Avon knew that a man like Blake would be planning something––and he knew that his only real hope for survival lay in whatever it was. Besides, he felt a queer desire to impress someone who was already, so easily, seemingly in charge of this group of malcontents.
Blake asked Vila how the door worked, and Vila didn't know.
Fortunately, Avon did.
"It's simple enough. All authorised personnel have their palm prints filed in the computer. The blue sensor plate reads the print. If it conforms, the computer opens the door."
Blake raised an eyebrow at him, but something glinted in his eyes.
Avon started to worry. There was one word on his wrist: clipped and professional, an affirmation, that whatever he'd said or done was proficient and good. Avon had tried to be right for it, in his way. But it was one word, and that––could happen to anyone. It hadn't, often, but it might. "Most computer-based functions are," Avon said, not knowing whether he hoped it had been just an accident.
"No, that isn’t what I meant––though it's a fair point," Blake said with a small smile. "What I meant was, I've always wondered what these were instructions to." He adjusted his sleeve and Avon winced, slightly, at the length of the first words he'd said to Blake. At the too-evident, too-invested desire to demonstrate that he was too important for Blake to get on without. Not one for the record books, but neither was it unembarrassing.
"I thought they might relate to engineering. Next door, I suppose. So that's settled, then," Blake said casually, sitting and taking Avon's hand as though it was easy, evidently planning to just talk through the rest of his proposed scheme like this. Avon didn't quite think to pull away, though they hadn’t even been introduced. Blake didn’t even know his name.
Vila did the honors. "Blake––Kerr Avon." He immediately fouled it up by informing Blake that Avon was the second best computer technician in the Federated Worlds, and Avon resolved to keep Vila around long enough to make him pay for that.