Editor Tashery Shannon
Stories from different fandoms with common threads. Lies that can destroy. Hidden truths. Trust. And betrayal.
The Last Lie by Keiko Kirin (WG - S/V). When Sonny put Vinnie in bed with Patrice, he didn't mean literally. Can Vinnie regain Sonny's trust without revealing his most deadly secrets?
Oh God, he shouldn't have told Sonny. This was unbearable--he would've preferred Sonny's wrath over this cold teasing. "Damn it, Sonny," he said, grabbing Sonny's wrist and twisting him around to face him. Sonny remained calm, did not try to break free. Head slightly tilted, eyelids heavy, he let the whisper of a smile cross his lips. "That's right," he invited softly. "Get as close as you want." (Sequel to "A Loyal Man".)
The Treatment by xBryn Lantry (B7 - A/B). Discovering that Blake was gay before the Federation's tampering, Avon resolves to undo the conditioning. But his own suspect motives prove dangerous.
... Avon pondered Blake as he sat down in the facing armchair and opened the brandy on the low table between. Lazily Avon said, "Do you know, Blake, there are times when I could throw you over the furniture and ravish you?"
The Way the Game is Played by Twisted Sister (B7 - A/G). The potential for an unusual pairing, presented believably.
"As soon you can, Avon, find the biggest, strongest man available and let him use you in exchange for protection," Melchior advised his client. Avon's revulsion must have been visible because the Advocate continued, sounding almost sympathetic, "Better to be fucked by one man than being gang-raped..."
Jingle All The Way by Peabody & Emerson (WG - V/F). Frank finds himself in a melodious predicament.
Vinnie stepped closer and elbowed Frank in the ribs. "Uh... he needs to see a doctor."
Twisted Inside Out by Gayle Feyrer (WG - S/V). Amnesia brings Vinnie the freedom to love Sonny without reservation. But can it last?
Death was breathing down his neck, and suddenly nothing mattered but Sonny. Anger, pride, fear - roiling emotions without form - Vinnie thrust them all away. He couldn't remember now why they had been so important. Nothing would stand between them. Nothing. "I love you," he said. "I love you. I never want to leave you." (Continuation of the series by Gayle and Marie Blackpool beginning with "St. Christopher's Lie".)
Tomb by Katharine Scarritt (B7 - A-V). Immediately after Gauda Prime, Avon and Vila are prisoners in the same cell. Not slash, but with lots of character interaction, this play was written in 1987 for performance by Paul Darrow and Michael Keating at a con that never took place.
VILA: About guilt. It's like wine. You bottle it up and 10 years later it's as fresh as ever. And just as intoxicating.
AVON: (snarling) Just what is that supposed to mean?
Shadow of a Shadow by Kenna McGuire (XF/WG - M/R). Mulder's investigations take him to a backwater burg called Lynchboro.
There was someone else sitting at the desk, opposite the sheriff, back to Mulder. Feet, clad in scuffed brown hiking boots, were propped up on the corner of the desk, crossed at the ankles. Bleached blond curls blended with a darker, reddish shade. The rest of the man was enveloped in black jeans and a black shirt. He sprawled casually, like he owned the place, arousing Mulder's curiosity and suspicion.
In Copenhagen Harbour by Vanessa Mullen (B7, A/B). Orac and Zen test whether self-sacrifice to protect the other is a characteristic of male/male relationships. A tragedy of convoluted fate.
"I'm sorry, Blake. There's only one life capsule."
The gun rose slowly to point at him, and Blake stared at it, mesmerised, unable to believe that Avon would do this, to him. Then the shot slammed into his shoulder, pain lancing through his body, as black emptiness flowed into where his heart had once been.
Conversations (Shaving the Barbers) by Michelle Christian (WG - V/F). Vinnie and Frank both need to hear some hard truths.
"I know that, too, Vinnie, and that's the main reason I'm trying to tell you all of this. I'm your friend, first, before I'm your Lifeguard or co-worker or anything, but I'm Frank's friend, too. I can't see him hurt again. He's been through enough."
The Lure by Tashery Shannon (B7/WG - A/S). Terra Nostra boss Sonny Steelgrave has a greed for neutrotopes. Only Avon can help him lay hands on one--but Avon has doubts when Sonny wants to lay hands on him as well. Avon shuddered. "Oh yeah, look at you. Cool Alpha, all arrogance and expertise. I'll bet you're real good at dangerous games."
(There may also be another V/F story)
The Last Lie - Keiko Kirin (Sonny/Vinnie)
I think all sequels should be compelled by law to have a synopsis of the original story. I did find it rather disconcerting to start the zine with a story that was not only in a fandom I didn't know, but a sequel to a story I'd never read!
However, once I got into the story I enjoyed it (although it made much better sense in retrospect after Tashery told me the series background)(and I did misunderstand some parts initially through not knowing the background) Vinnie has been working for Pat-the-Cat as part of a set up for Sonny. Pat forced him into bed, and also divined Vinnie's secret desire for Sonny. Pat keeps making moves on Vinnie and this makes Sonny jealous and suspicious, resulting in an intense sex scene between Vinnie and Sonny.
The Treatment - xBryn Lantry (Avon/Blake)
An old comrade of Blake's tells Avon that Blake is gay. Avon is suspicious, but decides he owes it to Blake to discover the truth if his sexuality has been suppressed by Federation conditioning. This (as is so common in xBryn's work) is a story with shades of half-truths and self-deception. How much is Avon lying to himself about his own desires and intentions?
A good story that well repays re-reading.
The Way the Game is Played - Twisted Sister (Avon/Gan)
Avon knows there are ways of surviving in prison. Find someone strong, give them your sexual favours and get them to protect you. What he forgets is that not everyone shares his own sense of morality. I did like the end to this one, a nice twist. And Gan in this story fits very well with the way I see him.
Jingle all the Way - Peabody and Emerson (Vinnie/Frank)
A short story with a funny punch line.
Twisted Outside In - Gayle Feyrer (Sonny/Vinnie)
Gayle, is probably betterknown to Blake's 7 fans by he pseudonym of Syliva Knight (dont worry, I do have her permission to say that) fans may remember her B/A stories in Resistance.
Probbly my favourite story in the entire zine. Vinnie loses his memory after a head injury and forgets who he is. He is able to love Sonny without hesitation or reservation. The sex scenes are brilliant! Then he gets his memory back again...
Tomb - Katharine Scarritt (Avon-Vila)
A gen play set immediately post Gauda Prime. It's very well done, the characterisation and dialogue feel spot on, but it didn't greatly grab me.
Shadow of a Shadow - Kenna McGuire (Mulder/Roger)
Although this one is well enough done, it didn't work for me. I think that's because I don't particularly like the X-Files and Roger Lococco is a Wiseguy character I know precisely zero about. Two guys whom I have no interest in simply failed to create any spark. Essentially, they get it together while Mulder is investigating a murder.
Tease - Gayle Feyrer (Vinnie/Frank)
This is good, but didn't work as well for me as the Sonnie/Vinnie story earlier in the zine. If piercing turns you on, then you may go for this one. This is essentially a sex scene set around Frank's nipple ring while Vinnie contemplates getting one himself. Very hot sex (I suspect I'd enjoy it more if I had some mental identification with Frank)
In Copenhagen Harbour - Vanessa Mullen (Avon/Blake)
This one is my 'revenge on Walt Disney' story. It was written some time after my kids went to see The Little Mermaid and I realised what Disney had done to ruin Hans Christian Andersen's original story. It simply asks the question, 'what price are we prepared to pay for someone we love?'.
(I like the picture of Avon by Kay Teel)
Conversations (Shaving the Barbers) - Michelle Christian (Vinnie/Frank) Frank's in hospital. He and Vinnie discuss their feels for one another with third parties which brings them to realise what they want. Nothing special.
The Lure - Tashery Shannon (Avon/Sonny)
Sonny has been promoted to a Terra Nosta boss. He's got problems. He's in love with Vinnie who sold him out. Avon's in shock from Anna's recent betrayal. Avon gets a message from a resistance group which may be a possible lead to Blake. Should he follow up on it?
I liked this one. Both men have similar gaps in their lives. They've lost both trust and love. Avon still wants Blake, Sonny still wants Vinnie. They can't solve their problems together, but they can forget them for a little while. Exciting sex (although I wasn't so keen on the dream sequence where Avon visualises Sonny as panther).
Overall, this is a pretty good zine. The Blake's 7 stories seem to be heavier on plot and characterisation and the Wiseguy stories have some wonderfully explicit sex scenes. There is no art apart from one portrait of Avon.
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