This is the 130th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
First Contact Blues, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 9th April 2013
Word count: 705
“How do I look?” the president asked trying to brush dust off his pressure suit.
No one answered, how could they? It was pretty difficult to look presidential in a high pressure suit.
“Never mind,” he said as secret service agents put the helmet over his head and check the seals.
“Remember sir, this is meet and greet. They might want to talk policy, but they’ll be meeting with the guys from State for that, right after, so politely steer them away,” the Chief of Staff reminded him.
“I know, I know,” the presidents voice said coming through a speaker in the chest plate.
“Clear,” a technician said, as the air lock popped open. With some trepidation the Commander and Chief of the United States and Affiliated Territories stepped inside. The door sealed shut behind him. Moments later the president heard, through his sound pick on his suit, the air being sucked out of the air lock then the hiss as it was replaced with an atmosphere of nitrogen and methane. Then the thick sturdy air lock doors in front of him opened.
The president saw several members of his secret service stood around armed and ready, and shuffling towards him was Patrick Connors, who with the computer on his arm would be acting as translator.
“Tell them who I am, and that I offer greetings,” the president said through his mic to the translator.
“Mr President, there’s no need. They understand is quite well as long as we don’t use metaphors, they are quite literal,” the translator said.
The president forced himself to look at the subject of their conversation. He’d been warned, he’d seen sketchy photographs and security feeds, but none of it prepared him for the sight of humanities first contact with an alien life form.
The thing was brown, in a quite offsetting colour, it’s eyes, if that’s what they really were, were red diamonds that glowed like embers. The brown body had five legs, without knees, just fat tubes of flesh protruding from the body. Likewise the arms, all three of them were, we’re tubes of fat flesh, that moved like a octopuses tentacles. There was no mouth to speak of, just a pencil thin line that ran just under those red diamond eyes.
“I bring you greetings from my people,” the president said, “Welcome to Earth.”
Nothing happened, then the translator spoke up, “Greetings President of Earth. We are pleased.”
“I’m not president of the whole Earth,” the President tried to say to the translator quietly, spoiled by the throat pick up microphone and loud speaker.
“We’re all ‘of Earth’ to them,” the translator said back, “I’m sure they don’t mean to elevate you unduly.”
Then in a blur of movement thick long tentacles grabbed the president, and suddenly he was dragged back, and inside of the creatures torso.
The secret service all around started shooting, using bullets from hand guns and machine guns, some started trying tazers as bullets were having no effect.
The translator made it to the door, and had to wait and watch the creature kill the secret service agents one by one, when the doors behind him finally opened, there were still three left, but they were shooting more to keep the creature at bay.
He stepped out of the air lock to be confronted by line of soldiers with machine guns pointed at him.
“Let him through,” commanded the Chief of Staff. “What the hell happened?” the Chief of Staff asked as soon as the translator was through the line of Marines.
“I think it feels that eating our leader gives it ownership of the world.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Because it was shouting it as I left,” the translator said, his helmet now removed.
“Soldier,” the Chief of Staff said to a lieutenant, “I want a perimeter, that thing doesn’t get out of, then blow it to hell.”
“Sir, yes Sir,” the lieutenant said, and relaid the order. Soldiers moved the civilians back, out of the building, and are covering the air lock in plastic explosives.
“I knew I should have gone on his stead,” the Chief of Staff was heard muttering as humanities first contact with finished with a bang.