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Vila Restals E-mails - Year 2

By Nicola Mody


To:               Vila Restal [vila@liberator.rebel.org]
From:           Jandy Restal [jrestal@deltalevel17.londondome.terra]
Subject:       Prediction

Dear Vila,

I’m so worried about you. First you get radiation sickness and almost die, then you tell me about that new computer Orac predicting the ship would blow up. As soon as you get this, you answer me right away. Whenever I don’t hear from you for a while I can’t stop thinking you’re maybe dead at the bottom of a cliff or quarry, or floating in space without a suit, or you’ve got some terrible alien virus, with your weak chest.

Love, your Mum



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Prediction

It’s all right, Mum, I’m still here! That prediction Orac made was right and it was wrong.

The aliens who originally built the Liberator wanted it back. They attacked us, and I tried to launch seekers to throw their attack run, but all the controls were frozen, neutron blasters off-line, everything was out. They fired and hit us several times, we all got thrown round the flight deck, one of the consoles exploded, and I banged my head – running head injury total: 4. I didn’t get much sympathy. Avon just suggested amputation, but Jenna did give me a pill later.

Their computers took control of Zen and forced the ship to fly to their space station, then they boarded us using our teleport and captured us. I almost got away but one of their guards grabbed me and threw me against a wall whacking my head on it – head injury 5. Looking at the blood on the wall made me feel even worse than I did already. They were lucky I didn’t lose my last meal all over them.

Gan and Cally and I got locked up in a cell on their space station, and I felt too sick and headachy to tackle the lock straight away. But I knew my duty, plus they were starting to nag me: I had to escape and find out where the others were. It turned out to be a magno-lock, not one of the easiest, esp. when you’re seeing double, and when I got out and found the cell Avon and Jenna were in, Avon slugged me (in the stomach luckily) before he realised it was me. He actually said he was sorry!!! And Jenna was very concerned about my head wound!!! They must have been really glad to see me.

Anyway we all got away, and when they sent a ship just like the Liberator after us, it blew up even though I didn’t fire at it, and Orac’s prediction of a ship which looked just like ours blowing up came true. So he was right. In a way.

I still can’t focus properly, I’m going to lie down.

Vila  



To:               Kerr Avon [avon@liberator.rebel.org]
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Orac

Avon,

I’m in my cabin but my head hurts so much I can’t go to sleep. I keep thinking about Orac, and you’re the computer expert. If he knew those Alta ships were going to attack, why didn't he predict that instead, so we could escape? I think he wanted to make a big showy splash, so he let us be captured, then he himself blew up the other ship just to make his own prediction come true. It’s like predicting someone’s death then murdering them. I don’t trust him one little bit.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       RE: Orac

Well now, two novelties for you, Vila: not being able to sleep, and actually thinking. I’m impressed.

You’re probably right about Orac amazingly enough. Perhaps repeated blows to the head have jarred something loose. However it is far too useful to us not to use. It, not him, Vila. It is a machine.

And, seriously, if your head still hurts, go to the surgical unit and get it treated. Not that I particularly look forward to your annoying presence among us again, but in the interests of self-preservation I’d prefer to keep our resident thief in working order.

Avon 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       Your head

Dear Vila,

I don’t know, if it’s not one thing to worry about with you, it’s another. You seem to hit your head far too much lately. Couldn’t you wear a helmet to protect it? I’m glad your friends are beginning to appreciate you though.

Love, Mum 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: My head

Dear Mum,

I’m all right now. I had a fractured skull, but a couple of hours in the surgical unit, and Cally patting my hand and saying “Poor Vila” fixed it. I think she felt guilty for her and Gan hassling me to pick that cell door lock when I was hurt. It’s almost worth the pain. I have to rest for a day, everyone’s being nice to me and no-one’s asked me to do anything for a while now. I just lie on the flight couch and every now and then close my eyes and put my hand on my head, and people say “Oh, can we get you anything, Vila?” This is the life. I wonder how long I can make it last for.

And no, I can’t wear a helmet. They think I’m funny enough already, and that’s not even when I’m trying to be, if you see what I mean.

Love, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Chess

Vila, I’m sure your head is better now. Your play acting is beginning to annoy me. I had considered a game of chess tonight over a bottle of wine. Or are you still far too ill?

Avon 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Work

Yes, I rather thought so. A bad tactical error to win so quickly, Vila. You’re back at work tomorrow. Your first job is to check the circuitry of all the consoles on the flight deck. We don’t want any more of them exploding.

Avon 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Star Trek

Dear Mum,

I’ve been checking the wiring of all our consoles to make sure they don’t explode – shades of those old viscast series we used to enjoy watching. Star Trek, remember it?

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Star Trek

Dear Vila,

Not only do I remember Star Trek, it’s back on again, a different series every night. I think with all the publicity the rebellion is getting lately, esp. about you and your friends, they want to show a gentler kinder Federation. Doesn’t fool anyone, but we all like watching anyway. My favourite is Captain Picard - he could leave his shoes under my bed any night.

Love, Mum 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Star Trek

Mum, I’m shocked! :-)  Actually, I always rather fancied Tasha Yar, though it wouldn’t have worked out. She was a security officer, and wouldn’t have gone for a thief, or at least not the way I’d prefer. Leeta the d’abo girl is very nice, and she and I could work a good scam on the gaming machines in Quark’s, but she’s married to Rom.

No, I’ll choose Seven of Nine. Private fantasy from yesterday while working:

Scene: Bridge of Starship Voyager, assistant engineer Restal is crouched down working on a console. Enter Seven.

Seven: Ah, Vila Restal. Do you wish to participate in recreational copulation?

Me (hitting my head on inside of console and dropping all my tools): Eh? What?

Seven: I find the way your present position stretches your pants across your glutei maximi oddly stimulating.

Me (getting up and backing defensively against said console, nervously): I should finish my work first, or B’Elanna will be angry with me.

Seven (grabbing me in a tight clinch): I am Borg. Resistance is futile. Comply.

Anyway. We’re on our way to Space City ‘cos Blake wants to do a deal with the Terra Nostra, innocent Alpha grade that he is. Not that I mind, I’ve always wanted to check that place out.

Love, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Star Trek

Oh Vila. So typical of you. Even in your dreams you leave it to the girl to make the first move. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t assert yourself.

Your mum 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Star Trek

Dear Mum,

Yeah, I know. I find almost constant rejection hard to take, so I prefer to wait for the girl to offer. Not that many ever have. Hardly any really. :-(

I’m on watch and feeling lonely. Time to start using those e-mail addresses Orac got me and expand my social circle.

Love, Vila 



To:               Supreme Commander Servalan [sup_com_servalan@space_fleet.fed.mil]
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Hi

Hello Servalan,

It’s Vila Restal, master thief and weapons officer of the Liberator here. It was an unexpected pleasure to see you down on Aristo, but you should teach your attack dog Travis better manners. But that was a nice outfit you had on. Pity it was a bit muddy.

You must be a little peeved we’ve hit so many of your installations and also got away with Orac. Don’t be like that, Servalan. We’re just fun-loving little rebels who have to get our entertainment somewhere.

Vila Restal 



To:               Space Commander Travis [sp_com_travis@space_fleet.fed.mil] 
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Hi

Hi Travis,

Bet your arm shorted out when Avon shot it. And Servalan should take all the sharp toys out of your playroom before you have that other eye out.

Vila Restal 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Space Commander Travis
Subject:       RE: Hi

Sod off, Restal.

Travis



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Space City

Dear Mum,

Well, if I had some credit for my work springing that lot from the Alta cells, I’ve lost it now.

We went to Space City, and Blake, Jenna, Avon and Gan went over, but Blake wouldn’t let me go too. He didn’t make me actually promise though, so I got Orac to teleport me after they left in exchange for hiding him. Yes, I should have asked why. Yes, I shouldn’t have done it. But I was hoping I could put some more money in my numbered account for the next time bounty hunters nab me. When I got there though, I began to feel nervous about taking on the Terra Nostra - I’ve always stayed clear of them, and I was also feeling a bit guilty about disobeying Blake. So I went into an inn called the White Hart and had a couple of real ales to bolster my courage, then a few more. They were a friendly lot in there with some very good stories. After I left I decided not to try picking any locks as my fingers felt a bit numb, so I thought I’d check out the Restaurant at the End of the Universe as it had an intriguing name. I ate some nibbles and tapas at the bar to counteract the ales, and had a few drinks from the top shelf, then decided to start on the cocktails. Something called a Sirian Panther Sweat just about blew my socks off, but I think it was the two Pan-Galactic Gargle-Blasters that really did me in. I can’t remember what happened after that but Blake and two shadow-addicts found me outside in the gutter and brought me back. The first I can remember, it was several hours later and I was in the medical unit feeling extremely unwell.

Running head injury total: 6 (chemical, self-induced, worse than the fracture).

So I was unconscious almost all the way to Zondar which was where the Terra Nostra make the shadow drug. They had double-crossed Blake, and he was going to take out their production. I couldn’t remember what I’d done with Orac (everyone was surprised I even remembered who I was, and Avon said I was unlucky to) but I don’t think it was completely my fault as Orac was possessed by a trans-dimensional alien who fancied taking over our space-time continuum, but I only found that out later. Cally found him somewhere, then went strange herself. Avon, Blake and Jenna went down and made me go on teleport duty, but my head hurt so much I put Orac in charge while I went looking for pills. When I got back he’d sent Cally down too and electrified his key so I couldn’t get it out, (I did try twice and got badly burnt), then tried to crash the ship. Hanna, one of the addicts, had a go too and got electrocuted. In the end Cally took the key out with telekinesis helped by moondisks, the telepathic things that live down there. She kept one as a pet. Avon said it was about as stimulating a companion as me.

It turns out the President is in cahoots with the Terra Nostra, so no use trying them again. It looks like we’re the only good guys in sight – great hope for the galaxy, eh?

I feel so bad about all the stuff I did wrong, I’m locking myself in my cabin for a while; no-one gets through a Restal Special lock.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally [cally@liberator.rebel.org]
Subject:       Teeth

Vila,

I know you are skulking in your cabin and feeling miserable and guilty, not to mention very sick, but if you think I am going to be sympathetic this time, you are wrong. You have behaved very badly. You were lucky I didn’t extract your teeth while you were unconscious and have them made into the necklace you drunkenly promised me.

Cally 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Your suicidal tendencies

Vila.

That was possibly the most monumentally stupid thing you have ever done. There’s a million credits on each of our heads, our faces are known all over the galaxy, and you decide to swan around the Terra Nostra’s own space station having sociable little drinks here and there. If you wish to commit suicide, Vila, I can suggest much more efficient ways to achieve your end. See me for a comprehensive list.

Avon 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       RE: Hi

Why Vila, how sweet of you to write to me. I don’t think of any of you as my enemies, dear, but rather as future friends. I look forward to seeing you again soon. Preferably helpless and in handcuffs, Vila.

Servalan 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Space City

Oh Vila. How many times have I told you – don’t mix your drinks, and all things in moderation. Take some vitamin C and lots of water.

Your mum 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Olag Gan [gan@liberator.rebel.org]
Subject:       I’m hurt

That was a bit unfriendly, Vila, going off drinking without your best mate. You should have waited till I got back. It’s been a long time since I went on a decent pub-crawl.

Gan 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jenna Stannis [jenna@liberator.rebel.org]
Subject:       You were lucky

You can thank Blake you’re back on the ship, Vila. I was ready to leave without you.

Jenna 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake [blake@liberator.rebel.org]
Subject:       Punishment

Vila,

I expected a lot better of you, and I’m very disappointed. I have spent considerable time trying to think up a suitable punishment, but Cally tells me that you’ve punished yourself enough; she can feel your pain. So you can come out now, if you feel ready to face us. In any case, you’re on early watch tomorrow.

However, if you do anything like that again, Vila, I’ll give Cally permission to perform her dental surgery.

Blake 



To:               Liberator Crew [crew@liberator.rebel.org]
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Sorry

Everybody,

I’m really sorry. At least no-one has pointed out I should by rights have electrocuted myself making a third attempt on Orac’s key. Thanks for that at least. And I’m sorry I didn’t and Hanna died instead. And while I’m at it, sorry that Nova died on the London in that crawlspace when I should have. Avon’s almost right: I’m almost useless.

Cally, can I please have my burnt fingers seen to later? They’re the only useful part of me.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       RE: Sorry

Vila.

If anything you are more irritating being repentant and maudlin than you are in your usual obnoxious untrained-puppy mode. Snap out of it.

Avon 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Olag Gan
Subject:       RE: Sorry

Don’t say such bad things about yourself, Vila. You’re still my best mate. I’m feeling peckish. Come and have some lunch with me. You’ll feel better.

Gan 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Sorry

All right. I will look at your fingers.

Cally 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       RE: Sorry

Come on Vila, cheer up. You are far from useless. Your many skills are invaluable, and frankly I miss your friendly face out here. Everyone should be allowed a mistake or two. Just don’t make it a habit, Vila.

Blake 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jenna Stannis
Subject:       RE: Sorry

All right. Accepted.

Jenna 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Sorry

Hey, thanks everyone! Anyone care for a game of Galactic Monopoly? And maybe a little hair of the dog that bit me? :-)

Cheers, Vila

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       IMIPAK

Dear Mum,

Me again. We were going to break into the Fed Weapons Development Base to get some state-of-the-art stuff to attack Central Control on Earth, and I wasn’t looking forward to it. It’s a triple-A security installation, and though I’ve broken into those before, I wasn’t keen on being up the sharp end with all kinds of inventive and unimaginably horrible death pointed at me. However the whole base was on full alert because a Beta-grade tech escaped with a new weapon called IMIPAK, and Blake thought it might be worth having. I wouldn’t have felt happy with it around though. It turned out to be a very nasty little device – you can mark someone with it and it makes their molecules unstable or something, then later you can kill them at long range with the key.

So we tracked the guy down, and Blake, Avon and Gan went down to get it, and so did Servalan and Travis. Servalan marked them and told them she was sporting; they could make a run for it, so when I’d teleported them up, we broke orbit ASAP, expecting all the time they’d spent their last credit. But here’s an odd thing. A guy who sounded exactly like Blake contacted us and said we were safe because Travis and Servalan were marked too.

I’m glad we didn’t get that thing. I can just see it – they’d mark me and then tell me they’ll use the key as soon as I step out of line.

Love, Vila 



To:               Supreme Commander Servalan
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Blaky bloke

Hello Servalan,

I’m not very sorry I didn’t get to see you this time as your last e-mail was a little unfriendly. But I have a question for you. Please tell me, who was that guy who sounded just like Blake, who called us up after we left?

Vila 



To:               Space Commander Travis
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Marked

So you’re a marked man now, Travis! And do call me Vila, everyone else does.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: IMIPAK

Dear Vila,

I hope you’re joking that your pals would use such a thing on you. Either they’re not real friends or you must have annoyed them. I hope you haven’t been robbing them blind, or telling those terrible jokes and puns that so annoyed that nice safe-cracker girl who used to come round.

Love, Mum 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Space Commander Travis
Subject:       RE: Marked

You’re beginning to annoy me, Restal. You’re now in my kill file. Both of them.

Travis 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: IMIPAK

Dear Mum,

Aw, come on, Mum. It wouldn’t have worked out anyway. She had no sense of humour or finesse – she used explosives to blow her safes for a start - she was bigger and stronger than me, and her nostrils were unnerving large. When she kissed me, it was like approaching a two-shuttle hangar. When she went off with that fence, I was a bit relieved really. I used to like the late-night meals we had after a job though. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a nice curry…

The Feds must be right hacked off about that IMIPAK thing, and Servalan must have blamed it all on us ‘cos they’ve been chasing us without letup ever since. Blake’s decided to make a run for the galactic rim. Join the rebellion and see the universe…

Love, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       RE: Blaky bloke

How nice to hear from you again so soon, Vila. It was a Blake clone, dear.

I do like your wanted poster. You are really quite appealing with your big brown eyes and soft silky hair. I really would rather like to get my hands on you, Vila. You have a touching innocence I should very much enjoy subverting. Perhaps I’ll clone you.

No. I think I’ll wait for the original. :-)

Servalan 



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Stomach cramps

Cally, do you have anything for bad stomach cramps? And before you ask, I haven’t been drinking home-made booze or eating anything you guys haven’t. I can’t even stand upright and Avon’s says I’m devolving and my knuckles will be scraping the floor soon, and I feel too ill to say anything back. Please? I’m in my cabin all curled up in the faecal position.

And I can’t sleep very well either ‘cos I’ve been having nightmares about Servalan.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Stomach cramps

You mean the foetal position, Vila. :-)  I will come round now to give you something for the pain. And don’t worry; we are all suffering from over-stress which is showing in different ways – Blake has headaches, Avon has back pains, Jenna has a sore throat and Gan is nauseous.

Cally 



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Stress

Thanks for that, Cally. I feel much better now. Hey, what was that stuff?

So Avon has a sore back eh? I’ll get him back now for laughing at my cramps. Forgot to ask when you were here. What have you got?

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Stress

I do not react to stress like you humans, Vila. BTW do you know if there are any more fairy cakes or leamingtons in the food store?

Cally 



To:               Kerr Avon
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Sore back

Got a sore back then, Avon? Must be from lugging that huge ego around. Or because you can’t unbend? Or is the weight of guilt for your unfair treatment of an innocent and harmless thief pressing down on your shoulders? Take your pick, but be careful you bend at the knees when you lift it!

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       RE: Sore back

Such wit. I am stunned. As you will be if you carry on like that. Give it and us a rest.

Avon 



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Stress

I know where some chocolate cake is, Cally. I’ll have some more of that lovely relaxing drink in exchange. Meet me in the food store.

Vila

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Horizon

Dear Mum,

We got chased right out to the edge of the galaxy, and though we were all feeling very tired and ill from the stress, Blake decides to chase a Fed freighter just to see what it’s up to so far out. Just what we needed. We followed it to a planet called Horizon and hit a magnetic barrier around it which would have atomised us if we didn’t have a force field. My stomach hurt so much I wished we had been, and Cally had to give me a shot of adrenaline and soma. Now I know what that lovely stuff is at last!

Jenna and Blake went down to have a look, and we lost contact with them. So Gan and I went to find out what was going on (I volunteered in place of Cally as she’s been so good to me) and promptly got shot with darts, then interrogated. At least they were going to torture me but I got in first and did my old trick of telling them heaps of irrelevant information – like my career to date (they weren’t impressed), and nothing important (no, I’m too dumb to know how the ship works). In disgust they tied Gan to a pole and threw me into a mine with Blake and Jenna and a lot of natives, shifting baskets of some radioactive stuff. It wasn’t long before Cally joined us; so much for my gallantry. That left Avon on the ship, and I thought that’s it – the sod will take off in it now and leave me to work my hands to the bone for what remains of my miserable life.

But you’d never guess, Avon came down with a gun and took out the guards single-handed and rescued us! I’m still trying to work out what was in it for him.

Three Fed ships attacked us as we left but Blake said wait, and sat there calmly watching them come while I quietly panicked, and they hit the magnetic barrier and blew up. He really ought to have said something. I almost had a heart attack.

And now we’re even more tired than before, I’ve broken a life-long vow never to do a stroke of work, and I can’t take it out on Avon since he rescued me.

Love, Vila 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Curry

Now I’m feeling better and a bit hungry again, I’d kill for a vindaloo. Anyone fancy a curry? I’m going to see if I can knock up a nice vege one with the spices in the kitchen, even though they’re not really authentic. Ice-cream to follow, esp. for you, Avon.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       RE: Curry

Vila.

Your gratitude is almost as sickening as everyone else’s. I am beginning to regret coming back for you all. At least you are a little more inventive. However I beg you: abstain from eating curry. You are annoying enough on the flight deck without a compromised digestion.

You may however bring some ice-cream to our chess game this evening.

Avon 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Olag Gan
Subject:       RE: Curry

I’m up for that. Make it really hot, blow the limiter out of my head! :-)

Did you like the smiley face? I’m getting the hang of this.

Gan 



To:               Kerr Avon
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Curry

I think that was uncalled for, Avon. My station isn’t even that close to yours. And I’ve built up an immunity to curry over the years. Anyway Gan and Cally said they’ll try my vinders. Frankly, Cally will eat anything.

Vila

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Gan

Dear Mum,

Gan’s dead.

He was my best friend. I know I didn’t ever say much about him, ‘cos none of the stuff we did together was that interesting. We just hung around together and had a few drinks (nowhere near as much as the others thought) and talked about things – what we’ve done, what we’d like to do, viscast series we’ve seen. Or we’d just sit quietly. That was nice too.

The others thought he was stupid, but he wasn’t at all. He really thought about things, and when he did speak out it was straight to the point, not like me just saying the first thing that comes into my head.

I met him in the hospital when I was recovering from that last conditioning attempt, and he’d had surgery to put his limiter in. We got on really well, and I promised not to tell anyone about the limiter so he’d have a good chance on the London and Cygnus Alpha. We made a pact to look out for each other, and we did too.

And then I wasn’t there when he died. Blake was with him, so he wasn’t alone, but I should have been there. I failed him at the end.

I can’t talk about it any more. Maybe later.

I’ve locked myself in my cabin for a while till I can handle facing people and trying to act normal again. My chest hurts, but Cally said there’s nothing wrong with it.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Gan

My darling Vila,

I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. You mustn’t blame yourself for anything though. You were a good companion to him and I’m sure he knew that, and wouldn’t want you to feel guilty. I wish I could e-mail you a big hug.

All my love, Mum 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       Want to talk?

Vila,

I know you are very upset about Gan. He was a good friend to you, but you have others here who care about you too. Please don’t just lock yourself away like that. I am worried about you.

Cally 



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Want to talk?

Other friends, Cally? Name one. Look, I’m funny timid little Vila Restal from the Delta service grades, who’s only good for opening locks and the occasional laugh. I don’t have any friends here, not real ones who see me as an equal. Even you ignore me or tell me to shut up.

And none of you seem to care about Gan being gone. No-one will even talk about it.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Want to talk?

That is not true, Vila. I like you very much, and so does Blake, and Jenna is getting used to you. And just between you and me, Avon quite likes you too, though he would rather die than admit it. I think one of the reasons he gets at you is because he does not want to care about anyone. And Blake is as upset as you are, and has also locked himself in his cabin. Vila, I do understand what you’re going through. I was the only resistance survivor on Saurian Major, so I know what it is like to lose good friends. I am coming over to see you now. Please let me in.

Cally 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Earth Control

Dear Mum,

Cally came and gave me a hug, and I completely lost it. We talked for a long time after that, and I feel a bit better. I think I can tell you about what happened now.

Blake’s always wanted to hit Earth Control and take out the central computer systems, but he said we were just going to do a fly-by and look at the perimeter defences. When we got there though, he said we were going down to meet the resistance leader Kasabi. This time (for once) the others agreed with me that it was too dangerous, and we made Blake promise to pull out if it got too hot. Right. Fat chance. First he didn’t get the signal, then it came in late, and then when he went down she wasn’t there. Did we pull out? Nope, he got Gan to go down too. Then he called for me and Avon to teleport to the edge of the Forbidden Zone around Control, refusing to answer any of Avon’s questions about Kasabi. Avon found out we had an 8-second chance to cross the zone after he disabled part of it, then Cally transferred us to where Blake and Gan were – in a ruined building with Kasabi’s daughter Veron. She was the sole survivor when Kasabi’s group was wiped out. At this point I really started to get a bad feeling. Blake ignored me and said we were still going ahead. Veron said she needed air (yeah, I was feeling faint too) and went outside and threw a gas grenade in. Lucky I didn’t hit my head going down! When we woke up, our teleport bracelets were gone and the door was blocked, but Gan managed to force it open. A good start, eh?

So we had to make less than 8-second sprints across the zone. I set a new personal best for the 50-yards terrified-witless dash. I got the door open (difficult lock, 30 seconds) and we went down into the bunker. They’d even electrified one corridor floor so we had to swing along the ceiling rungs; poor Gan almost fell when one snapped.

The lock to the final door was hard, I had to have two goes. Blake rushed in and capered around crowing about how clever he was. The room was empty. Till Travis came in and told us everything had been moved 30 years ago to somewhere called Star One. I thought, Vila, this is it: get ready to pick the locks on the pearly gates. Then Servalan came in and told Travis to let us go – Jenna and Veron had the drop on her, and Jenna had brought our bracelets. Blake said it was too risky to use them and we had to get closer to the surface, so we ran for it. Travis threw a bomb after us, and a blast door in front of us started to come down, but Gan held it up and we got through.

Mum, I just kept going with the others. Blake was still with Gan so he was there when half the ceiling came down. At least someone was with him. Still, I should have stayed too, or gone back.

Mission summary:

Locks opened: several very hard ones, never before cracked, all signed by me

Gain: absolutely nothing

Loss: Gan

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       Disappointed

It was lovely to see you all again, even if very briefly. I am disappointed that you haven’t written this time, Vila. Perhaps you’re disappointed too, that you opened all those complicated locks for nothing. What wonderfully nimble and sensitive fingers you must have. I do look forward to a closer acquaintance.

Servalan

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Fleas

Dear Mum,

Cally was right – Blake was very upset about Gan. He teleported down to a planet so he could think, but changed the co-ordinates so we couldn’t find him. We didn’t know what to do but I said Gan would, and was pretty much ignored as usual. We thought Blake had run out on us. Personally I was relieved as I’ve decided I don’t care for the life of a galactic rebel hero any more. Both Avon and I fancied doing a runner with the ship’s treasure. Cally asked me what Gan would have done, and I said he’d have asked if Blake left us a message. He had. He was sorry he risked our lives and understood it if we left him. I was quite touched, and Avon thought I was touched to be; nothing moves him.

I passed the time having a quiet drink in memory of Gan, then another one to dull the pain in my chest. Then I got lonely and went to the flight deck. Jenna and Avon were there, Avon working on his latest little gadget which is meant to screen us from Fed detectors. I thought: I’ll believe it when I see it, that is to say, when the Feds don’t. Then Zen told us the planet was having a convulsion – turns out the whole thing is one living being, and Blake would be like a flea on it, and he must have made it itchy. Avon set up an automatic teleport search for him and got him before the continent he was on got submerged in the ocean of spit.

He came back in fighting form. So we’ve lost our rep for invulnerability? Let’s not consider cutting our losses or retiring with honour (my preferred option of course) – no, let’s get right back on the horse so to speak and attack Servalan’s headquarters!

So we did. Avon’s little gadget worked (against my expectations), and I took out a big chunk of the station with the main neutron blasters. Actually I rather enjoyed it after all. That was one for Gan.

Blake said he met a philosophical flea on that planet, and Avon said it wasn’t that rare, and they both looked at me and laughed. Typical! Looks like life is back to normal.

Love, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Space Commander Travis (Ret’d) [travis847@galacmail.com]
Subject:       Thanks

I assume it was you on the neutron blasters, Restal. Nice work. I had just been sentenced to death for the “massacre of civilians” (as if there is any such thing in war) and out of the blue along comes the Liberator and junks the court room. Thank you, Restal. Very kind of you. I’m now an independent operator, but I won’t forget you. Or Blake.

Travis 



To:               Roj Blake
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       FW: Thanks from Travis

Oh no. Oh please, no. Oh Blake, what have we done?

----------Original Message----------

I assume it was you on the neutron blasters, Restal. Nice work. I had just been sentenced to death for the “massacre of civilians” (as if there is any such thing in war) and out of the blue along comes the Liberator and junks the court room. Thank you, Restal. Very kind of you. I’m now an independent operator, but I won’t forget you. Or Blake.

Travis 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       Your mistake

You just enabled Travis to escape execution. Was that just stupidity, Vila, or did he bribe you? Never mind, he’s off the leash, but still after you, dear boy. As am I.

Servalan 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       RE: Thanks from Travis

It seemed like a good idea at the time, Vila. You have to take these chances.

So I have you to blame for the deluge of hate mail I’ve been getting from Travis. I wondered how he got my e-mail address. I should have guessed it would be you after Avon told me about the Amagons. Have you been in contact with Servalan too – I wouldn’t put it past you. You don’t happen to know if we got her with that blast, do you?

Blake  



To:               Roj Blake
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Thanks from Travis

Why should it be me, Blake? I didn’t give away any e-mail address but my own. Anyway blake@liberator.rebel.org isn’t that hard to guess. Just put Travis on your kill file; that’s what he did to me.

And no, we didn’t get Servalan; she’s just written too. Blake, you should see some of the e-mails she sends me. I hope I stay out of her hands, and I mean that literally.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       RE: Thanks

It appears that Avon hears from Servalan regularly too. He seems to find it amusing, luckily for you.

Ah Vila, what can I say? Life on the Liberator would be rather boring without you.

Blake 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Fleas

Dear Vila,

I was extremely disappointed you were on Earth and didn’t even bother to come and see me or even contact me. I know there’s a bounty on your head, but I’m still the only mother you’ve got.

Your Mum 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Fleas

Dear Mum,

Quite frankly, taking the dangerously high risk of going anywhere near home where everyone on the streets would recognise me, and most would fancy making a million, never really occurred to me. Sorry, Mum.

Vila 



To:               Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Thanks

Talking to me again eh, Travis? So now you owe me a favour. Am I on your list of friends now? I suppose I appear once, at top and bottom!

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
Subject:       RE: Thanks

I have no friends as you so rightly guessed. And I never owe favours. You will be treated just like the others when I catch up with you – terminated with extreme prejudice.

Travis 



To:               Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Thanks

Oh yeah, you and which galaxy’s space fleet?

Vila

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Killer Bugs

Dear Mum,

I was almost got at by a really nasty bug!

The Feds started using new pulse codes in their message, so Blake said we needed a something called a TP-crystal to crack it. Avon knew a guy who was once in on a fraud with him, who worked on a Fed Q-Base, so he and I teleported down. It was on a particularly unpleasant swampy little planet called Fosforon, and to make matters worse we got into the base through a sewer pipe. It was pretty dry in there, but still. I’ve scrubbed myself all over several times incl. behind my ears and under my fingernails and I’m sure I can still smell it. :-(

We found this Tynus, though he wasn’t keen to help. They’d nabbed Avon for the fraud but he didn’t squeal on Tynus, and in my book he owed for that. He did have some good points though - cute pet insects and a nice drop of home-made in his rooms though, aged for at least two days judging by the smoothness. We decided that Tynus would start a small fire as a distraction so Avon could make it look like the crystal had a fault so they had to replace it.

In the meantime the base had recovered a derelict spacecraft and Blake had warned them it was dangerous, then come down himself. Avon said to ignore it and we got on with our plan which worked a treat. We were just hanging around for the fault to show so we could get the crystal. Tynus told me to get rid of his fire-starter with (everyone else orders me around, why shouldn’t he too?) so I collected the ashes on a piece of paper and found he’d pressed on it to write a message to Servalan’s HQ that we were there. When he came back with some food for us, probably poisoned, we heard a virus had spread from that old spaceship and people were dying like flies. We decided to forget the subtle plan and just grab the crystal and blow the comms room sky high, our usual M.O. I was keeping watch in the corridor, and they were right – they were dying like flies. One crawled by, then rolled on his back and started twitching all his limbs. I was so shocked I didn’t see Tynus come up behind me and knock me out - running head injury total: 7. When I came round and staggered in the door, Avon and Tynus were fighting, and I was swaying around woozily trying to point my gun at the right one of the four of them when Avon threw him into the comms array and electrocuted him. We teleported up with the crystal and not before time. My head hurt and I was sure I had the bug, but Avon said it would be hard to tell in my case as it destroys the brain. Blake put a plague warning in orbit and we lit out for Sauros.

So far no memory loss, convulsions, blisters or fever, so I think I’m safe.

Love, Vila 



To:               Supreme Commander Servalan
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Plague

Hello Servalan,

I heard you were on your way to Fosforon to capture us. Did you land? Got any little pimples, feel a bit twitchy, are you hot, remember who I am by any chance?

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       RE: Plague

No, no, no, always, and of course I do, Vila, you naughty boy.

Servalan 



To:               Vila Restal  
From:           Jandy Restal  
Subject:       RE: Killer Bugs

Do you enjoy terrifying the living daylights out of your poor mother, Vila? I wish you’d go back to a quiet life of respectable thievery. Are you sure you’re all right?

Your Mum 



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Symptoms

Cally, I’ve got a sore chest and a bad pain in the head. I’m worried. I’ve looked up my symptoms on the Galacnet and I think I might have one or more of the following: tuberculosis, Venusian lungworm, pleurisy, Casarus swamp fever. Please diagnose me again in the med unit.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Symptoms

Vila, you have not caught any of those diseases since your last check-up half an hour ago. Your chest pains do not have any physical origin, and your headache is due to your latest concussion.

You are beginning to be a bad pain in a lower part of my anatomy.

Cally 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       File space

Vila. I need to install the latest Microsoft patches, only to find you’ve filled a large part of available space with downloads of disease symptoms. Get rid of them. Now.

The only diseases you are likely to have are attention deficit disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome. Feel free to seek treatment for those.

Avon 



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Symptoms

Cally,

Avon says I might have attention deficit disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome. I looked up the symptoms and I do have them all. Help! :-(

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Symptoms

Vila, you have nothing wrong with you apart from a bad case of hypochondria, lack of concentration, and bone idleness. Look up the story about the little boy who cried wolf. When you’ve done that, I’ll give you some adrenaline and soma. I may need some too.

Cally 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       Galacnet access

Vila,

The access logs show that you’ve been on the Galacnet not only throughout your last two watches, but also your sleep periods too. No wonder you feel ill. If I catch you asleep on watch, you lose your net privileges for a month.

Blake

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Return of the fridge nightmare

Dear Mum,

I’m amazed they haven’t dumped or spaced me. I’ve been trying really hard not to screw up since my Space City binge, but I lost the plot again. :-(

Avon’s little cloaking gadget broke down (knew it would) and a great pack of Fed ships jumped us; we only got away because we’re faster. Some of them got close too – they must have a shield of their own now. Avon was annoyed because he’s been thinking of selling them the idea.

My nerves were shot as I thought we’d had it that time. I haven’t been sleeping well since Fosforon, and Cally’s been a bit unsympathetic lately, so I was finding it hard to stay awake and Blake caught me asleep on watch. Lucky the message coming through interested him so much he was distracted, or I’d be off-line now. It was Travis – he had Blake’s cousin Inga hostage and demanded that we go to a planet called Exbar and talk to him as he wanted to join forces. Actually I thought he had a point, but Avon said any point Travis had would end up in my back. And he was right.

Blake went down alone, then Avon got worried about him (bit out of character, that) and went after him, then asked for me. He said he suspected Blake’s uncle ‘cos he faked a limp, and I should watch out that he didn’t follow Blake. I was meant to stay awake and call in to the Liberator every 10 minutes but I was so tired and it was so cold down there, I must have got hypothermia, and I dozed off. Blake’s uncle Ushton captured me and threatened me with a knife till I admitted Avon was there too, then tied my hands and took me to Travis. On the way we found Avon who’d got netted by one of Travis’s crimo sidekicks (Avon said I could get knotted when he saw I’d been caught too) and we both got our bracelets taken off and we were thrown in a little room with Blake.

This is where it started to go wrong.

One of the crimos punched me in the stomach and dragged me out. (Now, why is it always me? Have I got a sign on my forehead saying ‘victim?’) Travis put a bracelet on a crimo and made me tell the girls to teleport me up. He had his arm armed and aimed at my head, and I did try to be as brave as the others would have been. I said he could go ahead and kill me, that I wouldn’t tell him anything, but he kept on till I was so scared I yelled “Teleport!” I got shoved back in the room and when I said what happened, Avon kneed me really hard in the guts. (Maybe I should start a stomach injury count.) Then I found out they were taking the air out of the room.

Remember that time I locked myself in the fridge when I was about 7, to see if the light went out? And you were out for hours at Bingo and when you got back I was almost dead from suffocation? I sometimes think it was the defining point of my life. I can trace my fear of the dark (the light did go out), bad smells (you shouldn’t have left that onion dip in there for three weeks), my claustrophobia, and my aversion to cold weather right back to it. And probably my choice of profession to a certain dislike of locked doors.

So when I started to gasp for breath, I was back in that fridge again, and I panicked. I begged Travis to let me out; I said I’d do anything. It was a display of craven cowardice I’ll never live down. Ushton attacked Travis, Inga let us out, and Avon and Blake went off after Travis and the crimos. Got them all too. BTW Jenna had spaced the one that teleported up. In the meantime I was collapsed outside the door in agony while Inga looked after me; I can see why Blake likes her so much.

As I said I’m amazed they took me back, esp. since I lost my bracelet (Jenna had to bring another one down). I don’t know how I can hold my head up and look them in the eyes again. So I’m in my cabin again, feeling really miserable.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Reject

Vila. Your application to join the human race has been rejected.

Avon 



To:               Roj Blake
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Sorry

Blake,

I want to explain about my behaviour down there. Firstly, I did try to stand up to Travis. I even said he could go ahead and kill me. As for the rest, I once almost suffocated in a fridge when I was a kid. It’s no excuse I know, just an explanation.

Vila



To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Crying wolf

Cally,

This time it’s a real wolf. I’ve got a sore stomach, I can’t get up, and the room is spinning like the attitude thrusters are out.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Return of the fridge nightmare

Dear Vila,

When are you going to forget about that onion dip? I said I was sorry at the time. It looked all right to me. Instead of blaming me for that, you should be glad I got back in time to get you out and resuscitate you. You were a very odd colour, rather like the dip if I remember.

Love, Mum 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
Subject:       You pusillanimous git

So, Vila, after all your tough talk, you turn out to be a snivelling little coward. You’re hardly worth bothering with. If I catch you, I’ll probably just throw you back.

Travis 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       Vila

Hands, and for that matter, knees off Vila. Having succumbed to conditioning myself, I have every respect for anyone who has not just survived several attempts, but resisted it. As I know myself, it takes a couple of years for damaged nerves to recover, so Vila does have a low pain threshold and is in real pain when stressed. Cut the lad some slack.

As for what happened on Exbar, I’ve had a message from Inga and my uncle, and they told me how bravely Vila tried to stand up to Travis. He did not deserve the treatment he got from you, Avon, and is now in the surgical unit recovering from internal injuries and infection.

Blake  



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Apology

Vila,

Betrayal from someone I trust is the one crime I do not forgive. However it appears I was mistaken this time. I’m sorry I hurt you as much as I did. Blake tells me you have a childhood trauma connected with a fridge which I assume doesn’t extend to refrigerated or frozen food. Perhaps some ice-cream? I’ll bring some round, with the chessboard.

Besides you should be pleased. Cally tells me you need two or three days rest.

Avon 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       Poor pet

Why Vila. Travis tells me you’re, well, rather a nervous lad. It has not changed my feelings for you. I think your fear will make you more malleable. You’d be putty in my hands, dear boy. You should make an eminently trainable and rather sweet little pet. I look forward to seeing you again.

Servalan

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Albian mission

Dear Mum,

I was a bit unwell, but everyone was very nice to me, and there I’d been, waiting for an invitation to inspect the airlock mechanisms from the outside. Jenna said she missed my funny face, and Avon even implied he trusted me, and I didn’t think he ever did that.

Anyway, I’ve redeemed myself on our latest mission. Blake is still on the track of Central Control, and we went to Albian after a Fed officer called Provine who served on Star One. We arrived just after the locals had revolted, and Provine’s lot had set off a radiation bomb to kill everyone on the entire planet in less than an hour. Trouble was, we didn’t know where it was, so I cracked a safe to get the data cards, then took them up and ran them through Orac. The bomb turned out to be on a polar cap, and Avon and a rebel called Del Grant teleported there to disable it while Blake and I stayed. I was getting nervous and desperate for a stiff drink, but I was brave this time and tracked down Provine who was passing as a rebel, but Blake had just shot him. Before he karked it, he did tell us that a cyber-surgeon called Docholli knew where Central Control was.

Cauder, the lead rebel, actually thanked me for my help, and this, being so unusual, went right to my head, and I said, “Any time!” I hope he doesn’t remember that! :-(

Love, Vila 



To:               Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: You pusillanimous git

That’s unfair, Travis. I just don’t like violence, esp. when it’s personal. I’d like to see you try to pick a lock while under fire.

Vila 



To:               Supreme Commander Servalan
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Poor pet

When I’m your pet, Servalan, I’ll live in the lap of luxury, will I? Your lap, that is? Will you hand-feed me? Nice thought, but I think I’ll stay feral for now.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Albian mission

Dear Vila,

I’m glad you’ve got over whatever you had, love, and your pals are being kind to you again, though what is there not to like about my sweet boy? Did you catch a bug from that cold place you went to sleep on? You must wrap up warm.

Do you ever go to any nice planets? They all seem to be radioactive, swampy, or cold, and downright hostile. How about somewhere pretty you could send me a photo from?

Love, Mum

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Blake loses it

Dear Mum,

Funny you should ask about nice planets. We were all set to go to Del Ten, a lovely resort with mountains, low gravity, and bracing atmospheric vita particles, just the thing to put colour in our cheeks.

Then Blake went strange and redirected us to a crummy mining asteroid. Avon, Jenna and Cally said his conditioning was taking him over again and they put him out with a tranquilliser pad and restrained him on the flight deck. I felt a bit sorry for him and took the pad off and gave him a drink, and he told me Avon and Cally had ganged up to take over the ship, and Avon would probably dump me as well as him. I believed it. After all, I trust Blake, and Avon does want the Liberator, and he can be a right pain, recently literally. Wasn’t sure about Jenna and Cally though, but women do seem to go for Avon, who knows why. So I let Blake loose, and he locked the others in the rest room and teleported down. I was starting to get worried ‘cos he was behaving very oddly, so I let the others out and Avon and Jenna went down after him. It turned out there were some rebels there who were going to stage a coup using Governor Le Grand and a famous old martyr geezer called Shivan, all bandaged up like a mummy, to put Blake into power at the Govs’ meeting at Atlay. Blake made me deputy leader (!!!) and sent me to get Gov. Le Grand off her ship, then we went to Atlay, where it all turned to custard. Servalan had set it up and Shivan was really Travis inside that getup. Confusion and death all round, and when we finally got away, Blake looks around surprised and asks why we’re not at Del Ten!

So I’m not deputy leader after all. Blake had no idea what had happened ‘cos they’d reconditioned him with an artificial telepathic transmission. He just said all right then, let’s get going after Star One. Well, we’d had enough this time, and we all got together and outvoted him, so we’re now on our way to Del Ten! And not before time.

Love, ex-deputy leader Vila 



To:               Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       It’s a wrap!

Hi Travis,

Did you think you had it all wrapped up? Your plans came all unravelled, didn’t they? You looked like a bad special effect from an old B-grade visplay about the curse of the pyramids. A Travisty in fact!

Vila 



To:               Supreme Commander Servalan
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       You’re awful, Servalan

That was mean, Servalan. You almost ruined my holiday.

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Idiot

What did you think you were doing, Vila, by letting Blake go? Were there any synapses firing in that partial vacuum you call a brain? Every time you perform up to expectations (for you anyway), you follow up with an appalling display of inanity. At this rate you will be on top form for Del Ten and back to near amoeba-like idiocy for our next foray against the Federation.

You prat.

Avon

    



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Del Ten plans

Anyone got any plans for Del Ten? I’d like a seaside holiday myself – morning and evening swims, light tanning sessions on the beach, a luxury hotel room with one of those beds with all the optional attachments. We’re famous galaxy-wide, we shouldn’t have any trouble booking good rooms.

Vila 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       RE: Del Ten plans

I for one suggest that we split up. I dislike swimming, (though I would enjoy seeing Vila having sand kicked in his face), and my idea of a holiday does not include a companion who thinks high cuisine consists of a hot curry washed down with lager.

Avon 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       RE: Del Ten plans

We will stay together, Avon, and we will not be booking hotel rooms, Vila. We will teleport back each night to sleep on the Liberator. Safety comes first.

I have chosen a mountain resort with a swimming pool and a wide range of activities which should please all tastes.

Blake 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Del Ten plans

We don’t get a say then? Why am I not surprised? All right, as long as it isn’t called Club Fed! And I hope it’s summer down there ‘cos you know how I hate chilly weather.

Never mind, I’m off to choose some swimming and resort gear from the clothes room. Anyone want to join me? Girls?

Vila



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Del Ten Day 1

Dear Mum,

We got to Del Ten late yesterday and Jenna got Zen to park us in stationary orbit over the Bally High resort. Lucky Avon’s fixed his gadget now so we can’t be detected.

We put Orac on the teleport and went down and spent the morning at the pool. Jenna and Blake oiled each other up, Cally sat down to read a book, and Avon lay back on a deck chair in tight black leather trunks with silver studs; not the best for swimming I’d have thought. I took a flying leap into the pool and splashed about happily, forget all that serious stuff like doing lengths. It quite took me back to when I used to get out of the dome and go swimming up-river. A couple of girls walked past Avon and gave him the hairy eyeball, and Avon gave them a slit-eyed smouldering look back. Cally put her book down and looked really annoyed. I like Cally, so I jumped out of the pool and threw some water over Avon. He leapt up, yelling that I’d spotted his trunks, grabbed me by mine, giving me a vicious wedgie, and threw me back in the pool. I came up and said, “Ooh, Avon, you are being sportive!” and the girls looked at each other in disgust and said, “All the best ones are taken these days!” and walked off. Avon was so angry he shoved my head back under and I was laughing so much I almost drowned. Cally pulled me out and hit me on the back a few times, laughing too, and Avon stalked off in a sulk.

We all had lunch at the resort buffet, charging it against random room numbers. Avon was still snitty and complained that the food wasn’t up to his high standards, but I noticed he went back for 3 desserts. So did Cally for that matter.

In the afternoon, Blake and Jenna went horse-riding (using velcro saddles because of the low gravity), and Cally and Avon decided to throw themselves off the nearest cliff attached to the end of a bungy, the point of which escaped me. Avon said I should try it as I’d go down head-first and wasn’t likely to hurt anything, but I declined with dignity. I went inside and desultorily cracked a couple of safes to keep in practice and got some nice jewellery for the girls, then went to the pool bar. After Space City, I was careful to keep to the cocktails with the little umbrellas as they’re fairly harmless. A very attractive woman came up and sat beside me, and we had a friendly chat. I thought, “Way-hay, Vila! She might fancy you!” She did, but I’d noticed the Adam’s apple by then and said sorry, I had to meet someone on the golf course, and took off fast in the other direction. Story of my life. :-(

We had dinner in the restaurant. Cally must have felt sorry for me because she asked me to eat with her; Avon said the sight would affect his appetite and went to Blake and Jenna’s table where he could act the snooty Alpha, sending back wine and pronouncing all the dishes correctly. Cally ordered the oriental banquet for two, and I thought typical, no-one ever asks my opinion, then she asked me what I was eating! I ordered the eastern vegetarian platter (felafels, hummus, pita, salad: yum!) Cally amazingly finished all her food, but with frequent breaks; Aurons must have weak bladders. When I gave her the necklace, saying I was sorry it was made of silver and not my teeth, she kissed me on the cheek and said I was really very sweet. She is too. Wish I had a chance there.

Jenna liked her necklace too. She kissed me on the forehead and said I had my uses even if I was sometimes a bit of a pest, but she was smiling. I think I’ve finally grown on her.

 Attached photos:

bullet

Jenna and Blake applying basting oil

bullet

Avon in his stud gear

bullet

Me showing my biceps by the pool (lucky this one’s not blurry, Cally was laughing so much when she took it)

bullet

Me with a fancy cocktail at the pool bar (the barman took this one)

bullet

Blake and Jenna after their ride (Blake looks a bit bandy-legged)

bullet

Cally eating

bullet

Avon sending back an inferior vintage

bullet

Avon telling me to piss off

bullet

Cally wearing her necklace

Love, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       Jewellery

The necklace suits Jenna very well. You have excellent taste. I assume you acquired that jewellery by your usual means. I hope you didn’t sign any locks! :-)

Blake 



To:               Roj Blake
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Jewellery

Blake! I’m hurt! If I was as stupid as you lot seem to think, I’d have spent my whole life in prison! Want anything for yourself?

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       My order

Blake says you may be in action again today, Vila. If so, keep an eye out for a good quality chain for me, preferably silver.

Avon 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Del Ten Day 2

Dear Mum,

This morning Blake became sadistic and made us all go on the adventure walk as he said we needed exercise after almost two years of ship life. He and Jenna strode off ahead and kept getting annoyed about having to wait for the rest of us: Cally kept stopping to look at the views, Avon said his boots were too tight, and I was exhausted very early on. I was so tired I stumbled and fell down a cliff, so your biggest worry about me came true! Before you panic I wasn’t hurt; the gravity’s very low on Del Ten. The others stood at the top and gave me advice on how to climb up, and helpful comments like “Gravity sucks, doesn’t it Vila!”, and I thought sod this, and called for teleport. Once back on board, I had a slug of adrenaline and soma and a nap, grabbed my trunks, and teleported down to the resort. First I hit the safes again. Security was as slack as yesterday (I don’t know why people think lightning and Vila don’t strike twice in the same place) and I got the girls rings to match their necklaces, Avon a chain, Blake a medallion (should catch nicely in his chest hair), but nothing for me as I’ve still got that chain you gave me for my 16th birthday after I escaped from SG-1. Always wear it too, under my shirt.

When the others turned up for lunch after showering on the Liberator, Blake and Jenna looked hearty and smug, Cally had gone quiet, and Avon was limping and livid. He said, “That idiot thief is the only one today who showed any signs of intelligence.” I said, “You should be nicer to me, Avon, I got you a chain”, and handed out my prezzies.

After lunch we all went sunbathing and swimming. Avon and Blake wore their chains – Avon mincing, and Blake wincing (yes, it did catch a bit). I had a lot of fun playing ‘mass drivers’ in the pool with the kids – first one in is the target, and the others leap in from the high board curled into a ball; winner is the closest to the target without hitting it. Avon said my behaviour explained a lot as I had arrested development. Who cares - I had the most fun of them all.

Dinner in the restaurant again. Avon said that my conversation and Cally’s excesses put him off his trout almondine, but I noticed he ate it all.

Attached photos:

bullet

Me sprawled at the bottom of the cliff (thanks, Avon)

bullet

Avon and Blake strutting their stuff by the pool

bullet

Me leaping off the high diving board

bullet

Me being forcibly removed from the pool by the lifeguards

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Cally having a light afternoon snack

bullet

Jenna sunbathing topless

bullet

Blake telling me to piss off

Love, Vila 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Del Ten Day 3

Dear Mum,

Today we went flying! There’s very low gravity here, and you can just attach wings to your arms and make like Icarus. We spent the morning launching ourselves from that cliff I fell down, and getting Orac to teleport us up again; he was getting very annoyed as usual at the humiliation of such a petty job. Everything went well till I thought a mid-air dogfight might be fun and ended up tangling the lot of us up in one big ball. We dropped like a feather, nothing hurt but dignity. Still, they wouldn’t let me play after that and got Orac to send me to the pool.

I had a quiet little swim (those lifeguards can be a bit rough and I didn’t want to aggravate them again) and a pre-lunch drink or two. After lunch. the others said they now agreed with Avon – the best holiday is Vila-less, and they would see me at dinner. I felt rather hurt. As usual I’m only ever wanted in the wrong way and by the wrong people. :-(

After lunch, I went swimming again, had a nap in a deck chair, then decided to try all the umbrella-cocktails I hadn’t yet had. A very attractive woman came up and sat beside me, and I looked at her sidelong to check for Adam’s apples, and almost swallowed my straw.

It was Servalan.

“Why, hello Vila,” she said. “I thought I’d find you here, dear boy.” She ran her hand up my naked thigh and my hand trembled so much I almost spilled my drink. “You do look rather fetching in trunks. A tan suits you, and you’re getting lovely blond sun-streaks.” She stroked my hair and I closed my eyes in terror, and put my other hand behind me before she saw my bracelet. “Don’t be nervous, Vila. Be sociable. Buy me a drink.” I thought, what the hell, she’s wearing such a tight white swimming costume she can’t be hiding a weapon. I bought her a cocktail and asked how she found us. “I’ve only found you so far, Vila,” she said. “You were rather indiscreet in your e-mail. You said I’d spoilt your holiday. Del Ten was the nearest resort planet, and all I had to do was ask if any hotels had been robbed by a unusually skilled thief.” Oh no, I thought, if the others find out, I’m toast. “Where are the others, Vila?” I said, “They won’t like being disturbed.” Well, that much was probably true. “Oh, poor Vila,” said Servalan. “Left out again? Perhaps I could rectify matters.” She leant toward me predatorily, leading with her chest and her smile, and I tipped back off my stool and yelled “TELEPORT, ORAC!”, and was gone before I hit the ground.

I landed on the Liberator on my bum, and straight away asked Zen and Orac for status. Zen said there was a Fed fleet orbiting Del Ten, and Orac said the others were still on the surface. I wasn’t keen on teleporting them without warning after them wanting to be left alone, so I called them up first on their bracelets. Blake and Jenna were in the hotel, and Avon and Cally were by a mountain lake. Blake was angry. “This had better be good, Vila,” he said, “Because what you interrupted was excellent!” When they came up, he and Jenna looked hotter than after their adventure walk, and Avon and Cally were very quiet and rather annoyed. They still are.

I wish I’d got a photo of me and Servalan now.

Love, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       Housekeeping

Vila,

Because of the little pink paper umbrella, I assume that the sticky substance on the teleport pad is your spilled drink. Do clean it up, Vila.

And well done spotting Servalan and getting us away so fast. Sorry I snapped.

Blake 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Del Ten Day 3

Dear Vila,

At last you’ve had some fun! It was lovely to get your photos, except for the one of you at the bottom of that cliff. I know I’ve always worried about that, and it only makes it worse to see a picture of it. But you do look well, dear. I’ve put all the photos on the fridge to remind me of you whenever I use it. Mind you, I always think of you when I open it anyway - that time I found you half-dead in it almost did for my heart.

Love, Mum 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       Money

Vila.

Remember our pact to make some money the first chance we got? Blake has tracked that cyber-surgeon Docholli down to Freedom City. If you have any ideas, unlikely as it may seem, I’d be interested.

Avon 



To:               Kerr Avon
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Money

Freedom City! Be still, my beating heart! We could hit a bank, crack hotel safes, hijack cash shipments… Whatever it is would have to be fast though, as I’d like some time for fun. I hear they have a good casino.

Providing Blake lets me go there at all after that Space City incident. :-(

Vila

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Freedom City

Dear Mum,

Blake was after a guy called Docholli who knows where Star One is, and he tracked him to Freedom City. I was getting excited – two holidays in succession, but as I rather suspected, I was grounded. So was Avon, maybe because Blake didn’t want to leave me unsupervised. Bad plan – we hatched a plot between us to take the casino using a miniaturised Orac, and hoped we’d be back before we were missed.

We got there in time to watch a guy play the Klute at speed chess – you get a million if you win or draw, and a terrible shock if you lose – a fatal electric one. He lost. I said I couldn’t understand how anyone could gamble with his own life, and Avon said mine was so worthless he was surprised I hadn’t thrown it away on a poker hand by now. I said speak for yourself, my life might not be much but it’s all I’ve got and I’m keeping it, thanks. Avon got Orac to hack into the casino computers, ordered some ice-cream for himself, and told me to be get going, and to be careful. I think he meant it, oddly enough. Then I played roulette while Avon got Orac to tell me which bets to make through my bracelet. It’s a great feeling being a winner, not one I know that well. I was surrounded by more and more admiring punters every time I made a big win, and was thoroughly enjoying myself, while Avon got more and more nervous. He’d started to look ill and hadn’t eaten his second ice-cream. Finally he begged me to stop before he was sick - I was surprised as I’m normally the nervous one. I was 5 million up when the wheel developed a ‘fault’. This nice chap Krantor congratulated me and offered me a drink while my money was being packaged up. I was feeling very happy, so I went with him and had something purple and surprisingly strong. He got my 5 mill packed up, and got out another 5 and said, “Do you feel lucky, Vila?” I did, I did. He said I could double my winnings at chess if I liked, and I thought, why not? I like chess.

Next thing I knew, I was out in the casino with people cheering me, and Avon spitting out his ice-cream in horror. I didn’t know why he was so worried until I found myself in the hot seat about to play the Klute. I sobered up fast and tried to do a runner, but Avon said we’d lose all the money, and that Orac would give me the moves. I was thinking that my life was worth a lot more than 10 mill, to me anyway, but I agreed, and played to a draw. The Klute had a sort of fit (though nothing like what I’d have had if I’d lost) and I leapt up, grabbed the money and ran for it with Avon. Once outside the casino, I said I wanted to bank the money in my numbered account but Avon said I’d taken enough stupid risks, and got Orac to teleport us. Just as well actually, as we just only got back and hid the money before others teleported. We stood in front of mini-Orac and pretended we’d had a quiet time playing chess, but Blake was very suspicious of my innocent look. Lucky he didn’t see Orac pop back to full size behind me.

You know, Avon and I did make a good team down there.

Oh yeah, they found that guy Docholli, but he didn’t know where Star One is either, though he does have a clue for us. Travis was there too, waiting for Blake, but his arm was playing up due to a dud grenade Servalan put in it. Blake must have felt sorry for him because he didn’t whack him. Once again.

Love, Vila, your nouveau-riche son 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Supreme Commander Servalan
Subject:       Just a tease

Why, Vila, you did leave Del Ten in such a hurry, and just when things were getting interesting. You tease.

I see I missed you at Freedom City too, dear boy. You were very clever in the casino, I hear. I’m sorry I didn’t see you or that fascinating Avon. Do tell Blake he was a fool not to kill Travis when he had the chance. Travis does not give up.

Nor do I, Vila.

Servalan 



To:               Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Me again!

Hi Travis,

It’s me again! I hear that we were on Freedom City at the same time. I got 5 million credits, and you got disarmed. Your hardware turned out to be a bit of a bomb, did it? Not that I like to point the finger!

Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Space Commander Travis (Ret’d)
Subject:       RE: Me again!

That does it, Restal! You’re back in my kill file. I hate puns.

Travis 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Freedom City

Dear Vila,

Five million! Do spend it wisely, dear, and not all at once. Keep some aside for the bounty-hunters. I’m glad you and Avon are getting on well. He does seem to have a sharp tongue in his head though. I’m not sure why you spend so much time with him.

And you’re doing very well – you haven’t been hit over the head for a few weeks now! I’m sure you feel better for it.

Love, Mum

 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Gothic nightmares

Dear Mum,

Blake was still hot-foot after the location of Central Control at somewhere called Star One. That guy Docholli used to erase the memories of techs who’d worked there. He knew he’d be next, so he and another cyber-surgeon called Lurgan kept one brain print as insurance and hopped it. Lurgan was last seen on Goth, and a member of the royal family was wearing the brain print round his neck. Or maybe the brain itself! Or even a whole shrunken head! Ugh, hope not - don’t fancy having to swipe anything like that.

So of course we went to Goth, and it was very primitive, so I still haven’t banked my money. It’s in an old jar labelled ‘Curry powder’ in my room. Now that Gan’s gone, no-one’s likely to open it.

Jenna, Blake and I teleported down to look for the brain print. We got jumped, and though I escaped briefly and called Avon for teleport, he wasn’t there. The place stank like the sewers were up, and you know how I am with bad niffs; I sneezed and got grabbed again. Jenna and I were dragged off underground to see Gola, the top Goth, in his tent, and Travis was there too. I assume his arm was still on the fritz because he didn’t blow me away, even after all the e-mails I’ve been sending him. Gola took a fancy to us and made Jenna his pair-bond and me his fool (type-cast again!). Jenna managed to check Gola’s sister’s amulet – no dice. I was doing all right with some tricks (used that chain you gave me – the bastard kept it and I had to pick his pocket later) till his previous fool got jealous. He threw my voice and the guards threw me - into a very dark and frightening dungeon with a nasty-smelling old chap who’d lost his marbles. Blake was outside; I told him it had to be Gola. Jenna convinced Gola to swap the fool for the new improved model (me) but she told me it wasn’t him either. Then Blake turned up with another great hairy Goth called Rod, Gola’s brother, and they had a duel to the death. Wasn’t Rod either. This was getting frustrating. We were running out of Goth royals. Tara, the sister, said their father was in the dungeon, so we rushed back down there. It was that smelly old guy, and he was dying. We checked his amulet but no brain print yet again – then the fool said Travis had taken it. The old chap checked out, but not before he said a trigger phrase – “a fool knows everything and nothing” which must have been a hypnotic cue for the fool, who started quoting Star One’s grid reference.

When we got back and told Avon and Cally, Avon said that phrase was only half right in my case.

Love, Vila 



To:               Jenna Stannis
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Thanks

Jenna,

Thanks for looking out for me down there. Not many would have bothered.

Cheers, Vila 



To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jenna Stannis
Subject:       RE: Thanks

I’ve got used to you, Vila. You were a nuisance on the London; in fact you needed a good slap up the head for one of your jokes. I have to admit though that you’re nowhere near as bad as I’d thought. You’re almost house-trained now. In fact, I think I’d miss you if something happened to you. Damn, I never thought I’d say that! :-)

Jenna 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       My vote

Blake, and everybody else too.

If you’re planning to take out Central Control, I want out. I’m an oppressed mass, and I figure I have a say in this, as the rebellion is supposed to be for people like me. With Control gone, there’ll be one hell of a mess. It’ll be Y3K all over again.

Vila 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Roj Blake
Subject:       RE: My vote

Come on, Vila. We’ve been biting them like gnats. We need to go for the jugular. Do you want everything we’ve done to count for nothing? Including Gan’s death?

Blake 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: My vote

Gan didn’t die for nothing. He died for us. And if he was here, he’d say the same as me.

Vila 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: My vote

I’m with Vila. People will die, Blake. And people are all there is.

Cally 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Jenna Stannis
Subject:       RE: My vote

I’m throwing in my lot with Blake. We need to make an end to it all. Sorry, Vila, but surely you understand, after all the Federation’s done to you.

Jenna 



To:               Liberator Crew
From:           Kerr Avon
Subject:       RE: My vote

You are all fools. I oppose Blake’s bloody path to revolution for its mindless fanaticism, and Vila’s weak plea for the status quo has as much merit as any of his ill-thought-out arguments.

The only course is to control Star One ourselves and rule the Federation. Failing that, I want the Liberator.

Avon 



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Central Control

Dear Mum,

I’m worried. Blake wants to take out Central Control to bring the Federation to its knees. I didn’t think we’d find it, but we’re on our way there now. It’s right past the edge of the galaxy. And so is Blake, gone over the edge I mean. He doesn’t care how many people die when Control goes. I’ve never thought the end justified the means, Cally neither. So for once I’m breaking my security rules and telling you what we’re doing ahead of time. Pass it round the Delta levels – lay in some food and drink. And some good detective novels too in case you get bored.

Lots of love and good luck, Vila 



To:               Supreme Commander Servalan
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Andromedan invasion

Servalan,

In case you didn’t get Orac’s message, the Andromedans are invading at Star One, care of Travis. See you at C-17320 in the 11th sector for a wild alien party. Good luck!

Vila



To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       At Star One

Dear Mum,

Just time for one last quick message. Jenna and I stayed on board when the others went down to blow up Control, and checked out the minefield laid between us and the next galaxy, Andromeda. Then we noticed this big meteor storm coming at us, which turned out to be a battle fleet. Yep, one of my own fears is coming true – we’re about to be invaded by hairy aliens, though these ones aren’t that hairy; they’re big blobby jelly-baby things, so the others say. Jenna sent a message to Space Command giving our position and warning them, then someone started turning off the minefield to open a gap to let them through.

It was Travis, down in Control. He wounded Blake and Avon killed him. Finally! Then they got out all the bombs they’d planted, as we’ll need Control to survive. Hey, I could’ve told them that, did in fact. The usual story - Vila knows, but no-one listens to Vila. So now we’re the last best hope of humanity, hoping to pick off the Andromedans as they come through the gap.

I’m on the neutron blasters. If you never hear from me again, think of me as a brave intergalactic hero. Even though I’m not.

All my love, Vila


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