Nico (vilakins) wrote,
Nico
vilakins

Ficlet: Time and Revolution

I don't think I cross-posted this here yet. It was written a couple of weeks ago for the b7friday topic of time. 700 words set PGP.

Time and Revolution

The Hotel Le Grande always celebrated Independence Day, even though it was on Lindor. Drinks in the bar were half-price and the place was packed, noisy, joyful, and hung about with Terran Republic flags.

The quiet middle-aged man who had been at the bar most of the night became emboldened by the atmosphere and the amount of alcohol in his veins. "I knew them once," he told the head barman, nodding towards the poster on the wall: Blake's original crew, standing tall and resolute against a stirring background of the Liberator against a field of stars.

"Oh, really?" The barman looked interested. He gestured to his staff to look after the other customers, and leaned on the bar. "Did they look like that, then? All strong-thewed and striding bravely into the future?"

The man hesitated. "Well, I suppose not." He brightened. "Blake was a big fellow though, and he had a lot of presence."

"Suppose he would've. Where'd you meet them then? Fought beside them against the Andromedans?"

"Um," the man looked wary. "No, just in a resistance group connected to them."

"Well, well! We're knee deep in heroes! This deserves a drink on the house!" The barman pulled a large ale. "Here you go. Get that inside you." He waited while the little man took a draught. "So, what'd you think of the others?"

"Ah." The man thoughtfully rubbed his nose which had a little foam on it. "Well, Stannis was an absolute stunner and a brilliant pilot. Not that Tarrant wasn't good too of course--"

The barman raised his eyebrows and spoke to the blonde who had just taken the seat on the man's right. "This fellow knew Blake's lot, and Avon's. You don't come across that every day."

"Really?" The woman gave her neighbour a dazzling smile. "You must have worked closely with them."

"Oh, yerss," the man leaned back on his stool and though better of it just in time. "I even knew Avalon back then. Beautiful girl--" he looked fuzzily at the Terran President's portrait on the opposite wall from the poster, "--still is--but always willing to listen to the ordinary man."

"Like you, you mean?"

"Takes a lot of people to make a revolution, you know." The man finished his drink and belched extravagantly.

The barman leaned back slightly. "Yeah, course it does. And heroes, all of 'em. Me now, I always preferred a quiet life."

The woman smirked.

"So," the barman said, "what'd you think of Avon?"

"Avon... clever chap of course. And you could see he and Blake thought the world of each other."

"Really? Always heard they argued all the time like hammer and tongs."

"Nah, absolutely devoted. Had to be, what with Avon shot down standing over Blake to protect him."

"Ah, yes, the great double-martyrdom." The blonde spoke seriously but to the man's drunken perceptions, she looked as if she were somehow laughing at him. No, he must be imagining it.

"What about that Delta, Restal?" The barman took the empty glass.

"Eh? Oh yes, salt of the earth. Just shows how someone can rise above their background."

The barman smiled. "Oh, it does indeed. Have another one on the house, mate."

"Sorry." The woman pointed at the clock. "It's after 11 already."

"Ah. Right you are." He got a bell out from under the bar top and rang it loudly. "Time! Time, ladies and gentlemen please!"

***

The hotel manager leaned against the bar as the patrons left. "I'm surprised you kept a straight face during that."

"Oh, it wasn't as bad as some," said the hotel owner (who had spent most of his life savings of six million credits buying the place). "You'd be amazed how many people fought shoulder to shoulder with Blake during the invasion."

She laughed and turned, reaching across the bar to take his hand. "Come on, Vila, let the staff clean up while we have our own celebrations. Dinner for two upstairs. Just for a start."

Vila grinned. "And then various other things just for two?" He came round the bar and put his arms around her. "Mightn't have been there for the big victory, but we're still winners."
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