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Nov 2020 Fanfic Challenges
‘You've lost some of your fire, Travis. Whatever happened to your pride?’ Servalan, Deliverance

The word prompt this month is … PRIDE

A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. Or less favourably; the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance.

And for the second challenge this month: An invitation is received ...
Joe Dredd
Whatever Happened to Your Pride?
by Joe.

"Hey, that bandaged guy we threw off the ship left his car keys behind."

"That's no good. He's going to be looking everywhere for those."

"That's not all he left behind! Look!"

Avon entered the flight deck. "Who left all these lions here?"
Joe Dredd wrote:

Whatever Happened to Your Pride?
by Joe.

My views are my own.

VILA: I'm entitled to my opinion.
AVON: It is your assumption that we are entitled to it as well that is irritating.

Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Travisina wrote:

Joe Dredd wrote:

Whatever Happened to Your Pride?
by Joe.


Seconded! Grin
“After you.” Servalan stood aside for Avon; he stepped forward, taking no notice of the guns pointed at him. Tarrant and Dayna followed. “Take care of those, won’t you?” They were vaguely aware, as they were marched away, of Federation troops closing in on their recent adversaries.

To their surprise, they were not led back to the cell they had so recently vacated, but to an office. Avon watched Servalan seat herself at the desk, then asked,

“So what do you want? As if I can’t guess.”

“The Liberator,” confirmed Servalan.

“It’s occupied.”

“I’m aware of that. I was just about to send a message to the occupants. It seems a shame that you should be separated like this.” She raised a confiscated teleport bracelet. “Cally? Are you there?”

“I’m here,” confirmed Cally. From her tone, she had recognised the voice instantly.

“I’m issuing you with an invitation. Leave the Liberator and allow my men to board her without trouble, and I may not have your friends summarily shot after all.”

Despite the distance, Cally could almost feel the others willing her not to agree; she frowned, her fingers hesitating over the teleport controls.

“I would need more of a guarantee than that,” she answered.

“I promise not to kill them before you get here. Will that do?” There was silence for a moment; then Servalan added, “You and Vila. He is there, I take it?”

Cally played for time. “That might not be possible. The teleport stress...”

“Oh, isn’t he feeling well? Most unfortunate. Still, it’s probably temporary. Although I have found Purnell’s grasp of the truth a little questionable at times.”

“If you want us both,” Cally replied, swallowing sudden worry, “Then you’ll have to let us discuss it. If we both agree, then your men can come aboard. Will you wait?”

“All right. But not for long. I suggest you make your discussion swift.”

Cally needed no second bidding. Running to Vila’s cabin, she barely stopped to knock before entering to shake him awake.

He groaned painfully at this unexpected treatment. “What...who...ohh... Cally? Wha’s’marrer?”

“Vila! Wake up!”

“Here, I was asleep, you know... and no, I don’t feel better, not that I suppose you were thinking of asking...” He sat up, shivering, and took in Cally’s disturbed expression. “Cally? What is it?” His eyes widened in alarm. “It’s not me, is it? I mean, it’s not something fatal after all... Is it? It is, isn’t it...”

“We’ve just had a message from Servalan.”

“Oh, no.” He doubled up and leant over the edge of the bed, suddenly sitting very still. “How long have I got?”

“Vila, listen. She has the others. Unless we teleport down, she is going to shoot them.”

Vila seemed to be having difficulty in listening, but he looked vaguely hopeful at this.

“She wasn’t just telling you they’ve given me some deadly poison after all?”

Cally didn’t answer directly, the seed of doubt sown by Servalan’s comment still too fresh in her mind. “She wants us to let her take the Liberator.”

Vila heard the evasion and guessed its meaning. “She can have it! At least being shot’ll be quicker than this...” Wincing, he staggered to his feet. “Come on; don’t just stand there...”

“We can’t! Look... I may have an idea.”
Joe Dredd wrote:

Whatever Happened to Your Pride?
by Joe.

There just aren't the appropriate emojis to reply to that Joe...

Don't philosophise at me you electronic moron!GrinFrown
Joe... priceless

Stormy - please stop trolling me with fears Vila is about to die. I’ve enough to worry about! Great chapter in the ongoing saga though!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Because I wouldn’t want you to worry for too long, Annie (although I can’t answer for whether or not Vila has melted his foot over on that potential planetary surface...)

* * *

“Are you sure this’ll work?” Vila looked doubtfully at the small experimental gun of Dayna’s which Cally was pocketing.

“It is our only chance.”

“Whose only chance?”

“Oh, Vila... Perhaps it is not as bad as you think.”

“It feels worse.”

Cally didn’t answer that, but leant over the teleport. “Servalan? We agree. We will come down.”

“I thought you might. Why let senseless pride lie in the way of survival?” They could almost hear the smile in the reply.

* * *

“She shouldn’t have agreed!” burst out Dayna, waiting frustratedly alongside Avon and Tarrant.

“You would rather die?” Servalan looked at her with interest.

“We’re going to anyway, aren’t we? You’ve as good as said Vila already is...”

Servalan laughed. “Have I? You really think I would trust someone as unreliable as Purnell with a deadly poison?”

“You were just trying to frighten them into agreeing,” said Tarrant disgustedly.

“And it seems to have worked,” she replied, as two shimmering outlines appeared, then solidified. An ashen-faced Vila wobbled and clutched Cally’s arm to hold himself upright as everyone turned to look at them; Cally took no notice.

Avon, be ready.

Avon’s expression did not falter at the telepathic message; he continued to regard them coldly.

“What were you hoping to achieve with this pointless display of self-sacrifice?” he enquired.

“A quick end,” replied Vila, with a gulp. “Oh, no...” He turned away hurriedly; one of Servalan’s guards, suspecting an escaping prisoner, made a grab for him.

“I wouldn’t...” began Tarrant, too late. There was a deathly, if not entirely silent, pause, until Vila managed to look up from the guard’s boots.

“Sorry,” he offered faintly. The guard raised a fist; but Servalan broke in,

“Leave him! Go and get yourself cleaned up.” She watched in distaste as the man reluctantly left the room, missing Cally’s momentary flicker of pleasure at this unexpected reduction in the enemy, then switched her gaze to Vila. “That drug really is effective. I must remember it.” She smiled as he slumped against the wall with a groan. “You are going to be a handicap to the others, aren’t you?”

“He is anyway,” said Avon shortly. “I presume you have a plan in mind?”

“It turns out the people of Valspar Minor were rather enjoying a fugitive hunt via live viscast. Who am I to deprive them of that pleasure?”

“The agreement was that in return for the Liberator, we kept our lives,” protested Cally.

“Exactly. It would be very difficult to hunt dead fugitives, after all. Of course, the rules of the game are entirely out of my hands.”

“But you know it’s a death sentence!”

This idea produced another heartrending groan from Vila; the others looked at him sharply. He gave Cally a desperate glance, attempted to stand upright, and staggered hopelessly. Cally moved as if to catch him; Dayna went to help, her hesitation barely noticeable as she realised all was not as it seemed.

Now, Avon. Cally lined up the little gun as Dayna instinctively blocked Servalan’s line of sight; at close range, the guard picked as her target had no chance. Avon, warned, grabbed the Federation rifle which clattered to the ground as the man fell, while Tarrant hurried to tackle the other remaining guard.

Cally waited no longer.

“Orac! Teleport, now!
"...Before a Fall."

The claxon rang in his ears. The sound of blaster fire echoed off the walls of the tracking gallery, cutting short the death cries of his comrades, but his attention was fixed on an eye; Blake’s one good eye staring up at him in death. He had prophesied this, Blake’s death and his. And yet, it was another memory of Blake that filled his consciousness.

‘We’ve done it. We’ve done it. I’VE DONE IT!’

The tracking gallery was silent now. He looked up into the cold, emotionless masks of Federation Troopers. Again, the words echoed through his memory. ‘I’VE DONE IT!’

How many times in the last few years had Avon let himself believe he had done it? And now, he stood over Blake’s still form, surrounded by Federation Troopers. He didn’t bother looking at the bodies of his comrades, he knew they were dead, and that he would soon join them.

As he raised his blaster to firing position, his last living thought was, 'Whatever made me think I could succeed where Blake had failed?'
Men of Harlech cease your dreaming, can't you see their street signs gleaming...
This was written purely for my own enjoyment and will mean little to anyone not a fan of Georgette Heyer!

An invitation has NOT been issued.

The sudden presence of a good looking man wearing a extravagantly studded, black ensemble and a forbidding frown was not only a surprise to the Duchess, it was a potential embarrassment.

“Tiens, what is this?” she exclaimed, throwing down her pen and reaching in her reticule for a small pistol. “It is not comme il faut, to burst into my private salon. Monseigneur will not be happy. But me, I think, he will believe I did not invite you.”

“Where is this?” The man seemed disorientated but not overly worried by the small, titian haired woman wearing a green brocade dress and waving a gun at him.

“You are a stupid man,” the Duchess berated him. “I ‘ave told you. This is my private salon. And it is not convenable that you are in it.

“I didn’t choose to be.” The man fingered an unusual bracelet on his wrist thoughtfully. “Liberator. Come in Liberator.” He waited with the bracelet to his ear, shook it and then said ruefully, “Something seems to have gone wrong with the teleport. Believe me I am as anxious to leave here, wherever here is, as you are to see me gone.”

“Bah! You think I am a fool, me.” Her Grace bristled becomingly. “I do not know who you are or how you came here. Perhaps you are a sorcerer and wish to make the scandal for me. If so you will regret this. You will come with me now. Monseigneur will decide what to do with you.” She gestured towards the door of the room with her pistol.

“Monseigneur?” The man raised his hands in a placating gesture as he asked the question.

“The Duke of Avon,” the little woman asserted proudly. “I think you know this. He is not a man to trrrrrifle with.”

“Avon?” For the first time the man seemed rattled. “The Duke of... Avon? Well now that might explain a few things, even if I’ve no idea how this has happened. Lead on, Milady.”

The Duke was ensconced in his library, sipping a glass of wine as he read, but he gained his feet as the Duchess entered calling his name.

“My dear,” he expostulated languidly, “what can account for such excitement? And who is this?”

He raised his quizzing glass and subjected the stranger who she had pushed into the room before her to an unhurried scrutiny that, never the less exuded a faint menace. Not to be out done in sangfroid, the man crossed his arms casually, leaned back against a wall and fixed the Duke with a forbidding glare but before he could answer, the Duchess broke into a torrent of explanation.

“I am very sorry, Justin - I think you will be very cross - it is a scandal most regrettable but it was not of my making. This man appeared in my salon...”


“No Justin, you must let me speak. I was writing to dear Fanny to ask her to purchase me several fichus from the good Mrs Harris...”

“Do I know the good Mrs Harris and what has she to do with the presence of this ...?”

“Oh, she is such a sweet lady, Justin, you would love her and she makes étonnant lace. You should buy your cuffs from her. But you interrupt me. Vraiment, it is a bad habit you have. Now where was I?”

“Writing to Fanny to ask the good Mrs Harris for fichus. Though what this has to do with our current situation escapes...”

“Devil take it, Justin.” A door leading of the library was flung open and a blonde haired, open faced man, somewhat dishevelled, cannoned into the room and stopped short in amazement.
“Who’s the Cove?” he asked. “Actor is he? Reminds me of someone. Can’t say I’m sold on that as a look, though I like the gloves. And why is Leonie holding a pistol on him?”

The Duchess’s prisoner took advantage of the interruption to twist round and snatch the gun from her grasp. She gave a little scream as he pressed the gun to her temple.

“I would advise you to think very carefully about your next move,” drawled the Duke. He still seemed indolent, even relaxed, but the silk of his voice was shot through with steel. “If you harm my Infant in any way, nothing will stop me from killing you.”

“In that case, I would recommend that we all sit down,” the man said calmly, “and I will endeavour to explain how I came to appear in this mad house.” He led Leonnie to a chair and sat her in it, then presented the pistol, barrel first, to her.

“If you dislike what you hear, then you may shoot me,” he said with a smile.

“Stap me, Justin, are you going to allow this parvenu to dictate to you in your own house?” the blonde man blustered, gasping in sudden pain as the intruder grabbed his arm and twisted in viciously behind his back.

“I said we will sit,” he hissed viciously in his ear and thrust him towards another chair.

“Parbleu,” Leonnie muttered, “but he sounds like Monseigneur when he’s angered! Don’t you think so Rupert?”

“That’s right! Looks like him too. Well, he would, if he wasn’t tricked out like a harlequin.” Rupert rubbed his arm as he took his seat but otherwise was unabashed. “A by-blow of our father’s do you reckon? He’s too old to be one of Just...”

“If you would let our unusual guest speak for himself, I would be very much obliged!” Justin’s icy tones cut through the speculation of his brother. He waited until silence fell and then gestured to the man who had perched himself on a desk and was gazing out at the view of the ducal grounds thus afforded with admiration. “I am of course, honoured Sir, that you have chosen to visit us,” the Duke continued, “even if the manner you chose to accomplish your entry can hardly be considered good ton. But I would like your explanation before I am forced to eject you from my house. Or instruct Leonnie to shoot you. Please start with your name.”

“My name, Your Grace, is Avon, Kerr Avon.” This declaration produced a flutter of interest from Leonie and Rupert, who muttered softly, “By-blow. Told you! Didn’t think the Pater had it in him!” but no reaction other than polite interest from the Duke. “I have reason to believe,” Kerr Avon continued, “that I may be a descendent of your family, but one from far in the future.”

“Incroyable!” Leonnie broke in. “You are one big liar. I am sorry if this is rude. Is it Monseigneur ?

“Very, my dear,” he answered, shutting his snuff-box with an expert flick of the finger. “but acceptable in the circumstances and beautifully frank.”

“I think it would be best if I just shoot him dead.”

It was fortunate for Kerr Avon that his bracelet chimed, just as Leonnie discharged the pistol and he vanished from their lives forever.

“Thunder and Turf,” complained Rupert,“ are you dicked in the nob Leonnie? That was an ames’ ace from taking off my head.”

“Ah, bah!” retorted her Grace.

And that seemed to conclude the whole, unseemly affair.
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Stormy. So many thanks for not killing Vila!

Brad- bitter and so clever!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Annie - I love Georgette Heyer, and LOL-ed at your story Grin
My views are my own.

VILA: I'm entitled to my opinion.
AVON: It is your assumption that we are entitled to it as well that is irritating.

Twitter: @TravisinaB7
Annie wrote:

Brad- bitter and so clever!

Thank you. Exactly what I was going for.
Men of Harlech cease your dreaming, can't you see their street signs gleaming...
Brad, that’s dark, but on point!

Annie, I’ve not read that much Georgette Heyer, but enough to find the idea of Avon turning up in the midst of such surroundings rather entertaining Grin
It seems that Brad and I had the same idea!


Pride, so they say, comes before a fall.
And as he stood there, surrounded by the faceless troopers, Avon knew that saying to be oh so true.
He had been so proud of his independence; his non reliance on others, finding their emotions too much of an interference.
Then Anna arrived in his life.
They would be so rich, he thought, no-one could touch them.
But they had, somehow.
His scheme had been discovered and she had paid the price.
Or so he thought.
It was Anna who has been the architect of his failure.
How proud she must have been as she delivered him to the authorities, only to get a touch of conscience and let him go to Cygnus Alpha.
She had in fact betrayed him, betrayed her brother…so it was ironic that it was Avon who finally delivered the killer blow.
It was her or him. He had no option.
Then there was Blake.
“Don’t try and manipulate me…” Avon had said…but Blake had.
Maybe it was Blake’s disappearance and his own inability to find him?
Maybe that had dented his pride.
Servalan had used that pride of his as a weapon. He was so sure about Blake being on that base, only to find that it had been a trick. Servalan must have secretly delighted in seeing his abject horror at being so deceived, and so publicly.
The others had bore witness to that utter humiliation.
And then came the destruction of the Liberator and the avoidable death of Cally.
Had the others blamed him for that?
And so his pride had been relentlessly chipped away.
Until he had reached the end of the road; a control room where death beckoned him.
Avon looked down at the fallen Blake.
He felt no pride in that act, but he would now.
Those guards who surrounded him, demanding his surrender, were waiting...
He would not give them that satisfaction. They would not take him alive.
No, he was too proud for that.
This would be his final act and it filled him with pride.
Slowly he raised his gun and pulled the trigger…
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/
Now for the second prompt.
This follows on from last month…no piccie, yet, as Lurena can’t sneak out…


“An invitation?”
Blake nodded.
“From who?” Avon asked incredulously.
“It doesn’t say. But aren’t you interested? Someone is asking us to a…”
“A party,” Vila smiled.
“You seem to know a lot more about this than Blake, how?”
“That Robot? Blake, I’ve told you how dangerous this is,” Avon implored, “You...we don’t know just how powerful these two machines are. We already know they can operate the teleport independently. What other systems can they access? They could control the ship!”!
“Not with Orac around,” Blake replied, “So, why don’t we reply to this invitation and find out who is trying to contact us.”

“It’s cold.” Vila declared, stating the obvious.
“You wanted to come,” Avon murmured, “According to Orac this was the site of a research establishment.”
Blake surveyed the burnt remains of a building, “Obviously it burnt down.”
“Some party,” Vila grumbled, “At least while it was alight it would have kept us warm.”
Suddenly, all three men looked up at the distant horizon as a plume of dust rose up.
“Danger; Danger!”
Avon spun round and came face to face with the Robot with the flailing arms and Robbie.
“What the…Blake, they’ve teleported down again. You really have got to...”
Suddenly Avon was quiet.
Vila bit his lip trying to quell a giggle. Robbie had moved forward and his right ‘foot’ was on Avon’s boot.
Blake sighed, “Robbie, please get off Avon’s foot. We have other things to worry about. For instance, what is that coming towards us?”
“A security Robot,” Robbie informed him, “It was left here to patrol the research station and protect it against alien insurgents.”
“How do we tell it that we are not alien insurgents?” Vila asked nervously.

The security robot trundled to a halt in front of them and noisily moved what appeared to be its head side to side as if appraising who was trespassing on its once pristine base.
“So how did this thing send out an invitation?” Blake asked.
“It was lonely and we told it about you and it wanted to meet you,” Robbie explained.
“It wanted to meet us?” Avon remarked, mindful that Robbie was looking at him. Thinking that maybe moving might save his foot getting crushed again, Avon moved.
The security robot swivelled round, and an aperture opened in its body.
Avon stopped.
Slowly, the new robot swung round and fired a sheet of fire towards a small piece of scrubland, as if to demonstrate its prowess.
“No wonder everything is burnt to a cinder," Blake concluded, “It’s been firing at everything in sight. Maybe you could work your magic on that Robot’s systems, Avon, so that its flame thrower isn’t so…”
“Dangerous?” Avon said exasperated, “Why don’t you just extend an invitation to all other abandoned robots in the Galaxy?”
Vila beamed.
“Oh no,” Avon murmured.
“Too late,” Blake smiled,” He’s already thought of it.”

To Be Continued.....

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/
Sue - the bitter and sweet. Poor Avon - robatrician to the Galaxy!
Just because I can't sing doesn't mean I won't.
Annie wrote:

Sue - the bitter and sweet. Poor Avon - robatrician to the Galaxy!

Thank you Annie,,,it gets worse for Avon next month, Robot wise!!!!
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/
Littlesue, I am catching up on all these excellent ficlets- i’ve been a bit behind, but I had to catch up with this one prior to reading part 2 in the advent calendar thread. I haven’t started part 2 yet and I’m already giggling...
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