by Bob Bolin © 2002

Something was wrong. As a NASA technician, Krell checked his ship instruments again. He was also a comet watcher in the employ of the United Governments and it was his job to report any errant body movements. A large comet was headed toward Earth. If it continued on this course all life was doomed and even greater destruction would follow from earthquakes, volcanoes and a dark cloud of final catastrophe. The destructive orb was already past Mars and moving rapidly inward.

"This is Krell!" he announced over the radio. He hoped his message would get home in time. "A comet will soon crash into Earth and destroy all life! I hope I can somehow change its course, but I'm afraid all may be lost! You'd better pray!"

He did not wait for an answer but looked for a landing spot. To his surprise he saw a giant ship on the comet's surface. A small ship rested nearby. He quickly landed behind a small hill, put on his space suit and hurried over to board the other ship. He tossed his suit aside.

"Why did you come to my ship?" a harsh voice demanded. Krell looked around. To his shock and disbelief, Saddam Hussein entered the room, carrying a ray gun.

"This cometary body is headed to our world!" Krell shouted. "We've got to stop it!" Saddam laughed. "I no longer have my old people to rule. Iraq kicked me out! I now rule the citizens of another nearby world. This huge ship that I stole has powerful engines that pull this comet along. I plan to get revenge on Iraq and the entire world by destroying the home planet. But now you are here! I'll lock you up while I get aboard my other ship, piloted by a friend."

He motioned with his gun for Krell to lead, locked him in a prison cell, then laughed, and hurried away.

Krell felt powerless. Then he remembered. As a NASA technician he had helped to design and build such ships. He reached down and felt along the bottom and found a button. The doors swung open. He rushed to the pilot room and quickly reset the controls. The ship would now drag the comet directly into the Sun. He smiled, put on his space suit, and hurried outside to return to his own vessel. Then he took off to safety. Saddam would soon be caught and punished.

Later, he received a radio message from Earth. "Thanks, Krell!" a voice crackled. "Our astronomers have confirmed that you changed the course of the comet! Your actions have saved us all.! You shall be greatly rewarded."

x x x

Read more Flash Fiction? or Back to the Front Page?