The universe is a vast expanse, made up of gaseous things the human race dubbed stars and planets that go far beyond our small Solar System within this, our Milky Way. Somewhere out there is my home planet...though I have never been there. This planet called Earth is my home- where I was born, where I have lived, and where I must die...for the better of humankind as well as my own Simarillian brothers and sisters. My name is Finn Jane of Area-51...and this is the beginning of my story and how I died.
30 miles southeast of Rachel, Nevada: 1962
“Oh, John,” Myrtle Jones moaned as her date nibbled at her neck. They had left the school dance early, caught in the throws of smooth swing music and teenage hormones. For her, it would be a night to remember: a tale of romance, passion, and love that she would carry into her girlish daydreams beyond graduation. Their love would be a tale as old as time: she, a bookish girl with a penchant for mechanics and chemistry while the tall, muscular quarterback sliding his hand up her thigh was the epitome of manly excellence with his smooth, squared jaw and full lips and dark curling hair.
For John Marcus Jane, it was just another tumble in his dad’s old Thunderbird. Sure, Myrtle Jones was a beautiful girl, with her big eyes and even bigger breasts. But she was bookish and a bit of a klutz-a perfect target. It had been easy to win her over, with simple flowers and a box of chocolates. And before he could even pull out his school pin and say, “Going steady?” they had left the school dance and driven into the desert to make love.
“Oh, Myrtle,” he moaned back after he had managed to unbutton the top of her dress, her ample bosom heaving and straining at her stays. He lowered his hands to release them when her skin began to glow a strange, otherworldly green. Perplexed and hormones halted, John wrenched himself away and stared at her in shock. Myrtle stared back at him, her eyes glazed and breasts still heaving.
“Johnny, what’s - what’s wrong? Why did you stop?” she asked, voice sultry and beckoning, her body’s senses unaware of its brightening hue. John just stared back, bewildered and partially disgusted.
“You are green!” he yelped. Myrtle gasped as she took stock of her hands as she glowed. She looked at John and, eyes wide, unleashed a blood curdling scream.
“Myrtle, darlin’, what-?” he began, slowly moving forward to assist in some way when he heard her sob. “What is happening to us?” she sobbed, hands covering her mouth. John, being more brawn than brain, began to say that there was nothing wrong with her being green, that she was still beautiful when something she had said had finally hit him.
“What do you mean, ‘us’?” With shaking hands, Myrtle blubbered unintelligibly. John leaned forward and shook her. “Damn it all to Hell, Myrtle. Would you just-!”
“You’re GREEN, too!” she screamed, wrenching herself away from him. Scoffing, John snorted and looked down at himself when he saw it. From the soles of his Oxfords to the tips of his dark hair, all of him was greener than a barrel of radioactive waste. He stared at Myrtle, eyes wide with fear. “I’M... GREEN!”
Just they were going to launch into a back and forth battle of “this is all your fault,” they heard it. A low, deep wampa-wampa over their heads as a strange smoking disc fell from the sky above them, drenching the entire landscape in green flame. Slack-jawed, the couple watched as the wamp-wamping disc fell past them and crashed with a roaring fury on the desert floor below. A wall of sand and smoke flew up and crashed over them, sending them into a dizzying coughing spell. Pushing himself from the car, John squinted through the flying debris, trying to catch his bearings. Myrtle coughed, sliding from the car and falling in an undignified heap on the ground. Squinting, she turned around. John. Where’s John?
“John, I-I can’t see anything. Are you all right?” she called out above the howling wind, her words swirling about her like a vortex. She called again, louder this time. Finally, above it all she heard him.
“I can’t see anything. Where are you?” he yelled above the howling dust storm. Sighing in relief, she suddenly spluttered and coughed before calling, “By the car. Where are you?”
“Looking for where that thing crashed. I can’t see anything. I can’t...” he half-murmured, half choked as he tried to catch his bearings. Slowly, the dust storm began to settle, the violent stinging gusts of wind and smoke fading and shifting like the parting of a bead curtain. Limping, Myrtle joined his side and looked to the horizon, searching for the strange unidentified flying object. As they approached the cliff edge, they saw it lying in a large crater that could fit the entire school and half the small town of Rachel in its gulley.
“Sweet Mother Mary,” Myrtle breathed, crossing herself. John followed, although not a Catholic boy himself. As she continued to stare, Myrtle found herself to be no longer frightened but curious. John stared down at her, a blank expression written plainly on his face.
“What do you think it is?” he asked, his own curiosity winning out over any feelings of trepidation he might have had. “You’re the science expert, after all.”
“Flatterer,” she giggled, smacking his arm playfully, sending up a cloud of dust. They coughed a little until the dust subsided and they looked back at the strange disc. Myrtle squinted at the object, pursing her lips in a way that John found quite alluring, despite the circumstances.
“I am not sure. I have never seen anything quite like it before,” she said, slowly inching forward to get a better look. “Perhaps,” she said slowly, “it’s a secret experiment-- for the war effort?”
As she said this, she cast John a sideways glance. Having been unable to join up due to his age and already lost two of his brothers Vietnam , he would not look kindly on anything military. Despite his enthusiasm for sports and other all-American things, he had considered joining several other students in their protests.
Uncomfortable, John backed toward the dust-encrusted car.“Well, whatever it is, we better head back. I don’t want to run into-” The earth beneath their feet suddenly began to shudder as the strange glowing craft’s side shifted, revealing the opening of a hidden door. Without thinking, Myrtle ran past John and leapt into the car. Before John could even contemplate what she was doing, the car whizzed past in reverse.
“Myrtle, what are you-? Stop!” he bellowed, chasing after her as the car flew down the embankment. Seeing the nearness of the edge, John faltered and sputtered and inevitably flew down after his errant prize and soon to be smashed car. Rocks bit, dust flew, and the sky swirled as he rolled and rolled until he slammed against the desert bottom. The starry sky above swirled and spun as if painted by Van Gogh when a loud crash slammed everything to a heart-stopping halt. Still slightly disoriented, John lunged to his feet, standing and swaying for a moment as his eyes adjusted to the rosy smoke-filled horizon.
“Myrtle, where are you? Are you hurt? Answer me!” he cried. His eyes scanned the flaming wreckage of the disc and stopped dead on the broken and twisted Thunderbird. He ran to the car and went for the door, only to jump back and scream. Blistered skin met his eyes as he stared at his hand, then at the overheated car. His pulse began to race as all horrible possibilities filled his head when he heard her voice call out, “Johnny, over here!”
Johnny turned to see Myrtle stumbling toward him. Raw relief filled him as he rushed to her and reached to pull her into a fierce embrace. His eyes traveled the length of her, checking for any visible signs of injury. Hair askew and dress nearly wrecked beyond repair from dirt and some blood from minor scratches, there was nothing visibly wrong with her. He wanted to kiss her-deeply, thoroughly, passionately-but all he could feel was rage.
“What were you thinking?” he bellowed. Myrtle flinched, growing even paler under his dark scowl. He loosened his grip and proceeded to speak in a gentler tone. “You could have gotten yourself killed. How could you be so-?”
“The hatch opened up,” she said, shrugging away from his bruising grip. He grabbed at her again, intent on making his point when she met his gaze and he froze. Her normally blue eyes had turned a deep shade of violet that fairly snapped with hidden fire, stopping him in mid-reach.
“Whoever is in there is worse off than me. They will probably need help.”
Damn her, he grumbled. He really wished now that he had instead asked that cheerleader Norma Collins instead. She was pretty, ditzy, and as flat as an ironing board, but at least with her he would have been able explain away the UFO and the freak dust storm without breaking stride and, no doubt would have made it to second base. In fact, it would have been the perfect distraction to slip into third base.
Following close behind, Johnny tiptoed behind Myrtle as they made their way to the front of the cooled ship. Myrtle stopped at the edge of the doorway, her eyes closed and nostrils flared in deep breath. This is it, the moment of truth, she thought. No turning back now. Don’t get scared. Don’t-
“Why have you stopped?” Johnny whispered. Myrtle let out a sigh, and turned to him. If she had known what a pest he would be, she would never have accepted his invitation to the dance or followed his suggestion for some moonlight necking. “I don’t want to rush in too fast. What if they have guns?”
“They might have GUNS?” Johnny squeaked. Such a man-- so eager to take on the US government but afraid of a little adventure. Rolling her eyes, Myrtle ignored him and inched closer to the door and peeked around the corner. Stygian darkness met her eyes, filling her with a growing sense of dread. The doors could not open by themselves, could they? Where was the crew? Where there was a ship, there must be a crew.
“Hello,” her voice boomed and reverberated down, down, down the dark passage. And then, for the longest moment nothing happened. No sound met her ears-no movement caught her eye. There was nothing there to answer. She moved in, pulling her reluctant date along. They only made it a few steps forward when something went BUMP! CLATTER! TINKLE-TINKLE. LUURC-CCH.
Myrtle screamed, and Johnny just stood in slack-jawed horror at a creature-half-lunging, half-limping toward them. Grabbing her hand, Johnny leapt for the door but he was too late. With unnatural speed, the creature lashed out with silvery tentacles and pulled them back into the ship.
“Let me go! Oh, let us go!” Myrtle yelled, squirming and struggling to breakaway. John tried to duck and weave but to no avail. The only thing left for them to do-ridiculous yet only thinkable option available at the time-was to call for help.
“HELP! SOMEONE-ANYONE- HELP!” Myrtle howled before a tentacle slapped over her mouth. John fared no better as tentacles grabbed him on all sides, squeezing and wriggling.
“HELPFFFF UTH!” John mumbled through a mouthful of tentacle. Spitting and sputtering, he lunged forward, grabbing a hold of a pipe and screamed until he was blue in the face. “Help us. SOMEONE HELP US!”
And suddenly, everything halted: nothing moved, no one spoke. There was no sound, save their heavy breathing and the slow, uneven burbling of the creature. Myrtle spoke first, her voice pitiful and broken.
“Please, someone help,” Myrtle sobbed weakly. Johnny writhed in the creature’s grasp, reaching out for his inconsolable prom date. “Myrtle, I-I am so sorry. I should have never- that is, I-”
Suddenly, another voice joined in, stopping him cold. It was a strange voice, warped and high-pitched like gears grinding over gravel. It attempted to repeat Myrtle’s words with limited success.
“He... Helpfth...usth.” It pleaded, it’s slurring soprano voice bouncing along the dark corridor. Myrtle sniffed and Johnny, stunned and confused into silence, sputtered in disbelief, “Myrtle, was that-?”
“N-no, I-I thought-”
“Hel...HELPFTH...US.” The creature said agian, its voice growing stronger, more determined. The tentacles surrounding the two young people loosened almost imperceptibly until they once stood on their own feet. The air filled with a hiss, as though something had deflated.
Suddenly, the creature was no more and a third person stood in the blackness. It spoke again, slowly, but without the slurring hesitance.
“Please, help us.” Myrtle and Johnny looked at one another through the blackness, exchanging a quiet debate when the creature spoke again. “Don’t be afraid. We-we mean you no harm. Come and see.”
Myrtle took John’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, attempting to sooth him. “It’s okay. I will be right beside you.” And then she leaned up and placed a chaste kiss upon his trembling lips.
Before he could utter either his consent or disgust, the corridor filled with a burning light as the United States government descended on the crater, alarms blaring and soldiers running around barking orders. A tall man took up the doorway, blocking the burning lights only to turn a flashlight on them.
Everyone in the hallway winced as the light hit them, momentarily blinding them. Johnny heard someone whistle and a voice from the entrance say something about “the raven-girl with big breasts.” Anger flashed through him and John shoved the half-naked Myrtle behind him when he heard a soldier’s gun cock.
“Halt! Nobody move!” he barked, pointing his flashlight this way and that. “The general is going to want a word with all of you.” Turning, the soldier barked an unintelligible command to the other soldiers behind him. Johnny ran a free hand over his eyes and groaned loudly.
“Well, fuck,” he sighed. The creature winced, either from unknown injuries or his bad language, and Myrtle giggled uncomfortably.
“We should have never left the car.”