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Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
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5% [5 Votes]

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Norm One - (Redemption)
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19% [18 Votes]

Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
15% [14 Votes]

Hunda - (Traitor)
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5% [5 Votes]

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Sept 2016 Fanfic Challenge
Angry Angel
Very poignant, I really liked that. A good way to tell Jenna's story in a short space.
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
Anniew
Phew. Glad it worked!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Ellen York
Annie, interesting look at Jenna's backstory. All the scenes are convincing (the ones with Tarvin and Largo sync nicely with cannon) and the last is heartbreaking.
 
Rainesz
Both wonderful stories, Anniew.
Avon in a purgatory, rather than hell-- he just has to realize he has the power to leave. Unlike Travis-in-a-box, Wink
And poor Jenna, who is strong and cool to the end.
 
JustBrad
For hours he waited and watched. Finally he headed up the wooded hill through tangled vines and entered the old church yard. During the old calendar it had been a family burial ground. The family still used it. Connections were a wonderful thing, they got you preferential treatment, up to a point.

Among the many old graves in the Grant family plot was one new one. He stood before it, silently staring at the name on the stone: Anna Grant.

“Kerr Avon!”

He whirled to regard a man in black leather, sporting an eye patch, flanked by four Federation guards. They must have been waiting for a long time. It was an old trick, and he fell for it. He gave the only reply he could think of. “Who?”

The mouth under the eye patch smiled. “An apt name for the dead.”

He replied, “I'll try to remember that.”

The smile under the eye patch faded to a scowl. “Except that you aren't dead, at least not yet. You would be if I had any say. Take him!”

Four guards rushed forward and manacled his hands. He knew better than to physically resist. He said, “My name is Chevron, I am...”

A gloved hand held out a picture. “You are Kerr Avon, and you are on your way to Cygnus Alpha.”

“Without a trial?”

The mouth under the eye patch replied, “Politicals don't get trials.”

“They don't get exile, either, but I'm not political.”

“I don't care.” The man patted him on the shoulder. “It's your lucky day, I'm ordered to see you safely on a prison ship. If I had my way, I'd blow your head off and leave your body sprawled over the grave of your co-conspirator.”

“She wasn't my...” Avon fell silent as a gloved fist found his jaw.

“I said I don't care. Odd, isn't it, that he gets a trial and you don't.”

Avon gasped, “Who?”

“An apt name for the dead. See to it, won't you?” The leather clad man with the eye patch tucked a note into Avon's pocket.

+ + + + + + +

Avon sat at a table, separate from the other prisoners. He pulled the note from his pocket and read it. 'Know that the bearer of this warrant has killed Roj Blake on my orders and is entitled to a full pardon for all his past transgressions. - Bartolomew.

+ + + + + + +

The claxon blared. The guards closed in. Avon raised his gun... and then he smiled. With barely a glance to the body at his feet, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a tattered note and handed it to the Federation Section Leader.
 
Rainesz
Sorry. This might be a little too long for a ficlet, but here's my first offering. (I got carried away.)

Demon

"You let him go in alone? Orac just gave me the history of this gods-forsaken place and we need to get him out of there now!"

"As if I can stop him doing whatever he likes," Tarrant snapped. "I turned around and he was gone. And he still doesn't answer his wrist-comm."

Tarrant began to lunge in the direction of the fog-shrouded church ruins, but Cally grabbed his arm with a vehement, "NO!" When he spun to her in bafflement, she said, "Let me try to reach him another way."

"Does this mean using your telepathy and possibly getting yourself possessed again?"

She gave him a hard, distinctly Avon-like glare. "Tarrant, shut the hell up. Just let me do my work."

* * *

When the mist finally parted, Avon could see the looming silhouettes of stone arches and the jagged edges of walls. Two decomposing stone turrets glared at him with windows like empty eye sockets. The religious statues, despite their faces having been rubbed away over this planet's centuries, also added to the sensation that he was under scrutiny. Wiping the clammy mist off his forehead, he studied the arches, imagining possible snipers clinging there like spiders. Mutoids might be lurking behind the deteriorating sandstone pillars. There was no sound, not an animal scrabbling nor a dry branch rustling in any sort of breeze. There were no breezes at all, in fact, only the fog—this was clearly a dead place. But yet someone, something, was here with him.

Gun drawn, he continued his stealthy perusal of the silent ruins as he strode through the murk.

"I know you're here," he said in a soft growl to his watcher. "Don't be shy."

Then something began to form in the mist in front of him -- a black pillar the size of a man. Avon started, despite himself, staggering back two steps before regaining his composure and fixing his gun at the materializing shadow. The shape resolved itself into something much more solid and black-clad, a bit like himself, but taller, with an eyepatch and a wolfish grin, fixing him with a single glinting eye.

"You're dead," Avon pronounced.

"I know," said Travis, rolling his one eye. "You killed me."

Avon aimed his gun. "Shall we try for an encore?"

Travis smirked. "You're not frightened by me in the least, are you?"

"Hardly. You're obviously an illusion of some sort, pulled from my subconscious. I'm too rational to believe in the supernatural."

"So demons are out of the question as well?" Travis said, folding his arms in calm amusement.

"Oh, I am well-acquainted with demons." Avon bared his teeth. "Now get out of my way. I am presently engaged in a search and you're annoying me."

Travis lifted his chin, casually looking over his shoulder. He stood there as adamant as one of the blank-faced church statues. But was it a trick of the fog or had one of the statues behind him moved, gained a face, begun creeping toward them?

The new figure did not acknowledge Avon at all. Instead, it turned and made a slow path into the open church corridor and vanished into the shrouding mist once more.

"BLAKE!" Avon began to move after him but Travis neatly stood in his way, a black monolith.

At that exact same time, another voice, vaguely recognizable, was coming from nowhere at all, an insistent echo off the crumbling stones. *AVON! Avon, can you hear me?* The surprise and sudden din of it made him gasp in pain.

"Get out of my way!" he shouted at the man with the eyepatch who might only be an hallucination. "Let me go to him!"

A malicious grin spread across Travis' face. He wagged a finger, shaking his head. "Not advisable. Following Blake is foolhardy. It has been my own very painful lesson, thank you very much for that."

Avon hissed, "That's it. I've had enough." He strode with purpose directly at Travis with the intent of passing right through him; and just as he suspected, Travis dispersed into shreds of black mist all about him. However, when he spun around, he found the spectre re-forming again into the man he had killed.

"Avon, you will not get past me. I won't allow it." Dead-Travis was certainly more genteel than the living homicidal version had been.

Avon muttered to himself like an incantation: "Logic. Maintain your logic."

"How refreshing to see you so confused," Travis grinned. "But I am your logic. You know because I'm dead and can't possibly be here, agreed?"

Avon ground his teeth. "Yet somehow you're still standing in my way."

Travis tilted his head. "What if I told you you, Avon, that you were the main piece on the board of someone's great game? I got knocked off the board early on, as you well know. What if I told you I was, in truth, here to warn you?"

"I'd tell you AGAIN to get out of my way."

"Avon, let's put our animosity behind us and let me offer you some friendly advice. Don't go after him."

The figure of Blake, as if summoned, began to walk towards them now, reappearing through the fog. He was staggering this time and was apparently wounded. He finally seemed to see Avon and he raised his hand, his voice hoarse. "Avon, you're here at last. No time. Come quickly. We need to go this way."

"Blake is dead, " Travis said, shrugging.

"No. No, he's not. He's been sending me signals..." Avon fought a rising panic he had not known in a decade. "He's... right there."

Travis looked pitying. "Oh, Avon, someone's got you fooled. A new experience for you? Oh no, that's right. Poor Anna. Or was that Bartholomew...?"

Avon lifted his gun and shot Travis in the chest: the apparition exploded and flew apart into feathers of shadow. Panting, Avon looked at Blake standing there before him. He could see clearly now that despite being wounded, Blake was smiling at him. He seemed unaffected by the spectacle of the shattered demon-Travis. In fact, he looked quite pleased.

He had no idea why he did it, but Avon dropped his gun. He took a step forward.

*AVON!* That deafening voice in his head was painful now. It made him cringe. *Avon! Whatever you're seeing right now is a trick! The fog is hallucinogenic.*

"Cally?"

*Turn on your comm.*

The Blake-thing looked confused. It was bent over and seemed to have a gaping wound in its chest, blood soaking through the fingers clutched at its breast. Avon looked stupidly at his comm and then flicked it on: "Cally."

"Avon, thank the gods. Get the hell out of there."

"Blake's here. He's bleeding..."

"No, Avon, Blake is not there. It's a trick. Don't look at him. Just walk away and follow my voice. I'll help you telepathically as well."

'He--"

*Avon. Use your logic.* Cally's voice seared into his mind.

Travis was at his side again then, looming, grinning and solid. "You heard the lady. I'm currently the personification of your logic for this evening. I know-- bizarre and sort of funny, isn't it?"

Choosing to no longer engage in a warped conversation with the one-eyed man, Avon picked up his gun off the ground. With calm indifference, he turned on his heel and walked back through the church ruins, trying to focus only on Cally's directions. Travis followed behind with languid amusement, the tapping of his boots on the flagstones the only sound besides Cally's voice on the wrist-comm. The churchyard dissolved behind him, tendrils of mist recoiling like snakes around the decaying arches. A last clammy curtain of fog assailed him in an attempt to confuse him, but he continued forward, impassive. He pretended not to hear Blake's cries for help somewhere far behind him, or Travis' quiet laughter next to him. The one-eyed man followed him like his own shadow.

"We're more alike than you know," Travis said. "We really should talk like this more often."

Suddenly Avon was attacked on both sides, his arms firmly grasped by his assailants. He began to twist and kick out when a familiar voice shouted in his ear: "Avon, relax! It's me, Tarrant!"

"And Cally!" came the voice at his other arm. He felt himself sag with undisguised relief.

***

"The fog is an airborne lifeform. Bio-priests centuries ago created it as a psychic trap for dissidents, and lured them here to this cathedral. They meant to terrify the so-called 'sinners' by letting them use their own minds against themselves. Unfortunately, the chemical got loose in the planet's atmosphere, caused mass hysteria... and you can see what's left of their civilization." Cally gestured at the turrets and arches still protruding above the fog. "It seems to have drifted back into the church's ruins where it was created. This is its nest."

"There were 'statues' inside," Avon murmured with grim realization. "They must be the calcified remains of the fog's victims."

He was very silent then. Tarrant asked, "What else did you see in there, Avon? I imagine it was tremendous." He grinned in his annoying, perfect way and Avon once more resisted the urge to break Tarrant's kneecap.

"Nothing. They did not manage to frighten me. My logic took over."

"Ah, of course. With Cally's help," smirked Tarrant.

"Yes," Avon said in a rueful voice, facing her. "With Cally's help." Cally was alarmed to see that he was trying to hide the fact that he was trembling: a delayed reaction, no doubt, caused by his experience in the ruined churchyard. She touched his mind: *Are you all right?* and Avon flinched as if she had physically assaulted him. He glared at her only for a moment and then finally winced.

"Your mental voice hurts," he muttered and turned away.

He refused to look back at the mist-shrouded ruins as he strode off. "Demons, Tarrant. We all have our demons. Even you."

Cally did glance back, however. She squinted and could suddenly make out the form of a a tall, black-clad man with an eyepatch waving to her and grinning. The most horrible thing about it was that he looked almost friendly. Her blood congealed. "Right, that's it. We're done here."

She was the one to make the hasty command.
"Orac, three to teleport. Immediately."
Edited by Rainesz on 17 August 2017 02:18:41
 
Travisina
Wow. Just... wow.
I'm so impressed by the quality of stories here!

TT and Hugbot's funny stories made me laugh out loud (and got me strange looks on the train).
@Joe D - sweet, poignant and plausible. Poor kid.
@Brad - both stories very clever and neatly told. I love the way the Avon/Travis story fits into canon continuity.
@Annie - great stuff - the church story is evocative, and telling Jenna's story through seven scars is masterly.
@Rainesz! So you're a writer as well as an artist? That's an outstanding first offering - can we have more?
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Rainesz
Thanks, Travisina!
Always embarrassing to re-read and find all the typos I missed. (Re-editing as we speak... Pfft There: I think I got them all.)
It's my fault for trying to post the story quickly before I lost my nerve!
Edited by Rainesz on 01 October 2016 04:40:05
 
Angry Angel
Brad, great little circular tale, very clever. Rainesz, very atmospheric!
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
Anniew
Ooh Rainesz exciting. A new writer as well as a superb artist. Very interesting story which captures Avon's destructive obsession to find Blake. Liked it a lot, both the description and the ideas.

And Brad - a clever story.my only complaint is that had this happened there would be no Blakes 7 !!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Rainesz
@Anniew Thank you!!

It occurred to me after the fact that they could have just teleported Avon out of there, but my excuse is that Cally wouldn't want any of the fog getting on board with him. To explain this would have made the story even longer, and I think I've tried everyone's patience enough, lol.

Thanks again! I was nervous about posting a story for the first time here. Pfft
Edited by Rainesz on 06 September 2016 22:42:06
 
Joe Dredd
I've got to catch up on my reading but Brad, that's seriously great. From before the beginning to after the end. Was it Avon's plan all along or did he just keep it as an insurance policy? Some great little nods to other episodes in there too.

Travisina wrote:
@Joe D - sweet, poignant and plausible. Poor kid.


Thanks T. I think the idea of Avon finding out he has a daughter by Anna out there somewhere is suitably chilling!
 
Rainesz
@Joe Dredd
That was a wonderful heartbreaking story. And now I desperately want a story about Avon meeting his daughter. Grin
Probably more chilling than that would be him actually being the kind of father she imagined! Puppy dogs, kittens and all. Wink
Edited by Rainesz on 07 September 2016 11:03:44
 
Anniew
Ah Brad. Read at haste - end up looking like a div. my previous comment failed to factor in the passage of time! Now that really is the Avon of Orbit! Brilliant
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Rainesz
@Brad-- clever story tying together Avon's first and last episodes! At the last minute when all the guns are aimed at him, he's thinking, "Oh, right, I've still got that receipt. This works well for me." Angry
 
Joe Dredd
Well done, Rainesz! That was properly creepy!

When I read this part "was it a trick of the fog or had one of the statues behind him moved, gained a face, begun creeping toward them?" I did think of the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who, but only momentarily (and I knew it wouldn't be them!) but the whole atmosphere came from what you wrote and not my fleeting millisecond-long stray thought.
 
Rainesz
Joe Dredd wrote:

Well done, Rainesz! That was properly creepy!

When I read this part "was it a trick of the fog or had one of the statues behind him moved, gained a face, begun creeping toward them?" I did think of the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who, but only momentarily (and I knew it wouldn't be them!) but the whole atmosphere came from what you wrote and not my fleeting millisecond-long stray thought.


Thank you Joe!! Grin
I thought the same after I wrote that line! (I'm-- no surprise here--also a huge Doctor Who fan. Grin) Although it wasn't my intention to reference the Weeping Angels, there is still just something universally creepy about statues in churches and cemeteries that Doctor Who had nailed so well.
I was hoping that by the end of my story these other "statues" had taken on an entirely different creepiness factor. Shock
 
Hugbot
Finally catching up ...

@Angry Angel and Travisina: Thank you for explaining the Craig Charles reference. Thanks to Horizon I am already catching up on British culture, but there are still many blank areas.

@JD: You want to do more Badly Made Blake’s 7? Yes, please!!!

@AnnieW: Two more great stories! Avon’s purgatory is wonderfully surreal; in particular I liked the notion that the means to his salvation is already present but he does not see it because he is so obsessed with penance. But don’t tell me Blake is in Heaven?!?! - Actually, I never believed Blake’s story about Jenna hitting the self-destruct button, but I nonetheless like your story. A great idea to use seven scars as a means to give insight into Jenna’s past and her character, and neatly done, tying in all the different incidents mentioned in the episodes. (Including the vision from Space Fall, which was very interesting: Jenna says that she saw her mother, but according to your story, both her mother and Jenna herself had experienced a situation like this. JMS blured the line between the characters in a similar way in his depiction of Jenna’s/Ivanova’s dream in the B5 episode Eyes.)

@Brad: It was really fascinating how you managed to re-write the whole well-known storyline of B7 with just a short ficlet! Even Avon’s callous ‘Who?’ gets a new meaning.

@RaineSz: Oooh, great, another multi-talented artist among us! A very atmospheric, eerie tale, really absorbing! Loved it!
 
Hugbot
Dark Prayer

The informer had told the truth. When Avon sneaked into the old church, Travis was there, kneeling in front of the altar. It was a grotesque sight: The church lay in ruins, but the altar with the huge wooden crucifix stood still upright as if it had been spared by divine intervention. Even more grotesque was the sight of Travis, the unscrupulous butcher of Auros and Zircaster, bowing his head as if in prayer.

Gun in hand, Avon slowly advanced pew by pew, until he finally hid behind the first row. Travis was in plain sight now, only two yards in front of him, his broad back an inviting target.

Still, Avon hesitated. He wanted to hear what Travis was murmuring. His informer had told him that the renegade came here daily to pray, but Avon could not believe it. Maybe Travis had hidden a communication device in this ruin, giving orders to associates far away. Avon wanted to know what he was up to before he killed him.

But what Avon heard was a prayer; not the innocent prayer of a child, but the dark torrent of abuse of a fanatic. Religion was banned in the Federation, but among the Alphas, there were still some religious circles, mainly of the more unwholesome kind: holier-than-thou zealots who wallow in sin, guilt, fear, death and doom; who praise labour, hardship and frugality and brand joy and fun as tools of the Devil; who denounce anyone who is not equally narrow-minded as depraved sinners and wilfull followers of Satan. Travis had transformed into one of these babbling maniacs, sputtering out an endless stream of curses on his fellow men. He no longer prayed for salvation, but for punishment. He craved for hellfire, damnation and destruction. He wanted his God to be as merciless as he had been himself on Auros and Zircaster.

Avon shook his head. No, he would not kill this man. Not because he pitied this wreck of a once proud officer, but because in this state, Travis might cause havoc within the Federation. He put back his gun and sneaked out of the church.

What he did not see was the figure that suddenly appeared behind the altar. When Travis looked up, he beheld a man who looked exactly like the wooden character on the cross. If he had still been in his senses, he would have realised that this being had consciously taken on the shape of the crucified.

‘Who are you?’ he asked, awaiting a divine revelation.

‘We have come from far away’, the apparition answered, ’we heard your prayer, and we, too, lament the state of humanity. Thus we have chosen you as our tool of destruction.’

‘Depend on me’, Travis answered.
 
Angry Angel
Excellent Hugbot! A great way to exlain Travis' behaviour in s2.
 
http://lucyravenscar.blogspot.com/
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