Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

I was sound asleep in my San Agustin home when I was awakened at three in the morning by a member of Homeland Security. Without explanation, I was unceremoniously whisked from my comfortable bed and hustled onto a LJ40 Learjet. It wasn’t until we were airborne that my “escort,” a fella by the name of Drake, discussed the reason for my late-night abduction. “Professor Ehman,” he finally explained, “as the director of the SETI Institute, you are in a unique position to help us. It seems that a ‘situation’ has arisen that requires your expertise in extra-terrestrial communication.”

“You are misinformed, young man,” I replied with some degree of annoyance, which was no doubt caused by the loss of REM sleep. “In order to ‘communicate’ you need two parties. SETI only sends and listens for messages. We haven’t ‘communicated’ with any extra-terrestrial life yet.”

“Well, Professor, that’s about to change. Yesterday, an alien spaceship landed in southern Peru. It’s your classic stereotype flying saucer. It has some kind of hieroglyphics on the side, but our cryptologists can’t make heads or tails out of it. Right now, the ship is just sitting there. Nobody has come out, and they are not responding to our transmissions. That’s when we figured we needed your help.”

“Have you tried speaking in Inca?”


“Use your head, son. Why would the ship land in southern Peru rather than a First World country? Clearly, they landed there for a reason. My guess is they’ve been to Earth before, and have returned to the location where they expected to find Earth’s most advanced civilization. Five to six hundred years ago it would have been the Incas. Look, since I’m captive here anyway, I’ll try to help. Does this plane have a computer with internet access? I need to do some research.”

A few hours later, we flew above the flying saucer on our way to the Lima airport. As I stared at the tiny ship in the middle of the vast gravel-covered desert, I suddenly realized that I had made a one thousand year mistake. I quickly brought up Google, and entered “Nazca lines,” and pressed search. “Hey, kid,” I said as our tires screeched on the runway, “on our way to the site we need to make a stop in the town called Huancavelica to pick up a Mister Atabalipa. He’s an old religious leader that might be able to help us.”

An Army Chinook helicopter shuttled us to Huancavelica, and we continued on to the spaceship with Mister Atabalipa praying nonstop in the seat next to me. After landing, we were ushered to the front of the crowd by six heavily armed solders. I turned to the old religious leader and said, “Tell them…Welcome to Nazca, we are pleased that you have returned.”

He spread his arms, and spoke in some ancient Indian language that sounded like gibberish to me. It must have worked, however, because a ramp slid out from the side of the spaceship and pivoted to the ground.”


“Holy crap,” muttered Drake, “it worked. What do you think they will look like?”

“My money says they’ll look like monkeys, but it’s entirely possible that they may resemble, birds, lizards, or maybe even giant spiders. I guess we’re about to find out.” Just then, a large door at the top of the ramp slid to the side…


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