This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.
It began with a haze of white-hot throbbing, a blinding, biting agony that set every nerve on fire. When he opened his eyes, Avon was blinded with a blaze of crimson: red, red everywhere, on his face, on his body. On his hands…
Yes, all of it. All this is on my hands, he thought as he struggled to a sitting position, his body protesting but his will insisting. His wounds ached, ached with an increasing intensity, but Avon forced himself up and made himself view the carnage he'd brought upon them all.
Federation bodies lay sprawled grotesquely all around, trapped in an eternal, macabre dance. There lay Dayna, eyes still wide but unseeing. Nearby was Tarrant, and there…Soolin. And just beside him…Blake. Damn his soul to hell; Avon didn't want to be alone when he got there.
Vila. Where was Vila? Avon looked around wildly, searching with an odd desperation. He had to find Vila. It was important, for some strange reason, to find Vila.
Standing was an absurd impossibility; Avon dismissed it and half-crawled, half-dragged himself about, dimly recalling somewhere that injured people shouldn't move or be moved. Cally had told him that, he thought. Well, Cally, you were right. I'll tell you that in a while when we meet again…if we meet again…
There. Flat on his back, eyes closed, mouth open slightly and a trickle of blood falling down his face, laid the thief. Blood pooled around his body. Avon grit his teeth and forced his body to move over to Vila's side.
Feeling like a damned fool, Avon wiped the blood from Vila's mouth. "I'm…I'm sorry, Vila. I'm sorry all this happened," he babbled to the thief. "Why…?"
Vila's eyes flickered open slowly; they were filled with agony and fear. "A…Avon?" The voice was husky and faint.
"Vila, you're alive!" Stupid, stupid and not at all like Avon; no, Avon would have said something curt, biting, cynical, never anything so caring…
"Lie still, Vila, I'll get help, or something…" Avon cursed himself again; why was he acting this way? He knew full well only the dead inhabited this cold base. He knew that anyone finding him would shoot to kill on sight. Why then this overwhelming need to comfort the dying among the dead?
"No…time…Avon…oh it hurts!" A spasm of agony rippled through the broken man's body; Avon shut his eyes, unable to bear this sight. Vila, the only one who ever came close to understanding; Vila, the only one he could ever consider calling friend.
Vila, who trusted him one time too many, even after Malodaar.
"Avon…" Vila pleaded. "Help me…help me please…"
"Vila," he rasped hoarsely. "Tell me what to do…I don't know anymore…"
"No!" Avon's eyes widened as he gasped out the exclamation.
"I cannot…I will not!"
"Avon…it hurts. Avon…I'm dying anyway…so slow…"
The mind, the cold, ruthless, logical mind that Avon was so proud of told him it was true. There was nothing he could do, save one final act of mercy.
Nearby lay the gun, the gun that had killed Dayna, the gun that Vila had wrestled from the Federation agent. Avon slowly reached for it, felt the coolness of the butt as it filled his palm. He stared at it for long moments, and then aimed it at Vila's head.
"Forgive me," he whispered, and fired.
He stared at the body for long moments. Footsteps approached; footsteps marching in perfect rhythm, absolute precision. Federation. With her, no doubt--come to claim the last of the Seven, come to claim final victory.
Avon stared around him. The bodies. The blood. "This is what comes of your cause, Blake. Ashes, bodies, and blood. This is your legacy. And mine."
Avon lifted the gun to his head, and smiled….