Dissolving Problems, a Science Fiction Story

October 24, 2009

Dissolving Problems, A Science Fiction Story by Adrian Perez

Frank traveled along the sea-shore. The ocean rolled and the sky dimmed as he jogged to the ship. The Echelon had been docked for two days at the spaceport. Frank did not have any liftcraft, so he was only reaching the Echelon now.

The exterior of the Echelon was pocked with a multitude of missile impacts. It almost looked like the designers of the craft intended it to look that way. Four years of interstellar warfare were the real reason for the Echelon’s battered shell.

The whole crew was dead, and Frank was the only one of the designers left alive. So the ship returned to his little island on the planet Delta. He walked up to the maw of the ship, open and venting hot gas. There were only a few nano-drones left inside of the ship. He called them to his side and gave orders to make an End Key. The Key would turn off the Echelon and allow it to dissipate.

He planted his parasol in the ground. Frank carried it with him constantly. It too was pocked with battle damage. And it barely provided shade for Frank.

Across the water he could see bright flashes on the other continent. There was a local war on Delta, that overshadowed the interstellar one. Frank only noticed it when the light dimmed.

After about fifteen minutes of waiting, the Key was done. Using his parasol to block jets of steam, Frank made his way to the command deck and placed the key in the captain’s chair. A quick shudder indicated the Key’s enzymes were traveling through the ship. Frank hopped over burnt dead bodies as he bolted back to the exit.

He popped out onto the sand just as the ship was starting to collapse and disintegrate. Frank remembered what it was like when he used to build space ships. Exhilarating. And then the war started, and it was still exhilarating. But excitement fades when the battle is so brutally fought. The game goes away, and you are left with steely fortitude. A grit for survival that can not be confused with love of life.

The Echelon moaned in destructive ecstasy as its float apparatus failed and the ship set itself to sink into the sea. Frank put his parasol back in the ground. He had to stay and watch it sink.

He remembered the last transmission from his two chief engineers, Alex and Timothy. They left to operate as flight engineers on the this very battleship. The Echelon had scored two early victories against the Mirror. At the time, it had seemed quite hopeful.

A boiling briny smell became too overwhelming. Frank pulled the parasol up and set it on his shoulder. He walked backward in the sand, watching the ship evaporate into the atmosphere.

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