The Chosen One (flash fiction)

The Chosen One

There was a loud knock on the door. Clarice answered it to find a tall man with a long beard standing on her porch.

“Clarice Evans, would you like to join me on an adventure?” the Wizard asked.

“Ooh that sounds lovely dear! I’ll just go and get my coat.” Clarice replied. The Wizard waited patiently.

Clarice Evans may have been seventy four with a gammy leg, hard of hearing, and owned a preponderance of cats, but little did she know it was her destiny to defeat evil and usher in a new golden age of peace and enlightenment.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt of rethinking the hero provided by the Carrot Ranch April 8 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Absurd (flash fiction)

Absurd

“It’s absurd you think I should ask Megan out.” Chloe said.

“Absurd? You’re in love with her.” Kathleen pointed out.

“But Megan is way out of my league.”

“You never know unless you ask. What if she says yes?”

“I can’t imagine her saying yes to a loser like me.” Chloe replied.

“With that attitude you’ll definitely never be with her.”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 61

This was written with the prompt absurd provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #203.

I recently passed the milestone of 1000 followers! Thanks to everyone who follows this blog ❤️

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Notes from My Journey to Transylvania (fiction)

Notes from My Journey to Transylvania

I traveled through Transylvania by carriage. At one point we stopped at an inn. When I told them it was my plan to continue on that night to Count Dracula’s castle, the innkeeper did his very best to make me stay until morning. Honestly the things hoteliers do to get you to stay overnight so they can charge you for a room. Being wise to his game, I insisted on continuing my journey that evening. Also, whenever I mentioned Count Dracula’s name everyone looked at me horrified, but then again I also harbour a dislike towards the aristocracy.

*

When we got to Borgo Pass where Dracula’s own carriage was waiting for me, the driver on my carriage barely stopped. He just threw my luggage onto the ground and I had to get off while the carriage was literally still moving. The things these drivers have to do to stick to their obviously strict timetables.

When I got into Dracula’s own carriage, the driver never even spoke a word to me and then drove at a furious pace down some rather substandard road that climbed upwards to Dracula’s castle. I mean, we were driving by some rather nasty precipices, and I definitely would have recommended that he slow down a bit if I hadn’t been so momentarily terrified by his driving skills, or lack of. They are so crying out for some decent customer service training in these parts.

*

When I finally met the Count my worst fears were realised:  he was an eccentric old weirdo. The poor dear was so out of it he said: “the children of the night, what beautiful music they make” while a group of mangy wolves were howling outside. God knows what he thought he was actually listening to.

When I handed him the title deeds to his new properties I noticed his fingernails were in the need of a decent trim, and after accidentally cutting myself, he made such a fuss about it I also strongly suspected he was a massive germaphobe. To make matters worse when he poured me some wine he made it pretty clear he didn’t drink. Just my luck to be stuck here with some pious teetotaller.

*

There seems to be three women living here as well. I’m not sure if they’re staff, or his daughters, or some more distant relations, but I may have slept with them. All three of them at the same time. You see I nodded off in the library one night and then had the most insane sex dream regarding them, but then woke up in my bed the next day. Not really sure what happened there, and nobody is saying anything. I’ll just pretend it didn’t happen. I hope Dracula isn’t upset with me over this. Must try to find out if they’re actually related to him.

*

One night I looked out my window and then noticed Dracula was crawling down the side of the castle. Good grief man, what’s wrong with the stairs?

*

I just realised it’s been a long time since I was outside. In fact since I began my stay here I haven’t been outside at all. It’s a good thing I’m so introverted. Back home I could quite happily stay in my own home for months without leaving if I could get away with it. I did try to go outside once, but I couldn’t seem to find any way out in this castle. All the passages and corridors look the same anyway. Dracula was rather remiss to not provide me a map of the place.

*

It’s occurred to me it’s been some time since I last saw Count Dracula. In fact I strongly suspect he left a long time ago to live in his new home. Frankly I’m surprised he didn’t tell me he was leaving. We could have traveled together. It might even have saved him some money on traveling costs. Maybe I should have let him know about that?

*

Okay I’m definitely sleeping with the three women here. I just wish they weren’t so into biting. I’ve never found that a turn on at all. I keep waking up with bite marks all over me. How am I going to explain them to my fiancée when I get home?

As soon as I find a way out of this castle I’ll head back home. I really hope Count Dracula is settling in and adjusting to his new surroundings. Hopefully they’re not finding him too weird over there…

Joanne Fisher

After watching the 1931 version of Dracula, I thought it would be fun to rewrite the beginning of Dracula from the perspective of a clueless narrator.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Oracle, part 13 (fiction)

The Oracle

13

Steff looked at Lewis through the glass. He was seated in their “interview” room. He was a man with pale skin and greying hair, probably in his late forties. Edwards was seated across from him trying to get information. So far Lewis had given his name and nothing else, and even the name could have been fake since it had no corresponding file in the database. None of the others would talk as well. Edwards stood up and opened the door. Steff went to meet him.

“It’s no good. He won’t volunteer any information.” Edwards told her.

“Okay, it’s time for me to have a go.” Steff replied. She walked into the room and sat down across from Lewis. He stared at her with disgust.

“My god, you even look like a monster.” He said.

“Tell us about your friends.” Urged Steff ignoring his words.

“I know what you did, everyone knows what you did. How do your crew stomach seeing you every day?” he asked her.

“I’m asking the questions.” Steff reminded him.

“If I had thought about it, we should have taken you. I’m sure the Alliance of Free Colonies would pay a lot for you.”

“And are you allied with the Separatists?” Steff asked him.

“We’re pirates. They might do business with us, but they would never let pirates work for them. They’re way too high and mighty for that.”

“So that’s a no then?” Lewis shrugged, as if he didn’t care. “Where are your friends? They turned and ran away after their first volley of missiles, once we began firing back that is. Asteroids don’t just sit stationary in space. My guess that might be a hideout with a drive system keeping it in place. Obviously there’ll be other hideouts as well, which is where they’ve probably fled to. New Earth Space Command are sending some ships to check it out. The more you tell us, the better it will be for you, and all your compatriots.” Steff told him.

“Synthetics.” He stated.

“I’m sorry?”

“You have synthetics aboard. Have you no shame?”

“Yes, New Earth Spacefleet uses synthetics. They are great as soldiers and security guards, as well as many other important roles on a spaceship.”

“You sent synthetics aboard my ship!” He stated angrily.

“So what? If you hadn’t pretended to be in need of assistance, none of this would have happened. So tell me about your fellow pirates.” Steff ordered. Lewis folded his arms and looked away.

“I’m not telling you anything.” He told her.

“Before we go into the next wormhole, you’ll be dropped off on one of the warships. There you’ll await Admiral Byron’s interrogators. Once they have you, you’ll wish you had spoken to us.”

“As if anything I say here will stop the interrogators torturing me.” Lewis said.

“It will matter. If you’re helpful here, they’ll take it into account.” Steff told him. Lewis laughed. He looked at her.

“That’s an interesting scar down the side of your head. I wonder how you got that. Makes you even look more like a Frankenstein’s Monster.”

“I’m not the subject of this conversation, you are.” Steff reminded him. He continued sizing her up.

“If you remove the scar and add some actual colour to your skin you might be worth a fuck, but only one.” He stated. Steff stood up. He deserved no more of her time.

“When Byron’s interrogators are through with you, you’ll remember this conversation and wish you had been more cooperative.” She turned and walked out the door ignoring his response.

“The others aren’t willing to talk either.” Edwards commented once Steff emerged from the room. Steff just shrugged.

“I guess we leave them to Byron then.” She replied. Walking away from the interview room she wondered whether anything could make them talk. People like that had some honour code that seemed unbreakable. She wondered if there was anything that could make her as intractable as that. If the Separatists managed to grab her one day, what would she be willing to tell them if it meant they might commute her execution? She guessed she wouldn’t know until it happened.

She stopped at the medical bay to have some further work done on her scar. Usually one of the medics took care of it, but today Doctor Philips insisted on seeing her. While Steff was seated, Philips ran a pulsating medical device over the length of her scar.

“This should help the scarred skin to eventually merge and re-knit with itself. In a short time the scar should disappear.” Philips told her. Steff felt the side of her head begin to vibrate along with the device.

“I just want my hair to grow back. It will make me look less freakish when it covers that area again.” Steff replied.

“It doesn’t really look that bad. You probably notice it more and, because of this, feel more self-conscious about it.” Philips said.

“I guess. I keep thinking everyone looks at me strangely, though they were probably doing that before.”

“How have you been feeling? Any headaches, dizziness, or nausea?” Philips asked.

“No. I did have a lot of headaches to begin with, but it’s been fine since then.”

“Good.” Philips replied. She checked Steff’s eyes with a light. “How’s your eyesight?”

“Pretty much the same as always. I’ve never liked bright light and the older I get the more I prefer being in the darkness. I’m not sure if that’s related to my condition or not.” Steff answered.

“Hard to say really. The sensitivity to light is well-documented, but preferring the darkness is not something I’ve read about or heard.”

“Can’t say I have either.” Steff said.

“You seem to be fine. Come back in two days for further treatment on that scar.” Philips told her.

“Okay.” Steff replied. She stood up feeling a little dizzy, but quickly left the medical bay. Since the incident on Beta Hub Station, Doctor Philips was being a lot nicer to her. This puzzled Steff. Was she feeling more empathy for Steff now since she had become a patient? Was she beginning to like her more? Or maybe she was just humouring her and it was all an act she was going to drop in the near future? She had no idea.

When Steff got back to her quarters she found there was a datafile on the floor just outside her door. She picked it up and looked it over. There were no markings on it. She walked into her quarters turning the file over in her hands.

“SARA I found this datafile on the floor outside my door. Did you see who left it there?”

“I’m sorry Captain I have no record of anyone leaving it there.” SARA replied.

“But how can that be? There are cameras and motion sensors just outside my door. They should have picked up anyone who was there.”

“I do not know what has happened. I agree that it is strange, but I have no explanation for it. According to my sensors no one was out there except you leaving and then coming back.” SARA told her.

“There are no gaps in your time? Your program never momentarily ceased at all?”

“Not according to my system log.” Steff frowned at SARA’s reply. She looked over the datafile. It was definitely not something she had dropped. She left it on the table. Obviously it was something that someone wanted her to see. She decided to look at it later, since it might be something that required her full attention, and she couldn’t commit to that right now.

“You wanted me to keep track of Lieutenant Edward’s movements.” SARA announced.

“Yes I did. What can you report?”

“So far in the last week he has been everywhere he was expected to be. He has not visited any restricted areas or talked with anyone unexpected. However, when he is alone in his quarters he has been spending a lot of time looking through databases.” SARA informed her.

“Which databases?” Steff asked.

“He has gone through the entirety of the New Earth Space Command database looking at fleet compositions and placement. He has also been looking at all the worlds and colonies currently under New Earth’s control, including New Earth itself, as well as Old Earth.”

“Old Earth? It’s a dead world.” Steff replied confused. “When he’s looking at the worlds, what is he exactly looking for?”

“Population, resources, settlements, and location.”

“Location?” Steff asked alarmed.

“Yes he seems to be trying to map out the entirety of the Imperium.”

“Why would he need to do this?”

“I have no idea Captain. Maybe he’s trying to educate himself.” SARA suggested.

“Or maybe it’s more nefarious.” Steff wondered. She gazed out the window and thought about it. She felt there was something going on she didn’t understand, and it was beginning to scare her. It was like there was something obvious staring her in the face and she was failing to comprehend it, or even see it.

“Should I continue to monitor his database searches?”

“Definitely SARA. Let me know what else he looks at.” Who should she talk to about this? Steff wondered. It probably wouldn’t be enough to alert New Earth Space Command, but she definitely felt she needed another opinion…

“Captain, Lieutenant Yi is contacting you.” SARA announced.

“Okay.”

“Captain, we are nearing the wormhole fleet.” Yi told her.

“Thanks Lieutenant.” It was time to get rid of the pirates. She stood there continuing to gaze out the window. There were a lot of thoughts on her mind.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: The Oracle

Sorry it’s a couple of hours later than usual.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Prey (flash fiction)

Prey

Anne looked through the spyglass. Owing to their swift passage they had caught up with the lone Spanish galleon, their intended quarry. The galleon was loaded with gold, silver, tobacco, and spices from the New World and had somehow been separated from the rest of the fleet. They would plunder it, and then make for Port Royal.

“Ready for attack!” Anne called out as they sped towards their prey.

“Captain, there are two more ships approaching flying Spanish colours.” the man in the crows nest called out. They would have to break off their pursuit and try another day…

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt swift passage provided by the Carrot Ranch April 1 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Door (flash fiction)

The Door

I went to visit my friend Madeline. When I arrived she was cutting up meat in the kitchen. I looked around the room and noticed there was a door in the middle of a wall that I swear I had never seen there before.

“Is that new?” I asked her.

“Hmm what?” she asked without turning round.

“That door. I don’t remember it being there before.”

“Oh that door! Yes it appeared there a few days ago.” she stated.

“Appeared?” I asked.

“Yes. One day it wasn’t there, and then another day it was.”

“And you don’t think that’s odd?” She turned to look at me.

“Yes it’s very odd. Open it and have a look inside.” she suggested. I cautiously walked up to the door and opened the door slowly. All I could see inside was total darkness.

“Is there a light?”

“No it’s totally dark. If you walk in there with a light, the darkness will eat it up.” she told me.

“Excuse me? Eat it up?”

“Walk in there and you’ll see what I mean.” she urged. She stopped cutting up the meat and walked to my side. “Go on!” I gingerly put my foot forward to find there was a floor there. I took a few cautious steps in. I turned my phone’s torchlight on and found it failed to illuminate the blackness around me. I turned to face Madeline.

“That’s totally weird!” I remarked. She smiled at me. It was then I saw her eyes suddenly turn red.

“Goodbye.” she said as she closed the door and I was engulfed in darkness.

“Hey open the door!” I screamed. I walked forwards to where the wall and door should be, but found nothing but empty air. I flailed around lost in the pitch black. “Please open up the door!”

Joanne Fisher

This was inspired by the prompt March Writing Challenge Day 30 – a character encounters a door in their home that wasn’t there before provided by Emine Beasley. Though it wasn’t the main characters actual home…

In other news: I finally got around to submitting some poems to this years issue of Catalyst. I probably won’t hear back until October.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Yonder (flash fiction)

Yonder

“Over yonder hill is the way to Faerie.” my guide said pointing the way. “And over yonder river is your way home.”

“You really like the word yonder don’t you?” I laughed. They seemed displeased.

“And yonder road is where you can go to Hell.”

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 44 + prompt

This was written with the prompt yonder provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #202.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Contraband, part two (fiction)

Contraband

Part Two

They came out of hyperspace. Before them was a medium-sized planet that was rather mountainous with desert plains and a few areas of green. Large seas also frequently dotted the planet’s surface. Around it orbited a solitary moon.

“We have come out of hyperspace.” E-5JF stated. Brynla rolled her eyes.

“Yes I’m aware of that.” she told the droid.

“We have you on our scopes light freighter. Please identify yourself.” said a voice on the com channel. Brynla hated dealing with The Empire, but life as a trader, and smuggler, meant coming into frequent contact with them.

“This is Captain Brynla. We are heading to Karagen.” she replied.

“The planet Karagen is restricted. What business brings you here?” the voice asked.

“We are bringing food supplies to a trader by the name of Asran.”

“Prepare to be boarded.” said the voice. Brynla had expected this, but was not happy with it. An Imperial Customs Frigate approached them, flanked by two TIE fighters. Out of the corner of her eye, Brynla thought she saw an Imperial Star Destroyer in the distance. This wasn’t going to be so easy, she thought.

The frigate docked with them. The doors opened and four stormtroopers marched into the ship followed by an Imperial officer. Brynla, Ennik, and E-5JF stood by the door. The officer walked up to Ennik and looked down on him.

“I take it your the captain?” he asked him.

“No she is.” Ennik said pointing to Brynla. The officer turned to Brynla.and looked her up and down with disapproval.

“Like what you see?” Brynla asked him.

“You are aware Karagen is a restricted world?” The officer asked her.

“Well I do now.” Brynla replied. “Why is it restricted? I have been here before and it wasn’t then.”

“That’s restricted information.” The officer replied.

“I should have guessed that.” Brynla responded.

“We will take a look in your hold. If we find anything that’s dubious, then you will all be taken into Imperial custody.” The officer informed them.

“Great. Just what I’ve always wanted.” Brynla replied. The officer looked at her annoyed.

“Silence!” You will take us to your hold.” The officer ordered. Brynla led the way and the Imperials followed. Once they were in the ship’s hold, the stormtroopers began searching through the various containers finding nothing but foodstuffs. After searching through everything they could find they left the hold, leaving everything a mess.

“Happy now? I told you we were bringing in food supplies.” Brynla told the officer. He walked up to her and sneered.

“Mark my words: your insolence will get you into trouble one day.”

“Noted.” Brynla replied looking directly into his eyes. The officer shook his head.

“You are cleared to travel to Esgor Spaceport. Go there directly and nowhere else. If you deviate in any way, you will be destroyed.” the officer told them. He walked out of the ship with the stormtroopers following.

“Nice guy.” Brynla commented as she went to the cockpit.

“Shouldn’t we tidy the mess up first?” E-5JF asked, suddenly finding herself alone.

“Why do you have to be so sarcastic with them? You’ll get us into trouble.” Ennik inquired as he sat down in the co-pilot’s seat.

“It’s just my way of getting through the day.” Brynla explained as the ship undocked with the frigate. She flew the Star Wolf directly to Esgor spaceport, well aware there were probably turbolasers directly aimed at them should they suddenly change course. She wondered what else they happened to be carrying: was it bombs, weapons, ammunition, or something else? Whatever it was, she knew it was something the Empire wouldn’t have been happy about if they had found it. It seemed Juslak could get her to do anything…

to be continued….

Joanne Fisher

Previous episode: One

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Oracle, part 12 (fiction)

The Oracle

12

Before them on the bridge screen was the Nautilus. It was a small freighter that drifted there as though it was abandoned. Burn marks could be seen around the engines, but aside from that no further damage could be seen along the length of the hull.

“So there is damage around the engines which look consistent with a missile attack. SARA do you think that damage looks extensive enough to cripple the ship’s engine systems?” Steff asked.

“Hard to tell. Maybe if the missiles hit precisely the right area they could have hit a vital system that shut the engines down.” SARA replied.

“What would be the normal crew capacity of a ship like that?” Steff wondered.

“A dozen at most, assuming it was carrying cargo.” Blake answered.

“Captain, long range scanners detect an asteroid that seems to be stationary.” A crew member informed her.

“How large is it?” she asked.

“Around 800 metres in diameter.” He answered.

“That would be large enough to hide any other ships from our scanner.” Blake commented. Steff opened the coms channel to the Nautilus.

“Nautilus, this is Captain Clarke. If we send over a shuttle, could you and your crew come over to our ship and we’ll drop you off at the nearest Communications Relay Station?” Steff asked.

“Negative. This is my ship. If I leave it now I will no longer have any form of livelihood. If you could send over a few engineers, like you suggested, maybe they can fix the engines.” Lewis replied.

“One more question: what direction did the pirates go after they took your cargo and abandoned you here?” Steff asked.

“I’m not totally sure. I do think they went off in the direction of Beta Hub station, presumably to sell off the cargo they had just stolen.” Lewis replied.

“Okay thanks Nautilus.” Steff replied. She cut the coms channel and looked at Blake. “If they went to Beta Hub we would have detected them on the way here.”

“If we send over a couple of engineers they might take them hostage.” Blake stated.

“Yes if they are pirates and we send over a couple of engineers, that’s when their trap springs into action.” Steff agreed.

“So what do we do?” Blake asked.

“We send over a couple of engineers.” Steff replied. ”Edwards, we need to talk privately.” Steff put on a headset. The Chief Security Officer looked at her and then did the same. Steff cupped her hands over her mouth as she spoke quietly to him. He nodded at her words. She then removed the headset with Edwards doing the same. He then purposefully left the bridge.

“You going to tell me what you said to him.” Blake asked.

“Not at this moment.” Steff replied. She reopened the coms channel. “Nautilus, we’re sending over two engineers to look at your ship’s engines. Can we also send over a couple of security officers?”

“No need for the security officers. There’s only seven of us over here. The pirates are long gone. All we need is someone to fix our engines.” Lewis replied.

“Okay. I’ll hold the security officers. Expect a shuttle to come over shortly.” Steff replied.

“Thanks Captain.” Lewis acknowledged. Steff cut the coms channel.

“What are you planning?” Blake asked her. Steff smiled at him.

“You’ll see.” She replied. She switched on the ship’s intercom. “Attention everyone. This is Captain Clarke. We now at alert level one.” The Oracle’s alarm sounded.

“You think they are pirates don’t you?” Blake asked.

“Oh yes.”

“Then why send engineers over?”

“I want to bring them to justice.” She replied. “And I can only do that if I appear to play their game.”

“Captain, the shuttle has left the Oracle now.” Said a crew member. They watched as the shuttle slowly made its way towards the Nautilus and then dock with it.

“Captain, we have now docked with the Nautilus.” The shuttle pilot said over the coms channel.

“Okay, once the engineers enter the Nautilus, you are to immediately undock from it. Keep a distance of around 500 metres and only dock with the Nautilus again under my orders.” Steff ordered.

“Yes Captain.”

“Now we wait to see what they do.” Steff remarked. Everyone on the bridge waited. The minutes ticked by. Suddenly there came a voice over the coms channel.

“Captain, we have looked at the Nautilus’s engines, and there is nothing wrong with them. The ship is deliberately powered down and we suspect…” His voice was suddenly cut off.

“Are you there? Report!” Steff ordered.

“I’m sorry Captain, but your engineer can’t respond.” Said Lewis’s voice over the com.

“What have you done with my engineers?” She asked him.

“Don’t worry, they’re just restrained. They have not been harmed.” He told her.

“Captain, scanners detect several large shapes breaking off from the asteroid. They are heading this way.”

“Thanks.” Steff acknowledged.

“As you can see I’m not alone.” Lewis said.

“I know pirates like targeting freighters and similar, but why go after a New Earth Spacefleet military vessel?” She asked him.

“Because you’re carrying equipment we want. Yes, we wouldn’t attack a battle cruiser or warship, but your ship is more lightly armed and smaller yet you still possess useful things such as the consumables, weapons, and energy cells we need.”

“I could just give the order and have your ship vapourised.” Steff told him. Many of the bridge crew looked at her in shock.

“With some of your crew aboard? I think not.”

“What’s two more of the vast numbers of life I’ve already taken?”

“I don’t think you would do this if there was another possibility of saving them.” Lewis replied.

“Okay, so what are your terms?” Steff asked.

“Now we’re getting somewhere. I propose a trade. That is all. I will send a list of what we require that I believe you have on board. You will load up one of your shuttles with all of these items and once the shuttle arrives here and we unload everything, then we will send back your two engineers.”

“How do we know you’ll release the engineers once you have everything?” Steff inquired.

“You’ll just have to take it on faith Captain.”

“You’re asking us to take a lot on faith here considering you haven’t been honest with us from the beginning.”

“Well yes, that was to lure you here. Once we have what we want, be assured there will be no further point in us trying to deceive you. By the way the other ships you can detect all have missiles trained on you should you try anything. I know you’ll be able to stop many of them hitting you, but some will get through and you have no idea what class of warheads we are using.” Lewis told her.

“Captain, we have been sent a file from the Nautilus. It is free of any viruses or other malicious applications.” SARA informed her.

“Thanks SARA.” Steff said. She looked at the file on the computer screen in front of her. It was a request of mostly weapons, ammunition and other ordnance, as well as power cells, and food. She guessed the food they lived on was what they mostly stole from other ships.

“Have you received the file?” Lewis asked her.

“Yes. You ask for a lot, but you can have it. I’ll get the crew to sort it out and have it sent to you, but I would like to speak to one of my engineers first to see if they’re okay.” Steff replied.

“Be assured they are fine, but okay I’ll let you speak with one of them.” They waited.

“Hello captain.” Said a voice.

“How are both of you doing?” Steff asked.

“We’re both fine captain.”

“Good to hear. Go to Case Orange.” She told him.

“Yes captain.” She sat and waited. Blake looked at her with a furrowed brow.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“The moment of truth.” She replied enigmatically.

“Are you there Captain?” said a familiar voice on the coms.

“Yes we’ve been waiting.” She replied.

“Case Orange objective achieved.” He told her. She smiled.

“Well done soldier. How many are left alive?”

“Six including their captain. There were ten of them here originally.”

“Okay good. Shuttle pilot are you there?” Steff asked.

“Yes captain.”

“Re-dock with the Nautilus. You’ll be bringing some prisoners back.” Steff told him. The crew on the bridge looked at her in amazement.

“Can you tell me what just happened?” Blake asked her.

“The engineers I sent over were actually our elite security forces, who also had a passable knowledge of starship systems. Their orders were to overpower the pirates when I gave them the code.” Steff informed him. He looked surprised.

“And you didn’t tell me because?”

“I just thought it would be prudent to keep this plan to myself and those involved. The less who knew about it the better in my opinion.” Blake nodded at her words, but looked disappointed.

“It would have been nice to have been in the loop.” Blake commented.

“Lieutenant Garcia. Tell the other ships we have captured the Nautilus crew. Tell them to stand down or face the consequences.” Steff commanded.

“Yes captain.” Garcia replied. She began talking into her headset.

“Captain, we have incoming missiles.” A crew member told her.

“I was hoping we could avoid this, obviously they don’t care for their compatriots..” Steff commented. “Pilots, take evasive measures.”

“Yes captain.’

On the screen Steff saw a great number of missiles heading straight for them….

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: The Oracle

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Breaking Away (flash fiction)

Breaking Away

Laura hated living in her small town. It was difficult to be yourself when everyone thought they knew you. She knew if she ever dared to tell her rather conservative Christian parents that she was really a lesbian they would probably throw her out of the house or send her to one of those camps that attempt to turn you straight, and everyone would know.

She decided to grit her teeth and wait the year out. Once school ended, she decided she would escape to the city where she could be herself and love who she wanted to love.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt daring escape provided by the Carrot Ranch March 25 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher