This is a bit of flash fiction that I wrote for a dual purpose. One, I wanted to make a small point, and two, I wanted to write something that was pure hard sci fi. The story may be short but I believe I succeeded.
The crew of the metal reclamation vessel “Scrapper Queen” never knew where the little probe came from. It was late on third watch when they found it, floating in a lonely outer orbit. Perhaps it had come from a world from this star system, though that was unlikely, all the inner worlds were cinders. They’d actually come to look through the various asteroids for useful metal that had been left behind by earlier mining expeditions. Times were lean, and they were becoming creative in the places they looked for raw materials. There wasn’t much to be found in systems like this, but the Captain appreciated the lack of interference from the powerful Corporate Worlds.
They’d been scanning for traces of anything ferrous when Sensors caught the ping. A return, loud and clear. Ferrous metal, at least a few hundred grams of it, maybe more. The Captain ordered maneuvers sufficient to close the distance. The telescopes scanned, and after a time the Visual Scanning Officer reported a metallic object. Excited, the Captain ordered the tractor/pressor beams deployed, so that the object could be pulled in.
Damp from brief showers and still rubbing sleep from their eyes, Retrieval Team 1 stood on the observation deck above the bay. They watched as the odd, somewhat crumpled metal object was brought aboard. Long ago it had solar panels, they could see that, but micrometeorites over who knew how many centuries had taken their toll. They waited impatiently as the doors closed, the bay was re-pressurized. Zola started taking bets on the total mass of the object until her leader quieted him. Not that Tamar really minded, but she liked to run a tight shift, and Zola’s chatter could get old after a while…
End of the story can be read in “Tales.”
Don’t forget, two of my books are free through January 18th!
If anyone would like to see my recent author interview with Ronelle Antoinette, they can find it here!
I think she did a great job, and she has a cool site too.
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Admin Kitteh says “Clicky.”
Kortan wished, once again, that he could rub his nares. They itched. But the unyielding face of the cleansuit thwarted all attempts at scratching. He refocused on his task. The ancient data storage system had been a valuable find, the find of the decirotation, perhaps. Though his arms and legs ached from crouching, the device fascinated him beyond measure. Above him were grayish walls of debris, carefully sloped and held back by force curtains to prevent them from falling on the site.
At this particular dig, their archaeological group had found a complex of chambers. Many of the artifacts were exceptionally well preserved, having been buried under layers of volcanic ash. Already many discoveries had been made about the Ancients’ materials technology, daily life, work habits, and much more. Some of the artifacts were obvious as to their function, others were completely puzzling. To what purpose, for example, did a cubical object serve that merely sat on the work surface and had no moving parts? Though the material it had been made from had long since disintegrated into powder, the imprint it had left was plain.
The Ancients had left a wealth of writing implements, traces of wood pulp fibers that indicated the presence of paper products. Many artifacts were made from simple petroleum based plastics, using molds. Molds! Kortan smiled as he gently brushed the ash off the case of the data storage unit. Sure enough, there were fine mold lines on this too. This was made of plastic and some kind of coated sheet metal, no doubt made with a stamping process. The sheer impact of being surrounded by this much history made Kortan’s cardiac organ flutter. As he saw the next prize, his excitement only grew.
Click here for the rest of the story – also on Mindflight.com.
I was a college student when I met him. We were in sage country, near the town of Moses Lake. My Mom and I went on a walk one sunny afternoon, at a wilderness area. It was a beautiful day. The red-winged blackbirds were warbling in the cattails surrounding a little stream. We’d eaten at […]
via The Story of Orion and Cassiopeia – Part 1 — Katzenworld
When my parents and I started living fairly far away, we still had a desire for closeness, particularly around the holidays. We started a tradition where my mother would write a story and email it to me, I would create illustrations for it then send the finished pages back over to them, then my father would help bind and ship the story. Usually with sparkly yarn and a fancy cover. They would go out to all the friends and relatives as their Christmas present.
There were so many advantages to this. The extended family would start calling each other and discussing the story. I got plenty of chance to illustrate things. We all three had the feeling of continuing a holiday tradition that drew us together.
Now, for this year, my dad is the one who wrote the story. I had the idea to publish the last twelve or so stories into one big volume. I also would re-illustrate the stories that needed it. So “Yuletide Lights” was born. It’s fifteen stories, each one born of personal experience, and filled with the central themes of the holiday season. They stories are in general heartwarming and filled with generosity but in some truly touching ways. Each story is a slice of life, a pair of magic glasses with which you can peep into another life, another way. The story I wrote is about a lost cat in Japan, but even it happens around the Holidays. The little girl in the book my dad wrote might as well have been me, and I remember versions of many of events in these and other stories. Many times I’ve been moved to tears, working on this project.
I had fun preparing, editing and illustrating these stories, as much fun as I hope you have reading them.
If you’d like to see this volume, it’s available both in paperback and Kindle.
Bridges have the capacity to delight and also terrify me.
On one hand, from a bridge you have an amazing view of whatever it crosses, and it’s a lot of fun to look down at water. On the other hand, a bridge also has the capacity to cross heart-stopping chasm, and that can be terrifying for someone like me who doesn’t like heights.
In the painting above, there’s a small bridge leading to a tiny island where the Torii stands. Since the Torii is the gateway between the normal world and the sacred, the bridge is the path to that possibility. Then, when you look out into the fog – who knows what odd things you might find out there?
If you’re a writer, bridges make great metaphors. They are also natural choke points so you can use them to force characters to have to meet something. They can bring up all kinds of feelings, especially if that bridge happens to be a high railroad trestle with all the world visible between your feet!
Speaking of bridges, portals and gateways, I just finished a short story of about 10,000 words called Gateway Drug. Check it out on my Books Page!
via Daily Prompt: Bridge
My latest short-short story is up. Click here to read “The Mists.”
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