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Royal Flush

By Susan
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'Blake wouldn't approve,' Jenna said coming upon Avon and Vila as left the exhibition.

'What makes you think we were plotting anything?' Vila asked, attempting to look innocent, and failing as usual.

'So you weren't considering appropriating those crowns and jewels?'

'There's no harm in thinking,' Vila replied. 'Aren't you tempted?'

'You know what he'd say.' Blake obviously.

'They belong here and why not make imitation ones from the stuff in the treasure room.' Avon managed a passable imitation of Blake.

'Because it'd be too much like hard work, and that's stuff for the Boy Scouts. Unless you could prove we were the actual owners of these things. Can you imagine it Jenna - King Vila the First?'

'I'll believe it when I see it.' She laughed. 'Why not go into it? Especially if you can make me heir to a fortune.'

'That's what I like about you Jenna,' Vila said, 'your sensible flights of fantasy.'

Before she could make a reply, Blake was contacting them to remind them that their shore leave was over.

'Orac, I have some work for you.' Vila was doing the watch.

'What Vila? Calculating betting odds is a gross misuse of my capacities.'

'I wasn't thinking of that. Or making cocktails.'

'I had come across some examples that are not on your list. Do you wish them not to be retained?' Orac could be tempted by anything that involved acquiring vast amounts of seemingly useless information.

'Keep them for now - apart from the ones that involve creepy crawlies and things reputedly poisonous. What I want you to do now is to do some family history for me.'

'Considering the billions of people who now exist and who have lived in the past, have you considered how much work would be involved?'

'Have I found something you cannot do?'

'I do not see why I should do anything where the work involved far exceeds the amount of use that would be made of the information.'

'That is something we can both agree on. Besides I don't care if I am the fifty-ninth cousin twelve times removed of the President. Not unless I can get something out of it that is. I want you to do something slightly simpler and far more practical. A puzzle for you.'

'Being what?'

'Down there where we were, we saw a lot of crowns from various royalty.'

'And you wish to know who they now belong to?'

'And any other theoretical monarchs you can find.'

'Still fascinated by the idea you might be king?' Avon asked, coming on to the flight deck.

'Well - we could present the idea to Blake. A load of pomp and glitter, and the support of a grateful new ruler or several. A few nice gongs as a present would not go amiss would they?'

'No worse than some of his ideas. Are you going to do it Orac?'

'It might be more interesting than some of the requests you have made.'

Blake for once was speechless. Vila was grinning because he had set all this in motion.

'You are saying, Orac, that Avon, Jenna, Vila and myself are all heirs to different monarchies?' While Vila was pleased, having a full hand of monarchies on board almost devalued it.

'Yes - why repeat what I just said? What do you intend doing about it?'

'I am not certain,' Avon said, 'that your status as revolutionary leader will be enhanced by this information being generally known. Are you for the masses or for a crown?'

'It might be useful though.'

'Blake,' Vila asked, 'can we go and collect the assorted sets of crown jewels? They do belong to us. Just think what a good disguise using the titles would be.' Though it would depend upon where one went. Down the markets it would make the difference between haggling for something down to a sensible price and being ripped off.

'I will consider the matter. Orac - keep this matter out of Federation hands.'

'What about the crowns?'

'We've got a room full of jewels and you want a few more baubles?'

'Why not? Besides you could probably pull a fast one on Servalan.'

'Actually,' Orac continued, 'both Servalan and Travis'

'And,' Blake continued, 'who else is a claimant to some throne?'

'How long a list do you want?'

'Avon.'

'Yes Vila?'

'I see there are sixteen major unclaimed lottery tickets We could set up our own scam, without Blake.'

'I want my percentage.'

'OK Orac, you can have a finder's fee.'


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