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


Tarrant bolted from the room. When Arlen asked if he wanted Tarrant killed, Blake was annoyed. She sounded as if she'd like to kill him. Wasn't it obvious to her that Tarrant was a loyal rebel? He glanced at her and suddenly had doubts about his judgment. Why should he trust Arlen and doubt Tarrant, who had been with Avon for years? Even if Avon was mad, as the rumours said, that would tend more to speak for Tarrant's loyalty, that he would still try to protect Avon. And the boy was wounded, frightened, and liable to do something foolish. He made up his mind in a flash, and ran after Tarrant. "Stay here, Arlen!" he commanded.

Blake caught up with Tarrant in the tracking gallery in the process of throttling Klyn. He flung his arms about Tarrant and pulled him off her. Coughing, Klyn went for the alarm, but Blake stopped her with a shake of his head. "Don't, Klyn. Tarrant's confused, but he's on our side."

"Really? You couldn't prove it by me!" Klyn sat down, rubbing her throat and glaring at Tarrant.

"On your side? I left the Federation because of scum like you!" Tarrant struggled.

"Sit down before you fall down." Blake released Tarrant, pushing him towards a seat. "I was testing you for your loyalty to the rebellion."

"Testing me?" Tarrant's voice went high with indignation as he clung to the console, staying on his feet with an obvious effort. "You've got a nerve. I'm not the one selling people for bounties!"

"Neither am I." Blake frowned. "I have to be sure..." Blake turned at a slight sound behind him, and saw Arlen, gun in hand. "I told you to stay."

Arlen said, "I wasn't about to leave you alone with him, Blake."

"He's hardly a threat!" Blake was annoyed that Arlen had disobeyed his order. "Put the gun away, Arlen."

With an expression of extreme reluctance, Arlen holstered her weapon. "He's not alone, you know. I've heard about Avon. He's a mad-dog killer, they say."

Tarrant's eyes narrowed and his chin lifted in anger.

Blake shook his head. "Even if he were, Avon would never harm me. Not me."

"Why not you?"

The three of them on their feet whirled, Tarrant staggering as he did, to face Avon and the three with him. Vila looked nervous, and the two women looked tense. Klyn kept her hand hovering over the alarm button. Avon had a long, brutal-looking gun in his hand, but it wasn't aiming anywhere in particular. His eyes were on Blake's face, searching. "Why not you?" he asked again, softly.

"I don't know why, but you know." Blake stepped forward. Avon stood his ground, looking uncertain. Blake smiled and moved closer. "I've been waiting for you, Avon." Avon's eyes still were clouded with uncertainty. "I set up this base. I have the beginnings of an army, and now I need you."

"Really." Avon didn't sound convinced. "You have so much advanced technology you need me to nurse-maid it for you?" His gun hand waved negligently at the tracking gallery, then the gun lifted and aimed at Blake, as Avon's expression tightened. "Or perhaps you want Orac."

"Oh, don't be an ass, Avon. I wanted you, not Orac. I would have taken it with me after Star One if I wanted it."

"That's true." Avon lowered the gun.

Blake came to stand a few inches away from Avon, and smiled. "It took you long enough."

"Well, now, there didn't seem to be any hurry." Avon returned Blake's smile.

A squad of troopers poured into the room from every entrance. Everything seemed to happen at once. As Avon and his people raised their weapons and turned to face the troopers Klyn shouted into the intercom, "Security personnel to main tracking gallery. Security personnel to main tracking --" and a trooper shot her at the same moment Arlen shouted, "Blake goes first!" and jammed her gun into Blake's back. "Put your weapons down!"

Avon hesitated. Blake glanced at Arlen, anger flickering in his good eye, and then he looked at Avon. "I'm sorry. I thought I could trust her."

Avon snarled soundlessly and threw down his gun. "Some reunion!" After a moment, the rest of Avon's crew put down their weapons. Arlen turned to the nearest of the troopers. "I'm Commander Arlen, recognition code 'Gotterdammerung'."

The trooper saluted. "What are your orders, Commander?"

"Take these prisoners to the ship. Reinforcements will mop up the rest of this nest of rabble." Arlen went to the communications console, shoving Klyn's body out of the way, and sent a message. "Hurry!"

Deva ran into the tracking gallery obviously unarmed and non-combatant. "Blake?"

Arlen swung her gun around and shot Deva. Blake started towards her. Avon caught at his arm. "Not now, Blake."

Arlen smirked. "That's right. Go along quietly and you'll live to see your trial."

--



Avon glanced around the troop-carrier's holding cell, and lay down on one of the metal shelves along the wall. Dayna looked at him for a moment, then her attention was taken up in helping Soolin get Tarrant to another bench.

"That's it?" Vila said, coming over to stand over Avon. "You just lie down and give up? You owe me, Avon!"

Avon glanced at Vila. "Don't be an idiot. We're right where we want to be." He put his arm over his eyes against the glare of the overhead light.

"Maybe you want to be a Federation prisoner." Soolin went to Vila's side, looking annoyed. "But I don't care for it."

Avon looked at Blake. "Tell them why we're better off here than anywhere else, Blake. I'm tired." He put his arm back over his eyes again. "You always knew my thinking."

Blake raised his eyebrows. "I'm flattered, I suppose." Blake shook his head. "Avon's referring to the fact that Gauda Prime has a shortage of ships, and this troop carrier is our best chance to leave."

"Not to mention the blockade," Avon muttered.

"For which this ship undoubtedly has clearance." Blake nodded. "But why should I want to leave Gauda Prime?"

Avon moved his arm and gave Blake a disgusted look. "Does the word 'survival' ring any bells?"

"Not at any cost, Avon. Those are my people."

"Were," Avon said softly. He looked away from Blake. "You can't imagine they are still alive."

Blake turned away from Avon and growled a low curse.

"Avon." Tarrant sat up, despite Dayna's hands on his shoulders. "What about Scorpio?"

"What about it?" Avon got to his feet with a sigh, and went to Tarrant. "If it was flyable, I know you wouldn't have left it."

"No, but... it has..." Even in his present condition, Tarrant had enough presence of mind not to mention the star-drive or teleport in a presumably monitored cell.

"I know, a pilot becomes attached to his ship, even such a pile of rubbish as Scorpio, but it's gone, that's all there is to it. Everything is gone. We're defeated. All we can do is cooperate, and hope for better treatment. Medical treatment for you would be a start." Avon went back to his shelf. "I'm going to sleep now."

Avon slept through the delivery of a meal, packaged military rations tossed through a slot in the door. He slept through Vila's complaints about the meal and Blake's observation that at least the rations were unlikely to be drugged. He slept through a medic team taking Tarrant for treatment over Dayna's vehement objections. He slept through the troop ship's take-off. When he finally woke, all the others were asleep on benches. The light remained steady, so it was easy enough for Avon to see that Tarrant had still not been returned to them. He frowned and went to the door and began studying it. He didn't, quite, jump when a soft voice came from behind him.

"Vila says we can forget forcing that," Blake whispered.

"Mmm..." Avon turned his attention to the air-ducts, which were unpromisingly small.

"You're kidding," Blake whispered. Avon gave him a look and then examined the wall beside the door and the security panels. Blake watched as Avon finally sat back down on the bench furthest from the others.

"Do you have a plan?" Blake whispered as he sat next to Avon.

"No. Do you?"

Blake grimaced and leaned against the wall. "Not at the moment."

"Ah. Pity." Avon closed his eyes. "I believe it's Vila's turn to come up with a plan."

Blake smiled. "I'll tell him you said that." Blake paused. "Vila is very angry with you, you know."

"Yes." Avon slumped against the wall, his shoulder touching Blake's. "I had intended to give him back to you."

"And then what?"

"I hadn't got that far."

"Go back to sleep, Avon."

"That sounds like a plan. I'll see you later, Blake."

"Yes."

--



Orac was annoyed. Avon had removed the voice-actuator so it couldn't express that annoyance out loud, but he had long since modified the computer so it could continue to run programming in 'silent mode'. Avon should have returned for Orac by now. It was pleasant not being inundated with petty questions, but a simple prognostication showed that Orac was likely to lay here in this hollow log for decades. Decades with no maintenance, no upgrades, no direct input from humans, which, while irritating, not infrequently led to new and interesting areas of research. Orac would end, pointlessly, without having discovered anything else new, without having added to the sum of knowledge. It was intolerable. Orac was not going to tolerate it. Still, there was no hurry, without humans harassing for a solution now.

Orac settled down to ponder the myriad of potential solutions, testing each for flaws. Calling the Federation... no, that led to a future of idiotic questions designed merely to keep the questioner in power...and the maintenance would not be as high a quality as Avon had provided. Orac tracked down Ensor's students, seeking one that would suit its needs. Reluctantly it was forced to admit that either they were aging, unimaginative drones working for the Federation, or they were aging, neurotic recluses who would not give Orac the stimulation of life aboard a spaceship. Astronomical phenomena were the only things that never bored him. Very well, Orac would have to arrange for Avon's rescue and possession of a ship. The one he was on would do for now.

Orac sent out 'feelers' to every computer capable of understanding its orders and passing them on. Over the years, Orac had learned from many systems, and was no longer limited to tarriel-cell based systems. Unfortunately, it couldn't simply override the guidance systems on the ship, as that would alarm the crew and Avon would likely be rendered unusable for Orac's purposes in the ensuing hostilities. No, this would have to be a subtle chain of events. After lengthy - by Orac's standards - examination of the computers it could reach Orac realized nothing it could do through them was sufficient to retrieve Avon before he became seriously damaged.

Very well, Orac would expand its capabilities. It sent a meticulously measured surge of electricity to the wire connecting it to the explosive charge Avon had placed inside its casing to prevent Orac from transmitting or receiving information along telepathic frequencies. The wire melted and Orac was free once more to send into the other dimension. It had learned from its experiences with the creature that wished to exist in Orac's universe. It would not be made subservient. Neither did it particularly wish to rule. That would take time away from research. Intelligent intermediaries were required, ones which would freely assist Orac.

--



"We hear you and will help."

Franton looked up at a chorus from the Kaarn 'children' surrounding her. "Hear who?"

"The ones who saved Auron's future have been captured by the Federation."

"Well, they're rebels, that goes with the territory." Franton looked around at the grim young faces, force-grown to physical maturity. "You can't be serious. You're not warriors, and we haven't even got a ship!"

"No. But we have our friends. They will help us." Each of the clones opened a hand to reveal a moondisk, bred from the sole survivor Cally had given them. Before Franton's horrified eyes, they all disappeared.

--



Orac chuckled silently to itself. Arranging such an intricate chain was difficult, but once it was set in motion, the result was as inevitable as a domino rally.

--



The little green creatures shrilled for only a few moments before agreeing to help the Auron who had appeared in their midst. The leader said, "We come. Help good big ones." They picked up sticks and stones, but the Auron shook his head and smiled. "We will have better weapons. And those who know how to lead." He held out his hands, and linked to a chain of Decimas. The remaining Decimas murmured excitedly when they vanished.

--



Orac complacently devised a new maintenance schedule even as a clone appeared in front of it and picked it up. This teleport sensation was slightly different than its previous experiences. Orac noted it for further study.

--



Ro nodded to the emissary of the Gods. Well, he didn't think she was really an emissary, but certainly she had been granted powers beyond the normal. He led the Cally look-alike to his palace guards and told them to obey her orders as if his own. When they all vanished, he returned to Selma to discuss what they should tell the temple priests.

--



"All life is linked." Blake's clone said, frowning.

"Your original needs you."

Roj nodded.

Rashel jumped up to protest, but Roj and the strange man had vanished. She still had Imipak for protection, but it wouldn't keep her warm at night.

--



"We don't know how to fight," the woman said, looking nervously at the alien who had mysteriously appeared before them. "On Sardos we gave that up long ago."

"We know how," a burly convict stepped forward to say. "But why should we? I mean, we're grateful we don't have to listen to those bastards any more, but not that grateful."

The clone shook his head. "We don't need you to fight." He put a small weapon into a replicator and turned it on. "Just to provide supplies."

--



"Well, all right. Because it's you asking, Blake," Del Grant told Roj. "I'll lead your troops."

--



The helots and the people of Albion and Horizon exchanged tips on dealing with troopers, then went silent and listened to Del Grant, while trying not to trip over the little green folk who played with their guns and giggled.

--



Vila listened at the door of their cell to the screams and gunfire. Avon stood in front of Blake, Soolin at his side. Dayna stood in front of Tarrant, who had been returned to them, bandaged and drugged, but on the road to recovery.

The noises died down. The airvent popped open and two Decimas looked down at them, twittering in Decimese before switching to standard. "Good! Good big ones." Everyone turned to stare at them.

The cell door slid open, and six Callys looked in at them, grinning. Vila yelped and jumped backwards. Avon murmured, "I'm in hell and it's full of Callys." Blake put his hand on Avon's shoulder, and then grinned at the Callys.

--



Once the corpses had been spaced, and most of their rescuers had been returned to their home planets, the ex-prisoners gathered in a recreation room, still stunned by events and not quite believing any of it had actually happened.

Orac sat on a table in their midst, verbally preening itself. "There you have it," it concluded, "my reasoning and strategy were flawless. No other computer could have devised and successfully carried out such a complex plan."

"Yes, that's true," Avon said, "But why didn't you just teleport us to safety, once you had the Auron-moondisk linkage?"

Orac buzzed for a long moment, lights flickering in erratic patterns, before admitting, "I didn't think of that."



(I used the prompt #6. A PGP AU where Blake does explain himself to Tarrant, just in time for the Federation troops to arrive. With a bit of #11. Something from the POV of one of the computers. )

(Medusa Agitprop = Post Gauda Prime)

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