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Random Musings
B7 The Ends: Tingash - Chapter 30 
7th-Feb-2010 09:06 pm

Category: Humour, Drama
Rating: Gen
2nd Story of From the Ends to the Beginning
 

Introduction: Vila and the clones. Reya gives Argus/Wolf a 'gift'. Avon and the young wolf do some experimentation.

Note: After what seems like forever, I have finally finished this chapter. And it's all Vila's fault... ;) He refused to be the comic relief so I had to rewrite his scene. Sigh. Et tu, Vila?

Thanks very much to jaxomsride and muscadinegirl for their invaluable assistance with this chapter.

Note2: As you can guess, we are reaching the end for the Tingash story. Only one, at most two chapters left depending on what the characters feel like doing for an epilogue. (No more rewriting of the script, gang. Do you hear? That means you, Vila.)

I am open to suggestions for the next story. Drama, action, angst, comedy? Musical...er, maybe not. More of the four boyz back story? The conspiracy and the Psychostrategist's Guild? All ideas will be considered ;)


In keeping with the wolf theme for this chapter...a wonderful picture from vilakins. Done for the Haiti auction.



Previous Chapter

Chapter Thirty

Next Chapter

Vila stared and twenty-four pairs of identical eyes stared back at him. His fertile imagination gave him visions of being in the middle of a horror vid. Any minute now, their eyes would glow or they would set him on fire with their minds. His mum always told him horror vids would give him nightmares; she’d never imagine he'd land in the middle of one.

At least they weren’t wearing those hideous black mutoid uniforms, but why did they have to stare like that? Any harder and he'd be checking for laser holes.

It made him feel naked. He swallowed nervously and did up another button on his cream-coloured shirt.

Teaching the clones how to play seemed like a good idea when he volunteered. And yes, he reminded himself, I volunteered for this. It was a good thing Avon wasn't here, he'd sure to have a few snarky comments, probably something about biting off more than he could chew.

This is silly. These are kids. They just look like they can take me apart with their thumbs.

And here he was with just a whistle on a lanyard and a ball tucked under his arm. He could feel the ridges digging into his side. Vila just wished the clones weren't so big. Avon said they were only eleven, according to their vat data, but they looked larger than any eleven year olds he'd ever met. Plus, it gave him bad childhood memories of bullies with thick fists and a lack of personal hygiene. Not that the clones were dirty, in fact, they were scrupulously clean. It was just the idea of their size and the fact they'd probably been taught to dismantle people in a thousand and one ways.

Vila took a deep breath. This was not helping and he was here to help.

What game should he teach the clones? They were trained to be soldiers, or conditioned to it, he wasn't quite sure which. They'd like something physical. Running, jumping, and probably hitting things, preferably not him.

Vila gripped the whistle tightly and sent a blast of air through it. He winced at the shrill echo as twenty-four pairs of eyes blinked. The sound had the same effect as an old teacher of his who had a voice that could shatter glass and an unfortunate personality to match.

The clones stood waiting. Vila straightened his shoulders; he was determined to do this. “We’re going to have an old fashioned game of Bulldog.”

“Oscar”, who hadn’t chosen a better name yet, said, “What is the object of this mission, sir?"

“It’s not a mission.” Vila flipped the ball up in the air and caught it with exaggerated flair behind his back. “We’re going to have some fun.”

Oscar’s young eyes contained the seriousness of an adult. He nodded. “Fun is the mission objective.”

“No, no, no...” This was going to be much harder than he thought.

Harry, a clone next to “Oscar” wearing one of Argus’s old military-fatigues, intoned, “We will serve more efficiently if we are happy. Having fun increases happiness.”

The young clones nodded in unison as they remembered what Sester had told them. Vila wished they wouldn’t do that, it made him feel like he was in a robot factory.

Oscar’s young voice was grave. “We will draw up battle plans.”

Vila shook his head vigorously. “Wait! You don’t need battle plans to play.”

The young Jacks looked blankly at him as their minds quickly processing this new detail.

Oscar tugged at his ill-fitting grey shirt, one of Argus’s old ones that was too broad in the chest. “Is this a test of our adaptive ability and creativity, sir?”

“It’s not a test. It’s...a game.” Vila knew he was going to have to do better than this. He rubbed the back of his neck, wondering if it might be easier to pop the clones back into the pods and teach them that way. Maybe Avon could whip up a few temporary pods.

“You’ve never...” He was about to ask if they never played games before, but that was pointless, of course they hadn’t, that was why he was here.  “Have you been on a mission before?”

Oscar ran his fingers through his military-cut hair, a trace of embarrassment in his eyes. “No, sir.”

“Oh.” Vila’s eyes softened. These weren’t children; they were babies, ones crammed full of knowledge they’d never used before. Everything was new to them.  “Never mind about that. How would you like a proper mission?”

Twenty-four pairs of eyes brightened and Vila's heart became lighter. That's something, isn't it? They want to do something.

But then again, were they conditioned that way? The Federation would want them to feel good when obeying orders, wouldn't they? At least the clones had feelings, it was better than nothing. They weren't machines.

Oscar said, "What is the mission, sir?"

"You want a mission?"

"Yes, sir."

"What I mean is, you would feel something if I gave you one."

"Our purpose is to serve."

Vila's imagination was now giving him visions of going around in circles. He was already getting dizzy.

"How do you feel right now with nothing to do?"

"We wait."

"Yes, but, don't you feel bored, frustrated, impatient?"

"We do not understand why this is relevant."

"You're even more like Avon than Avon is," grumbled Vila.

The clicking of nails on the floor announced new arrivals. Three young wolves came in tentatively, their black noses sniffing, and eyes sparkling with excitement.

* May we play too? * asked the one on the left, projecting to all of them. The band of white across her shoulders looked like a furry shawl as she moved.

“Well,” said Vila, a wide grin across his face. “That opens up a whole range of possibilities. I was about to give the boys a mission.”

The wolves came further into the room, led by the young female. * Can we have a mission too? * The two male wolves huffed, their tongues lolling in anticipation of something fun.

Hmm. Clones, wolves...something that would challenge them both...something fun and feels like a mission. “How about a game of catch?”

The young female wolf did a quick, excited circle on the spot. * We love catch! You can chase us! * She raced out in a blur of motion, followed quickly by the other two wolves. There was a short beat then the clones tore after them.

“Wait, that wasn't what I meant!” Vila shouted after them, but it was too late. "Don't hurt the wolves!" He rushed after them.

**********

“Silk underwear?” A half-dressed Argus held the offending blue garment with two fingers, his nose wrinkling as if it smelled rank, which was ridiculous since it was new.

An equally half-dressed Reya said distractedly, “Yes, do you like them? I’ve been learning sewing techniques and I thought I’d do something nice for you.” She slid open another drawer, looking for an elusive pair of black slacks.

“This is nice?” he asked, his eyebrows rising high on his forehead.

Sighing heavily and settling on a pair of dark blue ones, Reya finally glanced up and saw the outrage on her mate's face. “I thought Wolf might like it. I know he’s been complaining about itching.”

“You did this for the Wolf?”

* She is a thoughtful mate. *

Argus growled under his breath. * She’s not your mate. *

* She is still thoughtful. * In Argus’s mind, there was the shadow of an image, the dark coated wolf lying down, his muzzle resting on his outstretched paws, and his glowing amber eyes now dull.

Argus felt the melancholy of the creature inside him as if it were his own. * What’s wrong with you? *

The faraway look in her bond-mate’s eyes was becoming very familiar to Reya. “Argus, are you talking to the Wolf? Does he like the silk?”

There was a long blink of dark brown eyes. The Wolf said from Argus’s mouth, “One is very kind.”

“Oh.” Reya’s eyes widened. “Hello, Wolf.”

The Wolf’s mouth opened in a wide, friendly smile. His head nodded enthusiastically. “Reya-mate.”

“Do you like the silk? It should be much less itchy.”

The creature held up the blue briefs, studying it curiously. “One would prefer no clothes.”

“Uh, yes...well...” A pink flush spread across Reya’s cheeks. “It’s not convenient for a human. There are conventions we follow.”

Wolf sighed. “One understands. They are the rules of the pack.” In one motion, the trousers and pants came off.

“Wait!” Reya quickly turned around, her pink cheeks becoming red. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know every inch of Argus’s, now nude, body, but this was awkward. He quickly pulled on the silk briefs.

“It does not itch one,” said the Wolf, wiggling his hips. “Thank you.”

Reya turned slowly; ready to hide her eyes if needed but she had to suppress a giggle at his motions. “I’m glad.”

There were shouts and the thunder of pounding feet.

“What’s that?” Reya stepped towards the door but Wolf was already ahead of her.

**********

Avon unsnapped the catch on the leather collar. "This is yours." He held it out to the wolf.

The creature sniffed it cautiously, touching it with his moist nose. He took it carefully between his teeth and began yanking on it. Avon instinctively pulled back on the other end. "What are you doing?"

* Play? * asked the wolf, keeping pressure on his end of the collar.

"This is not a toy."

* Oh. * The wolf let it go.

It's just as well I sealed the mechanism. Avon felt the workbench in front of him for a handy cloth and wiped wolf slobber from the flexible leather band. "This goes around your neck."

"Rrr?" The wolf cocked its head and regarded the band with curiosity.

"It's a teleport collar. We have a teleport device on the ship that will instantaneously transport matter between two points. It requires a contact signal and an alloy that provides the key for matter reduction and transmission. The collar provides that signal and the key."

"Rrr." the wolf made a noise of understanding, which Avon doubted. No matter how intelligent it was, the wolf was still an animal. They were exploring the extent of its mental capacities. At least Sharp-Eyes seemed to trust him and for some reason, that was comforting.

Avon carefully felt for the wolf's neck and snapped the collar on.

* Test? * asked the wolf, twisting his head to the left and right to get the feel of the object around his neck.

"Not yet. This is only a test of the locking mechanism and the fit of the collar. We will test the teleport function on non-living matter first."

Avon fit his fingers along the inner side of the band, checking its looseness. The fur was thick and warm. He imagined the wolf was suited for most extremes of weather and temperature conditions. A valuable adaptation.

"How do you find the collar? Does it impede motion?"

* An object around one's neck is unfamiliar, but it does not impede motion. Must I wear this? *

"Only on missions when we need to leave the ship."

The wolf dipped his head once. * Then it is acceptable. *

"Good." Avon slipped his fingers from the collar.

* We will test the collar? *

"When we reach our destination. We will send a test object through."

The wolf cocked his head again and his eyes blinked once. * The teleport device does not work inside the ship? *

Avon tilted his head in amused contemplation. "Now that's a good question. Technically, there's no reason why it shouldn't work inside the ship." He stood up and held out his hand, and the wolf rose immediately to guide him.

"To the teleport room."


Vila_Whimsical
Comments 
8th-Feb-2010 09:58 am (UTC)
Go Vila! Stand up for yourself. I am so proud of you. He'll have another time to be funny. Maybe the clones will get to see the magic show and that'll help them learn to play.

Yay wolves! Go wolves! I adore the picture btw. The wolf's fur looks so soft and Avon doesn't look bad either. (Hee!)

Awww. I'm impressed by Reya's sewing skills. And I totally forgot about the need for a teleport collar.

Mab: *watches the wolves and clones play catch around the ship and decides to join in* Anna, we need to introduce the clones to lemon meringue pie...
8th-Feb-2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
Go Vila! Stand up for yourself. I am so proud of you.
Sigh, yes. All I needed was another demanding character in my head. Oh yes, I haven't done the next magic show yet.

I'm impressed by Reya's sewing skills.
Yes, with the magic sewing wand, it's really easy ;)

Mab, good to have you back :) Anna thinks the clones need to know about lemon meringue pie too.




Edited at 2010-02-08 02:49 pm (UTC)
8th-Feb-2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Reya stepped towards the door but Wolf was already ahead of her.

Is Argus running round the ship in nothing but his underpants again? (Hmmmm, contemplates the image with great pleasure.)
8th-Feb-2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Uh...yes ;)
8th-Feb-2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
Is he going to join in playing with the clones and wolves?
8th-Feb-2010 11:07 pm (UTC)
Wolf might ;) Argus would be looking for more clothes first...
8th-Feb-2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
I’ve been learning sewing techniques

Be nice for Reya to make things instead of destroying them. Like Dain and his art.
8th-Feb-2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
A different side of Reya...
8th-Feb-2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Avon and Sharp-eyes playing tug of war!

what a picture. I love it...
8th-Feb-2010 11:09 pm (UTC)
Avon and Sharp-eyes playing tug of war!

what a picture. I love it...


;) Thought you'd like it.

9th-Feb-2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Ooh Argus in silk undies! What a sight to see! Sester of course is bound to turn up.

Just wait until the Jacks ask Reya to do them a pair too.

As for what next? Humour, adventure and Drama by all means.
We need to see Olean Rane and Jenna together, can she look him in the eye?

Where are the wolves and Argus clones going to go, not that they aren't fun to have around.
9th-Feb-2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Ooh Argus in silk undies! What a sight to see! Sester of course is bound to turn up.
Yes, he is bound to show up...

Just wait until the Jacks ask Reya to do them a pair too.
Reya will be busy...

As for what next? Humour, adventure and Drama by all means.
We need to see Olean Rane and Jenna together, can she look him in the eye?

That's true, they need to have a confrontation.

Where are the wolves and Argus clones going to go, not that they aren't fun to have around.
They are currently headed to Kaarn.
(Deleted comment)
9th-Feb-2010 05:20 am (UTC)
vilakins is very talented.
13th-Feb-2010 11:40 am (UTC) - Restrictive practices
Anonymous
I'm a 30+ year fan of B7 and B7 fanfic. I have read and enjoyed your series of stories. Firstly on FanFiction.net and subsequently on LiveJournal. Now LiveJournal requires me to register to read your wonderful story(ies). As I believe in the *free* exchange of ideas I can no longer follow your continuation of the B7 universe. I hope you will continue to publish 'completed' stories on FanFiction.net where I can (for now) enjoy ongoing indulgence in my favorite escapist pursuits. If not, you have lost an avid follower due to your Provider's policy to restrict the free and open sharing of ideas.

Christopher aka chevron [from .au]
16th-Feb-2010 12:55 am (UTC) - Re: Restrictive practices
Hello Christopher

Thanks for reading these stories. I'm glad you've enjoyed them. Sorry to hear there are problems with LJ. Perhaps this is a temporary thing? I know people have been having technical problems with it lately, myself included. Hopefully you will still be able to follow the stories, or if not I will certainly post completed stories to Fanfic.

Great to hear from you.

Kal
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