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March 2016 Artwork Fan Fic Challenge
Hugbot
@Brad: You managed to make the uncanonical meeting of our heroines look perfectly canonical! All the little references to various incidents and places really integrate the story in the B7 'verse. And as Annie said, terrific characterisations... including Justin Shock!

@AnnieW: A fascinating rollercoaster ride - first, we have the funny antics of our crew to persuade zealous Blake to go to a pleasure planet, then the 'ghost story', which may have a rational explanation but is nonetheless wonderfully uncanny, and finally the sinister punchline... wow! Loved it!

@Atomicmayo: Fantastic artwork, very evocative! I hope my little effort will do it justice.
 
Hugbot
Shiva’s Dance

Cally startled. When she felt Jenna’s inquiring look, she tried to explain, ‘You have this curious idiom, "to feel as if someone has just walked above your grave." Well, that is exactly the way I just felt. As if...’ She looked around. The shanty town on this godforsaken planet was deserted. Half the size of the central cemetery on Auron, but twice as dead. Nothing lived here apart from rats and the wind.

‘This place can surely give you the creeps’, Jenna said.

‘It is more than that. It is the feeling of other people walking the same way in the future; at a time when we are already dead. People whom we don’t know, but who will replace us and who will fulfil what we could not accomplish.’

‘Then we will have to see that we accomplish our mission’, Jenna smiled encouragingly, ‘let’s find this artefact Blake is so keen on and get out of here.’

*


The shutters of blind windows rattled in the wind, and rats rustled in the shadows. Soolin shivered. ‘It is strange to think that a few years ago, Jenna and Cally walked the same path, trying to do the same thing. And now Cally is dead, and Jenna... who knows! It is like walking in dead women’s boots.’

Dayna said nothing. She thought of Cally who once told her about her mission on this frontier planet. The Liberator had been attacked, and they had had to pull out before they could find what they had come for.

She startled when Soolin suddenly drew her gun und whirled around, aiming at empty houses. There was nothing. Soolin sighed and put the gun back. ‘I thought I had seen someone’, she tried to explain.

‘This place can surely give you the creeps’, Dayna said.

‘Maybe it was Cally’s ghost... you had some eerie adventures with her, hadn’t you?’

Dayna dared to smile. ‘You said something similar on Virn’, she remembered.

‘Yes, and I am no longer sure that I don’t believe it. The sooner we leave this ghost town, the better. Let’s find this artefact Avon is so keen on and get out of here.’

*


Jenna had pondered over Cally’s words. ‘But isn’t that the normal way of life?’ she asked, ‘being replaced by people who walk the same paths and continue our work long after we have died? By our children and our grand-children and the endless succession of generations who will follow us? I give it to you, it’s a bitter and a sobering thought, but hey, that’s life. Birth and death, coming and going... nothing special about other people replacing us.’

‘We don’t have grand-children’, Cally said, ‘I told you about our genetic breeding. There is no natural succession of generations on Auron.’

Jenna paused, a look of bitter realisation on her face. ‘Now I know why you always feel so lonely’, she said, ‘I knew you were isolated in space, but you are also isolated in time.’
 
Anniew
Ooh that's a melancholy story Hugbot. I love 'nothing lived there but the rats and the wind'. It has a desperate feel to it - made even stronger by the parallel stories and I love your treatment of Soolin.

I am glad you liked my story. I was bought a massage by a friend and wrote it in my head while being pummelled.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
littlesue
Well, I'm down to about 645 words and it looks as though great minds think alike, Anniew..in fact this month's picture seems to have inspired the same ideas for almost everyone.
I'm going to check it out just a couple of times...and then post it.
Edited by littlesue on 08 March 2016 21:00:43
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/
 
littlesue
Well, here goes.
Despite my best efforts I couldn't couldn't it down to 500....

With apologies to J. B. Priestley who wrote the play of the same name and to a certain Mr D who starred in it back in the 80s.

I HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE


For Avon, wandering these deserted streets was bringing back painful memories.
Orac had said, at the time, that this place was a conduit.
“In what way?” Avon had asked.
And he had immediately regretted it. But that had not deterred him. Even Blake was keen to find out exactly what this deserted place was.
And that was when the trouble had started.

Blake vanished amongst the endless maze of thoroughfares of this deserted metropolis and now Avon was alone, in this street lined with silent, shuttered booths.
Above him the sky was dark and foreboding and the power cables lurched restlessly from side to side in the wind.
The sun was a strange red orb and the planet’s single moon was hanging in the crimson sky.
A conjunction…sun, moon and planet.
And then it happened…

On Scorpio the readings from the planet below were going off the scale.
“Start talking, Vila,” Tarrant demanded.
“It was a long time ago,” Vila stammered. He had promised not to tell, but Tarrant’s demeanour persuaded him otherwise, “And it’s happening again; that’s why Avon insisted on coming here. To see if it was true.”
“What was true?” Soolin asked.
“A vision.”
“Oh come on, Vila. Since when did Avon believe in visions?” Dayna queried.
“He doesn’t. But Cally and Jenna, when they went to find both him and Blake; they did…”

Avon tried to remember exactly where it was he had succumbed to the falling debris that day, but the strange howling noise was drowning out his thoughts.
If Orac’s information was correct, then this was the place…and the streets still looked the same; lined with silent, shuttered booths.
Perhaps Orac was wrong.
He tried to call the Scorpio but his words were ripped away by the sudden, swirling sound enveloping him.

+Fascinating! Fascinating! + Orac declared.
“Fascinating or not,” Soolin said, “Avon is in trouble.”
“You don’t know that,” Vila said.
“I don’t need to know it. Coming Dayna?”

The two women materialised at Avon’s last known position.
It was a narrow street, devoid of any living thing.
And then they saw them.
Two women.
Soolin’s gun was raised in an instant, but Dayna hesitated as she realised who was staring back at her.

Cally’s warrior instinct kicked in.
Two women were facing them; one a dark, young girl.
The other a slightly older, blonde woman with lightening reflexes.
Even Jenna was taken aback.
For a split second in time all four looked at each other…and then it was over.

“Did you see them?” Avon asked, nursing a headache. A piece of falling debris had found it’s mark; just like last time.
“Who were they?” Soolin asked
“Cally and Jenna. On our previous visit, they claimed to have seen two women. Of course it was dismissed as an apparition. But Orac knew it was something else; it just didn’t know what.”
“So we are here because of Orac’s curiosity?” Vila groaned.
“But why was it deserted?” Dayna wondered, “It looked as though it had been thriving at one time.”
+Indeed this planet was, until its inhabitants began to experience what they considered to be ghosts. At certain times, when this planet’s moon and sun were aligned, then, what you experienced was nothing as to what the population as a whole underwent. +
“And how do you explain Cally and Jenna, Orac?” Soolin asked.
+That I must consider. +
“We said that they were seeing things,” Vila put in, “Avon claims not to have seen anyone.”
“I was unconscious; both times so it seems.”
“And Blake? Wasn’t he with you that last time?” Tarrant queried.
“Not at that moment, but I’m sure Orac will find an explanation. Eventually.”

The Scorpio sped away from the desolate planet, leaving in its wake the undetected small craft and its single occupant. A man scarred by his future and unable to warn his past.
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
Above him the sky was dark and foreboding and the power cables lurched restlessly from side to side in the wind.
Lovely bit of description, there Sue. You create a terrific atmosphere in the story. The ending is particularly chilling.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Angry Angel
Yes, great atmosphere and characterisation, and the ending is very haunting.
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
Anniew
Concordia entered the Celestial Rathskeller in a mood that belied her role as the Goddess of Magnanimity. Those idiots couldn't be trusted to keep the peace in a Tibetan Monastery. Keravon was seldom to be persuaded to see beyond his own self-interest anyway. No good reminding him he was supposed to be God of All things Beautiful when everyone was laughing at the effect the Earth's atmosphere had on his hair. And as for Rojblakus, the God of Plenty for All - he seemed to have been interpreting his brief as 'plenty for him' and this overindulgence had obviously dulled his common sense as well as expanded his waistline. Why the hell he'd been unable to stand still when requested to do so by a God waving a gun that resembled a sizeable log was beyond her. It was no good looking to Deltarranta or Vilarest to sort things out. Both seemed to have succumbed to a dose of man flu. And speaking of hell, thanks to all these incompetent, idiotic MALES, her nemesis, Servalana was now poised to take over Earth's dominions and usher in an era of malevolence unprecedented in history.

There was nothing for it. She had to act. Sweetly, she suggested that Boucheros and Lorimmerous take a fishing break and once they were safely out of the way, she turned back the hands on the Clock of Time. A snap of her fingers, and the shamefully underused quartet of Cally, Jenna, Soolin and Dayna suddenly found themselves jerked from the Parnassus shopping mall, armed and dangerous.

Dayna and Soolin were quickly dispatched on Scorpios, the six legged, winged Crustacean of the Gods, to assassinate Servalan - a feat they accomplished tidily, without incident.

"I've been itching to do that for the past couple of years," Dayna remarked. "But Avon kept finding excuses to spare her. What's next on the Agenda?"

" Apparently we're to stop Avon killing Blake. The blonde and the curly-haired women are going to help."

"The curly haired one is Cally. I think the blonde must be Jenna. I've missed Cally and Jenna has a formidable reputation."

Xxx

In the silo on Gauda Prime, Cally and Jenna flanked Blake while Soolin and Dayna crept up on Avon.

" Just stand still," Cally whispered, "That's right, Blake, nice and still."

"And DON'T tell him you've been waiting for him. You know how paranoid he gets." Jenna placed a calming hand on Blake's shoulder, recoiling a little from the smell of badly-skinned rodents.

Meanwhile Dayna managed to distract the overwrought Avon for a second by the simple expedient of offering him a comb, giving Soolin a chance to twist the gun from his relaxing hold.

"My awesome, sisters," thought Concordia. "Once they get here, we'll take over the Celestial Universe. I think I'll paint it a calming shade of lilac and close down the Rathskeller. A tea room, selling a nice cup of Earl Grey and homemade scones will be much more conducive to Stellar peace."
Edited by Anniew on 09 March 2016 15:46:34
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
littlesue
@ Annie and Angry Angel
Thank you for your kind comments.
I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

And Anniew, where did you get that idea from??
Mind blowing!!!
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

And Anniew, where did you get that idea from??
Mind blowing!!!


Really don't know, Sue. I just wanted to celebrate International Women's Day. Probably needs to be a bit longer. I had to leave out Soolin taking down Arlen and the girls dealing with the Feds and the male dominated God set up needs more explanation but obviously the girls could have done better than the boys given a chance! Have a lovely time this weekend and give our love to Mr D.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Angry Angel
Love that Anniew! Totally agree with the sentiment, and please do expand it.
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
Hugbot
@LittleSue: A very atmospheric and eerie tale! It was particularly fascinating how you slowly revealed what was going on by cutting deftly through space and time. I thoroughly enjoyed that!

@Anniew: Wow, what a great idea, jaw-droppingly ingenious and unusual! Oh, and it was also completely surprising to read about a Rat(h)skeller* in English fanfic! Is this type of restaurant so well known in English speaking countries? And what do you associate with it?

* Uninteresting and nit-picking trivia: It is actually written Ratskeller in modern German, but as these are invariably very traditional restaurants, many of them deliberatly use the 19th century spelling with the h. (There was an orthographic reform in 1900, reducing all 'th' to a simple 't' - with the expection of the word Thron [yes, it means 'throne']. That should have been converted to Tron as well, but Emperor Wilhelm II. intervened because he did not want to relinquish his familiar Thron.)
 
Anniew
Glad you enjoyed it Hugbot. It's expanding into a much bigger fic which may or may not work. I'll send it to Travisina when it's finished and she'll let me know! I chose Ratskeller because it had echoes of a mead hall and I wanted to suggest that the Male Gods congregated in a pub! It seemed a typical macho man place of rendezvous. I'm probably doing the rattskellers a huge disservice but I just liked the sound of the word. I prefer the Rathskeller spelling. I think Terry Pratchett uses the word in the Amazing Maurice where I heard it first but I found it via a theosaurus.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Hugbot
Anniew wrote:

It's expanding into a much bigger fic

Good news! I already thought that this idea has too much mileage to be limited to such a short piece!
I associate a Ratskeller (and especially a Rathskeller) with vaulted cellars, very traditional cuisine (you might even say boring) and convervative patrons, so I think this type of location was a very suitable choice for the gathering of the male gods ... especially in contrast to Concordia's more modern plans for a future meeting place.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
Shiva's Dance, very good story Hugbot; you fitted a big idea into a small amount of page space with that one!
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
 
Travisina
Once again, I'm just managing to scramble in under the wire. As well as the discipline of keeping within 500 words, I really need to work on the discipline of meeting deadlines! The trouble with this month's art challenge was that the picture sparked so many different ideas in my head, it took until yesterday to settle on this one:

Recognition

Soolin and Dayna had barely materialised when the shot rang out, missing Dayna by inches. She felt it sear the air; it would have hit her, had it not been deflected by the teleport beam. Instinctively reaching for her gun, she paused, heart pounding, because she had recognised the sound of the weapon. It was one she had never expected to hear again - a Liberator handgun. As the last of the teleport haze cleared, she realised who had fired it.

Soolin's gun was drawn and aimed; she would not miss. Dayna caught her arm."No – wait - I know her." She took a step forward and called, "Cally!"

"I thought she was dead," Soolin remarked, lowering but not holstering her weapon, while the other woman did the same. "Who's that with her?"

"I don't know."

The four approached each other cautiously. Overhead, the winter sun boiled in a red sky. The wind thrummed in overhead cables and rattled the shutters of empty buildings.

"How do you know my name?" Cally addressed Dayna with the blank politeness of a stranger.

"It's me, Dayna! I can't believe you're alive!" She reached out a hand, but Cally moved aside, avoiding her touch.

"She almost wasn't," said her companion. "I found Cally badly injured on a planet in Sector 6. She couldn't remember how she got there."

"But you remember me, don't you?" Dayna spoke with increased desperation. "You must remember Avon – Tarrant - Vila? The Liberator?"

Cally gave a polite shake of her head. "No. I am sorry."

The other woman reacted to the names. "You're on the Liberator?" she glanced down at the teleport bracelet on Dayna's wrist. "That's not..."

"Liberator was destroyed," Soolin interrupted, "and Avon said that Cally was dead. Who are you?"

"Jenna Stannis. Liberator is... was my ship before the War."

"Cally," Dayna's voice was suffused with joy. "Come back with us! The others will be so pleased to see you."

Jenna snorted. "I doubt that. You all left her for dead."

"There is no point," Cally confirmed. "I do not remember you. Nor do I wish to be reminded." She turned to Jenna. "We should leave."

Soolin and Dayna watched the other women walk away. After they had turned the corner, Dayna brushed away an angry tear. "What should we tell Avon?"

Soolin shrugged. "Tell him that Vila was right. There is nothing of interest on this planet."

*

Jenna closed the flyer hatch. "Well done, Cally," she said, firing up the engines. "That was quick thinking. You almost had me convinced."

"It wasn't easy. Poor Dayna! I wonder what she'll tell the others?"

"Nothing, if she's got any sense. I'm sorry, but Blake insists that we stick to his plan. Avon mustn't yet find out that you and Blake are alive. There will be time enough for reunions later. This is it, Cally. One more blockade run, and we're home."
Edited by Travisina on 30 March 2016 16:01:23
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Anniew
Ahh that is a moving and surprising story Travisina. Really lovely description and such a plausible narrative. Brilliant in fact!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
trevor travis
Right, this one is less than 500 words (for once!):


NO MORE HEROES

Dayna and Soolin stared at the giant mural on the wall.

“So that’s Cally?”, the blonde gunslinger asked.

“Most definitely”, affirmed Dayna. “She had quite a distinctive look. As an Auron, she had clones, but they were quite shy, timid creatures. And those were the sort of clothes she wore, as well. It’s Cally, alright.”

“And who’s the other woman? She looks glamorous.”

“It must be Jenna Stannis. Vila used to talk about her a lot on the Liberator. He doesn’t anymore.”

Soolin looked at the impressive sight in front of her eyes. It must have been fifty foot tall. “They must have made quite an impact. There’s the attention to detail and then there its size. ‘The heroines of Kaldor.’ I wonder what they did to earn that title?”

“From what I can gather from Avon, there was a time that Blake was quite the revolutionary. They made a real difference to a number of planets, one way or another. Saved or freed them from Federation control. However, after a man called Gan was killed, and it all went downhill and Blake look sight of his original aims.”

“I’m surprised that you've ever managed to get that much from Avon. I never have.”

“Despite your… arrangement?”

“Yes, quite.”

“Well, like Vila, he used to talk more than he does now. I used to think Avon really cared about us. Oh, he’d pretend he didn’t and he was only in it for gain for himself, but inside I knew he did. Well I thought he did. I’m not sure these days.”

“I still can’t get either Avon or Vila to confirm what happened on that shuttle a couple of weeks ago.”

“Neither can I.” Dayna looked sadly at Soolin. “We’re never going to end up as heroes, are we? We’re never going to have our picture painted on a wall.”

“All I’ve ever done is kill for money.”

“Do you regret that?”

“Sometimes. But if I hadn’t learned to look after myself, I’d have been dead a long time ago – I’d have ended up like the rest of my family. You father was killed by Servalan, wasn’t he?”

“Yes, and my step-sister died too. They were good people and they ended up dead. Just like Cally.”

“And probably like Jenna as well. Maybe it’s overrated being a hero. The most we can do is survive.”

“A cynical thought…”

“… But perhaps a honest one.”

Just then, Avon’s voice crackled over the communicator. “Are you ready to come up?”

Soolin confirmed: “Yes, we’re ready to teleport. We have the crystals.”

Moments later, she and Dayna vanished. All was left were the dead bodies – the people they had killed.

The dead bodies of people once saved by Jenna Stannis, Cally Of Auron and the rest of the crew of the Liberator.
Edited by trevor travis on 30 March 2016 15:13:49
 
Travisina
Excellent, TT! And well done for keeping to the word count Smile
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Anniew
Ooh that's very Blakes7 TT. A bitter little tale that is neatly written and a pleasure to read.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
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