The only way he was going to figure things out was to read Lance's blog and, for the love of God, hope Lance was able to update his blog with some more useful information, real soon like. Better yet, he needed to figure a way to get in touch with Lance. And he had to do it before that police officer came back, and before he called his mother, and that kind of put a damper on things.
Mike looked back at the computer, which had gone to sleep. He pushed the mouse, and the computer woke up. There was a new message from Lance:
Tsatso is amazing! This whole situation is amazing! No: it's WOW! And he's right here, working beside me while I'm writing this. And, you know what? I'm working on a machine just like the one you're reading this on.I'm not joking! This is absolutely unbelievable.Okay, I don't have much time. Here's my story.You were there, Mike! You were there the night this started for me. Jim was there too. It was the night of the fantasy football playoff. Remember? That was when I saw that first message from Tsatso. I was flabbergasted. But, with what happened last time still fresh on my mind, didn't want to say anything; at least not in front of Jim.Anyway, that should explain my strange behavior the rest of that day. I was so excited I could hardly focus on ANYTHING.After you left, Jim tried to get me to go with him to Jackson's
to play games or, more accurately, to check out the scenery (if you know what I mean). I wheedled out of it. Any other day I would have gone in a heartbeat, but not that day. Instead I went on the greatest adventure EVER. Actin CenterI swear it wasn't as soon as Jim slammed the door the phone rang. It was Sarah. Man, if she didn't pick a dandy time to call. The way I got rid of her, I'm sure she'll want nothing more to do with me if I stayed.Hey, when you get home talk to her. I KNOW she'll listen to you.Anyway, that call terminated, I checked on my "silly hobby." There were eight more emails, Mike. Eight! I had never seen anything like this before. These weren't just random emails like the one's I showed you. They were ALL from Alton One. A REAL ALIEN SPACESHIP! Yeah, like the one you told me about.Mike, I want you to know right now, that if I had told you about this right away when I saw that first email from Alton One, you could be here with me. Or, you at least would have seen Tsato and the ship.Tsatso! He's... WOW!The SHIP! You would never in your wildest dreams imagine how cool this thing is. It's... It's... WOW!OK, I'll get to that in due time.That first email read point blank, "I am to visit you now. Respond!"The second read, "I am coming. Respond!"The 4th, 5th and 6th were the same. But the 7th was THIS:"PLEASE RESPOND, Mike! I AM GETTING VERY CLOSE!"
"Lance," I typed. "The names Lance Goodman."
"LANCE GOODMAN. RESPOND."
Keep the lights one. That was a code word that Lance and Mike used as kids that meant: something I'm telling you isn't right. So Lance was trying to tell Mike something Lance doesn't want anyone else who might read his blog to understand. Something he wrote, one part of his story, was fake. But what?My heart was already racing, but now it was POUNDING in my head. If there was any doubt this was real, seeing my name MADE it real. It also took my breath away, literally. I grabbed my inhaler and took a hit -- and a 2nd, 3rd and 4th for good measure."I am FRIENDLY, Lance! I WILL NOT HURT YOU! I AM YOUR FRIEND. YES! I have received all your messages. I WILL NOT hurt you. RESPOND NOW! This will be the last message. If you do not respond RIGHT NOW I will have to turn back to Alton One. RESPOND NOW!"WOW! I thought my heart might thump right out of my chest. My mind racing, hands shaking so bad I could barely type, I wrote, "cme g et mea." And before I knew what I wrote, I clicked send.At least 10 minutes went by before I got my fingers and brain to work together. I typed: "Go AWAY!"Ahh, what was I thinking? I know: I was thinking, "I blew it!" No new messages from the alien meant that I blew a chance of a lifetime."I AM HERE! PLEASE COME!" My fingers typed. It was, as you like to say of your writing, as though someone took control of my fingers and started typing for me.Twenty minutes passed and still NOTHING. Adrenaline rushing through my veins seemed to flow freely into nothingness, like blood gushing from an open wound. And that blood being replaced with a rush of disappointment. Here I had a chance of a lifetime, and I let it slip through my fingers like a new bar of soap in a hot shower.Nonetheless, my eyes never averted from the screen. IF a new message came, IF they made new contact, I WAS NOT going to miss it; even if that meant waiting all night, all day, and all night again.I was locked in.“Good. If you would please open the screen door and step aside.”I did a double take to be sure of what I was seeing:"YES!" I shouted at the computer, and leaped from the chair, knocking it over, causing an ominous bang. Startled at the noise I created, I jumped."What a dream," I thought, staring down at my knocked over seat. I picked it up."Got to move," a voice in my mind said, and looked back at the computer. "GO!"I clumsily rushed across the room, and promptly slid the patio door and screen open. That job done, I opened the window and removed the screen. Thinking back, it was as though I knew what to do. Remember the dreams I told you about?So, I was standing there, poking my head out that window, waiting for what? My mind was burning with curiosity. Would it be like the stereotypical disk shaped UFO, or would it be something unexpected? Remember, you said you never got a good look at it, other than the bottom side. Right?Nothing came right away. It may only have been a few minutes, but it seemed an eternity while I waited. What if this was just another hoax Jim was playing on me? What would my neighbors think if they saw me with my head jutting out the window?"What ON EARTH are you up to," I could hear Martha from across green house across the street screaming in my head, "If you want to enjoy the warm breeze, why don't you just step out on the porch?"I pray now that no one did see me. If THAT happened, we will ALL be in jeopardy.After a few minutes of staring up at the evening sky, I SAW IT.
Willow, you would never... no, YOU would. Jim, HE would never... it was.. WOW!First it was a series of shining lights, like the pictures I showed you. It moved so fast I could barely follow it. Brighter and brighter and brighter it appeared. Now it was like a star, moving closer and closer and closer to Earth. In the blink of an eye, it was no longer a light, but a hazy, oval shape in the sky over Scottville.Then it was gone."GET AWAY FROM THE WINDOW!" The voice rang in my head.Turning, I tripped over my own feet and fell with a mighty force, smacking my head on the corner of the desk. MAN did that smart! I rushed to my feet, knocking over the chair in the process, and started typing when a new message flashed up on the screen:“You are safe. Stay where you are.”Then the following events occurred in what seemed to me very slow motion. I looked away from the screen toward the window and saw an unexpectedly small, elongated craft very slowly and inaudibly traversing through the open window. From where I stood, the machine was barely visible; if I wasn’t looking right at the craft, expecting it, I might never have seen it.Then the thing simply hovered over the couch and coffee table as those objects were slowly and inaudibly repositioned out of the way by invisible hands. Finally the rectangular craft softly landed on the carpet.The more I looked at it, the more visible it became. I know this sounds odd, but that’s how it really was. It appeared, at this point, to be made of a dull, gray and inexplicable material unlike any I had ever studied in school or read about in any book. And you know how I love science and stuff.Its color started changing. It was red, blue, yellow, and then...The smell overwhelmed me. First it was as though I were standing amid a powerful and aromatic flower garden. Then, instantly, a disturbing scent like that of burning electrical circuits...it finally settled on that dull gray color.I felt a trickle of moisture rushing down my face, down my chin. I licked my lips; the taste was coppery. I made to wipe it off. The PAIN was overwhelming. No. It was a pressure, and I could feel my heart thump, thump, thumping in my head.All the while, MY EYES WERE RAPT ON THAT MACHINE!It was so amazing, Mike!WHOOOSSSSSHHHHH!It was a sound like the release of trapped air rushing forth. The machine rose slightly, and a cool, white mist shot from beneath, rising up the sides of the object and...WHOOOOSSSHHH!...the machine relaxed to the floor.A cool, refreshing breeze wafted past me. I shivered. and watched as the mist faded away.A chill rushed up my spine.CLICK! CLICK!The top of the craft popped open. A dim light from within peered out. Then... It became brighter and brighter. I winced, instinctively placing my arms over my eyes. I tried peering beyond them: still too bright. The PAIN. The pressure in my head was so strong I thought I was going to pass out, when...WHOOOOSH!Lowering my arms, I saw that the light was gone, and a cloud of mist was billowing from the top of the machine. A cool breeze blew that mist my way. It was...REFRESHING! EUPHORIC!The pain was gone, and the wind too. The smell NOW was of cinnamon.The top of the mini spaceship opened slowly, stopping to an audible CLICK. A thought, that it was like watching the lid of Dracula’s coffin being opened, occurred to me. Only, this coffin was not black, nor eerie, nor creepy. It was... WOW!The underside of the lid had what looked like hundreds of little gadgets and digits and dials, and they suddenly lit up, flashing all different colors.Then this gaunt, pale, alien shot straight up into a sitting position like a dead body come to life. I jolted back, slamming into a wall. The little alien opened its eyes. A warm stream dribbled down my pant leg.The alien clambered from the box so it was standing atop the opening, and sort of just floated to the ground where it landed in front of me. Now it started walking my way.It stopped ten feet from me and looked up. I swear it wasn't any higher than my waste line, and yet it had an aura of power about it. I could see its head, it's freaky facial features barely visible. But those eyes... They were HUGE! They were big and black, pupil-less, mesmerizing.It simply looked at me a moment. Then, amazingly, I thought I saw the corners of its lip-less mouth move in an upward direction. It blinked. I could now see clearly a sparkle in its eyes."Bababa," it mumbled softly.I tried speaking, but no words left my moving lips. It appeared to be studying me from head to toe, and I studied it. Naked: it was. NO! At closer inspection, there was a faint outline of white material above its petite hands and at the neckline there was a barely visible small, white "A" stitched above where the left nipple would be if this were a human. Did it have nipples? The strange thought crossed my mind.Man, its eyes were huge. I couldn't keep myself from going back to and focusing on those eyes; large, slanted, black, bug-like things amid a huge, white light bulb shaped head. It was wider at the top than where it connected to the neck. Its chin was tiny and v-shaped. In the middle of its face was a nose that protruded a tad, with two mere slits.Those slits flared out slightly as it sighed, wafting a fresh scent of cinnamon my way. Isn't that how abductees describe it?It's eyes: they were INCREDIBLE. Now I could see that they were not black, but a dark, glossy green. And there were wrinkles upon its white face, like a sickly old man who smoked his whole life. At the very top of its pale, bald head were thin strands of white hair, or fur -- barely visible.A hand was offered, or, you might say, a four fingered, webbed palm.I hesitated a moment, then took it.“Peace,” it said in a soft, yet firm voice.It's grip was strong, not what I expected from such a bony thing; warm, not cool as some accounts I've read; ironically human; and awkward. It's eyes moved from my eyes to my forehead and down to my white Hanes socks, settling, finally, back on my eyes.It was smiling."Iminon." It's breath, cinnamon-like, was strong.Releasing its grip, it said, “Peace from Alton One. I am friend. My name is Tsatso.”My response was a simple sigh. It waited patiently as I continued to stare at it. Finally, the creature's smile widened, and its lips parted. A cool, tingly shiver crept up my spine.“I...am... Lace Gorma... and I reperset a earth.""Lace Gorma," it repeated."NO!" I shouted. It stepped back. Oh, my God, I'm blowing it!"No reperset?""NO! My... My...," I stuttered. The machine behind it let out a WHOOOOOOSH and a cool mist shot up from it, filling the room with a white mist, and for a brief moment I couldn't see the alien, and the mist disappeared in a heartbeat.REFRESHING! EUPHORIC!"My name is Lance Goodman, and I represent planet Earth." Man, what's going on here?“I know. Come,” it said, motioning me to its ship.I stood stiff.“I need you to come with me," it said.My jaw dropped."It's your decision, but I encourage you to come with me.""Why don't you just take me?" I smiled."It is your decision to make. It cannot be the old way." What old way? What's it talking about?"What... Why...not...jus...""I don't not have time to explain.“"How?" How? How what? Come on Lance, turn your brain on."It will all be explained." The creature sighed, puckered its lips, and looked down. Shaking its head slowly, it looked up, and into my eyes."I...You are a...I want to--"The creature moved closer until its nose brushed my shirt. Glancing down, I had a good view of the top of its head, and thought I might be able to smash my elbow right through its cranium. My arm jerked, as though a surge of power was rushing through it. I could do it: I could kill the beast.Then it backed up a step, and I jerked my head and stared at the machine it hovered in on. Without looking at the alien, I could tell it was peering up at me. I could feel moisture dripping down my brow. What's going on? What do I do?Now it reached up and soothingly touched my forehead with its left palm, pulled it back, and held it for me to see. I could see my blood on what I had determined was its pointer finger.Smoothly, it turned, walked to its machine, turned again so that it was facing me. "It is your decision to make. We do not have much time."I was peering back into its eyes again. “Tell me about--”"We do not have much time.""Why don't you have me in a trance? Why aren't I paralyzed?""Time," it mouthed."You can just take me? You can't just kidnap me, like..." the words trailed off, as though I knew I was taking a wrong turn."No. It is your decision."Setting its right webbed palm over its chin and mouth, looking down and appearing to be staring blindly into nothingness, it signed and puckered its lips. I wondered if it was thinking. Then, as though in response to my wondering, lowered its hand."Tsatso has been a member of Altonian Earthguard patrol since 1985 Earth year. Our guard has watched your people for over 3,000 years. We are scientists with the aim of studying, learning, and, when needed, protecting. When we first arrived here, it was our intention of helping humans advance. That didn't go so well."It paused as I absorbed what it had said. Then it raised the hand contaminated with my blood, and held out all four white digits. "This many times we intervened. The final time this happened." He curled up all his fingers but the long bony pointer."So," it continued, "we decided that Altoncould not rush time. We swore to work surreptitiously until Earth was ready."Staring at it, expecting more, I could feel my head pounding again. It stared back."Tell me about..." I began."No. I do not have time to explain more now. I do not know how to convince you. I need you to decide now if your will is to come with me.”"Ah....I have to talk to...you." I smiled, and only started to nod my head when it grabbed me and rushed me to its machine saying, "Good. Good."Motioning me to stop, it pointed to the floor in front of the machine. I stopped dead in my tracks, and could feel myself moving up. Looking down, I could see a small platform. Was that there before? It lifted me to the height of the box, and moved me sideways, then down."Lie down," Tsatso said. "Don't look at anything inside. Lie down, and then roll over."What? I did as I was told. The air was cool inside, like fresh air-conditioning. And I could also smell rubber, like that of a fresh rubber coat or chair. To my right, I noticed the many dials and gadgets lighted up and flashing.Supine, I seemed to be floating on air, staring up at the ceiling. Strangely, I felt a sense of calm."Roll over," I heard the alien say.I did. The machine was gone. I was floating in midair facing the floor. Then, by a mere thought of the idea, I was standing up in midair looking down at Tsatso."You can not see it, but it is there," Tsatso said, smiling. "Enjoy the ride."My stomach dropped down to my knees as I started moving up, and then down so I was staring at the worn-out carpet. Slowly, slowly I was moving away from the floor, then gliding sideways. Next moment, I was crossing the threshold of the window, and over the porch."Maybe I should paint this," I thought as I hovered over the floorboards on the porch. "Am I that bad of a homemaker?" Then my thoughts shifted back to the alien. Was he for real? Is this just a bad dream? NO! If that were true, I'd feel uncomfortable in this position.Suddenly I was standing up, hovering on my front porch. I could see a figure of a person approaching from the South down Columbia Avenue. I tried to focus in on them, but was suddenly blasted by a cool, white mist. I remembered no more until I had awakened in a white room."We had to go back for Tsatso," a smooth female voice said. Looking around the room I could see no one. I could not move. "It tricked me," I thought, "didn't he? I'm paralyzed?"It was traumatic for your first awake ride," a voice said. I tried opening my eyes, but the light was too bright. "It's okay. You'll be just fine." The smell was again of cinnamon."Am I dreaming?" I asked, feeling as though I were floating."No, you're here, among the Altonians.""Am I on drugs?""Your an Altonian now. You live the Altonian way.""I'm feeling good. I don't understand.""You will. Have patience, Lance Goodman.""I don't remember ANYTHING about that trip to Alton One.""You wouldn't want to," Tsatso voice this time."Why?" I asked, opening my eyes, trying to adjust to the light."It will be best if I just show you."I could see him now at the foot of my bed, or whatever it was I was lying on. I saw that I was covered by a light sheet, and above my feet was that ancient head and those big eyes. What human could not be mezmirized by those things?I wanted to say something, but I couldn't; just flopped my head back on the bed and looked up at the white ceiling.Silence.I looked for a light source, a corner, some kind of detail to focus on, and could find nothing. Beyond the bed, and Tsatso, all I could see was whiteness.Something pricked my forehead. "It's time to head on," the female voice said."Come," Tsatso said, motioning me to get up. I did. I hopped off the thing I was lying on, and followed the alien. I felt light headed and week, like I did while trying to walk after spending that week in a hospital bed trying to catch my breath.The hallway was long, white and with no doors. I followed the two aliens, and it was a challenge to keep up. They turned and suddenly an opening appeared and they disappeared. I feebly stumbled across the threshold and found myself in the same room I'm writing from now.As I look up from my writing, the view is breathtaking. The best way to explain it is: Wow! I'm talking about the view of our planet, Earth. It's BEAUTIFUL!All of a sudden I'm hearing an alarm. Tsatso says it's time to go.I know YOU would be amazed to hear all that I've learned about the Altonians and Altonia and Altonand Earth. You would be astonished at how much we don't even know about our own history.But THEY tell me Alton One is going home, and it will NEVER return to Earth. Tsatso says otherwise: "Never should never be spoken."If I ever get a chance to write you again, I WILL. So, remember what we talked about.Keep THE LIGHTS ON and be patient.
Before he had a chance to mull it AC-DC's Hell's Bells started playing. It was his i-phone. There was a knock on the door. It was officer Chuck, and he didn't look pleased.