Avon bit back a curse as his sandals slipped on the slick rock.
"Don't kill yourself," said Servalan, both hands gripping him tighter as he scrambled for balance.
"Not until you're dead," growled Avon, irritated as the thong shifted. He firmly pushed it back into place, empty eyes 'glaring' in Servalan's direction, daring her to make a comment.
The people who produced his outfit needed to be given a piece of his mind. Apart from the thong, he was burdened with poorly designed sandals that snaked up his leg to the knee. Obviously designed for decorative purposes rather than function. The baby-soft leather rubbed against his legs in sensuous comfort, a feature he had no appreciation for at present.
His foot slipped again and he grabbed for Servalan's arm as they tumbled down, and down…rolling, bumping, skin scraping against rock…
He crashed hard on a rough surface, knocking the wind out of him as he heard a sickening crack and Servalan groan loudly.
Sester clung to the rock face, shivering miserably as winds howled around him on the narrow ledge. He felt like the target at a practice range, exposed and waiting for the coup de grâce. A bright red gull, its wingspan longer than twice his height, swept towards him, its sharp beak parted in a squawk. He searched frantically for a stone, miracles being scarce these days.
"Servalan!" Avon gasped, his winded lungs barely able to breathe. A dull ache from his left ankle quickly became a sharp, pulsing pain. Sprained. Wonderful.
He crawled towards the moaning sounds. The ground was wet and he felt like a snake trying to slide across an icy surface. His hand dipped into a pool of water. "Aah!" He recoiled from the frigid liquid, the cold going straight through him, chilling him to the bone. The continued moans made him forge onwards, feeling around the edge of the pool. "Servalan! Answer me!"
There was an incoherent mutter and then a raspy, "My…head…"
A head injury. This could be serious considering she was serving as his eyes in this forsaken place. "Stay there." He moved faster towards her voice.
"I'm hardly about to…oh, Avon…" said Servalan as she felt his hand sliding along her hip.
He lifted his hand abruptly. "Don't get any ideas."
"You always say that." She groaned, her head feeling like a throbbing mass. "I need a new head."
"That can be arranged." He pushed himself up to a sitting position, hissing as his ankle twisted.
"What's wrong with you?" asked Servalan, straining to see in the dim light from above.
"I twisted my ankle. How's your head?"
"I didn't know you cared."
"I don’t. But for the purposes of this exercise, you're my eyes."
"I feel strange…light headed…dizzy." She closed her eyes but the inside of her head seemed to be spinning. "I think I'm going to throw up."
"Face the other way."
"What a fascinating suggestion."
Avon waited, listening. Water droplets splashed down, making a plopping sound as it fell into a body of water, most likely the pool he nearly fell into earlier. At least there was water...but was it drinkable?
A violent shudder passed through him as the cold hit. The adrenaline rush was dissipating and he was feeling every frosty nip on his flesh and ache of bruises that covered his body. This day was going from bad to worse to nightmarish. Which reminded him…how long had it been since he was taken? He felt the ground around him, finding something hard and familiar.
Servalan didn’t throw up but she did groan some more. “This is...unacceptable. I demand...that you find a way out of this.”
“You’re hardly in a position to make demands.”
“I suppose threats would be out of the question?”
“Not when I have your gun.”
“You...” She turned and saw the faint lines of the gun in his hands.
Sester clutched the precious stone in his hand, ready for another gull or any hungry creature wanting a delicious Sester-meal. He'd managed to drive the other one away with fistfuls of dirt, and then he found the stone after it left.
Where was Argus? Did they catch him? Was he waiting for a man who was never coming back? He knew Argus would never leave him here, alone and hurt. The man was comfortingly predictable. How long should he wait before…who was he kidding? He arched his neck, looking up at the overhang that obscured his vision. There was no possible way he could climb out of his predicament. He stretched to look below at the waves rolling out. Swimming was an option but he would have to wait until high tide, which could be hours.
He heard a single scratching sound. Scattered pebbles came loose and fell far below.
What was that? He craned his neck to look down the cliff, unfortunately the ledge jutted out blocking part of it.
Another scratch and a spray of dirt.
Something is coming up.
Sester gripped the stone and lifted it up, aiming at whatever creature dared to tackle a psychostrategist. Or…it could be the slavers sneaking up to capture him. The chalky face of the cliff was the same colour as his pale skin, but it may not be enough. He was exposed on this ledge and anyone from the sea would be able to spot him. And they were searching for Argus.
A wet head popped up and Sester struck with the stone, hearing a loud whack and an outraged "Ow! What do you think you're doing?" Argus climbed onto the ledge, rubbing a red spot on his forehead.
Sester dropped the stone. "Sorry. I thought you were one of the slavers."
"Yes…well…" Argus frowned. "We're going to have to work on that. If that's all the force you can put behind it…"
"Well, excuse me for not braining you properly."
They stared at each other. Argus gave him the slimmest of smiles. "You have a point."
"Annoying, isn't it? Now…how are we going to get me out of here?"