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January 2023 Ficlet Challenge
Happy New Year!

The word prompt to get us started this month is ... I (ninth letter of the alphabet/ first person singular)

For the second challenge:

In light of the recent sad news, write a ficlet featuring Travis I

You must have read my mind, PC.
Last night I was wondering if the monthly challenge would happen, and it has, now to get thinking....
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
Um, so I actually wrote this last month, but it was a tribute I wrote for Chris Boucher and Stephen Greif. It doesn’t directly feature either, but it’s about Travis, so hopefully it still counts.

The remains of her tattered, muddy dress dragged along the white sand and thin grass behind her, and she imagined her dignity with it. She’d once been the most feared woman in the galaxy, and now she was just a woman. A dirty, desperate woman, abandoned alone on a perhaps pretty planet, if she’d been in a different frame of mind.

Frustrated as she was now, all the President of the Terran Federation could see were infuriatingly itchy grains of sand on a hopelessly long beach that stretched on further than she cared to walk in her impractical shoes.

At least she was alive, and armed. The last act of one of her commanders had been to toss her his weapon and eject her escape pod, which had fortunately landed on this orb of dust instead of drifting in space forever.

That commander was probably dead, now. What had his name been? Boucher, was it? It didn’t really matter, but she needed to ponder something to distract her from the dull, throbbing ache of her worn out feet.

Her thoughts took a turn to another space commander rumored to have died earlier that day—Travis. Evidently, he’d meant to betray them all to an alien armada from another galaxy. If she wasn’t so furious at him surviving to stab her in the back like that, she might have admired his ambition. He’d learned something from her, after all.

In recent months, she’d found herself turning to shout at the air behind her when someone failed her, to reprehend him on the uselessness of his beloved mutoids, only to find he was not there. Of course he wasn’t, she’d made certain he was convicted and given the death penalty.

Sometimes, she’d almost wished he was there to say something pathetically stupid, so she could snap at him and shoot icy daggers from her eyes when he dared to retort back. It was almost like her exchanges with Avon, except with a little less wit on her opponent’s side.

Yes, she really had missed Travis. Her foot slid in the sand and she almost tumbled down the hill she was walking on, the mishap leaving her exposed enough to admit to herself that she wished she’d been there, when he’d died. To pull the trigger, of course.

They’d told her from the very beginning that it was a mistake to task Travis with hunting Blake, and perhaps it was, but she wouldn’t regret the decision. Perhaps Blake had died in this travesty. She’d have the infamous space commander to thank if he did.

She’d just have to survive to find out.
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.
Lovely story, Nerdy Teen Girl. Even Servalan is human - hard though it is to believe at times!


“It’ll be quite painless I promise you. There won’t even be a scar. Of course they can’t bring back your full sight in that eye…”

“I said no.”


“NO! Now get out. Just…get out. GET OUT!”

The man standing next to the bed placed a hand on his companion

“Leave it for now. He shouldn’t excite himself.” Then to the bandaged figure on the bed, voice dropped to a soothing murmur, “It’s your choice, Commander. Not our job to insist. We’ll talk again when you’re rested. And you can always let us know if you change your mind.”

The bandaged figure turned, half the left side of his face covered by an uneven square of rough, stiff, leathery material, his expression viciously contemptuous. “I won’t. Now get out.” Damaged though he was, he still managed to exude threat and the others hastily vacated the room.

Outside in the brightly lit corridor the air seemed less heavy and the men breathed more easily.

“Strange,” the younger observed.

“You can never tell how they’re going to react to a near death experience,” his companion explained. “Still, this one IS odd. So far he’s even refused to let anyone change that field bandage on his face. I assumed he was frightened of seeing what it was hiding. Reasonable when you’ve had half your face blown off. I expected him to perk up when you told him about reconstructive surgery though. Handsome devil. You’d think he’d jump at the chance of getting his looks back..”

“If we can’t persuade him, bang goes the plan to feature him as a poster boy for recruitment. That eye patch is the stuff of nightmares. Will he be any use to us?“

“Invaluable on the front line, I should think. He’ll frighten the hell out of his troopers and terrify rebels. In fact, you know, this may be all for the best. Keep him isolated. Post Marryatt to another command and let the trauma do it’s work. Maybe offer him a laser prosthetic for that damaged arm. We should have the perfect killing machine.”

Years later on Space City…

“They never offered you reconstructive surgery?”

“Ahhh! Careful Docholli. Concentrate on the arm and keep your nose out of my business.”

Docholli grunted as he connected a wire in the shoulder array. “Just curious. I’d have thought they’d have wanted to parade a handsome hero like you on all the vids. Yet here you are, still with that eye patch.” Another connection, and then the old man stepped back. “Finished!”

Travis gingerly flexed his arm, then swung and activated the laser crystal on his hand, shattering one of the light bulbs and showering them both in tiny shards of glass. Docholli leapt back with a curse and the man grinned as he lowered himself onto a chair.

“I owe you,” he ground out. “I’ll not forget. I pay my debts. And this,” he tapped the square of leather obscuring half his face, “this, ensures I remember exactly what I’m owed and who owes it to me.”

“So you’ll be calling it in I’m guessing, the debt, if you get the chance?”

“Oh yes. Any day now. You can count on it.”

In the dim light, Docholli could not make out the expression on the man’s face but he shivered at certainty in his voice and the undulating shadows that seemed to surround him. He moved abruptly.

“I need a drink,” he said.
Edited by Anniew on 10-01-2023 08:39
Play the hand fate deals you.
Thank you, Anne! Smile
Anniew, that was marvelous!
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.
Aw thanks Nerdy. I really enjoyed your story too. Very clever breach of the 4th wall. Perfectly characterised Servalan, and your descriptive powers are good enough to get me feeling as well as seeing and hearing the landscape on Saran. It’s so nice to have a new talent to contribute to these challenges!
Play the hand fate deals you.
Aw, thank you, Anniew! I’ve read back through all of the fics on here, and you all are so talented! It’s a pleasure to write with you all. Smile
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.
2 lovely stories so far this month and now my little effort.
It's a two parter again featuring our very own Space Commander and 2 amazing piccies by Lurena to honour Stephen....

Part One

I Spy…

I wonder if he knows that I am watching him?
Or if he even cares?
It’s because of him that I am here; half my face shot away; my left arm nothing but a stump.
Oh Maryatt did his best.
Lucky to be alive, he said.
I know I should be grateful.
And I am, in a way. Maryatt’s quick thinking actions will enable me to carry on my duties until all of those who wish to destroy the Federation are no more; especially that so called leader of the Freedom Party.
Roj Blake.
He was the one that caused this. Taking that gun from a brave downed trooper and firing it at me.
But I will get my revenge, even if it takes the rest of my life.
At the moment though, they are trying to help Blake change his way of thinking and become a model citizen.
It is interesting to watch as they try different methods to help him see the error of his ways.
Now he is in that machine as they suppress his old memories and give him new ones.
They should have killed him when they had the chance.
I should have killed him when I had THAT chance, but he was too quick.
When I argued for the latter, I was told by those who claim to know about these things, that killing Blake would have made him a martyr.
It was better that he became a reformed character who would be wheeled out on occasion to denounce his former part in rebelling against the Federation…
As if that would work.
It would only take someone to remind him of his past; to tell him the truth, and their conditioning would break down.
But they won’t listen to me.
I’m just a soldier doing my duty.
What do I know of such medical matters?
How a man can no longer be the man he once was or maybe not trust his own mind?
This so called clever idea of theirs will come back to haunt them and then I will be called upon to tidy up their mess. Hopefully the Supreme Commander will overrule them and see things MY way; the RIGHT way.
Meanwhile, I can watch as they destroy the man Blake once was.
Somehow, seeing him put through these agonies dulls the pain he has put me through.
Yes Blake, we will meet again and I will finish what began that day.
And this time I will not make the same mistake.
But now I await the doctors who will operate on me to put right the damage.
Should you somehow escape the fate that awaits you in that mind altering machine, then I will be ready, when ordered, to seek, locate and finally destroy you…

Part 2
…With my little eye

The Sergeant stopped outside the temporary shelter, little more than a flimsy tent, but it served its purpose.
The flaps of the tent were closed, as if trying to keep out the raging battle in the distance, but the Sergeant knew that the occupant inside was not averse to being disturbed,
Unlike some officers he had served under, this one led his men from the front. This tent enabled him to keep abreast of his men, not hiding at the rear in the safety of a purpose built shelter.
So, the Sergeant did not feel in the least bit scared of gently tapping the tent least that is what he tried to tell himself as he awaited a response.
Short and succinct.
The Sergeant obeyed the command and entered.
Space Commander Travis was standing by the table.
The Sergeant didn’t comment as he realised that the field bed still bore the impression of a body.
Obviously Space Commander Travis had been resting, but didn’t wish to be found in such a position; that could possibly be considered to be a weakness.
“Well?” Travis barked.
“A message from Space Command, Sir. For your eyes…um...eye only…Sir.”
Travis smiled that cold smile of his, “Come Sergeant, there is no need to be so tactful.”
“I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t wish to…”
“Remind me? This patch does that well enough. Now this message.”
The Sergeant handed over the paper and watched as Travis scanned it with his one good eye.
“In code, I see. Space Command doesn’t even trust its own men. Take a seat, Sergeant while I decode it.”
“Yes sir!”
The Sergeant obliged even though there was only one seat.
“Why not have a drink, Sergeant.”
“But sir…”
“I do. It dulls the pain when the pain killers don’t.”
“Yes sir.”
The Sergeant poured a small amount from the flask into the one glass on the table and took a sip.
It was good.
Travis put the message into his own personal scanner, waited for a moment and then read the contents.
“The fools,” he murmured.
“Sir? Bad news?”
“I’m being recalled, Sergeant. It appears that Space Command is in need of my services.”
“But you are needed here, Sir.”
“My work here is almost done; you and your men can mop up the rest of those who will not heed instructions. I will leave this shelter here, along with the remains of the drink, and it is all yours, Sergeant. I will see that you and your men receive glowing reports of your actions. Would you arrange a pursuit ship for me? The sooner I return to Space Command the better.”
“Yes sir!”
Travis watched as the man saluted and left.
Once alone, he rubbed his aching arm.
“The idiots. I told them what would happen and it has.”
He read the report again; so much for burying Blake on a godforsaken prison planet after that farce of a trial. He was now in command of a Space Ship and had even acquired a crew.
And Supreme Commander Servalan had requested his presence immediately.
This time he would do the job…properly!”

Edited by littlesue on 16-01-2023 15:16
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
Nice story Sue. Love the details and Lurena’s illustration.
Play the hand fate deals you.
Hi - I finally had time to read your stories, Nerdy, Annie and Sue. Loved them all. So good to have new takes on Travis amid the sadness of losing Stephen Greif. Thanks. (And thanks to Purple for the inspiring prompt).
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
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