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That time I fought off the aliens and saved the Mexican family from extra-terrestrial deportation.

I’ve been meaning to write this down for a long time. It kept slipping my mind. Fighting off aliens is intense, but I guess it’s not ROE INTENSE.

My Ford Taurus puttered to a tired halt at the intersection of 29th and east-bound Martha. I hit the left-turn signal. A slow plume of steam rose from two pizza bags in my passenger’s seat. A west-bound vehicle passed with Corridos blaring from its lowered windows. My radio was on. Somebody on NPR just talked about baby seals being underfunded when applying for state-owned meth rehabilitation services in Canada. I thought about changing the channel, but decided it was too important to be well-balanced politically.

Three cars moved through the intersection as I adjusted my pizza cap. One, a white Toyota Avalon, putted South on 29th with black tinted windows. The other two – near-identical Ford Aerostars – moved north in single file. The leading van had a yellow, thick length of mule tape strapped from its rear to under the hood of the trailing one. It was a silly thing. The mule tape was taught, but I could tell the second car was still driving of its own volition.

Their windows were tinted as well, though not as dark. The interior was still invisible in the twilight. Their shells were a murky green hue. The “towed” vehicle had a donut tire on the rear driver’s side. The yellow warning label on the donut shown bright in the twilight as it spun.

You know what else was weird? Whenever the label reached the top of its circle, the radio crackled. It was ruining my enjoyment of the baby seal story.

The light turned green. The road was clear. I took my left and pulled in five car lengths behind the Aerostar. They had thrown hazards on and stopped. I hit the brakes. I had no room to get around them, but I don’t think it would have mattered. As I looked for room to pass, the radio went to complete static.

The top of the rear van sprouted panels as if doors were opening. I gawked as a long, metallic cylinder rose out of the opening and leveled off at a vehicle ahead of us and on the west side.

There was a flash, and the vehicle exploded.

“Oh shoot, not again,” I muttered. I hit my hazards, unbuckled my seatbelt, popped the trunk, grabbed the pizza bag and left out the driver’s door in quick sequence. I kept my eyes trained on the cylinder.

You can imagine my surprise when the doors of each Aerostar opened and lanky gray critters jumped out. They carried massive weapons not unlike the turret in shape. They were bipedal. One carried a large bundle over one shoulder. They bounded in the direction of the exploded car.

Then I saw the family.

I saw the toddler first. He was staring out the window of their run-down porch at the carnage.

I moved back to the trunk. It was full.

“I really have to clean this out,” I said.

I shoved aside two fly rods, my vest, waders and boots, a tent, a pillow, some bug repellant, jumper cables.

“Where is it?” I asked. I looked around the car. The Lopers had made it to the home. I could hear screams.

I scanned all the houses around me. Wasn’t anyone seeing this?

The house nearest to me shimmered, and I knew. Well, I sortof knew. It was either a time bubble or a light-stasis entrapment they were using backwards (basically) to hide their actions.

I kept digging through the trunk, encountering a mound of trash, an old journal (“Oh wow, there’s where that went”), and finally a jet-black case meant for a 1.5 ton floor jack. I grabbed it and heaved. It wouldn’t budge.

More screams.

I put the pizza bags on the ground and lifted the case out with two hands. I set it on the ground and depressed a hidden button on the right side. It slid open revealing my rail gun. They’re standard issue at that one pizza restaurant.

I peeked around the car again. The screams were muffled. Four Lopers were watching my car as three came out of the home carrying the bundle. It was many times their size and moving.

The four had seen me and were shouting to the others. There was an exchange of orders, and the four bounded toward me aiming their weapons.

Just like I had been trained, I took the top pizza bag, made sure the Velcro was tight, and slid my left forearm through the strap on the bottom. As I did, hidden straps inside the bag secured against the box. I clicked the safety and checked the charges in my energy weapon. Just because it felt good, I cycled the action. A familiar buzz rose in pitch as power moved into the chamber. With the shield on my left and the rail gun on my right, I moved out.

It’s a good thing my customers had ordered the only extra-large pizza we had that night because I took two shots to the bag right away. Had it been a medium, I would have taken a Loper projectile to the hips.

I fired back in rapid succession, bearing toward my assailants. The shooter that hit my pizza and two others fell. The fourth skidded to a halt. It turned to shout at those carrying the family but couldn’t finish its guttural sentence before I hit it in the shoulder.

The kidnappers seemed to get the picture.

They heaved the bag of humans into the front van. I heard muffled grunts from at least five individuals. The Lopers then tried to board. I picked one off before my weapon clicked, forcing a rearm cycle.

I had 15 seconds.

I sprinted toward the rear van on a hunch. I heard the engine of the front vehicle fire up just as I opened the rear door of my van. These things were good. It looked like the back of a mobile hoarder’s hoard-mobile. I didn’t need in anyway. I just held the door so it wouldn’t swing out and waited.

The van lurched. My fingertips slid precariously as I hung on. My railgun grew heavy in my hand and there was a click. I was back.

Then the van stopped. The doors opened. I had guessed right. They forgot they were tethered to the rear van without someone to drive it. It was dead weight.

I went around the passenger side first, but ducked back as silver bolts lifted pavement. That one had quick reflexes. I reached my hand around and fired suppression. I heard a guttural bark and figured it was a four-letter word.

The end of the weapon of the driver appeared around the van just then. I lifted my pizza shield and caught a blast at point-blank range.

Again. Lucky. The pizza was cheese only. The food release did what it was supposed to. The energy was absorbed and pushed towards the outside of the bag, allowing me to move in.

I knocked its weapon to the side and kicked out. I caught it between two massive gray legs. There was no effect.

Then I remembered I had a rail gun. Rail gun equals win. And I won.

I turned back to the passenger side and found myself staring down the barrel of the weapon of the last Loper standing.

Why it didn’t fire right then, I’ll never know. The last thing I saw was its beady black eyes widening when it saw the logo on my cap. Then a skillet rang out in the twilight air as it connected with the Loper’s head. It collapsed.

From around the vehicle came a teenage Latina holding the tortillera in her hand.

“Are you ok?” she asked.

I looked around the van and saw the family filing out of the van. Mother, father and two other children, including the toddler from before. They were rubbing wrists and heads, banged and bruised in the jostle of the bag.

“I’m fine,” I said. I lifted my left arm to examine the pizza. The straps had secured it, but it was in no shape to eat.

Muchas gracias, amigo,” the father said as they all came to meet up.

The tortilla skillet rang out again and I looked down. The teenager had smacked the Loper again.

“He moved,” she said with a shrug.

“It’s male?” I thought.

“What did they want with you, anyway?” I asked the father. He picked up the toddler.

He spoke to the teenager in Spanish before he found out I was bilingual. I let her translate.

“They came to deport us,” she said.

I snorted. “This is America. They can’t deport anybody from a planet that isn’t theirs,” I said. “Silly critters.”

The family looked at each other. Their eyebrows raised. The mother shrugged at the gaze of the husband.

“Well, pleasure to be of service,” I said. I discharged the load on the rail gun and turned toward my vehicle. I had another pizza to deliver.

“Wait,” the teenage Latina said.

I turned back. The dying rays of sun glinted off my nametag. The smell of cheese wafted out from my shield.

“What’s your name?”

The whole family was watching me. They all wanted to know.

I reached up and tipped my hat.

“RI,” I said. “Now, be careful out there.”

---------------------------

This is an entirely fictitious account of a real story that happened never. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

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