"No. Unfortunately not," said Argus. He had been thinking about what Avon had just told him; about what had happened with Jenna on the planet. The two men were seated on the couches on the flight deck.
"You expected this?" asked Avon. He wondered why Argus wouldn't have mentioned that Jenna might have possible homicidal tendencies towards him.
"I had hoped that she had gotten over her obsession and moved on," explained Argus.
After serving the Federation for so long, I would have thought you would have grown out of trusting people, thought Avon.
He said, "Evidently not. She won't rest until I'm dead."
"That makes her even more dangerous than Servalan right now. At least with Servalan we have a temporary alliance."
"If you believe her," said Avon cynically.
"You think it's a trap? You don't think she'll honour the agreement?" asked Argus.
Almost said agreements. I have to watch that, thought Argus.
"Everything serves as a trap for her. The only unknown factor is when the trap will be sprung."
"Then why did you agree?"
"Servalan may be a devious snake but even she recognizes the value of working together for mutual survival. Within the strict conditions of the agreement, we can trust her to act for self-interest."
"And outside that, we should watch our backs?"
"Just watching our backs will not be enough with Servalan," said Avon.
"It sounds like we'll need to do some contingency planning before we begin this agreement with Servalan. Your experience with her will help in identifying possible hazards we should keep an eye on. Come up with a comprehensive strategy. Try to position ourselves in the best possible position once the alien threat has been neutralized. Maybe set up some additional security protocols with Zen and ORAC. But our immediate concern is bringing up the others. And deciding what to do with Jenna," said Argus. When he was planning, he found it hard to stop.
Avon was staring at him.
"Avon?" Argus asked with concern. He wondered if all of this talk of Servalan was having an adverse affect on the other man.
"Let's discuss Jenna," said Avon.
"I want to give her a chance to explain. See if we can work something out," said Argus.
"You're an optimist, Argus. Do you seriously think she'll listen to reason?"
"Jenna is a friend. I have to give her a chance."
Avon fell silent. A friend. I should have given him another chance. His stomach twisted in pain. He grimaced.
"Avon?" said Argus in alarm.
Avon shook his head. "I was…remembering something."
"Are you alright?"
"Yes. You said that you want to give Jenna a chance. What kind of chance?" asked Avon. The last thing he wanted to do was discuss what he had been thinking.
"A chance to rejoin us. If she is willing to put aside her obsession."
"How do you want to do this?"
Argus looked at Avon in surprise. "You agree? You're the one she wants to kill."
"We still need a pilot."
"I won't take her back onboard unless I'm sure that she won't try to kill you," said Argus.
"I still think you're being overly optimistic," said Avon.
"My psychostrategist escaped before the Security forces arrived?" asked Servalan. She was not happy.
"Yes, Madame President," said Space Commander Tau. "It appears that he and a female prisoner kidnapped the Senior Controller and escaped from the complex just before we arrived."
"That was very enterprising of him," said Servalan thoughtfully. She wondered why Sester had not contacted the Federation forces if he had managed to escape.
Where are you, Sester? What is that scheming mind thinking of?
Servalan remembered what Argus had said. Sester had worked with them in driving off the invaders.
Are you taking this opportunity to escape me? she wondered. Is that why I have not heard from you yet?
"I want him found," said Servalan.
"It will be done, Madame President," said Tau.
"What is the status of the operation?"
"It was a complete success. They never knew what hit them."
"The two most important people on the complex managed to escape. I would hardly call that a success," said Servalan.
"We will find them, Madame President. It's only a matter of time." Tau tried to reassure her.
"Don't make me regret promoting you Space Commander."
"I promise you, Madame President. They will be found."
"Make sure that you do. Now tell me about this female prisoner that escaped with Sester."
Sester came back into the storage room without Reya. The others looked at him with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. He settled himself on one of the smart beds, closed his eyes and leaned back to rest.
Cally came up to him. "Tell me what happened," she told him.
Sester opened his eyes and stared up at her. He could guess what she wanted to know. "Nothing that you have to be concerned about. Reya was just shocked. We thought that Argus was dead. She needs to be alone for awhile."
"I had almost forgotten how good you are at answering a question without really answering it," said Cally. "Don’t forget. I know how charming you can be. What happened between the two of you?"
"Don't pursue it, Cally. I'm not going to tell you. This is something between Reya and Argus."
"If I found out that you hurt her…" Cally said in a threatening tone.
"I would never do that. Not intentionally."
There was a muffled sound. It sounded like a voice. They all looked around for the source.
"It's the bag," said Vila. He opened up the equipment satchel.
This time they clearly heard, "Cally, this is Argus. Respond."
"That's Argus!" said Vila. He started rummaging through the bag and pulled out Cally's teleport bracelet.
"Cally, this is Argus. Respond please."
Vila activated the comm on the bracelet. "Argus! Are we glad to hear from you!"
"Avon must have fixed the teleport bracelet," said Cally.
"But why wouldn't he tell us?" asked Allren.
"Vila, is everyone there? I'm coming down with teleport bracelets. How many of you are there?" asked Argus.
"There's six of us," said Vila.
"Six?" asked Argus in surprise.
Cally reached out for the teleport bracelet. Vila handed it to her.
"Yes, Argus. Reya and Sester are with us as well," she spoke into the bracelet.
"She is?" They could all hear the astonishment and joy in his voice. "Alright, I'm coming down now. Argus out."
Within a few seconds there was a familiar sound and suddenly Argus was with them in the storage room.
"I'd never thought I'd say this, but I'm really glad to see you," said Vila enthusiastically.
"Thank you. I think…" said Argus as he handed Vila a teleport bracelet.
"We're all glad to see you," said Cally.
"Where's Reya?" Argus asked.
"I'll go get her," said Sester as Argus handed him a bracelet.
"No. I'll go," said Cally, intercepting him.
"You don't know where she went," Sester told her. He brushed her off and went to find Reya.
Argus looked at them both. He was aware that something was going on but he wasn't sure what. He handed bracelets to Ture and Allren.
"I didn't realize that Avon had fixed the teleport bracelet," said Ture as he studied Cally's old unit.
"He didn't," explained Argus. "Not the teleport part of it. Just the comm function. He was going to tell you but events got in the way. And he didn't want to use the comm before the teleport capability was repaired. It would have given the Federation a way to fix your location."
"Then we need to get out of here as soon as possible," said Cally.
"Not exactly," said Argus.
"I thought you said that if we use the comm, the Federation would be able to locate us?" asked Allren.
"Circumstances have changed," said Argus. "I'll explain when we get back onboard."
The look on Argus's face changed.
They all turned to face the storage exit. Reya had entered with Sester trailing behind her. It looked as if she had been running. She stopped when she saw him. They both stared at each other, neither one able to move. The shock of finally seeing each other alive paralyzed them with joy and relief. The energy between them was so strong that they all seemed to feel it.
Argus smile shyly. "Reya."
"Argus." Her voice was a whisper.
From the moment Reya entered, for the two of them, it seemed as if they were the only ones in the storage room.
"Shouldn't we be getting out of here?" asked Sester, breaking the moment between the two lovers. They both looked at him in momentary confusion, as if they had just noticed the others. Sester could see the unhappy look Reya directed towards him. He tried to avoid her eyes.
"Yes. You're right. There will be time for everything once we get back on the ship," said Argus. He handed the last teleport bracelet to Reya.
He spoke into the teleport bracelet, "Avon, we're ready for teleport."