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Feb 2017 Fanfic Challenge
Rainesz
Garden

Jenna put her heels up on the flight console. She did this with gentleness, reassured that Zen did not mind, as "he" knew she had complete respect for the pilot's seat where she felt the most comfortable of all places on the Liberator.

Whereas she could be sitting in comfort down on the deck couches, she believed this is where she belonged on her watch: at her station, ready for the unexpected. This watch was already more boring than she had anticipated and she actually craved the unexpected.

She found herself suddenly taken by nostalgic thoughts of her pirate days when she was the sole commander of her own ship, and she had not had to deal with a bickering bunch of crewmates engaged in onboard powerplays. Yes, she sighed, those had been the days: peace and quiet, just herself on a smuggling run.

Whimsically, she began to imagine herself with her own ship again. No offense to the grandeur that was the Liberator, but she had always fancied her own onboard conservatory. Yes, her own little traveling space garden, bright and plentiful, full of vegetables and herbs. And flowers. Yes, she would love to see flowers again one day.

She rubbed her forehead, sighing at such a frivolous thought.

Then she was startled by a quiet voice announcing:
+Information: Jenna Stannis, please consult the reference point.+

Jenna almost did not recognize Zen's voice which was now quieter than she had ever heard it before. It was almost as if Zen was whispering a secret to her.

"What is it, Zen?" She was alarmed, prepared for the unexpected.

And that was exactly what she got.

The hexagonal screen that was Zen's "reference point" was suddenly doing a strange and marvelous thing: all of the formerly yellow and blue bands of light were now scattering and reforming, turning to shades of rose, crimson and violet. They swirled about until they finally settled on a pattern.

Jenna had never seen Zen's screen do this before. It was--

"Beautiful," she gasped. "Zen, it almost looks like--"

Flowers. It looked just like flowers. Zen was reading her mind (as "he" sometimes still did. They shared that special link, after all.) "He" began to fill it with wonderful images of flowers from many worlds, many galaxies. And she was enchanted.

"Oh Zen, I don't know what to say," she gasped. "Thank you."

Zen still spoke in that odd, non-booming, intimate voice. +Jenna Stannis was experiencing regret. This computer wishes Jenna to be pleased with her accommodations here on the Liberator.+

"Accommodations?" Jenna laughed. "Is this a luxury space hotel now?" She leaned forward and put her chin in her hand. "You said 'wishes', Zen. Do you have wishes too, like all of us?"

There was a moment of silence, then the whirring sound of Zen preparing to answer. However, the moment was abruptly shattered as there came a sudden gasp from elsewhere on the flight deck and a deep voice cried, "What the hell--?"

All the beautiful colors and floral patterns faded abruptly from Zen's screen and it reverted back to its somber browns and typical bands of yellow light. Jenna spun and faced Blake with irritation.

"As usual, terrible timing, Blake," she sighed. "I think I was just about to get the privilege of the Liberator's heart."
Edited by Rainesz on 12 February 2017 07:39:47
 
Lorna
That is a great story!! Trust Blake to come in and spoil things!!
 
littlesue
Rainesz...not only able to draw beautifully, but write as well! Lovely.
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
all of the formerly yellow and blue bands of light were now scattering and reforming, turning to shades of rose, crimson and violet. They swirled about until they finally settled on a pattern.

Lovely artistic description Rainez.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Travisina
More super stories!

@BradPaula - Very clever, a nice look at all the different things the prompt 'heart' can imply. I keep going back and re-reading it!

@NotExpendable - Great response to the flowers prompt. I didn't guess the punchline, very B7!

@Hugbot - Lovely! Funny and moving. Is that where Dayna got her inspiration for the song in 'Sarcophagus'?

@Rainesz - I love Jenna stories, especially those that explore her connection with Zen. And you got both prompts into one story - well done!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Travisina
Heart

With a pocket full of jewels and a studied air of nonchalance, Vila strolled into Space City. This was it, the fulfilment of his greatest ambition! Everything gleamed and glittered; lights were bright, the people impossibly glamorous. Beguiling scents and seductive music drew him towards the Pleasure Gardens; the rattle of dice and whirr of roulette wheels beckoned from the casino. He felt giddy with happiness.

As he exchanged Liberator's gems for admission tokens and casino chips, a sign caught his eye:

Beware of thieves and pickpockets! Store your valuables in our ultra-secure safes!

"Thieves and pickpockets? Can't trust anyone these days," thought Vila, choosing one of the wall safes by the casino in which to stow some chips and unchanged gems. He made a note of the locking mechanism; he'd take a look inside some of the other safes later. In keeping with the casino theme, the magno-keys were styled as playing cards - his was the Ace of Hearts. Vila shrugged as he pocketed it; at least it wasn't the Ace of Spades. He was here to have a good time, and didn't want to think about his dangerous life following Blake.

Turning away from the safes, he collided with a young woman. "Oops!" they said together, and laughed.

"Sorry, I'm a bit squiffy. Too much champers," she confessed with a giggle, holding on to Vila's arm as she slipped her foot into her high heeled sandal.

Vila made a quick, professional appraisal: her accent was upper class Alpha, her jewellery expensive and understated. No rings.

"Are you on your own?" he asked hopefully.

"Daddy brought me, but he's here on business. I'm bored, I've already seen everything. What about you?"

"I'm alone. It's my first visit to Space City."

She held out a manicured hand. "The name's Penelope."

"Vil – I mean, William." Vila attempted an Alpha accent.

"So, William," she took his arm. "Would you like me to show you the sights?"

**

"And she did, didn't she?" Gan made no attempt to disguise his disapproval.

Vila covered his eyes. "Please don't shout, my head still hurts. We went to the casino; we were winning and winning. Then she suggested a private celebration in her hotel room."

"You said you couldn't remember anything."

"I can remember some of it, but I wasn't going to tell Blake, was I?" Vila closed his eyes at the jumble of memories; coins spilling through their hands, champagne splashing into overflowing glasses, Penelope's intoxicating perfume, her dark hair splayed across silk pillows...

He sighed. "When I woke up, my head was killing me and Penelope had gone. Turns out she was a better thief than me. She took everything - all our winnings, and my key-card. She cleaned out the safe, of course. What's so funny?"

Gan rumbled with amusement. "She stole your heart!"

"In every sense of the word. Now, where's that soma you promised me? I really need a drink."

***

Edited by Travisina on 12 February 2017 16:22:33
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Anniew
Smashing Vila story Travisina. Of course that's exactly what would have happened to him!!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
NotExpendable
Oh I loved Travisina's story - the characterisation of Vila was just spot on perfect especially "studied air of nonchalance"

Rainesz - your writing is so great, I loved Jenna working it all out and alllllmost getting there! What a brilliant response to the prompt.

Thanks for the lovely comments!
Emma
@heraldandraste
 
http://www.dadsonahuntingtrip.com
littlesue
At long last, I've got a few minutes to myself!
TT: Another heartwarming story or two!!!
Huggy: Brilliant as always.
ATA: Very nice and dark.
Just Brad; Tea spillage alert!
Anniew: All so good.
Bradpaula: Zen and Orac saying it with flowers…and it looks as though someone’s been at the Roget’s!
Not Expendable: Very nice addition.
Travisina: So that’s what Vila got up to!!!
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/
 
trevor travis
It’s not really linked to either prompt for this month, but here’s my Valentine’s Day story:


ST VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE


Avon had never studied history in any great detail. It wasn’t top of his list of interests. There was no financial gain.

However, he could remember bits and pieces. For example, he knew about the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.

Gang warfare ruled the streets of Chicago during the late 1920s, as chief gangster Al Capone sought to consolidate control by eliminating his rivals in the illegal trades of bootlegging, gambling and prostitution.

This rash of gang violence reached its bloody climax in a garage on the city’s North Side on February 14, 1929 AD of the old calendar, when seven men associated with the Irish gangster George “Bugs” Moran, one of Capone’s longtime enemies, were shot to death by several men dressed as policemen.

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was never officially linked to Capone, but he was generally considered to have been responsible for the murders.

For some reason, Avon had retained this information. Maybe it was because he was interested in the character of Capone. Possibly.

As he stood in the tracking gallery, he gradually came to his senses. Blake was at his feet, quite dead.

He was hopelessly surrounded and out-numbered. He’d been right. His and Blake’s deaths were going to be linked. He raised his gun, more out of instinct than anything else.

And then he noticed the calendar on the wall. The advent of the new calendar just over two hundred years ago had reset the year, but months and days had remained unchanged.

It was February 14th. Avon recalled the events of 1929 AD, and smiled in irony.
 
littlesue
TT....for some unknown reason I seem to be hearing Walter Winchell's voice reading this one out!!!
(For those who are scratching their heads, see who narrated The Untouchables TV series in the 60s!!!)
Edited by littlesue on 13 February 2017 13:16:57
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- wonderful. Having lived near Chicago all of my life, we all knew the story of Al Capone and his gangsters! Great idea to explain Avon's ironic smile at the end. Too bad Avon couldn't have gotten his hands on a 'Chicago typewriter' aka Tommy gun! lol

And Sue- yes, my mind hearkened back to The Untouchable's days too...
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
NotExpendable
TT - this was such a good snippet! I love the link between Capone and Avon
Emma
@heraldandraste
 
http://www.dadsonahuntingtrip.com
littlesue
Today is Daughter No. 1's birthday! The big 40!!
So she'll be getting sweeties and pressies and cards...but that has nothing to do with this little effort of mine...

Heart of the Matter


“Avon won’t like this,” Cally said, shaking her head in disbelief at Dayna.
“Yes, well, we can’t always have we want,” Tarrant smiled back.
“I had noticed,” Vila murmured.
“The problem is, Dayna has never tasted sweets in her life, have you?” Tarrant asked.
Dayna couldn’t reply she was busy eating yet another packet of Revels.
“Avon definitely won’t like it,” Cally reiterated, “And I don’t have the heart to tell him.”
“Why is he so concerned about them anyway?”
“He was going to use them as a bargaining chip,” Vila explained, “Well, considering that Star One was destroyed and all those producers of the Federation confectionary have literally gone bust, we are the only ones who can fill that void.”
Tarrant laughed, “I hardly think a few packets of these will make any difference.”
“No,” began Vila, “But Orac here has hacked all sorts of computer files and I’ve been making sweets, just on a small scale mind, but it’s possible. It’s just that now I’ve run out of ingredients.”
“You, making sweets?”
“Why not? In fact, try one of these.”
“What are they?” Tarrant asked peering into the rather forlorn brown packet.
“Well, they were a packet of Rolos, but Cally here snaffled most of them, but you can have my last one.”
“Mmm,” Tarrant sighed. He hadn’t tasted anything so sweet in a long time, “So basically, you want us to hunt down all the ingredients, make up the shortfall in sweet production, send them to the Federation and…”
“Bring them to their knees. Once we control the sweet supply…well, they’ll agree to anything.”
That made sense to Tarrant, “Problem is, would Avon agree?”
“Agree to what?”
Avon was standing in the doorway to the Flight Deck. They had no idea how much he had heard.
“Go and get the ingredients for my sweet making enterprise. We could do that while looking for Blake…where ever he is,” Vila said.
Avon stood quite still, hardly believing what he was hearing. But it made sense, in a way.
“All right, but first I have unfinished business on Earth.”
“Earth?” Cally asked.
“Last time we went to Earth we almost didn’t get out; Gan certainly didn’t,” Vila reminded him.
“I know. But this time, it’s only me who is taking that risk. There is someone I need to speak to. I will need your help.”
“Is this to do with Anna?” Vila asked sheepishly.
Avon nodded.
“If they pick you up on Earth, you’ll know what will happen? They’ll interrogate you,” Tarrant informed him.
“I know; but I made a promise to someone. Will you help me?”
They all exchanged looks.
“I’m so glad you’ve all agreed, because then I can overlook this.” Avon held up several empty packets of Revels.
“Gone, every single sweet, including those infernal coffee ones.”
“The ones force fed to uncooperative prisoners?” Tarrant asked.
“The same.”
They all turned to face Dayna as she swallowed the last sweet from the packet in her hand.
“But I love coffee!”
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
Vila the candy maker. A man after my own heart. Great little story Sue and please wish Daughter #1 a very Happy Birthday. If I have your daughters right, and she was at RTGP3- then she was a blast! Grin
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
littlesue
BradPaula wrote:

Vila the candy maker. A man after my own heart. Great little story Sue and please wish Daughter #1 a very Happy Birthday. If I have your daughters right, and she was at RTGP3- then she was a blast! Grin


No, that was Daughter no. 2.
Daughter No.1 is the one who has not forgiven either Mr Nation of Mr D for taking my attention from her back in Jan 1978! (when she was 11 months old!!)
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
Another story in the Revels saga. Great!!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Travisina
Scrambling in under the deadline, as usual - just before dashing off to work -

After the Harvest

Servalan stands on Liberator's flightdeck, surveying her prize. The ship is hers to command; Zen answers only to her voice, Orac is agreeably subservient.

A splash of red on the cream-coloured couch catches her eye. She knows that it cannot be blood; the auto-repair systems efficiently removed all evidence of the last desperate battle between her men and Liberator's crew. She glides over to investigate and discovers a red glass flower. She recognises it is as the one that had graced her former office in Space Command Headquarters; a gift from the puppeteer. She picks it up and traces its outline. Like her, it is fragile in appearance but strong, its edges sharp. Handled the wrong way, it could be deadly. Carnell's choice of gift showed how well he understood her, and she wonders what has become of him. Still holding the flower, she turns to Orac.

"Do you have a location for the Psychostrategist Carnell?"

"He is behind you."

A hand descends on her shoulder and she whirls around to see the puppeteer smiling his aloof, lazy smile. "I have always been behind you," he pauses and takes her hand. "Madam President."

He draws her to him, and Servalan closes her eyes in delicious anticipation of his kiss.

A voice says, "Supreme Commander."

"Not now, Orac," she murmurs.

"Madam President!" the voice is deferential, but insistent.

The flower slips from her hand and shatters, scattering red glass petals across the floor.

Servalan opens her eyes to see the bland interior of the Kairopan transporter, where she is uncomfortably berthed between crates of Kairopan.

One of her guards is standing in front of her. "Madam - "

"Yes, what is it?"

"The transporter will be docking with Space Command Headquarters in twenty minutes."

"Thank you," she replies icily, trying to hold on to the dream. How strange that she had fallen asleep thinking of Jarvik, but had dreamed of Carnell. She can't shake the image of the flower and the man who had presented it to her.

As she stands up, making the best of her dishevelled appearance, she reaches a decision. She had been wrong to wish to destroy the Liberator. It should be hers – it must be hers; a flagship fit for the President of the Terran Federation. Carnell had failed her once before, but in these strange post-war days she was inclined to give him another chance.

With the psychostrategist by her side, she would rule the galaxy from the flightdeck of that magnificent ship. She pictures in her mind's eye the red glass flower placed in front of Zen, and she smiles.

***

Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
littlesue
I'm coming in just in time.

Heart of Darkness


“Brains, but no heart.”
That was what he had said to Travis on Star One.
At the time he had made himself believe it.
Trying to live a lie that was slowly, but surely, crumbling.
Kerr Avon stood in the smoking ruins of an underground complex, its heart destroyed by Servalan’s traitorous explosions.
In his hand was the silent, broken Orac; at his feet lay Cally.
Dead.
Perhaps the one person who had somehow managed to infiltrate the flimsy shell of hard cold logic which surrounded him.
Anna had been the catalyst for the self centred uncaring persona that he had decided to adopt.
Her death was the reason he had decided not to get involved ever again; to keep his counsel, to deny his feelings; to keep his heart locked away…forever.
However, despite the promise he had made to himself, that heart had refused to stay dead and buried.
In fact, it had been the woman who now lay lifeless at his feet who had perhaps been the key to that refusal.
Maybe from that very first encounter on Saurian Major…
Then there was Meegat.
She had stirred something. He had even been on the verge of asking her to come with him, but she had stated that her future, or what was left of it, was to stay and care for those of her people who were dying.
She had done her duty; fulfilled her destiny and seen the prophecy of Deliverance come to fruition.
Then the memory of Anna had resurfaced, fuelled by her avenging brother. Even though he and Avon had resolved their differences, the need for revenge had begun to stir deep inside him.
Blake and his cause had prevented any further action, but once Blake had gone…
However, that revenge had not been as sweet as he had imagined.
The revelation in the dark cellar of the truth about Anna…or was it Sula? It didn’t matter.
He had been betrayed.
Anna was dead, by his hand this time.
But Cally had still been there.
An uncomfortable presence; not an invasive one, but a distinct feeling that she knew more about him than he, himself, would ever admit to.
Now even Cally was dead, not by his hand, but perhaps indirectly so.
Servalan had been the architect of Cally’s demise. Perhaps that had been her revenge for Avon’s rebuff of her sultry affections on Sarran.
But it did not matter; not now.
He stood at the bottom of the ladder which led up out of this godforsaken place, the rank smell of death pervading the very air that he breathed, and took one last look.
Cally’s hand seemed to be reaching out to him, even in death, from beneath the debris that now comprised her tomb.
He hefted Orac in his left hand and began the long climb upwards...to an uncertain future.
Behind him he left not only someone…
…but something too.
His heart.
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/
 
purplecleric
Bringing up the rear, as usual.

Breath of Life

The table fitted perfectly into the cream curve formed by the seating area. It had caught Dayna’s eye on one of the crew’s adventures. She had insisted on bringing it aboard and installed it on the flight deck. It reflected Zen’s lights like tiger’s eyes and the polished pattern of the wood grain reminded her of animal pelts. She found she often stroked the smooth surface.

Cally also liked the table. She thought it brought warmth to the sterile and synthetic ship. The others were less keen. Vila was reprimanded for leaving ring patterns from spilt drinks and Tarrant was scolded for stretching out his long legs and resting his feet on it. Avon merely commented that the previous table functioned well enough and showed no further interest.

Dayna was lovingly polishing the table and tutting Vila’s carelessness when Zen chimed out.

+ Attention. Anomaly detected ahead.+

Dayna dropped the cloth, alerted the rest of the crew and asked Zen for details. Pointlessly, as it turned out because as soon as he arrived on deck, Avon asked Zen to repeat them again. The anomaly, when revealed on the screen, seemed to be a green cloud. Zen could not identify its composition but no known harmful substances were detected. Orac was, predictably, unhelpful apart from declaring the cloud ‘fascinating’ and worthy of further study.

A course around the cloud was calculated, deemed to be acceptable, and executed. The cloud changed course to intercept the Liberator. This pattern was repeated several times until the crew admitted defeat and tentatively set a course through the green mist. The crew held their breath and their nerve until they emerged unscathed through the other side. Avon turned on his heel, and with a dramatic gesture, demanded Orac report on its findings.

‘Inconclusive,’was the reply. Orac sounded disappointed.

‘Well, that calls for a drink!’ Vila was already putting his words into action. He set his full glass down on the table and it toppled over.

Dayna uttered an exasperated snort, snatched up her cloth and began furiously mopping up the sticky green liquid. She paused, dropping her head to examine the table’s surface more closely.

‘What is it, Dayna?’ Tarrant crossed the flight deck in three long strides and bent to examine the table. The polished top seemed to be bubbling. Vila looked in alarm at the table and then with suspicion at his empty glass.

‘It was only adrenaline and soma.’ His eyes widened as shoots sprouted up from the table top. They thickened, darkened, and sprouted buds. The buds swelled and burst into clusters of delicate blossom. Avon again demanded analysis from Orac, who was far more animated this time.

‘Fascinating. This merits further study. My interim conclusion is that the cloud must have contained some form of metabolic re-animator, bringing the dead cells back to life.’

There was silence as the crew let that information sink in. Avon coughed.

‘I think I’ll change out of these trousers.’
 
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