“Wait! Hubert! Look at this one. There’s a body of water here next to this big… Oh… Wow. They must be really compensating for something here.”
“Oh Muriel, don’t be crude. I’m sure it’s just a… Whoa! Yeah, no kidding. You think they’re all square and pointy like that at the end?”
“I feel sorry for the female of the species, that’s all I can say. Anyway, we’ll stop next to that… thing… and get some water in the pool next to it. Oh! Look at that big, white house down the street. Maybe we could stop in there and get something for calbax. I’m starving.”
“Good god…” I let out a long sigh as the kid stopped the recording.
“Yes, sir. This is big, sir. We need to… I mean, do you think it’s time to mobilize?” he asked.
I hopped up out of my chair and left the room without answering him. Yes, of course it’s time to mobilize the troops, but he doesn’t need to know that. I got into my office as quick as I could and called Mark. “It’s time,” I said.
“Yes, sir!” He hung up as fast as he’d answered. He knew this was an extremely time sensitive issue. It was now or never.
The Seals arrived at half-past four, about ten minutes after I made my call. They were dressed in civilian clothes, but were all packing the highest-tech weaponry we had.
Before I’d left the Pentagon, the kid had given me something to wear in my ear. “Here, sir,” he said as he handed me the tiny, pill-like device. “Stick the red side in first with the white facing out. The white side acts as a microphone that’s hooked up to the translator at Central Command. It’ll transmit the signal here, translate it, and send it back into your ear for you to hear.”
“How will they understand what I’m saying?” I asked. It was a good point, you know. They might have spaceships, but we can’t be sure they’ve got universal translators.
The kid stood there and stared at me for a moment. His gaze shifted upward as he put his hand on his chin. Then, he looked down at the ground and slowly lifted his gaze back towards me. “Well… Sir, I… I actually hadn’t thought of that… But I’m sure they already have something in place. There surely couldn’t be a lingua franca of the galaxy that they’re using. They must need a translator sometime.” I wasn’t even mad. I didn’t have time to be mad.
As the Seals wandered around the Mall, I set up on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I thought it was as good a place as any. What a better place to bring two unknowns together in harmony.
After sitting and watching the Seals for half an hour, I received a buzz in my ear.
“Sir, they’re about to land, sir. They’re coming through the atmosphere over New York now at about 800 miles per hour. It… It might get a little loud. Be careful, sir.”
I stood up and began walking towards the edge of the reflecting pool, looking up and around in all directions so I could be the first human to catch a glimpse of alien life.
“Look! Over there!” one of the Seals shouted, pointing to a small blip in the sky. It looked like a far-off airplane at first, distant and miniscule, but as time went on, the blip grew larger. I expected to hear it. I was waiting for the boom. But, for some strange reason, I couldn’t hear a single thing. It was quiet and peaceful. Just another day at the Mall.
The blip increased in size until it zipped into the air over the pool. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It looked almost like a Fiat: small and bubbly, not like any flying saucer I’d seen before—or at least one I had seen in the movies. Everyone was on edge. The Seals stopped in their tracks and didn’t move an inch when it first appeared. As it lowered itself onto the grass, they began walking towards it slowly and inconspicuously.
I, on the other hand, kept my distance. I didn’t want something to pop out and shout “Take me to your leader!” and they all point at me. I know what happens next.
Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Hi! My Name Is ____.