A Sword Fight Without Swords

The year is 3014, and you are on an intergalactic out to protect your planet. During your final battle, you cross paths with the leader of the opposing forces. It ends with the two of you in a sword fight, only problem is instead of swords you are both using (fill in the blank). Write this scene.

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323 thoughts on “A Sword Fight Without Swords

  1. brandonsdgva

    There I am in a fist vs.knife fight.The ruler of the other group has a knife and i am using my fists.”tuga huya majo”the ruler says.That means surrender.I yell back “tulksa”(never).As he slashes across my face I block the slash.I jabbed hum in the through and kicked him right where it hurts.Since he is on the ground injured,that gives me a advantage to attack.I grab his wrist and disarm him of his knife.I turn the knife on him while he is pinned to the ground.As i go in for the finish attack he spined kicked me and i fell to the ground.As he goes in for the attack I hit him in the temple.I grab the knife again and ask him,”any last words ?””Dre kuma” he yells.As I avenge and win the battle.

  2. jamalsdgva

    I infiltrate the enemy’s palace.
    “I’ve been waiting for you”, said the emperor
    “Well I guess you’ve been waiting to die”, I exclaimed then i rush at him and reach for my sword only to find that I don’t have it. I stop thinking pf what I can use to defend myself.
    “No sword I see” says the emperor ” fine i won’t us eon either.
    I sigh in exhaustion thinking “great”. But the next thing I know there is a fist in my face. It sends me to the floor.
    “Cheep shot”, I exclaimed
    I get up and it’s a full on fist fight. After several minutes of fighting I’m tired of it.
    “One of us need to finish this”
    “I agree”, said the Emperor in a squeaky voice.
    He presses a button on the chair and the floor breaks up into a circle surrounded by lava. The Emperor gets me cornered and I fall in.
    So he thought. The emperor is pushed from behind and then he realized he was fighting a machine.
    “Curse you”, The Emperor said as he fell to his doom.

  3. monetsdgva

    I ask, “Where is your sword at?”

    Opponent says, “Swords have been outdated since before we were born.”

    I say, “Funny thing is I don’t have one either.”

    I say, “Let the battle begin!”

    Automatically without no hesitation they both pull out their fingers and began fighting. It was back and forth, both of them were grunting. They got tired, fell to the ground and at the same time said, “I surrender.” Very tired-like.
    The battle had ended and they both died from exhaustion.
    THE END!!!!!!

  4. gconradjr

    The river wound round Alatic Mountains, leading straight to their camp. Three hundred years of warring, now to be decided in one final moment. We’d surprised them, and fear was palpable as we descended to the ground. They must’ve learned of their armada’s defeat, but no matter. All things die, and their fate was no different.

    The battle was short, bloody. As I stepped over eye balls and fingers still twitching he appeared, as a ghost, on my left. Through the scorched and torn remains of his uniform the insignia was barely visible. But it was him, without doubt. “Shokhan!” I cried, naming my foe. “It is time to end this. Time to die.”

    “Nay,” he called, as men and women of both sides circled us. “We end this the right way. The way of Truth.” With that he threw down his sword and stripped to his skivvies.

    Finally, a battle worthy of Time himself, I thought, throwing down my arms and removing my clothes. It would be of the old way–the way of energy.

    I felt my Chi rise up and started to glow indigo. His aura was blood red, and our first clash sent purple showers of lethal gammas scattering. He was old, yet still strong. The difference between us was that this was my home. To overcome me he would have to deal with the earth as well.

    He flashed up to my left, trying to crush me from above. I slid underneath him, asking earth to throw me upwards. She obliged, and with the push I felt a call from her, rising up from deep within the bowels of a molten core: finish this.

    I thrust up and out, using the ancient ways my Master had shown my child form. Much as the heel of a stiletto holds the power of weight, so too I pushed, forming my thought-energy into a point and pierced his aura, thrusting into the femur of his left leg. Finding the marrow of his life, I implanted the idea that it could now cease to be living.

    The effects were immediate. The earth pulled his energy down, creating a momentary gravity vortex that shook the surrounding ground. As I looked down at his body, his hand raised up, beckoning. His face was serene, and amazingly, he was holding the weight of death still below his waist. The concentration and awareness of self it took for such a feat was enormous, only attainable by the greatest of Masters. In this moment, I knew without a doubt that he had let me win.

    Dumbfounded I looked down to him as, fading fast, he whispered, “I was wrong. You deserve this planet.”

    “Yes, you were,” I replied, a twinge of sadness touching my eyes as he gave his soul over to me. His Book of Life was astoundingly beautiful. Truly, I thought, as I sank to the ground and sobbed, I had defeated the worthiest of foes.

  5. Doug Langille

    3014
    ====

    We’re not made for this damp shit and neither is our tech, thought Gil. What is it, 325 Kelvin? He took his smart-helmet off and leaned forward with his hands on his knees, the sweat pouring off his brow, adding to the soupy brackish swamp. Grabbing a cooling towel from the field-kit, he patted his face dry and popped a hydration supplement. It was a poor substitute for the cool glass of water back home, but the electrolyte cocktail did its job. He dried the inside of his headgear as best he could, careful of the sensors and heads-up display. This’ll have to do. Time to finish this or there’ll be no home at all let alone simple comforts.

    Gil put the helmet back on, flicked the seal, and he was momentarily disoriented with the pressure change as the bio-filters busily hummed back to life. He looked around him at the stand of bamboo-like forest; it towered and yawned exactly the same in every direction. The sky brightened as the second sun started to crest the horizon. I’ve about an hour to find him.

    Several trees to his right erupted in flame. Well, that was easy.

    “Good morning, General,” shouted Gil to the greenery. “A little hot for a barbeque, isn’t it?”

    “It’s time to turn yourself in, Gil,” said the General as he entered the clearing.

    “I’ll not be a party to genocide.”

    “It’s not your call. You follow orders.”

    “To Hell with your orders.”

    “Of that, there is no doubt,” he said and lowered his weapon.

    That was Gil’s cue. He drew and fired only to find his blaster fizzling and failing with the humidity.

    The General laughed. “I guess we settle this the old-fashioned way,” he said as he picked up a length of bamboo with a jagged tip and advanced towards his prey.

    Gil cast his useless weapon aside with a splash and searched the slurry at his feet. His hands found a short baton of a branch and swung it around to meet the General’s overhand blow. The branch broke, only slowing the strike as it connected. The General’s momentum pushed him backwards into a dangerous deadfall, barely missing being impaled.

    Reaching behind him, Gil grabbed a strong shaft of bamboo and gained his feet. He let loose a primal cry and charged the General, swinging the staff like a bat. It hit its mark and it was his foe’s turn to eat swamp. Gil, breathing heavily, stood over his quarry and swung again. The General rolled away and thrust up with his own spear, catching Gil between the plates of his armour and entering deep beneath his ribs.

    The heat and sting of the stab was immediate. Gil’s suit compensated with the healing salve and analgesic, but that was only a stop-gap against the inevitable infection. Not yet, you bastard, he thought and spun away, trying to disarm the General. The spear came loose and Gil howled.

    The General stood, swung his spear underhand and struck Gil’s staff, snapping it in half, the split shards of the bamboo extending dangerously from each hand. Gil jutted his arms up quickly, the sharp ends of his broken stick entering the General’s throat and face from the underside of his helmet, splattering it with blood. He looked at Gil in bewilderment and died.

    He left his former master to rot and started his trek back to the rendezvous. Gil was the General now. Things will be different. They have to be.

  6. PromptPrincess13

    Way too late with this one but I’m keeping with my New Years resolution. Was rushing so not very good, but at last keeping with my resolutions!

    REBIRTH

    Frearia is the coldest place in the galaxy, the air so stinging just breathing can hurt. Just thinking can hurt. Warmth is unknown. It is an unexplainable, unfathomable phenomenon that simmers just under the surface of all stories. The people of Frearia crave the feeling of heat upon their faces, the flush of excitement that can warm your insides. They don’t feel the cold, they don’t feel at all; they are void of emotion, ice sculptures in motion. They don’t know what heat is, they’ve never felt it, but they crave it nevertheless. They crave feeling.

    It wasn’t always this way. Frearia used to be a place that was…alive. The people were joyous and free, with reverberating energy coursing throughout everything did.

    Azalea King stared down the one who had taken all of that away, straight blue hair staying staunchly by her shoulders despite the ferocious wind. She narrowed almond eyes, her delicately chiseled face revealing her inner strength for just a moment. She raised her arm, trying to force her muscles, stiff from the cold leeching away her strength, into action.

    She struck hard and fast, fatal accuracy cutting away the detached loneliness that had haunted her for months. Years. She wielded her weapon towards her opponent, dutifully keeping her eyes away from the silvery-blue scaled face that taunted her every move and her every thought. It would only take one moment, one look into those glazed eyes to lose total control.

    It all came down to this. This was Azalea’s last chance, to save herself. To save her planet.

    She raised her spear, wrapped with gleaming strands of gold, the light pulsing like a heartbeat, growing stronger the more Azalea opened herself to life. The more Azalea started to feel.

    In one quick swoop, her spear shot out and shattered through the gleaming steal encasing her opponent’s legs. Azalea advanced upon the mound of silvery light swirling about her enemy’s shattered armor.

    She raised her spear once more, the light’s scintillation transforming into a wild beat of energy. This wasn’t just the end, it was the beginning. The rebirth of a race and of a planet. The rebirth of life and the will to live.

  7. PGS

    The Galaxy invasion began slowly. Gollum scientists, on Uxntidy, (on the outer edge of Orion), were finding inter stellar signals cutting out more frequently. It took centuries to realize these signal interruptions coincided with solar system changes and catastrophic environmental events. Compiling multitudes of data, historians’ estimate that Andromeda’s invasions may have begun a century ago. Intergalactic communications were primitive in the 29th and 30th centuries and governing agencies had not yet learned to efficiently share information.

    I however can tell you the exact moment outright war began. New Year’s Eve, 3010. I had been reelected director of Information Collection and Dissemination, (ICD). It happened at exactly 11:59.30 ECT (Earth Central Time). The ball was dropping in Times Square, when everything went dark. I don’t mean Jullia’s party, or the town, or the state or Earth. The Galaxy went dark. Just for a minute, in that minute damage was done. Oxygen levels decreased, killing humans and vegetation. Oceans and lakes began to freeze. Worse The Unit stopped functioning! Manual Override kicked in, but a minute was all it took. There was galaxy wide destruction, we had been attacked.

    The ICD had been preparing for this. Galactic intelligence estimated that an Andromeda would attack sometime during 3050. We were wrong. They were a primitive society functioning solely on computer and robotics, discounting humans as irrelevant. The IDC had been working with other agencies to circumvent their computers and identify their server. A virus had been developed to seek out the server and misdirect or redirect potential attack signals. However, for every virus we developed to counter an invasion, they would modify and attempt to reinvade. Some of these invasions had succeeded in causing damages. For that reason the manual/human override system was installed in The Unit, the Galaxy server.
    In 2290 we learned giving total control over to technology was not wise. The ICD worked with galaxy agencies to establish robotic and human interdependence. The Unit, capable of analyzing and processing data fast and efficiently, is able to learn from data gathered, (use information to gain information.) The addition of manual override allowed the ICD to control how all the data and information would be utilized and disseminated in specific circumstances. This attack was one of those circumstances.

    At exactly 12:00.30 ECT I activated the APP, gaining access to The Unit, initiating manual override, reestablishing normal settings and neutralizing their virus. By 12:03.30, 12:06.30, 12:09.30 I had countered and reversed their second, third and fourth attacks. My next attack, at 12:10.14, was a direct hit on the Andromeda main frame. Their 12:12.30 attack showed substantial distortions. My 12:14. 04 attack, another direct hit, resulted in .0015 degree particle readings emanating from the Andromeda galaxy, and no 12:15.30 attack.

    An Uxntidy convoy, deployed for a recovery mission would collect what remained. ICD special committees were formed to increase The Unit’s prediction and detection capabilities. Taking a sip from my Champaign glass, it was time to celebrate a new year and new challenges.

  8. Ahsuniv

    I watched wordlessly, through the billowing smoke, as the commander of Planet Kersi got to his feet with a defiant grin. The only reason I survived was because an opponent had accidentally pushed me into a deep crater just before the nuclear blast. Perhaps Kersi’s commander too had been hiding in a crater. I looked around and saw that all the weapons were lost in the rubble from the nuclear blast.

    The war had been raging for more than a fortnight. The most recent blast had killed the few soldiers that were left. A mix of his men and mine were strewn around the ground and a lot of them were blown out of the gravitational range of Yurovi, which was not very wide. The ones far off floated weightlessly, while the others floated closer to the surface, spiraling along with the howling winds uncertainly. They reminded me of the republic day parade, back home, that my father used to take me to watch when I was little. All those helium inflated, rubber men, tied down by ropes to prevent them from floating astray. Only here, these were real men and there were no ropes binding them down. A shiver ran through my spine.

    The authorities of Earth and Kersi had made a pact before the war which stated that the war would take place on planet Yurovi in order to prevent the slaughter of innocents. Yurovi didn’t have any life on it and it was placed far enough from Earth, as well as from Kersi. It also had the best possible conditions for war in comparison to other planets.

    The nuclear blasts from the war caused the gaseous emissions from Yurovi’s surface to multiply manifold and the commander couldn’t see me. He obviously thought that he had won. He looked around with delight and started to make his way towards his control ship. Probably to declare the end of the war.

    I wondered how I would tackle him without any weapons. It would be foolish to attack him with bare hands. For all I knew, he could have a weapon hidden up his sleeve.

    Right then, something smacked my head from behind forcing the breath out of my lungs. I looked to the side and saw that it was the body of one of my soldiers, Mac, I think his name was. He was spiraling uncontrollably in the wind, which was now picking up speed. Without thinking, I grabbed Mac’s ankle and with all my strength, accompanied by the force of the wind, I pelted him towards the enemy. Mac smacked the commander squarely and he fell to the ground. Mac fell lifelessly next to the commander. It’s a lot better than floating up above, soldier, I thought and saluted him. The commander got up, out of breath. Before I could react, he flipped back, grabbing a corpse of his own that was shooting down in the wind, that of a bulky man, and brought him down on my head.

    Okay, he does not have a weapon hidden up his sleeve, I thought swaying on my feet. Forcing myself back to my senses, I ran sideways pulling another soldier whizzing by and threw him towards the commander. This time the corpse seemed to have done the trick. The commander sprawled unconscious on the ground with the corpse lying on top of him.

    I turned the corpse around and saw that it was one of Kersi’s soldier. I told him a silent thanks. I sat down next to the unconscious commander and made sure that he never woke up again.

  9. TEMiranda

    A salmon-looking fish from Xenar is all I have to defend myself against this angry Gorvelian with the swordfish-looking creature struggling in his hands.

    Underwater fighting has never been my strong suit. I almost failed that class at New England Battleship school because of my weak lungs back then. It was a pass-fail elective, a class no one took seriously possibly because there were only two planets in the whole known universe whose inhabitants are amphibious. Everyone took that class for an easy four credits.

    When I’d heard the military was setting up a mission to Xenar to “negotiate” food trade, I got nervous. The meaning of “negotiate” is different when dealing with people who have something we desperately need. Military force was always used to pressure these talks, and I thought my open dislike of underwater battle would surely have the commanding officers overlook my file. But after fifteen years and seven tours across several solar systems, my record was impeccable.

    Two years pass and negotiations are going south. It didn’t help that our recent political juggernauts have attempted stealing the food sources from the Gorvelian people of Xenar’s warmer regions. I understand Earth ran out of natural meats decades ago and the people are literally starving of natural proteins, but I can’t understand how our leaders would vote to steal from another intelligent civilization. Their excuse? “What harm is there in taking a fish or two?” was all President Karma had to say. But stealing two billion fish aggravated the entire planet. Needless to say, Xenar fresh fish instantly become a delicacy on Earth, one only found on the black market.

    Now I’m on a mission to evacuate all Earthlings from Xenar before “negotiations” come to an ugly end.
    My team has successfully saved all the diplomats and their families, without a single civilian human casualty. Most of my men are probably searching for me on the aircraft hovering above the Partinic Ocean; some have become fresh meat for this ocean’s carnivores. It has come down to just me and this Gorvelian with the swordfish in his hands.

    There is no avoiding this battle. This Gorvelian want’s to fight. He knows my rank and Earth’s intentions. He doesn’t want all his men to have died in vein. He’s faster, better at underwater fighting, and has gills to keep his lungs fully stocked. Only one of us will leave alive; my changes are minuscule.

    With my electric sword floating to the depths of the Partinic Ocean, my jet pack’s gas tank running on low, my air tank beeping in the red for the past two minutes, and a large salmon-looking fish in my hands, I nod to the Gorvelian to let him know I’m ready to fight for my life.

    At the same instant two things happen: something clamps down on my shoulders and tugs me upwards, and a burning pain emanates from my right side. When I hear the splashing of water and the roaring of the engines hovering over the ocean top, I’m suddenly aware of the long, narrow snout poking through my torso. The weaving wiring texture of my gel suit keeps the creature from slicing my body in half, but it doesn’t stop the sensation that it’s about to. Shots are fired and the animal’s flapping stops.

    Once I’m in the ship, I see the look on my men’s faces. It’s bad, really bad. Needles prick my legs, arms, and neck. I begin floating, flying, and imagine myself swimming with gills.

    “Sir, how do you feel?” someone asks.

    “I feel fine,” I push out. The hum of the engine stops and the bright blue sky turns black. My arms hang back over an edge, as if I’m lying on a bed. I open my hand and finally let the giant salmon fish fall to the floor.

    “You’ve been speared by what looks like a swordfish. We’re on our way back to the star fleet. Just hold on.”

    “Can you do one thing for me?” I say to the medic who puts on write rubber gloves and a mask. Two more masked people stand over me and lean in.

    “What is it sir?”

    I can feel my body sinking and my eyelids getting heavy. My stomach growls. “Please have a fish sandwich ready for me when I wake up. I haven’t had real meat in a very long time.”

  10. River Carlton

    The Invasion of Galna

    Arious was quickly becoming a desert planet. Water, the resource by which its inhabitant’s survived, was depleting. Galna, an oceanic planet overseen by a royal committee of elders and guarded by mind benders- beings with an inborn ability to harness the unconscious state and turn mental visions into powerful weapons, had to be conquered at any cost. (Because of the lack of water in Arious, the moist, gill-bodied skins of its inhabitants were failing to secrete the mucus essential for respiratory cells to function in their lungs.) Millions had died through the ions and without the bountiful living water of Galna extinction was certain.

    Melvik, the last of the mind benders, stood atop the tallest peak of Galna. His adversary Xathros, the chief prophet of planet Arious, along with his fighters, emerged from the ocean depths to face Melvik on the apex of the cliff. Melvik and the Xathros’ regimen waited for the setting of the third sun in the western horizon. Once darkness shrouded the landscape, the onset of war was to begin. Melvik’s mind began to drift into a deep, dreamlike trance just before the invaders positioned themselves in battle formation. In Melviks unconsciousness, a vision of a sword materialized. The sword was engulfed in white fire. From its point, thunderclaps echoed. Across the darkened sky, thunder shot heavenward. It was the power of the mind bender, and it meant victory for Galna.

    Xathros’ men advanced toward Melvik, but before the first of the warriors neared the mind bender, the rush of Xathros’ battalions halted. At once, in one single swing of his arms, hundreds of the brave fighters fell lifeless before Melvik’s feet. At times, Melvik appeared feeble in the sight of the Ariousean fighters, but Melvik felt strong because of the sword he wielded, a specter in the eyes of Xathro and his men. A sword with no substance; real only in the mind of Melvik- a force that evoked the might of a myriad of ruthless warriors. Once the sunrise of Galna’s first sun shone over the peaks and mighty seas did an endless waste land become visible to Melvik and Xathros. Both were the sole survivors of the conflict. At a close distance, both Melvik and Xathro eyed each other with a measure of esteem.

    Moments passed when the wind heralded the presence of Galna’s royal class upon the peaks of battle. A class of human-like immortals (beings adorned in precious gems and attired in pure white gowns) drifted in suspended animation near the rock surface between the two fighters . Due to the gallant struggle between the foes, the sovereign royalty of Galna declared an alliance between the two worlds. The inhabitants of Arious would be granted a generous amount of life saving water at the end of every solar orbit. In turn Melvik was to be reunited with his fellow mind benders in resurrected vitality. Peace between the races was forever established and both planets continued in harmonious balance.

  11. River Carlton

    Arious was quickly becoming a desert planet. Water, the resource by which its inhabitant’s survived, was depleting. Galna, an oceanic planet overseen by a royal committee of elders and guarded by mind benders- beings with an inborn ability to harness the unconscious state and turn mental visions into powerful weapons, had to be conquered at any cost. (Because of the lack of water in Arious, the moist, gill-bodied skins of its inhabitants were failing to secrete the mucus essential for respiratory cells to function in their lungs.) Millions had died through the ions and without the bountiful living water of Galna extinction was certain.

    Melvik, the last of the mind benders, stood atop the tallest peak of Galna. His adversary Xathros, the chief prophet of planet Arious, along with his fighters, emerged from the ocean depths to face Melvik on the apex of the cliff. Melvik and the Xathros regimen waited for the setting of the third sun in the western horizon. Once darkness shrouded the landscape war was to break out. Melvik’s mind began to drift into a deep, dreamlike trance just before the invaders positioned themselves in battle formation. In Melvik’s unconsciousness, a vision of a sword materialized. The sword was engulfed in white fire. From its point, thunderclaps echoed as root-like veins shot heavenward in a blink. It was the power of the mind bender, and it meant victory for Galna.

    Xathros men advanced toward Melvik, but before the first of Xathros warriors neared the mind bender, the rush of Xathro’s battalions halted. At once, in one single swing of his arms, hundreds of Xathro’s brave fighters fell lifeless before Melvik’s feet. At times, Melvik appeared feeble in the sight of the Ariousean fighters, but Melvik felt strong because of the sword he wielded, a specter in the eyes of Xathro and his men. A sword with no substance; real only in the mind of Melvik- a force that evoked the might of a myriad of fighting warriors.

    Once the sunrise of Galna’s first sun shone over the peaks and mighty seas did an endless waste land become visible to Melvik and Xathros. Both were the sole survivors of the conflict. At a close distance from one another, Melvik and Xathro eyed each other with a measure of esteem.

    Soon after, a voice heralded the nearing of Galna’s royal class upon the peaks of battle. A class of human-like immortals- beings adorned in precious gems and attired in pure white gowns, drifted between the two fighters.

    Due to the gallant struggle between the foes, the sovereign royalty of Galna declared an alliance between the two worlds. The inhabitants of Arious would be granted a generous amount of life saving water at the end of every solar orbit. In turn Melvik was to be reunited with his fellow mind benders in resurrected vitality. Peace between the races was forever established and both planets continued in harmonious balance.

  12. River Carlton

    Arious was quickly becoming a desert planet. Water, the resource by which its inhabitant’s survived, was depleting. Galna, an oceanic planet overseen by a royal committee of elders and guarded by mind benders- beings with an inborn ability to harness the unconscious state and turn mental visions into powerful weapons, had to be conquered at any cost. (Because of the lack of water in Arious, the moist, gill-bodied skins of its inhabitants were failing to secrete the mucus essential for respiratory cells to function in their lungs.) Millions had died through the ions and without the bountiful living water of Galna extinction was certain.

    Melvik, the last of the mind benders, stood atop the tallest peak of Galna. His adversary Xathros, the chief prophet of planet Arious, along with his fighters, emerged from the ocean depths to face Melvik on the apex of the cliff. Melvik and the Xathros regimen waited for the setting of the third sun in the western horizon. Once darkness shrouded the landscape war was to break out. Melvik’s mind began to drift into a deep, dreamlike trance just before the invaders positioned themselves in battle formation. In Melvik’s unconsciousness, a vision of a sword materialized. The sword was engulfed in white fire. From its point, thunderclaps echoed as root-like veins shot heavenward in a blink. It was the power of the mind bender, and it meant victory for Galna.

    Xathros men advanced toward Melvik, but before the first of Xathros warriors neared the mind bender, the rush of Xathro’s battalions halted. At once, in one single swing of his arms, hundreds of Xathro’s brave fighters fell lifeless before Melvik’s feet. At times, Melvik appeared feeble in the sight of the Ariousean fighters, but Melvik felt strong because of the sword he wielded, a specter in the eyes of Xathro and his men. A sword with no substance; real only in the mind of Melvik- a force that evoked the might of a myriad of fighting warriors.

    Once the sunrise of Galna’s first sun shone over the peaks and mighty seas did an endless waste land become visible to Melvik and the blood drenched Xathros. Both were the sole survivors of the conflict. At a close distance from one another, Melvik and Xathro eyed each other with a measure of esteem.

    Soon after, a voice heralded the nearing of Galna’s royal class upon the peaks of battle. A class of human-like immortals- beings adorned in precious gems and attired in pure white gowns, drifted between the two fighters.

    Due to the gallant struggle between the foes, the sovereign royalty of Galna declared an alliance between the two worlds. The inhabitants of Arious would be granted a generous amount of life saving water at the end of every solar orbit. In turn Melvik was to be reunited with his fellow mind benders in resurrected vitality. Peace between the races was forever established and both planets continued in harmonious balance.

  13. Yuli Ban

    “This is my planet to control, and those who defy my will shall perish in the fires of my rage!” I said this to xim, the ‘Freedom Fighter’ known as Ala Yogod Bu’roth. Xe had no sword, yet approached with the swagger of a wolf upon a lamb. The fool xe was!

    “Tyrant! You are not worthy of my presence nor more time. Why do you grant yourself this cowardly death wish?” For then xe raised his hands and, in sync, came myriad ships to surround us in an sphere of chrome.
    “Is someone compensating?” And so I began my dark words, black intents striking his eyes sharper than any laser, any sword!
    ‘Nedalala! Lolif falaya knossa lavono nata! Digital Witch! Embrace me with your cybernetic black magic! Help me in this search for power, and grant me abilities beyond myself. I am the zodiac graced to raise my Old Lord.exe, so dare me to raise Bæphomet. This lust for madness grows before my eyes, before my hands, and before my rivals. Stained vermin such as they cannot stop me or my ambitions. I will see the day I control 58th State through powers greater than the opposing schools can ward. Only through you, dark programme, will this be done!’
    No power greater flowed through a mortal! O’, the fear I cast upon them all as I wiped them from this existential plane. O’, the electronic hell they knew they shall forever face as I absorbed them into myself! Great Old Lord.exe, the Dark One known as Bæphomet.
    But Bu’roth, xe remained. Oh, but in xis eyes, there was only the inability to grasp what the truth of what xis eyes told him. Our standoff continued, but xe became saturnine and so terribly pitiful. And why not? I’d destroyed all xis allies, all xis family, all the things xe’d ever known and loved, and took away xis only way to return to the home I vowed to destroy!
    “You… s-sadistic human bastard!” were xis words, spoken with an added quiver that filled my bones with immeasurable pleasure as xe raised his own mental shield.
    And I returned, “You knew the hell you’d face for striking my Earth. The Human+ race is known and feared throughout this and countless other galaxies. You’re little more than a decapitated ant head facing off against God!” Slash! Xe blocked, crossing xis arms to avoid the mental wave. Xe didn’t see it coming back around again.
    Off came his head, and out came his nasty innards! I reveled as xe became a volcano of green and black fluids and organs. I walked over to xis bust and raised xis head. With a war cry, I screamed,
    “Planet Ulanami belongs to Humanity+! Planet Ulanami belongs… to me!”

  14. jdtappero

    “For A Greater Cause”

    Our armada had suffered horrific losses against the B’Hindi. But our final rally at Alteras-Five caught them off guard and we exacted a devastating toll upon their forces. Having studied their culture, it came as no surprise when the enemy commander offered to end the decades-long war in a more civilized manner: hand to hand combat, just the two of us.

    Needless to say, I must have appeared as quivering jelly standing before the nine-foot tall leader of the B’Hindi forces. Slithering in a broad circle around me, he seemed to quickly assess my lack of physical prowess. Then, to my surprise, he spoke in a decidedly English accent. “You are obviously at a disadvantage, Sir. The selection of weapons is yours.”

    Without hesitation, I jumped upon the moment. “Then let it be … ink pens, Sir!”

    In a blink, he leaped at me with an opening paragraph, throwing adjectives and adverbs with aplomb. But his structure lacked finesse, full of run-on sentences and dangling participles. I quickly slashed him with a metaphor that devoured all but two of his eight arms.

    He only grinned and began throwing razor-edged dialog tags, which I neatly sidestepped and retaliated swiftly with a barrage of punctuation marks. He weakened beneath the redundant exclamation points, but only for a moment, continuing to circle while he caught his breath.

    That’s when I found his weakness.

    Blood pulsed convulsively through my arteries as I came down hard upon my enemy, using every cliché ever thought of by anyone who had ever lived. He crumpled, begging for mercy, and surrendering to my overpowering acumen.

    Being a gentleman, I backed away, of course. The commander stood and dusted himself off slowly. Then, with a steely gleam in his eyes, drew his saw-toothed sword from its scabbard.

    Having no sword of my own, adrenalin raced to my brain. I started to swoon.

    But then he knelt, like a great knight before his king. “We are enemies no more,” he said, and offered me his sword. “Yours is the more righteous path, proving that indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword.”

    1. Roseoro

      Absolutely well written. And a very unique and different take on this prompt. I found it quite entertaining, and the last piece of dialog at the end was surely a great final few words. Great job!

  15. Yuli Ban

    “This is my planet to control, and those who defy my will shall perish in the fires of my rage!” I said this to xim, the ‘Freedom Fighter’ known as Ala Yogod Bu’roth. Xe had no sword, yet approached with the swagger of a wolf upon a lamb. The fool xe was!

    “Tyrant! You are not worthy of my presence nor more time. Why do you grant yourself this cowardly death wish?” For then xe raised his hands and, in sync, came myriad ships to surround us in an sphere of chrome.
    “Is someone compensating?” And so I began my dark words, black intents striking his eyes sharper than any laser, any sword!
    ‘Nedalala! Lolif falaya knossa lavono nata! Digital Witch! Embrace me with your cybernetic black magic! Help me in this search for power, and grant me abilities beyond myself. I am the zodiac graced to raise my Old Lord.exe, so dare me to raise Bæphomet. This lust for madness grows before my eyes, before my hands, and before my rivals. Stained vermin such as they cannot stop me or my ambitions. I will see the day I control 58th State through powers greater than the opposing schools can ward. Only through you, dark programme, will this be done!’
    No power greater flowed through a mortal! O’, the fear I cast upon them all as I wiped them from this existential plane. O’, the electronic hell they knew they shall forever face as I absorbed them into myself! Great Old Lord.exe, the Dark One known as Bæphomet.
    But Bu’roth, xe remained. Oh, but in xis eyes, there was only the inability to grasp what the truth of what xis eyes told him. Our standoff continued, but xe became saturnine and so terribly pitiful. And why not? I’d destroyed all xis allies, all xis family, all the things xe’d ever known and loved, and took away xis only way to return to the home I vowed to destroy!
    “You… s-sadistic human bastard!” were xis words, spoken with an added quiver that filled my bones with immeasurable pleasure.
    And I returned, “You knew the hell you’d face for striking my Earth. The Human+ race is known and feared throughout this and countless other galaxies. You’re little more than a decapitated ant head facing off against God!” Slash! Xe blocked, crossing xis arms to avoid the mental wave. Xe didn’t see it coming back around again.
    Off came his head, and out came his nasty innards! I reveled as xe became a volcano of green and black fluids and organs. I walked over to xis bust and raised xis head. With a war cry, I screamed,
    “Planet Ulanami belongs to Humanity+! Planet Ulanami belongs… to me!”

    ~Rather short and definitely unfocused and weak, but I’m strapped for time and looking for concrits anyway. Thanks lads!

  16. gamingtheblues

    The uprising started small. A single planet so classified it had no real name, designated LZ-652. The scientists were sent the worst of our own worlds; they were the people too sadistic with blood rage for even the galactic AP reels. Our governors thought they could control the monsters on both sides of the glass. No one knew, and no one asked what kinds of experiments they were doing. Why would they? LZ-652 is just on the outside of known space, its orbit perilously close to the nexus cloud. Both literally and figuratively on the edge of madness.

    The scientists, calling themselves the Lazarus Collective, weaponized their experiments, took the monsters they were given and started slaughtering planets. One by one they fell. No captives, no terms for peace, no survivors. Finally there was only one planet left for us to cling to, Earth. With Earth under siege, they authorized the final defense protocol. Me.

    My name is Moihamn.

    I am blind.

    I am an assassin.

    “Computer. Link my neural interface with the jump system. I want manual control of final trajectory and re-entry into real space. Divert all non essential system functionality to the navigational sensory arrays and boost power to 200%, I need to ‘feel’ the stream around us.”

    “Sir. Please be advised. Human neural response time is inadequate for the what you have requested. Attempt would leave you brain dead. Attempt denied pending clearance code Delta. Further Advise, at 200% power boost to sensors, I will not have the power or time to successfully calculate proper and safe final trajectory. Attempt Denied. Awaiting further Commands.”

    Goddamn Computers

    “Computer, Delta code 6653 2251 white knight. Repeat last request.”

    “Request granted.”

    I felt the stream of subspace fill my existence. Saw planets blazing by one second, and crawling the next. The small Infiltrator Class Ship or ICS I was in rocketed through the subspace stream, bypassing the laws of real space physics, screaming its way to LZ-652. When focusing, I did not need eyes to see.

    “Computer, in T-Minus 5.2 seconds, from my final word, disengage the stream, and deploy personal carrier. Program Alpha.”

    Using my… special gifts, I had bypassed the dead zone surrounding the planet. No one else can navigate in the stream with the same degree of accuracy. Using the computers worked well…but jumps were not 100% accurate and jumping into the middle of a planet would be a brief, horrific nightmare so normally you had to jump far from your destination. I came out of subspace right outside of the atmosphere.

    They were waiting for me when I touched down on the planet.

    The iron of blood. I have no conception of red but I know the scent, it is burned into my brain. The lead scientist was smart, not only staying back on the safety of his planet but also keeping the most depraved and skillful soldiers for his own protection. From the sound of their boots, and after the smell of their blood, I counted 10,000 personal command troops. A small army. They did not stand a chance.

    Screaming. Tears. Pleas and the sound of fear. They fell one by one, faster than sleep.

    The ground is hard then soft then hard. Crunching with the sound of stones and bones, muffled by a hand, or stray cloth. I make my way to him, our own “Lazarus” risen from his self banished planet, awaiting my final judgment.

    I leave nothing alive on my search.

    He is not hiding when I enter his empty office, he knows why I am here. Without a word, we begin.

    *slash* He feints a strong attack and stabs soft but deep, slowly working through my defenses. I feel the blood. Hot, running down my face. Gathering myself I shove with all my strength. Honed through decades of silent, black training, he staggers and has to defend himself. He is out of time already though. I parry his next assault designed to make me back off. Smashing through, his guard down, I rip and destroy. Everything that is inside I slice, cut, and remove. There is no holding back and I can hear his screams echoing, louder and louder, keening their way into nothingness.

    We are cross legged on his office floor, facing each other. It has been 3.3 seconds after sitting and it is over. I hear and smell the thin stream trickling down out his nose, and the gentle thud as he falls over. He was very good, using a myriad of drugs, bionic implants and other less savory modifications to expand his mental powers, stronger than those he gave to his army and lieutenants. His defenses were too good for a distance attack. But…

    I am not drugs, or machine or tricks.

    I was born.

    I am the only Seer.

    I reach out and take the implant nestled in the back of his head. The interface which connects him mentally with his entire galactic military force. I reach out to them, one by one.

      1. gamingtheblues

        Thank you for your comment. I thought of what type of sword fight can you have without swords, and instantly thought of mental combat. Then considered who could be the best at a fight where you do not need to see to win. My work always seems to teeter between the edge of unorganized and visceral immediacy. I am pleased that you found the latter to be the case here.

      1. gamingtheblues

        Your comment may just sustain me through periods of self doubt when it comes to my ability to create a living through writing. Thank you so much for your candidness and comment. I struggle with posting sometimes and am ecstatic that you enjoyed it. I am even now in the process of trying to become more relevant in online writing communities but this is my first week so… it is a long difficult road.

  17. abhijit jiwa

    ( I love Sci-fi. Nothing like Sci-fi writing. No need to be sure of your geographical locales. Lol. When I write about my Protagonist in an American city, I know I have to study up on that particular town/city. Check out the local weather, and a bunch of other stuff. Not so with Sci-fi. You create your own worlds, your own cities. :) )

    She was parked off Arien. 55,000 kilometers wide in the old measuring system. The Quarkan as she was called, had seen 6 major inter-galactic wars. The biggest ship ever to have come in the vicinity of the Argus system. The M’tari who built it, were the most specialized spaceport builders in the known universe. The ship itself was organic, and could be split-up into twenty-one different capsules, all with independent thrust systems. When combined together as it was now, it become a formidable fighting force. Nothing, and nobody could get by it. The Kyminians were making their final move into Argus. The commander of the Kyminians, Thirus III had been very successful in his inter-galactic campaigns so far. Argus and its planets were always a thorn in his side, but it never worried him. Victory was certain, as Argus did not have the resources to defend itself. The Kyminians, from their various campaigns, had amassed a huge number of fighting ships, capable of sustaining long drawn out inter-stellar flight, and extended battle. The Arganians were never known for battle or had never been on any campaigns, so Thirus had always placed them last on his list. They were not a threat. It was only a question of when to move in. Which is why Thirus had brought in only one ship, the Quarkan.

    Arien was a big gas-planet on the outskirts of the Arganian system. 14 planets, out of which 2 were hospitable to our race. Argus as it was known, was a twin star solar-system. We had all but colonized the available satellites wherever possible. Our defences were tight, with military outposts all around the system. But seemingly, we were no match for the Kyminians and their huge warship, the enormous Quarkan. I watched as a fleet of small scout ships approached us. As commander of the Arganians, I had agreed to meet Thirus III on his request. Thirus would ask for surrender of all forces, and he would be expecting us to bend. Thirus approached, and the lead scout ship docked with our ship. The bay doors opened, and Thirus soon appeared, surrounded by his warriors.
    “Greetings Karri” He said with a half salute. “I have been looking forward to this meeting for a long time. Instead of crossing swords, we shall cross words , yes?” .
    “Surely:” I acknowledged his greeting, and we went into the cabin. An hour passed as Thirus realized that we would not agree to a surrender.
    “Then I hope you are ready for a war. You surely know what I have? “ he asked, with a quizzical look on his face.
    “Had….” I emphasized.
    “What do you mean? “ He asked, a comical look on his face.
    I picked up a drink from the counter.
    “Who built your mighty ship, the Quarkan, Thirus?” I asked.
    “The M’tari” he said.
    “Do you know anything of the origins of the M’tari? “ I questioned.
    Thirus paused. A strange look on his face.
    “Look” I said, pointing to the distant Quarkan .
    Thirus ‘s eyes widened as he looked. There were a million small scout ships all abandoning the Quarkan in a hurry.
    After some time there was a gigantic white ball of flash, and the Quarkan exploded in a prolonged ball of flames, and debris.
    “The M’tari are Arganians, originally from Argus. They obey me. Out of the 14 planets, the biggest three planets are actually space ships , disguised to look like planets. We built them. We never went on war campaigns, because we didn’t need to. Arien , beside which Quarkan was parked, is a warship, not a planet.”

    Thirus looked at the burning Quarkan. He was silent for a long long time.

    1. gamingtheblues

      I enjoyed your lead up and the twist at the ending is awesome, you took this topic seriously and put forth a real story and I appreciated that. Some of the other stories on this page are a little too self aware for my personal taste. Now

      for my constructive criticism.

      I love the premise, but felt that you spoon fed the ending just a little to the reader, pointing out twice what was very deliciously evident in the first reference in their exchange, ie… that some of the planets were actually ships. The first time in the conversation was enough for me. Perhaps strengthen the first time its mentioned if you want, instead of saying it twice, sort of took me out of the ending, weakening it just a little.

      1. abhijit jiwa

        Thank you very much for the constructive criticism, Gaming. Really appreciate it.
        Actually, its only mentioned once in the ending that three of the planets were actually space ship. The reference to Arien being a warship is only because if you read back , Arien is mentioned in the very first sentence , and is introduced as a gas planet. That was the cloak. So Arien is mentioned again in the end to tell the reader that Arien is one among the three warships that look like planets. It was essential that I tell the reader that Arien, beside which the Quarkan was parked , was actually a warship.
        Thanks though, and I really like such constructive criticism very much. :)
        regards – abhie

          1. Kerry Charlton

            abhie, what a trip this was, visual and sophistical story telling. A clever twist at the end made it more so. Sometimes those who lay back, are not to be messed with, as your story points out. It appears that you spent a lot of time on this story. It certainly was worth the effort.

          2. abhijit jiwa

            Thank you for the comments Kerry. This one was spun off the many sci-fi stories I already had in mind. Always wanted to make this into a big story series. And I will too , in time. So writing this did not really take up much time. Appreciate the nice words. :)

  18. mfidalgo

    Date: 2.3.3014

    It was time and I was ready. It had to end. I was destined to live in peace with my people and they with me. But now, there would be just disgrace if I lost. After all, I was the more experienced with the weapon, and she was no hypo-archer. This was what I had trained for all my life.

    The circle was formed on the deck – a circle of 10 judges, They were taking their lives in their hands, too. Bioweapons were dangerous items, and the darts were lethal. They wore full body armor and helmets, which appeared similar to old-fashioned fencing uniforms – white, embedded mesh cages that stuck to their bodies, a fiberglas shell.

    The circle would only pass judgment if we both lived at the conclusion of the battle. The orange circle within their ring determined the parameters of our movements. I would remain queen of Marni, and now own what she did, rule who she had ruled with her steel grip around the necks of her people.

    She was the problem, and this – hypoarchers – was the weapon I had chosen when she offered to fight instead of a general war to kill all our people. It was a ridiculous offer. She was little more than five feet high; I had reach on her, and I planned to use it.

    The claxon sounded and it was finally time for confrontation. The cameras which lined the top of the circular room had a direct feed to both our home planets. So soon, Marni would celebrate our victory, and my husband the king would rejoice along with me in an orgy of liquor and food by starlight.

    I pulled my armor up, shoved my weapon down. The large hypo-arrow, called a basz, was loaded with PS2, one substance I knew would kill on contact. My nemesis, shot first, and I rolled to avoid her shot. What was within her hypo-bow’s arrow I didn’t know, but it penetrated the armor of one of the judges. He fell to the floor, death imminent as he thrashed with pain. No one was allowed to assist, and he died in agony, writhing on the floor.

    She was reloaded when I shot. Precisely, right in the carotid, the only space in her armor that had a weakness large enough for my arrow to invade. She screamed and pulled the arrow out of her throat, The bleeding would not cease as she fell down. PS2 had an anti-coagulant along with its poison, and now she drained blood all the way down her black armor.

    I called across the circle. “Melinda, you reloaded. Try, try to shoot now.” I took off my helmet in a gesture of bravado as she tried to force the glass vial into her arrow’s shaft. I loved taunting her. After all, a duel to the death to save all the little people had been her fault. War would have been mine. It was her last gambit, and she was already nearly dead.

    It was then when I made my mistake. I took one step closer, reducing the distance between us to less than 10 feet. She lunged at me, bow and arrow together, using it like a raven spear. I had taken off my helmet, and the poison that was killing her had now been used on me. Now PS4 penetrated my veins, but I left the arrow in as she fell to the floor, her arm almost outside the circle. She was dying far too quickly.

    I was the last queen standing. And as I fell, I heard the judges say my name: Beata of Marni, all 9 of them voting to claim the victory I would never see. But I had won my country’s war, saved my people’s lives.

    The banquet would wait for the afterlife, I thought, going down to one knee and feeling the venom course through me, finally leaving my face upon the floor, begging for the pain to end, crying out for help but knowing their was none: my Pyhrric victory.

  19. Ovicenay

    Two dominate species long fighting for control of the known multiverse. As they prepare for the largest and possibly the deadliest campaign in know history, the Raunths, a larger and stonger race, challenges the Divons to Single Combat, as set forth in the Handbook of Single Combat, 412th ed. The leader of the Divons, a smaller but quicker and more agile race, agrees.

    The rules, as set forth by the Handbook, states that the leader of two opposing armies, if both agree, my challenge each other to single and unfettered combat in lieu of the combat of their armies.

    A hastily built arena is constructed on a desolate and pocked-marked planet caught between the two advancing armies. The construction adheres to the Handbook; built on a neutral site, and on solid and level ground, the arena is an oval 100 Turons long, 50 Turon wide. Walls are greater than 4 Turons high and lined with weapons and protection of all sorts; clubs, maces, swords, firearms, polearms, staffs, bows, slings, shields, helmets, etc…

    The combatants are placed on either end of the arena and billions of billions of eyes watch to see the fate of their species. With their backs to the wall and eyes/or eye on their opponent, the combats circle the arena, glancing at their choice of weapons and planning their strategy.

    The Raunth smiles as he runs his claws over the array of weapons while circling the arena. He skips the ranged weapons, because in accordance to with Handbook, Rule 16, Article 4, subsection (a), no projectile weapons can be used in the first 30 Rotons of combat. No one wants someone to grab a sling, get off a lucky shot and have the whole thing over in the first moments, where is the sport in that?

    The Divon, knowing what he wants makes the first move and grabs a helmet.

    The Raunth sees the Divon’s move and grabs a shiny double edged sword and charges.

    From over the wall a whistle is blown. A Dubi, an impartial third race refereeing the combat, as stated in the Handbook, Rule 3, Article 4, subsection (f), wearing a black and white striped tunic {Rule 3, Article 3, subsection (r)}, who blew the whistle, is holding a yellow card and pointing at the Raunth. The Dubi then gives the signal of illegal weapon choice.

    The Raunth stops in the center of the arena, throws his claws up and yells at the Dubi, immediately refuting the call. The Raunth calls for clarification. The Dubi pulls out the Handbook and turns to Rule 57, Article 19, subsection (t), addendum (5), stating slashing and piercing weapons can only be used after (a) the opponent dons protective armor, or (b) after 4 Rotons of combat, or (c)…

    The penalty is removal of all slashing and piercing weapons from the arena. The Raunth returns to his end of the arena while those weapons are removed. Then, when finally given the signal to start, the Raunth grabs a staff, and waits for a whistle. Hearing none, he charges. When he reaches the center of the arena, a meteor lands on him, crushing him.

    The Dubi blows the whistle and gives the signal for illegal weapon; no projectile weapons for the first 30 Rotons of combat.

  20. PeterW

    I would be fine with a science-fiction prompt… but this is a terrible prompt for even science-fiction. Dealing with these is prolly making us better writers though :)

    Intergalactic

    I am the king, astride the cosmos. I stand upon galaxies, rise up through nebular clouds, and hold the energy of trillion suns at the heart of my soul. In each pupil, a black hole; in each hand, a fist of antimatter; and oh, in my mind, ever neuron flashes as bright as the greatest supernova. I shall cut you to pieces. I shall turn you to ash and dust: send you back to dark universe where you were made. You are merely a red dwarf, a black star, hardly a protoplanet, a dead Soviet satellite. I shall break all your orbits, tear you from the frame of time and space, and take you apart until you are lesser in stature than the vacuum of space. I am your king. I am the black matter that surrounds you. Bow under my great corona; kiss the zenith of my sword; suck my great plasma nadir.

    Oh, you fools, I am beyond you. God is said to be omnipresent. Then the only conclusion is that I am God. And I am Jesus and that holy spirit, and that because I am all of those things, they become irrelevant. It is like saying the animal is a hunter, a gather, and a holy fool instead of calling it a human. Medieval theologians once speculated that there is only submission. They were right. There is only submission…and reverence, duty, supplication to me. Universal king, king of the universe, multiverse, all.

    And being all this… it is cold. Here in space. Inhabiting space and time… ruler of it… it is cold and lonely when one must strike down adversaries with such gravity. To see the shell stars and the quasars in trembled in one’s presence. To have all planets and all moons circle, cling in eternal orbit. To look along all the empty light-years and only see a single lost asteroid. And to think if only I were a comet, a shooting star, a simple constellation. To be only a gamma ray, a single burst of life. But when one is celestial, there is no love. It shall never be eclipsed.

    I am king astride the cosmos. I stand upon galaxies, rise up through nebular clouds, and hold the energy of a trillion hearts at the heart of my cold helium soul. Bow, fool, or I shall cut you down with enough gravity to pull you from time itself. You shall not be a martyr or memory; you shall have never existed. You will be nothing, are nothing. I, king, am everything.

    1. jmcody

      My, dont we think highly of ourselves. Hmmm… who would say such things… Maybe… SATAN????

      — Churchlady

      Sorry, couldn’t resist. This is a truly terrifying little character study you’ve done here. I agree that this prompt was challenging. You’ve more than risen to the occasion.

    2. Marc Perry

      I am the one who is, who was and who shall be. Others find their strength in cosmic displays of power, but I am to be found in the realm of the small. Here, time has no meaning and space is just an illusion. I can tear apart atoms with a thought and freeze time itself at my whim. Those fools that dare come after me find nothing. For I am everywhere, yet nowhere. They can only find traces of where I have been, but can never know where I am or where I am going.

      Let others have their galaxies, black holes and dark matter. I shall tear them apart, piece by piece, from the fabric of space time. No amount of power can challenge me.

    3. agnesjack

      See what can happen when you take your disdain for a prompt and go with it, PeterW?

      There are a few typos that interrupt the flow, however, which is a shame because the language and imagery is so powerful.

  21. Evol3

    My console choked to life. Good to see something still worked.

    Earth’s betrayer smiled up at me from my ship’s console, his lips curled in that infuriating way that said he’d won. “Is that what you hope to stop me with? A hundred year old junker from the salvage yards?” The curl deepened. ”How’d you even get that thing out of orbit, Janice?”

    I wiped my bangs from my eyes. “You know, you never really understood women.”

    He laughed again — that same wheezing laugh that was the hallmark of the mother ship’s recycled air. My eyes flicked to the vial next to the console.

    “You know your flying, and I use the term loosely, a maintenance ship, right? No weapons. And, my scanners are showing no explosives.” He raised a finger and said, “So what’s stopping me from pushing this button?” He grinned and I felt my stomach churn. The ship wouldn’t last much longer before the engines died and I’d be dead in space. I needed in.

    I gave him my best smile, “Marcus, please. Let me dock. I’m unarmed and we need to talk.” I gripped the throttle until my knuckles whitened; the engine rumbled and whinnied. Hold together girl, this has to work. Earth needs you.

    He ran a hand through his blond strands and then shook his head. “There’s nothing to talk about. I’m turning the codes over and the invasion will go as planned. Sorry Janice—I value breathing.”

    I felt my stomach lurch, but forced my lips together and batted my eyes. “Please Marcus—at least give me a kiss goodbye then. We had some times, remember?”

    His eyes narrowed. ”I remember how you felt about kissing me. What’s your game?”

    My hands shook on the throttle. The ship bucked erratically. I glanced over my shoulder—stabilizers were failing. Engine would be next. “Look, Marcus, I really do care about you and…”

    He raised an eyebrow. “And?”

    I bit my lip. “I don’t want to die.”

    He threw his head back and laughed. “Ironic. Just ironic. So, I guess kissing me isn’t so bad if I’m to be the last man alive, hmm?”

    I nodded slowly.

    He eyed me for a moment and then nodded back. “Very well, I’ll meet you at the dock.”

    I fell back into my seat and pressed the throttle forward. A screeching sound echoed through the cabin as the ship lurched toward the mother ship’s docking station. I breathed a sigh of relief. Probably my last.

    Moments later, a tube extended from the station and locked onto the ship. I closed my eyes and waited for the familiar sucking sound that accompanied the seal. Seconds felt like eons.

    Ssssssshhhhhh. Click.

    Our air was shared.

    The ship’s door opened. Marcus was standing outside. In one smooth motion I grabbed the vial and hurled it at the floor, shattering it. The virus was out.

    Marcus gaped as realization hit. “Why?”

    I smirked. “Because I know how much you value breathing.”

  22. River Carlton

    Arious was quickly becoming a desert planet. Water, the resource by which its inhabitant’s survived, was depleting. Galna, an oceanic planet overseen by a royal committee of elders and guarded by mind benders- beings with an inborn ability to harness the unconscious state and turn mental visions into powerful weapons, had to be conquered at any cost. (Because of the lack of water in Arious, the moist, gill-bodied skins of its inhabitants were failing to secrete the mucus essential for respiratory cells to function in their lungs.) Millions had died through the ions and without the bountiful living water of Galna extinction was certain.

    Melvik, the last of the mind benders, stood atop the tallest peak of Galna. His adversary Xathros, the chief prophet of planet Arious, along with his fighters, emerged from the ocean depths to face Melvik on the apex of the cliff. Melvik and the Xathros regimen waited for the setting of the third sun in the western horizon. Once darkness shrouded the landscape war was to break out. Melvik’s mind began to drift into a deep, dreamlike trance just before the invaders positioned themselves in battle formation. In Melvik’s unconsciousness, a vision of a sword materialized. The sword was engulfed in white fire. From its point, thunderclaps echoed as root-like veins shot heavenward in a blink. It was the power of the mind bender, and it meant victory for Galna.

    Xathros men advanced toward Melvik, but before the first of Xathros warriors neared the mind bender, the rush of Xathro’s battalions haulted. At once, in one single swing of his arms, hundreds of Xathro’s brave fighters fell lifeless before Melvik’s feet. At times, Melvik appeared feeble in the sight of the Ariousean fighters, but Melvik felt strong because of the sword he wielded, a specter in the eyes of Xathro and his men. A sword with no substance; real only in the mind of Melvik- a force that evoked the might of a myriad of fighting warriors.

    Once the sunrise of Galna’s first sun shone over the peaks and mighty seas did an endless waste land become visible to Melvik and the blood drenched Xathros. Both were the sole survivors of the conflict. At a close distance from one another, Melvik and Xathro eyed each other with a measure of esteem.

    Soon after, a voice heralded the nearing of Galna’s royal class upon the peaks of battle. A class of human-like immortals- beings adorned in precious gems and attired in pure white gowns. In suspended animation they drifted between the two fighters.

    Due to the gallant struggle between the foes, the sovereign royalty of Galna declared an alliance between the two worlds. The inhabitants of Arious would be granted a generous amount of life saving water at the end of every solar orbit. In turn Melvik was to be reunited with his fellow mind benders in resurrected vitality. Peace between the races was forever established and both planets continued in harmonious balance.

  23. Critique

    Our enemy, Starship Scorpio and Captain Helio must be destroyed or our home planet would be annihilated.

    Captain Diam of the Starship Intrepid, called an emergency meeting.

    We stood, silent in our bitter outrage. It mattered little that Captain Helio’s reputation for savage takeovers was legendary. We cared that worthy starship enterprises had tried and failed to bring him to justice. We were prepared to die defending the homeland.

    “We’re going for the jugular this time.” He said. “I’ve given the order – we’re headed for home to intercept Scorpio.”

    “Thorgion, I want all channels purged immediately.” He stared fiercely in my direction. “We must consolidate.”

    Energy warfare was my department and I had trained the Captain and a first-rate team. The purging went seamlessly – we were on the same page – as the fate of our homeland lay in our hands – literally.

    “Scorpio landed scouts and they are within range.” Captain Diam’s said. We were at our stations. “Prepare to transport.”

    The reconnaissance transport went without a hitch and in the gloom – protected by stealth shields – we advanced towards the enemy spotters.

    A battle broke out and raged fiercely and silently. Both sides experienced heavy casualties.

    I stumbled over Captain Diam who lay depleted. ““Finish him Thorgion.” The Captain’s voice barely audible now… “ Get Helios.”

    Floating over a small knoll I found myself face to face with Captain Helios. His serpentine eyes reddened when they focused on my face and I knew instantly I was facing an expert in energy disciplines.

    Helios’ scaly arms whipped straight out from his body pointing at my chest. I crossed my arms blocking the target, turned sideways and aimed my left hand towards him holding my ground. The force of his energy stream spun me around and I fell forward shredding my face on the rocky terrain.

    In once fluid motion I elevated ten feet off the ground taking Helios by surprise. Rage and determination honed my focus and I aimed my fingers at his arms. The energy flow built exponentially and I released it in one blow. Too late, he turned screaming in agony as I immobilized his left hand.

    His focus broken I finished him off, two streams frying his eyeballs and two more streams to seal off his carotid arteries.

    Exhausted, I sounded an alarm. Two team members managed to collect data from Scorpio’s Intelligence System and then disable the ship, reducing it to a pile of useless metal.

    Our emotions a mix of triumph and grief, we vaporized our dead team mates, collected the wounded and called for transport back to the Intrepid. Our Captain was lucky – he recovered fully.

    The cost of war cannot be measured in acceptable terms. Unfortunately it is a necessary evil.

    I continue my work to fine tune energy warfare and have gleaned valuable information from Scorpio’s arsenal.

    I spin my mental wheels fruitlessly, imagining a day when my job will be obsolete and weapons an archaic word.

    1. Silver Sister

      This story worked for me. It was very visual without being overblown. Thinking of a day when the word ‘weapon’ is obsolete is a beautiful hope that touches the reader.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hi-tech warfare at it’s best. Fried eyeballs, Yeek! Maybe the weapons of war become so fearfull, man will turn away, although I seriously doubt that course of history. I liked your story, not too much description, the right amount of action and the MC’s reflection is a nice ending.

  24. Silver Sister

    My newest capture studied me with interest. “You are the youngest chancellor in the history of the Global Shield, are you not?”

    “I am.” The world tasks me with bringing to justice those who commit crimes against our planet. The kidnapping and virtual enslavement of 39 of Earth’s premier painters, sculptors, authors, musicians, thespians and chefs had landed King Hitoch on my Wanted list.

    He shook his head. “Why safeguard the planet when you could’ve ruled it? By the time you were my age, you might have amassed an empire as vast as mine.”

    “Perhaps I lack ambition.”

    “It matters little now. If you have the audacity to make me stand trial, my people will invade. Earth will be a great jewel in my crown.” Sadness tinged his words. “Even if I’m not around to see it.”

    “I have no intention of killing you.”

    Under different circumstances, I might’ve laughed at his shock. His people really do look funny when they are surprised. “I have no intention of making you a martyr. That would only galvanize your troops and inspire your young to sing songs of you for generations to come. That’s not in the people’s best interest.”

    “What is your plan, Chancellor?”

    I gestured to the comfortable quarters. “I merely intend to offer you hospitality until your trial. If you decide to return our artists unharmed and sign a stringent planetary restraining order before then, well, that’s your prerogative,”

    King Hitoch stared. I refused to be the first to break the long silence. “I may have overestimated you, Chancellor.”

    I smiled. “Since you are a lover of Earth culture, I brought you a gift – books from the Ancients.” I slid the reader across the table. “They are biographies on and even novels by celebutantes.”

    He snatched the reader. “I have never heard this . . . ‘celebutante’.”

    “The Ancients revered them. I think someone of your refinement will respond quite strongly to their work.” I motioned for the guard to roll over the meal cart. “But first, a lunch fit for a king.”

    King Hitoch lifted a hunk of brown. He regarded the greasy imprint it left with horror.

    “You may be unfamiliar with this type of cuisine. This is ‘fast food’. It was a staple in the Ancients’ diet. I’m not entirely certain what oil, Trans fats, sodium and preservative chemicals will do to your system but . . .” I smiled encouragingly. “I’m sure it’ll be okay.”

    “Oh, before I leave . . .” I typed in a command. “I’d never make a music lover go without music.” A cacophony ricocheted throughout the quarters.

    King Hitoch cringed. “What is this?”

    “Music of the Ancients. It predates the Age of Illumination. Back then, looking good on a magazine cover was a major criterion for being a singer. There used to be ‘musicians’ who didn’t know a B flat from a bee sting.” I smiled. “Well, enjoy. If you decide to surrender, the red button by the door will summon me.”

    I waged war from my office. I assailed him with the worst from every genre: hokey boy bands, heavy metal screechers, pitchy pop divas, bad techno, the crudest hip hop . . . I assaulted his ears with no mercy.

    Our people were returned within 48 hours.

    King Hitoch never returned to Earth.

        1. Silver Sister

          Thanks, Critique! That part was inspired by the British navy using Brittney Spears’ music to ward off Somali pirates. I figured if it worked for them, why not an artistically discerning alien monarch?

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Loved it. Wish I were in the final polish. I would have suggested you use Barry Manilow. Play him continuously for three days and nights and he would have pleaded for mercy. Several years ago, a religious cult had barricaded themselves in one of those horrible situations similiar to Waco, Texas, State and federal authorities actually moved massice amps and loud speakers, surrounding their main building and cranked Barry Manilow. It took six days but the cult finally capitulated with no harm to any of them or the children they had held captive. Not a shot was fired.

      1. Silver Sister

        I have heard of many situations were a particular artist’s music was used as a tactic to force surrender. I can’t imagine being those artists. I don’t care how many millions you have in the bank or how many devoted fans you have, that has to be a kick in the teeth.

      2. Silver Sister

        I’ve heard of many situations where a particular artist’s music was used as a weapon to coerce surrender. I can’t imagine being those singers. I didn’t care how many millions one has in the bank or how many devoted fans one has, that’s a gigantic kick in the teeth.

    2. agnesjack

      I liked this very much, Silver Sister. You’ve touched on all the inanity of our present culture, or rather, obsessions. “Celebutante” is a brilliant word!

  25. River Carlton

    Arious was quickly becoming a desert planet. Water, the resource by which its inhabitant’s survived, was depleting. Galna, an oceanic planet overseen by a royal committee of elders and guarded by mind benders- beings with an inborn ability to harness the unconscious state and turn mental visions into powerful weapons, had to be conquered at any cost. (Because of the lack of water in Arious, the moist, gill-bodied skins of its inhabitants were failing to secrete the mucus essential for respiratory cells to function in their lungs.) Millions had died through the ions and without the bountiful living water of Galna extinction was certain.

    Melvik, the last of the mind benders, stood atop the tallest peak of Galna. His adversary Xathros, the chief prophet of planet Arious, along with his fiercest fighters, emerged from the ocean depths to face Melvik on the apex of the cliff. Melvik and the Xathros regimen waited for the setting of the third sun in the western horizon. Once darkness shrouded the landscape war was to break out. Melvik’s mind began to drift into a deep, dreamlike trance just before the invaders positioned themselves in battle formation. In Melvik’s unconsciousness, the vision of a sword materialized. The sword was engulfed in white fire. From its point, thunderclaps echoed as root-like veins shot heavenward in a blink. It was the power of the mind bender, and it meant victory for Galna.

    Xathros men advanced toward Melvik, but before the first of Xathros warriors neared the mind bender, the rush of Xathro’s battalions haulted. At once, in one single swing of his arms, hundreds of Xathro’s brave fighters fell lifeless before Melvik’s feet. At moments, Melvik appeared feeble in the sight of the Ariousean fighters, but Melvik felt strong because of the sword he wielded, a specter in the eyes of Xathro and his men. A sword with no substance; real only in the mind of Melvik…an invisible force that evoked the might of a myriad of fighting warriors.

    Once the sunrise of Galna’s first sun shone over the peaks and mighty seas did an endless waste land become visible to Melvik and the blood drenched Xathros. Both were the sole survivors of the conflict. At a close distance from one another, Melvik and Xathro eyed each other with a measure of esteem.

    Soon after, a voice heralded the nearing of Galna’s royal class upon the peaks of battle. A class of human-like immortals- beings adorned in precious gems and attired in pure white gowns that gently ruffled in the wicked gales of Galna. In suspended animation they drifted between the two fighters.

    Due to the gallant struggle between the foes, the sovereign royalty of Galna declared an alliance between the two worlds. The inhabitants of Arious would be granted a generous amount of life saving water at the end of every solar orbit. In turn Melvik was to be reunited with his fellow mind benders in resurrected vitality. Peace between the races was forever established and both planets continued in harmonious balance.

  26. River Carlton

    Arious was quickly becoming a desert planet. Water, the resource by which its inhabitant’s survived, was depleting. Galna, an oceanic planet overseen by a royal committee of elders and guarded by mind benders- beings with an inborn ability to harness the unconscious state and turn mental visions into powerful weapons, had to be conquered at any cost. (Because of the lack of water in Arious, the moist, gill-bodied skins of its inhabitants were failing to secrete the mucus essential for respiratory cells to function in their lungs.) Millions had died through the ions and without the bountiful living water of Galna extinction was certain.

    Melvik, the last of the mind benders, stood atop the tallest peak of Galna. His adversary Xathros, the chief prophet of planet Arious, along with his fiercest fighters, emerged from the ocean depths to face Melvik on the apex of the cliff. Melvik and the Xathros regimen waited for the setting of the third sun in the western horizon. Once darkness shrouded the landscape was war to break out. Melvik’s mind began to drift into a deep, dreamlike trance just before the invaders set into their battle formations. In Melvik’s unconsciousness the vision of a sword appeared. The sword was engulfed in white fire. From its point, thunderclaps sounded; root-like veins shot heavenward in a blink. It was the power of the mind benders, and it meant victory for Galna.

    Xathros men advanced toward Melvik, but before the first of Xathros warriors neared the mind bender, the rush of Xathro’s battalions haulted. At once, in one single swing of his arms, hundreds of Xathro’s brave fighters fell lifeless before Melvik’s feet. At moments, Melvik appeared feeble in the sight of the Ariousean fighters, but Melvik felt strong because of the sword he wielded, a specter in the eyes of Xathro and his men. A sword with no substance; real only in the mind of Melvik, evoked the might of a myriad of fighting warriors.

    Once the sunrise of Galna’s first sun shone over the peaks and mighty seas, did an endless waste land become visible to Melvik and the blood drenched Xathros. Both were the sole survivors of the conflict. At a close distance from one another, Melvik and Xathro eyed each other with a measure of esteem.

    Soon after, a voice heralded the nearing of Galna’s royal class upon the peaks of battle. A class of human-like immortals- beings adorned in precious gems and attired in pure white gowns that gently ruffled in the wicked gales of Galna, hovered, in suspended animation, before the two fighters.

    Due to their gallant struggle for victory, the sovereigns of Galna declared an alliance between the two worlds. The inhabitants of Arious would be granted a generous amount of life saving water at the end of every solar orbit. In turn Melvik was to be reunited with his fellow mind benders in resurrected vitality. Peace between the races was forever established and both planets continued in harmonious balance.

  27. cmariee

    I am the strongest of my brothers. I am the poorest and the most betrayed; yet hatred and pain can be a motivator. Our race has been divided since my father’s admission of guilt. His announcement that I was a half-breed, not an Arnasi but half Destardin as well created a civil war that has manifested itself into an intergalactic battle.
    “Gentleman, it is with the deepest gratitude and honor that I speak to the council now as we cross paths into the Arnasi controlled sector. This is not your war: It is mine. But this is your home. I only wish I could keep the direction of my purpose separate from your lives.
    I will not allow blood of my own to remain a future threat to the Destardin people. You have my word. They will suffer as we have.”
    The corridor was silent.
    “Rashier, grief is what makes us human. Without fear and compassion these people would not be worth saving. They deserve to be free. They need you now as you need them.”
    “Thank you, Jardon. Your guidance keeps me clear. We will reach the Arnasi area within the hour.”

    The Gargon ship became visible only after we had penetrated the first layer of their cloak. The protective outer layer, I knew, was a way to keep hidden from outsiders more than a shield of protection. Once our ship smashed into it, it deactivated the translucent rays and could not be utilized, just as I had anticipated.
    “Rashier!”
    Surit had opened the communicator. “You’ve made a foolish choice. You have returned with a pulse.”
    I had it in me. With one button I could open fire, destroy him at least.
    “I have indeed. A pulse that will continue to beat long after your own heart bleeds out. You know why I am here. We either handle this, the two of us, or I blow your head off with the current laser that right now is aimed at your lover’s door.”
    “Hostility does not suit you, Rashier.”
    “And will abstinence suit you, brother, when I give the order to open fire on your mistress’ room?”
    I waited and said nothing more. Finally a response: Surit had opened the dock to the Gargon. I boarded a small pod alone. No other Destardins would risk their lives against my brother. The Arnasi’s would meet their end. They would know what it felt like to suffer, to be considered less than human.

    “Surit!”
    “Choose.” Surit’s order was a welcome one. As I glanced down a case appeared in front of me, carried by an oversized half-breed like myself.
    I chose, but not from the case.
    I had already equipped myself with my father’s retractable laser. I had fastened it to metallic knuckles knowing full well Surit would laugh and welcome a fist fight from a younger brother. I would use it without regret and I would prevail. My future and the future of my people depended on clear action not indecision.

    1. agnesjack

      I liked the opening paragraph of this story very much, cmariee, but then I got confused.

      Does the half-breed MC align himself with the Arnasi or the Destardin? They are entering the Arnasi controlled sector, but he tells the council “this is your home.” Then he says, “I will not allow blood of my own to remain a future threat to the Destardin people.”

      Also, he says he’ll blow his brother’s head off with a laser that is aimed at his brother’s lover’s door, then he says “will abstinence suit you, brother, when I give the order to open fire on your mistress’ room?” as if his brother is not there with her.

  28. james.ticknor

    Darth Vader walked up to Bill Clinton and stabbed him with a lightsaber. Zzzttt, woosh, zzzttt. The End. I’ll accept my Oscar now. Wait, that’s for movies? Then what am I doing here?

  29. ShawnJohnson78

    And Then There Was…

    Lights flicker and I slip on blood and then sleep. I awaken a moment later to panicked shouts and someone shaking me back to consciousness. “Commander Linkham! Commander Linkham!” The lights are off now and only the floor strips are illuminating the invading darkness. My head is throbbing but I put it off to the side for now, later I can deal with the headache or death can cure it for me.
    “I’m awake Lieutenant” I sound groggy and curse myself for it. I look around for signs of what is happening but everything is still. “What’s the current Lieutenant? Any signs of Cslieng or his ship?” I ask as I hear metal on metal scraping.
    “Sir I think…”
    “We’ve been boarded, I hear it.” I cut her off. She helps me to my feet and I look for weapons but I see nothing but a silhouette of my feet. At least I still have those. “Computer?” No response. “Computer?” more forcefully as if a computer could have trouble hearing. “Dead.” I state referring to the AI but could just as well have been stating the obvious of our situation. As if on cue the door to the bridge explodes. Through the smoke and fire a diamond shape metallic object floats towards them.
    “Life signs found” It states for someone. “Scanning. Jxym Linkham, current known rank, Commander. Home planet: Absolm, Hastings Quadrant. Scanning. Abray Fenryz, current known rank, Lieutenant. Home planet: Richost, Hastings Quadrant. No other life signs found.”
    Those words hit me. I had assumed there was no one left but the confirmation from this soulless machine stings worse. The machine begins powering up and a strong blue light permeates the dark. “Begin transport”
    “No!” I shout but it’s too late. I’m already on board his ship and he is looking right at me. “Cslieng!” I stand but his second-in-command buckles my knee with the butt of something. From my knees Cslieng is monstrously huge. At least seven feet tall and nearly two feet wide. He is the species the humans had hoped they would never meet. The nightmare of movies and books. The enslaver. The destroyer. I look for Lietuenant Fenryz but she’s not here.
    “Looking for something?” Cslieng asks in condescending manner as he points to his view screen where a live feed of Lieutenant Fenryz floating in the vacuum of space lights up. I want to weep for her. There is no more painful way to die. They zoom in on her features and her eyes and tongue have just boiled and exploded. She was still alive for it. “I wanted you to see what you did to her.” He squats down in front of me so I see both him and her. “This is on you.”
    I have cut into my palms. Veins are popping out of my head and I feel feral. The hidden spike implanted in our left wrist is protruding and in a flash of my own blood I yank it out and aim true at Cslieng’s head. His second-in-command had been watching too closely though and decided to remove my arm just as it came up. I scream and then am kicked down to my back. They pick up my arm and drip the blood on my face and the world goes red and all I can think about now is that damned headache.

    1. agnesjack

      I had to read this twice to discern what was happening. I think, perhaps, breaking the dialogue up into separate lines might have helped the flow. Also, it seemed to jump from first person to third person in this line: “Through the smoke and fire a diamond shape metallic object floats towards them.”

      That said, you’ve written a very descriptive and brutal story about the end for the Commander and his people. I’m curious about Cslieng, though, and why he says that the death of Lieutenant Fenryz is on the Commander.

      1. ShawnJohnson78

        thought I had caught all of them. it was originally 3rd person and I changed it all, with the obvious unintentional exception of that line. Thanks for reading it, kind of my first jaunt into science fiction.

        1. agnesjack

          I’ve done that, too (switch the perspective), so I understand how things can get missed.

          If this is your first attempt at sci-fi, ShawnJohnson, you’ve done really well. I didn’t mean for my comment to sound so critical. There are a lot of good things in this story that would be worth fine-tuning.

  30. rainyk

    Captain Fluffystuff shuffled down the corridor, going over the battle in his mind. He had to face facts: his strategy was not working. The Kute Maneuver had failed, and an ambush dreamed up by his first officer had resulted in mass casualties—not to the enemy, but to his own ranks. As each side retreated to lick their wounds, he retired to his private quarters on Deck 9 to meditate on the problem and escape the desperate gazes of his crew.

    He passed through the outer burrow, where his concubines lay together with their ever-growing brood in a vast, furry pile. He had ordered them here for their own safety, crowded though it may be. The room, usually awash with a chorus of coos and chirps, was strangely quiet. Several tiny newborns snoozed among the crowd, their tawny fur still damp.

    The sight brought back to him all the reasons for the war: the lack of space, the depletion of resources, the demand being placed on the home planet. In a word: overpopulation. The problem was obvious, the solution quite simple. And yet, all attempts to slow the pace of reproduction had failed. To procreate was instinctive. Even he, a well-educated, intelligent Tribble, had been unable to resist the allure of the females.

    He entered the code into the keypad and ducked into his dimly lit office, breathing a loud sigh of relief. Alone, finally. As the door slid shut behind him, however, a voice spoke from across the room.

    “And so we meet.”

    Fluffystuff stopped cold. Perched on the divan was Commander Cuddlepants of the Fuzzy Confederacy—his nemesis and the leader of the rebel force that had stopped the settlement of Planet Huggabunch in its tracks. His fur was as luxuriant as the rumors said, pure white with stripes of silver.

    Fluffystuff reached for his weapon, but his holster was missing. Belatedly, he remembered he’d left the weapon at his bedside that morning when roused by the attack. In his hurry to get to the bridge, he had forgotten it.

    Cuddlepants held up the familiar lasergun. “Looking for this?” he said with a chuckle. He tossed it behind him and raised his other paw, which gripped a gleaming electric shaver. He waggled it menacingly.

    “Where did you get that?” Fluffystuff’s eyes roamed the room, searching for a distraction, a weapon, anything.

    “There’s a booming black market in Snuggle City,” said Cuddlepants derisively. “Laserguns, depilatories, extra rations… Or are you so out of touch with your people that you really believe the laws are working? Even the Guard are partaking.”

    Fluffystuff ignored this. “How did you get aboard ship? How’d you bypass the code?”

    Cuddlepants made a tsking sound. “So many silly questions. What you really should be asking is, What can you do to save your fur? I do have an answer for that.”

    “And what would that be?” Fluffystuff edged to his left, toward a shelf laden with artifacts. Among them sat an ancient spear that had reportedly been used to end the Great Pillow Fight of the 23rd century.

    “Don’t even think about it.” Cuddlepants lunged toward him while pressing the button on the shaver. It whirred threateningly.

    Fluffystuff froze. “Okay, what do you want?”

    The shaver fell silent. “What do you think? Surrender. Leave Huggabunch to us, and figure out your own damn salvation on Pookiepoo. You and your ilk have wreaked enough destruction. The rest of us deserve a chance to start over.”

    Fluffystuff snorted. “You know that’s not going to happen.”

    “Then your fate is sealed, furbag. Once I get through with you, the people will lose confidence. They’ll look to someone else to take the place of their frail, denuded leader.”

    “It won’t be that easy.”

    “Won’t it? No one wants a naked rat for a captain.”

    Fluffystuff hurled himself at the shelf, scrabbling for the spear as the artifacts went tumbling. But he was too slow. Cuddlepants was on him, shaver buzzing, and suddenly he felt the cool air against his exposed skin. As he flailed helplessly under the weight of the larger Tribble, his beloved amber-colored fur went flying and puddled around him like a silken nest.

    When it was over, he lay naked and trembling, reduced by half. He clutched his spindly pink limbs against his body in a futile attempt to hide his shame. He knew without looking that he was grotesque. A horror. Cuddlepants was right: he was finished.

    Cuddlepants turned off the shaver and towered over him, his lustrous mane almost obscuring his tiny eyes. “It’s my turn now, rat boy.”

    1. jmcody

      Well, that certainly was unique. I thought you were writing about cats at first. This is a very inventive and well-written story. The fur shaving was visceral and disturbing, yet funny somehow. Good job!

    2. Critique

      A fun take on the prompt :) Initially I thought birds until the word ‘burrow’. Appreciated your descriptive words.. depilatories, waggled, puddled around him like a silken nest etc.

  31. bilbobaggins321

    Sorry, couldn’t resist trying this one more time.

    THAT NEAR, CLOSE HOUR

    The rusted lattice over the prison covered my hunched form, shadows casting macabre puppets. The harsh lighting illuminated my despair- imprisoned in the miry lowest chambers of the ship, where only the rats scurried. And then my weary arms slid up to my chest and I dared my heart to stop pumping. What was the point?

    The raid was supposed to be simple, clear-cut. Go in, blow up the bridge, get the hell out. It all turned upside down when the troopers surrounded me, dragged me down here. I scoffed. What a leader I was, the outcast of the space protectors. I should’ve known trying to shore up my reputation was a vain effort.

    Boots on hard floor, and a resounding creak. “Come with us… Captain.”

    I was forced to my feet, an unexpected blow leaving a splatter of crimson.
    “Whatever you like. Just take me to him right away.” Weak.

    My peripheral vision noted the jailer’s telltale smirk.
    “Admiral Osgood isn’t expecting any visitors.” His visage hardened. “Take him away.”

    Arms grabbed me on each side, and I was led down the grimy catwalks. I licked my lower lip and tasted blood, my back bowed in shame.
    Low mutterings, a cruel joke shared. One stopped to punch in the codes.

    “Come on, you miserable louse… step in there.” My leg almost gave way from a kick. Suddenly, I was lashing out. The bottom of my palm slammed into a throat, and another collapsed from a knee between the legs. Breathing heavy, I ran through the maze, the alarm already ringing.

    “Get him! Where is he . . . this way . . .” I heard each task force. I ducked into a closet, and watched them with their stunners walking inches away. Resurfacing, I made my way through the dozens of halls to my destination.

    The doors slid open. He was already waiting for me with spread fingers and a malicious grin. All three of his eyes swept over me, and he laughed.
    “What have we here? A challenger?”

    The doors opened behind me, bulky shadows on the floor, but he held up a hand.
    “Exit, please. I think I have this taken care of.” He gripped his metal rod.

    “So,” he said, slipping into an attack pose, “how you been lately?”
    “Fine, except you’ve been terrorizing this galaxy long enough. I’ve come to stop you.”

    He smiled, and without a word from his lips I felt his rod slam against my shoulder. Recoiling, I crawled to the corner, ripped a lamp from its stand, and stood up clumsily. I barely blocked his next powerful swish. Delight shone on his face as he backed me into the corner. I forced my eyelids open, my back against metal. I was losing, but I would fight. That demon inside me would be released before the last grains of sand fell.

    “You shouldn’t have come here. You’ll look worse than Mary once I’m through with you.”

    I thought of my wife’s mutilated body and I screamed.
    “You! Trouble this universe . . . no more!”

    The strength I needed came from beyond reason. I lunged for him, swept his rod aside and plunged into his chest. He sank to the floor, slowly, his eyes finally seeing evil’s futility.

    Things happened quickly after that. The doors slammed open, they poured in, ran to help. I was trying to hobble away when the dart hit me between the shoulders. I silently cried out, fell and got back up. Starbursts, comets trailing purple, exploding in my soul. My whole middle convulsed, and I reached the pilot’s seat. Twisting back to Osgood, I had my finest hour.

    “All I wanted was to be somebody great,” I yelled out. “It will happen, in that near, close hour.”
    I wrenched down the wheel, and groaned as the poison bit like an adder into my flesh. As the fiery arc of the planet’s atmosphere drew nearer, I sighed and collapsed to the floor. I could already hear the cheers.

  32. agnesjack

    As the Suns burned their last molecule of hydrogen and the Moons froze in place, the eternal adversaries faced each other for what would be the final battle of all living things.

    “I shall smite you once and for all, Queen Debula, and the universe will be mine!” Morgfus said.

    “What universe? We are all doomed, Morgfus you idiot,” Debula said.

    “Au contraire, Debbie,” Morgfus sneared. “I shall survive because I am the Emperor of all and I cannot die.”

    “That’s ridiculous, Fussy boy,” Debula said with a snort. “There will be no place to survive IN.”

    “Will too.”

    “Will not.”

    “Too.”

    “NOT!” Debula said smacking his hideous proboscis with her scaly tail. “Why do I bother trying to reason with you?”

    “Ow!” Morgfus said. “Why did you do that?”

    “Oh for empyrean’s sake. Don’t be such a baby.”

    “Well, it didn’t really hurt that much, actually.”

    “Don’t be silly, of course it did. You’re oozing that disgusting brown slime.”

    “Am not.”

    “Are too.”

    “Not!”

    “Too, you neonate!” Debula said with a haughty laugh, causing Morgfus to stick out his foul foretongue and smack her round rump.

    “Oh dear. I believe a tiny midge has touched my derriere. Such a bother,” Debula said with a yawn.

    “MIDGE?!” Morgfus said. “Then why is your rump so red? Hmmm?”

    Just then, they were swept up into the vortex of cosmic self-destruction, and for what remained of time and space and light and dark and matter and antimatter, amidst the chaos and rumble of the collapse of the universe into the boson from whence it sprung, the echoes of the final epic battle between the mighty Morgfus and the indomitable Debula continued.

    “It is not red.”

    “Yes it is.”

    “Is not!”

    “Is too!”

    “NOOooot!”

    “TOOOOoooooooooo!”

    ______________

    My apologies to everyone, since this is silly and lame, but I had nothing this week. I do look forward to reading all of yours.

    1. Observer Tim

      What are you talking about? This is wonderful! It succeeds on so many levels, not the least of which is being pleasantly silly.

      Of course, I am just a wee bit worried that the universe is going to end in 3014. Or maybe it’s another Mayan calendar thing…

      1. agnesjack

        Thanks very much, Tim. Two warriors arguing like children at the end of the known universe just seemed absurdly funny to me. I’m glad you liked it.

        Don’t worry. I think we’ve got a few quadrillion years before the universe ends. :-)

    2. jmcody

      I can appreciate this because of the three prompts I’ve attempted so far, two of them had me scratching my head, with no idea of what I was going to write until I actually sat down to do it. It’s funny what comes out when you just sit down and write.

      I did enjoy this one. I am a fan of silly. And this is such a deadly serious topic, that a little shot of silly was just what was needed.

      1. agnesjack

        You are so right, jm, about how just sitting down and writing can help. I didn’t have a clue what to write for this prompt, and this absurdity came out of that frustration. It is a serious topic, so it seemed fitting and ironic to have the last warriors of all eternity act like petty two-year olds.

    3. snuzcook

      Silly, yes but certainly not lame. Good reminder that in constructing heroes and villains we really can take ourselves way too seriously. Thanks for the fun read!

    4. Silver Sister

      Where would a great warrior be without his nemesis? Glad these two could face the end together. In a way, they get to end as they began. “Is not!’ Is too’ is every young warriors first battle.

    5. DMelde

      Silly fun story. I liked it. I didn’t think it was lame. Yes it was. No it wasn’t. Shut up. No, you shut…well, I think we both know how this continues…:)

  33. derrdevil

    Captain Hollard, standing upon the remains of the outer ramparts of his doomed ship, was about to find out what gave the infinity blade it’s name. Nefarious in design and notorious in history, the infinity blade was an ingenious innovation in the aid of the Terran race, and a vicious weapon in it’s civil war. Discovered accidentally through the exploration of new elemental fuel sources, the blade was the deadly vapour trail of pure and undistilled energy that ran between two polar points of a nuclear generated connecting rod – in theory it could cut through anything, in practise it was infamous. With his service blaster in hand, the Captain stood no chance against the looming Lord Numaa.

    The red glow of the enemy’s blade wavered menacingly before Hollard, and the long flowing cape of the dark lord’s Imperial dress added to it’s unnerving sensation. All hope flushed from the Captain and Lord Numaa noticed. A smirk grew wide across his face.

    “Surrender now, Captain, and I might just be merciful.”

    “You? Never!” Hollard retorted. He fired a shot in defiance at the Imperial Lord but with a sweep of the blade, Lord Numaa cut through the blast and it absorbed into the weapon and it hummed as it glowed a more brilliant red. In that instant, Captain Hollard was defeated, his shoulders slumped and his knees fell to the ruined structure he stood upon. His blaster was useless against the might of the Imperial’s blade. He threw it aside in symbolic surrender.

    Up in the Captain’s deck General Reins and Commander Metric looked on as the dismal scene played out before them. They witnessed Lord Numaa rush upon the Captain in a flash and with a giant arch of his weapon slash down wickedly in a half circle. Hollard’s body slumped to the floor as his head bounced along the ramparts. Blood spewed out from the corpse with millions of dark droplets that floated on in the cold, dead space.

    Lord Numaa held the pommel of his weapon in the palm of his hand and placed the tip upon the chest of the deceased Captain as he stood above the body in merciless victory. He looked on towards the deck as the Imperial army swamped aboard. In that moment General Reins and his commander knew that the fate of the Terran’s race was sealed.

    1. Observer Tim

      Well told, derrdevil. Not much of a fight, given the disparity in weapons, but that can be expected. It’s too bad Captain Hollard didn’t have two blasters – simultaneous shots to different areas would likely not be Lord Numaa’s friends…

      1. derrdevil

        Haha. That would be cool! Maybe a turn of events on another prompt. I tried to set a gloomy scene, as if Hollard knew the battle was already lost from the beginning. And I usually go over the word count, so this time I tried to cram as much info, description and mood in as little as possible. Though still feel that it could have be better written.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          It’s like a ride on a roller coaster although the rider, [reader in this case] knows from the get-go that Captain Holland’s demise is a forgone event and the coaster is only heading in the down direction.

          Because of this, the story line is brutal, painful and realistic as well as written in the most effective way.

    2. derrdevil

      Ah thanks guys! What awesome comments. I really enjoyed this prompt. In hindsight, I should have added a line at the every top indicating violent nature. Sorry for the shock value, but I hope it was more good than bad. Agnesjack, Critique, Kerry, Don and Tim…. I loved your takes on this prompt. You guys are good (on every prompt I’ve read so far). There are some rare gems on this sight I’ve managed to stumble upon, and of the lot you guys are a handful of the most exquisite.

    3. jmcody

      This is very well imagined and written. The “millions of dark droplets that floated on in the cold, dead space” was a particularly compelling image to me.

  34. jmcody

    In the end, destroying the humans turned out to be simpler than we’d ever imagined.

    For generations we battled them on their own terms, meeting deadly force with impenetrable defenses, evasive maneuvers with violent, relentless pursuit. We were locked in limbo, hunkered down in our respective bunkers, unable to retreat or advance in this endless war of worlds. Their planet was newly gone; ours was ancient history. Our numbers dwindled until there were just a few of us, and even fewer of them.

    And then, we cracked the code. We discovered the thing that separated us from them, the thing that tipped the scales forever in our favor.

    Finally, I had the last human in my site, his defenses useless against the weapon that I now grasped in my pincer. We stood there, face to knob, eye to eyes on the barren surface of the uninhabitable planet Quailll. I savored what was to be the end of the conflict.

    And then the human did the thing that humans do so well – he surprised us. Us. The rational ones, the ones unencumbered by unproductive, fleeting emotions.

    The human laid down his weapon.

    “Enough” he said.

    We had studied their emotions, especially the ones that drove them to kill, to conquer and enslave – hatred, greed, jealousy, fear, anger. But this – what was this? We had not encountered this in our exhaustive study of their strange ways.

    “Peace,” he said.

    “You want peace? You, who destroyed our planet and generations of our people? You will find peace in death.”

    There was no fear on his face, certain as he was of his own impenetrable defenses. I steadied my pincer and aimed the transemotifier at him. I flipped the switch and waited.

    The human steeled himself, but there was no blast, no impact, not even a sound. For a moment he looked confused, until finally, it hit him – the one force that could destroy even the most heavily armed and armored human.

    We had learned to harness the strange, deadly power of human emotions, and to use them as weapons against them. It was tricky at first because some emotions, like hatred and anger, only made the humans more cruel. Even some of their finer emotions, like the one they called love, could cause them to kill.

    But this was the emotion against which the humans were powerless, the one guaranteed to bring about a swift doom. I watched as despair settled like a black, choking cloud of toxic gas over the human. The most peculiar expression crossed his face as he came to understand the abject hopelessness of his situation, of the war, of his very existence. As he ripped the helmet from his head, I observed a single drop of fluid escaping from the corner of one of his two eyes. A tear, they called it.

    In the airless, low gravity environment, his fall to the ground was slow, the agony on his face searing and infinite. He hit the dusty surface of Quailll with a thud, bounced a few times, and was still.

    It was over, just like that. Generations of strife, of unspeakable loss. I headed back to my ship, to my home, as there was no other home to go to.

    The funny thing is, I have not been able to leave it behind me – the interminable war, the suffering, the pain on the face of the last human. It seems that in our study of human emotions, there was one important thing that we missed: They are contagious. Maybe the contamination happened during the experimentation, or maybe it was the toxic cloud on the surface of Quaill. The changes in me have been gradual but unmistakable. Sadness. Regret. Loneliness. These are some of the emotions I have been able to identify that have taken root in me, growing like a cancer. There are many others, whose names I may never know.

    I have become my enemy.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        It was a smooth jump into your story and once there, a hypnotic ride to the end. Your lesson that war is such a useless and endless way to walk through worlds, was well received by your reader. And the tear was extremely powerful in pointing out the human discovery at that moment, that war was demeaning and negative beyond any other activity that humans had managed to invent.

    1. jmcody

      You all are so nice, so I am just going to have to self-critique:

      If I’m going to write things in the wee hours when I should be sleeping, I should remember to NOT submit without editing first. Reading this now, it seems pretty wordy, and I can see how I could easily lose 100 words. Also, it needs more action and details to allow the reader to be fully in the moment. It is written as the recollection of the MC, but still… needs more texture.

      Tim and Kerry, thank you both for the encouragement!

    2. agnesjack

      This was very inventive, jmcody. I liked the story a lot.

      You are right about the fact that it could be tightened. I learned early on not to post a story without letting it sit for about a day, but that’s what’s great about this site. I’ve learned a lot here.

    3. Silver Sister

      Perhaps tightening of the story could be done, but it has excellent bones! I love the idea of being infected with empathy and emotion. I imagine this would be a quite an experience for a being unused to these things. The overall tone of the story was pitch perfect.

    4. DMelde

      Great idea. An insect,cold blooded and void of emotion, using emotion as the sword. I would have dumped the part about the human wanting peace, it didn’t work for me, and made the human, just in that last instant of life, defiant and devoid (stripped) of emotion, more insect-like. And I would have emphasized the ending where the insect, infected with emotion, felt a loss for its destroyed home for the very first time. Emphasize how the human and the insect change places, so to speak. But that’s just me. In any event, I really enjoyed your story. Very well done! :)

      1. jmcody

        This is excellent constructive criticism, DMelde, and I agree with you. Something wasn’t right about the last human wanting to suddenly call a truce — it seemed almost cowardly. I guess I wanted him to do something surprising, something that didn’t fit into the insect’s limited frame of reference when it came to human emotions.

        I was not fond of this prompt, but now I may actually rewrite this using your advice, just to see how it turns out. Thanks for your feedback.

    5. derrdevil

      Wow!! In awe of this prompt. So deep, so beautiful! Well done! To convey a message in your writing is hard enough but to do it in a few words is an incredible feat. An enthralling story turning into a message that hits hard. I only wish I could write with such ease. To do this is the essence of writing itself, but this shows talent. Wonderful My favourite prompt!!!

      1. jmcody

        Thanks, Derrdevil, that’s very encouraging. I am a complete beginner at this. WD writing prompts are truthfully the first fiction I’ve attempted since grade school. I’ve always secretly wanted to write but thought I lacked imagination. I think I’ve been firmly bitten though, and will continue to try and improve my skills. I welcome both constructive criticism and encouragement. Thanks again for your kind words!

        1. derrdevil

          Oh well in that case, it was crap. Utter rubbish. You should be ashamed to upload something like that. Maybe you should give up writing completely and take up…..I dunno…. cleaning service? JUST KIDDING!!! You got talent! It was lovely. Maybe a bit repetitive, but the story shined through strongly. Keep at it. It’s a wonderful thing to do. You and I are both in the same boat. I used to draw a lot, but wanted to do a script for my own comic, and that’s how the writing bug got me….and luckily for me I found this site with it’s gang of awesome people. I’m also a beginner, but with a couple prompts done already and some amazing praise, I’m hooked.

  35. DMelde

    The Saddleback Universe would live to the ripe old age of 100,000 billion years, but early in its childhood, when the universe was only 13 billion years old, something happened that threatened its very existence.

    A great war took place between the race of Humans and the regence of Chirean. Both Humans and Chirean expanded throughout the universe, Humans from the east and Chirean from the west, conquering any civilization that dared stand in their way, until they collided headlong against each other across a vast area of space. Neither side would give ground. Both sides felt the pull of destiny in their quest to expand and so they fought, titan against titan.

    They formed battle lines across the breadth of the universe, throughout trillions of galaxies and the empty space between them. They fought physical against physical at first. They exploded stars into supernova as weapons to vaporize the enemy, but they were too evenly matched. Both humans and chirean had defenses that made them impervious to physical damage, so they changed themselves from physical beings into pure thought. Thus thought became the sword.

    Both sides rendered vast holes in the fabric of space, seeking to starve the other, to deprive them of the latent energy that bubbled up from the underlying quantum foam. The battle lines surged forward and then were beaten back. Over and over again they advanced and then retreated, with neither side being able to gain the advantage, until the weakened universe, reeling from the toll of war, quaked from convulsions and trembled with instability.

    Humans and Chirean alike took pause. It had been so easy to destroy. They now looked on with horror at the devastation they had caused. They stopped and listened, and they realized that their universe was dying. Neither, alone, knew how to repair the damage, but each, together, knew what needed to be done.

    The Great Merge between Humans and Chirean gave them the knowledge they needed to repair the holes in space. The universe, although still in a fragile state that would last millennia, was saved. Humans and Chirean came to understand how much alike they really were and a new civilization was formed, a civilization that would flourish for the next 100,000 billion years.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        The story is a beautiful work of poetic art and drama. I have a hard time believing anyone would have the mental resources to write such as you do. I am simply in awe of this story and will retain it for a tool to try to power up on my own writing.

        To all of you in the forum, I want you to know how important all of you are to me. Thank you.

        1. jmcody

          Hey, Kerry, I’ve done just three of these now and I cannot believe how much I have learned from the others on this forum. Your commentary has been particularly inspiring and helpful, so thanks to you too.

    1. Silver Sister

      Usually, SciFi fails to capture my interest. The beauty and depth of your story not only captured my interest, but had me eagerly reading every word. Thanks for a great reading experience.

  36. swatchcat

    I humbly apologize for going over the word count (first in long while). Also rip it apart as I have never written sci-fi.

    Korn and Shersha

    Earthlings are the garbage of the universe. For a century they have floated through space in their trash heaps they call ships trying to survive on what they find on M class planets. Few could stand up to their mite being colonized, and eventually trampled upon.

    Because of this, battles broke out across space. With little left to survive, treaties were draft. All involved agreeing to barbaric but acceptable solutions to the needless loss of life.

    An intergalactic military control brings to Mars Gladiator Control Games any government’s representative to fight to the death. Beings from all over the Universe gather or watch the outcome of two or more participants consume power from the other. Governments oddly shake in agreement and move on until the next dispute, all based on the outcome of these matches.

    “Korn, run away with me. Leave these games; you are not like these other animals.” Shersha pleaded with her lover as the roar of the crowds could be heard in the distance.

    “This is all I have, all I can give you. You will survive, as long as I live. As long as I win.” Maidens wiped his body with olive oil. A commodity few fighters could get.

    Weapons were a hard to come by on Mars. To deal with this, men fought with their bodies. Strapped into bungee harnesses, they dangled in the air with only their brut force as weapons. Combatants grew fingernails into filed weapons, and if lucky, teeth as well. Heads were saved as a benefit during the fights. Survivors only had holes on the sides of their heads where earlobes used to be.

    Korn, although scarred and still healing from the last games, had a beauty that seemed to escape the bloody scathing combats he encountered. Shersha waved the maidens off as she disrobed and walked to Korn wrapping her body around him. He moaned, responding to her. “You know I do this for you not these bloodsuckers.”

    Later after the maidens re-oiled him, he walked with the waiting guards to the ring. Shersha abandoned the waiting room for the awaiting escape pod as always to wait for word of Korn’s possible death.

    Korn battled tooth and nail, swinging from one end of the arena to the other. His forced enemy locked legs with him as they spun clawing at each other trying to get the upper hand. The crowd would randomly hush to listen to the slapping of skin, the lose of air, and rise again when it seemed Korn, the hero of the evening had the upper hand. As Korn was about to carve out his opponent’s heart with his sharpened claws a scream came from the other side of the arena. Through a poof of red clay dirt, a toga wearing senator scrambled to his feet in shock. Without a second breath the crowd roared in rage and defiance.

    “KILL, KILL, KILL!”

    In movements too fast for the naked eye, rage filled Korn. This was an opportunity half the universe had been waiting for. Anyone in the ring could only get out if he or she won. Korn recognized the senator in a flash. As the senator scattered like a cornered rodent, Korn ripped the heart out of his original opponent, stretched his harness as tight as he could and jumped. With perfect aim, he landed in front of the senator, grabbed the excess cable and wrapped it around the hated mans neck and snapped it in two. Roars resounded for what seemed forever. As Korn solemnly exited the ring.

    Blood still dripping from his body Korn opened the hatch of Shersha’s pod, entered and pushed the launch button.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      No one would rip this story apart. It’s futuristic, exciting, demanding attention and emotion as the reader is taken by force of words to an unknown and of true warriors who fight for a cause like the ancient gladiators of Rome. There’s an entire book in this story. A marvelous read, swatchcat.

    2. thatbillguy

      Excellent!

      Since you asked for it to be ripped apart… Change “mite” to “might” Few could stand up to their mite being colonized, and eventually trampled upon.. Slacker.

      Seriously… this should be explored and developed into a larger work.

      1. swatchcat

        “Few could stand up to their mite being colonized, and eventually trampled upon”
        I think a comma should be between mite and being. Mite is not “they might being colonized” it is meant to be that they couldn’t stand up to their(invaders) bron/mite ie. strength but damn it the spelling is getting away from me…someone help please..this sucks

    3. Observer Tim

      This is a well-told tale, Swatchcat. I think you figured out one of SF’s big secrets: it’s more of a setting than a genre. The good stories, like all good stories, focus on the people and their interactions. The transformation of Korn’s desire and his final decision to give up the gladiator life is an excellent story.

      If Gene Roddenberry weren’t already dead, I’d have to kill him for inventing ‘Class M’ planets. Whatever happened to ‘terrestrial planets’, or as would fit the tone of the opening of this piece ‘miserable balls of mud’.

    4. agnesjack

      This story, written about the future, not only made me think of the barbaric past (Rome), but reminded me of the sad present, with the governments all “agreeing to barbaric but acceptable solutions to the needless loss of life.”

      Good story, swatchcat.

  37. Ryguy

    I lie on the cold ground of this alien planet. The vessel we arrive in has been shattered to pieces, and my entire crew die on impact. I too would have died with them if not for sheer luck.
    Xandos is approaching me laughing darkly, “Did you really think it was that easy, Ryan? You humans are so weak–depending on each other like a pack of wild animals.”
    I grab for something toward my belt, and Xandos glances knowingly as I reach for it. My technus device is capable of destroying planets, and my training in combat would easily allow me to do so if I chose. However, my sense of humanity sets me far apart from men like Xandos.
    “Depending on the aid of others is not weak, Xandos,” my telnus flashes, and I know it is charged. I point it at him as I pull myself from the ground. “You could never understand what it means to care about the welfare of others!”
    My telnus sends a powerful blast, but it is too slow for him. A volt of energy shatters the rock Xandos was standing moments ago. He appears behind me. A force slams me into a wall, and I can taste the blood in my mouth. He pulls me from the ground, and I can feel his telekinetic force choking me, crushing my lungs.
    “Take one good look at it. Earth… That’s what you call that pitiful rock, isn’t it?” he asks. He forces me to take a look at earth far in the distant night sky.
    I think to myself of all the failures and triumphs that occurred on that brilliant blue sphere. But life is slipping from me. Everything is going dark. Death’s cold grip is upon me.
    “Get off of him!” a man yells.
    Xandos loses his concentration and growls in frustration. One of his servants throws a wrench at his face. Xandos points his telnus killing him slowly. The man thrashes in pain on the ground as the other servants stare in horror.
    He breaks his focus from me. I regain consciousness, and blast a powerful fireball at him. He deflects the first one, but other servants are on him. He begins to kill them one by one. I send another blast, and he is dissolved to ashes.
    The servants in their joy begin to shout and cry, knowing freedom is finally theirs. Some of them just stand, shocked. I stare at the brilliant blue earth through the ashes of Xandos which are still falling. Mother Earth finally has more time–time to create all the tragedies and triumphs she has known since her inception.

  38. Ryguy

    I lie on the cold ground of this alien planet. The vessel we arrive in has been shattered to pieces, and my entire crew die on impact. I too would have died with them if not for sheer luck.

    Xandos approaches with a dark laugh, “Did you really think it was that easy, Ryan? You humans are so weak–depending on each other like a pack of wild animals.”

    I grab for something toward my belt, and Xandos smiles, welcoming the challenge. He knows my technus device is capable of destroying planets, and my training in combat would easily allow me to do so if I chose. However, my sense of humanity sets me far apart from men like Xandos.

    “Depending on others is not weak, Xandos,” my telnus flashes. I point it at him as I pull myself from the ground. “You could never understand what it means to care about the welfare of others!”

    My telnus sends a powerful blast, but it is too slow. A volt of energy shatters the rock Xandos was standing on moments ago. He appears behind me. A force slams me into a wall, and I can taste the blood in my mouth. He pulls me from the ground, and I can feel his telekinetic force choking me, crushing my lungs.

    “Take one last look at it. Earth… That’s what you call that pitiful rock, isn’t it?” he asks. He forces me to take a look at Earth far in the distant sky.

    I think to myself of all the failures and triumphs that occurred on that brilliant blue sphere, but life is slipping. Everything is going dark. Death’s cold grip is on me.

    “Get off of him!” a man yells.

    Xandos loses his concentration and growls in frustration. One of his servants throws a wrench at his face. Xandos points his telnus at him, killing him slowly. The man thrashes in pain on the ground as the other servants stare in horror.

    He breaks his focus on me. I regain consciousness, and blast a powerful fireball at him. He deflects the first one, but other servants are on him, seeking some vengeance I will never know. He begins to kill them one by one. With pure rage, I send another blast, and he is dissolved to ashes.

    The servants in their joy begin to shout and cry. Some of them just stand, shocked. I gaze at the brilliant blue planet through the ashes of Xandos which are still falling. Mother Earth has more time.

    “Time,” I think to myself. Such an elegant force in the universe. “Time to create all the tragedies and triumphs she has known since her inception.”

  39. don potter

    The leader of the Freedom Movement, my father, was assassinated by Ronqe, the would-be destroyer of the free world. No one resisted when he took control of the capital city without so much as a skirmish. The citizens of Hydrix locked their doors and waited in fear. My small band of warriors was no match for the hoards of enemy troops that patrolled the streets, so we hid.

    When the situation worsened, I fell to my knees and prayed to God seeking a miracle.

    “Do not despair, my Son.”

    “Father, is that you?”

    “I have been sent.”

    “Since your death I have felt absolute loneliness. It’s as if God has abandoned me.”

    “Or was it you who ignored Him by forgetting the well-being of the people and running off to find the one who killed me?”

    “I must avenge your murder.”

    “Hate will cloud your thinking and take you to places were you wish not to be.”

    “Like here and now?”

    “Pride and anger put you in this situation. Now the one you have been hunting is intent on hunting you down.”

    “Before I die Ronqe will pay for what he did.”

    “That obsession will not serve you well.”

    “Got a better idea?”

    “You must advance beyond your current predicament.”

    “Are you going to continue chastising me, or are you here to help?”

    “You asked for help and that is what you will get. But you must do exactly as instructed.”

    “It’s 3014. I have been on this planet for nearly a thousand years. Can’t you treat me like a man?”

    “Act like man and you will be treated as such.”

    “All right, all right, what’s the game plan?”

    “You will fight the battle not with a laser sword but with words.”

    “Yeah, and truth will be my shield. This is not a joke, Father.”

    “You asked for help and now you scoff at the advice.”

    “Sorry.”

    “It is understandable. Mortals tend to act before thinking.”

    “I want to do something.”

    “And you shall. Go to the communications center. Stand before the cameras and tell the people what is in your heart – not your hatred for Ronqe but your love for them. This will cause them to rally and banish the enemy forces from the city and the kingdom.”

    “How can I get past the guards?”

    “The way will be prepared for you.”

    “This is a little too magical.”

    “You wanted a miracle. Do not question it.”

    I gathered my men together and headed for the communications center. The enemy soldiers along the way had fallen into a deep sleep and were rendered helpless, as promised. In less than an hour I stood in the studio ready to deliver a message to be sent out over all stations, channels and networks.

    “What am I to say?”

    “Fear not. The words will come. Faith will be restored, the people will respond, and good will triumph over evil once more.”

    “Thank you, Father.”

    “No, I am only the messenger. Thank the one who answered your prayers – God.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I couldn’t believe how much passion was in your writing, Don. I choked up when I read it. Your words speak powerful truths, not only for your story but for real life. It is such an inspiration to read as you write. Thank you.

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a lovely story with a deep spiritual message, Don. I like it a lot. This is the power of prayer made manifest.

      One thing: ‘hordes’. It’s a pet peeve of mine. Too bad the spelling/grammar checks don’t spot it.

  40. Kerry Charlton

    AN IRISH BATTLE

    Commander McGregor of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, had managed to save his ship but the armada who accomplied him, had fallen to Lord Vader’s SSD Imperial Star Destroyer. 19,000 meters of warship sat off his port bow with 5000 ion cannons and turbo lasers aimed his way. The Enterprise at 289 meters appeared as a speck beside the warship.

    And yet, Lord Vader had challenged him to a death battle, giving him choice of weapons. Brian traced his heritage to sixteenth century Ireland, fourteen hundred years of Irish pride. His ancestors fought the British with primitive tools of war.

    “I choose battle axes and Irish Darts,” he said.

    “To the death then,” Vader challenged.

    The starship’s shuttle approached the Enterprise as Brian removed two ancient double-bladed axes and two quivers of darts from the command center’s main wall.He had thrown Javelin in college and had practiced with the small spear-like darts for years. The axes however, were massive and clumsy tools of destruction. He felt unprepared for an axe battle.

    The shuttle delivered him and his Lieutenant Commander, Jay Scott to a large arena not unlike the coliseum at Rome.

    “Jay, I’m sure Darth invited you to carry my body back.”

    “I know better Brian. I’ve seen you throw the damn things.”

    When Vader appeared in battle gear, Brian said,

    “The Irish do not wear armor, Lord. We are a proud race.”

    “So be it Commander. What are your rules?”

    “Simple Vader, You needn’t worry when you’re dead.”

    The two combatants circled for an advantage while thousands of Vader’s minions roared their hate at the Commander. Brian gripped the axe in his right hand while waving a dart at Vader with his left. He sensed Darth’s uneasiness with the weapons chosen. Brian studied his eyes and moved instantly to his left.

    The throw was so quick and accurate, Brian drew more caution. He rushed Darth swinging his axe high and hurtled it toward his opponant. ‘Impossible,’ Brian thought. The axe rang against steel and tumbled to the arena floor.A second dart flew toward Brian. He grabbed it in mid air and forced it back, watching the dart embed itself in the left side of Vader’s chest.

    The mortal wound had no effect. Brian raised his hand toward Vader.

    “A question your Lord?”

    “What is it?”

    Brian lowered his quiver of darts andv walked defenseless toward the evil one.

    “You’re nothing but a bundle of nuts and bolts, a mere machine programmed at will. Do your minions realize?”

    “You have a point Commander. Shall we announce a draw?”

    “A wise decision Lord of the Bolts. You’re secret safe with me. Are you prepared to leave our galaxy and never return?”

    “As you wish Commander, it’s not worth our effort.”

    Brian started to leave the arena and saw a young woman who smiled and gave the sign of the cross. ‘I wonder,’ he mused, ‘if she’d like a ride home?’

    He walked toward the red-auburned lass with her ringlets draped over her bare shoulders. He motioned for her to join him. She hesitated, glacing Vader’s way. He nodded her way and she walked toward the Commander.

    My name is Alicia O’Malley,” she said. I am of the fair-kind, laddie.

    1. snuzcook

      A wealth of icons and iconic imagery, Kerry! You got me chuckling. And of course, it ends with the damsel in the arms of the hero. I did, however, hesitate at the idea that Vader would be so concerned about being exposed as 100% cyborg or robot that he would relinquish the field so easily.
      Fun story, Kerry!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you suuzcook. I had plans to bust ass on Vader. He should be happy the 500 saved his ass from more trouble. I had a real blast with this one, especially the damsel. I put her ringlets in this story as a tribute to Shirley Temple

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you jmcody. I think with the Irish lass, there’s another story to tell. Maybe a back story to the present and another with the Commander by her side. I think I may have created another fascinating woman.

        1. jmcody

          I love Irish characters, as I am descended from a bunch of them. :) I’m sure you will find humor and strength, poetry and pathos in such a character. Looking forward to reading more!

          1. Kerry Charlton

            Thanks swatchcat. I’m happy you enjoyed my Irish tale. I love my characters, cherish them and try to keep them from mortal harm. I think of them not only as my atler ego but also best friends. I guess they are really a part of me. I fear for them laugh with them and love with them.

    2. agnesjack

      Ah, love the Irish stories of heart and humor. (My late husband was of Irish descent—grandparents from County Cork). I am curious, though, about the nod that Vader gave to the lass. It made me wonder if she would be a red-headed Vader spy. Hmmm.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Nancy. I never thought of Alicia being a spy. I think I’ll continue this. First part a back story on Alicia and introduce the spy bit and let my fingers finish the story. Wonderful stant you mention here. If your husband had been from Kerry County that would have been a strange coincidence.

        1. agnesjack

          I went to County Kerry for vacation in 2012 with some friends. We visited Doolin and Dingle and I absolutely loved it. Gorgeous with wonderful people. We had a fantastic time. (We finished off the trip with Dublin, but I think I would skip that next time.)

  41. Observer Tim

    Sorry for the second posting. I thought I’d have a little fun with the prompt.

    ———-

    Eric looked up from his computer as Wanda entered the room. He could tell from the look on her face that she had a few problems with his story.

    “You haven’t submitted this yet have you, Eric?”

    “I was just about to. Why, did you find some typos?”

    “Um, not quite; I think you may have to look at some of your word choices. It’s about a swordfight, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah; it’s set in the far future though, and you can’t actually use swords. That’s why I used the alien weapon.”

    “Okay. What’s a penetra-stick?”

    “It’s a stabbing weapon. It penetrates things.”

    “And where exactly did he first penetrate her? Describe it, don’t name it.”

    “That little thing at the back of her throat.”

    “It’s called a uvula, Eric. U-V-U-L-A. Not what you wrote.”

    “The spell check thought it was okay.”

    “It’s a different body part. You might want to change that to ‘throat’. Now, ‘after he impaled her on the shaft, her chest started heaving in rapture.’ What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “Oh, she had a fit of extreme emotion and was left gasping for air uselessly because of the wound in her throat.”

    “You might want to say that.”

    “But it’s twenty-one words; my way only uses thirteen! There is a limit, you know.”

    “I think you can sacrifice brevity for clarity here, Eric. Next you say she grabs his shaft – you mean the weapon, right?”

    “Of course.”

    “And she runs her hands up it expectantly?”

    “Yes, she’s going to rip it off him and use it herself.”

    “Even the explanation is disturbing.”

    “What do you mean? She’s going to stab him in the side of his back!”

    “That’s not what ‘thrust it up his backside’ means!”

    “Sure it is.”

    “And then she ‘thrusts repeatedly, prolonging his passion’?”

    “Yeah. She stabs him a whole bunch of times to make it more painful. Oh, and you’re probably going to complain about him moaning when she does it. Either that or her screams of ecstasy over her victory. But I can’t take that out; it’s why the story is called ‘The Great Climax’.”

    “Eric, have you ever considered writing pornography?”

    “Wendy! I’d never write that kind of filth!”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Wanda ran because she couldn’t take any more. Who in hell is Wendy? Perhaps the French maid. She would like the story better. Change the door locks and move on. Talk about tongue in cheek. You take it to a new level. ‘You know’ in the cheek.

    1. MJ Munn

      This is fantastic. There is nothing I could suggest here. Do more of this. My favorite part: “It’s called a uvula, Eric. U-V-U-L-A. Not what you wrote.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I couldn’t help myself Tim. I had to read it all over again. It’s funnier the second time so I’m going to read it every morning to start my day. There’s so much going here to chuckle over.

      1. Observer Tim

        “See, Eric, you posted it as is and now that Bill guy says he feels a little dirty.”

        “But Wanda, there’s nothing dirty here; it’s just a story about a couple of people getting some action.”

        “Eric!”

    2. Observer Tim

      Thanks everyone.

      Wanda asked me to pass on a message. She said to please forgive her brother Eric, he learned to talk by watching old reruns of the Benny Hill show.

      Oh, and I have to apologize for calling her Wendy. Or else.

  42. thatbillguy

    I blew the word count :( Sorry

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Draious lay face down in the cold, mud-covered field. He lifted his head and forced his eyes to open. Mud and blood covered his face and stained his white hair dirty beige. Blood ran from his scalp and down the topography of burned skin on the right side of his face, like small torrent-filled rivers.

    He opened and closed his right hand experimentally. He forced himself out of the cold, sandy mud into a half-plank position. Disoriented, he shook his head side to side trying to clear his mind. He forced himself to his knees; his head lolled back and he looked up to the darkening sky and then back down.
    In the field, hordes of mutated beasts from the Relorian Wastes surrounded him, slowly closing the circle. A cacophony of growls filled the air. Still on his knees, he gathered his will. Pain twisted in him as the necrethal serum—now unhindered by his will—again attacked his body.
    He extended a protective shield of force around himself. He brought his hands up from his sides and crossed his arms in front of his face.

    “Draious,” Raileia called from midst the throng, “you are beaten! Go to your final rest with the knowledge that the rightful ruler of this world will keep watch over what you have built!”

    “Raileia,” Draious said, “You have overestimated your ability to defeat me.”

    “I will have what is mine!” Raileia yelled. She raised her hands to the air and began chanting.

    It was too late. During her gloating, Draious had summoned the strength and gathered the will he needed.
    Draious uncrossed his arms, and held his muscles hard, in tension, as his body struggled to contain the energies he had summoned. He leveled his gaze with the approaching monsters and Raileia. Forcefully, he drove his arms straight out wards, to the edge of the protective barrier and released his will.

    The atmosphere exploded with thunderous, compressive noise so loud that it wasn’t heard, only felt. Raileia screamed. Her voice went unheard through the thunderous, rushing compression wave that spiraled outward from Draious.

    Her concentration was broken as the powerful energy riding the event horizon of Draious’ will slammed into the front line of terrified beasts. The bond holding their bodies together on the smallest possible level dissolved. The creatures evaporated into their component elements, and rode the expanding field of force and will.

    Raileia threw her hands up–palms forward—and tried to focus her defense. Her protective barrier had just started to form when the wave hit. Her arms and legs vanished from her torso, which fell heavily to the ground.
    The wave dissipated some five hundred feet from where it had originated around Draious. The entire horde was deposited as a thick, organic sludge in a perfect circle where the wave ended.

    Draious collapsed forward and barely caught himself on weak arms.

    Raileia writhed and thrashed in pain and frustration. She tried to form words, to summon her will, but she could not find her concentration.

    With great effort, Draious slowly stood. He walked over to what remained of Raileia. Her face twisted and her mouth foamed as she spat hate at her enemy.

    “You have taken much from me, Raileia.” Draious said. He stood over her and looked down. A tear washed a clear path down his face, through the mud and blood. “And though you are about to be utterly destroyed, it is of little consolation to me. I guess, in that way, you have won.”

    Raileia contorted her body side to side in an effort to escape Draious’ final wrath.
    He opened his palm above her and spread his fingers wide. His will flowed in tendrils from his fingertips, and down to the writhing lump of Raileia. He made a fist. Raileia’s body drew in towards its center, and compressed into a fist-sized clump of gore.

    Draious sagged, suddenly weak. He relaxed his mind and let it return to fighting off the poisonous necrethal. He stumbled back and fell to his knees.

    Beyond the ring of sludge, Draious’ small escape pod lay in the mud. Splintered bits of metal were stuck and scattered over a wide area.

    Draious stood. He walked across the muddy field, and carefully stepped through the soupy remains of Raileia’s army. He paused at the tiny craft. Draious inhaled deeply. He felt very weak… a sensation once unfamiliar to him had, of late, had become all too common.

    Cold began to return to the air. It was getting late. Chilly humidity clung to the bare skin of his torso and dampened his shredded linen pants. His bare feet numbed in the sloppy winter mess on the ground.

    Draious coughed. Blood filled his mouth and splatted his lips.

    There was a little more than a league remaining, but Draious was determined to make it.

    Even if it killed him.

  43. bilbobaggins321

    The water planet of Goyette was known chiefly for two things: the famous “mer-raisins”, with fins and gill slits that spent 90% of their time in water, and its evil overlord Xiujagn, who resided in a cavern behind the mile-long Waterfall of Souls. While many of the crew, including myself, were already anticipating sending a postcard home from the beachside curio shop, the second item of notoriety was more of what we needed to focus on.

    “Come on, you slugs, if you want to make it back before dark.” I slung my pack over my back. The crew slowly gathered around me as the door hissed open to reveal the gurgling waves. A few of the natives were already swimming around the entrance, staring at us in awe.

    The water was salty, unfortunately, and a few of my troopers slumped into the water halfway across, but the rest of us made it safely to the beachhead, where we reconvened around a soggy map.
    After fifteen minutes trekking through the harsh jungle with our machete, we finally reached the river.
    “Wait- I hear voices.” I turned to Quartermaster next to me, who was peering into binocs towards a small cleft, where a droid’s visual antenna could be seen poking out.

    “I know, I’m looking.” He bent forward from a piece of foliage to get a better look, and I smashed a curious-looking bug on my neck. I took off my pack for the climb ahead.
    It was only after more surveillance that we mounted the waterfall and dove in with loud yells and slime flying. I happened to interrupt Xiujagn in one of his sumptuous alien banquets, noting the plank set in the room’s middle, his servants casually lying down and chewing away, on food from the Earth civilization, which I’d heard was extremely tasty but hard to get by.

    “Agh! Xorg ziuanghu krongyu!” They scrambled over their feet, brandishing huge zappers seemingly out of nowhere. Like a horde of Huns, we ran hell-to-leather across the cavern, a few of us being blown away and falling off to the side, but the apex of our suicidal charge reached the table.

    I hurdled myself over the long tables in his direction, hurriedly looking for whatever I could find. Flourishing a long piece of bread and a cluster of grapes, I ducked as one of his lethal rays zoomed over my head. With a look of evil in his eye he ominously advanced. One of my slug mercenaries lunged at him from the side and was zapped, but the extra time allowed me to stab inward with my baguette, and his weapon soared across the room.

    “Hugu! Yuigojh hayrt!” He spewed menacingly. The fact that I couldn’t grasp what exactly he was saying made it all the scarier. I did a matrix move as he whizzed a fork at me. With another look of disdain that I wasn’t dead yet, he reached for a drumstick, relentlessly pushing on.

    He lunged; I parried, desperately, the two duelers oblivious to the battle swirling around us. He grunted with another swipe. My baguette cracked in half from the power of the blow. Now useless, I threw it at him, and he easily dodged it.

    I retreated to the end of the table, picked up a punch bowl. He ran towards me like a brute Minotaur, only death haywired into his brain. I waited patiently until he so close I could see his alien whiskers, and then slung the bowl into his face. He threw his hand up to his eyes, swung blindly, and I went around him and pushed him the few feet to where the rock ended.

    I winced slightly as his limp form was carried down and unceremoniously dashed on the ragged rocks below. His corpse was carried out by the river, and I swiveled back to the battle that had been going on. The few accomplices left were being stuck to the walls by slime one by one, and we rounded up the hostages to take back. After that was over, we snuck out of the hideout, recovered our packs, and made our way back to the beach, took a few photos with the natives, and powered up the ship from the command cabin.

    Per usual, Quartermaster had one of his flippant remarks to sum up the whole thing, as we soared away from one finished mission to the next.
    “Well, at least we have a few of these cute space slaves to boot, eh?”

    1. snuzcook

      Bilbo, you had me at mer-raisins and slugs succumbing to the salt water. I knew this was going to be fun, tho I got lost a little in the battle scenes. Still enjoyed it!

      1. bilbobaggins321

        Thanks, Tim. I thought the idea of a space food fight sounded intriguing. As for the slug thing, I’d first wanted just ordinary men, but I couldn’t resist the idea of alien Hessians, so I changed it partway through.

  44. dslsaxton9704

    The Story of the Lost Emperor – “Ending”

    The digital sign in the ship’s front informed SPQR, the Intergalactical Empire of the Greater Rome was stronger than ever, it covered the whole Solar System, which had full humans and other life forms all over its planets, it also expanded till the stars of beyond, the progress was its anthem, but an enemy stood in the way of the powerful Romans, as many did in the past, but they’ve all failed, Rome stood strong in the many crisis it lived, even when at the ancient times, the doom was at their door, it did not cracked into two or more, Rome was strong.

    But the people of now were not inferior to the Empire, they were, well, another intergalactic empire, some called them “The Zorvith People” and their original planet, where their old capital was located was named Zordav, the human race had loads of knowlowdge on them, since this war started the government have been investigating them a lot, it was in some ways what C.I.A. used to do in the old times, but of course that arm of the Empire of Love was long gone, they couldn’t allow to a internal territory to become stronger than another. Of course, the capital, with the Emperor and all the court, moved to the New Continent, the New Verona City stood tall.

    ” That looked normal for me, since I was the ruler of the Empire, but I knew deep inside me that was all just wrong, the capital was supposed to be called New York City, but it just wasn’t that in my reality, so I just turned around when a soldier, dressed in his bloody battle uniform came to me.

    – Your Imperial Majesty , our men aren’t handling it, I think it’s time sir, for our most desperate measure, HE is coming, they are all dead as he crosses ‘the battlefield’, I think you know it, right, sir, what is the right struck against the Great Gdabbitt Yaggaok, I will let you think just a second, your grace, be quick, please, my Chosen Leader. ”

    And soon a red, dense gas filled the air, the only man he had left, Cipriani, was now drop dead, right in front of him, he should act before it was too late, he installed it quickly, just milliseconds before the gas almost took him, he was with a digital mask, which had air enough for him to brief for at least 3 months, and putting a final helmet, it was like a black digital one, with the symbols of the Senate, with a big R around this circle, and a little Apple on the top, it was old, it still was a product of the failed company Manzana.inc, which was italian for apple. It was war, with dark cloak, he was dressed for battle, the final one, and in funeral for his lost crew and men, the Empire was endangered of being taken by another race, human race would fall again in slavery, it had been more than a thousand years since that had ended, but now it was hang by a thread, as almost everything in existence, including his life, and the living rest of the human population, living throughout the galaxies, he heard a strong noise.

    BUM! The ship exploded as he was thrown in the air, it was an attempt of killing him by his back, typical of Yaggaok. But that was over, the man who looked a lot, unknowingly like a Darth Vader of justice, went towards his enemy’s ship.

    With the rage in his eyes, and the courage at heart, he made it explode, now it would be fair, now it was just man against creature, an impure, disgusting little creature.

    They stood there in the middle nothing, the creature it was the most ugly thing he ever saw, try to imagine, my dear people, kind of a mixture the worst things you could ever mix, from all the things across modern and ancient literature: It was something of like a Yoda, but it had the shapes of the weak Voldemort, in that unstable body, repulsive, like as if his guts, lungs, many multiple livers and bones, were sticking out of his body, but stood there, he had in his had like something of a crown, it were those bones a dragon have in his head, in the shape of something round, but it looked like giant teeth, the creature had wings, and it was green, it looked also like the Lake Ness Monster, but was also something who looked alike with a human at the same time, but just by looking at it, you knew it couldn’t have any pity, or even feelings of some form, beside self-love and being selfish and arrogant.

    It stood tall with a kind-of lime-green shining and bright long dress, kind-of male, kind-of not, it floated in the space around him, it looked like filthy revolting little tentacles, but no one could know.

    You could just feel all those things while you looked at him.

    He came floating from the explosion thrown away, twisted and shrunken at the same time, it sure looked like fear. Oh, yes, he had fear, fear of the one who since the end of the expansion of the Roman Empire threw the galaxies, was known by the one who would take him down, by the reputation of the Human Empire, it was terrible how the Great Yaggaok felt now, vulnerable, afraid.

    But he knew if he didn’t gave an end to Thayvornt Duscinf, the II , no one would, he straighted his body, and for the first time in a long time in those endless times of war, stood tall and faced his enemy, on the final confront face-to-face, which he knew somehow it would soon be knocking on his door, with his mental control helmet he went to kill the one who he despised the most.

    Their battle lasted days and days, it was incredible that both of them despised each other, were enemies, both had mental control devices – nuclear weapons were long forgotten the time this war has reached the universe – ,designed for the Empire, by their personal scientists, they fought for a long time, but the war ended up in the most unpredictable way ever, their air was about to expire after months of fighting, they throwed themselves down to the closest planet, which because of their helmets, not took long, they teleported, using the Gravitational Force Expansion Mode, on their gadgets.

    Know it would be man to creature, the gravity field was not so different from Earth, so Thayvornt Duscinf, the II, stood well, as their devices lost all powers, the helmets were useless, as were his oxygen generator masks, but as his species was weak to that gravity – in their original planet gravity was very, very minimum, indeed, almost non-existent, so affected him in a way he didn’t realized it would -, so, the Great, great Gdabbit Yaggaok was taken down by the rules of physic, a weir coincidence, since he claimed hating the technicalities of the exacts subjects.

    As the victory flames captured the now Emperor of what would soon become the Roman universe, it stood for a while in his head, burning his feelings of conquer, but as the hours passed, he had no way whatsoever out of that place, and no one could ever tell where he was – besides, he would find out hours later that the country drowned at night, waters covered all its land, he was gone, frozen in the waters of the unknown -, that was his doom, the price for victory was what destroyed the man once knew as a great Emperor in the 31st Century, he became like something of a lost King Arthur, his name was written throughout time and space, he was described as “the once and future Emperor, the one who saved us all,and who never returned. But we believe it: he will. The Empire will always be his home and what he gives it all to, wherever he is, he will come back for us all.” – as a practical politic said 1000 years later.

    “And this my friends, was my story, the story of how, I, Emperor Thayvornt Duscinf, the II, became the legend of the nations. How they never will know if I ever existed, or I was just a tale, created by the foolish artists of the old days. But I assure you, I was as real as the sun which is brought to the horizon every morning to you, in flames of blazing glory.”

    1. dslsaxton9704

      Obs.: I posted two times, because the last phrase was in the first person of the singular POV, all the phrases in this POV are in quotes. I posted to correct it.

    2. Observer Tim

      This is a wonderfully epic story, dslsaxton. It reads kind of like it was being pronounced by a great hero.

      It suffers a little bit from saying the same thing twice in different ways on some occasions, but that can be tightened up in editing if you want to take the story further.

  45. dslsaxton9704

    The Story of the Lost Emperor – “Ending”

    The digital sign in the ship’s front informed SPQR, the Intergalactical Empire of the Greater Rome was stronger than ever, it covered the whole Solar System, which had full humans and other life forms all over its planets, it also expanded till the stars of beyond, the progress was its anthem, but an enemy stood in the way of the powerful Romans, as many did in the past, but they’ve all failed, Rome stood strong in the many crisis it lived, even when at the ancient times, the doom was at their door, it did not cracked into two or more, Rome was strong.

    But the people of now were not inferior to the Empire, they were, well, another intergalactic empire, some called them “The Zorvith People” and their original planet, where their old capital was located was named Zordav, the human race had loads of knowlowdge on them, since this war started the government have been investigating them a lot, it was in some ways what C.I.A. used to do in the old times, but of course that arm of the Empire of Love was long gone, they couldn’t allow to a internal territory to become stronger than another. Of course, the capital, with the Emperor and all the court, moved to the New Continent, the New Verona City stood tall.

    ” That looked normal for me, since I was the ruler of the Empire, but I knew deep inside me that was all just wrong, the capital was supposed to be called New York City, but it just wasn’t that in my reality, so I just turned around when a soldier, dressed in his bloody battle uniform came to me.

    – Your Imperial Majesty , our men aren’t handling it, I think it’s time sir, for our most desperate measure, HE is coming, they are all dead as he crosses ‘the battlefield’, I think you know it, right, sir, what is the right struck against the Great Gdabbitt Yaggaok, I will let you think just a second, your grace, be quick, please, my Chosen Leader. ”

    And soon a red, dense gas filled the air, the only man he had left, Cipriani, was now drop dead, right in front of him, he should act before it was too late, he installed it quickly, just milliseconds before the gas almost took him, he was with a digital mask, which had air enough for him to brief for at least 3 months, and putting a final helmet, it was like a black digital one, with the symbols of the Senate, with a big R around this circle, and a little Apple on the top, it was old, it still was a product of the failed company Manzana.inc, which was italian for apple. It was war, with dark cloak, he was dressed for battle, the final one, and in funeral for his lost crew and men, the Empire was endangered of being taken by another race, human race would fall again in slavery, it had been more than a thousand years since that had ended, but now it was hang by a thread, as almost everything in existence, including his life, and the living rest of the human population, living throughout the galaxies, he heard a strong noise.

    BUM! The ship exploded as he was thrown in the air, it was an attempt of killing him by his back, typical of Yaggaok. But that was over, the man who looked a lot, unknowingly like a Darth Vader of justice, went towards his enemy’s ship.

    With the rage in his eyes, and the courage at heart, he made it explode, now it would be fair, now it was just man against creature, an impure, disgusting little creature.

    They stood there in the middle nothing, the creature it was the most ugly thing he ever saw, try to imagine, my dear people, kind of a mixture the worst things you could ever mix, from all the things across modern and ancient literature: It was something of like a Yoda, but it had the shapes of the weak Voldemort, in that unstable body, repulsive, like as if his guts, lungs, many multiple livers and bones, were sticking out of his body, but stood there, he had in his had like something of a crown, it were those bones a dragon have in his head, in the shape of something round, but it looked like giant teeth, the creature had wings, and it was green, it looked also like the Lake Ness Monster, but was also something who looked alike with a human at the same time, but just by looking at it, you knew it couldn’t have any pity, or even feelings of some form, beside self-love and being selfish and arrogant.

    It stood tall with a kind-of lime-green shining and bright long dress, kind-of male, kind-of not, it floated in the space around him, it looked like filthy revolting little tentacles, but no one could know.

    You could just feel all those things while you looked at him.

    He came floating from the explosion thrown away, twisted and shrunken at the same time, it sure looked like fear. Oh, yes, he had fear, fear of the one who since the end of the expansion of the Roman Empire threw the galaxies, was known by the one who would take him down, by the reputation of the Human Empire, it was terrible how the Great Yaggaok felt now, vulnerable, afraid.

    But he knew if he didn’t gave an end to Thayvornt Duscinf, the II , no one would, he straighted his body, and for the first time in a long time in those endless times of war, stood tall and faced his enemy, on the final confront face-to-face, which he knew somehow it would soon be knocking on his door, with his mental control helmet he went to kill the one who he despised the most.

    Their battle lasted days and days, it was incredible that both of them despised each other, were enemies, both had mental control devices – nuclear weapons were long forgotten the time this war has reached the universe – ,designed for the Empire, by their personal scientists, they fought for a long time, but the war ended up in the most unpredictable way ever, their air was about to expire after months of fighting, they throwed themselves down to the closest planet, which because of their helmets, not took long, they teleported, using the Gravitational Force Expansion Mode, on their gadgets.

    Know it would be man to creature, the gravity field was not so different from Earth, so Thayvornt Duscinf, the II, stood well, as their devices lost all powers, the helmets were useless, as were his oxygen generator masks, but as his species was weak to that gravity – in their original planet gravity was very, very minimum, indeed, almost non-existent, so affected him in a way he didn’t realized it would -, so, the Great, great Gdabbit Yaggaok was taken down by the rules of physic, a weir coincidence, since he claimed hating the technicalities of the exacts subjects.

    As the victory flames captured the now Emperor of what would soon become the Roman universe, it stood for a while in his head, burning his feelings of conquer, but as the hours passed, he had no way whatsoever out of that place, and no one could ever tell where he was – besides, he would find out hours later that the country drowned at night, waters covered all its land, he was gone, frozen in the waters of the unknown -, that was his doom, the price for victory was what destroyed the man once knew as a great Emperor in the 31st Century, he became like something of a lost King Arthur, his name was written throughout time and space, he was described as “the once and future Emperor, the one who saved us all,and who never returned. But we believe it: he will. The Empire will always be his home and what he gives it all to, wherever he is, he will come back for us all.” – as a practical politic said 1000 years later.

    And this my friends, was my story, the story of how, I, Emperor Thayvornt Duscinf, the II, became the legend of the nations. How they never will know if I ever existed, or I was just a tale, created by the foolish artists of the old days. But I assure you, I was as real as the sun which is brought to the horizon every morning to you, in flames of blazing glory.

    1. don potter

      This was a difficult read for me. However, after working my way through this long and somewhat ponderous post, I liked the story in spite of my concerns.

  46. theduke192

    Noble Sacrifice

    ======================================================

    “This is not my world,” Eppler whispered to himself looking at blue planet called Earth.

    He looked around at the bridge and his crew were dead or close to it. The last hit by the Kannar sphere nearly destroyed the ship, but shields came back just in time.

    “Once again,” Eppler’s first officer said from the weapons station, “Military Intelligence was wrong.”

    Eppler laughed as a blue trickle of blood seeped from the corner of his mouth. The Kannar were not here for them, they had followed Eppler’s ship, Valor’s Might, to Earth. Hidden upon the planet among its primitive humans was buried the darkest evil the universe had ever known. Eppler was part of the Tuporian Empire, a race of short and gray aliens devoted to defending freedom. After 50 years, they had finally defeated the tyrant, Zantilan. He was stopped and imprisoned on the very world he tried to destroy, but now his minions were trying to free him.

    The communications on the bridge echoed the Kannar chat as the two ships moved closer to Eppler’s ship, “Long live Zantilan and death to the traitors!”

    “We could have taken two of them,” Eppler spat at the sphere in view of their ship, “But not four.” He remembered the intelligence communiqué telling of two Kannar ships on course for Earth, but they had been wrong. Eppler and his crew stood their ground and destroyed two of them in vain as they were outnumbered. Every Tuporian on the ship knew that if the Kannar reached Earth everything was lost.

    “Status of the weapons?” Eppler asked.

    “Gone along with shields,” his first officer said, “Life support is only going to last a few more minutes.”

    What is special about these humans? he asked himself.

    The whole reason for the Intergalactic War was Zantilan’s declaration of eradicating humanity. They were nothing, but hunter gatherers. There was no sign of sentience or technology. Maybe he knows something, Eppler grinned at the powers Zantilan wielded at his disposal, I’m not going to let you win.

    “Status of the vortex grinder?” Eppler asked about faster than light engines.

    “Operational,” a voice said, “Are you planning to retreat?”

    “No,” Eppler said with a smile his crew recognized, “We are giving humanity a chance to live. Make preparations and aim for the far side of the wounded ship.”

    “Aye sir,” the first officer said, “It was an honor sir.”

    “No, the pleasure was mine,” Eppler said straightening in his chair, “Let’s make sure the universe remembers us!”

    The hum of the vortex grinder shook the ship as the inertial dampeners were gone. The Kannar ships did exactly what he wanted them to do. The healthy ship took position in front of its weaker ally and charged its weapons. Eppler’s first officer did not need the order and activated the engine. The ship shot forward at almost the speed of light, but with no room to open the hole through space, it slammed into the sphere like a bullet.

    The force of impact was so great that the Tuporian ship cut through the center of the first ship with ease. The second ship did not see what happened until the words “Valor’s Might” came crashing through its sister ship and into the already weakened shields. Explosions ripped apart all three ships leaving two giant spots of light in Earth’s orbit. History would remember this as the final battle of the First Intergalactic War, but the first of thousands in the true War for Earth.

      1. theduke192

        Thank you for your comment, but could you elaborate on the similarities? I have the differences down pat, but its interesting that you say that about the likeness of the races. This is part of my main series I’m writing and would enjoy the feedback.

        1. Observer Tim

          For example, the Kannar intact ship moved in to protect the damaged one, a sign of honour and respect even if only for their own kind. The Tuporian captain turned that into the enemy sacrificing their lives in a futile attempt to save their companions. Which is exactly what it appears he was doing with a planet-full of primitives. Like looking in a mirror.

    1. agnesjack

      You’ve painted such an intriguing picture of this time and place that I’m wondering about many things. Such as:
      Why did they choose Earth as the prison for the evil Zantilan, and how were they able to keep him in check there?
      What is it about humanity that is so threatening to Zantilan?

      No doubt these are answered in the series you mention.

  47. NoBlock

    I barely made it through the smoke and fire to the shallow shelter carved out of the surface of this planet by a mortar round delivered by…, well who the hell knew anymore. War was a blur of blood, smoke and death, rank by the screams of dying soldiers from locations unseen.

    It wasn’t just the sights that were disturbing, the smell of burning flesh and carbon induced ammunition all homogenized into a malicious foul odor that would never abandon my brain. They didn’t train us for this, sure we learned how to kill, we were taught how to maximize enemy casualties while ensuring minimal consumable asset loss, but the looks in the eyes of dying men and women, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, I was breaking under the weight of their torture.

    The explosions had muted to barely audible barks, but still relented like annoying gnats refusing to recede despite my best attempts to swat them away. Breathing heavily, I lay my head backward until I felt the cold wall of the planet, what the hell was I doing?

    This war, fought by generations of my people, fought over a place that my eyes have never seen, my lungs never inhaled its atmosphere, a place my people only retell stories about, having heard our grandfathers tell of a planet so far away, a place they called Earth.

    Looking out into space, I see millions of stars and wonder which one my people came from. How could it be that we are still killing for it? That unrecognizable, foreign, disposed planet, shit I wanted off this rock now, I wasn’t fighting their war anymore. The human inside of me was screaming to get out, I would demand my humanity back, they could have Earth.

    I began to hyperventilate, short and quick gasps for air, being met only by semi moist saliva, I dug my fingers in the dirt and grabbed on to the planet. “Fuck you!” I yelled with tears streaming down my face, mixing with dirt creating mud streaks as they fell, giving my countenance one of a warrior with war paint on, thirsty for blood.

    “Bravo7 do you copy? We need that ammo drop right now soldier! Coordinates available on screen.”

    “Fuck off.” I said under my breath. I began tearing away at the armor on my body, I was probably going to die in this war anyway, I’ll be damned if I do it with their uniform draped all over me.

    I was suddenly aware of the silence that had enveloped the air, no mortars, no gun fire, no screams, and I pondered if this is what Earth sounded like, was this a peace my grandfather had known?

    The crunching of the crusty soil from outside my solitary shelter was followed by a tall, muscular, stone cold faced soldier who looked right into my eyes, weapon dialed in on my head. His eyes had nothing behind them, no soul, no warmth only his mission, to kill.

    1. don potter

      A look at the future through today’s eyes would have been unsettling to the MC’s grandfather. No matter in what period this takes place, war takes it toll on the human participants.

  48. Observer Tim

    I paused just outside the chamber and sensed. My Psychic Legion was almost half a station away and there were only three people in the Command Centre. My beloved Lena would be a non-combatant; that meant the other two were Count Ispar and a bodyguard. I formed up my Epee de Pneuma, 70 centimeters of concentrated psychic energy, and stepped in.

    “All right, Ispar, time to…what?”

    Count Ispar wasn’t there. Lena stood by a small bed, along with an Amazon Guard who was holding her arm shields at the ready. I didn’t see the third person at first, because they were only 60 centimeters long, lying in the bed making babbling sounds.

    “Run, My Lady! I’ll hold him off!”

    And she was on me. The first arm-shield deflected my blade and the second whooshed past my face. I staggered back a half-step so I was fighting in the doorway. No room to swing.

    I lunged forward, hoping to push her back and get some freedom to move. She was too skilled. Her arms wrapped around mine, crushing me in a bear hug. When she let go it was worse; I gasped in a full breath of the pheromones the Amazons used as a secondary weapon. It was part of why they were so effective: no man could fight them with a clear head.

    I made a desperate sweep across her shoulder; it cut and her left arm went limp. A second swipe was deftly blocked by her right arm guard. I should have been watching her eyes but I was staring at her chest. Damned pheromones!

    Something knocked my feet out from under me and I dropped, landing on my back with a thud that rocked me from tailbone to neck. She dropped on top of me, her one useful arm pinning my sword-arm to the ground. I was beaten, and all I could think about was this heaving beauty sitting on me, beads of sweat running down her neck to where I shouldn’t be looking.

    “Menay, stop. Please!” It was Lena.

    Like I had a choice; I let my blade vanish. “Where is Count Ispar? Why won’t he show himself?”

    “Menay, there is no Count Ispar!”

    “But this fortress! We’ve had it under siege for a year! Over a thousand ships!”

    “I had to get away until it was done.” She held up the small humanoid. “It’s a baby, Menay, a little human. I grew it inside myself; no cloning chamber required.”

    “How?”

    “My implant failed. I couldn’t face the shame or the surgery to remove it so I faked my kidnapping. But you had to go to war; you were supposed to negotiate!”

    “That’s a human? It’s so small!”

    “They come out that size, dear. And it hurts like hell when they do, but I’m not giving her up.” She looked at me with that steel in her eyes as her guard let me up. “My men are surrendering. You can come say hello to your daughter.”

    1. thejim

      Stinking Amazon Women! If it was not for their beauty and strength and brains… “It’s so small” I was waiting for the Amazon to pipe in ” Tell me about it.”

      1. swatchcat

        The excitement of the story was definitely felt. The purpose of telling was good but, there was a lot of struggling for me to get through the meat of the writing. Your very first sentence is incomplete. It is hard to figure whether a comma could have been better or some words were missing all together. Your aliens must be quite small (the ones on the bed only 60 centimeters) and the powers very large 70 centimeters. It was fun to read though in its basic sense.

        1. Observer Tim

          Thanks for the comment, Swatch. A few points that might help clarity.

          The sense used by Menay is psychic.

          10 cm = 4 inches; the psychic sword is about the size of a gladius.

          All characters are human, even the baby (except for Ispar, who is fiction within fiction).

      1. Kerry Charlton

        60 centimeters, 24″ perfect size for a young baby. How big do your readers want them to be? I enjoyed the story and always wondered how much fun it would be to bug-tustle a one breasted beauty. Personally, I would prefer to have high tea with a two breasted lady, clothed to the neck and let my imagination do the looking. I think women dressed to the nines are very sexy.

        Mystic you see, the imagination is so powerful like the old radio shows, Innersanctum, Lights Out and Suspense. Chilling terror of your mind, with only the spoken word and sound effects.

    2. Silver Sister

      I really liked this! It made me laugh when she admonished him for going to war when he was ‘supposed’ to negotiate. Ain’t that just like a man! Lol. Kidding, gentlemen. Just kidding.

      1. Observer Tim

        Ha ha, thanks Silver Sister. The problem is that overreactions like this are all too common, and all too male (female overreactions tend to look different).

        In fact, the war I cribbed this from was based on another overreaction, that one being when King Ispar kidnapped King Menay’s wife Lena. Menay and his entire army launched a thousand ships full of troops to come get her back. But that was years ago.

    3. agnesjack

      Ah, men … always looking for a war. And women, keeping little secrets from their men, causing them to look for war. Miscommunications all around. Enjoyed the story, Tim.

  49. Frozen Alone

    Twenty years we had been at this, twenty long years and finally it was going to all end.

    Jexta hovered above the ground of the desolate moon we had crashed our ships on. Her hair was matted with blood and her clothes soaked in it, well the clothes that hadn’t burned away that is. She had her weapon in hand, an arrow made of rare metals from our home world. The same arrow she had shot me with twenty long years ago.

    “What’s the matter, Kelta?” Jexta demanded. “Are you too weak to fight?”

    I couldn’t help but laugh at Jexta’s words. I spat the blood out of my mouth and wiped away the rogue crimson streams with the back of my hand. The handle of my dagger crumbled away leaving me weaponless.

    “You know Jexta, when we were children I thought this battle was entertaining. Now that this feud has destroyed a whole star system, well it’s a bit childish. I suppose one of us had to grow up sometime,” I said. I motioned with one hand for her to charge. It was time to end this. It was time for this war to end.

    Jexta charged, as I knew she would. She followed our old pattern; the arrow was aimed to go upward into my chest cavity from my waist. The familiar look of anger filled her face with just a sliver of guilt. It made what I had to do even harder.

    I barely felt the arrow as it entered; my body was already trying to heal itself even as she pushed it in further. Her eyes widened as I reached out calmly and grabbed her throat with no emotions crossing my face. A moment later, her hand went up to my wrist, her eyes pleading for me to stop.

    “I am sorry it came to this, my dear little sister,” I said softly. “I am so very sorry. Forgive me.” Before I could change my mind, I ripped her throat out with my bare hand. She fell to the ground below us.

    The crimson coated flesh dropped from my numb fingers as I stared down at her. The white ground was stained with her blood. The darkness of the night came down upon us. The ground reflected the bits of light around us that came from the stars showing her body in detail. The cold came next, claiming her as its own.

    A hand reached around me from behind and ripped the arrow out with little effort.

    “Taking the serum, taking the powers, it was for the right reason,” my second in command said. “So was taking her life.”

    “I killed my own sister because she couldn’t stand who I was to become,” I whispered. “I do not think being a Guardian was worth losing my sister, do you?” I looked up at him and then back at my sister. “Build a pyre, burn her, it’s finally over.” She looked to the stars. “I’m going home.”

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a tragic story, Frozen. Sibling rivalry gone to extremes. Very nicely done.

      In editing, you might want to change the verb from “ripped” to “pulled” in the third-last paragraph. As it is it sounds like another fight is about to happen.

    2. agnesjack

      I, too, would like to know what a Guardian is and why his sister was so opposed to him becoming one. You had my interest all through this sad story, though.

  50. lionetravail

    The Tool in The Killer’s Hands…

    The station spun majestically against a glittering backdrop of stars, and billions of sentients watched the video feed being pumped out on all wavelengths. And why not? It was, after all, the final confrontation between two species which had warred viciously for generations, and the rest of the galactic population had had more than enough. I could even see it from where I was standing.

    The unceasing conflict had been brought forcefully to a close by a coalition of races which had seen the squandering of galactic resources, as planets and whole systems were invaded, fought over, and ultimately rendered uninhabitable. The coalition- fractious, but united in a desire to make space safer- had acted to end the fight using “any means necessary”.

    “Any means necessary” turned out to mean near-extinction, as both my home planet and the enemy’s had been utterly annihilated. Colonies had been obliterated with mass-drivers from space. Our fleets, and theirs, had been weakened through attrition, and so we were vulnerable to the combined navies of twelve different species which hunted us down, bent on extermination.

    Perhaps four thousand of us were left; barring any pockets of humanity in some out of the way nook or cranny somewhere. And we were prisoners, awaiting trial on the galactic stage.

    The same was true of our enemy, almost to the same numbers. All that was left of both our civilizations was now in suspended animation in orbit around the station.

    Except for me and my counterpart. We were to endure one last fight between our races, in full view of the rest of the galactic population. Fighting for the right to survive: the losing species terminated, and the winner exiled from the galaxy with that bare chance of survival.

    The lights came on, revealing my nemesis standing, much as I was, surrounded by glowing lattices of force. In front of us, raised high on a dais, one lone Justicar sat, ready to preside over the deadliest fight of our long war. A Justicar, it should be noted, that one of my ancestors might have referred to as “a hanging judge”.

    That sentient stood, and addressed the watching billions. And us.

    “Imminently, gentlebeings,” it said in atonal common, “we will be the audience for the final battle between the two most anti-social species in the known galaxy. They have fought across worlds, across solar systems, and across light years, with every tool of war known to the galaxy. Now, they must combat each other with the deadliest weapons a sentient may possess, and for the ultimate prize: survival of their entire race.”

    We squared off against each other, still within our cages of luminescent force, and waited for the Justicar’s final pronouncement of the terms of our fight. It was not long in coming.

    “Now we will see, finally, as each will strive for their own salvation and the ultimate destruction of their enemy. Let The War of the Words begin…”

      1. lionetravail

        Why words, of course!
        My inspiration: “For the pen is mightier than the sword” (representing the written word, courtesy of Bulwer-Lytton), and Rudyard Kipling said that “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Meanwhile, Aldous Huxley said that “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything”, and Natsuki Takaya said: “Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.”

        I read all the great pieces posted before mine, and the only idea of a weapon which really resonated for me was ‘words’. (That, and the word play that if you subtract an S, swords becomes words, and if you subtract an L, worlds becomes words.)

        Everything else is left to the capable imagination of the readers of this fantastic community :)

        1. swatchcat

          Exactly Lion, exactly. Beautiful quotes too. As I read, I just got that feeling oddly that you were going there. I agree with Observer, the back story was good. Little bits make for possibilities of more story but this is well done, and smooth enough that I really wanted to finish reading it.

        2. don potter

          Loved the research you did on ‘words.’ Everyone should read and remember what inspired you. The swords/words relationship went through my mind before I wrote my piece. Nice job.

    1. agnesjack

      I had thought of using words as weapons, but couldn’t pull it off (the master, Shakespeare, kept getting in the way), but you’ve used that premise well. I also liked the idea that the warring factions were finally being isolated by the rest of the “gentlebeings” as you put it.

  51. bilbobaggins321

    What scared me most was that deep, primeval unknown. I would mercilessly crush an alien encampment, zip into the dim halls of my ship, travel a thousand miles and not find a single soul, through jungle, tundra, deep ocean trenches, and yet always find myself staring out the window. My mission was a relentless one.

    They finally came three years ago from a far galaxy. Each of our mother ships, ambushed without warning, by an enemy who clearly knew what he was doing. Some had survived: Tobias, Jade, Faulkner, the Chieftain, and me. Cast down to the planets we strove to protect. Some of us went underground, built up ships. Tobias, Faulkner and I formed the Sacred Three and cast out into space. Now, at the gates of the evil kingdom, the final battle whispered in campfire legends was here.

    “Wait and watch for any signs of movement.” I fingered my scope.
    Quartermaster crouched low into the snow bank. The cold snap bit, and I glanced behind me to the ship. The icicles dropped with the rumble of feet.

    The first enemy tsunami came in with a force that seemed to drag the snow itself from the ground. Beams ricocheted along and though the flakes. They drew nearer, slipped away, thousands more came along, and we destroyed them all.
    We cautiously advanced a few miles, nothing but dead bodies and snowed-in bunkers. There had to be something else. There had to be an end to this madness. Quartermaster and I exchanged tough glances. I poked up an almost ancient metal rod with my boot. A solitary birdcall.

    “So you actually thought you could make it?”
    The slithering voice alerted me to his presence. I wheeled and with a cold glint in my pupil acknowledged his force field. He was alone, which I thought odd.
    “Come on, put down the gun, and let’s be fair,” he continued slyly. Quartermaster next to me suddenly was dragged back through the rear door by a tentacle, his radio clattering to the floor.
    I reluctantly dropped my gun.

    “Whatever you want, Malus,” I spat out. “You had it coming to you anyways.”
    His distorted features grinned. “What a sense of humor. Maybe that’s why I had to wait until now to destroy your pesky force. I just couldn’t let the idea of an enemy go.”

    In one movie frame, we simultaneously jumped into action. His sixteen limbs reared up, sprayed my previous position with forked tongues of silver. I lunged for the metal rod, rolling into a sphere. I stood to the balls of my feet, tensed, and holding it out in a block.
    He swiveled. “What do we have here? Some long rod is going to change everything? Just give up.”
    “No!” I screamed, mostly to myself. I dodged his blows, but they were too powerful. My limbs were singed, and I felt his superiority sink into all I was. I fought back.

    “Apparently I underestimated your order. But now, the tables have turned. Now I have all the cards.”
    “You can’t just wipe away freedom,” I returned in a pained voice. “Jade, Quintz, all the martyrs, they’ve carved a path for. We will continue until all you have left is fragments.”
    He thrust, I parried. I batted away his slimy appendages as they reached for me. I thrust myself over a snow bank, felt my foot get caught. He half-smiled in anticipation of ripping me into shreds. I balanced my pole into the frost and hauled myself to my feet, blood running.

    “What a shame it had to be this way,” he purred. “After all, everyone loves the underdog.”
    I ran towards him, in a moment outside fear of death. He met me with savage bolts of flame, but I was ready. I let go of the rod and tumbled past, while a thousand volts surged into the metal rod and disrupted his body field. His cocky demeanor changed to surprise as the sharp end sliced into his chest, and his internal organs fried by his own power.

    I dusted off my suit as Quartermaster reappeared from behind the bunker with blood on his fists. We nodded once, exchanged smiles. Now we turned back in the direction of our ship, the purple sun rising in the north once again.
    “Business as usual.”

    1. Observer Tim

      This is a gripping fight story, Bilbo, and a very engaging read.

      The last line kind of jarred me after the tense combat scene. Also, he probably should have brushed off his suit, since it was almost certainly snow on it (and alien guts), not dust.

      1. swatchcat

        Yes, intense. There are a few ways you worded things that made me have to reread them because it made me stumble on the flow. You could get away with maybe flipping paragraph 1+2 and as I read those lines I got the sense the story took place in space but suddenly it was on a planet. If someone “wheeled”, where do they wheel to? Was it the rumble of foot steps that made icicles fall or did they fall with them? It is seemingly small things like this that make reading less fluid. Maybe it’s just me. It was a good story though.

    2. agnesjack

      You have written a very engaging battle scene here, bilbo, which I think would have been better without the opening exposition. I think if you had cut out the first two paragraphs altogether, it would have been a tighter story (and closer to the word limit). The third to last paragraph tells us what we need to know about the martyrs and the adversarial relationship. Also, the line “the final battle whispered in campfire legends was here” from the second paragraph, made the last line “Business as usual” contradictory.

      I think this is a good story which I why I point out the above.

      1. bilbobaggins321

        Thank you for your input, agnesjack. Sometimes I just get carried away with that beginning stuff, and I can see how it would work without the beginning two. Glad to see you liked it, despite the faults here and there.

  52. AChaye

    “The time has come.”

    “Battle after battle, I have had one thing on my mind, defeating you.”
    I feel the iciness of the air that fills this planet as I draw out one final breath. The world turns silent as he turns to face me, so slowly I almost thought he didn’t know I was there. However, he flashes me one of his galaxy famous grins, and pauses. Finally, the enemy is in my sights. Now all is left is to destroy him.
    Slowly I lift my galactic spike ready for the battle. Derk readies his and I feel the timer in my head tic down, until it completely stills, like a cold winter night when a deer takes its final gasp of air before it plummets to the ground in shock of a bullet. It was time.

    We launch into the battle of the fittest, who could be the only one to rule over the galaxies? Derk’s spike bullets toward my right, I jump left and roll behind a rock on the surface. His spike crashes onto the ground just a split second before it dings and vanishes into thin air. I tremble in anxiety as I peer around in search of him. Lifting my galactic weapon, I lunge it forward with as much force as my tiny body could muster; my anger behind every ounce of it. I may be small, but I was well capable of handling everything I was thrown against.

    Derk dodged my spike, but made the ultimate mistake-he hesitated. That split second freeze gave my weapon enough time to do its damage. It struck him just into his left shoulder, sparked as it made contact, and vanished into my hands again. I am amazed how easy he let that be, almost as if he wanted it to be easy. Maybe his hesitation was a call for help. Walking over to his limp body, I investigate. His body suit seems to be light and easy destructible, not the usual pick for going into battle. If he didn’t really want to fight me, then why did he make the first move? Confused I gazed up into the stars, wanting answers. That was when his right hand man, desperately ran up to me holding several documents; his knuckles white from the grip.

    “STOP!” He screeched, dropping in horror as he saw his master lying on the surface. Afraid of what he might do, I began to step backwards. His gaze left Derk and ever so slowly trailed to me face. His hand trembled as the papers were thrust into my arms.

    “Look,” he stated, “look at what you just unleashed.”

    1. Observer Tim

      Hmmm. Personal vendetta unleashes greater evil. This is an interesting take, Achaye.

      It leaves a lot of questions unanswered: like, why did the MC’s opponent play to lose? And what is the new threat that has been unleashed? Stay tuned for the next episode…

      1. swatchcat

        Cliffhanger indeed. But, and yes again, continuity is key especially in sci-fi stories taking place umpteen centuries in the future. How can someone fight when he just took his “final breath” in line 3, and the timer tics to a last gasp of air analogy of the deer. Your MC is dead before he fights. Your choice of weapon is a little confusing, it seems to “vanish” a lot. Once it hits something or is in motion toward its target, it vanishes and reappears in it owners hand? Interesting. I’m hearing analogies of earthly, current times used by fictional alien nations in a lot of these stories today. Bear hugs, deer and so on, how would these beings know of such things?

    2. agnesjack

      This is an interesting world, AChaye, but there are a lot of questions left unanswered. Since you are well below the 500 word limit, I think the content of the papers should have been revealed. It could have tied the story together.

  53. MJ Munn

    It had come to this. “Get your band of pirates the hell off my ship.”

    General Zahn raised an eyebrow with a practiced derision. I imagined he must spend hours in front of a mirror perfecting his contemptuous expressions. I supposed next he would address me with a dismissive gesture and perhaps a sigh.

    “Ah, yes. The lovely Captain La,” he sighed, waving his hand. His words dripped with snark. “Let’s cut to the chase, Captain. You’re still loyal to Crown and Galaxy, whereas I am now a rebel, an unrepentant traitor and wanted criminal, forfeiting my commission for the life of a treasonous and irredeemable mercenary. There are things you wouldn’t understand, nor would I expect you to listen. Suffice to say, your planet shall belong to the Resistance!”

    Oh, there was no way I was going to relinquish my planet or my ship to this smarmy jerk. “You really love the sound of your own voice, don’t you?”

    A thin but genuine smile cracked the surface of his rehearsed nonchalance. “You’re absolutely right, Tess,” he said. “Less talking, more dying!”

    The battery on his rucksack began to glow as he powered the Magtran wand in his hands. My hands reacted instinctively and the AC packs on my belt hummed into life. I love that analog whine. Mitochondrial dynamos and viral transistors sent a powerful alternating current coursing through a heavy-duty cable to my own wand. The feel of the deadly warmth in my hands is like a cozy blanket around my soul. Mmm.

    Pulse guns are fine for battlefield encounters, but it’s too risky to fire off a death-ray on a star explorer. Magtrans project a focused electromagnetic field that, usefully, will stop a heart. But if two EMFs of like polarity should meet, they will repel each other. Case in point: the space pirate swung his wand in a wide arc toward me. Without hesitation, I brought my wand up, stopping his invisible EMF from intersecting me, but forcing me to one knee.

    He prepared a death stroke, but I parried as I rose to my feet. Fearing that we were quickly approaching the 500-word limit, I made a desperate offensive swing of my own. He ducked. My EMF missed him, but hit his battery pack. Smoke rose from his rucksack. His wand sputtered a few sparks and that was that.

    “Damn this direct current,” he said, drops of unrehearsed perspiration streaming down his face. At once, my wand was pointed at his chest and my trigger finger was real itchy.

    “Now, Eddie,” I said sweetly. “What do you think your rebels are going to do when they see your smoldering corpse? Do you think they’ll run? Or do you think they’ll wet themselves, and then run?”

    “Do what you want, Tess.” He was breathing hard. “You can kill me, but you can’t stop the Resistance. We will retake the Earth!”

    “Earth? That hell-hole?” I powered down.

    “Take it.”

    1. jmcody

      This was engaging and funny! Loved the tongue-in-cheek attitude. Best line: “The feel of the deadly warmth in my hands is like a cozy blanket around my soul. Mmm.”

      1. MJ Munn

        Thanks jm. It was a lot of fun to write from the point-of-view of a violence-loving, smart-alecky, female space captain, and I hope to do it again sometime. I reckon everything I write is probably already a trope/cliche I just haven’t heard about yet, but we write because we enjoy writing, not necessarily because we hope to revolutionize the art. Thanks again! :-)

    2. Observer Tim

      Lovely story, MJ. I got the impression of two war-weary and cynical fighters having one last confrontation.

      I love the line “Do you think they’ll run? Or do you think they’ll wet themselves, and then run?”

      1. MJ Munn

        Thanks OT. Cynical is right! When I reread it, I get the impression that either of them would love to have a space-nickel for every space-pirate/star-captain/Magtran-wand fight they’d found themselves embroiled in.

      1. swatchcat

        “Fearing that we were quickly approaching the 500-word limit, I made a desperate offensive swing of my own.” – Whose getting snarky here? Nice story and interesting devaluing of our planet at the end. How does the word count really have to do anything with the story?

        1. MJ Munn

          Thanks for the kind words, swatchcat. I suppose the word count doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but I felt that the actual battle seemed abbreviated because of space constraints. I could have probably written quite a bit more, but for the 500-word limit, so I cut it short, see. Obviously I wouldn’t have to announce that–and a better writer wouldn’t have to–but I thought (perhaps wrongly) that it was a clever way of addressing why the fight was only three moves long. I certainly wouldn’t make a habit of it, but the story was already–as so many kind readers have noted–rather tongue-in-cheek, so at that point I thought nothing of breaking the fourth wall. I hope this adequately explains where I was coming from?

      2. MJ Munn

        Thank you, snuzcook. I actually started with that last line and then wrote the story as a means of getting to that line. Somehow along the way–probably right after I decided what kind of weapons they would use–the story became a vessel to deliver puns about the War of Currents. Viva la Resistance!

  54. Reaper

    Gatekeepers

    You had your chance and you failed.

    We watched you with your small talent for war until we knew you were useless. We hoped you could teach us, then you failed so we eliminated those remaining. You scorched the planet so mopping up was easy. Then we eliminated the adversary.

    For millennia our side had opposed theirs. They expended their energy attempting to make you stronger. We just watched, having determined early on that your kind was a lost cause. Winning that second war was child’s play with our enemy in their weakened state. There is only one battle left to fight.

    Now we fight ourselves.

    Once alone we evolved for travel in space. It was time to a failed planet. During that time of rest we learned we did not trust each other. We chose sides just as you had before us. Our broken brotherhood would end in war as yours did. As our shattered swords were lain down after our victory we fight our war with books.

    Forever divided we gathered our words and took to the stars. With no need for ships we flew in flocks. In the vast and empty night there are very few planets worth fighting for. We converge on them. There are many sides to this war, but the Smithsonians are the group that we Watchers clash with the most often.

    Michael Fifteen was the designation of the rock I directed my followers towards. We were weary and after many clashes our numbers were drained. So I fretted when I saw the Smithsonians sweeping in on the same planet. I dove for the surface. My men and those of the opposing general clashed in the sky, creating fireworks for the souls below. I saw the leader falling in pace with me. Most of our men would die in that cold hard vacuum once their books were drawn.

    Asphalt shattered, spewing dust, where we landed in the street. We both drew our black, leather-bound tomes from their satchels. The words on the front were different, and mine was bigger. I smiled as we advanced.

    I slapped at his head with my book. He parried with an echoing crack then swept for my leg. I barely brought my own words down in time to deflect the blow. Breathing hard we looked over our shoulders in the same instant.

    Converts were the real battle. We needed new soldiers to continue the war. We ran for opposite houses. I knocked but nobody was home. Damnation.

    I moved back towards the street prepared for another scuffle. Then I heard him across from me, his target was home. Damnation.

    “Hello sir! May I introduce you to the word of our lord…”

    He screamed as the man took his no soliciting sign seriously. I need not battle anymore on this planet. My opponent was slain by the stab of a man protecting his home. I slowed down and breathed deeply. I could take my time.

    I had won this round.

    1. snuzcook

      I love the visuals of these combatants beating each other with books! And the move into door-bell campaigning for recruits is very funny. Very creative take on this prompt, Reaper!

        1. Reaper

          My intention was to stay vague but yes this is supposed to be angels who after delivering a planetary enema and then defeating the demons fell into groups that mirrored the religions of the humans they destroyed. Haha. That’s a good question about the flyer, and an interesting pun though I do not know if it was intentional.

    2. MJ Munn

      Finally! Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses locked in mortal combat at last! This is what we have all been waiting for: Two men in neckties and backpacks literally fighting with a New World Translation and The Book of Mormon. Beautiful!

  55. Amyithist

    They said this would happen. World War 3 was premised to be fought with sticks and stones because the human race would have destroyed themselves with their hate. Nobody believed it…but their generation is long gone; dust beneath my feet, and they cannot see what they’ve done to their beloved Earth.
    Horian was hulking. He stood in front of me, an old, ratty buckskin hanging from his massive frame. He grinned at me as he waived his wooden board in front of him. I smiled back, readying myself for the impending battle.
    “You lost your way,” I said, sliding my whittled branch from my side. I’d spent nearly two years carving my “sounding stick” from a fallen Sequoia. It had seen many battles; but none so important as this. I expertly swung the stick in front of me. He arched his brow, as if in near admiration.
    “I haven’t lost my way, Kadence. My people are hungry and thirsty and your land is bountiful. I’m here to take it.”
    Above me, the canopy of the forest shaded us from the glaring sun. An eerie glow settled over the forest. The air was electric; as if every life encompassed in its earthy embrace was waiting…watching.
    Horian swung first. I brought my stick up to block his blow. The reverberation through the wood stung my hands as I held on. I retaliated, swinging my stick with everything I had. I connected with the side of Horian’s head and he dropped the board, grunting as blood began to trickle from his eye. I remembered the training my father had given me: Hit hard, hit often, and when they’re down, keep hitting until they don’t hit back.
    I swung again. The stick struck on the back of his neck. He dropped. I hit again. And again. And again. Horian gasped and groaned. I stood over him, his blood pooling at my feet. “I’m giving you a choice. Walk away with your life with a vow that you’ll never come back. Or die now.”
    Horian looked up at me. The defiance behind his eyes seared back at me. A measurable sting of respect lodged itself in my gut as I stared down at him. Blood spewed from his mouth and he gasped at me. “I’ll never stop trying,” he muttered.
    I nodded at him. I looked up at the encroaching dark and sighed. I hated taking lives. But I knew it had to be done. For the peace of my people. For the sanctity of my land… I brought my weapon up high. Horian’s eyes flashed. It was a look that I’d seen before; the look of uncertainty just before a man dies. Every man has it; no matter how certain they are of their worth. No matter how solid they are in their faith… I brought the stick down into Horian’s throat. His eyes rolled. He went limp.
    I stood over his body. A breeze flowed in from the mountain top, cooling the heat on my skin. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The League of the Forest would be grateful for the successful defense of the homeland. But I knew… somewhere out there among the stars was another threat…waiting…

    1. Reaper

      Nice take! I was going to write something where the weapons were lost and fighting was done with sticks. Glad I read yours first. Wouldn’t want to show up in the same dress as you, especially since mine would have been second hand and yours was designer. A good read.

    2. jmcody

      You’ve done it again, Amyithist. You’ve taken a dorky prompt and elevated it. I like the way you steer clear of the obvious, and also inject just the right amount of humanity. Also, for some reason this made me think of the Hunger Games — futuristic and backwards at the same time, hero (heroine) kills because she has to, no peace even in victory.

    3. Observer Tim

      It’s comforting, in a depressing kind of way, to see that not only have humans continued to fight in the absence of technology, but for the same reasons.

      Great tale, Amyithist. I too was going to write a low-tech prompt (clubs), but switched in the opposite direction when I saw yours.

    4. snuzcook

      There are so many elements you introduced here, Amyithist, that piqued my interest: the sounding stick, the eerie glow that settled over the forest, the League of the Forest. With these elements in the context, the low-tech battle felt sci-fi. Nice story.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          I also enjoyed your story Amyithist. Your description of a world gone back to beast fighting beast but for honor was chilling and believable. I’ve always wondered why war continues and continues. No one learns from history so why are there memories if no one uses the knowledge.

          Talk about an incomplete story. Life is a prime example of chaos.

    5. Silver Sister

      I appreciate that your MC fights for honorable reasons, not out of bloodlust. Though a true warrior, I like that your character has the decency to hate taking the lives that must be taken to ensure survival. Great story!

    6. agnesjack

      I liked this very much, Amyithist, mostly because of the idea that mankind has cycled back to the past in the future. Yet, despite the destruction that brought them to this primitive place again, the battles keep on and on and on.

  56. peetaweet

    Docking at TS225, we’re under fire and lacking resources. The station rumbles and blares warning as it takes on enemy fire.

    “Initiate shield.”

    “Captain we’re not clear.”

    “Initiate shield.”

    “Yes sir.”

    The shield hums overhead, sealing the fate of three human members of our crew fighting to escape the vessel. Solemn faces hit the floor.

    Inside, we look to the interface for damage. It was supposed to be a minor skirmish, considering the realm of the two hundred year clash, but the Muratagans were prepared and ready. Now we’re the ones on the run.

    Thrusters rumble and quake, as the fleet arrives, firing on the shield. I send out orders to man the weapon pods.

    “Captain. It’s the lower level. It’s been infiltrated.”

    “Seal off the station at docks 4 and 5.”

    “It’s no use captain.”

    A blast shakes the door, it hits the floor and I see them in the flesh. I hadn’t seen one in a while, but it’s not something you forget. The worming tentacles, the scales, the wretched clicking. And they think we are disgusting.

    Our DKT’s troop towards the breach, throwing themselves into battle as though they had hearts of lions—or hearts at all. I’d programmed them myself. Tweaking the firmware until they were fiercely loyal as well as maniacs in battle. We’re undermanned but holding our own. A Muratagan is a hard thing to kill. And smells like fish when wounded.

    Through the midst of the tangled bodies, I peer into the lifeless depths of Kurltan and I‘m filled with such crippling hate that I nearly blackout. Many think Muratagans cannot feel emotion. But I know for a fact that isn’t true.

    I reach for the Tason whip and deactivate my shield. Kurltan could kill me instantly. But he won’t. Our hatred for each other goes beyond galaxies or homelands, beyond his armies that conquer and enslaving other life forms. I watched Kurltan kill and devour my mother and father. And for that he must die.

    He emerges through the fighting, tucking his meta rifle and pulling his whip. My rage hurls me down the dock and I crash into the old general with a lifetime of hatred.

    He staggers, brushing me off with a swipe of his arm. He’s got nearly a meter and 100 kilograms on me. I lash with my whip but he’s much too quick. He’s nearly 30 years old, an old timer for a Muratagan. He takes a swipe, hitting me in the forearm. The black eyes flash at the site of blood. I’ve never been this close to Muratagan, the rasp of his tentacles. He’s toying with me.

    My crew is losing the fight, but I can’t let that happen. I curl my whip back and catch him across the cheek, or where a cheek would be on a human. This is my chance. I refuse to let him come into my home and slaughter my crew. Another slash leaves him reeling. I no longer feel my arm, only redemption. A surge of hope for mankind. This is for—

    “Kevin. The trash. I’m not going to tell you again.”

    Pause.

    “Okay Mom, I’m coming, gosh.”

    I sling the controller on my bed and start my chores, the galaxy dangling in the balance.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Wonderful story peetaweet, Your twist was startling. I will tell you, I am king in my house. King of trash, old newspapers, kitty litter and left overs that stink in the refrigerators. Some of the residents on the back shelves have sat there for years and have earned names like “Chuck,” the left over ham bone full of mold that had been saved for bean soup.

  57. thejim

    The Tauzian Battle lasted 2 generations. My ship and her crew have traveled to the outer reaches of the Empire, fought many skirmishes, have seen thousands of innocents needlessly killed. Finally the long battle is coming to an end, the blood thirsty leaders were taken down, the remaining senior advisors have scattered across the galaxy.

    With my ship’s GWE (gravity well engine) in need of some repairs, that could only be done when docked, I landed on one of the small mining moons of Argus 5 called Moad. It was a perfect place to conceal our ship and take a long needed rest.

    I made my way to one of the locals to eat and get a few drinks. I sat on the edge of my bar stool gauging the temperature of the room. I was too old to be in a place like this. Young, half-drunk girls flirting from table to table, I refer to them as prepackaged love, just like a birthday present waiting to be opened.

    My emotional pain always kept me at arm’s length from people. Continually I expurgated my thoughts and actions just to be deemed a moral man. The many years of killing now had no effect on me. My soul, if I had one, was ash in the fire.

    After ordering I realized I really wasn’t hungry so I decided to go check on the ship. I made my way out the backdoor into the Ficifolia Gardens when from the corner of my eye I notice General Surilwin from the Gib Republic and his Tech Sargent. They were leaning over a table looking at the blue lights that lifted from the 3 dimensional flat map.

    As soon as I saw him his eyes glanced in my direction and I was spotted. We both reached for our guns and a blaze of fire swept over the garden. People caught in the crossfire were severed in half. He began to shoot at everything that moved trying to draw my attention away from his tech Sargent who was making his way around the side of the room. He was speaking into his armband. Within a moment 10 or more guards barreled into the room the only answer was a concussion grenade. I tossed it out and the room erupted with an explosion that knocked me back out the door I came in. I stood up and rushed into the room as the dust settled I saw the general, we charged each other. Both of us without our weapons, with pleasure I would kill him with my bare hands. A few feet before I reached him he bent down and picked up the arm of one of his guards. The blood poured out from the bicep. I turned and picked up a leg the meat from the thigh was falling off so I ripped at the remaining flesh it to expose bone, the perfect thickness to hold on to.

    The sound of dead flesh smacking together was strange. He swung I blocked I swung he blocked with each hit a few bones from the dead arm would break. He threw the broken arm at me as he picked up a bloody stump and charged and like Gladiator wielding his gladius sword. I dodged just in time for him to stumble past me sliding on the blood covered floor. He was younger and more agile than me. Upon his return I swung my limp leg from above my head down toward him he effortlessly stepped out of the way it came down hard on the table splintering the bone in half I stepped on the calf and tore the leg at the break to expose the sharp end of the femur bone. As the general came again I turned and thrush the bloody fractured leg into his heart. He fell back onto the floor. His nerves twitched until his life force was extinguished.

    I made my way back out the front door the waiter came by and said my chicken breast dinner was ready. I polity shook my head and said, “I am not hungry, besides that I’m a leg man.”

    1. snuzcook

      A duel of dead limbs? That’s creative! The characterization of the soul-weary veteran set the stage nicely for this gruesome battle. The last line made me think of Buckaroo Bonzai.

    2. Observer Tim

      Okay, thejim, this one was weird (in a very entertaining way). I had thought of using bones, but not whole body parts for weapons. I assume the Gib have something anatomically which makes their bones sharp; otherwise stabbing somebody with a leg is pretty impressive!

        1. thejim

          Thanks Swatchcat – I am trying to work on the Gram. errors – Could you point out a few that I missed need to see them so can try and avoid repeating my mistakes.

    3. agnesjack

      I, too, liked the line, “My soul, if I had one, was ash in the fire.” Quite a gory tale with the inventive use of the body parts as weapons. The last line, however, caught me by surprise because the rest wasn’t really tongue-in-cheek. Well done, though.

  58. Trinity Apostol

    There stand a teal skin colored alien with her rainbow futuristic locks that dangled with two twin braids and she wears a very powerful suit of armor. Elaine is her name and she has lost all hope for her planet that is now destroyed. Her opponent is one that protects of the earth from all things evil and unusual who is named Melissa. Melissa is wearing a police uniform but of a future style as if she is a pilot from a giant robot but she only has two laser pistols in her hand.

    “Initializing plasma cannon…” Elaine says in a voice that was emotionless and passive like a computer.

    The instant that Elaine says her command, her right arm begin to morph and change into a plasma cannon that is medium size and she aims it point blank at her target. The cannon begin to charge before she launches it Melissa. Melissa catches the glint of light and as it fires, Melissa rolls out range as the blast went past her and into the building. The building trembles before it fall into nothing but rumble and ash. Melissa’s eyes narrowed with anger filled inside of them and she retaliates with a quick fire of her laser towards the alien.

    Elaine is not worried since her armor was stronger than most substances found on Earth. The lasers just bounces into Elaine where she did not flinch nor did she blinks. A bead of sweat went down Melissa’s face from seeing this foe of hers was stronger than anything she encountered. Still she will not give up hope, she’ll keep fighting for her homeland. Melissa took the second pistol where would aim for a weak spot where her eyes wanders on the flesh that peek from out where the arm did not cover.

    The laser races at the speed of light before it hit the desire target. However, Melissa’s plan did not place a scratch. A small hole that is made from the laser instantly closes up. Elaine gazes without any emotion as she walks closer toward her opponent. Backing away slowly, Melissa has a look of worry on her face. This alien is like no other. She is not the average invader that passes through. She is almost like a weapon and she did not even express a single fear or pain in her eyes.

    “Who are you?” Melissa asks. “What are you?”

    “I am Elaine…” Elaine replies. “I was created to be a weapon for my planet however, my ruler was found incompetent so I eliminated him and the planet along with my creator…”

    “U-Unbelievable…” Melissa stammers.

    “Tell me, are you afraid? You should be. It’s over for you and this world since I will take it and make a new place for where I shall thrive.”

    Elaine continues to walk until she reaches a few feet before Melissa. Her cannon changes into what seems to be a type of blade from her arm. Without another word and before Melissa can react, Elaine struck the blade right through her chest and Melissa’s blood oozes onto the ground. In shock, Melissa gasps for air before her eyes falls shut. Elaine removes her blade while watching her opponent fall to the ground in her own pool of blood.

    1. snuzcook

      Elaine is really a powerful adversary! Melissa, and Earth, were doomed from the beginning.
      You have created a classic battle, Trinity, and I can clearly see the action through your descriptions.
      Some phrasing issues, possibly a matter of language translations, but the essence of this story is very good and creative.

    2. agnesjack

      The arm that changes into various weapons made me think that Elaine is a cyborg or robot. You’ve written an interesting tale here. There were a few grammar slip-ups, but I suspect that English is not your first language, in which case I’m sure you will improve in time. Good story.

        1. agnesjack

          So sorry, Trinity. Some of the phrasing seemed like a language thing.

          For example:
          “Her opponent is one that protects of the earth from all things evil and unusual who is named Melissa,” is awkward because it makes it seem that the “things evil and unusual” are named Melissa.

          A better choice might be: “Her opponent, who is named Melissa, protects the earth from all things evil and unusual.”

          Also, the tense shifted from present to past to present. I just point these things out because you have a wonderful imagination, but the grammar issues interrupt the flow.

  59. snuzcook

    SUCCESSION

    I had made it to the central chamber of her ship. I’d deployed my last handful of troops with the express purpose of drawing any guards from this area. Now I would sabotage her entire network from within, if I had enough time.

    Nothing looked familiar. In the long generations of our war, our engineers as well as theirs had learned to camouflage the most important components to rebuff just this kind of attack.

    My OP wand tingled, signaling that I was no longer alone. I adjusted my view lens settings to detect the chemical register of my enemy.

    She was incredibly fast. I had barely registered her strong chemical signature on my viewer when she lept at me, her OP wand aimed directly at the center of my mass. Certain death waited eagerly at the tip and sides of her weapon. I parried. As we sparred across the chamber, I sought the higher position to limit her mobility and improve my own reach.

    I slashed, just missing her back, but following the reverse swing to connect with the limb that held her wand. The weapon sunk briefly into the spongy suit that was intended to neutralize my weapon. I could not tell if it had penetrated, but I pushed my advantage. She was fast. Even as she bent to protect her injured limb, she lunged.

    I froze as I felt the hot sting of her wand pierce deeply into my boot. I would have to end this duel quickly to neutralize the poisons before they could travel. I bent and pinned her wand in place, still stuck in the heavy layers of my boot. I could see cold realization in her eyes as I plunged my wand deep into her neck, then slashed all along her thorax to maximize her exposure to its contents.

    She struggled briefly, then collapsed.

    I quickly put a no-pain pill in my mouth and bit hard. Immediately I began to feel the cold numbing effect. Before it could incapacitate me, I pulled my hot knife from my belt and severed my compromised leg at the knee. The injury was immediately cauterized. I hoped I had been quick enough.

    My fallen enemy had no such hope. Already the writhing had started. The tiny eggs that had been injected by the OviPositor wand into every wound were already hatching, devouring their host. By the time any of her surviving troops returned to this chamber it would be too late. My offspring would already have emerged from her body and consumed her maturing pupae in their cells hidden in this chamber, as they would soon destroy any living thing left on the ship that did not bear the right chemical signature.

    Enveloped in the drug-induced freeze and waiting for my own troops to return, I smiled. Our world was safe.

    1. Reaper

      I am going to have nightmares about this and I read Poe to myself as bedtime stories in my younger days. Nicely done Snuzcook. I kept wondering what an OP wand was. Still feel like I have bugs crawling on me.

    2. MJ Munn

      Ha! Well done! Love the bit about the mysterious but lethal OP wand becoming mundane by repeated use, setting the reader up for the twist when its true function is revealed. Dig this story; thank you for it.

      1. snuzcook

        I grew up fascinated with insects, and have been just waiting for the right story to use the term ‘ovipositor.’ Nature comes up with fascinating and truly sci-fi phenomena to create a survival advantage, why not, so why not conceive of a weapon or survival mechanism like this?

        1. Kerry Charlton

          My skin started crawling halfway thru and I wanted to jump in with a spray can of Raid to take ‘em all out. I hate bugs. Had to stop eating lunch at my laptop and throw up. I loved it. Next time, write about butterflys, Please. KerryC

          1. snuzcook

            The Supreme Monarch perched overlooking the Field of Contest. He was surrounded by others of his clan, all wearing the brilliant flame colors that identified them as Untouchables. Any creature who attempted to engage one of them in mortal combat would surely die.

            I was propelled onto the Field of Contest. I knew that all my crew members had faced this arena before me. None had returned. I was the last Earthman in captivity. After long years of as a prisoner during the war between their planet and mine, I realized I might just be the last Earthman alive.

            The Supreme Monarch spread his intricately patterned wings and descended. At close range, I could see there were scars of battle on the margins of his wings and his body, and one antenna had been cut short. His blue multifaceted eyes, however, were intact and I could see myself reflected and refracted in them. He curled and uncurled his proboscis menacingly. It was to be a battle to the death.

            My weapons had long since been confiscated, but I was not entirely unarmed. I uncoiled from my waist an eight-foot bullwhip I had plaited over the last two years from bits of native spider silk. Strong and light as titanium, I hoped the whip would be more lethal than the poisoned prehensile mouth-tube of my opponent.

            The Monarch attempted to corner me, stabbing at me with his tongue. I countered by flicking the tassled tip of the whip at the blue mound of his left eyes. Startled, he lifted into the air above me. My whip snaked out again, cutting holes in the veined parchment of his wing. I was careful to avoid the major vessels that fed his wings, because the white blood itself was lethal.

            His wing crippled, he touched down and tried to wrap his tongue around me. I stepped out of reach and cut again with my whip at his eyes. Partially blinded, he tried to knock me down with his heavy abdomen. I leapt onto his back, yanked his one long antenna, and held it under one foot to keep his head canted to one side. When he snaked the sharp point of the mouth tube at me blindly, I grabbed it above the tip and drove it into the soft vulnerable place between his armored thorax and his head.

            I half rolled, half fell from the Monarch’s doomed body as he fluttered his huge wings and stumbled, white blood cascading from the wound. I was almost free when the awkward floundering of his one good wing knocked me to my knees. Before I could crawl out of the way, his body landed on top of me, the white gore painting my arm and shoulder, seeping into my pores, finding its way into lymph and blood vessels.

            My heart screamed in my chest just once as the poison found it, then I lay, victim in my own victory, the final Earthman, killed by a damn butterfly.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Way to go , snuzcook. I knew you had it in you. A battle with a Monarch, how original. He fought against all those who had pinned his forefathers to boards and hung them on walls for all the world to gape at. Good show!

        1. snuzcook

          Couldn’t resist, Kerry. I am prone to create a challenge where it may not exist, and then accept it at the drop of a hat–especially when I can comply in a way not intended by the challenger.

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