tagSci-Fi & FantasyClose Encounters of the 7th Kind

Close Encounters of the 7th Kind

byDream_Operator©

Author's note: this is my entry for the 2017 Lit Halloween contest. Please vote and leave comments if you have the time. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious and are eighteen years of age or older. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

This is a quirky Sci-Fi, Rom-Com with not a lot of sex, so if you are looking for a quick wank, you've clicked on the wrong story.


Close Encounters of the 7th kind



Andromeda HXT92801 was awakened from his hibernation by the blaring sound of the ship's alarm system. Bleary-eyed, he stumbled his way to the command deck and sat down in the captain's chair. The main console screen was flashing in angry red letters "Shutdown Sequence Commencing" in his native tongue.

The spaceship's management AI system had initiated reverse propulsion until the spaceship had come to a complete stop. Andromeda realized there was nothing he could do at this point. The damage, whatever it was, was already done.

The ship's computer had already contacted Triple A (the Astronaut Assistance Association). Their remote diagnostic utility app had discovered a faulty gyroscope in the ship's primary navigation system. The estimated time for the part delivery and robotic repair was thirty-six bleebs.

Andromeda was a long-haul galaxy trucker and had been spacebernating since he had left his home planet fifteen light years ago. Awake now, it was pointless for him to go back into the suspended state until his journey resumed, and he was sure that the ship was functioning properly again. He weighed his options. A scan of the available spectrum discovered some video data being transmitted from a nearby planet. Andromeda opened the stream in his media player.

The creatures in the video were numanoid-like, but shorter, stockier, and devoid of natural verdant-colored skin. Andromeda fed the gibberish audio into the Babelyzer. It identified the language as English: an obscure dialect spoken on an insignificant planet called Earth (and nowhere else in the Universe). He downloaded the language pack into his brain stem and climbed into the mother ship's landing module.

As the ship was making its long, slow descent through the blue planet's atmosphere, Andromeda passed the time by turning on his media player again. He watched more of the planet's satellite transmissions, trying to learn something about this Earth that he was about to visit.

He stumbled upon a channel showing what appeared to be some sort of sporting event. One team was dressed in white uniforms, with thin black pin-stripes. The other team was dressed in grey and wore helmets with the hieroglyphic symbol "B" painted on the front.

The leader of the white team stood on a small, dirt mountain, staring intently at his grey opponent, who stood twenty gidlops away staring back at him, armed with a wooden stick.

Andromeda was trying to figure out what was going on, when out of nowhere the white team's leader reared back and threw a globe-shaped, white-colored rock at the grey player. He missed badly. A heavily-armored white teammate caught the rock in his oversized leather glove and tossed it back to the white leader on the mound.

The white leader scratched his groin and spat, then scratched and spat again, before throwing the rock once again at the grey team's player. This time his aim was slightly better. The grey player, using his stick in defense, swatted at the incoming rock and made solid contact―sending it soaring into the air, over the boundary wall, and out of the confines of the playing field.

The crowd went wild as the grey player took a victory lap around the inner, dirt-part of the playing field, stepping on three white throw-pillows, that were strategically placed in the ground at the corners of the inner playing field, before finally stomping on a white rubber, five sided polygon that was embedded in the dirt where the grey batter had previously stood.

Andromeda wasn't sure what to make of all this. He theorized that the game must have evolved from the primitive ritual of stoning criminals. The stick was probably incorporated later to give the accused a fighting chance. The nature of the game was gradually becoming clearer to him.

The next stonee swung his stick at three incoming rocks, missing each time. His turn was over and he returned in shame to one of the dungeons on either side of the stoning grounds. The players then took a break and switched sides.

During the intermission, a man wearing a shiny metallic, gold-colored suit interrupted the broadcast, came onto the screen, and started shouting, "We buy Gold! We buy Gold!" over and over again. Half a nimit later, the transmission switched back to the stoning stadium, where the grey leader began throwing rocks at the white team's prisoners.

The problem with this game, Andromeda soon realized, was that the stonethrowers weren't neither very good, nor very accurate. Time and time again, both the grey and white leaders tried to stone their opponents, and time and time again they failed miserably. And why were only the leaders allowed to do the stoning, while their other teammates just stood around watching, scratching their testicles, and spitting out a brown-colored liquid? he wondered. Surely, the game would be more entertaining if the other eight players were simultaneously throwing rocks at the stonee.

Andromeda was quickly losing interest in this tiresome game and was about to scan for another transmission channel, when the white team's leader finally connected on one of his throws, striking the grey team's prisoner squarely in the middle of his back.

The grey player dropped his stick to the ground, angrily charged the mound, and started throwing punches at the white team's leader. Players from both dungeons emptied onto the field and a brawl broke out.

Finally some action, Andromeda thought as he watched the battle ensue. But the players from both sides were no better at fighting than they were at stoning―no bloodshed, no injuries, no carnage, just a bunch of harmless flailing about. After a few nimits, it was over and the sides returned once again to their pathetic stoning attempts.

Andromeda searched the local spectrum for another transmission. The next program he stumbled upon appeared to be a documentary on Earthling mating habits. It began with an Earthling sitting in her dwelling. This Earthling looked different than the ones Andromeda had seen in the stoning game―it was shorter and curvier. The fur on its head was longer, and it had the largest mammary glands he had ever seen. Andromeda guessed (correctly) that this was a female Earthling.

The doorbell rang, announcing the arrival of a visitor. The female opened the door and found a young Earth male wearing a blue-and-red colored shirt and the familiar style of headdress that the stonethrowers wore. He was standing at her doorstep, holding a large, flat, rectangular white cardboard box.

"Yes?" the female Earthling asked.

"Pizza for Sindee Swallows," the male Earthling said.

"It's about time. Come in. You can put the pizza on the kitchen table," she said pointing a finger toward a round wooden table in an adjacent room.

The male Earthling placed the box down. "That'll be ten sixty-nine," he said.

"Oh, ten and sixty-nine―two of my favorite numbers," Sindee replied suggestively, then pulled some green slips of paper out of her leather bag and handed them to the young man. "Keep the change," she said.

"Thank you, ma'am," the male replied. He was heading back towards the front door, when Ms. Swallows spoke again. "Hey, where's the sausage?" she asked as she examined the contents of the pizza box.

The young male turned back towards her. "Ma'am, is there something wrong?"

"Yes, there certainly is something wrong. Do you see any sausage in my box?"

"No, I'm sorry, ma'am," he said. "I'll go get you another pizza."

"Well that's not good enough," Sindee said. "I need sausage and I need it now." Then she got down on her knees in front of him. "Maybe you've got some sausage that you can give me?" Ms. Swallows said as she unfastened the lower portion of his garments and pulled out his large genitalia.

"Mmm," she said, licking her lips. "Now that's the kind of sausage a girl wants to put in her mouth."

And much to Andromeda's surprise, that's where it ended up. He was quite puzzled by this unusual behavior. On Xentopia, his home planet, mating was only undertaken when it was time to procreate. How could the male Earthling impregnate a female this way? he wondered. It made no sense to him.

The broadcast was interrupted by a message from the landing module's navigation system: "We are about to make our final descent. Please stow your carry-on items and return your seats to their upright positions."

* * * * * * * *


It was early, before dawn, and the streets of Roswell, New Mexico were deserted. Andromeda found an open grassy area near the center of town and parked the landing ship there. The only nourishment he had, had since embarking on his journey was from the ship's IV unit, and Andromeda was desperately craving solid food. He started wandering around looking for somewhere to eat.

He walked up Park Drive and then turned right on 7th Street. When he reached Main Street, Andromeda found what appeared to be a restaurant.

Even at this early hour, people were filing in and out. The sign in front of the building was constructed out of two giant, interconnecting yellow arches. Andromeda peered in the window and saw people sitting at the tables consuming their food. He entered the building, just as the Sun began peeking over the horizon, and took a spot at the back of one of the queues.

A little boy in the adjacent line stared at him intently from behind his mother's legs, then tugged on her dress. "Mommy, there's a monster over there," he said pointing at Andromeda.

The woman looked over at the green colored man. Andromeda was tall and thin, his large head was bulbous at the top, tapering down to a small mouth and chin. A shiny, silver-colored, metallic space suit covered his body. Large cat-like eyes stared back at her. "That's not a monster, Daniel," she told the boy. "It's just a costume. Don't you remember what day it is today?"

"Saturday?" the young boy said.

"Yes, but it's also Halloween. People dress up in costumes on Halloween and pretend to be somebody else. Don't you remember the costume we bought you for trick-or-treating tonight?"

"Batman?"

"That's right, Daniel," she said. "You're going to pretend to be Batman, just like this man is pretending to be an Space Alien."

The boy cautiously wandered over to Andromeda and touched his spacesuit before scurrying back behind his mother's dress.

"Good McMorning, welcome to McDonalds," the cheerful young woman behind the counter said to Andromeda. "What can I McGet for you?"

Andromeda looked up at the bewildering symbols on the sign on the wall behind her, and quickly realized he had neglected to download the written English translation module. "I'll have one of those," he said pointing randomly at the sign.

"You want an Egg McMuffin?"

"Yes."

"Would you like to make it a McCombo?"

"McCombo?"

"The combo comes with hash browns and orange juice."

"Does the juice come in any other colors?"

"We have apple juice."

"What color is that?"

The girl gave him a perturbed look and said, "It's sorta yellow-colored."

"Fantastic, I'll have that."

"Okay, one Egg McMuffin McCombo with apple juice. Will that be McAll for you?"

"Yes."

She punched his order into the terminal and returned a moment later with a plastic tray holding a small disk wrapped in yellow wax paper, some brownish-colored nuggets, and the yellow-colored juice. "That'll be four dollars and seventy-nine cents."

Andromeda handed her his Intergalactic Express card.

"You need to swipe it through the machine."

"Swipe?"

"Here, let me McHelp you," the young lady said, taking the card and running it through the machine. "It was declined," she said. "I don't think we take this kind of card. Do you have a Mastercard or Visa card?"

"No."

"What about cash?"

"Cash?"

"Cash, you know cash money, dollars."

"Sorry, I don't have any cash money."

The young woman's feigned cheerfulness vanished in an instant. "No money, no food," she said with indignation and yanked the tray away from the counter. "Come back when you have money."

"Okay. Do you know where I can get money?" Andromeda asked.

"Try your bank."

"Great idea," he said. "Do you know where the closest branch of the Sirius Constellation Bank is?"

"I don't know, but there's a bunch of banks down the street," she said pointing south. "You might try there."

"Okay, thanks. I'll be right back."

"Void!" the young woman yelled out as he was leaving. "I've got a McVoid!"

* * * * * * * *


There were many banks on Main Street, but unfortunately none of them were branches of the SCB. Andromeda was beginning to lose hope when he saw something familiar―a young male Earthling was holding a giant arrow-shaped sign, energetically twirling it around, this way and that.

Andromeda couldn't understand the writing on the sign, but he recognized the symbols on it. They were the same as those he had seen in the We Buy Gold advertisement. He approached the sign twirler and asked, "Excuse me, are you Mister We?"

The teenager took out one of his ear buds. "What?"

"Are you Mister We?" Andromeda repeated. "I'm looking for Mister We. I understand he buys gold."

"Inside," the sign twirler said pointing the giant golden arrow sign towards the store, before placing the earbud back in his ear.

* * * * * * * *


"Can I help you?" a tough-looking, barrel-chested man behind the counter asked.

"Yes, I'm looking for Mr. We."

"We ain't got no one named Wi here, pal," the man said gruffly. "Try the Asian joint, two blocks down."

"Oh, I see. Umm . . . is there anyone else here that buys gold?" Andromeda asked. "I've got some gold that I would like to sell."

"Well, why didn't you say so?" said the man, shifting the tone of his voice like they were now lifelong buddies.

"I don't know," Andromeda replied.

"So, what type of jewelry is it?" the Earthling asked.

"It's not jewelry."

"Krugerrand?"

"No, my name is Andromeda."

'Well, Andr― Andy why don't you let me have a look at it and see what it's worth?" The shopkeeper examined the piece with his jeweler's loupe. "Coin, huh? What country is it from?"

"It's not a coin. It's a gambling chip from a casino."

"What casino uses gold plated gambling chips?"

"The Supernova Resort and Casino," Andy said. "And it's not plated, it's solid gold."

The Earthling's eyes widened. "I'll be right back. While you're waiting, have a look around. You might find something for the missus."

"Misses what?" Andromeda replied.

The clerk returned a few nimits later. "Okay, it checks out. It's pure gold―a little over two ounces. I'll give you two grand for it."

"Two grand?"

"Yeah, two thousand bucks," said the man. "Take it or leave it."

"Well, I would prefer to leave it with you, but only if I'm paid in dollars, not bucks."

"Whatever you want, Andy. Have we got a deal?"

"Yes, but only if it's cash―you know cash money."

"Sure thing, pal," the shopkeeper said and then counted out twenty one-hundred dollar bills, placing them on the glass counter.

* * * * * * * *


"Back again, huh?" the McDonald's clerk asked. "Same as before?"

"Yes, please," Andromeda answered.

"You got money this time?" she asked, before entering the order into her terminal.

"Yes, cash money," he said, flashing the wad of cash he held in his hand.

"Okay, that's one Egg McMuffin McCombo with apple juice. That'll be four dollars and seventy-nine cents."

"Is this enough?" he asked offering her a hundred dollar bill.

"Enough? Mister, that's way too much. We don't McCept anything bigger than a twenty dollar bill."

"Are any of these other ones McCeptable?" he asked spreading the other bills on the stainless-steel counter.

"Damn!" the Earthling girl said. "Where did you get all that money from?"

"From down the street."

"What happened? Did you rob a bank?"

"No, should I?" Andromeda asked.

"Look, I'm sorry, sir. We can't accept any bills this big, it's McCompany policy. You might try the diner across the street."

"Void!" the young woman yelled out again. "I've got another McVoid!"

* * * * * * * *


The Out of this World Diner was a theme restaurant. Lining its walls were UFO pictures, newspaper articles and other various extraterrestrial memorabilia. Among the featured dishes on the menu were: Apollo Apple Pie, Launch Pad Lasagne, Neptune Nuggets, Saturn Onion Rings, Milky Way Milkshakes and the Meteor Meatloaf.

Andromeda was greeted by an attractive young woman wearing a pink, retro 40's era, waitress outfit. "Table for one?" she asked.

The English language software app that Andromeda had downloaded was far from perfect and a little buggy. It returned the definition of "one" as being a common Latin male given name. "Juan?" he asked. "No my name is Andr― Andy."

"Oh, okay, Andy." She smiled. "Are you by yourself?"

He looked around. "Yes, at the moment I appear to be."

The waitress chuckled. "Well, why don't you follow me and I'll show you to your table."

Andy took a seat in the silver-metallic-colored vinyl booth and she handed him a menu. "My name is Venus. I'll be your server. Can I start you off with something to drink? Some Black Hole Coffee, perhaps?"

"Actually, I would prefer some juice. What color of juices do you have?"

"Um . . . Well, let's see: there's orange juice, which is orange of course, apple juice which is yellow―"

"Yes, that's what I've heard."

"We also have grape juice which is purple, and the tomato juice is red."

"I'll try the purple juice."

"You're not from around here, are you, Andy?"

"How could you tell?"

"Your accent. You're British right?"

"No, I'm from Xentopia."

"I've always wanted to travel to Europe. By the way, I love your costume."

"And I like yours as well."

Venus laughed. "So, what . . . are you like on vacation or something?"

"No, I was travelling for work when my spa― um . . . my vehicle broke down. It won't be ready for another grob, so I'm just here killing some time until then."

"You bring an Alien costume with you when you're travelling for work?"

"No," he replied.

Venus gave him a strange, confused look.

"Um . . . only on Halloween of course," Andromeda said, remembering what the woman at the other restaurant had told her son. "Everyone dresses up on Halloween, don't they?"

"Oh, right," said Venus. "Well, you broke down in the right town. This place is crawling crazy about aliens and UFO's. You've heard about the crash right?"

"Crash?"

"In 1947, a flying saucer crashed into the ground at a ranch outside of town."

According to the Babelyzer, a "saucer" was a small porcelain dish that cups of tea or coffee were placed upon before serving. Andromeda wondered how a small dish falling to the ground would be considered such an historic or newsworthy event. "You seem to know a great deal about this saucer," he said, assuming a waitress like Venus would be familiar with various serving dishes and utensils.

"Yeah, well, it's kind of my hobby―more like an obsession really." Venus laughed. "That's why I moved here. I know it sounds crazy and will probably never happen, but it's my dream to meet an Alien being."

"Well, you never know, anything is possible," Andromeda said smiling. "What would you do if you ever met one?"

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