All right, I admit I had too much to drink before I went on the tour of the local submarine base. I never would have sneaked into a door plastered with bio-hazard signs, otherwise. But whatever those swirling lights had been, they weren't a normal nuclear reactor, I realize that now.
When I woke up the lights were no longer swirling; they were flashing gently against a dark hexagonal background I'd recognize anywhere. I was so thrilled, I didn't stop to think that this particular structure was supposed to be fictional. Emotion made me incautious. "Hullo, Zen," I burbled happily.
+Information+ Zen sang out. +Intruder on the flight deck.+
I eased myself up off the couch and looked behind me. Jenna had a dead drop on me with one of those elaborate toothpicks they carry, and Cally had me in a crossfire from the side. I raised my hands carefully. "Er . . . I come in peace?"
"Who are you?" snapped Jenna. "How did you get on board?"
"Um . . ." I thought for a minute. I'd better use something non-threatening, perhaps one of my fannish nicknames. "Little Misty Sue, and I don't know." I hoped they didn't mistake that for a folk song.
"Right," Jenna muttered. "That's why we call Gan 'Tiny'." Cally laughed at that, and it wasn't what you'd call a nice laugh, either.
I realized that I hadn't written either one of these women enough to know what the safest things to say to them were. I'd better talk to somebody who'd appreciate the absurdity of the bald-faced truth. "Excuse me, but is Avon around?"
Cally's eyes narrowed. "Are you a friend of Avon's?" She seemed more interested in my answer than she ought to be. Hm. Perhaps I'd been wrong about those two, after all.
"N-no," I stammered, my mind racing. "I have some information he wants. He said not to tell anybody else." Jenna and Cally looked at each other skeptically, and it was then I noticed that Jenna was wearing the dark blue dress that I coveted from Pressure Point. "Hang on, we're not in orbit around Earth, are we? You're after Central Control?"
Cally closed on me and shoved her gun to my throat. "What do you know about it?"
I swallowed. Did I dare tell them what I knew? It could change everything--Gan's death had slowed Blake down, made him more cautious. It might have saved millions of lives in the long run, but how would I know? But to let Gan die was more than I could bear. I'd have to risk it, and hope that telling Blake the whole story later would convince him to exercise more caution. Or else, I'd help Avon take over the ship. Which, on reflection, was a surprisingly appealing scenario.
I made up my mind in an instant. "Gan . . . Gan's in danger. You've got to tell Blake that Travis has a grenade on him. If they don't take it from him, he'll bring the bunker down on them, and Gan will die."
Jenna looked at Cally, her eyes wide. "Can it be true?"
Cally frowned. "I'm not sure. I detect no falsehood, but her thoughts are alien to me. We'd better act on the side of caution, and warn Blake."
I tried not to smirk as they hustled me towards the teleport.
Avon was speechless, nearly frothing at the mouth, and his nostrils flared alarmingly. Clearly, he found me attractive. Well, that explained quite a bit. Or, maybe not. As Gan and Vila struggled to restrain my favorite Byronic anti-hero, I considered that my interpretation of this extra-canonical performance might be overly optimistic.
When he found his voice again, my later analysis was confirmed. "You . . . you . . ." he snarled alarmingly--not that I was scared of him, you understand, but I was a bit worried for him; an aneurysm didn't seem that far-fetched at the moment. "Blake is dead!" Avon spat. "Travis got him from behind with that arm of his, thanks to you!" He wriggled out of Gan's arms, shoved Vila aside, and advanced on me menacingly. "Do you know what that means?"
My mind raced again, not for the first time that day. Blake dead . . . no attack on Space Command . . . probably no court martial for Travis, and in any case no escape, so no meeting between him and the Andromedans. . . . I couldn't help grinning, despite the dangerous glitter in Avon's eyes. He'd forgive me when he heard the whole story. "Yes!" I announced gleefully. "It means I've single-handedly saved the galaxy from the Andromedan invasion!"
Avon shot a look at Cally. "Well?"
She shrugged. "I can detect no falsehood in her."
"Orac, does she lie?"
=The woman believes she is stating the truth.=
"Well," Avon sneered, "Little Misty Sue, anyone who believes a story like that is clearly insane. Zen, set a course for Bedlam."
Avon gestured to Gan, who started to drag me away. "Wait, Avon!" I cried. "Let me prove it. Let me tell my whole story and have Orac verify it."
"Not interested," he grated. "Get her out of my sight."
And that's how I wound up here. I don't blame Avon. I'm sure in the heat of the moment, after losing Blake like that, he just wasn't thinking clearly. When he realizes, guilt will force him to come and retrieve me, if he can. But in the meantime, I'm only worried about one thing: Orac's words were, 'the woman believes she is stating the truth'. But Orac is too clever for that. It must have checked, and know that the Andromedans are out there, which means that I haven't thwarted the invasion at all. It must still be going to happen. And I can't do anything about it from here. Please, doctor, you've got to contact the Liberator, or barring that, get a message to Servalan. She'll know what to do.
No, I don't need any more medication, I'm fine. But please, you've got to warn people. The Andromedans are coming. No, not another shot, doctor! No! Please! No-o-o. . . .