Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: Trilogy, Part I

A year two of Friday Flash Fiction draws to a close, Kurt has put together a flash fiction story so epic that it can't be contained in only 600 words.

Trilogy, Part I
Word Count: 600

Jess set an uneasy foot on the skydock—or what was left of it. Smoke bit at her eyes. A few planks broke loose and plummeted the who-knows-how-many miles down to the ground.

“Marauders,” said Clink, over her shoulder. Their lifeboat was limping along on only two working engines—Clink was a terrible mechanic, but this had worked out in their favor. They’d had to hide in a cloud bank instead of fleeing towards Swifthaven with the rest. The rest had all been gunned down.

“We need repairs,” said Jess.

“Nothing to salvage here,” said Clink. “Don’t need two eyes to see that.” Clink loved reminding people that he’d lost an eye repairing an engine in-flight during a firefight. Jess couldn’t help but think that a better mechanic might have been able to save the day without maiming himself in the process.

He was right, though. Oldwing was a ruin. Houses, businesses, all of it gone. Friends… Jess sighed. She was a little surprised the whole platform hadn’t fallen out of the sky.

“We can’t very well stay so let’s see what we can find,” she said. “Try not to fall off.”

“Captain!” came the distant voice of Rena, Jess’s helmsman. She, at least, had two good eyes. The youth bounded down the torn-up walkway.

Jess raised a hand. “What is it?”

“Come see!”

Jess and Clink followed Rena down into the gas-collection shafts. Jess was surprised to find them mostly operational, despite all the damage up on the surface.

Cold air buffeted them on the steps as they climbed down flight after flight, but Jess climbed with ease. She was sure-footed in the gusts, just like everyone else born on a platform.

“We’ve got to be near the bottom by now,” Clink muttered.

“He’s got a point,” said Jess. “Where are you taking us?”

“All the way down,” said Rena.

“Nothing down there but clouds,” said Clink.

“Oh, there’s something,” said Rena. “I saw it from the outside.”

Rena opened a drop-hatch and there—moored a few feet away—was one of the marauder ships.

“Does it run?” asked Clink.

“It’s running right now,” said Rena. “Can’t you hear it?”

“It’s perfect,” said Jess.

“We’ll have to fly the lifeboat underneath her if we want to strip her for parts—assuming they’re even compatible.”

“That’s not what I had in mind,” said Jess. “We don’t have time for repairs.”

Clink squinted with his good eye. “I don’t follow,” he said.

“We need a ship,” said Jess. “And there’s a ship.”

“We can’t take a marauder ship. Rena doesn’t even know how to fly one.”

“I’m betting I can figure it out,” Rena said and bit her lip.

“If it’s running, then there’s someone on it,” said Clink.

“Not necessarily,” said Rena. “Could have been a boarding party that got wiped out during the assault.”

“But what if you’re wrong? They could be waiting for us,” said Clink.

“We’ll deal with that if it happens,” said Jess, patting the saber on her hip. “But we can’t stay, and we don’t have time for repairs.”

“Why not?” asked Clink.

“Because we have to get to Swifthaven.”

“Are you mad?” asked Clink. “Whoever just attacked us is headed that direction. I say we make for Reef Harbor.”

“We can outrun a caravan,” said Jess. “We’ll get to Swifthaven first.”

“And do what?” asked Clink. “Evacuate? Fight back?”

“Swifthaven can make their own decisions,” said Jess. “But those marauders snuck up on us. If we can warn others, we have to try…”

To be continued…

Edited by Carolyn "Super Curious About That Science" Abram

Like what you see? Help me out by liking my author page on Facebook or re-posting the story using the buttons below.

No comments: