A science fiction short story by Wendy Van Camp
“Bandit ship approaching.” Ship’s alarm sounds a warning. Sailors mind stations. Captain Alton Franks nods and grips his chair. Fifth attack this month. A captain had an obligation for his ship. No dying on his watch!
“Aim high off bandit bow. Only a warning shot.”
Midshipman Dustin Jacobs finds focus on bandit ship. Zap! Light zings through void. “Miss!”
“Good job, Midshipman.” What will occur now? Captain waits.
Lights flash on bandit ship. Rust. Black. Grassy. Black. It was a quiz for Captain Franks to work out.
“May I board?” Bandit sounds without warning on comm. It was a woman.
“Who asks?” Captain Franks said.
“I am Laura Quinn, Captain of this Martian Ship Lucidity. I wish to bargain with you.”
“You may board without arms.” Captain Franks nods to Midshipman Jacobs. Midshipman jaunts to airlock with gun on hip. Laura Quinn is brought to Captain’s public room. A sailor stands guard.
“Sit down,” bids Captain Franks, pointing to a chair. Bandit Quinn sits.
Standing, Captain Franks points a digit at bandit. “Fifth attack this month. Why? What do you want?”
Laura Quinn is nonvocal at first. “Sanctuary from Mars. For my bandits and I. I did no wrong, but carry disfavor.” Quinn said softly.
“Political affair?” Quinn nods. This shifts opinion for Captain Franks, known minor acts can bring about political disfavor on Mars. Pity stirs him.
“I proposition sanctuary onboard USS Goliath.” An alluring grin of Laura Quinn, upon his proclamation, stirs Alton Franks. A worthy mission than thought of at start of his tour.
Sanctuary is a flash fiction from a challenge in one of my science fiction writing groups back in 2016. We were to write a story without using the letter “e”. This is not as easy as you might think. The vowel appears in a great many words in the English language. I thought mine turned out pleasant enough for a micro-flash. I hope you will agree!
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