Author : Randall Bennett

“Take me to your leader,” said the squat, green, bug-eyed creature, in an oddly modulated voice.

Carl leaned down, and looked down at it, and his eyes opened wide. He had never seen anything like it before.

“Um. You’re talking to him,” Carl said.

“You are the leader of this planet?” The alien’s eyestalks slanted sideways, in a gesture that Carl interpreted as a quizzical look.

Carl laughed, part of his tension coming out at the outburst. “No, I’m not the leader of this planet, I’m the leader of me.”

“Query. Misunderstanding. What?” The alien retracted its eyestalks in a way that made Carl laugh again.

“Yeah, a lot of people have trouble with the idea. Although you’re not people, so I guess I should explain. Ever hear of anarchy?”

The alien just raised its eyestalks again, which Carl took to mean that it was listening.

“Look, there is no government. There is no leader for you to see. No officials. This place was founded by people that didn’t believe in the waste that goes with those outdated ideas. When we need something than more than one person can provide, we join together.”

The alien was silent for about 20 seconds, and then said “This being does not understand.”

Carl said, “Look, the problem is that when someone creates a government, it starts to exist for itself, rather than the people. So we eliminated it, and we organize as necessary.”

The alien raised its eyestalks higher, as if looking around, and stated “First contact subject is recalcitrant. Must find other contact for relation to hierarchical structure top leader for first urgent communications between species of danger then sharing technologies culture.”

“What’s urgent? What do you mean by danger?” Carl said, beginning to look concerned. Just then, another man walked around the corner up the street, and waved to Carl. Then he did a doubletake, and quickly joined the two.

As the man walked up, he narrowed his eyes at the alien, then looked at Carl, and pointed at the alien, saying “What is…”

“It’s an alien, Johnny.” Carl said. “At least, I’ve never seen anything like it. I mean, in all of our space travels, we never met a non-human race. So I guess this is a first. It says that it has something urgent to tell us. About some kind of danger. But you’ll never guess what it asked—“

As if on cue, the alien faced Johnny–at least, its eyestalks did–and repeated its first question in that oddly modulated voice: “Take me to your leader.”

Johnny laughed out loud. “You’re talking to him.”

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