Hi everyone –
Thanks so much for subscribing to my newsletter and supporting my books! While I haven’t written any sci-fi novels yet, I have dabbled with sci-fi short stories… After finishing Agents of Shield on the DVR, the General on the show reminded me of the one in this story… 🙂
Hope you enjoy it!
Everybody Wants to Rule the World – By Lisa Kessler
“General Yates. I’m surprised to see you here, Sir.” He gave the highly decorated officer a firm handshake.
“Can it, Thompson. I heard you’re communicating with them.”
“Oh. Yes.” A bead of sweat began a lazy roll down his back. Why did the army imbecile make him so nervous? Thompson was the scientist with the degree from MIT. He cleared his throat. “How did you hear that exactly? We haven’t…”
“I want to talk to them,” the General interrupted.
Thompson shook his head. “I can’t allow that yet.”
The General stepped in closer, penetrating the barrier of Thompson’s personal space. Every dilated blood vessel in the General’s bloodshot eyes was visible, and his breath reeked of cigarettes. Thompson’s stomach churned.
“I am the General in charge of this project, and if I want to question the filthy green alien vermin, then you will make it happen. Got it?”
Thompson took a step back with a nod. “Yessir.”
His white lab coat billowed behind him as he led the General to the restricted area of the compound. Thumb pads, and retinal scanners protected each armor plated airlock door, each one requiring a higher security clearance.
When the final door buzzed behind them, Thompson turned around. “I should warn you, Sir, we have only just started to communicate with the aliens. Anything you say could set us back months with them, so it’s important that you just observe.”
“I will do and say what is best for my country, not some slimy alien. Country first, Thompson. These little green men are the intruders, not me.”
“They’re not green, Sir…”
The General pushed past him and burst into the containment room. Thompson’s staff spun around with a collective gasp.
“As you were,” the General commanded. “Now where are the…”
His jaw dropped when the large blue creatures walked into the light on the other side of the safety glass. “Holy mother of gunmetal.” He turned toward Thompson as he pointed at the extraterrestrials. “They’re blue. They look like goddamned Smurfs, Thompson.” He laughed. “We’re afraid of being attacked by Papa Smurf.”
The six foot five inch blue alien in white pants stepped forward and opened his mouth. A familiar tune escaped his lips. “Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who?”
“Is he talking to me?” The general asked. “How did he do that?”
“Yessir. It appears the alien’s bone structure is conducive to our radio wave signals. They’ve learned to communicate with us using pieces of song lyrics.”
“Do I have to answer back with songs too?”
“No. They seem to be able to understand us, but their vocal chords aren’t structured for speech like ours. We believe that’s why they’re pirating the radio waves to speak.”
He nodded and turned back to the large blue alien. “I am General Yates of the United States Army. Why have you come to America?”
The alien blinked his eyes slowly and finally opened his mouth again in reply. This time a Puerto Rican voice belted out, “I want to be in America. Everything’s free in America.”
The general raised a brow. “Is that so, huh? Trying to take advantage of our hospitality? Well we don’t take too kindly to illegal aliens here.”
The alien frowned and blinked repeatedly before opening his mouth and Genesis echoed, “It’s no fun being an illegal alien.”
General Yates pointed at Thompson. “Is he mocking me?”
The alien’s lashes fluttered and Carly Simon burst out, “Mock – Yeah – ing – Yeah.”
“This is unacceptable!” The General’s face turned bright red. “I can send you right back to Mars or wherever the Hell you came from.”
“You know you make me want to shout!”
One of the scientists chuckled, and another blurted out, “Oh, I like that song.”
General Yates slapped the back of the young man’s head. “This is a classified government project, boy! You better stay on task.”
The blue alien crossed his arms, and Thompson cleared his throat, drawing the General’s attention. “Sir, maybe you can write down a list of questions and we’ll get answers for you. I think you’re upsetting our subject.”
“Subject? It’s a goddamned space alien! Why do I care if he’s upset?”
“Don’t it make my brow eyes blue,” Crystal Gayle crooned from the other side of the glass partition.
Another chuckle slipped out from the technicians.
The General spun around. “Who was that?”
“No-no-no-no-no,” The Human Beanz stuttered out of the alien’s mouth. “Nobody but me.”
Even Thompson laughed. He couldn’t help it. The General was blessedly speechless and stormed out of the room. Thompson looked back over his shoulder to be sure the lock was engaged again before he turned back toward the alien.
“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t know he was coming.”
“Sorry seems to be the hardest word.”
Thompson nodded. “Harder for some than others. So can we still get you to answer a few more questions?”
His eyes blinked and Lynyrd Skynyrd sang out, “Gimme three steps gimme steps Mister.”
“Three more. You got it.” Thompson skimmed down their interrogation list. “Okay, we know you’re explorers for your race, but why did you choose to make contact in America?”
The blue man smiled and blinked, “Plenty of room at the Hotel California.” Blink. “Sweet Home Alabama.” Blink. “I wanna be a part of it New York, New York.” Blink. “Carolina in my mind.” Blink. “Deep in the heart of Texas.” Blink. “North to Alaska.” Blink. “Rocky Mountain High, Colorado.” Blink. “Kentucky Woman, I got to know you.” Blink. “Mississippi Queen if you know what I mean.” Blink. “Four dead in Ohio.” Blink. “Oklahoma where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain.” Blink.
“Wow.” Thompson jotted notes on his palm pilot. “How long have you been studying us?”
“Ground control to Major Tom.”
Thompson looked up. “No way. You’ve been watching us since Bowie’s Space Oddity album?”
The blue man nodded slowly.
Thompson set down his device and stepped closer to the glass. “What’s it like in your world?”
The alien looked to the other blue men, and then met Thompson’s eyes with a smile. He closed his eyes and opened his mouth. The Beatles replied, “Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly. A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.”
Thompson stared at the blue man, lost in his thoughts. An idea was germinating in his mind. A dangerous, foolhardy, most likely insane idea. He must be crazy.
He spun around to his techs. “Okay, let’s give the extraterrestrials some space so they can rest up. Smith, can you go find the General and be sure he gets topside and on his way?”
“Sure thing,” he replied, and followed the others out.
Thompson stayed behind. When all the locks engaged again, he took a deep breath and faced the blue man once more.
“If I get you out of here, will you take me with you?”
The blue man’s ear twitched, but his lips seemed to smile. “Devil went down to Georgia he was lookin’ for a soul to steal. He was in a bind ‘cause he was way behind. He was willin’ to make a deal.”
“I hope that means you’re willing to make a deal, not that you’re the devil.”
He blinked. “Right. Quite right. You’re bloody well right.”
Thompson chuckled. “Okay then… Let me get you some lab coats and maybe some of the gas masks might help too.”
From the other side of the glass, Aretha’s voice bellowed. “You better wait. Wait!”
“What? You have an idea?”
The alien nodded and Melissa Etheridge beckoned, “Come to my window. Come on inside…”
Thompson’s pulse raced. Was he really going to do this? He started a mental pro and con checklist in his head as he removed his lab coat and pocket protector. Pros would be that he could finally learn what is really out there in space and study a new life form. He could test all of Einstein’s theories. He could discover new scientific equations. Maybe through his adventure he could advance the space program.
The only downside was the good chance that he might not survive.
The Blue Oyster Cult interrupted his thoughts as the blue man opened his mouth. “Seasons don’t fear the reaper, nor do the wind, the sun or the rain. We can be like they are. Come on Baby. Don’t fear the reaper, Baby take my hand. Don’t fear the reaper, We’ll be able to fly…”
Thompson took a deep breath. “I must be crazy.”
He opened the door, and the blue man offered his hand. Thompson looked at the other aliens and fought back his fear. He took the leader’s hand, and found himself completely engulfed in white light. The alien tightened his grip.
In the distance, Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band. “Blinded By the Light…”
Back at the control panel, Thompson’s iPod lit up, the song dial spun, and finally David Bowie’s voice sang from the abandoned earbuds.
“This is Major Tom to ground control. I’m stepping through the door. And I’m floating in a most peculiar way. And the stars look very different today….”