"All for One"

By Allronix

Genre: V, "Missing Scene"

Rating: PG for a word or two you've heard on cable.

Summary: During "Psychocrypt," a plan was made...

Gratzi to LN for the quick and dirty beta

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"Why doesn't that stubborn son of a bitch accept it?" Gooseman barked, pacing the lounge. "She's gone, a casualty of war."

"It's not as simple as it looks, Shane. We all know that," Niko advised. "Eliza isn't dead - not really, anyway."

Doc had been unusually quiet during this exchange, nursing a stout cup of coffee. It wasn't often that he found himself with nothing to say. Possibilities, calculations, and possible outcomes - the pure math of this situation was easier than metaphysics, an area he was more than happy to leave to the team's psychic.

He let the two youngest Rangers debate while he assessed the situation. Zachary had been having nasty nightmares about his wife in danger and needing help. Well, she'd been in danger for close to a year now - her body in Longshot's cryogenics room, her neural energy, mind, soul (or what have you) was encased in a small red crystal decorating Queenie's living room half the galaxy away.

Things stepped up about a week ago, according to GV's logs and Longshot's records. Eliza's neural readings were off the scale, and in a part of the brain that caused Niko to read the records and let out some words no one could translate (and didn't need to). What she could confirm was that the dreams were real - psychically induced episodes that were closer to telepathic projections than REM sleep.

Nasty nightmare or psychic tampering aside, it pushed Zachary to the breaking point. Doc decided he really shouldn't have been surprised. Their normally cool-headed, rational captain definitely had his moments where he went borderline crazy. Push the right buttons, and he could rival Gooseman in the berserker department.  

Now, Zachary threatened to resign, and Walsh confined him to quarters pending a psychiatric evaluation. This left the three of them to their own devices.

*A very dangerous place to leave us, Walsh, but I'm supposing you knew that...*

"They'll probably try and put in a new captain, unless they kick Doc here up the ranks," Gooseman said, startling Doc from his train of thought.

"You've been awfully quiet," Niko said, taking a seat across from him on the couch.

"I'm thinking," Doc said.

"They worth a penny?" Gooseman asked.

"Depends," said Doc, putting his coffee on the table. "I'm thinking about Zach."

"Any good ideas?"

"Not good ideas, Gooseman - just likely outcomes." Doc leaned back and looked at his teammates. "And the bad news, none of the possibilities or outcomes look good."

"Keep going, Doc." Niko was clearly interested.

Doc stroked his chin, deep in thought. "The safest thing we can do is nothing. We sit back, play cool, and just keep our distance. We just don't get involved with it."

"Zachary is our friend," Niko insisted. "And he does need our help. It doesn't seem right to turn our back on him."

"I said *safest* option, Niko, and I told you none of these possibilities were good." Doc put his coffee on the table and thought aloud again. "Second option is what BETA's doing - watch him like a hawk, close ranks and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid, but guaranteed...I think we know what's going to happen if Eliza dies, folks."

"Not what I'd want if I were in his boots," Gooseman said, a hint of rage creeping into his voice.

Niko shook her head. "He'd die with her. Suicide is a possibility, definitely, but it'll be more likely a living death. The person that comes back from that...he'll breathe, walk, maybe give orders, but the man we know won't survive."

Doc waited a long time before pitching his third idea, and even then it wasn't above a murmur. "The third option will land our asses in the brig...at the very least."

"You mean we help him?" Goose asked.

"The BETA security computers aren't as tough as Q-Ball likes to think they are. There's a fully loaded interceptor in the launch bay that needs a tune-up. We can pull it off...but it's all of us in or none of us in. I'll have to be at the terminal."

"I can tune up the interceptor. That's no problem," said Goose.

"You have the most to lose here, my Gooseman. Don't think I don't know about that shady deal keeping you out of the refrigerator."

"What do you want me to do?" Niko asked.

"Someone's got to grab the captain and distract the guards at the door."

"I think GV and I can arrange that."

"Hold on, guys. We're talking MAJOR hot water here once we're busted. Even if we pull this off, you know everyone will figure out we did it."

"It's nothing he wouldn't do for us," Goose said. The tall blond explained it. "Remember the MindNet? Everyone else in the brass - including Walsh - was going to send me into cryo for a crime I didn't do. I expected Zachary to hand me over. I'd already be an ice cube if he hadn't told that Senator where to shove it."

"Niko?"

"I'm with Goose on this one, Doc."

"You also know that going in alone against the Queen is suicidal. She gets a hold of him and - "

Another pregnant pause.

"I know what I'd want if I were in his boots - a chance to go down fighting."

Niko looked up. "We can make escape arrangements for ourselves. After all, if this works, we won't have anything to lose either."

Doc sighed heavily. "All right, then. All for one, one for all?"

Niko put her hand on his. "All for one, one for all."

Shane put his hand on theirs. "Ditto that."

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