Who? I wondered and then realised it was Rutter talking about me. I groaned and immediately chastised myself for sounding so pathetic.
I opened my eyes and found I was lying on the floor, my head in Rutter's lap, him dabbing at a gash on my head. He didn't look too clever either. He was covered in dozens of small cuts.
I struggled off his lap and sat up blinking blearily. Around me, I was delighted to find everyone was on their feet, even Luke, but they all looked dishevelled and beaten. They were all covered in cuts, like Rutter, from when the Dancer had exploded shattering into a thousand glassy shards, but there was no other evidence of the Dancers. Once destroyed, their energy had dispersed without trace.
Al was on her feet and looking a great deal better than when I had last seen her, but why had she been in such a bad way before? Midas soon explained that her Klingon fury had resulted in her being savagely blasted repeatedly by the Dancers with their stingers. She screwed her face up in irritation; she was annoyed with herself that she had been unable to defeat her captors.
More importantly, Luke was standing above me. He had an odd, vacant look on his face, but he was conscious and standing—a huge improvement on his previous status.
"And who's this?" asked Rutter, interrupting my thoughts.
"This is Warrior Troy. He's a Helvetian Warrior and my ally—"
"We have to go," interrupted Troy.
"Where?" I asked.
"Anywhere, but we have to leave this area if we do not wish to be discovered."
I picked myself up off the floor and reached out my hand to Luke.
"Luke!" I said firmly. "Come on! Take my hand."
"What's up with him?" asked Al.
"They began a process of interrogation that erases the mind."
"What! How far did they get? Is it permanent? Will he get better?"
"I don't know, but he's better than he was." I turned to Troy for an answer. He shrugged.
"I'm a warrior, not a medic. I've never seen the process interrupted. I don't know what the outcome will be but that he is walking and responding on the level that he is, that's a good sign. His mind was coherent enough to spur him into action when the Dancer attacked you. It was he that struck the first blow on the Dancer."
I turned back to Luke still staring out blankly in a semi-catatonic state.
"Luke!" I said more firmly. "Come on!" and I wiggled my fingers. A surge of hope and joy rushed through me as his eyes turned slowly to stare dumbly at my hand, and then he raised his arm and wrapped his fingers around mine. With a small encouraging tug, he stepped forward and followed my lead. Troy led the way.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"I think I know somewhere that we can go that will be safe ... for now at least."