I guess it says a lot when I tell people about my work, or rather, where I work. I work for SETI institute, you know, the organization big on tracking alien signals and mostly bent on finding out if we're alone in the universe...or not.
My friends and family think I'm completely bonkers. Maybe I am. I love my job though, mainly because I don't really have to do much apart from sit in a room and monitor the screens for any incoming "messages" or signals caught by the SETI satellites from God knows where and immediately report it.
The day started off as uneventful as usual with me mostly checking if the equipment was working fine and no incoming "bleeps" from worlds beyond.
Unfortunately, my day got a whole lot more interesting.
I noticed that one of the satellites wasn't working because the screen was blank so I turned on the security camera monitoring the satellite dishes just outside the building I was in and found a whole lot of black smoke blocking my view.
"Great. Just wonderful," I muttered to myself as I exited the building and made my way toward the damaged satellite dish.
I had to see how damaged it was and fill in a proper report to get it fixed. How in the world did it get damaged anyway? I finally reached the smoke-filled area and I got my answer.
Something had crashed into it and I didn't have a clue what it was. It looked somewhat like an escape-pod.
Suddenly, the thing began to dematerialize and for some strange reason as I witnessed it dematerializing, I felt a strange sensation under my feet like there was a stronger pull of gravity.
My head started swimming. The next thing I knew I was standing in a type of radiation containment room with the escape-pod thing a few feet away from me.
My disoriented brain couldn't register where I was. Unfortunately, it started making sense when I saw them.
At first I thought I was dreaming but I slapped myself hard and I was pretty sure I was awake. They weren't human, that much I was sure.
They wore a type of mask on their face but I could see their bodies extremely clearly and it was literally indescribable. My human mind could not register how they looked. It was so different. Foreign. Otherworldly. The worst part was, they seemed to be looking right at me.
The first thing I felt was extreme fear and the first thought I had was: run. Which obviously was exactly what I did.
Before they could register my presence, I pushed past them and ran away from that room as fast as I could, and as expected, I heard alarms blaring not a few seconds after my escape.
I ran until I could run no more, hiding from those beings. I finally reached another room like the one I landed in and hid in the shadows making sure I wasn't seen.
I saw the same escape pod things but these ones were contained in a type of bubble with some of the beings monitoring them.
The "escape-pods" suddenly exploded but the explosion was contained in those bubble things. They weren't escape pods. They were bombs. Weapons of annihilation.
I heard what seemed to be an announcement saying there was an Earthling on board, brought here by the teleportation device.
I seemed to have been caught in the teleport signal when they were trying to beam back the inert bomb to the ship to fix it. If I was found, I was to be terminated immediately.
They were definitely hostile. Unfortunately, that wasn't even remotely the weirdest part. The weird part started sinking in when I realized I could understand everything that was announced.
This spaceship probably had some translating matrix which enabled everyone in the ship to understand languages.
It was either that or I had completely lost my mind and imagined this whole scenario. Sadly, I don't have a very good imagination.
I had to escape this place and I didn't know how. I started to ask myself, what would Yoda do? He's my go-to adviser when it comes to situations like this.
As if I've ever been in "situations like this". The most dangerous thing I've ever done is drink week-old milk. Also, Yoda is fictional. He would just use the force and escape this place.
Sadly, I didn't have "the force". I shook my head and reprimanded myself for thinking about Star Wars, of all things, at a time like this. I decided to just run for it. Big mistake.
They saw me. I doubled my pace with about twenty of them advancing after me and trying to get a good aim at me with their ray-vaporizing-gun or whatever.
I finally barged my way in what seemed to be the control room and there were more of them there. I had to do something quick or I would be toast the next second.
Thank the stars, I spotted a big red shiny button. That was my only hope. When in doubt, always press the big red button.
Well, needless to say, that was one of the most terrible mistakes I've made in my life.
Whoever thought pressing unknown buttons, regardless of their colour was a good idea should honestly rethink all their choices life. I accidentally initiated the self-destruct sequence.
The good news was the creatures stopped chasing me because obviously they had more pressing matters in their minds, like trying to evacuate the spaceship. The bad news: I was going to die in about 10 minutes.
The ship was in uproar as many of the creatures were scrambling to get off the ship through escape pods.
They were never going to evacuate in time and they were definitely not going to let me on one of the escape pods. I had to do something fast.
I turned back to the red button and tried pressing it a few times but nothing happened, obviously. I took a deep breath and forced myself to use my brain. There had to be a way out of this.
These creatures seemed really useless. I mean seriously, didn't they know how to deactivate self-destruct buttons on their own ships? It was up to me.
Then I remembered why SETI institute hired someone like me because they don't just hire anyone. They hire the best of the best and I was the best of the best at computers and overriding systems.
I smiled to myself as the beginnings of a plan started to develop in my mind.
I got to work on the console keyboards which I could understand because of the translating matrix and I managed to hack into the teleportation systems.
Finally I reset the systems to 'All life forms', 'Place of origin'. I was sending us all back to where we came from. I turned around and smiled to myself in relief as I activated the setting.
I felt the familiar pull under my feet as I started dematerializing.
I managed to catch a glimpse of the creatures dematerializing away, no doubt to their place of origin (wherever that was) before landing right where I started, next to the broken satellite dish.
It was not a moment too soon as the ship exploded above me in a blaze of light which unfortunately wasn't all that spectacular in the daytime.
I smiled as I realized I actually saved the world from aliens.Proper aliens. Heck, I even saved the aliens themselves. Unfortunately, not one person on Earth knew that.
My smile turned into a frown as that realization hit me. "Oh well", I sighed to myself and shrugged. I had a broken satellite dish to report.