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Self Destruct

60 Seconds Before Self Destruct

By David E. PerryPublished about a month ago 3 min read

“This ship will self-destruct in 60 seconds”

The announcement was not given over a loudspeaker. It was only displayed on the personal screen of Captain Arnold Scott of the Starship Leviathan. The verbal notice came only through his earpiece. The enemy could not be allowed to know what was about to happen to them. The Viridistrum had invaded the ship 3 days ago. They quickly gained control of the ship. They believed that they had eliminated everyone. But the 250 members of the crew had already escaped. That includes Arnold's son, Jake. It was hard being apart from him but he knew that Jake’s life was in danger if he stayed. He had to let him go. He made him go.

Arnold had promised Jake that they would be reunited with each other on Argos 7, a nearby planet that’s not really friendly to human life. But a bio-dome habitat was constructed underground that allowed them to regroup. It was set up with all of the comforts of home. Sandra, his wife, was already there. They haven’t seen each other in over a month. He imagined being together with both his wife and his son. But now was not the time to daydream. He had to escape without the enemy noticing that he was even there.

“50 seconds to self-destruct”

Wow. He had already wasted 10 seconds. That might not seem like a lot of time. But think of what could happen if a baseball player takes his mind off the game for 10 seconds. Think of what could happen if a driver takes his eyes off the road for just 1 second. Think of what could happen if a bomb team is not paying attention as the countdown is still counting down. That is what it boiled down to.

The escape pods were not that far away. But he had to make it there quietly. He couldn’t run. The teleporter was out of the question. He would be detected right away. He had to get to the lift and go just one level down. The closest room with escape pods was just 3 doors to the left after that. He timed everything perfectly. If successful, he’d launch and reach a safe distance with 10 seconds to spare. But he had already wasted 10 seconds daydreaming.

As he approached the lift, 2 things happened. The alert came through his earpiece. “This ship will self-destruct in 40 seconds.” The good thing was that his fast movement let him gain 5 seconds. But he was still 5 seconds behind. On top of that, the lift door opened and one of the Viridistrum came through. Then another. Then another. Arnold jumped out of the way hiding as quickly as he could. It was obvious now that they knew that he was there. They were looking for him. Getting on the lift was out of the question.

“30 seconds to self-destruct”

Was 30 seconds enough time for him to contact his son to tell him the bad news? Could he bear having his son's disappointed face being the last thing he would ever see? The thought only entered his mind for a fraction of a second. But it hurt him to the point of forcing him to try. He derived a plan. It was risky, but what difference would it make? If it didn’t work, he’d be dead in 30 seconds anyway.

Since they already knew he was there, he could now teleport. But first, he remotely launched the escape pod. He wanted to be as far away from the ship when he was aboard. This, however, alerted them to where he was.”

“This ship will self-destruct in 20 seconds.”

The escape pod was already in stealth mode. They couldn’t see it. But they would be able to him. Putting on a stealth suit would take time. He didn’t have any of that left. On top of that, it was already too late. They saw him. He pressed a few buttons and…

“10 seconds to self destruct”

This time the announcement was made all over the ship. The Viridistrum paused in shock just long enough for him to hit a few more buttons.

“9, 8, 7, 6”

The escape pod had to be taken off of stealth to use the teleporter

“5, 4, 3”

Arnold disappeared from the ship as he was transported to the escape pod.

“2, 1 BOOM!”

Arnold pulled away just as the shock wave from the explosion passed by.

PsychologicalShort StoryAdventure

About the Creator

David E. Perry

Writing gives me the power to create my own worlds. I'm in control of the universe of my design. My word is law. Would you like to know the first I ever wrote? Read Sandy:

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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  • Vicki Lawana Trusselli about a month ago


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