Blake's 7, Dayna/Tarrant, flying

Fandom: Blake's 7
Characters: Dayna and Tarrant
Gen, c. 1300 words


"You are quite sure about this, aren't you." Standing on the edge of the cliff, Dayna peered cautiously over the brink. It was a long way down. A very long, very dizzying drop to a lot of very large, very jagged, and very sharp-looking rocks. Not that their sharpness would make much difference, after a fall like that. Nonetheless, it seemed relevant. Tarrant offered her a typically breezy smile.

"Oh ye of little faith."

"Damned right."

"You fly around in space without asking any questions. Space is a hell of lot higher up."

"I fly around in space in a spaceship, Tarrant. It has walls, and a floor – and if you're even thinking of telling me that they're actually called bulkheads and decks, I will shoot you." His mouth snapped shut, but leapt open again almost immediately.

"But that makes even less sense, doesn't it. Hull, bulkheads, decks, seats, bunks... think of all that weight. Why trust your life to a massive spaceship, and not to a nice, simple set of wings?"

"Give me a set of wings with thrusters, and something to cushion me if they fail, and I might agree with you." She sighed. "You really are quite sure about this?"

"Positive." He was the very image of self-assurance, and so infectious was his smile that she almost smiled back. Almost. "It's called hand-gliding. It used to be very popular back on Earth, in the old days. It only really went out of fashion when the Federation took over. There were so many rules and regulations after that, and so many materials under ration. I suppose it became impossible then."

"Or maybe people just saw sense." She smiled when he shot her an exasperated look. "Don't worry, I'm with you. Wondering why, but with you."

"You'll like it when we're up there," he said, with a confidence that she couldn't help but find endearing. "And it's the best way we have to explore, especially with the Links roaming about all over the place. We need to find out what sort of a world this is that we're stuck on, and I don't see anybody else coming up with any ideas. Avon's sequestered away somewhere with Orac. I think Vila's building a still..."

"Which does show a remarkable ingenuity, when you think about it."

"Undoubtedly. But I'll feel a lot better about getting drunk when I know precisely where we are, and what we might have to expect. There!" He beamed at her, his huge smile knocking years off his already none too great age. "Finished."

"Wonderful." She could hear the sardonic edge that spiked her voice, but she found that she was warming to the idea in spite of herself. Tarrant seemed so sure, and she was as frustrated as he was by their recent inactivity. They did have to do something. Callie was busy about some sort of salvage plan of her own, but such work did not appeal to Dayna. She wanted to be doing something now, not preparing for some nebulous future. All the same, the fruits of their labour did not make for the most heartening of sights. A pair of hand-gliders, their framework built from tree branches lashed together with home-made rope, their wings fashioned from a patchwork of old clothes, towels, and bedding liberated from the underground base. "You know, I used to have this tutor. Justin, he was called. He once told me a story about a boy named Icarus."

"Icarus flew too close to the sun, on wings made from wax. We don't have any wax. Also it's not actually possible to fly too close to the sun when you're trapped on a planet."

"I'm pretty sure it's not a story that you're supposed to take literally."

"I'm pretty sure you're stalling."

"You're not far wrong." She approached her hand-glider, much as she might approach a barely subdued wild animal. "If this doesn't work, and we die horribly, I'm going to be extremely annoyed. I hope that we're clear about that."

"We're clear." He raised up his own glider, taking hold of the bar that was somehow to serve as the steering. "If we die horribly, you have my permission to take any sort of revenge that you see fit." His smile bounced back out for an encore. "Although you might have to stand in line. I suspect there are quite a few people waiting with a prior claim."

"In that case, for your sake we'd better not die."

"I was certainly planning not to. Do you want a hand?"

"No, your instructions were clear enough." She lifted her own glider, one eye on him to copy his movements. She got the distinct impression that he was as new to this as she was, but he was at least a pilot. Just as he tended to defer to her in the matter of things that were likely to explode, she expected him to have some understanding of things that flew. He caught her watching, and smiled.

"Ready then?"

"To throw myself off a cliff wearing some wood, and somebody's old lounge suit? How could I fail to be?"

"Well then." He drew a deep breath, and for a moment – just for a moment – looked less than sure himself. "No time like the present." And breaking into a run, he headed for the edge of the cliff. Somehow it didn't occur to her to wait to see if it worked before following suit.


The air rushed past her. Her feet dangled in nothingness. Far below, the jagged rocks were already behind her. Ahead was a sky so blue that she could scarcely believe it was real. Beneath her were green trees, broken by expanses of red rock, and stretches of unlikely-looking flowers in a hundred different colours. She saw small game animals; a little lake sparkling in the afternoon sun; the splashing of a bright and jaunty stream running by a place so perfect for a fortified encampment that it might have been put there especially for them. And somehow she didn't care about any of it. She had come up here to reconnoitre, to find just such a place as that site beside the stream, to make a positive start to their residence upon Terminal, but it no longer seemed important. She cared only for the rush of air beneath her, for the speed of her ramshackle wings, for the glorious, liberating sensation of flight. Tilting her control bar just for the pure joy of it, she swooped lower, then higher, and then higher still. Tarrant followed, matching her movements, her own happiness reflecting back at her from the smile that he was making no effort to control.

"Pleased you came?" he shouted, the wind whipping away his words almost before she caught them. She answered with a whoop, diving earthward, then leaping up again, Tarrant on her tail and the troubles of the last few days banished completely from her mind. They were trapped on a hostile alien world, surrounded by ape-like beings hell-bent on their annihilation. If there was any hope at all of escape, it lay in a ruined shuttle that stood little chance of ever becoming spaceworthy. She should not be happy. She should not be feeling this sense of impossible, untrammelled joy. And yet she was. With the wind rushing by, and the ground so far below, with a flashing parade of green and blue and white all around, and the warmth of the sun on her back, somehow no troubles could feel significant. It was a long, long time since she had felt so happy, so alive, so young. Perhaps it was irresponsible, even if the intention had been to help, and perhaps the irresponsibility was half of the fun. It didn't matter. She was flying. And it was the greatest thing that there could be on any world.

The End

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