Void Interlopers (07-14-2011)
General Sledgehammer “Daisytickler” Dolphinchoker grit his teeth against the stub of his cigar, ash falling over the computer screen and trickling across the words “Insert Coin.” He hung his head.
“How many is that?”
A man sitting in a chair in front of him used a cloth to clean the sweat from his joystick. “Seventy-one, sir. It…it was seventy one.”
The General straightened his back, fighting against the weight of a hundred and thirteen pounds of bravery medals that were pinned across his chest and down one arm, only to curl around it and turn in a spiral down his pant leg. They felt heavier than they’d ever had before.
“That’s $17.75, gentlemen, and I don’t need to tell you how the president is going to react when I don’t bring him back any change from his twenty. When we first received word of this threat from those teenagers down at the mall, they downplayed the enemy’s strength, but this is our home! This is our flag they’re spitting on!”
He gestured to the back of the room, toward the huge flag, emblazoned with a lumberjack fighting a robot scorpion while bikini models fired automatic shotguns behind him. “When we put the first president’s inaugural address on our flag, we were making a promise to him. A promise that said we would never take crap from aliens or robots if there were hot chicks around. One that swore that we would do our best so long as there was a chance that a chick might see it and tell her friends how manly we were. Now, do we want to let this generation of young ladies know that we’re super studs sent from the future to repopulate the past, or are we too busy picking out haircare products while thinking up new sad poetry for our blogs?”
The room erupted in a roar as the assembly turned back to their screens, inserting quarters into each socket to reactivate the million dollar military equipment it controlled. Listening to the sonar as it beeped away, They watched as each sweep of the line showed the ships moving steadily closer.
General Sledgehammer looked across the room to a glass walled chamber, one filled with bored-looking women dressed in club clothes. They were looking at their watches and crossing their arms, a gesture that wasn’t lost on the soldier standing beside them. He ran over, whispering to the General.
“They’re talking about leaving, Sir. They say there’s no hot guys here, and they want to go dancing.”
General Sledgehammer winced, but didn’t let any of the other men see it. “No one hears of this, you got me? If anyone asks, they’re bored because they want to break out of the enclosure and ravage every man in this room for how rugged he is.”
The soldier saluted, jogging back to his position while the General turned back to his command, watching as more screens lit up, followed by the sounds of the alien ships humming by their position. He saw one mass of blocks buzz close to the laser cannon, feeling the whole room shaking from the ship’s thrusters. He saw its shot on the screen just before it struck the building, ripping a perfect square hole into the wall before anyone could move.
They were thrown to the ground from the force, each soldier hurrying back to his chair to check his status. Shouts of panic flooded the room as seven men went down while trying to get back to their joysticks, their cannons reduced to pixels before they could do anything.
“The hot girls!”
General Sledgehammer turned around. The shot that hit the building had punctured the wall behind the women, opening a gap into the battlefield. Out there, he could make out the blocky ships as they landed, their pilots jettisoning onto the planet’s surface. One of them had made his way up to the hole in the wall, standing before the women in a square helmet. He reached up, pulling it off.
One of the men at his side vomited as he looked upon the creature. It had long hair, brown streaked with blonde, and plucked at an acoustic guitar with its manicured nails. It smiled, its clean-shaven face practically glittering in the glow of the setting sun. It’s shirt was unbutton to the waist, showing muscle tone without a bit of hair.
“Which one of you ladies wants to tell me about her day while I give her a foot massage?”
General Sledgehammer reached for his light pistol, making sure to save one shot for himself.