Flash Fiction Freewriter: 10 Seconds - "T Minus 10" (493 words)

in #flashfiction5 months ago (edited)



My entry for the infamous @cryptogee's Flash Fiction contest.


T Minus 10

The Javelin soft launched from its launch tube, ponderously crossing the first 10 meters of its 2.5 kilometer journey before its main rocket ignited, accelerating it rapidly forward. As the body of a tank is comprised of thick metal, the missile would climb 150 m into the sky before descending from above, impacting the top of the tank’s turret where the armor is thinnest. Of course, the act of firing an anti-tank missile gives away one’s position so if the missile misses or fails to destroy its target, a distinct possibility, the hunter immediately becomes the hunted.

Within seconds, the Javelin had accelerated to its maximum speed as it arced high over its target. As it did, an alarm sounded inside the T90 and its 125 mm main gun reacted, automatically swiveling in the direction from whence indicators indicated the missile had been fired. The tank’s commander punched a button, activating the tank’s Shtora-1 electro-optical jamming system. Grenades fired from either side of the tank and exploded mid-air, filling the environ with an aerosolized smokescreen opaque to the infrared light required by the Javelin’s IR targeting system. Two infrared dazzlers, one on each side of the main gun, also began emitting modulated IR light pulses to further convolute the tank’s heat signature.

Four seconds. Five seconds. Six. At seven seconds into the Javelin’s 10-second sojourn it began descending at a 45-degree angle. Although the tank’s heat signature was now largely obscured by countermeasures, the Javelin was able to maintain its target lock. The T90’s main gun came to rest and the tank gunner frantically searched his viewfinder for signs of the two-man team who’d launched the missile. His attempts to detect their infrared signature was, of course, hampered by the IR-obscuring smokescreen now enveloping the tank. He was, however, able to detect a vague IR blotch on his viewfinder. Good enough. A High Explosive Anti-Personal Round was already loaded into the main gun’s firing chamber and the size of the shell's blast radius obviated the need for precision.

Ten. The Javelin’s nose cone made contact with the tank’s reactive armor, external plates filled with explosives designed to blow outward as the missile’s charge blew inward – the effects of the former at least partially negating the effects of the latter. Milliseconds earlier, the neurons of the gunner’s pre-motor cortex began to fire, setting off a synaptic cascade which, in short order, would result in his finger pulling a trigger. As the effectiveness of the T90’s last line of defense was being tested, so too was that of the two men who’d fired the Javelin. Subsequent to firing the missile, it had taken them approximately three seconds to grab their gear and begin to run in an effort to put as much distance between them and the point of origin of a lingering smoke trail.

The T90’s main gun fired.

Time had run out … and Fate was about to render judgement.



Very nice Quill! And 494 words, what's going on???? Quill, succinct and to the point; whatever next? 😂😂

Nice one man, thanks for the entry!


Alas, I was going to create an epic workaround but the real world got in the way and, in order to make the deadline, I had no choice but to follow the rules.

Utterly crestfallen.


You know what's weird, I can't see it in the group. I just found it from the notifications. I wonder if that's happened to anyone else?

Anyway, there will be more!


Ah, I feel more knowledgeable by simply reading these details.

Good luck and


Read carefully (and remember) ... you're pretty close to the action. If it gets any closer, I'll DM you ... all weapons systems have a weakness and there's a trick I could pass along about defeating Russian tank defenses.

Stay safe, brother.


Thanks! I'm also prepping for the Sticks-And-Stones one. Stacking them high.

Stop lurking and write something! How is life and how are you doing? @quillfire

Things are going well. I hope you can say the same.

Katie finished her 3rd Year a couple of weeks ago but there will be no rest for the weary. This summer she's taking a couple of summer courses, working in a university microbiology lab and participating in a pathogen-related internship.

With all the crypto trauma of late I thought I'd drop by Hive to see what's going on.


Isn't that wild? Third year! It has blown by, although not for her. You look at it as no rest for the weary, but, ten dollars says she is over the moon about it.

This is really setting her up for the bright future she has! I know you have got to be proud of her!!!

Oh, yes. Still floating. It worked out well for me as I sold and bought again, so very soon I will be an Orca. Who knew that I would ever be excited about being compared to a sea elephant? Right?

So glad you slid by! Always good to see you.

On the one hand, Katie's very happy ... 3/4 of the way through her Bachelors! 😁 She's noticeably less enthused when contemplating the time remaining for the completion of her PhD. 😪 Biochemisty & Neurology double major ... tough courses. Incidently, she has determined that the knuckledraggers (men) can have physics.

Her boyfriend is majoring in aerospace engineering and hence is part of the rocket club. Well, guess who else is interested in Faster-Than-Light travel and light sabers? So, I will be staying with them for a week during which time I will have guest-access to the rocket shop! I intend to shake up the young ones' development schedules ... I'm not getting any younger.


Hey @quillfire, here is a little bit of BEER from @manoldonchev for you. Enjoy it!

Do you want to win SOME BEER together with your friends and draw the BEERKING.