By Robert Lynch
In the western sky, just as the sun took cover behind the horizon, a bright red fire burnt in the sky. Stubborn against the atmosphere the object crashed, red hot, into the street. Rubble covered the houses, started fires and causing havoc. The firemen were soon on the scene, calming the blazes of not just the fires, but also the cause.
I was called in the next day to investigate the meteor and collect samples.
“You the meteor guy?” The uniformed policeman at the barricade asked.
“Astrogeologist,” I said, pointing to the university ID clipped to my shirt pocket. The policeman looked confused. “Yep. I’m the meteor guy.”
“Right,” the policeman nodded, “Well, the scene’s still hot. You gonna get that thing outta here so we can fix the road?”
“Yes,” I replied, “But it might take a while.”
The ground was still hot, but not too hot to work, so I lifted the tape and headed in. I took out my phone and began recording the side. In the centre of the crater was a 2-meter-wide icosahedron – a 20 sided 3D polygon composed entirely of triangular faces, like a 20 sided die.
“Weird,” I said out loud.
As if the shape had heard me, it began to open. It slowly opened, the sides unfurling to form the base of a platform. On that platform was a 3-wheeled robot. It too slowly opened up, extending five arms in different directions with various instruments on. I didn’t recognise the rover construction, so I didn’t think it was NASA, but I’m not familiar with other agencies’ designs.
“We need to call NASA,” I said to the cop.
“You find a little green man?” He said, walking up to the edge of the crater from the perimeter line. He stopped in his tracks when he saw the rover.
“No aliens, but someone somewhere is missing an expensive piece of equipment.” The rover began moving items in a pattern, testing that every piece of itself functioned. I noticed for the first time the writing on the side. I didn’t recognise the language. “It’s not NASA-tech, but I’m sure they’ll know what to do with it. This writing doesn’t look Russian. Rovers are pretty advanced tech. There’s only NASA, ESA, JAXA, China, ROSCOSMOS, and India. None of them has script that looks like this.”
The policeman walked right up to the rover as it moved through its start-up routine. “Well, I doubt they are going to get much information from the middle of the road.”
The rover stopped moving. A tall camera spike turned to look at the police officer.
“Hello there, little guy.” He said, bending down to get closer to the rover.
The rover moved an instrument on one arm. Then fired a laser blast that vaporised the policeman. I turned and scrambled back up the crater for cover.
“People of Earth!” The rover said with the dead policeman’s voice. “Bow before us!”