Angelfood

A mostly Avon/Tarrant Blake's 7 zine




This zine is in memory of Pat Jacquerie, who would have done the zine herself if illness hadn't intervened. She chose the title, Angelfood, which is gay terminology for a pilot.

186 pages. Color cover. Second piece of color art inside. Spiral Binding. Price: $17 plus postage. U.S. postage: $4; Overseas postage: $9. Available from Maverick Press, Jo Ann McCoy, 2580 I 25 N, Pueblo, CO 43065, mikemccoy@earthlink.net. Maverick Press zines may also be purchased on the web at www.knightwriter.org. (There is an additional charge there to cover credit card fees.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: * * Twenty-one percent of the zine is available on the net (see footnote).

Angelfood cover




In this zine....


"Noel" by Pat Jacquerie. A story set in Pat's "Duty" universe. (1,985 words)

        

         "The Fargoneans like to celebrate one of the old banned Federation holidays, Christmas, at the winter solstice in this hemisphere. One of the customs is to put up dead plants." Soolin pulled Tarrant briskly toward the dining room. "We even put a dead tree in Avon's study. He hates it." She sounded tremendously pleased to have annoyed Avon.


"Game Night" by Susan Cutter. Avon ventures into Dorian's hidden playroom. (3,810 words)

        

         Avon gave a bark of mirthless laughter. "It's no good 'carrying on.' I've tried. I've been trying for hours. I've been aroused so long I hurt, but no matter what I try I can't come. I thinků" Avon stared at the floor, at the evidence of his past efforts. "You can't tickle yourself." Avon's head lifted slowly until he met Tarrant's gaze. "It's not just stimulation. It has to be done by someone else. It has to be at someone else's desires."

         Tarrant's breath caught in his chest as Avon's eyes burned into his.

         "I need to submit."


"Female of the Species" by Jenner. Vila recognized that women were the ultimate survivors. That's why he's never trusted them. (1,182 words)

        

         And then the door opened and Jenna walked in. It seemed Blake hadn't exactly been telling Tarrant the truth about her death. Or about anything else. Idiot. Her face and Avon's--nothing to choose between them.


"The Good Stuff" by Pat Jacquerie. Pat's standalone conclusion to a mail list round robin story. (2,435 words)

        

         Reading the confusion in Tarrant's expression, Avon smiled. "It may have escaped your notice, but I have not had a sexual encounter in, shall we discreetly say, quite awhile. I intend to take my time and enjoy this one." He selected a bottle of cognac, pouring a small quantity in an old-fashioned balloon glass. "Who knows? You might enjoy it, also."

         "Don't count on it," Tarrant said from between gritted teeth.

         "What's wrong?" Avon leaned back against the counter and sipped the cognac, apparently oblivious to his own state of undress and partial arousal. "You only enjoy it when you're on top?"


"Null G" by Cody Nelson. When the gravity generator fails, Tarrant shows off his skills. (4,687words)

        

         There was something of a challenge in Avon's smile. Something that said, You might be better than I am at picking up stray tools in null gravity. Let's see if you're better at this as well.

         Tarrant liked a challenge. He returned Avon's smile. "I was hoping you would be."

         Getting out of their clothing was the first challenge.


"Fleeting Visions: Coda" by Pat Jacquerie. There's something distracting Avon. (970 words)

        

         If this man fell apart, Soolin thought, they were all in one hell of a lot of trouble. And he seemed damnably close to the edge.

         She moved into the room, keeping her movements slow and making enough noise that her entrance would not be a surprise. She had the feeling, at times, that the next person who startled Avon might get shot for his or her pains. "Is something wrong?" she kept her voice casual, "or is it merely business as usual?"


"...And What Happened After" by Manna. (20,342 words)

        

Part One: Cold. Stranded on Gerin, Avon and Tarrant battle the elements and their emotional entanglement.

         Whiteness and endless movement utterly confused his depth perception. It was like looking into space, or standing on a glass floor over deep water. Unable to look away, he watched the racing flakes until he began to feel sick and dizzy from the motion. The vertigo sapped his willpower as the cold started to take the last of his strength. Tarrant finally closed his eyes, but the endless wail of the wind was still there.

         Avon had left him alone. Even if he found the complex he would never find Tarrant again, not in this nightmare. Alone. He wanted Avon to come back. Strange thought: that he could suddenly want him so badly after all the times Avon had been around and Tarrant had wished him somewhere else.

Part Two: Warm. Distraught over the loss of Zeeona, Tarrant comes to realize that the difference between reality and expectation isn't as important as he once thought it was.

         Avon pried himself away from the door frame and walked over; he stood directly behind Tarrant, watching the screen. Zeeona knelt beside the machinery and began her work, but Tarrant had trouble concentrating on her. For one thing, the repeated viewing had actually begun to blunt the awfulness. For another, having Avon standing behind him wasn't exactly a settling experience. Tarrant felt his shoulders tense up. Expecting a knife, he thought wryly.

Part Three: After the Fire. In the aftermath of Gauda Prime alliances shuffle to form new partnerships and new enmities. As the rearranged hand plays out, will Avon be the ultimate loser? In his own inimitable style Vila tells us what happened.

         She's not at all bad company, Servalan, when she isn't trying to kill you. She's very clever, obviously, and funny, and such a terrible flirt.

* * *

         Soolin must have made her mind up then, in what was just a second or two, really. I honestly didn't hear her gun go off but Dayna fell backwards, and it was almost like Gauda Prime all over again. It must have been Soolin who shot her because, by that point, Avon had already dropped his gun and started to move.


"Solitaire" by Manna. A sequel to "...And What Happened After." The threat from a top secret Federation project compels Avon to join forces with Servalan. But their combined resources aren't enough to neutralize the danger, and he turns to the rebels for help, the same rebels who never forgave him for Gauda Prime. (34,926 words)

        

         The sheer speed of Soolin's reflexes never failed to astonish Vila. In the time it had taken him to register the scene, she had drawn her gun and planted a shot into the floor only a few feet from the group. Two more shots followed before anyone could move, lighting sparks from the walls on either side of the suddenly frozen tableau. A moment of absolute stillness followed, then the attackers turned and ran, one of them pausing briefly to put in a departing kick.

         When the three of them reached him, Avon was still curled up on the floor, fighting for breath in between wrenching dry retches.


"Last Tango on Eccentrico" by Aurora. Attempting to protect Blake, Avon lures him to the relatively safe environs of Eccentrico. (885 words)

        

         B: Is it done? Is the rerouting virus in place?

         A: No, you idiot, it isn't done, I just felt like stopping in the middle for a quick tango around the room.

         B: [seizing Avon] Well, why didn't you say so? [Humming loudly, Blake marches Avon dramatically across the room. He moves with surprising slowness for a man of his size. Avon isn't quite as graceful as usual because he's trying to kick Blake in the kneecap. Or someplace like that.]


Two short epilogues to "Blood and Shadows." Tarrant and Avon have managed to resolve their differences, but there are still a few difficulties to overcome. (3,118 words)

        

"Epilogue to 'Blood and Shadows'" by Cami.

         "Good morning." Avon's eyes were open and focused on the watch in Tarrant's hand. "You didn't warn me that you were such an early riser."

         "I'm sorry. I hadn't intended to wake you."

         S'all right," Avon mumbled out of a huge, lazy yawn. He stretched his arms and writhed his body, a move that seemed more intended to wiggle free of Tarrant's embrace than to work out night time kinks.


"Epilogue to the epilogue to 'Blood and Shadows'" by Pat Jacquerie.

         "If you'll promise to stay out of trouble for two consecutive minutes, I will see that your linen is pristine."

         Tarrant thought of a couple of comebacks, but in the end decided maybe it was best to just say, "Thank you, Avon."


"Norwegian Wood" by Hafren. While waiting for negotiations with potential allies to resume, Avon and Tarrant spend a night in a log cabin by a lake. (2,408 words)

        

         "Primitive." Avon went through to the bathroom and came back with a fleecy robe. He tossed it to Tarrant. "Never mind that; get those things off before you develop pneumonia. I'll watch the fire."

         He did, staring into it, seeing the flames leap and grow, while next to him, just visible out of the corner of his eye, a lithe young body glinted for a few moments in the firelight before being enveloped in fleece. I shouldn't drink, Avon thought; I really shouldn't.


"Where Danger Lies" by Cami. A story set in the Hotel Smut universe: outside time and space exists a place where reality, as the B7 characters know it, ceases to exist. (1,978 words)

        

         Recognizing that he'd been outmaneuvered, Tarrant graced his face with his most cordial smile, took Avon's arm, and urged him forward. "Come along," he said as if he hadn't been resisting just moments earlier. "If you really want to ravish me, it would be rude to refuse."


"Revenge" by Pat Jacquerie. A sequel to "Where Danger Lies." (986 words)

        

         Avon watched with interest and no little amusement as Tarrant opened his eyes, and tried to take in his surroundings with an assumption of calm, not easy under the circumstances. "All right, where has she put us this time?"

         It must be disconcerting, Avon agreed, to wake up naked and almost literally up to his neck in hot water. Perhaps the Writer was attempting a symbolic representation of the state Tarrant generally put himself into voluntarily? No, he doubted she was that bright. "Jacuzzi," Avon replied succinctly.


"Strict Rotation" by Hera. Sex without emotional attachment was the order of the day on Xenon base. Which was fine for everyone else, but Avon was the leader and above such distractions. Until temptation proved to be more than he could resist. (1,844 words)

        

         He began to awaken, as a delicate touch traced the curve of his buttocks. He made a half-hearted attempt to roll onto his back; but a less than delicate touch pushed him firmly in the opposite direction.

         All right. She can be in charge for now. If she wants.

         The idea of being at her sexual mercy, here in the still darkness, was most appealing.


"The Power of the Dog" by Pat Jacquerie. Avon wants an anti-Federation alliance. Boorva wants Avon. Classic "beautiful, suffering Avon." Pat never finished this "Warlord" AU, but we loved what she'd done so much that we couldn't resist putting it in the zine. To minimize frustration, a summary of Pat's plan for the unfinished portion of the story is included. (11,347 words)  Winner of the 2003 Screwz Award for Best Blake's 7 Story.

        

         He heard a sharp intake of breath, felt his captive tense against his body and sensed rather than heard the growl deep in Avon's throat, a cornered animal's last desperate defiance.

         Then his fingers closed over the soft vulnerability of Avon's genitals. "So beautiful," he whispered. He cupped the testicles in his hand for a moment, enjoying their heavy delicacy before wrapping his fingers around the shaft, clasping it in the warm tunnel of his embrace, making that part of Avon his own. Calling Avon home to his own desire. To his destiny.

         "This is what you've wanted, Avon, all your life." His fingers worked persuasively over the still-soft flesh. "To allow yourself to surrender. Now you can do that, submit all that iron control to another. Let it go, Avon."


"Agents of Light" by Corona Polvanthus & Lexa Reiss. A sequel to "Instruments of Darkness." The still-recuperating survivors of Gauda Prime undertake quests that lead to confrontations with old and new enemies. (53,700 words)

        

         "You wanted me," said Tarrant. "Here I am."

         Blake forced himself to look at Tarrant's eyes instead of the gun. By a similar effort of will he kept his face impassive, ignoring the memories that the projectile weapon had set screaming. He knew exactly how it would feel when Tarrant fired, from the first shock to the dreadful pain to the realization that his life was pumping out of him with every beat of his heart.

* * *

         "So why, Avon, why?"

         Blake's voice was angry and hurt at the same time.

         Avon sighed.

         "I suppose I expected betrayal."

         "What? From me?"

         Avon shrugged. "It had happened before," he said in a toneless voice. "And I had learned from experience that I had to shoot first in order to survive. So I shot."

         "And then?"

         "When I realized what I had done, I wanted to die," Avon said, quite unemotionally, as if he were reciting statistics.




Also, "Trust," a drabble by Oliver Klosov, and the "The Lovers," a poem by Pat Jacquerie. Art by Cody Nelson, Leah Rosenthal and Randym.




* * NOTE: Unedited versions of "Null G," "...And What Happened After," "Strict Rotation," and one-third of "Power of the Dog" are archived at the Tarrant Nostra web site.


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