MARTIANS, MONSTERS, AND PEPPERONI PIZZA
100 SPECULATIVE FICTION TALES
MICHAEL A. KECHULA
(The Big Swap)
Copyright 2012 By Michael A. Kechula, all rights reserved.
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This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and locations are fictitious or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or people is coincidental.
THE BIG SWAP
In January, 2011, ten thousand UFO sightings were reported in the U.S. The same month, over twenty thousand Americans reported they’d been abducted by Martians. After several days of captivity, all were returned to Earth. When questioned by the FBI, they claimed they were examined by strange-looking creatures, then shown to the Emperor of Mars. They said the Emperor spoke to them through translating machines. The Emperor boasted he would soon conquer Earth.
Considering the seriousness of the abductees’ statements, the government insisted they take lie detector tests. Results showed all had spoken the truth. Consequently, President Kirk was convinced that Martians would soon invade Earth.
During an emergency cabinet meeting, Kirk said, “I’m preparing a message for transmission to Mars to arrange a meeting with the Emperor. We must find a way to prevent interplanetary war.”
Kirk conferred with leaders of the Amalgamated Nations. All agreed with his conclusion and the content of the message he wanted to transmit to the Emperor. They selected Kirk to represent the interests of every nation on Earth.
Two hours after Kirk’s message was transmitted to Mars, he received a reply. The Emperor agreed to meet him in Roswell, New Mexico, site of the first Martian landing in America.
They met on the field where a Martian flying saucer crashed in 1947, killing its occupants. After an Army band played the national anthems of both planets, the Emperor laid a wreath to honor the aliens who died on that very spot.
“Let’s get down to business,” Kirk said. “I understand you intend to invade our planet. Why would you do such a thing?”
“I have no choice,” said the Emperor. “My astronomers discovered a comet twice the size of the Sun heading toward my planet. It will strike us and destroy everything. I must relocate all my subjects. Our surveys indicate that your planet would be best for us. I suggest you surrender now.”
“And if we do, what will happen to the billions that inhabit this planet?”
The Emperor didn’t answer.
A shaken but poker-faced President said, “Surrender is not an option. When will the collision occur?”
“In one hundred years, three months, two weeks, and five days. You can understand the need for us to occupy your planet very soon when you consider the logistical nightmare I’m faced with.”
“Instead of invading us, which would cause extensive bloodshed on both sides, let’s compromise.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Suppose we trade planets? Relocate all your subjects to Earth, and we’ll move our entire population to your planet.”
“You’d do that, knowing that my planet will be destroyed?”
“Yes. We’d have to borrow lots of your flying saucers to transport our people to your planet. To sweeten the deal, I’ll ensure that every building on Earth is left intact when we leave. That way, your subjects could move right in when they arrive. Think of the savings you’ll realize by avoiding construction costs. What do you have to lose? You’ll gain Earth, a planet that has a bright future, while we’ll face a dismal future and certain annihilation.”
“It’s a deal,” said the Emperor.
The Emperor became a hero to his subjects for obtaining such a fabulous concession from Earth. They snickered, calling Earthlings weak and stupid for giving up their beautiful planet without a fight.
In contrast, Kirk’s popularity plummeted 90%. Many around the globe said he’d made a lousy deal. Several attempts were made on his life.
Kirk appeared on TV to assure the world’s masses. “It’s not all that bad. True, we'll have to live in caves formerly occupied by Martians. That will take a bit of adjustment, considering their stench. And we'll have a hundred years to find a way to save our new home planet from destruction. With our intelligence and ingenuity, I’m sure we’ll find a way and live happily ever after.”
During the rest of 2011 and most of 2012, both planets undertook the massive project of swapping their entire populations.
On December 20, 2012, ceremonies were held on Mars and Earth to celebrate the successful end of the project.
The next day, President Kirk spoke on TV to all Earthlings now living on Mars.
“I’d like to thank all of you for your cooperation. The tremendously complex relocation project has been completed on schedule, on budget, and without casualties. On behalf of the Relocated Amalgamated Nations, I’d like to offer my profound thanks to the Emperor for his cooperation and for lending us thousands of flying saucers to transport our population to Mars. The leaders of the Relocated Amalgamated Nations and I wish to invite you to participate in a ceremony tonight, when we will salute our former planet for the last time. If you’ll participate in this historical event, please leave your caves at 7:45 and face in the direction of Earth. At exactly 8:00 PM, we’ll wave goodbye. Afterward, all government agencies will begin brainstorming sessions to figure out how we can save our new planet from destruction.”
At 7:45, Earthlings all across Mars left their caves to assemble for the ceremony.
A few minutes before 8:00, Kirk transmitted a final message to the Emperor, who now occupied the most beautiful palace on Earth. Kirk thanked him for avoiding war and conducting a peaceful swap.
The last line of the message said, “Your Highness, on this the twenty-first day of December, in the year 2012, I wonder if you ever heard of the Mayans and their prophecy about this very day?”
“Who were the Mayans?” asked the Emperor’s return message, as Earthlings were waving goodbye to Earth.
Suddenly, Earth exploded with a tremendous roar that was heard throughout the entire Solar System.
Raising his fist in defiance, Kirk said, “Well, as you just found out, the Mayans were a helluva lot smarter than you and your freakin’ astronomers.”
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