Nico (vilakins) wrote,
Nico
vilakins

Ficlet: In the Dark

The week before last (I'm a bit behind) on b7friday it was alien planets. 550 words, set in season 3.

In the Dark

"You said it was like Earth," Vila said resentfully.

"It is."

"Oh, don't tell me, you meant the Ant-bloody-arctic, didn't you."

"That would be considerably colder."

"And it's dark." Vila turned the portable light up full. "Don't much like the dark."

"Pity. It suits you."

"Why didn't we go to the light side?"

"Because, Vila, it's always turned to the sun and it's hotter than Mercury. You wouldn't last a second. Why do you think this side's so warm?"

"Nice place." Vila kicked disconsolately at a small rock. "Dayna wanted to come. Why didn't you let her?"

"And deprive you of a pleasant outing?" Avon looked out over the stony landscape.

"If you want a rock, you've came to the right place." Vila shivered. "Take your pick." He put the collection box down. "And you've probably got one in here; this thing's heavy enough."

"I want a particular rock." Avon frowned at those revealed by the light. This might be more difficult than he'd thought.

"Oh, right, does it have special markings? A name it answers to? Rocky perhaps?"

"A particular type of rock."

"Brightondome, hard rock, rock cake--"

"Vila."

"--rocky road..."

"We'll know when we find it."

"Oh. Wonderful." Vila picked up the collection box and trudged after Avon

***

"What about this spiky one then?"

"Don't touch it."

Vila withdrew his hand. "Why not?"

"Defence mechanism. You don't know what it will do."

"It's a rock!"

"It's a silicon life-form."

"Oh, so that's why we came. You must feel right at home." Vila looked around nervously. "Now I think of it, that big rock wasn't there before."

"Very likely. Defences do imply predators."

"Oh." Vila backed away. "I can see it now. Vila Restal, eaten in his prime by a rolling stone."

"I doubt it. We're perfectly safe. They'd no more eat you than you would them. They probably don't even recognise us as life. Mind you, in your case--"

Vila ignored him as he tried to look in all directions at one, the whites of his eyes showing. "There! That one just moved!" He dropped the box and the light. "We're surrounded!"

"We always were," said Avon. "This is a very well-populated area." He relented. "We can move a lot faster than them, so don't worry."

"Too late! I already have!" Vila jumped at another movement, then stumbled and fell. "Sorry, mate. You all right?" He patted a small rock solicitously.

"You've found one!" Avon pounced.

"Careful! He's a nice bloke."

That was why he'd brought Vila, because he was the only one on board who wouldn't be seen as a threat, even by a rock. Avon stood still, staring at the Sopron in his hand. It was intelligent, cold, and analytical, and made him feel very out-classed. Was that how he appeared to others? But Vila--and Cally too--could see someone they liked.

"Thank for asking how I am. Nice to know you care." Vila scrambled to his feet and dusted himself down.

Safely hidden behind his breather mask, Avon smiled at him, then reached out to touch his shoulder briefly so that one hand was cold and the other warm, like the planet. "Pick the gear up," he said, and turned on his bracelet comms. "This is Avon. We're ready for teleport."
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