This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.


a Blakes 7 tale by Jeff Morris

The Federation command ship, newest and finest of its type, slipped easily through the atmosphere of Xenon and landed gently upon a grassy plain. Close by, Commissioner Sleer noted with satisfaction, was a small entry portal, which would lead her to the most powerful weapon in the known universe.

"You had better be right." She turned and smiled at Avon, who stood stoically behind her. "As much as I've enjoyed having you at my side, I won't hesitate to kill you if I find you've betrayed me."

"How very kind of you to remind me," he quietly replied. "I must have forgotten."

She smiled again at the defeated rebel, wondering why he had been taking everything so placidly. The deaths of Blake and his allies had not released so much as a glimmer of pain or anguish. No, he had simply stood there amid the bodies of the Federation soldiers he'd slaughtered, and when Sleer had come in to take him away, he simply nodded and obeyed.

It wasn't like Avon. She frowned. He was up to something. She would have to be on guard. "Let me summon a few men to help us go through the wreckage," she suggested.

"I don't think so." Avon shook his head. "You and I alone, or no deal. I'm not a fool, Servalan. You of all people should know that."

"Oh yes, I do, very much so," she purred. "Very well. Let us be off to claim ORAC."

 * * * *

The flashlight beams danced across the twisted ruins of Xenon Base. Dust and smoke still hung heavy in the deathly silence, and Sleer was again grateful for the air masks Avon had insisted they take. He moved slowly through the rubble, yet at no time did he hesitate in his quest.

"Why did you leave ORAC here?" she asked.

"In case something went wrong," his voice drifted back.

"You knew that we were ready to strike on Blake's base?"

He turned and smiled slightly. "No."

Sleer let that one go and decided to hurry her pace. Avon was just out of range of the blaster she had secreted beneath her clothing. "Is it much farther?"

"Not at all," she heard him reply. Then there was an abrupt brightness, an explosion of pain, then blessed nothingness.

 * * * * *

She returned to consciousness with slow, painful progress. When she tried to rub her eyes, Sleer discovered that her movements were hampered. Further visual investigation revealed that she had been securely chained to a cave wall. "Avon?" she called.

He stepped into view. Odd how the walls emitted a pale green aura. "Yes, Madame President?" The voice was dripping with sarcasm and utter disdain.

"I suppose you think you'll use me for a bargaining chip, or exact your final revenge on me," she remarked. This had happened to her far too many times for her to be afraid. Avon would not harm her. He couldn't.

"Not at all, Servalan." He smiled again. "I don't intend to do anything at all that would kill you--yet."

"What do you mean?" she demanded, the chill of fear seeping into her soul.

Avon's face contorted into a look of sadness. "Oh, I do apologize, Madame President. But by now, the canister of nerve gas should have exploded inside your ship, killing your entire crew. I shouldn't expect a rescue, were I you."

"What are you doing, Avon?" she demanded again.

He stepped easily around the room. "Good, good. The room accepts you. I knew it would." Then his attention snapped back to Sleer. "Dorian was quite intelligent, but the years made him overconfident. I shall not make that mistake. I shall be careful not to overindulge, to keep my creatures alive longer. I shall not invite more than one person at a time to my base. I shall succeed where Dorian did not."

"What do you mean? Who is Dorian?" Sleer looked down and noticed the decaying body of a woman. "Who is she?"

"She was the wife of Mueller," Avon smiled sadly. "His android didn't quite kill her, but I knew she'd have to be replaced sooner or later." He looked up and smiled wolfishly at Sleer. "I'd hoped for Blake, but this is far better, Madame President."

Sleer felt a wave of nausea pass through her, draining her. "What is…happening…to me?" she gasped.

Avon moved closer, tenderly caressing her cheek. "This room is my freedom and salvation. Dorian used it for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Now it is mine. It takes whatever injuries, whatever pains, whatever vices I choose to indulge in, and gives them to you."

"You're mad!" she spat at him. "You're lying!"

"I thought you might not believe," Avon droned on, "so I brought along a demonstration." He withdrew a long, jagged knife from his tunic, and without warning plunged it into his left hand. Sleer screamed as her own hand throbbed with sharp agony.

"You, and others to follow you, will allow me to live forever, in complete freedom and luxury," Avon continued, casually driving the knife deeper into his hand. "You marked me as dead on your computers, and you didn't tell anyone about this mission. You wanted ORAC for yourself so badly that you played right into my hands, Servalan. Consider this my way of thanking you." With a swift, brutal tug, Avon pulled the blade out of his hand. Sleer screamed again.

"Where…where is ORAC?" she sobbed.

Avon's face twisted again. "To be honest, I haven't the faintest idea," he replied. "Vila hid it before I could. Somewhere on Gauda Prime, I should imagine. But that doesn't matter anymore, Servalan. All your world is now in this cave--forever."

He turned to go. Sleer screamed from her soul: "Avon! For the love of God, you can't do this!"

The door slammed shut behind him.

 * * * * *

As he walked through the ruins of the base, Avon began planning his next actions. He would have to take the ship…his ship, he corrected himself…and make the necessary modifications. Fortunately, he had made a backup of Slave's programming. And a teleport, that too would be needed.

Then he could begin rebuilding Xenon, start on building his fortunes, and then…then…

I can indulge any vice…

There was no hurry, was there? After all, he had all the time in the world.