Another first critique...
I thought I'd take the plunge to. I have an idea for a longer story starting from this, so I thought it would be good idea to find out if it's working, and how to improve it.
“Say that again, and I will kick you in the crotch!”
The production managers health was a worry to Alex. Peter wasn’t a small man, and threatening violence this early in the day was a good sign that his blood pressure was higher than normal.
Crispin, Cambridge educated, white of beard, put his hands behind his back and spread his legs. In the tones of one delivering a crushing logical point he reposted: “Go on then you jumped up ape!”
Behind them, on the dilapidated pine and aluminium workbench, the prototype of a cutting edge scientific instrument was making the kind of fizzing noise that usually means at least ten thousand volts seeking a victim. A capacitor popped, showering the lime floor with tiny debris.
“Perhaps we should turn the power off?” Alex suggested diffidently. He tried to move towards the large, round, power socket. Peter, whose peripheral vision was really exceptional for his age, knocked the reaching hand away.
After all, it’s only my third week on the job, Alex reminded himself, rubbing his stinging hand. I don’t want to step too far out of line.
“What’s the point Alex?” Now he was really worried: Peters red face was turning white around the edges, and his breathing was starting to sound laboured. “We’re not doing anything until this git listens to sense!”
Alex didn’t reply. He had just seen that, in the hand hidden behind his back, Crispin was holding a large adjustable spanner.
Calm, Alex, aim to restore calm: “Well, I know I’m new here......” He trailed off.
Just below the high skylight above them a tiny blue sphere of light had popped into existence, and was hovering in tiny circles, as if wondering what to do next.
“Yes?” Crispin prompted.
Wondering if the various things he’d taken at university parties had caught up with him, the technician tried his best: “Well the pump will explode....the shrapnel could easily hit that pressurised nitrogen bottle..... turn the power off...... Um, can you see what’s abo-“
“Stop wittering boy!” Crispin had locked gazes with Peter again, “We need to sort out who is steering this project, and we don’t need closed minded old weasel like him doing it!”
The tiny blue light suddenly expanded into a blue ring, with a dark gap in the centre. A ten centimetre long, oval, silvery shape emerged from the gap. A clear tinny voice announced:
“Good morning citizens of Earth: Your planet is being contacted by the All-Serve pan-stellar financial services division. We understand that you require considerable financial resources...”
Sod this, thought Alex, and ran for the door.
Crispin, finally realising that the stupefied gazes of the technicians around him weren’t aimed at the argument, rotated his head at a painful angle to see.
Taking in the tiny spaceship and its portal, he joined everyone else in total incomprehension.
This gave Peter the opportunity to drop his shoulder and charge into the gawping physicists midsection. As if not wanting to be left out of the excitement, the fizzing instrument exploded, sending a fan of high speed shrapnel into the nearby high pressure gas bottle.
The laboratory disappeared in a cloud of debris.
“Good morning citizens of Earth: Your planet is being contacted by the All-Serve pan-stellar financial services division. We understand that you require considerable financial resources to reach your racial goals of ‘We came in peace, for all mankind’, as stated in the document you have left on the surface of the moon of your planet.
We are a kindly organisation, and you plea for aid has touched our hearts and other fluid pumping mechanism. We are delighted to offer you a short term interest free loan, not exceeding fifty percent of your planetary mineral wealth. Please indicate your acceptance by existing in this room for a minimum of four seconds.
Thank you. As a significant concentration of mental and technical capacity on your world we trust that you will responsibly spread this good news to the rest of your home planet: Failure to complete your loan re-payments, within the allotted time of one terrestrial year, will result in you planet being ground down for its mineral wealth by our automated fleet. You may also find that you are unable to obtain credit in future....”