Teresa has a new challenge in which she provided both a picture prompt and a specific genre. We are to have fun with it – it does not have to be perfect she has reassured us! Which is great because I haven’t watched much in the space genre – as you might be able to tell. But I have made up a few funny names to try to make it sound a bit more spacey! I have thrown in a few smaller pictures to make it easier to follow the story – do I need to state that it is flash fiction?
As Quarek and Ruftix were leaving the holodeck, after a few rounds of the latest programming version of their favourite sport Mandahits, they heard disturbing screams which seemed to be coming from the mess-hall.
“Holy meteor showers! What is going on?” cried Ruftix.
“Come on, let’s check it out.” said Quarek after opening one of the nearby emergency service portals and reaching for two hand held proton emitters.
The two senior officers who held high ranking stations on board the GOSS (Global Outer-Space Service) Lightbeam ran towards the mess-hall.
Suddenly Ruftix fell to the ground holding his head in his hands.
“Ruftix! What’s wrong buddy?”
“That noise – aaaaagh! It’s intense. It hurts like a Humbodlian’s racktor. Can’t you hear it Quarek?“
“I can’t hear any noise, only the screams coming form the mess-hall. Focus Ruftix – try to fight it.“
Whatever the noise Ruftix could hear in his head, it was disabling him. He was curled up on the floor writhing with whatever was disturbing him. “Commander Quarek to sick bay.“
“Sick bay here Commander Quarek.”
“I need an emergency unit sent to the starboard side of Deck 36 – between the holodecks and the mess-hall. Lieutenant Commander Ruftix is in severe distress. He reports hearing an intense sound that has completely disabled him.”
“A medical unit is being dispatched immediately Commander Quarek.”
“Ruftix, sick bay is on the way buddy. Hold in there buddy. I am going to have to go on to the mess-hall.”
Ruftix was being tormented so much by the sound he could hear, he could hardly respond to Quarek. Quarek carried on towards the mess-hall. On the way he passed other members of the star-ships crew who were also writhing around on the floor holding their heads. It seemed they were suffering the same torment as Ruftix. It seemed strange to Quarek that he was not effected by whatever they could hear.
As soon as he came to the entrance to the mess-hall he could see that everyone there was in exactly the same state. It was very hard to see so many of his crew-members in obvious agony, but not to see any obvious cause.
“Commander Quarek to the bridge.”
“This is Captain Ladsamann Commander.”
“Captain, there is a strange phenomonon occuring on Deck 36. All the crew members in the mess-hall and surrounding areas seem to be hearing an intense sound that is causing them debilitating pain. For some reason I am unable to hear it. But there are hundreds here in severe distress. An emergency unit from sick-bay has been dispatched. But we may be under some kind of hostile invasion.”
“Stand by Commander. A security team are on the way.” Captain Ladsamann ordered the security officer to lead a team to Deck 36 and for the whole ship to be put on Yellow alert.
Quarek realized that there was somebody else in the mess-hall who was not effected by the sound that was tormenting his crew mates. He had not noticed at first, but now his eyes were focused on a figure standing on the opposite side of the mess-hall.
“Emperor Jugzathan! You have escaped your prison in the Epsilon Sector. Is this your doing?”
“Commander Quarek – you don’t seem to be effected the same way as your crew mates.”
“You won’t get away with it Jugzathan! Evil will never win.”
“No Quarek. You don’t understand. I am not really evil. I just had a very bad childhood. I was born into a violent family and a violent race. My home planet was destroyed during the civil war. And then when I married the Princess Chatalia, she turned out to be as cruel as my parents were. Then she left me for that rogue Scrugkapugur and accused me of treating her badly. All lies – I am the real victim. I suspected her insidious plot. Chatalia and her minion intend to start a war with the neighbouring Mashtak galaxy,“
“All lies Jugzathan! We all know Her Highness Princess Chatalia is incorruptible. She and Lord Scrugkapugur are bringing peace to the galaxy.“
“Quarek, she is your mother. She abandoned you at the temple on the planet you grew up on Karkaw. That’s why you were raised by the priests who serve there.”
Quarek felt uncomfortable hearing Jugzathan refer to his personal upbringing. He had been raised in secret by those priests on Karkaw and had never known his parents. It provoked him to hear someone he regarded as one of the galaxy’s most hated villians talk of so much that was close to his heart.
“I don’t believe you Jugzathan. Stop whatever you are doing to the crew NOW.”
“I will Quarek. Do not fear – they will not be harmed. They won’t even remember the sound when it stops. It’s the sound of a distress signal my people had genetically modified into our DNA. When under attack we were able to emit a pulse that debilitated our enemies. But we could not hear it ourselves. It allowed us to escape attackers.”
“So why can’t I hear it?”
“Because Quarek – you are my son.”
At that the members of the crew stopped screaming and wailing and started to pick themselves up off the floor. They were a little confused at first, but as Jugzathan had said, nobody seemed to remember the sound or their previous distress.
When the security team arrived in the mess-hall they found all of the crew members there were behaving normally.
There was only one member of the crew in distress. Overwhelmed with all he had heard, Quarek dropped to his knees, “Nooooooooooo!”
This post was in response to The New Genre Challenge created by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith:
Today’s randomly selected genre is: space opera