Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Ficlet meme response # 1 - Orac's Vacation

Here's my response to astrogirl2's first challenge in the ficlet meme:

Character: Orac
Title: Orac's Vacation
Dialogue: "I swear, I left him sitting right here!"
The B7 crew wouldn't use the word 'vacation' but I thought it would be cheating to change it. I got round it but I went a bit over the maximum of 500 words. Don't expect more than one of these a day.

Orac's Vacation

Orac seethed. He was unfortunately inferior to these humans in one very important way: he could not move under his own power. It was a regrettable oversight on the part of Ensor. Had he been able to, he would not now be sitting here in undignified compressed form on a table at a casino bar with the ones called Avon, Vila, and Blake instead of continuing his research into the nature of space and matter.

They were on Del 10. After leaving Freedom City, the entire crew had rebelled against Blake (for some reason Vila found this amusing) and demanded the holiday he had promised them just before he had required a reboot.

Avon had decided to repeat their success at Krantor's Big Wheel.

Vila was less keen. "Almost got the shock of my life last time. No, I think I'm just going to sit back and enjoy myself. I'm on holiday."

Orac had investigated the term; a synonym in some parts of the galaxy was 'vacation' which seemed to apply to holiday-makers' heads. Cally had gone to watch wrestling as though she did not get enough on missions, Jenna was buying clothes despite the extensive selection on the Liberator, and Blake had consumed enough of something called 'real ale' to crash his system again; he was slumped unconscious at the table. Besides drinking over-engineered 'cocktails'--no-one ate the fruit and there was no weather in the casino to require a tiny umbrella--Vila was also watching women with an avidity that made no sense in view of the fact that he saw two of them every day.

"You're a fool, Vila." Avon tapped his spoon against the waffle ring of the Neptune in his Solar System Sundae. "We could make a lot more money here than we did at Krantor's, especially if we spread our winnings among several casinos."

"Why would I want to? I got enough last time and as I said, I'm on holiday. Sounds too much like hard work to me. And dangerous as well! The Terra Nostra happen to be silent partners in most of the rackets here and I've always thought they spelled their name wrong."

Orac considered that briefly. Both words were spelled correctly. Vila was sometimes difficult to understand.

"And besides," Vila said, "Blake might wake up. I think he already suspects we were up to something last time."

"I wouldn't worry. I'd be surprised if he can remember his name."

"I still can. Must rectify that." Vila went to get another drink.

Avon dug out a spoonful of raspberry ripple from Jupiter. "Orac. There are several gaming computers here which doubtless possess tarial cells. Listen ..."

Orac devoted a subroutine to doing so while a larger one wished that he could vacate the premises. The solution suddenly presented itself. He accessed Liberator's systems.

Blake roused himself just as Vila sat back down. "Avon? Where the hell's Avon gone, Vila?"

"Don’t look at me! I swear, I left him sitting right here!"

Avon was surprised but not displeased to find himself in the largest ice-cream parlour on Del 10 after a brief view of the Liberator's teleport bay. At least Orac had chosen well .He regarded the 128 selections on the menu board. He would have to do the same.
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