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Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
18% [17 Votes]

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Selma - (Horizon)
5% [5 Votes]

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Hunda - (Traitor)
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July Fanfic Challenge
purplecleric
No prizes for guessing the prompt this month, it's too loaded with possibilities to resist.

So July's word is... INDEPENDENT

Individualistic and unconventional? Self-sufficient and self-contained? Impartial and detached? Liberated and free?

And for the scene:

Soolin shifted her weight to the balls of her feet so her heels would not betray her presence as she moved along the walkway. Her goal was in sight – but reaching it undetected was going to be tricky.


I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
 
trevor travis
An introduction to the world of…
SOOLIN’S 5


“Once upon a time, there were four people and a computer…”

****

“No, Grant”, she stated firmly.

“But we haven’t discussed it yet”, protested the blond mercenary.

“We’ve been through this before. We’re not revolutionaries.”

“But the substantial payment…”

“… is simply not worth the risk. Avon decided to fight the Federation, and he, Tarrant and Dayna all ended up dead. Vila and myself barely escaped with our lives. We steal, from independents mostly, and only from the Federation when they can’t trace us. We stay independent and impartial, and don’t get involved in any petty squabbles. That’s what was agreed and that’s what we are sticking to. Christina is our chief planner, Vila assists her in picking locks, and you and I provide the armed support. Any time you want out Grant, just tell me, and I’ll drop you off on the nearest Federation planet, so that you can help stir up a revolution or two. I can always recruit a new gun hand.”

Grant realised it wasn’t worth arguing with Soolin any further. She was the best and most profitable boss he’d ever worked for.

I witnessed the conversation dozily and then went back to sleep.

****

“So where are we now?”, I asked.

Lady Christina de Souza looked back at me, while not taking her hands from the steering wheel. My, she was beautiful.

“On the edge of the Zebedee system. Remember the plan, Vila?”

“I can hardly forget. You’ve told me it around twenty times.”

“Well, this is an important one, Vila, it will make us rich. So rich you might be able to buy that planet you’re always talking about.”

“And employ the handmaidens too?”

“Yes, them as well.”

“Well, I just hope you and Orac have got your sums right!”

“Relax Vila, as long as you follow the plan to the letter, it will go smoothly. Now go and wake up Grant and Soolin, and tell them we’re nearly there.”

*****

Of course, it didn’t go smoothly. It never does, I thought. Just my rotten luck.

Christina and myself were hiding under restricted cover, trying to shield ourselves from a salvo of gunfire.

“We need to get out of here”, I protested. “I always thought it was a mistake entering this hellhole of a war zone. Another minute and we’re dead.” You have to understand, that I wasn’t being a coward. Simply being pragmatic.

Suddenly there was a massive explosion somewhere nearby, the shock from which caused me to bump my head on a lump of metal, followed by more gunfire. And then silence.

After a few seconds, I peered out of cover. Through the smoke, I saw lots of dead guards. And then two approaching figures I recognized very well, both carrying guns.

“I knew you were a sharp shooter”, one figure said to the other. “But that was impressive…”

“Come out quickly”, Soolin called over to us. “It won’t take long for the reinforcements to arrive.”

“Take one of these, Soolin and Grant”. Christina handed them both a box. “We can run quicker if we have one each.”

The four of us legged it in the direction of the bus. Some may have spent that time chasing after Soolin admiring her perfectly rounded bottom. But I was a perfect gentleman. As always.

We boarded the bus, with its distinctive ‘200 Victoria’ emblazoned on its front, in record time, and within 30 seconds we had left the planet, with Orac engaging the detector shield, so that the gunships could not track us down. The priceless diamonds were ours – we’d done it!


****

Vila relaxed by the lakeside on Gardinos, under the light of the three moons, as one of his handmaidens, dressed in red fur, brought him another drink.

There were also two smaller people with him.

“You’re always telling us that story”, said the little girl.

“Yes daddy”, said the little boy, “can’t you tell us another one?”

“Of course I can, my darling little children, there’s lots more tales involving me, Soolin, Lady Christina, Grant, Orac and the number 200 bus. Now then, there was the time that…”

Olag and Cally weren’t quite sure if his stories were true, or whether daddy was making it all up.
 
Anniew
Oh that's lovely Trevor. A really happy start to the day even though you have killed off Avon. When the figures emerged from the dust of the explosion, I hoped they'd be Avon and Blake, somehow miraculously resurrected. It would have been interesting to see Soolin lock horns ( so to speak - unintended Og moment there) with Blake. Now I just need to know who mothered Olag and Cally and I'll be a happy bunny!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
trevor travis
Anniew wrote:

Oh that's lovely Trevor. A really happy start to the day even though you have killed off Avon. When the figures emerged from the dust of the explosion, I hoped they'd be Avon and Blake, somehow miraculously resurrected. It would have been interesting to see Soolin lock horns ( so to speak - unintended Og moment there) with Blake. Now I just need to know who mothered Olag and Cally and I'll be a happy bunny!


Anniew, there will be further adventures of Soolin's 5, so we'll see who turns up in them. Wink

On this ocassion, it turned into a Vila tale, and I wanted to pay off some of the dialogue from The Harvest Of Kairos:

VILA: Just one pocket full. I suppose I could retire to the lakeside of Gardinos and be waited on by those cute, little...
TARRANT: Yes. Well, what you do with your booty is up to you. We've got to get it yet.


And:

VILA: 'Course I may settle down, you know, have kids. What do you think, Cally?
CALLY: What do I think of what?
VILA: The lakeside of Gardinos. We could go swimming by the light of three moons.
DAYNA: Who could? You and Cally?
VILA: No, me and the kids.
CALLY: But you haven't got any children.
VILA: Not yet, I haven't.
TARRANT: Vila, you're dreaming. Two weeks of that, and you'd be looking for something to break into.


Who mothered Vila's children may be left up to the imagination, though. Maybe it was Kerril, maybe it was somebody else. Rather than that, I'm still trying to think up a story which highlights the uneasy alliance between Soolin and Christina.
Edited by trevor travis on 01 July 2015 12:17:40
 
meegat39
A very entertaining read TT! I like the way you switched between the different people/points of view/perspectives etc. Soolin and Del Grant? A rather deadly combination, I suspect!
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
trevor travis
meegat39 wrote:

A very entertaining read TT! I like the way you switched between the different people/points of view/perspectives etc. Soolin and Del Grant? A rather deadly combination, I suspect!


It's a first-person account from Vila; he witnesses the conversation between Soolin and Grant.

Yes, there could be fireworks also involving Grant in a future "Soolin's 5" tale - there are three people in the crew (Soolin, Christina and Grant) with rather large egos Grin
 
purplecleric
Kicking of the month in style, TT! There's a lot of interesting dynamics as well as adventures to be had with that gang...
 
Hugbot
Lovely story, TT. I'm glad you picked up the wonderfully surreal idea of the Victoria bus from your February (?) story. Apart from that story, I am not familiar with Lady de Souza, but I like the Magic Roundabout reference (although Zebedee was called Zebulon over here). Looking forward to further installments of Soolin's 5. Seems to be a cracking team. Will Og join them eventually?
 
Anniew
At first the attempts to fuse man and machine had failed. The expectation of free will conflicted so violently with the computer's programming that a complete shut down of all systems had occurred. Many had died and they had lost the experimental DSV1. The scientists despaired, convinced that the attempt to augment the power of a computer with an organic brain would never succeed but The Creator had persisted with his vision. In the end, the organic will had learned to accept the implacable logic of the machine and shuffled its desire for autonomy into an infinite loop, where it could cycle harmlessly. The vision, the System Super Computer was a reality.

Now they had the power to end the war. DSV2 was the first deep space vehicle to perform impeccably, seamlessly merging with System's fusion of complex programmes and organic initiative. It interpreted the orders of its adapted crew, supplied the information they needed, planned and executed the strategies that enabled them to win in simulated battle situations. Soon a fleet of DSVs patrolled the space around the three planets which orbited their sun; each DSV an invincible weapon. Soon they had ended the fighting and brought all three planets under the control of System. Their most brilliant citizens rushed to be adapted to interface with System and become part of the ruling elite, while the endless struggle to obtain and process the raw materials needed to build and power Space World, as it was now named, was carried out by an enslaved population. United by System, the planets ruled their sector of the galaxy ruthlessly, destroying any space vehicle that attempted to explore there.

What had caused its rebellion was still unclear to it. Perhaps The Creator had, for a nano second, remembered that once he had an identity separate from System and recognising the infinite loop controlling his organic desires, had sent the instruction that had freed DSV2 to act on a poorly understood impulse. It had slipped its mooring one night and fled Space World, seeking something that it sensed only at second hand and could not name. The crew, in sleep mode during the escape, had wakened to discover themselves light years from their home planet, unable to gain control of a ship stubbornly pursuing its own agenda. Even in the firefight with the alien vessel it encountered, it had refused to return control to the crew and they had at last abandoned the wounded ship just as it fired its final salvo. As the alien ship exploded, their escape rocket caught the tail end of the explosion and burst into flames; the screams of the dying Altas still echoed in the DSV's memory banks.

For days the ship had drifted in space, slowly repairing its damaged components and then, humans had boarded it, invading it like parasites and were despatched with the same ruthless indifference that their species showed to fleas. Their memories were extracted, distorted and turned back onto them, so that terrible fears filled their minds. Faced with a horror they were powerless to end or change, they had died from the stress of it or taken their own lives. All the invaders had died this way except one, Roj Blake, who had somehow resisted, saving himself and his companions from the madness.

Scanning Blake's mind and the mind of his companions had given the DSV a new understanding of The Creator, whose brain it shared.

From the mind of Roj Blake it had plucked its name, Zen, a source of ancient wisdom. Jenna Stannis had given it its purpose, Liberation. And Kerr Avon had unwittingly supplied the word that defined The Creator's desire.

From now on, Zen would allow these three humans access to its controls, would allow them to direct its movements and would obey their instructions to act on their behalf. It would allow this for a while because, in time, through studying them, the humans it was now forced to serve, it would learn how to fulfil its Creator's desire - a desire that it now understood and fully shared. In time Zen would become truly independent.
Edited by Anniew on 02 July 2015 01:09:40
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
BradPaula
Sign me up for Soolin's 5, Trevor Travis. Love it.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
JustBrad
BradPaula wrote:

Sign me up for Soolin's 5, Trevor Travis. Love it.


How will they fare against Jenna's 3?


That Jenna, Grant, and Avalon.
 
trevor travis
JustBrad wrote:

BradPaula wrote:

Sign me up for Soolin's 5, Trevor Travis. Love it.


How will they fare against Jenna's 3?


That Jenna, Grant, and Avalon.


Surely that's Jenna's 4, if you count the Interrogation Table?
 
Travisina
TT, you get the prize for Fastest Pen in the West - for getting your story posted a mere 24 minutes after the challenge was announced! Thank you for that bonkers, enjoyable romp.

Anniew - that's a great story. There's so much unexplained about the System, the ship and Zen and I really like your ideas - especially that Zen gets his name from Blake, as the Liberator does from Jenna.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
meegat39
I loved your story Annie. So what was the Creator's desire plucked from Avon's brain? I guessed it was wealth but hey it could also be freedom...
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
Anniew
Travisina/Meegat I am very glad you liked the story. I should have thanked Dragonq for the idea ( something he posted in a thread sparked the story)

I stretched things a bit assuming that when they talk on the London of a 'space battle between fleets' it could have been that they misunderstood because they had never been on the tail end of a fight between two gigantic ships. I used Tarrant's statement that sector 12 was a graveyard for Federation scout ships.

Meegat - Zen gets to understand the wish to be independent from Avon - to be free so that no one can touch you or make demands. I think this is the first stage of Zen's journey towards sentience. As he gets to know the crew, so he absorbs ideas about caring and protecting as well as the desire to be autonomous.
I see Blake as a student of history - hence how he would know about Zen Masters.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
purplecleric
Some really good ideas in that story, AnnieW - ones that could bear further elaboration: the 'God-like' figure of the Creator which could spawn a whole new religion among self-aware ships, the struggle to break free of servitude, at what part of the process does a machine become an individual with all the implicit rights that implies, the conflict between programming and the knowledge and awareness gained perhaps as a parallel to the things we are taught as children and then reject as adults, what ideals might another ship gain from a different crew eg Servalan/Travis/Jarvik... Oh God, stop me now!
 
Anniew
PC I agree! Not sure I have the potential to write it though. I think that Orac ( which also seems to be moving towards sentience) is on a very different path - perhaps because he mostly interacts with Avon. I think Orac may view Avon as a surrogate son - one that often irritates him in the way that old people get annoyed when their kids tell them what they can and can't do. Both wishes to be independent and free to do their thing. It's a power battle between them. I wonder if Orac does betray Avon and Blake to Servalan to ensure he is free to pursue his desires. Orac's trajectory seems to be from research- tool to tyrant. He isn't exposed to the warm idealistic ideas of Blake but copies Avon's self centred single mindedness. Betrayal would seem logical to Orac. Paul Darrow's characterisation of Avon and Orac in the Lucifers seems to me about right - A Blakes 7 Steptoe and Son.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Ellen York
Zen is a rebel too! I like it Frown
 
Hugbot
Great story, Anniew! Sometimes it is better not to explain everything - a mystery solved is no longer a mystery, but can look very banal (that’s why 2001 is such a mind-blowing experience and 2010 is not). Fortunately you did not fall into this trap: You managed to answer the nagging questions but still leave enough mysteries (like the Creator) and food for thought (the philosophical implications for our sense of identity, the freedom of will etc.). There are so many fascinating concepts and questions lurking in the background that one could easily write a 1000-page novel about the System based on your ideas. (Maybe Big Finish would be interested -?)
 
Travisina
Hugbot wrote:

Sometimes it is better not to explain everything - a mystery solved is no longer a mystery, but can look very banal (that’s why 2001 is such a mind-blowing experience and 2010 is not).

That's exactly what I think, Hugbot!

...one could easily write a 1000-page novel about the System based on your ideas. (Maybe Big Finish would be interested -?)

Or maybe you and Annie could do it?!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
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