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April Fanfic Challenge
trevor travis
END GAME... PART TWO

(More of a sideways shift than a continuation of Part 1)

Servalan moved with feline grace towards Avon who remained seated. Her immaculately manicured nails slid across the smooth polished surface of the table before trailing across his face. She stopped behind him, her hand resting lightly on his shoulder as she lowered her head to speak softly in his ear.

“Did you really think you could outwit me?”

“That was quite a move, Servalan. I didn’t realise you were such an expert at chess.”

“Oh there’s so much you don’t know about me, Avon. Mate in seven, I believe. Do you insist we go through the motions?”

Avon toppled over his king to resign the game. “I don’t think that’s necessary.”

“Now what next?”

“Snake and ladders?”

“Why not!”

****

They weren’t sure if it was weeks, days or hours. Time passed very strangely here.

But they played Bridge. And Ludo. And Ker Plunk. And Monopoly (Avon was upset to find the dog was missing from the set. He was always the dog in Monopoly). And Hungry Hippos. And Guess Who.

Servalan nearly always won. But she sensed something was troubling Avon. Something was troubling her as well. Where on earth were they?

****

“Snap!” shouted Servalan, shortly before Avon.

“Damn”, he exclaimed.

“Right that’s it, take them off.” She pointed at Avon’s black studded leather underpants, the only item of clothing he had left. Strip Snap had seemed a daft idea, but it would pass the time. The never-ending tedium of the passing of time.

Avon started to comply, but Servalan held out a hand to stop him. “I don’t think that’s necessary. The reality is often a disappointment compared to the imagination.” There was a brief twinkle in her eye. There was hardly ever a twinkle in her eyes these days. “No Avon, instead, you can answer me two simple questions.”

His face suddenly turned. “Oh I see.”

“You see what?”

“I’ve been drugged, haven’t I? Drugged and made to play your bizarre little games, until I tell you what you want.”

Servalan moved in close to Avon so that they were directly face-to-face. “Avon, this isn’t of my making.” He could tell she was worried. Very worried. She was so used to being in control. He accepted that, for once, she was genuine.

“Go on then”, he grinned a humourless grin. “Ask away.”

“Avon, do you have any idea where we were? Any idea at all?”

He glanced around the endless white void. There was just the single table, two chairs and the games cupboard. And nothing else. Nothing. “I have no idea at all. I was hoping you might!”

Servalan shrugged, while stroking Avon’s bare shoulder. “I only wish I did.”

“And your second question?”

Servalan hesitated for a moment. Avon thought he saw a tear in the corner of her eye. “Well?”

“Avon, according to the official reports, you were killed on Gauda Prime. I was actually rather sad about that fact. How did you survive?”

His reply sent shivers down her spine.

“I didn’t.”

END OF PART TWO.

TO BE CONTINUED…
Edited by trevor travis on 07 April 2015 15:28:03
 
Anniew
Avon was slipping, Tarrant noted. Slipping up badly. It was getting dangerous.

"Have you noticed?" he asked Dayna.

"I can't say I have, Tarrant. You worry too much you know. And if he is, well I'm sure it's just a temporary thing. Nothing to worry about."

Frustrated, Tarrant took himself off to find Soolin. He should have known better than to hint a criticism of her beloved Avon to Dayna. Soolin was less emotional. She'd understand his concern

He found Soolin where he expected her to be- on the shooting range, honing her already formidable skill. He approached cautiously but even so she swung round so quickly he found himself lying on the ground, staring down the barrel of her gun.

"Sorry," she said unapologetically, when she registered it was him. "You should know better than to creep up on me like that."

With as much dignity as he could muster, he allowed her to help him stand, brushing off the adhering leaves and dirt from his trousers.

"Yes. Well. Never mind that. I need to talk to you, Soolin. It's about Avon. Have you noticed...?"

"Oh no Tarrant. I'm not interested. You're not involving me in your petty squabbles. It's time you two stopped pawing the ground at each other. It makes life very difficult for the rest of us. Oh and you have a patch of mud on your backside. You might want to do something about that."

Pawing the ground! Is that how she saw his unappreciated attempts to keep them safe? She was as bad as Dayna. What was it about Avon that had the girls cooing and fluttering as if he was a cuddly puppy instead of the solitary, dangerous wolf Tarrant knew him to be?

"Can't they see it?" he muttered crossly as he brushed off the remaining mud as best he could, "Avon's going to get us killed if he keeps slipping up like this. I must get Vila to understand. If he's frightened enough, he'll help me."

But as he entered the living quarters he noticed the empty wine bottles and heard off-key singing coming from the kitchen. Not much point in talking to Vila then. He'd have to wait and see if the problem continued.

***
As it happened he didn't have to wait long. Avon slipped up during their raid on the food processing plant on Xelon3 to high-jack a consignment of oranges. Fortunately the guards were not very well trained and Dayna had time to set off one of her smoke grenades before they could react and grab him.

He slipped up again when he and Soolin transported down to Hesperon to buy diodes for the base's lighting system and was nearly caught by Servalan who was shopping for shoes. Luckily, Soolin managed to shoot out the lights and get Avon away.

Finally his luck ran out and Dayna discovered him out cold in a corridor on the base. As far as they could tell Avon had slipped up as he rushed to answer the alarm that Vila had set off when he burnt his toast and had slid head first into a wall.

"Hmmm," Dayna mused out loud . "I see what you mean Tarrant. Avon is slipping. A lot."

"We're going to have to talk to him," Tarrant answered. " Get him to make a different choice. There's enough to choose from."

"Yes. Good luck with that," Vila remarked insincerely, slipping off quietly to source another bottle before Tarrant could involve him.

"Dayna?" Tarrant tried hopefully.

"Don't look at me, Tarrant."

"You're on your own with this one," Soolin agreed.

***

Avon had a headache. A blinding headache. The last thing he needed was to wake from a restless sleep to find Tarrant standing over his bed like an eager Labradoodle.*

" Yes?" he enquired discouragingly.

" Look here Avon, " Tarrant began, with more bravery than sense. " we've noticed, YOU must have noticed, that you've been slipping up a lot recently. You've noticed that haven't you?"

" No," said Avon flatly, closing his eyes in the vain hope Tarrant would take the hint and go away.

"It's your boots, you see," Tarrant continued ingenuously, in what he probably thought was an ingratiating tone. " Shiny soles. Easy to slip up when you're wearing them and as you aren't getting any younger, I thought a nice pair of lace-ups ..."

Avon's angry roar could be heard all over the base.

***
"I could have told him what would happen if he confronted Avon like that, " Vila reflected with malicious amusement. "He's got the subtly of a Warg strangler!"

Tarrant, filthy and exhausted from his fourth day of fatigues, (unblocking the latrines this time), gazed with a marked lack of enthusiasm as Vila waved Avon's boot at him, displaying the sole that he had neatly sanded.

"Should do the trick, don't you think? " he exclaimed brightly." Prevent any further slips."

Tarrant grunted sourly, leaving to seek the shower, which Vila knew would at best, yield a lukewarm trickle, rather than the hot immersion Tarrant's stinky condition warranted so badly.

Serve him right. He picked up the other boot. Better do that one too.

It was time, he thought as he applied the sandpaper to the slippery sole, that Tarrant and Avon learned not to rush into situations without thinking through the consequences, or without wearing the right footwear. That really was something that only a fool would do!

*Historical footnote on Labradoodles. At the time of our heroes, packs of dogs still roamed outside the Earth Domes. Eventually scientists began experimenting with selective breeding, to develop a dog that could be used in dangerous situations. An off-shoot line soon developed breeding docile dogs for domestic use. These were highly prized by rich, spoiled Alpha wives, the Labradoodle being especially popular. Avon's mum had one. Avon couldn't stand it.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
purplecleric
A bit of role reversal going on here... I was expecting something chilling from Annie and humorous from tt - but you played me for a fool...

Loved both and I'm looking forward to part 3, trevortravis.

I'm still working on what Servalan and Avon have been up to, but here's my word prompt story - I went with pudding.
 
purplecleric
Fool

Avon’s stomach fluttered with excitement. Freedom City certainly catered to all tastes. He hadn’t felt this alive in years, not since stealing a fortune from the Federation. He had to admit scheming with Vila had been fun.

Almost as much fun as listening to the roulette wheel spin, as listening to the croupier announce another win, as listening to Vila ham it up. He could certainly put on an act. Avon was surprised the others hadn’t seen through him yet, but they seemed content to carry on believing Vila was stupid.

The excitement had soured as Vila pushed for one more spin, too high on success to realise they were drawing unwanted attention. Sometimes that man could be the idiot he pretended to be. It was not about the money, there was plenty in the treasure room and this was far too easy. It was much more about the challenge of beating the system, the opportunity to prove he was not Blake’s puppet, that he still could act independently and in his own interest, that the option remained open to him. Point proved, it was time to move on.

Old boy!

Vila was really pushing it, taking liberties like that. They were not equals, would never be. Vila was merely a resource to be used, admittedly an entertaining one. Vila’s crowing had left a bitter taste in Avon’s mouth so, while he waited for their winnings to be packaged, he sought something to take away the taint. The food here was to be commended, particularly the desserts. Saliva flooded his mouth in anticipation as he tried to decide which he would sample. He was in the mood for something tart but rich, sweet but sour, something complex to stimulate his taste buds unlike the bland food available on the Liberator.

He was just about to order the citrus and dark chocolate torte when he spotted the last item on the menu. He hadn’t had that in years, not since he was a child. These days his palate ran to more sophisticated dishes but he felt a sudden hankering for the simple comfort food of his childhood. He felt a little embarrassed as he dipped his spoon into the sweet pink pudding, a feeling lost as the creamy smoothness melted in his mouth and nostalgia wrapped itself around him like a soft blanket.

Life had been straightforward then, people had been less complicated. His parents, polite and remote, had made their expectations clear, tutors mapped out his learning and computers provided play in the form of puzzles and strategy games. For everything else there was Nanny; illiterate but wise, full of practicalities, puddings and promises always kept.

“...has agreed to challenge the Klute at speed chess.”

Avon spat out the pudding in shock and the memories of childhood with it.

Fool!

He wasn’t sure if he meant dessert, Vila or himself...

Note for our non-British members - a fool is a lovely cold concoction of sweet custard, whipped cream and stewed fruit - preferably gooseberries.
 
Anniew
Trevor this story will run and run. Love the separate episodes connected by a series arc. My only regret? That Avon and Servalan didn't challenge each other to buckaroo. Loving it.

PC you are such a clever writer. Love the dexterous riffing on the word 'fool'. A story with a sad edge as well.

Glad to have surprised you. I do sometimes do funny!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
peladon
purplecleric wrote:

@Peladon - Avon has a wife? And it's not me!!! A fascinating idea - could you provide a link to the full story so I can get to the bottom of the mystery? (and stick a knife in the woman who got to him first...)
..


I would if I could, but 'Fools rush in' is one of those tales still in bits in the folder waiting to be put together and completed. However knowing the lady as I do, I dont think you would manage to get a knife into her - Avon doesnt tolerate Servalan as well as he does for nothing....
 
littlesue
purplecleric wrote:

Catching up with this thread after spending a week offline in Devon. SHOWER seemed unnecessary as a word prompt as you all seemed to have wandered there of your own accord! And now you've rumbled my theme I'll have to make the connection between word and month more obscure...

@trevortravis - you are such a champion of underdogs and the downtrodden. (Is that why you're a fan of S4?) I love your tales of 'the worm turning.'

@Anniew - even though I'm not a believer in PGP (for me they all die) I like the thought of an elderly Avon as the proprietor of the fabled mysterious shop.

@Peladon - Avon has a wife? And it's not me!!! A fascinating idea - could you provide a link to the full story so I can get to the bottom of the mystery? (and stick a knife in the woman who got to him first...)

@littlesue & Lurena - great idea - although with such a device on hand I'm surprised Servalan ever managed to drag herself away...


Maybe she didn't!!!!

But on a more serious note, it's this particular moment in Terminal that has always struck me as Servie's Coup de grace;
AVON I saw him. I spoke to him and he--
SERVALAN You saw nothing. Heard nothing. It was an illusion, a drug- induced and electronic dream. We spent months preparing it. We recreated Blake inside our computers, voice, images, memories, a million fragmented facts. When I was ready, I started sending you the messages, seeding the idea in your mind. I was conditioning you. And you were my greatest ally, Avon. You made it easy because you wanted to believe it. You wanted to believe that Blake was still alive.


I think Avon's self confidence took a severe battering.
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/
 
peladon
Anniew wrote:

Pelladon- your's is fascinating but I wasn't sure if Anna or Servalan was speaking or another lady entirely. I'm assuming the tramp is Servalan and the wife Anna and Avon failed to really kill her. Or did I miss the point entirely?


Nope, the wife is.. his wife, her name Tamarr or Tass for short. Jenna always reminded him of her, though she wasnt as beautiful as Tass, and Cally reminded him of her - fierce but principled within her way, and she has many of the qualities of Servalan without the drive for power.

The whore is Anna and the person who just entered the tracking gallery is Servalan. Who is about to get something of a shock....
 
Anniew
Pelladon: Ah of course. Silly how the mind runs on tracks. Re-reading it's obvious - I just tried to make it fit Anna And Servalan. How nice to think Avon has a wife looking after him. Look forward to reading the rest of the story.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
trevor travis
purplecleric wrote:
I'm still working on what Servalan and Avon have been up to, but here's my word prompt story - I went with pudding.


Always best to go with food Wink

Very clever connection with "Gambit". Grin
 
trevor travis
Anniew wrote:

Trevor this story will run and run. Love the separate episodes connected by a series arc. My only regret? That Avon and Servalan didn't challenge each other to buckaroo. Loving it.

PC you are such a clever writer. Love the dexterous riffing on the word 'fool'. A story with a sad edge as well.

Glad to have surprised you. I do sometimes do funny!


I liked it. Grin Another story inspired by "Animals" as Avon slips all over the place Grin

As for my little multi-part story, it was going to be a three-parter, but this month's prompts meant I had to take a slightly different route and put an extra part in. Not sure when I'll recieve a prompt that will allow me to finish it. The ending has now changed, since writing Part 2. Same protagonist, but now a different outcome. Wink
 
trevor travis
peladon wrote:

Anniew wrote:

Pelladon- your's is fascinating but I wasn't sure if Anna or Servalan was speaking or another lady entirely. I'm assuming the tramp is Servalan and the wife Anna and Avon failed to really kill her. Or did I miss the point entirely?


Nope, the wife is.. his wife, her name Tamarr or Tass for short. Jenna always reminded him of her, though she wasnt as beautiful as Tass, and Cally reminded him of her - fierce but principled within her way, and she has many of the qualities of Servalan without the drive for power.

The whore is Anna and the person who just entered the tracking gallery is Servalan. Who is about to get something of a shock....


Ah, just re-read it and understand it this time.

Avon's wife? What an intruguing thought. Although I suspect most of ladies on here prefer to think of him as single and available. Grin
 
Ellen York
PC, your story made me hungry. Fortunately, I still have Paradise Torte left from Easter Grin
 
littlesue
@TT wrote;
'Ah, just re-read it and understand it this time.

Avon's wife? What an intruguing thought. Although I suspect most of ladies on here prefer to think of him as single and available".Grin

GrinGrin
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/
 
Lurena
littlesue wrote:

Avon's wife? What an intruguing thought. Although I suspect most of ladies on here prefer to think of him as single and available".Grin

GrinGrin

Grin Grin Grin
*
Hats off to you all who contributed to the March , as well as to the April Challenge!
What a diversity of excellent and entertaining stories!

I have to apologise for not commenting sooner and applaude for you individually; duties and other things kept me occupied. Be sure I admire you all.

And yes, to answer to the request, I promise and will try and give you illustrations as much as time allows.
And co-operate writing together with Sue has grown to be a kind of necessity of life to empty the mind from daily worries.

Now here is my latest piece of artwork to the April Challenge. ( I just noticed Littlesue has already added it to the story)

i903.photobucket.com/albums/ac236/neoantares/artwork-illustrations/april%20ficlet.jpg

Ahem...* that black silk shirt...*
*
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/
peladon
littlesue wrote:

@TT wrote;
'Ah, just re-read it and understand it this time.

Avon's wife? What an intruguing thought. Although I suspect most of ladies on here prefer to think of him as single and available".Grin

GrinGrin


LOL probably but its always seemed to me unlikely that he was given his various attributes. Of course if he had a wife then Anna would have needed to get rid of her, particularly given the type of woman I think she must have been. For me Avons sudden rash pursuit of Blake at Terminal has always been down to Shrinkers words. How much more so if he had lost a wife as part of it too (or thought he had)
Edited by peladon on 12 April 2015 14:53:58
 
littlesue
Lurena wrote:

And yes, to answer to the request, I promise and will try and give you illustrations as much as time allows.
And co-operate writing together with Sue has grown to be a kind of necessity of life to empty the mind from daily worries.

Ahem...* that black silk shirt...*

I noticed!!!!Grin
Edited by Spaceship Dispatcher on 11 April 2015 15:08:07
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/
 
Hugbot
Oh, great, so many ingenious ideas and surprising punch lines!

@TT: I would habe never thought of Vila as the master mind behind the GP massacre, but his embitterment is convincing, and the way he engineers his betrayal is completely in character. Would he have done the same thing if Cally were still alive? Oh, and regarding End Game II: The punch line caught me completely off guard. Spooky!

@AnnieW: A really clever story ... I did not know what you were up to until the very end. For some time I thought you were trying to break the fourth wall (as in RD: Back to Earth), then I had the feeling that this might evolve into something along the lines of Ender's Game. And Avon "slipping" was a welcome change from the serious stories to some fun.

@Peladon: Avon's wife? Now that was another surprise ending. Great idea!

@LS & Lurena: This one really made me think ... I won't yet say about what because I may feel inclined to write a little story about it. Wink [Done ... see below!]

@PC: As I said before I love the back stories that show how our heroes became the people that we know, and Avon's childhood reminiscences are a another great insight into his character. By the way, the French author Muriel Barbery wrote a whole novel ("Gourmet Rhapsody" ) about a dying restaurant critic who tries to remember a special taste that he had lost since his childhood.
Edited by Hugbot on 12 April 2015 14:32:05
 
Hugbot
With many thanks to Little Sue & Lurena for inspiration ...

Eye of the Beholder

Servalan moved with feline grace towards Avon who remained seated. Her immaculately manicured nails slid across the smooth polished surface of the table before trailing across his face. She stopped behind him, her hand resting lightly on his shoulder as she lowered her head to speak softly in his ear.

“Did you really think you could outwit me?”

A smile appeared on his face. “Haven’t I?” He glanced around as if to draw her attention to the room where they were gathered. “I tricked you into coming here”, he reminded her, “and now I have trapped you. You can’t leave this place. And no one knows where you are.”

“It is a bit more complicated than you think”, she smiled. She had relished the situation for quite a while, but now it was time to let the cat out of the bag.

“You see,” she explained, “this place is not real. It is just a fantasy. An artificial reality. It is you who is trapped.”

Avon leaned back comfortably in his chair. “You are right,” he said, “it is an artificial reality. But it is not yours, it is mine. I have trapped you here. It was quite amusing to watch you continuing with your usual ploys. I had a good laugh when I realised that you tried to trap me in an artificial reality inside this artificial reality.”

She nodded approvingly. That was a clever retort, aimed to unsettle her. But of course he could not dupe her with such a silly story.

“Oh, Avon”, she laughed. She wanted to congratulate him on this maneuvre, but then she saw the expression of seriousness on his face and the confidence in his eyes. She could not help but feel a shiver running down her spine. This could not be true. Of course he was bluffing. Or wasn’t he?

She stared at him. He stared back, smiling.
 
Anniew
Wow Hugbot. Avon trapped in the waiting room to hell with Servalan until they both die. What a horribly chilling idea! Like the seventh seal , I can imagine them playing chess until the air runs out. Though if course as its Avon's alternative reality then I suppose he has made the rules so he could get her taken off for torture while he loves in Bliss with a non betraying Anna. Whew feeling better now. Actually not! My mind is reeling like it does when I try to envisage infinity: a reality trapped in a reality trapped in a. Nooooo!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
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