The general and I were just talking on my back porch when the gold and silver saucer appeared, hovering for a brief moment before landing, legs coming out in a smooth ballet of motion that told me that the operator was using the very expensive auto-park feature as it settled onto the ground. It then shimmered and turned glassy as tiny cameras on one side displayed a pixel on the opposite side. Anyone looking straight down would see a circular shadow and not what was casting it.
“And,” the general drawled, putting down his coffee, “I suppose you have a reasonable explanation for all of this?”
“Ah,” I managed, as a hatch opened up, looking like a hole into some strange factory, and a tiny figure bolted from inside, heading directly for me.
“Ig!” it cried, just before it flung itself at me, landing on my chest.
Oh god, it was Reg.
“Uh, Reg, now is not…”
“You gotta hide me! Please! Just for a few days!”
“Hide you?” the General and I chorused. For a brief moment, I wondered if I should call jinx on him, but he didn’t look like he was in the mood.
“Who’s that?” Reg demanded, leaning away to stare at my other visitor. His eyes narrowed. “It’s a native… did you get a butler?”
Oh god, I almost lost it as the general turned red, looking ready to throw a fit.
“Reg, that is General [REDACTED]. He came to see me about some technical issues his satellites have when they fly over…”
“Does he want a bribe?” Reg asked out of the side of his mouth in the worse stage whisper ever. I wanted to bury my face in my hands, if they weren’t immediately occupied with holding onto a small alien in a space suit.
“Reg…!” I whined, but he’d already had pulled out several diamond discs which he tossed towards the general. [REDACTED] had great reflexes for a man of his age, he caught a few of them.
“What is this?” he demanded, puffing up again.
“Money,” I shrugged. “It lasts a really long time.”
“And it’s shiny!” Reg smiled, nodding his head. “Natives like shiny coins, yes? Ooooh, shiny!”
“Reg, you are not helping! What are you doing here?”
“Ah, I need a place to crash for a few days. I can take the couch if he’s got the guest room….”
“He does not have the guest room!”
“So I can have it?” Reg asked, looking up at me hopefully with those oversize eyes of his.
“WHAT,” I yelled, then caught hold of myself, “are you doing here, Reg?”
“Bell’s angry at me again.”
I froze, staring down at the tiny alien, who hung his head. I began swearing.
“Who is this ‘Bell’,” General [REDACTED] demanded, as a sudden shadow enveloped the house and the yard. Overhead was a much larger purple and gold saucer, flanked by red security ships with very nasty weapons, some of which were pointed directly at us.
“Ah,” I managed, swallowing. “General, may I introduce his Majesty, Prince Reginald, consort of Empress Bellaflorina De La Prefacia Dolsea Fra?”
“Ah,” General [REDACTED] said, looking up as the purple and gold saucer began to descend. “Is… is this an invasion?”
“No,” I winced as one of the saucer feet crashed through the roof of my detached garage. “This is where a friend of the family is being imposed on to hear both sides of an argument and tell the both of them that the other is completely wrong and they are completely right.”
“Oh. So, it’s a delicate domestic issue,” the general said slowly. “Does this happen a lot?”
“Do you do appointments?”