The result was absolutely mind-blowing…

Note: Random photos were not provided by ChatGPT. I have merely included them for entertainment purposes only.

Write a flash fiction story based on the style of L. Ron Hubbard including Tom Cruise, an evil religious galactic overlord, an exotic setting, and bring it to an unexpected conclusion in 5,000 words or less.

Tom Cruise was exploring the remote jungle of a distant planet when he stumbled upon a hidden temple. The temple was unlike anything he had ever seen before. It was carved out of a single massive rock, and the entrance was flanked by two giant statues of strange creatures with multiple eyes and tentacles.

As Cruise stepped inside the temple, he felt a sudden surge of power. He could sense that he was in the presence of something ancient and otherworldly. The air was thick with the smell of incense and the sound of chanting.

At the center of the temple, Cruise saw an altar. On top of the altar was a golden object that seemed to glow with a strange energy. Cruise felt drawn to it and approached cautiously. As he got closer, he saw that the object was a book.

He reached out to pick up the book when he heard a voice behind him. “Stop right there, human.”

Cruise spun around to face the speaker. It was an alien, unlike anything he had ever seen before. It was tall and had skin that was the color of ash. Its eyes glowed with an eerie light, and it had a mouth full of sharp teeth.

“Who are you?” Cruise demanded, his hand still on the book.

“I am Xorgon,” the alien said. “And that book is mine. It contains the secrets of the universe, and I will not let a mere mortal like you take it.”

Cruise hesitated. He knew that he should back away, but he couldn’t resist the temptation of the book. He reached out again, and this time Xorgon lunged forward, his claws extended.

Cruise was faster, and he dodged the attack. He ran for the exit of the temple, with Xorgon hot on his heels. The jungle outside was dense, and Cruise knew he could lose the alien if he could just find a place to hide.

He ran deeper into the jungle, hoping to find some shelter. Suddenly, he saw a clearing up ahead. As he approached, he saw a strange machine sitting in the center of the clearing. It was like nothing he had ever seen before, and it seemed to be calling out to him.

Without thinking, Cruise climbed into the machine and pulled a lever. The machine roared to life, and Cruise was thrown backwards as it lifted off the ground. He could see Xorgon below him, shouting in rage as he vanished into the distance.

Cruise was exhilarated. He had always loved adventure, and this was the ultimate adventure. He had no idea where the machine was taking him, but he knew that he was going to enjoy every moment of it.

The machine flew higher and higher, until Cruise could see the entire planet spread out below him. He felt a rush of power, as if he was master of everything he could see. He knew that he was destined for greatness, and he could feel the universe bowing to his will.

Suddenly, the machine lurched to a stop. Cruise was thrown forward, and he hit his head on the control panel. When he came to, he saw that he was in a massive palace, surrounded by strange creatures.

At the far end of the room, there was a throne. On the throne sat a figure shrouded in darkness. Cruise could sense that this was the being he had been searching for all his life – the evil religious galactic overlord who ruled over the universe.

“You have come seeking power, mortal,” the overlord said, his voice echoing through the room. “But you are too late. I have already claimed the power of the universe for myself, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.”

Cruise stood up, defiant. He had never been one to back down from a challenge, and he wasn’t about to start now.

“I didn’t come here to challenge you,” Cruise said. “I came here to learn from you. I want to know the secrets of the universe, just like you do.”

The overlord laughed, a sound that echoed through the palace.

“Very well, mortal,” he said. “I will teach you the secrets of the universe. But be warned, the knowledge you seek comes with a heavy price. Are you willing to pay it?”

Cruise nodded, determined. He had come too far to back down now.

The overlord stood up from his throne and stepped down to where Cruise was standing. He placed his hand on Cruise’s forehead, and suddenly Cruise was engulfed in a blinding light.

He saw visions of worlds beyond his imagination, of beings of immense power, and of the secrets of the universe itself. He saw the overlord’s rise to power, and the destruction he had wrought to get there.

Cruise was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the knowledge he was receiving. He felt his mind expanding, his consciousness reaching beyond what he had ever thought possible.

But then, just as suddenly as it had started, the light faded, and Cruise was back in the palace.

The overlord was looking at him with a cold, calculating gaze.

“You have learned much, mortal,” he said. “But now, it is time for you to pay the price.”

Cruise felt a sudden pain in his chest, as if something was ripping him apart from the inside. He fell to his knees, gasping for air.

The overlord stood over him, his face twisted into a cruel smile.

“You see, mortal,” he said. “The knowledge you seek comes with a cost. And that cost is your soul.”

Cruise tried to stand up, but the pain was too much. He felt himself slipping away, his consciousness fading.

But then, suddenly, he felt a surge of energy. He looked up and saw that the book he had taken from the temple was glowing in his hand.

He opened it and saw that the pages were filled with ancient symbols and incantations. Without thinking, he began to recite them.

The overlord howled in rage as the symbols on the pages began to glow with a bright light. The light grew brighter and brighter, until it engulfed the entire palace.

Cruise felt a surge of power, as if the book was granting him the strength he needed to defeat the overlord. He stood up, his eyes blazing with determination.

The overlord was thrown back by the force of the light, and Cruise could see that he was weakening.

He continued to recite the incantations, his voice growing louder and more powerful with each passing moment. And then, suddenly, the overlord was gone, vanished into thin air.

Cruise looked around, his heart pounding in his chest. He had done it. He had defeated the evil religious galactic overlord and had saved the universe from his tyranny.

But then, as he turned to leave the palace, he saw something that made him stop in his tracks.

The book he had been holding was still glowing, and as he looked at it, he realized that it was not just a book of knowledge.

It was a book of power.

And as he held it in his hand, he could feel its energy coursing through his veins, filling him with a strength he had never known before.

He looked out over the universe, his eyes gleaming with a new understanding.

He was not just a mortal anymore. He was a god. And with the power of the book in his hand, there was nothing he couldn’t do.

Cruise gazed out at the universe, feeling the power of the book coursing through his veins. He knew that he could do anything he wanted, and the possibilities were endless.

But as he thought about all of the things he could do, a new feeling began to creep into his mind: fear.

He had always wanted power, but now that he had it, he realized just how dangerous it could be. He could use it to help others, but he could just as easily use it to destroy them.

He looked down at the book in his hand, and for the first time, he felt a twinge of regret. He had defeated the evil overlord and had saved the universe, but at what cost? He had become a god, but at what price?

Cruise closed the book and felt the power begin to fade. He knew that he couldn’t keep it, not with the temptation it held.

He looked out at the universe one last time, then threw the book into the void.

As it disappeared, he felt the power leave him, but he also felt something else: a sense of freedom.

He turned and left the palace, feeling a weight lifted off his shoulders. He had learned the secrets of the universe, but he had also learned something more important: that power, no matter how great, was not worth sacrificing his soul.

As he walked away from the palace, he knew that he had made the right choice. He didn’t need to be a god to make a difference in the world. He just needed to be Tom Cruise, and that was enough.

Editor’s Note: The short definition of flash fiction is any fictional story that’s under 1,500 words long. Some journals may have a different definition of flash fiction length, but most accept 1,500 words as the standard maximum word count.

This story is 1,530 words … pretty clever ChatGPT!