The important thing to remember about Baba Yaga is: don’t piss her off.

-Prince Ivan-

In a not so long-ago time, and place, Baba Yaga leapt into her mortar and, pushing rapidly with her pestle, climbed to her usual cruising altitude of 328 feet (the highest altitude from which you can drop a small child, and still hear the splat). She was heading out on patrol. Her home was in the deepest darkest dankest part of a truly forsaken forest. Despite that a surprising number of runaway children, and lost travelers insisted on stumbling and bumbling their way into her wood.

Baba Yaga hated people, unless served lightly roasted with shallots and a drizzle of truffle infused olive oil. She preferred to hate them from a distance, thus her patrols. She surrounded her wood with bogs, brambles and boulders. Still, there were always those few too hapless or hopeless to take the hint. That was why she patrolled frequently. Intruders, as a rule, were turned into frogs. Occasionally, when she was in the mood she would torture and kill them. Once in a greater while, because she hated rules (even her own), Baba Yaga would help them.
The Orion arm of the Milky Way Galaxy is a lawless place, which leaves backwards planets like the Earth a target for any adventurer with even the smallest of battle fleets. Neutrinella Redstar was one such adventurer. Her fleet consisted of three elderly cutters. They weren’t much, but, it didn’t take much to conquer a primitive planet. She searched for several months before discovering Earth. Earth was developed enough to provide luxury; and primitive enough that her fleet could easily conquer it. Landing in a forest clearing in the remote waste of Siberia, Neutrinella sent out scouts to help her plan the conquest; then settled back to decide whether she should be called Queen Neutrinella or Empress Redstar.

Returning from patrol Baba Yaga sensed something was wrong. She sniffed, and sniffed again. She smelled aliens! Of all the many things she hated, aliens were number one. Her rage knew no boundary when she realized that there were three space ships full of them in a clearing near her cave. This was a violation so profound that her anger flared white hot. Like the wrath of hell itself she descended upon the alien fleet. They became aware of her a split second before a barrage of magical energy turned all three ships into a pile of slag, and their crews into charcoal crusted crispy critters. One late arriving scout ship managed to flee eastwards toward the ocean, its saucer shape trailing smoke and debris from Baba Yaga’s parting shot. The pilot managed to nurse it over the ocean, finally bringing it to a long skidding crash on a ranch outside of Roswell, New Mexico.

What happened next? Baba Yaga cleaned up the mess and had dinner.
Art Lasky is an old guy. He has been writing in Assembler and COBOL for the last 30 years, but recently decided to try writing in English. Doing it for about six months now, he finds it’s not as easy as it looks. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he currently resides in Manhattan with his wife/muse and occasional visiting grand children.



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