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Robot Emissary

by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson

A huge spaceship appeared over the city one morning, much to everyone’s surprise. Some feared it, many of whom had seen ID4 and knew what happened every time a huge spaceship appeared over a city. Others calmly awaited whatever message it would bring.

The ship hovered above the city for over a week, scanning people at random, providing a topic for discussion and just keeping the rain off people’s heads.

People had become rather bored with it when it finally did something:

A huge door opened underneath the ship and a platform descended, carrying one man. A man. The media was on it immediately and came swarming in.

It was a completely normal man, caucasian, average height, average weight, wearing average clothes; not frightful or alien in any way.

The man came down to earth on his platform and, once the media had set up to hear him speak, he spoke:

“Good day, people of this city. I am a robot emissary, built to look non-threatening to you. We have studied you for many decades through the media you send into space and have finally decided to see what you are really like, as a people.

“We feel there may be business opportunities in it for the both of us, since we can live on each other’s worlds. We are willing to trade you some technology for a large enough supply of whiskey so you can come and meet us too. There are already people back on our planet planning hotels for prospective tourists. We will monitor your media for reactions.” The man smiled and ascended into the ship again.

And it was not long before the speculation began:

“Why did the alien choose to be a white man? Could it be they are racist?”

“And a man? Why did they pick a man? Perhaps they are sexist as well?”

“They have been spying on us for years! That means they have no regard for privacy!”

“They can live on our world. That means that hotel deal of theirs is just a cover. They secretly want to take over the world! Everybody who goes to their planet will be replaced by a robot man like we saw there, that will be sent back to soften us up before the invasion.”

“They want to trade technology for whiskey? Why are they promoting alcoholism in children? Don’t they know alcohol is the leading cause of death in children? Don’t they ever think of the children?“

“They want to open up a hotel here on earth? An alien hotel, full of whiskey-swilling aliens! Do we really want our planet to turn into one giant Ibiza?”

“Venture capitalists from space!”

“Yes, we know they are proud and think themselves very high and mighty but... do they believe in Jesus?”

After another week the spaceship drifted out of the atmosphere and disappeared. It was never seen again.

Copyright © 2009 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson

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