Qwuedeviv Crew 52: The More Pressing Matters
Things got off to a bad start for me. One moment I was perfectly content in a free fall plummet towards Earth and the next thing I knew, I’d crashed in the wrong—I take that back. Actually my entire crew had failed to land in the proper spot and thus left me stranded and alone. Not to worry though, I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself.
The landing had been a little rough, and I’m willing to admit I was a little bit shaken so when I made my way towards Earth ground, everything was spinning. The world was an odd smear of green, blue, gray, pretty smileys and brown. Even though my kind isn’t known for our amazing sense of smell—no nose you see—my gills were detecting high levels of smoke and…dirt.
Once my Visual Scanners had transmitted the signal to Command Center to disengage Spinning Doom Mode my field of vision was shall we say, significantly clearer. The blue was now above me. The brown, nearby where the crash site was. The gray appeared to be their civilization structures…and…hold on a second. I distinctly recall receiving a report in regards to ‘pretty smileys;’ there were certainly no pretty smileys anywhere. I knew pretty smileys—I had a couple on my ears, back, shoulders, and feet. Someone was feeding us false info! Huh! Well I’d have to look into that later.
For now I had gotten Earth readjusted properly enough to make sense and needed to plan my next move. Under normal circumstances, one might have expected the crew’s leader to search out said crew; however, this was not a normal circumstance or time. Besides, I was certain they would want their commander to be safe and I agreed with the concern they surely would have shown. That aside, it was big, open and well, quite honestly I wanted to hop back in my box, seal off the panels and go into lockdown mode. In other words, I was a tad apprehensive of being out here.
It was time to find a better place to set up base at. I did my best to keep out of the line of sight for this planet’s inhabitants. Surprisingly, they seemed to show a great lack of observation in noticing anything about the crash. That was fine—my drop pod would explode before they could use it for anything. It wasn’t the most discrete method, but there was no way I could pack the thing up on my back and carry it along with me. My bigger concern right now was…well me.
Thus far I still hadn’t come across any Earthians. Perhaps they didn’t venture out until later in the day. Although I had no real perception of the current time I was making a guess at it being early. Even though I could see stuff it had a darkish hue to it and either my fur was thinning or it was chilly out there. I’d add that to qualifications for a proper base.
Safe. Secluded. Heated.
I continued walking along streets I had never seen before. Buildings towered to both sides. I hoped they didn’t have security cameras or something similar otherwise I was in a great deal of trouble. Security work wasn’t my specialty.
Well, from a tourist perspective, it seemed to be a nice little community of some sort; lots of little grassy patches in the front of each house. I guess each Earthian could have a nice rolling turf for summer. I’m sure they liked to warm their bellies in the sun just like any other creature.
Anyway, base, base, yes I needed a suitable base. There was one main problem to this whole procedure. I wasn’t sure how one went about obtaining one of these things or how to tell if they had already been taken.
Wait. No, no, no scratch that! I was an invader! I didn’t need permission. I’d just take what I wanted. Choice base interior and exterior knowledge was not my specialty, but I figured the bigger the better. That concept tends to work for most things. The bigger explosion, the more damage—our tactic experts think they’re so smart. Really they just get a fancy title to state they have a brain! This is why I would never settle for being a Tactical Advisor.
Anyway it was around this very time that I had discovered exactly what I needed. This house was taller than the others, nearly double the size. It also had a little fence around it that couldn’t possibly have kept anything in or out. There was a space to crawl through underneath it and obviously space above as well to climb. So there I stood, standing where I stood, staring at the stood. Er, fence. I was stooding in front o—ahem—staring at the fence, which I stood in front of.
It didn’t take long for the obvious choice to come into clarity. I would squeeze myself underneath it. Those reasons wouldn’t be as clear to someone like yourself because you don’t have access to all the top secret files. However, if you did, you would understand that this was the only logical conclusion.
Before I initiated Stealth Crawl, I checked to the left and right to assure no one was following me. No one was—just in case you were curious. So Stealth Crawl was activated. All at once my limbs lowered me to the ground. It was even colder against the pavement which prompted me to hurry up. Something odd happened though.
Instead of slinking under in one smooth stride, I uh, only got about halfway. Strange. I yanked and tugged and pushed and pulled, but it seemed my faulty uniform had snagged on the chain link of the fence. This was severely problematic especially since there was no one around to help me!
My tail swished back and forth. Us felines tend to do that when displeased you see. I was, in fact, rather displeased and I had full intentions of letting the fence know it. Interfering with a lieutenant’s plans was very reckless and rude. I pulled and pushed again. The fence continued clanking and clattering—making a whole ruckus of noise rather than freeing me. I was preparing to rip the whole thing apart for scrap metal with my sheer strength when a light flicked on in front of the house.
Had the Earthians been alerted to my presence? I pushed the gray hood of my uniform back and angled my ears forward. I heard a frog croak somewhere—I think that’s what the Earthians called them—but nothing more than that. Huh. False alarm, it must have been a decoy motion-sensing light.
The struggle resumed. Clank. Clatter. Tug, tug, clank, clank. Clash. Earthian defense equipment defied all logic; after all it was only logical that if I couldn’t go forward, I should be able to back out the way I had come. My patience with the illogical fence had run out, but before I could punish it for its acts of tyranny there was a strange cht cht cht noise coming from the yard. I was still in the midst of deciding what it was when the thing attacked me. A whole torrent of water right to my face! The horror! Earthians were ruthless beasts!
I hit the Reverse and Retreat directive, but the fence wouldn’t let go. Trapped! My fur fluffed up in an instant.
“Alright, Beast! One more move like that and I’ll—”
Before I could finish, the Water Monster had spun and struck again. I let out a yowl and went into overdrive on the escape directive. The fence clanked furiously as I unleashed my raging wrath. Vicious yowls that should have sent any creature running mingled with the clashing of a fence and the sputter of the Water Beast. What we had on our paws was all out war.
Let’s get a couple of things straight here. I was in horrible danger. The beast had a thin body that was laced through the whole yard—a serpent of some kind. More notable still was the metallic gleam of its head. This beast was none other than a vicious Mechanical Land Serpent. A soulless machine with a taste for shooting concentrated beams of ice at anything that entered its lair.
I knew my time was up. This was the end, but I’d go down fighting. In the years to come I’d be remembered in Qwuedeviv history. I’d be a hero. Kittens everywhere would strive to be like me. I would have raised the standards of what it meant to be a lieutenant by leaps and bounds.
The world was becoming blurry. It was only a matter of time now. A sudden screech drew me back. It appeared that my battle with the Ice Shooting Mechanical Land Serpent had distracted me from noticing possibly the most hideous creature I’d ever seen. It had slipped and fallen on the wet grass, shouted something in its native language and crawled back towards its home.
It struck out and with incredible speed wrapped its skeletonous hand around a lever. As it turned, the Mechanical Land Serpent’s Ice Ray diminished. The creature then got back on its paws. My mouth dropped open and with renewed strength I was prepared to get out of there even if it meant leaving behind some of my uniform and a good chunk of fur.
This new creature was tall—more like the size of a highly unpleasant unit in my crew called Spork—but it was even uglier than Spork. Its face was completely bald and misshapen with an odd protrusion between its eyes and mouth. It had a little fur on its head but everything else was bald. Never in my entire career had I seen such a grotesque monster, but I couldn’t force myself to look away.
Upon closer inspection I noticed even more scary details. Its tiny, round ears were far too low on its head and it had too many fingers. Worse still, it had no tail—not even a terrifying hairless one. Krillfish! This thing made Spork look beautiful!
The creature raised one grotesque hand to adjust the squarish glasses hiding its eyes then it took a few steps towards me. My heart was pounding on the inside of my chest, knocking to see if everyone at Command Center was still alive. Command Center was a bit preoccupied though and couldn’t give our Circulatory System commander a prompt response. Fear can have a powerful effect over an individual and all at once I began emitting a terrible wailing sound of a yowl—a um, well it was a cry for help. Someone had sounded the alarm!
The creature waited until I had uh, given up that particular endeavor. It was probably going to eat me or try to steal my fur…or my tail. My poor, luxurious tail!
“What are you?”
I gazed at the creature again as it moved closer. I needed to get a story together and quick. It could be my only chance of survival.
“You look like a giant…cat.”
“Yes.” I finally managed to answer with a bit more enthusiasm than intended. “I am a Giant Cat.” None of my kind had ever accused me of being a giant, but I was perfectly willing to be a Giant Cat in the Earthian culture if it meant I got to keep all my fur and respective limbs.
The creature placed its hands on its hips. “Cats don’t talk though and they don’t wear clothes or have humanoid figures.”
“Then why the heck did you say that?”
The Earthian adjusted its glasses again. “Well…uh…I…I suppose I don’t know.”
Silence. Actually the silence carried on for a surprising length of time as the creature stood there staring at me. I decided to take the chance and work at freeing myself. I mean if it was gonna just stand there then I didn’t have much to lose. I twisted and squirmed, but all it really did was get my uniform situated rather uncomfortably. For a stupid short fence the darn thing sure was strong.
“Wait.” The creature gasped.
Somewhere deep inside my kitty soul I knew that was a wait of ill fate. A wait of destruction. It was the wait of all waits. The wait that would—
“You’re…you’re like some kind of alien. Some freakish cat alien!”
That was oddly enough, a very good and close guess—maybe minus the freakish part. If anyone was freakish it was the furless creature with a pet mechanical monster; made me wonder if all Earthians were accustomed to regular alien visits though.
“Oh my gosh…you are. Are we being invaded?”
“Yes. I mean no!”
This Earth creature was confusing me. Of course we were here to invade! But it wasn’t supposed to know that. Before I could add additional lies of security, the creature had already started off on some kind of mental breakdown. It was squealing and yowling.
“Oh…ohhh no.” Its hands went to the unruly fur of its head, grasping large clumps. “Why me? Why out of everyone in the world….this is bad. I have to tell someone. The cops, the government, my employer. Alien invasion. Aliens! I knew they’d come!”
I was beginning to believe I that I might have stumbled across my first “Human.” It fit the description. Loud, obnoxious, stupid, high strung, ugly as all heck. I had trained long and hard for such an occasion though. Well, encountering a Human—not so much the death by ice shooting mechanical land serpent.
“Hey. Hey Human.”
It took a few tries, but I got its attention eventually.
“Don’t worry about it. We come with peas.”