becka_sutton: Becka's default icon (Default)
[personal profile] becka_sutton
I want to learn to write to prompts. I've never been very good at it but quite a few of my online friends have a good time doing it so I thought I'd give it a go. [personal profile] anke pointed me in the direction of [community profile] origfic_bingo and this is the first prompt I've written to from the card I received. It's not very good. It's very first draft. I tell like anything. But hey I actually wrote something to a prompt, this is progress. I enjoyed writing it as well.

Title: First Contact
Genre: SF
Prompt: Diplomacy (I hope the word doesn't actually have to be mentioned).
Rating: G
Wordcount: 363 words

---

When the strange ships first appeared in orbit it didn't so much cause panic as unease.

It might have helped if they'd done something other than sit there apparently doing nothing. Both aggression and overtures of peace were things that humans could understand. The lack of either just made people wonder what they were doing.

On the TV the talking heads spoke of invasions and how such a large fleet could only be there for the purpose of colonisation. A few even suggested that the aliens were really demons. One armchair pundit posted a video on Youtube suggesting they were trying to psyche humans into destroying themselves to save them the effort.
When the riots broke after the video went viral out one wag noted that if that was the case perhaps said pundit was being paid by them.

Then someone with too much power for their frayed nerves got twitchy. America claimed it must have been a Chinese satellite that fired the missile since they had no armed satellites, China claimed the opposite. The rest of the world agreed that whoever had given the order was stupid. The aliens clearly had the range of Earth's weapons and were sat just outside it.

Fortunately, the aliens didn't respond, they didn't even shoot the satellite down. The world gave a sigh of relief but continued to watch the sky distrustfully.

Months passed, the ships remained there, and still nothing happened publicly but it became obvious that something was happening behind the scenes. Scientists from NASA, ESA, Roskosmos, CNSA and various other space agencies met with world leaders in a summit at the UN.

"The aliens have been trying to talk to us since they first entered orbit," a nervous looking scientist explained to the press once the discussions were complete. "But they've been doing it carefully, making sure only those they wanted to heard them and we couldn't understand them anyway. It's taken this long to learn to speak to each other enough to understand what they want."

What she said next wasn't just close to the top of the list of things people didn't expect to hear, it was so unexpected that no one had even suggested it.

"It seems they really are colonists but they aren't interested in Earth. They want Venus but consider it ours, so they are offering to pay for it."


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Date: 2012-01-20 01:32 am (UTC)
inventrix: (scribbling)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
*tsks* You want comments, here are my comments.

You need to stop talking yourself down so much! Present the story and let the readers judge for themselves.

The story is good! It needs some grammatical polishing, but that is pretty much it.

Date: 2012-01-20 03:02 pm (UTC)
inventrix: (tea)
From: [personal profile] inventrix
The trick isn't to actually have self-confidence. It's to pretend you do. ;)

Date: 2012-01-20 10:51 am (UTC)
anke: (Default)
From: [personal profile] anke
Nice one! :D

Seconding the "don't be so down on yourself" bit.

Date: 2012-01-21 05:10 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Writing: stories last longer)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Oh, very cool! I would be really interested to see what happens next--what do these aliens consider currency?

And I agree with everyone else, don't be so hard on yourself ;) It is a lot of telling, true, but that's the kind of story it is--I don't think the "show, don't tell" rule applies to flash fiction as much as longer kinds. It would be a very different story if it focused in on a character or characters in order to do more showing. (Not that I think it would be bad, but this way it works well for the kind of story it is.)

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