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Oct 2020 Ficlet Challenge
‘Even among my people such power is rare. Maybe.. the moon discs. Their telepathy gave me courage. Perhaps it gave me strength, too.’ Cally - Shadow

The word prompt this month is … COURAGE

Strength in the face of pain or grief, or the ability to do something that frightens one. Many examples abound in the B7 universe, and one character particularly springs to mind…

For the second challenge: the crew discovers there is a stranger aboard their ship.
Well, you can all blame Travisina for this one, seeing as she requested it way back on one of the ‘Reading Pratchett’ threads. And then, as if by fate, came the prompt “the crew discovers there’s a stranger on their ship.” Couldn’t not, really, after that, now, could I?

* * *

Vila woke up slowly, to the realisation that he felt exceedingly ill. Experimentally, he opened one eye, and groaned at the glare of the flight deck lights.

“Ach, it’s a’ richt,” announced a heavily accented voice. “He’s still alive, see? Nae harm done, mistress.”

Vila, as the tiny blue speaker swam into focus, disagreed. He groaned again, and opened the other eye in the hope of dispelling the unsettling vision. It didn’t work. The minuscule figure was still there, looking sheepishly up at a disapproving Cally and a smaller, much younger stranger.

“I expect you’ve got a headache,” said Cally’s companion matter-of-factly.

“Ohh...” He remembered now; at least, he was a bit vague on the details, but he was fairly certain there had been a teleport malfunction, and... what was the kid’s name? Tiffany... Tiffany Aching? She wasn’t the only one... “Oh, what was I drinking?”

“Special Sheep Liniment,” answered Tiffany.

“Guid stuff, eh?” said the little blue man. “Bit stronger than that green drink o’ yours, ken? Mind, that wisnae bad,” he added generously. “An’ you owe me an’ the lads three bottles. It wuz a close call, though, you’re no’ so bad at the drinkin’...”

Vila closed his eyes again. Tiny blue men were worse than pink asteroids, surely.

“It wuz a grand night,” his terrible drinking companion went on. “We wuz gettin’ on like a hoose on fire... no’ to say that there wuz any actual fire, as such,” he added, hurriedly but too late. His audience had already seen Avon advancing furiously down the steps.

“Apart from the one in sub-control room two, which luckily the auto-repair managed to contain.” Avon’s irritation was audible. “Although it has still taken me several hours to finish repairing the damage.”

“It wisnae us!”

“It was Vila’s watch,” pointed out Jenna, close on Avon’s heels.

“Then perhaps he can explain.” That was Blake, patently angry. “Is he awake yet?”

“Yes,” confirmed Cally.

“In that case... what the hell happened?” demanded Blake. Vila winced at the volume.

“Er... they’re the Nac Mac Feegle. I think... they happened,” put in Tiffany. Blake ignored her. “I did tell you...”


“I don’t think I feel very well,” murmured Vila faintly, as he spotted more Feegles appearing, apparently from nowhere.

“It wuz an accident,” began one of them, before the first one stifled any further admission with a hand.

Blake stared at the newcomers. “I thought I left you with Gan?”

“The bigjob? Ach, we havnae hurt him mmph...”

“Hush yer gob!”

Blake looked torn for a moment, but decided to focus, for the moment, on the transgressor from his own crew. Shouting at Vila was easier than coping with the strangers on board.

“I’m waiting.”

“I don’t know,” said Vila unhappily. “It’s all sort of blank...”

“Then I advise you not to say any more,” said a voice from Tiffany’s apron pocket. Avon’s face twitched slightly; he gritted his teeth as Tiffany brought out the Toad, who seemed unmoved. “If I were acting for a client in a legal capacity, I would mention the possibility of entrapment. A confession extracted under such circumstances...”

Vila blinked. He had, in the past, had uncomplimentary thoughts about lawyers; but they had never, previously, actually been a toad. He swallowed hard.

“I definitely don’t feel very well...”
Ellen York
Stormy, that is absolutely brilliant. Poor Vila has some explaining to do Smile
And whatever you're on...I want some!!!
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 wrote:

Vila blinked. He had, in the past, had uncomplimentary thoughts about lawyers; but they had never, previously, actually been a toad. He swallowed hard.

“I definitely don’t feel very well...”

Snortle, hit head on screen, wipe liquid from eyes and coffee from keyboard
musings from Nanna Sally
Wahay! Thank you, StormyP - that's wonderful Grin
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
The Wee Free Men! Love it. Would't mind a wee dram of that Special Sheep Liniment myself.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
Mr Smooth's very first contact with Servalan!
(thanks to Littlesue for checking for any grammar errors)


Carnell leant back with a sigh.
He had received a request from a certain Federation Supreme Commander named Servalan.
But this time, he had no idea how he would be able to fulfil the assignment .
He looked at and shifted the virtual personality cards on the computer screen, hoping that he could get inspiration from the dominant courage traits of those who might prevent obtaining the computer called Orac.
Could he, with knowledge of these characteristics, develop a proper strategy to outflank these persons, who now possessed the computer?


He read the cards for the umpteenth time:

Social courage. BLAKE - not conforming to the expectations of others, being willing to show your true self even if it means risking social disapproval or punishment; it involves the risk of social embarrassment or exclusion, unpopularity or rejection. It also involves leadership.
Being able to express opinions and preferences without checking to see if they are in line with “everyone else’s” opinions and preferences. Social courage often involves helping others, developing a charitable consciousness, and acting on behalf of others.

Moral courage. JENNA - doing the right thing, particularly when risks involve shame, opposition, security or social status, or the disapproval of others. Ethics and integrity, the resolution to match word and action with values and ideals.

Emotional courage. VILA -feeling the full spectrum of positive emotions, at the risk of encountering the negative ones. It is strongly correlated with happiness.
Emotions are an evolutionary adaptation to help support our survival. Once an emotion intensifies, thoughts begin to form about the emotion, cognition is engaged, and behaviours are generated to deal with the emotion and the needs that must be met.

Physical courage. GAN - bravery at the risk of bodily harm or death. It involves developing physical strength, resiliency, and awareness.

Spiritual courage. CALLY -questions about faith, purpose, and meaning, either in a religious or non-religious framework, accepting the unlikeliness to find the answers, but asking them anyway.

Intellectual courage. AVON -willingness to engage with challenging ideas, to question thinking , to the risk of making mistakes. Intrinsically motivated to learn and question, rather than extrinsically motivated. Integrity and authenticity interwoven with intellectual courage; telling the truth no matter how uncomfortable.

Carnell reconsidered the information.
All the ingredients for making a decision or taking action where a risk is involved, are there, collected in this crew. And, perhaps, you can also find all these forms of courage bundled in a single, or a few individuals, of that crew.
Of course, there was a plausible percentage of incorrectness in this data which he had crystallised out from the information sent by Servalan, but there were even more uncertainties: the defence capabilities of the super spaceship Liberator and not least the Orac computer itself.
Despite his status as a brilliant psychostrategist, this was an assignment for which he had too little accurate information to be sure of a successful endeavour.
So, he "gave up courage" and decided to return the assignment with the note that he would remain available for this project, should more reliable data be presented, or, if so desired, for another assignment.


Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories and *my PD as Kerr Avon Tribute*
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
Lurena, that's a really interesting look (through the eyes of Carnell) at the different types of courage exhibited by our heroes. And I love your picture Smile
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
A statement of fact cannot be insolent
Very Interesting Lurena and I too love the drawing!
Thank you so much for your kind words Travisina and Lorna.
I 'd loved to see more of Carnell and I had time to write now that some of my work has unfortunately stopped because of the corona restrictions. My country is currently doing the second worst in Europe.
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories and *my PD as Kerr Avon Tribute*
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
And now for this month’s little entry…
…and another piccie from Lurena!

Strangers in the Night

It was a strange sound and it was enough to wake Avon from his fitful sleep.
He activated his bedside lamp and padded over to the cabin door.
He let it slide open and half expected to see Vila meandering past on his usual midnight visit to the galley.
“Aren’t you supposed to be on watch?” he had asked him on so many occasions.
“It’s all right. Orac’s doing his bit while I get some refreshment.” And Vila had carried on, suitably refreshed with a selection of delicacies on a plate in one hand and a suspicious drink in the other. Totally non alcoholic…so Vila had insisted.
But Avon had his doubts.
And his doubts were manifold this time, as it wasn’t Vila…the corridor was empty.
Sleep never came easy to Avon and this disturbance had put paid to any further attempts to enter the land of Nod.
And then that noise came again. Echoing from somewhere in the direction of the Flight Deck.

By the time he had dressed and once more ventured out into the corridor, everything seemed quiet, except that Blake was now standing at the junction of the corridor.
“Did it wake you as well?” Blake asked.
“I’m surprised you heard it with all that snoring of yours, but yes, it did disturb me.”
Blake was about to counter with his usual ‘I do not snore’, but the noise came again.
“What do you make of it?” Blake asked.
“It sounds like a motor.”
“A motor?”
“Something is either being moved or is…”
“Moving around under its own power? I think we ought to check with Zen.”
The Flight Deck was empty, except for Orac.
“Where is Vila,” Blake began, “He’s supposed to be on watch. Orac?”
+I wish to point out that I was vehemently opposed to it+
“Opposed to what?” Avon asked.
+Answering the distress call+
“Zen where is Vila? And what distress call?” Blake demanded.
“Stranger?” Avon said, “What stranger?”
+The one who sent out the distress call+

Blake and Avon stood outside the door of Hold 2, guns in hands.
They listened, as Vila’s voice sounded.
“…and this is Cally, and this is Jenna.”
“Pleased to meet you,” they both replied.
“And Robbie you already know.”
Avon was not amused, "That Robot of Vila’s is nothing but trouble. Why you allow it to stay aboard I’ll never know. And who is it who already knows Robbie?”
As if in answer the hold door slid open to reveal Vila, Cally and Jenna and 2 robots.
The second robot’s upper body swung round, with its arms wildly flailing around, “Danger, danger…”
“Don’t mind them,” Vila smiled, “You can put your guns away.”
“Isn’t he cute?” Cally said.
“We’ve got one each now,” Jenna added.
“This is a friend of Robbie’s. He sent out a distress call, “Vila explained, “He was Lost in Space…..”

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/
M1795537 OC Virn
Love the crossover, Stormy. And the rest are well worth reading. Lots of atmosphere!
Here's my effort - nowhere near as dark...

A stranger aboard

The air was cold: she sniffed the wind and sensed them. It was time to hide, before the Hommicks found her.

Scorpio had many hiding places.
“Where -?” Tarrant asked, astonished, “What...?”
“And who,“ Soolin added.
“Whom,” corrected Vila.
“That’s what matters?” Tarrant queried.
Vila ignored him, staring into the locker. The child inside it stared back.

“A stowaway?” Dayna’s disbelief was clear, “How did that happen?”
“I said life support was over-budget on oxygen,“ Tarrant prompted.
The little girl hadn’t spoken. Soolin had hauled her forcibly out of the locker. With difficulty, they’d taken her to the flight deck. Having lost the fight, and conscious of their scrutiny, the child had curled into a protective ball. Dayna approached her but withdrew with a cry. She’d been bitten.
Meanwhile, Avon had continued replacing a defective sensor array.
“Tarrrant, Vila, move,“ he suggested, grunting with the effort of working in spaces not designed for human interference, “She’s from Xenon.”
Tarrant frowned, not understanding and wondering whether he ought to be offended.
“Hommicks,” Soolin answered, nodding, “Men. They kill females.”
The crew looked at each other. Apparently, this particular female had learned to protect herself.
“Maybe she doesn’t understand us,” suggested Vila.
“Let’s eat,” suggested Avon, “She’ll understand that.”

Following them had been a mistake, decided Anke. Three Hommicks and two women, who wore men’s clothes. Not good. She ignored their food but warily accepted water since they used the same supply.
After the meal, she was left well alone. She watched one of them fixing a machine. He lay underneath, trying and failing to attach something. Instinctively, Anke reached in, her small hands achieving what his larger ones could not. The man looked at her and she froze, but nothing bad happened. He nodded and went on working.

“Avon’s new friend,” Soolin whispered, grinning.
The stowaway was sitting near their computer expert. She’d been following him around since lunch.
“His first,” joked Tarrant, but nobody laughed.
“Probably her first,” muttered Dayna.
“She’s got to be, what, eight or ten Standard?” suggested Tarrant, “What do we do about her?” There was no answer.

When they came on watch, the visitor had vanished.
“You’re sure? No other life forms aboard?” Dayna wasn’t convinced, “That’s got to be wrong!”
Orac’s voice was as testy as ever,
“You requested assistance: this is my conclusion.”
“Well, she survived Terminal,” Soolin shrugged, ”Why worry?”
Vila stared suspiciously at the teleport bay. His attention was drawn first to Avon, seated nearby, and then to Orac beside him. Both looked too innocent, in his opinion. They’d taken the previous watch, while everyone else slept.
Avon met his gaze.
“She agreed,” he observed calmly, “And I said you wouldn’t mind. You never use your laser pistol.”
“But -?”
“We passed a Vacation Cruiser.”
Vila understood. A good place to hide. A luxury vessel, carrying the cream of the Federation’s ruling classes, touring the Sector for pleasure. Avon had let loose an armed feral child among unprotected, relaxed, wealthy...
“Nice. Almost wish you’d sent me, too,” he concluded.
Edited by M1795537 OC Virn on 24 October 2020 10:21:01
You're not sulking, I hope?
Here we go with prompt number 2.

A Handful of Courage

They called him a coward so, naturally, that’s what he became, a coward.
For Vila Restal a witticism, or a trick, usually avoided confrontation.
So when his friend, Zesty, asked him to help in his latest escapade, he tried to decline, but it was difficult to turn down Zesty, especially when he was accompanied by Kron, whose imposing physique was more than enough to persuade anyone to go along with another of Zesty’s schemes.
“Look, Zesty,” Vila implored, “I’ve only just got out. Next time they said they would throw the book at me…”
“A book?” Zesty queried, “What’s a book?”
Vila sighed; he’d forgotten that the lower Delta grades didn’t have books. At least he had had the opportunity to read a book or two, usually before selling them to a fixer for a good price.
“Look, “continued Zesty, “It’s a simple job. You open the door, we get in, get the goods and we scarper before anyone knows anything about it, It’s simple, isn’t it Kron?”
Kron grunted.

And so Vila Restal found himself in the basement congratulating himself as the safe door swung open. Everyone piled in, even Primi. Zesty knew that Vila liked her; well he did most ladies, and Zesty had used Primi as further encouragement for Vila to join the bold enterprise.
Then the alarm sounded.
“Zesty!” Vila yelled, “I thought you’d cut the wire!!
“I did, “Zesty replied, "Must have cut the wrong one...can’t read, remember?”
Vila sighed as everyone bundled out of the safe, carrying goodness knows what, and ran off in the direction of the smashed in back door. Everyone except Primi.
She hadn’t heard the alarm and was still inside the safe as the door slammed shut
“Primi!” Vila cried.
Suddenly he heard the guards.
He had to work fast, for Primi’s sake.
When encourage by fear, Vila could open anything. The door swung open and Primi stood there, so beautiful so…
“Run, “Vila urged, “I’ll try and hold them up…go…”
And Primi left, but not before kissing his cheek.
“Oi! You! Stand right where you are.”
“Who me?” Vila smiled, as Primi’s footfalls faded away.
“Yes you. Well?”
“It’s like this. I found the door open and thought it was my citizen’s duty to…”
“Don’t listen to him.” It was the Guard Commander and Vila recognised his voice.
“Oh no, “Vila whispered.
“OH yes,” the commander replied, “You’ve done it now, Restal. I told them that psycho-babble wouldn’t work. A thief is what you are and nothing, NOTHING will ever change that. It’s Cygnus Alpha for you this time.”
“What? No trial?”
“Tell us who your friends are and we’ll see.”
Vila swallowed. Zesty and Kron, maybe. But Primi? No. She was too beautiful to betray.
Vila swallowed and summoned all the courage he was capable of especially as the Commander was now towering over him.
Vila smiled nervously, and then produced a pack of cards from a pocket…”Pick a card, any card!”
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/
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