Nico (vilakins) wrote,
Nico
vilakins

Ficlet: Game Over

For last week's b7friday topic of atonement: 500 words set well after GP.

Game Over

Servalan had always counted on her looks and her power, but now she had neither. She was just Vana Sleer (and not even the incontinent old cryptic crossword fanatic in the corner had figured out that was an anagram of E Servalan--she had always hated the name Eglantine), a retired civil servant, withering away in a Federation nursing home.

At 40 she had been beginning to lose her looks, at 50 she knew she wasn't getting the Presidency back and had taken to eating far too many soft-centred chocolates resulting in a change of style to what was strangely known as the muumuu (why? An analogy with cows?), at 60 everything was sagging and her resolve flagging as retirement approached, at 70 they'd put her out to pasture, a minor commissioner from the unfashionable edge of the galaxy, and at 80 here she was, a shapeless lump in a floral tunic with her boobs down to her waist (she would need a crocodile now to bridge the gap) with nothing to look forward to but a boiled veg and soy protein dinner followed by custard. Cabbage would feature by the smell, unless that was old Alta Morag again.

None of them liked her. They wouldn't let her play Scrabble after she had tried to get the attendants take the winner out to be shot, or Galactic Monopoly after she had embedded a red plastic pursuit ship in the forehead of the old codger who had defeated her fleet. They didn't speak to her at the table, and when they laughed with their backs to her, she knew it was about her.

The thing was, she had never needed friends. She had never seen the point. She would give a lot (what, though--the faded watercolour on her bedroom wall, her anti-grav chair, her constipation pills?) for a good enemy. At least you knew you counted when someone hated you. They just ignored her here.

Was there even anyone left alive who had known her in her power and her glory? Perhaps that fool Vila Restal, wherever he was, if he was still around. She shut her eyes, remembering how she had walked into that tracking gallery too late, finding Avon there with Blake, both dead. Somehow, that had been the start of the end. Up till then, there had always been the hope that he and she might... but he hadn't even believed her back on Sarran. And he'd been right.

She opened her eyes at another burst of laughter from the Scrabble table. One of the players punched another in the arm, one of those playful pulled punches. No one had ever done that to her, even back at school. Of course, she would have rewarded an unsolicited touch with a compass jab or worse. For a sudden sharp moment, she wished she had friends, wished she knew how. If only... Can I start again, please? Clear the board and play over for different stakes?

Too late now.

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