26 parts of a Speculative Fiction story by J Lenni Dorner
“You must win. Killing is only required against a champion. The opponent may surrender, but at great cost.”
“What about knocking them out?” I rub my arms. The suit still feels too tight.
“Not all beings can become unconscious.”
Fantastic. I’m fighting aliens. “You know, on Earth, some people think we’re the only life forms. There are stories about space aliens, but most people think they’re lies.”
“Stories about food are not lies. Focus on those. Your world is far less advanced than Phaeton.”
I laugh hard enough to split the seams of my tight jumpsuit, if it had any seams. Which, of course, it doesn’t, as far as I can tell. “My people think your world is just a swamp. How advanced is this planet?”
She grins. “Advanced enough to convince your people that it’s just a swamp.”
I think of the sci-fi stories I read as a child. Phaeton was always getting blown up, creating an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Or, in one, it didn’t exist at all, there was just the belt because the world never formed. I wish those were true now.
Come to think of it, I only know of one book where Phaeton was a world with life. It was by Lenape Lifelong, a reclusive writer who no one knew anything about. Dozens of books, all listed as fantasy or science-fiction, but more than one turned out to be mostly true.
“You don’t have any books around here, do you? Maybe something by Lenape Lifelong?”
“Books… books… oh, yes, my mother mentioned how words are kept on Earth. Odd custom.”
“So that’s a no.” I sigh as Jenesis helps me stretch.
“Lenape Lifelong is my favorite author. We have the words, but in a different storage method. Win the fight, and I’ll show you after our victory meal.”
Stories that exist on multiple worlds? That’ll be interesting.
Part of the wall vanishes. A voice comes from the dark opening. “Is the Earthling ready?”
Jenesis replies with a honking sort of sound and shoves me through the hole.
Have you ever read a fantasy or sci-fi book that seemed plausible?
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