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Horizon Advent Calendar 2015
Joe Dredd
Hi everyone,

This is the thread for posting the calendar entries in. Contributors, please post your entry on the assigned day, whenever convenient. (If anyone has any problems, please contact any of the moderators.)

Please post any comments on the Advent Calendar comments thread (Here).

My thanks to all the volunteers. We all hope you enjoy our contributions. Please keep in mind that we don't know what each other will post, and every entry is a surprise. If two people happen to have similar ideas then that is just a cause for extra celebration as "Great minds think alike" and it's great to have people with great minds in our club. No one should fret if someone else posts your idea first - that wouldn't be fun at all. Don't worry about it and just post your entry.

Lastly, don't forget that the 24th is a designated "free-for-all" day so if ANYONE gets inspired and wants to join in, please do - that's what the 24th is for!

Regards to all,

Joe Dredd
1st December! Let's see what's behind the little door.

Why, it's a silly, vaguely Christmassy cartoon about two characters from "Traitor".

You'll probably have to click on it to see a larger version:

Ellen York
It isn't 2nd December here yet, but it is across the pond and Down Under, so close enough.

In my list of favorite songs, I have a category of “funny because there is some truth to it” and The 12 Pains of Christmas is a prime example of that category. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but the picture-perfect holiday is a creation of the Halmark marketing department. I'm particularly tickled by the “rigging up the lights” sequence, because when I was a kid, every year we would think we had gotten rid of all the “when one goes out, they all go out” and every year we would find another one after it was on the tree.

This version of the song is enhanced by the addition of clips from Doctor Who (and the editing is excellent). It always makes me smile, so hope you enjoy it too. And may your holiday season be merry, even if it isn't perfect. Grin

Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
My contribution is a couple hours early as I'm up and away with the larks tomorrow morning.

Seasonal greetings to all on Horizon, Peace, Happiness and Hugbots to all.


Click for bigger version.

Vila - "I plan to live forever - or die trying"
Spaceship Dispatcher

Vila did not even notice the steady hum of the Scorpio’s engines as the ship sped towards Xenon base, returning from a supply run. That is, not until they stopped. The cessation was not sudden or instantaneous but began with the note wavering, followed by the familiar whine of the power units going into retro to slow the ship to a virtual stop and then gradually fading away as a failsafe cut in and shut them down. Vila looked across to Tarrant, the ship’s pilot, with a questioning stare. The other man wore a perplexed expression as he hit a series of illuminated controls on the panel in front of him. But it was to no avail, for the engines failed to restart and Scorpio was left drifting in space.

“What happened?” asked Vila; “have you broken the engines again, Tarrant?”
“What do you mean by again?” demanded Tarrant; “I don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t me…”
“But why has everything stopped!” cried Vila; “you’re supposed to be the pilot! You must know!”
“The failsafe has cut in…” said Tarrant; “and it seems to be the forward sensors at fault. See this red light?”
“Of course I can see it!” snapped Vila; “can’t you just switch it off and carry on?”
“No, it doesn’t just switch off” explained Tarrant; “and with no forward sensors, we have a problem…”

An electronic cough interrupted Vila and Tarrant’s conversation.

*Please do excuse me…* said Slave, the Scorpio’s computer *and I’m terribly sorry about the delay, but I can explain the reason for the failure of the forward scanners and the engines… erm, stopping…*
“Well…” replied Vila; “go on then! Don’t keep it to yourself! Why aren’t we moving?!”
*Again I’m very sorry about this, but we seem to have encountered a chemical cloud that is affecting the ship*
“What sort of chemicals?” asked Tarrant, keeping a practical head; “are they blocking the sensors?”
*Yes, that is correct, Master* confirmed Slave *I would have avoided them if I had been able…*
“Yes, well don’t worry about that now Slave” said Tarrant; “what is the composition of the cloud?”
*The cloud is made up of two chemicals… hydrogen and oxygen… approximately two thirds hydrogen*
“So it’s basically just water” said Tarrant; “water frozen in space into particles like snow?”
*This is correct* confirmed Slave *and I really am very sorry, but it is covering all the forward sensors*
“But…” protested Vila “…that’s ridiculous! We get snow around Xenon all the time, no problem!”
“Yes Slave” agreed Tarrant; “we fly through snow storms in the atmosphere with no problems…”
*I do apologise* replied Slave apologetically *but this is Space-Snow, which is not the same at all*
“You mean…” asked Tarrant; “that you’re saying it’s basically the wrong sort of snow?”
*That is correct, Master* affirmed Slave *I do most humbly apologise for the delay to your journey*
“Sorry, Vila” smirked Tarrant; “but you’re drinking session back at the base is going to be a bit late. I’m going to have to isolate the forward detectors and go forward at reduced speed. It’ll take a few hours I’m afraid…”
“That’s rubbish!” cried Vila, slumping into his seat; “a few hours late back to Xenon because of being stuck in the wrong sort of Space-Snow! Just you wait until I complain to Avon about this!”
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
Morning all, lets open day 6 and see what we have....... we all like a puzzle at Christmas so here we go, Zen has hidden 21 names in the grid, can you get them all....????
answers will be posted in the discussion thread in a day or so.


farm6.staticflickr.com/5698/23448762432_7cdb32b529_o.pngchristmas 7 by Richard Bailey, on Flickr
trevor travis
Well, it's already December 7th for some of our members in Australia. Here's my entry all ready for the morning:

(To mark the 34th anniversary of this episode)

“What’s the position now, Orac?” There was a desperate edge to Avon’s voice.

“Remaining flight time: ten minutes and forty seconds.”

“How much more weight must we lose before we can achieve escape velocity?”

“Ninety kilos, Avon. Only seventy kilos if we decide to ditch the tachyon funnel.”

“Only ninety kilos...” Avon turned to Vila. “Vila, strip off the insulation material in the cargo hold.”

Vila looked wearily at Avon. They’d had it this time - why couldn’t Avon accept that? He was keen to survive himself, but there was no chance. Egrorian and Pinder had stitched them up.

Avon called Vila back across and handed over a small object obtained from a panel.

“But that's just a razor. It weighs nothing.”

“Get rid of it anyway.”

“A kilo and a half if we're lucky.”

“Do it! We've got ten minutes. And take Og with you!”

Vila and Og started to depart.

“Not enough!”, muttered Avon to himself. “Not nearly enough! Dammit, what weighs ninety kilos?”

The automatic door opened as Vila and Og reached it. Before it had closed again, they heard Orac’s reply.

“Og weighs three hundred and seventy-three kilos, Avon.”

Avon considered his options for a split-second. And then, with a look of both resignation and determination, he fetched his gun from inside the panel and set off.


Avon descended the ladder and started to search the shuttle.

“Og… Og?” His voice was far too sincere. Avon never sounded that sincere.

“Og, are you here? I need your help. Vila, are you there? Tell me where Og is…”

Og was far too large to hide effectively and Avon quickly spotted him half hidden in the compartment. Avon opened the door, to reveal the weeping animal.

Suddenly the steely determination was back in Avon’s voice. “I’m sorry Og, but there isn’t another way.”

Vila appeared behind Avon, with an appalled look on his face. “Avon, for god’s sake, stop! You know normal guns don’t work on Og in any case – you need a heavy-duty harpoon! I’ve just asked Orac how much Og’s fur weighs! It’s ninety-three kilos!”

Vila produced the razor and set to work. He never worked as hard as he did for the next few minutes.

“Hurry up Vila. We need to shave Og. Shaving him like we have never shaved him before, Vila.”

“Oh change the record will you, Avon!”

Large heaps of fur soon appeared on the floor. Avon picked them up and put them in the airlock. He manipulated the airlock controls and legged it back to the flight deck of the shuttle.

“Remaining flight time: two minutes and thirty seconds”, informed Orac.

“I know. I know!” Avon grabbed the controls and the shuttle rose, soon achieving escape velocity. They were safe.

Vila and Og appeared on the flight deck.

Og used his hands to cover his private parts. “Me embarrassed.”


Back on Xenon Base, Avon plugged in the tachyon funnel. The first target was Malodaar and the second target was Servalan’s spaceship. It wasn’t too hard to use it on a moving object with Orac’s assistance.

“Where is next on your list?”, asked Soolin.

“A planet called Gauda Prime.”

Soolin nodded approvingly. “A great choice, Avon, but why?”

“Just someone who might threaten my future plans of galactic domination.”


Avon landed his ship, the Conqueror, and knocked on the door of the palace.

One of the bodyguard answered the door. She was dressed in a red fur uniform.

Avon walked across the solid diamond floor and greeted the figure lazing by the pool. “Hello Vila.”

“I trust my Royal Mounties have treated you well.”

Avon smiled. He did that a lot these days. His own palace, the Presidential Palace, was a hundred times bigger than that of Vila’s.

“Vila, do you realise what day it is today? It’s Christmas Day.”

Avon produced a bottle of wine that dated back to pre-atomic war times and poured out two glasses. He joined Vila by the pool, as several members of the Royal Mounties massaged their feet.

Vila clinked Avon’s glass. “A Merry Christmas to you, Avon!”

“And a Happy Hew Year to everyone at Horizon”, added Avon.

Edited by trevor travis on 06 December 2015 22:25:59
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

• A Blake’s Seven Crossword Puzzle

Now, I had this brilliant idea to create a Blake’s Seven Crossword. You know, because I’m brilliant..... But once it was all done I looked at it and thought...... umm, you guys will solve that in about 60 seconds. OK maybe not so brilliant.

Soooooo, I had another brilliant idea! I decided to remove all the clues!!!!..... Yep, no clues for you!! hehehe

However, before you hit me over the head with a street sign and move me from Santa ‘good’ list to his ‘bad’ list, I’m here to tell you that instead of clues I’m giving you two hints:

Hint 1 – some letters are already in the crossword for you (as you see below).
Hint 2 – all the words in the crossword are character names, there are no actor names, no planet names, no other words of any kind.

With those hints I think you should be able to solve it. But I confess you are my guinea pigs..... eerrr you have been handpicked from millions of scifi fans to be the first to have the privilege of solving this puzzle..... in other words it hasn’t been tested, so if you get really stuck sing out, tell me where you are stuck, and I will give you a few more letters or some clues....

Good luck.

Edited by Tyce on 07 December 2015 19:42:56

Suitable I think, after our Blake's 7 rewatch this week....
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
To get maximum enjoyment from this post please sing it loudly in the bath to the tune of Wham's 'Last Christmas'.

Terminal and
I gave up my ship
But you weren't even there.
Please show me you care.
This year,
To save me from tears,
I'll look for another alliance.

One bitten and twice shy
I'll keep my distance.
Zukan catches my eye.
Tell you Blake he
Really does get me.
Your indifference
It doesn't surprise me.

(Merry Protests!)

I had Orac broadcasting wide:
The messages said,
"I need you by my side."
Now I know what a fool I've been
And if we meet up again
Don't expect that I'll trust you.

Terminal and
Cally was killed
I could find you nowhere.
I don't think you care.
This year
To save me from tears
I've tried for another alliance.
Blake find me.

It's lonely here:
Crew mates who despise
I'm hiding from them
Encased in ice.
Poor fool, I thought you someone to rely on.
Me? I guess someone to use and put on.

An honest man, with love in his heart
Or so I believed 'till you blew that apart.
Ooo oo.
Know this my friend
you'll never use me again.

I gave up my base
But you were nowhere.
Now I know you don't care.
This year
It's fallen apart
But now at last, Orac has found you.

A face that's the same on a man I don't trust.
(I gave you my trust)
A hunter of bounty I'll shoot if I must.
For once in your life Blake, do as I ask:
Stand still.
I no longer have trust
In our friendship.
Ooh Blake, I gave you my heart
But Gauda Prime just blew it apart.
Now it's
All fallen apart.
Nothing to do but die with you.

Must die
With you.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.

Click for whole pic Smile

From the recent Chicago TARDIS convention, actor Richard Franklin would like to wish the Horizon Forum members a very Happy Holiday. Richard appeared as Federation Trooper One in the Blake's 7 episode Aftermath. He is also more well known for his time on Doctor Who, his character, Captain Mike Yates, of UNIT.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.

(Screencap: Video link below)

The big boys from Big Finish wish Horizon a Happy Holiday. Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh Ellery at Chicago TARDIS Con this past November.

Video Here: http://s995.photo...=3&o=0

Edited by JustBrad on 13 December 2015 16:01:04
Wise men?

"So Jehovah banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because Eve ate an apple? Just one apple? That doesn't seem very fair."

"It's only a story, Cally. Like your people's story about the Tharn."

"The Lord Tharn was real, don't forget. "

"Like I'd forget that. He nearly killed us! I never forget mad Gods who try to kill us."

"That's not what I meant, Vila. I meant that the Tharn and his story explain a lot about the philosophy of my people - the good and the bad - and this Jehovah story says a lot about the roots of your culture and particularly your attitude towards women."

"You mean the love and deep respect I have for you gorgeous ladies?" The leer that accompanied his words made Cally roll her eyes.

"I mean the number of occasions that Dayna and I are left on teleport duty, or are expected to do the cooking." She grinned at the young girl who was playing a board game with the ship's equally young pilot, drawing her into the conversation.

Dayna grinned back and looked expectantly at Vila, waiting to see what hole he would dig for himself. She was not disappointed.

" You ladies are welcome to take my place on landing parties any day of the week! Especially if it involves danger!" he said gallantly, sparking a derisive snort from Tarrant and a knowing exchange of glances between the girls.

"Thank you Vila! And the cooking?"

" Well, ummmm, I'm not very good at cooking, see... And I just love your Auron curries. And Dayna's ragu," he added quickly.

"Oh we 'see' alright!" Cally's eyes sparkled with humour.

"I just believe we should all do what we do best," Vila continued airily. "And avoid what we're not so good at," he elaborated.

" Ah, that explains why you do so little around here, Vila," the young pilot called over, unkindly. "There's not much you are good at."

"Tarrant! " There was disapproval in Cally's voice and Tarrant ducked his head sheepishly. "Isn't this supposed to be the season of goodwill?" she queried lightly. 'At least according to that other story Orac found me! "

" What story's that, then Cally?" Vila asked as he wandered over to observe the game. "You need to get to space dock pretty quickly Dayna, or you're going to lose that battle cruiser..."

"The one about the baby, a manger and wise men." Cally ignored Dayna's petulant, "Get lost, Vila," and continued , "By the way can any of you explain to me what a manger is?"

"It's a container for food for livestock," Avon interjected. He'd been listening in to the conversation while pretending to be absorbed in recalibrating one of Zen's sensor arrays. "Animals," he expanded, "bred for slaughter to provide food. Oh come Cally, there's no need to look like that! We're not talking about butchering children."

" Urggggh, slaughter," Vila remarked. " That's why I'm a Veggie. Makes me feel sick just thinking about it!"

"Well I like meat," Dayna chimed in. "I used to hunt regularly when I lived on Sarran. I miss it."

" Can't beat a good steak," Tarrant agreed, " A T-bone, well done, with an ice cold beer."

" Fillet, rare, with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon," Avon corrected contemptuously. Cally hastily drew them back to the original discussion before the two men locked horns in one of their arguments.

" They put a baby in a container for animal food. A baby! That can't be right!"

"There was no room at the inn," Dayna explained, helpfully. Then in response to Cally's interrogative expression, " An inn was a place where people paid to stay overnight when they went travelling."

"And no- one at this inn could be persuaded to give up their bed to ensure that a baby was properly housed?" Cally asked.

" It was a Delta baby, " There was a splinter of bitterness in Vila's voice. " No one with the money to buy a room at an inn would give it up for a Delta baby."

Dayna broke the slightly uncomfortable silence, remarking bracingly, "Well the Wise men didn't care what caste the baby was, Vila. They brought him gold."

" And frankincense," Tarrant offered. "Gifts for a King!"

"And myrrh," Vila reminded them gloomily. " Don't forget the myrrh. They knew he wouldn't live long enough to enjoy them."

There was another uncomfortable silence which Cally, after a quick assessing look at her shipmates, hastened to fill.

"I read they travelled with...camels? Are they animals or a form of transport?"

"Both," said Avon, preparing to sit down and give her an encyclopaedic resume of all things dromedary, but Vila interrupted him.

" A horse designed by a committee, that's a camel. Looks like a nightmare, good at surviving but a filthy temper. Not unlike Avon, really."


Cally didn't need her telepathic senses to pick up the menace in Avon's warning and again, smoothly changed the subject.

"But why, if these men were so wise, did they bring gifts?"

"I don't understand, Cally. What else were they supposed to bring?" Avon enquired in the manner of a man who had just been asked why he drank when thirsty. Cally, however was too used to this to be discomposed.

"Oh, I don't know, Avon. Good wishes perhaps. Or good intentions. They could have helped out with the baby... Prepared a few meals. Changed a nappy or two. That's what I'd have done." Cally glanced impishly at him and a ghost of a smile touched his lips at her gentle teasing.

"Nappies?" Vila helped himself to a drink, grimacing with distaste. "Yuck! Nah, gold's the thing! At least the kid could buy a bit of fun before they killed him."

" I have to say I agree with Vila there," Tarrant nodded. "Gold could have bought them a means of escape. A ship perhaps..."

"Or weapons... to protect themselves," Dayna added, her eyes starry at the thought.

"They were wise men, Cally, not hopeless idealists. They knew that wealth was the only reality."

For a moment Cally reviewed everything she'd discovered about Earth history. The rampant consumerism that had characterised the period just before the nuclear apocalypse and reached its peak each Christmas. The obscene wealth and the terrible poverty that split the planet into warring factions; something that had survived the long winter and resurrected itself in their own time. Was that really the message of the story? That all that was a good thing?

" I don't know," she mused softly. "I still think they might have been wiser if they'd just helped out with the nappies."
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Sorry this is late. I didn't really have a plan so I've cobbled this together at the last minute.

Christmas cheer

Servalan strolled around Residence One. Her guests were arriving in two hours and she was determined that every detail would be perfect. In the Grand Hall her 100ft Christmas tree glittered softly. It was decked out in white and gold to match Servalan’s ornate dress. 300 bottles of champagne were on ice and the smell of goose, duck, turkey and pheasant drifted pleasantly from the kitchens. The banqueting hall was set with 100 places with white and gold napkins and party favours. Servalan smiled to herself as she thought about the surprise her guests would have later.

Two hours later and guests were arriving, pulling up in their shiny expensive cars, the ladies wrapped in furs, the gents in formal dress. It was Christmas Eve. Servalan flitted from guest to guest charming them all with her smiles, compliments and her throaty laugh.

After dinner, Servalan rose from the table. She stood waiting until every pair of eyes was fixed on her and complete silence had fallen. She smiled. Everyone waited and waited. The silence stretched out along with the tension. Some of the gents found their throats had gone dry and some of the ladies were aware of their hearts beating loudly in their chests. Suddenly Servalan pulled out a golden chalice. In it was a sparkling diamond ring, the like never seen before by any of the guests. Servalan held it up to afford everyone a view of it; it was exquisite. Everyone waited for Servalan to speak, but she picked up the ring and slipped it on her finger. She sat down and started drinking her champagne again. After a few moments of confusion everyone sat down again and continued as though nothing had happened.

After everyone had left, Servalan sat gazing into the fire. She chuckled slowly to herself. “Absolute Power” she said softlyand added “Merry Christmas” as she drank deeply.
Edited by meegat39 on 15 December 2015 11:46:51
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
And behind the 16th door?
A story.
With thanks to PC for the prompts and also for an episode of ST: TOS that sparked the idea…….

‘And Three Wise Men came bearing Gifts…..’

“I will get help and return as quickly as I can.”
That was what her pilot had said.
And she had believed him.
“I’ll have to make a crash landing.”
He had said.
And she had believed him.
“Don’t worry…”
But she was worried.
The sun was setting over the far horizon and time was passing far too quickly.
Soon it would be her time and she didn’t want to be alone.
Then she saw the three figures, silhouetted against that radiant orange disc.
Three figures…
Three men…
She stifled a shocked cry.
They seemed to be just standing there, as if discussing their next move.
They were pointing towards the ship; towards her.
She knew there was a gun somewhere on this ship. She would find it and, if necessary, use it….

“Well, that’s it,” Blake said.
“For a so called crash landing, that’s very tidy,” Avon pointed out.
“But why did the pilot send out a mayday and then just leave?” Vila asked.
“Maybe we should ask his passenger,” Blake suggested, “Coming Avon? I know you don’t like a mystery.”

“Well at least they left the climate control on,” Vila murmured, “It was getting chilly out there.”
“I presume that’s for his passenger,” Avon said.
“I wonder where he is….” Blake began.
There was a sudden painful cry from somewhere in the ship; a very painful cry.
“That didn’t sound very much like a he…” Vila noted.
“No, it didn’t,” Blake concurred, “In fact that sounded…”
“Almost inhuman,” Avon grimaced as the sound echoed around again.

She tried to steady her aim, but the pain was too much; besides, what if they weren’t marauders? What if they were the embodiment of her grandmother’s tales?
As the door slid open, she found herself staring at the three figures.
And the three men were staring back at her.
“Well, don’t look at me,” Vila whispered, “Locks are my specialty.”
“It’s not my field, either,” Avon countered, before Blake could suggest anything.
“There’s only one thing for it,” Blake conceded. He pressed the comms on his teleport bracelet, “Liberator!”

“…there’s a what?” Jenna asked, thinking that she had misheard Blake.
“….a woman in labour. I think we may need you and Cally down here…”
“Why?” Cally smiled knowingly.
“….and bring plenty of pain relief.”
“For the patient?”
“No, for Vila. He’s offered her his hand and she’s about to crush it.”

“Remind me not to have children,” Vila muttered, holding his bruised left hand, “It’s too painful.”
“Let me guess, you were in the way…” Blake said.
“No, I’m wanted for more important things…and yes, if you must know, I was in the way…Where’s Avon gone?”
“Something about hot water and towels...”
“He knows about these things?”
“That’s what he heard them say above your screaming.”
“I was not screaming...all right, so I was, but she was on the verge of breaking my hand! How can someone so small and delicate…”
“Looks can be deceptive…”
“…have so much strength?”
“Having a baby might have something to do with it… Vila…will you stop walking up and down like that?”
“I can’t, it’s the nerves…oh, there you are, about time too,”
Avon had arrived in the narrow corridor with a pile of towels and various containers of hot water.
“I’ll take those,” Vila said, scurrying forward.
“Please, be my guest,” Avon replied, allowing Vila to relieve him of his burden.
“Eldra says that I’m a valuable asset,” Vila smiled, taking the towels.
Blake looked shocked as the cabin door slid open and Vila disappeared inside, “Well those are two words I never thought I’d hear in the same sentence as Vila’s name.”
“Perhaps he misunderstood. Blake, I think we need to look at the flight recorder on the Flight Deck. Something isn’t quite right about this whole affair.”

“Well?” Blake asked.
“This ship didn’t crash land at all,” Avon explained, running his hand over a screen and bringing up the relevant information, “It was a very carefully controlled landing. For reasons I’m not too sure about, the pilot of this craft wanted to make it look that way…”
“For her?”
“Possibly. And then he left, but not before setting a homing beacon.”
“For him to find his way back I presume.”
“Or for someone else to locate this ship and its passenger.”
“Do you know who she is?”
“Oh yes, Orac can be a most helpful at times. The lady in question is the wife of the Chief Chancellor of the Bethel System…and he has met a most unfortunate accident.”
“…and the child who is in a hurry to be born is the rightful heir. That’s if it and its mother can get to the Place of Union to take the crown.”
Blake listened incredulously, “I can’t believe that something so archaic can still be in existence.”
“Some cultures don’t like change for change’s sake, but someone has decided to drag this System into the present day, kicking and screaming is necessary.”
Another howl came from the back of the ship.
“Screaming being the operative word,” Blake pointed out. “Do you have any suspects?”
“Perhaps, but I wouldn’t put it past the Federation to have made the pilot an offer he couldn’t refuse. Someone is coming here, Blake, to make sure that neither the child not its mother make that rendezvous.”
“Then we have to make sure that they do.”
Avon smiled; that big warm heart of Blake was still beating, “Now why doesn’t that surprise me?”
“But perhaps we should leave these people a gift?”
“A gift?”
“Can you rig the self-destruct to activate the moment our unwanted guests arrive?”
“But just let them think it will blow; let them have time to get away.”
“Not kill?” Avon asked, mindful of Blake’s encounter with the would-be thieves on the ship heading to Destiny.
“No…not this time.”
“You’re all heart Blake.”
“It must be the company I keep.”

It was a different noise now.
The crying of a new born baby.
“She wants to see you,” Cally smiled.
Blake looked at Avon, “Us?”
Cally nodded, “She wants you to meet your God Daughter, both of you.”
“And Vila?”
“Already made her acquaintance.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a God Daughter,” Blake admitted, “At least, not that I can remember. Avon?”
“I must admit that it is a new experience for me.”
“I don’t think you should keep her waiting,” Cally said.
Avon stopped Blake as he followed Cally off the Flight Deck.
“Exactly what is a God Daughter?”
“That’s what we are going to find out…”

The woman was lying propped up on the bed in the small cabin. In her arms she held a small bundle, now thankfully quiet. Vila was grinning, but still holding his hand.
“It’s a girl.”
“Congratulations,” Avon retorted.
The woman looked up and smiled.
“My three wise men…”
“What?” Blake asked.
“You came and knew what had to be done. And you brought these angels to me. My people will be grateful.”
“And I will be grateful to get you off this planet and on your way home. There are people coming who do not have you or your child’s interests at heart.”
“My daughter will be fortunate to have such considerate God parents…”
“Can someone explain….?” Vila queried.
“I will later,” Jenna promised, “But Blake is right. It’s time to leave.”

Only Blake and Avon were on the Flight Deck, studying the main view screen closely.
“How long before they trip the Self Destruct?” Blake asked.
“The moment they step inside the ship…of course I expect they will try to disarm it,” Avon replied.
“But I expect that you have made sure that they can’t.”
“And then what?”
“The countdown will proceed, but in view of your decision not to repay them in kind, it will not end with an explosion. That should cause some consternation…”
“This is my gift to them, their lives…”
“…how considerate. However, only an idiot would dare enter a ship where the self-destruct was left hanging fire.”
“So what will they do?”
“Do you care?”
“Not really, but I would feel much happier once we were on our way and taking this child to this Place of Union. Have you any idea who could be behind this plot?”
“This system and its neighbours are quite stable at the moment, but the sudden, unexplained death of the Chief Councillor while his pregnant wife was away visiting relations, did cause some concern. Our intervention will no doubt cause ructions, but Eldra will be able to act as Regent until her daughter comes of age.”
But Blake didn’t need to know the grid reference, “It’s the ship, isn’t it?”
“Why look at me?”
“You said it would only countdown to self- destruct…”
“So I did.”
“You said it would hang fire…”
“And I gave them plenty of warning and time to get clear…if they were idiot enough…”
“I told you…”
“…it was a gift, so to speak.”
“Avon, why did you set the self-destruct to explode…?”
Avon looked at him, “It must be the company I keep.”

The sound of three excited voices caught their attention as Vila, Cally and Jenna entered the Flight Deck.
“Shh!” Vila whispered, “She’s just fallen asleep.”
“Jenna,” Blake began.
“Shh!” Jenna replied.
“We need to leave.”
“The course is already set; you just need to tell Zen…”
“Where’s Eldra?” Avon asked, wondering about the wisdom of allowing Vila to hold someone so important in his arms.
“Having a well-earned rest,” Cally explained, “You wouldn’t begrudge her that? Would you?”
“You could make yourself useful though; there is a bottle of nutrients that should just about be ready by now….if you would like to fetch it…”
“But…” Avon protested.
“And make sure it’s not too hot,” Vila espoused.
“Jenna, shouldn’t this baby be with someone else more suitable?”
“No,” Jenna replied, looking at the infant sleep in Vila’s arms.
“Besides,” Vila said, “as a God parent, I have to take care of her and teach her the right way.”
“Coming from you…” But Avon was stopped from saying anything further by the three of them glaring at him.
“I think you’d better go and get that bottle,” Blake advised, “Zen, set course for the Bethel System; standard by seven.”

The planetary system of Bethel was a long way behind them. Eldra and her daughter had been delivered to the Place of Union and in good time. The news of Eldra’s ‘accident’ had travelled fast, but not fast enough for whoever was behind the plan, and the little girl was now safely ensconced on her planet, no doubt fast asleep and totally unaware of her place in the future.
And her rescue by the unknown strangers was considered a miracle.
Only Blake and Vila had teleported down with Eldra and they had left just as quickly, before any awkward questions could be asked.
They explained that they were just travellers who had come upon the stricken ship after following its blazing engines.
The Council of Elders had accepted that and proffered their sincere thanks, although Vila felt as though at least one of the gentlemen wasn’t as sincere as he really sounded.
Had it been his plan to thwart Eldra and her child from claiming the throne?
Not that it mattered now; the child was safe and Eldra was the Regent until her daughter came of age.
“Will she ever know about us, even if we are her Godparents?” Cally asked.
“Eldra will know,” Avon began, “and in time she will tell that little girl, but if anyone ever gets to hear about our intervention, then that could be used as an excuse for the Federation to come into Bethel and take over.”
Blake was thoughtful for a moment, “Why did she call us her Three Wise Men?”
“Something to do with the stories from the Old Calendar that Eldra’s grandparents used to tell her,” Jenna smiled, “Long forgotten by some, but not her. When she saw you materialise on the planet she was scared, but then she recalled her grandmother and the pictures she used to show her. And one of those was of Three Wise Men who, according to the story, came from a strange country in search of a new ruler and were led by a star.”
“Orac has an idea about that,” Cally said.
+There are many theories+ Orac explained, +the records have mostly been purged by the present administration, but there are still traces of some very old stories dating to even before the old calendar.
+From my research of the extant texts, Three Wise Men travelled to a distant country following a star which has been variously attributed to being a meteorite, a Supernova or even a rare conjunction of Stars. They regarded this phenomenon as a sign that a great ruler had been born and they wished to see him.
+The Three Wise men are also referred to as Kings, Astronomers or Magi…+
“Magi?” Vila asked.
+From which the word magician is derived+
“Magician?” Vila’s eyes lit up, “I always thought that I was special in some way, being able to do all those magic tricks….” As he spoke he produced a pack of cards from his pocket, “Pick a card; any card.”
“Oh no,” Blake sighed.
“Oh yes.”
“I’ve never considered you special in any way…” Avon said, “Perhaps the word that you are searching for is…”
"Insufferable,” Cally and Jenna chimed together.

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

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sues book shelf https://www.media...ne%20Shelf
rebel run video http://www.youtub...prqS-XZtLo
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Okay, it's my turn! I sweat nervously and present to you (click on any image for the hi-res version):


It’s kind of hard to tell who’s who but from left to right it’s Vila, Avon, Cally, Blake and Jenna.

And because the thing turned out huge, here are a couple detail shots:



If you'd like to download it as a wallpaper, you can grab a full size (2500x1500) version here!
This is a reworking of the Victorian poem, 'Christmas Day in the Workhouse' which may be known to UK members. Not so much to those of you overseas. You can find the poem at www.workhouses.or...

Christmas Day on the Libby,
And her flight deck walls are bright
With garlands gay which Olag Gan,
Has laboured on all night.
And against their better judgement,
The crew have gathered there to dine
On reconstituted turkey
And Vila's home brewed wine.

But as they try their hardest
To discover Christmas cheer,
One by one their thoughts turn back
To feasts of yesteryear:
Avon dreams of real champagne
He drank from Anna's shoe,
Gan of succulent roast beef,
Cally, Auron stew,

While Jenna craves a trifle made
With contraband rare sherry
And Vila wants his old mum's pud
To make him really merry.
Even Zen is heard to sigh for
Those Aquitar injections
The System used to give him
To speed up his connections.

Only Roj Blake is silent,
His memories erased;
No happy Christmas to recall,
Or dreams of good old days.
As he drinks his anger rises
At the Federation systems
Denying freedom to the masses
And making honest men their victims.

"Oh hell!" he cries, "it chokes me!
I cannot feast the while
The forces of corruption
Practice evil with a smile.
We should be out attacking,
Striking Travis where it hurts.
I will not celebrate with you
'Til his face is in the dirt."

"Give it a rest," said Vila
Emboldened by the booze.
Even Jenna looked put out
While Gan stared at his shoes.
Cally opened her pretty mouth
To share an Auron adage,
But Avon circumvented her
In accents clipped and savage:

"A stupid affectation, Blake
To deny yourself some pleasure.
There's time enough for Travis,
We all need a break from pressure.
Downtrodden and oppressed,
The common man may be
But this Christmas I'm insisting
That you stop oppressing me!"

"Why you?" asked Vila, sulky
Just what makes you so special?
And what about the rest of us,
Don't we deserve to revel?"
"I'm sure you do," snarked Avon
But unless I get a rest,
I'll stuff Zen like the turkey and ...
I'm sure you'll guess what's next!"

"Why," Blake pondered sadly,
"Was I saddled with this lot?
Whatever skills they offer
Freedom fighters they are not!
Even Cally's lost her mojo
And every step I wish to take
Involves an argument with Avon
That's like wrestling with a snake!"

But out loud he just conceded,
"Alright, enjoy your dinners.
I'm sure you're right, that rested
We're more likely to be winners.
When Spring comes round,
We'll take Control
and Servalan will find
Herself and Travis jobless
And that victory is mine."

They're pulling homemade crackers
And Vila's pretty drunk,
Cally's put the music on,
While Avon's done a bunk.
Jenna's found some mistletoe
But Blake ignores her plan
And where're she thinks to place it
The only one she snares is Gan.

Oh it's very hard to celebrate
When each day you face your death
And unity and friendship
At most get servile breath;
When your leader might be mad,
Your computer won't obey,
And menace by space lettuces
Is just another day.

Oh Libby Crew, this Christmas
May not offer much to rate
But Christmas in your futures
Will bring naught to celebrate:
Ships lost, crew members whittled down
Until there's only one
Facing federation troopers
With an ostentatious gun.

But you are still remembered
At this special time of year,
When we loyal fans all gather
With our glasses of good cheer.
We raise a toast to honour
Blake's and Avon's gallant seven
And hope that though they perished
They've better Christmas' days in heaven.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
And for the 19th day of Advent a photo. Dan Starkey, recently known to us as Strax the Sontaran from Doctor Who and Big Finish audios, would like to wish the Horizon Forum members a very Happy Holiday season. Dan has been in two recent Big Finish Blake's 7 audios. The first being Spoils: Liberator Chronicles #8 voicing the alien, plus Vila and Avon, and in the full cast set 1:2 Battleground as Voss Ferrell.

Dan wanted everyone to know that he absolutely loved playing Avon for Spoils.

Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
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