my_b7_fic: Avon karate chopping (Default)
[personal profile] my_b7_fic
written for the Blakes 7 Birthday Buffet ficathon



Avon groaned and started to sit up. Hands on his shoulders urged him back down. Tarrant said, "Don’t try to move too quickly."

Avon slumped back against the hard surface, hands going up to rub at the pounding headache behind his temples. "It's incredibly trite, I know, but where are we, and how did we get here?"

"Your guess is as good as mine." Tarrant looked around the room. "This place is strange. When I first woke up, all I could see was... fog."

Avon sat up cautiously. "It looks like a typical Federation holding cell."

"But if we were taken by the Federation, why hasn't anyone come to interrogate us? Not that I'm complaining." Tarrant got up and began pacing.

--



Should we explain?

No. Not yet. Once we reveal ourselves the cerebro-dynamics will change. In this species, the *untranslatable concept* cannot be accessed on a conscious level. If we describe what is needed, they will be unable to comply.

Granted. Are the *untranslatable concept* parameters acceptable?

Better than anticipated. Will to survive, belief in self, and visualization are extremely high in subject two, offset mainly by a strong pessimistic factor. Subject one is less able in visualization but has a high positive outlook factor.

We will wait, then.


--



Avon got up and began examining the cell. He found an unobtrusive panel inset in the wall. "If I had a tool..."

"Maybe you have. They haven't taken our clothing. I bet they didn't even search us, once they took our weapons."

"Optimist." Avon sat down on the bench where he'd awakened, and took off his boot. The heel slid open, revealing several tools.

"Can you open it?"

"Of course." Avon used a tool to open the panel. "But do I want to?"

"Yes, actually, you do."

Avon gave Tarrant a raised-eyebrow look. "It's too easy, I scent a trap."

"Avon," Tarrant said patiently, "we're in a cell. Getting out gives us more options."

"Yes. I simply dislike the feeling of being manipulated."

"You think someone put us in a cell just to watch us break out?"

" 'Killed while attempting escape' might look well on your epitaph, Tarrant."

" 'Died of old age while worrying' might be on yours."

Avon sighed. "All right." Avon manipulated the tool, and slammed the panel shut. The door slid open, revealing a stark metal corridor.

"We're on a ship," Tarrant said, "I thought so."

"How pleasant to find yourself proved right." They exited the cell, Avon looking to the left and Tarrant to the right. In both directions the corridor turned abruptly after a few meters, leaving them looking at blank bulkheads. "Do you recognize the type of ship?"

"From a corridor section?"

"The angles of intersection are unusual. As far as I recall, the only type ship using that internal layout is the intermediate range T-12 modified cargo transport, a favorite of bounty hunters."

"You were a ship-spotter as a boy, weren't you?"

Avon ignored Tarrant's remark. He pointed down the left corridor. "Either that leads to the flight deck... or the living quarters."

"Let's call it the flight deck." Tarrant started off to the left. After a moment, Avon followed.

--



It is going well?

Outcome uncertain. Subject two persists in anticipating difficulty.

More difficulty than they can surmount?

Quite possible.

Suggest we provide lesser difficulty?

No. Subject two is already suspicious.

Very well. Suggest we resume the search for new candidates?

Yes.


--



"Down, Tarrant!" Avon shouted as a large man wearing a grimy trooper uniform with insignia torn off and sleeves cut short came around a corner and threw something small at them.

Instead of ducking, Tarrant grabbed the object and lobbed it back at the man. There was a scream and a small explosion. After the retina-afterburn faded they saw the man lying dead, with a tidy hole blown in his chest. Tarrant searched the corpse, and tossed Avon one of the two guns that had been on the body, keeping the other for himself.

"Bounty-hunters usually work alone," Tarrant said with satisfaction.

"Not always!" Avon and Tarrant whirled. A pretty girl with long, blonde hair was standing at the end of the other corridor. "That was my bondmate!" She shifted the large gun she was carrying.

Tarrant spread his hands and said, "Wait a moment, maybe we can..." and was interrupted as Avon shot the girl. Tarrant turned on Avon. "Did you have to ..."

"Yes, I did. I could see 'dead or alive' in her eyes, even if you couldn't. This way. I'm sure of it now." Avon walked past the girl's corpse, and Tarrant followed.

--



They are doing well.

Subject two's pessimism continues.

Subject one's optimism also continues.

Agreed; the balance is very fine. Outcome still uncertain.


--



"As I expected." Avon glanced around the flight deck, then slid into the navigator's position, leaving the pilot space open for Tarrant.

"Not much of a ship," Tarrant grumbled as he tested the controls. "Where are we?" After a few seconds went by without a reply he looked up from the controls. "Avon? Where are we?"

"I don't know."

"What?" Tarrant looked up at the main viewscreen. True, the star patterns looked unfamiliar, but no one could recognize them all; that's what computers were for. "We couldn't have been unconscious more than a few hours! I'm not even hungry!"

"Nevertheless, we aren't in recognized space." Avon frowned. "We aren't..." He leaned forward and read the rapidly scrolling readout. "This isn't possible."

"What?"

"The stars...all the stars... are converging on us."

"What!" Tarrant looked at the readout, and then back at the viewscreen. Even to the naked eye, he could see the motion, centered on them. "It must be an illusion, maybe caused by a malfunctioning drive."

"Illusion..." Avon got up and stood next to Tarrant. "Maybe this whole experience is an illusion! What's the last you remember?"

"I... I was..." Tarrant frowned. "I was on watch. There was... a ship."

"Yes!" Avon narrowed his eyes as he thought. "I was asleep. You woke me, but before I could get to the flight deck..."

"It's a very convincing illusion. What shall we do, ignore it until it goes away?"

"I don’t think that would work. Obviously, there is some purpose to this and we won't be released before we fulfill it. And possibly not after..."

"So what do you want to do, sit around and think of ways it could be worse?"

Avon threw Tarrant an annoyed look. "I'll accept any reasonable suggestions."

"We've got a ship, let's fly it out of here!"

"Weren't you listening? The universe is against us!"

"Isn't it always?" Tarrant grinned suddenly. "How maneuverable can a star be?"

Avon blinked. "Not very, I would imagine. All right," Avon flung himself back in the navigator's position. "Hard 90 degree lateral. Let's see what happens."

Tarrant obeyed and the view on the screen slipped. "They're following?"

"Yes, but...not all at the same angle."

"Aha!" Tarrant reversed direction. "Let's see if they keep following." There was a blinding flash covering a quarter of the viewscreen.

"The stars collided! This is impossible," Avon muttered while watching sparks glitter and fade on the monitor. "Stars do not blow up like cheap pyrotechnics."

"Who cares if it's impossible!" Tarrant laughed and threw the ship into a dive. "They're getting close, tell me where the escape quadrant is!"

Avon clung to his console as the ship rocked, buffeted by the exploding stars all around them. "Quadrant 3-B!"

Tarrant committed them, and then Avon shouted over the increasing noise as the ship protested, "NO, it's a black hole!"

"Is there any other way?"

"No, damn it!"

"Then, that's it!" Tarrant grinned. "If I'm wrong, you can shout at me!"

"If I'm quick!" Avon shouted back, and then settled down to clinging to the console, and watching the instruments go mad. They reached the black hole. The ship screamed and disintegrated around them. Avon turned to Tarrant, furious. Tarrant grabbed Avon's hand. They floated. "Can you swim?" Tarrant shouted, impossibly, in the void.

"I don't know, I never tried!" Avon began kicking against nothing.

Tarrant laughed.

--



Yes! That is it!

Is it?

They did not give up.

But did they show us the answer?

That is the answer. Do not give up. Work together.

But we are not compatible.

It doesn't matter. JOIN.


--



"We're back." Tarrant looked around the flight deck of the Liberator.

"Yes, I can see that." Avon looked down at their joined hands.

"Right." Tarrant released Avon's hand and went to the pilot's position. "We're back to the same moment, in fact. I wonder what that was all about?"

Avon shrugged. "We'll probably never know."


--



"I have a body again!"

"Yes, and so do I!"

"It's not what I expected."

"Well, we can change them." The second link scratched its hairy belly. "Do you want to take over the universe this time?"

The first link examined its genitals. "Oh, I'm a male!"

The second link looked at the first one. "So you are. Let's take over the universe later."


(I used prompt #42. Avon and Tarrant are abducted by aliens trapped in another dimension.)

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