Vila Restals E-mails - Year 4By Nicola Mody
Page 2 of 14
From: Vila Restal
Yeah, right. Outlaws don’t get a lot of choice about their working conditions.
Anyway, Vila’s off the menu now. I could get through the lock on that door (of course) but couldn’t handle the coded voice-recognition stuff Dorian set up. I was working on the lock when a very nice Seska girl called Pella turned up and offered to help me. I got such a shock, I dropped the lance on my hand and bruised it. Pella stroked it and rubbed some ointment on it, so gently my knees went quite weak. She said I was clever too (for that alone I’d like her) and told me about the nuclear compression charge on the door which goes off if Dorian doesn’t key in his code word every 48 hours. Apart from that wonderful news I was really enjoying the conversation, but when I tried to stop her leaving, she blasted me right across the room against the door. She did say sorry though. Only about the third time in as many years anyone’s said that to me!
Tarrant and Dayna didn’t believe me at first because both entrances to the base were locked. I thought maybe she was another thief like me, and my heart beat a little faster, but Orac worked out she used telekinesis. Turned out there was a war between the Seskas (all women) and the Hommiks (men) and Dorian supplied the Seskas with nutrients for their hydroponics in return for them helping him try to build a teleport. The Hommiks were an uncivilised lot; I bet they ate rodents. We got captured by them when we went looking for Avon and had to watch Dayna fight the chief Hommik to the death. I have to say that’s the last time I handcuff myself to her - I was lucky to get away alive; he didn’t!
In the end I cracked the lock and Pella turned off the compression charge switch with her telekinesis. I was thinking we made a nice team, but she wanted Scorpio for herself. She pulled a gun on us, shot the other Seska girl, slammed the door on us and powered up the drive. Avon used the focussing crystal from the dead Seska to run the teleport system and teleported to the flight deck and killed Pella. Pity. I liked her. And a girl with her talents would have been very useful on the crew, not to mention pleasant company for me. For a change.
Avon told us to teleport too, but I got left behind (teleporter malfunction # 3). I said, “Why is it always me?” and Soolin suddenly appeared and said it was obvious, smirking at me. Marvellous. One of nature’s victims, that’s me. So Soolin’s in the crew now, and true to form I’m still at the bottom of the pecking order. :-(
We went to shop on the local planet Dorian and Soolin used, Onus Two. I found the natives are very sensitive about the way people pronounce that. Lucky it was a weekend and the banks were closed so I could easily withdraw some cash from one of them. Tarrant said I’d proved useful at last, and Dayna said maybe they’d keep me. Then we went to a supermarket for food and other supplies. Avon said I was too extravagant, getting 3-ply toilet paper, but he let me keep it when I pointed out the cost of his overpowering aftershave and his designer shampoos and mousse, and anyway I’d provided the money. We also got some adrenaline and soma, but Avon wagged his finger in front of my nose and said it was for medicinal purposes only and he’d counted the bottles. So I lifted some more when he wasn’t looking. And those fashion plates wonder why I prefer loose tunics to their skin-tight outfits!
From: Soolin [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Thank you
I know you got into trouble for blowing up that basement, but I would like to thank you for it. Good thinking.
I watched you all for a couple of days before I decided to come out, and the others don’t seem to think much of you. I don’t know why – handcuffing yourself and Dayna together was a very logical solution to the mistrust problem. And that bank break-in was very quick, efficient and profitable. You’re obviously not as stupid as you look.
Also, thanks for standing up to Avon about the 3-ply.
From: Vila Restal
Subject: RE: Thanks
Firstly, you said thanks to me! And I have it in writing! This must be the first time in years! And I’m sorry Dorian tried to kill you, Soolin. I’d be very upset if a friend did that to me. Don’t suppose you want a sympathetic ear, do you?
Secondly, no-one could possibly be as stupid as I look. Might as well get in first before you think of it. :-(
Thirdly, I see the kitchen has an espresso machine I’m looking forward to trying. Care for some of my famous cheesy toast and a cappuccino? Plus some witty and charming conversation? You won’t get any from the others here; they’re not much on small talk.
From: Kerr Avon
Subject: Espresso machine
I don’t know how anyone who can pick complicated physio-psycho locks, crack bank vaults, and disable alarm systems, could possibly plaster coffee grounds all over the ceiling and soak the carpet with steamed milk within a radius of 2 metres of the espresso machine. Clean it up, Vila. And read the manual next time, idiot.
Subject: Thanks again
Vila, I don’t know when I’ve laughed so hard. You should have seen your face when the coffee blew. I’m still smiling at the memory of you diving for cover under the table, whimpering with fear and covering your head. You should be a comedian!
You give me hope, you know. In a galaxy full of hard bastards, vicious murderers and humourless thugs (I speak from experience) you’re something completely different – sweet, kind, and so funny. You’re not that stupid either, but I’m beginning to suspect you are as innocent as you look!
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