"Commander Reve, I think we've lost Argus again," Sester told Reya when she came back. She had been scouting ahead as her three slower charges were making their way towards the tunnel link to the ship.
"Alright. I'll go look for him. You both keep going. Avon, do you think you can make it?" Reya asked with concern.
She had expected that the three men's conditions would hamper movement, but she had hoped that the drugs would make up for it. The drugs had helped, but only in making it possible for them to move. How quickly was a different matter. She was starting to be concerned. No matter how quiet the corridors were presently, the longer they stayed on the enemy ship, the more dangerous it became. They were moving faster than they had been in the cell though.
Avon said, "Don't worry about me. Go look for Argus." Normally Avon would have bristled at any indication that people would have to worry about him; but he could not deny that he was currently having problems.
Avon's face was pale. Even supported by Sester, he was not moving very fast. Being a week without his supporting drugs had taken its toll. When he was forced to concentrate, it was just manageable. The interaction with Sester and Argus had helped back in the cell. But now as they were making their way towards the tunnel link, the act of moving was not enough to occupy his mind. He was starting to slip into the world of the memories.
"Leave Avon to me," said Sester. "I will get him there."
Reya hesitated but there was not much of a choice. "It's clear between here and the tunnel. Once you reach the junction at the end of the next corridor, stay there until I get back. There are guards at the tunnel entrance."
"Understood," said Sester.
Reya went in search of Argus.
After Reya left, Sester readjusted Avon's arm around his shoulders in order to give him better support. The two men began moving forward again.
Avon's mind began to wander again. Being physically supported by Sester and the act of putting one foot in front of the other, had brought up memories of the walks in the gardens of Residence One.
He could feel Servalan's hands on his arm as she supported him after one particularly tiring walk.
"Here sit down," said Servalan, as she lowered him to a bench by the lake. It was not easy with his hands bound behind him.
Avon tried to catch his breath as she sat next to him.
"And what game are you playing Avon?" Servalan asked him.
"I only want to survive," he replied.
"You repeatedly say that we are not alike," said Servalan. "You are fooling yourself Avon."
Avon's breathing was finally returning to normal.
"You always think we are alike, Servalan. But we're not. Why are you fooling yourself?"
"Are you capable of anything other than games?" Avon asked when she did not answer him.
"There was a time," she began tentatively.
Avon shook his head, trying to fight off a memory he did not want.
"Avon!" Sester propped Avon up against the bulkhead wall and looked into his eyes. Avon's eyes were not focused. He realized that Avon's mind must be slipping into the memories. Sester shook Avon by the shoulders.
"Avon! You have to focus."
In Avon's mind, he heard Sester's words, but they came across as Servalan's voice.
"Servalan," said Avon.
Sester shook him again. "You need to concentrate Avon. I am not Servalan. I would be very worried if you thought I looked like our esteemed Federation President."
"Esteemed?" Avon asked. He struggled to focus on the image in front of him. At times he saw Servalan, at times he saw Sester's face; the two images seemed to blend together.
"That's it. Fight it Avon. You are not with Servalan. You are here in a corridor on the enemy's ship. Remember the blue leader. Remember why we are here."
Blue leader, Avon's mind remembered the enemy who was trying to defeat them. His mind returned to the present just as Sester lifted his hand to slap him across the face.
Avon grabbed Sester's hand. "No. There's no need."
Sester breathed a sigh of relief. "You were starting to worry me."
"Worry about yourself," said Avon flatly.
"You still refuse to accept anything from me, other than what is required for mutual survival?"
"I am not accepting anything from you. We are using each other. That is all," said Avon. "Do not mistake this for anything else."
"I could just leave you here," said Sester.
"Do you think you would get very far without us?" asked Avon.
"You have a point. We still need each other."
"Now that we have both made the same point, shall we go? I don't want to be standing here when Commander Reve comes back."
Sester smiled and helped Avon to move again. "Well, that is one thing neither one of us wants."
Argus leaned against the bulkhead and closed his eyes, trying to regain his breath. Even with the adrenaline and the painblockers, Argus had been finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the others. He had decided to rest for a minute.
Serves me right for refusing Reya's help when she offered it.
"What are you doing here?" a voice asked him.
Argus opened his eyes. A red uniformed technician was looking at him with a mixture of suspicion and concern. Red uniforms were virtually invisible on the ship except to other red uniforms.
"I was feeling dizzy, must have been something I ate," said Argus.
"You look more than just dizzy. You look liked you've been beaten up," said the technician with concern. Red uniforms stuck up for each other.
"Well..." Argus wasn't quite sure what story to give to the man.
"You look familiar," said the technician with a puzzled tone. The man looked intently at Argus's face.
"I look like a lot of people. Must be the uniform," said Argus.
"No. You do not look like a lot of people," said the technician. "In fact…" There was a look of recognition on the man's face. The technician was about to say something. At least he would have if he didn't chose at that moment to collapse to the ground, revealing Reya standing behind the man. She had just knocked out the technician.
Argus could not believe that he had not seen her approach.
"I was about to take care of him."
"I'm sure you were."
"Are you trying to patronize me?" asked Argus.
"Do you need patronizing?"
Argus admitted, "I guess I need some help."
Reya gave him a brief affectionate smile. For Argus, this smile appearing on a familiar but now masculine looking face made it disconcerting.
"Is there something wrong?" she asked.
"I don't think I like this face."
"Neither do I," said Reya with consternation. She dragged the unconscious technician into an empty room nearby.
"Shall we go?" she asked.
Argus, with the help of Reya, made their way towards the tunnel again.
There were two brown uniformed guards at the entrance into the tunnel.
"Stay here until I get back. There are guards at both ends," said Reya. The three men watched as Reya walked tiredly towards the tunnel; just like any overworked and unappreciated tech.
As she approached, one of the guards said, "Don't they ever give you tech types any rest?"
Reya shrugged, mumbled something barely coherent about the deficient qualities of command types and continued walking without breaking stride. The guard faced forward and yawned, the red uniform had become part of the background again for him.
As Reya passed the guards, she seemed to casually extend out her hand. She struck the man who had spoken at the base of the skull. The guard fell before he had finished his yawn. It was so smooth and unexpected, that the other guard barely had time to register that something was wrong before he also joined his companion on the ground.
The three men watched as Reya pulled the guards' bodies out of sight. The entire procedure had been quick and completely silent. Reya headed down the tunnel to take care of the guards at the other end.
"She's almost as good as you are," said Sester as they waited.
"She is amazing, isn't she," said Argus.
"Perhaps you should run now," said Avon.
"And maybe you should shut up," said Argus.
"I think it's too late," said Sester.
"Yes, you've already said quite enough," Argus said to Avon.
"I wasn't referring to Avon," said Sester.
Reya came back to help them. "Are we ready?"
"Some of us are," said Argus as Reya took his arm and helped him towards the tunnel.
Avon and Sester smiled as they too followed after them.
"We cannot sit here and do nothing," said Cally.
"Why not? I like sitting," said Vila. "Sitting is under-rated."
"Now that we can contact the ship, we should figure out a way to use it to help us," said Jenna.
"Well, we still have the little problem of not being able to get back on the ship. Otherwise, I would agree with you whole-heartedly," said Vila.
The look that they all gave him indicated that none of them believed the "agreeing whole-heartedly" part.
"Well, I would," said Vila defensively.
"In order to give Vila the chance to agree with us whole-heartedly, let's try to find a way to get back on the ship then," said Jenna.
"We don't necessarily have to get back onto your ship in order to use your Zen computer," said Allren.
They all turned to look at the computer engineer, who was propped up against a pillow. Both he and Ture had been listening to the three crewmates bickering, not wanting to interfere.
"What do you mean?" asked Jenna.
"If your Zen computer contains information on the repair of the ship's systems, would it have information on how to repair your teleport bracelet units?" asked Allren.