This week's b7friday topic is our little secret. Here's my take on it; 500 words.
Our Little Secret
One of the crew shoved Avon against a wall as he was boarding. "And who are you looking down your nose at? A trouble-maker, eh? I can always tell."
Avon felt something being pushed into his hand, and his fingers closed instinctively around it.
The man brought his face uncomfortably close to Avon's and whispered, "Our little secret."
Raiker slapped the sole female prisoner. "You'll come around. I can be very persuasive."
If that was an example of it, Avon doubted it. Curiously, he took Raiker's note out and read it. It was a proposal that he hack the London's records to say that all the prisoners had been delivered to Cygnus Alpha. It was in many ways rather a good plan--to 'accidentally' expose the prisoners' quarters to vacuum while Avon was in solitary confinement--but it had one vital flaw. There was nothing in it that protected Avon against also being spaced once he'd done the work.
He considered his options. They appeared to come down to a choice between a short and brutish life on a very unpleasant planet, and probable sudden death on the London. At least he stood a slim chance with Raiker. Perhaps he could convince him that a live Avon would be a profitable one.
Some time later, he revised his decision in the light of new data: Blake wanted to take over the ship; the woman, Jenna, was an experienced pilot and a capable and tough individual; and the seemingly harmless idiot Vila was undoubtedly more than he appeared. Avon was certain he did know how to open those doors--he'd seen the brief wary look on the man's face--and, what was more, he'd almost guessed Raiker's plan. Joining Blake's group offered a considerably better (if still small) chance of survival. It was a purely logical decision, but Avon was surprised by the strange feeling of a weight lifting.
"Thanks for helping me make that surgeon operate on Gan," Vila said.
"It was personal," Avon said shortly.
"Yeah, it was with me too." Vila leaned back in his seat and smiled. "You're not the cold bastard you like to make yourself out to be, are you?"
"And what would you know?" Avon said scornfully. He and Vila were alone in the teleport bay, indulging in a little combined chess and sparring.
"More than you'd think."
"In your case that wouldn't be hard."
Vila moved a pawn. "You were going to hack the records on the London."
Avon's hand stopped over his knight. "Ah. Not as bad a pickpocket as you pretended."
"Always useful to have an ace up your sleeve."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"I would've if you hadn't changed your mind." Vila put his head on one side. "I saw it happen. You looked relieved. Wasn't the same once you'd got to know us, was it?"
Avon was silent for a moment. "You're a sentimental fool, Vila."
Vila grinned at him. "Don't worry. It can be our little secret."