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Jabberwocky - Part 7 - Clone

By Sheila Paulson
Page 1 of 25

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.


Clone

It was quiet on the flight deck. Del Tarrant sat there alone, feeling peaceful and content, dreaming of nothing in particular. It had taken him time to recover from the violent separation from Jabberwocky during the mission to Serna, and there was still some uneasiness about the chance of a repeat performance lurking at the back of Tarrant's mind.

      Dayna had been getting at him about it only that morning. "It may be your link, Tarrant, but you don't own Jabberwocky, you know."

      "I never claimed to. You never liked the link, Dayna. What's wrong, are you jealous?"

      "Of a machine?" She shook her head impatiently. "You've missed the point, as usual. Avon makes sarcastic remarks about your lack of intelligence, and he may be right. You're paranoid, Tarrant, thinking we want to take Jabberwocky away from you."

      "With you first in line?" he smiled mockingly. "That's it, isn't it, Dayna?"

      "No!" she burst out. "I don't mind the group link. I rather like it. It's the one time we see each other at our best. But some people take power badly."

      "Me, for instance? What have I done, Dayna?"

      "I can guess how traumatic it was to lose the link over Serna, and I know you miss Soolin. We all do."

      "She'll be back," insisted Tarrant, adding irrelevantly, "Jabberwocky likes her."

      "So do I, but it's not the point."

      "Then make your point, Dayna."

      "All right. Lately you've been watching us as if we were enemies, out to steal Jabberwocky from you. You ought to know we can't unless you and Jabberwocky agree to it."

      "Yes," he answered smugly. "None of you can."

      "Then it's time you started trusting us again. I know Serna was a setback for all of us, but we're learning to trust each other again, even Avon. He may not trust Soolin yet, but he will. I never thought he'd do so well."

      "Maybe finding his son helped," suggested Tarrant, relieved to turn the subject away from himself. He didn't understand why women developed protective impulses toward Avon; Tarrant couldn't imagine anyone less in need of protection. But if Dayna wanted to talk about him instead of complaining about Tarrant's possessiveness toward his link-mate, that suited him.

      "I think it did," Dayna replied.

      "Of course it did." Jabberwocky entered the conversation. "What else would you expect? Kyl's a fine boy. I like him. He'll do Avon no end of good, and watching the process will be fun. Everybody needs someone to love, even Avon."

      "True," agreed Dayna, "but Avon has Cally, after all, and Blake, in a different way, and-"

      "Family's special," Jabberwocky contradicted her. "And you know it, Dayna. Why are you picking on Del? He hasn't hurt you."

      "I thought it was for his own good," she responded tartly.

      "Don't be upset, Dayna. We've had too much suspicion already. We don't have to worry about that any more, but I think we're entitled to a grace period. Humans take longer to recover than machines, and I should know, since I've been both. Del may be paranoid - sorry, Del, but you are. But so am I. I don't like being cut off from Del any more than he liked being cut off from me. Give us time to adjust, there's a good girl, Dayna."

      She relaxed. "All right. Maybe I expected too much. I miss Soolin too, Let's go see her tomorrow, Del."

      Tarrant grinned. Her use of his first name meant she had decided to forgive him. "If Blake doesn't drag us off after IMIPAK," he reminded her. "Now Avon's fit and Kyl's got a place to live, nothing's holding Blake back, and you know how he feels about the threat of that weapon."

      "Avalon thinks it's too risky, remember? She and Blake don't agree about it."

      "If Servalan goes after IMIPAK, we won't be the only ones in danger," insisted Tarrant. "Blake's thinking about that, and I agree with him."

      Remembering that conversation now, Tarrant frowned. After losing the link, it was more valuable to him than ever, but the more he thought about it, the more he wondered. Jabberwocky was always in the back of his mind, responsive at the merest thought, but recently something was different. It was subtle, something he hadn't noticed before, but it was real. Jabberwocky almost seemed absent-minded lately. At times, Tarrant felt a barrier between them that he couldn't penetrate but there was nothing concrete, just a feeling. He couldn't go to Blake with a feeling. Ship's functions proceeded smoothly. Everything worked. Blake had run drills in link-mode and no problems had arisen. Hugh still did occasional counselling with Jabberwocky about his returned memories, but Jabberwocky was normal now.

      Tarrant frowned. //Jabberwocky?//

      //Way ahead of you, Del. There aren't any real problems. We're going through a phase, I think. You want more attention because of what you went through. It's only natural.//

      //So it's all me.// For the first time, Tarrant was resentful of his link-mate.

      //No, of course not. It was worse for you. I could still communicate, even if I had to print it out on the screen.//

      //Apparently. I'm sorry to take so much of your valuable time.//

      //Del, no. I didn't meant that.// Suddenly Tarrant felt comforted and soothed by the love and reassurance Jabberwocky broadcasted at him. It felt wonderful.

      But a portion of his mind still protested faintly that it was too little, too late.

      

      


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Sheila Paulson

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