Saturday, March 19, 2011

326 - DTM Short Story: An Alien Warlord Drinks Coffee

Originally posted March 2006, written sometime in 2005

This is just a short story I wrote. Not great, but perhaps good for a few laughs...

This is a simple tale of a vicious, skinless warlord named Zemus, who was the lord of a mighty empire and ruled with an iron fist. Throughout his long life and career as an alien dictator, Zemus conquered world after world, taking advantage of their weaknesses and exploiting them with his carefully constructed plans.

One day, in an effort to continue his heartless campaign, Lord Zemus decided to conquer a relatively primitive world called Earth. From reports he had received from his various surveillance techniques, this was a world that, until recently, had no contact with off-world species. This seemed almost too perfect for Zemus, as this was a world fully incapable of defending against his awesome attacks.

Before long, Zemus materialized in Tiny Stone Park. Much to his disappointment, the area surrounding him was devoid of life. He had much wanted to scare off hapless humans for the pure fun of it just as many of his creations had done in the past with their instant appearances, but nonetheless, it did not distract him. With a wave of his staff, Zemus's skinless form was quickly replaced with that of a healthy human male in his late-30s, with short brown hair and eerily red eyes. Zemus studied his new form for a moment and satisfied with what he sees, walked towards the city.

He took the time to study the city streets and familiarize himself with his surroundings. Compared to most worlds under his regime, Zemus found this world to be the most primitive by many means. Technology was archaic at best, the humans on this world seemed typically weaker and much more ignorant than the worlds he had previously, and despite the supposed presence of a greater interplanetary threat, there were still bitter conflicts between the various nations of this world, whereas other worlds that have opposed Zemus were in complete unison.

After nearly hours of walking and searching, he had finally found a small diner. He smiled wickedly as he pressed his hand towards the glass door and stepped inside the establishment. He approached the bar and took a seat on one of the stools, where a bartender gently asked what he would like to order.

"Black coffee," he replied, "Two lumps of sugar."

The waitress stared at Zemus's illusion form for a moment with a glint in her eye, nodded, smiled, and went to the back, giving Zemus a wink as she went out of sight. Zemus almost flinched at the behavior, wondering if she had discovered his ruse. He turned to a mirror and saw that his illusion had maintained itself. He finally attributed the behavior to some form of attraction. Zemus almost scoffed at the idea that a mere female was worth his time and intimate powers.

Shaking the idea from his head, he picked up one of the local periodicals entitled The Tiny Stone Press and gazed at the poorly-printed image of a giant robot brawling with a lizard creature. Having familiarized himself with Terran languages prior to his arrival, Zemus began his reading and from that reading, he's learned much about events of the past six months than his orbital probes and spy reports had ever provided him.

From the reading of this simple yet informative Terran periodical, he had learned that one of his earlier subjects had been freed from her interdimensional prison and began wrecking havoc on Earth for the past year. From the reading of this periodical, he had learned that a group of heroes had arrived to defend this world, although their identities remained a guarded secret.

"Here's your coffee, sweetcheeks," the waitress called as she placed the coffee mug in front of Zemus. Zemus stared into the oozing black liquid that filled the fist-sized mug. Zemus was about to sip the liquid when he noticed the waitress staring at him. Then it hit him; she's waiting for currency in exchange for the warm beverage. Zemus could have produced excellent replicas of the paper bills used here, but thought against it, as this world was quickly adapting methods to uncover counterfeit currency. Instead, he thought of a response to use.

"I am afraid I do not have any currency on me for the moment."

As he spoke those words, his eyes flickered a blazing red as the waitress was about to speak, but she froze for a moment. Her eyes momentarily glowed blood red as well, but the glowing quickly faded and the waitress shot Zemus a warm, compassionate smile too wide not to be genuine.

"Don't worry, honeycup," the waitress said smiling, "It's on me."

Zemus nodded and began to sip his coffee as the waitress got to the backroom again. He thought that it was a little on the sweet side, but was otherwise consumable. With coffee and periodical in hand, he went from the bar to one of the tables in the back end of the room, where he could read and drink in peace without interruption. When he had finished all the articles and pages in the current periodical, he went to a nearby rack, where several other periodicals were found. He took another out, a standard-sized magazine called TIME, and went back to his table, where he began reading through the contents.

Once again, the magazine had been very instrumental in his acquirement of knowledge concerning this planet. Recent events, forms of amusement, and other bits of minutiae that most people would look had offered him a great deal of information concerning the world's society. What it lacked in technological and physical inferiority, Zemus reasoned, it made up for its wide diversity. In past experiences, Zemus know that while they can be a threat as a unified force, they can also be bitter enemies when divided and will not hesitate to blow each other other.

It is something Zemus might enjoy exploiting in the future.

Over the course of the next hour, Zemus had ordered three more cups of coffee and read through every recent periodical the diner had to offer. The selection of reading material was diverse, ranging from parody magazines to comic books to past editions of the more popular tabloid publications. It was during the reading of this material that Zemus began to develop a hint of worry. Clearly, the comics he read depicted super-powered beings fighting against alien invaders and corrupt leaders. The tabloids spoke of famous celebrities returning from the dead; a power that Zemus had never witnessed before. Although most of these were fictional, Zemus couldn't really distinguish fact from fiction.

Finally, Zemus had enough. He tossed aside the stack of periodicals and ran out of the diner in a hurry. It was then that he bore witnessed to the more stranger characters that Earth had to offer. Costumed individuals, people with strange hair styles, and even nude runners crowded the streets, filling Zemus' mind with misery. He frantically ran away from the crowded streets, knocking out anybody in the way, until he returned to the park where he had appeared in. He thought he was safe and sound until he noticed a mob of angry people running at him. Zemus began to tremble in fear as the mob grew larger and closer... until he had remembered something.

With a snap of his fingers, Zemus' human guise disappeared and in its place was his true skinless form. Suddenly, the mob that had ran towards him in anger were running away from him, crying and shouting in fear that a real alien was among them. Zemus raised his hands in triumph... finally, he had accomplished something worthwhile! He soon snapped his fingers and vanished into nothingness. No doubt returning to his home empire.


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