"How long have you been a member of the Resistance?" Zo'or demanded.

Liam rolled his eyes. "We're lost in space, possibly for the rest of our lives, and *that's* what you want to know?"

"How long?" Zo'or repeated.

Liam shrugged. "All my life."


"Let me ask you a question," Liam suggested, studying Zo'or as though he were an interesting piece of recyclable material. "How old do you think I am?"

"Your record indicates that--"

"Not one," he interrupted, bored already.

"Not one?"

"Not one. Like not even one year old. The head of the human Resistance, which you still can't seem to crush no matter how hard you try, is less than a year old. Hard on the ego, isn't it."

"A Jaridian!" screamed a random and completely helpless blonde.

Without thinking how much better off the human gene pool would be *without* such a specimen, Liam threw himself in front of her, his shaqarava deflecting the Jaridian's fire. "I love Diane Scurry!" he yelled.

"Diane Scurry?" Da'an repeated.

"US soccer goalie, World Cup '99," Liam answered. "Just because I'm only a few months old doesn't mean I don't know what to watch."

The helpless blonde grabbed one of Liam's hands, from which the glow of shaqarava was only now beginning to fade. "Oops, is that *my* hand?" Liam asked, clenching his fist as though it would somehow hide the light.

"What did you *do*?" the helpless blonde demanded breathlessly.

"Saved your life," Liam told her. "Which I'm beginning to realize was a mistake."

"Doesn't anyone care about that Jaridian?" Sandoval demanded.

"Shut up, Sandoval," Liam interrupted. "The less we hear from you the better. With a little luck, that Jaridian will remember that it's supposed to be after Taelons."

"But if they were not Taelons," Da'an began. "If they were human, would you be so quick--"

"This is no time for one of your fairy tales, Da'an," Liam said, rolling his eyes. "They're *not* human--see how they're all blue and glowing? I'm sorry, but we're going to have to kill a few members of your backstabbing little race if we want to win this war! What do you think the word "Resistance" means, anyway?"

"You know, Sandoval," Lili said suddenly, a dreamy look in her eyes, "I just realized how attractive you are."

"I should have known," Liam said with a sigh. "She only goes for the *most* psychopathic killers she can find."

Augur snapped his fingers. "*That's* what I've been doing wrong! You know, some of my art is very violent, Lili."

"Ahh!" No one noticed as the Jaridian quietly killed Zo'or.

No one except Liam. "Good riddance. Take me with you before Da'an has another life-threatening encounter with a curtain. I swear, no one can pay me enough to keep being *his* protector."

Liam and the Jaridian vanished into transparent ripples, leaving the helpless blonde to faint, Augur to moon over Lili, Lili to moon over Sandoval, Sandoval to use Zo'or's palmprint to convince the mothership to produce greater quantities of chocolate, and Da'an to contemplate a way it could all end peacefully, for both Sandoval and the chocolate.

Run Away