Blake's 7 Logo 'Afterlife'
by Tony Atwood

Over ten-million people watched the dramatic final episode of the BLAKE'S SEVEN TV series. And not one could ever forget - or fathom - the final catastrophic shootout on Gauda Prime.

Did Blake's death really mean the end of the fight against the evil forces of the Federation? Was the vulnerable thief Vila killed - or just wounded? What happened to the computer Orac? Would the scheming Servalan regain her old power-base? And what of Avon himself, the unbeatable, unpredictable paranoid who had ended it all? AFTERLIFE is Tony Attwood's brilliant continuation of the Blake's 7 story.

Avon has been held prisoner in a cell on Gauda Prime for the last five months, visited only by his jailer, a woman named Korell. One day his cell is opened to reveal Vila, who has been in hiding ever since the massacre of their crewmates; when their bodies were removed Vila saw a freighter leave and then noted no activity on the base apart from Korell and the appearance of a mysterious spherical ship which arrived and left some time ago. He and Avon leave the compound and secure Korell’s ship, but she uses her possession of Orac as a bargaining tool, and the four of them agree an alliance. Orac is suffering from interference, which Avon believes to be MIND - Machine Induced Neural Deviance; Orac refutes the existence of MIND, putting the interference down as the influence of an unknown machine. They begin work on the ship’s computer, improving it so that it can take orders from its new crew. Meanwhile, Servalan hears reports of Blake’s sighting on Gauda Prime, and leaves with a crew of mutos to investigate. Searching the base, Avon and Vila locate Caro, a smaller version of Orac that was built by Ensor several years ago. Servalan arrives and demands Orac; she and Avon make a deal: in return for Orac and Caro, she will allow them to go free. Having named the ship Revenge, Avon, Vila and Korell head for the planet Skat, a world rich in sygnum, which they plan to use to improve the shields and construct a teleport. While Vila plays with KAT, a small analysing machine, they arrive at the planet, only just evading a plasma bolt attack. They land and find a huge ancient building witch apparently has teleporting capabilities. While Korell and Vila meet a man named Levarll, leader of the descendants of a Federation research team whose people have lived on Skat for five hundred years, Avon and KAT discover that the sygnum can be found in the planet’s grass. The trio escape by taking Revenge through one of the building’s doorway’s, entering an alternate universe. After Vila names the ship’s computer Blake, Avon repairs the shields and then takes the ship through a white hole, emerging into their normal universe. Here they discover that Servalan has begun a mining operation for the sygnum, as part of a plan to start a civil war so that she can seize control of the Federation. Heading for the fifth sector, the Revenge crew are overwhelmed by a telepathic attack, and find themselves prisoner of the Council of Representatives on the planet Ghammar. The Ghammarans agree to release Avon and the others in return for the information Avon will supply them with after completing his work on the teleport system. Avon agrees, and they take the ship into orbit to begin work, also discovering that KAT was immune to the attack, as he has no tarrial cells. Avon’s erratic and secretive behaviour leads Korell and Vila to suspect he is being influenced by MIND. He then takes the ship to Terminal and, leaving Vila and Korell behind, teleports down and activates the planet’s systems - it is actually a gigantic spaceship. Vila and Korell join Avon, and they set off in Terminal for Earth’s solar system, where they encounter a massive battle between the Ghammarans, Servalan’s forces and those of the Federation. Avon takes Revenge to Earth, allowing himself to be captured by a Federation ship so that he can warn them of the Ghammarans, in return for a huge credit agreement. After he is interrogated Korell, who is working for Servalan, confronts him. Meanwhile, a ship crashes onto Terminal, and its pilot, Tarrant, meets up with Vila. Tarrant collapsed during the incident on Gauda Prime, and when he regained consciousness, he escaped and left in a freighter, only to be captured by the Federation and put on trial; however, the war then started and he was conscripted into the Federation fleet as a pilot. Refusing to stay and join Avon, Tarrant leaves, but is attacked and apparently killed by one of the creatures on the surface. After Avon is given access to the Federation computers, to pass on information about the Ghammarans and to arrange his fee, he and Korell leave in the Revenge, returning to Terminal. Servalan’s ship crashes on Terminal, and she enters the base, only to be faced by Korell, who reveals that Servalan killed her parents. She kills Servalan and the tells Avon that the Terran Administration forces had found Blake as a scarred and insane wreck; they reprogrammed him, and then placed him on Gauda Prime to ferment a plot against the Federation, as part of their revolt to overthrow it. Korell leaves to join her forces and capture Orac from Servalan’s fleet, in preparation to take over the tattered remains of the Federation. When a huge black, spherical ship then appears, Avon, Vila and Kat leave Terminal and board it; inside they meet a woman named Tor. She reveals that she is Avon’s sister, and has been using MIND to influence him - she caused Avon to kill Blake, to stop him being used by both Avon and the Administration. When Avon suspected MIND was being used he built KAT: its lack of tarrial cells make it immune from external influence. Tor plans to use Avon as a figurehead in an attack on Earth using the might of her forces, MIND and her vessel, Blake’s 7. Realising that she will use MIND to make every life-form in the galaxy think her every thought - a tyranny that will be far greater than that of the Federation - Avon once again plans to overthrow an evil regime…

*Featuring Kerr Avon, Vila Restal, Del Tarrant and Orac
*Published by Target Books in 1984

A big 'thank you' to Simon Harries for giving me his copy of 'Afterlife'; cheers matey!