Nuclear Radiation Agent Purple

Submitted into Contest #8 in response to: Write a story about an adventure in space. ... view prompt


Science Fiction

This was an accident and I am not an astronaut. I’ve been duped. See, they needed scientists and I am a scientist. They needed physicists to help with the equations on properly getting spacecrafts into space and that’s my job. But during the encounters with the Riw people, nuclear radiation agent purple was released and all of the trained astronauts were killed and they needed astronauts, but not just any astronauts, astronauts familiar with the year of of training in terminating the space junk virus scientifically known as nuclear radiation agent purple. 

Perhaps I am going too fast, so let’s back up. In the year 2057 A.C.E., the United States and Russian Space Programs discovered that there was alien life in the Universe roughly 255 light years from Earth. When we discovered these alien life forms, called Riw, we were very excited. We got Linguistic Professors to come to learn their language so we could understand what the Riw were saying and they did. After the rough first translations, we, the Earthlings/Americans/Russians discovered that the Riw seemed to be a very peaceful group of people. They appeared to have no war, no overpopulation, no famine. A sort of utopian Earth. Of course, fellow scientists convinced the Riw to let us anatomically examine them and we discovered the Riw had the same digestive system, circulatory system, and respiratory system as us humans. However, their reproductive system was quite different. Instead of reproducing sexually, they appeared to reproduce telepathically. At least that was the best the Earthly scientists could make of how they reproduced.  

But what we didn’t realize is they had nano particles of nuclear radiation purple coming from their pores. Even if we had realized it at first, we probably would have assumed it was the same thing as sweat and not thought it was a big deal. It sort of smelled like baked bread and we actually thought it was pleasant.  It turned out though, not only were small amounts of nuclear radiation purple coming from their pores, but these pores were active muscles they could turn on and off. So, they were intentionally killing us. But again, we didn’t know that then or even suspect it. So, these eight astronauts discovered these peaceful aliens, brought them back to Earth, and were about to take these aliens back to Riwso (the planet of the Riw) when all the trained astronauts and the Linguistic Professors suddenly died. There were autopsies and they all appeared to die of “natural causes”. However, it seemed too much of a coincidence. So, scientists started using more powerful microscopes until they discovered in the nanoscope the real cause of their illnesses.

But, again, all the linguists and all the astronauts have died, leaving the rest of NASA, along with the USA armed forces and Russian armed forces, to solve this problem. The Riw were still here and must be taken bake to Riwso, so no other innocent people would die. Also, even when put in jail cells, even isolated jail cells, the nuclear radiation purple still spread like cockroaches.  

So if, perhaps, war had ever happened on Riwso and nuclear radiation purple was used there, maybe there was a cure for it or at the least, a vaccine. Maybe. Or maybe I’d come back in a body bag. The names were randomly selected from a group of highly educated NASA staff and members of the USA Armed forces and Russian armed forces and for some reason I was chosen to go on this not so great adventure. Why me? I got a husband, two kids, a home, why not pick some college kid? But the random picker picked me.  Man, finding these aliens was an accident, a bad accident, and I’m not an astronaut, but the supervisors say they can easily train me.

So, they start my training by having me memorize the language from the notes the linguists took which are not at all clear. Things like HeIzIx = coffee. I know coffee but I don’t know how to pronounce Helzlx. Man, NASA started building under water cities that look like Riwso so I can get the feel of weightlessness. I’m 35 years old and I’m too old for this shit. Why not pick someone young, strong, healthy? Because the random name selector selected my damn name. I’m a home body anyway. I never liked trips.  

Then, for NASA training, I’m under water for eight hours a day, man, trying to speak this gibberish Riw language that doesn’t make any sense. They tried to have me ask the cure for the illness everyone has from the nuclear radiation purple of course, but what if they don’t know the cure or they just attack me with the radiation. This wasn’t a trip I wanted, but I get up every morning at 6:00 am to start my underwater training. Put on my space suit, put on my oxygen mask, no wait, put the virus filter thing over my mouth before the oxygen mask. Man, this is bullshit. I’m not an astronaut, I’m just a nuclear physicist.  

Then, the big day comes when they think I’m ready.  I don’t, but they do. They had put all the Riw on Earth in separate isolated, ventilated boxes which NASA called “containers”. They were strapped in the spaceship the way wheelchairs are strapped onto buses. If it’s ventilated, maybe I’ll catch nuclear radiation agent purple, too. This is bullshit. I take the gum out of my pocket to chew so my ears won’t pop during lift off. My space suit is on, and I hear the usual expected cliche voice saying, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off”.

September 23, 2019 23:00

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