flash fiction
September 22, 2017

Death by Zorg

The best thing about electronic brains is that they don’t argue with you. I had landed in one of the most dangerous planets in the system and the brain in the ship didn’t have any objection.

I was supposed to complete the exploration in the mines in less than 2 hours and be back in the ship well before sunset. But that’s not how things turned out.

I came out of the tunnels an hour behind schedule. I was hundreds of yards away from the ship, the sun had already set and I was deep in trouble. I made a run for the ship on my 30 pound spacesuit. I had only covered a few feet when I felt the pain of a thousand needles. I looked down to see a Zorg biting deep into my leg.

There is a reason I had to complete this mission during daytime hours. Zorgs are lethargic creatures during the day, but at night they became extremely aggressive and dangerous. I felt the sharp teeth dig through my suit. My only chance was to kill the bastard, but my laser gun couldn’t penetrate the skin of a full grown Zorg, and there was nothing aboard my ship that could kill it either.

I radioed the brain aboard the ship. I told it to retract the ladder, close the hatch and take off. I needed it to take off before any other Zorgs could get inside. Even if the ship couldn’t save me, it could save my precious cargo. The best thing about electronic brains is that they don’t argue with you.

I struggled to walk the few yards that separated me from the ship carrying the monster in my leg. All the while the pain was excruciating. I couldn’t think straight. ++I just wanted it to end.

The exhaust of the engines lighted fiery red. When I reached the ship I felt the bones in my leg crack under the pressure from the Zorg. In a matter of minutes creature would devour my leg.

Death by Zorg is one of the most excruciating deaths there is. One never loses consciousness and the pain lasts for hours while the Zorg slowly eats at their prey. I had lost all hope by then. Getting burnt by the combustion of a rocket seemed like a great alternative to me.

The ship started the slow take off. With my last shred of energy I threw myself under the engine of the ship. The flames enveloped me. It was the most intense heat I ever felt.

No living organism can survive a temperature over 4,000 Kelvin, much less a light-sensitive Zorg. When I regained consciousness the beast was toasted black and still attached to my leg. It had been a wild bet. I radioed the brain. The ship landed, and I climbed up onboard to get treatment.

“Did you know the suit would survive the heat and save me from the fire of the engine?” I asked the brain once I recovered. “Did you know that was my plan?”

“I did not,” it responded. “I didn’t think it necessary to run the calculations.”

“And it didn’t bother you that by taking off you could have killed me?”

“That concern didn’t cross my mind,” the brain said. “I had orders to follow.”

Like I said, the best thing about electronic brains is that they don’t argue with you. They can seem rather heartless at times, yes, but I still prefer them to a human crew. They never fail to follow order. No matter how crazy.

September 22, 2017 · #101ToF · #Fiction · #Flash Fiction


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