Rory woke up early. He was focused and ready, after another three days off of work, to get back to the lab and continue on with his experimentation. He had yet another breakthrough, his sixteenth one, and found himself full of eager anticipation. He just knew that today was the day.
He spent a little time calibrating the Worm Tunnel, as the team called it, for short, figuring it had to be ever so slightly off. So close and yet so far. He made a serum, or two. Had fun pulling some pranks on his coworkers, ray gun in hand. Setup a beehive mind set for the town, this time granting them overall happiness, in his most benevolent mood. Power was beginning to sink its ambitious claws into him. No longer content with the daily innovations, he wanted more. He wanted a name. He wanted to be… FEARED.
Sadly, that day passed without his making a fully successful contact. His calculations had to be off. Even the tiniest fraction could put him light years off course.
When Rory returned home again, he realized why the day seemed so special. He erroneously connected it with endless possibilities of success, when it was really just his birthday. He walked into the house to a nice birthday celebration. A cake, complete with enough lit candles to start the house on fire, family, warm hugs, and again an all but burning cake bidding him to save it from an oncoming meltdown. Smiling, he nodded his head at his family.
“Go ahead, Dad,” little Jett said. “Make a wish and blow out the candles.”
“Yes, before the room sets fire,” Ericka said.
“Okay, okay, let me grab some breath. You know us old geezers have a hard time of it,” he joked. Leaning over, he blew so hard the frosting almost lifted off. In a heartbeat, Rory spun himself around. Sparkles circled him, as if he was in a transporter from that old Sci-Fi TV show. His hair turned gray, instantaneously. And he, soon discovered, his lower back had a crick in it.
“Oh, ow,” he said, involuntarily bending over, putting a hand on the aching hip.
“Happy Birthday, Dad” James said, giving the Elder a hug. They all shared cake, and conversation. Pretty soon, it was time for Jett to get to bed, and Rory decided, he, too, would get some sleep. Tomorrow, he told himself. He’d be successful tomorrow.
Back at the lab, the next day, Rory finely tuned the Worm Tunnel, after the strangest dream. The figures still danced in his head. Utilizing them, he then set out to make Alien Contact. The device, was, after all, a bit of a radio. He just needed the correct frequency. The portal filled with swirls of murky green and white. He watched and he waited. Then he jumped back as all at once a female alien stepped right through the swirls and on into the lab!
“Oh, ah-ah, I did it!” he called to his co-workers, who gathered around to get a good look. “My… name… is… Rory,” he said, placing a hand over his chest. The female just stared at him and blinked her black eyes at him a few times. “Roar…ee,” he tried again.
“Roar –ee. Hew-mon?”
“Yes! And…you …are”
“Welcome … to…our…laboratory, Shine Gleetma.”
“How came I, here?”
“Ah, well, I just set the frequency,” Rory said, demonstrating by working the dials on the device. “And, you picked up on the waves and, well, here you are.”
“I go back now.”
“Not going to stay, even for a little bit?”
“You Zzyzxian. I Sixam.”
“Is there a difference? Alien is alien, after all. So, your skin is green and mine is lavender. Aren’t you the same? I’m mostly Sim. And we come in a variety of colors, but we’re still Sims. Can’t help it if my great-grandfather was abducted and impregnated. Why hold it against me? I have many questions. Like, why are half of my children of hew-mon skin tone, and the other half lavender like me? Huh, can you answer me that?”
“So like children, you are. Keep your questions. I go now. I will not be your prisoner of war.”
“War? Wait, what war?”
“Sixam and Zzyzx.”
“Fine,” Rory frowned. “Go ahead and leave, I won’t stop you. I’ll merely call you back at another time,” he mumbled. The Alien just glared at him through those black eyes, turned and walked back through the murky swirls and was gone. “Well, that was weird.”