I was going through some old writing exercises, and I found this short little romp into science fiction. The words listed are the words chosen for the exercise, so I had five minutes to write something that used all three words (this is two separate exercises that ended up being a continuation).
Mercurial current drop
“Sir, with the current orbit, are you sure she can withstand the drop?” First Class Sergeant Miller looked expectantly at his Commander, waiting for the telltale glint in the eye that would reassure him that yes, they would indeed survive even this dire situation, escaping the promise of certain death with a last minute brilliant plan to divert the subatomic particles in Engine B to the Forward Thrusters and usher them to safety just a split second before they crashed into the planet’s fiery surface.
He’d witnessed it before. Many times. He had stood on the flight deck, missiles careening towards them, explosions rocking the ship back and forth, but always had the Commander stood firm, always that glint in his eyes, that mercurial sense of humor, the dedication to his crew, his ship, and their mission.
They would survive, First Class Sergeant Miller knew. They would. He glanced down at his red shirt, then at the dire predictions flooding the monitors before him.
“Sir?” he asked, waiting for the response he knew was coming.
But there was something different in the Commander’s eyes as he stared coolly out the front display window at the planet rushing towards them.
“Sir!” He shouted it this time, trying to be heard over the roaring whine of the strained engines, the distant screams of crew members fearing the worst.
The Commander looked at him, eyes calm and sad. “Not this time,” he said quietly. “She can’t handle the drop.”
“But this is the part where you always have the brilliant plan!” First Class Sergeant Miller shrieked.
“I know,” the Commander said. He scanned the control room, aware of all eyes on him.
Firelight sliver window
First Class Sergeant Miller was hurled to the floor, hands grasping at the controls as he succumbed to the force of the huge ship slowing to a stop. Alarms cut off mid-blare, and the sudden silence was broken by some coughing and shuffling as baffled crew members found their footing. Miller pulled himself upright, fingers pressed deep into the metal frame of his display, and peered out the window. The blazing forge that was the planet had faded to a wisp of firelight.
“Sir,” he began in a voice that was way more calm than he felt, “we seem to have stopped above the surface of the planet.”
“It appears so,” the Commander observed. He gave the flight deck a once over, then resumed his normal commanding presence. “Report,” he ordered.
First Class Sergeant Miller wasn’t going to be put off that easily. “But…what happened?” he asked. “How did we stop? You…” he let the words trail off. “You didn’t do anything to save us!” He let the words hang in the air, then added lamely, “Sir.”
The Commander’s expression didn’t change as he considered Miller’s accusation, the man’s steely gaze unflinching. He said nothing.
Miller continued, trying to fill the void, “But sir…you always…always save us! You always have that last sliver of hope we need to save us!”
“We have been saved,” the Commander said. “Isn’t that enough?”