Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Push the Button

Well folks, here's a little something to look over. I don't have a direction to this and I'd very much appreciate any ideas about where to go with it, or any feedback on what's already here. I'm imagining this as a short story of some type (yes, I've got a whole page of a short story without a direction in mind, shame on me!).

Push the Button

Cliff Branson was a push-the-button type of guy. After 400 years of life, why not? He’d met—and been shot at—by six sentient alien species. His body was long gone. The only thing really human about him anymore was his brain, which, despite the best technological advances, he was pretty sure only barely resembled the one he’d been born with. He had nothing to lose, really. So pushing the button came naturally to him. In this case, it was a big, bright blue button on the center console of an abandoned alien spaceship.

Captain Gobb and First Mate Smith were arguing about something—Cliff wasn’t paying attention—probably about whether or not they ought to push the button. Apparently, one of the many hostile alien species had taken umbrage with the crew’s claim on the abandoned alien ship and was coming right for them. No doubt they were in imminent risk of being blowing apart, which seemed to happen on a by weekly basis—the imminent risk, not the being blowing apart part.

Cliff yawned—it sounded like the real thing, his very own yawn, despite coming from a speaker in the back of his artificial mouth—leaned forward and, you guessed it, pushed the big, blue button.

The captain and first mate stopped arguing when the tell-tale rumbling of an FTL drive warming up shook the alien ship. They both turned, and as one and exclaimed, “Cliff! What have you done?”

Cliff returned what he thought of as his “lazy grin” and shrugged. “Looks like we’re heading somewhere.”

Like a whirling dervish, Captain Gobb spun and started taking in the details of the alien console, or attempting to, anyway. The console was nothing but indecipherable symbols.

“If we’re taking a jump to dead space I’ll… I’ll…”

“Kill me?” Cliff suggested. “A little bit of a hollow threat, all things considered, don’t you think, Captain?”

Half the muscles on Captain Gobb’s face were twitching. He stared at Cliff for a minute and then turned around and barked commands to the rest of the crew. Cliff had already stopped paying attention to the people around him. His eyes were fixed out the front window, which, at the moment, didn’t show much of anything except for blurred light, which wasn’t half as awe inspiring after several thousand jumps.

A few moments later—or perhaps it was many moments, he had a tendency to lose track of such things—the blurred lights out the front window came into focus, the FTL drive hummed to a halt, and they were hovering outside an earthlike world. The big giveaway that it wasn’t earth was that there was unmolested nature instead of man-made structures blotting out everything green.

“Blue button leads to paradise. Check,” Cliff said, turning with his “goofy smile” on. “Want to take a hop down in one of the shuttles? Do you think they have deer? I haven’t seen a deer since I was fifteen. We could go hunting."

Half the crew was staring at him like they wanted to strangle him—he was used to the look. The other half of the crew was staring wide-eyed out the window. Honestly, it was like they’d never seen a real world before. Of course, since the next oldest person on board was a paltry fifty-seven, Cliff supposed they probably hadn’t.

“Those green spots,” Cliff offered helpfully, “are where plants are growing. And look, the water is still blue here. Isn’t that nice?”

1 comment:

  1. You must just dream up different story lines, don't know how you do it!! Don't ask me for ideas where it should go, that is why I read, because I can't think of these things myself. I have faith in you! :-)