Flash Fiction: Babylon

Written for last week’s Microcosms, my prompts were “news reporter”, “battlefield” and “sci-fi”.

Babylon

“We can’t broadcast this.” The suited man stared in disgust at the reporter’s footage of the aftermath of one of the battles on Babylon.

The reporter’s red-rimmed eyes stared at the screen. “It shouldn’t be hidden.” He used two fingers to zoom in on the two figures in the centre of the screen. “Everyone should see this – both sides.”

“Like hell they will!” the man tried snatching the phone from the reporter. “I haven’t spent half of my money to let everything be destroyed by some kind of set-up between an alien and a human.

“Have you ever been to the aftermath of a fight where your weapons are used? Seen the maggots, flies and carrion animals? Smelled the stench of rotting flesh and blood? I have. All while you have been sitting safely in your office.” The reporter’s fingers flew over the screen, posting the video to social media. Views began to stream in.

“Bastard!” the man shouted and a shot rang out. The reporter crumpled to the floor. The phone fell out of his hand, the video still playing on loop; this time with sound added.

#

An alien crouched over a dying human soldier. The soldier, trembling, reached to his pocket, pointing and the alien removed a small, red book. The alien looked from the Gideon’s Bible to the man.

“I don’t know your religion well,” it said slowly. Its English accent showed that it was probably one of the scholars who had studied with the humans before the war.

“Pray for me,” the soldier sobbed, clutching his enemy’s hands. “Forgive me, I had no choice.”

The alien started at this. “Neither did I,” he said.

The human began to mumble, the alien repeating his words. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…”


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