Tag Archives: space travel

SciFi short stories



I really do not have time for this nonsense, Emmbau thought as he swayed into the hearing room but he had to admit to himself that he was just curious enough to carve out a few minutes of his precious time for the interview. The odd looking creature who called itself ‘Jeffrey Inoyue’ seated at the chair provided for him in the conference room was clothed. He’d never gotten used to this oddity about humans. This species was just the oddest mix of rationality, animalism and mysticism. The lack of rationality was really the only thing that interested Emmbau Shamba at the moment.

Putting the details in place for this action had required Emmbau to remain unquescient longer than was good for his species. As his lethargic blue motile pods moved Shamba toward this odd creature, it gathered its note packets in nervous distraction. It then stood and addressed the Coalition’s Commerce Plenipotent of this quadrant. “Mr. …umm, Mr. Shamba,” the human intoned in that grating tremulous vibration that counted for words, “thank you for taking this meeting.” These beings squeezed air out of their breathing apertures to create sound and no matter how many times he heard it Emmbau found the noise close to intolerable. He could not find valid enough reason in his annoyance for including it in his ruling on the humans but extincting this race filled him with an added pleasure at the thought of not ever having to listen to one of these things ‘speak’ again.

Shamba’s species had difficulty making the sound of the human letter “f” so in response, Emmbau replied more formally, “Yes, Mr. Inoyue. You are welcome.” Unlike these squawking apes, Emmbau’s words came from vibrations created in hollow cavities situated on either side of his bulbous, blue head. Through the action of vibrating a series of lobes that extruded into these cavities, the members of Shamba’s species could make the chambers vibrate and sing. Controlling the extent these lobes extended into the chambers altered the frequency of their hum and, hence, the tone. The sound was so smooth and soothing compared to human communication, he considered it on a par with their version of bells, one of the few things these creatures were capable of creating that was worth anything on the interstellar market.

“I hesitated to even take this meeting, I must say at the beginning,” Emmbau said. “Your case seems mostly routine.”

“Sir, I must protest,” responded the human. “There is nothing routine about eradicating an entire species from existence.”

“On the contrary, it happens all the time,” disagreed Emmbau. “Mr. Inoyue, you must see this matter logically. Truly, I took this meeting more out of curiosity than anything else. I have been     inphormed that your race is competent in commerce. Your emissaries say that this talent is what distinguishes you as a species on your planet. This being the case, you must see the logic in our decision.

“You want to kill us off for profits?!” exploded the creature across from the Plenipotent. “How is that supposed to make any sense to us? To me?”

Emmbau hummed at a more melodious level, attempting to sooth the creature as he intoned, “It does make sense. Your outrage or conphusion must stem phrom the subject under discussion, your species. Truly, you are such an inconsequential species. Surely you see the best course of action.”

“Inconsequential? We are 60 billion and inhabit more than 20 worlds,” Inoyue protested.

“Exactly,” Emmbau agreed in a deeper, more authoritative tone. “Such a small gain put phorth by your species. Given the unimpressive nature of your growth and the time you’ve had at your disposal, the loss to the universe is not worth mentioning compared to the prophits we calculate.”

“You’d kill us off for profits?”

Again, the creature sounded incredulous and he was merely repeating himself at this point. “Sir,” the patience oozed from Shamba’s harmonics as the words flowed slowly, “your own history is replete with these types of choices. There are certain things your species creates that are of great value to the rest of the universe…”

“Exactly!” interrupted Inoyue.

“…but we have been collecting these items from you…” Emmbau continued only to be interrupted again.

“Yes! Yes! And we can continue to make you more of these things. Our crystal making skills are the highest in the universe. Your own people have told us so. We also make the best metal bells that have been seen in millennia!” The man was so animated as to border on manic, his voice getting more strident with every word as if he thought he’d finally found a point upon which to gain purchase for his defense. “Your species and our species have been making handsome profits for almost two centuries. Only on earth can you find the proper mix of metals to make our brass bells. And the crystal we create in Ireland alone has no equal. The lead and impurities result in the most exquisite sounding harmonics. Why would you want to kill off the species that delivers the highest quality items in your Harmonic’s catalog?”

“Ahhh…” Emmbau let this word roll out longer than a human could exhale. “I see the problem. You must understand, we have been collecting these items phrom you phor years at levels greater than we have been selling them. We have…” he looked down at his note packet for the correct nomenclature, “we have… ‘cornered the market’ as you say. Don’t you see?”

Jeffrey Inoyue shook his head. He did not see but had a dreadful feeling he was about to hear the bad news he had been attempting to avoid, a stark stare shone on his petrified face.

“Mr. Inoyue, your exquisite craphtsmanship, your bells and crystals, they sell everywhere and we have stockpiles. Once we have extinguished your tiny race phrom existence, the price your works will command are projected to increase geometrically. With the prospect of never having any more bells phrom your planet, the ones that do exist will skyrocket in price. It is a master stroke, if I may state a conceit,” said Emmbau Shamba while resonating a certain pride into his tone.

The creature’s mouth dropped. “You are going to wipe us out of existence so our merchandise will rise in price?”

Slightly annoyed at the repetitive disbelief of this creature, Emmbau considered Inoyue for a long moment. There was something else here, some other aspect to this species that was not covered in his first three considerations. This lack of insight was neither animalism nor mysticism. How someone capable of interstellar transit could fail to follow this simple, progressional, logic managed to catch Emmbau off guard. “You do not see the logic in this?” was all he could muster in response.

Inoyue’s face chalked. To the Plenipotent, it seemed the human had died right then. As Emmbau continued to ponder the human, it grated out a hoarse, plaintive, “Please…”

“Sir,” Shamba interjected without allowing the human to continue. “Begging is beneath a sentient being in the phace of its own mortality,” he said in a high, light, soothing range. The creature put both its hands on the table between them and began sliding them out into the center of the table. Just as it looked as if it was going to speak again, Emmbau raised a bundle of his tasker pods toward the pink, octagonal crystal button sterifixed to his body just below his huge head. Depressing the button, the creature across from him collapsed on the table, dead.

“Hmmmmmmmmmm….” Emmbau Shamba resonated for a good two minutes while continuing to depress the crystal button. At the end of the two minutes, every precinct in the human zone responded in sequential order via the communication web he’d set up during the long night before. It was done.

When Emmbau Shamba exited the room, he announced to his aide, “Let the markets know: Human wares are now antiques. Supplies are limited. The aide nodded as the Plenipotent swayed his way down the corridor back to his perch. Very odd, thought Emmbau. What could have accounted for that last bit, I wonder. Who could not understand? Whatever the cause of such a curiosity, it was not enough to stay the execution in order to investigate. Whatever shortcomings the Humans evolved with, those shortcomings had died with race. As for Emmbau, he was pretty sure that his advancement to the Merliotte sector would be a certainty now that he had, at minimum, quintupled the Coalitions earnings in one diurnal.