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B7 Ficathon Story

August 20th, 2004 (12:09 pm)

Wow, this story is bad.

'But Andraste!' I hear you say, 'You don't write bad stories! I like your fic!'

This is because you never see the ones condemned to the depths of the hard drive for sucking. I've written quite a few over the years, and I'm sorr this turned out to be one of them.

Easily the worst thing I've ever posted. In hindsight, I should have just gotten a pinch hitter, but I didn't realize quite how awful it was going to be. Apologies to all concerned. If I were you, I'd just go and read the rest of the ficathon. In fact, if you want to make me happy, that's what you'll do. To reiterate: I hate this story. I don't want anyone to read it. It's not going beyond this lj, that's for sure.

I reserve the right to come back and delete this tomorrow. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to write this in a way that doesn't suck.

Disclaimer: Blake's 7 and its characters do not belong to me. Please don't sue.

Recipient: For redstarrobot Sorry that it's late, awful and not quite what you asked for. (You don't have to read it, honest. You'll be better off if you just pretend I flaked out completely and you never got a story at all, really.)



Asta Matrika

By Andraste

I.

The first thing Cally killed on Saurian Major was a plant.

Admittedly, it was a large and rather dangerous one, and it was attempting to devour one of her comrades at the time, but it wasn't how she had imagined her first kill. All new recruits to the rebellion here were trained to avoid the carnivorous flora - only a recent arrival like Jaris would be silly enough to get caught by one. He was a native of this world, but from the mountains.

"Thank you," he gasped, dragging himself away from the plant's flailing limbs as Cally's gun blasts destroyed it.

She smiled. "The Federation troops won't have much trouble capturing you if the jungle can manage it."

"I've got plenty of experience with the Feds – it’s the trees that'll get me," Jaris said, smiling in return.

Cally shook her head. "Don't worry, I'll protect you." She looked at her fallen foe with a grin. "Something of an anticlimax as first kills go, after all that training."

"Don't worry – you'll get your chance sooner or later," Jaris said, expression unreadable.

II.

When she first came to this planet, Cally was a afraid of the jungle. Over time she has grown comfortable with it. The strange plants have a texture that is almost like human flesh, and human flesh is what they most like to eat.

Yet the rebels have learned to use this to their advantage – beneath the bizarre canopy of the jungle, they are safe, protected from those who hunt them.

On the day of the raid, Cally hesitates for a moment before stepping out. During her year of training she has grown almost fond of their strange sentinels, and she wonders now if she will ever see them again.

III.

Cally killed her first man – she supposes it was a man – almost by accident.

Her task during the raid was to work in communications, supporting the fighters and relay messages rather than fighting herself. It was only by chance that an outlying patrol discovered their encampment.

Cally raised her gun and fired on their scout without thinking about it. He – probably a he – fell down.

Taking cover behind a rock, the rest of the brief skirmish was over soon without her intervention. She was pleased that her training had proved effective. She didn't know whether to be pleased that she'd killed him or not.

IV.

After the raid, the others wanted to celebrate, an impulse Cally understood but did not share. She was restless in a way that disturbed her; she suspected that she wanted the raid to be more complicated, that she wanted to kill more people.

She came to fight the Federation to protect others, not to kill. Or so she believed.

Alone, Cally made her way into the jungle, and found a quiet clearing, sat down to began clearing her mind. She once found the silence of this place oppressive, an all to sharp reminder of the silence that has filled her mind ever since she left Auron. Now she finds it restful.

She was so successful in shutting out the world that she almost didn't hear the Federation fliers overhead. It was not until the mist began falling and she heard the trees hiss in response that she even bothered to open her eyes.

V.

At first, she was simply confused by the sound – it doesn’t rain here on Saurian Major the way it does on Auron – and the crackling as the moisture touches the trees took a moment to identify.

The she realized that the trees were melting, and heard the first scream from the direction of the camp. Cally started running.

VI.

By the time she reached her goal, her lungs were burning, and for a moment she suspected that the poison was working on her.

Her comrades are the same shade of pink as the trees. The lucky ones are already dead. The ones who are unlucky were under cover when the mist fell; they have inhaled it instead of absorbing it through their skin.

Everything organic is melting and dripping around her.

Cally sees now that the trees are not alien at all – the trees and the people of Saurian Major are of the same flesh. It is she who is the alien.

VII.

They had medicine, but there was no medicine for this. The screaming had mostly given way to strangled gasps, but even without telepathic contact Cally could sense their pain.

Without thinking, she reached for the nearest weapon – metal, and therefore safely solid – chose the nearest writhing body, pressed the barrel to its temple. /This won't hurt/, she sent telepathically, not knowing if it was true or not.

If the first kill is the most difficult, then the rest will be more than easy.

VIII.

Cally considered burying them for all of two seconds. She was one woman alone, and to dig a grave for them all would take her days. Better to save her time and strength for something more productive.

Instead, she dragged the bodies into a rough pile and burnt them. It takes a lot time – flesh is wet and difficult to burn, and she has no supply of tinder. To begin with she is nauseous, but in the end it all gave way to impatience.

She set out for the communications facility with no clear plan in mind except to kill the first thing that she saw, and then the second thing, and to go on until somebody killed her. She did not carry communications equipment or supplies to weigh her down. There was nobody left to talk to, and she would probably not live long enough to become hungry. She wondered if her death would be painful.

She only knew that her death would not be silent.

The End

Comments

Posted by: Andraste (andrastewhite)
Posted at: February 26th, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)

It has taken me far, far too long to reply to this feedback. I apologise for the delay.

I liked it

Thank you *g*. At least it seems I'm the only person who can't stand the story. (Or couldn't last time I read it. I admit that I have not touched it since posting.)

I found the mixture of present and past disconcerting though. I assume there's a pattern behind it but I couldn't see it.

No, I fear that was just appalling proof-reading on my part. I have a problem picking up where I've shifted tense under ordinary circumstances, and when I'm this keen to get rid of a story ... I do plan to fix it up before I finally post it on my web page.

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