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Apr 2019 Ficlet Challenge
purplecleric
‘Our first concern must be to see that he has justice.’ Ven Glynd - The Way Back

The word prompt for this month is … ARBITER-GENERAL

Let’s have some courtroom drama, B7 style!



April, of course, begins with April Fool’s Day so for the second challenge, imagine how that may manifest among our crew.


My apologies for the late posting.
 
Anniew
“We’ve a problem. He’s disappeared. I think it’s time I did too.”

The slight figure on the vid screen spoke with an authority which belied her youthful appearance. Ven Glynd looked thoughtful, weighing the situation.

“Is your brother still visiting Havant for treatment?”

“He is.”

“Good. We have the means to convince him. Right, my dear...Send me all the details. It’s time for you to die.”

“Sending now. The procedure...will it hold?”

“Oh yes. Mental implantation rarely fails. Poor Del will be convinced his sister has been tortured to death and he will blame Kerrvasan for it. Where will you go?”

“Ganymede. Its Governor and I have an acquaintance of some duration and his plantation is a perfect hideaway. When he returns to Earth, I shall accompany him as his wife.”

“A sacrifice...”

“Yes....but I shall find ways to amuse myself. I’ll arrange to leave immediately. Just make sure you trace him quickly and get him out of circulation. I don’t want my cover blown.”

“Consider it done.”

Xxxxxx

“Senator Rontane? This is unexpected.”

“The matter is urgent, Ven Glynd..It concerns the embezzler, Avon Kerrvason.”

“Not a problem...His trial is scheduled...the outcome beyond doubt..By this time next week his execution will have taken place. Problem solved.”

“His father is expressing....concerns...no doubt instigated by that hysteric he’s married to. Nevertheless it raises a difficulty. As he’s a major contributor to the Administration, the President is, naturally, keen to accommodate his wishes. “

“And those are...”

“No death penalty and the removal of any link to the family...”

“ Mind alteration...?”

“Yes.”

“You do realise he’s managed to embezzle 50 million credits? It’s a capital offence. We haven’t been able to trace the money either. And he’s refusing to talk.”

“He won’t be able to spend it on Cygnus Alpha. By the time you’ve played with his mind, he won’t even recall that he had the money. Charge him with attempted fraud. His father’s rich enough to cover the losses.”

xxx

“ Is that him?” The podgy, self-satisfied Senator leant forward uncomfortably in his seat to get a better look.

The Prisoner stood at the podium, erect, but passive. He seemed disinterested in his surroundings, withdrawn. He was not tall but there was something distinctive, patrician even, in his appearance, despite the drab prison garb he was wearing. His face was pale, a purple bruise disfiguring one cheek, his expression set.

“Yes.” In absurd contrast to his overweight companion, Senator Rontaine was lean, vulpine and he wasted few words.

“Doesn’t look much like his father...”

“Favours his mother’s side I believe.”

The two Senators were interrupted as the Clerk to the court stepped forward. “Now be silent. By the authority of the Terran Federation, this tribunal is in session,” he announced.

There was a rustle of movement around the area, quickly stilled. The Prisoner appeared not to notice, his gaze blank, inward.

“The Arbiter will permit submissions,” the Clerk continued.

From her raised dais the Arbiter, a middle age woman, elaborately coiffured, raked the court with stern eyes.

“Bring the accused forward,” she said and the guards moved the unresisting prisoner to face her.
“ Kerr Avon, you are charged with....”

“ Bit close to the original...that name..isn’t it?” The pudgy Senator looked slightly alarmed. He held his hand in front of his mouth to disguise he was talking, speaking in the softest voice,

Rontaine kept his attention on the proceedings but whispered a reply from the corner of his mouth. “Necessary. The closer to the original, the less likely the implant will break down. Don’t worry. They’ve concocted a convincing back story for him. Disaffected Beta grade....Parents both dead... Brother killed in an industrial accident.”

“And....the Grant girl...”

“Oh he thinks she’s dead as well. Over zealous torturer. They arranged for her brother to visit him and give him the news. I understand Grant threatened to kill him for causing her death. Rather amusing... Good God...”

The last words were spoken aloud, startled from him as the Prisoner’s stony indifference shattered as the sentence was pronounced...

“ No...death...the sentence...execution...You must....” he screamed.

The Senators and Court Officials drew back in alarm from his wild gesticulations while the guards surged forward, pinning his arms. A hiss from the syringe one of them held and he slumped bonelessly.

xxx

“Well that was unexpected.” Ven Glynd nursed his glass of expensive brandy as he viewed the record of the trial. “Death wish do you think?”

“Possibly.” Senator Bercol took a large mouthful from his glass and then rested it on his ample stomach as he swallowed slowly. “He told a guard he was coming back. Revenging the death of his girl, or some such nonsense.”

“From Cygnus Alpha? He’ll be the first then. Refill?”
Edited by Anniew on 03 April 2019 14:44:00
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Hugbot
So now we finally know why Avon's brother called Avon, 'Avon'! Quite chilling to see how many people had their memories faked by the Federation, but given the methods we have already seen in the series, it is very convincing.
 
Lurena
Wow Annie, that is a wonderful, well thought-out, very dark story.
Something very believable indeed.
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/
Vanessa Doffenshmirtz
Thank you Annie. That was epic.
I used to be such a sweet sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me.
 
Joe Dredd
purplecleric wrote:
The word prompt for this month is … ARBITER-GENERAL


I am the very model of a Feddy Arby General,
I'll sentence you to Cygnus A then decide I should rebel

etc, etc, something about my hypnotic suitcase, looking different the next time you see me, etc.

The JD do-it-yourself filk entry.
 
littlesue
Vila is up before the beak.
My take on how Vila's trial went...and piccie by Lurena!

Courting Trouble


“We really are at a loss as to what to do with him.” Ven Glynd declared, watching the scene on the monitor before him.
“What, a petty thief? Surely he can be retrained?” replied Morag.
“It’s been tried…many times. But it makes no difference. He just cannot resist opening locked doors; being a pick pocket…I was with him for just five minutes; five minutes! And in that time he had taken my watch, my wallet and my security card!”
“So what now? I mean summary execution is somewhat extreme for a mere thief, surely?”
“No, this time I’m afraid it’s Cygnus Alpha for him. Morag, you have an appointment, don’t you, in court? That Blake trial?”
She smiled, “That won’t take long; it’s an open and shut case. But please do tell me how this Restal chap gets on.”

Courtroom three was set aside for those the Federation deemed of no importance, but the prisoner in his cell was still under the watchful eye of two guards.
“Call the prisoner Restal to the dock.”
“Come on you,” the first guard growled. He wasn’t happy about guarding some small time thief; he wanted someone more important, like Blake. Now that would have been something to boast about to his colleagues.
“Are you sure they mean me?” Vila Restal replied.
“Yes,” the second guard said.
“But I haven’t done anything. It’s a mistake, I should be in prison…or seeing that nice doctor again; the one who tried to straighten me out…”
“That nice Doctor is a nervous wreck,” Guard number one informed him.
“Oh…..”
“Yes; Oh. Now get to your feet, Restal, your trial is about to begin.”
Both men literally carried Vila between them to the prisoner’s dock.
Vila’s defence lawyer didn’t look at him, what was the point? Justice was about to be done, whether Vila liked it or not.
“You know,” Vila began in his usual cheery voice, “That defence lawyer didn’t seem convinced of my innocence. It was all a misunderstanding…”
“In a long line of misunderstandings. Now quiet.”
The Clerk cleared her throat. “Quiet. This case will now be considered.”
The judgement machine’s lights began to flash…innocent, guilty, innocent, guilty….faster and faster, in a frenzy.
Then the entire machine exploded.
Everyone dived for cover; except for Vila who was trying to make a hasty escape. Only to find the first guard had a firm hold on him.
“Now look what you’ve done! Even that machine couldn’t handle you.”
The Clerk of the court sighed, “In view of this…problem, it is the Court’s decision to transport the said Vila Restal to the penal Colony on Cygnus Alpha ...”
“What?! They can’t do that,” Vila cried out.
But the damage was done; the destruction of the judgement machine had sealed his fate.
“The Prisoner will be escorted to a holding cell to await Transportation.”
The Guard took another firm hold of Vila, then “Oi, where’s my watch?”
Vila sheepishly handed it over, “Sorry!”

i.imgur.com/h3ZOjyU.jpg
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/
 
Joe Dredd
Thus began Vila's antipathy towards all clear, judgemental box-shaped computers.
 
JohnMax
Bit of a late / short one :-)


“Just what, exactly, is he doing down there?” snapped Avon, his hands resting on Orac’s casing, fingertips inches from the explosives he himself had put in there.
“This is not information he provided me with. Really, is it required that I understand all the actions taken by this crew? Are you incapable of self governance?”
Avon rolled his eyes upwards with a sigh. “Did he give any clue at all?”
“He mentioned something about wanting a decent meal, in honour of the anniversary of his sentencing. Now, if I might be allowed to….”
“This doesn’t help locate him.”
“No, it doesn’t,” agreed Cally, “That’s a pleasure planet, there are any number of places to eat and drink… and those pursuit ships are getting closer all the time. Orac, surely he left some further clue – he’s taken his bracelet off, but he wouldn’t want to stay here. He just wouldn’t.”

Orac’s lights flickered in a pattern of annoyance and the irritated buzz of angry wasps filled the room momentarily. Cally’s turn to scowl at Orac.
“You know something else, something you’re not telling us. What is it, Orac?”
“He said something nonsensical… that he was off to visit the Abattoir-general. Foolish nonsense!”
Avon laughed, “He’s gone for a steak!”
“Steak!” exclaimed Cally. “But that’s barbaric. Only primitives still eat meat!”
“Well, we’ve always known Villia to be a little primitive,” sneered Avon. “Orac, lay in coordinates for the best steakhouse down there. Let’s get him back on board!”
_____________________________
"Imagine you're standing on the edge of a cliff."
"As long as you're not standing behind me."
 
JohnMax
The Last Laugh
Travis stood at attention, the sneer on his face showing his disdain for the two mutoid guards flanking him. Across from him, sat behind her desk, Servalan glared at him intently.
“So, Travis, you’ve let yourself be caught, and for what? What possible reason could I have for letting you live THIS time?”
“Because, Servalan, I have him.”
Servalan scarcely suppressed a grimace at the use of her name without title. Holding her temper in check, she spoke slowly, carefully. “Have who, Travis?”
“Blake, of course! I found him, Servalan. I’ve captured him. And only I know where he is now.”
“He’s alive?”
“Of course. Why would I deny you the pleasure of his death, when there is so much to be gained. For me. From you.”
He had Servalan’s attention. “Go on…”
“Once five million credits are transferred to me, and I have a ship awaiting me, with blanked mutiods, then I will let you in on the details.”
“Oh, really?” smiled Servalan, flicking one of the switches on her desk. A dim green light shone down on Travis. “Well, perhaps letting you live WAS worthwhile. But, in your absence, we have been busy.”
“Busy?” sneered Travis. “Busy doing what?”
“Well, for one, building this truth-inducer. So, tell me again, where is Blake?”
Travis snorted, and then a look of horror crossed his face as words spewed from his mouth without him intending to speak. “Of course I don’t have him! This is a ruse, an April put on….”
“MUTIODS!” screamed Servalan.
*Blam* *Blam* *Blam*
_____________________________
"Imagine you're standing on the edge of a cliff."
"As long as you're not standing behind me."
 
Anniew
How nice! A new writer. I enjoyed those stories John Max.


Joe LOL

Sue and Lurena...most enjoyable.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
trevor travis
WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN!

Avon was sick of Vila’s childish April Fool jokes.

There was the year that Vila swapped around the functions of the buttons on Avon’s shirt.

The year he stuck cellophane over the Liberator toilet.

The year he hid Orac.

The year he put studs on the inside of Avon’s leather underpants.

Avon wasn’t going to be taken in this year.

***

As the guards closed in around Avon, he had only one thing on his mind.

He looked over to the inert body of Vila.

“You can get up now, Vila! I’m not fooled by this. Those are fake guns you were all shot with, while I’ve probably just covered Blake in tomato ketchup that you stole from the BBC canteen.”

Vila didn’t move.

As the guards fired, the last thing that crossed Avon’s mind before he died was that maybe this wasn’t an April Fools joke, after all.
Edited by trevor travis on 30 April 2019 12:29:37
 
littlesue
Well I thought about this for a while.
Not sure if it counts, but then, well why not?
A certain April Fool Joke on the TV many, many years ago came to mind. I'm sure that there are some on here who remember it....Panorama and Richard Dimbleby with certain trees in Italy!!!!!

Joking Apart…


“Money does not grow on trees, Vila”, Avon said in that exasperated tone he usually reserved for the man who was always after a quick payday.
“Yes it does,” Vila insisted.
“Where?”

And so the Liberator found itself orbiting a far flung planet out in the far flung edges of the Galaxy.
“Are you sure that is what the message said?” Cally asked.
“Look, ask Zen; ask Orac. They picked it up as well. Go on. Ask them.”
“My faith in those two machines is on the same level as my faith in you,” Avon declared.
“Really?” Jenna murmured, “Is that why you insisted on getting kitted up and accompanying Vila to check out this rumour?”
“I am merely going to accompany him so that I can have the pleasure of telling him ‘told you so’.”
“Well, come on then,” Blake barked.
He found himself on the receiving end of a barbed look.
“So you are coming too?”
“See,” Vila smiled, “Blake believes me…money does grow on trees.”

“Alas, you are too late, my friends,” the impish old man declared.
“Too late?” Vila cried.
“Oh what a pity, now you won’t see the money growing on trees,” Avon huffed.
“When you say, ‘too late’, too late for what?” Blake asked.
“The harvest,” the old man smiled. “The Federation got here and took the whole lot…but if you’re interested, there’s another field over there, but that money isn’t due until later in the season. That will become spaghetti.”
“Spaghetti doesn’t grow on trees,” Blake pointed out.
“Who said anything about trees?” the old man grinned, “No that’s when the wheat ripens and then we make the dough…”
Vila’s ears pricked up, “Dough…as in money?”
“Well eventually, yes. Once it’s harvested…and that won’t take long. A rumour spread about money just waiting to be picked…you’d be surprised just how many people come running…”
Avon, meanwhile, was crouched down, examining an object on the ground. He stood up.
“What is this?”
“An orange. It grows on these trees. The Federation came along and picked the whole lot for me and I got a nice amount of money…works every time.”
Both Blake and Avon were staring at Vila.
“What exactly works every time?” Blake asked very slowly.
“The long standing joke round these parts…it fools everybody who doesn’t know what time of year it is,” The old man replied.
“And what time of year would that be?” Avon asked even more slowly.
“April. Oh don’t tell me you came all this way because of a joke?”
“A joke?” Vila said aghast.
“Yes, an April Fool’s Joke. We put out a message that there is money growing on trees and…..”
“The Federation get here first and harvest your crop,” Blake murmured, watching Avon as he turned the orange in his hand.
“They never learn,” smiled the old man.
“So there is no money growing on trees?” Vila sighed, “It’s a joke.”
Slowly Avon raised his hand and squeezed the orange over Vila’s head.
“And the joke is on you!”
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/
 
JustBrad
Just coming in under the wire this month.

“As you are a repeat offender I sentence you to exile on Cygnus Alpha. Court is adjourned.” Ven Glynd stepped down from the bench.

As the arbiter moved wearily to his chambers, the bailiff caught him up. “Alta Morag requests you order CAS London to depart immediately. She didn’t say why.”

“I know why.” Glynd signed the order as if he were angry with it. “How many cases left today?”

“Just one, sir, the murderer.” The bailiff offered the case notes.

Glynd’s brow arched as he read. “Five hundred million? That’s serious, possibly political, but hardly murder.”

The bailiff answered, “Read on, sir. He also killed a man, a black marketeer, but it’s still murder.”

Glynd nodded. “Embezzlement and murder. An open and shut case followed by a death sentence. Shouldn’t take long. Trial to begin in ten minutes.”

Ven Glynd entered his chambers and shut the door. It had been a stressful few days, but CAS London would soon be bound for Cygnus Alpha and the Blake affair would be behind him.

A communicator beeped, his private line, probably Alta Morag checking that he signed her order.

“Glynd here.”

“Good evening, arbiter.” The voice was deep, resonant, and obviously filtered to obscure the caller’s identity. “Congratulations on your deft handling of the Blake affair. You’ve one more case today, a murder case. You will acquit the defendant of murder, calling it self-defense.”

“What? Who is this? I can’t just let a murderer go.”

The filtered voice spoke more slowly, as if thinking. “Agreed. I cannot have him roaming free asking questions, nor can I afford the inevitable investigation if you acquit him of all charges. You will find him guilty of embezzlement and exile him to Cygnus Alpha. As for the murder charges, you will let those go. Yes. I will let him go.”

Glynd chuckled. “Is this some kind of joke?”

“No joke, arbiter, you will act as instructed. You will not sentence this accused to death. Fail to comply and I will inform Alta Morag of your dealings.”

“This must be a joke. This is a private line. What dealings are you talking about?”

“Your dealings with Governor LeGrand. I assure you, arbiter, I am dead serious.”

There was something about the way the voice said the word ‘dead’ that made it sound like a credible threat. Glynd tried one last time. “Is that you, Governor LeGrand?”

“No, arbiter, I am not Governor LeGrand. My name is Bartholomew.”
Edited by JustBrad on 30 April 2019 20:55:13
 
Anniew
Ooh. Glad you both slipped in under the wire Sue and Brad. I’d have loved to see Travis picking oranges, Sue and Brad that’s a very clever way of reconciling both The Way Back and Voice from the Past. Kudos.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Lurena
Well this month's challenge was not an easy one, but you all managed to come up with some good stories!
Happy to welcome John Max!
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/
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