Traversal: Message in a Bottle

Avatar Author: Jim Stitzel I dabble a little in a lot of things -- writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I'm a full-time code-wrangler and a part-time farmer with 40 acres, a lot of animals, and far, far too much to do. Read Bio

The silence afterward was nearly as deafening as the onslaught before it. Harking gave his crew a ten-count to check their stations. He was about to demand an update when all ship functions momentarily died and came back to life. He heard muttered curses by his officers as stations rebooted.

“Sir!” the comm officer called. “We’re being hailed!” Harking heard the surprise in his voice — and the relief. He sympathized.

“Acknowledge, and patch it through,” Harking replied.

Before Comm could comply, a voice, bearing the unmistakably synthetic sound of universal translation, reverberated throughout the ship.

“HUMAN VESSEL, BE ADVISED THAT THE SPACE BEYOND THIS JUMP POINT IS UNSAFE. THE SPECIES YOU KNOW AS THE ABATTOIR HAVE BLOCKADED ALL EXITS FROM THIS SUBSPACE ROUTE. YOU MUST USE ANOTHER JUMP POINT.”

Harking swore. The Abattoir. Slaughterers and consumers of flesh. Their presence, so bold in number, held terrible implications. Falling into their bloody hands was death, certain as slitting their own throats.

View this story's details

Comments (2 so far!)

Average Reader Rating

  1. Avatar Pyropunk 51 (PPP LoA)

    nice twist. love the Abattoir!

  2. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    Thanks! There’s a bit of a Firefly influence in there. :)

Inspired by

“There are only two other factions with the technology to plant an array this far out.” Harking mused. “Who do you think, s...

Traversal: Hail by Pyropunk 51 (PPP LoA)

This story's tags are