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The Final Act?

 
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Janov Seldon



Joined: 16 May 2004
Posts: 1687
Location: There - but I like it here

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 12:03 pm    Post subject: The Final Act? Reply with quote

I knocked this together a few weeks back and it's an epilogue for my PGP that's been a decade in the making and far from half started. It could do with a little work here and there and possibly expanding a little, but overall, I'm quite pleased with it.

Still not happy with the title though, although it was originally "Death of a Titan" which gives far too much away.




Epilogue 1: The Final Act?

She awoke, her eyes opening slowly to see the last rays of the setting sun hit the wall opposite the pile of grimy rags on which she lay.

She coughed, trying to clear the lump in her throat as she reached for a grimy mug full of a green liquid nearby with a hand that shook violently. She took a long drink from it, the sensation of the alcohol burning her throat. Slowly, the shaking stopped.

Another night, she thought. Another night of having to sell herself to pay for another fix, feeding the addiction and banishing the withdrawal pains that were now starting to set in. Her joints ached, she felt sick and nauseous.

But in her mind, she felt even worse, knowing what she would have to do to pay for that fix. She was getting increasingly desperate, knowing her looks had faded, her Shadow addiction and the life she was leading taking an increasing toll on her once beautiful figure.

Early on, it had been simple. Straight sex was easy enough for someone who had used it to bribe her way further up the command structure within the Federation military. But as her looks had faded and the addiction grew stronger she had had to resort to doing things that made her flesh crawl, with men and women that in earlier days she would have had executed for merely breathing. Some days she could barely walk or sit down. She felt used and abused, the dregs of humanity using her body for their vile pleasures.

She cursed Avon and Seldon for what they had done to her, how they had punished her for what she had done.

“A quick death is more than you deserve, Servalan.” Avon had said. “It would be a mercy and none of us are feeling very merciful where you are concerned.”

They had shot her, a medical gun loaded with five shots of pure Shadow. Within seconds she was hooked, a minute later, the addiction was permanent and no antidote was known.

They had abandoned her on this backwater planet on the edge of Federation territory, with little control and even less security.

She had seen the wanted posters bearing her image, faded and torn, covered with graffiti, and she had hidden, fearful of what would happen to her. Away from the crowded main streets and into the filthy hovels where even the Delta grades were afraid to venture.

It was only now that she regretted that decision. Better a quick death at the hands of a firing squad than this hateful existence.

She coughed again, one of the withdrawal symptoms. They grew worse now as her body grew tolerant of the drugs. She had to get a fix and soon. She shuddered at the thought of what she would have to do tonight and who or rather what she would have to do it with.

But it wasn’t just the pain of withdrawal. She had discovered in the early days that alcohol could ease the pain but at a price. She became addicted to that also, an alcoholic junkie. It gave her the shakes but the hallucinations that even worse. They frightened her even more than the Shadow withdrawal symptoms.

There were days when they left her alone, others when they would attack her constantly. She saw Avon most of the time, standing over her with a mocking look in his eyes, a cruel half smile on his lips. Other times it would be Seldon, who merely glared, eyes blazing with hatred. And then there were others, such as the nameless troopers who had violated her in the cellars of Residence One. Nothing could blot it all out. Nothing could ease the pain of her existence.

And then she decided that she would take control. She would hand herself in at the nearest security office. If she was indeed a wanted criminal, then the firing squads could end what passed for her miserable life.

“Space Command look after their own!” was the motto once drummed into her, one that she had increasingly ignored in her quest for power. Perhaps they would look after her, give her back a little dignity before trying her and then putting her out of her misery.

She dragged herself off what passed for a bed and again her hands shook. Again, she reached for the mug of green liquid and drained it. The shaking stopped.

Painfully, she dressed herself and looked around what was her home, giving it a final glance then left the grimy room.



The streets outside were strewn with rubbish and she could hear the squeaking of rats. She shuddered at the thought of them before realising that they were no worse than the two legged rats who used her day and night.

Above, the clouds had parted, revealing a few stars in the sky. She glanced up and cursed them for abandoning her. All she heard in reply was a moan from the wind.


"You're Servalan?" The Desk Sergeant snorted. "No, love, you're just another dreamhead wanting a bed for the night."

"I am Servalan, formerly the president of the Terran Federation. Wanted for war crimes on most of the civilised worlds." She tried to put as much dignity into her voice as possible, trying to recover some of the power she could once project. But it was to no avail.

The Desk Sergeant laughed. He pulled a small mirror from the desk. "Take a long look. Does she look like Servalan to you?"

She had to confess that the face staring back at her from the mirror did not. The beautiful tawny eyes were bloodshot, her short dark streaked with grey and dirty, matted and greasy. Her face was deeply lined, aged beyond her years. The skin now yellowish, ingrained with dirt and grease. Her clothes, once elegant and the height of fashion were torn and soiled, resembling rags barely held together.

"Well, Madam President?" The Desk Sergeant laughed again. "Just f*** off out of here before the lads give you a kicking and throw you out with the rest of the rubbish."

Suddenly the shutters were slammed in her face.

She stood before them for a few minutes trying to collect her thoughts. She suppressed an urge to cough but it overwhelmed her and she collapsed in a paroxysm of coughing. She held a hand to her mouth, wiping away the saliva. It looked oddly pink in colour and she looked closer, seeing it flecked with blood.

She drew herself to her feet and slowly shambled out of the security office and into the rubbish strewn street outside.


The air was cold as night was falling. She pulled the rags closer around herself, trying to keep warm as she slowly made her way back towards the grimy hovel that she lived in.

She suddenly felt breathless, a lump in her throat and she couldn't breathe. She tried coughing, only for a huge gobbet of bloody froth to stream out of her mouth and she sucked it back in when she tried to breathe. She felt cold and started shivering. There was a blinding pain in her chest and she fell to her knees, stars before her eyes. She blinked to try and keep them clear but the pain in her chest was increasing. She started shaking with fear as she realised she was dying.

Her eyes watered, but not with tears. Blood started streaming down her face from her eyes, ears and her nose. It fell to the ground in increasing quantities. There was a further pain in her chest, her arms gave way and she fell into the pool of blood on the ground.

She shook again as muscle convulsions swept through her body. She tried to breathe but could only cough up increasing amounts of bloody froth. She again felt cold and then there was a wave of excruciating pain which swept through her body at incredible speed. She tried to scream but couldn't. Her blood vessels collapsed and her heart stopped beating. The muscle convulsions stopped.

The world around her grew darker, tinged red with the blood seeping from her eyes. She let out a final sigh and felt increasingly cold. She felt herself falling into darkness. But it wasn't over. Not yet. Fate had something else in store.


To the bystanders and passers by in the rubbish strewn street, the spectacle of the woman collapsing into a pool of blood wasn't an uncommon sight. Just another dreamhead, the consequences of their addiction overtaking them. They passed her by without a second thought. To those that might have known of her, they would have thought her death apt. She died as she had lived - steeped in blood.

She died in the unnamed back street on a backwater planet, barely noticed and even fewer cared.

The retrieval squad who collected the body didn't realise that they were handling Servalan, the former Supreme Commander of the military wing of the Terran Federation. They didn't know that she was once known as the Supreme Empress. Neither did they know that she was also once known as Commissioner Sleer, architect of the Pylene 50 pacification programme. To them, she was just another body. It was tipped into a skip without ceremony and destroyed with the rest of the rubbish. To some who had known her, they would have also considered it apt.




She was falling through darkness. On and on she fell and then she blacked out.

She awoke slowly, a cold breeze sodden with moisture passing over her body. She pulled herself to her feet and peered through the murky, misty gloom around her. Where was she?

She could hear the wind but only felt the slight cold breeze. There was light coming from somewhere and she looked up at dark clouds in the sky above. The clouds were thick, threatening, closing in. She felt afraid, not knowing what was about to happen. And then the whispering started.
Slowly and quietly, imperceptible, almost at the edge of her hearing, she could hear the whispering. Hundreds, thousands of voices and all getting louder, all getting closer. The sound of the wind grew louder and she heard a moaning sound overlaid with cries of her name.

Suddenly there was a crack of thunder and a flash of lightning. The lightning lit up the area around her and she saw the cliff edge. Hurriedly she backed away from it, only for a hand to grasp her shoulder.

She screamed and jumped at the feeling, quickly turning round. There was another clap of thunder, another flash of lightning and then she saw them.
Stretching as far as her eyes could see, a gigantic crowd of people filled the clifftop. Hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of faces, all stretching back into the distance. Some she recognised, most she didn't.

She pulled herself together and, with as much dignity as she could muster, she faced the crowd. It suddenly parted and a young man stepped forward. His short hair as dark as the Federation uniform he was wearing. Suddenly, a dark stain appeared to grow on his face, slowly merging into a cybernetic implant.

"You sent me into Sector 12 but I was just collateral damage. You wanted to dispose of my commanding officer." The figure said angrily, his arm, once human but now a cybernetic replacement, stretched out towards her.
She backed away from him and then lost her footing as she backed over the cliff edge. She felt herself falling into darkness.

Her eyes opened, she felt the moisture of the grass beneath and she slowly pulled herself to her feet. She could hear whispering and then there was a flash of lightning.

The crowd were before her again, moaning, their hands outstretched, all reaching out for her. She backed away in fear again.

A figure stepped out of the crowd, a blond woman in her mid thirties.
"I was murdered with my husband on Gauda Prime, my daughter converted into a mutoid, my other daughter orphaned. The consequences of the planet being designated "Open Planet", a designation your father's mining consortium pushed for. He used the money to get you the power you craved."

Two embryo shaped creatures floated out from the crowd to hover in front of her, the only sounds being those of a baby crying. She shivered, her eyes filling with tears and she tried to reach out to them.

"An officer under your command killed them." A voice she recognised rang out accusingly and Servalan peered into the crowd. "To have them created, you killed most of my people."

She scanned the crowd as suddenly she realised who all these people were. She knew what they wanted from her. She realised why. And she knew what was going to happen. Forever.

She screamed as she again backed away from the crowd reaching out towards her. Again she backed towards the edge of the cliff. Again she felt herself falling, over and over again.

On and on, she fell. On and on, she awoke into the clearing in the crowd on the clifftop. Again and again, another face would step out of the crowd to tell her what had happened to them. Over and over, she would back away, only to fall over the cliff and into the darkness.


They had waited a long time to punish Servalan for her crimes and for their deaths. And they would punish her for the rest of eternity.
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Futsie
!PRINT!


Joined: 21 May 2004
Posts: 10715
Location: The Middle Lands

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I quite like this...!
It's VERY dark...!
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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 7143
Location: Dancing with the Mara

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, that it is good and very dark. It works well as a 'stand alone' story despite being part of a broader work. There's a certain aptness in a President of the Federation being forcibly hooked on shadow. The sexual assault that she has suffered have a parallel with the women dragged off to similar fates before her eyes in Moloch.
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Janov Seldon



Joined: 16 May 2004
Posts: 1687
Location: There - but I like it here

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent! Glad everyone is happy with it.
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Mary Lou Jensen



Joined: 27 Feb 2011
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Location: Bowels of a disused space station with Hudson (shoot me now!)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oo deep, very deep.

A Mirror for her soul.
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