What glimmers from YOUR treasure of artistry, eh? Give us a peek!
Not the whole candle flame -- just Flickerings :-)
I'll start with the following . . .
-- 20 --
BEFORE THEM, and all around them, space ignited.
First one, then another, then upwards of a dozen silent, blinding detonations occurred in close proximity, without warning, and now blossomed with horrifying swiftness.
“Red alert! Evasive! Shields to maximum! NOW!” the captain yelled. “Did we just trigger some kind of minefield, Chang?”
“Cap’n Diller, I have no idea, sir!” the bewildered Scannerman cried as big engines moaned up the scale. “They just appeared out of nowhere! No detectable origin!”
“Get us out of here, Rasmussen!” the captain rapped, a bit calmer, but not much so.
“There is no ‘out’, Captain!” the pilot yelled back. “They’re expanding rapidly – from all directions – converging on us!”
“Sir, by the readings, there’s no known device that can produce this level of heat, light, and radiation,” Chang informed him. “Completely off the charts.”
“What the fuck are these things?” Diller demanded. “Where’d they come from?”
“It’s as if they came from another dimension, sir,” Chang said. “Instruments detected nothing – then suddenly they were just there.”
“Inter-dimensional bombing . . . that’s supposed to be impossible,” Diller murmured, deflating in his chair as a chilling realization struck him. “We’re not gonna make it, are we?”
“Does the term ‘overkill’ resonate with you on any level, Vorax?” the commander said icily, hissing and clicking in disgust. “You said you had targeted a fleet. Some fleet that was!”
In the deep purple glow of the bridge, his companion countered, “Reflections happen. This remains experimental technology. What’s relevant is that we now know it works.”
“Yes . . . I’ll grant you that. We know it works. Lord Braxis will be pleased. Now, let us go find a genuine cluster of these slugs to broil, shall we?”
“Indeed, Commander! I will continue fine-tuning the detection probes.”
“Do that. I will instruct the others to proceed as planned. Keep me informed of your progress in modulation, so I may relay that data.”
“We’re at max drive, sir,” said Rasmussen. “There’s an opening – but you’re right. We’ll never get there.”
Even as the Clock Of Life ticked down to Zero, Diller remained the highly-trained professional and, consequently, the pragmatic survivor. He came to a decision.
“Divert all drive power to the shroud.”
“Aye, sir, drive engines off line, all power to shielding.”
“We can’t escape them, so we might as well harden our shell,” Diller explained. “It’s the only chance we’ve got. Time to impact?”
“About thirteen seconds,” the pilot said, then sighed, almost in relief. “Looks like we’re thoroughly fucked.”
“Without even a kiss goodnight,” Chang added. “What a bitch!”
“Ras, launch a comm drone containing all we’ve recorded. Maybe someone else can make sense of this.”
“Sir, no drone’s gonna get through that!”
“Do it anyway.” The deadpan of both expression and tone said, That’s my final word, and my final command.
“Roger that. Drone’s away, Captain. Seven seconds to impact.”
Diller acknowledged, but beyond that could not think of anything to say that would be meaningful. Their destruction seemed imminent. So he kept still and watched as the high-intensity detonations converged upon them. Unwilling to fear his own death, he stared them down with jaws clamped, anticipating perhaps a brief blast of intense heat, or some awful tingling sensation as his body disintegrated.
“Ho-lee mother of . . . !” Chang suddenly exclaimed, leaning forward to magnify the scanner image. “What the hell is that?”