Mission Primary – Part 7

Seems a nice day for it.

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These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “It went off with a bang and a hiss”.  What followed was this.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4 can be found here.

Part 5 can be found here.

Part 6 can be found here.

Sylvester sat in his favourite chair and watched, mouth wide and bowels churning as the end of the world arrived. His first thoughts as he watched events on the television unfold was that it was a Tuesday, and if  Armageddon was going to arrive on any day his money would not have been on a Tuesday.  If he was a gambling man, which he was not, he would likely have plumped for a Friday afternoon because Friday was wholly more interesting as a day than a Tuesday and far more likely to deliver events of interest.  Even a Monday would have been worth a few dollars as a side bet given its position as one of the least favourite days but no, he would most definitely not have picked a Tuesday.

“Charlotte” he called shifting uncomfortably in his chair, “Charlotte I think you might want to come through and take a look at this.”

“Must I really” his wife replied from the kitchen sounding a little flustered.  “I really want to get these pies in the oven.  Can’t it wait?”  She was a patient woman for the most part but his constant hollering from the comfort of his chair made her want to smother him in his sleep.

Sylvester continued to watch the television and turned up the volume.

“That’s a bit loud” Charlotte shouted.  He really needed to wear his hearing aid more often.  She paused for a moment listening.  “Did they just say something about an attack?” She asked.  Sylvester did not reply.  “Sylvester, what’s going on?” she shouted.  “Sylvester?”

“Confound it woman” he snapped turning in his chair and shouting back across to the kitchen , “you need to come and look damn it.  The pies can wait.”

He heard the oven close and his silver haired wife shuffled through from the kitchen, her ‘Grandma Knows Best’ apron covered in flour and wiping her hands on a dish cloth.

“Oh my” she said looking at the screen as she approached, her face a mix of shock and confusion.  “Is that a…?” Her voice trailed off.  She sat forward and then spoke again.  “Are they..?” she continued but again she didn’t quite have the words and they were left hanging in the air more in hope more than expectation

“Ahuh” Sylvester replied as Charlotte sat down slowly in the chair next to him.

“And what are all those red dots on the map?” she asked pointing to the screen as a graphic flashed across it.

“Same thing all across the planet” Sylvester answered quite matter of fact.  “Looks like this is it Lottie…”

Charlotte picked up the Bible from the small table next to her chair, placed in it her lap and folded her hands together on tip of it.  “I don’t think this is in the Good Book.” She said without turning towards Sylvester, her eyes fixed on the screen.  “What’s going on Sylvester?” She asked.

“End of the world, that’s what it is” He answered standing up and heading over to the drinks cabinet.

“On a Tuesday?” she asked shaking her head.  “Make mine a double.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Primary – Part 6

Beyond the moon.

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Time blossomed then shrivelled”.  The idea filled head with thoughts of time passing and age and forgetting the important things that have gone before.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4 can be found here.

Part 5 can be found here.

Henderson looked out into the void of space, the moon now disappearing into the distance as the Callista prepped for her faster than light jump.

“FTL Jump in twenty” barked the Comms, the service deck eerily quiet save for the odd scurry of activity in prep for her first leg on the journey back home.

“We had to, you know that right” came a voice, causing him to start.  It was one he recognised and one that made his stomach churn and his fists clench.  “Marcus told me you’d were down here.”

Henderson turned around and stood to attention.  “Captain, yes sir” he answered, shoulders and chin up.

“Carl, at ease” Grenville said, “It’s just you and me you can drop the Captain shit.”

“You had to?  Really?” Henderson snapped.  “Christ on a bike James do you have any idea how many people you just fried?”  He took a step towards the officer, fists still clenched.

“You think I don’t know that?” Grenville replied, “You think I did this without a thought for those that might still be alive down there?  You know as well as I do that if that thing gets off planet all the colonies will suffer the same fate.”

“There were people we could have saved, we could have helped them still.”

Grenville paused, loosened his jacket and pointed out across the deck towards where the moon.  “You know I’m second generation colony Carl, you know I probably still have people down there just like you do.”

“Then why the hell couldn’t you wait?” he asked turning to face him.  “I guess you’re going to tell me you were following orders.”

Grenville looked old.  Older than he ought to.  He was barely recognisable from the man he had known for so many years – and as a boy for as many before that – and that he had served under on the Juliana, the Aiden and now on the Callista.

He put a hand on his shoulder.  “So what now James” he said turning to look back out into space.  He wanted to help, to tell him it was okay but it wasn’t.  They weren’t kids anymore and sometimes you needed to knwo that things weren’t going to be alright.

“We’ve burned the earth’s atmosphere, saved the colonies and now we head home to a heroes welcome?” he said sarcastically.

Grenville buttoned up his jacket again and sighed.  “It’s not quite over yet Carl” he said, a new sadness in his voice.

“Command are still nervous and despite wiping out every living thing they’ve just sent new orders.”

Henderson balled his fists.  “Why the hell are you telling me this James, why me?  Serious don’t you have a first officer or a dozen senior officers you could tell?”

Grenville turned to walk away and then stopped, pausing before speaking again.

“Five minutes after we jump the entire store of Fed nova clusters in the bunkers just outside Berlin, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Singapore will detonate and rip the whole damn planet to pieces.”

“My god James, I don’t want to know okay.” Henderson snapped, his eyes wide and nostrils flared.  “Just do what you have to okay and leave me be.  Please.”

Without turning around Grenville headed off towards the service deck exit.

“Sorry Carl” Grenville said and the service deck blast door began to close and the comms confirmed 5 minutes to FTL jump.  “I’m just sorry…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Primary Part 5

Somewhere out in the dark of space

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Spacing out in shadow’s doubt”.  Mostly it had me thinking of confusion and consternation.  The story continues for now I guess…


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

Part 4 can be found here.

Cal scoured the holo screen looking for any sort of sign that there might be something still out here.  The scans were picking up the moon about three hundred and eighty thousand clicks away, and it was visible through the port windows but that wasn’t what he was after.  He knew earth should be here, the maps weren’t wrong.  The coordinates weren’t wrong.

“It should be here Desi” he insisted.  “I don’t understand where it could be.”

“Maybe it’s just a myth Cal” Desi said staring out into the darkness.  “Do we really know it was ever here.”

“Hell Desi of course we do.” he said angrily.  “This is where we’re from, this is our home.”

“It’s not my home” Desi replied.  “And it’s not yours, you were born on Seranos just like me.  Let it go Cal, let’s just go home we are already in enough trouble as it is.  Dad is going to kill us when he finds out we’ve taken his ship.”

“Do you never wonder why we’re forbidden from returning Des?  Why they always tell us that Earth was abandoned to protect us all but no one even knows where it is anymore.”

“Not really no” Desi replied.  “It’s a myth Cal, a bed time story. ”

“Then why were dad’s maps locked away?  Why has no one even been back to look in 800 years?  That’s not right Des.  It must still be out here somewhere.”

The screen flashed briefly and a data stream ticked across slowly. Cal stared at it for a while.

“What is it?” Desi asked not really caring.  She just wanted to go home before Dad found out they were gone.  Cal was always getting them into trouble, and despite him being a year younger she always found herself drawn to whatever wild plan he had in his head.  Once Cal had found the Maps in his father’s unlocked safe a few months ago he had become obsessed with the idea of Earth.

“Just what looks like an asteroid belt, nothing major” Cal answered.  “We could go take a look I suppose.”

“Cal come on” Desi said turning off the screen.  “Let’s just go home Cal there’s nothing out here.”

“Then why the Moon?”  He snapped bringing the screen back up.  “If the moon is here the earth must be here.”

“Cal let’s just…” She began and then stopped and pointed slowly out into the darkness.  “What’s that?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission Primary Part 4

Somewhere out in the dark of space

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Jumping Jupiter can’t get stupider”.  I didn’t get much further than the idea of Jupiter.  Let’s see if I can continue the story with it.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Part 3 can be found here.

 

The Callista’s comms crackled into life as the roar of her huge primary engines fought to steady her descent into orbit around Ganymede.  Saturn’s gravitational pull was massive but if they could land on the moon it would give them the protection they needed to work on replenishing their hydrogen supplies.

“All crew standby for important comms” it ordered.

Henderson sat up in his bunk and reached for his chewing tobacco.  Stuffing a wad into his cheek he banged a fist against the bottom of the bunk above.

“Marcus, wake up” he shouted.  “You’re going to want to hear this.”

Marcus stirred, mumbling incomprehensibly.

“Serious man, wake up.” Henderson barked.

“Okay, okay” Marcus said throwing back his blanket and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.  “I’m awake see. God man how serious can it be after what we just witnessed?”

Henderson chewed slowly before responding.  There are some things you’re never going to forget seeing and what the Callista had just done was one of them.

“They’re going to say it was for the best, you’ll see.  They will have some excuse for what they did but there is no justification for it.  None at all.  You don’t do that to an entire planet you just don’t.”

Marcus jumped down from the top bunk and walked over to the small sink in the corner of the room.

“What do we know man” he said filling a cup with water.  “Things have been messed up for so long now.

“Messed up?” Henderson snapped.  “My god Marcus what we just did goes way beyond just ‘messed up’ surely you see that.”

“Honestly?” said Marcus taking a drink.

“That a question?” Henderson asked.

Marcus put the cup down on the edge of the sink.  He was a tall lean man, about 6 foot 2 with broad shoulders and a narrow waist.  A large green and black tattoo of a snake across his right shoulder seemed to writhe as he moved.

“You know how I feel about Earth” he said, “it’s not my home and they are not my people, I’m a colonial and I’m proud of it.  My allegiance is to my family and my clan and the only reason I’m on this ship is because I need the money.”

“Do you really feel nothing? ” Henderson asked.  He knew Marcus was an off worlder and like so many of his people he hated Earth but even he must feel something, surely.

“Sorry no, I don’t” he said defiantly, pulling out a chair at the small metal table in the middle of the room and sitting down.  The ship lurched suddenly and then, with a roar of the engines , was again steadied.  “Earth have done nothing but steal from us and use us Henderson” he continued, “I almost feel relieved that it’s over.  Things will have to be different now.”

Before Henderson could respond the comms sounded again.

“This is Captain Grenville” it began.  After a lengthy pause it continued.  “Today you witnessed the destruction of our home planet…”

Mission Primary Part 3

“You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.”
-Gary Allan

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “The stars stood on standby”.  Mostly it gave me this horrible sense of foreboding so that is where I am letting it take the story which the prompts are dictating to a degree.


Part 1 can be found here.  

Part 2 can be found here.

Stella rolled the smooth white pebble between her fingers as she watched the sea lapping at her feet.   The sky seemed to melt into the grey of the water and it was hard to tell where one started and the other ended.

“So where to now Jess?” she asked not looking up.  “What are we meant to do?”  It would be dark soon and the nights were getting colder.

At 18 Jess was 5 few years older than she was, so her natural instinct was to let her make all the decisions.  Jess had found her scavenging for food in one of the empty houses in the neighbourhood and helped her to bury her parents and had looked after her ever since.

“I’m not really sure Stella” she answered looking up and down the pebbled beach “we probably need somewhere to settle in for a few days to rest up and then work out how we get off planet.”

“You think we need to leave?” Stella answered throwing the pebble into the sea.  “You really don’t think things are going to get better then?”

She really liked Stella, she was a good kid and had been through a lot but despite all the death and destruction things still seemed to surprise her.  Stella envied that about her.

“The Transporters are all shut down and we haven’t seen any sign of Fed forces for weeks now. They’ve abandoned us for sure.  There aren’t even any Fed instructions coming through on the short wave anymore.”

“But why would they leave us Jess” Stella asked looking confused.  “The government are meant to be making everything better.”

“Stella…” her voice trailed away as she looked up at the sky, the clouds parting and stars already visible in the inky black of night.  “Stars Stella” she said pointing.  Jess looked up and smiled.

“Dad knew all about the stars” she said.  “He used to take me up to the observatory in the summer and teach me all about them.”

“Do you know which they are then?” Jess asked.

Stella laughed, “No I just went because it meant I could stay up past bedtime and it was a chance to spend time with him.”

“I think it might be Sirius” Jess said smiling.  “I remember from school that it was the brightest.”

They both stood quietly for a while.  The idea of school and family and a normal life seemed such a distant memory now.

“Are stars supposed to move” Jess asked breaking the silence, the sky now rapidly turning dark.  “Because that really does look like it’s getting bigger”

“Do you think it could be someone coming to rescue us?” Jess asked, her voice filled with hope.

“Maybe sure, why not” said Stella.  “We’re not sick so why wouldn’t they want to help us.”

The light in the sky grew brighter still and was soon surrounded by others and a silhouette began to emerge high in the atmosphere.  The

“That’s no star Stella, that’s a ship of some sort.”  Jess said excited.  It’s pretty high up but it’s definitely a Fed ship.  No one else has anything that big.”  It had been weeks since they had seen anything up in the sky, or on land for that matter and Jess knew a Fed battle ship when she saw one.  They were always on the news a few years ago when they made first contact with the Genaris and everybody thought it was going to be the end of the world.

Jess walked forward as if to try get a better look, the waves lapping at her feet and covering her boots.  “Its huge Jess” she said smiling.  “They surely have room for us” and she began to wave her arms.

Stella laughed.  “Jess, Jess they can’t see us from up there. They’re miles and miles up.”

“Really?”

“Yes” Jess answered.  “But at least they’ve returned and that’s surely a good thing.  She stepped into the shallow surf and took Stella’s hand and squeezed it gently.  “Don’t worry Jess” she said, her voice calm.  “It will all be over soon.”

 

 

Mission Primary Part 2 – Room 101

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words only. I’m less strict about that now. They dont always finish, I just like to try and evoke a certain feeling or scene.

I’m going to tie them to M’s prompts this month.  The prompt was “Chewing Chewbacco” which had me thinking about Star Wars obviously but more the type of American you see in folms that so enjoys stuffing a wad of the stuff in his cheek and chewing and spitting the vile black filth back out.  This had me thinking about cowboys and then engineers and then suddenly the piece below emerged.


Part 1 can be found here.  

The Callista rounded the moon slowly, the shadow of her massive bulk creeping across it’s surface as her primary engines exploded into life and propelled her towards earth.  Henderson steadied himself against one of the huge fuel lines and stared out into space, wiping his hands on the rag he kept in his belt and spitting a mouth full of thick black tobacco onto the service deck.

“You boys ready for this?” he asked to anyone willing to listen.  “You know what this is right?”  No one looked up.  Henderson was always spouting off about one conspiracy theory or another.

“This is then end boys, I’m telling you” he continued.  “Rumour is that it’s now spread so far that they need to frag the whole damn planet to stop it.”

“Shut the hell up Henderson” Franks barked back looking out from under the Interceptor he was working on.  “Some of us still have people down there.  There is just no way the brass would do that.”

“I’m telling you” Henderson answered spitting again and wiping his mouth on his sleeve.  “Last few weeks have seen all Fed troops recalled.  You saw how many ships there were dark side.  The whole fleet has puled back.”

Something about his words rang true.  “You really think?” Franks asked sliding out and getting to his feet.  He walked across to where Henderson stood.

“Afraid so man” he answered.  “Seems pretty obvious to me, just look at what a mess it is down there.  They can’t stop the spread and now they’re worried about it getting off world.”  He paused waiting for his words to sink in, he did love an audience.

Franks rubbed his chin.  “Shit man, my cousin is still in Singapore working on the docks there.”

“They already had to shut down the dimensional transporters planet wide when the Washington site was over run, there’s no way they can risk it reaching the colonies.”

Turning to look out across the deck towards where the earth could be seen through the launch bay Franks felt Henderson stood next to him.  It was oddly reassuring. “You really think they’ll frag the whole thing?” he asked.

Henderson put a hand on his shoulder.  “We’ll know soon enough.”