What We Found on the Way to Alpha Centauri:

A Miniature Novel

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Wyld FLASH – December 4th 2020

By David Rogers

Chapter One

Our ship met four others, one at a time. The first ship held many Centaurians, as we called them, not knowing what they called themselves. Their trajectory pointed straight back to the Centauri System. They looked a lot like us but were shorter on average by half a meter and had two opposable thumbs on each hand and were all brown-haired. And all dead. Our engineers said their nuclear reactors leaked tremendous quantities of radiation. Our navigators said they were headed straight for Earth.

Chapter Two

The second ship was a lot like the first except the reactors were fine, but our astrobiologists said a fungus had apparently killed every plant on board. Without plants, their ship’s ecosystem decayed faster than an Altairian eagle swoops down on a pygmy marmoset. Which, believe me, is pretty fast. These Centaurians were also headed for Earth and all dead.

Chapter Three

The third ship had apparently fallen victim to its own little civil war. One big coffin headed for the Solar System.

Chapter Four

The fourth Centaurian ship was totally automated. It broadcast a message over and over. Our linguists have translated most of the words: Earth ship, turn back, or the [unknown] will [unknown] you. We hope the blanks are filled in before we get to the Centauri system.

The END

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Author Bio: David Rogers’ work has appeared in various places, including Star*Line. magazine. His latest work is Roots of the Dark Tower: The Long Quest and Many Lives of Roland, available from Amazon.

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