Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

When the 4 mile long asteroid hit, the damage was devastating. Billions died from the earthquakes, tsunamis, and fires. And billions more would have died of starvation, if not for the “fortuitous” intervention of the Dowliens. During the three years of perpetual cloud cover, their spaceships were able to provide food to keep us alive, but did little else. Much of our infrastructure collapsed, and our high tech industries and equipment became neglected and in disrepair. We became a welfare civilization completely dependent on the apparent kindness of the Dowliens. However, when the cloud cover eventually subsided, some of us amateur astronomers dusted off our telescopes and began making some troubling observations. Troubling enough, in fact, for a group of us to petition the Dowlien Embassy for an explanation.

The orange lizard-like assistant to the sub-minister of the regional secretary stood behind a stainless steel desk. Its vertical slit pupils were centered in large lidless yellow eyes. One of its leathery hands was balled into a fist, with its two opposable thumbs interlocked between three slender fingers. Its other hand held a combination data-padd/translator. “Purpose of visit?” questioned the baritone voice from the translator.

“You know why we’re here,” I replied, straining to control my anger. “You’re the tenth bureaucrat we’ve met with today. As I told them already, we’re on to you guys, and we demand action.”

“You demand?”

“You’re damn right ‘we demand’. Something’s wrong in the sky. All the planets have disappeared, the moon’s phases are screwy, and the sun’s parallax is too large.”

“How do you know these things?” it hissed.

“Observations. And it wasn’t easy either. The restrictions that you guys impose on us make it next to impossible to get around, or to communicate with each other. It’s time that you admit what you’ve done.”

“Interesting. What is it that you believe we have done?”

“We think that during the three years of cloud cover, you built a Dyson sphere around our sun. And you replaced it with a small artificial sun 38,000 miles above the Earth. You thought that if it orbited the sky in exactly 24 hours, we would assume that it’s our sun.”

“Why would we do this incredible thing?”

“Energy, or course. The sun emits 250,000,000 times more energy than reaches the Earth. Your little satellite gives us our original share, and you keep all the rest.”


“There’s more.”

“Please, continue.”

“We think that you forked tongued bastards planned this from the beginning. We were so grateful for the help; we never questioned how you managed to have so many supplies here in only a few weeks. We want our sun back, and we want you to get the hell out of our solar system.”

I guess it smiled. Who knows? It pressed a button, and six armed lizards formed a circle around us. “Remarkable reasoning, earthman,” it said. “Surprisingly, you got it right. Had it been up to me, I would have just built the sphere and let you furbags freeze to death. Unfortunately, the bleeding hearts on Dowl Prime passed legislation forcing us to preserve at least 50% of all sentient life forms. Frankly, I think it’s a policy that needs to be reevaluated.” He instructed the guards, “Go ahead and execute this group before they spread their theories.”

“What? You can’t execute us.”

“Sure I can. We’ve only killed 1.7 billion humans so far. The law lets me go to 3.4 billion. But honestly, what did you think we were going to do? Leave? Not even if you had said ‘pretty please’. Now, take them away.”

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