An Andromeda gen novel by Anna McLain, set in an AU version of the series. When Rommie needs some time away, Dylan allows her to go. But she runs into an old friend who has designs on her body and her mind.
"Are you all right?" Trance continued, concern softening her clipped words.
"Why wouldn't I be?" Rommie asked, thinking that androids seldom had problems.
"You weren't even blinking."
Rommie flushed and gave her friend an embarrassed grin, ducking her head. She didn't remind her friend that androids didn't have to blink. "I was thinking . . . as usual."
"Ah." Trance smiled, her dark eyes losing some of their suspicion. She seemed a bit suspicious of everything these days. She tenderly fingered the leaf of a cascading orange plant. "Perfect place for it. I think here, too."
Trance's eyes narrowed, then widened as she apparently decided that Rommie wasn't trying to pick her brain about the future she came from. "Why we're here. The big question."
Rommie gave a pained grin. "For me, that's easy. I am the avatar for the Andromeda Ascendant. High Guard Ship of the Line. I am a warship and little else. I'm here to do battle."
"Injustice," the android replied with a sigh, then thought about her response. "Injustice as interpreted by my commanders."
"Hmm, but you're wrong."
Rommie cocked her head to one side, confused. "I am?"
Trance smiled as she sashayed to stand before the smaller woman, leaning on a thick birch tree branch. "That's what the Andromeda is here for. She is a warship. You are an android. You told us before that you're a person. You can lead a separate life."
"But-" Rommie faltered, perplexed. "What would I do with it?"
Trance gave her an enigmatic grin. "Anything you want," she replied, waggling her brows. She pushed off the branch and strolled past the ship's avatar, patting her arm companionably. "Any more questions?"
"More now than ever."
Trance chuckled. "The answers will come to you. Don't think too much. Relax and do what feels right and you'll be fine." She turned and left Rommie there, once again staring into the air between the plants.
182 pages. $10 for PDF file version with color cover.