the Last U.F.O. Report

by James Bronson


Chapter 6 - The Dog Night

            I glanced over at the professor, and without saying a word, we both headed to what looked like the sturdiest indoor doorframe.  Neither one of us wanted to be crushed by a pile of old bricks.

            Ranger Bob walked straight out the front door, his rifle at the ready.  I could hear him yelling at someone.  Then all the noise stopped.

            We had company; four of the men upstairs had made it to the ground floor.  We all were a bit shook up.  The old office building was still in one piece.  I quickly looked out the broken picture window, and the culprit was revealed.  A helicopter had landed much too close to our historic building.  We were lucky the whole structure didn’t collapse on us.

            The ranger was still cussing out the pilot of the unmarked and unarmed craft when its passenger stepped to the ground.  It was a she, and she was dressed like she had just stepped off the cover of an Expedition Gear catalogue--all the best in desert protective clothing.  She wore the latest in lightweight hiking boots.  Her special fabric clothing fit loose, but not loose enough to hide her curves.  She wore clear goggles and little or no make-up.  Did I mention the machete attached to her waist?  Refreshingly, there were no flashy firearms to clash with her simple, chic, adventurer look.

            Before I could turn around, the professor pulled her out from under the rotating chopper blades.  He held her in his arms, giving her an unrestrained personal greeting while the ranger and the pilot unloaded her matched lightweight travel bags.

            The professor introduced his friend.  “Sparks, meet Megan Ansari, an old comrade.”

            She was tall, just about 5’9”, with dark skin, black silken hair—an exotic beauty maybe in her mid-forties.  Of course, next to the professor, she looked even younger.  The professor was old enough to be her father, but from the glow on his face, it was obvious that she stoked his fire down below.

            “You’re the famous reporter we’ve all heard about,” she said with a warm, genuine smile.

            “Famous reporter?”

            “It’s all over Washington that a tabloid reporter was chosen for a special government project.”

            “As if a National Enquirer reporter had been sent to Moscow to sue for an arms control agreement.  First, I don’t work for the National Enquirer, or I would be chasing John Edwards’ latest nanny for a hot story.  Second, I do write for tabloids covering the alternative news stories that people like you turn your nose up at.”

            “No, no, this is my business.  I’m a reader.  I’ve worked with the Death Valley project many times over the years.  We’re a team,” she said indicating the professor.  “He talks to the aliens using his mind like a telephone.  I go along as his assistant, scanning the aliens for their physical reactions, sounds, and even odors that they emit.  Together, we try to understand what they are really thinking and what they really want.”

            “From the look on the professor’s face, you should be able to read what he’s thinking about--you.”

            “I don’t need a special talent to figure that one out, but we have an alien captain to talk to, and Washington is really counting on us.  Even though not many people know how important this program is to us, if word got out that the aliens were deserting our planet, it could cause a financial collapse, ruin, worldwide panic.  I don’t think the aliens want this, at least, that is our hope.”

            The professor interrupted, “It is up to us to find out what has caused this rift and heal it before things get out of hand.”

            I looked at the woman.  “Megan, I suppose you’re some kind of scientist.”

            “I’m a cultural anthropologist specializing in nonverbal communications.  Over the years, I’ve worked for half a dozen universities and, of course, many government projects.  Currently, most of my income comes from attorneys asking for my advice on juror selection.  Which you should know is no better than a talented reporter working for the tabloids.  So you won’t see me sticking my Ph.D. nose up in the air when you come into the room, Sparks.”

            “What do I call you--doctor?”

            “Megan will do just fine.  And professor, the alien captain has approved your request that I attend the meeting as your assistant.”

            “That’s wonderful, Megan!  It’s what I was hoping for.  I think it’s a good sign that the captain was willing to negotiate.  I’m feeling better about our chances,” said the professor.

            “I feel better too,” I added.  “At least I’ll have something better to look at than a slimy alien or old prune face here.”

            Ranger Bob interrupted, “Get inside.  Something’s wrong.”

            “What?” asked the professor.

            “The pilot told me that he got our okay to land.  Only neither me nor my men even knew that they were on the way.”

            “Just a foul up.”

            “Maybe or maybe not.”

            “The aliens could have interrupted our communications?” suggested the professor.

            “That’s why that chopper stays here tonight and we all go inside until we get word from home base.”

            Again the howl of a lone coyote reverberated across the desert floor.

            “Get lost, you damn dog!” yelled the ranger.  “If he comes into town tonight, he’ll be deader than Rin Tin Tin.”

            “Who’s Rin Tin Tin?” I asked.

            “Lassie’s brother-in-law,” answered Megan.


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 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10



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