Phaser Roulette


Cassie trembled as she gazed to the right down the long line of her fellow prisoners. One of their lizard-like alien captors was getting closer, stopping every ten feet to vaporize another human with its phaser pistol. Cassie watched in horror as she tried to discern a pattern, ultimately realizing every fourth person in line was being erased from existence.

Her heartbeat quickened as she broke into a cold sweat. The alien moved ever closer, stripping people from reality like they were disposable. Cassie was too flustered to count the prisoners ahead of her, so she didn’t know what her fate would be.

Soon, the alien stood directly in front of her. Its forked tongue flicked out as it leveled the barrel of its phaser at Cassie’s chest. Cassie closed her eyes and prepared for oblivion. She heard the distinct sound of a phaser being fired but didn’t feel anything. She opened her eyes just in time to see the afterglow of the man next to her fade to nothing. The alien continued down the line.

“Aww, fuck,” Cassie muttered. “What’s a girl gotta do to get vaporized around here?”

She stepped back, crouched down, and ran to the left behind about twenty prisoners before elbowing her way back into the line ahead of the alien. Cassie watched the alien dispatch a couple of people, did some quick mental math, and turned to the older woman beside her.

“Switch places with me.”

The woman raised an eyebrow. “I beg your pardon, young lady.”

Cassie glanced at the approaching alien. “C’mon! Switch with me.”

“Absolutely not. Now shut up, or I’ll—”

The woman vanished in a puff of vapor.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Cassie yelled at the alien.

It stopped and pointed a razor-sharp claw in Cassie’s face.

“Za’atu nafaka xatu’ka!”

Then it disintegrated the person on the other side of Cassie and kept moving down the line. She was about to throw a tantrum when she heard people running behind her. She leaned back in time to catch three women dashing to the end of the line. Cassie followed them, taking a position at the left end.

“Hey!” she said brightly. “Are you trying to get vaporized, too?”

The woman next to her looked Cassie up and down before nodding.

“Yeah, but walnut brain with the phaser can’t seem to get that through its thick dinosaur skull.”

Cassie’s eyes lit up. “I have an idea!”

“Oh?” said one of the others. “What’s that?”

“Let’s hold hands!” Cassie exclaimed. “No matter which of us gets phased, the energy will consume us all.”

The other women grinned and grasped hands.

“Fucking brilliant!” said one. “Gold star for you.”

The alien reached the end of the line, glanced at the four women holding hands, and actually slapped its forehead.

“Za’atu nafaka xatu’ka!” it screamed, gesturing back down the line at the relieved survivors hugging each other. “Wotaka-pen hendra’afu iz-xhukanaka!”

“Just shoot us, you idiot!” yelled the woman third from the end.

The alien’s left eye twitched. “Kafu’livi-xha! Iz-xhkanaka!”

It pressed the end of the barrel against the woman’s forehead and pulled the trigger. Her head vanished, followed quickly by the rest of her. As Cassie predicted, the energy wave traveled to the next woman, vaporizing her where she stood before continuing to the one next to Cassie.

“Yes!” the woman screamed as her body was unmade.

Cassie felt a jolt in her right arm as the phaser blast erased it and consumed the rest of her body.

“Fuck, yeah!” she cried out as she faded from reality.

The green afterglow of the four women hung in the air momentarily before dissipating. The alien holstered its phaser and shook its head in disgust.

“Wotaka-pen hendra’afu,” it muttered as it walked away. “Crazy humans.”

Copyright 2024 Olivia Zoe Quinn

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Story notes

Mad props to DustAndSpirals for kicking this story idea around with me yesterday. Brainstorming with her is one of my favorite activities. Love ya, babe!

In the TF community, disintegration is something of a lightning rod. It’s polarizing in a way that other TFs are not. People seem to either love it or hate it. Given the strong feelings, I decided to present it humorously. Hopefully, I hit the mark.

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Olivia Zoe Quinn lives in Ohio with her dog and two cats, who mostly get along. She is pursuing her BA in Creative Writing while working part-time in a lingerie shop. She may be found after hours standing motionless among the mannequins. Olivia is the Editor-in-Chief of Stone Cold Stories and an Associate Editor at Rock Hard Press and GAZMYK Magazine. Olivia is the author of the upcoming sci-fi erotica novel, StoneSport Chronicles: Volume 1, due out in the fall of 2024.

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