Category Archives: Science Fiction

Sanctuary

The micro-scape was a watercolor blur of blue, green, and amber. There was no up or down. Joni closed her eyes, shutting off the dizzying vista and the vertigo that threatened to make her puke. She felt James’ arm pull her close, his right hand held firmly around her waist. She was spent, both physically and emotionally. He was now the only thing anchoring Joni, albeit tenuously, to time and space. Kaya was gone, her sweet soul and living brilliance extinguished in a moment of confusion and violence, and with them, Joni’s will to continue with the mission – with even the most rudimentary tasks of survival.

But survive they must, somehow…and do so without ship or crew, or the most basic shelter. Jas moved them forward, away from the aftermath of the battle, away from that unthinkable disaster that had pitted them against the strange indigenous sentients. The micro thrusters in his suit harnessed the water’s Brownian motion, directed excited molecules of H2O to move them deeper into the strange land of micro space.

Joni opened her eyes. Her pupils adjusted to the gloom. Ahead, in the distance she could see twinkling lights…and they came from inside a familiar shape, far away yet unimaginably huge. It was a bottle.

And then they where no longer alone. Figures appeared out of the micro haze…

First one, then a second, and finally a third of the aquatic seraphim materialized out of the watery gloom directly ahead. Each had wing-like membranes bound to gently waving cilia trailing from their pseudopodia, and down the ventral surface of head, neck, and torso. Joni wasn’t sure which was the greater revelation: that angels were real, or that angels were microorganisms.

Loss

Microscopic human explorers flee the site of a battle.

The nightmare had unfolded as she had feared, then blossomed into tragic reality.  The skirmish had followed the template of Joni’s quantum-transform premonition… right down to the last drop of spilled cytoplasm…and blood.

No human mind could comprehend all that had transpired in the previous minutes, but the broad strokes couldn’t be ignored.  The Intrepid was scuttled and adrift, her battered hull leaking the last vestige of micronized breathable oxygen…lost.  But the infinitely greater loss was Kaya.  Even through the filter of shock Joni couldn’t erase the searingly vivid memory of Kaya’s contorted-yet-still-beautiful form falling lifelessly through micro space like an angel descending through clouds – accompanied by the screech of the audio receiver…Jas Ford shouting, pleading to Joni, to stop her attack on the Scylex centurion.

When that Microsian centurion tore lover/partner/soul mate away from the Scylex temple, Joni’s mind broke as easily as Kaya’s body.  The savagery of her subsequent attack left the centurion dead – and plunged the human exploration team into a conflict they had no business being in.

She felt Jas’ arms pull her close as he guided her away from the battlefield, through the carnage of war.  Where would they go?  How could they survive without the ship?  How could she even exist without Kaya?

Joni opened her eyes.  If the answers weren’t to be found into the shadowy canyons of bottom detritus that lay before them, then Joni would not have to suffer those heartbreaking memories for long.

Cytoplasm Will be Spilled This Day

Micro-nized humans find themselves in a Microsian war. Illustration by Eric R Russell

“Joni, stop!  Don’t do it!  They don’t understand!  No, Joni… NO!!!”

Before his eyes the disaster unfolded in slow-motion.  Jas Ford was too distant to stop her, too far away to intercept the sweeping arc of Joni’s scimitar.  Time crawled.  Jas watched in horror, unable to look away as Joni Janders pulled the blade along a deadly radius.

At the last instant the Scylex warrior spun to face the enraged human and met her scythe with a look of anger-turned-surprise.  The point easily separated membrane and cytoskeleton.  Ichor-like cytoplasm billowed from the horrible torso-length gash in amber clouds of liberated organelles.  The Microsian’s bisected nucleus spilled its milky trove of genetic code into the cold, dark water.

A microorganism is dead, but using those words didn’t diminish the moment – Jas Ford knew that he and his crew had just done what they had sworn not to do; they had taken a life for a life, and in doing so, brought calamity and horror to paradise.


Author’s note: Microscopic Monsters is now being featured on Best Science Fiction Blogs