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Ficlet Challenge: November 2022
purplecleric
The prompt this month is ... BLOOD MONEY

And for the second challenge:

Start your ficlet with the line 'I have a plan.'

Happy writing!
 
Joe Dredd
I have a plan.

A plan for a kind of calendar.

Maybe.
 
Cygnus Bazza
BLAKE ADDER – FINAL SCENE (DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO LIBERTATE MORI)

“I have a plan, Avon….”

“Really, Vila? A cunning and subtle one?”

“Yes, Avon.”

“As cunning as a Federation officer who’s just been appointed President of the High Council for Cunning at the Fed’s shiny new Institute for Wily Slyness and Criminal Craftiness?”

“Yes, Avon.”

“Well, I’m afraid it’ll have to wait. Whatever it was, I’m sure it was better than my ‘plan’ to set a course for Gauda Prime, teleport off the crashing ship, accidentally gun down our spiritual leader and leave us all – we happy few, we nest of rebels – standing here like total wallies, just waiting to give Arlen and her mates half an excuse to mow us all down. Your fault for listening to a madman like me! Not that I blame you. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here? I don’t really do apologies, so just to say…good luck, everyone…”

[Sound of minor explosions and small arms fire. Camera cuts to shot of green sand.]

Lest we forget.

And please do remember to buy a poppy.
 
Cygnus Bazza
‘BLOOD MONEY’….is the new album from…BLOOD MONEY!

Yes, the long-awaited self-titled debut LP from the hottest ticket in rock finally hits the shops this weekend. I caught up with band members Roj Blake, Kerr Avon and Vila Restal as they took time out from their hectic pre-world-tour rehearsal schedule to chat about music, life on the road, the thorny topic of soma abuse and leather’s annoying propensity to chafe.

CB: So, guys, thanks for making room in your busy diary to chat to me today.

RB & VR: It’s our pleasure.

KA: Yep. It’s their pleasure.

CB: So how would you describe Blood Money’s music?

RB: Well, I guess ‘space rock’ would pretty much sum it up. Being a seven-piece gives us plenty of flexibility, though. With Gan holding down a steady beat on the skins and Vila locking in with him on bass guitar, it gives the rest of us plenty of scope to express ourselves.

CB: That certainly comes across loud and clear on the new album. Some lovely keyboard washes from you, Kerr.

KA: Call me ‘Avon’. Everyone else I despise calls me ‘Avon’, so you might as well too.

CB: Great. So……‘Avon’, I must say I’m always struck by just how comfortable you look standing there behind those big banks of synths, in that really OTT, all-leather, S&M-style stage gear of yours…

KA: That’s not stage gear…

VR: It’s really not. He wears it all the time. Literally. You see, he can’t actually take those trousers off.

RB: That’s Cally’s job…

KA: Zip it, Blake. Cally’s purely there for the quality of her backing vocals. Lovely vibrato….

VR: Yes, I’ll bet… And Blake'll no doubt wax lyrical about Jenna’s dolce glissando in a minute…

CB: Love the bantz, guys! Love it! It’s SO rock ‘n’ roll! I can tell there’s a real crackle of creative tension in the band. But I’m sure it’s all positive energy…

VR: I’m not.

CB: Well, let me put it this way – Blood Money are ticking all the boxes in terms of fans’ expectations of what a rock ‘n’ roll band is all about.

KA: We’ve certainly got a preening, self-obsessed narcissist as a front man, if that’s what you mean.

RB: You’ll have to forgive Avon, Mr Bazza – he’s the jealous type. Deeply envious of my boyish good looks and classic Welsh tenor voice - and above all the big swell in my lower register…

VR: That’s not a euphemism, by the way.

KA: Jealous? That’s a laugh! Poundshop Tom Jones tribute act, more like…

RB: Pipe down, Avon. It’s really not easy leading a band like Blood Money. Taking all those tough decisions…

VR: Yeah, like cutting back on the backstage soma… I’m still not happy about that.

KA: 'Tough decisions'? What SORT of ‘tough decisions’?

RB: Well, for a start, recruiting a new guitarist when Orac decided to go solo. Or should I say, when you drove Orac out of the band.

KA: Of course I drove Orac out of the band! ORAC’S A BOX, YOU MELON! ORAC COULDN’T PLAY ANY OF THE STRINGS!

RB: Maybe not – but such stage presence! All those flashing lights!

KA: And then, to replace him… Words really do fail me… RECRUITING A ONE-ARMED GUITARIST!

VR: That’s one more than Orac had, I suppose. At least Travis can play HALF the strings…

CB: Ah, I DO love all your badinage, guys! So tell me, how IS Travis settling in ahead of the tour?

KA: How do you think? He’s already shot two roadies.

CB: That doesn't sound good.

VR: It wasn't. They weren’t even ours. They belonged to the band we're supporting.

CB: Ah yes - Blake Sabbath!

KA: Ozzy's not going to be happy when he finds out his roadcrew are two men light... We'll really be for it!

RB: Avon, Avon, Avon! Now you're just being paranoid...

[To be continued…?]
Edited by Cygnus Bazza on 04-11-2022 23:27
 
Anniew
Cygnus Bazza. Just brilliant! Thank you.
Play the hand fate deals you.
 
Cygnus Bazza
You're very welcome, Annie. Glad you enjoyed them.
 
NerdyTeenGirl
Those were marvelous, Cygnus Bazza!
I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational to prove that you care, or indeed why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
 
Cygnus Bazza

NerdyTeenGirl wrote:

Those were marvelous, Cygnus Bazza!

Thanks, NTG - that's very kind. Hopefully you'll be posting a story this month?
 
NerdyTeenGirl

Cygnus Bazza wrote:

NerdyTeenGirl wrote:

Those were marvelous, Cygnus Bazza!

Thanks, NTG - that's very kind. Hopefully you'll be posting a story this month?


I haven’t found time to write one yet, but there’s still plenty of days left in the month.
I have never understood why it should be necessary to become irrational to prove that you care, or indeed why it should be necessary to prove it at all.
 
AnneArthur
Excellent stories, Cygnus Bazza! Thank you.
 
Cygnus Bazza

AnneArthur wrote:

Excellent stories, Cygnus Bazza! Thank you.

Thanks for that, Anne. Greatly appreciated!
 
littlesue
CB...laughing my socks off here.!!!
Cold! You don't know the meaning of the word cold!
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of your window!!


Sue's Book Shelf https://www.mediafire.com/folder/z1xg...Zine_Shelf
Sue's Stories sues stories https://sjlittle.webs.com
Rebel Run Video https://youtu.be/8prqS-XZtLo
 
Cygnus Bazza

littlesue wrote:

CB...laughing my socks off here.!!!

Thanks, littlesue - but better retrieve those socks as no-one can afford to turn the heating on this winter.
 
littlesue

Cygnus Bazza wrote:

littlesue wrote:

CB...laughing my socks off here.!!!

Thanks, littlesue - but better retrieve those socks as no-one can afford to turn the heating on this winter.


True,but both Dearest and I have just had our Winter Fuel payment.
Mind you, being a chap from the 50's he isn't putting the heating on until at least the middle of December as he claims this house is like an oven.
Me? An extra jumper, blanket and a hot mug of tea!!!...and that pair of socks!Grin
Cold! You don't know the meaning of the word cold!
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of your window!!


Sue's Book Shelf https://www.mediafire.com/folder/z1xg...Zine_Shelf
Sue's Stories sues stories https://sjlittle.webs.com
Rebel Run Video https://youtu.be/8prqS-XZtLo
 
Cygnus Bazza
Our house is like an oven too - an oven that hasn't been switched on yet.
 
littlesue
Phew, just getting in under the wire. No piccie this month as Lurena is very very busy!!!

This little effort follows on from last month’s Queen of Hearts story, and it seems that certain people are not happy at all….

It’s all about Planning


“I have a plan,” the Head Croupier said.
“And that would be?” his chief henchman enquired,
“No-one makes a fool of us. We had a good line in extortion going here and because of them, we are now a laughing stock.”
“I still don’t understand how that guy did it; picked the Ace of Spades.”
“The same way our lovely Queen of Hearts always picked that card and that card only.”
“You mean he had a stacked deck? In his favour?”
“Exactly. Somehow they got into the system and our very own machines produced a pack of cards consisting solely of the Ace of Spades.”
“But that’s cheating!”
“And only the House is allowed to cheat; not the punters.”
“But aren’t Blake and his crew supposed to be rebels? What’s he doing out here in the depths of space putting the Queen of Hearts Galactic Casino out of business?”
“Greed,”
“What Blake? I don’t believe it.”
The Head Croupier smiled, “Not Blake, but some of his crew may not be averse to hedging their bets.”

Vila was still dreaming of roulette wheels, slot machines and games of Black Jack.
“You know,” he began, “When all this is over I might just take a leaf out of their book and run my own casino.”
“Oh,” Cally said, “And what about the lakeside of Gardinos?”
“I could alternate; one week there and the other taking all those punters for a ride.”
“Ever the optimist,” murmured Avon.
+And you all will need to be+ Orac stated.
“Why?” Jenna asked.
+The Criminal Organisation has put a price on all your heads+
“So what’s new?” Vila said, “We are all wanted by the Federation. One more won’t make a difference.”
“Do you know if they have had any replies to their request?” Avon asked.
+No, I am not party to any information regarding that+ Orac replied.
“That’s most useful Orac.”
“You know we could offer to buy them out?” Vila suggested, “Then they needn’t bother about finding anyone.”
“That plan of yours would have to wait until Blake succeeds with his plan,” Cally reminded him.
“I know, but maybe we could even turn the Liberator into a Space Casino!”
“You have a plan to turn the Liberator into a Casino,” Jenna said in disbelief.
“Yes with Avon as….”
“Don’t even go there,” warned Avon.
“And what about Jenna and I,” Cally smiled.
“Well, I’m going to need a hostess…or two.”
Both women stared at him.
“Look, while we’re waiting for Blake’s next move, why don’t I teach you the fundamentals of a card game called Poker?”

Part Two


Blood Money


“I don’t know who gave you my name, but I think you are labouring under a misapprehension.”
“You come highly recommended Mr…”
“Do I?”
He stared at the two men. One seated on the other side of the desk, the other standing nervously beside him.
“You have a reputation; if the price is right.”
“I see.”
“Our problem is that we had some customers some time ago who managed to…cheat. They have totally ruined our reputation and we need them taken care of.”
“You are offering me Blood Money?”
“Well, yes. These people cheated us and we now have a computer system that works in our guests’ favour…almost.”
“So all is not quite lost?”
“Look, we need these people taught a lesson…”
“Gentlemen, that’s not my line of work. I’m not a hired assassin, bounty hunter or whatever you had in mind.”
“Would one million credits help?”
He smiled.
“So who is it you need taken care of?”
“We have some security footage.”
The seated man pressed a button on his desk and the film began.
“This is the first man; suddenly appeared out of nowhere and started to win…and as is the usual state of affairs he began to lose heavily and then these two turned up.”
He sat up. “Freeze it. So, it’s true.”
“The first man is called Vila and we know that the one on the left is Roj Blake. The other man is…”
“Kerr Avon.”
“You know him?”
“He and I have unfinished business. So, the rumours I’ve heard are correct. Avon is with Blake. I wonder if Blake knows exactly whom he is dealing with. You can keep your Blood Money, gentlemen.”
“Really? Why?”
Del Grant remained quite still, “Kerr Avon was responsible for the death of someone very close to me. And I promised that if I ever saw him again, then I would kill him. And he knows it.”

Avon shivered.
His concentration suddenly broken.
He stared at the cards fanned out in his hand, hoping that no-one else had seen his sudden discomfort. Thankfully they were all engrossed in their hand of cards and trying to fathom out this new game so thoughtfully provided by Vila.
There it was again; a sudden cold chill down his spine.
Almost as if someone had walked over his grave.
“Your turn, Avon,” Vila said.
“Yes, so it is.”
But his heart wasn’t in the game.
He shook his head as if admitting defeat and put his cards on the table.
“But you’ve got four aces!! Vila declared.
And so he had and staring back at him was the Ace of Spades.
He shivered again.
Cold! You don't know the meaning of the word cold!
Cold is when you have ice on the INSIDE of your window!!


Sue's Book Shelf https://www.mediafire.com/folder/z1xg...Zine_Shelf
Sue's Stories sues stories https://sjlittle.webs.com
Rebel Run Video https://youtu.be/8prqS-XZtLo
 
Cygnus Bazza
Very nifty, littlesue! Great work. The Liberator Casino has endless possibilities - not least a one-armed bandit called Travis...
 
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