A/N: Canonical one-shot from the end of 'Checkmate,' in The Prisoner (Sixties version). 100+ word story without containing the letter 'e.' The title refers to an isolated pawn in a chess game - since Six is very alone. Six is Patrick McGoohan; Two (from 'Checkmate') is Peter Wyngarde.


"What do you want?" Six had said.

"Information," Two had told him, as usual, but now it was unusual. Now Two did not want to know anything about him, only his plans.

Blond, sharp, tall, standing ramrod-straight within a spacious auditorium, Six was still staring at Two, divulging nothing. In front of him, a monitor spun with whirling stars.

Two, long and lanky, sallow, usually with a jaunty air and a quick grin, wasn't smiling just now. With all unwilling participants shut up again, this mod, flippant Two could afford such gravity. "You put your trust in that idiot. Why?"

Six hadn't thought of such a liability as his Rook in that way. Anyhow, his prior compatriot was now without doubt put into an isolation unit far away, with anonymous guards studying him, unblinking and continuous. "You put him into this match as Rook. You had to know that fool would – "

Two cut off Six, brightly, roosting in his round chair comfortably, his mouth sliding into a smirk. "So did you. And you wound up on a boat amidst nothing, brought in fairly simply."

Six's intonation was crisp, his consonants a hail of gunshots. "I will win. I will find a way out."

Two shook his dark locks, a swift, slight, and disparaging motion. "Will you? You could just say it, and all this would go away, as if it was nothing. As if it was only a hallucination from a minor malady." His hand ran along his colorful scarf, which lay slack against his coat. "Only a tiny shard of information. Say six small words, and you can go. Or how about just two?"

Not a word for Two's puns. "My information is not a transaction. I will not draw up a pact with you – or with your upcoming proxy." Six's conduct was as sharp as his words, his back and jaw taut and rigid. "Play your match. Bring Rook back, and all your pawns. I am not playing."

Two's mood was tranquil, almost lazy. "You will. Soon. Assuming, that is, that you do want to find out – "

It was Six's turn to disrupt things. A usual saying with its quick salutation had him strolling from Two's vast boardroom, his gait pulsing against whishing aluminum doors and bringing him into a fantastical compilation of buildings and sprightly music. This town – no, not a town, a gilt prison – was starting to look all too much as if Six should stay.

A black-clad blot on his far too bright surroundings, Six took flight towards a small knot of bric-a-brac buildings, trying not to count his gait against nonstop, cloying marching music that had almost found its way into his brain.