Read an Excerpt
How to start, how to begin this story of the Little Green Men?
The answer is that I do not know, not really. I guess I have to give some background. Explain how things were and what they were like, before I can recount the events.
The world was a place filled with greed. The God that was worshipped was the almighty dollar. It was a place where the things that were important, were the material things. Power was the ultimate goal and gained through wealth. It seems absurd now, but without money a person had nothing. A poor person was thought of as an inferior person. This was not a straightforward equation, but generally the more money one had, the more important one was, in the human scheme of things. Those born in this day and age will not really believe the extent of this, but money and power were everything.
There is no need to dwell on this; it was the way things were. Each individual person was not particularly guilty of this as such, and there were those against it, but overall, as a collective, that is how we were.
Now, I was not a big fan of science fiction. Of course, I had seen the blockbuster films with aliens. I had seen many of the popular television shows. I was aware of the concept of life on other planets. It seemed to be too unlikely not to be true. I had a scientifically based education, so I knew it was more likely that there were aliens, than not. I even had a sort of fascination about it. However, the sci-fi stuff was always more for drama than the reality of the concept.
It was not really important; to be honest it was more of a curiosity. Due to probability, most knew therehad to be other life out there, there just had to be. However, we never had contact; there had never been a sign. So, to us, they did not exist.
If they were there, why had they not made contact? Well, I had my own views, one was that mankind was simply not ready to be allowed into the confidence of the aliens. I liked the idea that there was a whole universal federation of species out there, and they were waiting until we were developed enough to get into it. It even seemed plausible.
I remember the first story I heard about aliens, real aliens that is, not a movie or a television show, or whatever, but real aliens. It was when I was relatively young, I was told this real story about some astronomers, who, while observing the heavens discovered a signal. I remember that a woman, called Jocelyn Bell, made the actual discovery; she had been educated in Scotland. I think that is why my Scottish father told me.
Anyway, she had noticed this signal from the stars. It was periodic and was like a beacon. It was weird; it was very, very weird. It was certainly not natural. They were astonished by it and they called it LGM1, standing for Little Green Men 1. The reason for this name was because the fairy tale of aliens, where they were popularly portrayed as small green colored humanoids.
Anyway, the story was that the signal was periodic and from the heavens, although seemingly not random enough to not be artificial. I was fascinated, because at this point, I knew aliens had never been discovered, or communicated with, or anything. There had never been contact, and there was no evidence that there even might be anything. I think this is why I remember this story more than anything, because I was so aware that they did not exist. However, here was something simply unexplainable, and it was real.
Anyway, the researchers having seen this beacon from space, checked and rechecked that it was actually from outer space. They did not actually believe it was little green men, any more than I did, probably even less. Well, I was on the edge of my seat for the explanation.
The explanation, when it came, was slightly disappointing, an anticlimax. It turned out to be the discovery of the pulsar, or neutron star. It spins at a very fast rate and emits a signal. The spin is periodic and so what we see is a sort of regular beeping. I guess it is more complicated than that, but that is essentially it. Okay, the real story is the discovery of pulsars and not aliens, but it was the spark. That was the first time I actually remember being aware of alien creatures, maybe existing out there. It created the interest. The concept was something that occasionally fascinated me after that.
Anyway, I grew up and got a job. I was an IT professional. I was living in a town, north from the metropolis that was London. I worked in London itself, and my job was making sure the software for the automated banking accounts was free enough of errors to be sellable.
Even at that time, I did not think that the job was a vastly useful one, in the overall scheme of things. I knew that my working life was not as fulfilling as it could have been, but it was okay. It was paying the bills and I was getting a reasonably nice life out of it. The money, I was being paid, was definitely a nice part. I could buy this and that, and have what I wanted, to an extent.
I like to think that I have changed since then. I like to feel that I have learned my lessons from then. I hope I have. The main point is that I was a normal person; I was no worse, or better, than anyone else, not really. My name is Michael MacClean (pronounced MacClane) and I am just an ordinary person.
My family was originally from Scotland. I was actually born and had lived there until I was three. Then Dad got the move to London and we went south. I always felt an affinity for my parent's home country, although I do not think I could ever have considered myself actually Scottish. My family had all moved back to Scotland and I remained down in the south. I went to see them every couple of months. I mostly flew, since it was easier.
The only other member of my clan still in the south was my brother David, who lived and worked to the West of London, in Berkshire. He was younger but unlike me, had a wife and child.
On a personal level, I was living reasonably happily, doing my thing, having my little and mostly insignificant life.
I had a girlfriend, Bronwyn; we met through work, although she had moved onto another job, with more pay. She lived in the city itself, and her change of job did not change a huge amount between us. We were mostly in love; at least I think we were. It is so hard to tell what it was like in the past, how I felt about things, but I think I loved her. We were by no means the perfect couple, but I pretty much loved her, and I think she loved me. We had talked about marriage, it had been mentioned and we had both agreed to it, in principle.
We had talked about it several times and each time it seemed to get more serious. I knew and she knew, that it was only a matter of time before we actually got round to it.
My parents had met Bronwyn and mostly approved. I say mostly, because I am not completely sure, since all they said to me was that they thought she was great and lovely, and everything accordingly to their son bringing his girlfriend back home, and her not being terrible. They all seemed to get on, and generally speaking, the world was simple and my life was all mapped out for me.
Bronwyn and myself would probably get wed and stay in London. We would combine our incomes and get that joint house. At some point the children would come along and one of us would give up our job for a few years. Possibly her, since that is how things were. Whoever gave their job up, might have gone back to work. The children would go to playgroup, or we would get a babysitter or something. Who knows what actually would have happened, if the world had been allowed to go on, in that nice little way it was going.
Of course, things changed, and they changed in a way that is almost unimaginable. I cannot even come close to explaining how much it all changed, and how it felt.
I had a routine. I would get up at half past six every morning, and jump in the shower. From there I would grab some breakfast, often it was a bowl of cereal, or toast. I would rush out my house and take the fifteen-minute walk to the train station. From there I would get the train to London. I would arrive at work at just after half past eight in the morning.
The work would get done, which revolved around whatever projects we were doing at that point. The projects would last three to six months.
I would have lunch at half past twelve and about fifty percent of the time, have a drink in the local pub, and sometimes even two. I would then head back to the office, via the sandwich shop, and get on with the afternoon work. Between five and half past, I would leave, to either go see Bronwyn; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, or head back to my flat; Mondays and Fridays (unless I was staying to have a few drinks with the lads at work). The times at home were mostly on front of the television or on the computer.
That was it; that sums up my, very ordinary life. Nothing special, a very humdrum life in a world dominated by mankind.
Of course, all that changed the day the aliens came.