Past and Present

A Pink Dormouse Production

 

Part One

Cally’s got them all doing exercises or some such for stress relief so I’m stuck by meself on the flight deck. Not that I see the point anyway, whatever happened to relaxing with a drink? Surprised Avon’s got himself involved though, I thought I was his stress-relief. It’s bin a week at least since he’s shown any interest in me at all so maybe a break’ll do us all good. An’ if Avon’s not interested in me I’m sure I’ll find someone on Del Ten who is. It sounds like that sort of place. Can’t wait to get there. Unlike Blake, who seems very unexcited about it when he comes in an’ goes out again.

 

Bloody soddin' bastard! Blake’s only gone an’ changed course without consulting any of us. Me one consolation is that none of the others are any happier about it than I am.

 

Avon disappears with Cally to have a go at Blake leaving me an’ Jenna on the flight deck. I try asking Jenna about Space Fatigue or whatever it is they think Blake’s got but she just ignores me an’ goes to sit on the sofa and brood. May as well join her, nothing else doing.

 

Avon an’ Cally come back wi’out Blake, making not much more sense than he was. There’s something very fishy going on an’ I’m only hearin’ half the story from anyone, what wi’ them all talkin’ to each other over the top of me. They grab Jenna an’ the three of ’em disappear off leaving me with the flight deck to meself. Again. Not very exciting really. Can’t see why I’m bein’ kept in the dark about everything. Wouldn’t take them that long to tell me properly what they’re all thinkin’, now would it? Zen’s not much help about these things and I can’t even ask Orac ’cos they’ve got him.

 

So I reckon Zen can cope without me and go see what’s happening in the rest room. I can hear the shoutin’ from down the corridor. It’s not right, treatin’ Blake like that. They’re all mad if you ask me, but as usual no one does.

 

We’re back to goin’ to Del Ten. Blake’s in restraints, Cally’s lookin’ after Jenna and Avon seems to think he’s in charge of all of us. All bloody great. An’ they still haven’t told me what it’s all about, jus’ gone on about Space Fatigue some more an’ something to do with Blake’s conditioning. It looks to me like they don’t know themselves what’s what... Not fair on Blake leavin’ him here like that. S’pose I’m supposed to be takin’ care of him as well. I wonder if he needs a drink. Mebbe I’ll get him one just in case.

 

Blake tells me, ‘Avon and Cally, they’ve paired up’. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I though I was their friend an' all. Still mebbe Blake’s right an’ they’re lyin’ to me, who knows? Times like this it’d be nice to get away from the lot of them, bloody Alphas and alien.

 

Gan would know what to do. Nice an’ straight forward Gan was, wouldn’t have held wi’ any of this sneaking around. I think I miss him most for that. Be a shame if we don’t make it to Del Ten at this rate but I’m not exactly going to have the best of times if all this is still goin’ on when we get there.

 

So lettin’ Blake out of restraints wasn’t the best decision of me life. How was I to know he’d lock the others up an’ smash the control? He’s acting odder than ever now we’re at this hunk of rock but it can’t do any more harm sending him down there to take a look. Don’t hold with leavin’ the others down there like he wants but maybe if I send him to have a look the change of scenery will help him come to his senses. And then we can go have a nice holiday an’ get everyone acting normal towards each other again.

 

So now I’ve lost contact wi’ Blake right after he said something about there being someone else down there. Probably someone nasty, the way our luck’s bin. After all it’s not bin going well today for any of us.

 

Still, I can get the others out now, just hope they aren’t too mad wi’ me. But then if they think I was going to argue with Blake the way he was acting, they’ve got another thing coming. What was I supposed to do? Hit him? He wasn’t exactly taking much notice of what I was saying to him.

 

I tell Avon what’s bin going on an’ he’s all for going straight down there to rescue Blake. Typical... He’s not exactly happy with me either. As I expected. So I stay to operate the teleport wi’ Cally and surprise, surprise she’s in a foul mood too. Blake gets in touch long enough to tell me to send the others down then we loose all of ’em again.

 

Don’t think much of these people Blake’s brought back with him. They creep me out if I’m being honest about it, especially that Shivan wi’ all his bandages... And Avon doesn’t like havin’ them around either so it’s not just me. Which is reassuring. Or not, depends how you look at it. Get rid of ’em an’ get on with having a holiday, that’s what I say... Well if Blake wants me to go down an’ fetch some governor... I suppose it’ll get me away from them for a bit. An’ Deputy Leader sounds good even if it is prob’ly just another sign that he’s not in his right mind.

 

The Governor’s another strange one. She tells Blake that she wants him to run things for her, usin’ some very fancy words but there’s something distinctly odd about it all. I slope off for a drink with Jenna while they’re all talkin’ politics on the flight deck but then Blake decides he wants us to go down to Atlay with him. Don’t know why he wants me, I’m no good at politics or protection.

 

It’s getting to the point where I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on in anyone’s head at all by now. I feel dizzy just tryin’ to keep track of it all. And I don’t see why I should have to listen to a load of political speeches so I’ll just wait in that room we passed up there until they’re good an’ ready to go back to the ship. Yeah, that’s a good idea, an’ Blake’s not objecting either.

 

Now what? I was having a nice rest an’ then all the shooting started followed by a lot of shouting. Blake an’ Jenna rush in wi’ that Ven Glynd bloke and we shove the drinks machine up against the door. Blake’s acting odder than ever, Avon won’t teleport us up and then Travis appears. Yeah, really makes my day all this.

 

Cally finally teleports me back to the ship and Avon looks lost for what to do. Bloody useless. An’ smashing some gadget’s not gonna help- oh, it is, is it?

 

Right, that’s all of us back on the ship, no extra passengers an’ Blake can’t decide whether we’re goin’ on holiday or back to business as usual. The girls fuss over Blake and he acts like nothin’s happened. Avon stands next to me like it’s all back to normal then stalks off, so I suppose I may as well follow him and ask him what that last bit was all about.

 

I catch up with him an’ he grabs me arm and drags me to me cabin. I know this mood pretty well by now. Usually he’s mad at Blake, or mad at himself for letting Blake get to him, or both. This time though he’s mad at me as well by the look of it.

 

He slams me up against the door.

"How could you?" He forces the door open, then we fall through an’ I end up pinned against the wall.

"How could I what? You weren’t exactly lettin’ me in on anythin’ now were you?"

"I didn’t wa- you didn’t need to see. Not with your history."

"Decide that for me, did you? And what would you know about any of it?" That was unfair of me, he’s bin through the mill as well from what he’s said- and hasn’t said.

"I told you enough that you shouldn’t have to say that."

 

So that’s what this past week has bin all about. He did say a lot of nothin’ much after Del Grant was here, and then he stopped coming round to see me. I wish he’d just make his bloody mind up what he wants.

 

"Calm down," I say, "it’ll all sort itself out, always does. We all just need a rest."

"Blake’s more fanatical than ever. You really think we’re going to get any rest now?" He’s not any calmer.

"Okay," I say, still trying to sound soothin’ "so what d’you want to do about it?" He starts to relax a bit when I say that, but he’s still frettin’ about Blake more’n he needs to.

"I don’t know," he says, meanin’ it as well, judging by how he looks. Far be it from me to ever suggest he should actually go tell Blake how he feels about stuff.

 

"Got an idea," I say, doin’ some fast thinking, "Blake’s going to look for this Star One whatever we say, right?" He nods. "So how about you an’ me let him get on with it and jus’ kick back for a while? We’re not revolutionaries so why act like it all the time?"

He smiles and pulls an’ pushes me to the bed, twisting at the last minute so he somehow ends up underneath. Now that’s more like it.

 

I hold his wrists out of the way while I kiss him, which gets a response as always. Avon likes power games far more’n I do but life wouldn’t be half as interestin’ if everyone was wired up the same. I’m taking my time over things. Just because he can flip from one mood to another, doesn’t mean I can.

 

Maybe I was wrong about him switchin’ moods, his heart’s not really in it. Can’t say I’m particularly in the mood either. I roll onto me side an’ just look at him.

 

"Blake said you an’ Cally... not that I mind, I just wish you’d told me." He looks confused again.

"Cally? Now what gives anyone the impression that I would- no, never mind."

"The pair of you were leaving me out a bit," I say by way of explanation.

"It was unintentional, I assure you. I didn’t think you’d have wanted to see what was happening with Blake. Then you walked in anyway. Maybe we should leave Jenna and Cally to see to the rest of Blake’s deprogramming."

 

I suppose I should be grateful for that but I still feel like he could have told me, ’stead of just goin’ off like he did... Something else’s bothering him but he doesn’t seem to want to say any more at the moment. I pull him in close again. Never does any good to think about things too much, an’ Avon always seems to have more on his mind than he needs have.

 

"I’d probably better go," he says, starting to slide over me.

"Why?" I ask pushing him back onto the bed. "I thought everything was okay again."

"It is," he says, "I just don’t see the point in staying when it’s unlikely I’ll sleep well after today. There’s no point in you being kept awake as well."

I start to say something in reply then I catch the look on his face an’ change it into an order for the lights to go right down.

 

Just enough light now that I can see where stuff is without having to see how he’s feeling. Don’t know if it’s just all the mess wi’ Blake getting to him more than he’d like to admit, or...

"Want to talk about it?" I ask.

"Probably not," he says an’ goes very quiet.

 

"It was nothing really," he says after a long time. "Not compared to what they always said they’d do the next time and what I suppose- well anyway- it’s in the past."

"But it bothers you?" He doesn’t deny it, so it must do. "So, what happened, did your family...?"

"Oh, they were never the problem," he says, "other than objecting to some of my more enterprising chemistry projects, they let me be myself most of the time." I file that comment for future reference, wondering just what he’s capable of cooking up wi’ the right equipment.

"No, it was other people that were the problem. It was never enough for me to get better test scores than anyone else. I was always expected to behave the way they wanted me to as well. Alpha’s don’t cut themselves. Alpha men aren’t attracted to other men, Alpha’s don’t-"

"- pocket things that don’t belong to them?" I suggest. Not that I’m one to talk but at least I always steal useful things. I’ve known him shoplift complete crap just to prove he can. S’pose it depends what you think’s useful though.

 

"That too," he says, "and psychotherapists love to bundle everything up into one big problem and theorise that if one didn’t do X, then one would have no urge to do Y or Z either."

"So they thought that they could turn you into a good little Alpha, eh?" Hold on, I could ask him something I’ve always wondered about. No time like the present.

 

"But you’re not, are you? Not really an Alpha, I mean? Not born an’ bred?"

"Is it that obvious?"

"Only to me. An’ only ’cos I’ve known you as long as I have. You always fitted in too well, like you were used to being something you weren’t. You used to get your fancy friends to meet you down the Pear Tree and they’d stick out like a sore thumb. But you, everyone noticed you, jus’ not like that."

"I’ll take that as a compliment, shall I?"

"If you want. I won’t say anythin’ to the others, of course, they might want to make something of it."

"Thank you."

 

He goes quiet again, like he’s still frettin’ over what happened today. Can’t say I blame him or anything, I know as well as anyone what the Federation does to people who don’t fit in. But maybe I’m better at not thinking about it than the rest of them. There’s none of ’em don’t have nightmares about one thing or another every so often. Why else are you always sure of someone else being awake whatever time of the night it is?

 

It’s not good for him to think about things so much so I try an’ take his mind off it but he just pushes me hand away.

"Fine mess, this," I say. "D’you think Blake’s ever goin’ to let us go to Del Ten?"

"I wouldn’t have thought it. Blake seems to be all fired up with his Cause once again. But I like your idea of finding our own entertainment whilst he does what he wants. Let me think about it for a while..."

 

***

 

Part Two

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