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Ficlet Challenge: February 2022
The prompt for this month is:


And for the second challenge:

The Scorpio has returned from a supply run with Gan and Cally on board...

Have fun!
A Gift of Roses

At the edge of the Forbidden Zone on Earth lay a red rose.

Another one − dried to withstand the harsh conditions of space - tumbled in orbit around Terminal.

The third was placed in the remnants of the base on Terminal.

The fourth marked the place where Scorpio had crashed on Gauda Prime.

A fifth lay inside the old bounty hunter’s base, resting on the heap of ashes that were all that remained of Orac after Avon’s anti-tampering device had been triggered.

Five more roses were strewn on the floor of the tracking gallery.

A tender hand placed the eleventh one on a patch on the floor still riddled with blood stains.

“You loved him, didn’t you?” said Del Grant. There was no hint of jealousy in his voice; he was just stating a fact.

Jenna looked up. “I did”, she acknowledged. “But it wasn’t to be.”

She sighed and stood up, her sad gaze wandering about the gallery and the roses she had strewn.

“And now I am the only one left of the twelve who were called his seven”, she mused, caressing the last rose in her hand.

Suddenly, a smile appeared on her lips.

“You didn’t expect me to do this with the dozen roses who gave me?” she teased him.

“I didn’t; but I very much appreciate your noble gesture.” He pointed towards the twelfth rose. “Just don’t make me lay this one on your grave any time soon.”

“No”, she answered, “I intend to live.” She raised the rose to her face to smell its sweet fragrance.

“I took the other ones as mementos. This one I keep as what you intended it to be − a token of love.”
ellen york
Jenna is a survivor, but I am glad she remembers the ones that didn't survive.
Ah, Huggy - that's lovely! Beautifully told.
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
Oh, Huggy. Loved it!
Resist the Host

Dear Mr Huggy.....that's lovely
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

Rebel Run Video
Wonderful fic Huggy.
Play the hand fate deals you.
Avon shut the door to the cabin and sat on the edge of his bunk. Another trip back to base. Another plan turned to ashes. Another flight deck full of reproachful faces.
Avon usually liked to be alone, it was usually preferable to the company he was forced to keep; but in the last months, solitude had lost some of its reassurance. Now, on his own he just felt cold and melancholy.
He reached into his inside pocket and felt the density of the pages there. He slid it out of its hiding place and sat with it in his hands, the pages warmed slightly by his body. It had been Cally’s notebook; she had always kept it close to her, hidden inside her own jacket. Avon had known about it, but had never asked what was inside. When he had gone back into the base on Terminal after the explosion, some impulse had pushed him into taking it.

After all this time, he still didn’t know what it actually was- he had never read it. It seemed like an intrusion into her privacy to even have it. But it had clearly contained something that had meaning to her- a distant echo of who she was, what she cared about, her consciousness. It was all that was left of her.

As he went to put it back into his pocket, though, something slipped loose and onto the floor. He paused for a moment, then bent to pick it up.

It was a graphite sketch of a large bunch of flowers tied with a plush ribbon. The surface looked a little grubby after however long it had been wedged between the pages of the book and some of the graphite looked slightly smudged. In the bottom right corner, in surprisingly neat print were the initials of the artist: O.G.
Avon turned it over. On the back was written a single line:

Sorry they’re not real.
GanMiniMe - that's wonderful, and well done for getting both prompts into one fictlet!
There is no point being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes
Well here we go, yet another two parter with a lovely piccie by Lurena.

A Rose by Any Other Name

“I really miss them, you know?” Vila sighed.
“Miss whom?” Soolin asked.
“Gan and Cally. They were special. Gan looked after me while we were on the London. A giant of a man…but gentle.”
“I thought you said that he had a limiter inserted into his head.”
“Well, yes, there was that. But it wasn’t his fault.”
“Just misunderstood?”
“Aren’t we all?”
“What about Cally?”
“Yes Cally, a lovely, kind soul.”
“I thought you said she was a warrior?”
“She was, when I first met her. But even she changed…even Avon found her fascinating, although he wouldn’t admit it and don’t tell him I said so.”
“Of course not,” Soolin smiled, “I think I would have like to have met them both. I feel as though I’ve known them all my life, thanks to you.”
Vila frowned, “You don’t mind me telling you all about them…but I do miss them. Like you miss Dorian, maybe?”
“Hardly the same, Vila, although I do remember when he returned one day with a dozen red roses.”
“Red roses?”
“They brightened up the base for weeks; they were just so beautiful.” Soolin sat back in her flight chair and remembered the perfume and colour of those roses.
Slave seemed to clear his throat.
//Excuse me Sir, but I do believe that we are about to enter orbit around Mandalay…//
“I suppose we ought to wake Tarrant up, after all he’s the pilot. Could you do it, Soolin, He’ll only bite my head off…”
“Of course, Vila,” Soolin smiled.

“And how can I help sir?” the florist asked.
Vila tried to remember Soolin’s words. What was it? Oh yes, “A dozen red roses, please.”
“A dozen red roses sir? The lady must be special?”
“I think she is…sometimes.”
“Only sometimes? Well then, I think the lady needs some very special roses. These have just arrived today. My supplier found a brand new source. You will be the first to try them.”
“Thank you, I think,” Vila replied almost choking as the florist handed him the bill!!!!

“Red roses?” Tarrant said, “And a dozen to boot? You know that Avon will hit the roof when he finds out.”
“Only if somebody tells him! They’re for Soolin if you must know. It’s the one nice thing she remembers about Dorian.”

Soolin was indeed enraptured by the roses.
The perfume from them filled her head with memories; some good…some…
“Thank you, Vila, they’re lovely.”
Vila blushed.
Tarrant shook his head, “Any chance we can put them in the cargo hold? They are, shall we say, rather fragrant. Meanwhile, I’ll get this scruffy bag of bolts on its way back to Xenon.”

Part Two

//Excuse me sir,// Slave intoned, // I am most sorry to disturb you, but sensors indicate that we have two beings in the cargo hold,//
“What? Stowaways?”
//Well, not exactly…//
“Did you see anyone down there when you put those roses in the hold?”
It was Soolin who answered, “No we didn’t, but seeing as you have depressurised the hold.”
“Oh no,” gulped Vila, “You’ve killed them.”
“It’s only been a few seconds, get down there,” Tarrant barked.
“If you shout at him again...”
Tarrant turned in his seat to see who had spoken to him.
“Gan!” Vila exclaimed.
”Gan! Who the hell is Ga…?” Tarrant stopped dead as Cally came into view, “Cally! How?”
“Still picking on those weaker than you, Tarrant? Nothing’s changed. Hello Vila...”

Avon listened in utter disbelief as the news about Gan and Cally’s miraculous appearance was relayed to him from Scorpio.
“But how?” Dayna whispered.
“I don’t know. But until Orac can tell us exactly who or what is on Scorpio we can’t risk letting them land.”
“You mean, stay in orbit?”
“Precisely. Orac, I want you to find out just what our ghosts from the past are.”

“Hallucinations!” Vila declared, “Gan intimidated Tarrant…”
“No he did not,” Tarrant replied, taking umbrage.
“All I can say is that I had a most illuminating conversation with Cally,” Soolin smiled
“Orac, “Avon continued, ignoring Soolin’s knowing look, “believes that you have all been the victim of some hallucinogen. Now what have you all been in contact with?”
“The roses,” Soolin said.
“Yes, a dozen of them. Vila thought I needed cheering up.”
Vila blushed.
“Where are they?”
“In the hold…Tarrant found their perfume a little overpowering.”

In Scorpio’s hold Soolin picked up the roses, their fragrance gone.
“These?” Avon asked, absently reaching out and touching the still bright red petals of one.
“The florist,” Vila began, “said that his supplier had found a new source of roses.”
“So he doesn’t know about their hallucinogenic properties,” Avon murmured.
“No doubt he soon will,” Soolin replied, watching Avon’s expression, “I wonder how many others will see ghosts, for want of a better word.”
“But they were so real,” Vila whispered.
“I don’t believe in ghosts,” Avon stated softly, his finger tracing one of the petals. Then, for a second, he felt something brush against his face. He swallowed, hoping the others hadn’t seen his slight unease.
But Soolin had seen it, briefly.
“Neither did I,” she said, “Until now.”
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

Rebel Run Video
Oooh, LittleSue, I liked that very much! A lovely tribute to Gan and Cally’s characters. So sweet of Vila to want to give Soolin a memory of happier times.

And hallucinogenic roses! Wouldn’t that make Valentine’s day more interesting!
TARRANT Why,[open the lock] unless of course you feel like living on nuts and berries for the rest of your life.
DAYNA Food, Vila. What we've got will last us maybe three weeks if you can't open that door….
VILA Well, there's always rodents of one sort or another.
TARRANT I'm a growing lad, Vila. Rats are not the answer to my diet--

Opening scene from Power (Season 4, episode 2)

“Wheet, wheet, wheet, wheet”

“What have you got in there?” asked Tarrant as Vila brought the last of the supplies out of the Scorpio into Xenon Base.

“Well we got those spices you wanted, your mail order came in but there is a note from your tailor…”

“What is making that noise?”


“Yes Vila, the noise coming from the box in your hands.” Continued Tarrant

“Oh, that noise. Well you remember that chat about rats and diet?...”

“Rats are a nuisance to catch and not very clean and the game around here is not all that prolific. My traps have been empty more often than I would like.”
Contributed Dayna. “So I remembered something one of my biology tutors told me.

“Back on Earth, before the Domes and stuff people used to farm meat animals.”

“Yes” said Tarrant. “And you think maybe we could keep a cow in this base?”

“Don’t be silly, a cow would not fit in this box.” Said Vila.

“No Tarrant, something much smaller and easier to manage. People used to keep them in their kitchens and just grab one when they wanted to eat.” Said Dayna. “Well, people in some place called the Andes, anyway. They are easy to feed, don't need much room and apparently quite tasty”

Vila opened the box and showed Tarrant the contents. He looked at the small, furry creatures Vila had added to the usual supply list: guinea pigs.

Avon walked into the room just then, curious as to what about the supply run had Tarrant so interested.

“Avon, meet Gan and Cally.” Said Vila.

So… rats and other rodents it would be after all.
Musings from the desk of Nanna Sally
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