Amid the deep, dark blackness of space exist billions of galaxies similar to our own. Among those galaxies, astronomers estimate there may be
billions of stars with planets revolving around them - planets which could conceivably harbor intelligent life. What if we were to one day discover
the existence of fellow sentient beings? What would they be like? More importantly, would they be friendly toward our species, or hostile? On June
9th, 1998, those questions were answered, and the nations of the world suddenly realized that Earth was in big trouble.
Alien beings with the ability to change their shape in order to appear human had not only discovered our planet, but had secretly infiltrated key
positions within the federal government. Intelligence sources revealed an especially high concentration of alien subversion going on within the
Sacramento Area. A counterintelligence specialist would be needed to secretly work his way into the network, find out who the alien impersonators
were, and eliminate them. This would require an agent highly trained in the arts of international espionage, and so secret that not even the most
extensive of background identification checks could reveal his true identity. I was that agent.
In order to obtain a position within one of these government agencies, I would need to obtain the appropriate forms and applications from the federal
office in Sacramento. I decided to enlist the aid of my associate, Brian, for this most dangerous and important operation. Arriving at Brian's house
around noon, I found him doing yard-work in the backyard. After quickly informing him of the situation, he agreed to risk his life to protect his
country. He never fails to impress me with his courage, the true hero that he is.
We had little time, and would need to prepare for our mission as quickly as possible. Brian went and got the Vodka from the hangar, and I retrieved
the rest of the ingredients from the refrigerator. It took only minutes for us to assemble the martinis, and I raised a toast to Brian, who gladly
"To the future of mankind." I said, and downed the Martini all at once, then quickly consumed the olive.
"To the future of mankind." Brian responded, and did the same.
Actually, we ended up drinking about six or seven Martinis apiece, and soon we were in no condition to leave the house. In fact, I doubt we could
have even found the door. This wasn't surprising, however, because in this line of business setbacks and delays are often the rule. We would have
to wait another day.
I arrived at Brian's house around noon, and we quickly jumped into the Mitsubishi and headed down the interstate, toward our objective. Upon
arriving in downtown Sacramento, we located a parking garage and hid the vehicle between two large trucks on the open-air second parking level. Then,
from the edge of the lot, we performed surveillance on a couple of suspicious-looking beautiful women on the street below. About a block down the
street we sighted exactly what we were looking for - a bar.
In no time Brian and I descended to the street and made our way inside the dimly lit watering hole. After ordering a couple of Martinis, we sneaked
outside with the drinks and quickly walked across the busy street to our first objective, the Social Security Administration building. We had
journeyed not more than ten feet inside the lobby when the security guard, a large man in his mid-forties with a gray mustache, ordered to a halt.
"I'm afraid I can't let you folks inside with those. No alcoholic beverages allowed in the building."
Was he serious? Had we come this far only to be stopped dead in our tracks by some ridiculous technicality? Brian looked at me with an expression
of utter dismay. I looked at the guard, and decided I should try to reason with him. It was worth a shot. Hell, the safety of the world depended on
I glanced around the lobby to make sure we weren't under any kind of enemy surveillance, and casually whispered. "Officer, I'm sure you can
overlook this minor legal infraction. You see, my partner and I are working for the government on a highly secret intelligence operation, an
operation which involves tracking down enemy alien insurgents. If you love your country and your planet, then you must let us go inside."
"You can come in any time you want, but you still have to leave the martinis outside." he said, without an ounce of sympathy.
I looked the guard in the eyes and asked him in the most serious tone, "Officer, do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?"
"Not when I'm on duty. Now take the booze out of the lobby or I'm gonna arrest your asses."
Turning to Brian, I said "This man is impossible. He can't be reasoned with. The alien's influence must go deeper than we thought. We'll have
to drink these now, and go inside without any martinis."
"My God." Brian said, "If they'll do it to us here, they'll do it to us everywhere. Let's get this over with as soon as possible."
We went outside, downed the Martinis, and then the guard let us in. Then we made our way to the federal government employment center computer
screen, and used our top-secret passwords to gain entry into the most highly classified areas of the system. Staring at the screen, we looked in
horror at the United States map which displayed various areas of federal employment opportunities. I quickly realized that the entire region of the
United States had been compromised, and would soon be under alien control. Brian and I hastily left the building and went down the block. Our work in
the city was done, and now it was time to escape. Only one thing stood in our way - we had to find some martinis, and fast.
Suddenly, I heard Brian shout "Look across the street! It's Ed and Travis!" I gazed in the direction in which he was pointing. There they were -
two of our fellow undercover operatives, standing on the corner and waiting for the street light to turn green. Ed was dressed casually in black
jeans, a red long sleeved shirt, and a pair of dark goggles. Travis, on the other hand, was wearing more specialized gear. From across the street I
could see that he was clad in black leather pants, a fishnet stocking shirt, and over that an aluminum-covered reflective fireman's coat. Over his
face he wore an antique gas mask.
What were they doing here? Obviously, they too were working on some mission of immense national security, possibly connected with our own case. In
the ninety-plus degree heat of the afternoon, I realized that Travis must be sweating like a pig in that gear. I felt sorry for him, but at the same
time I understood that a secret agent's disguise was often unusual, and sometimes it was downright uncomfortable. In the heat of battle, soldiers
like us often must make extreme sacrifices, and fashion is no exception.
The walk-sign lit up, and they crossed the street.
"What are you guys doing here?" we asked in unison.
Travis, looking angry and upset, replied "We drove all the way down here to meet a couple of girls at a techno-dance club, but they totally stood us
"So, did you guys have any luck finding a job yet?" Ed asked.
"I'll have you know, we're undercover, and in the middle of a very high-stakes counter-intelligence operation" I replied, rather tersely.
"Uh-huh, I get it." Ed said. "We're on our way back to the car; it's in the parking garage down the street."
"That's where we're parked too," Brian said, "but we can't leave just yet. We have to have a few martinis first, and we don't have any money
Ed and Travis could sense our sheer desperation, and it appeared as if all was lost. There we were, the four of us stranded in downtown Sacramento,
completely drinkless. It was then that I experienced a moment of overwhelming inspiration.
I guess it was the color of the building, or its immense size, or just the way its shape reminded me of a crystal clear bottle of Absolute Vodka.
There it was, towering above us like a finger of God. It was the twenty-eight story monolith in the middle of downtown Sacramento called the
Renaissance Building, and I instantly knew it was our only hope. I turned to my three companions.
"Don't ask me how I know this, I just know. We'll find everything we need at the top of that tower."
Ed looked at me and said "Let's go for it."
We found the entrance to the main lobby, and went directly to the elevator. Before I could say anything, Brian punched the button marked "27", the
top floor. We felt the acceleration as the elevator rose like a rocket to the twenty-eighth story, and then the doors opened, we stepped into the
To our left was a huge glass window which provided a breathtaking view of the entire Sacramento area. Turning to our right we were surprised to
discover the entrance to the KWOD 106.5 radio station. As the four of us entered the office, we were greeted by the receptionist - a cute girl with
dark shoulder-length hair and enticing green eyes.
"How are you guys doing?" she said.
I approached her cautiously - after all, she could be an alien in disguise. Who would know? It was best to keep a low profile. "Maybe you can help
us. My name is Marsh…Kyle Marsh. We're looking for a bar. Is there one on this floor?"
"I'm afraid not, the only alcohol in this place belongs to the DJ, Nick Monroe, and it's in his private liquor cabinet inside the studio. Sorry,
but I can't let you go in there."
I looked at Brian, Ed, and Travis, and I could see that they knew exactly what I was thinking. The four of us thanked her and went back into the
hallway, out of view. It only took a few minutes to formulate a plan of action. We waited until the receptionist left the desk to use the restroom,
and then Brian and I quickly rushed inside, past the reception desk and through the door to find found ourselves standing in the inside the unattended
When we saw the soundproof-glass-incased room directly ahead of us, we knew that our objective was in sight. Brian immediately opened the shelf next
to the closet, and exclaimed "Look! Here it is!"
And there it was. A full bottle of Absolut 100, olives, ice maker, martini glasses, a thermos, and a blender. While Brian put the vodka, vermuth,
and ice into the blender to begin preparing the Martinis, I decided to play something cool on the stereo. It would be impossible to have drinks
without the proper musical atmosphere, so the success of our mission depended on my ability to figure out the workings of this complicated musical
system. Before me lay a dizzying number of switches and dials, as well as what appeared to be numerous slots for playing CD's. I simply grabbed a
few from the shelf overhead, and shoved them into the machine.
When the Martinis were ready, I began fiddling with the switches and dials while Brian prepared another round of drinks. Soon I was able to make the
machine produce the powerful yet pleasant notes of a cool song by Filter, and Brian nodded in approval. That was when all hell broke loose.
We were startled to see none other than Nick Monroe himself trying to open the door to the room which we had locked behind us. He was standing next
to Ed, and when he switched on the outside microphone system, we could tell that Nick was screaming at the top of his lungs.
"JUST WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE! TURN THAT CRAP OFF! DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT'S PLAYING ON THE RADIO!"
I glanced at the console in front of me, turned off the inside stereo system, and pushed a button labeled "Broadcast". I suddenly realized in
horror that one of the CD's which I had inserted into the machine was being broadcast all over the greater Sacramento area, and it was not Filter.
What we had in fact been playing over the radio was an extremely unpleasant single from an album titled "Donnie and Marie Osmond's Greatest Hits -
Volume Four". I motioned for Brian to grab the Vodka and supplies, and we rushed out of the studio past the screaming Nick Monroe. Ed followed
close behind. Before Nick could reach the office, the three of us closed the glass security door, and I tore off the access panel. Nick was pounding
on the glass, shouting obsceneties. The three of us turned around.
There at the reception desk was Travis, lying on top of the receptionist, obviously trying to make out with her. The receptionist was not as eager
to make love to him, however, and Travis seemed oblivious to her attempts to fight him off. I walked over to both of them and shouted "What in
God's name are you doing?"
Travis climbed off the girl and said "If you would remember your undercover training, which obviously you don't, then you would know that I was
simply trying to distract the enemy while you were doing your job inside."
I couldn't argue with that. Brian and Ed suggested that we should get away from there as soon as possible - we had the vodka, and now it was time
to escape. We could hear Nick behind the glass, screaming at the receptionist. He was ordering her to call security.
The four of us ran over to the elevator and Brian pushed the "Down" button. Nothing happened for at least thirty seconds, and we could see that the
receptionist was done calling the security detail. I figured that they were probably already in the elevator, and coming up here fast. That's when
Brian came up with a suggestion.
"The maintenance door. It's our only chance. We'll have to get onto the roof and figure out an escape route from there."
We all agreed, then bolted toward the maintenance door, up the short flight of stairs, and in no time we found ourselves standing at the very top of
the Renaissance Building, over a thousand feet above the city. As I scanned the rooftop, I suddenly saw our one chance to get away. There before us,
on the helipad, sat a bright red McDonnell Douglas MD600N heavy-lift helicopter. Being familiar with all kinds of military and commercial aircraft, I
knew that its powerful Allison 250-C47 turbine engine would provide more than enough lift to get the four of us - and the vodka - off the building and
out of danger.
I looked at Brian and asked "Can you fly that thing?" I wasn't surprised by his answer. "Of course I can! Get in and strap in. We're taking
to the sky and nothing can stop us!"
We quickly took our seats and Brian started the engine. Just then we were startled to see six well-armed security guards burst onto the roof and
begin waving their arms at us. Brian pushed the throttle to full power and pulled on the stick. The helicopter shot upwards and away from the roof.
We all looked down at the helpless guards below, and I began mixing some more martinis.
Then disaster struck. I realized that even though we had brought the vodka, the ice, and the thermos with us, without the blender it would be
impossible to stir the martinis. None of us had thought to bring any stirring sticks along for the ride, so now it seemed as if we had escaped
certain death and destruction, only to be doomed once again. Slowly and somberly, I explained our predicament to the rest of the crew.
As it turned out, Brian had a solution which saved us all. He turned to me and said "Just fill the thermos and hang on. I'll do the rest."
I did as he instructed, and suddenly Brian put all of his weight onto the right foot rudder of the helicopter, while keeping the stick straight and
vertical. We all held on as the aircraft began to spin violently, and Ed shouted "We're losing altitude! Hang on, we're going down!" I watched
in terror as the ground rushed up at us from below, and before I knew what was happening I felt a tremendous jolt as the helicopter crashed through
the top level of the very same parking garage where we had left our vehicles, coming to a violent stop on the third floor.
Dazed and confused, I glanced into the thermos and realized that Brian was indeed a genius, and one hell of a pilot. The spinning motion of the
helicopter had stirred the vodka and the ice perfectly, and now we were ready for a round of drinks. As the four of us climbed out of the helicopter,
we could hear a crowd of people rushing into the garage. They had obviously seen the crash and were coming to our aid. Before we were spotted, we
all hid behind a couple of parked sedans. Before long, a huge group of onlookers had assembled around the downed aircraft, and we were able to blend
into the crowd easily. Standing there with our martinis in hand, we gazed in awe at the mangled helicopter underneath the gaping hole in the top
level. After a few more minutes, we made our way back to our vehicles and headed home, our mission completed.
Protecting the freedom of the world is never an easy task. It takes the courage and sacrifice of people like us, people you never hear about who
make the ultimate sacrifices needed to keep enemies at bay. But the threat is always there, and whenever our world is in danger, unsung heroes like
us will be there as well. For us, it's all in a day's work.
[edit on 16-6-2006 by Flatwoods]