They had provided a selection of games on the London to keep the convicts occupied: packs of cards, draughts, several board games. No darts or snooker though; nothing containing potential weapons which, given that lot, was just as well. Vila liked to pass the time sitting in on a game of poker or gin. The cards were so worn and damaged, it was easy to cheat and ensure that he usually lost in a minor way (he had learned long ago that conspicuous cleverness was not a survival trait) and that bastards like Arco either went down spectacularly or won suspiciously often.
It was almost second-nature, playing the fool, and it had served him well enough until now. Since joining Blake on the Liberator though, he'd relaxed his guard, surrounded by people who didn't see intelligence as a threat. It was nice not having to watch his language all the time; trot out a few of those delicious words he'd only ever savoured in his head. Yet if they knew just what he was capable of, they'd expect more of him. Funny they never worked it out that anyone who could get through the best security the Federation had to offer, had to know a bit about computers and technology.
Although perhaps Blake had. When they were stuck in that web, he'd simply assumed Vila could plot a course and do an atmosphere and gravity check.
Avon might have his suspicions too. Vila had caught the occasional speculative look, quickly hidden. Best to keep a few aces up his sleeve, but the desire to use his brain without any pretence was so strong, it was almost a physical hunger. And there might be a way now Blake had got all those games on Destiny so they could while away long watches and 'build team spirit'.
Worth a try anyway.
Vila set the chessboard down in front of Avon, and slapped one of the more flamboyant leather gauntlets from the wardrobe room down beside it. Avon looked up in surprise and raised his eyebrows.
Vila grinned. "Want to play a game?"