Flash Fiction #37 – Lightning Planet
It’s another Photo Flash Fiction Monday. Being that it’s a holiday in the States, today, I’m not sure if anyone else will be posting. But here’s a quick short from me today.
“We’ve arrived, Captain. There are no signs of life.”
The intercom crackled, preceding his commanding officer’s response.”Are you sure we’re at the right coordinates?” she asked.
The ship lurched a bit, and he was forced to grab the console. The closer they got to the small, reddish planet, the more electromagnetic interference they experienced. “The coordinates check out, ma’am. But it’s possible that the location of distress signals we received were masked by the atmospheric interference.”
“Scan the rest of the system.”
He nodded. “Scanning.”
He glanced around the cabin of the third class battle cruiser. Everyone’s gaze was riveted to the huge central monitor where the readouts were scrolling.
“There!” the communications officer pointed at the screen. “Signs of life.”
“Stop the scan,” the captain ordered.
He paused the computer’s process as all of the crew members peered at the screen. There it was. The distress signal, though significantly weaker than it had been when they’d first encountered it, continued to project from the planet’s service.
“Set a course for that one. But approach cautiously. Remain cloaked.”
“Aye-aye.” After a quick jump through hyperspace, he maneuvered the ship into position, continuing to monitor the distress signal. As he studied the data, another signal on a different landmass illuminated on the screen–a tiny island to the east of the first landmass. Then another signal. And another.
“What is going on down there?” the communications offer murmured, seemingly more to himself than anyone else.
Images of abuses of the planet’s inhabitants scrolled across the screen, one right after another, though the majority of the distress signals focused on a few key figures.
The captain turned to him. “We have work to do. Continue to mask our location. Make it look as though the blasts came from the red planet behind us.” She turned to the weapons officer. “Arm the proton cannon.”
Punching several buttons, their commander brought up an image of an unpleasant-looking orange human with strange-looking yellow tufts rising from its head. The ship’s translator made the human’s hate-filled speech both understandable and horrifying.
“This is our first target,” she announced, her tone grim. “Set cannon to incinerate.”
That’s it for me, today. Happy Belated Canada Day to my Canadian friends! Happy 4th of July to my American friends! *cues up the Hamilton cast album* And Happy Treason Day to my British friends!