Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
I served under Captain Zebulon “Zeb” High-Hass, commander of USS Sandler & Young, a Constitution-class starship burdened with the task of maintaining the ongoing truce with The Romulans. Captain High-Hass was an especially skilled diplomat – even-tempered, able to see an honorable and peaceful resolution to any conflict. The vessel was known for its theme restaurants and reasonable gym membership.
Teleportation felt exactly like you’d think it would.
You’d stand in the transporter room. You’d hear that ‘ping,’ followed by the swirling wash of sound. Instantly, it was like your arms and legs were asleep… and you were being sprayed with ice-cold mist. The first time, you would actually think someone was dimming the lights in the room. When they came back up, you were on the surface of another planet. A few hours later, you‘d have a slight headache.
When we beamed down to Planet X, that evening, we brought along a muffin basket and some tickets for the revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie. We were anticipating a standard meet and greet with the Romulan alderman.
That’s not what we got.
Snoon, the Romulan diplomat, scuttled around city hall, his shinbones having been disintegrated by a radioactive blast. Romulan obscenity filled damp atmosphere in the medieval-looking structure.
“Mr. Twinkacetti,” Zeb turned towards me, “Get me a reading!”
“Tricorder indicates that atmosphere is breathable, but overwhelmed by the stench of burnt flesh,” I reported.
“Snoon! What is happening?” High-Hass demanded.
Snoon angrily clawed his way towards us, leaving little scratches and grooves in the ornamental carpet.
“Your crazy fucking old man came down here and shot up the place! That’s exactly what happened!” Snoon growled.
Captain High-Hass closed his eyes and exhaled deeply.
Mannix High-Hass, Zebulon’s father, had, years ago, been the leading Romulan hunter in the Federation. When the truce was declared, Mannix found himself without a job. He retired and began spending a whole lot of time hanging around the USS Sandler & Young. He was fond of telling ethnic jokes and honking women on the ass. Newly-available Romulan ale meant that an overserved Mannix would hijack the starship’s intercom system and demonstrate his extended ‘photon torpedo’ impersonation.
Lately, he’d been spending a lot of time in the transporter room.
“Your fucking old man killed the ambassador from Janus VI,” Snoon spat!
“Oh fucky fuck,” muttered Zeb.
Snoon angrily pointed at the deceased dignitary, who resembled a smouldering beanbag chair kitted out with a pair of imperial looking curly slippers.
Zeb grasped at straws.
“Maybe he didn’t know he was the ambassador? Maybe he thought it was an ordinary big rock?”
Snoon’s anger ricocheted behind his bloodshot eyes.
“An ordinary big rock wearing a ceremonial sash and ritual footwear?”
“Are you sure it was him?” asked Zeb.
“Who? Your dad?”
“Well, nobody started dying until he showed up…”
Snoon’s head suddenly – alarmingly – discharged smoke from the ears. It shrank like a Styrofoam® cup tossed in a campfire.
“Got that fucker,” reverberated Mannix High-Hass from inside his ‘helmet,’ a stainless steel pot equipped with makeshift eyeholes. His antique ‘electrical burst’ pistol was still glowing hot.
Federation citizenry were forbidden to own weapons; Mannix High-Hass toted enough armaments to get a small town in trouble.
He was charging right towards us!
“Twinkacetti, set phasers to stun!” Captain High-Hass exclaimed, pointing towards his agitated father.
“Twinkacetti, blow my shaft!” Mannix High-Hass barked, pointing a crossbow in my direction.