Vila held his hands over his ears again until the screaming stopped. Even though he could barely hear it on the flight deck, for him it sounded very loud; because he knew what it sounded like while he was standing outside the medical bay doors. The thief really wanted a drink; he needed one. But while Avon was undergoing this terrible pain, Vila had promised himself that he would not touch a drop of alcohol.
If Avon can stand this, then I can stand being without alcohol for a few hours, he thought when he originally had made this decision.
It's been more than a few hours now, thought Vila. No, Vila! You have to do this for Avon! He told himself.
This really was an illogical idea but for some reason it made him feel better. It helped strengthened his resolve.
"There is an incoming communication," reported Zen.
"Who is it from Zen?" asked Vila.
"Communication header indicates source as the planet Zirgon, in the Athol Territories in Sector Ten. Command headquarters of General Borel Reve. Message addressed to Commander Argus."
"Commander Argus?" asked Vila, unfamiliar with this title.
"Confirmed. That is the form of address in the message."
Vila knew that Argus was busy with Avon in the medical bay. He would have to take the communication.
"Zen, put the communication on the main viewscreen."
A face immediately appeared on the screen. A man with a strong jaw and a youthful appearance showed on the screen. He wore an officer's uniform. Vila recognized the young man as General Borel Reve; one of the Reve brothers involved in the civil war currently going on in Sector Ten.
"General," Vila acknowledged. "What can I do for you?"
The man looked surprised.
"I was looking for Argus," the man on the screen said.
"He's unavailable at the moment. But I can relay any message you have for him," said Vila.
The man appeared to think this over then he said, "Very well. Can you tell him that we need him to return here. We have been tracking something unusual in one of the remote quadrants and believe that we will need the services of your computer unit."
"You want access to ORAC?"
"Yes, I believe that is what Argus called it."
"Are you sure?" asked Vila. In his opinion, anyone who wanted the headache of dealing with ORAC was not possessed of all the facts.
"Can you tell Commander Argus that Commander Reve is returning from quadrant eight with the relevant details?"
Why are we hip deep in Commanders all of a sudden? Thought Vila.
"I will relay the message, General. Is there anything else?"
"No. That is all. Reve out."
I wonder what that is all about, thought Vila. He activated the ship's comm to the medical bay.
"Yes, Vila?" the rebel leader replied after a few seconds.
Vila relayed the message from the general.
There were a few moments of silence then an answering reply, "Vila, have the nav computers plot a course to Zirgon and get us under way. Speed standard by ten."
"Alright," replied Vila.
Borel smiled as he turned off his viewscreen. Argus didn't really have to come back. All they needed to do was relay Reya's information and have the ORAC computer compute the required information. But by keeping the information to a minimum when speaking with Vila, they would not be able to figure that out.
Borel knew that Argus would probably jump at any reason to come back but he was not going to take that chance.
The young general loved his sister very much. It disturbed him greatly to see her so unhappy. The last time he had seen her so troubled was when their father had broken her heart. He had hated his father then; as much as he loved him. Borel could never forgive him for not loving Reya just because she was not one of his sons.
When they were growing up, Reya had always protected her younger brother from their father's wrath; even though it would put her in an even worse position. Borel had never been ambitious, not in the way their father had wanted; and his father always tried to force him to become more ruthless. The young general had never been that kind of person and his father had become increasingly frustrated with him.
His sister was the only one who encouraged Borel when he joined the military and proved to be a brilliant tactician. He remembered Reya standing defiantly in front of her father one day when he threatened to disown her for continually supporting with her brother in defiance of his wishes.
"You cannot disown someone you never even bother to acknowledge as your own!" she had shouted at him. He had almost hit her that day. Borel had been afraid for her then. He did not want his sister to protect him; did not want her to risk herself for his sake; but she was stubborn.
You were always much too stubborn, Reya. And you were determined that no one would ever be able to love you. You tried to make certain of that. It was part of the reason she had such a rocky relationship with Argus. You are both too stubborn and too strong for your own good, he thought.
Borel was stubborn too. Nothing would stop him from doing this. The young general was applying his tactical skills again. He had a very specific goal in mind.
You'd probably kill me if you found out what I was doing Reya, thought Borel smiling. But he was willing to risk even her wrath, if he could get this to work.
Reya lay on her bunk on the fast pursuit ship as it headed back to Zirgon. There was a thoughtful look on her face and a faint smile on her lips as she waited for sleep. She would be able to speak to Argus again and maybe give him a hard time; and she would be able to see him again. It was not as good as being with him but it was enough.
The commander was never one for sentimentality and had always ridiculed people who found it necessary to hear from loved ones constantly.
I wonder if it feels like this for them, she thought. Is it always this strong? How can they stand it?
Reya did not know whether she liked this. It was scary that it seemed like a drug she could not do without.
What are you doing to me Argus?
It also did not help that sometimes when she thought of him, she could almost feel his lips on hers again.
Her mind went back to that day in her quarters at the castle; after he had just asked her to come with him and she told him that she couldn't.
"You're wonderful," he had told her. The look on his face had been one of wonder and affection. It made her feel both uncomfortable and happy at the same time.
"I know. Now will you leave?"
"Alright. But I have one more thing to do." He took her in his arms and kissed her.
His lips were gentle and insistent. She had been able to feel his passion then.
Reya shook her head, trying to shake away the memory and the recalled sensation. She got up.
Maybe some exercise will help. A few sparring sessions always helped to take her mind off things.
"Where are you Avon? What are you doing?" Servalan wondered as she prepared herself for sleep. "Have you recovered from what we did to you yet?"
Avon's words haunted her sleep.
I would rather be free and go slowly insane rather than spend another day trapped here under your control.Perhaps I will end up killing myself. But at least I would be free.
She had always known that being imprisoned was something Avon never accepted. Even after all those years of being broken repeatedly, his spirit still fought to be free.
My poor Avon. You survived and now you are free.
No one understood her as well as he did; this was even truer now than ever. But he had walked away from her. She wondered what would happen the next time they met.