Thursday, March 24, 2011


This week's was a tough one for me since Sci-Fi is not something I'm too comfortable with writing. Love to read the stuff, but writing it is a whole other thing. The prompt words were terrific, and I assure you I researched each one very carefully. Hopefully, it all comes together well in my story. I really hope you enjoy.

Prompt: THEMED WORD LIST: Stellar Engine, mind food, needler, superluminal, and wetware

Genre: Sci-fi themed pot-boiler


Day 1

I could be a wack-job and start my transmissions with ‘Star Date…’, but I won’t. Leo, I know you’d can my ass if I did and I couldn’t blame you for it. I’ll be sending my notes as events occur, but I’ve been told most days will be pretty routine.

I’m Mickey Dane, star reporter for the Beckindale Bugle--okay--the only reporter, who won the draw to accompany the crew on the maiden voyage of the Dionysus, named after the Greek God of wine and fertility. What a perfect mix! Sorry. Anyway, there’s Captain Roger DeWayne, and Crew, Thomas Chalmers, David Willings, and Charlie Harver. Computers do most of the work. No broads, which is fine with me by the way, being a very happily married man and expecting his first kid. Got all that? Good.

So this ship was designed to haul and dispose of, in deepest space, the most vile of the vile biohazards. When we get to a certain point out there, we will drop the load which, in theory, will drift forever and hopefully be absorbed into some black hole. I’m no scientist, but it sounds kind of iffy to me. When I asked if it could ever end up coming back to Earth and wiping us all out, I was told no way, guaranteed. I suppose it’s alright then to chance the release of all this crap on some other civilization’s planet and waste them. Better them than us. Man’s humanity and all that bullshit. Glad I’m on their side is all I’ve got to say.

Anyhow, we took off and we’re about to go superluminal for awhile till we reach some dot on the charts. I’m going to grab a powdered snack and nod off for awhile. Later.


Day 5

Not much going on. The guys are pushing a lot of buttons and switching charts around. I can feel the difference in speed though, like when Dad punched the accelerator on the family’s station wagon when I was a kid. Still a rush. We’re still nowhere near our destination and not much is going to be happening till we get closer, so I’m going to sign off and get back to my Solitaire. Got some comics too about space monsters. Why not, right?


Day 9

I’m sure it’s me, I mean, I’m not exactly Flash Gordon here, but the Captain seems to be acting a bit off. The crew hasn’t said anything to me and why would they; I’m just a tag along, but I know they sense it too. He hardly talks anymore and sits and stares a lot. He’s been hitting that stuff they call mindfood pretty hard. Who am I to talk, but I thought that was like a supplement. I’m feeling something hinky going on here. Later.


Day 14

I was right. Something’s VERY wrong. Crew’s worried, saying there’s a wetware problem. According to my pocket dictionary, that’s capital B-A-D. The Captain’s disabled the needler, some kind of high-tech ray gun I think, and they’re p.o.’d . Not sure what that’s about. There’s a chart missing too that we need. Really didn’t need to hear that. I’ll keep you posted.


Day 20

Weirder every day here. No one’s talking to me anymore and the crew thinks we need to abort, but nothing’s working right and stuff’s messed up or missing. The Captain just sits with this I’ll-kick-your-ass-if-you-speak-to-me stare so no one does. Am I scared? As hell is hot.


Day 25

Apparently, our Captain believes he is God. He announced we weren’t going to dump our load on ‘his people’. We are going to keep it and carry it till we can’t anymore. What? The crew knows he’s sabotaged the ship and Tom has assumed command. Roger has been tied up, but I wish they’d gag him too. Mindfood O.D., I think. He believes he has to protect this galaxy’s inhabitants from men, which he no longer is of course, and said we’re never going to be able to dump it or go home either. I was told to keep transmitting; maybe Command Central can come up with something, although I don’t see a rescue ship being launched any time soon.

Truly, I don’t give a fuck about all this nobility garbage. I just want to go home. Tom said we could maybe latch on to some star and become a stellar engine. We point home and radiation gives us thrust and the star and our ship land in San Francisco Bay. All hypothetical, but worth a shot. I’m no choir boy, but if you’re listening God, the real one, the prayers are going to be coming hot and heavy.


Day 28

Evidently, the stellar engine plan was a bust, so this will be my last transmission. It’s so dark out there and it’s getting colder in here every day. The crew took some pills and closed their eyes hours ago. They’re a lot colder than me now, so I know that for them, this nightmare is over.

Suzanne, honey, know that I am sorry I entered that lottery. I just had to be a big-shot newsman, first to report on this new disposal method. Please forgive me, and tell the son I will never know that I love him now and always will.

I guess I didn’t pray hard enough because there weren’t any pills left over for me. I’m going to look around though and maybe I can find something. Anything will do. I just don’t know how much longer I can take listening to Roger laugh…



  1. Fantastic! I liked reading the log entries. I especially liked this line: Am I scared? As hell is hot.

    Well done.

  2. Flannery, Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you liked it. I really struggled because sci-fi is not something I've written too often. I had the storyline in my head, but couldn't figure out how to present it. The log entry thing came to mind and I'm glad it seems to have worked.

  3. Bravo! It had a real "Lifeboat" feel to me with people drifting out in the wide ocean. I like stories that are setup in log entries as well, they provide a more open stream of consciousness that reveals far more to me.

  4. Beach, Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed this. The more I got into it, the more comfortable I felt with the log/journal type narrative. It felt easier to try to express the fear and the feelings of desparation.

  5. Very engaging, and really like the log-entry approach. I'm wondering what exactly happened to the captain... did he just go nuts, or did he really become one of "them"? Would be cool to know who "they" might have been! Must... know... more...

  6. I'm with you Joyce, as writing Sci-Fi isn't really my bag, but you knocked it out in spades. Lots of pathos to compliment a solid story. Great job!


  7. Ingrid, Glad you liked this. Could have been anything with the captain. Something out there got in (I love the thought of that!), too much power and control given to him, or just too much mindfood (maybe all those chemicals gave him a distorted perception?). What actually happened? You know, I'd like to know too. I need to look into continuing this. Now it's going to drive me up the wall!

  8. Doc, Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it. This was a struggle until the log thing came to mind. Then it just seemed to flow on its own. I didn't plan for it to end that way, it simply went down that road. I love when that happens.