Gunnbjørn Fjeld

Photo by Alex Rose on Unsplash.com

FLASH Fiction Challenge 100 – Day 8

Despite their best efforts, the gigantic chemical conglomeration wasn’t able to purchase full property rights of the 39-acre rocky peak of Gunnbjørn Fjeld. But they had, through some tangled, twisted path of laws, loopholes, and long-forgotten treaty rights purchased the mineral rights and were able to begin ‘limited mining’ on top of the mountain. They were tight-lipped about whatever it was they were after. Greenlandic Inuits were furious at the imperious arrogance of the western money machine and did what they could to stop the mining. Initially, the Inuits had proven very resilient and resourceful at stopping the venture, but then the corporation cracked down by contracting with a paramilitary, security firm that had made Blackwater look like a team of mild-mannered, school-crossing guards. All protests and destruction of property stopped overnight. There were grumblings and rumors of course, but nothing ever came of them.

Gunnbjørn Fjeld was the tallest mountain in Greenland. It was covered with thick glacial ice. Only the peak of the mountain protruded its craggy, rocky head up through the ice like some ancient, hibernating creature sticking its head out from under a blanket. A ‘nunatak’ is what the Inuits called this formation.

It was a weird year in Greenland. A place where nothing bad (besides the cold) ever happened. But then foreigners arrived, mining equipment was airlifted to the peak, buildings had been erected – tiny buildings to be sure but still, any construction on such a location, which the Inuits held as sacred ground, was an offense to all Greenlandic Inuits. The ecological terrorists began blowing up the buildings, the equipment. Then the security firm arrived – and they had wasted no time demonstrating in the biggest, most visible way possible that they meant business. It was a lot for the Greenlandic people to digest. All within months.

Then things had gotten even weirder.

There are conflicting reports from which band of survivors you interview, but most seem to agree that the alien crafts began landing on or hovering above Gunnbjørn Fjeld on or about June 7, 2021. A week later, a second group, of different types of ships, had arrived. Then the third set of ships had arrived two days after that.

It was ‘like the mad, crazy, dream of a medicine man’ several of the Inuits had described. The once, pristine, untouched Gunnbjørn Fjeld sullied with the enterprises of western greed, was now teeming with alien spaceships. The bigger ships just hovered. That was what the Inuits found most surprising; the technology that enabled ships as big as a village to just magically float over the mountain.

Then the shooting started. A lone Inuit had scaled the mountain, eluded the security teams, and had fired a single flare at the biggest ship that hovered less than a hundred yards over the peak. It was like attacking a bear with a straw and a spitball. The flare zipped right up, but then some invisible grid of light asserted itself, became visible, and the flare was snuffed out. Weaponry, presumably automated, located the lone man, and he was removed in a vaporizing strike of surgical precision. This was when the war-hawks in DC began suggesting to POTUS, that a solidified front of meek, docile surrender might be the best course of action forward. POTUS had agreed. But none of that mattered. The three kinds of ships were from three different aliens – again, this according to the survivors who had barely escaped when the short war broke out immediately after the sad end of the Inuit and his flare gun. The three alien species were fighting among themselves and seemed happy to ignore us.

The ground began shaking. Many Inuits reported afterward that they thought their island would sink into the ocean. Tremors were felt everywhere.

Satellite imagery captured what happened next. All over Greenland, the ice field began cracking apart. Greenland was releasing its hold on the ice. Thousands of huge crisp, circular holes began forming in the ice sheet. The holes revealed subterranean structures underneath. Laying dormant for unrecorded centuries, under the ice in Greenland, were rocket silos. This had been an alien airstrip or a port of some type. But it had been inactive for who knows how long. Thousands of rockets began emerging from the silos. They seemed to correspond to the designs of the three groups of ships that tensely floated above the mountain.

The American conglomeration actions had inadvertently triggered some upheaval in the tenuous agreement, the three other alien species had formed who knows how long ago. It was clear to everyone that the three species were all vastly more advanced than our civilization.

When they left, the satellites showed Greenland as it lay now. Gunnbjørn Fjeld was gone, levelled. Smoke, dust, and thick, gray clouds covered most of the southwestern side of the island. When the submerged rockets began leaving the silos, the glacial ice began to shift and slip into the sea. Underneath the gray, barren tundra was revealed. The northern end of the island began slowly sinking into the Arctic Ocean.

The island of Greenland is still a ruined mess. The empty silos, each perimeter still marked with the scorched earth, blackened tundra, burnt ice and snow, blackened rings surrounding the deep, cavernous holes where three ancient alien technologies had slumbered for centuries. Then some chemical corporation decides to try mining on Gunnbjørn Fjeld, and they trigger an intergalactic war.

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