The pink and purple and horridly green spaceship, invisible to anyone but its inhabitants, hovered over Earth, with no sound at all. It looked like an irascible insect with a slapdash paint job, but the aliens inside it were serious and stern. In one of its cabins, Commander Gauntaloopaschoopa, or Gaunta for short, was briefing his company of soldiers about the assignment they had to undertake after they had received their instructions. The alien tongues were clicking in rapid succession and it sounded like a party of gnats buzzing around but the buzz was sharp pitched and incongruous. Thus, for the reader's convenience, the translated transcription has been provided here.
"Dave Thomas is a bad child. He might ruin our chances but I feel the test subject is doing fine so far. We cannot afford to take any mishits. You see, Marshall's teacher, Miss Alice had smiled then. I believe for these tiddly aliens, a smile is meant as an approval. That is when we understood that this boy, as his kind are called there, his imagination, could be our probe, our link to this beautiful planet."
Gaunta was a slimy pink creature with balls for feet and twigs for arms that dwindled in their sockets. Attached to his flat body, they swatted at the screen every time he wanted to change something on it. At every swat, the figures on the screen would rearrange themselves into something that the commander wanted to show his soldiers.
"Test subject Marshall makes for a very inquisitive child. We have been taking keen interest in his life so far and only three days ago did we manage to catch him in one of his imaginary bursts," said Gaunta, and swat.
The screen now showed a kid running into a school.
"The test subject had been given an assignment by Miss Alice to make for himself an imaginary pet as they call some other non-dominant creatures that occupy this planet. Three days ago on the date of 14th June 2067, he had entered his school," and swat! he pointed at the school name on the screen that blinked to Davis' High, "and did his work," and another swat.
Now the screen showed a kid poring over a book, a thick book in what appeared to be a library.
"This is what the humans call, a dictionary," Gaunta explained.
"We have to suppose that he selected some random words and put them down together and worked his mind upon them. And that is how, we created our probe which is already working for us and is with the test subject, Marshall," and for good measure, he swatted the screen thrice.
One of the aliens was sleeping and falling to the ground at the back. This swat woke him up and he rolled around to attention and saluted. The commander didn't notice for he was at work.
Gaunta rolled by the side of the screen, straight as a ray of light and stopped.
"Test subject Marshall's assignment, for which Miss Alice, his teacher, had smiled," swat, and the screen changed to the following text: 'It looks like a cross between a rabbit and the captain of a ship. Small as a button, ordinary like vegetation, and as mannered as a butler. It eats a dollop of soil on a slice of burnt toast. From my walkie-talkie, it talks to its home that is located stars and stars away. It loves the orchestra but does not enjoy the bass because it makes him bloat and bleurgh.'
"It was, at first, bemusing, but our translators had been hard at work and we came across something very much like it. As we talk, the probe looks and talks and walks exactly how the test subject Marshall wanted it in his assignment. And it is out there, with him."
He swatted, but lightly this time, and the screen changed to a topside view of the animal that was with Marshall, aged 'eight and halfety' as he liked to tell everyone, with black careless hair and a round face that shone with the delight because now he haad company. Marshall had named his new pet, 'Isthmus'.
"Usually, all the little humans have two tall humans to look after them but the Test Subject is missing one. We believe the one that he has works as a casting director, refer to notes 17AB2 for the definition", he swatted, and all his soldiers shuffled their notes to the concerned page and buzzed in alien tongues the definition for their understanding.
"How did we send the probe? We manufactured it in one of our Advanced Alien Construction Tanks aka AACTs and sent it zooming down inside a shell. Once it got out, it started adapting. It learned how they speak and behave and mate and live. It went from town to town and invaded the slumbers of whoever could be found."
Here Gaunta paused and swatted its own chin thoughtfully. As if on command, the screen started playing a translated audiovisual of their probe, which was blinking and sniffing everything around it with utmost curiosity as it tried to evade being noticed inside an unrecognized little sleeping neighborhood.
With a crisp return to attention, the commander broke from its reverie and barked.
"Media file 103BN$! Did anyone of you not learn it by heart here?" and he waved his hand in a horizontal line across his audience, most of whom quivered and shook with fear. Gaunta chose one of them at random and asked him to recite the contents of the said file in front of them all. By a huge stroke of luck, the chosen soldier, Likkatoo, turned out to have memorized the file right. It recited it with a lot of eloquence and grandiose.
Gaunta never got up a wrong soldier. The mission was more important but he fumed as he always did on such occasions, having no one to lambast. He breathed deep a couple of times and continued, completely ignoring Likkatoo.
"The probe has established communication with the test subject. We have come to the conclusion that Marshall," and he chuckled to himself, "what a weird name, Marshall," and he burst into laughter, to which the audience followed and started laughing, at what, they knew not.
Then Gaunta stood erect and barked at them all to shut up and they shut up. Then he laughed again, but no one else dared to laugh with him this time. The next five minutes were spent like this, while the commander laughed and rolled and slapped its flat tummy.
"Alright, alright, so, we have come to the conclusion that Marshall has been assigned to make up a story around his imaginary pet and direct it in his school, by Miss Alice. Now what is a play? Turn to notes 194LAK!" and all of them quickly shuffled their copy, while one or two of them flipped theirs and tore it apart in their search for 194LAK.
Ignoring the commotion, Gaunta rolled in front of the screen, left to right and right to left and sometimes he bobbed on the balls that were his feet and sometimes he mused to himself how easy this would be.
"Since the test subject has the probe, he has decided to use him to surprise his school. Our probe is going to open a backdoor entry for us all so we can swarm in and replace all the humans there with ourselves while bringing them all up here for." he coughed and swatted. Pictures began to play themselves, visuals predicting the way they all will take over the school. "For classified research purposes." he finished and broke into a maniacal laughter.
He calmed himself down soon and continued. "This play shall be held within forty-five minutes after five minutes from now. Set your Tibble Watches according to it. The backdoor access will not be guaranteed to be open all the time. Dave Thomas will be manning the entry and exit and he might close the gates sooner because he dislikes the test subject." Swat! The face of Dave Thomas appeared on the screen, mapped into a grid and revolving. All the soldiers bared their spiky teeth at him and uttered silent promises for blood. "Weird, these aliens", Gaunta grimaced.
"Our strategy is going to be simple. You, you and you!" he barked and pointed at three random soldiers, "shall take the front," then he selected three more, "and you the rear." He assigned roles to them all like this and once it was done, he dismissed them all with a wave of his arm. The soldiers all flew away and out of the cabin.
Then Gaunta looked back at the screen and gleefully announced, "I am coming for you Earth. Dream of six hundred and seventy nine queers (years) finally going to come true!" and he rubbed his hands and rolled away.