Six could hear the sounds of fighting at the end of the Galactic Authority ship’s cell block. Someone was trying to escape - probably Three by the amount of noise they were making. Six observed it all with a distant calm - it was over already, even if not all of his former shipmates realized it.
“Why?” Six turned to the source of the question. He found Four in a nearby cell, sitting up shakily and apparently still feelings the effects of the neurotoxin. Six stepped back further into the hallway and away from the cell bars. He knew how dangerous Four was, it wouldn’t be wise to underestimate him and Six had certainly given him plenty of reason to attack.
“It was something you said actually - when we were sitting in the Marauder waiting on the ground team during the last job. I said I’d tried to stop you all from delivering that device to the Mikkei Combine. You questioned whether I’d really tried - implied that I was just as responsible for all those deaths as the rest of you were.” Six pulled his hands out of his trench coat pockets and gestured towards Four. “You were right, I could have done more to stop you. I could have turned us all in. So that’s what I did.”
“They will put you on trial too. You’ll be executed as a terrorist and never be able to see that the General pays for his crimes,” Four said as he stood and walked gingerly toward the cell door. “How does that serve your purposes?”
“It doesn’t, but everywhere we go people die because of us. We may not remember our pasts but we’re reliving them anyway.” Six put his hands back in his pockets and seemed to try to shrink into himself. “I’ve been unknowingly complicit in mass murder once already. I won’t sit by and allow that to happen again.”
“What about One and Five?” Four asked as he leaned on the wall near the cell door and studied Six intently.
Six shrugged. “Like you said before, One isn’t one of us. They’ll run his DNA, realize he’s not the real Jace Corso, and let him go. As for Five…” He turned away from Four for a moment to look down the hallway - perhaps to confirm that the GA soldiers had thwarted the escape attempt or perhaps to hide his expression from the other man. “She’s just a kid. She doesn’t have a record and Two wouldn’t have let her leave even if Five had wanted to go. She had no choice. I’ll make sure that the GA sees that and they’ll let her go too.”
The hallway was quiet now except for the sounds of their own voices and the distant laughter of a few soldiers. Six sighed and turned back towards Four. “Five and One are good people, but the longer they were with us the more they started becoming like us. This is the only way to save them from all that.”
Four chuckled grimly. “Is that what you think you are doing? Saving them? What if the Galactic Authorities decide to prosecute the two of them for the things they’ve both done since they’ve been with us? They will go to jail - if they’re lucky.”
“I’ll deal with that if it happens,” Six stated flatly, not meeting Four’s eyes.
“And how will you do that if the GA execute you first? Can you imagine Five or One in a Galactic prison, without anyone to teach them how to survive?” Four looked at the floor and then back at Six. “They’ll either die or adapt. Become like us. You will have caused the thing you were trying to protect them from.”
“We’ll see,” Six answered.
“No, we won’t. Because I will escape and free the others.” Four pushed off the wall and moved to stand in front of Six with his arms folded over his chest. “And then if Three or Two won’t kill you, I will. You will not have a chance to betray us a second time.” He said it without anger, as a simple statement of fact and of intention. A live enemy was a threat that must be dealt with and Six had made himself their enemy.
“Good luck with that,” Six said as he turned and began walking out of the brig. “It’s not like I don’t deserve it,” he whispered so quietly that Four may not have heard.
Four returned to the back of the cell to sit, listen, and plan. He closed his eyes and waited.