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The Lure -- FWG Flash Fiction

This week's flash fiction prompt was:

The Lure

The distress beacon called us in. The crew grumbled, but the Captain was adamant. Wouldn’t we want someone to come for us? I led the team that took a shuttle down.

We spiraled in, surveying the terrain on the way. The desolate landscape seemed to glow with its own internal light, although it wasn’t a light that illuminated. Rather, it simply silhouetted the high crags which flanked deep fissures in the unrelenting black rock. Not a single plant grew, nor did anything scurry across the land as we descended.

Our target was so bright that looking through the shuttle’s windows I could see it from miles away. A thrill ran through me as we approached. The lure of fame for the rescue and fortune from the salvage made me shift impatiently in my seat. I could tell from the fidgeting silence of my crew that they felt it, too.

The wreckage lay in a bowl-shaped depression with steep side climbing to jagged, toothed peaks on all sides. We landed and rushed out in our spacesuits with all manner of medical equipment, only to find a most strange scene indeed.

The supposedly wrecked craft looked pristine. No damage was visible either outside or inside as we discovered when we entered it through the wide-open hatch. It looked, in fact, like we could simply fly it away, which raised the question, where was the crew? Why would they leave a perfectly good ship to venture across such a wasteland?

Our questions were answered when the beneath the abandoned ship opened and the surrounding mountains became jaws that closed over our heads. As we slid down the near-vertical sides into a gaping maw, I heard over the radio our own emergency beacon turn on, ready to lure in the next greedy crew.

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