Saucer Fleet 7

Dept. Of Exo-Acquisition
Colloquially: “The Junkman’s Bureau”
3:00am Sol-3 Polar Standard Time

“Yeah… so do you speak German?” T scratched his stubble and tapped on the screen in front of him.

“What’s German?” Z was back getting a cup of chicory for both of them.

T shrugged. “Some language from six levels down the Stack. That’s what the Interface says.”

“What are we speaking?”

Diné bizaad. It’s literally the best language for discussing interdimensional substrate changes in the tenser grid.”

Z handing T his chicory and set hers down, spilling some on the controls. Wiping it off with her sleeve, she stirred the cup with a sugar cane frond. She frowned. “It doesn’t sound like we’re talking Diné bizaad.”

“Yeah… that’s probably interphasic resonance. We’ve probably got a couple of doubles over there.” T pointed at the screen.

On it was a fleet of flying saucers, seven thousand strong.

“That them?”

T nodded, sipped his chicory. “Yup.”

A speaker crackled and came to life. “Wir kommen in Frieden.” Clipped tones, very military.

Z pressed a button on the controls. “You’re going to have to try a little harder, buddy. We don’t speak…” She released the button and looked over at T “What are we speaking?”

T looked at the Interface. “English.” He did a double take. “Wow. What a weird language.”

Z pressed the button again. “English.”

“Ich sprechen ein bisschen Englisch.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Z released her button and grimaced at her chicory. “Ugh. This cup is crap. Did you wash out the filter?”

T shook his head with a grin and took a big sip.

“Wir kommen… We come… in peace.”

Z smiled. “Well, I certainly hope so, buddy, because we’ve got the entire planetary defense grid pointed at your little saucer fleet.”

“Können wir verhandeln? Negotiate?”

“Sure! First things first. Do you know where you are?”

“Not… exactly.”

“Well, you’re at the bottom of the Stack. The sinkhole at the bottom of the universe.”

T pulled Z’s hand off the button. “Should we be telling them that?”

Z shrugged. “What are they going to do? Report us? Everyone of importance is pretty much up-Stack exploring or vacationing.”

T sighed. “Point taken.”

Z pushed the button again. “So where are you from?”

“Wir sind Saucer Flotte 7 aus dem ewigen Reich. The… Forever Reich.”

“The Forever Reich. That sounds ominous. Are you one of those empires founded by…” Z turned to her co-worker. “T, what’s that dude who keeps dropping down here?”


“Are you one of those Hitler analogues?”

“Hitler? Der Maler von ‘Campbells’s Soup Cans?’”

“English, please.”

“The… painter? You are referring to the painter of the famous ‘pop-art’?”

“Different guy. When did your Reich start? Second World War or first?”

“Zweiter Weltkrieg? How many World Wars have you had?!”

“Seven. Don’t avoid the question.”

“The Forever Reich rose under Kaiser Wilhem II”

“So no brush mustaches? No mass-killing?”

“Why would we kill new… citizens after such a terrible war? The Pax Germanica offers peace to all.”

“That’s nice to know. You’re not looking to expand to other dimensions, are you?”

“No. One is enough.”

“Well, that’s a good start. What brings you to the junkyard at the end of the multiverse?”

“We are… ein bisschen verloren. A little lost.”

“Let me guess. Attempted warp drive?”

“Woher wusstest du das? How…?”

“Did I know? Bit of a story. Alien colony ship tried to settle in our system sometime in the late Cretaceous period about 60 million years ago. Accidentally messed up their warp drive calibration a few hundred years after landing and that had, oh, a few consequences.”

T snickered. “That’s an understatement.”

Z ignored him. “Blew their colony planet up. That’s the fifth planet in the system that you might not have noticed because it’s a big old asteroid field now. Blew a hole in the multiverse at least 3 stacks up. I can’t imagine what the folks higher up the chain think what happened. And we became the sinkhole. Stuff kind of pours in from other dimensions.”

T kicked back in his chair. “Which we collect for profit.”

Z snorted, amused. “Other people’s profit.”

T playfully smacked her on the shoulder. “At least we get dental.”

Z chuckled. “So that’s our story. You’re stuck in another dimension. What do you want? To go home?”


“Well, we could hook you up with the library. Our library is completely amazing.”

“Vielleicht könnten wir mit einem Bibliothekar treffen?” There was a pause as the speaker struggled to translate. “Maybe meet with a librarian?”

“You don’t meet with the librarians! You just put in a request. I mean, at any given time, at least a quarter of them are vampires.”

“Blutsauger?! Warum brauchst du Vampirbibliothekare?!?”

T sighed. “Yeah. We need them to control the aliens.”

Z cut in. “Those bozos never really fully left. We’ve got some on Mars, Venus, Planet X. Real pain.”

“Lieber Gott! Du bist verrückt!”

Z poked T to refill their cups. He trundled off. “So, listen up. Here’s the deal. We’ve got a lot of needs, given the angelic visitations, sasquatch migrations, loch monsters. All that crap. What we need is a little quid pro quo. We give you access to the library, you give us something in return.”

“What…” the speaker was hesitant. “–did you have in mind.”

T came back in, hot cups in hand, and set them down gently. Z still managed to bump hers, spilling a little bit onto the controls and T’s hand.

Z elbowed him. “Now listen up. Because this is important.” She smiled, like a cat ready for a meal. “So…” She looked over at T.

T frowned, trying to catch up. Z was always good for spotting a profit. Then, he smiled, turned to the Interface and searched the Stack directory for the Hitler analogues.

“About these paintings you mentioned earlier. The pop-art. About how many originals do you think you can get your hands on?”

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