The Alien Cure

karovy vary

A panorama showing most of the spa/historic section of Karlovy Vary – Photo taken and panorama created by Bobak Ha’Eri – Found at Wikipedia.

“The healing powers of the thermal springs here at Karlovy Vary have been known since the Bronze Age, Vasnev.”

“Oh please don’t mention the Bronze Age, Ross. I have very unpleasant memories from that era.”

“I was there too, you know. However we’re not here for our health.”

“I thought we were supposed to be preparing for a manned excursion to the stars. Why are we in the Czech Republic with a Forerunner scanning device.”

“You should be able to figure that out.”

“Of course, you suspect the health effects of the spa are artificial.”

“Right, just like the red goo used in Forerunner spaceship acceleration couches.”

“Shall we partake then and covertly scan the waters?”

“Let’s. Ashe thinks a Forerunner outpost could be buried underneath the city.”

“Who knows what wonders or terrors are there?”

“But can their technology be accessed in the present or only in the past?”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use a Google Maps image and location as the prompt to create a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. The healing powers of the spa there have been known since the bronze age and the bronze age always reminds me of my “Time Traders” series which I began last July with The Recruit and is based on a series of novels written by Andre Norton (pseudonym, née Alice Mary Norton).

We last saw Ross Murdock and Vasnev Romanovich in my epilogue to “Key Out of Time” way back at the end of October. I haven’t done anything with this series since then, though it’s still posed for the next “novel,” and I thought I’d dust off Ross and Vasnev and have them investigate the spa in the present. I wonder how many miracles in our world could be attributed to the alien influences of the Forerunners?

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

22 thoughts on “The Alien Cure

  1. Aww, gee — only 150 words? When I realized whom you had sent to investigate this place, I began to hope you had returned with more of my favorite serialized novels. [:)]


    • It’s meant to be a somewhat sinister ending since there are two groups of Forerunners, Oranges and Blues, and it’s not always easy to tell which of them is more dangerous, in the past, present, and future.


      • I provided links to the very beginning of Ross Murdock’s adventures and the very end (so far) in the afterword. It all amounts to four novel-length works, all online. I’d try to publish them in book form but I don’t own the rights to Norton’s characters and would get my socks sued off. “Fan fiction” on the other hand, is probably pretty safe.


    • As I’ve mentioned Kelvin, this little snippet is part of a much larger story. Technically, I’ve written four full-length online novels based on the works of Andre Norton (Alice Norton) so trust me, I have stretched my literary muscles quite a bit.


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