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Feb 2, 2019

The Patreon funded story for February is "The Chemical Trace of Amour in The Solar Winds, Like Lilacs on a Desert Breeze" by Roger Leatherwood.

It's read by Nobilis Reed.

We thought the aliens would come to visit us one day. That we wouldn't be the ones to go out into space and find them. Because we never had the resources to do true, extensive interplanetary travel. The government was forever stuck in domestic policies and snafus, by which I mean earth-bound. Politics and international tensions prevented all but a few face-saving and performative probes from leaving our atmosphere to orbit, possibly land on foreign objects and other planets as some grand statement of man's supposed legacy to conquer the universe. Or at least, the closest parsec of it.

But even then, our satellites and probes would dig in the dust of Saturn's moons and find rhodium. Or gold. Or liquified krypton. Which would stop all attempts at further exploration and turn the exercise into how to best mine, transport and exploit the new motherlodes.

So when the aliens finally presented themselves, making themselves visible after, what they claimed were months of observation beforehand, it was expected, obvious and in a way a relief for the officials in our command office.

Particularly Capt. Lightheart. He had an aggressive idea the aliens would be militaristic and come in hard and without warning. Lightheart, a fellow more misnamed than anyone I'd ever met, kept insisting we wouldn't be ready to take on the aliens, however much warning and how docile, their sudden appearances might be.

Lightheart had access to high-level surveillance information Bridgette and I didn't have. Ominous radio signals, disturbances in the solar flare patterns, strange bogies sighted in formations over the beaches of Bermuda and Cancun, avoiding scrambled Air Force jets.

Above our pay grade. But Bridgette had a different idea of the aliens. That if they had spent all the energy and time to find us in the solar system, and to come visit us, their intent wouldn’t be simply to destroy us. It would be to understand us. Make friends. Maybe teach us high science concepts.

My view, well, I thought the likelihood of some other species visiting Earth was extremely unlikely. Even though I worked at the Pan-US Extraterrestrial Surveillance Service. I was the press liaison, so I took every bit of news with a grain of salt. Never thought a story too good to be true ever was.

The reason why I was here, at PUSESS where the existence of aliens was the entire point of the organization, was I think I was always attracted to smart girls, and girls like Bridgette, brainy and able to spout equations as easily as recipes for mixed tropical drinks. Those were the kinds of girls who hung around PUSESS. Post-grad docs who loved to dream, read science-fiction and wool-gather around a world in which women were in charge.

Turns out my prediction was much less accurate than Bridgette's, who expected world peace, and Lightheart's, who expected total domination. The truth was a little of both.