This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’. Which can be found by following the link below..
Prompt ~ SPACE JUICE
by John Yeo
A new alcoholic drink was tested by a group of consumers with extremely vivid imaginations. They were asked to savour the delights of Space Juice and report on the taste and the effect.
The following are the reflections of one man who was to become an accomplished author.
‘We came upon a fast flowing river with water that powered a water mill. Forceful water that dashed and tumbled over moss covered purple rocks. We followed the odours of fresh baked bread mingling with the delicious smell of deep fried fish with a version of cheese and rough red wine. A structure made of a synthetic substance housed the strangers. There was a notice pinned to the door in what appeared as hieroglyphics, the nearest recognisable translation would be ‘Space Juice’
This discovery was made in a dense unexplored rainforest. We knew we had found the survivors of a spacecraft that had crash landed.
The mission had been going to plan. After a smooth takeoff there had been a collision on the way through the asteroid belt. A tiny rock had pierced the fuel tank and a portion of the fuel had drained away, the ship crash landed in the jungle having run out of space juice and the surviving members of the crew were to spend 10 years in the jungle.
Space Juice is a stimulant that will take you on a journey out of this Covid diseased, lockdown world.’
“Blender Rothsbottom, at your service Sir. We are the most inventive organisation in the known universe. We are responsible for many innovations that have added to the supreme quality of life for many different life forms that inhabit the outer regions of the galactic sphere. How can I help?”
The uniformed Staff Captain of the interplanetary explorer craft, Intrepid, had arrived at this unusual artificial asteroid several nanoseconds ago and was immediately approached by this robotic sales machine.
“We have travelled through several galactic time warps, using the suction power of the Inter-Universal time tunnels attached to the interspersed Black Holes looking for an organisation that can rebuild a new head. Our Commander’s brain is controlling the ship from the confines of a glass in the laboratory. His body is in the infirmary, kept alive with many artificial aids. We need a head to completely restore him to normality. We are hoping your organisation will have the necessary resources to come to our help.”
Staff Captain Bourke was pleading with a coldly calculating artificial intelligence. A man who was incapable of the illogical emotions that his makers had. They were just not programmed into his system.
“Of course; this will be an easy task for our technicians. I will have to come aboard and examine the Commander to assess the requirements.”
Blender Rothsbottom was an alien construction. He was a wealthy robot with his metallic claws in many pies.
“We have inserted many artificial heads onto many alien robots in the past. The difficulty arises over the alien measurements provided by the recipients. My techies will accompany me to assess the requirements.”
Sometime later the ship was landed on the asteroid by the gang of techies who proceeded to break the whole thing up and dismantle the robotic occupants piece by piece.
Blender Rothsbottom was quickly on the interplanetary thought visual media to report that the intergalactic scrapyard had just taken delivery of a shipload of spare parts to cater for any construction at the right price.
The castle looked fantastic. We had arrived in orbit around a mysterious red planet. A massive fortress loomed up as we arrived and our spacecraft began to orbit around the planet. A construction that seemed so mysteriously huge it was visible from space. “Wow!” ejaculated Palmer, the officer in control of the outer cameras. “What’s that? It seems to be shining like gold in the path of the light reflected from the twin Suns orbiting the planet.” “I’m not sure but I think that is actually gold, or it could be a brand new material unknown to our science. We better get down there and take a look. Prepare to land. Take your places everyone in the landing party.” said the Captain. “OK, Captain” shouted Palmer, “Remote surface readings, indicate an atmosphere that is identical to Earth’s. There is a solid surface, one mile away from the castle. The area around the castle, however, is reading as unstable, almost like a quicksand in the desert. I can only describe this as a dust moat. There is no indication of life anywhere at this time.” “stand-by team! We are going down. Follow my instructions to the letter, we must be on our guard against all eventualities.”
The desert Suns were competing with each other to scorch the surface of the planet, as the spacecraft set down as close to the castle as possible. Gold was the card that drew the travellers to this scorching, parched, planet. A solid gold castle that promised astounding riches. After the travellers had left the spacecraft, they found themselves trekking through the desert towards the castle. A castle that seemed not to be getting any closer but seemed to be exactly the same distance away. A strong whirlwind began to swirl the surface dust of the planet, covering everything and everyone. Visibility became poor, then impossible, the team quickly erected pods to shield them from the swirling, whirling maelstrom of dust. Some time later when the storm had abated, the team emerged from their shelters to an astounding discovery. The castle had completely disappeared, the Captain immediately ordered the mission to be aborted with a rapid return to the ship. As the spacecraft took off and entered an orbit around the planet, the officer on the watch gasped as the gold castle was clearly visible on the planet once again. “Captian! Look a bridge has appeared across the dry moat, do you think this is a sign of welcome!” exclaimed officer Mcquirter. The Captain was dismissive and ordered the spacecraft to continue into space. “We will record this as alien science; an astonishing planet, I am not prepared to risk our lives by landing again. We narrowly escaped a strange fate, a dusty quicksand moat can suck the unwary into a painful death. Onward team!
The goal is to write a story between 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) based on the provided photo.
Image provided and credited by Priceless Joy
by John Yeo
The ship landed on an Earth-like planet, a huge single green sea, bounded on all sides by a mountainous land. The vegetation was stunning, multi-coloured trees, covered in succulent fruit that looked edible and appetising.
“Looks like we have found what we are looking for!” The Captain said to his second officer, who was operating the outer periscope to survey the terrain.
“Yes Sir, there doesn’t seem to be any visible inhabitants, just those strange purple mushroom-shaped plants on the fringes of that forest.” Johnson, the second officer, had travelled with the Captain on many missions before.
“Good!” Exclaimed the Captain, “We’ll send an exploratory team and a rover to explore. As the team got out from the rover, and began walking forwards there was a whoosh as a tentacle whipped out from one of the plants and picked up an explorer and calmly swallowed him. The other members of the team tried to escape but they were surrounded by alien plants. Cousins of the Earth’s, Venus fly-trap. Alien man-traps.
“The infinitely powerful speed of dark, is a new super speed, that exceeds the speed of light, by many aeons-per-supersecond. The elusive dark matter that surrounds us all is moving so fast, that our eyes are unable to focus on the entity at all.” Prof. Barnes, the chief scientist was addressing the team of brave cybernauts who were risking everything, to travel through space using the new medium of darkspeed.
Captain Johnson was intrigued by the vehicle he was required to take charge of, and how much extra training the crew would require before they took control. “How do I power up a ship that is running on an invisible medium?” He enquired.
“The fuel powering is automatic, once the robotic fuel systems key into the dark matter, the propulsion is automatically fired up, and entirely controllable by pulling a plug and switching off the motors.” replied the Professor, “Landing the ship on the reserve conventional motors, is much like operating a normal spaceship.” The Professor replied.
“How do we key into the dark matter to take off again, when we are ready to come home?” asked Jim Green, the chief engineer.
“Ah! Thats easy.” continued the Professor, with a grin “You just insert the plug again, once the system is connected up, the power re-continues to flow.” After many weeks of intensive training for the crew, with the boffins finalising the details of the revolutionary new craft. The lift-off countdown began, 10-9-8-7-6——-1-Zero.
One hour later the spaceship landed in a remote desert in the middle of Africa. The watching world was stunned and the spaceship was soon surrounded by cautious troops. Suddenly the trapdoor was released, and six very youthful looking cybernauts came down the steps. At the debriefing, which lasted for days, it became obvious that the crew were under the impression they had been away from home for years, and their intelligence levels had spiralled beyond belief. Their youthful appearance was astonishing, and the adventures they related were enough to fill many books. Six months down the line the spaceship vanished from the high security quarantine area where the authorities had been examining it for viral invaders. The original crew were missing and the search was on for the almost instantaneous return of the missing spaceship. The new era of darkspeed, darkmatter travel, was underway……..
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.