Standard fanfic warning that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law. These aren't my characters. I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. Yeah, that's it, typing practice. Originally published in Gambit #2, from Peacock Press, back in 1988, edited slightly in 2010. Based on characters and situations created by Terry Nation. There is no intent to infringe on the rights held by the late Terry Nation, his heirs & descendents, the BBC, or any other parties. Be warned, this was my second or third fanfic story, and it's dreadfully, horribly, Mary Sueish.
by Susan M. M.
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"Hold it right there!"
Siad looked straight into her father's face. He had two or three of his most trusted lieutenants with him, and far, far too many guards. Letting the fright she felt show on her face, Siad 'tripped' and fell lightly against Blake.
Blake and Avon reacted quickly, without panicking. They threw off the loose binders and pulled out their guns. Blake grabbed Siad, his arm around her neck.
"Dad, please don't let him hurt me," Siad begged.
"You animal." Commander Norliss' voice was low, and his face was pale. "Let go of my daughter."
"Oh, no, the girl is our guarantee of safe passage out of here. Amazing how cooperative your guards were when we threatened to kill her." Blake smiled. That should protect Siad's accomplices.
"Has he hurt you, Siad?"Commander Norliss asked.
"No, Dad, not - not yet."
"She won't be hurt ... as long as no one does anything stupid. Unlike the Federation, we don't make a policy of slaughtering innocents."
Avon gave Blake a weary look, as if to say this was hardly an appropriate time for a political debate. "This room is so crowded," Avon purred. "Clear it out. You don't want so many nervous trigger fingers so close to your daughter, now do you, Commander?"
"You heard the man. Out!" Commander Norliss ordered. He wet his lips.
Slowly, the Federation troopers and Siad's henchmen filed out of the room. Siad relaxed slightly, knowing her people would be able to lose themselves in the crowd and escape. Only her father and his officers remained.
"You're supposed to be a reasonable man, Blake. Don't do anything stupid."
"I've already earned the death penalty, Commander. I've got nothing to lose," Blake reminded him.
An intercom sounded. Avon turned to face it, his gun pointed at the lieutenant who answered it.
"Commander, I think you'd better take this call," he said.
"Commander, it's Liberator," Lt. Stickler announced.
"Jenna's timing is improving," Avon remarked.
"Put it on speaker, Lieutenant, so we can all hear her," Blake ordered.
Stickler looked toward Norliss for confirmation. At his nod, Stickler adjusted the control panel.
"Devlor Base, this is Liberator. If you do not release Blake and Avon immediately, we will destroy your base," Jenna's voice came over the intercom.
"Jenna," Blake addressed her.
"Blake! Is that you? Are you all right?"
"We're fine. Avon and I had just escaped and we were looking for a ride home. Send Gan down with three bracelets, will you?"
"Three?" Jenna queried.
"We're taking a hostage," Blake explained.
"Hostage?" Jenna repeated in astonishment.
"No!" Norliss protested.
"Sorry, Commander, but we really can't afford to have you sending pursuit ships after us. You'll get her back ... if you cooperate."
It took every milligram of Siad's self-control to keep imitating a frightened prisoner and not break into an ear-to-ear, glowing grin.
Norliss, his officers, and Siad stared as Gan and Cally suddenly materialized in the middle of the room. Both had their weapons drawn.
"Cally, could you take charge of our prisoner, please?" Blake asked, fastening his binders around Siad's wrists.
Cally obeyed reluctantly, taking hold of the young woman. The brunette alien telepathed to him, /Hostage taking isn't your style, Blake. Are you sure you want to do this?/
"Special circumstances." Blake turned to face Commander Norliss, and his voice was cold and ruthless. "As I said, as long as no one tries anything stupid and heroic, the girl won't be hurt."
"Dad, please do what he wants. I'm scared," Siad lied.
Gan passed teleport bracelets out to Avon and Blake, then placed one on Siad's arm, next to the half-fastened binders.
"Bring us up, Jenna," Blake ordered.
"You bastard" was the last thing the five of them heard as they dematerialized.
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"We did it!" Siad crowed.
"That we did," Blake confirmed, stepping down from the teleport bay.
"It's easy to tell you're both idealists," Avon complained. "You both have the same stupid grin."
"Olag Gan and Cally of Auron," Siad identified in tones of awe, refusing to let Avon spoil her mood. She slipped the binders off and held out her hand. Not knowing what else to do, and more than a little confused, Gan shook it. "I'm Siad Norliss."
Cally raised an eyebrow. "Curious sort of hostage you've got, Blake."
"Oh, that was just a ruse to keep my father from learning I'm with the Underground," Siad explained.
Tired of the dreamers patting each others' backs, Avon walked over to the wall intercom. "Jenna, we are all safely aboard. Take us out of orbit."
Blake looked up at the sound of Jenna's. A sheepish expression crossed his face. He should have thought to do that himself, the moment they'd teleported up.
"However, in protecting my reputation, I'm afraid I've severely damaged yours, Captain Blake. I had no intention of making you look like a kidnapper," Siad apologized.
"It couldn't be helped," Blake told her gently.
"Captain Blake?" Gan asked. Cally, too, seemed interested by Blake's sudden acquisition of the title.
"I am going to the flight deck," Avon announced as he picked up Orac. "Were you planning to remain here all day, or ...?"
"Let me show you our ship," Blake invited.
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"What's all this nonsense about a hostage?" Jenna asked as they came onto the flight deck. The stranger with them was acting more like a tourist than a prisoner.
"This is Siad Norliss," Blake introduced. "She helped us escape. Unfortunately, her father is the base commander. We had to pretend to take her hostage both to get away and to protect her cover. Siad, this is -"
"Jenna Stanis and Vila Restal," she interrupted. "It's a pleasure to meet you, a pure pleasure. " Siad gazed at Liberator's flight deck in awestruck admiration. "I never expected to set foot on Liberator until the revolution had been won and she was retired as a museum ship."
Avon raised an eyebrow at that. He had plans of his own for Liberator, and they did not include honorable retirement as some sort of war memorial.
"Your father is the base commander?" Vila asked in amazement.
"Yes, it's most helpful. One of my principal jobs for the underground is passing on troop movements and ship deployments," Siad explained disingenuously.
"A starfleet commander's daughter is the last person I'd expect to be a rebel," Vila persisted.
"Actually, that's why I joined. You're a Delta, Mr. Restal, correct?"
"Right. Except pretty girls always call me Vila, not Mr. Restal."
"Dad's spent most of his career in backwater places like Devlor. Things are looser in the outer worlds, and I always took that looseness for granted. When I was fourteen, he was transferred to Alpha Centauri." Siad paused for breath. "Girls whose fathers were lower-ranking than mine snubbed me, because they were Alphas and I was only a Beta. I didn't like it - the class system is virtually ignored on frontier planets, and the tight hold it has on the inner worlds shocked me. Then I realized if that's how things were for a Beta, how much worse it must be for the Gamma and Delta kids, and for their parents. It wasn't long after that, Captain Blake, that you first founded the Freedom Party. I listened to smuggled tapes of your speeches, read your pamphlets and essays. I was hooked."
"So young," Blake murmurred.
Jenna turned and looked at him, silently mouthing the word 'captain?'
"I've been a rebel sympathizer for years, but I didn't get actively involved until I went to Earth to go to university. I have a master's degree in economics - which my father doesn't know, by the way. I was denied entry to the best schools - they wouldn't even let me take an admissions examination - because I wasn't an Alpha."
"You haven't told your father about your degree? Why not?" Kerr Avon, Ph. D., asked.
"I hate lying to him, but it's necessary. The less he knows about my political sympathies, the better. And that includes my qualifications for successful rebellion. He thinks I spent the extra two years on Earth getting my teaching certificate and doing my internship as a student teacher."
"You're a teacher?" Gan asked.
"Yes," Siad proudly affirmed. "I am a saboteur of young minds; I teach. As much as I can, I try to show my students that the Federation is not perfect, that other ways are possible. I try to teach them to think instead of blindly accepting. In some ways, it's more important than being a military informant. I have to be very careful, of course, very subtle. Kasabi did the same thing at the Federation Space Academy, and one of her own cadets turned her in."
Siad looked around the flight deck. A career starfleet officer's daughter, she knew ships as well or better than most civilians, and Liberator delighted her. She turned to face Roj Blake. "You're terribly inefficient, of course, but you are magnificent in your inefficiency," she praised.
A chorus of 'whats' and 'huhs" filled the air.
"Destroying the armory at Lahnu - and half the base - was a brilliant tactical move, but it's not enough. We need to unite the various rebel groups. Inter-unit communication is practically nonexistent. You could change that with Liberator, and that would advance the cause of freedom much more than the occasion bits of sabotage and destruction," she continued.
"We destroy more in a month than your petty underground cabals can manage in a year," Jenna reminded her. No one criticized her ship and lived to tell of it.
"I thought the idea of the rebellion was to build anew, and not to destroy," Siad replied mildly. "Don't mistake me, sir, you're doing a marvelous job at what you're doing. People need symbols and heroes. You're an inspiration to the entire underground, and you prove to the populace at large that the Federation is neither invulnerable nor omnipotent. You may well be of more use as a symbol than you were in the old days as a leader and strategist. But it would be nice if you could manage to combine both roles. "
Blake was stunned. He had no answer for her.
"Would it be possible to get a tour of the ship before you have to send me back?" Siad asked, changing the subject. "And perhaps you could explain your plans for after the Federation is destroyed, so I can pass them on to my people and our contacts in some of the other groups. Have you worked out the format of the new government yet: franchise, representation, taxation, etc? Not to mention figuring out a way to deal with the bureaucratic headaches and public protests when we abolish the class system and slavery. We've got so much to do."
Vila didn't like the slightly surprised look on Blake's face, as though abolishing the class system had never crossed his mind.
"Just what are you planning to tell your father if and when we do return you?" Avon demanded.
"That I saw absolutely nothing but the corridor and an empty cabin." Siad ignored the 'if.' "You locked me up and left me alone until you sent me back. After that, I will take to my bed and indulge in a fit of feminine hysterics until I've had a chance to learn just what Dad does and doesn't know, about your escape, and match my lies to fit his information."
She sighed. "It's a pity I'll have to go home so soon, but Dad'll be frantic with worry. And he's sure to catch it from Starfleet High Command for letting you escape. I've very likely ruined his career. He'll certainly be reprimanded, possibly court-martialed, demoted, or forced to resign. I may even have signed his death warrant," she realized somberly.
"The Federation will surely appreciate that, under the circumstances, he couldn't have acted in any other way," Blake tried to reassure her. "Not with an innocent civilian - his own daughter - being held hostage."
"Supreme Commander Servalan might disagree with you, sir. She would have expected him to shoot through me, if necessary, to get you. And I can understand that. I had similar orders from my unit commander." Siad looked up at Blake and Avon, for whom she'd risked so much. "I lied to you. I'm not unarmed. Your rescue was top priority. We need you. If necessary, I would have compromised my identity, my men, our entire unit, destroyed half the base to get you out of there before your transport to Earth arrived. Had it been necessary, I would have shot Dad to rescue you. I had very strict orders."
"Your own father?" Gan was shocked.
Vila asked sympathetically, "Who was heartless enough to give you orders like that?"
"Oh, that's the worst part, Mr. Restal," Siad said. "I'm the unit commander."
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