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May 2015 Fanfic Challenge
Lurena
WOW SD, I'm amazed every time the new month has started! Cleverly done and again very entertaining.
I just started to take an interest in Game of Thrones and I recognised the atmosphere.

Now I'm curious what TT and SD sequels lie ahead...Grin

@Purplecleric thank you for your poem. It's a lovely reminder to the purpose of the monthly challenges threads.
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/
Ellen York
Loving the adventures of the Pan Author Matter Machine, keep them coming guys Wink
 
BradPaula
To quote Graham Chapman, late member of Monty Python, "This is getting entirely too silly." Wow, TT and SD. Such amazingly fun and engaging stories you've written. Even though I've never seen Press Gang, I could still follow it easily and I was actually chuckling out loud at some of the bits. Four gold stars for your effort!

SD, what can I say, I loved the Game of Thrones story and then the Doctor Who mash-up! I was really giggling at the Hodor reference. I thought to myself, perhaps Gan is Blake's 7 Hodor? Anyway five gold stars for your efforts! Absolutely brilliant boys!
Edited by Spaceship Dispatcher on 05 May 2015 16:56:52
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Anniew
Ok this is the humorous ( I hope) response. Trevor and SD have both kindly allowed me to gate crash the Pan Genre Mattter Machine party, grab the Pan Author Matter Machine. and create this. I couldn't have done it without you boys! Many thanks. What do you know, your gadgets work!
******+

He was in real trouble now. Vila took another look and felt the panic rise. How was he going to explain this? More importantly, would he live long enough to explain? His eyes darted about looking for somewhere to hide. The blue box in the corner looked promising but the door wouldn't budge. It seemed to have a lock though and he was the master of lock picking so he...

" YOU are the Master?" A white haired but vigorous man appeared suddenly behind him. He was dressed formally in black but a glimpse of scarlet lining hinted that inside the imposing and rather forbidding exterior lurked a fun-seeking dandy. If you could find a way past the eyebrows that is...

" What? No... I'm A master, that's what I meant...a master at lock picking." Vila wondered how this stranger had heard his thoughts. Was he telepathic, perhaps...? But whatever the means that had led the Stranger to his conclusion, Vila could tell he did not regard being any sort of Master as a good thing.

"Good God." The Man in Black ignored Vila's flustered explanation, exploding irascibly, "First a woman and now this pathetic, frightened little man. What other fiendish ways will you come up with to disguise your evil?" He spoke in a barely intelligible, rough, gravelly burr, an accent that Vila had heard only once before and connected vaguely with a gnome-like person he'd encountered briefly in the mens' room on Space City.

"What do you mean, pathetic? You'd be pathetically frightened if you'd done what I'd done. Been forced to do actually. Against my will," he spelled out. " I'm no Master. I'm Vila Restall and I'm in trouble. And you will be too when Avon gets here."

" Avon? That's a new one. And diabolically clever. Infiltrating a world wide direct selling company. Concealing your mind control devices in their best selling pan stick makeup range, enabling you to take over the world. A flawless plan, pun not intended."

"Make-up? I know Avon's fond of lip liner - uses a bit too much if you ask me- but if he's selling his own range of pan sticks it's the first I've heard of it. Mind you," Vila reflected, " that could explain why he looks less orange than the rest of us this year. Anyway..."

A metallic voice and a screech of metal wheels interrupted his thoughts and both he and the Stranger whirled to face what could only be described as an angry, man-size buzzing pepper pot armed with sink plungers.

" Exterminate," the pepper pot screamed ferociously, " exterminate, Vila. That's what's in store for you if you don't get me out of this ridiculous contraption."

"Ummm Avon..." Vila quavered, backing nervously behind the Irritable Man With The Eyebrows, " it really wasn't my fault. Anniew made me.. She's a master at nicking ideas from others and..."

"I knew the Master was behind all this," the IRMWTE shouted triumphantly. "and you are not what he...she... Curse this political correctness... Whatever ITS regenerated into now. But if she has disguised herself as Anniew and influenced you against your will, I guess you know where she may be found. Tell me man. If I don't intervene she could succeed in ending the direct selling cosmetics' trade as we know it. Imagine Clara without make-up...No..' he interrupted himself looking furtively around. " Don't. Just tell me where I can find this Master of Evil so I can stop her devilish plans.'

" Do it, Vila," shrieked the pepper pot. " Even a grade five ignorant should be able to work out that with her out of the way and the Pan Author Matter Machine back in the hands of a responsible writer like Boucher, then things should return to normal and we'll only have the usual broken dreams and gross betrayals of everyday life under Federation Rule to contend with."

"Listen to the Dalek, Vila. For once it's speaking sense. Though I would not have predicted that I would ever find myself working with one of Davros's sick mutations. This creation by the Pan Author Matter Machine is a terrible and unpredictable Universe to inhabit."

" Mutant yourself," snarked the pepper pot. Then, with rising frustration, it screamed urgently, "Elucidate, Vila, Elucidate." It spun around, nearly flooring the IRMWTE, in its urgency. "Tell him where to find her. Now, idiot. What's the word in the street about her whereabouts? The word Vila. The word."

"Surrey," Vila blurted in panic, " Surrey, England. You'll find her there."

There was a blur of movement as the IRMWTE produced a key and entered the strange blue box. Seconds later a wheezing noise filled the room and Vila shut his eyes and put his hands over his ears, pretending he was invisible. When he opened them again, he found himself curled up tightly in a storage compartment.

" Vila." A voice, familiar but creepily different was calling. "Please help me, Vila."

He was in real trouble now. The Pan Author Matter Machine had somehow got into the hands of Robert Holmes.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
Anniew
And now the serious one.
****

Words, words, words. No matter from the heart

For someone who uses words as a weapon and whose one concession to morality is that if he gives his word he keeps it, he still doesn't place much store by them. Words, he knows, can turn the mundane, to the monstrous. Or worse, even when heartfelt, wrap veils around reality, obscuring its harsh edges. Words matter only because they are instinctive liars. Actions are all you can count on for the truth.

It was words, pouring from the vid screens, sculpted, honed into propaganda daggers, which had demonised mild- mannered Mikloch as an Enemy of the State. Laughable, if the consequences had not been so final. Convicted, along with his older, better-connected partner, of defrauding the company he worked for, his family too low-grade to protect him or the family name, Mikloch had taken the only route to freedom open to him and walked out of the domes one morning, his ultimate fate unknown but inevitably fatal.

That was the day when his instinct to speak from his heart had dried up for good.

Hiding his identity has been the only way to escape from the cage that Mikloch's actions trapped them all inside. No career advancement for his father. A rescinding of all privileges- something that had broken his mother's heart. And for him, a withdrawal of the scholarship he had worked so hard for; his place at the top University where he might have studied under Mellanby, Egrorian, even Ensor, completely beyond his family's financial reach.

His only hope of rebuilding his life lay in abandoning his past and re-inventing himself; though if he is honest, his obsession to revenge Mikloch's death without causing his mother and father greater hardship was his biggest motivator. A new identity beckoned: a life far from the pure realms of scientific study he had dreamed of, criminal activities taking the place of research, although planned with the same attention to detail. Mikloch had been convicted of fraud and died for it, so, as payback, he had schemed to take the Federation for every penny he could. Carefully he had crafted a new persona, detached, unemotional, self-interested, grafting on details as his creation grew so that it has consumed him almost entirely- memories of the person he had been, Mikloch's brother, a dutiful son, troubling him rarely, and then usually in the form of dreams. Certainly no official record of Kerek Noval exists and his parents, if they still live, believe he followed Mikloch's path and killed himself.

Sometimes he minds that no one knows him; it might prove a relief to confide in another person but the heart of the matter remains: no-one can be trusted with the information. His other, probably better, self, the man who's words were not chosen to deceive, has been silenced for ever. Kerek can be glimpsed now only in those unguarded gestures of concern that Kerr is still unable, or unwilling, to suppress.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
BradPaula
M-A-T-T-E-R (sung to the tune M-O-T-H-E-R by Howard Johnson)

M is for Morphenial, the planet.
A is for our Avon, Aristo, too.
T is for Del Tarrant, our space pilot-
T’s for brother Deeta, handsome, too.
E is for Egrorian, less Pinder-
R for Renor, the aide to Doctor Kayn-

Put the all together they spell MATTER-
And that’s the very best that I can do!
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
BradPaula
In the Still of the Night

He was in real trouble now. Vila took another look and felt the panic rise. How was he going to explain this? More importantly, would he live long enough to explain? His eyes darted about looking for somewhere to hide.

He had chosen the tertiary cargo bay hoping it would be far enough away from the flight deck and crew cabins as to not be detected. But now? He was taking his watch on the flight deck in the dead of night when Zen announced the alarm. It had been going so well. It had taken months of scrounging on every planet they had visited, searching for parts he could use. And he had assembled quite an impressive apparatus. But the thought of his cleverness was quickly tamped down by Zen’s alarm. He was panicking enough for two people now! As he ran down the empty corridors of the ship, he prayed he’d not run into any of his fellow crewmates. They’d kill him for sure, or at least dump him out of the nearest air lock- well, at least Avon might. Sweat flying from his flushed face; he made the tertiary cargo bay without being seen. As he opened the door, smoke billowed out into the corridor and he entered the bay and quickly shut and locked the door.

Luckily, all the cargo bays had air filtration separate from the living quarters and flight deck, so the smoke would probably not be noticed. He switched on the lights and was faced with dense yellow smoke. He started coughing in earnest as he reached for the venting switches. A few moments on and the smoke had began to fade and was soon gone. He walked over to his lash-up and switched the thermal heating unit off. What had malfunctioned he wondered? A quick check of the kettle sitting on top of the heating unit gave him his answer. The unit had been set too high and it had completely evaporated the liquid in the ‘mash’. It was a close thing. It was nearly to the point of burning. He affixed the viewing port again to the kettle so no fumes would escape. He would clean it all up later.

He followed the various tubes and hastily put together equipment to the distilling tank. Everything was as it should be. He lifted the holding tank lid and looked in. Good. He had collected at least another gallon of the hooch. He had done very well for himself, sneaking various fruit and vegetable matter onto the ship without the rest of the crew noticing. It isn’t easy carrying on a sack of potatoes or a bushel basket of corn onto the ship without notice! Now this batch had finished, he’d have to search again for suitable materials for his machine.

He looked over to the far wall and beamed with pride. He had actually made at least 10 gallons of the stuff in the last few months- and it wasn’t half bad. Vila dipped a finger into the holding tank and tasted the concoction as he spoke to himself, a habit he could not break. “This is all of two days old,” he chuckled. If only he could get his hands on what Orac described as a charred oaken cask, whatever that was! The snarky computer insisted the hooch needed to be ‘aged’ sometimes up to 10 or more years. Well, Vila was having none of that. Sure, it was a bit sharp on the tongue and his stomach burned with warmth drinking it, but the whole idea was the effect you got, not the taste, right? Satisfied that everything was in order and his secret was safe, he left his home-made still and made his way stealthily back to the flight deck to continue his watch. Again, no one met him in the corridors.

Upon entering the flight deck and checking that all was well, he made his way to the circular couch and plopped down on it with a hiss of air from the cushions. He put his hand back between the cushions and fished out the emergency bottle he always had hidden there. He put his feet up on the other seat cushion and took a long pull on his booze. Yes, it definitely was a bit rough but it would do and besides, he had made it all himself! But what to call it he mused, as his face flushed faintly from the nearly 100 proof alcohol. Zen’s White Lightening? No. Perhaps Vila’s Corn Squeezin’s or even Liberator’s Jet Fuel? He finally decided to call it Vila’s Green Soma. Sure, it was clear with no discernable color, but who cared? It was ‘green’ though- and in dire need of a period of aging, but then, life was like that sometimes. Another long pull before he put the bottle away and chided himself a moment- ‘Whatever you do, Vila, don’t light a match!’
Edited by BradPaula on 09 May 2015 04:06:11
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
purplecleric
Ye Gods! Who knows where the Pan Author Wotsit Thingummyjig will take us next?! SD - I think you've created a monster!

And AnnieW - extra kudos for using it to complete the scene (and I loved the make-up references). As for the more serious one - interesting thought that the man we know is not who he seems - but a construct with a hidden agenda.

Paula - I liked the song - but I liked Vila's surreptitious brewing experiments even more. The hiss of air from the sofa was a great touch and made me laugh, and the other details suggest some personal experience. Do I have to brace myself for some Paula's Green Soma to make an appearance at RTGP3?
 
BradPaula
purplecleric wrote:

Ye Gods! Who knows where the Pan Author Wotsit Thingummyjig will take us next?! SD - I think you've created a monster!

And AnnieW - extra kudos for using it to complete the scene (and I loved the make-up references). As for the more serious one - interesting thought that the man we know is not who he seems - but a construct with a hidden agenda.

Paula - I liked the song - but I liked Vila's surreptitious brewing experiments even more. The hiss of air from the sofa was a great touch and made me laugh, and the other details suggest some personal experience. Do I have to brace myself for some Paula's Green Soma to make an appearance at RTGP3?


LOL. No, I don't think I'd be able to smuggle it through customs! I have made wine in the past but never the 'hard stuff'. But don't despair- I'll be bringing something to snack on for RTGP3.
Zil: Oneness must resist the Host.
 
Mistletoe12
Here’s my contribution to May’s ficlet challenge. Featuring Vila and set during Killer. (I finally wrote a piece under 500 words) Hope it doesn’t leave anyone feeling too itchy! Grin

****

DELTA GRADE

You can’t be too careful where hygiene is concerned.


Vila slumped into the moulded chair in Tynus' office, his bored expression masking his inner torment. He wanted to comb his hair, change his clothes and wash his hands a second … third time - scrubbing under his nails to ensure they were free from any bacteria clinging to the pipe they'd crawled through to infiltrate Q-Base.

Vila knew he bathed more frequently than necessary and his heart raced every time he checked all the nooks and crannies in his mattress, hoping he wouldn’t find evidence indicating an infestation similar to the filth he’d lived in during his youth.

His mind recoiled in horror at the tangled hair crawling with head lice, free to breed and fall onto his lap, shabby clothes harbouring dust mites, hiking across his chest – itchy reminders about the neglected homes they occupied in his community.

You lived with rodents scratching, building nests, legs crossed on shabby furniture, pretending you didn’t notice anything scurrying past whilst watching a show on the clapped out entertainment system.

Everyone he’d known lived that way, they’d shared the same stories, forced to live in conditions where personal hygiene took a back seat to finding food.

Vila hadn’t needed to read scientific articles about bed bugs; discovering the bites every day on his body ensured in adulthood he would always keep his bedside lamp switched on while he slept.

You didn’t develop well-rounded vowels at the educational facilities he’d attended. It wasn’t possible to concentrate on academia with your stomach rumbling. Vila knew what it felt like to be really hungry - a bowl of thin soup tasted like nectar when he eventually ate a meal provided by a benevolent neighbour.

Their lives were filled with poverty and neglect and indifference from those in authority, desperation masked with a smile while depression settled into the hearts of those who knew there wasn’t a way to escape.

He never talked about his childhood to anyone; Blake, Avon, Jenna … even Cally wouldn’t truly understand what he’d endured during his informative years.

Vila started to relax in his seat; at least it was formed from plastic rather than fabric. He wouldn’t have to worry about fleas feeding on his blood and bugs crawling across his bare neck.

He felt sure they would be done soon and then he could return to a clean, dust free environment on the ship where hot water was plentiful, food always available and a cabin where he could close his eyes without having to worry about scratching disturbing his dreams.
 
Anniew
Mistletoe What a great Vila story. Goes so far in explaining why he stays with Blake and then Avon. Also maybe why Blake wants to bring down the Federation! How Vila must have hated clearing out the ballast tanks on Scorpio. Xxx
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
purplecleric
@Mistletoe - I think I want to run off and have a shower and check my bed now! What a disturbing view on Vila's upbringing you've created, makes me sympathise with him even more.

And well done for managing to do so in less than 500 words - sometimes that's the *real* challenge!
 
JustBrad
He was in real trouble now. Vila took another look and felt the panic rise. How was he going to explain this? More importantly, would he live long enough to explain? His eyes darted about looking for somewhere to hide.

Real Trouble? That’s a laugh, what would they do to him worse than the predicament he was already in? His first instinct was to hide. No good, he’d tried to hide. It hadn’t worked. It couldn’t work. This time, hiding meant death. He was terrified. He was a coward and he knew it, but what happens to a cornered coward when the option to run and hide is taken away. No one ever thought of that, did they? He ran back to the flight deck and studied the display. It looked better. Would it work? It had to work. Orac had said it would work. Orac. It was Orac’s fault really, not that anyone would believe him, not him, not Vila. It had to work, but then, on the bright side, if it didn’t, he wouldn’t have to explain.

Tarrant would believe him. Tarrant would probably even laugh and say, ‘Well done.’

Dayna would be a problem, but maybe not too much of a problem. Maybe it would be all right, if it had worked. It had to work. It would be all right.

Soolin…. Soolin would be a problem.

He ran back to the cargo hold. He was in real trouble now. Vila took another look at the empty air lock and felt the panic rise. How was he going to explain this? More importantly, would he live long enough to explain? It was simple math, really. Vila weighed seventy three-kilos. Avon weighed seventy-one kilos, but Avon and Orac together…. He felt the familiar tug on his gut, like missing a step and falling an inch, that indicated he was being teleported. The Scorpio flight deck materialized around him.

Tarrant was there. “How did you do it? How did you achieve escape velocity? And where is Orac?”

Dayna was there. “And where is the Tachyon Funnel?”

Soolin was there. “And where is Avon?”

Vila’s eyes darted about looking for somewhere to hide.
Edited by JustBrad on 11 May 2015 18:01:24
 
Travisina
Finally beginning to emerge from all the work I was snowed under, and can begin to take proper part in this thread. First of all, the hilarity and silliness of the tales of the an Genre Matter Machine - you lot haven't just broken the fourth wall, but the first, second and third. And the ceiling!

But then on to the serious stories, and I'm really enjoying them. Annie's background to Avon was moving, Paula's song and Still story were fun.
Mistletoe's Vila vignette was believable and moving (and well done for keeping within 500 words!) and Brad - wow, what a great alternative to Orbit!
Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Tumblr: tumblr
There's no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
 
trevor travis
Travisina wrote:
Finally beginning to emerge from all the work I was snowed under, and can begin to take proper part in this thread. First of all, the hilarity and silliness of the tales of the an Genre Matter Machine - you lot haven't just broken the fourth wall, but the first, second and third. And the ceiling!


It's a lot of fun to write for as well... one of my favourite books is a Doctor Who novel from 1994 (Conundrum) which smashes down the barriers between reality and fiction... basically the Doctor is fighting the author of the book.

Just to clarify, SD's machine is the Pan Genre Transition Machine, which allows Avon and Vila to cross into any other TV programme or work of fiction.

I then took on Vila's philosophy (from Rescue) that "Stealing's quicker" and nicked SD's machine, while also introducing my own Pan Author Matter Machine, which means Avon and Vila can also cross into any other author's work, and subsequently Avon & Vila have also strolled into Anniew's crossover (who sought both our permissions, which was a lovely thing to do, especially as I'd already stolen SD's idea!!).

I have got another idea planned for the Pan Author Matter Machine In Existential Space, plus I need to also have the Nimon get their own back on the Menoptera & Vemon Grubs on some point....
 
Mistletoe12
Anniew wrote:

Mistletoe What a great Vila story. Goes so far in explaining why he stays with Blake and then Avon. Also maybe why Blake wants to bring down the Federation! How Vila must have hated clearing out the ballast tanks on Scorpio. Xxx


Thanks Annie! Grin You know I forgot about Vila cleaning out the ballast tanks when I wrote this ficlet.

I made audio tapes of S4 when it aired in 1981 (turns out a lot of people did), and with the show’s untimely cancellation, I found myself listening to those tapes endlessly. So much that even now I don’t watch S4 quite as much, simply because there was a time when I could quote all those lines verbatim and always chuckled at Vila’s pink asteroids joke in Rescue.

Those were the days! Smile
 
Anniew
Thanks all for lovely comments. Brad that story is certainly going to change the end of the series! Soolin or Tarrant maybe killing Blake ! Or do they win the revolution this time? Love your peek into Vila's head.

Trevor and SD read your stories again and loved them ever more second time.

Mistletoe your obsessive listening has paid off! You really understand the characters.

Trevor are the Nimon and the Teller relatives do you think and are both cousins of Og? If so the family reunion should be noisy, exciting and redolent! I'm sure you'll write it one day!

PC you are a whiz at setting challenges. I found this one really difficult at first but it's led me into interesting research/ thinking. Loved the poem too - especially as it designated me a girl!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
 
purplecleric


PC you are a whiz at setting challenges.!


Yeah, so good I've completely stumped myself with the word prompt this month! Nearly finished completing the scene though...

@Brad - OMG! A complete rethink of Orbit. I had no idea where this was heading (and I have to confess Paula's hooch was still on my mind) so when I got to "but Avon and Orac together…." my stomach dropped - great job!
 
trevor travis
Brad, blimey that one suddenly turns on its head.... didn't see it was heading until the same point as PC.

And if only Vila had listened to Orac fully... they only needed to lose seventy kilos, there was no need to get rid of Orac as well. Mind you, Vila's probably glad to see the back of Orac Grin
 
JustBrad
trevor travis wrote:

Brad, blimey that one suddenly turns on its head.... didn't see it was heading until the same point as PC.

And if only Vila had listened to Orac fully... they only needed to lose seventy kilos, there was no need to get rid of Orac as well. Mind you, Vila's probably glad to see the back of Orac Grin


Yes, I caught that on rewrite, but thought, 'It's Vila, he's scared, and math is hard. Better in his mind if he doesn't take any chances.'
 
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