Kasha Chatham, Alien Fighter-Person, by Katherine Sanger

Illustration (c) 2011 Romeo Esparrago

Oh my god, let me tell you, it was so totally drama! One minute we were just sitting there at the café, drinking our non-fat sugar-free French vanilla lattes, and the next, wham, it was total alien invasion!  And Bruce was just vaporized, like he wasn’t even there.  Just a puff of smoke.  Not even a bone left.  And, really, I could have used a bone about then.  It had been ages since my last hook-up, and Bruce was just so going to be the next.  He had a good job at the Y, a nice Honda, and was totally a hottie with those pecs.

But what was I talking about?  That’s right -– total alien invasion or something.  I mean, those silver cigar-shaped ships with the flashing red and purple lights appeared, and then those lasers just came blasting down, all kapow and zap zap, and the next thing I knew, I had dived under the table.  No joke, under the table!  And the wait staff so should have been fired, if they hadn’t all been turned to smoke and stuff, because there was all this gum stuck under there, and the floor was sticky and wet all at the same time.  My hands so needed decontamination after that.  But, of course, I had to take cover.  I mean, even I could tell that coming back out from under that hidey hole would be bad for my health, so instead I just suctioned myself up to the table’s leg and hoped that no breeze blew that cloth into me.  All that dieting and all those workouts really paid off because the tablecloth wasn’t even touching me -– totally another reason not be a fat chick, right?  I’m sure all of them must have completely perished in that initial purge, not being able to hide and all.

After a while, though, I realized that I so obviously had been spared, whether through my brilliantly quick thinking or the aliens’ knowledge of a superior form when they found one, I wasn’t entirely sure.  But I went ahead and unwound myself and peeked out.

The whole balcony was all smoky because of those dead people –- if they could be considered people anymore.  I guess they were more like puffs of ex-people.  It was all over, like some big cosmic bad date that suddenly realized it just wasn’t going to work out and no one was getting laid that night.

I made my way back through the café — lots of food was left on plates, and I thought about taking some of it, but even if it was about to become the apocalypse or something, I figured a calorie was still a calorie, and I would need to watch my weight.  It would be awful hard to get the human race restarted if I gained 10 pounds and couldn’t get a guy interested in me.

God, I have the best willpower.

* * *

Once I was back out on the street, it totally hit me that I might be the last person alive on the planet, and so, it was like up to me to avenge all these deaths or whatever.

So I had my mission, and I was bound and determined that I would make them pay for Bob or Bruce or whatever his name was.  It just so wasn’t fair that they had ruined what had been a perfectly good date, up until that point, anyway.

The big problem I had was that, well, I hadn’t really fought aliens before or anything.  I mean, who had, right?  It wasn’t like I had taken any technical courses in high school or belonged to the ROTC in college or whatever.  I figured that if anyone invaded the country, someone else would take care of that.  Like Daddy.

Which made me think that, oh my god, my Daddy might be dead!  I whipped out my cell phone from my cute little Dooney & Burke and punched his digits, and don’t you know it –- he didn’t answer!  He totally had to be dead!  Daddy always answered when I called.

So it really was up to me now.  I had to be like the savior of the whole Earth, and get some pretty sweet revenge while I was at it, kind of like when that girl told everyone I had slept with Carlos when I so totally wouldn’t have slept with anyone that owned a Hyundai.  I mean, like Carlos would even be on my radar, and -– oh, right –- I’ll stick to the topic.

That’s when I knew I had to like find the aliens or something and fix everything.  Because I didn’t want to have to restart the human race.  Stretch marks and me just really don’t go together.

I wasn’t sure quite where to start, but I knew that the aliens had arrived in flying ships.  So call me stupid or something, but if they were flying, they must be using the airport.  Logic, right?  Just like they taught in science class.

* * *

Lucky for me, I dated Julio in college, and he was this big shot helicopter pilot or whatever. And since I’m a lot smarter than I look — like it wasn’t that hard to make that 1600 on the SATS, but keeping it quiet sure was — I figured it out by watching him.  So once I made it to the airport, it was no big deal to find a helicopter.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only person with the idea of flying because all these empty planes and copters were ready to go.

Once I got up, things were way freakier than I thought.  There was like nothing moving anywhere.  No cars, no people, not even any cute little animals or anything!  It seemed like wherever I flew, I was it.  No birds, no bees, not even a breeze.  It was wild, but in a real scary way.

There was no sign of the alien ships, and I’ve got to tell you, for a minute or two there I was totally all ready to go drama queen and break into tears and freak, but then I realized that I might be it, and then what would the point be?  Screaming and crying was only ever good if it got me what I wanted, and if there was no one to give it to me … well, I figured I better find out what was really up.

So I went to the mall.  I figured if anyone was alive, they would be there.  Where else could humanity be, right?  I mean, what’s the point of surviving an alien attack if you couldn’t buy a new Hollister shirt to celebrate afterwards?

And that’s where I think I had the biggest shock of the entire day.  The mall was totally and completely empty of people!  I couldn’t find a single salesperson.  I landed on the roof and went in through Macy’s, and even the shoe department was deserted, like it was closing time after a week with no sales.

I was so at a loss.  It was the mall, for god’s sake.  How could it be empty?  It was worse than the lack of birds in the sky.  We don’t need birds, but we do need salespeople to survive.

* * *

Then, well, it’s a bit of a blur. A couple of days seemed to just go by really, really fast.  Or maybe it was slow.  I don’t know -– I was just in the mall, and nothing changed for what felt like forever or something.  I drank a lot of coffee –- I didn’t bother with lattes since there was no one there to serve me –- and it was really like melancholy and sad being in a mall and not being able to buy anything.

I don’t know exactly how long I was there in that mall of depression or whatever, but then it totally hit me when I was walking past the book store that maybe there was like a book or something -– maybe something in Cliff Notes or read aloud on CD –- that could tell me what to do.  And would you believe it?  There totally wasn’t!  But there was this whole series of books all about aliens and stuff and a guy named Luke, and he flew up and got this lucky shot using the Force and wham the aliens like all died or something.  Or maybe they weren’t really aliens.  I’m not sure, but they had weird foreign names, and they were on planets and stuff.  So I thought –- hey, he could do it, and he hadn’t really been trained at all.  And I had Julio, so that was practically not being trained at all. So why couldn’t I?

And the helicopter was still sitting there, waiting for me, but I wasn’t sure if it could like go high enough to shoot at the alien ship or whatever.  Really, I wasn’t even sure if it could shoot at aliens.  I mean, it wasn’t like it was military or anything.  Which made me think.

And I know, it’s really hard to think.  Harder than math.  But it only made sense that the military would be around.  My daddy always said that the U.S. military could beat any other paramilitary organization for any Marxist, leftist, or communist country, so why not kill aliens then?

But I wasn’t really sure where any military bases or anything would be, so I just went up in the helicopter and headed north because I figured, sooner or later, there would have to be some sort of armory or whatever they have.

* * *

And I was totally right!  I found this big compound or something and there was barbed wire and everything.  But there was nobody there!  It was like really empty.  But obviously there had been Army people and they had been getting ready or whatever because there were these black helicopters that had really big guns on them, and I figured that’s what the guy in the story must have used, so I took one.

I know, it makes me sound really bad because I keep taking stuff, but I don’t normally steal or anything.  I know it’s like wrong, and you can like really get on God’s bad side, but I didn’t think it would really count as stealing since there was nobody else around or alive, and while that was really a big downer, it also meant that I couldn’t really be stealing because who would I be stealing from?  Deep, right?

So I took that helicopter and that’s what I was using when I fired on you and downed your ship, and I didn’t know you were the Queen or whatever, and so I’m like really sorry that I almost killed you, but you have to admit that you did kill like everybody on my whole world, so it would have been kind of fair or whatever if I had.  But now that you’ve mentioned that alternate world just like Earth but better, I’m good with that, and if we can like go there, I’ll totally consider you my B.F.F. because I could really use one right about now, and I’m sure you can, too, being like the only female with all these workers.

Oh, and like they can colonize or whatever they want to on Earth, but if they happen to find a mineral make-up shop, I really need some of their ivory powder and a little bit of the ice-blue eye shadow.  And you might want them to get a bit of it for you, too, Queenie. *

About the Author: Katherine Sanger has had poetry published in Star*Line, Beginnings, and That Thing You Do. She won first place in Byline’s “Autumn Poem” contest and Sol Magazine’s “Lucky Thirteen” contest. She has had fiction published in Baen’s Universe, Black Petals, and others.

Email: ksanger@fromtheasylum.com
Website: http://katsanger.wordpress.com/

About the Artist: Romeo Esparrago draws as if he’s the last artist on Earth.

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