The Trouble With Aliens
It was about half past two on a Sunday afternoon when the Aliens invaded. The shiny ovoid space ship decelerated through the Earths upper atmosphere with barely a sound as it gracefully descended towards the unsuspecting blue green world that lay beneath it.
Captain Fribble-Widget, commanding hexapod of the Star Destroyer Snafupop and noted ambassador of the Gribblesnarf species, flexed his six tentacles across the controls of his magnificent warship, the scales on his many ears vibrated with anticipation and a quiet satisfaction. Soon the Earth planet would belong to the Gribblesnarf Imperial Empire and Fribble-Widget would be proclaimed throughout the home shells as a conquering hero.
‘Hyperdrive baffles spinning down. Engaging Anti gravity propulsion systems Sir.’, Chirped first officer Bungle-Wort.
‘Excellent work Wort,’ said Fribble-Widget clapping two of his tentacles together. ‘Prepare the invasion battalion and land destroyers. Arm the photon cannons and prime the antimatter mortars. This will be a day of triumph and honour, my pimply scaled friend.’
Bungle-Wort nodded one of his heads in agreement at his commander, ‘Approaching the landing zone now. Deploying defensive counter measures.’
Fribble-Widget flicked a tentacle up into the air with a snap, ‘Onwards to Victory!’ he chirped and so the invasion began.
It was about this time that in a small Somerset village called Crickwood an irascible portly chap by the name of Silas fell out of the Six Bells Inn, propelled by both the visceral high pitched braying of the landlady’s verbal tirade whilst being simultaneously nudged along by a Golden retriever called ‘Dog’, he stumbled along the footpath with a falling motion that soon brought the ground to meet his face head on.
He observed the pavement.
Rosey Rushmore he thought, that landlady. Like that Mount Rushmore in the US of America only more stoney. What a cheek. Can’t even have a pint or seven of a Sunday afternoon without being pillared from post to idiom. Drunk indeed. He felt Dog’s wet tongue licking a ruddy cheek on his face and thought of what his dear late Pa might say if he could see him now. ‘Son yer baint drunk, if yer ken lay on the ground without helding un!’
Wise words, he thought. Well he was laying on the ground now proper and he wasn’t holding on at all… Much. So he wasn’t drunk then and that made Rosey a proper old stick and make no mistake.
Silas hauled himself to his feet, pulled his belly out from under his trouser belt, ‘thaz berrer’ and vaguely brushed himself off across stomach and chest, before plodding off and away from the Inn with a stoic determination that only the truly foxed can possess.
Now then, he thought. Where is ee? His podgy hands rummaged from one pocket to another and back again. Come on yer bugger! The rummaging continued. Dog padded along beside him sniffing the ground as he went.
Presently they approached the village green, a verdant oasis of English life, alive with the occasional sound of a bored duck quack emanating from the token duck in the duck pond and precious little else. Whereupon he found it.
Silas unscrewed the top of the flask of Gin and raised his lips in supplication. It was as he tilted his head back to take a good swig, that he saw the Gribblesnarf Imperial Star Destroyer Snafupop.
‘Oh lore!’, he squeaked.
The shiny ovoid spaceship descended from the heavens in silence. It’s mirror like surface ripped in the light of the afternoon sun. With a quiet ‘pfft’ six legs extruded from the body of the craft just before it touched down on the Crickwood village green directly between the duck pond and the coppice of sycamore trees. Silas’s flask slipped from his fingers and narrowly avoided twonking Dog’s upturned nose on the way down.
‘Touchdown Sir!’ stated Bungle-Wort triumphantly. ‘Commencing external environment checks.’
‘Very well Wort. I shall address our Comrade Snarfs before battle. Carry on!’
‘As you wish Sir.’ Bungle-Wort turned and saluted with three tentacles as Captain Fribble-Widget left the bridge. Descending sixteen levels in a transit tube, he arrived at the assault deck. Before his multitude eyes Fribble-Widget witnessed the enormity of the Gribblesnarf invasion force in all its manyfold majesty. Truly eight million Snarf Warriors tentacled and resplendent in battle colours filled the cavernous expanse of the assault deck hanger. In the vaulted galleries that lined the walls of the hanger lay the machinations of war. Machines of immense destructive power. Land cruisers, mobile gravity cannons, artillery destroyers, air assault tanks, these weapons and many more punctuated the walls as far as all his eyes could see. In the mists that veiled the very far recesses of the back of the hanger some many clicks away, he could even see the outlines of the mighty battalion carriers, each of which represented an entire war force in there own right.
Fribble-Widgets gills glowed purple with pride. He retrieved a scroll from his robes and unfurling the papyrus to great extent, then read from his prepared speech.
He paused for effect.
‘Murder! Death! Kill!’
Surprisingly this was the full extent of the speech. The Snarf army of minions roared in approval and so the gears of war engaged.
Silas looked agog at the Spacecraft. The Spacecraft looked back.
‘Woof,’ said Dog.
Silas broke wind loudly.
It should perhaps register as an uncommon event, a space craft landing on the village green. Not that this deterred Silas who immediately reached down for the flask of Gin seeking the restorative liquid that lay within, and was as such urgently required at this particular juncture.
‘Well I’ll be!’ he proclaimed. ‘It’s a UFO!’
The flask was then planted in Silas’s lips in a manner that permitted no consideration for removal until the owner had exhausted every benign drop from it’s possessive volume in a single draught.
‘Aliens Dog! Aliens that is!’
‘Woof!’ said Dog.
The Spacecraft said nothing. Which is perhaps not a great surprise. Dog started sniffing the ground again, Silas took another swig of Gin from his flask for good measure and found it empty. After which the token Duck proffered an unenthusiastic quack as if to punctuate an embarrassed silence.
It wasn’t a particularly large object, perhaps a little larger than Dog, thought Silas. It was however indescribably alien in every aspect. It’s mirrored surface, rotund shape, stumpy legs and particularly the way in which it had sleekly descended from the heavens, whilst emitting a high pitched oscillating whistle that only ceased when Silas tapped on the hearing aid in his left ear, all combined to project an unmistakeable appearance of alienness.
Very alien indeed and make no mistake just like that one on the Science television program the other evening. It didn’t belong here, not even in Crickwood and particularly not on the village green of all places. Silas turned to look at Dog who tilted his head and looked back pensively. What to do then?
Silas thought about the uncommon situation at some length. He thought about the Science program on the television and replayed various scenes through his head, little green men, flying saucers, alien abduction, mutilated cows and bottom probing.
It was at this last though that Silas, eyes as wide as saucers, was struck with a moral compulsion to do something, and so with his hands firmly gripping his trouser belt, he turned on his heel and ran off.
‘Keep it there Dog! Don’t let it get away!’ he shouted over his shoulder.
Dog stared at his departing owner for a short while and yawned a tired yawn. Then shaking himself from nose to tail, he padded over to the curious bright shiny egg thing and started licking it.
Fribble-Widget had returned to the bridge to oversee the deployment of the invasion force from the comfort of the command centre. It was a hive of quiet but intense activity as the various officers and crew went about there business. Many pre invasion and post landing check lists and procedures were being enacted, by a slew of tentacles and bobbing eye stalks.
‘Perhaps we could benefit from a little external visual imaging,’ said Fribble-Widget who was keen to see the invasion force leave the ship from his elevated position.
‘As you wish Sir,’ replied Bungle-Wort who moved to lean over a televiewer screen.
‘Good Grief!’ Bungle-Wort slid back from the televiewer in shock. His tentacles were visibly shaken, eye stalks flailing.
‘What it is Wort?’ asked Fribble-Widget.
Bungle-Wort fell over.
Fribble-Widget snapped his tentacles and another crew member took Bungle-Worts position at the televiewer. ‘Well what is it?’ chirped Fribble-Widget. ‘Tell me.’
‘Oh my days!’ replied the crew member who then also promptly fell over.
Bungle-Wort had regained consciousness and swiftly slid to attention, ‘Were under attack Sir!’ he rasped.
‘Attack? Us?’ the words practically fell out of Fribble-Widgets mouth slit. ‘Have you taken leave of your shell Wort? We are the ones doing the attacking!’
‘Quite so Sir. But it’s hideous Sir. A monstrous leviathan!’ replied Bungle-Wort who then reached out a tentacle and manipulated the televiewer to display the external imaging systems across the main field viewing array that spanned the bridge compartment.
The image showed a vast amorphous wet mass of pink and brown, slithering across the viewer leaving a thick film of viscous liquid with each pass. At the extremities of this view there came the outline of giant yellowing mandibles of death framing the huge gaping cavernous maw that lay beyond receding into the blackest depths of hell.
‘Ggaaaaaahhhhhhhkkkkkkk!’ said Fribble-Widget as he fell over.
April 10, 2012