Hello Internet! Welcome to Monday Spark! As you know, I’ve had other authors participate in Flash Fiction Friday, but why let them have all the fun? Every Monday I pick my own prompts and run with it. What can you expect today? An intergalactic love story from beyond the stars we ever knew.
By Lex Chase
Prompt: While on a flight, two men strike up a conversation, one of them reveals to the other they are on a religious pilgrimage.
“Fuck!” Ashir hissed, slamming his fist to the hexite window. His claws threatened to shred Edania’s welcoming glow right off the mother planet’s surface.
The planet looked so much like Anareta, Ashir thought. The vast turquoise oceans, the lush verdant land, the Tol called it Edania. The anara of the faith called it Eden. It was said the Mother Goddess was born on these rocky shores in salutation to the rising Father Sun.
Ashir didn’t believe in things like Edania or Eden; Mother Goddesses or Sun Fathers. He didn’t believe in the Tol chants, crystals, and hexes. He couldn’t see the point in the act of devoting his soul to an unseen force that would supposedly supply for all of his needs. It sounded like suffering. Why would anyone willingly give up their lives to something as insubstantial as faith? Life and livelihood could not be sustained on prayers alone. It was just not economically and physically possible.
He believed in the concrete, the constant, and the now. He believed with every fiber of his being that splicing one perfectly measured genome from a willing subject with his own DNA would result in his own godhood.
In these days, gods were built, not divinely inspired.
It wasn’t faith that mattered, but breeding. Ashir’s genetic structure gave him more status and privilege that a lesser spliced could ever hope to attain. Captain Ashir of the feared D’jallon wanted more, though. Enough was never enough. Why settle for a level 9.5 gene rank when he could be a level 10? That’s what it had always been about, even when he was a sickly boy struggling to survive in the Kalik colony. He had promised himself he’d never be sick again, he’d never grow old, and he’d never die. That he would alter and mold himself into a perfectly undefeatable god. That he would be a Perfect 10.
His long thick tail, a product of his own forced evolution, twitched in irritation. He anxiously watched Edania lazily spin, and night descend on the eastern hemisphere. He could swear the planet laughed at him.
He had lost ten years of his life trekking to the fucking thing. His ship had been held hostage for the sake of a pilgrimage of one passenger. Just one. Tol prophet-to-be Zan’eh’tel Kon’tah’nak was ever the annoying plucky and perky passenger to grace his ship.
Ashir had gleefully charged him an exorbitant sixty dollen for the arduous ten year journey across the outer reaches. Was it worth it in the end? Quick mental math affirmed him: expenditure versus profit left him very wealthy indeed.
He ticked off the key expenses. Room and board? Check. Nourishment? Check. Maintenance. Check. One broken heart…
He frowned darkly, his claw-tipped fingers fanning over his breastbone. He nodded once. Check.
There are some things that not even gene splicing can make whole.
It was worth it in the end. If he reminded himself with the promise of his own planet and his own government, the ends would outweigh the means.
“Lana,” Ashir called out into the open air of his cabin.
A hologram projection fizzled into being from a port in the corner of the room. A little anara girl with dark spiraling curlicues clad in a happy yellow sundress twirled and shimmered on the round glowing holo-pad.
“Yes, Daddy?” she asked.
“Locate Zan,” he commanded. “We have reached our final destination and he should prepare to disembark.”
Over Ashir’s shoulder, Lana whimpered. He gritted his teeth in irritation.
“Zan’s leaving…?” she asked with hesitation.
“Lanalee….” Ashir muttered.
“Zan can’t go!” she wailed clearly distraught. “Zan won’t go! I’ll lockdown! I’ll do it!”
“Lanalee D’jallon!” Ashir scolded and spun on his heel to face his ethereal ship-child. “I am your captain and your guardian. You will obey me!”
Lana burst into pixelated tears, and the warm organic metal of the ship shuddered roughly left. Ashir fought to keep his balance.
“I don’t want him to go!” she screeched. “He’s my friend!”
“Lana! Listen to me!” Ashir barked. Then he took a breath to calm himself, his angry expression faded into a stoic calm. “As your guardian, I know what’s best for you. Zan is merely a passenger. He is not like us. He is different. He can be dangerous.”
Lana sniffed, and the ship heaved a sigh of cold climate control. “But who will teach me history?”
“I…I will…?” Ashir stammered as Lana’s question befuddled him.
“Really? And I can play with the kythers?” she asked, wiping her eyes.
Ashir smiled as calm had returned to his ship-child. “We’ll talk about it. Last time you played with a pod of kythers we were quadrants off course. Now, be good and find Zan for me.”
Lana nodded mutely, and her image dissolved into glittering puffs of pixels, leaving Ashir alone in his confused contemplations.
Zan? The Tol priest? Teaching Ashir’s ship history? How could Lanalee, a living colossus of a ship with the mind of a seven-year-old, understand that the anara evolved from primates? As a ship was the size of a small moon, Lana didn’t have the context.
He had other matters to consider, and his rounds needed his attention. Ashir put his anxiety aside, and Lana’s misgivings, to carry out his morning duties.
Edania winked maliciously at him from every broad window he passed.
Zan was leaving.
Copyright © Lex Chase 2015. All Rights Reserved.