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Vila Restals E-mails - Year 3

By Nicola Mody
Page 1 of 12

To:               Vila Restal []
From:           Jandy Restal [jrestal@deltalevel17.londondome.terra]
Subject:       Hello?

Dear Vila,

Are you still there? I’ve watched the official viscasts and they didn’t say anything about you or the Liberator. Someone told me though that the neutral zone news said the aliens would have won if it hadn’t been for you and your friends holding them off till the fleet got there. But they don’t know what’s happened to you either. Please reply if you get this. I can’t help but think the worst – you’ve been digested by space slugs, you’ve caught the Andromeda strain flu, you’re dead at the bottom of a cliff. Yes, I know I always think that, but a mother can’t help it. You might be a hero, Vila dear, but I hope you’re a live one.

As for us, thanks for your warning, which I passed on, because things have been bad here since the war, and I don’t know what would have happened if we hadn’t all laid in emergency supplies. It was worse than they say Y3K was.

Still, we’re not starving. They’ve started giving out some new stuff called Soylent Green, which must be all right for vegetarians if it’s made with soy, but it tastes off. I’m using up my food store first, even though it’s mainly baked beans, curried veg and pot noodles.

Love, Mum

To:               Jandy Restal
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Chenga

Dear Mum,

Yes, I’m still here, but I wasn’t for a while.

The aliens took out Star One; so much for our efforts to save it in the end. They almost took us out too. And if staying on the neutron blasters and getting repetitive strain injury in my fingers from continuous firing makes me a hero, then I am one, though I was so shaky afterwards I had to sit down and put my head between my legs. Avon said, “Don’t kiss it good-bye just yet, Vila, go and check the life support capsules,” as the damage was so bad, Zen was closing everything down. Don’t know why they say I’m a coward, as if I was I would have leapt into the first working one and done a runner, esp. when half the ceiling came down and a fire broke out. No, I waited for the others. Mind you, I was scared to go alone. Cally said Blake and Jenna had gone, and Avon said he was surprised I was still there. Avon got knocked out by more ceiling bits, and Cally and I sent him off in a capsule with Orac. I made sure Cally was all right to go, then I found my capsule wouldn’t open and panicked. Cally helped me reset it, then kissed me on the cheek and said I was braver than I thought and said goodbye, and we both ejected.

I wasn’t brave. I was terrified. I had a rough ride, and it was lucky I’d already lost my last meal on the Liberator before the battle because it could have got very nasty in there. I ended up in a forest on Chenga with a badly-broken arm. I was lonely, cold, miserable, hurt and hungry, and Zen wasn’t answering, the heartless pile of electronic junk. I was about to be pounced on by something large and probably carnivorous, when two friendly primitives called Lom and Mall turned up. They set my arm (I just about passed out) and started to take me to their camp as they were being hunted by high-techs. Lom got shot with a dart and I got lost and was captured by two very nice high-tech girls who petted me, fed me, and reset my arm. Almost passed out again. They were so sweet and kind, those girls, I really thought I’d landed in clover. One of them even reminded me of Avalon. They took me to a dome, where I found Cally. We were really glad to see each other, and they treated us so well, giving us comfortable lounging-chairs and nice relaxing drinks, that I thought, this is lovely, I might spend the rest of my life here. Almost did - it was an organ bank! Servalan was there too, but she’d bribed her way out. She did a bit of a gloat over us, and we did nothing – that drink had relaxed us into paralysis. I almost went to pieces before they put us out cold. And afterwards for that matter, ha ha! We were teleported just in time.

When I came round in the medical unit, Cally and Avon were there. Cally looked worried, and I thought briefly that Avon was too. I must have imagined it though; he just said, “You’re all right now, Vila. They wouldn’t have wanted such an inferior collection of substandard organs as you anyway. Come on, get up and meet some people.”

We have new crew – Dayna Mellanby who is very pretty but a weapons expert and probably very tough, and Del Tarrant, that really annoying cocky good-looking fly-boy ‘smoke me a kipper, I’ll be home for breakfast’ type. I bet he gets right up my nose.

Love, Vila 

To:               President Servalan [pres_servalan@federation.govt]
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Congratulations?


Should I congratulate you on your new position as president of a crumbling Federation?

I didn’t go spare after all. I’m much better as a whole. Or you used to think so, judging by some of your more salacious e-mails. BTW in case you were wondering, Travis is so much scrap metal by now on Star One. You’ll have to train another attack dog.

CU, Vila 

To:               Vila Restal
From:           Jandy Restal
Subject:       RE: Chenga

Oh, Vila! I worry enough already about you, without hearing about more ghastly things which could happen to you. I’d never even thought of you being cut up into bits and put on ice, but I will now. What will they try to do to you next – can you as pet food?

What happened to the others? Blake and Jenna?

And I think you’re a hero, sweetheart. I always have.

Your Mum

To:               Cally []
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       Telepathy

Cally? You said you knew I was alive on Chenga because you could feel my pain, How come? I thought you said you could only receive from another Auron.


To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Telepathy

True, Vila. That is what I thought too. I could tease you a little and say it is because you are a pain, but I do not know the answer. I do not get thoughts as I would from an Auron, just particularly strong feelings and emotions. Perhaps you have something other than human in your ancestry, or a mutated gene.


To:               Cally
From:           Vila Restal
Subject:       RE: Telepathy

Don’t tell Avon! He’ll say I’m a subhuman mutant! In fact he probably will anyway. :-(

Hey, this could explain my Space City bender! If that trans-dimensional alien took you over, maybe it did a bit with me too, to make me hide Orac and get so drunk I forgot where. I’ve always felt I’d never live that one down. This makes me feel better!


To:               Vila Restal
From:           Cally
Subject:       RE: Telepathy

Oh, Vila. Are you going to blame alien possession for all your other little lapses from civilised behaviour, like short-sheeting Blake’s bed, putting cling-film on the toilets and whoopee cushions on the flight couch, molasses in Avon’s hair gel and vindaloo powder in his ice-cream, setting his hair-dryer to suck instead of blow, eating all the cashews and almonds out of the mixed nuts, and serving me foam-rubber leamingtons?

And for that matter, the way you look at Dayna’s rear?


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