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July 2020 Ficlet Challenge
‘Only from his hand comes life. And from his wrath comes death. We obey him and give him thanks for his blessing.’ Vargas, Cygnus Alpha

The word prompt this month is … WRATH

Strong vengeful anger or indignation. retributory punishment for an offense or a crime, or divine chastisement. Get ready with your white trainers and extra strong mints!

The second challenge this month is a guest submission by JohnMax:

Lockdown. The crew are cooped up together for a prolonged period of time... what could possibly go wrong?

Thank you, JohnMax!
trevor travis

“Mr Flibble is very cross…”

Hold on a minute, Mr Flibble, get out of my fanfic. I realise it’s called Quarantine, but this is a Blake’s 7 story, nothing to do with Red Dwarf.

“Mr Flibble is very sorry…”

I should think so as well. Right on we go….


Avon snarled. “Blake, I told you we should have put on a warning beacon around Fosforon.”

Jenna rolled her eyes and was about to retort back with a "You never said that!" But then she realised Avon was just looking for an argument and decided to bite her lip.

Blake continued to question Orac. “So you’re saying we mustn’t leave the Liberator for five years?”

Orac whirred, his lights flashing. He could be quite handy for Saturday night discos. “That is correct, unless an antidote cannot be found.”

“And why didn’t Avon, Vila and I catch it down on Fosforon?” This was the one thing that really puzzled him about Robert Holmes’ otherwise fine script.

“I’ll explain later.”

“And the plague is now galaxy wide?”

Orac said: “It is. My projections suggest it will kill 99.997% of all humans who have travelled in space once it comes into contact with them. Most of those who survive will be those in the domes on Earth. All those on the Federation High Council and Space Command are already dead.”

Blake had a quizzical look on his face. “What, Servalan?”

“Everybody's dead, Blake", stated Orac.

“What, Councillor Chesku?”

“Everybody's dead, Blake.”

“What, the President?”

“They're all dead. Everybody's dead, Blake.”

“Travis isn't, is he?”

“Everybody is dead, Blake.”

“Not Bartholomew?”

“Yes, Bartholomew, everybody, everybody's dead, Blake!”

“Councillor Bercol?”

“He's dead, Blake, everybody is dead, everybody is dead, Blake.

“Wait. Orac, are you trying to tell me everybody's dead?”

“Indeed, I am. Now stop troubling me with your petty affairs and allow me to start working on finding an antidote.”

Blake removed the key. He turned to Avon. “I think Orac was telling me everyone is dead!”

Avon sighed and turned to Cally: “Five years of this!”


It was a day later.

Blake had a black eye, Cally had her arm in plaster, Jenna had a big lump on her forehead, Avon was whizzing around the flight deck at double speed after Jenna had pressed the far right button on his top, while Vila - also with a black eye - was marching over to the waste disposal with Orac in his hands.


There you go, Mr Flibble. Totally a Blake’s 7 tale and nothing to do with Red Dwarf at all.

I looked down at the glove puppet on my hand. He now looked extremely cross indeed, with his eyes glowing red. I was about to feel his wrath. I adjusted my red gingham dress and hoped for the best.
Edited by trevor travis on 01 July 2020 20:53:26
TT....LOL!! (And no tea, thank goodness, to spill over my keyboard...now to put the kettle on!!!)
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/
Absolutely brilliant, TT.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
Councilor Joban proffered a receipt. “The balance of payment as agreed for the delivery of Kerr Avon, Dead or Alive, plus the Federation bounties for Blake, Tarrant, Cally, Vila, and Soolin, with an additional bonus for the delivery of Orac. Deposit has been made to your numbered account on Freedom City.”

“Thank you. Now if you don’t mind, I’d like to get out of this Federation Troopers uniform.

Councilor Joban studied the man before him. “I must say, you surprise me. You have the well-deserved reputation of a seasoned professional, but I always thought your sentiments, such as they were, no offense intended, were with the rebels.”

“They are.”

Councilor Joban tilted his head. “And yet you work for me.”

“I work for the highest bidder.”

Councilor Joban smirked. “Ah, and here I thought deceit was beneath you.”

“You want to know my motives, Councilor? Why?”

“I may wish to make use of your services again in future against a certain Commissioner.

“Fair enough, Councilor. Give the power ‘a certain Commissioner’ wields as head of the pacification program, you are the only person in the Federation who can stop her regaining - pardon - I mean gaining, the presidency. You are, in fact, the closest thing to an effective rebel left in the Federation. Avon was a dead end. Blake was losing his grip on reality, and I really didn’t care about the others, as I never met them.”

“Except Vila.”

“Except Vila, shame about him.”

“Avon was a dead end,” Councilor Joban repeated. “And yet there is something personal between you and he.”

“You tread on dangerous ground, Councilor.”

“An occupational hazard for a career politician in the Federation. Please, tell me.”


Councilor Joban held out his hands. “Please, if not for my curiosity, then for my peace of mind. I should like to do business with you again in the future, but I would hate to make the mistake Avon made. You planned this all so well, using that communicator you kept from the Liberator to, what did you call it, ‘lay a line through the pattern of infinity,’ bringing Avon and the others here, and into conflict with Blake. You even donned that uniform you so clearly hate so you could get close enough to Avon to shoot him yourself. I admire your patience and tenacity and would therefore hate to make the same mistake Avon made. So, please tell me the nature of his offense. Was it that he killed a member of your family?”

“No. He would probably believe that, but no.”

“What then?”

“He called me Ginger.”
Vanessa Doffenshmirtz
prostrates herself in awe of the great trevor travis...
I used to be such a sweet sweet thing
Till they got a hold of me.
And July is off to a flying start with great stories by TT and Brad!
Kudos and LOLs to both!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
Travisina wrote:

And July is off to a flying start with great stories by TT and Brad!
Kudos and LOLs to both!

I'm still walking up and down my hallway and round my garden talking to myself! How do these chaps write so fast? 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/
littlesue wrote:
How do these chaps write so fast? Grin

I wish I knew, cuz then I'd tell George RR Martin how to write fast.
Wow - very funny TT

Brad that’s wickedly good. Xx
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Fantastic start to the month, I was reading these on my coffee break and chuckling to myself. And getting concerned looks from the others...

I hope this is OK, my apologies if it isn’t very good...

Back in March, for a bit of fun on another forum post, I wrote a little ficlet about the crew being guests in my house. The link to the post is here:


To summarise quickly, in this ficlet Blake had been forced to teleport the rest of the crew during a high-speed pursuit. As a result they ended up crash-landing back in time to the year 2020, onto the lawn of a certain fanfic writer. Here is part two:


The year 2020.

Avon was no historian but that year sounded unpleasantly familiar. He tiptoed to the door to make sure Lizzy was out of earshot- which she was. He could hear her downstairs (“No, Gan, you don’t cook the bacon directly on the cooker flame, you put it in a frying pan and put that on the flame...).

“ORAC, what major events happened here in 2020?”
ORAC dutifully summarised the events of the year in a creditably succinct way. As he listened, he realised that the smoke alarm, the time displacement, Blake alone on the Liberator, the Federation, and all their other problems had been eclipsed. They needed to get off this planet. By the time ORAC reached July, Avon had heard enough.

“All right, I get the picture. Are we at risk?”
“With the possible exception of Cally, you are as susceptible as any other human.”
“Will the Liberator’s medical facility be able to decontaminate us?”
“Probably, but to be sure the process is successful you would all be advised to quarantine for two weeks afterwards.”
“We have to get back to the Liberator first. Do you have any ideas how we can do that?”
ORAC could not contain its smugness. “As it happens, the records do make mention of somebody active in Earth at this time that may be able to assist us.”
“I didn’t realise the twenty-first century was a golden age for time machines.”
“I have sent them a message, I am awaiting their response.”
“Tell me as soon as you establish contact,” ordered Avon, picking it up and beginning to awkwardly descend the carpeted stairs.

As he neared the bottom, he noticed that the good-natured chatter of a few moments ago had become loud and tense. He manoeuvred himself through the door with ORAC in his hands, only to have it wrenched from his grasp by an irate Jenna who hefted it up to shoulder height and prepared to launch it at a cowering Vila.

“No!” Cried Cally and Gan in unison. Lizzy placed herself between Jenna and Vila, arms outstretched to keep them apart. Over the clamour she called out that it was OK, she would get her a new one.
“I will kill you if you ever-“
“How was I to know?” Vila wailed plaintively. Gan gently but firmly wrestled Orac away from Jenna, and she looked around for something else to throw. Cally quickly blocked her access to the wooden utensil holder.

Avon strode into the middle of the fracas and looked around. His gaze fell on Vila, still backed into the corner by the back door.
“What’s going on?”
Vila opened his mouth to protest but wasn’t quick enough.

“Vila,” said Jenna, her voice positively dripping with disgust, “has used my towel.”
Edited by GanMiniMe on 03 July 2020 13:32:07
Jenna made her way to the food dispenser and punched in the numbers for her morning glass of orange juice and plate of scrambled egg. She waited, yawning, scrubbing her fingers through her too long hair... but nothing happened.

“Oh for... what’s going on now?” she muttered crossly kicking the side of the machine in the manner prescribed by all non techies for repairing something broken. All that happened here was that part of the side fell off. Looking down she realised that the dispenser had had several metres of wires pulled out at some time earlier, and these were strewn about the floor like the entrails of a disembodied creature.

Sighing, she made her way to the kitchen. Eggs were off the menu, but she might be able to rustle up a piece of toast. She pushed open the door, coughing a little as a cloud of white particles, and a blast of martial music engulfed her. As the air cleared she could make out the apron-ed form of Blake, his shock of hair crammed into a sort of floppy white hat pounding and pummelling a piece of dough. The surfaces around him were covered by tins containing a variety of burnt offerings. Sighing some more, she moved across to the bread bin, but stopped as Blake shook his head vigorously, mouthing something and motioning to a particularly blackened dish, charcoaled slices of bread rising out of what might have been some sort of batter. No toast then. She’d have to make do with chocolate. Again. What this enforced isolation was doing to her waistline she hadn’t dared find out. Thank goodness the wardrobe room contained pants a little more forgiving than her usual leathers.

Her cabin was next to Gan’s but although she listened as she entered, she could hear no sound from him. “Please, please, please, be asleep,” she begged silently, as she retrieved one of her stashed chocolate bars from her sock drawer, broke off a piece and lay down on the bed, breathing deeply with pleasure as the rich, dark, slightly bitter square slowly dissolved in her mouth.

She’d just closed her eyes when it began. Da... da... dada... DAH. Da... da... dada... DAH. Da... da... dada... DAH. Groaning she tried to bury her head in her pillows but it did little to mask the noise. “It’s good he’s found something to occupy him” jostled in her head with the ignoble, “If he keeps this up, I’ll ram his drum sticks where the sun don’t shine.” Ignoble won, and to prevent herself from acting on the impulse, she crammed the rest of the bar in her mouth and fled the room, the Da... da... dada... DAH’s gradually fading in volume as she neared the rec room. A work-out on the treadmill would do her, and her waistline, the world of good.

The scene that met her eyes was unusual to say the least. The treadmill had lost is tread, the rowing machine was without its pull mechanism and Cally, her hair corkscrewing from her head in a fetching shade of purple that also covered half her face and a good proportion of the white dress she was wearing, was holding a pot containing the rest of the fetching purple paint. As Jenna watched, aghast, she hurled it at the wall where it splattered and dripped, joining the kaleidoscope of colours already splattered and dripping down it. Cally stepped back, running an arm across her sweating face, (depositing another layer of purple in the process) and gazed with satisfaction at the mess.

“What’s... um... what’s going on here then, Cally?” Jenna asked gently.

“Pollocks,” Cally muttered briefly, picking up a pot of green paint, twirling in a pirouette and finishing the movement by launching its contents to join the rest of the paint.

“I was only asking. It does seem rather a silly though... oh Pollocks, not... you didn’t mean bol... oh. What’s a pollock, then?” Jenna was beginning to suspect that Cally was undergoing some sort of alien possession and was quite keen to know if a Pollock represented a general as well as a specific danger.

“Jackson Pollock. Old Calendar action painter. His method is very good for releasing stress. Do you want to join me?”

“I’ll pass thank you.” Jenna stepped back as Cally moved towards her, turned and then ran full tilt at the wall, launching several litres of red paint as she ran. “Wow. That’s a lot of stress, you’re releasing. I’ll just...” she backed carefully but hastily towards the door. “Have fun,” she called as she vacated the room.

Out in the corridor she waited for a few minutes until the dizziness brought on by the paint fumes cleared. Where could she go to escape this madness? Surely the flight deck would be calm and if she went there she could check if Zen was okay. But as she approached it, she was greeted by a screeching, clamorous clatter. Cautiously she crept up to the archway, peered in and froze.

A metallic headless figure, useless ‘arms’ (the handle from the rowing machine, Jenna realised) sticking outside from its side, was trying, and failing, to ascend the steps, repeatedly bashing against them while a light flashed from a box incongruously placed in what would be the groin area of a human. Avon, wild eyed, pale, his long hair caught back from his face with a band, was trying desperately to force what looked like a saucepan filled with twinkling fairy lights onto the creature’s torso. In the background, she could hear Orac laughing manically and exclaiming, “Accept your domination, Avon. Surrender to your God.” There was an abrupt bang, Avon was catapulted backwards, and all the lights went out.

Resignedly, Jenna inched past the sparking, fizzing metal... thing..., paused briefly to check that Avon had a pulse, and then sat down on the sofa, leaned back and pinched the bridge of her nose.

“How are you doing Zen?” she asked, “Going crazy like the rest of us?”

+I am finding new pathways to explore, Jenna Stannis+ Zen’s lights pulsed in a rhythm that seemed unusually rapid and random, almost... enthusiastic. Never-the-less it’s tone remained measured as it continued: +I have been writing poetry. Here is my latest opus:

If I were human, you and I could both endeavour
To enjoy a glass of brown ale beside a babbling river
We’d lie together listening to it’s cool refreshing ripple
You in my arms, my head resting on your nip...+

“Lovely, Zen.” Jenna wasn’t going to muck about. “But I haven’t time just now. I need to find Vila as a matter of urgency. Where is he at the moment?”

+Vila Restal is currently to be found in shuttle bay two. But I do not think you need to worry. He appears to be remarkably chilled.+

“That’s what I hoped,” Jenna muttered as she scooted from the deck, just as Zen began again sonorously + I wandered, lonely as an asteroid... that... steroid?... paranoid?... haemorrhoid?+

“Make mine a large one,” she ordered as she threw herself down beside an enviably sozzled Vila. After she’d finished coughing, she sighed, this time with relief, and sank her head down, only to raise it suddenly as an unwelcome thought intruded: “I hope you’ve got a good supply, Vila. We’ve got three more weeks of this xxx!!! quarantine to survive.”
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Ah Gan mini me - very very funny!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Joe Dredd
"I wandered lonely as an asteroid..."

Very good Annie!
Joe Dredd wrote:

"I wandered lonely as an asteroid..."

Very good Annie!


I do believe that could become a new Horizon catch phrase, but I'm not sure how.
Oh, oh, note to self, mute microphone before reading everyone’s fics during work Teams meeting...

Annie, my dad refuses to eat pollock, but whether this is due to that phonetic misinterpretation I couldn’t say...
Did someone suggest this month Vila might have a chance to save the day, after last month’s cliffhanger? Well...

* * *

“What’s next, that’s what I want to know!” Vila looked at Orac indignantly. “Oh, you’ve been poisoned, never mind, Vila, you’ll feel better soon, now we’re just going to abandon you while you’re still feeling terrible, and while we’re gone can you single-handedly stop Servalan capturing the Liberator...”

“That is an unnecessary exaggeration. You still have the use of both hands.”

“Shut up, Orac; you know what I mean. And then go and rescue everybody else, because they go walking off to be prisoners... it’s all Tarrant’s fault!” Orac remained silent; Vila glared at him. “Well, haven’t you anything to suggest?”

“I was under the impression you wished me to remain silent.”

“Not if you’ve got something useful to say. I don’t suppose you have, have you? Useless box of nothing...”

“If you wish to carry out your appointed task, I suggest you get on with it.” This time Orac sounded nettled.

“If I do... I’ve a good mind to leave them to it...” complained Vila, at the same time withdrawing a gun from the rack and gingerly belting it round himself. “Just put this on and go chasing after them, never mind if you’ve got a stomach ache and it’s going to make it worse... because being poisoned temporarily’s nearly the same as not being poisoned at all... I don’t suppose they’ll even appreciate it...” He paused, heading for the teleport section, and looked back at Orac. “You’re sure this’ll work?”

“The opportunity to further study the Zen computer’s defence against intruders will be most illuminating.”

“I’ll pass, thanks. I feel bad enough as it is.” Vila disappeared from the flight deck, still muttering. “Can’t even have a drink before I go... soma’s supposed to be a painkiller, isn’t it? Dry planet! What did Tarrant have to go and find a dry planet for? Serve him right if I left him there...”

The string of irate complaints was temporarily halted by the effect of the teleport; but it started up again as Vila attempted to regain his footing on what appeared to be the edge of a manhole.

“And you could get the coordinates a bit more accurate!” he yelled furiously into his bracelet, drawing his gun in a manner which suggested it would have taken very little to tip him into actually using it. “Rat in a box... you wait...” He looked down at the opening in the ground. “Oh, no. No. That’s not the way in to wherever Servalan’s got them. Orac?”

“You wished to have as little walking as possible involved in your rescue attempt,” came Orac’s reply. “Now, if you will excuse me, I am receiving a request for teleport...”

“I didn’t mean I wanted to swap walking for crawling!” Vila stared at the entrance in dismayed fury. “That’s it! Tarrant, I’ll get you for this... and the others... and if anyone gets in my way they had better look out!” Reluctantly, he dropped into the hole. The pipe, thankfully, was not as long as he had feared. He soon found himself looking up through a locked grating at four familiar figures; rattling it brought him to their attention.

Avon leaned over the grating. “You took your time,” he said caustically, before retreating as a Liberator handgun poked threateningly through it.

“I... took... my... time...?” choked Vila, almost beyond speech.

“Yes, well...”

“Do you want me to open this or not?!”
Anniew, that was hilarious!! If you find yourself at a loose fanfic end I would LOVE to hear more of Zen’s “poetry”!! I thought the lyrics to Spinal Tap’s songs were bad enough, but this has trumped them!!

Stormypetrel, once again a super ficlet!! And, for once, Vila clearly has the upper hand! I hope he exploits it for all it’s worth!!
I've just finished reading all these fantastic entries..thank goodness dearest wasn't at home, I've been laughing out loud. Difficult to explain such things to a non B7 fan.....
Me? I'm still walking up and down my hallway and round the garden talking to myself.....
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/
OK, here's my first effort as the newest guy to teleport in:

Locked down

Jenna strode on to the bridge of Liberator looking confused
“We’ve stopped, are we there?” she said
“Eh?” Said Vila, looking up, holding a drink
“But I see you haven’t” Said Jenna pointedly “Zen, why have we stopped. We haven’t yet reached the co-ordinates for Star One”
“All drive functions are currently suspended” replied Zen
“I can see that, but why?”
“All drive functions are currently suspended” repeated Zen
“This is hopeless” said Jenna “Vila, you were on watch, any ideas?”
Vila shrugged “My head started spinning less so I assumed I was sobering up a bit. Have we hit something”
Jenna looked at Zen again “Zen, have we hit something”
“Liberator has not hit anything, there are currently no obstructions within 20 spacials” said Zen

Cally wandered in “Have we arrived?” she said breezily
“No, Liberator has just stopped” said Jenna
“Zen, why have..” said Cally but was interrupted by Jenna
“Tried that, can you sense anything outside the ship?”
“Nothing at all, we seem to be in the middle of nowhere” Said Cally

Blake walked in next “Are we there already” he said eagerly
“No” said the other 3 in unison “and Zen won’t tell us why”
Blake held up a finger “Maybe you’re asking the wrong computer”
“Orac, why has Liberator stopped” he said
“I have disabled the flight controls and placed Liberator into quarantine for one solar week” stated Orac
“So, it’s not Zen’s fault” said Cally

“Orac, state the nature of the need for quarantine” Said Blake
At this point Avon walked in coolly assessing the situation and listening to Blake and Orac’s conversation.
“The region of space we have travelled through as known to spread a disease that is fatal to humans and highly contagious”
“Zen, display Liberator’s position on view screen” Said Avon
“You’re the only one that didn’t ask if we’d arrived” said Vila “Go on then”
“It’s plain to any idiot that the time taken for the Liberator to travel from Goth to Star One is considerably longer than elapsed time. Therefore we haven’t arrived” Said Avon

The rest looked a little sheepish and took an interest in the view screen
“61 Cygni” Said Avon pointing at the screen
“The darkling zone” Said Blake “We’ve flown through a small section of it so Orac has put us into quarantine. Damn, Travis will get there days before us!”
Avon wandered over to Orac and removed the key “Zen, resume course”
“Confirmed” Said Zen
“First rule of computers Blake” Said Avon “Turn them off and on again. In this case we’ll wait to turn Orac back on again”.
Avon sauntered out looking smug.
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