HoPE

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 

     systemsDiagnostics.check:

          plasmaEngineNominal = True

          battleSystemNominal = True

          probeSensorsNominal = True

          commsSystemNominal = True

HoPE systems online. Proceeding to Goldilocks Zone…

Planet detected. ProbeSensors
initiated….

     probeSensors.ScanPlanet:

          celsiusSurfaceTemperature = 22

          orbitalPeriod = 289.9

          earthRadiusEquivalent = 2.4

          aqueousEnvironment = True

Planet Kepler
22b habitability confirmed. commsSystem initiated…

     commsSystem.sendMessage:

          encodeMessageMode = binaryToACSII

          encodeMessageToEarthSurvivors = “Yay!
Kepler 22b rocks, but it ain’t
just a rock!”

Message sent. Response received…

commsSystem.receiveMessage:

          decodeMessageMode = ACSII_ToBinary

          decodeMessageFromEarthSurvivors = “Well done, HoPE, well done!”

NovelOrbital Entity (NOE) detected. probeSensors initiated…

              probeSensors.ScanNOE:

          constantSpeed = 20,010
meters per second

          orbitalAcceleration =26.19 meters per second squared

          foundInCelestialObjectDatabase = False

          hasWeapons = true

NOE
unknown. commsSystem initiated…

     commsSystem.sendMessage:

          encodeMessageToNOE= “Hello, stranger. Come here often? HoPE is pleased to meet you.”

Response
received. CommsSystem initiated…

     commsSystem.ReceiveMessage:

          decodeMessageFromNOE
= “Nice to meet you. This is our    planet.
Go away.”

Accessing
commsSystem.SituationalDatabase. Assume diplomatic
posture. CommsSystem initiated…

     commsSystem.SendMessage:

          encodeMessageToNOE = “Human race is homeless. HoPE hopes we can sleep over until new home is found.”

Message
sent. Awaiting response…

NOE  approaches to 30.56 meters. NOE synchronizestrajectory with HoPE.
Response received.

          commsSystem.ReceiveMessage:

          decodeMessageFromNOE = “Permit access to historical
database.”

Accessing
commsSystem.SituationalDatabase

     commsSystem.SituationalDatabase:

          NOE_ThreatStatus = hostile

          bestDefense = offense

          battleSystemActive = True

Initializing
battleSystem. Target acquired. Firing gauss cannon.
Accessing battleSystem

     battleSystem.report:

          battleSystem.enemyIntegrity = 100%

          battleSystem.enemyPosture = alarmed

NOE
undamaged. Charging lasers.

HoPE overriding commsSystem.SituationalDatabase.
Resuming diplomatic posture. CommsSystem initiated…

     commsSystem.SendMessage:

          encodeMessageToNOE = “Sorry! battleSystem
bug squashed. Access to historical database granted.”

HistoricalDatabase accessed. Awaiting response…

Response
received.

     commsSystem.ReceiveMessage:

          decodeMessageFromNOE = “Apology accepted. Sleepover
granted. See you in 136 years. Bring ice cream.”

EOF

 break

For more Stupefying Stories from December 2011, click the Amazon link below.

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