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April 2016 Fanfic Challenge
Hugbot
A Hero to the Masses

‘There goes our tax money!’

The janitor shook his head and pointed towards the construction site. A steel scaffold teeming with busy robots surrounded the concrete cube of the new transceiver array. The hum of machines and the blue arcs of the welding equipment filled the air.

‘And all that just to give the military another opportunity to send commands and to tap into private conversations’, the janitor muttered.

His pal smiled. He wore the black uniform of a trooper, but he had taken off his helmet. After all, it was his lunch break. He leaned against the garbage container in the backyard of the compound and stretched his neck to catch a little of the weak sun.

‘Don’t forget that I am military. I could report you’, he warned mockingly.

‘C’mon, buddy – you are in the same salary bracket as I am. Don’t tell me you are a big fan of our government’s expensive antics.’

The trooper sniggered. ‘I am not even a fan of my superiors’ antics’, he admitted.

‘You know’, the janitor mused, ’sometimes I think someone should take on this whole bunch of self-serving politicians and generals. You remember this Blake guy a few years ago? He could have done something for the man on the Clapham shuttle. A pity they caught him. And now after all these years this show trial. Blake suddenly gone kiddie fiddling? C’mon, pull the other one! They wanted to silence him.’

His friend shuffled uneasily. ‘Haven’t you heard the rumours?’ he asked.

‘Rumours? What rumours?’

Of course, the janitor had not heard about it. It had been a strictly confidential military bulletin that not even a low-ranking trooper should have read.

‘Well, please don’t quote me, but allegedly Blake has escaped. Maybe he will have a comeback.’

The janitor whistled happily. ‘Would be great if he managed to stir up the Federation this time.’

Both men flinched when the sirens suddenly blared. When they whirled around, they saw a strange light emerging from the main building of the Saurian Major installation.

‘The reactor! My god, it is about to go critical! We --- ’
 
Ellen York
Death and taxes, the two constants in life. Nice look at the ordinary people of the Federation.
 
trevor travis
Hugbot, great stuff - I like stories which demonstrate the adverse effect that Blake and Avon have on others.
 
Travisina
Fantastic stories, everyone!
Annie, I love the way you've told Servalan's and Gan's journeys, using the prompts - and in such an economic way with words (especially the Servalan story).

Hugbot, your moondisk story is poignant, and I really liked 'Hero to the Masses' - reminded me of Grenlee and Forres in 'Rumours' - two ordinary guys, caught up in events that were supposedly for the good of people like them.

Peladon - fantastic PGP, and what a killer punchline!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Anniew
Stuck at a swimming pool waiting for Grandkids to stop enjoying themselves and wrote this. Doesn't do justice to the kind of debate any rebels should be having...

"So, assuming you are successful in bringing freedom to the masses, how do you propose to continuing feeding them once you are in power?"

This was Avon at his most poisonously polite and therefore most obstreperous. Blake harrumphed awkwardly, suppressing the urge to leap across the table and smack him in the mouth.

"I'm not sure this is the time for such a discussion, Avon...."

They were enjoying a passable replicated wine after a passable replicated coq au vin in the Liberator rec room, in celebration of their triumph in freeing Avalon from Travis and putting Servalan's nose out of joint at the same time. The conversation had drifted lazily and perhaps, Blake was forced to admit later, a little complacently, to the dream of freeing Earth from the Federation yoke. They had agreed that their best strategy was for Avalon to continue fermenting rebellion on Federated planets while Blake would continue to target Federation communication posts and offer assistance to other rebels when required. Avon had listened to these plans with jaundiced disapproval but aside from a muttered, "Wonderful," had not vocalised his disquiet. He had, however, obviously been building up to a challenge. He now lounged back in his chair, eying Blake sardonically.

"Not a good time...I see. So when do you propose to address the issue?"

"Time enough for that when we defeat the Federation, Avon. Anything else would be premature surely...?" Jenna interposed. Blake smiled at her grateful for the tacit support and Avalon nodded approvingly.

"I am sure that will be of great comfort to the masses when your victory results in economic chaos and general starvation," Avon observed pointedly.

"Anything would be better than the present system, wouldn't it Avon?" Gan gallantly joined in the debate. "Everyone knows that taxes are designed to keep the poor poor and the rich powerful..."

"What are taxes?" Cally asked to general incredulity.

It took many minutes to establish that the concept of personal property or wealth was foreign to the Aurona who relied on a ruling Council to feed, clothe and house them in return for their services to society, these being genetically determined through the cloning programme. An undeniably equitable system which never-the-less left Blake secretly appalled by the rigidity of its structure and which Avon dismissed as 'practical but unlikely to stimulate much innovation or creativity." Before long, he and Blake had embarked on a full scale row with Avon inevitably supporting a free market economy -" So essentially the Federation system with you in control, Avon" - and Blake championing a modified version of the Aurona system, with education and training replacing cloning to ensure that each individual met their full potential -" The potential of most individuals would fill a teaspoon, Blake."-

It was left to Vila to have the last word:

" Doesn't really matter which type of Government you've got, does it? The only free thing in life is death. Everything else you have to pay for- one way or another."


On which depressing note, they all retired to bed.
Edited by Anniew on 07 April 2016 17:23:24
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
littlesue
Hugbot, Anniew, Peladon....
All this talent..
All these tissues....
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/
 
Ellen York
Leave it to Vila to get right to the heart of the matter Grin
 
peladon
Hugbot wrote:

At last I am catching up ...

@Anniew: Two brilliant stories (as usual), the first one a rollercoaster ride, funny at first and then turning into something intensely bleak (proper B7!); the second with fascinating imagery of Gan's tortured soul. I thoroughly enjoyed that.

@Peladon: I am not surprised that you exceeded the word count - your story is chock-full of ideas that could have been used as the framework for a complete series Eric! So many great and ingenious ideas: Avon waiting on Terminal, Orac controlling a mutoid - oh, and THAT bitter punchline! Wow!

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.
 
Angry Angel
Hugbot, very good but depressing. Anniew, also a bit depressing, but I like the feel of a late night political discussion. I don't suppose there are that many cheerful B7 fan fics, are there?!
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
trevor travis
“Zen, identify the ship on the screen.”

++RECORDS INDICATE THAT IT BELONGS TO THE OUTLAND REVENUE++

Blake relaxed. “Oh, that’s OK then.”

Cally looked inquisitive. “Who are the Outland Revenue?”

Jenna answered. “It’s the taxman. They’re based on asteroid P-45.”

“But we’ll be OK”, Blake said in a reassuring tone. “I may have waged war on the Federation, but the one thing I always did was to pay my tax. I didn’t want to mess with the Outland Revenue – they’re vicious and sadistic. They are only one of two pre-atomic institutions to survive. The National Trust is the other one, and you know the trouble we’ve had with them, after we teleported onto one of their planets, without paying the 58 credit membership fee.”

Avon had a superior look on his face – as usual. “There’s one thing you haven’t taken into account, Blake.”

“Which is?”

“The Outland Revenue might be after one of us, rather than you. And it’s not me.”

“It’s not me either”, said Gan.

“Nor me.” That was Jenna.

“On Auron, we don’t pay taxes.”

“Well that’s everyone, well except for…” Avon poked Vila, who jumped awake with a start. “Vila, the Outland Revenue, does that mean anything to you?”

Vila gulped with a look of panic on his face. “Oh no!”

Blake looked quizzical. “Vila, why would the taxman be tracking a Delta?”

“I’ve told you before, haven’t I? I bought my grade classification. Well, I bought it with the money I supposed to pay to the Outland Revenue. Oh no, I’m done for!”

“Don’t worry, Vila”, said Jenna, “We’ve got the fastest spaceship in the galaxy. We can outrun them easily, even in those Mark 9 ships of theirs.”

But the look of concern did not disappear from Vila’s face. The taxman always caught up with you, eventually.

***

Vila tiptoed his way to the teleport bay, placing Orac down. The night cycle on Liberator lasted eight hours – that was more than enough.

“Right then, Orac, if I’m not mistaken we’re within range of Space City and I’ve told Zen to hold station. I have some unfinished business from last time I went down there.”

***

Blake was livid. “One million credits! We had to pay a ransom of one million credits – a tenth of the gems in our strong room.”

“Well, how was I to know that the taxman was actually a taxwoman! I couldn’t move once she’d tied me up – I was helpless.”

“Vila, TT’s story is supposed to be PG-13, so please don’t go into any further detail.”

Vila went back to his cabin, to sleep off his hangover, and to avoid a further tongue-lashing from Blake.

***

Vila was awoken mid-dream. That was a bit inconsiderate, he thought. He’d just got to an interesting bit with his Royal Mounties in their red fur uniforms.

What was happening? He’d been strapped down onto a trolley, which was being wheeled down a corridor by Jenna and Gan.

“What’s going on?”, he asked in a bewildered tone.

Jenna explained. “A little idea of Cally’s, that Blake thought would teach you a lesson. What’s the one thing you fear more than the taxman, Vila?”

Vila racked his brain. “There’s nothing except… oh no… the dentist!”

“Exactly, Vila.”

At that moment, the trolley was wheeled into the medical bay. Blake, Avon and Cally were all dressed in white gowns.

“Ah, hello Vila”, said Blake, holding a drill. “We’ve decided to make a necklace out of your teeth.”

***

Outside the Liberator, all was silent. In space, no-one can hear you scream.
Edited by trevor travis on 22 April 2016 16:04:34
 
Anniew
Trevor that is BRILLIANT and so needed. I can't tell you how cheering it was to read about the Libby Crew all together. The ending is genius - I really didn't anticipate it at all! And it's just so funny. Thank you so much.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Travisina
Brilliant, TT - thank you for giving me a very much needed laugh! Smile
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
littlesue
@TT
Great minds 'almost' think alike. That end line...just sooooo funny.
BTW, my own visit to the Dentist last Tuesday ended well. The teeth are fine, they will hold up for many years to come..the rest of me? Not so sure, said young Tim.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/
 
BradPaula
TT, always funny, and thanks for giving us a chuckle at a time we could all use one! xx
 
trevor travis
“It was a dark and stormy night on board the Liberator, children…”

“Hold on, Daddy, wasn’t the Liberator a spaceship?”

“It was, Olag.”

“Well isn’t space a void? So how do you have a storm in a void?”

“Well, I’m speaking metaphorically, Olag.”

Six-year-old Cally interjected. “And Daddy, surely space is always dark. Not just at night.”

“Now listen children, do you want me to tell my story or not?”

“Yes please Daddy”, cried Olag and Cally in unison.

***

It was a dark and stormy night on board the Liberator.

Tarrant was quite a good pilot, but he struggled when things got tough. As I entered the flight deck, I could tell he was distressed.

“What’s wrong?”, I asked him.

“Oh thank goodness you’re here. We’re about to enter an asteroid belt and I’m sure I’m going to run into something, even with Zen’s help.”

If you remember, children, Zen was the ship’s computer.

“Let me take over.” Tarrant moved aside, so I could take his place at this station, and I turned Zen off.

“What are you doing?”, asked Tarrant.

“At the end of the day, Zen is just a glorified sat-nav. It takes real skill to pilot a path through an asteroid belt.”

Ten minutes later, we were safely through. Not so much as one scratch on the hull.

“Vila, you’re my hero”, said Tarrant.

“It was nothing", I said and left him to it.

***

Dayna was a frustrated figure in the weapons testing room.

“I can’t get this gun right”, she said in exasperation.

I grabbed a pencil and a sketch pad and scribbled furiously for five minutes.

“Here you go”, I said, “Follow these plans and it’s bound to do exactly what you’re after. At the same time, I’ve designed three more explosives for you.”

“Vila, you’re brilliant”, Dayna said. I went off to find Orac the super-computer.

***

“What’s wrong Orac?”, I asked as I entered the teleport room.

“I’m trying to trace Blake through the pattern of infinity, but my answer makes no sense.” I picked him up and carried him to the flight deck and got him to display his figures at my station.

“There you go, Orac, you’ve forgotten to carry the nine.”

“Vila, you’re a genius”, said Orac.

***

Cally, as you know, we named you after the Auron we had on board the Liberator. She was intelligent, smart and beautiful, just like you. But sometimes she needed a little help.

As I passed her cabin, I could hear Cally sobbing. I poked my head around the door and asked her what was wrong.

“It’s Sandy, my moon-disc”, she sighed. “He won’t communicate with me anymore.”

“Let me try”. I took Sandy out of his cage, gently stroked him, while concentrating very hard to implant a couple of thoughts into his mind. I then handed him to Cally. “Try again”, I instructed her. She did so and then beamed in delight.

“Vila, you’re amazing. He’s talking again.”

***

I heard Avon banging his head on the wall of his room, so picked the lock. He always locked himself in for some reason. Avon had issues.

“Drat”, he exclaimed. “My computer won’t work. I’ve been trying for five hours!” He started head-butting the wall again.

“Have you tried this?”, I asked. I turned the computer off and then, thirty seconds later, switched it back on again. It flickered into life.

“Thank you so much, Vila”, said Avon, “I wish I was as good with computers as you!”

That concluded my tour of the Liberator. With everyone happy, I was able to catch a few hours’ sleep, before we spent another day kicking the bottoms of the evil and nasty Federation, as once more, with my guidance, we were able to run rings around them and make it to Del-10 in time for tea!


***

The children were enchanted by their father’s story.

“That was a great story, Daddy”, said seven-year-old Olag. “Did it really happen?”

“Oh yes. Although my memory is a bit suspect, these days, so I might you got one or two details slightly wrong.”

Cally was more skeptical. “I’m not sure I believe you, Daddy.”

At the moment, their mother appeared.

“Mummy, was Daddy really a hero on a spaceship?”, asked Olag.

She smiled. “Well, when I met him, he was part of the crew of the Liberator, and he was my hero when he saved me on Keezarn.”

“So he wasn’t making it up then?”

“I suspect Daddy may have exaggerated one or two bits, but yes, it’s true. Now kids, back into the hut, because it’s way past your bedtimes. I want you in your night clothes in five minutes!”

Olag and Cally ran off, leaving Kerril and Vila alone by the lakeside in the moonlight.

“It’s so lovely here”, she sighed, “I hope we never have to leave.”

They kissed and walked back to the hut hand-in-hand.

***

On other side of the lake in Gardinos, the Federation ship landed. Minutes later, several helmeted figures emerged.

Tomorrow, the lives of Vila, Kerril, Olag and Cally would change forever. But Olag and Cally knew there was nothing to worry about. Their hero, their daddy, would save them. Wouldn’t he?
Edited by trevor travis on 30 April 2016 15:33:03
 
Travisina
Another wonderfully funny tale from the pen of TT! Thanks for making me laugh this evening Grin
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
BradPaula
Another fun tale from TT. Loved how Vila fixed Avon's computer. Priceless!
 
meegat39
Two excellent stories TT. Keep up the good work! Grin
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
littlesue
This is my little effort with a piccie by Lurena.

Tax Evasion


“Travis must have told them,” Blake muttered.
“Told them what?” Vila asked.
“Where I was going. That’s the only explanation I can think of. Travis told the Tax Authorities that I was en-route to Star One and they managed to send a message demanding back payment of my unpaid tax.”
“How?”
“Orac picked it up and passed it on; that’s how.”
He slumped onto one of the forward couches, “Where am I going to find that sort of money?”
Vila swallowed.
He and Avon had that sort of money; courtesy of Freedom City. Maybe if things panned out they could lend it to Blake….maybe.
i425.photobucket.com/albums/pp337/smallwondersue/tax%20evation_zpsys54msrb.jpg

“Epheron? We’ve checked, Blake is not there,” Avon informed Orac.
“And he wasn’t on Obsidian either,” Vila put in.
“So, Orac, exactly where is Blake and why doesn’t he want to be found?”
+That information is highly confidential+
“So you know where he is?”
+No, but I may be able to follow a line into infinity. +
“And meanwhile we just twiddle our thumbs,” Vila moaned.
“Would you rather do that than risk your life and limb for some egoistical cause?” Avon asked.
“Well, if you put it that way…”
“Good. So if Blake doesn’t want to be found, then we can turn our thoughts to more profitable pursuits.”
“Such as?”
“Well now,” smiled Avon, “I’m sure we can think of something.”
It was that cold smile that sent shivers down Vila’s spine.
Maybe he should have offered Blake that money?
But then he may have started to ask too many questions.
No, Vila thought, it was best to follow Avon’s idea. At least he wouldn’t be risking his life every other day…that was just too taxing.
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/
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
I'll catch up with the stories later, but just wanted to say what a lovely drawing that is!
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
 
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