is looser than usual.” She crossed her arms and frowned down at him. “If I were capable of getting drunk, I’m pretty sure the fumes coming off of you alone would do it.”

“You know I can fix that.”

“No, Harper, that would be the opposite of fixing.” She sighed, which was a fun affectation, because she was a bunch of pixelated light that definitely didn’t need to breathe. Unfortunately, it usually meant she was about to go all heart-to-heart on him. “How are you feeling?”

Figured. “Fan-fucking-tastic, my favorite little AI-that-could. Never better.” She just looked at him, in that way she had that made him squirm, but not at all in a fun way. “Like I’ve got my own personal self-destruct switch and I’m just waiting for it to get flipped. There. Happy?”

If holograms could sigh, he was sure she would have. “You know that Rev Bem and Trance are working their hardest-”

“Which is great for them, and I hope they feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside when they go to sleep at night. Me, I just feel fuzzy.” He sat his bottle down, turning his back on her pointedly while he went back to work. Sadly, pointedly turning around didn’t work with something that could just rematerialize right in front of you again.

“If you have a better idea, one that doesn’t involve any suicidal tendencies, I’m sure they’d like to hear them.”

He waved his bottle in her general direction. “I’ve got my idea right here.”

“...Harper, alcohol poisoning doesn’t count as a valid response to any problem, let alone this one.”

“Says who?”

“Says me and the entire medical community. You’re being ridiculous.”

Ha, he knew she’d slip eventually. “The entire medical community knows jack about getting the worms out of my stomach, though, so I think my guess is as good as theirs. Look at that. And from now on, I declare alcohol poisoning to be the leading treatment for an infestation of walking death.”

He heard footsteps long before he saw who it was. Not even Trance could get through the Andromeda’s access hatches without making some noise. It was just one of the reasons he liked spending his time in them. “Reinforcements? Classy.”

“It’s for your own good, Harper. Please.” The hologram blinked out, but he knew better than to suspect she wasn’t still watching.

He set about gathering up his tools, just drunk enough to have problems getting them all in the right places on the first try. The footsteps were muffled by the echoes in the enclosed space, his altered state, and the general hum of the ship that permeated everything down here. It wouldn’t be Rev, he knew that much. The Wayist was too magog for him to handle in an enclosed space anymore, and they both knew it. It probably wouldn’t be Rommie-the-avatar, unless Rommie-the-hologram had decided to have him dragged out of here bodily, but then, she might have gotten Tyr for that, too. More likely Tyr, honestly. Talk about the lesser of two evils, feeling safe around a Niet just because he saved you from worse monsters.

About the last person he was expecting was Beka.

“Hey, Harper. How’s it going?” She settled in, just like she could anywhere, as if she sat in greasy conduits every day. She had a million skills he’d never be able to mimic, but that was always the one he’d been insanely jealous of.

“Oh, you know, same old, same old. Death, destruction, and mayhem.”

“Practically your middle names. Other than Zelazny.”

He tried out a laugh, but it sounded terrible. “That’s me. If that’s everything, boss, I’ll just-”


He sighed. “You’re starting to sound like Andromeda, Beka. It’s not a good sound on you.”

“Yeah, well, depressed alcoholic isn’t exactly doing you any favors, either.” She half-stood, plucking the empty bottle out of his hand. “We’re going to find a cure. You know that, right?”

He should just agree and get it over with, but he couldn’t. He’d been doing way too much of that lately. “No, actually, you know what I know? I know that I’m the only one who’s ever had to watch a magog eat its way out of a person. Seeing as that makes me the leading expert on scary campfire stories, I think you all need to stop with the pep talks.” He glared at where he knew one of Andromeda’s many security cameras was. “Seriously. All of you.”

As if in agreement, sudden pain shooting through his stomach doubled him over. He waved Beka away, scrabbling for his inhaler himself and breathing the drugs in until the pain dulled. The resulting stupor left him slumped against a bulkhead, eyes closed. “They want you to mind your own business, too.”

He let Beka slide up next to him and wrap an arm around his shoulders. “They don’t get to have an opinion. They’re not sentient yet.”

“If that’s the deciding factor, I’m not sure I am, either, right now.”

“Yeah, well, nobody’s perfect.”

This entry was originally posted at http://envious-muses.dreamwidth.org/19183.html.
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