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Mar 2019 Ficlet Challenge
purplecleric
‘A man from our future. Someone was stupid enough to take a computer prediction and turn it into reality. ‘ Avon - Moloch

Moloch has been traditionally interpreted as the name of a god, more specifically the Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. A less disturbing but maybe more apt in a B7 context, it is also the name of a grotesque but harmless Australian lizard.

The word prompt this month is … MOLOCH

Whether it is a framed certificate or a gilded statuette, every industry has its awards and of course a presentation ceremony. For the second challenge, imagine such a ceremony in the 23rd century.
 
BradPaula
The OG-sters

Welcome back to the third hour of the Outer-Galactic Space Awards presentation better known as the OG-sters. I bet all of you out there are very glad you have been inoculated by the Pyline-50 drug and you are happily watching this endless spectacular in the comfort of your humble abodes, holding cells, or spacecraft, whatever the case may be. I'm Rex Exposition, if you have forgotten, and we now go on to the special awards portion of the broadcast. The Rebellion Category.

In the “Is That Acting?” category, there are three nominees this year. First is Kerr Avon, in the episode Assassin, trying to act like a normal human being and the slavers are having none of it. Second nominee is Piri/Cancer, giving one mind-numbing performance as the sappy-sweet Piri and then the over-the-top Cancer, also in the episode Assassin. Third, is Governor Le Grand in Voice from the Past, sing-songing her lines to the guffaws of viewers the galaxy wide. And the winner of the OG-ster goes to- - (tears open envelope with difficulty) Piri/Cancer. (Host listens to voice in his ear) Unfortunately, Piri cannot accept the award tonight. Something about feeling the pinch, whatever that means! We will accept it on her behalf and hope she pulls through.

The second category is “Most Outrageous Alien”. Nominee one is little Algae Decima from The Web with his pitiful foam-rubber-look skin and sad-sack eyes. The second nominee is the one-eyed Moloch in his eponymous episode. Third is Brian, the Kairopan spider in his break-out performance in Harvest of Kairos. Lastly we have the alien in the tank also from The Web. And the OG-ster goes to... (Oh, I'm quite excited about this one, ladies and gentlemen!) The winner is the alien in the tank. Let's have a big round of applause as the troopers wheel him on stage. Here is your award, Mr. Alien, don't break the glass of your tank with it! The horns on it are a bit sharp! (A smattering of applause as he is pushed off the stage.)

The penultimate award for this category is “Best Use of a Spacemaster Space Craft”. Nominees are the episode Time Squad, Deliverence, and Countdown. The Space BBC sure got their money's worth out of that craft! The winner is...(tears open envelope)... Time Squad. Let's have a big round of applause for those hard working members of the effects department, shall we?

As the applause peters out, a voice is heard shouting from way up in the balcony. “Soolin is looking lovely this week. Soolin is looking lovely this week.” Silence followed as the audience on the main floor turned to look up at a tall man being escorted out by a number of Federation troopers. On the heels of that outburst, a rather stout blonde woman stood up on the main floor and yelled that the Spacemaster space craft award was rigged. It was never Time Squad, she yelled, it had to be Countdown! She pointed to the host with her outstretched hand and shouted to him on the stage “I know a mercenary who will sort you out, buddy. Let go of me you brutes. Let me go,” she shouted as she also was escorted out of the theater.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, you get all kinds here! Don't think I've been been threatened like that before. There's always a first time! (Fake laughter from the host.) And what a quaint colloquial accent that dear lady had! So colonial! We all remember when we had our first Vita-zaid, right? Well, we can't let a minor upset stop us. We still have hours of awards to plow through. Let's take a short commercial break while the nice Federation guards check identification papers of all the remaining balcony members. We'll be right back! (Fake smile).
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Mrs_Underhill
Bwahaha, that was great! I agree with all the nominations! As for the awards - I agree with the lady from the audience, but very quietly so that troopers won't get me too. Smile
 
BradPaula
Mrs_Underhill wrote:

Bwahaha, that was great! I agree with all the nominations! As for the awards - I agree with the lady from the audience, but very quietly so that troopers won't get me too. Smile


The lady in the audience was me.... I'll have you guess who the man in the balcony was. Hint: He likes Soolin...
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Hugbot
Thanks for the funny romp, Paula - that was great (although I have to admit that I quite like the Decima design!).
At first, I wondered why you made Time Quad the winner in the Space Master category and not Countdown. And then I saw what you were doing. I guess the lady in the audience was waving a Welsh street sign at the presenter, wasn't she? Wink
 
BradPaula
Hugbot wrote:

Thanks for the funny romp, Paula - that was great (although I have to admit that I quite like the Decima design!).
At first, I wondered why you made Time Quad the winner in the Space Master category and not Countdown. And then I saw what you were doing. I guess the lady in the audience was waving a Welsh street sign at the presenter, wasn't she? Wink


Yep!!
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
trevor travis
BradPaula wrote:
As the applause peters out, a voice is heard shouting from way up in the balcony. “Soolin is looking lovely this week. Soolin is looking lovely this week.” Silence followed as the audience on the main floor turned to look up at a tall man being escorted out by a number of Federation troopers. On the heels of that outburst, a rather stout blonde woman stood up on the main floor and yelled that the Spacemaster space craft award was rigged. It was never Time Squad, she yelled, it had to be Countdown! She pointed to the host with her outstretched hand and shouted to him on the stage “I know a mercenary who will sort you out, buddy. Let go of me you brutes. Let me go,” she shouted as she also was escorted out of the theater.


My ears are burning Grin

Very funny story, although I notice ginger has been missed out between "a" and "mercenary" Wink
 
BradPaula
trevor travis wrote:

BradPaula wrote:
As the applause peters out, a voice is heard shouting from way up in the balcony. “Soolin is looking lovely this week. Soolin is looking lovely this week.” Silence followed as the audience on the main floor turned to look up at a tall man being escorted out by a number of Federation troopers. On the heels of that outburst, a rather stout blonde woman stood up on the main floor and yelled that the Spacemaster space craft award was rigged. It was never Time Squad, she yelled, it had to be Countdown! She pointed to the host with her outstretched hand and shouted to him on the stage “I know a mercenary who will sort you out, buddy. Let go of me you brutes. Let me go,” she shouted as she also was escorted out of the theater.


My ears are burning Grin

Very funny story, although I notice ginger has been missed out between "a" and "mercenary" Wink


Thanks, TT, for reminding me to bring my Welsh Street Sign with me to Maximum Power this year!!! Hey, if you can't fit in friends into your story, what can you do?
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
JustBrad
trevor travis wrote:

My ears are burning Grin

Very funny story, although I notice ginger has been missed out between "a" and "mercenary" Wink


i.imgur.com/2ZGde7F.jpg
 
Lurena
Great funny story Paula! Grin
I'm glad your writing block is over!
More please?
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
 
http://lectorisalutem.webs.com/
Hugbot
Burnt Offerings

She didn’t know how the picture had ended up among her documents. It looked like a children’s drawing, crayon on paper, but with a disturbing motif: a demonic figure with flames burning in its lap and devouring an infant. Her first impulse was to throw it away but then she decided to keep it as evidence. Maybe it was meant as a threat. She had made lots of enemies, before the revolution and after.

It was already late in the evening when she left her office. The lights were dimmed, and not a soul was in sight. The days of drugged citizens reeling dreamily through corridors filled with muzak were long gone. The days of cameras watching every step were also gone, and today, it made her feel uncomfortable. She began to move faster.

When she went round the first corner, she bumped into a stranger. The impact and the shock made her stumble. Her briefcase fell from her hands, and the little drawing fluttered down.

A faint smile appeared on the face of the man.

‘I see you got my message’, he said.

She stared at him, trying to recognise him. He was in his mid-twenties but she was sure that she had never seen him before. ‘Who are you?’ she asked.

‘No-one you ever met’, he answered. To her horror, he produced a small gun from his jacket, and in one swift motion, he trained it on her legs and shot. She collapsed, and while the pain rushed through her body, she realised with astonishment that she was still alive.

His next words, however, were not exactly reassuring.

‘I was released from the psychiatric clinic today’, he said. He laughed when he saw that she went pale.

‘No, it’s not what you think. I’ve been treated for many years because as I child, I was molested by a man. At least that is what I remembered for all those years; what I vividly remembered.’

She stared at him, slowly realising who he was.

‘Even when the revolution set us free, I remained in my mental prison. It took many years until the documents of your department were finally disclosed. It had not been Blake who had molested me; it had been you. Now the doctors could reverse the process; but my childhood and my youth had been squandered. By you.’

Morag tried to crawl back but of course she could not get away from him.

‘It was not easy to track you down. You and your cronies helped each other to evade justice and even started new careers. Head of the Legal Department in a state-run company, no less!’

‘You are free now’, she tried to persuade him. ‘If you kill me, you will be convicted for murder. Don’t waste your life for revenge.’

He shook his head. ‘My life is already wasted. My only regret is that it will be quick. I don’t have the means to let you suffer for years.’

He raised his gun again, and this time, he aimed at her head.
 
Anniew
What a great laugh Paula and what a chilling and clever read Hugbot.

A visit to Molech

The beat of the drums had started an hour ago and got louder as they approached the ridge. Perhaps the insistent noise should have prepared them for the terrible sight but it hadn’t.

Vila gave a choking cry and turned away, heaving violently. Blake would have rushed down amongst the worshippers if Avon hadn’t prevented him, his iron grip withstanding his leader’s struggles to escape. They stood together watching, Blake’s face contorted with horror, Avon’s impassive but marble pale.

The metal arms of the giant figure glowed red with heat, but the drums drowned the shrieks of the children as they were placed on them. Drugged by sound, the worshippers swayed rhythmically as the ghastly rites continued.

A shout. Alerted by the a flash of sunlight reflecting off Blake’s gun, the guards flanking the arena advanced on their position, spears raised, and others positioned on the cliffs above the ridge, threw stones which fell around them like hail, narrowly missing their targets.

Still struggling in Avon’s grip, Blake managed to activate his bracelet. “Teleport” he shouted and the horrid scene faded away like a dream.

Back on the flight deck, even Avon accepted Cally’s offer of an adrenalin and soma, although apart from downing the drink in one sharp swallow, he outwardly showed little reaction to what they had witnessed. None of them mentioned the abhorrent ritual but the others agreed that the Federation was welcome to invade Molech; that interfering on the inhabitants’ behalf, as Blake had planned, would patently be unsafe.

Avon expressed no opinion during the discussion, but Blake, unwilling, as always, to let things go, pressed him for a response.

“You’re unusually quiet, Avon. I take it your silence gives consent.”

Avon turned on him furiously, hurling his empty glass against the wall.

“You may take what you like Blake. You and your whole damned revolution. If that....scum are examples of the ‘honest men’ to whom you are planning to return power, then count me out.”

He glared at his shocked companions and then swept out of the flight deck, ignoring Blake’s impassioned cry, “Avon! Wait.”
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Mrs_Underhill
Hugbot - wow, that was excellent! Plausible and chilling. One does wonder what happened to those children.

Anniew - oh, horrible but powerful! Blake had to accept that an enemy of your enemy couldn't always be your friend...
Edited by Mrs_Underhill on 15 March 2019 17:18:38
 
Travisina
Wow, indeed - what fantastic stories!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Hugbot
@Anniew: Great little story! Apart from all its other merits (the chilling atmosphere and our heroes discovering an even worse alternative to the Federation), I parituclarly loved the fact that you showed us Avon's breaking point. Having witnessed these horrible deeds, he can no longer keep his usual cool and detached stance ... while Blake still lead discussions about the pros and cons of interfereing. The selfish criminal being more humane than the idealistic zealot ... a bitter truth!
 
Hugbot
Sorry, even after weeding out lots and lots of nominees, I ended up with double the word count ...

Hacker of the Year

Lebon Racso had presented the Annual Technology Awards for more then 25 years, and yet people usually gauged him to be in his early thirties. He had one of these ageless faces – and a very good make-up artist. With the routine of a quarter of a century of experience, he stepped on stage not knowing what this evening held in store.

‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 27th edition of the Annual Technology Awards’, he said. He cut the opening short; after all, most of the guests were either scientists or nerds who would not appreciate his waxing lyrical on the event.

‘Let’s jump right in with our first category, Creative Unauthorised Access to Computer Systems or, as it is more commonly called, hacking.’

A text appeared on the anti-grav glass lectern that hovered in front of him.

‘The nominees are: Kerr Avon for hacking into the Federation Banking System and nearly stealing five million credits ...’ Nearly, he thought. Obviously, he has no chance of winning. The jury prefer people who actually succeed. ‘... Emily Kolburn for hacking into high-security systems within minutes and without any preparatory work, reconnaissance, software tools or at least formal training ...’ Her chances are much better. They love teenage whizz-kids. ‘... and James T. Kirk for driving numerous computers to self-destruction by getting preachy with them.’ A Federation captain? He’s bound to win. The jury won’t dare to offend the military. ‘And the winner is ...’

Right on cue, his assistant appeared on stage, sporting a blonde wig, a broad smile straight out of a toothpaste ad, and a daring mini skirt. Of course, the scientists and nerds wouldn’t notice; this was the bait for the billions of viewers at home. She handed him an old-fashioned envelope, which he ritually opened.

‘... Kerr Avon!’

A man in the front row stood up and stepped on stage. He did not look like the usual skinny, bespectacled hacker. Instead, he was a handsome guy in tight-fitting black leather. Racso handed him the trophy, a gilded proddy tool.

According to the custom, Avon thanked everyone and went back to his seat. New text appeared on the lectern.

‘In our second category, Robotics, the nominees are: Kerr Avon for reprogramming a few basic functions of a highly sophisticated Triple Omega android without reading the manual ...’ Reprogramming? Basic functions? Definitely not worth a prize! ‘... Dr Muller for building a highly dangerous, unrestricted killer android and separately developing the restraint mechanism ...’ How stupid can you be? ‘... and Prof. Aloysius "Pop" Haggerty for designing a telepathically controlled robot.’

A balding guy in the audience shouted, ‘Don’t call me Pop!’, but Racso was too experienced to let the man disturb the event. He simply ignored him and continued: ‘And the winner is ... thank you ... rip, rip, rip ... Kerr Avon!’

Again the leather guy, again a gilded proddy tool, and again a few hypocritical thank yous.

‘Now to our next category, Piloting. The nominees are: Kerr Avon for manually controlling an alien space ship without any experience ... Jenna Stannis for crossing a meteoroid field in several hours in one direction and in five minutes on the way back by using a shortcut through the plot holes ... Del Tarrant for making a living as a pilot without knowing how to land a ship ... the Cat for piloting a space ship guided by his sense of smell ... and Shima Daisuke a.k.a. Mark Venture for executing the first space warp in history with a World War II battle ship.’ Wait, what??? ‘And the winner is ... Kerr Avon!’

Another proddy tool for the leather guy. And another category:

‘In our fourth category, Computer Design, we have: Nathan Spring sr. for building the personal assistant prototype, Box ... Prof. Ensor for building the legendary computer brain, Orac ... and Kerr Avon for building an Orac replica.’ A replica? This guy got nominated for building a replica? ‘And the winner is ...’ Please, not again! ‘... Kerr Avon!’ Sigh!

Well, you know the drill: leather guy, gilded proddy tool, not exactly heartfelt thanks; continue.

‘Next, we have Weaponry. Our nominees are: Kerr Avon for identifying a non-standard low-energy discharge weapon by merely looking at it ...’ Is it just me, or are the justifications for these nominations getting more and more pathetic? ‘... Dayna Mellanby for developing gaudy and effective but also obviously inflatable weapons ... and the Association of Western Movie Directors for the invention of a revolver that can kill eight out of five pursuing Indians with a single shot. And the winner is ...’

Yes, you guessed correctly.

‘In our last-but-one category, Bio Technology, we have: Kerr Avon for identifying a limiter malfunction by using a Voray scanner without any specialist training ...’ Deary me! ‘... Dr Justin for creating a radiation-proof life-form that would be able to enter any war zone as long as it does not have to pass through narrow doors ... and Doc Holiday of the Buffalo Skies for breeding an artificial hand with a mind of its own, and an evil mind into the bargain.’ Killed his pilot, apparently; and for this, he got nominated? ‘And the winner is ... Kerr Avon!’

Racso’s only remaining hope was that it would soon be over.

‘And now our last category, Propulsion. The nominees are: Kerr Avon for contributing to the further development of the Plaxton star drive after the unfortunate demise of its creator ...’ Or, in plain simple English: for killing the creator and stealing her invention. ‘... Tiny Clanger for building a music drive for a space boat ... and Tobias Findteisen for designing an all-purpose amphibious helicopter powered by raspberry juice and cod liver oil.’ Now they are trying to pull my leg, aren’t they? ‘And the winner is ...’ Please, no! ‘... Kerr Avon!’

Now seven gilded proddy tools stood in front of the black leather guy. When Racso saw his smug grin, he regretted having crawled out of his cozy bed this morning.

Pfft


Each prize was worth 5000 credits, but of course the mundane exchange of money was not done in public. Racso met Avon behind the stage where he collected his cheque of 35,000 credits from a boring accountant.

‘I have never seen anyone so lucky’, Racso complimented him reluctantly.

‘It had nothing to do with luck’, Avon answered. ‘May I suggest that next year, you update the security of your nomination and voting software?’
 
Vanessa Doffenshmirtz
Hugbot wrote:

Sorry, even after weeding out lots and lots of nominees, I ended up with double the word count ...

Hacker of the Year


‘It had nothing to do with luck’, Avon answered. ‘May I suggest that next year, you update the security of your nomination and voting software?’


I'm sorry are you suggesting that Mr Avon cheated???
I used to be such a sweet sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me.
 
One Spare Part
Brilliant stories all. You guys know your stuff. FrownGrin
"We're in the centre of a mystical convergence here."
 
Ellen York
The trophy being a gilded proddy tool is just perfect Smile
 
Mrs_Underhill
That's a great story Hugbot, I'm glad it went over word limit as it meant more money and more proddy tools for Avon. Smile
"I don't need to outrun the lion, I just need to outrun you", put in practice brilliantly by Avon.
 
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