Procrastination

It’s something we’re all guilty of to some extent. I’m sure plenty of readers can recall times when they waited till the last minute to get something done. This story will deal with a similar theme on a more cosmic scale.

Ring

Anzo Dahman yawned, stretching and groaned. He wasn’t a stranger to hangovers, but this one was especially bad. He felt around, his hand closing around a pill bottle on his nightstand. Popping one gave him instant relief. He inhaled deeply and then belched. Next, he went to check his phone but found that the ring didn’t come from it.

At first, he was confused. Then upon realizing where it came from, his heart sank.

“No. No. No,” he kept murmuring to himself as he was scrambling to find what is best described as his other phone.

Finally, he managed to locate it under a pile of trash from a McDonald’s meal. He hadn’t noticed it before because of a spilled McFlurry covering it. He grabbed it, shaking off the liquid and wiping the screen off with some used napkins. Seeing the screen confirmed his fears. With a groan, he tossed the phone onto his bed and then grabbed his main one.

For someone like him, being this active and nervous was not an ideal state. He selected a contact, pacing back and forth while waiting for them to pick up.

“Come on. Come on,” he breathed.

At last, there was a click.

“Anzo, what can I do for you?”

“I need to call an emergency meeting. It’s urgent.”

“What? Why?”

“I can’t explain it all over the phone, Rodney. Trust me, it’ll be better if I can explain it to everyone at once.”

“Alright. I’ll make some calls then, but it might take a while.”

“How long?!”

“I don’t know. Can you calm down?”

“Sorry. How soon can you make it happen?”

“I think I can do 2:00 PM.”

“Okay. That’s good.”

Hours later, the world leaders were all gathered. President Rodney Finch sat expectantly. Anzo arrived, walking briskly. Cameras followed him as he took center stage. With a clearing of his throat and tapping of the microphone, he spoke.

“I’m going to cut to the chase since this is some serious shit.”

There was a pause.

“My dad is going to be here.”

“Why is that concerning?” Rodney asked.

Anzo rubbed the back of his neck in the embarrassed manner of someone who knows they’ve put something off for too long.

“Well, you see, he’s sort of…An invader.”

There was a tense pause.

“What did you say?” The Canadian Prime Minister, Nathan Boucher asked.

“So this one is kind of my bad. I may have neglected to mention that my parents aren’t exactly nice people.”

There are two significant things about Anzo. Firstly, he was the most powerful person on Earth. Secondly, which contributed heavily to the first reason is that he was an alien. Maybe that fact should’ve been explained sooner, but it’s something the people have gotten used to. For the past fifty years, his home had been planet Earth.

He hailed from a war-hungry race of conquerors. To describe them, they are a race who are essentially born armored with spiky skin. In particular, his parents were renowned generals who conquered thousands of planets. All who resisted met swift ends until the rest of their populaces bent the knee. They produced many children who were respectable invaders in their own right.

Knowing tha.t their dismay at Anzo’s differentiation from the family tradition wasn’t surprising. Rather than taking up a weapon, and shedding blood in the name of their planet, he’d rather do not much of anything. Furious at this, his parents had him forcibly put in one of their pods. They told him he would have what roughly translates to a little over fifty years to conquer a weak planet. It should be mentioned that his race has long natural life expectancies.

His punishment if he failed would be working on one of the more undesirable planets they conquered. To be more specific, one that, roughly translated, is known as “Dungiter”. The race on it shares many similarities to a certain beetle. Initially, the planet was going to be destroyed due to it being deemed a waste. Pardon the pun.

However, it was soon discovered that the planet’s main resource helped exponentially with growing crops on other planets. What that resource is should be obvious. It also doubled as a useful deterrent for less adept warriors of Anzo’s race, mainly himself. They hoped this would put a fire under him so to speak. Unfortunately for them. Upon landing on Earth, he decided to forego his task in favor of pursuing leisurely activities, least of which trying the popular Earthly substances known as booze and weed.

The result of this was the planet advancing extremely quickly in terms of medical and military technology. He provided blueprints for a universal translator which erased the language barrier for most people. Thanks to him, the average life expectancy increased significantly. Although, the drawback of a longer life is a greater chance of seeing the consequences of your action or in this case, lack thereof. When he finished explaining the situation, everyone became rowdy and shouted questions.

“Look!,” he said, slamming his fists on the podium and making them fall silent. “The point is if we don’t think of a way to deal with this, it’s going to be bad for all of us. Now, we have two months until they arrive so does anyone have any ideas?”

A hand shot in the air.

“Yes, Rodney?”

“Why don’t we combine all our weapons? After all, thanks to you they’ve become far more advanced.”

“That would be a brilliant idea if my parents didn’t have thousands of militarized planets at their disposal.”

Rodney’s expression soured. Another hand was nervously raised.

“Nathan? Hmm, this should be interesting. What’s your idea?”

“Okay, so maybe we should ask them not to. You never know. It might work.

Anzo collapsed his hands together, bringing his index fingers to his lips.

“Okay, so I like the spirit of your suggestion. I just don’t think it should be our first foot forward. We’ll definitely save it as a last resort though.”

“Okay, yeah, that’s fair.”

And by last, Anzo meant never. He was beginning to worry that nobody would be able to come up with anything.

“I may have an idea.”

All attention in the room shifted to none other than Japanese Prime Minister, Tabata, Matsa. He continued.

“What if we performed an elaborate ruse?”

For the first time since the meeting started, Anzo was intrigued.

“Go on,” he encouraged.

“Suppose we merely pretend that you’ve conquered us so they do not?”

He thought for a moment.

“Would we be able to make it convincing enough, though? When it comes to torture, my parents are connoisseurs. “

“If history has shown anything, so were we until you came along.”

Everyone bleakly agreed. That was something they wanted to forget. As it turns out when everyone’s main needs are met, they have more time for introspection. Then a lot of people think that maybe they shouldn’t have been so hateful. Ironically, that antithetical trait to the world’s current attitude was going to be greatly beneficial. Anzo pondered Tabata’s words.

“Good point. Alright, we’re going with Tabata’s idea. My parents will be very thorough so we have to make sure we get this right. Everyone, you must enslave yourselves so that you do not become enslaved!”

At that, there was a chorus of cheers. The plan was immediately put into action. People were randomly selected to act as slaves and masters with Anzo being called Supreme Ruler. Those in their rules were covered in grime and dirt to give the impression of being overworked. Two months later, a fleet arrived with Anzo’s dad’s ship at the front.

When he landed and got out along with his troops, everyone saw that there was heavy resemblance between father and son.

“Anzo,” his dad greeted him, matter of factly.

He stood in front of him, wearing a golden crown with a long purple cape. He gripped a silver steel spear.

“Father, behold my conquest!”

He pointed his spear at people who on cue, cowered in fear. His father saw this and straightened himself up.

“As you can see, I’ve taken over this planet. These puny apes hardly put up a fight once I incinerated their cities.”

His father and his trips were. surveying the area, taking note of the smoky sky. Everyone flinched at his gaze. Although, unlike with Anzo, this fear was genuine. Not a word was spoken for a few tense moments and Anzo was afraid that the sham had been seen through. His dad stared at him sharply, drawing in a deep breath, and then burst out laughing.

“I knew you had it in you!”

He gave him a hearty slap on the back.

“Oh, the others doubted you, but I never gave up! Sure it may have taken a while, but at last, you have shown you are worthy of the family name!”

Although he kept himself from showing it, Anzo was relieved.

“Your praise pleases me, father. I take it I can continue ruling this planet then?”

“Continue? Don’t be ridiculous! You need to move on to others. They’ll all bend to your will.”

Anzo felt his chest tighten. What nobody accounted for was the plan working too well.

“Don’t worry,” his father continued. “This planet will still be yours. It’ll just be overseen by one of our commanders.”

“Oh uh…Good,” he replied, scrambling to think of a way out of the situation. “But this is a plentiful planet, you know and I’m sure others will be after it so perhaps I should stay to make sure it’s secure for us?”

His dad gave a dismissive wave.

“We’ll leave more than enough soldiers here to fight off any other invaders.”

“Fantastic, “ Anzo said joylessly.

A live feed was set up so that everyone could view how the incident was playing out. Right now, this was not the desired outcome. The world leaders were in communication with one another. The general consensus was “this doesn’t look good”. Things were about to go from bad to worse. As Anzo was about to follow his father onto his ship, a blizzard of bullets shot out over the hills.

While no ammunition native to Earth could harm Anzo’s race, it still stung.

“I thought you said all of these people bowed to you,” His dad said accusingly and putting up a forcefield.

He chuckled nervously and coughed. The ones firing were a collective of people convinced that Anzo was the antichrist. Of course, they thought many people were him. This time they were sure, though.

“Apologies, father. They slipped my mind. I keep some free to hunt for fun. After all, what’s better than dashing false hope?”

Once again, there was an uncomfortably long silence. Then his father grinned.

“I like the way you think. How about we spend some quality time together before leaving?”

His dad proceeded to aim a plasma gun at their attackers, firing it. A lava-colored energy beam shot out, causing a sphere of heat to incinerate them.

“Wow! Did you see how they went flying?”

A burnt leg landed in front of them which his dad then picked up and took a bite out of.

“Not bad. Could use some sauce.”

This all unfolded in just under half a minute. The reaction to it was horrified silence.

“Is something wrong?”

Anzo up until this point was a complete stranger to violence. Sure, there’d been the occasional safari on jungle planets. However, he’d never witnessed firsthand the killing of anyone close to their level of cognition. His knees felt weak.

“Um, I neglected to mention that we use their weapons while we do this.”

“Strange. How come?”

“It’s more sporting that way.”

“Ah, I see. Very well then. Give me one so we can do this properly.”

Reluctantly, Anzo ordered someone to bring over a hunting rifle. While they waited, he hoped that something, anything would be his saving grace. Almost as if the universe was giving him the finger, something else went awry. Of the people bringing the weapons, one tripped and someone instinctively jumped out of a gun’s line of sight right before it went off. Now, under any other circumstances, this would not seem suspicious.

As luck, in this case bad, would have it this person was pretending to be handicapped with a casted leg.

“Wait a minute…” His father said darkly.

Anzo was internally shrieking. If his race possessed hair, he would’ve yanked some of his out. What they did have were portable X-Rays. Upon using them, they came to the shocking discovery that nobody, save for the ones who’d gotten barbecued, was injured. From that, they deduced what was really going on.

“What do you have to save for yourself?!”

An accusing finger was pointed at Anzo and there was no talking his way out of this one.

“I…” he stammered.

“You thought you could trick me? And to think I was going to gloat about you to the others. You have dishonored us! Now you know what will happen.”

“No!”

Anzo dropped to his knees.

“Not there! Anywhere but there!”

His dad said nothing and turned his back on him. All he could do was hang his head in failure as some soldiers were about to escort him back to one of their ships. He didn’t resist because he knew it would be futile. Another tendency of his species is to study the history of planets they conquer in case it contains anything noteworthy. Anzo sat waiting, dread mounting in the pit of his stomach.

Meanwhile, his dad was on his ship which he connected to the internet. What he saw on it, made his mouth fall open. He stormed back out, demanding to speak with the world leaders. Confused, but not wanting to dig his hole any deeper, Anzo attempted contacting them through video call.

“Is everything working?”

“Yes, dad.”

His father cleared his throat.

“I was wrong.”

Of all the things he could’ve said, this shocked Anzo the most. This was unfamiliar terrain and he wasn’t sure what it contained.

“About what?” He heard himself say.

“About you, Anzo. I was furious, but you’ve actually done it!”

“Sorry, I’m a little lost. What exactly did I do?”

“You’ve discovered a species even more violent than ours!”

Needless to say, that statement caused a lot of confusion. His dad faced the camera.

“After brushing through your history, I can say with one hundred percent certainty that human beings are the most monstrous beings I’ve ever seen. I mean we only hunt other races and never use extreme violence to discipline each other, but you all do it for fun! That isn’t to say I mean any disrespect. It’s just that humans seem to be wired a lot different than any other intelligent species we’ve encountered.”

There was a strong stomach-twisting feeling in the air as he continued.

“I mean, killing each other simply over physical or ideological differences is something that would never occur to us and not only adults, children as well. On top of that, you have no qualms in ending the lives of people with no stakes in your conflicts. What was that saying your species came up with again? I think it was, you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs? Agreed. Now I understand you’re the one speaking on behalf of everyone, Mr.Finch?”

“That is correct…” The president meekly replied.

“I understand before you became de facto leader of the world, you helped the other presidents make some rather interesting decisions involving what’s known as drone strikes I believe?”

“Times were different then,” Rodney stuttered.

“If you were here right now I would shake your hand. It takes special people to oversee the casual slaughter of thousands and then still be able to sleep soundly which is why I think you’ll fit right in with our ranks.”

“Pardon? I’m not sure I heard you correctly.”

“Don’t be so modest! You, humans, learn how to use weapons remarkably fast so it won’t take long for you to figure out how to operate ours and once you do, we’ll have other planets quaking in fear.”

“Um, we aim to please…”

Rodney and many others were feeling lightheaded.

“So you’ll accept my offer then? I have a feeling this will turn into a beautiful friendship.”

No one else was killed by any aliens that day and so Earth was, albeit only technically, at peace. Although the term forced employment comes into mind with the arrangement made. Two positives came from this. One was more technological advancements for Earth and the other was that Anzo could keep doing what he did best, almost nothing, and almost because doing nothing is impossible.

However, if anyone comes close, it’s him and so this story ends with him draining a bottle of whiskey, his vision going blurry before fading to black, and finally, him passing out face down on the pizza he was eating and crashing through the table it was on.

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Rosé Black

Rosé Black

Hello, I mainly write horror but also blend it with comedy, sci-fi, or fantasy. If you’re a fan of these genres, I hope you’ll like my work.