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Jabberwocky - part 10 - Program

By Sheila Paulson
Page 1 of 27

Background

Part 1 Link-up

Cally has survived the explosion on Terminal and the crew have escaped in Servalan's wreck of a ship. While in a coma, Cally dreams the events of the fourth season, including Blake's death. Traumatized by her injury, she has lost her telepathy. When the crew, augmented by Hugh Tiver, a doctor kidnaped by Avon to take care of Cally, steal a prototype Federation mindship constructed around a living human brain and capable of bonding with a human in a mental linkage, their adventures are just beginning. Afraid of finding Blake for fear Avon will kill him, Cally bonds with the ship, naming it Jabberwocky. After rescuing Soolin from the Scorpio, they go to Gauda Prime, where the encounter backfires. Blake is wounded but is rescued and joins the crew of Jabberwocky. Cally's telepathy returns and she turns linkage of the ship over to Blake.

Part 2 Mind-Rape

Blake is back, and in linkage with Jabberwocky, and Servalan wants to steal Jabberwocky and link with it in order to take back the presidency. She had meant it to be hers from the beginning. She uses Witt, a telepath who had worked his way into Avalon's rebel army on Ryalon base, to wrest control of Jabberwocky from Blake, leaving the rebel trapped inside his mind. A mental linkage is the only way to bring him back, and Avon the only one who can do it. With Cally's help, and using nearly atrophied telepathic skills he had long pretended he didn't have, Avon is able to draw Blake back from the prison within his mind. Jabberwocky defeats the rogue telepath.

Part 3 - Healer

With Blake in control once more, Avon is gradually accepting he was born a telepath, but his powers were suppressed to the verge of destruction.

      Blake begins behaving oddly, and problems develop with the ship as Jabberwocky begins to remember his long suppressed past - his memories had been blocked when his brain was used in the mindship. In the meantime, Jenna Stannis and Del Grant have teamed up and have one objective: Kill Avon. When their plan goes wrong and Tarrant is gravely wounded, only the combination of the mindship and Avon, the untrained telepath are able to save the pilot's life, and at this point, Tarrant becomes Jabberwocky's linkmate. Jenna joins the crew.

Part 4 - The Froma

On a mission to draw in potential rebel support, Blake and his crew are asked to steal the Froma, an alien artifact that cannot be stolen as it destroys anyone who tries to remove it from its world. When Avon and Hugh are captured, Avon receives an unexpected telepathic contact - from the Froma itself. The strange device proves to be a sentient organism, the last of its kind. Able to link telepathically with Avon, it wants to bond with him on a permanent basis, but Cally helps, and the entity is taken to Kahn where it can be among the newly reviving Auronar.

Part 5 - Decoy

When the Jabberwocky crew pick up a message that suggests IMIPAK is being taken to a remote world, they are in two minds about going after it, partly because of the danger to Avon and Blake and partly because it may be a trap. But Blake refuses to leave IMIPAK in Federation hands. The mission is complicated by the fact that there is a potential sleeper agent on the ship who might betray them. Everyone suspects everyone else. The sleeper proves to be Soolin, who was programmed long ago. The IMIPAK device proves a dummy, part of a plot to capture the rebels, but they are able to escape, taking the false device with them.

Part 6 - Kyl

A teenager comes to Ryalon to join the resistance and causes a great deal of trouble inadvertently when he encounters the crew of the Jabberwocky. Concealing his true identity, he is torn between a desire to become a member of the resistance and the need to confront his long-lost father - Avon. Kyl proves to be programmed, part of a long-standing plot to get Avon, but Orac is able to deprogram him, and the plot is thwarted when Kyl's former guardian arrives and nearly kills Avon. Kyl and his father make wary peace.

Part 7 - Clone

Realizing mention of IMIPAK will draw Servalan back to the planet where it was left, Blake plans a mission to find and destroy the weapon. Trailed by a mysterious ship, and protesting all the way, the crew arrive to find that Blake's clone is still there. When the mysterious ship arrives and Dayna dies in an accidental confrontation, Servalan captures the clone only to find she has the original Blake. The clone overpowers Blake and replaces him on Jabberwocky. When the captain of the mysterious vessel proves to be Dorn Suliman, a friend of Tarrant's and the son of the man Jabberwocky once was. Avon plans a rescue of Blake, using the dummy IMIPAK. Dorn warily decides he will try to get to know his father again.

Part 8 - Stand-in

A mysterious cube proves to be a prison for an alien mass-murderer, who escapes - into Tarrant's body. With the link broken, Jabberwocky's sanity is in jeopardy, and Vila offers himself as a temporary link-mate. With Tarrant's body in stasis and the alien in possession of the ship's computers, only Vila can find a solution that will drive him away and restore the ship and Tarrant. The link is returned to Tarrant once the being is defeated.

Part 9 - Choices

When Avon's son Kyl stows away on a mission and winds up being kidnapped by Servalan, she plans to use him in trade for Blake. Left with an impossible choice, Avon is overruled by Blake himself, and with Jabberwocky's help and the development of a gestalt linkage, the whole crew forms a mental link to confront Servalan and rescue Kyl and Blake.


Program

Vila Restal bolted upright in bed, shaking with the force of the nightmare. It had been a long time since he'd dreamed about Dayna, but for the last two nights, she had appeared in his sleep, calling his name, pleading for help. The last time he had jerked awake expecting to find her in the room. But then, as now, he found himself alone with nothing but darkness.

      "Dayna?" he whispered tentatively, half afraid that to speak to her now that he was awake would call her spirit back to haunt him. Vila didn't like the thought of ghosts, even ghosts like Dayna who should be on his side.

      There was no answer. Of course not. Spirits didn't haunt the ship: if they did, Jabberwocky would know about it and warn them. Vila switched on the light and looked around his cabin as if seeking signs of an intruder. Nothing. Imagining the effect upon Avon of such a warning, Vila brightened slightly. Avon had no patience with things like ghosts, though he probably had more of them haunting his dreams than any of the rest of them did. Anna Grant, his old 'friend' Tynus, maybe even Gan. Dayna for a certainty. Probably still blamed himself for her death, which was stupid. Vila would have loved to tell Avon there was nothing he could have done to save Dayna when Dorn Suliman's bodyguard had shot her. Avon might - reluctantly - be a healer, but his healing went in a different direction. Emotional pain was what he was good at; almost a joke, considering how poorly Avon dealt with his own emotions. Sometimes Vila wondered if Avon could ever turn his special brand of healing inward. Physician, heal thyself, he thought with half a smile.

      As usual, thoughts of Avon chased away the spirits. Avon was so blasted pragmatic that no spirit would dare appear to him for fear that Avon would look at it, say calmly, "you don't exist," and banish it with a wave of his hand. Kerr Avon, ghost slayer, thought Vila with a wide grin.

      Fully awake, Vila turned his thoughts to the others. Blake was making noises about going off on another mission soon, probably in the next day or so. Vila would have to protest it for all he was worth, just to keep in practice. After all, he was the resident coward on board Jabberwocky, and even if that had always been partly a facade, people expected more of him than they had of the old Vila. That would never do. Before long they'd be expecting him to work. Vila shuddered elaborately.

      He considered dressing and wandering out to the flight deck, but there wasn't much point. Here on Ryalon, at their home base, the flight deck was not always manned at night since Jabberwocky could monitor for trouble perfectly well. Trouble didn't often come to Ryalon, though it wasn't impossible. But going to the flight deck if no one was there didn't sound very entertaining.

      In the old days, he would have had himself a drink or three to put himself back to sleep, but he hardly drank at all these days. If they hadn't got Jabberwocky when they had, Vila suspected his drinking might have got out of hand, but everything had turned around and now he got more fun out of pretending to cadge a drink than from actually drinking.

      "Go back to sleep, Vila," he told himself. "It was only a bad dream." Putting out the light, he crawled into bed again. The darkness seemed ominous. He whispered uneasily, "Dayna?" but there was no reply. After a few minutes, he began to relax. Deliberately he turned his thoughts to Avon and began to replay in his mind Avon's conversation yesterday when he was repairing the extra range detectors. Avon had taken it into his head to explain the procedure in great detail to Vila, who had been the only one not quick enough to get away. Now, he went over it in his head, step by step.

      It put him to sleep in minutes.

      

      


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Sheila Paulson

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