Artful Aliens? (Aerials)

(this scene picks up where Death Rays left off.) 

MOMA, (Museum of Modern Art), NYC–

She regarded the painting; black lines all jumbled up met her appraising stare.

Lines curved into faces and traced features,
inked a mask to hide his identity.
From a jumbled mess arose a creature.
Friend or foe? Couldn’t tell ’til the entity
emerged and the full story coalesced.
Out of random chaos, a helmet flies,
but no weapon, leaving only guesses
to how the masked man will cut it down to size.

A man blundered into her, disturbing her running monologue. The image building with every line and nuance scrutinized, shattered. She teetered on spike heels and toppled, landing in a sprawl of suit coat, pencil skirt and long legs bare from the thigh down.

“I’m sorry,” the man murmured. His eyes locked on her pantyhose-less legs.

Spikes extruded from her skin. She raked them across his face when he bent to take a peek under her skirt. Blood welled, but he rocked back on his heels shocked not just at the injury but at what he’d glimpsed. She wore no underwear. Between her legs, no standard female organs invited his touch. Instead, the metal grip of a firearm protruded from an empty cavity. She wasn’t a breeder, so she had been born without the organs necessary for that–function. A girl’s got to stash her weapon somewhere, so–

Her leg snapped out and swept his feet out from under him, dumping him onto the floor next to her. She pushed to her feet and slammed her knife-edged heel through his throat. She pivoted on her heel opening the wound wider, spilling more blood onto the wood flooring. A snarl disrupted the clean lines of the holographic filter that distorted her features to look human. Gems winked where small, iridescent cabochons threaded a titanium chain, casting the projection.

Twisting her smart watch’s dial face a half turn right, she clicked a button on its side, and a red beam flickered; it washed the room in crimson for a moment. When it cut off, the man and all his bodily fluids had vaporized. She straightened her skirt and took in a deep breath of the last investigates of that stupid pervert.

Of course, she was a tourist too, just not one from this planet or solar system. No one had noticed anything, and that made her lips curve in a shark’s smile. She loved New York. Only here an intergalactic alien could murder a man in a museum, and no one batted an eye. She checked her watch’s digital readout and nodded. Security saw what she permitted. Right now that included an edited video stream of this room, one that had no visual trace of her or her recent altercation.

She had come here to kill a few hours perusing this so-called ‘Modern Art,’ which she’d found was a perfect brainstorming aid. Spinning on her spike heel, she resumed her interrupted study of the artwork on display. Relaxing back into her brainstorming groove, she let her eyes play over its lines, and her mind wandered around inside the visual world that the artist had created.

An arrow bent into a square, circles,
crosses and a leaf were all jumbled up.
A child’s scrawl, a treasure map or cycles
depicted by Jackson Pollack? No pup
like me could make sense of it, not without
an art degree. Even then it’s in doubt.

She turned away; the magic had faded. Whatever spell the painting had woven over her subconsciousness had broken thanks to that jerk. She’d been onto something; there had been the glimmer of an idea bursting to break free of the miasma of her subconsciousness, but it was gone now. It had fled back into the stygian gloom where all bright ideas went to die. Damn it.

Crisp footsteps approached her. Not security, but one of her people, wearing a suit of course. She had standards. Regulations prohibited uniforms with unit designations in undercover operations, so a three-piece suit was the next best thing. All color coordinated of course to maintain a uniform look and reinforce unit loyalty. Also, it made the perfect outfit to blend into the working drones scuttling to and from offices.

Pol held out a tablet freeze framed to show an enemy vessel descending. In the corner of the screen, a minimized map pointed out its location about 18 blocks from here.

Anger boiled up and then over. How dare they land on her planet. “Destroy them.” She thrust the tablet back at Specialist Pol.

“That’ll cause a war, ma’am.”

“Wipe them out of my sky. That’s an order.”


She turned. Specialist Valesh held up his wrist. His smart watch’s dial face framed a fireball.

to be continued…

(Click here for more Aerials)

Ro and I return in the next episode. Don’t tell us who sunk–er–destroyed the alien battleship! I’m entrusting this secret to you! Or rather the aliens are, and you don’t want to mess with them. They have death rays.



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