Power GlitchBy Sally M
Page 1 of 1
Vila didn't understand anything that had
happened since Star One. He'd crashed on this godforsaken hole, he'd called
for help, he'd called and called and - |
Well, the two girls who'd found him and brought him here to the safety of this ship were prettier than Avon, so he supposed that they were all right. The man however - the man dressed in black, with the curls and bright eyes and blinding number of teeth when he smiled - he wasn't at all sure of.
Especially when the man they called the Captain spoke in a rich, vague, oddly-accented voice.
"Och, I know you, don' I?"
"Yes, I know you. Your a member of Blake's crew. The revolutionary - or is it political criminal?" The man scratched his head. "I canna always remember these things."
"No, I swear I'm not! I never heard of him, really, I'm just a ordinary, peace-loving, law-abiding - well, sort of law-abiding - harmless citizen. Wouldn't hurt a fly!" Vila was babbling, he knew it, but the look in those bright eyes made him nervous - put him in mind of a calculating and rather ruthless... sheep. "I'm not!"
"I do know you," the man said finally, and raised his gun to point straight at Vila, "and ye'd better come wi' me. The help ye need, it's right here on the ship, this way..."
"You." Servalan's voice was creamily imperative, so utterly sure and arrogant, so wholly commanding, it would have made an Emperor rush to obey. "Come here. My name is Servalan. I want to see a senior official immediately."
The receptionist did not rush, did not even move, merely blinked at her.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible."
She spoke even more imperatively. "I am President and Supreme Commander of the Terran Federation. I want to see a senior official. I want to see him here and I want to see him now."
The receptionist stared at the admittedly very stately and seemingly authoritative woman with her beautiful face, huge golden (and very desirable) eyes and sleek, perfect, and no doubt valuable body... encased in a hideous mauve dress that no President would surely be seen dead in, with broken and battered sandals and no weapons or identification. The receptionist blinked again. "I will need to call the Captain."
"That won' be needed, Teena," the accented voice made Servalan freeze for a moment.
"Captain!" The receptionist seemed relieved. "I'm afraid this customer - well, she claims she's the President of -"
"I heard, ver' sad. Now really, Madam," the man in black gave first Teena, then Servalan, a bright, beaming, almost totally vacant smile, "you will need to think o' somethin' better than that. As if the President would be stranded alone in a place like this..."
"I do not have to explain. If you're wise -" She stopped. Wisdom had never been Jarriere's strong point, as she remembered all too well. "You know I am, just as I know who you are... and could make that life very unpleasant for you if I cared to."
"Who I am? Now Madam," still with that vacant smile, but a hint of - danger? no, of course not - in his voice. "Madam, if I were anyone who knew a President, d'ye really think I'd be a mere Captain workin' control on a hospital ship? Teena," he winked at the receptionist, who smiled and nodded, "I'm afraid the lady is confused, possibly the fightin' upset her. Can ye see to my friend outside?"
"She's definitely not -"
"Och no. I know what the Comm- ah, Supreme Commander, it was - looked like, and I'm afraid the lady is mistaken."
"Jarriere, I have no idea what you are playing at, but," Servalan glared at Teena with a icy warning in her eyes, "I can make sure you pay for this. Or of course," thawing suddenly, smiling sweetly, knowing how this could unbalance lesser people, "I can ensure the owners of this ship are rewarded - richly rewarded. You would be wise to have a message sent to my fleet as I ask."
"Your fleet, Madam? And which fleet would - that be?" He shook his head, sadly. "Teena, I fear we'll need to make a note in the medical records." Teena nodded and left; as the door closed, Jarriere's smile reappeared, and this time there was something in it that - almost - scared her. "Dear lady, we will cure your delusions, trust me. Permanently."
"How dare -!" Servalan lifted a hand to hit him - and felt the icy sting of a hypodermic on her arm. She stared at him blankly, almost mindlessly for a moment, unable to understand what was happening.
"Controller," Teena came back, followed by a small, nondescript man in brown. Someone else she knew and could hurt!
"Vila -!" She managed to gasp before her voice seized. She felt a thick, soft, coldness through her body and stumbled; Jarriere caught her and oh so politely helped her to the waiting gurney, still giving that big, innocent smile.
"O' course," he said softly, leaning over so the others could not hear, "were ye the Command- sorry, Supreme Commander as you say... and were I this - Jarriere who you," and he paused, "fired and tried to have murdered to cover up that sad affair on Space City... then I canna see any profit in agreeing to your - fantasy."
She stared at him, horrified and not yet believing what was happening. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Vila looking at her; vaguely, she could hear him talking to a friend, his friend, that cursed Auron. Cally looked across, nodded and passed something to Jarriere who slid it round his wrist.
"I think, Madam," Jarriere went on just as softly, signaling to the receptionist who looked relieved and left to find a room for the very desirable 'customer', "I do think I'll be leavin' this employment soon. Mister - Restal, was that his name? och, you know how I canna recall these things - Mister Restal and his lovely lady friend, they have a much better ship. And you'll be more useful here than pretendin' to be," he shook his head in bemusement, "a president."
"Jarrie -!" She tried to say, but things were blurring. There had to be a way to stop this. There had to...
"It's all right, Commander - I tell ever'one it's quite painless and humane. At least," and a slightly confused look passed over his face, "I think it is. I don' always follow the details, you might remember..."
The soft whine of the teleport and a blurring shimmer were the last things she saw...
The nurses were pleased to see she was already asleep and - ready.
"Rather sad, I think," Jarriere said, sprawling happily on the flight deck couch next to Cally. Vila chortled and gave him a drink; Cally smiled benignly; Tarrant and Dayna stared blankly and a little contemptuously.
Avon, pacing in front of Zen's fascia, turned abruptly. "And you just - left?"
"Well, it wouldna have been very comfortable once they found out she was the Supreme Commander, now," Jarriere said reasonably, "having cut her up for parts, as they did. I thought her people might get a wee bit angry."
"So you thought we'd -" Tarrant saw the glitter in Avon's eyes, remembered it wasn't his ship, and backpedalled, "you thought the crew would just take you?"
"Why not?" Vila sat up, a little belligerent with soma.
"After all," Cally added, "this member of the crew would prefer Servalan to be a load of spare parts down there."
Avon smiled. "And Vila to be a one spare part up here."
"But what can he do?" Tarrant persisted when it was clear that Vila was too comfortable to be needled.
"No' a lot," Jarriere admitted cheerfully. "A bi' o' piloting," he grinned at the sour look on the young man's face, "a bit o' messin' about wi' computers," and his grin widened at Avon's suddenly outraged expression, "oh, and I put a bomb in a artificial arm once."
Dayna brightened up at once.
"It didna work, though. Och, and I can cook."
"You're hired." Avon, Cally and Vila all said at once.
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