Here is another of my tales on the menu of More Tales from the Blue Gonk Café—a collection of 170 flash fiction stories told throughout a story telling day at the café. Stories range from science fiction through gentle humor to outright horror. This sample is from the Lunch Menu.
Hunt and Gather
The great ships arrived in silence, overshadowing Earth’s cities. Superpower arsenals held tentatively at hair-trigger Defcon levels.
President Jameson paced the bunker. He would resist. But dammit, the technology was beyond his best.
“They’ve usurped the power grids, sir.”
Jameson spun. “Blackout?”
The general shook his head. “They’ve assumed remote control.”
“Get the geek team on it.”
The general frowned. “This isn’t a job for your hacker kids.”
Jameson glared. The old fart would force a fight before trusting caffeine-and-sugar powered genius. But Jameson knew those tenacious “kids” outclassed every agency in surveillance and intelligence. On this point, however, the general was right. Jameson nodded. “Get backups ready, just in case.”
A flash transitioned Jameson to a spacious conference room. World leaders stood gawking. A gentleman of no particular nationality gestured to the polished table. “Please, sit.” His multi-lingual speech resonated. A younger, chagrined man stood beside him.
The statespersons complied reluctantly.
“You have some way of showing it,” Jameson protested.
“We visited before. We’re here to fix a problem.” He glanced accusingly toward the youngster.
Jameson listened. The young man had been a missionary around 50,000 B.C. He’d taught humans some basics leading them from hunter-gatherer life to modern civilization. He wasn’t authorized, and the consequences, according to Galactic Central, were dire.
Jameson shrugged. “So teach us more.”
“You’re too dangerous. You’re not evolved for civilization, where your basest features amplify—greed, ambition, cruelty. You suffer stress and insecurity. Your legends of falling from grace are rooted in your species’ desire to return. We’re here to help.”
“You’re reintroducing us to the wild?”
“We’re returning you to Eden, and we’d like your help.”
The plan was simple—global re-education and smooth transition to paradise.
“We’re too numerous. Earth can’t sustain billions of hunter gatherers.”
“We’ll duplicate Earth a thousand fold to preserve balance.”
“Your technology’s impressive.”
He nodded. “It suits our evolved state.”
In two short years, the plan approached completion. Jameson met the Overseer on his flagship. “We’re ready for the final step.”
“Wonderful. Thank you, my friend.”
“One thing. Just curiosity… as a favor before…”
“Your technology… what’s its basis?”
The Overseer smiled indulgently. “We use 7-dimensional muon transfer protocols. Quite beyond anything you’ve learned.”
Jameson touched his ear. “You get that?”
“What are you—”
The flagship’s lights flickered. Alarms sounded. A sliding door opened and Jameson stepped into the corridor.
Sentries approached, but were blocked by a force field. Jameson entered the bridge. The missionary gaped at him. Chaos reigned. Navigators fought flashing, non-responsive controls. Officers shouted useless commands.
“Remain calm.” Jameson passed his hand over a console. Four gleefully proud teenagers appeared on the screen. “Are we good?”
A round-faced boy nodded. “That was all we needed. You have full control.”
Jameson glanced at the terrified missionary. “You think your last visit was a mistake.” He turned to his geek team. “Come on board. Let’s go hunt and gather.”
Copyright (c) 2016, J. C. Conway