Tau Ceti

By Robert Lynch

“Hello,” Tim said. “Um, Welcome to Earth.”

“Yeah,” the alien said in perfect English, “I’m a little lost. Do you know the way to Tau Ceti? I think we took a wrong turn?”

“Actually, I do,” Tim said. “See those three bright stars that form kind of a line? That’s Orion’s belt.” Tim said, pointing into the sky. “Using them as a line, you can go to the west about a quarter of the sky to the next brightest star. That’s Menkar. It’s the brightest star in the Cetus Constellation, which means it’s also known as Alpha Ceti.”

The alien looked along Tim’s arm and pointed. “That one?”

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“Yes,” Tim agreed, grabbing his phone and searching for a picture of Cetus. “Here’s a picture of the constellation; this one is Tau Ceti. I imagine your ship has sensors of some kind; point them in that direction and look for the main sequence star 11.9 light years away, and there you go.”

“Thank you,” the alien said, flicking a small chip to Tim. “Not a lot of people are willing to help out Zelbans these days.”

“Sure,” Tim said, “Glad I could help.”

“I mean, everybody lays their eggs somewhere,” the alien said, “It’s not our fault that we evolved to have to lay our eggs in the brains of sentient species.” He turned and walked back into his ship. The door closed, and the ship hovered off.

END

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