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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2149417
Humanity encounters an alien race
Aliens. Always we have been obsessed. So we have put them in T.V., in video games, in movies, and more.

“The new season isn’t as good as the first,” said Ryan Shore to Daren Salet. They were in a nice restaurant. Ryan discussed the popular television show that employed him, in front, and that was about aliens. “But it’s still very good I think.”

“Looking forward to it,” said Daren. Daren liked it.

“You have anyone in mind?” asked Ryan. He was asking about Daren’s love life.

“Sure,” said Daren. “I’m in a romantic state of mind all of a sudden.” He was in his late twenties. He was a teacher.

Nessel, which was the country they were in, was not a communist country, but the overseas country of Yaris did operate according to a form of communism, without private property, with something that probably came as close to sustainable equality as the human race could reasonably have been dreamed of. But even Alex Rale, who was a citizen of Yaris, was in Nessel, watching a movie in a theatre with the Nessellian sweethearts Ryan Shore and Lucy Kwik.

“I enjoyed that very much,” said Alex. “Have you ever heard of interactive movies?”

“No,” said Ryan.

“Most of the movies in Yaris are interactive movies,” said Alex. “Interactive movies are similar to dreams, with the audience member in the role of the protagonist or another major character. The movie can unfold according to a truly immense number of choices, each of which makes for a different outcome.”

“Amazing,” said Ryan. “And it works well?”

“Flawless,” said Alex.

Out against the night air, a woman produced a pistol and shot Alex in the chest. Ryan jumped at her immediately and she dropped the gun and started running. Ryan produced his phone and called the emergency number of Nessel, which was 653, while Lucy held Alex’s hand and stared at the wound, talking gently to Alex. He had been shot, but his condition was not that bad.

Dr. Sam Hastead, psychologist, had a theory that the key to a patient’s wellness could be derived from reading a person’s first and last names backward. For example, take the name James Grayson. It would become Nosyarg Semaj. To imitate the style of Dr. Hastead, Nosyarg, a name with some similarity to medieval Norse culture, might mean that the patient, James Grayson, should take an aggressive, raider-based sort of approach in his life. The other part of the name, Semaj, would also be subject to analysis, perhaps in combination with the word Nosyarg.

On a piece of lined paper, Dr. Sam wrote “Naibas Nhoj.” The movement of his hand holding the pen was suddenly combined with movement beyond his desk in front of him. His mouth dropped open as he saw what looked like an arm - not a human arm, but surely an arm in any case - moving around beyond his desk near to the wall. It fumbled in the air, like someone trying to open a door from the other side without being able to see what their arm was doing.

It began to diminish almost immediately, until there was nothing but a wrist and some alien hand, finally half a wrist and half a hand, a finger, and then nothing but his cabinet against the wall, like it had been before the arm appeared.

It came at him, sunbursting, looking just like it was laughing, whatever it was. And then his eyes were opening and he expected to lose the memory of the strange being that had tried to assault him, but it only became clearer in his mind past the end of the dream. Ryan looked to his side. Lucy was not there. So she must have gotten up already.

He got up and everything, and she was there after all, and it would have been O.K. even with the creepy finger of that thing from his dream as if on his shoulder, and its single damn eye looking at him, and him seeing every detail of it when he wanted to forget it…but when he went back into his bedroom after breakfast he saw the damn thing, it was basically the same, standing there holding something that hadn’t been in the dream that he was certain was a weapon.

“Your surrender,” it said to him in a voice like a robot. Ryan had his hands up.

“I surrender,” Ryan said. He heard Lucy’s voice lowly. She had been caught too. There had been another one of these damn things downstairs. But he didn’t know that.

“Total victory over your house,” said the strange, four fingered, one eyed, dripping yellow thing. Ryan guessed that meant that they had captured Lucy, too.

`“The alien forces are seemingly more powerful than our combined military might as humans,” said the T.V. newsman grimly, the host of Nessel’s most prominent news program. “Further, they seem bent on domination of us. For reasons that are not clear, they seem to disappear at times and appear at others, and for this reason as much as anything else, their conquest of the Earth is still incomplete.”

The alien conquest had its highlights, though. Strange and puzzling individuals entered the forefront as collaborators; assistant directors of popular movies; artists; producers. They now held posts such as “Director of Western Nessel,” and “Count of Efisa.” Where once a scar-stained sense of self was abandoned as inconvenient, a cold oppressor of the people woke.

But Sam Hastead knew something about what was happening. He thought to himself; so I dreamt of one of these creatures; and then the thing appeared; so Jack (his friend) dreamed of something like these creatures; so one of them appeared to Jack…So maybe they travel here on the dream surf…and this was true…

Hastead tested the hypothesis, of course, according to his name reversal method. One of the things had identified itself as “Mono,” so “Onom…”And so on…

Sam may have had a crazy side to his personality, but it was matched by a brilliant side. With discipline, he managed to add a lucid and deliberate quality to his dreams, effectively avoiding any content of those aliens. And the aliens, who had come closer and closer to capturing and holding Sam, began to disappear from his life, as if he was holding the door shut to them, and as time passed, so did their struggle to open it. So Sam was free, and, taking advantage of the precarious nature of the alien regime, Sam was able to spread his knowledge of beating the aliens, and others also began to live free lives, having taken control of their dreams, and banishing those bloody aliens from their dreams, because when you dreamed of the aliens, they turned up in your life with their weapons (which fired small insects that ate through everything until it was useless), and when you didn’t dream about them they didn’t turn up in your life so much. In Nessel, Sam led the country to freedom from the aliens and Nessel led the world to freedom, except for Yaris which was fine, and Sam and Nessel’s president, who was a fat but sympathetic looking man, were awarded the unique and new Savior of the Earth medal by the United Nations.

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