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Jun 2019 Fanfic Challenge
‘Now I want to show you a little trick here.’ Vila - Spacefall

Vila’s digital dexterity features in many episodes, both conjuring and lock-picking.

The word prompt this month is … JUGGLE

Not just one of Vila’s tricks, it can also be the art of managing several tasks at once or to organize data to give the most favourable impression.


Now the summer is upon us, the sporting calendar is filling up. I wonder what sports on board ship or planetside our crew enjoy?
Many thanks to Moon Disc for giving me this idea.

“ Do you have to wear that tunic, Avon?”

“Whats wrong with it?” Avon’s eyes narrowed suspiciously as he tried to look over his shoulder and view his back.

“It’s not very practical. The sleeves are too tight.”

A collective hiss swept through the flight deck as each member of crew drew in a breath. Even Orac let out a nervous whine.

“Are you implying I’ve put on weight?” Avon enquired, with deceptive calm.

“I’m just....Good God no....” belatedly Blake recognised the chasm he opened up and into which he was about to tumble. “ No...NO. You look...fine. NO.” An edge of panic crept into his normally imperturbable delivery as Avon’s eyes tightened to a degree that was undoubtably painful and quite possibly injurious. “More than fine, Avon. You look... very prett...No handsome. You look handsome,” he finished with a rush, relieved to see fatuous satisfaction replace thin-lipped outrage on the Computer Tec’s face.

Another hiss, this time of exhaled breath as the flight deck occupants relaxed.

“ So what is your problem, Blake?” Avon demanded, throwing himself flamboyantly on to the couch, to display to advantage a shapely leg encased in thigh-high leather boots. “Not all of us are happy to go around with what resembles two giant bingo wings flapping from their arm pits.”

“You must have noticed the issue we have on away missions..” It was an apparent non sequitur but Blake had a lot of experience with Avon. The best way to stop him dismissing a suggestion out of hand was to throw him a bone, absorb the inevitable snarky aside, and then while he was congratulating himself, sneak up on the main thrust of your argument via a circuitous route.

“Aside from being shot at or menaced by Travis?” Avon duly supplied.

“ Yes apart from that,” Blake smiled urbanely. “The problem I had in mind was more to do with juggling.”

“ Juggling, Blake? Are we a travelling circus, then? Mind you we often resemble one, especially when Vila accompanies us.”

Blake ignored the indignant, “ Hey!” from Vila and circled closer to his main point.

“Equipment, Avon. Bombs. Transporting them on missions can be difficult.”

“ Not really..” Vila demurred. “I take my red box..”

“And you take two hands to carry it,” Avon pointed out. “ You’re not much use when an attack comes with your hands full. Mind you,” he continued scathingly, “You’re not much use, period.”

“I resent that,” Vila retorted with spirit. “You’ve had many a sandwich from my red box. Sustaining things, sandwiches, when you’re under attack.”

“Exactly!” Blake seized on the point with enthusiasm. “Sandwiches. How can we transport sandwiches, bombs, all the things we need to complete our missions and still have our hands free to gun down attackers?”

“If this is building up to a suggestion that we all carry red boxes with us, you can count me out of future missions.”

“ I agree, Avon. It wouldn’t be practical, ” Cally contributed. She had been following the discussion with furrowed brow.

“For once I also agree with Avon,” Jenna added from her position at the piloting station. “It’s not the sort of accessory, I’d be seen dead with.”

“No of course not. I’m suggesting....these,” said Blake, throwing out his arms and displaying his bat wings.

“Sleeves Blake? You’re suggesting that baggy sleeves become an essential tool in our fight against the Federation? I draw the line at that..”

“But look how roomy they are Avon,” Blake persuaded...well...persuasively. “I can fit bombs, wire cutters, a nice bottle of red...olives ..in them and I still have my hands free.”

“They’re a fashion abomination,” Avon declared decisively. “However, I concede you do have a point. I could conceal a bottle of Vichy water and a good size salami in these boots. Oh and a bomb of course,” he added hastily.


“Why does Avon wear that jacket with those hideous shoulder pads?” Tarrant asked Vila as he waited to be teleported to Teal.

“He’s very fond of bratwurst for his morning snack.”
Edited by Annie on 18 June 2019 21:54:12
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
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, that was delightful! Smile
Thank you for cheering me up!
Brilliant, Anniew!GrinGrin
Thanks for the lovely story, Anniew!
I always knew Blake had a plan. Great, Anniew.
"Imagine you're standing on the edge of a cliff."
"As long as you're not standing behind me."
Moon Disk
Fantasic, Anniew! This line had me in stitches: “Are you implying I’ve put on weight?” Avon enquired, with deceptive calm. LOL!!! As for the bratwurst - I always knew there had to be a reason for *that* outfit!! Loved it Grin
Moon Disc's Fanfic on A03 https://archiveof.../Moon_Disc or FanFiction.net https://www.fanfi.../Moon-Disc
Moon Disk wrote:

Fantasic, Anniew! This line had me in stitches: “Are you implying I’ve put on weight?” Avon enquired, with deceptive calm. LOL!!! As for the bratwurst - I always knew there had to be a reason for *that* outfit!! Loved it Grin

Ahaha imagine the aroma!
Thank you everyone. I am very glad you enjoyed it.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
I think this cartoon from "Gambit 5" would be a good illustration for this fic. Wink

Mrs U. Big LOL.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Blake made his way onto the flight deck, his expression a puzzled one. “I’ve just seen villa…”
“…sat in the middle of the corridor?” responded Cally, looking up briefly from the board game she and the other crew were playing.
Blake paused a second. “..yes. Just sat there, with his eyes shut.”
“You didn’t speak to him did you?” asked Jenna.
Blake’s confusion deepened. “No… why…?”
“Because, if you speak to him, he’ll know you’ve seen him.” Said Gan, rolling some dice and moving a counter across the board.
Blake hovered near the entrance still, uncertainty thick in the air. He tried to frame the next question so as to get an answer in the way least likely to cause a headache.
“Why…” he began. Avon cut him off with a sigh.
“Because if you find him, it will be someone else’s turn to go hide. Villia thinks he’s good at hiding, so we let him go first. And then we simply don’t look for him. Keeps him out of here for a while. All quite simple really.”
Blake blinked a couple of times, and backed out of the flight deck. Ever. So. Slowly. “I really need to get a new crew” he muttered to himself.
"Imagine you're standing on the edge of a cliff."
"As long as you're not standing behind me."
It was an old smuggler’s trick, but she’d seen it perfected by a middle aged thief. To be fair, Vila was barely thirty, but given a thief’s life expectancy he was well past middle aged. And given a smugglers life expectancy, so was she.

Vila had done a trick for the Charl, he’d juggled, and while the Charl watched the colorful ball,Vila’s free hand went to work. That hand might only be free for a second, but that was long enough.

And if he got caught, the secret was misdirection, like when Blake noticed his watch was missing, but didn’t notice until later that his meal token was also missing. Blake missed lunch the day London left for Cygnus Alpha. Vila had two lunches that day.

Unfortunately, smugglers and thieves weren’t the only ones who knew the secret. The gunships following her used a frequency reserved for Federation Security, meaning those so called gunships were manned by Federation Elite.

She couldn’t outrun them and she sure as hell couldn’t outgun them. Smuggling contraband was one thing, but she carried a cargo of heavy weapons. Even the dimmest Federation trooper wouldn’t believe she was running for the mercenaries. They wouldn’t just lock her up, they’d want answers, and the only answer she had was Blake. She knew they’d force that answer from her eventually.

Blake… He had to be warned, but how?

She cut power, as if obeying the command to heave to and submit to boarding. She hurried to the hold and set a charge on a crate of plasma shells. Then she made for the escape pod.

If she timed it right, she might take several of the ships out.

If she timed it right, they might not notice an escape pod flying free microseconds before the explosion.

If she estimated the blast radius correctly, and If the escape pod wasn’t disintegrated by the explosion, she be free falling towards Gauda Prime.

Then, if she wasn’t killed by the force of the landing, it was a long walk back to base through hostile territory…

And if all else failed, Blake surely knew her well enough to realize she wouldn’t risk her life for mere gunships. At least he’d be warned and on his guard.

She thought of another old smuggler’s saying, Three ‘ifs’ make for a desperate plan, and she had six.

Secure in her escape pod, she counted down, and hoped any Feds who survived her booby trap would be like the Charl, and only watch the colorful ball, the colorful, bright, orange ball of fire.
Excellent stories! Annie and JohnMax made me LOL.
Brad - nicely done, very plausible. 'Course she's not dead...
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
Travisina wrote:

Brad - nicely done, very plausible. 'Course she's not dead...

Or is she?
JustBrad wrote:

Travisina wrote:

Brad - nicely done, very plausible. 'Course she's not dead...

Or is she?

Nah. Jenna lives!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
Johnmax and Brad...lovely stories...so different but each expertly crafted.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
M1795537 OC Virn
Thanks to those who gave kind comments on my first ever ficlet (Money, May 2019). Uploading my own stuff is scary. Here’s my second effort, re. Juggle: ficlet#2, plus a poem. Still less than 600 words the pair. Indulge me, Section Leader. And then there’s exactly 500 words about sports.

“But what are they doing?” Vila surveyed the apparently random movements, “Playing hard to get?”
Avon ignored him, glaring at the images on his hand-held screen. It was almost time for his appointment.
“Is it a game?” queried Soolin, from behind.
They watched the ships line up so that from ahead, only one was fully visible.
“Training exercise?” was Tarrant’s suggestion, joining them, “Are they armed? It would help if we knew who they were.”
“Federation?” asked Vila worriedly, moving nearer.
“No,” Tarrant leaned forwards, his hand on Avon’s shoulder, ”Much too small. They’re breaking formation, look –“
The ships were separating, still outwardly unaware of being monitored.
“What do you think, Avon?” asked Soolin, bending for a closer look. By now all their heads were almost touching.
“I think …… It’s rather crowded in here,” Avon replied, “I’ll let you know.”
It was an obvious dismissal. Tarrant shrugged and left the room: Vila returned to his game of solitaire, while Soolin resumed her position at the controls. Avon was relieved. Preoccupied, he didn’t want to admit he was baffled.
“Orac, “ he called, “Analyse those vectors.”
Orac’s lights flashed.
“To what purpose?” it asked petulantly. Avon sighed. Why couldn’t Orac just cooperate? Especially today.
“Go on, humour him, Orac,” said Vila, noticing the sigh.
“I fail to grasp what benefit there is in the undertaking,” it replied.
“Any patterns?” Avon tried.
“Your question merely repeats the previous request, and therefore receives the same answer,” it told him. Avon snatched out Orac’s switch.
“Tetchy,“ Vila muttered to himself, asking,“What’s the matter?”
“We’re early,” Avon complained, “I don’t like the waiting.” On screen the unidentified ships weaved intricate circles around each other.
“And you hate having to give someone else control,” Vila answered. Control… Avon’s mind switched gears. He watched the ships.
“Perhaps you were right, Soolin,“ he announced, “Take us within teleport range.”

“I’m going alone,” Avon decided, “Put me down.”
A couple of hours later he was back.
“All over?” Vila handed him a drink.
“Well now, let’s say I’m glad I went, “Avon announced, as the crew gathered to hear his report, “Quentin has a new theory about three-body calculations. Those ships were drones, testing his hypothesis. Orac – display the results. Watch -”
On the ship’s screen, a man deftly tossed things into the air and caught them again. Repeatedly.
“What’s that got to do with anything?” asked Dayna.
“Didn’t the Federation ban juggling?” said Tarrant, puzzled.
“Perhaps they recognized a danger,“ answered Avon “Explain, Orac.”
”According to Doctor Quentin, generalise the function to create a matrix for multi-body calculations,” said Orac.
“Not just three-body,” Avon enthused, “The accepted physical limit for juggling is seven. Quentin’s expanded matrix should allow us to outrun whole squadrons of Federation ships. We needed those results.”
“Excellent. Let’s celebrate over dinner,” suggested Dayna, ”Soup, Avon?”
Vila hung back.
“How was the appointment?”
“I’ve had better days,” Avon replied.
“Admit it - you‘re scared of the dentist.”
“Quentin? I’d just about got used to him. Pity I had to kill him for the information. NHS dentists are hard to find.”


With fingers finely tuned
He plucks the balls the air gives back
None falls:
Each move a note -
Chance is the dance
Adjusting as the world turns
To the mighty universe beyond.
The laws that father stars
Keep faith,
While watching eyes grow round.


(Can’t do juggling without mentioning Jasper, who long ago chose to join my family.
To see him juggle:
And what happened next:

Sports ?
Thinking this over, I felt that most sports would be too organized for Rebels: perhaps they’d prefer to try some of the games we’ve invented here on Virn: some of them are a bit like sports.
After all, it’s the winning that counts. I have bruises to prove it.
(Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for any damage, injuries, arguments, fights or feuds engendered).

Fruit Rounders. Best played indoors e.g. on a landing with a bit of space and no windows. Invented because I had a rounders bat and my neighbour had some oranges she’d lost interest in. Need I say more? Involves a lot of cleaning up afterwards. You’re out if you smash the orange. Or was it out if you didn’t? No matter. Have a go and decide. Great game.

Dark Hockey. Played indoors in an enclosed space, e.g. unlit hallway, goals at each end. Hockey sticks, tennis ball. Or football, someone’s shoe – depends what’s lying about. The darker the better. As many players as you have sticks. Energetic, dangerous. Be warned. (Variant: dark tennis).

Sherwood. Board game invented by my son (then 7) and Jasper (see earlier). Players face various challenges in and around the forest of Sherwood. These can be altruistic: (meet a poor man and give him all your bread), practical: (lose all your arrows, miss a turn making more) and even romantic, (find Maid Marion, miss 4 turns), and so on. Avoid the Sheriff at all costs.

Jedi TM. Created by my daughter. Brilliant, complex game played on five boards, always the chance you’ll be turned to the dark side, become a Sith, have to wear a cloak and move backwards round the game. Someone’s usually left on Tatooine waiting for the next pod race when they might manage to escape – but only if they have a ship. Could be stuck there the whole game**. Unusual for anyone to actually win. Might take days.
**(Written) appeals are dealt with harshly by the author, e.g. ‘No’, ‘Life’s like that’, ‘Deal with it’ etc.

Ludoodul. The name says it all. It’s Ludo, but after you get all your counters to the ‘home’ in the middle, you have to get them back again (backwards) to where they started. Mark them on one side, turn them over for return journey. Many more opportunities for landing on each other, ambushes, wars etc. With enough counters (why stop at 4?) could - and once did - last all night. Can get noisy. Last time we played it everything was tied until I lost on the LAST THROW. ARGH!! Rematch pending.

For that special party:
Pass-the-parcel: don’t pass just one parcel - start with a parcel each. We played it with 50 adults madly passing and unwrapping until the whole room was knee deep in paper, submerging those sitting on the floor. Somehow the Vicar ended up with several prizes. (Cheat!) Choose interesting things for the insides, especially ones that can’t be guessed by feel: a raw steak stumped everyone.
Edited by M1795537 OC Virn on 24 June 2019 11:22:59
Oh M1795537 OC Virn. You sure can write. Avon at the dentist..lol.. and great games.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
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