Storm Song

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


When the Shintarsa landed on Earth things didn't go to plan for either side. Decades later, a deadly mineral hitch-hiker from a Shintarsa vessel is poisoning the planet. Together, the two cultures
battle to eradicate the toxic threat, despite their differences.

Submitted: October 25, 2017

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Submitted: October 25, 2017

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Aeshria hovered a hand over the mossy outcrop on the forest floor. “Shint, Saar dit!” she hissed as she snatched back her throbbing hand. Niall pressed the flesh-pink sphere further into his ear. “That bloody hurt”, Aeshria mumbled. His translator was working again.

Niall's working knowledge of the Shintarsa language comprised of asking for beer and where the train station could be found. There hadn't been enough time to learn before the outbreak. In addition, the translator made things too easy for him. Why learn when the device in his ear could do it all for him? It didn't make for the altruistic exchange of cultures seen in Sci-fi shows the world over.

“What the hell happened? I thought you could sense them?” Niall asked, glancing at her hand for damage.

“Shint knows”, Aeshria wrangled her hand free of him and shook it in the air to relieve the pain. Niall tapped his translator again and Aeshria gave an exasperated sigh. “My guess is that a cluster is buried somewhere beneath that moss”, she continued. “Small enough so it doesn't stand out from the background noise, but large enough to do this.” She extended her palm. A large welt had formed at the centre of her hand, it blistered with smaller ones around the edges.

“Noise? You hear them, then? Is that how it works?” He'd never given the process of Steen hunting much thought, until now. The Shintarsa tracked them down and Earthlings destroyed them, you cleared up a patch and then moved on to the next one before the mineral poisoned everything.

Aeshria shrugged her shoulders and kicked at a nearby stone. “Yes, we hear them. They, kind of, sing to us.” Niall shot her a warning glance, it seemed best not to disturb the ground.

“So, what now?” Niall ran his fingers over his stubbly chin, mulling things over. “I can't attach the explosives if we don't know how far down the Steen is, and you can't do a scan.” Aeshria went to open her mouth. “Can't”, he reiterated, his eyes like steel.

“There is another way... “, she closed her eyes for a moment, “but you aren't going to like it. I can sing the Steen up to the surface and then we neutralise it.” Niall gave a slow nod.

“Do it”, he commanded.

With the translator removed from his ear, Niall stepped back as far as he safely could. He uncoiled the charging cable for the Neutraliser. The moment the Steen emerged he'd zap it and the charge of Oertzium would bind to the Steen, turning it to harmless mush. If it wasn't so deadly, Niall imagined that Steen would make a great pair of earrings.

It started as a low drone. Aeshria took large gulps of air in between the elongated buzzes; the longer it went on, the louder she became. She could feel her whole body resonating with the sound and the air around her crackled. Niall gave her a nervous glance, things would get worse. He'd heard about the Shintarsa Summoning Call at the Academy. When they'd first landed on Earth, the Shintarsa had been held at a secret base to assess their intentions and cultural development. Scared and trapped, the captives had used a group song to break out. They were the only survivors.

The wind whipped around Aeshria, creating a focussed spiral of energy. Her drone had become an ear piercing howl. With one final breath, she blew the whirlwind forwards and it ripped at the mossy knoll. The surface broke and earth crumbled outwards as it revealed a pillar of wine-red crystal.

“Now!” Aeshria shouted. He plunged his finger on the detonator and the crystal turned to jelly. Aeshria fell to the ground, the song had proved too strong for her. He ran to his work buddy and held her head in his lap, he stroked her soft, brown hair. Her last words had been Human if they'd had more time maybe things would have been different? It was anyone's guess. Only one thing was for sure, Aeshria had been right, Niall didn't like it.


© Copyright 2018 India Emerald. All rights reserved.

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