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Avon's Story

By Catherine Salmon
Page 3 of 11

Part 2: Long Day into Night

 

Avon sighed. Why now, Blake? Neither of us is ready to face Servalan. Yet you insist on an attempt to capture her.

Shaking his head, Avon half-heartedly returned to his work. Ever since their return to Aristo, Blake had been feverishly planning. Not only supervising the set-up of their new rebel base but also working on some secret plan to bring the Federation to its knees. Ignoring his health, he had suffered several relapses early on, which frightened Avon more than he was willing to admit. Furious, Avon had forced Blake to rest, at least temporarily. But now the doctors claimed that Blake had completely recovered, giving him free rein over his behavior once more. It seemed that all his energy was once more focused on his rebel cause.

Jealousy does not become you, Kerr Avon, he mused. I just wish that I knew what you are up to, Blake. I don't trust your fanatical streak. It will get us all killed eventually.

A sudden feeling of being watched caused Avon to look up behind him to where Blake was watching quietly.

"I see you're hard at work."

"Good morning to you, too," Avon snarled, nettled at being sneaked up on. For a big man, Blake moved very quickly and quietly. Blake's eyes darkened at Avon's words and he stepped close to the other man's side. Restraining himself, Blake gently placed a hand on Avon's tense shoulder.

"I don't want to argue with you, Avon. I came to talk about Servalan."

Avon felt his whole body tense and knew Blake would feel it, too. He looked up sharply, seeing the steely resolve in Blake's eyes that had been missing since long before Star One. The determination that had driven Blake so dangerously close to the edge was back and there was little that he, Avon, could do about it. He had to admit, he wanted Servalan to pay for everything she had done but he was not willing to sacrifice himself, or Blake, to some mad quest for vengeance. He hated the fact that all he could do was to stand by and try to protect Blake from himself and the risks he so needlessly took.

Feeling Blake's grip on his arm tighten, Avon focused again on his face.

"Tell me, Blake. What have you been planning?''

Blake's features softened at Avon's quiet enquiry and he began to speak. "You know better than anyone, Avon, how much Servalan has put us through but she is also the driving force uniting the Federation. Her capture and subsequent disappearance would have an incredible disruptive effect on the Federation, allowing the rebel forces a fighting chance. I intend to give them that chance. I am going to capture Servalan and use her knowledge against the Federation."

Avon openly stared at Blake. "And how do you propose to accomplish this feat, not to mention what you are going to do with her once you have her?"

Blake's excitement was almost palpable. "A surprise attack on her central command center. We disable their defenses with Orac's help and then I will teleport over and bring her back."

Avon felt alarms going off in his head. Not only was the attack risky but the idea of Blake being the one to teleport was absurd, especially on his own. I won't let you commit suicide, Blake!

"Avon?"

Avon looked up and stared into Blake's eyes as he spoke. "Your plan is extremely risky. However, I might accept it with one minor modification."

Blake watched him expectantly.

"I will be the one to teleport down. You are too easily recognized and your sense of self-preservation is not as highly developed as mine."

Blake's face had taken on his stubborn look. "No deal, Avon. I am going whether you help or not." At Avon's furious expression, Blake raised a hand. "How about a compromise? We both go down."

Blake's face was imploring in his childlike innocence. How do you maintain your naivete, Blake, in the face of all you have seen and experienced? At least this way, I will be able to keep an eye on you. For all the good it has ever done us.

"Yes, Blake. That would be acceptable. But I want you to agree that if the probability of success becomes too low, we will pull out.'

"Still protecting you own skin, Avon?"

Belaying the harsh words, Blake spoke gently and with a twinkle in his eyes.

You know me too well, Blake. I suppose that cuts both ways. "What's mine is mine, Blake. Servalan will not take anything else from me."

Blake winced inwardly at Avon's painful admission. He shared Avon's anguish over the loss of Cally to an explosion on Terminal, just one day before help arrived. He knew that Avon blamed himself for not being able to save her and suspected that his friend's reluctance to let him go down on his own was the product of his guilt and fear. Particularly, his fear of losing anyone else that he cared about.

"I do understand, Avon. But I need you to understand, too. You are not responsible for what happens to the rest of us. You cannot blame yourself for the loss of others. The guilt will destroy you. I know that more than anyone."

Avon sighed in resignation. "I know, Blake, but have you ever been able to forget?" At Blake's lowered eyes, Avon smiled tightly, "I thought not."

"Avon." Blake reached out to comfort him but Avon flinched out of reach. "I'm sorry."

"I am sure that makes it all all right." Avon spoke angrily and without forethought, seeking to hurt as he was hurting. At Blake's wounded expression, Avon felt quilt blossom again. Why must I always hurt you, Blake? It was never my intention.

"Blake, I..."

"No, Avon. You made yourself quite clear. If you still want to join me, we will be leaving in approximately seven hours."

With one last meaningful glance at Avon, Blake walked away, leaving the other man alone with his uncomfortable thoughts.

"Damn you, Blake. Why can't you just let me be!"

~ ~ ~

The hangar bay was filled to capacity by those present to wish Blake's mission luck. His team was present and accounted for. Vila would remain on base while Dayna and Tarrant would accompany Blake and Avon. Dayna was clearly impatient to be off, pacing around the Revenge, the fighter that rescued them from Terminal. Tarrant was already on board while Blake and Avon were bidding goodbye to an extremely agitated Vila.

"Don't worry, Vila." Blake's voice was full of confidence. "We'll be back soon." He patted Vila's shoulder and turned to board their ship, his mind already lost to the task ahead.

Avon looked hard at Vila.

"Take care, Avon. Of both of you,"

Vila was rewarded with a faint smile.

"I intend to, Behave yourself while we are gone."

"I always behave," Vila replied huffily.

This time Avon's smile extended to his eyes and he nodded once before boarding Revenge.

Avon's words had been as calm as usual but Vila couldn't help but worry.

"I have a bad feeling about this," Vila muttered, heading for his cabin and a bottle of soma that was calling his name.

~ ~ ~

"Does everyone remember what they are supposed to do?"

With a collective sigh, Blake's crew turned to face their leader.

"Tarrant and I," Dayna confirmed, "will wait here in stationary orbit for one hour, after which, if we have not heard from either of you, we will teleport you two immediately and leave orbit as soon as you are on board."

"Good. Avon?"

"You and I will foolishly teleport down into the command center to Servalan's quarters. Once we have her, we will call for teleport and leave, destroying the base in the process.'

Blake smiled at Avon, reaching out to pat him lightly on the arm. "Right, people. Let's go."

Avon could see that Blake's enthusiasm had infected Tarrant and Dana. They both had eager expressions on their faces as Dayna moved to the teleport controls. Shaking his head, Avon turned to step onto the teleport pad.

"Avon? Are you all right?"

Blake's voice was as full of concern as his gaze, which Avon returned incredulously.

"Of course, Blake. We are teleporting into a highly dangerous situation with little hope of success and two children for back-up." Sliding his gaze sideways, Avon continued, "I feel just wonderful. How about you?"

Avon was looking away and thus he missed the surprise on Blake's face at his outburst. However, he did look at Blake soon enough to see the look of hurt cross his face before being replaced by an angry mask.

"I should have known better than to be concerned about you, Avon. After all, you told me you only care about yourself."

Avon winced at the hurt behind the anger in Blake's voice and turned away. "Put us down, Dayna."

"Good luck, you two. Revenge out."

"Let's go, Avon."

With those terse words, Blake and Avon were off but Avon could not dismiss the nagging feeling of danger in the back of his mind. Imminent danger.

~ ~ ~


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