Flash Fiction – Aftermath (From the Archives)

First posted in 2018. || Image Credit: Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

“So they’re dead.”

Haea had a blunt, to the point way of putting things. Most people did after spending years in the Elites, it was the only way of coping.

“Thanks for pointing that out,” Niin said, kicking an arm out of the way and sitting down on the wet earth, “I hadn’t noticed.”

Sarcasm, that was another trait of the Elites too.

“What do you think, Ee?” Haea asked, snapping Ee out of her thoughts, “you think they’re dead enough?”

She jerked her thumb over her shoulder at the wasteland behind her. The bodies were already starting to be absorbed into the mud, eaten by the soil for the nutrients.

“Yes,” Ee said, staring at her gun in her hands. Something hadn’t felt right about this mission, it just seemed off.

“You’re thinking again aren’t you?” Niin said, kicking Ee’s boot, “stop that, it’s dangerous.”

“Thinking isn’t dangerous,” Ee replied, running her hand through her hair, “just acting on it that’s dangerous.”

“You can’t kill the President,” Niin said, “you’re in the Elites for a reason you know.”

“I’m not thinking about the President,” Ee said, “and besides, I only did light arson. You’re the one who did what, four murders?”

“Four husbands,” Niin said, shrugging as if that explained it.

Ee rolled her eyes.

“It’s the Lieutenant-Higher,” Ee said, “he’s just, not right.”

“Not right is an understatement,” Haea scoffed, “he’s a lunatic with too many toys with too many buttons.”

“That’s rich from you,” Niin remarked, elbowing Haea. In any other situation, that would have been a grave insult. In the Elites, you accepted everyone’s differences for what they were, and you used them to their advantages.

That was what you did to survive.

“It’s true,” Haea said, “he’s a true fucking nutjob. Like he’s sane levels of insane.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Ee said, “the orders coming in at the last minute. The Elite’s being sent to do a job that the normal Regiments should have been sent to do? It’s just a last minute rush job.”

“You’re still thinking we’re going to take the blame?” Niin said, “you know what Bryantt said about that-”

“Bryantt will understand when he sees the news,” Ee said, “just wait for it to come in. Tomorrow morning we’ll be renegade pirates with the whole Sector on our arses because the Lieutenant-Higher is failing to cover up his drugs ring that funds his ridiculous lifestyle and needs someone to take the blame.”

“Yeh, because we look like druggies,” Niin scoffed.

“We don’t have to look like it Niin,” Ee said, “no one gives a hell about us, and they give even less of a hell about the Elites. It’s a perfect patsy.”

“So what we going to do about it?” Haea asked.

“Please say coup, please say coup,” Niin said.

Not a coup, Niin” Ee said, “just some light disturbances to his drugs ring. Enough to make him broke.”

“You never say coup,” Niin said, sounding like a petulant child.

“So, we go and blow up his storehouses?” Haea suggested.

“His actual houses?” Niin asked.

“No,” Ee said, “his supplier. The biggest druglady in the sector. Lady Oria.”

Niin whistled.

“Not pulling many punches,” she remarked.

There was the trademark sarcasm again.

“You think Bryantt will agree?” Haea said.

“Dunno,” Ee shrugged, glancing up at the purple clouds above. Bryantt would be piloting their escape ship over, it was due to land in three minutes.

Soon enough so they didn’t get eaten alive by the planet. Not so soon that he wasn’t make a point about Ee’s previous suggestion to go blow up the Lieutenant-Higher’s palace.

Still they had to try. Otherwise they would be the scapegoat for the Lieutenant-Higher’s plans to overthrow any shred of evidence the Forces had for his drugs ring. If the Elites had gone rogue, then their evidence wouldn’t be admissible in court.

And then there really would be no hope left for the Sector.

Enjoy this story? Check out my other flash fictions below!

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