inspired by the artwork "Santa Special" by Sven/Llola
Arwin rubbed her eyes, trying to wake up. She’d had that dream again, where she was someone else, and looking for someone she’d lost. It was such a sad dream, and so real! Arwin wished she knew what it meant. Oh, but she was driving the Santa Special today! That should be fun, she’d been looking forward to it. She dressed quickly and headed out the door - it wouldn’t do to be late for the Santa Special!
Sargon mindlessly looked down at his instrument panel. He was bored, tired, and fed up with this mission. Searching for temporal anomalies in some backwater part of the galaxy was an assignment suitable for a novice Astrogator, certainly not for one of his experience and stature. However, ever since he had failed to find a satisfactory black hole for the science project of his supervisor's offspring, he had fallen into disfavour and been cursed with an endless parade of mundane and irrelevant assignments.
It was going to be up to Sargon to find his own entertainment in this unimportant, almost trivial, little spiral galaxy. Perhaps one of the half dozen primitive species would provide some amusement. He had already been having some fun with them. So far, the Vulcans worshipped him as a god and called him "Big Poppa", the Wookies were busy preparing an army to go to war against the Romulans, the Munchkins were busy trying to make someone called Queen Llola happy, and the Humans! Well, they were the most fun of all! Through a crude communications network called "The Internet," he was able to manipulate their society without them even knowing it. Yes, the Humans definitely had promise.
Turning on his energy scanner, he set it for radio frequency emissions, and waited as it sorted out the few thousand signals it received. Rather than separate the signals into distinct streams, he found it easier to overlay them all on a single viewing screen and watch them simultaneously. How one of those puny brained creatures could even concentrate on a single stream was beyond him. A few of the streams were vaguely disgusting and depicted naked creatures reproducing. Didn't they have replicators for that purpose? He was still confused as to how the parent transferred their brain into the children that were created using this bizarre method. These lesser species certainly had a low threshhold of entertainment!
One of the streams, however, was a bit more interesting than most, one called "Second Life". He had discovered that by using the name of their god, "Philip Linden," he could have them do anything he wanted. Right now he was working on a plan to completely take over this metaverse (as he had learned it was called), and was well on his way to this goal. But one of the inhabitants was causing him some trouble; frustrated, he stopped paying attention to that stream and switched to the Human stream.
The Humans had a fertility festival called "Christmas", in which one ate dead birds under a tree for 12 days while wearing a red suit. As he had nothing better to do at the moment, Sargon decided to pay the humans a "Christmas" visit. To not arouse suspicion, he decided to appear as one of the old and obese human males (the limitation of only having 2 sexes was quite humorous) that seemed to be everywhere. He already had a red outfit with white fur trim holo'd and ready. The method of conveyance was supposed to be some sort of deer pulling a flying wheel-less wagon. Well, for a Cephalid, such an appearance was easily created with a casual rearrangement of some molecules. (If he'd known that only his ocular device was visible to the 3 base dimensions of Earth, and that they couldn't see ANY of the substring dimensions that he inhabited, he wouldn't have bothered with this step.)
Without further ado, Sargon materialised himself on the planet of the humans in a population center that they affectionately called "Winterpeg." A large domed building with a golden statue on top made a perfect place to sit and observe the little scurrying creatures. In particular, the long metal ones that ate and then regurgitated humans seemed to be the most interesting. They had this logo embossed on each side: "Winnipeg Transit." Well, seeing as it was a "feastive" season in which eating was of considerable importance, one of those metal transit tubes would make a delectable snack. It looked all yummy and crunchy on the outside and all gooey and warm on the inside - just what he needed to get by for a couple of dozen years.
Without much effort, he reached out with a gravitational pseudopod and lifted one of the metal tubes up into the air and brought it towards him. It was going to be so pleasant to molecularly consume the primitive iron and organic components of this holiday treat. Sargon made a note that this particular treat was labelled "60 Pembina."
As he brought the metal tube towards the opening of his digestive passage, he stopped - the Human that was at the end of the tube closest to him was familiar! He scanned it - it was the one he'd been looking for! The one he needed to lure the other Human back to Second Life so that he could finish his plans for complete domination! If he consumed the metal tube, he doubted he could fulfill that dream. He began running the calculations on all possible scenarios.
Arwin screamed! A huge white disk was hovering over the bus, and the bus was flying though the air towards the disk, as if the disk were pulling it like bait! But even as she was screaming, the disk looked familiar. She stopped screaming when the bus stopped, seeming to hover in mid-air, while the white disk glowed ominously. Where had she seen this before? The passengers were all screaming now, climbing over each other, trying to reach the exits. They didn’t seem to realize they weren’t on the ground. Arwin tried to point out they were safer in their seats, but the mob mentality had taken over. “Let us out! Let us out!” It was an angry, hysterical chant, and the angry, hysterical mass of humans threatened to crush her to death. As if in a dream, Arwin opened the doors, and they began tumbling out, screaming as they fell. Arwin put her hands over her ears, the noise was worse than anything she’d ever heard before. What had she done?? She didn’t want to look to see if anyone had survived the fall. The passengers from the back of the bus did however, and instead of following suit, they turned on Arwin. “You’ve killed them! Why did you push them out of the bus? You’ll pay for this!” And Arwin found herself being pushed out of the bus, falling, falling, falling.....
Sargon finished his calculations, having decided that the immediate gratification of consuming the metal tube far outweighed the chances that this particular Human could absolutely help him win world domination in Second Life. Preparing to ingest the tube, he realized that he hadn’t considered ALL the possibilities, as now many of the Humans were no longer inside the bus, including the one he’d recognized. In a rage he threw the tube to the ground, and was entertained by the explosion that resulted. Maybe there was more to these Humans than he’d thought. He reached out with his revitalization psuedopod and restored the bus and all the Humans around it back to the state they were in before he prepared to have them for a snack. (He hated to call this state, “Life”, as it seemed such a poor excuse for Life as HE knew it.) Throwing some amnesia particles all around the area, he grabbed the Human that he’d recognized, disintegrated the molecules that formed his conveyance, and went back to his ship.
Arwin recovered slowly from her faint, to find she was enveloped in shimmery white light. I’ve died, was her first thought. But then memories started coming back to her, memories of another life, the dreams she’d been having, only more vivid and detailed. She remembered her name from that life, Zasu, and she remembered her lost lover, and she began crying. I was supposed to be looking for him, she sobbed to herself. How long have I not been looking?
Sargon rolled his eyes, how he hated Human tears. Enough of this, I’ll find another way to dominate the Second Life metaverse. With a snap of ten of his several dozen pseudopods, he vaulted Zasu back to SL. Why didn’t I think of that before? ALL of his psuedopods smacked his cranial shield as he realized he’d had the power all along to return the errant follower back to SL where he belonged. It was the humiliation of not being able to find a black hole for that bratty kid, he rationalized. I couldn’t think straight. Sending out an infinitelength pseudopod to the hospital room where the errant follower still lay, he vaulted him back to SL also. But it’s up to them to find each other, he decided. Second Life will have to wait for awhile. Earth is MUCH more interesting.................