Friday, September 9, 2011

Little Green Men

Jhanni is a former Star Scout. Former, because after the probe to Venus found no detectable life, and Adventurer 7 met with a mishap on the way to Saturn, the government ended the space program. That included ending the Star Scouts.

But Jhanni and his former squadron of Star Scouts are out looking for evidence from UFOs, believing that if they could find proof, they could get the space program--and the Star Scouts--reinstated. But Jhanni's dad won't let him search with his former squadron mates. So Jhanni is out searching, on his own, in the desert near his home.

At a big boulder, he found a UFO in a hole in the boulder. A small alien got out and climbed down a ladder. He pointed a device at Jhanni, and to his amazement found they could understand each other. The alien has a universal translator. He's been out of contact with his base for three days, because the strong winds picked up his lander and knocked it into this hole in the boulder. His oxygen was damaged and has less than a day to go, and the radio was knocked out, keeping him out of contact with his base.

"I can't get over how big you Martians are," says the alien. "Wait until Houston hears about this!" He introduces himself as Captain Frank Gambino, United States Air Force.

From the short story "Little Green Men", by Barry B. Longyear. Found in Spaceships & Spells, a short story collection published by Harper & Row in 1987 for younger readers (ie, children). Edited by Jane Yolen, Martin H. Greenberg, Charles G. Waugh. Assigned arbitrarily to the Barry Longyear Little Green Men timeline.

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