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February 2024 Ficlet Challenge
The word prompt this month is ... ATTENTION

And for the second challenge:

One of our characters has got some unexpected free time.

Happy writing!
A day off

She lay in the bed and stretched, slowly, enjoyably. All today’s engagements unexpectedly cancelled! She watched as Deltas busily catered to her needs. Eventually, she rose and completed a gentle exercise regime, toning her body to optimum fitness.

Breakfast. Nothing cultured, no reconstituted algae-based imitations. Everything was real, naturally produced. The cost was astronomical, of course, but she deserved it. Besides, she had enough of the other stuff when she was with the military.

She bathed – not the plebian sonic shower that most endured, but the gentle warmth of shoulder-deep precious water, laced with expensive salts and perfumes designed to relax and then invigorate. Deltas assisted with her dressing. Afterwards, while she made her way downstairs, they began the maintenance of her suite.

In the hallway below, an aide helped her into outdoor things and ensured the guards held open the entrance doors at exactly the right moment.

Now she was outside, walking through the gardens that were her private space where she could escape everyday cares and pressures. Knowing that others had neither resources nor opportunity to do the same made everything so much more enjoyable.

Despite the sun, the air was cold: she was glad of her fur coat. Earth still experienced seasons, despite the Axis Shift and the Wars, and here spring was just beginning. Breathing in that cold made her one with the planet and she moved slowly, alert for signs of new growth. The gardens were her own venture: she aimed to match their restoration to that of the house she now inhabited.

Naturally, the High Council objected to the expense, as they had over rebuilding the mansion itself, but history proved that great houses were nothing without their estates … History! She almost laughed aloud. The ‘original’ designs for the gardens, the ornamental lake, the fountains… all her own ideas, based on the few faded images that accompanied plans of the ancient building! History is always written by the winners: she had won the argument and the Council unwillingly approved the additional taxes.

For once, her project was not merely personal aggrandisement: so little of the natural world remained untouched that her gardens would become a sanctuary for native flora and fauna. One day, people - those millions now crowded into the domes because of the ‘fallout’ - would thank her. Most of Earth was now free of the toxins released by the Wars, but only a few wealthy Alphas had followed her example and created something in the open. Everyone else stayed in the convenient - and above all controlled – habitat domes the Federation provided.

That her Federation provided. Everything was so nearly perfect, as she stooped to examine the first crocus flowers, open to absorb the sunlight. Brushing her hand gently across the petals, she experienced a pang of doubt. What was missing? Why only nearly perfect?

She looked around the silent, empty space, disturbed by a sudden realisation. It might have been pleasant to share her achievements with someone who understood.
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
Such an intriguing insight into the character of Servalan!
The Blake’s 7 section of my blog, where I post fics, art, essays, etcetera.
Very nice MCVirn.
Just who was she thinking of at the end...someone who understood?

Now to start walking up and down muttering to myself!!!!
Edited by littlesue on 02-02-2024 13:08
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
Thanks for the prompt, purplecleric, and for the kind comments. It's been ages since I wrote anything that wasn't directly website-related!
As for who She had in was more about making things perfect for herself. She only thought 'might', because relationships spoiled, sooner or later.
But you're free to speculate, Sue!
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
Excellent fic, restrained, beautifully paced, poignant with very plausible world building and understanding of Servalan.
Play the hand fate deals you.
That's a lovely exploration of Servalan's point of view, Ms Virn.
A bit late, but here goes the first prompt with piccie by Lurena


“Restal! Attention!!”
“Listen, Restal. How do you think you’ll ever amount to anything if you don’t pay attention?”
And that’s how it continued through his school years. He couldn’t help it. His mind usually wandered in the classroom.
Well he knew most of what they were trying to instil in his mind.
Not that he was going to let on that he knew more than the tutors. Now that would be stupid.
He found it easier to play the fool and pretend not to know anything.
Besides, there were other things more worthy of his attention.
Especially that new girl.
She had noticed his attention wandering over to her..several times.
And that had been his downfall.
Caught in the act of trying to ‘borrow’ the latest exam questions, just for her.
Oh well; there will be others who will grab his attention.
And there had been.
Far too many for the powers that be and after so many attempts to put a stop to his attention seeking antics, it was decided to put him somewhere where no-one would pay him any attention at all.
Exiled to Cygnus Alpha.
“What?” Vila had exclaimed at the verdict.
“Sorry,” said his Federation appointed lawyer, “I thought that the mitigating circumstances would do the trick.”
“Mitigating circumstances? What mitigating circumstances?”
“Were you actually paying attention to the trial?”
“Well, um, no. I just thought it would be another visit to that nice Doctor...”
“Even he didn’t offer any excuses. No, I’m sorry Restal. Your luck has run out. Enjoy your trip to Cygnus Alpha.”

He was still hoping that someone would speak up for him as he sat in the holding cell. Even that Blake chap seemed to have someone on his side.
But no, it wasn’t to be.
“Attention!” the voice over the tannoy said, “Departure time has been brought forward...”
Vila didn’t pay any attention to the rest of the message.
So that was it.
No more chances.
No escape.
If only this was a dream..

“Attention, Vila Restal.”
“Eh, what?”
He rubbed his eyes as Olag Gan hoved into view.
“Daydreaming again, Vila?”
“No, I was just...thinking.”
“Well, it seems Zen wants your attention.”
“Again? All right Zen, you have my attention. What’s the problem?”
“Actually, there isn’t a problem.” It was Blake, “I just instructed Zen to make sure that your were paying attention during your watch.”
“Hm,” Blake didn’t seem convinced, “Anyway, it seems that we have reached our destination.”
“We have?”
“Yes, Space City.”
“Space City?!” Vila sat up, “Go on, Blake, you have my undivided attention!”
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
And the second one with a little inspiration from MCVirn.......


He didn’t know why he had walked so far, but for the first time he had felt so relaxed. Usually, being on the surface of a planet meant being caught up in one of Blake’s schemes to start a rebellion, meet rebel leaders or after something from the Federation, but that was when he was on the Liberator.
Now, he was on Xenon. And that afforded him the luxury of being able to walk on the surface of a planet during some down time.
Perhaps it was the hypnotic sound that had enraptured him, but wherever its source, he continued to walk towards it.
Avon stopped.
The air was so still, not like that first time when he had run the gauntlet of the local inhabitants.
They had gone faraway, leaving this little piece of Xenon to him and the others.
He continued to walk slowly towards the enticing sound, relishing the feel of the wind on his face.
And then he reached it,
A metal structure over a water course.
That was the sound!
Flowing water.
The metal structure looked sturdy enough, so he ventured onto it and made his way to the centre.
He stopped and looked down.
The water rippled and eddied and it was mesmerising.
“Relaxing, isn’t it?”
It was Soolin, “So you’ve found my little piece of heaven?”
“Yes. While we had the company of the local inhabitants, Dorian thought it wise not to venture out here..but now that he and they have gone.Well,I thought, why not?”
She joined him on the bridge.
“You know, I have often wondered where this water has come from and where exactly it is going to.” She turned round and looked into the distance. “but I think it would take quite a while to find out. Don’t you?”
Avon was still staring down at the water.
“I’m glad that you’ve found it though. I could do with a challenge.”
“A challenge?”
“Hm. Choose your weapon.”
“Soolin, I hardly think now is the time...what are those in your hand?”
“Choose one and then we drop them into the water and see whose comes out the other side first. Simple.”
“They do say the higher the intellect, the more simpler the game to help one relax.”
“Exactly.” She held out her hand and Avon selected one of the proffered twigs.
“How do I know that they are both the same?”
“You don’t. That’s the chance you have to take.” She smiled at him.
“All right.”
They both leaned over the bridge.
“On my mark; 3, 2,1...”
And both twigs fell into the water.
Avon and Soolin went to the other side of the bridge and waited for the twigs to emerge.
“I win,” Soolin announced.
“How do you know?”
“Surely you don’t want to argue about it. Besides, it’s beginning to rain.”
“So it is.”
He watched his twig float off down the river. He turned to look at Soolin.
“Next time, I choose the weapon.”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
She turned on her heels and sauntered off, leaving Avon to contemplate the possibility that he may have been tricked!
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
Lovely to think of Avon playing Poosticks! Thanks again, Sue.
"You're not sulking, I hope?"
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