Science Fiction Suspense Fantasy

As the wind picks up speed and even more strength, I stand under our glorious purple moon. The moon that shines high above us, the stars in this galaxy, in the midst of the ever expansive empty black of space. The six pillars of our grand governance flashing up with power and pride against the corners of our gorgeous moon. As it all waves high in the air in defiance of Yrrim’s planetary wrath, my heart fills with the greatest resolve there is. The type that only the most devoted of patriotism can deliver. It isn’t as strong as it was when I was first stationed here, but it’s still there. I must believe it is. Too many of us have already lost hope for her. In the midst of this planet’s unforgiving forces, the high waves of its green, polluted ocean and these relentless gusts, I must remain here. If I don’t, who will anymore?

My co-watchman operates the light above us, casting illumination upon this horrific storm. As I’m casting a studious eye through the lens of a federation provided long ranged binocular, searching for any Nulistean stragglers for them to pick up, the winds forces the device from my hands and, with all its unstoppable fury, casts it deep into its toxic waters. I take it as a sign from the system that my time here should be through. We haven’t seen any federation ships for quite a long while now. I will never give in. I can’t give in.

I go up the stairs of the lighthouse, one of many on this planet. Our Fastigian council has several of these across at least seven planets. That number may have doubled since I’ve been here. I haven’t been to our home system in a while. There are many splits in this structure I notice as I go up past the communications room. I doubt this place has the will that I have to weather the act of nature that is striking hard upon us just outside. I, at last, make it to the top. Filips, the other officer that was put to this lighthouse with me, is a rather great cook and has plenty of muscle on him. He is rather ill tempered and not the brightest, however. Together, we balance each other’s insanities well.

“What in all of the stars are you thinking?” Filips didn’t even turn around. He just kept on guiding the heavy light around, casting the nasty waters in a prettier hue than they deserved. “No amount of that suicidal standing will make these winds any better.” He had this incredibly monotone, drab voice that never ceased to bring my mood down, no matter how high up I felt inside. 

“It’s worth a shot, Fill.” Filips says nothing, though I know his face is of great annoyance. “I lost my viewers.”

“Heh, you mean their viewers.” I ignore his little “joke.”

“Where are the spares?”

“In the communications room, I believe. Check the bottom shelf, where the medical tools are.” 

“I will, thanks.” Before I leave, I can’t help but ask him a painful question. The same painful one I’ve been asking nonstop to an unbearable degree for Filips. “See anything afar?”

“Not a god damn wing.” He shut the light off and plumped his body down to the floor beside it. He took a heavy sigh and wiped his brow clean of its sweat.

“You’d think they’d at least contact us back.”

“You’re not going to do it again, are you?”

“I have to at least try, Fill. Maybe the council has been preoccupied.” 

“Yeah, preoccupied enough to leave this shack in such a sad state…” I had been trying desperately to call the council, or anyone in its military sphere about why we were still here. It was steadily wearing Filips thin. Lately, on me too.

“You remember how it was when we left. That kind of prosperity doesn’t manage itself.” 

“I suppose not…”

“Things will…” I couldn’t even finish it this time. It’s getting harder to keep it up. “It’ll get better here.” 

“Will this storm clear up soon?”

“You know I don’t know that.” 

“Doesn’t it bother you that they don’t permit you to?” I turn my back to him. I could feel myself cracking inside.

“That’s enough, Fill.” 

“They know about these planets, they know of their conditions, yet they send us here without…”

“ENOUGH!” Filips looks surprised. I step back, surprising even myself at how I just reacted. There’s nothing for a good while, as the waves splashing at the bedrock of this slowly collapsing structure take up the silence’s space. 

“I’m going to give them another call.” There’s no protest from Filips. I take it he knows he’s pushed me far enough today. I pray they answer this time as I head down to the communications room. 


The waves are just as rowdy, the winds just as strong the next morning. I decide to do a bit of patch work on some of the cracks around the lighthouse. I finish up on the inside as Filips cleans the long unused hook beams outside. They are how we pull those ships in. We both switch places as I go outside to patch up some of the more decrepit sections of the building, while Filips goes up above to patrol the light. I hope he finds something. I hate how much I’ve said that.

As I traverse my way around the rocks, reaching up to the various tears of this lighthouse, the winds almost shove my body into the side of the structure. I manage to save myself from colliding with it, putting my hands to either side of my stomach. All the while, my ears are bombarded with the dense sound of aggressive winds. In the onslaught of angry air, I manage to look up at our moon to see it tear slightly from its pole. Before long, another tear. Then another. And another. I start to cry. Then, I feel my body slam hard against the lighthouse. Blackness comes shortly after.

When I came to, I was in the communications room, my body placed backside down against the table. My blurred eyes could make out the skinny, tall, long-legged silhouette of Filips standing in front of me. “Thank lovely Junia, you’re okay.”

I sat up, my head ringing with heavy excruciation. “What…am I…” 

“Hey, easy! You had a nasty fall from the rocks. Lucky I was there before the wind carried you into the ocean.” 

It all vaguely starts clicking to me. Then I tense up. “The flag! What happened to it?”

“You nearly died and that’s what you ask first? It got ripped from the pole. It’s probably floating at the bottom of this planet’s waters.” My head is still in pain as I leap down from the table on my feet. I rest a hand against the table to help myself up. “Did you get any word from them the other night?” 

“...no.” I grip my arm tight. Filips turns around. I see that he’s making some of the rations the federation left for us to feed on. 

“This storm isn’t letting up. When I came out there, those patches you put up were already coming off.” I gripped it tighter. 

“Well, you should eat something.” He turns around and hands me the freshly spiced, hot stew. “It’s not much, but better than nothing.” I pay no attention to the heat and finish the stew off in seconds, placing the clean bowl on the table next to me. Filips takes two spoonfuls of the stew into his mouth. I grip my arm again. “Starting to run low on this stuff.” The grip grows tighter still. Filips sighs, taking his bowl and sitting down at the table by my side. 

“Kim…” I lift up the bowl and throw it at the wall next to him. I don’t have the heart to even look at him as I storm out of the room and up to the light. I wave it around at the ocean, waiting to see that beautiful moon again. That safe symbol waving against one of our glorious ships. All I can see is more shitty water. I wait to hear the roaring sound of fuel engines. All I hear is wind. That goddamn wind. The same wind that just took the last sight of comfort from this miserable plot of land.

I tried to message the federation later that night. Yet again, no answer. I start to cry again.


This storm still rages. I don’t know how much time has passed anymore. Filips and I hardly talk now. I try to fix this cursed lighthouse, and the storm tears it down again and again. I can hear this place being pushed to its structural limits. With every blow upon its walls, my soul grows heavier. I find myself in the doorway to the lighthouse most days lately. Looking out at the ocean and silently praying. I don’t have the stomach for our rations anymore, what few we have of them. Has dear Nulistea truly turned her back on me after all these years? 

Filips walks down the steps and taps me on the shoulder. “Come on, Kim, let’s eat.” I kick at a rock near me. Filips taps me harder. I turn around and he steps back in alarm. “Just come hear what I have to say.” 

I sit down at a chair across from Filips in the communications room as he sits eating one of the last remaining stews in this rotting lighthouse. “Any ships today?” 

“Of course not.” I don’t know why I ask anymore. “I found something else though.” 

“What do you mean…I didn’t…”” He cuts me off in my bewilderment.

“I saw this rather large steel vehicle bobbing up and down in the waves. I’m thinking it might be locals from around here.” I didn’t see that. I didn’t see anything at all.

“I was watching it for a while, and it’s still in roughly the same spot out there.” I get up from the chair. “No, Kim, please….I know…” He breathes in deep. “I know how you feel about our duty, but night after night you call. All I’m saying is they might give us a window off this rock.”

I can’t believe he’d manufacture something like that to goat me out of my sacred duty. After all we’ve been through here, he sits there manipulating me at my spiritual, physical lowest. How dare he. The disgusting, selfish pig. I didn’t see any big hunk of steel floating out there. I’ve been watching these nauseous waters longer than he even bothers to see them anymore! How dare he even suggest such an idea.

“You make me sick.” 

“I could say the same about you, Kim. You don’t eat anymore. You stand at those steps day in, day out, like you’re sleepwalking. You look at me as if I committed a murder.”

“Why didn’t I see what you’re describing?” He scoffs at me. 

“It was far away, you know only up there can allow you such a sight.” 

“You’re so short sighted, Filips.” He throws down his spoon and pushes his chair back. 

“Forgive me if I’m just trying to survive and live a life that isn’t spent decaying away on this fucking rock!” He’s trying to tempt me off it, I know it. 

“You’re just like Sebal!!” Sebal, he…he was my…I begin to cry. He gets up from his chair and I back away. “You touch me and I swear I will shoot you.” The menace sits back down in his chair and grows silent.

I leave him alone and go up to man the light myself. I can’t trust him anymore. Not with his deceitful, dishonorable course.


My arm feels like it's hanging by a thread of bone and my will. Days are flashing by with no traces of anything yet. I don’t know nor care what the worm is doing now. He’s out of the way, and that’s all that matters. He tried to take the light away from me days ago, but I wouldn’t let him have it. I threatened him, and he quickly backed off. The winds are starting to give me a headache. The sight of the water is making me sick.

I vomit on the floor, letting the light drop down till it pointed at the land below the lighthouse. 

I wipe my mouth and get up. Another sign from the system I have to fight through. Can I anymore? As I get up, I can smell smoke. Looking down, I see that pig standing next to a fire. What is he…oh god. He’s trying to kill me! He’s trying to burn this down! 

I hurriedly run downstairs, laser shaking in my hand. The wind fills my heart with hate and sadness. Why would he do this to me? Why would he try to tear this down with me in it?! Just because I haven’t given up and he has? The coward, the monster, the devil!! 

I reach the bottom and train the weapon at the beast’s head. He immediately backs up. “No, no, no, Kim!” He gets me to stop where I am, as his hand hovers over his own laser wedged in his jean pocket. “Wait, please! Wait! Don’t shoot! Please…drop it…this...it…this isn’t what you…” I look to the side of me and…no. God, please, no…he…he burned the communicator. The only tool we can use to connect with the council…he just…I look at him with hate and scream to the sky with sadness as I unload on him before he can think. Blood splatters every which way as I keep on firing. He deserves every shot. He deserves this death. I fire about twelve shots at him before his body finally falls to the floor. 

I run up the steps to the lighthouse and retrieve a cloth from the communications room. In a flash, I go to the fire and whip it away with the cloth. When the smoke clears, I see what I’ve done. I…see…what I’ve…oh no. What did I…how did this…oh no. What did I do…what did I do…oh Nulistea, what did I do…you see what I’ve done for you?! Don’t you see?!

I’ve betrayed our sacred honor for your safety, Nulistea! Surely now you will save me! You will take me away to my farm again, won’t you?? Won’t you, Nulistea? I’ve defended you! I’ve stayed here for you! I haven’t left! I have paid my dues! So why…why do you keep me here…


More days have come and gone. As to how many, Kim has no idea. With pain searing in her ribs and arms she continues to hoist up the light, desperate for any sign of Nulistea’s salvation. Nothing still. She falls to the floor in pain, her arms caving in as her soul slowly has. 

She begins to cry and from one of her jean pockets, she pulls out a locket. She opens it and sees a picture of Sebal, her once beloved. She clutches it to her chest and then holds it to the sky, wailing incoherently. She slams it down on the floor, letting it free of her grip. She slides her body over to a wall. As she gazes up at the ceiling, she reaches in her other pocket, pulling out her laser. She points it under her chin. “I’m coming for you, Sebal.” She thinks to herself. 

At that instant, she hears a fuel engine in the distance. She painfully pulls herself up. She knows what she must do. At her hour of dire need, Nulistea has at last come for her, she thinks as she musters what little strength she has left to raise the light ahead. Finally, she sees a ship flying towards the lighthouse. Flying for her salvation. As it gets closer, she sees something is wrong.

Being at the lighthouse took a lot from Kim. Physically and mentally. Even through it all, she didn’t forget what the flag of her sacred nation looks like. The purple moon was still there, but the stars were now to the side of it, the pillars gone. The blackness of space no longer to the top of the moon, but all around it. Her Nulistea, as she knew it, is now gone.

She collapses to the floor, as the rebel ship puts the vestige of the old Nulistea out of its misery with a shower of laser fire. Kim, now lying buried and broken with the scattered remains of the oligarchy she held dear. 

March 08, 2024 02:04

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Marty B
18:26 Mar 09, 2024

This story shows that you can love an oligarchy, love the symbols, its power, but it wont love you back. Thanks-


Show 0 replies
Alexis Araneta
15:16 Apr 17, 2024

Oh my, Aidan ! Such a great piece here. Very deep, introspective writing here. I love how you illustrated the quest for power with such a gripping tale. Lovely work !


Aidan Romo
18:06 Apr 17, 2024

Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, Stella. The fact that this story managed to elicit such a response from you made my day.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jack Kimball
17:33 Mar 23, 2024

Hi Aidan, Again, a much deeper piece from you than it first appears. The whole beginning sounds like a diary with the atmosphere getting worse and worse, the storm, the tension between the two characters. '...After all we’ve been through here, he sits there manipulating me at my spiritual, physical lowest. How dare he. The disgusting, selfish pig. ' The tension building reminded me of all things, Stephen King's "The Shining". A paranoia. But there is no saving. A dark ending, '...the rebel ship puts the vestige of the old Nulistea out ...


Aidan Romo
20:06 Mar 23, 2024

I really appreciate this comment, thank you, Jack. I always value your constructive feedback. I'm glad to hear this managed to strike a chord with you. :)


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.