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Free Flash Fiction:

Tonal Transmissions

By: Jae El Foster

September 1, 2019

With the knowledge that all sounds were tones, even human and animal voices, a way to communicate with every single species on earth was finally created. This small chip, implanted in the back of the subject’s head, trapped the vibrations of speech within it and retransferred the speech as tones. The tones were then redistributed into the chips of the listeners and translated into their languages. This communication took only a micro-second to manifest in its transfer and allowed entire conversations to take place between clients of foreign trade, employers and their ethnic workers, and even owners and their pets.

It seemed like a miracle, but it was costly and therefore a service that was limited only to those that could afford it, and who could afford to share it with the people they needed to communicate with.

This was not at all a bad thing, the world came to find out.

In the second year of the invention’s creation, the world was covered with a sudden darkness. Across the globe, massive ships hovered above metropolises, cities, towns, and the countryside. Several were stationed over oceans and massive lakes.

For days, they remained in stationary, hovering positions and placed looming shadows over the world – a world that was beginning to panic and become self-destructive as fear and suspicion began to ripple throughout.

By the end of the first week, residents across the planet began looting homes and businesses for supplies – foods, batteries, flashlights, firearms… anything that could be used for survival and defense. They became crazed and maniacal, slaughtering one another so that they could yield the other’s supplies and extend their own lives.

Those with money did not experience too much of this plight. Their new form of communication allowed them to plan their survivals in near secret, sharing plans only with those others who had the chips implanted to decipher the tones. This, they believed, helped to ensure that only the best of the best of them would survive whatever was happening, reducing the population to the ones who truly deserved it and would make the most of the fresh new world.

This, they assumed, meant that whatever was in those ships would allow them to survive on the planet, being spared because of their superiority. Surely, the alien beings – or whatever they were – would see this superiority and turn the planet over to them so that they could recreate the human species in a more dominant and privileged fashion.

Human technology, however futuristic it might have seemed upon creation, was light years behind other worlds and their civilizations. Tone were used heavily in other realms of the universe, and for many of those alien cultures, the usage of tones was an instrument of torture and weaponry.

On the eleventh day of their arrival, the ships released a mighty blast of sound from the antennas attached to their tops. This sound – one that could not be heard by the average human ear, or even the ear of the average animal – was transferred ten fold into the chips of every individual and creature that had them implanted. The strength of this mighty tone was so massive that, upon receiving it, every head with a chip installed in it exploded.

Those that did not have chips installed were left alive, and they were unsure as to what had happened – or if anything had happened, as they had not had the chips to hear the otherwise impossible tone. Only when an ambassador from the alien fleet presented himself via a takeover of the world’s technology were the humans able to understand what had happened.

The ambassador’s voice was translated flawlessly into every language that his transmission reached. To the humans, it seemed like magic, but to the ambassador’s race, it was simply the evolution of technology.

“Your weapons of tonal torture have been destroyed,” the ambassador told the earthlings with a bit of pride in his voice. “The tonal transmissions were picked up by our satellites and had the potential to spread great pain to other worlds. With this extragalactic threat now immobilized, we shall retreat from your planet and you shall be left without technology, but not without our watch. Should you choose to rebuild and attempt recovery at what you have lost, a crew of one thousand Ray’Jar military will remain here to help ensure that your future inventions are a threat to no one outside of your own world.”

As the ambassador stopped speaking, bright beams of blue light escaped from the bottoms of every ship, blasting the colorful ray across the globe for a blinding split-second. When the light faded, the ships were gone and all of the world’s technology came to a powerless stop.

Where these military soldier from Ray’Jar were and, more importantly, who they were was unknown to the people of earth. They had not seen the ambassador; they’d only heard him. Thusly, they had no way of knowing what these invading creatures looked like. Still, with their world looted and partially destroyed from their own panic during the invasion, they had no choice but to try to begin anew and restart their lives. And, without the tools of technology and science, they knew that it would only be a matter of time before their population further dwindled.


Copyright Jae El Foster, 2019