Filugori

short stories collection - a compilation of my short stories.

Summary

The pair looked out across the gorgeous vista, the golden plans below waiting to be harvested, the mountains in the distance yearning to be explored, the hidden structures and stories aching to be discovered. The sky was auburn green; owing to the transition between ecosystems as the planet was terraformed. The suits were itchy, their bright white exterior blinding those foolish enough to stare at them. They reminded him of the astronaut suits they used to see from the late 20th century photos.

Possibly the best short, it focuses on the attack by an unknown entity on an alien city. The fear, anticipation and rapidly switching perspective were an experiment in a new style for me. I think it paid off.

The pair looked out across the gorgeous vista, the golden plans below waiting to be harvested, the mountains in the distance yearning to be explored, the hidden structures and stories aching to be discovered. The sky was auburn green; owing to the transition between ecosystems as the planet was terraformed. The suits were itchy, their bright white exterior blinding those foolish enough to stare at them. They reminded him of the astronaut suits they used to see from the late 20th century photos. But these lacked oxygen tanks and much of the other waste that was employed then. The leaves rustled in the background, and one of them looked around, is it time for the artificial wind to start blowing? The pair walked down the slope, cutting down anything that hampered their progress. The golden fields were not barren, around them stretched miles of city, teeming with life, the slight haze a result of constant construction, not any sort of pollution due to factories. The twin suns scorched the scene, bathing the city in a surreal glow; everything had a slight radiance to it, as if partially lit from the inside. The towers themselves were beautiful, gleaming and reaching toward the sky, several almost hit the top of the dome that protected this swath of land from the harsh elements outside. The breeze continued to blow and an unusual rustle was heard to the man’s left. They both looked at each other then surveyed the scene around them, nothing seemed out of place and their sensors did not detect anything unusual. Shrugging their shoulders, they moved at a quicker pace down the mountain.

The worker looked around him, being atop such a tall structure with minimal supports didn’t bother him, but he noticed some vegetation move in the distance. Hmm, so their here. He looked below him; workers hustled about the construction site, jumping between steel beams, welding parts together and lifting up more materials, it was a cobweb of activity. The city below sparkled and teemed with activity, but the city was unusual in that everything was coated in primary or secondary colours and a pure white. It made for a sleek aesthetic, but one that also screamed of something wrong. The people went about their lives, but the scene was oddly quite for such a populate city, the governor having installed noise absorption modules throughout the city and on the walls of buildings to reduce what he claimed was ‘harmful noise’. The worker hated it here, the last terraforming city he had worked at was bustling with life, the smells of the bazaar wafted from below and the sound of a million voices filling the air, it gave him energy and reminded him that he was alive. Alas, it was not so here, and he sighed and started to climb down a nearby ladder.

Commander looked down upon the new world, another potential forward base in his war against Enemy 125-5-798. The existence of so many enemies and foreign races over the decades had caused humanity to label them by the coordinates at which they were first encountered or where their known home world was. Commander considered this to be one of the better planets, Filugori was perfect in every way. It had been discovered naught 50 years prior by a daring entrepreneur, now deceased, who happened to be exploring this region and came across this beauty. A large portion of its atmosphere was already composed of oxygen, so that allow it to be terraformed much quicker, but it also meant that there were other life forms already present, with all the problems that created, both biological and legal. The Interplanetary Cooperation of Species organization had been a hamper to planetary development for ages, they continually lobbied the governing bodies in the different regions to enact legislation to protect the obsolete species of new planets. Commander walked to the terminal and ordered the drop ships to commence landing. Commander looked back at Filugori, but, he thought, there was always something unusual about that place.

The pair continued their trek, the city never seeming to get closer and the vegetation seemingly getting thicker as they moved farther down the mountain. Again they heard rustling to their side but ignored it. As they neared the first fence, one took out a small device and placed it on the fence. Zzzzt, a few sparks flew and the other went to cut the fence with a small laser. The sky turned dark and the pitter patter of rain could be heard in the distance, rapidly closing. The two suddenly looked at each other with horrified faces and rushed their movements. Breaking through the remainder of the fence, they rushed toward the nearest building and kicked the door open, entering and quickly closing the door behind them, a shriek could be heard in the distance, and their blood froze. Running up the nearby stairs, they quickly moved the furniture in the rooms to block the stairs and one took out a few devices and turned them on, tossing them on the makeshift barricade. They knocked over a pair of tables and pushed them up against the entrance to a room, then jumped over them and hide behind them, waiting. The shriek grew louder.

As he descended, the worker noticed dark clouds building off in the distance. Hmmm, how bizarre. But he thought no more of it. As he walked along the steel beams, he noticed another worker stared at the clouds and suddenly grabbed his head with both hands and sunk to his knees, whispering something. The worker started to walk over to him, but he got up quickly, looking around nervously, and then walked at a rapid pace toward the ladder nearby. Strange. The worker got on the ladder and started to climb down as well, looking as a bright blue cop car screeched through the stark white section of town. Something is slightly off about this place, but just can’t put my finger on what. The other workers were all rushing down their respective ladders, several looked quizzically at him and his slow pace, others had a crazed look about them. I should inquire as to the cause of this…behavior.

Commander knew what was coming, he knew what had to be done, he knew that he had sent those people to die. Filugori….He turned around and looked at the screen next to him, several messages from that pesky organization, saying they had warned him what would happen. But I didn’t even colonize this place; it was around before I was born. He looked back at the planet and noticed that dreadful storm cloud brewing near one of the cities. So it comes again…

Few things scared this pair; they had been through the depths of the Azori Asteriods, the hell of the Ni Black Hole, the soul-shattering Tigi cloud. But this, this was different. In all those cases, they were in the relative safety of their ship, with the knowledge that should they perish, people would be informed. This, well, they would be MIA forever. Their ship could not transmit, for reasons unknown, and the city they were going to, well, something looked off about it, and maybe this was why. The building they occupied was a vibrant red; everything from the tables to the sinks to the ceiling was painted in the same primary colour. Suddenly the door hit the wall opposite of the entrance and dripping could be heard. The two looked at each other and pulled out their tools. A noise was heard from behind them, but neither had the courage to turn around and check, each felt his heart stop and time started to dilate. Dripping was heard behind them, and a tear rolled down one’s eye. So, after all we’ve done…

The worker swore he heard a scream, one that was inflicted with such fear and horror that he thought it a figment of his imagination. People continued to rush toward their transportation units, many looked horrified when they discovered that they had been disconnected from the network and, hence, unable to operate their units. The worker looked for a terminal and found one. Going to the news section, he found that there was only one article, “IT FEEDS OFF OF FEAR! DON’T BE AFRAID! BE HAPPY!” it read. The worker looked around and a feeling of dread came over him. The pay was too good, I should have asked why. He rushed toward his vehicle and pushed the button, but it would not start. The cloud had reached the city by that time and the sky started to grow dark, the pitter patter could be heard in the distance, but it was unnaturally subdued. And then he remembered the noise devices and his blood curled. That’s sick, just sick. Then suddenly he heard a drip behind him and his mind raced. Just stay calm. A yelp was heard naught a couple meters away. A tear rolled down the workers eye. Oh God.

Commander knew. Commander had ordered it all. But it would remain only him that knew. The cloud spread over the entire city, engulfing it. It would soon be painted red, the interiors, the exteriors, all of it. But Commander didn’t like the colour red, it gave him an uneasy feeling, especially when it wasn’t primary, those shades of crimson irritate me so. So Commander told his nav to set coordinates for Liliugori. This experiment has run its course. This new…thing…I wish I had the heart to unleash it…but…a chill went down his spine…something isn’t right about it, this place. Things just don’t seem to add up…

-biafra
bahanonu [at] alum.mit.edu

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©2006-2017 | biafra ahanonu | updated 12 december 2017
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