Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Flash Fiction: What happens now?

“Ambassador Grosh. I thought I’d find you here.”

“Ah, my dear Captain Solomon. It is most gratifying to see that you have survived recent events.”

“Yeah, somehow I doubt that you or your people thought I was in any real danger out there.”

“You are most intelligent, Captain. It was not certain, but it is true that the probability of your survival was high.”

“What I don’t understand is how you survived? I saw the hole that was blown into the station. There’s no way anyone would have survived a blast like that, even your people.”

“Yes. I sometimes forget that your people are not aware that this form we show you is not our true form.”

“Not your true…?”

“Indeed, captain. We are a very old species, as you have no doubt guessed. We have taken on this form in order to appear more… pleasing to you.”

“That you can better manipulate us?”

“Manipulate? No, my dear captain, manipulation was never our intention.”

“But you admit that you’re behind all of this?”

“I have never denied such a thing. I believe that if you think back to our conversations, you will see that I have admitted to tampering with events long before you ever came to this station.”

“I knew it.”

“Please, captain, put your weapon away. It is not necessary. I will gladly put myself into your custody and subject myself to your peoples justice. The test is done. I am to be my people’s sacrificial lamb, now, and I do my duty with pride and honor.”


“Indeed. This was all a test of you and your people. And you have passed.”

“My people? You mean all of humanity? Surly, you don’t think my staff and I are representative of all humanity?”

“But we do. Within each of you is the seed of what humanity is truly capable of.”

“So you set all this up just to test us?”

“I did not set up all of this, no. Events were already in motion, things would have proceeded along a pace similar to what actually happened without my interference. All I did was nudge events in a direction that were better suited for the test.”

“Such as making sure that humanity would build a station in this system, forcing us to become involved.”


“So… what happens now?”

“Now? Now my people move on.”

“Move on? What does that mean?”

“It means simply that it is time for us to leave this galaxy to live out our finally centuries as a people.”

“What, you’re packing your bags to move to some universal Florida to retire?”

“Ah, Earth humor. I will miss it. It is, of course, more complicated than that, but the metaphor is apt. And now is the time when you will ask the question that most burns in your mind.”

“Why? What was this all about?”

“Quite simple, my dear captain. My species has watched over and protected this galaxy since before humanity first walked upright. We have made sure that worlds were given the chance they needed to breed new life, that space faring sentients did not cause too much harm to the galactic environment. We have even culled herds, if you will, to prevent overpopulation. Oh, not with sentient, space faring peoples, of course. Those we subtly guided to fallow worlds where sentience was unlikely. I mean on worlds where sentience was endangered by overpopulation. But, as I have said, we have done this for a very long, long time. And now we are tired. We wish, as you put it, to retire. But we cannot simply abandon our duties.”

“You wanted a successor.”



“I know it seems an odd choice. You are so very young, even by the standard of other space faring races. But you already move toward the role on your own, and your belifes so match ours that very little was needed on our part to push you in the right direction. We just needed a test, one that would prove to us that you were ready, or at least near to ready.”

“And we passed, I take it?”

“Indeed you did.”

“So, what? You hand over a galactic guardian handbook, ‘How to feed and care for a Galaxy’, or something?”

“Not quite, but very close, yes. We have left our technology and secrets intact on our home world.”

“But no one knows where that is. Except you, of course. Are you saying you’re just going to give all that to us? How do you know we won’t use it to become galactic dictators?”

“Because of the final test you must pass.”

“You’re not going to tell us where the planet is.”

“Oh, I am. It’s location is on this disk. No, the test will be for you to pass our security procedures and then learn to read the files that we have left behind. By our calculations, it will take you nearly a thousand years to do so, and even then you will only discover things slowly. Our files will guide you, but not control you, nor will you get the knowledge faster than you can handle. It is how the information was passed to us. It is how you will pass the information on when it is time for your species retirement.”

“I… see.”

“Captain, you have lowered your gun. Are you letting me go?”

“No. No, you are still guilty of crimes, and I’m guessing that your actions even your people would consider crimes. I still plan to bring you to justice. And more importantly, I need you to tell this to others.”

“Of course.”

“I have one last question, Ambassador.”

“Of course.”

“What happens if my people decline the job offer?”

“That is a very unlikely possibility, Captain. Very unlikely.”

The End


  1. nice one - bit scary - not sure it should have been handed on to us!!!

  2. So much done with just dialogue. Love it.

  3. @Alberta, Thanks! Yeah, it is an interesting proposition. And, would we accept it if we were offered?

    @Raven, Thanks! That was the challenge. Can I tell a whole story with just dialogue, no tags, no descriptions.