Short Fiction – Missiles

Every now and then I post short fiction pieces, 300 to 600 word chunks that are for writing practice. They don’t fit with any work I current have, and since there’s a chance I’d just forget about them anyway without using them again, I thought it’d be fun to post.

Below is a short science fiction piece. Enjoy!


She looked at the plot. They had enough delta-v to avoid the missiles; those were in essence souped-up rockets, not a match for any ship with HCA drive, but they weren’t supposed to take them out. The missiles were meant to herd them in a vector, restrict choice, and otherwise help their opponents line up a kill or disabling shot.

But she couldn’t very well ignore the gods-damned things. Relative closing velocity between them was piling up to be over 10 klicks a second, enough to turn just one of the bastards into certain death for her ship, even if the warhead casing was stuffed with rocks.

Well, they don’t know what we’ve got on board, now, do they? She barked an order to Smith. “Pitch us 170 degrees pro, 150 for 10, then bring us back to original heading and burn like hell for 30 seconds” It would put them on a spiraling Z shaped trajectory, including their previous maneuvers. And now for the surprise. Her thumb stabbed down on the port cargo door release. You want our cargo, well shit, fellas, here it is!

The Spauling hadn’t used the port cargo bay in the last two runs; both as they hadn’t needed to and because it was serving as the current repository for all the broken junk they’d still been pulling out of the systems. Scrap metal, wiring, busted cargo pods – and 3 janky mines she thought they’d never get rid of. Who was going to want mines that wouldn’t explode?

They didn’t need to explode, for her, they just needed to still obey the arming trigger and have anything left in their maneuver thrusters. Two of them did, the other not responding to her commands as the Spauling slewed through her climb. 1.5 g wasn’t a terrible feeling, for a seasoned spacer, but she still tensed up for the upcoming 4 g burn Smith was going to hit for 30 seconds at the end of the climb.

The maneuvering mines did the trick, forcing the missiles to reorient or slam into the mines instead of her ship. A single missile didn’t, and took the mine out with its own destruction. The other missile burned delta-v to avoid the mine, clipped the underside of a cargo pod, and went spinning out of control to gods know where.

She was pushed back in her seat by the accel, but she kept the smile on her face. Still have enough reserve, still vaguely going where we need to, and we’re proving too much for them to handle. Since we’re less than an easy meal they’ve got to fade out now…

She heard Smith shouting at her.  “Two, three….six more missiles, cap! Conical dispersal!”

If she could have punched a bulkhead under accel she would have. “You have got to be shitting me! What do these assholes want?”