Writing Prompt: The store was astonishingly huge.

Good morning one and all. Last night I had dreams of being pursued by a horde of cats wearing battle armor. They were dressed like Samurai and riding tigers. And yes the warriors were house cats. Very strange. But I suppose it is best not to dwell on it. Writing Prompt anyone? Good let’s go with that instead.

I like this one. It seems like it could be a fun one to work with. Getting to know aliens from the remains they left behind. So many opportunities.

Tuesday, September 20th: The store was astonishingly huge.

The store was astonishingly huge.  That it was a store was obvious from the display windows in the front to the small vignettes set around the space near stacked merchandise.  The signs advertising or explaining what was offered were in a language I didn’t know.  A language no one knew. 

At least no one alive. 

Death came quickly to the inhabitants of this planet.  We had seen it before.  We all knew the shapes of the ships that came through space to attack.  We knew the weapons they used, the deadly cases they pummeled their victims with, the weapons that burned through the atmosphere.  Every person hoped those ships, those weapons would never be seen around their own home planet. 

The fact that no one knew who it was that was actually using them made them somehow scarier.

The planets first hit were the  ones that had no routine spacefaring capabilities.  Many of them had reached the stage where they could send short missions into the edges of their galaxy but not one of them had progressed beyond that level.

No one could figure out the reasons for the attacks, what this faceless enemy hoed to gain.  There was no plundering of the planets for resources.  There was no taking of the people for slaves or even more nefarious purposes.  There simply was no reasoning anyone could find for the attacks. Killing vast populations on unsuspecting planets seemed pointless. 

Finding a point in the pointless was why they had been sent here.  The store was large and the merchandise varied.  As I progressed through the space, I could figure out the use of some of the items while others were beyond my grasp.  Was one of these unknowable items the reason for the attack?  Like the others in my team I recorded my steps as I looked around, creating a record of what I saw.  Later it would not only be analyzed, but it would be compared to the records of the other attacked planets. 

Hopefully a pattern would emerge.  The pattern wasn’t my problem.  Someone else would be sent to look for it.  My job was to record what I saw, make certain as much of what was left behind was recorded and to see if anything occurred to me while I was on the spot. 

I made my way through the displays, heading towards the back of the buildings.  I took a deep breath.  The filters took out most of the smells but there was still a little that made it through.  There was the scent of ionized air and the scent of abandonment.  This planet had been hit long enough ago that any organic matter had been taken care of.  Even the bones of those left behind were dry and brittle. 

I shook my head and wondered what it would be like to be taken down while shopping.  The be deciding between two items on a store shelf one moment and then vaporized with your entire planet’s population the next.  I tried not to think about it as I looked around.

As I reached what looked like some sort of in house restaurant, I studied the tables.  People died where that sat, they and the food the consumed gone in an instant, only bones remained seated at the tables.  As I looked at them a thought began to glimmer in the back of my mind.  Something I was seeing here that was different from the previous investigations.

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