The following experimental flash fiction piece was originally published in the December 2011 edition of Stupefying Stories. As the edition is no longer in circulation, I have reprinted it here in its entirety.
HabitablePlanetExplorer enteringKepler System. Initiate systemsDiagnostics…
plasmaEngineNominal = True
battleSystemNominal = True
probeSensorsNominal = True
commsSystemNominal = True
HoPE systems online. Proceeding to Goldilocks Zone…
Planet detected. ProbeSensors
celsiusSurfaceTemperature = 22
orbitalPeriod = 289.9
earthRadiusEquivalent = 2.4
aqueousEnvironment = True
22b habitability confirmed. commsSystem initiated…
encodeMessageMode = binaryToACSII
encodeMessageToEarthSurvivors = “Yay!
Kepler 22b rocks, but it ain’t
just a rock!”
Message sent. Response received…
decodeMessageMode = ACSII_ToBinary
decodeMessageFromEarthSurvivors = “Well done, HoPE, well done!”
NovelOrbital Entity (NOE) detected. probeSensors initiated…
constantSpeed = 20,010
meters per second
orbitalAcceleration =26.19 meters per second squared
foundInCelestialObjectDatabase = False
hasWeapons = true
unknown. commsSystem initiated…
encodeMessageToNOE= “Hello, stranger. Come here often? HoPE is pleased to meet you.”
received. CommsSystem initiated…
= “Nice to meet you. This is our planet.
commsSystem.SituationalDatabase. Assume diplomatic
posture. CommsSystem initiated…
encodeMessageToNOE = “Human race is homeless. HoPE hopes we can sleep over until new home is found.”
sent. Awaiting response…
NOE approaches to 30.56 meters. NOE synchronizestrajectory with HoPE.
decodeMessageFromNOE = “Permit access to historical
NOE_ThreatStatus = hostile
bestDefense = offense
battleSystemActive = True
battleSystem. Target acquired. Firing gauss cannon.
battleSystem.enemyIntegrity = 100%
battleSystem.enemyPosture = alarmed
undamaged. Charging lasers.
HoPE overriding commsSystem.SituationalDatabase.
Resuming diplomatic posture. CommsSystem initiated…
encodeMessageToNOE = “Sorry! battleSystem
bug squashed. Access to historical database granted.”
HistoricalDatabase accessed. Awaiting response…
decodeMessageFromNOE = “Apology accepted. Sleepover
granted. See you in 136 years. Bring ice cream.”
For more Stupefying Stories from December 2011, click the Amazon link below.