fredbassett: (Default)
[personal profile] fredbassett
Title : Silk and Steel, Part 73
Authors : fredbassett & munchkinofdoom
Fandom : Primeval
Characters : Lester, Becker, Leek, Thomson, Nick, Lyle, Ditzy, Annie
Rating : 18
Disclaimer : Not ours, no money made, don’t sue
Spoilers : None
Summary : Ryan’s execution is due to start at 4pm and Lester isn’t expecting any last minute reprieve.
Warning : Slave!fic.
A/N : This is the last instalment of the current plot arc. There will now be a (hopefully) short hiatus while we write the final series arc. A very big thanks to everyone who has stuck with us through the events of the last six months!

Lester glanced at his watch yet again.

It was 15:38 and the government executioner was likely to be arriving at the ARC any minute. He’d seen Leek briefly, earlier in the afternoon, and he knew that very shortly he’d be escorted to the Punishment Room to witness Ryan’s execution. Leek would be present, as would Captain Thomson. He wasn’t sure who else would actually be present in the room, but he knew that all work in the ARC would come to a standstill while the flogging was broadcast on screens throughout the building.

A cold knot of despair had formed in his stomach and he’d long since stopped expecting any sort of reprieve for Ryan. All he was concentrating on now was getting through the coming ordeal without breaking down publically. He could give in to his emotions afterwards, in the privacy of his own rooms.

The sound of footsteps in the corridor told their own story. Even before whoever it was had a chance to knock, Lester opened the door and found himself staring up at Captain Becker.

The young soldier saluted smartly.

“You’re my escort for the afternoon, are you, Becker?”

Becker nodded and stood aside to allow Lester to precede him down the corridor. The two guards on the door fell into step behind them. People were already gathering in the atrium, standing around in small groups, all pretence of work forgotten. Connor was sitting in front of the ADD, probably hoping for a call out to disrupt the plans for the televised execution. Abby, hovering next to him like an anxious pixie, looked up to the first floor and mustered a small smile for Lester. He noticed that for once she was devoid of her normal heavy eye make-up and looked considerably younger without it.

Lester paused at the top of the ramp. Leek was in the outer office, standing next to Lorraine Wilkes. They both stopped when they saw him and Lester could see that Lorraine had been crying. He turned away, unable to bear the look of pity on her face.

The lights flickered for a moment and then went out. A second later, they came back on again, slightly dimmer this time, which indicated a switch to the back-up generators in the basement. This was the third time they’d had a power outage that day. It looked very much like the contractors still hadn’t finished playing with the electrics. Lester started the long walk down the ramp into the atrium. The lights flickered twice more and then full power was restored. He could see Connor crouched over his various keyboards, fingers flying, checking and re-checking the Anomaly Detector’s systems.

Captain Thomson strode into the atrium, a look of irritation on his normally impassive face. “Temple, what the hell is going on?”

Connor swivelled around on his chair, looking more annoyed than afraid. “It’s those bloody contractors again. They keep switching us to auxiliary power. If they crash my systems we’ll be in a right mess.”

Thomson rolled his eyes. “I’m beginning to agree with Norman on the subject of that bunch of cowboys. We’ll have to hope your systems are sufficiently robust, Mr Temple.” The captain glanced at the wall clock and Lester followed his eyes.

15.47.

Lester drew in a deep breath and kept walking.

The Punishment Room was on the floor below the atrium. He made his way into the corridor and pushed open the door to the stairs. At least the electricians had mustered enough common sense to put ‘Do Not Use’ signs outside the lift doors. As he stepped through the doorway, a muffled shout from below, followed by a sudden gunshot, broke the silence. A second loud report went off almost immediately.

Before Lester had even managed to register what was happening, Thomson pushed past him and took the stairs at a run. Becker put his hand on Lester’s shoulder as if to hold him back, but Lester shook the young captain off and followed Thomson.

People were already crowded into the corridor, coming out of the doors to various offices and laboratories. Lester shouldered his way through them in Thomson’s wake, with Becker at his heels.

“Get back!” Thomson ordered. “Clear this corridor, now!”

No one moved. Thomson grabbed hold of a white-coated technician and pushed him unceremoniously back into one of the rooms, shoving another two people after him and slamming the door behind them.

Lester found himself staring at Nick Cutter across the corridor. The scientist had a look of naked shock in his eyes.

* * * * *


Nick dragged his eyes away from Lester and forced himself to look again at the sight that had met his eyes when he’d hurtled out of his laboratory in response to the noise from the corridor.

On the floor, face down in a pool of spreading blood, was a man wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black, long-sleeved tee-shirt. Two shots had been fired: one had taken the man in the lower back, blowing a fist-sized hole in his spine; the other had hit him between the shoulder blades with much the same effect.

Standing next to the body, a pistol still held in one hand, was Ditzy, the normally mild-mannered medic. His face was a mask of horror. Behind him, a soldier that Nick recognised as one of the other medics was kneeling on the floor, retching, his hands pressed to his chest.

“He elbowed Wilkes and grabbed his gun,” Ditzy said, looking like a man waking up from a nightmare. He met Thomson’s eyes and shook his head slowly, even though no question had been asked. “I yelled at him to stop, sir…”

The Section 42 captain went down on one knee and rolled the body over onto its back. Captain Ryan’s grey eyes stared sightlessly up at the ceiling.

Someone – Nick didn’t know who – was noisily sick and he heard Lester breathe the words, “Oh dear God…”

All the anger and frustration that Nick had felt since arriving in this sick travesty of a world suddenly boiled over. “You fucking shot him!” he yelled, throwing the words like missiles at the stunned medic. “You fucking shot him, you bastard! He was your friend, and you shot him in the back!”

The door into the corridor was pushed open again and Nick saw Lyle come through the doors at a run, Oliver Leek no more than a few paces behind him. The lieutenant’s face held the same look of numb shock as Ditzy’s. He went to his knees next to Ryan’s body and started feeling frantically for a pulse in his neck.

“He’s got two fucking great big holes in him, man, can’t you see he’s dead?” Nick was shaking with reaction now, staring down at the body of a man he’d now seen dead on two separate occasions. Once under the harsh glare of the Permian sun, now under the dimmer lights of a corridor of a government facility that didn’t even exist in the world he’d left behind. “He’s just been killed by someone who was meant to be his friend! What the fuck is it with you people? Have those collars taken away your sense of right and wrong? Doesn’t friendship matter a damn in this fucking world?”

Nick stared around him angrily, daring anyone to disagree with him as his hands balled automatically into fists.

Ditzy just stared at him and shook his head numbly.

Becker reached out and took the pistol from the medic’s nerveless fingers before ejecting the magazine and stowing it in one of the pockets in his equipment vest.

Thomson put his hand on Lyle’s arm. “He’s dead, Jon.” He reached out and gently closed Ryan’s eyes. Nick watched him in amazement. Thomson was the man who’d overseen Ryan’s torture and Lester’s removal from power. He’d flogged Connor and had spent the previous day driving the lad into a state of total distraction. The man was a sadistic bully.

Nick’s fury overflowed again and without thinking he stepped forward and grabbed Thomson’s shoulder. “Leave him alone! You aren’t fit to lick Ryan’s boots!”

Thomson surged to his feet. He topped Nick by nearly three inches in height and was considerably broader, but considerations like that had never stopped Nick when his blood was up. Without even thinking, he pulled his arm back and swung his fist into Thomson’s face. The soldier blocked the blow easily and a moment later, Nick found himself slammed face first against the wall, his right arm rammed painfully up his back. A second later, Thomson was holding his other wrist as well and dragging him around to face Ryan’s broken body.

“Look at him, Cutter,” Thomson hissed in his ear, his anger only barely under control. “Yes, he’s dead. Two 9mm bullets at close range do a lot of damage, but not as much damage as a bull-whip in the hands of an expert. And the man who’s probably driving in through the main gates right now is very good at his job. He enjoys his job as well, so Ryan had about an hour left to live and he was going to spend the vast majority of that time in fucking agony.”

Nick could feel Thomson’s hands shaking slightly with fury, even though his voice was as controlled as ever.

The captain drew breath and continued. “This might have offended your delicate sensibilities, but at least it was quick. Look at him, Cutter. You’re right, he’s dead. That means it’s over for him and it was over quickly. Why the hell do you think Ryan did what he did? He knew what the consequences would be, so don’t you dare blame Owen for this, he did what he had to do, and you should be fucking thankful that he had the guts to do it.”

Thomson gave Nick a hard shove that sent him sprawling. Nick’s foot slipped in the spreading pool of blood and as he hit the floor, Thomson’s words sank in and the fight went out of him as suddenly as it had flared up.

He stared at Thomson’s feet as the man’s words registered fully.

* * * * *

Lester fought for control as Nick launched into his tirade at Thomson.

He hadn’t expected it to end like this. Not with Ryan lying dead at his feet in a corridor, rather than tied to a wall in the Punishment Room, his back a bloody ruin. Thomson was right, it had been quick. In fact the entire thing had almost certainly been wholly staged. He’d always hoped that the soldiers would have found some way of taking care of their own, but he had to admit that he hadn’t expected something like this.

If it had been deliberate, he had to admit that Owen deserved an Oscar for his performance. The medic was still standing there, staring down at the body, a blank look on his face. The one who had certainly had no inkling about what had been intended was Lyle. The lieutenant was still on his knees, head bowed, one of Ryan’s hands held tightly in his hands. His shoulders were shaking and Lester knew that he was crying.

“Clear this corridor.” The order had come from Oliver Leek. “I want this corridor cleared, now! Get back to your offices, all of you.” He stepped up to Lyle’s side and gripped his shoulder firmly. Lester heard him murmur, “I’m sorry, Jon, I’m bloody sorry, but Thomson’s right. Better this way than the other. Don’t fall apart on me now, please.”

With an obvious effort of will, Lyle stood up, heedless of the blood on his hands and on the knees of his black combat trousers. He met Thomson’s eyes and received an approving nod.

“Stand down, Lieutenant,” Thomson said quietly. “Captain Becker will take personal responsibility for Mr Leek’s safety. Your men need you now.” He glanced at Ditzy and said, “There will need to be an enquiry, Owen, but I have no doubt that it will conclude Captain Ryan died whilst attempting to escape. Your decisive action no doubt saved the lives of others. I’ll take a statement from you shortly, but for now, I believe I have an executioner to appease.” He turned and looked enquiringly at Leek.

“Thank you, Captain. I’ll be happy to see the executioner in my office, should it prove necessary.” Leek glanced up at the security camera mounted high on the wall of the corridor and exchanged a meaningful look with Thomson that didn’t escape Lester’s notice.

Thomson saluted smartly and Lester watched as he directed a withering glare at Nick Cutter before muttering to no one in particular, “Get this mess cleared up and make sure that Temple wipes the security tapes. I do believe the havoc being wreaked by the contractors will have created an unfortunate and equally unsurprising series of gaps, here and elsewhere.”

With that, Thomson turned on his heel and marched off up the stairs, leaving everyone still standing in the corridor staring blankly at each other in surprise.

Thomson had gone further than Lester had expected in being willing to cover up what had happened in the corridor, even to the extent of implicating himself in what was obviously going to be a conspiracy of impressive proportions. But at the end of the day, for all his faults, the man was a soldier to the core and he clearly had no liking for the sentence that had been passed on Ryan and he now appeared to feel a degree of responsibility for the dead captain’s men as well.

Nick opened his mouth to speak and was waved into silence by Leek. “Not now, Professor. I think you’ve said enough. Perhaps you’d like to make yourself useful and pass the unfortunate news to your colleagues in the atrium.” He shot Nick a hard stare and added under his breath, “Discreetly, please. As Captain Thomson has just pointed out, Mr Temple has a job to do.”

For once, Nick did as he’d been bidden and, with a last look at Ryan’s body, he followed Thomson up the stairs.

Lester let out a long, slow breath and forced himself to stare down at the body of the man who’d been his lover. A man to whom he’d finally admitted his feelings. Ryan’s face was unmarked and expressionless. His right arm was folded on his chest, where Lyle had placed it, but his other arm was sprawled out on the blood-stained floor. Moving slowly but deliberately, Lester avoided the worst of the blood and made his way around to Ryan’s side.

He heard footsteps approaching down the corridor and glanced up to see Annie Morris coming towards him, tears on her cheeks, with the green-eyed soldier who’d become her shadow holding her hand tightly. His face was set in a murderous expression and Lester hoped Lyle really would be able to contain his own and his men’s reactions.

“James…” Annie held her free hand out to him, her expression beseeching.

Lester shook his head sharply. He was barely in control of his own emotions and had no resources left to handle anyone else’s pain. Avoiding Annie’s eyes, he went down on one knee next to Ryan and gently lifted his slightly curled hand from the white floor tiles, cradling it in his hands, stroking the long fingers that he’d come to know so well. Fingers that had explored every part of Lester’s body, fingers that had brought Lester more pleasure than he’d ever known from another human being.

The sleeve of Ryan’s tee-shirt slipped back by a few inches and Lester stared down at the smooth, unmarked skin on the inside of the dead man’s wrist. Skin that had previously borne the angry red scar that Ryan had deliberately inflicted on himself using the tines of a fork bent to resemble Lester’s initials.

A shiver ran through Lester’s body as his eyes widened in shock. He ran his thumb tentatively over already cool flesh. The hand rested limply in his. For the second time in only a few minutes, Lester fought a desperate battle for control as his thoughts and emotions whirled around with the dizzying speed of a fairground ride.

“I’m sorry, sir.” The words were quietly spoken but still jolted Lester abruptly from his reverie.

Lester ran his fingertips again over the pale wrist, then placed the hand carefully on the man’s chest before standing up and meeting Ditzy’s eyes. “You did what you had to, Lieutenant,” he said quietly. “And for that, I’m in your debt. As Captain Thomson said, better this way than an executioner’s whip.”

And with that, steadfastly not making eye contact with anyone, Lester made his way up the stairs and through the atrium, with Captain Becker at his heels like a dark shadow.

Lester had no idea what had been done, or how, but he did know that he wanted to be safely inside the privacy of his own rooms before he allowed himself the luxury of finally giving in to his emotions.
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Date: 2010-12-15 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] canadian-jay.livejournal.com
*faintly, wobbling a little* I don't think I know any words that would suffice, and I'm still to traumatized to risk jumping around in possibly pre-emptive celebration. But, uhm, that hiatus had better be short! *toddles off to fetch smelling salts*

Date: 2010-12-15 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
LOL, you would have been even more traumatised if My Evil Twin and I hadn't modified our original intentions to save everyone's delicate sensibilities. *g*

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Date: 2010-12-15 07:34 pm (UTC)
fififolle: (Primeval - Lester B&W)
From: [personal profile] fififolle
Oh thank god he knows. Even if he doesn't know. *flail*
Oh Ditzy! *hugs him* He did well *g*

Does Jon know? Oh god. Only Blade and Ditzy know. *wibble*

Amazing stuff. I hope it will all turn out okay...

Date: 2010-12-15 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
I think it's fair to say that Jon isn't a happy bunny at the moment.

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Date: 2010-12-15 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lydia-petze.livejournal.com
Oh my god.

/thud

You're not going to make us wait TOO long for a reunion scene, are you? ;-)

Date: 2010-12-15 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
You'll just have to wait and see!

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Date: 2010-12-15 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ebonyfeather.livejournal.com
Oh boy! Fantastic chapter.

Hope the haitus isn't too long...

Date: 2010-12-15 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
It'll be a couple of months, or thereabouts.

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Date: 2010-12-15 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mulder200.livejournal.com
Wow! I wasn't expecting that!

And I love that twist at the end. So, where is Ryan?

Date: 2010-12-15 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Glad we managed to surprise you!

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Date: 2010-12-15 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bigtitch.livejournal.com
*flails*
that's a brilliant end to a brilliant plot sequence.
Now hurry up and get rest of it written!
* sharpens pitchfork*

Date: 2010-12-15 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
LOL, give us a break! You lot are hard taskmasters.

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Date: 2010-12-15 07:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaynedoll.livejournal.com
Well, I wasn't expecting that but it worked brilliantly. And yes, where is the real Ryan?

I'll be looking forward to the next bit of the story this has been a great series.

Date: 2010-12-15 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
We've had great fun writing it. This universe is such a fun playground.

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Date: 2010-12-15 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kerry-louise.livejournal.com
*swallows lump in throat*

Lester knows it's not Ryan and I suppose that's the important thing, but what about real Ryan... and how are they going to explain... and Miller and Helen are... and... and...

*has too many ands to formulate them all into coherancy*

Date: 2010-12-15 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*pets poor incoherent Kerry*

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Date: 2010-12-15 09:05 pm (UTC)
ext_27141: (Lester Phone)
From: [identity profile] telperion-15.livejournal.com
That was extremely powerful stuff, and Lester's right, Ditzy does deserve an Oscar!

And I just knew Lester was going to discover that there was no brand - but does he know what to make of that fact yet?

And of course Cutter had to go off on one - no matter how many times people in this world have told him to keep it under control, he just can't help himself, can he? *despairs*

Here's hoping that hiatus isn't too long!

Date: 2010-12-15 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Oh yes, there was no way Nick was going to keep his mouth closed in those circumstances.

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Date: 2010-12-15 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deinonychus-1.livejournal.com
Yes! I knew they were going to pull a switch with the Ryan clone, the only question was how and when they were going to manage it.

Yey for Thomson and Ditzy (never thought I'd say *that*!).

And Nick, oh, Nick, have you not learned about punching trained special forces captains yet? Although I can totally see him reacting like that.

Date: 2010-12-16 12:45 am (UTC)
ext_1004: (primeval 2)
From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com
Thomson has been a lot of fun to play with, here. He might be Section 42 and a bastard, but he understands the bonds between soldiers and could only hope that his men might do the same for him if it ever came down to it (putting him down quickly rather than letting him suffer, not switching him with his clone *veg*), even if he knows that he doesn't have the loyalty that Ryan's men have for Ryan.

Yeah, Nick's reaction was almost unavoidable. But he really needs to learn not to pick on people with combat experience. *g*

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Date: 2010-12-15 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sky-blue2.livejournal.com
WOW That is so not how I pictured this chapter going but well done cause this worked so much better. Loved it.

I imagined it would be clone Ryan being brought in when the original Ryan was about to be executed and everyone gasping. Can't wait to see where this goes now that Ryan is essentially a free man although that might not be a good thing.

Excellent work :o)

Date: 2010-12-16 12:47 am (UTC)
ext_1004: (primeval 2)
From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com
Good question - what does Ryan do now? He's a dead man. *veg*

We were never going to actually kill Ryan, of course *g* but this is a dangerous universe and we wanted to burn some bridges.

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Date: 2010-12-15 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] knitekat.livejournal.com
*thud* That's a lot of tension as the minutes tick down. I knew they'd do something with the clone... but that was a shock. At least Lester knows it isn't his Ryan - great idea with the branding.
I do hope your break isn't too long, I want to know how this gets resolved - and how long poor Lester has to wait for his Ryan (and pretend the man is dead).
Even Thomson can get a pat on the back for covering the events up. And Ditzy should get an Oscar for his acting abilities. And Nick doesn't learn, don't go thumping SF captains unless you want to be hit back. Poor Lyle and everyone else who doesn't know - including Lester whose got to be confused. *purrs loudly and twines around legs*

Date: 2010-12-16 12:51 am (UTC)
ext_1004: (primeval 2)
From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com
This has been fun, so far, taking canon and giving it that little twist. We saw clone!Nick in canon and clone!Ryan was just perfect for here. He really had been in two places at once all along. *g*

We're already plotting the last bit, and will probably start writing it after Christmas. But we like to have at least half a dozen parts up our sleeves before we start posting, so give us a couple of months. We won't do another 1 year hiatus, promise!

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Date: 2010-12-16 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jooles34.livejournal.com
*hugs Lester and stages cupboard based sit-in until the continuation*

Date: 2010-12-16 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
You might be there for a little while, but we'll bring you chocolate.

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Date: 2010-12-16 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tay-21.livejournal.com
I KNEW IT! Although, I thought it was going to be more of a they find him in his cell dead kinda thing. This was much more dramatic, and it spares Ditzy being blamed for slipping Ryan something to off himself. Great job. Can't wait to see how you finally wrap everything up. :-)

*grumbles a bit* Even if we now have to wait a few months. *grumble grumble grumble*

Also, YAY! for james figuring things out and being observant. :-D At least, I think that's what happened. Hehehehehe

Date: 2010-12-16 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Well, he's not likely to have forgotten the branding quite that quickly. *g*

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Date: 2010-12-16 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] auntypam.livejournal.com
*Heavy sigh* What a relief I thought that was where it was going, but with you two I never know for sure*G*
Big sloppy kisses for Blade,Ditzy and of course Norman.
Hugs Jon poor baby being kept in the dark but it had to be, you just can't fake that kind of sorrow :( And hugs for Lester too Yah!!!! No Dead Ryan.

And as always I bow to the great ones (that would be you two) I will really miss this even if its only for two months. This series makes my week. Guess I'll just have reread so I'll be nice and ready for next part.

Date: 2010-12-16 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
LOL, we kept telling you all to trust us!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-12-16 09:05 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-12-16 08:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lukadreaming.livejournal.com
OMFG!

*Yibbles incoherently*

That was fucking amazing and I'm lost for words, except to say that the hiatus had better be bloody short!

Date: 2010-12-16 09:07 am (UTC)
ext_1004: (primeval 2)
From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com
Well, we promise we won't leave you all hanging for a year again. *solemn nod*

That Ryan clone turning up in the ARC is going to have consequences... *veg*

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-12-16 09:50 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-12-16 09:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reggietate.livejournal.com
Now that's what I call a cliffhanger! I was wondering, even with the revelations of last week, how you were going to manage Ryan's rescue! Well done!

Nick going off on one was unfortunate, but probably not unexpected - he's still the innocent abroad here, and the only one who really sees the System for just the abhorrence it is. He's never going to accept it. But trying to poke Thomson wasn't the smartest thing he could have done ;-)

I had thought there might be clones involved some time back, it's nice to be proved right :-)

Roll on next year!

Date: 2010-12-16 09:11 am (UTC)
ext_1004: (primeval 2)
From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com
Yep, we've had the thought of Helen having more than just Miller clones in her arsenal for ages, which is why no-one had been able to discredit the footage and testimony of Ryan being near the ADD that night.

We never intended to actually kill Ryan, but we are burning bridges left, right and centre. *veg*

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From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-12-16 09:51 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-12-17 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] comnena39.livejournal.com
Oh dear goodness, and we have to wait to see where this is going to go? And find out who knows what? and what the hell is going on?!?

Date: 2010-12-17 03:53 am (UTC)
ext_1004: (primeval 2)
From: [identity profile] munchkinofdoom.livejournal.com
You're still with us! Yay! It got pretty hairy there, for a while, so I wasn't sure you'd managed to keep reading. *hugs*

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From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-12-19 08:51 am (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2011-01-06 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talliw.livejournal.com
Yay! Ryan is free. Trouble only is that he will have to hide from now on.
That was a splendid idea.

Date: 2011-01-06 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Thanks :) We're glad we managed to pull the idea off.

Date: 2011-04-06 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lsellersfic.livejournal.com
But, but, but, but, but...

(you'll notice I've caught up)

BUT

How will they prove Ryan's innocence now they've tampered with the evidence!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

I suspect Ditzy and Blade of not bringing quite the steely ruthless deviousness to bear on the situation that was required.

I'll generously give Ditzy a B+ for acting effort though.

I love the way in this sequence you've shown all the different ways people are both exploiting but also trapped within the system (e.g. Thomson). Only Helen and Miller seem to be able to exploit the system to get what they want without much fear of come back.

I also liked Norman's transformation from comedy turn to someone with the ability to rapidly exploit an opportunity.

Incidentally, while I appreciate Connor's efforts. He clear needs to hit Nick with the cluebat a few more times. The man is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

Date: 2011-04-06 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*g* That must have been a bit of a marathon!

They had no chance of proving Ryan's innocence for the simple reason that the PM wanted a scapegoat and Ryan was convenient. Guilt or innocence was largely irrelevant.

Blade and Ditzy do have a plan! And they think it's a cunning one...

Norman, as ever, pretty much wrote himself.

Nick is definitely a fish out of water.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] lsellersfic.livejournal.com - Date: 2011-04-06 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2011-06-21 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] x-bellaitalia-x.livejournal.com
THE BRAND! OR RATHER, THE LACK OF A BRAND! Eeeee!

This must mean Ryan is still alive somewhere in the ARC...which means my faith in you two is completely restored *beams*

This was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I'm really quite gutted that I can't read the next part! I'm not used to not bein able to know what happens after the cliffhangers.

So overall, this is a brilliant series - I've massively enjoyed reading it and it's definitely one of my favourite stories in the fandom. Can't wait to see how it all ends! No, really. *bg*

Date: 2011-06-21 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*hugs*

I'm really sorry you can't romp right to the end, but RL got badly in the way for both of us and we ended up with a much longer hiatus than we'd planned, but I have been working on the series tonight and all your lovely comments have been a huge motivational factor!

It's absolutely fabulous when someone takes the time to comment on every single part the way you've done and we both really, really appreciate it!

I'm so pleased you've enjoyed it :) *hugs again*

Date: 2011-10-10 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkhorse-99.livejournal.com
I just read all of Silk and Steel in one go and MY BRAIN EXPLODED! It's so fucking good! The whole universe of collared/uncollared people, the military banding together to protect each other, you made me hate Leeks guts and then feel *sorry* for him! The whole Lyle, Leek, Stephen thing... The Becker/Matt thing... and lets not forget Ryan/Lester! RYAN LESTER! I kept getting called away as I was trying to read the last dozen chapters and I kept not getting the one where you said if Ryan lived and I got more and more convinced he was going to die and Lester was going to be... alone and heartbroken.

Then they found the other body and Cutter got shut down for being a dumbass *of course it was kinder to shoot him then let him be beat to death!* and I was all sad and then Lester noticed that he didn't have the brand... and it stops. I notice you didn't say if the real Ryan was successfully smuggled out of the cell.

Like I said, MY BRAIN EXPLODED.

Date: 2011-10-10 02:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
*stares around*

OMG, there's bits of brain EVERYWHERE!

*g* Sorry for leaving there, but there will be more, I promise. The whole arc is plotted to the end and about 8 chapters are now nearly in the bag.

And I'm totally impressed that you managed to mainline the whole lot in one go!!

Date: 2012-02-16 07:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aunteeneenah.livejournal.com
IT IS 1:30 IN THE BLOODY A.M.!!!! WHERE'S THE REST!!!! Please. I knew it, I knew it was Helen screwing with everyone but yet, Hooray for a Ryan clone!!! Need more now, thank you. Brilliant! I've laughed and cried, now . .must sleep.

Date: 2012-02-16 09:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
It's probably no consolation, but there are 8 parts ready to go, but two chapters are needed in the early part of this sequence and before they could get written, my partner in crime, Munchkin, shattered her hip and has been out of action for nearly 6 months now. But we hope that the series will get finished this year. It's plotted right through to the end.

Silk and Steel

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2012-02-17 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Silk and Steel

From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-02-17 09:24 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2012-03-07 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gategurl.livejournal.com
Oh. God.

Just. My heart. You have broken it in so many freaking ways right now. Please. PLEASE tell me you are going to continue this? I need...closure. SOMETHING. I just...GUH.

I blew through this entire Silk and Steel universe in a day and was hooked after the first installment. Which is surprising. It is surprising because slave!fic really isn't my interest at all, but I decided to give the first one a try as I liked the idea of Lester/Ryan. I didn't expect to be reeled in, hook, line, and sinker.

This was superbly crafted. Full of twists, turns, and intrigues that had me laughing, pounding my fists in righteous fan girl anger, biting my nails, wincing, and tearing up in turn.

PS: I don't know if I am ever going to forgive you for what just happened to Ryan (Clone!Ryan or no) It is still Ryan! - *glares then wobbles* WRITE MORE AND MAKE MY HEART HURT BETTER?! *does Connor puppy dog eyes*
Edited Date: 2012-03-07 09:40 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-07 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Blimey, that's really mainlining it!

Yes, there will be more, and hopefully quite soon. The final arc will be in two parts. The first is written (11 chapters) and just needs some edits. But my co-author broke her hip six months ago and has had 5 months in hospital and rehab, hence the long hiatus. We'll hopefully be posting again from April and the second part will get finished while that's happening.

Sorry about breaking your heart!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] gategurl.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-03-07 09:46 am (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com - Date: 2012-03-07 09:48 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2012-03-12 05:43 pm (UTC)
celeste9: (primeval: smug!lester)
From: [personal profile] celeste9
Oh my God I have to wait now?! How will I manage it?! This chapter was bloody magnificent, I was on the edge of my seat holding my breath, not knowing if you'd really gone and killed Ryan. Thomson continues to want to make me like him. And Lyle cried, that about ripped my heart out, and Lester holding his hand!

You made me cry again, but then it was happy tears! Because Lester knows it's not his Ryan! But what are they going to do now? *pouts at no longer having the instant gratification of new chapters after cliffhangers*

Date: 2012-03-12 05:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fredbassett.livejournal.com
Sorry about that! *g*

The plan is to start posting again in April. 11 chapters are in the bag, barring minor edits. That will be the first part of the final arc. The second part can hopefully get written in the meantime and may be able to run straight on without a hiatus.

The rest is pretty much all mapped out and we do know exactly how it all ends and always have done.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] celeste9 - Date: 2012-03-12 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand

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