Chapter 4, "What Folly Lies in the Hearts of Aliens"
Mr. Leader got all pissy about the fact that I knew of the looming Tallybonker attack, so he insisted on dragging me and Xlormp up into his spaceship for an Official Meeting.
"She shouldn't have found that information out until after the Trial, Xlormp," Mr. Leader chastised, his hat shifting precariously on his gooey head.
"She guilted it out of me, sir," Xlormp confessed pathetically.
"Hey, it's no biggie you guys," Klaxie insisted, the metallic blue shirt he wore today shining like a beacon of fashion in the dim bleakness of outer space. "Frig is totally capable of handling herself in a situation like this." He reached out a tentacle to stop Schmeertz from clobbering me over the head with a lead pipe. Schmeertz sighed heavily, defeated once again, and slithered to the opposite side of the ship.
"It doesn't matter how 'capable' the female human is," Schmeertz muttered. "She's pissing everyone off."
"That's right," Mr. Leader bemoaned, raising a flipper importantly. "We'll have to move the Trial date up. The Blobbersons are going to get all bent out of shape if they know that she knows what we know that as far as they know she doesn't know."
Klaxie scratched his head. "What?"
"He doesn't want the Blobbersons to kill random people on account of me," I explained knowingly. And explainingly.
"Oh," Klaxie nodded, grinning and patting my head in a tender fashion. "It's a good thing you're so mind bogglingly brilliant, what would we do without you?"
"Anyway," Mr. Leader harrumphed, obviously irritated that he was not leading the conversation when his name clearly indicated that he was the Leader, "There is no reason for you to be frightened, Frig."
"I'm not, really."
"There's four of us, you see, and two girl-slaves who can at least wield a heavy stick should it come down to it, and I don't think there's anything to be afraid of." Monica and Candy beeped extra hard to show what kind of stuff they were made of, and also to justify their existance.
"The Tallybonkers are tiny and microscopic, I think we'll be cool."
"The threat is severe, it is worrisome and should be taken seriously," Mr. Leader insisted.
"We obviously have a jump start on them if we know of their plans to attack, we've got plenty of time to prepare...I think we'll be okay," I insisted furtively.
"Xlormp, take the woman child away, she is giving me an irritated headache." Mr. Leader rubbed his temple region with one flipper whilst waving me off with another as a way of emphasizing the thing that he asked. "We'll discuss the matter of the Trial when you get back."
"Of course." Xlormp wrapped a single, sublime tentacle around my waist and prepared for teleportation. Klaxie winked at me as Xlormp and I disappeared from the ship's bridge.
When we were safely back at my cardboard mansion, Xlormp leaned into me and whispered, "You really shouldn't argue with Mr. Leader like that. He doesn't realize you can think with your brain."
I sighed. It was exasperating, having an alien species not take you seriously. I bit back the urge to tell Xlormp that there had been moments recently where it seemed even he did not believe in my brain thinking capabilities. He leaned over and kissed me. "Will you stay right here and not run off or do anything stupid when I'm gone?"
I grumbled and spat a bit, not wanting to agree but not wanting to argue with my alien. "I suppose so."
"Fantastic!" He held up a flipper for me to high-five. I high-fived him. And then made out with him a little. And then he disappered.
I was bored already. If only things weren't so boring around my house. There was absolutely nothing to do. I could attempt to play chess with Lou, but he always cheated by hiding my queen in his pants. I could go to work, but I'm pretty sure they'd already fired me by now. I could eat something, but all we had was a bag of pretzel sticks and some gravy, and I didn't really want pretzel sticks or gravy. I could go shopping. But that seemed boring.
Then I had an idea. It involved running to the Haberdashes. My idea was this: The Haberdashes didn't live so far away, really! I could run to their house! Hooray for ideas that don't suck!
I hollered at Lou that I was going for a brisk run around the neighborhood, and he waved at me, yelling, "Don't get eaten by the marmoset!" Indeed. no marmosets would invade my personal space today, for I was in too chipper a mood!
The running forced happy making endorphins through me, and the thought of seeing Christopher and Hector 2.0 also made me happy, so just for safety's sake, I thought about how much I hated baloney sandwiches and I felt a little more comfortable with my feelings. The run was brisk and exhilarating, and by the time I made it to the Haberdash abode, I was juggling a great amount of inner conflict. I didn't know what to do with all of these emotions. They were weird and obnoxious. The decision that occurred to me first involved expelling them via regurgitation, so that is how Christopher found me when she opened the door; attempting to puke all my emotions on her front lawn.
"FRIG!" She shrieked noisily, grasping me firmly around my mid-section and lifting me uncomfortably into the air. "You are not a mirage!"
"Indeed I am not," I gasped out through my restricted windpipe.
"HECTOR!" She hollered screechingly back into the house. "WE HAVE A HIGHLY AWESOME GUEST!"
"Is it the Pope?" A robotic voice emanated from beyond the threshold.
"What? No. Why would you think it is the Pope?" She still hadn't set me down at this point. The world looked kind of funny from this angle.
"Running through my database of humans, I narrowed it down to a list of awe-inspiring homo sapiens. I then calculated a list of highly ranked homo sapiens. After processing both sets of data, the overlap with the highest percentage yielded the output of 'the Pope'."
"Wow," I wheezed, "Hector sure seems able to say more than he used to."
"Dad's installed some advanced vocabulary and sentence structure software," Christopher explained expositorily. "A lot has changed since you've been away..." Her eyes drifted off wistfully.
"Ah," I ah-ed.
"ANYWAY, HECTOR, IT'S FRIG," she yelled directly into my ear.
"FRIG!" Hector 2.0 hollered in a very robotic way.
"Christopher, could you set me down?" I pondered softly.
"Yes!" She asserted, placing my feet back on the ground. I felt a rush of air force itself through my lungs like a train rushing down a tunnel made of human organs.
"Hooray," I gasped.
Being back on the ground made me remember how much I wanted to talk to Christopher and Hector 2.0 about. I forced myself through the doorway to find Hector 2.0 clomping his way down the stairs. It appeared that he, too, would attempt to envelop me in a much more metallic hug than Christopher, and I wasn't prepared for such a thing.
"Please stop approaching, Hector 2.0," I requested firmly yet gently. The robot did, indeed, stop approaching. But he seemed kind of sad about it.
"I have so much crap to fill you in on!" Christopher shouted gleefully, grabbing my hand and dragging me through various rooms and hallways before finally settling on one to plop down in. "What do you know?"
I searched my brain for an answer to her question. "Uh...I know that reptiles are cold blooded animals?"
Hector 2.0 raised a robotic finger. "Accurate."
"No," Christopher shook her head, "I mean, what do you know about the alien activity that's going on?"
"Oh, that. I know that the Tallybonkers are coming back."
Christopher nodded sagely. "Yes. They are on the verge of a completely organized attack. Led by a Tallybonker named Cliff, who has been feeding our office with information."
"You have an office?" I alarmed.
She nodded, her mouth in the shape of a pleased grin. "Yes! Daddy built an office for me!"
"Actually, Christopher," Hector 2.0 precisely enunciated, "Father built an office for me and you are sharing it."
Christopher waved him off wavingly. "Why does a robot need an office anyway? It's my office." Hector 2.0 looked like he wanted to butt in with some sort of robotic commentary, but Christopher barreled on. "The real mystery is why Cliff is providing us with so much information about the coming attack. He really has it out for you, Frig." She glanced up at me, eyes appraising my visage through her curtain of red hair. She seemed...she seemed to be feeling something. Something with her feelings.
"It's not a big deal, though, right?" I pointed out pointedly. "We just shoot them with one of your big weapons and that's it?" Christopher had saved my butt before, I saw no reason why she couldn't do it again.
Hector 2.0 shook his silvery head. "We have insufficient data."
"What's that mean?" I insisted demandingly.
"Cliff has made mention of something...big. Something no Tallybonker army has ever been great enough to achieve. And he isn't saying what it is. He's just being obnoxiously 'nanny-nanny-boo-boo' about it."
I snorted. "Well, call me crazy, but I'm not too scared of anything Cliff and his band of teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy cohorts could concoct."
Christopher shoved a strand of hair behind her ear, and looked up at me solemnly. "I am."
Chapters of the Past
Everyone! I have a favor to ask of you, on this most auspicious of Mondays. A dear friend of mine is celebrating his natal day. He has recently begun crafting a website of his own design, on which he blogs about things that make him happy, most notably British television and chickens in diapers.
FRIENDS, IF YOU FEEL IT WITHIN YOUR HEARTS TO BE AWESOME TODAY, GO TO HIS BLOG AND BID HIM HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Should you then stumble upon something that intrigues you further, I encourage you to comment and say nice things about it. I have heard all of you say nice things in the past! It is now time to spread that niceness to other portions of this vast Internet we call home. You all have my deepest and most heartfelt thanks, in advance, because I know you will do the right thing.