Thursday, January 7, 2016


Fail Safe
By John Kaniecki

Yen Mak Sutz gazed deep into the three dimensional holographic image. The intense details and various symbols created nothing but confusion in Mark Dork's brain. Let alone that the engineering plans were written in the language of the Sit Sutzi. Earth's chief engineer looked into the flat, noseless green face of his alien counterpart. Yen kept on peering at the pulsating plans and then gazing at the mammoth structure nearing completion. As usual the alien was sparse with his words.
Mark Dork was frustrated by the silence. "Well is it finished?" asked the owner of Crappy Tech engineering. One of the many subcontracting firms employed in this joint venture. The chief engineer of Earth after all had a deadline to meet. Didn't these aliens understand the concept of money? Quicker completion of the project meant a higher pay structure.
"If it is finished, Mister Mark Dork do you not think I would tell you?" The alien's words were as gentle as his placid face. Mark Dork was greatly insulted but he let it slide. This venture was going to make Crappy Tech millions of dollars. And almost as important it would increase the prestige of the company. In the long run that would garner more lucrative profits.
"Looks good to me," said Mark Dork, gazing at the nearly finished and soon to be eighth wonder of the world. The engineer of Earth couldn't have cared that they had nearly completed construction on the most sophisticated building on the planet. They could have built a mountain of shit as far as Mark Dork was concerned. The cash pay off was all that mattered to the greedy businessman.
"My team shall make one last inspection," Yen Mak Sutz declared. Still ever diligent he kept on scrutinizing the construction before him.
Mark Dork walked away laughing to himself. These Sit Sutzi were extremely intelligent as far as science went. However as far as business customs they were overtly naive. On numerous occasions Yen Mak Sutz would negotiate verbally with Mark Dork over some nuance of construction. An extra beam to reinforce here or some cooling fans for the electrical grid. In the process they would negotiate some monetary compensation for the additional work. But never were any written contracts signed. Mark Dork knew his memory would fail and these aliens would be left in a financial lurch. This would bring a great monetary windfall to Crappy Tech.
Early in the next morning before the rising of the sun Mark Dork was once again at Yen's side. For the first time in over a year of association the alien creature showed some emotion and smiled. Mark Dork wasn't even aware that the Sit Sutzi were capable of smiling.
"Ah my friend," announced the green bug like humanoid, "we are finally finished!"
"Excellent," said Mark Dork fondling his grubby greedy hands together. It had been a year of back breaking work. Long hours sometimes through the entire night and then into the next new day. Inclement weather of ice, snow, rain, freezing cold and blistering heat. Missing holidays all for this big payoff.
"Now it is time to settle," said Yen Mak Sutz sounding happy.
"Settle?" whimpered Dork, "whatever do you mean?"
"Ah," said the alien, motioning his claw like hand to the triumphant building. It was a technical marvel. It was a combination of residential and business complex. Solar energy and wind power would supply all heat and electricity. The water supply would be recycled and enhanced by rain. Throughout the immense space were various parks. It was in fact a tall towering, self supporting town. "There were one hundred and forty seven modifications with one hundred and thirty seven million dollars of promised compensation. I have generously rounded the figure down, dismissing almost three hundred thousand dollars. "
"Really," said Mark Dork, for once feeling intelligent in a year's time. The aliens were so much more sophisticated than the Earthlings that Dork felt like a caveman. "Do you have any written records of any agreements? You know signed documents making things legally binding?"
"Of course not, Mister Mark Dork," hissed the Sit Sutzi chief engineer, "we bargained in good faith, you know the truth of that."
"There is a saying on Earth, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." Mark Dork was enjoying the turning of tables. Finally at last he didn't see himself as a complete idiot.
"So you are saying you will not pay me my extra one hundred and thirty seven million dollars?" Yen Mak Sutz seemed to be irate. Gone was his smile.
"Not unless you can prove it in a court of law," laughed Mark Dork in a condescending fashion.
"Ah you are most foul in honor," cried out the Sit Sutzi chief engineer.
"Perhaps," said Mark Dork most boastfully, "but quite the richer!"
"Have you ever heard of fail safe?" asked Yen in a soft tone.
"Fail safe?" wondered Dork, "what are you talking about?"
"We Sit Sutzi are very careful people. This joint venture was the first in of the kind of our two species. We did not know if we could trust you."
"So what?" Mark Dork felt a twinge of nervousness.
"So this," said Yen Mak Sutz. The alien's claw like hand pulled out a square silver device. He clicked a switch and a red button lit up. Then he depressed the red button. In the distance of the huge structure there came a loud bang. Then a series of popping noises accompanied by white plumes of smoke. The building trembled for a moment and then came crashing down. Nothing remained but a pile of rubble.
"You just destroyed billions of dollars of construction," moaned Mark Dork.
"So sue, my Earthling," hissed Yen Mak Sutz, "that is if your primitive species ever develops a spaceship that can leave your solar system and get to my home planet."

- - -
John is a published author and writer. He has a poetry book entitled Murmurings of a Mad Man published by eLectio Publishing. His second poetry book entitled "Poet to the Poor, Poems of Hope for the Bottom One Percent" has just been published by Dreaming Big Productions. In addition he has a book of science fiction stories entitled "Words of the Future" published by Witty Bard.!/Murmurings-of-a-Madman-(Paperback)/p/40020970/category=4758375


Help keep Farther Stars alive! Visit our sponsors! :)

- - -


The Thunderune Network:


Weirdyear Daily FictionYesteryear Daily FictionClassics that don't suck!Art expressed communally.Von Singer Aether and Steamworks.Resource for spiritual eclectics and independents.Pyrography on reclaimed woodartists featured weeklySmashed Cat MagazineLinguistic ErosionYesteryear Daily Fiction