The topic for b7friday last week was free range rebels and after I saw pictures of the tunnel under the Brazilian bank, I decided to go for the 'free' bit. Apologies to those who've never seen The Great Escape or Colditz. 600 words set well before the series, when Vila is on CF1 as a teenager.
"I hear you're planning an escape," said Huffington, the Senior Terran Convict, a natty man in a white silk scarf and immaculately-tailored prison uniform.
"That's right," said Vila, looking around the hut. Did themselves well, this lot. It was an improvement on the juvy hut he was in, right over near the Space Rats' one.
"Terribly sorry old chap--well, young chap actually, but every plan has to be approved by the escape committee."
"Don't see what needs approving. It's dead simple. I just unlock the gates and walk out."
"One must keep order. Stinker and Bags--" Huffington indicated two other Alphas "--are tunnelling from under the gym--"
"Super place for it," Stinker said heartily. "Guards aren’t going to notice a chap working up a sweat in there, what?"
Vila shuddered at the thought of gyms, tunnels, and anything approaching physical labour.
"And next in the queue is Squiffy here who's going out dressed as a cleaner," Huffington looked disapproving, "even though the committee thought a guard would be better."
"I have a soft spot for florals."
Vila blinked at Squiffy, who appeared to be wearing makeup--must be in the Theatre Club--then turned back to Huffington. "What about the lot from Hut 17 who're building a trampoline to bounce themselves over the fence?"
"In the queue."
"And the Space Rats' anti-grav platform they're going to launch off the roof?"
"The Space Rats," said Huffington with dignity, "are not part of--"
"Just a moment, Huffo," said the bespectacled fellow who had been introduced as Boffin. "Where did they get the parts?"
"I nicked 'em from stores," said Vila. "Keeps me in good with them. The women can be a bit rough but I think I'm their mascot now."
"I say, Huffo," said Bags. "We need a cadger since Grabber went over."
"Hmm." Huffo looked at Vila. "A trifle young, isn't he?"
"Fourteen," said Vila. "Old enough to be here."
"Yes, jolly good show. We could do with a token irrepressible Delta. All right, you’re in."
Vila grinned and sat down. "Y'know, why not do all the escape attempts at once? The guards wouldn't know which way to run and some of us'd be sure to get out."
"I say!" said Stinker.
"Not bad!" said Huffo.
As 73 prisoners crawled along the gym tunnel, Squiffy put on his brightly-flowered Delta cleaner outfit and a blonde wig, checked his lippy and mascara, and picked up his broom. Hut 17 inclined their trampoline to the correct angle and fitted the extra-powerful springs, and on the roof of the central block, the Space Rats powered up their antigrav sled and piled on.
Vila waited until the first group of tunnellers broke out of the ground just short of the nearest trees and the alarm went up, Squiffy was chatted up by a guard and invited into the barracks, Hut 17 began running, leaping, and bouncing over the fence and into the guards' lovingly-tended vegetable patch (a softer landing than most of the terrain outside), and the Space Rats' sled swooped overhead, dropping the occasional Rat. He waited until most of the guards were outside the fence, then he took out his lockpicks, opened the back gate, and sauntered out.
He had a brief bad moment when he got to the transport pool and heard the sound of a two-wheeled pursuit vehicle behind him, but it was just one of the Rats, whooping with delight as she roared over a field and leaped a low fence.
Vila took a flyer and set a course for the spaceport and home sweet dome.