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January Challenge Part 2 - Complete the Scene
purplecleric
Here's the scene, a simple one to start off...

The tap-tap of heels heralded Jenna’s arrival on the flight deck of the Liberator. Hastily, Avon cleared the display on his terminal, and as a cover for his guilt, went on the attack.

“You’re late.”


So what happens next? What is Avon trying to hide?

500 words maximum and it can be combined with the word prompt. Post your scenes here by 31st January.

And now I'd better put my pen where my mouth is and get my thinking cap on!
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
A continuation from the Word Prompt January Challenge...

The tap-tap of heels heralded Jenna’s arrival on the flight deck of the Liberator. Hastily, Avon cleared the display on his terminal, and as a cover for his guilt, went on the attack.

“You’re late” snapped Avon, the light vanishing from the computer screen.
“What were you looking at?” asked Jenna, suspiciously; “the looked like Federation data…”
“Yes” replied Avon simply; “but don’t let that put you off. This project is not Federation”
“Neutral?” asked Jenna; “so what do they have that you… we need so desperately that you will try and get inside somewhere that even might have Federation connections?”
“They have developed… well now, how can you describe a new technology that is nothing like anything we have ever seen? It’s so advanced that it makes the Liberator seem like a space hopper…”
“Now I know you’re exaggerating!” cried Jenna; “there’s nothing that advanced out there!”
“Can you be sure?” challenged Avon; “can you be sure enough of that to decide not to try and take it from them?”
“Okay…” replied Jenna slowly; “tell me more. I’m not saying that I’ll back you against Blake, but I’m interested enough to want to know what it does that’s so fantastic. If you’re right, we probably won’t need to use much persuasion to get Blake to join us”
“But I don’t want Blake to know what we’re really going for” cautioned Avon, “he would use it for his own ends, and that could be as destructive as the Federation having it…”
“So that’s why you asked to see me here alone” said Jenna; “but you took quite a chance! Blake might have been here too, and you know he stays up here for hours…”
“Why do you think I supported your plan to set fixed sleeping times for the crew?”
“Oh… I see” said Jenna, slightly annoyed that Avon’s support of her improvements to the crew’s routine was actually a subterfuge; “and how do we reach this research centre with the Liberator without Blake knowing about it? As soon as you suggest going somewhere, but don’t have a good reason, he will suspect you’re up to something!”
“That’s why I’m not going to tell Blake to go there” said Avon; “you are…”
“Me, how?” demanded Jenna; “I have no reason to ask for the ship to be diverted!”
“Then lie” said Avon coldly; “preferably to him, but I don’t care. Just get us to satellite OG-4”
“No Avon, unless you tell me right now what the project actually is. I’m not going to go into a mission blind…”
“Why not?” asked Avon; “you do every time Blake sends us on one. So… you want to know what we’re looking for? It’s a door…”
“What sort of door?” asked Jenna; “a door to where?”
“Everywhere” answered Avon in a level, matter of fact voice; “it’s a door to everywhere and every when. Now do you see why tyrants and idealists should never see it opened?”
“It sounds like Orac has come across something important, so…”
“So, will you help me?”
“Yes”

As Jenna agreed, full lighting returned and Blake approached the flight deck.

“Blake…” said Jenna; “I have received information from an old contact…”
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
purplecleric
See post in January word prompt thread

... and now I see it - very clever, SD! It'll be fun to see how far you can continue the tale in response to the challenges. But the result may end up to be a very interesting piece of fiction.

I'm going to have to pull my finger out...
 
Travisina
Here's my entry:

The tap-tap of heels heralded Jenna’s arrival on the flight deck of the Liberator. Hastily, Avon cleared the display on his terminal, and as a cover for his guilt, went on the attack.

“You’re late.”

Jenna did not reply. Instead, she gave Avon a withering look, and proceeded to activate her own terminal.

"Zen," she said, "put the latest data from Avon's terminal up on the main screen."

+CONFIRMED+

"What – you can't!" Avon was appalled as the screen began to display a succession of maps and star charts. "Zen, don't do that!"

+CONFIRMED+

Zen's tone was that of a weary parent trying to placate squabbling children. The visual display faded to black.

Jenna regarded Avon coolly. "You're looking for another bolt hole."

Avon did not deny it. "Are you surprised?"

"Not at all. After XK-72 was destroyed, you were bound to look for alternatives. But I don't see why you have to be so furtive. Nobody will prevent you leaving, and you made your feelings perfectly clear when you told Blake that you were no longer stupid enough to stay with him."

"You heard that?"

"We all heard that. Vila was wondering why it's taking you so long." Jenna gave a wry smile. "He's contemplating coming with you."

Avon rolled his eyes. "I haven't found anywhere yet," he said, stepping down from his flight position. "And the longer I stay here - " he took in the flight deck with a sweeping gesture "- the more I'm associated with Blake, and the less chance there'll be of a life of rich anonymity on a neutral world."

"Vila will be disappointed," said Jenna, her tone sweetly acid.

"What about you?" asked Avon. "How long do you plan to stay?"

Jenna shrugged. "Until I get a better offer."

"I made you a better offer," Avon reminded her, "while Blake was on Cygnus Alpha. You and I could have been free and safe, with the Liberator and all its wealth. But you insisted on waiting for him."

"My conscience wouldn't allow me to do otherwise."

"Then I'm glad I haven't got one."

"Haven't got one what?" Vila, wandering on to the flight deck, looked at the two of them.

"Conscience," said Avon.

"New bolt hole," said Jenna simultaneously.

Vila reached under his flight console and retrieved a bottle. "Gan and I are celebrating his recovery," he explained, noting the others' disapproving looks. "He... we... I wanted more soma, and the flight deck was closer than the food store." He held the bottle up to the light. "Good, there's plenty left. So you'll be staying with us after all, Avon?"

"For now."

"Do let me know if you change your mind." Vila gave him a cheeky grin, and exited.

"He has no conscience, either," remarked Jenna.

"That's just as well," said Avon, making his way up the stairs. "Conscience makes cowards of us all," he quoted, "and nothing would ever get resolved. Good night, Jenna."

***

...Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Hamlet Act III, Scene 1
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
"My conscience wouldn't allow me to do otherwise."

"Then I'm glad I haven't got one."

Excellent! A cutting exchange worthy of the series' original writers Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
Travisina
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

"My conscience wouldn't allow me to do otherwise."

"Then I'm glad I haven't got one."

Excellent! A cutting exchange worthy of the series' original writers Grin

Thank you, SD!
I'm enjoying your story, too Smile
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
meegat39
I've enjoyed the entries very much! Congrats to all who have contributed. I am hoping to have a go too at some point.
"If you didn't want the answer, you shouldn't have asked the question."
 
purplecleric
Brilliant, Travisina!

Shakespeare, both January challenges, and some great dialogue and descriptions all in under 500 words.

Mmm, *looking at my own tawdry effort* might have to do a rewrite...
 
Lurena
Travisina, that's very neat! Brilliant!
That famous Hamlet soliloquy always touched me; now spoken by Avon (I can hear Mr D performing) it gets a new dimention...

Thank you all for your clever contributions! I do enjoy reading them all.
What a great idea Purplecleric, thank you for starting this!
Lara&Sue's Blake's 7 stories
*No, I am not. I am not expendable, I'm not stupid, and I'm not going.*
 
http://lectorisalutem.webs.com/
trevor travis


Pfft Pfft Pfft Pfft
 
Spaceship Dispatcher

I thought you would approve Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
JustBrad
The tap-tap of heels heralded Jenna’s arrival on the flight deck of the Liberator. Hastily, Avon cleared the display on his terminal, and as a cover for his guilt, went on the attack. “You’re late.”

Jenna marched to the scanner station, one hand on her hip as she replied to Avon. “I’m sure you dealt with the inconvenience in your usual, stoic fashion.”

Avon stood, stretching the kink from his shoulders. “I expect such irresponsibility from most of the crew, but not from you.”

“You’re such a flatterer. Are we still on course?”

Avon climbed down from his console. “Why wouldn’t we be?”

“Spoken like a man with something to hide.” Jenna suppressed a grin as Avon’s eyes flashed.

Avon paused at the corridor, looking back. “Enjoy the solitude. Try not to fall asleep and fly into a sun.”

Jenna raised an eyebrow as Avon withdrew, whispering to herself, “He’s in an even better mood than usual.”

She turned her eyes to the ship’s computer. “Zen, anything on the long range detectors?”

Lights danced across Zen’s display. *There is a small asteroid field bearing two-two-seven mark three.*

Jenna huffed a sigh. “Any ships?”

*Negative*

“Thank you, Zen.” As quietly as possible in four inch heels, Jenna climbed the steps to the corridor that led away from the flight deck. It was empty and quiet.

Moving with more speed and only slightly less stealth, she approached Avon’s console, pausing to take one final look over her shoulder before dropping to her knees. She reached under the console, smiling as she pulled a small data crystal from a service com port.

Holding the data crystal before her like a champion lifting her trophy, Jenna returned to her own console. As she plugged the data crystal into her work station, a history log appeared on her display. “It worked, and he didn’t notice, I don’t believe it.”

Her eyes darted to Avon’s work station. She spoke quietly, but as if he were still in the room. “Now we’ll see what you’re up to when you’re in here all alone."

She punched a few buttons and pulled up the last entry, the one he had so hastily wiped from his screen as she entered. She read the page address. “FedFound. The Federations leading service for Lost and Found.”

The display began with a header. Item, lost at Earth Dome 1, apartment 2B, Unity Complex. Substantial Reward. Contact Chevron1@ORAC-LIB.com

Data followed: Views 276. Replies 0.

Finally, there was a link to the item in question. http://i995.photo...05d308.jpg


.
Edited by JustBrad on 07 January 2015 16:40:41
 
Travisina
Fantastic, Brad!
Really good dialogue, a mystery set up and revealed with a punchline (punch picture?) that made me laugh out loud. Grin
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
purplecleric
That made me laugh out loud, Brad!

I don't know what I'm finding more interesting - Avon's 'secrets', the various methods Jenna is deploying to uncover them or all the classic dialogue...
 
purplecleric
And here's my take on the scene:

The tap-tap of heels heralded Jenna’s arrival on the flight deck of the Liberator. Hastily, Avon cleared the display on his terminal, and as a cover for his guilt, went on the attack.

“You’re late.”

He stalked off, not deigning to wait for her reply. Jenna resisted the urge to poke her tongue out at his retreating back and then turned her attention to his console. What was he up to now?

She fiddled around with commands and settings while her mind explored possibilities. A bolthole was the most probable – he’d made no secret of his wish to leave. And because she was irritated with him, less charitable thoughts crossed her mind; he was selling them out, he was sabotaging the systems. These thoughts fuelled her anger and she imagined even more sinister and increasingly improbable scenarios, her hands working furiously on the keys.

More through luck than skill, the terminal suddenly came to life.

Jenna’s brow furrowed as she took in the elegant script that scrolled across the screen. “Vintage Delights” the words declared and now her imaginings were taking a stroll down a rather salacious side street. After all, exactly what ‘delights’ would an uptight alpha male with a taste for leather indulge in? It would be just like him to use the guise of ‘vintage’ to add a pretentious air to something more sordid.

Curiosity now raging, Jenna selected the ‘most recent indulgence’ option and steeled herself against what secrets it might reveal.

“Delicious!” the screen screamed as a plethora of neon-bright strangely organic shapes cascaded down the viewer. Bemused, Jenna searched for more information.

“Candy Crush – the twenty-first century craze that had everyone from politicians to the proletariat addicted.”

Jenna smiled with a malicious delight that was far from vintage, but nevertheless harked back to ancient times.

“Sweet!”
 
Ellen York
Nice one Brad. Avon missed his teddy. I did manage to figure out what was in the photo before I opened it.

Clever build-up, PC. Like Jenna, I was expecting something more, shall we say, risque. I do find it a bit frightening that Candy Crush survives that far into the future Smile
 
Hugbot
The monthly fanfic challenge is such a great idea! I hate reading longer texts on a computer monitor and have thus not read much of B7 fanfic, only some of the very short pieces. Thanks to the 500-word epics in the monthly challenge, I can now have a glimpse at the assorted creative power of my fellow members. I was fascinated by the high quality of all the previous entries (and Tarrant's doubtful look at the graphite writing stick is a wonderful illustration for the monthly challenge Smile!)

Also thank you for your kind commentaries on my own attempt at the word prompt. That encouraged me to tackle the second challenge as well. The chronological sequence of certain events may be a bit unusual, but I haven't found any canonical information that would render it completely impossible. But see for yourselves:

Final Warning

The tap-tap of heels heralded Jenna’s arrival on the flight deck of the Liberator. Hastily, Avon cleared the display on his terminal, and as a cover for his guilt, went on the attack.

"You’re late."

"Am I?" She did not seem bothered at all by his unfriendly welcome but continued to walk down the stairs, greeting Avon with a disarming smile. "As a matter of fact, my watch ended a while ago. Don’t you remember?"

Avon suddenly felt uneasy as she came nearer ... nearer than she had ever been to him, maybe except in those few hours in the cell on Space World.

"No, you don’t remember. You don’t want to remember. Oh, I should have expected it."

Avon still did not say a word. He was tongue-tied as never before. There was a certain thought, a memory, lurking in the wings of his consciousness, but it did not dare to take centre stage.

"Of course you don’t want to remember, with all your scientific knowledge! You prefer to see only that in which you believe."

She drew even nearer, almost touching him, and nodded in the direction of his console.

"Or is it because you are so occupied with the past?" Again she gave him one of her memorable smiles. Then she lowered her voice as if to underline the seriousness of what she was going to say: "I know what you are doing," she said, "you are trying to find Blake. Don’t go there. It’s a trap!"

For the first time he realised that she was not wearing one of her usual fancy dresses but a drab pilot coverall stained with burn marks. There were even burns on her face. Avon saw his breath freeze. A sudden gust of wind dispersed the cloud. Grasping the opportunity to take his eyes off Jenna, Avon watched the puff of vapour slowly drifting away. When he turned back, Jenna had vanished.

Silent moments went by until at last Avon had regained his composure. "Zen," he ordered, "did you register any unusual events in the past few minutes?"

+ DEFINE 'UNUSUAL' +

Avon grimaced at his own slip. His unprecise question was something that Vila might have asked, but not the Federation’s second best computer genius.

"Any presence of life-forms or any temperature drops?" he specified.

+ NEGATIVE +

He must have fallen asleep for a short while. Only a few weeks ago they had had the eerie encounter with the alien flying tomb, and he was already suspicious of the strange messages that were seemingly sent by Blake. No wonder that his subconsciousness had come up with such imagery!

"Run course programme!" he ordered.

Of course he would not abandon his plans just because of a silly dream. Blake was waiting for him, somewhere out there.

The Liberator sailed on towards Terminal.
 
Spaceship Dispatcher
purplecleric wrote:

After all, exactly what ‘delights’ would an uptight alpha male with a taste for leather indulge in?

Is that the thoughts of Jenna or the writer that we're looking in on? Grin
Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great.

Blake's 7: Trojan Horse (s4 fanfic) - Blake's 7: Through the Needle's Eye (s2 fanfic)

Spaceship Dispatcher's fanfic site
 
littlesue
Spaceship Dispatcher wrote:

purplecleric wrote:

After all, exactly what ‘delights’ would an uptight alpha male with a taste for leather indulge in?

Is that the thoughts of Jenna or the writer that we're looking in on? Grin


Please remember that PC and I actually got to touch the leather outfits that a certain computer expert wore...and we even help dress the chap who offered to wear said costumes!
Hook and eyes, Velcro, zips...did I mention leather??
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
Two more great entries!

Purplecleric, loved your entry with its sly hints of naughtiness and oh so innocent punchline!
Hugbot - wonderful atmospheric story, and there's no reason why it should not fit in the canon timeline.
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
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