Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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Congrats to Justin Sewall, Champion of the Science Fiction Microstory Contest

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message 1: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1278 comments Mod
Pirates of the Malleteans

Captain Julian Esperanto sat on the bridge of the garbage scow S.S. Lamprey. The dim lighting matched his melancholy as he thought about the dead end his career had taken. Once a promising graduate of the Fleet Academy, he had watched helplessly as opportunity deserted him like a faithless lover. Now he was stuck hauling toxic waste between Vella Prime and its colonies in an obsolete transport. He slouched further down into his tattered seat and took a short pull from his tarnished Academy flask.

“Status Mr. Munoz.”

“Aye Captain. We are on course for Vella La Vella. ETA 1420 hours local time. The traffic pattern is clear, no other ships detected.”

“Right,” said Esperanto, dribbling slightly. “Our sensors couldn’t detect an asteroid directly in front of us – but thank you. Engineering?”

“Yes Skipper. All drive systems are nominal, but the starboard engine pylon needs an overhaul after we land.”

“Again? I thought you fixed that.”

“Yes sir, I did. But if I may remind the Captain…”

“No you may not. Contact the yardmaster and make sure everything is waiting for us. I don’t want to spend any longer dirtside than necessary.”

“Yes Captain, right away.”

Mr. Munoz shared a look with the engineer. No shore leave – again!!

***

The Vella Prime beauty pageant was the most widely attended event of its kind in the quadrant. Lovely males, females and various transgendered species came from near and far to compete for fame and lucrative modeling contracts. Broadcast rights alone were worth quintillions to whichever network was lucky enough to win them, easily offsetting the cost of any bribes.

Unfortunately, this concentration of perfect beauties raised the ire, irritation and wrath of the Malleteans – sworn blood enemies of the Vellans. Despite the best efforts of the Vellan Navy, Malletean marauders, malcontents and corsairs of every stripe descended on the shipping lanes between Vella Prime and her outworld colonies to prey upon the ships transporting starry-eyed contestants. The same lanes travelled by the luckless S.S. Lamprey.

***

“Captain.”

“Hmph?” Esperanto felt the warmth of a comfortable buzz coming on. Wonderful stuff that Vellan absinth…

“Captain!”

Esperanto bolted upright. “What?!”

“We’re picking up a distress call. It’s the Vellan luxury liner Transcendent Bliss. She’s under attack.”

“Give me details.”

“Hard to say sir at this range, but it sounds like…”

“Spit it out man!”

“It’s the Pirates of the Malleteans!”

Esperanto stood up, swaying ever so slightly. This was it! This was his chance! A plan formed in his absinth addled head.

“Mr. Munoz, plot an intercept course. Flank speed. Go to 110 percent on the reactor.”

“Captain?! But, but… the starboard pylon.”

“Damn the pylon and flank speed ahead! Battle stations! Charge all weapons!”

“Asteroid removal cannon energized Captain,” reported the engineer meekly.

Mr. Munoz, Comms and the engineer all shook their heads: They were going to die without any shore leave.

***
The malevolent Malleteans herded their captured bevy of beauties towards the Transcendent’s dorsal airlock. They traded crude barbs, and made even cruder remarks at the expense of their sobbing captives, unaware of the toxic mess hurdling towards them.

Suddenly, a flash of light flooded the Transcendent’s view ports as the S.S. Lamprey exited hyperspace directly off their port bow.

“A rescue ship!” cheered one green-skinned woman.

“Bah! That’s just a garbage scow!” retorted the Malletean captain in disdain. His opinion of the interloper was confirmed as blasts from its asteroid cannon bounced harmlessly off his own raider’s hull.

“Get this bounty of booties onto the ship men! Now!” He fired his plasma pistol over their heads to motivate them.

While the Malletean captain was distracted with his pretty prizes, he failed to see the S.S. Lamprey live up to its name. The ugly ship attached itself to the raider’s hull, penetrated its aft airlock and proceeded to release millions of liters of toxic waste into its engine bay.

“My ship!” The Malletean roared. “Back to the ship!” Their tentacles waving furiously, the pirates scurried back to their now contaminated raider and its deadly parasite. After attempting to enter hyperspace, their entire ship exploded as the Lamprey’s starboard engine pylon failed catastrophically.

Captain Esperanto and his crew exited their cramped escape pod through a different airlock and were greeted by the beautiful green-skinned woman.

“Thank you for saving us Captain,” she said warmly. “Would you and your crew like to join us for the remainder of our journey?”

The crew of the former S.S. Lamprey shouted in unison, “Shore leave!!”

(750 words in story) Justin Sewall © 2018


message 2: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1278 comments Mod
Jot Russell> I'm away from my computer until Monday. Will post the details then. Nice job and Happy Birthday Justin

Jack McDaniel> Nice birthday present. Glad you rigged the voting!

Jack McDaniel> Congrats, JUSTIN!

C. Lloyd Lloyd> Congratulations Justin!

Chris Nance> Congratulations Justin!

Jon Ricson> Congrats Justin!

Justin Sewall> Oh wow! What a great birthday present! Thank you all very much!!!

Marianne> Congrats Justin :)

Tom Olbert> Congratulations, Justin!

Justin Sewall> Thanks Tom and Marianne!

Karl Freitag> Well done Justin!


message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Thanks again everyone. I'll get June's challenge posted soon!


message 4: by Justin (last edited May 30, 2018 10:47AM) (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments The June theme and required elements have been posted! I hope you all like them. Good luck!!


message 5: by Paula (new)

Paula | 955 comments Good work, Justin!


message 6: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1046 comments Paula wrote: "Good work, Justin!"

Thanks Paula!! And congratulations on the release of your new book!!


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