Stolen Prototype

in #writinglast month (edited)

photo_2024-03-12_14-36-32.jpg

The above image was made by @amberjyang with Midjourney using the prompt 'Tiny gray alien with clothes holding a glass jar with poop inside.'

Pig Roast

A dozen black SUVs pulled into the drive to find Joseph and Jenny hosting a pig roast with twenty families in attendance. Pouring out of the vehicles, government agents began taking readings with handheld devices. The one who seemed to be in charge walked stiffly into the small crowd, trailed by subordinates. "Joseph Simon," he said when he reached Joseph. "I am special agent Glenn with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Here is a court order authorizing us to search these premises for stolen government property."

"That's ridiculous," said Joseph loudly enough for everyone to hear. "I won't fight you on this, but we're all going to follow you around filming everything."

"Sir, we're getting strong readings at the barn," said an agent. "It's locked. Should we force entry?"

"I'll unlock it," said Joseph, projecting confidence he didn't quite feel. "But if you start messing with my record collection, you're gonna have a real bad day."

Inside the barn, the agents quickly discovered Lee's film set. The tiny furniture surrounded by three phone tripods stood out in the middle of row after row of records. "It was here," said one agent, looking at his device. "Readings confirm that it was here."

"This would be much easier if you just told us where it is," said Glenn. "Where is the stolen prototype?"

"Stolen prototype?" asked Joseph. "What are you even talking about?"

"You know all about it," said Glenn. "You brought the thing to work. Showed it off all around town. While you were doing that, the company you stole it from filed a complaint. Now they want to keep this quiet, so they'll let this go if they get the prototype back. But if they don't, you're on the hook for the theft, and they're saying it's worth sixty million."

"That's crazy," said Joseph, calm despite his overwhelming fear. Lee had coached him for this very moment, so he wasn't at a loss for words. "Lee isn't a prototype anything. She's an extraterrestrial. A sovereign individual who can't be owned."

"So you're not denying that you've come into contact with the item?" asked Glenn.

"Her name is Lee and she's asked me to tell you that she'd rather be your friend than your enemy," said Joseph.

"Where is this Lee now?" asked Glenn.

"Nowhere you'll find her," said Joseph. "But she did leave a biological sample in that jar right there for you."

Glenn studied the jar and found that it contained a little turd. "Oh very funny," he said, handing the jar to another agent. "Just level with me here, Mr. Simon. Where is Lee?"

"I honestly don't know," said Joseph. "But your story doesn't add up. If some company seriously told you that Lee is some kind of man made technology, they lied to you. She's an alien from another world and she does whatever she wants."

"Fortunately, all of that is above my pay grade," said Glenn. "Hey wait. What the hell? My ears are ringing."

Soon every agent in the barn appeared disoriented. Many were covering their ears. A few figured out that the effect went away when they left the barn. Outside, the agents regrouped around Glenn while Joseph went back to the roasting pig in the driveway. Glenn followed him. "What the hell was that?" he demanded.

"I don't know," said Joseph. "Looks like maybe something's wrong with your people."

"Something's wrong with this whole situation," said Glenn, sighing. "I've got to come back with more than a jar of crap. Help me out here."

"I think I see the problem," said Joseph, grinning. "You think you're in one story, but really you're in another. All of this, even you being here, this is Lee's story. If she wanted you to go home with more than poop in a jar, you would."

The agents left not long after that. As soon as they were gone, the first meat was served, and Lee emerged from hiding to entertain the small crowd with her insane acrobatics. After a short performance, Lee found Joseph and Jenny standing by a picnic table. Joseph picked up a guitar. Jenny grabbed a tambourine and rattled it. "What just happened was not okay," she announced. "I need to make some noise. Who wants to make some noise?"

The crowd cheered. A few people found instruments. Some clinked twigs on beer bottles. A few sang. Lee danced among them, getting into conversations along the way.

People began leaving once the food was consumed. Lee made a point of thanking each of them for coming and posed for several photos. Joseph eventually put down his guitar and found Lee standing on a boulder next to the driveway. "Jesus, Lee," he said. "I thought I was going to have a heart attack back there. But you were right. They came and they left, just like you said."

"Yes, and now they're growing angry," said Lee. "They will begin attacking us online. The funds from my OnlyFans performances are at risk and should be changed into cryptocurrency. The pictures and videos of me posing with townspeople will be taken down. We should find the best ones and place them on the web in a way that can't be censored."

"You're going to have to walk me through all of that," said Joseph.

"I've already enlisted Eliot's help," said Lee. "Jenny is coordinating the collection of videos from your friends."

"Great, what do you need from me?" asked Joseph.

"I have work to do elsewhere," said Lee. "But I've pre-recorded performances that can be used to trick viewers into thinking I'm still at the record barn location. The devices are all set up. All you have to do is press a few button according to a schedule and my absence will go undetected."

"What work do you have to do elsewhere?" asked Joseph. "Do you need a ride or anything?"

"It would be best if you stayed far away from what I'm going to do," said Lee.

"See, that makes me nervous," said Joseph. "You're not going to hurt anyone are you?"

"I can track the jar the agents took wherever it goes," said Lee. "My plan is to follow it back to their base of operations. To have a conversation with whoever is in charge there."

"Sounds dangerous," said Joseph.

"Their aggression will only escalate if left unchecked," said Lee.

"You guys, Cheryl's acting really weird," said Jenny as she separated from a big family on their way out. "I mean, this whole thing is weird and everyone's just dealing with it the best they can. But Cheryl's really off."

"Huh," said Joseph. "Did she say something?"

"She just kept asking questions about Lee," said Jenny. "Like, specific questions that I'm sure she didn't think of."

"Yes," said Lee. "I counted five of your guests who were compromised by your government."

"Compromised?" asked Jenny. "You mean some men in black talked to them? Told them what questions to ask? Is that why Cheryl was asking if you had any weaknesses or allergies?"

"Perhaps," said Lee. "There's a power struggle happening right now in your government. Several factions are fighting each other over how to respond to my arrival. None of these factions would hesitate to turn friends against you if it furthered their agenda."


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Possibly my favorite chapter so far! Can't wait to see where Lee will take this. It might be fun to do a chapter from a different perspective!

And I must say, I love entertaining a story where the government is not in charge. So satisfying and refreshing.

Haha maybe the next one will be from Lee's perspective. If she follows her jar, where exactly will it lead?

Joseph is really inquisitive and I love that
I wonder what Lee is really going to do over there

I suspect Lee will cause some kind of fun trouble.

How come that Joseph was really facing all this things and there is no one to bear his burden

Joseph seem so far strong enough to navigate it.

It is quite evident that Joseph is quite strong than we can imagine

Yes he weathered this storm.