Is Anybody Down There

Submitted into Contest #210 in response to: Set your story after aliens have officially arrived on Earth.... view prompt

45 comments

Science Fiction Fantasy Speculative

Is Anybody Down There


The pilot aimed her craft toward the ocean surface at near mach one speed and effortlessly splashed through the rolling waves. Quickly passing all the scenic routes of coral reefs and colorful marine life within minutes the ship was cruising in the bleak abyss at about 16,000 feet below the deep blue sea.

“Hey, watch out for that whale! How long have you had your license?”

“Since before you were born, Petty Officer Pretty Boy. And what is a whale doing down this far, anyway?”

“Probably dead and drifting downward.”

“Good. More fodder for the fold.” Beamed the jovial commander.

“You seem in a peculiar pleasant mood considering the report we are about to give the Supreme Potentate. But I wish you wouldn't call me 'Pretty Boy'.

“Well, that's what you are to me and why shouldn't I call you that when we are alone?”

“For one thing, I am a full grown male with all the equipment to prove it.” He insisted waving his proof in her face. “And, although I am pleased you think I am good looking, 'pretty' is not the correct vernacular to use towards a male of a species. Haven't you been keeping up with proper protocol at all?”

“You wave that appendage in my face one more time and I'll call your bluff and you know where that will leave you. Of course, me too, but I would at least get to see the offspring. You would be long gone. Like that whale. Fodder. Why do you think we haven't done anything so foolish yet? Even though we may both want to and have been tempted many times.”

“You're correct as usual. With us, unfortunately, indulgence like that is one and done. It just doesn't seem fair does it? Those dolts up top just do it for the pleasure of it and not even to procreate every time. Most of the time they don't take it seriously and don't take the responsibility necessary to raise intelligent offspring. No wonder our kind have witnessed such decline in their abilities. They flail about trying to put something out there to prove we exist, but just leave trash heaps everywhere. Why, even their attempts at exploring down here are dismal failures with loss of life not to mention the heap of trash once more. Maybe it is a good thing we finally come out of hiding and show ourselves to them. We can teach them a thing or two.”

“It does make you wonder what Gracious Omnipotent Deity was thinking when He granted them dominion over the earth and created them in His own likeness. Seemed more of an afterthought since He added them last. They can't even recognize what is right under their noses. Call us 'aliens' when we have been here longer than they have been.”

“Well, My Dearest, talk about longevity, neither of us have that much longer to enjoy the fruits of our labor so instead of just admiring all the succulent things about one another we should maybe pass our ship duties to the younger explorers and finally give in to our wanton wants. It may only be a one time adventure but we can make it last for days, My Love. I only want to wrap you in my arms.” He caressed her cheek with his free arm while maneuvering the ship into the docking station. “Here we are. Time to face the facts.”

“Thanks for taking over that little maneuver. You are good with your hands. Maybe I'll think about your indecent proposal. We should exchange the aqua in the FBFS and refuel before we make our report. And I would like to change out of this confining body suit into something more comfortable. Whose idea was it anyway to try to take on their two-pod ways anyway?”

“Someone way back in the 1940's because of an incident at Roswell is all I understand about it. We try to maintain that image because that's what they are expecting. Need any help with the zipper?” His bulging eyes popped wide twice with hopeful anticipation.

“I say it is time for them to face the facts, too, then. No, but thanks for the offer. Meet you in his outer sanctuary in about ten.” She sauntered away towards the dressing rooms making sure he did not miss the swing of her hips in the tight little green suit.

<><><>

“Well, I must say, Commander, you clean up pretty well. I like your skirt showing off all your limbs. Wouldn't mind...”

“Hush now, Officer. We may be overheard. Must practice complete decorum.”

Secretary, “The Supreme Potentate will receive you now, Commander and Officer. Right this way, please.”

They were let into an opulent palace throne room resplendent in marble columns, multi-colored coral reefs in jewel hues, swaying seaweed and giant clam shells. The Supreme Potentate reclined in one of those shells at the end of the room. He raised an arm in greeting.

“Welcome once again to my chamber. What good news do you have to report from your mission? We have been picking up strange information from the cables strung across the sea floor. Is it true they are telling the world we do exist? Have they discovered our true nature? Will they be mounting an invasion?”

The visitors bowed deeply brushing their skirts to the ground. The Commander spoke, “Yes, Your Eminence, it is true. At least in the US of A government halls they are making known sightings by respectable members of their military and reputable pilots. They claim they have seen unidentifiable flying objects in the air space around them that maneuver in unexplained ways far superior to their own craft or any known technology of other nations. They have captured us on film. The nations may even corroborate to verify something of such magnitude this time. Who knows on that point? But they are admitting they have specimens from the Roswell fiasco.

“They are describing in better details our Fish Bowl Flying Saucers now understanding why the domes are full of water and why the inhabitants can't survive in their atmosphere for more than say an hour. Likewise, they can not survive in our natural habitat without special accommodations. We found that out by trial and error ourselves when we tried harvesting them from their fields.”

“Are the proletarians believing their rulers?”

“There has been so much fake news circulating and people are leery of trusting their government these days so it is really difficult to know. No panic has set in yet. And if there are plans for a military response it is very incandescent. We may be safe continuing as we have for centuries. Keeping our sunken treasures secret.”

“This world is so big and diverse I don't see why there couldn't remain room for us all as long as someone doesn't destroy the delicate balance. They stay up top and we run the seabed. Yes, we are far more advanced being able to devise miraculous inventions with the power of our minds and trust in the Gracious Omnipotent Deity to supply all our needs. We do not make war. With all our arms we make love...”

“Speaking of making love, Oh, Supreme Potentate, The Commander and I were wondering if we could be decommissioned so we could...?”

“Oh, oh, yes. I can see where you are going. You have both served long with devout loyalty. I can see no reason why you shouldn't live a little so to speak... Best of mating to you and may you be blessed with 100,000 baby octopuses.”


August 09, 2023 03:15

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45 comments

Amanda Lieser
23:19 Aug 22, 2023

Hey Mary! What an interesting spin on the prompt. This one absolutely deserved a second read. I loved the romance and admired that most of this piece was told through conversation. I also really liked the way your story leaned on your understanding of military structure to add some human approach to it all. Nice work!!

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Mary Bendickson
23:24 Aug 22, 2023

Thanks for reading and liking and commenting. Never can tell where those UFOs come from.🛸

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Ken Cartisano
18:12 Aug 19, 2023

Awwww, I believe you played me for a sucker, Mary. Nice surprise ending.

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Mary Bendickson
15:46 Aug 21, 2023

I see what you did there. Very clever! Thanks for reading and commenting. Am behind on my reading this week Went to Nashville for awards dinner and I won my genre!! 🎉🎉🥳🥳 Woohoo Best western category. First 50 pages of unpubished novel. Trampled Dreams,, TD 2 and Justice Screams in my profile are part of that 50 pages.

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Ken Cartisano
01:34 Aug 23, 2023

You won a writing award? That's wonderful, Mary. I'm extremely jealous, but congratulations are in order. What genre?

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Mary Bendickson
17:31 Aug 30, 2023

Not sure I ever answered this. Thanks and it was in the best western genre. The award was for the best 50 pages of an unpublished manuscript.

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Nina H
09:26 Aug 18, 2023

Wait, they’re in the ocean, not space?!? Gasp!!! Lol!!! Great story,Mary! I love the parts where they nit-pick humans and their flaws. And how they decide to wear alien “suits” to go along with the charade of what they look like after “the Roswell fiasco”. It’s just filled with great bits and details that all come together as you write it! And, a satisfying “finish” at the end 😝

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Mary Bendickson
13:31 Aug 18, 2023

Thanks for liking and commenting. You just never know?🤔

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Russell Mickler
22:16 Aug 17, 2023

Hi Mary! A merger of the underwater world with a dash of humor and a touch of romance, and I liked the correlation made to UFO sightings. Another fun read from your massive Reedsy portfolio! :) R

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Mary Bendickson
22:31 Aug 17, 2023

Thanks for reading,liking and commenting.

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Linda Lovendahl
23:45 Aug 16, 2023

I laughed when I saw the reference to Roswell because I had researched it for background on a story! You had fun writing this because it literally flowed in rhythm. I had to reread the first paragraph a couple times to figure out the ship was coming from outer space. You like how positive I write my stories and you definitely achieved it in this one. Bravo!

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Mary Bendickson
01:16 Aug 17, 2023

Thanks for liking and commenting 😊

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Helen A Smith
07:03 Aug 15, 2023

Great fun and an interesting take on the prompt. It could be feasible too. We humans know so little, but like to think we know everything.

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Mary Bendickson
07:21 Aug 15, 2023

Thanks for liking. You just never know.

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Mike Rush
17:49 Aug 14, 2023

Mary, What a great rollicking tale. Sex and theology, from aliens! I wondered about this sentence. And if there are plans for a military response it is very incandescent. Doesn't incandescent mean glowing or something like that? I liked how you worked in Roswell and trashed oceans. It was a fun read. Mike

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Mary Bendickson
17:59 Aug 14, 2023

Very true about incandescent. Does inclandescent work? Sometimes auto correct over corrects? Too late now to change. Thanks for liking and commenting.

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Ela Mikh
21:54 Aug 13, 2023

Mind-blowing! Very enjoyable and thought-provoking, I loved the ending Thank you

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Mary Bendickson
00:21 Aug 14, 2023

Thanks

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Jonathan Page
14:48 Aug 13, 2023

Great story, Mary! You did a great job with the dialogue. Good mix of revealing plot, world building, and carrying on a flirty repartee. The “fish bowl” flying saucers idea is very creative. I am imagining ships like in the Jetsons.

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Mary Bendickson
15:44 Aug 13, 2023

Thanks for liking and commenting 😊. And reading another one,too.

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Steffen Lettau
05:38 Aug 13, 2023

Definitely speculative! Thumbs up!

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Mary Bendickson
15:45 Aug 13, 2023

Thanks for liking and commenting ☺️.

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Ellen Neuborne
21:11 Aug 12, 2023

"waving his proof in her face" Ha! This was a fun read. And I love the idea that we should be looking down, not up.

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Mary Bendickson
21:32 Aug 12, 2023

Yep his weapon of choice is at the end of one of his arms. We put G.O.D. in a box when we think He could not have been creative enough to make even smarter critters than us here on earth.😁

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08:07 Aug 12, 2023

Another cool story Mary, I loved this. This line: They were let into an opulent palace throne room resplendent in marble columns, multi-colored coral reefs in jewel hues, swaying seaweed and giant clam shells. ----is fab! Envious of your desciptive abilities. Nicely picked up on current real world events also! Fantastic

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Mary Bendickson
12:29 Aug 12, 2023

Thanks for the like and glowing comment.

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Katy B
23:57 Aug 11, 2023

Mary: I LOVED this so much :) thank you for sharing!!!

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Mary Bendickson
04:10 Aug 12, 2023

Thanks for the 💕 love and comment.

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Michał Przywara
20:37 Aug 11, 2023

Ah yes, it's so easy for us to dismiss the creatures we share this planet with as "lesser", but who really knows, right? Douglas Adams had dolphins and mice, here we have octopuses. The religious side to this is interesting. It seems they worship an Abrahamic deity, "He granted them dominion over the earth and created them in His own likeness", and yet in our popular culture, octopuses/squids/etc are indeed seen as alien creatures, and associated with dread entities like Cthulhu. Very interesting to think about who, or what, might be wat...

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Mary Bendickson
04:07 Aug 12, 2023

This whole week is rife with interesting theories. Thanks for the like and comment.

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Lily Finch
19:16 Aug 10, 2023

Mary loved this tale. Especially since the many armed (octopuses) were elaborating on the ignorance of man. That is rich. Well done. I guess the fact they live so little time means that they know more because they live a whole lifetime in those two short years. A major plan to keep man in the dark. Interesting and devious. Such great writing was demonstrated here. I think you last line might need a tweak. "and may you be bless with 100,000 baby octopuses.” to say be blessed? Excellent story loved the take on the prompt. LF6

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Mary Bendickson
23:13 Aug 10, 2023

Thanks 🙏.

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Lily Finch
23:25 Aug 10, 2023

Just so damn good woman. Well done. BRAVO! LF6

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Anna W
14:54 Aug 10, 2023

I enjoyed this story, Mary. Great take on the prompt! I love that they’re right under our nose but we can’t see it. Thanks for sharing!

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Marty B
04:16 Aug 10, 2023

The octopus are totally intelligent and totally making fun of us only 4- limbed land walkers. Those octopus only live 2 years though, so they need to make a lot of babies! Thanks!

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Mary Bendickson
05:07 Aug 10, 2023

They live those two years to the fullest 😀. Thanks for liking and commenting.

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Michelle Oliver
14:22 Aug 09, 2023

Haha Mary, the aliens have been here all along! Quick pick up, “He bulging eyes popped wide twice with hopeful anticipation.” His bulging eyes… Thanks for sharing a cute octopus romance in the making. A one and done, kind of seems like a waste doesn’t it… hahaha

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Mary Bendickson
15:06 Aug 09, 2023

Thanks for the catch and the like.

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Rebecca Lewis
18:04 Jun 08, 2024

Your story has an intriguing concept and playful tone, combining elements of sci-fi and humor with an undersea twist. The deep-sea setting and the idea of a hidden underwater civilization with advanced technology are fascinating and give a fresh take on the "alien" concept. The banter between the pilot and the petty officer adds a light-hearted, engaging aspect to the narrative. Their relationship and conversations hint at deeper cultural and societal norms. The playful tone in their interactions and the references to their anatomy and desir...

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Mary Bendickson
17:52 Jun 09, 2024

Thanks for your input.

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06:10 Aug 09, 2023

I was a bit confused about what they were talking about but... Great story! And OCTOPUS...ES.ODES.I. Can't not love a story about octopuses/octopodes/octopi or whatever they're called! 😁 (I think maybe part of it was reference to if the female eats the male after they mate which is why they're not?)

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Mary Bendickson
11:15 Aug 09, 2023

Thinking of you the whole way. What I read about the plural options was octopuses is English version. Opctopod the extremely learned like you. Opctopi kind of obsolete. All the same. They don't eat the mate but he slinks off to die. She tends to the eggs then does the same. Some say the other way around. But you are the expert. They are highly intelligent so the idea is they have disguised themselves and been spying on us all a long. They can pull up six arms and walk upright on two so why not slip on a little green man suit? Big head with...

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