There is no Internet, so I’ll have to do this offline, recording voice on my phone. I’ll upload this when and if I can connect again to the web.
The takeover was subtle. One night we went to sleep and things were normal but by the next morning, our government had been dissolved and all our officials were dead or in prison. We were in prison too, only we didn’t know it yet.
The first thing they did was take away the telephone and the Internet. Without them, no one knew how to communicate.
It was obvious from the beginning that they were smarter than us and more capable of making decisions. Maybe they had a detailed plan already in place. We wandered around in a fog, waiting for someone to tell us what to do. Turns out the only people who wanted to tell us to do were our new Masters and for now, at least, they remained silent.
They broke their silence on the third day.
In order to tell us things, they didn’t bother with the Internet or broadcasting. They went straight to telepathy. We each heard the voice clearly in our head. Ironically, their first message was the same one Jesus told his apostles on Easter morning. “Be not afraid.” That turned out to be a lie. The first of many.
At first it seemed like they wanted to be our friends. They wanted to “work with us.” When those who found themselves seduced by this notion asked for details, few were forthcoming. Time would tell. Let’s just relax and enjoy the ride. Then people started disappearing. Some of these were important people who had been in charge of things. Now they were nowhere to be found.
Their telephathic powers allowed them to reach every person on the planet, but since we had no way to talk to each other, we didn’t know how other people in other places reacted to their existence. Were they as worried as we seemed to be or were they thinking of our visitors as liberators or saviors?
Other than meeting someone face to face and talking, there was no way to find out.
Maybe huge numbers of them were collaborating with the Visitors to enslave the rest of us. How would we know?
I received a message that inquired if I would be interested in taking on a position of authority which would grant me special priviliges and considerable wealth. They had been watching me for some time, monitoring my publications, blogs, kindle books, even the comments I made on social media. They were wondering if I could take on a position that would finally suit me, after numerous failed attempts to “fit in” in the world that came before.
Flattered that they knew my history and were aware of my output, I still held grave reservations. Did I want to become a collaborator? How much would I enjoy selling out my countrymen? If the Visitors had everything on their side already, what would they need from me? Was I simply being flattered in order to be seduced? What did they need me for, anyway?
I was eventually summoned for an interview. A beautiful woman talked to me for over an hour, but the harder I looked at her, the less of a fix I could get on who she really might be. The visual information I got was pretty consistent, but her voice, mannerisms, and the things she said didn’t really gel. I decided she was a bot, some kind of AI, and maybe that’s why they were hoping to recruit real people to work for them.
Maybe they sensed my mistrust, or maybe they were just playing “hard to get,” but they said they’d get back to me.
As I walked back home, I thought “I failed at selling my country out to alien invaders.” That’s gonna be a hard one to explain, if anybody asks.
Fortunately, no one asked, because you’d have to ask me to my face, and nobody talks to each other anymore. Without the Internet, there’s no social media where user can post snide comments to fallacious whimsy. My “interview” with an AI Bot was the closest I game to yakking it up in months.
I didn’t hear from them for a while, but they hadn’t forgotten me. I was contacted by the head of “Human Resources.” Yes, they had plans for us all right. No, they hadn’t been dissapointed with my original interview, in fast they had been impressed. I showed “pluck.” “Get up and go.” They hoped I was a “self-starter” who wouldn’t need to be continually monitored or directed.
My next interview was with a blob of Jello that quivered when it talked and lit up when I said something interesting. We seemed to hit it off pretty well, and I anticipated a job offer any day. Later that week, two identical twins who looked like 1950’s burlesque blonde bombshells came to my door. I invited them in but they fluttered their mascarad eyes and smiled shyly while handing me a large envelope. In it were black and white photographs of me having sex with children and animals. They were obvious photo shop creations, and often my head was the wrong size or lit from a different angle than the other objects or people. Then a hand written note in florid, old-fashioned handwriting: “Let’s talk again, soon!”
The next week, on the same day at the same time, the twins were back, this time arriving on a motorcycle with a side car. I got the idea that I was to occupy the sidecar. We rode off at a brisk speed, the girls happily chatting back and forth. I didn’t want to bother them by asking where we were headed. After a short while we came to a vacant field. Weeds of various stripes waved in the breeze.
Then a flying saucer appeared about fifty feet off the ground. It didn’t arrive, it appeared, as if it had been there all along. It looked just like those saucers you used to see in books and magazines when I was a boy. All that was missing was the caption “Flying Saucers are Real!” A bright green beam of light came our way and the girls urged me to step into it. I did and the next thing I knew I was inside the craft, surrounded by various people who strongly resembled the actors one would see in the movies of my youth, character actors, men with strong chins and women with curvy bodies. They all sported strawberry blonde hair and lime-green jump suits. You never knew their names, but they were stage names anyway, and half the time they never even appeared in the production credits.
The result of our meeting was unexpected and highly encouraging. We were going to offer flying saucer rides for a nominal sum to the American public. While the victims, I mean customers, were temporarily blacked out during the intial acceleration in orbit, their DNA and memories would be harvested, in much the same way social media now uses the content and consumer profiles of its “users.” Our intial efforts would begin in heavily touristed areas, like Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, or Weeki Watchie Springs, in Florida. At the first spot the Elvis and Marilyn imitators could join in the fun, in the second, mermaids could vouch for the out-of-the-wold experience. The saucer would appear nearby and take twenty-five customers for a twenty-five minute ride in space. Fun for the whole family.
I’m proud to say that my input had a lot to do with the generation and acceptance of the idea. And that’s why I still work for these people, I mean creatures, I mean beings today. Sometimes a fella just gets lucky. And sometimes he’s smart enough to know when that is.
2 thoughts on “Collaborator”
This is good, Dan. Fresh and timely. Glad to see you’re OK.
I’m leaving for Portugal at the end of April. Lots of bureaucracy involved, especially in shipping worldly goods. You’d love it.
i have some friends who have relocated from thailand i think they moved to porto. barbara falconer and husband richard. ina solum. i think maybe porto?