The Daryl Chronicles: Episode 2
“A BEEP! A BEEP! A BEEP!” Daryl kept saying as he jumped around the yard. Sheer joy could be seen over Daryl’s face as he brought both hands up to his mouth in little delighted fists. “I have to confirm this!” Daryl said as he started shutting down wood chippers. He grabbed his mug and dashed toward his step van. He stopped for a moment to one-handedly reached down to pick up Chester, the three legged cat. “Chester! Chester! I got a BEEP!” Daryl bounced him up and down like he was trying to burp a baby.
“It’s about time, now put me down, you dolt, before I hurl a hair ball!” The cat said into Daryl’s mind.
“I must confirm, I must confirm,” Daryl kept repeating as he dropped Chester into the back of his rusty old Chevy van.
Daryl stepped up into the back of his van and made his way past a jumbled mix of ladders, tools, wood, and other various handyman implements. There was a door at the front of the cargo compartment. Anyone would think this was a funny place for a door, and the only place it could possibly lead would be to the cab of the van where the driver and passenger would sit, but it opened into a far different place.
Daryl touched his finger to a small red pad, and the door slid open to the left. Chester ran into the 20 foot square room first. The room was just large enough for a screen that was part of the wall and a creamsicle colored orange sofa that curved around the screen in a semi-circle. The all-white room was a minimalist’s dream come true, and if you didn’t know any better you would think that there was nothing more to this space, but looks can be deceptive.
Daryl leapt over the sofa, and plopped his coverall covered derriere down. His acrobatics caused him to spill half of his coffee onto the orange cushions. Without even looking he placed the cup down in midair, and with a squishing sound a small table organically grew out of the floor as Daryl’s drink hit the table. This room was alive!
“Computer, show me the source of the detection.” The screen came alive, and a picture appeared on the screen that showed a shot of earth from space. Daryl moved his hands in front of the screen, which caused the picture to zoom in for a better view.
Chester jumped up onto the back of the sofa and watched as the spilled coffee stain dissolved into the furniture and disappeared. Self-cleaning furniture would be a dream come true for any parent, but Daryl didn’t think earthlings were ready for this technology yet as it involved, well, furniture that was alive.
Daryl was laughing like a lunatic with excitement. “Yep, it’s a spaceship alright, maybe they’ve found me, and are coming to my rescue!”
“And why would they actually care?” Chester mumbled as Daryl inspected the screen.
Twenty years ago Daryl -the scientist- had been working on a project. He had invented a device that would revolutionize space travel for his kind. He had spent years working on a gizmo that would bend the fabric of space. Imagine a map of the United States. It would take hours to travel from New York City to Portland, Oregon via airplane, or a week by automobile. But just imagine folding the map so New York and Portland were right next to each other. You could take one step and be at your destination in a second. This is what Daryl had invented: a device he called the Transfolderator. But instead of traveling from New York to Portland, Daryl had traveled to the other side of the galaxy.
Daryl had a slight problem; the trip had caused his Transfolderator to burn up. It melted to be more exact, but it worked. Unfortunately for Daryl, there was only one Transfolderator, and he had turned it into a door stop. He now literally uses it to hold open his front door when he brings in groceries. Daryl had always thought it a rather attractive sort of melted blob, and the trip was well worth it from an abstract art point of view.
Luckily, Daryl was close enough to make it to Earth after his long but short trip. He somehow managed to fit in well enough to buy a house and not draw too much attention to himself. After all, he didn’t want to end up like that guy at Area 51 who was probed and alien autopsied. He liked his internal organs to stay inside his body and not be stuffed into jars of formaldehyde.
So now Daryl has a beep, a blip, and a space ship on his screen. Twenty years ago Daryl had launched a satellite from his space craft. It was disguised as a discarded container of Tang orange drink so as not to draw attention from curious sorts of individuals. It performed many tasks, but one task was to look for spacecraft that weren’t from earth. Daryl was especially interested in spacecraft that could have come from his home world Sogdoria. This beep meant that it had picked up a Sogdorian spacecraft, but to be 100% certain he would have to travel up and see.
Daryl had been stuck on this big blue marble for too many years and really wanted to go home. “Chester we’re going up to investigate, and maybe we will be rescued!”
Chester shook his head. “We both know we stand about the same chance of being rescued as a flea on a burning dog, don’t we?”
Chester didn’t actually say it with words. Chester, the creature that looked like a cat, telepathically thought it, and Daryl could understand what he said.
“Why has it taken them so long?” Daryl thought to himself. Always the optimist, he started making preparations. At this point it didn’t matter, as Daryl had hope, and they were going to check it out.
Daryl had done everything he could think of to fit in as an undercover Oregonian handyman. He had planted a large University of Oregon flag depicting an angry Donald Duck in his front yard, grown a vegetable garden, and installed solar panels. Daryl fit in perfectly with his neighbors; well at least that’s what he thought.
Daryl had studied the humans on earth and for the most part had gotten the role correct, but he only passed as a very weird human. His weirdness made him fit in better in Eugene, but many of his neighbors still looked annoyed when he was around. Daryl didn’t seem to pick up on the annoyance.
Daryl’s space craft -a Planet Hopper 1000 or PH1000 for short- was stuffed into the rusty, old, mostly white, step van with a painted mural of the moon on the back. The sides were mostly unpainted because a couple years back Daryl decided to sand off the rust; he just neglected to paint over the bare spaces on the van so they simply rusted again. The van now looked worse than it did before and was called Old Rusty by just about everyone. The van’s only redeeming quality was the eerily lifelike moon on the back. Sometimes the neighborhood dogs would howl as he drove down the road, or maybe they just detected something that didn’t quite belong.
Daryl unplugged a very large cable that was running from Old Rusty to his house, and for a moment the lights in the living room blipped as his house came back up on the power grid. For you see, Old Rusty was actually powering his house with a sophisticated energy source. When Daryl bragged about being off the grid, he wasn’t joking. His spacecraft could power the entire city.
Later that night Daryl drove Old Rusty out of town to a deserted area before he cut the lights. With Chester in tow he headed into the back of the van to enter the space craft control area behind the sliding door. After getting strapped into the sofa he told the computer to lift off. With a mild hum the ship left the ground and steadily rose into the air until it reached about a half mile above earth. Daryl plugged his iPod into the ship’s system and Elton John’s Rocket Man started filling the cabin.
“Computer, HIT IT!” Daryl was hit by the G forces as the ship accelerated to a speed to leave the atmosphere. He didn’t have to feel the Gs but he liked the thrill of the ascent.
“Oh Yeah!” Daryl yelled out as he sank into his seat. Daryl sang along with the song.
“I’m not the man they think I am at home
Ah, no no no
I’m a rocket man!”
Chester just sat there with his paws over his ears, and tried to think about his happy place.
The craft sped up through the atmosphere like a six year old boy after birthday cake with Daryl bobbing his head to the tunes the whole way.
After Daryl cleared the atmosphere he turned on the tracking system. The other ship was close by. The autopilot should have brought him within 100 yards of the other ship but there was nothing there. Daryl unstrapped and studied his screen.
“This doesn’t make any sense,” he thought to himself.
“What the blazes happened to it? It couldn’t have just disappeared!”
But just then there was a “THUMP!” and the music stopped.
“THUMP, SCReeeeeech, THUMP!”
“Oh son of a dust devil!” Daryl said out loud.
“What’s going on? Computer give me a 360 degree camera view!” The picture on the screen started to rotate, and then Daryl saw it.
“Carumba! Those aren’t Sogdorians, those are those Nutter pirates pretending to be Sogdorians, and they’re trying to hijack my ship!”
It may have resembled a Sogdorian ship from his plastic Tang satellite but that’s what the Disciples of the Egyptian Goddess Nut wanted Daryl to believe. You see the Nutters are descendants from the unearthly union between an alien race and ancient humans that they befriended. They had advanced technology but they wanted more, they had their sights set on adding Daryl’s far more advanced technology to their portfolio. But Daryl wasn’t going to put up with their pathetic plan, and their childish behavior.
To be continued…
Tags: alien, cake, Dan LaFollette, Daryl Chronicles, elton John, Eugene, Oregon, space, tang