“Here’s what we know,” Sammy the Beta bubbled from his aquarium next to the viewscreen in the library. “A ship entered the solar system a week ago. It was hidden behind an asteroid, so the humans either didn’t see it or didn’t realize it wasn’t part of the asteroid. Astronaut Katzee got these images of the aliens three days ago on Mars.”
Jeff Musk clicked a remote, showing an image of three tall, green aliens with huge, bulbous heads, bulging eyes, and slits for a nose and mouth. They held sticks that looked like golf clubs. Zack squinted at the picture.
“Are they playing golf?”
“Yes indeed,” Jeff Musk said, “and in that low gravity, I’ll bet they had a heck of a good game.”
“How did the humans not see that?” Chloe asked. “It’s a little obvious.”
“Beats me,” Sammy said. “Astronaut Katze initiated contact, and that’s when it all started. The aliens are from Alpha Centauri, a system about four light years away. It seems they just developed light speed technology and decided to take a road trip through the galaxy.”
“And we were the first system they came to,” Sassy said.
“We are the closest to them,” Sammy said. “At first, they were friendly. Talkative, even. They spoke English. It seems they’ve been picking up our radio transmissions for a while, and when they got the technology, they decided to come and see us for themselves.”
“I figured out that much,” Misha said. “The sign said ‘you’re’ instead of ‘you are.’ Use of contractions indicates some mastery of the language.”
“They’ve known we were here and have been watching us for at least a century,” Sammy said.
“So they’re way ahead of us in technology,” Jinx said.
“Not necessarily,” Jeff Musk said. “Astronaut Katze said that their technological developments have been different from ours. We’ve advanced in communications, while they advanced in transportation. They could pick up radio transmissions, but they never heard of the Internet, or telephones, or television, until they got in our system.”
“But they have space ships and warp technology,” Jinx said. “That’s weird.”
“It’s how we thought we’d develop two generations ago,” Sammy said. “Anyway, when they got here, they managed to hack our satellites. Don’t ask me how, since they knew of nothing more than radios and GPS grids. That’s when the problem started. Well, that and meeting Astronaut Katze. See, these aliens don’t have animals on their world. It’s them, and plants, and methane. That’s it.”
“Methane?” Zack asked. “That place has to stink.”
“I’m surprised they didn’t stop at Uranus,” Chloe said. “They’d love it. It’s a gas giant.”
Everybody cackled. “Chloe, you’re so silly!” Misha said.
“Try living with it,” Zack said.
“The aliens are fascinated with us,” Sammy said, ignoring the shenanagins taking place around his aquarium. “They also have a strong economy. They wanted to buy us.”
“We aren’t for sale!” Jinx growled.
“That’s what Astronaut Katze told them,” Sammy said, “but they didn’t understand. Apparently, everything on their world is part of a huge commerce system, more so than here. You can buy, sell, and trade pretty much anything.”
“The problem is that they offered to share their warp technology with us in exchange for all of the animals on Earth,” Jeff Musk said. “Of course, that’s out of the question. Our entire ecosystem would collapse without animals. We’re a vital part of the Earth, and we can’t leave. But there are some greedy humans that really want that warp technology. They’re thinking about trying to strike a deal for an exchange of some breeding pairs of anipals and genetic material for the technology.”
“Who are these people?” Sassy shrieked.
“Politicians,” Sammy said.
“I should have figured people that don’t know their heads from their rear ends would come up with that screwball plan,” Jinx said.
“Heck, the humans wouldn’t know what to do with warp technology anyway,” Zack said. “They’d probably release dark matter all over the place and bring on the apocalypse.”
“This is awful,” Quarky Birdy said. “What are we going to do? I don’t think cans of whoop up are going to work on those green beasts.”
“They won’t work on the politicians either, but I’d like to throw them a few cans anyway,” Jinx said.
“Me and you both,” Zack said. “Hey, my parronts went to Washington D.C. recently. It’s not too far, and they said the Capitol is easy to find. Can we do a drop?”
“No, there’s enough opposition to the trade plan that I think the humans are doing a good job whooping up on one another without our help,” Jeff Musk said. “The problem is that the aliens don’t understand politics, either. While the humans are squabbling, they’re planning an invasion.”
“An invasion?” Jinx asked.
“Astronaut Katze is still trying to work out a negotiation with them, but I have to admit that it’s not going well,” Jeff Musk said. He clicked on a video, where Astronaut Katze appeared on the screen. “Here’s what he said in his last report.” He clicked play.
“Meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow. Meow meow meow meow. Meow meow. Meow. Meow meow meow.”
“Hmm,” Jinx said. “So they won’t negotiate. Hand us over, or they’ll destroy the planet. Do they have the capability to do it?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Jeff Musk said. “They’ve also learned how to harness dark matter. They could annihilate us in a matter of moments.”
“They can destroy a planet but they can’t phone home?” Jinx asked. “Does anybody realize how epically screwed up that is?”
“I noticed,” Chloe said.
“So what do we do?” Chloe asked. “These aliens aren’t going to wait for our politicians to get their tumbs out of their fannys and negotiate. In fact, it seems they plan to use the human’s indecision to take us by force or destroy us. We have to fight. But how? And with what?”
“My ‘keet commandos are good, but they won’t be able to take on that,” Jinx asked. “We aren’t trained for interstellar battle.”
“I don’t know if we could kung-fu them, either,” Sassy said. “They look slimy. They’d fall right out of a beak throw.”
“And with everything going crazy here already,” Quarky Birdy said. “Ghosts dropping water ballons, people from the past walking around, and now aliens. I’m losing my birdy brain!”
Zack rubbed his chin with his foot. “Maybe we can use that to our advantage.”
“How?” Misha asked.
“They don’t seem to have transporter technology, or they’d have already beamed us to their stinky world. That means that if they plan to take us, then they have to come down here and get us,” Zack said. “If we can harness some of the silly energy to our advantage, it might be just what we need to win a battle and strike a peace, like we did with the Queen of Bavarias.” He looked at Chloe. “Call in Conure Chick and Sweet Pea. We need to send an ambassador team around to gather allies.”
“Ok,” Chloe said.
Zack looked at Misha. “Can you call in Coco and Killer? I have an idea of how they can help us, too.”
“Zack, you’re so smart,” Misha said, hearts floating from her head. “Of course I’ll call them, and help!”
“Jinx, can you get your keet army gathered here? I’d like to covene with you, Jeff, and Sammy on a ground strategy.”
“I think I know what you’re thinking,” Jinx said, “and of course, we’ll be glad to help.”
“These aliens are serious, and we all know there’s only one way to fight that,” Zack said, a gleam in his eye. “Quarky Birdy said it right. The world’s gone crazy. Let’s use that as our primary weapon. Let’s out-silly these aliens!”
Chloe giggled. “Oh my goodness. This may be the most fun battle ever!”