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August Fanfic Challenge
purplecleric
The dog days of summer are upon us. As Homer said: Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky, On summer nights, star of stars, Orion's Dog they call it, brightest, Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat, And fevers to suffering humanity.

August's word prompt is... HEAT

Fevers, evil portent, suffering humanity? How very B7! It's enough to fry your eyeballs...

And for the scene:

Tarrant bristled. He couldn’t believe the nerve of the man! He stiffened his spine, threw back his shoulders and injected every ounce of arrogance he had acquired as a Federation officer into his voice.

Happy writing!
 
Anniew
Well, I'm sitting watching the kids swimming, looking (or so they tell me) like a demon by virtue of a sub cuticle hemorrhage which has turned the eye ball bright red when this sad little story pops into my head.

***
Why is he so cold? He should feel anger hot enough to boil his blood. "Vila weighs 73 kilos." That voice, sweet as honey, " Help me Vila, please help me," soft as silk, treacherous as a snake. Yet he feels nothing. Just blank numbness.

There are questions of course, randomly popping into his head to fizzle out before he can voice them. "How does it know what I weigh?...How could you Avon? ... How could...could you?" He doesn't ask. What's the point? They've all made it clear that he's just a passenger. He knows if he starts protesting Avon will quietly abandon him on the next planet they visit, or worse, arrange for some fatal accident to befall him. No one will step in to challenge Avon. They aren't interested in supporting a dead weight like him.

Something settles on his chest, heavy, sour- despair or bitterness, he's not sure what to call it. Acceptance he supposes. A recognition that this is how it is, that this is the world he lives in. In his running days he'd learned not to trust, knew that it was dog eat dog and the knowledge had helped him to survive. Fourteen years old on a penal colony and he'd lived to boast about it. He'd traded whatever innocence he had left for survival and after a year he'd grabbed the chance to stow away on a supply freighter. Hiding in that storage locker had resurrected the memory; the smell, the heat of confinement. He'd been terrified of closed spaces ever since.

This is nothing like so big a challenge. He could survive this easily, ensure he's the last one standing. He has the skills, he's actually cleverer than Avon and far more experienced than any of them. Avon's not the only one able to kill without compunction if he needs to, although the others would dismiss the claim as bravado. They did the same on the colony but he was the one who escaped. But something inside him seems to be broken; his will to survive fatally damaged. And he knows why.

He isn't angry because the person he should be screaming at isn't there to confront. It's Blake he blames for this: for the death of Gan his friend and protector and for abandoning him and Avon just as they had begun to think that a different, fairer, more compassionate world might be possible to achieve. Blake, whose revolutionary heat had warmed their blood and forced them to believe, only to desert them. Blake who used them, manipulated them with his charm and callously moved on when they had done what he demanded, fighting off the Andromendons and paving the way for the new order. It's not as though Avon hasn't tried to keep the ideals Blake postulated afloat, he's just not very good at doing so.

So Vila is stuck with a dead weight in his chest and the ashes of dead fires in his belly and the last bottle of Dorian's wine to help him through the night. Tomorrow he will fix his clownish persona in place- a slightly more morose and bitter version but he doubts they will notice- and he will survive. Again. If only he wasn't so very cold.
Edited by Travisina on 02 August 2015 17:38:21
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
The final episode of the saga: ...or is it?...

“Where are we?” asked Vila, his voice echoing around the vast empty space that surrounded them.
“It sounds… and looks like the inside of a hold of some kind” replied Avon.
“Look up there!” cried Vila, shining his torch up at a maze of machinery above them.
“There’s a glow coming from around that corner…” said Avon; “follow me Vila”

Avon and Vila walked across the chamber, the sound of their footsteps magnified by the metal floor, waving the beam of their torches across the complex mechanism of brightly coloured pipes and boxes above them until they reached a long wall. It was made of a similar metal to the floor but stopped a short distance in front of them, the orange red glow emanating from behind it. Avon led the way around the end of the wall and stared uncomprehending at the sheet of flame roaring from floor to ceiling before his and Vila’s amazed gaze. It was neither especially wide nor tall, about the height of a man, but was as impassable as it was mystifying.

“What… is… that..?” asked Avon; from behind him came only silence from Vila.
“Aha” came a thickly accented cry from behind the men; “you have found the Fire Wall gentlemen!”
“And you are?” queried Avon; “you call this the Fire Wall? It’s an appropriate name…”
“My name is Zofft” said the scientist as he emerged from the shadows; “Dr Mykro Zofft”
“You did not answer my question” said Avon; “what does the Fire Wall do?”
“Nothing” said Zofft
“Then why is it here?” asked Avon
“Oh, they all come with one!” explained Zofft
“All of what… come with one?” demanded Avon
“Pan-Genre Transition Machines of course!” said Zofft
“You mean…” said Avon slowly, thinking through the implications; “that we are inside the machine?”
“Precisely!” confirmed Zofft
“So…” said Vila, “do you know how we get out of here? We’ve tried everything!”
“Oh, that’s very simple!” said Zofft
“Well now…” said Avon, “perhaps it would be very simple for you to tell us”
“This switch on the wall” said Zofft, pointing to a nondescript grey button on the wall; “this switch operates the main power supply to all the components of the machine. You just press it!”
“So you just turn the machine off…” asked Avon; “and then what?”
“Turn it back on!” said Zofft confidently; “all problems solved! I’m thinking of naming it after myself you understand, and calling it the Mykro Zofft Technique…”
“Let’s try then” said Avon, reaching for the switch.
“Remember to wait for thirty…” began Zofft, but he was cut off along with the power sustaining his illusion.

***
Blake, Cally and Servalan stood staring in amazement as Avon and Vila appeared from nowhere in the middle of the room. Vila placed the box with the single red button upon the table. Both men joined Blake and Cally in directing their Liberator guns at their arch enemy, standing in a row and facing down their unexpected prisoner. She slowly backed away from them.

“There’s no escape for you now Servalan” said Blake; “it’s time for you to pay for what you’ve done”
“Are you sure?” asked Servalan; “there is always a way out, if you’re clever and resourceful enough”
“Not this time” said Blake
“Look out Blake!” shouted Avon; “she’s got the…”

But the warning came too late as Servalan depressed the button on the PGTM and vanished from the room, the fire of the assembled energy weapons merely burning four holes in the opposing wall.
Edited by Spaceship Dispatcher on 01 August 2015 19:20:16
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Anniew
And the Villa story led to this.

***

The heat burns him black, crisps his skin. It dries out the lining of his nose and throat so that every breath is an agony of fire. He longs for water but when the cup is offered his throat is too raw to swallow. Instead a sponge is forced between his dry lips and he sucks the moisture from it feebly but it's not enough. There isn't enough water in the universe to satisfy his thirst.

How long his ordeal by flame lasts he has no idea but eventually his body cools so rapidly that it's as if he's plunged into a lake of ice. The shivers that rack him are exhausting, shaking him like a rag. He alternates between the volcano's heart and the lake of ice until all energy is spent and he sinks into a welcome darkness.

He awakes, eventually, to light and bright, antiseptic surroundings but his mind is still shrouded in darkness. Where he is, how he got there, who he is, is a mystery to him. The blankness in his head is as deep as a well. Too weak to raise an arm, he lies inert, confused and yet peaceful. He is aware of activity around him. People come and go. Machines hum. Tubes bring liquid to his organs and evacuate them too. He is too exhausted to be curious, just thankful that his temperature has cooled or risen to a comfortable, temperate warmth.

Awareness returns on waves of stinging pain. His shoulder throbs, his limbs ache. The spinning in his head settles only to be replaced by waves of nausea. He distinguishes faces, unfamiliar, impersonal, who bend over him and lift him, turn him, bathe his body, feed him. One face, flawless, porcelain skin and wide, dark eyes, returns again and again, not speaking but simply standing and observing as if it wants to pierce his soul.

Later, as his strength returns, the questions begin. Day after day the same thing: where are they, how did he escape, did the others survive, how is he planning to contact them? He can't answer, has no idea what they mean. If his mind were a book then every page has been wiped of its words. But they don't believe him, subject him to bursts of pain, until at last, convinced, they allow him to rest.

They bring him a mirror and a face stares back at him, unfamiliar, rugged and rough. A sickle scar curves from above the left eye to the cheek, dragging the corner of the eye lid down. The hair is greying, an unruly bush of wiry, dark curls. It is a fierce face but he can't name it.

"You are Blake," she tells him, her voice as lovely as her face, crystal clear. "One of my best agents. You were betrayed on a mission. This man is our enemy." She hands him a picture. This face is hawk-like, severe, dominated by its nose and sculpted mouth. He does not know it. "A dangerous man," she continues. "Kerr Avon, a terrorist dedicated to bringing down the Federation. He has blackened my name and yours."

"But you hurt me, " he protests weakly, puzzled and distressed by his confusion. " If I am your best agent, why did you hurt me?"

Her face takes on an angelic compassion and the crystal in her voice softens to honey. "My poor, Blake," she tells him, a tear gathering in both almond shaped eyes. " It hurt me so much to cause you pain. I was afraid he had conditioned you to harm me. I had to be sure."

"Avon," he says bitterly.

"Yes, Avon."

It is not until the pain of three bullets jerk him out of the dream, or nightmare that has been his world for the past two years; not until he looks fully into the anguished eyes of his supposed enemy that he remembers and understands she has conditioned him to betray his friend.

" Oh Avon..."
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Anniew
S.D. Brilliant and very funny. I loved Mikro Zoft!! I'm so glad the saga can continue! Where will Servalan appear next? I do hope it's The Great British Bake Off!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
JustBrad
SD:Very funny. I am still laughing...
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Two of your very best Annie! I'm with Vila when he assesses Blake's betrayals of both the crew and his own alleged ideals in your short story, and the idea of Blake as a mind-controlled sleeper agent for the Federation is actually a very interesting and Manchurian Candidate-esque suggestion that you make work extremely well!
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Anniew
Ahhh thanks SD. I'm so glad you liked them!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Ellen York
I'm glad to see the stories have started arriving. When I checked in this morning the thread was empty except for the prompts (and don't look at me like that, you all know I don't write that fast Wink )

Servalan has the PGTM, things are really getting interesting now. I don't always get the cross-grenre references, but the stories are fun romps.

Annie, both your stories are heart-breakingly plausible. We may have to start using the tissue box ratings (or even the EZ bake oven ratings Sad )
 
littlesue
Ellen York wrote:

I'm glad to see the stories have started arriving. When I checked in this morning the thread was empty except for the prompts (and don't look at me like that, you all know I don't write that fast Wink )

Servalan has the PGTM, things are really getting interesting now. I don't always get the cross-grenre references, but the stories are fun romps.

Annie, both your stories are heart-breakingly plausible. We may have to start using the tissue box ratings (or even the EZ bake oven ratings Sad )


Write so fast? More like think so fast.
I'm toying with an idea but I need to walk up the road tomorrow (to get the newpapers) and think the scenerio out loud.
If you read about a mad woman wandering the streets of Locks Heath muttering to herself...that's me!!!
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Anniew
Oh Sue! If you'd seen me at the swimming centre, muttering and writing feverishly you'd have said "Certifiable".
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
clareblues1
Thinking of ideas for the Tarrant scene, *giggles*...but nothing concrete thus far, need to get the silly stuff out of my head first!
The foolish reject what they see;
the wise reject what they think.
 
littlesue
clareblues1 wrote:

Thinking of ideas for the Tarrant scene, *giggles*...but nothing concrete thus far, need to get the silly stuff out of my head first!


Oh dear..Clare is having ideas about Tarrant Grin
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Hugbot
@SD: Loved the literal 'fire wall' and Mykro Zofft! I very much enjoyed your hilarious PGTM stories, but I can understand that you decided to free yourself from the constraints of your endless saga. And yet you have left open a back door to revisit the PGTM - clever idea!

@Anniew: The night between Orbit and Warlord that changed Vila's behaviour, and Blake as a reprogrammed Fed agent - great ideas! I loved the allusions to the crucifixion at the beginning. Very apt for Blake's messianic zeal!
 
Hugbot
The Portrait in the Dead Woman’s Hand

Tarrant bristled. He couldn’t believe the nerve of the man! He stiffened his spine, threw back his shoulders and injected every ounce of arrogance he had acquired as a Federation officer into his voice.

‘And your business in this area is - ?’ he demanded.

The stranger flinched. He did not look like a cunning intruder, but innocent and naive. Besides, anyone who wanted to infiltrate a high-security Federation complex would try to blend in as much as possible, but with his brown anorak, this clown stuck out like a sore thumb. Yet he had managed to come this far.

‘Oh, I am on the way to sector 5-8. Have to do a repair job. The filter plant, you know.’ He lifted a red tool box as if to prove his words.

Tarrant smirked. Nice try, but not enough. Any technician sent to sector 5-8 needed special clearance. This guy had not even tried to fake a security badge. Obviously, he had no right to be here. Tarrant should arrest him immediately. Nevertheless, he hesitated. There was something strangely familiar about this man.

Then he remembered. Yes, he had seen this face before.

His mind went back to that dreadful day in the barracks. Young Bercol, a space cadet like him, had been assigned to patrol duty as temporary leader of a security squad, and suddenly the news hit the barracks that he had been murdered. Some guy had gone berserk and killed his wife. Bercol had tried to stop him, but the maniac had snapped his neck. The murderer had been restrained by the members of Bercol’s squad. The other cadets in Bercol’s training unit had been ordered to clean up the mess. But why them? And why had the security guards bothered to capture the murderer instead of just shooting him?

When Tarrant arrived at the crime scene, he knew the answer. Bercol had raped and killed the woman, and her husband had tried to rescue her. The other guards must have known or at least guessed the truth. That’s why they only restrained the man instead of shooting him. The cadets had been sent in to destroy the evidence. After all, young Bercol was the son of a senator. The ordinary guards might have caused trouble. The cadets were of the same class as Bercol. They would not risk their careers for hollow ideals like justice.

The woman was a petite, fragile girl, and in her right hand, she clutched a locket. When Tarrant bent open her stiff fingers, he saw the holo portrait of her husband in the locket. She had hold fast to him until her last breath. He had never been her nemesis, but her protector.

In the ensueing show trial, they ‘proved’ that the husband was a raging psychopath, which necessitated implanting a limiter. While the operation should have made him a valuable member of society again, he was nonetheless deported to Cygnus Alpha so that he could not talk. The security guards were transferred to very distant and very dangerous posts.

That was the day when Tarrant began to doubt that he was on the right side. He toyed with the idea of defection and even made plans and preparations, but he never put them into action. An Alpha does not throw away his career so easily.

And now he had finally met the man from the portrait in the dead woman’s hand, this innocent looking, bulky fellow. He could easily arrest him, now that the man was limited. That would surely boost his career. But if he let the man pass, he would wreak havoc in the complex, and that would create enough diversion for Tarrant to take his French leave.

Tarrant made his decision. He stepped aside and pointed casually down the corridor. ‘Help yourself’ he said.
 
JustBrad
Hugbot wrote:

The Portrait in the Dead Woman’s Hand

Tarrant bristled. He couldn’t believe the nerve of the man! He stiffened his spine, threw back his shoulders and injected every ounce of arrogance he had acquired as a Federation officer into his voice.



I am inspired by your story, and in awe of your command of English as a second language.
 
littlesue
JustBrad wrote:

Hugbot wrote:

The Portrait in the Dead Woman’s Hand

Tarrant bristled. He couldn’t believe the nerve of the man! He stiffened his spine, threw back his shoulders and injected every ounce of arrogance he had acquired as a Federation officer into his voice.



I am inspired by your story, and in awe of your command of English as a second language.


Seconded..
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!


sues stories http://sjlittle.w...
sues youtube channel http://www.youtub...e54/videos
sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
Lara and Sue's Stories http://lectorisal....webs.com/
 
Travisina
littlesue wrote:

JustBrad wrote:

Hugbot wrote:

The Portrait in the Dead Woman’s Hand

Tarrant bristled. He couldn’t believe the nerve of the man! He stiffened his spine, threw back his shoulders and injected every ounce of arrogance he had acquired as a Federation officer into his voice.



I am inspired by your story, and in awe of your command of English as a second language.


Seconded..

Thirded...
Fantastic story, Hugbot!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
BradPaula
Great story, Hugbot!!
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
clareblues1
That's a brilliant story hugbot!
The foolish reject what they see;
the wise reject what they think.
 
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