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“This just in…” announced Marc Soundbite, the ABC news anchor during his Wednesday evening newscast. “A farmer near Des Moines, Iowa reported seeing a shiny round object land in a fiery crash in his corn field fifteen minutes ago. Small peanut – shaped green creatures with tentacles protruding from their sloping foreheads were seen scampering from the smoldering wreckage. Witnesses close to the scene described them as about three feet tall, with long and slender extremities that allow them to slink away. The National Guard has been called out to capture the aliens, whose exact number is still unknown.”
Just outside Columbus, Ohio, Bobby Brown came home from work exhausted after his 10 hour shift at the local diner. He had slaved over four burners to sling chow for the hungry customers. Now that he was home, he grabbed a beer and planted himself in front of the TV. He scoffed at this latest breaking news as another attempt by ABC to push infotainment on its audience.
“Little green people from Mars?!” he snorted at the TV and went outside to light up a cigar. Standing beside his trailer home, underneath a moonlit sky, he thought about the science fiction stories he had read as a kid. He strolled leisurely towards the open field, his gaze fixed on the night sky. Des Moines was a thousand miles away but the idea of little green men from outer space might as well be a million miles away. The universe looked full of possibilities from where he stood, but getting up early for the breakfast shift was all he could think about.
As he took a last puff from his cigar, he turned around to make his way back to his trailer home. The night was quiet except for a few howling coyotes. Then, as if in a science fiction movie, a large shiny round object swooped down with blinding lights, illuminating the landscape around him. Bobby dropped to the ground as an instinct from his former military training. A large dust swirl was thrown up as the object landed on extended prods. He crawled behind some boulders and began to observe the disembarking of two peanut – shaped aliens from the belly of the craft.
Bobby rubbed his eyes in disbelief. Each alien took out a probe from its pouch and began surveying the area. It appeared they measured the temperature, barometric pressure, pollution count, and also scanned for life forms. Bobby saw them gesturing wildly to each other as their probes scanned over the boulder he was hiding behind. It was obviously too late to run for he had been DISCOVERED!!
The aliens slowly approached him. They did not seem to bear any hostile intent. Bobby debated whether he should reveal himself or allow the aliens’ probes to betray his position. A million thoughts rushed through his mind. He left his 12 – gauge shotgun inside his trailer. He couldn’t decide whether he felt vulnerable without his weapon or if resistance was futile. Suddenly, the air around him vibrated with the percussion of a thunderous voice: “Do not be afraid. We come in peace. Our names are Fee and Fi and we are Oozies who come from the planet of Ooze.”
At this point Bobby was more curious than worried for his safety. Slowly peeking out from behind the boulder, he cast a wary glance at the alien who voiced the greeting. His mind was further put at ease when he saw that this alien did not project a threatening posture at all. It did not hold any weapons, or what he could determine to be weapons, except for the beeping scanner. Bobby decided to fully emerge from the relative safety of the rock cropping and engage the aliens in conversation, since they appeared to be rather well-versed in English. He turned to address the alien who had spoken, whose name he assumed to be Fee.
“Why are you here? What is the purpose of your visit?” He yelled out his questions in a bellowing voice, hoping to sound courageous.
“We are here to salvage one of our spacecrafts which crashed a short while ago and rescue the 2 crew members, Fo and Fum. Unfortunately, our navigational equipment malfunctioned and we landed a great distance from the crash site. We wanted to go to Iowa but somehow we landed in Ohio.” Fee and Fi both shared the same confused look about them. “Fo and Fum were in the scouting party that had come to your planet looking for alternate sources of fuel.” Apparently, as Bobby later found out, the Oozies had refused to change their profligate ways and wasteful existence in spite of the warning signs. They continued to fly pollutant spewing and energy thirsty S.U.V.’s (Space Utility Vehicles) without any regard to the detriment to their environment and how fast they were draining their precious energy resources.
Bobby stood and listened with great interest to the account of events on Ooze provided by Fee. The inhabitants of Ooze had been much more advanced than earthlings in scientific discoveries and their practical applications. They had invented anti-gravity travel four thousand years ago which required a simple fuel source called flowtrons to power their inter- galactic crafts.
Flowtrons were at one time available in great abundance on the planet Ooze. However, as their population increased and the leaders declined to heed the call for conservation, the supply of flowtrons began to dwindle under increasing industrialization and transportation needs. Now the situation had become so dire that teams of researchers are scouring the galaxies for an alternate source of fuel that their machines could adapt to.
“Well, we certainly don’t have any flowtrons on our planet Earth”, explained Bobby, who was beginning to view these interplanetary travelers with renewed suspicion. Who knew what they might find on Earth that could quench their thirst for energy?
“Years ago people on this planet faced the same challenges posed by rising demands and diminishing supplies of energy.” Bobby reminisced about the great conflicts that ensued which resulted in the deaths of millions. “Eventually people concluded that the only rational and sustainable solution to this crisis was through conservation. It has been ten years since a truce was declared between the warring powers. Scientists, engineers and government leaders are now committed to reducing our energy consumption and protecting the environment.”
“Things have changed a lot in the past ten years. Cars are now much smaller and more fuel efficient. The vast majority travel on public transit. Factories burn clean fuels. Everyone has learnt to be efficient with their energy use.” Bobby stopped and sighed quietly. “We learnt the hard way that our only home in the galaxy is this planet Earth. Fossil fuels are a non- renewable resource and we must use it sparingly.”
“Fossil fuels?” Fee raised the eyebrow over its singular ocular device on its head. “Interesting…do you think we could convince you to share this valuable resource with your fellow galactic dwellers?” Winking at Fi for agreement, it then flashed a menacing look at Bobby who began to realize the sinister intentions of these aliens. Men might have settled their score over fighting for control of energy supplies, but it looked like another battle was looming with these space marauders!