Belial carefully guided the console controls of his space frigate’s laser drill over the dense asteroid’s surface as his ship automatically orbited. The joystick would begin vibrating whenever rough spots occurred, but after having mined asteroids with his dad on countless trips from their colony. Belial had become accustomed to the feel of overly rough asteroids. He loved space! The freedom of movement; the beauty of the various stars, planets and other objects that floated throughout the vast emptiness. It’s the reason why whenever a mining contract came through, he was the first to bid on it.
The sharp shrill of an alarm snapped Belial out of his own thoughts to his ship’s proximity alarm, designed to alert him of objects coming too close. As he opened up a holographic monitor and controls, Belial noticed an asteroid, twice the size of his headed right for him. If that wasn’t enough he also recognized the shape of a medium-sized spaceship in orbit around another large asteroid near the one he was mining. “This can’t be heading towards me!” Belial shouted as he quickly hopped into the seat at the ships’ helm. Pushing the ships’ throttle to full power Belial guided his ship to a safer position to get a better look at the other ship. Activating his ship’s scanners on the other ship the computer brought up a diagram of the ships’ interior the computer indicating it hadn’t been in the area for too long. “I wonder what’s going on here?” Belial said to himself as he prepared to dock with the other ship.
Completing the docking process, and ensuring everything was in order Belial then moved to put on a spacesuit and retrieve a Mark 23 pistol from his locker. He didn’t expect to encounter anyone dangerous on board, but because they were 100,000 AU’s from an outpost, pirate ambushes were always a common threat. As he undogged the entrance to the entry platform, Belial couldn’t help but wonder what had a light space freighter this far out from an outpost. Stopping at the other ship’s entrance, Belial ran his hand over the sensor to see if the door was functional. With a loud click, it swiftly opened allowing him into a small decompression room. “This is cozy,” Belial remarked as he checked the ships’ systems to ensure life support was functional. The air was a little stale but breathable; as Belial removed his helmet – and taking in a deep breath. He caught the faint smell of pizza, “Obviously, someone is here.” Belial thought to himself. He didn’t want to take the chance on running into pirates, however, his gut feeling told him he wasn’t in any danger. “Hello! Anyone home!” Belial shouted. A deep silence was his only reply, Belial continued to look down the main corridor peeking in and out of compartments, scanning for any available signs of life. He caught sight of a sign pointing to the direction of the galley. “Well, while I’m here; I might as well get something to eat.” Belial took a final look around before making his way towards the galley.
Everything seemed to be in perfect order on-board the ship, it haunted Belial’s mind as to what could have caused the ships’ crew to abandon it in a fairly visited asteroid field. “There has to be someone on board.” Belial noticed where the smell of cheese pizza emanated from, a plate of pizza crusts soaked in ranch lay on the first table as he entered the galleys dining room. A clattering noise forced Belial to begin to draw his pistol. Looking around and over tables to figure out what might be in the dining hall with him Belial moved slowly; taking care not to overlook any hiding places.
A loud clatter from the far end of the galley caught his attention, and instinctively Belial moved in the direction of the sound. As he moved from table to table the shadow of a small figure was briefly seen darting into a darker corner and behind a counter. His hand tightly gripped the handle of his weapon as he squinted to get a better look into the corner. “Hey, whoever you are; I’m not a pirate it’s ok, you can come out.” Belial coaxed as he inched closer to the corner. As he moved closer the outline of a child could be seen. Getting down on his knees, and leaning forward Belial took a good look at the child. She looked to be around 8 or 9 years old, and besides the fact, she seemed to be abandoned and scared looked to be quite healthy. “Hi young lady, my name is Belial; are you here all by yourself?” Belial spoke softly as not to scare the little girl. Her hands that had been crossed to shield her face slowly lowered in order for her to get a good look at Belial…
As with our other short story “Chad and Humble’s Escape”, we would like to invite you to continue the story. What does Belial do from this point forward? He now has a trying situation on his hands helping a young child stranded on a space vessel, and with no idea where she’s from, or who her parents are?
What would you do? We’d love to hear your ideas, and if you are keen to be published on this blog, by all means, send us a draft of your ending (or your version of the story) in an attached word document along with a two-sentence bio to email@example.com. Please keep in mind our word limit is 1200 words.