Alundra took another long sip of her beer as she stared up at the small portable television sitting in the corner up above the bar. The faces and voices were familiar, endlessly rehashing the same story over and over for the last few weeks. Every face in the place endlessly glued to the same news channel, eyes unblinking, listening for any new tidbit that they hadn’t heard before. She was the only woman present as all the others were no doubt at the nearest landing site, hoping for all their dreams to come true. She felt sorry for the men sitting here alone, probably wondering if their wives or girlfriends would ever come back.
A chair scraped and she turned as her colleague from the advertising firm took a seat and nodded for a beer from the bartender.
“How are the visitors? They going home yet?” Carl, the offices’ most eligible bachelor asked with a quick look at the television screen.
Alundra shrugged her shoulders, “Not yet, I don’t think so. They don’t seem to be saying a whole lot. At least not as much as these damn reporters.”
Carl shrugged out of his black leather jacket as his beer arrived and took a long drink while surveying the men sitting quietly around. His gaze returned to the beautiful woman sitting across from him and asked, “What do you think they want?”
Alundra’s eyes glanced up at the screen again as the cameraman caught a close shot of one of the visitors conversing with a high ranking military official. She had to admit they were definitely NOT what one would expect of extraterrestrials. The man, too nice looking to be considered alien, was smiling at the official and shaking his head. His hair was an amber gold that fell past his shoulders and waved silkily in the wind...she would love to know what he used on his hair to get it that shiny…
A clearing of the throat interrupted her thoughts, “Ummm…Earth to Allie…come in Allie…”
Alundra turned to face her co-worker and smiled, “Now how would I know what they want?”
“Didn’t ask you if you knew, what do you think?”
“From a woman’s point of view..”, he added.
Alundra turned and took another long look at the screen that was still focused on the man conversing with the official. From a woman’s point of view…he was tall, they were all tall, according to the news. He was handsome, very handsome, as they all were. His clothing seemed to barely cover the muscles bulging from his skin. His stance exuded raw power and confidence. Her nostrils flared with desire and she quickly turned away. She would not become like all the other drooling women who had been flocking to these news sites to catch a glimpse of perfection.
She looked guiltily at Carl, “I don’t have the foggiest but I’m sure we’ll find out soon. Maybe they just need some gas…” she ended with a weak laugh.
“Yeah, well, they don’t look like they need much of anything,” he drawled, “but it looks like they might take all of our women by the looks of it.”
The camera cut to a large crowd of screaming women who were waving and yelling for attention from any of the numerous alien males that were standing about guarding the small ship hovering close by. Again Alundra was struck by the beauty of each and every one, yet each was unique in his looks and body. They were different heights but none she was sure under six feet, and some almost seven. Their hair was all worn long, no sign of balding, she mused quietly. And every one had the body of a Greek god. No wonder those women were practically throwing themselves through barricades to get to them. The woman reporter suddenly thrust her microphone into the waiting crowd and threw out a question to the crowd in the front. Alundra couldn’t help but listen closer.
“What do you think of our alien visitors?”
One young girl, she looked about nineteen, squealed, “They are soooo hot! I want one!”
Another girl, looking like she was a friend of the first grabbed the mic, “Two! I want two! They make all these dirt wads around here look sick!”
The reporter hauled back the microphone and quickly cut back to the studio that was covering this historic event. Alundra turned back to Carl and smiled, “Stupid kids..”
Carl smiled hesitantly, “Allie, you aren’t going to turn into one of those, are you?”
Allie glanced down and returned her gaze to the man sitting across from her, “One of what?”
“Do they turn you on too?” he blurted.
Allie hesitated, “Carl, I’d be lying if I said they were ugly and didn’t do a thing for me. I mean, look at them, they are literally the perfect male. What woman wouldn’t be attracted to them, I mean, they could charm the panties off a nun, for God’s sake!”
At his closed expression, she covered his hand with hers, “Carl, don’t get me wrong. Yes, they are very nice, but I’m not some stupid young girl that’s never been kissed. I’ve been around the block a few times, I don’t lose my head over every nice piece of male flesh that I see. If I did, I would have been locked up a long time ago.”
Carl squeezed her hand and gave her a small grin, “Good, because I thought that maybe you and I could, you know, start seeing each other. Maybe dinner…” he trailed off.
Alundra looked down at his hand enveloping hers and felt a repulsion at the seemingly innocent gesture. She did find Carl attractive but just didn’t think of him as anything more than a friend at the office. If she had any idea that he felt more, she wouldn’t have made intimate contact with his hand. She just didn’t think Carl had any inclination toward starting any sort of relationship with her. He had always been the office Romeo, and she had been sure that he was very interested in Susie from the accounting department.
“I’m sorry,” he apologized, sensing her withdrawal, and pulled his hand from hers.
Alundra quickly recovered, “That’s okay, Carl, you just surprised me, that’s all. It’s okay, really.”
“Really?” he didn’t look convinced.
She smiled genuinely and relaxed a little, “Yeah, really.”
“So, you’ll go out with me?” he pushed.
She smiled again, “No.”
He stopped for just a second and then jumped back into himself, “Ok, Allie, if that’s the way you want it. But you know that I’ll be forever heartbroken.”
Allie almost sighed visibly to see he was taking her rejection easily, maybe they still could be friends, “I know Carl, I have that effect on every man I meet, but believe me, I think Susan Petersen would be glad to put it back together.”
His eyes perked up, “Susan? From accounting?”
Allie nodded her head with a big smile, “Uh-huh. She said you were soooo hot!” mimicking the girl from t.v.
Carl smiled and puffed out his chest, “Really….well maybe I’ll have to have a talk with her on Monday.”
“You do that, Carl, if the swelling of your head goes down,” she laughed at his sudden frown.
“This just in, we are taking you live to a conversation with the assistant commander of our new friends,” the t.v. interrupted their conversation and all eyes and ears turned to hear the latest. The camera cut to a room lushly decorated and filled to capacity with every top journalist she had ever remembered seeing on television in the last few years. In front was a podium filled with microphones indicating every major and minor network that was available. Conversation buzzed at an alarming rate until a large figure entered the room along with several smaller men. It was obvious who was the alien. Alundra was intrigued by the figure slowly striding across the platform. She listened intently as one of the men accompanying the alien stepped up to the microphone.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Could I have your attention,” which was a moot sentence as all attention had been riveted to the stranger since he entered the room.
“As you know by now, Earth has been visited by beings very much like us,” Scoffing could be heard in the bar and Alundra echoed the response.
“Their assistant commander wishes to make a brief statement to the world,” he finished.
The man whom the world was anxiously waiting to hear from stepped up to the array of microphones protruding from the podium and started to bend down low to speak to them. Upon encountering this uncomfortable position, changed his mind and decided to stand tall and deliver his speech.
“Welcome,” this first sound of the alien’s voice to Alundra’s ears was powerful, yet not overwhelming, even pleasant. She liked it.
“I am here to inform you that I have been instructed by our leader to discuss the reason we are here and to assure the inhabitants of your planet that we mean no harm,” a small buzz ran through the crowd.
Alundra studied the man on stage. So, this was one of their big shots. He looked pretty much like all the others except for the air of authority that emanated from his body. His hair, a deep auburn, curved attractively around his face. A dimple threatened to expose itself on his left cheek. His chin was strong, teeth white and even, and his lips were full and just begging to be kissed. Alundra shook her head to remove the lustful thoughts that were running loose inside. It suddenly occurred to her that maybe these beings were using mind control to invade the women. She almost laughed out loud at the thought. No, it was just a case of lust, pure and simple. And who could blame any healthy female for such thoughts?
“My name is Meridann. I am what you would refer to as assistant commander. We are on a mission of deep importance to the survival of our race. We have searched many planets to find what we need and believe your Earth can provide it.” The man, Meridann, stopped to give everyone watching ample time to let this information sink in before continuing.
“A time ago, our home planet was invaded by another species,”
Alundra couldn’t imagine any species stupid enough to attack these warriors who, it was obvious, could defend themselves very easily. Of course, they could be all brawn but no brain. But somehow Alundra didn’t think so and silently continued to watch.
“We successfully repelled the invasion, but unfortunately many of our own were fatally poisoned.”
Alundra’s heart unexpectedly flipped, waiting for the other shoe to fall.
“Our own women.” It fell. “Only our women.”
Immediately, words flew rampantly around the press room, speculating on the stranger’s next words and the impact they would have on the future of the planet.
“Though some have survived…..we need more to see the continuation of our race.” He stopped.
The press room erupted into questions, some quiet, some loud, being directed at the man at the front of the room and each other. The bar around Alundra came to life, probably the first time since the visitors had landed.
“Shit! I knew it! They come to take our women!” flew forcefully from a half-drunk man sitting at the bar.
Immediate hushing sounds were directed to the perpetrator and Alundra was relieved. She didn’t want to have to forcefully shut this man up in order to hear more of the startling news from the television. As if on cue, after the noise was hushed, the alien started to talk again.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have been instructed not to say any more until the commander speaks to you tonight at a special gathering in a more comfortable situation. You will be given the place and time as you leave…” he hesitated and then finished, “thank you.”
The crowd of reporters again exploded in questions and angry exclamations at being left on the hook. They pushed and shoved each other trying to get closer to the front, hoping that maybe one of their questions will be answered. The speaker, seeing the rush, stepped up and said loudly, “Please, no more questions, everything will be answered tonight. For everyone at home, please join us this evening at 7:00 pm for an interview with the leader of our new friends.”
The camera suddenly cut over to the original reporter still talking to wide-eyed women and asking their opinions of the latest developments, with every one of them ready to pack their bags.
Alundra turned to her companion, “Well, I guess we know.”
Carl sat in silence, mulling over the news. He looked again at Allie, “Are you sure you don’t want to go?”
Allie made a loud guffaw, not absolutely convincing Carl or herself. She looked away in silence and then turned to her companion with a wry smile, “I’m probably not quite what they’re looking for.”
“You’re beautiful,” he offered.
“And stubborn,” she retorted.
“And opinionated,” she added.
“And young and healthy,”
“And so not impressed with muscles..” she laughed.
Carl raised his eyebrow and Alundra admitted, “OK! Just a little bit impressed. But I told you I’m not interested. I’m not a galaxy kind of girl. I don’t even like to fly to my aunt’s place in California! There’s no way I would want to get on one of their spaceships.”
Carl looked hard at her, “You mean to tell me that fearless Alundra Kage is scared to fly?”
Allie blushed slightly at the mention of her weakness, she was not a weak woman. She stuck up her chin defiantly and explained, “I am not afraid to fly, I am just not a big fan of putting my body 30,000 feet into the air.”
Carl looked down and laughed huskily, “You’re scared..”
Alundra growled under her breath, “No, I’m not. I’m not scared of anything. There’s a big difference between scared and dislike. Flying I dislike. I am scared of nothing.”
Carl sensed Allie shifting into defensive mode and realized it wasn’t good to corner a revved-up she-cat and quickly backed down with hands up, “Okay, you’re right…you’re fearless..”
Sensing victory, Alundra quickly forgave Carl and his misconceptions and then glanced at her watch, “Oh crap, I’ve got to go. I’ve got to meet someone in 20 minutes.”
Alundra stood up and quickly put her coat on while digging in her purse for money for her drinks. Carl shooed her hand away and pulled out a few bills and threw them on the table. Normally, Alundra would discourage this and insist on paying for her own drinks, but said what the heck, if it made him feel better.
Carl followed her out of the bar and whistled for a cab to take her where she wanted to go. When the cab pulled up, Carl quickly opened the door for her and at her questioning glance, he replied, “You know Allie, you sure make it hard for a man to be chivalrous,” and smiled.
Allie paused and smiled in return, “I know, Carl. Maybe it’s because so few men are nowadays.” and got in the back seat.
Carl pressed his face to the window as the cab pulled away from the curb, “Not all of us, Allie…”
She waved through the glass as the car moved into traffic and quickly turned to give the driver the address to her apartment. She then settled into the seat and stared at the buildings going by, wondering about the people inside and what they were doing. Her thoughts then settled on the recent interview on t.v. Meridann…nice name…nice everything. She let her mind wander, to imagine what it would be like to take that man’s hand and go with him onto one of those spaceships and fly far away and never see Earth again. She sighed, she wouldn’t miss much, except Aunt Rosie in California. But she really wasn’t an aunt by blood. She was just a kind woman who had taken her in off the streets when she had nowhere to go after her parents died.
Rosie had been so kind and caring. What would she be today if it weren’t for that woman? If she told Rosie she wanted to go to space with these men..aliens..whatever.., she would probably tell her to pack warmly, it’s cold in space. At this thought, Allie giggled and got a curious look from the driver. She ignored him and settled back into her thoughts. Space, another planet…that could be exciting…that would be…impossible. She sighed. Fantasies were for other women. She kept her feet on the ground. It was much safer that way.
The cab stopped outside of her building and she quickly paid the driver and got out. She had lied to Carl about meeting someone so she could get home and relax for the evening by herself. She really enjoyed quiet Friday nights at home. Her building consisted mostly of elderly people who also liked things quiet. It was perfect. Though not exactly living the high life.
Inside her apartment, she kicked off her shoes and turned on the television to the channel that had been displayed at the bar. Maybe she would catch the interview with the leader, whom no one had yet seen. It could prove interesting. She went into the kitchen to fix a ham and tomato sandwich with a glass of beer and returned to sit on the couch. Refreshingly, a few commercials started playing, there were so few nowadays with no one wanting to leave the scene of any of the aliens and their activities. All too soon, the scene cut back with a replay of the earlier interview and Alundra glanced at the clock to see how much longer before the big moment. 6:45 pm. Just enough time to get a quick shower and get into some pajamas before the show.
Quickly she got undressed and jumped into the hot water, lathering the daily sweat from her body. She hummed a little tune and delighted in the hot spray caressing her body. What would Meridann be like in bed….? She snapped fully awake, now where did that thought come from? She had been way too long without a partner…Again, she promised herself not to be taken in by them. Someone was going to get hurt out of this yet.
She remembered the time and turned off the water, grabbed a towel and dried herself off. She quickly donned the pajamas hanging on the towel rack and ran for the television. A small quiet room was on with two seats in which the man that was at the first interview was already seated. No reporters apparently were allowed into that room and the man’s first words explained.
“Good evening,” he announced, “My name is Robert Messinger and I bring you the live interview with the commander of our new friends.”
“Stop calling them our friends, idiot,” Alundra spoke to the man on screen, “you don’t know what their agenda is. You people are so stupid. Just because they have pretty faces do not mean they’re harmless.”
“As you can see, there are no reporters in here. They are in a room not far from here watching on a large screen and will have access to asking questions at the end of the interview. I have some questions that have already been passed along to me and will try to ask them all.” The man looked off stage and nodded.
“So without further delay, I would like to welcome the commander,” the man stood with a hand outstretched to the side in welcome, “of our friends…..Rogan S’aborne.”
Alundra’s heart stopped in anticipation. As a new figure filled the screen, she was not prepared for the beauty that assaulted her eyes. She trembled as the commander smiled at the interviewer and took a seat beside him. The words Greek god, Adonis and several other unmentionables flew through her brain. His blond hair fell like a lion’s mane around his head. His body, like the others, was well muscled, but not overly so, and she could judge that he was close to seven feet. Even her 5’8” felt dwarfed in comparison. His clothes, if you could call them that, were like the others, tight-fitting pants ending below the knee and crisscrossed cloth bands over the chest. Simple and very sexy.
Alundra closed her mouth and almost felt the urge to wipe her chin. This man was incredible. Was he also looking for a wife? She shook her head and tried to be calm and objective. She must not think that way. She will not be swayed into being one of those lap dogs she had seen on the t.v. earlier.
The man, Robert, started to talk, “Well, I’m sure my viewers are very excited to finally see you and hear more of you and your planet, along with your reasons for being here. Where would you like to start?”
The stranger smiled, “I regret to say that we will not be here long enough to answer all of your planet’s questions as I feel we will conclude our business in approximately a month more in your time.”
The interviewer hesitated, “So you are going to be gone in a month or so, is that what you are saying?”
“Yes, that is all the time that is needed to conclude our business,” Rogan repeated slowly as if to a child.
The interviewer blurted out, “Are you coming back?”
Rogan, realizing this man was having a hard time digesting information, tried to keep his voice calming, “No.”
“So you’re just taking what you want and leaving forever?” Robert repeated.
Rogan saw this being a long interview and tried to move on, “Mr. Messinger, I have much to do so I will be to the point. No, I do not see us returning to your planet. We have come a long way and are eager to return. We came here for one reason, which I will now talk about in length and when it is fulfilled, we will leave. Can we now continue?”
The interviewer shifted back into a professional tone and nodded, “My apologies, Commander. I know your time is valuable. So I guess we should talk about your planet’s needs and how we, Earth, can be of service.”
Rogan smiled, “Yes, Earth can be of great service,” he turned to the camera and seemed to look right at Alundra. She drew in her breath. What color are his eyes? She squinted closer. Dark, sort of.
Rogan started his speech, “As stated by my assistant, we are in need of females. Most of our women, approximately 90-95% died from a poison introduced into our planet. So, upon finding Earth females very similar to our own, it makes them perfect candidates. We will be choosing suitable mates in the next few weeks based on criteria we have agreed to be acceptable to all in question. Firstly, no women will be taken against their will.”
Alundra scoffed out loud, “Hah! As if a woman would have to be forced to take on one of them.”
“Criteria will consist of women who are healthy in body and mind. They will be aged from 21-30 and have had no previous children,” he continued, “Every woman will be judged on an individual basis for suitability.”
The interviewer cut in, “And how did you arrive at your list of criteria?”
Rogan considered for a moment, “Mr. Messinger, our planet is not one of pure convenience. Everyone has a place and works for the good of the people and planet. Women who are chosen must be able to adapt as there will be no chance to return here.”
“And what if someone does want to come home, Commander?” Robert seemed almost as if he wanted this seemingly perfect race to make a mistake.
Rogan smiled, “That will not happen. We will choose well.”
The interviewer would not admit defeat, “And what about you, Commander? Are you in need of a wife?”
Alundra waited with bated breath for the answer. Not that she would ever think of becoming one of their wives.
Rogan knew the interviewer was perturbed and was deliberately vague, “My needs, Robert, are to provide for my people to ensure continuation.”
Robert, being thwarted in his line of questioning, continued, “How many women are we talking about and from what countries are they coming from?”
“We will be needing approximately 150,000-200,000 women and they will be chosen from many different countries. It does not matter the race, as long as the criteria are met,” Rogan answered.
Robert glanced down at his list of questions and back up to his guest, “And what will Earth receive in return?”
Rogan considered the question and replied, “We have already been in contact with your leaders and have agreed to share knowledge that will aid your planet in disease control and space travel. We will naturally share any knowledge we have that will promote the growth of your planet’s natural being.”
“Could you give us an example?” Robert prodded.
“I think that would be best left up to your leaders,” Rogan carefully steered away from any explanations that might need several hours to explain.
Robert glanced down again and looked back up, “Where do you come from?”
“Robert, I had hoped this would not take up too much time as we are now on a schedule that will not permit lengthy discussions on your television. But I will give a little more explanation,” again Rogan turned to the screen and seemed to lock on to Alundra’s eyes as he was talking.
“As you know, our planet’s name is Rygon d’Toran. This name, along with our names, has been roughly translated into your language so you would understand easier. We have studied your language through transmissions and our computer, as you would call it, has helped to interpret meanings of your words. Since your language is complicated, being you say one thing but mean another, we still have some difficulty. Our race is very old, older even than your own. We have technology that aids us in necessary functions, medical, space exploration, and teaching. But we do not create machines that will make us,” Rogan hesitated as if searching for the appropriate word, “lazy.”
The interviewer cut in, “Are you saying we’re lazy, Commander?”
Rogan sensed the animosity being displayed towards him and reacted. Immediately the interviewer calmed down, “I mean, we have conveniences that make our lives easier and we all seem to be so busy lately.”
Alundra stared at the screen. All she had seen was a pause as Rogan, the commander, stared calmly at the interviewer. She had thought that some violence was about to break out, a scene that so far had never happened in regards to these new visitors. But, after a slow pause, the interviewer seemed to breathe deeply and calmly continued as if he had said nothing wrong. And the alien went on as if nothing untoward happened either! What was going on? Did anyone else see something strange? Maybe the man doing the interviewing decided it wasn’t such a good idea to slam their ‘new friends’ and changed his mind. Either way, it seemed strange to her.
The interview continued with Rogan agreeing with Robert, “Yes, that is what we mean. Your planet has many conveniences that won’t be available to the women who will come with us. But we are not without what we need.”
“Yes, I agree,” Robert continued, “Now when will the process of finding suitable mates start?”
Rogan looked into the camera, “It has already begun.”
Alundra shuddered at the intense look that seemed meant only for her and quickly turned off the t.v. She pulled up her legs and wrapped her arms around them. She felt naked after watching him. She felt vulnerable. And she wondered what effect this was going to have on the world around her.