I have this space operaish idea and this piece of fiction is set on the ship Nausica. Hope you enjoy it;
Flash Fiction Friday #3
© 2012 Necia Phoenix
“Catch it!” Amber screamed. She and Jake dove after the flash of bright green and pink that vanished behind the boxes in the hold. They moved boxes and bags, trying to be careful but not lose sight of the rare and expensive snake.
“Where’d it go?” Jake demanded after they’d cleared the corner. They stared at each other in horror. It was gone.
Amber looked around, heart pounding. “It’s got to be in here, somewhere.” Linz, the captain of the ship, was going to kill her. Slaughter her. No live cargo. That was the rule. And Amber broke the rule. For a snake. Linz hated snakes. Not even an exotic, bio-engineered snake that glowed under a black light would be allowed.
“She’s going to kill me.” Amber whispered.
“Lets not jump too conclusions. Lynz isn’t that bad.”
“Bullshit.” Amber whispered.
“Think. The doors are closed, we put the mesh over the vents, where else could it have gone?” Jake appeared to be about as panicked as she felt.
They’d rearranged the cargo hold in a panic, looking for the creature when they realized it got loose.
“We have to find it.” Amber whispered.
“I know.” Jake pulled a flat com unit and slid his finger across the screen. Lights flickered and he lifted it up, turning in a slow circle. “Huh.”
“No heat signature.”
“Check the crates, make sure it didn’t get into one, and..”
“Are you looking for something?” A deep voice asked. Amber cringed, glancing over her shoulder. Second in Command, Gabriel, stood just inside the door.
“Shit, get out of the doorway, let the doors close before it gets loose!” Even as Amber spoke, she saw the flash of green slide between Gabriel’s feet, out the hold door, and into the hallway beyond. Jake was moving all ready, swearing as he went.
“There it goes!”
“What the hell was that?” Gabriel eyed Amber.
“Gabe, my project,” she faltered. “We have to catch it before Linz does.” She pushed past him. Jake was halfway to the control room. He stopped at the doorway, looking back at Amber.
“Linz is downside for another hour.” Gabe leaned the wall, arms crossed. “If you find it before she gets back, I might not mention this in my report.”
Jake jabbed the control panel, sliding through the doorway before the door finished opening.
“You gonna help us look?” Amber asked Gabe.
He grinned at her. “Nope. It’s your project.”
“Jerk.” She muttered, and followed Jake inside.
“He’s an ass.” Jake whispered. They crouched, looking under the large command desk and sidebar table.
“”As long as he doesn’t tell Lynz, I don’t care. Where the hell did it go?”
Jake pulled the scanner again and searched. “Not here. Vents. Crap. Two uncovered vents here,” he pointed. “And here.”
“It could be anywhere in the ship.” Amber slowly stood, defeated.
Jake gritted his teeth and left the room. Amber followed him. What the hell was she going to do? She’d spent a pretty penny for that snake. Almost two whole paychecks. If Lynz found it…
“Can the computers do a full scan of the ship for heat sigs?” Jake asked Gabe.
“It can, but there might not be enough time to make the adjustments.” Gabe was already moving towards the bridge. Amber had to half run to keep up with him. Leigh and Kurt were both on duty when they entered the bridge.
“Kurt I need you to do a full heat signatures scan of the ship. Amber’s project got loose.” Gabe said going over to his station.
“What kind of project?”
“Just do the scan Kurt.” Amber said. Kurt shot her a disgusted look, but his hands flew over the controls. On the small viewing panel next to him, the schematics of the ship flashed by, level by level, with the heat sigs of the crew in bright reddish orange. On the last one, the officers quarters, a pale white mark pulsed.
“That’s the captain’s quarters.” Kurt looked up at Gabe “What is that?”
“Even more, Captain’s signal is coming through.” Leigh announced, tone amused.
Gabe nodded towards the view-screen. It flared to life, Linz’s face dominated the room.
“Gabe, I need you station-side.” Linz said. Amber caught sight of two men behind her, heads together and talking.
“Guy named George says he knew mom.” Lynz glanced over her shoulder. “I need an assessment of these guys.”
Gabe nodded. “I’ll be there shortly.”
“Be ready to ship off when we get back. I have a feeling things may get a bit exciting.”
The screen went black, and Amber took off. She rushed out the door, down the steps and hall to the officer’s quarters. Her hands trembled as she worked the access code. She was maintenance, had the clearance. The door slid open and she crept into Linz’s tidy room. Larger than the standard rooms, the Captain’s quarters came equipped with a bathing chamber and observation window over the bed; sheer luxury. And curled up on Linz’s large, fancy pillows was the snake.
Amber hurried over to the creature. It’s got to be a girl. She likes luxury. Amber thought as she picked the snake up, whispering to her. She didn’t try to slither away as Amber carried her to the door. Gabe stepped into the doorway with crossed arms, and a scowl.
“Captain ain’t back yet.” She said, trying her best little girl voice.
“You’ll have half an hour to get that thing in your quarters, and get the holds fixed and ready to go.”
“Consider it done.” Jake said, patting the taller man as he dashed down the hall.
“Gabe,” Amber hesitated.
“Make sure it can’t escape, again. Understood?” He didn’t wait for an answer, he, turned and left.
Amber slipped from the captain’s quarters, secured the door and regarded her pet with a smile. “So now, back to what we were discussing, what am I going to name you?”
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Have a great weekend folks!!