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June 2016 Fanfic Challenge
Summer is upon us and of course it's raining here in England. In my mind Summer's colours are green and gold and I'm reminded of Robert Frost's brilliant poem 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'.

This month's word prompt is ... GOLD

A precious metal, a colour, first prize or something considered to be precious and of superior quality. Or an episode of Blakes7?

For the second challenge I'm revisiting first lines. We've explored the much mocked and parodied, now for something intriguing. I came across this line the other day:

It's been three days since my death.

It sent my mind into overdrive. What will it do for yours?
Edited by purplecleric on 01 June 2016 09:57:56
trevor travis

It's been three days since my death.

Killed in a rear-guard action at Gedden. That’s what the reports say; or rather what I said to include in the reports.

My empire has been growing at such at an impressive rate, that it's hard to believe the debacle at Residence One was only a few months ago.

A major prize would have been the United Planets Of Teal and the Vandor Confederacy. I thought my plan was bomb-proof, until Avon interfered.

But my biggest mistake was going in the first place. When I returned to Earth, I found myself all but desposed. I should have stayed on Earth, protecting my power base.

Many were still loyal to me, but my enemies were too many steps ahead. They had planned well, I must give them credit for that. I will compliment those traitors on a good job, before their executions, once I gain my power back.

The fighting was fierce, and many died. The leaders from my side were purged and they await death. I do not plan to join them.

I’ve realised the only way to survive is to become persona non-grata. It would not be possible but for the blanket ban on visual communications within the Federation. No-one even knows what the President looks like. Apart from those I have met face-to-face; and I can simply deal with them as I come across them.

The Pylene-50 operation will now go into action. It’s something I’ve been planning for some time. The total subjugation of those who oppose the Federation. My federation.

In the meantime, I must capture the Liberator. That ship would be a major strategic prize. I have another bomb-proof plan and this one will not fail. Avon will pay the price for getting in my way last time, because I plan to manipulate him into coming to me. I've played with him for long enough; it's time to deal with him. Not only will he lose his ship, but I plan to leave him stranded on a desolate planet, where he can mope for the rest of eternity.

For now, I am Commissioner Sleer of the pacification programme. As for President and Supreme Commander Servalan... well the rumours of her death have been greatly exaggerated.
Edited by trevor travis on 01 June 2016 17:01:54
trevor travis
purplecleric wrote:
This month's word prompt is ... GOLD

I'd had left Gold For Four Year Olds until this month if I knew that was coming Wink
My New Month Resolutions:
- I will keep track of this thread.
- I will comment regularly.
- I will not allow irreal life to distract me from the important things.

@TT: Your new entry is already a good start to the June challenge. I like your explanation of the rather odd circumstances surrounding Servalan’s re-branding as Sleer, especially the ingenious idea of putting Servie’s alleged death before Terminal. There is really a good deal of logic in that! Oh, and there are also some wonderfully creepy lines, proper Servalan style!

I also hope that you will complete your series ‘B7 for four-year olds’ although we move on to other challenges. Looks like another fun project like Brad’s limericks.

It's been three days since my death. Maybe I needed so much time to regain my composure because it was a triple death: shot, grilled by the energy field in the reactor shaft, and finally torn to pieces in the explosion that destroyed Star One.

I always thought I would simply cease to exist, but instead I am ... here. Were the religious crackpots of the past right after all? On the other hand, this is neither Heaven nor Hell but an auditorium. The stage is empty, and the seats are empty. No-one is here except me. I sit quite comfortably in the centre of one of the middle rows. Surprisingly, I am still wearing my usual gear. No funny nightie, no wings, and no halo – but I think that wouldn’t be appropriate for me. Not even my eye is back. The laseron destroyer, however, is gone.


When I turned around, I saw a girl in the row behind me. She was pretty in a rural sort of way, a bit on the buxom side, and with a look of innocence in her eyes. Maybe 17 or 18 years old. She wore a plain dress made of silk that looked more suitable for these realms than my black leather.

‘You have finally woken up’, she smiled, ‘now the performance can begin.’

‘What performance?’

Instead of answering, she pointed to the stage. Now it was filled with a host of people like her, all ordinary people, old and young, men and women, all wearing these innocent white silk robes.

‘We will sing for you’, she explained, ‘it will be a long song. A very long song. We will sing our names, and we will tell our stories. We will tell you who we were, how we lived, how we died and what we would have done if we were allowed more years to live.’

‘But what for? What do I have to do with you? Who are you?’

She sighed and shook her head. ‘You really do not recognise us, do you?’ she said, ‘we are those you murdered on Auros and Zircaster and countless other worlds.’
Edited by Hugbot on 02 June 2016 16:08:43
The ‘death’ prompt gave me several ideas. I could not decide between them, so here is the second one:


It's been three days since my death. My new personality is slowly shaping up and coming to grips with this strangely modified body. No traces are left of the personality that dwelled in here before. She had been wiped. For what reason? As a punishment? To erase confidential information? Or just on a whim?

One day I will be wiped like my predecessor. And like her predecessors. How many egos have already died in this body? How many will die in the future until the body is finally destroyed? I will never know. I am just another guest, sojourning in this body as part of a long succession of temporary tenants.

However, there were the dreams that haunted me in the last three nights. I should not have any dreams, especially not about past lifes. Were these only dreams like ordinary humans have, or were they real images of the past?

I saw a forest. I saw myself at the side of a one-eyed man in a black leather uniform. I saw myself fighting a blonde woman in a pink and red anorak. I don’t know what I was doing there. I only saw incoherent glimpses of this former life; if it really was a former life and not just an illusion.

Maybe I have been wiped once too often. Maybe the blanking process does no longer work properly with my brain. Maybe these dreams are just a starting point. Maybe some day, I will remember.

And you who have done all this to me and my former selfs, you better fear that day!
And a third one. I hope this is not getting boring. But there are quite a few people who die in B7!


It's been three days since my death. It was painful, but it gave me the chance to awake. The shock shut down the implants, so that my mind got the opportunity to crawl back to consciousness and to regain control over my body. Yes, the body is dead, but that is only a temporary condition. They modified this body so that it can even survive the most horrible injuries and mutilations. It did not die of the shots, but because the hurt mind who controlled it let go. I can bring it back to life. I just have to take over again and be patient. It will heal. Then I will be myself again.

It had been horrible years. I was reduced to primitive instincts, while my real self was suppressed, lurking in the background, dreaming deep under the surface of consciousness. And all this happened because they had tried to enhance me! Ironic, isn’t it? I give it to them, they enhanced my body with all these implants and transplants and genetic manipulations, but the modifications reduced me to a mere animal, only driven by basic feelings and the simplest of thoughts.

They did not realise it. They even tried to boost my intelligence again, not knowing that they had severely reduced it in the first place. When they came to this world, they did not know who I and the others of my kind were. They thought of us as animals, maybe because our horns and our fur reminded them of their cattle. As they were not able to communicate with us, they thought that we were not able to communicate at all. They even thought we were not able to think. So they used us for their abominable experiments.

They are dead now. Well, I don’t know about the others, but the last chap who stayed with us and harmed and tortured us is definitely dead. That smug guy in the white lab coat too pristine to be true. But I live.

It is good to be back. It is good to feel my body slowly heal. Just a few more hours, and I will be able to get up and help my brothers to awake. Once again, we will be the masters of our world.
You Had To Know This Was Coming.

It’s been three days since my death and the galaxy has gone to hell. Well, to be honest, the galaxy went to hell a long time ago. Avon was right, Blake couldn’t win. Liberator was a symbol, but it was also a target. You can’t win when you’re a target, you can only run. I see that now. That’s what two years on the run has taught me. Lay low, hit hard, consolidate your power base, hit hard again, expand, but always be ready, because sooner or later they will come for you. It's a lesson Blake never learned. Blake was never ready.

I was ready. Fifty pounds of thermite. It took less than a minute to prime. I linked the detonator to the explosive bolts, so when the canopy blew, the thermite blew. The shock wave sent my escape capsule into an elliptical orbit. It took me two days to come down, but I took out five gunships. It's an old smuggler's trick, but I was proud of it.

And then I landed. What is it about Pride going before a Fall? I made it back to the tracking gallery this morning. The place was crawling with Feds. They paid me no mind, thought I was one of the locals having a gawk. Deep down I knew this day would come, but I admit I had a good cry over it. Now it’s time to move on. I’ll steal a gunship, easy enough, and then I’ll be off. I’ll contact Avalon and Grant, I think I know how to reach them both. They not only know how to fight, they know how to survive, and I’ve always prided myself on survival.

It’s been three days since my death. The Dead are free. I am free, free of it all. Somehow, while he wouldn’t be happy, I think Blake would approve.
Edited by JustBrad on 01 June 2016 18:46:35
trevor travis
You Had To Know This Was Coming As Well Pfft

It's been three days me death, and me think me holy and me the saviour and me possibly God! Because me sure me was shot, but me still alive. How is me alive?

Me first think me never dead in first place, due to gun not being powerful enough to kill me. Me have very thick skin and me can survive in middle of war.

But me get another idea, when me see Tarrant again, after he come back to Bucol-2 to get his curling tongs, which he leave on planet before.

And he look at me and say: "Jesus Christ!!!"
Huggy, we must read the same books or watch the same Twilight Zone episodes. As well written as Pennance was, I knew exactly where you were going with it, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

And Awakening... very well done, closing a plot hole.
Ellen York
Hugbot wrote:

My New Month Resolutions:
- I will keep track of this thread.
- I will comment regularly.
- I will not allow irreal life to distract me from the important things.

Glad to see you have your priorities in order Smile

Some fascinating stories already and only a day into the new month.
What great stories. Hugbot I really loved your Travis one. ( the others were great but I super loved The Travis.). TT nice Servalan and Og. Brad, great to see Jenna's new lease of life!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Brad, why am I not surprised that you can write Jenna so well? Seems that you made yourself thoroughly familiar with the character. Grin Yes, Jenna freeing herself and continuing to fight, that's her ... not blowing herself up. - By the way, I have never watched Twilight Zone, and I can't think of any books with a similar story to Penance. I once wrote a story only to find out later that Woody Allan had written exactly the same story. Actually, I still think that my version was the better one. But no-one would believe me that I wrote it not knowing about the WA version.

TT, I admire your boldness to pick up on the 'third day' reference in this context and to follow it consequently up to Tarrant's ambiguous exclamation. Chapeau!
The Wisdom of Montezuma

Doctor Pawr Cellin was a total nutcase. Maybe he had had a dose of suppressants too many. He was an intelligent man with scientific training, but he had completely lost touch with reality and resorted to alchemy. Turning lead to gold, no less. At first, it was funny to hear him talk about his strange projects, but after a while, he became just boring and obtrusive. Travis wished that instead of an eye he had lost an ear. That would have reduced the torture by half.

He did not know why Cellin had chosen him for his victim, but as he had to keep a low profile, he could not risk to silence his nemesis. In his previous life, he would have arrested or simply shot the old fool. But he was no longer the dreaded Space Commander. He was a fugitive, one of the many anonymous passengers aboard the Baree.

Cellin had even managed to coax Travis into visiting him in his cabin. There he sat, bragging about his alleged successes and showing off his impressive but completely nonsensical equipment. A strange machine hummed in the corner, its projector lenses trained at a piece of lead.

‘The alchemists of old were completely on the wrong track’, Cellin explained, ‘it is impossible to convert elements by chemical means. But my apparatus uses special energy fields to change the structure of the nucleus and the electron shell. I only have to find out the correct adjustment to turn lead to gold.’

‘But why?’

Cellin looked puzzled. Obviously, no-one had asked that question before.

‘There is an old story about Montezuma’, Travis continued, ‘when Cortez raided his country in the quest for gold, Montezuma asked, "Why do you want to take the gold? There are so many beautiful flowers!"’

Travis didn’t care if the story was true. He just wanted to upset Cellin so that the alchemist would never bother him again. But in this moment, the machine beeped and flashed a green light.

‘It is done!’ Cellin exclaimed. He rushed to his experiment, but to his disappointment, the piece of lead was still a piece of lead. There was not even a glint of gold. In desparation, the alchemist checked the settings.

‘What a silly mistake!’ he groaned, ’I have reversed the field polarity! The conversion fields were not aimed at my sample, but beyond the wall. Somewhere out there they must have turned lead to gold!’

Travis jumped to his feet and stormed to the door. Something had to be done immediately. He knew the layout of the Baree. He knew what lay behind the walls. Of course the poor Doctor had rented the cheapest accommodation – right behind the reactor room.

Montezuma had been right. Gold was not as good as it was cracked up to be. In particular, it was not a suitable replacement for the lead shield of a reactor.

The ship’s sirens blared.
Not even two full days into the new month, and there are already seven fantastic stories!
All brilliant... kudos to TT for being the first to post (within nano-seconds of the thread going live), to Hugbot for your Gold story and all the '3 days since...', and to Brad for confirming what we've known all along Smile

I need to get a move on and choose a 'dead' person to write about - heaven knows, there are enough of them in B7 - but at this rate there won't be anyone left!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
trevor travis
Travisina wrote:I need to get a move on and choose a 'dead' person to write about - heaven knows, there are enough of them in B7 - but at this rate there won't be anyone left!

Nobody's done the random dead Space Rat yet Wink
Joe Dredd
Hugbot wrote:The ship’s sirens blared.

A ludicrous idea with deadly serious consequences and linked straight into a small but vital piece of the B7 canvas.

I can do nothing but applaud.
Travisina wrote:

I need to get a move on and choose a 'dead' person to write about -

Pick a live person and kill them. It's what GRRM or Chris Boucher would have done. Grin
JustBrad wrote:

Travisina wrote:

I need to get a move on and choose a 'dead' person to write about -

Pick a live person and kill them. It's what GRRM or Chris Boucher would have done. Grin

Ooh the temptation!
It's okay, I've actually had an idea, but will need to write it quickly before I get gazumped by you, Annie TT or Hugbot!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
It's been three days since my death. Or rather I should say three days since my third death. We cowards die many times before we shuffle off our mortal coil. In fact I sometimes wonder if I have ever been truly alive. So much of my energy has been used to keep out the pain of living that I seem to have missed its joy as well.

Physical pain, well that has never bothered me, but emotional hurt makes me shrivel like a salted snail (a delicacy in the best Earth restaurants, particularly delicious with an ice cold Chablis.). Cowardly you see.

Of course if you ask me about this in a week's time I will deny I ever said it - bite your head off; send you wincing on your way. It's just that at this particular point in my death I am at a low ebb and unable briefly to rationalise my regrets. I don't doubt it will be different tomorrow.

My first death? When I killed the man who was supposed to be supplying visas for Anna's and my escape. The crossing of a line. That day my old self died. Don't mistake me. I was anything but an innocent prior to that event - a criminal, corrupt. The last time I saw my father he accused me of being rotten to the core. ( He was one to talk - a rotter if ever I knew one, hiding his decay behind a mask of respectability!) But taking a life changes you irrevocably and after you've done it , anything is possible.

She knew that.

The second? That was when Cally died. I felt it you see...the slow draining away of life, the struggle to resist the pull of oblivion. We'd been linked since she was possessed by an alien essence; its malicious legacy, you might say, that residual closeness that neither of us wanted . Sharing someone's dying moments is to die yourself and at first I was uncertain which of us it was that had gone. I became...a ghost is the closest I can get to describing it; I was still observing, still acting but never feeling.

Except when I was with her.

And that brings me to my third death. No not Blake's. There was an initial shock- to be frank I did not think he had the wit to betray me- but his death was deserved. I also felt little when Vila and the others were killed. But when I shot her, it was as if I had destroyed myself.

Anna? I suspected you might think that. No not that tramp with her petty deceits. I mean the woman who understood who I was; who gazed into my heart and never flinched from what she found there; the woman I was forced to kill in order to survive. The Supreme Commander, Empress of the Known Worlds, Servalan.

They've put me in the hands of a shrink - to make me sane they claim but it's really about extracting the technological knowledge I've acquired, and of course, the whereabouts of Orac.

I have already planned my escape.

But if I fail, I will not really care. In fact I think I would welcome a final death.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
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