Keely (mantid) wrote in soul_honing,

Untitled SF (In Progress)

A Sci-Fi story as I explore writing in the genre. From perhaps a more Heinlein/Ellison feel than a modern.
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I could barely make out the brightest of stars through the glaring radiance that the bleched-flour moon hove into its thin atmosphere. With so little reference, the scattered motes could be almost anything, anywhere, to me. The astrophysicist hadn't survived the initial brunt of the flare, and hence couldn't say. Even though he had seen the vast blue sun retch its belly out into the darkness, he could not escape the bare observatory in its naked montane perch. Still, he undoubtedly sat there, entombed in the small shining bauble across the empty, shallow sea.

He had contacted the rest of us and the warning soon sounded, cutting off the respirator's gentle rasp and striking each to the heart with a desperate knell. It was the loudest sound any of us had heard for months in the pristine halls, a terrible cacophony like Gabriel's horn.

Rushing to the very depths where the limited mining operations were held, most of the rest survived the initial effects. The atrophysisist's companion, Porphyra, too was interred on the moon's bleach-boned spine. Rand was outside at the time, driving along the shore, and was not hoped to return. Zanfi did not make the mine in 'safe time', and Persing had closed the door. We sat behind its impenetrable mass for two minutes before the wave arrived, not knowing if Zanfi was waiting, crying to get in, banging his knuckles to the bone against the smooth casing. No sound could reach them if he did.

Some of the flare peeled off at the atmosphere, but the brunt of it shunted through the thin air. The young blue sun was one of the reasons for the facility's prescence. In the continuing effort to understand solar weather patterns, which were predictable to a degree in the Earth's own sun, it was felt that study of more abberant stars would be appropriate. In abberant behavior, this star was an excellent choice; a G2B Cepheid, whose monthly shifting patterns proved confusing and maddening to the team. The standard equations and simulations would help to a degree, but that the flare came up so unexpectedly showed that they hadn't come close to understanding it.

The flare struck. Pershing had shut down all systems in preparation for the blast. No cameras, no pressurization, no lights. Even the gentle hum of the respirator died as the room was sealed. I remember the only thing I could hear was the breathing of the others, their harsh rasps close in the darkness. The air began to warm and hydrate and soon was permeated with a faint human scent. It was their fear. Their insipid primeaval fear. The flare had come upon us unexpected, and would kill us or spare us wontonly as Calvin's Lord. Fear was meaningless, weak, and it doomed them, in the end.

After some time, Pershing reactivated the systems; the lights fluttered like weak flame.