Illegal Aliens: The Science Fiction Collection Copyright © 2017 Toby Bain
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Welcome to Illegal Aliens: The Science Fiction Collection. Thanks in advance for taking the time out of your day to read this offering.
This is a collection of six science fiction short stories and probably the last for a while. Writing science fiction short stories takes a lot out of me. In the not too distant future the focus will be on novels. Why only six stories you may ask? Well, funny story. Well, not so funny actually. I had 14 stories slated for this collection but after a process of elimination and getting rather impatient, I decided to put the ones I thought were worthy of the collection. The other eight stories are on the back burner for a time to be determined.
Please note, as an indie writer I have a very small team of proofreaders and editors. They are great, but there may well be the odd mistake. However, there does come a time when you just have to publish. The great thing about eBooks is that nothing is set in stone. Mistakes can be corrected, stories edited. Therefore, if you come across anything, let me know and I will make appropriate corrections. These may not happen overnight so please be patient. Did I mention we’re a small team?
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It had been a while since the spacecraft hovered over the dwarf planet of Vorgas, hesitantly touching down outside its sole space terminal. The holographic welcoming committee lining the walkways had long since completed their programmed spiel, imploring visitors to help the planet’s economy by visiting all the sights and to not just stay in their rooms.
It had been a while since Sian Plexico was this pissed off. What was it about being a lone female travelling the universe that gave men the notion it was fine to crack jokes or pry into every aspect of her life?
Like the other tourists, Plexico had floated down the craft’s force field onto solid ground around half an hour ago. Patrol guards had let every passenger through the security checkpoint, comprising no more than a couple of dim-witted Vorgassian patrol guards in bright white suits and grey ties. However, these two were more than enough to block the narrow humped-back bridge leading from the landing area to Orgam City Space Terminal.
They had let everyone through. Everyone except Sian Plexico. They carried laser guns, meaning they could end Plexico’s life with a verbal command to the weapon or by manually pulling the trigger. They were smoking something that smelled of the lavender she used to plant in her garden back on Terra. With an unsubtle touch indicative of bad breeding, they had thrown their cigarette butts over the handrail that spanned both sides of the bridge, tossing them into the waters of the moat surrounding Orgam City Space Terminal. According to what she’d read, the moat was a “deterrent to illegal immigration.” Plexico wanted to tell them that the seven-day drip to Vorgas was deterrent enough.
Plexico had reluctantly handed over her passport several minutes ago, yet the two Vorgassians were still turning it over in their hands. Doing so in such a way that Sian Plexico knew they were pretending to look at it while they made their decision on whether to let her enter the planet.
Going against her nature, she held her tongue against such provocation, inhaling the calming scent of lavender while waiting. Such calm didn’t last long.
‘Why have I been singled out for this treatment?’ she asked. ‘There were several hundred people on board the spacecraft. None of them are still here.’
‘Routine baggage check,’ said one of the security guards.
‘What?’ asked Plexico, adjusting the translation chip in her ear. She looked from one Vorgassian to the other.
The two guards could have been twins. Like all Vorgassians, they had wrinkled grey skin and were plump with wide noses. They looked like a failed experiment between humans and elephants.
Plexico thought about bursting across the small bridge towards the terminal. These guys were much shorter than her. She’d taken out tougher criminals in her line of work back in London’s West End. Then she imagined a hot, sharp laser slicing through her body.
‘Routine baggage check huh.’ Plexico scoffed, her anger rising.
‘We don’t get many single women travelling to Vorgas. What’s the nature of your visit, Miss Plexico?’
A smirk rose on each of their faces, creasing the grey wrinkles further. Plexico said nothing. From their knowing tones, the question was purely rhetorical. They handed back her passport. Despite all the technological advances made in the universe, some planets still required pieces of paper for inter-planetary space travel.
‘Well, Miss Plexico? Why exactly are you here alone?’ They laughed openly now. She didn’t want it to come to this, not unless it really had to. With a sigh she whipped out her ID card.
‘That’ll be Agent Plexico to you two creeps.’
They took the card and passed it among themselves. ‘No need to get nasty. Just doing our jobs. You could’ve told us you are an intergalactic bounty hunter. We’d have let you straight through. On business then?’
She nodded. A lack of sleep and these two clowns had taken their toll. She just needed to lie down. She hoisted her rucksack across her shoulders. However, the two Vorgassians stood their ground.
‘After anyone famous?’ they asked in unison.
‘Maybe. Won’t be here long. It’s just a routine pit-stop while I wait for the next flight to Gurga.’
The aliens sighed in relief. They couldn’t understand how a fugitive could get into Vorgas undetected. Gurga, now that was a different story.
They stepped aside. At last she could see a clear path over the bridge to the main terminal. As she walked off, they called after her in unison, ‘We hope your stay on our lovely planet is a fruitful one.’
Plexico tossed her head in the air and began to walk. Just across the bridge, near the main terminal doors, a pop band appeared. The soft strains of Sexual Healing, the ancient Margin Gaye song that had become something of an anthem to the planet, filled her ears. Though the forms of the singer and the rest of the band looked as solid as the terminal in the background, it was as she walked up to them and then through them that their true nature was revealed. As she entered the terminal the music stopped. She turned around. The band had disappeared.
She felt relieved and refreshed, even felt in a rather forgiving mood. The guards, foolish though they were to stop her, were drawn to the novelty of seeing a lone Terran female. Usually visitors to the pleasure capital of the galaxy wanted to enjoy the experience with a partner. Sian Plexico enjoyed flying solo. She forgave them because Sian Plexico had done something she hated doing: she had lied.
The trip to the hotel by hovertaxi had been pleasant.
Orgam City, like all of planet Vorgas, was covered by 99 percent water. In spite of the obvious challenges, the aliens had built the city – its roads, houses and offices – on top of the cerulean blue liquid.
During the journey, Sian had pressed her face against the porthole windows of the hovertaxi, in awe of the granite metropolis of skyscrapers anchored to the water. It was strange to think the only smoke came from cigarettes and the plumes of steam spewing out of the buildings and the surrounding hovertaxis. Vorgassians were paranoid about pollution so they forbade electricity some time ago, harnessing water energy and embracing zero-emission technology. Even the hovertaxi in which she travelled would be thoroughly inspected every month to insure it didn’t infringe the 0.01% pollutant emissions quota. The things people can learn on a seven-day flight from Terra, she mused.
The taxi touched down in a concrete space opposite a golf course. While big on anti-pollutants, the natives thought nothing of exporting the carved landscape of other planets for the sake of tourists.
None of this interested Plexico. She needed to unwind. Only when she’d scanned the bellboy’s tip card and closed the door of the hotel room was she able to revel in aloneness for the first time in a week. A seven-day flight with all manner of creatures and their alien habits can drive a person crazy.
Prior to spotting the control unit and headset on the bedside table, her eyelids were heavy on the verge of shutting down for several hours. The brochure was right, she mused. The hotel did have VSX101 machines as standard.
‘Can’t sleep now…’ she told herself. ‘…must try out the best thing to come out of Vorgas since…’ she held that thought and reached for the control unit and headset. The headset fit snugly, its sensors adjusting to her skull, locking suction pads onto various portions of her cerebrum. She’d learned this on her travels too, learned far too much about the VSX101.
The control unit’s display had instructions in a variety of languages, none of which she needed. A voice in the headset welcomed her to the machine. It automatically read her gender, age and her body type. It came with 25 pleasure settings – from a relaxing massage to constant orgasms. She turned the dial to level one. ‘Tickles,’ she laughed. Gradually she worked the control unit to the highest level. A week of celibacy had taken its toll. Vorgas, the birthplace of virtual sex machines, did not allow tourists to bring their own machines, not even on the spaceship. They saw it as an affront, for Vorgas created the most powerful machines.
The soft tickling sensation throughout her body steadily increased, focusing its concentrated charge on the pleasure zones all over her body. She lay back on the bed and writhed in pleasure. It felt like the perfect lover, touching her in all the right places with just the right level of intensity. The machines on Vorgas definitely promoted more powerful orgasms than the weak imported machines on Terra.
An hour later, something happened. The orgasms, transferred so freely throughout her body, dried up, reduced to a soft tickle. Sian Plexico wasn’t one to believe all good things come to an end. She bashed the control unit in frustration.
She called room service. A female, bloated grey thing, like a baby elephant without the trunk, waddled into the room. The enduring myth about Vorgas is they invented VSX machines because no one wants to have sex with each other. They figured they might as well have great sex with themselves instead. The Vorgassian specimen before her didn’t help quell the myth.
‘My VSX100 isn’t working.’
The Vorgassian inspected the control unit for a few seconds before tossing it on the bed. ‘Nothing wrong with it.’
Plexico sprung from the bed. ‘Then you try it,’ she said, jerking the headset off, feeling the probes loosen from her skull. The Vorgassian inspected the headset, averting her gaze from Plexico’s icy gaze.
At first she refused to accept the challenge. Under the weight of Plexico’s stare, she caved. ‘OK,’ she said, with defiance in her voice. The dial was on five for a minute before the Vorgassian began to shake, her face contorting. Plexico yanked the control unit away and turned the machine off. She didn’t want Vorgassian juices all over the room, especially as both the female and male ejaculation reportedly smelled like rotting fish.
While the Vorgassian composed herself, Plexico snatched the headset back. ‘Why doesn’t it work for me?’
The creature brushed a hand against her flushed grey face and gave a polite cough. ‘May I suggest you give the machine a rest? Level twenty-five is supposed to be used once a day for two hours, maximum. Usually that’s more than enough for Terrans. The data on the control unit suggests it has been used for twice as long as the recommended dose.’
Plexico cracked her knuckles. The Vorgassian backed off towards the door. ‘In your case, maybe it can be used every twelve hours…if you can wait that long.’ The hotel employee wrenched open the door. ‘Maybe you’ve developed immunity to the VSX101.’
‘You have anything stronger?’
The Vorgassian nodded, and then shook her head. In Vorgassian terms this meant both yes and no. A stronger machine was in the testing phase, but wouldn’t be released for a while. Plexico grabbed a vase from the bedside cabinet and hurled it at the door. ‘That’s no good to me!’
‘That’s a hundred credits for the vase. Two hundred for the bed. I see you’ve buckled the bedframe.’ The Vorgassian quickly shut the door, just as the machine flew into the door. ‘That’s another five hundred credits,’ came a muffled shout.
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You think you have problems? Meet Sian Plexico. She’s arrives on planet Vorgas with noble intentions. However, she hasn’t arrived alone. The demons of her addiction are her baggage. Unfortunately, Vorgas – the birthplace of virtual sex machines – is a demon’s paradise. From the moment she arrives the honourable purpose of her visit is under threat. As events continue to conspire against her, an unlikely source comes to her rescue, giving Plexico’s virtual sex life exactly what it needs: a reality check.