"So nobody else knows we have superpowers? Or that we stole a battletank?"
Flenson regarded Max from across the table. "No, just me and the crews of the tank and the shuttle. I gave explicit orders that nobody was to report back to the battlestation. Nobody else in the galaxy knows."
"Well, I guess that gives us some sort of an advantage. We're going to need all the help we can get."
"Help doing what?" asked Cora, although she had an uneasy feeling that she already knew what the answer would be.
"Taking out the battlestation," replied Max. I don't see what other choice we have. If all the capsules had made it and there were a lot more of us, then maybe we could mount some sort of a defence here on Earth. But what can four of us do? Float at them? Let them shoot us until they get tired?"
"I can do a whole lot more than that to them," growled Mel.
"Yes, we can kick some butts. But how many butts? A hundred? A thousand? How many are enough to win the war? I'm guessing it's a whole lot more than we can manage. So my vote is we cut the head off the snake. Take out that battlestation and hopefully the invasion will fall apart. Or maybe it won't - how the hell would I know? This is my first go at saving the world."
"Taking out the battlestation sounds good," said Cam. "The only question is, how do we do it?"
Max grinned lopsidedly at him. "No idea. My plan consists of the captain here getting us on board and then just kind of winging it."
"Winging it?" asked Cora, incredulously. "You're going to invade the military headquarters of an alien race who are massively technically superior to us and then wing it? OK, so supposing that brilliant part of the plan comes off and you manage to take out the station, how are we going to get off it first?"
"Firstly, have you forgotten the winging it thing? Secondly, there's no 'we' here. You're not coming."
Cora absorbed this. Her lips compressed into a thin, pale line. She thought We'll see about that.
Max absorbed absorbed Cora's expression. His face became anxious. He thought Oh crap.
Fortunately, EJ chose this moment to speak up. "Actually guys, there may be another way to stop the invasion."
"We're all ears," said Max.
"What? No you're not. At most you're two percent ears, maybe a touch more if you include the auditory...wait, is this sarcasm? No, it's irony, isn't it? Or is it-"
Max shook his head, wearily. "EJ, shut up. It just means we're listening. What's the other way? Tell us."
"Oh, right. In that case I'm all mouth."
"You're all something," muttered Mel.
EJ chose to ignore this, partly because although he suspected he'd just been insulted, he wasn't entirely sure but also because Mel freaked him out just a little bit. Being freaked out freaked him out as well. C'mon EJ, get a grip. Hmm, where did that saying come from? A grip on what? What would I do with whatever it is when I gripped it? Stop thinking about sayings! Get a hold of yourself. Huh? But how can I get a hold on myself? I'm a hologram. Maybe if-
The others watched on as EJ sat in silence, his face working its way through an impressive variety of puzzled frowns and questioning grimaces.
"Um - EJ?" prompted Cora, gently.
"The other way to stop the invasion?"
"Oh yeah. Sorry about that, I was just having an internal monologue. Seems to be happening a lot lately. Do you guys ever have those?"
YOU ARE READING
The Four Baristas of the ApocalypseScience Fiction
In the Earth's darkest hour, unexpected heroes are stirring. Stirring their coffee, that is. When aliens invade, four baristas on a camping trip hardly seem the most likely saviours of the world. But thanks to a hologram with no fashion sense, some...