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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Image Recognition

All necessary translations have been made

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The spaceship landing was pro forma, in a semi-rural area, amongst mid-level to low-level locals, in other words, among the most vulnerable. To celebrate a soft landing here on Earth, the alien crew shook hands in the old-fashioned human way, tight grip, prolonged stare into the eyes, discrete hand wipe on the pants leg, then sat down to exchange unpleasantries, and plan their attack.

“My vision apparatus is a little unsteady in this corporal manifestation.” Attaché Rubidiumo complained as he poked at his headset with one prong. “It’s misaligned.” Not my job, no-nose, thought Diplomatic Lead Tantalusa smugly. She was unwilling to assist him for fear of his sidling up past her on the ladder of success. Let him muddle in it, she thought unkindly.

“Don’t worry about it, you won’t be earthbound long,” Tantalusa said aloud to Rubidiumo. “In and out, it will be an easy grab and go, errr ahhh, a quick gift and get out of town. Are you sure you have what you need?” She asked insincerely. She was continuously cynically amused by her blundering crewmate, and wondered what his next faux pas would be.

“Well, yeah, I’ve got the goods, and I’ve got the form.” Replied Rubidiumo, and he stalked about in his manifestation as a silvery-white godlike form.

Tantalusa could barely hold back a smirk. “Are you sure that’s the form you want to go with?” She felt obligated to at least give him a clue, thinking grudgingly—After all this is a new type of mission, still in development. Why, we haven’t even named our spaceship yet.

“Well, yeah. I did the research, and this image is all over the planet. They have at least one of these images in every public building, must be some kind of god, or something.” Rubidiumo was miffed, he resented having his judgment questioned. He knew Tantalusa held him in contempt, and it pleased him to think she was also somewhat threatened by him.

Tantalusa settled back and watched Rubidiumo exit the spaceship. She chuckled to herself, That is one funny fellow, what a sad sack. They always assign the oddball characters to my crew. Well, this should be entertaining. And, she flipped on the exterior surveillance monitor.

Rubidiumo trudged out the spaceship hatch and down the plank, where he was confronted by a testy crowd of—what was it they call themselves? Oh, yeah, humans. Funny name since they called their planet Earth, shouldn’t it be Earthlings? But nooo, that was just a joke to them. Do they take anything seriously? Rubidiumo’s vision apparatus continued to slip slide around his godlike head, and a malfunction the maintenance team had missed rendered the sunlit landscape a nauseous, extra-spectral pink. Irrelevant. This was a task—what was the proverb? Oh, yeah, this was a task a monkey could handle in a barrel.

Hours of hard work later, Rubidiumo felt sooo inept. If he had been human he would have pulverized something with frustration. As it was he trudged back up the plank into the spaceship, and sullenly plunked down next to Tantalusa. I don’t think this is even worth doing, who cares about these idiots or their stuff? Anyway, let her figure it out, he whined to himself. He maintained a stoic posture as he wondered why the humans had pelted him with every type of artillery and insult at their disposal, persisting long after reason should have told them his shielding was impenetrable. They had NOT liked his manifestation form. They had certainly not sent out their leader for an intergalactic meeting of the minds. They had seemed offended. They had fired weapons. Thugs had jeered and taunted. “Outhouse Get Out.” There I was, decked out as their most prevalent god. I was prepared to offer them comfort and the illusion of a special afterlife with me. I was prepared to let them worship me, to receive their most precious offerings, to accept their sacrifices, to grant indulgences for their puny, little human sins, and what did they do? They pooh-poohed the whole thing. Instead of taking the goods, they did not believe in me, they had contempt, and they were disdainful.

Hummm, mused Tantalusa with ill-concealed light-heartedness as she pondered the spectacle she had witnessed on the monitor, apparently Rubidiumo had blundered into culturally sensitive territory, the toilet facilities. Good to know. Tantalusa thought long and hard, she did a little more research. Day had passed into night when she strode out to greet and meet the locals herself, taking a backup crew with new goods she was certain the Humans would like. Tantalusa felt the plumes of her manifestation toss above her head, charged with electric excitement. Ummm, sexy. She was certain that the humans would absolutely love her manifestation, moola with sexed up feathers on top. These humans are heavy huge into image recognition. It was hard-wired into them. The humans would take one look at her materialization, their brain’s right middle fusiform gyrus would fire irresistibly, and they would run begging to see what she offered.

Later, back onboard ship Tantalusa reported a successful mission. “Well, I gave them what they want. They’re ours now.” Tantalusa said.

“Oh!?!?” Exclaimed Rubidiumo, who had not even bothered to monitor the monitor. “What did you give them?”

“Money, money, money.” Tantalusa sang out.

“Huh, where did you get it?” Rubidiumo asked.

“Just printed it, that’s what those porcine podgers do.” Tantalusa replied nonchalantly.

And, off they launched into the dark of night. This galaxy was full of economies to crash, and now that they had a plan, they were just the ones to crash them. They named their spaceship the Moola Marauder, and made plans to circle back later to pick the piggy bank.

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This work is copyright protected. It is a work of fiction. Incidents, places, and names (especially those of alien entities) are products of the author/artist’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, here or there, is purely coincidental.

Caption: Attaché Rubidiumo Materialized In A Form

He Thought Humans Would Recognize

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2017

Caption: Diplomatic Lead Tantalusa Materialized In A Form

She Thought Humans Would Like

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2017

Caption: Moola Marauder-Day Landing

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2010

Caption: Moola Marauder-Night Launch

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2010

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