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Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: June 27, 2017, 05:18:06 PM
by Vila
Here are the entries for the June Flash Challenge:

1. The Best Homopolar Guns Ever...

The 638 feet–long military vessel from Earth Planetary Defense, named the Balaur, was orbiting one of the newly-discovered dwarf bodies in the Kuiper Belt when an alarm started blaring in the ship’s Command Center.

This was what Captain Recep Hafsa had long been waiting for. Having been put in charge of the Balaur just a month ago – some said because his parents were rich and well-known among the generals at Earth Headquarters – he was very proud to be aboard the first ship equipped with Homopolar Guns. Of course, the fact that the Captain’s rich family had built the Homopolar guns themselves and sold that new technology to the military had been an important factor in Hafsa becoming the captain. Certainly, he hadn’t been chosen because of his intelligence or capability. Even the ship’s name, the Balaur, had been given to the ship by the family. It didn’t matter that a Balaur was an extinct species of dinosaur-like creatures that had once lived in Anatolia, the deluded captain insisted that those extinct dinosaurs were still alive somewhere, but they were possibly just hiding…

Anyway, there was another reason why Captain Hafsa was happy to be on this ship, right here and right now. There had been some unconfirmed sightings of unknown alien spacecraft in the area. The unidentified vessel was reputed to be very fast, although no direct contact had yet been made. Their ship was here to investigate and take action if needed.

Most of the crew thought that Captain Hafsa wasn’t the right man for this mission because they all knew that he was more eager to use the newly-developed Homopolar Guns in battle for the first time than to discover anything useful about that alien spacecraft, undoubtedly!

So far their new guns had been fired, in accordance to the orders of their inexperienced Captain, to destroy some asteroids in space, the fragments of which had also slightly damaged their hull surface. The crew thought this useless display of power showed how hotheaded and unfit Captain Hafsa was.

Anyway, he was also eager to take action as soon as his dark-haired Officer Aruki Ōsugi signaled the presence of that unknown ship.

“How far is it from us?” Hafsa asked.

“About 43,000 yards,” Japanese Officer Ōsugi replied. In his mind he knew that a more useful question would have been, ‘What is its speed?’ but Ōsugi always thought differently. After all, he had been appointed after strenuous training thanks to his great skills, unlike his dimwitted captain…

“Attention crew! This is the last day these aliens will encroach on our military area. We simply can’t allow such an unknown vessel to move around freely. Prepare our Homopolar Guns to fire. Target: Unknown Ship 1!”

“Are you certain those were our orders, Captain?” Officer Ōsugi dared to ask him. Immediately firing seemed to be a hurried course of action according to how he had been trained.

“I’m in charge here!” the captain sneered, looking at his crewmember as if he was just an insect that had tried to walk over his boots unrequested.

“Aye, Captain…I’m sending orders to our battle-stations to prepare to engage, but…”

“That’s better, Ōsugi. Just do it…quietly!”

When the data indicated the presence of the unknown alien spacecraft again, the Balaur opened fire. The Homopolar Guns operated like the old rail-guns tied onto seagoing vessels hundreds of years ago. They were based on the old homopolar motor, launching electromagnetic projectiles that traveled, of course, much faster than the ancient projectiles. Those Homopolar Guns used neither explosives nor propellant, but rather relied on electromagnetic forces to blast a very high kinetic energy at enemy ships.

“Target acquired and hit, Captain!” said a young midshipman named Grigorescu. He had always been the Captain’s lickspittle. “Images on the screen indicate that the alien hull has undergone some great damage…”

“Well done, well done! Alter course to get closer to the unknown spacecraft so we can finish it off. Ready to fire again on my mark!”

Time went by as they drew nearer and nearer. Then Hafsa shouted, “Fire at will!”

Only when the firing stopped could the crew have a clearer look at the alien hull on the screen. It appeared to be seriously damaged.

However, the Japanese Officer looked dubious after rechecking the available data. Then he suddenly cried out, “Decoy desu!” in his native language, a reflection of his surprise.

“A decoy, you say? How do you know?” the Captain asked him.

“Because our onscreen picture differs from the infrared detection systems…”

“Meaning what?” the captain burst out.

“The image of the alien ship we are seeing onscreen, showing a damaged hull, is just that…an image! I think it’s generated by a holo-system being used as a decoy. But the true hull of that ship, the one that is underneath the holo-image itself, is still all in one piece. Worse than that, the alien ship itself appears to be capable of using the kinetic energy from our blows to recharge and strengthen its own hull.”

“What?” the Captain uttered. “That is not possible! Just keep firing until that damn hull breaks into pieces.”

“But Captain…please!” the Japanese Officer retorted. “With every new blow, that vessel’s hull will become stronger and stronger…”

“Enough of your insolence! Guards, take Officer Ōsugi to detention.” And with that the captain made a wide gesture to show that he was through discussing the matter.

As Officer Haruki was being led towards the detention area, he heard a noise and felt their ship shaking. He couldn’t see it but the alien spacecraft had gotten so much kinetic energy thanks to their many subsequent blows that it was able to come at full speed against the Balaur’s hull itself, breaking it into pieces and passing through as easily as if it were urine on an icy surface…

And in doing so the unknown aliens hadn’t needed to fire a single shot, but had simply used the Balaur’s weapons against them…


2. Me Time

Marlor Misgro Mopacka. Can you feel the power from the most unique name on Earth? This name made and taken by the most powerful, the most rich, the most handsome, virile, smart, intelligent… Marlor was probably the most perfect specimen of a male human that he probably was also the most perfect specimen of a female human, that is, if he ever chose to be female.

“Mr. Mopacka?” A question made by a subordinate employee who worked in Marlor’s vast, worldwide conglomeration of industry. ‘Mopack Inc.’ was doing business in every facet of society in every country in the world. His companies produced war machines to life-saving machines. His expertise ranged from the necessary fields of agriculture to medicine and science. If it was consumed, purchased, used, rented, sold… Most likely it had something in it produced by Mopak Inc.

With a question weighing in the air unanswered the employee once again asked the question, only this time his head was bent in submission. “Mr. Mopacka?”

“Yes. Speak.” Marlor Misgro Mopacka was a man of few words as he placed great importance on efficiency and abhorred wasting time. So, as a result his words were chosen with care.

“You wanted me to keep you updated on the progress of the Genesis machine.”

There was a silent pause as Marlor finally had to sigh and utter the words, “Yes. Speak. Get on with it.” There was now a tinge of anger to the voice.

Fumbling with his words and flustered by being in the presence of the most powerful man in the world, the man replied, “The Genesis machine is ready.”

“Excellent! You may leave.” The smile on Marlor Misgro Mopacka’s face was beaming and it was with relief that the employee softly back pedaled and left. On his face too, was relief. It was well known that the boss often fired people at will. Some were even fired for daring to look into the powerful face.

For Marlor, he always knew he was so unique and special that he never tired thinking about how perfect he really was. He hated his feeble parents, despised his stupid brothers and sisters. Very early on in life, he knew he was destined for greatness and so it was, he became the greatest in the world.

For all his awe-inspiring greatness, he knew he could not mingle with the other humans. He had few, if any, friends. His love life was purely sexual and he felt all the women could greatly improve as even his stamina in the bedroom was legendary.

However, there was one thing in life he could not master or beat, that of course being, death.

Marlor was no longer a young man. He was now well past the definition of middle aged. His actual age was now eighty two and he knew that he would have to do something to keep his greatness going. So, with assets beyond count, he spent billions of dollars to design a machine that would keep him alive, forever.

Finally, after years of success and failure, he now had a machine to keep him alive, basically for eternity. It was called, the Genesis machine and was the most complex and intricate machine ever built by man. It was good that it was ready as on the same day of receiving the great news, he suffered a severe heart attack.

Amid the hustle and bustle of all those trying to save their boss, the employees were successful as already the Genesis machine had taken control of Marlors brain and it would only be a short time until the body would be rejuvenated.

Interesting how mankind controls its environment. For Marlor Misgro Mopacka, he was truly an expert in control and a master of all. So good was he that his products were leaps and bounds above perfection. Take his war machines for example: So well performing were they that in a recent war in one of the many poor African countries, his war machines not only won the war but they also spread to destroy the world.

The machines fed on their greatness as their creator was the greatest, and no war could truly be considered won or finished until everything was destroyed. And so, they multiplied and destroyed, all in one day.

Ironic now. On the same day the Genesis machine was ready, Marlor ‘died’. Along with his death the entire world was destroyed. Anything biological in nature was, obliterated. Not even bacteria or any virus were left alive. It could be said it was the worst day on earth for Marlor and the planet.

Marlor Misgro Mopacka’s body of course, was destroyed. All that remained was the Genesis machine. And another, ‘of course’ is added to state that because Marlor was a perfectionist, it would remain running for thousands of years, even millions. It was powered by a fusion source capable of lasting close to one hundred million years.

Along with the power. There were machines standing by to repair any damage. Thus, the mind of Marlor could be kept alert and active for a very, very long time. Only, without his body or any other life to communicate with. Even with his few words, it would be a painful and sad existence.

It was a serious glitch in the plans as the machine was designed to keep body and mind alive. Alive to keep showing a primitive world how great he truly is. But now that his world was sterile of all life, to include his own, he was in a bit of a trap. A trap of his own making, and thus, ‘perfect’.

His mind was supreme but trapped in an environment where he could spend the next thousands to millions of years perfecting the ability to go insane.

The End

Re: Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: June 28, 2017, 06:10:43 PM
by KVesi
The Best Homopolar Guns Ever...

Karma, that is what this story represents to me. I had a difficult time understanding karma. No one punishes you. You punish yourself with your actions. Like punching yourself in the head repeatedly and never realizing it's you doing the punching. Good story and good example of stupidity in action.

Re: Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: June 28, 2017, 06:15:52 PM
by KVesi
Me Time

Wow the main character is this story is going to get a lot of me time! Another type of stupidity: you're sooo important and everyone around you is sooo insignificant, that only you count and everyone else is expendable. Sadly, this kind of stupidity exists in many leaders around the world. Good job in fleshing out in a story that kind of stupidity.

Re: Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: June 28, 2017, 06:20:36 PM
by Lester Curtis
Pretty good stuff; I like them both. Both are strong on the unintended consequence theme, too.

Re: Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: July 04, 2017, 11:15:22 AM
by Vila
So far, it's a tie. We need some more votes! :D

Re: Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: July 04, 2017, 05:38:29 PM
by kailhofer
I know I voted. Did you?

Re: Voting Stage - June Flash Fiction Challenge

PostPosted: July 12, 2017, 08:06:45 PM
by radagast-now
Both of these stories were good. Me time would take my vote, since it made me think of several leaders and biz CEO's running around. The MC could represent any one of several out there. Me Time has my vote, if there is time to vote - otherwise that is my 2 cents, and thanks for reading it.