View Full Version : A Sort of Sci-Fi Thing (800 words)

May 2nd, 2014, 05:48 AM
So I've never written anything sci-fi before, but for the sake of exercise I wrote a short thing that I think may possibly have the option of maybe being considered to be what's sometimes referred to generally as a thing often called "flash fiction." Maybe. I think. *shrugs*


The sound of the buzzer shook the arena air.

“And that’ll do it folks!” the announcer’s gusto-filled voice rang through the speakers. “Rotogun has been annihilated and everyone’s favorite gladiator will be moving unscathed into the third and final round of this week’s tournament. Stay tuned, you don’t want to miss this!”

Lane stood in front of a crackling heap of metal and electronics. Not the craftiest robot he had ever faced, but he had made it a bit dramatic anyways; the audience, after all, paid for his meals.

He knelt and picked up a large mechanical hand from the red dirt of the arena floor. The cannon was still mostly intact, possibly salvageable. He shook it clean as he turned and headed for the door of his pod. Passing by jagged red and black boulders, he looked up. The cheers of the audience had died down, but in their shielded stadium seating set against the darkness of star-filled space, their excited chatter still hummed in the air. Here and there cameras hovered about, broadcasting the event to the various solar systems of B-Sector. Lane shook his head. The lift doors slid open as he approached. He stepped in.


Morin drummed his fingertips together in excitement. He could hear the lift descending. After a few moments the doors opened and out stepped a fully armored figure.

“Superb!” said Morin. “In record time. Even with your, uh… unique tactics.”

Lane grunted and handed him the hand.

“Ah, so you did get it. What luck!”

Lane took off his helmet. “I’d hardly call it luck, Morin.”

Morin chuckled. “Yes, yes. Of course. I’ll see what I can do with it for next week.”

They walked over to the chair where Lane sat down. Morin set the hand aside and offered Lane a bottle of Kov Water. The gladiator accepted it with thanks. Morin flipped the chair on to charge the suit of armor. It wasn’t at all necessary after so short a bout, but better to be safe than sorry.

Lane took a few gulps then sat back and relaxed. He looked troubled.

“Is something the matter?” asked Morin.

Lane took his time in answering, his eyes wandering off into nowhere in particular. “Does all this bother you?” he finally said.

“What do you mean?” said Morin.

“Killing these robots.”

Ah, so that was it. Morin nodded slowly. “I see,” he said. “’Killing?’ It seems their emotional programming has gotten to you. It’s purely for show. They only do what they’re hard-wired to do.”

Lane sipped his drink. “I don’t like it,” he said.

Morin sighed. “I can’t say I care for it either. Somehow, though, I doubt it would do much good to march into Doss' office and demand that he alter his weaponry for applied mercy, simply because ‘we don’t like it.’ I can’t imagine we’d be here much longer—that is if he stopped laughing long enough to throw us out.”

Lane gave a small smile, but he still looked bothered.

“They aren’t conscious, remember,” Morin added.

Lane was silent for another moment. “Have you ever heard of Kren the Nightmare?” he asked.

“He was a gladiator runner, wasn’t he?” said Morin. “I can’t say I know too much about him.”

“A big-time runner,” said Lane. “Like Doss. Always pushing the boundaries.

“Well twenty years ago he decided to really push them. There used to be a small fringe planet in Ledia populated by a people known as the Ohiri. Kren set two satellite fields into orbit there. Once activated, the one caused the entire population to fall into a deep, unbreakable sleep. The other was used to input commands. He turned the entire planet into a gladiator ring and broadcast it system-wide. He would often take infants—infants, Morin—and scatter them about raging battlefields just to heighten viewer suspense.

“The Galactic Troopers eventually got ahold of him, but not before he managed to incinerate the planet whole in what he called his “Grand Finale”—though the Ohiri people had nearly exterminated themselves by then. But they had no idea. Not one of them ever felt a thing.”

Morin frowned.

“Can you tell me something, Morin?” Lane asked.

“Of course.”

Lane reached over and took the hand from the table, turning it over in his own. “What is the difference,” he said, “between Rotogun and the unconscious Ohiri people?”

Morin opened his mouth, but found he had nothing to say. He shut it again. From above came the faint droning of the crowd. The chair hummed steadily. Neither moved.

The buzzer went off and the green lights on the ceiling lit up. Lane sighed and stood. He handed the robotic appendage to Morin and walked over to the lift doors. He put on his helmet. The lift opened and he stepped in.

“Be back soon,” he said as the metal doors enclosed him.

May 2nd, 2014, 07:02 AM
I like it, very entertaining. We need more sci-fi over here.

May 4th, 2014, 11:15 PM
This is a very good example of science fiction. The world could definitely use more stuff like this.

May 7th, 2014, 05:58 PM
Thanks for reading guys. I'll be honest, I'm not sure I've ever even read any sci-fi. I grew up on fantasy and as of late have wanted to pick up some sci-fi, but have had my time occupied by other things. Ah well... I'll get around to it at some point.

May 7th, 2014, 09:34 PM
So I've never written anything sci-fi before, but for the sake of exercise I wrote a short thing that I think may possibly have the option of maybe being considered to be what's sometimes referred to generally as a thing often called "flash fiction." Maybe. I think. *shrugs*

I liked the piece. It revisited the time-honored subject of AI in Science Fiction with a slightly skewed, fresh viewpoint. I think your limited background in SF is actually an asset in this case

May 7th, 2014, 10:11 PM
I like it, give me more!!

May 8th, 2014, 08:57 PM
I really like the style you use with your dialogue. It makes this short very character driven and lends to a lot of description without you trying to delve into lengthy description that can make a reader fall asleep. Well done. It sounds like you have a nack for Sci-Fi.

May 17th, 2014, 04:56 PM
Very entertaining...we need more

May 21st, 2014, 01:39 AM
More please.
I felt like your character was Rick Deckard meets The Thing. (Rick Deckard was in a book call Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep he too struggled with if its right to kill a robot. The Thing IDK why your character seems tough and gruff)