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Ok here, as promised, is the first chapter of my Blake's 7 story; "Betrayal".

I did try to upload a picture of the drawing that goes with this chapter but unfortunately I'm having some technical issues, so I'm afraid it will have to wait. Sad

The whole thing is turning out a bit longer than I'd planned and it's nowhere near finished, but I hope you like this introduction.


Chapter 1: Why?

“Get started on the door Vila!” said Blake sharply.

For once Vila didn’t protest. There was a fury in Blake’s eyes, a rage which even he knew better than to argue with. Quietly Vila turned his attention to the panel on the door.

Blake glared in anger and, at the same time, sheer disbelief. The silence was palpable. It seemed to last for ages but it was probably only a few seconds before it was broken by a quiet...uncertain voice. “Why?” whispered Cally. Her voice was barely audible but it carried clearly all of the surprise that Blake felt. “Why did he do it?” The shock was evident in her face as she spoke.

Blake turned to look at her. Unable to find an answer he could only stare for a moment, lost for words. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Gan dressing a wound to Jenna’s leg. It wasn’t a life-threatening injury, but it was bad enough that it needed more than the makeshift bandage that Gan had fashioned from a torn shirt. They could have treated her better in the medical unit, but their pleas for that had fallen on deaf ears.

As Blake watched his friends it was clear that they were all struggling to make sense of it. He replayed the events again in his mind. Had it really happened? He could hardly bring himself to accept it. He’d told himself that he trusted his crew. After all that they’d been through, all that they’d faced together, they’d become more like a family during their time on the Liberator.

Of course, if he was honest with himself, then at least in the beginning there was a time when he wouldn’t have been surprised if one of them had turned against him. They all had their own motivations for being there and every one of them would have had something to gain from taking control of the most powerful ship known to the Federation and it’s not as though they hadn’t all had their chances to try.

But those chances had come and gone. So many better opportunities had passed them by as each and every one of them had made their decision, individually, to remain together on their journey. So why now? Why after all this time, would he suddenly turn his back on them? Why had Avon had betrayed them all?

He turned to glare at Vila; “Well?” he asked with a barely restrained growl.
In silence Vila slowly, hesitantly, opened the door. With barely a glance to the others Blake stormed off along the empty corridor to find the answers he needed.

“That was quick Vila” said Gan admiringly as Vila followed Blake into the corridor earnestly. “Blake, wait!” he called out after him. Blake kept going, his rage evident in every determined stride.
“Blake!” cried Vila, “The door was open!”

Blake faltered and turned slowly back to look at Vila…
“I didn’t open the door Blake. It wasn’t locked.”
“You mean Avon forgot to lock it?” asked Jenna incredulously, wincing with pain from her wound as she raised herself to her feet to look at Vila.
“Avon wouldn’t ‘forget’ something like that” answered Cally. “He must have left it open on purpose.”
“Why would he leave the door unlocked?” asked Gan “That doesn’t make sense.”
“Unless he wanted us to get out.” Said Cally thoughtfully.
“It’s not as though we would have been in here long anyway.” Stated Vila “I could have opened that door easily.”
“Modest as ever.” said Jenna.
“Modesty has nothing to do with it.” retorted Vila. “We’ve been here for a long time now; do you really think that I haven’t had a look around and studied these systems?” He looked at them all indignantly “Contrary to popular opinion I don’t spend all of my time lounging around drinking adrenalin and soma.”
“Just most of it.” quipped Gan.
“Still,” interjected Cally, “Avon must know that Vila could open these doors, so why would he put us in here anyway?”
“What is he playing at?” asked Vila.

“He betrayed us!” glared Blake “He shot Jenna!”
“In the leg.” said Vila thoughtfully. His mind racing as he tried to piece the puzzle together.
“Yes, MY leg!” huffed Jenna indignantly.
“You fought him. You tried to get his gun away.” said Vila
“Well someone had to do something! I was hardly going to sit back and watch while Avon took over the ship!” said Jenna furiously, the irritation evident in her voice.
“He could have killed you Jenna” said Cally, “Avon’s ruthless when he wants to be and he has killed before. If he wanted to take the ship why didn’t he just kill you? Why not just kill all of us instead of locking us up in a room?”
“It wasn’t locked!” Vila stressed the point again.

The conversation was broken by a sudden gasp of pain from Jenna. She would have fallen to the ground had it not been for Gan reaching out quickly to steady her. The wound to her leg was still bleeding, seeping through the makeshift bandage, and a pool of blood had gathered on the floor at her feet where she’d forced herself to stand.

“Jenna needs to go to the medical unit” said Gan in that simple, matter of fact manner of his. “We can talk there while we treat her”

Blake said nothing for a moment. His mind still racing through the possibilities…but what possibilities? No matter how he tried to work through it he just couldn’t figure it out; nothing about this situation made sense. He looked silently at Gan and then at Jenna’s leg. Gan was right, Jenna needed treatment, and he needed time to think.

“Ok” he said, his mind made up “Let’s go to the medical unit. We can treat Jenna while we try to work out what the hell is going on”.

With Gan supporting Jenna weight, all but carrying her, the group started making their way cautiously to the medical unit.

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
Very nice begining. I'd love to read the rest! Everyone seems true to their characters and the mystery of what Avon is up to is engaging.
"Blake is sitting up in a tree. Travis is sitting up in another tree. Unless they are planning to throw nuts at one another I don't see much of a fight developing before it gets light!" --Avon
Ellen York
Interesting start; I'm curious to see where it is going. Of course Vila studies the Liberator locks in between drinking A&S Smile
Assuming this works, here's the picture that goes with my first chapter...

Vila opens the door; it wasn't locked!?

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
Good opening chapter, and terrific pic of Vila!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
And here (eventually) is Chapter 2...

Chapter 2: Earlier that day

The crew of the Liberator stood in the teleporter bay gathering together the last bits of equipment that they needed for their latest mission. Avon looked around at the collection of equipment; scanners, weapons, food packs and, of course, Vila’s ‘box of tricks’, they were after all planning to break into somewhere again.

He adjusted the temperature setting on his jacket. The planet below was not unbearably cold by any means, but the built-in heating in their environmental suits would definitely make it more comfortable. A sudden gasp drew his attention to Vila who had, predictably, turned his heater up too high. Avon sighed. You’d think that by now the idiot would have at least learned some restraint. The others glanced briefly at Vila as well but they all knew that telling him to turn it down was pointless so, with a slight smile from Cally and a collective roll of the eyes, they turned their attention back to their preparations.

Avon watched them. They were a well-oiled team by this point. Each of them knew exactly what to do and how to do it. It was only to be expected he supposed. They had after all been together for some time now and they’d become familiar with each other. That realisation made him uncomfortable. He’d learned that he could only rely on himself and yet here he was once again trusting his life to the actions of others.

He sighed inwardly again, resigning himself to the inevitable dangers that they were about to face as he thought back to the image of the planet that Zen had displayed for them when they arrived in the system. With it’s strange mix of reds, oranges and purples it would never have been mistaken for Earth, but it was almost beautiful…well as much as a planet could fit the description of beauty anyway. It had glistened and shimmered on the view screen; the result of energy storms in the atmosphere according to Zen, who had run a full scan of the planet.

Zen had detected defence satellites in orbit fitted with weapons and signal scramblers which interfered with communications, effectively cutting the planet off from the rest of the universe. Of course, it was left to Avon to deal with them. Their faith in his abilities was touching he thought sarcastically. Avon had considered, briefly, pretending that it was impossible to disable the satellites. After all they couldn’t explore the planet if they couldn’t go physically go down there. The technology was old enough that there were no tarriel cells for Orac to connect with and the others probably wouldn’t have been able to manage it without him.

It was tempting but, unfortunately, he knew Blake too well by now and, perhaps more to the point, Blake knew him. That fact irked him more than he wanted to admit. He doubted he would have been able to convince Blake that he couldn’t hack these systems and, even if he could have convinced him, Blake was so damn stubborn he would probably have insisted on staying to look for another way down. It was a moot point anyway; the satellites were old and outdated and he still had his pride. He disabled them easily.

Once the satellites had been dealt with there were no other obvious dangers. The energy storms appeared to be confined to the upper atmosphere so it shouldn’t affect them planet side. “Shouldn’t.” Avon winced inwardly at the word. It didn’t exactly fill him with confidence. He preferred to deal in certainties.

The gravity was slightly higher than Earth normal and the weather was unpleasant, but not inherently dangerous. It would be a little on the chilly side for a summer stroll and Zen had ‘helpfully’ pointed out that winter would be an altogether different proposition. A wry smile had played on Blake’s face at this revelation “Don’t worry” he had assured them all. “I don’t intend for us to be staying that long”. Avon was not reassured.

Other than its appearance and Zen’s scan there was very little to go on. The only information that Orac could glean from the Federation database were the coordinates and a single line of text. “Planet hazardous and unviable. Access prohibited for personnel of ALL ranks!”. The planet didn't even have a name. It was both ominous and vague at the same time thought Avon but, despite it’s unusual glittering appearance, it looked innocuous enough and as usual the others had all agreed to Blake’s plan.

If it scared the Federation so badly that they’d completely sealed of the system and forbidden all access then maybe there was something down there that they could use against them, always assuming of course that whatever ‘it’ was didn’t kill them first. It was the twisted sort of logic that he’d become accustomed to hearing from Blake.

So here they were again, following their fearless leader into whatever perilous and uncertain situations he could find (although perilous and uncertain were the same as far as Avon was concerned. Why needlessly endanger yourself for the sake of uncertainty?). He sighed quietly to himself. Would they ever learn?

It didn’t matter now. He’d made his token objection. Going down to a planet that even the Federation considered too dangerous was a foolish risk but Blake was convinced, as he often was, that the potential gains were too good to pass up. As much as Avon hated to admit it, he had to admire Blake’s determination. A foolish idealist he may be, but there was a drive and a focus that you couldn’t help but acknowledge. Blake was sure to get them all killed one day, he shrugged despairingly, it might as well be today. He picked up his gun and moved towards the teleporter, bracing himself to face the new ‘adventure’ waiting for them below.

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
Travisina wrote:

Good opening chapter, and terrific pic of Vila!
Thank you Travisina. Smile

It took longer than I'd hoped to upload the picture, but at least I got it done in the end. I'm a slow writer as well I'm afraid, so this could take a while. Wink
I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
Great stuff Information. Looking forward to you publishing the rest!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Information wrote:

Assuming this works, here's the picture that goes with my first chapter...

Vila opens the door; it wasn't locked!?


Ooh, the first two chapters are intriguing! And a wonderful Vila illustration too!! (Yay! More B7 art!!!) Grin

More please! Grin
CHAPTER 3: Breaking In

“Down and safe Jenna” said Blake into his communicator.

They looked around slowly taking in their surroundings. They were stood in a wooded area and there was a stillness in the air. Not the calming, peaceful kind, but a more menacing one that seemed to seep beneath the skin and chill the bones.

“I don’t like it here.” Said Vila
“That’s hardly surprising” answered Gan
“I mean it” said Vila “There’s something…’wrong’ about this place. I don’t see why I had to come down anyway. Why not bring Jenna instead? She wanted to come down here.”
“We’re breaking into a Federation base Vila. We’ll probably need your unique skill sets. You always say you’re the best.”
“It’s an old, abandoned base. The security systems probably don’t even work anymore; you might not need me at all.”
“Better to have you here just in case.” Said Gan.
“I could have stayed on the ship and you could have called me if you needed me.” Vila glared at them.
“There’s always the possibility of traps. It is a Federation base after all. We might not have been able to contact you later.” Said Cally.
“Traps? Well, now I feel much better about being down here.” Quipped Vila sarcastically.
“That’s the spirit Vila!” beamed Gan
Vila glared again, clearly not amused.

They looked up. There were clouds swirling overhead, sparkling, glistening with energy. Not clouds, corrected Avon, electrical storms in the atmosphere. The same energy that they had seen on the Liberators’ view screen. Fortunately it seemed as though Zen and Orac were right; the energy danced and played in the skies above them but didn’t seem to reach the planets’ surface.

“Couldn’t we have teleported a little closer?” complained Vila.
“We’d have risked setting off the security systems.” Cally reminded him pointedly.
“Of course…if you don’t want to walk, we could always contact Jenna and ask her to teleport you in ahead of us, then you could let us know.” suggested Avon with a wry smile.
“Ah…no, walking is fine. I could do with some exercise, it’ll keep me in shape.”
“In shape?.” Quipped Gan.

They paused to listen again. That silence. There were no animals, no birds. There was a wind but even that seemed hesitant, as though it was scared to move the leaves on the branches of the trees for fear of drawing attention to itself. But scared of what? After a moment, they continued forward cautiously.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of walking through the eerily silent woods, they reached the entrance to the base. A door set into the face of a cliff. There was a device of some kind positioned by the door. “A force barrier projector”, explained Avon.
“Is it still working?” asked Blake.
“The device itself appears to be intact...” Avon bent down to take a closer look. “and there’s still power available as well according to these readings. My guess is it’s just been deactivated”
“Maybe the Federation turned it off before they left?” suggested Gan.
“How considerate of them.” Quipped Vila.

Avon scanned the projector with suspicion and Blake caught his look.
“Something wrong?”
“I'm not sure. When I say there’s still power available I mean there’s a LOT of power. It would take at least 4 standard generators to provide the amount shown on the indicators here.”
“If there’s that much energy here then why didn’t Zen detect it when he scanned the planet?” asked Gan
“The energy storms perhaps?” Suggested Avon. “They might have interfered with the sensors.”
“More to the point, if Zen couldn’t detect this then what else did he miss?” worried Vila.

They stood in silence for a moment and cast a nervous glance back to the woods they’d travelled through. That eerie silence again. The woods almost seemed to be watching them. ‘Ridiculous’, thought Blake. They were letting their imaginations run away with them and it was distracting them from their reason for being there. He decided to get things back on track.

“Come on Vila” Blake motioned towards the door. “Get to work.”
Vila hesitated.
“What the problem now Vila?” asked Gan
“What if there’s something behind there?” Asked Vila nervously.
“We already know there’s something here Vila, that’s why WE are here! We want to find out what it is.” said Blake.
“Some of us anyway.” Said Avon unenthusiastically.

Realising that it was pointless to argue with Blake on this one Vila took a deep breath and moved towards the door to examine the lock.
After only a few minutes Blake was already starting to get irritated.
Vila sighed exasperatedly. Blake was such an impatient man.
“You could always give it a go yourself if you don’t like my work.” Said Vila sarcastically. He knew there was no chance Blake would take him up on his suggestion. Vila often said he was the best and there was a reason for that…he was the best. Vila smiled smugly to himself as Blake huffed and turned away.

A few more minutes passed until an annoyed sigh turned Blake's attention back to Vila. “What's wrong? He asked.
Vila was looking at the locking mechanism on the door in disgust as though it had betrayed him personally. He looked up at Blake.

“This door panel is hooked up to a sophisticated security computer. If I open the door without the proper codes then it will register an intrusion and trigger an explosive charge”
“Can’t you disable it?” asked Gan.
“Not without triggering the defence protocols and if that happens we won’t live long enough to see what’s inside.”
“Are you saying you can’t open it?” asked Blake
“I can open the door” protested Vila.
“Just not without killing us all.” quipped Avon.
Vila turned to glare at him.
A mischievous smile played on Avons’ face and, deliberately echoing a statement Vila had made in the early days of their collaborations, he said “Doors are yours, computers…” He motioned for Vila to move aside so that he could take a look at the offending system.

After examining the door closely he turned back to the group. “I should be able to interrupt the security system without tripping the defences.” He said “But only for about 6 seconds. If the system is disrupted for any longer than that then it will register as an attack and trigger the self-destruct.”
Blake looked expectantly at Vila “Is that enough time?”
“I can do it in three seconds.” he stressed confidently, his pride on the line.
Blake smiled and motioned for them to proceed. They took up their positions side by side in front of the door and glanced at each other briefly; a grudging acknowledgement of respect for their respective skills. As much as they both hated to admit it they did work well together.
“Ready?” asked Avon.
Vila nodded.
With a practised finesse Vila tripped the security lock and Avon made sure that the computer systems didn’t detect it. There was a satisfying ‘click’ as the door opened and the pair stood back to admire their work. Avon looked smugly at Vila. “That was FOUR seconds.”

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
Nice continuation. Thank you Information. I am enjoying this!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Nice continuation. Thank you Information. I am enjoying this!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Sorry guys, I've been busy with my year abroad (China is interesting Wink ) so I've been neglecting this story a bit, but here's another short continuation for you.

CHAPTER 4: More Questions than Answers

They peered into the darkness before them. Blake coughed as the stale air reached him. The air was stained with the scent of death. He turned on his torch and the others hesitantly did the same.
“What died in here?” asked Gan in disgust.
“Looks like they did.” said Vila nodding towards the decomposing forms of two guards on the floor.
Blake grasped the communicator on his wrist. “I’ll just try to contact Jenna and let her know we made it to the base.”
“Maybe she’ll still want to trade places with me?” suggested Vila hopefully.
Blake gave Vila a look which made it clear that that would not be happening and contacted Jenna aboard the Liberator. It was a quick conversation to let her know that they’d made their way to the base and were going to start exploring inside. They’d keep in contact if they could but he couldn’t be certain that the communicators would be able to transmit once they were inside the base. It was, after all, set inside of a cliff. He finished his communication and turned back to the others. “Ok, let’s go.”
“Do you think the air is safe in there?” asked Vila nervously
“It should be ok. It’s just not very pleasant.” Said Cally.
“That’s the understatement of the century.” Said Vila wrinkling his nose up in disgust.
“Come on” huffed Blake impatiently.
Cautiously, they started to make their way inside.

Blake led the way, carefully taking in the torchlit surroundings. He would have said that the base was like a maze, but the sealed door had turned it into more of a tomb. It was ominously quiet.
The corridors branching off at almost every turn with a body to meet them round almost every corner quickly became a familiar pattern. This place had probably been built into an existing tunnel network in the cliff side. Occasionally they came across a room, but their contents offered up no answers to the questions this place presented them. Store rooms with empty crates, sleeping quarters (some of which still contained the remains of their former occupants) and even a dining room complete with corpses slumped over the tables. Decayed food, uneaten on the plates before them.

They inspected each of the bodies as they came across them. Some were guards, some were scientists, all were in Federation uniforms. The way that the bodies were just lying in the corridors and rooms was strange. It was difficult to tell from the state of their bodies but there didn’t seem to be any obvious injuries from blunt instruments or projectile weapons and there were none of the tell-tale signs of scorching on their clothes which would have come from an energy rifle or blaster. It looked as though they’d all just dropped dead on the spot.
They came across the body of a scientist, still clasping a data pad in his hands. Whatever had happened here had happened quickly. The man hadn’t even had a chance to drop it.
Blake glanced at the others to see what they were making of it. They were keeping quiet. Understandable. This was hardly the ideal environment for making conversation. They all seemed lost in their thoughts.

Avon passed his torch over a fallen Federation guard, inspecting what he saw. Something was troubling him.
When they’d arrived in the system, the satellites they’d seen in orbit around the planet were old and outdated, the shield generator by the entrance was powerful yes but that too was old and, as they explored deeper, they’d seen that the base itself was filled with what was by now mostly obsolete technology, but the security program on the door connected to the lock…that was something else. It had required the combined efforts of both himself and Vila to open it. Not unusual for some of the more recent systems they’d come across in their dealings with the Federation, but for somewhere this antiquated…
Avon looked up from his musing to see Vila looking at him intently. “Worrying, isn’t it?” he asked
“What is?” responded Avon
“The security setup on the door.”
“What about it?”
“Don’t pretend you haven’t realised. It’s so much more advanced than anything else here.”
Avon stared at Vila for a moment but chose not to answer him.
“Come on you two.” Blake’s demanding voice rang out down the corridor.
Avon and Vila exchanged a brief knowing glance and re-joined the group to continue their exploration of the rooms and corridors.

After some time they finally made it into what appeared to be a control room of some kind. The walls were lined with computers but the controls were dark, and the screens that had once displayed information were blank and unresponsive, save for one.
Blake didn’t have to tell Avon to take a look at it, he was already there inspecting the console with a trained eye.
"There are more bodies over here" said Cally, aiming her torch at the form of three guards slumped together near the wall.
“Can you get the power back on Avon?” asked Blake.
"Are you sure we shouldn't just leave Blake?" asked Vila. "There are enough bodies here already, I don't want to end up joining them."
"Perhaps Vila is right Blake" said Gan "It might not be worth the risk."

Blake ignored their protests and looked at Avon expectantly. "Well? Can you do it Avon?"

Avon continued to inspect the console cautiously, taking his time while weighing up the risks in his mind. Yes, he could bring the power back online, but what would that mean? What exactly were they dealing with here? It would be dangerous to turn on the power without more information to go on, but his curiosity had been piqued. After a few moments Avon made his decision and deftly pressed a few buttons on the console. The systems hummed as the whole room came to life. “Was there anything else you wanted?” He asked Blake sarcastically.

I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational in order to prove that you care, or, indeed, why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
Silver Alaunt
Just caught up with this story and can't wait to read on. I like the suspense and you can feel something bad is coming. Well done!
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