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Allen Clarke Allen Clarke
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When Kings go to War

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She had a friend.

Kotkli looked out upon The Sea of Zutora. His sapphire eyes teared; but for a moment, a
layer of skin slid over his twin orbs. Harsh was the glare from Jupiter`s moon. Robotically, he
averted his regal scan from the Zutorian Sea. At length, his eyes came to rest in the cool  
light of the valley below.
The eternal sea glistened and waves crashed far below, as it had; for eons.This was early summer
of Solar 4.It was in Year One of New Earth`s rebirth.Kree gulls cried and soared,and circled high
above the rugged cliffs.Shrieks of playing children were heard there;and in a moment, all became
silent.It was as if the face of nature suddenly assumed an aspect of escalating horror. There hung an inexplicable sense of dread in the morning air.The solar winds caressed new Earth that day, as if to comfort;as if to offer solace.All seemed intense, as the sun rose slowly over the horizon.

In a moment,as a brief flash, on the timeline of cataclysmic events, everything concerning our race was irrevocably dismantled. With a flourish of his right hand, Kotkli motioned ,and his dark army surged forward.The atmosphere fluxed, the earth trembled. A Nebulae stallion snuffed wildly, with nostrils aflare.War horses strained at the reins, scenting the imminence of battle in the air.Their Nebulon shields came up as rank upon rank, their darkly armored foot soldiers hovered down unto The Plains of Ziree.The battlefield covered a vast expanse from the northern sector where the Sea of Zutor meets the coastline of Bendenezia.The hills ran hot with alien and human blood that day as the battle raged for most of the first day and well into the next week.

New Earth`s galactic defense system had afforded them at least 23.5 hours advance notice to rally their fighting force.The humans had known peace for so long that they had almost forgotten the meaning of deadly intent.However, their memories of past conflicts was speedily refreshed as the Skivian forces fired first without sufficient warning.Kotkli turned an about face as the first human went up in an unceremonial puff of smoke.Someone from deep within his ranks had fired first without his command!!

Heads would roll, he telepathically arranged a memo into his memory pack.What followed was a bloody melee`which strained the front line of his forces in double quick time. Wave after wave of the human fighting force assailed his plutonium clad heavily armed contingencies.The alien body armour proved impenetrable except at close quarters where the humans proved most lethal.Officer Phillip Ossophee commanded the first wave of the Zutor Allied Forces.The ray guns glitched off and on until they were thrown away and the battle exploded into a free for all hand to scaley hand combat. Phil excelled at close quarters martial arts fighting, and snapped his share of alien neck.

They had come in full force, amassing their armies, legion by countless legion until the whole Valley of Rhantoza was blackened by their dark presence.The invasion was clearly, of biblical proportion.It seemed as though they skittered over the length and breadth of the land like the locusts of old! Behind them,the land lay desolate with the smoke of their mindless pillage blackening out the sun.Thusly,they rushed in,overwhelming every trace of our hopes and dreams.They lay captive our women and children,as they advanced swiftly in their ravishing of the countryside.

Once captured, we were tagged and assigned identification codes, and herded as though we were nothing more than cattle.We were then transferred from the Sorting Terminal, according to genetic superiority.From there we were sorted out and separated according to the degree of defect.At length, we found ourselves shuffled off into individual cells. There,we remained captive, far beneath The Sacred City.This magnificent edifice was once the hub of our ancestral home; for eons long forgotten.Now, it had become the prison house of New Earth.

Our ray-guns had been rendered,as useless as pop-guns.In due time,they were found ineffective;being no match for their Gamma Guns.The silent recoil of the Gamma possessed enough power to take the head off a horse.As well,the devastating fire-power of the G-gun was met in the fact that it disintegrated its`target.Firstly, the wave of radiation hit it`s mark and subsequently sucked out the air of the victim.It was a fiendish weapon, for in one tragic blip in time, the body was reduced to ash!!The body, as it were,was instantly cremated.

Still, we had to fight, or risk living out our lives under the oppressive forces of soul slavery.First, they would capture the body;and then they would forcibly transfer their D,N.A. into our genes.Secondly, the mind was promptly emptied and re-programmed. This process was ,however more subtle than what The Ancients had long ago referred to as mind control.This transformation was painstakingly achieved by re-educating and thoroughly assimilating the human, in question -mind, body and soul.And, yet,this diabolical, genetic tampering,was not quite as simple as taking out the garbage.The aliens found us to be quite irascible in our refusal to concede to defeat.We were indomitable in the face of tyranny!!! However, they found ways and means of persuasion which so often mimiced our own pyschological game of chess.

For every favourable response, the human test-being was rewarded with a daily ration of roast beef and mashed potatoes, as well as an overflowing goblet of Venusian Joy-Juice!! Once the cross-contamination was fully completed,a new race,began to emerge out of the whole universal fiasco.The process was complete and deliberate, until;there remained no former trait of the human personality or distinctiveness.Or,so they thought.

``Sample number 3721-0WXU now ready for final phase of neural neutralization.``
``Sample number 3722-OWSZ, abort procedure,body defective, annihilate.``

These anouncements came over the intercom,hour after hour,for the next two months.Officer(and philosopher)Osophee had feigned submission in taking his turn as patient#23.However,unbeknownst to the Skivian Chief Genetics Manipulator,Phil was cagier and less docile than the rest.He surreptitiously spit out the final chema-dose used to complete the take-over.With his last breath, Phil intended to resist and to upstage this devious genocide of the human race.``Yeah, right, Philly, old son,``he self-mocked.He had always been hardest on himself.He figured that sometimes that was all one could do to achieve the desired results.What else was he supposed to do, resign himself to die in this little hole?``Bull f``in` Tweety to that,``he self-talked. Shit, that`s all he could do to keep from going off the dark edge, just keep giving himself pep talks, once in awhile.In the meantime, it seemed that New Earth was being taken over,one mind,at a time.

As dark as the night had become, somewhere out there; a singular candle of hope still flickered.One could never easily discount the human will to survive and to overcome.Down through the ages, this stubborn obstinacy, became typical of the human condition.There was not a more dangerous animal,than a human being;once it was cornered into an oppressed state of merely existing.He could not,and would not;survive in a limbo of oppression,no matter how fiercely;his enemy sought to break his spirit.Even at the point of extreme duress,the pride of humanity over-ruled all other odds.Once these humans saw even the faintest glimmer of hope, the warrior spirit once again began to stir from somewhere deep within.

After all,The Zutorian War had been fought and almost won by the humans based on their belief to win against all odds. The victory was short-lived; because we ran out of sufficient fire-power. Toward the end of the epic battle, we were forced to use the ancient weapon known, only to us,as the slingshot.During that brief rallying point, many an alien soldier lost an eye because of the insignificant, bee sting of our final stand.Oh, how the Aliens ..hated..(is that the right word?)us! After all, they were otherwise,such unfeeling bastards!True, they were superior, in many respects, but they almost seemed to reflect a shrewd,coldness about their every motive and action.And because, the Skivians were more machine than human, this put them at a critical disadvantage. A machine could only go so far, but the human heart and will was conditioned to fight to the bitter end.

A darkly-sinister,robed figure,stood against the blood-red skyline of New Earth.This nightmarish being,was heralded as the Skivian champion of their cause for global domination.Kotkli, however, had two sides to his mysterious persona, and one potentially fatal flaw;that his creatures of War could never understand.Within his armoured chest-plate beat a half-human heart!!

Any display of emotion was severely dealt with if it had the courage to arise.The human race slowly started to become a pathetic shadow of its`former self.This was classified as soul-defilement of the worst kind.However, the union of alien and human genes produced a stunningly beautiful composite of the two races.Thereafter, men had to be constantly aware of the Siren-like seductive powers of the Skivian breed.

These were the darkest pages in human history. We had,had;our world conflicts before this and Heaven knows; maybe,in an ironic sense we had come to know what is like to taste the bitter wine of defeat.Perhaps; Kharma had finally come around to kicking down our doors.And, in the process, would end up kicking our collective asses!!She could be an incorrigible wench, that was for certain!We, too, had a history of oppressing other races peculiar to the human race.We had enslaved them, for our own selfish purposes.We had profited from their misery and forced them to work long and hard hours, without renumeration of any kind, other than their daily bread, which we grudgingly granted.Our empires were built on their broken b

Officer Phil Ossophee hated Kotkli at first sight.The alien was the object of his favourite displeasure.As an old war horse, Phil just stopped short of licking his lips, as he recalled the battle of gore.Klizee, one of his chief warlords had commanded the second wave pitted against the alien horde.It was like watching a one-armed man fight to the death in an unflinching array of disregard for personal safety.For the first 10 hours, it seemed that Klizee of The Emminent National Guard stood alone slashing a wide swath in to The Valley of Rhantozah. The aliens did not die, as humans do. As they were cut down like sheafs of mid-summer wheat, they expired with the sound of a shrill whistle, high -pitched disconcerting to the human ear.By all accounts, the alien death shrieking resounded in our ears as battle cries to their living.

Before us, lay pandemonium, in a death grapple such as we had never seen in all of the history of New Earth!This was our grandest hour!Even the women who had joined the free-for-all, pulled their hands away from many an alien body only to reveal alien eye-balls stuck to their nails!!The rolling sea of bodies, both human and alien merged and clashed until the sun began it`s nightly vigil onto the other side of the planet.We retreated into the hills, for the moment, to re-group and try to come to terms with our casualties and to plan our final stand.

``Captain Klizee,head count please!``Phil spoke out of the shadows.
``Twenty and one chief officers, twelve-hundred foot soldiers and five hundred and sixty-two civilians, and far too many wounded to mention, sir!!``
``And what of our fire-power??``
``F..f..Fire-power, sir?`, he seemed almost embarrassed to even consider the implications of such a question.
Just then, some young stripling from the volunteer militia burst into the room and tossed two of their gamma guns on the floor.
``Sir, I shudder to think that we, are , at wit`s end for fire-power.``
Phil looked at Klizee with something of contempt.Finally, he lit up a Camel and blew the smoke in the direction of the enemy camp.
``This may well be our last hurrah, gentleman.``Ossophee, exhaled a curling plume of smoke out into the night air.

Whilst chomping down on his favourite Cuban cigar, the old philosopher, Officer Phil looked up from the pile of ancient writings.A flush of frustration suddenly rushed to his face as he threw yet another book of Sophocles against the iron bars which kept the world safe from his dangerous mind.Lizard- men, was what he called them.They were too cheap to provide him with toilet tissue, so he had to use The Complete and Unabridged Works of Socrates.Inside, he wept silently, as he tore off yet another sheet of the great philosopher`s great discourses.This was the final straw! This meant war!

``Kotkli, I will yet have your head on a stick!!``he yelled out in frustration.They had spoken in a hybrid mix of broken English and some nervous gibberish.At first,he assumed it was some sort of intergalactic language not spoken since their first hover-saucer had landed 3 moons ago.He remembered the name by which the thing was addressed. This he dimly recalled, did not utter a word, only that his presence commanded full and complete attention. His silent words were telepathic and strangely charismatic.As well, his  thoughts could be felt as  persuasive psycho-weapons, sharpened by a thousand light years of highly advanced tech-talk,incomprehensible to the human mind.
His language ran smoothly in waves of undeniable power.These subversively-molded thought patterns cut quickly into the marrow of officer Phil`s vulnerable psyche.However, once or twice, he thought that he cast a brief glimpse of compassion as he flashed his neon-red orbs in Philip`s direction.Strange - was not a sufficiently encapsulating word to describe this queer anomaly from Zenon 3.

This alien was the only one that he knew by name.In verity, he had come to cherish a slow, burning hatred for them all.And besides,no one heard him there in his dank, subterranean cell.Tossing and turning on the dirty mat of straw, he would wake suddenly cursing wildly at his enemy!Still, they continued to feed him with scraps that he wouldn`t dream of feeding his dog.

A daily dish full of Jupiterian fried snail-bugs clattered into the tiny opening from whence he retrieved his sparse rations.A slimey mess of wriggling, living space spaghetti became his daily fare.The menu never changed.It was always the same old, same old.Still, the bitchin`stuff kept his body and soul intact.Every day, they would give him his meds.Two horse pills and a chaser of Venusian J.J.arrived daily on his dinner tray.The light came on after the first two or three samplings.They had told him: via interpreter, that the meds were vitamin supplements.`Bullshit,``he thought,``they`re trying to turn my head with chemical. Those scaley bastards!!``he vehemently surmised.

``Àw, shit..take-out again?``he whined like a spoiled school-girl.
Nevertheless, he wolfed down the grub as ravenously, as you please.Somehow, he had mastered the delicate art of using chopsticks whilst imprisoned in cell block #z-5m0quw.This had been his humble abode for the past 3 moons.The only marker of Time that he had was the daily clatter of the tin dish bidding him to dine on God knows what next.He shlupped greedily on the synthetic water which was readily available by licking the walls.What the alien bitches didn`t tell him was that fresh, spring water was made available as requested.Had they told him, he wouldn`t have trusted them in any regard.TRUST NO ONE, that was his motto!!He often felt small in the brick enclosure that he had come to refer to as Home Sweet Dungeon.But, often, as in life it is the small things that sometimes make the difference.The walls always glistened with the water which ran continuously down from God knows Where.The constant trickle of the water became soothing to his solitary life.He had long equated life to water, without which , man could not live. And where there was water, there had to be humans. He clung to the hope that someday, the humans would rise up and resume their rightful place in New Earth.

Suddenly, his quantum cellular beeped.Phil, jarred out of his skin, grabbed for the cell, almost sobbing ..``Hello?``.Captivity and the aging philosopher did not get along well.
``This is your lovely daughter speaking.What you into these days....Kant?``
``Yeah, sweetheartheart, as in, I can`t see the light of day, capiche?`Listen, honey, ya gotts to get me out of here.I think I`m starting to talk to myself.``
``That is a scary thought, isn`t it Dad?``
``Yeah, baby..and I think I`m starting to talk back...Say, have you spoken to that lawyer from Mars yet?``
``It`s still going through the formal process, there`s nothing I can do do to alleviate your present demise, Daddy-o.Sorry.Its àll a huge waiting game.``
``Well, can you at least sneak me in a Twinky, baby??``
``Will do.Over and out.By the way, dad...``
``What, baby?``
``I love you.``
``I love you too, See ya later.``

Sheerah was one of the very, select few who were allowed to serve as interpretors.She would recieve telepathic messages as required and then she would communicate to her fellow humans, as ordered by The Skivian High Command.Sheerah was spared the visual horror of her captors, because she was blind.She was also allowed free social discourse amongst the Skivian general populace.She and a few of her colleagues, sometimes tripped the light fantastic in the neon ablazed discoteques.This social allowance, however, was closely monitored in the neutral zone of North Skivia.

Phil was ruthless. Quite literally Ruth-less.Her name had been Ruth.He had lost her in the war with the aliens.There were still some nights when he would wake up marinating in his own sweat, as he fought off the ghosts of his beleaguered past.He hated everything that they stood for.Phil and Ruth had lived the perfect American dream, until that fateful day when his house of straw was blown down by Them.They had had such a good life back then. That, is; until they showed up on the eastern skyline-big, bold and brash with all the accompanying fire-power of a conquering nation.New Earth`s ray-guns seemed like piss-ant water pistols in stark contrast with the Alien state of the art weaponry.It became somewhat of an embarrassment to even consider how easily they took over.Of course,C.N.N, had been there to provide day to day analysis of the Take-over, that is , until the Aliens decided to report the invasion, from their point of view.Some of us fought like wildcats, but, alas, we were no longer the cat`s meow!Oh, the utter folly of it all! Oh How the mighty had fallen!

Kotkli scanned the Aftermath.Averting the radioactive glare from Jupiter`s moon, the visor on his plutonium war helmet would not engage.He deposited a mental note into his memory pack to alert the Minister of War about these latest glitches.Down in the valley, a solar wind was picking up as he could hear the pathetic cry of yet another human frying to a skeletal tinder in the wake of the unbearable heat.Kotkli, on the other hand was in his element.Year after year, his peculiar race had travelled to Mercury under the protective shadow of their heat-shields.While in orbit, they harvested massive quantities of the radio-active energy which the star supplied in abundance.This was the curiously powerful substance which gave their Gamma guns such devastating fire-power.

A shrill whistle preceeded the gamma gun winding down its`full charge at his side.The gun bleeped off signalling the completion of it`s auto-cycle.The holster which held it in place was fashioned out of the skin of a Keziquad;one of the fur-bearing creatures of North Skivia.How well Kotkli remembered the chase of his quarry.Down through the rugged terrain, hunter and the thundering prey jostled for position.Once out on the open plain, the fight for life came to an abrupt end.The beast died before it hit the ground.

Killing humans was quite another matter. The earth woman, who had jumped in the way of the disintigrating blast of Kotkli`s weapon was only trying to protect her husband.She had nary the time to scream.A decisive wave of gamma sucked the life-force out of her body within 2 seconds,as measured in human terms.Not a scintilla of human flesh or bone was left to attest to the fact that she ever existed. The man, whom she sought to protect attempted to hold her remains, but there was none to speak of.The man,wild with rage,leapt at him;only to feel the power of the same weapon, only this time,set on stun mode.The sobbing, human hulk crumpled at his feet.At the feet of a king fell Phil.

Kotkli wore no crown.He was a warrior king, an extraterrestrial on a quest for new worlds to subdue. His planet was Zenon 3, a small star, which had been situated in the 3rd quadrant of Alpha Centauri.Zenon 3 had blitzkrieghed.It`s hasty extinction culminated in a blaze of inglorious cataclysmic implosion. Those of Kotkli`s race who did not heed the Space Prophets perished, along with the death of their beloved star.This had been their home long before The Great Light shone into their part of the universe.They had whipped through space for a hundred and 23 light years before New Earth emerged in their sight.They had purposed to come in peace, hoping to get help in relocating their beleaguered race. However, there were others of Kotkli`s race who were more dangerously ambitious.Their argument was that the humans fired first.

Upon closer examination of the video-tapes, it was determined that certain unruly members of Kotkli`s massive fighting force had indeed instigated the ensuing bloody melee`.The initial skirmish took all of one hour and 15 minutes,in the measure; as the humans observe time.The defeat of New Earth was affirmed by a stock-pile of ray-guns which were summarily laid at Kotkli`s feet.The King was displeased. This was not the way he had wanted to enter into this new world.He was getting older, and there tugged at his heart, a secret yearning for peace. But he dared not reveal his secret notions of a perfect world lest his WAR Council might reject his rule for showing signs of weakness.

His mother was a test tube.He was formed cyber-genetically on a petri dish.The seed of warrior Kings were mingled with the finest stock of Royal Princesses from the Third Dimension.Kotkli was practically immortal, and, yet he knew that his time would eventually come.He knew this to be true, because he bled once.As a child, his nan` had him peel a majamba fruit.The luscious fruit were picked off of the large swaying trees which grew on the shores of Bendenezia.The lazer paring razor slipped and he was cut.The green blood oozed;for,but a brief moment, before it closed itself up within a matter of seconds, as the humans measure time.

Phil grew weary of Socrates.The Greek kept ranting on in his head.By the light of a small, wax candle, Phil held on to a faded photo of his beloved Ruth.And yet another fire burned in his heart.The scenario of his vengeance, played out,in his mind, countless times a day.He would dream of the exact moment when he would bash in the skull of the alien.This is what kept him alive. He didn`t much care what might transpire after the fact. He would;thereafter,resign himself to quit living, after the scales of justice were once again a-righted.Phil saved his last cigarette for that final moment when he would look down on the bloodied face of Kotkli. He would then savour that moment of completeness.At that moment, he would light the cigarette, with the two pieces of flint, which he had kept since his days with The Boy Scouts.Savouring a drag or two, he would then whisper into the night..`Here I come, my love.I shan`t be but a moment...``And then, he would turn the gamma gun on himself, and leave this world to go to be with his beloved Ruth.

Sheerah was back again for a visit.This time she had hidden a bobby-pin whom she had stolen from her friend, Bobby.She slipped it, quite surreptitiously, into her dad`s hand at just the right moment when the Alien jailer looked the other way.Phil`s eyes blazed at the keeper of his cell.
``You know, Dad, you shouldn`t hate them so much.That`s discrimination.``
``Aw, phooey! You know I don`t discriminate.I hate them all equally!``
``You will be the death of you yet!``
``Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?It`s aliens versus humans, remember?``

``Well, the truth is, I`ve started seeing someone,``she said, wincing, as she waited for The Speech.
``Oh, really, anybody I know?``
``I hope not,``she whispered, biting a full, luscious lip.
``What was that?``he inquisitated absentmindedly.Phil was lost in the study of a map, planning his escape route.
``Well,actually, he`s a very nice young man from a very well to do family.``she chimed in hopeful to make his day.
``Well, then, perhaps he can dip into his piggy-bank and buy me a hacksaw so I can get out of this posh hotel!!`This isn`t exactly my idea of The Dubai Hilton,``he seethed with thickening sarcasm.

``Oh, daddy, you`re such a lovable goof-trooper,``she attempted a joke despite his obvious incarcerated misery.

He saw so much of Ruth in her;good looks, her charming mannerisms and her bubbling laughter.He would kill for her in an instant and without regret.This is what made him so dangerous.Phil was quite expert at Jeet Kune Do.He already snapped one alien neck before they gassed him to oblivion.The next thing he knew he wakes up in this cell.
``Are you gaining weight, they must be raiding a lot of gardens up there, eh?``
She declined to answer, because, even now she could feel new life growing deep within her.She looked fondly at the old man; as a dark shadow of worry passed across her angelic countenance.How was she going to break the news?In her heart, she knew every man`s desire to become a grandfather.Would there be pandemonium, or would he sit there, silent and shocked with unbelief?No, she would save the newsflash for a better day. She would wait until he was free once again.

Sheerah tapped her white cane into the disco hall.It was her favourite Friday night haunt.She felt the need for a social life once in a rare, blue moon.Tonight was her night once again.This secluded part of The Neutral Sector was where they first sensed one another.There appeared to be a hustling and inexplicable buzzing sound around him.It seemed to her as though there was some sort of entourage constantly at his side.
She remembers the first time she sensed his presence.She could only hear the rustling of his velvet robe.He floated, rather than walked. She couldn`t understand how he was suddenly... there.He didn`t speak. He merely cast his telepathic gaze upon her and sensed her loneliness.Like a typical woman, she had picked up on his vibes of romantic intentions in a heartbeat.She read him like braille.

For the first few dates and forever thereafter, they sat in silence as he merged his thoughts into hers. He spoke,in silence,of other worlds alive with the most fantasmagorical things you could possibly imagine.
Together, they would sit and enjoy one another in some of the finest bistros in New Earth`s quaintest eateries.At times,they wouldn`t eat or drink because they were full of the food and intoxicating vino of l`amour. She sat with him for hours and hours listening to his tales of power and past glories.She told him, through her thoughts,of how she had been blinded from the blast of an alien Gamma gun.He apologised in profusion for such a tragic incident.It almost sounded like he was somehow personally responsible for her world of darkness.

In time, they became close friends, confidantes and eventually...lovers.She found it strange that he never touched her physically while they made love.By all accounts, one might say that they saved a small fortune with not having to purchase condoms.But she felt him enter his seed into her in a way she found to be beautiful and full of mystery.Just how, she did not know.Sheerah did not feel violated in the least, instead she felt relieved that their love was consummated on a higher level without the usual messy details.The gestation period would be swift and the birthing would be quite painless. The whole birthing would take less than 2 months, as humans observed time.

Theirs was a pure love, far beyond the messy ,passionate, sweaty lovemaking that was all too common with the human experience.Theirs was almost a supernatural love, that is, if it were at all- humanly possible.And, so it came to pass;that,in a brief moment of sudden enlightenment, Sheerah felt his gills open and close as she felt him exhale sharply with the effort of breathing in her intoxicating scent.In an instant, he passed his scaley hand across her frontal lobe and the incident escaped her consciousness, as naturally,as a cloud might pass over the high plains of New Earth.

Kotkli undressed in the darkness of her blindness.She lay on a plush bed as he hovered over her.The scale of his skin metamorphed into the likeness of human flesh, Even at that, he was careful not to startle her.He knew, deep down in his artficially generated heart, that he could never attain unto the status of humans.He passed his hands of scale over her mind and her thoughts merged into his.His gills flared silently and he was consumed in a fire of telepathic passion.His serpentile tongue flickered in and out as his consciousness rammed deeply into her psyche.She sighed in languid pleasure as she thought of the consummate act.

Officer Phil might have shit out a perfectly square dump, if he knew what was transpiring in the alien boudoir.

Philip would always be the King of Hearts in her life, but this alien being was going to be the father of their child.She was not aware of his alien-ness.Sheerah was always under the impression that the man of her dreams was a mute human being.None of her friends wanted to spoil her obvious happiness in finding her soul-mate.So, as friends often do, they allowed her to continue her romance with this stranger from another world.For the longest silent interlude, she would stew in her imaginary passion.

In her mind`s eye, she saw Kotkli, as the knighted champion of her heart.With her unnerring women`s interwission, she envisioned him as a chivalrous knight of old, swashbuckling his way into her heart.She was gloriously decieved!In her mind, she, and, she alone could hear the Skivian love poem that he composed for her.The music was set to Martian flute in the key of silence.It was also embellished with the low accompanimment of the Zutorian sea-shell.The elegant, dashing figures of the sea-horses could be seen skimming alog on the surf of the Zutorian sea-shore as though they, too, were entranced by this other-worldly romance, in progress.

Sheerah`s friends would see the odd-ball couple, immersed in each other`s thoughts, as they sat for hours looking into each other`s minds.His love poem,sounded like the chittering bullshit of a lizardman to them.But, to her, his words were of the essence of life.If only, she thought, I could somehow bottle them and pour them on my eyes then, I could see through the eyes of love!!

Officer Phil stewed in his seemingly pathetic plans to thwart the alien horde.What if he were successful in escaping? What then?He would only place his daughter in peril.She was all he had left.He would die from a broken heart if he could not free her from the alien clutch!He saw Ruth every time Sheerah came by to drop off a Twinky or just to cheer him up in her own special way.Little by little, his resolve grew to the point now that he felt, deep down the primordial instinct for survival.His anger seethed against the alien race, day unto endless day!

Only his books on ancient philosophy kept his mind clear and lucid.He clung to the words of Socrates as a suckling child might embrace his mother`s paps.Civilized words were all he had for company in that dismal hole that he often tried to call home.Once in awhile, he indulged in an Archie comic book or a Playboy magazine circa 1956.He may have been captive, but he certainly wasn`t dead!Today, he was in high spirits, because he knew that , by tomorrow, he would once again see the light of day!The plan was that Sheerah would drop by at about 5 bells, judging by the hollow gong of the Cathedral tower bell.She would deposit one Twinky into his waiting hand, which would signal that the coast was clear!He would then take out the bobby-pin, insert it into the jail-door lock and , thereby; would slip out into the outer corridors.

The plan was seamless!He exulted in his genius for escape tactics.All this he had learned in Boy Scouts, so very many years ago.Somehow, he felt that nothing could stop him now! He let out a silent snicker of delight, knowing that he had fooled his captors.They thought they had him subdued with the nightly dose of knockout substance which they had deviously injected into the Jupiterian snail bugs!What they didn`t know was that he had stopped eating that shit for the past two nights.He delighted in his cagey ways, as he stood tippy-toe;to lick a swip of synthetic water from off of the wall.

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