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First Contact

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Julie woke up to find an alien in her room.

She blinked. She rubbed her eyes. She put on her glasses. The thing was still there. A bright green cylinder with two large brown wheels and, she realised, big brown eyes staring at her.

She yawned.

"What on earth are you, then?" she muttered, throwing back the covers. "Looks like Dave's having fun with me again... or are you a new craft project?"

"Greetings, earthling!" the alien said.

"Holy crap!" Julie yelled, and flung herself out the other side of her bed.

She lay on the floor of her bedroom and thought. Then she sat up and turned to the thing.

"You're just something Dave brought home to freak me out, aren't you? Some new animatronic thing from uni, and I fell for it! Stupid! Alright, let's have a look at you."

She rose, vaulted her bed, and approached the alien.

"I mean you no harm!" the alien said.

"Oh, good!" said Julie with a touch of sarcasm. "Just here to scare the bejeesus outta me, huh?"

"I would not like to scare Bee-Jesus out of you," the alien said. "Is he essential to your well-being?"

Julie frowned. This animatronic thingummy was good. Too good.

"They wouldn't let Dave bring something like this home," she said, "Did he steal you?"

"I am here of my own free will!" the alien said.


Julie pushed past the alien, grabbed her dressing gown, and walked down the hall to the kitchen. Her two flatmates were sitting at the table, looking hungover and miserable.

"Morning boys!"



"Coffee?" she asked.



"Nice toy you left in my room, where'd you steal it from?"

"Huh?" said Dave,

"The alien - cute! Although everyone knows aliens wouldn't evolve with wheels, it's the whole separated-parts thing..."

"What you raving on about? My head hurts."

"Wow, you don't even remember doing it?" she asked and laughed, "You two musta been drunk last night, for sure. Well, you'd better get it back to wherever you lifted it, it looks expensive!"

Dave scowled and got up, then shuffled down the hall to her bedroom.

"ARGH!" they heard him yell.

"Jules..." Graeme said slowly, "I remember everything from last night, and we did not steal anything... let alone put it in your room. Really. We got home and watched a vid and crashed."

He gestured to the loungeroom, where the remains of a couple of pizzas and bottles of drink lay quietly festering.

"Then... where'd the robot come from?"

He shrugged, then winced and put a hand to his head.

"Maybe it's really an alien!" he said, walking towards the bathroom.

"Ha - funny!" muttered Julie, and made herself a coffee.

As she sat at the kitchen table nursing a hot brew, Dave walked back up the hallway. He sat down, grabbed her mug and took a quick gulp.

"Jules, I'm... not sure that thing is a robot - if it is, it's a more advanced version than I've ever seen."

She frowned.

"You're saying... there's a world-class robot in my bedroom?"

"Or a real alien."

"Crap! I'm gonna need another coffee."

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