Category Archives: Science Fiction

Potterstar Galactica–the Exciting Conclusion

Before you read today’s exciting adventure, you might want to read the first half of the tale, written by Eisley Jacobs on a challenge and published here:  The dynamic graphic that foreshadows our tale of intergalactic desperation and high magic was photoshopped together by Eisley Jacobs, and I’m very pleased to be able to re-use it for this tale, which came about because after I read her effort, I told her I thought the story actually started at the Poof, and she told me to go for it.  After you’ve read part one, don’t forget to come back here and read part 2.
(Slight apologies are necessary here.  My section of story at about 1400 words is actually a little long for flash fiction, imho, but I’ve seen some definitions that let flash go up to 3000 words.  At any rate, it’s short enough that you’ll be through it in two or three minutes maximum.  Comments are always welcome.–Ken)

Warlocks and a Witch in a galaxy far far away


Potterstar Galactica–the Exciting Conclusion

     by Ken St. Andre


 Harry. Hermione, and Ron appeared aboard the Command Bridge of the Battlestar Galactica. As usual, Commander Adama and his officers were in crisis mode ‑ a tight throng of high-ranking nabobs clustered around Adama and his son Apollo.

There were so many people on the bridge that they were lucky they didn’t intersect with any of them when they arrived. That would have been messy. Or maybe not lucky… maybe the magic took care of that. As it was, Ron bumped a moving man and sent him sprawling.

“Wow,” said Harry. “This is like something from Star Trek! Look at all the uniforms and instrument panels!”

“More like Star Wars, you mean,” Ron corrected him. “This must be the bridge of the Death Star!”

They both goggled around the room as if they had never been in a control center before. Perhaps they hadn’t. It wasn’t much like Dumbledore’s office.

“Fan boys!” hissed Hermione. She elbowed Harry; Ron had prudently kept his distance from her. “We didn’t come to sight see.”

Alarms went off. Deafening Klaxons filled the air ‑ a noise almost loud enough to be painful. “INTRUDERS ON THE BRIDGE!” blared a computer voice. It repeated that message every five seconds.

The security officers stationed near the several entry doors on the edges of the room. Some of them were drawing pistols.

“Wait!” cried Harry, putting both his hands up in the air above his head.

Hermione simply shook her wand above her head and called out “Attlestarbay Eoplepay Eezfray!”

All the Battlestar Galactica people stopped moving. Even the Klaxon seemed to slow down.

“Wait a minute! That wasn’t Latin!” Ron protested.

“Was too!” Hermione snapped. “Pig Latin! Anyway, it’s intention, and focused willpower that makes the magic work – not stupid words.”

“We would be the laughing stocks of Hogwarts if we cast our spells in Pig Latin!”

“I kind of like the idea,” said Harry.

Hermione flashed him a quick smile. Then she was back to business. “What do we do next, Harry?”

“We should talk to the leader.”

Ron had started to walk around. “That’s probably this guy. All the flunkies are gathered around him.”

“Haul him out of there, Ron. Get ready to unfreeze him, Hermione.”

Ron manhandled Adama over to where Harry and Hermione were standing.

“Freezeunay, Adama-san!”

Ron gave her a dirty look.

Adama blinked and found himself looking at a purple lightning mark on the forehead of a young man with glasses. That actually reassured him a bit. There was something vaguely military about that lightning mark. Only a troop commander of some sort would wear it. Adama continued his analysis. Only three of them ‑ one female. Obviously a commando team of some sort. No obvious weapons except the tiny batons, and the leader had his stuck into his belt.

“Hermione, make sure we can understand him and vice-versa.”

“Anslatetray Anguageslay!”

Adama spoke slowly and deliberately. “Why have you come to my ship, and what have you done to my people?”

“We received an emergency distress call and we came to help.”

“I stopped them all,” said Hermione. “There’s no time for the confusion, and someone might have gotten hurt.”

Adama rubbed his chin and glared at them. “We sent no distress signal. There is no one left in this galaxy to receive it.”

“We are not from this galaxy. At least I don’t think so. We are not Cytrons or-”

“Cylons,” interrupted Adama. “I guess that proves it. If you were Cylons you’d know your own name.”

“-enemies,” said Harry. “I think you are facing a grave emergency. What is it?”

“There is a Cylon battle fleet of over ten thousand ships converging on us ‑ only about two hours away. We can’t fight them. We have only about one hundred ships and most of them are shuttles and traders.”

“Then run away,” said Harry.

“We can’t run away. Even if we broke through their line somewhere, we’d take terrible losses, and their warcraft are faster than our civilian ships. They would catch us again in no time.”

“You could surrender,” offered Hermione.

“This is a war to the death,” Adama explained. “They would just kill us all. That would be the end of human life in the galaxy.”

“That leaves trickery,” said Harry. “I have the glimmerings of a plan.”

“Glimmerings?” asked Adama. “What’s a glimmering?” The word obviously didn’t translate.

“Never mind,” said Harry. “It’s a possible plan.” He then changed the subject. “If we release your people, do you think you could control them, and keep them from harming us?”

“Yes, if we could make it clear that you’re no threat.”

Harry sank to his knees before Adama. Ron caught the idea, and followed suit. Hermione shook her head as if to say, “I’m not kneeling.”

“Herm, it’s the only way. Pretend he’s King Arthur, and he’s knighting us.”

“Cool,” breathed Ron. “Alright,” grumbled Hermione. “First I’ll release them.”

“Freezeunay inay entay econdssay.”

The next thing Apollo saw was his father and commander standing with his hands on a stranger’s shoulders and smiling. Three invaders knelt before Adama looking a bit anxious.

“Shut off those alarms!” barked Adama. The Klaxon clicked off. “Computer, silence! These are friends. Please introduce yourself friends, and stand up.”

Harry stood up. “My name is Harry Potter. I am known as the boy who lived, and I hope to help you do the same.”

Hermione stepped forward. “My name is Hermione Granger. I’m the best witch in England.” She stepped back.

Ron stepped up. “My name is Ron Weasley. I’m their friend, and a good wizard in my own right.”

Adama took over. “These young people have come a long way to help us. We will listen to them and give them a chance. We can’t fight, and we can’t run. Let’s give them a chance.”

“I’m willing,” said Apollo.

He looked at the room, and other people started nodding. They were so hard-pressed, and so desperate that they were willing to try anything – even help from wizards who appeared out of nowhere.

Harry took the stage. “We have to trick these Cylons. Can they actually see this fleet?”

“Not yet,” said Adama, “but they can track our radio transmissions.”

“Then we need to change the transmissions to sound like Cylon transmissions.”

Adama turned to another officer. “Can we do that?”

“Yes. We can imitate Cylon speech, at least for a short time.”

“Good,” said Harry. “Start changing the transmissions as soon as you can. At the same time make some transmissions that talk about the emergency escape method.”

“What emergency escape method?”


The communications officer staggered backwards. Then he gathered a few of his officers and started planning the radio transmissions.

“Now, Commander Adama, we have a little time to teach you some magic,” said Harry.

“Me do magic?” asked Adama.

“You’ve been doing magic for years,” said Ron. “If you hadn’t you’d all be dead by now.”

The Commander smiled.


When the Cylon fleet arrived they found a small fleet of Cylon warships waiting for them.

Working together, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Adama created an illusion that covered the whole fleet. When the Cylons called them, someone who looked just like a Cylon commander explained how they saw the human fleet disappear through what looked like a hole in space. The idea was something that Ron (the sci-fi fan in the group) had suggested.

If a robot could look disappointed, the Cylon commander was heartbroken. The two fleets moved apart. The disguised Colonial fleet promised to keep looking for themselves. In a few hours they were safely away.

“We can’t thank you enough for the magic you worked for us,” Adama told Harry.

“We were happy to help and that it worked!” Harry assured him. “And if you ever get to Earth, look us up.””Earth!” cried Adama. “Earth? That’s the very planet we’re looking for. How can we find it?”But Hermione had already started the return teleport.”Ackbay ootay Ogwartshay!” she cried, and they were gone.

Back in school the three friends high-fived each other. “To think,” said Ron, “we just fooled 10,000 Cylon ships and saved 50,000 people! We rule!”

“Yeah,” laughed Harry. “Now if only beating Oldemortvay was as easy!”

The End


Adventure of the Deerstalkers



Sherlock put on his hat and agreed to an outing.


The Adventure of the Deer Stalkers

      By Dan Lambert

 I have told many tales about how my friend, Sherlock Holmes, has solved some of England’s most vexing mysteries. I have never (until now) put my pen to the task of relating the tale of how one of Holmes’ idioms made its way into his vocabulary. I will break with that tradition today. We know Holmes’ idiom about eliminating the impossible. But here I will reveal the origin of another of my friend’s oft-repeated phrases. The phrase itself I will save for the end.

It was midmorning, in the Autumn of 1888.  Holmes had been wearing a path in the floor of our flat at 221B Baker Street. It was one of those periods of London history that Holmes deplored.  The city was devoid of criminal activity. I, too, was feeling the effects of boredom, being between marriages, and finding my medical practice to be excruciatingly slow. A story in the Times gave me a splendid idea for a diversion. The story was about a new statue being dedicated to one of England’s most beloved literary figures: Robin Hood. I had often jostled Holmes with predictions that the Crown would erect a statue in honor of him some day. Holmes’ usual response was that if such a statue were to portray him wearing that ghastly Deerstalker cap and Inverness cape, he would be the first to sneak in under cover of darkness and pull the abomination to the ground.

The idea I proposed to my friend was a mid-afternoon hunting excursion to Sherwood Forest. To my delight, Holmes agreed, and we were on a train within the hour.

Later that afternoon, we found ourselves in Sherwood Forest, the hunting grounds of that famous outlaw. Once there, I unwrapped a package containing artifacts I had purchased from a Belgian trader in Kabul: two beautiful, finely-polished shotguns.

Donning his much-maligned but necessary deerstalker and cape, Holmes loaded his shotgun, and led the way into the forest gloom.

 “Come, Watson,” he called.  Soon, we spotted a sixteen-point stag, and I promptly shot the beast through the heart.

At least, I thought I had shot the creature through the heart. In fact, I had merely dealt the stag a far from grievous blow. My marksmanship skills had apparently worsened since my army days.

     This stag, whom Holmes came to nickname “Moriarty,” eluded us for nearly an hour.  During that time, we had only Moriarty’s blood spoor to guide us, like a gory trail of bread crumbs in some variant on that German tale about the children and the witch.

     It was nearly sundown when we caught up with Moriarty.  We stopped short when we saw where the stag’s trail led us.  The spoor led directly into the entrance to the den of a cave bear!  As we approached the mouth of the cave, I imagined our hard-earned stag in the belly of a bear.  As we inched closer, our guns at the ready, I could hear the brazen glutton snoring from within the cave.

     Holmes whispered to me his intention to enter the lair.  “But Watson,” he admonished, “I want you to stay here.  If you spy me making haste from that cave, I expect you to provide covering fire.  And not to insult you, Old Boy, but please endeavor to let your aim be true this time.”

     Bracing my shotgun against a nearby oak tree, I aimed and waited.  Holmes crept into the cave, shouldering his own weapon as he went.

     After a few breathless minutes, Holmes returned from his excursion.

     It turns out that the bear had, indeed, devoured our beloved stag, although one part of Moriarty survived.  Holmes had managed to find it whilst searching the floor of the bear’s den.  The bear had spared part of Moriarty’s left foreleg: the creature’s hoof, to be precise.

     Holmes had managed to pocket this treasure and steal away with it, all the while managing not to awaken the sleeping bear.

     I learned all this immediately upon Holmes’ return to my sheltering oak.  “Holmes!” I exclaimed.  “You’re alive!”

     Putting his forefinger to his lips, Holmes admonished me to keep my voice down.  “Yes, my friend, I’m alive.  I’m afraid our game was not so lucky.”

     “Don’t keep me in suspense, Holmes,” I whispered.  “What has become of our game?”

     Holmes reached into the pocket of his coat, and, handing me the stag’s hoof, said with a grin, “Our game, my dear boy?  I hate to tell you this, Watson, but the game’s a foot!”



You can groan all you want now, but flash fiction frequently ends with a pun.  And, Sherlock Holmes is a beloved target for such activity.

I’m not always going to put myself first on the menu, but I am always going to try and give you at least one story by me each day.   Let’s leave Holmes and Watson heading back to London on a train and jump to the 21st century for my cautionary tale.   What if they weren’t wiped out by a huge meteor strike, but left the planet voluntarily before the cosmic axe fell on them?

It took the aliens a long time to find the United Nations Building in New York.


Message to the United Nations
     by Ken St. Andre

    The aliens looked an awful lot like dinosaurs.  They had very large brains, and wore a sort of shimmery metallic sarape for clothing–at least that’s how they showed up on television.  They did the usual thing for aliens, and seized control of all television broadcasts around the planet.  Astronomers said that there were close to a million ships in earth orbit out about the distance of the moon.  One minute space was normal and empty; the next moment radar showed it full of a million huge spacecraft–give or take a few thousand–it was real hard to get an accurate count.

    The alien on television had a very short message, and it repeated constantlly.  He obviously used some kind of mechanical translator, as the sound accompanying the picture was a combination of hisses and whistles and clicks.  An inflectionless metallic voice broadcast in English alternating with Chinese.

     The message was short and a bit perplexing.  It said, “You understand the concept of property.  Good.  Prepare for a message from the owner.”

     The message filled the airwaves for nearly a month.  It saturated the broadcast spectrum, much to the dismay of people on Earth, who had to find alternate means of communication.  Then a ship came in for a landing.

     The ship was like nothing ever seen on earth before–an eight-sided truncated pyramid made of a glowing green stone with a base one mile square.  It came down, quite slowly actually in New York City not far from the United Nations building.  As it settled a kind of klaxon sounded–so loud it could deafen a person in a single blast.

     Of course, there was no room for it to land, far too many buildings in the area in which it was settling.  It hovered for over an hour above the highest skyscraper.  All attempts to communicate were ignored.  Then it began to settle again, and it crumpled the steel tower of the building like it was soggy cardboard beneath a brick.

     Anyone with half a brain had already evacuated the area.  Now the rest of the population began to stream out of the landing zone.  Panic, confusion, chaos–and of course the U.S. Army had to arrive with tanks and jets and coptors and missiles.

     And as the ship came down, slowly crushing everything beneath it, and all communications failed, the military opened up with everything it had, all to absolutely no effect.  The bullets bounced off.  The explosions blew back into open air.  The ray weapons fizzled out.  And the ship came down.

     In the middle of the barrage, a great mechanical voice boomed out.  “Stop that!”  Seeing that their weapons had no effect at all, the Army stopped shooting.  Maybe someone remembered that there were a million more ships like this one in orbit.

     The alien ship finally reached the ground, and it settled down, down, down through the earth until it reached bedrock.  And there it sat for seven days and nights.

     Finally a portal opened in the smooth skin of the ship, and a ramp extended, and out floated a small army of dinosaur-aliens, 81 of them to be exact.  They were enclosed in a light blue forcefield, and they rode on platforms of green stone, and they didn’t touch the ground.  They made their way to the entrance to the United Nations, and used some sort of tool to dematerialize an opening in the building wall large enough for their party to float through.  Ignoring all the people who tried to block or guide them, they went directly to the assembly station.

The President of the United Nations put it as gently as he could, but finally had to ask, “Why are you here?”

The alien dinosaur barked at him.  “Exactly what we wanted to ask you!  Why are you creatures here?”

“This is our home planet.  We evolved here,” said the human.

“Wrong,” snapped the dinosaur.  “We evolved here and had a high civilization on this world more than 70 million years ago.  When we developed a star drive, we set out to explore the galaxy.  Now we have returned, and find that our planet has been infested with mammals.  And you’re ruining and polluting the world!  That has to stop, and we’re here to tell you we want our planet back!”

“What? You want the planet back?”  The delegates erupted into a maelstorm of shouting and noise.

“Since you seem to be marginally intelligent, the Galactic Council ruled that we could not just come in and wipe you out like the vermin you are.  But we can evict you,” snarled the dinosaur.  “This is your formal notice.  You have one hundred years to leave the planet, and if you’re not gone by then, you will be thrown off the planet with all the force at our disposal!”

The End