From theatrical_muse: Write about something you inherited.
Inherited? Well, the only things I left Sarran with apart from the clothes I was wearing were my gun and my father's graduation medallion.
It's a pretty thing: a gold square on another one that's turned so that the corners make an eight-pointed star. There are some marks on it in an ancient Earth language but I have no idea what they mean and no particular desire to find out. When I was little, I used to sit on my father's knee and grab it because it shone and try to pull it off him, making him laugh.
He got it from the Federation Central Science Complex. Despite its name, it's the top place to study at for pure and applied sciences, better even than Belhangria University. When I was about 15, I asked him why he always wore it, considering what the Federation did to him. He said, "It wasn't the scientists and professor who blinded me. That place was a shrine to the mind. It was above politics." Then he said very quietly, "And I met your mother there."
That was the real reason.
They destroyed his optic nerves, you see, when they interrogated him, the bastards. He had a device that fed his brain... not images, something like sonar, electrical patterns he could interpret, but he wore the medallion because he only had to feel it to remember its shape and my mother standing beside him to get her own.
I took it from his body. So it's not really an inheritance but he told me I was a genius with weaponry systems, and I obviously got that from him. So I wear it now and I only have to touch it to remember him.
From theatrical_muse: Write about something you inherited.
From theatrical_muse: What is your favourite retreat from the world?
Actually, it's the other way round. A world is my favourite retreat. When I've had enough of being confined on a spaceship with Avon skulking about the place glowering like a small thundercloud, I say that we need some fresh meat and teleport down to a primitive planet.
I don't bother with blasters or bombs though they have their charm; the old weapons are more satisfying. Stalking your game barefoot under a vast sky while the only sound you can hear is birds and insects and the wind in the trees and the long grass can't be bettered. I can feel the tension going out of me as I feel the ground with my bare toes, and the wind against my skin. If the game's easy, I often hold off and don't shoot any until I've been there long enough to recharge my own energy reserves.
From theatrical_muse: When I awoke the next morning...
When I awoke the next morning, I could hear the hum of my home's life-support, but as I woke, I realised it didn't sound quite right. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing it all to be a dream so that when I opened them, I'd be back on Sarran, safe under the sea with Father and Lauren. But I couldn't stay like that forever. I knew the truth.
I was on a spaceship, in a bare, brightly-lit cabin, rushing away from home and all that I'd known at an unimaginable speed. For a moment, I felt dizzy thinking of the vast emptiness we were in, and I pulled up the covers and curled up like I had when I was little, but I didn't even have my old stuffed blue hippo any more.
Then Avon knocked on the door and asked if I was ready. I said of course I was. I hope I sounded as if it was the truth.
From theatrical_muse: Write about a mother (your own or someone else's).
I don't remember my mother. When I said that once, my father cried. It's not my fault; I was only a baby when she died. I've seen a holocube of her, but she just looked like a stranger, someone I'd never met. The only thing I know about her is from her books which Father brought to Sarran with us.
She liked fantasy. She had all these old books about Greek legends which Father used to read to me, and when I got older, I found some he hadn't. She believed in one of the old banned religions, one that said that all people were equally loved by the creator of the universe. I suppose it would appeal to a rebel, but I rejected the idea. You only had to look at a Sarran or a Delta to know people weren't equal, but it's only now that I've begun to wonder. I couldn't have loved Lauren more if she'd been my blood sister, and once I got to know Vila, I realised he was just as clever and capable and real as any Alpha. So maybe if you really know a person, and I suppose the creator would, then you'd be able to love them.
I wish I'd known my mother.
From theatrical_muse: Who was "the one that got away"?
Servalan, of course. First it was Avon being all honourable, or so I thought at the time but after enough failures to take her out, I realised he had a thing for her. Not that he was alone. Just thinking about Tarrant down there on Virn with her makes my blood boil. Men! Then it was me having to be abide by some stupid convention and promise not to shoot her during that damned Teal-Vandor duel, then I got brainwashed by her that time I went to see Justin and it just makes me see blood-red to think about that.
But next time I see her, she gets it between the eyes.
From theatrical_muse: What was your childhood ambition?
To blow up a gas giant. I used to imagine the immense scale of the explosion as I set off a series of charges from mines dropped in a spherical pattern to compress the core and force it into fusion, big enough to blow a solar system out of whack. Of course, I know that wouldn't have worked, but you can't blame me for indulging in innocent girlish dreams, can you?
I'd settle for a moon.
From theatrical_muse: How do you think others perceive you?
Hmmph. Wrongly in most cases.
My father thought I was a little him with all his out-dated and dangerous ideas about fighting honourably. You don't treat savages as equals. Avon started off that way but later he was a lot more sensible, except for that blind spot about Servalan. Back on Sarran I think he was still trying to behave like that Blake fellow used to but he soon learned that shooting first is the way to go.
And Avon, he thought I was an amusing child. I meant that kiss but he never really looked at me as if I was a woman. He never consulted me about tactics either, but I have to admit, he didn't do that with anyone but Cally.
Tarrant and Vila did see me as a woman, esp Vila. It was sort of fun watching his eyes glaze over when I wore something tight , esp stretched over my bum (biggest one on the Liberator, he called it, and he was right: it's one of best features) but it was Avon I kept hoping would notice. And besides, I couldn't, not with a Delta.
Tarrant saw me as a bit of fun, "nothing serious, no strings," he said and I agreed because that's how I wanted it too and it worked well as long as no blue aliens were recording us. Funny how much it hurt though when he and Servalan got it off on Virn. It unfair what with her having killed my father, and it wasn't as if I could retaliate with anyone else and pay him back. Avon wouldn't have been fun at all by then (and I was just another expendable crewmember by then, forget about looking after Daddy's little girl) and even though Vila turned out to be much nicer than Avon led us to believe when Tarrant and I met him, grade does matter.
Cally? I have no idea what Cally thought. I don't think any of us were up to scratch except for Avon and the sainted Blake. Just as well she never saw how he ended up, and I don't mean perforated.
All I wanted was respect. Is that too much to ask?
And you. Don't look at me like that if you know what's good for you.
From theatrical_muse: Write about your father.
My earliest memories of my father are of him telling me stories in my room while I hugged my blue stuffed hippo and the sunlight sifted through the turquoise water outside my window, making the fish swimming past glitter silver and gold and crimson. He used to tell me the old stories about gods and goddesses and mortals, and my favourites were the ones about Diana the hunter, who I was sort of named after, and the Amazons. When I was old enough, he made me weapons which fitted my little hands, and we’d go out together on the boat to spear fish, or in expeditions on shore for meat.
One day, he found a little girl, about my age, tied up and left on a hill to die. Exposed, the Sarrans called it; they used to get rid of unwanted girls that way, although I never understood the logic: women are the ones who have babies, so to me it would make more sense to expose the boys and just keep a few males around for breeding. Anyway, Father carried the girl home with me running beside and asking if I could have her as a slave like in the stories, and that was the first time I saw him angry with me. No, he said, she was going to be my sister. He called her Lauren because that’s what he thought her name was, but much later, we found it was her trying to say their word for ‘lost’. The thing is though, Father loved Lauren as much as he loved me. That was the sort of person he was.
I’m as good as he was at armaments and explosives, but I’m not sure I’ll ever live up to his expectations in other ways. Damn. I miss him so much it hurts inside my chest when I’m in bed at night and remembering how he used to tell us both stories of honour and bravery and glory.
Excellent. The colour of blood.
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A selection of puns from the bad joke generator:
What's daynamellanby's favourite album?Yes, they sound about right.
What does daynamellanby eat for breakfast?
What are daynamellanby's favourite films?
Gun Lola Run
The Explosion in Winter