Flash Friday 18/03/2016: Unidentified Trying Object
The lights in the square all died at once.
Nobody had quite realised just how much the street depended on the lights of advertisement billboards, screens, and theatre lights; that is, until they all died. The logical thing was to chalk it up to a simple power cut. Something about the situation, however, brimmed with deep malice.
As if in response to the pedestrian’s growing fears, a large spaceship appeared over the city. Power returned, but only to the large screens that dotted every inch of the square. The screens displayed digital snow, the sound of static filling the streets. After a few seconds, a video feed appeared on every screen; a creature that looked like a brown praying mantis covered in armoured chitin, its red eyes gazing into the feed.
“Greetings, humans,” it said, in a deep grizzled voice. “I would like to introduce myself as Syen of the Karbor. Your kind have not heard of our own, I am sure. If you had, you would know that our race’s names are whispered in feared tones across the entirety of the universe. We take, but we will not give. We come, but we do not go. To fight us is to fight death itself; admirable, but futile. We shall take your cities, your towns and your–”
The image of Syen froze for a few seconds before abruptly turning off again.
The pedestrians that had stopped to look at the screen exchanged confused looks with one another. When it was clear the alien wasn’t returning, they gave a shrug and began to walk off.
A sound filled the square from the screen’s speakers. It was the sound of a phone ringing. ‘Incoming Call from: Syen’ was flashing on the screen, accompanied with an avatar of Syen wearing graduation clothing in front of the University of Planetary Takeovers. Soon, Syen’s image had returned on the monitors.
“…hello?” he said, peering into the camera. “Can everyone see me? Can you just…can you give me a respectable yet terrified wave if you can?”
“This is a good outcome. My apologies. Usually I don’t have any problems using SpaceCall for planetary invasions, but it appears I’m having some technical trouble. Sorry, where was I?”
“Taking our cities and towns,” someone from the crowd yelled.
“Ah, yes, right, thank you. Let’s see, uh…whispers across universe, take but don’t give…cities and towns…did I mention fighting us is like fighting death itself?”
“Admirable, but futile.”
“Yes, yes. Good. I’m glad to see you’re all listening. Right then, I think I’m all up to speed on where we were. We shall take your cities, your towns and your villages, we will replace your governments and–”
The screen went dead. The phone sound filled the square once again.
“Listen,” Syen said, “I think there’s something seriously wrong with my connection right now. Can you all stay in perpetual fear and awe while I fix this? Much appreciated.”
Syen picked up what looked like the alien version of a mobile phone. He pressed some buttons on it, then put it against his head where, supposedly, an ear would be. “Hello? Listen, I need to ask you something. Daddy’s trying to conquer a world, and he can’t do anything with you using the connection to download movies. You do remember what we discussed when daddy’s trying to take over a galaxy, don’t you? What? Still at garpball practice? When was I supposed to pick you up? Hm. That long ago. Alright, well, as soon as daddy’s done with this planet, he’ll come get you. Yes, Space Pizza as usual. Double pepperoni, I know. Okay, thanks. Yes–thanks. Okay. Bye. I–” A hesitant glance at the camera, then a soft whisper: “Love you too.”
Syen hung up.
“Just a few more moments,” he said, dialing another number. “We’ll assimilate your governments in no time. Just need to get this connection fixed so we can better demand terms. Yes, hello? Syen here. I’m having problems with my network. Yes, speeds are down to a quarter of what they should be. Can you do a quick line test for me?” Syen listened for a few moments, then sighed in exasperation. “No, I won’t. I’m not going to. Why? Because I ditched the router you sent me with the network package. It was garbage. I replaced it with a Connect-U-Like DX, it doesn’t need a reset. Can you please just test the line? Please? Look, alright, if I reset the router and nothing gets fixed, then will you do the line test? Alright. Will do. Bye.”
Syen hung up again.
“Honestly, what do they pay those fools for?” Syen muttered, ducking under the camera feed. “Of course it’s not my router. It’s never my router. Now I have to dig through all these wires, because I haven’t had to restart the damn thing in centuries. One glitch on their end and suddenly my trustworthy hardware is the fault. Well, we’ll see, won’t we? Just as soon as I tug–this–out!”
With a hefty tug, Syen reappeared on the screen, holding an unplugged cable in one hand. It wasn’t until he took a good look at it that his face fell. “Oh, bugger,” he said. “That’s not the router cable.”
“Good evening, humans,” Syen said, his body slightly charred as he spoke to the crowd. “It has come to my knowledge that, during the process of taking over the world, somehow the antigrav systems managed to become unplugged and sent my ship crashing into your planet. In exchange for you helping me repair my ship and not beating me to a pulp, I am willing to provide immunity from our galactic domination as well as sharing advanced alien technologies. Examples include food materializers, advanced virtual reality systems, and TV channels dedicated to cat videos. Call it a deal?”
The positive cheer answered for the crowd. Maybe these humans weren’t so bad after all.