Day 28: Pirate Space Elevator

Author Jenna Eatough's Flash Fiction Story from Fyrecon's Fyretober Writing Prompt 2023-10-28

During October I am bringing you extra flash fiction or poetry in celebration of the season and inspired by Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Enjoy my twenty-eighth entry into Fyrecon’s Fyretober!

Fyrecon's Fyretober Daily Prompt List

1. New neighbors
2. It’s Alive
3. No Exit
4. Walk in the cemetery
5. Door in the wall
6. Mirror
7. Space visitors
8. The Monster Is
9. Anti-magic costumes
10. Skeleton’s battle cry
11. Djinn party
12. Space dwarves
13. Zombie fireball
14. Possessed guild house
15. Lorekeeper’s mask
16. Dragon sight
17. Alien scryers
18. Trick-or-Treating Shapeshifters
19. Disguised spellbook
20. Screaming trapdoor
21. Ghost weaponsmith
22. Jack-O’-Lantern avatars
23. Phoenix light sail
24. Sparkle castle
25. Graveyard pocket universe
26. Sentient wand
27. Haunted Skyhook
28. Pirate space elevator
29. Disguised terraforming
30. The Witches’ Laws
31. Precognizant cats

Bonus Fanged griffin

Governor Riddell loathed the overly melodic, toothsome music wafting through the town square before the Governor’s mansion and City Hall. Waving off his aides, he finished tugging on his jacket and fastening the last button as he hurried out to the square. In the center of the square where the gazebo once stood a long tube reached high into the sky. The music originated from the thing.

A regiment of the town’s guard fell in behind Riddell, spreading out about him as he halted before the elevator with his back straight and shoulders squared. Riddell raised his chin. Every wit the image of a competent governor ready to great dignitaries. He’d spent too many years filling the role to flee now.

Even if he wanted to be under his bed, hiding. He knew who would be descending the elevator. The reports from the other colonies had describe the thing perfectly.

He glanced at the numbers scrolling above the elevator quickly dropping ever lower. When they reached nine, they slowed dramatically. The governor glanced up and spotted the platform within the semi-transparent confines of the elevator.

A face pressed near the wall. Close enough to be mostly discernable, and the person peered over the edge at them and waved. A quick yoohoo twiddling of the fingers which seemed far to blythe for his nerves one. The person withdrew becoming one blur among many as the platform settled. The doors swooshed open.

“I am Governor Riddell–”

A man strode out and spread his arms wide. His voice boomed over Riddell’s. He must have had a speaker tucked into his long, fussy jacket. “Good people of Insert Planet Name Here–”. The man stopped, blinked, and glanced at one of his men. “Was that really supposed to say that?”

“We ran out of time to look up the place’s official name.” The man shrugged back at the leader. “Doesn’t really matter though, does it?”

“Good point!” He swung his arm in a jaunty agreement swirling back to Riddell. “Good people of wherever we are, we have come to relieve you of some of your unneeded–”

“Or otherwise!” a voice called helpfully. Riddell couldn’t tell who had spoken.

The leader nodded. “Items.” He waved his hand rolling his fingers. “Now if you’d be ever so kind as to cooperate, I’m sure we can come to an amicable agreement about what you’ll be parting ways with.”

Randall cleared his throat and stepped forward. “As I was saying, I am Governor Riddell, and we shall not be acquiescing.” He tucked one hand behind his back as he spoke, puffing out his chest a bit further. He kept tremors from seizing him by squeezing the hand tightly closed.

Holding up a finger, the leader sashayed forward. “Govy,” he said, “Is it alright if I call you Govy?” He waved his hand and continued before Riddell could respond. “I don’t think you quite comprehend how this is going to work.”

“I comprehend things quite well. You are here to rob us.” Riddell nodded his head once stiffly at the word rob, and the leader gassed, placing a hand to his chest.

“Rob you?” he said the words in a singsong voice. “No, that phrasing is just so negative. I prefer to call it… redistribution.”

“And why should I care what you choose to call it?” Riddell said, trying to keep his voice low with a deep and prestigious edge.

“Well, perhaps because I am Captain Bartholomew.” He pulled a hat off his head at that, a large, plumed affair, and swung it before him as he swept through grand bow to Riddell. “Perhaps you’ve heard of word my presence round abouts?”

Randell had indeed heard of his doings in the region. There wasn’t a planet in this sector who hadn’t heard of him. Bartholomew had been going about his redistributions for a bit now.

“Well yes, I have heard the pre-warning allowed me time prepare to greet you appropriately.” Raising both hands, Riddell snapped and the regiment about him raised rifles. Or rather, what appeared to be rifles. Because of Captain Bartholomew well publicized ransacking the planets, Riddell had managed to arrange for advanced laser weaponry disguised as ancient rifles to be delivered.

He wanted the colony to be defended. The people wanted to preserve their reenactment. Riddell, as governor, had been inclined, no, required to comply with that request, but he wasn’t a fool. These rifles fulfilled both needs.

Captain Bartholomew pulled back, rubbing his chin. “Ah, some lovely lasers there, but perhaps I should more fully introduce myself.” Raising his hands Bartholomew snapped and a loud hum drowned out the horrible music the elevator had still been emitting. Glancing up, Riddell saw three ships hanging in the skies above them with cannons open and pointed at the ground.

Swallowing, Riddell stepped back, and his eyes darted from the ships to Bartholomew. The captain grinned madly at him. He’d caught Riddell’s movement. Bartholomew had seen his fear. The pirate knew he had them outgunned.

Riddell had given them away. His regiment hadn’t. They’d stood firm about him unmoved at the sight of the ships. The company had hired their security well. But not him. Swallowing, he clenched his jaw tightly.

“Perhaps now we can begin negotiations about what items are to be redistributed, eh Govy? Captain Bartholomew inquired as he sashaying another step closer.

Governor Riddell nodded, a quick, stiff movement and turned toward the regiment. “At ease, men.” Riddell was governor, and his duty was to defend the people of this colony. The customers of this reenactment. Not their possessions. If he argued now, there would be bloodshed. “Stand down”

Riddell placed a hand on his sergeant’s shoulder. The man glanced from the pirates to him and nodded. Lowering their rifles, the guards placed their butts against the ground and stood at attention as Captain Bartholomew strode forward.

“That’s it, Govy.” He smacked a hand on both the sergeant’s and the governor’s shoulders as he strode past them. “Keep up with that attitude and we’ll be out of your hair before teatime.”

Governor Riddell clenched his jaw again. He’d never liked tea. He’d been skeptical of reenactments before. If the pay hadn’t been amazing, he’d have rejected this job. One where the era selected had given the pirates a bold, flamboyant opportunity. No pay was worth going through this again, though. He’d have his transfer paperwork in before the pirates broke orbit.

Be sure to check out all the #fyretober creations.

#fyretober2023 #fyretoberflashfiction2023 #fyretoberprompts2023 #fyretober2023day28

“Fyretober is for everyone who loves to create, and this month we’re looking to see your flash fiction, poetry, and illustrations every day. We’ll be providing daily prompts for the month and want to see what new concepts and wonders you can make with them.”

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