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Current Poll

Who is your Favourite Guest Rebel?

Avalon - (Project Avalon)
Avalon - (Project Avalon)
22% [41 Votes]

Selma - (Horizon)
Selma - (Horizon)
4% [8 Votes]

Tyce - (Bounty)
Tyce - (Bounty)
14% [27 Votes]

Norm One - (Redemption)
Norm One - (Redemption)
1% [2 Votes]

Bek - (Shadow)
Bek - (Shadow)
7% [13 Votes]

Kasabi - (Pressure Point)
Kasabi - (Pressure Point)
15% [28 Votes]

Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
Hal Mellanby - (Aftermath)
16% [30 Votes]

Hunda - (Traitor)
Hunda - (Traitor)
4% [8 Votes]

Deva - (Blake)
Deva - (Blake)
12% [23 Votes]

4% [8 Votes]

Votes: 188
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Started: 09 July 2016

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September 2020 Ficlet Challenge
M1795537 OC Virn
the crew encounter the Terra Nostra again…

Cally closed the cabin door and sank onto her bunk, allowing the relief to flow through her. The constant buffeting of their thoughts, of forcing herself not to hear their conflicts, took a toll. She could usually manage, but when they lied… these people could lie even to themselves. That was a luxury she did not have.

The gang warfare in Criterion City was becoming more than an annoyance. Daily shootings building to full-scale rioting, while after dark the looting resumed.
Overworked and understaffed, the authorities on Criterion decided to call in the Feds.

’50,000 credits or she dies’” Tarrant reported, reading the decoded message onscreen, “It’s a ransom demand. Who is she?”
“More to the point, who are they?” asked Dayna.
“Origin, Criterion,” Tarrant quoted, ”What do we know about Criterion, Orac?”
“Why get involved?” asked Vila, “Sounds nasty.”
“Someone’s in trouble. We should try to help,” said Dayna.
“Should?” queried Avon.

Nobody noticed as they materialised in the alley.
“Down and safe,” reported Tarrant, as Cally hurried forward. Joining the crowds in the main street, she collided with a couple.
The brief mental contact was intense. She hadn’t felt anything like this since....since Zelda! No longer alone! Tears came to her eyes. The intimacy was intoxicating. She responded, but it was over. The shock of loss made her stumble.
“Steady –“ Tarrant grabbed her, ”Bad landing?”
She fought to see past him, but the couple were lost in the crowd.
“Hey -“ Tarrant’s concern brought Cally back to reality. Dull, empty reality. It was pointless trying to explain to Tarrant, besides, she had no words.
“Hurry,” he urged, “They won’t wait.”

President Servalan read the request for aid with interest. Criterion had not previously figured in her calculations, but the situation created opportunities. Firstly, there was profit to be made in any drug trade. Secondly, reports indicated the involvement of the Terra Nostra, a group the Federation had previously tried – and failed – to infiltrate. Thirdly, a suggestion that this new Shadow derivative gave addicts lasting telepathic abilities.
The Federation was always ready to help, she reflected, ordering a squadron to Criterion.

“The effect's not real. After a week or two maxed out, it kills them.”
“It’s real,” muttered Cally.
Tarrant nodded, squeezing her arm warningly.
“And they pay!” the contact, Brio, grinned, ”We keep upping the price, but they still come.”
“We’re interested,” Tarrant affirmed, “Expansion, eh? Which planet?”
“Your ship – you can outrun Feds?” the other man shrugged, “Malia V: good prospects there. Money from the hydrogen mining, see? No competition – other than Feds.”
“We’re faster,” the pilot confirmed, ”Where do we collect the stuff?”
“Keen, eh? Getting desperate?” Brio indicated Cally, silent and subdued.
“Er, yes,“ Tarrant improvised, casting Cally in the role of prospective addict, “Where, Brio?”
“I’ll call you.”

Avon glared at the screen, watching the approaching Federation warships.
“Have they seen us?” Vila enquired.
“Not yet.” But for Cally, I’d pull out now, Avon determined silently. Tarrant’s deal with the Terra Nostra was a risk too far. Memories of earlier failures arose. He forced them away.
“Have they found out where the girl is?” Vila wanted to know. Avon didn’t bother to reply. This was going wrong. He could feel it.
You're not sulking, I hope?
M1795537 OC Virn wrote:

the crew encounter the Terra Nostra again…

Great story, M...Virn - and a cliffhanger ending! Please don't tell me it ends there?
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
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A statement of fact cannot be insolent
There’s been some brilliant entries this month. Well done, everyone.

And if anyone was wondering about the ‘old acquaintances’ Avon mentioned in my earlier effort...

* * *

Avon, Tarrant and Dayna, having emerged from their prison, did not waste any time in looking for the man who had landed them there. There seemed to be an unspoken agreement that Purnell, wherever he was, could stay there and rot. So far, after all, he had proved fairly useless in the attempt to obtain the relay connector they were looking for.

“Do we have any idea where we’re going?” queried Dayna.

“The technical department,” answered Tarrant.

“And we know where that is?” If Avon’s tone was intended to slow his confident progress along the corridor, it didn’t succeed. Tarrant barely halted.

“I’ve a fair idea. And we know where it isn’t. Do you want to waste time looking for Purnell so he can show us? It’s not as if he’s exactly reliable...”

“Ah, so you had noticed,” Avon remarked. Tarrant did pause, this time, looking annoyed.

“I don’t see...”

What he failed to see remained unspoken, as three men appeared from round the corner. One they recognised as a crony of Purnell’s; the other two, elegantly attired in black, were unfamiliar. The guns they carried, however, were recognisable enough; as was their ability to use them.

“That would be Tarrant?” one of them suggested. Purnell’s man nodded.

“What about it?” Tarrant demanded. “Is this another of Servalan’s tricks?”

“Servalan? No; we don’t bother with her,” said the older of the strangers. “Her business... let us just say it is not exactly ours. Our business is with someone else entirely.” He looked quizzically at Avon, who stared impassively back.

“Do you mean us?” Dayna was puzzled as much as angry at the new threat; but she was ignored.

“Kerr Avon,” said the older man.

“Yes. I’m afraid you have the advantage of me,” replied Avon coolly.

“Oh, but you know of the organisation to whom I belong. Although perhaps you would find it difficult to prove its existence.”

“The Terra Nostra,” said Avon. His opponent smiled.

“You see, we are on the same page after all. A pity Blake is not with you, but...”

“Blake hasn’t been with me for some time. What do you want?”

“A small matter of compensation.”

“Is there something you’d like to let us in on?” queried Tarrant.

Avon didn’t bother to look at him. “Not particularly. Compensation?”

“Shadow is... was... a profitable commodity.”

This time Avon smiled. “Usually when supplies diminish the price rises,” he pointed out.

“You were involved in supplying shadow?” Dayna sounded revolted.

“He was involved in destroying it,” corrected the representative of the Terra Nostra. “Not very wise. Now you might just wish you’d stayed around for your lady President. Her methods of removal seem very haphazard... compared to ours.”

“No doubt. What are you suggesting? These two weren’t involved with your complaint.”

“No. I’m told there are still two of your crew who were, however. Perhaps you’d like to let them know we’re here.” It was not a suggestion. For a second Avon still didn’t move; then he lifted his bracelet and spoke.

“Cally? We seem to have run into some old acquaintances. Apparently they’d like us to enter into certain negotiations. Can you hold on up there a little longer?”
trevor travis

As he stood over Blake’s dead and bloodied body, Avon contemplated where it gone wrong.

Had it been the destruction of Liberator, plus the death of his beloved Cally? He blamed himself for the loss of both of those and it resulted in many sleepless nights.

But, no, it had been going wrong before then.

How about his betrayal by Anna, or whatever her real name was, and having to shoot her dead? Again, it had been a blow, but the tide had turned before that.

In his heart, Avon knew all along where it had started to go pear-shaped. It’s when he felt such terrible jealousy that he could never get over it. Even though he’d tried to compensate afterwards, by matching and surpassing the cause of that envy.

“Yes, that’s where it went wrong”, reflected Avon to himself with a smile as he raised his gun, “when Bayban had more studs than I did”.

Edited by trevor travis on 30 September 2020 22:35:49
Thank you TT, for making me smile this morning!
Cold.....you don't know the meaning of cold.
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of the window!!!

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Loved your story, TT. And all the others! Good show!
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
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