A Conspiracy Against Life - A twenty four hour short story

in fiction •  5 months ago

This short story was written for @mctiller's twenty four hour short story contest.. You should check out the other great submissions to the contest.

The prompt was: People on another planet discover Earth holds life.

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A Conspiracy Against Life

“No, no, no. This can’t be right.” Klastos scrutinized the print outs. “That solar system was cleared back in the reign of Xanabaster the Seventh. That was a millenia ago.” He stared up at Lerestia. "Either they missed it, which would be impossible, or they never cleared it..."

“I know,” Lerestia replied. She stood with her arms folded over her chest, grasping more printouts from observer drones. “But it’s right there. It's the truth. We have video as well.”

Klastos stared at her, mouth agape. “Video? Of the intelligence?”

“Yes.” Lerestia hesitated, then added. “They remain primitive, I mean, relative to us. But it's life. Social orders, hunters and prey. All of it.”

“Amazing." Klastos murmered to himself. "But this’ll be a shit storm.” Klastos shook his head. “A fucking shit storm. Dally hears about this and he’ll be obligated to report it to the committee. From there, this,” Klastos stabbed the paper with his finger, “goes straight to the floor of the Civil Grounds and Emperor Junto. And you know what he'll say about it.”



“Did you know?” Lerestia asked. “Did you at least…suspect?”

“What’s it matter now?”

“Well. I want to know.”

“Is that why you brought this to me?” Klastos waved the datasheets. “And not straight to Dally?”

"I hoped you would see it the same way as me."

"I do." Klastos gave a nod. "We need to destroy this, doctor the read outs, hide it from them or-"

Lerestia glanced behind her. “He’s here,” She whispered. Slipping her head out to the hall, she glanced at her boss, dressed in his black suit, pacing towards the office. Lerestia turned back to Klastos, raising her eyebrows. Klastos raced to hide the papers in a stack of his own work. Lerestia stepped closer to his desk as their boss, Dally, entered the office.

She clutched the readouts to her chest.

"Scientists of the great Empire," Dally said as he entered. "I heard the readouts from the latest scouting mission are in. Z-A to the 32nd, yes? What are the results? Nothing, I'm sure. We are, as Emperor Junto says, existentially unique. And we always will be."

Dally glanced down at Lerestia's chest. "May I see them?"

"S-s-s-s-s-sure," she began to hand the papers to Dally.

"Mister Dally," Klastos interuppted. "I need you to check out the latest," he grabbed a stack of paperwork and stepped over to the two of them. The old scientist tripped, throwing a cloud of readouts and spreadsheets and papers into the air. Lerestia folded the readouts and stuffed them in the back of her pants and began to help organize the papers. "Terribly sorry," Klastos said.

Dally, annoyed, told them to deliver the files to his desk immediately and left.

"Quick thinking," Lerestia whispered. "But how long can we delay this?"

"We need to doctor the actual readouts. Print out the false papers and give them to Dally."

"What you're suggesting...look. I agree. Extermination is insane. The entire system is insane. But what you're suggesting is treason against the Emperor's Existential Uniqueness."

Klastos shrugged his shoulders. The confident, cool act boosted Lerestia's confidence. She returned to her computer and began doctoring the results. It took time, and Dally phoned her office more than once. She explained she had a stomach ache and delayed as she could.

When she delivered the results, now showing that Z-A to the 32nd lacked any signs of life, Dally merely glanced at the print outs then stamped them, signed them, marked each paper with his fingerprint then sent them on their way through a vacuum-tube.

He stood up and grabbed Lerestia by the hip. She wanted to slap him, but feared for her job, and feared that he knew what she'd done. "About that drink," he said.

Then it all happened in less than a second. Dally and her both found themselves in the chamber of Emperor Junto. He sad bored on his throne, using his mind to levitate swords. She glanced to her left and saw Klastos grovelling on the floor.

"It was her. All her. It was her idea, I swear. I had nothing to do with the conspiracy!"

You son of a bitch, Klastos, she thought.

The Emperor flicked his fingers and Klastos transformed into a slug, covered in mucous and pulsing with pus and veins. the Emperor, a crown of gold and obsidian resting on his old head, glanced to Lerestia and Dally. Lines ran down along his face, grey and silver, glowing with the power of nanotech and biomecha.

"Your boss failed at his job," he said. He waved his hand and the swords he'd levitated with his mind raced down, piercing Dally through his skull and chest and hands. Her boss stood, transfixed and in shock before his corpse collapsed onto the floor.

Lerestia sobbed. She pleaded and begged. "I'm sorry," she said.

"How can we be special?" the Emperor asked. "If there's anything else but us? How can we be unique when there's an entire planet of life aside from our own?"

He waved a hand and a trigger and screen appeared. It was Earth. "Press the trigger," the Emperor demanded. "And you live."

She obeyed without question. The asteroid was on its way. Lerestia told herself it didn't matter. After all, they were just lizards.

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Hi dirge,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

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Wow! It is always a pleasure to read your stories @dirge. You have this power over words, bending them to your will. This one is just epic! Lizards wanting to destroy earth? And you kept it to the very end. I just love this.

I love surprise endings especially when the director of death is in charge. LOL Great story. :)

I loved the story, and seeing it from the point of view of an illustrator (that is me) literally puts my mind to fly with ideas of how to illustrate that story, I loved the narrative and although I did not read it from the beginning, it has caught me quite! very good story, congratulations!

Wow beautiful prose fiction, this is totally amazing see I love the theme of narcissitic leaders displaying their anarchy just for their pleasure, I love the way you blended in the humor, it made the story less pensive really and brought out a comic relief that's quite beautiful.

Lizards and emperors and dinosaurs really I didn't see what you intend with the lizards, but wow it's a splendid story, well done.


The lizards referred to at the end are the dinosaurs that lived on Earth.

After all, they were just lizards.

Lizards exterminating Earth. How scary can that be!? 😂

On a more serious note, I like the lesson of the story. Sometimes we tend to lie because of what we think will be for a greater good or lesser evil. Unfortunately there are times we get into a dilemma wherein the other side of the coin is what we value to most. Then we have to choose which one to give up.

Very good story there!


I intended that the lizards on Earth were the dinosaurs. And this was supposed to be like a cosmic race governed by solipsistic and sociopathic emperors who destroy life in order to feel special.

I enjoyed your take on it though. Thanks for reading!


Oh, I did not take any living thing to be specific but the Earth in general.

It was a good read. You're welcome. :)

Wow you really did surprise me at the end. I suppose it is only a matter of time before they return to take us out. This pesky old planet just keeps producing potential competition.
It is pretty sad actually a couple extra narcissist psychopaths would surly add interest to the universe.


It is pretty sad actually a couple extra narcissist psychopaths would surly add interest to the universe.

We got plenty on our planet


Yeah, would be a shame if old Emperor Junto decided to take a few out. 👽

Cool, I imagined an end more or less like this, you have a great method to hook the reader with all the drama, that I like the writing of the present, punctuality. Good story. Greetings and blessings to you.


thanks for reading

I would make a Country Roads reference, but the cleaners aren’t the ones facing the apocalypse. Bet the dinosaurs heard that and just off’d themselves because of the song. Resteem’d and upvot’d.


Mountain mommaaaaaa


To the place, I BELONG! (Me in the background.)

Hello Dirge!
Why you choose the skulls as your image in your post?
I'm just curious and want to know.
Sorry for that question.


No reason at all, and absolutely not for any reason that has something to do with the story


Ah I see.
I guess the skulls represents the reality of death on human life.
That we all gonna die no matter how we try our best not to get sick. Even old people will also die.

I love to read fiction story and your story title attracted me. Your short story is good and am I sure when you start to write it you have a draft story line? You have talent in short story writing since you have different inspiration than others. Hope to read more of your stories in future.


Thanks for reading.

start to write it you have a draft story line?

I have an idea or concept in mind. I write it down, see where it goes, and try to construct a plot around it. Then I try to end it with a punch line.

This particular story was written in about 40 minutes. For longer stuff, I absolutely plan a draft and map before hand.


Wowo amazing you can finished a story in 40 minutes. I maybe still scratching my head in this 40 minutes if I need to write a story. Well done.

Great! This is why we always need to move forward :) Don't Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much Of Today.

This is superb! Awesomely superb!


Thanks @seesladen. Happy you enjoyed it.

The prompt was: People on another planet discover Earth holds life.

Not an easy subject to take on but i think you put a good story behind it. i especially like the ending with the asteroid and the trigger. Exciting stuff.


Thanks for reading.


No problem. I enjoyed the story.

Posted using Partiko Android

Quite a different approach from your previous stories but nonetheless entertaining. I did find the story's perspective interesting. Not the usual mainstream twist or approach. If I had anything to dislike about the short story, it would probably the part where it is a short story.

A lot of things could be expounded like how the setup and the Emperor knew. But I understood that those parts are both limits and strengths of the story, I think? The Emperor being feared for seemingly omnipotent and all.


I wrote this in less than an hour, trying to make the deadline (I didn't). I would have also added a hell of a lot more to it.

Thanks for reading!

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