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Title: The Laundry Officer's Tale
Series: Valiant Tales.  Read them in order here.
Rating: G
Characters:
The Master (Simm), other characters
Genre: drabble
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords.
Summary: A series of drabbles about the people who lived, worked, and suffered on the Valiant during the Year That Never Was. 100 words according to MS Word.
Disclaimer: The sandbox belongs to RTD and the BBC. I'm just playing here, in the corner, making little sand-TARDISs.



We work around the clock.  Hundreds of people, multiply by two uniforms each, add linens -- it's a mountain.  I don't get out much.  I bunk here.  My "assistants" -- slave workers -- fetch food from the mess.  Poor buggers don't speak English, and can't gossip.  Still, I know things.  Dirty clothes tell stories about contraband gin, and female company on cargo runs.  There are darker sins.  Certain uniforms are repeatedly spattered with blood.  I return them spotless... and keep a list of names.  Someday, justice will prevail.  Beneath the immaculate uniforms, the stains on their souls will be seen.


Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
garpu
Feb. 5th, 2009 07:45 am (UTC)
Wow.

Kind of wonder if a time loop is reversed, is the person guilty of the offense still culpable? (Guess it would depend if they remember it or not...)
lindenharp
Feb. 5th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
Anyone on the Valiant at the time of the reversal was protected, and would remember their own actions. I'm sure that certain people on board -- abusive guards, for example -- would be punished.

There would be little point in punishing Mr. Henry Brown of Oxford for beating slave laborers to death when he and his victims are alive and well and unaware of the alternate timeline. As to whether they might be morally accountable for their prior actions... I leave that to the theologians.
kensieg
Feb. 6th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
Thank you another lovely story lindenharp. I also want to thank you for being literate.
lindenharp
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I also want to thank you for being literate.

Now, there's an intriguing compliment...
kensieg
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)
I have read so much crap today you wouldn't believe it. Your response to the first reply was not only grammatically correct, but elegant. It made want to weep with joy that someone in fandom would write that well. That's a bit exaggerated but not much.
lindenharp
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear about your frustrating day. Do you know Sturgeon's Law? "90% of everything is crap."

I'm glad my prose soothed you, but there are plenty of brilliant writers in fandom. Some of them make me sigh with envy.
kensieg
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
I know that. Bur it seemed that every other post today was written by someone who couldn't spell and who didn't bother to check their spelling before they posted.

Poor spelling grates on me. I'm a little crankier than usual today, so I guess I noticed it more.


neadods
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
I love these tales - they're such finely distilled glimpses.
lindenharp
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! Drabbles are a challenging form of writing, because they force me to distill a stroy down to its essence -- and that's not my usual style.
rabecka
Feb. 6th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
Beautifully done, like usual. You know, I've been copying these into a Word file to keep them all together. The impact of the whole set is just stunning.

I'm getting an interesting undercurrent on this one, that I'm not sure is correct. So... I have the feeling that this is not a terribly pleasant person. Not someone who would cooperate with the Master, no, but someone who could very well be an inquisitor on the side of "god and justice".
lindenharp
Feb. 7th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! You're perfectly welcome to save these in any way that's convenient. I'll just mention for anyone who cares that I have the series set up as a chaptered fic on fanfiction.net. (I wish I'd done that at Teaspoon, but when I started, I didn't realize how long this thing would become.)

someone who could very well be an inquisitor on the side of "god and justice".

That's plausible. I see him more as a frustrated witness to evil, waiting to testify to the proper authorities.
rabecka
Feb. 7th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
frustrated witness to evil
I can certainly see that as well, which is why I was curious. It was this section...

stories about contraband gin, and female company on cargo runs. There are darker sins.
that led me to think this could be a person with no tolerance for for anything outside a narrow window of "acceptable" behavior. I wondered what he'd think of Jack, for example. BTW, I think the ambiguity of several of these is fascinating, and I remain amazed that you can pack so much in a drabble.
lindenharp
Feb. 7th, 2009 03:36 am (UTC)
that led me to think this could be a person with no tolerance for for anything outside a narrow window of "acceptable" behavior.

Okay. Now I see where you're coming from. That was a bit of sloppy writing on my part. I didn't mean to imply that he thinks of booze and sex as "sins" in the religious sense. Offenses against military discipline, yes. What I wanted to get across is that despite being confined to the laundry most of the time, he's aware of many crimes, from minor rule-breaking to torture and murder.

BTW, I think the ambiguity of several of these is fascinating

I would like to be able to say that's my fiendishly clever intent. *grins* The truth is, that's the nature of the genre. A drabble is like a quick charcoal sketch, as opposed to a photograph. While there are always details that I must omit, I don't generally have a photo in my mind.
rabecka
Feb. 7th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
The truth is, that's the nature of the genre.
As a programmer would say "it's not a bug, it's a feature". Don't you love it when the comments are longer than the fic? *grin*
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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