or read the latest words below this line:
At once a green light filled the room and then compressed into a single white beam that scanned each of our bodies. Two words appeared in the air before us. In front of me it said “Earther” and in front of Sarah it said “Elucidite” but both words were written in Elucidae script which was sort of like a combination of Sanskrit and coffee rings. Earth has coffee. Yes, of course it does. They’re all so nervous all the time there. Planet full of workaholics. Went from a farming planet to a technologically advanced world in in just a couple of hundred trips around their sun. Couldn’t have done that without coffee.
“What do those words say?”
“Species labels. Don’t worry.”
The word “Elucidite” was joined by red words: “molting period beginning.”
“Ah,” I said.
“What? What does that red stuff say?”
“It’s just the reason we came here for. That device there. That must be Elucidae tech. I’ve not seen it before but clearly, you know how it works.”
“Yes, of course. You just put the space carburetor where it belonged and–“
“Look–more red words!” she said pointing at them. I could read them, but before I could read them out loud, all of the words disappeared and were replaced by a green tinted three-dimensional, full-size hologram of a female and a male Elucidite. They had scales like an Earth lizard, but they were iridescent, and if memory served, quite soft until they get their dander up.
“Who… Mom and Dad?!?” Sarah gasped and put her hand to her open mouth. The two parents looked frozen in time. I assumed that it was just a capture and not a moving image. I smiled and put my arm around Sarah. Then the hologram began to move.
“Is it on?” the male asked in Elucidae.
“Yes, of course it’s on!” the female said.
“Oh, uh, English?” Sarah said as they continued talking to each other.
“Is there a dial or some sort of control? Wait–put your hand over the top of the fender part!”
She did as I suggested and they froze. Sarah kept waving her hand around but ultimately it only resulted in skipping the moving image back to the beginning and then forward to a part where they were speaking English.
“AH! But wait–I don’t want to miss anything!” She waved the moving image back to the beginning and let it go. We watched as they began bickering back and forth until finally, Sarah’s mom spoke English. “Of course, we’re going to do this in English.”
“Then let’s go!”
“Hello, our darling Sarah. If you are watching this video, it must mean that we’ve either gone missing or we’ve died.”
“Tell her how we know she’s watching.”
“You’re watching this because we’ve coded your DNA into the Elucidevice so that it will only turn on when you, personally, replace the carburetion component in the right position in order to get the flow of quantia from this thing’s old battery and the other stuff we’ve charged an earth battery with.”
“It’s called Electricity, honey.”
“I know it’s called electricity. I was just being folksy.”
I glanced over at Sarah to see her hand was still over her mouth but now her eyes were filling up with tears.
“You OK?” I asked moving my hand from her far shoulder.
“This is just them. It’s just them!”
I nodded as her parents continued.
“So why do you think we’re dead?” her dad asked.
“We should answer her more obvious question–“
“Oh yes, why aren’t we wearing clothes.”