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Birds of a Feather

By Kaelar
Page 1 of 1

As Scorpio began its orbit around Malodaar, Avon outlined his plan to the crew. The plot to obtain the Tachyon Funnel involved danger for everyone.

"Excuse me, Master," Slave hesitantly began after Avon had finished speaking. "The plan you have described has little chance of success, and could involve great danger to Scorpio and your exalted self. Could you not--"

"Oh, do be quiet, Slave," said Tarrant impatiently, cutting short the computer's protests.

"Now just a minute!" Vila hopped over to Slave. "How dangerous?" he asked it.

"I predict a ninety-five percent chance of failure," intoned the computer dramatically.

"Well, since when did Slave begin making predictions?" asked Dayna good-humoredly. She thrived on danger. "I thought that was Orac's job."

"Since he's been around Vila too long," snapped Avon. "Cowardice seems to be catching."

Vila looked offended and placed a friendly arm about Slave's 'shoulder.' "Prudent caution isn't cowardice, Avon," he remarked. "Since you'll need someone to man the teleport, I'll just stay up here."

"Do," Soolin urged. "You'll only get in the way down there."

"Hmmph," was all Vila replied. In minutes Egrorian's shuttle arrived and the four remaining crew members and Orac departed on it.

Vila sat at his position, propping his legs up on the console. "You know, Slave," he sighed wistfully, "I wish I owned this ship. I'd take us to some far off little planet and settle down with a bevy of beautiful women. You'd live a life of ease, too. I'd just use you for occasional trips to Space City, Freedom City, and all kinds of nice places like that." Vila looked dreamily off into space as Slave's lights flashed erratically.

A few hours later the computer announced, "The shuttle is on its way back to Scorpio, Sir."

"Well, the peace and quiet was nice while it lasted." Vila flicked on the screen to monitor the shuttle's trip.

"Oh, dear," Slave whimpered suddenly. "There seems to be a problem."

"What's wrong?"

"The shuttle seems to be unable to achieve the necessary velocity to break free of the planet's gravitational pull. It will crash if something is not done within four minutes."

"Well, don't just sit there, do something!" Vila ordered.

"I'm afraid there is nothing we can do but watch," said Slave sadly. Then, "Oh, dear," he proclaimed again.

"Now what?"

"Something has just been jettisoned from the shuttle's airlock. My scans show the items to be...humans! Three of them."

"Avon wouldn't...would he?" Vila quivered. "Try to contact him."

"I'm afraid I can't, Sir. Communications on board the shuttle are not working."


"Slave! Answer me, you piece of junk!" Static was the only reply Kerr Avon got to his rantings. "Orac, what's wrong with Slave?"

"Nothing," Orac replied a bit nervously. "The Slave computer is purposefully ignoring all attempts at contact."

"How long until we crash?"

"Two minutes..."

Avon looked at the computer. "How much do you weigh, Orac?"


Vila watched as the shuttle exploded on the planet's surface. He sank back into his seat. "Now what do I do?" he wailed.

"If I may make a suggestion," Slave began hesitantly.

"Go on," Vila urged.

"Your earlier thoughts about retiring on a far off planet sounded quite intriguing. May I suggest a course for Centron?"

"Yes. Yes, I think that would be a good place to start." Vila sounded happier than he had in quite some time. "Off we go to Centron then, Slave old fellow. I'm glad to have you around, you know."

"Yes," the computer replied smugly. "You know you are safe with me...Master."

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