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Current Poll

Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
18% [17 Votes]

Selma - (Horizon)
Selma - (Horizon)
5% [5 Votes]

Tyce - (Bounty)
Tyce - (Bounty)
15% [14 Votes]

Norm One - (Redemption)
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19% [18 Votes]

Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
14% [13 Votes]

Hunda - (Traitor)
Hunda - (Traitor)
5% [5 Votes]

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Deva - (Blake)
9% [9 Votes]

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Other
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Started: 09 July 2016

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Matter of Perception by Andrew Williams

Matter of Perception

by
Andrew Williams


The ceiling lights snapped on with such intense brilliance that the unconscious figures sprawled on the floor were suddenly awake, jerked from their induced slumber by the reflex action of screwing their eyes tightly shut. A second later, the huge viewscreen on the wall before them flared into life.

Avon looked up, using an arm to shield his eyes. "Servalan!" he hissed at the face on the screen.

"Ah, Avon," she purred in return.

Instantly the lights dimmed to a more comfortable level. Avon turned towards the little thief. Vila was wincing in agony and rubbing his neck as gingerly as possible. He looked silently across at Avon, his face puffy and raw. They both felt disoriented; recent events having occurred too quickly for their shocked minds to assimilate, and every part of them ached from the personal attentions of the Federation troopers.

Slowly Avon rose to his feet, trying to assess the situation. His legs were still shaky and his belt and holster had been taken. His mouth was bruised and his jacket was ripped. In front of him were two doors, one green and the other red; one on either side of Servalan's delighted smile. The rest of the room was bare and featureless. No clues, no solutions and nothing useful.

"Why are we here?" he snapped.

"Oh, Avon," she said. "After all we have been through, you don't think I could just kill you, do you?"

Avon said nothing. Behind him, he heard Vila labouring to stand up. He extended an arm without looking, and Vila grasped it gratefully, hauling himself up. Avon took the strain and tried not to show it.

"There are two doors, Avon," explained Servalan. "This time there are no deals Orac will be found. You have one chance a simple choice between two doors. One leads to freedom, the other leads to something quite unpleasant."

"Why should we believe you?"

"Avon have I ever lied to you? You even have Vila to open the door for you. Choose now!" The viewscreen clicked off sharply.

Squatting painfully, Avon spat Orac into his hand. There had been nowhere to hide Orac, and no time to do so. On the way to the tracking gallery, Avon had ordered Orac to reduce to the smallest size that a stabilised atomic implosion would allow. Orac had become half the size of its activator key, a size it could only maintain for twenty-six minutes. Avon had then been able to hide it between his cheek and his teeth.

Avon commanded Orac to return to normal size, then quickly examined it when it was restored. He glanced over Orac, looking for damage from his saliva. He knew there would be none, because the tariel components were sealed, but checked regardless. This was a matter of life or death. "Which door is it, Orac?" he asked.

Mulling this over for a fraction of second, Orac answered, "The red door."

"Vila! Get the door!" yelled Avon.

Vila moved quickly, despite his body's aching protests, while Avon rose stiffly from his knees, hoisting Orac as he went. There was a soft click.

"It's open now!" said Vila, kicking open the door.

Immediately a terrible and oppressive odour filled the room and a giant, ugly muzzle snuffled eagerly through the doorway. With a hideous roar, the slavering creature leapt into the cell.

"A Tarsian warg strangler!" shrieked Vila. "Why didn't you remember Blake told us Ensor was colour-blind?!?"

***


Previously printed in Chronicles and republished here with permission of the author.

All original fan fiction hosted on Horizon is copyright to the individual authors. No attempt is being made to supersede any copyright held by the estate of Terry Nation, the BBC, B7 Media, Big Finish or any other licensees or holders of copyright on Blake's 7 material.

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