The steady, early morning drizzle over Connemara, Ireland, did nothing to keep Jimmy Malone from his daily routine. Rising
before the rooster's song, he would quietly get ready, to make sure he would not wake Mary. He would have his tea with the
sandman still crusting in his eyes. Then out to the coop to gather breakfast.
This is the way generations of Malone's had done it, except now, he had the modern convenience of a flashlight. While he
flipped the udders of the cow, like the expert he was, he had time to reflect back to what he and Mary had spoke of the night
before. Mary had said how she could not get used to the monotony of farm living after being reared in a fast paced city like
Dublin. She expected life to be slow and relaxed but she did not realize time would come to a complete stop here. Jimmy could
only counter that just because she would not go and make friends with the neighbors, it was no fault of his that she spent her
time knitting like an old spinster. She was beautiful and headstrong and Jimmy was beginning to feel like the evil king who kept
the princess locked in the tower.
Now, though, he was hoping the jackass would give him a kick for telling her she could take the Peugeot and visit friends in
Dublin, if she needed to. She probably would not be back for weeks, he thought to himself. Maybe he would have some time to
get the crops back in shape. Or repair that wall near the McCarthy farm. That would be easier than trying to keep her amused. It
might be about time to give her that child she has been hinting towards. Something to keep the clock moving for her and the
help would be invaluable down the line. Jimmy had no ideas of changing his lot in life. He had come from generations of
farmers. The dirt in his fingernails was the same dirt his great-grandfather had in his. It was dirt that had not much to yield, but it
was his dirt. The work was hard and the hours were long but the feeling of independence was priceless.
As he strode into the house, muttering to himself, Mary rushed to him and threw her arms around him, "How's my James today?"
Splashing them both with milk from the bucket, Jimmy just had to smirk and roll his eyes. "You don't have to be so damn happy
about leaving me do ya," he drawled.
"You know I'd love for you to come along, there's so many people that I would like you to meet. " she cooed.
He just stood there for a second, his eyes enveloping her beautiful face with his eyes. He thought to himself, "She could ask for
the world all day but with her auburn hair curling towards her soft cheeks and gazing into those translucent blue eyes, I would
not hear a word."
Looking down, trying to clean the spilt milk off his pants, he mumbled,"Well somebody has got to row this boat and who's gonna
knit the baby's booties?" He blurted out.
"Oh Jimmy! She shreiked. I love you, can we try right now?"
As good as that idea sounded to him. . . he knew he had promised McCarthy he would get that jalopy of a tractor running for him
again this morning. " I'm sorry Mary but remember that boat? Well it's sinking."
"Well, okay," she said. "But I'll go to Dublin next weekend and this weekend you are mine, all mine."
Jimmy began to set the table after turning on his favorite talk radio station. Once again they were talking about the latest peace
efforts in Northern Ireland.
Mary had just broken the eggs when the slightly ajar door blasted open. The wind was suddenly, incredibly ferocious. Jimmy's
tweed tam blew off his head and stuck to the wall. The wind was as constant as a wind tunnel fan. First the plates, then the
chairs and the mahogany table itself flew to the back wall. Jimmy standing behind the forewall watched as Mary become
horizontal in the air while holding onto the oven door. Jimmy could see her screaming hysterically but could not hear her. His
mouth and eyes agape, he could not move toward her knowing how futile it would be to try and help her. Jimmy outstretched his
arm just as she lost grip and flew headlong, crashing against the wall. He fell to his chest and started to try and inch toward her.
Then just as quickly as the wind started, it stopped. As if someone had flipped a switch. Silence had taken hold of the air. The
radio, unmolested, sat mute.
Mary managed to spin around to her knees. Shaking the cobwebs from her head, she muttered, "What the devil was that? We
have never had a tornado here before, have we?"
"Oh honey, are you all right?" Jimmy cried.
"I can feel the bump rising already," she said while rubbing her head.
Jimmy chipped some ice out of the frosted ice box and gave it to her.
"That was no tornado. I better see if anyone else got hurt." He said, then he started through the door. Mary heard him yell
immediately. "Oh my God!" He came running back inside, his face white as her Irish linen. He ran to the living room and grabbed
the pike above the mantle. It was the same one his grandfather had used in the 1916 Easter uprising against the British.
Jimmy darted out the door again, with Mary screaming behind him, "What has happened?!" She scrambled to her feet and
rushed to the doorway.
There it was, the largest thing she had ever seen. It looked like some kind of ship. It seemed to be an oil tanker on stilts but it
had to be over a kilometer long. The monstrosity stretched past their acreage, past the McCarthy farm and way beyond. Jimmy
had disappeared into the darkness of it's shadow.
She started after him screaming, "Please, Jimmy, come back!"
She then noticed her echo. That was the only sound at all. Mary could not hear Jimmy running, the wind, the chickens, cows or
anything. She decided to follow him and found she could not move. Mary tried to call out to him again but nothing came out. Mary
stood there muted, wondering if she had fallen deaf.
A light appeared from the bottom of the ship halfway across. There was Jimmy ready to poke at anything that would descend
from the hatch. "Come out of there you devils! How dare you ravage my farm?" He yelled. Then, as if someone had flipped
another switch, his anger converted to serenity.
He dropped to his knees and laid down his pike. A man then descended the stairs from the hatch. This was no ordinary man
though. This man was nine feet tall and looked even taller to Jimmy peering up from his knees. He was an artist's rendition of
Zeus, white hair and beard but no other signs of age. This Goliath of a man had calming blue eyes and the build of Samson.
There was a peacefulness about him, the kind that made Jimmy bow his head. Jimmy dared not take his eyes off him.
Mary was still stuck in her tracks screaming wildly though she could not even hear herself, nor could anyone else. The only thing
Jimmy could say was, "What can I do for you?"
The giant, looked down on him, smiling, said, "It is what we will do for you that you need to be concerned with."
Jimmy started wondering right then how many of these men could be in a ship this size. "I'll tell you what you can do for me."
Jimmy stammered, gathering his courage. "Get this ocean liner off my radishes!"
The giant spoke calmly and evenly. "James, as a man would say, your ship has come in. You and your land have been chosen
as the embarkation point of this world's greatest age. We have come in peace and have much to teach all humankind. You will
know riches beyond your comprehension. World acclaim, power and immortality shall be yours. The price you will pay will be
minimal for every human's dream throughout earth's history."
Jimmy just shook his head and said, "Price! I knew there was a catch! What do you things really want after you take my farm?
World domination and slaves?"
"I see we have chosen the right man for our task,"the giant said to unseen others. "James, we have been here before, our planet
also orbits your sun. Only ours takes thirty-six hundred of your years to revolve around it. We usually stop by earth every time our
orbit brings you close enough, to check on man's progress. This time we could not wait for a variety of reasons. One being our
planet is in peril, another reason being, so is yours. There is time to save yours if we act now. Ours is soon to be struck by
multiple meteor strikes. Much like the planet Jupiter recently endured. Our planet is very much like earth and would never survive
such a catastrophic event. Your planet is slowly being poisoned by what you call the industrial revolution, nuclear weaponry, its
waste and the extinction of indigenous wildlife. We have so many things to offer you, your country and your planet, all for virtually
"Well, if you call taking the land that my great-great-grandfather had fought to keep the British from taking and every generation
thereafter nothing, I'd like to see something!" Jimmy piped in.
"I see you are a man of action and deed," the giant allowed. "We will have no more griping. Behold."
There in front of Jimmy a pile of gold bullion appeared. Jimmy's eyes bulged as he gasped. He thrust himself on top of the pile
and broke into hysterical laughter.
"I see greed still rules your planet," the giant said in disgust. "There are a thousand liters there, enough for you and your
neighbors. All we ask of you is to be our representative to the leaders of this world. We will do everything in the confines of your
laws to purchase this land and all we shall need."
Jimmy regained his composure and asked in all earnest, "Why would they listen to me? I'm nothing but a grubby farmer who
hasn't made a profit in two years."
The giant was getting perturbed with this inanity. "James, was not your Jesus but a carpenter? The status that you crave and
need will be given to you through the riches we will endow upon you. The knowledge that you will be taught will be invaluable to
all humankind. They will listen."
Jimmy turned to look at Mary. She was still in a stasis. He could see something strange about her. She was no longer
screaming. The aura of serenity that surrounded her had Jimmy frightened for her. It looked as if she had died peacefully in her
sleep but she was still standing.
Jimmy turned to the giant, "What have you done to my wife!" He reached for his pike but he was thrown backwards five meters.
Then the pike disappeared.
"James you must relax. We are holding her at bay so we may complete our conversation. Believe me when I tell you she has
never been more at peace than she is right now."
"I'm gonna take your word for that" Jimmy said. "Only because I know you might be the one fellow who can take me on without
me arms bound and win."
The giant let out a great laugh and said, "That is why you were chosen James, we need a fighter for our cause. With our strength
we can take what we please. There is no army that could stop us on this planet. But that is not our way. My people are here to
live in peace like any other minority. We just hope to be treated better than you treat the other minorities. Earth will not take to our
presence easily. They will have to come to understand that we are here for their own good. And you will be our advocate of trust
Jimmy started to look around the outside of the ship. "I guess you should start preparing for that army. They should be here any
minute now," Jimmy said, looking at his watchless wrist.
"We will not be interrupted," the giant stated unequivocally.
"Well then, I guess it's 'bout time you begin giving me some answers," Jimmy said with his best Bogart imitation. Of course, with
his Irish brogue, he could never quite capture its essence.
"I will answer what I can for you but I need to know if we have an agreement on what we have discussed thus far," the giant
Jimmy eyed his wife, then looked at the pile of gold. "Yeah, I guess so," Jimmy said with not too much confidence. "First, what's
"I have been called many names on this planet, Anu by the Sumerians, Ra by the Egyptians, Zeus by the Greeks, Quetzalcoatl by
the Aztecs, Vishnu by the people of the Punjab along with many others by your ancients," the giant stated with grandeur.
. "Well, I guess I get to give you a name since everyone else has," Jimmy said. "How about Conn? He fought a hundred battles
and you've had a hundred names."
"That will not do, I do not like the connotations," the giant laughed at his own pun.
Jimmy rubbed his chin in a thinking posture. "Okay, how about Cormac, the greatest of all Irish kings?"
"Whatever you like," the giant said.
"So Cormac, how many others are there in that boat of yours?"
"Myself, eleven elected elders and one thousand others of our race."
"Is that all there was on your planet?" Jimmy wondered aloud.
"Of course not," Cormac said. "There are others all over the universe. Some are at our station on the largest of Mars' moons and
we have countless others throughout the galaxy. We were the most familiar with this planet and thought you ready for our arrival
Jimmy's mouth fell open as he began to grasp the weight of what Cormac was saying. "You said you've been here before.
When, why and how come we never knew?" Jimmy asked.
Cormac was becoming impatient. "James, I know you have hundreds of questions. I will answer all in due time but now we
must proceed with our plan."
"Just one more question, Cormac. How do you know of me?"
"James, we are not omniscient, although we do have a vast network to what takes place on this planet from a variety of sources.
We monitor your radio and television waves and have agents that live among your people. You may not believe it but you have
been bred for this position. Your Grandfather was of us."
Jimmy stumbled backwards, stunned. "That, that can not be true," Jimmy stammered. "This farm has been in my family for
generations before my Grandfather. So how could you interrupt the bloodline?" At this point Jimmy was incredulous. "I am sorry
James, but I cannot divulge all our secrets yet. At a later date we shall tell you more. For now, though, you should look after your
With that Cormac vanished. Jimmy turned in time to see Mary collapse. He ran from the darkness of the shadow of the ship and
embraced her. Her eyes opened and she smiled. Then she threw her wrist over her mouth as she screamed upon catching a
view of the ship.
"Jimmy, what has happened?" she cried.
"Something wonderful yet frightening," he said calmly. He pointed to the gold and began to relate the whole story to her,
everything save his alien parentage.
Then he heard his neighbor Seamus McCarthy running toward him yelling, "Jim, Jim what the devil is it?!"
"The end of toil my friend," Jimmy said as he motioned toward the gold.
"I was trying a new battery in the tractor when I . . . I lost track . . . no, I lost time," Seamus said, his voice trailing off. "They're here
to buy your farm me friend and it is an offer you can't refuse. Come inside and I'll tell you what I know." Jimmy said as he helped
Mary to her feet.
Seamus' first reaction to the incredible story Jimmy was telling to him was skepticism. Sure, he could see the awesome ship
but he was not going to believe in the benevolence that the aliens professed. He stood up and backed away from the now
upturned table, threw up his arms and said to Jimmy, "Are you mad?! How green can you be? Why would they choose this place
of all the places to go? They probably chose Ireland to land in because we have no army to speak of." Seamus', with his graying
hair standing on end, limbs visibly shaking and wide eyes was the one who was looking "mad." "You really think monsters from
the sky are gonna come down from the sky and just give you the Irish Sweepstakes for your crummy dirt?" Seamus continued as
he began to fast pace around the room.
Jimmy just smiled and calmly said, "Yes SeamusÂ—and your crummy dirt too."
Mary took Seamus by the shoulders and seated him again at the table. She then began walking around straightening things up
while she wondered what role she was going to play in this new world order. Trying to look regal, she said, "Imagine me, Queen
to the Aliens!" She did a deep curtsy as Jimmy broke into laughter.
Seamus was irate as he stood again, knocking the oak chair backwards to the floor and sputtered, "You fools! They are going to
kill us and take our land!"
Jimmy stood up grabbed him by the shoulders and said, "Relax man, I'm the chosen one and you're my right-hand friend. Think
what we can do with all that gold. We can buy a flat anywhere in the world. Take a plane . . . no, our plane and holiday wherever
we want. We'll help the poor, feed the the needy and maybe even buy our own pub! We can go visit your son in the States and
buy him a castle." Seamus slowly began to smile.
"Mary, what do you want to do?" Jimmy said as he turned to hug her.
"Oh Jimmy! The first thing I want to do is holiday in Paris."
Jimmy laughed as he asked, "What happened to going to Dublin?"
She put her hands on her hips as she said, "I can't be caught dead there till I have a suitcase full of Paris originals and a
"This calls for a celebration," Jimmy declared as he went to the icebox and pulled out the cider.
Jimmy was sound asleep after a night of drinking and intimate carousing with Mary when he was summoned to the ship. At four
in the morning he suddenly sat up, put on his church clothes and was compelled to go to the hatch of the ship. Next thing he
knew he was on the inside before he became coherent. His bleary eyes were blinded by an array of lights of every color. He
could not see the beginning or the end of them. It was if there was no ceiling. The smell of the ship was indescibable. It had the
odor of somewhere between a hospital and his manure box.
He felt himself about to gag when someone with a booming voice said, "Welcome James."
He spun around to see what he figured were the eleven elders and Cormac seated at a long golden table. Cormac was sitting
in the middle but what he noticed first were the three most beautiful women he had ever seen sitting among them. As he stood
there awestruck, Cormac repeated himself. "Welcome James."
With his arms at his sides, Jimmy nervously bowed and uttered, "Yes, your highness."
A couple of them started whispering to one another.
Then Cormac said, "Do not be tense, James. You are amongst friends. Remember we need you as you need the gold we gave
you to fulfill your dreams. We are peers." Cormac stood and slowly walked around the table, put his hand on Jimmy's shoulder
and averred, "Today we resume our work on this world once more. You, James, will play an integral role in gaining your world's
acceptance of us. We know the inner workings of this land's Parliament and governing body. To show our good intentions and of
course, to curry favor with your highest officials, we shall end this country's largest dilemma."
Jimmy's eyes widened as he loudly blurted, "Your going to destroy England?!"
Cormac gave him a sideways glance and said, "No, nothing like that. We are going to purchase Northern Ireland and have it
returned to Ireland."
Jimmy was aghast. "Impossible," he said while shaking his head.
That day, Jimmy, leaving Mary behind, drove to the Shannon airport. There he changed some of the gold for Â£25,000. On the
flight to Dublin he went over the instructions his benefactors had given. He had never been on a plane before and this kept him
from being nervous. Although, sitting in first-class did not help his situation much. Cormac had insisted he go first-class so he
would feel intimidated. Cormac knew full well, though, Jimmy would come to understand that his well-heeled traveling
companions were no better bred than Jimmy. After some initial nausea and ear popping, Jimmy fell asleep.
Jimmy's first stop was the finest haberdasher in the city. After inquiring at a realtor he put money down on one of the largest
houses in the city. An elegant three-story brick townhouse that overlooked St. Stephen's Green. A large park and respite near the
bustling city's center. That night he went to the Temple Bar district and bought drinks for strangers. The next day he flew back to
his farmhouse. He was a changed man already.
After reporting to Cormac he reported to Mary. "We've been given a week to explore our new found wealth," Jimmy gushed. "Don't
pack anything because we're off to Paris! We'll pick up Seamus on the way to the airport." Thus, began a dizzying whirlwind week
of shopping, outdoor cafes, sightseeing and foolishness. At one point Seamus was arrested for breaking a rude Frenchman's
jaw. They never did find out what he was yelling about when Seamus slugged him.
After paying his bail they realized it was time to go home for more money.
On their return, they found the ship was gone. In its place was a stone building the size of three of their barns. Functionally
austere, it had the trappings of a prison. Cormac was in their house to greet them.
Jimmy asked, "Where's your ship and people?"
"We found the logistics of keeping the airspace above clear was becoming dangerous for your air traffic control. So we sent the
ship, with most of the others, onto our base on Phobos," said Cormac.
Jimmy scratched his head.
"Phobos is the Mars' moon I told you about," Cormac said.
"Well what's with that castle you built out there?" Jimmy asked while pointing outside.
"A temporary shelter till we get approval for our city."
Jimmy was awestruck. Jimmy stammered with his mouth still open. "Temporary? City?"
"Yes, James. Now we want you to choose an Irish charity to donate 30 million pounds to. So we can get your name in the
newspapers. Then you will ask for a special convening of Parliament to tell them where you received the money and all that has
happened since our arrival. The next day we shall address themÂ—along with what we believe will be most of the Earth. Now
what charity do you choose?"
Jimmy was in a daydream, all he could say was "30 million pounds?"
Cormac turned to Seamus, "We will not be having any more incidents with you, will we?
Seamus in a sheepish manner said, "No your honor, I've learned my lesson."
Mary piped in "Jimmy, you have got to give the money to the children."
Jimmy regaining his senses said, "Alright, whatever the wife says. We'll donate it to the Children's Defense Fund."
Cormac nodded in a approving manner and said, "Begin your travel preparations. You leave again in the morning."
After Jimmy addressed the Irish Parliament there were shouts of "Poppycock" and laughter. Parliament though could not brush
aside the wonder of a simple farmer suddenly amassing 30 million pounds. On the outside chance of something astounding
happening the next day, the news media of the world was told to be there in the morning. The BBC, CNN, AP, Interpol, TASS and
all the other major media outlets converged on Dublin. Jimmy had made headlines all over the world. Most newspapers made
him out to be an eccentric lottery winner who was crying out for attention. Some thought he had a secret gold mine and that he
demanded the world's attention for some villainous reason. The American media viewed him with skepticism and scantly gave
him a blurb. The Russians were trying to figure, if it were true, how they could be the first to get the alien technology. The Iranians
put a price on Jimmy's head for blasphemy. And the Chinese, well, no one knew what they were thinking.
So at noon of the most beautiful day in recent memory, Jimmy introduced Cormac to the world with the words, "Welcome to the
new world order!"
Cormac, ducking his head, entered Parliament to gasps of terror.
A man in the rear stood and shouted, "You cannot turn Parliament into a circus sideshow! Who is this freak?"
Cormac waved his arm and the man vanished. Cormac in a booming voice said, "Ladies and Gentleman, collect yourselves
and listen closely! Your colleague is safe and nearby. I have not come here to perform magic to get your attention. Everything my
friend James has told you is the truth. Would you not think by my appearance that I would have shown up as a villian on one of
your television shows by now? I understand your skepticism and I am willing to produce any proof you will need to justify our
Another man shouted, "Then bring back our colleague!"
Cormac waved his arm again and the man reappeared gasping loudly, "It's true, it's true, I was just in a ship overlooking Mars!"
Everyone sat down as a murmur took hold of the room. Cormac raised his arms and said, "I would like to apologize to that man
for frightening him. We are not here to harm anyone. On the contrary, we are here to help your country first, then the planet. We
expected skepticism from all corners but you shall all be believers before this day is out." By this time people all over the world
were calling friends and family telling them to turn on the television.
The crowd finally grew silent as Cormac turned to the camera and began his soliloquy. "People of Earth, I and others like myself
bring greetings and glad tidings to this world. My name is Cormac although your history speaks of me in many appellations. We
come from a distant planet that also orbits your sun. It is represented in your folklore by the disk of the Egyptians and the Incas.
These ancient peoples had a true knowledge of the workings of the universe. Somehow in our absence their beliefs became
shrouded in myth. We had brought them the light of knowledge which through the course of history was slowly extinguished. Our
first contact with this planet was hundreds of thousands of your years ago. We originally came to this planet to mine gold from
where you now call South Africa. The gold was used to cover our transports, protecting them from the sun's rays much as you do
now on your space vehicles. Even with our sophisticated techniques the drudgery of mining proved to be too laborious. So we
did something that you may find to be earth shattering news, but must not be so. We developed a hybrid to be our laborer. Using
the highest form of indigenous life on this planet along with our seed, we developed a new life form called Adam, which literally
The collective gasp across the world was deafening. Cormac paused to let this all be taken in and to await a reaction. The
stunning news left everyone speechless. Figuring he had already disclosed the most incredible piece of information, he
decided to tell all. "Before the calls of blasphemy begin, let me state that this does not mean there is not any Great Creator. We,
ourselves have belief and worship Him. Like yourselves we have no scientific proof of Him. I will counter your disbelief regarding
my version of the origin of man with this question. In all your anthropological discoveries you have never found what you call the
"missing link." All we did was speed up the natural evolution of this planet by a million years or so."
"If we had not intervened you would still all be cave dwellers. You have not evolved one iota from the first city of Ur. Other than the
advent of mass production and electronics those ancient people had every benefit which you now enjoy. The SumeriansÂ—as
you call themÂ—were taught the arts of commerce, metallurgy, agriculture, poetry, music, sculpture, architecture, science,
surgery and finally astronomyÂ—to prepare for our infrequent arrivals. We were worshipped as Gods by all your ancient peoples.
We no longer need or want deification. All we ask is that you grant us freedom to do as we please on the land for which we will
pay as does any other commoner. In exchange we will enlighten you with knowledge you cannot yet fathom. Ireland shall receive
the immediate benefit of the lifting of the yoke of English rule in its northern counties. Through our wealth and negotiating talents
Northern Ireland will be restored peacefully to its roots of Hibernia. The Protestants will be relocated to a reclaimed Sahara
Desert. They will be given arable land and a product which all the world will need. They will, of course, at first defy this but soon
will realize that this can become their own utopia. This will be the first step towards economic and societal standing for both the
Protestants and the Catholics. So as you see, we have no plans for altering your religious beliefs. If separation is the only way of
ensuring the peace, so be it. After these generations pass, the world shall meld back together and live in peace eternally."
"During Earth's greatest eras we were here to guide the slow footsteps of man. Once again we arrive at an opportune time in
order to set this world on the correct path to another Renaissance age. We do not do this without selfishness. As my friend
James explained yesterday our home planet is in peril. And although we have other options available to us, we cannot wait idly
by as you poison this planet and its unique properties that remain unexplored and unexploited. Every ailment known to mankind
is curable through some natural substance that exists or existed on this world. Unfortunately, through the razing of your
rainforests you have destroyed the habitat of the insect which would secure the cure to the disease A.I.D.S. The cure for cancer,
diabetes and other so called incurable ailments are still attainable. We shall be happy to grant you the knowledge for their
"Now, I would like to destroy some of the other myths that have been espoused through the eons. First of all, yes, we built the
Pyramids of Giza. They were primarily used by us as landing beacons. They were also used by your ancients for plotting the
course of our planet. Along with many other stone edifices dotted all around your planet these ancients had singular knowledge
to our comings and goings. Places that you call today Stonehenge, Newgrange, Machu Pichu and others were built with the
solstices in mind. This was the beginning of their rudimentary knowledge on agriculture. Your advancements in this field have
been minimal. As I eluded to before we have ways of turning your deserts into arable land. We shall share this and many other
astounding things with you for what little we ask."
"We know you are still filled with skepticism. That is your and ourÂ—nature. So on our next meeting we shall bring proof of what I
have professed here today. At that time we will grant your twelve largest countries of this Earth one question each, which without
reservation we shall answer. We will meet again on the morning of the new moon. Thank you for your attention. Please consider
your questions carefully."
After Cormac had exited, the silence was thick. The slack-jawed statesmen just stared at the podium. Even the cameras of the
news organizations were still trained on the empty podium. After what seemed the better part of an hour, Bernard Shaw of CNN
shattered the silence with, "There you have it, the Earth's defining moment." Then a great roar of voices riddled the air with
questions. But what would be the twelve most important questions?
It took seconds before the press turned its attention toward Jimmy. They still had not formed any questions for Jimmy as they
converged on him as if he were the Messiah. Microphones and cameras were shoved at him like needles, Jimmy
dumbfoundedly said, "Hello." He gestured to his wife, "This is Mary."
Then they all started at once, "Have you been brainwashed?"
"How many are there?"
"Where did you meet your wife?"
"Did they make all those crop circles?"
Jimmy was flustered to the point of being frightened. He tried to hide behind Mary. Mary raised her arms and started shouting,
"Back off, you sharks! We only know as much as you!"
Just then, four men, in tan suits and what Jimmy thought were hearing aids, grabbed him and Mary by the arms. They rushed
them to a back room in Parliament. He was thanking them as they placed them in chairs in front of a desk. The nameplate on it
said Russell G. Connolly. From a side door a large man in his fifties with steel grey eyes entered the room and sat behind the
desk. He wore a suit and a stern face. The four men turned and exited the room. The man began reading papers in front of him
as they sat in silence. Mary grabbed Jimmy's hand, then said, "It's been a long day. Can we leave?"
Raising his eyes, he gave them a perturbed look. He then began reading his papers again for a few more moments before he
cleared his throat and addressed them. "Where did you get the gold?"
"So this is what it's all about," Jimmy said with a trace of anxiety in his voice. "Like I told everyone in there, Cormac brought it with
With his voice beginning to rise Connolly said, "Well, where did he get it. . . Pluto?"
"South Africa as far as I know," Jimmy said, rolling his eyes.
Connolly put both hands on the desk as he stood up, "Then it belongs to that government, doesn't it?"
"Ah sure, they stole it right? Isn't there a statute of limitations on a million years?" Jimmy cracked.
Connolly glared at him as he reasoned, "South Africa owns that gold like Egypt owns the pyramids or England owns
Jimmy looked at Mary and said, "Well maybe they consider all that gold as payment for building them," and he and Mary burst out
Connolly was fuming. "That gold belongs to mankind and I aim to make sure that we . . . they get it!"
Mary stood up and jumped right into Connolly's face and sputtered, "I guess you monsters don't consider children mankind!"
She grabbed Jimmy by the hand and said, "Let's go, Jimmy." They then stormed out of the office.
The men in the suits returned with shrugging shoulders. Connolly growled, "Keep a close guard on them, they know more than
The following day, Jimmy and Mary returned to the farm. Cormac was waiting for them at the door. After bidding them greetings
he cut right to the chase, "James, you must take better control of the media pressure. Hiding behind your wife is not what we
were expecting of our spokesman. At this moment in time you are more important than any human on Earth. We realize you are
an out of touch farmer and not used to a spotlight of this magnitude but we know within you you have the fortitude for our
mission. Your lovely wife, Mary, has the strength of the Irish Brigid and you shall be able to utilize her as a buffer in a moment of
weakness. Ultimately, though, it will be you who will hold the world of Atlas."
Jimmy bowed his head in shame and reverence then spoke sheepishly, "Cormac, we were spirited away after the conference by
some government types and questioned about the gold and. . ."
He was cut off by Cormac, "Yes, yes,we have been informed. Small men think in small terms. We seek no dispute with any man,
small or otherwise. We are prepared for any eventuality of this kind and will fight any fuss they invent in your courts, if need be.
Now, we have six days till the next conference. It is time to groom you, Mary and Seamus in the art of negotiation, confidence and
respectability. All three are wrought from your greatest asset, honesty. So the lessons will come naturally. Remember, all men
think of themselves first. If you think of your planet first then yourselves second, no one will be able to dispute your intentions.
You have much to learn James. Most of what we need to teach you can be found in the pure heart of your wife, Mary.
Mary began to blush as she bowed towards Jimmy and said as if she was at an awards banquet, "Thank you, thank you."
Cormac smirked as he said, "We have lessons in humility for you, Miss. But first, we will feast in the fashion of the Gods."
By this time, the world leaders had been assembled at the U.N. to discuss the horrors of alien domination. The militaries of
most of them were at their highest alert. The entire area around the farms where the aliens were stationed was encircled by a
N.A.T.O. force. Nuclear submarines were dispatched to the coast of Ireland from Cobh to Belfast.
Although not one soldier, sailor, president or prime minister had any idea what they were up against. The discussions at the
U.N. ranged from the nuclear destruction of West Ireland to pacifying the aliens with gifts. Most agreed not to do anything rash till
after the next conference. The Chinese offered to send a suicide squad in to find out what type of weaponry the aliens
possessed. They were rebuffed with the argument that no one wanted to stir the alien's ire before the all important conference.
The United States asked to send a delegation to the alien conclave under the guise of cooperation and peace while inspecting
the alien station for weaknesses and technology. All the old Soviet Bloc nations vehemently opposed this as old mistrusts
surfaced. They then offered to make it a multinational delegation but could not find an arrangement where enough nations could
be represented without having a hundred advisers along. Half the nations complained about doing anything before the
conference and the other half could not sit idly by and do nothing while, "The world was facing armageddon."
Since they could not reach an accord for a decisive plan they moved on to who would be the twelve questioning countries. After
dispatching some smaller nations and a few hours of more arguing it was decided population would be the deciding factor.
Being the host nation, Ireland was given an exemption from any criteria and given first question status. Africa was lumped
together as a whole and was expected to inquire about its gold. Indonesia and Bangladesh also were lumped together despite
protests from both countries. France made a side deal with Pakistan for their place with a promise of foreign aid. Most of the
"outlaw" countries, Iran, Iraq, Libya and others were outraged by the terms of selection and threatened a disruption of the
conference unless they could be heard. So it looked as though security would have to be insurmountable surrounding the Irish
Parliament House. The United Kingdom with only a seventeenth rank and unable to secure a place in the twelve was becoming
very hostile and feeling very threatened. Their long time foe and former stepchild, Ireland, was gaining respect and power that
could only mean ill will for them. So, as in the past, they feigned friendship towards Ireland and offered assistance and resolved
to commence the peace process again. Ireland understood England's duplicity for once and withdrew its position of
After much fudging of population figures and Africa not being able to elect a populist leader. They tried to ensure fairness in the
order of the questioning by adopting the following order: Ireland, China, India, Indonesia/Bangladesh, United States, Brazil, The
Russian Federation, Japan, Africa, Mexico, Germany, France. Egypt and Peru argued that they should be given a place among
the questioning countries strictly by virtue of the antiquities involved in their homelands. Next came the input of all the excluded
countries as to what the questions should cover. All of the included countries paid little heed to what was said here. In
confidentiality, the "ins" knew they would all be asking questions that would be intrinsically relevant to them. After two days of
bickering and cajoling, the meeting ended so that the "in" countries could go home and discuss with their cabinets what those
all-important questions would be.
The world media was in an unprecedented frenzy trying to learn what they could about Jimmy Malone and anyone remotely
involved in this saga. Newscasters and pundits were stretching hour-long shows out of the paragraph of Jimmy's life: Born to
William and Mary Malone on April 4, 1961 on the same farm where he resides now. Two years at Trinity College in Dublin
studying business management where he met and married Mary Moore of Dublin. Returned to the Connemara farm after his
father's untimely passing to resume farm duties. Eight years later, his mother passed on. He possessed the traits of a
prototypical Irish farmer: Red hair, strong physique and a broad smile. No traffic tickets, no unkind words to be found and
certainly no scandal. Although he was a man of impeccable character, he was regarded as a bit of a flake by his peers. Mostly
because of his quiet nature.
"He did not seem to have an opinion on anything." Old school chums were quoted as saying.
"He was not given to flights of fancy." Was the mantra of his Trinity professors, the ones who remembered him.
Seamus was a different story. Pub brawls, driving intoxicated, petty theft as a lad and allegations of fraud when he applied for his
farm loan. Seamus' first wife, bore him a child and shortly after that, died tragically in an auto accident, with Seamus behind the
wheel. His second wife left him after only seven months together. His son shortly after that. Alcohol had poisoned his life. Since
he was involved only geographically, and was taking a back seat to Jimmy in spokes-manship, these went largely ignored. He
carried a nervousness about him that rarely allowed him to look anyone straight into the eyes. After a few ales though, he would
become confident, vulgar and testy. Which lead to most of his setbacks. Worn beyond his years, his bad physique foretold his
unproductive farm. Downbeat and yet high strung, Jimmy and him had become good friends after Jimmy's mother had passed.
The love of cider was what Jimmy and Seamus had in common. The only real problem was that Seamus did not mind drinking it
Mary, meanwhile, was being hailed for her strength and beauty. She was given professional courtesy by the media and was not
scrutinized as closely as they wanted. They did not trot out old beaus as they normally would have in a situation as this. She was
having compliments heaped on her in a way the world had not seen since Jacqueline Kennedy. With high ideals and ambitions
is how she entered college. She left the ambitions behind as she took Jimmy's hand in marriage. Her love for him
foreshadowed any hopes of marrying into any of Dublin's elite. She sometimes had pangs of wanting to taste the good life but
she had no misconceptions of where she was and where she would stay. Standing beside her man was the most noblest thing
she could think of. Besides, Jimmy always tried to keep that pedastal she was on pretty high. And now, just as she had
predicted, she was being referred to as the "Queen to the Aliens." What more could a girl ask for.
Cormac, in his stone palace, was having his own problems. Though none of his colleagues had any power to dictate terms to
him, their points were valid. Giving the humans open-ended questions could only invite trouble. Without proof of everything they
tell them, the skeptics would win out over truth. Religious zealots will defy them to the end. How would they benignly counter any
military action the foolish humans may decide upon? Simply relocating military personnel, making their weapons inert and
changing locations will not dissuade the human's resolve.
Although he, himself, had only come to this planet a handful of times, he had not encountered any dilemmas of this nature. The
skepticism the humans showed this time was never a problem before. He was treated as a diety. The pageantry given to his
infrequent arrivals were stuff of legend. There were no questions of proof. The simple humans regarded his machinery, size and
miracles with justifible awe. But now, as they have been given most of the advancements of his civilization and where space
travel had become commonplace, there was nothing that the humans could not imagine. Cormac wondered if telling them of
Adam had been the right move so soon. The world's religions had already set in motion the re-evaluation of every tenet hitherto
put forth. Vatican III was announced to take place before the conference at the Irish Parliament. Cormac figured, it was to plan for
any development the aliens may espouse which would run counter to the Catholic religion. They had to be careful what was to
be told in any religious context to the humans. The fervor of the Irish religious beliefs would be enough to send their plans
asunder if not handled properly.
The fanaticism of the Islamic Fundamentalists in the Middle East had already taken a turn that meant it probably could not be
brought back into the fold. Extremists had tried to plant a bomb beside the Wailing Wall but were stopped and killed in the
process. With them, the reason died as to why. The general notion was that they tried because of what the aliens had said had
shaken their beliefs to the core. Cormac found that religion would be his insurmountable obstacle. Genesis was dictated by him
to the first scribes of Earth and had changed through its handling of the ancients from one language to another. He wondered
why, if the humans believed there was one God who created Adam, do they still have in the their Bible "We will create man in our
own image." The origins of this universe were only passed down to him through lore of his own planet. All of the major religions
on Earth worshipped one benevolent God. And their benevolent God was more righteous than the next religion's and murder
was the only way to prove it. Where had he gone wrong in this aspect? The New Testament and the Koran were not of his
design so he resigned himself to leaving it at that and not place blame upon himself for man's folly. Although all of this worked
to his advantage in the past.
It seemed all the world was enthralled with what was to come at the next "Alien Conference." Scholars were busy trying to find
evidence to refute the claims the aliens had made and were going to make. The "Alien Chatroom" was the busiest place on the
internet. Suicides rose 23% in the first twenty-four hours of the last conference. Newspaper sales rose 38%. Wall Street broke
the twelve thousand benchmark in anticipation of new alien technology. People all over the world converged on Dublin to be
near this historic conference. O'Connell Street was inundated with wayward travelers in search of a place to stay. The River Liffey
was jammed with boat traffic. Security was brought in by the U.N. The Temple Bar District was the place to be, as rock bands
and some of the biggest names in the recording business showcased their talents for the world. The media never left the city as
they fought for footage since they had little more to report till the next conference. With the population of Dublin almost tripled,
unbelievably, crime dropped 72%.
|COPYRIGHT 1999 DANIEL RUSH