Writing Exercises

Silver Pod Part 19: What Comes Next

Link to part 1

Link to previous part: 18

The starship Silver Pod lifted itself up atop a brilliant, yellow flame. The storm crashed over land. Silver Pod pierced through driving rain and stacks of purple clouds. The shiny, elliptical ship could have escaped on internal, anti-gravity propulsion more efficiently, but the Silver Pod had been designed with a flare for the dramatic, so fire it was! Propellant ignited beneath its tail fins, vaporizing water with its touch, appearing to build a stack of fluffy whipped steam beneath it as the ship rose. The chrome tear drop drilled a hole up through complete blackness, suddenly punching through the billowing clouds into the crystalline starscape.

And not a moment too soon. The reactor in the crashed ship, Besh’s former home, reached a tipping point. Its pent up energy could be contained no longer. Energy cascaded through the last barriers, gorging itself on power, then spilling out. The shockwave smeared the hundred kilometer-wide storm like a blob of paint across canvas. The release of heat that followed ripped away all remaining color. The atmosphere bulged upward under the retreating spacecraft, which bucked and shuddered. Silver Pod’s automated, self-preserving systems cast aside its showy display of rocketry, fully engaged its reactionless drives, oriented artificial gravity to cancel the lethal amounts of acceleration, and leapt away from the ravenous inferno before the beast could consume the morsel.

Fife saw none of this. While the ship made its dramatic escape, she lay immobilized in Silver Pod’s medical bay, awake, but numb with painkillers. She watched robotic arms set the bone in her arm. She watched from a floaty, elevated vantage, as if her neck were a string and her head, a helium-filled balloon.

The warden of Silver Pod had unlocked the ship for them, or perhaps just for Besh, because of something Besh had said. She’d even given her name, Ohnsy.

Curiosity rattled inside Fife’s mind, refusing to be settled by drugs or fatigue. What had Besh said? and What came next?

They had escaped. They had a ship. The galaxy opened wide before them with its infinite possibility. The one chain that held them back was their debt to Ohnsy. Fife had promised to return the ship to her once they were safely away. She would keep her promise. She had to. She was a hero.

She had been raised in virtual worlds, in video games, and simulations, and fantasies. Where others had learned entitlement, she learned heroism. The path of the righteous wasn’t some philosophical mumbo-jumbo walked for the superiority it granted. It was the path she wanted to take, the path that felt good in her chest. There was no guilt, no troubled past in search of redemptive tonic. She enjoyed looting the corpses of her foes as well as the next gal, but she distinguished friend from foe. Ohnsy was clearly not the enemy. She was very much alive and they had robbed her of her precious ship. Fife would right this wrong.

Fife looked down on her arm. It felt foreign, disconnected, numb. The robotic manipulators swished into position, quiet and sure, to hold her purple and swollen limb steady. Having aligned the bones, new robotic appendages wound forward and slid needles into her, injecting chemicals to stimulate healing and regrowth. The needle arms retreated as quietly as they’d come. A final medical tentacle coated her arm in a viscuous honey-looking fluid that hardened into a semi-transparent, stiff cast.

A disembodied computer voice urged her to rest, offered her drugs to assist with sleep. She felt the appeal of sleep drag every fiber of her being.

“No,” she said, against all wisdom.

The curiosity rattled. How had Beryl known how to speak to a Post Human ship? What had happened to Besh’s Water? Where had the Silver Pod’s master gone and, presumably, all of civilization with them?

“No,” she repeated aloud, anticipation and excitement stirring.

Our adventure’s just begun. I need to be a part of what comes next.

Link to next part: 20


2 thoughts on “Silver Pod Part 19: What Comes Next”

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