Author: Aubrey Williams

“Look, we understand that this is a strange request, Mr. Human… but we repeat again: our planet’s security… even galactic security, may depend on us acquiring one of these devices. Please, we implore you— surrender your microwave to us!”

So spoke the little alien being, its four hands wrung in pleading, its various eyes gazing up at me from within its dime-like helmet. Yeah, so what? Aliens have visited our planet for decades at least. This isn’t the first time, and it sure as hell won’t be the last. I’ve been reading forums about alien encounters since I was a kid, and seen strange things like shooting stars that stopped suddenly to uncanny news reporters that convinced me I had seen the extra-terrestrial.

Tonight was a bit more dramatic. I saw a burst of colourful fire sear through a cloud, and then a bullet-like capsule strike the earth in a smoking fury. I thought a missile had landed, but as I approached the little grey-skinned visitor was kicking the side of their craft, cursing, before they started at my presence and began to talk excitedly.

“Don’t be alarmed, Mr. Human! For we have been looking to make contact with you… We have urgent need of an item you possess. Our scanners did detect frequent waves of microwave energy, and we determined that you have such capability… we know this must be a difficult thing to ask, but we must have your microwave.”

I wasn’t being abducted, doom for Earth was not prophesised. These damn aliens wanted my microwave! This seemingly minor request made me suspicious— they talked about my off-brand, yellowed plastic box as if it were magical. I wasn’t going to budge until I had some answers.

“Why me?”

“Your house is isolated enough that we can safely make an exchange.”

“No, why me?

“*Hrngha…* we know you have an excellent device, as you use it frequently without the waves weakening.”

I paused, trying to read the slightly worried expression of the creature.

“Can’t you just go to—”

“No! We were given explicit instructions! Any moves on a military or… com-er-shee-ul… *ump…* site would attract too much attention.”

I kept rattling off questions. It was consistent, as consistent as the worries my parents, friends, and school psychologists had expressed throughout my life. The alien reminded me of the latter, a ball of nervous energy, an introvert sent to do an extrovert’s task. All the while, I considered what nefarious use the creatures had for my meagre old microwave. Was this the last component in some technical monstrosity they’d use to wipe out life on Earth?

In the end, it was getting late, and honestly, I was getting fed up. The easiest thing to do was to hand over my Panhatchi-Sansung MasterCook99 and be done with the disturbance. The alien practically kissed my feet, and after an excitable call to some superior in its garbled language, presented me with several bars of some sort of metal. Anyway, it’s been a few months, so I guess we’re not dead yet. You should see the size of the new microwave I bought!


Relations Officer Rskowi’ia returned to Command Vessel 21, and bore with them the device that made concentrated microwave energy.

“Why does General Tumm want this?” They asked.

Lieutenant Sgrsk rolled their eyes.

“Apparently the General found some advanced Human sustenance that does not spoil. It might revolutionise far-travel. In order to make it work, they need a microwave device.”

Alas, General Tumm accidentally used the “grill” function, and the noodle cup was melted, the noodles beyond salvaging.