Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A to Z Withdrawal

I'm sorry to say that due to time restraints from my high school musical, I have decided that it is in my best interest to withdraw from the A to Z Challenge for this year.  After April is done I may very well continue with posts similar to those I may have posted had I had the time and energy to do so during the Challenge month.  I will do my best to still leave some comments on other blogs when I have a free moment.  Sorry and thanks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Frieda

April 4, 2053

Frieda slept through much of the alien landing.  She would've slept through all of it had it not been for the turncoat.
Barbara was like a sister to her.  She was a budding botanist whereas Barbara was a veteran astronaut on her third mission, but they had a lot alike.  They were both heavy sleepers.  The biggest difference there was that Frieda woke up that day and Barbara never did.  Frieda slept through Barbara's throat being cut.  Only God could have awoken her before her own was slit.

Monday, April 6, 2015

E is for Ephraim

(Note: It's best that you at least glance at my A to Z Plan before reading unless you want to go into this story completely cold.)

June 24, 2096

            Ephraim was young and, frankly, stupid.  He almost got thirty-six people killed.  Or was it thirty-seven?  It was fifty years ago, and yet it feels like something he should remember.
            He was late leaving his room that day.  When he opened the door, the Base’s chief biologist—Lira or Leona or Lisa, maybe—was leading one of the aliens down the hall.  Ephraim didn’t understand.  He threw the biologist into his room and drew a utility knife.  Likely, the blade couldn’t have even pierced the alien’s hide, but Ephraim was young and stupid.
            “Is this a sign of aggression?” the alien asked gravelly.
            Ephraim muttered something about protecting his comrades or some such other thing that sounded a lot more gallant in his head than it did at the end of his tongue.
            The alien pushed the knife down with one wing.  Huffing air from his long, strange mouth in a defective copy of laughter, he slithered on past.
            Ephraim went back to bed, not at all suspecting that the alien he had let pass would very nearly kill everyone he had come to love.  There was a pistol at his belt.  He should have used it.  But how could he have known?  He was young and, in hindsight, he was stupid.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

D is for Drake Lunar Base

(Note: If you want to understand what's going on here, I recommend you at least glance over my A to Z Plan for this iteration of the Challenge.)

            The Drake Lunar Base was completed on November 9, 2044 in the Lacus Gaudii area of the Moon.  The project was financed by NASA in association with several other space programs across Earth.  Twenty men and sixteen women landed at the Base on April 15, 2045.  They came from the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Russia, and the Central American Confederation.
            The Base was one hundred meters long, ten meters wide, and three meters tall.  It contained twenty-seven rooms including two men’s restrooms, two women’s restrooms, a planetary science room, a life sciences laboratory, an auxiliary occupational room, a kitchen, a game room, and eighteen bedrooms.
            There was artificial gravity set to 0.97g and idealized artificial atmosphere within the Base.
            The only entryway/exit to/from the Base was a single airlock.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for Christopher

(Note: It's best that you at least glance at my A to Z Plan before reading unless you want to go into this story completely cold.)

December 6, 2046

Coffee was scarce in the Lunar Base, real coffee from beans, not the caffeine-pill-and-water upper to be drunk six days of the week.  It was a Tuesday, so Christopher sprung from his bed at ST+8:00 (eight hours after sunset) to brew the Base’s sole pot of coffee for the week.
He divided the contents into twenty-two mugs, one for each crew member who had requested the beverage the day before.  One of the otherwise-identical cups sported a chip on its rim.  The bottom appeared perfectly white, replaced to the cabinet with every last drop consumed.  Only two people at the Base drank their coffee to the last drop, and Martha would’ve fessed up if she had chipped her mug.  It wasn’t even a challenge.  When Jarod walked into the kitchen at ST+12:44, Christopher handed him his cup and waggled a finger at him.
Echoing screams prevented Christopher’s intended lecture.  They were Kyra’s screams, he decided.  Too shrill to be from any of the other women at the Base.
Christopher fell into a stream of moving people, several yet in their pajamas.  He noticed Abednego at the head of the pack, raven-black hair cut at the shoulders.  The Israeli turned a corner and the river ceased flowing behind him.
After approximately two minutes, to Christopher’s watch, a dark figure slithered by up ahead.  It took only a moment to deduce its alien nature.  Christopher smiled.
An intriguing puzzle, he thought.  What is it?  Why is it here?  Why now?
“I suppose I shall have to find out,” Christopher said to himself.  He pardoned his way through the stunned mass to get a better vantage point.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Beatrice

(Note: It's best that you at least glance at my A to Z Plan before reading unless you want to go into this story completely cold.  Also, if you happen to be British, please tell me all the things I inevitably got wrong in this story, as far as word choice goes.)

June 24, 2056

            There weren’t supposed to be children on the moon.  Beatrice and Arran had been told this several times before they boarded the shuttle to the Drake Lunar Base, both by UKSA and NASA.  But Beatrice couldn’t help it.  She had given up on conceiving months before she and her husband had been selected to participate in this venture with the Americans.  Nonetheless, thirty-nine weeks after landing at the Base, Beatrice delivered the first baby born outside of Earth’s atmosphere.
            Luna woke up wailing on the morning the aliens came.  She had just been fully weaned, so Beatrice cradled her in her arms and rocked her back to sleep.  Luna’s kip lasted perhaps twenty minutes before the sound of heavy footsteps outside of her door had her crying again.
            Arran didn’t even stir in his sleep beside Beatrice.  She set Luna down beside him and opened the door to have a butchers, dressed only in her nightie.
            “What is going on?” she asked Jarod, one of the Base’s septics, as he hustled by.
            “Not sure, going to see.”
            Beatrice ran after him, navigating the halls as best she could.  It wasn’t often that she was beyond the life sciences laboratory on the airlock’s side of the Base.
            Jarod stopped dead in his tracks in front of her.  He looked up at the head of a giant, snake-like beast.  It must have been thirty meters long.
            The beast unhinged its jaw and said, “hello,” sounding as if it were gargling marbles.
            While Jarod continued staring at the beast in silence, Beatrice spun around and broke into a footballer’s pace to cradle her baby, expecting it to be her final chance to do so.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Abednego

(Note: It's best that you at least glance over my A to Z Plan before reading unless you want to go into this story completely cold.)

March 27, 2047

            Abednego rolled out of his bunk and laced up his indoor boots.  He threw a pair of earbuds in and started a rock playlist on his government-issue mp3/mp4-player.  Patrick snored in the bunk above him, loud enough to cut through the King.
            It was a Tuesday, so Abednego pulled his razor from his all-purpose bag as soon as he made it to the restroom.  His face down to black stubble—the razor blade was seeing its last days—he brushed his teeth and yanked a stiff comb through his shoulder-length hair.  Harold, the base’s linguist, greeted Abednego in Farsi as he pushed open the door to leave.  “You know I was born in Jerusalem, right?” he said with a laugh, remembering the first iteration of the long-running exchange as it occurred the day he and Harold had arrived at the Drake Lunar Base.
            Abednego was halfway to the planetary science room when he heard Kyra screaming.  He threw down his bag and sprinted toward the airlock, where Kyra was stationed.
            Kyra was hyperventilating against the wall opposite the lock.  She held a pistol in one hand and a knife in the other, as if unsure which to use.  Or maybe which to use first.  Abednego met her from the left and stopped cold.
            “Basalt-black, hairy worms with wings” was the only way he could describe the figures looming before him.  They were built no thicker than a cobra, but their full length must have approached ten meters.  Their mouths were perhaps a cubit long, cut out of their length like a crocodile’s snout.  Where eyes should have been there were only two small patches of yellow hair that flowed as if dancing.  One of them dropped his lower jaw.
            “Spoke” is too strong a word.  The extraterrestrial “communicated” is all Abednego could say, though how it did so was entirely outside the realm of his expertise.
“Greetings,” it communicated.  “We come in peace.  My name is unpronounceable in any of your Earthling tongues, but for now you may call me simply ‘Leader.’  I am glad to make your acquaintance.”  Leader stretched out a wing toward Kyra.
Abednego pulled the knife from Kyra’s hand just before she fainted.
“Shalom,” he said to Leader, taking the offered wing with his free hand and shaking it.  “Don’t mind her.”