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Thimbleful Thursday: Honored

Written to Thursday, Jan 16th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt, Do the Honors

At the top limit of the wordcount, 320-330 words. 🙂 (depending on the counter)

🎖️

“Do you want to do the honors?”  Saliked bowed playfully to Viytoj.  “Or shall I?”

“I really think…” Viytoj shifted back and forth.  “I really think this is a bad idea.  It’s – do you know how many things can go wrong with something like this?”

“Viyiy, it was your idea!”  Saliked huffed.  “You said it.  You developed it.  You named it, you even found this place.”

“I did that because I thought you were just trying to see if I’d do it!  I mean, I thought – I didn’t think you’d – really?”  Viytoj stared at the Viewscreen.  “Really?”

“Come on.  What is the absolute worst that can happen?”

“The absolute worst? We trigger a world war down there that wipes out 99% of their population and, while they’re at it, kills us!”

“That’s, ah, that’s, way to go on the pessimism, buddy.”  Saliked took a moment to regroup.  “All right, what’s the worst likely thing that could happen?”

“They bomb us out of the sky?  That’s admittedly only got a 1 in one thousand chance of happening with what we know of their current technology.” Viytoj was bending. Slowly.

Saliked pressed. “Is it even against Galactic Law?”

“Well, not yet, because nobody’s thought to do something like this…”

“Then let’s do it!  Come on, push the button, Viyiy.  We came this far, and it will be the best prank in all of their history!”

Viytoj sighed.  “I… this could go so poorly.”

“But it only has a one in a thousand chance of going horribly!”  Saliked grinned widely.  The grin always worked.

Viytoj pushed the button.  Tiny rockets shot from their ship, hundreds of them.  For every 10 degrees of latitude and longitude where there was land, a rocket would fall apart well above the treeline and drop, with a small parachute, a notice. More of a certificate, honestly.

The rest of the galaxy honors you,
the third planet around your star
For reaching intra-stellar travel
Welcome to the Galaxy!

 

 

Want more?

Smooth Criminal

🌌

When the Illamorrow Confederacy no longer knew what to do with someone, they gave them one last wish and then put them on a derelict ship with sufficient fuel to leave Confederacy space. 

When the Illamorrow Confederacy no longer knew what to do with someone, it generally meant that all their corrective measures had failed, that all of their warnings had fallen on deaf ears, that all of their attempts to enforce their laws had met with absolutely no repentance or apology. 

The Illamorrow Confederacy was not very good at dealing with outliers, but say this for them, they did try.  They tried over and over again, until sometimes they simply needed to cease trying. 

And then – 

Then you had someone like Fothitwo Twinshee Pren, who had broken, in alphabetical order, every law the Illamorrow Confederacy held dear, and then had broken every restriction and every punishment the Confederacy attempted to apply.   Continue reading

Other Duties As….

I sort of mushed two of Anke’s prompts together and thus we have this!

⛏️

“Call Dr. Takori.  Now, please.”

Dr. Felin’s admin assistant looked up from her work, stifled a mutter about not doing anything at all, of course not, and dialed Dr. Takori with a push of her fingers before handing Dr. Felin the phone. 

“Yal.  Yal, I need you to see this.  No, I’m calm, what are you talking about, I’m not on blues, Yal, that was a decade ago.”  Dr. Felin’s voice dropped to an annoyed hiss. “Come on, Yal, don’t be like this.  I need you to see this – fine.  Fine, Stana, could you come out here, please?  I promise I won’t throw a fit about any belated procurement, not even the Stygian Cheese Powder.”

Stana swallowed another sigh and followed Dr. Felin, suiting up with the skill of someone who had spent the last 5 years on interstellar digs, out the airlock and from there, to the dig. 

At least this rock had nearly breathable atmosphere, so it could be terraformed – and likely would be, and soon, which meant that Felin was in a bit of a hurry.  It also meant that if there was a suit accident, it wouldn’t be quite so immediately fatal and they had a chance of getting inside before they suffocated on sweet air. 

“Dr. Felin-?” Continue reading

Meter Maid

This story was written because Anke posted this toot and I had an idea. 

There’d been a time when Pat’s co-workers had snickered “meter maid” when Pat left for work, but that time – that had been before the city had managed to push through a very obscure translation of a caelo usque ad centrum and managed to make it stick by the sheer tenacity of the city’s lawyers.

Now – now Pat suited up, along with a brigade of other meter maids, grey ghosts, and they strapped onto their jet scooters.

Nobody parked illegally in the city anymore.  There’d been one case, a month ago.  The people nearby had physically moved the car out of the illegal spot and into a fountain several blocks away.  Nobody had listened to the illegal-parker’s complaints.

People fed the meters and the city allowed it, because someone was paying for that spot.  People went out of their way to park tidily.

And Pat and the grey ghosts jetted up into the sky, up out of the atmosphere, and into the parking spots around the asteroid belt and the city’s first space station.   It wasn’t a safe job, not with the Ih(oh)ill bombers still swooping down at seemingly random intervals to hit the stations or the miners, not with the Higun being, well, as Higun as possible in an attempt to counter rumors that them not attacking Earth was a sign of cowardice, not with some of the unknown aliens still trying to test out Earth’s strength on occasion instead of just ignoring their laws and, say, their parking regulations.

But when you could slap a parking ticket and a drive inhibitor on a Higun spacehopper and then very politely explain the city laws, when you dodged an Ih(oh)ill bomber and managed to hit it with an illegal-driving outside of accepted lanes ticket which came with not only the drive inhibitor but also an immediate impound order (self-reinforcing, of course, like the drive inhibitor), when you caught some alien equivalent of a teenager trying to park in the park (which would be “it is free space, no? Then free it should be for any activity.”) and slapped them with just a big enough fine to make them think about pranking some other city next time –

It still wasn’t a safe job, not by a very long shot.  But it was a fun job.

And Pat’s fellow officers saluted when the grey ghosts left and cheered when they came home, and that made it even more fun.

 

Want more?

 

Meter maid (and Wiktionary) and Grey Ghost.

Post-Scar City – continued

So … let me know what you think about this one?

The Earthers that greeted them as they disembarked were nothing like Adeline had expected. 

They were wearing clean, smooth skirted jumpsuits that were clearly some sort of uniform, little booties with flat heels, and masks covering their noses and mouths.  They immediately handed Adeline and the other Habitaters with her the same sort of masks. 

“It can take up to three weeks for the immune system boosters to completely kick-in,” one of the Eathers explained.  “Until then, you want to avoid as much fluid-to-fluid contact with new people as possible.”

Adeline shared a look with Geordi.  As if they didn’t know basic health protocols! Continue reading

Post-Scarcity Mystery

This story started after a binge-listen of Isaac Arthur’s Science & Futurism videos. With Post-Scar City, it’s one of those I-might-continue sorts of things.

~*~

The coffee shop was Teri’s favorite part of the arcology, and that was saying something. 

It had a prime location, by some ways of looking at things – it overlooked one of the farm quadrants, so it had sunlight for most of the day through its broad windows.  Looking that way, you could almost forget you were hundreds of feet above ground. You could almost forget that out the front door was a hallway and a slidewalk that would take you where you wanted to go, instead of a road. 

That wasn’t really why Teri liked it, nor that the barista who worked there most weekdays had stunningly blue eyes and a generous smile, nor the adorable foam art that always seemed inspired by something “outside” in the fields. 

There was this corner table that looked out over the field but was half-hidden by the cream-and-sugar station, and, sitting there, Teri could decide how much people was a good amount for the day.  And, sitting there, tablet and stylus and coffee and scone, Teri could spend hours floating, drawing whatever came to mind, and go back to Residential Ring Three with something done that sparked that amazing feeling of I did something good today

The bright smile and the way the blue-eyed barista would sometimes wink helped, too.  Continue reading

Post-Scar City – a beginning

So: I had something on my fiction list titled post-scarcity, and LilFluff, in his… Fluffiness, called for Post-Scar City. 

Technically, it’s a Post-Scar University, with some influence from The 100 and AM Harte’s Above Ground.

This is an introductory chapter.  Don’t know what I’ll do with it after this, but it does seem to, well, introduce things.

🏫

Adeline pressed up close to the screen that showed their descent, wedging between two taller people that she didn’t know while still trying not to lose her hold on Geordi’s hand.  “It looks… green.  Really green.”

“I’ve never seen so much green,” one of the tall people agreed.  She peeked up, but she didn’t recognize their faces, either.  They were tall, and blue-eyed, with dark hair, and both of them looked the same.  They must have either come from one of the other Habitats, or from the other side of Lazarus Habitat. “It doesn’t —  It can’t– where are the scars?”

“There ought to be scars.”  Geordi’s right hand moved in the signs he used to talk most of the time.  “There ought to be — black, grey.”

She twitched her free hand in the same method.  “It looks like a hydro suite.  Or the sort of things that they show on vids of Before Times.”

Geordi had implants, had since he was ten, but they’d met in the creche, and when it came down to it, he’d always be more comfortable with sign than with spoken language. Continue reading

Rise

This is written to a prompt I encountered on Pinterest from here.

🛸

We had never come up with a cure.

Instead, we had come up with ways to deal with it.  I say we, but it was my grandparents and their parents who did most of that work.

The rest of us just learned what we had to do and got on with the work of rebuilding the world.  By the time I was an adult, you could barely tell that there had been a world-scarring, population-destroying mega war in my grandparents’ time.

And then, of course, the fucking aliens showed up.

They had spacefaring tech that we were only beginning to develop.  They had weapons that were, frankly, amazing, and, from a biologist’s point of view, also horrifying.  They had ships parked in our atmosphere.

We had zombies.  Continue reading

Outta the Woods Yet?

The big cat had been chasing Pren for heart-rending minutes when she managed to skid into a cave she’d never seen before.  She shimmied through a hole that was barely big enough for her and scooted up into a little ledge area. The cat might wait for hours for her, so she made herself comfortably before she pulled out the flint and steel and lit her torch.

The walls of the cave glittered and shone the way that sometimes a small piece of rock would.  The whole area was smooth, rounded, like she had scooted up from the cave into something even less natural than her tree-house.

On the far side of the room was a lever.  Pren looked at the lever. At least, it was a stick poking out of the wall at an angle.  Her mother had shown her how to use things like that to set traps for animals, when she had been small.  When her mother had been around. It might dump her into a net or drop something on her, although both the floor and ceiling looked sturdy enough in the torchlight.  It might drop something on the cat.

The cat was trying to get up the hole she had slipped through.  One clawed paw batted upwards, bigger than Pren’s foot.

She scooted backwards and pulled the lever.  Even a trap was better than being eaten by a cat.

She fell backwards as the wall opened up, into a brightly and smooth room full of strangers and shining lights.

Continue reading

Obsolete

When you listened to the old-timers talk, the problems were mostly space.

When you actually listened to them, the problem was space in specific areas, or space that someone wanted, or something like that.

But there was a “crowding issue”.  There were issues with too many people in NYC.  There were issues with lots and lots of people in places on the other side of the globe.  There were problems with obsolete technology.  As far as Rhini could tell, there had been a whole bunch of problems like that, or things people had thought were problems, and some really rich people had thought those problems were going to take over the world. Continue reading