Standard fanfic warning that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law. These aren't my characters. I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. Yeah, that's it, typing practice. Originally published in Gambit #2, from Peacock Press, back in 1988, edited slightly in 2010. Based on characters and situations created by Terry Nation. There is no intent to infringe on the rights held by the late Terry Nation, his heirs & descendents, the BBC, or any other parties. Be warned, this was my second or third fanfic story, and it's dreadfully, horribly, Mary Sueish.
by Susan M. M.
"Why don't you just say 'I told you so' and get it over with?" Roj Blake asked.
Kerr Avon looked at the bare, windowless walls of the detention cell, the rotating surveillance camera, the archaic metal bars supplementing the force fields. "Is it really necessary?"
"Not really," Blake admitted. "You've been thinking it as loudly as Cally."
Avon raised an eyebrow and smiled humorlessly.
"Jenna will rescue us," Blake assured him. "She'll come."
Jenna will rescue you, Avon thought. Their pilot , ex-smuggler Jenna Stanis, could not care less whether he lived or died, and gave only lip-service to Blake's cause, but Blake - that was another matter. The brown-haired, brown-eyed computer programmer wondered if Blake realized just how much Jenna did care about him. Probably not.
"And how will she know where to come? We were captured on Lahnu," Avon reminded him unnecessarily. "She won't know to look on Devlor."
"Orac can monitor Federation transmissions. They'll track us down - if we don't manage to escape on our own first."
"Ever the dreamer. "
Liberator's crew hadn't left much of the Lahnu Starbase standing in one piece; the Federation had been forced to ship the two prisoners off to Devlor V for safekeeping. A battlecruiser was already en route to transport them to Earth for their trials and executions. Supreme Commander Servalan had ordered the battlecruiser, not wanting to risk losing them again.
A Federation trooper walked past their cell and stared with unabashed curiosity. He wasn't the first one, either. Clerks and troopers had found excuses for two days to wander down that particular corridor and gaze at the infamous rebels.
Avon studied the trooper as one might a new species of cockroach. Blake smiled at him politely. The trooper, a young recruit still shaving on an irregular basis, blushed and hurried off.
"We're probably the most exciting thing to happen here in years," Blake noted idly. He ran a hand through his curly dark hair.
"For over eighty years," Avon announced. Blake looked up at him, a silent question in his blue eyes. "That's when the uranium in the asteroids ran out," Avon continued.
"You seem well informed."
"My brother wanted to be a space hero when he was young. I spent my childhood hearing more than I particularly cared for about asteroid mining, deep-space exploration, pirates - anything Tav though sounded fun and dangerous. The Devlor system fascinated him, since it had miners, pirates, and smugglers. The Devlor asteroid belt was ore-rich; uranium, principally. The fifth planet is the only inhabitable one, so boomtowns grew up here: taverns, brothels, overpriced supply shops. The Federation built a base here when the pirates and smugglers got too thick. When the ore had all been excavated, everything died away. I'm surprised Starfleet still maintains the base here."
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"Another gawker," Avon muttered.
"She's been standing in the corner of the corridor for three minutes now. Probably too frightened to come any closer," Avon sneered.
Blake looked towards the bend of the corner. A redhead in her early twenties stood there, barely in his line of sight. Probably some sort of clerk, he thought, since she was wearing civilian clothes.
Or perhaps not.
Followed by a half-squad of guards, the woman boldly approached the cell. One of the guards turned off the force field. the others raised their weapons and aimed at Blake and Avon. The woman stepped toward the plastisteel bars, the keys in her hands.
"No trouble, no tricks," she ordered. Despite her youth, her voice held a note of authority. "Keep quiet."
One guard stepped forward, binders in his hand. The others shifted their aim towards Avon.
"You first, Captain Blake," she instructed. "If you'd be so kind as to cooperate?"
This wasn't the time or place to resist. Blake held out his hands and permitted the trooper to shackle him.
"Sorry," the guard whispered.
Blake looked at him, confused. Federation troops rarely apologized to their captives. But now the guard was fastening another pair of binders around Avon's hands, completely ignoring Blake.
"Time, Siad," one of the guards reminded the young woman nervously.
"I know. Out of here," she ordered.
As they left the detention area, Avon noticed a sign on the wall. 'This corridor off limits to unauthorized personnel by order of the base commander.' It mentioned something about security reasons and had a sloppy signature at the bottom. Unless it had been put up very recently, Avon mused, the Federation's hired help were either illiterate or disobedient. Probably both.
Siad led the squad and the prisoners down two deserted corridors, then stopped suddenly. "All right, it's safe here. Unlock them." She smiled at her prisoners. "I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience, gentlemen. But the surveillance cameras are broken here - have been for weeks. This is the first safe place where we could explain things. I'm Siad Norliss. Jeri, get this back before they notice it's missing."
"Right." He took the keys from her, looked at Blake and Avon with an expression of adoration, and left.
"It was safe before, if you weren't such a worrier," one of the guards complained.
"Maybe. And maybe not," she retorted. "We can't afford to take chances."
"Just who are you?" Blake asked.
"Friends, sir. No, Dr. Avon, don't take the binders off, please. We'll need them in a moment."
Blake and Avon were both a trifle surprised by her use of the title. Blake hadn't known that Avon possessed a doctorate, and Avon hadn't been called by it in years.
"We're going to march you out of here as if you were being taken to interrogation. We'll be under observation all the way from here, so appearances are very important. You're tired, you're hungry - try to look a little more hopeless and a bit less like a demi-god."
"What about back at the cell?" Blake asked.
"If everything went according to schedule, exactly ninety seconds before we released you, the surveillance cameras suffered a brief glitch whilst tapes from yesterday were spliced in. If not," Siad sighed, "then I'm the only one compromised."
"Why should we trust you?"Avon demanded.
"Because these weapons are fully charged and I am completely unarmed." Siad nodded at the guards. Two of her men handed Blake and Avon their guns. "Conceal them, please; they're only for direst emergencies. Anything less we'll try to bluff our way out of. Do you have any questions? Once we start, you'll have to be absolutely silent until we're safe."
"We had bracelets," Blake said. "They're very important. Do you know where they're being stored?"
"They've already been sent to Earth for analysis. I'm sorry; the courier left before we could stop him. They were devices for your teleportation system, weren't they?"
Blake nodded. "They were also communicators."
"We'll attempt to contact Liberator once you're safe. Everyone ready? All right, let's go," Siad ordered.
Siad led the squad and the prisoners through the base, using backways and roundabout routes wherever possible. A few people saw them and stared. A few officers nodded to Siad.
"If anything goes wrong," Siad whispered, "take me prisoner. They won't dare to do anything to you if I'm your hostage."
"Why? What makes you so important?"Avon whispered back.
"My father is the base commander."
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"Is there anything more boring than monitor duty?"Corporal Ulas asked rhetorically.
"Yes," Sergeant Chirras replied. "My wife."
Lieutenant Boyington, fresh from Earth and unused to the informality and lax discipline of the frontier worlds, disapproved of the chatter. "That'll be enough of that," he silenced the men's chuckles. "Eyes on your jobs. Have you actually seen anything you've been watching?"
One of the guards grumbled a little too loudly.
"Did you say something, Rodriguez?" Boyington demanded.
"No, sir," Rodriguez lied.
"Look at me when I speak to you," Boyington ordered harshly. "What did you just see on your screen? Do you even remember?"
"Why, it - it was the prisoners, sir. Just a prisoner transfer," Rodriguez stammered.
"Which prisoners?" Lt. Boyington asked, a sense of dread coming over him. Like any Starfleet base, Devlor V had prisoners had all times, but only two at present who could make or break a man's career.
"Blake and his accomplice, Lieutenant. It was all in order; see for yourself. Miss Norliss was with them. Taking 'em to her father, I expect."
"Starfleet doesn't pay you to think, Rodriguez, and a good thing, too. Get me Commander Norliss immediately.
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