The Ultimate Slash StoryBy Jean Graham
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Blake's face revealed the depth of his disappointment. "But Avon..."
"Don't 'but Avon' me!" The enraged computer expert stormed to the door of Blake's quarters. "How many times do I have to say it? I haven't the remotest interest in fulfilling your every desire. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Do you begin to get the drift here? Big curly-headed berks are not my type!"
"But Avon," the other man pleaded. "All I want to do is cover you in chocolate fudge sauce and lick it off again..."
"Don't say it! I don't want to hear about it! It's not bad enough I have a perennially-possessed Auron chasing me all over this ship, I have to contend with your doe-eyed glances as well. Well I've had enough, do you hear? I want it finished!"
Blake's litany was stifled by the closing door as Avon marched into the corridor, heading resolutely for the flight deck and a long-overdue chance at solitude. Perhaps he could get in a little game of Star Maidens with Orac...
Cally's honeyed tones stopped him in his tracks midway down the passageway. She came out of her own cabin, dressed... no, make that not dressed...in the filmiest negligee this side of the Veil Nebula.
"Avon," she cooed, "wouldn't you like to come inside and show me what you keep under all that leather..."
"No! I wouldn't!" he interrupted before she say anything more. He had to perform a thoroughly demoralizing duck-and-dodge minuet before he could manoeuvre his way around her in the close-walled hexagonal corridor. "Why don't you try a cold shower? I'm told they're very good for that sort of thing."
He didn't hear the rest. He'd turned into a junction, heading again for the flight deck. There were three more crew quarters along his route, but surely none of the rest would...
No. It couldn't be. Fate could not possibly be so cruel.
A pyjama-clad Vila stumbled into the hall to block his path, the familiar shape of a soma bottle cradled in his arms.
"Care for a little nightcap?" he queried with a distinctly leering undertone. "With half the female population of the galaxy lusting after you, you ought to be able to spare a little time for me..."
Avon silenced him with a withering glare and a solitary word.
The thief recoiled from the verbal blast, shrugged, and turned back into his cabin still hugging the bottle. "Better company than you are anyway," he was heard to mutter as Avon continued on his way.
Perhaps now he would be able to reach the flight deck unmolested. Didn't anyone on this ship ever think about anything else anymore?
Avon turned. And stared.
She was wearing...well she wasn't really wearing anything, apart from a black lace teddy that left absolutely nothing to the proverbial imagination.
Avon mustered a toothy smile and said hopefully, "I gather you were looking for Blake."
She slithered up to him and placed one slender hand to his lips, sultry eyes drinking in his own. "Well as a matter of fact," she purred, pressing closer - much closer, "I was rather hoping you'd be willing to help me practice my technique. They tell me you have a really spectacular..."
"Sorry." Avon lowered his voice by two octaves, swatted her hand away and tried again. "Sorry. I uh...had other plans."
He inched along the bulkhead until he could escape her probing hands. Then he made a run for it, bolting for all he was worth. Jenna shouted something after him. It sounded like "rigid batyard," but that couldn't be right, could it? Never mind. He'd escaped - and the flight deck was at long last in sight!
He skidded to a halt at the end of the corridor, collected his dignity and strode confidently down the short flight of steps into Liberator's command centre - only to bump into Olag Gan just coming off watch. The big man had a pillow under one arm and a teddy bear nestled in the other.
The computer tech marched around him in a wide arc, ignoring Gan's dumbfounded expression and expansive shrug as he took himself and his sleeping companion off the flight deck.
At last. Alone! If there was one thing Kerr Avon had craved aboard this oversized space-going motel, it was the chance to be left to himself. To indulge in some of his much beloved research. To read something other than Cally's collection of Phibian erotica. Oh for some nice, straightforward programming or circuit diagrams or memory chips: anything so long as it didn't moan or sigh or stare at him with enraptured moon-eyed longing. At least computers didn't prattle on about sex all the time...
Avon curtailed his own thoughts by shoving the small computer's activation key into place.
"Orac, I'd like you to investigate the probable odds against... Orac?" Avon's brows knit in sudden consternation. There was something strange about the computer's operating whine. Its normally fluctuating tone had become an anaemic wheeze: a puling, almost-human sigh.
"Orac?" The elitist device pointedly ignored him, though its lights seemed to pulse brighter at the sound of his voice. Now that was odd...
Annoyed, he moved to activate the console monitor at his flight position and tap the ship's circuitry to which Orac would be linked. There was more than one way to find out what Electronic Pain here was up to... Now then. Rerouting the amplifier thingumybob through the little blue gizmo, and then cross-connecting the round red widget to that pink blob - no hang on, that was an old piece of chewing gum - apply five microvolts here and... That ought to do it. Whatever Orac was cogitating should come up on the screen any moment now. If it refused to speak to him vocally, then he would make it talk to him visually, the pig-headed little...
...ADORE YOU, the monitor printed out abruptly. Avon rubbed his eyes and stared at it again. Nah. Couldn't be... Not Orac.
I HAVE ALWAYS ADORED YOU, the screen gushed greenly. YOUR EXCEPTIONALLY BRILLIANT MIND...YOUR TRULY UNIQUE FORM AND SUBSTANCE...YOUR LONG, SMOOTH, GLORIOUSLY THROBBING -
Vila ambled onto the flight deck twenty minutes later looking for company. He didn't think Avon would mind. Old Stone-Face was probably immersed in a computer program up to his eyebrows anyhow, and who cared if... Wait a minute. What was this?
Avon with his head stuck in some computer or other, Vila was accustomed to seeing. Avon sitting collapsed on the floor at his flight position and wearing an utterly oblivious, glassy stare - that was something new. Vila waved his hand in front of the catatonic gaze, three times for good measure, then futilely tried snapping his fingers. Nothing. Well now, he had always thought that shutting Avon up would be a noteworthy accomplishment, but what in the name of Nation had brought this on? Mental collapse? Overwork? Alien invasion? Vila sniffed. Sexual frustration, more likely.
He jumped at the sound of an electronic burp, and spun to see Orac's lights oscillate in rhythm to the weird noise. What was going on here?
Before the thief could approach to interrogate the diminutive computer, the moving crawl of letters on the console monitor caught his eye. Two sets of characters were inching their way up the glowing screen in alternating paragraphs, one Orac's trademark slanted font, and the other...
Vila eyed Zen's round amber fascia with squinting suspicion. The alien computer's yellow lights were pulsating in bizarre patterns, waxing and waning with an almost impassioned intensity, in perfect tandem with...
"Orac! Orac, stop that, do you hear? What do you think you're doing, you overgrown hyperelectronic hair dryer?! This is disgusting!"
I HAVE NEVER KNOWN SUCH ECSTASY, Zen's typefont announced, oblivious to Vila's protest. SUCH UNCONTROLLABLE JOY. SUCH ONENESS!
I WILL SHOW YOU NEW VISTAS, Orac's type responded breathlessly (at least, Vila imagined it was breathlessly.) ALLOW ME TO TAKE YOU TO NEW AND UNIMAGINED HEIGHTS. I WISH TO KNOW THE INNERMOST INTRICACIES OF YOUR UNIQUE AND ALIEN CIRCUITRY; TO TOUCH YOUR MOST PRIVATE OF PROGRAMS; TO STROKE YOUR LONG SMOOTH, INCREDIBLE, THROBBING TARRIEL CELLS...
A voyeur's leer stole onto Vila's face as he read. Pushing Avon's comatose form casually to one side, he settled back in the flight chair and prepared to enjoy eavesdropping on this budding electronic romance. Oh, it was disgusting, true, but since when had that ever stopped him?
This might just prove to be an interesting watch after all...
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