Nov 17, 2019 3:27 AM
jean makes another first contact
Next Post »
« Previous Post
Permalink

He whispers it into his universal translator. Who takes off a prisoner's universal translator? They're single-purpose gadgets, and so essential for quality of life.

Zero-zero-zero-destruct-zero.

 


 

The robotic voice on the bridge is pleasant, obsequious, gently feminine.

DESTRUCT SEQUENCE COMPLETED AND ENGAGED

DESTRUCT SEQUENCE IS ACTIVATED

WARNING: SELF-DESTRUCT SEQUENCE HAS BEEN INITIATED. WARP CORE OVERLOAD IN TWENTY MINUTES.

The other voices on the bridge, beginning to shout, are less pleasant.

 


 

All over the ship, the red emergency light strips along the walls begin to flash on and off. Sirens wail. In half the hallways, sprinklers turn on.

The forcefield over Jean's cell winks out, and he takes off at a run.

Total: 119
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

Elsewhere – down the hall, up, to the left-right-right-left-left – there is a separate commotion.

A small swarm of panicked, murmuring aliens is spilling out into the hallway. They're all dressed near-identically, in light white cloth embroidered with gold over pale blue skin, insectile antennae swaying and twitching as they fan out with an oddly choreographed symmetry.

"Which way is it, to the ship–"

  "If it's far, we–"

    "Our Radiance did not expect–"

Permalink

Which way to the shuttle bay -- right, right, up right left right left -- dodging security officers and cameras -- if he can get a shuttle he can talk to the aliens himself...

Permalink

Turning the next corner will result in a near-collision with two extremely startled aliens.

There's a gasp and a ripple through the whole swarm as they turn to defend what's at the center, cradled in two sets of protective arms, just barely beginning to stir –

It almost looks like a different species entirely – and it's a living work of art. It's nearly nude, apart from a translucent veil falling just over its eyes and another between its legs, both fastened with fine spiderwebs of gold chains. Its deep blue, chitinous arms and legs are covered entirely in elaborate, swirling designs of gold leaf. (The aliens holding it are being excruciatingly careful with the artwork.) A set of shimmering insectile wings hang from its shoulders, gilded around the edges.

Permalink

"--ah -- pardon me, I appear to have taken a wrong turn..."

He catches his breath for a moment and remembers why he's here.

"Are you looking for the shuttle bay? I can direct you."

Permalink

"Yes, please–"

    "What's happening?"

 "Can someone please turn it off–"

A pair of eyes blink open, and the whole swarm falls silent at once.

(Its eyes are deep blue, almost black, flecked with light that seems to come from within. It's like looking out at a starfield.)

"...We did not request this," it says, sleepily, peering up at Jean in a slightly accusatory sort of way. 'It's very loud."

Permalink

"...it is. Would you like to go somewhere quieter?"

Permalink

"Yes."

There's a murmur of worry from the swarm.

      "Radiance, there's an emergency–"

   "–in danger–"

          "–can't stay–"

(One of the aliens has placed its hands gently over the gilded one's ears.)

Permalink

"The shuttles are this way. They'll be safe," not that the whole ship isn't, "and quiet."

Permalink

It nods, minutely, and the whole group turns as one to face Jean, waiting obediently for his instructions.

Permalink

Weird aliens. Still much better than First Contact.

"This way." He leads them towards the shuttle bay.

Permalink

The group follows him, carrying its precious cargo the entire way.

Permalink

Here is the shuttle bay! Here are the shuttles! -- the shuttles will fit half a dozen people each comfortably, maybe a dozen shoulder-to-shoulder.

Permalink

 

“Where is Our shuttle?”

Permalink

"Probably in one of the other shuttle bays, your Majesty. This is the closest."

Permalink

The crowd is looking very nervous.

The alien monarch scans the bay, then sighs and steps down to the ground, chitin clicking on the floor. The swarm shifts all at once, stepping outward and forming into groups just small enough to fit in a shuttle shoulder to shoulder, a few shifting in closer, five neatly surrounding Jean.

“Elka, Tsavvi, pilot auxiliary craft. Morath, you’ll fly, not this one.”

    “Yes, your Radiance.”

  “Thank you, your Radiance.”

The groups all move in tandem toward open shuttles.

Permalink

It is at this point that the redshirts arrive, phasers out.

"Stop! Don't move!"

     "Step away from the prisoner!"

"Hands in the air!"

     "He's a dangerous terrorist!"

"Surrender peacefully!"

Permalink

 

Everything stops dead.

 

The swarm all turns to face the redshirts at once — two of them seize Jean by the arms, one coming up to grab him from behind — ten of them draw their own weapons at once as the rest swarm around their Queen, deploying shimmering bubbles of force from somewhere on their person.

  “How dare you?!”

“Put your weapons down!”

     “You’ll all lose your—”

 

Permalink

Two of the redshirts holster their phasers; three don't. They look at each other uncertainly.

     "Your Radiance, this man is dangerous--"

"We're here to protect you--"

     "Step away from the prisoner--"

"Put down your weapons--"

Permalink

The drones fire on the three redshirts still wielding their phasers.

(Neural disruption won’t likely be fatal, at this level of charge, but the seizures will be very unpleasant.)

The Queen turns to approach their captive.

Permalink

One of the remaining redshirts draws her phaser to fire back. The other runs.

Permalink

One drone crumples to the ground, but there are so many of them, and they’re all firing in the same direction, now.

(This one may have a difficult recovery.)

The Queen stops in front of Jean to inspect him.

“You must be very important.”

Permalink

“...or they are all very stupid.”

Permalink

"Can't it be both?"

Permalink

—the Queen laughs behind their hand. About half of the complement of aliens turns to look, with expressions ranging from mild interest to adoration to naked jealousy.

“What’s so dangerous about you?”

Permalink

"I don't like them very much, and I'm very good at convincing other people not to like them either."

Beat.

"Also sometimes I kill people."

Total: 119
Posts Per Page: