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Funny Science Fiction Happy

Captain Finnian looked at the photo he took and smiled. Another great shot of a colorful nebula, or as Quixly liked to call them, ‘baby stars.’ There weren’t many photographers that had the privilege of traveling the universe for their art, and Captain Finnian felt very lucky every time he got to capture a new scene from space or on far off planets.

“Did you get a good shot of ‘im, sir?” asked Quixly, his trusty alien assistant. Quixly had four arms, three eyes, and two antennae that could both hear and smell. His green skin pulled all the features together rather nicely, and his knowledge of space along with his quirky personality made him the perfect intergalactic photographer’s assistant.

“Yep, it was a great one!” Captain Finnian replied. “This one is definitely going in the portfolio.”

“Wahooie!” Quixly yelled. “I’ll go grab the printer and supplies!” He then ran out of the room so fast that he crashed into the wall on the way out. But that didn’t slow him down, he just bounced off and kept running further into the spaceship like nothing happened.

Captain Finnian chuckled to himself as he uploaded the picture from his camera to the digital portfolio. He had tried to explain to Quixly a dozen times that they didn’t need a physical portfolio, it was all stored and organized on the intergalactic web. But Quixly either didn’t understand or he didn’t care. He loved printing out each successful shot and putting them in his homemade scrapbook style portfolio.

A couple minutes later Quixly bumbled back into the room, with his book, a printer, some cords, and a bottle of glue-like substance all in his arms. He sat them down and got to work attaching the camera and printer together with the cords so he could print the picture.

After muttering some alien curse words when the printer wasn’t cooperating, he finally got it to work and he printed out a beautiful, detailed copy of the nebula picture Captain Finnian had taken moments before.

“Oooh, boy! It’s a beaut, this one is! Well done Captain, well done!” Quixly said, admiring the photo.

“Thank you, Quixly.” Captain Finnian said, as his alien friend was pasting the picture onto the second to last page of his book.

“Oh dear.” Quixly remarked, seeing how close the book was to being full. “I need to add more pages. I’ll go get the materials now!”

He was just about to run out of the room again when Captain Finnian stopped him. “Wait! No need, Quixly. Your book has the perfect number of pages. I’m only planning on taking one more picture on this trip. Then our portfolio will be complete.”

“Wowza!” Quixly responded enthusiastically. “Only one more picture. That’s incredible! Do you have any grand plans on what you want it to be?”

“Indeed I do, Quixly. Indeed I do. I’ve heard rumors of a small planet on the far side of this galaxy that has the most beautiful, colorful, breathtaking scenes when timed just right. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever photographed. It’s going to be the perfect way to wrap up our collection.”

“Well then, hi-dee ho let’s go!” Quixly said. “How do we get there?”

“We need to go to coordinates…” Captain Finnian started to say, before pausing and looking at Quixly strangely. “Hi-dee ho let’s go? Where did that come from?”

Quixly shrugged all four shoulders. “I thought we needed a cool catchphrase for when we go on our travels. That’s what I came up with! Do you like it?”

“Well, if you’re looking for something cool, I think you’ve missed the mark just a tad.”

“Hmmm” Quixly muttered in response, deep in thought. He then perked up. “Wooden paddle let’s skedaddle!” He looked at Captain Finnian expectantly.

“Umm, let’s just stick with the hi-dee ho one.” Captain Finnian said, holding back a laugh. He got a kick out of his goofy assistant, but he was also an important figure in intergalactic space travel and photography. He had to at least try to maintain his serious reputation.

“Anyway,” Captain Finnian continued, looking down at a nearby screen with a map and lots of numbers on it. “We need to head to coordinates 8328.9293x, 103829.8475y, 920001.7401z. That’s where the closest wormhole is to make the jump.

Quixly’s eyes got huge in fright. “Sir! You don’t mean wormhole 82d27fw4kz, do you!?”

Captain Finnian referred to his screen again, impressed as always at his green friend’s ability to memorize such complicated numbers. “Yes, it appears that’s exactly the one. Why do you ask?”

Quixly gulped. “Sir, that wormhole is known as the Widow Maker! If we miscalculate the jump by even just one tenth of a degree, we’ll be blown to smithereens! It’s far too dangerous!”

Captain Finnian smiled confidently, and he sat down in his captain’s seat to steer the ship towards the wormhole. “It’s called the Widow Maker, huh? Well, it’s a good thing neither of us are married! It can’t make widows by destroying us. Besides, what’s space travel without a little danger?”

Quixly nervously took his seat next to the captain. “Safe. Healthy. Preferable.” He answered, his antennae quivering in fear. “Are you sure you don’t want to just take the next wormhole? 71d79ux6kp is quite reliable. I’d much prefer that.”

Captain Finnian rolled his eyes. “Quixly, wormhole 71d79 whatever is over 4 months away at hyper speed. This one is 30 minutes from here. We’ll be fine. With my piloting skills and your calculations, we’ll make it through easy. So, start working your numbers, because we’re taking this wormhole!”

Quixly nodded and quickly went to work typing out all sorts of information into his screen. If they were going to take this one he might as well make sure they were as prepared as possible. They both worked in silence over the next 25 minutes as they approached the wormhole, focused on making a perfect jump. Captain Finnian liked to take risks, but he didn’t like to die. He wanted to make sure they did this right.

“Ok Captain,” Quixly said, breaking the silence as they neared the wormhole. “You need to approach at a 36.82749201 degree angle. Do you want me to input that into your auto drive?”

“That would be perfect. Thank you, Quixly.” Captain Finnian replied. The alien quickly typed in some more numbers and the spaceship started adjusting its approach on its own.

“We need to stay exactly on the course I’ve sent over to your screen.” Quixly said in a serious tone, unusual for the quirky alien. “If we veer off even a finger’s width from that course, we’re goners. The auto drive doesn’t have that sort of precision near wormholes because of the way the energy messes with our systems. You’ll have to do it manually. Are you sure you can do this?”

“I’m as sure as I’ll ever be. Systems all look good, and I’m ready to take the finest picture this universe has ever seen. Let’s do this!” Captain Finnian pushed forward on the thrusters, sending them flying towards the wormhole.

“Hi-dee ho let’s go!” Quixly squealed with all the courage he could muster.

As they approached the wormhole their whole ship began to shake, but Captain Finnian didn’t know if it was the wormhole or the quaking alien next to him that was causing the turbulence. Either way, he stayed right on course and skillfully entered the wormhole at the perfect angle and position. Before he knew it, they were flying around completely different stars on the other end of the galaxy.

“We did it!” He yelled, turning to give Quixly a triumphant high five. The green assistant, however, was out cold, having fainted from fear upon entering the portal.

Captain Finnian smiled, and steered their ship towards the mysterious little planet that would hopefully provide the perfect finishing piece to his intergalactic portfolio. They were still several days away at hyper speed, so he put the ship in auto drive and went to prepare his cameras for the perfect picture.

The days passed quickly, and before they knew it, they were approaching the small, colorful planet. Captain Finnian had done his research, and he knew that he had to be at the perfect spot at the perfect time to get the beautiful shot he was dreaming of, so they stayed in orbit around the planet for a full day to make sure they knew where and when to go. Once they had everything ready, they entered the planet’s atmosphere and flew to a large field with massive mountains in the distance.

“Alright Quixly, put on your space gear and grab the extra cameras, it’s time to capture the most beautiful shot ever taken.” Captain Finnian said excitedly, putting on his gear to survive the atmosphere that would surely be toxic to them.

“Oh buddy oh boy, I can’t wait!” Quixly said with a smile that lit up all three of his eyes. He was back to his joyful old self now that they were safe from the Widow Maker.

Once they had everything ready, they exited the ship and set up the cameras for the perfect picture. Captain Finnian pointed towards the planet’s sun. “Do you see that, Quixly? When the sun sets between those two mountain peaks it supposedly lights up the sky like nothing you’ve ever seen. I reckon we’ve got about 20 minutes before it happens, so watch it closely. It might be the only time we see such a beautiful sight. You don’t want to miss it.”

Quixly nodded and looked up at the sky, ready to see what he’d only ever heard of. As they watched, the sky started to change. First it went orange, then red, then pink, and then a combination of all those colors over most of the sky. The clouds reflected the hues perfectly, adding large, fluffy bursts of color to the already painted sky.

Neither Captain Finnian nor Quixly spoke, both understanding that no words could describe the masterpiece they were watching. The captain took several pictures when the sky was brightest, but for most of the time he chose to sit back and enjoy the moment himself, rather than behind a camera lens. It might be the best picture he ever took, but no picture could do justice to what he was witnessing in person.

Once the sun set more fully, and the colors started to fade, Quixly turned towards Captain Finnian. “I thought I’d heard that there was an intelligent species on this planet.”

“There is.” Captain Finnian replied.

“Well, where are they? Don’t they know what’s happening out here!? Why haven’t they come out to see it?”

“I’m not sure, Quixly.” Captain Finnian said. “From what I’ve heard they all like to stay inside watching the little screens they have in their homes. Apparently, they find more joy from a little screen than in the mind-boggling beauty their planet offers them nearly every day.”

“How strange.” Quixly responded. “They must be a very peculiar species. What are they called again?”

“Earthlings.” Captain Finnian said. “Although I think they call themselves humans. They’re definitely an interesting bunch. We risked our lives just to see one of their sunsets, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t even walk out of their houses to appreciate it.”

“How sad.” Quixly said.”

“Indeed.” responded the captain.

After standing there in silence for several more minutes watching the last bits of color disappear, they started to head back to their ship. They had accomplished what they had set out to do, and they were both grateful for the opportunity to watch such a beautiful scene.

Back in the ship, Quixly printed and pasted the final photo into his book while Captain Finnian uploaded the picture to the online portfolio. Finally, they could head back home in glory and rest from their travels. Until, of course, the next adventure started.

“Hi-dee ho let’s go!” Quixly yelled as they lifted up off the ground and started to soar back towards space.

Captain Finnian chuckled and watched earth get smaller and smaller behind them as they flew away. “Indeed, my good friend. Hi-dee ho let’s go.”

April 03, 2024 16:38

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15 comments

Isabel Jewell
03:25 Apr 08, 2024

"We risked our lives just to see one of their sunsets, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t even walk out of their houses to appreciate it.” -- I loved this part. I thoroughly enjoyed the sci-fi! (I'm just like Quixly -- I love printing photos haha). I enjoy the humor as well, but can't help but wonder about the Captain's relationship/past with Quixly .... I'd love a backstory!

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McKade Kerr
13:37 Apr 08, 2024

Thank you so much for the comment, Isabel! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I had a fun time exploring these characters (especially Quixly), and I'm actually writing another story with them for this week's prompt. I didn't think about writing a backstory yet, but that's a great idea! I'll keep that in mind for future prompts. 😁

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Isabel Jewell
17:05 Apr 08, 2024

Awesome, can’t wait to read more!

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07:14 May 12, 2024

What a twist. They were on earth and earthlings would rather watch a square box inside than go out and see the beauty around them. Actually, most TVs are incredibly flat these days. Love the fun dialogue between Quixly and the Captain. Fits the prompt well.

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McKade Kerr
17:39 May 12, 2024

Thank you so much! Haha, I suppose Captain Finnian’s information must be a few years outdated 😂

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Graham Kinross
00:03 May 07, 2024

I like the Doctor Who style irony of humanity missing the beauty around us. Quixly is great. When you’ve got a good character, run with them.

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McKade Kerr
01:46 May 07, 2024

Thank you so much! I agree, I love Quixly. I don’t know if you’ve seen, but I’ve got three other stories with these characters, if you’re ever interested in reading more about Quixly!

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Daniel Rogers
01:38 Apr 10, 2024

"Hi-dee ho let's go!" Quixly stole the show for me. What a delightful character. Very clever taking that rare photo on earth. Showing the earthlings misplace priority on watching TV instead of the beauty of our world.

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McKade Kerr
11:06 Apr 10, 2024

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it! I also loved Quixly, so I wrote another story with these characters for this week's prompt. I'm following your example of using multiple stories to explore the characters I like.

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Jeremy Burgess
19:45 Apr 08, 2024

Light, fun, tone - I enjoyed this a lot. I thought the take on "it's actually earth!" was good as well - it worked, I thought, to make it about the beauty of the sunset they we all know is there, but so rarely take the time to watch.

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McKade Kerr
21:06 Apr 08, 2024

Thank you so much, Jeremy! I'm glad you liked the way I ended it too, it took me a while to get the timing and tone how I wanted it.

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Kristi Gott
15:37 Apr 08, 2024

Delightful story and characters! I enjoyed the light, whimsical tone and the creativity. We need more stories like this. Well done!

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McKade Kerr
15:47 Apr 08, 2024

Thank you so much, Kristi! I'm glad you liked it! I also love the nature themes and fun, whimsical tone to your stories!

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Alexis Araneta
10:18 Apr 04, 2024

Yet another unique take on the prompt, McKade, The tone was very interesting. Great job !

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McKade Kerr
13:31 Apr 04, 2024

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it!

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