Monday, October 15, 2012

Greeting, Earthling

Stepping from the Transubstantiator 6000™, Xxott glanced at his reflection in the liquid crystal mirror and sighed. “Are you certain this is correct, Commander? It seems a little tight.”

“Not to mention hairy,” said the Commander. His lead tentacle came up, its suction cup twitching. The tentacle caressed Xxott’s arm.

Xxott wasn’t certain whether the Commander was indulging in a comforting gesture or making a pass at him. It’d been a long, lonely trip from their home planet but Xxott wasn’t that type of Zlpqltrion. Turning, he caught sight of his bare backside beneath a truncated tail. “I hardly look like the most advanced species on Earth.”

“Our research is impeccable. You’re wearing the height of Middle Palaeolithic simian chic. It’s a perfect disguise.”

Xxott appeared unconvinced.

The Commander played the Saviour Card. “You’re the hope of the human race. Without you, humanity is doomed.”

Xxott’s tail hung down, swinging miserably. “Why should we care?”

“As Intergalactic Caretakers, we’re Zlpqltri’s gift to the Universe. Stop moping. Your mission starts now. We’re sending you back in time to impregnate a protohuman with your Zlpqltrion DNA which, over the millennia, will spread across the globe and change the course of history. Humans will become smarter and more civilised. The planet will be saved.”

With a flip of his tentacle, the Commander gestured for Xxott to come to the spacecraft’s window. Far below lay a blue planet, clouds sweeping over the oceans. Thanks to a cloaking device, the craft was invisible to Earthlings except for the flashing, vivid green logo of the device’s manufacturer “F.U.” – a technical hiccup the manufacturer claimed would be ironed out in the upgraded version.

“How accurate is our time transporter?” asked Xxott.

“Pinpoint. Let’s see. By Earth’s Gregorian calendar, today is 25 May 2012. You’ll be whisked back 200,000 years to the minute.”

Peering at Earth, Xxott didn’t like the look of all that water. “Can you guarantee I’ll materialise on dry land?”

“Of course. What could possibly go wrong?’


Switching on his Tele-wrist-or (Patent Pending), Xxott reported to the Commander. “So far, so predictable.”

The swim to shore took an hour. Just as Xxott attempted to leave the surf, a wave picked him up and flung him on the white sands of Cottesloe Beach.

Thump, thump, thud. The bare, brown legs of a jogger clipped Xxott, sending him back into the water. Heave. Toned arms lifted him onto the sand. He was saved.

Xxott chanced a whisper into his Tele-wrist-or. “So,” he hissed at the Commander, “I’ll be the most advanced species on Earth, eh?” He looked up at his rescuer, a young woman. “What’s the date?”

Showing no surprise at either a talking monkey or the fact the creature didn’t know the day, she replied: “24 May.” Then she pre-empted his next question: “2012”.

Transported back in time just one %$#@ing day, thought Xxott. He gritted his teeth, forcing to him to spit out beach sand and seaweed. He may be out by 200,000 years but he had a job to do. He gave the woman his never-known-to-fail-pick-up line. “Greetings, Earthling, I’ve come to impregnate you.”

“Are you in the mining industry?” she asked.

He shook his head.

“In that case,” she said, “the answer’s ‘no’.”

His chest came out. “Then take me to someone who’s a little less fussy.”

“I’ll see if I can find a visitor from the Eastern States.”

Reaching down she took his paw and led him across the hot sand towards a sloping, sunburnt stretch of grass. On the edge of the grass, a plinth held aloft the life-size marble statues of a naked man and woman. They were holding hands and staring in the direction of the city of Perth.

“Ah, your gods,” said Xxott knowingly.

“Too right,” said his guide. For luck, her fingertips touched the well-polished feet of Gina Rinehart and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, the latter statue’s proud member standing tall in anticipation of the opportunities Western Australia provided.

Xxott gave a shudder. Calling into his Tele-wrist-or, he gazed skywards: “Beam me up, Commander. Sadly, I’ve come too late.”

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Copyright © 2012 GREG FLYNN

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