Sorry, I cross-posted the wrong b7friday story late last night. It should have been this one. (I didn't think I was that far behind!)
Last week's topic was revenge. Set PGP, cut for length.
When the rebels someone called Klyn had alerted came back and retook the base, Vila only stayed long enough after the wound in his back was treated to say Deva was right: Avon had killed Blake--and that poor woman on the way in. They asked him to join them but he said no. He'd had enough of being used, and for that matter, abused.
He wasn't sure why the first thing he did was to go and get Orac from where they'd hidden it by a lake. For the connection to people he'd cared about? To stop Avon getting it back?
It was all Orac's fault. It had tried to get him killed, and it had got them shot down when it told Slave to shut up. It had engineered the Liberator's sister ship blowing up that time; he wouldn't put it past the little plastic bastard to have planned this mess too, just for its own twisted amusement.
Vila put Orac's key in. "You're good at predictions, aren't you? Predict this, then." He pulled the key out and lifted Orac to heave him into the icy lake. He wouldn't survive long in water.
But he couldn't do it. Orac was too much like a real person. It felt like murder and Vila had seen too much of that lately, and besides, he kept thinking about Zen. He sighed. He'd never been one for revenge; it just multiplied. If he had, he'd have stayed to see what they did to Avon, and to see the look on his face when they found out he'd snitched.
Cursing his soft heart, he put Orac back in the old leather case they'd found in the flyer and headed for where they'd hidden that.
He ended up on Lindor, in one of the secondary cities, not the capital. Still, it was large enough for Vila to disappear in, and to live well from. He found a small but comfortable furnished apartment to which he'd add very few personal touches; he'd never lived anywhere long enough or ever felt enough at home to acquire the habit.
He set Orac on the table and inserted his key. "Right. This is what you're going to do if you want to stay in one piece. You'll find every scandal and nasty secret, every insulting remark, every little thing anyone in power in the Federation would like to keep hidden, and you'll leak it where it'll do the most damage. You'll have to calculate all the possibilities for that, use your famous predictive powers."
"Ah. Induce instability by promoting dissent from within? That will be most interesting, and an excellent study of human nature."
Oh, well, nothing was perfect. "I think we'll start with Sleer." Vila smiled for the first time since Avon said he'd found Blake, but it wasn't the same sort of smile at all. "Let's begin."
He'd make them pay for what they'd done to him and his friends. But he'd do it his way.