Zoe s Tale - By John Scalzi

PART I Chapter One
The flying saucer landed on our front yard and a little green man got out of it.

It was the flying saucer that got my attention. Green men aren't actually unheard of where I come from. All the Colonial Defense Forces were green; it's part of the genetic engineering they do on them to help them fight better. Chlorophyll in the skin gives them the extra energy they need for truly first-class alien stomping.

We didn't get many Colonial Defense Force soldiers on Huckleberry, the colony I lived on; it was an established colony and we hadn't been seriously attacked in a couple of decades. But the Colonial Union goes out of its way to let every colonist know all about the CDF, and I knew more about them than most.

But the flying saucer, well. That's novel. New Goa is a farming community. Tractors and harvesters and animal-drawn wagons, and wheeled public buses when we wanted to live life on the edge and visit the provincial capital. An actual flying transport was a rare thing indeed. Having one small enough for a single passenger land on our lawn was definitely not an everyday occurrence.

"Would you like Dickory and me to go out and meet him?" asked Hickory. We watched from inside the house as the green man pulled himself out of the transport.

I looked over at Hickory. "Do you think he's an actual threat? I think if he wanted to attack us, he could have just dropped a rock on the house while he was flying over it."

"I am always for prudence," Hickory said. The unsaid portion of that sentence was when you are involved. Hickory is very sweet, and paranoid.

"Let's try the first line of defense instead," I said, and walked over to the screen door. Babar the mutt was standing at it, his front paws up on the door, cursing the genetic fate that left him without opposable thumbs or the brains to pull the door instead of pushing on it. I opened the door for him; he took off like a furry heat-seeking slobber missile. To the green man's credit, he took a knee and greeted Babar like an old friend, and was generously coated in dog drool for his pains.

"Good thing he's not soluble," I said to Hickory.

"Babar is not a very good watchdog," Hickory said, as it watched the green man play with my dog.

"No, he's really not," I agreed. "But if you ever need something really moistened, he's got you covered."

"I will remember that for future reference," Hickory said, in that noncommittal way designed for dealing with my sarcasm.

"Do that," I said, and opened the door again. "And stay in here for now, please."

"As you say, Zoe," Hickory said.

"Thanks," I said, and walked out to the porch.

By this time the green man had gotten to the porch steps, Babar bouncing behind him. "I like your dog," he said to me.

"I see that," I said. "The dog's only so-so about you."

"How can you tell?" he asked.

"You're not completely bathed in saliva," I said.

He laughed. "I'll try harder next time," he said.

"Remember to bring a towel," I said.

The green man motioned to the house. "This is Major Perry's house?"

"I hope so," I said. "All his stuff is here."

This earned me about a two-second pause.

Yes, as it happens, I am a sarcastic little thing. Thanks for asking. It comes from living with my dad all these years. He considers himself quite the wit; I don't know how I feel about that one, personally, but I will say that it's made me pretty forward when it comes to comebacks and quips. Give me a soft lob, I'll be happy to spike it. I think it's endearing and charming; so does Dad. We may be in the minority with that opinion. If nothing else it's interesting to see how other people react to it. Some people think it's cute. Others not so much.

I think my green friend fell into the "not so much" camp, because his response was to change the subject. "I'm sorry," he said. "I don't think I know who you are."

"I'm Zoe," I said. "Major Perry's daughter. Lieutenant Sagan's, too."

"Oh, right," he said. "I'm sorry. I pictured you as younger."

"I used to be," I said.

"I should have known you were his daughter," he said. "You look like him in the eyes."

Fight the urge, the polite part of my brain said. Fight it. Just let it go.

"Thank you," I said. "I'm adopted."

My green friend

readonlinefreenovel.com Copyright 2016 - 2024