Sunday, September 2

Writing Fan Fiction: Nick Lysne

On Friday, we announced the winners of an unofficial Expanded Universe Short Story Competition fan fiction contest to promote Jericho for the fans, expand its universe (outside of the town where it largely takes place on television), and demonstrate the possibilities of its rich story line. Today, we’re proud to present the work of Nick Lysne, also known as Redzephyr at Jericho Rally Point. We Hope you enjoy. And congratulations to Nick Lysne!

Checkmate by Nick Lysne

Under heavy pressure, the knight was forced to pull back behind the defensive line of infantrymen, mere pawns of the kingdom. He had been making progress, but that was put to an end with the introduction of the queen.

The bishops kept a narrow-eyed watch, ready always to intercept any threat to their king. One of the towers had fallen moments ago, and the entire offense had shuddered, pushed back.

Cam pursed his lips, his fingers still resting atop the retreating knight. His eyes swept across the board as he considered his options and those of his opponent. He would be safe for now. His hand left the white knight.

"Almost had you," Hermon chuckled with a kind smile adorning his old man's wrinkled face as he too surveyed the board.

Cam grinned. "Almost."

Hermon advanced one of his pawns in support of his other forces.

"You know, I'm really glad you all showed up, Cameron," he paused, taking a sip of his tea. "I've not had this much fun since before the Day! Hell, it was some time before ... and now Julia has someone to play with, too. Things were getting tough for her."

"Come on, Hermon... You're the one doing us a favor!"

The white queen advanced two spaces.

It had been a couple of months since the Day. Cam had been lucky; his family and most of his friends had not.

If the bombs had gone off even twelve hours earlier, he would have shared their fate. He had begun to think of his survival as a complete and total miracle, despite being non-religious.

The day before, he had been out of state, picking up his long awaited prize from eBay: a military surplus Humvee. It had cost him about twenty grand, and he could barely afford it. But Cam had always wanted a real one — none of that glamorized civilian stuff. When he returned to the apartment, he had been greeted by his friend Mike, and Mike's daughter, Natalie.

The old man shook his head and shifted one of his knights to the side.

"It's nothing, honestly. We have more than enough."

The television had gone out first. And it was when Cam had gone to turn it back on, he saw the cloud, far in the distance. He realized it would take much more than a another push of a button to make his TV work again. Natalie, barely eight years old, was very curious about the big, bright spectacle out the window. Mike had been unable to find adequate words to explain it to her. He hadn't been able to explain it to himself.

"We can't stay here forever, though," Cam said, taking a pawn and covering his attacking bishop with his remaining rook. Hermon took the bishop anyway, sacrificing a rook.

"There are a few places you could try that aren't that far away."

After a tense conversation, they had taken as much as they could carry from Cam's apartment. His rifles, handguns, ammunition, food, clothing, blankets. All of it was stowed in the back of the Humvee before they locked up and headed to Mike's own apartment.

"There's Jericho if you continue north."

Cam tilted his head. "Jericho?"

Collecting what else they could fit, they had hit the roads and started on their way. The plan had been to check on family and friends, starting with the closest ones.

"Julia and I made the trip up a few weeks ago ... they're hanging on pretty well, from what I could see."

It took longer than they wanted, running into traffic jams and roadblocks. Over the course of the next several days, conditions spiraled away from the shrinking number of police and mobilized guardsmen. Cam and Mike both had had to shoot bandits; lucky to avoid being shot themselves.

Hermon pushed forward in an aggressive strike that cost Cam dearly.


"Damn!" Cam laughed. "Would they take us? Jericho, I mean."

After almost two months, they began to get desperate. They were lucky enough to find an abandoned house with a large fuel tank and extra gas cans. They stocked the Humvee again. It had served them faithfully, running long after most other vehicles failed. Running after taking a few bullets for them.

"But with that new mayor, I'm not so sure," Hermon frowned, continuing his attack. "Check."

Cam's heart fell. He was almost hopeful for all Hermon’s talk. He moved his king out of danger, but lost his second bishop for it.
They had been starving when they found the house, nestled in a thicket of trees. It was off the road by a good margin, and one could not actually spot it from there.

It was the aroma of baking bread that had caught their attention next. And Natalie, being the child she was, went right up to the door and knocked.

Their concern for her turned out to be needless. Hermon, a baker by trade, and his granddaughter, Julia, wouldn’t harm anyone.

Hermon sprung his trap.

"Don't worry. You go on and you ask for Johnston Green, and tell him you're my friend. He'll help you. Also, check."

Cam moved his king once more, but he could see that it was too late to save the fleeing monarch.

The old man offered a toothy grin. "Checkmate."

Disclaimer: "Jericho and its related characters are the property of CBS Paramount Television Network and Junction Entertainment. This contest is solely for entertainment purposes. Neither Nick Lysne, Richard Becker, nor Copywrite, Ink. is affiliated with CBS or Junction Entertainment.



Anonymous said...

Excellent !!!!

No other word will work for me.

I enjoyed reading every bit of Nick's story. (Good going...Red !!)

And Rich, to you - my thanks for running the contest in the first place.

Kay on 9/2/07, 8:48 PM said...

Great story and premise! I only wish I played Chess-I get the feeling each move has underlying implications.

Nick, you hit the nail on the head...all of us who love "Jericho" can't help but put ourselves in that 'what if?' scenario.

Congratulations on your winning story!

Rich on 9/3/07, 10:52 AM said...

Hey Flutterby and Kay,

Thanks so much for stopping by to give kudos to Nick Lysne. He has written a splendid story with numerous creative threads interwoven into a single stream without being jarring or allowing us to lose focus. There is a high degree of difficulty to doing so.

All my best,

Anonymous said...

Flutter, Kay, and also Rich,
Thanks so much for the compliments, and I apologise for taking some time to respond to them. I've just started college this week, so time is a little tight

Kay - you should really give Chess a shot. It's a wonderful game, and once you learn it can provide such fun.

Thanks to you all, once again! Your praise is greatly appreciated.

PlatPat on 9/8/07, 11:20 AM said...

Got here late, but it was worth the wait.

Very good story, Nick. I can't wait to hear what happens when they get to Jericho and find that Johnston is gone (may he RIP). Will Gail take them in? Sounds like Jake could use a guy like Cam in the Rangers!



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