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Deadly Reflection

By Kathy Hintze
Page 2 of 4

"You see, Madame President, I have delivered them as I promised I would," Miles remarked with a smile.

"Indeed you have, Miles," Servalan purred and gestured for him to be seated. "And alive as well. Quite an admirable feat."

"Thank you, Madame President." He sat down and poured himself a drink. "What are your plans for them now?" Miles queried curiously.

"I should think that obvious. They will be taken back to Earth and executed for treason."

"Oh." The assassin studied the contents of his glass.

"There is some problem?" Servalan inquired of him. "Are you seeking a favour for your brother?"

Miles shook his head. "My brother is a thief, Madame President, and a traitor to the Federation. I will ask no favors for him."

Servalan was puzzled. "Then what?"

"The man Avon," the assassin said slowly. "I should like to kill him."

The President sighed. "That, I'm afraid, is out of the question. Avon is far too valuable to me alive. He has information that I need."

"I see." Miles sipped his drink. "And afterwards?"

She regarded him for a moment. "Afterwards, perhaps."

"Madame President?" her aide's voice called from the desk communicator.

"Yes, what is it?"

"The prisoner is here."

"Very good. Bring him in."

The scene which presented itself to Avon was not totally unexpected. He had come to remembering the look on Vila's face as he pulled the trigger. That almost insane look of triumph. Now Vila was seated next to Servalan, enjoying a glass of wine, smiling wickedly as the computer expert entered.

Avon's own appearance was something less than admirable. The storeroom had not been cleaned for several months and his dark clothing was smudged here and there with dirt and oil.

"Avon," Miles began in feigned concern. "You do look a sight." He turned to Servalan and added, "Doesn't he, Madame President?"

"Yes, he does look a bit ruffled, Vila," Servalan answered, her voice lingering on Vila's name. Miles caught her meaning and nodded slightly. "Please, Avon, have a seat." She gestured to the chair across from them and Avon accepted. The guard who had escorted him there remained at attention by the door.

"Now what?" Avon inquired, his manner nonchalant despite the fact his mind was swirling with anger and confusion.

The calmness of his response was not unexpected by Servalan. "You see, Vila," the woman purred. "I told you Avon would not let this little betrayal disturb him."

"Oh, he's angry, Madame President. Very angry, by the way his eyes are flashing." Miles studied Avon a moment. "And he has a question, I think."

"How very astute of you, Vila," Avon commented in an even voice. "I do have a question: why?"

"Why?" Miles repeated. Then he laughed. "Can't you guess?"

"I do not believe that Servalan offered you amnesty and you were foolish enough to accept it. No, you're not that much of a fool," Avon told him. "There had to be something else. Something much more concrete and secure. What?" He leaned forward and poured himself a glass of wine.

Servalan smiled. "There was something else, Avon. I not only offered him amnesty, but also a guaranteed place of safety. Something he would never have with you."

Avon studied Vila carefully. There was something wrong, but he could not put his finger on it. Had Vila been captured and conditioned?

No. Vila had always maintained he was unconditionable. Then what was it?

What had made Vila turn against him and the others?

"Are you offering me the same thing?" Avon asked politely as he took a sip of the wine.

"No, she is not," Miles answered. "However, I might be able in my humble capacity to offer you a less painful means of death if you decide to co-operate."

Avon took another sip of wine, then set his glass of wine back on the table. "Wine such as this should not be wasted on Deltas, Servalan," he said, smiling at her and pointedly ignoring Miles. "They have no appreciation of it."

Miles flew to his feet in a rage and struck Avon hard across the face. "You shall regret that, Avon," the assassin cracked. "When the interrogators are through with you, you'll wish you had taken my offer."

Avon, mindful of the guard standing by the door, slowly wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth with his hand and said, "We shall see, Vila. We shall see."

"I think this interview is over," Servalan interrupted, flaring at Miles and standing up. She motioned to the guard. "Return him to his cell."

"Yes, Madame President."

"I think I'll go along and check on the others," Miles announced with a strange look in his eyes.

Servalan caught his arm and drew him back. "Remember this, Miles," she warned in a soft, yet dangerous tone. "Avon has information I want and I do not want him injured or harmed...in any way. Do you understand?"

He caught the warning in her voice and nodded. "I understand all too well, Madame President."

The guard led the way out with Miles bringing up the rear, his gun pointed directly at Avon's back.

"I imagine the others are awake by now?" Miles said conversationally as the trio walked down a deserted corridor. "But I doubt if you'll get to see them." He gestured at the space around them. "This section of the base is still largely unoccupied as you can see. Servalan planned it that way. When her interrogators arrive, they'll have all the space and privacy they require in order to work on you. I look forward to that, Avon, watching you squirm under their hands. I look forward to that immensely."

"You seem to know a lot about her plans, Vila. How is that?" Avon asked.

"I've been planning this a long time, Avon," Miles replied. "A very long time.

"Obviously," Avon observed than went silent, his mind concentrating on finding some way to escape and tree the others.

And then Fate smiled upon him. As they rounded a corner, a Federation Security Officer quietly came up behind Miles and tapped him on the shoulder.

The assassin whirled around, instinctively striking out. At the same time, Avon attacked the guard in front of him, delivering a death blow to the neck.

He grabbed the guard's weapon and spun about. Miles was just turning, gun in hand when Avon fired, catching the assassin square in the chest.

Miles dropped to his knees, stared at Avon in surprise, then fell face forward to the floor. Avon glanced up and down the corridor but no alarm had been raised. He left the bodies lying where they had fallen and made his way quickly back to Servalan's office.

#

The door to the outer office slid open but no one came in, so her aide went to investigate. There was a grunt and Avon entered, dragging the young man's limp body inside. Then he calmly walked into Servalan's office.

Madame President's back was turned as she viewed the latest news from Earth on her visi-screen. "That's old news, Servalan," Avon's voice cracked. She spun her chair around to find the gun in Avon's hand inches from her head.

Her surprise was quickly hidden. "So you've escaped," she said unnecessarily. "What do you want?"

"I should think it obvious," he replied coolly. "First, you will furnish me with our teleport bracelets. Then you will take me to where the others are being held."

"And if I do not?" Servalan inquired.

"It could become quite unpleasant for you," Avon threatened.

She shrugged and stood up. "Very well."

#

The door to the cell slid open and Servalan, pushed roughly from behind, staggered in followed closely by Avon who narrowly missed getting his skull split open by a piece of metal held by Dayna.

"I see," he commented wryly, looking at Dayna, "that you were already prepared to escape."

"Something you seem to have accomplished," Tarrant answered. "Where's Vila?"

"Dead," Avon said simply. "Unless you want to join him, I suggest you put these on." He handed out the teleport bracelets Servalan had taken from the sentry's desk down the hall, then activated his own.

"All right, Orac, bring us up."

They waited. Nothing happened.

"We're shielded here, Avon," Servalan announced with a smile. "You can't escape. You might as well give up."

"I think not," he told her coldly. Avon looked at Tarrant. "Check the hall."

The pilot stepped past them and opened it cautiously. There was no one in sight. "All clear," he called.

"Now, Madame President," Avon ordered, and grabbed her arm. "You will escort us outside the base."

"And then what?" she challenged. "You'll kill me?"

"Perhaps," Avon returned in a tight voice. "Now move." He pushed her in front of him. Dayna and Cally followed behind them while Tarrant scouted ahead.

#


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