““You’re the hunter, the warrior. You’re stronger than anyone else here, that’s your tragedy.”
― Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat
Aliens Abduct Cheerleaders
There are a few people in this world that everyone would consider to be a BADASS. Navy jet fighter pilots, gangsters, hitmen, boxers, bullies, Seal Team Six, high voltage repairmen… that sort of thing. Within that world of people that are badass there are a few that are REALLY BADASS. Think of a bell curve representing the amount of badass someone has – that right hand bit of tail and you have the badass people. Spread that out and you get another curve – to the right of it, the second derivative – and these are the most badass of the badass.
If you meet one of these people (and you better hope you never do) you probably would not even recognize their badassness – at least not right away. There is a saying among the super-badass, “They that do the mostest, talk the leastest.” They will never, never, ever talk about how badass they are. No tales of derring-do, no boastful bluster, no bombastic braggadocio. They are comfortable in their skin, confident in their abilities.
This is a small group, but among them are a handful of the most badass of the badass of the badass. These are the people that keep the badass of the badass up at night, send shivers down their spine. I’m not sure I know about all these people but I know six of them and I doubt there are very many more.
Who is more badass than these six? There is only one. He is not only the most badass person on the planet, he is an order of magnitude beyond; he is so badass that the word almost ceases to have meaning; he is made of pure badass.
He is Spencer Bowman.
Bowman carries an old fashioned pager. It only beeps – doesn’t even display the number calling. He may be the only person in a first-world country that still carries a pager like that.
One day, it beeped. Bowman stomped on the pager, shattering its plastic case, then dropped its remains off the first overwater bridge he came to. He drove his perfectly nondescript and average car to a working class suburb outside of DC and parked in front of a Speedometer Repair Shop in a run-down strip mall. He nodded at the middle aged receptionist and pressed a hidden button. A section of wall opened up and a stainless steel elevator appeared. The walls of the car had slits and Bowman nodded at them, knowing that an unseen man with a machine gun was behind each one.
At the bottom, deep underground, Bowman walked down a bare concrete corridor and pushed open a heavy steel blast door. Beyond was an ordinary drab government-issue office, with a bespectacled man at a desk. Not even Bowman knew what government agency ran this operation. It was so secret and dark it didn’t even have an acronym. Bowman suspected that not even the man behind the desk knew for sure who he worked for.
“Bowman, glad to see you again, have a seat,” said the man at the desk.
“What do you need me for?” was all Bowman said.
“You don’t waste much time, do you,” the man replied.
Bowman said nothing, not even a nod. It wasn’t really a question anyway.
“Well,” the man said, “aliens are stealing cheerleaders.”
“Really. Not just here, all over the world, though, of course the United States leads the world in Cheerleaders and most of the kidnappings are here. The total number isn’t huge, but it’s enough to worry… well, worry the people that know you.”
“And you want me to?”
“Find out why.”
“Maybe it is for breeding stock. There was a movie about that.”
“Probably not. They have mostly been taking female cheerleaders. But there have been a few male ones too. Actually, the ratio is pretty much the same as the total cheerleader population.”
“So, find out why. Anything else?”
“Well, it would be nice if you could get some back. If you can.”
The man handed Bowman a tiny, encrypted USB drive. Bowman already knew the password. And that was it.
There was a surprising amount of information on the drive. Enough for Bowman to figure out a couple of starting points. The government had a lot more data on the recent plague of UFO sightings than the public had been allowed to see. After a month of work, a series of educated guesses, and using some of his more exotic contacts, Bowman was able to figure out where the Alien’s base of operations was – an abandoned water pumping station in Dallas, Texas. The Aliens had a complex, subtle, and deep series of security measures protecting their base which Bowman was able to methodically and completely penetrate.
The Aliens resembled human beings in general, and their advance agents had established an odd cult of bizarre plastic surgery that made them able to… if not fit in, at least pass with their origins unguessed. Bowman reached the leader of the Alien mission with a maximum of stealth and a minimum of violence. They faced each other across an odd seven legged table lit by the unsettling greenish light of the Alien’s home planet.
“Spencer Bowman,” said the Alien mission leader.
“You know me,” said Bowman. Again, it was not a question.
“Of course, our knowledge of your society is more extensive than your own.”
“But why cheerleaders?”
“We need warriors.”
“Cheerleaders? Why not trained military? Or ninjas? Or snipers? Or at least gang bangers?”
“We are so very far advanced technologically that your crude killing methods are no longer relevant. Our weapons need a very specific and subtle mix of physical and mental capabilities and proclivities to operate efficiently. The Earth Cheerleading corps possess these qualities in greater accuracy than any other group we have found in any of the major galaxies.”
“But you can’t just kidnap people.”
“Kidnap? Oh you don’t understand. We present our proposal and they come along if they want.”
“But what if they refuse?”
“What if? Nothing. They return to their life.”
“What if they talk?”
“What if? Would any one believe them? Nope, they would end up a joke in the tabloids. And that’s the thing.”
“Nobody has refused. No one. The call of destiny is strong. This is their purpose, they are perfect intergalactic warriors and when this is pointed out – the call is irresistible.”
Bowman knew he had the information he needed and it was time to escape. He turned away from the alien leader and fled out the door, taking every element of the situation in and avoiding the obvious traps. He was confident in his ability to get out of the alien headquarters unscathed and deliver his message to the government.
But Bowman was not prepared for what waited for him in the corridor beyond. There was Amber from the San Luis Obispo Wildcats in her red and blue uniform. She carried a Light Antimatter Laser Cannon and a Neutrino Shield. Next to her was Jeff from the Iowa City High School tumbling squad with a Quantum Saber glowing in his palms. Behind them stood their commander Crystal from The University of Virginia with a Superstring Grenade… just in case.
The fight didn’t last long. Withing a few seconds Bowman was reduced to a series of grotesque smears along a few feet of corridor. The Alien cleaning robot immediately emerged from a hidden closet and began scrubbing at the gore.
Spencer Bowman was without peer in the ranks of earth’s BADASS. But he was completely outclassed by Amber, Jeff, and Crystal, Intergalactic Warriors.