Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Ficlet: Ask First

Here's the last of the three stories I wrote last week for the b7friday women save the day challenge. Dayna and Soolin, about 580 words, set in season 4. Right at the end. :-)

Ask First

"I'm glad you made it," Avon said as they all gathered around Tarrant.

"So am I," said Tarrant. "Avon, I think he's here."

Avon and Vila looked at each other, Vila with hope, and Avon with a closed and unreadable expression.

A woman appeared from behind the counter of a comms station, looking somewhat dishevelled and hit the intercom button. "Security personnel to main tracking gallery. Security personnel to main tracking--"

"Don't, Avon!" Soolin pushed the barrel of his gun down. "Weren't you ever taught that it's bad manners when visiting friends?" The woman the comms station stared at her, startled.

"You shot the man who attacked Tarrant!"

"Pure reflex, and I only winged him. It might be useful to ask first." Soolin stepped into Avon's line of fire and sauntered over to the comm. station. She leaned on the counter and said confidentially, "Men. They hate asking directions."

The woman looked at her but kept her hand hovering over the button.

"My name's Soolin, but I doubt that will mean much."

"Klyn," the woman said cautiously after a pause.

Soolin put on her nicest smile. "We're looking for Roj Blake, Klyn. Could you please direct us to him?"


"You don't seem puzzled. You know who he is. Will it help if I tell you that the two of the men behind me are Kerr Avon and Vila Restal?"

"In person, and still with all my bits," Vila said nervously.

A corner of Klyn's mouth lifted slightly, and she thumbed the intercom again. "Security, stand by. Deva, tell the bounty hunter that the people he has been expecting may have arrived."

Blake wasn't the way Soolin had expected him to look from Vila's descriptions. "Is that him?"

"Yes, it's him." But Vila sounded a little wary, and Avon brought his gun up again.

"He sold us, Avon," Tarrant said.

"Is that true?"

"Avon, it's me!" Bake started to move forward.

"Stay there. And have you? Betrayed me?"

"Tarrant misunderstood. I set all this up!"

Dayna rolled her eyes. "Set what up?" she demanded. "A trap, or this base? What?"

"Blake looked hurt. "This base, of course." He looked at Avon. "I was waiting for you."

Avon bared his teeth, and Dayna screwed her face up. "You mean you were expecting us? 'Waiting for' sounds a bit ambushy to me."

"Expecting, waiting, what does it matter?" Blake said impatiently. "I set up this base, built the beginnings of an army, and I hoped that you might hear and come to join us."

"Now 'hoped'," Soolin muttered to herself as she stood quietly to one side watching it all, "is a good word."

The woman standing on guard beside Blake lifted her gun. "Well, well. I seem to have got more than I expected in this little nest of rebels. Drop your guns."

Avon stood unmoving, still staring at Blake, his gun pointed down, as the others around him complied. Soolin, unnoticed, slid behind a column.

"You're a Federation agent?" asked Tarrant.

"Federation officer!"

Soolin stepped out and fired. "There won't be just one," she said, checking that the corpse was one. "They hunt in packs."

"Unauthorised entry to the landing silo," announced Klyn.

"There's a nice narrow bottleneck between here and there," Dayna said joyfully. "If we're quick."

"Security team A to the silo, team B to the tracking gallery!" yelled Klyn.

Blake bent to pick up Arlen's gun. "Come on!"

As they ran out, he and Avon were shoulder-to-shoulder.

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