My chosen Earth name is Xiggy Stardust but my friends call me Xig. This is my story.
My home world is about 20 light-years from Earth. That means that TV broadcasts that are being aired right now won't reach my world for another 20 years. About 10 years ago, right around the time you guys were partying like it was 1999 (well, because it was!), me & my friends were watching your TV shows from the 80's yet. Out of all of the broadcasts we were receiving it was the shows from the USA that caught my attention the most. Amongst my friends I they were always joking that I knew more about American pop culture than our own.
There is, though, one little problem when watching broadcasts from a different world. Sometimes you can not tell which are meant for entertainment and which are documenting real life.
One of the shows that I would watch was Alf. It was a fascinating look at the life of a space traveler from Melmac who was stuck on Earth after crash landing and was forced to live amongst the native population. While the stranded traveler did his best to go on with life, and at times shared some jovial moments with his human hosts, he was often sad knowing that he would likely never get back home again.
One night, during a festive celebration of food & drink with my friends, I decided that was going to rescue Alf and return him home. I wasn't sure where exactly Melmac was but I figured Alf could tell me after we got there. Besides, it would give me a chance to check out Earth cultures up close. It took some convincing, and maybe even a little bribery, but soon I was able to convince my friends that we could "borrow" a light skiff cruiser from the local travel agency, head out to Earth, rescue Alf, maybe cruise over New York City or Los Angeles, find out where Melmac was, return Alf, head back home, and return the skiff before anybody noticed. A few days travel and we would end up with a heck of a story to tell our offspring one day.
Friends who will go with you on a galaxy hopping rescue mission to free a stranger? Now those are real friends.
So off we went. The skiff was a small vessel and only needed a few crew members; including those who just wanted a joyride there were about three dozen of us. Since we were planning on being gone for just a few days most of us packed pretty lightly. Some of the more paranoid guys on the other hand packed like they were going to be camping on Glirg for a few months and brought everything from a fews years supply of instant meals to enough firepower to supply the entire lunar brigades. These are the kinds of guys that humans would call "rednecks" or "jocks"... I call them "Grunts" since they display traits that could be attributed to both rednecks and jocks. We looked like an alien version of The Breakfast Club, with Grunts, Techs, Outsiders, and various others.
The trip to Earth went great. To be blunt, it was a giant party ship. I had some of my favorite Earth music blasting through all of the intercom systems, people were playing games, and everybody was in a good mood.
Then we got to Earth.
First problem was when we stopped of at Mars and found a few toys that NASA left behind. I think those guys are still angry at us for that one. But the real problem was when we got to Earth and it became apparent that I had no idea where exactly to find Alf. He was in the Northern Hemisphere in the territory known as the USA. How hard could it be? Yeah.
When the guys tapped into local communications networks to search for details on the locale of where to find Alf, they were not happy to find out that it was really an entertainment show and not for real. :erm: No problem, just a slight setback. I convinced them that it just meant more time for us to explore Earth.
The mood lightened up again when we got over to New York City. We think we may have set off some warning systems when we buzzed the Empire State building but took off before any human aircraft could catch up. I spent our time over New York tuning in to the local radio stations to freshen up my Earth music collection while some of the others snuck out into the city. If you are wearing a trenchcoat & hat at 2:00am local time, apparently nobody will even given you a second glance in that town.
Next up, Los Angeles! Instead of space-folding to get to the other coast we decided instead to fly in real-time so we could check out some of the sights that we would be flying over. Coming out of the North-East region it was a bit fascinating seeing the dense city lights slowly fade out to the rural middle. We made a few stops at a few farms for some pranks but those are stories for another day. By the time we reached the barren desert areas of the West we were looking forward to start seeing the city lights again from the West coast.
We never made it there.
It turns out that we had been noticed during our trip to New York and were being followed. The decision to fly in real-time allowed for us to be tracked through a combination of land-based radars stations and satellite based systems that aren't known to the public yet. From our quick scan of Earth technology we thought our skiffs navigation system would allow us to travel in the pockets of no radar coverage to avoid detection but we totally missed taking into account the satellite technology since it was not disclosed anywhere. Not good. Not good at all.
We flew right into the trap over the skies of Nevada. Unbeknownst to us some of the radar stations were purposely turned off to create a path with no coverage. Since we were trying to stay on that path we ended up flying a path that was chosen for us by the humans. Around the time we decided to stop off at Las Vegas the ship defense alarms started going off.
In a matter of minutes the situation went from warnings about airborne craft following us to imminent collision. In our panic we thought our best course was to take evasive action in the zone of no radar coverage. As we would find out later that was the worst thing we could have done since that zone was a preset trap. The skiff was not a military grade cruiser; it was a travel craft meant for sight-seeing. We had nothing to defend ourselves with. It was maybe the 3rd or 4th missile hitting the ship that sent us spinning out of control towards the ground.
By the time I regained consciousness I was already strapped to a gurney with a human over me attempting first aid. I could see some of the Grunts dropping the weapons they brought with them and were running for cover in terror. My obsession with Earth cultures allowed me to understand some of what the human was shouting to those around us. Since treating my people were unknown to him he had to make some assumptions on how to treat my wounds and guess at the rest. Feeling the pain on my right side, I slipped back into the black.
For the next several weeks I would be confined to the secure hospital ward at a facility referenced in movies & TV shows as Area 51. That is not the real name of the location, nor can I tell you what it is per my agreement with the humans, but it is now my home. Originally I was alone in my room so that the military teams could interrogate me. Area 51 is a joint effort between various military units and civilian units. Unlike what the movies I saw depicted, Area 51 is not a military fortress where people of my kind are immediately dissected. Instead of my fears coming coming true about being captured I instead found groups of humans who sympathized with me. Once the military teams realized that my group of travelers were not hostile I was moved to a larger room where I was reunited with several of my friends. The civilian units mostly took over from there.
I learned that the humans were actually aware of my people and had some interaction with prior visitors. There was no formal agreements in place between our two worlds, rather an informal relationship where both sides pledged to be non-hostile provided that notice of any future visitors was given. There were rumors of this back on my world and that is what we all thought they were, just rumors. My people had been visiting Earth for some time but always clandestinely; observe, not engage the humans. None of us on this fateful trip would have guessed that communications with humans had in fact been established.
When our ship was detected over New York the humans did not recognize the ship design since it was a newer type that was not part of any prior visits. Instead of reacting immediately they gave us some time to send out an agreed upon communications signal. Since our little "Free Alf" rescue mission was not exactly authorized we were never provided with the proper protocols for traveling to Earth. If our trip was authorized, or if we had not been so reckless, we could have found out that traveling to Earth involved turning on a communications signal upon arrival that, besides acting as a rescue beacon if need be back to our home world, it also send out communications signal to the humans. For us we were on a weekender road-trip; to the humans we were an unrecognized craft flying over a major city with no "Friend-or-Foe" communication signals being sent out.
Giving us the benefit of the doubt, the humans tried communicating with us but we weren't listening. It never occurred to us that not only were we spotted but somebody from Earth was trying to reach us. Our New York actions were pretty much uneventful so the humans allowed us to continue while closely following. The pranks with the cows on the Midwest farms, we learned, is what led to the humans into deciding that we may not be as friendly as they hoped. It was then that the trap with the radar stations was put into motion. For the record, we never harmed any cows or farmers but humans finding cows on the tops of their houses is not as amusing to them as it is to us.
The original plan by the humans was to corner us into a desolate area of the West so that they could make another attempt at communicating with us before taking any action. Unfortunately as we were flying around the country we were fascinated by some sites that included river dams used for power generating stations, military bases disguised as civilian installations, and large stadiums where sporting events where taking place. To us they were roadside attractions, to the humans we were doing reconnaissance. When our ship got to the target area, and we continued to ignore their communication attempts, they had little choice but to fire.
I mentioned earlier that it was the 3rd or 4th missile that actually brought us down. Turns out that the Grunts in our group responded to the first few missiles, which the humans meant as a warning, by panicking at the controls of the ship and caused us to veer into the direction of the military aircraft instead of away from it. That action led to the additional missile firings which were no longer warnings but targeted for us. How nobody was killed in the inevitable crash is an amazing feat in itself. What happened next makes it even more amazing that nobody died that day.
The Grunts that were still able to move decided to not attempt showing the humans that we were peaceful but instead to take up arms and started firing at the rescue aid teams that were rushing to our crashed ship. That's right, they were firing at rescue workers who were trying to help us. Fortunately for everybody that day the Grunts made a rather big mistake. The weapons they brought with them were particle separators that, when properly tuned into a target, fires a light pulse that breaks down a targeted object into its core elements. The tuning is the important part. Unless you tune the settings for the light pulse to operate on the proper wave length for the intended target then you end up just firing a light pulse at your target with no damage being done.
Now picture if you will the following scene: An unknown extraterrestrial craft crashes in the Nevada desert and as rescue workers & US Military swarm to the scene the beings from the ship are essentially shining flash lights at them as fast as they can. Off, on, off, on, off, on. The workers first on the scene are confused and think that the beings are trying to communicate with them so they grab their own flashlights from their vehicles and start flashing them back. The Grunts, realizing that their own weapons are doing nothing and now thinking that the humans are returning fire, drop their weapons and run screaming like a youngling to the nearest thing that they can hide behind.
It was at that point that I had briefly regained consciousness. To this day I wish I had seen the whole thing. I think that sight alone would have almost made up for being stuck on Earth. :rotflmao: There are rumors that some video might exist but the military units won't release it.
For the first few years on Earth I worked with the humans at Area 51 working on our communications and, well, just getting to know each other. For my Earth name I chose "Xiggy Stardust" in reference to David Bowie, one of my favorite Earth music selections that I would listen to back home. They allowed us to go through what remained of our ship and tried to help us restore our communications gear but there was just too much damage. Until our people came back to Earth and made contact with the humans, or until human technology advanced enough to repair our equipment, it was clear... we were stuck on Earth.
Slowly we were given more liberties. We made an agreement with the humans that in return for not trying to escape the base that they would allow us to live & work in relatively independence. Except for a few incidents by some of the Grunts we have been honoring that agreement. Under their watchful eye we were given limited access to the internet so that we could learn more about Earth and the people that inhabit it. For me this was great! Our knowledge of Earth was about twenty years behind so I was able to learn & see how pop culture changed between then & now. There was a lot to learn and some I still don't understand.
Within our little community we soon settled in normalcy. I immersed myself into the world of the internet to the point where I was taking part in forum discussions with the humans having no idea of my real identity. For a few years I even provided support for a discussion forum named Alien Soup. When the owner asked if I could help out with some graphics I don't think he imagined that I would use some drawings of me & my friends! When the original "Alien Soup" closed down I found a new home over at "Cool Sci-Fi". After getting to know the owner
over there a bit he brought back the Alien Soup
mantle and asked me to come aboard to provide tech support for all of his web sites & projects. I think I'll be adding some new graphics to the sites as I go; my Friday night bowling team is already volunteering to pose for pictures.
So there you have it, the story of Xiggy Stardust. An alien obsessed with US pop culture that crashed on Earth while trying to rescue Alf who spends his days surfing the internet waiting for the day when him & his fellow travelers can go back home.