Yurij Mikhalevich
March 23, 2020

A Trade

“Did you bring it?” said a familiar voice.

“We have what you requested,” a cold, inhumane voice slowly responded. “Did you deliver on your part of the agreement?”

“Sure, I did. Still, I don’t understand why you may need this.”

I slowly peeked around the corner and was shocked by what I saw. The captain of the ship is making a deal with one of the aliens, with one of the invaders!

I asked myself, “Who would’ve thought that they could speak English this well.”

“We don’t expect you to understand. You only had to deliver.”

A sudden sound of something small hitting the metal floor startled me. I quickly hid behind the wall.

“Shit! Where did I drop it?”

I heard some noise but didn’t dare to look.

“Here it is. Sorry about that, please, take it.”

As I listened in, I heard a noise of a docking gate opening and closing. “You humans can be adorably clumsy. I’m surprised how you managed to hold your ground against us for so long.”

It was quiet for a while.

I turned my sight around the corner and saw that the captain was standing there alone. “What is he waiting for?”

Not seeing the alien made me anxious. A chill ran through my spine. I had that weird, suspenseful, horror-like sensation of doubting whether the alien was behind me now. I slowly turned my head. No one was there, just a clean empty corridor.

The sound of the docking gate opening directed my head towards the captain again. The alien was back with a black bag the size of a bottle of whiskey. It looked heavy for its size.

“Here is your payment, human. As agreed.”

The captain briefly looked inside the bag. “Good, good.”

The alien silently moved back through the docking gate. A slight vibration made it clear that the alien ship had de-docked. It looked like the captain registered this too. Suddenly he became very relieved. And, with the threat of the alien threat, I became furious with the captain.

Without thinking, I ran towards him and punched him in the face. “Why did you make deals with aliens?!”

The captain was surprised and wasn’t able to react. He moved back, almost falling behind. The bag he received from the alien dropped to the floor. Beautiful, crystal clear rocks of different sizes were scattered across the floor.

“And for what? For a bunch of diamonds?! You ignorant fool! What did you give them?”

He stood up and cleaned up the blood from his mouth.

“You’ll see.”

He took out a small remote control with a single button. My eyes widened.

“What’s that? Don’t make any moves, or I’ll shoot you.”

My hands went for the gun. I took a step back.

“Calm down. I’ll explain everything. You shouldn’t have seen this.”

I pointed the gun to his chest. He raised his arms above his head.

“Listen, boy.”

“Jared, my name is Jared.”

“Listen, Jared, I will explain everything to you. But you have to trust me.”

“Shut up! I’ve heard enough. Put the remote slowly on the floor. Keep your other hand in the air. Do it! Or I’ll shoot you!”

“Calm down, Jared. We don’t have much time.”

The captain took a step towards me and tried to grab the gun in one smooth motion. The plasma from my gun burned his shoulder as I panicked and pulled the trigger. He involuntarily screamed and fell to the floor. The air was filled with the smell of burned flesh. But he was still holding the remote and looking at his wrist computer. He was checking something!

“It’s time.”

The captain pressed the button on the remote and passed out.

A few seconds passed in complete silence before my wrist computer alerted me of an explosion wave hitting our station. The wave was of minor power, nothing to worry about. Another fact was brought to my attention. According to the computations, the epicenter of the explosion was somewhere behind the enemy lines.

“The explosion should’ve been huge.”

Builds the future at Lightning AI, creator of the Move Fast and Break Things community of software engineers, DeepLearning.AI mentor, creator of rclip, writes about tech, software engineering, books, what to watch, and beyond, practices creative writing and captures moments through photography
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