As provided by Leland Neville
Art by Luke Spooner
Dewey Glass, a freelance space monitor, shares the following intercepted communications from the starship Preemptive Strike:
Greetings Supreme Commander:
Observing your meticulous torturing of the hapless reactionaries was both an amusing spectacle and an enlightening experience. Keep those highlight videos coming! As always, you remain the master of the prolonged tentacle twist.
Five more planets have been eradicated since my last dispatch. Our buffer zone continues to expand in an orderly manner. The Preemptive Strike is a magnificent starship and I am honored to serve as its first captain. I will not fail the Civilization.
My spies recently informed me that there are whispers of discontent and insubordination. The crew is obviously testing me, their novice captain. But fear not. I, of course, have learned a thing or two about discipline. After all, what you, Supreme Commander, do not know about tentacle twisting and eye gouging is not worth learning!
Greetings Supreme Commander:
Our starship continues to perform beyond all expectations. The elapsed time after the Preemptive Strike emerges from a black hole and before it locks-on to a potentially troublemaking planet has been reduced to a few measly nanoseconds. It is doubtful we have as yet even been detected by our primitive targets. Neutralizing these odious planets is now a mundane procedure.
The torture and execution of three Grade II Warriors has successfully put a damper on the mutinous chatter. My spies believe that the rumors of a mutiny were just empty noise from bored crew members, but the Military Code of Justice is unambiguous. I do recommend, however, that the Triumvirate consider eliminating Warriors on future missions. Although I am aware of the historical significance (and political clout) of the Warrior guild, I cannot envision a future scenario where tentacle to tentacle combat will be essential. The Warriors are nothing but collateral damage caused by our Civilization’s technological superiority. The Preemptive Strike–and our Civilization–is relentless!
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2015 collection.
Dewey Glass, a Virginia native, now lives near Iroquois Peak in the Adirondack Mountains. He has been successfully intercepting and translating interstellar communications for over 20 years. When not “space listening,” Dr. Glass updates and revises his magnum opus “Five Things You Probably Don’t Know about Parallel Universes.”
Leland Neville lives in upstate New York where he is a full time writer. He previously worked for a news magazine in Washington, D.C., and taught in both a high school and a prison. His short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Bartleby Snopes, The Barcelona Review, Pulp Modern, and Workers Writes. Non-fiction has appeared in U. S. News & World Report and The New York Review of Science Fiction.
Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.