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by on September 12, 2013

This story was written for this week’s Trifecta prompt, which was to use the word “mask”:  “a protective covering for the face; (b)  gas mask; (c) a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation; (d) a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective material; (e) a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries.”

Roll film!

K’Pid would have loved to send someone else down to investigate the situation on the planet, but she couldn’t spare anyone. It wasn’t like she had a massive star cruiser where you couldn’t throw a tribble without hitting an ensign lolling about. Sadly, she had to go herself. She squirmed into the cramped spacesuit and adjusted her breathing mask. Sure, the planet looked civilized and inhabitable, but you never knew. K’pid was taking no chances.

Her transport had only the one shuttle, and it was as rickety as its parent ship, but nonetheless K’pid managed to pilot it down to a bumpy landing in a lonely grey field. She clambered out awkwardly and began setting up her atmo scanner. Just as it whirred to life, K’Pid heard a frightened gasp. She whirled about, laser pistol flying to her hand.

“You came from the sky,” whispered an awed alien, clinging to a nearby tree. He looked humanoid, as they often did. K’pid had never heard why humanoid aliens were so prevalent. Some complicated science-y reason she wouldn’t have understood anyway, most like.

“Yep, I did. Landed in my spaceship two minutes ago. There’s other life in the universe, fella. Lots of ‘em.”


“Oh, hey, atmo scanner just blipped. You’ve got a supervolcano eruption about to happen. Don’t worry; I’ll drop a cryo-bomb in there and clear that mess right up.”

“The volcano? Mountain of the great god Arklesneizure?”
“Yeah. Only it’s just a volcano. Rock and lava. No Arklewhatever.”

The alien made a gleep sort of noise. K’pid ignored it. She climbed back in her shuttle and tore off into the sky. She vaguely recalled that Fleet Command had issued a pamphlet about these sorts of things. K’Pid had tossed it down the refresher. She decided to ask her first officer about it when she regained the ship. Then she changed her mind and decided to forget the whole thing. She couldn’t have mucked things up too badly, right? Of course, right.


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  1. Had to chuckle at “The alien made a gleep sort of noise.” ;-)Liked the different take about aliens being friendly and trying to save us from natural calamities with their advanced technology:-)Well done!

    • Thanks! If there are aliens out there, I hope they’re the friendly kind and not the “Eat the Earthlings” kind. 😀

  2. I highly appreciate the tribble reference. You would not believe how many people don’t know what a tribble is! K’Pid acts exactly how Star Trek officers do, only without the obligatory moral debate. Great piece!

    • Thanks for the comment! I admit, I’ve been conflicted about the Prime Directive, especially in these sorts of scenarios. Picard usually gives a grand speech about how we can’t interfere with the planet’s evolution and all, but, their evolution is about to end! At that point they’d appreciate a bit of interference!

      • I completely agree! What I find most ironic is despite all the long speeches they normally just end up interfering after all.

  3. This is delightful! Thank you for linking up!

  4. Draug419 permalink

    Oh jeez, way to make a great first impression you stupid humanoid alien. Now we’ll be enslaved for sure haha

    • I’m not sure K’pid cares enough to enslave them. She just wants to deliver her cargo and go on her merry.

  5. Those swash-buckling heroes who never read the memos, mucking up planets from here to the andromeda strain!
    [sorry, not a sci-fi buff]
    But you do weave a hell of a tale!

    • Thanks! In the sci-fi stories I’ve read, the swashbucklers don’t often pause to consider the consequences of their buckling, really. Obviously they should.

  6. Hmm…did someone else recently watch Into Darkness? I just like that you took Jim’s devil-may-care attitude about the prime directive and literally tossed it in the garbage 😉

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