Sergeant Potts shifted uneasily in his seat, listening to his headset. All in all, things were not going well. The interceptor flight was airborne and heading for the suspected landing site. He could hear his intercept information being relayed to the pilots. On the radar screen in front of him, he followed the course of the two fighters as they streaked towards Nottinghamshire. He quickly calculated their arrival time and sat back to wait.
"Zulu Fox-trot to base, over?"
"Base to Zulu Fox-trot, go ahead, over."
"Zulu Fox-trot to base, arrival at target area in T minus 10 seconds, descending to one zero zero feet to begin search."
Potts listened intently as the crews talked to each other. Criss-crossing the area in a set pattern, it would take a few minutes. He started to devour his pen.
Finally came a pilot's voice. "Zulu Fox-trot to base, no target, over."
Disappointed, but not very surprised, Potts confirmed position and altitude with the flight leader and directed them onto a new heading for a second sweep. He followed their trace on the screen.
"Zulu Fox-trot to base, nothing sighted... actually... hold on a minute..."
Potts sat bolt upright in his chair, his heart racing. At last!
"No, sorry. It's just a farmhouse and outbuildings, returning to base, over."
He slumped back in his chair. "Base to Zulu Fox-trot, acknowledged. Return to base confirmed, over."
Sergeant Potts sighed heavily to himself. Just when he thought a door had been opened to him, the bastard holding it had let it go. He sat and thought for a while. What he really needed was a day's holiday.
And, as with all great hero's in books, it just so happened, that he had one due.
* * * * * *
Far, far away in a dark little office full to the brim with all the latest gadgets, Dexit D'fejoozabt smiled to himself. Not only had he managed to get the President off his back, but this idea to evict the Human race was the best scam he had ever come up with. It was so good in fact that it might even help him get the promotion he longed for so desperately. Once the Humans had gone, the President of Safe Space would just have to see to it that he, Dexit D'fejoozabt, was rewarded handsomely for his efforts to rid the Zoo of it's nasty, and illegal guests. His name would be up in lights! The hero of Safe Space! Yes, thought Dexit, I could handle that.
The owner of Zoo Earth sighed a happy and contented sigh and walked over to his eight foot long, pitch black, intergalactic telescope. He had won it in a card game a few thousand years ago and it had never let him down. He was proud of it. There weren't many telescopes which could see the surface of a planet thousands of light years away. He pulled down the flaps on each side, aimed the big black lens at the Earth and peered through. After a few moments he started to tremble with the power of it all. To think that the stupid monkey type things down there didn't even know they were being watched! He felt like he was a God and they were his slaves.
He didn't know of many Gods who evicted their slaves, but there you go. He liked being the first to come up with all the brilliant ideas. After all, that was what he was good at. Dexit stared harder into his telescope. The proposed eviction excited him. 'That'll teach you for settling on my planet without having the decency to ask first!' he smirked. Even though Safe Space Law stated that he must at least try to establish where they came from before the eviction could take effect, he was not worried. There was no way in the world that his two assistants would find where that place was, so, before long, he would have no choice but to go ahead with the eviction. What a shame! As he looked down at the little blue planet, Dexit's thoughts returned to his dream of promotion - the President's job would be a good one...
* * * * * *
It was now late morning and the alien spaceship was carefully, not to mention awkwardly, concealed in Billie's barn.
The rays of the winter sun beamed through the little pane of glass that she liked to call the window, pinpointing the lager cans and discarded pizza boxes which were bundled haphazardly near the region of the waste bin, illuminating them unnecessarily as if to make a point.
Billie slumped at her pine kitchen table, staring at the aliens, who, for the record, were sitting on her work surface chewing banana skins. They looked quite cute really. What was not so cute however, was their topic of conversation.
The aliens explained that the Humans were trespassing on the Earth.
Billie explained that she believed it was a load of bollocks.
The aliens explained that the Humans were not part of the design.
Billie explained that it all sounded very interesting but that she still believed it was a load of bollocks.
The aliens said it was true.
Billie said it couldn't be because Humans evolved from apes.
The aliens said that their boss created the earth and that he killed off the dinosaurs because they spoilt the view and he hadn't expected them to be so big. Then the Humans arrived.
Billie argued that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteor strike.
Torg and Zork argued it had been done on purpose.
But it was an accident!" yelled Billie, full of frustration.
"It wasn't an accident! It was controlled, it was supposed to happen!"
Billie stood up, and placing her hands on the table, spoke as slowly and as confidently and as calmly as she could manage. "A meteor collided with our planet 65 million years ago, which caused an Ice Age, which in turn, caused the dinosaurs to become extinct." She was getting more wound up by the second.
"It was remote controlled!" argued Torg desperately. "Why do you think the meteor was so big? It had to kill off everything."
Crossing her arms as a gesture of defiance, she stared at them. "Prove it," she said, leaving a challenging pause.
Torg glanced at Zork and shrugged. He was beaten. "Out of all the Humans on this crazy planet, we had to pick her."
"Prove to me that Humans didn't evolve here and I'll believe you." Ha, she thought, didn't expect that, did you?
"Hang on a minute," said Zork. "What did you mean when you said your race evolved from apes?"
"Known fact," said Billie warily, wondering what he was getting at. "Man evolved from primates."
"Who told you that?"
"It's a fact!"
"Don't be so bloody daft!"
Billie groaned. They obviously weren't going to give up. "We did! Apes came down from the trees and learnt to walk."
"Oh yeah? Oh yeah? And how long do you think they would have lasted?"
"What do you mean, lasted? We learnt to use tools and defend ourselves."
Zork cocked his head at her. "How long do you think it takes to learn to walk upright and use tools?"
"Well, millions of years," said Billie. She felt the need to sit down. Something told her she was about to lose the argument.
"Exactly," said Zork triumphantly. "How do you think these mythical monkeys of yours stuck around long enough to learn to use these tools? If you ask me, if you ask me, any half evolved primate who decided it'd be a good idea to go for a walk, would have found himself down the wrong end of a sabre toothed tiger pretty damn quick."
Billie decided to ignore that argument. "Scientists have proven we evolved from apes," she went on, determined not to be beaten.
"How?" asked Torg. Despite himself, he was finding her argument fascinating.
"From fossils and skeleton remains. We are related to monkeys."
Zork was getting frustrated. "No you're bloody not!"
"We are! All we need to do is find the missing link between man and ape."
"A-ha!" he exclaimed excitedly. "You've never found this missing link?"
"No, but we will."
"No you won't! Why do you think you haven't found it?"
Billie was beginning to feel put upon. What they were saying made sense, but she was buggered if she was going to let them know that. "Er, we haven't looked in the right place yet?"
"There isn't a right place to look, the reason you've never found this missing link of yours is because there isn't one!"
"Yes there is!"
"No there isn't! Think about it!"
"He's telling you the truth, you know," said Torg. "Humans couldn't have evolved from apes because by the time they learnt to walk and use tools, millions of years would have passed, therefore, the question you have to ask yourself is, what did they defend themselves with in the meantime? They wouldn't have survived long enough. Doesn't this make any sense to you?"
Billie sighed and tried one last time. "Well, where did we come from then, if we didn't evolve from apes?"
Zork grinned. "Funny you should ask that."
* * * * * *
Back at the radar centre, Sergeant Potts cleared the empty coffee cups from his desk and laid out a map. He then sat down and with his chewed biro and a ruler, plotted the course of the 'bogie'. After half an hour's concentration, he sat back to examine his handiwork.
A large red cross marked the bogie's last position. Feeling a 'buzz' coming on, he tore the map carefully into three pieces and slipped them into his pocket. Indiana Jones would have been proud of him.
He quietly finished the remainder of his long and now tedious double shift and left for his day off.
He headed out of his section, down a long corridor and into the locker room. Making sure there was no one around, Potts opened his locker and took out a small rucksack. This was his favourite bit. He carefully hung up his cap and uniform tunic and pulled out a battered trilby hat and a brown leather jacket.
When he had swapped his clothes and put the rucksack back into the locker, he picked out another smaller bag and opened it. Good, he thought, it's still there. He closed the bag, fixed it to his belt and checked his appearance in the locker room mirror.
Satisfied and feeling the part, Sergeant Potts headed for the unknown wilderness of Nottinghamshire, ready to take on anyone or...anything...
* * * * * *
Back at Luggins Farm, Billie and the aliens were arguing again.
"It really doesn't matter which way you look at it, our Boss is going to evict you anyway."
Billie's mouth dropped open. "You never mentioned this before! What do you mean 'evict', we live here! He can't evict us!"
Zork glanced at Torg, who nodded encouragingly. Now was a good a time as any. He reached into a pocket and handed her the eviction order.
Billie flipped. "You can't do this!" she screamed. "There's billions of people on this planet. What are we supposed to do, huh? Where are we gonna live? Hang around in the void? Drift through the endless blackness of space forever?"
Torg covered his ears. "There's no need to get hysterical. It might not happen. The whole point of us being here is so we can find out where you came from and put you back."
"That's what we want to know," said Zork kindly. He couldn't help it, but he was starting to feel sorry for her. "Now, are you going to help us or not?"