Fan Fiction: Rehearsal by Jackie Emery


Jackie Emery

The only advantage in everything going wrong at once is that you're spared having to worry about them one at a time. So thought Blake, as he left Jenna in charge on the flight deck and hurried off in search of Gan. Gan – who was suddenly and terrifyingly changed from a gentle, unassuming man to one violent and murderous.

They were on their way to find medical help, when Zen had mutinied and shut down all the computers. Avon was now attempting to bypass the computer systems, while Jenna flew the Liberator under manual control. Blake trusted her piloting skills, but could she cope with only Vila and Cally to help her? Vila had been teetering on the edge of hysterical panic for the past hour, while Cally was still badly shaken after Gan's attempt to kill her. And now, on top of everything else, they were being pulled into a gravitational vortex that threatened to tear apart the increasingly unstable ship.

Meanwhile, Gan himself was loose and dangerous, and Blake had to find him. He moved quickly from corridor to corridor. Where was Gan? Blake glanced into a cabin. Empty.

Passing the open door of the computer maintenance area, Blake thought he heard Avon speak his name. He poked his head into the room and looked around. He couldn't see Avon at first, though he could hear his voice, keeping up what seemed to be one side of an argument. Blake peered cautiously around. Avon was kneeling on the floor, working on one of the banks of computer panels, while talking to himself through clenched teeth. Blake watched and listened, fascinated.

Avon put down one tool and took up another. Stabbing it into the computer panel, he muttered: "Remaining with you, Blake, is an idiocy which I no longer wish to stoop to. No, that's not it."

A small light began to glow on the panel, flickered and went out. Avon made another adjustment and the light flashed, then steadied. "Staying with you," he said in the same tone, "requires a level of lunacy which I can no longer aspire to. Still not right. Damn!"

He pressed a sequence of of buttons and a row of lights began to glow. Avon smiled slowly. "Staying with you," he said deliberately, "requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable."

He picked up his tools and moved to the next panel. He inserted a probe and twisted it to punctuate his words. "I'm finished, Blake. Staying with you requires a degree of stupidity of which I no longer feel capable."

Blake backed silently out of the door, grinning to himself as he hurried away. Oh well, he thought. Gan may be dangerously insane, Zen silent and mutinous, the ship about to be torn apart – but at least he had one problem in hand. No only did he know what Avon's next scathing remark was going to be, he had time to think of a really good reply...


This story was originally printed in Horizon fiction zine no. 14. Horizon newsletters and zines are still available to purchase. Email Horizon via the Contact form or send a PM to the Supreme Commander for full list and ordering details.

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