The Secret Weapon

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


The use of a secret weapon to end a century old conflict.

Submitted: April 06, 2018

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Submitted: April 06, 2018

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Westminster was a small drab planet on the out skirts of known space. It had been founded by a colony ship manned by Puritans, just over 500 years ago. The people themselves were a highly religious group who became more and more set in their ways as the years passed. Life became harder and stricter and so did the people. Passion and the expression of it in any form was a lost art, except in one area; the passion to rule. For the last 100 years, a civil war raged between the two controlling families; the Smyth’s and the Joneses. The cause of this war was largely lost in the mists of time, but each side was prepared to fight to the death rather than having a Smyth or a Jones walking their streets.

 

Up in the hills, Commander Ambrosius, a tall spare man dressed all in grey had his binoculars to his eyes. Leader of the Righteous Smyth Forces for the last fifty years, he observed a sea of white canvassed tents spread across the valley floor below him; the massed might of the Jones Federation. Lowering his binoculars he turned to the waiting officer, his second-in-command Colonel Rogers.

 

"Is the secret weapon ready?" He asked.

 

"Yes Sir. We are prepared to release it on your command."

 

"You have it. Within the day, the Jones Federation will be no more." He said this with no expression or excitement showing on his face or within his voice.

 

Colonel Rogers raised his arm above his head and with a quick slashing motion lowered it. A solitary wagon which had been standing well away from the main force moved towards the waiting tents of the Joneses. It was driven by a single man.

 

“May God go with him,” Rogers heard the Commander whisper under his breath.

 

On the wagons large flat tray was a six-foot tall cube, which had been carefully secured. Halfway to the now stirring enemy encampment, the driver pulled the horses to a standstill and applied the brake. Stepping down, his job now done, he staggered, swayed and stumbled back towards the safety of the line. He was given a wide berth by his own men as he tripped and collapsed upon the ground writhing. Meanwhile, a skirmish party from the Joneses side approached the wagon and surrounded it. One brave soul mounted the tray and placed his ear against the cube. He reared back with a shocked expression on his face. There was something alive within! He gathered up the reins and urged the horses’ at a gallop back towards his own army.

 

Ambrosius who had been carefully watching, turned to Colonel Rogers.

 

“Prepare the men. In five hours we march. If the secret weapon works, there will not be a single shot fired and this war will be at an end. ”

 

For the first hour, all was silent from the valley floor.

For the second hour, still nothing.

The third hour arrived. Strange noises and rumblings could be heard.

During the fourth hour, pandemonium reigned within the enemy camp. The noises that were wending their way up the hills were horrifying and bone chilling for the waiting force. Soldiers looked at one and other and shivered.

The fifth hour, the silence had returned. It was just as intimidating.

The Smyth’s lead by Ambrosius and his officers began the descent to the valley floor. They stopped just outside the Joneses camp. Commander Ambrosius turned to the Colonel and nodded. Rogers knew what he had to do. It was he who had conceived the plan and it was up to him to make sure that the weapon was rendered safe. He dismounted. Slowly and warily he moved through the fortifications.

 

Scenes of devastation surrounded him as he made his way through the stricken camp. Tents had collapsed. Smoke was roiling from the shoes of some and it looked like bunks had been short sheeted. The mess tent lived up to its name. A food fight of epic proportions had taken place there. All around were the bodies. Rogers had never seen so many men laid low. All were breathing, but unconscious. Their mouths twisted in a strange rictus. Moving to the center of the camp, Rogers quickly found the tent Of Commander Ambrosius’ opposite number, Lord Jones. He was slumped upright in a chair. The remains of some sort of berry pie congealing in his hair; the rest dribbling down the front of his shirt. His staff lay sprawled around him. The majority looked as if someone had tried to rip their underwear over their heads; while they were still wearing it. Every man was unconscious with that grotesque mark upon their face. Strapped tightly to another chair in the midst of this devastation, was the secret weapon.

 

Rogers had been there when the secret weapon had crash landed on Westminster only a month before. The creature had stumbled from its burning ship, just before it exploded. It was humanoid in shape, but that’s where similarities ended. Its skin was whiter than white. Large growths of undulating purple tendrils grew grotesquely outward from the side of its head. A large red, almost glowing proboscis was centered in the middle of its face. Either side of this were two huge shining red eyes the size of dinner plates. Its lips stretched from one side of its face to the other, almost like a hinge. Within its mouth were many sharp teeth which ground together, setting up a eerie high pitched drone. Ears, hands and feet were elephantine in proportion. A garish greenish blue space suit encompassed it. Some brave men went forward to administer aid and that was when the creature’s special weapon became apparent.

 

They were hesitant as they approached, but then a wild recklessness over took them. The corners of their mouths turned up of their own accord and a loud braying sound issued forth from the throats of each of the men. They lost control of their balance. Men were slipping and sliding as if on an oiled surface. Falling, getting up and falling again. Spastic movements of their hands as they turned on each other and tried to poke each other in the eyes with their fingers shaped in a ’V’. Their comrades who went to aid them were also afflicted. Thankfully, all recovered within the day and could no longer be re-infected, but their moral stability was gone. The tight rein that the people of Westminster had on their emotions had burst like a dam. Their actions were no longer predictable. This weapon was insidious. It could only be used once and it must only be against the enemy.

 

Rogers faced the creature; its contagion already starting to affect him. The corners of his mouth strained upward. Drawing his sidearm, he raised his shaking arm till the creature was in his sights.

 

“Not just any clown is going to rule my planet,” he said and pulled the trigger.


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