Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion

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Congrats to C. Lloyd Preville, the First Champion of 2020's

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message 1: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1174 comments Mod
Smackdown by C. Lloyd Preville
Copyright © 2020
(745 words.)

Davis Kelly Cole entered the grand central government building, surrounded by a cadre of elite planetary border patrol officers. They were humanoid and highly professional in appearance but nervous, taking furtive glances at his tornado suit.

His tornado suit covered his entire body, impervious alien armor resembling a whispering cloak of rotating wind-swept clouds. He was merely a dark interior shadow, unknowable and unpredictable. Fear was a useful negotiating tool.

More security resentfully watched him walk past the building’s scanners and security barriers; his status as negotiator for the Resolvers, the most feared organization in the galaxy, rendering their usual authority impotent.

He was shown to a large conference room. There were two people waiting there.

Davis raised his hand in greeting. “Emperor Elixus, my greetings to you. I have heard much about you, mostly exaggerations I’d imagine. And you must be Economic Director Tashall, the one that everyone’s complaining about. Excuse me if we don’t touch in greeting; my tornado armor is quite unforgiving.”

The Emperor smiled insincerely, “My New Year’s greetings to you, Emissary Cole. Director Tashall and I hope to resolve this matter quickly so we may return to celebrating our Planet’s glorious new Millennium.”

Davis placed his armored knuckles on the conference table and his suit melted the contact points with a sizzle. “I am afraid this is no minor misunderstanding, Emperor. You joined the Resolver’s cooperative to trade with other civilizations. There would be only discord if we allow anyone to ignore their contractual commitments.” Davis was glad they weren’t wasting precious time with ceremony and speeches.

“Emmisary. . .” Tashall looked concerned, “We met our obligations under the circumstances. Our deal with the Sneeds is fraught with disappointments and delays, so we subtracted a reasonable sum from our payments to compensate.”

Davis slowly shook his tornado-shrouded head in the negative. Both men’s faces drained of color.

“There are contractual remedies for such events and they do not include up-front penalties. Now stop wasting my time.” Davis slowly placed his latest negotiating prop on the table. It was a blue rubber duck about the size of a baseball. For emphasis, he poked it with a finger and it squeaked.

“What is this?” The Emperor looked annoyed. Tashall looked like he was going to be sick; he was apparently the better informed of the two.

“This, Emperor, is a rubber duck. It’s usually a child’s toy. But in this case, it represents the contempt I have for your puerile behavior.” Davis poked the rubber duck and it squeaked again.

There was complete silence in the room. Davis waited.

The Emperor finally spoke, in a slightly shaky voice. “And what do you intend to do if we do not agree?” His thick eyebrows rose a few centimeters.

“I will give the rubber duck a third squeak. You do not want that.”

“What will happen then?” Now Tashall’s voice was the shaky one.

“Your planet will be destroyed.” Davis spoke to his tornado suit off line, “Suit, spin up the tornado effect 10 percent, please.”

“Sure boss.”

The men seemed to notice since they both flinched slightly. The Emperor spoke softly. “You would destroy our entire civilization simply to enforce a minor contractual detail?”

“Emperor, I will destroy your entire planet to demonstrate our resolve to enforce ALL contractual details.” Davis slowly extended his tornado-clad arm towards the rubber duck again.

“WAIT!” The Emperor was clearly shaken. “I give my word we will immediately return to strict compliance with the contract and return all penalty charges.”

Davis retrieved the rubber duck. “Excellent. Then my work here is done and you may return to your millennial celebrations.”

As Davis was escorted out of the conference room by the two dumbstruck administrators, a group of people waiting outside boisterously greeted the Emperor. They were obviously family members, waiting to celebrate millennium events with their patriarch. Their gaiety wound down to silence when they saw Davis appear in the doorway, tornado suit whispering softly. Davis bowed deeply and approached the group.

“My greetings to the Emperor’s family on this important day. Please excuse my appearance as my business requires me to wear odd garb. May your millennium celebrations be grand. Come forward, young one.” Davis gestured to a young boy in the back.

He handed the boy the rubber duck. “Here, boy--if the Emperor ever gives you any trouble, simply give the toy a squeak.” Then he cheerfully left the building, security detail in tow.


message 2: by Justin (new)

Justin Sewall | 1008 comments Score another win for Davis Kelly Cole! Congrats C!


message 3: by G.C. (new)

G.C. Groover | 78 comments Congratulations C!


message 4: by Jack (new)

Jack McDaniel | 244 comments Congrats, C!


message 5: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Congrats!


message 6: by Oswald (new)

Oswald Icetone | 4 comments Congratulations, C


message 7: by C. (new)

C. Lloyd Preville (clpreville) | 736 comments Thanks everyone! This was a tough month with a lot of good stories!


message 8: by J.F. (new)

J.F. Williams | 213 comments Congratulations, C, for starting the 2020s off with a bang, or at least the threat of one!


message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom Olbert | 1048 comments Congratulations, C.


message 10: by Greg (new)

Greg Krumrey (gkrumrey) | 185 comments Congratulations! Excellent use of a bath toy!


message 11: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 316 comments You have my wholehearted congratulations. It was a clear winner. I'm going to read it to my grandkids. They will love it. A perverse sense of humor is a family trait.


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