Interstellar Smugglers’ Blues


We were somewhere around high orbit over our favorite honey hole, just about to go hype flight, when the nanostims kicked in.

“Charlie,” I screamed. “Incoming!”

“Where?” he shouted back. My commlink dumped most of the volume so it didn’t blow the top of my head off. When your system gets a dump of adrenaline and various other attention and reflex enhancements from the nanos inside you to “help” your performance, you tend to get a little loud. The nanos sensed a threat. We needed to find it.

“Can’t tell. Defense is slow.” That wasn’t true. The defensive sensors were just fine. I was artificially impatient and took control myself. My eyes swept the sensors back and forth and I knew Charlie would be doing the same for the area behind us.


Damn and damn. That was a lot. Charlie found five threats heading right at us from the surface with enough firepower to kill us three times each. I yanked our ship hard over toward the lone moon in orbit. If we were quick, we might hide behind it before the locals got a good look at us. What I didn’t get is where the locals got the tech to fight back. Or the anger.

We had abducted dozens of them every year for so long we were legend — a tale to scare the youngers. Had they caught up so soon?

Maybe we should have stopped at cows.

It’s possible this story won’t work for you. It has a lot going on in terms of feel and background and world-building, like I had shoved a hundred pounds of all that into a gallon freezer bag. If it does, though, I hope you find all hundred pounds and you love all of it!

Play along with the prompt here!

(Photo Credit: Yuri_B on Pixabay)