First Public Appearance

in #writing2 months ago


The above image was made by with stable diffusion using the prompt 'tiny gray alien in a small town diner.'

Take Your Alien to Work Day

They all went to Barb's Diner together the next morning. Jenny drove with Renee and Eliot, while Lee rode with Joseph. Their entrance was choreographed, with Renee going first to livestream the extraterrestrial's first public appearance. Walking into the restaurant with Lee on his shoulders, Joseph found he couldn't stop grinning. Everyone was looking, Renee was filming, and Barb herself came out from the kitchen to see what was going on.

"Oh come on, Joseph, no pets," said Barb, taking in the scene. "You know better than that. If you want to eat here, your weird monkey or whatever will have to wait outside."

"I'm not a weird monkey," said Lee, jumping to the floor as their party slid into an open booth. "I'm a space alien. My name is Lee and I've come from a faraway solar system to eat your legendary food. Because of my visit, your diner will soon become more popular than you ever dreamed of."

Barb wanted to frown but found herself smiling instead. "You are a cute little thing, I'll give you that," she said. "Tell you what. Technically there's nothing in the health rules about aliens, so you can eat here. But no funny business, you get me? I don't want you turning my place into a circus."

"You are most gracious," said Lee.

"Well no one's ever called me that before but okay," said Barb, her mind slowly catching up with the moment. "I would like to get a picture with you out in front of the sign before you go. For the Facebook page."

"Yes excellent," chirped Lee.

There was nothing legendary about Barb's food. It was simple, greasy, and filling. Lee dined on a milkshake and buttered toast. While they ate, everyone else in the place stared at them. Eventually, Ed Beeter the police chief came over to their table to get a closer look. "Now that's not something you see every day," he said, looking at Joseph after pointedly glancing at Renee and Eliot.

"Hey Ed," said Joseph. "Meet Lee. Found her when I was camping and can't seem to shake her."

"Good morning policeman Ed," said Lee. "I regret to inform you that my arrival in your town may cause a stir. Some may even come here intent on causing me harm."

"You are the slickest little robot I've ever seen," said Ed. "Will you come to my table for a picture with me and my officer?"

For the next fifteen minutes, Lee went from table to table, posing for pictures with everyone. Returning to her party, Lee found Renee's eyes glued to her phone. "Oh my god," Renee muttered. "I just broke 5,000 followers."

"Excellent!" said Lee. "Joseph, we should depart soon, before agents arrive."

"Gocha," said Joseph, shoveling the last few bites of pancake into his mouth. "You guys stay and finish."

"What should we tell them?" asked Jenny. "The agents. If they show up and question us."

"Their objective is to observe and report, so you're unlikely to be questioned," said Lee. "If they see me they might take drastic action. They may take your picture but will probably leave you alone beyond that."

On the road to Battelle Metals, where he worked, Joseph was struck by how normal everything looked. It was a nice sunny day. People were driving around like they always did. He was just a regular guy headed back to work after a vacation. A regular guy who was probably about to be fired for bringing an alien onto the shop floor.

"This might be a big mistake," said Joseph as he parked in front of his workplace. "If I get fired for this, you're going to have to figure out how to fix it."

"I suggest you carry me in in a bucket and call me your new shop gremlin," said Lee.

Joseph nodded and grabbed a bucket. Lee hopped inside and they entered the industrial building. They were met with an open space filled with work stations. Cutting. Welding. Drilling. Deburring. There was a loading dock with pallets filled with unfinished parts coming in and pallets of finished parts going out. There were restrooms and an office on the far side of the shop floor.

"Here we go," said Joseph, setting off on a path that had been painted on the concrete floor. "Let's go talk to the boss, get it out of the way one way or another."

"As you wish," said Lee, who was barely tall enough to see over the rim of the bucket.

No one glanced Joseph's way as he opened the office door to find his supervisor behind a computer. "Oh hey Joe," said Andy, looking up. "How was fishing? Bring me some panfish like I asked?"

"No, I caught something even better," said Joseph. "You're going to want to take a look. Her name's Lee and she's a little space alien."

"Okay, I'll bite," said Andy, standing to get a look in the bucket. "Oh ha ha, you got me, I looked for an alien in your empty bucket."

"What the hell?" said Joseph, mortified by Lee's sudden absence.

"Get to work, you bum," said Andy, chuckling and returning to his seat.

Trying to keep his cool while panicking inside, Joseph caught sight of Lee near a welding station. She was tugging on Chad's pant leg. Chad looked down, paused for a second, then leaned down to bring his face closer to Lee's. "Well aren't you just the cutest little thing?" he said. "We got to get you out of here. This shop isn't always safe."

"Hey what's that?" asked Daryl, who was working nearby.

"I am definitely putting that doll on Facebook," said Tara, putting her work down and getting her phone out.

Joseph made it to the gathering crowd just as Lee addressed the workers for the first time. "Greetings," she said. "I am Lee, from a galaxy far far away. Your colleague Joseph is my trusted friend. If you'd like, I can show you wonders with the metals you work."

"Joe, did you make this?" asked Daryl. "Amazing craftsmanship. I've never seen anything like it."

"I found her out in the woods," said Joseph. "Lee! What are you doing?"

Lee was holding two pieces of metal from Chad's station. A bit of tubing and a plate. "First I will show you how to sing a song that welds pieces together," she said. "Then I'll show you techniques for forming and alloying that you can use to bring what is in your imaginations to life."

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They must have really been surprised that how can he been able to craft out this

Yes I'm sure everyone was surprised.

Joseph must be very good in craftsmanship business
Let’s see if he will go harder or even popular

Joseph's company seems to be at the beginning of great things.

Joseph must have actually been finding it difficult to actually believe that

He may at some point have to come to terms with the new reality.

I am so intrigued by the presence of Battelle Memorial in your story!!! Is there a reason why Lee disappeared in front of Andy?

Who better than Battelle to be visited by an ET? Lee just quietly left Andy's office to go explore the shop floor.