Flash Fiction: Hyperspace

Hyperspace

09/2014

Zik’k watched the console timer tick down the seconds to the conversion from hyperspace to realspace. The short jaunt had become a full-blown training mission and now hunger gnawed at his narrow belly. His attention wandered to the bag of licha-crisps he had stashed behind his seat.

He could fix that.

His mandibles clattered softly in anticipation.

But licha-crisps were not a hyperspace-safe foodstuff; it said so on the bag. A red X warned of dire consequences for the unheeding snacker. But, he reasoned, Captain Onel frequently ate questionable foods while in her star-fighter and she hadn’t been lost to hyperspace or blown up thus far.

His stomach groaned audibly.

His antenna twitched.

Surely, just this once…

Decision made, Zik’k snaked his long, multi-jointed arm behind his seat and groped blindly for the bag. It was stuck on something and resisted when he tried to pull it out. He tugged once, trying to determine what held his snack captive. It had snagged on a survival knife. Why wasn’t that sheathed? Unhitching one arm from his harness, he twisted around in his seat for better leverage and gave the reluctant bag a hearty yank.

The bag burst open with a pop that sent the mandible-watering licha-crisps spinning through the air. Some bounced off the canopy, cracking in mid-air. Others scattered across the star-fighter’s console and wedged themselves between panels and into vents. Zik’k pulled the nearly empty bag free. He sighed and nibbled on the few crisps left at the bottom of the bag.

“The hell is that noise?” someone asked over the comm. That was when Zik’k belatedly realized that one of the stray crisps had toggled his comm and his companions had heard every damp mandible clack of his snacking.

Ah, k’kork.

He jerked around, strained against the flight harness, and reached out to swat the offending crisp away. His fingers missed by several inches. He squirmed, and he swiveled. He twisted, and he wriggled. The crisp remained tantalizingly just out of reach, and the harness seemed to get tighter with each motion.

He blurted out an expletive that only elicited more confusion from the pilots who could still hear him. He was stuck; thoroughly, completely, and entirely stuck. And the timer was still counting down. He sagged in his seat. The other pilots would never let him live it down if they caught him tangled in his harness.

Suddenly he remembered the knife, the culprit that sent snack-time spiraling into chaos. He wiggled in his seat, the movement crushing the crisps that had slithered into his seat, and managed to free his arm enough to hook it around the chair grasp the knife’s hilt.

The blade bit into the harness, split the webbing, and freed Zik’k just as the fighter made the conversion to realspace. He slammed his hand on the comm and silencing the transmission.

Everything’s fine.

Nothing to see here.

Now he just had to swap out his flight harness before the maintenance chief saw it.

 

The end.

 


Background:

Zik’k… sewn into his chair by the maintenance chief to keep him out of trouble.

This was originally written in September, 2014, as an exercise for an on-line RP group I was/am part of. I cleaned it up in 2017.

…For the record, Captain Onel and her star-fighter had, in fact, been blown up prior to Zik’k joining the squadron. It was, however, the result of sabotage and not because she eats cookies in the cockpit.

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