Thursday, July 22, 2010

Forties Club Finalist #24

Uncovered Again
by Catherine Vibert

April 20, 2420 A.C.E.

“A little to the left. There it is. Now sweep away the sand,” Captain Bill Pritch ordered.

Two men stared at the monitor from the podcraft. A large robot arm pushed the sand away from the undersea platform. A letter M was visible. Other cameras showed mounds of rusted debris.

“Yeah baby, this is it!”

“Why are we searching here Captain?” Jim was anxious. He pushed the arm over the platform.

“The tanks are empty, Jim. We need the jewels to keep the moon station operating, oxygen is a necessity.”

The letters MAC were visible. The arm pushed further.

“Don’t think we’re gonna find jewels in there.”

Jewels is what we call oil here in collections. You’re such a newb!”

“I think we should get out of this god-forsaken place. Something horrible happened here, I feel it.”

“Obviously! Dead planet? Get a clue!”

“No, something happened here, in this spot.”

“Nothin’ that happened here’s gonna stop us from getting the goods. Life on the moon station depends on it!”

Jim’s eyes enlarged as his jaw slacked.


“We’re not reopening that one!”

“That’s the one!” The captain aimed the laser at the platform.

“But, the methane!”

“I’m sure it’s all escaped. Hence, a dead planet. Commencing fire!”


From Rigel 5, it looked to Yaweh like a nova when Earth and its moon blew out of Solaris’s orbit.

“Spectacular ending!” He squealed to Michael. “You try the next experiment. But leave out the apples this time.”


Jade L Blackwater said...


Great final twist. Nothing like a healthy reminder of our smallness among the infinite.

Aimee Laine said...

Wow! That was by far my fave so far. :)

Oddyoddyo13 said...

So far into the future, and so interesting! Imagine looking for something on a dead planet...

JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan, but you held my interest and hooked me with the dialogue (you no the dialogues good when you don't need tags); yet, by the last paragraph, I'm wondering if it's reduced to a video game.

Catherine Vibert said...

Thanks everyone! I can't believe and I'm thrilled to have made the 40's club. I giggled at the irony of Jason giving me number 24, given the date of the story. Little whacko things like that make me squeal with delight.

Amy, you made my day with your comment. Thank you! :-)

PJD said...

Ha ha! I wonder what will happen when they leave out the apples. I bet it won't be nearly as interesting.

"he squealed to Michael"

ha ha ha! I'll be smiling about that one for days.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Cat, you know that, but this one bothered me, which I'm sure you also know. Not that you wrote it for me....(although I AM the center of the universe)....and not that it's not written very well. Though I'd expect nothing less than the 40s club from you, my dear!!

Aniket Thakkar said...

Oh Cat! Sci-fi? You're always full of surprises. I'll have to go ahead and say this is the best story I've read of yours.

I also, think you had the mining accident on your mind as you wrote this. It deserves every bit to be in the 40's club. Bravo!

Catherine Vibert said...

@aerin, how can YOU possibly be the center of the universe. That place is specially reserved for moi! I can't tell you how glad I am to know this bugged you. ;-) That makes me squeal with happiness. Now play your next move on Lexulous woman.

Thanks Aniket! But what made you think I had the mining accident in mind? (kidding, kidding).

jelismorgan said...

I'm sensing a divine hand here and we're the chess pieces on the board! What a novel concept. Excellent.

Precie said...

A subtle commentary on the BP crisis in the gulf of Mexico...and human carelessness in general? Well, at least it wasn't Eve's fault. ;)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hm. I love the first part. The dialogue was excellent. Took me awhile to get the apples reference. Maybe if it had been one apple? Not sure. It was so far removed from the "beginning" that my head wasn't in that space.

Fun concept. I think, with a few more words, it could be brilliant.

Catherine Vibert said...

I agree Precie, we can't possibly blame it on Eve. :)

Sarah, according to The Reference which shall not be named, it was a tree of life and knowledge of good and evil of which Adam and Eve were not supposed to 'eat of the fruit'. In my version, it actually doesn't even discuss the variety of fruit. However, I'm thrilled that you figured it out anyway! ;-) Thank you!

Unknown said...

Hi Catherine!

Lets you know just how small our existence really is...

One of my favorites.

Dottie :)

McKoala said...

Genre in 250 words, and clever too! Well done Ms Vibe.

fairyhedgehog said...

I thought the ending was great fun!

Deb Smythe said...

A spectacular ending indeed. What a fun story. Good job of worldbuilding, too. I know how tough it is to do Sci-Fi and fantasy in 250 words.

JaneyV said...

Hard-hitting commentary on environmental fecklessness with a side order of satire on the creationist origins of the world. You can pack quite the punch with 250 words Ms V. Gorgeous dialogue too!

Great read!

Joni said...


Can you go wrong when mixing scifi and religion?

Well, I suppose you can.

But YOU didn't. This was brilliant.

Laurel said...

Political commentary and a clever finish!

Vincent Kale said...

And so ends the Great Earth Experiment! What's next?!

Loved the Religio-Sci-Fi mashup!