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the doll's house (part 1)

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Joined: 31 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:41 pm    Post subject: the doll's house (part 1) Reply with quote

aka Pickle's first fan fic. Comments appreciated.


Shadows cascaded dimly around the blocks of the Federation's Clearance 1 Correction Facility on the Penal Base Jarvon. Servalan clasped a glass in one hand and traced a finger of the other along the wide perspex window which looked onto the facility's main observation room. Though the room onto which she looked was brilliantly lit, she could not quite bring herself to look away from the thin man inside, who sat, bound by his hands and his feet, to a chair on the centre of the floor.

Footsteps to her left.... she looked up to observe an officer approaching from the shaded, almost silent corridor . Here was glory.... The sinister black garb was immaculate. More surprising yet was his demeanour. Gone was the halting uncertainty, which had always seemed to denote his radical deference. Gone was the anxiety in the eyes, replaced with a grandeur which bordered arrogance. As she swerved slowly round to greet him, she could not hide the trace of pleasure she felt at the sight of him, or the large file he carried under his right arm.

He stopped four feet away from her and bowed.
"Supreme Commander."
She paused for a second, and then allowed her smile to slowly broaden, her fascination growing.
"'Remus'. Why so diligent? A little moonlighting"?
The Officer allowed himself to smile with her - just a little. The question seemed so audacious in context.
"As you will no doubt be aware, Supreme Commander, I have a little interview to perform".
"You were very good, Space Commander. Deception on this scale makes me suspect we might be kindred spirits."
"You did... leave me for dead at one time. At least once".
Servalan laughed. "That's the price of efficacy in our organisation. Had you been more obvious, I might have let you go. Consider my actions a compliment."
The Officer cleared his throat and stared squarely at her profile. "If all your compliments are of this form, I shall have to be wary of accepting them from now on."

Silence settled between them for the first time. Servalan stepped up to the observational window and peered through it more intently.
"How long has the subject been without sleep"?
"Three days, ma'am."
"And still so sweetly stubborn. I always did find him rather beautiful when he was trying to be stoic."
"He's very, very good. He seems inscrutable at first blush. Only the thetometer gives him away."
"The which"?
"The thetometer. It's a very advanced biofeedback reader that informs us as to the subject's brainwave frequency, pulse rate and finger temperature."
"I see. And in this case it tells us that..."?
The Officer smiled thinly and looked directly for the first time through the window at the man slumped in the chair.
"It tells us that the subject is not a happy pup."

On the wall directly opposite the prisoner's chair, a giant screen portrayed a series of strange images on repeated loop. A big, strong, troubled man was gunned down at point blank range, by an ostensibly panic-stricken enemy. Three other civilians were then surrounded by men dressed like the Officer himself. They were dispatched with similar economy.
Remus glanced furtively at the beautiful woman to his right. Maybe one day...
"It was quite a fireworks display, ma'am. For a man with no heart, the subject seems to find the demise of the Dear Leader particularly upsetting."
Servalan halted, for the first time disquieted by the officer's tone of clockwork nonchalance. She turned to look at him squarely, and gave him a penetrating stare.
"Did you find the demise of these people particularly upsetting"?
He met her gaze with perfect symmetry, unperturbed by the alien moral undertone.
"No. They were... boring me."
He paused again, quite at ease with the trace of aversion which now seemed evident in her expression.
"Remus, I'm beginning to think that the Desensitization Programmes through which you were put as a child worked rather too well."
He laughed heartily for the first time. The fear of perfection was always misplaced.
"That's the perennial challenge of humanity. When you purify a person in one area of their life, you almost always risk making them worse in another." He smiled almost protectively at her, and when she continued to look at him with distrust, he leaned toward her conspiratorially.
"I've had my head adjusted by some of the best in the business, but it just won't seem to stay adjusted".

(to be continued)

Last edited by pickle on Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed that

Quick proof reading thing - is a word missing from this sentence?
"The Officer cleared his throat and squarely at her profile. "
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Futs. Duly corrected. Just out of interest and without saying the name, I'm assuming the identity of the officer is already obvious to you?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

er... ?

Well I know who that last line is a quote from... but the rest of the officer's behaviour isn't like that character.... so if it is him, what's happened to him?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're thinking of who I think you're thinking of, I didn't say it *was* him.

I'm starting to feel dizzy.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah right... er... well then in that case... gibber ... it isn't obvious who the officer is... No Smiley
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No,I don't think it's obvious either.I have managed to narrow it down to two suspects,three,if Blake is still alive.
"Women, food, and inflicting pain -- in no particular order."
- The Fifth Legion
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed the story very much and look forward to reading Part 2.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


The two stared at one another for a moment more. Servalan cleared her throat.
"I think you had better return to work, Commander."
He smirked at the hint. "Right away". Just one more look at those perfect green eyes... He turned with a flourish to an Intercom switch on the wall to his right.
"Sound control"?
"Yes, Commander"?
"Kill the white noise. I'm going in."

The Officer's footsteps echoed as he entered the interrogation chamber. He looked at the prisoner. The eyes, the officer thought, betrayed just a touch of umbrage and incomprehension, before regaining their steel mask.
"Prisoner 3501," began the Officer, somewhat ostentatiously. "My apologies for keeping you waiting for so long. As you can appreciate, your file is rather cumbersome to carry." So saying, the Officer held up the vast batch of papers in his right hand, and began to smile. "You have been most extraordinarily busy. At times, it's felt exhausting just watching you."
The prisoner remained impassive. The Officer crossed in front of him, and pulled up a rusted chair on the far side of the room, so that he was within two feet of the Ward of State. He slammed the file down on his lap with one hand, and withdrew a cigarette from his breatpocket with the other. Legs outstretched, he lighted the cigarette and inhaled slowly, the very picture of faux geniality.

Opening the batch of papers, he looked once more, and once more unsuccessfully, for some trace of emotion in the captive's face.
"Now. Where to begin. Well, if we're to confine our discussion to those crimes punishable by death, just about anywhere..." The Officer glanced at the sharp lines of the prisoner's profile, for some hint of concern. Nothing.
"Let's see. Subject stands accused on 11th November, 3245, of murder in the First Degree of three Federation Officers, in the course of their duty, aboard the Space Vessel commonly known as The Liberator. Subject stands accused on 13th April, 3247, of murder in the First Degree of two private security officials, on the planet Crandor. Subject stands accused that on 7th September of the same year..."

The Officer's voice trailed and slowed, his eyes fixed on the needles of the thetometer's display screens, which now lulled and moved gently to their left. He had thought himself above surprise, but now... The mother's son was experiencing a decrease in heart rate. He was finding this sordid account of high crime and misdemeanour relaxing.
"Do tell me if I'm boring you," the officer snapped, somewhat archly. "Perhaps we can find something a little more entertaining for you." So saying, he flipped toward a page closer to the middle of the book. In fact the page was blank, but the officer had rehearsed this part of the interview many times before in his mind. "Subject stands accused on 18th December 3248 of murder in the First Degree of Federation Special Agent Sula..."
The thetometer's needles jolted slightly. The curvy lines denoting heartbeat began to swirl and quicken in frequency.
The officer took a hasty drag of his cigarette and exhaled with indulgence.
"The agent also operated under the codename 'Bartolomew'..."
The subject's temperature increased further as the smoke gathered and rose toward the ceiling.
"... She was also in the habit of gadding about as 'Anna Grant'..."
The subject grasped the arms of his chair with his fists, the whites of his knuckles now beginning to show. The thetometer's needles had pushed far to the right of their displays, lingering precipitously over a section of the scales coloured in red. One more push...
"Of course, I say 'Anna Grant'... 'Anna Grant' was really just a phoney name. Sula employed it whenever she was handed another lovesick little pup to run - "
The subject's face was suddenly very much alive. Fire took his eyes, beads of sweat dripped down his cheeks and onto his lips, which parted to reveal teeth gritted into a snarl. His gasps of breath dispersed the cloud of smoke which now filled the room.

Remus permitted himself a smile and slapped the file shut.
"To kill one of your best friends was unwise," he said, rising with a flourish and walking lavishly over to the nightmare on the screen . "When you killed two of them, it began to look like carelessness."
The officer glanced over his shoulder at the captive, and their eyes met for the first time. The prisoner narrowed his eyes and stared at him, with an unsettling gaze that betrayed a queer mixture of contempt and admiration. They stayed like that for some seconds, before a thin smile tapered over the captive's face. Then he slowly lowered his head.
Servalan was watching. Servalan rewarded success....

"Oh come now, Avon. This is no time for modesty. It's not like you just bumped off the man at the top of the Federation's Most Wanted List, so that you could claim the Godspot for yourself. With one pull of a trigger, you also became hated by every resistor, in every place, on every planet. You must be very proud."

The Officer smirked as the man on the screen died for the hundredth time.
"He was a good-looking chap, Blake, wasn't he? And he was trying to help you." The Officer turned back to the Captive and paused, to ensure his next words fell as burns on frozen skin. "Which is more than you can say for me."
He crossed back to the centre of the room, where the subject was once more slumped in his chair, and knelt down, so that his lips were right by the prisoner's ear.
"That was a superb trap you hatched, when you planned for the Liberator to explode. A shame for you that the mice you trapped differed from those you had intended. But there will be plenty of time for you and I to discuss that from now on. Plenty of time."

Remus felt his heart sink as he paused to survey the effect of his words. The subject had passed out. A cursory feel of his pulse revealed that he was still alive, but the Officer felt cheated by this anti-climax. He had trained himself to expect uncertainty as the sole constant in the life of a covert operative, but was unable to shake his feelings of deflation. He had anticipated this moment for years. The least the intended audience could have done was to stay awake until the end of the performance.

Gathering up the file, he banged on an intercom link on the wall near the door.
"Central Control"?
"Central Control, this is Commmander Tarrant. Get a man down to Interview Room 1 immediately."
"Yes sir."

One minute later the pipsqueak arrived.
"Reporting for duty, Sir."
"Freeman, the man in the chair is a Category 9 Offender. He is highly dangerous. Transport him to the Medical Unit, taking all appropriate security measures. He is to be kept alive, for the moment."
"Yes sir"!
Freeman marched forward, but halted as he recognised the prisoner's face. It felt weird to be in the presence of high criminality and A-list celebrity at the same time.
"He should think himself lucky to receive any medical treatment from the Federation, after all the things he's done"!
Remus groaned, his hand against the exit door. What sort of pathetic attempt to curry favour was this? It was an act he had spent years of his life perfecting - a role he had only just been able to relinquish. The only fun to be had with these jobsworths was in raining on their parade.
"No, I don't think so," he said, turning back to survey Freeman briefly. "As an old friend of mine would have said, his luck ran out when he didn't die." Remus moved to open the door, fighting to suppress his own smile as that of the pipsqueak's fell.

Freeman's voice faltered.
"It's... it's really nothing sir. I just.... This guy was a computer genius. He could have gone anywhere. What made someone like that throw it all away and end up here"?
Freeman regretted the words even before he finished the sentence. And yet, something in his sentiment appeared to placate the Superior, whose eyes and mouth now softened.
"Yes, it's very sad, isn't it"? The Commander began to chuckle gently. "There are more things in heaven and earth than we can know about. Maybe he just made friends with the wrong people."

With that, the Commander swept out of the room, slamming the door behind him. Freeman looked over to the far wall, where a strange and terrible scene was playing over and over on repeated loop. He paused, full of unease, as white noise begain to filter through the airwaves once more.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The phrase "gadding about" struck me a as a bit out of place somehow, but otherwise I thought that was good

I still don't get who the officer is tho... Dev Tarrant or Del Tarrant? And why's he referred to as Remus, but calls himself Tarrant on the intercom...?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get them mixed up.... the overbearing one with curly hair.
"Remus" is his undercover code name. He refers to himself with his actual name on the intercom, because only he and teh naughty lady know what he's a spy.
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Little Rascal

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx Pickle! I enjoyed that. " Radiant, simply Radiant, as you English like to say!" ( re; The Fast Show)
I think can Identify with the Prisoner (Avon) . I too, fell-in with a BAD-LOT when I was very young.
I look forward to reading some more if you'd like to post them !
By the by,,
One of My Nick-names at School was "Pickle". As in," I don't want a pickle, juss wanna ride my motor- sickle."
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