The Fermi Pair o’ Socks

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 6

“Captain, I’m getting a reading from the device with the blinky lights.”

“The one that goes ‘Voort-voort BING’?”

“Voort-voort BING!” pinged the device.

“The very same.”

“Great Scott…” The Captain stared around at the alien landscape. It seemed the least likely planetoid in the universe to be capable of sustaining life, but the device with the blinky lights was never wrong. “What are we dealing with here?” he demanded. “Is it carbon-based? Silicon-based?”

“Cotton-based,” said Science Officer Bunsen, waving the device over a nearby crocheted conifer. “And further, the flashing device that goes ‘beep beep’ indicates that there is movement just behind that knitted knoll.”

The Captain whipped his weapon from its holster. “Set phosons to prewash,” he instructed the landing party.

“What if that doesn’t stop them?” asked a nervous recruit in a red turtleneck.

“Then we go to setting ‘H.’” Captain Parsec narrowed his eyes. “Silks and printed acetates.”

Two floppy ears and a big pair of eyes peeped over the edge of the hillock. A pink nose twitched, scenting the air.

Parsec turned to Bunson, not taking his weapon off the creature. “Can it speak?”

“I wuv you!” The small knitted animal trotted towards Captain Parsec on unbelievably adorable little legs.

He shot it in the face, causing its head to shrink and its colours to run. Death was instantaneous.

Nervous recruit Rex Spendable stared at the phoson in his hands. “Isn’t it weird that our weapons are washing-machine themed, even though it’s already been established that fabric life forms were unheard of until just now?”

“Quiet, you,” snapped Captain Parsec.

Bunson waved a juddering Plasticine device over the corpse. “According to the Harryhausenometer, life on this planetoid is sustained by a powerful field of gravitational stop motion.” Bunson gave Parsec a meaningful glance. “Chaos theory dictates that a quantum interflux of this vocabulatory magnitude explains away any scientific improbabilities we might encounter, and that by gasping and saying ‘Great Scott, you’re right,’ you can end this dense paragraph of technobabble and move on with the story.”

Captain Parsec gasped. “Great Scott, you’re right!”

A number of similar fabric rabbit creatures had by now assembled, joined hands, and begun to sing. Their cutesy voices made it kind of hard to pick out the words, but the song was definitely something about friendship and the importance of sharing. Ordinarily it would have been heart-warming, but because they had chosen to sing it while dancing in a circle around the body of their fallen companion, it was mostly just kind of unsettling.

“Is this place safe?” asked Rex.

Bunson retrieved yet another device from his huge science backpack. He switched it on and twiddled a few dials. “Oh my, yes,” he answered. “I’m reading a whopping six hundred and three on the neutron safetrometer.”

The crowd of fabric rabbit creatures finished their song, turned around, and immediately began to swarm all over Rex Spendable.

“Aaah!” screamed Rex, pulled to the ground by the weight of adorableness. “They’re hot and itchy!”

As the rabbits dragged him away, they began to chant a new song. Again, Parsec couldn’t catch every single word, but it definitely involved entrails and eldritch abominations and was more than just kind of unsettling.

“Hang on,” said Bunsen. “This isn’t the neutron safetrometer: it’s the electron cthulhugraph. We really need to invest in a label maker.”

“Meh.” Captain Parsec began to make his way back to the ship. “It’s cheaper just to get another intern.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook Cover

Click any cover to download that book in your choice of format.

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