03 October 2013

Vigilant (3 of 3)

The conclusion of my ten-year-old science fiction story. If you missed Parts 1 or 2, it started here.

Everyone else, read on...

/// OFFICIAL LOG 231.099.412.013 ///
BF: Ship's log. Lieutenant Ferris speaking. Something's funny about Mason. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the fever. I'm still a bit hazy at times. It has to be the plants, they've got some power over our minds. They're toying, like a whole tribe of cats with one mouse and all the time in the world.
JM: Hey, Bruiser.
BF: Hey, Mace.
JM: What're you doing?
BF: Just uploading the atmospheric readings into the recorder. When's dinner?
JM: Just finished. You coming?
BF: Yeah, I'll just sw-

/// OFFICIAL LOG 231.099.412.014 ///

/// OFFICIAL LOG 231.099.412.015 ///
BF: Official court records, Judge Bruiser Ferris in command, or session, presiding, whatever. State your name.
JM: Johnny Mace, Your Grace. [laughs] Mace, grace. Our place in space.
BF: No trace of our race.
JM: [laughs] Make lace in haste, keep the pace, don't lose face, just in case. Decorate the base with ace flowers in a vase.
BF: That's pronounced vase. It doesn't rhyme.
JM: Artistic [expletive deleted] licence.
BF: You're mad.
JM: No, just [expletive deleted] insane.
BF: Oh, look at that. The red light's on.
JM: You did that.
BF: I wonder why?
JM: What?
BF: The log, what've we said?
JM: I don't know. Nothing's been happening. Hello, log. In case we haven't said this already, we still can't take off, and the jungle's still sitting outside.
BF: Where's the off switch?
JM: Right h-

/// OFFICIAL LOG 231.099.412.016 ///
JM: In case we don't make it out of here, and someone ever finds this log, Bruiser and I have decided to make some sort of statement.
BF: A will, if you like.
JM: Yeah. I'll go first. I, Lieutenant John Mason, would just like to say that Bruiser and the Captain are the two finest officers I could ever want to work with.
BF: Thanks, Mace.
JM: And if there's anything left in my pay account, it's to go to my son Gerry. Last news I got, he was living on a farm outside Rul Iktan. Records will have the details. OK, I think that's everything. Your turn.
BF: Lieutenant Barnabas Ferris speaking.
JM: Barnabas?
BF: Yeah, didn't you know?
JM: Somehow I always thought Bruiser was your real name.
BF: Yeah? OK, well I...
JM: What is it?
BF: The viewport. Look out there... Mace? What are you doing?
JM: What's wrong, Barney?
BF: Mace, put that down. M-

/// OFFICIAL LOG 231.099.412.017 ///
JM: Log recording, day I forget. Quick status update. Captain dead. Bruiser dead. [expletive deleted] thing outside got in his mind, I think, had to stop him [expletive deleted] attacking me. Jungle fever. Only here the sickness has a mind of its own, almost. At least I'm safe now I'm on my own.

/// OFFICIAL LOG 231.099.412.018 ///
[crashing sound]
JM: Come get me, you [expletive deleted]!
JM: [expletive deleted]! [expletive deleted]! D-

/// LOG TRANSCRIPT FILE D5V.HA.77821.231.099.412 ///
/// FILE END ///


© 2003 Glenn Davies

Behind the story

A quick poke around this blog will show that I'm a sci-fi fan. I wanted to write a paranoid, science fiction story set in a claustrophobic environment - a little bit like "Alien" meets an Agatha Christie locked-door mystery.

I used the form of a series of log transcripts for a couple of reasons.

  • It gives the impression that this is a past event, not something in the present tense. From the beginning, if you're reading a mission log, you know that whether good or bad, the mission itself is over.
  • It allowed me to include two deleted entries, for a sense of mystery. Each one is deleted by a different username, corresponding to characters within the story. Why did each crewman delete that particular entry? What incriminating event or conversation took place?
  • Writing it as a series of conversations (and transcribed sound effects) puts more of any description of actual events in the readers' mind - like in old-school radio plays.

If you've enjoyed reading "Vigilant", I recommend watching the 2011 film "Apollo 18".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...