The Past is An Open BookBy Sally M
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Servalan wants to sleep with Blake. |
They've been arguing for hours, it seems. All of them. I doubt anyone even knows what it all started over, except that they want to change things, and they aren't allowed to. Servalan wants to sleep with Blake, and Tarrant - well, one of the Tarrants, I'm getting confused as to which is which, it's because they're all brothers, peas in a pod - where was I? Oh yes, Tarrant wants to be the one to shoot Blake. In the back.
"No one's going to believe that Avon did it," I was informed. "So what if some people say that's what really happened? If no one believes it what difference does it make?"
I should have known, really - history re-enactments are always more trouble than they're worth. But could I resist? The story of Blake and the Liberator? And by the Gauda Prime West Society for Creative History?
Of course I couldn't.
<Elsa, I've told you before. If you want to play an Auron you have to wear the correct corsets.>
<Of course Aurons wore corsets, Elsa, how else could they have looked that thin in pictures? Nothing human could be as thin as Cally.>
And the script was pretty good, I thought. They'd tried to research it thoroughly -
<Yes, yes, I know, she wasn't human, she was alien. But you aren't - no I am not saying you're fat!>
- well, at least as thoroughly as they could, given what little information - and time - we have. But then that's the problem, isn't it? So few facts and so many stories. Personally, I have my doubts about the story about the rescue of Jenna Stannis from the Amagons, but the Professor says it's likely enough - and it is romantic.
<Look, Mara, I can't help what your grandfather remembers. The Liberator was not at the battle of Lindor.>
And if we don't put it in, people will complain. It would be like leaving out Lord Restal and the Virgin Meegat, wouldn't it?
And it is in The Life-Book. If it's in The Life-Book, it has to more accurate than the others.
<Why couldn't the Liberator be at the battle of Lindor? Because the Battle of Lindor happened ten years after Blake died, that's why! Just because you want to play Tyce Sarkoff as the heroine of that battle - yes, yes, I know, she was the heroine of that battle, but that battle isn't in this re-enactment.>
I want it to be accurate - well, as accurate as we can get it. I don't see what everyone's problem is -
<No, we can't bring in her speech from that battle and no, I don't think she heard it first from Blake. Yes, it's just the sort of thing he'd say.>
- I would have thought that the Life-Book of one of the original Seven was good enough evidence for anyone.
Oh god, and now Shiena is complaining.
<It's not dull, Shiena.>
<Servalan was not dull just because she didn't seduce the hero. Servalan was Supreme Commander of the brutal Space Command and then President of the evil Federation. Presidents of the Federation were not dull.>
The problem is, I'm afraid, they really were all so damned conventional. Heroes like Blake and Avon, villains like Travis and Servalan... just like the legends. I keep wondering if they were really like that, or if we've got it wrong...
<Max, if you wanted to be one of the heroes, you shouldn't have auditioned for a Tarrant. Yes, I know you liked the limp. I'm still trying to persuade Rico that Oleg Gan didn't have a limp.>
<Avon doesn't have a limp either. Or a laser in his eye. That's Travis. Yes, only one of the Travises, no, we don't know which one, so yes, I agreed to let them all have lasers in their eyes. No one could tell them apart, anyway according to the Life Book.>
- but people like it this way, I guess. They don't like it when we change things and make them different, less heroic, more villainous. They say it's unhistorical, unrealistic. It was a heroic age, and they were heroic people. Not like today -
<Shiena, just because Servalan is a raddled old crone doesn't mean she's dull. Yes, she was a raddled old crone. We know that for a fact, Shiena, one of the few facts we do know. Servalan was Commissioner Sleer's sister, and we've seen pictures of Sleer after the Federation fell.>
<No, she can't have been a daughter of something.>
<Because they looked as close as identical twins. All the sources say so. What other explanation could there be?>
I don't know, why does everyone want to either shoot or seduce Blake? Though personally, I wouldn't mind shooting Pav if he says one more thing about "how come Avon got to kill all the Travises, I don't get to kill anyone?" I've already point out that Roj Blake wouldn't kill people, that was why he's the icon he is. We've no evidence that he killed anyone, have we?
<And Cane, you wanted to play Avon so you have to wear white. That's how the audience will know you're Avon. Just be careful not to get blood on it when you shoot the Travises.>
I don't know. All they need to do is read the Life Book, and it's all there.
So their real lives weren't as exciting as we'd have liked to pretend they were. The villain wasn't in love with the hero, and they didn't save the galaxy - well, not more than once, and I've read it was really one of the Travises anyway, the one Avon didn't shoot - and if the Gauda Prime West Society for Creative History have anything to say about it, they didn't all die on Gauda Prime.
But they were heroes. The Life Book says so.
And if you can't believe in Restal's own Life Book, what can you believe in?
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