Author : Kraig Conkin

The gray skinned youths standing at the edge of the platform cheered when the silver saucer broke the clouds and descended towards them.

Upon landing, Winkus popped from the hatch and ran to meet his schoolmates.

“Did you do it?” Tizdic, leader of the UFOs, asked. Of all the saucer clubs at Omega Academy, the UFO’s were the coolest, and the most secretive. Winkus had been waiting for a chance to try out since freshman year .

“Got it all on my image score, if you don’t believe me,” he said. The UFOs didn’t like wimps.

Tizdic shrugged. “Just tell us what happened.”

“I did like you said and found one of their military bases. Hovered above it, flashing my lights and tweaking my g-field stabilizers so I’d show up on their radar.”

“Oh yeah?” Tizdic’s skepticism coated his words. “Then what happened?

“They freaked out. The base went full alert- alarms, spotlights- just like you said they would.”

A few of the UFO’s laughed and slapped their tiny hands together in high-fours.

“Did they try to chase you?” Tizdic asked.

“That was the cool part,” Winkus’s tiny mouth curved into a smile. “Their ships are hilarious- so slow and loud. I had a hard time going slow enough they could keep up. Then- when I got bored- I buzzed them a couple times. Scared them so bad one craft almost crashed into a mountain. Then I came back.”

“Good job, 12,” Tizdic smacked Winkus on the shoulder. “So, we showed you the planet, you want to become a UFO or not?”

“I thought I just became a UFO.”

“That’s just the first step,” Tizdic shook his ovoid head. “You’ve got to pass the initiation.”

Winkus narrowed his black eyes and a serious expression took hold of delicate features. “I was wondering, on the way back, isn’t it kind of wrong, you know, messing with a primitive species, or whatever?”

“You saw it. That planet’s a total mess. What are we going to do to them that they aren’t already doing to themselves?”

Tizdic laughed, a sound similar to air escaping a balloon, but Winkus could tell his question had bothered him.

Winkus forced a laugh. “I don’t really care, I definitely want to be in the UFOs. What do I have to do for initiation?”

“It’s a test to see if you’ve got what it takes to be a UFO. You’ll go back with me a couple other senior UFOs. We’ll kinda show you the ropes- dissect the humans’ livestock, carve a few undecipherable, geometric patterns in their grain fields, our usual stuff.”

“That sounds cool.”

Tizdic and the other UFOs laughed at some unspoken joke.

“What’s so funny?” Winkus asked.

“Then we abduct one of the humans and then you have to . . .”

“Then I have to what?”

“Probe them.”

The UFOs laughed again.

“Gross!” Winkus searched the shiny black eyes of the club members, hoping this was a joke. “Why would you want to do something like that?”

“You wouldn’t,” Tizdic explained. “That’s why it’s the initiation. You in or not?”

Winkus nodded and started walking back to his saucer. “Let’s go.”

The gray skinned youths raised another cheer and followed him onto the platform.