Dont start Here

      This is Gan. I'm writing this thank-you note because Blake can't at the minute - he's organising a Hunt-and-Blow-Up-The- Communications-Satellite game, and as he pointed out to Avon, the fact that we're rebel terrorists wading in blood doesn't mean we should forget our manners.

      The Christmas parcel arrived safely through the usual (secret) channels. I had no idea that Rebel Scum Ltd had such a *large* selection of merchandise (Avon wanted to know why poor but honest idealists can't go to gift shops like everyone else. Jenna said that spending Christmas in Federation prisons tends to spoil the festive spirit. Cally said that the last grateful rebel that sent us a shop-bought present didn't win any thanks from him. Avon said that a six-foot herculaneum statue of something nearly completely unrepresentative of Honour Of The Cause is a damned nuisance sitting in the middle of the flight deck.)

      Blake loves the music blocks; the Death-to-the-Federation Choir carol selection has been playing all day, and he seems to know all of them by heart already. We especially like the 'All I want for Christmas is the President's Head' one. And the risque version of the FSA's 'Have Yourself an Obedient Little Christmas or Else'.) It's not your fault that neither he nor Vila can carry a tune in a dreadnought-sized bucket, is it?

      Thanks also for the range of Rebel Recipe books. The Rock Quarry Cookery (with the handy list of non-poisonous-or-carnivorous-or- intelligent-and-likely-to-complain plants for each sector) looks like being very useful in the coming year. Vila - jokingly, I'm sure - asked Blake why we can't Fight for Freedom in luxury hotels where they have room service.

      The clothing selection left us all... dazzled. (It's nice to see that other rebel groups are giving up those dreary camouflage outfits and going in for fur and leather and studs and balloon sleeves. Sorry that Veron Kasabi broke her ankle trying Spicy-Stannis 4-inch heels). Especially the ones with Leaders of the Rebellion printed on them. Blake and Avon were a bit startled (oh, Blake says honest revolutionaries are supposed to be honest - absolutely stunned) by the range with *their* pictures on them, especially the ladies' underwear. (By the way, Jenna wants to arrange a bulk order of the entire 'Fearless Leader Wants You... for the Revolution' range). And we were pleased - well, most of us were - that you were making an honest credit selling so many of the 'I'm Not Expendable, I'm Not Stupid and I *Am* Fighting' ones to the Secret but Very Highly Placed Admirer.

      Vila wants to know why *his* picture wasn't on the ladies' underwear.

      Avon wants to know why his and Blake's were on the *men's* underwear as well, and says that you'd better have an explanation and it had better be good.

      The range of hand-painted and decorative Lethal Weapons by Shivan's group will come in very useful, and the Christmassy designs were a nice touch, although Vila's already dropped an exploding bon-bon on Blake's foot, and it's lucky the flight deck walls aren't cardboard, because he didn't realise the candy cane was loaded.

      Cally and I love the 1001-Battle-Wounds-and-How-to-Patch-Them kit. Cally's planning to practice very hard, and wants Avon to play injured for her to practice on. I've seen the pages she's highlighted, and she seems to think we'll get injured in some very strange places.

      And a special thank you to your Aunt Sophrononia (I liked her 'Never Too Old to Fight Feds' card) for the plastic hand-quilted Orac covers. The embroidered laser-guns round the edges were a nice touch, and we've found it muffles his voice nicely. Vila wants to know can she make one big enough to muffle... sorry. Blake says *that* idea is not in the spirit of peace and goodwill, though personally I think it has merit, and we could always call it gift-wrap, if you know any groups that would like a present of a barely used and (so Cally and Jenna say) rather pretty computer expert.

      Oh. Blake says Avon was *his* last-year's Christmas present because he'd been very very bad, and you have to keep presents even from people you don't like (like the Federation). So can we offer you a gift-wrapped and quite willing thief instead?

      Finally, we all thought the 'Where's Blake' game was wonderful, had a lot of fun (no, I'm sorry, but I don't think Travis wanting a copy was a sign he's mellowing). Avon snarled something about why would anyone *try* to find a lost Fearless Leader, and refused to play at first, then sulked for hours when he couldn't get it to come out right ...