© Jules Paige
The first settlement on Hansen’s Planet was zealous about shifting totally from nuclear energy to renewable, sustainable, “green” energy within the first twenty-five years after arrival.
The problem was no matter what they tried, the indigenous bird-like creatures they called “Chimera” seemed just as zealous about committing mass suicide using their “green” technology.
“Various solar panel designs didn’t work because they’d fly into the concentrated light and burn or smash into the photocells, Bill.”
“Anita, I was hoping your Wind Turbine design would discourage them, but they’re flying right into them through the inhibiting air currents they generate.”
Bill Anghal was the Colony Planner and Anita Kahn was Chief Engineer, but they and the design team couldn’t develop a “Chimera-proof” power generation system.
“What are we missing, Bill?”
“I’ve got it!” They turned and saw Rolf Ingram running up. The eclectic scientist had been studying the “suicides” for months.
He arrived out of breath. “Look,” he wheezed. Deaths…not random…bodies form…patterns.”
“What?” Bill and Anita both grabbed at his iPad.
“Damn. The patterns formed by the Chimera corpses…” Anita let her voice trail off.
“Right,” Rolf leaned over her shoulder. “It’s a language. The Chimera are intelligent. They’re trying to communicate.”
I wrote this story for the Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of December 31st 2017. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for writing a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.
The image immediately made me think of all of those wind turbine farms, and then I thought about the problem they pose to birds and bats. I did a small amount of research looking at articles such as Will Wind Turbines Ever Be Safe For Birds? and Wind farms are hardly the bird slayers they’re made out to be—here’s why as well as Solar Farms Threaten Birds and Why Solar Power Is Good for Birds. Like it or not, there is no such thing as a 100% safe form of energy generation for the environment and wildlife.
So what happens on another planet when the first established colony settlement wants to go totally green avoiding the mistakes of people on their mother planet only to discover that a native life form insists on exterminating itself using your best efforts at sustainable power production?
The story’s conclusion was one idea I had for an answer. An intelligent alien race that couldn’t think of any other way to communicate except by how they arranged their deaths.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.