Written for the Speakeasy.
The Peace Plaza
Lambert laid a soft cloth on the rough concrete of the building’s roof. Gingerly, he placed five ultra-high tech rifle rounds on the cloth. If he was careful, everything would work perfectly. It would be so easy to start interstellar war all over again.
Shadows danced and cavorted in the night of Macadus II, animated by the lights of passing air traffic. Across the shining marble mosaic of Peace Plaza, both Humans and the alien Tooarliks danced to rejoice the ending of the war. The dinosaur-like Tooarliks were graceful and athletic. And though Tooarliks liked to tease Humans about their lack of coordination, Earth’s previous and greatest enemies had learned they loved Earth’s 1970s Funk music. A common ground had been discovered and it brought the two species together to dance to life, instead of death. Thousands danced in the night, once dying as enemies, now staying alive and dancing together.
The rifle was hand-made with precision by Lambert himself. It sat upon a tripod with small motors that directed the weapon. The tiniest nudge caused by a human pulse could throw the aim off at this incredible range to target of 4 kilometers. It had be be aimed and held securely by the powered tripod. Lambert started up the targeting app, and the tripod answered the signal.
In the two years of peace following thirty years of war, Humans and Tooarliks found they had much more in common than not. Humans had believed Tooarliks were slobbering warlike monsters. By contrast, Tooarliks believed Humans were slobbering warlike monsters. Later, they admired Human pastoral scenes of nature. Humans loved the beautiful vocal harmonies of Tooarlik vocal groups. The more time the two species spent together, the more they realized they liked and respected one another.
Not everyone on both sides agreed with this assessment. Powerful individuals held grudges, manic enough to be deemed outright insanity. That’s why Senator Barrymore hired Lambert. Barrymore was dedicated to wiping out the Tooarlik species down to the last helpless infant, and peace was a disruption to his plan for genocide.
Lambert loaded the gun. Chemical-based rounds, like the ones used from the 1800s to the 2100s, weren’t powerful enough to be hand-held and fire a round accurately for 4 kilometers. The bullets he loaded carried tiny scramjet engines. Even these engines would not operate until the air passing through them moved at about Mach 4, four times the speed of sound. Most chemical-based rounds moved at around Mach 1 or 2. Complex and tiny jet engines propelled the special bullets to Mach 5, easily fast enough to start the scramjet engines and boost the velocity to Mach 22. At this hypersonic speed, one .50 cal round could pulverize the armor of a battlefield tank.
Lambert withdrew his hand, cruelly scarred by fire. He paused to look at it and remember. He remembered the fire that engulfed his wife’s body as her skin blackened. She was still alive when he put the flames out with his bare hands, but the massacre of Earth’s colony, Ithacus V, had obliterated everyone. All medical personnel were dead. Amy died in his arms. The next day, the news reported that Tooarliks had massacred every soul on the colony. In fact, one lone survivor escaped, unnoticed.
On his pad, Lambert moved the sight to the target. No one without the exotic equipment Lambert possessed could hold the weapon on target at this range. On the Peace Plaza stage, Kooali Preedun, the Tooarlik Ambassador, raised his arms before a cheering crowd of Humans and Tooarliks. His death would doom the burgeoning peace between the two great warlike species, and interstellar war would begin anew. Lambert pressed the trigger button, and a bullet flew.
Lambert made a phone call. Senator Barrymore answered. “Tell me something good.”
“Oh, it’s good. Shot is on the way.”
“By the way Senator. Not everyone on Ithacus V died. There was one survivor who saw that Humans perpetrated the massacre to foster racial hatred against Tooarliks. That one man later learned that YOU ordered the massacre.”
Lambert watched in the sights as the Senator’s jaw fell open. “Where are you?”
“Nowhere near the Peace Plaza, Senator, but don’t worry…”
Lambert watched in the pad as Barrymore’s torso exploded, atomized by the hypersonic round.
“…it’s a perfect shot.”
At the Peace Plaza, revelers continued dancing in peace and harmony to the music of Chaka Khan.
Scramjet engines aren’t just Science Fiction. Here’s an explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramjet
The writers of Speakeasy join each week to write up to 750 words of flash fiction based on a a sentence and media prompt. This week the sentence, ““It would be so easy” must be included anywhere, and a reference to the Stayin’ Alive video should be included. I included Chaka Khan from the 70s because…I like Chaka Khan. 😉 Look for this week’s Speakeasy prompt here: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/152-open/