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Oct 2019 Fanfic Challenge
purplecleric
‘Oh no. Not me. Not a space suit. Well, it wasn't my idea. One of you can go outside. I never did trust those things. Nothing, absolutely nothing in the whole galaxy can or will persuade me to wear one. Not a chance.’ - Vila, Dawn of the Gods

The word prompt this month is … OUTERWEAR

Servalan dropping her furs, Vila’s love affair with thermal suits, the crew’s natty anoraks and Docholi wrestling with his coat and, of course, spacesuits. These are just a few examples in B7 involving outerwear. Build on one of these or create your own.


For the second challenge:

One of the crew has begun to sleepwalk. This could lead to hilarious or disastrous incidents. Which will you write?
 
stormypetrel
Well, I ran out of time last month, so I thought I’d better start early this time- here goes...

Vila had ceased to worry about pink asteroids by the time they climbed out of the basement; but he subsided onto the floor with a groan as the constant spiralling of the staircase did its best to finish what his drinking had started.

“Go to bed, Vila,” said Avon, without bothering to wait and see if the instruction was followed.

“Wha...” Vila got no further; Tarrant hauled him to his feet by the collar and manhandled him in the direction of the rooms they had been shown earlier. He bundled him through his door, waiting just long enough to check that he staggered as far as the bed before collapsing.

“And stay there until you’re sober!”


It was very dark, and very silent, when Vila came round, both of which he appreciated for at least half a second. He had a hell of a headache; must be that interminable beating on Terminal... Then memory returned, and his eyes shot open. His first vision was not reassuring. Silhouetted in the doorway was an unidentifiable figure, standing quite still; and it was still there after he had tried to blink it away.

“No... no, Avon shot you...” The figure moved; Vila shut his eyes, and yelled.

The next thing he knew was being vigorously shaken into life by Dayna.

“What’s the matter with you?” she asked, as he finally opened his eyes. “Avon, he’s awake.”

“Has it gone?” Vila blinked painfully; the lights were on, which was reassuring, but it did nothing for his head.

“Has what gone?” Dayna stood back, staring at him. “There’s nothing here.”

“It was... it was there.” He pointed at the doorway, where Avon now stood.

“How much booze did you have? Or did you get up to fetch some more?”

“No!” He sat up, indignant now, and glanced at Avon. “I tell you it was there... that... that thing!”

“There’s nothing here now,” said Avon.

“Maybe you frightened it off with your screams,” suggested Dayna. “Were you trying to wake the whole planet, or just the base?”

Vila didn’t dignify that with an answer. “Doesn’t seem to have woken Tarrant.” His eyes widened. “Maybe it got him!”

“Tarrant is certainly conspicuous by his absence.” Avon disappeared for a moment, then returned. “He appears to be missing.”

“I told you, it’s got him!”

“‘If anyone has got him, I suspect she is of a more conventional character.”

“Soolin?” said Dayna. “But what would she want with Tarrant? I’ll go and look for him.”

“I’m not sure that would be advisable, alone.”

“Then we all go and look for him!”

“I’m not sure...” began Vila.

“Would you rather stay here, alone?”

“You’ve convinced me.” He got up and joined them as they began their search.


“There!” Dayna pointed at a flash of movement ahead. They crept forward, Dayna and Avon with their guns at the ready, Vila one step behind. Dancing shadows seemed to project an otherworldly creature, swaying on its feet, from somewhere further along the corridor.

“There it is! I told you!” Vila almost fled; Avon held him firmly by the arm. “It’s going to eat us...” He shut his eyes, until a sudden peal of laughter from Dayna cut through his fear.

“Here’s your monster, Vila. It walks in its sleep...”

Tarrant glared. “Even if I was sleepwalking, I don’t know why you all had to follow me. It’s not as if I disturbed anyone.” Dayna giggled; Vila looked abashed.

“I knew there’d be a rational explanation...”
 
littlesue
Stormy..brilliant and with a broken knee cap as well!!
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/
 
Travisina
Nicely done, StormyP!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
 
Anniew
Relying heavily on Hamlet (play not cigar) for inspiration.

The boy put down his weapon to blow somewhat futilely on his fingers and then stuffed them under his armpits. He scanned the gathering dark, the knot of terror in his stomach freezing him as bitterly as the wind chilling his extremities. Debris caught in its swirling currents, shifted and rustled, and his breath caught in his chest at the sound.

“Easy boy.” The old man with him sensed his fear and laid a reassuring hand on his arm. “Shadows. That’s all that’s out there.”

“They say it comes at midnight. Every night for the past three. Him and the pale lady.”

“Trying to frighten you, young-un. Soldiers’ tales, that’s all that is. Don’t put no store in them. Too much rot-gut and every bush becomes a monster.”

The boy made a choking sound, half way between a laugh and a sob, and sat down next to his companion. “I could do with some rot-gut. They say it keeps out the cold.” He crossed his arms over his stomach to still the tremors of fear.

“Don’t go down that route boy. Here. Try this.” The old man fumbled clumsily in his pocket and produced what looked in the dim light to be a small stick which he handed over. “Go on,” he encouraged, as the boy hesitated. “ Get your gnashers on that. Serval root. Tastes sweet.”

Cautiously the boy bit down and then smiled as the spicy taste flooded his mouth. “Nice,” he said. Then, after some concentrated chewing, “Ooh, hot.”

The dark shape beside him chuckled as the boy fanned his mouth. “Should have warned you,” he said gruffly. “Here, take a mouthful of this.”

His eyes streaming, the boy accepted the proffered canteen and took a mouthful of water. He wiped his face. “You’re a bastard, Denny. You know that?”

The old man chuckled again. “Not so cold now though, are you? And mind your language when you’re talking to your elders, whippersnapper.”

“Sorry. I am warmer.” The youngster lay back against the wall of silo, glancing as he did so at the pale green dial of his watch. “Five minutes. Five minutes if it’s going to appear.”

“The ghost of Roj Blake? Crying out he was murdered by his best friend? We all know it was that bitch Arlen who killed him. Wrapped up in a cloak so no one can see his face? Pah ...” the old man spat out bits of Serval root to demonstrate his contempt at the idea. “Rumours ... always rumours in times of uncertainty. He’s a cold man, that Avon. Very cold. Bound to have enemies But I don't reckon much for our chances without him.”

***
Tarrant looked down on the sleeping figure. It looked almost peaceful, except for the restraints holding it firmly to the bed.

“I see you found a solution,” he remarked sardonically.

Soolin, pushed a stray wisp of hair back from her face. “I wasn’t prepared to spend my life rescuing him from the folly of his guilt trips,” she snapped brusquely. “And if it’s the only way to stop him walking in his sleep ... Don’t worry, you won’t have to tell him,” she added with grim humour.

“So who gets the pleasure of that?” Tarrant enquired, opening the door of the room with suave gallantry.

“Vila ... he owes me,” Soolin grinned as she passed through the door.

The slight clang as the door closed on their shared laughter, caused the man to rouse from the depths of his drugged slumber. His eyelids fluttered and an expression, hard to decipher, crossed the blank face.

“ Stand still,” he muttered. “Stand still.”
Edited by Anniew on 05 October 2019 11:06:54
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Mrs_Underhill
Stormypetrel - that was fun! A nice moment in the gloom of Season D. Smile

Annie - oh, that was heartbreaking! So much said in so few words.
 
Travisina
Wonderful, Annie. I do so love Hamlet, and this works a treat.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
 
Travisina
This is very naughty of me, and I hope nobody objects.
As I'm pressed for time and other pressures, the following is a reprint of the August 2015 ficlet I wrote for the word prompt 'Heat'. It fits this month's challenge, and I don't know if/when I'll get a chance to write a new fic (if I do, I'll delete this one). Apols to those who've read it before! Will try harder next month.


"I'd rather fry than freeze..."

Long after his return to the Liberator, Vila was still wearing his thermal jacket. He had adjusted its temperature to a lower setting, but kept it on because he loved it. He relished its snugness; it felt like cosy armour, keeping him safe and warm.

Blake had returned to the freezing planet to negotiate with Servalan, accompanied by the android Avalon and a phial of deadly plague. If all went to plan, he'd be returning with the real rebel leader and the Liberator would be on its way again. To a sunny destination, Vila hoped. Beaches and palm trees and scantily-clad women. With those pleasant thoughts, he curled up on his bunk and drifted off to sleep...

... and woke some time later feeling uncomfortably warm. He checked the temperature dial on his jacket. Ah, that explains it. He must have been lying on it, because somehow it had turned itself round to the highest setting. He fumbled with the dial, frowning when it wouldn't move. He twisted it gently, then with increasing force, to no avail. Losing patience, he gave it a violent wrench. There was a spark, a brief smell of burning and the dial came off in his hand. Oh, great. Now he'd have to take off the jacket to see if he could fix it.

Vila pulled at the jacket's zip, but that too seemed to be stuck. It would respond neither to gentle persuasion nor impatient force. This is ridiculous! Come on Vila, you can open anything. You can't be defeated by a simple zip. He rummaged inside his toolbox and selected a slim probe. Inserting this carefully into the top of the fastening, he gave an agonised yelp as an electric shock fizzed up his hand. He dropped the probe and sucked his burned fingers, realising that he was getting hotter, both from his own exertions and the continued rise of the unregulated temperature. Even the zip was becoming too hot to touch. I can't do this on my own. I need help.

Heading for the flight deck, he encountered Gan in the corridor.

"You're looking a bit hot and bothered, Vila," the big man observed solicitously. "I'd thought you'd gone to have a nap?"

"I did. I am. All three. I was asleep, but my jacket heating's stuck on maximum, the dial broke and I can't get it off. Don't touch the zip!" he warned as Gan reached for it.

Gan withdrew his hand and took a closer look. "I should be able to pull it apart from either side, but the material might get torn."

"Go ahead, we can mend it later. Or not. It's broken anyway."

Gan gripped the jacket on either side of the zip and pulled. "It's very well made, this," he said, pausing to flex his fingers and try again. He twisted the fabric around his hands and pulled harder, then realised that Vila was making choking noises.

"You were throttling me!" Vila rasped, after Gan let go.

"Sorry. I can't seem to do it," Gan admitted. "We'll have to cut the jacket off. Are you okay?"

"I'm being roasted alive, how do you think I am? Ice! Get me some ice!" Vila headed for the kitchen, while Gan activated the wall communicator.

"Avon, Jenna, Cally – we need your help..."

*

Vila lay face-down on a table, pink-faced and keeping up a steady stream of complaints. His attempts to cool himself by pushing ice cubes down his neck had only made matters worse. As the water melted inside the jacket, the heating elements had relentlessly compensated and he was now in danger of being sauteed.

Armed with a scalpel and laser probe, Avon peeled back the outer layers of the jacket to isolate and disconnect the circuitry. Jenna and Cally, each armed with a large hunting knife, were mercilessly twisting and pulling Vila's arms as they cut away his sleeves. Gan was attacking the larger seams with an oversized pair of scissors, making up in strength what he lacked in finesse. It looked for all the world as though Vila's crew mates were trying to carve and serve him for dinner.

"I wish we could gag him," murmured Jenna, as the stitching finally yielded and the sleeve came away.

"An apple in his mouth would be appropriate," Avon replied, severing the final connection.

The last piece of Vila's jacket dropped away, and he sat up; his complaints turning to babbled expressions of gratitude and relief. His undershirt was drenched in sweat and melted ice, and he was starting to slough it off when he became aware that a sudden silence had fallen over the flight deck. He looked up to meet the gaze of Blake and Avalon, who were regarding the scene with undisguised astonishment.

"Err... hello. I think I'd better have a shower, now. A cold one. Thanks, everybody."

Gathering up the tattered remains of his jacket and his dignity, Vila slunk sheepishly off the flight deck.

***

Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
 
stormypetrel
Annie, that’s brilliant, but sad.

Travisina- I hadn’t read it before- LOL!
 
stormypetrel
I got bored again.. believe the following or not, as you will!

***


They were all waiting when Avon got to the teleport section.

“New jacket?”

He gave Vila a cold stare; of course the fool had had to comment, and now everyone else was looking too.

“You might do well to do the same. It would save us waiting for you to disentangle yourself every time we require surface clothes.”

Vila’s inquisitive look turned into an expression of reproach.

“Once, that happened. I couldn’t help it if my sleeve had got where my head should be, now, could I?” Avon looked disdainful; the others grinned at this reminder of the pitfalls of pullover anoraks.

“Perhaps Avon’s afraid he’ll do the same,” suggested Jenna.

“Hardly. Some of us have learned to dress ourselves.” Avon remained unamused, but he had no intention of sharing his reasons for discarding his own black anorak in favour of the shiny silver jacket (sensibly zipped) which he had unearthed from the Liberator’s wardrobe.

In truth he found the others’ outfits uncomfortably reminiscent of his earliest schooldays; the kindergarten smocks, each identical but for the colour, had for some reason stuck in his memory. The colours, he assumed, were a result of the assumption that the tiny wearers were incapable of identifying their own property by reading the nametapes inside. Avon, naturally, had considered this an insult even then. He had known perfectly well that the label read, Kerr Avon, followed by a picture of a bear. He still expected to see it every time he had to put that damned anorak on...

It had had to go. He had detested the kindergarten smock, too, if he thought about it; a failed attempt to make him fit in somewhere he hadn’t wanted to belong. He had had no real interest in the other children, with their unfathomable enthusiasms; and even the adults had been stupid, insistent that such small people couldn’t concentrate for long and whisking him away from favoured tasks just as he was getting engrossed.

He was drawn out of this irritating memory by the sounds of several people trying to arrange themselves in the teleport bay at once.

“Are we going, then?” Gan, who clearly considered Avon’s choice of outerwear unimportant, was eager to follow Blake on his latest self-appointed sabotage mission.

“Yes. Come on, Avon.” Blake wanted to get moving as well.

Wordlessly, Avon picked up a teleport bracelet and put it on, looking at the others in their matching anoraks. Blake’s copybook rebels. Well, he didn’t want to belong to Blake, either, and this time he was big enough to make a statement to that effect. Not, he supposed, that Blake would pick up on it, but the knowledge that he had declared his independence was satisfying. He smiled faintly as he stepped into the teleport bay.

Besides, there was another important consideration.

He liked the jacket.
 
littlesue
Oh Stormy, you've beaten me to it. I've done one about how Avon got THAT jacket. I'm waiting for Lurena to come back on line to check it over for me. Although, I may have to do it as a two parter (again)
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/
 
stormypetrel
littlesue wrote:

Oh Stormy, you've beaten me to it. I've done one about how Avon got THAT jacket. I'm waiting for Lurena to come back on line to check it over for me. Although, I may have to do it as a two parter (again)

Sorry! I should have guessed. I bet yours is better than mine by a long stretch, anyway! Not to mention illustrated?
Maybe Paula will lend you the Welsh street sign to beat me over the head with...
 
Anniew
Travisina and Stormy. I really enjoyed your outerwear fics. They are very very funny but also delicately characterised. Clever, clever writing.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Moon Disk
I'm loving these.

Annie - how sad. Is it a way, like Hamlet father's ghost, of not being forgotten after his death? Or is he like Banquo's ghost, pointing the finger? Painful for both the dead and the living. Very thought-provoking.

Travisina - LOL. Mind you, it could happen... Talk about boiling hot!

Stormy 1 - haha, loved it. Very funny!

Stormy 2 - ah, yes, the matching anoraks - and in some cases matching lunchboxes. Fond memories for me too, as I once had a silver coat like Avon's. Hope your knee is on the mend.
 
Moon Disk
Okay, first timer, here goes. Pure nonsense, if I do say so myself.

* * * * * * *
Something Nasty in the Cupboard

Cally was all aflutter when Jenna entered the flight deck.

“It happened so quickly,” she blurted. “I took my eyes off the navigational computers for a split second, that’s all.”

From her agitated manner, it had to be a squadron of pursuit ships at the very least. Jenna ran to the nearest console. Yet a scan of the readouts told her nothing. If anything, Cally’s shift had been quieter than usual.

“I don’t understand,” said Jenna, confused.

“No, over there.” Cally gestured to the other side of the flight deck. “In the wall cupboard.”

Jenna sighed, partly out of relief. “Cally, spiders get everywhere. At this time of year—”

“It’s not a spider.” Cally seemed uneasy. “Look for yourself.”

Her wariness was contagious. Jenna found herself creeping to the supply cupboard, pausing with her hand on the latch to take a deep breath before opening the door cautiously. A glimpse was enough. She shut the door again quickly.

“Told you,” said Cally.

“I think I’d prefer the spider. At least I could hit it with my shoe. That might not be a bad idea anyway.”

“You can’t do that.” Cally looked affronted. “It’s inhumane.”

Jenna put her hands on her hips. “Then we’ll have to wake one of the others up.”

“Avon’s awake.”

“At this time of night?”

Cally nodded. “He’s in sub-control room three.”

“Avon it is.”

“He won’t like it.”

Jenna grinned. “I know.” She activated the intercom. “Avon, we need you on the flight deck.”

A surly voice came straight back. “For what?”

“There’s a problem that requires your... delicate touch.”

“You do it,” he replied. “I’m busy.”

“So are we. This ship isn’t going anywhere until the ‘problem’ has been resolved. We can’t be expected to work under these conditions.”

Jenna turned off the intercom before he could protest. A few moments later, Avon appeared, looking less than happy.

“Well?” he demanded.

“No, we aren’t,” said Jenna. “Nor are you, from the look of you. Why aren’t you in bed?”

Avon gave her a hostile look. Dark rings hung heavy under his eyes. “Cheese.”

“You don’t eat cheese.”

“Blake does. Gan does. Both snore because of it. The walls were rattling. It would be easier to sleep in a nuclear reactor. What’s the problem?”

Jenna and Cally pointed together.

“The cupboard,” said Cally. “In there.”

Avon opened the door and stared into the interior.

“This again?” he said. “You couldn’t deal with it?”

Jenna and Cally shook their heads in unison.

“I see.” Avon nudged something inside with the toe of his boot. A low moan came forth. “Wake up, Vila.”

“Get in behind me, quick,” came a sleepy voice. “We might make it if we leave now.”

Avon slammed the door as hard as he could. A yelp sounded from within.

“Oh, that was horrible,” came Vila’s voice when Avon reopened the door a fraction. “I was having this dream. We had to abandon ship and there was only one life capsule left. Er, where am I?”

“The flight deck. A storage cupboard.”

“I’d better get up then.” Vila let out an exclamation of sudden realisation and a hand emerged to pull the door shut. “Are we alone?”

“No,” said Avon. “Vila, we’ve been through this before. You had cheese, didn’t you?”

“Well, it was Fondue Friday.”

“When you have cheese, you have nightmares. When you have nightmares, you sleepwalk. What do you do when you know you are going to sleepwalk?”

“I put on pyjamas,” Vila said unhappily.

“That’s right,” said Avon. “Someone get Vila a blanket.”

“Where are you going?” Jenna called after him as he set off with determination up the stairs.

“To throw the fondue set out of the nearest airlock!”

* * * * * * *
Moon Disc's B7 stories https://archiveof.../Moon_Disc
 
stormypetrel
Moon Disc- coffee-keyboard interface narrowly avoided!
 
littlesue
Moon-Disk Grin
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/
 
Travisina
Great 2nd story, StormyP - I particularly LOL-ed at this:
He had known perfectly well that the label read, Kerr Avon, followed by a picture of a bear.

And Moon Disk - welcome, excellent first time fic! The build up of the mystery was great, and the reveal (in every sense of the word) hilarious.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
 
Mrs_Underhill
What a wonderful bunch of stories, thank you for the laughs!

Travisina - ahaha, unlucky day for Vila (or who knows? Grin )

Stormy - great explanation for Avon's new jacket, and it's very Avon, till the last line. Smile

Moon Disk - I'm still laughing! Avon lecturing Vila on getting his sleepwalking routine down - priceless! Grin
 
Anniew
Moon Disk ... poor Cally. Or lucky Cally, depending on you view of a naked Vila! Very, very funny.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
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