Orvana (helenorvana) wrote,
Orvana
helenorvana

Andromeda thoughts

There are some fandoms which I love dearly and yet have no desire whatsoever to read fic for. Andromeda is one of those, and I can’t quite figure out why. It’s not that I don’t find myself invested in it - I truly enjoy it, and I love (most) of the characters, and I love the setting. But I just don’t want to read fic. Or rather, I suppose I’d enjoy reading fic if it were entirely gen and character-study sort of fic, but I don’t actually want to read anything with a good deal of plot, and absolutely no PWPs. Which, if you know me, the latter isn’t really a surprise but the first definitely is. But the fandom is small enough that I really doubt such stuff exists.

The only ship in Andromeda that is almost blatant in canon (Andromeda succeeds in being one of the few shows I enjoy that really comes off as entirely gen except for a small, understandable handful of cases) is Harper/Tyr. And while I genuinely love Harper, and would normally read slash because it’s the only thing available, I just can’t stand Tyr, and it’s a strong enough dislike that I just can’t talk myself into reading Harper/Tyr fic just for the sake of reading Andromeda fic.

Yes, I’ve been on a bit of an Andromeda kick the last week or so, re-watching my favorite episodes. My favorite character tends to oscillate between Trance and Rommie/Andromeda, because the concept of both is utterly fascinating. When Trance was describing her fellow Avatar in one of the earlier seasons, who’d incited a civil war because “he was bored” - that’s fascinating. Yes, I already used that word, but whatever. Think about it. The avatar of a sun is nearly as old as the sun - the star - itself, and that’s old. How would such incredible age affect behavior and personality? And Rommie/Andromeda has the potential for age in an entirely different capacity, of an artificial intelligence with specific programming, as a warship. That’s both terrifying and astounding. Characters with incredible life spans have always intrigued me - that’s why most aliens in my own original novel tend to live hundreds of years, and there is at least one that counts its age in millions of years.

Of course, this being me, I combined it with my other current fannish obsession, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga. I have an image in my head of Ivan Vorpatril taking a wormhole jump to hell and finding himself ten thousand years in the future, long after the collapse of the Galactic Wormhole Nexus, and the Rise, Fall and Restoration of the Commonwealth. He get’s picked up by a semi-retired High Guard ship named The Might of Barrayar, captained by a young woman who mostly does freelance trade convoy escort work, and whose Core Operating System/Artificial Intelligence has been designed and programmed to mimic the legendary Gregor the Shining of Barrayar-that-Was, lost when the wormhole Nexus collapsed - otherwise known to Ivan as his cousin the Emperor. And they go and have adventures for seventeen years while Ivan learns modern engineering and ends up in a semi-serious relationship with Gregor (the name the avatar chooses to go by, while the ship itself is called Barrayar), and then suddenly slipstream goes wonky and Ivan finds himself back on Barrayar-that-Was merely a handful of weeks after he first disappeared.

(And this is getting increasingly detailed - brain, STOP: This is ~a thousand years after Captain Hunt restored the Commomweath, Ivan teaches himself engineering while he's aboard Barrayar, stays there for ~eleven years, then the captain talks him into applying to the Argosy Corps of Engineers, named for the old Argosy Division of the High Guard and is a civilian department. They are the elite, the highest-rated engineers in three galaxies, and Ivan unexpectedly finds himself utterly at home. So he's accepted as a Chief Engineer (yes, I have a ranking system for them as well), works his way up to Shipwright, occasionally free-lances aboard the Barrayar, and somewhere in that time moves into an intimate relationship with Gregor.)

A treat for you: a conversation that Ivan has with Barrayar at some point during his eventual return to the future. (Also submitted as evidence Why Helen Does Not Write Fic - because she’s terrible.)

“Do you think you’ll ever retire?”

“Technically, I’m retired right now. That’s why Helen is my captain, and she and you are my sole crew. Otherwise, I’d be crewed and captained by Highguard officers.”

Ivan fought to hide a smile, more pleased than thought he’d be to be automatically included as crew. “I meant … would you ever volunteer to be decommissioned?”

“I don’t think so.” The speakers were silent for a contemplative moment. “We don’t tire as most elderly organics do. Whatever else we are, we are warships, masterpieces of organic design and engineering, and ingenuity. We’re built for the long haul. We may choose to retire, as I have, for anywhere from ten to a thousand years, but we always anticipate returning. There may be the occasional AI who chooses to have parts of their memory erased, or re-uploaded to a new hull if their own becomes damaged beyond repair, but above all, we seek to serve, and to fight and defend. We are soldiers at the core – what soldier doesn’t dream of going out in a blaze of glory defending his brothers? Our deaths shall be pyres worthy of our service. I may play the part of cozy, comfy, stodgy old Greg now, but I am still and always the Might of Barrayar. I carry an arsenal capable of destroying worlds. And one day, when you and Helen are long dead, I will return to the High Guard, and fly in the service of my makers once more. Though I will be old, I will still be mighty, and respected for my age, for my thousands of years of experience.

“In my twenty-four hundred years of existence, I have seen such wonders, and terrors. More than your mind is capable of imagining. Why would I ever wish to cut short my enjoyment of this great and vast thing we call space?”

“Curious,” Ivan stuttered after a long silence, feeling awkward in his apparent youth. “I thought only Gregor was programmed for wonder.”

“Wonder is not something that can be programmed, Ivan,” Barrayar corrected gently. “Wonder must be felt.”

“Well, do me a favor. Don’t go out in a blaze of glory any time soon, okay?”

“Aye, sir.”
Tags: andromeda, i like to pretend i can write, observations, tumblr came first, vorkosigan saga
Subscribe

  • [045] Bit of an etiquette question

    And just to clarify, this isn’t currently a concern for me, beyond the fact that I do own a gun, and will eventually have to deal with this. What…

  • Playing around with stuff

    We're learning how to make GIFs in my graphics class at the moment. I know, I know, old hat for most of you. But new for me! This is my meager…

  • (No, I promise I'm not spamming)

    Pro Camera Giveaway: Canon 5MKII or Nikon D700 MCPActions is giving away your choice of Canon or Nikon professional grade DSLR cameras. If…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments