Close Encounter of the First Kind:  Sighting of a UFO
Close Encounter of the Second Kind: Physical Evidence
Close Encounter of the Third Kind : Contact

- Dr J Allen Hynek

I woke up in a white room. All white. It was like being inside a ping pong ball. I was nude and strapped to a white table, my arms and legs restrained by glowing white strapping.

I started my mind working logically.

The odds of this being a dream were pretty good. The odds of it being the inside of a flying saucer were a bit lower.

"Hello?", I called out tentatively.

There was no response.

I tried to get loose from the strapping but the plastic was too strong for me to stretch out.

"Please do not attempt to leave. We mean you no harm.", a soft voice said.

"That makes two of us. Now could you please let me go and we can talk like two reasonable life forms.", I said in as reasonable and inoffensive tone as I could muster.

"Soon.", the voice said.

"Where's my partner?", I demanded.

"She is unharmed."

"Thank you, I think.", I said and relaxed, gathering strength.

A few minutes later a door opened and a figure in white entered.

She was dark haired and had the same large pupils that the fake Highway Patrolman had. She walked lightly across the room, almost as if dancing. She wore long white gloves and her feet were shod in white shoes as well.

Her lips were red against her ivory skin and I noticed a slight ridge of bone running from the bridge of her nose to her hairline.

"I am Ylno. I am to answer your questions.", she said in an oddly accented voice.

"I have many questions to ask.", I said gazing at her.

There was something odd about her appearance, almost a shimmering effect to her garb like an aura.

Could this be a side effect of the knockout shot I had been given?

Where had I seen an effect like that before?

My visitor just watched me as I puzzled out the effect.

"You are wondering where you are.", she suggested.

"I would assume I'm on one of your spacecraft.", I said, deciding to play along for now.

She shook her head negatively

"No you are not.", she answered easily.

"And how long will I be staying here, where ever that is?", I asked.

She smiled knowingly

"As long as necessary. We do not wish to harm you, but you must remain here until we are finished."

"Oh well then, as long as it won't be too long.", I replied.

She ran her gloved hand down the length of my body and hesitated over my cock.

"Strange.", she said. "Human males have such a wide variety of sizes and shapes of their genitalia unlike the females."

"Oh? That's interesting to know. Seen a lot of them have you?"

She caressed my balls and looked me in the eye.

"Many. I have even taken samples from them.", she purred.

I'll just bet you have , I thought.

"So, this is your base? Nice place, but a little stark. A picture or two might liven the decor up a little.", I said nonchalantly.

She continued to toy with my cock as I nattered on.

"You have no interest in me?", she asked.

"Well, I generally don't date outside my own species you know.", I said trying to focus on anything other than her attentions to my body. She released her hold on my now hard cock and stepped back.

"I desire you.", she said, looking into my eyes.

"Well the next time you're here, give me a call.", I said evasively.

"A most exceptional human male.", she said and left the room. I watched her go and sighed. I'm still not sure if it was in frustration or desire to this day, but for an alien, she did have a nice ass.

If this was a hoax, it was a damned elaborate one, ranking right up there with the betting parlor in The Sting in my opinion.

She returned a few minutes later and unstrapped me.

"Please follow me.", she said and led the way out the door.

I found myself in a curved corridor with doors inset at intervals, each one with an unknown alphabet labeling them. The other aliens we passed disregarded my nudity and I ignored them as much as I could.

She paused before one door that slid open and ushered me into a white furnished room where Minx sat naked as well.

"Michael.", she said with practiced calm.

I knelt before her and looked into her eyes.

"You are well Mi' lady?", I asked.

"Yes. We are guests of the Vegans.", she said with a nod towards Ylno and the ersatz patrolman who was standing by the door as well.

"maH qama' ", I replied. "We're prisoners", I thought. They might understand English or about any other language, but if they understood Klingon, I'd eat gagh for a month.

"HIja'!", she said without blinking. Yes.

Our alien captors looked at us suspiciously and then stiffened as another of their number entered.

She was white haired and also ivory skinned, the bone ridge more prominent on her face.

"We regret that we must detain you, but Ylno and Ecaep will provide for your needs and desires.", she said. "When we have finished our task, you will be released unharmed."

"QI'yaH!", I said, looking at Minx.

She smiled knowing that there was no translation for the last word.

Sort of like the Klingon version of zvoloch.

"I do not understand you.", the older woman said, her brow furrowed.

"Oh I was just saying how much we appreciate your kindness.", I said with a friendly smile.

"We will bring you food and drink. Please feel free to ask for anything you need.", she said.

"Actually, there is something I would like.", Minx said. "My clothes."

"That will not be possible at this time.", she said and left the room.


Minx and I sat with our backs to each other trying to outstare our unwanted companions.

I tried not to think of her naked body, and I'm sure she was trying not to scold me for even thinking about it.

Time passed slowly and I had just about nodded off when the door opened and another woman, this time a black woman but with the same eyes and ridged nose brought in a tray of food.

"You must be hungry.", she said. "Eat and refresh yourselves."

I looked at the tray and declined as did Minx.

"Not right now thanks.", she said.

Ylno knelt beside the two of us and touched us gently.

"You must eat to keep your strength up.", she suggested.

"Are you sure you aren't Kanamits?", I asked.

Minx giggled in response.

"I don't think they have a cookbook Michael."

That was all it took for the both of us to start laughing like idiots.

What a situation! Captured by aliens with funny noses , stripped naked, and now being invited to eat.

I grabbed a piece of fruit from the tray the woman had brought in and took a bite, then offered it to Minx.

"If they'd wanted us dead, we'd be there by now.", I said.

Minx bit into the pear I offered and then smiled.


Time passed slowly as we waited. Ylno and Ecaep were replaced after a time by the black alien and the other fake Highway Patrol officer. We were fed again and then Minx asked to use the bathroom.

The two aliens looked at each other and then the woman shrugged and indicated that Minx should come to her.

The door opened and the two women exited, leaving me with the lone alien.

Now that was a thought provoking idea. Were Vegan bathrooms the same as ours? When the two women returned Minx sat beside me again and whispered softly.

"Either Sir Thomas Crapper was an alien, or we're dealing with humans all right. Including the toilet paper.", she muttered.

"Are you ready to leave?", I asked softly.

"I think so. Any ideas?"

I looked at our two companions and a slow smile crept across my face.

"Old movie trick.", I suggested. "The 'Pattycake' routine. In Klingon I think."

"I wonder if they've seen the Road to Hong Kong.", Minx asked softly, looking at our guards.

"Good question. ", I replied and walked over towards where our captors stood by the door.

Minx stood across from me slapping my hands in rhythm as we started reciting an old nursery rhyme in Klingon.

"chab yIchenmoH, vutwI' toy'wI';

"nomqu' jImeH chab yIvut!"

As I pronounced the last word I swung my fist at the male taking him by surprise as Minx chopped the female across the neck stunning her. Our captors both fell to the floor helpless.

"Old trick, but effective. Hope and Crosby would be proud.", I assayed, pulling the robes off of the man to reveal a very human body underneath.

"Now we have to get out of here.", she said stripping the girl.

Under her robes we found a small radio transmitter like a car alarm trigger.

"They must need this to open the door.", Minx said, tossing it to me.

"Showtime!", I said and when she was ready , I keyed the transmitter.

The door slid open to show Madam Txie standing expectantly outside with an alien guard who was holding a very real looking ray gun. She smiled at us as if she had been waiting all night for this moment.

"It's dangerous to wander around without an escort.", she said firmly. "I'm afraid we'll have to restrain you separately."


I was escorted back to the room I had woke in, stripped of the robes and bound again and placed on the floor .

The older alien woman came in as the guard finished binding me and looked at me woefully.

"Your safety has been assured and yet you attempt escape.", she said in dismayed tones.

"It is the duty of every officer to attempt escape under the Geneva Convention.", I said stoutly.

"Where would you go? You are many light years from your own planet on a small outpost in a nearby solar system.", she replied.

I snorted in disgust at that.

"And the gravity exactly matches Earth normal, and you use Charmin just like humans do.", I said in wry amusement.

"We have a number of human visitors and the sanitary facilities work well for both our species. As to the gravity, we generate our own."

"You'll forgive me if I have my doubts on that statement.", I said shifting position.

She shrugged her shoulders.

"As you wish. We will return you to your own planet as soon as practical.", she replied walking out with the guard, leaving me with Madam Txie.

"You were warned not to interfere.", she said sitting on the examining table I had occupied earlier.

"I get paid for it.", I replied.

She slid off the table and knelt next to me.

"If I had not intervened, you would both be dead now. Remember that.", she warned.

She stood up and walked out of the door which slid closed with a very sold thud.


Laying there on the cold white floor I thought about Minx. This was not a situation I'd ever pictured either of us in before.

It didn't matter if we were dealing with aliens or not any more, or what the Mother of Many wanted. I was angry.

I forced myself to relax. Concentrate on relaxing. I thought about the stars at night, the sound of the rain on the roof, and slowly exhaled. I was not restricted at all. I was free.

And then I was free, the ropes sliding off my wrists as I relaxed.

I stayed in position and looked for any sign of a hidden camera. I knew that they could hear me, but if they couldn't see me I might still have an advantage.

I was pretty sure I couldn't pull the same kind of trick twice, so convincing the guard to come in was a long shot.

An air vent no bigger than a hand was inset into the wall, no other openings other than the door. A set of cabinets built into the wall might have something useful in them.

I wiggled over to them, keeping my hands behind me as if I was still bound, just in case and then waited for someone to come in.

One, two, three minutes and no reaction.

I opened the first drawer to find medical supplies in it with lettering on them the same as the type I had observed on the doors.

If it was a hoax at least they were being consistent.

Gauze, bandages, sterile clamps, other tools I didn't recognize, but nothing sharp or with a usable edge for a weapon.

The second drawer held robes like the ones the aliens wore and slippers of some quilted material.

Good, at least I wouldn't be naked when I found a way out. The last drawer was locked. I fumbled in the first drawer and pulled out a thin metal spatula and slipped it into the crack in the top of the cabinet and pushed, only to break the tool off.

"Do not move!", a male voice commanded from above.

Well, looks like I wrong about the camera.

The door opened and this time both the fake patrolmen came in and escorted me roughly to another room.

The door slid open and I saw Minx strapped down to an examining table, naked, arms and legs spread wide. A set of electrodes were attached to her head and a rubber ball gag was strapped into her mouth.

Madam Txie stood next to a control panel waiting impatiently as the guards pushed me into a metal examining chair and strapped me in place.

"We have tried to treat you as guests, but the both of you insist on causing problems.", she said. "You will now watch as your companion pays the price for her misbehavior."

"Wait!", I begged.

"Let this serve as a warning to you.", Txie said and pressed a button.

Minx's body convulsed as the current pulsed through her body and shook as I screamed my rage at the brutal scene.

"You bitch! God damn you to hell!", I shrieked. "I'll kill you I swear it!"

Minx collapsed as the current stopped and lay limply, drool running from around the side of the gag.

"Take her to a cell.", Txie directed the two guards. "She won't be a problem now."

"What about him?", Ecaep asked.

Txie looked at me with contempt in her eyes.

"I have plans for him.", she said. "Do as you're told."

They unstrapped Minx and carried her out leaving me with Txie.


She rolled a tray table next to my head with an array of surgical devices and dental tools ,and toyed with a scalpel.

"I really do enjoy playing with my toys. I get to so seldom anymore. I mean I can get anything I want with drugs, but I prefer the old fashioned methods. You see some people won't cooperate with the Vegans, so I help in my own little way.", she said as I watched the light reflect off the blade.

My blood ran cold and I shivered in fear. She was truly mad and I unwisely told her so. Her laughter became shrill at that comment.

"Mad, no not mad . Angry perhaps."

Her voice became very calm and the madness in her became very clear.

"Very angry."

She placed the scalpel back on the tray and picked up a spiked wheel used to test pain sensitivity.

As she hummed a cheerful tune, she rolled the starwheel up the inside of my left leg leaving pinpricks of blood behind and then back down the right leg, over and over again.

I moaned as the wheel punctured me countless times during her exercise.

"Does that hurt? Of course it does. It's designed to hurt." , she said placing the wheel back on the tray.

She took a bottle of antiseptic and swabbed it over the wounds making me wince.

"If you think that's painful, just wait. "

"But that's enough for one session. Think about it . You can only suffer so much pain without going mad or dying. I wonder which frightens you more? Death or madness? Perhaps we'll find out. At least I will."

Before she could continue, the white haired female alien came into the room.

"You will cease this now.", she commanded. "They have no useful information and such brutality is wasteful of time and energy."

"They may have. They are very resourceful as you know. Following our agent to the landing site required more than a little work. They are reporters, trained to gather information.", Txie explained.

"And that is why you applied electricity to the brain of the female?", the alien replied sarcastically.

"I did it to impress upon them both that further disruptions would not be tolerated.", Txie retorted.

"Remove him to a cell. We will be returning to Earth soon."


I was escorted at gun point to a cell and pushed in where I found Minx laying on the floor in a heap. I cradled her in my arms and whispered to her as she looked at me out of pain dulled eyes.

"Michael?", she whispered.

"Yes my love.", I said controlling my tears.

"Everything is so fuzzy, I can't think very well."

"I know. You were given electroshock treatment.", I explained.

She fell asleep in my arms and I held her tightly, my only thoughts being that of revenge.

Time passed and I laid her on the bunk in the cell. This room was considerably smaller, more like a big closet than anything else. I roamed the room over and over again looking for any possible exit.

In frustration I threw myself against the far wall and to my amazement saw a seam open us.

Walls don't have seams.

I tore at the material and pried up a foamcore panel opening a hole big enough to crawl through.

I crawled through and turned on the light.

Good old fashioned broom closet, nothing alien about it.

I crept back through the hole and awakened Minx who looked at me blankly for a few moments and then the fog lifted.

"Michael, what happened?", she asked.

"You almost had your brains fried by that bitch Madam Txie. Can you walk?", I asked.

"I think so.", she said sitting up and steadying herself on my arm.

"Let's go.", I said and helped her through the hole into the closet and pulled the panel back into place behind us.

"Now what?", she asked.

I picked up a broom stick.

"We leave.", I said flatly. "And if anybody tries to stop us, they'll wish they hadn't."

Minx nodded at me in the dim light of the closet and picked up a broom stick of her own.

"One for all and all for one.", she said.

I took one final look around the closet for anything else that would be useful, and spotted a bottle of chlorine bleach and a bottle of ammonia based cleaner.

A further examination located a set of empty glass bottles.

"Time for a little bomb making.", I said and started pouring the bleach into bottles while Minx decanted the ammonia at the other end of the closet. The last thing we needed was to have the damned thing go off with us at ground zero.

"How do we carry them?", Minx asked.

A ball of cord provided the answer and we made impromptu belts for ourselves and tied the bleach to myself and Minx tied the ammonia to her.

I reached for the door latch and slid the door sideways about an inch.

Nobody in the halls, and the lights were dimmed.

"Night shift.", I said to Minx and opened the door the rest of the way clutching the broomstick.

We walked carefully down the dimly lit hallway until we came to a heavy door with a locking wheel in the wall. Looking through the port embedded in it, I looked down a short hallway and saw another door at the end.

"Airlock.", I said to Minx.

"Stop where you are!", a voice yelled.

We turned to see Ecaep and Ylno running towards us.

I held my breath and threw the bottle of bleach onto the floor shattering it and Minx threw her bottles of ammonia and in an instant there was a cloud of white choking smoke that the two aliens ran into.

They came out coughing and choking and gasping for air as I used the broomstick as a quarterstaff clubbing them both to the deck.

They gasped weakly as Minx and I stripped the robes off them and opened the airlock door, sealing it behind us and wedging the locking wheel with the broomstick.

Through the port in the outer door we could only see stars over the edges of the pit we were in the bottom of.

There was a banging at the inner hatch and someone tried to open the door but was blocked by the broomstick.

"Don't open the outer door.", the older alien's voice said through an overhead speaker. "You will die."

I looked at Minx and shook my head.

"It's up to you. I think we're on Earth, but it's your call.", I said.

She looked out the port and then at me.

" 'oH maj jaj Hegh", she said and spun the locking wheel of the outside door herself.

It is a good day to die.


There was a puff of air and we stepped out into the night and gazed up at the stars above us.

"Class M planet, Captain.", I said in my most Spock-like voice.

We could see a road that spiraled out of the pit and headed for it mindful that we didn't have much of a head start.

"That broomstick won't hold for long.", Minx said as we jogged up the road.

"I expect they have a back door of some kind.", I puffed.

We were halfway up the hill before I head the sound of a jeep behind us and turned to see a set of headlights start from behind the dome shaped structure we had been held in.

We reached the top and in the far distance to my right I could see a cluster of lights near the horizon.

"That way.", I said pointing.

We ran down the road towards the lights and as we headed towards them I could see a dark line to our left a few hundred feet away.

"Over there.", I said pushing Minx in the general direction as I saw the loom of the headlights behind us.

We tumbled down a steep slope into a dry stream bed as Minx landed hard and swore in pain.

"What's wrong?", I asked.

"Twisted my ankle.", she said holding it with both hands.

I tore a strip off my robe and bound it, then using a fireman's carry continued down the stream bed crouching low and wishing that the robes weren't white until we reached a culvert under a set of railroad tracks and set her down.

"We can hide here for now.", I said panting. "But they're probably going to search the area as well as they can."

"They didn't seem to have too many people there.", Minx commented leaning back against the curved walls of the culvert. I started to agree and then heard a low rumbling sound and felt the fear again.

"I think we have a problem.", I said peering into the sky from the edge of the culvert.

Hovering nearby in midair was one of the objects, glowing with an intense blue light as it slowly moved across the sky, its lights illuminating the ground.

Another one of the objects was following the same pattern, its lights overlapping the lights of the first one. High above those two was the third one, waiting, stalking, ready to pounce on any sign of movement.

I saw a rabbit, frightened by the noise, scramble across the edge of the slope we had traversed. The lights fixed on it and there was a white flash that blinded me for a moment. The rabbit tumbled down the slope, smoke rising from its fur.

"Stay down.", I said as one of the objects dropped lower. The wind from it drove me back against the culvert as it kicked up dirt and small stones, the noise increasing my fear.

I picked up a good sized rock in anger and threw it at the hovering probe.

There was a high pitched scream and the object started tumbling wildly as it rose into the air.

"Run!", I yelled and dragged Minx through the culvert as there was an explosion behind us that sent flaming debris in all directions with the sound of flying metal.


"Aliens from outer space?", the sergeant chortled as Minx and I told our story.

We had waited for a reaction from the other objects for a long time and then finally crept out of our shelter, climbed onto the railroad tracks and started walking towards the lights on the horizon. The trip had been made a little easier when a few miles along we found a track maintenance shed with a track inspection car. Minx hot-wired the motor and we rolled along the tracks until we reached a small town named Plaster City which consisted of nothing more than a gas station and a gypsum plant. The security guards at the plant called the sheriff's office and drove us into El Centro.

"Sergeant, I know how crazy that sounds. And I don't for one minute believe that the people who kidnapped us were from Vega, but someone needs to go out there and check it out.", I insisted.

"You two look like you fell off the flying saucer.", he commented.

"Look, it won't hurt to go look will it?", I insisted.

"So let me get this straight. You claim to have been kidnapped by people pretending to be from another planet, were tortured, escaped, and then shot down a small flying saucer. Is that right?"

When he put it that way, being in a police station didn't sound like the best idea in the world.

"I hit it with a rock.", I corrected.

"OK David, you slew the giant with a rock.", he said sweetly. "I think you'd better wait here while we check out your story.", he said, motioning for two officers to escort us to a holding cell.


"What do you think they'll find?", Minx asked as we waited.

"Nothing. I'm sure that by now our alien friends have cleared out. Damn!"


The expression on the sergeant's face when he unlocked the cell two hours later told the whole story.

"Well there was a dome out there, just like you said ,but it was empty. Didn't look like anybody had been there in years. No sign of a crashed flying saucer or anything else. Now I don't know exactly what kind of game you two are playing, but I want you out of town before dark."

When we drove back to where the Eagle had been in our rental car we found the tire repaired and contents untouched except for the fact our clothes were laying on the seats.

" ET must be a member of the Auto Club. How thoughtful.", I said sarcastically counting my money.

"They must have planned on returning us here after drugging us. Probably with some sort of hypnotic like what we used to capture you.", Minx said gathering her clothing from the seat.

"That points to someone with a little more than the average knowledge of drugs. Methinks, I smell curry.", I said.

"Maybe not. It could be a government black project of some sort.", Minx cautioned. "Not everything sinister has Kali's fingerprints on it."

"Well the Mother of Many wouldn't have sent us out to check on our own government.", I replied.

Minx just looked at me as if I were a total idiot.

"OK, maybe she would. Hey, I'm only a guy.", I said somewhat abashed.

"Well remember I'm not."

With that we drove back to Campo and parked at the inn.

She went into her room carrying her clothes and returned to the car a minute later disgusted.

"They took all the photos we shot, unless you managed to keep the memory card from your camera", she said. "I'll call the Mother of Many and brief her on what happened then I'm going to get cleaned up and you should too.", she advised.

"Yes Mi'lady.", I agreed. "These robes do nothing for me."


Minx was in the middle of her call to the Mother of Many when I returned and she indicated I should kneel before her.

"I understand. We'll contact you when we've got more information.", Minx said and hung up.

I looked up at her and to my surprise, she kissed me.

"What was that all about?", I asked in wonder.

"Being an officer and a gentleman.", she said. " You did well today and Mother is pleased."

"I wish I was.", I said ruefully. "We almost had them nailed."

"But we did manage to find their base, at least for the moment. We've probably forced them to change their plans for now."

The "flying saucers" decided to exhibit a new pattern by becoming conspicuous by their absence.

The crowd in the town thinned out and soon returned to it's normal population except for three extra people.

Minx and I remained, and to my surprise , Mr. Kimball.

"I thought now that the flap was over, you'd be moving on.", I said when we met him in the cafe.

"Oh hardly. I can study the after effects of it by staying here.", he replied. "And you two. I would have thought your newspaper would have called you back by now."

"We have a very understanding publisher.", Minx responded.

Sheriff Jordan walked in at that point and joined us.

"Well, I can see not all of the troublemakers have left town.", he joked.

"I'm waiting for the FBI report on the burned area.", I said. "That will wrap up the story from our point of view."

He shook his head.

"The FBI hasn't told me squat yet. I can see why you two weren't very cooperative with those people.", he admitted.

"I have a personal problem with badge happy clowns of all stripes, present company excepted. ", I explained. "Frankly, I still feel you had more reason to bust us, than the Feds. If only for being a nuisance."

"Perhaps I can be of more assistance than you Sheriff.", Mr. Kimball offered. "I have a few contacts in the government."

"I'd like to know what happened. I mean, do either of you really believe that woman really disappeared into a flying saucer?", Minx asked.

The sheriff shook his head negatively, while Mr. Kimball just smiled knowingly at the both of us.

As Minx and I walked back to her room we decided that an investigation of Mr. Kimball might prove useful or at least enlightening, specifically, who did he know in the government.

A quick call to Ay'esha revealed that Mr. Richard Kimball was actually Dr. Richard Kimball, with degrees in psychology, parapsychology, and had also written a number of papers for RAND corporation on human reactions to unusual events.

"So far he sounds like what he said he was.", Minx said, relaying the information to me.

"So far. But RAND is a contractor for the Air Force too.", I remarked. "What's he doing now?"

Minx relayed the question and then repeated the answer to me.

"He works as a consultant to the Defense Department.", Minx said.

More of the pieces were dropping into place.

"This is beginning to sound more like It Came from Hollywood, rather than It Came from Outer Space.", I admitted as Minx hung the phone up.

"Now what?", she said.

"Frontal approach.", I suggested.

Before I could explain myself, there was a knock on the door.

Minx opened it carefully and then stepped back to admit the subject of our discussion.

"I think you have a few questions for me.", Dr. Kimball said openly.

Minx closed the door behind him and indicated he should sit.

"Dr. Kimball, what is this whole thing about? Why are you and your associates trying to make people think we're being invaded by aliens from outer space.", I asked bluntly.

"What makes you think we're not?", he asked.

"Do you want a list?", Minx asked sarcastically.

"If you don't mind.", he said , pulling out a pipe and lighting it.

"Let's see, one disappearing woman, who reappears in the middle of a mock alien base, a set of large radio controlled drones, and oh yes, let's not forget yourself. Innocent observer indeed with multiple degrees in psychology and a few other odd fields.", I said, ticking off points on my fingers."Oh I almost forgot, that airship you used for a mother ship was a nice touch but the engine noise gave it away as close as we were."

"Is that all?", he asked, exhaling a cloud of blue smoke and gazing at the smoldering bowl of his pipe.

"I think that's enough.", Minx replied. "Now, what exactly is going on?"

"There is reason to believe that we have been contacted by extraterrestrial life. My job is to study the reactions of people to it. So we faked an alien invasion.", he said carefully.

"Who exactly is we?", I asked.

He shook his head.

"You don't have a need to know that."

"So you decided that it was all right to panic people, kidnap us, and create the illusion that we were being invaded. I hope you enjoyed it."

"I didn't exactly enjoy it, but it was necessary to gather the data we need to model the general reaction of the public.", he replied without a trace of regret in his voice.

"And now what?", I asked.

He looked at the ceiling before replying.

"We need to wrap up the loose ends."

"And we're the loose ends.", Minx said walking towards the bathroom door.

"I'm afraid so.", he said looking at the two of us. "But don't worry, we're not going to kill you or anything drastic. Just wipe your memories of the incident."

"And I take it that's where Madam Txie comes in.", I continued

"Yes. She really is very good despite her occasional tendency towards sadism. You'll wake up thinking it was all a dream.", he comforted.

"And what about the people we've talked to? Our editor?", I said moving towards the front door.

"Ah well, when you can't back up the story, it will be forgotten."

He stood up and walked towards the front door.

"I'll be back after Txie is through. It was nice meeting you, although you won't remember it", he said and opened the door to reveal Madam Txie and the two false aliens waiting outside.

I pushed him into the others sending them sprawling to the ground as Minx slammed the bathroom door and locked it. I took off running towards the Sheriff's Office, bursting through the door like a madman and found it deserted, the lights on, coffee brewing in a pot at the end of the room, but no sign of life.

"Help!", I shouted.

"They've been taken away.", a soft voice said behind me. "We used a tranquilizing gas on them and removed them for reprogramming."

I turned to find Ylno standing behind me with a military issue .45 pistol in her hand wearing a radio headset.

"The Sheriff and his deputy are the only two we need to be concerned about. They will be implanted with false memories of the FBI report. We've already intercepted Agent Belden's report and classified it. She knows how to keep her mouth shut.", she continued.

"You won't get away with this.", I said backing up.

"They said that in Grovers Mill as well. But we always do.", she corrected.

"If you shoot me, there'll be questions.", I said stopping as I hit the back wall next to the coffee pot.

"No Mr. Forbin. None at all.", she said and started to pull the trigger.

I swept the coffee pot off the stand with a swing of my arm sending the hot liquid into her face and grabbed her arm, swinging her into the glass case where Sheriff Jordan kept the shotguns locked up, shattering the door.

I tore a pump action shotgun from the rack and a box of shells,grabbed her gun, and headed out the back door leaving Ylno behind , her face bleeding from the shattered glass.

I circled around the building and saw the two aliens that had been with Madam Txie slowly walking towards the cafe their guns drawn sweeping the area with their eyes.

There wasn't any cover I could use to get past them, so I had to wait until they passed my position then creep out hoping they didn't turn around.

I was most of the way across the street when Ylno staggered from the Sheriff's Office and pointed towards me.

I ran like the devil towards the inn and kicked Minx's door open.

Madam Txie ran from the room and into the street clawing at her eyes .

"What took you so long?", she asked.

"Ran into some old friends.", I said pumping the gun.

"I called the Highway Patrol.", Minx said pointing at the phone as it lay off the hook. "They're dispatching units right now."

"What did you tell them?", I asked as I watched the two aliens make their way carefully towards the inn.

"I didn't tell them anything, just screamed.", she said.

"What did you do to her?", I said as I watched Madam Txie collapse at Ylno's feet.

"I opened the door like a good girl when she asked. Then threw the pan of photo developer in her face."

"Mr. Forbin, Miss Dawes, there really isn't any reason for this. Surrender.", Dr. Kimball called from across the street.

I shoved the barrel of the gun through the window and fired a round of buckshot in his general direction making him dive for cover behind a car.

"Nuts!", I shouted.

The response was a set of rapid fire rounds that shattered the rest of the windows and forced Minx to dive to the floor.

"This is not going to be easy to explain Doctor Kimball.", I shouted. "The authorities are on the way."

I listened for an answer and instead of hearing Kimball I heard the sweet sound of sirens approaching in the distance.

"Mr. Forbin, Miss Dawes, remember he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day. Until another day my friends, farewell.", I heard him call.


We spent the rest of the day and most of the night answering questions from the authorities, questions we couldn't answer very well without the pictures or any other real evidence.

The residents of the town had been found sleeping in the deserted school at the edge of town and no one remembered anything useful. "So it's our word against the rest of the world.", I summarized.

"We can't file charges if we can't find a suspect.", Detective Michaels explained.

And that was the end of that. Except for this story of course.

I know the last thing that Dr. Kimball and his merry band of pranksters would want is publicity.

So go to Campo. Look around. Ask questions.

But if you meet someone with very large dark eyes, be very careful.

We aren't the only one who are asking questions.

And some of them might be Vegans.