ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Unexpected Encounters: Flash Fiction by cam for Genna East's Writing Challenge

Updated on March 14, 2017

Who is My Neighbor?

Source

The President of the United States, Paula Jacobs, prepared herself in the Oval Office to meet with the leader of beings from a planet which Earth scientists had been calling Jate 22c since its discovery in 2020, two years after the deployment of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Up to this point, the entire ordeal of an alien spacecraft heading toward Earth had been practically uneventful. There had been no threat, no demands, only a simple request for a meeting with the leader of Earth's most powerful nation.

The door opened and Secret Service officers escorted a woman into the room. She was dressed modestly, even humbly with no pretension, no ostentation. She bowed at the waist and offered her hand.

President Jacobs attempted to follow the slightly odd customs and wanted to respond with some Earth equivalents. But a bow and a handshake seemed to be the gist of it all, and the guest appeared to be pleased and at ease.

Homeland Security had been placed in charge of seeing to the alien woman's needs, so the President directed her questions to the female escort.

"How will we communicate?"

"I speak your language, Madam President." I can explain more about that later if you like."

"Alright, and how should I refer to you?" This was not the kind of extraterrestrial encounter President Jacobs had imagined.

"Your word would be Queen, I believe. Queen Hamara."

"Well, Queen Hamara, welcome to Earth and to the United States of America."

"I thank you for your kind welcome. I wish I could have come bearing gifts from our world, but I am afraid we have been on a very long and difficult journey."

"I see. I would love to hear about your world and about your journey as well. Please, have a seat."

Source

Queen Hamara sat on the floor in the center of the room. President Jacobs ordered some refreshments and went back to join her strange, yet likable guest.

The President stood only for a moment, just long enough to feel like standing before someone seated on the floor was more than just a little arrogant. So she sat on the floor as well.

"Tell me about your world. How long have you been away?" said the President.

"Our technology is a good deal ahead of your own, but not nearly so advanced as some we have been watching. The thing about my people, Madam President, is that our civilization is in a serious decline. We have used up most of the resources left to us by our great ancestors. We have returned to burning fossil fuels for energy, for example. And if I may simply skip over some less important things, what we have done to our planet is irreversible. It is a ruined place."

Somehow, My people crowned me Queen and looked to me to solve our dilemma. I saw the spacecraft, which we call, arks, and our filthy, ruined home the dead oceans. The decision was not too difficult. The population of Loron, our name for our planet, boarded the many arks and set course for the nearest, what appeared might be, friendly planet. We are refugees, Madam President, in desperate need of your assistance."

The refreshments arrived and the White House staff were at a loss for how to serve the President and her guest. In the end, they simply got down on the floor as well and passed the hors d'oeuvres on small plates.

Queen Hamara tasted the fine food and had another, and another. "I'm so sorry." She put her face in her hands. "We have been rationing our food for so long. And this is delicious. I feel guilty now, with my people back on the ark, so hungry and thirsty."

"Please," said the President. Eat all you want. "And you won't have to worry about your people any longer. They will be well cared for here. Can you tell me how many are aboard your ark?"

"The alien woman shook her head and squeezed her eyes shut to block the tears. It is difficult for me to even speak the number, but, three hundred fifty-two are all that remain."

"So few. I am sorry."

"Madam President, My people and I offer you the technology aboard our ark as payment for your kindness and generosity, and if possible, for a new home."

"Queen Hamara, I, of course, will need to speak to my advisors and other leaders of our country, but I am confident that you and your people can rest assured that you have found a new home. You mentioned your many arks. Where are the others?"

"Starvation and disease took all but the one ark that we arrived in. Only a small fraction of my people survived the long journey. Madam President, I don't want to appear ungrateful or impatient. But my people suffer even now as we sit in this fine room and feast on your delicious food."

Source

President Jacobs rose to her feet and assisted Queen Hamara to her feet as well. "You have my word that your people will be in comfort and well fed within hours. You obviously have a means of transporting yourselves from the ark to the surface of our planet. I suggest you begin organizing your people while I begin the process here."

Queen Hamara picked up a cloth bag she had carried with her. She reached in and pulled out a crystal formation. "This is a very powerful mineral from our planet. The only problem is, we have forgotten how to use it." She lowered her eyes in shame for her people. "Maybe your scientists can discover its secrets."

Queen Hamara left the Oval Office and President Jacobs went to her desk. She picked up her phone to talk with her secretary. "Beth, call an emergency meeting of the NSC immediately. Also, see what's going on at Greenbrier Resort. Whatever it takes, I want the entire resort today.

She folded her hands on the desk, the way she always sat when she wanted to think deeply. Of all the lessons these beings could teach us, the least will probably turn out to be technology.

Greenbrier Resort, West Virginia

Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      7 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Ann, this was my second response to Genna's challenge. My first one was so long and involved I did this one so it would be more accessible. The longer one is now a 12,000 word story. haha

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      7 months ago from SW England

      Intriguing story, Chris! I'm so glad it wasn't Trump that this Queen had to deal with - imagine!

      Love the illustration of the world in our hands. That says it all. I did feel there might be something sinister to start with but that faded, though we haven't met the rest yet! I hope we're going to find out about them in another episode?

      This is a different and refreshing story, Chris. Not a genre I normally go for but you drew me in!

      Ann

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      15 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Chris

      A great twist on the story, the aliens have more advanced technology, but they're the ones needing the help!

      Great story.

      Lawrence

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      15 months ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful story, Chris, and with a valuable message. I'm glad you humanized the aliens. I'm not much of a Star Wars type person, so I really enjoyed this relatable story.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      16 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Just beautiful, Chris! " Of all the lessons these beings could teach us, the least will probably turn out to be technology." There are layers to this tale, and striking metaphor. I think your story should be read by many...truly. Thank you. :-)

    • cam8510 profile imageAUTHOR

      Chris Mills 

      16 months ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      MizBejabbers, Ruby, Eric and JGS, I wrote another response to Genna's challenge which ended up being a monstrosity. 6600 words in three installments. I wanted to do something more accessible as well. I have not thought beyond the current story, but I will certainly ask the muse about it. I think this worked with a female president, but probably would not have with a male. There does seem to be a connection. Deceit? Two of you mentioned it and it did cross my mind as well as I was writing. We will have to wait and see. Thanks for reading. I appreciate the comments as well.

      This might also be a good story to hand off to someone else. So if anyone wants to give it a go, just say so.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      16 months ago

      This was a very good lunch hour read, Chris, and on one of my favorite subjects, too, aliens visiting Earth. I also can't help but wonder if there will be an element of deceit here. The crystal the aliens have forgotten how to use kind of reminds me of the crystals we are just now learning to reuse. I say "reuse" because I think our ancients had a knowledge of them. I hope to see a continuation of this interesting story.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      A woman President, Whoopee! I want to know what the crystal formation is, so that means another episode. I really liked this addition to Genna's challenge, plus I liked the idea of the president sitting on the floor to make Queen Hamara feel comfortable. Well done Chris...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like this one. I kept thinking beyond and of dreadful deceit. So I reread it with a good heart. Great story as always.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      Jack Shorebird 

      16 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      This story leaves me wanting more...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)