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November Fanfic Challenge
purplecleric
The nights are drawing in and we Brits are preparing to deal with the dark and some historical political activism by building wonky wooden edifices, dodgy effigies and home-made rockets then setting fire to the bloody lot in one glorious night of burning.

So the word prompt for November is ... FIRE

Bonfires, campfires, Hugbot's emissions or Avon's gung-ho declaration from the Liberator flight-deck? That's the burning question.

And while your imagination is all fired up, try completing this scene:

The Liberator sailed serenely through the inky void of space, a beautiful vision in shining white and glowing green. However, on board things were not quite so placid.
 
purplecleric
I'm afraid I won't be joining you in this challenge or doing much commenting as I'm doing the NaNoWriMo challenge to write 50,000 words of a novel in a month.

I will be reading all your stories and I'll catch up with you all in December!
 
Hugbot
purplecleric wrote:

... Hugbot's emissions ...

Well, as I already said on the October thread: According to the Chinese horoscope, I'm a dragon! Pfft
Edited by Hugbot on 01 November 2015 12:41:36
 
Hugbot
Inferno

Dayna had never assumed to go to Heaven. She had killed too many people to be allowed to enter the realms of eternal joy. But being in Hell was really ... well, hell. It was hot in here with all the fires burning. Giant cauldrons stood upon the stoves, and the wailing of the tormented souls in the boiling water filled the air. With exquisite cruelty, Dayna’s personal escort devil had decided against leading her directly to the cauldron that was reserved for her. Instead they followed a very long and meandering path so that she could take in as much of the horrors of Hell as possible.

In a streak of special sadism, her devil lead her to a cauldron where a well-known soul was suffering.

‘Justin!’

The sight of her teenage crush nearly tore her heart apart. Justin struggled in the hot water, trying to swim to the rim, but the iron was even hotter so that he paddled back to the middle of his cauldron ... until he started another vain attempt to flee the heat. His cries of pain nearly drowned the cries of all the souls in the neighbouring cauldrons.

‘I’m afraid he suffers even more than others,’ the devil said happily, ‘we found a volunteer who is very eager to heat up his fire.’

Dayna looked at the stove and saw the creature that shoved piles of wood onto the fire. They all wore horns in Hell, but this one was too hairy to be a devil.

‘Og!’ Dayna cried, ‘but why is he in Hell? He hasn’t done anything evil in his life.’

Og looked up when he recognised her voice. He did not look as if he was suffering at all, instead he grinned happily before he picked up another log to throw onto the fire.

‘He isn’t,’ the devil explained, ‘he is in Paradise.’
Edited by Hugbot on 01 November 2015 17:27:24
 
trevor travis
Great start to the month, Hugbot!! Creepy Justin continues to get his comeuppance Wink
 
JustBrad
Well done, Huggy. Is it safe to presume that Justin's hell is Og's heaven?
 
Anniew
Glad to see Justin getting it, Hugbot but a little sad that Dayna is to be tortured for eternity. No time off in puratory for her family losses ( and putting up with Avon!) ? Lovely writing as always.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
BradPaula
Fire in the Eye

The meager fire crackled and popped in the gloom of approaching night. The ratio of oxygen to nitrogen in the atmosphere kept the embers from burning fully and giving better light and heat to the surrounding area. A scrawny rodent was propped up on sticks cooking over the embarrassment of a fire. It would take a long time to heat it through and render it fit for eating. But that wasn't the man's main concern. Just now a twig snapped somewhere to his right. He doubted it was one of the forest animals on a night hunt- this was a sentient. He pretended he had not heard anything just then and continued tending to the fire and his dinner. A twig snapped again in the same direction and he glanced side-long at his blaster, on the ground at his side.

How to play this, he thought. “I have food. I'll be willing to share,” he trailed off waiting for a reply.

The twig-snapping stopped in favor of a most determined stride coming his way. Out of the darkness he recognized a shape- and someone he knew from his dealings on this back-water planet. “Ah- Terrell- it's only you. Come and share some dinner with me.”

As the man got near, he could make out from his expression that dinner was the last thing on his mind. Terrell, or more accurately, Vin Terrell, was a close associate of one of the most dangerous bounty hunters on the planet, Anj Tando.

The stranger spoke. “Now, bounty hunter, you know I haven't come here for dinner.”

“No? Then what?” the seated man asked.

“Your gems will do for a start.”

“Will they?” He had dealt with this type before and was frankly he was tired of it.

“Don't play cute with me. I know who you really are. The bounty on you would be substantial, if I chose to bring you in. You're Roj Blake and not Trav Chevron as you say you are.”

Ah, Blake's cover had been blown. At least by this rogue.

Before Blake could react, Terrell was rushing him. The blaster was still on the ground beside him but the man was lunging with what looked like a large knife and Blake had to bend sideways to save himself from being cut. He didn't succeed. The knife loomed out of the darkness only to glint by the light of the fire, shining a red and orange warning in the night. The lunge had worked and the knife connected. There was no pain but his right eye was suddenly obscured by something warm and dark covering it. As he fell back, absorbing the blow, Blake found his blaster and taking quick aim at the dark shadow now nearly astride him, he blew the man away, the force of the shot making his body fall back away from the fire and with the gasp of a last breath, he was still.

Blake now felt the pain. The adrenaline before had masked the injury. He was bleeding profusely and he was a days ride from any civilization, let along medical help. He rummaged in his sack and found a small first aid kit and opened it hurriedly. He pressed a square of gauze to his eye and intense pain hit him with said action. One-handed, he found a small bottle of spirits and used that to disinfect the injury. He howled with pain as the alcohol cleaned out the wound. A further rummage into the kit and Blake bandaged up his injury with gauze and tape. It would have to do he realized and hoped infection would not soon set in. He eventually pulled the roast rodent off the fire and decided to eat.

When morning came, he searched Terrell's body for any items of value. He came up with a small velvet bag containing jewels. Looks like he had been paid for bringing in some wanted criminal, Blake mused to himself. Well, Terrell wouldn't be needing them where he was now, so he pocketed the gems and doused the fire with the remnants of his coffee. He'd have a long walk back to his speeder and then a longer ride to what they jokingly called civilization here. His eye hurt fiercely, but there was nothing he could do about it.

What was he doing playing bounty hunter on this cold, arm-pit of a planet anyway? Oh, yes, attempting to set up a base and recruit people in his endless fight for freedom. Well, he'd accomplish the first part of that idea with Terrell's gems. The second part? He'd just have to play it by ear. He packed his gear methodically and started towards his speeder. This was his last, best hope, here on Gauda Prime. He'd better make the best of it.......
Edited by BradPaula on 04 November 2015 21:52:24
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Anniew
Paula that explains the mystery of Blake's horrific injury very plausibly and you create the atmosphere surrounding the event perfectly.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Ellen York
Starting off the month a bit grim.

Justin gets his comeuppance, but poor Dayna.

Paula, good explanation for Blake's scar, very convincing.
 
Joe Dredd
Hugbot wrote:
‘He isn’t,’ the devil explained, ‘he is in Paradise.’


Hugbot delivers the goods yet again! Short and punchy with a strong idea to give it a twist.

Paula's story is also good. I like the name 'Terrell' - it sounds just right for B7. (Better than Bru, etc - perhaps you should send Big Finish some suggestions?!)
 
trevor travis
Nice story, Paula.

Ellen York wrote:
Justin gets his comeuppance, but poor Dayna.


She'd be bored in the other place Wink

And she'll be fine. I bet in the next chapter Hugbot reveals her attendant is a bearded German gentleman and that she won't suffer too much Wink
 
Anniew
"Fire", he ordered and the ship rocked beneath his feet as Vila unleashed the deadly photon particles at the alien vessels.

That was the moment when something was born in him; an understanding that this was what life was about. Not just about thinking, feeling, even doing but a fusion of choice, action and acceptance. A moment when things just were, cold and deadly as the heart of a flame.

It returned to him, that moment, when he ordered Dayna to fire up the connections on the Star Drive. When he tried to fit the inhibitor head to the Robot. When he sought Vila on the shuttle. All of them, moments that just 'were'.

Most of all it returned when he raised his gun and trained it on the approaching troopers.

The perfect moment.

"Fire".
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
littlesue
These brilliant stories are putting me to shame...I've got an idea, or two, just having to find the time to walk round the house and work out the sequence.
There is so much talent out there.
I should feel sorry for Justin...but I don't.
At least we know where Blake got the scar from...
And just what Avon was thinking that very last shot.........
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/
 
BradPaula
Joe Dredd wrote:

Hugbot wrote:
‘He isn’t,’ the devil explained, ‘he is in Paradise.’


Hugbot delivers the goods yet again! Short and punchy with a strong idea to give it a twist.

Paula's story is also good. I like the name 'Terrell' - it sounds just right for B7. (Better than Bru, etc - perhaps you should send Big Finish some suggestions?!)


They get enough suggestions from me already! But thank you. The Terrell came from Game of Thrones. Thought I'd slip that in for all the GoT fans out there.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Anniew
The Liberator sailed serenely through the inky void of space, a beautiful vision in shining white and glowing green. However, on board things were not quite so placid.

The first sign that something might be amiss was an announcement from Zen.

+ Information. The Liberator pyrogenic defence systems will engage in preciously one minute. You are advised to take precautionary measures.+

"What?" Vila, on duty, jerked awake. "What did you say, Zen?" But before he could do anything sensible the skies opened and water poured down from the roof in streams.

"No...Zen...what's going on? ...Make it stop," Vila spluttered, frantically scrabbling to get away from the wetness that seemed to be penetrating every pore before managing to squash his body uncomfortably beneath the flight deck console for a little protection.

"Vila..." Blake skidded onto the deck a with a roar. Vila could just see him through the downpour. His hair was plastered to his head and his shirt and trousers were soaked. "Vila...what the hell did you do?" he demanded harshly.

"Me?" Vila shot back indignantly from his hiding place. "Me? It's nothing to do with me. Ask Zen. He's the one that started all this...him and his pyro wotsit defences."

"Pryo?... Defences?... ZEN ?", Blake was beginning loudly when a dishevelled Jenna erupted onto the deck, limp hair dripping, eye makeup smudged and fury distorting her lovely features.

"Where is he?" she shouted. " Where's Avon. That meddling fool's been mucking about with the systems again, hasn't he? My cabin is a swamp. Everything's ruined."

"Is that true, Zen? " Blake queried. "Has Avon been modifying your controls and accidentally activated one of your systems?"

+ The defence system was activated in response to an actual threat + Zen intoned. + Kerr Avon...+

" What threat, Zen?" Jenna interrupted anxiously. "Is it still current? Are we in danger?"

Even as she asked, the torrent switched off as suddenly as it had started and in the ensuing silence, Gan and Cally stumbled onto the deck, soggily dripping.

"What's going on Blake?" Gan queried, wiping moisture from his face and hair with a scarf which he then wrung out over the console earning an indignant 'hey' from Vila. "I was asleep," he continued obliviously " and when I woke up my mattress was floating."

" Never mind your mattress. Are.. we.. in.. danger.. Zen? " Jenna repeated, articulating slowly and dangerously.

+ Sensors report the threat has ceased + Zen responded.

"Well that's good," Cally chimed in cheerfully. " As my people say, " A threat averted is an excellent thing."

"Wonder what Avon would make of that one?" Vila muttered softly. Then more loudly, " Where IS Avon anyway?"

Avon regarded the damp mess that was his cabin ruefully. He reached under the sodden mattress, sighing with huge relief as he pulled out a slim paper volume. His only copy of 'The Smoke of Gods: a Social History of Tobacco' by Eric Burns. A pre-atomic rarity and it had thankfully survived the recent deluge undamaged. He would, he acknowledged, have to modify The Liberator's sensor array before risking a repeat of today's incredibly satisfying experiment. He wondered if he could persuade Cally that tobacco made a good pet?
Edited by Anniew on 04 November 2015 10:30:24
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Ellen York
I think Zen's pyrogeinc defense system needs some work, all that for one cigar. Avon better hope the other don't figure out what happened, though Vila might forgive him if he shared the tobacco.
 
BradPaula
Mal de l'espace

The Liberator sailed serenely through the inky void of space, a beautiful vision in shining white and glowing green. However, on board things were not quite so placid.

As Cally entered the flight deck, she detected what she could only describe as a very foul odor. Had the air scrubbers malfunctioned once again? she thought distractedly. She stepped up to her place on the deck and ran a check of the console to see that nothing had been picked up by Liberator's detector arrays while she had been absent. That odor again, what was it?

She was alerted to the fact that not all was well on board when she heard soft moaning coming from Vila at his station. He was bent over the console and holding his stomach theatrically. He looked decidedly green about the gills too. Vila had always been a bit of a hypochondriac, but he seemed in real distress now. Cally inquired. “Vila, are you all right?”

More moaning. “No. My stomach. I think I'm going to...” he cut off abruptly and half bent over, ran from the flight deck to be violently sick in the restroom down the corridor. At least Cally hoped he had made it to the restroom in time!

Just then the ships' intercom buzzed. It was Avon from his quarters. “Tarrant- I know I'm next for watch but I've come down with something. I think it better I stay in my cabin and not spread whatever I have to the rest of the crew. I don't...” He cut off suddenly and was gone for a few minutes, then came back again via the intercom. “Sorry about that. I did say wasn't at my best. Perhaps Dayna can sub for me? Urrgg! Here we go again! Avon out.” And he was gone.

Cally wondered what the crew had encountered to have both Avon and Vila down and not able to work. Then, that odor. It was back again. Where was it coming from? she wondered. She decided to ask the pilot.

Tarrant turned a bright shade of red upon Cally's inquiry. He let out a deep breath and told her. “I'm terribly sorry, Cally, but I seem to be having some intestinal problems. Must have been something I ate. Perhaps there's something you could give me out of the medical stores to help?” He grinned embarrassingly at the telepath.

“Yes, I suppose there is something. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to single you out and embarrass you.”

“Thanks.” Then, another wave of odorous emissions escaped from Tarrant. “Could you perhaps go and get me something now?” he pleaded, still red-faced.

“Of course.” She hurriedly left the flight deck. She didn't want to admit it, but she was glad of the change of air in the corridor!

On her way, Cally wondered just what the crew had picked up on the latest planet they had visited. An alien pathogen? Radiation? Galloping swamp fever? She had no clue. It was only a few days later that she finally got to the bottom of the malady that most of the crew had endured. The food. They had, with the exception of Dayna, all eaten her special dinner after they had teleported back from that greenish-hued planet in sector 6. Luckily, Dayna had not partaken, as if she had, they'd have been relying on Orac's skills as pilot to ply the Liberator through the galaxy.

What was this noxious bug and how did they get it? Cally embarrassingly admitted to them all later that it must have been her Auron Veggie Burger Surprise for dinner that evening. It had seemed harmless enough.... at first. But to quote Avon, Vila and Tarrant: “NEVER again!!” Surprise!
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
JustBrad
For Every Possible Action, There Is A Possible Universe.

Avon peered over the edge of the dune. “Let's try and get a little closer.”

Dayna had the sights lined up. Her skin was flush with a burning hatred. “I can kill her from here. She's well withing range. I'm going to kill her now, while I have the chance.”

“No!” Avon took her by the arm. “Orac is our only hope. We have got to get Servalan out of there. Give me a few minutes to get down there, then start firing. Cause as much panic and confusion as you can, but keep your fire away from Servalan. I don't want you telling me afterward it was an accident.”

++++++++++

Tarrant entered the teleport deck. Dayna stood by the console. “Are you really going through with this? Are you really going to challenge Vinni?”

For once Tarrant didn't smile. “He killed my brother, Dayna. Do you understand the burning need for vengeance?”

Dayna's eyes ignited. “Oh, yes, I understand it very well, but I see no reason to throw my life away. Cold blooded vengeance is the best vengeance.”

Tarrant shrugged. “I agree, but we don't have that option.”

Dayna smiled. “Yes, we do.”

Tarrant looked into her eyes, and a cold smile slowly spread across his face.

Avon strode into the teleport deck like the prophet come to cleanse the temple. “Whatever you two are babbling about, forget it. Dayna, stop that examination, but do NOT kill Servalan.” He leveled a finger at her. “I mean it Dayna, I don't want...”

“I know!” Dayna spat as she moved into the teleport bay. “You don't want to hear later that it was an accident.” Dayna drew her gun. She did not look to Avon at the teleport console, but to Tarrant as she said. “Put me down.”

Med Techs were examining Vinni. The android stood unarmed and stripped to the waist, a fit human male by all outward appearances. As soon as she materialized, Dayna leveled her gun and fired. Vinni fell back against the wall as red liquid spattered the med techs and judges.

In wide eyed horror one med tech wiped his face. His brow furrowed as he rubbed his finger against his thumb. “Hydraulic fluid?”

As if in answer, sparks flew from Vinni's chest where the android lay on the floor.

Servalan stood, dramatically waving her arms. “Arrest that woman, she is a traitor.”

No one moved. Dayna stood with her gun leveled, her eyes burning, daring anyone to reach for a weapon. She spoke in a calm tone at odds with her blazing eyes. “Vinni the andriod was made in Federation space. His exposure is meant to plunge you into war so the Federation can waltz in and 'restore order' when they enslave you.”

Servalan laughed. “Do you really think they'll believe you, a wanted terrorist?”

Even as Dayna shrugged her gun did not waver. “I don't care. I say go ahead. Take them over. A real war just might do this lot good. One real war, and maybe they'll learn to live together in peace, or perhaps the Federation will kill them all. I really don't care.”

Servlan puzzled. “Then what are you doing here?”

“I made you a promise.” There was a lick of fire from Dayna's gun, and again the techs and judges were spattered with red.

“Bring me up, Tarrant.” The grand hall of the judges chamber dissolved, replaced by Liberator's familiar teleport deck. Tarrant stood stoically, with a hint of a smile on his lips.

In contrast, Avon stormed towards Dayna. “You fool! What the hell was that?”

Dayna holstered her gun. “I can't tell you what it was, but I can tell you what it was not. It was NOT an accident.”

++++++++++

Avon stood alone on the darkened flight deck. He was still smoldering over the events at the Teal Vandor confederation. He stood with his elbows tight against his sides, one hand raised to his chin. “Well, Zen?”

+ No further communication has been received +

Avon's smolder melted to an aspect of loss. “Nothing at all?”

+ No further communication has been received. Navigation computers await your instructions +

Avon sighed. “I thought it was probably too good to be true. Reverse course, get us out of here.”
Edited by BradPaula on 06 November 2015 04:50:04
 
Anniew
Lovely stories from over the pond. Paula's story only too graphic! For once I felt real empathy with Tarrant. And I love your alternative Universe Story Brad. The image of Avon striding into the deck ' like a prophet come to cleanse the temple', is just perfect. as is, ' for once Tarrant didn't smile'. Brilliant character touches. ( incidentally predictive text came up with ' your alternative universe Tory' until I edited it. Now there's an alternative universe story)
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
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