Hint Fiction

Prompt: Write a story in 25 words or less. The first is related to the plastic electricity stories, and the second is related to my fantasy world that very few people understand enough to read, although I think that’s getting better.

 

They used to call it fiction. Some of us thought it was miscategorized, but we were the minority, before First Contact, anyway.

 

Blood destroys. Shadow seals. Demon frees. Eyes discover. Grass grows. Bones bleed. World ends?

Silvano Winston Part 2

My dark room study days were some fun days. I and a few others were part of what we called ‘The Scales.’ It sounds fancier than it is. The idea for the name came from the symbolism between scales and balance. We had been preparing for the inevitable end of democracy, whether it came in our lifetime or not. We were so good at our jobs that we probably knew more about the government than the people in it did.

There were five of us. Coincidentally, we used codenames related to space. The first of us went by the name Nova. He organized us and made sure we were all staying hidden. The next was known as Darkmatter. He was our hacker and database administrator, and kept us up to date on what the government was up to. Deimos and Phobos were our field agents. They worked in the higher levels of government, but I never found out what as. Then there was me, Kepler. I analyzed anything Darkmatter, Deimos, or Phobos sent me; coded messages, schematics, that sort of thing.

The government was completely transparent to us. If it was on their network, we had access to it. If it was in writing, we would find out about it and get pictures or copies. It wasn’t to make money. Selling the information was never a goal. We used this information to keep an eye on the inner workings of the government, and make sure there were no attempts to take away the peoples’ rights. If there had been, and it wasn’t stopped by politics, we would have started a revolution.

As it is, it never got to that point. The aliens arrived before that could happen, and when they arrived, our goals shifted to figuring them out. We needed to figure out how to monitor them to the same degree that we had been monitoring our own government. So we started a few small rebellions against the aliens around the world to see how they reacted. To say they were aggressive would be an understatement. Nevertheless, we had the information we needed.

Silvano Winston Part 1

I could hear the sickening hum of the alien craft in the distance. I knew my glamour would hide me from their scanners, but visual clues would give me away, especially the path I had made coming into the forest. I was walking close to the trees, where the snow had been naturally packed down by falling debris.

I flattened myself against a tree as a Romal craft flew overhead. I wouldn’t usually, but right now I would rather be with the cows in the nearby farm, those used to provide us food before First Contact, than with these aliens. I was actually pretty impressed with myself.

I had gotten probably a cohort of Romals chasing me. Now what could I possibly have done to attract so much of the redskins’ attention? Wouldn’t you like to know.

The name’s Silvano Demetrius Winston. I was quite the alien conspiracy nut before First Contact. For those of you old enough to remember, that probably conjures up some fat guy sitting in his basement in the dark looking at a computer screen. That wasn’t quite me. The dark room and computer screen is true, but usually separately.

I was a scientist that specialized in analyzing samples of various kinds; metals, salts, gases, plants, animals, genetics, just about anything. It was all innocent enough until a professor friend called me up and told me about a scientist convention.  The scientists there had created a strange substance and he asked me to work my magic on it and analyze it.

I analyzed it, and found that it was putting out a signal that traveled at effectively instantaneous speeds, even faster than light. The signal was an amazing find, and the professor said he would do an in depth study of it and release a paper on it.

Come next month and I hadn’t seen anything of the sort, so I called him. He didn’t respond. After several attempts to reach him, I found out he had quit his job at the university and moved away without telling anyone where he was going.

I only had to wait another month before I heard anything from him. He called and asked me to come and get the sample. I arrived at the agreed upon meeting place, and the professor quickly handed it off to me and drove off before I could say anything.

Fast forward another three months. I hadn’t made any progress in understanding the sample. What I had made progress in was my dark room studies. Wouldn’t you like to know what that was? All in good time, though. In relation to that, I learned that NASA and other space agencies had spotted a strange, large object coming towards us through space.

It was about 200 kilometers across, which was enough cause for distress, but it was strangely symmetrical. It was, of course, the Mothership, which we soon found out as it came into orbit around us, and we sent up an emergency space mission.

It was impromptu, but fairly well organized. I expect there were government provisions for this sort of thing. Five astronauts went up to determine what it was, and, if it was indeed alien, try to communicate with the inhabitants. I’m not sure how they hoped to communicate, given what we knew of the aliens at the time. There was no guarantee that either race would understand the other.

As it was, they had no luck getting into the craft, which from close up, it was pretty obvious that it was indeed of alien design. They tried their hand at radio, light, and any other form of communication they could think of. Unsurprisingly, they received no response. Until they were about to deorbit, that is.

The alien craft radioed back the astronauts that the atmosphere of our planet was incompatible, but that they were working on a solution for that. The aliens had quickly scanned all of our communications channels in order to communicate. They’ve had so much experience with ‘alien’ languages that ours was a piece of cake.

Most of you probably know the rest of their arrival. The Romals came down and asked us to work in their shipyards. It was supposedly a perfect deal. They got ships for their war and we got jobs. They had mentioned the other race that would come, but we forgot about that when there was nothing, even with the high orbit space stations that prevented unauthorized ships from warping into their sphere of influence. It wasn’t until the next year, after we had gotten comfortable with our new alien overlords, that there were the first signs of the Britals.

The Romals started to accelerate production of their ships, which meant more work for us. More and more ships warped into orbit and spread out around the entire planet. Soon we saw the reason for this business, when a new kind of ship warped in just outside the sphere of influence of the warp dampeners.

It was similar in design to the drones the Romals used to pinpoint our location. The Romal fleet quickly flew out to destroy it, but the Britals began warping in before the Romals got in range. The intergalactic war we had been warned about had begun. Maybe next time I’ll tell you about my dark room activities.

First Contact

Plastic electricity, as we have called it, is almost impossible to be created except through artificial means. It is also the only way to travel faster than light, at least to the best of our knowledge. If you can lock on to the signal that an plastic electricity sample puts off, you can travel to within twenty AU of the sample in seconds. To find intelligent life, you simply wait until they create a sample of plastic electricity.

Its signal is easily detectable if you know what to look for. That’s what caused First Contact. Our scientists created a small sample of plastic electricity as part of a special convention of the world’s most innovative scientists. They weren’t given a chance to study it before the Mothership arrived, especially after it went missing.

The ship remained in orbit for several months. When we sent a communication to it asking after its intentions, it replied back that our planet’s atmosphere was not compatible with their race, but they working on a solution to that. Of course, everyone thought they were going to terraform the planet and kill us off in the process. Those fears were amplified when the Mothership sent down probes around the planet. The military of the world tried to dislodge or destroy the probes, but that proved useless. Smaller ships came out of the Mothership and began building strange space stations around Earth in high orbit. We slowly became resigned to our fate.

That is, until we received a communication telling us to call a UN meeting that would include all of the most powerful nations’ leaders, as well as bring the strange material our scientists had discovered. Once a scientist came forward with the sample of Plastic Electricity, we did as we were told. The scientist, a Silvano Winston, brought the sample into the center of the assembly. We were about to call the meeting to order when the space around the sample warped, and three aliens appeared with their hands resting on the sample.

The UN guards surrounded them, but they spoke calmly. “We are here because you are an intelligent race, and you have created ‘Plastic Electricity,’ as you call it. It has allowed us to breach the edge of the universe and enter this Sol system. We have need of materials and a workforce. Your people are hardworking and industrious. They enjoy discovery and exploration. You are perfect for our needs.”

The question of whether we wanted this was raised, to which the aliens responded. “You may think us cruel for forcing this upon you, but there is another race of aliens that would not be so kind in their subjugation of your race. They are coming, and when they get here, you need to be ready. The stations we have built around your planet act as a defense mechanism. They keep unauthorized ships from warping inside the sphere they create, as well as firing on any that warp to outside of that sphere.”

Whether we liked it or not, we were propelled into what promised to be an intergalactic war. Shipyards were built, along with more samples of Plastic Electricity. Workers warped to the shipyards to work in the morning, and then warped back home at night. Life carried on almost without any difference, save for the knowledge that aliens were real. War was not on our minds, since no other ships had attacked us yet. We just built what our new leaders told us to.

There were small uprisings, of course, but our human weapons and armor couldn’t match the aliens’. We couldn’t attain alien weapons because they were so uniquely tailored to their creator’s biology. Any attempt to steal and study them was met with swift retaliation, and utter destruction of those who aided in the theft. Our new leaders were careful not to be too controlling. They let us work in any way we wanted, as long as a certain percent worked in their industries.

That wasn’t hard to do considering those who did received special bonuses. The decontamination process the workers went through before and after work made it almost impossible for them to get sick, and of course the thought of being able to work with alien technology made many people excited. After a few years, it was like it had always been this way.

Professor Cody is Quirky

Prompt: When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene.

 

“Medea! Is that you?” Was that Professor Cody? I turned and saw that it was. “What luck that I ran into you. Are you here for the Conference? Never mind. Come with me, I have something to show you.”

Professor Cody wasn’t quiet by a long shot, but he was being unusually talkative. It offset my taciturn attitude. He led me to his office and unlocked it, first with a key, and then a keycard. As we entered the room, he made some sort of gesture that turned the lights on.

In one corner of the room was a desk with a computer and lots of wires and electronic boxes of various kinds scattered around it. The wires snaked around the room, hugging the walls, and connected into various parts of the wall and a few into the doorframe.

“Let’s see, you just stand right here, center of the room is probably best,” he said as he went to his computer and started typing into a console. “Now, I want you to try and remain calm while I get out my little discovery.”

I wasn’t too worried about it. He was quirky, sure, but he would have to get about ten times stranger to shock me. He typed something in and hit enter. A part of the wall slid out like a filing cabinet, and a platform from inside rose up with a small orb lying on it.

It began to float. That was a bit strange, I’ll admit. He picked it up without touching it and handed it to me. It floated above my hand, but I could feel it. He looked at me expectantly. “What is it?” I asked.

“Plastic electricity,” replied quickly. “At least, that’s what the scientists are calling it. It was discovered last year at a special scientist get-together. No one got a chance to study it, and they weren’t sure how they made it, so they’ve left it alone. But I got my hands on the sample they created.”

“Got your hands on?” I asked.

He shrugged. “They weren’t using it. Anyway, I brought Silvano in to look at it. You remember Silvano, yes? He sometimes came in to help with the analysis of samples?”

“Mr. Winston?” I replied.

He nodded. “Yes, yes, Mr. Winston. He did some analysis and then hooked it up to my computer and we found the most extraordinary thing! Well, I did, he already knew it, but he didn’t say so at the time. Where was I? Oh, yes, extraordinary! Do you know what it was?”

I slowly shook my head.

“Aliens!” I stared blankly at him. “Hear me out. It puts out a signal in pulses, like Morse-Code. Translating the pulses into a visual representation produced a picture with a discernable pattern.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense for it to be a ‘pattern’ put there by the scientists that invented it?” I asked as I handed the orb back.

“But they don’t know what it is. Silvano does, though. He’s talked to them and seen their ships. But all this is strictly confidential until they make themselves known. You didn’t hear any of this from me.”

“Sure.”

“That’s good. You can go back to your conference now. Have fun; try not to piss off any aliens!”

I was a little concerned for Professor Cody after that, but he was always a little quirky. After a while I thought nothing of it. Obviously this was all before First Contact.