Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Daily Story 20: Illegal Aliens

I was at a Cinco de Mayo party last night, tossing back cheap beer with other Americans. Other than the bartender I saw maybe three Mexicans, which just goes to show that Cinco de Mayo is the new St. Patrick's Day. Now I'm in my hotel room, lying in the bath and simultaneously trying to remember and forget the fifth.

Despite what the hangover implies I'm here on business, but I'm being paid under the table so if anyone asks I'm in Tijuana for a vacation. I've been laying low, looking for my target, ready to smuggle him back into the United States. Border Patrol knows to let me through even if I'm carrying something that looks like a human wrapped in a tarp, and while you'd think that they would be against anything heading north over the border they're fine with getting someone back to face trial - not that there'll be a trial, but I had to tell them something. No trial for this one, just a plain cell.

The subject has been on the run since 1947, and the government had hoped that he had died in the desert somewhere, but this guy is clever. His escape was genius - everyone has heard of it, though only a few people know it was a jailbreak. The government covered it up with the truth, and people tried to expose the cover-up with lies... what a tangled web we weave, right?

I saw the evidence, still in storage after all these years. The General told me I would be hunting a dangerous mastermind, a 'cannibal' whose very existence was top secret. He led me down into the storage area and pulled out a large box that was filled with what appeared to be mylar, balsa wood, and some faded fabric.
"What the hell is this?" I asked - I had expected a collection of still-bloody knives or something I guess. Instead, the General just sighed and said, "It's just a balloon."

Everyone knows that in '47 something crashed down outside of Roswell, New Mexico. The government made some mumbled 'flying saucer' comments and then quickly changed their story and said it was a balloon - a weather balloon first, though later they admitted it was for keeping an eye on the Russians. The more reliable accounts of the wreckage seem to support this, and in fact it's the truth.

What people don't know is that it was a diversion. The actual alien had escaped from its cell under Holloman Air Force Base, hidden his captured saucer so it would look like he had gotten it started back up, and launched the balloon. While the air force tried to track him down and converged on the beacon strapped to the balloon, the alien had set out on foot. Knowing his diet, the people in charge kept an eye out for murders where the body had been partly consumed, but no pattern emerged.

Now I'm here, sent to investigate a sighting of el Chupacabra. Instead it seems to have found me, drunk from my Cinco de Mayo festivities - still, it has to be the most polite human-eating alien ever. Ice clinking against the edge of the tub, I reach for the phone and look again at the hand-written sign in front of me.